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beautiful and sublime, throws the soul into a gentle or severe reverie that elevates it towards the infinite. The infinite is the common limit after which the soul aspires upon the wings of imagination as well as reason, by the route of the sublime and the beautiful, as well as by that of the true and the good. The emotion that the beautiful produces turns the soul from this world; it is the beneficent emotion that Art produces for humanity."

VIII.

SIMON BAR-JONA: THE STONE AND THE ROCK.

BY MRS. T. C. PORTER.

CHAPTER III.—Concluded.

A PRECIOUS STONE.

- Sessed art the Simon Bar-Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father which is in heaven."-St. Matthew xvi. 17.

SECTION IV.

The Rejection of the Holy Ghost.

SINCE they believed not "the writings of Moses," and refused the baptism of John," what was left for them but to condemn the Son and reject the Spirit of God? With all their reasoning it never occurred to these Jews that they might be benefited by accepting baptism as a test of obedience, if nothing more; that as disobedience was the first fault of erring man, so obedience might be the first virtue required by God of returning man. Had they merely submitted to the baptism of water as an ordinance from heaven, they would have been able to receive their Messiah whom John declared it was to make manifest to Israel. But they not only rejected Jesus, and John and Moses. They discarded their much-vaunted father Abraham." By that they lost what God's covenant with him was intended to bring about— deliverance from the old sinful life of the first Adam, the law of Moses to be written in their hearts, the renewing of the Spirit that David prayed for, awakening to their lost condition as sinners by nature, and the conviction and acceptance of

their Messiah as a Saviour. They cast off Abraham himself by putting to death his promised Seed in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed!

In betraying and murdering the Christ they were "to fill up the measure of their fathers." But that measure they were to exceed by the wilful rejection of the Holy Ghost, as He proceeded from the Father, and from the Son incarnate in Jesus while He was yet unsacrificed. God was drawing very near to the Jewish people. His Son had been sent to fulfil all His gracious promises from the beginning. His Spirit was striving to make them respond to the testimony of their Messiah, which they had not misunderstood. In spite of this they were rejecting even Him; and in so doing were destroying themselves as individuals and a nation; for the Holy Ghost, as He was in Christ just before His life was actually laid down, is next to the last and highest revelation of God to man under the old dispensation. There is but one [higheras He comes from Him characterized by His actual death. That rejected, there would be no hope for them; unless Christ should come again from the dead. But this, His resurrection, is the beginning of the new dispensation. Truly, in wickedness they surpassed their fathers! For though these did "always resist the Holy Ghost," it was the Spirit of the old covenant, who came from the Father, and from the Son unincarnate, and not, as then, embodied in the living Jesus. And as they began this sin by stifling their convictions and denying the Christ, so they crowned it by calling Him who dwelt in Jesus and was the author of all His wisdom and mighty works, "the Prince of the devils"-Him, who in the first creation, "moved" or "brooded" "upon the face of the waters," at the baptism of Christ was symbolized by the gentle dove, and in the triune life of man is imaged by the guileless little child! For without the woman and the child, perfect or representative man is not complete. Man reflects the Father, woman the Son, and the child the Holy Ghost. Of all the race, only two men could stand out, solitary and alone, as the

representatives of its life whole and entire. These were the first Adam and the last Adam, its Father and its Son, the one in whom it was begun, and the one in whom it is finished.

SECTION V.

The Weakness of the First Covenant.

At these last acts of impiety the anger of God, which had burned at the murder of every prophet "from Abel to Zacharias," threatened to destroy the whole Jewish people, when the Son of David with true, royal devotion threw Himself into the breach. Then on Him, the representative of the nation and the church, God poured out the fury of His anger and the fierceness of His wrath; while to the guilty He granted the respite of almost fifty years, if so be they might, as a people, by a retrospective faith be brought to repentance and salvation. But the preaching of the apostles availed no more than that of the prophets. They still refused to believe though One had risen from the dead; and then, lest His house should be defiled by the heathen who were approaching, God moved the Roman general to overthrow the devoted city, and raze to the ground the temple, which once the symbol of a church and a religion, was now to become only a mockery and empty name. The rebels who had doomed to death their High Priest and King, He scattered, never again to become a recognized power till the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled, nor to see their Messiah till He should come as the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven, and they be able to say: "Blessed" (and not cursed) "is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD," or, which is its equivalent, in the name of Jehovah. Since Christ claimed to be such, the word "in" must here bear the force of wearing. He comes not as a delegate sent from God with a message, like the Baptist. He comes wearing the name, and with the authority of, because He is Jehovah. Heaven and earth are the attire of "God;" but the only gar

* So written, with small capitals, in Psalm cxviii. 26, from whence it is quoted.

ment by which "the LORD God" can be seen, is the person of the "Son of Man," who "came forth from God, and went to God;" and who, as such Son of Man (Jehovah) will, and is even now coming " again."

Thus was abrogated (because fulfilled and finished) the imperfect First covenant. It was condemned and set aside because it could not " make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience." That was its weakness. It could not give the guilty conscience peace; and this resulted from its being founded on the sacrifice of brute life, which is not the life of man. It lacks self-consciousness, and therefore could not waken man's self-consciousness to the evil within him, nor benefit him in any way except as he held it typical of the life of the Man to come. Those who refused to hold it thus, and persisted in sacrifices which then became unmeaning and insulting, only sank the lower toward the scale of the brute, as their conscience was deadened thereby, or the scale of the devil, as it was hardened. Through the perversion of that which God had intended should, by faith, become to them a savor of life unto life, the whole people as a church and nation had sunk into unbelief and wickedness. The natural result was their own destruction with the condemnation and death of their long-promised and longexpected Messiah.

The great First covenant was abolished through the fulfilment of its symbols in their glorious Antitype. Beginning with the first Adam, and including all the lesser covenants of Abraham, Moses and David, it ended with the last Adam, in whom it was gathered up and concluded. Then its ordinances were cast aside, but not that which constituted their strength-the law given to Moses and the commandment to our first father. These still live in His Son who fulfilled and covered them for His people with "grace and truth." The law and the gospel are married in Jesus, and in heaven the ransomed shall sing "the song of Moses and the Lamb,"-of *St. John viii. 42; xvi. 27, 28; and xvii. 8.

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