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ner, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."*
No other inference can be drawn from this text than that Jesus is the Son of God, after the flesh, through the power of the Holy Ghost, in as true and as literal a sense as he is the son of David. Of those who contend for the doctrine of the Divine, Eternal Sonship of Jesus Christ, I would inquire, if they believe the divinity of Jesus Christ to be a thing? a created object? But yet it is "that Holy Thing," which is called the Son of God.
3. HE IS THE Mighty God. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this.”+
But you do not suppose that David and Solomon understood the character of Christ in the same light as set forth in the above text ? Indeed I do. That David did, there is full evidence; and that Solomon imbibed the same idea, is clear from our text.
Take, for instance, the text quoted by the Savior to confound his enemies: 6 The LORD said unto my LORD, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool.” I “If David then called him Lord, how is he then his son ?" This they could not explain. Nor can it be satisfactorily explained on any other hypothesis than that here laid down. Take another example from Psalm xlv., 6th verse, where David speaks of the things he had made touching the king; and which Paul applies to Christ: “ Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest iniquity; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”'S Let us now turn to our text. Solomon had just completed the first house dedicated to the worship of Almighty God. This house had been devised by David, but built by Solomon. But no sooner had David devised the plan of building a house for God, than the regal character of Jesus Christ, as the son and successor of David,
was for the first time announced to man. The seed of David was announced as the builder, proprietor, and everlasting possessor of the house and throne. Accordingly, when the house was completed, the king assembled the house of Israel, to dedicate the temple to the Great Proprietor. He begins by calling to mind and rehearsing the covenant of God with David, of an everlasting successor. Evidently he did not consider himself the one. After contemplating the greatness of the promise, as if lost in wonder, he exclaims, " But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth ? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built !”
What else can we infer from the manner in which the wise man introduced the exclamation, than that he believed God had promised to David, his father, a successor, to inherit that house, as well as to sit on his throne, who should possess the nature and perfections of Deity? It must mean that, if it means anything, or if there is any connection between the verses of our text, or indeed between any of the different parts of Solomon's prayer. The truth seems to be this: Jesus Christ in his humanity is both the Son of God and the son of David. In this person, as Paul expresses it, “God was manifest in the flesh."* Or yet again : "For in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”+ “I Jesus have sent mine angel,” &c. “I am the root and the offspring of DAVID.”I Such is our Savior. Such the being who “died for us;" who "tasted death for every man;" who is the propitiation for our sins," "and also for the sins of the whole world.” Death was the penalty of the Divine law. That penalty Jesus Christ has suffered instead of the sinner. God can now be just and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.
Christ is now the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." That church, redeemed from among all nations, by his blood, is now Abraham's seed; the house of Jacob; and the house of David. “For if ye are Christ's, then are ye Abram's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Christ is the head, the church the body of that head! There is a mysterious union between Christ and his people: “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all one." But in what sense are Christ and his people one? Paul answers, “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” “But I
can never believe such a mystery !” “How can this be?" It is no more mystery to you, my hearer, than to Paul, when he wrote it; for he added, “this is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” Every true Christian, then, is a member of Christ's body, flesh, and bones. And if thus, how holy ought he to be!
O, what a glory gathers around the theme of redemption by Jesus Christ ! Shout, then, ye saints of the Most High! Shout unto God with the voice of triumph! Unto him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, unto him be glory, in the church, by Christ Jesus, forever! 0!
“ Angel, assist our mighty joys,
Strike all your harps of gold;
Christ is the believer's life. "Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” “And when he who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Well might the apostle call it "that GREAT LOVE wherewith he loved us !” And can we wonder that the poet also should sing, or can we forbear to sing with him,
"O love, the bottomless abyss,
My sins are swallowed up in thee;
No spot of guilt remains on me,
He is "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.” And as many as receive him, to them he gives power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Come, then, perishing sinner, to this Savior.
But I am wandering. I only designed to show the relation existing between Christ and the church as a reason why he will not live in glory and leave her behind; but that he will COME AGAIN and receive her to himself: For
IV. THIS GLORIOUS BEING, ACCORDING TO GOD'S PROMISE, WILL IN VERY DEED DWELL WITH MEN ON THE EARTH.
We have so long been accustomed to contemplate the kingdom of Jesus Christ as a spiritual dominion; and the throne of David on which he reigns as being either in heaven, or in the human heart, that it is with extreme difficulty we can bring ourselves to look at this subject in the plain, simple and scriptural light in which alone we ought to view it. The reason of this seems to be this : in looking at the Divine and glorious character of Christ, we lose sight of his humanity. We forget that he is the son of David, an earthly monarch. But such he in reality is : no less so now than when he was on earth. If he has now gone into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, that is not to be his eternal abode. He is there now; with, and by, his own blood, as our advocate with the Father; and there he will sit, until his foes become his footstool. He is there in the holy of holies, as our great High Priest, in his own proper person, body, soul and Divinity, thenceforth expecting until his foes become his footstool.
1. Jesus Christ is to dwell on the earth ; because the Lord God has given to him by promise the throne of his father David.* That throne was an earthly one, or on the earth, and not in heaven. Hence, if Christ sits forever on David's throne, he must dwell on earth, and at Jerusalem.
2. He will dwell on earth, because the inheritance of the uttermost parts of the earth is to be his. " Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree; thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. And thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”+ The holy hill of Zion which God has chosen, there to dwell forever, as his desired rest, is on earth, and not in heaven.
“ The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it : Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne forevermore. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” Again, " There will I make the horn of David to bud.”I
3. Daniel saw in vision, after the destruction of the emblematical beasts, the representatives of earthly governments, “One like the Son of man, coming in the clouds of heaven; and he came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him: and there was given him a kingdom and dominion, that all kingdoms, nations and tongues should serve him.” Again, « The kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting king,
dom."* If the kingdoms represented by the beasts were on earth, so also will be that of the Son of man : for it is to be reared upon the ruins of the other kingdoms.
4. The Church, the saints of God, are Christ's body. The head and body must be united in one and dwell together. But "the meek shall inherit the earth.” “Such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth.” “The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell therein forever.”'t If these promises are true, and the people of Christ are to be where he is, he must reign and dwell with them on earth. Thus shall " the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”'I
And then it shall be said, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men; and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are TRUE AND FAITHFUL.” They are what they purport, and not mystical. The great problem will then be solved. Yes, God, even that God whom heaven, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain, "will in very deed dwell with men on the earth.” Yes
" From the third heaven, where God resides,
That holy, happy place,
Adorned with shining grace.
And the bright armies sing,
of your descending King.
Removes his blest abode,
And he their smiling God.”
The way being thus prepared, we are to inquire
V. INTO THE MANNER AND OBJECTS OF HIS ADVENT AND ABODE ON EARTH AMONG MEN.
1. "THE MANNER." That Jesus Christ, the promised seed of David, has come in the flesh, that he was “born of a virgin," " in Bethlehem," &c., are facts so clearly attested, that an argument to prove them to any who believe and read
* Dan., chap. vii. Matt. v. 5. Ps. Xxxvii. 11, 22, 29. Rev. xi.