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The people which sat in darkness saw a great light?—they that
that labour and are heavy laden-for I am meek and lowly in heart. Luke 15: 1.
IX. The example of Christ.--Keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments. Love one another as I have loved you—-It shall be among you,--even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to ministerhe that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk even as he walked— If we conform our lives in the world to the example of Christ, then is our confidence in the love of God complete"--and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethrenlet this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us. John 15: 10. 13: 34. Matth. 20 : 26-28. 1 John 2:6. 4:17. 3: 16. Phil. 2: 5. Ephes. 5: 2.
X. Subject continued.--1 Pet. 2: 21, for even hereunto were ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. .
XI. Christ bore the cross before us.- John 15:20, if they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also. Matth. 10: 25. John 12: 24–26, “If any man will serve me, let him follow me as one who is going (v. 23) forward toward the sufferings of death (v. 27, 32), and thereby to glory (v. 25)."3 1 Pet. 3: 17, “ It is better to suffer in doing good, if such be the will of God, than to suffer on account of evil deeds.” v. 18,“ Christ also suffered as a just person, ayagonoiwv, and now lives for ever in glory." 1 Pet. 4: 12, think it not strange—but rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings. Rom. 8: 17, joint heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him. 2 Tim. 2: 11, it is a faithful saying, If we be dead with him (Christ), we shall also live with him. Heb. 12: 2.
1 Hess über die Lehren Thaten und Schicksale des Hernn. S. 37. 2 On the design of John's Gospel &c. p. 213 &c. 3 See Dissert, in lib. N. T. histor. p. 20.
Mediatorial office of Christ. The agency of the Redeemer in accomplishing that salvation which was promised to man, embraces two kinds of works (1). One part of this destination (2) he accomplishes, by his residence in heaven; The other he effected, while he sojourned on earth (87). In reference to the former, we may repose the greater confidence in him ; as he gladly abstained from any premature use of the dignity of his nature, in the execution of the divine will, and thus leaves us no ground to apprehend (3) that he might use that dominion which he has at length acquired, in any other manner than in consistence with the will of God, the Author of our salvation. We are certainly authorized to expect (4), with the most perfect assurance, that he, who out of love to us relinquished for a season the enjoyment of the dignity of his nature, and submitted to many and various kinds of human suffering, will discharge the duties of that honorable office which he sustains in heaven for our good, with perfect propriety, and with a compassionate reference to our peculiar circumstances (5).
1 On the Design of the death of Jesus, p. 523.
I. Priestly office of Jesus. The appellation of highpriest AOXLEDEUS, which is applied to Jesus in Heb. 3: 1, refers to both kinds of the Redeemer's works. ($ 84. Ill. 5.) For it marks out the celestial dignity and divine government of Jesus, as being beneficial to the human family; and combines together the salutary influence of this exalted nature of Christ, and his death of reconciliation which he endured on earth. This is the import of the sacerdotal entrance of Christ into heaven. Heb. 8: 1, 2, 4, we have such an highpriest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. 5:5, so also Christ did not assume the glory of highpriest himself. 7: 26, for such an highpriest became us--who is higher than the heavens. v. 28, “The sworn declaration (Psalm 110:4) which was made after the introduction of the law, maketh the Son highpriest who is transferred into eternal glory.”l Heb. 5: 9, being made perfect, he became the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him, called of God an Highpriest. 7: 24, 25, but this one hath an unchangeable priesthood, wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him. 6: 19, 20. 8: 3, "every highpriest is inducted into office in order that he may offer sacrifice. Consequently this (our Highpriest) must also have something to offer.” The act of dying as a sacrifice is not a priestly act; but the act of offering the victim which was slain, in the sanctuary. This act, however, could not be performed on earth, where Christ had no sanctuary, but only in heaven (v. 4). The Socinians do not err in connecting his priestly office with his entrance into heaven, but in taking from him that bloody sacrifice of atonement, which he had to offer on his entrance into heaven as highpriest.
1 Schleusner's Lex. art. aQXLE DEUS No. 2. 2 Commentary on Hebrews, p. 138.
9: 12, 14 by his own blood, he entered once into the holy place. - The blood of Christ, who in a state of eternal glory offered himself to God as a perfect offering, δια πνευματος αιωνιου[πνευματικον, δεδοξασμενον.] Ηeb. 10: 12, having brought one sacrifice for sins, which is valid for ever, hath set down on the right hand of God. v. 14, 19–22, “We may confidently enter the holy of holies [heaven] with the blood of Jesus--which new and by no means dangerous way, through the veil—I mean the state of humiliation of Jesus--he hath consecrated for us.
II. See Part 2 infra ; and $ 65 supra.
III. Heb. 5: 5, 7, “ the dignity of the office of highpriest, was not arrogated to himself by Christ, who in the time of his humiliation implored deliverance with tears." Hence we may justly infer, that he will discharge the duties of that honourable office, in the attainment of which he so entirely submitted to the will of God, in perfect accordance with the gracious purpose of God, and fully answer the purposes of his priestly office.?
IV. Heb. 2: 17, wherefore, in all things, it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful Highpriest with God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people--having been tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 4: 15. 5: 8, “ Although Christ felt no sinful propensities in his soul, he can still have compassion for sinful man, inasmuch as he has experienced at least the difficulty of obedience, and thence can infer what must be the feelings of those who, in addition to an innocent dread of pain, labour under a propensity to sin and disobedience.93
V. “ The exposure of Jesus to the endurance of suffering was a suitable preparation, to qualify him for the office of saving suffering men." See III. 4.1
1 See the Introduction to Hebrews, p. xcix. 2 Comment, in loc. notes i and m. 3 Ibid, in loc, note y.
Christ could acquire the right of bestowing salvation on mankind
only as the reward of his own obedience. Although Jesus, by virtue of the greatness and perfection resulting from his peculiar union with God, would have been able to bestow a high degree of happiness on mankind (8 60—65); he was prevented from using the power and dignity of his person for the accomplishment of this purpose, by the character of man himself, which rendered him unworthy of enjoying such a happiness. In order, therefore, that he might bestow salvation on his brethren (1) in a manner consistent with the law of God, it was necessary that the man Jesus should in conformity to the same law of divine justice ($ 24), by which all other men were, on account of their disobedience, denied the enjoyment of this great salvation, purchase to himself the right and power (2), to avail himself of his greatness in the salvation of his brethren, and to transfer (3) to them that blessedness which he possessed, and which they could not obtain by their own merits. For, although Jesus might from the beginning have enjoyed the consequences of his union with God just as he now does, and although he might, in a state of happiness and splendour also, have evinced his obedience in a manner corresponding to such a state, as he now really does (4); still God assign
1 The Design of the death of Jesus, p. 670, note