The Son.

"God … has in these last days spoken to us in [the person of the] Son." Hebrews 1:2.

1877 357 The question by which our Lord put the Pharisees to silence, so that "no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions," was concerning the mystery of His sacred person. Though they knew that Messiah would be the Son of David, they were completely confounded when asked how the Christ could be both David's Lord and David's son.

And still, "What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?" are the vital questions on which hangs the eternal destiny of man. It must therefore be of all importance to learn from scripture what is revealed concerning Him; for types have prefigured Him, prophets have heralded Him, one more than it prophet was His forerunner, a multitude of the heavenly host hailed His entrance into this world, and apostles have delightfully dwelt on the glory of His person, the everlasting blessedness of His atoning work, the offices He now so perfectly sustains, and on His coming again. May we then ponder the sacred writings which testify of THE SON with that reverence and subjection which become those who delight to hearken to God's testimony of Him!

"We know that the Son of God is come." The Word which was with God, and was God, became flesh, and dwelt among us: and God, whom no man has seen, has been declared by the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father. The divine moral glory so shone in Him, that Spirit-taught witnesses tell us, "We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." In olden times, the thorough sinlessness of this peerless One was continually set forth by the imperative requirement, that each victim sacrificed should be "without blemish and without spot," and His inimitable moral excellencies were borne witness to in the sweet perfume of the burning incense; while various offerings typically expressed His perfect purity, His entire devotedness, as well as the savour of rest God always found in Him, both in life and in death. The laying down of the victim's life, the shedding and sprinkling of the blood, the entrance of the high priest inside the veil once every year, not without blood and incense, all pointed to Him, whose blood was shed for many for the remission of sins, and in virtue of whose one offering the veil was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, thus removing every hindrance to the believer's going at once into the presence of God.

Of the sacred person of THE SON, as also of His sufferings, and the glories which follow, ancient prophets have sweetly spoken by the Holy Ghost. The promised Seed — the Son of David, the Son of Abraham, the virgin's Child — has been manifested according to their word, in the mysterious person of Immanuel. The babe of Judah's prophet has been born, and the Son given, whose name is the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace; who will ere long establish His kingdom with judgment and justice "upon the throne of David." According to others, Israel's Ruler has come out of Bethlehem, "whose goings forth have been of old from everlasting." (Micah 5:2.) The true Shepherd, the Fellow of the Lord of hosts, has been smitten, and the sheep have been scattered. (Zech. 13:7.) The Anti-type of Isaac has been offered up, and raised again. The blood of the true paschal Lamb has been shed, and a way made for us through death and judgment into the very presence of God. It is no marvel, then, that His forerunner should have been divinely taught that He was "the Son of God," should have announced Him to be "the Lamb of God," and declared that He who came after him into the world was really before Him — for THE SON was before all things — and that His shoes' latchet he was unworthy to unloose.

Prophets also foretold that He — the Son, Messiah — would be despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, sold for thirty pieces of silver, His sacred hands and feet pierced; that His garments would be parted by the soldiers among them, and lots cast upon His vesture. They also declared that He would be numbered with the transgressors, and bear the sins of many, that it would please Jehovah to bruise Him, and to put Him to grief; that the cry of His distress would be, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" That though He would be made an offering for sin, and pour out His soul unto death, making His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; yet the prophet sweetly announced that His soul would not be left in hell [hades], neither His flesh see corruption, but that, having been shown the path of life, He would go back to Him in whose presence there is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Jehovah therefore said to the mighty Conqueror over death, Satan, and the grave, "Sit thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." For this we know He waits, of whom it has been said, The Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment," and that He will sit" upon David's throne," and "reign before his ancients gloriously."

From this brief glance at the Old Testament prophets, we see that they spake of Him, "who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven, and in earth, and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:6-11.)

