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Scripture, however, more frequently distinguishes what is peculiar to his human nature. Acts ii. 30. " of the fruit of the loins of David, according to the flesh." See also Rom. ix. 5. 1 Pet. iii. 18. " being put to death in the flesh," that is to say, being affected chiefly and most visibly in his human This text will be adverted to again in the sixteenth
The incarnation of Christ consists of two parts; his conception and his nativity. Of his conception the efficient cause was the Holy Spirit. Matt. i. 20. "that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.' Luke i. 35. "the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee;" by which words I am inclined to understand the power and spirit of the Father himself, as has been shown before; according to Psal. xl. 6, 7. compared with Heb. x. 5, 6. “a body hast thou prepared me."
The object of this miraculous conception was to obviate the contamination consequent upon the sin of Adam. Heb. vii. 26. "such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners."
The nativity of Christ is predicted by all the prophets, and more particularly in the following passages. Mich. v. 2. "thou Bethlehem Ephratah.... out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel." Isai. vii. 14. 'behold, a virgin shall conceive." xi. 1. "there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse." The history of the nativity is given Matt. i. 18-25. Luke i. 42. “blessed is the fruit of thy womb." ii. 6, 7. "the days were accomplished that she should be delivered." v. 22. "when the days of her purification were accomplished."
That the Messiah is already come is proved, in contradiction to the belief of the Jews, by the following arguments. First, the cities of Bethlehem and Nazareth, (where according to prophecy Christ was to be born and educated, Mic. v. 2. Zech. vi. 12. "behold the man whose name is (Nezer, ro the Branch,") are no longer in existence. Secondly, it was predicted that his advent should take place while the second temple and the Jewish government were yet in being. Hag. ii. 7. 9. "I will fill this house with glory: the glory of this 5 See pp. 153 and 163.
latter house shall be greater than of the former." Dan. ix. 24. seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression.... and to anoint the most Holy." v. 26. "after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off.... and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city." v. 27. "he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." Zech. ix. 9. "rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy king cometh unto thee." Gen. xlix. 10. "the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come," by which name the three most ancient Jewish commentators, Onkelos, Jonathan, and Hierosolymitanus, understood the Messiah." Dan. ii. 44. "in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom." Lastly, because the Gentiles have long since put away the worship of other gods and embraced the faith of Christ, which event, according to the prophecies, was not to take place till after his coming. Gen. xlix. 10. "unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Isai. ii. 2. "it shall come to pass in the last days.... that all nations shall flow unto it." See also Mic. iv. 1. Hag. ii. 6. “yet once, it is a little while.... and I will shake all nations." Mal. iii. 1. “the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple."
CHAP. XV.-OF THE OFFICE OF THE MEDIATOR AND OF HIS THREEFOLD FUNCTIONS.
THE nature of Christ the Mediator, human as well as divine, has been already defined.
THE MEDIATORIAL OFFICE of Christ is that whereby, AT THE SPECIAL APPOINTMENT OF GOD THE FATHER, HE VOLUNTARILY PERFORMED, AND CONTINUES TO PERFORM, ON BEHALF OF MAN, WHATEVER IS REQUISITE FOR OBTAINING RECONCILIATION WITH GOD, AND ETERNAL SALVATION."
6 See Poole's Synopsis in loc. where, besides the authorities mentioned by Milton, other Jewish commentators are cited as admitting the same interpretation of the passage.
Men hereafter may discern
Paradise Regained, II. 164.
AT THE SPECIAL APPOINTMENT OF GOD THE FATHER. Isai. xlii. 1. "behold my servant.... mine elect in whom my soul delighteth." lxi. 1. "Jehovah hath anointed me." Hence he derived the name of Messias, of Christ, Psal. ii. of "the messenger of the covenant," Mal. iii. 1. and of "the advocate," 1 John ii. 1. "we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ." Psal. cx. 4. "Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent." Rom. iii. 25. "whom God hath set forth." Heb. v. 4-6. "so also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest." x. 9, 10. "I come to do thy will, O God... by the which will we are sanctified." John iii. 16, 17. “God gave his only begotten Son.... God sent not his Son into the world to condemn-." v. 34. "God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." vi. 27. "him hath God the Father sealed." x. 36. “him whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world." Gal: ï. 4. 66 who gave himself.... according to the will of God and our Father."
VOLUNTARILY. John xv. 9. 66 as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you." Rom. viii. 35. "who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, &c. .. .. or sword?" Eph. iii. 19. "the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge."
