The Gospel in Genesis - Henry Law - ebook
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Henry Law was Dean of Gloucester from 1862 until his death in 1884. He is especially known for his work entitled "Christ is All: The Gospel in the Pentateuch", which surveys typologies of Christ in the first five books of the Old Testament. It was originally published in 1867. This is part one, dealing with the types in Genesis.

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The Gospel in Genesis

 

HENRY LAW

 

 

 

 

 

The Gospel in Genesis, H. Law

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9

Deutschland

 

ISBN: 9783849650995

 

www.jazzybee-verlag.de

[email protected]

 

Cover Design: based on an artwork by Toby Hudson - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27897824

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS:

 

Preface. 1

Light3

Adam... 7

The Heavenly Bridegroom... 11

The Seed Of The Woman. 15

The Serpent's Head Bruised. 19

The Guilty Clothed. 23

The More Excellent Sacrifice. 27

The Consolation. 31

The Ark. 35

The Altar39

The Sweet Savor43

The Rainbow In The Clouds. 47

The Blessing. 51

Melchizedek. 55

The Shield. 59

The Exceeding Great Reward. 63

The Covenant67

Jehovah-Jireh. 71

The Ladder75

Peniel79

Numbered With The Transgressors83

The Storehouses Opened. 87

Shiloh. 91

Salvation. 95

PREFACE

 

The object of these pages is simple, clear, holy. It is to arouse attention to the blessed truth, that Christ pervades all Scripture, as salt all waters of the sea, as light the brightest day, as fragrance the garden of choice flowers.

To see this is my prime delight. To testify it is my happiest duty. Devoted loyalty to Him who is the first and last, the sum and substance of all Scripture, impels me. Earnest zeal for the undying souls of men constrains me. I know, and am intensely persuaded, that all peace, all joy, all salvation, are in Jesus. My eyes are widely open to the fact that men are blessed, and are blessings, just in proportion as they live, ever gazing on Christ, ever listening to His voice.

Shame, then, and guilt and woe would be my portion, if I should leave any effort untried to unfold His glorious image. Let me rather use every power of life and pen to magnify and exalt Him—to beseech men to ponder Him—to search for Him—to receive Him—to love Him—to follow Him—to serve Him—to commend Him—to live in Him, and through Him, and for Him. I would thus strive, the Spirit helping, to assail and melt and conquer hearts, that Christ may there be enthroned, in all His rightful majesty, a beloved and adored Lord.

There can be no excess in the faith and love and adoration and obedience of the only Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords! Has there ever lived the saint, whose moan it has not been, that, always striving to learn, he still was miserably ignorant in the full purpose of the Bible? What is there comparable to the profit of this knowledge? It is helpful to men in everything, hurtful in nothing. Whatever be the station or employment, if the duties are performed with loving eye intent on Jesus, with mind rejoicing in His discovery, with heart luxuriating in His riches, then toil will be no toil, because of the constant refreshment.

Who will deny that the happiest man on earth is he who is most enriched with enlightened views of Christ, and acts out most devotedly this faith? He lives at heaven's high gate. He holds close communion with Him, through whom his transgressions are forgiven, his sins are covered, his person accepted, his soul saved. He knows in whom he believes. He discerns the glories of His person, the redeeming worth of His wounds, the ransoming efficacy of the pierced hands and feet, the sheltering shadow of the cross. He reads the assuring language of Calvary. He sees his name written on the God-man's heart. To him the morning sweetly dawns, because it awakens to the renewed light of Jesus' grace. To him the day gladly speeds on, because its advance is progress in divine instruction. To him the night is calm repose, because he rests on the pillow of atoning love. The darkest cloud is fringed with rays of joy, while he meditates on salvation's Lord, and all events drop gladness. Can I know this, and not beseech men to make Christ their All?

