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The Atonement and the Work of the Spirit did not comprehend the whole of the Plan of Mercy to man ; these were connected with another Provision of highest peculiarity. It was not possible that the Divine Person, who was made flesh and died for our sins, should have remained under the power of death. (Acts ii. 24.) But if it had been possible it could not have proved a reality, without losing the end of His incarnation and death. The Atonement would have been completed, but it would have been without fruit. If we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son, it is by His life that we are saved. (Rom. v. 10.) Moreover, the Spirit could not have been given if Jesus had not been glorified. (John vii. 89 ; xiv. 7.) But immensely more was necessary — a vast sequel of administrative agency over whatsoever was to come to pass in the history of the world. The Royal authority over the universe must be committed to Christ, and exercised by Him until the end of all things. (Phil. ii. 9, 10 ; 1 Cor. XV. 24.) Even before His death He had Lordship over all things. Life, death, demons, angels, the wind and seas, nature in all its spheres, took orders from Him. ay, the Lord Jehovah, the Ruling God under the (256)
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Old Testament, was the God-man of the ew Testament. But it was not until He had risen from the dead and ascended to the Father, that His solemn enthronement over the universe took place. That event was reserved as the Testimonial of God's estimation of His infinite self-abasement for man's sake. (Compare Phil. ii. 6-11 with Psalms xxiv. 7-10.) It had its reason, its ground of possibility in that self abasement : He could not otherwise have been exalted. As a Divine Person, simply, the supremacy over all things was His already. It was originally and necessarily His ; He could not have divested Himself of it. But after uniting in Himself the Human ature to the Divine, and exchanging the Form of God for the form of aservant. He became, in this Theanthropic, DivineHuman character, capable of exaltation ; and God, at the proper time, made Him supreme Monarch of the whole creation. He gave Him this infinite dominion, to the end that the object of His death might be Fecured. (Eph. i. 22.) It was necessary that He should have it ; it comprehends the potentiality, the possibility, of the full accomplishment of this object. (Eph. iv. 10.) In the fact itself of His receiving it, in the evidence hereby afforded of the infinite value of the Atonement, there was a potential bearing on the attainment of this object ; but His having it was beyond this influential, and even necessary, in manifold respects. It was needed to perpetuate the virtue of the Atonement. There were, it is true, provisions on earth for this purpose ; but there was a necessity for this Heavenly provision also ; without it all earthly arrangements would
258 MEDIATIO . have been of no avail. A vitalizing, energizing power was demanded to keep these arrangements from becoming unfruitful, perhaps even forgotten and lost ; and it was only the Theanthropic kingdom that could
supply this power. (Eph. i. 20-23.) But there was a necessity for Divine influences beyond the virtue of the Atonement, however perfectly conserved and actualized. The specific end of the Atonement was to remove the obstacle which our sin, as incurring the displeasure of God, had put in the way of mercy. (Romans iv. 25.) A further influence was required to fulfil the designs of mercy ; one, namely, from the Resurrection of Christ. (Rom. iv. 25, second clause.) And more than even this was necessary : for neither the death of Christ nor His resurrection from the dead, by virtue of which we are justified, sufficed to complete our salvation. After justification we are still compassed by infirmity, and exposed to temptation and to all the forms of earthly affliction and sorrow, and are incessantly falling into new sin, so that if no further provision had been made for us the former ones would have failed. The additional exigencies were met, but they were not otherwise to be met than by the Theanthropic elevation of Christ. For the way of mercy now, as in its former stages, might not be arbitrary ; the requisite aid could not come to us, from simple Will, though clothed with Omnipotence. The ability to aid us as we need had its ground in the qualifications and offices which belong to the God-man, as such, in His exalted estate. To his possession of these it was necessary that He
