Page images

fice, yet as the Son of Man he exercised no such Dominion, professing that his K’ingdom was not of this world; but after he rose from the dead, then as it were in Hebron with his own Tribe he tells the Apostles, All power is given unto him ; and by virtue thereof, gives them injunctions, and at his Ascension he enters into the Jerusalem above, and there sits down at the right hand of the Throne of God, and so makes a solemn entry upon the full and entire Dominion over all things ; then could St. Peter say, Let all the Acts 2. 36. house of Israel know assuredly, That God hath made that fame Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

The immediate Effect of this regal Power, the proper Execution of this Office, is the subduing of all his Enemics ; for he is set down on the right Heb. 10. 12, hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his foot- 13. ftool. This was the ancient custom of the oriental Conquerors, to tread upon the Necks of their subdued Enemies; as when Joshua had the five Kings as his Prisoners, he said unto the men of war which went with him, come Fosh. 19. 24, near, put your feet upon the necks of them. Thus to signifie the absolute and total Conquest of Christ, and the dreadful Majesty of his Throne, all his Enemies are supposed to lie down before him, and he fet his feet

upon them.

The Enemies of Christ are of two kinds, either temporal or fpiritual ; the temporal Enemies I call such as visibly and actually oppose him, and his Apostles, and all those which profess to believe in his Name. Such especially and principally were the Jews, who rejected, persecuted and crucified him ; who after his Resurrection, scourged, stoned, and despightfully used his Disciples; who tried all ways and means imaginable to hinder the propagation, and dishonour the profession of Christianity: A part of his regal Office was to subdue these Enemies, and he set down on the right hand of God that they might be made his Footstool : which they suddenly were according to his Prediction, There be fome standing here which shall not taste Mat. 16. 28. of death till they see the son of man coming in his kingdom. For within few years the Temple, the City, and the whole Polity of the Jews were destroyed for ever in a revenging manner by the hands of the Romans, which they made use of to crucifie the Lord of Life. The Romans themselves were the next Enemies, who first complied with the Jews in Christ's Crucifixion, and after in defence of their heathen Deities endeavoured the Extirpation of Christianity by successive Persecutions. These were next to be made the footstool of the King of Kings ; and so they were when Rome the regnant City, the head of that vast Empire, was taken and fack’d; when the Christians were preserved, and the Heathens perished; when the WorThip of all their Idols, ceased, and the whole Roman Empire marched under the banner of Christianity. In the same manner all thosc Persons and Nations whatsoever, which openly oppose and persecute the name of Christ, are Enemies unto this King, to be in due time lubdued under him, and when he calleth, to be Nain.

The spiritual Enemies of this King are of another nature ; such as by an invisible way make opposition to Christ's Dominion, as Sin, Satan, Death, Every one of these hath a Kingdom of its own, set up and opposed to the Kingdom of Christ. The Apostle hath taught us, that sin hath reigned unto Rom. 5. 2t. death; and hath commanded us not to let it reign in our mort al bodies, that we should obey it in the lusts thereof. There is therefore a Dominion and Kingdom of Sin fet up against the Throne of the immaculate Lamb. Satan would have been like the most High, and being cast down from Heaven, hath erected his throne below; he is the Prince of this world: the spirit which John 12.13. now worketh in the children of disobedience is the Prince of the power of Ephef: 2:2 the air; and thus the rulers of the darkness of this world oppose themselves




Alts 3. 15.

to the true light of the world. Death also hath its dominion, and, as the Rom. 5. 14, . Apostle speaks, reigned from Adam to Mofes; even by one offence death

reigned by one, and so set up a ruling and a regal Power againlt the Prince
of Life.

For the destruction of these Powers was Christ exalted to the right hand
of God, and by his regal Office doth he fubdue and destroy them all. And

yer this destruction is not so universal, but that Sin, Satan, and Death, Sall 1 Cor. 15. 24. still continue. 'Tis true he shall put down all rule and authority, and pow

er, but this amounts not so much to a total destruction, as to an absolute Phil. 3. 21. fubjection : for as he is able, so will he fubdue all things unto himself. The

principal end of the regal Office of the Mediator, is the effectual redemption
and actual salvation of all those whom God hath given him; and whosoever or
whatsoever opposeth the Salvation of these, is by that opposition consti-
tuted and become an enemy of Christ. And because this enmity is grounded
upon that opposition, therefore so far as any thing oppofeth the Salvation
of the sons of God, so far it is an enemy, and no farther : And consequent-
ly Christ, by fitting at the right hand of God, hath obtained full and abso-
lute power utterly to destroy those three spiritual Enemies, so far as they
make this opposition; and farther than they do oppose they are not destroy-
ed by him, but subdued to him: whatsoever hindreth and obstructeth the
bringing of his own into his Kingdom, for the demonstration of God's mer-
cy, is abolished; but whatsoever may be

yét fubfervient to the demonstra-
tion of his Justice, is continued.

