Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

peareth by that Prophet ; The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his
Temple, even the messenger of the Covenant, whom ge delight in.

Now this Notation, as it is the interpretation of Adon, signifieth immediately and properly dominion implying a right of poffeffion, and power of disposing. "Which doth not only agree with that other notion of Jehovah, but presupposes it, as following and flowing from it. For he who alone hath a being or existence of himself, and thereby is the fountain of all things beside himself, must be acknowledged to have full power and dominion over all : becaufe every thing must necessarily belong to him froth whom it hath received what it is. Wherefore being Christ is the Lord, as that title is taken for Jehovah, the name of God, expresfing the necessary existence and independence of his fingle Being, and consequently the dependency of all others upon him; it followeth, that he be acknowledged alto the Lord, as that name cxpresseth Adon, fignifying power authoritative and proper dominion. Thus having explained the Notation of the word Lord, which we propounded as the first part of our expofition; we come next to the fecond, which is, to declare the nature of this Dominion, and to fhew how and in what refpect Christ is the Lord.

Now for the full and exact understanding of the Dominion feated or invested in Christ as the Lord, it will be neceffary to distinguish it accord ing to that diversity which the Scriptures reprefent unto us. As therefore we have obferved two Natures united in his Person, so muft we also confider two kinds of Dominion belonging respectively to those natures ; one inherent in his Divinity, the other bestowed upon his Humanity; one, as he is the Lord. che Maker of all things, the other as he is made Lord of all things.

For the First, we are assured that the Word was God, that by the same John 1. i, ji Word all things were made, and without him was not any thing made that was made ; we must acknowledge, that whosoever is the Creator of all things must have a direct Dominion over all, as belonging to the possession of the Creator, who made all things. Therefore the Word, that is, Christ as God, hath the fupreme and universal Dominion of the World. Which was well expreffed by that famous confession of no longer doubting, but believing Thomas, my Lord and my God.

John 20. 28. For the Second, it is also certain that there was fome kind of Lordflip given or bestowed on Christ, whose very Unction proves no less than an imparred Dominion; as S. Peter tells us, that he was made both Lord and Aits 2. 36. Christ. What David spake of man, the Apostle hath applied peculiarly unto him, Thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst fet him over the Heb. 2. 7, 8. works of thy hands: Thou haft put all things in fubjeétion under his feet.

Now a dominion thus imparted, given, derived, or bestowed, cannot be thar which belongerh unto God as God, founded in the Divine Nature, becaufe whatfoever is such is absolute and independent. Wherefore this Lordfhip thus imparted or acquired appertaineth to the humane nature, and belongerh to our Saviour as the Son of man. The right of Judicature is part of this Power; and Christ himself hath told us, that the Father hath given John s. 27. him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man; and by virtue of this delegated authority, the Son of man shall come in the glory of Mar. 16.29. his Father with his Angels, and reward every man according to his works. Part of the fame Dominion is the power of forgiving fins ; as pardoning, no less than punishing, is a branch of the supreme Magistracy: and Christ did therefore fay to the sick of the Palfie, thy sins be forgiven thee, Mar.9.2, 6. that we might know that the Son of man had power on earth to forgive sins. Another branch of that power is the alteration of the Law, there being the fame authority required to abrogate or alter, which is to make a Law: and Christ asserted himself to be greater than the Temple, Mar. 12. (,8.

thewing

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Rom. 14.9.

10, II.

21, 22,

Thewing that the Son of man was Lord even of the Sabbath-day.

This Dominion thus given unto Christ in his human nature was a direct and plenary power over all things, but was not actually given him at once, but

part while he lived on earth, part after his death and resurrection. For though John 13. 3. it be true that Jefus knew, before his death, that the Father had given all

things into his hands; yet it is observable that in the same place it is written, that he likewise knew that he was come from God, and went to God: and part of that power he received when he came from God, with

part

he was invested when he went to God; the first to enable him, the second, not only so, but also to reward him. For to this end Christ both died,

rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. AfMat. 28. 18. ter his Resurrection he said to his Disciples, All power is given unto me Psal. 110.7. in heaven and in earth. He drunk of the brook in the way, therefore he Phil. 2. 8, 9, hath lift up his head. Because he humbled himself, and became obedient

unto death, even the death of the cross : Therefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name.which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Thus for and

after his death he was instated in a full power and dominion over all things, Eph. 1. 20, even as the Son of man, but exalted by the Father, who raised him from the

dead, and set him at his 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 hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the Church.

