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plied: how is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? Luke ii. 49. When his disciples presented him with food, saying, Master eat: he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye kinow not of:
my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work, John iv. 31, &c. and, in the text, he said, that for the sake of his disciples, whom the Father had given him, he sanctified himself.
It is, however, demonstrably certain that in proportion as the human soul acquires more light and knowledge, according as it is less distracted by the sinless infirmities of nature, it takes the loftier flight toward the love of order, and conceives a more powerful attachment to the sovereign will of hea
There were certain moments in the life of Jesus Christ, during his abode on earth, in which he was entirely absorbed of those objects which incessantly engage the attention of the angels of God. He was led of the spirit into the wilderness; there he fasted forty days and forty, nights, Matt. iv. 2. and these days and nights were undoubtedly passed in contemplation, in rapture, in an extacy of zeal and fervor. But after these forty days and forty nights were over, he was afterwards an hungred.
In like manner, he beheld the glory of God on the holy mountain, and the transfiguration which he underwent, kinuled to a higher and a higher degree, the desire which he felt to discharge, in a manner worthy of his exalted character, the commission which he had received of the Father. But those rays of glory were to be eclipsed, and from that sacred place he must descend. During the whole course of his life he kept constantly in view the end of his mission. He expressed many an ar
dent wish to accomplish the sacrifice, which he came into the world to offer up.
But at the idea of death, he is for a season in heaviness : there is an appearance of desiring, as it were, to compound matters with the Deity; and this, some interpreters consider as the sense of these words : Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, that I may not drink it, Matt. xxvi. 39. and, perhaps, it is likewise the sense of those which follow : now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour, John xii. 27. Not that Jesus Christ ever thought he could be saved from that hour, or delivered from drinking that cup which was going to be put into his hand ; but it was the language of innocent human infirmity, excited by the first ideas of extreme âpproaching agony. It is only in the possession of perfeet blessedness, that our virtues shall acquire all the activity, all the extent, of which they are susceptible. And it is, yes, it is in this activity, it is in this extent of virtue, which had the power of still farther strengthening the band which united Jesus Christ to his father. For this reason it is, that he promises to the glory of God, that return and increase of glory which he asks of him: Father, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee, ver. 1.
(S) In the third place, there subsists between the Father and the Son, a unity of dominion. Magnificent displays of this were visible even while our blessed Lord tabernacled among them. Is the expression too strong, if we say that God Almighty, when he sent Jesus Christ into the world made him the depository of his omnipotence. The winds, the waves, men, devils, life, death, the elements,
universal nature, all, all submitted to his sovereign will.
But, if the power of Jesus Christ was unbounded as considered in itself, it was limited, however, in its exercise. It was no easy matter to discover the depository of the divine omnipotence in the person of that Man, consigned over to the hands of executioners, dragged before a tribunal of iniquity, and nailed to a cross. There is a dominion, with which it imples a contradiction, to suppose Jesus Christ invested, before he suffered death, for this dominion was to be expressly the reward of suffering: he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, eren the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name ; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth : and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father, Phil. ii. 8, 11. and in the second psalm, ver. 8, 9. ash of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
This is the dominion of which he took possession. On the third day after his death, angels alight upon his tomb, not to effect his resurrection from the dead, but to admire the wonders of it; to render their profoundest homage to that divine Man, the only dead person who had ever revived by his own power; and to yield obedience to that mandate of the great Supreme: let all the angels of God worship him, Heb. i. 6. Forty days after his resurrection, he makes a cloud to serve him as a triumphal chariot, on which he is borne aloft, and
disappears from the eyes of his beloved disciples. As he ascends through the regions of the air, to occupy a throne above the skies, the church triumphant, and all the spirits in bliss, unite in celebrating his return to heaven, with songs of praise; the celestial arches resound with their joyful acclamations, while they cry aloud : lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in, Ps. xxiv. 7.
On his arrival at the habitation of his glory, he assumes his place at the Father's right hand. And thence it is that he exercises the dominion to which his sufferings and death have exalted him : thence it is he beholds the impotent designs of the enemies of the church, and, to use the expression of scripture, laughs at them, Ps. ii. 4. Thence it is he brings down to the ground the heads of the haughtiest potentates : thence it is he controls the power of tyrants, or permits it to act, and to accomplish his purpose: thence it is he bends his eyes upon us, my brethren ; that he hears, and regards, and answers the prayers which, in our indigence, we present at the throne of grace: thence it is he beholds St. Stephen, and grants the petition of that martyr, from amidst the shower of stones which is overwhelming him : Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, Acts vii. 59. Thence it is he draws to himself the souls of our expiring believers, and says to all those who combat under the banners of the cross : to him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, Rev. iii. 21. be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life, Rev. ü. 10.
Such is the glory which must follow the sufferings and death of the Saviour of the world. Such must be the perfection of that unity, which subsists between Jesus Christ Mediator and his Father: Fa
ther, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee .... I have manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world .... Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the Son of Perdition .... I have glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work which thou gavest me tu do : and now, ( Father, glorify thou me with thine own self ; with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.