Christ then as King destroyeth the power of Sin in all those which be· long unto his Kingdom, annihilating the guilt thereof by the vertue of his death, destroying the dominion thereof by his actual Grace, and taking away the spot thereof by Grace habitual

. But in the reprobate and damned Souls, the spot of Sin remaineth in its persect dye, the dominion of Sin continueth in its absolute power, the guilt of Sin abideth in a perpe. tual obligation to eternal Pains : but all, this in fubjection to his Throne, the Glory of which confisteth as well in punishing Rebellion as rewarding Loyalty

Again, Christ sitting on the right hand of God destroyeth all the strength of Satan and the powers of Hell: by virtue of his Death perpetually represented to his father, he destroyeth him that had the power of death, that is, the Devil. But the actual destruction of these powers of dark

ness hath reference only to the elect of God. In them he preventeth the Ephef.6. 11. wiles, those he taketh out of the snare ; in them he destroyeth the works, 2 Tim.2, 26. those he preserveth from the condemnation of the Devil. He freeth them 1 Fohn 3... here from the prevailing power of Satan by his Grace; he freeth them i 3.6.

hereafter from all Possibility of any infernal opposition by his Glory. But
still the reprobate and damned Souls are continued Slaves unto the powers
of Hell; and he which sitteth upon the Throne delivereth them to the De-
vil and his Angels, to be tormented with and by them for ever ; and this
power of Satan still is left as fubfervient to the demonstration of the Divine

Thirdly, Christ sitting on the Throne of God at last destroyeth Death it 1 Cor. 15.26. felf: For the last enemy which shall be destroyed is death. But this destruction

reacheth no farther than removing of all power to hinder the bringing of all

such persons as are redeemed actually by Christ into the full possession of his HOS. 13. 14. heavenly Kingdom. He will ransom them from the power of the grave, he

will redeem i hem from death. O death, he will be thy plague; O grave, he
will be thy destruction. The Trump thall found, the Graves Thall open,

Dead shall live, the Bodies thall be framed again out of the Dust, and the
Souls which left them shall be re-united to them, and all the Sons of Men Thall


Heb. 2. 14.

[ocr errors]


return to Lifc; and Death shall be swallowed up in victory. The Sons of 1 Cor. 15.54. God shall then be made completely happy both in Soul and Body, never a gain to be separated, but to inherit eternal Life. Thus he who litteth at the right hand of God hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light. But to the reprobate and damned Persons, Death is not destroyed but improved. They rise again indeed to Life, and so the first Death is evacuated; but that Life to which they rise is a second, and a far worse Death. And thus Christ is set down at the right hand of God, that he might subdue all things to himself.

The regal Power of Christ, as a branch of the Mediatorship, is to continue till all those Enemies be fubdued. For he must reign till he hath put all I Cor. 15. 25. enemies under his feet. But now we see not yet all things put under him. Heb. 2. 8. Therefore he must still continue there : and this necessity is grounded upon the promise of the Father, and the expectation of the Son. Sit thou on my psal. 110. 1. right hand, until I make thine enemies thy foot-stool, faith the Father ; upon which words we may ground as well the Continuation as the Session. Upon this promise of the Father, the Son sate down at the right hand of God, from Heb. 16. 12, henceforth expecting till his enemies he made his foot-stool. Being then the 13. promise of God cannot be evacuated, being the Expectation of Christ cannot be frustrated, it followeth, that our Médiator Thall exercise the regal Power at the right hand of God till all opposition shall be subdued.