Now as all the power given unto Christ as man hath not the same beginning in respect of the use or possession; so neither, when begun, shall it all have the same duration. For part of it being merely OEconomical

, aiming at a certain end, shall then ceale and determinate, when that end for which 'twas given thall be accomplished : part, being either due upon the union of the human nature with the divine, or upon covenant, as a reward for the sufferings endured in that nature, must be coæval with that union and that nature which so suffered, and consequently must be eternal.

Of the first part of this dominion did David speak, when by the spirit of Pfal. 110. 1. Prophecy he called his Son his Lord; The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou

at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool: where the continuation of Christ's Dominion over his enemies is promiled to be prolonged until their final and total subjection. For he must reign till he hath put all things under his feet. And as we are sure of the continuation of that King.

dom till that time, so are we assured of the resignation at that time. For when 1 Cor. 15. 24, he shall have put down all rule , and all authority and power,

tben Mall be deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject ur

to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Thus he Ffal . 110.2. which was appointed to rule in the midst of his enemies during their rebel

lion, fhall resign up his Commission after their subjection.

But we mult not look upon Christ only in the nature of a General, who hath received a Commission, or of an Ambassador, with perfect Instructions, but of the only Son of God, impowered and imployed to destroy the enemies of his Father's Kingdom: and though thus impowered and commissioned, though resigning that authority which hath already had its perfect work, yec still the only Son and heir of all things in his Father's house, never to relinquith his dominion over those whom he hath purchased with his own blood, never to be deprived of that reward which was assigned him for his Suffer

ings:

I Cor. 15.25

28.

[ocr errors]

ings : for if the prize which we expect in the race of our imperfect Obe-
dience be an immarcessible Crown, if the weight of glory which we look
for from him be eternal; then cannot his perfect and absolute Obedience be
crowned with a fading power, or he cease ruling over us, who hath always
reigned in us We shall for ever reign with him, and he will make us Priests
and Kings; but so that he continue still for ever High Priest and King of
Kings.
The certainty of this eternal Dominion of Christ

, as Man, we may well ground upon the promise made to David, because by reason of that promise Christ himfelf is called David. For fo God speaketh concerning his People; I will set up one Shepherd over them, and he mall feed them, even my Jer: Ezek. 34. 23; vant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their Shepherd. And I 24. the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a Prince among them. I the Lord have spoken it. Now the promise was thus made expressly to David, Thy house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee, 2 Sam. 7. 16. thy throne Jhall be established for ever.

ever in the Hebrew Language may signifie oft-times no more than a certain duration so long as the nature of the thing is durable, or at the utmost but to the end of all things, and so the OEconomical Dominion or Kingdom of Christ may be thought fufficiently to fulfil that promise, because it shall certainly continue so long as the nature of that OEconomy requireth, till all things be performed for which Christ was sent, and that continuation will infallibly extend unto the end of all things : yet sometimes also the same term for ever signifieth that absolute eternity of future duration which shall have no end at all : and that it is so far to be extended particularly in that promise made to David, and to be fulfilled in his Son, is as certain as the promise. For the Angel Gabriel did give that clear exposition to the blessed Virgin, when in this manner he foretold the glory of him who was then to be conceived in her womb; The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he Luker. 32,33. sall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Nor is this clearer in Gabriel's explication of the promise, than in Daniel's prevision of the performance, who saw in the night visions, and Dan.7:13,14. behold, one like the fon of man came with the clouds of heaven; And came to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people and languages Jhould serve him : his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Thus Christ is Lord both by a natural and independent Dominion: as God the Creator, and consequently the Owner of the works of his hands : and by a derived, imparted, and dependent right, as man, fent, anointed, raised and exalted, and so inade Lord and Chrift: which authority so given and bestowed upon him is partly OEconomical, and therefore to be resigned into the hands of the Father, when all those ends for which it was imparted are accomplished: partly fo proper to the union, or due unto the passion, of the human nature, that it must be co-æval with it, that is, of eternal duration.

The third part of our explication is, the due consideration of the Object of Christ's Dominion, enquiring whose Lord he is, and how ours. To which purpose first observe the latitude, extent, or rather univerfality, of his Power under which all things are comprehended, as subjected to it. For he is Lord Acts 10. 36. of all, faith S. Peter, of all things, and of all persons; and he must be so, who made all things as God, and to whom all power is given as man. To him then all things are subjected whose subjection implieth not a contradiction. For he i Cor. 15.27. hath put all things under his feet: but when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him. God only then excepted, whose original Dominion is repugnant to the

X

least

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

least subjection, all things are fubject unto Chrift, whether they be things in

Heaven, or things on Earth. In Heaven he is far above all Principalities Heb. 1. 6. and Powers, and all the Angels of God worship him; on Earth all nations Pfal. 2. 8.

are bis inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth are his poleffion. Thus Christ is certainly our Lord, because he is the Lord of all; and when all things were subjected to him, we were not excepted.

