The Glory of the Son, the Valley of Dry Bones, and the Mount of Olives.

1874 73 etc. I desire to mark an analogy which exists between the prophecy of Ezekiel, and the earlier part of the Gospel by John, in reference to the ways of the Son of God, when presenting Himself to Israel and Jerusalem, both in the temple and at the national feasts; in other words to point out (and in a yet fuller sense) the correspondence between "the vision of the glory" which appeared to the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans; and "the glory of the only-begotten of the Father" when beheld by John, in the person of the Son Himself, sent forth from God and come into the world.

In this light, the object of Christ's coming and the work that was given Him to do were twofold — embracing all that God had spoken, and promised by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began; and comprehending also the secret counsels and purposes bound up in the Son of the Father, which lay hidden in God from before the foundation of the world. Even Moses was taught somewhat of this difference, when he said, "the secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever," etc. Indeed such a manifestation as "the Word made flesh and tabernacling amongst us" was necessary, in order to embody and accomplish all that the Spirit of prophecy had foretold of the earthly and heavenly relations between God and His people in and through Christ Jesus. Upon this hangs likewise the ultimate blessing of the whole creation, which was made subject to vanity not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope; for creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

The Son who lay in the bosom of the Father could alone declare Him. He was "the One whom God had made strong for himself," and it was He alone who could as the Christ of God make every promise and type; "yea" even as He has by His death, and exaltation in the glory put His "amen" to all the hidden counsels that were from everlasting, prepared in Him as the second Adam. The Gospel of John opens, as is evident, with the glory of this person who was with God, and who was God, and who was in the beginning with God. The glory of the incarnation brought Him into our midst as the great mystery of godliness, "God manifest in the flesh," and in this grace to us He took His place in the human family, and entered upon His relations with the sons of men. The Baptist's testimony to Israel, that this was likewise the Messiah-Jesus, by the visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon Him like a dove, identified Him with, and yet put Him far beyond the typical "likeness of the glory of the Lord" in Ezekiel's vision; which is content to fill its place as a lesser light, and to be eclipsed in the presence of the opening glories of the Christ of God. Indeed this was the characteristic feature of all prophetic ministry, and we may say of the prophets themselves; for however willing the people were for a season to rejoice in the light they kindled, yet the "greatest of them that were born of women" said of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease." John rejoiced greatly to hear the bridegroom's voice, and to point Him out to the hopes and expectations of the people, adding, "this my joy therefore is fulfilled," as he withdrew into obscurity.

The glory in the vision of Ezekiel was a pattern of the intimacy which existed between Jehovah and His people; and became therefore the test as to how this intercourse had been maintained on their part, while it abode in their midst as the outward witness of the favour of God. Measured by this standard of responsibility, the glory was offended and grieved as it took its course through the land of Immanuel, and beheld the temple with all its abominations, the city filled with idolatry and its corruptions; till, hovering alternately over one and the other, it abandoned the guilty scene, and took its flight from the Mount of Olives, up to its own place on high, in hope of a future day. (Ezek. xi. 22, 23.)

Since those typical times the Son of God in His manhood-glory has traversed the same path, "as the fulfiller of all righteousness" on their behalf if they could so receive and welcome Him; but He was grieved in His turn by the hardheartedness of the people, and hid Himself when they took up stones to kill Him. His only refuge was in ascending up to where He was before; and Jesus, knowing that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, was also received up in glory from the mount called "the mount of Olives;" till in the coming day of His millennial power His feet shall stand there again, and ten thousands of His saints with Him. Israel too shall be willing in the day of His power.

It exercises and humbles the soul to discover how everything which came forth from God to men has been thus either grieved or refused, and compelled to retire into the heavens till another day — whether set up in type and figure, or as since in substance and by personal appearance; for where is Christ?