Until this is truly done, how dreary is the present state, and the future prospect! Without Christ, religion is a sunless sky; public service a casket without the jewel; life is a dreary passage to a dreadful end; the home is no abode of peace; the family has no strong bond of lasting love; the trade yields no returns of worthy profit; death is a downfall into the unfathomable abyss; eternity is a prolongation of unutterable woe.

Without Christ, prosperity is an adverse tide, and adversity is a foreshadowing of deeper misery. Birth is no benefit, if Christ is never born within. Life is no gain, except to live is Christ. Without Christ, God is an adversary; Scripture sounds condemnation; and Satan is waiting for his victim, which his prison-house is ready to receive. Can I know this, and not beseech men to make Christ their All?

We live, too, in days when countless fallacies court men in garb of truth. How shall we meet, expose, expel them? Wisdom is needed, for theological error is shrewd and bold. It often is opposed by error, and then victory leaves darkness more dark. The conquering champion's panoply is full intelligence of Christ. Christ is the sword, before which Roman frauds and novel sophistries fall low. He is the shield which guards the heart from all the poisoned arrows of the deceiving and deceived. In Him there is reply for every error's every wile. Christ truly seen is an impregnable fort. Christ well applied smashes all falsehood's weapons. He is God's wisdom in the highest. The man is safe on wisdom's high ground who is well versed in Him.

Therefore my desire in these pages is to turn minds to clear discoveries of the Lord Jesus. The Father's eye moves not from Him. The Spirit never wearies to reveal Him. Angelicintellect pants to dive more into His depths. The saints in light find Him increase of everlasting light. May the unfolding Spirit help each reader to glean more in the golden field of Scripture; and may the Pentateuch be found a boundless treasury of Christ!

 

 

LIGHT

 

"God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3

The speaker is God. The time is before time was. The word is omnipotence. The result is the grandest of gifts. Darkness heard and vanished. "God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

Reader, strive to imagine the scene, when this first voice called this first blessing into being. This world of full delights was then one huge mass of unarranged material. It had no form, and therefore it had no beauty. It was vacancy, and vacancy lacks all that pleases. It would have been cheerless, even if robed in cheering light. But impenetrable night shrouded the lifeless void.

From this crude quarry, however, the home of man is to be built. This waste is to be peopled with beings, whose age is immortality. It is to be the field, from which heaven's garner shall be stored. Therefore, deformity must assume form; disorder must melt into order; shapelessness must be shaped into loveliness.

How shall this be done? God had but to will, and in one instant creation arises in full-blown perfection. But it is not so. He works by gradual process. He works. Let us hence learn the wisdom and the need of effort. He works by gradual process. This teaches, that patient diligence is the path to all well-doing.

But what is the first wonder, which steps forth to usher in the train of harmony and grace? It is LIGHT. Do you ask what is the chamber of its birth? and what the art, by which it is composed? The reply is, "God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

To know more is impossible. And it is impossible, just because more knowledge would neither tend to profit nor to good. There are, however, truths linked with light, which are open to our earnest search. It is a casket rich in Gospel jewels. In its fair form we see the fairer features of the Lord of light. The Holy Spirit—no doubtful guide—proclaims, "That was the true light, which lights every man, which comes into the world." Jesus, too, exalts it as His emblem, when He instructs, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." The prophet, too, gazing on the rays of Christ, sings, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light." The apostle, intent on Jesus, exhorts, "Show forth the praises of Him, who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." We should close our eyes, then, on the high purposes of light, if we failed to trace therein the transcendent beauties of salvation's Dayspring.

Light is pure. In it there neither is, nor can be, mixture or pollution. Its property repels defilement. It traverses unstained each medium of uncleanness. Snow is brilliant; no whiteness can surpass it. But man's step mars it. Water sparkles brightly from its spring. Man's hand can soil it. But none can make light's purity less pure. Such is Christ. When man on earth, He was as pure as God in heaven. He passed through a world of sin, as a sunbeam through the vilest hovel. He took indeed sin's form, that He might bear sin's due: but He never knew sin's stain. In Bethlehem's manger He was the holy Child. He returned to heaven in holy triumph, as the holy Conqueror.

