Hebrews 2:10
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting for God, for whom and through whom all things exist, to make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Sermons
A Captain Worth a Whole BrigadeT. L. Cuyler, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Adversity a DisciplineSir Walter Scott.Hebrews 2:10
Bringing Many Sons to GloryA. S. Patterson, M. A.Hebrews 2:10
Bringing Many Sons unto GloryP. Hutchison, M. A.Hebrews 2:10
Christ -- Perfect Through SufferingsCharles Haddon Spurgeon Hebrews 2:10
Christ Appointed Captain of SalvationJohn Owen, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Christ Made Perfect Through SufferingJ. Burns, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Christ Perfect Through SufferingsC. H. Spurgeon.Hebrews 2:10
Christ's Perfecting by SufferingA. Maclaren, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Eternal RedemptionR. Philip.Hebrews 2:10
Fulfilling the Pleasure of the LordC. Clemance, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
God's Glory in Giving His Son to DieW. Gouge.Hebrews 2:10
Just Like HimHebrews 2:10
Perfect Through SufferingJ. K. Jackson.Hebrews 2:10
Perfect Through SufferingHebrews 2:10
Perfect Through SufferingT. Carlyle.Hebrews 2:10
Perfect Through SufferingsW. C. Smith, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Perfect Through SufferingsA. K. H. Boyd, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
Perfection Through SufferingW. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.Hebrews 2:10
Perfection Through SufferingW. Jones Hebrews 2:10
The Bringing of Many Sons to GloryAlex McNaughton.Hebrews 2:10
The Captain of SalvationA. B. Bruce, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
The Discipline of SufferingBp. Westcott.Hebrews 2:10
The Expediency and Propriety of Appointing a Suffering Captain of Our SalvationJohn Logan.Hebrews 2:10
The Expediency of Christ's SufferingsA. Savile, M. A.Hebrews 2:10
The Father Bringing the Sons to GloryD. Young Hebrews 2:10
The Godworthiness of SalvationA. B. Bruce, D. D.Hebrews 2:10
The IncarnationC. New Hebrews 2:10
The Ministry of SufferingThe Lay PreacherHebrews 2:10
The Refuting Power of TruthHomilistHebrews 2:10
The Road to GloryArchbp. Sumner.Hebrews 2:10
The Scheme of Redemption by a Suffering Saviour, Worthy of GodP. Hutchison, M. A.Hebrews 2:10
The Test of SonshipNewman Hall, LL. B.Hebrews 2:10
The Dignity of Human Nature Shows that the Incarnation was not Degrading to the GodheadC. New Hebrews 2:5-10
His Exaltation Endears His Association with His FollowersJ.S. Bright Hebrews 2:10-13
For it became him, for whom are all things, etc.

I. THE PERFECTION OF THE REDEEMER WAS ATTAINED THROUGH SUFFERING. "Perfect through suffering." The perfection here spoken of does not refer to his character as Son of God, but as Mediator - "the Captain of our salvation." "The perfecting of Christ was the bringing him to that glory which was his proposed and destined end." Made "perfect through suffering" is similar in meaning to "because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor." Only through suffering could he enter upon his mediatorial glory. Two thoughts are suggested.

1. Before he could attain unto his mediatorial glory his character and work as Redeemer must be complete.

2. Suffering was essential to the completeness of his character and work as Redeemer. He must suffer in order that he might

(1) sympathize with his suffering people (ver. 18);

(2) present a perfect example to his suffering people (1 Peter 2:21-24);

(3) reconcile sinners to God.

The exhibition of infinite love - love that gives up life itself, and that for enemies - was necessary to remove the alienation of man's heart from God, and to enkindle love to him in its stead. And the exhibition of perfect obedience - obedience even unto death - was necessary to establish and honor in this world the Law of God which man had broken. So our Savior was perfected through suffering; he passed through sharpest trials to sublimest triumphs.

II. THIS MODE OF REACHING PERFECTION CONSISTS WITH THE CHARACTER OF THE GREAT GOD AND FATHER. "It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things," etc. God the Father is here represented as:

1. The great first Cause of all things. "By whom are all things." He is the Source and Origin of the entire universe.

2. The great Final Cause of all things. "For whom are all things." All things in the universe are for his glory. Creation, providence, redemption, are all designed and all tend to promote the glory of the great Father. The words under consideration are sometimes used of the Savior, and they are true of him; but they are even more applicable to God "the Father, who sent the Son to be the Savior of the world." "For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen."

3. The great Author and Designer of salvation, with its agents, means, and methods. Our Lord is spoken of in the text as the "Captain [Revised Version, 'Author'] of salvation." But, traced to its source and origin, salvation takes us up to the eternal Father. And "it became him" that he should so order the agencies and methods of salvation that the Savior should be perfected through suffering. Such an arrangement was not fatalistic or arbitrary, but suited to the object in view, the means being adapted to the end, and in thorough harmony with the character and perfections of God - his wisdom, righteousness, and love. The Hebrew Christians, whom the writer is addressing, felt the offence of the cross. There were times when in some measure "Christ crucified" was still "a stumbling-block" to them, or at least they were in danger of this. And so the writer argues that the attainment of the crown by the endurance of the cross was an arrangement worthy of God, and therefore the fulfillment of this arrangement could not be unworthy of the Savior. We have said that the means were adapted to the end; the perfection could not have been attained without the sufferings. But, more, the sufferings were in complete conformity to the being and character of God. He is not a cold, impassive Beholder of human sin and misery. He suffers by reason of man's sin and woe (cf. Isaiah 63:9; Hosea 11:8). Christ in his sufferings reveals to our race how God had felt towards us in all preceding ages.

III. THIS MODE OF REACHING PERFECTION IS EXEMPLARY FOR ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS.

1. The exalted relation of true Christians. They are "sons" of God, not simply because he is "the Father of their spirits," but also by adoption (cf. Romans 8:14-17; 1 John 3:1-3).

2. The vast number of true Christians. "Many sons unto glory." There have been ages when the number of the true and good has been comparatively small. But, as the result of Christ's mediation, the saved will be so many that no human arithmetic can count them, no human mind grasp the glorious total. Many things encourage this belief; e.g.

(1) the inexhaustible provisions of Divine grace in Jesus Christ;

(2) the immense numbers of the race who die in infancy, and through the Savior are received into glory;

(3) the prevalence of true religion throughout the world, which is being rapidly accomplished, and the triumph of Divine grace over human sin, which may be continued for many long ages before the end of this dispensation; - these and other things encourage the belief that our Lord will lead to glory an overwhelming majority of our race.

3. The inspiring relation which our Lord sustains to true Christians. He is "the Captain [Revised Version, 'Author'] of their salvation." The word in this place certainly has a deeper significance than "captain" or leader. Salvation originated in the heart of God, but it was accomplished by Christ. He redeemed us unto God by his blood; and now he inspires and empowers and leads us onward to complete victory.

4. The illustrious destiny to which he leads true Christians. "Unto glory." This is the crowning result of their salvation. They shall be sharers in the blessedness and majesty of God to the fullest extent of which they are capable (cf. John 17:22-24; Revelation 3:21).

5. The pathway by which he leads them to their destiny. Like himself, they also must be made "perfect through sufferings." "If we endure, we shall also reign with him" (cf. 1 Peter 5:10, 11). Wherefore, let us not be afraid of suffering. Only let us be sure that we suffer with our Savior and in his spirit; so shall we ultimately share his bliss and glory. - W. J.







For it became Him.
I. IT IS PROPOSED TO ILLUSTRATE THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST AS THE CAPTAIN OF SALIVATION. This word in the sacred language signifies Prince, Captain, or Chief Leader, and is highly expressive of that distinguishing character which our Redeemer sustains, and of His gracious and powerful agency in the scheme of salvation.

1. He was chosen and appointed to be the Captain of salvation, and to be the head and chief conductor of this glorious scheme.

2. As the Captain of salvation, He purchased salvation for His people, and overcame their spiritual enemies.

3. Christ is the Captain of salvation, as He heads His people in the spiritual warfare, and conducts them to victory and triumph. He possesses infinite skill to devise the most advantageous plans, to discern all the strategems of His enemies, and infinite power to defeat them, and make them recoil with redoubled vengeance upon their heads. He knows the weakness and timidity of those who fight under his banner and conduct, and will afford them strength and courage. He knows their doubts, and can dispel them. He knows their dangers, and can deliver from them, and can enable them to resist the attacks of an host of adversaries. He furnishes them with the various pieces of the spiritual armour — the shield of faith, the helmet of hope, the breast-plate of righteousness, prayer, watchfulness, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When thus clad in the whole armour of God, He enables them to manage it with spiritual dexterity, so as most effectually to wound their enemies, and defend themselves from their attacks.

II. THAT THE CAPTAIN OF SALVATION WAS MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERINGS. In treating this part of the subject it will be proper first to speak a little concerning the sufferings of Christ, and then show how He was made perfect through His sufferings.

1. Concerning His sufferings, the following observations may be useful.(1) He suffered, as the surety of His spiritual seed, the proper punishment of their sins.(2) Though Jesus Christ endured the proper punishment of His people's sins, the mode of this punishment, and the duration of it, belonged to God the righteous Judge.(3) The Redeemer suffered an awful suspension of the light of the Father's countenance, and of the former sweet and endearing sense of His love.(4) Besides being forsaken by God, and the extreme sufferings of His outward man, He was, in another respect, brought into deep waters, where there was no standing. He endured much positive punishment, arising from the awful views which He had of the sins of His people, and of the wrath which they deserved, and felt all those inward and painful sensations which such views communicated. In these things, more especially, the sufferings of His soul consisted, and they far exceeded His bodily agonies on the Cross, though these also, from the nature of His death, must have been very great.

2. We shall now show how the Captain of salvation was made perfect through sufferings.(1) Jesus Christ was made perfect through sufferings, as by them He became a perfect Saviour, having finished the work which the Father gave Him to do. It was by fulfilling all righteousness, and perfectly performing the stipulated condition of the new covenant, that He purchased all the blessings of it, acquired a right to hold the possession of them, and to convey them to His spiritual seed.(2) The Captain of salvation was made perfect through sufferings, as under them His human graces and virtues grew up to perfection, and shone forth with the most amiable lustre and glory.(3) The Captain of salvation was made perfect through sufferings, as these were the perfect antitype of all that typified them, and as all the predictions concerning them were perfectly fulfilled.Lessons:

1. Here is a glorious person presented to our view, a Saviour made perfect through sufferings; to whom both saints and sinners may commit their salvation, with the fullest assurance that they shall not be disappointed.

2. Believers may be inspired with courage to persevere in the spiritual warfare, because they fight under the conduct of the Captain of salvation. He possesses every possible accomplishment as a Leader and Commander of His people.

3. Let us study m become more perfect in holiness, under all those sufferings and tribulations appointed for us in the adorable providence of God. The Captain of salvation was made perfect through His sufferings. In this He has furnished us with a noble and excellent pattern for our imitation.

(P. Hutchison, M. A.)

I. A FEW OBSERVATIONS CONCERNING THE MANY SONS THAT ARE TO BE BROUGHT TO GLORY, THROUGH THE SUFFERINGS AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST.

1. They are sons who obtain this great privilege. The relation here mentioned is not that natural relation in which men stand to God as their Creator, for that is common to the human race, as they are all His offspring. Neither is it a mere external relation to God, as the members of the visible Church, for thin exterior and visible adoption belongs to all baptized and professing Christians, and equally belonged to the Jewish Church, as a visible body, or nation of men professing the true religion. But the character of sons specified in the text is expressive of a spiritual and saving relation which is peculiar to true believers. This great privilege, like the other blessings of the glorious gospel, lays a foundation for humility and gratitude in all on whom it is bestowed. They can never be too grateful to God for such an honour and blessing, or sufficiently humble under a deep conviction that they do not deserve it.