The beginning of the Gospel of John held out a promise of something different, for when the forerunner said, "behold the Lamb of God" to two of His disciples, they left all and followed Him. The glory of the only-begotten of the Father was thus acknowledged, and our Lord became the new centre of gathering upon the earth. They abode with Jesus that day and only left the house to tell others what they had found, and gather them also to the Lord in this new place of blessing. The activities of love which dwelt in the bosom of our Lord led Him the day following to go forth in other glories, into Galilee, in the devotedness of the willing and obedient servant. It was this personal acquaintance with the Lord in the house that became the spring of testimony in the two disciples who had enjoyed it. Besides their own peace in His dwelling, they were able to tell others who the Christ was they had found, as answering to all that Moses and the prophets had written in the scriptures concerning Him. The words "come and see," which had gathered them to Christ, put Nathaniel also into this pathway of life and blessing. Jesus saw him coming, and said, "behold an Israelite indeed in whom is no guile." The question, "whence knowest thou me?" got its answer from the Lord, "when thou wast under the fig-tree I saw thee," and on this Nathaniel confessed Jesus to be "the Son of God, and the king of Israel." The first ripe fruit from under the national fig-tree, where Nathaniel was sitting, was gathered by the Lord; and the secret was divulged to this Israelite indeed, of "the opened heavens, and the angels of God [henceforth] ascending and descending upon the Son of man," the gathering point for Israel and the world, and the uniting link between the heavens and the earth. Precious revelation of a yet future day, when the nation shall be ready like its Nathaniel, to own the person and glorious titles of the anointed Christ, and be born in a day! Prophetically we know, that Israel itself will be delivered from all guile, and be no longer a hypocritical nation. God will turn to them a pure language, and put His laws into their hearts, and make them to be His peculiar people. In that day saith the Lord of hosts, ye shall call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree, and great shall be the peace of His people.

The marriage in Cana was beautifully in keeping with these exhibitions of the personal glories of Christ, and His royal title as Son of God, and king of Israel, and opens out the works by which He was to be acknowledged. "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him." In this two-fold character does He pass before us, into the further revelation of this Gospel; that (being accredited by the glorious majesty and grace of His person, on the one hand, and by the manifestation of His power in miracles on the other) He might be owned and accepted in Israel. He comes to Jerusalem, as in spirit Ezekiel had been carried in his day (see Ezek. viii.) to the city of the great king, to see if she is ready to arise from the dust, and put on her beautiful garments now that her light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon her. There is a promise of joy in the land, for Jesus was called and His disciples to the marriage; but alas! the vine of Israel and its grapes are like the fig-tree with its one Nathaniel, and prove unequal to the occasion. "The mother of Jesus saith unto Him, they have no wine," and how can they celebrate the wedding, or make Him a feast? The Israelite without guile, sitting under the typical fig-tree, left it for the "Immanuel," when He was walking through the land; and now the One who came up to the wedding must take His place in another character, and act as the Lord of it by turning the water into wine. The time of figs was not yet, nor did the vine send forth a goodly smell. He had come into His garden, but the winter was not over, nor was the time of the singing of birds yet come. Made of the seed of Abraham and David, He had appeared in their midst at the marriage; but the words He spake to His mother, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come," show how He felt the barrenness of Israel in those relations according to the flesh; and that to meet this need He must manifest forth His glory in far deeper words and mightier works than as the royal Son of David and king of Israel. The Bridegroom would be taken away from them, and the children of the bride-chamber fast, till in their millennial day they say, "blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." Then Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the whole earth with fruit. Jesus leaves the vines and the fig-trees, and comes out of His garden into the city of Jerusalem, for the Jews' passover was at hand.

This centre of light and blessing, the beautiful temple, is next to be tested whether she is suited for the reception of her Lord, and may be found more in keeping with the character and ways of the Son of God, who comes into it that He may fill it with His glory? Will she open her gates, that the Lord of hosts, the king of glory, may come in? The "hole in the wall" to Ezekiel, in the vision of the glory, or the visit of the Messiah to the door of the temple, only disclosed its abominations. Alas! for the house of prayer, it had been turned into a house of merchandise, and had become a den of thieves. Jesus made a scourge of small cords, and drove them all out of the temple, poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables, saying to those that sold doves, Take these things hence. The feasts of the Lord with His people could not be established in the harlot city, and its temple — all — must be cleansed, and the people baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. The zeal for His Father's house had eaten Him up, and He who drew Nathaniel out from under the fig-tree, and turned the water into wine at the marriage of Cana, now presents Himself in the temple in the mystery of His decease, saying, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." This spake He of His body. An exceptional Israelite, one without guile, had been found, and in faith confessed the Word made flesh; but as to all else, Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men. The light of the world had walked in their midst, and the glory had shone upon the heart and ways of man, and this is the condemnation from His lips, "who knew what was in man;" that when known in this searching light he is not to be trusted, Jesus did not commit Himself to them.

