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covenant; for “this,” said he, “is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not yet to branch forth.” (2 Sam. xxiii.) And David's distant hope is revealed by Zechariah, where the Man the Branch is promised on his Melcbisedec throne, bringing the counsel of peace (vi. 12, 13; Jer. xxiii. 5). The Plant of Renown stands in the same connection with the glory of the house of David, and becomes the palladium of the house of Israel ; and “they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid : and I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown; and they shall no more be consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. Thus shall they know that I, the Lord their God, am with them; and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord God” (Ezek. xxxiv. 29).
Christ is called The Father of the everlasting age, Isai. ix. 6; not only as by his second advent giving a beginning to that new æra which shall have no end, but as then bringing into open manifestation all those glories of the Father which the Son has ever possessed, as “the Brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his person,” but which have been veiled hitherto; first, by his fleshly tabernacle, and then by his retirement to the invisibility of heaven. But when the time predetermined by God shall arrive, the heavens will no longer veil his Person, but he shall come forth in his own glory, and in his Father's glory (Mark viii. 38, Luke ix. 26). The Father shall then be seen in him : He will manifest to the universe all that created beings can comprehend of the Father, all that the Son can reveal, the whole fulness of the Godhead in a body (Col. i. 19, ii. 9).
The Prince of Peace is the character which Christ shall assume at the beginning of the everlasting age ; being the commencement of that time when men shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isai. ii. 4, Micah iv. 3). In this the reign of Christ is distinguished from every other kingdom, being a rule wholly peaceful. The sword, to protect the subjects and to repel aggression, is an essential part of every other kingdom; and the arm of power to govern : but these our Lord assumes to set up the throne of his Kingdom, and then lays them aside for ever. When the Lord shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, he will also gather all nations, and say, “ Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles ; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up : beat your ploughshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears : let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel ii. 1, 9). Then shall “ the Lord rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of bulls, with the calves of the people ; till every one submit himself with pieces of silver; and he shall scatter the people that delight in war” (Psal. Ixviii. 30). “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder: he burneth the chariot in the fire" (xlvi. 9), And then “ the Lord sitteth King for ever : the Lord giveth strength unto his people : the Lord will bless his people with peace (xxix. 11). But “the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace....and their inheritance shall be for ever" (xxxvii. 11, 18).
There are many titles, which have been considered as Names of Christ, which do not properly belong to his person, though they denote a work which is the consequence of his advent, and of which he is the efficient cause. Of these we shall mention a few, though our limits forbid enlargement.
The Consolation of Israel was waited for by Simeon, and by the just and devout at the time of the first advent (Luke ii, 25). But though they lived to see the Lord's Christ in that generation, the consolation was reserved till the second advent; when " blessed are they that mourn now, for they shall be comforted ;”. and woe unto the rich, for they “ have received their consolation.” ” The consolation has a twofold reference: first, to the work begun now in the present life ; and, secondly, to its completion and full enjoyment in the world to come. It is actually realized in spirit now, and by faith spiritually enjoyed; but we wait for the coming of the Lord for its enjoyment in the letter. Of this Noah was a striking type, whose name signifies “consolation,” and of whom it is said, Gen. v. 29, “ This shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands.”. For, as Noah passed through the destruction of the old world, carrying his children with him, and became the father of the new world—“ the like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us.... by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. iii. 21); so Christ shall not only bring his children with him, whom he shall raise from the dead, but carry his ancient people safely through that “day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men,” which is succeeded by the "new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. iii. 7, 13). And during the whole intervening period between the departure of the Lord and his second coming, the “ Comforter," the Holy Ghost, is the consolation of the church. “ Now, our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even, our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (John xiv. xvi., and 2 Thess. ii. 16). The "God of all comfort” it is “whó now comforteth us in all our tribulations.... For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by
Christ.... Partakers of the suffering we shall be also of the consolation (2 Cor. iii. 3, 5, 7), “And ye therefore now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John xvi. 22). At this very time, too, the Lord shall proclaim to Zion, “ Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God : speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem; and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned : for she hath received of the Lord's hand double (the counterpart, Job xi. 6; the punishment correspondent to] for all her sins” (Isai. xl. 1). “And ye shall be comforted concerning the evil
that I have brought upon Jerusalem; and
shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God” (Ezek. xiv. 22). The whole world also is called upon to rejoice in the consolation of Israel : “Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her.... That ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.... As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you ; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb.” Such shall be the Consolation of Israel.
