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-case it seems, upon a superficial view, to confound them, the passages will be easily understood, by the principle of the communication of properties, in the sense already explained. The truth is, that it was neither the sense nor the sound of Scripture which led the Lutherans to adopt their opinion ; it was, if I may speak so, a second thought, and was forced out of the Scripture, by perverting and torturing it, to support their foolish hypothesis respecting the sacrament. Were they asked, What they mean by the ubiquity of the human nature of Christ? I am persuaded that every intelligent person among them, speaking without prejudice, would acknowledge that he could not tell. Å body can be present every where, only by being infinitely or indefinitely extended. Do they imagine that the body of our Saviour is commensurate with the universe, or even with this world ? If they say so, do they affix any idea to their words; or can any person affix an idea to them ?
The last effect of the hypostatical union, which I shall mention, is the honour which results from it to the human nature of our Saviour. This consists, primarily and chiefly, in the relation which it bears to the divine nature. God is said to dwell in the saints, but not as he dwells in the man Christ Jesus. The union, in this case, is of a peculiar kind; no other man ever was, or ever will be, so united to the Godhead. He who is God, has made our nature his own. This is the highest honour which could be conferred upon a creature, and would be incredible, were we not assured of it by the Word himself, who was made flesh. By the assumption of our nature, it was exalted above all created beings. Angels were originally greater than man; but man is now elevated above them; that is, his nature has obtained a rank, which leaves the loftiest of the heavenly host at an immeasurable distance. “ Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands."* A man now sits upon the throne of the universe, and exercises dominion over all things in heaven, in earth, and in hell; a man is appointed to be the Judge of the world. It is evident, however, that he could not have been invested with this authority, if he had not been also God; for the government and final judgment of the universe manifestly require divine perfections, the knowledge of all things, unerring wisdom, and almighty power.
It has been inquired, Whether the human nature of Christ is the object of religious worship? but I apprehend this question is not attended with much difficulty. We do, indeed, find the Church in heaven and on earth, and the angels who surround the throne, worshipping the Lamb that was slain, and ascribing to him blessing, and honour, and glory and power; but we know that there is just ground for this homage in the divine nature which he possessed with the Father before the world began. The formal reason of religious worship is the infinite excellence of him to whom it is addressed. It is the want of this excellence which renders the worship of saints and angels idolatry. “ Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only thou shalt serve.”+ It follows, therefore, that the human nature of Christ, although glorified above all conception, cannot be the formal object of worship, because it is a creature. The personal union did not deify it, but merely gave it a subsistence in the Second Person of the Trinity. We worship him who is God and
man, but we worship him because he is God. We pray to him, because, as God, he hears and can help us; we wait on him, and obey him, because he is possessed of divine power and authority. This is the proper reason of those acts of worship which we perform to the Son; but the consideration that he still wears our nature, in which he died upon the cross, and ascended to heaven, is a powerful motive to serve him, and our great encouragement to
* Heb. ii. 7.
† Matt. iv, 10.
hope for acceptance. While we look up to him as one who is bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, and has a fellow-feeling of our infirmities, the awe with which the contemplation of his uncreated greatness would have inspired us, is abated, and we are emboldened to commit ourselves to his care, and confidently to expect his gracious aid in every time of need.
There is another question connected with the person of Christ, namely, Whether he is the object of worship as mediator? Divines commonly answer this question in the negative; because, in this character, he is inferior to the Father, and because he is the medium through which our prayers are offered up, and our services are accepted. His inferiority is, perhaps, not a sufficient reason for excluding the Mediator from divine honours, because it is merely economical, and is consistent with his equality in all other respects. In thinking of his official character, we must not lose sight of his essential dignity. It is acknowledged, however, that the ordinary method of Christian worship is, to address the Father by the Son; to pray to the Father for blessings, and to plead the merit of the Son as the argument for obtaining them. “ Through him, we both (Jews and Gentiles) have access by one Spirit unto the Father."'* We come to the Father through the mediation of the Son, and by the assistance of the Spirit. We do not usually pray to the Son, but to the Father in his name; yet prayers may be addressed to the Son, because he also is God, and ought, by the express command of the Father, to receive the same honour from men with himself; and although, to speak accurately, we pray in the name of the Mediator, and not to him, yet I am not sure that exact attention to this distinction is absolutely necessary in practice, or that it is always observed by the people of God. There is no doubt that they often address him as their Saviour and Intercessor, and there are passages of Scripture which seem to set them an example. Did not John think of him as mediator when he uttered this doxology, “ Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever?'+ And is he not viewed in the same character by the Church, when it says, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing !"! In a word, when we pronounce these words, “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you Amen:" do we not address him as a distinct person from the Father, and a distinct agent in the work of our salvation, and, consequently, as the mediator, to whom is committed the dispensation of the grace of the new covenant?
