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by that man, whom he hath ordained. And therefore he himself has told us, that he will fummon all men before his judgment-feat, and pafs and execute a final fentence on them : a sentence of abfolution upon the godly, and a sentence of condemnation on the ungodlv. Matth. xxv. 34. Corne, je blessed of my Father, &c. ♡ 41. Dipart, je cursed, into everlasling fire, &c. x 40. These fall go away into everlasting punishment, and ibe righteous into life eternal.
Queft. 2. What sort of commander is Jesus Christ ?
Answ. 1. He is supream commander. There are rulers among men, in various ftations, some lower, some higher. But Jesus Christ is superior to the high. est and greatest of them. He is far above them all in excellency and authority. Solomon was an exceeding great and renowned king ; but Jesus Christ was fur greater than be. Matth. xii. 42. A greater than Solomon is here, said Christ of bimfelt. He is the Prince of the kings of the eartb, Rev.'i. 5. Ile is Lord of lurds, and King of kings, Chap. xvii. 14. & XX. 16. ... He has power to command them, and they ought to obey him: And are therefore bid to kiss the Son, and to yield subjection to him, PJal. ii. 10, 11, 12.---He has power to dispose of them, to set them up or pull them down. Prov. viii. 15. By me kings reign---He has power to over--rule them. Their very bearts are in his hands, turned by him, which way foever it pleases bim, Prov. xxi. 1.---He has power to judge ihem, and the very highest must stand before his judgment-seat, Rev. vi. 15, 16.---So that Jesus Christ is the chief commander of the people, their sovereign Ruler. • Answ. 2. He is a most wise commander. As God, be is infinitely wise. As man, he is far wiser than all men, vea, than all angels. His human nature, to the utmost capacity, was replenished with wisdom and understanding. Ifai. xi. 2. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon biin, the Spirit of wisdont and understanding. Hereby he is qualified for the ordering all things most wisely
and prudently. And accordingly all his administrations are guided by unerring wisdom. He is no stran. ger to, but thoroughly acquainted with, the best meihods for managing all things, unto his own glory, and the truest good of his people. And in the winding up of the kingdom of providence, it shall be confpicuous to all, that there was not the least confusion, but the most acmirable order, in his government of the world.
Answ. 3. He is a most just commander. All his administrations are righteous and equal. Ijai. xi. 4. With righteousness shall be judge the poor, and reprove with equiry. Heb. i. 8, 9. Å scepter of righteousness, is the jcepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteoufness, and hated iniquity. He cannot do an unjust thing himself, nor can he require an unjust thing of others. Mich. vi. 8. He halb shewed thee, Oman, what is good : and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with tby God 3 All his commandments are just and righr. Psal. cxix. 128. I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right. Rom. vii. 12. The coinmandment is boly and just, a rule of justice and equity.
Answ. 4. He is an irresistible commander. 2 Chron. XX. 6. Art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou ocer all ibe kiugdoms of the heat ben ? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so tbat none is able to withstand thee? He is an almighty Lord, who doth according to bis will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay bis band, Dan. iv. 35. When he was here on earth, he gave plentiful demonstrations of his uncontroulable power. The most tooted distempers of body, that were incurable by all the art and skill of man, yet gave way to his power. At his command licknesses were removed, and health restored. This power of Christ the centurion believed and owned, and therefore said to Christ, Speak only the word, and my fervant shall be healed, Matth. viii. 8.-Again, the boisterous winds and raging waves were immediately filled at his command. Luk. viii. 24, 25.
He arose and rebuked the wind, and the raging of the water ; and they ceased, and there was a calm... And the men wondred, saying one to another, What manner of man is this ? for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.----Again, the very devils, those powerful and obstinate fpirits, were overpowered by him, and constrained to yield unto him.
Mar. i. 27. They were all amazed, saying, With authority commandeth be cuen the unclean Spirits, and they obey him.--.. Yea, death itself, is under his command, and at his call gives up its dead. Joh. xi. 43. Jesus cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came fortb. And at the last day, all that are in their graves, Joall hear his voice, and come fortb, Joh. v. 28,
Anfw. 5. He is a most rightful commander. He does not ufurp, or assume to himself, a power that belongs not to him. For, he has all manner of right to rule and command the people. Ex. gr.