This verdict was substantiated even to Nicodemus, a man of the Pharisees, who came to Jesus by night, owning Him as a teacher come from God, and as one with whom God was, because of miracles which He did. But He who knew what was in the man, knew that the ruin and alienation in which man and Israel stood from God lay far deeper than ignorance, which might be met by a teacher come from God — and by such a teacher! This man of the Pharisees, though a ruler of the Jews and a master of Israel, yea (and because he was all this), must not hold his intercourse with Jesus upon the mere footing of God's wisdom and man's ignorance — and is put back. Nicodemus, a first-class man (and this is very important, now that "the true light" shineth) is told that he will not do, with all his standing and attainments, for the kingdom of God. He must be born again, born of water and the Spirit, and enter in by the cross — through the knowledge of the Son of man lifted up, as the antitype of the brazen serpent, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life. This master of Israel must disown his standing in the flesh as tested by the glory and accept a new one with Christ, through redemption by His blood and the quickening power of the Spirit.

A question of purifying is attempted by the Jews, in this chapter (John 3), but purification of the flesh, which was characteristic of Judaism, had produced nothing. At the cross of Christ man as he was in the flesh has been discovered and disowned, for the last Adam was upon it in death; and christian purification is only by means of that death, which has put an end to the flesh for ever: "ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit." Nathaniel was drawn out by the glory of the person; now Nicodemus is shut up to the efficacy of His work on the cross — and the water and the Spirit — that he may thus get rid of himself, and be born again, and enter into the kingdom of God.

The man of the Pharisees when at his best is set aside, and at Jacob's well the woman of Samaria who met Jesus when at her worst was accepted, so that the disciples marvelled when He talked with her. The light of the glory in which He walked, and into which He brought her, shone in upon her conscience, and in that searching light she owned herself and her state. "He told me all things that ever I did," and confessed Him, "Is not this the Christ?" Precious discovery of herself and of Him! But He came to do much more than this, "if thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water" — and with this He filled her vessel. The cross for the master of Israel, and the living water for the woman of Samaria, showed that the grace and truth come by Jesus Christ could be no respecter of persons. The temple, having likewise been superseded by the body of Christ, necessitated a corresponding change as to worship. It could no longer be restricted to places, any more than to persons; and thus Jerusalem and Samaria are set aside. The new order of worship is this: God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Christ being come as the true light, and giving eternal life to them that believed on Him; the religion suited to man in the flesh, in the temple at Jerusalem or elsewhere, goes away with it; and the true worshippers are they that worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. The way to see and to enter into the kingdom of God had been shown to Nicodemus; and now the Samaritan is to be sanctified as a worshipper of the Father, and drawn away from her water-pot and Jacob's well, as Nathaniel the "Israelite indeed" had been drawn out from under the national fig-tree, and Nicodemus from his Pharisaism. The light and the life are doing their work in love, wherever the ear is opened to hear His words, or the eye anointed to behold His glory.

Israel's unbelief and unpreparedness to receive the king into the city, or the glory into the temple, force Him to gather around Himself into His own solitude and counsels, any who could lift the veil of "the Word made flesh," and say with the Samaritans "this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

The pool of Bethesda and its multitude of impotent folk, waiting for the moving of the water, might have risen up to condemn the nation and its priests and rulers, who lay under the heavier pressure of God's displeasure, and yet waited not for the Lord of that pool to deliver them. The blind and the halt and the withered watched for Bethesda's angel to come down, though only one out of the crowd, and he the first who stepped in after the troubling of the water, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. The Word that was with God, and was God, must needs come to this place; and He calls out the man, who told the disappointing tale of many a one "stepping down before him." But He, before whom all the angels are but worshipping spirits, had come to heal the people of all their sicknesses and diseases, and was at the pool where they lay, if they would but let Him take the place as greater than the angel.

Jesus said to the impotent man "rise, take up thy bed and walk, and immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed and walked, and on the same day was the sabbath." Man can rest, and be at home in a ruined state of things with which he has grown familiar; but there God can only work to rescue him from the misery he is under. A feast of the Jews, the pool of Bethesda, and the sabbath were together, in strange connections, through Israel's transgressions; for in its normal state God had said, I will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt upon you, and will take away all sicknesses. Into this scene of wretchedness the Lord of the sabbath entered, not to rest, but in quickening power to deliver out of the ruin of the old, and to bring into the new. As the life and the light, and full of grace and truth, He proclaims the great fact "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." He passes through their midst, as the quickener into life, and the raiser of the dead. In this chapter He walks in the majesty of His own person as one with the Father, going under our entire wretchedness in divine power and grace, to raise up those who were bound in fetters of iron. "He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life."

