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Son; in the sacrifice of his cross; in his victory over the grave; in his exaltation to glory; in the majesty and the triumphs of his coming as the Judge of the world; in the final awards of the righteous and the wicked; we behold subjects of contemplation, ennobling and gratifying, and fruitful of holiness and consolation.
Even beyond that tremendous scene, when the heavens pass away, when the elements melt, when the earth is consumed, the Gospel extends our view; and presents an event most sublime and interesting. Jesus Christ the Son of God, in his human nature, sits in glory as the Judge of the nations. He takes his departure from the world, burning beneath him, to that new heaven where his people are enthroned in glory everlasting. The sublime and glorious events that distinguish the course of the great Mediator, do not terminate even here. Jesus Christ has still a part to act infinitely august and interesting. The Apostle delineates it in the passage which I have recited to you.
"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies
under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
The Son delivering up the kingdom to God the Father, is the solemn event here presented to our contemplation.
There are three inquiries which will lead to a full view of this important scene.
I. What is the kingdom which Christ is represented as surrendering?
II. At what period does the surrender take place.
III. What are the consequences of this surrender of his kingdom.
These inquiries will also lead to an explanation of the various parts of the passage.
I. What is the kingdom which Christ is represented as delivering up?
There is a kingdom which, from all eternity, was the Son of God's, and which will continue to be his through endless ages-That kingdom which he possesses in virtue of his participation of the fulness of the Godhead; of his divine character as "the first and the last, the beginning and the ending, the Almighty, the King of kings and Lord of lords ""-that dominion by which, being "before all things "," he "spake and it was done, he commanded and it stood fast ;" by which," upholding all things by the word of his power d," he reigns as now Lord of the inhabitants of the earth, so to all eternity Lord of the armies of heaven. This kingdom and dominion possessed by Christ as the Son of God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, can never be surrendered. The Son of God cannot lay aside his Divine prerogative, nor relinquish his Divine dominion.
But in the eternal counsels of the Godhead, it was planned that the Son should receive another kingdom and another dominion. In order to accomplish that scheme which Infinite Wisdom and mercy devised for the redemption of an apostate and sinful world, it was determined,
a Rev. i. 8.. b Col. i. 17. c Ps. xxxiii. 9. d Heb. i. 3.
that the Son of God should assume a body of flesh; should bear the sorrows, as well as the sins of men; and should make atonement for iniquity, by shedding his blood upon the cross. For this his suffering of death, even the death of the cross, God hath "crowned" the man Christ Jesus, in whom dwelt "the fulness of the Godhead, with glory and honour";" placing him, in his human nature, over the work of his hands, "putting all things in subjection under his feet," giving him "all power in heaven and in earth."
Thus exalted to be a Prince and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as Mediator between God and man, rules in the kingdom of grace. In this kingdom God the Father, as is expressed in the words of the text, hath " put all things under Christ," as Mediator. But in this kingdom he reigns as Mediator in subjection to God the Father. For, as the Apostle argues-" But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him.' God the Father, who put all things under the feet of the Son, as Mediator, is excepted from the universal dominion which Christ exercises. In the kingdom of grace, in his mediatorial character, as Prophet, Priest, and King, Jesus Christ dispenses the blessings of salvation; extending pardon to the penitent, instructing, guiding
Heb. ii. 9.
'Matt. xxviii. 18,
and defending them by his word and Holy Spirit, and finally vanquishing all their enemies. He is "the head over all things to his Church "" and people; governing and over-ruling all things to promote the interests of that spiritual kingdom of which he is the King and Ruler. Still in this his mediatorial capacity, he is subject to the Father who hath "set him, as his King, on the holy hill of Zion";" and in whose name, and by whose authority, he administers the affairs of this mediatorial kingdom, and exercises his regal sway.
It is this kingdom of grace, constituted for the salvation of fallen man, and held by Jesus Christ as Mediator between God and man, which Christ delivers up to God even the Father; and not the universal eternal kingdom which he possesses in virtue of his union with the Godhead, God over all blessed for evermore.
We are now prepared for the second inquiry,
II. At what period does Jesus Christ surrender his mediatorial kingdom?
The period is styled in the text, "the end""then cometh the end." And it is designated by the events" when he," that is, Jesus Christ the Son," shall have put down all rule, and all