Reader, study much the essential holiness of Jesus. It is one of the anchors of our Gospel-hope. He must be as holy as God is holy, or He cannot mediate with God for us. If but a shadow of a sinful shade be on Him, atonement is needed for Himself: then He must save Himself: and we are left unsaved. But Jesus is all-sufficient to redeem us, because He is Jehovah's co-holy fellow.

Study it, too, as the model of the new-born soul. Salvation is conformity to His image, "He that has this hope in Him, purifies himself, even as He is pure."

Light is bright. Indeed, what is brightness but light's clear shining? The day is bright, when no clouds hide the sun. The prospect is bright, which reflects unnumbered rays. The hope is bright, which glitters free of foreboding gloom. Such is Christ. He is "the brightness of His Father's glory." He embodies, as in one constellation, every Divine perfection. He shines, the midday splendor of Jehovah's attributes. That time is the brightest time, in which the Lord is nearest. That page is the brightest page, in which most of Christ is found. That sermon is the brightest sermon, in which most of Christ is heard. That life is the brightest life, in which most of Christ is seen.

Light is lovely. Beauty cannot live without it. Exclude it, and every charm would hang a blighted head; the sun would fade, and color be extinct. Such is Christ. It is a true record, "You are fairer than the children of men"—"the chief among ten thousand—and altogether lovely." What fullness of beauty is in that person, who is both God and man! what harmony of grace is in that work, which joins God to man! what charms are in those precious Scriptures, which show His worth! To see His varied excellence is heaven begun. The sight makes earth a blank, and all its glories but a withered flower. Just, too, as lovely light makes lovely, so Christ decks all on whom His beams descend. He beautifies the meek with salvation.

Light is free. The wealth of the wealthy cannot purchase it. The skill of the skillful cannot frame it. The labors of the laborious cannot earn it. The poverty of the poor cannot debar from it. Wherever it comes, it flies on freedom's wings. It gilds the hall, unbribed by price. It illumines the hut, unbought by toil. Such is Christ.

Sinner, do you crave this precious treasure? Open the casement of the heart, and it is yours. "Come, buy wine and milk, without money and without price." Waste not then time in seeking a price for Him, compared with whom an angel's worth is nothing worth. All your fancied merits are only demerit. You best is sin, and will you offer sin for Christ? Plead misery and take mercy. Bewail darkness and He will give you light. All who bask in His joyous rays, are one in this testimony. Each sings, My treasure is a free-grace gift: He loved me, because He would love me: He called me, because He would call me: He blessed me, because He would bless me: He saved me, because He would save me: He shone into my soul, because He would shine. When I was darkness, He said, "Let there be light: and there was light," and the light was Himself.

Light is all-revealing. So long as darkness casts its mantle round, we move unconscious amid foes and mire. A pit gapes at our feet; an arrow is ready on the murderer's bow; each touch is a stain; but we are heedless of our woe. Let the light dawn, then ruin and uncleanness stare us in the face. Such is Christ. By His rays, SIN is detected, as lurking in every corner of the heart; and the WORLD, which we so fondled, is unmasked, as a monster, whose embrace is filth, and in whose hand is the cup of death.

Reader, do you discern the defilement of sin, and the poison baits of the world? If not, light has not visited your conscience. Christ is not in your heart. In the lament of faith there is always this note, "Behold, I am black." In its mouth there is always this cry, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

But as the sun is seen by its own light, so Christ reveals not perils only, but HIMSELF. He shows His cross—the glorious proof of boundless love. He shows His blood—the precious payment of all debts. He discloses the treasures of His word. Then testimonies, and promises, and endearing calls, and soothing notes of comfort, spring into brilliant life, as beauties in the sun-lit landscape. He draws back the curtains of His heavens, and we see a reconciled God, and catch the glimpses of a weight of glory.