When all the enemies of Christ shall be subdued, when all the choseni of God shall be actually brought into his Kingdom, when those which refused him to rule over them, shall be Nain, that is, when the whole office of the Mediator shall be compleated and fulfilled, then every branch of the execution thall cease. · As therefore there shall no longer continue any act of the prophetical part to instruct us, nor any act of the priestly part to intercede for us, so there shall be no farther act of this regal Power of the Mediator necessary to defend and preserve us. The beatifical Vision shall succeed our information and instruction, a present fruition will prevent oblation and intercession, and perfect security will need no actual defence and protection. As therefore the general notion of a Mediator ceaseth when all are made one, because a Mediator is not a Mediator of Gal. 3. 20.


every part or branch of that Mediatorship, as such, must also ceafe, because that Unity is in all parts complete. Then cometh the end, when he Mall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he Jhall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For when all I Cor. 15.24, things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be sub-28. ject nnto him that hath put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Now though the Mediatorship of Cbrist be then refigned, because the end Videamus ani thereof will then be performed; though the regal Office as part of that Me-traditio regni diatorship be also resigned with the whole; yet we must not think that intelligenda Christ shall cease to be a King, or lose any of the power and honour which regnandi, ut before he had. The Dominion which he hath was given him as a reward for

quod tradidit what he suffered: and certainly the reward shall not cease when the work is tradendo non done. He hath promised to make us Kings and Priests, which honour we expect in Heaven, believing we shall reign with him for ever, and therefore for ever must believe him King. The kingdoms of this world are become the 2 Tim. 2. 12. kingdoms of the Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and Rev. 11. 15, ever, not only to the modificated eternity of his Mediatorship, so long as there shall be need of regal Power to subdue the enemies of God's Elect ; but also to the complete eternity of the duration of his humanity, which for the future is co-eternal to his divinity.

one ;

Filius Patri

teneat. S. Hil.

1. II.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Lest we should imagine that Christ should ever cease to be King, or fo interpret this Article, as if he were after the Day of Judgment to be removed

from the right hand of God, the ancient Fathers added those words to the * OŚ 1 Beri Nicene Creed, * whose kingdom shall have no end, against the Heresie which ring. We then arose, denying the eternity of the Kingdom of Christ. find not these Words in the Nicene Creed, as it was in it self before the Additions at Constantinople. But not long afler, s. Cyril expounds them in his Catechism, and Epiphanius in Ancorato, repeating two several Creeds, a jvcrter and a longer, S. 120, and 121, bath these words in both. After this they were added exprefly in the Constantinopolitan Creed. And the reason of their insertion, without question was that which S. Cyril insinuateth in bis Explication, that is the Herefie which was then newly begun. Κάν πολέ τινG- ακάσης λέΓον79, ότι τέλο- έχο, και Χρυσά βασιλεία, μίσησον η αίρεσιν, το δράκοντός έσιν άλλη κεφαλή προσφάτως αει τ’ Γαλαζίαν αναφυίσα ετόλμησε λέ[ειν, ότι με το τέλΘ- τα κόσμε ο Χριστός και βαcinsis. ss fréquences citév, ősi i nóg @ in naleòs igenbau, šīcis nalige waarv avaaubeis šnétiisi. Catech. 15. This was the particular Heresie of Marcellus Bishop of Ancyra, followed by Photius born in the same place, and therefore termed by s. Cyril mei Ý rahali cv civcovaca. It confifted of two parts; first, that the Kingdom of Christ did wholly cease at the end of this world; secondly, that the Word was resolved again into the Father, and consequently did not only cease to reign, but also cease to exist. Which is yet. more plainly expressed by Eusebius in his second Book against Marcellus. Και πάλιν τέτον αθρόως σωθήσει με τη κρίσεως και ρον, τα μ Λόνα ενωμία τω Θεώ, ως μηδέν έτερον είναι πλω τύ Θεά· 3 Cαρκός ερήμα καλαλειφθησομύης ισο τα ΛόΓε, ως μήτε ή υών τα Θει ποτε υφισάναι, μήτε τ υον τα α@gásay ô avriangs. This Heresse of Marcellus s. Bafil properly calls an Impiery, eis o vaisti iš Kveir mums Incã Xerrs. Epist. 78. And again, Epist. 52. cis curl It Factory of To Morogfogs Joórn? which he there more fully expresseth, "0 (ΜάρκελλG-) ΛόΓονείρητ Μονογλυή δίδωσι και χρείαν και επί καιρά προελθόν7α, πάλιν 3 ας τ όθεν εξήλθε επανασρέψανα, ŠTE weg sigedy divu, šte k irevodov vossávar. This Existence of the Word and the Kingdom of the Son, thai Herelic made co-eval; beginning when the Word came from the Father, that is, at the Incarnation; and ending when the Word returned into the Father, that is at the Day of Judgment. Which is manifestly delivered by the Eastern Bishops in that Profession of Faith which they sent to those in Italy. 'Ana' ix to? Xessò autor yelovévou sej yòr Oiš tę 7 ;μετέραν εκ τ παρθένα ζάρκα ανείληφε, προ τετρακοσίων όλων ετών, Εκ τοτε ηδη Χρισόν άρχω βασιλείας έχηκέναι θέλεσι, και τέλο εξεν αυτίω με τ' Cωτέλειας και κρίσιν. Τοιτοι εισίν οι λαο Μαρκέλλα και Φωτεινά τ 'Ακυρο Γαλαλών, οι προαιώνιον υπαρξίν τε και θεότητα τα Χρισέ, και τ' ατελόύτηλον αυτά βασιλείαν αθετέσεν, ίσαι δοκείν 7 μοναρχίαν. Socrat. 1. 2. c. 19. Bar although Marcellus did thus teach the Kingdom of Christ not to be eternal, yet his Heresse did not so much, confift in the Denial of this Eternity as of the Subsistence and Person of our Saviour : for otherwise he did truly téach that Christ was an eternal King; as appeareth out of his own words in his Book against Afterius the Arian, cited by Eusebius, Ουκών όρων τινα δοκά έχαν και άνθρωπον αυτά οικονομία τε και βασιλεία, έδέν γδ έτερον βέλε3 και τέτο το ιατ τα 'Αποσόλα ρηθέν, έως αν 9η τες έχθρες αυτέ υπόδιον ή ποδών αυτά εκάν επειδαν τις έχθρες κι υποπόδιον ή ποδών, εκ έτι χρήζί τώ μέest raurins Besides as wáy 7an xabóns Baoudós iadz xa... And therefore he made the same Confession with the Catholicks, When

