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ing his Father's will. His will consist in any thing else than his was his interest and his Father's loving God supremely, and règardwill his Father's interest ; and his ing his glory and interest above seeking his Father's will instead his own. of his own, was his seeking his Fa Let us now consider how Jesus ther's interest instead of his own. Christ expressed and manifested Christ saw that his Father had pro- such a spirit of self-denial. This posed the most important and glori- was his governing principle of acous object, which could not be ob- tion. And therefore he must have tained, unless he made a sacrifice of always expressed it in a plain and himself, and gave up his own good striking manner.
But he expressfor the good of the universe, which ed it, especially, in the following his Father was seeking and was en- instances of his conduct.' gaged & determined to accomplish. 1. In his consenting to the glo
Now, we ought to bear it on rious scheme of man's redemption. our minds, that Christ's self-denial He was concerned in forming that consisted in thus giving up his own great and complicated and astonreal, valuable good, which, simply ishing design. He knew every considered, he ought to regard. other possible method of God's This is an idea of self-denial, that displaying himself to the view of is very different from what is often his intelligent creatures, and of believed and maintained. Some promoting his glory and their suppose, that self-denial consists good. He knew, that God might in giving up a less personal good have made all his intelligent creafor a greater personal good. But tures perfectly holy, and have this was not Christ's self-denial. preserved them in that state forOthers suppose, that self-denial
which would have precluconsists merely in giving up a sel-ded all occasion for his undertafish good for a benevolent good. king the office of a Mediator.But this was not Christ's self-deni- But he saw that this would not be al. He never had any selfish good the wisest and most benevolent to give up. He had a personal method of God's treating the moral good, but not a selfish one. For creation. He saw that there was he never felt any selfish motives a better way for God to lay open towards himself. Again, others his heart and display his glory besuppose, that self-denial consists fore angels and men. And he saw in giving up sinful affections for that this best way would render it holy affections. But this was not necessary for him to take the most Christ's self-denial. For he never arduous, difficult and painful had any sinful affections towards part in the accomplishment of the any object or being in the uni- important scheme. And when he verse. It was not possible, there- saw it, he cheerfully consented to fore, that his self-denial should the adoption of a scheme, that
would subject him to the greatest ed his self denying spirit by taking labors and sufferings. Hear his upon him human nature.
He was language on this subject before he co-equal with the Father in every came into the world. 6. The Lord divine perfection. And while he God possessed me in the begin- sustained the character of Medining of his way, before his works ator in heaven he enjoyed the of old. I was set up from ever- adoration and praises of the healasting from the beginning, or ever venly hosts. When he came from the earth was. Then I was by heaven and entered into our world, him, as one brought up with him; the Father enjoined it upon the and I was daily his delight, re- angels to pay him divine homage. joicing always before him; re- “When he bringeth the first bejoicing in the habitable part of the gotten into the world, he saith, earth; and my delights were with and let all the angels of God worthe sons of men.” He covenanted ship him.” It was, therefore, a with the Father, in the early days superlative expression of self-deof eternity, to undertake the self- njal in such a great and glorious denying work of man's redemp- and divine person to leave the sion, with a clear and full view of world of glory, to descend to our what he must do and suffer in or- sinful world and here unite his der to accomplish it. Nor did he divinity with humanity. It would ever lose sight of his sufferings a have been an act of self-denial in single moment, until the very one of the lowest angels of light scene opened before him. 66 Now to take the fashion of a man and is my
soul troubled; and what shall the form of a servant. But it was I say ?-Father, save me from this
an infinitely greater act of selfhour ?—but for this cause came I denial for the Lord of glory, the unto this hour.-Father, glorify creator of the world and the prothy name.” It was selfdenying prietor of the universe to become to view such a scene of self-deni united with human nature in its al. And this self-denial he felt lowest-most contemptible form. and expressed in consenting to go It was a great and desirable good, through it. This was the first ex which Christ had a right to desire pression of Christ's self-denial.- and regard, to appear in the form And if we consider that he viewed of God and all the majesty of bis things future as clearly as things divine nature. But though he was present, it must appear to have infinitely rich in divine glory, yet been an astonishing act of self-de- he made himself of no reputation, nial, and virtually comprehend- by taking upon him the nature, ed all the self-denial he ever felt the form and the condition of a and expressed. It was one eter poor and despised, man. This nal act and expression of his self maryelous act of self-denial he denying spirit.
performed with a high degree of 2. Christ exercised and display- pleasure and satisfaction. Hence
he is represented to address his of a servant, he labored with his Father, respecting his incarnation, hands, agreeably to the fourth in terms the most submissive, self command. And agreeably to the denying and joyful. 66 Sacrifice same command, he remembered and offering thou didst not desire; and sanctified the Sabbath day.mine ears hast thou opened; burnt He annually attended the passover, offering and sin offering hast thou and punctually observed all the not required. Then said I, lo, I Mosaic rites and ceremonies.come; in the volume of the book He submitted to be baptized by it is written of me; I delight to John, in Jordan, as the original do thy will, O my God: yea, thy rite of inauguration into the priest's law is within my heart.” This office. He preached the gospel was a strong and striking expres- with great zeal and diligence.sion of the most perfect self re He went about doing good, curing nunciation and consecration of his diseases of body and mind. He glory to the glory of God and the submitted to hunger and thirst, good of the universe.
