Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors]

ment for acceptance, he added, "Because, for thy "sake, I have born reproach; shame hath cover"* ed my sace," Psal. lxix. 6, 7. "I have glori"sied thee on earth, (said he) I have sinished the "work which thou gavest me to do;" there is the plea, upon which he founded the following claim:" "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine "own self, with the glory which 1 had with thee, "before the world was," John xvii. 4, 5. He pled, not on the footing of mercy and forbearance in God, but on the footing of righteousness, absolute, eternal righteousness, in the Divine Nature; as what, disposing and determining Jehovah to render to every one according to their real demerit, behoved to conclude for the answer of his prayers; evident from his calling him, in that noticeable prayer, "Holy Father," and again, "Righteous "Father," John xvii. 11, 25. In this there was nothing presumptuous or premature; for the Father was " well pleased foi his righteousness' sake," as consisting in his "magnifying the law, and mak"ing it honourable," If. xlii. 21. The prayers or cries of Jesus Christ -were al-ways such as the Father .was -well pleased to grant. Other men, saints not excepted, may, through their blindness and impersection, afle, not only what the Father will not give, but what, should he indulge them in, would be hurtful for them to receive. "Ye ask (says "the apostle) and ye receive not, because ye ask "amiss," James iv. 3. This is uniformly the case 'with sinners; and, in things respecting a present lise, or not essential to salvation, frequently the case with saints themselves. Whereas no desires flowed from the Saviour's heart, no petition dropped from his lips, but what was intirely a transcript of the Father's will, altogether a copy of the divine purpose and pleasure, and an invariable

evidence evidence of what Jehovah would actually grant. From the Father's repeated declaration concerning Christ, first at his baptism, and then at his transfiguration; the complacency he had in his prayers, as well as in his person, is manifest and clear. "This (said he) is my beloved Son, in whom I "am well pleased," Matth. iii. 17. and Matth. xvii. 5. and, from what our Lord himself said to the Pharisees, it is plain he had the believing persuasion, the delightful conviction, that in prayer is well as in other duties, he always, without exception, squar'd his conduct by the divine pleasure. "He that sent me (said he) is with me; the Fa"ther hath not left me alone, for I do always"those things that please him," John viii. 29. As an obvious consequence from this, our Lord's cry never failed of success, his prayer never missed an answer- Saints may pray once, again, and again, to no purpose; they, in manifold instances, may, with the church complain, "Thou coverest "thyself with a cloud, that our prayers shall not "pass through," Lam. iii. 44. But, whatever desertion the Man Christ, as to his Father's comfortable presence, groaned under, his prayers were never sent empty away: For "he lift up his eyes "(says the evangelist) and said, Father, I thank thee "that thou hast heard me; and I know that thou "hearest me always," John xi. 41, 42. The most remarkable circumstances, however, in which the prayers of the Man Christ differed from thole of other men, was, his sometimes demanding, rather than begging, of the Father. As to mere men, they must sall down, as unwoithy creatures, at the footstool of mercy, the throne of grace; scnsi- , ble they deserve not what they ask; persuaded that Jehovah may, without injustice, deny their request.: and quite satisfied that, unless the sovereignty


ty of grace turn the scale in their savour, no blessing car\ be granted to them, or enjoyed by them. So much is comprehended in the highest boldness, assurance, and considence of saith, that was ever exercised, by any heir of promise, in his dealings with God. But our Lord, even in the days of his flesh, sometimes pled in a strain very different; in a strain unprecedented, inimitable, and peculiar. "Father, / -will (said he) that they also whom "thou hast given me, be with me," John xvii. 24. Strange! / will! and not, If thou -wilt .' Yes; our Lord, having the Father's everlasting 0bligation to him, for that purpose, in his hand, makes a demand on the promiser, for the accomplishment of his promise; there is an immediate requisition in this case. Nay more, the Redeemer speaks in strains of his divinity; and (peaks his purpose into being; speaks as co-equal with the Father, respecting the crowning mercy he intended to perform toward all his spiritual seed.

SECT. rv.

What beauty, simplicity, and grandeur, appear in the Redeemer's character, as represented ? What an amiable, signisicant, and important picture does it set before 11s ? Never was the exercise of patience screwed up to such an anming pitch; never did the grace of patience shine with equal splendor, advantage and glory. Never did that divine virtue receive such honour, or appear with such magnisicence, as in the humiliation of Jesus Christ, his people's Lord. Compared with this, the patience of Job, what is it? to what sum total does it amount? Compared with this, even the patience of Job is as a twinkling taper, to the fun in his brightness; weighed in the scales of the scripture, lighter than nothing, absolute vanity. Here is patience


« AnteriorContinuar »