SURREY TABERNACLE PULPIT.
HOW HE LEARNED
SERMON – by MR. JAMES WELLS
PREACHED ON SUNDAY MORNING, 27th MARCH, 1870
VOL. XII. - No. 594.
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” — Hebrews v. 8.
These words pertain to the eternal priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning that priesthood the apostle in the preceding verses said some very interesting and beautiful things. “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men.” Jesus Christ is that great High Priest taken from among men. “I have exalted one chosen out of the people for men;” and if Christ be for us, then God is for us; and if God be for us, who can be against us? “That he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” How sweet the thought that all our sins are swallowed up by the services and sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ! There we are to look for all we need, for all we can possess. And the Jewish high priest was to be one that could “have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” There is nothing so instructive as the eternal priesthood of Christ; that is the light that shows us into all the mysteries of God’s everlasting love. The high priest was to “have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way;” but then it means the man who knows his ignorance, and is willing to learn of Christ, and is longing to know in what way he can obtain mercy consistently with the perfections and character of God. And the priesthood of Christ beautifully answers to this; only there is an infinite difference between the Jewish priest and our High Priest; for the Jewish priest was compassed with infirmity; the law made men priests who had infirmity; but Jesus Christ had ho infirmity, and the word of the oath hath made him a priest for ever and ever. That priest had to offer for his own sins, and also for the sins of the people; but Christ had not to offer for his own sins, for he had no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; he was therefore at liberty to give himself exclusively and entirely for those for whom he was ordained—ordained for men. And there was not anything under the Old Testament dispensation surrounded with and embodying so much sacredness as the priesthood. “No man taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” And when the sons of Aaron attempted to take this honor to themselves, we see what the result was; they brought strange fire, as a type of those that bring strange doctrine; and the fire consumed them; so that the people learnt by that circumstance that no man could take that honor, acceptably to God, to himself, but he that was called of God. Uzziah also thought that, because he was a king, he could do almost everything; he forgot himself for the moment; he rushed in to offer incense; but the Lord vindicated the honor of the priesthood, and Uzziah was a leper to the day of his death. Now this priesthood in the honor of it beautifully typified the Lord Jesus Christ. The first honor was to offer a sacrifice acceptable to God. No man could offer a sacrifice acceptable to God but such as were called of God to that service; and there never was but one that could offer a sacrifice ultimately acceptable to God but Christ Jesus the Lord. Then another part of the honor would be to represent the people before God by that which the sacrifice had made them. Another part would be to bear the blessings of the Lord from the Lord to the people; and many other things making up the honor of the priesthood. And even Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; even he himself, coming into the real priesthood, coming into that eternal priesthood which he hath established, even he “glorified not himself, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.” So you see how the Lord stood by the sacredness of that priesthood, because everything pertaining to the carrying out of all the purposes of his everlasting love was, is, and ever will be by the priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ; and so the Lord said, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,” having no predecessor and no successor. These are the things which the Lord hath prepared by which to meet sinners and save them; to meet the poor, the needy, the lost, wretched, and miserable, and hereby show what an exactitude of adaptability there is in the provision he has made for the salvation of a sinner and for the eternal glory of his name. Then come in the words of our text, — “Though he,” Christ Jesus, “were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”
To carry out our text in its proper suggestive divisions there are four departments; but I suppose three will be as far as we shall go with our subject this morning. It will be needful, in the first place, to notice the position of the Savior. Secondly, the reality of his substitution. Thirdly, how he learned, — “he learned obedience by the things which he suffered.” Then the fourth would be, if I could get so far, the reward, or the glory, that follows.
