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Showers on the Grass: Chapter 2 - Romans 8:19-22

By J.G. Bellet

      Look with me, beloved sister, at Romans 8: 19-22. "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."

      There is a propriety in the creation waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, because the "earth hath he given to the children of men." And thus creation travels her history with them. In their innocency creation was blest, in their transgression it was cursed, and so again it is when they are manifestedly glorified, creation will be delivered into the glorious liberty with them. The Church has the same connection with her Head. In this world, where He was rejected, she finds no place, but when He appears, they also shall appear with Him in glory. His ways determine those of the Church or saints. Man's ways or state determines creation's.

      I do not judge that this "manifestation of the sons of God" will take place at the opening of the millennium, but at the close.[?] There will be something of it in the land of Judea then, but not throughout creation. The Church will be in some sense manifested in glory over Jerusalem all through the millennial age. The golden city will descend and take her millennial place in the air above the earthly city of the Great King. And, in that measure, creation will rejoice. That is, "nothing shall hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain." The glory resting there, the corresponding glorious liberty of creation, will be known there. But the whole creation will not, I judge, be called into such liberty till a fuller and more universal manifestation of the sons of God takes place, in the new heavens and new earth. The liberty of creation will be commensurate with the manifestation of the sons. When the heavens are new, the earth will be new. When the morning stars shine, as it were, throughout the hemispheres, and not merely in the skies of Judea, then creation will enter into her complete rest in glory. And Judea in the millennium will thus be a sample of the new earth that is to be afterwards.

      And I see a great beauty and fitness in Paul's looking out to the last and wider manifestation. The Jewish prophet, when anticipating for a moment "the new heavens and the new earth," could at once turn to Israel and say, "For, behold I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." (Isaiah 65: 17, 18.) And again: "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain." (Isaiah 66: 22.)

      It was duly the way of the Spirit rather to contract the vision then and fix it on the land of the people whom He was addressing.

      But Paul was not the prophet of Israel, but of creation, being the apostle of the Gentiles, and therefore he at once enlarges the vision, and passes by that subordinate and previous exhibition of "glorious liberty" which Jerusalem and the land of the Jewish prophet was to rejoice in, looking outward and onward to the manifestation of the sons of God in the eye of the whole creation.

      Farewell, my dear sister; your poor body feels the pressure, but the Lord is under the load with you. There is a helper of infirmities. May His comforts refresh your soul.

      LETTER 4.

      January 16, 1841.

      It is a small thing to say, my dear sister, that I have my little visits to you in sweet remembrance, when we used to speak together of that blessed One who had united us. Bad it is that the heart should ever be dull and cold--but oh, its stupidity, its lifelessness, its distance from the atmosphere of the Canticles, is known and felt every day; the shallowness and narrowness of the flowings of the Spirit through us are well understood in the secret of the soul within us. I am not sure that we have not been a little hasty after knowledge, and the soul in its search has not been given space to pour itself out over the word with sufficient desire. Better to break the heart over one truth than get many truths in the mind. But you, beloved sister, may not be so sensitive of this as I am. Your retirement has its privations, but it has its many holy advantages also. But, indeed, we know also the high blessedness of speaking of the precious word of God, and were it not for the contendings of wretched carnal affection, the joy of such occupation would be unmixed. But oh, the vanity, the strife, the disorder, that the flesh casts up! May the Lord be with you, my dear sister, and so plead with the pains of nature as to give you more ease. The bigger the cloud swelled over Job--though he judged it big with rain, and wind, and lightning--it was only the fuller of blessing for him at last, for the flocks that were scattered by it were replaced with larger, and the children who were slain by it were succeeded by fairer ones. And instead of being habituated to look at God as at the source of human sorrows, should we not the rather remember the griefs of Jesus over them, and in these griefs and tears see the divine mind, while contemplating such a scene of travail in pain as this whole creation is?

      I have considered some of the scriptures, dear sister. The Lord keep us that our growth in knowledge may be healthful. In many souls I believe knowledge is doing mischief rather than good.

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See Also:
   Chapter 1 - The Law and the Gospel
   Chapter 2 - Romans 8:19-22
   Chapter 3 - 1 Samuel 1 - 7
   Chapter 4 - Genesis 49, and Deut. 33
   Chapter 5 - John 3
   Chapter 6 - Jacob at Peniel
   Chapter 7 - The Case Of Job
   Chapter 8 - Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:10-12
   Chapter 9 - 1 Corinthians 11:3-16
   Chapter 10 - The Woman in the Crowd, Mark 5
   Chapter 11 - Patronage
   Chapter 12 - Divine Intimacy
   Chapter 13 - Election
   Chapter 14 - Redemption
   Chapter 15 - Genesis 1 - 47


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