SIXTH SECTION

SIXTH SECTION.-viii. 1-13.
The New Sanctuary and the New Covenant.

LVIII.

THE PRIEST-KING ON THE THRONE IN THE HEAVENS.

VHI—1. Now In the things we are saying the chief point Is this: We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

lN every pursuit it is always most important to keep the eye fixed on that which is the main thing, and to make everything else subservient to it. A Christian often feels perplexed by the variety of truths and duties set before him in Scripture; to see clearly what the central thought is, is like finding the key to some building round which one had vainly wandered seeking an entrance. Our author here is careful in summing up what we have had thus far, to fix our view on what is the chief point— We have such a High Priest, as has been set before us, the very Son of God, a true Man in His obedience to God and sympathy with us, become a Priest after the order of Melchizedek, in the power of an endless life. And we have Him as one who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. lt is as our faith apprehends and holds this truth that we have the key which opens the door into the heavenly life upon earth.

Jesus our Priest-King on the throne in the heavens.

What does this mean, and teach, and give? It reminds of this, first of all, that Jesus is not only Priest but King. This was part of what was included in His appointment after the order of Melchizedek, whose name meant King of righteousness, and who was King of Salem, that is King of peace. The Psalm in which the word of the oath is spoken began thus: The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand. ln lsrael the office of king and priest had ever been kept separate; it was only one of the latest prophets who foretold (Zech. vi. 13): He shall be a priest upon the throne. lt was part of the defect in the character of the preparatory dispensation that the function of priest, the representative of the religious life, should be so distinct from that of the king, the guide of the civil life of the people. The priest represents purity, the king power; it is the glory of the new dispensation that the Priest is King—the cleansing from sin, and the access to God which that gives, is all in a power that goes through the whole life. Religion is no longer to be a thing of times and seasons, of special acts or emotions: in kingly power our High Priest rules over all. Blessed is the man to whom it is given to see that this is the chief point, that this is all.

And that, because He is a King sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. The Son of God

became Man that He might win for Himself and us, for humanity, His own and ours, the power He had with the Father before the world began, and so as our High Priest serve and rule us in the power of an endless life, in the power of the heavenly life. He sat down on the right hand of the throne. His position is now one of perfect fellowship with God, in a nearness in which nothing can intervene, in an equality which gives Him complete possession and disposal of all power in heaven and on earth. This is the chief point to know in faith, that we have such a High Priest!

On the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. We have said before that the great characteristic of our Priest-King, of His salvation and His life, is its heavenliness. lt will reward the reader each time the thought occurs, to go over the passages we have marked, and seek to come fully under the power of the thought. Jesus is passed through the heavens, made higher than the heavens, seated on the throne in the heavens, in order that He might open the kingdom of heaven to us. Heaven, we have said before, is not only a place, but a state of life; the kingdom of heaven can come to us here on earth in power, and be set up within our hearts. The will of God can be done on earth as in heaven. All Jesus is, is heavenly; all the gifts He bestows, all the work He does, all the life He breathes, all the power He exercises is exclusively heavenly. This is the solid food for the perfect; as our faith receives and feeds upon this, it becomes partaker of the very spirit of heaven, in the power of an endless life. As the heavenliness of the redemption and the life in Jesus is revealed by the Holy Spirit in the heart, heavenliness, its purity, its power, its love, its worship, its blessedness, will be the characteristic of our religion.

He sat down on the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. We know how to the first disciples this blessed truth was revealed and sealed—it was by the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. The Spirit of heaven is the Spirit in the power of which the angels do God's will there. The Spirit of heaven is the Spirit which came down from the opened heaven on the Son of Man. The Spirit of heaven was sent down to His disciples by the Son of Man, when He had sat down on the right hand of the throne in the heavens, as their share in His exaltation; not as the Spirit of conversion, but as the Spirit to seal their faith; as their experience of fellowship with Him in His glory ; as their participation in the joy and holiness of the heavenly life; as their power to conquer sin and the world. To those who are willing to come and be separate and utterly forsake this world, this Spirit of heaven still comes as the gift of our heavenly Priest-King. Let us believe the Word, let us cling to Him and worship Him as seated on the throne in the heavens; it will become our blessed heart experience, not only that this is the chief point, Such a High Priest became us, but that we have, —yes, not only in thought, in gift, but in living enjoyment,—we have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.

1. The spirit of a king imparts ltself to his subjects. As he devotes himself to war or peace, to noble pursuits or to luxury and pleasure, his example leads his pevple. Perfect heavenllness, heavenly perfection, is the mark of our King; it is meant to be the mark of His pevple. The true knowledge of a heavenly Christ makes a heavenly Christian.

2. "Our Forerunner has carried away our hearts with Him. We have no heart left for any one but Him, or for anything without or within the vell that He is not, or is not in."

3. Ever connect Christ's entering the heavenly life and His ascending the throne with the descent of the Spirit to be the life of the disciples. And remember that all our knowledge and faith in the Priest-King is only preparatory to the true blessing—the Holy Spirit revealing Him and making Him present in the heart. Ascension and Pentecost are inseparable.

LIX.

THE PRIEST-KING, THE MINISTER OF THE TRUE SANCTUARY.

VIII.—1. Now In the things which we are saying the chief point Is this: We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty In the heavens,

2. A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.

3. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices: wherefore It Is necessary that this High Priest also have somewhat to offer.

4. Now If he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are those who offer the gifts according to the law;

5. Who serve that which Is a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses Is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, See, salth he, that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shewed thee in the mount

The chief point is this: We have such a High Priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. Thus the writer had summed up his teaching. He has now one more thought to add, revealing still more distinctly and fully the work our Lord does for us in heaven. He is a Minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. The heavens, with the heavenly life of Christ there, are here shown to be the true counterpart of the tabernacle Moses built, and He, the Priest-King on the throne, is seen to be the Minister of the sanctuary, of the true tabernacle which God pitched and not man.

He then proceeds to remind us, that as every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices, so Christ must have something to offer too. Now if He were on earth, He would not he a priest at all, seeing there are priests according to the law. Christ belongs to an entirely different sphere. With the body which He offered on earth, and the blood He shed, He has passed away out of the visible into the invisible realm of spiritual worship and life. Heaven is the sphere of His ministry. When God said to Moses, to make all according to the pattern showed him in the mount, to serve as a shadow of the heavenly things; in the very appointment of the tabernacle, there was the indication that it was but a copy and promise of the true tabernacle, with its heavenly sanctuary. The heavens where Jesus sits on the throne, they are the true tabernacle; and the High Priest on the throne is at the same time the Minister of the sanctuary.

A Minister of the sanctuary. The King is still a servant All the ministry or service of the priests in the tabernacle had its fulfilment in Him. The priests served in.the tabernacle day by day, ordered everything for the service of God according to His will; as representatives of the people they received the assurance of God's favour, and brought them out God's blessing. Jesus is the Minister of the heavenly sanctuary. He represents us there. He has opened up the way, and brought us in, and sends down into our hearts the life and spirit of the true sanctuary; without ceasing He maintains the cleansing of His precious blood in our conscience, and, in the power of an endless life, enables us to worship in spirit and in truth, and to live our earthly life in the presence and the favour of God. As the exalted Priest-King He does it all in an infinite, a divine power. As the Minister of the sanctuary, He does it with all the sympathy and the gentle forbearance which we have seen to mark Him as made like to His brethren in all things.

A priest must have a sanctuary in which he dwells, to receive all who come to seek his God. Our great High Priest has His sanctuary in the heavens; there He dwells, there we find Him; there He receives us, there He introduces us to meet God; there He proves that He is a Priest who abides continually, and who gives those who come to God through Him the power to do it too—to abide continually in His presence. The nearness to God and fellowship with Him I cannot partake of except through my heart. My heart is my life, is myself; my only blessedness is in the state of the heart. And therefore Jesus as High Priest cannot do His priestly work of bringing me near to God except as He dwells in my heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. All our thought, and faith, and adoration of Him in heaven brings us back to the riches of the glory of the mystery—Christ in you. He is Priest after the power of an endless life, a Priest whose presence and power are known and enjoyed in the life of the heart.

These are indeed spiritual mysteries of which we speak— things hard to be understood of those who, through sloth or worldliness, are dull of hearing. Oh, let us not imagine that these are things which reason can grasp or hold; they are a supernatural wisdom, a divine revelation which none can receive but those who receive it from the Spirit of God. Let us remember that it is God, who has pitched this tabernacle; that it cost the Son of God a life of humility and suffering, cost Him His death and blood, to open it for us; that it needed the almighty power of God in the resurrection and ascension to bring Him there; that it needed ten days unceasing prayer, and the coming down of the blessed Spirit at Pentecost, before the High Priest could impart even to His elect circle the power of the life within the veil. And let us then pause to think that it is no wonder if most Christians rest content with the easier and more external worship as typified by Aaron, and never press on unto perfection, in the full knowledge of our Melchizedek and the mystery of the heavenly life into which He leads them. Let us, above all, remember that it was through death, through the offering up of Himself, that Jesus entered in, and opened a way for us to follow. To enter in demands a very entire renunciation of the world and of self, a very real and true participation in Christ's humbling of Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross—in His death to sin. And it demands no less a very real experience of the mighty operation of God, which raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand. But let us praise God, too, that for every soul who truly wills it, our almighty King-Priest, able to save completely, will surely give it.

7. How many Christians think of heaven, as the place where Jesus is, as the place to which they have a title, and where they hope to go when they die. But they think not of heaven as a life, and of God's nearness as an experience for every hour of our dally walk. And how many who think of Jesus as the blessed One in whom they are there, by lmputation, but know not of Him as lifting them and their whole life into heaven, and, by the Holy Spirit, bringing heaven into them.

2. Every priest has his temple, where he recelves the worshippers, and leads them to find the God they seek. Jesus must have a temple too. The heavens are the true sanctuary. Do not attempt to separate between the priest and the place of his dwelling. As His life in heaven is the life of our heart, we know the power of His priesthood.

LX.

THE PRIEST-KINO, THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT.

Vm.—6. But now hath he obtained a ministry the more excellent, by how much also he Is the mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises.

7. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second.

8. For finding fault with them, he salth,

Behold the days come, salth the Lord,

That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;

9. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers;

In the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt;

For they continued not In my covenant,
And I regarded them not, salth the Lord.

Ln our chapter there are two titles given to our Priest-King, describing two functions which He discharges. The one is, a Minister of the sanctuary, the other, the Mediator of the better covenant. The Epistle, having mentioned the sanctuary in which Christ ministers, is about to proceed in the next chapter with the work that Christ did in opening and entering the sanctuary with His own blood. He does not, without good reason, first interpose here the member of the new covenant and Christ's work as its Mediator. The two designations, Minister of the sanctuary, Mediator of the new covenant, represent two aspects of Christ's work which are the complement of each other, and which are each necessary to the right understanding of the other. The sanctuary is God's dwelling; the Minister of the sanctuary has specially to do with bringing us nigh to God, and the blessedness we find there. The covenant deals with our relation and duty towards God; the Mediator of the covenant has specially to do with our preparation for entering the sanctuary, and being made fit to meet God.

In chap. vii. we heard that Jesus is the surety of a better covenant. We said there that a covenant is meant to define the mutual relation of the two contracting parties, and to secure the fulfilment of their engagements to each other. ln the passage from Jeremiah quoted in our chapter we are told that the covenant God made with Israel, when He brought them up out of Egypt, was not faultless, and that therefore a second was needed. The fault or insufficiency of the first—its weakness and unprofitableness (vii. 18)—would be avoided in the new. A different provision would be made. The fault of the old covenant is stated to be (ver. 9): They continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not. Israel began well, and accepted the covenant, and promised obedience. But they continued not. There was no power to continue; no power to conquer temptation, or the evil heart; to remain faithful. Against this the new covenant would provide, because it was better, enacted in better promises. It would, by the blood of Christ, provide such an actual putting away and cleansing of sin that God would actually remember them no more for ever. With this He would, by His Holy Spirit, so put His laws into their heart that they should delight in doing them. God would Himself work both to will and to do. And then, in this power of Christ's blood and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, they would no longer be dependent on men for their knowledge of God, but have direct access and direct intercourse with Him. They would, in spiritual reality, draw nigh to God in the Holiest of All.

