« 이전계속 »
part of affection to the church, by the glorious acts of anointing the church in Christ, before all time, and regenerating them from the Adam-fall transgression and sealing them in Christ to all eternity. And under this branch of my subject, I cannot but hope that every truly regenerated child of God knows this, and lives in the enjoyment of it from day to day, in that personal knowledge of and communion with each and all, in what John calls “fellowship with the Father, and with bis Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John i. 3.)
But these divine truths are so obvious, and so fully stated in Scripture, that I need not enlarge upon them; I will only, upon the present occasion, request your attention to one scriptural proof farther, that the salvation of our most glorious Christ is Jehovah's salvation, and alike the joint act of the Holy Three in One which bear record in heaven; and that is to the statement which the Holy Ghost hath given by Paul, of Christ's delivering up the kingdom to God, when all the triumphs of his salvation are completed. Speaking of this finished work of our most glorious Christ, when all his enemies he hath brought under his feet, he saith, then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; and when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power," that is, when all the purposes of his mediatorial kingdom shall have been fully answered; the salvation of the church from sin, and all its awful consequences, being finished; hell subdued, and all things which offended destroyed by his Almighty power out of his kingdom; the judgment day passed; the wicked shut up in their own place ; and the righteous in Christ shining forth as the sun in the glory of God: then shall God, the Holy Three in one, receive the mediatorial kingdom from the hands of our Christ; and though he will then, and for ever, continue the same glorious Head of his body the church “ the
fulness that filleth all in all,” yet the purposes of redemption being for ever complete, and nothing more needed in the destruction of sin and evil, the manifestation of God in his trinity of persons to the church, as the church is in Christ, will be unceasingly and eternally, and “God will be all in all.” (1 Cor. xv. 24—28.) Well therefore might the salvation of our most glorious Christ be called Jehovah's salvation; and the glory of our most glorious Christ be said to be great in the accomplishment of it.
I proceed now to the second branch I proposed in this subject, and to which the text in order leads, namely, of the personal glory of our most glorious Christ : “honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him." And here I entreat your closest attention. The Lord the Spirit take both speaker and hearer under his divine guidance ! and I venture then to hope we shall be led to discover, that the honour and majesty of our Almighty God and Saviour became the prior motive in all the events connected with the church. His glory the first and predisposing cause; and the salvation of the church the effect.
From a great variety of passages in the word of God on this sublime subject, we are taught to conclude that infinitely higher ends than hath relation to the church were in the purposes of Jehovah, when in the divine council it was decreed that One of the Holy Three should take into union with himself a medium of visibility; among the many portions which might be named, I shall, upon the present occasion only select one, namely, that very blessed part in the seventeenth chapter of John's gospel, where our Lord thus speaks to the Father: “ And now, O Father! glorify thou me with thine ownself, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (verse 5.) Now observe, that as these words are expressed in a way of prayer, the glory he speaks of could not mean his essential glory of GODHEAD, for this each person in the Holy Trinity had alike in cominon ; it was not in the one to give, neither the other to · receive; each possessed it in the inherent, underived self existence of the GODHEAD. Neither could it be the glory arising from the work of redemption, as the Mediator, for Christ speaks of the glory which he had with the Father “before the world was ;" hence the conclusion is clear, it was his own personal glory; a glory in the union of the double nature, and before an act of mediation had been wrought; and a glory so truly personal as belonged to Christ alone; a retiring into Jehovah, in his trinity of persons; and Jehovah glorifying the person of Christ“ with himself;” the words are express to this purpose : glorify thou me with thine own-self.” Surely here is somewhat infinitely higher than any thing connected with the church !
But this is not all, though no doubt it is the highest and most sublime. For it must be observed also that “honour and majesty is laid upon Christ,” in that, by virtue of this assumption of a nature like ours into union with the Godhead, the Lord of life and glory had personal honour and majesty in becoming the medium of all communication to creatures; and thus rendered the Godhead in a certain degree visible, whose very essence and nature without it would have been impossible to have seen. (1 Timothy vi. 16.) And hence all creation found a source of communication from the Creator to the created; for it is said, “ all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist.' (Coloss. i. 16, 17.) Here again we discover somewhat of the personal glory of Christ, beside that which ariseth from his headship to his church.
Neither is this all. For added to these glorious considerations, it were to invert the very order of things, and lessen to our apprehension the idea the Scriptures give us of the GODHEAD and eternal excellency of Christ, to suppose that the assumption of that holy portion of our nature into the divine was principally for the church, and for her welfare. Whereas the reverse of this was the case; the church was formed for Christ, not Christ for the church. The church in herself, and without an eye to Christ, is nothing. All the members of Christ's mystical body are but as so many cyphers without him. By this mighty One standing at her head, she derives entity and number, without which, the whole world form nothing numerical in being. All which considerations, unitedly taken together, serve to demonstrate somewhat of the personal glory of Christ, such as the text describes : “honour and majesty hast thou laid
The last particular I have to notice, according to my proposal on this subject, is the concluding clause : “ for thou hast made him most blessed for ever.” And this is the natural result of the two former; for our most glorious Christ must be indeed not only most blessed in himself, but blessedness to his people. He is the all in all to his people, in time and to all eternity. In his person, the very heaven of heavens to the whole body the church. In his fulness, the sum and substance of all blessedness, “ for they are complete in him.” He hath undertaken to do all that grace can do, (and that is saying a great word) for his people here. And he himself will be their glory in the world to come. It is not enough in our contemplation of his blessedness to say, that all gifts and graces; our happiness, our holiness, will be given to us by him, to constitute our felicity in heaven ; but it is He himself, which is, and will be, our heaven, our home, our everlasting portion. The most capacious faculties ripened in glory will be
filled from him, in the ocean of his fulness; yea, he saith himself," he that overcometh shall inherit all things;" (Rev. xxi. 7.) and in Him, as our inheritance, we truly possess all things !
And what shall we say more? nay, what can we want more ? let me fold up a long discourse with a short conclusion. You see then, if the Lord be your teacher, some few faint outlines of Him whose glory is great in Jehovah's salvation; how glorious he is in himself, “honour and majesty laid upon him ;” and how immense is his blessedness to his people, for “he is most blessed for ever!" See to it that he is your salvation, your glory, your portion, and that you look for these things nowhere beside, for they can nowhere else be found. And as I would be very jealous over mine own heart on these eternal concerns, so I would affectionately recommend to all the Lord's people, to exercise the same jealousy over their's. I would desire to find nothing satisfying until I find Christ in it; and sure I am nothing will be unsatisfying, how unpromising soever it may be in itself, when I can eye Christ in the dispensation. His conscious presence will be the sweetener of every natural bitterness; and the love-tokens of his favour, in every event of life, the heightener of all joys. Precious Lord Jesus ! I would say for myself, and all thy redeemed ones, vouchafe thy favour which is better than life itself, and let the sweet“ savour of thy name be as the ointment poured forth !” Amen.