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which may not a little discompose his mind, and agitate him with fears. This can only take place when he finds his graces weak and indwelling sin strong, and that he is inadequate both for doing the work and bearing the trial. But the virtue of the cross is undiminishible, and recourse ought to be had to it for weakening the power of lust. The believer already knows what it is to be crucified with Christ: this should encourage him to renew his ap. plication to the cross, that the remaining power of lust may be destroyed. This would renew that peace which he formerly felt, when the old man received the first stroke. But the Saviour is the resurrection and the life, and it belongs to him to revive the languishing graces of his people. This is to be obtained by faith; "He that believeth on me," said Jesus, "out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Let the believer then attend to faith in the blood of Christ, that he may advance in crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts, and also in strengthening the things that are weak and ready to die: this will render his work easy, and his trials light. Does he sometimes feel much hardness and insensibility of heart? The blood of Jesus will soften it. Does he feel a sense of the divine displeasure for sin? It is through this blood improved by faith that God will again speak peace to his soul; and he only wishes him to apply for it through the medium of that blood. If he is assaulted by Satan he must overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Nothing is so effectual. His head has already been bruised by this blood, and faith in it will renew the wound, foil him, and put him to flight.
THE CAPTAIN OF SALVATION FITTED BY HIS SUFFER INGS FOR BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY.
HEB. ii. 10.
-To make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
THAT the salvation of sinners is a work of great magnitude, may be inferred from the vast preparation which is made for carrying it on; unless we charge God with making an ostentatious parade of operation calculated to answer no good end. But this would be to arraign the wisdom of Jehovah. The Son of God alone was found adequate to this work; but such was the nature of it, and such the manner in which it was to be conducted, that he must proceed by various preparatory steps, leading to the successful execution of it. Though possessed of consummate wisdom, adequate to direct him infallibly in every part of the work; and of power sufficient to produce any change on the sinner, and to crush any opposition that might be made to him, yet something is necessary prior to this. A course of the most perfect obedience must be gone through, and a series of extreme suffering, terminating in death, must be undergone, ere he can save one sinner. The nature of these sufferings has been considered, which leads to the discussion of the
III. HEAD of doctrine, which is to show how the
Captain of salvation is, by his sufferings, perfected or fitted for bringing many sons to glory.
1. As a preliminary, I observe, that the assertion does not imply any personal or natural imperfection in the Mediator. As the Son of God, he is possessed of all divine perfections, "for in him dwells all the fulness of the God-head bodily.' What the Scriptures ascribe to him separately, he sums up and claims to himself in few words, "All things that the Father hath are mine." John xvi. 15. Without such perfection he could not have performed the work of Mediator between God and sinners. Yet if we view him as possessed only of the divine nature, he could not be their Redeemer; not on account of imperfection in him but of infinite perfection; his divine nature being incapable both of obedience and suff ring.
In respect of his human nature, he is equally free of impertection. That nature, it is true, is imperfe& when compared with the divine nature, yet it possesses all that perfection of which human nature is capable. His soul and body were once comparatively imperfect, while in a state of nonage; but this was merely natural; and he reached perfection even in this respect before he entered upon his public work. He was ever free, from the moment of his conception, of all moral imperfection, being holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners." The want of a human personality was no imperfection in the Mediator; it was rather a singular part of his perfection as, Mediator, not to have it; for if he had had a human personality he could have been no more than a human Mediator. The divine person could not have been Mediator, having no inferior nature belonging to it, in and by which he could mediate. If he had had two per
sons he would have acted as Mediator only in that person to which the nature capable of dying belonged. If the human nature had been without any personality, it would have been imperfect; but by subsisting in the Son of God, its personality was divine, and so more excellent. Though he could bring no son to glory without suffering, yet that was no imperfection in the Mediator, but only in his work before it was finished. If, however, after he had gone over the whole of his work, any defect had been found in it, imperfection would then have been chargeable upon the Mediator; as imperfection in the work would necessarily have inferred this. His sufferings were one very material part of his work, on which the whole work of salvation depended, and by these he became competent to
2. THE sufferings of Jesus were a solemn consecration of himself to that part of his mediatory work which was to follow. He was invested with all his offices, when he was set up from everlasting as the Surety of the new covenant; his consecration, at least the visible signs of it, took place in time, when his two natures existed in a state of actual union. In the consecration of the legal priests, water, oil, and blood, were used. Moses was commanded to wash Aaron and his sons in water, prior to his clothing them with the pontifical robes. Lev. viii. 5, 6. Having clothed them, he took the holy oil, which was prepared by divine direction, and anointed them. ver. 12. "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him." This being done, he took the ram of consecration, on the head of which Aaron and his sons laid their hands, and he slew it, and anointed them with the blood, putting it on the right ear,
right hand, &c. Besides this, "Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments; and sanctified Aaron, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him." ver. 30. It is very evident that these three materials were used in a religious, sacred The water might express purity of heart, and typify that perfect holiness in Christ which was the Spirit's work; the oil might be emblematical of love, peace and joy, which are the fruits of the Spirit. "Jesus was
anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows;" blood was the symbol of pardon, as it was always the blood of a sacrifice.
THESE Ceremonial consecrations had their impletion in our great High Priest.
He was consecrated with water at his baptism, when entering upon his public ministry. At the same time he was consecrated by the descent of the Spirit; for immediately after he came up from the water, the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended in the form of a dove, and hovered upon him. Mat. iii. 16. John i. 32. This appearance rendered the consecration visible. Such also was the consecration of the disciples, on the day of Pentecost. As the water might be emblematical of his perfect purity and holiness, as that holy thing born of the virgin, by virtue of the descent of the Spirit upon her; so this descent of the Spirit, which immediately followed his baptism, was expressive of all those official gifts which the Spirit wrought in him, for the prosecution of his public work. "When he returned from Jordan he was full of the Holy Ghost." Luke iv. 1. This and applied, in this sense, "The Spirit of the Lord
was foretold Isaiah Ixi. 1. to himself. Luke iv. 18.