The Character of the Actions of Christ.

The following words are commended to the careful consideration of the reader, as affording the key of the above title: "The obedience of Christ would not have been so perfect if He had not been God. Where duty exists it is the expression and test of love; and where would have been the fulness and inward perfectness of obedience, its motive, if He had not been God who is Love? So He says, "That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so I do." But it [this obedience] was the expression of infinite love, and so was perfect." Now it was, it may be said, as Man that the blessed Lord obeyed, learned obedience by the things which He suffered; and indeed there is no more blessed truth in the Scriptures than that He was down here the perfectly dependent and obedient Man. But it is also a precious truth that He was, and is, the Divine and heavenly Man. This is the glory of His adorable Person. The consequence is that all that He was entered into everything that He did. If in His ineffable grace He wept, on His way to the grave of Lazarus, it was truly as Man that He wept, but the tears which He shed were the expression of divine sympathy with the sorrows of those around Him, who were, at that moment, bowed low under the power of death that lay upon their hearts. His own death will illustrate this more fully. It was as Man that He died; and hence His cry, when on the cross, "My God, my God" (NOT my Father), "why hast thou forsaken me?" Holding fast to this, as of the very essentials of Christianity, it is yet true, that had not all that He was entered into His death, giving all its value to His sacrifice, atonement would not have been accomplished.

Remembering this, and applying the principle to all His actions, how it enhances our conceptions of the glory of His person, and of His unspeakable grace; and how, we may add, it bows our souls in adoration before Him as we trace out His wondrous path through this world. To understand this may be, and is, beyond the loftiest intellect, for the simple reason that what is finite cannot comprehend the infinite; but faith, child-like faith, receives this teaching of the word of God, and finds in it a new motive for admiration and praise. The time is soon coming when we shall no more see through a glass darkly, and when that time of perfect knowledge comes our hearts will perceive more fully than ever the inscrutable character of the person of our blessed Lord. It will be still true that "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father."

"But what an emptying that was, when He who was God could come into death, [and] though suffering, though obeying, bring all that God was in His moral perfection into death; and then when it was needed, in man's extremity through sin, in man's weakness, in the place of Satan's power, there glorify it - love, righteousness, majesty, truth, all found glorified there. God is glorified in Him, yet it was in death, and because it was death in all it meant for God; but it was all the power of love, i.e., God, in the emptying.