First, the position of the Savior, — “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” If he had to become a sufferer, it was on the ground of the position in which he stood. And I am sure if we can but clear up this point, to understand the position in which he stood, it will do that one thing that we are always wanting to be done, and that is, bring unto us more and more of the endearments of the gospel, of the love of God; and the more the gospel brings us into the love of God, why, the more we are consecrated to him, the greater our assurance is of interest in him, and the greater also is our delight in him, when we can see that we are interested therein. If Jesus Christ must suffer, it must originate in the position into which he came. And the Holy Scriptures are very clear as to his position. It is thus described, — of course his position or place into which he came is a place where we all are, first by creation, and then, secondly, by the fall of man. He was made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” “He was made under the law.” That is a sweet and beautiful representation, when we look at what this wonderful Person was— that Christ Jesus was under the law for the simple yet solemn and glorious purpose of fulfilling the law. So that, while that law is infallible, Jesus Christ was to live a life of perfect obedience to that law, and we shall hear presently what he himself said about it; and then he was at the last to lay down his life, or to embody all the curse of that law, and all the wrath that sin had entailed. This was his position; —his obedient life is spoken of as a righteousness; it is spoken of as an everlasting righteousness; and his obedient life is spoken of as the end of the law. I do not like your minds to be contracted as to the meaning of the scripture I have just quoted— namely, that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness. You will observe that the word “law” there must mean every threatening in the Bible. You are apt, perhaps, to think it means the ten commandments. Why, there is not a threatening in the whole of the ten commandments; from the first commandment to the last there is not one positive threatening. The ten commandments say what you shall do, and what you shall not do; but there is not one positive threatening. Then you must look to some other parts of the Bible. You see here is a law containing commands and prohibitions, but it does not contain threatening. How therefore are we to know what the penalties are of breaking this law? You must go to other scriptures; and you will find that the Bible is half full of threatening’s: and what are those threatening’s? Why, they are founded upon violations of those ten commandments; and we find from the Savior’s words that the heart may violate these commandments while there is no outward fault seen. Therefore, when it is said that Christ is the end of the law, it must mean that not only has he obeyed in the sinner’s place, but that he is the end of all the threatening’s in the Bible. There is not a threatening in all the Bible that he is not the end of. Is it not written, “There shall be no more curse”? But how could that be true if he is not the end of every threatening? He is the end of every curse, every threatening. Look at his position, then; — “made under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law and to be under the law is to be under all our sins and all the threatening’s of the Bible; and then Christ, being the end of the law, is the end of all the threatening’s; so that it may well be written that “there shall be no more curse.” It is only on this ground that the apostle could say what we have been reading, —that “ye are complete in him;” and that “he is the head of all principality and power.” This is Christ’s position. I hear one saying, Yes, this is the Savior I need, that brings in eternal righteousness; this is the Savior I need, that is the end of the law, and thereby the end of all the threatening’s of the Bible; but I am afraid it is not for me. My answer, to encourage such, is simply this, —It is yours if you do understand and can receive the testimony of the work of Christ. Ah, says the little one, I can see it, and I can understand it, and I can receive this testimony of Christ’s position; —that he came under the law that he might be the end of the law; that he came under sin that he might be the end of sin; that he came under death that he might be the end of death; I can receive this, and I do receive this testimony; I understand it and believe it. Well, then, it is yours. Search the Scriptures from beginning to end, and see if you can find a single instance of one person being brought to receive this testimony, and yet lost at last. It is very often a great comfort to my mind to think that I can, with all my soul, heart, and affection, receive this blessed testimony of Christ, —that he is, owing to the position he took, the end of sin, of the law, of trouble, and of death, —of all that stands against us. You that cannot call the Lord yours, yet can see your need of just such a Savior as this, and are led thus to receive his testimony, I