2. In connection with the privilege they possess the Spirit of adoption. By His saving operations upon them they are endowed with all the graces and tempers which become the children of God, and correspond to their privilege of adoption. They are habitually prepared for all gracious exercises and the acceptable performance of all holy duties.

3. The sons of God to be brought to glory form a vast number. This is a great and consolatory truth; and it should be the concern of all me,, to have this glorious truth realised in their own persons.

4. All the adopted and regenerated sons of God shall be brought to glory. The various griefs and afflictions of believers in the present state of discipline and mortality shall terminate in the felicity of the heavenly state. There the redeemed shall not only be entirely freed from all those sins and temptations, griefs and afflictions, to which they are subjected in this life, but they shall attain perfection in knowledge, holiness, glory, and immortality, together with the full and eternal enjoyment of God.

II. The bringing of many sons to glory, through the sufferings of Christ, Is WORTHY OF GOD, AND BECOMING HIS CHARACTER.

1. The redemption of sinners of mankind, through Jesus Christ, is worthy of Jehovah, as it illustrates, in the highest degree, the glory of His moral perfections. How brightly shines the Divine wisdom in the plan of redemption! In devising this g, eat plan, in connecting and harmonising all its parts, Divine wisdom excels in glory. Here the holiness and justice of God shine forth in the most resplendent glory. His hatred of sin, and the punishment of it in the Cross of Christ, are a far more glorious display of the justice and holiness of His nature than could have been given if mankind had never sinned, or, having sinned, had never been redeemed. Here the love of God is displayed in a manner the most amiable and engaging, in the gift of His only-begotten Son, and in subjecting a person so dear to Him to unparalleled grief, ignomony, and affliction. Here is displayed the Divine goodness in supplying the natural and spiritual wants of good men. Here is exhibited the Divine mercy in the full, free, and everlasting remission of sins.

2. The scheme of redemption, through the sufferings of Christ, is worthy of God, and becoming His character as the moral governor of the world. The Redeemer, in His whole mediation, acted in, a subserviency to the holy law of God; He magnified and made it honourable by rendering to it perfect obedience, as a covenant of works, and by enduring its awful penalty. He furnished His disciples with an amiable and perfect example of that obedience which the Jaw requires of them. He hath also procured and promised the aid and energies of the Holy Spirit, to qualify them for every part of Christian obedience.

3. It was worthy of God, and becoming His character, not to suffer Himself to be deprived of worship and obedience from the whole human race; nor them to be cut off from a participation of His goodness and the enjoyment of Him as their portion.

4. The scheme of redemption is worthy of God because it reflects the highest honour on His adored Son Jesus Christ. He has the honour of repairing the breach which sin had made between God and men, and hath reconciled them to Him by the blood of His Cross. He has the honour of performing the condition of the covenant of grace, whereby all the blessings of it were purchased, and the promises of it ratified and made sure to the heirs of promise. He has the honour of being the grand repository of the covenant-blessings, the administrator of them, and of sending down the Holy Spirit to apply them. He has the honour of being the Head of the Church, and of administering the whole affairs of Divine providence for the good of the Church. He has the honour of beholding a numerous seed as the fruit of His unparalleled labours and sufferings. He will. have the honour of presiding in the final judgment, and of awarding the retributions of that solemn and eventful day, both to the righteous and the wicked. And He will be the honoured medium through which all the blessedness of the heavenly state will be communicated to the redeemed for evermore.

5. The method of redemption, by the death of Christ, is worthy of God, because it is, in a variety of respects, more excellent than the constitution established with the first Adam for obtaining life to himself and his posterity. The perfections of God are more glorified by the gospel-method of salvation, and particularly His mercy, for which there was no place under the first covenant. According to that constitution the goodness of God might have free egress towards men while innocent and obedient; but no provision was made in it for the remission of sin. or for purification from it, when he became guilty and polluted. By the constitution of grace His law is more magnified; for Adam could only obey it as a mere man, but Christ obeyed it as the Lord from heaven. The sinner's tide to life by the gospel stands upon a more glorious foundation. Though the covenant of works had been kept, man's title to life would only have been founded upon a perfect human obedience; but according to the gospel-scheme it rests upon the divinely perfect righteousness of the Son of God. Gospel-holiness is also conveyed into the souls of men in a more excellent channel Adam received the principles of holiness in the channel of creating goodness; but gospel-holiness is communicated as the fruit of the Redeemer's purchase, in the channel of redeeming love. The worship of the redeemed has something in it more excellent. In the state of innocence man could adore God as his creator, preserver, benefactor, and governor; but the redeemed can worship the adorable Trinity, not only in the above respects, but also in their economical character, in the plan of redemption, as a reconciled Father, a Saviour from guilt and misery, and a Spirit of sanctification and comfort, whose office it is to apply the blessings of redemption and put the chosen of God in possession of them. To all these ideas add that the future happiness of the redeemed will be greater than man's happiness could have been by the original covenant. For not only will it be conveyed to them through the mediation of Jesus Christ, as purchased by His blood, but they will have more enlarged and endearing discoveries of the perfections of the Godhead as displayed in the scheme of redemption, which will prove an inexhaustible and everlasting source of enjoyment; while they will have the additional felicity of reflecting, that though once they were sinners and sunk in perdition and misery, yet they were rescued from the jaws of destruction by the power and grace of the great Redeemer, and raised to unmerited and undecaying honours and enjoyments. This consideration will sweeten and accent the song of the redeemed, and fill them with joy unutterable, and full of glory.Lessons:

1. Since the method of salvation, through the sufferings of Jesus Christ, is so worthy of God, it must be worthy of us to embrace it as all our salvation and all our desire.

2. Our hearts should be deeply impressed with this important truth, that the only way of salvation for sinners is through the mediation and sufferings of Jesus Christ.

3. If sinners of mankind can be saved only by the death of Christ, how aggravated is the guilt and how deplorable is the condition of our modern infidels, who with profane mockery and insolent contempt reject the gospel-method of salvation, together with the inspired oracles by which it is revealed and proposed to the acceptance of men?

4. This subject shows us that in subordination to the glory of God it is the great end of the gospel and of the death of Christ to perfect the state, character, and felicity of good men.

5. Let sinners and saints be careful to improve the method of salvation set before them in the gospel.

6. To conclude: Let me call you who are the children of the Most High to adore and admire that unsearchable wisdom which devised a scheme of salvation so worthy of God in all the possible attitudes in which it can be viewed, and so happily adapted to your character and circumstances.

(P. Hutchison, M. A.)

I. A reason is rendered in the words of what he had asserted in the foregoing verse, namely, that Jesus the Messiah was to suffer death, and by the grace of God to taste of death for all. WHY HE SHOULD DO THUS, ON WHAT ACCOUNT, WHAT GROUND, NECESSITY, AND REASON THERE WAS FOR IT IS HERE DECLARED — it was so to be, "For it became Him," &c.

II. THE DESIGN OF GOD IS EXPRESSED IN THIS WHOLE MATTER, AND THAT WAS — TO BRING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY.

1. The eternal designation of them to that glory where. unto they are to be brought is peculiarly assigned to Him. "He predestinates them to be conformed to the image of His Son" (Romans 8:28-30).

2. He was the spring and fountain of that covenant (as in other operations of the Deity) that was of old between Himself and His Son, about the salvation and glory of the elect (see Zechariah 6:13; Isaiah 42:1; Proverbs 8:20-30; Isaiah 50:4; Isaiah 53:11, 12; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 110:1, 6).

3. He signally gave out the first promise, that great foundation of the covenant of grace, and afterwards declared, confirmed, and ratified by His oath, that covenant wherein all the means of bringing the elect to glory are contained (Genesis 3:15; Jeremiah 31:32-34; Hebrews 8:8).

4. He gave and sent His Son to be a Saviour and Redeemer for them and to them; so that in His whole work, in all that He did and suffered, He obeyed the command and fulfilled the will of the Father.

5. He draws His elect, and enables them to come to the Son, to believe in Him, and so to obtain life, salvation and glory by Him.

6. Bring "reconciled to them by the blood of His Son," He reconciles them to Himself by giving them pardon and forgiveness of sins in and by the promises of the gospel, without which they cannot come to glory (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).

7. He quickens them and sanctifies them by His Spirit, to " make them meet for the inheritance of the saints in light," that is f r the enjoyment of glory.

8. As the great Father of the family He adopts them, and makes them His sons, that so He may bring them to glory. He gives them the power or privilege to become the sons of God (John 1:12), making them heirs and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14-17), sending withal "into their hearts the Spirit of adoption, enabling them to cry Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

9. He confirms them in faith, establisheth them in obedience, preserveth them from dangers and oppositions of all sorts, and in manifold wisdom keeps them through His power to the glory prepared for them (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Ephesians 3:20, 21; 1 Peter 1:5; John 17:11.

10. He gives them the Holy Ghost as their Comforter, with all those blessed and unspeakable benefits which attend that gift of His (Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13; John 14:16, 17; Galatians 4:6).

III. THERE IS IN THESE WORDS INTIMATED THE PRINCIPAL .MEANS THAT GOD FIXED ON FOR THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS DESIGN OF HIS, FOR THE BRINGING OF MANY SONS TO GLORY; IT WAS BY APPOINTING A CAPTAIN OF THEIR SALVATION. All the sons of God are put under His conduct and guidance, as the people of old were under the rule of Joshua, to bring them into the glory designed for them, and promised to them in the covenant made with Abraham. And He is called their Ἀρχηγος, "Prince, Ruler, and Captain, or Author of their salvation," on several accounts.

1. Of His authority and right to rule over them in order to their salvation.

2. Of His actual leading and conduct of them by His example, spirit, and grace, through all the difficulties of their warfare.

3. As He is to them " the Author or cause of eternal salvation," He procured and purchased it for them.

IV. There is expressed in the words, THE ESPECIAL WAY WHERE BY GOD FITTED OR DESIGNED THE LORD CHRIST UNTO THIS OFFICE, OF BEING A CAPTAIN OF SALVATION UNTO THE SONS TO BE BROUGHT TO GLORY. To understand this aright we must observe that the apostle speaks not here of the redemption of the elect absolutely, but of the bringing them to glory, when they are made sons in an especial manner. And therefore he treats not absolutely of the designation, consecration, or fitting of the Lord Christ unto His office of Mediator in general, but as unto that part, and the execution of it, which especially concerns the leading of the sons unto glory, as Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan. By all the sufferings of the Lord Christ in His life and death, by which sufferings He wrought out the salvation of the elect, did God cons crate and dedicate Him to be a Prince, a Leader, and Captain of salvation unto His people, as Peter declares the whole matter (Acts 5:30, 31; Acts 2:36).

1. The whole work of saving the sons of God from first to last, their guidance and conduct through sins and sufferings unto glory, is committed unto the Lord Jesus; whence He is constantly to be eyed by believers in all the concernments of their faith, obedience, and consolation.

(1)With care and watchfulness (Psalm 121:4).

(2)With tenderness and love (Isaiah 40:11).

(3)He leads them with power, authority, and majesty (Micah 5:4).

2. As the manner how, so the acts wherein and whereby this Antecessor and Captain of salvation leads on the sons of God, may be considered; and He doth it variously.

(1)He goes before them in the whole way unto the end.

