A Compendium of Christian Theology

By William Burt Pope, D.D.,

Volume Two

Chapter 9

Historical Manifestation of the Redeemer



            Humbled and Exalted


            as to the Redeemer's Person


            the Humiliation as to His Work

            Subordination, Passion, and Death


            its Stages

            the Descensus

            the Resurrection

            as to the Redeemer's Person and Work

            as to His Incarnation and the Evidences of Religion

            the Ascension and Session



            Monothelitism Adoptianism


            Necessity of Incarnation Lutheran Communicatio Idiomatum and Ubiquity

            Krypsis and Kenosis


            Modern Theories and Speculations



            Anointing Symbol;

            Messianic Predictions of Scripture

            Moulded in Later Judaism Expectation of the Christ


            The Personal Unction

            One Mediator

            The Official Unction

            Baptism of John and of Holy Spirit

            Gradual Assumption of Offices






            The High Priest, and His Function

            The Sacrifice

            Its Rites

            Presentation, Sprinkling, Burning, Meal

            Its Various Kinds




            All united in Christ

            Sacrificial Seasons

            Passover, Day of Atonement, Combined

            Intercession and Benediction

            the Jewish and Christian Temples





The process of the Saviour's history passes through two stages of Humiliation and Exaltation, and His mediatorial work divides into three branches as He is Prophet, Priest, and King


The history of the Redeemer is the history of redemption; and the history of redemption fills, so far as concerns man, both eternity and time, both heaven and earth. The stages of the Lord's progression, most comprehensively viewed, have, to speak paradox, no beginning and no end. His goings were from everlasting. From His pretemporal, eternal existence, He descended to become the second Head of mankind; was for ages an unrevealed Reality in human affairs; in the fullness of time became incarnate; finished His work upon earth; ascended into heaven; and will, when His work is a second time finished, assume a final manifestation which only the day will declare. Thus His estates are manifold. But as the revealed Redeemer, as the Christ under the burden of His Messianic office, His estates are two: that of Humiliation and that of Exaltation


The Estate of Humiliation may be viewed, first, with regard to our Lord's Person, and, secondly, with regard to His work: a distinction, however, which must not be too precisely maintained, inasmuch as the two are inseparable


The humiliation of the Person of Christ began with His miraculous conception, and ended with His session at the right hand of God. But it may be unfolded as the humble development of His human nature, and the obscuration of the Divine and personal Sonship

I. Our Lord took our manhood in its sinless perfection; but under the law of its development, and with the natural infirmities to which sin had reduced it

1. The term Development, as applied to human nature in contradistinction from the Divine, and also as differenced from the angelic, is of wide application. Humanity has a purely physical development: the beginning of which was not in the first man, who passed only through its later stages. It has an intellectual development, pertaining to the soul as acting in bodily organization. It has a moral development: which, though we know it only as a restoration from sin to holiness, may be predicated of sinless human nature. It has an historical development: the union of all the former processes in the accomplishment of the end destined for mankind in the eternal idea. To all these our Lord submitted. He might have assumed our nature in its ultimate perfection; but then the design of redemption would have been either unpurposed or unaccomplished. He took into personal union with Himself the germ of all that is called Man; and in His sacred Person the human nature was unfolded to its final perfectness in His ascension. He was found in fashion as a man; 1 even as we shall hereafter be found conformed to the fashion of His glorified humanity

1 Phil. 2:8

2. Our Lord's manhood was subject to the infirmities of our mortal condition. He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh. 1 Sin bruised His heel before He bruised its head. He was a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, 2 in a lower as well as in a higher sense: He experienced, that is, the griefs and sorrows of our common human condition which we can understand as well as the griefs and sorrows of His Messianic burden which pass our knowledge. After recording His descent from the Mount, St. Matthew begins his record of His miraculous cures of human disease by quoting the prophecy concerning the Righteous Servant: Himself; took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. 3 This passage has no other design than to include our physical distress in the benefit of the great vicarious intervention. The Scripture preserves the silence of Divine decorum as to the literal participation of our Lord in the ills of the flesh. But it reveals to us His humiliation in assuming a nature of itself unshielded from infirmity

1 Rom. 8:3; 2 Isa. 53:3; 3 Mat. 8:17; Isa. 53:4

3. The communion of natures, or their incomprehensible union in one Person, requires us to regard both the development and the infirmity of the lower nature as the humiliation of the Son Incarnate. That an integral part of Himself should pass from stage to stage towards perfection, and in that passage should be marred as well as perfected, was the voluntary abasement of the Eternal Son: after being, found in fashion as a man, He HUMBLED HIMSELF; 1 and that particular element of humility, which pre-ceded and was the condition of every other, did not cease until the heavens received Him to glory

1 Phil. 2:8

II. Nor must we shrink from applying the term humiliation to our Lord's Person as Divine: not to His Divinity, which is immutable Eternal Spirit; but to His Person as Divine-human, and therefore to the Divinity as hiding for a season the manifestation of its glory under the veil of the flesh

1. We must begin with a qualification. If, in the Person of the Mediator, we require the verity of the unchanged Manhood, much more must we insist upon the verity of the unchangeable Godhead. Sound theology is as tenacious of the Divine as of the human reality in the One Christ. Any theory of the Redeemer's humiliation which assumes the possibility of His relinquishment or even suppression of any Divine attribute is selfcondemned

Much more must we reject any theory that would make the Eternal Son voluntarily reduce or retract His Divine Self into an abstract potency or principle made concrete in human nature. It is only due honor to the God Who was manifest in the flesh1 that this proposition should be left undefended: God in Christ is immutable, the same yesterday and to-day and for ever.2

1 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Heb. 8:8

2. But the Person of the Christ was humbled during His sojourn on earth; and that humiliation continued until He finally entered the heavens. Hence while the Son tabernacled with us He did not in the exercise of His ministry and in the work of redemption manifest His Divine attributes beyond the extent to which His perfect human nature might be the organ of their manifestation. The glory as of the Only-begotten 1 witnessed by the Apostles was only what might be seen in the Incarnate Person: He manifested forth His glory, 2 but not to the uttermost. This may be more clearly formulated in three ways

1 John 1:14; 2 John 2:11

(1.) The Incarnate Son was SUBORDINATE TO THE FATHER in a specific humiliation which did not continue, as touching His Person, after the ascension. Undoubtedly there is a sense in which His subordination still continues, as there is a sense also in which it will continue for ever in His fellowship with human nature. But, until the hour when He could say, all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth, 1 He was, as the Servant of God and of man, in a deeply humbled and very special state of subjection. From the first words concerning His mission, / must be in My Father's will, 2 down to the last, My Father is greater than I, 3 this truth rules all the Redeemer's relations to His God and our God

1 Mat. 28:18; 2 Luke 2:49; 3 John 14:28

(2.) He was UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT during His earthly life rather than under the independent agency of His Divine personality. Our Lord's human nature was sealed and consecrated and enriched with sevenfold perfection by the Spirit given to Him not by measure.1 This particular subordination ceased when He who received became the Giver of the Holy Ghost: indeed, it may be said to have ceased when the Redeemer laid down His life OF HIMSELF, and through the ETERNAL SPIRIT, 2 His own essential Divinity, offered Himself to God for us. Until then, however, the Son as such did not act through His human nature alone. His own Divine supremacy is in abeyance, and, as the Representative of man, He is, like us, led of the Spirit.3

1 John 3:34; 2 Heb. 9:14; 3 Gal. 5:18

(3.) Hence the marked prominence which He gave always to His HUMAN NATURE as the organ of His self-revelation. Until the ascension, He spoke of Himself chiefly as the Son of Man: a title which at once declares His unity with the human race as its Representative and His submission to humanity as the sphere, and as it were the only sphere, of His temporary and temporal self-manifestation

These are the elements and factors in the humiliation of the Divine-human Person. Their combination presents to us an un-fathomable mystery. Separately and conjointly they pervade the evangelical narrative, and equally the later Scripture based upon it. From deeper and bolder investigation we are repelled by the limitation of our faculties

Moreover, all that can be further said must needs occupy attention when the humiliation of the Redeemer's work is considered, and the historical controversies on the subject rise before us


Viewed in relation to His work the humbled estate of Christ began with His baptism and ended with His descent through death into Hades. It may be regarded as His personal submission to be the Representative of a sinful race; and as His obedience to the Father's redeeming will. These converge to His Passion and Death, in which the Redeemer's humiliation was perfected


That our Lord humbled Himself to be the REPRESENTATIVE OF SINFUL MAN is the first key to the solution of His entire history on earth. God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law; 1 made under law generally, the Mosaic only included; and made under law: genómenon, the same aorist participle that is used for the Incarnation, thus showing that He was born under conditions of law. Now Christ was man, the Seed of the woman, before He was Jewish man, the Seed of David: as the Seed of Abraham He was both in one

1 Gal. 4:4

1. The history of the Messiah gives us His humiliation as exhibited in His Israelitish relations first; or rather His human humiliation first under its Israelitish aspect. Of this His CIRCUMCISION was the sign and seal. THAT HOLY THING1—our Lord's human nature— underwent the rite that signified at once initiation into the Hebrew covenant and the obligation to put away human sin. This rite was in the case of our Lord the symbol of all obligation to the old law until He Himself abrogated it, and His unconscious submission to the imputation of sin even as His baptism was His conscious submission to it. Hence He was presented in the Temple, though Greater than the Temple; became in His twelfth year a Son of the law; and honored down to the end every Divine ordinance and legitimate tradition in the old economy

1 Luke 1:35

2. But He was the Representative of sinful mankind. When He appeared unto Israel He appeared to the race of man. His Baptism and Temptation were of universal import in this respect. He came to His BAPTISM as the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of THE WORLD:1 though sinless, and incapable of sin, He was in the river Jordan already numbered with the transgressors. 2 Not until He had thus fulfilled the requirement of all righteousness 3 did He receive the attestation from heaven which declared that sin had nothing in Him otherwise than as imputed. In the TEMPTATION, also, He represented the sinning race; while He demonstrated that in Him is no sin, 4 nor the possibility of sin

He repelled temptation as the Son of God incarnate, Who, by the necessity of His Divine personality, could not be tempted with evil; 5 but He repelled it in terms of human rejection, giving His example to tempted mortals by the use of Scripture appropriate to sinners. He was made under law in this sense too, that He underwent the human probationary test in which He was not found wanting. In the SINLESS HOLINESS of His life, also, He was the Representative of sinful humanity: presenting to God the perfect obedience due from mankind, and to man the perfect example which, through the virtue of His expiatory death, man should be able to imitate. But here we must modify the sense in which He was under law. It is the characteristic of evangelical righteousness that it is not under the law; 6 that its obedience is from within; and if this is true of the servants, much more was it true of the Master. His holiness was not the fulfillment of duty imposed on Him; but the new and Divine expression in His life of the commandment itself

In Him, as in us, it was the perfect love of God and perfect charity to man: love in Him, as in us, was the fulfilling of the law. 7 Finally, in His VICARIOUS PASSION, in His voluntary endurance of the penalty of human sin, He was the Representative of sinners: literally made under the law. 8 How literally is proved by three passages, which may be combined into one: Christ was made sin for us. Who knew no sin; 9 hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; 10 was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.11

1 John 1:29; 2 Isa. 53:12; 3 Mat. 3:15; 4 1 John 3:5; 5 James 1:13; 6 Rom. 6:14; 7 Rom 13:10; 8 Gal. 4:4; 9 2 Cor. 5:21; 10 Gal. 3:13; 11 Gal. 4:4,5

3. Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself: 1 the voluntary humiliation which made the Holy One a Representative of sinners extended over His whole life. It is impossible to point to any crisis when it began. The shadow of His cross fell upon His entire path, though it did not betray its influence on His thoughts and feelings and words until the hour approached; until about the period when from the Tabor of His transfiguration He lifted up His eyes and saw the Moriah of His sacrifice, after which He began to speak to His disciples of His coming betrayal and death. Nor dare we curiously inquire into the secrets of our Lord's internal consciousness as bearing this relation to mankind. Suffice that through this His visage was so marred more than any man; that this made Him a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. 2 To be numbered with the transgressors; and that, not only by the transgressors themselves, but by His Father, Who put Him to grief! 3

1 Phil. 2:8; 2 Isa. 52:14; 3 Isa. 53:3,12,10


All this finds its fuller Scriptural expression in the OBEDIENCE which the Incarnate Son rendered to the Mediatorial Will of the Father. The term is generally limited to the active and passive righteousness; but, before considering it in that more restricted sense, we may refer it to the general subordination of the Redeemer during the whole course of His humbled estate

1. He who is the Lord of all entered the world as the Servant of God. I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own mil, but the will of Him that sent Me. 1 He was under a discipline of submission peculiar to His person and office. The commandment received of My Father 2 was one not written in any code of laws appointed for man, but belonged only to Himself. In keeping that great Messianic commandment He was alone: the law was one and unique, the obedience one and unique. This supreme submission is the theory of the Redeemer's history on earth. It explains His invariable deference to the Father: My Father is greater than I; 3 His references to God as distinct from Himself: there is none good but one, that is, God; 4 His abnegation of the use of Divine names and attributes: but of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father; 5 His calling the Father His God: I ascend unto My Father, and your Father, and to My God, and your God; 6 and His habitual adherence to the title Son of Man. All this is profoundly consistent with His Divine prerogatives apart from the subordination. As the Son of God He is equal with God, knoweth all things, and claims equal honor with the Father. In His mysterious subordination He is the Servant of the Holy Trinity, and the current of His self-revelation is faithful to that fundamental principle of His mission

1 John 14:28; 2 John 10:18; 3 John 14:28; 4 Mat. 19:17; 5 Mark 13:32; 6 John 20:17

2. But the Obedience of Christ may be more specifically viewed as the one great act of reparation to the Divine law which He accomplished on the behalf of mankind: His Active and Passive Righteousness, which are one. In His active obedience He perfectly fulfilled the obligation of righteousness as the love of God and man; and thus it was proved that His atonement was not needed for Himself. In His passive obedience He endured the penalty of human transgression. But the relation of His one obedience to the Atonement and our justification must be reserved for a later stage. Meanwhile it is sufficient to mark the three cardinal passages in which it is referred to. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous: 1 this includes the whole mediatorial work of Christ as the Second Adam, superabounding against the sin of the race in the First Adam. Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered: 2 this makes His great submission the voluntary act of the Eternal Son, Who needed it not for Himself. Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: 3 this makes it the Divine-human act of the Redeemer consummated in death.Uniting the three, we gather that the entire obedience of our Savior was one work, that it was the act of the Divine Son, but voluntarily rendered in the nature of mankind

1 Rom. 5:19; 2 Heb. 5:8; 3 Phil. 2:8


THE DEATH of Christ was His perfect humiliation. Its atoning character will be hereafter dwelt upon. For the present we must consider it as an act of supreme submission, selfrenunciation, and abasement. It was His Passion generally, and His Crucifixion in particular

1. The Passion or Suffering of the Redeemer must be separated in thought from the precise manner of His decease. He was obedient unto death. 1 His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. 2 He was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death. 3 This was the penalty of human sin: not the destruction of soul and body merely, but that severance of the spirit from God the uttermost terrors of which no mortal has ever known. It was this which our Lord underwent. His physical dissolution was after the manner of men: not of that did He say, Behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto My sorrow! 4 His passion, or suffering, as a voluntary sacrifice for sin, brought with it the death of the body as one of its effects. That crisis would have taken place in Gethsemane—for there its awful signs began —but His hour was not yet come. In His Old-Testament lamentation the future Redeemer cries, Reproach hath broken My heart.5 The blood and water 6 which followed the piercing after death gave token that this was literally true. Though it was ordered that a bone of Him shall not be broken, 7 this did not extend to the fleshy protection of His sacred heart, rent by the pressure of intolerable woe. Thus far our own human experience gives us light. But no further: the appeal, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? 8 was the exceeding bitter cry that sprang from the Redeemer's infinite perception of what lies in eternal abandonment by God

That was the death of redemption

1 Phil. 2:8; 2 Mat. 27:38; 3 Heb. 2:9; 4 Lam. 1:12; 5 Psa. 69:20; 6 John 19:34; 7 John 19:36; 8 Mark 15:34

2. The death of the Redeemer cannot, however, be separated from His Crucifixion. He became obedient unto death, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS.1 he sacred details of the scene of which the cross is the centre are given by all the Evangelists, who here at last converge to a perfect unity: the harmony of their narrative is broken by a few seeming contradictions, which appear on a superficial view, but vanish before deeper investigation. The only one of these that deserves mention is the apparent difference between the Synoptists and St. John as to the actual day of our Lord's death. Collating their several accounts with St. Paul's to the Corinthians—Christ OUR PASSOVER was sacrificed for us, 2 it were on 14th Nisan, and rose THE FIRST FRUITS, 3 as it were on the 16th Nisan—and marking that the Synoptists speak of the day of crucifixion as the Preparation 4 of the great Sabbath of 15th Nisan, and not on the feast day itself, 5 we are led to the conclusion that the Last Supper was, as St. John records, before the feast of the Passover, 6 and that the Crucifixion took place on Friday, the 14th Nisan. The disciples who, according to the Synoptists, on the first day of the Feast of unleavened bread, put their question, Where wilt Thou that ice prepare for Thee to eat the Passover? 7 prepared the meal on the 14th Nisan, but before the 13th had ended, that is, on the evening of Thursday, the 13th Nisan, and on that same evening the Lord anticipated the Passover which He so much desired to eat 8 with them. The exact date of the world's redemption may, with near approach to absolute certainty, be assigned to the Friday, 18th March, 14th Nisan, in the year of Rome 782, A.D. 29

1 Phil. 2:8; 2 1 Cor. 5:7; 3 1 Cor. 15:23; 4 Luke 23:54; 5 Mat. 26:5; 6 John 13:1; 7 Mat 26:17; 8 Luke 22:15

3. Viewing the Passion in its relation to the Crucifixion, we may venture to make a few further remarks

(1.) As entering into the fulfillment of the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, 1 the crucifixion may be said to have been an accident of the Passion. The Father made the soul of His Servant an offering for sin, 2 and His Son sin for us; 3 but in what way that oblation should be offered was predetermined only in the foresight of human malignity. The immolation on Calvary is never spoken of save as the act of man. The shame and ignominy of the cross was endured by Jesus as the expression of man's rejection: by wicked hands 4 He was crucified and slain. The princes of this world, in their ignorance and in the infamy: of their pride, crucified the Lord of glory. 5 But this was foreseen and made the subject of type and prophecy; though of such type and prophecy as required the event for their full explanation. It was the death that was predestined; the cross was only foreknown: a distinction sustained by the usage of Scripture

1 Acts 2:23; 2 Isa. 53:10; 3 2 Cor. 5:21; 4 Acts 2:23; 5 1 Cor. 2:8

(2.) The crucifixion of our Lord was, therefore, the fulfillment of prophecy: whether the acted prophecy of type or the spoken prophecy of prediction. Isaac, the only son of Abraham, bore the wood of the burnt offering 1 to Mount Moriah, even as the Onlybegotten bore His cross. The serpent lifted up in the wilderness was the type of the Son of Man lifted up. 2 While the prophets fore-announced the sacrifice of the Lamb, they indicated that His death would be unlike that of the ancient victim. He was WOUNDED for our transgressions. 3 They shall look upon Me Whom they have PIERCED; 4 and they PIERCED My hands and My feet. 5 These words were spoken as from the heart of Jesus in the Old Testament. It was reserved for Himself to utter the first express prediction of the Cross, which He had hinted at to Nicodemus, but began to speak of, for Himself and all His followers, when He was about to ascend the Mount on which He lifted up His eyes and saw His Other Mount in the distance. 6 The history of the crucifixion shows that the minutest details were ordered as it had been written concerning Him: signifying what death, poíoo thanátoo, He should die.7

1 Gen. 22:6; 2 John 3:14; 3 Isa. 53:5; 4 Zec. 12:10; 5 Psa. 22:16; 6 John 12:33; 7 John 18:32

(3.) The Providence took up into its plans the death of the Cross as that which alone could unite the whole world in its perpetration. To this end was I born, He said—and we may add for this purpose He died—to bear witness unto the truth. 1 He was a Martyr to the eternal truth of God. And His martyrdom was the act of the world which, like Satan its prince, abode not in the truth. 2 It was the deed of the Jews, for they delivered Him to Pilate; it was the deed of the Gentiles, for they alone crucified their malefactors. The combined wicked hands of mankind universal cast out the Eternal Word. They CONSCIOUSLY rejected the Divine Witness; they UNCONSCIOUSLY offered up the Eternal Victim, and consummated the world's iniquity in the very act which obtained the world's salvation. He who knew what was in man prayed for them: they know not what they do! 3 1 John 18:37; 2 John 8:44; 3 Luke 23:34

4. Hence the cross was to our High Priest simply the awful form which His altar assumed. His own Self bare our sins in His own body on the tree:1 epi to xulon, as St. Peter invariably terms the Cross, and he only. The most affecting type of the Eternal Son incarnate bore the wood on his shoulders to his Calvary, and that wood became the altar on which in a figure 2 he was slain, and from which in a figure he was raised again. St

Peter has indicated this in the most impressive phrase of the New Testament, and the Epistle to the Hebrews, not mentioning the cross, alludes to it when it says that Jesus suffered without the gate, 3 and that we have an altar. On that altar our High Priest offered His oblation; and put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."4

1 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Heb. 11:19; 3 Heb. 13:10,12; 4 Heb. 9:26

5. But, while the cross on which human malignity slew the Holy One is really the altar on which He offered Himself, and we forget the tree in the altar into which it was transformed, the Cross still remains as the sacred expression of the curse which fell upon human sin as represented by the Just One. God made Him to be sin for us Who knew no sin; 1 and, though it is not said that He made Him a curse for us, it is said: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. 2 In His Holy Person sin was represented, and its penalty endured. It was condemned in the flesh. 3 But, He who endured the cross, despising the shame, 4 thus cast down the powers of evil, triumphing over them in it. 5 His Cross is now the glory of Christianity. It is the seat whence the Prophet teaches His highest lessons. It is the altar of His continually availing sacrifice. And it is the throne of His Power as King in the universe. But the Cross is no longer His or His alone. It is Divinely in a figure transferred 6 to us. All our religion is the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death, 7 and bearing His reproach. 8 Our sub-exemplar said, I am crucified with Christ

1 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Gal. 3:13; 3 Rom. 8:3; 4 Heb. 12:2; 5 Col. 2:15; 6 1 Cor. 4:6; 7 Phil. 3:10; 8 Heb. 13:13


The humiliation of the Redeemer, therefore, embraces the whole process of His incarnate life, from His Conception to His Burial. These two extreme terms, however, must be carefully defined. The first requires a distinction to be made between the Incarnation and the Conception; the second, between the Burial and the Descent into Hades. (1.) The Son of God might have exhibited His incarnate Person in majesty from the beginning; in which case the Transfiguration glory would have been the rule and not the exception

But, condescending to become incarnate, He was conceived of the Holy Ghost and born after the manner of man. The distinction between the Incarnation generally, and the humble manner of His assumption of flesh, is subtle but not unimportant. (2.) And the end of His abasement was reached when He became obedient unto death. 1 Obligation went no further than the dissolution of soul and body. That separation was attested by His entombment. But the burial itself has two aspects. It was the descent of the body to the sepulcher; where the flesh of the Holy One of God saw no corruption, being still part of His incarnate Person. Humiliation was arrested at the moment that Death received the sacred Form, as the Baptist received the Heavenly Candidate for baptism: COMEST THOU TO ME? 2 Meanwhile the exaltation of the Redeemer had already begun. For, His spirit, also part of His incarnate Person, quickened by the Spirit of His Divinity, went down to the nether world and received at the very moment of its severance from the body the keys of Hades and of death. 3

