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in such a style as this, “ This is my commandment,” John xy. 12.

“ ře are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you," ibid. 14.

(2.) Another thing that Christ was employed in during the course of his ministry, was working miracles. Concerning which we may observe,—Their multilude. Besides particular instances, we often bave an account of multitudes coming at once with diseases, and his healing them. They were works of mercy. In them was displayed not only bis infinite power and greatness, but his infinite mercy and goodness. He went about doing good, bealing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, and the proper use of their limbs to the lame and halt; feeding the hungry, cleansing the leprous, and raising the dead.

They were almost all of them such as had been spoken of as the peculiar works of God, in the Old Testament. So with respect to stilling the sea, Psalm cvii. 29. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still; walking on the sea in a storm, Job ix. 8. Which alone-treadeth upon

ироп the waves of the sea; and casting out devils, Psalm 1xxiv. 14. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces. So as to feeding a multitude in a wilderness : Deut. viii. 16.

Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna; telling man's thoughts, Amos iv. 13. Lo, he that declareth unto man what is his thoughtthe Lord, the God of hosts is his name; and raising the dead, Psalm lxviii. 20. Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. So as to opening the eyes of the blind, Psalm cxlvi. 8. The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind ; healing the sick, Psalm ciii. 3." Who healeth all thy diseases ; and lifting up those who are bowed together, Psalm cxlvi. 8. The Lord raiseth them that are bored down.

They were in general such works as were images of the great work which he came to work on man's heart; representing that inward, spiritual cleansing, healing, renovation, and resurrection, of which all bis redeemed are the subjects. He wrought them by his own power, and not as the other prophets did. They were wont to work all their miracles in the name of the Lord; but Christ wrought in his own name. Moses was forbidden to enter into Canaan, because he seemed by his speech to assume to himself the honour of working only one miracle. Nor did Christ work miracles as the apostles did; but by his own authority and will: Thus, saith be, I will ; be thou clean, Matt. viii. 3. And in the same strain he put the question, Believe ye that I am able to do this? Matt. ix. 28.

(3.) Another thing that Christ did in the course of his ministry, was to call his disciples. He called many disciples, whom he employed as ministers. He sent seventy at one time in this work: but there were twelve that he set apart as apostles, who were the grand ministers of his kingdom, and as it were the twelve foundations of his church. (See Rev. xxi. 14.) These were the main instruments of setting up his kingdom in the world, and therefore shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

4. I would observe how he finished his ministry. And this was, in giving his dying counsels to his disciples, and all that should be his disciples, which we have recorded particularly in the 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John's Gospel. În instituting a solemn memorial of his death, the sacrament of the Lord's supper, wherein we have a representation of his body broken, and of his blood shed. In offering up himself a sacrifice to God, in his last sufferings. This act be did as God's minister, as God's anointed priest ; and it was the greatest act of his public ministry, the greatest act of his obedience, by which he purchased heaven for believers. The priests of old used to do many other things as God's ministers; but the highest execution of their office was their actually offering sacrifice on the altar. So the greatest thing that Christ did in the execution of his priestly office, and the greatest thing that he ever did, and the greatest thing that ever was done, was the offering up himself a sacrifice to God. Herein he was the antetype of all that bad been done by all the priests, in all their sacrifices and offerings, from the beginning of the world.

III. The third distribution of the acts by which Christ purchased redemption, regards the virtues that he erercised and manifested in them. Christ, in doing his work for our redemption, exercised every possible virtue and grace. Indeed, there are some particular virtues that sinful man may have, which were not in Christ; not from any defect of virtue, but because his virtue was perfect, and without defect. Such is the virtue of repentance, brokenness of heart for sin, mortification, and denying of lust. Christ had no sin of his own to repent of, nor any lust to deny. But all virtues which do not presuppose sin, were in him in a higher degree than in any mere creature. Every virtue in him was perfect. Virtue itself was greater in him than in any other; and it was under greater advantages to shine in him than in any other. Strict virtue shines most when most tried; but never any virtue had such trials as Christ's had.

The virtues that Christ exercised in his work may be di. vided into three sorts, viz. the virtues which more immediately respect God, those which immediately respected himself, and those which immediately respect men.

1. Those virtues which, more immediately respect God. There appeared in hiin a holy fear and reverence towards God

his was.

the Father. Christ had a greater trial of his virtue in this respect than any other had, from the honourableness of his person. This was the temptation of the angels that fell to cast off their worship of God and reverence of liis majesty, that they were beings of sach exalted dignity themselves. But Christ was infinitely more worthy and honourable than they ; for he was the eternal Son of God, and his person was equal to the person of the Father; and yet, as he had taken on him the office of mediator, and the nature of man, he was full of reverence towards God. He manifested a wonderful love towards God. The angels give great testimonies of their love towards God, in their constancy and agility in doing his will; and many saints have given great testimonies of their love, who, from love to God, endured great labours and sufferings; but none ever gave such testimonies of love to God as Christ has given, He manifested the most wonderful submission to the will of God. Never was any one's submission so tried as

And he manifested the most wonderful spirit of obedience that ever was manifested.

