James Maclagan on the sympathy of Christ

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Commenting on Hebrews 4:15, James Maclagan said the following about the sympathy of Christ:

Being though divine, yet possessed of a real and true humanity, it is easy for men, by consulting their familiar experience, to perceive clear the connection betwixt this cause and this consequence in his gracious soul. He is the grand exemplification — the noblest practical exhibition of that standing maxim, that by being ourselves intimate with grief, we learn to succour the wretched; as, if he had never tasted pain, we could hardly have been prevented from a plying to him more than to any other, the reverse of that maxim which is of equal authority, — that those can never enter fully it our sorrow, who have felt nothing like it themselves.

This reference of the inspired writer to a well-known law of our nature gives additional clearness and force to that delightful truth which is I sides so plainly expressed in the former clause of the text, viz: to the compassion of Christ for our afflictions is not the result of merely rational conjecture or estimate of their severity, founded observation of their natural symptoms or effects, as one who has never known ill health may Judge of the violence of another man’s fever:– but that it proceeds from that quick, tender, penetrating thorough sense of our trials, which perfect manhood could not to acquire, by experiencing personally, as tests of his own obedience, the keenness of bodily pain, and the anguish of a wounded spirit.

For the reference, see James Maclagan on the sympathy of Christ.

N.B. The photograph of James Maclagan is one of the earliest examples I have come across of someone with an umbrella.
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