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(o avròs) he himself,” the same Being from all past to all future time.
The passage just now referred to is; “ Thou, at the beginning, O Lord, hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are works of thy hands: they shall perish, but thou shalt endure, and they all as a garment shall grow old, and as a covering thou shalt roll them up, and they shall be changed: but Thou art the same, and thy years will not fail.”* To the reasons before advanced for regarding this passage as addressed by the apostle explicitly to Christ,t I only add a citation from one of the most free of the modern German critics. “The apostle's more vivid ideas now suggest to him another and still more sublime passage. The sense which he intends is this : God not only addresses the Messiah as a Sovereign, but even as the Eternal Being, the Creator of the world. The quotation is introduced with the copulative and,' referring to verse 8, from which therefore must be repeated unto the Son he saith.' 'Lord' (Kúpios, n7x) is the name used in both the Old and the New Testament, for addressing a superior, particularly a teacher or master : but it is in highest sense applied to God, and, as in this instance, to Christ. The Jews were accustomed to explain that passage of the Messiah, - as expecting from him deliverance from the sufferings of the captivity. Some apply the word • Lord' to God the Father, and the hea* Chap. i. 10–12.
† See vol. I. p. 253–256.
vens,' &c. to the angels. But this explication involves a begging of the question and is extremely forced.
It would also imply the mortality of angels; contrary to the theology of either Jews or Christians. But if the appellative “Lord,' be understood of the Messiah, as the fair principles of interpretation require, he is here also, as in verse 2, denominated the Creator of the world."'*
We have, therefore, I conceive, decisive, reasons for understanding both these passages as ascribing to the Messiah the divine attribute of
VII. We have before remarked upon the exalted regard which the scriptures in many places represent as due to the Name of Christ, and the identity of both sentiment and expression which those passages bear to others, which unquestionably refer to the Almighty Supreme.f Those remarks need not to be repeated, but their purport will be confirmed by the following texts.
The exercise of ecclesiastical discipline is directed to be “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The universal obligation to obey the gospel is to be enforced “ on account of his name.” All the blessings of the gospel are given on the same account : “ Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus." We ought to "give thanks always on behalf of all men, in the name of our Lord
* Heinrichs in Ep. ad Hebr.
p. 46-49. + See, of this Volume, p. 146, 147, 232-236: 463_-465.
Jesus Christ, to God even the Father.” All the duties of practical religion we are to perform" in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God even the Father.” It is the design of Christian obedience,“ that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified by you, and ye by him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.* From the last passage 'no prejudice can be drawn against a conelusion of the superior and divine honour of the Lord Jesus. The sentiment evidently is, that those whose persevering faith and obedience are the instruments of glorifying his name, or shewing forth his praise among mankind, shall be honoured by the evidences of his gracious approbation in the present state, and by their advancement in the future world to perfect holiness and blessedness. In a similar phraseology, the apostle John says,
“ God is LOVE: and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God in him. He that keepeth his commandments abideth in him." But no one would hence infer, that God and the believer are put on a parity.
Here a very important passage may properly be considered, which not only gives information on the honour proper to the Name of Christ,
* 1 Cor. v. 4. Rom. i. 5. i Cor. vi. 11. Eph. v. 20. Col. iii. 17. 2 Thess. i. 12, which might justly, though it cannot be pleaded necessarily, be translated, “ the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ."
+ 1 John iv. 16. iii. 24. See also p. 149, of this l'olume.
but comprehends a full view of a subject which has an intimate relation to our inquiry, the MeDIATORIAL KINGDOM of Christ.
“ Wherefore also God hath highly exalted him, and hath bestowed upon him THE NAME which is above every name; that, in the name of Jesus every knee may bow, of heavenly and earthly and infernal beings ; and that every tongue may confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, unto the glory of God the Father.”*
The connexion and general scope of the passage has been before considered.t The subject manifestly is the Lord Jesus Christ, in his proper and entire person, and in his great official character as the Mediator and Redeemer. The action is the gracious bestowment (éxoploato), conferred by the Divine Father, of a merited reward. The impulsive cause, or reason, is the condescension of the Son of God in suspending the manifestation of his original and essential glory, by assuming human nature under the peculiar circumstances of extreme debasement and suffering. I The final cause is “the glory of God the Father;" the manifestation to intelligent minds, in a manner the most advantageous and surpassing, of the infinite excellency of the divine legislation and moral government. The object or thing bestowed, is the Transcendent Exaltation, the Name of dignity and authority
* Phil. ii. 9—11; to ovouc Griesd.
# See p. 409, 410, of this Volume. VOL. II.
above every created name. This object appears to comprehend several important particulars :
i. The termination of the period of the Messiah's humbled condition, described in the preceding part of the context, as an emptying of himself, assuming a servile and afflicted state, and descending to a miserable death.
ii. The renewed manifestation of his Divine Perfections and Majesty, to holy intelligences : “ THE NAME which is above every name.
iii. The acknowledgment, on the part of the intelligent universe, celestial and human, in the present state and in the state of the dead, * of his supremacy and authority : “ That, in the name, in ackņowledgment of the dignity and dominion, “ of Jesus, every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord."
iv. In the respect which this exaltation has to the human nature, faculties, and enjoyments of the Messiah, it probably includes these as principal circumstances :
(1) His resurrection from the dead.
(2) His being locally translated to a part of the universe, unknown to us in the present life, and called in scripture heaven ; a region which Infinite Wisdom has been pleased to appropriate to the enjoyments of the beatific state, and to the most peculiar displays of the Divine Perfections.
* I earnestly request the reader to compare the phraseology of this part of the passage, with Rev. v. 13, 14.