Page images

to repel him; and they fight under encouragement of a sure promise, that the God of peace will shortly and finally bruise satan under their feet. As MESSIAH their king has conquered for them, so they in due time, shall be made more than conquerors, by faith in his blood, and in the word of his testimony:

III. The title of King of glory, I understand as peculiarly applicable to him in the character of mediator. The glory of his divine nature is essential to him. But in consequence of his obedience unto death, he obtained in the human nature, a name that is above every niame *. He suffered as a man, yea, as a malefactor; there was no appearance of glory, in that form of a feryant which he assumed for our fakes. Though without sin, he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, subject to poverty, disgrace, and death ; but the fame man who was crucified, dead, and buried, received glory and authority at his resurrection, and was highly exalted to the administration of all dominion and governinent. Perhaps the word glory is not easily

defined. We conceive it as expressing bright : pess and splendour. The glory of Solomon * Philip. ii. 3


was the combined effect of his wisdom, power, and riches; which distinguished him in his character, conduct, and appearance, from other men. The glory of the sun, is his effulgence and influence. The word glory, when applied to the blessed God, seems to denote that manifestation of himself, by which his intelligent creatures are capable of knowing him ; for in himself, he is infinite, inaccessible, and incomprehenfible, and dwelleth in that light which no man, which no creature, can approach unto *. Of this manifestation there are yarious degrees. His glory shines in the creation, Not only do the heavens declare it by their immensity t, and furnish us with an idea of his unspeakable greatness, who has sent forth ten thousand worlds to tell us, that he resides above them all ; but the smallest of his works, the grass and flowers of the field, and the insects which creep upon the ground I, bear an impression of his wisdom and goodness, an inimitable criterion of his wonder-working hand, which so far displays his glory. To an attentive and dis, cerning mind, his glory shines in his pror vidence; in his preserving the world which * Tim. vi. 16. t Pl. xix. 1. $ Pf. civ. 24, 15.


he has made ; in supplying the various wants of his creatures, and particularly in his moral government of mankind. Here, befides his wisdom, power, and general goodness, we discover fome traces of his chafacter as the righteous judge of the earth. But to our limited capacities and views, this glory is obscured by many difficulties, Though righteousness and judgment are the babitation of his throne, yet clouds and darknefs are round about him *. By his holy word, his revealed will, we are favoured with a ftill brighter display of his glory, in the perfections of holiness, justice, truth, and mercy, which fallen man is unable clearly to discover in his works of creation and providence. But chiefly his Son is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his perfon po. No one hath seen God at any time, but the only-begotten Son who is in the bofom of the Father I, intimately acquainted with his counsels, he hath declared him. This was the great design of his advent, to make God known to man : for as it is life eternal to know the only true God, so he is only to be known in and by Jesus Christ, whom he * Pf; xcvii. 2. + Heb. i. 3. John i. 18.


hath sent *, and who is the way and the door, and there is no entrance to the knowledge of God but by him. In the person and work of MESSIAH, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, the brightness and harmony of all his attributes, is transcendently revealed. In this sense, he is the Lord, the King of glory. When we are enlightened by the Holy Spirit, to conceive of him according to the testimony given of him in the scripture, we see the glory of God. Other discoveries of it are but scattered rays and emanations of light; but, in Jesus, the glory of God resides in its fource and fulness, as light in the sun. He is therefore the King of glory.

IV. As the acknowledged King of glory, in the nature of man, he ascended; the everlasting gates unfolded wide, and he entered into the holy place, not made with hands, there to appear in the presence of God for his people.

1. As their representative. The glory is properly his own, the benefit redounds to his people. Sin had excluded them from the kingdom, but he claimed and took posa * John xvii. 3.


feilion, in their name *. Hence he is ftyled their forerunner, because by virtue of their relation to him, and their interest in him, they shall surely follow him. This is the encouragement of believers. He is the head of his body the church; and though the church, while in this world, is in a suffering perilous state, yet as the body of a man is not in danger of drowning, while his head is out of the water, so our forerunner and head being in heaven on their behalf, he will assuredly draw all his living members to himself. He has said, Because I live ye shall live alfo f. And he has stipulated for them, that they shall, each in his appointed time, be with him, where he is to behold his

glory I.

2. As their high priest and intercessor. Ile presents their persons and their prayers acceptable to God. He bears the iniquity of their holy things. With this encouragement, weak and unworthy as they are in themselves, and though their best services are polluted, they find a liberty of access ; and because he ever liveth, thus to make interceflion for all who come unto God by ploh. vi. 20. + John xiv. 19. Ibid xvii. 24.

« PreviousContinue »