This is the new, the better covenant, of which Jesus was to be the Mediator. lt is easy now to see of what importance it is that the Epistle should here introduce this name and function of our blessed Lord, the Mediator of the new covenant. When the message comes to us of drawing nigh to God, of entering into the Holiest and abiding there, the thought always comes that our sinful, faithless hearts render it impossible. lt would be very easy, we say, and very blessed to dwell all the day consciously in God's presence, if we could all the day remain occupied with spiritual things. But we cannot— our earthly duties render unbroken communion an impossibility. And if it be said that, if we trust this to Jesus, He will care for us, even when we have to be occupied with earthly things, the answer comes again: But oh, the sinfulness of our heart! Ere we know, tempers and dispositions come which must bring a cloud; to abide always in the light of God, not only to enter God's presence, but to continue there—it is not possible!

Come and listen. But they continued not in My covenant. This is the experience of the old covenant, to which there now can be an end. The whole provision of the new covenant is to fit us for continuing in it, for abiding continually. lt is indeed true that the sanctuary is the dwelling-place of the Holy One, the Holiest of All, and that sinning clouds God's presence. There must be correspondence, harmony, between the sanctuary, with the God that dwells there, and the worshipper. But it is for this very purpose that Jesus, the Minister of the true sanctuary, is also the Mediator of the new covenant. He engages so to reveal the power of His blood and the boldness of access it gives thee, so to put God's law into thy heart in that power of an endless life in which He does all His priestly work, so to fit thee to know the Lord, that thou shalt indeed know that as Minister of the sanctuary He does in very truth secure thy entrance and thy abiding there. The work done by Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary must have its counterpart in the heart that is to enter that sanctuary. And because it is one Jesus who is both Minister of the new sanctuary and Mediator of the new covenant, we may be confident that He will do His work in our heart as effectually as He does it in heaven. And, therefore, the deeper our insight into the perfection of His work in heaven above, the more confident our expectation may be of the perfection in our life within.

1. Let us pray God very earnestly that as we now proceed to study the better promises of the better covenant, our hearts may be opened to recelve them in all their fulness.

2. "No omnipotence can make you partaker of the life of the outward world without having the life of this outward world born in your own creaturely being. And therefore no omnipotence can make you a partaker of the beatific life in presence of the Holy Trinity, unless that life stands in the same triune state within you that lt dves without you."

3. A heavenly sanctuary and a heavenly High Priest ask for a heavenly Christian and a heavenly heart. And this is what the new covenant promises, and the Mediator of the new covenant glves indeed.

LXI.

THE CENTRAL BLESSING OF THE NEW COVENANT-
THE LAW WRITTEN IN THE HEART.

VIII.—10. For this Is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after these days, salth the Lord;

I will put my laws Into their mind,

And on their hearts also will I write them.

We have seen what the fault was of the old covenant, But they continued not in My covenant. We have seen that the one object of the new covenant is to repair the fault of the old. There is henceforth no more need of the word, But they continued not. The one distinguishing characteristic of the new covenant is to be, There is grace for those who enter it to continue. The great mark of the priest after the order of Melchizedek is—He abideth continually. The great mark of each of His people is meant to be too — He abideth continually.

But are we not, some one will say, all living under the new covenant, and yet is not the ordinary experience of Christians still the same as of old, But they continued not? Alas, it is so. And how, then, with the provision of the covenant? Is it really to be taken so literally? And if so, has not the new covenant failed just as the old did, of securing the continual obedience God desired? The answer will be found in what we have more than once pointed out . The Hebrews were Christians under the new covenant, but with their life in the old. The new covenant does not do violence to man's will. lt is only where the heart sees and believes what God has promised, and is ready at any cost to claim and possess it, that any blessing can be realised. With most Christians there is not even the intellectual belief that God means His promise literally. They are so sure that their views of man's sinfulness and the necessity of always sinning are correct, that the teaching of God's word in regard to His purpose to make an end of the but they continued not can never enter the mind. Others there are who accept the truth, but through unbelief enter not into the full possession. And the whole state of the Church of Christ is such that but few live in the full experience of what the covenant means.