2. In this work he most wonderfully manifested those virtues which more immediately respected himself; as humility, patience, and contempt of the world. Christ, though he was the most excellent and honourable, yet was the most humble; yea, he was the most humble of all creatures. No angel or man ever equalled him in humility, though he was the bighest in dignity and honourableness. Christ would have been under the greatest temptations to pride, if it had been possible for any thing to be a temptation to him. The temptation of the angels that fell was the dignity of their nature, and the honourableness of their circumstances; but Christ was infinitely more honourable than they. The human nature of Christ was so honoured as to be in the same person with the eternal Son of God, who was equal with God; and yet that human nature was not at all lifted up with pride. Nor was the man Christ Jesus at all lifted up with pride, with all those wonderful works which he wrought, of healing the sick, curing the blind, lame, and maimed, and raising the dead. And though he knew that God had appointed him to be the king over heaven and earth, angels and men, as he says, Matt. xi. 27, All things are delivered unto me of my Father ; though he knew he was such an infinitely honourable person, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; and though he knew he was the heir of the Father's kingdom: yet, such, was his humility, that he did not disdain to be abased and depressed down into lower and viler circumstances and sufferings than ever any other elect creature was; so that be became least of all, and lowest of all. The proper trial and evidence of humility is, stooping or complying with those acts or circumstances, when called to it, which are very low, and contain great abasement. But none ever stooped so low as Christ, if we consider either the infinite height that he stooped from, or the great depth to which he stooped. Such was his humility, that though he knew his infinite worthiness of honour, and of being honoured ten thousand times as much as the highest prince on earth, or angel in heaven, yet he did not think it too much when called to it, to be bound as a malefactor, to become the laughing-stock of the vilest of men, to be crowned with thorns, to have a mock robe put upon him, and to be crucified like a slave and malefacior, , as one of the meanest and worst of vagabonds and miscreants,

and an accursed enemy of God and inen, who was not fit to live. And this was not for himself, but for some of the meanest and vilest of creatures, even some of those accursed wretches that crucified him. Was not this a wonderful manifestation of humility, when he cheerfully and most freely submitted to this abasement ?—And how did his patience shine forth under all the terrible sufferings which he endured; when he was dumb, and opened not his mouth, but went as a lamb to the slaughter! And what contempt of the glory of this world was there, when he rather chose this meanness and suffering, than to be invested with the external glories of an earthly prince, as the multitude often solicited him!

3. Christ, in a wonderful manner, exercised those virtues which more immediately respect other men. And these may be summed up under two heads, viz. meekness and love.

Christ's meekness was bis humble calmness of spirit under the provocations that he met with. The greatness of provocation lies in two things, viz. in the degree of opposition by which the provocation is given; and, secondly, in the degree of the unreasonableness of that opposition, or in its being very causeless, and without reason, and the great degree of obliga. tion to the contrary. Now, if we consider both these things, no man ever met with such provocations as Christ did, when he was upon earth. How much he was bated, what abuses he suffered from the vilest of men; how great his sufferings, and how spiteful and contemptuous they were in offering him those abuses! How causeless and unreasonable were these abuses, how undeserving he was of them, yea, how much deserving of the contrary, viz. of love, and honour, and good treatment at their hands. If we consider these things, no man ever met with a thousandth part of the provocation that Christ met with from men; and yet bow meek was he under all! how composed and quiet bis spirit! how far from being in a ruffle and tumult! When he was reviled, he reviled not again; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. No appearance was there of a revengeful spirit; on the contrary, what a spirit of forgiveness did he exhibit! so that he

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fervently and effectually prayed for their forgiveness, when they were in the highest act of provocation that ever they perpetrated, viz. nailing him to the cross : Luke xxiii. 34. Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

And never did there appear such an instance of love to men. Cbrist's love to men, especially in going through his last sufferings, and offering up his life and soul under those sufferings, which was his greatest act of love, was far beyond all parallel. There have been very remarkable manifestations of love in some of the saints, as in the apostle Paul, the apostle John, and others; but the love to men that Christ shewed when on earth, as much exceeded the love of all other men, as the ocean exceeds a small stream.

And it is to be observed, that all the virtues which appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of his life, under the trials be met with then. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials which -Christ underwent in the close of his life, that his love to God, his honour of God's majesty, his regard to the honour of his law, bis spirit of obedience, bis humility, contempt of the world, bis patience, meekness, and spirit of forgiveness towards men, appeared. Indeed, every thing that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of his life. Here mainly is his satisfaction for sin, and here chiefly is his merit of eternal life for sinners, and here chiefly appears the brightness of his example, which he hath set us for imitation. Thus we have taken a brief view of the thing whereby the purchase of redemption was made, with respect to his rightcousness that appeared in them.

SECT. IV.

Christ's Sufferings and Humiliation,

AMONG those things in particular by which the purchase was made, we must reckon the sufferings and humiliation to which Christ was subject, whence arose the satisfaction he made for sin.

I. He was subject to uncommon humiliation and suffering in his infancy, His mother not only suffered in bearing him, but when her travail came upon her, it is said, there was no room in the inn, Luke üi. 7. She was forced to betake herself to a stable, where Christ was born. And we may conclude, that his mother's circumstances in other respects were proportionably strait and difficult, and that she was destitute of the conveniencies necessary for so young an infant which others

VOL. V.

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