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building of his tabernacle, and the institution of sacrifices, and in all his dealings unto them, is conclusive, not merely that such a purpose was ordained by him in these things simply

, but that such is his great and ultimate purpose in the church, “ which is builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit," and is the fulness of Christ, “the fulness of him who filleth all in all.” We know the sacrifices were shadows of the sacrifice of Christ; and that the building together of the Jewish church upon this foundation, was truly a building up of the visible church of Christ. When, therefore, God declares the ultimate purpose to be answered by the so building together of this church, he declares the ultimate purpose which will be answered by the building together of the church in all ages : he declares that which we have been seeking-namely, the ultimate purpose which he has ordained to accomplish by the gathering of all things into Christ, as the head of his body the church; and this is, to manifest himself.

It may seem to many readers, that, among the texts brought forward, not a few may be noted as containing no proof of that which they are brought forward to support.

To examine them singly, and shew at length the order and points of their connection, would occupy too much space for a work which only refers to the great purpose of God-manifestation as a ground-work for its principal object, the inquiry into prophecy. The subsequent part of this prophetic inquiry will itself open the difficulties which occur in the texts cited; and to this the reader is requested to proceed, before he fully concludes against the propriety of the authorities.

15. The proof thus brought forward is derived solely from the books of Moses and the historical records of the Jews. But a glorious testimony still remains, in the Book of Psalms and the books of the Prophets, which, if space were allowed, would set forth the truth in a new and more extended manner. It needs, however, a work professedly for that subject alone, to examine the whole series of testimony borne throughout the Old Testament; and a few general hints must suffice.

15. a. In examining the Book of Psalms, with a view of discerning this ultimate purpose, we must bear in mind that prayer and praise, which is the substance of all the Psalms, are, when uttered by the Spirit of God (as the Psalms were, speaking in a child of God), not merely the in-prayer, seeking that which the natural man stands in need of; nor the in-praise, extolling God for his mercies: but prayer is the seeking, in the Spirit of God, that which the Spirit makes known to be the will of God; and praise is the glorying in that which the Spirit of God declares to be glorious.

David, speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost, spake

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the mind of the Spirit : his prayers are therefore the desire of the accomplishment of the will and purposes of God; and his praises the declarations of the glory of God. When, therefore, the Psalmist in praise says, “0 Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens *;" we know assuredly that the Lord is glorified by that for which the Psalmist ascribes glory unto him,--that his name is excellent in the earth. And when he saith, “ And they that know thy name will put their trust in theet,". we are assured that whoso knoweth the name of the Lord will put his trust in him. When also he saith, “ Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands; sing forth the honour of his name; make his praise glorious : say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works ! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee: all the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing unto thy name $; we know that the honour of God's name is in the setting forth the greatness of his power, the submission of his enemies, the worship brought unto him, and the singing unto his name. In the 83d Psalm, the prayer for the overthrow of God's enemies, that men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth,we have shewn unto us that it is the purpose of God to accomplish this acknowledgment of himself ; the Spirit of God declaring it as the purpose to be accomplished by the acts prayed for. In those exclamations of the Psalmist, “ Who in heaven can be compared unto the Lord ! Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord ! God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him! " we have a manifestation, or making known, of that which God is. And in this view all the Psalms are to be studied : in the remembrance that the language and method and instruments of praise are altogether a setting forth of that which God essentially is, and thus accomplishing his purpose of self-manifestation, are an unequivocal proof that such is God's purpose in them.

15. b. The proof of this ultimate purpose to be gathered from the Prophets, can only be referred to in a like summary way. But as there is contained in those books the opening of the means whereby the Lord will accomplish his great purposes, we shall find at the same time, in terms more or less direct, an accompanying explanation of the purpose which those means are designed to accomplish. In the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel we shall find a continual repetition of the declaration which the Lord gave to his people upon his bringing them up out of Egypt,—“Ye shall know that I am the Lord;They shall know that I am the Lord.All the denunciations by the Prophets against sinners and sinful nations, and against his own apostate people, are made in terms which shew the judgments came because they had served other gods than the Lord ; and therefore the Lord was justly angry with them, and for the glory of his own great name rose up against them. The most glorious testimony, however, unto this ultimate purpose, which is borne in the books of the Prophets, cannot be seen and understood until the books themselves, in their prophetic declarations, are understood ; and the examination of this must necessarily be deferred until after the examination of the nature and objects of prophecy, in its plain and minute interpretation; our object at present being to prepare for the interpretation, rather than to act upon the bearings of that interpretation.

* Psal. viii.

+ Psal. ix, x.

Psal. Ixvi.

Ş Psal. lxxxix.

16. Passing then, for the present, however reluctantly, this branch of proof, we will turn to the proof of this ultimate purpose which may be gathered from the New Testament, which is specially the book of the Gentile dispensation. Here having a revelation of the mystery of Christ in his church, which in other ages was not made known; having a more open and declared view of the church, as“ builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit;" and of the end,“ to gather all things into Christ, as the Head of his body the church ;" we may expect to find a revelation of the great ultimate purpose proportionately full, explicit, and undeniable. It may be feared, however, that many will, in their expectations on this head, be disappointed. Not that there is not such a testimony, so full, explicit, and undeniable ; but that it is given in a manner different from that displayed during the Jewish dispensation, and to the patriarchs. As to the patriarchs, the declaration was couched in the words, “ I am the Almighty God;" whilst to the Jews this was added, that ye may know me to be the Lord.” So to the Gentiles, whilst that testimony remained, there was yet another added ; which, although when understood it is more plain and precise than those preceding, yet being after a different method, will disappoint those who, not considering the essential difference of the two dispensations, anticipate a like manner of testimony with the former.

