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work, when we are solicitous about any other recompense. And this will serve to strengthen such persons in all the oppositions they meet, and all the discouragements they are encompassed with, in the discharge of their duty. It is enough to give them an holy contempt and scorn of the worst that can befall them. And this also may teach others their duty towards them, which for the most part they are unwilling to hear, and more unwilling to practise.
88. Obs. 2. The Lord Christ is worthy of all glory and honor, on account of his thus building his church, the house of God.
1. He hath an essential glory, the same with that of the Father, antecedent to his whole undertaking to build the house of God. He and his Father are one, John x, 30; before his humiliation he was "in the form of God, and counted it no robbery to be equal with God,” Phil. ii, 6; equal in dignity and glory, because of the same nature, which is the fountain of all Divine glory and honor. But this is not the glory intended. Had this house never been built, yet he would have been thus glorious to eternity.
2. There is in Christ the glory and honor of the human nature, as glorified after its obedience and suffering. This nature was rendered glorious by virtue of its union with the Son of God from his incarnation, as expressed by the angel, Luke i, 35. Neither is this absolutely considered, the glory and honor here intended: for the glory we are now investigating, is not merely that which he hath in himself, but that which is due to him from, and given him by the church. Therefore,
3. Christ is honorable and glorious in his exaltation, as the head of the church. Hereby is he the “first born of every creature," or Lord and heir of the whole
creation. And which renders this exaltation reasona. ble, is taken from the dignity of his person absolutely considered, and the infiniteness of his power. Hence the equity, that, having fulfilled the work assigned him, he should enjoy the matchless glory here ascribed to him. This requires further explication, and to this purpose let us inquire,
1. What is this glory of Christ, with respect to the church built by him, and the formal reason of it?
2. What is the great motive whereby we are engaged and obliged to give him this glory?
$9. (1.) What this glory or honor of Christ is with respect to the church, or the house built by him, and the formal reason of it? And this may be considered briefly, in respect of the collation of it upon him, its nature, and its formal reason.
1. This glory of Christ as the builder of the church is conferred upon him, by the will and actual donation of the Father; “He raised him from the dead and gave him glory,” 1 Pet. i, 21; it was his will, that glory and honor should be ascribed to him; for so he speaks concerning the whole intelligent creation. As for angels; he saith, “Let all the angels of God worship him, chap. i, 6; and for man, “The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father,” John v, 22, 23. So that this glory is conferred upon Christ
Christ as the builder of the church by the grant and donation of the Father, and according to his will, by angels and men.
2. As to the nature of this glory, it consists in this, that he is the object of all Divine religious worship; and the principal author of all the laws thereof; whereby it is outwardly and solemnly celebrated or performed. Hence there is a twofold duty incumbent on the
church in reference to him who is the builder of it. (1.) That we serve him, trust him, believe in him, obey him with all religious subjection of soul and conscience. Hence saith he, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me,” John xxiv, 1. Ye believe in God the Father who sent me, believe also in me who am sent, with the same Divine faith and confidence. (2.) That we observe all his commands, laws, and institutions as the great Sovereign Lord over our souls and consciences in all things. For “to this end Christ both died and rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living,” Rom. xiv, 9. Supreme Lord over us whilst alive, requiring obedience to all his laws as a son over his own house; and when we are dead to raise us again and bring us to his judgment seat.
$10. 3. We come now to inquire concerning this glory, what is the formal reason of it; that which renders him a meet object of the church's worship, and that worship to be truly Divine or religious. The answer is short and plain; it is no other than the Divine nature. The natural and essential excellencies of the Deity are the formal reason and proper object of all Divine worship. We worship the Lord Christ who is God and man in one person, and his God and man is the object of that worship; but the formal reason of it is the Divine nature in that person. Give me leave to say, God himself could not command that Christ be worshipped with Divine religious adoraion, were he not God by nature, for the thing itself implies a contradiction. Religious worship is nothing but an assignation of that honor which is due to Divine excellencics, namely, t, trust, fear, obey, love, and submit to infin.te holiness, yoodness, righteousness, and power; in tue first cal s. , last end, and sovereign Lord of all. Now to ase.gn glury proper to Divine excel.
person who is lencies, and which receiveth its nature from its object, where Divine excellencies are not, is openly contradictory. Besides, God hath said, “I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another,” Isa. xlii, 8. He that hath not the name of God, that is, his nature, shall not, nor can have this glory which is to be the object of the worship mentioned. And there are not scarcely more gross idolators in the world, than those who profess to worship Christ and to believe in him, in a word, to give him all the glory that is due to God, and yet deny him to be such.
$11. Now in our worship of Christ, which is our assignation of glory to him, he is considered two ways:
1. Absolutely, as he is over all, God blessed for ever, Rom. ix, 5. In that respect he is the proper and ultimate object of our worship. We believe in him, pray to him; as Stephen, who offered his dying prayer to him in particular. They stoned Stephen praying or invocating, in these words, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” Acts viii, 9. So are we baptized in his name, and thereby initiated into his service as our Lord and our God. So may we pray to him directly and distinctly, making his person the ultimate object of our faith, trust, and subjection of soul. See Ephes. V, 23, 24, 25; 2 Cor. v, 15; Tit. ii, 14; Rom. xiv, 9-18.
2. We consider him as mediator between the Father and us. So he is the immediate, but not the ultimate object of our worship. In this sense through him we believe in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that our faith and hope may be in God, 1 Pet. i, 21. He is the means of our faith and hope. By him we have access by one spirit unto the Father, Ephes. ii, 18. And according to his command, we ask of God in his name and for his sake, John xvi, 23_25; and in this sense in all our worship,
internal andexternal,in our faith, confidence, obedience, and supplications, the Father is considered as the ultimate object of our worship, and the Son as he who hath procured acceptance for us, who pleads our cause, manageth our affairs, and prevails for grace and mercy. And this is the most ordinary and standing way of faith in the worship of God. We address ourselves to the Father by the Son as mediator, considering him as vested with mediatory offices over the house of God. This the apostle excellently expresseth, Eph. iii, 14. However we may address our petitions directly to Christ as he is God equal with the Father; and we may address the Father by him, as he is our mediator; which two modes of Divine worship are scriptural.
$12. (2.) Having considered the formal reason of the glory insisted on; we are next to inquire after the great motive to our giving him this glory, which make him worthy of it, and obligeth us in special duty to give it. God manifested in the flesh, Christ complete, his Divine and human nature in one person,
is the object of our religious adoration and worship; and it is just and right that we should constantly worship him because he hath built the house of God; or because of his work of mediation. As it is in the first command, so it is in this matter, “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exod. xx, 2, 3; declaring himself to be Lord God, he proposeth the formal reason of all religious worship, and that which makes it indispensably necessary; but yet, to stir the people up to the actual performance of it, he adds that great motive, what he had done for them; he had “brought them out of the land of Egypt, and out of the house of bondage."