1869 206 The divine law asserts God's authority, and declares man's responsibility, but does not, save in type, go beyond the exercise of His judgment. The Gospel reveals what God is and what He has done for the sinner in Christ. The law only required what man should be.

Fragments Gathered Up.

1869 208

Righteousness — Life — Salvation.

The righteousness we enjoy is of a new order, accomplished in another, imputed to us; unlike what the law proposed and demanded. The life we breathe is of a new order, infallible and victorious, had from the risen Christ, and unlike the life in Adam which had to be tested. The salvation which we inherit is of a new order; it is reserved or kept safe for us (1 Peter 1), unlike the Canaan which Joshua divided to Israel.

Thus, "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation." Note — righteousness is discussed by Paul; life by John; and salvation in the Epistle to the Hebrews.


Matthew 26 — 28.

A very sure highway from our ruins to His glories has been cast up and we are to tread it boldly.

All are present in this last scene; God, angels, disciples, man, Satan — proving themselves. And all get their answer. God in righteousness is satisfied — angels get fresh light and joy — feeble, failing disciples are restored — man is set aside as incurably apostate — Satan, with death, is defeated and spoiled.


Genesis 3 — 1 John.

Eve surrendered God to the serpent. Assurance of truth and love in God is our strong tower. (Prov. 18:10.) The lie has darkened our mind as to God: the truth restores us to God morally; the blood judicially. The Son brings the truth that God is Light and Love. He is therefore called "the Word," "the Light of men." He puts us back in the strong tower. (1 John 4:6.)


It is the Son of God who reveals God Himself, and thus becomes the centre of His counsels, the manifestation of His glory, and the object of His ways.

It is God who speaks in the person of the Son, who, while truly man, manifests also the Father.

The communications of God are adapted to the position of those who historically received them. This brings us into intelligence of all the counsels of God, for He reveals Himself in His authority, His wisdom, and His sovereignty in these counsels, as He makes Himself known in His nature by the revelation of Himself in Christ.

If our souls go on with God, sweet as is the assurance that we, washed in the blood of Christ, belong to God, yet the uppermost thought will in the long run be Himself. We shall come back to His person. We shall in our praises weave with it what He has done, suffered, and won for us; but the first of all thoughts in our souls is, the first of all thoughts in heaven is, not what we have gained, however true, but what He has been for us and what He is to us, yea what He is in Himself.

Were subjects treated methodically and separately in scripture, especially in the New Testament, they would be much less perfectly understood. It is in life and power, whether that of Christ or that of the Holy Ghost in the inspired writers, that they develop themselves to our hearts.

The gold on the mercy-seat is intrinsic, and so proper divine righteousness; the brazen altar is governmental righteousness in connection with sin. Both answer to the character of acceptance in Christ. God has in the cross judged and put away sin. He has dealt with sin so that we are free. But then in Christ's death God was perfectly glorified, and the reception before the throne is in the perfection of this. Christ is there in consequence of this and we are there in Him — the righteousness of God in Him. This is not dealing with sin, but what God delights in — can and must delight in. No doubt the blood on the mercy-seat is witness of the putting away of sin according to the exigencies of divine perfection; but there is more than this — Christ is sitting there. On the brazen altar sin is righteously dealt with; on the golden throne divine righteousness is delighted in.

When we slip out of communion with God, how wretched we are, and how we contribute to the unhappiness of others! Whereas in communion with God there is power to enable us to resist the devil, to enjoy the Lord and to promote the true blessing of His people. The Lord give us to have our Lord Jesus very simply and constantly before our hearts! We shall never go wrong with Him as our object; we are sure to stray where any other thing slips into His place.

Fragments Gathered Up.

1869 288

Order of Creation.

Angels were created before any of the progressive creation, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. The highest of creatures were first created and abide (as unfallen) in their estate; then the progressive creation as a general rule from inanimate to reptiles, beasts, and man, when moral responsibility now comes in, and failure, and then the great truth of redemption, but this by the incarnation of the Son of God, God Himself coming into sorrow, both in Christ and by His Spirit, so as that man should have chords of divine harmony, which no angel could, and death — the power over the creature not created for death — being entered into, man in Christ is raised far above all principality and power, and we sit in heavenly places in Him. See Psalm 8 and use of it in the New Testament. And this angels have been contemplating from the beginning.

This beautiful, divine order (i.e., first, the highest creatures, angels, then (beginning from the lowest, yet Lamarckian or Darwinian development formally disproved both by the placoid early fishes, and the superior Saurian class coming before existing Saurians) the classes continuing in order up to man — invertebrate, vertebrate, mammalia, "a little lower than the angels") shows also very distinctly the difference between eternal existence and eternal life. The angels have eternal existence as creatures, not eternal life through having Christ for their life; whereas Christ being the eternal life which was with the Father (an eternal life given us in Him before the world was), the incarnation, redemption, and resurrection sets us in this life in risen glory far above principalities and powers. It is not creation order, but purpose, redemption, power of resurrection. An additional truth comes in by Christ's death. Not only He becomes life to us, but God has quickened us "together with" Him. This detail gives the special character of the Church or assembly. But the order of the divine ways is in all this exceedingly beautiful.

