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Lord, in the days of his flesh, spake of being with his disciples in his FATHER'S kingdom.
It is the FATHER's kingdom with respect to glorified saints; it is the kingdom of his Christ" with respect to the world below; where HE, having "put down all rule, and all authority, and power," receives, as the SON OF MAN," dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
27. "For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that He is excepted that did put all things under him: and when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also be subject unto Him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."
The apostle here quotes from the eighth Psalm, and comments upon it: "Thou hast placed all things under his feet." The subject of that psalm is certainly the exaltation of the manhood, first in the person of the Lord, and then in the persons of all his redeemed, to the head of all created nature.
When I behold the heavens, the work of thy fingers,
What is man that thou art mindful of him,
Thou madest him for a little while lower than the angels,
Thou givest him dominion over the works of thine hand;
It appears, from another comment upon this psalm, in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, “ that the Holy Ghost is not speaking of the station which the first man, Adam, was made to assume, at his creation, over the inferior animals; but that he is speaking of the second man, the Lord from heaven - of his taking our nature upon him, and so becoming inferior for a short time, as to that nature, to “ the thrones, and principalities, and powers,” whom his own hand had made, and whom guilty men were worshipping as gods. Lower than the angels was he, as man : lower than the good angels, for they were employed to protect his feeble humanity, and appeared to strengthen him; lower than the bad angels, for they continually harassed him in his path, and, in their permitted hour, were suffered to triumph in his death.
In consequence, however, of his meritorious obedience, as “ the Son of Man," he was in that nature to be exalted far above all intellectual beings; and, in his rise, was to exalt to the same eminence the humble objects of his redemption : "For unto the angels,” says the apostle, “ he hath not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak: but one, in a certain place, testifieth, saying, What is man,” &c. &c. After quoting the passage, .
, he continues : “ For in that he put all in subjection under him; he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him: but we see Jesus, who was made, for a little while, lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he, by the grace of God, should taste of death for everyone.' For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation
perfect through sufferings; for both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren."
From this exposition of the apostle, it appears, beyond all doubt, that the subject of this psalm, and, consequently, of the passage we are considering, is the exaltation of "the redeemed from among men," in and with Christ, their Surety and Head, to be the inheritors and lords of a better world to come. These things belong to a new and better world; the heirs of glory are not of this world; but still the seat of their dominion is on the earth, where they are to reign with Christ in his kingdom.
"All are to be put under the feet of Christ." There is, indeed, one manifest exception: the ETERNAL GODHEAD is, of course, not submitted to the sceptre of the SON, as God-man and King of glory. But the very naming of this one exception clearly proves that the 'all' is to be taken in the utmost extent. Every thing except DEITY itself is to be subjected, or, as the word strictly implies, shall be arranged in order under him, to obey his commands: but when this is accomplished, which it will be at the second advent, for he sits at the right hand of glory, awaiting the subjection of all that oppose his kingdom," then, even the Son himself shall be subject to him that subjected all to him." This language seems to imply that the SoN is not now subject to the FATHER, or arranged in order under him, for the purpose of executing his commands; and, in some sort, this must be the case. The present transaction between the FATHER and the SON, or the absolute Deity and the God-man, as far as we can conceive of it, or speak of it in human
language, is rather, the resigning all the exercise of authority and power over this lower creation, and giving it into the hands of Him who has taken man's nature upon him, - He is “ Lord of all,” and “ God over all.” But when he shall have accomplished the object of his present mediation with respect to his elect, has perfected them in glory, and has reconciled all things to God, the whole Deity will shine forth on his saints perfected in holiness; and then the Son, in his glorified manhood, quits, as it were, his station on the celestial throne, and is content again to go forth in his inferior nature, as “ the sent" of the Father. He receives a commission to go forth and reign as God's anointed King over his creation; and united with him in his dominion are all his saints, whom he hath bought and sanctified by his precious blood-shedding.
In this transaction, the Son himself is arranged in order under the Deity, in a manner in which he was not manifested to be before, while he sat on the throne of Divine Providence, that God might, in him, reconcile the world to himself, not admitting his chosen to his presence till the entire redemption of the purchased possession be completed. But that world being reconciled, and his name hallowed, in the destruction of the wicked and in the glorifying of his elect, with respect to them, “ God is now all in all," and they behold the face of their Father which is in heaven as his holy angels do. With respect to the elect, there is no longer the interposition of a Mediator: at the height at which they stand, they see the glory of God even the Father. The Mediator, in some sort - as far as the mere creature is capable — has exalted them to the station where he himself stands in glory; so that now, to their contemplation, as to the Being to whom they present themselves
and their services, " God is all in all." There is nothing but GoD, nothing but manifested DEITY to them.
With respect to the manhood, which is taken into God, in personal union with the eternal Son, to use a Scriptural figure, they are married to it. That glorified manhood is now their possession, their fruition, their bond of union with God; they are raised, as far as mere creatures can, to a level with it; are "conformed to the image of God's only begotten Son;" they see him as he is, and are like him. So Christ prays, "That they may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me; and the glory that thou gavest me I have given then, that they may be one even as we are one; I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me."*
These "vessels of mercy" can now, through their glorious Head, hold immediate communion with DEITY; and as CHRIST was before "all in all," now GoD is " all in all." Before their glorification they had no access to GOD immediately: GOD took no account of them but as in CHRIST: Out of CHRIST, GOD was a consuming fire to all the workers of iniquity, and his holiest saints in themselves were no other so that in Christ alone they could be sheltered from his burning wrath; and in all their worship, and in all their services, they could not, because still polluted with sin and corruption, meet the holy eye of absolute DEITY. They cast themselves upon the Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ; to him alone they lifted up the thought of their heart. Christ, as Mediator
• John, xvii. 21.