give you this advice, hold fast the testimony and abide by it; walk in his ways; read his blessed book; choose your own place where you will go to hear; look to the Lord; and so sure as you now receive the testimony of Christ, you will by and by receive the Christ of the testimony; so sure as you are now favored to receive the testimony of God, you will by and by receive the God of the testimony ; so sure as you are now favored to receive the testimony of the eternal Spirit, you will ere long receive the Holy Spirit in his emancipating power, and he will enable you to say with the apostle Paul that the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made you free from the law of sin and death. But let us hear what the Savior said upon this fulfilment of the law, and upon the stability of the law, and upon the necessity of our receiving him. “Think not I am come to destroy the law,” that was the inference that people then drew, and it is the charge brought against the people of God now. Hence, they call us what through grace and mercy we are not —Antinomians; that is, persons that are averse to God’s law. But the apostle said, “Do we through faith make void the law? Nay,” he said, “we establish the law.” The Savior said, “Think not I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” And so, he did fulfil. Well, then, if he has done it, it is done; I cannot attempt to do it over again; I shall not try; my business is not there, my business is to live upon Jesus Christ in what he is and has done; my business is to know that the warfare is accomplished, that the iniquity is pardoned, and that I have received double into the place of all my sins. Then the Savior reminds us of the solemn, uniform, immoveable, and eternal stability of every department of the law. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.” That is close work, friends, —not a jot, not a tittle. You know what a jot is: —it is a dot; or perhaps it refers to one of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, which is a very small letter, like our little i; that is what a jot is: and a tittle is merely a point, a dot, as it were. Now there was not a jot, there was not a tittle of deficiency in Christ; he was spotless, perfect. Ah, if not one jot nor one tittle is to fail, the dear Redeemer did not in one jot, one tittle, ever fail. In what perfection, he lived and died! He was God as well as man, and therefore invulnerable, impregnable. The serpent may move and twist upon this rock: — “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”
What a brilliant righteousness is that that he has brought in! what a burning, inextinguishable lamp is that salvation which he hath wrought! “For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” A greater contrast cannot be between heaven and hell than there is between Christ and the sinner. Here is a sinner, all failing, all corruption, all un-holiness, all unrighteousness; the very best doings of the sinner are but filthy rags. Ah, then, well may the soul rejoice in these blessed tidings of great joy, that Christ was thus made under the law; and that while not one jot or tittle shall fail, he had not one jot or tittle of failure about him; so that he hath fulfilled the law, brought in everlasting righteousness, wrought salvation, —the work is done! “Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” There is only one way of keeping them, and John sums it up in these two; “His commandments,” he says, “are not grievous they may be to the Pharisee, but they are gracious, not grievous, to the poor sinner; to believe in him, and love one another. Now if I hold a Jesus Christ that requires some works of mine to make my salvation complete, requires some holiness, some righteousness of mine, to make my salvation complete, I thereby break the commandments, for I do not receive that perfection that establishes the commandments, I do not receive that completeness that establishes the law; and such persons shall be small, they shall be counted least in the kingdom of heaven; not in the kingdom of glory, but the kingdom here below. Now is it not so? You point out to me a legal preacher, a legal minister, —however great his talents and name, he is a poor little skinny thing to me, and I would not go over the threshold of the door to hear him. I simply say, Well, he may be a good man, but he preaches a poor little gospel; he preaches a poor little, stingy, uncertain gospel; and therefore, while in the eyes of some, owing to his great talents, he may be reckoned great, yet in the eyes of a man that knows his need of a complete Christ he is very small indeed. And so, among private Christians; you meet with men sometimes, you cannot say they are not Christians, but there is that legality about them, that you cannot get anything spiritual out of them. If you talk to them about human efforts and human doings, they will talk as much as you like; but if you try to get anything spiritual you might as well try to get blood out of a post. Well, I am not going to cut such off, but I say that is owing to their not receiving that Jesus Christ by whom every commandment is fulfilled. Such