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to the Father, all power and dominion shall from thenceforth be immediately exercised by the Deity; that is to say, by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; for so ver. 28. Then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that did put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Where the variation of the person is very observable: for it is not said, that the Son shall be subject to him that did put all things under him, (i. e. the Father,) that he may be all in all, but that God may be all in all; that is, the triune Godhead subsisting in three Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: for had he meant the Father only, he ought, according to the common rules of speech, to have said he, or the Father, of whom he had been before speaking, instead of God. Nor can it be reasonably supposed, that after the resignation of the mediatorial kingdom, the Father only shall act and reign, and the Son and Holy Ghost sit still for ever and do nothing. But the meaning is, that this mediatorial kingdom ceasing, in which the Son as man as well as God now reigns, there shall from thenceforth be no other kingdom or dominion exercised in that celestial state, but what is essential to the Godhead, in which the Son and Holy Ghost, subsisting together with the Father, shall for ever reign together with him. For this I take to be the meaning of that phrase, that God may be all in all; that is, that he may rule and govern all things immediately by himself; that his immediate will may reign alone in all, and be the proximate guide of all that blessed world; that there may be no mediate or mediatorial government between him and us, to exact our obedience, and convey to us his favours and re
wards, but that we may render all our duty immediately to him, and derive all our happiness immediately from him, so that as now Christ the Theanthropos, or God-man, is all in all, Col. iji. 11. because the Father doth all things and governs all things by him, having given him all power in heaven and earth; so when this economy ceases, God alone, or the triune Godhead, shall be all in all, because he shall do all things and govern all things by himself immediately. Thus, when the Son of man is subjected to him that did put all things under him, that one divine essence, whence all things did proceed, and in which the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost subsist, shall from thenceforth resume all rule and dominion to itself, and only the Son of God together with the Father and the Holy Ghost shall reign. But yet in this purely divine government there is no doubt but those divine Persons will still continue to act in subordination to each other, according to that natural subordination in which they are placed by their personal properties : for the Godhead being communicated from the Father to the Son, the Father, in the order of nature, must necessarily be prior to the Son; and the same Godhead being communicated to the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, both Father and Son must also, in order of nature, be prior to the Holy Ghost: so that between these sacred three there is an internal necessary subordination that can never be altered or inverted; and therefore there is no doubt, but that, as they will always be subordinate, so they will always act subordinately. The Father as the first, the begetter and the fountain of divinity, will be always first and supreme in the divine monarchy; the Son, as begotten by him, will still
reign in subordination to him; and the Holy Ghost, as proceeding from both, will continue to reign in subordination to both. Thus to everlasting ages or the Trinity in Unity shall reign, and by its own immediate will and influence rule and bless all that heavenly world over which it spreads its almighty wings, and so it shall be all in all.
SECT. XIII. Of the reason and wisdom of this method of God's governing sinful
men by his own eternal Son in our nature. THOUGH we are not, either by our natural reason or revelation, to fathom the depth of the divine wisdom, or to trace out all the reasons of its methods and conduct, yet upon diligent inquiry we can plainly discern the tracts of an admirable wisdom in all the stated methods of Providence; and though we cannot say, that this or that is the main or only reason why God doth so or so, (for infinite wisdom may have infinitely greater and infinitely more reasons of its actions than our shortsighted reason can at present discover,) yet, by comparing one action of his with another, and diligently observing the drift and tendency of them all, how they concur to one common end, and subserve each other to promote and accomplish it, we cannot avoid discovering reason enough in them to convince and satisfy us, that they all proceed from a most wise and intelligent agent, and this more especially in the admirable economy of the mediation, viz. the eternal Son of God's assuming our nature, and therein becoming our Prophet, Priest, and King: for what reasons there are why he should assume our nature, therein
to be our Prophet and our Priest, hath been shewn before. And now we shall proceed, so far as our short inquiries will reach, to shew what admirable reason there is why he should be our King also, to rule and govern us in the same assumed nature wherein he is our Prophet and our Priest; of which, according to the best light that revelation affords us, there are these five reasons assignable :
First, That he might govern us in a way more accommodated to this degenerate state of our natures.
Secondly, That he might the more effectually cure and prevent the spreading contagion of idolatry.
Thirdly, That he might the more powerfully encourage our obedience.
Fourthly, That he might oblige us to himself with a stronger tie of gratitude and ingenuity.
Fifthly, That he might give us the more ample assurance of our future reward.
I. God governs us by his own eternal Son in our natures, the better to accommodate his government to this our degenerate state, which renders us extremely unfit to be governed immediately by God. It is true, whilst man continued in his primitive innocence and perfection, he was in a condition fit to converse with God face to face, and to live under his immediate dominion ; for then his sense being under the conduct of his reason, and all his brutal affections entirely subjected to the government and directions of his superior faculties, he was as much ruled and influenced by the objects of his reason, as he is now by those of his sense, and was as powerfully moved and affected by what he only knew and believed, as he is now by what he sees and feels; so that then God, that great invisible Spirit, who is removed from all the perceptions of bodily sense, and is only perceivable by our reason and faith, did as powerfully impress man's hopes and fears, and all the other principles of action in him, as he could have done, had he appeared as amiable and dreadful to the man's sight and feeling, as he then did to his faith and reason. In this state and condition therefore man was duly qualified to be governed immediately by God, to receive his impressions, and to be moved and acted by the overruling influence of his immense perfections. But when once he had degenerated from this pure and blessed state of his nature, and had thrown off the government of his reason, and subjected himself to the tyrannic sway of his brutal appetites, he thereby unqualified himself to live under God's immediate dominion. For now he being governed by his sensual appetites, and they by the sensual objects that surround him, scarce any thing else can strike upon his hopes and fears, but what is carnal and sensual; or if any thing else doth, to be sure some carnal object immediately interposes and breaks the stroke, and renders it faint and ineffectual; so that now God, who is solely the object of our faith and reason, can scarce be admitted to speak with our hopes and fears, by which we are made to be governed; or if he be, his soft still voice is immediately drowned in the perpetual clamour which these sensitive goods and evils raise about us. Wherefore having thus unqualified ourselves, by our apostasy from the primitive state of our nature, to live under the immediate wing and government of God, and he being resolved, in tender commiseration to us, not to aban