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or his rod, Psal. ii. 8. or sickle, Rev. xiv. 18. In these things consists the sceptre of Christ's kingdom.
Fourthly, Concerning this sceptre it is affirmed, that it is a sceptre of uprightness. Euburns, or 900, denotes either the na. ture of the sceptre, that it is straight and right, or the use of it, that it is lifted up or stretched out, as was shewed in the opening of the words. In the first sense it denoteth righteousness, in the latter mercy. According to the first sense, the following words, “ Thou hast loved righteousness,” discover the habitual root of his actual righteous administration. According to the latter, there is a progress made in them to a farther qualification of the rule of Christ, or of Christ in his rule. But the former sense is rather to be embraced; the latter metaphor being more strained, and founded only in one instance that I remember in the Scripture, and that not taken from among the people of God, but strangers and oppressors, Esther v. 2.
The sceptre then of the kingdom of Christ is a sceptre of righteousness, because all the laws of his gospel are righteous, holy, just, full of benignity and truth, Titus ii. 11, 12. And all his administration of grace, mercy, justice, rewards and punishments, according to the rules, promises and threats of it, in the conversion, pardon, sanctification, trials, afflictions, chastisements, and preservation of his elect; in his convincing, hardening, and destruction of his enemies; are all righteous, holy, uinblameable and good, Isa. xi. 4-6. chap. xxxii. 1. Psal. cxlv. 17. Rev. xv. 3, 4. ch. xvi. 5.; and as such will they be gloriously manifested at the last day, 2 Thess. i. 10. though in this present world they are reproached and despised.
Fifthly, The habitual frame of the heart of Christ in his regal administrations-He loveth righteousness and hateth iniquity. This shews the absolute completeness of the righteousness of Christ's kingdom, and of his righteousness in his kingdom. The laws of his rule are righteous, and his administrations are righteous, and they all proceed from an habitual love to righteousness, and hatred of iniquity in his own person. Among the governments of this world, oft-times the very laws are tyrannical, unjust and oppressive; and if the laws are good and equal, yet oft-times their administration is unjust, partial and wicked; or when men do abstain from such exorbitancies, yet frequently they do so upon the account of some self-interest and advantage, like Jehu, and not out of a constant, equal, unchangeable love of righteousness and hatred of iniquity ; but all these are absolutely complete in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. For whereas the expression both in the Hebrew and the Greek seems to regard the time past, “ thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity," yet the constant present frame of the heart of Christ in his rule is denoted thereby ; for the Greek transla
tion exactly followeth and expresseth the Hebrew. Now there being no form of verbs in that language expressing the present time, there is nothing more frequent in it than to denote that which is present and abiding, by the præterperfect tense, as it doth in this place.
Sixthly, The consequence of this righteous rule in Christ, is his anointing with the oil of gladness ; wherein we may consider, 1. The Author of the privilege conferred on him ; that is, God, his God. 2. The privilege itself-unction with the oil of gladness. 3. The connection of the collation of this privilege with what went before; wherefore, or for which cause.
1. For the Author of it, it is said to be God-ó Osos, ó Osos 68, God, thy God. Many both ancient and modern expositors do suppose, that ó osos, in the first place, or God, is used in the same sense as ó Otos in the verse foregoing, and that it ought to be rendered - O God, and the words to be read therefore, “O God, thy God hath anointed thee;' but as no old translation gives countenance to this conception, so that reduplication of the name of God, by an application of it in the second place, as • God my God God thy God—God the God of Israel,' being frequent in the Scripture, there is no cogent reason why we should depart in this place from that sense of the expression. The name Goó, in the first place, denotes him absolutely who conferred this privilege on the Lord Christ, that is God; and in the second place, a reason is intimated of the collation itself, by an appropriation of God to be his God in a peculiar manner.
