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ther's proposing thus to minister unto him, supposes a corresponding temper of mind, in his immaculate human nature, to wait for such dispensation or interposition. The disserent answers which our'Lord made to Satan's temptations in the wilderness of Judea, are beautiful expressions of this believing dependence. "He said, man shall not live by bread "alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of "the mouth of God." Again, "Thou shalt not "tempt the Lord thy God:" and again, "Thou "shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only "shalt thou serve," Matth. iv. 4, 7, 10. all which, as he quoted from the Old Testament scriptures, he applied to himself. And the apostle, speaking of the lise of Christ as Man-Mediator, says, "We "having the same spirit of saith," namely, that prevailed in him, and was exercised by him, "ac"cording as it is written, I believed, and therefore "have I spoken," 2 Cor. iv. 13. where Paul quoting the 10th verses of the cxvi psalm, evidently applies it to Jesus Christ, as an expression of his believing dependence on the Father..
Having thus entered upon his Father's Work, our Lord looked for, and expected, the promised period of his humiliation, with the reward to follow upon it, respecting himself in particular, and his people in general. "Surely (said he by the pro"phet) my judgment is with the Lord, and (as it "is in the marginal reading) my reward is with '< my God," If. xlix. 4. "The things (said he, "applying the prophecies of his sufferings and "death) concerning me have an end," Luke xxii. 37. The prophecies, would he have said, concerning my humiliation, have an appointed time, for their gradual, but sinal accomplishment; when my humiliation itself shall intirely and eternally cease. "Hereafter (said he to Nathaniel) you shall A 3 "see "see heaven open, and the angels of God ascend"ing and descending upon the Son of man," John i. 51. And to the high priest, when pannelled as a malesactor before him, we find hini saying, "Hereafter ye shall fee the Son of man sitting on "the right hand of power, and coming in the "clouds of heaven," Matth. xxvi. 64. All manifest declarations of his waiting for the Father's reward, as well as for the period of his own humiliation.
Onr Lord waiting patiently for the Father, points the manner in which his service was performed, and his believing dependence exercised.
The manner in which our Lord performed his Father's work, was no less peculiar than the work itself. Arduous, difficult, and dangerous,as it was, he undertook it: with whatever opposition he met, from men and devils, friends and foes, he entered upon it: and to whatever contempt and sufferings his doing so behoved necessarily to expose him, he, blessed be he, went through with it. At a certain time, when the Pharisees, who riid all in their power, by secret fraud, as well as by open force, to explode she credit of his mission, and mar the success of his ministry; when they, with a view to intimidate the Saviour, said unto him, "Get thee out hence, for Herod will kill "thee;" he, mindful, for his Father and the people, of his covenant, "said unto them, Go ye and "tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils and do "cures to-day, and to-morrow, and the third day "1 shall be perfected: nevertheless, I must walk "to day, tc-morrow, and the day following; for "it cannot be, that a prophet perish out of Jeru"salem," Luke xiii. 31, 32, 33. Nay, on the accomplishment complishment of his work and warsare, he Was so much set, that even a savourite apostle must be severely reprimanded, if he but open his mouth-in opposition to it: for when Peter, hearing his mailer's sufferings and death foretold, said, "Be it "sar from thee Lord, this shall not be unto thee;" the evangelist informs us, that "Jesus turned and "said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan, thou ." art an offence unto me, for thou savourest not "the things that be of God, but those that be of "men," Matth. xvi. 22, 23,
In his humiliation, our Lord was taken in no larch, surprised by no circumstance, he did not previously see, weigh, and consider. With a holy composure, peculiar to himself, he took an accu • rate fore-view, made a particular survey, of all the different parts, the various particulars, of that woik his Father gave him to do; without being thence tempted, at least without being determined, to throw up his commission, resign his office, or desert his station. "From that time forth "(says the evangelist) Jesus began to shew unto "his disciples, how that he must go nino Jeruia"lem, and suffer mauy things of the elders, and "chief priests, and scribes, and be killed," Matth. Xvi. 21. "As Jonas (said our Lord to the Phari"sees) was three days, and three nights, in the "whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three "days, and three nights, in the heart of the earth," Matth. xii. 40. The very instrument of his being delivered into the hands of sinful men was known to him at the first: "For he knew (says the evan"gelist) from the beginning, who should betray "him," John vi. 64. Were men to read the designs of providence, respecting their sufferings, before hand; any patience, competent or possible for them, would not stand the first light; the most A 4 patient
patient of them could not do otherways than sink, before they were actually laid under the trial, cast iuto the furnace. But in this, as in every other regard, the Master has the pre-eminence over the servants, and the head over the members.
As the Saviour met with no surprise, he expressed no grudge, fret, or disgust at any part of his Father's will. "The cup (said he) which the Fa"ther hath given me, shall I not drink?" John xviii. 11. Nor did he insinuate the least resentment against the ungenerous, unreasonable, maliciousinstruments of his trial, sufferings and death. For though "he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he o"pened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb "to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shear"ers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth," If. liii. 7. O patience truly divine! what holy, what noble, matchless and expressive silence is here!
Besides, our Lord bore with the unteachableness of his disciples, the slowness of his followers, to believe what the prophets had spoken; and bore it with a tenderness, delicacy and forbearance, which, unless in the love of the Father, had no precedent, knew no parallel. For, according to the apostle's description of a high priest, to which our Lord's character answered, as sace answers tosace in a glass; or rather, of which our Lord's character was the true, spotless, matchless original; he must be one, "who can have compassion on "the ignorant, and on them that are out of the "way,M Heb. v. 2. Nay, we are called to " con"sider him that endured such contradiction of sih"ners against himself," Heb. xii. 3. Though he could have destroyed them, he bore with them, and bore with them, when their cruelty and resentment were directly levelled against his person, doctrine, interest and, works; in which his princely patience appeared to greater advantage, shined forth with the most distinguished splendour.
The manner in which our Lord exercised his believing dependence was no less peculiar, than the manner in which he performed his Father's work. For though he absolutely believed the truth of his Father's promises to him, he left the time and the way of performance intirely to the Father himself. And if his harmless human nature seemed, under the hottest conflict, to recoil, and to express a wishfulness that the bitterness of his cup might immediately pass over, he instantly recovered himself; and at once, resuming the bravery peculiar to him, as the captain of his people's salvation, said, "Ne"vertheless, not as I f.ill, but as thou wilt," Matth. xxvi. 39. Nor could the highest degrees of sufferings inflicted, the highest penal demands made, by the Father upon him, as the surety of sinners, interrupt his believing claim of relation to the Father, and interest in him. For when bruised, bleeding and groaning, under the immense load of law-wrath upon the cross, we find his saith screwed up to the highest pitch; making him, with holy, believing, intrepid resolution, ro cry, "My "God," and again, "My God," Psal. xxii. 1. Matth. xxvii. 46.
Though our Lord's personal ministry was, comparatively, unsuccessful; though in particular corners, he did not many mighty works, because of their unbelief; though, through the whole of his tabernacling on earth, he had reason to say, "I "have laboured in vain ; I have spent my strength "for nought, and in vain," Is. xlix. 4. yet he believed, that after his translation to heaven, the ends of his death, as to all for whom he suffered, should eventually and effectually be reached. The Father having promised concerning him, that "he should A 5 "lee