persons are very little in my estimation- On the other hand, those who do receive the Savior in his completeness and in his fulness, and keep what? Now none of you will question the greatness of the apostle Paul in the kingdom of heaven; and how was he great? Was he great by legality? Was he great by bringing in something of his own to make up, as it were? Ah, he sums up the whole with those beautiful words, —look at what he does not say, and then at what he does say. When he comes towards the end what does he say? Oh, I have been so good, I have had no law in my members bringing me into captivity—I have not been such a poor creature, that when I would do good, evil is present with me; —I have not been such a poor creature that in my flesh I have served the law of sin; —oh no. I have kept the law, and I have been so good that there is now a crown laid up for me? Ah, this would indeed have made a broken affair of it. You know what he said; he does not say, I have kept the law, but he says, I have kept the faith; and the man that does so is the greatest minister to the poor, destitute, broken-down sinner; and the Christian that thus stands fast in the faith, and receives the law as established and fulfilled by the Savior, that is the man that does not break the commandments; he receives them as established, he receives Christ Jesus, he abides in the faith, and thereby he keeps the commandment of faith, and teaches others to do so. There is no way of being great in the kingdom of God but by faith in Christ; he is the king, and you must be driven to him, and to him alone. Let us hear what the Savior says to show the necessity of his being in our place, to show the necessity of our receiving him: “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” What is the general explanation of this? Why, that the Pharisees were hypocritical, and you must be sincere; therefore, unless you are thus sincere, in contrast to their hypocrisy, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Well, there is a truth in that, but it is a poor mawkish affair, I think. If I look at the righteousness of the Pharisee, I shall see that his righteousness was after the flesh, and after the law, and so on, as was Saul of Tarsus. Was there ever a greater Pharisee than he was? —a Pharisee of the most straightest sect, he says; and a pretty sect it was! There was he, wonderfully charmed with his own righteousness. But the Savior says, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.” Very well; I receive the substitutional work of Christ, and then I have not the slightest doubt that I have got the best robe; I am sure there is no robe better than that; I am sure there is no wedding garment to equal that; I am sure there is no citizenship robe to equal that; I am sure there is no robe of victory and freedom to equal that. So, then, by precious faith I am acquainted with God’s righteousness, and receive his righteousness; and I have no doubt then that my equitable righteousness does indeed infinitely exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, as far as the Creator exceeds the sinner. There is a fourfold sense, of course, in which the righteousness of the true Christian exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. First, in the equitable sense we have stated; and secondly, in the evidential sense, because our evidence of interest in Christ is spoken of as righteousness. Now “faith is the confidence of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Well then, the man that does not receive Christ’s righteousness, how can he have a good evidential righteousness? He has not the righteousness of faith; faith is the evidence; and John says, “He that believeth hath the witness in himself.” Now that Scripture has puzzled many good people. Many a child of God has said, “Well, that’s what I want, that witness; if I could have that evidential righteousness, or get that witness, I should be satisfied and you have got it all the time. “He that believeth hath the witness in himself,” that he does believe. Can you not lay your conscience and heart open before God, and look to the testimony of Christ, and say to a heart-searching God, “O God, I cannot deceive thee; I dare not mock thee; you know that I do in my inmost heart of hearts, in my inmost soul, from the very depths of my mind, most solemnly and sincerely—my conscience tells me so—believe the testimony of thy dear Son; you know, Lord, that I do not say it with my tongue, and not feel it and mean it in my heart; you know, Lord, that in this my tongue and my heart go together, so that I can pray with David, “Let the words of my mouth” —I profess to believe and I do most solemnly believe— “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Here, then, the conscience bears testimony, and you have the witness in yourself that you do thus believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Now mark the language, — “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth and believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” So that you may well pray the prayer of David which I have just quoted, and you can do so with a good conscience.
