« PreviousContinue »
bellion against the Almighty, and drew away a vast company of the heavenly hosts with him. But he was cast down from the highest pitch of glory to the lowest hell for it, and himself was made an occasion of bringing that to pass which his spirit so rose against, yea, his spite and malice was made an occasion of it, and that same act of his hy which he thought he had entirely overthrown the design, and that same person in human nature which they could not bear should rule over them in glory, and should be their King and Head, to communicate happiness to them, by this means proves their King in spite of them, and becomes their Judge; and though they would not be his willing subjects, they shall be his unwilling captives, he shall be their sovereign to make them miserable and pour out his wrath upon them; and mankind whom they so envied and so scorned, are by occasion of them advanced to higher glory and honour, and greater happiness, and more nearly united to God; and though they disdained to be ministering spirits to them, yet now they shall be judged by them as assessors with Jesus Christ.
 Occasion of the fall of the angels. Christ had his delegated dominion over the world committed to him as soon as the creation of the world was finished ; for though Christ did not actually begin the work and business of a Mediator till man had fallen, yet the world, even in its very creation, was designed to be for the use of Christ in the great affair of Redemption, and his purpose in that work wsa the end of the creation, and of all God's providences in it from the beginning. Therefore the government of the world was committed into his hands from the very beginning; for even the very creation was committed into his hands for that reason, as the apostle intimates, Eph. iii. 9, 10. Much more have we reason to think that the disposal of it was committed into his hands when it was made, because it was created for his disposal and use. therefore most fit that it should be committed to him, not only in the actual accomplishment of that great work of his, the work of redemption, but also in those antecedent dispensations that were preparatory to it during that short space of time that was taken up in the preparation before the work of redemption actually began. It was most meet that Christ should have the disposal of those things that were to prepare the way for his own work, otherwise the work would not wholly be in his hands; for the accomplishing of the work itself, so as best to suit his own purpose and pleasure, depends in a great measure on the preparation that was made for it, and so there is the same reason that the preparation should be in his hands as the
work itself. There is the same reason, that those things that are without the limits of the work itself, as to time, should be in the hands of Christ, because of the relation they have to that work, as that those things that are without the limits of the work itself, as to place, and nature, and order of being, should be in his hands; as the angels in heaven, and indeed all the works of God that were before the fall of man, were parts of the work of preparation for the work of Redemption. The creation itself was so; and for this reason the creation of the world was committed into his hands; and there is no reason to suppose that one part of this work of preparation was conimitted into Christ's hands, because it was a preparation for his work, and not other parts of the preparation for the same work. All things are for Christ, for his use; and therefore God left it with him to prepare all things for his own use, that in every thing he might have the pre-eminence, and that in him might all fullness dwell, a perfect sufficiency every way for the design that he had to accomplish ; and therefore by the will and disposition of the Father, all things were made by him, and all things consist by him, and he was made Head over all things to the church, and for the purposes of the work of reilemption that he was to accomplish for the church. Colos. i. 16, 17, 18, 19. “For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things are created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist, and he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all things he might have the pre-eminence; for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell." Eph. i. 22. “And hath put all things under his feet, and given him to be head over all things to the church. It is manifest by these things that not only the creation of the world, but the upholding and government of the world were commitied into the hands of Christ, and doubtless it was so from the beginning. As Christ's delegated dominion over the world will not be at an end till his use of it is finished, and he has completed that work in which its great use consists, and has fully obtained his end of it, which will be at the end of the world, when he will deliver up That kingdom to the Father. So doubtless the delegated dominion over the world began when his use of it began, which was at the beginning of the world, or as soon as the world was finished, and then the kingdoin was committed to him of the Father.
 Fall of the angels.-Satan, the prince of the devils. It seems manifest by the scripture, that there is one of the devils that is vastly superior to all the rest. His vast superiority appears in his being so very often spoken of singly, as the grand enemy of God and mankind, the grand adversary, the accuser of the brethren, and the great destroyer. He is more frequently spoken of singly, in scripture, than devils are spoken of in the plural number, as though he were more than all the rest. He seems commonly in scripture to be spoken of instar omnium. It seems to be from his great superiority above all the rest, that he is so often spoken of under so many peculiar names that are never found in the plural number, as Satan, Diabolos, Beelzebub, Lucifer, The Dragon, The Old Serpent, The Wicked One, The God of this world, The Prince of this world, John xii. 31, The Prince of the power of the air, The Accuser of the brethren, The Tempter, The Adversary, Abaddon, Apollyon, The Enemy, and The Avenger. His strength and subtilty are very great indeed; so much superior to the rest, that he maintains a dominion over them, and is able to govern and manage them, that they durst not raise, rebellion against him, agreeble to Job xli. 25, “When he raiseth op himself the mighty are afraid.” But he is king in hell, the prince of the devils ; as Leviathan is said, Job xli. 34, to be “king over all the children of pride." See Rev. ix. 11. All the rest of the devils are his servants, his wretched slaves, they are spoken of as his possession, Matth. xxv. 41. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” They are his attendants and possession, as the good angels are Christ's attendants and possession, Rev. xii. 7. "And there was war in heaven : Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels."