Light is the parent of fruitfulness. Regions, which the sun rarely cheers, are barren wastes. In shade, vegetation languishes; and trees droop. Perpetual winter is perpetual desolation. But mark the change, if genial warmth returns. The garden, the vineyard, the fields are soon clothed with fragrant and luxuriant plenty. Such is Christ. In His absence the heart is profuse with every weed, and every noxious berry. But when His gleams enliven, the seeds of grace bud forth, the tree of faith pours down its golden fruit.

Light is the chariot, which conveys heat. Without it, earth congeals into a rocky pavement. Our soil would be adamant, if our skies were black. So the heart without Christ is ice. But when He enters, a glow is kindled, which can never die. Love burns and blazes in every chamber of the inner man. This is the spark, which flares to heroism in the faithful minister and the toiling missionary.Christ seen and loved is warmth to the heart. Warmth in the heart is fire in the lips. Fire in the lips is a flame in the hearers. Thus hardened congregations melt into a flood of holy zeal.

Light, too, is the harbinger of joy. For three days Egypt was all blackness: sight failed and motion ceased. It was a dreary time. In Paul's tempestuous voyage, for many days neither sun nor stars appeared. It was a dreary time. But far more dreary is the Christless soul. Not until He lifts up His countenance can the happy morn begin, which has no night. Present light, however, is but the morning-star of coming glory. Here on earth, mists will sometimes rise. Heaven is a cloudless God. Then in bodies of light, and robes of light, the redeemed sit down in a city of light, "which has no need of the sun neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of the Lord does light it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."

Reader, are you journeying from light to light? Be not deceived. There is the candle of REASON. This guides to no haven. There are the many false lights of error. They delude to rocks, and quicksands, and whirlpools of destruction. Vain meteors glare from many pulpits, and in many books. The self-pleased votaries of forms and superstitions are dazzled by the tinsel of a fictitious cross. Beware! there is but one sun in the skies. So there is but one Christ in the Bible—one Christ of the Spirit—one Christ of the Father—one Christ of the saved.

I ask again, 'Has your darkness passed away?' It is so, if you see this one Sun of Righteousness, and hate sin, and crucify the flesh, and trample on the world. It is so, if you rejoice in His beams, thirsting for clearer knowledge, and a brighter path. But, perhaps, you love darkness rather than light, because your deeds are evil. Ah! think how fearful is the broad road! It goes straight down into the abyss, which is outer darkness, and where is weeping and gnashing of teeth for ever. Stop, I beseech you. Will you not turn to "the true light?"

Believer, you see the sunny spot, which is your home. In your full joy, remember, that this garden of the Lord is a place of work, and not of sleep. Your light is come, that you may arise and shine. You are light, that others may be light through you. Say not, 'it is not mine to create or to confer light.' True; but it is yours to reflect it. The planet casts back rays. The mirror returns the image. The Christian shows forth Christ. Say not, 'I move among the blind.' True; but your Sun gives sight as well as light. You saw nothing, until He said, See. Give Him no rest, until in your family, in your neighborhood, in your country, throughout the world, His voice be heard, Let there be sight; and there will be sight—Let there be light; and there will be light.

 

 

ADAM

 

"The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." Genesis 2:7

The life of Adam is but a brief page. But each line supplies a volume larger than the books of human mind. We find in it the key of all, which amazes us in that marvel—Man. The countless now on earth—the countless in unutterable bliss—the countless in eternal woe—all hang on him as the parent-tree of being. All, who shall yet be born to shine in heaven or to burn in hell, must flow as streams from this fountainhead.

When we go back to the birth of him, we naturally ask, of what material is the work? Pride would conclude that no lowly quarry could produce such a frame. But pride must lie low before the unerring word, "Dust you are." Ponder this first truth. The mightiest monarch—and the Lazarus at his gate—are one in base original. The common parentage is that ofworms. The flesh of each is but the filth, which our feet scorn. Who, then, will boast of beauty or of strength? There is a voice in dust, which mocks such pitiable folly.