WHATEVER IS REQUISITE FOR OBTAINING RECONCILIATION WITH GOD. Rom. v. 10. "we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son." 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. "all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." 1 John ii. 2. "he is the propitiation for our sins."
ETERNAL SALVATION. Matt. i. 21. "thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” 1 Tim. i. 15. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." John i. 17. " grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." 1 John iv. 9. "God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live by him.' 1 Thess. v. 9. 10. "God hath not appointed us to wrath, salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord."
but to obtain
The name and office of mediator is in a certain sense ascribed to Moses, as a type of Christ. Gal. iii. 19. "the law
To God is no access
Without mediator, whose high office now
Paradise Lost, XII. 239.
was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. What the nature of his office was, is explained, Acts vii. 38. "this is he.... who received the lively oracles to give unto us," compared with Deut. v. 5. "I stood between Jehovah and at that time to shew you the word of Jehovah."
In treating of the office of the Mediator, we are to consider his threefold functions as PROPHET, PRIEST and KING, and his manner of administering the same.
HIS FUNCTION AS A PROPHET IS TO INSTRUCT HIS CHURCH IN HEAVENLY TRUTH, AND TO DECLARE THE WHOLE WILL OF
HIS FATHER. Deut. xvii. 15. compared with Acts iii. 22. and vii. 37. "Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee." Isai. lxi. 1. "Jehovah hath anointed me to preach," compared with Luke iv. 18. Ezek. xxxiv. 23. "I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David." Zech. vi. 12, 13. "behold the man.... he shall build the temple of Jehovah." Matt. xxiii. 8. 66 one is your master, even Christ." Luke x. 22. no man knoweth who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him." Rev. v. 7. "he took the book.' Hence he is called "counsellor," Isai. ix. 6. and lv. 4. "a witness, a leader and commander to the people." John i. 9. "that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." 1 Cor. i. 24. "the wisdom of God." Heb. iii. 1. "the apostle of our profession." xii. 2. "the author and finisher of our faith." xiii. 20. "that great shepherd of the sheep." Rev. i. 5. "the faithful witness." Heb. i. 2. “God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son." John i. 16-18. "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.... the only begotten Son.... he hath declared him." iv. 25. "when Christ is come, he will tell us all things." xviii. 37. "to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness unto the truth." xv. 15. "all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you."
His prophetical function consists of two parts; one external, namely, the promulgation of divine truth; the other internal, to wit, the illumination of the understanding. The former is mentioned Matt. iv. 17. "from that time Jesus began to preach and to say-;" and Mark i. 14. the latter Luke xxiv. 32, 45. "did not our heart burn within us.... while he opened to us the Scriptures? then opened he their under
standing, that they might understand the Scriptures." Acts xvi. 14. "the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended unto the things that were spoken of Paul." John viii. 12. "I am the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
Christ's prophetical functions began with the creation of the world, and will continue till the end of all things. 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. "the spirit of Christ which was in them.... when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ," &c. iii. 19. "by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.' John i. 10. "he was in the world.... and the world knew him not.' Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. "go ye therefore and teach all nations.... and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Acts i. 3. " to whom also he showed himself alive after his passion.... speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." 2 Cor. xiii. 3. "since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me.'
CHRIST'S SACERDOTAL FUNCTION is that whereby HE ONCE OFFERED HIMSELF TO GOD THE FATHER AS A SACRIFICE FOR SINNERS, AND HAS ALWAYS MADE, AND STILL CONTINUES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR US.
CHRIST'S SACERDOTAL FUNCTION. Psal. cx. 4. " thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Zech. vi. 13. "he shall be a priest upon his throne." Heb. v. 10. "called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek." See also vii. 17, 20, 21.
ONCE OFFERED; virtually, and as regarded the efficacy of his sacrifice, from the foundation of the world, as above stated; Rev. xiii. 8. actually, in the fulness of time, and that once for all, Heb. vii. 27. ix. 25, 26, 28. "Christ was once offered." x. 10, 12, 14. "by one offering." 1 Pet. iii. 18. "Christ hath once suffered for sins."
HIMSELF AS A SACRIFICE. Isai. liii. 10. "when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin." Psal. xl. 6, 7. "burntoffering and sin-offering hast thou not required: then said I, Lo, I come." Eph. v. 2. "Christ hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God." Heb. ix. 14. "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself." Being God-man he offered himself in that capacity; "he who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, made himself of no reputation," &c. Philipp. ii. 6, 7. He offered himself, however, more particularly in his human nature, as many passages of Scrip