It is no wonder, then, that a multitude of the heavenly host should introduce THE SON into this world with "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good pleasure in men" (Luke 2:14), or that the apostles should so dwell on the glory and perfections of His sacred person, and be inspired to make Him known to others as the object for unchanging delight. One of these divinely-taught writers says, "We have seen with our eyes, we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life, for the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us." (1 John 1:1-2.) Another writes of the divine glory of the Son to the Colossians, as "the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body the church, who is the beginning, the first-born from among the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. For in him all the fulness was pleased to dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross," etc. (Col. 1:15-20.) What a precious cluster of glories is here presented for our contemplation!

Again, in the Hebrews we are told that "God hath in these last days" — after all the varied testimony of prophets — "spoken to us in [the person of the] Son" (Heb. 1:1-2); and we propose now to look a little, with the Lord's help, at what is recorded for our blessing concerning Him in the earlier chapters of this epistle. Before, however, proceeding farther, it may be well to press upon the reader the importance of making the word of God as much as possible our vocabulary when speaking of the unfathomable mystery of THE SON, and in all simplicity of faith receiving what God has declared of Him for our intelligence and blessing, instead of drawing deductions, reasoning out conclusions, or allowing ourselves to think or speak of Him according to human phraseology, and thus unconsciously glide into serious error. We may be certain that "no man knoweth THE SON but the Father," and that enough has been revealed of Him in scripture for our instruction and comfort.

In Hebrews 1 - 2, THE SON is remarkably brought before us; in chapter 1 as to His eternal Godhead, and in chapter 2 as to His manhood. Yet not exclusively so in either chapter, for how could this blessed One, who is both God and man in one person, be divided? Perhaps there has not been a more fruitful source of error than the attempt to do this. In both these chapters, however, scriptures are quoted which specially refer to Him as Messiah.

In the first He is also presented as the purger of sins, and then as sitting down on the right hand of God; both which wonderful acts He did being man, yet as no one less than God could do. In the second we see that He took part in the children's flesh and blood, takes not hold of angels but of Abraham's seed, that He is the sanctifier, and the One who, under the title of Son of man, will put all things under His feet. Thus we find that when the Holy Ghost brings before us the eternal Godhead of THE SON, He also reminds us that He is man; and when He specially presents Him to us as man, He shows us that the Child born — the Messiah — is the mighty God. How could Ho be Maker of all things, Heir of all things, Upholder of all things, and how could He put all things under His feet, except He were verily and truly God? And how could He partake in flesh and blood, be the purger of sins, taste death for everything, and sit upon the throne of David, without being verily and truly man — the woman's Seed, Son of Abraham, and Son of David, according to the flesh? Hence scripture says, "It is Christ that died," that "the Son of man" was lifted up, and that God "spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all." It was the glory of His person which gave such eternal value to His work; whereas, among men, it is the dignity of the work which gives honour to the person.

In Hebrews 1. THE SON is looked at as "from everlasting to everlasting." (Ps. 90:2.) He is therefore infinitely above angels — the highest class of created intelligence that man knows; for He had a more excellent name, was emphatically called by Jehovah, "My Son," and He called God, "Father." The Son as man is now exalted to the Father's throne, the One to whom angels, and principalities, and powers are made subject; and the world to come will not be put under angels, but under Him to whom it was said, "Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool." THE SON, then, is infinitely above angels, who are ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall inherit salvation. That Holy Thing that is born of Mary is called the Son of God, but being also eternally divine in His own person, He is no less than the effulgence of God's glory, and the exact expression of His substance. He is therefore before all things, and greater than all things, for all things were created by Him, and by Him all things subsist.

In the first twelve verses of this chapter, THE SON is, as we have said, particularly looked at in His Godhead character. He is truly "the First and the Last." Not only did He most truthfully say, "Before Abraham was I am," but Ho was before anything was which is made, for it is said of Him, "by whom also he made the worlds." We read elsewhere also that He had glory with the Father before the world was, and, father and son being relative terms, we find here His eternal Sonship most plainly revealed. (Heb. 1:2; John 17:5.) Moreover we are also taught that the Father's counsel and purpose, and His love to us, were in the Son before creation — "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame, before him in love." (Eph. 1:4.) THE SON, then, is eternally divine. We are instructed by an inspired prophet that one attribute of Godhead is Creator. "To whom will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their hosts by number … Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Jehovah, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding." (Isa. 40:26-28.) He, then, who created all things is Jehovah. We have, therefore, in this first aspect of the sacred person of THE SON, the clearest possible proof of His being "from everlasting."