Israel with its ordinances and feasts of the Jews and the sabbath on the one hand, confronted and contradicted by the pool of Bethesda and its multitude on the other, give occasion to the Lord to identify Himself with the Father in the counsels which brought Him into the world, and to exercise that almighty power by which the morally dead could be quickened. The old creation is before the Lord, with the vineyard which He had chosen, and the pleasant plants and noble vine which He had brought out of Egypt, and placed therein. Such cultivation as He had unweariedly bestowed had not produced grapes; the boar of the wood, and the wild beast of the field, had devoured it. Forgetfulness of God, and satisfaction with a state of things suited to themselves only led them to throw over all this moral evil the covering of the sabbath, and impugn the right of Christ to work recovery in their midst or even to alleviate their misery. They vainly use the law against Him that made it and magnified it, and sought in violation of the law to slay Him whose power and grace in healing the impotent man they could not deny.

New and divine sources of life-giving power are here opened up; for as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. The Father hath given Him authority to execute judgment likewise, because He is the Son of man. Death and the grave are also in prospect overcome, in the righteous title of "the Word made flesh." The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation." To Him as the Son of man the Father has thus given authority over all flesh (upon its proved incapacity and ruin, under ordinances) to give eternal life to them that believe, whilst in His own prerogative as equal with God, whatsoever the Father doeth, those things also doeth the Son likewise; for as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself. Having thus passed through this valley of dry and dead bones, and presented Himself as the quickener and the raiser of the dead, if they will accept Him and take deliverance and thus enter into the rest of God in Christ; He quits the scene, saying, I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. As in the vision of Ezekiel, so in fact with Jesus in their midst, the bones were not only dry, but very dry.

John 6 lays the groundwork for the exercise of such a life-giving power as this in the death of Christ; for how else could it be either bestowed by Him, or received by us? There is a beautiful correspondence here between the living bread come down from heaven, of which if a man eat he shall live for ever; and the living water of which the Lord said to the woman of Samaria it should be in her a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Besides this, Jesus is presented in the glory of His person, as "the bread of God," the incarnate One, who came down from heaven to give life to the world. This glory is manifested to us in that new order of manhood, by which He who thought it not robbery to be equal with God (Jehovah's fellow) made Himself of no reputation, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross that He might there connect Himself with the mighty ruin to overturn it—and then gain through redemption, resurrection, and finally by ascension (to "where he was before") the triple crown of glory, which lay before Him. By such a path did Jesus enter the dark valley, where "the dry bones of the whole house of Israel lay thick around Him" so very dry, and so many, nor would they be wakened up from their moral death in trespasses and sins, nor stand upon their feet, breathe He never so encouragingly upon them. Jesus said unto them, "I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever;" but if this presentation of Himself shook the dry bones of Israel, it was only to relapse into an alienation still deeper, and if it moved the broken sticks of Ephraim and Judah for a moment, it was but that they might sink back again into the stiffness of death.

The Word made flesh has dwelt among them so that it could be said, "behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," and by others "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." It was this glory in the person of the Son that now walked through this world, and cast its bright beams upon "every man coming into it;" if so be that men would respond to it, and take life, and walk in the light of life with this glory; "to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them which believe on his name." The glory finally in the person of the anointed Christ, the Messiah of Israel, re-entered the temple of Jerusalem, and rode into the royal city too; but only to be grieved afresh; as it was prophetically, when in type Ezekiel was the recorder of its visitations from place to place. The nation was familiar historically with the faithfulness of "the glory of the God of Israel," together with the "pillar of cloud" which led them from Egypt, through the wilderness journey; till in the days of Solomon this glory found its rest in the temple which it filled, and where it made itself at home with that favoured people. Protected they had been, in every step of their wondrous journey into Canaan by it, and blessed under its covering wings, when brought into the habitation and house which Jehovah had prepared for His delights with His people; and now the promised seed, the Messiah Himself, the Jehovah-Jesus, the Son of God, was come down into their midst to lead them back and establish them in all the covenanted blessings and promises which they had forfeited. Are they ready?

