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will shortly gather all his wheat, and / * from Galilee to Jordan unto
15 And Jesus answering said them. — Hell is the unquenchable unto him, Suffer it to be so now : fire, which will burn up the chaff; for thus it becometh us to fulfil and this will certainly be the portion all righteousness. Then he sufand punishment and everlasting de
fered him. struction of hypocrites and unbeliev
16 And Jesus, when he was ers. So that here are life and death, good and evil, set before us ; accord | baptized, went up straightway ing as we now are in the field, we
out of the water : and, lo, the shall then be in the floor."
heavens were opened unto him,
and he saw * the Spirit of God HYMN.
descending like a dove, and Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire, And lighten with celestial fire.
lighting upon him : Thou the anointing Spirit art
17 « And lo a voice from heaWho dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.
ven, saying, This is
beloved Thy blessed unction from above,
Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Reader. The great principle of
duty, in accordance with which our
blessed Lord submitted to the bapTeach us to know the Father, Son, And thee, of both, to be but One.
tism of John, was this, that it became That, through the ages all along,
him, and his followers, to "fulfil all This may be our endless song :
righteousness,"—to own, and put Praise to thy eternal merit,
honour on, every religious institution Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
of divine appointment. It became ORDINATION SERVICE.
him, as man, to comply with a call given by a divinely commissioned teacher. Perhaps also, say some, he
saw fit to act, in this instance, as the CHAP. III. 13-17.
representative of sinful men; and he
may also have designed it as a formal John baptizeth Christ in Jordan.
consecration or dedication to his 13 " Then cometh Jesus office, according to the manner of
u Mark i. 9. Luke iii. 21. xch. ii. 22.-y Mark i. 10. 213. xi. 2, & xlii. l. Luke iii. 22, John i.32, 33.-a John xii. 28. 6 Ps. ii. 7. Is. xlii. 1. ch. xii. 18, & xvii. 5. Mark i. 11. Luke ix. 35. Eph. i. 6. Col. i. 13. 2 Pet. i. 17.
the priests under the ceremonial law. | words, “like a dove,” denote that it Exod. xxix. 4.
came down with a motion resembling Theophilus. It is said, v. 16, that the descent of that bird. “he saw the Spirit of God descend Theophilus. There is something ing." Does that refer to Jesus or to very solemn and affecting in the anJohn ?
nouncement of our Saviour's person Reader. The pronoun in this place, and character by “a voice from and in Mark i. 10, seems to refer to heaven." Jesus; but it is certain, from John i. Reader. And you remember, per12, that the Baptist also beheld this haps, on what other occasions this remarkable appearance,—the visible voice was repeated.-It was heard, symbol of the peculiar presence of for the second time, on the mount of the Holy Spirit.
transfiguration (Matt. xvii. 5; Luke Mary. It is said that Jesus “went ix. 35, 36; 2 Pet. i. 17);-and, for up-out of the water.” This implies the third and last time, shortly bethat he had been immersed, does it fore our Saviour's crucifixion (John not?
xii. 28-30). Reader. We shall have occasion
Theophilus. “Why did the Holy to speak of the original mode of ad-Spirit descend upon Christ, seeministering baptism hereafter. But ing that he was truly and really it is remarkable, that the original ex God?" pression in this place, and in Mark Reader. Remember that he was i. 10, is, that our Lord went up not man as well as God; otherwise he out of the water, but from the water. could not have sustained that illusIf a person were plunged into the trious character, “one mediator bewater, then it would be natural to
God and the man Christ say that he afterwards went up out of Jesus." At his baptism, the Holy the water; but if he were taken, or Ghost descended, “first, for the desigwent, down to the water, or the water's nation of his person, to show that he edge, then we should say that he after
person set apart
for the work wards went up from the water. And and office of the Mediator; secondly, such is the Evangelist's expression for the qualification of his person for in this place.