(2)He guides them and directs them in their way.

(3)He supplies them with strength by His grace, that they may be able to pass on in their way.

(4)He subdues their enemies.

(5)He doth not only conquer all their enemies, but He avenges their sufferings on them, and punisheth them for their enmity.

(6)He provides a reward, a crown for them, and in the bestowing thereof accomplishes this His blessed office of the Captain of our salvation.And all this should teach us —

(a)To betake ourselves unto Him, and to rely upon Him in the whole course of our obedience, and all the passages thereof.

(b)To look for direction and guidance from Him.

(John Owen, D. D.)

When Christianity was first published to the world, the earliest objection that was raised against it arose from the low and suffering state in which its Author appeared. It is then a subject worthy of our contemplation to inquire into the reasons that might move Almighty God thus, in &reef opposition to the prejudices and expectations of both Jews and Greeks, to appoint the Captain of our salvation to be made perfect by a state of sufferings.

I. If we consider our Saviour as THE AUTHOR OF A NEW RELIGION, His appearance in a suffering state frees His religion from an objection which applies with full force to every other religion in the world. Had our Saviour appeared in the pomp of a temporal prince, as the Jews expected Him; had He appeared in the character of a great philosopher, as the Greeks would have wished Him, often had we heard of His power and of His policy, and been told that our religion was more nearly allied to this world than to the other. But when we bear the Author of our faith declaring from the beginning that He must suffer many things in His life, and be put to an ignominious and tormenting death, these suspicions must for ever vanish from our mind. Thus our religion stands clear of an objection, from which nothing, perhaps, could have purged it but the blood of its Divine Author.

II. If we consider our Saviour as A PATTERN OF VIRTUE AND ALL PERFECTION, the expediency of His appearing in a suffering state will further be evident. One great end of our Saviour's coming into the world was to set us an example, that we might follow His steps. But, unless His life had been diversified with sufferings, the utility of His example had been in a great measure defeated. It is observed by an historian, in relating the life of Cyrus the Great, that there was one circumstance wanting to the glory of that illustrious prince; and that was, the having his virtue tried by some sudden reverse of fortune, and struggling for a time under some grievous calamity. The observation is just. Men are made for sufferings as well as for action. Many faculties of our frame, the most respectable attributes of the mind, as well as the most amiable qualities of the heart, carry a manifest reference to a state of adversity, to the dangers which we are destined to combat, and the distresses we are appointed to bear. Who are the personages in history that we admire the most? Those who ha, e suffered some signal distress, and from a host of evils have come forth conquerors.

III. If we consider our Saviour as A PRIEST, who was to make an atonement for the sins of men, the expediency of His making this atonement by sufferings and death will be manifest. It is one of the doctrines revealed in the New Testament that the Son of God was the Creator of the world. As therefore He was our immediate Creator, and as His design in our creation was defeated by sin, there was an evident propriety that He Himself should interpose in our behalf, and retrieve the affairs of a world which He had created with His own hands. In the work of redemption, therefore, it was expedient that there should be a brighter display of the Divine perfections, and a greater exertion of benevolence than was exhibited in the work of creation.

IV. If we consider our Saviour IN THAT STATE OF GLORY to which He is now ascended, the propriety of His being made perfect by sufferings will more fully appear. Because He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, therefore hath God highly exalted Him, hath given Him a name above every name, and committed to Him all power in heaven and in earth.

(John Logan.)

I. TO LEAVE NO ROOM FOR SUSPECTING THE TRUTH OF HIS MISSION.

1. Had the Messiah appeared as a powerful and illustrious prince, the bulk of mankind could not have had an opportunity of freely examining His credentials. Almost none, but the great and the mighty, would have dared to come into His presence; or if they did venture to approach Him, they would undoubtedly have been filled with dread and perturbation. Dazzled with His splendour and His glory, they could not have maintained that calm dispassionate state of mind which is necessary for judging of the pretensions of a messenger from heaven.

2. And had the gospel been ushered into the world in this splendid manner, what a ground of exultation would it have afforded to the infidel and profane! Would they not have long since triumphantly said the Christian faith was not a rational homage to the truth, but a blind submission to earthly influence and authority.

3. But besides, while the mean, afflicted condition of our Lord thus strongly evidences the truth of His religion, it also renders that evidence more palpable and striking by the glory and success with which the religion was afterwards attended.

II. TO EXHIBIT HIM AS A PERFECT PATTERN OF VIRTUE TO HIS FOLLOWERS.

1. When we behold the Saviour of men placed in like circumstances with ourselves, subject to all our sinless infirmities, submitting to the most unmerited indignities, exposed to the most bitter and unrelenting persecution, and even patiently enduring the Cross, despising the shame, acquitting Himself so gloriously, We dwell with delight upon the at once lovely and admirable character, and feel ourselves naturally prompted to give all diligence to make it the pattern of our conduct.

2. And as the sufferings of Christ were thus necessary to make the virtues of His life appear tilted for our imitation, so without, these sufferings there would have been many Divine and heavenly graces, which His life could not have exhibited. Those which are commonly denominated the passive virtues, and which we account the most hard to practise, could then have had no place in His character.

3. But not only were the sufferings of the Messiah requisite to make His example both of sufficient influence and extent, they were requisite also to render that example more exalted and illustrious than it could otherwise have been. They ennobled and perfected the graces of His character; they called forth to public view, in a substantial and living form, that consummate and unshaken integrity which, never before nor since, appeared among men.

III. TO MAKE HIM A PROPER PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS. Had not Christ suffered and died, we could never have reasonably hoped for the remission of sins. For had pardon been dispensed by the Almighty to His offending creatures, without exacting the penalty due to their crimes, how would the glory of the Divine perfections have been displayed, and the majesty of the Divine government maintained? Who would have regarded its authority, or feared to violate its commands? Sinners would have been emboldened to multiply their transgressions, and tempted to suppose that the God of unspotted purity — the God of unchangeable veracity, was altogether such a one as themselves.

IV. TO MAKE ROOM FOR HIS BRINGING MORE FULLY TO LIGHT A FUTURE STATE OF IMMORTALITY AND GLORY.

1. Let us consider their expediency, in order to prepare the way for a fuller demonstration of its existence. What so proper to convince us that the promises of eternal life are true, as to behold Him, who delivered them, Himself coming forth triumphant from the grave, and visibly ascending into heaven before us? Were the most stubborn infidel left to choose for himself a proof of his future existence, would it be possible for him to desire a plainer and a more perfect demonstration? But it is evident, that had not Jesus suffered and expired, this visible, striking demonstration could not have been afforded. For without first dying, how could He have risen from the dead? And had He not risen from the dead, what indubitable security could we have had of life and immortality?

2. But the sufferings and death of Christ were not only expedient to prepare the way for a full demonstration of the existence of a future state of glory, they were expedient also to point out in a more striking manner the way by which that glory is obtained. The object of the Deity seems to be not merely to communicate happiness, but to form His creatures to moral excellence. He hath designed them for a state of immortal felicity; but before they enter upon that state, He hath made it necessary that they shall have acquired virtuous habits; and to acquire again their virtuous habits, He hath ordained them to pass through a painful course of discipline. And the more painful and difficult this course becomes, the purer will be their virtue and the richer their reward.

V. TO GIVE US FULL ASSURANCE HE KNOWS AND SYMPATHISES WITH OUR FRAILTIES AND OUR" SORROWS, AND WILL THEREFORE MERCIFULLY INTERCEDE WITH THE FATHER IN OUR BEHALF. To whom do we in the day of affliction look up for such mercy and compassion, as from those who have been afflicted themselves? From His experience of our trials, we are assured He hath not only the power, hut the inclination to succour us. He knows well where our weakness lies, where our burden presses, and what will prove most proper for supporting and relieving us. Lessons:

1. From the doctrine which we have now illustrated, what reason have we to admire the wisdom of God! We see that it is admirably adapted to confirm our faith, to improve our nature, to comfort our souls, and, in a consistency with the honour of Thy perfections, to bring many returning sinners unto glory.

2. But this subject, while it leads us to admire the wisdom of God, demonstrates to us also in a most striking manner, the deep malignity of sin. For if such a remedy as the sufferings and death of Christ was, in the councils of heaven, deemed necessary to be employed against it, how evil and pernicious must its nature be! — how odious in the sight of God, and how destructive of the order and happiness of the whole creation! Let us then hate sin with a perfect hatred.

3. Did it behove Jesus to be made perfect through sufferings, then let us who are His disciples learn to submit to our sufferings with patience, and consider them as a requisite part of our education for heaven.

(A. Savile, M. A.)

Homilist.
I. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT THE UNIVERSE IS EITHER ETERNAL OR THE WORK OF CHANCE. The text speaks of One who is the Cause and End of all things.

II. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT CHRIST'S SUFFERINGS ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE DIVINE CHARACTER.

III. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT GREAT SUFFERINGS, IN THE CASE OF INDIVIDUALS, IMPLY GREAT SINS.

IV. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT GREAT HONOURS CAN BE OBTAINED WITHOUT GREAT TRIAL. There is no kingdom for man worth having that is not reached "through much tribulation."

V. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT THE GRAND END OF CHRISTIANITY IS TO CONNECT MAN WITH DOGMATIC SYSTEMS OF ECCLESIASTICAL CONSTITUTIONS. The end is higher; to bring men not to creeds or churches, but to "glory" — a glory spiritual, divine, ever progressive.

VI. IT REFUTES THE ERROR THAT THERE ARE BUT FEW THAT SHALL BE SAVED.

(Homilist.)

When we ponder these words we shall all come to feel, I think, that they have a message for us on which we have not yet dwelt with the patient thought that it requires, though we greatly need its teaching. The currents of theological speculation have led us to consider the sufferings of Christ in relation to God as a propitiation for sin, rather than in relation to man as a discipline, a consummation of humanity. The two lines of reflection may be indeed, as I believe they are, more closely connected than we have at present been brought to acknowledge I do not however wise now to discuss the propitratory aspect of the sacrifice of Christ's life. It is enough for us to remember with devout thankfulness that Christ is the propitiation not for our sins only, but for the whole world, without further attempting to define how His sacrifice was efficacious. And we move on surer ground, when we endeavour to regard that perfect sacrifice from the other side, as the hallowing of every power of man under the circumstances of a sin-stained world, as the revelation of the mystery of sorrow and pain. Yes, Christ, though He was Son, and therefore endowed with right of access for Himself to the Father, being of one essence with the Father, for man's sake, as man, won the right of access to the throne of God for perfected humanity. He learnt obedience, not as if the lesson were forced upon Him by stern necessity, but by choosing, through insight into the Father's will, that self-surrender even to the death upon the Cross which was required for the complete reconciliation of man wit, God. And the absolute union of human nature, in its fullest maturity, with the Divine in the one Person of our Creator and Redeemer, was wrought out in the very school of life in which we are trained. When once we grasp this truth the records of the Evangelists are filled with a new light. Every work of Christ is seen to be a sacrifice and a victory. Dimly, feebly, imperfectly, we can see in this way how it became God to make the Author of our salvation perfect through sufferings; how every pain which answered to the Father's will, became to Him the occasion of a triumph, the disciplining of some human power which needed to be brought into God's service, the advance one degree farther towards the Divine likeness to gain which man was made; how, in the actual condition of the world, His love and His righteousness were displayed in tenderer grace and grander authority through the gab-saying of enemies; how. in this sense, even within the range of our imagination, He saw of the travail of His soul and was satisfied. Dimly, feebly, imperfectly we can see how also Christ, Himself perfected through suffering, has made known to us once for all the meaning and the value of suffering; how He has interpreted it as a Divine discipline, the provision of a Father's love; how He has enabled us to perceive that at each step in the progress of life it is an opportunity'; bow He has left to us to realise "in Him" little by little the virtue of His work; to fill up on our part that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in our sufferings, not as if His work were incomplete or our efforts meritorious, but as being living members of His Body through which He is pleased to manifest that which He has wrought for men. For we shall observe that it was because He brought many sons to glory, that it became God to make perfect through sufferings the Author of their salvation. The fitness lay in the correspondence between the outward circumstances of His life and of their lives. The way of the Lord is the way of His servants. He inlightened the path which they must tread, and showed its end. And so it is that whenever the example of Christ is offered to us in Scripture for our imitation, it is His example in suffering. So far, in His strength, we can follow Him, learning obedience as He learned it, bringing our wills into conformity with the Father's will, and thereby attaining to a wider view of His counsel in which we can find rest and joy.