It is surprising that there should have been any dispute on this subject, while certain principles are granted by all parties, which are fully sufficient to terminate the controversy. It is acknowledged that we ought to love the Mediator with religious affection, that we should confide in him, and commit our souls to his care, and that we should bow to his authority, and yield implicit obedience to his law. How, then, can there be any hesitation about the propriety of addressing our prayers to him? Are not faith and love the essence of religious worship? and is there any thing more sacred and solemn in prayer, than in the dedication of our souls and bodies to our Redeemer, that they may be protected by his power and saved by his grace ? He to whom this homage may be justly paid, is entitled to every other honour; and our ingenuity in making nice distinctions is very unwarrantably employed, if it lead us to defraud him of any of his claims. Certainly we shall not err, if, laying aside unprofitable speculations, we humbly and devoutly obey the command which was long ago given to the Church respecting the Messiah, * He is thy Lord: worship thou him."|| • Eph. ï. 18. | Rev. i. 5, 6. Rev, v. 12. $ 2 Cor. xiii. 14. | Psalm xlv, 11. Vol. II.-4
all; LECTURE LIV.
ON THE PROPHETICAL OFFICE OF CHRIST.
The particular offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, included in that of Mediator-Christ's
investiture with them—Their respective provinces, and mutual relations—The prophetical office of Christ-Different periods and modes of administering it-View of Christ's instructions as a Prophet.
The general office with which our Redeemer was invested, is that of mediator between God and man. The nature of that office has been explained, and his qualifications for it have been pointed out. There are some particular offices comprehended in it, which I shall consider in their order.
Before we enter upon them, it will be necessary to attend to the manner in which he was invested with them, and fitted for the performance of their respective duties. We have seen that the fundamental qualification for his mediatorial office, was the assumption of our nature into personal union with the divine ; but this important fact does not include all that the Scriptures say upon the subject. Something farther was done to the assumed nature, to prepare it for the high and arduous part which it was appointed to act.
Our Saviour is called in the Old Testament the Messiah, and in the New Testament the Christ; and both words import that he was the Anointed One. This designation is given to him, in allusion to the rite by which persons were consecrated to their offices under the former dispensation, namely, by being anointed with oil. This rite was observed in the case of the three offices which were most celebrated, those of prophet, priest, and king. With regard to the prophets, we have, I believe, the solitary instance of Elisha ; but it is enough to establish the fact that it was occasionally, if not uniformly, used in setting them apart. The anointing of Aaron and his sons is expressly mentioned in the thirtieth chapter of Exodus ; and particular directions are given with regard to the composition of the oil. Of the anointing of kings, we have examples in David and Solomon. In allusion to this rite, our Redeemer was called the Messiah or the Christ, to signify, not that he was consecrated by the same rite, but that he was solemnly appointed to his office by his Father, and furnished with all the requisite qualifications. The Father says concerning him, as is evident from the context, “ I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him.''* Material oil could confer no power, and impart no qualifications, and was merely a sign, of which the meaning was understood. In the present case, the sign was not used, but the thing signified was communicated in perfection. “He was anointed,” says the Scripture, " with the Holy Ghost.”+
There are two periods at which this anointing took place. The first was his conception, when he was sanctified by the Holy Ghost, endowed with all the graces which can adorn human nature, and with those faculties which, being afterwards developed, excited admiration even in his youth ; for at the age of twelve he astonished the doctors of Jerusalem by his wisdom, both in asking and answering questions. The second was his baptism, when “ the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.”The Spirit coming down from the opened heavens in a visible form rested upon him, to signify, in conjunction with the
• Psalm lxxxix. 20.
† Acts x. 38.
Matt. üi. 16.
voice which proceeded from the excellent glory, to all who were present, that God recognized him as his Son, and bestowed upon him an abundant measure of heavenly influences. In this manner he was publicly installed in his office, and fitted for the discharge of its duties. And thus the prophecy was fulfilled, * The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord : and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, nor reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth : and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."'*
This anointing relates to the human nature of our Saviour. I should have deemed this remark unnecessary, had I not found that even some professed theologians have entertained confused notions of the subject, and have hesitated to admit the plain proposition which has now been laid down. They seem to have been led into a mistake, by supposing that, because he was anointed as mediator, the unction extended to both his natures, forgetting that, in consequence of the hypostatical union, what is done to or by either of them, is done to or by his person. We say that the bearbferos, the God-man, died for us upon the cross; but we mean that he died only as a man. In like manner we say, that our Mediator was anointed to his office; but we mean that he was anointed only in his human nature, unless we refer simply to his appointment to office, &c. And that we ought to mean nothing more, it requires very litile reflection to perceive. The anointing is the communication of the Holy Ghost to qualify him for the duties of his office ; but his divine nature stood in need of no new qualification, and could receive no accession of gifts and graces; whereas, his human nature possessed no excellence which had not been imparted to it, was capable of progressive improvement, and actually grew in wisdom as well as in stature, and in favour with God and with men.
