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it is evident; for of him was it said by his dying and spitting, so that his visage would be more father: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, marred than any man, and his form more than nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh the sons of men. They were to pierce his hands come; and to him shall the gathering of the and feet, and yet a bone of him was not to be nations be. About the same period a voice was broken. They were to part his garments among heard from the land of Uz, saying, “I know that them, and yet for his chief vesture they were to my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at cast lots. Even the sorrowful plaint he was to the latter day upon the earth.'
utter from the cross had been expressed by the We next come to the grand era of Moses, who Psalmist by anticipation: My God, my God, was himself an eminent type of the Christ, as why hast thou forsaken me?' In fulfilling the Deliverer, Prophet, Governor, and Judge of his law and the prophets, he who is the grand people. And in the law of Moses' many things theme of the Old Testament, the antitype of the are written of him. As his salvation had been types, the substance of the shadows, the sum of shadowed forth by the redemption from Egypt, God's ancient revelation, not only put honour by the passover and the sprinkling with blood, upon it through life, but in the very act of dying. so the whole ritual that was established was one He held his life until the scriptures should be grand prefigurative image of Him that was to accomplished. And knowing that his receiving
He was set forth in every bleeding sacri- a draught of vinegar was the last thing confice as an offering for sin; in the manna from nected with his death, recorded in the book of heaven as the bread of life; in the smitten rock Psalms, he looked down upon his murderers, and as the source of refreshment; in the brazen ser- raising his expiring voice into a loud cry, he pent as the crucified, exalted Saviour; in the begged that that might be given him as the last tabernacle and temple as the residence of the conclusive proof that he was indeed the Messiah present Deity-God with man upon the earth; of whom Moses, and David, and Isaiah had and in the Urim and Thummim of the sacred spoken: “Jesus knowing that all things were oracle as the brightness of glory, the perfection now accomplished, that the scripture might be of beauty, the light and life of men.
fulfilled, saith, I thirst. When Jesus therefore The frequency with which Christ is spoken of had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: in the Prophets and Psalms' may be gathered and he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.' from the fact that in no less than thirty-three different places, the Evangelist Matthew alone, after adverting to some particular incident in the life of his divine Master, adds: “These things
ELEVENTI DAY.-EVENING. were done that the scripture might be fulfilled.' The period at which he should appear, the family. When the fullness of the time was come, God whence he should descend, the place where he sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made should be born—the beauties of his character, the under the law, to redeem them that were unvalue of his doctrine, the might and mercy of his
der the law, that we might receive the adoption works--all was foretold. But still more minute of sons,' Gal. iv. 4, 5. were the predictions to which he himself here God is not a God of confusion, but of order ; he referred, as having been fulfilled in his last suffer- does every thing not only in the best possible way, ings and death. The description of the traitor but at the best possible time. He might have had been given in the Psalms, as “ his own fa- sent his Son into the world as soon as man fell, miliar friend who ate of his bread, yet lifted up or he might have delayed his mission until the his heel against him. The exact price for which end of the world; but in making known to us he sold his Lord (the price of the vilest slave), the riches of his grace " he has abounded towards and its employment in the purchase of the pot- us in all wisdom and prudence;' and, therefore, ter's field had been specified by the prophet not until the period fixed in the eternal counsels Zechariah as the price of him whom the chil- of the "only wise God,' was the Lamb manifested, dren of Israel did value.' When brought to who had been foreordained before the foundation prison and to judgment, 'false witnesses were to of the world. rise up against him, and such as breathed out Hence the gospel is called the dispensation cruelty: All that should then see him would of the fullness of times. The mystery hid for ' laugh him to scorn.' He was to give his back ages was not disclosed till the moment appointed to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked and approved of God; and that moment was off the hair, and hide not his face from shame the fullness of time'-because it was neither too soon nor too late. All the reasons for this ar- | There had nevertheless arisen not in Judea only, rangement can be known only to God, yet there but throughout all the East an earnest, longing are some of them which appear sufficiently ob- expectation of some merciful Deliverer. And at vious to every candid and humble inquirer. length the day dawned, the Sun of Righteous
It was not too soon ; for it was necessary that ness appeared, the Great Prophet was manifested, men should be taught by long and universal experi- mighty in word and deed, who was to be at once ence, how little could be effected by human wis- a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of dom or human power, in securing the grand objects his people Israel. When the fullness of the time of religion and virtue. «The whole need not a was come, God sent forth his Son.' physician, but they that are sick;' and the Gentile And as there was manifold wisdom displayed nations were suffered so long to walk in their in the æra selected for his mission, so there was own ways, that they might have at last a thorough love and grace unutterable in the mission itself. proof and an entire consciousness of their spiritual It was not the highest of created beings that was malady, and thus be the better prepared to wel sent, but God's own Son, his only Son, his wellcome the Great Physician. After so lengthened beloved Son, who had been in his bosom from and so extensive a trial, it had become evident