But in the midst of this Universality of Christ's Regal Authority it will be farther necessary to find some propriety of Dominion, by which he

may

be faid to be peculiarly our Lord. 'Tis true, he made us, and not we our felves, we are the work of his hands; but the lowest of his Creatures can speak as much. We are still preserved by his power, and as he made us, so doth he maintain us ; but at the same time he feedeth the Ravens and cloatheth the Lilies of the field. Wherefore beside his original right of Creation, and his continued right of Preservation, we dhall find a more peculiar right of Redemption, belonging properly to the fons of men.

And in this Redemption righer under though a single word, we shall find

a * double title to a most just Dominion, standing of

one of Conquest, another of Purchase. shis double title involved in the word redemption, it will be necessary to take notice of the ways by which human Dominion is acquired, and Servitude introduced. Servi aut nascuntur, aut fiunt, saith the Civilian, Inft. l. 1. tit. 3. but in Theology we Say more, Servi nafcuntur, & fiunt. Man is born the servant of God his Maker, man is made the servant of his Redeemer. Two ways in general they observed by which they came to serve who were not born faves. Fiunt aut jure gentium, id est, captivitate; aut jure civili, cùm liber homo major viginti annis ad pretiuin participandum fefe venundari passus est. . Two ways then also there were by which Dominion over those servants was acquired, by Conquest or by Purchase, and both these were always accounted just. Dionysius Halicarnalæus, an excellent Historian, a curious observer of the Roman Cuftoms, and an exact judge of their actions, being a Gracian, justifieth the right which the Mafers in Rome claimed over their fervants upon there two grounds. 'Ετύχανον δη τους Ρωμαίοις αι ή θεραπόνων κλήσας και της δικαιολάτες γινόμιμαι τρόπος, ή δ' ώνησάμενοι παρς τε δεμοσία της απο δόρυ πολεμψας οκ ή λαφύρων, και τα τρατηγό Γκως ήσανθος άμα τας άλλαις υφηλείας και δορυαλώτος τους, λαξεσιν έχον, η πεμάμενοι παρ' ετέρων, και τες αυτες τρύπες xuejus fu omifí wv cx ixlov 7. To's

oonds, Hift. 1.4. Where it is also farther to be observed, that the same persons were made Naves by Conquefl, and possessed by Purchase; by Conquest to the City of Rome, by Purchase to the Roman Citizen. The General first took and saved them, and so made them his, that is, reduced them to the Will and Power of the State from which he received his Commission, and in whose name and for whose intereft he fought. This State exposed their interest to sale, and so whatever right had been gained by the conquering Sword, was devolved on the Roman Citizen for a certain sum of Money paid to the State to defray the charges of that war

Lord or Master of a save fo taken had full power over him, and possession of him, by right of purchase, unto which he was for fi made liable by con queft. And though not exactly in that manner, yet by that double right, is Christ become our Lord, and we his

Thus

every

Servants.

Rom. 6. 16.

Col. 2:15

We were first servants of the enemy of God; for him we obeyed, and his Heb. 2. 14. fervants we are to whom we obey : when Christ through death destroyed him

that had the power of death, that is, the Devil, and delivered us; he spoiled principalities and powers, and made a Mew of them openly, triumphing over them. But contrary to the custom of triumphing Conquerors, he did not fell, but buy us; because while he saved us, he died for us, and that death was the price by which he purchased us; even so this dying Victor gave us life: upon the Cross, as his triumphant chariot, he lhed that precious blood which bought us, and thereby became our Lord by right of Redemption, both as to conquest and to purchase.

Beside, he hath not only bought us, but provideth for us ; whatever we have, we receive from him as the Master of the Family; we hold of him all

temporal and eternal blessings, which we enjoy in this, or hope for in another Afts 3; 15. life. He is the Prince of life, and by him we live; he is the Lord of glory, 2 Thef. 2.14.

and we are called by his Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord. Wherefore he hath us under his dominion; and becomes our Lord by right of Promotion.

Lastly, Men were not anciently sold always by others, but sometimes by themselves; and whosoever of us truly believe in Christ, have given

up our names unto him. In our baptismal Vow we bind our felves. unto Rom. 6.6,13, his Service, that henceforth we will not serve fin; but yield our felves

into God, as those that are alive from the dead, and our members

I Cor. 2.8.