he delivered an account of his Faith to Julius Bishop of Rome. Nosotw z imóufu @ Tais Jeans regepass, oro eis Osos και ο τότε μονογενής υός λό/G- ο αεί ζωυπάρχων το Παρί, και κηδεπώποτε αρχών τα εναι εχηκώς, αληθώς εκ τέ Θεέ πάρχων, και κτιθείς, όποιηθείς, αλλ' αει ών, αεί ζυμβασιλβίων του Θεού και Παίρι, και η βασιλέας, σττα Αποσόλα μας υeίαν, δε iscu téma. Epiph. Hæres. 72. §. 2.

The profession of Faith in Christ, as fitting on the right hand of God, is necessary.; First, To mind us of our Duty, which must needs consist in fubjection and obedience. The Majesty of a King claimeth the loyalty of a subject ; and if we acknowledge his Authority, we must submit unto his power. Nor can there be a greater incitation to obedience, than the confideration of the nature of his Government. Subject we must be whether

we will or no; but if willingly, then is our service perfect freedom ; if untas

, ieris tube willingly, then is our aversenels everlasting misery: f Enemies we all have been; pedibus ejus under his feet we Shall be, either adopted or fubdued. A double Kingdom aut adoptatus, there is of Christ; one of Power, in which all are under him; another of S. Auguftine. Propriety, in those which belong unto him : None of us can be excepted

Beriscias rõ from the first; and happy are we if by our obedience we shew our felves to o iš dós cidir, have an interest in the second, for then that Kingdom is not only Christ's xai ixtiwa but ours. ob 3 x δημιουργίαν βασιλεύς και απάντων και Ελλήνων και Ιεδαίων και δαιμόνων και αν777ελα Γραίων στη δημιεςΓιας λόfoν βασι a66d 3* wisão x ixósson s. 2w0770 [caban sa mga on oixearews. Š. Chryfoft. Hom. 59. in i ad Corinth.

Secondly, It is necessary to believe in Christ fitting on the right hand of God, that we might be assured of an auspicious protection under his gracious Dominion. For God by his exaltation hath given our Saviour to be the head over all things to the Church; and therefore from him we may expect direction and preservation. There can be no illegality where Christ is the Law-giver ; there can be no danger from hostility where the Son of God is the defender.


* This is the

κλησίαν ανή


The very name of * head hath the signification not only of Dominion but of Union; and therefore while we look upon him at the right hand of God we Exclamation fee our felves in Heaven. This is the special Promise which he hath made us of S.Chryfoft. since he sat down there, a To him that overcometh will I grant to fit with upon those

of me in my throne, even as I also overcame and. am fet down with my Fa: S. Paul. ther in his throne. How should we rejoyce, yea, rather how should we fear Bueci zrő vá

2:9 x y 'Exand tremble at fo great an Honour !

yeku, waris διά τινο- έλκων μηχανής, εις ύψο αυτίω ανήγαΓε μέγα, και αυτίω κάθισεν εις εκείνον ή θρόνον ένθα δή κεφαλή εκεί και το Cãuce: adevi yag uéow diviela) xepanih metara Cães - gs dreiere70, 8x av ein Cãpece, six år ein xomain. Hom. 3. in Epift

. ad Ephes. a Rev. 3. 21.