The Ruler in Israel, the Lawgiver, and such like, come in bere; but we have not room to enlarge upon them. For the same reason we must pass the many appellations of comparison, as Door, Shield, Standard, Polished Shaft, Captain, Wall, Vine, Olive, Temple, Bread of Life, Author and Finisher of Faith, Alpha and Omega, and many more.
These we must now leave to the industry of our readers. The subject is literally inexhaustible.
The sum of what we have endeavoured to shew in these three papers is briefly this: That all the Names of God point to Christ, as the manifestation of the Father, the brightness of his glory, the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of his power ;--That all the Names of Christ link his Person, on the one hand, with God, the Creator and the Sustainer of all things; and, on the other, with the church, which is “his body, the fulness of him that filleth all
Both Christ, the Head, and the church, his members, come into glorious manifestation at the same time; they one with him, as he is one with the Father. And then shall “ the tabernacle of God be with men, and he will dwell with them ; and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying ; neither shall there be any more pain ; for the former things are passed away."
We have endeavoured to shew, from the Names, that the incomprehensible God became manifest at the creation of man as the Lord God, Jehovah-Elohim ;--That this form of manifestation was suspended by the sin of Adam, and man banished from the immediate and sensible presence of God ;-That henceforth God could not reveal himself to man in his former character of pure uncaused Love and Holiness, worshipped in the beauty of holiness; but that he became revealed in the infinitely more dear and touching character of a God merciful and gracious, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin, but by no means clearing the guilty"-as a God in whom "mercy and truth met together," in whom“ righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” In this revelation, too, the means were shewn by which this exalted strain of harmony was attained ; that it was provided from the very Fall in the promised Seed-"the substance of things hoped for” by “the elders, who obtained a good report through faith,” brightening into a vivid portraiture of the Man Adonai-Jehovah as the time of his advent drew near: and then, all the apparent contradictions, of lowliness and glory, of suffering and reigning, of dying and living for ever, taken out of the way, completely reconciled, from contradictions changed into the strongest confirmation ; by his life of suffering and death, of atonement at his first advent with the promise of a second advent of transcendent glory and majesty for ever and ever. We have seen that every Name supplies some link in this stupendous chain of the purpose of God; and that most of these links not only have the exactest adaptation to the place each one of them occupies, but bear an impress of the surpassing grandeur of the whole plan ;-That, though within the limits of time, and encompassed with every thing that can endear them to and render them comprehensible by man, they also partake of the infinitude of Godhead ;-That he who invites man to call him Friend, Kinsman, and Brother, is also of one substance with Him who sitteth above the heavens, and maketh the clouds his pavilion, and rideth on the wings of the wind; the Word, the Eternal Wisdom, which was in the beginning, and had his delights with the sons of men before ever the earth and the world was; The “I AM" of the Prophets, the "Word, made flesh” of the Apostles; the “ Lamb slain from the foundation of the world;" “He that liveth and was dead, and behold he is alive for evermore, and hath the keys of hell and death ;" the " Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love; having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will; to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.... Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself: that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth...... And that we may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints ; and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places ; far above all principality, and power, and migut, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”
As two ministers of the Church of Scotland, one of whom is a beloved and highly esteemed relative of my own, at present stand charged with heresy, for maintaining that Christ came in our fallen nature; and as it seems highly probable that an attempt will soon be made, in our high ecclesiastical court, to have this doctrine condemned as heretical; I feel myself im-. periously called upon, as an office-bearer of that church, to endeavour to convince my brethren that this doctrine, which is branded as heretical, lies at the very foundation of the Gospel scheme of redemption ; and that the establishment of the opposite doctrine, that our blessed Lord came in the unfallen nature of Adam, will necessarily become a fruitful source of heresy.
But while I believe that if the doctrine of Christ's unfallen nature were received and sanctioned by the church it would prove the occasion of heresy, I do not therefore charge my brethren with holding heretical sentiments. I am convinced that the views of by far the greater number of those who hold this doctrine are substantially correct on the subject of our Lord's humanity. Many shrink from the thought of Christ having come in our fallen nature, supposing that it would im-, pute sin to him, which they justly consider most unscriptural and detestable. They therefore form what seems to me a most.