Plymouth – 25th August 1846
To Mr Foulquier
Recently, we have read together the epistle to the Hebrews with much communion of soul and, I hope, to our profit. For myself, I have been particularly taken up with the epistle to the Ephesians, and with the position of the church as a dispensation or special object of the counsels of God, and I hope that I have profited from it – mainly in affirming my faith and the basis of this faith which stretches my knowledge.
But the position of the church has been set in relief before me in this reading.
Have you noticed that, in the consecration of the priests (in Leviticus), it was not a question of entering into the holy place, either with blood or with incense? All was outside. Moses and Aaron went in afterwards; but the consecration is not concerned with this. The goat offered for sin would have been eaten. This sets out the ostensible purpose of their priesthood as such, in contrast to the heavenly things of the church. The day of atonement was something else. I would like that you think of it. Christ, of course, occupies this double place.
Moses is Christ rejected by His brethren and risen to glory, identifying himself with his brethren, stranger and misunderstood, in returning to liberate them from their bondage. In the first case, he receives, himself exalted, his people in grace. In the second, he comes as one of them to deliver them.
There are also certain characters of the Holy Spirit during this dispensation, a character which belongs to Him: the union with the hidden Head, risen to the right hand of God, and the earnest of the glory to come.
It is evident that the Holy Spirit will be spread abroad as the Spirit of power during the thousand years, but this will no longer be the power of a life hidden with Christ in God. He will be no longer hidden. Besides, the seal and the earnest during the non-accomplishment of the promises will not have their place in those times. These are those who have hope in advance who need to be thus sealed and obtain thus the earnest, and this by a Spirit come down who links the heart to Him who has gone up.
The Spirit has, it seems to me, two characters at the end of the gospel of John, even as to His office.
- The Lord, as Mediator, obtains Him and the Father sends Him, and he acts on behalf of the Father as the Spirit of adoption and of the knowledge of the truth. He comforts and instructs the children here below.
- But also, [in chapters] 15 and 16, the Lord Christ risen on high sends Him Himself; then he takes the things of Christ and shows them to His own; and all that the Father has is [given] to the Son, that is to say that He renders testimony to the glory of the Son of man risen as being one with the Father, and finally to all His glory …
I finish, dear brother …