1 'Εννοω τ θρόνον τ βασιλικόν, αυνός σ τιμής το σερβολω. τετο και γεέννης, έγι βαλοι μεθα, μάλλον ημάς Φοβήσαι διωήσει. Ει γδ μη γέεννα , το τιμηθέντας τιμω αναξίας ερεθίώαι και κακές, τίνα κ αν έχoι κόλασιν, τίνα τιμωρίαν και συνόησαν τίνΘ- εγως η κεφαλή και κάθη3 (τεο μόνον και λίπίχςη προς παν οτιέν) τίνα- ω δεξια ioeu. Idem ibidem.

Thirdly, The Belief of Christ's glorious Session is most necessary in respect of the immediate Consequence, which is his most gracious Intercession. Our Saviour is ascended as the true Melchifedech, not only as the King of Salem, Heb. 7. 1. the Prince of Peace, but also as the Priest of the most high God; and whereas every Priest, according to the Law of Mofes, stood daily ministring and Heb. 10. 11; offering often times the same Sacrifices which could never take away sins, this man after he had offered one Sacrifice for fins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. And now Christ being set down in that Power and Majesty, though the Sacrifice be but once offered, yer the virtue of it is perpetually advanced by his Session, which was founded on his Passion : for he is entred into heaven it felf, now to appear in the presence of God for Heb. 9. 24. us.

Thus, If any man fin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus 1 John 2. i. Christ the righteous.

And he is able also to save them to the uttermost Heb. 7. 25. that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. What then remaineth to all true Believers but that triumphant Exclamation of the Apostle, Who Mall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ? Rom.8.33,34. It is God that justifieth; who is be that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. For he which was accepted in his Oblation; and therefore sat down on God's right Hand, to improve this Acceptation continues his Intercession; and having obtained all Power by virtue of his Humiliation, representeth them both in a most sweet Commixtion; by an humble Omnipotency, or omnipotent Humility, appearing in the Pre-s. Austin

discoursing fence, and presenting his * Postulations at the Throne of God.

place of s. Paul, 1 Tim.2. 1. I exhort that first of all, fupplications, prayers and intercesions be made for all men, observeth what is the nature of Interceffion. Pro Interpellationibus autem quod nofti, fecundum codices credo vestros, poftulationes posuisti

. Hæc interiin duo, id est, quod alii poftulationes, alii interpellationes interpretati funt, unum verbum transferre voluerunt, quod Græcus habet e bukes. Et profectò advertis : Sed nofti aliud esse interpellare, aliud poftulare. Non enim solemus dicere, poftulant interpellaturi, sed interpellant postulaturi. Veruntamen ex vicinitate verbum usurpatum, cui proquinquitas ipfa impetrat intellectum, non est velut censoriâ notatione culpandum. Nam & de ipso Domino Jesu Christo dictum eft, quòd interpellat_pro nobis. Numquid interpellat, & non etiam poftulat? Imò verò quia poftulat pro eo pofitum eft interpellat. Evidenter quippe alibi de eo dicitur, si quis peccaverit, Advocatum habemus ad Patrem, Jesum Christum jufium, ipfe eft exoratio pro peccatis noftris. Quanquam fortassis codices apud vos etiam in eo loco de Domino Jesu Christo non habent interpellat pro nobis, sed poftulat pro nobis. In Græco enim, quo verbo hîc pofitæ funt interpellationes, quas ipse posuisti poftulationes, ipfum & illic verbum eft, ubi fcriptum eft, interpellat pro nobis. Cùm igitur & qui precatur oret, & qui oret precetur, & qui interpellat Deuin ad hoc interpellet ut oret & precețur, etc. Epift

. 59. ad Paulinum, Quaft

. 5.

upon that

Having thus explicated the Session of our Saviour, we are next to consider the Description of him at whose right hand he is set down; which seems to be delivered in the same terms with which the Creed did first begin, I believe in God the Father Almighty, and indeed, as to the expression of his · Effence, it is the fame Name of God; as to the setting forth his relation, it is the fame Name of Father; but as to the adjoining Attribute, though it be the fame word, it is not the same notion of Almighty. What therefore we have spoken



« PreviousContinue »