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with the human ; we discover an adequate character for this end. As man, he had a body properly prepared, and fitted, to all the purposes, of doing, and suffering. For assuming our nature, by the miraculous impregnation, of the Holy Ghost on the body of the Virgin Mary, without the intervention of an human father; tho' he took upon him the form of man, he took none of the infirmities of man; though in all points like as we are, yet it was without sin. † And as God, the Deity of his person, gave a divine efficacy to all that he wrought, in the great work of redemption. And by the junction of both, that most essential, and distinguishing part, of his Priestly character, as a Days-man, or Mediator, between God, and man, to accommodate the breach which sin had made, was provided for. None but he, who as one with God, knew the mind of God, could say, what was suitable, or what was becoming, the dignity of God to accept, by way of reconciliation. And none but he, who as man, participated in all the feelings of man, could know, what a being, of such weakness and inability as man, had to offer. Hence therefore, in the mysterious union of Person, in which the Lord Jesus came, and tabernacled among us, (little as our greatest researches can go in the discovery of this wonderful subject) we see enough to form a proper conception that He, of whom such things are said, could alone be truly competent, to the great work of our redemption.
It + Heb. 4. 15.
It was in this glorious character, that the Lord Jesus came, · For the purpose of our redemption, he appeared as our representative, and became the Surety, and Sponsor, for his people. He pledged himself in our stead, to fulfil the whole law of God; and when he had accomplished this purpose, he offered himself a spotless sacrifice on the cross, to expiate the penalty due to the breaches of it. "And by both, having (as an Apostle speaks) obtained eternal redemption for us he hath for ever perfected them that are sanctified. I
I should think it a reproach to your understanding, to suppose it necessary, to insist on that very obvious doctrine, which the text hints at; I mean, that in all this, in which the Angel of the Covenant hath done so wonderously, there is nothing of our's, joined with it. We look on, as Manoah, and his wife did. We admire, and adore, the riches of divine grace. And we do right, to fall in humble silence, adoration, and praise, on our faces to the earth before him. But never forget, that it was his own Arm that brought salvation. For of the People there was none with him. The flame on every Altar, burnt up every sacrifice; and must have burnt for ever, as an indication of God's fiery indignation against sin, had not Jesus's blood been sprinkled on the Altar, to appease it. And remember also that Jesus in his Ascension, took nothing with him of E 2
our's * Heb. 10. 14. § Isaiah 63. 3. 5.
our's for acceptance before God. Your best prayers, your best services, your richest offerings, ascend but like the smoke of the Altar, and like smoke without flame, are sullied with a thousand impurities. Happy is it for us, that Jesus perfumes them, with the incense of his merits, and that both our persons, and our prayers, are all accepted in the beloveil.
But what gives the finishing view to the whole, and stamps validity upon all that Jesus did, and suffered for his people ; is the precious consideration, that redemption-work, is the result of all the Persons of the Godhead, and is as much the act of grace in the Father, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as it is the voluntary undertaking of the Lord Jesus, for the purposes of salvation.
I know not my Brother, what your feelings may be, in this view of our subject. But to me I confess, such a conviction, carries with it a testimony, so very precious and interesting, as I would not be without, for a thousand worlds. For when the corruptions of my heart, aided by the temptations of Satan, would prompt me to fear, that however complete, and satisfactory, to all the demands of God's righteous law, the merits, and sufferings, of the Lord Jesus may be in themselves; yet, when unbelief cries out; how do I know that they
are accepted before. God? How delightful is it then to be assured, that in all the Lord Jesus did, and suffered, he was appointed thereunto, in a Covenant-way, by the Father. It is God the Father which saith ; Behold my servant whom I uphold; mine elect in whom my soul delighteth, I have put my spirit upon him he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. I the Lord have called thee in righteousness and will hold thine hand and will keep thee and give thee for a covenant of the people for a light of thie Gentiles. To open the blind eyes to bring out the prisoners from the prison and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. * I have laid help upon one that is mighty I have exalted one chosen out of the People I have found David my servant with my holy Oil have I anointed him. S Hence therefore, in all the gracious undertaking of our Adored Redeemer, for the accomplishment of our salvation he was solemnly set apart by the Father, and inaugurated to the office, by the holy anointing of the blessed Spirit; and all, confirmed by the solemnity, of an oath. The Lord sware and will not repent thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeck. I And that the Apostle Paul, considered this as a matter of the highest moment, to the peace and security of the Believer, is evident from his observations upon it, in his Epistle to the Hebrews. No man (says the Apostle) taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priest but he that said unto him; Thou art my Son this day have I begotten thee. t
And * Isaiah 42. 1. 6. 7. § Psalm 89. Psalm 110. 4. + Hob. 5. 4. 5.
And when the Lord Jesus is introduced by the Spirit of Prophecy, in the Church of old, as coming in this character, he is represented as entering upon the work of redemption, by the express appointment of the Father. Wherefore (saith the sacred Writer) when he cometh into the world he saith; Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast hud no pleasure: Then said I Lo I come in the volume of the book it is written of me to do thy will 0 God.* Hence we have full authority to draw this conclusion; that it is as much the Father's will, as it is the Son's pleasure, the great work of salvation. And that the Believer at the same time, may not overlook the gracious part, which God the Holy Ghost took, in the concurring operation; the Apostle is careful to tell the Church, that when the Lord Jesus offered himself an offering for sin to the Father, to purge our Consciences from dead works to serve the living God, he did it through the Eternal Spirit.§
Never lose sight then I beseech you, of the Father's appointment, and the Holy Ghost's anointing, when you behold the Lord Jesus in the Character of our Redeemer. But as often as you look up to him, in this precious point of view, call to mind, that unanswerable plea for acceptance before God, when drawing nigh the mercy seat, that while you seek his favor, it is in the very way God himself hath appointed. And when at any time you hear with the ear of
faith, s Heb. 9. 14.
* Psalm 40. 6. 9. & Heb. 10. 5.