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review (Heb. ix. 27), is the righteous decision of One who cannot err, in reference to certain "things” that will be found "written in the Books," about "works" performed during a lifetime, the true nature of which will be naked and open before Him. The penalty will be the proceed of the judgment.
III. We are enabled to understand the effect of the judgment from what is said in verse 26, viz., that Christ appeared at the period of the consummation of the ages appointed for the probationary attainment of acceptable righteousness (Gal. iii. 21-24), for the express purpose of settling once for all the question of sin, that had brought ruin into the world. He came personally to decide the doom of sin in the aggregate; and His decision was inflexibly righteous; He came to the determination of exterminating it judicially“ by the sacrifice of Himself.”
" For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and FOR SIN, judged sin in the flesh ” (Rom. viii. 3). The result of man's life of liability under law, and the several dispensations previous to the first advent of Christ, was, that sin had reigned to his utter condemnation, "all the world was proved guilty before God." Subsequently, the crowning of its condemnation was the rejection and murder of the Son of God! Howbeit, through the love of God (John iii. 16, 17) and the riches of grace, the eternal counsels were in this very deed fulfilled. The Cross of Christ became the revelation of God for the putting away, * abolishing SIN : SIN was thereon righteously judged and condemned (Rom. viii. 8). And let it be remembered, that this is not recorded as an arbitrary act of power, but a work of the purest judicial righteousness; owing, I presume, to the Divine permission having been accorded to Satan to exercise a tentative influence over the Adam. It is “ through death” that He will in due time utterly “ destroy" both "the devil" and his "works,” sin and death (Heb. ii. 14; 1 John iii. 8). In the totality, therefore, the root (sin) and branch (sinners) will be blotted out of the creation (Mal. iv. 1).
IV. The fulness of the work is not yet apparent. To faith, nevertheless, the result is already realised, though it has yet to become a manifest consummation “at the (second) Appearance and Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ ” (1 Tim. iv. 1). Ver. 28. them that look for Him," and “love His appearing,” whether it be the Church in this age (1 Thess. iv. 16, 17), or Israel and the Patriarchs in the age to come, Christ shall
the second time, without,” or apart from the question of a sin-offering. As we have already seen (ß iii.), in reference to our ver. 26, Ho hath once appeared for the judgment of sin, and its condemnation to abolition ; His Second Appearance will be for the execution of the
• ábérnais-abolishing (Parkhurst). (Webster).
To annibilate, annul.
sentence, to which the Cross has already testified, and the assize and action of the Great White Throne will consummate ! (Rev. xx. 12-15).
Then, as our 28th verse tells us, cometh also the consummation of " SALVATION!” Listen—“I saw a new firmament and a new earth ; for the first firmament and the first earth were passed away,” with which Sin was associated ; "and I heard a voice out of Heaven, saying, Behold! the Tabernacle of God is with men (glorified), and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and GOD HIMSELF shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes : and there shall be no MORE DEATH, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be ANY MORE PAIN; FOR the former things,” to which Sin had given birth, "HAVE PASSED AWAY!” “O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God I how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out; for of Him, and by Him, and to Him are all things, to whom be glory for ever, Amen!"
V. The above I believe to be the instruction conveyed in the three verses at the head of this paper. If so, then the believer in the duration of sinners under an eternal infliction of punishment for gratuitously suggested endless sins, may here be asked, whether-apart from all other arguments on the subject-IF Sin, having fulfilled the Divine purpose for which its entrance into the world was permitted, be “PUT AWAY” in the judicial manner above described, it is within the possibility of the most tenacious credulity to maintain its ground ? Sin, in the persons of sinners thus unwarrantably pre-arraigned, is surely not exceptional! If sin, in the persons of sinners sentenced to the lake of fire from before the Great White Throne, is not extinguished, then Christ has died in vain ! He will not have fulfilled the purpose for which He “once appeared” (ver. 26). Moreover, if such be the case, the 15th verse of the second chapter of Colossians is not true ! Reading
THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT.
CHAPTER II. COVENANT PROPOSALS; THE LAND PROMISED; THE LAND SHOWN.
PROBABILITY points to some most interesting conclusions as
to the relation of Terah to the Divine call of his son Abram to migrate to the land of Canaan. Those conclusions are : first, that the call of the son by “the God of GLORY” roused the conscience of his father to renounce the sin of idolatry in which he had been involved (Joshua xxiv. 15) and fired him with sufficient enthusiasm
to place him at the head of the exodus from Ur of the Chaldees (Genesis xi. 31); then, further, that the advanced years and failing health of Terah arrested the pilgrimage when it had gone no further than Haran, a comparatively short distance from Ur, Abram being graciously permitted to tarry at this halting place, until at length he had performed the last ministrations of love for his father; and, finally, that the Divine summons first given to Abram in Ur was then repeated to him in Haran, and was at once carried into complete execution. This view, for which the writer is indebted to Murphy's able commentary on Genesis, seems admirably to suit all the indications preserved ; and if accepted raises in the mind very grateful feelings, consisting on the one hand of admiration for the filial devotion of a son who was willing to follow a father whom he was nevertheless qualified to lead, and unwilling to leave him behind so long as he could hope to see him resume the journey; on the other hand of delighted satisfaction with the forbearance of Abram's Divine Guide, who does not under the circumstances insist upon the complete overt act of obedience when He sees that the hearts of all concerned are directed to the keeping of His commands. The stern word stands, “Out of the house of thy father ;” but the gentle providence adds in most sympathetic undertone, “ Unless indeed the house will come too." At length, however, after a delay of about five years, the time of forbearance closes; and the call of God is again heard. We thus reach the first Scripture passage which requires detailed examination.
