THE PROMISES TO ABRAHAM CONCERNING THE EARTH AND MAN
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1)
I am the Lord, I change not. (Mal 3:6)
In the beginning was the Word, the Word became flesh (John 1:1)
IN the minds of most people religion is associated with the emotions rather than with reason, so that religion and logic are often regarded as incompatible terms. That religion does appeal to the emotions is true, for among its fundamental ideas are the love of God for the world, Christ's love for His church, and the believers' love for God, for Christ, and for each other. Love is an emotion, so that religion and emotion are closely connected. On the other hand, so far as religion has to do with the purpose of God concerning the earth and man, and the means whereby that purpose will be accomplished, a logical principle is clearly to be discerned.
The three quotations given above furnish a basis for a logical consideration of the subject; they will be dealt with in order; each will be found to furnish a suitable introduction to the matters discussed.
The first states that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". The act of creation thus described was the first step towards the realization of God's purpose concerning the earth and man.
"The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork" (PSA 19:1). So wrote a Psalmist some three thousand years ago. It was the appearance of the heavens by day that moved him to utter the words, for he goes on to speak of the sun taking its daily course through the heavens.
In another Psalm he gives the night view, saying, "When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him"? (PSA 8:3-4)
Whatever conception the Psalmist may have had of the heavens as he viewed them, the conception which they suggest today is even more impressive. Modern ideas about them have grown enormously. Astronomers have enlarged man's conception of the universe to an amazing, almost an incredible extent. They tell of millions of stars, scattered like dust through the infinities of space; some so large that our earth is a mere pygmy beside them. Yet among all these millions of stars the earth is said by some to be the only one on which life as it exists among men can have a place. This is not the view of all astronomers, but practically all agree that at the most it is only one of a few. Whichever view may be correct, it involves ideas that invite careful attention. It has been written, "In all probability, life as found on the earth is not and could not be, found on any other planet of the solar system, or indeed, anywhere else in the universe". This opinion, though not universally accepted, is generally thought to be in accordance with the truth. The fact is significant; it suggests that there must have been something particular about the earth when, in the beginning, it was created by God. It implies that our earth is, relatively or absolutely, unique, and that supplies a basis for what it is intended to say about God's purpose concerning it.
"In the beginning God created - the earth." Presumably all who read these words believe in God, so there will be no necessity to enforce the idea that in thus creating this comparatively small orb in a vast universe, with its unique possibilities, God had some particular purpose in view. What was that purpose? A prophet supplies the answer: "Thus saith the Lord, that created the heavens: God himself that formed the earth and made it; - He created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited. (ISA 45:18)
He formed it to be inhabited ! Perhaps it will be said that the fact that men live upon the earth answers the requirements of this statement, and that God's object in its creation was to supply a place where men might undergo a probation to fit them for life in some other sphere. There are, however, other statements which make such an idea impossible. Another prophet has said, "Thou (God) art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity". (HAB 1:13) Events such as those which were in the mind of the prophet, and which led him to speak as he did, cannot be thought to give pleasure to God; yet another writer of the Scriptures has said that all things were created for God's pleasure. (REV 4:11) Certainly the habitation of the earth by man during historical times cannot be imagined to have given pleasure to God. It follows therefore that something very different from that must have been in the mind of the prophet when he spoke of God's purpose being that the earth should be inhabited. The object of its creation must have been something more than the mere occupation of it by men such as have filled it with violence and evil.
The context of the saying needs to be looked at more closely. Immediately before the words under notice, Isaiah said, "Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation; ye shall not be ashamed, nor confounded, world without end", and this statement is joined to that concerning the formation of the earth for the purpose of being inhabited, by the word "for", used here in the sense of "because". The passage, therefore, asserts that Israel is to experience everlasting salvation because God formed the earth to be inhabited. A little later the idea is carried even further, for the prophet adds: "Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else". Thus there is salvation for both Jew and Gentile, and that salvation is connected with the earth, and with God's purpose that it shall be inhabited.
If that purpose is apprehended it adds emphasis to some words found in the book of Job. "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? - when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy". (JOB 38:4-7) Such language surely implies that some great purpose was in view when the earth was founded; something that was to redound to the glory of God.
