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Happy, most happy they! who by the eye of faith, already behold him! The transforming sight, even now, purifies and elevates, and delights their minds; and what effects it shall produce, at last, transcends conception. “ It doth not yet ap
pear what they shall be ;" but this we know,—they shall bid farewell to sin, join the first-born sons of light, reflect the lustre of heaven, and be, themselves, “ fairer than " the children of men.”
SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST.
HEB. II. 10.
For it became him, for whom are all things, and
by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
In the preceding chapter, the inspired Apostle informs the Hebrews of the dignified person and character of the blessed Jesus. He is represented as the Son of God as the Maker of the worlds as the Almighty supporter of every thing that exists. All things both in heaven and earth are subject to his dominion. Even angels and archangels, those exalted and
happy spirits, bow down and worship him. And worthy is He to receive the honours which are paid him—for he is “ the first “ born of every creature.”—“ The bright
ness,” saith the Apostle, “ of the Father's “ glory, and the express image of his per
Wonder then, O heavens! and be astonished, 0 earth! when it is told, that this divine, this exalted being, condescended to assume our nature, and to lead a life of pain, of poverty, and affliction for our sakes. When degraded man fell from the dignity of innocent nature, and became obnoxious to death and destruction, and when on his behalf, as patron or intercessor, there was none to appear, mercy and love beamed on the countenance of the Son of Man. Un. sought, unimplored, he compassionated the misery of our fallen state, and in the assembly of heaven declared his willingness to carry our sorrows,” and suffer for our sins.- The Almighty Father cepts his gracious proffers, and makes the counsels of men and the ministry of angels subservient in preparing the way for the appearance of this Captain of our salvation. At length the long wished for period ar
rives. The Son of God the Saviour of the world descends, not surrounded with pomp and affluence, as a misjudging world might expect, but humble and lowly " in the 6 form of a servant.” He who was the Lord of Angels, becomes 6 despised and “ rejected of men.” He who from eternity inhabited the dwellings of glory, submits to be “a man of sorrows and acquainted with “ grief.” Instead of being bred the grandeurs of a court and the splendours of a palace, he is “ born in a stable and “ laid in a manger.” Instead of being followed and honoured by the great ones of the earth, he is, even in his infant years, persecuted and cruelly sought after to be slain. And the farther he advances in life, the more grievous and the more multiplied do his afflictions become. Descended from the meanest origin, and placed in the humblest station, he learns the occupation of his supposed father, and is obliged to earn his bread with “the sweat of his brow." Though heir of all things, he is exposed to every species of want and distress--afflicted without a comforter-persecuted without a protector, and wandering about, according to his own pathetic complaint, because he “ had not where to lay his head.” And
after thus passing through scenes of the deepest sorrow, he is at last put to a cruel and an ignominious death. Betrayed by one of his own disciples, and in the hour of extremity deserted by all, the blessed Saviour of the world is dragged away by a lawless multitude, insulted by a ruffian soldiery, and like a common malefactor nailed to the accursed tree. This poorpersecuted life and ignominious death of our Saviour, while it affected his friends with the most pungent grief, confirmed his enemies in their hatred and their prejudices. The Jews, that infatuated race, seduced by carnal views, and impelled by ambitious hopes, had always indulged the vain expectation of a temporal Messiah-who was to assume the character of a mighty prince was to free them from the Roman yoke, and lead them forth amidst the triumphs of conquest and the splendours of dominion. To them, therefore, the humble afflicted state of Jesus was a stumbling block, which their misguided minds could not get over. Though he “ spake as never man spake,” and did works of wonder which never man did, yet because he lived amidst poverty and reproach, and in the end died upon a cross, they rejected him with disdain and