1. He has a right to be commander, by creation. Jesus Christ, as God, is the Creator of the whole world. Col. i. 16. By himn were all things.created, that are in hea. ven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,.--all things were created by him, and for him. Now, on this account, Jesus Christ 'has an absolute right to command the whole world. The Maker of man is undoubtedly the Lord of man; to give laws to him, to govern him, and dispofe of him. Pfal. xcv. 6. O come, let us wor. Abip, and bow down : let us kneel before the Lord our Mak
Inasmuch as he is our Maker, he is our Lord, and as such a one, is to have religious worship and homage paid to him, as his due.
2. He has a right by divine donation or grant. As Jesus Christ is mediator, he is constituted of God the Father, the lord and commander of men. This is, particularly intimated to us in the text; I (says God the Father) have given bim (i. e. the Messiah) to be la commander 10 the people. Ilence our Lord Jesus Chrift
says, fays, Matth. xxviii. 18. Ail power is given unto me (i. e. by the Father) in heaven and earth. His mediatory kindom, is delegated and commited to him, by God the Father. Aets. ii. 36. Therefore let all the house of Ifrael know afsuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus wbom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. God, by exalting him, has established and fettled him in his throne, to rule over all people.
3. He has a right by lawful conquest. A just conqueror, has right to rule those that are conquered by him. Such a right has Jesus Christ to command his people. For he has subdued them to himself. They were enemies and rebels to him, fighting against him under the banner of fatan. But by his power he delivered them out of the hands of satan, and cook away from them their rebellious heart against himself. 'By bis powerful grace, he overcame their enmity against him, and won them over to be his willing subjects. Pfal. cx. 3. Tby people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Such a victory as this, so full of love and grace, gives him an everlasting right to command them, and receive obedience from them.
4. He has a right by purchase. When a man pays down a full price for a thing, the dominion over it pas, fes into bis band. A bought servant, is under the command of the buyer. Thus Jesus Christ has purchased his people by bis own precious blood, 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. He has given a full ransom-price for them, and so has acquired a right to command them and dispose of them. And in this regard, all respect and honour is due from them to Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Owner. I Cor. vi. 19. 20. Te are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, wbich are God's. O think of this, when you come to the table of Lord, the next Lord's day.
APPLICATION. The Use shall be in one word of exhortation. Let us receive Jesus Christ as our commander. If God has given
him to be a commander, we should accept him as our commander. Col. ii. 6. Te have received Jesus Christ the Lord. He is to be received by us, as the Lord. And that two ways.
I. By resigning up our selves to his disposal. All creatures are at his command, ordered and dilposed of, according to his sovereign will and pleasure. (Psal. cxv. 3.) This disposing power of his, we ought to acknowledge, by a resignation of ourselves thereunto. We should put our selves over into his hands, consenting that he should do by us and with us what he pleases. 2. Sam. xv. 26. Behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. This resignation must be ablolute and unlimited; not prescribing to Him what he shall do with us, but wholly referring ourselves to his infinite wisdom and will. Never do we more consult our own interest, chan when we do thus entirely leave ourselves with him, to lay out our condition for us. We know not what is best for us, he only knows this. And if we resign up ourselves to him, he will assuredly order our circum. stances for the best; provided, this resignation to his providence, be attended with a care of yielding obedience to his precepts. Which leads us to the second thing,
2. By subjecting ourselves to his cominardments. We must receive him
as our commander, by endeavouring to keep his commandments. 'Tis not enough, that in words we call him Lord, but we must be careful to do what he requires of us. Luk. vi. 46. There must be in us, a practical acknowledgment of his authority, by a due and regular subjection thereunto in heart and life. And here we may consider our duty in this case, in a few qualifications.
1. We should keep the commandments of Christ willingly. Jesus Christ is to be obeyed with a willing mind. Thus David charged his son Solomon, i Chron. xxviii. 9. Thou Solomon my fon, know thou the God of iby fatber, and serve himn with a perfeĉ heart and with a willing mind. Right obedience, is free and voluntary obedience. When any brought an offering for the