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this general character are comprised these three distinct offices, Prophet, Priest, and King. As expressive of the universality of his authority, and his legal investiture by the Father, he is called Messiah, or the Christ. Daniel predicted his appearance by the title of "Messiah the Prince;" and in fulfilment of this prediction, Peter assured the Jews that "God had made him both Lord and Christ." Dan. ix. 25. Acts ii. 36.
THE nature and extent of that work in which he was employed, and the manner in which God would have it executed, required this fulness of power, and that he should hold and exercise these distinct offices in his church, for promoting her interest. These offices are admirably adapted to the work which he was to execute, absolutely necessary to the salvation of his people, and are to them an ample and permanent source of consolation.
His sacerdotal office lies at the foundation of his whole work, and opens a way, by the sacrifice which he offered, for the exercise of his other offices. The condition of those whom he was to save, and their relation to God, as a judge, were such, that the Mediator must redeem them by the sacrifice of himself. The character of the moral Governor of the universe must be vindicated in the view of all rational creatures, that they might clearly understand the nature of his moral government, and be convinced that no violation of his laws could pass with impunity. In the sufferings of Christ there was such a display of the divine perfections, and moral character of God, as fully answered these ends, and manifested his necessary opposition to sin. This ground work being laid, certain moral efficacy is given to his intercession with the Father, who hears him always, in behalf of his people. As the great prophet of his church,,
he announces that salvation which he has purchased, illuminates the minds of sinners, and teaches them the knowledge of divine things. He unfolds the gracious designs of God concerning them, he tells them what himself hath done, and what he will persevere in doing until the work of salvation is finished. Though he was invested by the deed of the Father, with full powers of legislation and government, yet it was on condition of redeeming his people with a price. His work is now extensively conducted by him as "King in Zion." His people, naturally enemies to his whole character and work, are, by the power of his grace, made obedient to his laws, and preserved in a state of holy subjection to himself, notwithstanding all attempts of enemies to seduce them. Given to be head over all things to the church, he must reign until all his enemies are made his foot-stool. In virtue of this fulness of offices, and all necessary ability to execute them, he is truly a "Prince and Saviour." He has a name above every name. Holy angels are his ministers to the heirs of salvation; devils are under his control; and all wicked men are made subservient to his interest. He holds these offices in a peculiar relation to his church, and exercises them exclusively for her interest; while to those who will not that he should reign over them, they are only objects of terror and dismay.
7. He possesses a fulness of wisdom and knowledge. He is not only great, and of great power, but his understanding is infinite. His infinite mind knows and comprehends all things. He fully knows God, and all his counsels and designs. "None knows the Father save the Son." All creatures are naked and open before him. But he is wise as well as knowing. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to operation,
ter as one,
for conducting it in the best manner. Wisdom also qualifies one for giving counsel to others. With this wisdom Jesus is eminently endowed; "for he is the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only wise God." All that wisdom which belongs to him as a divine person, belongs also to him as Mediator, and qualifies him for the management of every part of his work. Were it not so, it would be impossible for him in a work so extensive and so complex, not to act, in many instancés, an unwise and foolish part. But this is effectually prevented by his infinite wisdom, which is displayed in all his operations. Paul delineates his charac "In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." Col. ii. 3. By the pen of the wise man he says of himself, "Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom." Prov. viii. 14. The wisdom of men is often foolishness, and their wisest schemes exhibit much imperfection; whereas, in all his operations, the Me diator displays the most consummate wisdom. If the counsels of God are allowed to be founded in consummate wisdom, it cannot be denied to Jesus by whom they are all faithfully executed, without the smallest deviation. The plan of salvation, in particular, is the "wisdom of God in a mystery; the hidden wisdom; the manifold wisdom of God." In executing this scheme, God abounds towards us" in all wisdom and prudence: having made known unto us the mystery of his will." As this scheme is unfolded to sinners, and executed by Christ, his wisdom abounds towards us in the whole of it, while he adheres faithfully to the plan laid down by God. "He is made of God unto us wisdom." No confusion ever takes place in his operations. He is never embarrassed, never non-plussed, and no part of his work fails of its end. He is a source of infallible
wisdom to his people. According to ancient prophe cy, his name was to be called, "Counsellor." As he was one in council with God, in all his designs, so he gives the wisest advice to mankind. He discovers to sinners their miserable condition, points out the way of salvation, and encourages them to faith and repentance. He sets before them the evil and danger of sin, and exhorts them to avoid it. He gives them an affecting discovery of the excellence and advantage of holiness, and encourages them to pursue it. He directs them how to withstand temptations, how to maintain their ground against enemies, and how to act under trials. In all dark and perplexing cases he gives them counsel by his word and Spirit. Every believer, like David, relies upon him for it, and importunes him to give it. "Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." Psalm lxxiii. 24. His counsel is wholesome, it is freely given, and when duly attended to will ever prove successful and profitable.
FINALLY. He possesses a fulness of glory and blessedness. In his divine nature he is God over all and blessed for ever, and dwells in light which is inaccessible and full of glory. His glory is the infinite perfection and excellence of his own nature, and his blessedness is nothing dependant, nothing derived, but the pleasure which he has in his own excellence. Instead of appearing arrayed in all his divine glory, when he came into this world, he concealed it, in great measure, under the veil of human nature, and the peculiar circumstances of his humbled condition. "Who, being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.' Phil. ii. 6, 7. To
superficial observers he seemed to have no beauty or comeliness, to be no more than a man, and a man of sorrows. His disciples, however, and others who carefully attended to his doctrine, works and character, "saw his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
He has a fulness of glory connected with his mediatory work, which he possesses both for himself, and as the source of glory and blessedness to his people. He was set up from everlasting as the covenant head of the elect, to become incarnate, in order to redeem and save them, and to be the source of all grace and glory to them. This he had with the Father before the world existed, and for this he prayed to his Father, when he had finished the work assigned him. This glory, though actually possessed by him in his person from eternity, was veiled by his state of humiliation, until his work was completed; after which he was to enter upon it in human nature, on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He possessed all that glory in his person, but not as actually incarnate. This was reserved till the termination of his humbled state, when he should be exalted in human nature to the possession of that glory. To the two disciples, depressed with sorrow on account of his death, he said, Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" Luke xxiv. 26. Luke xxiv. 26. "The prophets, under the influence of the Spirit, testified before hand, nct、 only of the suff rings of Christ, but also of the glory that should follow." 1 Pet. i. 11. For this he prayed, John xvii. 5. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with that glory which I had with thee' before the world was." On this he entered at his ascension.
"He was received up into glory." 1 Tim. iii.