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Is Mediator between God and Man; [Ess. x.
his personal humiliation,—when he "ascended up on high" and "led captivity captive."
Having premised these observations respecting the part of our Lord's history to which the predictions cited above are most properly applicable, we may proceed to examine the information which may be derived from the scriptural descriptions of the Messiah's reign in glory respecting the nature and character of the Messiah himself; and this examination will be the more interesting, because it relates to a period still continuing; and will therefore be the means of instructing us in what point of view we are ourselves to regard the Saviour of Mankind, and what are the dispositions and duties towards himself, which he is actually now requiring at our hands.
In the first place, then, I would observe, that the Messiah, in his reign, as well as in the preceding divisions of his history, is declared in Scripture to be the Mediator between God and Man. As God has redeemed, so he also governs, the world, through Jesus Christ; and, in this respect, as well as in many others, Christ is the Way through whom alone we are brought near to God: John xiv, 6. All things in the Christian dispensation are described as being from, or of, and unto, the Father, and by, through, or in, the Son. "For, though there be that are called gods," says the apostle Paul," whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in (or unto) him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him :" 1 Cor. viii, 5, 6. And, "in the dispensation of the fulness of times," the Father will "gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth, even in him." Eph. i, 10; comp. iv, 4—6. 8 εἰς αὐτὸν,
and is subject to the Father,
Now, Christ, the Mediator between God and man, is to be regarded as bearing the office, and as acting in the capacity, of a viceroy. The dominion which he exercises over the creatures of God is committed to him. The Father has highly exalted him, has given him a name above every name, Phil. ii, 9; has put all things under his feet, Eph. i, 22; has bestowed upon him those gifts and graces which Jesus is himself described as shedding forth upon mankind: Ps. lxviii, 18; Acts ii, 33. And, as Christ has thus received his kingdom, and all the powers by which he conducts it, at the hands of the Father, so also to him he is subject to him he belongs. The Father is frequently represented as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ: Eph. i, 17; 1 Pet. i, 3. Jesus himself, in the Revelation, calls him " My God :" iii, 12. "The head of every man is Christ....and the head of Christ is God:" 1 Cor. xi, 3. "Ye are Christ's," says the apostle to his converts, "and Christ is God's :" 1 Cor. iii, 23.
These and other statements respecting the subjection of Christ, even during his reign in glory, to the Father who sent him, and from whom his kingdom was received, are rendered perfectly intelligible by the unquestionable fact, that our Saviour not only lived and died, but rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, a man. If we admit that Jesus of Nazareth was endued with a human soul, (and where is the unsophisticated reader of the four Gospels who will question the fact?) we must also admit, on principles already recognized, that, after he had expired on the cross, his soul continued to exist; and, continuing to exist, that soul was presently reunited to his body, which was raised on earth and glorified in heaven: Luke xxiv, 31-53; Acts i, 9—11; 1 Cor. xv, 44— 49; Phil. iii, 21; Rev. i, 5, 7, 13, &c. "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men,
Because He is Man.
[Ess. x. the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. ii, 5; and this man Christ Jesus, the Son of Mary the rod out of the stem of Jesse,"was dead and is alive:" Rev. ii, 8. He is the "first-born from the dead," Col. i, 18; the "first-born among many brethren," Rom. viii, 29; "the first fruits of them that slept," 1 Cor. xv, 20; "the Captain of our salvation" made " perfect through sufferings:" Heb. ii, 10. Herein, therefore, the children of God, who are led by his Spirit, may rejoice with unspeakable joy, even that Christ is "not ashamed to call them brethren," Heb. ii, 11; that they are "heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ," Rom. viii, 17; and finally, that they have a merciful and faithful High Priest, who is "touched with the feeling of their infirmities," and who, having himself, "suffered being tempted," is able to "succour them that are tempted:" Heb. ii, 18; iv, 15.
But, while we acknowledge that Jesus, in his reign, is still clothed with the human nature, and that he is therefore in all things subject to God the Father, "of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," yet, on the other hand, from a variety of particulars recorded in Scripture, in connexion with this glorious division of his revealed history, it will by no means be difficult to prove that Christ, the head of the Church and the Lord of all things, is also GOD. The analogy of divine truth, and the comparison of Scripture with Scripture, will be found, I believe, very plainly to evince, that no one can possess the authority, exercise the powers, or rightly receive the honours, which are severally attributed to Christ in his reign, who does not himself participate in the nature and essence of the Supreme Being.
I shall now proceed to unfold these evidences of the deity of Christ our King, in the order which, after due consideration, I deem to be the clearest.
The Deity of Christ in his Reign.
I. That Jesus Christ, in his reign, is the Shepherd and Bishop of souls; 1 Pet. ii, 25; the supreme Head of that church of God, which is gathered together out of every kindred, and tongue, and people; Eph. iv, 15; that he has bought his followers with a price; 1 Cor. vi, 20, and that they are now his absolute possession;— is a doctrine which is clearly stated in various parts of Scripture, and which forms, more especially, one of the most conspicuous and distinguishing features of the apostolic Epistles. Now, in this point of view, Jesus Christ is to be regarded as occupying a position infinitely superior to that of any of the patriarchs, or prophets, or indeed of any of the mere creatures of God, however powerful their nature, or exalted their station. They are nothing more than servants-the mere subordinate agents of the Father's will. He is the Son of that Father, and, in his own power and authority, he forms, possesses, and regulates, the Father's household. Such a distinction between Christ and the prophets was clearly indicated by Jesus himself, in his parable of the servants and the son, who were successively sent to receive the fruits of the vineyard; Matt. xxi, 33—41, and is powerfully maintained and elucidated in the following comparison between Jesus and Moses: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man (or this person) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honor than the house. For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God. And Moses, verily, was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken
He is the Supreme Governor
after; but Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end:" Heb. iii, 1–6. It is generally allowed, and is indeed quite evident, that the word "house" here signifies "household❞— the household, or church of God. Moses presided as a servant over the ancient Israelitish church, which was, in his day, the house of Jehovah. Jesus Christ, as a Son, governs that larger family of God, the Christian church. Nor does he merely govern that church; he actually possesses it. It is his own house, because he "builded" it. And, in building this spiritual house, he displayed his divine nature and attributes,—for “he that built all things is God."
But it is not merely over the Church that Jesus Christ exercises his dominion. All the creatures of God are, for the church's sake, made subject to his reign. All power is given unto him in heaven, and in earth: Matt. xxviii, 18. He is able, by his working, to subdue all things unto himself: Phil. iii, 21. He is the "heir of all things:" Heb. i, 2. "Angels, authorities, and powers," are "made subject to him:" 1 Pet. iii, 22. God "set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all:" Eph. i, 20-23. He ascended up "far above all heavens, that he might fill all things:" Eph. iv, 10.
Now, although, in these and other similar descriptions of the empire of the Lord Jesus Christ, the distinctive character of the Father, who put all things under him, and who is therefore excepted from that empire, is plainly recognized, yet, I think, the more