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BOOK IV.

.

OF THE REDEEMER.

PART II.

THE DIFFERENT WORKS OF CHRIST

(HIS OFFICES).

SECTION 1.

THE WORKS OF THE REDEEMER DURING HIS LIFE ON EARTH.

$ 84.

Twofold destination of Jesus. The man Jesus was, like all other men, and all rational creatures in general

, under obligation (1) of obedience to his Creator, his Lord (2) and his God (3). This obedience Jesus was required, for a certain length of time, to yield; and amid circumstances, too, which might appear surprising, when we reflect on the exalted moral excellence of his character, and his very peculiar union with God (Heb. 5: 8). But the cause of all this is to be sought (4) in the twofold destination (5) of Jesus; he being appointed by God to instruct mankind, and also himself to provide that salvation which he published to them (6).

ILLUSTRATIONS.

I. See the work on the Design of Christ's death, p. 666.

II. 1 Cor. 3: 23, Christ is God's 11: 3, the head of Christ is God, (i. q. ÚnoTacoetai is subject to God, Ephes. 5: 24.) 1 Cor. 15: 28. See 42.

5 III. Jesus saith—I ascend unto my God-Jesus cried, My God, my God !—the God of our Lord Jesus Christ in the temple of my (Jesus) God—thy God hath anointed thee (Jesus).- I will put my trust in him. John 20:17. Matth. 27: 46. Ephes. 1: 17. Rev. 3: 12. Heb. 1: 9. 2: 13. In these words does the Messiah acknowledge his dependance on him through whom are all things.

IV. Heb. 2: 14 &c. 85 &c.

V. Ηeb. 3: 1, αποστολος και αρχιερευς της ομολογιας ηuwv Imoovs “ Jesus the Messenger (Instructor), he through whom we have reconciliation, whom we profess.” See Introd. to the Epist. to the Hebrews, p. cii.

VI. Heb. 2: 3, which (salvation) at first was published by the Lord.

§ 85.

Of Christ's office as instructor (his prophetic office), and the

obedience which he displayed in the execution of it.

The union of Jesus with God, enabled him to execute, in a more perfect manner, the duties of his appointment as divine Messenger (1), or as a prophet (2); that is, it enabled him the better to

1 See Com. in loc, note c.

deliver those divine instructions (3) with which he was intrusted (4). § 82. Yet was it necessary for him, during this time, to withdraw the splendour of his greatness and dignity, and to become like unto the rest of his fellowmen, yea, even to assume a station peculiarly humble (5) amongst mankind. Otherwise, he could not have discharged the duties of a real Instructor, he could not have taught publicly and perseveringly like other prophets. He could not by uninterrupted instruction, have qualified certain persons (§ 9), whom he had himself chosen, to perpetuate the office of instructor, which he had commenced. In short, he could not have sustained an office, in the discharge of the duties of which, it was necessary for him not only occasionally to appear to individual persons, but, to live in the midst of frail mortals (6), and to inspire even persons in the lower stations of life (7) with a high degree of confidence in a person so far exalted above them (8). Moreover, the example of obedience, which the life of Jesus holds forth for our imitation (9), is instructive to us in proportion (10) as the circumstances under which he was placed bear a near resemblance to our own situation (Phil. 2:7). And the humility of our present situation will have the less influence on those splendid expectations with which the religion of Jesus inspires us, when we reflect that Jesus himself experienced (11) the greatest depths of human misery; although some beams of his effulgent greatness shone forth ($ 82) from him in the midst of his humility, and although the latter part of his history on earth (§ 83) clearly proved how dear he was to God, and to what an exalted glory he was destined.

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ILLUSTRATIONS.

1. Christ was the divine Messenger.—John 17:6-8, 18. 20:21. Comp. 5 6. Heb. 3: 1.

II. A prophet.-John 4: 44, nooonins. Matth. 13: 57. Luke 4: 24–27. Heb. 1: 1, 2.

III. Our Instructor:-John 7: 16 &c. 13: 13 &c. o didao. xalos a teacher. Matth. 23:8, 10, one is your (Teacher) Master, Christ.

IV. The work of Christ..-1 John 17: 4, the work which thou gavest me to do. The work or appointment of which Jesus here speaks, does indeed include his death also ;t but a part of it, at least, was to communicate to men his divine doctrines, and to substantiate their divinity by miracles. John 5: 36. 15: 24. 10: 37. 14: 10. John 9: 4, 5, I must work the works of him that sent me (said Jesus)- I am the light of the world. By egyov naroos or “ work of the Father,” is meant doctrines, as we learn from the context. 5: 36, 30. 4: 34. comp. v. 27, 32. 7: 16–18, he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, the same is true. 6: 37, 40. Luke 1: 33, “ I was born for the purpose of being a king, and I came into the world that I might bear witness to that which is true iva uaorvonow tị angelą, to testify that I was born to be a king."2 Now Jesus testified by his instructions that he was a king. Matth. 4: 17, 23. Consequently, he came into the world to give instruction. Luke 4: 43, but I must publish the kingdom of God to other cities also. Mark 1: 38.

In the last discourses of our Lord, he considered death as having been already endured, and hence, in this respect also, he

2יי

1 The Design of John's Gospel &c, p. 189.

2 John 8: 28, 40, 42. 12: 44. 18: 37. Comp. Morus' Epit. Theolog: christ. p. 194.

could say,

I have finished the work ετελειωσα το εργον; of which his death was certainly a part. John 10:17. 14:31, 11. “ It is in general not inconsistent with the usage of language to contemplate an event which is near, as really present. And on the verge of his departure, it was peculiarly suitable for him to present to them the bright side of an event so painful to their feelings, and call their attention to the glorious consequences which would result to them." This remark is applicable to Teller's Antitheses, prefixed to Harwood's four Dissertations (p. xxxv), and to Oertel,” who infers from the passage just quoted, that the death of Jesus was not an essential part of the work which he accomplished, because Jesus declares, previously to his death, that he had finished the work which God gave him to do.3

V. Humble state of Jesus.—Matth. 8: 20, the Son of man hath not where to lay bis head. 13:55. The carpenter's son. 11: 19, the friend of publicans and sinners. Luke 2:24. The reader may find several other collateral objects of that humble state in which God placed Jesus, in Keil's Dissert. de exemplo Christi recte imitando, p. 25.

VI. When the situation of Jesus was no longer like that of other men on earth, he no more dwelt among mortals, but ascended to heaven. And even in the interval between his resurrection and ascension, during which time he still gave instruction to his followers, (John 20: 17.) he was not always with them, but only appeared to them and spent some time with them on particular occasions.

VII. Jesus dwelt among those in low circumstances of life.

1 The work on the Design of John's Gospel and Epistles. 2 Dissert. on the Epist. to the Romans, p. 509.

3 See Schwartze on the death of Christ as an essential part of his scheme for the salvation of mankind, Leipsic, 1795, p. 163 &c.

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