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3. We must look to him as beginning and carrying on the great work of redemption and salvation. See him in the stable at Bethlehem; in his poverty at Nazareth; in his agony and bloody sweat in the garden of Gethsemane; in the hands of the furious and deluded rabble; in the hands of Pilate, scourged, and crowned with thorns. See him on the cross; in the tomb; rising again; at the right hand of God; and coming again to judge the world.
4. We must look to him for direction in difficulties; for protection in danger; for support in weakness; and for comfort in distress.
V. Jesus IS THE AUTHOR AND THE FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.
1. He is the author of our faith, as he has revealed those blessed truths which we believe. We do not build our faith upon either creeds, articles, liturgies, or homilies; but upon the infallible words of our Lord. Articles and creeds may possibly be good; but the new testament is better than them all.
2. He is the author of that faith which brings salvation. It is through him that we have a power to believe, and that faith justifies, sanctifies, and overcomes the world. He is the finisher of this faith
both as it centres in him, and as by his blessing it is perfected in us.
VI. FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM HE ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISED SHAME, AND IS SET DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
1. The joy set before him was the prospect of saving lost sinners, and of being exalted himself, in his human nature, to high honours in the
world. We have also a joy before us similar to his ; for we may be useful to men, and our souls may be exalted to the heavenly world.
2. To obtain that joy he endured the cross. The death of the cross was painful; but he endured without a murmur. O follow him in this respect! You have a cross to endure; but endure as seeing the Invisible, and keep an eye to the recompense of re, ward.
3. The cross was ignominious; but he despised the shame. It was below him to notice it. Let this be the case with us. Let us despise the ignorant reproaches of men. If we shun either the pain or the shame of the cross we shall lose the crown.
4. After the death of the cross, Jesus sat down at the right hand of God. The phrase denotes a settled state of honour and glory. In that state he does not forget us; but pleads our cause with the Father.
O let us raise our affections to him, that we may sit in heavenly places with Christ Jesus !
To conclude: Have we begun to lay aside our weights ? Have we begun to run? What progress have we made? Do we look to Jesus ? Let us try ourselves. Ye who scarcely walk, whose hearts are cold, now arise, strip off your sins, make a beginning, and hold on your way, that you may at length obtain the prize of your high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Christ our great High Priest.
HEB. iy. 14-16, Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that
is passed into the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have mot an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but one in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto a throne of grace, ' that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
WHEN this epistle was written, the converted Hebrews laboured under a violent persecution, and the evident design of the writer was to guard them against apostasy. The character of Jesus was degraded by the Jews; but here it is represented in its greatness and glory. The law of Moses was extolled above measure; but here it is proved that the gospel is far superior. It is proved that Christ is superior to Moses: that to refuse him will meet with greater punishment than that which was
inflicted under the law: that Christ has provided a rest for persevering believers: that the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword : and that having a great high priest who has passed into the heavens, we should hold fast our profession, and come boldly to a throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. This passage furnishes us with the following important observations:
I. WE HAVE A GREAT HIGH PRIEST, THAT HAS PASSED INTO THE HEAVENS, JESUS THE SON OF GOD.
1. We have a great high priest. The law being a shadow of good things to come, we may consider the jewish high priest as a type of Christ. All the high priests were great men in the sight of Israel; but their greatness was only that of frail mortals. Christ, the christian high priest, took upon
him the infirmities of men; but “the fulness of the Godhead, dwelt in him bodily." Finding him set forth, in the holy scriptures, as the Maker, Preserver, Saviour, and Judge of the world, we are constrained to say, he is a great high priest. Come, poor desponding christian, be encouraged by a view of his greatness, and go on thy way with boldness.
2. Our high priest is Jesus the Son of God. Jesus is called the Son of God both on ac