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BECAUSE HE IS MAN.
already recognized, that after he had expired on the cross, his soul continued to exist; and continuing to exist, that soul was presently reunited to his body, which was raised on earth and glorified in heaven: Luke xxiv, 31-53; Acts i, 9-11; I Cor. xv, 4449; Phil. iii, 21; Rev. i, 5. 7. 13, &c. “ There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus ;" (I Tim. ii, 5;) and this man Christ Jesus, the Son of Mary, the rod out of the stem of Jesse,“ was dead, and is alive" Rev. ii, 8. He is the “ first-born from the dead,” (Col. i, 18) the “first-born among many brethren,” (Rom. viii, 29) “ the first fruits of them that slept,” (1 Cor. xv, 20) “the Captain of our salvation” made“ perfect through sufferings :" Heb. ii, 10. Herein, therefore, the children of God, who are led by his Spirit, may rejoice with unspeakable joy, even that Christ is “ not ashamed to call them brethren,” (Heb. ii, 11) that they are “ heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ,” (Rom. viii, 17) and finally, that they have a merciful and faithful High Priest, who is “ touched with the feeling of their infirmities," and who, having himself “ suffered being tempted,” is able to “ succour them that are tempted:” Heb. ii, 18. iv, 15.
But, while we acknowledge that Jesus, in his reign, is still clothed with the human nature, and that he is, therefore, in all things subject to God the Father, “ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named," yet, on the other hand, from a variety of particulars recorded in Scripture, in connection with this glorious division of his revealed history, it will by no means be difficult to prove that Christ, the Head of the Church, and the Lord of all things, is also God. The analogy of divine truth, and the comparison of ScripTHE DEITY OF CHRIST IN HIS REIGN. 325 ture with Scripture, will be found, I believe, very plainly to evince, that no one can possess the authority, exercise the powers, or rightly receive the honours, which are severally attributed to Christ in his reign, who does not himself participate in the nature and essence of the Supreme Being.
I shall now proceed to unfold these evidences of the deity of Christ our King, in the order which after due consideration, I deem to be the clearest.
I. That Jesus Christ, in his reign, is the Shepherd and Bishop of souls; (1 Pet. ii, 25 ;) the supreme Head of that church of God, which is gathered together out of every kindred, and tongue, and people ; (Eph. iv, 15;)—that he has bought his followers with a price; (1 Cor. vi, 20;) and that they are now his absolute possession ;-is a doctrine which is clearly stated in various parts of Scripture, and which forms, more especially, one of the most conspicuous and distinguishing features of the apostolic epistles. Now, in this point of view, Jesus Christ is to be regarded as occupying a position infinitely superior to that of any of the patriarchs, or prophets, or indeed of any of the mere creatures of God, however powerful their nature, or exalted their station. They are nothing more than servants—the mere subordinate agents of the Father's will. He is the Son of that Father, and, in his own power and authority, he forms, possesses, and regulates, the Father's household. Such a distinction between Christ and the prophets, was clearly indicated by Jesus himself, in his parable of the servants and the son, who were successively sent to receive the fruits of the vineyard; (Matt. xxi, 33— 41;) and is powerfully maintained and elucidated in the following comparison between Jesus and Moses: 326 HE IS THE SUPREME GOVERNOR " Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man (or this person) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man, but he that built all things is God. And Moses, verily, was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end :" Heb. iji, 1-6.' It is generally allowed, and is indeed quite evident, that the word “house,” here signifies “household”—the household, or church, of God. Moses presided as a servant over the ancient Israelitish church, which was, in his day, the house of Jehovah. Jesus Christ, as a Son, governs that larger family of God, the Christian church. Nor does he merely govern that church ; he actually possesses it. It is his own house, because he “ builded” it. And, in building this spiritual house, he displayed his divine nature and attributes,—for “ he that built all things is God.”
But it is not merely over the Church that Jesus Christ exercises his dominion. All the creatures of God are, for the church's sake, made subject to his reign. All power is given unto him in heaven, and in earth: Matt. xxviii, 18. He is able, by his working, to subdue all things unto himself: Phil. iii,
OF THE CHURCH AND THE UNIVERSE; 327 21. He is the “heir of all things:" Heb. i, 2. “Angels, authorities, and powers,” are “made subject to him :" I. Pet. iii, 22. God “set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come ; and put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all :” Eph. i, 20—23. He ascended up “ far above all heavens, that he might fill all things :" Eph. iv, 10.
Now, although, in these and other similar descriptions of the empire of the Lord Jesus Christ, the distinctive character of the Father who put all things under him, and who is therefore excepted from that empire, is plainly recognized, yet, I think the more deeply we reflect on the subject, the more thoroughly we shall become convinced, that the Person who is thus possessed of supreme and unlimited authority over the universe of God, the Person who commands, controuls, and regulates, the most exalted and powerful of created essences the Person, of whom it is declared, in the very words which the Almighty has elsewhere appropriated to himself, that at his name,“ every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess,” (Phil. ii, 10, 11; comp. Isa. xlv, 23) cannot possibly be a mere man, or the spirit of a mere man made perfect, but must actually participate in the nature and being of the only true God. In that sublime view of his absolute and unlimited authority, which the sacred writers have thus spread before us, we can scarcely fail to perceive a clear confirmation of evidences already
considered, that, as the Father and the Son are one in power, and one in honour, they are also one in essence. · 11. The preceding argument, which rests on the authority and extent of the reign of our Redeemer, may be satisfactorily supported by the consideration of its nature and character. From the prophetical declarations of the Old Testament already considered, we plainly learn that the introduction of the Christian dispensation was to be accompanied by the establishment of a powerful and ever enduring kingdom, over which the Messiah was to be king. The prophecy has been accomplished; the Christian dispensation has been introduced; the Son of God has been made manifest in the flesh; he has ascended up on high ; and where is it that we are to look for his kingdom? Not in temporal dignity-not, as the Jews had fondly expected, in the powers and glory of this present transitory world; but in a dominion conducted by an invisible agency over all the creatures of God; and, as far as relates to mankind, in a moral and spiritual government over their souls. When Jesus was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come—that kingdom which the predictions already alluded to had excited them to expect—"he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, lo! here, or lo! there; for behold the kingdom of God is within you :" Luke xvii, 20, 21. The same or a precisely accordant doctrine, was promulgated by Jesus when he was standing before the tribunal of Pilate. When the Roman governor addressed him with the question, “Art thou the king of the Jews ?” Jesus answered, “ My kingdom is not