God is said to be the God of the Son, upon a threefold account: 1. In respect of his divine nature ; as he is his Father, so his God, whence he is said to be God of God; as having his nature communicated unto him by virtue of his eternal generation, John i. 14. 2. In respect of his human nature, as he was made of a woman, made under the law, so God also was his God, as he is the God of all creatures, Psal. xvi. 2. xxii. 1.
3. In respect of his whole person, God and man, as he was designed by his Father to the work of mediation ; in which sense he calls him his God and his Father, John xx. 17. And in this last sense is it, that God is here said to be his God; that is, his God in especial covenant, as he was designed and appointed to be the Head and King of his church. For therein did God the Father undertake to be with bim, to stand by him, to carry him through with his work, and in the end to crown him with glory. See Isa. xlix. 1-11. ch. 1. 4–9.
2. For the privilege itself, it is unction with the oil of gladness. There may be a double allusion in these words: 1. To the common use of oil and anointing, which was to exhilarate and make the countenance appear cheerful at feasts and public solemnities, Psal. civ. 15. Luke vii. 37, 38. 2. To the especial
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use of it in the unction of kings, priests and prophets, Exod. xxx. That the ceremony was typical, is evident trom Isa. Ixi. 1. and it denoted the collation of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, whereby the person anointed was enabled for the discharge of the office he was called unto. And in this sense there is commonly assigned a threefold unction of Christ. 1. At his conception, when his buman nature was sanctified by the Holy Spirit, Luke i. 35. and radically endowed with wisdom and grace in which he grew up, Luke ii. 40. 52. 2. At his baptism and entrance into his public ministry, when he was in an especial manner furnished with those gifts of the Spirit, which were needful for the discharge of his prophetical office, Matt. iii. 16. John i. 32, 33. 3. At his ascension, when he received of the Father the promise of the Spirit, to pour bim forth upon his disciples, Acts ii. 33. Now, though I acknowledge the Lord Christ to have been thus anointed, and that the communicaiion of the gifts and graces of the Spirit unto him in fulness, is called his unction; yet I cannot grant that any of them are here directly intended. But that which the apostle seenis here to express with the Psalmist, is the glorious exaltation of Jesus Christ, when he was solemnly instated in his kingdoni. This is that which is called the making of him both Lord and Christ, Acts ii. 36. when God raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, 1 Pet. i. 21. He is called Christ, from the unction of the Spirit; and yet here, in his exaltation, he is said in an especial manner to be made Christ, that is, taken gloriously into the possession of all the offices and their full administration, whereunto he was anointed and fitted by the communication of the gifts and graces of the Spirit unto him. It is, I say, the joyful glorious unction of his exaltation, when he was signally made Lord and Christ, and declared to be the anointed one of God that is here intended ; see Phil. ii. 9. 11. which also appears,
1. From the adjunct of this unction-Ile is anointed with the oil of gladness; which denotes triumph and exaltation, freedom from trouble and distress. Whereas, after those antecedent communications of the Spirit unto the Lord Christ, he was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, and exposed to innumerable evils and troubles. • 2. The relation of this privilege granted to the Lord Christ unto what went before-He loved righteousness, and hated ini. quity, expressed by 1-57, and dice T870, (the third thing consi. derable in this last clause of the testimony), doth plainly declare it. The Lord Christ's love to righteousness and hatred to iniquity, proceeded from his unction with the graces and gifts of the Spirit; and yet they are plainly intimated here to go before this anointing with the oil of gladness, which is therefore mentioned as the consequent of his discharge of his office in this world, in like manner as his exaltation every where is, Phil. ii. 9. 11. Rom. xiv. 9. And if this anointing denote the first unction of Christ, then must he be supposed to have the love to righteousness mentioned from elsewhere, as antecedent thereunto, which is not so. Wherefore these words, 12-ky, and dice T8To, do declare at least a relation of congruency and conveniency unto an antecedent discharge of office in the Lord Christ, and are of the same import with doo, Phil. ij. 9. and so can respect nothing but his glorious exaltation, which is thus expressed.
