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BY THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.
“He hath glorified thee.”—Isaiah lv. 5. My mind has been led forth in a strain too much for the body upou the subject of the person, work, and office of my precious Lord, for these three weeks past; and the singing of the last hymn (thé 321st) seems to have brought my soul to the climax of heavenly joy. You will recollect that we have occupied four sermons with the priestly character and office of Christ, and that the next four were occupied with the ascension of Christ to the Father's right hand; and I trust that the Lord hath put some portion of his spirit, and light, and power into these subjects. I could not dismiss them from my thought, and trust that I never shall; and I felt, in looking forward to this day, half a longing to go over the same ground again, to take the same text, and to endeavour to preach the same ideas. This
, however, was overruled by my mind being directed, first of all to the passage which I have just read, in which the person of Jesus is evidently spoken of, and spoken to, and the triumphs of His kingdom, cross, and work, set forth in language that is well calculated to captivate the soul of every one who feels himself to be redeemed by His most precious blood. “Behold,” saith the Father, “I have given Him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.”. And then the fifth verse reveals the response of the Church. In the fourth verse He is spoken of in the third person; here He is directly spoken to. "Behold, thou shall call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the Lord thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel, for He hath glorified thee.” Í know that some persons consider this as addressed to Israel of old; whilst
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others regard it as addressed to the Church spiritual. But I cannot conceive the language as suited to either. My intention is to limit my thoughts and words, as far as possible, to the last clause of the fifth verse—“He hath glorified thee.” Now, short as my text is, it seerns to me to require a whole eternity fully to expound it
. It appears to take the whole length of the cord of everlasting life to measure it—to contain such a depth, that nothing but the infinite mind of Jehovah can fathom it—and to have such a lofty eminence, that I might climb the third heaven, and sit with Him on the throne, before I could comprehend its topless height. What! the Father himself hath glorified the Son! Then, who would not make an effort to illustrate it, if it were not that the feelings of the soul, the joy of the heart, the employments of heaven, and the terrors of hell, are all glorifying the Son of God? I do not wonder, therefore, that the Son of God Himself, in His humiliation, as we read in the 17th of John, should cry, “Father, glorify thy Son! This seems to have been the great object which He always kept in view, the joy. He set before Him, for which He “endured the cross, despised the shame," and is now highly exalted above every name that is named in heaven and on earth. That I may condense as much as possible within the limits of our time, I shall invite your attention to the declaration of my text, first as it relates to the headship of Christ over His Church and over all things for His Church ; then, secondly, as it relates to the economy of grace in which He is pre-eminently glorified; then, thirdly, as it relates to the achievements of His life and death, in all which He manifested forth His glory, as it is written of Him ; and then, finally, as it relates to the dignity of His throne, upon which He is now glorified within the veil.
I.—There is no one subject that so overwhelms me with astonishment, and so extensively proves to me the defectiveness and ruin, and the narrow and shallow capacity of poor fallen man, as the very circumscribed and impoverished manner in which we attempt to glorify Christ. Our notes fall at the foot of the throne; our expressions of praise are but the most stammering, lisping, and defective, when we speak of His Father having exalted and glorified Him. But first look at His headship, in which the Father has glorified Him. “ He hath glorified thee” as the Head of His body the Church; for it is written, that He gave Him to be Head over all things to His Church. So that we are carried back to the ordination of our precious glorious Christ to this headship from everlasting by the sovereign appointment of the Divine will. And therefore, in the 10th chapter of the Acts, we read concerning Him that He is ordained to be Judge of the quick and the dead. “He hath appointed a day, in the which,” saith the apostle, in the 17th chapter, “He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained." The Head and the members are all ordained; but concerning the latter it is said, “ As many as were ordained unto eternal life believed.” So that Jehovah knew the covenant members in Him, there is the glorious ordination of God appointing him to his office, and their reception by, and personal union with Him. Look at the sacred and solemn position in which our glorious Lord stood to be glorified, relative to His headship; that the headship of authority, that the headship of influence, and the headship of life, all should be concentrated in Him; that in the Church