Fragments

1867 204 I apprehend the "shall" of Romans vi. 5 is not future but consequence. Verse 6 is corroborative of it, the result being the last words of verse 4. Verse 8 is consequence, but on to the future, and this, because there is power in His resurrection. (Ver 9.) But it is power of life, putting of course in a given place by resurrection, but not in simple standing as in Ephesians ii. 6. No doubt, this is connected with power, as in the end of Ephesians i., but it is not life as here working in us. In Romans vi. 7, it is not justified from "sins;" and, it is clear, a dead man cannot be accused of sin working in him: his state of death clears (justifies) him at once. In all this part of Romans, the apostle speaks of sin, not sins. When he speaks of offences, the law is introduced.

1867 227 Acts 7 — I had not sufficiently observed the completeness of the whole view given at the close of the discourse. First, on the testimony of the prophets, the whole Jewish foundation is set aside as a dwelling-place of God, as being mere creation. Next, as to the moral position of the Jews, they had not kept the law; they have betrayed and murdered the Just One; and they were, as ever, resisting the Holy Ghost. Thus their whole condition was brought out. Then we have the contrast: a man full of the Holy Ghost, heaven opened, the man Jesus seen in glory, the cross, and likeness to Jesus, the spirit being received up.

1867 238 It is to be remarked as to Scripture, that Paul declares his doctrine (i.e., of the Church) completes it (Col. i. 25), and that (Gal. i. 8, 9) he will not have any gospel besides. It would be heteron, not allo. Thus we are certain to have the whole truth. The Spirit may apply in grace, may practically develop, so as through Him to judge all by.

1867 238 Remark the amazing power of the words in John iii. 13, 14, thus brought together — the Son of man in heaven, and the Son of man must be lifted up — whether we consider His person, or the grace that is in that "must," as showing how He had thoroughly taken up our cause and identified Himself with us.

1867 262 In Ephesians iv. 3–6, though the subject is enlarged and the character of the unities defined, yet there is clear reference to the end of Ephesians ii. — the house as well as the body. God is not, that I am aware, said to build the house. "Ye, coming as living stones, are built up." So "ye are builded together."

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The Epistle to the Hebrews puts the saint (and strictly the Jewish remnant) in perfect present connection with heavenly things and places, but connects them with the whole course of previous revelations, and also with the coming dispensation.

1867 263 In 1 Timothy there is nothing of privileged relationship. The Father is not spoken of, nor children, nor the Bride, the Lamb's wife. It is God in His own nature and being, a Saviour, but God as such in nature. Hence also law and Judaism are left behind, useful in their place; but the truth is God with man by a Mediator between God and men. The other point is by the by — the public order of the Church in the world, guarding against false doctrines. The Church is the witness of truth in the world, the display of that truth having been in Christ.

1 Corinthians 13 — Here love is spoken of only in its working in or toward man, though its spring be the divine nature, love itself in us, which has its supreme joy in God Himself. But here it is as in precept for its manifestation in man's ways. But note that Paul did not speak of "past" or "perfect" here; that is only of knowledge. He does not say of love that which is perfect is not come. Of course, it does not fail nor pass away.

1867 286 The hope in Peter, and indeed in Colossians, though not connected with so high a dispensational place, yet is itself as an inheritance a higher hope, not the inheritance of all things, which, though in a certain sense general since it may continue (Rev. xxi. 7, Heb. ii.), yet is properly the kingdom inheritance of the Son of Man, and at any rate of what is below us, but the eternal blessedness itself in the heavenly state with God.

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1867 287 2 Cor. xii. — Flesh is seen in three distinct positions: first, when the man is in the third heaven and there has no consciousness of it at all; secondly, in the activity of its own will at the end of the chapter when it is sin; and, thirdly, in conflict but disallowed. Here the man is not unconscious of it, but it is known and conscious weakness, but the soul having Christ's power with it, and this relied on by faith. As respects the sphere it acts and works in, it is a weakness, but thus a testimony to another power which does its own work in this sphere — the power of Christ. The saint is obliged to feel it as weakness because of the tendency to self-confidence and forgetfulness of dependence; and that the Lord alone can do the Lord's work whatever instruments He uses.

1867 303 Revelation 6 is complete in itself, the state of the sphere of which it speaks being gone through (with the question of full judgment, which was not yet come, raised) till the whole scene is broken up, so that people thought the full judgment was come. It is a preliminary scene. We could not have the beast, for this is definitely formed in its day and final judgment comes on it: it was for its time. The saints under the altar had to wait.

