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God, however, accomplishes His counsels. But here, the power of Peter's will having been shewn to be weakness before the enemy's power, the immense blessing of suffering and even dying for the Lord is granted to him ; and that should take place, when it should no longer be a question of his will, but of submission to the power of others, there where his faithfulness should be manifested. Another should bind him, and lead him where he would not wish to go. He should die, after all, for the Lord. It is then, when there is no more will of our own, no more power, that we can follow the Lord.

Then, in terms purposely mysterious, John's ministry and work are tablished. Jesus'lambs and sheep were the Jewish believers confided to Peter. The testimony would be rejected by the nation, and end by Peter's death. But it should be different with John's testimony. Peter, who sees him also follow Jesus, asks the Lord what would happen to him. “If I will,” says the Saviour, " that he remain till I come

es

what is that to thee? Follow thou me !" He did not say, as was supposed, that he would not die, but indeed his ministry makes God's ways known to the end. All is left in

suspense

after him, until Jesus come, whilst the sphere of Peter's service has disappeared from off the earth.

Remark, too, that it is no question here of Paul's ministry. Peter had the ministry of the circumcision ; the earth was the scene of it, and the promises its object, leading at the same time saints individually to heaven. John, in revealing the Person of the Son and eternal life come down from heaven, occupies himself too with that which is upon earth, then of God's government and judgment at the Saviour's manifestation down here. Paul treats of God's counsels in Christ, and of His work, to introduce us into the same heavenly glory, like Himself before the Father, we being His brethren already down here. This is not the subject of our Gospel.

THOUGHTS ON THE PEACE

OFFERING. If we do not understand the ground on which the grace of God has put us, we shall neither be able in the experience of our souls to occupy the position which that grace assigns us, nor to act conformably therewith.

Had it been possible that a people in the flesh could have answered to the favour bestowed upon them, the position of Israel would have been

very

blessed. Redeemed out of Egypt by the blood of the passover lamb, and by the power which divided the Red Sea, Jehovah could say that He had brought them

Himself. Furthermore, they had a privilege which was accorded to no other nation, namely, that Jehovah Himself was their lawgiver. (Is. xxxiii. 22.) Thus Moses could say, "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them as Jehovah our God is in all things that we call upon Him for ? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day ?' (Deut. iv. 7, 8.) How blessedly Jehovah thus sought to bind them up with Himself, and how jealous was He in His love to them, that in all things they should be for Himself. He set His tabernacle in their midst, and they might approach Him with the offerings of willing hearts, bringing into His courts that in which they could be accepted, as in the burntoffering, and in which He also could find His own rest, as it ascended a sweet savour to Him. Then, there was the meat-offering, with its memorial for the Lord, and the remainder to be fed upon by the priestly family, and also the peace-offering, which partook of the character of the burnt-offering (in that the blood was sprinkled and the fat burned on the altar as a sweet savour to the Lord upon the burnt sacrifice), and of the meat-offering, for the priestly family had their portion in the wave-breast and heave shoulder ; added to this, the communion was complete by the offerer

having his share in the flesh of the sacrifice.

I do not dwell now upon the provision made for their need in the sin and trespass offerings, but revert to the peace offering, which had an additional feature, namely, that if an ox or lamb or goat were killed in an ordinary way, while they were in the wilderness (Lev. xvii.), so did the Lord seek to bind them up with Himself, that the slain beast must be regarded as a peace-offering, the blood sprinkled on the altar, and the fat burned as a sweet savour to the Lord. Thus, though “He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths," and also “had given them of the corn of heaven," yet also in respect of the animal they killed, it should have been with them : “He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks.”

We also have been brought to God, as a people whose status is not in the first Adam, for the Lord had looked down on the children of men for 4,000

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