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flict in which he engaged, and to pursue the law. The Saviour has explained his own meancourse which he set them the example. He will ing. Having said, 'I delight to do thy will,' he bruise satan under their feet, and enable them immediately proceeds to express the same sentito say, “in all these things we are more than ment in a different form, by adding, “thy law is conquerors, through Him that loved us.' within my heart.' As the substitute of his
“ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit people he was required to do all that the law with me in my throne, even as I also overcome, enjoins, to abstain from all that the law prohibits, and am set down with my Father in his throne.' to render the full amount of submission and of
service both in heart and conduct which the law demands, that he might become the end of the
law for righteousness to every one that believeth.' TWENTY-SECOND DAY.-EVENING. He had not only to pay their debt of obedience,
but also to bear the penalty of their guilt. It ' Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, of the moral law; but it was no less necessary
was necessary that he should fulfil the precepts O my God,' Psal. xl. 7, 8.
that he should realize the prefigurations of the Tue Psalmist did not say this of himself. The ceremonial law, by submitting in our nature to inspired author of the epistle to the Hebrews has the privations and pains of a laborious and sorapplied the words not to David, but to David's rowful life, and to the suffering of a cruel, ignoSon and Lord. Spoken by any other person minious, and accursed death. they would have been unintelligible or contra- Yet in the near and certain prospect of all this dictory; proceeding from him they are clear, sorrow and suffering he felt and expressed the appropriate, and full of deeply interesting truth. most perfect acquiescence. There was on his
It was in the time of man's extremity that the part the absence of all disinclination to the will Redeemer undertook to work out his deliver- of God which he had to do. He moreover de
No other expedients could be of any clared his cordial approbation of it. He did not avail. Sacrifice and offering had been resorted merely submit to it as that which must be done; to; but they could not take away sin. God did he heartily approved of it as that which ought to not desire and could not accept of them as an be done. He not only approved of it; he was deadequate atonement for the guilt of man. In lighted with it. He looked upon it with a high this awful emergency, when his case seemed to satisfaction, a sublime complacency, which disposed be hopeless, and his salvation impossible, then it him to sacrifice and suffer everything that might was that He, who alone had power to save, ex- be required in the doing of it. He said, “ Mine claimed with generous promptitude, “Lo, I ears hast thou bored,' alluding to the ceremony come: in the volume of the book it is written of piercing the ear of a slave who refused to of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God.' leave the service of his master, and who re
In these words he expressed his adherence to quested that his ear might be perforated with an the terms of a previous agreement. It had been instrument in token of perpetual servitude. In from eternity written' in the book of the divine like manner, the Redeemer devoted himself uncounsels; but that it might be manifest to the reservedly to the cause which he had espoused. church it was written in the volume' of the Old And to show how entirely he was engrossed by Testament scriptures. The Son of God dis-it, how fervently he was attached to it, and covered no wish to shrink from his undertaking, how firmly he was resolved to persevere in it, now that the time of its fulfilment had arrived. he could declare, “I delight to do thy will, O On the contrary, he declared his willingness to my God! act up to the very letter of his engagement, by He said this not in ignorance, but with a clear doing and suffering according to all that had been and certain foreknowledge of all that the will of written in the law, and by the prophets, and in God had appointed for him both to do and suffer. the psalms concerning him. In the immediate He discerned every ingredient of bitterness that prospect of entering on his work he gave utter- was to mingle in his cup of sorrow; the treachery ance to the feelings of his heart in these memor- of Judas who betrayed him; the cowardice of able and most emphatic words, 'Lo, I come: I Peter who denied him; the inconstancy of his delight to do thy will, O my God.' He alludes other disciples, who, with one exception, forsook to the work which he had to do, and expresses him; the injustice of Pilate, who first commanded the state of mind with which he regarded it. him to be scourged, and then condemned him to
By the will of God we are to understand his be crucified; he anticipated the full amount of suffering that was reserved for him, when he universality of the practice may be appealed to cried, I delight to do thy will, O my God.' as a testimony to the fact of man's apostacy, and He said this not from insensibility to pain. There in confirmation of the truth that “without shedwas nothing of stoical apathy in his constitution. ding of blood is no remission of sin.' His dread of suffering he did not conceal, but These awful words are legibly inscribed on expressed on various occasions; and the expres- every part of the Jewish dispensation. Under sion which he gave of it forms an interesting the law almost all things are purged by blood.' feature in the example which he left. It shows To no purpose would the high priest have apthe sincerity and genuineness of his character, proached the mercy-seat had he not taken the and forms a striking contrast to the philosophers blood of atonement with him. Prayer and inof Greece and Rome, who boasted of their in- tercession could be of no avail unless accompanied difference to pain, and their contempt of death. and enforced by the offering of sacrifice. But it He prayed three times, 'If it be possible, let this is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats cup pass from me;' and yet could say, "Not my should take away sins. For the law having a will, but thine be done. Resignation is too shadow of good things to come, could never with feeble a term to describe the state of mind with those sacrifices which they offered year by year which he suffered. He not only endured the continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. cross,' but“ despised the shame.' He rose superior But Christ being come an High Priest of good to it; he delighted in it, “I delight to do thy things to come, neither by the blood of goats and will, O my God.