Hebrews 10 — Here we see sin and atonement as estimated by God's thoughts and dealing. He before all, in His counsels (the volume of the book), dealt with sin in the way of His will. Christ offers Himself to come and do it. Sin is judged, thought of as God sees and thinks of it and in reference to Himself. Such too is the measure of His love. And we are brought so to see it as regards ourselves. Hence the full peace and assurance we have. Atonement gets its value, and so does God's love, and sin withal.

The fulness of Him that filleth all in all is not simply Godhead, but Christ in redemption. Ephesians 4:10 leads one to this. It is redemption. He who went into the lower parts of the earth is now far above all heavens.

1869 296 "They cast him out." Cast out? Yes; but where to? Into the bosom of Jesus. Oh! that is cast in! Never mind the Pharisees.

1869 302 Adam and Christ. — There is a Second Man into whose condition we are brought. The first man was the highest in order as a creature and withal responsible. But through the Second Man, the Lord from heaven, he has a place far above all creatures, being brought into the place (by redemption) of the Son of God Himself as man — the responsibility of his old place met, but a new place given. This last is not creation, but new creation.

In the garden of Eden man, conscious of sin and unable to bear the presence of God, withdrew from Him before God drove him out.

Fragmentary Notes.

1869 304 Negatives are universal, and are therefore dangerous things. If I say a thing is not in scripture, I must know all scripture to say so.

Mary is the mother of Him who is God; not mother of God, as the Roman Catholics say.

It is most important to hold Christ's eternal Sonship, for if I lose the eternal Son I lose the eternal Father also. He never could have been sent from heaven either; but He says, "I came forth from God, and am come into the world."

It is remarkable that in chapter 1 of John's Gospel, where you have nearly all the names of the Lord, you do not get His relative names, such as Head, Priest, etc.

In the parable of the talents in Matthew we have grace; in that of the pounds in Luke, responsibility.

It is only when the coming of the Lord is looked for that you will find bridal affections.

The consciousness of life could never be produced till after redemption.

When you have Gethsemane fully brought out, as in Luke, you find the Lord humanly above the sufferings at the cross.

The object is to get the good fish and throw the bad away — I must leave the tares; that is, I discriminate as to good and not as to bad in a positive way.

The large system outside is founded on the ground of the non-recognition of Paul's ministry, a denial of the parousia — coming.

We are to be transformed into a glorified Christ, though we feed on a humbled Christ.

We have to do with a dead Christ at the Lord's table; we have no such Christ existing. The Lutheran theory is a glorified Christ brought down there.

Being occupied with a glorified Christ makes one like a humbled Christ down here. Power is in the glorified Christ (Phil. 3), character in the humbled. (Phil. 2)

Nature will neither receive the death nor the glory.

We could not have miracles now on account of the sects, because a miracle would be virtually saying, Here is the Church.

Deacons were only chosen to manage the distribution of money, and by those who gave it. Elders were authoritative and appointed from above.

Christ is Saviour of the body (that is, our body).

A broad path is not a broad heart, but a broad conscience.

Do we sufficiently understand, that though it was a poor woman speaking to Him, by His side, and talking to Him about her sins, that the person to whom she was talking was God?

No sin of the saint, properly speaking, is wilfulness; it is the will of the flesh: the saint yields to it, no doubt. In another shape, all sin is wilfulness. But real wilfulness is determination to have one's own way in spite of God, which amounts to denial of God.

1869 326 Surely there is great gain in light and love in giving an account of ourselves to God. Not a trace then remains of our old evil: we shall be like Christ. If a person fears to have all out thus before God, I do not believe he is free in soul as to righteousness, as to being the righteousness of God in Christ. He is not fully in the light. Has the Christian to enter into judgment for anything? Christ has put sin all away.

Fragments Gathered Up.

1869 352 Hebrews 1, 2. Before presenting Christ in service founded on His person, chapter 1 not simply gives the natures to which the respective services belonged, but presents His personal glory and place — what He is, not what He does for others. In order to this last, it states His divine and human nature; but before this, as I said, His place. God now spoke (6, 7) in [the person of the] Son. He is at the beginning of all creature existence as Creator, at the head of it as Heir of all things. Then, as between God and man, He reveals God, the brightness of His glory and express image of His being. He continuously upholds all things; and this, in a divine way, gives man his place with God. By Himself He purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens — His own place, and His mediatorial place. It resembles Colossians 1 in each part.

In Hebrews 2 we have Psalm 8 fulfilled as to the glorifying Christ, but not having all things put under His feet; but this the fruit of sufferings and death, so that as to title through righteousness God could bring sons to glory, and the power of Satan over them was destroyed. And while in the place of glorified Priest on high, where He has entitled us to enter, and where we as worshippers belong, He has passed through all the sorrows and temptations of the way so as to be perfectly suited in grace to our trials in the same path.

1 Corinthians 14. Power is subject to intelligence. So it is in God. His wisdom necessarily in action precedes His power and guides it. Just so the wisdom and moral guidance of the Spirit go before power and guide its use. It is for profit; and the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. This last is a very interesting point. As a divine work it could not be otherwise. For God must be first wise.