1867 308 How sadly we are generally dragging through this world, as those who are not capable of having their citizenship in heaven. Of sense God was not ashamed to be called their God, because they were looking for a city beyond this world. God is ashamed to be called the God of those whose hearts are only here.

1867 310 If we have to bear our own reproach, it is because we were not bearing the reproach of Christ. When the eye is not on Jesus, we are like Samson shorn of his locks, and our weakness as well as folly will come out. Let us remember that our rash words and foolish ways dishonour God in this way — that they stumble those who do not know His grace by giving the appearance, as far as we are concerned, that these things are compatible with the grace of which we talk.

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1867 319 Romans 6 considers first sin in respect of nature, and then the man in respect of relationship, and subjection and (as noted elsewhere) obedience to a person in contrast with a law.

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If a man is a Christian, he belongs to the sanctuary of God. God has given him a present place inside the holiest, which faith should use to judge flesh by.

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Fragments Gathered Up.

1867 320 The resurrection of Christ, laid hold of by faith, is the pivot of true separation to God. It is the only thing that enables a man to make a clean break with the world and the flesh, as it is the witness of victory over Satan and judgment.

1867 327 The character of John vi. is important in connection with all in divine blessing as an entirely new thing. Not only is Christ that eternal life which was with the Father, but the nourishment of this life is equally heavenly. He is the bread which came down from heaven — the bread of God, too, whose good pleasure is in Him. The heavenly and divine nature has its heavenly and divine food. In this world it is death to the old thing. It takes that form and power when it has to do with the old nature and its objects by entering into the scene in which this moves and to which it belongs. Hence we must eat Christ's flesh and drink His blood. Life was communicated which has not to struggle to a place it has to gain, but is come down from one to which it belongs — a wholly new thing.

1867 334 Before Satan introduced lusts into man's heart, he produced distrust of God: when this was brought in, man was easily a prey — all was really done. So with what infinite goodness and surpassing grace God attracts and warrants confidence for the chief of sinners in Christ.

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1867 335 Ruth's history illustrates the life of faith, as Abraham's does, in parts and parcels. Ruth allied herself with the poverty of Naomi and with the wealth of Boaz. This is faith. It knows Jesus in rejection on earth, in all dignity and acceptableness in heaven. It adopts both as its own. Faith after this manner enjoys freedom before God and gets victory over the world.

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Fragments Gathered Up.

1867 336 The presence of God keeps everything in its place — nothing else: otherwise the human mind works. John does not worship up in heaven: when others did, his place was to see and record. The living creatures celebrate God, the elders worship. When John sees the angel, he was going to worship him. What a difference the presence of God makes!

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1867 336 Abel's sacrifice was rather an offering to God than redemption. Therewith he could come and he received by faith, and so it is used in Hebrews. It was Abel's offering, not God's redemption.

Pool of Bethesda.

1867 338 Ordinances and ministry witnessed mercy, but the Son dispenses it in His own way: no delay, no rivalry, no fear, or doubt, but "Wilt thou be made whole?" It was Galatianism to pray about Bethesda after Christ had been in Jerusalem. Such is plentiful still. It is always a question thus between Christ and the sinner in John. Christ settles all in grace alone and effectually.

1867 349 Is not Revelation 9 correlative with chapter 7? The locusts hurt those not sealed (in the east rather), the horsemen those not faithful among Gentiles (only the latter is more limited; it is the third part of men, or prophetic Roman earth).

1867 363 Never a sorrow, a shame, or a difficulty, but we may connect all with Christ by the grace of God — through the cross, of course.

1867 375 Christ suffered from God because of His faithfulness to man, as He suffered from man because of His faithfulness to God. But this leaves open scripture-proof of any transitional suffering, distinct from either and between the two.

Self-judgment by grace always tends to promote humility and love. The man who has passed through such an exercise as to the beam in his own eye will be able to act the more tenderly in casting the mote out of his brother's eye.

1867 377 The difference between grace and law is that grace depends on what God is for me; law, on what I am for God. In the presence of God no one is proud. It is away from Him (as to the consciousness of it) that pride works.

1867 380 In Revelation 8 all parts of orderly existence typified by nature are smitten — trees, grass, sea, rivers, fountains, sun, moon, and stars: all symbols, but the course of nature in the prophetic world.