Secondly, He is brought before us as the One who did by Himself make purification of sins, and set Himself down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Heb. 1:3.) As man had sinned, man must bear the penalty of divine justice for sin; and since by man came death, by man cause also the resurrection of the dead; but who could satisfy the infinite claims of God's justice? or drink up the cup of His eternal condemnation of sin, but one who was divine Himself? Who else could glorify God about our sins, could put them away for ever, and cleanse us by His own blood, but He who had eternal attributes — the Son sent by the Father to be the Saviour of the world? Again, who but He could step from the sepulchre to the throne of God, and take His rightful place there? It is not here the aspect of His resurrection as being raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, most precious as that view is; but it is THE SON, who descended first into the lower parts of the earth, lay in the grave till the third day (thus giving the most decided proof of His actual death), rose again from among the dead in the glory of His own eternal excellency, and took His place on heaven's throne, to which He was righteously entitled — "who … when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Heb. 1:3.) Blessed be God, there He is, the ascended, glorified Man, and made both Lord and Christ. Thus, in verses 2, 3 of this chapter, we find THE SON is looked at before time, or from everlasting, as the One by whom everything was made; and in time purging sins by Himself, and then sitting down in the highest place of power and glory at God's right hand.

Thirdly, there THE SON still sits; but He is coming again, and then He will be the object of the worship of angels, even as now in heaven angels, and authorities, and powers made subject to Him. Hence we read," And again, when he bringeth in the First-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." (Heb. 1:6.) It need scarcely be said that worship could not be rendered by angelic beings which surround the throne of God to any one who was loss than God. To no creature, however blessed by God, or endued with divine power, could such honour be rightly accorded; the idea would be sinful in the extreme. Angels know who the Son is, and that He died for man on the cross; they announced His entrance into the world when born in Bethlehem, they afterward tracked His solitary and perfect path, and ministered unto Him; and when He comes to the world in glory, they will accompany Him in His power. Whatever may be the measure of the intelligence of angels, it is quite clear that they knew to whom worship rightly belongs; for when John was once and again so overcome with the bright shining of an angel, and the wonderful things made known to him, that he "fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed him these things," it was at once refused. Instead of the angel accepting the homage, he rebuked the erring apostle, saying, "See thou do it not. I am thy fellow-servant, and [the fellow-servant] of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." (Rev. 19:10; Rev. 22:9-10.) Angels, then, who clearly know that God is the true object of worship, will take their happy place of rendering worship to THE SON when He comes as the Firstborn into the world, and in this they will be of one accord, for it is said, "Let all the angels of God worship him."

Fourthly, then His rightful place on earth will be the throne, for He comes not to suffer, but to reign. As the true David, He will occupy His own throne, for all things are to be subdued by Him unto Himself, before He delivers up the kingdom to Him who is God and Father, "when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power, for he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet." (1 Cor. 15:24-25.) He will establish, too, His ancient people in their hoped-for earthly glory, when all the promises shall be made good to them. And who but one who is God could take possession of all things, and subdue all things to Himself? We read, therefore, "But unto THE SON he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Heb. 1:8-9.) Thus, in millennial glory, when THE SON — the Messiah — takes His kingly place of power, and reigns before His ancients gloriously, our attention is again called to contemplate Him in His eternal Godhead. Fellows, or companions, He will doubtless have; but here, as in all things, He must have the pre-eminence. It is unquestionably the millennial times in which we here behold THE SON; for it is characterised by righteousness, according to the scripture, "A king shall reign in righteousness." Now God is preaching grace, and bearing with this evil world in marvellous patience and long-suffering, but when THE SON sits on His own throne, He will wield the sceptre of righteousness, for, as we have observed, righteousness will characterise His kingdom, not grace. It will be manifest that He loves righteousness, and hates iniquity; and, because He is eternally divine, will be able to subdue all things unto Himself. Then He "will show who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Tim. 4:15-16.)

