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subject unto him.” Here, therefore, not only human beings, are put under the judgment or government of Christ, but angels, authorities, and powers are also made subject to him for the administration of that government which Christ is now exercising. And this is what we may call a parenthesis of the Divine government; not the suspension of government, but a modification of it, exercising the creative power of God in a new mode. The Father hath committed all judgmnent unto the Son.” It is that government of Christ that he is to surrender when the work is accomplished. In the 15th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle, speaking of the resurrection of the dead, says in the 28th verse, “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.” If we supply from our Lord's own lips the word “ here, we have the full statement conveyed by the Spirit: “ Then shall the Son of man also himself be subject unto him which did put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” The divine government of the Father may be again resumed, that the Father, Son, and Spirit may govern without that mediatorial work which has been rendered necessary by the fall of man.
Now if we look at these two views of the Divine government, they reconcile those two great difficulties between God and man. There is a Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and we could not come to the Father but through the Son. There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” But between Christ and man there is no mediator: there
have man coming to man, and no mediator between
them. Popery indeed, in her blasphemy against the love of Christ, would place the ever blessed Virgin between Christ and his Church ; but the Bible teaches us, that there is no mediator between man and Jesus. He is the High Priest that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and to him we come and plead his own mediation, to him we come and plead his own government. We do not ask him for the sake of saints, but we come to himself, for he said, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." We are in this sense Christ's servants without any mediator, as we are God's servants with a mediator. The apostle says in the 14th chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, the 17th and 18th verses, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; for he that in these things serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of men." There is therefore, brethren, a double judgment to which we have to look, the judgment which our Lord Jesus Christ exercises towards us all, and the judgment which God is to have upon us when the work of mediation, the work of redemption, shall have been accomplished, the work of mediation shall have been surrendered, and we shall be standing in God's presence without any mediator between us and him. It is probably to that, that our Lord refers in the 10th chapter of the Gospel of St. John, where he says, in the 25th to the 27th verses, These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father. At that day ye shall ask in my name; and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you, because ye hp
loved me, and believed that I came out from God.” Christ is now exercising the mediatorial oflice, which is to termi. nate when he shall come again in the glory of his Father, and in his own glory and of the holy angels, to surrender up his mediatorial kingdom, and to be with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God all in all, exercising the primary office of the government of God, our creator and sustainer. We are, therefore, to look forward to Christ's judgment of us, and then subsequently to God's judgment and government: and Christ, who is now our holy, sacrificing high priest, sanctifier, and redeemer, is to sit upon the judgment-seat, and to pass the solemn sentence upon all his people. As he is the Son of man, so he tells us that he has to exercise judgment as the Son of man; for if we return to the 5th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, we shall find him saying there, in the 28th and 29th verses, “ Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil into the resurrection of damnation,” It is the voice of the Son of man that is heard here; it is the Son of man's voice that calls them forth from the grave; it is the Son of man who says unto those on his left hand, “ Depart, ye cursed,” as it is the Son of man who says unto those on his right hand, Come, ye blessed.” This is the real argument of the apostle in the 15th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he says
from the 22nd to the 24th verse, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But
every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming. 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. And as by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Thus the Son of man is a brother to all men, the just as well as the unjust. In that common brotherhood he raises from the dead all his brethren, the wicked dead and the holy dead, but every man in his own order, Christ's people first and then the evil remnant in death and shades, to be cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and experience the weight of the curse of their connection with Christ, of having been bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, and yet remaining corrupt, and sinful, and rebellious. It is an awful doctrine, therefore, that our blessed Saviour teaches us in this parable, that the pardoned sinner was afterwards a condemned sinner. “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,
On Sunday next, if it please God, I shall take up this same subject, and enter into a most important scriptural enquiry respecting the secret counsels, the unchangeable promises of God, and the unconditional irreversibility of the pardon that comes to God's people in Christ, and of the changing promise, and of the conditional and temporary pardon that comes to the whole world through Christ.
It is indeed, brethren, an awful subject; it is also a blessed subject. We are sinners; and every one of us, good and bad, believer and uubeliever, are, temporarily speaking, pardoned sinners. We stand in this house this day before God, and Christ, and angels, precisely in the relationship spoken of here of that man who, owing ten thousand talents, but having nothing to pay, was
freely forgiven, but only forgiven upon his probation. That we may be pardoned in time, in order to have an opportunity of being pardoned for eternity. Oh, let us pray that we may be able to lay hold in such a manner upon the hope set before us in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that we may not only have that temporary, and passing, and present, but yet real forgiveness, which we have in being members now of Christ; but that we may have that eternal forgiveness that will take away our sins for ever, and secure our blessedness for ever, when we rise from the grave, and live eternally and immortally with Christ for ever.
It is my duty to appeal also to you this morning for that important Society, which has for its object the proclaiming of this blessed Gospel of pardon throughout this kingdom. It is the voice of Christ to you, brethren, for not merely thousands, but millions of souls of our suffering brethren, who are needing the labourers in the harvest, and needing much more than ever we have yet done ; for we have not yet, as Christians, the mind of Christ in us in its full activity, or we would have the hand of Christ in us in its loving bounty. If it were not so it would not be true, in this era of our Reformed Churches, that there is a larger number of persons in this kingdom uncared for than those cared for, in the preaching of the Gospel. If the words of Christ are what they ought to be, if the prayers of Christians sent forth were really importunate, we should not have toil and pleading to get an inadequate snpply of men to go forth in their Saviour's name; not to deserts and distant wilds, but to our own neglected courts and alleys; to our thousands of fellow-subjects, who are uncared for, living in the midst of us, dark in the midst of light,