calves, but by his own blood, he entered once into This was not the language of momentary feel the holy place, having obtained eternal redemping, but of conviction and principle. Our Lord tion for us. acted in conformity with this declaration from The death of Christ was truly an offering for the commencement of his life to its close. His sin. All that the sacrifices under the law did cup of wrath was felt to be palatable and even ceremonially and typically was done by the sacripleasing when he reflected that it was a cup fice of Christ actually and effectually. To adwhich the Father had given' him. It was suf-duce the whole of the passages in which this great ficient to render his work of suffering not only truth is either obviously implied, or expressly and tolerable but delightful to know that he had strongly asserted, would be to quote a large porbeen appointed to it by the will of his Father in tion of the New Testament scriptures. One heaven. We have in him, not only an object of passage may suffice: ‘For what the law could not faith which we should devoutly contemplate, but do, in that it was weak through the fleshi, God an example of holiness which we should care- sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, fully imitate. His disciples are they who, like and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the him, delight to do the will of God. Their obe- righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us dience falls infinitely short of his, yet it possesses who walk not after the flesh, but after the a measure of conformity to his in the spirit and Spirit.” principle of it. He could say, 'I do always Christ's 'offering for sin’ is a sacrifice of God's those things that please the Father;' and he own providing. When no eye pitied, and no claims kindred with those only who walk by other hand could save us, He, against whom we the same rule, · Whosoever shall do the will of had sinned, in the tenderness of his compassion, God, the same is my brother, my sister, and and in the plenitude of his mercy, said, · Deliver mother.'
him from going wn to the pit; I have found a ransom; I have laid help on One that is mighty.' He is the ‘Lamb of God,' and “the Lord laid on
him the iniquities of us all. His work of sufferTWENTY-Third Day.—MORNING. ing was a work which the Father had given him
to do, and his cup of sorrow was a cup the Father · When thou shalt make his soul an offering for had given him to drink. “It pleased the Lord to sin,' Isa. liii. 10.
bruise him, and he hath put him to grief.' As he OFFERINGS for sin have been presented in all hung on the cross he verified the pathetic language ages, and among all nations. This practice can of the prophet, 'Is it nothing to you all ye that only be accounted for by tracing it to the posi- pass by? behold, and see, if there be any sorrow tive appointment of God. There is nothing in like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, the light of nature that seems to dictate such a wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day mode of propitiating the divine favour. Yet the of his fierce anger.'
But the offering of Christ for sin was not to judge, “that if one died for all, then were all more distinguished in its origin, than by its ex- dead; and he died for all, that they which live cellence. He offered up himself, his human should not henceforth live unto themselves, but nature; an offering absolutely without spot or unto him which died for them and rose again.' blemish. He offered himself, not in part, but wholly. The offerings under the law were merely bodily sacrifices; and the offering of Christ was, in like manner, an embodied sacrifice; hence we TWENTY-THIRD DAY.--EVENING. read that he “bare our sins in his own body on the tree;' and of our being sanctified through For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, the offering of the body of Christ once for all.'
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and But his body was not the whole, nor the princi
made higher than the heavens,' Heb. vii. 26. pal part of the sacrifice which he offered. It is not Aaron was an high priest, but not such an high the body but the soul that makes the man. His priest as became us. As a man, he was guilty body connects him with the inferior animals in common with all other men, and, therefore, which have bodies without souls; but his soul needed daily to offer up sacrifices, first for his unites him to the angels of heaven, who have souls own sins, and then for the people's. The sacriwithout bodies. In the offering of himself, Christ fices which he presented, moreover, had no power “poured out his soul unto death. He under- to take away sin, and could not ‘make him that went the most intense bodily suffering; yet this did the service perfect as pertaining to the conbore no proportion to the travail of his soul,' science. The priesthood of Aaron, indeed, was which was quite distinct from the pain of his divinely appointed, and it completely answered body, and did not result from it. Before the all the purposes of its institution. But it wanted hand of violence had touched his body he felt all both influence and permanence; it was entirely the anguish of this mysterious travail. In the typical in its nature and use; and derived all its garden it convulsed him with agony, and expressed importance from that better dispensation which it itself in drops of bloody sweat, and drew from him prefigured, and by which it was superseded. the exclamation, My soul is exceeding sorrow- But we have an high Priest over the house of ful, even unto death.”
