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meant by the Scripture doctrine of the Mediation of Jesus Christ.
This is a view of the subject which entirely clears the doctripe of the Mediation of Jesus Christ from the inconsistencies generally attached to it, makes it perfectly unexceptionable in the eye of Reason, completely takes away the objections alleged against it by the Infidel, and removes the ground of his rejection of the Scriptures on that account. Instead of militating against the glorious and blessed truth, that God, in his essential nature, is love, this view of the Mediation of Jesus Christ supposes
and establishes that truth; as it was nothing but the Infinite Love of the Lord that led to the assumption by him of the Human Essence, to afford a medium for restoring the communication between his creatures and himself. Instead of militating against the Absolute Unity of the Deity, this view of Mediation supposes and confirms it; as it does not regard the Mediator as a Separate Person from the Godhead, but as his proper Person itself, being a Glorified Form brought forth from himself, and put on, as a Medium of manifesting himself to man. And instead of militating against the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ, it assumes that he, as to his Divine Nature, is Jehovah from eternity, and, as to his Divine and Human Natures in union, is the Only God of heaven and earth.
All the general truths, then, of the Word of God as well as all the suffrages of Reason, concur in supporting this view of the nature of the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the Unity which the Scriptures assert for the Deity is to be preserved ; if the Supreme Divinity of Jesus Christ is to be maintained ; if the first attribute and essential of the Godhead is to be allowed to be Love :-then this must be the true view of the nature of the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every other way of proposing it violates these great truths, - the first truths of all religion, — the first truths of the Revelation of God: If then these are truths, every other way of understanding this sublime subject must be erroneous.
But, independently of this inferential conclusion, what is the direct testimony of the Bible upon this subject ?
The passages of the Bible in which the term “ Mediator” is made use of, are but five in the whole ; – all in the Epistles of Paul. In one of these, the Mediator referred to is Moses : in three others, Jesus Christ is spoken of as the Mediator of the New Covenant, in the same sense as Moses was the Mediator of the Old : and in the remaining one, he is called the “ Mediator between God and man,” in a way that leads directly to the proper nature of the Doctrine of Mediation.
The word Mediator, being pure Latin, does not convey, to the person who is acquainted with no language but the En. glish, an idea of its original meaning. It is commonly understood, therefore, only, in its secondary sense, as one who acts as a conciliator, or reconciler, between two other parties, bringing them to a state of agreement. This meaning does undoubtedly belong to the word, as it is used in the Scriptures and elsewhere, and is properly included in the doctrine of the Mediation of Jesus Christ : yet it does not suggest the primary and grammatical meaning of the term. The word Mediator is formed from the word medium which signifies the middle between two extremes. A Mediator, therefore, is one who stands in the middle, — who goes between two opposite parties, and acts as a medium by which they are brought into communication and thus into agreement, and are kept from coming into hostile collision. The etymology, and thus the grammatical meaning, of the Greek word used in the New Testament, answers exactly to that of the Latin word, Mediator, by which we translate it.
According then, to this grammatical meaning of the word Mediator, we have the exact idea which we have shown to belong to the doctrine of the Mediation of Jesus Christ. His Glorified Humanity is properly a Medium between the incomprehensible Divine Essence and the finite and now corrupt nature of man; and supplies the means by which communication between them can be opened, and reconciliation can be effected.
But, in a less strict sense, a Mediator, in the language of the New Testament, signifies, one who brings a communication from God to man, and is made the instrument for establishing a dispensation. Thus in the Epistle to the Galatians,* Moses is called the Mediator of the law, which he delivered to the Israelites : of which the Apostle there says, that it was “ ordained by angels by the hand of a Mediator :" to which he adds, 6 Now a Mediator is not a mediator of one : but God is one." Here he speaks of the law as being given from God to Moses by the ministry of angels, and as being delivered by Moses to the people : who thus coming, and that only secondarily, between the people and God, and being the instrument of delivering to them what otherwise they could not have received, is denominated a Mediator. Just in the same manner, the same Apostle thrice applies the name of Mediator to Jesus, in the Epistle to the Hebrews. After speaking of the typical priesthood and service of the tabernacle established by Moses, he says of Jesus, But now hath he obtained a more excellent
* Ch. iii. 19, 20.
:*** where, by
ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a better covenant, established upon better promises : Mediator of a better covenant,” he obviously means, the medium of establishing and dispensing such a covenant. In the same manner, he says, in the next chapter, 66 And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament; that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance :”+ meaning still, that he was the medium of dispensing the new testament or covenant. He uses the same phrase again, in chap. xii., when telling the Hebrew converts of the privileges they enjoyed by becoming Christians; among which he states, that they are
come to Je. sus the Mediator of the new covenant.” In these passages, the Apostle evidently means precisely the same thing as he expresses in quite different terms at the commencement of the Epistle; when he begins thus: “God, who at sundry times and - in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things; by whom also he made the worlds."
These passages, then, speak of Jesus as being the Medium of conveying to man the blessings of the gospel-dispensation; but do not offer anything very explicit as to his work of mediation in general. This however is done in the only remaining passage in which Jesus is called a Mediator: This is in the first Epistle to Timothy. The Apostle, after directing prayers to be made for all men, and assigning as a reason, that " it is the will of God that all men should be saved, and should come to the knowledge of the truth,” adds this remarkable statement; showing, both in what manner the Lord Jesus is a Mediator, and that the benefits of his mediation extend to all mankind.