Fifthly, as the eternal Godhead of THE SON has been looked at "from everlasting," before the worlds were made, He is also brought before us as "to everlasting," when heaven and earth shall have passed away. Now He is upholding all things, and by Him all things consist; but when, according to the divine counsels, this old creation shall have fulfilled its course, and have for ever passed away, THE SON will still be known in all His unchanging freshness and glory. He by whom all things were made will lay aside, as a garment, what is perishable and has waxen old. We read, "Thou, LORD, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands; they shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." (Heb. 1:10-12.) Can there be a clearer testimony to the eternal Godhead of the Son? Who else could have brought everything that is made into existence? or who but He who is Almighty could fold up and lay aside this vast universe, and yet Himself remain in all His infinite and unchanging attributes? Most truly did He say in the days of His flesh, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." What man, what angel, what creature, could truthfully utter such an authoritative sentence? Well might His hearers have been sometimes astonished, and have exclaimed that "He taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

Thus has it been our happy privilege to trace in this inspired word THE SON eternally divine before all worlds, then as the Maker of all things, then as purging sins, rising victoriously over death, and taking His rightful place on the Father's throne. We have also been contemplating Him as the One whom angels universally will worship when He comes into the world in power and glory, to reign as King of kings, sitting on His own throne; and, lastly, when time shall cease, and this old creation pass away, we have been instructed that His eternal attributes will shine out in all their divine and unchanging glory and freshness. Well indeed has it been added "Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and today and for ever."

The Word by whom all things were made became flesh and dwelt among us. But He who is divine is also Son of man — God was manifested in the flesh. God sent forth His Son made of a woman. Jesus Christ has come in flesh. He, who being in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God, was found here in fashion as a man, and took a servant's form. Ho ate and drank, suffered hunger, thirst, and weariness. He slept, He walked, He prayed, preached and taught. He resisted and overcame Satan in temptation. He groaned and was troubled, He wept, He was grieved for the hardness of men's hearts, and looked round about on them with anger. He so lovingly entered into the sufferings of those around, He cast out devils, healed all manner of sickness with His word, that it was said by the prophet, "Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses." He was then verily man, born of woman, though without sin, and in every respect perfect, spotless, holy, harmless, and undefiled.

THE SON however did not become incarnate in order to make Himself one with us, but that He might die for our sins, and rising again make us one with Himself. It is of all importance to see this clearly; for how could the holy One unite Himself with fallen and sinful man, who justly merited the wrath of God? THE Son, therefore, had a solitary path through this world. By reason of His essential holiness and perfect purity He could not be otherwise than "separate from sinners," however much He went about doing good. There could not possibly, therefore, be union between us and Himself, until our sins had been judged, in His holy person on the cross, and we were righteously cleansed. This the Lord most clearly taught. Referring to Himself, He said, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:24.) For this we know the Father sent the Son. He came to die, for He came to save. In no other way could the righteous demands of God, or the necessities of our case, be met; for man had sinned, and the penalty of death had come in by sin. He, therefore, took part in the children's flesh and blood, that through death, He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. He takes not hold of angels, but He takes hold of the seed of Abraham, for Messiah was the promised seed of Abraham, and also of David of whom, as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed for ever. (Rom. 9:5.) Thus Christ is both God and Man.

His life here, however, was one of suffering. He was truly "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." He came for the suffering of death. He suffered having been tempted, which must have been deep distress to His infinitely holy soul. He suffered, that, as the Captain or Leader of our salvation, He might be made perfect through sufferings. He not only knew every step of the way and every circumstance connected with us, as Omniscient, but He passed through everything that was needed to make Him fit for the office of Leader of our salvation. Though He were a Son and thus could command all to obey Him, yet He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. His perfectness was in obeying in every respect in circumstances most adverse and painful. His love, subjection, obedience, and faith — all was perfect. And having been perfected, and a man glorified at God's right hand, He is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey Him. (Heb. 5:8-9.) Ah! who can tell the variety and depth of the sufferings of our precious Lord!