the performance of his office. This Theophilus. Do you suppose that was Christ's unction (Isa. vi. 1), when the shape, or likeness, of a dove was he was anointed above his fellows, to assumed by the Holy Spirit on this be the king, prophet, and priest of occasion ?
his church." Ps. xlv. 6,7. He is Reader. It appears, from Luke the Head of his church; and through iii. 23, that this must be the mean him the Spirit is derived to all being of the sacred writer; although lievers. some commentators suppose that the Theophilus. I think I have heard form assumed was that of fire, or this passage quoted, as one among some luminous body, and that the many others, in support of the scrip
tural doctrine of the Holy Trinity start objections against the will of
“At the baptism I have need to be baptized of thee. of our great High Priest, there was It is said of John that “ he was filled an exhibition to the senses of the with the Holy Ghost" from his very Three Persons in the ever-blessed infancy. (Luke i. 15). But "they Trinity, each acting according to the who have much of the Spirit of God, economy of the scheme of redemp- yet, while here, in this imperfect tion; the Father appointing the Son state, see that they have need of to be Mediator, the Son accepting more, and need to apply themselves the appointment, and the Holy Spirit to Christ for more.
The more anointing him with the oil of glad- holy a person is, the more sensible ness above his fellows, and qualify- he is of his unholiness; where there ing him for the work he had under is most grace, there is the greatest taken.” “It is impossible to explain sense of the want of grace,"—the this transaction consistently in any deepest conviction of remaining imother way than by admitting this purity and imperfection, and the most truth, that there are three equal per earnest desire for final and complete sons in the divine nature, or essence,
deliverance.-John made this conand that each of these sustains an im- fession in public, and in the presence portant part in the work of redeem- of those who had a high opinion of ing men."
his character and dignity. Let not our honour, or our desire of esteem,
make us ashamed to acknowledge our READER. Let us now consider need of Christ. this history in some practical points
Comest thou to me ?-How lovely of view.
is the conduct of the Baptist, as a Then cometh Jesus—unto John.-picture of humility! Such also was “ How dares the greatest upon earth the humility of his pious mother ;despise the ministry of man, being “Whence is this to me that the appointed by God, which Christ mother of my Lord should come to honoured in his own person, and me ?” (Luke i. 43).-But God degraced with his own presence !" lights to honour and exalt the lowly:
John forbad him.-So also did St. and he “has farther honour in store Peter, when our Lord went about to for those whose spirits continue low wash his feet (John xiii. 6–8). when their reputation rises." “Christ's gracious condescensions are Thus it becometh us to fulfil all so surprising, as to appear at first in- righteousness. This conduct becomes credible to the strongest believers; us, as the disciples of our Lord and so deep and mysterious, that even Master. “They who are of greatest those who know his mind well can attainments in gifts and graces, should not soon find out the meaning of yet, in their place, bear their testithem, but, by reason of darkness, | mony to instituted ordinances, by a
humble and diligent attendance on the office and work of the Redeemer them; that they may give a good ex (Ps. lxxxix. 27; Rom. i. 4).-He is ample to others,” as well as that they the beloved of the Father ;-his dear may themselves receive the appointed Son, or the Son of his love, as it is and expected blessing.
elsewhere expressed (Col. i. 13).-Then he suffered him. Here ob And the consideration of this truth serve that “the same modesty which may
well be a source of great commade John at first decline the honour fort and encouragement to us, as beChrist offered him, now made him do lievers in his name. As such we the service Christ enjoined him.” are accepted in the Beloved ; Eph. And hence we may learn, for the i. 6. Yes :-“Let all the world take guidance of our own conduct, that notice, that this is the Peacemaker, no pretence of humility will excuse the Daysman, who has laid his hand our declining, or retiring from, a upon us both; and that there is no duty which we may be summoned to coming to God as a Father, but by fulfil.