“ For (says he) there is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man, Christ Jesus.”[ Most remarkable is the accurate discrimination of the language which the Apostle here uses,
" the man, Christ Jesus.” In no other place throughout his writings does he employ the same phrase. He indeed often transposes the order of the Lord's names, and calls him “ Christ Jesus," instead of “ Jesus Christ,” without, as far as I have been able to observe, any intended difference of idea : but never does he elsewhere speak of “the man, Christ Jesụs.” What does he mean by it here? Does he intend to teach us that Christ Jesus is merely a man : which is an argument the Unitarians endeavor to draw from these words? Never was an argument founded on a more unsubstantial basis;
t Ch. ix. 15.
| Ch. ii. 5.
* Ch. viii. 6.
since the Apostle abundantly shows, throughout his writings, that he knew the Lord Jesus to be a very different being from a mere man. Indeed, he positively declares that Jesus Christ is not a man, when he says to the Galatians,* that he “received not the gospel” which he preached “ of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ :" which would be a contradiction in terms if he supposed Jesus Christ to be a man. Very different conceptions must he have had of him than as being merely a man, when he says, in the passage I just quoted from the be. ginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews, that “God hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son, by whom he made the worlds ;" and when he adds, " Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person ;" — where, as noticed above, the word used in the original does not signify Person, but Substance, or Essence ; so that the declaration actually affirms the Son to be the Manifested Form of the Incomprehensible Divine Essence : being precisely the doctrine which I am endeavoring to recommend on this glorious subject.
As then Paul so well knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was not a mere man, how came he to call him a man here—the man, Christ Jesus?” Might he not as well have said, simply, " there is one Mediator between God and man, even Christ Je. sus, or Jesus Christ?" If he had he would not have conveyed so precisely the truth he intended. Those to whom he wrote well knew that Jesus is God as well as man, — that he has a Divine Nature as well as a human : had, then, the Apostle expressed himself in this general manner, it might have been supposed, that he was the Mediator as to both natures, that, both as to his Divinity and his Humanity, he acted as Mediator between God and man. This would have been false ; to guard against it, therefore, the Apostle carefully limits the Lord's Me. diatorship to his Humanity alone, by using the accurately de. scriptive phrase, “ the man, Christ Jesus.” This completely excludes his purely Divine Nature from any concern in this function of Mediation, and most justly and accurately limits it to his Humanity only. After we have shown so fully, in the preceding Section, that the Son is not a separate Person from the Father, but is his Glorious Human Form or Person ; it can scarcely be necessary to offer any considerations to evince, that the Mediator, in like manner, is not a person subsisting separ. ately from the God with whom he mediates. But if direct proof of this were required, the Apostle here supplies it. We have seen that by calling the Mediator, “ the man, Christ Je. sus,” he limits the function of Mediation of his Humanity, and excludes from it his Divinity. But is the Lord Jesus Chris
* Ch. i. 11, 12.
himself, then, divided into two persons ? Does his Divine Nature constitute a person by itself, and his Human Nature a person by itself? Such must actually be the fact, if the Media. tor spoken of here, is actually a separately subsisting person; for it is only the Humanity, -" the man, Christ Jesus," that is the Mediator. The Mediator, then, cannot be a separately subsisting person, unless the Humanity of Jesus Christ is a person subsisting separately from his Divinity. No rational being will affirm such an absurdity: although there have been doctrines broached in the world, and some now subsisting, which make very near approaches to it.*
But I need not appeal to any rational person, to ask whether Jesus Christ can be imagined to be actually two persons. If not, since it is his Glorified Humanity alone which is the Mediator, the Mediator is obviously not to be conceived of as a separately subsisting Person.
It is common in Scripture to personify principles, and speak of them as if they were persons, without its being intended that they actually are so; because, otherwise, the Scripture simplicity of style could not be preserved, but there would be continual need of abstract terms and metaphysical definitions. Thus in all that the Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples respecting himself, his Father, and the Holy Spirit, he expressly declares that he spake in proverbs.
to These things have I spoken unto you in Proverbs : but the time cometh when I shall no longer speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.”+ By proverbs he means the same as are elsewhere called parables : and it is peculiarly the character of the parabolic form of speech to deal in personifications. As we are not to conceive of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as separately existing persons; so neither are we to conceive of the Mediator, who is the Son, as a separately existing person. The Mediator is the Glorified Humanity of Jesus Christ; so called as being the Medium by which man has access to God, and by which divine graces and blessings are dispensed from God to man.
I will illustrate this view of the subject a little further, ly quoting a few texts, which, without containing the word “ Mediator," or Mediation,” refer to the Lord's Glorified Humanity as being such a Medium of communication between man and his Maker.
That it is by the Lord's Glorified Humanity that man has access to the Divinity, the Apostle Paul strikingly declares in the Epistle to the Hebrews. He says, “ Having, therefore, brethren, boldness (which ought to be liberty) to enter into the * See the next Section, Part III.
et John xvi. 25.