He suffered from man for righteousness' sake — was hated without a cause, despised, and rejected. He suffered from Satan in temptation and bruising — "thou shalt bruise his heel." He suffered (alas how deeply!) by reason of His wondrous love for His own nation, from God's governmental dealings because of their sin, for "in all their afflictions he was afflicted;" and He suffered from God atoningly for sins, the just for the unjust (how unfathomable to us!), when He cried out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" God only knows the love and sorrow that met there. It was "the death of the cross."

But His was a victorious death; and, as it has been said, He death by dying slew. He saw no corruption. His soul was not left in hades. He rose from the dead, for it was not possible that He should be holden of death. He went through death, and annulled death and him that had the power of death. Thus He triumphed over death and Satan and the grave. The Son of man is therefore a risen victorious Saviour.

When John was overcome with a sight of the glorified Son of man that he fell at His feet as dead, He graciously comforted His servant by assuring him that, though He was dead, He is now for evermore a living Person, and holding in triumph the keys of death and hades. "He laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not, I am the first and the last. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, amen; and have the keys of death and of hell [hades]." (Rev. 1:17-18.) Thus the Son of man has triumphed. Death could not detain Him. He rose from among the dead. His was certainly a victorious death.

"By man came death," we know, and here we see, "by man came also the resurrection of the dead," (1 Cor. 15:21.) Hence we find that after Jesus rose from the dead, He showed Himself alive again by many infallible proofs, being seen of His disciples, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. He appeared in their midst, showed them His hands and His side, gave commandments, breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost;" and expounded unto them in all the scriptures, the things concerning Himself. When some who saw Him were terrified and affrighted, and supposed they had seen a spirit, He fully demonstrated to them the reality of His own actual and bodily resurrection from among the dead. He said unto them, "Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken he showed them his hinds and his feet." (Luke 24:37-40.) Moreover, "He led them out as far as to Bethany, and while he blessed them, was parted from them and carried up into heaven;" and they watched Him ascending higher and higher, until a cloud received Him out of their sight; and while they stedfastly looked toward heaven, hoping to catch another glimpse of their precious Saviour, heavenly messengers stood by them and said, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11.) Nothing can more fully prove the reality of the resurrection of the man Christ Jesus from among the dead. This was victory indeed.

And, as we have just seen, He has ascended. We now "see Jesus … crowned with glory and honour." (Ver. 9.) We remember that He was in death, but we see Him glorified at the right hand of God. A man in glory: what a precious object for our hearts! "He who descended first into the lower parts of the earth is ascended above all heavens, 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." (Eph. 4:2, 10; and Eph. 1:21.) There He is highly exalted — a glorified Man. There Stephen when he looked stedfastly into heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55-56.) There we now have to do with Him. There too we know Him in new relationships. "He is not ashamed to call us brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me." (Vers. 11-13.) We know too that it was after His triumphant resurrection, He said to Mary, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." The One, therefore, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, is crowned with glory and honour.

Now He is before the face of God as our High Priest. "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God." (Ver. 17.) After having made atonement for the sins of the people by the sacrifice of Himself, He sat down on the right hand of God. There the glorified Son of man in heaven carries on His never-failing office of High Priest for us, after the Aaronic functions, but according to the Melchizedec order. He is not one that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but is merciful and faithful, able to succour us in temptation, help in every time of need, and bring us right through our pilgrimage to the end, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for us. He who is of the seed of David according to the flesh, and Son of God, has passed through the heavens, and is our faithful, unchanging, and sympathizing High Priest; and, when He comes the second time and takes His Messiah throne, He will be, according to the prophetic word, "a priest upon his throne" — both king and priest on earth. (Zech. 11:13.)