Whatever means may have been adopted in carrying out the work of creating the earth matters little; the statements in the Bible are sufficient. They tell that "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth - For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (PSA 33:6-9) Breath here is, in the Hebrew, ruach - air, breath, wind, or spirit. The method is unimportant, the fact is all important. "God spake, and it was done."
A consideration of the record of creation as given in the book of Genesis adds to the impression that a great purpose was commenced when the creation of the earth was undertaken. Light, which is essential for all forms of life, was first brought into existence. "And God said 'Let there be light', and there was light." (GEN 1:3) Then an atmosphere was provided. It is called a firmament in our Bibles, and some very strange ideas have been held about the meaning of this word. The firmament was provided to "divide the waters which were under the firmament, from the waters which were above the firmament" (GEN 1:7); that is, the firmament was to be between the waters of the earth-the rivers, seas, and oceans; and the waters of the clouds that were to float above it. A little later it is said that birds were to "fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven". (GEN 1:20) Making a firmament therefore involved the provision of air for all living creatures to breathe.
So the record continues; grass and herbage appeared; trees bearing fruit and other forms of vegetable life were provided before the animals were formed. Then, after a reference to the sun, moon and stars, there follows the creation of fish, the fowls of the air, and animals. The very order in which they appeared speaks of purpose and a plan. Everything that was necessary for man was formed before man was created, to be the highest form of life upon the earth.
In the creation briefly sketched above, there are many indications of purpose. They include such things as the proportion of the water surface to land surface; the density of the atmosphere; the tides of the ocean; all these, and other phenomena, tell the story of adaptation, so that the earth might be the abode of men. They indicate development for one great purpose. The orderly procession of the seasons; cold and heat; rain and sunshine; all combine to cause the earth to bring forth food for man and beast, and, so far as man is concerned, to provide for his sense of beauty. Those who have studied these phenomena have been compelled to use such words as "contrivance" and "design", terms which involve the existence of a Contriver, who "made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is". No theory of evolution will explain all the facts of the case.
Gradually the secrets of nature have been discovered, and man has profited by them. They were obviously provided that they might minister to his wants and conveniences, for they mean nothing whatever to the other forms of life found upon the earth. Such things lead to the consideration of man himself.
"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'" (GEN 1:26) In the vastness of the world, man, so small in himself, was to have dominion. Viewing him in this way the Psalmist said, "what is man that thou art mindful of him ?" (PSA 8:4-6) Yet he added, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet". It was, truly, a goodly heritage for men, the beings for whom all things, and so many varied powers, were provided.
As man emerged from the hands of God, he was highly endowed, for God had said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness". (GEN 1:26) The two terms, "image" and "likeness", suggest something more than mere resemblance of form.
Man possesses certain endowments that sharply divide him from all the animal creation. Animals, domestic or wild, are moved, either wholly, or mostly, by instinct. Man has been endowed with an intellect, a reasoning faculty; powers which enable him to deal with the most intricate problems in mathematics, and to solve difficult and involved problems. More than that - he can worship and adore; he can pray; he can choose - choose between good and evil, for he has freewill. He can foretell; by his experience and observation, and his powers of calculation, he can predict an eclipse of the sun, or the moon, and he can do so not only to a day, but to a second, and he can foretell from what place on earth the eclipse may be seen. Between the highest form of animal instinct, or intelligence, and the human mind, there is a vast gulf. At one time it was common to talk of the "missing link" that would connect the animal with the human. If there had been any truth in the theory that required a missing link, it would have required not one link, but a hundred or a thousand.
Here then was the highest form of the Creator's work on earth. The earth itself, full of beauty and manifest design, producing all that was necessary for man's requirements; and man, who stood at the head of all terrestrial creation. Man was so endowed that he was capable of almost anything; the possibilities that were placed before him seemed almost infinite. No wonder that the Sons of God shouted for joy when they contemplated the Divine process at its commencement. The possibility was glorious; the fact proved to be disastrous.
Why, and how, did things go wrong? Man's greatest endowment proved to be his undoing. Freewill gave him the power to choose, and he chose wrongly. The Apostle Paul puts the matter in a single phrase; he says, "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin". (ROM 5:12) Man and his dominion thereby came under a curse. Here are the words in which that curse was pronounced. "Because thou hast hearkened to the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth unto thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return". (GEN 3:17-19) To the woman the words were, "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children". (GEN 3:16)
Toil and sweat; multiplied conception; and, at the end, a return to the dust; these were the results that followed the entrance of sin into the world.
