« ElőzőTovább »
precipices or presumptions h. So long then as the church is valiant and constant in withstanding the enemies of her peace and prosperity, God is undoubtedly with her to bless that courage, and to strengthen that right hand. So long as Moses held up his hand, God fought for Israel. There was Joshua's sword, and Moses' hand or prayer, and, upon those, · God's blessingi.
And they were all to concur: if the sword should cease, the prayer would do no good ; for God will not be tempted : if the prayer faint, the sword is in vain; for God will not be neglected :-as, in a curious clock, stop any wheel, and you hinder the whole motion. If God : promise to be present, Joshua must promise to be courageous Secondly, To note unto us the care and military wisdom of Christ our captain, to meet with and to prevent our enemies, and to intercept their blows against us; for we may observe in the Scripture, that Satan plieth the right hand of the church, laboureth to weaken and assault us, where there is most danger towards him. “ Let Satan stand at his right hand\;" that is, Give him over to the rage of Satan, that he may be hurried to execute his will.—Thus “Satan stood at the right hand of Joshua, the High-priest, to resist him ";" noting the assiduous and indefatigable endeavours of Satan to resist, disappoint, and overthrow the works of the worthies in God's church, (“I would have come unto you, even I Paul, once again, but Satan hindered us ";") and to divert the strength of men upon his service. And therefore to rebuke him, and to show to the church that our strength is from him, and due unto him, he also stands there to outvie the temptations and impulsions of Satan.
These are the two expositions, which are given of these words, “ The Lord at thy right hand.” Now though, of all places of Scripture, there is indeed but one literal sense ; yet when two are given, which both tend unto the same general scope, and are suitable not only to the analogy of faith, but to the meaning mainly aimed at by the Holy Ghost in the place, and when there is no apparent evidence in the face of the text, for preferring one before the other; i think it is
k Josh. i. 5, 6,9.
I Psalm cix. 6.
b Psalm xci. 11. in Zech. iii. 1.
i Exod. xvii. 12, 13. n 1 Thes, ii. 18.
not unfit to embrace both; and so something I shall touch upon
both senses. “ Shall strike through,” or wound, or make gore-bloody, "kings in the day of his wrath.” The word is, “ Hath stricken through kings.” It is a prophecy of things future, spoken as of things to be done: To strike through, notes a complete victory and full confusion of the enemy,an incurable wound, that they may stagger, and fall, and rise up no more, and that affliction may not arise a second time. The only difficulty is, what is meant by “kings :" for which we must note, That the kingdom of Christ is spiritual, and his war spiritual, and therefore his enemies, for the most part, spiritual. Therefore I take it, we are hereby to understand the most potent enemies of Christ; whether spiritual, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places P:” or carnal, as heathen and wicked men ; the fat and the strong enemies of the church'. Our spiritual enemies in Scripture are called “kings:” “Satan the prince of this world, the god of this world, the prince of the power of the air“, the king of the locusts ,” &c. Sin and original concupiscence is a king: “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies.” And the earthly enemies of Christ are called kings: "The ten horns', that is, ten kings, make war" with the Lamb ;–"The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and his Christ 2.” And death, which is the last enemy, is a king :
The king of terrors," that reigneth over men. all these kings do the victories of Christ reach.—Some, by kings, understand the Roman emperors, who are called
kingsa,” and their overthrow, for persecuting the church. But since all sorts of Christ's enemies are called kings in Scripture, and all of them do push at his kingdom in the church,- I see no ground why we may not, by kings, understand them all, with their subjects, armies, and associates. As in great victories the lords and principal men are said to
o Nahum i. 9. 1 Sam. xxvi. 8. p Ephes. vi. 12. 2 Cor. x. 4. 9 Psal. ii. 8, 9. r Ezek. xxxiv. 16.
& John xvi. ll.
t 2 Cor. iv. 4. u Ephes. ii. 2. * Rev. ix. 11. y Rev. xvii. 12, 14. < Psal. ii. 9. Acts iv. 27. I Cor. ii. 8. a 1 Pet. ii. 13, 17.
be overcome, when the servants and soldiers are routed and slain.
“ In the day of his wrath :” That is, when time hath ripened the insolency and malice of the enemy, when his fury is fully stirred up and provoked, when the just and full time of his glory is come; that it may appear that they are overcome not by time, or chance, or human power, or secular concurrence, but only by the power of his wrath he will do it. Christ is never destitute of power ; but in wisdom he hath ordered the times of his church, when to have his church suffer and bear witness to him, and when to triumph in his deliverances. So the meaning of this clause is this, When the day of recompense is come, when the sins and provocation of his enemy is ripe, when the utmost period of his patience is expired, šv w pobeguía, in the fixed and immovable day which he hath set, be the probabilities never so poor, and preparations never so small, the expectations never so low, the means in human view never so impossible,-yet then, by his wrath, he will utterly and incurably wound his enemies, both spiritual and temporal, that they shall not rise a second time.