He is, however, soon coming to reign, "for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto THE SON; that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him … he hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." (John 5:22-27.) Again we read that God "will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all in that he hath raised him from among the dead." (Acts 17:31.) The Son being now at the right hand of God is "expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." Man is yet to be set over the works of God's hands. Man (not angels) is yet to subdue all things unto Himself. "For unto angels hath he not put in subjection the (habitable) world to come;" but quoting from Psalm 8 and applying it to Jesus, the Son of man, he says, "But one in a certain place, testified, saying, What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the Son of man that thou visitest him? thou madest him a little lower than the angels [applied to Jesus in Heb. 2:9.] Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet." (Vers. 5-8.) Thus we see that the Son who made the worlds, who became incarnate, who was tempted, who suffered and died, was victorious over death and Satan; and who ascended into the heavens, sat down on the right hand of God, and entered upon His priestly functions, is yet to come forth and take His rightful place over all things, execute all judgment, and subdue all things unto Himself. "And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."

No doubt one chief reason why the glory and perfections of the sacred person of THE SON are thus so fully brought out in the first and second chapters of the Hebrews is to set forth the infinite value of the one sacrifice, and the perfectness of His priestly office, for there must necessarily be an everlasting efficacy connected with all that He did. Hence, as to the offering, we read, "By one offering he hath perfected for ever [or, in perpetuity] them that are sanctified;" and, as concerning priesthood, we are told, There were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: and "every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifice which can never take away sins; but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever [or in perpetuity) sat down on the right hand of God." (Heb. 7:23; Heb. 12:14.) Thus, through the infinite efficacy of the one offering, the worshippers, instead of having to do with many sacrifices which could not take away sins, are once purged, and have no more conscience of sins, so that the Holy Ghost can indwell them and unite them to Christ in the heavens; such have also liberty to draw near to God — to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, where our High Priest is, and where His blood ever speaks. Instead therefore of there being now "a remembrance of sins," we remember Him, who has by His one offering for ever put away sin. Hence, though sin is in us, we have no sin on us; for we are cleansed, sanctified and perfected for ever by the will of God through one offering; and God has said, "Their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." Christ being now in heaven is the clearest proof that our sins have been borne, suffered for, and are gone for ever. We have, therefore, "no more conscience of sins." How rich and abundant is the grace of God to us in Christ!

If, then, in virtue of the accomplished work of THE SON, the conscience is purged, the veil is rent, and He is gone into heaven itself by His own blood, we, as purged worshippers, necessarily have access to God with confidence; our hearts are attracted to where He now is, so that we run the race set before us according to His word; and we also take that position here which is suited to His mind. Hence the believer is looked at in the closing chapter of this Epistle as a happy worshipper, an earnest runner, and a faithful bearer of the reproach of Christ. He is a worshipper inside the veil, where Jesus is, a runner of a race looking stedfastly unto Jesus, and outside the camp with a rejected Jesus bearing His reproach.

The liberty of access for the worshipper is here contrasted with the way of approach, while the first tabernacle was standing, according to the only ritual divinely-instituted but now done away in Christ. It was characterised by distance from God, for the veil excluded them. It was not rent — the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest; so that they never knew what it was to be in the presence of God, as purged worshippers. The priesthood too was of an earthly and successional order, confined to an earthly line of things (not heavenly) as between the people and God. It was a changeable priesthood, and often interrupted by death. There was also "a worldly sanctuary" — a place of worship on earth, a material building, which was truly, and the only one ever recognised as, the house of God. Such was the Jewish order of things. Whereas Christianity tells us of distance having been removed by the veil being rent from the top to the bottom, when Jesus died upon the cross, so that the worshipper comes now with boldness into the holiest of all. The order of priesthood is heavenly and eternal, all believers being made priests, and Jesus the Son of God being the unchangeable High Priest. Worship therefore is not now connected with a building on earth, but with the holiest of all above, "the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not man." Because the Lord's people are His house, there is now no building on earth, which can be truthfully designated a house of God. (See Heb. 3:6.) It was therefore said by our adorable Lord, "Wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. 18:20.)