Let us meditate on its promises, and specially on its chief promise, its central blessing, I will pnt My laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts, in the adoring faith of our great High Priest upon the throne, who as Mediator of the new covenant is its surety that every word will be made true. It is in Him, whom He hath by oath appointed Priest in the power of an endless life, that God says: This is the covenant I will make after these days: I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts. ln chap. 7 (ver. 16) we saw what the difference is between an external law and an inner life. The one is impotent, the other mighty. And we saw how even God's law failed of securing obedience, because the heart was not right. The promise of the new covenant is to convert the external law into an inner life, to put it so in the heart that it shall be its inmost life, so that, as naturally as the heart wills and lives and acts on earth, it shall will and live and do what God demands. Why does an acorn so spontaneously grow up into an oak? Because the law of the oak is written in the heart of the acorn. The life of every creature acts with delight in accordance with the law of its Creator, that is, its inner nature. God and His holiness, Christ and His Holy Spirit, if they belong to us, must be as near to us, as essentially within us, as truly inherent in our own life, as our own thinking, willing, and feeling. And so God promises that He will put His law in our minds and write it in our hearts, in such a way that it shall be our inner nature, our very life, and we shall act according to it as naturally as we think or live. Yes, He will do it. So that we can say, even as His Son did, Thy law is within My heart; I delight to do thy will, O God.

This is the covenant I will make, saith the Lord. And God hath given His own Son with an oath to be of that covenant the surety! And of that covenant He, the High Priest upon the throne, is the Mediator 1 Oh, what think you? Will God fail in the very thing the covenant was devised to provide? Will He disappoint us in the one thing in which, as it deals with our experience, the new covenant is to be better than the old? In the one thing His heart and our heart longs for, to serve Him in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life,—is this one thing the very thing we are not to realise? God forbid. He hath said—This is the covenant I will make; and He will do it.

Let us look up to the Mediator of the covenant, our High

Priest upon the throne in the heavens. When He was with His

disciples on earth, the law was not yet put into their hearts.

How often they failed in humility and love and boldness. But

when He sat down upon the throne, He sent down the Holy

Spirit from heaven in their hearts, and all was new. They were

full of humility and love and great boldness. The law of God was in their hearts as the power of a life that knew, and loved, and did His will. Christ dwelt in their hearts by faith. The power of the endless life from the throne of God had taken possession of them. Oh, let us not doubt. Let us plead God's promise, I will make a new covenant. Let us trust God's Son, the surety of the covenant, and receive God's Spirit—we shall be brought into the covenant, and into the sanctuary together, and have grace to continue, to abide continually.

1. Just as truly us there is a sanctuary above, there is a sanctuary within. in the old sanctuary the chief object in the Holiest of All was the law, in the ark covered by the mercy-seat sprinkled with blood. lt is the law written in the heart sprinkled with the blood that makes lt a sanctuary. lt is the heart that is thus made a sanctuary that enters the true sanctuary.

2. is not the reason that some who seek earnestly, fail of the blessing, that they seek to grasp it in their own power, and do not yield to the Holy Spirit to work lt in them. lt is God who says, l will make the covenant. He must by His mighty operation do lt in each heart . Our place is deep dependence, patient waiting, and lmplicit reliance on His mighty power.

3. Remember that all He has to do as Mediator of the new covenant, He dves becavse He is Minister of the true sanctuary. He sends out of the sanctuary the Spirit of heaven into our hearts —lt is this that puts God's law within us.

4. The whole law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt love. Where the love of God is shed abrvad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, the law of love is written in the heart.

5. The soul of man hath no other near or far from God, but as its will unites with God's will, and worketh with lt

LXII.

THE CROWNING BLESSING OF THE NEW COVENANT-
FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.

VIH.—10. And I will be to them a God,

And they shall be to me a people: 11. And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen,

And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord:

For all shall know me,

From the least to the greatest of them.

GOD created man to find his blessedness in Himself. This is the nobility and the greatness of man, that he has a heart capable of fellowship with God, a heart so great that nothing less than God can really satisfy it. This is held out to him as his highest blessedness through eternity.

There is but one thing can hinder the fellowship, and that is sin. Where there is no sin, the creature lives in the Creator as naturally as a bird in the air, or a fish in the water. For this reason the two promises of the new covenant go together as cause and effect: I will write My law in their hearts, and, I will be to them a God, and they shall know Me. The deliverance from the evil, wandering heart, will be followed by close personal access to God. They shall not teach every man his brother, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.

