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§4. The consideration of it is also suited to strike terror into the hearts of ungodly men that oppose him in the world. Whom is it they despise? Against whom do they magnify themselves, and lift up their horns on high? Whose ordinances, laws, and institutions do they contemn? Whose gospel do they refuse obedience to? Whose people and servants do they revile and persecute? Is it not He, are they not his, who hath all power in heaven and earth committed to him, in whose hands are the lives, the souls, all the concernments of his enemies? Cæsar thought he had spoken with terror, when, threatening with death one who stood in his way, he told him, "Young man, he speaks "it, to whom it is as easy to do it." He speaks to his adversaries, who stand in the way of his interest, to deal no more so proudly, who can, in a moment, speak them into ruin, and that eternal. See Rev. vi, 14-17.
$5. He is Lord, or heir (Tavlav, Heb. i, 2;) of all; that is, of all persons, and of all things.
(I.) Persons, or rational subsistences, both angels and men; for it is evident, that he is exempted, who hath subjected all things unto him, 1 Cor. xv, 27.
(II.) Things; which are either spiritual, ecclesiastical, political, or natural.
$6. (I.) Persons. Those persons assigned as part of the inheritance of Christ, are,
First, the angels, and especially
1. The good angels. This pre-eminence above them is asserted by the apostle in chap. i, 4. And as he is exalted above them, so, by way of grant, and by the authority of God the Father, they are made subject unto him. See 1 Pet. iii, 22; Ephes. i, 22; Psal. viii, 6; 1 Cor. xv, 27; and, to evidence the universality of this subjection, they adore and worship him; the highest act of obedience, and most absolute subjection. This
they have in command, Heb. i, 6; "Let all the angels "of God worship him," Psal. xcvii, 7; (h) worship him with prostration, self-abasement, and all possible subjection to him. Their practice answers the command, Rev. v, 11–14; all the angels round about his throne fall down and ascribe blessing, and honor, and glory, and power unto him, as we are taught to do in our deepest acknowledgment of the majesty and authority of God, Matt. vi, 13; and as to outward obedience, they are in all things ready to receive his commands, Rev. i, 1. And for this purpose they always attend his throne, Isa. vi, 1, 2; "I saw the Lord upon "his throne, and about it stood the seraphims;" this Isaiah spake of him when he saw his glory, John xii, 39, 40. He was upon his throne, when he spake with the church in the wilderness, Acts vii, 38; that is, in mount Sinai, where the angels attending him, ready to receive his commands, were twenty thousands, even thousands of angels, Psal. Ixviii, 19; Ephes. iv, 8; or thousand thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, as another prophet expresseth it, Dan. vii, 10; and so attended shall he come to judgment, 2 Thes. i, 7; when he shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of his power; which was foretold concerning him from the beginning of the world, Jude 14, 15.
§7. Thus his Lordship over angels is universal and absolute, and their subjection to him is answerable thereunto. The original right and equity of this grant, with the ends of it, are now only to be intimated.
1. The radical fundamental equity of this grant lies in his Divine nature, and his creation of angels, over whom, as Mediator, he is made Lord. Unto the general assertion of his being made heir of all, the apostle, chap. i, 2, subjoins that general reason, manifestng the rise of its equity in the will of God that it
should be so: "By whom also he made the worlds;" which reason is particularly applicable to every part of his inheritance, and is especially pleaded in reference to angels, Col. i, 15, 16; "Who is the image of the in"visible God, the first-born of every creature;" that is, the heir and Lord of them all; and the reason is, "because by him were all things created that are in "heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible; "whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or "powers, all things were created by him, and for him." This creating of those heavenly powers is the foundation of his heirship, or lordship over them. This is the first foundation of the equity of this grant of all power over the angels unto the Lord Christ; in his Divine nature he made them, and in that respect they were before, his own; as on the same account when he came into the world, he is said to come, John i, 11; (εis Ta idia) to his own, or the things he had made.
2. It is founded in that establishment in the condition of their creation, which they received by his interposition to recover what was lost by sin; and to preserve the untainted part of the creation from ruin. In their own right, in the rule of their obedience, and the example of those of their number and society, who apostatized from God, they found themselves in a state not absolutely impregnable: their confirmation, which was also attended with that exaltation, which they received by their new relation to God, in and through him, they received by his means; God gathering up all things to a consistency, and permanency in him, Ephes. i, 10. And hence also it became equal, that the rule and power over them should be committed to him, by whom they were, although not like us recovered from ruin, yet, preserved from all danger of ruin.
So that in their subjection unto him consists their principal honor, and all their safety.
§8. And as this act of God in appointing Christ Lord of angels hath these equitable foundations, so it hath also sundry glorious ends.
1. It was an addition to that glory that was set before him, in his undertaking to redeem sinners. A kingdom was of old promised unto him, and to render it exceedingly glorious, the rule and sceptre of it is extended not only to his redeemed ones, but to the holy angels also; and the sovereignty over them is granted him as a part of his reward, Phil. ii, 8—11; Ephes. i, 20, 21.
2. God hereby gathers up his whole family, at first distinguished by the law of their creation into two special kinds, and then differenced and set at variance by sin, into one body, under one head, reducing them that originally were twain, into one entire family, Ephes. i, 10; "In the fulness of time he gathered "together in one all things in Christ, both which are ❝in heaven, and in earth, even in him." Before this, the angels had no immediate created head, for themselves are called (x) gods, Psal. xcvii, 7; 1 Cor. viii, 5; whoever is the head must be (b) the God of gods, or Lord of lords, which Christ alone is; and in him, or under him, as one head, is the whole family of God united.
3. The church militant on the earth, whose conduct into eternal glory is committed unto Christ, stands in need of the ministry of angels; and, therefore, hath God granted rule and power over them unto him, that nothing might be wanting to enable him to save, unto the uttermost, them that came to God by him. They are all of them his servants, "the fel"low servants of them that have the testimony of
"Jesus." And as some men do wilfully cast themselves, by their religious adoration of angels, under the curse of Canaan, to be the "servants of servants," Gen. viii, 25; so it is the great honor and privilege of true believers, that in their worship of Christ they are admitted into the society of an innumerable company of angels, Heb. xii, 22; Rev. v, 11, 13; for they are not ashamed to esteem them their fellow-servants, whom their Lord and King is not ashamed to call his brethren. And herein consists our communion with them, that we have one common head and Lord.
$9. 2. There is another sort of angels, who by sin left their primitive station, and fell off from God, of whom, their sin, fall, malice, wrath, business, craft in evil, and final judgment, the scripture treateth at large. These belong not, indeed, to the possession of Christ, as he is the heir, but they belong to his dominion, as he is the Lord. Though he be not a king and head unto them, yet he is a judge and ruler over them. All things being given into his hand, they also are subjected to his power.
1. This right, as before, is founded on his Divine nature, by virtue whereof he is fit for this dominion. He made these angels also; and, therefore, as God, hath an absolute dominion over them. The creatures cannot cast off the dominion of the Creator by rebellion; though they may lose their moral relation to God, as obedient creatures, yet their natural relation cannot be dissolved. God will be God still, be his creatures ever so wicked; and if they obey not his will, they shall bear his justice. And this dominion of Christ. over fallen angels, as God, makes the grant of rule over them to him, as Mediator, just and equal.
2. The immediate and peculiar foundation of his right to rule over the fallen angels, rendering the spe