eternity, and in whom his soul delighted. Him beyond all controversy, that mankind were ut- he “sent forth’ from riches and glory to poverty terly impotent to deliver themselves from their and shame, from the songs of angels to the scorn darkness and misery; and this conviction would of sinners, from heaven's highest happiness to pre-dispose them to embrace more readily the earth's lowest misery. He became man born light and life of the gospel. For after that, of woman,' and his days, therefore, though few, in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew were full of trouble. He was made under the not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of law'—subject to its ritual ordinances which he preaching, to save them that believe. Another scrupulously observed, bound by its moral prereason for the seeming delay may be found in the cepts which he righteously fulfilled, -yet, as the necessity which existed for preparing the untu- substitute of transgressors, exposed also to its tored minds of Jews as well as Gentiles, for the penalty which he meekly endured. He thus berevelation of abstract truth, by a previous economy came the Redeemer by being himself the Ranof type and symbol, which presented outward som. By his perfect righteousness imputed, and things to the outward senses as patterns of the his powerful grace imparted, he redeems at once things spiritual and heavenly that were to be ex- from the yoke of the law ceremonial, and the hibited to the eye of faith. Moreover, the peace curse of the law moral, from the dominion of sin and consolation which the gospel was to impart and the tyranny of Satan. His ransomed people would be more eagerly sought, and more highly thus pass from darkness to light, from death to valued, in consequence of the dispensation of life, from the condemnation of rebels to the terror and bondage which preceded it; and thus adoption of sons. God is their Father, Christ the law, both ceremonial and moral, 'was our their elder brother, angels their ministers, and schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.'
heaven their home. But while the period here designated the full- • Behold what manner of love the Father hath ness of time' was not too soon, so neither was it bestowed upon us, that we should be called the too late, as (speaking after the manner of men) sons of God!' Amazing condescension! that the it might have been, had the coming of the Son of Son of God should become the Son of Man, in God been delayed any longer. For by this time, order that sons of men might become sons of God. as at the period of the deluge, "all flesh had cor- Let the life and character correspond, in some rupted their way upon the earth. The heathen measure, to the high rank, the exalted privileges, world had been for ages sunk in the grossest the glorious hopes. Now are we the sons of ignorance of all that it most concerned them to God; and we know that when he shall appear know and to practice in order to happiness. And we shall be like him.' • Every man that hath this the night of thick darkness which so long over- hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is spread the other nations had now extended its pure.' deadly shadow to the favoured land of the Most High. Religion had degenerated into a lifeless form ; morality was an empty name; judgment, mercy, and the love of God had nearly disappeared beneath the withering influence of Pharisaic hypocrisy and Sadducean infidelity and licentiousness.
clared to be “God blessed for ever;' and to make
it manifest that this name was applied to him, • Whose are the fathers, and of whom, as con- not in the way of accommodation merely, nor to
cerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, express an inferior and delegated authority, but God blessed for ever,' Rom. ix. 5.
to affirm his proper and supreme divinity, he is Divine grace does not extinguish natural affec- pronounced to be over all, God blessed for tion. Faith worketh by love; but this love is ever.' We are expressly commanded to honour discriminating, and has a respect to all the dif- the Son, even as we honour the Father. He ferent relations by which we are connected both bears the titles, possesses the attributes, performs as men and as Christians. Paul desired the sal- the works, and claims the worship which belong vation of all men, but he felt a peculiar and most exclusively to God. He himself asserted his pressing concern for the spiritual welfare of his Godhead; he accepted the homage which is peJewish countrymen. On their account he had culiar to Deity; he allowed himself to be addressed
great heaviness and continual sorrow in his by names which are descriptive of true and proper heart.' He went so far as to say, 'I could divinity. The work which the Father had given wish that myself were 'accursed from Christ him to do required that he should be God, and for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the proves that he is God. To bear the iniquities flesh.
of his people in his own body on the tree, and The Jews had many strong claims to his by the one offering of himself to make reconciliasympathy. Some of them were united to him tion for iniquity, and bring in an everlasting by the ties of blood; many of them had been righteousness; to act the part of Mediator beendeared to him in the bonds of friendship. They tween God and man, so as to sustain the honour were all his fellow-countrymen, members of one of the former, and secure the interests of the commonwealth, the descendants of one great latter; this is a work which Deity alone could progenitor. Now they were a degraded people; execute. Jesus is a divine Saviour, and therebut the apostle looked back to their former dis- fore 'mighty to save.' His obedience unto tinction, and viewed them as a nation that had death has all the worth and efficacy which Deity been set apart and singularly honoured of God. could give it, and is worthy of all the confidence Speaking of them, he says: “Who are Israelites; we can repose, of all the gratitude we can feel, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and all the honour we can render. and the covenants, and the giving of the law, As God he is the portion of his people. They and the service of God, and the promises; whose have renounced every other ground of dependare the fathers, and of whom, as concerning the ence; they have seen the vanity of earthly flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed things; they have learned the guilt and folly of for ever.'