The result of Jerusalem's visitation by One greater than its temple, and greater than Solomon, is before us; but this inspection on the part of the glory must necessarily lead to the exposure of the moral state of the temple and its worshippers, which it detected, as well as of the city and its rulers, when tested by their readiness or unreadiness to welcome the presence of the God of Israel in the glory of "the Word made flesh." Alas! the temple had become "a den of thieves:" a fitting but awful presage of the royal city itself, which shortly after gave forth the betrayers and murderers to shed the blood of Him who in pity and compassion "wept over her and said, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem how often would I have gathered you, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not; but now your house is left unto you desolate." Entreated, and tested by the glory, though He spake as never man spake (as they themselves said), all was refused and lost by them in the rejection of Christ the Lord — and the glory retired from the city!

One only path remained in grace, and this lay among "the valley of dry bones." The Lord took His place among the Jews when in this condition morally, as these chapters describe; but if they were in this state of death, He on that account was in their midst, as "the breath who had come from above the four winds" of heaven to breathe upon them. In this chapter He had gone in and out amongst them, as the quickener of the dead, the restorer to life, the recoverer of sight to the blind; and these living proofs of His power (who were made every whit whole) were walking about in their streets to convict and condemn the rebellious children. The promised glory came amongst them to lead them out into peace and blessing with Jehovah, if they would accept the hand stretched out to deliver; and the valley of dry bones, with the all-sufficient Saviour of His people there in fulness of grace, characterized the ministry in love, which followed them, and which put them to the test, up to John 6. It is then that Jesus spoke to the disciples which followed Him, of the necessity of His death, in order to give life to them; and that they should have the real "bread of God" to sustain that life. Even they stumbled at these new ways, in the open valley — the four winds of heaven were inadequate to the moral ruin. Often had they heard the sound thereof, but as Jesus said to Nicodemus, "thou knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." The Holy Ghost must needs come into this valley, and do a greater work than He did in creation, when He moved upon the face of that mighty chaos to bring light out of darkness, and order out of confusion. Except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God or stand in this new connection with the Son of man who came down from heaven and yet is the Son of man which is in heaven. "He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him." It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing — the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life — is what the Lord of glory proclaims in this valley of dry bones, when He was passing through it. Many said, this is a hard saying, who can hear it? but Jesus in spirit is carried yet further and asks, what and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before? and from that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. With others "the bones came together, bone to his bone," and the word which was spirit and life in Christ had caused them to live, and they confessed Jesus to be the life, saying, "to whom shall we go but unto thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." Nationally the time of figs is not yet — these are but gleaning grapes, two or three from the uppermost boughs, four or five in the outmost branches thereof, who are thus gathered out into place and companionship with the rejected Son of man into another and far higher glory in the heavens.

Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand, and His brethren said, "If thou do these things, show thyself to the world, for neither did his brethren believe on him." But the pathway of our Lord is determined on, and lies through the untrodden regions of death and resurrection, that He may give life to the world. His time for showing Himself to Israel at the feast of tabernacles and then to the world go together, and is not yet come. "I go not up yet to this feast;" the world and Israel are alike too, in their enmity; "the world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it that the works thereof are evil." "Your time is alway ready, but my time is not yet come, and when he had said these words he abode still in Galilee." Instead of any contradiction in this action of Christ at the feast time, there is beautiful moral order; "about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught" passing on into His own heights, when He said, My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me, if any man will do His will, He shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. They keep their feast as though all were right in Israel, and the glory still filling the temple of Jerusalem; not realizing the fact that the Lord of the temple had passed through it, only to make a scourge of small cords, and to justify that strange act, by saying, "the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." But a greater zeal than that now takes possession of the Lord, as He reveals Himself in the descending steps of His sufferings and death; for He cannot lead His people into promised blessing by any other path, than their redemption by blood; nor will He take any other road to His own glory, or to His kingdom, than through His sufferings. The glory will wait upon Him on the morning of the third day, at the door of the sepulchre!

