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“ uphold; mine Elect in whom my soul delight" eth,” If. xlii. 1. And the apostle, inspired from the same origioal, expresseth himself to the fame purpote ; though from the view of Christ's divinity, considers it as a stupenduous act of condescension in him: “ Who being in the form of “ God (faid he) thought it no robbery to be equal “ with God, but made himself of no reputation, “ and took upon him the form of a fervant,” Phil. ii. 6, 7.
Our Lord in his humiliation, not only bore the defignation of a servant, but considered himself as such, and therefore came to do his Father's work, to negotiate the errand and business of heaven. However voluntary and cheerful in the whole, he acted strictly by commission; and, in the execution of it, studied the Father's approbation, as his fole couftituent in that respect; “My meat (faid he) is to “ do the will of him that sent me, and to finish « his work,” John iv. 34, “ I seek not mine own on will, but the will of the Father which fent me," Joho v. 30. and again, “I have glorified thee on “ earth, I have finihed the work which thou gav. " est me to do," John xvii. 4.
In the execution of his Father's will, our Lord, as Man.Mediator, acted a dependence upon the Father, for what strength, through bearing and coufolation he needed. Considered as man, viewed as a creature, his circumstances required daily supplies from heaven, as to soul and body both. Accordingly, for these, in the station of a fervant, as well as in the capacity of a son, he was properly and per. fonally a believer : “Behold my servant, (said the “ Father, pointing at the Messiah) whom I uphold," Il. xlii. 1. In his divine nature, Christ was inde. pendent; whence, in so far as the Father upheld him, he must be considered as man; and the Fa.
ther's ther's proposing thus to minister unto him, supposes a corresponding temper of mind, in his immaculate human nature, to wait for such dispensation or interposition. The different answers which our Lord made to Satan's temptations in the wilderness of Judea, are beautiful expressions of this believing dependence. “He said, man shall not live by bread “ alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of “ the mouth of God.” Again, " Thou shalt not “ tempt the Lord thy God :" and again, “ Thou “ shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only “ shalt thou ferve,” Matth. iv. 4, 7, 10. all which, as he quoted from the Old Testament scriptures, he applied to himself. And the apostle, speaking of the life of Christ as Man-Mediator, says, “ We “ having the fame spirit of faith,” namely, that prevailed in him, and was exercised by him, “ac“ cording as it is written, I believed, and therefore “ have I spoken," 2 Cor. iv. 13. where Paul quoting the 10th verses of the cxvi pfalm, evidently applies it to Jesus Christ, as an expression of his believing dependence on the Father. .,
Having thus entered upon his Father's work, our Lord looked for, and expected, the promised period of his humiliation, with the reward to follow upon it, respecting himself in particular, and his people in general.' “ Surely (said he by the pro“ phet) my judgment is with the Lord, and (as it “ is in the marginal reading) my reward is with “ my God,” If. xlix. 4. “ The things (said he, “ applying the prophecies of his sufferings and “ death) concerning me have an end,” Luke xxii. 37. The prophecies, would he have faid, concerning my humiliation, have an appointed time, for their gradual, but final accomplishment; when my humiliation itself shall intirely and eternally cease. “ Hereafter (faid he to Nathaniel) you shall A 3
o clouds of hicans of his wairiod of his
“ see heaven open, and the angels of God afcend“ ing and descending upon the Son of man,” John i. 51. And to the high priest, when pannelled as a malefactor before him, we find him saying, “ Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on 6 the right hand of power, and coming in the “ clouds of heaven,” Matth. xxvi. 64. All manifest declarations of his waiting for the Father's reward, as well as for the period of his own humiliation.
S E C T. II. Our Lord waiting patiently for the Father, points the manner in which his service was performed, and his believing dependence exercised.
The manner in which our Lord performed his Father's work, was no less peculiar than the work itself. Arduous, difficult, and dangerous as it was, he undertook it: with whatever opposition he met, from men and devils, friends and foes, he entered upon it: and to whatever contempt and Infferings his doing so behoved necessarily to ex. pole him, he, blessed be he, went through with it. At a certain time, when the Pharisees, who did all in their power, by secret fraud, as well as by open force, to explode the credit of his mission, and mir the success of his ministry; when they, with a view to intimidate the Saviour, said unto him, “Get thee out hence, for Herod will kill " thee;" he, mindful, for his Father and the people, of his covenant, “faid unto them, Go ye and “ tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils and do “ cures to-day, and to-morrow, and the third day “ I shall be perfected : nevertheless, I must walk " to day, to-morrow, and the day following ; for " it cannot be, that a prophet perish out of Jeru. “ falem,” Luke xiii. 31, 32, 33. Nay, on the ac
complishment of his work and warfare, he was so inuch set, that even a favourite apostle must be se. verely reprimanded, if he but open his mouth ia opposition to it: for when Peter, hearing his plaIter's sufferings and death foretold, said, “Be it se far from thee Lord, this shall not be unto thee;' the evangelist informs us, that “Jesus turned and "" said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan, thou « art an offence unto me, for thou favoureít not “ the things that be of God, but those that be of 66 men,” Matth. xvi. 22, 23.,
In his humiliation, our Lord was taken in no lurch, surprised by no circumstance, he did not previously fee, weigh, and consider. With a holy composure, peculiar to himself, he took an accurate fore-view, made a particular survey, of alt the different parts, the various particulars, of that work his Father gave him to do; without being thence tempted, at least without being determined, to throw up his commission, resign his office, or defert his station, “ From that time forth “ (says the evangelist) Jesus began to shew unto “ his disciples, how that he must go unto Jeruk" lem, and füffer many things of the elders, and s chief priests, and scribes, and be killed,” Mutth. xvi. 21. “ As Jonas (faid our Lord to the Pharia “ fees) was three days, and three nights, in the " whale's belly; so thall the Son of man be three " days, and three nights, in the heart of the earth,” Matth. xii. 40. The very instrument of his being delivered into the hands of (inful men was known to him at the first : "For he knew (lays the evan“ gelift) from the beginning, who should betray “ him,” John vi. 64. Were men to read the designs of providence, respecting their sufferings, before hand; any patience, competent or poslible for them, would not stand the first light; the most
patient of them could not do otherways than fink, before they were actually laid under the trial, cast into the furnace. But in this, as in every other regard, the Master has the pre-eminence over the servants, and the head over the members.
As the Saviour met with no surprise, he expresfed no grudge, fret, or disgust at any part of his Father's will. “The cup (faid he) which the Fa" ther hath given me, shall I not drink ?” Joba xviii. U. Nor did he infinuate the least resentment against the ungenerous, unreafonable, malicious instruments of his trial, sufferings and death. For though “ he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he o. “ pened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb " to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her fhear“ ers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth," If. lii. 7. O patience truly divine. | what holy, what noble, matchless and expressive silence is here! .
Besides, our Lord bore with the unteachable. ness of his disciples, the nowness of his followers, to believe what the prophets had spoken ; and bore it with a tenderness, delicacy and forbearance, which, unless in the love of the Father, had no precedent, knew no parallel. For, according to the apostle's description of a high priest, to which our Lord's character answered, as face answers to face in a glass; or rather, of which our Lord's character was the true, spotless, matchless original; he must be one, “ who can have compassion on " the ignorant, and on them that are out of the “ way,” Heb. v. 2. Nay, we are called to “con“ sider him that endured such contradiction of fine " ners against himself,” Heb, xii. 3. Though he . could have destroyed them, he bore with them, and bore with them, when their cruelty and refentment were directly levelled against his person, doctrine, interest and works ; in which his prince