16. a. Under the Jewish dispensation, the Lord's law and glorious dealings with his people were placed before their eyes, and brought daily to their remembrance, by the ordinances of the temple and the ceremonies enjoined by their laws. It had been plainly told to them, by precept upon precept and line upon fine, that they were built together as a church and as a nation; and were thus highly honoured that they might know the Lord their God to be the only true and living God. They

had found it written in their Prophets, that all the Lord's dealings with other nations were to the end he might be known to be the Lord. Such of them as were taught of the Spirit, were enabled to see the God-man as typically represented in their ordinances, and looked for his appearance in the flesh as the promised Messiah. But the mystery of which St. Paul speaks --that it was not in other ages made known that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs and of the household of faith-was only revealed in prophecy, and not yet manifested : when Christ the Messiah, Immanuel, came, and in his person proved the antitype of all the Jewish ordinances, “the end of the law for righteousness," the ceremonial law, which had led to his appearance, was at once cancelled, and the dispensation of which it was the limit expired. Through the mystery of the calling of the Gentiles was shewn the great end of the law, as a schoolmaster to bring unto Christ; and in the mystery of the person of Christ, as opened by our Saviour and the Apostles, was shewn the great purpose of gathering out of every nation into the mystical body of Christ, and (he being the head) in one body joining all God's people in one Spirit through faith.

16. b. It was then seen that the church of the Jews was truly built upon the foundation of Christ: not as an exclusive church, but as the plant of the great olive-tree rooted in Christ, which, after receiving the ingraftation of the Gentiles, casting off the outward covering of types, and being nourished by the water of life and the Millennial Sun of Righteousness, should spread abroad, and embrace under its branches all the nations under heaven. It was seen that God's dealings towards the Jews had a reference, not to them singly, but to the people of the whole earth; that his worship, his praise, his glory, was designed not to be received through the medium of the Jews, but through Christ Jesus, as the King and Head of all his people; this people not delineated by any territorial limits, but chosen and marked out by the operation of the Spirit of truth, which, proceeding from the Father, bore testimony to him.

Having thus the veil rent, the “holy of holies” was manifested, and its glories opened to all the faithful. The High Priest, the glorious person of the God-man, as Head over the mystical body, shone forth before the eyes of the church. The true foundation was revealed. He who was "the Brightness of the Father's glory, and the express Image of his person,” stood forth, the object of faith, hope, and confidence to all God's people; Beginning and the End of all things."

16. c. We must, then, no longer look for an expression of the ultimate purpose in every particular institution, nor upon numerous occasions, as under the Jewish dispensation. There, the God-man, as the End of all things, being only typically foreshewn,

the

it was necessary to declare explicitly that the several types, institutions, and ordinances were given to subserve the ultimate purpose. But when the Lord Jesus (the God manifest in the flesh) was come, the reference of each particular would properly be to him; and, the ultimate purpose being once clearly defined and set forth, the immediate reference to that ultimate purpose would cease: as in our actions, if the end we have in view is to be obtained mediately through another instrument which has a manifest relation to the end, and we do not fully set forth the mediate instrument, the connection between our action and the end being less evident, it becomes the more necessary to declare the action to be with a view to the end ; but after the instrument has been plainly set forth, and its connection with the end become self-evident, a reference of our action to the instrument will at once shew its connection with the end, and render all immediate reference of the action to the end unnecessary.

16. d. To preserve, then, our line of proof, we have only to shew that the Lord Jesus Christ, as Head of his mystical body the church, filling all in all, is declared to be manifested for the purpose of making known the essential excellency of the eternal Jehovah, in order to establish the ultimate purpose of God to be, to “make known himself.” If, after this, we shew all subordinate things working together to the filling up of the fulness of Him who filleth all in all; to have a reference and an end in the Lord Jesus as Head of the church ; it will be satisfactorily evident, that, as all created things are intended to manifest the latter, so the latter is itself intended to manifest the former. All being gathered under the great Head, the God manifest in the flesh, he will be an eternal manifestation of the invisible Jehovah, "who dwelleth in light which no man can approach unto."

16. e. The revelation under the New Testament, of all things having been created, now subsisting, and in the end to be

gathered into Christ, as Head of the church, has been before set forth * : and as this glorious truth reveals the Sun of Righteousness in its full splendour, and recognises every ray as emanating from, and converging to the same centre; so the testimony to the ultimate purpose is not a deduction from the various parts, but a direct reference of the whole, as built together, to this one intent. It is not a testimony regarding time only, but which passes from sublunary things to heavenly, and declares the heavenly and eternal purpose, which will be thus accomplished. The Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, to whom he had opened the glorious mystery of the fulness of

“ Unto me, who am less than the least of all

Christ, says

* See pages 395, 396.

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