1 Phil. 2:8; 2 Mat. 3:14; 3 Rev. 1:18


Having distinguished between the humiliation of our Lord's Person and that of His work, it is expedient that we efface the distinction and regard His Person and His work as one

Apart from the ministry of redemption there is, theologically, no Person of Christ. Some important results follow from this truth: first, the redeeming submission makes the personal humiliation a profound reality; secondly, the inalienable Divine dignity of the Redeemer gives its glory to the submission

1. There is a sense in which the Person of the Incarnate, as such, was incapable of abasement. His assumption of a pure human nature, by" which the centre of His being, that is His Personality, was not changed, was an act of infinite condescension, but not of humiliation strictly so called. The self-determining or self-limiting act of the Godhead in creating all things cannot be regarded as a derogation; nor was it such in the specific union of Deity with manhood. But, as we shall hereafter see that the Descent into Hades was the moment which united the deepest abasement and the loftiest dignity of the Christ, so the moment of the incarnation in the womb of the Virgin united the most glorious condescension of the Second Person with His most profound abjection. His work began as a suffering Redeemer, with the submission to conception and birth. Hence the Person and the work cannot be separated. And the humiliation which the Redeemer underwent must be regarded as the humiliation of the God-man. He assumed it, even as He assumed the nature that rendered it possible

2. As the glory of our Lord's Divinity was manifested forth in His Person and work, so that glory shines through all the narratives of His humbled estate. Many lesser evidences might be adduced; but we may be content with the three testimonies given by the Father from heaven at the three great crises of that humiliation, and occasional assertions of our Savior as to the voluntary and Divine character of His submission

(1.) At the Baptism, which has been hitherto viewed only as it was received by the Representative of sinners, the Divine attestation was given: This is My beloved Son. 1 Here was more than the perfect complacency of the Father in His Son now incarnate, and the acknowledgment of the sinless development of the past; it was also a symbolical exhibition of the Holy Trinity as to be revealed in redemption; and the Triune glory, though it vanished from human observation, rested for ever on the Saviour's work

Midway in His career, or rather when preparing to enter the path of final sorrow, our Lord received from God the Father honor and glory 2 on the holy mount. That glory rests, slanting along a double perspective vista, upon the two intervals, backwards to the Baptism and forward to the Passion. Whatever other lessons the Transfiguration taught, it certainly declared that the Holy Sufferer was the Divine Son; and that the brightness of the Father's glory in Him was only withdrawn or hidden, or veiled for a season. Finally, the hour of our Saviour's preparatory passion was magnified by a third demonstration of the Father's honor put upon His Son. He heard the Voice which others did not distinguish; the Voice which declared that all the past of the Redeemer had glorified the Divine Name, and that the still greater future would still more abundantly glorify it: I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. 3

1 Mat. 3:17; 2 2 Pet. 1:17; 3 John 12:2

(2.) On many occasions He asserted for Himself the Divine dignity which coexisted with His humiliation. A Teacher come from God, 1 He re-uttered the law on the Mount as His own, and the entire fabric of the Sermon asserts His supremacy. While He vindicated His own observance of Sabbatic ordinance as real and true, He declared Himself Lord also of the Sabbath; 2 and, honoring the Temple prescriptions, proclaimed Himself Greater than the Temple. 3 Complying with an exaction of men as subject to the powers that be, He intimated that as the Son He was free from tribute. 4 He ever made it known that His life was in His own hands, that He did not and could not renounce the prerogative of life in Himself, 5 that He laid down His life with Divine freedom, that He had power to lay it down, and power to take it again. 6 And what He declared in life He proved in death: for, though the Father's rebuke of sin broke His heart, He spontaneously yielded up His soul, or gave up the ghost, 7 parédooken tó pneúma, even as He voluntarily gave up His body to those who came to capture Him. 8 It was part of the commandment received of My Father that our Lord should sometimes assert, what His consciousness could not be bereft of, His absolute independence of the creature with which, for the sake of redemption, He had so closely bound Himself. Hence He declares His self-abnegation to be the example 9 which He gave His disciples, nor does He ever once speak of it save for that purpose

Before He bequeathed His peace He left them this legacy, showing by its most affecting illustration in Himself the eternal connection between humility as the source and peace as the result. The Feet washing was the symbolical representation of His entire way of lowliness; and in it the Master and Lord 10 set the seal of Divine dignity on His earthly condescension. When, drawing very nigh to the lowest limit of His abasement, He said, Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? 11 and, more than that, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father, He Himself declared that the whole of His past career had been a manifestation of God in the flesh: I and My Father are one. 12 We have not, however, isolated passages only to rely on. The whole history of our Lord's humbled estate in the Gospels, and the exposition of it in the Epistles, alike proclaim that in the mystery of His condescension to the lowest depth His glory was revealed. As the Incarnate Son He said of Himself: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? 13 But the glorification of Divine love waited not for the ascension

The Divine majesty of the Son was most richly and blessedly manifested IN the redeeming sorrows and not alone AFTER them. To the Christian sentiment the obscuration of the Cross is the very darkness which God makes His secret place. 14

1 John 3:2; 2 Luke 6:5; 3 Mat. 12:6; 4 Mat. 17:26; 5 John 5:26; 6 John 10:18; 7 John 19:30; 8 John 10:18; 9 John 11:15; 10 John 13:13; 11 John 14:10,9; 12 John 10:30; 13 Luke 24:26; 14 Psa. 18:11


The Redeemer's Estate of Exaltation may be viewed in its historical stages as a process: the Descent, the Resurrection, and the Ascension; and with reference to its completeness as affecting the Person and the Work of the Redeemer. These, however, need not be separated: the latter branch may be merged in the former, partly because it has been anticipated in the Humiliation, and, partly, because it enters into the discussion of the Three Offices

The process of the Redeemer's exaltation, like that of His humiliation, is matter of Scriptural testimony alone. We are taught that it began with the Descent into the invisible world; that it was continued in His Resurrection; and that it was consummated in His Ascension and Session at the right hand of God


Between the lowest point of our Lord's humiliation and the beginning of His glorification there was, there could be, no interval. In fact, the critical instant of His death was at the same time the critical instant of His commencing triumph. Here we must consider what the Descent into Hades imports, and how it belonged to the exaltation of Christ: but in few words, as the light of Scripture here soon fails us

1. The phrase Descent into Hell, Descensus ad Inferos, is not in the New Testament. St. Peter, bearing witness to the Lord's resurrection, quotes the words of David: 1 Thou wilt not leave My soul in Hades; neither wilt thou give Thine Holy One to see corruption. 2 The Greek "Aidos Hades, answering to the Hebrew Sheol, signifies the Unseen State; which again corresponds with the English Hell, according to its simple original meaning of Covered or Hidden Depth, and without reference to punishment endured in it. Into this State of the Dead our Lord entered: as to His body it was buried and concealed in the sepulcher or visible representative of the invisible Hades into which He entered as to His soul. It is observable, however, that St. Paul, making the same use of the Psalm, does not distinguish between the grave and Hades. He speaks only of the body: they laid Him in a sepulcher; 3 and thinks it enough to quote, Thou wilt not give Thine Holy One to see corruption. Undoubtedly the entombment of our Lord, and His passing into the condition of the dead, are the one meaning of these passages; and they signify that His death was a reality, and that so far His burial belonged to His humbled estate

1 Acts 2:30,31; 2 Psa. 16:10; 3 Acts 13:29,35

2. But that this descent into Hades was at the same time the beginning of His exaltation is evident from the following negative and positive considerations

(1.) Negatively, when our Lord cried It is finished! 1 The abasement of the Representative of mankind ended. The expiation of sin demanded no more: it did not require that the Redeemer should be kept under the power of death. After the tribute of His voluntary expiation death had no more dominion over Him. 2 He triumphed over all the enemies of salvation on the cross. Death was at once His last sacrifice, His triumph, and His release; it was not possible that He should be holden of it: 3 not only because He was the Prince of Life, but because the law had no further claim. When He offered up His holy spirit, wrath to the uttermost was spent upon human sin; bat He Himself was never the object of wrath, and the Father received the spirit commended to Him as a sufficient sacrifice. The Holy One could not endure the torments of the lost: the thought that He could and did is the opprobrium of one of the darkest chapters of historical theology. Not in this sense did He make His grave with the wicked.4

1 John 19:30; 2 Rom. 6:9; 3 Acts 2:24; 3:15; 4 Isa. 53:9

(2.) Positively, He triumphed in death over death. First, in His one Person He kept inviolate His human body, which did not undergo the material dissolution of its elements: not because, as it is sometimes said, He was delivered from the grave before corruption had time to affect His sacred flesh; but because the work of death was arrested in the very instant of the severance of soul and body. As His spirit dieth no more, 1 so His body saw no corruption. 2 The unviolated flesh of our Lord was, till the moment He was quickened, a silent declaration of perfect victory: His Divinity never left His body, any more than it forsook His spirit in its passage to the world of spirits. Secondly, according to the testimony of two Apostles, our Lord triumphantly descended into the lower world, and took possession of the kingdom of the dead. To this end Christ both died, and, having died, lived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living: 3 these words indefinitely distribute the mediatorial empire over man into its two great provinces. He died, and in death took possession of the Dead; He revived, and ruleth over the Living. Who shall descend into the deep?4 (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead): here the deep, or the abyss, must refer to the great Underworld. Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended [first] into the lower parts of the earth? 5 whence, in the strong figure of Scripture, He led captivity captive. 6 Triumphing over all the enemies of our salvation—sin, death, and Satan—in it, the cross, He declared His triumph in the Descent. Quickened by the Spirit of His Divinity, by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison: 7 the historical sequence—He went, by the resurrection, Who is gone into heaven—indicates, and will allow no other interpretation, that in the Interval the Redeemer asserted His authority and lordship in the vast region where the congregation of the dead 8 is the great; aggregate of mankind, the great assembly to which also we may apply the words, In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee.9

1 Rom. 6:9; 2 Acts 13:37; 3 Rom. 14:9; 4 Rom. 10;7; 5 Eph. 4:8,9; 6 Col. 2:15; 7 1 Pet 3:18,19,22; 8 Pro. 21:16; 9 Psa. 22:22


The Resurrection of our Lord, viewed in its widest import, is His exaltation. It is the perfect opposite of His humbled estate. As a fact in His history it is only a stage in the process of glorification; but the general strain of the New Testament teaches us to regard it as absolutely the counterpart and antithesis of His humiliation. If His death is the limit and measure of the Obedience, His resurrection is the substance and sum of His dignity and reward. The preaching of the Apostles everywhere gives prominence to these two truths as the pillars of the Christian faith; and the evidence of the supreme miracle of the resurrection of Jesus is, both as internal and external, sufficient to establish the dignity of His Person and the authority of His work. This point of view alone commands all the elements of the doctrine of Christ's resurrection


The Resurrection was the glorification of the Redeemer's Person and the seal of His atoning work

I. His rising from death Divinely vindicated the Redeemer's Person. As such, it was the demonstration of His Divinity, as effected by His own power; and, as effected by the Father, the declaration of His Incarnate dignity: both, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, merged into the Godhead generally

1. It is remarkable that in all our Lord's predictions of His resurrection He makes Himself the Agent. His first allusion to it was among His earliest predictions: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up; 1 and His last was among His latest: I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and 1 have power to take it again. 2 It may be objected that the words follow: this commandment have I received of My Father. But the mediatorial law of obedience included both death and resurrection; and, as certainly as the commandment implied a personal voluntary surrender of life, the offering of Himself in death, so certainly it implied the personal voluntary resumption of that life. The mediatorial authority is distinct from the Divine power inherent in the Son: this latter being the foundation of the former. He who was the Seed of David after the flesh was declared to be the Son of God with power, 3 the Son of God no longer in weakness and obscuration, according to the Spirit of holiness. His Divine nature, by the resurrection from the dead

Hence the most general statement is that He rose again the third day: 4 the words containing rather an active than a passive meaning

1 John 2:19; 2 John 10:17,18; 3 Rom. 1:4; 4 1 Cor. 15:4

2. Like every other event in the history of the Mediator, the resurrection is ascribed to God the Father

(1.) He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father: 1 that Father of glory whose glory had its utmost manifestation in the power wherewith it wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, 2 and, as St. Peter adds, gave Him glory. 3 Hence the glory of God the Father is His power in its exercise; and its result is the Son's resurrection. He to Whom the Incarnate offered the sacrifice of His humiliation bestowed upon Him the reward of His resurrection. When the Redeemer prayed, Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee, 4 He had in view both His death and His rising again from the dead. As the crucified and risen Son He was glorified by the Father

1 Rom. 6:4; 2 Eph. 1:20; 3 1 Pet. 1:21; 4 John 17:1

(2.) It was not only, however, the resurrection to glory and reward: it was also the Father's testimony to the perfection of His Divine-human Person as the Son. St. Paul gives the final interpretation of the memorable words of the Psalm: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. 1 The manhood of the Incarnate Son was never perfected until the resurrection, which was therefore the consummating period of the Incarnation. The glad tidings 2 announced at the first birth are perfectly declared at the second birth of the Incarnate Son: this day 3 is the One Day of the Lord's incarnate history from the miraculous conception to the rising from the dead, which was the moment of His perfection both as an Incarnate Person and as the Christ

1 Acts 13:33; 2 Luke 2; 3 Acts 13:32

3. Generally, God absolutely, without distinction of Persons, is said to have raised up the Savior

(1.) This is in harmony with the tenor of Scripture, which speaks everywhere of the processes of the mediatorial history being under the arrangement and ordering of God

The resurrection of the Mediator is ascribed to God always when the Messianic subordination is implied or made prominent: Him God raised up the third day, 1 the same who anointed Jesus of Nazareth and was with Him. It may be said generally that the processes of the Redeeming Work of the Three Persons are ascribed to God as the term of Deity representing each

1 Acts 10:38,40

(2.) It is referred to God also when Christ's resurrection is connected with ours; the demonstration of Divine power being made emphatic: 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. 1 So in that remarkable passage: but if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. 2 This text, thus read, seems to imply that the Holy Ghost was the Agent in the quickening of Christ, and will be the Agent in ours. But another reading is to be preferred: diá toú enoikoún, on account of the Spirit that dwelleth in us. The Holy Ghost is, strictly speaking, the Agent in spiritual quickening alone

1 Eph. 1:19; 2 Rom. 8:11

(3.) But it must be remembered that here, as everywhere in relation to the Mediatorial Trinity, all actions proceeding ad extra are referred interchangeably to the several Persons of the Trinity. The Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost are one in the sending and raising up and dominion of Him Who is, not the Christ of the Father, but THE CHRIST OF GOD 1 or THE LORD'S CHRIST.2

1 Col. 2:2; 2 Luke 2:26

II. The resurrection was the seal and glorification of His redeeming work. This may be viewed in regard to the three offices hereafter to be mentioned individually, and to the claims and character of the Messiah generally. Reserving the latter for the next Section, let us mark how the Author and Finisher of the Christian Faith was in the several offices in which He laid the foundations of that Faith justified or approved by His resurrection

1. As the Prophet or the Apostle of revelation He appeals to all His works for the authentication of His teaching generally, and to His resurrection in particular as the crowning work by which He would vindicate His claim to be the Supreme Oracle to mankind. His first emphatic and distinct prediction to the people at large was that concerning the raising of the temple of His body. 1 He again and again foreannounced it, calling attention to the third day; 2 and His resurrection on that day was the seal and confirmation of His prophetic mission. Not only so, however: it was also the entrance of the Prophet on a wider sphere of teaching and influence for the whole world, and the preliminary seal of that new function. It confirmed at once the words already spoken on earth, and the words that should be spoken from heaven. 3 Thus, viewed in relation to the past, it was the ratification of His claim as a prophetic Teacher; viewed in relation to the future, it was the credential of His eternal teaching after its first principles had been given below

1 John 2:21; 2 Mat. 17:23; 3 Heb. 12:25

2. As the High Priest of the atoning sacrifice our Lord was justified in the resurrection. It declared that His propitiatory offering was accepted as salvation from death, the penalty of sin; and that the Spirit of a new life was obtained for all: both these in one, and as summing up the benefits of the Atonement

(1.) As the Divine-HUMAN Representative of mankind Christ was delivered for our offences; 1 as the Divine-human Representative He was raised again for our justification

The strong evidence both of the vicarious character and of the validity of our Lord's sacrifice is given in His resurrection. His release from death declared that He died not for His own sin, and that His atonement was accepted for mankind: Who is he that condemneth ? 2 It is Christ that died, yea rather, that was raised. The resurrection establishes the atoning character of the death

1 Rom. 4:25; 2 Rom. 8:34

(2.) His resurrection is the pledge of life—perfect and consummate life in every definition of it—to His people. On it depended the gift of the Spirit of life, the fruit of the Ascension. The Lord rose again as the First begotten from the dead, the First fruits of them that slept. 1 If we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 2 Because I live, ye shall live also.3

1 1 Cor. 15:20; 2 2 Tim. 2:11; 3 John 14:19

3. As King our Lord was sealed, anointed, and crowned in the resurrection. In virtue of His Divinity, on the one hand, and, on the other, in anticipation of His atoning work, He was King even in His humiliation, and taught and acted as such. Though He spoke of the kingdom of heaven, and of the kingdom of God, He also spoke of His own kingdom: My kingdom is not of this world, 1 He said to His judge; to His disciples: and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; that ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom. 2 But it was not until His resurrection that He was clothed with mediatorial authority, according to the set time and order of the economy of grace. From the sepulcher He went to the mountain in Galilee, where He clothed Himself with His final authority, and said: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.3

1 John 18:36; 2 Luke 22:29,30; 3 Mat. 28:18


The Resurrection was the assurance and infallible proof of the Messiahship of Jesus. It was the Divine demonstration of the truth of the Christian revelation, and itself was demonstrated by sufficient evidences

I. Generally, His resurrection is referred to as the crowning evidence that Jesus is the Christ, and therefore of the Divine authority of His religion

1. The one great argument of the New Testament is that Jesus of Nazareth, rejected and crucified by the Jews, was their Messiah and the world's Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man. Before His death His Divine credentials of word and work approved Him

To them He made His appeal. But He also appealed by anticipation to His own future resurrection. This was His first public pledge laid down in the Temple; and it was repeated when He gave the sign of the prophet Jonas: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 1 He had His own resurrection in view when He convicted the Sadducees of not knowing the Scriptures. 2 Hence He further prepared for its evidential force by making the raising of the dead the crowning miracle of His many wonderful works, reserving the greatest for the last

1 Mat. 12:40; 2 Mat. 22:29

2. But for all ages and all times the one demonstration of the Christ and His religion is His rising from the dead. This is the view taken of it by the preachers of the Gospel in the Acts and the teachers of the Christian Faith in the Epistles. They point to it in every discourse as their own great credential, and as confirmed by the Holy Ghost accompanying their words. They preached Jesus and the Resurrection. 1 St. Paul speaks for the whole company when he says that all human hope depended upon the verity of this event. If Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.2

1 Acts 17:18; 2 1 Cor. 15:14

II. Hence the evidences of the Fact are sufficient. They are of two classes: first, the witness of those to whom our Lord appeared; and, secondly, the witness of the Spirit after His final departure: these, however, are to be combined for ever. The external evidence is not alone; nor is the spiritual evidence of the Christian Faith or demonstration of the Holy Ghost without a basis of facts which He thus demonstrates to be true

1. No part of our Lord's history is more minutely recorded than the history of the Forty days, which must chiefly be regarded under this aspect, as a continuous practical proof of the verity of His resurrection to His own chosen witnesses

(1.) These witnesses were selected as such: Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead. 1 The Lord never appeared to the Jews after their rejection of Him: the day of their visitation was over. This also was foretold: I go My way, and ye shall seek Me. 2 Neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. 3 The witnesses were, in fact, all the members of the Lord's discipleship: expanding in number from the solitary Mary Magdalene to the Five Hundred. But they were chosen in the sense that special demonstration of the reality and of the nature of His risen body was given to the Apostolic Company

1 Acts 10:40,41; 2 John 8:21; 3 Luke 16:31

(2.) Though the witnesses were chosen, Christ was, according to St. Peter, openly shown of God; and the four Evangelists record the reasons of His prearranged appearance. Five times He showed Himself alive on the day of His resurrection: to Mary Magdalene, 1 to another company of women, 2 to Peter, 3 to two disciples on the way to Emmaus, 4 to the Eleven. 5 To these must be added another Jerusalem appearance for the conviction of St

Thomas. Two manifestations took place after long silence in Galilee, to the Seven and to the Five Hundred. Two again in Jerusalem: one to James, the Lord's brother, and another at the Ascension. 6 These Ten are all the appearances that are recorded: probably all that took place.7

1 Mark 16:1; 2 John 20:1; 3 Mat. 28:1; 4 Luke 24:13,33,34; 5 John 20:19,24; 6 Mat. 28:16; 7 John 21:1

(3.) The Lord's occasional visits were accompanied by many infallible proofs; 1 by many signs, tekmeeríois, which could not deceive those who witnessed them. First, He distinguished the day of His resurrection, the third day, by a more abundant exhibition of those signs. The third day was connected with the ancient type of the wave-offering, as the three days and three nights with the prophet Jonah: both meaning, according to Hebrew computation, one whole day and two fragments. On the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it; 2 the first fruits of harvest were waved before the Lord, and the lamb sacrificed, thus typically uniting the paschal atoning sacrifice of Christ and its Easter acceptance. On the fourteenth Nisan our Lord died, having eaten His Passover on the preceding evening. The paschal Sabbath was the day of His rest in the grave; on the sixteenth He rose; and to give evidence of the honor put on this third day, which was to become the first, He appeared many times. Secondly, He took more than one opportunity of showing the marks, tekmeería, 3 of His hands and His feet, and of exhibiting the verity of His body: even eating and drinking with His disciples. Into the mystery of His double relation—to the present world in a body that might be nourished, and to the spiritual world in a body which suddenly appeared within closed doors—we cannot penetrate. Suffice that the Lord added this special miracle of an occasional resumption of His physical relations in order to demonstrate the reality of His resurrection

He could undergo the Transfiguration at will, and by it closed every interview, and all His appearances, until the ascension. Thirdly, the tokens of the reality of His resurrection were the perfect identity of His human affections. He tarried to convince the doubters by the Old Testament, and by exhibition of Himself; to pardon the transgressors who had forsaken Him, especially Peter, who had added denial to his abandonment, and had a private interview for his personal pardon before the public interview for his official pardon; and to teach the things concerning His kingdom. He thus showed Himself to be the same Jesus

1 Acts 1:3; 2 Lev. 23:11; 3 Luke 24:39

2. The evidence of our Lord's resurrection contained in the New-Testament records is unimpeachable. Its assailants have always employed one of three methods of resisting it

(1.) They sometimes adopt the transcendent principle of skepticism: the absolute rejection of this supreme miracle, simply because it is miracle. To this all assaults on this fundamental fact of Christianity come at last. The cumulative force of the evidences of every kind is such that it cannot be resisted by those who believe in revelation and the possibility of miraculous intervention. Those who reject the Lord's resurrection on this ground therefore reject with it all Divine revelation; they persistently refuse to consider the evidences of it: not persuaded, incapable of being persuaded, though One rose from the dead.1