weariness, poverty and reproach. 3. Christ manifested his self-de. As a man, he was obedient to the nial, after he became man, by his laws of man; as a Jew he was constant and cheerful obedience to obedient to the laws of the Jews; the will of his Father. He pub- and as a Mediator, he was obedient licly and repeatedly declared, that to every mediatorial command, he always meant to be obedient to even that of laying down and takevery intimation of the divine will. ing up his life. Now all these He said, “I seek not mine own acts of obedience were acts of self will, but the will of the Father, denial. He was Lord of the Sabthat sent me. I came from hea- bath; he was Lord of the world; ven, not to do mine own will, but yea, he was Lord of the universe ; the will of him that sent me. and he had a right to command the My meat is to do the will of him service and obedience of the whole that sent me and to finish his intelligent creation. But, neverwork." If we now look into his theless, he bowed his head and conduct, through the course of his heart to the command of God and life, we shall find these declara
In this conduct he verified tions fully verified by the most what he declared, that he came constant obedience to every divine not to be ministered unto, but to precept. He was entirely sub- minister. We cannot find, nor missive to his parents, while he even conceive of any other obewas in a state of minority. He dience, so self denying as the oberead the Bible in his youth and dience of Christ. And this selfmade it the rule of his faith and denial was uniform, constant and practice. He lived in a course of perfect; because he fulfilled all secret prayer. Being in the form righteousness and obeyed ere
ry injunction, which his Father time came to go to Jerusalem and laid upon him. This perfect meet those sufferings and that obedience demonstrated, that he death, which were necessary to sought not his own will, but the make expiation for the sins of the will of him, that sent him. But, world. He knew the time when
4. There was another way, in and the place where he was to which Christ more literally and pour out his soul on the cross. emphatically expressed his self Accordingly he prepared himself denying spirit; and that was by to meet his mortal enemies and to his sufferings. Though while he resign himself into their cruel lived in retirement and obscurity, hands. They bind him; they we have no account of his suffer- beat him; they spit in his face ; ing any peculiar pain, sickness, or they try him; they condemn him; affliction, yet as soon as he ap- they lead him as a malefactor to peared in public and visibly acted the place of execution; and there, in his mediatorial office, he drew with real malefactors, nail him to the hatred, opposition and vir- the cross and make his death as ulence of the ungodly world against painful and excruciating as possihim. They, who were esteemed ble. Thus Christ was cut off, but the most respectable and influen- not for himself. Thus he was detial in church and state, united stroyed and rejected of men.-in their feelings and exertions to Thus he was wounded for our make him a man of sorrows and transgressions and bruised for our acquainted with grief. They rep- iniquities and the chastisement resented him to be a transgressor of our peace was upon him.of the laws of God and man, an Thus he bore our sins in his body enemy to virtue and religion, a on a tree. It is probable that friend to publicans and sinners, in Christ suffered more from the league with satan, the great ene- treatment he received from the my of all righteousness, and a dis- hands of his enemies than any turber of the public peace as well other person could have suffered as a traitor to his country. Thus under the same treatment. If his the reproaches of them, that re- body were not more susceptible proached God, fell on him without of pain than that of other men ; reserve and without restraint. yet his mind was more capable of But they did not stop here. They seeing and feeling the malignity often attempted to stone him with and cruelty of those, who embrustones, and once, to push him head- ed their hands in his blood. This long down a precipice, with a ma- natural conjecture seems to be conlignant design to dash him to pie-firmed by his sweating as it were
These dangers, however, he great drops of blood in consequence meant to escape, and by his mira- of his internal trouble and distress, culous power did escape, until his on the prospect of his approaching
death. And now we are to con- preferred and sought greater insider, that his self-denial bore an terests. Though he had a propexact proportion to his sensibility er regard to himself, yet he had a of pain, both in body and mind.- greater regard to the universe; To make this evident to all the and this regard he expressed in world and to the universe, his eternity, in his life on earth and agonizing prayer was made and in his death on the cross and will recorded and transmitted to all fu- continue to express forever. ture ages. After he had entered The subject under our present into the garden, he said, 66 My consideration suggests the followsoul is exceeding sorrowful, even ing remarks. unto death. And he went a little 1. Since the Lord Jesus Christ farther and fell on his face and exercised self-denial in underprayed, saying, O my Father, if it taking and performing the work be possible, let this cup pass from of a mediator, then God the Fame : nevertheless, not as I will, ther and the Holy Spirit exercisbut as thou wilt. O my Father, if ed self denial in appointing him to this cup may not pass away from that work. The Father and the me, except I drink it, thy will be Spirit saw what the work would done."
Thus Christ himself sol- be, and how much Christ must emnly declares, that it was noth- suffer, when they appointed him; ing but self-denial, which moved yet they did appoint him to all the him to endure the tremendous suf- humiliation, suffering, sorrow and ferings of the cross.
reproach, which he endured in Thus Christ denied himself of order to accomplish the work of every thing, that it was in his redemption. But could they have power to deny himself. There made such an appointment, or have was nothing which the glory of consented to it without self-deniGod and the good of the universe al ? They saw and felt all the required him to give up, that he evil he suffered. They esteemdid not give up.
He gave up ed and loved the good and the more than any ; yea, than all cre- glory of which he deprived himated beings could have given up, self. And they esteemed and had they been disposed to suffer loved Christ as themselves. and die as he did. Hence, through They, therefore, as certainly exhis life and in his death, he gave ercised self-denial in his appointevery kind and every degree of ment to the work of Mediator as evidence, that he was possessed he did in undertaking and perof perfect self-denial. He was forming that work. They denied willing to give up and did actually themselves a real great good for give up his good for the good of the sake of a real and greater others. Though his own person- good. This denial they exercised al interests were great, yet be in the spirit of disinterested be