But man is more than a shell of clay. The lowly case holds a matchless jewel. God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and he became a living soul." The flesh is of the earth and earthy. The spirit is from on high and heavenly. One is the clog of matter. The other is a ray from God. One soon crumbles back to vileness. The other is a deathless principle. One sinks as to the level of the beasts. The other gives the wings of immortality. Reader! you cannot think too highly of the soul. It cannot cease to be. Age after age imprints no wrinkle on it. It neither withers nor decays. Its time is timeless. Its death is never.

Thus man was formed. A lovely garden was the palace of creation's lord. Fragrance and fruit charmed and refreshed each sense. Converse with God was the soul's easy flow. To live was unalloyed delight. The smile of innocence met the smile of heaven. The heart was only love—the worship only praise. But man was a creature, and a creature must obey. In heaven the angels do their Maker's bidding. God cannot be, except on a throne of rule. But obedience shall be no heavy yoke. Only one command is issued—only one tree forbidden. To transgress is death. "In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die." Who can hear this penalty, and think that sin is a trivial fault—easily to be pardoned—soon to be effaced? No! the slightest sin is the soul in open rebellion. It casts God from the heart. It strives to tread Him in the dust. It avows the godless principle of independence. It proves that self has erected the idol of self-love.

Can God then merely ignore evil? Ah, no! The whole of Deity abhors it! Therefore, to transgress is death. Such is the penalty. But who can fathom the depths of misery in this curse? It involves the instant withdrawal of heavenly presence. It denounces withering to the core of every spiritual faculty and perception. It warns, that to rebel is to become death-stricken in body, and dead in soul. It shows that sin's proper home is the eternal gnawings of accusing conscience, and eternal tossings on the bed of wrath.

We now approach earth's darkest day. The tempter comes. We reason not with those who ask if this might not have been averted. We see that piety untried is piety uncertain. With subtlety the snare is laid. Evil suggestion is presented. The first lie is muttered. Our parents pause to listen. Will they yield? Can they touch and taste? Alas! a perfect man is but a tottering reed. The one command is broken. Sin enters. Innocence expires. The life of God is extinguished in the soul. Adam hangs down his head, fallen and guilty, in a cursed and doomed earth!

It becomes us to consider well the miseries of this foul deed. It is the clue of all the dark confusion, which perplexes us without, and humbles us within. The universe moves not on the pivot of right order. The brier, the thorn, the hard toil tell of a cursed soil. The storm, the hurricane, the earthquake, the blight, the pestilence, proclaim, that displeasure frowns from heaven. All things, by tending to decay, show, that death wields an unrelenting scepter. The tears, the sighs, the groans, and all the train of sorrows, which follow in the rear of pain and bereavement, evidence that an angry God deals angrily. But this is not all. The bitterest curse fell on the heart. Alas! what a wilderness is it of hateful weeds! We read, and conscience echoes, it is true—"Every imagination of man's heart is only evil continually." "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that understand and seek God. They are all gone aside—they are altogether become filthy. There is none that does good, no, not one." The mind is vain—the understanding darkened—ignorance sits as guide—right feeling has fled. The creature is worshiped and served more than the Creator. The faithful Witness states it. All experiences confirm it. The records of the fall explain it. All woe came hand in hand with sin!

"In Adam all die." Reader! next mark, how it is, that all our race had a share in the first sin. Adam stood before God, not as an isolated being, but as a common person. All generations were in his loins. The whole family of man were wrapped in that casket. As one seed holds a forest; so all nations of all ages were involved in this one head. As all rays are in one sun; so all descendants were in this common stock. Thus Adam's act affects each child born, as taint in the spring is taint in each issuing drop. It follows, then, that in him we break the Covenant of Works. We sin in his sin. We offend in his offence. We transgress in his transgression. We are guilty in his guilt. In him we depart from God. In him we enter the cells of wrath. In him we put on the prison-garb of condemnation. In him we receive the heritage of curse. Will pride, which finds all elements of good in self, deride this statement? Let it first show why infants die—and why the first thoughts are buds of evil. There is no better proof of nature's blindness, than such wallowings in the mists and mire of unscriptural conceit.