(Bp. Westcott.)

It might be presumptuous to say that God was bound to become a Saviour, but it may confidently be asserted that to save becomes Him. The work He undertook was congruous to His position and character. It was worthy of God the Creator, by whom all things were made at the first, that He should not allow His workmanship in man to be utterly marred and frustrated by sin. The irretrievable ruin of man would have seriously compromised the Creator's honour and glory. It would have made it possible to charge the Divine Being with failure, to represent Him as overreached by the tempter of man, to suspect Him of want of power or of will to remedy the mischief done by the fall. On this subject , in his discourse on the Incarnation of the Word, well remarks: "It would have been an indecency if those who had been once created rational had been allowed to perish through corruption. For that would have been unworthy of the goodness of God, if the beings He had Himself created had been allowed to perish through the fraud of the devil against man. Nay, it would have been most indecent that the skill of God displayed in man should be destroyed either through their carelessness or through the devil's craftiness. The God-worthiness of the end becomes still more apparent when the subjects of the Divine operation are thought of as, what they are here called, sons. What more worthy of God than to lead His own sons to the glory for which man was originally fitted and destined, when be was made in God's image, and set at the head of the creation? The title "sons" was possibly suggested by the creation story, but it arises immediately out of the nature of salvation as indicated in the quotation from the eighth Psalm — lordship in the world to be. This high destiny places man alongside of the Son whom God "appointed heir of all things." "If sons, then heirs," reasoned Paul; "if heirs, then sons," argues inversely the author of our epistle. Both reason legitimately, for sonship and heirship imply each other. Those who are appointed to lordship in the new world of redemption are sons of God, for what higher privilege or glory can God bestow upon His sons? And on those who stand in a filial relation to God He may worthily bestow so great a boon. To lead His sons to their glorious inheritance is the appropriate thing for God to do.

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)

If we take a view of God's special properties, we shall find the glory of them so set forth in Christ's Incarnation and Passion, and the redemption of man thereby, as in nothing more. I will exemplify this in five of them.

1. The power of God hath been manifested by many wonderful works of His since the beginning of the world. The book of Job and book of Psalms do reckon up catalogues of God's powerful and mighty works; but they are all inferior to those works which were done by the Son of God becoming man and dying; for hereby was the curse of the law removed, the bonds of death broken, the devil and his whole host vanquished. The Son of God did this, and much more, not by arraying Himself with majesty and power, but by putting on Him weak and frail flesh, and by subjecting Himself to death. Herein was strength made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

2. The wisdom of God was greatly set forth in the first creation or all things in their excellent order and beauty, and in the wise government of them; but after that by sin they were put out of order, to bring them into a comely frame again was an argument of much more wisdom, especially if we duly weigh how, by the creature's transgression, the just Creator was provoked to wrath. To find out a means, in this case, of atonement betwixt God and man must needs imply much mow e wisdom. For who should make this atonement? Not man, because he was the transgressor; not God, because He was offended and incensed: yet God, by taking man's nature upon Him, God-man, by suffering, did this deed; He made the atonement. God having revealed this mystery unto His Church, every one that is instructed in the Christian faith can say, Thus, and thus it is done: But had not God by His infinite wisdom found out and made known this means of reconciliation, though all the heads of all creatures had consulted thereabout, their counsels would have been altogether in vain. We have, therefore, just cause with an holy admiration to break out and say, "Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Romans 11:33).

3. The justice of God hath been made known in all ages by judgments executed on wicked sinners, as the punishment of our first parents, the drowning of the old world, the destroying of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone, the casting off the Jews, the casting of wicked angels and reprobate men into heft fire; but to exact the uttermost of the Son of God, who became a surety for man, and so to exact it as in our nature He most bear the infinite wrath of His Father and satisfy His justice to the full, is an instance of more exact justice than ever was manifested.

4. The truth of God is exceedingly cleared by God's giving His Son to die, and that in accomplishment of His threatening and promises.(1) For threatening God had said to man, "In the day thou eatest of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). How could God's truth have been accomplished in this threatening, and man not utterly destroyed, it Christ had not died in our nature?(2) For promise, the first that ever was made after man's fall was this, "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's bead" (Genesis 3:15). As this was the first promise, so was it the ground of all other promises made to God's elect in Christ. Now God having accomplished this promise by giving His Son to death, how can we doubt of His truth in any other promise whatsoever? The accomplishment of no other promise could so set out God's truth as of this; for other promises do depend on this, and not this on any of them. Besides, this is the greatest of all other promises. We may therefore on this ground say, "He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

5. God's mercy is most magnified by sending His Son into the world to die for man. "The mercies of God are over all His works" (Psalm 145:9). But the glass wherein they are most perspicuously seen is Jesus Christ made man, and made a sacrifice for man's sin.

(W. Gouge.)

A missionary, addressing a pious woman, said, "Mary, is not the love of God wonderful?" and then, enlarging on its manifestation in the atonement of Christ, he made the appeal, "Is it nut wonderful? " Mary simply, but we may add sublimely, replied, "Master, massa, me no rink it so wonderful, 'cause it is just like Him." In bringing many sons to glory. —

I. A DEFINITION OF GOD. We are told that for Him, and by Him, are all things; for Him — on His account — to manifest His glory — to display His perfections. God hath created all things for Himself. "Well, does not that look selfish? Is that worthy of God?" If we do anything for ourselves, and to show forth ourselves, we do it to show forth something that is finite and imperfect; and in attempting to show forth ourselves, and seek our own ends, we are overlooking the interests of other people. Therefore it is most improper for a creature to do anything chiefly to promote his own glory. But it is otherwise with God, for He is perfect, and the manifestation of Himself is the manifestation of perfection. Would you wish anything else? Shall creation be for any lower end than the exhibition of the Creator? Nor is the manifestation of Himself apart from the highest hope of the universe, for God is love; the manifestation of love and beneficence is, therefore, the diffusion of happiness. There is no greater, more benevolent purpose than the creation of all things for Himself. All things in the universe, however great, are subservient to an end infinitely greater than themselves. However small, they are not so insignificant as not to be employed for the greatest of all ends — for the manifestation of God the infinite.

II. THE GRACIOUS DESIGN OF THIS GLORIOUS, THIS INFINITE BEING. It is to bring many sons unto glory. These many sons are to be brought unto glory from among a rebellious and condemned race.

1. The first step towards this is to make them sons — to convert, to change them from foes to children; for by nature and by practice we are enemies to God, and not subject to the will of God. We are thus constituted sons through an act of God's free, sovereign, unmerited favour. He pardons all our sins. He puts the spirit of adoption into Us, and as He manifests Himself to us as our loving Father, He enables us to feel to Him as loving and trusting children. We seek Him whom we avoided; we trust Him whom we dreaded; we serve Him against whom we rebelled; we are sons.

2. And, having made us sons, He then brings us to glory. God does not form children for Himself and then forsake them.

III. But what is HIS METHOD? By a Mediator, called in the text the Captain of Salvation. The same word is translated in other passages, the Prince of Life — in others, "the Author and Finisher of faith." Here it is translated "Captain." He is our Captain. He goes in advance. He acts as our Champion. He fights our great adversary the devil for us — defeats him — "destroys him that had the power of death, even the devil." We can do all things through our Captain strengthening us. But we go on to observe that this Captain of Salvation was to be qualified for His office by suffering. He was to be made perfect by suffering. Emphatically He was a man of sorrows. By those sorrows He was made perfect, not as to His Divinity, for that could not be made more perfect, nor as to his moral purity, for that was perfect necessarily; but made perfect — that is, qualified for His office. The suffering was sacrificial. He had to atone for our sins. He had not merely to go before us as our Captain, but to bear the cross. So He was made a sacrifice for us. And He was to be made an example as well as a sacrifice. Men suffer. This is a world of trouble, and He could not have been an adequate example if He had not been an example in that which we are called to endure. He was to be a sympathising friend on whom we could look as understanding our case, as able to feel with us and for us, awed this would be impossible except by suffering. And, therefore, He was fitted to be the Captain and Leader of our Salvation by suffering.

IV. THE GREAT PROPOSITION. It was befitting in Him for whom and by whom are all things, in thus bringing many sons into glory through the mediation of the Captain of Salvation, to make the Captain of Salvation fitted for His work through suffering. It was befitting the Eternal God that His designs should be accomplished; and as suffering was essential to the end He had in view, was it not befitting that God should not spare even His own Son in order that He might be qualified for the work of bringing many sons to glory?

(Newman Hall, LL. B.)

I. THE OBJECT TO BE ACCOMPLISHED WAS THE BRINGING OF MANY SONS TO GLORY, A parent deals not with his children on selfish and mercenary principles. He does not, like a lawgiver, merely protect them, and dispense to them according to their merits; or, like a master, merely remunerate their work. He deals with them in love. "Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine," is the language of parental affection. The riches of Divine all-sufficiency are not, like the possessions of an earthly parent, diminished by being shared, affording the less for each that many partake. No; like the light of the sun, each receives the full enjoyment. "He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and 1 will be his God and he shall be My son." The abode destined to receive them is the heaven of glory, where every object and scene is resplendent with the glory of God and of the Lamb; their inheritance, the kingdom of glory; their portion the God of glory; their associates, His glorious family; their employments and enjoyments are all glorious: and, what is essential to their enjoyment of all is, that they are for ever perfected in personal glory — the glory not merely of celestial splendour, but the moral glory of unsullied holiness — the noblest glory in the eyes of God and of all holy intelligences.

II. THE PLAN ADOPTED FOR THIS END. A leader to glory is appointed, and He is made "perfect through sufferings." We have a country to possess, a journey and a warfare to accomplish, an enemy to conquer, and a victory to win. Christ is the breaker-up of the way, the leader and commander of the people. In order that the Son of God might fulfil the offices of our Redeemer — in order that He might have a banner to lift up in this character, and a willing hast ranged under it — it was necessary that He Himself should pass through the last extremity of conflict and death, and be thus made perfect through suffering. Let us inquire in what respects, and for what ends, this was necessary.

1. To make an atonement for our sins, and redeem our souls.

2. His sufferings were requisite in order to His perfect adaptation as our pattern and example.

3. His sufferings were endured also in order to His more perfectly identifying Himself by sympathy with His people, and engaging their absolute confidence.

(Alex McNaughton.)