“ He shall judge amongst the Heathen.” The word “judgement” noteth both government and punishment. “The Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone b;" there, “to judge” noteth government.-“ The Lord standeth up to plead, and to judge his people c:" “ That nation whom they serve, will I judged;" there, “ to judge” noteth punishment. Here it is taken for executing condemnation upon the contumacious adversaries of the gospel of Christ amongst the Gentiles, as in the great victory of Gog and Magogo: some, by Gentiles', understand all enemies, both spiritual and earthly.
“ He shull fill the places with dead bodies.” That notes both the swiftness of the victory, and the greatness of the victory. That it shall be so general and so speedy, that the enemy shall have either none left; or they that are left, shall not be able nor have leisure to bury their dead bodies s.
c Isai. iii. 13.
b Deut. xxxii. 36. f Glass, in Isai. Ixii, 6.
d Gen. xv. 14.
. Ezek. 39. 8 Ezek. xxxix. 11. xiv. 8, 17. xv. 18. m 2 Cor. i. 19, 20.
“He shall wound the head over divers countries h.” That is, either the principal of his enemies every where ; or Satan, who is the god of the world, that ruleth as head over the children of disobedience in all places; or antichrist, the head of nations, the chief of God's enemies i
“ The Lord at thy right hand.” According to the twofold apostrophe before mentioned, here are two observations which I will but touch. First, That God the Father is worthy to have all the power, majesty, and judgement, which he hath given to his Son our Mediator, for our protection, salvation, and defence, most thankfully and triumphantly acknowledged to him. We find our Saviour himself praising God in this behalf, that he had delivered all things into his hand, even power to make babes believe on him. And this St. Paul is frequent in, namely, in praising and glorifying God for Christ: “ O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me? &c. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 1»
All the promises of God are in him Yea, and in him Amen,“ to the glory of God” by us." He gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, “ To whom be glory” for ever and ever, Amen": -Every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord “ to the glory" of God the Father
And reason there is, that it should thus he acknowledged to the Father; because he hath all his kingdom and power in the church from the Father : “ All power is given unto me.”—“ He hath given him a name above every name:" and this the Son hath revealed to us, that so he might “manifest the name;" that is, get glory to his Father thereby P. For, in Christ, it was God that reconciled the world to himself. Secondly, He hath it all given unto him in our nature, in our behalf, and as our head; so that we, in the gifts of God to him, were only respected; and therefore we have reason to praise God for them. It was not indeed given to him strictly (for it was not to him • Beneficium,' but Onus,' an office, but not a benefit), but to him for us, or to us in and by him. In all the victories, deliverances, refreshments, experiences of God's power and goodness, we must ever remember to praise God in and through his Son; to acknowledge the power of his right hand, which is not now against his church, but against the enemies of his church. For therefore the deliverance of his church is ascribed to God's right hand ; because he hath there one to plead, to entreat, to move his right hand in our behalf. Therefore in all our distresses, in all conflicts and temptations, we must, by faith, look up unto God's right hand; put him in remembrance of that faithfulness, righteousness, atonement, and intercession, which is there made in our behalf. There we have matter enough to fill our mouths and hearts with praises and triumph and rejoicing in him : “ It is Christ who is at the right hand of God; who shall separate us from the love of Christ 9 ? Here are two arguments of the church's safety and triumph. The 'love' of Christ, and the honour' of Christ. He loveth all his to the end. But what good can love do without power ? Therefore he that loveth us, is exalted by God, and hathi all power given him for this purpose, that his love may do us good. In the conflicts of my corruptions (which are an adversary too wise, too subtile, too numberless for me to vanquish) I may yet, when I am driven to Paul's extremity, rest in his thanksgiving; and looking up to Jesus, who will be the finisher of every good work which he begins, and seeing him at God's right hand, may triumph in the power and office which God hath given to his Son there,—which is, to subdue our iniquities, and to sanctify us by his truth, and by that residue of Spirit which he keepeth for the church'; for that prayer is a model, as it were, and counterpart of Christ's intercession : for, saith he, “I come to thee, and speak these things in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in them;" that is, That they, having a specimen and form of that intercession which with thee I shall make for them, left upon public record for them to
h Hab. iii. 13. Psal. Ixviii. 21. i Rev. xiii. 7,8. k Matth. xi. 25, 27. | Rom. vii. 25. 1 Tim. i. 16, 17. n Gal. i. 4, 5. o Phil. ii. 11. P John xyii. 6, 7. 9 Rom. viii. 34, 35.