Here, then, is the Savior in our place; ordained for men; here is the stability of the law; here is the stability of Christ’s mediatorial work; here is a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees; here is an evidential righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, for we have an altar whereof they have no right to eat that were not thus believers in Christ Jesus. Then we have a better prospective righteousness than the Pharisees, because our prospects are founded upon that resurrection of Christ which was by the blood of the everlasting covenant. And then we have a better original righteousness than the Pharisees; our original right to eternal things is in the sovereignty of God. “Fear not, little flock; it is your Father’s good pleasure to give yon the kingdom.” My very heart and soul are carried away with these things. Oh, to see Jesus thus in our place, and to hear the solemn sanctions of the law— “not a jot or tittle shall fail and then to see we have a surety and a substitute that did not and could not in any one sense whatever fail or even be discouraged; and then to see that we keep all the commandments by keeping the faith; and then to see that our righteousness exceeds the righteousness of all creatures as far as the Creator exceeds the creature.
The second point I wish to notice is the reality of the Savior’s substitution. Though he were a Son, yet his sufferings must be real; though he were a Son, he is not to go through a mere form, and make an appearance, not a reality. Though he be a Son, yet the cup cannot pass away. There is a cup of concentrated bitters, and those bitters cannot pass away; so that here is reality. To illustrate this point concisely, I will just remind you that there was a fourfold reality in the Jewish dispensation. In the Jewish sacrificial service the first reality was value. All the beasts on Jewish altars slain were of value. Some, I believe, have tried to form an idea of the numbers that were slain; and, reckoning so much for each, have tried to get, as near as they could, at the value; but of course, that is all mere guess work. But, however, taking a property view of it, we must see that the money value of all the beasts slain must have been very great. Well, this helps us to an idea; and anything that serves for a sort of stepping-stone, as we say, to something better is worth noticing, you know. Just as in this life we should never mind what humble position we take, especially if we can turn it into a stepping-stone to something better. These sacrifices, then, taken together, were of great money value. That suggests the thought to us of the value of Christ. Now, I do not know that any one has ever attempted to reckon up the value of the Savior. Bless his holy name! he is indeed the pearl of great price, of infinite and eternal value. All earthly things must soon lose their value; but Jesus will never lose his value.
“Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.”
There is real value, then. Our religion! why, it is our life, it is our kingdom, it is our support, our heaven, our joy in life, and death, and to eternity. The second reality was that the sacrifices were really slain; they didn’t go through a mere form, but the sacrifices died actually. So, the Lord Jesus Christ suffered actually and literally, and went into depths, and lengths, and breadths that none but such a Person could compass and manage; so that the sufferings and death of Christ were of vital and eternal reality. The third part of the reality was that the Levites lived upon the best parts of the sacrifices; —that also was a reality. Jesus Christ took the worst place, that we might have the best place; and so, we are brought, in consequence of what he has done, to live by faith upon him. “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” The fourth sense in which there was a reality was this: that when they abode sacredly by the priesthood their cattle increased, the harvests were abundant, the vintage was abundant, the pasturages did spring, and all went on well: the garners were full, affording all manner of store; no breaking in, no going out, no complaining in the streets. Just so by the priesthood of Jesus Christ; by him it is that we may eat in plenty, and praise the name of the Lord our God, that hath dealt wondrously with us; and the Lord says, “My people shall never be ashamed.” Thus, then, the sufferings of Christ were a solemn and eternal reality.
