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his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it, with judg ment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever,' &c. Isaiah ix. 7.
6. THE Lordship of Messiah over his church is inseparably connected with supreme authoritative power over all creatures for promoting her interest.
To form a spiritual kingdom from the wreck of the human race appears to have been the grand object of the divine counsels from eternity; and, in the execution of these, as the sacred Volume informs us, all things besides are made subservient to it. Very little, comparatively, is said about angels, devils and reprobate men: their condition, with a few circumstances, is mentioned; but that place, which they occupy in the divine counsels, is not represented as a great and extensive scheme, concerted by the divine persons, in the depths of infinite wisdom, and occupying their attention in executing it. These, it is true, had a place in God's counsels, and these counsels are executed, yet they are not represented as his great object, and what is said about them, seems to be in subserviency to the other. One reason may be that, in respect of these, only some divine perfections are displayed; but in the scheme of salvation all of them are displayed, and with much greater glory. It is on this account the scheme is denominated
The manifold wisdom of God," and that " He hath put all things under the Mediator's feet, and hath given him to be head over all things to the church.'
As his kingdom was to be erected in the world, all things in it were to be connected with it, and were put into the hand of her Lord. The extensive element of water obeyed him, deluged the whole earth, and swept of its wicked inhabitants. Compare Gen. vi. 3. and 1 Pet. iii. 19, 20. Fire and brimstone, obedient to his
will, reduced to ashes, the cities of the plain. By his direction, ten successive plagues wasted Egypt, and the Red Sea at last swallowed up the army, and Jordan forsook her channel to let Israel pass. At his word water is turned into wine, dæmons hurry the swine into the deep, and the winds and seas obey him. But why stand upon particulars when the universality of this power is asserted. "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea," &c. Psalm viii. 6-8. compare Heb. ii. 7, 8. Without this power, he could have no right to execute any part of his work on earth, to have his gospel preached, or his church collected, nor could she enjoy, by a proper right, any temporal favour.
THIS power comprehends, particularly, all the subjects of God's moral government, angels, men, and devils. It may be observed, that there is no expression in Scripture which indicates, in the most distant manner, a limitation of this power, we are, therefore, warranted to take the declarations in their utmost latitude; nor can they be taken in a restricted sense without wresting the Scriptures. "God also hath highly exalted him, and hath 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." Phil. ii. 9-il. "And 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 hath put all things under his feet." Eph. i. 20-22. "For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is *K k
not put under him." Heb. ii. 8. For he hath put all things under his feet. "But when he saith, All things all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, who did put all things under him." 1 Cor. xv. 27. This universal power is also asserted with respect to the particular parts of the moral world, angels, men, and devils, which I need not stay to quote.
THE design of conferring this power was that it might be exercised. A power not to be exercised is a contradiction in terms, a negation of power. Wherever power is communicated, either more or less extensively, it is nothing else than authorising and appointing the subject of that power to act according to the extent of it. It cannot be denied, without giving the lie to the Spirit of God, that the power delegated to the Mediator is unlimited, comprehending the extent of creation; if any difficulty remain, it must be about the exercise of that power. It is indeed affirmed, that though the Mediator is invested with all power, he exercises it only in particular places and circumstances. Such an assertion destroys itself. Power conferred is an appointment to act, and the person invested must act, or exert that power, about every thing that it comprises, in the investiture, unless he is unfaithful, or holds a discretionary power; neither of which can apply to Christ; for his Father's will is what he executes, and he is faithful to him that appointed him. If there be any power on earth, in any place, at any time, or of any description, over which the Mediator does not exercise authority, it must be because he has no appointment to do so. This limits his investiture, and says plainly, that he has not all power, which is contrary to express Scripture assertions. "He is set at God's right hand far above all power, and dominion. He is the head of all prin
cipality and power." Col. ii. 10. It gives the Apostle the lie, who affirms "That he shall put down all rule and all authority and power." 1 Cor. xv. 24. but he can never put down that power over which himself exercises no power: and if he shall put down all power, it proves that he holds all power, and exercises all power, If there be one of Adam's family over whom he does not exercise power, it will follow that he has no authority to act, in that case, and that he has not power over all flesh, contrary to John xvii. 2. As he is not to give eternal life to all flesh, yet has power over them, it must be a power to do something else with them, subservient to his giving eternal life to others. To this authority a power of judging and executing judgment belongs, and the Mediator is represented as doing both in the utmost extent. "He is ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead." "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained.” Acts x. 42. and xvii. 31. The quick and the dead comprise all without exception. His being judge of the dead refers to the work of the last day, but his being judge of the quick must refer to his judging them while alive. The Father does not judge immediately, but by the Son, whom he has authorised for that purpose.
"The Father judgeth no man; but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." John v. 22. The Father is no more the immediate judge, than the Son is the immediate representative of Deity. Every man is to be judged. The Father does not judge one man, but assigns it to the Mediator, who has a name above every name, at which every knee shall bow. This judgment comprises both the present and final state of men. The last day will be a review of the whole state of things
from the beginning to the end of the world; and to enable the Mediator to judge then he must attend to the affairs of men at present. But no administration can be conducted without judging and executing judgment; neither can the Mediator's; therefore we find him doing both. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies." Psalm cx. 2, 6. "In righteousness doth he judge and make war." Rev. xix. 11-16. "He must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet." He must reign among them by some law, judge of their procedure, and punish them accordingly. When Abraham expostulated with him for the cities of the plain, which he threatened to destroy, he appeals to him as a righteous and universal judge. "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?" Gen. xviii. 25. It is undeniable that it was the Mediator who conversed with Abraham, and whom he acknowledges to be the judge of all the earth. This perfectly agrees with the Father's judging no man, but committing all judgment to the Son. To suppose that he exercises his authority, partly as Mediator, and partly as God is a distinction supported by no part of divine revelation, while the contrary is evident from the uniform tenor of it.
7. MESSIAH'S Lordship will continue for ever. The manner of administration will be much altered; because the condition of things will be greatly changed: we are not, however, to conclude that the kingdom will totally cease.
THE Scriptures abound with declarations and promises of the perpetuity of this kingdom. "I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom-and the throne of his kingdom for ever." 2 Sam. vii. 12, 13.