Page images
PDF
EPUB

82. As this was foretold in the Old Testament, so the accomplishment of it is expressly asserted in the New. Upon his birth he is proclaimed to be “Christ the “Lord,” Luke ii, 11. And the first inquiry after him is, where is he that is born King? Matt. ii, 2,6. And this testimony doth he give concerning himself; namely, that all judgment was his, and therefore all honor was due to him, John. V, 22, 23; and that all things were delivered unto him, or given into his hand, Matt. xi, 15; yea, all power in heaven or earth, Matt. xxviii, 18. Him who was crucified, did God make both Lord and Christ, Acts ii, 36; exalting him at his right hand, to be a prince and a Savior, Acts v, 31. He is highly exalted, having a name given him above every name, Phil. ii, 9—11; being set at the right hand of God in heavenly places far above, &c. Ephes. i, 20.-22; where he reigns for ever, 1 Cor. xv, 25; being the King of kings, and Lord of lords, Rev. xix, 16; for he is Lord of quick and dead, Rom. xiv, 7–9.

83. And this is the spring of the church's glory, comfort, and assurance. He is our head, husband, and elder brother, who is gloriously vested with all this power. Our nearest relation, our best friend, is thus exalted to an abiding, an everlasting rule and dominion over the whole creation of God. And it is but a little while before he will dispel all those clouds and shades, which at present interpose themselves, and eclipse his glory and majesty from them that love him. He, who in the days of his flesh was reviled, reproached, persecuted, and crucified for our sakes, that same Jesus is thus exalted, and made a "prince and a savior," having a name given him above every name, &c. for though he was dead, yet he is alive, and lives for ever, and hath the keys of hell and death.

oppose him

he speaks

$4. The consideration of it is also suited to strike terror into the hearts of ungodly men that in the world. Whom is it they despise? Against whom do they magnify themselves, and lift up their horns on high? Whose ordinances, laws, and institutions do they contemn? Whose gospel do they refuse obedience to? Whose people and servants do they revile and persecute? Is it not He, are they not his, who hath all power in heaven and earth committed to him, in whose hands are the lives, the souls, all the concernments of his enemies? Cæsar thought he had spoken with terror, when, threatening with death one who stood in his way, he told him, “Young man, “it, to whom it is as easy to do it.” He speaks to his adversaries, who stand in the way of his interest, to deal no more so proudly, who can, in a moment, speak them into ruin, and that eternal. See Rev. vi, 14-17.

$5. He is Lord, or heir (Taviwy, Heb. i, 2;) of all; that is, of all persons, and of all things.

(I.) Persons, or rational subsistences, both angels and men; for it is evident, that he is exempted, who hath subjected all things unto him, 1 Cor. xv, 27. .

(II.) Things; which are either spiritual, ecclesiastical, political, or natural.

$6. (I.) Persons. Those persons assigned as part of the inheritance of Christ, are,

First, the angels, and especially

1. The good angels. This pre-eminence above them is asserted by the apostle in chap. i, 4. And as he is exalted above them, so, by way of grant, and by the authority of God the Father, they are made subject unto him. See 1 Pet. iii, 22; Ephes. i, 22; Psal. viii, 6; 1 Cor. xv, 27; and, to evidence the universality of this subjection, they adore and worship him; the highest act of obedience, and most absolute subjection. This

they have in command, Heb. i, 6; “Let all the angels “of God worship him," Psal. xcvii,7; (1118 977) worship him with prostration, self-abasement, and all possible subjection to him. Their practice answers the command, Rev. v, 11-14; all the angels round about his throne fall down and ascribe blessing, and honor, and glory, and power unto him, as we are taught to do in our deepest acknowledgment of the majesty and authority of God, Matt. vi, 13; and as to outward obedience, they are in all things ready to receive his commands, Rev. i, 1. And for this purpose they always attend his throne, Isa. vi, 1, 2; “I saw the Lord upon “his throne, and about it stood the seraphims;" this Isaiah spake of him when he saw his glory, John xii, 39, 40. He was upon his throne, when he spake with the church in the wilderness, Acts vii, 38; that is, in mount Sinai, where the angels attending him, ready to receive his commands, were twenty thousands, even thousands of angels, Psal. lxviii, 19; Ephes. iv, 8; or thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, as another prophet expresseth it, Dan. vii, 10; and so attended shall he come to judgment, 2 Thes. i, 17; when he shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of his power; which was foretold concerning him from the beginning of the world, Jude 14, 15.

$7. Thus his Lordship over angels is universal and absolute, and their subjection to him is answerable thereunto. The original right and equity of this grant, with the ends of it, are now only to be intimated.

1. The radical fundamental equity of this grant lies in his Divine nature, and his creation of angels, over whom, as Mediator, he is made Lord. Unto the general assertion of his being made heir of all, the apostle, chap. i, 2, subjoins that general reason, manifestng the rise of its equity in the will of God that it

45

VOL. I.

should be so: “By whom also he made the worlds;. which reason is particularly applicable to every part of his inheritance, and is especially pleaded in reference to angels, Col. i, 15, 16; “Who is the image of the in"visible God, the first-born of every creature;” that is, the heir and Lord of them all; and the reason is, “because by him were all things created that are in “heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; “whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or “powers, all things were created by him, and for him.” This creating of those heavenly powers is the foundation of his heirship, or lordship over them. This is the first foundation of the equity of this grant of all power over the angels unto the Lord Christ; in his Divine nature he made them, and in that respect they were before, his own; as on the same account when he came into the world, he is said to come, John i, 11; (EIG Tu idie) to his own, or the things he had made.

2. It is founded in that establishment in the condition of their creation, which they received by his interposition to recover what was lost by sin; and to preserve the untainted part of the creation from ruin. In their own right, in the rule of their obedience, and the example of those of their number and society, who apostatized from God, they found themselves in a state not absolutely impregnable: their confirmation, which was also attended with that exaltation, which they received by their new relation to God, in and through him, they received by his means; God gathering up all things to a consistency, and permanency in hima Ephes. i, 10. And hence also it became equal, that the rule and power over them should be committed to him, by whom they were, although not like us recovered from ruin, yet, preserved from all danger of ruin.

[ocr errors]

So that in their subjection unto him consists their prin. cipal honor, and all their safety.

88. And as this act of God in appointing Christ Lord of angels hath these equitable foundations, so it hath also sundry glorious ends.

1. It was an addition to that glory that was set before him, in his undertaking to redeem sinners. A kingdom was of old promised unto him, and to render it exceedingly glorious, the rule and sceptre of it is extended not only to his redeemed ones, but to the holy angels also; and the sovereignty over them is granted him as a part of his reward, Phil. ii, 8–11; Ephes. i, 20, 21.

2. God hereby gathers up his whole family, at first distinguished by the law of their creation into two special kinds, and then differenced and set at variance by sin, into one body, under one head, reducing them that originally were twain, into one'entire family, Ephes. i, 10; “In the fulness of time he gathered “together in one all things in Christ, both which are “in heaven, and in earth, even in him.” Before this, the angels had no immediate created head, for themselves are called (bx) gods, Psal. xcvii, 7; 1 Cor. viii, 5; whoever is the head must be (58168) the God of gods, or Lord of lords, which Christ alone is, and in him, or under him, as one head, is the whole family of God united.

3. The church militant on the earth, whose conduct into eternal glory is committed unto Christ, stands in need of the ministry of angels; and, therefore, hath God granted rule and power over them unto him, that nothing might be wanting to enable him to save, unto the uttermost, them that came to God by him. They are all of them his servants, “the fellow servants of them that have the testimony of

« PreviousContinue »