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God who fhouted for joy at creation; keep their first eftate; 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 Jefus appeared among men. Man had violated the law of God, and it demanded fatisfaction. He loft the holinefs of his nature by the fall; and it was abfolutely neceffary he fhould be delivered from guilt and corruption, ere God could look on him with approbation. That juftice might be fatisfied, and a righteousnefs brought in, fuited 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 partakers of flesh and blood, he also himfelf likewife took part of the fame; that through death, he might defroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil: and deliver them, who through fear of death were all their life-time fubject to bondage. Heb. ii.
Being made lower than the angels, then refpects his becoming bone of the bone, and flesh of the flesh, of his people. He was made a little lower than the angels. The tranflators of the Old Teftament from the Hebrew language to the Greek, feem to have understood that the man fpoken of in the Pfalm, was not only to be made inferior to the angels, which intimates to us the ftate in which he was to appear, but that his continuance was to be fhort in that ftate; as they have not only given us a Greek word fimilar in its meaning to the Hebrew; which refpects his ftate of inferiority, but have also made use of a Greek adjective to denote the duration of that inferiority. The paffage should therefore be read
thus, Thou madeft him for a little time lower than the angels. That the tranflators expreffed nothing contrary to the mind of God in the words, appears from Paul's ufing them under the direc tion of the Holy Spirit, as they are found in the Greek.
Thus the duration of Chrift's inferiority to the angels was to be fhort. The time between his birth and death was determined. However malignant his enemies were, they could not haften his death a fingle moment;, nor according to the purpose of God respecting his death, could it be for a moment delayed.
2. For the fuffering of death. This was the defign of his being made for a little time lower than the angels.
The appearance and death of Chrift are feldom mentioned in Scripture, without the defign being alfo fpecified. This is fufficiently proved by the following paffages: All we, like sheep, have gone aftray; 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 tranfgreffions; he was bruifed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his fripes we are healed. Did it please the Lord to bruise him, and to put him to grief? It was when he made his foul an offering for fin. He came to give his foul a ranfom 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 manifefted? It was that he might take away our fins. Chrift died for our fins according to the Scriptures. These words not only teach us the truth that Jefus died, but alfo the purpose accomplished by it.
3. He was crowned with glory and honour. Jefus was thus exalted as the reward of his work,
Philip. ii. 5-11. Heb. i. 4. as well as for the purpofe of accomplishing the ends of his death in the falvation of his people. Acts v. 31. ‹ Hav⚫ing become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; God alfo hath highly exalted him,' &c. Philip. ii. 8-11. • When he had by himself purged our fins, he fat down on the right hand of the Majefty on High,' &c. Heb. i. 3, 4. See alfo Pfalm 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 him. See Mat. xxviii. 18. Acts ii. 36. Rom. xiv. 9. Ifai. ix. 6, 7. Jefus 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 alfo, BECAUSE HE IS THE SON OF MAN. There are many other paffages of a fimilar 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 overcome by him, and fubjected to his authority and controul. He made a fhew of them openly triumphing over them in his crofs. How glorious is Jefus 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 raifing 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 faying to him, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footfool! 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
difplayed before all the heavenly world, when the chariots of God and thousands of mighty angels attended him in his afcenfion, as they had formerly in Sinai waited in his train. Pf. lxviii. 17.
"They brought his chariot from above,
The glorious work is done."
The faints came forth in blazing ranks,
Having fhewn that Jefus, who was made for a little time lower than the angels for the fuffering of death, was crowned with glory and honour. Paul teaches us to whom the words he quoted apply. The apostle knowing that the words would be misunderstood in future, and would therefore be mifapplied, as they had doubtlefs been before; corrects the mistake by faying, We fee not yet all' things put under him; that is, under man. things muft in this place mean all creatures, and all events, with every circumftance connected with each; for he fays, In that he put all things under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. The authority he poffeffes is under no limitation whatever: but this cannot be faid of man; therefore the words do not apply to him. But if we . believe that the Scriptures cannot be broken, where fhall we find the being of whom they teftify? Paul fhall furnish the answer: We fee Jefus, who was made for a little time lower than the angels for the fuffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he, by the grace of God, fhould tafte death for every man.
When we confider that the outward appearance of Jefus Chrift hid his nature and character from N. 3.
those who judged only by external things; and yet that he was precious in the eyes of God; a prophet feeing this by the Spirit, would be led to alk, What is man that thou art mindful of him; or the Son of man, that thou shouldst 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 manifeftations of divine regard he received in his life, at his death, resurrection and afcenfion; the fame queftion is neceffary: What is man that thou art mindful of him; or the Son of man, that thou shouldft vifit 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 fervant in the work of redemption; therefore he upheld him. His elect; therefore his foul delighted in him. God had called him in righteoufnefs, and would give him for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations and in that character he faid 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 chofen out of the people, even David, his fervant, and anoint him with his holy oil? He also declared, My hand shall be established with him; mine arm alfo fhall ftrengthen him. The enemy fhall not exact upon him; nor the fon of wickedness afflict him. And I will beat down his foes before his face; and plague them that hate him. But my faithfulness and my mercy fhall be with him; and in my name fhall his horn be exalted. I will fet his hand alfo in the fea; and his right hand in the rivers. He fhall cry unto me, "Thou art my Fa