1 Luke 16:31

(2.) Certain theories are devised which may account for the universal acceptance of the fact on the part of the disciples. These may be reduced to two: either the first preachers of Christ's resurrection were impostors; or they were enthusiasts, who, having once listened to the visionary tale of a supposed appearance of Christ, propagated the delusion, and recorded it in legendary narratives. But a careful consideration of the character of the Apostles, of the simplicity of their faith in the resurrection of their Lord, of the selfsacrificing labors by which they sealed their testimony even unto death, will teach every candid mind that neither of these can be the solution. And the narratives themselves in their coherence and tranquil consistency irresistibly plead their own cause

(3.) These narratives are sometimes subjected to a process of examination which detects in them inconsistencies. It is true that there are certain differences in the minute details of the day of the resurrection, even as there are differences in the accounts of the Lord's earlier history. But it must be remembered that the witnesses give independent evidence, and that each records something not mentioned by the others. Every Evangelist has his own design: St. Matthew, for instance, keeps the final Mountain and Commission in view; St. Luke, Emmaus and the Ascension; St. John, the more public appearances of the Risen Lord, concerning which he says that he records as the third what was really the eighth. St. Luke's Gospel seems to make the Lord's final departure take place on the evening of the resurrection; but he himself, in the Acts, mentions the forty days. The third Evangelist has two accounts of the Ascension, entirely different in detail but the same in fact; just as he, a careful historian, gives three narratives of Christ's appearance to Saul, in which the minute differences-—such as that the companions of the Convert in one account see without hearing, and in another hear without seeing—only confirm the accuracy of the narrative

3. The supreme Witness of the resurrection of Christ was the Holy Ghost. To His evidence our Lord referred before He departed. The Spirit accompanied the testimony of the Apostles; He has made the Christian Church the abiding demonstration of the life of its Head; and He gives His assurance in the hearts of all to whose penitent faith He reveals the ascended Savior

(1.) The Apostles preached the Lord's resurrection as witnesses who were sustained by the Spirit's higher testimony: literally, a witness through, and in, and with their preaching

And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom God hath given to them that obey Him. 1 While St. Peter preached the Risen Jesus to Cornelius the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word. 2 This was the reason that with great power gave the Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; 3 it was because they declared it with the confidence of personal assurance, God also bearing them witness, both by signs and wonders, and by divers powers, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will.4

1 Acts 5:32; 2 Acts 10:44; 3 Acts 4:33; 4 Heb. 2:4

(2.) The history of the Christian Church, with its institutions, is one continuous and everenlarging demonstration of the unseen life of its Ruler. The Lord's Day, which has been kept as the memorial of the resurrection from its very morning, is itself testimony that there was never a time when the clear faith in that vital Fact was not held. Similarly, the Eucharistic celebration has from the beginning avowed reliance on a Death once suffered and in a Life which has not been continued upon earth. From the day of Pentecost the Church has been opposed by principalities and powers, human and superhuman; but never has the resurrection of its Head and Defender been successfully assailed

(3.) The most universal and best evidence is the influence of the unseen Redeemer by His Spirit in the hearts and lives of believers. The later New Testament dwells on the working in us of the mighty power which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. 1 The spiritual life of those who accept the Savior is to themselves a ground of assurance that needs nothing to be added. They receive the records because they are bound up with the Scriptures of truth; they believe the Event recorded because it took place in harmony with ancient prediction, according to the Lord's own word, and in consistency with His own Divine power. They know that no argument was brought against the fact by those who were most interested in denying it at the beginning; and that no argument has been brought since that has any force. But their infallible evidence is the life of their own souls

1 Eph. 1:19,20


The Ascension of our Lord is the historical term and end of His Exaltation; and, as such, may be viewed in its preliminaries, recorded by all the Evangelists; as an actual event recorded by St. Luke mainly; and in its sequel including the entire Apostolical testimony to His Session and Intercession

I. The narrative of the Forty Days describes, not only the sequel of the resurrection, but also the preparation for the ascension. The seven weeks of interval corresponded to the seven weeks numbered from the wave-offering, the type of CHRIST THE FIRST-FRUITS. 1 But nothing in Old-Testament symbol or type points to the fortieth day as that of the Saviour's going up. That day was chosen by our Lord: but not arbitrarily. In His love to His disciples and in His wise provision for the future He gave to them the larger part of this time. It may be supposed that His main purpose was to wean them from their dependence on His personal and visible presence. Hence the gradually diminishing appearances. Hence that one preliminary note of the ascension: Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended! 2 This explains the blended remembrances of the past and anticipations of the future: of which the last chapter of St. John is an impressive example. Of any preparation of His body for the day of His glorifying there is no hint. It was simply the set hour; but the hour set by Himself: no change passed upon Him during the interval

The resurrection was the final removal from the conditions of human life; and, so far as concerned Himself, there was no reason to keep Him on earth. His tarrying so long in a midway condition was due to His tender concern for His disciples. And the result was that when He finally departed they were fully prepared for the new economy of His spiritual manifestation; they surrendered Him resignedly to the heavens which must receive Him; 3 and they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.4

1 1 Cor. 15:23; 2 John 20:17; 3 Acts 3:21; 4 Luke 24:52

II. The history of the Event is recorded only by St. Luke. His account in the Gospel describes it rather as the end of the Lord's life on earth, in the Acts with reference rather to His mediatorial work in heaven and final return to finish redemption

1. The Ascension was the end of the Saviour's earthly course

(1.) Until that day Jesus went in and out among us; 1 and His life had been spent amidst unglorified human conditions. The forty days were also days of His flesh, 2 for all His manifestations were in many respects like those of former times: the spiritual vanishings were anticipations of the ascension, and are not alluded to save as marking the appearances themselves

1 Acts 1:21; 2 Heb. 5:7

(2.) Hence the clear historical narrative which runs on with a continuous detail of what Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which He was received up. 1 The Lord led them out as far as to Bethany. 2 He went before them as He was wont to do, but now for the last time. He led them out designedly that they might be witnesses. Reported from them and was carried up into heaven; or, as elsewhere, far above all heavens, 3 far above the gradational heavens to which St. Paul himself, and other saints, had been rapt

It was not, as before, a disappearance into Hades—between which and the upper world the Forty Days alternated—but a local withdrawal into what is called the Presence of God, 4 concerning which we cannot and we need not form any conception. During His life He spoke of His ascent as belonging to His incarnation: the Son of Man was in heaven, and had ascended up to heaven, 5 in virtue of the hypostatic union. But in this final going up the heaven must receive 6 Him: words which must retain their full significance, though they are quite consistent with His receiving the heavens

1 Acts 1:1,2; 2 Luke 24:50,51; 3 Eph. 4:10; 4 Heb. 9:24; 5 John 3:13; 6 Acts 3:21

(3.) The Apostles were witnesses of this event. The Resurrection neither they nor any mortal witnessed; but the Forty Days were a continuous evidence to them that their Lord had risen. The entire community of believers was not summoned to Bethany: for, though it was necessary that the resurrection should be attested by all, the ascension had not the same evidential character. In this respect it was only the natural conclusion, as it were, of the resurrection itself; and is never referred to in the Epistles save in its theological, experimental, and practical bearings. The Apostles had been with their Master in His temptations, and they were permitted to behold the honor and glory which He received in His ascension. Only three of them witnessed the transfiguration-earnest, the same, namely, who witnessed the agony of the garden; but all are admitted to the second holy mount: only, however, the Apostolic company, for there is selection still. Their evidence is sufficient to assure us of the reward conferred on the human nature of our Lord, and of the fact of His entrance into the invisible world

2. As the beginning of a new life the ascension was the passing into a new sphere of mediatorial action, the taking possession of the Presence of God for His people, in a departure from earth which preceded a return from heaven or His appearing the second time.1

1 Heb. 9:24,28

(1.) With the Lord's ascension is always connected the priestly office of intercession wherein as the High Priest He pleads His propitiation for the sins of the whole world, 1 and as His people's Surety pleads especially for them. We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; Who is passed into the heavens, 2 even as His type entereth into the holy place every year. 3 And the government of the Church is in His hands, as seated on the mediatorial throne: to exercise the dominion He went up, even as He came down to obtain it through death. Hence it is said to be a dignity with His right hand 4 conferred on the Son by the Father, and to be the reward of His humiliation unto death. In this sense heaven is the centre of the universe, from which the heavens, the earth, and things under the earth are surveyed and governed by the Incarnate Lord. But the further consideration of this subject belongs to the doctrine of the Offices of Christ

1 1 John 2:1,2; 2 Heb. 4:14; 3 Heb. 9:25; 4 Acts 5:31

(2.) The account of the Acts connects the departure of our Lord with His return: hence the prophetic Mount called Olivet,1 the new angelic announcement which in every word respects the future and not the past, and the emphasis laid upon the first Promise of the perfected Christ: This same Jesus, Which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.2 The Second Coming is predicted as soon as the first is past; this being the link of continuity between the old covenant and the new: in both there is a great expectation of the Savior. Meanwhile, the theological bearing of the Ascension of our Lord is most affectingly taught in connection with the doctrine of His people's union with Him. In virtue of this, believers are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; 3 and seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.4 And, according to the last words of the New Testament, their one deep longing is to see Him again: Even so, come, Lord Jesus! 5

1 Acts 1:12; Zec. 14:4; 2 Acts 1:11; 3 Eph. 1:3; 4 Col. 3:1; 5 Rev. 22:20

III. The sequel of the Ascension is the Session at the right hand of God in heaven; with its attestation on earth, the Pentecostal descent of the Holy Spirit, the Promise of the New Covenant

1. The Session was the subject of our Saviour's prophecy, equally with the events that preceded it. His first reference to it was indirect: He saith unto them, How then doth David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?1 Afterwards, in His own day of judgment, when He was adjured by the high priest and confessed Himself the Son of God, He varied the phrase: Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power. 2 This emphatic twofold allusion of Christ is echoed throughout the New Testament, and rules all that follows

1 Mat. 22:43,44; 2 Mat. 26: 64

(1.) The Apostle Peter speaks of Him as raised by the right hand of God 1 to sit on the right hand of God. 2 And he constantly refers to the Session, sometimes with and sometimes without the term, to express the mediatorial authority of Christ as an administration of the power of God: to shed forth the influences of that Holy Ghost Who represents upon earth the Lord's administration in heaven. But St. Paul is the elect expositor of this authority, and he sums up the entire doctrine in his Ephesian Epistle 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 might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fillet all in all. 3

1 Acts 2:33; 2 1 Pet. 3:22; 3 Eph. 1:20-22

(2.) Hence the Ascension is described as the beginning of a supreme authority which is to end when He hath put all enemies under His feet. 1 Until then our Lord's Session is passive also, as in the attitude of expectation: But He, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. 2 But Stephen, for his assurance in death, saw the Son of Man STANDING on the right hand of God.3

1 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Heb. 10:12,13; 3 Acts 7:56

(3.) But, lastly, this delegated and terminable authority is based upon an eternal prerogative of Session: He who sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high was THE SON, Whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds; before His incarnation being the effulgence of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power. 1 Nor could He have sat on the right hand of God, in universal supremacy, had He not in His eternal dignity been in the Bosom of the Father.2

1 Heb. 1:2,3; 2 John 1:18

2. The Pentecostal gift of the Holy Ghost was at once the immediate proof of the verity of the ascension, and demonstration of the authority to which it led. The prediction of the Psalmist, Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them, 1 was interpreted both by our Lord and by St. Paul of the supreme Gift of the Spirit. I will send Him unto you 2 was the promise before the Saviour's departure; it was confirmed after His resurrection; and it was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost once for all and for ever

1 Psa. 68:18; 2 John 16:7

(1.) For this there were Ten days of preparation. Whether or not the disciples connected the promised Gift with the Fiftieth day, the end of the seven weeks, we cannot tell: probably they did. The indefinite not many days hence 1 might suggest to the presentiment of some among them what others were not prepared to infer. Evidently their Master's purpose was to make this interval a period of discipline: without His personal presence in the flesh, and without His spiritual manifestation by the Holy Ghost, they were reduced for a season to a midway condition of which there is no parallel. But these days were days of prayer; of personal and united preparation for the most glorious revelation heaven had ever sent down to earth. The circle of the Apostolic company was made complete by the choice of St. Matthias; and this by lot, as in an intermediate dispensation between the Lord's departure and the coming of the Spirit. Thus the organic body prepared for the Spirit by the Lord Himself was made whole after the great breach that had been made in it. And the individual believers were prepared for the high Gift by meditation upon their own powerlessness and need, and by fervent prayer for its bestowment. Hence the history of the Eve of Pentecost is narrated in the Acts with careful precision as the record of the final preparations for this consummate fullness of time, the descent of the Holy Ghost

1 Acts 1:5

(2.) The Gift itself was the demonstration of the Session of Christ at the right hand of God. Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye, now see and hear. 1 St. Paul speaks of the ascension gifts unto men with special reference to the dispensation of the ministry, unto the edifying of the body of Christ, 2 which began with the day of Pentecost. But the great prophecy in the Psalm, that the Lord God might dwell among them, 3 had its plenary fulfillment when the Holy Ghost came down as the Shekinah, the symbol of God manifest in the flesh, resting upon the Church and abiding within it as the indwelling presence of the Holy Trinity. Thus the glory within the veil, and the candlestick outside, symbols of the Son and the Spirit, were blended when the veil was removed, into one and the same FULNESS OF GOD.4

1 Acts 2:33; 2 Eph. 4:8,12; 3 Psa. 68:18; 4 Eph. 3:19


The Two Estates of the Redeemer are exhibited throughout the Scriptures with the same precision and uniformity as that which we have marked in the doctrine of the Two Natures in the Incarnate Lord. But we need not trace so carefully the process of Biblical teaching on this subject, as it has been to a great extent anticipated in the development of the doctrine of Christ's Person

I. In the Old Testament the history of the future Minister of redemption is foreshadowed as a career leading through deep humiliation to glory; the Messiah being a mediatorial Person, whose attributes are Divine and human, but Who always occupies a subordinate position in carrying out the Divine counsel. The first distant intimation of this is the phrase Angel of Jehovah, where Jehovah is the Agent of Jehovah. In due time the term Messiah, or The Anointed, prophetically designated the same Angel as incarnate: the future Revealer of the Divine will, Propitiation for human sin, and Ruler of a saved and ransomed people. But this Messiah is described as consecrated for God by God, first to a state of the deepest depression and then to a state of the highest majesty In Isaiah's prophecy, which gave our Lord His own term Minister, the coming of the Incarnate is predicted as that of a Servant. All the Psalms and the Prophets, however, agree in ascribing to the Redeemer a subordination to God which is made mysteriously consistent with Divine titles and honors. In Him the Alpha and Omega meet

II. Our Lord never defines the secret of His incarnate Person; never speaks of His two natures as united in one; nor does He once propose the mystery of His examination and its results to the acceptance of His disciples. He reveals it distinctly but does not distinctly explain it, thus tacitly rebuking beforehand the future presumption of speculative theology. We must consider only therefore the kind of testimony which He gives as to the two Estates respectively

1. In many ways He declares His subordination in His humbled state; but always speaks of it as a voluntary submission

(1.) He terms Himself the Son of Man rather than the Son of God, though not refusing the latter name. He speaks of Himself as come not to be ministered unto, but to minister; 1 of His doctrine as what My Father hath taught Me, and the things which I have heard of Him: 2 of His mediatorial work as a commission or commandment received of My Father, 3 for the strength to accomplish which He prayed, while for its gradual disclosure, or the hour of each crisis, He waited: Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 4 He spoke of God as apart from Himself: His God as well as ours. He said, My Father is greater than I, 5 when speaking of His going to Him through the way of humble suffering. Not so much in individual passages, as in the uniform tone of His self-disclosure, we mark the Redeemer's strict subordination to the Father as the God and Head of the redeeming economy

1 Mat. 20:28; 2 John 8:26,28; 3 John 10:18; 4 Mark 13:32; 5 John 14:28

(2.) That the incarnate Jesus in His humbled estate voluntarily made Himself subject, while retaining the eternal dignity of His Divinity, is obvious from these assertions of His oneness with the Father to which reference has already been made, from His demand of honor equal to that paid to the Father, and especially from His anticipation of a return of the glory which He surrendered in His incarnation. There are some passages in which the voluntary subordination and the coequal dignity are combined in a manner that ought not to be misunderstood. For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so gave He to the Son also to have life in Himself. 1 I came forth and am come from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent Me. 2 The profoundest word, however, is not in St. John, but in St

Matthew: All things are delivered unto Me of My Father; and no one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither doth any know the Father save the Son.3

1 John 5:26; 2 John 8:42; 3 Mat. 11:27

(3.) Hence we are constrained to interpret our Lord's testimony to His exinanition in a sense that shall make it consistent with His consciousness of equality with the Father

This is the great difficulty of the subject; but it is a Scriptural difficulty, committed to humble faith; and this doctrine of a relative and only mediatorial inferiority is much more consonant with the Christian idea of God than the theories of a contracted or depotentiated Divinity which are invented in its stead

2. The Saviour's testimonies to His state of dignity are in word before His ascension, in word and manifestation afterwards

(1.) It is important to consider in what way our Lord was wont to look forward to His future dignity. Here we mark the same twofold strain that we find throughout the subject

On the one hand, He speaks of His exaltation as simply the avowal to the universe of His true character and dignity. No man hath ascended into heaven, but He that descended out of heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven: 1 the Savior, foreseeing His ascension, speaks of it as adding nothing to His real dignity, because He is never out of heaven. Human nature in contact with Him is already exalted. He who heard these words had just before heard the Lord say: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 2 But when the Lord at the close prayed for His coming glorification we understand that Jesus, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, 3 anticipating His reward

1 John 3:13; 2 John 2:19; 3 Heb. 12:2

(2.) After His ascension the Redeemer most expressly teaches us the continuance of a mediatorial subjection in harmony with the essential Divinity of His Divine-human Person. As to the fact of the abiding subordination, He speaks of Himself as the Minister of redemption precisely in the same terms as while on earth. There is literally no difference. He bids His servants speak of Him as the Prince and the Savior Whom God exalted with His right hand, 1 as the Son or the Servant sent to bless. 2 There is no more glorious manifestation of Christ than that to Saul in his conversion, and there we hear our Lord saying that his office should be to turn men from the power of Satan unto God . .

by faith that is in Me. 3 So in the Epistle to the Church of Philadelphia He speaks of the temple of My God and the name of My God: 4 reminding us of the words before the ascension, My Father and your Father, My God and your God. 5 But that this continuing ministry is consistent with His supreme Divinity, we have the Apocalyptic testimony

When St. John was in Patmos, and in the Spirit, he heard the voice of the Redeemer, saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End: 6 than these words none more expressly declare in Scripture the necessary, absolute being of God. That the Risen Savior spoke of Himself is evident from what follows the first human manifestation: Fear not; I am the First and the Last: I am He that liveth! 7 Deep meditation on these and all other such sayings of our Lord must constrain us to understand His secret: the FELLOW of God made the SERVANT of redemption

1 Acts 5:31; 2 Acts 3:26; 3 Acts 26:18; 4 Rev. 3:12; 5 John 20:17; 6 Rev. 22:13; 7 Rev 1:17,18

III. The Two Estates occupy a prominent place in the Apostolical theology. It will be expedient to refer only to a few salient points: the subordination generally; its continuance until the last day; its continuance for ever

1. The subordination of our Lord is in one sense limited to the days of His flesh, and ends with His exaltation at the ascension. One passage is entirely dedicated to this subject: that in the Epistle to the Philippians which makes the voluntary condescension of Christ the example of Christian humility. The Eternal Son, retaining His equality with God, and still being in the form of God, yet made Himself of no reputation, 1 or emptied Himself. It is too often forgotten that the subjection of Christ is here altogether voluntary; that it is matter of self-imputation rather than of an impossible reality. As in the form of God, Christ was still the possessor of Divine attributes, but He did not use or manifest them

He thought it not robbery to be equal with God: He did not, as to His human nature, think fit to arrogate the display of His equality with God. But it was in the form of a servant that He humbled Himself; while His examination was that of the God-man, in respect, however, to His Divinity as making the manhood its organ

1 Phil. 2:2-8

2. The exalted state is, further, not described as the resumption of our Lord's pretemporal glory apart from His incarnate subjection. Though the fullness of the Godhead 1 is in Him, it is in Him bodily, 2 and as flowing from the pleasure of the Father: the eternal generation was not an act of the Divine will, but in the necessity of the Divine essence; but it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell after the ascension. Hence in the Corinthian Epistles we have some distinct exhibitions of the subordination. The Head of Christ is God: 3 this is perhaps the most striking expression of the fact that even in heaven the Incarnate is mediatorially subject. And Christ is God's 4 declares the same truth. But it is the current doctrine of the Epistles; and finds its reason as well as its expression in the sequel of the passage above quoted: therefore God also hath highly exalted Him! 5

1 Col. 2:9; 2 Col. 1:19; 3 1 Cor. 11:3; 4 1 Cor. 3:23; 5 Phil. 2:9

3. There is a sense, however, in which the subordination is represented as abiding eternally. Only one passage expressly refers to this; but it is one which is exceedingly explicit, and gives so much prominence to the subject that we must not pass it by as belonging to the hidden and reserved mysteries of the Christian faith. Then shall the Son also Himself be subjected to Him that put all things under Him: autós ho Huiós hupotageésetai. 1 Here, theologically at least, we might take a middle signification: the Son shall subject Himself. It is indeed as if, at the close of the redeeming economy, He reaffirms His original assumption of our nature. He will not fold it or lay it aside as a vesture. Remaining in the unity of the Father and the Holy Ghost—God shall be All in all—He will end the whole history and mystery of redemption by ratifying His incarnation for ever

1 1 Cor. 15:28

4. Before leaving the Scriptural view of this subject we should observe that the sacred writers give no formula to express the mediatorial relation of the Son incarnate to the Father and to the Holy Trinity. All that is meant by subordination is asserted, but the word is not used; nor is any synonym employed until the subjection of the last day is referred to. This is a remarkable circumstance and points to a striking theological paradox. It might seem that the following was the order of the Lord's historical process: The Logos in the Trinity, the humiliation of the incarnate state, the elevation to supreme dignity after the resurrection, the abdication at the close of all mediatorial authority as such, and the voluntary continuance of the Son as incarnate in a subordination to the Eternal Trinity that does not impair the dignity of the Son as God in the unity of the Father and of the Holy Ghost. The union of man with His Creator is thus made perfect: not by Pantheistic absorption into the Godhead, but by union with God in the Son. The Lamb is in the midst of the throne; 1 and He is the Head of the Church, the Savior of the Body, 2 for ever

1 Rev. 7:17; 2 Eph. 5:23


The earlier developments of historical Christology were limited to the relation of the two natures in the one Person of the Christ Subsequent controversies had reference rather to the nature of the subordinate estate into which the Redeemer descended. At the Reformation the characteristics of the Divine-human humiliation on the one hand, and on the other its reversal in the ascended dignity, were profoundly studied and became the ground of many divisions. A few general remarks will be enough to indicate the direction which theological study here takes: first, in mediaeval theology; then in the theories of Lutheranism; and, lastly, in some miscellaneous tendencies of modern thought

I. After the settlement of the Four Ecumenical Councils the Christological discussions reappeared in controversies referring rather to the degree in which the Divine Person partook of the humiliation of the human nature. Four speculative tendencies may, without violence, be brought into relation with each other

1. First the Monophysite and Monothelite errors made our Lord's humbled estate a real renunciation of both His natures, without seeming to do so. These were simply the reflex of the Eutychian heresy, which has never vanished from theology

(1.) The Monophysite dogma has been called Theopaschitism, because its tendency was to assign one nature as well as one Person to Christ, Who therefore as a composite Godman was crucified: the emphasis of course resting on the Divine nature which absorbed the human, the passion was exaggerated into a suffering of God Hence the name. This error was held in a great variety of forms; in its one general principle it was the link of transition between pure Eutychianism, which absorbed the man in the God, and the philosophical Eutychianism of modern Lutheran theories. Monophysites are supposed to linger only among the Eastern sects: in reality the divines of the Depotentiation school are their representatives

(2.) The Monothelite heresy was the same with a difference: the former error just mentioned had reference to the human nature of Christ generally; this latter to His single will only. Now if there was in Christ only one will, there could be only one nature; for the will cannot be divided. Hence the humanity was abolished in this dogma, and the humiliation of the Son of God was His sinking to such a point as to say NOT AS I WILL

The true doctrine taught indeed ONE THEANDRIC, OPERATION, but as the result of two wills, the human being of necessity submissive to the Divine or necessarily one with it in act

2. The heresy sometimes called Adoptianism was taught by two Spanish divines in the eighth century, and was condemned at the Synod of Frankfurt, A.D. 794. It was really a revival of Nestorianism; as it kept apart the Divine and the human son-ship of our Lord, making the human nature partaker of the Divine Sonship only by an act of heavenly and gracious adoption. Thus the humbled estate of the God-man was merely the expression of His alliance with a human person of consummate and more than human excellence

Alcuin and other opponents of this view laid great stress on the fact that the humiliation of Christ was His union with our nature, not with a human individual: " In absumtione carnis a Deo, persona perit hominis, non natura." 3. The term Nihilianism is suggested by a controversy once vigorous, but of little importance save as the expression of an erroneous protest against a still greater error. It took up the word that defeated the error just mentioned—that is, the IMPERSONALITY of our Lord's human nature—and defended the position that the Second Person underwent no change whatever through the assumption of flesh. The notion was condemned by the Lateran Council of A.D. 1215, as tending to reduce the Incarnation to a nullity. It was the very opposite of Theopaschitism before, and of the Depotentiation theory that followed, the Reformation: these errors both being based on the assumption that God in one of the Divine Persons is capable of being reduced to such a point as to combine with a finite personality as its power and energy. But error cannot cast out error; and this theory perverted the true dogma of the impersonality of the human nature of our Lord by excluding the reality of a human presentation of His Divine human Person. It went far towards abolishing the Humbled Estate, and leaving only a Docetic Christianity

4. Very much more interesting was the mediaeval discussion as to whether the suffering of the God-man was essentially necessary, or whether His union with human nature was attended with humiliation only on account of sin. While the question is confined to these limits the answer is plain enough: we know of no manhood as the object of the Redeemer's condescension apart from sin, and of no Mediator who was not made sin for us. But the question does not rest there

5. This beautiful speculation involves another topic of very great importance. The question is not simply whether or not human sin rendered necessary the Incarnation, but whether man was not really the created expression of God's eternal idea in His Son. The Infinite and the finite were one in Him. The universal Spirit in God found its incarnate embodiment, realized itself, in humanity as conceived in the historical Jesus. The Pantheistic Christology of Duns Scotus in the early middle ages laid the foundation for modern German transcendental philosophy, which, whether in Kant or Hegel, is intimately bound up with the necessary evolving of the Trinity through Christ. But from these speculations we must turn away

II. At the Reformation, the Lutheran and the Reformed dogmas concerning our Lord's Two Estates widely disparted

1. The Lutheran was based upon the principle of a COMMUNIO NATURARUM, or COMMUNICATIO IDIOMATUM: the latter implying that the attributes of the Divinity were imparted to the manhood in the unity of the Person; the former implying further that the one nature is interpenetrated by the other, that what one nature is and does the other is and does. The " Natura humana est in Christo capax Divinae." The Reformed doctrine denied this: "Finitum non est capax Infiniti." It asserted that the humanity of Christ never was nor ever could be possessed of Divine attributes. It may be well to consider more at large the Lutheran dogmatics on this subject. It divides the Communicatio Idiomatum, or interchange of attributes, into three branches. (1.) The GENUS IDIOMATICUM: this signifies the use of predicates taken from either nature and applied to the whole Person. (2.) The GENUS AUCHEMATICUM SEU MAJESTATIGUM: this signifies the ascription of Divine attributes to the human nature, in the POSSESSION from the conception, in the full USE from the ascension. (3.) The GENUS APOTELESMATICUM: this signifies the ascription of mediatorial acts to the One Agent. It is obvious that the second of these contains the peculiarity of Lutheran doctrine. The Reformed theologians, and the great body of the Christian Church, have always denied the communication of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence in any sense to the human nature of our Lord

2. The application of the theory to the Two Estates may be traced in two opposite directions: first, in regard to the deification of the human nature generally in the ascension, and particularly the ubiquity of that nature in the Eucharist; secondly, in regard to the more modern theories of retraction or depotentiation of Divinity in the Incarnate Man

(1.) In the Lutheran theology the ascension of Christ is regarded as the assumption of His human nature into the full dignity and use of all Divine perfections. During His humiliation He possessed the attributes of omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence, but voluntarily declined to exhibit them. After the exaltation there was in Him the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 1 His body became not merely the organ of these attributes, but itself possessed them. He entered not into the local heaven, but into the immensity of God. The heavens did not receive Him, but He received the heavens: so are the words hón deí mén déxasthai áchri 2 translated by the advocates of this view

1 Col. 2:9; 2 Acts 3:21

(2.) Hence the soul and body of Christ have the ubiquity of the Godhead. Not, however, that the actual flesh of the Redeemer can be literally extended to infinity; but that the hypostatic union gives the Divine power and knowledge to the Glorified Man, and therefore the omnipresence also. The application of this doctrine to the Saviour's offices will be hereafter seen. Suffice here to observe that it is made to explain the anomaly in the prophetic office that the Divine-human Revealer was ignorant of some things while on earth: in Him now are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Glorified King now sways the destinies of the universe as God-man: while on earth He had, no such authority save in the unity of the Triune God. As Priest the Redeemer gives the virtue of omnipresence now to the sacrifice He offered for sin, dispensing to the communicants at the Eucharist His glorified body and blood at every altar. The theology of Lutheranism generally attaches much importance to the physical aspect of redemption

It seems to regard corporeal embodiment as " the end of all God's ways:" to use the favorite language of some of its modern exponents

(3.) In the beginning of the seventeenth century a controversy on this subject sprang up in Lutheranism. One party maintained that the humiliation of Christ was the hiding of Divine attributes which in His human estate He possessed: this idea of krypsis, or concealment, gave them their name of Kryptists. Another party affirmed that there was an actual kenosis, or emptying Himself, of the Divine attributes which belonged to the human nature in virtue of the hypostatical union: hence they were Kenotists. The former view invested Jesus as man with omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence from the moment of the Conception; but this possession was veiled during the earthly life, and avowed only after the Ascension. The latter regarded Him as having the ktoosis or possession of these attributes from His birth, but as utterly renouncing their chresis or use until He was glorified. The former view, held by the Tubingen theologians, made the ascension the first display of Christ's Divine attributes in humanity; the latter view, held by the Giessen theologians, made it the first, resumption of them. The controversy was one of infinite subtlety, but concerned only the Lutheran theologians: they alone asserted a communication of Divine attributes to the manhood, and they alone were involved in the embarrassments resulting. The general bearing of the question is well seen in the following words of Gerhard: —"Not a part to a part, but the entire Logos was united to the entire flesh, and the entire flesh was united to the entire Logos; therefore, on account of the hypostatic union and intercommunion of the two natures, the Logos is so present to the flesh and the flesh so present to the Logos that neither is the Logos EXTRA CARNEM, nor is the flesh EXTRA LOGON; but wherever the Logos is, there it has the flesh most present, as having been assumed into the unity of the person." The controversy led to no definite results: indeed, to us who look at the question from the outside, there is but little difference between them

(4.) During the present century the condescension of the Son of God in the Incarnation has been profoundly studied by German and French divines under the influence of a certain Eutychianism that has never ceased to cling to Lutheran Christology, but modified by the transcendental philosophy which sees in Christ the developing body of the Spirit of the Godhead coming to perfect personality in the Holy Ghost. The various opinions to which the names of individual men are attached need not be discussed at length; that would be to exaggerate their importance. It will be enough to mention the one element common to them all: namely, that of a literal merging of the Divinity of the Son into the finite Spirit of the Man Christ Jesus. The general idea takes many forms: sometimes simply Pantheistic, the Eternal Spirit thinking itself as a Person in Christ; sometimes purely Eutychian, God the Son contracted into humanity, and both growing together to perfection; sometimes Apollinarian, the Potency of the Son working dynamically in the psychical soul and flesh of Jesus. But all these hypotheses have been shown by anticipation to be incapable of resisting the simple argument of the essential Immutability of the Divine nature

III, Many modern theories have been revived from antiquity or invented afresh which have striven to break the fall of the Divine into the human, the chief of these being the interposition of a human pre-existent soul of Christ

1. The one fundamental principle in these sporadic speculations —they have never been formulated in any Confessions—is that the pure humanity of our Lord was as independent of the race of man as that of Adam was when he came from the Hand and Breath of his Maker. Denying, with the Scripture, that Jesus owed anything to a human father, they deny, without or in opposition to Scripture, that He derived anything from a human mother. The Virgin was no more than the instrument or channel through which a Divine humanity, existing before the foundation of the world or from eternity, was introduced by the Holy Ghost into human history. The passages relied upon for the maintenance of this notion are such as that in which our Lord says, I came down from heaven,1 and the Second Man is [the Lord] from heaven, 2 which, with some like them, are made to signify that the human nature as well as the Divine was pre-existent in eternity

1 John 6:38; 2 1 Cor. 15:47

2. Modern Mysticism has furnished in Behmen, Poiret, Barclay, AEtinger, Goschel, Petersen, and others, the most attractive forms of this theory. In them the pure ideal humanity of Jesus—which it is hard however to conceive as purely ideal— was one with the Word from eternity, as it were in a pretemporal incarnation. After the fashion of that humanity man was created: and the incarnate Jesus of history literally came unto His own. 1 AEtinger, one of the most unexceptionable of Mystics, says: " Because Wisdom, before the Incarnation, was the visible Image of the invisible God, therefore the Son, in comparison with the Being of all beings, is something relatively incorporeal, although He too is a pure spirit. The heavenly humanity which He had as the Lord from heaven was invisibly present even with the Israelites. They drank out of the rock." But in all these speculations the Incarnation is antedated; or, rather, it is not the Son of God Who becomes flesh but the Son of God already in the heavenly nature of mankind

1 John 1:11

3. Swedenborgianism, in its theological system, has on this subject as on every other, a peculiar revelation. Swedenborg asserted the unity of God, and strove to reconcile with that the Deity of Christ. His theory established a kind of hypostatic union between the Father and the Son in the One Christ, the only God in the universe. The Incarnation he viewed in an Apollinarian way: the eternal God, eternally God-man, manifested Himself in the animal soul and psychical body derived from the Virgin; but the material body was finally absorbed and glorified. This is literally a composite of nearly all the heresies of antiquity. But its peculiarity as to the person of Christ is that it gives Him, like all other men, both a material body and a spiritual, the former corresponding with the world of sense, the latter with the spiritual world which He never left. The Christ of this system is the one eternal Jehovah, God and Man in one

4. Others, of whom Isaac Watts may be regarded as the representative, have held similar views as to the pre-existent humanity of Christ. Their starting point is the same as the Lutheran, that the human spirit is capable of expansion to infinity. Now the pre-existent soul of Christ was, in their view, created and personally united with the Logos: here Orthodoxy and Arianism unite. This already incarnate Logos became incarnate on earth by assuming the animal life of a natural body: here Apollinarianism, as so often elsewhere, steps in. Accordingly, all the humiliation of our Lord consisted in this transcendent human spirit being bereft of its knowledge and passing through all stages of exinanition until the ascension restored it to its perfection. But in this case the Man Christ Jesus is not strictly one of us. There is an enormous addition made to His Person; but there is no relief afforded to the difficulties of His humiliation


Jesus is, in virtue of His incarnation, the Anointed Mediator between God and man. To the offices of His mediatorship His incarnate Person was specifically anointed at His baptism, and thus He became the perfected Christ of God. His work was the fulfillment and consummation of the ancient prophetical, priestly and regal functions to which the typical servants of God under the old economy were anointed. These offices He began to discharge on earth, and continues to discharge in heaven. While considering them as distinct, it is important to remember that they are one in the mediatorial work; and that the integrity of evangelical truth depends upon the faithfulness with which we give to each its due tribute in the unity of the two others

The division of the mediatorial work into Three Offices is based, as will be seen, on the Scriptures, both of the Old and of the New Testament, but it is not formally stated in them. It was current in later Judaism; is distinctly to be traced in the early Fathers, especially Eusebius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Augustine; and in the Middle Ages was elaborated by Thomas Aquinas. It was introduced into their theology both by Luther and Calvin, and, though contended against by some writers who object to the too systematic distinction of the several offices, it has become current in modern theology. There are many reasons why it is inexpedient to make the Three Offices the basis of an analysis of the mediatorial work. But their consideration is most appropriate in the present review of the process of historical redemption


The Redeemer of mankind, whose advent in the fullness of time is the supreme verbal and typical prophecy of the Old Testament, was marked out as THE LORD'S ANOINTED or THE CHRIST. This appellation was not at first given to Him directly, but indirectly as He was represented by those who in the Theocracy were anointed to their office. In some passages however the future Savior is predicted by this name; and when He came into the world He was the fulfillment of a general expectation of the Messiah as hereafter to come in one or all of these three offices

I. Anointing was from early times a symbol of consecration to God: to the Divine possession and to the Divine service

1. Generally, it signified human dedication and Divine acceptance. So, in the first recorded instance of its use, Jacob took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it, 1 because it was revealed to him, the Lord is in this place. More particularly it was the symbol of light and peace and joy: of light for prophetical illumination, of peace for priestly atonement, of joy for regal government as the presence of God with His people

1 Gen. 28:18,16

2. This anointing oil was the emblem of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of consecration. As blood was the expiatory symbol, water that of purification, and light of God's accepting presence, so oil was the symbol of sanctification generally as mystically combining all these. This symbol in its most perfect form, the holy anointing oil, 1 was a peculiar confection, like everything pertaining to the sanctuary after a Divine pattern, and never to be used save in connection with Divine uses, for the priesthood and the sanctuary; it was not to be privately prepared, nor to be poured upon man's flesh or the stranger. It is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Thus the precious ointment, the ointment of the apothecary, was the elect typical emblem of the Holy Ghost in His special relation to the unction of Christ, and in His general relation to that of the saints who share the sacred unction

1 Exo. 30:22-33

II. Anointing oil was used for the consecration of the priesthood and of the prophets and rulers; especially of the high priest and the kings in the ancient economy

1. The priests were anointed, as also the furniture of the sacrificial service: all things were both sprinkled with blood and anointed with oil. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them. 1 And Moses took of the anointing oil, and of the blood which was upon the altar, and sprinkled it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon his sons' garments with him; and sanctified Aaron. 2 The anointing oil was therefore as essential and as pervasive as the blood, its correlative symbol: the expiatory atonement and the consecration of the Holy Ghost being co-ordinate. After the first institution the priest that is anointed 3 signified the High Priest: it is to be supposed that the successors in the ordinary priesthood were not consecrated by this symbol. The prophets were set apart in the same way. Moses, the head of the prophetic order, who anointed the priests, did not himself undergo the rite. The Spirit anointed him without the emblem. But Elijah was commanded to anoint Elisha to be prophet in his room. 4 As to the kings, the testimony is more clear. Elijah anointed Hazael to be king, which points back to an earlier ordinance. 5 The judges were not thus instituted. Joshua received the imposition of Moses' hands as one on whom the Spirit of consecration had already fallen.6 But, when Saul was given to Israel, Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, is it not because the Lord hath anointed thee to be captain over His inheritance? 7 David, however, was the specific regal type of the Messiah. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. 8 Designation and endowment with gifts were the two elements in the regal consecration: the former making the Lord's Anointed a sacred and inviolable person, and the latter insuring him every requisite grace for the administration of his office

1 Exo. 30:30; 2 Lev. 8:30; 3 Lev. 4:3; 4 1 King 19:16; 5 1 King 19:15; 6 Num. 27:18,23; 7 1 Sam. 10:1; 8 1 Sam. 16:13

2. Thus the anointing oil, the symbol of the Holy Ghost, had various meanings in the typical economy: meanings which were afterwards one in Christ. The prophetic anointing signified rather the setting apart of an organ for occasional influence: it pointed out one in whom the Spirit was already present. The priestly anointing indicated not so much mere appointment as consecration to the Divine service. The regal anointing superadded to the other meanings that of the permanent divine indwelling: the king was God's representative alone. The prophet and the king represented God and not man: the former, occasionally; the latter, permanently. The priest represented God to man, and man to God; his consecration was abiding, and affected all things connected with him. As in the case of the altar, whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.1

1 Exo. 30:29

III. There are a few remarkable passages in which the future Redeemer is foreannounced as the Anointed One, the preeminent mashiychekaa, and in relation to these three offices distinctively

1. The Psalms open with the Great Name of the future, which was to be sanctified for ever as common to Christ and His people: The rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed. 1 Here is the regal office; and this is echoed in a later Psalm: God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee, 2 where the prophetic office is also referred to, and the priestly consecration is scarcely hid

1 Psa. 2:2; 2 Psa. 14:7,2,8

2. The Anointed One speaks of Himself through Isaiah: The Spirit of the Lord [God] is upon Me; 1 because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings. 2 Here is by our Lord's own interpretation the prophetic office: the only passage of this class which He quotes. Others He left for the use of His Apostles

1 Isa. 61:1; 2 Luke 4:18

3. Daniel closes the Messianic prophecy proper by giving the name Messiah to the Future Redeemer, specifically as High Priest, but including His other offices. Three times he mentions the word. After threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: seventy weeks are determined . . . to make reconciliation for iniquity . . . and to anoint the Most Holy. 1 But He is Messiah the Prince; and His coming was to seal up the prophecy. Here are all the offices combined; this distinction and combination are the glory of Daniel's predictions

1 Dan. 9:24,25,26

IV. Hence in later Judaism a clear testimony was borne to the union of the three functions in One Supreme Person; and the Savior when He came found among the people a general expectation of the Messiah or Christ. He appealed to it as everywhere latent

1. The Targums, or Chaldaic paraphrases of the Scripture substituted for the Hebrew text in public reading after the Captivity, exhibit in very many passages a clear view of the Messiah in His offices. They call Him God; the King; the Prophet; the High Priest upon His throne; the promised Shiloh. They apply to Him all the passages which Christians are wont to apply. They make His two advents one, however, and regard the delay of the Messiah as caused by the sins of the people; at least this is the explanation of some of later date, when the critical periods indicated for the coming of Messiah were evidently overpast. Some Jewish authorities, it is true, invented a double Messiah; one, the Son of Joseph, in humiliation; the other, the Son of David, in glory. Others referred the predictions of sorrow to the Hebrew race, not to the Messiah: the People being the afflicted Servant of God. But before the time of Christ Jewish expectation took very much the form which is sketched in our own exposition of the Old Testament

2. The state of Messianic expectation in the time of our Lord may be gathered from the Gospels with great precision. The Christ was to come of the seed of David and out of the town of Bethlehem where David was. 1 The people were wont to ask, Is not this the Son of David?2 He was to be heralded by Elijah: Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? 3 He was to be the Anointed: He inquired of them where Christ should be born,4 Who had been announced to Simeon as the Lord's Christ. 5 Andrew's word to Simon was: We have found the Messiah, (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 6 So the people were accustomed to say, When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these which this man hath done? 7 He was expected in His three offices. As King especially, for the state of the Jewish people would endear that character: Where is He that is born King of the Jews or the Christ? 8 with which corresponds the final charge: saying that He Himself is Christ a King! 9 As Prophet also: of Him whom they would take by force to make Him a King, 10 they testified, This is of a truth the prophet that should come into the world. 11 There was no real difference between those who said, Of a truth this is the Prophet! and those who said, This is the Christ! Samaria shared the expectation of Christ as a prophet: I know that Messiah cometh, (Which is called Christ}: when He is come, He will tell us all things. 12 We have not the same direct evidence that the Messiah was expected to be a priest. It is plain, however, that the representatives of Judaism who welcomed the Child Jesus waited for a priestly Messiah Zacharias, Simeon, and the Baptist all regarded Him as the incarnation of God Who visited and redeemed His people, 13 not by the right hand of His power simply, but by the remission of their sins, 14 through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God Which taketh away the sin of the world. 15 But here the popular expectation faltered and failed. The Christ was expected as the Son of God which should come into the world, 16 that abideth for ever 17 upon earth: as the pledge of the Divine presence, and life, and power among men; as the Head of a new kingdom of heaven and as the vindicator and redeemer of God's ancient people. But as the High Priest, Himself the Offerer and the Offering, they did not recognize their Messiah. Hence no part of our Lord's sayings was more offensive than those in which He spoke of His flesh given for the life of the world. 18 The common people were one with the Pharisees and Scribes, and the disciples themselves differed little from them, in the carnality of their hopes. Be it far from Thee, Lord! 19 said Simon Peter, when under the teaching not of the Father but of flesh and blood; and in these words the Lord perceived not only the timorous loyalty of one who loved Him, but also the blinding agency of Satan, whose object was to merge the priestly office of the Messiah in the two others: to induce the nation to regard Him only as a supreme Teacher and a mighty King. Peter's híleoós soi kúrie was not from above but from below. Such theories of the Messiah holding the prophetic and regal offices alone and without the priestly bond between them, have been the watchwords of most of the errors of the Christian Church concerning the work of Christ

1 John 7:42; 2 Mat. 12:23; 3 Mat. 17:10; 4 Mat. 2:4; 5 Luke 2:26; 6 John 1:41; 7 John 7:31; 8 Mat. 2:2,4; 9 Luke 23:2; 10 John 6:14,15; 11 John 7:40,41; 12 John 4:25; 13 Luke 1:68; 14 Luke 1:77; 15 John 1:29; 16 John 11:27; 17 John 12:34; 18 John 6:51,52; 19 Mat. 16:22

3. It is well known that at the time of our Saviour's advent the world at large was familiar with the Jewish expectation, and even shared it. The Desire of the People was the Desire of the Nations also. The coming of the Magi was a testimony to this: the blessing of the Spirit resting upon the seed sown in the Captivity. Outside the Scripture we read: " Percrebuerat Oriente toto vetus et constans opinio esse in fatis ut eo tempore Judaea profecti rerum potirentur." And again: " Pluribus persuasio inerat anti-quis sacerdotum literis contineri eo ipso tempore fore ut valesceret oriens, profectique Judaea rerum potirentur." 4. Finally, all this will explain the appeals of the early preachers of the Faith

Contending with the Jews the Apostles constantly made it their aim to prove that Jesus was the Messiah: so St. Paul reasoned that this Jesus, Whom I preach unto you, is Christ.1 Here was to the Jewish people, always and everywhere, the theme of all argument and preaching. Preaching to the Gentiles, they skillfully touched the same great Messianic desire, known to be latent in all hearts: there are glimpses of this in the New Testament, but much more evident illustrations in the Apologetics of the first two centuries. The history of Christian Missions in all ages adds its tribute. The Gospel never fails of a response when it speaks to the indestructible hope of a Deliverer, whose coming the world has longed for ever since it began its career of wandering from God

1 Acts 17:3


As the Messiah or Christ of Fulfillment our Lord accomplished in Himself all the types and symbols and prophecies of the Old Testament. The holy oil of unction is in the New Testament the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Christ's anointing in two senses: first, as consecrating His Person in the Incarnation; and, secondly, as consecrating Him to His offices at the Baptism


Our Lord in His Person is the Lord's Anointed. As such He is the Messiah of the Old Testament come in the flesh; and the Mediator between God and men in both natures as united in one Person

I. At the Saviour's birth He was declared to be a Savior, which is Christ the Lord; Simeon saw the Lord's Christ. 1 And He was so called, not in anticipation only, but because in His incarnation or conception His human nature was sanctified and consecrated, essentially separated from the sin of our race by the Holy Ghost. The body of humanity thus prepared for Him He assumed before it came to personal and independent subsistence, and insured its eternal sinlessness. He was the Lord's Christ, even as He was Jesus, from the instant of His conception. And, as the term Mediator is bound up with the term Christ, He was the Mediator in His incarnation, before the mediating act of atonement was accomplished

1 Luke 2:11,26

II. Hence all the future functions of the Christ must be attributed to neither of His natures distinctively, but to His one Person. Our Lord, as Mediator, is not divided

1. He sustains no office which is not based upon His Divinity, and executed through His human nature. As Prophet He is still the only-begotten God, Which is in the bosom of the Father, 1 Whom as Man He hath declared to men. As Priest He is the Son Who learned obedience by the things which He suffered; 2 it behoved Him, as the Son, to be made like unto His brethren, 3 and, taken from among men, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 4 The Church of God, or the Lord, was purchased with His own blood; 5 and the High Priest offered Himself through the Eternal Spirit 6 of His Divinity. So also His Kingly authority, exercised in human nature, requires as its foundation the Divine dignity of the Son Who upholdeth all things by the word of His power. 7 The first verses of the Epistle to the Hebrews contain the three offices of the one Incarnate Person in their most complete and grandest exhibition

1 John 1:18; 2 Heb. 5:8; 3 Heb. 5:1; 4 Heb. 2:17; 5 Acts 20:28; 6 Heb. 9:14; 7 Heb. 1:3

2. The Incarnate Person is the one Mediator: not the human nature as some Romanists have affirmed; not the Divine nature as Osiander and some other Protestants maintained; but the one Theanthropic Agent whose mediatorial volition is one in the unity of the Divine and human wills. Hence the word Mediator has a unique meaning as descriptive of the Christ: There is one Mediator between God and men, rather, of God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 1 rather, Jesus Christ Man. This passage, solitary as marking the union of the two natures in relation to the Christ as such, is supported by others testifying that He became afterwards the Mediator of the New Covenant, in which Moses was His type

In the former—His incarnate mediation—He had and could have no type. As the one Mediator His Person Incarnate is the Agent of all His doctrine, of all His sacrificial acts, and of all His authority as King. He teaches as the Word speaking in human language; He atones and intercedes as the High Priest taken from among men, but first given to man as the Son; and He rules as the Eternal Son to Whom in the flesh all power is mediatorially and economically committed

1 1 Tim. 2:5

3. It follows that our Lord, as in His own Person the fulfillment of the promises concerning Christ, gathered all types into one before He entered upon the distributive functions of His several offices. He is the unity of God and man; and the unity of all the distinct elements of the predicted Mediatorial Ministry. No one man ever united the three offices. Moses was prophet or lawgiver, but, strictly speaking, neither priest nor king

David was king and prophet, but not priest. Melchizedek was priest and king, but not prophet. Ezekiel was prophet and priest, but not king. And where the functions were united in one person, they were still distinct: he who occasionally prophesied might occasionally act as priest. Though each office was permanent in some cases, as in Moses, Aaron, and David, never were two or three of these offices permanent in one office bearer. But in the one Person of the Incarnate all these offices are united, in their perfection, in their constant exercise, and each as necessary to the other. He is always the Light of the world, always the Life of redemption, always the Ruler of mankind


Our Lord's second or official unction was received at His Baptism, which was His public designation or sealing to the Messianic office, and the full equipment of His human nature for its discharge. After His baptism He assumed at successive intervals the three offices distinctively; and began to fulfill them. After His ascent He continued them all in perfection; and will not lay them down until the end. The beginnings of the Messianic work are recorded in the Gospels; its consummation is exhibited in the Apostolic testimony

I. The Baptism of Christ to His office was the effusion upon Him of the Holy Spirit: marking Him out as the Messiah, and at the same time replenishing Him, as to His human nature, with all Messianic gifts. This outpouring from heaven was preceded by a baptism of water, shared by our Lord with men generally as the baptism of repentance, but which had a special twofold significance in regard to Him

1. Jesus was baptized by His Forerunner, who was both the representative of the old economy and the preacher of repentance for the new. (1.) In the former relation the Baptist performed on the Person of the Christian High Priest the washing which preceded His anointing with the Holy Ghost. The typical high priests in particular were washed before they were anointed; and anointing generally was preceded by baptism. (2.) In the latter relation the preacher of repentance administered the baptismal pledge of penitent waiting for the Messiah, to One who, though the Messiah Himself, was also the representative of sinful man. Thus in the case of our Lord's descent into the Jordan two ends were accomplished: on the one hand, He was baptized as the Head and Surety of the human race assuming in its symbol the transgression of mankind; and, on the other, He was designated as the Messiah in whom were combined all the offices to which His types were of old anointed. In the former sense His baptism represented a sin assumed but not shared; He was already numbered with the transgressors 1 at the Jordan, and came by water before He came by blood. 2 The Baptism was a prelude of the Crucifixion. In the latter, it represented the perfect purity which His preeminent ministry required; the water represented not the cleansing from sin but the absence of the need of purification

1 Isa. 53:12; 2 1 John 5:6

2. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost must be viewed as the designation of Christ to His work as the Representative of the Holy Trinity, and the equipment of His human nature with all the gifts necessary for His mission

(1.) When John was sent to his ministry he was told that the Messiah would be indicated to him by a higher baptism than his own: Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptized with the Holy Ghost

The symbol was beheld by the Baptist, who came, baptizing with water, that the Baptizer with the Spirit should be made manifest to Israel; and of the token of the Spirit's descent he says, / saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 1 The Holy Trinity united in this designation. The voice from heaven was that of the Father; it proclaimed that the Man Christ Jesus was at the same time His beloved Son; 2 and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him. 3 Thus was the Lord marked out to His forerunner, who before knew Him not; and that forerunner in his turn marked Him out to the world, which also in another sense as yet knew Him not

1 John 1:31,33,34; 2 Mat. 3:16,17; 3 John 1:31

(2.) According to the ancient prophecy, the Spirit was to descend upon the Messiah in the sevenfold unity and distribution of His perfect gifts. It was said of the Branch of the root of Jesse: and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 1 Concerning this gift which replenished the human nature of the Redeemer, or His Person as represented by His humanity, the Baptist said: God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto Him]. 2 And it is this gift that He distributes to His people: what He has for us without measure He distributes by measure to us. Long afterward he who testified of these things gave the first and the last formal expression of the privilege of believers to share their Master's anointing: ye have an unction from the Holy One, 3 where the chrísma is from the Holy One who needed no anointing for His own soul but reserved it for ours: that we might be Christians as He is the Christ. The disciples were CALLED—but not MADEChristians first in Antioch.4

1 Isa. 11:2; 2 John 3:34; 3 1 John 2:20; 4 Acts 11:26

II. Our Lord formally assumed His three offices at certain set times, each of which is solemnly recorded by an Evangelist

1. As the Messiah generally He always spoke and acted as having in Himself the unity of these functions from the beginning. But during His humbled estate, and until He had fulfilled His chief office, that of making atonement, He maintained a certain reserve, and only by degrees declared the full mystery of His work. He began by declaring Himself to be the Lawgiver and Teacher: that is, by assuming His prophetic office. And this function He discharged alone until the eve of His departure; when, in His self-consecrating prayer, He assumed the ministry of His High-priesthood, and offered Himself a sacrifice for sin

Having accomplished that, He assembled His disciples around Him after the resurrection and assumed His royal authority: the power given to Him in heaven and upon earth

2. But this was also IN heaven FOR earth; the Savior ascended to discharge all His offices above; and the Acts and the Epistles contain that full theological development of their meaning which was not possible until the Holy Spirit had come down at Pentecost. The later New Testament is no other than the expansion of the Saviour's own doctrine concerning His Messianic work. We must therefore take each several office and consider our Lord's own testimony and that of His Apostles based upon it

3. The offices of Christ will be laid down at the last day. Though He will for ever retain the hypostatic unity of His Person, the mediatorial economy will cease. Not the regal office alone will terminate, but all His offices. He will come without sin: 1 that is, without His priestly relation to sin. He will no longer be the Revealer; for God shall be all in all. 2 But this will be viewed hereafter with respect to the several functions

1 Heb. 9:28; 2 1 Cor. 15:28


Christ as Prophet is, generally, the perfect Revealer of Divine Truth to mankind: as such He comes with His supreme credentials, the Truth, and the Light of men. More particularly He was, during His earthly ministry, the Lawgiver and the Preacher of the Gospel: each distinctly, but both in one. This office, filled by Himself, was fulfilled through His word by the Holy Ghost

A distinction must be noted here between the absolute or universal office of Christ as Revealer, and His economical office as the Minister of His own generation. It may serve a good purpose to consider the latter first as being transitional to the former


St. Paul affirms that Christ was made a Minister of the Circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy. 1 These words have reference to the office of Christ generally, but particularly as the Revealer of the Divine will to the Jews and for the Gentiles: as to the former, in the re-enactment of the Law; as to the latter, in the preaching of the Gospel

Here, then, we may consider the Ministry generally, and then its two branches

1 Rom. 15:8,9

I. Our Lord's personal prophetic ministry constitutes the substance of the teaching of the Word in the Four Gospels

1. It was strictly a continuation of the ancient prophetic economy, according to the argument of St. Stephen: This is that Moses, which said unto the, children of Israel, A Prophet shall [the Lord your] God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; [Him shall ye hear]. 1 So far as concerned His relation to the old dispensation Christ was the last of the prophets; as the people said, that a great prophet is risen up among us. 2 Jesus accepted the woman's word: Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet; 3 as also the similar language of the Emmaus disciples. He intimated, indeed, that all the prophets and the law prophesied until John, 4 and that even John was more than a prophet. 5 How much was He greater Himself! So also in the Epistle to the Hebrews a distinction is made between the prophets by Whom God spake to the fathers and the Son by Whom or in Whom He speaks to us. 6 But all this does not interfere with the fact that our Lord was a Minister of the Divine will to His own nation. No prophet is accepted in his own country:7 these words, spoken when He opened His ministry, paralleled His own coming with that of Elijah to Israel

1 Acts 7:37; 2 Luke 7:16; 3 John 4:19; 4 Luke 24:19; 5 Mat. 11:9; 6 Heb. 1:1; 7 Luke 4:24

2. Hence the Redeemer's mission was confined to the ancient people: I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 1 The Light visited Galilee and Samaria, but it did not go beyond Israel and its lost sheep: the Prophet of the whole world took up His abode in Galilee of the Gentiles, 2 so that the people which sat in darkness saw great light. 3 Anticipating the time when He would draw all nations to Him, He nevertheless strictly limited Himself to the Holy Land, and never had the dust of heathenism to shake from His feet. He was never called a Jew, nor did He so term Himself, but He was a Messenger to the Jews, a MINISTER OF THE CIRCUMCISION, and, in a sense, AS ONE OF THE PROPHETS

1 Mat. 15:24; 2 Mat: 4:15,16; 3 Rom. 15:8

3. The Saviour's personal ministry was that of an extraordinary Prophet raised up to introduce a new dispensation of which He was Himself the herald. He blended in His own Person the ancient Prophet and the more modern Rabbi: sent sometimes suddenly under a Divine extraordinary afflatus, like a Zealot responsible only to God; or lifting up occasional burdens, subsequently written down, after the more ordinary though still extra-ordinary manner of the prophets; and also gathering around Him a body of disciples whom He taught out of the law, according to the usage of the Rabbinical schools

4. The style and methods of our Lord's teaching were such as to mark Him out from every other teacher. Its characteristics were unshared: as His form and features, for ever lost to human knowledge, were His own and no other's, so was it with His ordinary communications. He possessed or rather condescended to assume in its perfection the gift of persuasive speech: as it was predicted that He should be fairer than the children of men, so also it was said of Him, Grace is poured into Thy lips. 1 They confessed; it who were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power, 2 as also those who were disarmed by its grace: never man spake like This Man. 3 His method of teaching by parable was original and unrivalled: there is scarcely any trace of its use in the Old Testament; and such allegories as are found in other Oriental teaching and in the Talmud are in perfect contrast to our Lord's. His illustrations from nature and life are confessed to be the most beautiful in literature even by those who are unwilling to admit that they sprang from One Who knew the mysterious symbols of nature because He ordained them and Who was perfectly acquainted with the human heart. His method of dealing with enemies, or captious censors, betrays the presence of every element of dialectic or Socratic skill. And, like almost all great teachers, He had the esoteric instruction for the more susceptible and humble, to unfold the mysteries which were veiled from the prejudiced in parabolic disguise. Moreover, He aptly appropriated the good of the Rabbinical theology, and knew how to accommodate Himself to current delusions while correcting them, as in the case of His appeal concerning the casting out of the demons by the children of His enemies. Jesus also was the supreme Master of the symbol and symbolical action; and to that Christianity owes much. But, on this whole subject it is difficult to speak with fullness or precision, as our Saviour's personal instructions have come to us through the medium of His servants. He has left us nothing under the direct impress of His own hand

1 Psa. 14:2; 2 Luke 4:32; 3 John 7:46

5. It is important to remember that throughout our Lord's ministry He was at once the Minister of the circumcision and the Revealer of all truth for the world. The blending of these gives an indescribable and most wonderful grace to His teaching. But this leads us to a higher view than that which has hitherto been taken

II. Jesus Christ was the last Lawgiver, and the First Evangelist of His own glad tidings; His whole ministry united the Law and the Gospel in their essential elements

1. As the LAWGIVER, like unto Moses 1 but greater than he, our Lord assumed His function on the Mount of Beatitudes. He rose up out of the Old Testament as the Witness and Embodiment of its truth, and was in no sense its destroyer. He came not to abolish but to fulfill ancient Scripture, and that in three senses: first, to fulfill its meaning in Himself as it was all one prophecy of Him; secondly, to discharge it of its functions as it was the law of a transient ceremonial economy which He appeared to end; and, thirdly, by republishing its moral teaching in harmony with the new dispensation as a dispensation of the Spirit and of love

1 Deu. 18:15

(1.) All previous lawgiving, whether engraven on the fleshly tables of the heart of universal mankind, or on the Mosaic tables and in the Mosaic books, was fulfilled in the revelation of Jesus, the Incarnate Expression of God's will to man. Christ is the end of the law: 1 and in this sense pre-eminently, that all revelation, both of the wrath and of the mercy of God, was complete and fulfilled in His Person. He came as the Representative of all written and unwritten revelation: so entirely to take its place that in His presence there was necessity for nothing more: whether He would or would not supersede all, it remained for Him to show. On earth as well as in heaven there was no need of the sun, the Lamb was the light thereof. He said, / am the Light of the world, 2 and I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 3 But He was pleased to continue still the dispensation of word and ministry that He for a time suspended. The ancients gave Him their books, and He resanctified them for His Church. When He retired He continued His function by a more enlarged revelation through His Apostles

1 Rom. 10:4; 2 John 8:12; 3 John 14:6

(2.) Our Savior, the final Lawgiver, abolished the old law, and all that it contained, so far as it was the basis of a covenant between God and a peculiar people. As a code of the Theocracy, the law was political, ceremonial, and moral: three in one and inseparably in one. This law our Lord carne to abrogate: it was done away in Him, because the new covenant was to be no longer with one nation, and no longer based upon types, but to be confirmed in Christ with all nations on the basis of the accomplished redemption. The entire economy commonly called the Law, as one, and therefore as such including the moral law in its statutory form, was abolished in Christ, Who established a new legislation, known variously as the perfect law of liberty,1 the law of faith, 2 the law of the Spirit of life.3

1 James 1:25; 2 Rom. 3:27; 3 Rom. 8:2

(3.) But the moral law, written on the heart and on the two tables, Jesus reuttered

Extracting it from its place in the Legal Economy He gave it all its honors in the Economy of Grace. Though He abolished it as a condition of salvation, He confirmed it as a rule of life. To be more particular: He renewed it first as it was a schoolmaster, to teach the sinner his sin, and bring him to his Savior; and then as a rule and standard of holy living; but, for both purposes, the whole law is exhibited in its internal character as a spiritual rule and in its great principle as perfect love. As the Lawgiver our Lord expanded ethical teaching into an infinite extent and breadth by a spiritual interpretation; and condensed it all again into a perfect simplicity by reducing it to love. The spiritual application multiplies the precept past any limits; the reduction of all to charity makes it simple and comparatively easy again. But the Savior as Lawgiver presides over another department of theology, that of Christian Ethics, to come hereafter

2. The New Legislator opened His ministry on the Mount; but as the Prophet, preaching His own Gospel, greater than Isaiah but like him, our Lord announced His function formally in the Synagogue at Nazareth where He had been brought up.1 1 Luke 4:16

(1.) The Gospel proper, as the glad tidings of redemption through atonement and the forgiveness of sins, could not be fully preached before the Cross. Jesus, during His life on earth, was rather a Lawgiver than an Evangelist. But when He said in His own synagogue, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears, 1 He began to preach the great deliverance. The text He chose was the most comprehensive that prophecy afforded for the description of the effects of redemption as finally administered to its objects

Concerning this opening stage of His ministry St. Matthew records that Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom. 2 From that time the re-publication of the Law and the anticipation of the Gospel alternated or were combined in the Saviour's works and words. He spoke of the perfect law that convinces of sin, and also of a free forgiveness: always being a jealous assertor of the Divine claims even while frankly and abundantly promising and even imparting remission. But it was not till the sacrifice had been offered that our Lord preached Himself as the perfect Lawgiver and the finished Savior. When He sent His Apostles forth He bade that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, 3 who were to be taught to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded.4

1 Luke 4:21; 2 Mat. 4:23; 3 Luke 24:47; 4 Mat. 28:20

(2.) The preaching of the future Gospel was always predictive; but Christ was more expressly the Prophet of His own kingdom in His foreannouncements of its history and destiny. As all prophecy from the beginning of the world had respect, directly or indirectly, to the kingdom of the Messiah, so the Great Prophet and consummator of the prophetic word constantly spoke of the future of His Church. Towards the end of His ministry almost all His discourses were directly prophetic; and His last utterances were almost entirely limited to predictions

(3.) Both the preaching and the prophecy of the Gospel kingdom our Lord continued after His departure by the ministry of His Apostles. As they wrought greater works 1 than He, so they spoke greater words than His; but as in the former they were only the instruments of His higher and more spiritual energy, so they were only the speakers of His words, which could not be spoken until He had accomplished His work on the cross. St. Luke speaks of the Divine-human ministry as of all that Jesus began both to do and teach. 2 After His ascension He continued all His offices: all through His own activity, but with a difference. The High-priestly function He discharges alone: the Kingly by the Holy Ghost; the Prophetic by the Spirit through the Apostles. In the nature of things He could not perfectly preach His own Gospel; nor could He give explicit prophecies of the last dispensation until the former dispensation was fully ended. He Himself in His own Person only began: He perfected nothing. His words were seed in the hearts of the Apostles, to bear fruit in due season. The Spirit Whom He would send was the Spirit of truth, 3 and would guide them into all its developments; but only as bringing their Master's own words back to their memory. Precisely what the Redeemer did for the old Law—recall it to the people's remembrance with enlarged interpretation—the Spirit did for the Redeemer's own ministry. This has reference to every part of His prophetic office

1 John 14:12; 2 Acts 1:1; 3 John 16:13


Jesus never formally assumed the prophetic office in its highest meaning, in that meaning which was peculiar and unshared: which He could not indeed assume because He was never without it. He spoke as One who not only brought the final revelation with Him, but as being Himself that revelation; He distinguished Himself from all other teachers by the assertion of absolute personal authority; He accompanied His teaching with credentials of miraculous works wrought in His own name; and, lastly, He came as the Prophet of mankind, making provision for the continuance of His doctrine for ever

1. While He appeared as a second Moses Jesus distinguished Himself from human teachers as being Himself the revelation of all truth. He never appropriated the name Prophet, or Rabbi, or Seer, though He did not decline these titles when given to Him. But again and again He asserted concerning Himself such prerogatives as could belong to no human agent of Divine instruction. He said of Himself, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 1 All things pertaining to man's life, present and future, to his salvation and spiritual interests in time and eternity, our Lord connects with His own Person and manifestation

Not only is He the Giver and the Medium of the gift: He is the Gift itself. Receiving what is His depends upon receiving Himself. He is all the truth, as it respects our race, concrete and personified. All revelation is in His Person: He is the union of all that is God and all that is man, and nothing beyond this has vital concern for mankind. Here is the great distinction between Christ and every other prophet. He is God and He is Man; and His Person is the compendium and substance of all that may and must be known concerning both. In this highest sense He is neither a prophet nor a seer: He declares Himself. Even God is revealed only as connected with Him: as His Father. This glorious distinction pervades our Lord's words. When He promises the Spirit to guide His disciples, it is Himself Whom the Spirit is to expound: we must connect I am THE TRUTH with the Spirit of truth and He will guide you into all truth. 2 I AM THE TRUTH was the loftiest word of Christ the Prophet

1 John 14:6; 2 John 14:6,17; 16:13

2. In His mediatorial person, however, our Lord condescended to be literally a Prophet

He used His human nature as the organ of His revelation, and as Man speaking to men was the consummate agent of Divine counsel for mankind. He was the perfect naabiy, which means the Interpreter of God, or one who pours forth the Divine words. Thus He said of Himself, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me: 1 not meaning literally that it was not His, but that it was not His as distinguished from God. As My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things: 2 words which must be connected with what follows, and He that sent Me is with Me. He was also the perfect chazah, Seer, or, more poetically, chazeen. What He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth: 3 this was declared by the Baptist concerning Christ, of Whom he also said, He that cometh from heaven is above all. Through the eyes of His human spirit the God-man saw the mysteries of His own kingdom. As Prophet and Seer in His incarnate Person He was in some sense limited. In the unity of His Father and the Holy Spirit He was a Revealer to Himself in His own human faculties of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, hidden 4 in Himself for a season from His own humanity, and gave His mortal vision to behold what He communicated. In His prophetic knowledge and utterances we see what the human mind is capable of knowing in union with the Divine. After His resurrection, or rather after His ascension, there was no longer any restraint, and the human faculties of the Divinehuman person were the organ of the perfect revelation of all such knowledge as man can ever have on need

1 John 7:16; 2 John 7:28,29; 3 John 3:31,32; 4 Col. 2:3

3. The Credentials of our Lord's prophetic office were in harmony with His twofold character, as sent first to His own generation and thus raised up for the world

(1.) As a Minister of the Circumcision He gave such demonstration by miracle as became an authoritative messenger from God: precisely so much and no more. The leading wonders and signs of the ancient prophets were types of His miraculous works, which as performed by Himself or His Apostles—for their works were His—ended the reign of evidential signs

