Page images

the creation of angels or men was expede. So much is effential to the notion of that unchangeableness peculiar to the divine nature, as evidently taught in fcripture ; being “the fame yesterday,

to day, and for ever," Heb. xii. 8. "without «« variableness or shadow of turning," James i. 17. And, what is unfpeakably beautiful and comprehensive, being " from everlasting to everlasting

God," Pfal. xc. 2. When inspired writers speak of God, they convey the idea of a Being, in whom all possible, all imaginable perfection and excellence, beauty, dignity and glory, are summed up. But Jesus Christ, in his divine nature, was such a Being, from everlasting ; and therefore, according to that emphatical text, he will, he can, be no more, to everlasting ; which at once cuts off all fuch notions as would insinuate any rise or improvement in the circumstances and exaltation of Christ, as Gods whence, in the exaltation pointed out here, we must confine our view to his blest, immaculate, but once fuffering, human nature. Nor was our Lord only exalted, as the Man Christ; but in a common, covenant, mediatory capacity. In the horrible pit, he was pressed down by the load of wrath due to the fins of others; and, in his exaltation, he is possessed of the rights, blessings and privileges, purchased, provided and reserved for others. In his sufferings in the miry clay, he funk all the Gos of an etect world, as in the depths of the fea, never to rise up in judgment against them; and, in his emerging out of the grave, he brought up their peace, pardon and redemption, to be loft no more for ever. In this view, when our Lord speaks of his feet being fet upon a rock; he speaks of the earnest and security therein exhibited, that all whom his humiliation respected, are virtually faved, in him, and shall, in due time, be actually



possessed of perpetual salvation through him. AN the ransomed ones were federally exalted in their Head; though their full enjoyment of that triumph over sin, hell and wrath, bę reserved to the time of their translation to Immanuel's better land, where glory dwells. He and they being one, in a mystical regard, what is said of him as the Redeemer, may be said of them as the redeemed ; and what he did, suffered, deserved and procured, may be considered as if done, deserved, suffered and procured by them, in their own persons.

[blocks in formation]

Our Lord's circumstances, as Man-Mediator, are now the reverse of what they were in his humbled ftate. Instead of being in a pit or dungeon, out of view, ont of mind, inconsiderable and unobferved, his feet are now upon a rock, he is placed upon a glorious eminence, and set up in the most public, conspicuous, advantagious and honourable point of light. His divinity, formerly vailed, is now manifested and displayed, and, as united to his human nature, it Thines forth with distinguishing splendour and magnificence. His human nature itself, is exalted to the highest pitch of beauty and perfection, whether in a moral or material view. In a moral view, the human soul of Jesus Christ bears the nearest resemblance, the greatest likeness, to the moral character and perfections of God, that the creature is capable of. The holiness of the most exalted angel, and distinguished faint, bears little or no proportion to that divine holiness wherewith his soul is embellished and adorned. And in our Lord's material beauty, as Man-Mediator, there is something so great, resplendent and majestical, that, according to the description given


[ocr errors]

of it by inspired writers, it is hardly possible to form any adequate idea of what i really is. We fee what a noble and magnificent figure he cut, when he but tried on his resurrection clothes, on the mount of transfiguration; "his face did shine

as the sun, and his raiment was white as the

light,” Matth. xvii. 2. And we see the peculiar grandeur of his appearance to John in Patmos, “ clothed with a garment down to the foot, and “ girt about the paps with a golden girdle ; his " head and his hairs white like wool, as white as " the snow, and his eyes as a flame of fire : his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a " furnace; and his voice as the sound of many

waters," Rev. i. 13, 14, 15. Our Lord, as Man-Mediator, is likewise eminent in respect of the place to which his present residence is confined, namely, the highest heavens, where is the glorious throne of the Father: he resides there, in the view of angels and glorified saints, beheld and admired by thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousands daily in waiting, and continually miniftring, not only before the throne of God, but of the Lamb. Moreover, he is set on a glorious eminence, as he is held up on the pole of the everlasting gospel, to be viewed and improved by sin. ners of mankind. Under the Old Testament, men were directed to look to him, as to be manifested in due time ; under the New Testament difpenfation, they are called to look to him, as both come and gone, as one who is alive and was dead, and as one, whom, in his human nature, the Father has received into the most distinguishing mansions of bliss and glory. In the gospel, upon the pole of which he is exhibited, his divinity appears like that of the Father and the holy Ghost, universally diffused through heaven, earth and hell; but his


human nature, as the most glorious workmanship of God, is represented as inhabiting the highest pinnacle of glory in all his Father's kingdom above.

Our Lord is now upon a solid bottom, in place of being in a miry clay; fo much is included in the notion of a rock, which gives not way to the feet of him who is set upon it. His present state is as sure, as it is eminent; as impregnable, as it is exalted: it is incapable of degenerating in itself, and proof against all attacks from his enemies of men or devils. Though their malice and resentment be radically the fame, his present state baffles all their attempts, machinations, plots and designs : the rock on which he ftands, they can neither fap nor scale ; the whole artillery of hell and earth is incapable of fhaking, touching, or even reaching that glorious bottom of rest.

Instead of reproach and wrath, our Lord, as Man-Mediator, is surrounded with glory and happiness. He is both the darling and wonder of heaven, the delight and stay of angels and men; the object of their adoration, as well as love ; of their praise and worship, as well as surprise and esteem; while his person and performances are the burdea of many fongs peculiar to the Jerusalem above. Instead of wrath, happiness, ineffable happiness, and bliss, are continually poured on his facred head; not only all the happiness that the most capacious creature-vesel can hold, but all the happinefs whereof He, as the infinite Jehovah, would be possessed. As he was peculiar, in respect of the nature and degrees of his sufferings ; fo his happiness will be such as shall be peculiar, absolutely pecaliar, to himself. It is, and will be, to the ranfomed world, what the fountain is to the streams, or the fun to the rays of light; continually diffufing


felicity to others, without being lessened, exhausted, or impaired.

Besides, the Man Christ, in his exalted state, is clothed with power and authority, in place of being covered with contempt, as was his lot in the days of his humiliation ; with the power of administration and government, of trial and judgment, of approbation and condemnation. All worlds, of all creatures, in all circumstances, are under his rule, fubject to his controul; and, as to the rational part of them, answerable at his bar. The government and kingdom, whether of nature, grace, providence or glory; the authority over the creatures, whether angels, men or devils; whether rational, or irrational; animate, or inanimate; visible, or invisible ; are intirely his own. In his disine nature, this doctrine bears no difpute ; but even as Mediator, the language of inspiration is plain to the fame purpose. " Ah power is given "to me (faid he) in heaven and on earth,” Marth. xxviii: 18. and the apostle is very explicit on this head, when, he says, “Wherefore, God hath

highly exalted him, and given him a name,a* bove every name ; that, at the name of Jesus,

every knee should bow, of things in heaven, " things on earth, and things under the earth; " and that every tongue should confefs, that Jesus " Christ is Lord, to the glory of God.the Father, Philip. ii. 9, 10, 11. Moreover, we are assured, by the fame authority, That, as " God hath ap

pointed a day, in which he will judge the « world; so he will do it by that man whom he " hath ordained; whereof (says the apostle) he " hath given assurance unto all men, in that he " hath raised him from the dead,” Acts xvii. 31. and, by our Lord himself, that “the Father

“ judgeth

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »