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and a King; and also that he executes them, that is, per. forms the functions of, or what belongs to these offices, This clearly appears,
1. From plain scripture testimony, (1.) To ķis having or being possessed of these offices.--He is a Prophet, that Prophet foretold by Moses, who was to be heard in all things that he should say; and of whom it is said, “That every soul that would not hear him, should be destroyed from among the people, Acts iii. 22, 23. which passage is applied to Jesus Christ by the apostle Peter, and can agree tą none but him, who teacheth as never man taught, even with authority and power.—He is a Priest. So he is expressly called, Heb, v. 6. ' Thou art a Priest for eyer, after the order of Mel, chisedec;' and in several other places of that epistle, where the reality, nature, and end of his priesthood, are largely described. He is a King: Psal. ii. 6. Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.' Psal. cx. 2. Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.' He has all the ensigns of royal authority. The ceremony of inauguration or anointing to his office, Psal. ii. 6. Heb. I have anointed my King upon my holy hill of Zion;' a crown, Psal. xxi. 3, a sword, Psal. xlv, 3; a sceptre, Psal. lxv. 6; subjects, Luke i. 33. John i. 49. (2.) The scriptures bear witness to his executing these offices. Hence he says himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,' John xiv. 6. He is the way to life and happiness by his death; the truth in his word, the sum and substance of all revealed truth; and the life in his Spirit, quickening and preserving his people by his power. He i of God is made unto his people wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption; wisdom as a Prophet, righteousness as a Priest, and sanctification and redemption as a King
2. We learn this also from his name Christ, or Messiah, which signifies the anointed One. I told you in a former discourse, that three sorts of persons used to be anointed under the law, viz. Prophets, 1 Kings xix. 16; priests, as Aaron, Exod. xxix. 7; and kings, as David and others. But all these offices meet in Christ, who was anointed for the execution of them. Hence he says himself, Isa. Ixi. 1. • The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath a. nointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek, he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty
to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.' He is anointed to preach good tidings unto the meek, as a Prophet; to bind up the broken-hearted, as a Priest; and to proclaim liberty, as a King. He was not anointed with
material oil, as the prophets, priests, and kings, under the Old Testament dispensation were; but with the oil of the Spirit; “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me (says he), because the Lord hath anointed me. And God is said to have anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows,' Psal. xlv. 7. Now, this unction signified, (1.) His being set apart to the Mediatory work, and to these offices : the Father sanctified him, and sent him into the world,' John X. 36. (2:) His being fully furnished with gifts and qualifications suitable to these offices, in respect of his human nature, to which the Spirit was given, not by measure, Isa. si, 1, 2. &c. but in fulness, not of sufficiency only, but abundance, not the fulness of a vessel, but of a fountain, in order to communicate liberally unto his people, John i. 16. He was solemnly inaugurated to these offices at his baptism, Mat. iii. 17. at his transfiguration, Mat. xvii. 5. and at his exaltation, Acts ii. 36. And he was as solemnly called to these offices, Heb. V. 4, 5. • No matt taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron : so also, Christ glorified not himself, to be made an High Priest; but he that said unto him, “Thou art my Son, tos day have I begotten thee:
II. Let us next consider the necessity of his exercising these offices. Christ's incarnation and taking on him the work of our redemption was entirely voluntary, without the least shadow of co-action and compulsion; but seeing he was pleased out of his great kindness to us, to become our Redeemer, it was necessary for our salvation that he should execute all these three offices. This will be clear, if we,
1. Consider our misery by sin, ignorance, guilt, and bondage. We were ignorant of the way to come back to God again; and therefore Christ as our Prophet must teach us. We durst not look him in the face, being covered with guilt; and therefore Christ as a Priest must make atonement, and remove our guilt. We were in bondage to sin and Satar, and could not return to God, nor recover ourselves out of our thraldom; therefore Christ as a King delivers us, brings us back again, leading captivity captive. As a Pro
phet he gives light to the blind, as a Priest he brings merit, and as a King power.
2. Consider the salvation which the elect were to be made partakers of. It behoved to be revealed unto them, seeing of themselves they could never discover it, being quite blind and ignorant ; and therefore our Redeemer became a Prophet to reveal the things that concern our salvation unto us, and instruct us therein. It behoved to be purchased for sinners, who, being weak and unfit for any spiritual work, could never purchase it for themselves: therefore he became a Priest to purchase life and eternal redemption for us. It behoved to be applied by the power of his Spirit ; for as sinners could not purchase salvation, far less could they apply it to themselves : therefore Christ becaine a King. The slaves could never have raised their ransom, nor known it after it was paid, far less before; and they were unwilling to come out of their bondage. And therefore it behoved out Redeemer to be invested with these three offices.
3. Consider Christ as Mediator of the covenant, who be hoved to deal with both parties, in order to bring them to gether. God was offended with our sin and guilt; and therefore for us he behoved to be a Priest, to satisfy law and justice, and intercede for our pardon. We knew not what was in agitation between the Father and the Son; and therefore he behoved to be a revealer of that grace, and merciful contrivance. We were unwilling to deal with God; there. fore he behoved, as a King, to bring us to submit and yield to his government. The benefits of the covenant he behoved to purchase, reveal, and administer.
4. Consider the work of conversion. The soul must be en. lightened, by the conviction of the Prophet, to see its misery, and the suitableness of the remedy: upon the sight of its misery, the soul would despair, were not the blood of the Priest to sprinkle the conscience; and the will would never yield, if it felt not the power of his conquering sword.
5. Considet our daily necessities. Are we not every day in the dark about something? What should become of us, if we had not the great Prophet to go to for instruction and direction ? We are every day contracting new guilt : what would be our case, if there were not a lasting merit and an abiding Advocate? Are we not always needing protection against our enemies ? how then should we break through the armies of hell, if our King were not on our head, to subdue them under us?
6. Lastly, Consider the promises, which are the stay and staff of the Christian's life, without which they could never bear up. Christ's offices are the source and spring of all these. How precious are the promises of illumination, guidance, direction, &c. to the blind and those who knew not the way? These flow from Christ's prophetical office. Behold, (says Jehovah), I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people,' Isa. lv. 4. How precious are the promises of peace, pardon, and reconciliation, to those who are disquieted with fears, with guilt and sin? These flow from his Priestly office. And the promises of protection and deliverance to captives flow from his Kingly office. All the promises are the purchase of the blood of Christ ; and they are all yea and amen in him, and flow from and through him.
III. I come now to shew, when Christ did execute these offices. As he was the Redeemer of the church in all ages, so did he execute these offices in all ages of the church. In the Old Testament he was the great Prophet of the church ; for it is said, John i. 18. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. He brought the glad tidings of salvation unto sinners in all the discoveries thereof from the first gospel-promise until his manifestation in the flesh. And he not only reveals the things.concerning salvation unto men, but teaches them, and gives men an understanding to apprehend and know them. He was a Prophet unto the church in the wilderness : Hence it is said, Exod. xxiii. 20.
Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice.' And we read, that
by the Spirit he went and preached unto the spirits in prison,' 1 Pet. iii. 19. that is, unto the sinners in the old world, by the ministry of Noah, who, not repenting, were then, at the time the apostle wrote, in the prison of hell. He was also their Priest, interceding, on the ground of his future sufferings, for his people. Of this we have a remarkable instance, Zech. i. 12. O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and Vol. I.
ten years ?' And he was their King, the Captain of the Lord's host, who led and conducted them, delivered them from the Egyptian bondage, guided them through the howling wilderness, placed them in Canaan, instituted their whole religious worship and service, &c.
But more especially Christ executed these offices after his incarnation, and that in his twofold estate of humiliation and exaltation. These are his two estates, of which the apostle speaks, Phil. ii. 8, 9. Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore. God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
He was a prophet while on earth, and still is revealing by his Word and Spirit the will of God for the salvation of his people. The whole doctrine of the Bible was taught by him; and it is by him that all saving knowledge is communicated to this day, and will be to the end of time.
He was a Priest in his state of humiliation, as well as he is in his state of exaltation. He offered his sacrifice on the earth, and therefore was a Priest there. Hence saith the apostle, Eph. v. 2: Christ-hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.' Nor did he ascend into heaven, till by his sacrifice he had
purged away our sins,' Heb: i. 3. And he continues an interceding Priest for ever, Heb. vii. 25.
He was also a King in his state of humiliation. He was born a King, Matth. ii: 2. went into Jerusalem as a King, in accomplishment of an ancient prophecy concerning him, Matth. xxi. 5. owned himself to be a King before Pilate, Matth. xxvii. 11. It was the Lord of glory that was crucified, i Cor. ii. 8. And he is now exalted to his throne, and is styled, King of kings, and Lord of lords,' and will reign till all his enemies be made his footstool, and all his subjects be brought home to glory:
Here it may be observed, that these three offices, which Christ executes, are not to be divided, especially when they are executed in a way that is effectual for the salvation of the subjects thereof. He may indeed objectively reveal the will of God, and give laws to his church, as a Prophet, without giving them the unction whereby those who are savingly taught of God know all things necessary to salvation: and he may execute his regal office, as a Judge, in inflicting heavy