(2.) But, as the Supreme Revealer, He did not lay stress on His miracles, because He was Himself the Miracle of miracles. All that preceded and followed were only faint preludes and echoes of His one great Wonder, the manifestation of God in the flesh, His resurrection from the dead, and His glorification of human nature. If ye believe not that I AM, ye shall die in your sins, and, when ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I AM. 1 Here was the secret of the authority with which He spoke. His words and His actions had in them a Divine and irresistible self-evidencing attestation. He never used the language of an Old-Testament prophet, The Word of the Lord came unto me, 2 or the Spirit of the Lord came 3 upon me, but, Verily, verily, I say unto you! 4 He did not lay claim to inspiration, the influence under which the prophets poured forth their words and the seers saw their visions: He was not God-inspired but God Incarnate. Hence the constant tenor of His declaration to the effect that every one that is of the truth heareth My voice, 5 and that if any man will do, or wills to do, His will he shall know of the doctrine.6 HEAR HIM! 7 was spoken concerning the Revealer when His Divine nature was made more intensely manifest in the flesh at the Transfiguration

1 John 8:24,28; 2 2 Chro. 15:1; 3 John 10:7; 4 John 18:37; 5 John 7:17; 6 luke 9:35; 7 1 Tim. 3:16

4. Finally, the Ministry of Jesus as the Apostle of our profession was the final revelation for the world. It is important to mark this, as it has a close connection with the ultimate appeal on every theological subject and the rule of faith in the Christian Church. In Him all past, present and future teaching was one

(1.) Our Lord always assumes a tone of absolute finality. With Him the prophetic office ceased: prophecy, like the law, found its end in Christ. There is no other revelation, no other messenger from God after Him. Whatever other teachers arose were simply men from His feet, bearing His words and expounding them more fully under the influence of the Spirit. Nothing can be more express than His assertions that every future word of instruction should be only His own word continued and developed

(2.) Before He departed He made provision for the continuance of His own function in the Christian Church. Without doubt He executes His prophetic office from His throne in the heavens. His Apostolic company perpetuated such of His words as were of permanent value for mankind. One of that company was brought under teaching who ever declared that what of new or enlarged doctrine he had for the world was given him by revelation of Christ, and it was he who said, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. 1 Our Lord Himself repeated from heaven His direct instructions: the Seven Churches received them for all By His last inspired Apostle, however, He has said that all Christians have an unction from the Holy One, and so know all things. 2 Thus by His Spirit, who is this Unction, the Supreme Revealer continues to execute His prophetic office in the Church generally, and in every individual Christian

1 Col. 3:16; 2 1 John 2:20


The central and most important office of our Lord's mediatorship is His priesthood, of which the high priest, as the representative of the Levitical system of expiations, was the type. As Prophet our Lord predicted and asserted His sacrificial work; but He more formally assumed it on the eve of His passion, and after His ascension revealed its full import by the Apostles. According to their teaching the Saviour's priestly office consists of Offering and Presentation of Himself the sacrifice, answering to His death and ascension; also of Intercession and Benediction, both based upon the sacrificial Atonement, and connected with the administration of salvation

Much of our Lord's prophetic ministry as the Prophet of His own dispensation was occupied with the announcement, prediction and exposition of His priestly atonement

1. When He began to preach He took up His forerunner's word, which was twofold: Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! 1 and, Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world! 2 Very gradually, and by hints left for future enlargement, He unfolded the doctrine both of His priesthood and of His kingdom. Though He never called Himself a Priest—not even indirectly, as He called Himself Prophet and King—He constantly used language which only this office explains. He did not actually say that He was the High Priest, the Sacrifice and the Offerer; nevertheless He applied to Himself and His mission almost every sacrificial usage and every sacrificial idea. This will appear evident from a cursory examination of the Gospel of St. John, in which we find the sacerdotal office made prominent: the Synoptists keep rather in view the regal

1 Mat. 3:2; 2 John 1:29

2. It is observable that our Lord before the Transfiguration did not dwell much on His coming death. According to St. John He had spoken of Himself as the Bread of God which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world; 1 this however was based rather upon the manna in the wilderness 2 than upon the sacrificial feasts, though the transition to the latter is found in the words: the bread that I will give is My flesh, [which I will give] for the life of the world. 3 On the Holy Mount our Lord was evidently prepared for the last stage of His mediatorial history on earth. The subject of discourse was the decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. 4 The decease referred to His exodus or departure generally; but we may suppose that, as the victim was anciently examined by the priest, in order to ascertain its integrity, so the glory of heaven searched Jesus through and through: the result was, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. 5 He was approved by the Father as the Spotless Sacrifice for the world. From that time our Lord began to predict the fact, the circumstances and the results of His death. Now He began to testify of His Cross, to those who much wondered at His words

Still, while His language and teachings revolved around the altar, they were not directly sacrificial, even when He spoke of the Son of Man come not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.6

1 John 6:33; 2 John 6:49; 3 John 6:51; 4 Luke 9:31; 5 Mat. 17:5; 6 Mat. 20:28

3. It was on the eve of the Sacrifice of the Cross that our Lord solemnly assumed His sacerdotal function: first, by the institution of the Supper, the memorial sacrifice of Christianity; and, secondly, by what is sometimes called the High-priestly prayer; the symbolical Feet washing having been interposed with an affecting relation to both. The sacramental institute is pervaded by sacrificial ideas: it exhibits the true paschal Lamb Whose blood is at the same time shed for the remission of sins in virtue of a new covenant ratified by blood of propitiation, and the benefit of Whose death is celebrated in a continual peace-offering feast. The High-priestly prayer was the self-consecration of Jesus to the final endurance of the sorrows of expiation. All the Messianic offices are hallowed in that supreme Prayer. The prophetic: I have given them Thy word; the regal: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh; the priestly: I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified. 1 But it is pre-eminently the consecration prayer of the High Priest: the formal assumption, in the presence of the cross, His altar, of His atoning work

1 John 17:14,2,19

4. After Pentecost the sacerdotal office of Christ, previously the least prominent, takes the leading place. Its full exposition is mainly to be found in the Epistle to the Hebrews; but every other document of the New Testament contains explicit references to some of its relations. Taking that Epistle as the text, and the rest as illustrative, we may view all under the two aspects of Sacrifice followed by Presentation, and Intercession followed by Benediction. But first the mediatorial character of the Redeemer as High Priest must be viewed as the foundation of the whole, its leading elements being these: in the presentation of the sacrifice the High Priest represented the people to God; in the benediction He represented God to the people. He was in ancient times, and is in Christ, taken from among men; 1 but then as now his function looked towards both heaven and earth

1 Heb. 5:1


The High Priest represented the priesthood generally, and was the type of Christ as the universal Antitype of all sacerdotal persons and ministries. We need only observe the points of correspondence, as also the points of difference, between type and Antitype: especially in regard to the high-priestly vocation, consecration, and functions

1. The vocation of the priesthood generally, and of the high priest in particular, was connected with the Levitical typical service alone. Before the time of Moses, the natural head of every family was also its religious head: wherever Abram went he built there an altar unto the Lord; 1 and when the paschal sacrifice was instituted, the father of the family discharged the priest's function. Moses absorbed for a season all offices into himself, that they might be again distributed. He was not only the lawgiver but the priest also: as it is written, and Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 2 He assigned the priesthood to his brother Aaron, as the head of an hereditary sacerdotal order: the rest of the same tribe being set apart to subordinate ministries. Hence there were Levites not priests; ordinary priests of the Levitical tribe; and the hereditary high priest or head of the family of Aaron. This Chief Priest was therefore the representative of all, called from out of the people to represent the people as seeking approach to God by sacrificial gifts. In the New Testament we are told that no man taketh the honor unto himself, but when he is called of God, as was Aaron. So Christ also glorified not Himself to be made a high priest; but He that said unto Him, Thou art My Son, to-day have I begotten Thee. 3 The eternal Son, begotten of the Holy Ghost in human nature, was fully constituted the Messiah, and given to the world as such, in the Incarnation as finished in the resurrection. Hence He was named of God a high priest after the order of Melchisedec: 4 his high-priesthood was solely of Divine origin, it was that of a king also and it was eternal

1 Gen. 13L18; 2 Exo. 24:6; 3 Heb. 5:4,5; 4 Heb. 5:10

2. The ceremonial of consecration, as used by Moses, began with washing at the door of the tabernacle; 1 followed by investiture with the high-priestly array; and upon the sacred person thus washed and clothed the oil of anointing was poured forth. 2 In connection with this a sin-offering was sacrificed for removal of guilt, a burnt-offering to express entire consecration, and a peace-offering to show God's acceptance. But the oil was the sanctification: and he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him. 3 The high priest was wayimshach: the priest who is higher than his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil was poured, 4 poured in abundance. Our Lord was consecrated to His office by the Holy Ghost Whom He received without measure: Him hath God the Father sealed. 5 All other particulars of the typical consecration fell away, unless the baptism of Christ responded to the washing of the High Priest. But the essential difference was in this, that Christ, while He received as incarnate the Spirit of anointing, did also consecrate Himself: for their sakes I SANCTIFY MYSELF.6 By the Divine glory of His Sonship He dedicated His Person and His being to the propitiation of the sins of men

1 Exo. 29; 2 Lev. 8; 3 Lev. 8:12; 4 Lev. 21:10; 5 John 6:27; 6 John 17:19

3. The function of the High Priest requires careful consideration in its typical reference to the Great Antitype

(1.) As to his person and his office a mediator generally, for all the people and for every individual he was the one and only priest. He was the embodied unity of the priesthood: he alone virtually represented the people to God and God to the people. His garments indicated this: without his distinctive vestments he was a common man. The breastplate, as also the shoulder-pieces attached to the ephod, bore the names of the tribes upon it: he who wore this sacred symbol represented all the tribes of the congregation, bearing them as it were both on his heart and on his shoulders. Hence also upon his diadem was the inscription HOLINESS TO THE LORD . . . And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord. 1 The antitypical High Priest, the Redeemer of mankind, was the Representative of the whole world, bearing the sins of His people upon His heart, and the government of them upon His shoulders, presenting them before God as expiated and reconciled

1 Exo. 28:36-38

(2.) But the high priest represented God also to the congregation: the breastplate with its inscription was called the Urim and Thummim, that is, Lights and Perfections; being the same precious stones which bore the names of the tribes regarded as pledges of light by inspiration from above on all occasions of public appeal to God. In this prerogative of the high priest he was the type of the prophetic as well as priestly office of Him who came as the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. 1 The office of blessing the congregation was common to the priesthood, but in its highest annual discharge on the day of atonement, when the nation was accepted as a whole, it was the high priest's act alone, as will be hereafter seen. The Epistle to the Hebrews—the Temple Epistle—shows at length that Jesus is the supreme High Priest, the Antitype of Aaron, not only for men in things pertaining to God, but also for God in things pertaining to men, the former and the latter being included in one sentence: A merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.2

1 Heb. 3:1; 2 Heb. 2:17


The offering of the sacrifice by the Christian High Priest exhibits the unity and consummation of all the sacrificial elements in the ancient offering, as also of all the kinds and seasons of sacrifice, including the whole economy of the Levitical institute


The Levitical sacrifice consisted of the presentation of a victim, with imposition of hands; the slaughtering, and sprinkling of the blood; the burning of the victim, and the sacrificial feast. These were not combined in every sacrifice; but they all belonged to the expiatory ceremonial, viewed as complete in itself and as hereafter to find its perfection in Christ, the Compendium of all oblations

I. The PRESENTATION of the victim and LAYING ON OF HANDS were both the acts of the guilty offerer of the sacrifice

1. The place was the court of the sanctuary, whither the transgressor came indicating his desire to find his offended God in His holy dwelling-place. The victim was spotless, examined and approved as such: it was provided by the offerer himself, according to the prescription of the law, as the substitute of his own forfeited life. Its spotlessness was simply typical of the perfect sinlessness of the Lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 That Holy Victim offered Himself without spot to God, 2 being Himself the representative of the sinner who offered; but He was also delivered up for us all 3 by the Father, Who provided a sacrifice for the guilty race. The New Testament does not speak either of the Church or of the individual as providing an oblation. It is the prerogative of the Divine love to furnish sinful man with his sin-offering: as on that early typical mount it was said, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt-offering. 4 JEHOVAH-JIREH is the eternal law of the atonement between God and man

1 1 Pet. 1:19; 2 Heb. 9:14; 3 Rom. 8:32; 4 Gen. 22:8

2. The imposition of hands was not so much symbolical of the transfer of sin or guilt as of submission to the Divine appointment and consequent dedication of the animal to be the medium of atonement. It was essentially therefore the deed of the delinquent, who not only touched but leaned on his victim: and he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 1 It was his act of faith in the ordinance of God; and has its fulfillment in the faith of the sinner who makes the death of Christ his own

1 Lev. 1:4

II. THE SLAUGHTERING AND SPRINKLING OF THE BLOOD FOLLOWED: these being universal and always united

1. The Slaughtering, or shechiyṭah had for its object the obtaining of the blood, to be presented to God for expiation: it was perhaps also the expression of a poena vicaria; though it was the offerer himself who slew the victim, and not the priest, except in the case of offerings for the nation. The victim was slain by the transgressor as the acknowledgment of his own desert of death. Our Lord laid down His life of Himself, and gave up His spirit voluntarily as a sacrifice; but by wicked hands He was crucified and slain. 1 The sinful world consummated its sin by slaying the sacrifice for its sin; its greatest iniquity was in that deed, but the Savior made 'His death His own act. He put away sin by THE SACRIFICE OF HIM-SELF. 2 Though it is only the apostates who crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, 3 yet every penitent believer presents the death of Christ as representing His own death; and the Church in the Holy Supper commemorates it as suffered for all

1 Acts 2:23; 2 Heb. 9:26; 3 Heb. 6:6

2 The priest alone sprinkled the blood, or applied it to the purpose of expiation, around the altar, first towards the curtain that concealed the mercy-seat, and then, in the highest expression of the symbolical act, on the Kapporeth or mercy-seat itself. For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. 1 Two terms-are here observable, lakacot, to make atonement, is literally to cover: that is either the soul of the offerer as guilty, so that he is seen as under the pure life that on the altar screens him, or the condemning sentence of the covenant-testimony deposited beneath the mercy-seat

Again, the blood maketh an atonement, kippur, by means of or in virtue of the soul in it.2 This is the true rendering; and it signifies that the innocent life which had been taken before the altar as the vicarious representative of the offerer is on the altar accepted of God representatively. Thus the sprinkling was the second or more effectual PRESENTATION without which the first was not perfect. The Redeemer's atonement was fully accomplished when His blood was shed; but it was not declared to be accepted until He presented it in the heavens: By His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption [for us]. 3 And He through the Eternal Spirit OFFERED HIMSELF without spot to God. The symbol of sprinkling is used with two applications; heavenward, for the propitiation of Divine displeasure; earthward, for the expiation of guilt. The sprinkling of the conscience signifies the application of the virtue of the expiation to the believer whose guilt is cancelled or negatived for the sake of Christ. Bat the term is sometimes varied in the evangelical use: occasionally it is the washing away of sin, or the purging of the conscience

1 Lev. 17:11; 2 Lev. 17:11; 3 Heb. 9:12,24


1. The term used for burning is one that signifies to make to go up in vapor: the essence of the sacrifice ascends to God with acceptance. Therefore it could not directly symbolize the punishment of perdition: though as burning on the altar it was a symbol of the punitive justice as well as the sanctifying power of the Divine Spirit. The fire that consumed the offering, or parts of it, came from God: on that great first day of Levitical sacrifice there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. 1 It was kept up continually by the morning and evening sacrifice: the fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. 2 This signified that the entire service of sacrifice was to be well-pleasing for ever, from generation to generation, for His sake Who hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor. 3 Although the symbol had its highest fulfillment in the perfect self-surrender of Jesus, it had reference also to us and our oblation of ourselves

The beneficiary of Christ's atonement must be sprinkled with His blood for the covering of his person as guilty; and he must yield himself with Christ as a whole burnt-offering made acceptable by the Holy Ghost: the one without the other can never avail. No less than this is meant by, I am crucified with Christ.4

1 Lev. 9:24; 2 Lev. 6:13; 3 Eph. 5:2; 4 Gal. 2:20

2. Every sacrifice surrendered its life in its blood; some sacrifices were wholly destroyed; but in the peace-offering part was burnt and part reserved for a feast. This was the highest result of the ceremonial as expressing the communion between heaven and earth. In other sacrifices Jehovah received through the priests part of His portion: and what was burnt was also the bread of their God. 1 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the Lord. 2 St. Paul tells us that we are all partakers of that one bread. 3 The Lord's Supper is spread on the Lord's table: an altar to God, a table to us. Jesus is our great Peace-offering, as well as our Passover: and the highest expression of Christian faith in the evangelical sacrifice is thus to partake of the bread of their God, and sup with Him

1 Lev. 21:6; 2 Lev. 3:11; 3 1 Cor. 10:17


The various sacrifices themselves may be blended into unity. They were divided anciently into burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, and bloodless gifts: to these were added, in the Levitical economy, sin and trespass offerings. All oblations of every kind were under the jurisdiction of the high priest, and were consummated and summed up in the one sacrifice of Christ

I. The primitive sacrifices, which prefigured the Atonement long before the Levitical service, and corresponded therefore to the Gospel before the Law, are to be traced up to the earliest times, even to the very gate of Paradise

1. The origin of sacrifice is not matter of express revelation. But the almost universal prevalence of oblations, bloody and unbloody, indicates its Divine appointment. The primitive record in Genesis is as dim in its utterance on this subject as it is upon sin generally and the atoning Redeemer. We read of sacrifices offered by Cain and Abel: by the former unbloody gifts, by the latter slain victims. The Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. 1 The reason of the difference lay in the disposition of the offerers. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain: 2 his offering was a gift, but it was also an expiatory typical sacrifice, which Cain's was not. And there can be little doubt that the faith which rendered that primitive oblation acceptable was faith in the Great Sacrifice of the future

Thus the first account of approach to the Supreme by sacrificial offerings teaches, when interpreted by the New Testament, that it was not enough to draw nigh with gifts betokening gratitude and self-surrender; but that every oblation of thanksgiving must needs have in it a propitiatory element. This primitive oblation therefore gave the law for all subsequent worship as culminating after long and various developments in the Christian atonement

1 Gen. 4:4,5; 2 Heb. 11:4

2. The BURNT-OFFERING, laolaah, was the earliest, most common, and most comprehensive of the oblations dedicated to Heaven as Korban or Gift. Its pre-eminence was its symbolical meaning, that combined in one the expiatory shedding of blood and the perfect offering of the self: hence it underlay, surrounded, and perfected all other oblations from the beginning of sacrificial communion with God down to the Perfect Sacrifice. It was this which Noah presented at the second beginning of propitiatory oblations. He offered burnt-offerings on the altar. And the Lard smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground. 1 Jehovah accepted the expiation of the Patriarch; and smelled afar off the sweet savor of the Perfect Sacrifice for the guilty world. Abraham was commanded to take his only son Isaac into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering: 2 the type of the same far distant oblation of the Only-begotten. The covenant of Sinai was ratified by burnt-offerings.3 They pervaded also the subsequent Levitical economy, constituted the daily or continual sacrifice which typified the eternal atonement, and always maintained their preeminence

The double character assigned to them is stated at the outset of Leviticus. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him 4 After the sprinkling of the blood fire was put upon the altar, the wood laid in order, and it became an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto the Lord. This twofold character further gives it special significance as it respects the Supreme Antitype and His people. Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odor of a sweet smell. 5 Here the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ is the freewill burnt-offering of His perfect love. And in that it is the example of the offering of His people: as the sin-offering proper He does not admit us so directly to share or continue or fill up His sacrifice

1 Gen. 8:20,21; 2 Gen. 22:2,7; 3 Exo. 24:8; 4 Lev. 1:4,9; 5 Eph. 5:2

3. The PEACE-OFFERINGS—whether thank-offerings, vows, or freewill gifts—were combinations of expiatory and dedicatory sacrifice: but they represented the gifts of the offerer rather than himself the giver. Like the burnt-offering they signified at once the consciousness of sin and the thankfulness for deliverance from it. They were presented, so far as they were expiatory, for the re-establishment of a state of grace; and, that being accomplished, as the joyful expression also of acceptance with God. These all found their antitype in the Paschal Lamb: He is our Peace, 1 Whose oblation we present in faith for the forgiveness of sins, and receive sacramentally as the pledge of that forgiveness. It may be added that the meat-offerings and drink-offerings which were connected with the daily burnt sacrifice, as also with the other peace-offerings, belong to the general idea of Divine acceptance and communion with the worshippers. Our present purpose does not require a minute investigation of them. Suffice that they in some sense mitigated the sternness of the ancient institute; and that they all find their end and perfection in the Christian Supper

1 Eph. 2:14

II. Peculiar to the Levitical economy were the SIN-OFFERINGS, and their modification, the TRESPASS-OFFERINGS. These were intimately connected with the giving of the law, as containing the more express revelation of the nature of sin, and as the basis of a preparatory covenant of typical sacrifice for its expiation. We have here chiefly to do with these offerings, including their more stern and their more joyful accompaniments, as the preeminent type or prophetic symbolical foreshadowing of the Christian Atonement

1. It is impossible to formulate with precision the difference between the sin-offering and the guilt-offering in the Levitical institute. Both were expiatory sacrifices for SIN, as being offence against positive law and ceremonial ordinances, committed in ignorance and inadvertence; that is, not with a high hand and in deliberate rebellion. But the trespass-offering was always presented for individual error: the sin-offering not always

The former respected violation of the rights of the covenant, the latter rather neglect of its precepts. Hence the former had more to do with transgressions touching property, the latter with transgressions of law. The trespass-offering connoted the idea of SATISFACTION: and he shall bring his guilt-offering to the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, according to thy estimation, for a guilt-offering, unto the priest; and the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord, and it shall be forgiven him. 1 The sin-offering connoted rather the idea of EXPIATION through the sacrifice of a pure life. But in the supreme and universal oblation of Christ the distinction is done away for ever. He is at once the Satisfaction of every Divine claim, and the Propitiation for every human offence

1 Lev. 6:6,7

2. The sin-offering, of which the guilt-offering was only a species, brought into distinct prominence the expiatory character of the sacrificial institute, which, before the giving of the law, was to a certain extent veiled and hidden. It was from the beginning itself called SIN, chataat, LXX. amartia, peri ths amartias, for sin; even as the guilt-offering was itself called GUILT, ASM. Hence our Lord is said to have been made sin for us, Who knew no sin, 1 and, at His second coming, will appear without sin unto salvation. 2 The sacrifice was, so to speak, the embodiment or incarnation of sin; and, where the offering made atonement for all the people, the flesh was burned without the camp. 3 No sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten. 4 But in the lower and more individual grades of the sin-offering there was a marked difference. In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the Lord: IT IS MOST HOLY. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: 5 though not the transgressor himself. It might seem that when the flesh was eaten by the priests their official sanctity neutralized the impurity of the victim. Our Great High Priest was MOST HOLY though bearing the sins of the world; and, though He represented the sin-offering that must not be eaten, He was nevertheless the Offering of which we all partake as priestly offerers. And the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 6 This gives the idea both of expiation and of substitution. His soul was made an offering for sin. Jesus was the reality of that which the sin-offerings only typified. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year: 7 a remembrance made, not only every year, but on every occasion of their presentation. They only taught the evil of sin and the need of atonement: there could be nothing homogeneous between an animal victims and a human transgressor. They accustomed the people to the thought of a SUBSTITUTE; but we, in the Fulfillment, see that the Supreme SIN-OFFERING has expiated sin itself, and not merely offence against the Levitical institute; that He is the atonement even for those offences with a high hand of whose perpetrator it was said: that soul shall he utterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.8 In Him is all the virtue, and none of the defect, of the ancient types

1 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Heb. 9:28; 3 Heb. 13:11; 4 Lev. 6:30; 5 Lev. 6:25,26; 6 Isa. 53:6,10; 7 Heb. 10:3; 8 Num. 15:31

