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God.' Glory be to God! O, my Father, preserve me unto eternal life !......
“I lift my eyes of faith to the gracious, bleeding Lamb, and claim Him as my only, but all-sufficient, Saviour. By His grace I dedicate myself, body, soul, and spirit, ' a living sacrifice' to God and His service. And now glory be to Thee, O thon Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! Do Thou preserye me blameless unto eternal life !"
Again he writes, early in January, 1865 :- Many are the mercies, temporal and spiritual, which I have received from Thee, O Lord! I must acknowledge that I have done very little in return, little even compared with what I desired to do. But Thou hast enabled me, though feebly, to work for Thee.......... My soul crieth out for the living God;' yea, .for all His fulness cries.' Amid trials and tribulations I have been enabled to urge on my way, and by a 'naked faith' I have trusted in the blood of the Lamb. Whilst I write, my soul is fired within me....... Many have been the foul temptations of Satan; many from the world; and many from quarters where least expected; but,
· Like Moses' bush, I'll mount the higher,
And flourish unconsum'd in fire.'" From several other records, bearing various dates in 1866–7, I select the following sentences :—" May God wash me in His cleansing blood from every stain, stamp His image on my heart, and fill me with Himself !...... May it please Thee, 0 Thou blessed God, to accept of me, for Christ's sake. Glory be to Thee, O Father, for the precious blood of Jesus Christ Thy Son, which I claim, and which cleanseth 'me from all sin !'...... Lord, enlarge my heart, and
• Let all my powers Thine entrance fee),
And deeper stamp Tbyself the seal."" Under date of April, 1864, he says, “I, Francis Tesseyman, subscribe to the Jubilee Fund the sum of five pounds, for myself, wife, and family,-five on carth, and three in heaven. This I do for the following reasons:-For my creation and preservation; for my conversion to God; for His preserviug me in the faith; for His again and again raising me from a bed of sickness; for His giving me a son to preach His Gospel; and, above all, for tho great love of Christ to me and to all mea."
4. As a preacher he was practical, affecticnate, and earnest, over seeking the salvation of sinners and the cdification of the Church of God. He shunned everything approaching to display in the pulpit. Often has le urged the writer of these pages to "preach Christ only, Christ earnestly, Christ fully." All kinds of subjects were brought forward by him in his discourses; he taught, exhorted, and warned, declaring “all the counsel of God." His preaching was sometimes impassioned, and always impressive; and good almost invariably resulted therefrom. He had a passion for saving souls; and often has he exclaimed: “If I had a thousand tongues, they should all be engaged in praising God, and making known the knowledge of His salvation."
“Being dead," my father “yet speaketh” by an earnest and laborious Christian life, by a consistent example, and by a triumphant death. He was faithful to God, and God was faithful to him. “Usefulness, holiness, happiness," were the three steps by which he wished to ascend to heaven. To him earth was but an ante-chamber where he might robe himself for the splendours of the holy city and the palace of the great King. His whole earthly course proclaimed, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." When the summons for his departure arrived he was not surprised. "I am ready to be offered," was legibly and unmistakably written on his brow; “Christ in him, the hope of glory," was to the end the abiding treasure of his heart. Thus, when the Master called, he was enabled to say, "Here I am; Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!'"
" WHOM DO MEN SAY THAT I THE SON OF MAN AM?"
(MATTHEW XVI. 13–19.) The life of the Lord Jesus was characterized by several clearly. marked periods; and on close inspection it is obvious that those periods were not only recognized, but were regulated, by Himself. They indicate the points of arrival and departure in the development of His purposes in relation to the instruction of His disciples, and the accomplishment of His redeeming work. The influence of His person, His teaching, and His miracles, had produced in Galilee an amount of enthusiastic admiration which threatened to involve Him in political complications, and from the midst of which it was necessary for Him to retire. Hence His journey to the north, along the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and eastward, by the sources of the Jordan, to the neighbourhood of Cæsarea Philippi. In this seclusion He avoided those public demonstrations in His favour which a continuance of His work in Galilee was likely to produce. Having awakened an intense interest concerning Himself, He removed from the scene, that calmer reflection on the part of the people might lead to a sounder judgment respecting His character and actions. The disciples also required opportunity for reflection upon all they had seen and heard, that they, too, might rise to higher and juster conceptions of their Master. He had arrived at a period in His ministry at which it was desirable to ascertain what was the result of His labours, and how far both the people and His immediate followers were prepared for the announcement of His approaching sufferings and death. Obviously, a premature declaration with regard to the great crisis of His history would have hindered, rather than promoted, & conclusion in those around Him that He was “the Christ." But whatever might be the sentiments of the people, it was imperative for the furtherance of His designs that His disciples should advance to this point. He required their confession as the indication of their ability to bear the distinct statement of His tragic eud, and as the assurance of a basis for His future kingdom.
It would be a very partial exegesis that failed to recognize in the inquiry of Jesus respecting the judgment entertained of Himself by the generality of men, the means of introducing the more important one as to the judgment formed by His Apostles. He must know from their own lips how far they have been the subjects of spiritual illumination ; and whether their conception of Him is properly Messianic,—that He is “the Christ," as being in His own person “the Son of Man ” and “the Son of God."
“Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am ?” Clearly to understand the terms by which Jesus chose to designate Himself, we must possess a competent knowledge of the sentiments entertained by the Jewish nation concerning the coming One, at the time of His appearance. Notwithstanding their heroio and per. sistent effort to realize the Divine ideal of themselves as they read it in their ancient Scriptures, their depression, loss of nationality, and conscious helplessness, awoke in them an intense desire for the appearance of a great liberator and restorer of Israel. They had no doubt their Messiah was to be their deliverer; and they invested Him, in anticipation, not only with the endowments and functions of a great national leader, but with powers that were superhuman. He was to effect for them things as great as their historical Scriptures declared God had done for their fathers. Their notions of Him were vividly political and chiliastic. Jesus was perfectly aware of all this. He had to regulate His actions and teachings with reference to these extravagant and erroneous expectations. To have declared Himself the Messiah when at the height of His popularity in Galilee, would certainly have produced the most disastrous political disturbance. He had gradually to show, to such among them as were capable of being taught, that the nation was labouring under a fatal delusion; that he was indeed the Messiah, but that His kingdom was not to be of this world. He therefore made choice of a form of expression by which to designate Himself that was not in common use, but which was fitted to lead the more thoughtful and spiritually susceptible of those around Him to right conceptions concerning Him. He availed Himself of the representation (Dan. vii. 18, 14) of “the Son of Man" who should come “ with the clouds of heaven," and to whom should be given “ dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him." By the use of this title, He was able clearly to indicate His perfect consciousness of the true nature of His own person.
A sound exposition finds in the vision of Daniel a prophetic intimation of the progress of the kingdom of God in the earth. The powers of the world had been allowed to oppress God's chosen people; but a period of change would certainly come, when universal authority would be manifestly exercised by the Head of the Divine kingdom, whom Daniel represents as being " like the Son of Man." On Him all power should be conferred, not only in fact, but also in historical development. The world-forces of heathenism should be broken and subdued in the evolutions of the future under the providential rule of Him to whom was given by the Ancient of days " “ dominion, and glory, and a kingdom." In the exercise of His sovereign rule all nations should come and serve Him. The “ kingdom of God" would ultimately supplant the kingdom of this world. Its grace and purity, its heavenly character, would prevail; and in its progress the Divine ideal would at length obtain its realization. The final triumph of God over all forms of evil, and the fulfilment of His designs of grace with reference to mankind, were assured. The complete conception of the Messiah and His kingdom was thus presented.
We shall presume, therefore, that the application to Himself by Jesus of the title “ Son of Man was based on the passage in Daniel. In the prophetic announcement of the great events that should attend the advancement of His dominion, (Matt. xxiv.,) and which points onward to the final issues in His coming to judgment, He clearly has reference to this vision. The same may be said of His reply to the adjuration of the High-priest, in which He distinctly looks forward to the manifestation of His Messianic power in the establishment of His kingdom, by which He would demon. strate to men the fact of His Messiahship. Thus while He declares, in this title, His human relationship, He at the same time asserts His Divine power in the sovereignty He will exercise. “ He thereby lays claim at once to a Divine original, or a Divine pre-existence, as well as affirms the true humanity of His person, and seeks to represent Himself, according to John's expression, as the Logos become flesh.” In the consciousness of His pre-existence He designates Himself “the Son of Man" as the antithesis of His Divine Sonship. All attempts to minify the theological import of this chosen designation are unevangelical, and destructive in their tendency. No doubt Jesus was aware that the perfection of humanity was realized in Himself; but it is a negative exposition merely to say that “when He promises pardon of sins to those who trust in Him and follow Him, He implicitly presents Himself as the normal or model Man, the ideal of humanity." He declares Himself to be more than “ the Son of Man in the highest sense of the word,” or, “the Man whom the whole history of mankind since Adam has in view.” We cannot suppose that in speaking of Himself Jesus ever lost sight of His perfect personality; and we must, therefore, entertain the conviction that He would not employ any designation of Himself which did not by necessary implication embrace all the elements of that personality.
“Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am ?” “I am the Son of Man. Do men judge me to be such ?” or, as others read, "Do men say that I am the Son of Man ?” It may be doubted whether Jesus designed directly to announce the truth concerning Himself in this inquiry, and thus dictate the answer, as to their own belief, which the Apostles afterwards gave. But however we read the passage,* it points to the right answer; and was intended to draw it forth by the assistance which it afforded. The object of Christ was the manifestation of Himself by His words and actions; to awaken in men a right apprehension of His person ; and to lead them forward to an intelligent faith in Him as the Anointed of God. In St. Luke, the inquiry is, “ Whom do the multitude (ol oxAoi) say that I am ?” Rightly given, no doubt ; but less exactly than in the form in which it is put by St.Matthew. It was not the unintelligent general opinion of Himself, as it might be gathered from the confused and contradictory utterances of the ignorant crowd, that Jesus desired to know. It was rather the definitely-expressed judgment of “men” (oi äveparrot), who in some sense were the leaders of thought among the many, which He desires them to make known to Him. Possibly this turn of expression implies a reference to the importance of His appearance to all men; and may also be intentionally antithetic to the succeeding “ye.” There were certainly some that recognized His Messianic character. It is true these were found principally among His disciples; but they had become disciples by the force of their convictions. There were doubtless others in a condition of mind approximate to this; while there were some that denounced Him as a seducer. The influence of these last with the people was
* See Alford's vote on Matt. xvi. 13.