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been anointed can be the reason of the Spirit's being upon him, when the Spirit was that with which he was anointed? I answer, That Christ's having been anointed with the Spirit to qualify him for the Mediatory work, is a very proper reason why the Spirit was lodged and continues to be in Christ, to be communicated from him to the members of his mystical body.
II. We are now shortly to speak of the sending of Christ by the Father. As he anointed, so he sent him. This means the Father's calling him out unto the exercise of his ofsice for which he had been designed, and for which he had been qualisied. He was seasonably sent to the work by the Father, and he willingly came and put hand to it, for his Father's glory, and the salvation of poor sinners: Psal. xl. 87. " Then said he, Lo I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God! Yea, thy law is within my heart." We may observe three periods of this sending.
The firfl period was at Adam's sall, when all mankind was newly ruined by the sirst sin; then the Mediator came and looked on the ruins of the world, Gen. iii. 8. ; preached deliverance to the captives, ver. 15. telling them that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. He healed the broken hearted, by covering Adam and his wise with coats of skin, ver. 2 i. even the skins of sacrisices, a type of the righteousness of a slain Redeemer. Thus he underpropped the world by his mediation, when all was shaken loose by man's disobedience. He began immediately to repair the breach, and kept the world from absolute and irreparable ruin.
The second period was at his birth, in the sulness of time, when he became man, being born of the virgin: Gal. iv. 4. " When the sulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." The world was then in a deplorable condition; the knowledge of the true God was lost among the Gentiles, religion was corrupted among the Jews, some sew were groaning for the consolation of Israel. Then he came in the flesh, being born of a mean woman, and laid in a manger; but at his birth the angels sung, as m Luke, ii. 14. " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,. good-will towards men.''
The third period was when he entered on the public exercise of his ministry at his baptisrn; then was he, in a special manner, sent out on that work to which he was called: Matth.iii. 17. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matth. iv. 17. " From that time, Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand." Then he went about his work, preaching the gospel, to bring sinners to God; he also became obedient unto the death, according to the everlasting covenant between him and his Father.
III. We now proceed to make some practical improvement.
1/?, In an use of information.
1. This subject informs us, that the salvation of sinners was the concern of a whole Trinity. How great a work must it be, when the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, each acted their part for bringing it about. The Father sent the Son, the Son submitted to be sent as Mediator, and by the Holy Spirit he was sitted for the work. Never, then, think little of that salvation, which reVol. III. D quired quired such causes and authors to bring it about. —It informs us,
2. That Jesus Christ is persectly able to save sinners: Heb. vii. 25. " He is able to save to the .uttermost." He was the Father's choice to that ■great work, which may assure us he was an able hand for it. He has all given him to sit him for it, which the sulness of the Godhead affords. The ,Father had never taken him cautioner, if he had not been persectly able to pay the debt. He had never laid the sinner's help upon him, if he had not been able to bear the weight of it.
.3. See here the manifold wisdom of God, how it is displayed in the contrivance of salvation through •Christ. The sirst creation was a work of wisdom; but the second was more so; the consused heap at sirst was little in comparison of the consusion sin brought into the world, but divine wisdom brought order out of this consusion. Truth meets with mercy, righteousness andpeace embrace each other, sin is punished, and the sinner spared. Out of the greatest affront to God, rises the occasion of his greatest glory, bis Son's obedience instead of theirs. When at the sall hell rejoiced, angels stood astonished, and men lay groveling in the depth of misery, wisdom sound out a way of recovery, to the marring os the devil's joy, the dissipating man's sears, and giving angels a mystery of wisdom to pry into: Eph. iii. 10. " To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Jesus Christ our Lord."
4. See here the amazing mercy of God to objects in the deepest misery. To have given rebel sinners some years respite from their due punishment, to
- have have locked them up in hell, to be released aster some millions of years, would have glorisied mercy; but for an offended God to provide a Mediator himself, proclaims the height and depth of insinite mercy.
5. See here the love of God to poor sinners. The love of the Father is wondersul, in sending his own Son to recover sinners by his obedience and death : John, iii. 16. " God so loved the world, that he gave his Son, his only-begotten Son, unto the death, the most bitter death, even the death-of the-Cross."—The love of Christ, which undertook that heavy work for poor sinners. Here is love admirable in all its dimensions: Christ coming in the room of sinners. If ye doubt his love, look into his pierced side, and behold its glowings there. —The love of the Spirit dwelling in Christ, as the Head, to enliven poor sinners as his members, being in him, exciting, moving him forward to the work, and sitting him for it. —I shall only add an use of exhortation.
O! sirs, let Christ be your choice, as he was the Father's. His Father is well pleased with him, be you also well pleased with him Employ him in your every case, put all your cases in his hand, lay your help where the Father hath laid it. Receive him whom the , Father hath sent, receive him for all the ends to which the Father hath anointed and sent him. He is called Messiah, and Christ, to denote his being anointed as the Prophet, Priest, and King of his people; he was anointed for all these offices, receive and improve him in them all. He is anointed as the great Prophet, to declare the mind of God to sinners: Isa. lxi. i. He is to " preach good tidings to the meek." Receive him for your Prophet, and teacher ; renouncing your own wisdom, subnr.t'yourselvestobe tauglitbyhiswordand Spirit; D 2 ami and go to him for direction in all cases. He is an anointed Priest: Psal.ex. 4. "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, thou art a Priest for ever aster the order of Melchisedec." Receive him as your Priest, laying the weight of your fouls on his sacrissice and intercession; renouncing all considence in yourselves. Carry your guilt to him, to be carried off by his atonement, and put all your spiritual sacrifices in his hand, for only out of his hand will they be accepted. He is anointed King: Psal. ii. 6. " Yet have I set my King upon my holyhill of Zion." Submit yourselves a willing people to the royal Mediator, to receive his commandments, to live according to his laws, to pursue the interest of his kingdom in the world, and to sight under his banner against the devil, the world, and the flesh; since for these ends he is sent, and has come, it lies on us to receive him as such. And that this may have weight with you, consider,
(1.) Who sent him; the Father, the sirst person of the glorious Trinity: John, v. 3 7. " The Father himself," said he, "that hath sent me, hath borne witness of me." And will we not welcome him whom the Father hath sent, and entertain him for the ends for which he is sent? The Father .had a concern for the salvation of lost sinners, and hath sent them a deliverer, a Saviour. How will you answer if you flight him ?—Consider,
(2.) Whois sent. The Father hath put an honour on man, beyond what he hath put on angels, in that he sent a Saviour for the one, not for the dther. Had he sent a lower person, an angel, with what profound respect ought we to have received him as the meflenger of the Lord? how much more when he hath sent his own Son ?—Consider,
(3.) The errand and design on which he was sent; namely, to recover a lost world, to make up the