3. The distinction between two kinds of sin-offering, one for the whole congregation, the other for individual transgressions, must be constantly borne in mind

(1.) The latter had less direct relation to the Christian Sacrifice: being designed to make atonement for offences against the Theocratic code not willfully committed but through ignorance or rashness or levity. This qualification perpetually occurs as restricting the efficacy of these offerings for sin. If any one of the common people sin through ignorance, bishgaagaah, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the Lord concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge, then he shall bring his offering . . .. And the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. 1 Here it is to be observed that the Hebrew word used signifies transgression or ERRING through the predominance of the evil principle within, in contradistinction to sinning presumptuously or with a high hand, 2 bªyaad raamaah. For the latter, class there was no sin-offering. Hence the Psalmist's prayer: Who can understand his errors? cleanse Thou me from secret faults

Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins. 3 For the former there was cleansing; from the latter the petitioner sought only restraint. And in the Epistle to the Hebrews it is said that the high priest offered for the errors of the people, 4 for their agnoeemátoon, and not for their willful violations of the covenant. Herein the type fell immeasurably below the Antitype. The expiation of Christ avails for every sin that is confessed over the Atonement: if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: 5 and He is the propitiation for our sins. Yet the severity of the restriction in the type is also pressed into the service of Christian caution. Though the Great Sacrifice avails for all sin, there is no atonement for the obstinate rejector of that sacrifice. If we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. 6 As there were sins unatoned for in the Theocracy, so also there is a sin unto death 7 under the Gospel

1 Lev. 4:27-31; 2 Num. 15:30; 3 Psa. 19:12,13; 4 Heb. 9:7; 5 1 John 2:1,2; 6 Heb. 10:26; 7 1 John 5:16

(2.) The daily and annual sacrifices for the sin of the people covered the guilt of all the congregation as such, and availed, on behalf of all who put their trust in the Divine ordinance, for the expiation of every kind of offence not already punished by excision

The blood of these was sprinkled before the Lord towards the Holiest, and upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense; 1 on the great day of atonement upon the mercy-seat. 2 But of this more hereafter

1 Lev. 4:6-17; 2 Lev. 16:16

4. The sin-offerings of the Levitical economy had sometimes connected with them certain peculiar Purifications of the individual and of the community, regarded as having contracted defilement: leprosy; contact with dead bodies; suspected crimes, such as adultery and murder; the blood guiltiness of the community when the manslayer was not discovered. The diversified ceremonies superadded to the sacrifice which generally accompanied them pertained to what the New Testament terms the purifying of the flesh.1 They had mainly to do with the Theocratic relations of the parties; but were all typical of the defilement of sin, and are often referred to as illustrations of the purifying effect of the Atonement. They have done much to mould the phraseology of the Christian covenant; but of themselves belong rather to the archaeology of the ancient people

1 Heb. 9:13

III. The Redeemer of mankind represented in Himself every expiatory offering of every kind, and in His one oblation offered once all other oblations have found their end and spiritual perfection. He is the One Sacrifice for sin presented by Himself, the High Priest, for and on behalf of mankind represented by Him. He is the VICTIMA SACERDOTII SUI ET SACERDOS SUAE VICTIMAE. As, in the Epistle to the Romans, He is the end of the law for righteousness, 1 so, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, He is the end of the sacrifices for eternal redemption. 2 But here two important cautionary suggestions must be made

1 Rom. 10:4; 2 Heb. 9:12

1. The entire system of ancient sacrifices was but the shadow of an eternal substance. The Epistle which gives us the authentic valuation of the old economy tells us that it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins; 1 that the law could not make the comers thereunto perfect 2 in freedom from the conscience of sins. They sanctified only to the purifying of the flesh. 3 On the one hand, they availed only for the maintenance of a national and individual relation to the Theocracy. On the other, they made no provision for deliverance from guilt as violation of the moral law. The true secret of the peace which was pronounced upon penitent and sincere offerings was reserved: to be made known when the figure for the time then present 4 should be superseded by the Reality. And, with regard to this, the sincere Hebrew and the sincere Gentile were on a level: only that the former had the revelation that constantly announced a future Redeemer, and might mingle with his merely carnal ordinances a dim faith in the yet unrevealed Atonement

1 Heb. 10:4; 2 Heb. 10:1; 3 Heb. 9:13; 4 Heb. 9:9

2. But, this being true, the figurative and typical institute gave profound suggestion of the nature of that future propitiation. It told of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, which in its endless varieties was so rigorously watched by the Holy One of Israel, and demanded such varieties of sacrifice. The meaning of the sacrificial phraseology must not be lost when it is transferred to Christian times, as many vainly affirm: that meaning is glorified in the spirit, but its body and its letter is still of Christ. Patterns only, they were still patterns of things in the heavens. 1 Many terms are given to oblivion in the Gospel; but EXPIATION as the ground of REMISSION through the shedding of SACRIFICIAL BLOOD are words to be had in everlasting remembrance. If the economy of typical propitiations had no permanent significance, but introduced a system in which no atonement was offered to justice, the New-Testament Epistles must have been written in a totally different style

1 Hab. 9:23


The various holy seasons and festivals of the old covenant were also summed up and abolished in the one High-priestly function of Christ. There were the Daily Service; the Sabbatic Days; the Three Feasts, and the Great Fast. In the year there may be said to have been two main cycles: the Passover, with the days of Unleavened Bread, and the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost for the spring; the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, with its Azereth for the autumn. All these were under the supervision and control of the high priest; and they were all done away by being glorified in the mission and work of the Redeemer. The Passover and the Day of Atonement will for our purpose adequately represent the entire series


The Passover was at once a sacrifice for sin and a peace-offering. Unless we admit this combination we miss the design of the institute and lose its profound connection with the Christian Sacrifice

1. The Angel of the Lord passed over or spared all the houses which were sprinkled with the blood of the paschal lamb; but sprinkling generally, at least sprinkling with blood, connoted the idea of expiation. The representative of the household confessed that deliverance was of the grace of God alone; and the people as a whole at the beginning of every ecclesiastical year renewed the covenant with God by sacrifice. As a sin-offering it was also a peace-offering: celebrating as a national expression of gratitude the redemption from Egypt as well as the deliverance of Israel's firstborn. Subordinate to this was its acknowledgment of the goodness of Jehovah in the gifts of the earth. The slaying of the victim and the partaking of it went together from year to year, and from generation to generation: hence the Passover was a sin offering and a peace-offering in one

2. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast. 1 These words, though standing alone in this form, must be understood according to their plain import as throwing a flood of light on the ancient institute and on its spiritual significance. In virtue of the blood of Jesus the spiritual Israel are redeemed from worse than Egyptian bondage and blessed with a better inheritance than Canaan. In the first reference to the Lord's sacrifice the Baptist termed Him the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world, 2 where it is certainly the paschal lamb that is referred to, but with the expiatory and substitutionary idea of later prophecy added and made prominent. The Lord's own constant reference to the sacrificial and sacramental food of His flesh would seem to imply the presence in His thoughts of the paschal feast, which indeed was the main characteristic of the Passover. It was a communion, and in this different from every other sacrifice: not a feast in which the offerer partook with the priest, but one in which the families of Israel united. At the close of His life the Redeemer instituted the Eucharist, as the Evangelical Passover, in which His Church should for ever keep the feast: first, as a commemorative Sacrifice, celebrating the expiatory death; secondly, as a symbolical Sacrament, representing Christ, the Passover, as the nourishment of His people; and, thirdly, as an emblem of the unity of His New Israel in Himself

1 1 Cor. 5:7,8; 2 John 1:29

3. The Passover was prolonged for seven days to give the feast the covenant character of perfection: the seven days were the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD which gave it its name

On the first day after the proper Passover was the offering of the wave-sheaf. Seven full weeks after that wave-offering came the FEAST OF WEEKS, the celebration of the completed harvest: hereafter to be abolished and glorified in the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day which was known as the Pentecost. With this feast the fulfillment of the Old-Testament paschal festival was complete. The characteristic of the whole solemnity was the festal commemoration of deliverance from Egypt; a deliverance which typified the Great Redemption. And its connection with the Eucharist, the abiding sacramental commemoration in the Christian Church, makes the Passover in a certain sense the preeminent typical institute of the Old Testament. The Lord's Supper is, so to speak, the antitype of the Paschal Feast as it included the whole cycle of seven weeks: it therefore is the Christian Feast which celebrates all the events of the Fifty Days


The Day of Atonement, on the tenth of Tisri, the seventh month, effected an annual reconciliation between God and the collective people; and was the chief, inasmuch as it was the most comprehensive, typical and symbolical Old-Testament prefiguration of the Christian mystery. As such it combined most of the other elements of the sacrificial economy, and added not a few of its own. It was the day of the high priest pre-eminently, when his function culminated. On other days acting by delegates, on that day—THE DAY, Bªyowm, of the Talmud—he administered his office almost alone: the sublimest of all typical figures

1. The sacrifices he first offered for himself showed the distinction between the type and the Antitype: as the representative of the people, and also one of them, he needed atonement for himself and his priestly order and the very sanctuary that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 1 The holy places however were purified by the sprinkling of the blood of the victims offered for priest and people, probably mingled, and not by any distinct sacrifices ordained for that purpose: their unclean ness resulted from the sins of those who entered them

1 Lev. 16:16

2. The high priest's typical relation to Christ was shown in his transaction with the two goats respectively. 1 One, chosen by lot, he offered for a sin-offering. Its blood availed for universal expiation: for all the transgressions of all the people, as sprinkled upon the mercy-seat seven times; for the altar and sanctuary without as sprinkled also upon them

The counterpart victim, the Scapegoat, was the symbolical BEARER AWAY of the iniquities which the other goat BORE. Upon its head the high priest confessed all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions according to all their sins, and it was driven forth unto a land not inhabited:2 into a separated land, 'erets gªzeeraah, symbol of that utter separation from God which is the punishment of sin. Though the two goats were distinct, they made up one expiatory idea. The victim which was slain represented the sacrifice for sin and the remission of penalty. The victim which was not slain, but driven into the desert to die, symbolized the absolute removal and Divine oblivion of guilt: la`ªzaa'zeel, TO AZAZEL, or for the Scapegoat, means literally to utter forgetfulness or complete dismissal. The double symbol declared that all penalty was remitted and all sin forgiven and forgotten: cancelled as though it were not

1 Lev. 16:8-34; 2 Lev. 16:21,22

3. But that which made this the Supreme Solemnity of the Levitical economy was the fact that then only was the blood of expiation, of which Jehovah said, I have GIVEN IT TO YOU upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, 1 brought within the veil, into the very presence of God where the law within the ark testified against the transgressors

Then were all the other forgivenesses of the year confirmed; then all defects in forgiveness repaired, saving only as touching those high-handed acts of rebellion which found no place of repentance. The assurance was that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord. 2 Hence in the Great Fulfillment the Christian High Priest hath entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 3 But the typical high priest went out again from the face of Jehovah. The process of expiation must be repeated annually. Jesus needs not to offer Himself often: His one oblation covers the whole sphere of human sin from the beginning to the end of its continuance on earth. And His abiding within the Veil is our security

1 Lev. 17:11; 2 Lev. 16:30; 3 Heb. 9:24,25


The entire doctrine of the Atonement is based upon the Christian fulfillment of the prophetic and typical meaning of these two solemnities, the Paschal Feast and the Atoning Fast. A combination of their elements is necessary. Neither is sufficient of itself

But, united, they furnish a most impressive and comprehensive view of the central Christian mystery

1. As the Passover predominates in the Gospels, so the Day of Atonement takes the lead in the later New Testament, especially in the Epistles to the Romans 1 and the Hebrews, neither of which alludes to the paschal solemnity. The former points every allusion to the subject with a reference to the great Fast day: it makes Christ Himself the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, or propitiation, set forth in the mind of God and upon the scene of transgression, for the remission of human sins in the past and the present and the future: while it does not exclude the intercession of Christ, it dwells rather on the offering in the outer court. Moreover, it connects the whole rather with the idea of righteousness than with the idea of sanctification: combining in one the evangelical court and the evangelical temple. In the Epistle to the Hebrews 2 the great day of expiation occupies a very large place. The sacrifice in the outer court and the presentation within the veil fill up the central chapters of the treatise

1 Rom. 3:21-28; 2 Heb. 9,10

2. As united they demonstrate typically what the Christian atonement demonstrates really, the absolute necessity of satisfaction to Divine justice in order that the Divine love may be glorified; that therefore the God who is offended Himself provided the Supreme Sacrifice; that the virtue of the atonement, apprehended by faith, secures the perfect abolition or canceling of sin and its punishment; that the one Redeemer Who offered His life on the altar of the cross ever liveth to present His intercession for His people on earth

3. They further teach in their unity that the benefit of the supreme expiation belongs to the company of Christ's people as such. That is the general lesson taught by the types of the Levitical economy. If we would seek the universal effect and influence of the redeeming Sacrifice we must go behind and beyond the Mosaic institute, to the primary sacrificial oblations which were before the Law. There we find Him in Whom should all the nations of the earth be blessed.1

1 Gen. 22:18

4. When combined they also proclaim that the redeemed estate of the people of God, the children of redemption and of the sacrificial covenant, is one of mingled fasting and feasting. If the Passover was the Great Feast, the Day of Atonement was the Great Fast: but they are united in the Cross and its commemoration. In other words, there is a foreshadowing of the truth that stamps its solemn impress on the writings of the Apostle Paul: the Christian life is a union with Christ in His suffering and in His joy, in His life and in His death, in the process and in the result of His atonement. The joy, however, predominates; for He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; 1 borne them away into the land of forgetfulness. The Day of Atonement has no sacramental commemoration as such: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us; let us keep the Feast.2

1 Isa. 53:4; 2 1 Cor. 5:7,8


It was the preeminent function of the high priest to present the blood of atonement, and thus silently to intercede for the whole congregation once in the year; though the priestly service generally was one of perpetual mediation and intercession. The Blessing of the people was also the special office of the priests, to be discharged after and on the ground of the sacrificial offerings. Our Lord's Intercession is the presentation of Himself in heaven to the Father after His self-oblation on earth; not without special prayer for its objects. His Benediction is imparted by the Holy Ghost, and is bound up with the administration of all the blessings of the new covenant. While Intercession is more directly connected with the sacrificial office, Benediction is linked with all the offices of the Christ. It is the final consummation of each


I. The intercession of the high priest was expressed typically by the incense before the mercy seat in the Holiest on the day of atonement. David says generally: Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense; 1 and in the New Testament we read generally again of the golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of saints. 2 But the incense offered by the high priest was strictly connected with his typical mediatorial relation: 3 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them. 4 Moses himself, without the incense, had interceded in words. This was an extraordinary, and, as it were, irregular procedure; and is the solitary instance of the incense representing the atonement. The prayer of Moses and the censer of Aaron alike typified the intercession of Christ, Who intercedes both by the presentation of His sacrifice and by the virtue of His prayer. At first the high priest himself burnt sweet incense every morning as also at even . . . a perpetual incense before the Lord on the altar for that purpose which was before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony. 5 Hence we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews of the Holiest of all, which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant. 6 This discrepancy is to be explained by the fact of the intimate, connection between the two. The daily incense was the symbol of the intercession that daily allayed the Divine displeasure; but it was on the day of atonement that this symbol had its highest meaning. That the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not: 7 these last words belonged to the type only, but the general truth remains that the incense of intercession covered the mercy seat simultaneously with the blood of atonement, and blended with the thick cloud of the Divine glory. So the mystical temple of the Prophet's vocation was fitted with smoke: 8 the smoke of the same intercessory incense which fills the temple where Jesus the High Priest presents His eternal sacrifice

1 Psa. 141:2; 2 Rev. 5:8; 3 Num. 16:46; 4 Exo. 32:11,32; 5 Exo. 30:6,7,8; 6 Heb. 9:3,4; 7 Lev. 16:13; 8 Isa. 6:4

II. This antitypical intercession of Christ is variously set forth in the New Testament, especially in the Temple Epistle

1. It is the presentation of HIMSELF before the Father on our behalf. By His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption: 1 ONCE FOR ALL. He is not represented as carrying His atoning blood with Him: the exhibition of His Sacred Person is enough. A careful consideration of the classical passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews will shed much light upon this. The English Authorized Version mentions three appearances of Christ as marking the historical process of the Atonement. The three terms in the original are different and carefully chosen: the middle one expressing the fact that the Son of God in our humanity manifests Himself before His Father and our Father without a veil. At the end of the ages He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself: 2 pefanérootai, was manifested as God in the flesh. This is closely, indeed indistinguishably, connected with His entering into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: emfanistheénai, to present Himself boldly and abidingly without any protecting cloud of incense. This silent intercessory appearance shall end when He will appear a second time without sin unto salvation: oftheésetai, He will be seen of angels and men in His majesty, without the humiliation of His sacrificial connection with sin. St. John expresses the same truth : If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins.3 He is Himself the Propitiation and the Advocate: Himself, which is more than His blood or His life. The virtue of His sacrifice is the value of His Person. The MERIT of Christ is the power of His intercession; and that merit is not simply the fact of His voluntary selfsacrifice, but His self-sacrifice as that of the Son of the Father's infinite complacency. His merit is the worthiness of His Incarnate Self. His Presence in heaven is His all-effectual plea. Three important truths arise here to our notice. (1.) The intercessory presentation of Himself in heaven is not, as the Socinians and those who follow them assert, the beginning of His priestly function. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many:4 hápax prosenechtheís eis tó polloón anenengkeín hamartías, sacrificial terms which had their full meaning already in the Cross. (2.) There is, however, no continuation of the sacrifice in heaven; and there can be no continuation of it upon earth. The Atonement is gone up FOR A MEMORIAL BEFORE GOD 5 for ever; and the Romanist Sacrifice of the Mass has no sanction, but is utterly condemned, in the Epistle to the Hebrews. As it is appointed unto men once to die 6 for their sins, so Christ was in the deepest truth APPOINTED TO DIE ONCE for expiation of sins, but only once. (3.) Lastly, the unity of the Atonement on earth and the intercession based upon it in heaven must be most carefully maintained. The NOW to appear marks the whole period from Calvary to the Judgment as the Day of Grace, and of the PUTTING AWAY OF SIN, the athéteesin teés hamartías. 7 1 Heb. 9:12; 2 Heb. 9:24-28; 3 1 John 2:1; 4 Heb. 9:28; 5 Acts 10:4; 6 Heb. 9:27; 7 Heb. 9:24,26 2. The intercession of our Lord is also direct supplication on behalf of its beneficiaries: the words which describe it prove this. He maketh intercession 1 for us: the term entungchánei generally used of oral supplication either for or against its objects. And Jesus Christ the Righteous 2 is called our parákleeton with the Father, our Advocatus or Intercessor, fulfilling His promise that He would pray the Father 3 for His disciples, and thus continuing in heaven the High-priestly prayer begun on earth. As to the speech of the glorified Son Incarnate, the tongue not of men nor of angels, the unspeakable words which it is not yet lawful either to hear or to utter, it is needless to inquire. Suffice that the Saviour's intercession has all the effect of what below is called intercessory prayer

As we must not refine away the truth of His being touched with the feeling of our infirmities, 4 so we must not make the God-man above a Silent Representative of our humanity

1 Rom. 8:27; 2 1 John 2:1; 3 John 14:16; 4 Heb. 4:15

III. The objects of His intercession are the world, the mystical Church of His people, and every individual who appeals to Him

1. By His presence in heaven Christ is the Pleader for the world, that is for the humanity, human kind, or human nature, which He represents. The high priest entered into the inmost sanctuary of the temple on behalf of the covenant people: the blood which he sprinkled was accompanied by incense, which he waved, without a word, not to protect himself from the insufferable glory of God, already dimmed by the thick darkness 1 of the cloud, but to prevent the Divine justice from causing his death as the representative of the people. This incense signified the intercession of Christ, whose presence in heaven keeps the sinful earth in being; I bear up the pillars of it. 2 It availed from the beginning by anticipation; on no ground can we understand how a guilty race should be propagated under the moral government of God save that the intercession of the Second Adam began when first it was said: the plague is begun. Hence Isaiah, going beyond the Levitical economy, says that He made intercession for the transgressors: 3 this in the widest meaning of the word

1 Psa. 75:3; 2 Num. 16:46; 3 Isa. 53:12

2. It is true, however, that the specific intercession of Christ is limited to His prayer for His own people. Before He departed He poured out an intercessory supplication which was the earnest and the type and the pledge of His future pleading for His Church as united by faith with its Living Head

(1.) This intercession is only for His own: not because the Redeemer forgets the world which He came to save, but because it is of a character distinct, and appropriate only to His people's relation to Him. It is not only request on their behalf, but the sacred demand of Christ on behalf of Himself as represented in His people. They are His other Self, YET NOT ANOTHER. Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where 1 am. 1 It is rather stipulation than intercession: théloo rather than eroto. Hence Jesus, because He continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore He is able to save them to the uttermost (or perfectly and evermore) that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. 2 He hath brought them to God, but also brought them to Himself; and only asks the portion that falleth to Him. He demands rather than asks for them, as united with Himself and part of Himself, all that is His: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them. 3 The Father's love is arrogated for them as of necessity, because the Beloved Son of the Father is in them both collectively and individually

1 John 17:24; 2 Heb. 7:24,25; 3 John 17:26

(2.) The Saviour's intercession as High Priest makes acceptable both the persons and the worship of His people. Grace is given freely in the Beloved. 1 They offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 2 His is the much incense, that He should add it unto the prayers of all saints: 3 the angel to whom it was given was only a ministering priest or Levite under this great High Priest. And in order that all the service of those who are priests with Christ may be well pleasing, the Holy Ghost represents the Supreme Intercessor within their hearts. The Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 4 And He that searcheth the Hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, for He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God according to the will of the High Priest also. There is no more impressive view of the heavenly pleading within the veil than that which makes the voice of the Holy Ghost within our hearts its echo. This concert of the Two Intercessors—the One within the shrine above, the other within the shrine of our spirits, but both agreeing in one—is the infallible guarantee of our communion with God and acceptable prayer

1 Eph. 1:6; 2 1 Pet. 2:5; 3 Rev. 8:3; 4 Rom. 8:26,27

(3.) This intercessory pleading is the Scriptural expression for that perfect sympathy of our Lord with His members on earth which His community of nature gives Him, in virtue of which He is their Paraclete or Advocate or Helper, succoring them in temptation, strengthening them for duty, and imparting to them seasonable help. He knows the secrets of all hearts as God: but His humanity gives Him a knowledge that He could not without it have, and the Scripture lays much stress on the benefit of this. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren . . .. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted. 1 His sympathy does not spring from remembrance of sin or fall or danger of falling; but from His human experience of the devices of Satan haunting the accesses of our nature. In His atoning passion He Who knew no sin yet became acquainted with it as only God incarnate could become; so also in His administration of His atoning grace He knows, as only God incarnate can know, our need

1 Heb. 2:17,18

3. But this leads to the individual bearing of our Saviour's intercession. The Head of every man is Christ: 1 the High Priest over the whole house has a special relation to every worshipper. He is the Representative of the whole Church, and of every several branch, in His intercession: it was the Church of Laodicaea, neither hot nor cold, concerning which He said, I will spue thee out of My mouth, 2 or drop its name from His heavenly Litany. But His heart is also the faithful Friend of sinners, and faithful to every mortal transgressor as his own High Priest. As surely as the Atonement availed for the entire family of Adam, so certainly the pleading of Christ on the ground of the atonement may be appealed to by every representative of that family

