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from which He shrank not till it was carried into full effect. “He was set up" as Mediator “from “ everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the o earth was. And even then His“ delights “ were with the sons of men,” anticipating that work of redemption which He had engaged to perform. And though His death, at the time of its infliction, was violent on the part of man; yet, on His own part it was voluntary. For no man could have taken it from Him, if He had not laid it down of Himself. He had power to lay it down, and power to take it again. (John x. 18.) The whole course of His life, from His incarnation to His expiring groan, demonstrates the ardent desire of fulfilling His work which He felt, and affords a beautiful and lively comment on His own declaration, (Luke xii. 50.) “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and “ how am I straitened till it be accomplished !" He was previously and intimately acquainted with every ingredient of the bitter cup which was prepared for Him; and yet He deliberately took it into His hand, and drank it off to the very dregs. He forek new and foretold the traitorous part which Judas would act; yet He kept him in His family. He reproved Peter sharply for a hint which he dropped in opposition to the favourite object of His compassionate heart. (Matth. xvi. 23, &c.) During the institution of His supper, in His conversation with His disciples, and in the prayer which He offered, He appears to have been so swallowed up in a concern for the welfare of His disciples and that of their future converts, as to have thought but little of His own approaching passion. Let those chapters of St. John's gospel, wherein an account is given of this matter be

consulted, and the truth of our remark will be evident. When our Lord had announced to His disciples the person who was to betray Him, He hastened the traitor in the execution of his infernal plot. He went to the place whither He was wont to resort, and which was well known to Judas as His favourite retreat, and foreknowing that the traitor would seek and find Him there, He forbore to exert His power on those who came to seize Him, while, by suffering a ray of His Divine majesty to escape, Heshewed them what He could do. He summoned not a single angel to His rescue out of the myriads which awaited His commands. He reproved Peter for his intemperate zeal, and healed the high priest's servant whom that rash disciple had wounded. When He was brought before Herod, He would not court his favour by the performance of a miracle in his presence which Herod hoped to have seen, and by which he might probably have interested the King in His behalf. Before the Sanhedrim and in the presence of Pilate, He made no answer to the unjust accusations which were brought against Him, but “submitted Himself to Him that “ judgeth righteously.” To this double silence in the two courts, before which He was successively carried, the prophet Isaiah seems to allude, when, in the same verse he twice repeats the circumstance, that “He opened not His " mouth.” Is. liii. 7. Under all the ignominy and torture which He endured previous to His crucifixion, He was passive and patient; for neither the reproaches which were heaped on Him, the spitting, the scourge, nor the crown of thorns, extorted from Him a single complaint. On His way to Golgotha, He rebuked the women that lamented Him, and bade them reserve their tears for the calamities of themselves and their children. On the cross He prayed for His murderers; and even in the last act of His life, when He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, it is evident that the act was altogether spontaneous. His vital powers were not exhausted, for in the previous moment He cried with a loud voice. He voluntarily laid down His life, that He might take it again.

The first branch of that complex act of love which is described in our collect, is our Lord's submission to the treason of Judas: He was “ contented to be betrayed.” Of the faithless and perfidious transaction, by which the unoffending Benefactor of mankind was given up to His enemies, St. Matthew has given a particular account (ch. xxvi. 47–49), to which the reader is referred. It was no small aggravation of our Lord's sufferings, that He was basely betrayed by one of His own disciples, and sold for thirty pieces of silver. Thus Joseph was sold by his own brethren, and David betrayed by his friend Ahithophel. Of the treason of Ahithophel David complains bitterly in a passage of the 41st Psalm, (ver. 9.) wherein he personates his great antitype. (Johin xiii. 18.) He says, “ Yea, mine “ own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which “ did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel

against me.” The combination of fraud and force which attended our Saviour's arrest in the garden, was a very galling addition to the other ingredients of His bitter cup. But that which is principally intended by the mention of this circumstance in our collect, is a manifestation of our Lord's acquiescence in His distressful work of love. For He who, till His hour was

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come, defeated all the designs of His enraged enemies (see John viii. 59.); He who predicted the treason of Judas, and who by a word struck the armed banditti to the ground, could, if He had . pleased, heve withdrawn Himself from them, have avoided the snare which was laid for Him, or have crushed the traitor and his associates in a moment. But " He was con“ tented to be betrayed." He voluntarily resigned Himself into the hands of those who sought His life.

The second branch of that act of love which is commemorated in our collect, is our Lord's submission to be “ given up into the bands of “ wicked men.” For He was “ delivered by the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of “God, when the Jews by wicked hands cruci« fied and slew Him." If it be asked, by whom He was “ given up into the hands of wicked “men?” a Prophet and an Apostle shall answer the question: " The LORD laid on Him the

iniquity of us all. It pleased the LORD to “ bruise Him. He put Him to grief.” (Isa. liii. 6, 10).

“ God spared not His own Son, but “ delivered Him up for us all.” (Romans vili. S2). Should a further testimony be required, our Lord's own words shall complete the evidence. He told Pilate that he could “ have no power at “all against Him, except it were given him “ from above." It was God, therefore, in the character of a judge, who delivered up our Lord Jesus Christ into the hands of justice. And Oh! though the love of God be celebrated by men and angels to all eternity, their united efforts must fail of giving Him the praise which is due unto His name. The devil who instigated Judas and the Jews to the horrid act of crucifying the Lord of glory, his agents, Judas, the Sanhedrim, and the Jewish rabble, Pilate and his soldiers; these were only subordinate instruments who fulfilled the Divine will. God took His Son, His only Son, His only Son Jesus whom He loved, and offered Him up on mount Calvary.

But it may be said, If the Father and the Son are coequal and coeternal,-if“ that which “ we believe of the glory of the Father, the “ same we believe of the Son and of the Holy “ Ghost, without any difference or inequality;"— how could God the Father send and deliver up His Son? In replying to this question we plunge deeper than before into the unfathomable abyss of Divine love. For it is to be remembered that Christ's submission to death, with all its antecedent circumstances and subsequent effects, was the result of a covenant entered into between Him and His Father for the redemption of lost mankind. He “ was contented to be betrayed, “ and given up into the hands of wicked men, « and to suffer death upon the cross,” in consequence of an agreement by which He had bound Himself to redeem sinners from everlasting death. There was “a covenant of peace" between the Persons in Jehovah which is spoken of in Scripture, according to which all the mediatorial acts of Immanuel have been arranged. Surely, on a survey of this subject, it behoves us to exclaim with the Apostle on another connected with it, “ O the depth of the “ riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of “ God! how unsearchable are His judgments, “ and His ways past finding out! For who hath “ known the mind of the Lord, or who hath “ been His counsellor? Or who hath first given

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