There is, perhaps, nothing we understand better, in the conduct of others, than what is becoming or unbecoming in their spirit and deportment. We are almost eagle-eyed to discover whatever is worthy or unworthy of a man's rank and character. This almost instinctive sense of propriety in human conduct might, if wisely employed, enable us to judge wisely of what is becoming m the Divine conduct. For, if we expect wise, good, and great, men to act up to their character and avowed principles, we may well expect that the infinitely wise, great, and good God will do nothing unbecoming His character and supremacy. When, therefore, it is said that it "became" Him to save sinners, only by the blood of the Lamb, it surely becomes us to search in His character and salvation, not for reasons why redemption could not, or should not, be by atonement, but for reasons why it is so. Now, upon the very surface of the case, it is self-evident that an infinitely wise God would neither do too much nor too little for the salvation of man. Less than enough would not become His love; more than enough would not become His wisdom.

I. BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY IS GOD'S CHIEF AND FINAL OBJECT, IN ALL THE MERCY AND GRACE WHICH HE EXERCISES TOWARDS MAN.

1. NOW glory, as a place, is the heaven where God Himself dwells and reigns, visibly and eternally. It is His own special temple, resplendent with His presence, and vocal with His worship. It is His own central throne, from which He surveys and rules the universe.

2. Again, glory, as a state of character, is likeness to the God of heaven; — it is to bear the image of His spotless holiness, and to breathe the spirit of His perfect love. This is the glory to which God proposes to bring many sons. Now this heaven is so unlike our earth — where. God is altogether so invisible, and man so unholy and unloving-that, to say the least, a very great change for the better must take place in men before they can be fit for such glory. There are some things in this heaven which are not very agreeable to the natural mind of man, such as universal and eve lasting spirituality and harmony. Such being the sober facts of the case, it surely " becomes" God to take care that this heaven, which is to be His own eternal temple and throne, shall not be disgraced nor disturbed by the presence of unholy or alienated inhabitants.

II. THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST ARE DECLARED TO BE THE WAY IN WHICH IT BECAME GOD TO BRING MAN TO GLORY.

III. It is declared that, in saving man by the suffering of Christ, GOD HAD A REGARD TO THE RELATION IN WHICH ALL THINGS IN THE UNIVERSE STOOD TO HIMSELF. What He did in making Christ a sacrifice for our sins was what "because" Him to do as the author and end of all things visible and invisible. Now —

1. It certainly became God to save man in a way that should not endanger the safety of angels. But this could not have been done by penitential salvation. That would have been to tell all the unfallen universe that tears would repair any injury they might ever do to the honour of God or their own interests. A fine lesson in a universe where even innocence is no safeguard from temptation!

2. It certainly became God to save man in a way which should not impeach His character for not saving fallen angels. But could they have felt thus if the next race of sinners had been pardoned on mere repentance? Eternal happiness offered to one race of sinners, and eternal misery inflicted on another race of sinners, would be an eternal anomaly in the moral government of God but for the atonement made by Christ on our behalf. But now no holy nor wise being can wonder that grace reigns by the blood of the Lamb of God. Nor can they wonder that Satan and his angels are not redeemed, seeing it was by opposing this scheme of redemption they sinned and fell.

3. It became God to redeem man, and confirm angels, in such a way as to leave no possibility of imagining that any higher happiness could be found out than the voluntary gift of God conferred.

4. It became God to redeem man, and to confirm angels, in such a way as to render the impartiality of His love to both for ever unquestionable. Accordingly, it is as sons that He will bring men to glory — the very rank which all the unfallen spirits in all worlds hold.

(R. Philip.)

The text seems to represent Almighty God as looking down upon His sinful and rebellious creatures, and taking counsel for their instruction, as we might imagine some father, like him in the parable, made acquainted with the wretchedness of his prodigal son, and devising within himself a way in which he might recover him to goodness and to happiness. Do you observe what is here implied?

1. They who were to be brought to glory were not yet in a fit state for glory. It was a work to be done; something for which provision was to be made — something which was intended, planned, and gradually to be perfected. Alas t it is too true. man in his natural state is not prepared for a world of which the description is, that "therein dwelleth righteousness."

2. Yet are they capable of becoming so. Like the ore not yet cleansed from the worthless earth with which it is miracled, or like the precious stone covered with rust or clay, but of which the skilful eye perceives that it may be purified, and refined, and polished, and "fitted for the master's use," even hereafter to fear a place among his treasures. Such was the being for whom God had a design of mercy.

3. But how to accomplish it?

4. Here we perceive a reason why "the Captain of our salvation" was "made perfect through suffering." Man, who was to be hereafter glorified, was now lying under the penalty of sin; he was in a state of condemnation, as a transgressor of the laws which God has appointed for His creatures. Like the heir of a vast estate, but found guilty of some crime, by which that estate is forfeited, his condemnation lies between him and the inheritance assigned to him. "Why," perhaps you ask, "might not the Lord freely pardon these His guilty creatures, these His offending sons? "Verily, "the secret things belong unto the Lord our God"; but this we know — the judge here on earth, the magistrate, cannot freely pardon the offender against human laws; they cannot set him free without endangering the whole fabric of society. Therefore was "the Captain of our salvation m ,de perfect through suffering"; therefore through suffering did He accomplish our salvation. Christ died, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

5. Now, then consider man in this stage of his progress towards glory. Much has been done. but much remains to do. The slave may be emancipated from chains, but he is not emancipated from base and servile ways, and is altogether unfit for the glories of a throne or the presence of a king. God, therefore, in "bringing many sons to glory," has other plans of mercy beyond the atonement made. Their corruptions must be purified; the evil of their nature cured. How, then, is this to be effected in a way consistent with that Being with whom we have to do? What must be clone if a benefactor were to approach the slave and show him how a price was paid for his redemption, and that the moment he claims freedom an estate is prepared for him to enjoy, if lie were once fitted for the inheritance. He must be first persuaded of his present wretchedness, willing to be released from it, and to receive the benefit proposed. And in the case of earthly bondage there is no difficulty; the evils of such a state are felt and acknowledged. Not so in the case of Satan's bondmen; they are too often willing slaves. And this He does for the sons whom He leads to glory. He "convinces them of sin," that it is their guilt — "of righteousness," that it is to be found in Christ — "of judgment, the prince of this world is judged" — that this world must be overcome, or they must share its doom. When God was leading the Israelites into the land of Canaan He did not rid the laud at once of its inhabitants, but put them out little by little. And so no doubt He has a merciful purpose in all the difficulties which His people meet with in their progress towards the heavenly Canaan. Here, too, we see — here at least we believe we see — the reason of those troubles which many of God's faithful people pass through. Is the Christian harassed by the remainder of sin, so that " when he world do good evil is present with him"? Or is it the straitness of poverty which weighs him down? In all those secret trials which the world sees not, as well as all those which are evident to all, there is one intent which we cannot but see: God is weaning the heart from the present world, and drawing it to Himself.

(Archbp. Sumner.)

God is here represented as executing a great work — that of " bringing many sons unto glory." "Glory" is a grand word — one of the grandest in the vocabulary of human speech; and it is habitually employed in Scripture to denote the "great recompence of reward" which awaits the righteous in the world to come. In the Old Testament it is said: "The Lord will give grace and glory" (Psalm 84:11); Thou shall guide me with Thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory" (Psalm 73:24); and in the New: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18); "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." (2 Corinthians 4:17); "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27); "The salvation which is in" Christ, with eternal glory," (2 Timothy 2:10). Well does heaven realise the brilliant and impressive name of glory. The place — the pursuits — the pleasures — the inhabitants — all are glorious.

1. The place is glorious. Paradise — to which the departing spirits of the righteous pass — is certainly a locality. As the residence of Christ. that region of the universe must needs be glorious, having objects adapted to the organisation, and aptitudes, and tastes of his fine humanity. And who can fall but, even when a pure spirit is dissevered from its sister-frame, these objects let in their glory on the soul? But at last, in admirable and exquisite adaptation to the complete humanity of believers, the "new heavens and new earth" will come. It may seem sentimentalism, but it is sober sense, to say: If earth be so fair, how beautiful must heaven be! if the azure skies be so resplendent, holy majestic must be that sublimer world!

2. The pursuits are glorious. The inhabitants of heaven shall "see God." His Divine Essence, indeed, can never be beheld by human eye (1 Timothy 6:16). But there will probably be an outburst of visible glory from His eternal throne, significant of His presence and His majesty. At any rate, the soul will realise His infinite wisdom, and might, and purity, and love, with such clearness, and vividness, and power, as, in a sublime sense, to behold the invisible God. In heaven they will literally behold His glorious person — they will have Him for their associate and friend — they will gaze into the deep recesses of His love.

3. The pleasures are glorious. Deep and strong, no doubt, they are, like the mighty and majestic sea — yet, probably, calm and placid, as the b sore of the lake in the sunshine of the summer-sky.

4. The inhabitants themselves are glorious. What an expressive phrase — "the spirits of just men made perfect!" To the scenes, the pursuits, and the pleasures, of the heavenly world, the constitutions and characters of its inhabitants will completely correspond. Such is the glory of heaven. It is summarily denoted by St. Paul in the expression — an "exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17). There is a glory of the flowers — there is a glory of the stars-there is a glory of the sun. But each, and all, is far exceeded and outshone b v the glory of the heavens. And what is so bright, and beautiful, and precious, is "eternal;" it shall last for ever — it shall never pass away.And whom does Jehovah bring to this celestial glory? "Sons" "many sons."

1. The filial relation of believers to God is often set forth in Scripture. There are two ways in which one person may become another person's child — birth and adoption. In the writings of St. John and St. Peter, the former — in those of St. Paul, the latter is propounded as the fundamental idea of the believer's sonship. Starting from either of the two conceptions, we are free to carry out the figure into the collateral and kindred ideas of protection, guidance, instruction, discipline, comfort, pity, and tenderest love, as bestowed by God on His believing people. It is as children that they are brought to glory.

2. The statement that "many sons" are brought to glory is quite consistent with the passages which indicate that comparatively few of the inhabitants of earth are in a state of salvation. Already, a mighty multitude of souls have been ransomed and renewed. In future times fore. told in prophecy, "a nation shall be born in a day," and tribes and tongues shall shout, "Come and let us go up to Jehovah's house.',

3. These "many sons " God is "bringing to glory." He chose them to this bright inheritance in the depths of the past eternity (Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). He sent His Son to win and work out "an eternal redemption" for them (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:32). He arrests them, by His Spirit, amidst the wildness of their wanderings, and adopts them into His cherished family (Romans 5:17; Romans 8:29, 30; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 2:1-10. Colossians 1:12). He "guides them by His counsel" (Psalm 73:24). He "will never leave them nor forsake them" (Hebrews 13:5). He "keeps them by His power, through faith, unto salvation" (1 Peter 1:5). At last, He receives them to glory (Psalm 73:24). He introduces, and bids them welcome, to their paternal home.

4. The "many sons" whom the Father brings to glory are here represented as standing in a rely intimate relation to Jesus Christ. He is "the Captain of their salvation." Glorious Captain! who would not follow Thee? Yet this Captain had "His sufferings." From His cradle to His grave, He was "a man of sorrows." In body, in soul, in circumstances, He suffered grievously (Isaiah 53:2-6, 10; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 4:1; Matthew 8:20; Matthew 11:19; Matthew 26:36 — Matthew 27:50; Luke 19:41; John 4:6; Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1).

5. But He is also represented as "made perfect through sufferings."

(A. S. Patterson, M. A.)

Make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings
He might conceivably have saved men by a direct act of sovereign power and mercy. But He chose to save by mediation. And this method, if not the only possible one, is at least fitting. It became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, to bring His sons to glory in this way.

