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at this day; that it hath all along continued the same real, identical being, as that which went up into heaven in the sight of his apostles ; the same essential nature, the same glorified substance, the same proper person.
But, secondly, He is the same also in power. The Scripture doctrine concerning our Lord seems to be this; that, when his appointed commission and his sufferings were closed upon earth, he was advanced in heaven to a still higher state than what he possessed before he came into the world *. This point, as well as the glory of his nature, both before and after his appearance in the flesh, is attested by Saint Paul, in the second chapter of his Epistle to the Philippians. Being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” He did not affect to be equal with God, or to appear with divine honours (for such is the sense, which the words in the original will bear),
66 but made himself of no reputation, and took
See Sherlock's sermon on Phil. ii. 9.
him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore,” i. e. for this his obedience even to the last extremity, even unto death, “ God also hath highly exalted him ;” or, as it is distinctly and perspicuously expressed in the original,
66 God also hath more highly exalted him," that is, to a higher state than what he even before possessed ; insomuch that he hath “ given him a name which is above every name; that at,” or more properly, in, “ 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:” exactly agreeable to what our Lord himself declared to his disciples after his resurrection,
“ All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth :” Matt. xxviii. 18. You will observe in this passage of Saint Paul, not only the magnificent terms in which Christ's exaltation is described, viz. “ that every knee should thenceforward bow in his name, and that every tongue should
confess him to be Lord;” but you will observe also, the comprehension and extent of his dominion, “ of things in heaven, of things on earth, of things under the earth.” And that we are specifically comprised under this authority and this agency,
either of the two following texts may be brought as a sufficient proof: “Where two or three are gathered together, there am I in the midst of you ;” Matt. xviii. 20. which words of our Lord imply a knowledge of an observation of, an attention to, and an interference with, what passes amongst his disciples upon earth. Or take his final words to his followers, as recorded by Saint Matthew : 56 Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world,” — and they carry the same implication. And, lastly, that, in the most awful scene and event of our existence, the day of judgment, we shall not only become the objects, but the immediate objects of Christ's power and agency, is set forth in two clear and positive texts ; : “ The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God," John, v. 25. not the voice of God, but the voice of the Son of God. And
then, pursuing the description of what will afterwards take place, our Lord adds, in the next verse but one, " that the Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man which is in perfect conformity with what Saint Paul announced to the Athenians," as a great and new doctrine, namely, “ that God hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man, whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.'
Having shown that the power of Jesus Christ is a subsisting power at this time, the next question is, as to its duration. Now, so far as it respects mankind in this present world, we are assured that it shall continue until the end of the world. Some of the texts, which have been adduced, prove this point, as well as that for which they were quoted ; and they are confirmed by Saint Paul's declaration, 1 Cor. xv. 24.
6 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father:" therefore he shall retain and exercise it until then. But farther, this
But farther, this power is not only perpetual, but progressive; advancing and proceeding by different steps and degrees, until it shall become supreme and complete, and shall prevail against every enemy and every opposition. That our Lord's dominion will not only remain unto the end of the world, but that its effects in the world will be greatly enlarged and increased, is signified very expressly in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The apostle in this passage applies to our Lord a quotation from the Psalms : “ Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet :” and then draws from it a strict inference; " for in that he put all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that he did not put under him.” And then he remarks, as a fact, “but now we see not yet all things put under him :” that complete entire subjection which is here promised, hath not yet taken place. The promise must, therefore, refer to a still future order of things. This doctrine of the progressive increase and final completeness, of our Lord's kingdom is also virtually laid down