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them with the influences of his grace.' The mighty concourfe of atl·ranks and degrees of people atteriding St. John at the river Jordan, rendered that the fittest place where he might urft shew himself to the 'worldi. He who knew no sin, but was to take away the fins of all other men, prefented himself in the crowd of fin-'. ners, as one of them, and folicited "the baptism of repentance," not that water might fanctify him, buť • that he might "fanctify water to the "mystical washing away of fin." : '
CONFOUNDED at the thought of: the Mafter being baptized by the fervant, St. John åt first:6-forbad him, “ saying, I have need to be baptized , " of thee, and comest thou to me? " And Jesus answering faid unto : . .
“him, Suffer it to be so now, for “ thus it becometh us to fulfil all “ righteousness. Then he suffered " him.” Jesus Christ, as condescending to stand charged with our fins, and, to that end, being "made. “ under the law*," was to fulfil the “ righteousness” of the law, as it confiiied in an obedience to ceremonial rites, as well as moral precepts. In the character and capacity of our substitute, he underwent circumcifion, although he had no fin of his own to be cut off; and received baptism, jalthough he had no pollution of his own to be wafhed away. What: Christian cau fight the ordinances of the church, when he sees the Re.
deemer, for his fake, submitting to observe them all ?
No sooner was Jesus baptized, but he “came up straightway” out of the river, like another Joshua, leading his people, through the waters of Jordan, to the land of promise. And as he was “praying,” doubtless for fuc-cess in the great work he had under.taken, “Lo, the heavens were “opened, and the Spirit of God,” encompafled, we may presume, with a blaze of glory,“ descended in a ;“ bodily Ihape like a dove,” speaking better things than that of Noah. In this form, einblematical of innocence and purity, it “lighted,” settled, and abode upon him, the Father thus consecrating him to his office, by " anointing him with the
6 Holy Ghoft and with power *,” as the legal ministers were anointed with oil. And that no doubt wight remain, the appearance was farther explained by “a voice from hea-, “ven,” saying, “ This is my beloved .“ Son, in whom I any well pleafed.” Such are::the blessings which, in effeet, do always attend the divine sacraments, when duly adminiftered, with prayer. For then the heavens ‘are opened, and the Spirit is given, to conform us to the im meek and holy Saviour, and, through
him, to make us acceptable in time · fight of God.
* Ads x. 38.
Confiderations on the teftimony born
by St. John, at different times, to
the Meffalfhip of Jesus. W HEN a servant of God, through
the power of divine grace, hath made some proficiency in holi. - nels, and feeth the world and the
fleih under his feet, it is not uncom... mon for his third enemy, the devil, i to let upon hiin, and prevail over · him, by putfing him up with a con,
ceit of his own excellency, and so · rendering his very attainments an : occasion of his falling. The hurt which a man receives, in such a cafe,