But thirdly, how he learned. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” In order to get at the meaning, just look at what it does not say, and of course does not mean. It does not say, Though he were a Son, yet he learned to obey by the things which he suffered. Oh, how I should be shocked at such a doctrine; how I should draw back and shrink, and feel what an awful blasphemy such a doctrine would be, —that though he were a Son, yet he learned to obey by the things which he suffered. No, my hearer, Jesus Christ did not need any sufferings to make him obey. He had no disobedient material, no disobedient element in him. Let us hear his own blessed account. “Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God.” “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” And then go to the 50th of Isaiah, where the prophet is personating the Savior; where the dear Savior speaks in the language partly of the Jewish dispensation: “The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded; therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” So, then our text does not say that though he were a Son, he learned to obey by the things which he suffered. Now it is very different with us; we need the rod, we need fiery trials to make us obey the gospel. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord;” —what makes you say that? You have been suffering something I suppose. Yes, “he hath torn” —yes, that’s it; the Savior did not need this to make him obey, but we do; “and he will heal us, he hath smitten that’s it, is it? You would not have come if he had not smitten you? No; “and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up” when the death and resurrection of Christ are brought in, then “he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord; his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” We need the chastening, then. “Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke.” We want a deal of breaking down before our necks set easy in the yoke of faith, in the yoke of free grace, in the yoke of the gospel. Not so the Savior. What then is the meaning? Well, let us read it this way: He learned, by the things which he suffered, what obedience was. For him to obey was to bear all that Satan could inflict upon him, and therefore he learned what it was, not learned to obey, but learned what the work was by doing it; that is the fact; and nobody understands a work so well by any other means as by doing it. Hence when you come to the doing of a thing, it takes the conceit out of you very often, does it not? The Savior, therefore, by what he suffered, knew what the work was. If he obey, which he willingly did, then he must bear all that the world can inflict upon him; if he bear the full weight of all our sins, he must bear the curse of a violated law. I like the words—some have tried to philosophize them down, but I like them, —
“All that incarnate God could bear,
With strength enough, and none to spare.”
Making a little allowance for poetic license, I like the words, for after all, nothing but Omnipotence could have achieved what he did. Thus, he learned what obedience was by the things which he suffered; that is, he learned what the work was by doing it. There is such a difference between doing and looking on. The Savior, then, knew what the work was by doing it. But I must notice four things which he learned by the things which he suffered; for as man, he is spoken of as learning. How very beautifully Zechariah sets this forth: “Upon one stone,” that is, Christ, “shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord” There the stone is passive, and undergoes the graving; there is a living power which engraves, and there is the stone passive, undergoing the graving; and the seven eyes, denoting a completeness of knowledge. So Jesus Christ was passive, he obeyed, underwent the suffering, and arrived as man at a perfection, of knowledge. And what does is pertain to? “And I will remove” —ah, sweet sound! Precious voice from on high! “I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Four things the Savior learned. First, the necessity of his being God. He looked as man, and wondered there was none to help, none to uphold; therefore his own arm, —Now if I had not an omnipotency of mine own in which to travel, by which to compass these sins, these curses, the powers of darkness, to crush Leviathan, and achieve eternal victory for poor sinners, it never would be done; — "his own arm brought salvation unto him.” But whilst thus there is likeness enough between you and him to form a very nice analogy, because what he learned pertaining to himself we must learn pertaining to him—you must learn this same truth, that you are dreadfully short in your religion if you do not know your need of the deity of Christ, the omnipotency of Christ, the eternal power of Christ. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God;” that settles the matter; “My Lord and my God;” God manifest in the flesh. We must learn this; and therefore, it is that we are said to have the same spirit, the spirit of Christ. “My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.” The second thing he learned was that he must not commit himself, his cause, or his disciples, to the wisdom of this world. The world pretended to pity him. What a pity that he does not just give himself up to us; we would make him king to-morrow; and so, they wanted to make him king; but Jesus did not commit himself unto them, for he knew what was in man. And so, he did not commit himself to them; and he did not commit his disciples to them, he kept them in his own hands; and he did not commit his cause to man, but kept it in his own hands. Therefore, it is he learned by the things which he suffered, in the highest sense of the word, to cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils. Therefore, when he was in the greatest solitude, “Ye shall leave me alone, yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” The third thing which he learned was the necessity of taking care of his disciples himself, and committing them entirely to God. Hence in the 17th of John, “I have kept them; and now, Holy Father, I come unto thee; keep them through thine own name.” Well, but there are some very respectable men, cannot you leave them with them to educate, and fit, and prepare? Not a word about it; he kept them in his own hands. Now, Lord, thou wilt ascend to heaven, and what shall we do? —go to college for a little while? No, “tarry in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”