The last thing considerable in the words, is the prerogative of the Lord Christ in this privilege-He is anointed above his fellows. Now these fellows, companions, or associates of the Lord Christ, may be considered either generally as all those that partake with him in this unction, which are all believers, who are co-heirs with him, and thereby heirs of God, Rom. vji. 17. or more especially as those who were employed by God, in the service, building, and rule of his church, in their subordination unto him ; such as were the prophets of old, and afterwards the apostles, Eph. ii. 20. In respect to both sorts, the Lord Christ is anointed with the oil of gladness above them; but the latter sort are especially intended, concerning whom the apostle gives an especial instance in Moses, ch. iii. affirming the Lord Christ in his work about the church, to be made partaker of more glory than he. In a word, he is incomprehensibly exalted above angels and men.
And this is the first testimony whereby the apostle confirms his assertion of the pre-eminence of the Lord Christ above angels, in that comparison which he makes between them ; which also will afford the ensuing observations.
I. The conferring and comparing of Scriptures, is an excellent means of coming to an acquaintance with the mind andwill of God in them.--Thus dealeth the apostle in this place: he compareth what is spoken of angels in one place, and what of the Son in another, and from thence manifesteth what is the mind of God concerning them. This duty lies in the command we have to search the Scriptures, John v. 39. speuvati tas neapas, make a diligent investigation of the mind of God in them, comparing spiritual things with spiritual ; what God hath declared of the mind of the Spirit in one place, with what in like manner he hath manifested in another. God, to try our obedience, and to exercise our diligence unto a study in his word day and night, Psal. i. 2. and our continual meditation thereon, 1 Tim. iv. 15. (TAUTU MENSTUL !Y TOUTOIS 05.76, Meditate on these things, be wholly in them,') hath planted his truths with great variety up and down his word ; yea, here one part, and there another of the same truth, which cannot be thoroughly learned, unless we gather them together into one view. For instance, in one place God commands us to circumcise our hearts, and to make unto ourselves new hearts, that we may fear him ; which at first consideration seems so to represent it not only as our duty, but also within our power, as though we had no need of any help from grace for its accomplishment. In another, he promiseth absolutely to circumcise our hearts, and to give us new hearts to fear him, as though it were so his work, as not to be our concern to attempt it. But now these several places being spiritually compared together, make it evident, that as it is our duty to have new and circumcised hearts, so it is the effectual grace of God that must work and create them in us. And the like may be observed in all the important truths that are of divine revelation. And this,
1. Discovers the root of almost all the errors and heresies that are in the world. Men whose hearts are not subdued by faith and humility unto the obedience of the truth, lighting on some expressions in the Scripture, that, singly considered, seem to give countenance to some such opinion as they are willing to embrace ; without farther search they fix it on their minds and imagination, until it is too late to oppose any thing to it. For when they are once fixed in their persuasions, those other places of scripture, which they should with humility have compared with that whose seeming sense they cleave unto, and thus have learned the mind of the Holy Ghost in them all, are considered by them to no other end, but only that they may pervert them, and free themselves from the authority of them. This, I say, seems to be the way of the most of them, who pertinaci. ously cleave unto false and foolish opinions. They rashly take up a seeming sense of some particular places, and then obsti. nately make that sense the rule of interpreting all other Scriptures whatever. Thus in our own days, we have many who, from the outward sound of those words, John i. 9. “ He is the true light, which lighteneth every man that comes into the world," having taken up a rash, foolish, and false imagination, that Christ is that light which is remaining in all men, and therein their guide and rule, do from thence either wrest the whole Scripture to make it suit and answer that supposition, or else utterly slight and despise it ; when, if they had compared this Scripture with other Scriptures, which clearly explain and declare the mind of God in the things which concern the person and mediation of the Lord Christ, with the nature and works of natural, and saving spiritual light, and submitted to the authority and wisdom of God in them, they might have been preserved from their delusion. It shews also,
2. The danger that there is unto men unskilled and unexer