« PreviousContinue »
CH A P. VI.
Of the Exaltation of our Lard Jesus Christ. F"
IRST then, I shall shew, that the Holy Scri
ptures do not teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the very God. This I shall do, by examining all those Texts, which are suppos'd to teach it.
The first is a famous Passage of the Second Chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians, wherein the Apostle speaks very remarkably of the Humiliation and Exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ. And to prepare the way for the true Explanation of that difficult Paffage, I must offer to your Consideration an Account of what the holy Scriptures (setting aside for the present this Text in dispute) do say concerning our Lord's Exaltation.
When he solemnly afcended from Earth in the Presence of his Disciples, we read that he was received ир into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God,
Soon after this, St. Stephen the first Martyr, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jefus standing on the right hand of God, And said, behold, I see the beavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God, Acts 7.55,56. St. Paul also, Rom. 8.34. Col. 3. 1. Heb. 10. 12. and St. Peter, 1 Epist. 3. 22. assure us of his being and fitting at God's right hand; or, as ʼtis sometimes express'd, at the right hand of the throne of God, and on the right hand of the throne of the majestie in the heavens, Heb. 8.1. Thus has God exalted him to be a prince, Acts 5.31. By this he is made Lord, Acts 2. 36. even 'Lord of all, Acts 10.36. that is; Governor of the whole Creation. For
Mark 16. 19:
God has put all things under bis feet, 1 Cor. 15. 27. He is the bead of all principality and power, Col. 2. 10. Angels, authorities, and powers being made Subject unto him, 1 Pet. 3. 22. God has set bim at bis own right band 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 has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church, Which is bus body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Eph. 1. 20, 21, 22, 23. So that he might justly say, I am fer diwn with my father in his throne, Rev. 3. 21. And accordingly the same Throne is the Throne of God, and of the Lamb ; For the Lamb which is in the midst of therbrone, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, Rev.7, 17. And he fewed me a pure river of water of life clear as chrystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb. Rev. 22. I. And there Ball be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him, v.3.
Being in this glorious Station, he is our Mediacor and Intercessor, pleading the Merit of his own Sacrifice in our behalf. He is the one mediator between God and men, 1 Tim. 2. 5. He maketh interceffion for us, Rom. 8. 34.
In this exalted Condition he receives Religious Worship. No sooner was he carried up into Heaven, but it follows immediatly, and they worshipped bim, Luke 24.52. And accordingly St. Stephen at his Martyrdom pray'd to him, saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a boud voice, Lord, lay not this fin to their charge, A&s 7, 59, 60. St. Jubn also says, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our fins in bis own bloud, And bas made us kings and priests unto God and his father ; to bim
be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Rev. 1. ;
6. 'Tis said of him, that he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sate upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a neid fong, saying, Thou art woreby to take the book, and to open the seals thereof : for thou Taft pain, and hast res deemed us to God by thy bloud, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; And bast made us unto our God kings and priests, and ide shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I beard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and ehe elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was fair, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blesfing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, beard I saying, Blessing, honor,
be unto him that fitreth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever, Rev.s. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. To him the Martyrs cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, boly and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our bloud on them that dwell on the earth? Rev. 6. 10. The great Multitudes also cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which fitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, Rev, 7. 10.
Insomuch that our Lord's Words were then signally verify'd, that Men should honor the lon, even as they honour the father, that is, should pay religious Adoration to him, John 5, 23.
Then did our Lord's great Power display it self. He shower'd down those Blessings upon his Church, which God had enabled him to bęłtow, who then
actually poffefs’d, by the Father's Gift, all power in beaven and in earth, Mát, 28, 18... The Apostles represent him as the Dispenser of Grace, Mercy and Peace, in Subordination to, and as the Son of, the very God. Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil. 1. 2. Grace, mercy,
and peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior, Tit..1.4., Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Phil. 3. Grace be with you, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Felois Christ the son of the father, 2 John 3, Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come, and from the seven spirits, which are before bis throne : And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth, Rev. 1.4, 5.
And indeed, how should it be otherwise ? For our Lord, immediatly after his Ascension, began his Spiritual Reign, as the Vicegerent of the very God, over all created Beings. How truly might iç then be said, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdorns of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign
for ever and ever, Rev. 11,15? Nom is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Chrift, Rev..12. 10. He has on his vesture, and on his thigh a name mritten, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Rev. 19. 16. Then might all his Enemies justly tremble and dread his Power. Well might they say 10 the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that fitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? Rev. 6. 16, 17, And as his Enemies dreaded him, fo his faithful Disciples might well rely upon him. Accordingly St. Paul trusted in him for what he hop'd to accomplish, Phil. 2. 9, 24.
The blessed Jesus shall continue thus exalted till the Consummation of all things, when all Mankind shall stand at his Tribunal, and he shall sentence them to eternal Happiness or eternal Misery. For God shall then judge the World by Jesus Christ. For the Father judgeth no man: but haih committed all judgment unto the Jon, John 5 22.
It is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead, Acts 10. 42. even the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom, 2 Tim. 4. I. This his general Judgment will be exceedingly glorious. For the son of man hall come in the glory of his father, with his angels : and then be Shall reward every man according to his works, Matt. 16. 27. and again, When the son of man cometh in the glory of bis father with the holy angels, Mark 8. 38.
In this exalted Condition must the Blessed Jesus continue, till he has gain'd a complete Victory over all his Enemies. For this man, after he bad offered one facrifice for fins for ever, sate down on the rigbi band of God: from benceforth expecting til bis enemies be made bis foot-ftool, Heb. 10. 12, 13. For he must reign, till be has put all enemies under bis feet. The last enemy that shall
be destroy’d, is death. For be bas put all things under bis feet, 1 Cor. 15. 25, 26, 27.
After this general Judgment, our Lord Jesus Chrift shall cease to be the Administrator of God's Kingdom. For then cometh the end, when he shall bave deliver'd up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, 1 Cor. 15. 24. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all, v.28. I confess, it may be objected, that St. Paul seems to affirm, Heb. 10. 12. that he shall administer God's Kingdom for ever, and consequently after the Day of Judgment. But, says Dr. Wbitby in his Com