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So also Psalm lxxxix. 3, 4. The angel, in his address to the Virgin, refers to these promises. Luke i. 32, 33. "The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." See also Isaiah ix. 7. Dan. ii. 44. and vii. 14. To restrict these passages to the present state of things would be doing violence to the language, unless some very good reason to the contrary could be given. Messiah's kingdom is contrasted with the kingdoms of the world, in respect of duration. In them he will put down all rule, and authority, and power, make them his footstool, and establish and perpetuate his own. The present administration is adapted for collecting his subjects, advancing them to higher degrees of perfection, and preparing them for glory; and when these ends are gained the mode of administration will cease. The vital union between him and his people will remain, and, as every thing belonging to them, in the present state, is carried on according to the covenant of grace; so their enjoyments in heaven will be by the same covenant. Should this union be dissolved, he would cease to be their head, they would cease to be covered with his righteousness, which they have by union, and his Spirit would cease to dwell in them. These all belong to the economical plan, and should that cease, they of course would cease also.
WHEN Christ ascended, he sat down with his Father on his throne, not the throne essentially but economically considered, and from it he conducts the affairs of his kingdom. Then he entered on the glory which he had with his Father before the world was. As the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world he
will occupy that throne for ever, feed his people, and lead them to living fountains of water. From the same throne of God and the Lamb issues the pure river of water of life, which fills the inhabitants of the heavenly city with joy unspeakable and full of glory. This is the kingdom prepared for the little flock from the foundation of the world. As the salvation of sinners, by a Mediator, seems to have been God's great object from eternity, and is his most astonishing work, it would appear exceedingly suitable that the economy should continue; and that the redeemed subjects should
for ever enjoy God through the same medium. This seems to be the import of Rev. xxi. 22, 23. "And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of the Lord did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light of it."
His delivering up the kingdom to the Father at last, respects only the termination of the present state of the kingdom, and the means of its administration. Till this is effected, and all rule, &c. abolished, he reigns according to the present mode; but it does not necessarily infer that he shall reign no longer, for he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever. He is amenable to the Father as his grand constituent, and must in end deliver an account of the whole of his administration; and he will deliver the whole kingdom with himself at the head of it into the hand of the Father, to be under him for ever. Were the economical kingdom to cease, the Father behoved to divest himself of that character in which he sustains the rights of Deity, and the Son also of the Mediatory character, which he conferred on him. But neither of these
will take place, as is evident from the words of inspiration. "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject to him that put all things under him; that God may be all in all." 1 Cor. xv. 24-28. The Father put all things under him, and makes his enemies his footstool. Psalm cx. 1. To him the Mediator is subject, in managing the present state of things, and to him will he be subject after the present state has ceased. Neither of them can be taken in their personal but economical characters. The Son can be subject only as he is Mediator, and that subjection cannot be received by the Father but as sustaining the rights of Deity. The Father as Head of the economy will still be all in all. In him all the majesty, authority and glory of Deity shall shine forth, and from him, as the glorious economical source of blessedness, the glorified church will receive, through the Mediator, eternal felicity. this leads me
II. To take notice of some of those advantages which the church derives from Messiah's Lordship over her.
ANY nation under the wings of a good and righteous king, a wise and attentive administration, may expect to prosper, and cannot fail to enjoy many advantages, to which other nations are strangers; for all the talents and attention of their leaders are directed to that purpose. When the consummate abilties, the divine excellencies, of the church's Lord are considered, the infinite and immutable love he bears to her, and what great things he has already done for her; the most valuable, extensive, and permanent advantages may be expected from the administration of his govern
The excellence and extent of her privileges, and the certainty of her enjoying them may be seen to
great advantage in his promises. In them he has pledged himself, and all that is divine in him, to attend to her interest, to load her with favours, and to consummate every thing necessary to render her perfectly glorious, and completely happy. Such promises, therefore, ought to employ much of the attention of his subjects, to discover their excellence, and to improve them. But I proceed more particularly to observe
1. He will preserve her laws and ordinances from being disannulled, corrupted, or changed.
In all human governments it becomes necessary, on account of the imperfection of their legislators, and the fluctuating state of affairs, to rescind or amend former laws, and to enact new ones: even constitutions have been completely altered. The laws of the Medes and Persians are no more. Succeeding legislators see very differently from their predecessors, and, probably, are as different in their dispositions. The legislative pow er of the church is wholly in her divine Lord, whose wisdom enables him to enact such laws and ordinances, as will fully comprehend every thing respecting the regulation of her affairs, in all places, at all times, and in all circumstances. He has formed her constitu tion so completely as to leave no room for retrenchment, addition, or reformation. No circumstance can ever occur, in her affairs, internal, or external, to which her laws will not apply, and for which they do not would sufficiently provide. To insinuate the contrary be to impeach the wisdom and goodness of her Sovereign. A change took place in the mode of her external administration, in the transition from the Old to the New dispensation; this, however, did not imply any defect, or want of wisdom, in the former state of things: the laws of that dispensations were as wisely
adapted to that state, as the existing laws are to the present state.
THE Scriptures contain all the laws and ordinances of the church. In them she sees in what manner her Sovereign has determined to manage her affairs; what important ends he has proposed to himself; and what immunities he confers upon his subjects. Here she learns the nature and extent of her subjection to him, as her supreme Lord. His laws are explicit. No discretionary power is left with her to receive or reject them, or to make a partial selection of any part of them, in preference to another. They contain a complete code, admitting of no addition; every attempt of man, therefore, to annex traditions, and superstitious ceremonies, is high treason against the Sovereign, and exposes to incalculable danger. If any shall add unto them, God will execute upon them the sanction of these laws and if they take away any part of them, he will exclude them from every privilege belonging to his kingdom. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. The relation which the church holds to her Lord, and the importance of his laws to her own interest, powerfully oblige her to stu dy these laws, and to make herself thoroughly acquaint ed with them. She can never obey him till she know what his laws require; and, as the happy enjoyment of his favour is connected with a careful and conscientious observation of his ordinances, it will tend much to her interest to know them, and attend to them. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness." 2 Tim. iii. 16. THE wastes of time, by which all sublunary things perish, have never affected these laws All things that have conspired, or contributed to obliterate human