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which is declared of God. Thus our Lord, speaking to his apostles, says, “Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me and I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter—the Spirit of truth.-If a man love me--my Father will love him, and We will come to him—but the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me.--All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, he shall take of mine and shew them unto you.” Can any unprejudiced mind read these words and deny personality in the Godhead? If words have any meaning at all, then certainly our Lord spake in these places of more than one person.-St. Paul speaks similar language : “ The Spirit itself beareth witness—that we are the children of God-and joint heirs with Christ.-Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together in your prayers to God for me.-Through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.-In whor all the building, fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” I might produce many such instances from the scriptures of the New Testament, in which this doctrine is more fully revealed than to the Old Testament saints; but these are sufficient for my purpose, as I wished to shew the real dignity of his person, and what renders his services and sacrifice meritorious.
And, on the other hand, he is truly and properly man, yet without the intervention of man, being born of a virgin, through the sole agency of the eternal Spirit-of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of David—was wrapped in swaddling clothes, circumcised on the eighth day, taken up in the arms of Simeon, seen of the shepherds and wise men, exiled into a foreign country to avoid death, returned and dwelt at Nazareth-grew, waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom,
and the grace of God was upon him-increasing in favour with God and man, submitting hiniself to his parents, following trade, and attending ordinances of divine service preached, travelled, was weary, hungry and thirsty, sensible of pain, want, sorrow, and anguish-wept, bled, and died -his body was afterwards wound in linen clothes, with about a hundred weight of myrrh and aloes, and laid in a new tomb, in a garden near the place where he was crucified. All these things shew that he was made like unto his brethren, that he, hy the grace of God, might taste death for every man; by which means he becomes a true, compassionate, and faithful Mediator, on the part of man; or by the union of both natures in one Christ, he is the “ Mediator between God and man;" and every part of his character with all his actions, shew how adequate he is to the undertaking ; how likely to succeed in reconciling the parties, and how amiable and glorious he is in the estimation of both.
It is with this subject as with most others, a variety of questions might be asked—how the eternal Word could be made flesh—how himself, as God, could be reconciled and the reconciler-why the first or third of the Sacred Three should not have assumed our nature as well, or instead of the second, and so on; without any one being able to return a satisfactory answer. These deep subjects are not to be understood here : they must be referred to that more perfect state, where we shall know even as we are known. In the mean time, let it be our wisdom to place implicit confidence in him who cannot err, and we shall not be suffered to err ourselves. The cordial reception of what he declares, as just and true, will, though in some respects mysterious, bring its own evidence with it, by promoting the real interests of the soul.
As it was of the utmost importance that the world should not be imposed on with regard to the Messiah—that they should know him and receive himn on liis appearance, in a manner suitable to the greatness of his Majesty and the riches of his grace, men were apprized of him by promises and predictions, types and sacrifices, and descriptions of character, which took place from time to time, till the tender mercy of God sweetly discovered itself in their fulfilment. Let us first consider the promises and predictions.
The first on record, which has been already noticed, is the braising of the serpent's head by the seed of the woman, which implies that the power and dominion of hell should be overturned by the sufferings and death of Christ, which has been accomplished; as through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil; so that such as accept of mercy through him are delivered from Satan's tyranny, and from those terrors of death occasioned by the dread of falling under the power of those cruel and accursed tormentors.
The next promise is that to Abraham, “In thee shall all families and nations of the earth be blessed." Gen. xii. 3. xxii. 18. This could not be personally applied to Abraham; but belonged properly to Jesus Christ, the promised Seed, who “took not on him the nature of angels, but took on him the seed of Abraham--that the blessing promised to him might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.” The same promise was also made to Isaac; (Gen. xxvi. 4.) and after that to Jacob. Gen. xxviii. 14.
When the last named venerable personage was giving his dying blessing to his children, he foretold that “the sceptre should not depart from Judah-till Shiloh came, and that the gathering of the people should be to him.' It is generally agreed, that by Shiloh is meant the Messiah ; as sent to be our peace-maker and to make us happy and prosperous through his own sorrow and sufferings. He was also to make his appearance towards the close and breaking up of the kingdom of Judah; and it is well known that Jesus Christ appeared before its destruction, and constituted the christian church ; and the gathering of the people which began then is still continued by a fresh accession of its mem
bers, and will continue till his authority shall be universally acknowledged.
Moses had it revealed to him, that God would raise up from among the Israelites a Prophet like himself, into whose mouth he would put words, and who would speak all that was commanded him. This promise has never been fulfilled in any one but the Lord Jesus ; and to him it is applied by St. Peter, (Acts iii. 22.) who observes to the Jews, that unto them first God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless them, by turning away every one of them from his iniquities.
In the second psalm he is openly set forth as the Son of God; and, while we are called upon to express our loyalty to him as our dread, anointed Sovereign, we are informed that blessedness belongs to those that trust in him. This psalm is quoted by St. Paul, (Acts xiii.) and by the christian assembly after the release of St. Peter and St. John, It is a remarkable prophecy, and can be applied to none but the Lord Christ.
The eighth psalm is another prediction of our Lord, of the joyful acclamation of the children on his entrance into the temple, and of his humiliation in assuming our nature, and the glory that should follow. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews directs us not to apply its contents to man in general, observing that we see not yet all things put under him (man). But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned
with glory and honour, that he, by the grace of God, should · taste death for every man. Chap. ii. 7. Matt. xxi. 16.
The prophet Isaiah, who some years before had seen his glory, foretold his birth, divinity, and name, (Chap. vii. 14.) which was fulfilled when the blessed virgin brought forth her first-born Son Jesus, the Saviour of his people, or Ema. nuel, God with us. Matt. i. 22.
Micah speaks thus of him, that his birth-place should be Bethlehem : “ But thou, Bethlehem-out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel ;" of his Godhead, “ whose goings forth have been from of old from everlasting ;” that he should be insulted by multitudes, and violently treated, “They shall smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek ;” that he should, notwithstanding this, govern with God-like sway, and “be great unto the ends of the earth.” The wise men, directed by this prophecy, found the young child Jesus and his mother at the very place where the taxation or enrolment appointed by the emperor Augustus had brought his mother and reputed father. His unexampled and supernatural works declared him to be God manifested in the flesh; multitudes insulted him and clamoured for his blood; he was literally stricken with a rod; he has hitherto preserved and ruled his own people, and he is still great to the ends of the earth. Matt. xi. 5. xxvii. 30. xvi. 18.
It was predicted that he should be preceded by Elijah, or one in his spirit and power, (Mal. iv. 5.) who had long before been described by the prophet Isaiah, as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord : make straight in the desert a high-way for our God.” All which was accomplished in the zealous, searching ministry of John the Baptist. Mark i. 2.
The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed his coming under the title of The Lord our Righteousness, as being not only righteous and fulfilling all righteousness in his own person, but as being by his atoning sacrifice the procuring cause of our justification before God, and the medium by which
grace is obtained for the complete renovation of our nature. It was this which made the apostle of the Gentiles say, "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” Other New Testament writers say much the same things, and discover the same spirit.