In perfect keeping with this, Jesus says to the Pharisees and chief priests and officers who were sent to take Him, "yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me; ye shall seek me and shall not find me, and whither I go ye cannot come." One great necessity was declared to the man of the Pharisees, the ruler of Israel, at the feast of the passover; when Jesus deposited the secret to Nicodemus of the lifted up Son of man, in order to see and enter the kingdom of God; and now at the feast of tabernacles, He reveals another great necessity. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying; If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink, he that believeth on him as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; but this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet, because that the Son of man was not yet glorified." Precious Jesus, what grace hast Thou shown to Thy rebellious people — deeper than the depths of the humiliation that brought Thee down upon the level with man on earth, or into the valley of dry bones, must Thou needs descend to serve him. Into Thy sufferings and baptism of blood hast Thou gone on the cross, as "the lifted up Son of man," to redeem them; yea down into the very dust of death hast Thou been brought, fast bound by the pains of death, that God Himself might loosen Thee from them. Thine agony and atoning blood as the Paschal Lamb have turned the relations between God and man into a feast of the passover, for Thy willing people, and as the basis for all the remaining feasts. Out of the depths of the grave, and the heart of the earth hast Thou been raised, having won all the glory for Thy Father and Thyself, and for us, which death and the eater would yield to none but Thee. By ascension to the right hand of God, as the glorified Son of man, the Spirit will yet come down and breathe upon the valley of dry bones at a future day, when the whole house of Israel shall stand up in the power of life, and the two sticks of Judah and Ephraim become one. "Behold they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost, we are cut off from our parts; therefore prophecy and say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves . . . . and will put my Spirit in you and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land, then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it, saith the Lord." In conclusion, we see in this group of chapters, the journey of the glory through the midst of Israel and the world, down into the dark valley, in order to grasp this mighty ruin as He alone could, and make Himself in grace responsible for lightening it up, and bringing "his own glory and the glory of his Father and of the holy angels" back into it, that all the world may be filled with the glory of God. The lifted-up Son of man on the cross, and the lifting up of the glorified Son of man to the heavens, were necessary, in order to the descent of the Holy Ghost, and for the gathering out of the church first.

This other company, brought out with Peter, upon a present confession of Jesus, as the Christ the Son of the living God, during His rejection by the Jews, and the judicial hiding of Himself from both houses of Israel, was now to be manifested upon the earth. The valley of Ezekiel's vision will be opened up, and bone come to its bone, a very great multitude, according to the Spirit of prophecy, when that same Spirit from on high is poured out upon the people to make good all their latter-day blessing. The offended glory, and the Lord Himself once rejected, will again return in the person of their crucified Messiah; holiness shall then be upon the bells of the horses, and the pots in the Lord's house be like the bowls before the altar. In the meanwhile, the new and heavenly family are distinct, and distinguished in these chapters, as brought out to the Lamb of God, the Word made flesh, and these can say, "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." They dwell with Him, accompany Him in all His ways of patient love in the midst of His Israel according to the flesh, and are His associates in service and testimony after to the heavenly things themselves. God is gathering out through Christ a people for the heavens, into the Father's house, in contrast with the feast of tabernacles, which was the record and witness that God dwelt with Israel on the earth, and blessed them where they were with natural blessings in the earthly places. Peter and others make the confession which identifies them with Christ now and hereafter; for when Jesus said to them, Will ye also go away? they reply, "To whom shall we go but unto thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God."

The "hard sayings" and tests of chapter 6 brought to light the secrets of all hearts, and put all to the proof. Peter and those with him witnessed at that time a good confession, and go on with their Lord, and continue with Him through His temptation; others (who are sifted) go back, and "from that time walk no more with him." On the other hand, the refusal of Christ to accept the footing of the feast of tabernacles for Himself and Israel and Jehovah in chapter vii. as the present way to prosperity and blessing in Canaan, and a millennium on earth; and His refusal to show Himself there, or in the light of it to the surrounding nations and the world, became a test to the men of progress then, and religiously to the ritualists of that day, as well as now. "Every man went to his own home," and thus they broke company with their Messiah, and refused Him, and the heavenly things; but "Jesus went unto the mount of Olives," into the counsels of the Father concerning Him, and the hidden glories to which that death and His departure to the Father should introduce Him. Thus the One in whom the glory dwells has in spirit departed from the house, and the nation, and its temple, and the feast of tabernacles, to the mount of Olives; just as the typical glory did, in the prophetic times of Ezekiel. Moreover, it is by the way of the east (after the Lord's shout and the glory, in the twinkling of an eye, have caught us away to be for ever with Him) that He and it alike return; for His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem. Like the disciples, we (in the meanwhile) follow Jesus into the place of rejection here, and by the way of the mount of Olives to the right hand of God, into oneness with Him and the Father, where He now is; as being identified with Him in grace, in every thought and purpose which the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory has counselled in Him for the everlasting ages.

United to Him, and members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones, our suited prayer is that He "may give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." J. E. Batten.