It looked as if the plan had failed right at the very start. What was to happen? Would God destroy the man who had proved to be unworthy of the great dominion given to him? That would have been an admission of failure on the part of God. A man might act in that way if some great invention upon which he had been working had failed to produce the result intended, just as a petulant child will destroy a toy that will not do as the child desires. Such a course is inconceivable with God. James once said, "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world". (ACT 15:18) He had given man the power to choose, and He had foreseen what would happen, and His plans to meet the situation that had arisen had been made before the foundation of the world.
The record of the events summarized above, concludes with the words, "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us; - and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever; therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden, cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life". (GEN 3:22-24)
To keep the way ! There is an importance in these words that may be missed. To "keep" has more than one possible meaning. In the Hebrew the word is shaman which is defined as "a primitive root, properly to hedge about, i.e., to guard, generally to protect, attend to, etc." The purpose for which a guard is provided is to prevent any unauthorized approach to the thing guarded, and to prevent anything being done to destroy it. There may be metaphor in this, but the intention is obvious. Adam was not to be permitted to approach the tree of life and partake of it, and so live for ever. In the purpose of God such a thing as an immortal sinner has no place. The earth was to be inhabited, but not by sinners who would live for ever. It was designed for those who had attained unto salvation.
It is at this point that the second of the quotations given in the heading must be considered. "I am the Lord, I change not." With Him there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. There can therefore be no changing of His ultimate plans. That being the case, the question arises, How were His plans to be carried out in the altered circumstances that had arisen? Man had shown himself unfit for the great dominion that had been designed for him over the terrestrial handiwork of God.
The few pages of the Bible that follow immediately on the record of the entrance of sin and death into the world contain a number of allusions to sacrifices. Sacrifices were offered by Abel, by Noah, by Abraham, and many others. Those sacrifices are described as burnt offerings, a form of sacrifice in which the whole body of the animal was consumed; its flesh was destroyed. Of these sacrifices it is said, God "smelled a sweet savour", that is, He accepted them. By their sacrifices the offerers, as it were, came into His presence, and He graciously received them.
In the same early pages of the Bible there are certain allusions to some promises; promises of such a character that if they were to be fulfilled, the sentence of death which had been passed upon man because of the entrance of sin into the world, would need to be reversed, or overcome, in relation to those to whom the promises applied. The doom of man had been associated with a curse; the promises in question were spoken of in connection with a blessing. One was addressed to Abraham. "I (God) will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed". (GEN 12:1-3) The promise was repeated and extended and it included sayings that necessitate the bestowal of eternal life upon Abraham, and those who are described as his seed. (GEN 13:14-17) (GEN 15:7-8) (GEN 17:8) (GEN 22:15-18). There were, therefore, blessings for Abraham, and through Abraham, for those who blessed Abraham, and for his seed.
The language used in connection with these promises suggests, as already pointed out, a reversal of the curse of death for some members of the human race. As the record proceeds it is found to imply the removal of death, a triumph over the curse, for the promise included the possession of a certain land for ever. In the New Testament the promise is explained to include the heirship of the world. (ROM 4:13) It will be seen that there is a clear connection with the promises to Abraham and the sayings of the prophet referred to at the commencement of this exposition.
As the years passed the promises were repeated to Isaac and Jacob (GEN 26:24) (GEN 28:13-15) and an examination of them will deepen the impression made by the original promise to Abraham.
Later on organized sacrifices and offerings were instituted, they included offerings intended to effect atonement (at-onement) between man and his Maker. God had not changed His plan was still to provide a population that might inhabit the earth, and the promises and offerings both had their place in preparing men and women for that high destiny.
During the hundreds of years covered by the Old Testament, Psalmists and Prophets spoke of God's purpose. Gradually the revelation of it grew more and more precise and detailed, but it never varied from the fundamental idea of an earth restored to its pristine beauty, peopled by individuals who had been saved from sin and death. Such men will be satisfied, when they awake, with the likeness of God. (PSA 17:15). In this way the original purpose of God concerning the earth and man will be realized.
