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it is but preliminary to the perfect one, when they CHAP. XVII. shall get back their bodies glorified. The glorification of the body is necessary to constitute complete redemption. As he originally came forth from the hand of his Maker, man was a being of spirit and soul and body. Each alike was deteriorated by the Fall. For the spirit and soul to be perfected without the body would not be a complete redemption. Body, soul, and spirit, alike redeemed and glorified, is to be the perfect humanity of heaven. Therefore, the spirits of just men made perfect are waiting for this final perfection.
Meanwhile they live to God, they rest in Christ, till it shall please Him, having accomplished the number of his elect, to reclothe them with a body, a spiritual body, after the likeness of the body of his own glory. Then, indeed, shall they be perfected for ever. Then beholding his face in righteousness, and reflecting in their own its light and love and beauty, shall be realized in full the prophetic yearning of the Psalmist, When I wake up after thy Ps. xvii. 15. likeness I shall be satisfied with it.'
FORESHADOWINGS IN THE LAW OF THE RESTI
TUTION OF ALL THINGS.
Luke xvi. 17.
Heb. 2. 1.
CHAP. XVII. An enquiry of deep interest and moment must now
be entered upon. Are any pre-intimations of Christ's kingdom to be found in the Levitical law, that law of which with such marked emphasis our Lord declared, 'It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail'? Looking to the prophetic and prefigurative character of that law, such pre-intimations we should certainly expect to find in it, and our discussion, therefore, would be obviously incomplete without an enquiry in this direction. Nay, more, if the law is indeed, what the Epistle to the Hebrews shows it to be, 'a shadow of the good things to come,' and if we fail to discover in it any typical confirmation of the conclusions which, in the foregoing pages, we have arrived at concerning Christ's kingdom, then I am free to confess that the accuracy and soundness of those conclusions would be very seriously impugned.
In entering upon this enquiry, it is important at the outset to note the full and strong significance of our Lord's words respecting the law. Repudiating the notion, probably at that time current, that He wished to invalidate the law and the prophets, He desires his disciples not to suppose that He had CHAP. X VIII. come to bring to nought the law and the prophets; on the contrary, He had come not to destroy them but to give to them full accomplishment or realization. Then, by way of solemn asseveration on the point, He adds, 'For verily I say unto you, till Matt. v. 17, 18. heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law until that all shall be brought to pass.' No language could be stronger or more decisive than this, and nothing can be clearer than that every part of the law, however minute, was in some way or other, at some time or other, to have realization.
Now, although a considerable portion of the law, as shown in the Epistle to the Hebrews, has already had fulfilment in the sacrificial death of Christ, and in his entering into the holy place of the upper sanctuary, there to make intercession for us, still it is quite evident that much of it has not yet found complete realization. Indeed, it is with the law as with the prophets. While of these so many predictions have been fulfilled in the first coming of the Lord, and in the setting up of his kingdom, yet very many await their accomplishment at his second coming, and in future developments of that kingdom. So, in like manner, not a few of the types and symbols of the law, not having as yet been realized, or only partially so, remain to be fulfilled in the ages to come, to which, indeed, they refer, and of which they are adumbrations. Take, Lev. xxiii. 10, 11. for instance, the law of the Firstfruits, in accordance with which a sheaf of the ears of corn was presented to the Lord before the gathering in of
1 Cor. xi. 20.
James i. 18.
CHAP. XVIII. the crop. Now the immediate significance of this
act was that by it, in the first place, the Israelites
But each in his own order or troop; Christ the CHAP. XVIII. firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his 1 Cor. xv. 23, 24. coming,' after which cometh the end, when all things are to be made subject to God. The saved ones of this era of Christ's kingdom, those who shall be found in Him at his second coming, are themselves firstfruits, and as such earnests and pledges of a harvest of salvation after and beyond themselves. And it is very interesting to notice that the law. speaks of a double firstfruits; the one Lev. xxiii. 10, 11. a handful of ears waved before the Lord at the Passover, on the morrow after the Sabbath after Lev. xxiii. 15–17. the Passover; the other a meat offering, consisting of leavened cakes, presented on the morrow after the Sabbath after the Pentecost. Both these offerings are in the law distinctly called firstfruits, though they are distinguished by a separate name, the one being called Rasheth, i.e., the beginning, or Rasheth Bicourim, i.e., the first of the firstfruits, Exod. xxiii. 19. the other Bicourim. How exactly to this correspond those expressions in the New Testament, 'Christ the firstfruits' (the first of the firstfruits), and 'We a kind of firstfruits ;' Christ'the Col. i. 18. beginning, the first-born from the dead,' and his Rev. i. 5. leavened ones 'the Church of the first-born.'
And surely in all this there is blessed foreshadowing of the ultimate ingathering of all souls into the kingdom of the Redeemer. Upon this type St. Paul builds the hope and assurance of the conversion and restoration of all Israel. From the salvation of the elect, he argues, to the eventual salvation of all. 'If,' he says, 'the firstfruit be holy,' an offering devoted to and accepted of God,
Heb. xii. 23.