self-righteousness; they have abandoned all those It was the peculiar honour of the Jews that 'refuges of lies' which the pride of an unbelieving of them, “as concerning the flesh, Christ came.' heart naturally prefers; they have fled to Christ His descent can be traced from Abraham down- as their only hope; they build on him as the sure wards in one unbroken line of succession. Agree-foundation; they accept of him as their all-sufably to ancient prophecy, he sprung from the ficient portion. He is precious to them as the tribe of Judah, and the family of David. When pearl of great price: they feel his service to be he came to the Jews, "he came to his own, but perfect freedom, and can say, “ Whom have I in they received him not. That which should have heaven but thee? there is none upon earth whom recommended him to their acceptance, was made I desire besides thee: thou art the strength of by them a ground of objection against him. Even my heart, and my portion for ever.' the brethren of Jesus, we are told, did not be- They honour him by their submission as well lieve in him. Natural relationship is often un- as their confidence, for he is at once their connected with spiritual affinity. Many who Sovereign and their Saviour. They confess his stand highest in privilege are lowest in character, supreme dominion, and with the apostle declare and shall be last in condition. The Jews gloried him to be over all, God blessed for ever. As in being the descendants of Abraham, but de- God he is over all’ in virtue of his essential and spised the honour of being the progenitors of underived prerogative. But he sways the sceptre Christ.
of authority as the reward of his voluntary and The descent of the Saviour does not affect his meritorious abasement. He "humbled himself, essential dignity. He, who in his human nature and became obedient unto death, even the death could claim no higher than Jewish origin, is de-I of the cross, wherefore God also hath highly
exalted him, and given him a name which is
TWELFTH DAY.-EVENING. above every name.' He is 'over all'in
The kingdom of nature. The earth is his, 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among and the fullness thereof, and he giveth to every
us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of man severally as he wills. All creatures, from
the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace the mightiest to the meanest,“ live, and move, and
and truth, John i. 14. have their being' in him. He rules over them Words are the signs of our ideas, and the means as his subjects, and makes use of them as his of intercourse and communication between man instruments to fulfil his purposes, to protect his and man. The bible is the word' of God, bepeople, and show forth his praise. He is over cause it conveys to us the expression of his all' in
mind or will. But when the evangelist declares The operations of providence. Events occur that the Word was made flesh, it is evident exactly in the time, and manner, and order of that he speaks of a person, and it is equally obhis appointment. He sits at the helm of affairs, vious that he speaks of the person of Christ. In and guides the stupendous vessel in her course, him from eternity were hid all the treasures of permitting every storm that blows, producing wisdom and knowledge; and in the fullness of every calm that succeeds, working all things time he appeared on earth, in the character of a according to the counsel of his will. Whatsoever teacher sent from God to unfold the mysteries of pleaseth him that he doeth in the heavens above, his kingdom, to display the glories of his characand in the earth beneath. He is over all'in— ter, and reveal his purpose of mercy for the in
The dispensation of grace; for he is Head struction and salvation of a benighted and perishover all things to the church, which is his body. ing world. Ministers possess a degree of authority, but it is But to fit him for his work it was necessary derived from him, and must be exercised in sub- that the Word should be made flesh. The term ordination to him. Ordinances exert a beneficial flesh,' expresses the reality of our Lord's human influence, but they owe all their efficacy to his nature, and embodies the great fact of his incarblessing. His will is our law in all matters both nation. He emptied himself of the glory which of faith and practice. This is a prerogative he had with the Father, and took upon him, not which he will not give to another, and which he the nature of angels, but the nature of man, for will not share with another. But he has a two- he came to save not angels but men. His obefold empire in the church: one external and dience could not have answered the end for which visible, another spiritual and invisible; the former it was designed, had it not been the obedience of extending to all who profess the faith of Christ, a man. He, therefore, became literally “bone of the latter confined to those who possess it. our bone, and flesh of our flesh,' having a true
His people are they who have been made will body and a reasonable soul, endued with the ing that he should reign over them. They bear same faculties, performing the same functions, his image, and bow to his sceptre, and live in and subject to the same infirmities which are dependence upon him, and hold themselves at common to men. But his flesh had no mixture his disposal, and offer up the daily homage of of depravity in it. He was in reality made flesh, their united ascriptions, saying, Blessing, and but he was made only in the “likeness of sinful honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that flesh. Because he had no sin of his own, he sitteth
upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for could offer himself a sacrifice for the sins of his ever and ever. Remember me, O Lord, with people. It was a pure and perfect sacrifice that the favour that thou bearest unto thy people. he presented; and the righteousness which he O visit me with thy salvation: that I may see wrought out, in his life and by his death, was the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the strictly and properly the righteousness of a man, gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with and such as might be imputed to man for the thine inheritancc.'
ground of his justification and acceptance with God. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.'
In his incarnation Christ emptied himself, but by thus emptying himself he acquired a fullness which he could not otherwise have possessed ; a
mediatorial fullness, a fullness of all spiritual ex- essence of eternal truth, and the substance of recellencies and blessings; not the fullness of a vessel vealed truth. He must, therefore, have a perfect which is diminished by communication, but the comprehension of truth, as well as be supremely fullness of a fountain which is ever flowing, yet qualified to make it known to others. ever full. He is full of grace and truth. These All the spiritual wants of his people liave been words are descriptive of the character of Christ, provided for in the fullness of Christ. They are and attribute to him the
by nature ignorant, having the understanding Perfection of all moral excellency. Grace ex- darkened by the god of this world, who leads presses, in particular, the benevolence or com- them captive at his will. But Christ is full of passion of Christ. The apostle has employed it truth to open the eyes of their understanding, to in this sense in writing to the church at Corinth, turn them from darkness to light, and to train "Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, them up “unto all riches of the full assurance of that he who was rich for your sakes became understanding, to the acknowledgment of the poor, that ye by his poverty might be rich. It mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.' was grace that brought him down from heaven By nature also, and by wicked works, they are to earth; grace appeared in all that he said, and enemies to God, exposed to his wrath, destitute of did, and suffered; grace was infused into his lips, his image, averse to his service, incapable of honand breathed in all his discourses ; his miracles ouring or enjoying him. But Christ is full of grace were all acts of grace; his submission to the death to pardon their sins, and restore them to favour, to of the cross exhibits a manifestation of sovereign, purify their hearts, and fit them for duty. There disinterested, unparalleled grace. He not only is in him a fullness of all that they should desire, had grace, but was full of it; he possessed not one or can stand in need of either in time or for etergracious property merely, but had grace in all its nity. And his fullness is like himself-infinite and varieties, combining the estimable in character inexhaustible. As it is sufficient for all so it is with the amiable, things pure and excellent with accessible to all. things lovely and of good report. But he was
“Of his fullness have all we received, and grace also ‘full of truth. This marks the sincerity and for grace. But as it was with him, so is it in uprightness of his character. The Jews called some measure with his people. Grace and truth him a deceiver, yet none of them could convince are combined in them as they were in him. He him of sin. He taught the way of God truly, first opens the blind eyes by the light of his truth, and proved himself to be the faithful and true and then subdues the stubborn and stony heart Witness. In him grace and truth were blended by the power of his grace. Truth is the instrutogether in beautiful consistency, and absolute ment to prepare the way for grace, and grace is perfection. But the terms“ grace and truth,' the agent to apply and give effect to the truth. apply to the redeeming work of Christ, and Neither of them can be dispensed with, and in ascribe to him a
the experience of every true Christian both are Plenitude of all spiritual blessings. Grace combined. There may be truth in the underexpresses generally the privileges of God's favour standing without grace in the heart, but grace and family, including pardon and acceptance, a cannot exist without the accompaniment of at new heart and a right spirit, deliverance from the least some portion of the truth. Hence the nebondage of corruption, the victory which over-cessity of prayer in order to the extension of the cometh the world, a title to heaven, and a meet- Redeemer's kingdom. The light of truth may ness for it. In particular grace very frequently be diffused by mere human efforts, but the truth denotes the influences of the Holy Spirit. These can be made effectual only by the operation of and all other spiritual blessings are contained in grace promised and put forth in answer to prayer. the fullness of Christ. They are his by the ap- Truth is mighty and shall prevail, but the might pointment of the Father, for it pleased the Father of truth comes into operation through the omnithat in him all fullness should dwell; they are his potence of grace. by the purchase of his own blood, in terms of the It is our privilege, as it was that of his pereverlasting covenant whose conditions he fulfilled. sonal followers, to behold in the flesh and fullness To him especially has been committed a dispen- of Christ the glory as of the only begotten of the sation of the Spirit, and what he said to Paul he Father. We behold the antitype of that glory says to every disciple: “My grace is sufficient for which overshadowed the mercy-seat, and which thee.' Truth, on the other hand, is expressive of shone forth permanently, then first in the taberknowledge or doctrine, and in this view of it nacle, and afterwards in the temple. We seo Jesus could affirm, · I am the truth.' He is the I not a material glory which dazzles the external