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And it was the Father's doing, as, at a future, an appointed period, he will reassume the reigns of government into his own hand. Though they are now laid on the shoulders of Christ, it is only for a time; in the language of inspiration, “ until “ the mystery of God be finished," Rev. x. 7. “ when (as Paul expresseth it) the kingdom Thall “ be delivered up to God, even the Father, and " he be all in all,” i Cor xv. 24, 28. The Fa. ther's committing all things into the hand of Christ, says, they were, originally, in his own; and the kingdom's being delivered up to the Father, says, it was formerly under his personal management, as was observed above.
The change in our Lord's circumstances now, compared with what they were, in the days of his humiliation, is truly wonderful. Who would think, that the Glorious Man, in the midst of the throne, shining with a splendour which far outdoes the sun in his brightness, was the poor, afflicted and despised Jesus of Nazareth, who tabernacled, above thirty years, with men upon earth? who would think that the distinguished Person, enthroned with the Father, and encompassed with the praises of eternity, was the same Galilean, who was panneled before a heathen tribunal, and treated, by Jews and Gentiles, with unsufferable contempt? who would take the living Lam', in Im. manuel's land, to be the very person, who bled, was torn, panted, and expired on the accursed tree? who could know that exalted Redeemer, a's he appears in his Father's kingdom, to be He whom Joseph of Arimathea wrapped in clean linen, and interred in his garden at Jerusalem ? Nothing will either surprise or delight the raufomed ones more, than the view of Jesus Christ as he is. For, after all they hear, read, think and believe, concerning his personal excellence and glory; upon seeing him, they will, as the queen of Sheba respecting Solomon be obliged to say, “ the one half was never “ told,” i Kings x. 7. the one half did we lay! nay, in respect of what they will then fee him to be, all their former discoveries will appear to have been but darkness, gross darkness and ignorance. The view of this heavenly Man will not only justify all they ever did and suffered for him, but probably fill them with wonder and surprise, because they will not then be capable of shame and remorse, that they loved, adored and served him so little ; that they were so averse to suffering in his cause, and so unforward in such work and warfare as were connected, inseparably connected, with his honour and glory. The heavenly vision of Jesus Christ will fill the redeemed with delightful, rapturous amaze, that ever such an ini maculate, matchless and glorious Master as he, took, and put up with, such low, ignoble, pitiful and worthless servants as they. But, if the view of this change in our Lord's circumstances will be such an agreeable and delightful surprise to the excellent ones of the earth; what, say my brethren, what will be the thoughts, and what the feelings, of unbelievers, upon this discovery! Those who now treat his authority in the gospel with the highest contempt; look on his servants and followers, as silly, credulous souls ; consider his yoke, as an unsupportable burden ; count his day, institutions and ordinances, a weariness scarce to be boin; ftill more, who, avowedly act in opposition to him, his interests and people; 0), what tongue can express, or thought conceive, the horror with which the first
view of the exalted Man will strike such infatuated creatures !
Our Lord's exaltation is an undoubted evidence, that all the family of faith shall likeways, in due time, have their feet let upon a rock, and, as far as they are capable of it, be made partakers with him of his glory. Your future circumstances, believers, of which your Lord's exaltation is the earnest, will be fo different from your present, that you will not ons ly, in a manner, be miskenned by others, but, one ' would think it almost possible, you will then milken yourselves. When set on the rock of glory and triumph, no remainders of your present imperfection, guilt and grief, pain and discouragement, temptation, fear and distress, shall have place ; and, when set there, your conforinity to the glorious Man, in his exaltation, will be so great, as it is imposible for us now to say. Were you to have a present view of the appearance you will then make, it would certainly be more than the earthen vessel could well hold. If John, acquainted with the vision of the Man Christ, was in dan. ger of falling down to worship at the feet of his fellow servant; what strange impressions might such a discovery be supposed to have upon you ? Though “it doth not yet appear what ye shall be," let it suffice, that “when Christ, who is your life, “ fhall appear, ye shall be like him, for ye shall “ fee him as he is,” i John iii. 2. .
Moreover, the exaltation of Christ is a fure proof, as to his enemies, that they shall, in no ways, et cape. The God. Man, whom ye now despise, is fet above you, is constituted and appointed your Judge ; and will, sooner or later, have an awíul reckoning with you. Every degree of opposition to him, and rebellion against him, will cast up. in that final, decisive process; when, to your utter
confusion and despair, you shall be obliged to stand and receive your condemnation from that very mouth, from which you will not now embrace the offers of life and indemnity. What will the Atheist, who treats all religion with ridicule and scorn, think, when the reality of the whole fall appear, to the conviction of assembled worlds What will the Deist say, when the truth of revelation shall, as with a pen of iron, and the point of a diamond, be written on his conscience, at the bar of Christ? What will the Arian, Socinian, and other enemies of our Lord, in his Divine Nature, do; when panneled before him, as God-Man? with what face will the Arminian, and other such enemies of an imputed righteousness, appear, without the wedding garment? How will the swearer shrink, on the citacion to answer for all the impious words spoken against this Judge ? How will the drunkard stagger, under the influence of the wrath of God? How will the fabbath-breaker tremble, in the view of no fabbatim, no rest day nor night, for ever? Where will prayerless perfons, then, hide their guil. ty heads? In what consternation must the despisers of thofe ordinances, wherefore Christ is the fum and substance, stand, to answer for their conduct? Will whore mongers, adulterers, and other unclean per. fons, then, venture to make a mock at luch sins as, once, cost their Judge his precious blood ? In fine, what will all unbelievers, all hypocrites, all unholy, all immoral and profane, wretches, do, at the coming of this Jesus, in his glory, whose calls, by the gospel, they now, so shamefully Night? O firs, put not the evil day far off; because judgment is not speedily executed, for the Lord's fake, do not dream of exemption from it Believe the truth of the doctrine respecting Christ's exaltation ; realize his fitting in judgment; think on the important consequences of that trial to you. Be concerned to have provision for the time to come. Delay not, in a matter of such everlasting moment. The door of mercy is open; this Jesus stretcheth out his arms of grace in the gospel, to receive you : fly, fly, to him, as the ordinance of God for salvation. " Acquaint yourselves with him, and be at peace; " that so good may come unto you.” But, “be. " cause there is wrath, beware left he take you “ away, with a stroke, when a great ranfon shall " Qot deliver you.”
CH A P. IV.
Of the Father's establishing the Mediator's goings. W ITHOUT impropriety, this might be viewed
as a phrase intirely fynonymous with the former : for, as a rock is a solid bottom; when one's feet are set upon it, his goings, at the same time, are established ; or, as some read it, made firm. However, we shall, in the following sections, consider this part of our Lord's exaltation in a different point of light, as expressive of the sphere in which he now moves, the capacity in which he DOW acts.
In our Lord's goings, he acts a part in heaven, where his residence, as the glorified Man, now is; and acts a part respecting the church militant below, and respecting the church triumphant above. As to the church, or churches, on earth, the part he acts in heaven, is as their Advocate and Interceffor with the Father. “If any man fin (says the apostle)