GENESIS xii. 1-3.
“(1) So Yehweh says unto Abram :
Come thou out of thy land,
Into the land which I will show thee;
And bless thee,
And become thou a blessing ;
But him that makes light of thee will I curse :
* CRITICAL Notes.-Come] Or “Go:" the Hebrew word means either; bat as God would accompany His servant, Come seems the happier rendering. That I may) Weak waw with the voluntative : a form used " in order to express the design or purpose of a preceding act (Driver, “ Uses of the Tenses in Hebrew," p. 66); " presents the will and purpose to attain something as the sequence or design of a presupposition, answering to our in order that, the Latin ut with the conjunctive" (Ewald, “ Introductory Hebrew Grammar," 1870, p. 167). And become thou]
We have here already the substance of the Divine covenant with Abraham thrown into the form of covenant proposals. Yehweh and Abram come together. The Divine Proposer sets before His servant the gracious stipulations which He would have him accept; first naming the one condition which Abram must fulfil, “ Come,” etc.; then tracing in a few comprehensive words the intermediate blessings which shall follow obedience; and finally bringing into view the ultimate good to the whole human race which shall thus be secured. The command is only one, and is as much an invitation as a command. The intermediate promises are several, and they are most comprehensive and attractive, appealing to some of the strongest motives which can actuate a human heart. The crowning prediction bounds away to the utmost circumference of the family of man, and directs its persuasive force to the largest benevolence and deepest religiousness to which the heart of a good man is accessible. With what design then were these proposals laid before Abram ? For one, and one only—to induce his consent, to prevail on him to
“eome.” He did come. He started for Canaan, and in Canaan he arrived. And when he arrived, what, we may ask, was his position ? He was virtually in covenant with God. He had consented to the Divine proposals. He had fulfilled the one condition so far laid upon him. The blessings promised were his by Divine agreement. He must have understood his position to be that of a man virtually in covenant with that glorious and gracious Being whom he had already learned to love, honour, and obey.
It is true there had been, so far, no sacrificial covenanting rites, that we know of; no solemnising oath sworn; no memorial institution set up. But then, on the other hand, we have no grounds for supposing that Abram had at that time any idea of the more formal and solemn covenanting ceremonies which would afterwards be vouchsafed. In fact, he, at that early period, little knew how long his faith would be tried, and how welcome therefore those further confirmations would be. We repeat, therefore, that, having regard to that mutual and deliberate agreement which is the very essence of all covenanting, Abram must have felt and known that his
Aptly termed by Ewald, "& progressive imperative : " God's purpose is addressed to Abram's will; and thus voluntary fellowship with God in blessing the world is the goal set before Abram. Thus shall be blessed] “The relatively progressive perfect" (Ewald): “calls attention to the fact that if the antecedent be realised, in that case (9 then, so) the fol. lowing event, which is viewed as its necessary consequence, will inevitably attain to completeness" (Ball, “ Merchant Taylors' Hebrew Grammar, p. 147). The ground) In manifest allusion to the curse, Gen. iii. 17.-The symmetry of this whole passage is very striking : first, a call, combining the authority of a command with the graciousness of an invitation; secondly, the design of the call, richly amplified, and enlivened by an eruptive imperative; thirdly, a strong conditional prediction crowning the whole.
obedience to the Divine call placed him in virtual covenant with his God.
And this conclusion is confirmed by the interesting circumstance that when the Apostle Peter, shortly after the day of Pentecost, quoted the crowning promise of the Abrahamic covenant, he wove into it the word “families," which occurs in this first covenantsketch alone.
Abram having arrived in the land of invitation: we next read about him as follows:
Genesis xii. 6, 7. “(6) And Abram passes along in the land as far as the place of Sychem, as far as the oak Moreh. Now the Canaanite (was] then
( in the land. (7) Then appears Yehweh unto Abram, and says : To thy seed will I give this land. So he builds there an altar unto Yehweh."
There are two things to note here : first, that the original invitation to come into a land is now deepened into a promise to give the land to Abram's seed; second, that the promise is uncon. ditional, suiting well the fact that the only condition hitherto imposed has been complied with.
We may add regarding the first of these points—that, although God does not appear to have at first positively promised to give Abram the land to which He called him, yet some expectation of that nature must almost certainly have been originated in Abram's mind : “I am to become a great nation-I am called to view & land : there is some especial intention in this. Is the land to be for my descendants to dwell in ?” To this obvious question a positive answer is now given.
Still is only given in brief; for although the Chaldean stranger has by this time seen something of the land, that something may not have been much. The showing of which God spake in Ur and in Haran has not yet been fulfilled. Everything moves on deliberately. But now for the promised showing,—to which, we are disposed to think, something less than justice is commonly done.
Genesis xiii. 14-17. “(14) But YEHWEH said unto Abram, after the separation of Lot from him, Lift up, pray, thine eyes; and look from the place where thou art, northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward. (15) For all the land which thou art beholding, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed, unto olam. (16) Thus will I make thy seed as the dust of the earth ; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, even THY SEED may be numbered. (17) Rise, walk up and down in the land, to the length thereof and to the breadth thereof; for to thee will I give it."
Plainly this is the promised showing of the land. For notice