This angel, before his fall, was the chief of all the angels, of greatest natural capacity, strength, and wisdom, and highest in honour and dignity, the brighest of all those stars of hcaven, as is signified by what is said of him, under that type of him, the king of Babylon, Isai. xiv. 12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning !” This signifies his outshining all the other stars, as the morning star outshines the rest. It is yet more manifest from what is said of the king of Tyrus, as a type of the Devil, in Ezek. xxviii. 12–19. Here I would observe several things. (See Note on the place.)
1. It is exceeding manifest that the king of Tyrus is here spoken of as a type of the Devil, or the prince of the angels, or cherubim that fell.
1. Because he is here expressly called an Angel or Cherub, once and again, ver. 14. 16. And is spoken of as a fallen cherub.
2. He is spoken of as having been in heaven under three different names; by which names heaven is often called in scrip ture, viz. Eden, The Garden of God, or the Paradise of God; ver. 13, The Holy mountain of God, ver. 14 and 16; and The Sanctuary, ver. 18.
3. He is spoken of as having been in a most happy state in the paradise of God, and holy mountain of God, in great bonour and beauty, and pleasure.
4. He is spoken of as in his first estate, or the state wherein he was created, to be perfectly free from sin, but afterwards falling by sin. Ver. 15.“ Thou wast perfect in thy ways, from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.”
5. The iniquity by which he fell was pride, or his being lifted up by reason of his superlative beauty and brightness. Ver. 17. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty. Thou bast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness.”
6. He is represented as being cast out of heaven, and cast down to the earth for his sin. Ver. 16. “ Therefore I will cast thee, as profane, out of the mountain of God, and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the flames of fire." Ver. 17. “I will cast thee to the ground."
7. He is represented as being destroyed by fire here, in this earthly world. Ver. 18. “I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee: it shall devour thee; and I will bring thee to ashes upon
the earth in the midst of all that behold thee." 8. His great wisdom is spoken of as being corrupted by sin, i. e., turned into a wicked craftiness. Ver. 17. - Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom because of thy brightness.” If the king of Tyrus were not here expressly called “a Cherub,” “in the Paradise of God,” and “ in God's holy mountain ;' by which it is most evident that he is spoken of as a type of a cherub in the paradise of God; yet I say if it had not been so, the matter would have been very plain, for the things here spoken of cannot be applied to the king of Tyrus with any beauty, nor without the utmost shining, any other way than as a type of the devil that was once a glorious angel in paradise. For how could it be said of the king of Tyrus, in any other sense, but as a type of the anointed angel, that he had been in God's holy mountain, and in Eden, the garden of God, and in God's sanctuary, and there been first perfect in his ways? (For the original word is a kind of expression that is ever used in scripture to signify holiness, or moral perfection.) And how in any other sense was he afterwards cast, as profane, out of the mountain of God?
II. It is evident that this Cherub or Angel is spoken of as the highest of all the angels. This is evident by several things 1. He is called the anointed cherub. This expression alone shows him to have sat higher than any other cherub; for his being anointed, must signify bis being distinguished from all others. Anointing of old was used as a note of distinction, to show that that person was marked out and distinguished from all the'rest for a higher dignity. The Lord's anointed, in Israel, was he that God of his mere good pleasure had appointed to the chief dignity in Israel ; so the Lord's anointed, among the cherubim, is the cherub that God had appointed to the highest dignity of all. It is said, ver. 14, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth ; and I have set thee so;" i. e. plainly, “It has been my pleasure to set thee, by my anointing, in the highest dignity of all."
2. He is called, “ The cherub that covereth, on God's holy mountain,” ver. 14, and “ The covering cherub, in the midst of the flames of fire,” ver. 16. In which there seems to be a reference to the cherubim in the temple in the holy of holies, next to the throne of God that covered the throne with their wings. Exod. xxv. 19, 20, and xxvii. 9. From this it
From this it appears, that by the covering cherub is meant the cherub next to the throne of God himself, having a place in the very holy of holies. There were represented two cherubim that covered the mercyseat in the temple, that are called by the apostle, “cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy.seat,” Heb. ix. 5, which represent the great dignity and honour of the cherubim that are next to God's throne, and are covering cherubim. But before the fall of this cherub he is spoken of as being alone entitled to this great honour and nearness to God's throne in heaven, that he was anointed to be above his fellows. (See Note on Matth. xviii. 10.)
3. This covering cherub is here spoken of as the top of all the creation, or the summit and height of all creature perfection in wisdom and beauty. Ver. 12. “Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom and perfect beauty.” He is spoken of not only as being in the midst of many things that are very bright and beautiful, ver. 13, 14, and as walking up and down among them, but as having the sum of all their beauty completed, perfected, and sealed up in himself. [It seems implied, that no being is stronger than Beelzebub, and able to bind him but God himself. Matth. xii. 29, with the context.]
Corol. I. Hence learn that Satan before his fall was the Messiah or Christ, as he was the anointed. The word anointed is radically the same in Hebrew as the word Messiah: So that in this respect our Jesus is exalted into his place in heaven.
Corol. II. These things show another thing, wherein Jesus is exalted into the place of Lucifer; that whereas he had the honour to dwell in the holy of holies continually, so Jesus is VOL. VIII.