1. Because He was thereby following the analogy of providence, doing this work of deliverance in the manner in which we see Him performing all works of deliverance recorded in history: e.g. the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. God led His ancient people from Egypt to Canaan, like a flock, "by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

2. The method involves that salvation is a gradual process. It is a march under the guidance of a Leader to the promised land. The sons of God arc led to glory step by step. The new heavens and the new earth are not brought in per saitum, but as the result of a development during which the word and history and passion of Christ work as a leaven. Redemption has a history alike in the Leader and in the led. Redemption after this fashion became Him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, better than an instantaneous deliverance. The latter might reveal Divine omnipotence, but the former affords scope for the display of all Divine attributes: power, wisdom, patience, faithfulness, unwearied loving care.The method of salvation by a Leader involves certain things with reference to the Leader Himself.

1. He must, of course, be a Man visible to men, whom He has to lead; so that they can look unto Him as the Leader and Perfecter of faith, and, inspired by His example, follow Him on the path which leads to glory.

2. Out of this primary requirement naturally springs another. He who in person is to lead the people out of the house of bondage into ,h, promised land must, in the discharge of his duty, encounter hardship and suffering, lie must share the lot of those whom he has to deliver. Neither Moses nor Joshua had an easy time of it. The leadership of Israel was for neither a dilettante business, but a sore, perilous, often thankless toil and warfare. And there never was any real leader or captain of men whose life was anything else than a yoke of care, and a burden of toil and sorrow. They have all had to suffer with those they led, and more than any of the led. What wonder then if the Captain or Leader of the g eat salvation was acquainted with suffering? Must He be the solitary exception to the rule which connects leadership with suffering? If out of regard to His dignity as the Son He must be exempted from suffering, then for the same reason He must forfeit the position of leader. To exempt from suffering is to disable for leadership. Companionship in suffering is one of the links that connect a leader with those he leads and gaves him power over them. This brings us to a third implicate of the method of salvation by a captain for the Captain Himself.

3. It is, that experience of suffering is not merely inseparable from His office as the Captain of salvation, but .useful to Him in that capacity. It perfects Him as Captain. Here at length we reach the climax of the apologetic argument; the final truth in which, when understood, the mind finds perfect rest. If this be indeed true, then beyond all doubt it became God to subject His Son to a varied experience of suffering. To proclaim its truth is the real aim of the writer. For though his direct affirmation is that it became God to perfect His Son by suffering, the really important thing is the indirect affirmation that the Son was perfected by suffering. The writer means to say that Christ was perfected by suffering, in the sense that He was thereby made a perfect leader. The perfecting of Christ was a process resulting in His becoming a consummate Captain of salvation. It was a process carried on through sufferings, taking place contemporanously with these. It was a process begun on earth, carried on throughout Christ's whole earthly life, reaching its goal in heaven; just as the crowning with glory and honour began on earth and was completed in heaven. The crowning was the appointment of Jesus to the vocation of Saviour, the perfecting was the process through which he became skilled in the art of saving. The theatre or school of His training was His human history, and the training consisted in His acquiring, or having opportunity of exercising, the qualities and virtues which go to make a good leader of salvation. Foremost among these are sympathy, patience, obedience, faith, all of which are mentioned in the course of the epistle. The official perfecting of every ordinary man includes an ethical element. An apprentice during the course of his apprenticeship not only goes through all the departments of his craft and acquires gradually skill in each branch, but all along undergoes a discipline of character, which tends to make him a better man as well as a good tradesman. The supreme qualification for a leader of salvation is the possession and exercise of high heroic virtues, such as those already enumerated. He leads by inspiring admiration and trust; that. is, by being a moral hero. But a moral hero means one whose life is hard, tragic. Heroes are produced by passing through a severe, protracted curriculum of trial. They are perfected by sufferings — sufferings of all sorts, the more numerous, varied, and severe the better; the more complete the training, the more perfect the result, when the discipline has been successfully passed through. Hence the fitness, nay, the necessity, that one having Christ's vocation should live such a life as the gospels depict; full of temptations, privations, contradictions of unbelief, ending with death on the cross; calling into play to the uttermost the virtue of fortitude, affording ample scope for the display at all costs of fidelity to duty and obedience to God, and in the most desperate situations of implicit filial trust in a heavenly Father; and through all these combined furnishing most satisfactory guarantees for the possession of unlimited capacity to sympathise with all exposed to the temptations and tribulations of this world. How can any son of God who m being led through fire and blood to his inheritance doubt the value of a Leader so trained and equipped?

(A. B. Bruce, D. D.)

Our Leader inspires confidence. He has never been defeated. Mark you I how He conquered the weaknesses of humanity, pride, self-seeking, avarice, and resentment — how he conquered the Tempter on the Mount; how He conquered death and the powers of hell! We know whom we trust, and that He will lead us to victory. In one of the Napoleonic battles on the Peninsula, a corps of British troops were sorely pressed and began to waver. Just then the Duke of Wellington rode in among them. A veteran soldier cried out: " Here comes the Duke, God bless him! the sight of him is worth a whole brigade!" So to the equipped warrior under the ensign of the cross, a sight of Jesus, our leader, is a new respiration. He who is for us is mightier than all that be against us. Jesus is able to assure the victory to every redeemed soul who is loyal to Him.

(T. L. Cuyler, D. D.)

I. THE LORD JESUS IS A PERFECT SAVIOUR.

1. For, first, He is perfectly adapted for the work of saving.(1) The singular constitution of His nature adapts Him to His office. He is God. He is also man. No nature but one so complex as that of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, would have been perfectly adapted for the work of salvation.(2) And as He was adapted in His nature, so it is very clear to us that He was also adapted by His experience. A physician should have some acquaintance with disease; how shall he know the remedy if he be ignorant of the malady. Our Saviour knew all because "He took our infirmities," &c.(3) If you will add to His perfect experience His marvellous character, you will see how completely adapted He was to the work. For a Saviour, we need one who is full of love, whose love will make him firm to his purpose. We want one with zeal so flaming, that it will eat him up; of courage so indomitable, that he will face every adversary rather than forego his end; we want one, at the same time, who will blend with this brass of courage the gold of meekness and of gentleness; we want one who will be determined to deal fearlessly with his adversaries — such an one we have in Christ.

2. Furthermore, as Christ is thus perfectly adapted, so He is perfectly able to be a Saviour. He is a perfect Saviour by reason of ability.(1) He is now able to meet all the needs of sinners. That need is very great. The sinner needs everything. "More than all in Christ we find"; pardon in His blood; justification in His righteousness; wisdom in His teaching; sanctification in His Spirit. He is the God of all grace to us.(2) As He has this power to meet all needs, so He can meet all need in all cases. There has never been brought to Christ a man whom He could not heal.(3) As He can meet all cases, so He can meet all cases at all times.

3. Once more, let me remind you that Christ is a perfectly successful Saviour.(1) I mean by this that, in one sense, He has already finished the work of salvation. All that has to be done to save a soul Christ has done already.(2) And, as He has been successful in doing all the work for us, to, in every case where that work has been applied, perfect success has followed.

II. CHRIST WAS MADE A PERFECT SAVIOUR THROUGH SUFFERING.

1. By His sufferings He became perfect as a Saviour from having offered a complete expiation for sin. Sin could not have been put away by holiness. The best performance of an unsuffering being could not have removed the guilt of man. Suffering was absolutely necessary, for suffering was the penalty of sin.

2. Again, if Christ had not suffered He could not have been perfect as a Saviour, because He could not have brought in a perfect righteousness. It is not enough to expiate sin. God requires of man perfect obedience. If man would be in heaven he must be perfectly obedient. Christ, as He took away our guilt, has supplied us with a matchless righteousness.

3. Yet, thirdly, it was necessary that Christ should suffer to make Him a perfect Saviour so far as His sympathy goes.

4. Finally, upon this point; He thus became perfect as our exemplar.

III. CHRIST'S HAVING BEEN MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING WILL ENNOBLE THE WHOLE WORK OF GRACE. "It became Him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory" — that is the great work "to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." The whole thing will work for His glory. Oh, how this will glorify God at the last, that Christ, the man, should have been perfect through suffering!

1. How this will glorify Him in the eyes of devils! It was in man that they defeated God; in man God destroys them.

2. How greatly will God be exalted that day in the eyes of lost spirits. You will not be able to say, "My damnation lies at God's door," for you will see in Christ a suitable Saviour.

