Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:Ezekiel 43:2
Mr. Augustus Hare, in Memorials of a Quiet Life, quotes a passage from his mother's diary, in which, after writing down this verse, she adds: 'Yes, with the glory of the God of Israel. In itself it was dark and lifeless; but when the glory of the God of Israel arose out of the East, even as the Sun of Righteousness, then the earth reflected His bright shining, and became glorious through His light resting upon it. So have I seen on a bright sunshiny morning at Hurstmonceaux, the line of the sea lit up by the beams of the morning sun, and shining with an almost dazzling brightness in a glory not its own.... There is no holiness, no loveliness in man of himself—no, not in regenerate man. His beauty is a beauty wrought in him, and shining over him, through means of the Blessed Fountain of Light.'
References.—XLIII. 2.—Newman Smith, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlv. 1894, p. 243. Bishop Welldon, ibid. vol. xlviii. 1895, p. 250.
'My very dear brother,' wrote Samuel Rutherford to a young correspondent, 'ye are heartily welcome to my world of suffering, and heartily welcome to my Master's house. God give you much joy of your new Master. If I have been in the house before you, I were not faithful to give the house an ill name, or to speak evil of the Lord of the family; I rather wish God's Holy Spirit (O Lord, breathe upon me with that Spirit!) to tell you the fashions of the house. One thing I can say, that by our waiting, ye will grow a great man with the Lord of the house.'
'The great deeds of philosophers,' says Huxley, 'have been less the fruit of their intellect than of the direction of that intellect by an eminently religious tone of mind. Truth has yielded itself rather to their patience, their love, their single-heartedness, and their self-denial, than to their logical acumen.'
'Mere culture of the intellect (and education as usually conducted amounts to little more) is hardly at all operative upon conduct Intellect is not a power, but an instrument—not a thing which itself moves and works, but a thing which is moved and worked by forces behind it. To say that men are ruled by reason is as irrational as to say that men are ruled by their eyes. Reason is an eye—the eye through which the desires see their way to gratification, and educating it only makes it a better eye—gives it a vision more accurate and comprehensive—does not at all alter the desires subserved by it. However far-seeing you make it, the passion will still determine the directions in which it shall be turned—the objects on which it shall dwell.'
The idea of a spiritual society could not unfold itself to them while they were living in a heartless, divided, self-righteous state. They must be humbled before they could feel the possibility of such a society; still more before they could confess it to be real. The hindrance to the discernment of it was not an intellectual one; it was not that they wanted the intuition and the foresight of the Prophet; it was wholly moral.
—F. D. Maurice.
Insight, sound, clear vision of the truth, wisdom at once piercing and comprehensive, the noblest and divinest achievements of the reason, demand serenity of soul as their imperative condition. Passion clouds the mental eye; emotion disturbs the organ of discovery; as the astronomer can only rely upon his nicest and loftiest observations when the air is still and the telescope is isolated from all the tremulous movements of terrestrial surroundings, so the thinker can only see justly and penetrate far, when all that could agitate his spirit is buried deep, or put quite away, or laid eternally to rest. The conscience must slumber either in conscious innocence or in recognized forgiveness; the aspirations and desires must be calm, simple, and chastened.
—W. Rathbone Greg.
The once wealthy captives by the River Chebar were desiring to restore a society in which they should have the full swing of their tastes and appetites, and plenty of slaves to minister to them. And the false priests and false prophets were ready enough to encourage this opinion. They would have the fat of their sacrifices, they would have their obedient troop of female devotees to help them to hunt souls. All should come back again just as it was before; the same vanity, insolence, falsehood, devilry. That would be their mode of reviving a Divine society. But Ezekiel tells them it shall not be so at all.
—F. D. Maurice.
Compare Prof. Royce's satirical description (The Spirit of Modern Philosophy, p. 446) of a certain other type of mind to which 'there are no evils in society except competition and poverty, which will both cease so soon as we by chance fall to loving one another, and to owning the property of the nation in common. Crime is not a result of anything deep in human nature; selfishness is a mere incident of a defective social system.... Satan is mainly an invention of false theories of political economy. A single tax system, or a nationalized labour army, would end the sorrows of mankind.'
References.—XLIII. 12.—H. W. Webb-Peploe, Calls to Holiness, p. 75. W. L. Watkinson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. lii. 1897, p. 49. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii. No. 1618. XLIII. 13.—J. Parker, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xliv. 1893, p. 225; see also vol. liv. 1898, p. 262.
And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.
And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.
Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.
And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house.
And these are the measures of the altar after the cubits: The cubit is a cubit and an hand breadth; even the bottom shall be a cubit, and the breadth a cubit, and the border thereof by the edge thereof round about shall be a span: and this shall be the higher place of the altar.
And from the bottom upon the ground even to the lower settle shall be two cubits, and the breadth one cubit; and from the lesser settle even to the greater settle shall be four cubits, and the breadth one cubit.
So the altar shall be four cubits; and from the altar and upward shall be four horns.
And the altar shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof.
And the settle shall be fourteen cubits long and fourteen broad in the four squares thereof; and the border about it shall be half a cubit; and the bottom thereof shall be a cubit about; and his stairs shall look toward the east.
And he said unto me, Son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; These are the ordinances of the altar in the day when they shall make it, to offer burnt offerings thereon, and to sprinkle blood thereon.
And thou shalt give to the priests the Levites that be of the seed of Zadok, which approach unto me, to minister unto me, saith the Lord GOD, a young bullock for a sin offering.
And thou shalt take of the blood thereof, and put it on the four horns of it, and on the four corners of the settle, and upon the border round about: thus shalt thou cleanse and purge it.
Thou shalt take the bullock also of the sin offering, and he shall burn it in the appointed place of the house, without the sanctuary.
And on the second day thou shalt offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they did cleanse it with the bullock.
When thou hast made an end of cleansing it, thou shalt offer a young bullock without blemish, and a ram out of the flock without blemish.
And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD.
Seven days shalt thou prepare every day a goat for a sin offering: they shall also prepare a young bullock, and a ram out of the flock, without blemish.
Seven days shall they purge the altar and purify it; and they shall consecrate themselves.
And when these days are expired, it shall be, that upon the eighth day, and so forward, the priests shall make your burnt offerings upon the altar, and your peace offerings; and I will accept you, saith the Lord GOD.