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been accomplished, and his church presented perfect and complete to himself and to his Divine Father; as a faithful ambassador whose commission is finished, he will honourably give it back to Him who appointed him, and will return to his own personal station, as the Divine and Eternal Son : and that then will a new order of the moral universe commence, and the unspeakably vast assemblage of holy creatures, delivered and for ever secured from sin and misery, shall possess the IMMEDIATE fruition of the Father. In his sovereign love the scheme of mediatorial redemption originated; and its blessed completion shall be, in the most sublime and eternally admirable manner, “ unto the praise of his glory.” God will be ALL THINGS IN ALL to these happy beings.*
The writer would be the most presumptuous of mortals, did he imagine himself able to com
* “When this work is perfectly fulfilled and ended, then shall all the mediatory actings of Christ cease for evermore ; for God will then have completely finished the whole design of his wisdom and grace in the constitution of his [the Saviour's] person and offices, and have raised up and finished the whole fabric of eternal glory Then will God be ALL IN ALL. In his own immense nature and blessedness, he shall not only be all essentially, and causally, but in all also : he shall IMMEDIATELY be all, in and unto us. I would extend this no farther than as unto what concerneth the exercise of Christ's mediatory office with respect to the church here below, and the enemies of it. But there are some things which belong to the essence of this state, which shall continue unto all eternity. We shall never lose our relation to Him (Christ), nor he his unto us." Owen on the Person of Christ, p. 316, 317, 360.
prehend this “ MYSTERY OF GOD,” in its astonishing extent, its progress, and its consummation ; or even the smallest of its component parts ; in any manner approaching to completeness. Happy will he be, if the faint and defective sketch which he has drawn should prove instrumental to strengthen the faith, and confirm the attachment and holiness of any, as subjects of the King of saints.
Imperfect and obscure as must be our conceptions of the Termination of the Mediatorial Reign, it is self-evident that it can, in no respect diminish the honours of the Redeemer, or abate the regards of the redeemed. To suppose this, would be to suppose the loss of memory
itself in those pure and blessed minds. We are assured with regard to the felicity of the heavenly state, that “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it;" that “the glory of God will enlighten it, and the Lamb be the light thereof;"' and that its pure and ever-flowing bliss, “ the river of the water of life, proceedeth from the throne of God, and of the Lamb."* The connexion of Christ and his saints is indissoluble : neither things present, nor things to come shall separate them from his love:t and the final state of true christians is expressly called an “ entering into the ETERNAL kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”+
It is now for the attentive reader to consider
+ Rom. viii. 35, 38, 39.
* Rev. xxi. 22, 23. xxii. 1.
2 Pet. i. 11.
whether this epitome of the scriptural statements concerning the Mediatorial Dominion, of our Lord, does not, upon an impartial scrutiny of its terms, furnish that mixture of opposite qualities, -characters of subordination and of supremacy, of dependence and of omnipotence, of created nature and of infinity, which are incongruous and impossible except in one whose unparallelled person is at once human and Divine.
I would request him also to consider, whether this language of scripture can be interpreted satisfactorily and fairly, of nothing more than the moral influence of the Christian religion, excluding the idea of any personal agency, authority, and dignity in Christ himself.* To me, I acknowledge, it does appear that they who “conceive that those expressions which appear to attribute to Christ personal dignity and authority, are wholly figurative,"+ might, upon the same principles and with equal reason, adopt the theory of the Anti-supernaturalists; that Jesus fainted on the cross, and was taken down apparently but not actually dead; that he was resuscitated by the care and efforts of some skilful Essenes;
* The opinion of Mr. Lindsey, and the Calm Inquirer. “ Agreeably to the prejudices and imaginations of Jews and Gentiles, the subjection of all mankind to the rules of piety and virtue, delivered by Christ, is shadowed out under the imagery of a mighty king, to whom all power was given in heaven and earth, &c. Lindsey's Sequel, p 473." Calm Inq. p. 320, 321. See also page 220-222, of this Volume.
+ Calm Ing. p. 320.
that he spent about six weeks in close conceal-
persons, particularly to Saul, whom he accosted near Damascus and prevailed upon to become a leader of the sect, which wanted a man of his character, and talents; and that, in fine, where, how, and when this distinguished reformer and philanthropist ended his days, no historical document whatever has come down to us, and probably care was taken that none should exist.*
If we are not prepared to go to this, and to a still more fearful length; if we recoil from the scheme which would explode all positive revelation, and reduce the Mosaic and the Christian religions to the rank of a benevolent human contrivance; if we think that truth and evidence would be outraged by the adoption of this system ; we shall, I humbly conceive, never find consistent footing for our faith, but in accepting the plain meaning of the words of scripture, as settled by sober and honest verbal criticism. And it is upon this ground of the sober and honest interpretation of words, that when I find such acts and results as have been stated above, attributed to Him who is “ Lord of all," and who
* See Note [A], at the end of this Chapter.
reigneth over the dead and the living,” I cannot but understand them as implying unspeakably more than that his doctrine and precepts should prevail on men to become more virtuous than they were before. Such a figurative empire as this might justly be affirmed of Moses, Confucius, and Mohammed. In a word, if the expressions which have been adduced, do not attribute to Christ an intelligent, personal, and constant agency, in the production of the effects stated; I question whether such a dominion can be shewn, from the language of scripture, to be vested in the Divine Being at all. It would be difficult to find the expression for asserting the universal providence and ageney of the Deity, which might not be neutralized by a dextrous management of the favourite instruments, accommodation and figure.
VIII. An oath is an appeal to the Omniscient and Omnipotent Being, in averment of the truth of a declaration ; the idea being always associated of a prayer, that he would signally punish the falsehood, if the declaration be such. An obtestation is the most solemn kind of injunction including a reference to some being as present,