Yet all was not clear. One prophet, who may be taken as representative of the prophets as a whole, said, "Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He answers his questions by saying, "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God ?" (MIC 6:6-8)
Right to the end of the Old Testament times something was lacking, for it "was not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins - in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou (God) hast had no pleasure". (HEB 10:4-6) Even while such offerings were being made this was realized, for David said, " Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened; burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required". (PSA 40:6) Such offerings, when rightly offered, were a recognition of the heinous character of sin, and an anticipation of something more effectual that was to be provided, and which would accomplish what they could not do.
This leads to considerations suggested by the third quotation, which had better be given more fully. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God - And the Word became flesh (Revised Version), and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
"In the beginning was the Word." "Was" implies existence, and takes the mind back to times before the creation of the heavens and the earth, for existence must precede action. Right back, even from everlasting was the Word. "And the Word was with God." Here is association between God and the Word. "And the Word was God." Here is something still closer-identification. Taking the three clauses together they may appear to be a strange statement. How is it to be understood? To answer this question it is necessary to realize what is meant by the Word.
In our everyday usage of the term a "word" represents a sound, and is represented by a number of letters, though sometimes it is used in a secondary sense, as when we speak of a certain individual as being a man of his word. This does not help very much to an understanding of the passage before us. That was first written in Greek, and the question is, what would it represent in that language? The Greeks had two different terms which have been translated into English by the term "word". They were as under.
Logos. Something said; including the thought behind the saying; the meaning; the reason.
Rhema. An utterance or topic; a word.
Logos, which is the term used in the opening clauses of John's gospel, is, therefore, something more than a mere word, for which rhema might have been used. It stands for something more than a sound represented by a number of letters; it stands for a complete thought; for the meaning of a message; and for the reason behind the thought or message.
Bearing these facts in mind the statement from John may be better understood. In the beginning there was a thought, a thought and a reason; the thought was with God; indeed it was God, for it represented His thought, and His reason. Thought or reason can be considered abstractly yet thought or reason is essentially associated with the personality that thinks or reasons. The idea may seem somewhat vague at first, but a little consideration will show that John had something very definite in mind when he wrote the words. Thought and reason were with God from the beginning, and they were so closely associated with Him that they were identified with Him.
Perhaps an Old Testament parallel will make the matter clearer, though it substitutes wisdom for thought or reason. "The Lord possessed me (Wisdom) in the beginning of his way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, was I brought forth; while as yet he had not made the earth nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the depth; when he established the clouds above; when he strengthened the fountains of the deep; when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment, when he appointed the foundations of the earth; then was I by him, as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight; rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men." (PRO 8:22-23) The last clause was, of course, prospective, for the saying goes back to times "or ever the earth was".
Probably no one will misunderstand this passage as it refers to wisdom, though the personal pronoun "she" is used. Yet it is closely parallel with John's sayings about the Word. In the beginning there was thought, reason and motive; they were associated with wisdom; they were with God, and as they were His wisdom, thought, reason, or motive, they could not be separated from Him.
Now look at the words of John again, taking them with their context. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." The saying may be placed by the Psalmist's statement, "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth - For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." (PSA 33:6-9) The parallel is obvious.
From the very beginning, God, Who is from everlasting to everlasting, had a purpose in view. As it concerned the earth, that purpose was to provide a sphere where man, made in the image of God, might enjoy the blessings He designed for him. Man failed, as has been seen; sin and death were introduced into the world. Then ordinances of religion were introduced, but they were not sufficient in themselves to undo the evil that had been caused. They were palliatives; temporary ordinances imposed on men for a time, to prepare for, or to point to, the real thing-a sacrifice that would take away sin.
That sacrifice was provided when the Word became flesh, being "made of a woman, made under the Law" (GAL 4:4) and tabernacled among us, full of grace and truth. The allusion is, of course, to Jesus of Nazareth, "the only begotten of the Father". He was flesh ! He did not assume the appearance of flesh; His flesh did not differ from that of those whom he came to redeem. The flesh of the animals that had been offered up in the past did differ from that of mankind, and for that reason did not take away sin. It was not merely flesh that Jesus had; it was the kind of flesh that had been common to mankind ever since sin entered into the world. The evidence that this was so is definite. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death, he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." (HEB 2:14-15) Whatever therefore was the nature of the flesh borne by the "children" referred to, that was the nature of the flesh in which Jesus came. It is sometimes called "sinful flesh", though it was not in his case "sinning flesh". There is a very real difference between the meaning of the two expressions.