Christ as a Mediator; John xiv. 6. Lo, the heavens were opened unto In him our spiritual sacrifices are achim.-And, in one sense, not unto ceptable, for he is the altar that sanchim alone. “In and through Jesus tifieth every gift; 1 Pet. ii. 5. Out Christ, the heavens are opened to the of Christ, God is a consuming fire; children of men. Sin shut up heaven, but, in Christ, a reconciled Father. put a stop to all friendly intercourse This is the sum of the whole Gosbetween God and man; but now pel; it is a faithful saying, and worChrist has opened the kingdom of thy of all acceptation, that God has heaven to all believers.' Divine light declared, by a voice from heaven, and love are darted down
the that Jesus Christ is his beloved Son children of men, and we have bold in whom he is well pleased ; with ness to enter into the holiest. We which we must by faith cheerfully have receipts of mercy from God, we
that he is our bemake returns of duty to God; and loved Saviour, in whom we are well all by Jesus Christ, who is the ladder pleased,”-in whose hands we are that has its foot on earth and its top willing to entrust our highest interin heaven, by whom alone it is that ests, and to whose governance and we have any comfortable correspond- guidance we are willing to yield ourence with God, or any hope of getting selves, in body, soul, and spirit. to heaven at last.” Lo, a voice from heaven, saying,
HYMN. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.Our Lord Jesus
Jesus, how precious is thy name! Christ is the Son of God, by eternal Beloved of the Father Thou ! generation (Col. i. 15; Heb. i. 3);
Oh, let me catch th' immortal flame
With which angelic bosoms glow. by supernatural conception (Luke i.
As angels love thee, I would love, 35); and by special appointment to And imitate the bless'd above.
My Prophet Thou, my heavenly guide, 6 And saith unto him, If thou
Thy sweet instructions I will hear: The words that from thy lips proceed,
be the Son of God, cast thyself Oh, how divinely sweet they are ! down: for it is written, He Thee, my great Prophet, I would love,
shall give his angels charge conAnd imitate the bless'd above.
cerning thee: and in their hands My great High Priest, whose precious blood Did once atone upon the cross,
they shall bear thee up, lest at Who now dost intercede with God,
any time thou dash thy foot And plead the friendless sinner's cause; In Thee I trust; Thee would I love,
against a stone. And imitate the bless'd above.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is My King supreme, to thee I bow, written again, 'Thou shalt not A willing subject at thy feet;
tempt the Lord thy God. All other lords I disavow, And to thy government submit:
8 Again; the devil taketh him My Saviour-king this heart would love,
up into an exceeding high mounAnd imitate the bless'd above.
tain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All CHAP. IV. 1-11. these things will I give thee, if
thou wilt fall down and worship Then was “Jesus led up of "the
me. spirit into the wilderness to be
10 Then saith Jesus unto tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted it is written, Thou shalt wor
him, Get thee hence, Satan : for forty days and forty nights, he
ship the Lord thy God, and him was afterward an hungred.
only shalt thou serve. 3 And when the tempter came
11 Then the devil leaveth to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these him, and, behold, "angels came
and ministered unto him. stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
Reader. Do any questions arise in mouth of God.
your minds respecting this remark
able portion of the sacred narrative? 5 Then the devil taketh him
Theophilus. In what manner may up 'into the holy city, and set
we suppose this Temptation to have teth him on a pinnacle of the been conducted? And in what form temple,
did the Tempter appear?
a Mark i. 12, &c. Luke iv. 1, &c. 6 See 1 Kings xviii. 12. Ezek. iii. 14, & viii. 3, & xi. 1, 24, & xl. 2, & xliii. 5. Acts viii. 39.-c Deut. viii. 3.- Neh. xi. 1, 18. Is. xlviii. 2, & lii. 1 ; ch. xxvii. 53. Rev. xi. 2.-e Ps. xci. 11, 12.-f Deut. vi. 16.-9 Deut. vi. 13, & x. 20. Josh. xxiv. 14. 1 Sam. vii, 3.- Heb. i. 14.