3. Oh, what delight and transport will seize the minds of those who are redeemed! How will God be glorified then! Why, every wound of Christ will cause an everlasting song.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The presence of evil in this earth, and of all the sorrow and suffering that flows from evil, naturally appears to be the one great imperfection that mars the economy of the world. Here, however, the sacred writer boldly faces the mystery, and dares to speak of this great and all-pervading imperfection as the necessary condition of a higher perfection — a perfection so high and glorious as to justify all that has seemed inexplicable in bringing it about. We cannot for a moment doubt that God, being omnipotent, could if He willed bring evil to a summary end. But if He could crush out all evil, and yet does not do so, it is clear that some purpose of benevolence and love higher than would be answered by this procedure must actuate Him to adopt the course that He does. Now we ourselves are in a position to notice that the presence and operation of evil in one form or another calls forth, or perhaps we should say contributes to form, qualities and characteristics such as are not within our own observation and experience otherwise produced. If a man's temper should never be tried, we cannot see how he can learn self-control; unless a man be exposed to danger or to opposition, how shall he develop courage? If he never has a trial or a pain, how can he become patient? Or we might illustrate the subject thus: Mere exclusion from the conditions of trial and temptation will not transform human character, although it may change human conduct. Suppose that an habitual drunkard migrated to locality where intoxicants could not be obtained, he would become outwardly sober certainly, but would he be a sober man in the moral sense of the work? Supposing that a quarrelsome man were banished to a Juan Fernandez, he would certainly live in peace because he had no one to quarrel with; but are you sure he would not pick a quarrel with the captain of the ship that carried him back to England? No; our observation shows us that something more is needed than mere seclusion from evil to make us truly good. Indeed, it teaches us more than this. It would lead us to conclude that contact with evil in some form or another would seem to be necessary in order to develop the highest form of character. Are any of us disposed to ask, Why cannot the highest form of good be otherwise produced? It is enough to answer that God, so far as we know, invariably works through means. Further, we observe in Nature that each end is the product of certain particular means, or specific combinations of means, and of no other, and reverence and piety lead to the conclusion that in each case the means are the best that could be chosen. But if this be so in the physical world, why should it not be so in the moral? And there rises up before the Divine consideration the vision of the One absolutely perfect Man, who was, in the Father's foreknowledge, the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. And this highest type is the product of the triumph of militant good over opposing evil; the ideal Man is perfected by suffering. Here, at any rate, the means have produced the end. Hence our text, we observe, speaks of something that we might almost call a Divine necessity; at any rate, it contains a distinct reference to the eternal fitness of things, to the fixed operation of the laws of causation in the spiritual as in the natural world. And yet, lest this should be taken to imply the existence of some superior necessity to which even God Himself is subject — lest we should fall into the old Pagan notion that fate is stronger than Deity, and that God is the creature rather than the Creator of universal law, the writer attaches to this very reference to the eternal fitness of things one of the most sublime declarations in all literature of the place that God holds in the universe He has made. "It became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." Let us dwell upon these two revelations of the Divine. All things are for God. He is the great final cause of all that is. "Thou hast created all things," cry the blessed spirits in the Land of Vision, "and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." It is manifest that if God Himself existed antecedently to all creation, all creation must exist for Him. And this implies that the potentialities, as well as the original actualities, of life were for Him. He must surely have known what He was calling into existence, and what possibilities would be involved for good or evil when He said, "Let us make man." And we ourselves are for Him. The prime object of our existence is not to obtain gratification for ourselves, but to answer His purpose concerning us. I am persuaded that one great secret of holiness lies in the recognition of this truth, and of all that is implied in it — I exist for God. In this new view of life, and in the acceptance of God instead of self as our centre of reference, lies the very essence of self-denial. We deny ourselves when, instead of asking, What do I like, we inquire, "Lord, what wouldest Thou have me to do?" And the second revelation is scarcely less important. "By Him are all things." He is the efficient as well as the final cause in His great universe of all that He designs to be eternal, and of all that contributes to what is eternal. This suggests to our minds the thought, that not only are the ages bound together by one great purpose, but more than this, God must be the best judge of the means by which that great purpose is to be subserved. And if He employs suffering as a means towards this end (and no doubt He is most reluctant to employ such a means), it must be because He sees this to be the means most suited to the end aimed at, indeed the only means that can bring about the specific results desired. Now it is obviously of the greatest practical moment that we should bear in mind that "of Him are all things" in our own personal experience. It is not the devil that is allowed to shape the features of the Christian's lot. Though he may be the agent in inflicting such sufferings, there is a deeper love underneath that permits them all for the promotion of a higher good. But if all things are for God, and we ourselves are for Him — if He is to derive a special gratification and satisfaction from our perfection — Then may we not boldly affirm that all things are for us? and may we not confidently trust Him with the selection of means towards the great end that He has in view? It is this thought that will arm us to face trials without apprehension, and keep us from forfeiting the blessings of suffering by yielding to a murmuring spirit. Stoics might teach us to endure tribulation, and Epicureans might advise us to do our best to escape tribulation; but who had ever before thought of the possibility of glorying in tribulation? But the true Christian glories in it. He glories in it because it is a means towards an end. It is one of the "all things" that are of God, and that contribute to what God designs. We glory in that triumphant power of Divine grace which renders even evil the minister of good, and converts what we most shrink from rote the means of inducing what we most desire. But the most surprising part of the text certainly is that in which Christ is represented as being submitted to the same means of development as ourselves in this respect. And our text affirms that it was in accordance with the eternal fitness of things that He should be perfected by suffering like the rest. If God's method of operation is this, that He produces ends by definite and appropriate means, why should we expect Him to depart from it in a particular ease? If the very highest form of human perfection could be induced, without any employment of means — and painful and unpleasant means — such as we are subjected to, would there not have been ground for the conclusion that these means were in themselves unnecessary? Surely with such premises, it would be difficult for us to draw any other conclusion than that the infliction of all this suffering was gratuitous, and therefore unkind. But Christ came to vindicate the Father's character and ways. Above all He came to deepen our sense of the Father's love and benevolence, and therefore it behoved Him to submit to the established law, and to make the highest use of the means which a Father's love has appointed for the training and perfecting of man. Jesus Christ is not any grander, any more glorious, in the moral sense of the word, even when He sits ca the throne, than He was when He hung in anguish, faint and dying, on a felon's cross. We can guess at His perfection up yonder in the glory; we can see it on the cross. And it is just the sort of perfection that sanctified sorrow and suffering amongst ourselves is known, in some degree at any rate, to produce. Self-control in its highest form; self-effacement that seems wonderful in its completeness, even in Him of whom we have learnt to expect whatever is highest and noblest; courage that took measure beforehand of all that was to come, and yet never flinched; obedience that would not, that did not, fail when the consequence was torture and death; patience that continued to endure when relief at any moment was within His reach; faith that would not doubt the Father's love, though all that He was suffering seemed to contradict it; hope that looked on through the horrors of the present to the joy that was set before Him; magnanimity that despised the shame; benignant pity that pleaded for His very murderers; and, above all, changeless and unconquerable love that many waters could not quench nor floods drown — these were amongst the characteristic perfections that have shone upon the world from Calvary, and are shining still. And these are all of them such as sorrow and suffering contribute to form; indeed, it is easy to see that some of these characteristics could not have existed, otherwise than potentially, even in the perfect Man, had He not been exposed to suffering. But it may be asked, How could Jesus Christ be perfected when He was never imperfect? Perfection may be regarded as either relative or absolute. Absolute perfection is the attribute of God, and belonged to Christ in His eternal Godhead from all eternity. But, again, there is such a thing as relative perfection — a perfection, that is to say, that is relative not only to the object and its ideal, but to the conditions to which it is for the time being submitted. There never was a time, then, when Jesus Christ was relatively imperfect. As a mere child no doubt He was all that a child could be; and as a young man I question not, though we know actually nothing of His youth, He presented to His contemporaries a perfect model of youthful manhood. But, as we have seen, there are certain forms of manly and, perhaps I should say, Godlike virtue that are only brought forth to perfection, so far as we know, by trial and suffering; and Jesus Christ could not be the absolutely Perfect Man until these characteristics had been by suffering acquired. For example, we are taught that He learned obedience by the things that He suffered. Now there never was a time when Jesus Christ was disobedient; but obedience, to be perfect, must be submitted to test. You cannot call a child obedient if his obedience has never cost him anything, nor do you know that he will obey when the trial comes unless he has been already put to the test. In this sense, and in this sense only, Christ learnt obedience by the things that He suffered. Alas! the words apply very differently to many of us! We disobey, and we suffer for it, and perhaps suffer severely, and then we begin to think that perhaps obedience is the truer wisdom. But He, on the other hand, learned the habit of obedience without ever tasting the bitter fruits of disobedience. His sufferings came in the path of obedience, and instead of deflecting Him from it confirmed Him in it. His own brethren did not believe on Him. Here were trials at home harder to bear than poverty and want. But from this form of suffering He learned to stand alone, to be the less dependent on man, and the more in the society of His Father; while instead of His affections and sympathies being shrivelled and blighted by this unfavourable atmosphere they seem to have flowed forth all the more freely towards all who felt their value and responded to their advances. Yet another sorrow sprang from the attitude assumed towards Him by the religious world. It is never pleasant to be regarded as a heretic by those who represent a dominant and intolerant orthodoxy. I have known cases in which men have become embittered against and estranged from their fellow-Christians for life because of what they have suffered through practical excommunication. But where we may miss the lesson, Christ learned it. On the one hand, He learnt from all this how little trust was to be reposed in the theories and systems of men. But look again, and observe how all through His ministry He suffered from the contradiction of sinners against Himself, and this suffering contributed to His perfection in two ways. It seems to have deepened and strengthened the intensity of His hatred against sin, and to have taught Him the necessity of using great plainness, and even in some cases severity of speech in convicting sinners, while it also produced in Him a wonderful patience in dealing with sinners. Did He, could He, suffer from temptation, and was He perfected by this also? The writer of this Epistle says so in so many words. We know how much of severe pain temptation often causes; how it sometimes seems as if we were so circumstanced that it must needs lie pain to resist, and probably not less but greater pain to yield. He never had, it is true, a fallen nature, and a bias towards evil such as we have; and many feel as if that must needs have rendered it impossible for Him to be tempted as we are. But are we able to judge how much this advantage may have been compensated by the special trials that belonged to the unique position that He occupied? Who shall alarm that the urgent demands of such an appetite as hunger, aggravated to a scarcely conceivable intensity by the pains of a forty days' fast, were more easy to deny than the cravings of abnormally-developed lust in the manhood of a confirmed sensualist? And this is only one example out of many that should suffice to prove the reality of the sufferings to which He was exposed by temptation. Where is there another in human history whose temptation was so severe as to wring blood-drops from the agonising body? Never say that Jesus's temptations were no thing to yours, because He was innocent when you are impure, unless you have passed through such an agony and bloody sweat as fell to His lot in Gethsemane. But here as elsewhere suffering perfected the Man. He learnt how Divine power — the power of the Eternal Spirit — can master and triumph over the strongest claims of nature; and thus through suffering He rose to the very culminating-point of true self-mastery, and was able to lay Himself upon the altar a whole burnt sacrifice. Yes, the self-control of Jesus Christ differs from all other instances of it in these particulars: First, He seems to have been able to take the measure of His sufferings before they occurred — an experience which is happily impossible to us; and, second, all the while that He was enduring them He knew perfectly well that He had only to express a wish and His sufferings would have been at an end. Thus His obedience was made perfect, and with His obedience His h man character. The means produced the end with Him that it might produce the self-same end with us; and from the moment of His perfection by suffering He consecrated suffering as a minister of the Divine purpose, so that His followers might no longer shrink from it and tremble at it, but rather glory in it as a conquered foe that has become our friend.

(W. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.)

I. JESUS WAS MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING.

1. Not

(1)Physically.

(2)Intellectually.

(3)Morally.

2. But in His Saviourhood.

(1)Example.

(2)Expiation.

II. THE FOLLOWER OF JESUS IS MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING.

1. It deepens his humility.

2. It increases his power of endurance.

3. It stimulates his sympathy toward those who suffer.

4. It awakens within his stronger yearnings after a better world.

(J. K. Jackson.)

I. THE GREAT SWEEP OF THE DIVINE ACTION IN THE GIFT OF CHRIST AS IT IS SET FORTH HERE. It is "bringing many sons unto glory," wherein there lies, of course, a metaphor of a great filial procession, being led on through all changes of this lower life, steadily upwards into the possession of what is here called "glory." The same metaphor colours the other expression of our text, "the Captain of our salvation." This great procession of sons up into glory, which is the object and aim of God's work, is all under the leadership of Him who is she Captain, the foremost, the Originator, and, in a profound sense, the Cause of their salvation. So, then, we have before us the thought that God brings, and yet Chris, leads, and God's bringing is effected through Christ's leadership. Look at the extent of the Divine act. "Many" is used not in contrast to "all," as if there was proclaimed here a restricted application of Christ's work in the Divine idea; but "many" is in opposition to "few," or, perhaps in opposition to the One. There is One Leader, and there is an indefinite number of followers. Then, note, the relationship which the members of that great company possess. The many are being brought as "sons"; under the leadership of the one Son. Then note further, the end of the march. This great company stretching numberless away beyond the range of vision, and, all exalted into the dignity of sons, is steadfastly pressing onwards to the aim of fulfilling that Divine ideal of humanity, long since spoken in the psalm which, in its exuberant promises, sounds like irony than hope. "Thou crownest Him with glory and honour." They are not only steadily marching onwards to the realisation of that Divine ideal, but also to the participation of the glory of the Captain who is the brightness of the Father's glory," as well as "the express image of His person." So again, the underlying thought is the identity, as in fate here, so in destiny hereafter, of the army with its Leader. He is the Son, and the Divine purpose is to make the " many" partakers of His Sonship. He is the realisation of the Divine ideal. We see not yet all things put under man, but we see Jesus, and so we know that the ancient hope is not the baseless fabric of a vision, nor a dream which will pass when we awake to the realities, but is to be fulfilled in every one, down to the humblest private in that great army, all of whom shall partake in their measure and degree, in the glory of the Lord. This, then, being the purpose — the leading up out of the world into the glory, of a great company of sons who are conformed to the image of the Son — we attain the point from which we may judge of the adaptation of the means to the end. The Cross is surplusage if Christ be a prophet only; it is surplusage and an incongruity if Christ be simply the foremost of the pure natures that have walked the earth, and shown the beauty of goodness. But if Christ have come to make men sons of God, by participation of His Sonship, and to blanch and irradiate their blackness by the reflection and impartation of His own flashing glory, then it " became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

II. THE PARADOX OF THE METHOD ADOPTED TO CARRYOUT THIS DIVINE PURPOSE. The leader must have no exemption from the hardships of the company. If He is to be a leader, He and we must go by the same road. He must tramp along all the weary path that we have to tread. He must experience all the conflicts and difficulties that we have to experience. He cannot lift us up into a share of His glory unless He stoops to the companionship of our grief. Again, we learn the necessity of His suffering in order to His sympathy. Before Be suffers, He has the pity of a God; after He suffers, He has learnt the compassion of a man. Then we learn, further, the necessity of the Captain's suffering in order to emancipate us from the dominion of the evil that He bears. No Christ is enough for me a sinner except a Christ whose Cross takes away the burden and the penalty of my transgression. And thus "it became Him to make the Captain of salvation perfect through suffering," else the design of making men His sons and sharers of His glory could never come to pass.