MEDIATIO . 259 should have had a personal experience of our trials, in the days of His flesh ; been touched with a feeling of our infirmities ; tempted in all points like as we are, though without sin ; and then, having been " made higher than the heavens," and assumed the Throne of Universal Empire, it was further necessary that He should avail Himself of the exercise of an August Function, of which we are yet to make mention. Only
on this condition could He enable Himself to succor us adequately in our temptations. (Hebrews vii. 25, 26, compared with ii. 18.) Why it was so we do not fully comprehend ; it is enough that we know the fact, with its necessity and its sufficiency. The certainty, the possibility even, of our salvation to the uttermost, could have had no foundation out of the Theanthropic Reign of Christ. But a full view has not yet been taken of the ground of necessity for this Reign. While it was required for the completion of our salvation, there were subsidiary and ulterior purposes which could not be otherwise answered. It was necessary that He should have all power in heaven and earth to carry forward His great undertaking through the coming ages of the world, and to bring the history of the world to its predestined end. Supreme authority over all nations was required. (Matt, xxviii. 18-20.) He must be the Prince of the kings and the kingdoms of the earth. (Rev. i. 5.) Rebellious empires were to be overthrown ; the powers of darkness, the gates of hell were to be vanquished ; Satan was to be cast out and consigned to the bottomless pit ; death, the last enemy,
260 MEDIATIO . was to be destroyed ; the creature was to be delivered from the bondage of corruption ; the heavens and the earth were to be renewed ; the peace of the universe was to be conquered. The book of the Apocalypse gives the shadows of the things which are comprehended in. the immense system of agencies and changes over which it was necessary that a government, sure of success, should be maintained. What breadths of time, what cycles of civilization, what revolutions of empire, what conflicts of kingdoms, what powers of good and evil, visible and invisible, working with and
counterworking one another — even down to the end of the world ! On no shoulder but that of the exalted and enthroned God-man could the government rest which the vast exigence required. Infinite Goodness, pursuing justly and wisely its end, could not dispense with the Theanthropic Kingdom. Of this kingdom the grand distinction is that it is Mediatorial or Priestly. The titles God-man and Mediator are of the same significance. The monarch of this kingdom is styled " a Priest upon his Throne." (Zech. vi. 13.) The regal and sacerdotal functions are combined in His unparalleled supremacy. It is through the virtue of a Sacrifice that He exercises the government over the world. All royal decrees, commands, distributions are fulfilled through the concurrent exercise of a great High-Priesthood — the presentation of a Sacrifice. The Sacrifice is the same that He presented when, through the Eternal Spirit, He offered Himself without spot on the Cross. The presentation now is through Intercession. It implies no
MEDIATIO , 261 necessity, it does not admit of oral or formal supplications ; it consists in the presence, in Heaven, of such a one as He is — the Eternal Son of God, as a Lamb which has been slain — with those scars of infinite honor in His adorable Person, which He received at His immolation. (Rev. v. 6.) These ever-glorious scars, the prints of the nails in His hands and feet, and the cleft in His side, were all conspicuous when He ascended the Throne ; they have continued to be so ; they constitute the Intercession — the comprehensive virtue and strength of the Mediatorial Kingdom. The duration of this kingdom is limited. It will end in the end of the world. The necessity for it will
then have ceased ; the purpose for which it was established will have been accomplished. The God-Man will surrender His delegated dominion to God, even the Father. (1 Cor. xv. 24.) The Mediatorial will be merged into the Immediatorial kingdom, and the Son himself be subject to Him who put all things under Him. The Incarnate Deity will remain incarnate ; in His Divinity coequal and coeternal still, as of necessity He ever must be, with the other Divine Persons ; but as clothed in our nature, and as everlasting Head of His Body the Church, He will be officially subordinate to God ; and thenceforth God, as such, the Eternal Three-One, be all in all: All in all, in the delighted consciousness of every creature throughout the Realm of goodness and blessedness ; in the exercise of government all in all, likewise, to the apprehension and everlasting torment of unholy beings in the prison of despair.
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