Page images
PDF
EPUB

God who shouted for joy at creation; keep their first estate ; stand continually in the presence of God, and do his pleasure. He is, however, next to them in dignity as a creature; and it was in his nature that Jesus appeared among men. Man had violated the law of God, and it demanded satisfaction. · He lost the holiness of his nature by the fall; and it was absolutely necessary he Tould be delivered from guilt and corruption, ere God could look on him with approbationa That justice might be fatisfied, and a righteousnefs brought in, suited to the guilt and unholinefs of finners, Jefus appeared in the likeness of finful flesh. Verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the feed of Abraham. As the children (whom he came to redeem) were para takers of flesh and blood, he also himfelf likewise took part of the same ; that through death, he might deAroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil : and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their life-time subject to bondage. Heb. ii. 14, &c.

Being made lower than the angels, then respects his becoming bone of the bone, and flesh of the flesh, of his people. He was made a little lower than the angels. The translators of the Old Testament from the Hebrew language to the Greek, seem to have understood that the man spoken of in the Psalm, was not only to be made inferior to the angels, which intimates to us the state in which he was to appear, but that his continuance was to be short in that state ; as they have not only given us a Greek word fimilar in its meaning to the Hebrew; which respects his state of inferiority, but have also made use of a Greek adjective to denote the duration of that inferiority. The passage should therefore be read

thus,

thus, Thou madeft him for a little time lower than the angels. That the translators expressed nothing contrary to the mind of God in the words, appears from Paul's using them under the direction of the Holy Spirit, as they are found in the Greek.

Thus the duration of Christ's inferiority to the angels was to be short. The time between his birth and death was determined. However malignant his enemies were, they could not haften his death a single moment ;, nor according to the purpose of God respecting his death, could it be for a moment delayed.

2. For the suffering of death. This was the defign of his being made for a little time lower than the angels.

The appearance and death of Christ are feldom mentioned in Scripture, without the design being also specified. This is sufficiently proved by the following passages: All we, like fbeep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way : and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was wounded for our transgressions ; he was bruised for our iniquities ; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his Aripes we are healed. Did it please the Lord to bruise him, and to put him to grief ? It was when he made his soul an offering for fin. He came to give his foul a rana fom for them. He bare our fins in his own body, on the tree. He took away fin by the facrifice of himfelf. Was the Son of God manifested ? It was that he might take away our fonso Chris died for our fins according to the Scriptures. These words not only teach us the truth that Jesus died, but also the purpose accomplished by it.

3. He was crowned with glory and honour. Jefus was thus exalted as the reward of his work,

Philip.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Philip. ii. 5-11. Heb. i. 4. as well as for the purpose of accomplishing the ends of his death in the salvation of his people. Acts v. 31. Hav

ing become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross ; God also hath highly exalted him,' &C. Philip. ii. 8–11. When he had by himself

purged our fins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High,' &c. Heb. i. 3, 4. See also Psalm lxviii. 16-19. compared with Eph. iv. 8. Dominion and power were given to him. Or, according to the words of Paul, All things were put under bim. See Mat. xxviii. 18. Acts ii. 36. Rom. xiv. 9. Ifai. ix. 6, 7. Jesus declares, The Father judgeth no man ; but hath committed all judgment to the Son : that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. The 27th verse is very remarkable : He hath given him authority to execute judgment also, BECAUSE HE IS THE Son of Man. There are many other passages of a similar kind, which will frequently occur to a careful reader of the word of God.

Emmanuel obtained a perfect victory over death and hell. Principalities and powers were over. come by him, and subjected to his authority and controul. He made a skew of them openly triumphing over them in his cross.' How glorious is Jesus represented when taking poffeffion of the glory and honour with which his Father crowned him. Jehovah's approbation of what he had done, was fignified by raising him from the dead, and setting him at his own right hand, far above all principality, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named : and saying to him, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool? His victory was proved to be complete, by leading captivity captive : carrying with him the spoils of the kingdom of darkness. His glory was fully

displayed

displayed before all the heavenly world, when the chariots of God and thousands of mighty angels attended him in his ascension, as they had formerly in Sinai waited in his train. Pf. lxviii. 17.

They brought his chariot from above,

• To bear him to his throne ;
" And with a shout exulting cried,
"The glorious work is done."

And,
“ The faints came forth in blazing ranks,
" To view the grand folemnity.”
Having thewn that Jesus, who-was made for a

a' little time lower than the angels for the suffering of death, was crowned with gloxy and honour. Paul teacher The apostle knowing that the words would be misunderstood in future, , and.. would therefore be misapplied, as they had doubtless been before; corrects the mistake by saying, We fee not yet all things put under him ; that is, under inan. All : things must in this place mean all creatures, and all events, with every circumstance connected with each ; for he says, In that he put all things under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. The authority he poflefles is under no limitation whatever: but this cannot be said of man: therefore the words do not apply to him. But if we. believe that the Scriptures cannot be broken, where shall we find the being of whom they teftify? Paul shall furnish the answer: We fee Jesus, who was made for a little time lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he, by, the grace of God, should tafte death for every man.

When we consider that the outward appearance of Jefus Christ hid his nature and character from

N. 3

thofe, ther,

those who judged only by external things; and yet that he was precious in the eyes of God; a prophet seeing this by the Spirit, would be led to ask, What is man that thou art mindful of him ; or the Son of man, that thou shouldA visit him?

Again ; when we take a view of the general treatment he received from men, his death, and the circumstances attending it; and, on the other hand, confider the manifestations of divine regard he received in his life, at his death, resurrection and afcenfion; the fame question is neceffary: What is man that thou art mindful of him; or the Son of man, that thou shouldA visit him? What was there in the nature, character, and work of this Son of man, that could fo attract the attention, and engage the affections of Jehovah ? The reason is given in the Scriptures. He was the Father's servant in the work of redemption ; therefore he upheld him. His elect; therefore his foul delighted in him. God had called him in righteousness, and would give him for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations : and in that character he said to him, “ I will hold thine hand, " and will keep thee.

Thus was he mindful of, and visited him whom the nations abhorred, and whom the nations flew. Did God lay the help of his people on one who was mighty; exalt one chosen out of the people, even David, his fervant, and anoint him with his holy oil ? He also declared, My hand fall be established with him ; mine arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact upon him ; nor the son of wickedness afliet him. And I will beat down his foes before his face ; and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him; and in my name ball his horn be exalted. I will fet his hand also in the sea ; and his right hand in the rivers. He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Fa

« PreviousContinue »