III. THE HARMONY BETWEEN THE LOFTIEST CONCEPTION OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER AND NATURE AND THESE SUFFERINGS OF JESUS, The writer dwells upon two aspects of God's relation to the universe. "It became Him for whom are all things, and by or through whom are all things." That is to say, the sufferings and death of the Christ, in whom is God manifest in the flesh, are worthy of that lofty nature to the praise and glory of which all things contribute. The Cross is the highest manifestation of the Divine nature. Another aspect, closely connected with this, lies in that other clause. Christ's sufferings and death are congruous with that Almighty power by which the universe has sprung into being and is sustained. His creative agency is not the highest exhibition of His power. Creation is effected by a word. The bare utterance of the Divine will is all that is needed to make the heavens and the earth, and to "preserve the stars from wrong." The work needs the humiliation, the suffering, the death, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God, of the Captain of our salvation and the Prince of our life. So, though by Him are all things, if we would know the full sweep and omnipotence of His power, He points us away from creation, and its ineffectual fires that pale before this brighter Light in which His whole self is embodied, and says, "There, that is the arm of the Lord made bare in the sight of all the nations." Omnipotence has made the world, the Cross has redeemed it.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

1. The first qualification for such a commander is that he be one we can wholly trust. In order to this he must not only have knowledge but experience. To win our faith our Captain had to fight our battle.

2. But more than this: He has to change our whole characters: to wean us from all evil and win us to all good, to change our hearts so that we should seek to be holy. He could not do so without suffering. I have known a mother, tender and pure, with a son once her joy but now her heartbreak, a prodigal, wilful, scornful, and seemingly to all good reprobate. On a certain night she knew he was in an evil place and company. She went forth with the biting sleet and snow drifting upon her. With prayer she closed her ears to foul and ribald speech, with prayer she closed her eyes to shameless sights, with prayer through insult and blasphemy and blows she made her way and stood before her son, torn and bleeding, to plead with his better heart, if any better heart remained in him. A sorrowful and yet a noble sight! As he looked on her, bitter, remorseful thoughts and tender memories of good filled his heart. Never had he seen his sins as he saw them now written on her crushed, broken heart, and it touched and startled him into a new feeling of glory and virtue. That mother's love became her, and her sorrow perfected her for the work of redeeming her son from the evil of his ways. Even so the Lord Jesus yearned to save His lost ones, and came forth in His purity into the haunts of our sin and degradation, and walked among us, despised and rejected and blasphemed and crucified. If the human heart is not fretted out, if there is truth or truth left in us, the thought of that sorrowful love should fill us with contrition and touch us with a feeling of Divine things again. He was perfected by suffering to make this last appeal to us. If there is anything that will reach and touch and change and melt our hearts, it is the sight of that sorrowing love, wounded for our iniquities, and bruised for our transgressions.

(W. C. Smith, D. D.)

How was it that the discipline of suffering improved the unimprovable Saviour? Not in the way of pruning off tendencies to anything bad: for in Him there never were any. There was no self-conceit there to be purged out: no arrogance to be taken down: no hardness to be softened by experience of pain. No higher degree was possible, in the scale of moral excellence — of purity, kindness, unselfishness, truthfulness. But round this central core of unimprovable perfection, there might gather special qualifications fitting for the fulfilment of His great atoning work, such as not even He could have without passing through that baptism of suffering which was implied by His life and death. Christ was "made perfect through sufferings," in the sense that He was made more completely equipped and prepared for the work He came to do, by the sufferings He underwent. L By His sufferings, HE ATONED FOR SIN, AND TOOK IT AWAY.

II. Another respect in which Christ became through sufferings the Saviour we know Him for — Is IN THE MATTER OF HIS BEING AN EXAMPLE FOR US IN OUR DAYS OF SORROW.

III. Then, again, sufferings perfected our blessed Saviour and made Him what we know Him for, In THE MATTER OF SYMPATHY WITH US. "He has felt the same ": how that brings the Divine Redeemer close to us; as nothing else could!

IV. Now, does the text mean more? Is there an uncomfortable feeling in any mind, that in all this we have been evading a plain statement of God's Word, because it seems as though it would not fit in with our theology? Does any one think that if we really read the text honestly, IT WOULD CONVEY THAT SUFFERING IMPROVED CHRIST MORALLY, made Him better, just in the same sense in which suffering improves us, and makes us better? The idea is startling. Yet good men and wise men have held it and delighted in it. One such (Archer Butler), a firm believer in our Lord's Divinity, has maintained that all those long nights of prayer, all that endurance of contradiction, the agony in the Garden, the final struggle on the Cross, had power(I quote his words) "to raise and refine the human element of His Being beyond the simple purity of its original innocence; so that, though ever and equally without sin, the dying Christ was something more consummate still than the Christ baptized in Jordan." I confess at once, I cannot venture to say so. The Best could never grow better. One cannot bear to exalt even the dying Redeemer by saying what seems to cast a slight on Him who preached the Sermon on the Mount. And yell it as you may in more skilful phrases, it comes to that, when you speak of sorrow as working "a refining and exalting change" upon Christ! Yet perhaps without irreverence it may be said that the human in Him must have learnt, daily, intellectually: and (so joined are they together) in some sense, thus learning, have morally grown. And true it is, doubtless, that "Virtue tried and triumphant ranks above untried innocence."

(A. K. H. Boyd, D. D.)

I. A DESCRIPTION OF THE DIVINE MAJESTY.

1. His absolute superiority and authority.

2. His infinite power and skill. By Him the world was planned, constructed, and is sustained.

II. THE BLESSED WORK WHICH THE DIVINE BEING HAS UNDERTAKEN TO PERFORM.

1. The object: "glory."

2. The means: "being made sons."

3. The number: "many."

III. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE DIVINE BEING WILL ACCOMPLISH THIS WORK.

1. "He has appointed Jesus "the Captain of their salvation."

2. For this work Christ was prepared. "Perfect through suffering."

IV. THE APPROPRIATENESS OF BOTH THE WORK AND THE METHOD UNDERTAKEN BY THE DIVINE BEING.

1. It became His truth and faithfulness.

2. It became His holiness and justice.

3. It became His wisdom.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

The Lay Preacher.
There are few things less understood, or more misrepresented, than human suffering. In too many cases it is regarded as the penal scourge, rather than as the kindly rod that chastens and corrects. Let us inquire —

I. HOW THE MINISTRY OF SUFFERING CONTRIBUTED TO THE PERFECTION OF CHRIST. The Scriptures teach us that in Christ there was no moral or spiritual deficiency. How then could a Being so holy be made " perfect through sufferings "?

1. The perfection of sacrifice. The work of human redemption required not only a sinless, but a suffering agent. The victim must not only be unspotted, but laid on the altar and subjected to the fire of suffering, in order to become a valid offering.

2. The perfection of moral development. The perfection of Christ's character in later life must have been of a higher description than that of His younger days: the one was the perfection of innocence, the other the perfection of a tested and experienced virtue. His character was always like a piece of pure, unalloyed gold, but it shone with a brighter lustre at the last, because it had been submitted to the friction of pain and sorrow.

3. The perfection of sympathy. One thing necessary to the exercise of true sympathy is the power to forget self. Selfishness must sink before sympathy can rise. Another thing necessary is the personal knowledge of sorrow.

II. THE MINISTRY OF SUFFERING, AS IT CONTRIBUTES TO THE PERFECTION OF BELIEVERS.

1. Suffering to be a blessing, must be rightly borne. In the temper in which we submit to it depends whether it is to be the angel that sweetens or the demon that sours us.

2. There is much unreality often about the best of men. In speech and action we are not always true. There is often a smattering of half-unconscious, half-wilful misrepresentation about our conduct. We sometimes deceive ourselves, and sometimes half-unwittingly try to deceive our God. The ministry of suffering strips us of all this.

(The Lay Preacher.)

I. A WORK INTENDED.

1. A relationship was to be established: "sons."

2. A leadership is undertaken: "bringing."

3. A goal is assigned: "glory." God's revelations to His people will be in everlasting crescendo.

II. A METHOD ADOPTED.

1. It was the Divine appointment that those led to "glory " should have a captain or prince over them.

2. This great Forerunner was perfected as a Captain of salvation through suffering.(1) Jesus Christ, by atoning for sin, had a righteous basis for undertaking the leadership of souls.(2) In suffering, Jesus Christ grappled with His enemies and ours and laid them low.(3) In His suffering, Jesus passed through the various phases of human experience, and thus became qualified to succour those who were following Him.(4) In Him all conceivable qualities for a perfect Captain of salvation are found.(5) Nor will the host He leads to glory be small.

III. THE REASON ASSIGNED. "For it became Him," &c. — i.e., it was suitable for Him, becoming to Him.

1. This plan accords with the yearnings of Infinite Love.

2. This plan accords with God's righteousness. For thereby He has condemned sin that He might conquer it.

3. God magnifies His wisdom. The Leader adequate to all emergencies.

4. This plan will disclose God's faithfulness.

5. And manifest His power.

(C. Clemance, D. D.)

"Unaccountable this!" said the Wax, as from the flame it dropped melting upon the Paper beneath. "Do not grieve," said the Paper; "I am sure it is all right." "I was never in such agony! " exclaimed the Wax, still dropping. "It is not without a good design, and will end well," replied the Paper. The Wax was unable to reply at once, owing to a strong pressure; and when it again looked up it bore a beautiful impression, the counterpart of the seal which had been applied to it. "Ah! I comprehend now," said the Wax, no longer in suffering. "I was softened in order to receive this lovely durable impress. Yes; I see now it was all right, because it has given to me the beautiful likeness which I could not otherwise have obtained."

James Douglas, son of the banished Earl of Angus, afterwards well known by the title of Earl of Morton, lurked during the exile of his family in the north of Scotland, under the assumed name of James Innes, otherwise " James the Grieve" (i.e., Reve or Bailiff). "And as he bore the name," says Godscroft, "so did he also execute the office of a grieve or overseer of the lands and rents, the corn and cattle, of him with whom he lived." From the habits of frugality and observation which he acquired in his humble situation, the historian traces that intimate acquaintance with popular character which enabled him to rise so high in the State, and that honourable economy by which he repaired and established the shattered estates of Angus and Morton.

(Sir Walter Scott.)

The people of Verona, when they saw Dante in the streets, used to say, "See, there is the man that was in hell! " Ah, yes, he had been in hell; — in hell enough, in long severe sorrow and struggle; as the like of him is pretty sure to have been. Commedias that come out divine, are not accomplished otherwise. Thought, true labour of any kind, highest virtue itself, is it not the daughter of Pain ? Born as out of the black whirlwind;-true effort, in fact, as of a captive struggling to free himself: that is Thought. In all ways we are "to become perfect through suffering."

(T. Carlyle.)

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