God. This name has been given to Christ, not Christ presented his offering in the view of in the way of mere accommodation to the Levitithe people ; yet the people could see a small cal priesthood, but to express his mediatorial portion only of his sufferings. They saw his office, and redeeming work. He was like Aaron countenance ‘marred more than any man's, and called of God an high priest;' and anointed with his visage more than the sons of men. They the oil of gladness above his fellows. The Jewish saw his back torn with the scourge, his head high priest offered sacrifice; Christ in like manbruised with thorns, his body bending under the ner gave himself for us can offering and a sacriweight of his cross, his hands and his feet fas- fice to God of sweet-smelling savour. The high tened by nails to the accursed tree. But they priest under the law went into the most holy could see nothing of the anguish of his spirit place once every year, and presented himself beunder the hidings of his Father's countenance, fore the mercy seat, having the blood of atonewhen the sword of justice was plunged into his ment in his hand; so Jesus our High Priest, Óby innocent side, and the storm of infinite wrath his own blood entered in once into the holy place, poured out its fury on his head, and the load of and sat down on the right hand of God, where his people's guilt pressed him down to the lowest he ever liveth to make intercession for us. But abyss of wretchedness, when he trode the wine- Christ was not called to the priesthood after the press alone, and magnified the law, and made order of Aaron. He belonged to a different reconciliation for iniquity, and triumphed over family, and another tribe. Aaron represented principalities and powers, and brought in an ever- Christ partly, but not perfectly. The law made lasting righteousness, and perfected for ever them nothing perfect: there was therefore 'a necessity that are sanctified.
for another priest, who should rise after the order In the offering of the Redeemer's soul for sin of Melchizedec, and not be called after the order let us contemplate, with adoring wonder and of Aaron. Christ rose to the priesthood after gratitude, the transcendant love of God the Fa- the similitude of Melchizedec, of wh ther in appointing so expensive a sacrifice, and that he was without father, without mother, of God the Son in consenting to become the vic- without descent, having neither beginning of days tim; and let the love of Christ constrain us thus nor end of life. He had parents like other men; he had both a beginning of days and an end of | right hand of God, who also maketh intercession life. But his descent is not recorded; neither is for us.' the date of his birth, nor of his death. These What a lovely character is here exhibited for particulars were concealed, in order that he might our imitation! He left us an example that we be “made like unto the Son of God,' who, as man, should follow his steps. His people were prewas without a human father, and as God, without destinated to be conformed to his image. “He a mother; who was in the beginning with God, that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also and liveth for evermore; who is ‘made higher so to walk, even as he walked.' •Be ye holy, for than the heavens,' having a name given to bim I am holy.' Let all who believe in him be carewhich is above every name.' Such an High ful to maintain good works. Priest became us. He supplied all the defects of As he represents us in heaven, let us represent the Levitical priesthood, and realized all its pre- him on earth. As he pleads with God for us, figurations. He has power with God, and pre- let us plead with men for him. Speak well of rails. Him the Father heareth always. He is his ways, commend his truth, promote his cause, just such a priest as we needed, and as a priest, reprove the ungodly, edify the church, 'be stedhe is all that we need. For in one mysterious fast and immovable, always abounding in the person he combines supreme divinity with work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that
Sinless humanity. He took upon him the re- your labour is not in vain in the Lord.' ality of our flesh, but he assumed only the likeness of our sinful flesh. “It behoved him to be in all things made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high Priest in TWENTY-FOURTH DAY-MORNING. things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. He who knew no
· He is despised and rejected of men ; a man of sin consented to be reckoned sinful, and submitted
sorrows, and acquainted with grief,' Isa. liii.
3. to be treated as sinful, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. But he is The Saviour as a man is distinguishable from all *holy,' not merely in virtue of his consecration to other men by the character he exhibited, and the the priesthood, but personally and inherently, in sufferings he endured. He is fairer than the the possession of every moral excellence of which children of men; grace is poured into his lips. human nature is susceptible. He is, therefore, per- No man ever spake, and none ever acted like fectly · harmless,' as well as infinitely “holy,' free him. History records no example equal to his from actual transgression, chargeable with no ne- in purity, in zeal, in excellence, and usefulness. glect or violation of duty. And as he committed As his character was peculiar, so was his experino actual sin, so he contracted no moral pollution; ence.