It will be seen that when the Word became flesh it was the flesh that had been possessed by a long line of ancestors reaching back to Adam. To some this may seem strange; perhaps mysterious. Paul referred to it as a mystery, saying of it, "Great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory". (1TI 3:16) So important did John consider this matter that he wrote, "Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh - the flesh of men - is of God - and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come." (1JO 4:2-3)
By the means thus indicated, Jesus of Nazareth the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world", tabernacled in human flesh, with all its disabilities - temptation, suffering, weariness, and death. Though in the flesh, he never yielded to its temptations. He always did the will of his Father. At the end of a brief life he was taken by wicked hands, was crucified and placed in the tomb. Again, as at the beginning, it seemed as if God's plan had failed, and that sin had triumphed. It was only an apparent triumph, for, as had been foretold a thousand years before, God did not leave his soul in hades nor would He suffer His Holy One to see corruption. (PSA 16:10) (ACT 2:26-27) God raised him from the dead. Thus it was not evil, but righteousness, that had triumphed, and in that triumph the dominion of sin had been broken. By his righteousness Jesus had become victor over sin and over death. By his resurrection he was "justified in the Spirit", and could say, "I am he that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hades and of death". (REV 1:18)
After Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Apostles whom He had chosen proclaimed the good news concerning Jesus Christ and Him crucified, preaching, through Him, the forgiveness of sins. They exhorted men to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ", to "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins", and to follow His steps. Such sayings call for little comment, though something may be said about baptism.
Unfortunately there is a good deal of misapprehension about this subject, although it is one of the means that are necessary for a believer of the gospel to be "in Christ". They are baptized into Christ, and the very expression is suggestive. It is even more so when the sayings of New Testament writers are considered. They speak of being "buried with Christ by baptism into death". (ROM 6:4). Such language obviously involved immersion of the body in water, with the further idea that as the body emerges from the water, so the individual commences a new life, a life in Christ. Baptism is therefore an immersion of a believer in water, not the sprinkling of a few drops of water on to the head of a baby who neither believes, nor knows, anything about Christ.
Living in Christ, and by Christ, the new man, or woman has to be fitted for the great dominion intended for redeemed mankind. To quote from the eighth Psalm again, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet". Christ, in whom they have believed, is the destined monarch of the world, when "the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ". (REV 11:15)
When that day has arrived, those who have faithfully followed Jesus in the days of their flesh, will receive from him eternal life, and the promised inheritance.
To enable them to attain to that end, they must be raised from among the dead, for in the great majority of cases they will have died before he returns to the earth. They will be raised after the example of Jesus himself; every man in his order; "Christ the firstfruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming". (1CO 15:23). Jesus taught this in the plainest possible language. Four times over in one chapter he is recorded as saying, "I will raise him up at the last day". (JOH 6:39-40) (JOH 6:44) (JOH 6:54). In doing this he will use the keys of hades and of death, as already quoted. The resurrection of the body is an indispensable event for those who have died to realize the fulfillment of the purposes of God.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". (MAT 5:5). In a parable he represents himself as saying, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (MAT 25:34). As the seed of Abraham they will inherit the land, or the world, promised to the patriarch, for Paul wrote, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ - and if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (GAL 3:27-29). Thus:
In him the tribes of Adam gain - More blessings than their father lost.
Much might be added, but sufficient has been advanced to show that there is a logic in religion; logic in Its basis, i.e., in the plan and purpose of God, and logic in the means that have been adopted to secure the triumph of righteousness through the man Christ Jesus, who was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification. In the finality of things, when the end shall come, death will be destroyed and GOD will be ALL IN ALL. (1CO 15:28).
From this brief survey of the declared purpose of God it will be seen that, though "weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning"; a morning without clouds, as clear shining after rain." (2SA 23:1-4). Then the earth restored to more than its original beauty will be inhabited by an immortal multitude which no man can number, redeemed from every age and race, while the earth will be filled with the glory of God.