19.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

20.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

μόριον και ός

Te

so that the

as instruments of righteousness unto God: that, as we have yielded our mem-
ber's servants to uncleanness and to iniquity; even so we should yield our
members fervants to righteousness unto holiness. And thus the same Domi-
nion is acknowledged by Compact, and confirmed by Covenant ; and fo
Christ becomes our Lord by right of Obligation.

The necessity of believing and professing our faith in this part of the Arti-
cle appeareth, first, in the discovery of our condition; for by this we know
that we are not our own, neither our persons nor our actions. Know ye I Cor. 6. 19,
not, faith S. Paul, that ye are not your own ? for ye are bought with a
price. And ancient servitude, to which the Scriptures relate, put the servants
wholly in the * possession of their Master ; so that their persons were as pro-* 4őnos xlivet

τι έμψυχον και perly his as the rest of his goods. And if we be so in respect of Christ, then

wcases oeyaror may we not live to our felves but to him; for in this the difference of t fer-woocomowy vice and freedom doth properly consist: we cannot do our own wills, but was o wangithe will of him whose we are.. Christ took upon him the form of a fervant: Pol. 1. 1.6.4. and to give us a proper and perfect example of that condition, he telleth us, Tó, te gos a I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him ma isu bezathat fent me. First therefore we must conclude with the Apostle, reflecting rj to deavors upon Christ's Dominion and our Obligation, that b none of us liveth to him-dsnos i oreg félf, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the

γανον αφαιρεLord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, so moooppaor die, we are the Lord's.

vou dlarie dg

λος άψυχος. Id. Eth. l. 8. c.9. And again more expresy, Tis å sio je púris días, seh tis duúmepels, en tótwo de nov. Og men αυτε φύσ4, αλλ' άλλα άνθρωπος 3, ούτος φύσης δελός έσιν άλλα δ' έσιν άνθρωπος, ος άν κλήμα ή, άνθρωπος ών. definition of a servant according to Aristotle is, he, who being a man, is notwithstanding the pollésion of a man. And although all relatives be predicated of each other in obliquo, as pater eft filii pater, & filius patris filius, dominus est servi dominus, & servus domini servus; yet he observes a difference in this, that a servant is not only servus domini, but simply Domini, but the master is not simply servi, but dominus servi. o ne demórns Tở dóns, dearórns móvov, neivy 5 εκ έσιν ο 3 δέλος και μόνον δεσπότε δελός έσιν, άλλα και όλους εκείνε. The /ervant then is a wholly in the poieion and for the use of his master, that he is nothing else but a living tool or instrument; insomuch, says he, that if all tools were like those of Dædalus, or the Tripods of Vulcan, which the Poets feignid to move of themselves, Artificers would need no under workmen, nor masters servants. tso Arift. Ethic. 4. legs änner su donixóv. and in the first of his Rhetoricks on the contrary, έλουθες το μη προς άλλον ζήν. + το ζην ως βέλεται τις, ελευθερίας έχον έπερ το δέλα όντος, to Soño pen wis Bóne J. Arist. Pol. 6.2. Quid est libertas ? potestas vivendi ut velis. Cic. Par. á John 6.38. b Rom. 14. 7, 8.

Secondly, The same is necessary both to inforce and invite us to obedience; to enforce us, as he is the Lord, to invite us, as Christ the Lord. If we acknowledge our felves to be his servants, we must bring into captivity eve- 2 Cor. 10.5. ry thought to the obedience of Christ. He which therefore died, and rose and revived, that he might become the Lord both of the dead and living, maketh not that death and resurrection efficacious to any but such as by their service acknowledge that Dominion which he purchased. He, though he Heb. 5. 8, 9. were a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect he is become the Author of eternal Salvation unto all them that obey him. Thus the consideration of the power invested in him, and the necessity of the service due unto him, should force us to obedience; while the consideration of him whom we are thus obliged to serve should allure and invite us.

When God gave the Law with fire and thunder, the affrighted Ifraelites desired to receive it from Moses, and upon that receipt promised obedience. Go thou near, said they to him, and hear all that the Lord our Deus. 5. 279 God Mall say; and speak'thou unto us, and we will hear it and do it. If they interpreted it so great a favour to receive the Law by the hands of Moses ; if they made to ready and chearful a promise of exact obedience unto the Law so given; how 1hould we be invited to the same promise, and a better performance, who have received the whole will of God revealed to us by the Son of Man, who are to give an account of our performance to the famé Man set down at the right hand of the Father? He first took our nature to become our Brother, that with so near a Relation he might be made our

X 2

Lord.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »