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derstand, that the glory of his divine nature shall shine forth, or be demonstrated in a more illustrious manner, than it has hitherto been. When he was here on earth, this glory had, as it were a veil put on it, by reason of the low and humbled state of his human nature: but, when he shall come again in his exalted state, it will never be a matter of doubt to any, whether he be God incarnate or no. And to this we may add, that there will be many things done by him, when he comes to judgment, which will be eminently the effects of his divine power, wisdom, justice, goodness, and faithfulness, whereby the glory of his divine nature will farther appear, in determining the final state, both of angels and men.
2. He is also said to appear in his Father's glory. For the understanding of which let us consider,
(1.) That whatever work he is engaged in, or glory he receives as Mediator, it takes its rise from the Father; it was he that called him to perform it, sanctified, and sent him into the world, furnished him with an human nature, united to his divine Person. From him it was that he received a commission to lay down his life, and to take it upon him again; and it is he who hath appointed the day in which he will judge the world; and, pursuant to this decree and appointment, he will come to perform this glorious work.
(2.) Every thing that he does as Mediator, is referred to the glory of the Father; as he says, I honour my Father, John. viii. 49. and therefore this work, which is, as it were, the laying the top-stone of the glorious fabric of our salvation, will tend eminently to set forth the Father's glory, who laid the foundation stone thereof.
(3.) Whatever work he performs for the honour of the Father, he receives from him, a testimony of his highest approbation of him therein. When he was here on earth, as the apostle says, He received from the Father honour and glory; when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, 2 Pet. i. 17. This testimony was given to him at his baptism, and transfiguration in the holy mount; the latter of which the apostle more immediately refers to, as appears by the following words; therefore we may conclude,
(4.) That since his coming to judgment will be the most illustrious part of his mediatorial work, he will have the most glorious testimony from the Father; and, indeed, his receiving the saints into heaven, who are styled, Blessed of his Father, who shall inherit the kingdom which he had prepared for them, from the foundation of the world, Matt. xxv. 34. will be a standing monument of his approbation of him, or well-pleasedness with whatever he has done in order thereunto; and therefore he may well be said to come in the glory of his Father.
V. He is farther said to come in the glory of his angels. This, indeed is to be understood in a sense different from that of his appearing in his own glory, or that of his Father; for the angels are said rather to behold and admire his glory, than to confer any branch thereof upon him. However, they are described as attending him in his coming, as it is said, He shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, ver. 31. and accordingly he will appear in the glory of his angels, as they shall be his retinue, and bear a part in the solemnity of that day, whereby they not only acknowledge his rightful authority to engage in this glorious work, but their willingness to attend him in every part thereof, in which he thinks fit to employ them, as ministering spirits, in subserviency to the proceedings of that day. And this leads us to consider that glorious solemnity, together with some things that will be done, preparatory to Christ's judging the world. Accordingly it is said,
VI. That he shall come with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trumpet of God, which are the apostle's words, 1 Thes. iv. 16. and he adds, that this shall be attended with the resurrection from the dead, and the change of those who being found alive, shall be caught up together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and elsewhere he says, The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed, 1 Cor. xv. 52. and our Saviour speaks of a throne's being erected; and that when he shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, he shall sit on the throne of his glory, Matt. xxv. 31, 32. We also read of the gathering of the whole world before him, and the separation of the righ teous from the wicked, which is said to be done by the ministry of angels, chap. xxiv. 31. and chap. xix. 28. these things will immediately go before Christ's judging the world: but since it is expressly said, in this answer, that he shall come with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God, this we shall particularly consider. And,
1. When he is said to come with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, it does not seem probable, that by a shout, is meant an articulate sound, as the word is sometimes applied, when used by us, as signifying that joy and triumph which is expressed by those who shout for victory. Notwithstanding the word may be understood in a metaphorical sense, signifying some triumphant expressions of joy, suitable to the great occasions; or the word, which we render a shout, may signi fy the powerful word of command given by our Saviour, whereby the dead are called out of their graves; and agreeable hereunto, it is added, that Christ shall come with the voice of the arch-angel. This has given occasion, to some, to enquire, whether there be one among the angels who is called so, as
being the prince and chief of all the rest, who will receive the word immediately from Christ, and transmit it to other angels, whereby the world will be summoned to appear before his tribunal; but it is very difficult for us to account for this matter. That there is a very beautiful order and harmony among the angels, is beyond dispute; nevertheless, we have no ground to assert, that one is superior to the rest, unless that be the meaning of the word arch-angel, in this, and two or three other scriptures, in which we meet with it. But, though I will not contend with those who are otherwise minded, yet I am rather inclined to think that the word is always applied to our Saviour, and that he is called the arch-angel, as he is the head and sovereign of all the angels, who, as the apostle says, were created by him, and for him, Col. i. 16. and who are commanded to worship him, Heb. i. 6. and, as it is said elsewhere, Angels, authorities, and powers, are made subject unto him, 1 Pet. ii. 22. therefore he certainly has a greater right to this glorious character than any creature.
If to this it be objected, that Christ's being said to come with the voice of the arch-angel, denotes, that the arch-angel is distinguished from him; to this it may be replied, that this does not necessarily follow from hence; for the meaning of the words may be this, that the Lord shall descend with a shout, or powerful word of command, given forth by him, who is the prince and Lord of all the angels, and transmitted by them to the whole world, who shall be hereby summoned to appear before him.
2. He is said to come with the sound of a trumpet; which seems to allude to the use of trumpets, to gather the hosts of Israel together, when they were to march by their armies, or in the day of their solemn festivals, and in the year of Jubilee, which was proclaimed thereby; and accordingly this eternal Jubilee, and triumph of the saints, is said to begin with the sound of a trumpet; not that there shall be a material trumpet, like those in use among us, as some, who have low apprehensions of the glory of this day, have supposed, as though there were nothing figurative in the mode of speaking; whereas the principal thing intended thereby is, that there shall be some glorious ensigns of the divine majesty, or the effects of his power, which shall fill his saints with exceeding great joy, and his enemies with terror, and shall be a signal to all to appear before his tribunal. This is all we need to determine concerning it; though I will not altogether deny the literal sense of the words, provided they be understood in the same manner, as when God appeared from mount Sinai, with the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud, Exod. xix. 16. it is not improbable that there will be a sound like that of a trumpet formed in the air, by the immeVOL. II.
diate power of God, which shall be heard throughout the whole world, which will be an intimation to all, that the great Judge of quick and dead is at hand, and will be a branch of that external glory, with which he shall appear.
We might here have proceeded to consider Christ as seated on his throne, and the glorious work that he shall be engaged in, in judging the world in righteousness, which is the last thing mentioned in this answer: but, since we are led particularly to insist on that subject, and to speak concerning the persons to be judged, as set at Christ's right or left hand, together with the manner of proceeding in that day; the sentence passed, and the final estate of angels and men determined thereby, together with the consequence thereof, both to the righteous and wicked, in some following answers, we shall proceed to speak concerning the application of redemption, or the benefits procured by Christ's mediation.
QUEST. LVII. What benefits hath Christ procured by his mediation?
ANSW. Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption, with all other benefits of the covenant of grace.
QUEST. LVIII. How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured?
ANSW. We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured, by the application of them unto us, which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost.
QUEST. LIX. Who are made partakers of redemption through
ANSW. Redemption is certainly applied and effectually com municated to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it, who are, in time, by the Holy Ghost, enabled to believe in Christ, according to the gospel.
I. IN the first of these answers, we have an account of the blessings, which Christ, as Mediator, has procured for his people, namely, redemption, with all the other blessings of the covenant of grace; and accordingly we may observe, that the covenant of grace is the foundation of all the blessings that we enjoy, or hope for; and, among these, redemption is inclu ded, which having been before considered, we need not, at present enlarge on it.
* See Quest. LXXXVIII—XC
As for those other benefits of the covenant of grace, which are the consequents of our redemption, they differ from it, in that redemption is said to be wrought out for us by Christ, in his own Person, whereas some other benefits we enjoy, are, more especially considered as wrought in us; and these are particularly mentioned in several following answers; which treat of effectual calling, sanctification, repentance unto life, and other graces, which are inherent in us, whereby our hearts and actions are changed and conformed to the will of God. And there are other blessings which, more especially, respect our state God-ward; such as justification, in which our sins are pardoned, and our persons accepted; and adoption, wherein we are made and dealt with as God's children; and there are several other benefits which follow hereupon, whereby the work of grace is carried on, and we enabled to go on in the ways of God, with spiritual peace and joy in believing, till we come to glory.
II. It is farther observed, that we are made partakers of these benefits by the application thereof to us; first, they are purchased, and then applied. We are first redeemed by price, and then delivered by the almighty power of God, and the application hereof is said to be more especially the work of the Holy Ghost; whereas the purchase of it only belongs to the Me diator.
In considering the application of redemption, we may ob serve, that it is a divine work, and therefore not to be ascribed to ourselves, but it is the gift of God, Eph. ii. 8. and, as it is a work appropriate to God, so it is, in several scriptures, said to be wrought in us by the Holy Ghost. Accordingly we are said to be born of the Spirit, John iii. 5. and saved by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, Titus iii. 5. upon which account, the Spirit is sometimes called the Spirit of holiness, and power, and he is said to dwell in us; which plainly shews that he is eminently glorified in the application of redemption.
But inasmuch as it is said, in one of the answers we are explaining, that this is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost, which is a mode of speaking often used by those who treat on this subject; this is to be considered with great caution; and therefore when we speak of it, as the work especially of God the Holy Ghost, we are not to understand it as though the Father and the Son were not equally concerned therein; for it is allowed by all, who have just ideas of the doctrine of the ever-blessed Trinity, that those works, in which any of the divine perfections are displayed, belong equally, and alike, to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; therefore when the appli
✦ Thus divines generally say, Opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indivisa.