Personal, direct fellowship with God: this is the crowning blessing of the new covenant, to which the Epistle to the Hebrews very specially points the way. ln Israel only the priests might enter the Holy Place: thence they went out again to teach the people. lnto the Most Holy only the High Priest might come. ln Christ every believer has access to the Holiest of All. Christ hath redeemed us, not to bring us to Himself, but to bring us to God. He is the door, in which we are not to remain standing, but through which we enter to God Himself, to His heart and His love. God, having spoken in past times in the prophets, hath now spoken in His Son; in Him there is an immediate living fellowship with the living God. All that the Epistle has to teach of the rending of the veil, and our boldness in the blood, and the entrance into the Holiest of All —it has all to do with this one thing, direct personal living fellowship with the living God. As the Minister of the true sanctuary Jesus sends the Spirit from thence to do the work He has in our heart as Mediator of the covenant, and prepare us to enter the sanctuary. As Mediator of the covenant He then reveals Himself more fully as the Minister of the sanctuary, who does indeed bring us nigh to God.

And how does He do this? In the way in which He Himself entered there, the way of obedience. I will write My law in their hearts, and they shall know Me. The law written on the heart is the condition of fellowship with God. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." To be brought by the heavenly High Priest within the veil, and dwell before God's face, we must learn to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven. This is the true heavenly-mindedness that renders us capable of fellowship with the God of heaven. Union with God's will was the way by which Jesus entered. Union with God's will is the way by which Jesus brings us in to the love and the joy of the Father.

And how, again, do we obtain this double blessedness—of the law written in the heart, and the entrance into God's presence in Jesus? lt is God must do it. It is He who sware to Abraham—Blessing I will bless. lt is He who sware to our High Priest—Thou art a Priest for ever. lt is God Himself who will fulfil His oath. Jesus is not now on the throne to take the place of God, to be to us instead of God. Verily no; He brings us to God. Through Him we draw nigh to God, that God may perfect His work in us. Our first access to God in the pardon of sin, ere yet we know what the access of abiding fellowship is, has this one sole object that God may reveal His Son in us, so that we look up to and love and serve the Father, even as the Son did. And so the one thing required of us is, that we bow ourselves and abide and live in deep dependence and humility before God. However clearly we see the blessed truth of the promises of the new covenant, however earnestly we desire them, however firmly we think we grasp them as faith, all will not avail—God Himself must do it. God Himself must admit to His presence, and make His face to shine upon us. And as the path to this, God Himself must write His law in our hearts, give us the new nature in such power of the Holy Spirit, that He works both to will and to do. God Himself must by the Holy Ghost so shed abroad His love in our hearts, that to love becomes as natural to us as it is for the dove to be gentle. God has promised on His oath to do this for us, in Jesus the surety of the new covenant. It is God who strengthens us mightily by His Spirit, then gives Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith; it is in God that we are rooted in love; and then—this is the full entrance into His presence in the Holiest of All—then filled with all the fulness of God.

Once again, how do we obtain this double blessedness of the law of God written in the heart, and the presence of God filling our life? There is no way but utterly ceasing from ourselves, dying to self, and waiting in absolute dependence and deep humility upon God. Christ's priesthood is not of earth but of heaven. All means and ordinances, all thoughts and purposes in man are but the shadows of the heavenly things. lt is from God in heaven that the heavenly life must come, through Christ who brings us nigh to Him. And Christ cannot bring us nigh to God, cannot make our drawing nigh acceptable in any other way than by working in our heart a faith, and love, and obedience which are pleasing to Him; that is, by His fulfilling, as Mediator of the new covenant, its promises within us. This brings us to the true knowledge of God.

1. lf you would realise the need of absolute dependence upon God, and His direct operation, l know not of anything that will be more helpful than to read what William Law says on humility, meekness, patience, and resignation to God's will, as the one only and infallible way to God. See "The Spirit of Love," Part ll., Third Dialogue {WHOLLY FOR GOD, pars. 29-38).

2. When He had effected the cleansing of sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. The removal of sin is the path to God's presence with Christ and with us.

LXIII.

THE INITIAL BLESSING OF THE NEW COVENANT-
THE PARDON OF SIN.

Vm.—12. For I will be merciful to their Iniquities, And their sins will I remember no more. 13. In that he salth, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. But that which is beooming old and waxeth aged is nigh unto vanishing away.