To attach the idea of a sanctuary now to any building on earth is then so far to abandon christian ground, and to go back to the Jews' religion; which is not only dishonouring to the Lord, but far more damaging to souls than many imagine; because it throws them at a distance from God, and necessitates their requiring a humanly-ordered priesthood to come between themselves and God. This the natural man likes, because it gives importance to men; while he rebels at the thoughts of divine grace, and refuses the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. But, blessed be God, we have remission of sins, and we have boldness to enter where He is. Hence we are welcomed with "Come boldly to the throne of grace." Do we know what it is to be inside the veil, in the sweet consciousness of God's "perfect love" and in the enjoyment of "perfect peace," while our hearts at the same time are going out to the Father in worship and thanksgiving? It need scarcely be said that this is not the sinner drawing near in order to be cleansed, but the worshipper entering in with boldness, because he is cleansed, and has "no more conscience of sins." Hence it is written, "Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Heb. 10:22.) Our Lord referred to this remarkable change in the character of worship. He said to the woman of Samaria, "Believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father … But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit, and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:21-21.) Worship then must be "in spirit;" suited to the nature of God, and "in truth," or according to God's own revelation of His mind. Happy indeed are those who thus worship the Father!

At the same time the believer is deeply conscious he is in a world where Jesus was but is not, and is running on to where He is. The spiritual worshipper is also then a devoted runner, and in so doing he is exhorted to drop every weight which impedes his course, to lay aside unbelief in all its delusive forms — that easily besetting sin — and to run the race set before him. (Heb. 12:1-3.) He is encouraged to run, not to loiter, nor to seek a resting place, where the faithful Forerunner had none; but to follow on in the race with patient persevering faith. Not with spasmodic or desultory efforts, but with patience; not looking to men, however well they may have been reported for their faith: but to keep the eye steadily on Him who has run the race perfectly, who knows every step of the way, every impediment and temptation, and is now sitting on the throne of God. We are then to run the race set before us, looking unto Jesus (or looking stedfastly on Jesus) where He now is. Thus turning from every other object, and fixing the eye of our heart on Him, the Leader and Completer (not of our faith, but) of faith, we must look stedfastly and dependently on Him who has trodden the path of faith perfectly from the beginning to the end; for all our resources are in Him. We are enjoined also to "consider him," whose path was beset so painfully with opposition and trial; for when we well consider Him who endured so great contradiction from sinners against Himself, we become so cheered and strengthened that we do not grow weary and faint in our minds. The blessed Lord had joy in prospect, and so we have the bright hope of being with Him, and like Him for ever. We are told that "for the joy which was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." The Forerunner is for us entered within the veil, and we are to run the race with patience looking unto Him.

We are also to bear the reproach of Christ. We cannot now be associated with a worldly system of religion on earth, for the veil is rent. He suffered without the gate, and we are exhorted to go forth unto Him without the camp. Our place then here is to suffer with Christ in His rejection. God hath highly exalted Him, and has made Him the central object of His counsels; Christ must therefore be the true and only centre for the faithful here. False religiousness is as displeasing to the Lord as irreligiousness itself. Yet there is a way for faith in the darkest times. The Lord has interests still on earth of deepest moment to Him. He cannot bear what is evil. It is only the more hateful to Him, when His holy name is used to accredit it; though ecclesiastical evil is often the last thing which arouses the conscience. Still the word to the faithful is "Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity," and "go forth unto Him without the camp." This brings its "reproach," but it is the path of blessing. To turn away from what is not according to His truth, "and to go forth unto him without the camp" is clearly His will concerning us. It may entail painful severances; but to be out to the Lord, and "with those who call on his name out of a pure heart," is the divinely ordered path; and that is enough for a true heart. "Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach." (Heb. 13:11-13.) It has been rightly said that a worldly religion, which forms a system in which the world can walk, and in which the religious element is adapted to man on earth, is the denial of Christianity.

May we know increasingly the blessedness of being inside the veil as purged worshippers, outside the camp with Christ in faithfulness to His name, and patient runners of the race which ere long will bring us into His presence for ever: "for yet a little while and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." (Heb. 10:37.) When the Lord presents Himself as "the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star," it is immediately said "and the Spirit and the bride say Come"! so we may be assured it is the apprehension of His blessed person that will keep fresh in our soul the hope of His coming — the earnest desire of seeing His face. H. H. Snell.