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Note L

On Conscience (Chap. 21).

If man be the antitype of the temple, and his spirit the most holy place where God dwells, it is not difficult to fix the place and the meaning of that part of its furniture which typifies conscience. This is none other but the ark of the covenant. The marks of identification are three. The ark was that in which the law of God was contained and carried. Conscience is that power which has God's law as its contents; as far as the law, whether as written in the heart of the heathen, or as transcribed in the heart of the believer by the Spirit, is present there, so far conscience is able to do its work. Even as the ark, it is the receptacle or holder of the law. And then it was on the ark that the mercyseat rested, that the sprinkling of blood was effected, ami the throne of grace then set up for God to be worshipped. And so it is specially to the conscience that the blood is applied within us, and that the Spirit witnesses of our being well-pleasing to God. The ark was called the ark of the testimony, containing God's law or His testimony to Israel. And so the Holy Spirit, as writing the living law in the heart, is God's testimony to His redeemed people, the witness both of His will and of His favour. And conscience, sprinkled with the blood, and keeping watchful guard over the childlike life of obedience, is the spiritual organ within our spirit, to which, and through which, the Holy Spirit gives His witness. 'My conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit.'

With what care was the ark treasured in Israel! With what confidence followed by the hosts when passing through Jordan to conquer Canaan and its hosts! With what quiet expectancy borne around Jericho! With what joy a place was prepared for it^ and God's presence with it claimed! (Ps. cxxxii.).

Christian, treasure above everything the ark of the testimony within thee. The law of the Spirit is within it, the Blood is upon it. It is the place where thy God dwells and lests and communes with thee. It is the meeting-place, the point of contact, between God and the soul—the seat of faith and the scat of God. Above everything, bow in fear and reverence before the Holy Presence which rests above the ark. Keep a conscience void of offence.

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