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system of grace, the sun to which all its parts are subordinate, and all their stations refer..-which binds them in sacred concord ; and imparts to them their radiance, and life, and vigor. Take from it this cen. tral luminary, and the glory is departed---Its holy harmonies are broken... The elements rush to chaos --- The light of salvation is extinguished for ever!
But it is not the deity of the Son, simply consisidered, to which the text confines our attention. We are in the
Second place to contemplate it as subsisting in a personal union with the human nature.
Long before this epistle was written had he by himself purged our sins, and sat down at the right hand of majesty on high.' It is, therefore, as God
• manifested in the flesh;' as my own brother, while he is the express image of the Father's person,' as the Mecliator of the new covenant, that he is seated on the throne. Of this throne, to which the pretensions of a creature were mad and blasphemous, the majesty is, indeed, maintained by his divine power; but the foundation is laid in his Meditorial character. I need not prove to this audience, that all his gracious offices and all his redeeming work originated in the love and the election of his Father. Obedient to that will, which fully accorded with his own, he came down from heaven; tabernacled in our clay; was ! a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs ;' submitted to the contradictions of sinners ;' the temptations of the old Serpent, and the wrath of an avenging God. In the merit of his obedience which threw a lustre round the divine law; and in the atonement of his death by which he offered himself a sacrifice
a without spot unto God,' repairing the injuries of man’s rebellion, expiating sin through the blood of his cross; and conciliating its pardon with infinite purity, and unalterable truth; summarily, in his performing those conditions on which was suspended all
God's mercy to man, and all man's enjoyment of God, in these stupendous works of righteousness' are we to look for the cause of his present glory. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.' Exalted' thus, to be a Prince and a Saviour,' he fills heaven with his beauty, and obtains from its blest inhabitants the pureșt and most reverential praise. Worthy,' cry the ming led voices of his angels and his redeemed, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. Worthy' again ery his redeemed, in a song which belongs not to the angels, but in which with holy ecstacy, we will join,worthy art thou, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood.'
Delightful, brethren, transcendently delightful were it to dwell upon this theme. But we must refrain and having taken a transient glance at our Redeemer's personal glory, let us turn to the
II. View which the text exhibits-the view of his
sovereign rule-Thy THRONE, O God is forever and ever.
The mediatorial kingdom of Christ Jesus, directed and upheld by his divinity, is now the object of our contemplation. To advance Jehovah's glory in the salvation of men, is the purpose of its erection. Tho? earth is the scene and human life the limit, of those great operations by which they are interested in its mercies, and prepared for its consummation; its principles, its provisions, its issues are eternal. When It rises up before us in all its grandeur of design, col
lecting and conducting to the heavens of God, millions of immortals in comparison with the least of whom the destruction of the material universe were a thing of naught, whatever the carnal mind calls vast and magnificent, shrinks away into nothing.
But it is not so much the general nature of Messiah's kingdom on which I am to insist, as its stability, its administration, and the prospects which they open to the church of God.
Messiah's throne is not one of those airy fabricks which are reared by vanity and overthrown by Time: it is fixed of old: it is stable and cannot be shaken, for
(1.) It is the throne of Gop. He who sitteth on it is the Omnipotent. Universal being is in his hand. Revolution, force, fear, as applied to his kingdom, are words without meaning. Rise up in rebellion, if thou hast courage. Associate with thee the whole mass of infernal power. Begin with the ruin of whateve is fair and good in this little globe---Pass from hence to pluck the Sun out of his place---and roll the volume of dessolation through the starry world ...What hast thou done unto him? It is the puny menace of a worm against Him whose frown is perdition. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh.'
(2.) With the stability which Messiah's Godhead communicates to his throne, let us connect the stabi lity resulting from his Father's covenant.
His throne is founded not merely in strength, but in right. God hath laid the government upon the shoul der of his holy child Jesus, and set him upon mount Zion as his king forever. He has promised, and sworn to build up his throne to all generations;' to 'make it endure as the days of heaven; to beat down his foes before his face,' and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness' adds he, and my mercy shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. Hath he said it? And will he not do it?
Hath he spoken it; and shall it not come to pass 2. Whatever disappointments rebuke the visionary projects of men, or the more crafty schemes of Satan, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.' The blood of sprinkling, which sealed all the promises made to Messiah, and binds down his father's faithfulness to their accomplishment, witnesses continually in the heavenly sanctuary. He must,' therefore, reign till he have put all his enemies under his feet. And although the dispensation of his authority shall, upon this event, be changed; and he shall deliver it up, in its present form, to the Father, he shall still remain, in his substantial glory, a priest upon his throne,' to be the eternal bond of our union, and the eternal medium of our fellowship, with the living God.
Seeing that the throne of our king is as immoveable as it is exalted, let us with joy draw water out of that well of salvation' which is opened to us in the Administration of his kingdom. Here we must consider its general tharacters, and the means by which it operates.
The general characters which I shall illustrate, are' the following.
(1.) Mystery...He is the unsearchable God, and his government must be like himself. Facts concerning both he has graciously revealed. These we must admit upon the credit of his own testimony; with these we must satisfy our wishes, and limit our inquiry. To intrude into those things which he hath not seen' because God has not disclosed them, whether they relate to his arrangements for this world or the next, is the arrogance of one vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. There are secrets in our Lord's procedure which he will not explain to us in this life, and which may not, perhaps, be explained in the life to come. We cannot tell how he makes evil the minister of good: how he combines physical and moral agencies of different kind and order, in the
production of blessings. We cannot so much as conjecture what bearings the system of redemption, in every part of its process, may have upon the relations of the universe; nor even what may be all the connections of providence in the occurrences of this moment, or of the last. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us: it is high, we cannot attain it.' Our Sovereign's way is in the sea, and his path in the deep waters; and his footsteps are not known.' When, therefore, we are surrounded with difficulty; when we cannot unriddle his conduct in particular dispensations, we must remember that he is God; that we are to walk by faith; and to trust him as implicitly when we are in the valley of the shadow of death,' as when his candle shines upon our heads.' We must remember that it is not for us to be admitted into the cabinet of the King of Kings; that creatures constituted as we are could not sustain the view of his unveiled agency; that it would confound, and 'scatter, and annihilate our little intellects. As often, then, as he retires from our observation, blending goodness with majesty, let us lay our hands upon our mouths and worship. This stateliness of our king can afford us no just ground of uneasiness. On the contrary it contributes to our tranquility: For we know,
(2.) That if his administration is mysterious, it is also wise.
Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite. That infinite understanding watches over, and arranges, and directs all the affairs of his church and of the world. We are perplexed at every step; embarassed by opposition; lost in confusion; fretted by disappointment, and ready to conclude, in our haste, that all things are against our own good, and our Master's honor. But this is our infirmity; it is the dictate of impatience and indiscretion. We forget the years of the right hand