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XXXVII. THE DUTY OF CONSIDERING THE NAMES
AND OFFICES OF JESUS CHRIST.
Heb. iii. 1. Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,
consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profesion, Chrijt Jesus.
OUR Lord poffeffed, from all eternity, a nature infinitely superior to that of Angels –
Yet did he submit to the lowest humiliation for usb
And it is by the knowledge of him, as humbled, we attain salvation
The apostle having spoken much on this subject in the foregoing chapter, enforces it with this affectionate exhortationI. Explain the exhortation
The first thing that calls for our attention is the description which he gives of all true Christians
(Wishing to persuade, he strove by tenderness to conciliate their esteem
He calls them brethren ; which they are both by relation and affection
They are “ holy;" fet apart for the fervice and enjoyinent of God - washed in the fountain of Christ's blood and renewed after the divine image
They are “partakers of an heavenly calling;" called to heavenly exercises and enjoy neots--obedient to that calland suitably influenced by it in their hearts and lives
How amiable is such a character ! " brethren!" " holy !” “ called !" &c.
Who would not with to be found of their number :-)
The next thing which demands our notice is the object he sets before then
[When he speaks of Christ in common, he places the name “ Jesus” first; but when with more than ordinary folemnity, the name " Chrift ”is first
He here describes the Saviour both by his names and offices
Pbil. ii. 6, 7.
· Heb. i. 3, 8, 10.
Matt, xxiii. 9
© John xvii. 3.
1 John iii. 14.
His names, “ Chrift', Jefus 8,” are peculiarly fignificant in this connexion
His offices are such as Mofes and Aaron fustained under the law
Christ is “the Apostle of our profeffion,” as being sent, like Moses, to publish that religion which we profess-
He is also “the High Priest of it,” becaule, like Aaron, he performs all that is necesary for our reconciliation with God --]
The last thing to explain is the duty which he presses
[The word which we translate “consider,” implies an attentive regard !
It might ealily be shewn how important this duty is; but that our obfervations on this subject will occur more properly in another place----]
Having spoken what was necessary to unfold the meaning of the exhortation, we proceed to II. Enforce it
To those who answer the foregoing character we address the exhortation
1. Consider the object fet before you His names
(As “ Jefus,” divine Saviour, he is able to save to the uttermont
As “ Christ," he was anointed of God for this very purpose
Had he not been appointed of God, or had he been lefs than God, you might have been afraid to trust in him
But his names atteit his right and ability to save
Think how these words would found in hell; and let them be as tweet to you as they would be to the damned fpirits-]
f It is of the same import as Meílias, John i. 41. and means, Anointed.
& Jefus is the same with Jcíhua, Heb. iv. 8. ; and Joshua is a conwaction for Jah Oseah, the former of which fignifies God, and the latter, Saviour. This name was given by God to Hoieah the son of Nun, who, as a type of Chritt, led the Ifraelites into the land of Canaan : and the giving of this name to the virgin's son may be jutily confidered as an accomplishment of that prophecy which said he should be called Emmanuel, God .with us. Its import thereiore is, Divine Saviour, Vid. Mait. i. 21-23. and Bishop Pearson, p. 69, 70.
" Jefus, as our High Priest, offered himself a sacrifice for us--is gone into the holy of holies to prelent his blood before the mercy-seat liveth to make intercellion for us-presents our offerings unto the Father-bears us on his brealt-plate--and makes known to us the will of God,
[As the Apostle or Prophet of the church, he will iostruct allk
As the High Priest, he will open a way for us into the holy
O reflect on these, till your hearts burn within you with gratitude and love !--)
2. Consider more particularly the view given of him in the preceding and following contextHis compaflion as an High Priest
[He himself has endured perfecution froin men, temptaa tion from Satan, defertion froin God, &c. ?
He will lympathize with you under your trials - »
Let this be a fource of comfort to you under every affiction-] His faithfulness as a Prophet
(He extends his care to all his people. He never fuffered the weakett believer to err finally PNor will he fail to guide us aright L
Go to him then for teaching in every doubt and every difa ficulty-]
Those who do not answer to the charaxler may reap benefit from the exhortation
[Ye who are unholy, and strangers to the heavenly calling, consider this defcription of our bleiled Lord
Consider it-with attention, that you may understand it.
Consider it--withi gratitude, that you may display its influence on your heart-]
* Matt. xi. 29. | Heb. x. 19, 20.
m Heb. ii. 17, 18. Heb. iv. 15. This may be further illustrated by the care of a reu finer, whom Christ is laid to resemble, Mal. iii. 3. • Heb. ini. 2.
Pllai. xxxv. 8. a llai. xxx. 21. Pf. lxxiii. 24.
XXXVIII. PAUL'S DISCOURSE BEFORE FELIX. Acts xxiv. 25. And as he reufoned of righteousness, temperance,
. and judgment to come, Felir trembled; und unjwered, Gothy way for this time; when I have a convenient Jeajon, I will call for thee.
MEN usually perfifi in fin without duly refleâing on its consequences VOL. I.
Hence the peace which they enjoy, notwithstanding they are exposed to the displeasure of the Almighty
Yet the voice of warning and reproof will fometimes alarm them
Too often, however, the alarm is only of fort duration
This was the case of Felix, when awakened by the preaching of Paul 1. The subjects of the apostle's discourse
He was sent for to explain the principles he professed
But he was not satisfied with gratifying the curiosity of his hearers
He endeavoured to reach their consciences, and convince them of their fins
On this occafion he spoke of “righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come”
(There subjects were well adapted to his audienceFelix and Drufilla were both of an abandoned character a They needed to be “persuaded by the terrors of the Lord”
Nor was it probable they would regard the tidings of falvation, ualess they were firit made fenfible that they were lost finners
Hence the apostle endeavoured to prepare their minds for the gospel-] On these subjects he “reasoned"
[He lhewed the nature and extent of the dutiesas He shewed the evil and danger of tranfgrefling them
He thewed the certainty and striciness of the future judgment
A suitable leffon for avarice, iniquity, and oppression !
What degree of success attended this effort will appear from II. The effects it produced
We read not of Drusilla being at all affected with the word But we are told of Felix, that he “trembled
a Felix had induced Drufilla to forlake her own husband, and to marry him : he was moreover remarkably avaricious and oppreslive.
Matt, ix, 12, 13.
[What a wonderful fight! the judge trembling before his prisoner !
He had finned in unnumbered instances, and was obnoxious to God's wrath
He now heard of the day of retribution, and of the fena tence of condemnation under which he lay
And now, though he feared no earthly tribunal, he was shaken with terror and with guilt
And was not there cause for trembling?-]
[One might have hoped that he would have cried out like those of old .
But he fought to efface the impression made upon his mind-]
He put off his attention to his soul to a more convenient season"
[What madness was here, to depend on the morrow in a concern of such importance !
What season could be lo convenient as that he then enjoyed ?
His conscience was then affected, and the Spirit was striving with him-
Moreover, he had then a faithful and inspired instructor before bim
Was he more likely to repent when he had feared his conscience, quenched the Spirit, yielded to Satan, and confirmed his evil habits ?
But his future interviews with the apostle were of no avail.
One of the last acts of his government was marked with oppreflion and avarice
Nor did he spare the innocence which he confessed, and admired _
A melancholy infiance of judicial blindness!-)
[All of us have known, in some measure, the motions of God's Spirit
All of us have felt, at times, some general apprehensions respecting the account which we must give at the day of judgmenta
But how many have silenced their convictions, in hopes of finding tome more convenient seafou forattending to them !
And how many have died before the hoped-for opportunity arrived !-