The particular offices to which our Saviour was anointed, were the three which have been already mentioned as existing among the Jews, and which were conferred by the ceremony of pouring or sprinkling oil upon the
persons set apart to them, the prophetical, the sacerdotal, and the regal. The first is ascribed to our Saviour in the following passage, which the use of it in the New Testament authorises us to apply to him, " The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken;'! the second in these words, “ The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek;''I and the third, when God says to him, “ Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.”'S It is unnecessary to bring any quotations from the Christian Scriptures to prove, that all these offices belong to Jesus Christ. It has been remarked that, under the ancient economy, they were held by separate individuals, or at least that never more than two of them were united in the same person. There were kings and priests as Melchizedek; kings and prophets as David; and perhaps, too, prophets and priests in the case of some of the family of Aaron ; but no person occurs who was invested with them all. This honour was reserved to our Redeemer, who alone could realize in himself what was prefigured by the various types. Moses, however, may be considered as an exception, who was at once the prophet of the Lord, the leader of the people, or “ king in Jeshurun,"|| as he is termed ; and a priest, or one who at least performed the duties of a priest prior to the inauguration of Aaron. But this, it is said, was an extraordinary case, admitted only for a time, and not intended to be an example. This instance, however, seems to abate the force of the remark, as does likewise that of Samuel, although I do not find that it has been noticed, who was at once the judge of Israel, a prophet, and a priest. As, however, neither he nor Moses was high-priest, and both ministered occasionally only at the altar, it may be true that no person but our Saviour permanently possessed all these offices.
Ls. xi. 2--5.
Deut, xviii. 15.
# Ps. cx. 4.
Ps. ii. 6.
| Deut. xxxii. 5.
It was necessary that he should be a prophet, a priest, and a king, because the duties of all those offices were requisite to the complete deliverance of his people from the circumstances in which they were placed. The moral condition of mankind shows, that not one of them could be dispensed with. They were involved in ignorance, guilt, and pollution. Their ignorance is removed by his prophetical office, their guilt by his priestly office, and their pollution by his kingly office. As a prophet, he dispels the darkness of ignorance; as a priest, he atones for our sins; as a king, he delivers us from the bondage of depravity. He reveals God to us as a prophet; he brings us near to God as a priest; he renews us after the image of God as a king. As a prophet he illuminates our minds by the spirit of truth ; as a priest, he tranquillizes our hearts and consciences by the spirit of peace; as a king, he sanctifies the whole man by the spirit of holiness. The necessity of all his offices for the complete and final salvation of men, is pointed out in these words of Paul; “Of God he is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”* As these offices relate to both God and man, God being the immediate object of the priestly, and man of the prophetical and kingly office, our Lord realizes the character of a mediator by performing their duties; for he establishes peace between heaven and earth, and binds them together in intimate and inviolable friendship.
In the relation of his offices to one another, the priestly office must be considered as the foundation of the other two. If Christ had not been a priest, he would not have been a prophet and a king ; it being evident that, unless salvation had been obtained for us, it could not be revealed and applied. All his acts towards sinners for their deliverance from sin, and their restoration to the favour of God, pre-suppose an atonement by which Divine justice was satisfied. It was necessary that, as a priest, he should fulfil the condition of the new covenant, before he could administer it as a prophet and a king, for the communication of its blessings. But the order of the execution of his offices towards us is different. In the salvation of the soul, as in the creation of our world, he commences with the diffusion of light. The knowledge of ourselves and of the Saviour, is necessary to the production of faith, by which his righteousness is embraced as the only foundation of our acceptance with God. Conversion consists in “ the opening of the blind eyes, and the turning of the soul from darkness to light;" and this is the work of his prophetical office. When our Prophet manifests himself to us by his word and spirit in his mediatorial character, we come to him as our priest, whose sacrifice has expiated our guilt, and submit to him as our king, whose service is perfect liberty, and whose power will defend us from every evil.
I omitted to mention, in the proper place, that the elder Socinians, who believed that Christ was a mere man, and at first was ignorant of the doctrine which he was appointed to publish to the world, maintained that, before he entered upon his ministry, he was taken up into heaven, and there received all necessary instructions. Thus the Racovian Catechism, which is a summary of their creed, in answer to the question, How Jesus Christ came to the knowledge of the Divine will ? says, “ He ascended into heaven, and there saw his Father, and that life and blessedness which he has announced to us, and heard from his Father all the things which he ought to teach ; and being