1 1 Cor. 11:3; 2 Rev. 3:16

(1.) This is the strength of the penitent's heart in approaching the God of justice. The one Mediator between God and men 1 makes intercession for all that come unto God by Him

For through Him we both2Jews and Gentiles, saved and unsaved—have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 3 Every man living and sinning on earth has, if he will only use it, an introduction, prosagoogeén, a right of humble approach to God. He has not only the ground of confidence that an accepted propitiation for his race gives, but also the assurance of a Divine-HUMAN Representative who loves his own individual soul, and has left on record this unrevoked and irrevocable word: him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. 4 If He will not cast him out, most surely the Father behind Him will not

1 1 Tim. 2:5; 2 Heb. 7:25; 3 Eph. 2:18; 4 John 6:37

(2.) Especially is this true of the believer. On the basis of the Atonement he is accepted in Christ; but he might be tempted to think, nor would it be an unreasonable temptation, that, having sinned against the grace of that Atonement, his hope must perish. But his Head above is a living, unchangeable, ever available Pleader for him. If any man—any Christian man—sin, we have an Advocate, 1 Who, in the court of heaven, vindicates the rights of His sacrifice offered on earth. For every believer He is at once a Propitiation and a Paraclete in the presence of the Father

1 1 John 2:1


1. The solemn Benediction which attested Divine acceptance was expressly provided for in the Levitical service. It was an integral part of the high priest's duty, which, like almost all others, was committed in due time to the priesthood generally. At the first consecration of Aaron and his sons, after the offerings were presented for the host, Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them.... and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people. 1 The evidence of that verbal blessing was that there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt-offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Of the priests the sons of Levi 2 it was afterwards said, that them the Lord thy God hath chosen to minister unto Him, and to bless IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. The stress must be laid upon these last words: God alone is to be blessed in Doxology, and God alone blesses in Benediction, whether in Old Testament or New. The blessing was not only, however, in the name of the Lord; it was also the name of the Triune God Jehovah impressed upon the people, making them His own. Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put MY NAME upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. 3 Here are united the blessings of universal providential care, of mercy for sin, and of internal peace: for the people generally and for every individual worshipper prepared to receive it. Two things are to be observed in passing

1 Lev. 9:22-24; 2 Deu. 21:5; 3 Num. 6:23-27

1. As we have seen that the symbols of sacrifice within the veil pointed mysteriously but certainly to the Triune God, so also did the Benediction which sealed to the worshippers the acceptance of those sacrifices. Three names, yet to be revealed, are alone wanting to make the Levitical Blessing the distinct benediction of the Holy Trinity. The benediction IN ACT, the effusion of the Divine glory, found its great realization, though itself a reality, when God shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of [Jesus] Christ. 1 His is the Face of God turned on the penitent in GRACE, whether in this world or the next. The benediction IN WORD found its highest fulfillment in the testimony of the Divine Spirit, giving PEACE through the assurance that we have grace freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.2

1 2 Cor. 4:6; 2 Eph. 1:6

2. The ancient Benediction was not only typical; it was more than a mere form of words; it was a reality, pronouncing over the people, and every individual who sincerely complied with the conditions of the old covenant, an acceptance the true and eternal ground of which was as yet not made known. It has already been seen that the Levitical economy, as such and in its specific prescriptions for the atonement of individual and national offences, aimed only at the maintenance of external legal relations to the Theocracy. But, underlying and surrounding all these, was the great typical system of sacrifice that was accepted for the sake of the Coming Atonement, the undisputed virtue of which secured the effectual acceptance of God. There was a pretermission or páresin of all sins for a season, until the fullness of time confirmed this into an aphesis, 1 or full forgiveness

1 Rom. 3:25

II. It is the prerogative of the One Mediator between God and man that He is not only the Minister of blessing, but that He is also its Source. 1 He is God and the High Priest in one

He is the Antitype of Melchisedec, who met Abraham, higher than he, and blessed him and all the Levitical priesthood in him. The benediction of Jesus is the benediction of God Incarnate, and it is no less than the administration of all the benefits of the evangelical covenant: the promise of eternal inheritance.2

1 Heb. 7:1-11; 2 Heb. 9:15

1. The blessing of our High Priest is deliverance from sin. It is the blessing of Abraham,1 that is, the righteousness of faith, 2 and the promise of the Spirit through faith: that Spirit being the sanctifying power of the Gospel. God, having raised up His Servant sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. 3 Comparing these passages, which are one in the unity of the blessing of Abraham, we gather that the Christian High-priestly benediction is our deliverance from all sin

1 Gal. 3:9-14; 2 Rom. 4:13; 3 Acts 3:26

2. Hence it is the impartation of all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. 1 The term BLESSING is one that cannot be defined: it is the gracious mystery of the manifestation of the Supreme to His people in grace. It is a gift without a definition; including all the individual benefits that may be put into words, it surpasses each in particular and surrounds the whole. It is the unbounded sum of all that has been procured for the redeemed children of men: first, as the restored prerogative of the creature resting in the Creator, and, secondly, as the superadded blessedness of a nearer than creaturely union with God in Christ

1 Eph. 1:3

3. This Benediction is imparted through the Holy Ghost. He is the Vicar of Christ, and the Agent of His will, and the Medium of every benefit of His passion. Therefore the more full consideration of this subject belongs to the next department of our Theology

Meanwhile, it must be remembered that the Blessing of the Gospel is obtained by Jesus the Priest, announced by Jesus the Prophet, imparted by Jesus the King, through the Mediatorial Spirit of the new economy of grace


Before we pass to the Kingly Office of Christ we must linger for a while on the scene of His High-priestly function, which is, whether on earth or in heaven, the Temple, or Tabernacle: the place of special Divine revelation to man

I. In the Old Testament we see the progressive stages of the history of sacrificial worship converging towards the Christian Temple

1. Before the Levitical economy the Altar stood alone under the heavens: the mizbach, the first record of which is that Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, a thusiasteérion, 1 so termed from the burnt offerings SLAIN before it. From that time the patriarchs raised altars where God revealed Himself, as Abram builded an altar unto the Lord, Who appeared unto him. 2 When the law was given on Sinai Jehovah said to His people: Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep and thine oxen: in all places where I record My name I will come unto thee, and I will Mess thee. 3 From that time there was to be no longer an altar in every tent

1 Gen. 8:20; 2 Gen. 12:7; 3 Exo. 20:22,24

2. The Mosaic Sanctuary was a Tabernacle, 'ohel mow`eed, the Tent of congregation, where God met His people; also the mishkan haa`eedut, the Tabernacle of Testimony, or of Covenant revelation. The innumerable details of the economy of this domain of the high priest's function belong to archaeology: only the leading points need to be referred to here, and those only as pertaining to the Mosaic Sanctuary. There was a threefold division. In the Court, surrounding all, the Covenant People assembled; and this, in the later Temple, made silent provision for the future ingathering of the Gentiles. Here was the Altar of Burnt-offering. The sanctuary proper, the Holy Place, haqodesh admitted the priests only; it had the Table of Shewbread, the twelve loaves of which renewed every sabbath were a permanent meat offering in acknowledgment of the Divine gifts; opposite to this the Golden Candlestick, with seven lamps, the symbol of God in His Holy Spirit for ever enlightening the Temple; and between them, over against the ark of the covenant, the Altar of Incense, representing the daily intercession of the priesthood and the daily prayers of the congregation. Into the Holiest of All, the Most Holy Place, haqaadaashiym qodesh the high priest alone entered once in the year. There was the Ark, the most comprehensive symbol in the ancient worship: the Ark of the covenant, 1 which had in it the tables of the covenant, the conditions of God's good will towards His people, and at the same time the testimony of His people's sinfulness; the Ark of the throne of God, because His glory as a thick cloud rested on the Kapporeth or Mercy-seat, which covered the record of transgression from the Divine eyes. Over the Propitiatory were the Cherubim, so important in the symbolical drapery of the curtains, of which it was said: 0 Shepherd of Israel, Thou that dwellest between the Cherubim, shine forth! 2 These represented all the Divine attributes in their universal manifestations: barring the entrance to Paradise and watching the way of return. But they have faded away in Christ

1 Heb. 9:4,5; 2 Psa. 80:1 3. The Tabernacle, with all its divisions, was one under the supremacy of the high priest

Every figure, symbol, and act within it—from the laver at the entrance to the thick cloud of the Divine glory never seen but by faith—paid its tribute to the great Fact: there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above, the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubims. 1 It may not always be possible to trace the connection; nor is it necessary. We must be content with observing the typical allusion of the whole to the Christian temple in which the Supreme Sacrifice was once offered WITHOUT the veil, and then presented WITHIN it

1 Exo. 25:22

II. The new temple is as conspicuous in the Evangelical revelation as the old temple was in the Levitical economy

1. It is the glory of the Christian Offerer that He is the Antitype not only of the typical high priest, and of all the offerings He presented, but of the place itself in which He offered. Nor is there anything more impressive in the Great Fulfillment than the truth that the Incarnate Son is as incarnate Himself the Temple. His first prediction concerning His own Person declared this: destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up: He spake of the temple of His body. 1 His human nature—our human nature—is the shrine in which the Word, Whose Glory was as of the Only-begotten, became flesh and dwelt among us. 2 This central truth throws its beams backwards to Paradise and forwards to the Consummation: giving unity to all the Scriptural records of God's dwelling among men

In Eden the Divine Presence, with the guardian Cherubim, had its ark. After the Fall the Presence of the Lord 3 was retained upon earth until the Flood. It then became the Glory of the Lord, kªbowd, over the Ark of the Covenant: permanent, as distinguished from occasional Theophanies, and as the type of the final indwelling of God in our nature. The later Jewish theology gave it the name SHEKINAH, as the tabernacle was formerly called mishkan Yahweh, the dwelling-place of Jehovah. But now in Christ Jesus, the Incarnate Son, God is abidingly manifest in the flesh. 4 The ancient symbol was the object only of faith: the Reality is object of faith also, but the Apostles could say, We beheld His glory;5 and He Himself said, he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father. 6 When He appeared it was already true that the tabernacle of God is with men, 7 though another fulfillment was in the future. The true theology of our Lord's Person holds that He inhabited human nature as His temple: He enters or is come into or in8 the flesh. Not that the Divinity is the High Priest and the flesh the temple. There are indeed two passages that seem to warrant such a view. Jesus is said to have consecrated for us a new and living way of access to God through the veil, that is to say, His flesh: 9 in His human nature He suffered; and the rending of that veil opened the way into the Holiest. But the rending of His Holy Flesh did not rend asunder His one Personality: He through the Eternal Spirit10 offered Himself in heaven when that sacred curtain was repaired. But it must be remembered that He offered HIMSELF. We must beware of the temptation to refine upon these distinctions; and not think it necessary to harmonies all the various sayings of Scripture on the great mystery which rises above all figures and analogies

1 John 2:19,21; 2 John 1:14; 3 Gen. 4:16; 4 1 Tim. 3:16; 5 John 1:14; 6 John 14:9; 7 Rev 21:3; 8 1 John 4:2; 9 Heb. 10:20; 10 Heb. 9:14

2. The Body of our Lord, in another view, is the mystical fellowship of His saints. In that Jesus is High Priest, and all who are His partake of His priesthood. (1.) First, the Church as such is the sphere of the High Priest's function. He is Himself its Shekinah, whose glory from the Holiest, blending with the Sevenfold Light of the Spirit from the Holy Place, is the FULNESS OF GOD 1 for which the Apostle prays. Whosoever is in Christ lives and moves in Him as a Temple: ye are the Temple of the living God. 2 In Him all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. 3 Thus is fulfilled the mystic prophecy of the precious ointment that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard. 4 The unction of the High Priest descends upon all His members, for He and they are one; while, in the sublime confusion of figures, those who form the spiritual house, and holy priesthood, offer up themselves as spiritual sacrifices. 5 (2.) And every individual Christian is said to be a temple in which our High Priest dwells: the whole economy of communion with heaven being translated into the believer's heart, in which he is exhorted to sanctify the Lord Christ. 6 This indwelling of the High Priest is the highest and deepest characteristic of personal religion: it is that ABODE WITH HIM 7 which the Savior reserved for His last promise to any individual on earth, as well as His last promise to any individual from heaven: I will come in to him.8

1 Eph. 3:19; 2 2 Cor. 6:16; 3 Eph. 2:21; 4 Psa. 133:2; 5 1 Pet. 2:5; 6 1 Pet. 3:15; 7 John 14:23; 8 Rev. 3:20

3. But there is a yet wider view. Heaven and earth make the New Temple in which our High Priest ministers. It is a sanctuary not made with hands. 1 Heaven is the Holy of Holies, into which He has entered with the virtue of His sacrifice. There are the cherubims of glory without the symbol, beholding not the mercy-seat sprinkled with blood, but the Person of Jesus Who without blood and without the incense presents Himself boldly for us that we also may come with boldness. Following out the symbol to its issues, the expositor of the Christian temple says that it was necessary that the heavenly things themselves 2 should be purified with the letter sacrifices: not that heaven itself needs sprinkling, save through the One Propitiation of its God. The Holy Place is done away in a certain sense: there is but one Priest, and all believers are a royal priesthood who offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In that outer court our Lord's altar, the Cross, was once erected. It is gone, and yet the Apostle says, We have an altar! 3 disguising, and yet scarcely disguising, his allusion to the cross. In this outer court there is no distinction of Jew and Gentile: Christ hath broken down the middle wall of partition. 4 Nor is there any other distinction. The whole family of believers as yet in probation occupies the GREAT HOUSE 5 in which there are many mansions. 6 But the strange paradox remains that, while Christian men in the militant church are on the pavement of the outer court, they are at the same time in heavenly places in Christ. 7 Hence they are exhorted with boldness to enter into the Holiest 8 above almost in the same sentence that speaks of our not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together 9 below. But these subjects belong rather to the doctrine of the Church

1 Heb. 9:11; 2 Heb. 9:23; 3 Heb. 8:10; 4 Eph. 2:14; 5 2 Tim. 2:20; 6 John 14:2; 7 Eph. 1:3; 8 Heb. 10:19; 9 Heb. 10:25

4. There is one other application of the High-priestly function of our Lord to which it is important in this place to refer, however slightly. The entire scheme of the Christian atonement belongs to this office of the Messiah. Not as the Teacher, nor as the Ruler, does He save the world: save as teaching the principles of His sacrificial work, and administering the blessings it has purchased. It will hereafter be seen how much the doctrine of the Atonement is bound up with the Divine government of a Lawgiver Who administers His law in a new court, the Court Mediatorial. There He exacts and receives what theological language terms satisfaction. But it must always be remembered that the Temple is the true sphere of atoning sacrifice. The evangelical Hall of judgment is no other than a Court of the Temple. And it is something more than a mystical fancy which regards the Veil as separating between the outer sanctuary where the oblation that satisfies justice is offered, and the Holiest where it is presented for Divine acceptance

Our Lord's Atonement is the SACRIFICIAL OBEDIENCE or the OBEDIENT SACRIFICE which hath put away sin: the Obedience was rendered in the outer court where blood reigns unto death, the Sacrifice was offered in the inner shrine where mercy reigns unto life. In Christ all these things are one. And this unity is the main object of the Evangelical discussion of the Epistle to the Hebrews. On all other matters, even of an economy that was Divine, it is very brief and never solicitous to expatiate: of which we cannot now speak severally.1

1 Heb. 9:5


The Kingly authority of Christ is grounded on His sacrificial death: as its high reward; as the medium of carrying out its ends; and in its highest exercise the bestowment of the blessings purchased by His Atonement. This mediatorial dignity was arrogated by Himself on earth by anticipation and in virtue of the Divinity of His Person. After the resurrection He formally assumed it on the Mountain in Galilee; He then ascended to His throne in heaven for its exercise; and thence sends forth His Apostles to declare and enforce His royal prerogatives. The Kingdom of Christ is exhibited in their writings as the kingdom of grace: administered in the world by His Providence, in the Church, and in the hearts of believers. As such it will terminate with the final judgment; but as the kingdom of glory, already begun, and to be consummated at the great day, it will be everlasting

I. Understanding by the title King the Redeemer’s mediatorial government generally, we may say that it occupies the foremost place in the Old-Testament prediction, and was accordingly assumed by our Lord as His own from the beginning. The earliest and most glorious prophecies which, went before on the Deliverer proclaimed His supreme authority. Such were the Protevangelium;1 the promise to Abraham;2 the blessing of Jacob;3 and the predictions to David.4 The Psalms open with the kingly supremacy of the Christ, and make this their ever recurring keynote.5 The Prophets set out with this theme: it begins prophecy proper in Isaiah, and, as has been seen, runs through the whole series of the Messianic prophets, who invariably connect the announcement of the Saviour's SUFFERINGS with THE GLORY THAT SHOULD FOLLOW. The teachers in Judaism, after the Captivity, introduced a different view. They took the sufferings of the Servant of Jehovah6,7 to themselves and their own nation, and a carnal view of the reign of their Christ predominated: their favorite name for Him was KING MESSIAH.8 The Jews of Egypt differed from those of Palestine in not localizing the scene of the Messiah's government in Jerusalem, and generally in understanding His kingdom to be moral and spiritual

1 Gen. 3:15; 2 Gen.22:17; 3 Gen. 49:10; 4 2 Sam. 7:16; 5 Psa. 2,45,72,110; 6 Luke 24:26; 7 1 Pet. 1:11; 8 Isa. 52;53

II Our Lord opened His mission by proclaiming, not His own kingdom, but the kingdom of heaven and of God. On the nature of that spiritual government He discoursed largely; but it was not until the close of His ministry that He represented Himself as the Supreme Ruler in it. His authority till then was that of the Teacher only: as exercised upon the Mount of Beatitudes, and vindicated for Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. His mediatorial kingdom as such was to be specially based upon His atoning death as the Divine-human Representative of Mankind. The relation between His regal government and His expiatory humiliation was declared by Himself on the eve of His passion, and is much dwelt upon by His Apostles. It is placed before us under two aspects

1. By undergoing a substitutionary death for mankind the Redeemer obtained both a judicial and a moral right to the human race. (1.) He redeemed it from the bondage of sin and the doom of death. But in His own language and in His servants' Satan represents that bondage as the god of this world. 1 Approaching His cross our Lord said: Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the Prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. 2 The alien power was cast out in the court of judgment, and it was decided that the world belonged to Him Who died and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 3 But this was only the vindication of an authority which had been virtually His from the beginning; since He had been the King uncrowned, because the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. 4 (2,) His moral right is that which the infinite benefit of His passion confers; and it is this which draws men to His feet. It is the gracious and effectual sway of the atoning sacrifice on all who accept its propitiation: ye are bought with a price.5

1 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 John 12:31,32; 3 Rom. 14:8,9; 4 Rev. 13:8; 5 1 Cor. 6:20

2. The self-renunciation of Jesus receives universal government as its reward. He obtained as a gift the dominion over mankind: Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.1 But He also received the mediatorial government of the universe: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him the name which is above every name. 2 Whether or not the virtue of His passion extended to other worlds, certainly its reward and honor extends to them

1 John 17:1,2; 2 Phil. 2:9

III. After His resurrection He formally assumed His regal sway

1. It was on the Mountain of Galilee, to which He summoned His Apostles and disciples, and virtually the whole company of believers, that He for the first time announced His absolute authority in human affairs. Above He had said, All Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine, 1 with a wider and deeper meaning; but now He declares, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth: 2 all power in heaven AND earth, in heaven FOR earth

Having already proclaimed His rule below as Lord of the dead, 3 and having declared it in the midst of His brethren on earth, He then ascended up to exercise it for ever

1 John 27:10; 2 Mat. 28:18; 3 Rom. 14:9

2. Hence it is obvious that the regal office of Christ must not include His government of the universe as the eternal Son. And further we are prepared for the doctrine of St. Paul, that the jurisdiction obtained by the Mediator will, after all its designs are subserved in the salvation of the saints and the subjection of His enemies, be surrendered to the Father, and mediatorial authority shall cease. It began after the Cross, and will therefore end when the redeeming design is fulfilled

IV. The formal analysis of the Redeemer's regal office, set forth in the Acts as exercised on earth, in the Apocalypse as exercised in heaven, and in the Epistles theologically described, can only be summarized here. Almost every topic finds its more appropriate place hereafter in the Administration of Redemption

1. The kingdom of Christ is the Christian Church or the kingdom of grace. As such its treatment must be reserved for a later stage. Meanwhile, some points of importance require brief notice

(1.) This kingdom is in its widest meaning the re-establishment of the Divine authority over man. It is the kingdom of heaven, because its Ruler is ascended into heaven, and there sits upon the throne of saving authority; because its object is to restore the principles of heavenly obedience upon earth, according to our first great prayer: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven; 1 and because it will be consummated when earth becomes heaven and heaven earth to mankind. It is the kingdom of God, because the Incarnate Ruler is Himself Divine; and it is thus also distinguished from the kingdoms of this world 2 which are ordained of God to be the types and reflections of His supreme rule. Hence the Church, as the kingdom of Christ, is essentially a spiritual authority over spiritual subjects. Whatever relation it may sustain to the transitory governments of time, it is entirely independent of them. And, whatever externality it may assume for a season, its profound and abiding character is the internal and spiritual reconstruction of the THEOCRACY in which God, now the God-man, rules over a saved mankind. (2.) It has indeed an outward organization: laws and administration of law, rulers and submission to rulers, terms of admission and penalties of excommunication. But all these are connected rather with the Visible Church, or visible Churches, than with the Kingdom of Christ, which is the glorious restoration of Divine authority over man: one, spiritual, ever enlarging and tending to its consummation in heaven. The KINGDOM has a meaning which the CHURCH has not

1 Mat. 6:10; 2 Rev. 11:15

2. This will be further apparent if we consider how habitually the kingdom of our Lord is declared to be set up within the individual heart. It is the interior life of religion, and coincides with the imparted blessings of personal salvation under the New Covenant, and the ethical relations which result from them. There is no view of personal religion more comprehensive than that which makes it the absolute sway of One Ruler within the heart

3. It is the jurisdiction over the world for the sake of the Christian Church. The New Testament abounds with testimonies, which find their highest expression in St. Paul's words concerning the mighty power that hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. 1 The providential government of human affairs is in the hands of Christ for the sake of the Body of a new mankind which He is gathering and sanctifying to Himself. (1.) Hence the kingly office of the LORD OF ALL 2 is exercised in the protection of His people; He is the Captain of their salvation: 3 He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written: KING or KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 4 (2.) It is the Headship of a conquering Gospel which must in some sense win the world, subjugate and suppress Satanic powers, and rescue mankind as such. When our Lord first announced His authority He added the words: Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world. 5 He Whose Name is ABOVE EVERY NAME6 here pays fealty to the Holy Trinity whose Representative He is. But the final accomplishment of the designs of heaven is bound up with obedience to Himself. For that He waits on His throne. With this Lo we may connect another in the Old Testament: Lo, My Servant, Whom I uphold! He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till He have set judgment in the earth.7

1 Eph. 1:22,23; 2 Acts 10:36; 3 Heb. 2:10; 4 Rev. 19:16; 5 Mat. 28:19; 6 Phil. 2:9; 7 Isa. 42:1

4. The last function of mediatorial sway will be the final judgment; when the High Priest shall no longer intercede for the world nor the Prophet teach mankind, but the Son of Man, Who is also the King, shall sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations: 1 gathered for the first and last time that He may separate them again to be united no more

1 Mat. 25:31,32

5. While the Mediatorial King will lay down His authority, the same King, as Head of the Church, shall reign for ever. And of His kingdom—as the indwelling of the supreme glory of the Godhead in mankind—there shall be no end. 1 But these are subjects that belong to Eschatology

1 Luke 1:33