To this point, our view of Adam has been a cloud—gloomy, and scattering gloom. But look again. There are bright rays behind. As we mourn, the Spirit flies on wings of love to change the scene. Sweet voices cry, Adam "is the figure of Him who was to come!" "The first man Adam was made a living soul. The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit." "The first man is of the earth earthy. The second man is the Lord from heaven." "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Blessed tidings!—blessed privilege to trace the likeness! May the Spirit help us now to look off from the sin-bringing to the sin-bearing Adam!

Is Adam the parent of the whole family of nature? So Christ is the parent of the whole family of grace. It is written, "He shall see His seed." "A seed shall serve Him." He is "the everlasting Father." As Adam is the stock of corruption and of death; so Christ creates anew to righteousness and life. He is a quickening Spirit. As those who are born after the flesh are flesh; so those who are thus born again are spirit. Their powers, and faculties, and perceptions are as light from darkness. Once they were a mass of death. Now they have ears to hear His call—and eyes to see His beauty—and mouths to worship God and sing His praise—and hands to cling to the cross—and feet to mount the hill of Zion. Once their hearts were stone—now every pulse is love. Once their taste was low and sordid as the earth—now they are high and pure as heaven. The best of books is their sweet pastime. The best of themes is their happy converse. New desires and sentiments prove that they are newborn. Such is the happy progeny of grace. They sit in harmony around the table of Christ, and adore Him as the author of their being, and their joy. Thus in Christ's garden, plants are made fit for the Paradise above—as in Adam's wasteland, weeds blacken for the burning.

But the contrast extends. Adam falls, and in him the world is cast down. Christ stands, and in Him all His seed lift up the head. He appears in flesh the common Head of His adopted ones. As such, He strides in triumph over every assault of Satan. As such, He moves in one unbroken, perfect course of pure and perfect love. God's fullest will is the one movement of His heart. His every member shares the victory and is righteous in the Righteousness. Thus each true believer boasts, "In the Lord I have righteousness," and knocks at heaven's gate with the unanswerable plea. In Christ, my law-fulfilling surety, I bring the Righteousness of God. Great was the loss in Adam; but far greater is the gain in Christ!

So likewise, as a common person, Jesus hangs upon the cross. In Him His people suffer unto death. In Him they exhaust the cup of wrath. In Him they taste the bitter pains, which sin deserved. In Him they pay the uttermost farthing into the scales of justice. In Him they endure, until each attribute of God requires no more. Thus each child of faith exclaims, with adoring praise, "I am crucified with Christ." Who can lay anything to the charge of one, who in Christ is discharged of all? In Adam we merit all wrath. In Christ we undergo it. Christ rises from the dead. The icy bands cannot detain Him. But still He holds His people in Himself. In Him each sees a pledge of that resurrection-morn, in which this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and death shall be swallowed up in victory. In Adam we crumble in the grave. In Christ we find it the gate of life. In Adam we lie down in beds of darkness. In Christ we put on light as our robe forever.

The work of redemption being ended, Jesus returns on high. Does He ascend disconnected from His members? Can the Head live apart? No! In Him they enter in and take their seats before the throne of God. It is not written without meaning or without truth—"He has raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." Every seat has been prepared from everlasting ages; and in the view of God no seat is vacant. Do you say this is a mystery? It is! But it is true as deep. And it is revealed for the believer's comfort. For what comfort like assurance of oneness with our Lord in all which He has done, and is now doing? It is, too, the seed of holiness; for who can dwell in spirit amid heaven's glories, and touch the debasing vanities of earth?