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“ against a stone,” Pfal. xci. 11, 12. which was by the devil himself acknowleged to respect Jesus Christ, when, in tempting him, he quoted and applied it, Matth. iv. 6. Nor did the Father only preserve the Man Christ in a negative view, but actually ministred assistance and confolation to him, in the manner and measure his circumstances, as a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs, required. When the devil left him in the wilderness of Judea, “Behold, angels came and ministred unto “ him,” Matth. iv. il. and when he wrestled in the mount of Olives, under the wrath of his Father, “ there appeared an angel unto him from " heaven, strengthening him,” Luke xxii. 43. Moreover, the Father's inclining to him is expreffive of his being well pleased with his service; with the discharge of his trust, as Mediator; with the performance of his covenant obligations, as the kinsman Redeemer of finners: and so much pleafed with him, that he beheld, does, and will behold others, with a pleasant countenance, for his name's fake. Not only has Jehovah, once and a- . gain, declared him to be his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased; but the apostle has affured us that, through grace, the Father “ hath made us " accepted in the Beloved,” Eph. i. 6. in other words, hath accepted sinners, because of his complacency in the mediatory interposition of the Saviour.
The Father not only inclined unto the Man Christ, but heard his cry. Our Lord had always ready access to the Father; an immediate audience in the presence chamber was always granted him, and he had an exclusive privilege of approaching,
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the divine presence immdiately in perfon : nay, it would seem, the Father waited for him, until he made such approaches to him ; for as his eyes are upon the righteous, so “his ears are open to " their cry," Psal. xxxiv. 15. Not only was perpetual access ministred to the Man Christ ; but, on his approach, the Father hearkened to his suits and supplications, however great and numerous, whether personal or relational. He gave him all encouragement to make his whole requests known, never failed of hearing him to the last ; . 2nd, as if regardless of every thing else, he noticed the breathings of the Mediator's soul with peculiar attention and delight. What our Lord himself is represented as saying to the church, may, with all manner of fafety, be applied in the present case ; as an expression how much the Father defwed to hear the Redeemer's cry, while he attended unto it; “Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy " voice," Song ii. 14. Nor was the cry of the Man Christ only waited for, and attended unto, but entirely approved of, by Jehovah. The Fa. ther approved, of his cry, as to the matter of it, petition, adoration, or thanksgiving; as to the manner of it, by words, sighs, tears, groans, roarings, or otherways; as to the source of it, the heart of a Son, an only, and, at the same time, a dutiful Son, and an obedient Son; as to the motives of it, confidence in his Father, and love to his people; as to the ends of it, his Father's glory, his own reward, and his people's salvation : and the Father approved his cry, as to the arguments he used in it; the Divine Faithfulness, and the Merits of his own obedience. His cry was delighted in, as well as approved of by the Father. The Father delighted in Jesus Christ himself, and thence, in all he said, did and asked. “I was by
his people confidenan obediends at the of it moar
“ him (said the Son of the Father) as one brought “ up with him, and I was daily his delight,” Prov. viii. 30. If so, when only undertaking to do his will; how much more behoved he to be so, when actually engaged in his work ? In consequence of all, the Father complied with Christ's voice, granted all his requests, answered all his demands, fulfilled all his desires, did all for him, in a personal or mystical view, he prayed for ': nay, there is such an oneness between the Father's everlasting will of grace, and the Mediator's every cry, that in anfwering the latter, he only accomplisherh the former.
Since Jesus Christ, in person, waited for the Father, and cried to him ; his members, the fpiritual feed of Israel, will, ought, and must, do fo. The Redeemer's waiting and crying is an example for them to imitate, an original for them to copy after. At the same time, his having done fo, is the only ground upon which they may expect to do fo with success and comfort. The Lord Jesus and believers, being mystically one ; he the head, and they the members ; he the vine, and they the branches ; he the foundation, and they the fabric; their waiting and crying will be considered by the Father, as if he' in perfon was the servant and supplicant. He waited and cried in the quality of their head; they wait and cry in the quality of his members : and therefore, if the Father inclined to Christ, and heard his cry; he will incline to them, and hear their cry. In noticing the head, he regards the members; and in regarding the members, he notices the head :-nor will our Lord fail,
according to this view, to consider what the Father does to his people as if done to himself.
The salvation of believers having been wrought out in the Redeemer's humiliation; however faulty and defective your services, it is delightful to know that the service of Jesus Christ in your stead was perfect and immaculate. Though you are ill pleas. ed with yourselves; though your own hearts condemn you ; and though you see God the Father would be just in executing the sentence of condemnation against you : yet your encouragement lies in Christ being accepted, and in your acceptance being secured through him. Though your own cries and prayers deserve not access nor answer ; your Lord's cry is full of merit; big with success; and, to you, pregnant with manifold blessings.
If, therefore, you see the right Jehovah has to perfect, universal, perpetual obedience, from you as creatures; the impossibility of your yielding such obedience as the law requires; that God would be just in pleading a controversy with you as rebel sin. ners, in casting off your persons, rejecting your services, and being angry against your prayers : if you see your incapacity of atoning past offences, or performing future obedience; of paying your debt of duty or suffering; of procuring redemption in a negative, or purchasing salvation in a positive, view: if you see a fitness and propriety in the pers fon and mediation of Christ, for reaching the ends of your recovery upon honourable terms: if you admire the grace, wisdom and love, of Jehovah Redeemer, in the contrivance and execution of that wonderful redemption : if you prize Jesus Christ; 'approve of him, in way of desire; follow after him ; and wish, above all things, to be saved through his waiting for the Father, and crying to him : if you would chearfully and joyfully be ren
dered debtors to Divine Grace, Sovereign Mercy; if you are driven from every other dependence for falvation ; if you are enabled to hang about the Lord's hand, in the duties, means, and ordinances, of his appointment: then there is reason to hope good things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation; to hope your interest in these blessings, and those privileges, arising from the Father's attending to Christ, and hearing his cry, is real, fcriptural and indubitable.
Are you saying, My experience of a law.work has never been distinct and observable ; I know nothing of such awakenings and terrors as others, of whom I have read, with whom I have convers. ed ; and thence, any encouragement I would take from the mediation of Jesus Christ is at once marred; my hopes, arising from thence, are perpetual. ly shaken? The Lord is sovereign as to the de. grees of such a law-work : in that respect, he keeps no beaten, common tract. The great matter is, to have such experience of your natural obligations to the law, as convinces you of the absolute need of Christ. If that is the case, the end of the law is so far reached ; and you do well to encourage yourselves in the Lord, as having waited for the Father, and cried unto him.
· Are you saying, My acquaintance with the comfortable parts of religion, the bright side of the cloud is so finall, transient and inconsiderable, that I know not what to make, what judgment to form, of the case ? You should remember that gladness is only fown for you ; this is but your feed-time, and, it may be, a feed-time of tears and forrow : the harvest of your joy and consolation will not be fully ripe, how long your connection with mortality lafts. What intervals of joy others have, are only the first fruits; and though these be denied