« PreviousContinue »
person he was humbled; the same person that was rich became poor. 2 Cor. 8:9. He that was rich, and he that was poor, was one and the same person. Although riches and poverty were distinct conditions, and divinity and humanity were distinct natures, yet they were the conditions, and they were the natures of one and the same person, who is both rich and poor in regard of different states, as well as immortal and mortal, existing from eternity, and born in time, in regard of different natures; eternal as God, and born as man, the person that was crucified was the Lord of glory. 1 Cor. 2:8.
7. The exaltation of Christ is in respect of his being mediator.
The glory to which Christ was advanced was not the essential glory of God, for that he always possessed, and it is inseparable from his divine nature. As being God, he had all the prerogatives of God; but it was a mediatory glory conferred upon his person, as the first-born of every creature; such a glory as the humanity, dignified by the divine nature's assumption of it, was capable of. The humanity being a creature, was not capable of a divine and uncreated glory; the glory Christ hath as God, is the same with the glory of the Father; but the glory Christ hath as a mediator, is peculiar to him as a person consisting of a divine and a human nature; therefore it is his glory, Luke, 24:26, in a way of peculiarity belonging to him as a sufferer; for the divine nature was not capable of an addition of glory, nor the human nature capable of the infinite perfections of the divine. In regard of his essential glory, he was the Son begotten; in regard of his mediatory glory, he was the heir appointed. Heb. 1:2. He is appointed heir, in order after his sufferings, as he was appointed mediator, in order to his sufferings. Heb. 3: 2. As he was mediator by a voluntary designation, so he was heir by a voluntary donation. His glory was given to him upon condition of suffering, and conferred upon him after his suffer
ings; but he was from eternity the Lord of glory, and Son of God by a natural generation; the one belonged to him by birth, the mediatory by office; the one natural to his person, the other is the reward of his sufferings. Phil. 2:8,9.
Wherefore, God hath exalted him," viz. because of his obedience to death. In the essential glory, he is one with the Father; in his mediatory glory, he is lower than the Father, as being his deputy and substitute; his essential glory is absolute, his mediatory glory is delegated; "judg. ment is committed to him." John, 5:21. The essential glory is altogether free, and hath no obligation upon it; the mediatory hath a charge annexed to it, (for he is ascended far above the heavens, that he may fill all things. Eph. 4:10,) an office of priesthood to intercede, and a royal office 10 gather and govern those that are given to him by his Father. His essential glory he would have enjoyed if he had never undertaken 10 be our ransom; yet, without his sufferings for us, he had never had the glorious title of the Redeemer of the world. God would have been essentially glorious in himself if he had never created a world, but he had not then been so manifest under the title of Creator. Hence, though Christ, in regard of his divine nature, was equal with his Father, Phil. 2:6, yet in the state of mediator and surety for man, his Father was greater than he; John, 14:28; and in this state he was capable of a gist and glory from the Father, as from one that was superior to him in that condition; as it hath been recorded in history, that a king equal, nay, superior to another prince, hath put himself under the ensigns of that prince inferior to him, and received his pay; as he puts himself in such a military state, he is inferior to that prince he serves as his general; and what military honor may be conferred upon him for his valor and service, it is an honor distinct from that royal dignity he had before, as a sovereign in his own territories; so is this name given to Christ above every name, Phil. 2:9, i. e. a glory surpassing that of all creatures, the potentates
of the earth, or the seraphims of heaven; which was a distinct glory from that which he had as one with the Father, before his incarnation and sufferings, and which he had possessed if he had never suffered; but this glory mentioned by the apostle was given him upon his sufferings. It was therefore a mediatory glory, whereby the authority of God was conferred upon him, not absolutely and formally, as though he were then made God, but as to the exercise of it as mediator in the human nature, which he had so obediently subjected to the cross, for the glory of the Father, and the good of the creature.
§ 8. The exaltation of Christ as mediator, includes in it a power over all creatures, for it was such a name as was "above every narcie, that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2: 10, 11. He had the same power committed to him which the Father hath; his throne is the highest, being the same with that whereon the Father sat, Rev. 3:21, a throne of government and dominion. His commission is extensive; a power as large as the confines of heaven and earth, Matt. 28:18, “ All power is given me, both in heaven and earth.” A power over hell is also put into the patent, Rev. 1 : 18, and " have the keys of hell and death.” He had a right to the power by the promise of his Father: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief, when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin; he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper, in his hands. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sins of many, and made intercessions for the transgressors.” Isa. 53: 10, 12. The solemn investiture was not given him till his ascension. God put the sceptre in his hands, when he used that form of words, Ps. 110: 1, "Sit
thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.” At his resurrection he was stript of his servile garb, at his ascension he put on his royal robes, on his session at the right hand of God he was crowned, and began the exercise of his royal dignity. He has all power over all the treasure and all the inhabitants of heaven, and all things on the earth, "for there is nothing left that is not put under him." Heb. 2:8. He hath a name above every name in the earth, no person was ever so famous, none was ever adored by so many worshipers, none worshiped with so much fervency, none ever had so many lives sacrificed for his glory, and the acknowledgment of his mediation and person. His glory hath extended one time or the other over the whole world. 'Tis a power that hath given check to the power of kings, and silenced the reason of philosophers; it hath put to flight the armies of hell, and been celebrated by the songs of angels; no name was ever so glorious, no power ever so great.
Having made these preliminary observations, I will in my next letter consider the different steps or parts of the Messiah's exaltation.
RESURRECTION OF THE MESSIAH,
My dear Benjamin,
Agreeably to promise, I will now invite your attention to the different steps or parts of the exaltation of the Messiah; they may be divided into his resurrection from the dead; his ascension into heaven; his intercession as a priest; his reign as King, and his coming to judgment.
We commence with the first of these subjects, viz: The resurrection of the Messiah.
§ 1. That the Messiah was to rise from the dead on the third day, was typified in sundry instances. Isaac rescued from the jaws of death, on the third day from the time Abraham had the order to sacrifice his son, and from which time he was looked upon by him as a dead man; Joseph being taken from prison and promoted to the court of Pharaoh; David, after being hunted by Saul like a partridge, raised to the throne of Israel; Jonah raised again the third day from the belly of the fish; the scape goat let go into the wilderness, when the other taken with it was slain; and the living bird let loose after having been dipped in the blood of the bird that had been slain ; very fitly represented the resurrection of the Messiah, after his painful and ignominious death. Dr. Pierson considers the sheaf of the first fruits on the second day of the feast of unleavened bread, as a type of the resurrection of the Messiah, who rose on that very day, and became the first fruits of them that sleep. Lev. 23. 10–12.
“ Under the Levitical law," says he, "all the fruits of the earth in the land of Canaan were profane, none might eat of them till they were consecrated, and that was done in the