He descended as far below other men in for he was “undetiled. Wickedness prevailed humiliation and sorrow, as he rose above them in around him, but it affixed no stain on him. He piety and moral perfection. The treatment he may with truth be said to have been separate experienced was connected with circumstances from sinners.' He dwelt among them, and associ- which, in the highest degree, aggravated its ated with them. He felt for them, and expressed criminality. He was treated with his sympathy towards them by going about doing Contempt, for · he was despised of men.' They good both to their bodies and souls. Yet he was despised him for the obscurity of his birth, and entirely separate from them in spirit and affec- asked, “ Is not this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose tion, in practice and character. In a moral point father and mother we know? how is it then that of view, he had nothing in common with sinners, he saith, I came down from heaven?' They deand was in every respect opposed to them. spised him for the meanness of his occupation and
In the priesthood of Christ what a sure foun- kindred, saying, “Is not this the carpenter, the son dation is laid of confidence towards God! His of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Work is perfect. We behold its effect in sin taken Juda, and Simon: and are not his sisters here with away, justice satisfied, peace procured, grace pro- us?' They despised him for the company with rided, death disarmed, and glory promised. Be- whom he associated, “When the scribes and Pharilieving in him, we may ask with the apostle, sees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's said unto his disciples
, How is it that he eateth elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he with publicans and sinners?' They despised his that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea ! person and pretensions; his doctrine and mirarather that is risen again, who is even at the cles: they regarded him as a man utterly unwor
thy of respect or attention; they held him up to voke or resent an injury, for he was both harmscorn and infamy as “a wine-bibber and a glut- less and holy. He exhibited a combination of ton, the friend of publicans and sinners.' They all those qualities which are most calculated to even preferred a murderer to him. And after he disarm hostility, to command esteem, and engage had been given over to them to be crucified, as if affection. How strange, and contradictory, and the death of the cross were not a sufficient de- seemingly unaccountable that the holiest of men gradation, they loaded him with insult and indig- should be the greatest sufferer! But the treatnity; they buffeted and spat on him; they ment he met with will appear still more inexclothed him in a purple robe; put on him a plicable, when viewed in connection withcrown of thorns, and with impious mockery The usefulness of his labours. He went about bowed the knee before him, and cried, “Hail, doing good, giving food to the hungry, health to King of the Jews.'
To contempt there was the diseased, sight to the blind, speech to the added
dumb, comfort to the sorrowful, and life to the Rejection, for he was also “ rejected of men.' dead. He spent his life in ministering to the • He came to his own, and they received him not.' relief of human misery, and in adding to the They hated his instructions, and said, • Depart amount of human happiness. What numbers of from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy the Jews were debtors to his compassion and ways. They resisted his authority, and de- power! By his teaching, example, and miracles, clared, “We will not have this man to reign over he made himself a benefactor to the whole Jewus. He invited them to believe, that they might ish nation. Yet they despised and rejected him. be saved; but they continued in unbelief: he Peter explained the mystery, when he said to commanded them to repent, that their sins might them, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of be blotted out; but they persisted in their im- God among you by miracles, and wonders, and penitence. He was rejected by the elders; the signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, lawyers rejected him; the whole Jewish nation, as ye yourselves also know: Him being delivered with a few exceptions, rejected him. They re- by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of jected the truths which he taught, the blessings God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have which he offered, the ministry which he exer- crucified and slain. They were merely God's cised, the sacrifice which he offered, the salva- instruments, and did what his hand and his countion which he wrought out • My people would sel determined before to be done. not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none acted wilfully, and wickedly, and therefore righteof me.' In addition to contempt and rejection ously perished. he was subjected to the endurance of unpa- Let none imagine that in similar circumstances ralleled
they would have acted a different part. The Distress.
His experience of pain and grief spirit which influenced them is common to all. procured for him the distinguishing appellation of Hence it is that the stone which the builders the man of sorrows;' a name alike honouring to rejected is still disallowed: and of those who him, and instructive and consolatory to us. What confess him in words, how many deny him by is the history of his life, but a tale of distress, their works! But to them which believe, he is having written on it within and without, “lamen- precious. Whilst others see no beauty in him tation, and mourning, and woe?' Grief was in that he should be desired, they exclaim, how him not an occasional feeling, but a habitual state great is his beauty!' Yet how small a portion of mind; and there were in it an intensity and do they know of him. But what they know not an acuteness of suffering, of which he alone was now, they shall know hereafter. They shall see susceptible. His acquaintance with grief began the King in his beauty, and appear with him at his birth, and it became every day more inti- when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, mate and agonizing until, under the weight of and to be admired in all them that believe. accumulated and overwhelming sorrow,
he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. Such is the treatment which the Saviour met with; and in his character and conduct there was everything TWENTY-FOURTH DAY.—EVENING. to aggravate its criminality. Let it be viewed in connection with
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried The innocence of his life. He could appeal to
our sorrows,' Isa. lüïi. 4. his bitterest enemies, and ask, “Which of you In the time of Isaiah, the sufferings of Christ convinceth me of sin ?' Never did he either pro- were future ; yet he spake of them as if they had