Of the blessings of the new covenant, the one which is here mentioned last is in reality the first. For I will be merciful— this is what precedes, and is the ground of the renewal of the heart and the fellowship with God. Pardon is the door; holiness of heart and life the pathway; the presence of God the blessedness of the Christian life. The first leads to the second, the first and second to the third. To live in God's presence and fellowship two things must be clear: the thought of sin must be put away out of God's heart, and the love of sin out of our heart. These two blessings are together secured in the new covenant. First, the forgiveness of sins so complete, that He remembers them no more for ever; they never more enter into God's heart. And, second, the renewal of our heart and will so complete, that the law of God is written there by the Holy Spirit, so that the will of God is our will.

The three blessings—the pardon of sin, purity of heart, and the presence of God—are so joined, that as our views and our acceptance of one is feeble, our hold on the others will suffer. ln Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant they are offered and secured to us in their fulness, in the power of an endless life. But our experience of this depends upon our knowledge, our faith, our surrender. And it is because our understanding and acceptance and experience of the two first blessings is so defective that our fellowship with God, our entrance into the holy presence, and our abiding there, is still so much in Old Testament failure—But they continued not. Let us try and realise this.

Take the first of the three covenant blessings: I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins will I remember no more. In more than one respect the Christian's thought of what this pardon is may be defective. With some it is nothing more than the remission of punishment. They think only of acquittal; they know not that it implies acceptance, complete restoration to the favour, to the heart and the home of the Father. They are content with pardon, as the escape from a great danger; of the surrender to, and the life abiding in the love that pardoned, they know little. With others the thought of pardon is mostly connected with individual or with daily sin. They have no conception of the entire and eternal putting away of sin out of God's sight and thought, which is assured to us in the words: Their sins will I remember no more. And with still others, whose views may be more accurate, the pardon of God exercises so little power, because it has been accepted more with the mind than the heart. They consent to and claim what God's word says of it; but have never, mostly owing to the want of any deep sense of sin, or any powerful workings of the Holy Spirit, realised the overwhelming glory of God's mercy as they came to Himself to receive from His own mouth the pardon of their sins. In all these cases the farther blessings are scarce understood or sought, or if claimed, their full meaning and power are never known.

lt is even so with the second covenant blessing. There are not a few who know indeed what the greatness of God's pardoning love is, who yet never reach out to claim, as equally sure, the greatness of His sanctifying grace. The necessity of daily sinning, the impossibility of living for one day without actual transgression is such a deeply-rooted conviction, and there is such confidence that God's word teaches it, that the mind cannot for a moment enter into what the word has said of the radical difference between the old covenant and the new in this respect. The confounding the freedom from any sinful tendency, and freedom in the power of Christ's indwelling from actual sinning, even with the sinful tendency still remaining, is so universal, that every attempt to press home the promise of the law written in the heart, in its contrast to the Old Testament life, is regarded as dangerous. The wonderful promise is levelled down to the ordinary experience of the ordinary Christian life. No wonder then that the crowning promise, They shall not every man teach his brother, Know the Lord, with its direct teaching of the Holy Spirit, and its direct fellowship with God through the Spirit, is neither valued nor claimed, and the entrance through the rent veil into the Holiest of All and the presence of God postponed to another world.

Let us pray the Father to give us enlightened eyes of tlie heart, to know what is the hope of His calling, to a life in His love and will, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,—the direct and full access to His presence and fellowship, and what the exceeding greatness of His power in us 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 on His own right hand. Let us believe that that exaltation of Christ out of the dead to His throne, and the assurance that that same mighty power works in us, means, even for this earth, a life of heavenly power and joy, of holiness and happiness which it hath not entered into the heart to conceive. Jesus, the Priest-King on the throne, is the surety of the covenant. Let us, like Him, yield ourselves to that death to sin and to self, out of which God raised Him. Let us sink into the death of emptiness and nothingness and helplessness; let us, as dead, wait for the mighty operation of God. He who gave Jesus as Mediator of the new covenant, and surety for its promises, will reveal Him, and fulfil them in us, will bring us in Him within the veil, and give us our life there in the secret of His blessed presence.

1. Pardon of sin is the door, the entrance to the Father's home. The law in the heart is the life and walk there, the fitness to draw nigh to God. Direct fellowship with God; this is the blessedness to be found in God's presence.

2. All the three blessings in Him the surety of the covenant. in Him our justification and the assurance that our sins no more come up before Him. in Him our sanetlfication, with the Holy Spirit breathing His will into our very heart. in Him our complete redemption, the fitness to dwell in 6o<f's presence for evermore.