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Divine Knowledge.

Divine Knowledge.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. FRANCIS GOODE, M. A.


Hebrews viii. 11. — ^And they shall not teach^ every man his neigh-
bour ^ and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ,- for all
shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
BY REV. FRANCIS GOODE, M. A.


Hebrews viii. 11. — ^And they shall not teach^ every man his neigh-
bour ^ and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ,- for all
shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

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Published by: glennpease on May 27, 2013
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DIVIE KOWLEDGE.BY REV. FRACIS GOODE, M. A.Hebrews viii. 11. — ^And they shall not teach^ every man his neigh-bour ^ and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord ,- for allshall know me, from the least to the greatest.Ever since the days of Isaiah has the promise beengiven to the church of God, with special reference tothe latter, or gospel times, "All thy children shall betaught of the Lord;'' (Isa. liv. 13;) shall be "theLord's scholars." (Compare Isa. viii. 16.) The sub- ject matter of this teaching is God himself ; or, whichis the same thing, Christ, the revelation of God, glo-rious in goodness and grace to redeemed sinners. Thisis clear from Christ's own reasoning on the promise withthe Jews, (John vi. 45,) where he shows the effect of this teaching in leading sinners to himself. " It iswritten in the prophets. And they shall be all taughtof God: every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hathlearned of the Father, cometh unto me."In the words of the text, we have this gracious pro-mise renewed to the church, and formally imbodied inthe gospel covenant, as necessary to its fulness of spiritual blessings. To the promises of divine renewaland divine relationship, which we have before treated,210DIVIE KOWLEDGE. 211is added that of divine enlightening^ — the gift of that " Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledgeof God/' which the apostle so fervently desires, andprays for, on behalf of his Ephesian converts. (Eph. i.17.) But the -words under review are yet more fulland definite. God evidently promises, in them, thebestowal of a knowledge of himself, that should beincomparably superior to any that was before enjoyed.We may mark the superiority of this knowledge of God, under the gospel, in three principal particulars: — 
 
1. In the degree of it.2. In the extent of its bestowal.3. In the mode of its communication.It is superior in its degree. The knowledge of Godenjoyed under the old dispensation, was either thatimmediately conveyed by it, or that imparted to thesaints, independent of it, in virtue of the promise toAbraham, which (we need hardly now repeat) was thegospel covenant, in embryo. The light afforded bythe old covenant itself will scarcely bear a moment'scomparison with that which shines forth under thegospel. It was as moonlight to the meridian day :borrowing all its lustre from the Sun of righteousness,ere he had risen upon a dark world, and presenting afaint reflection of his glory. Such were its institutions :its paschal lamb, and other sacrifices : its meats, anddrinks, and divers washings: its temple, with the holyof holies, and the ark of the covenant, and the cherubimof glory shadowing the merc3^-seat ; all these were"patterns of things in the heavens ;" t3''pes and sym-bols of divine mysteries ; chiefly, of the person andwork of Christ. Believers under the gospel can see, in212 DlVUifE KOWLEDGE.these, an exact and beautiful representation given, bythe wisdom of God, of the good things that were, then,to come. But, before the actual incarnation of thepromised Messiah, they were, very much, as an allegorical painting without a key to it ; — a mystery, of the real meaning of which, the best instructed amongthe Jews had but little accurate perception. Theirknowledge was, at the best, but shadowy: ours real andsubstantial. Christ, the truth of all the types andfigures of the law, is come ; and, in him, this word isindeed fulfilled, "They shall know me." (See p. 34.)But consider, again, the knowledge of God whichwas enjoyed by the saints, independent of the covenantunder which they were, as a part of the Jewish nation.The law could not disannul the promise previouslygiven to Abraham ; and by it, all his spiritual seed,then as well as now, enjoyed, in their measure, the
 
blessings of the covenant of grace. Moses, Samuel,David, and many other, under the old dispensation,had real, spiritual acquaintance with God, in an extra-ordinary degree. They walked with him in a nearnessof holy fellowship, to which, in these days, we canfind but few parallels : witnesses for God how easilyhis Spirit can compensate for scantiness of outwardrevelation ; and how unavailing, without his influences,is all external knowledge of divine mysteries. Still, if we compare their knowledge of God with that pos-sessed under the gospel, its immense inferiority isapparent on the most superficial consideration of itThat word of our Lord is made good : " Many prophetsand righteous men have desired to see those thingswhich ye see, and have not seen them; and to hearDIVIE KOWLEDGE. 213those things which ye hear, and have not heardthemPThe mystery, for instance, of a trinity of personsin the unity of the Godhead, may be most clearly andsatisfactorily collected from the Old Testament, andwas, doubtless, part of the faith of the ancient church.But, in the revelation of Jesus Christ, this truth standsout with a prominence and importance whiclf com-pletely throw into the shade all discovery of it pre-vious to his appearing in the flesh. There is not ahope which the Christian has, but is essentially inter-woven with this fundamental truth of the divine nature.Further, the character of God was known, in all itsimportant features, by the Old Testament saints. Theyknew, and adored, his infinite holiness, his unalterabletruth, his unbending justice, his immeasurable com-passions. So God revealed himself to Moses, (Ex.xxxiv. 6,) "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful andgracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness andtruth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity,and transgression, and sin, and that will by no meansclear the guilty." Compare Jer. xxx. 11; ab. i. 3.}This is clearly God's glory, (a just God and a Saviour,)as it is revealed in Christ, who on this occasion madehimself known to Moses : and so some understandthose words of the angel Jehovah to him, (Ex. xxxiii.

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