22. Nov. 1691.
110. Ps. 1.
The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, untill I make thine Enemies thy footstool.
The great drift & scope of the Holy Ghost, in this Psalm, is to foretell for the singular support & comfort of the Church of God, the supreme & universal Kingdom of the Messiah that should descend of David according to the Flesh: His Eternal & unchangable Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek: The wonderfull effects hereof both upon his Subjects, & Enemies. And the way whereby all this should be effected: namely, By his deep humiliation & passion, & after glorious exaltation, as the Series of the Psalm most clearly evidenceth. More particularly. The comfort that ariseth out of this Psalm to the Church of God, may appear if we consider the Doctrines of this Psalm, which is made up of many pretious promises, that have a direct tendency to the consolation of the Faithfull. As.
- 1. The first Promise is concerning the Royal & Heavenly Lordship or Dominion of Christ. 1. v. Sit then at my right hand. i.e. Rule thou with Heavenly Majesty & Authority, as is expounded. 1. Cor. 15. 25. The meaning is, Be thou next unto me in thy Humanity, Equal to me in thy Deity. Be thou exalted above every Creature: Sit next to me: have thou the chief place of Preheminency, after the manner of Kings & Monarchs who seat their chiefest favourites at their Right hand. 1. Reg. 2.19. So that by sitting on the right Hand means principal Authority & Government; which is amplyfyed by the effect 1. v. untill I make thine enemies thy Footstool. Untill I bring them under thy Subjection: Which is spoken after the manner of Conquerors in the East who were wont to tread upon the necks, or backs, of those that were conquered by them, in testimony that those conquered enemies were now subject to them. 10. Josh. 24. 25. 1. Jud. 7. Now this promise of God doth not intimate any defect in Christ as King, but the continuance & cooperation of the Father, with the Son in this victorious Work.
- 2. To this Promise of Kingly Dominion is subjoyned a blessed Promise of the powerful administration of that Dominion by the Preaching of the Gosple, as by a Strong Sceptre. 2. v. The Lord shall send the Rod of thy strength out of Zion. By Rod, or staff, here is meant an Ensigne of Dominion: as. 10. Isa. 24. & 11. 4. 7. Ezek. 10. 11. And it signifies the command, Empire, or Kingly power that Christ should have the management of: which administration is noted to be in Zion, the Metropolitical & Mother-Church of all the Churches: And that it should have progress even in the very midst of enemies 2. v. Rule thou in the mids of thine enemies, i.e. Notwithstanding all thine enemies round about, yet carry thou on, thine own work & Government: Or rule thou over the very consciences, & inward parts of thine enemies. 4. Hebr. 12. The word of God is quick & powerfull sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of Soul & Spirit, & of the joynts & marrow, & is a discerner of the thoughts & intents of the heart. Witness Fælix.
- 3. There is also subjoyned hereunto a blessed Promise of the happy success of the Gosple thus Preached, by the conversion & gathering in of many precious souls into the Church of Christ 3. v. Thy People shall be willing in the day of thy Power &c. 2. Acts. 41.
- 4. To this Promise of Christs Kingly office is added also a Promise of his Sacerdotall office, upon which is founded the gathering in, preservation & Salvation of his Church before mentioned. 4. v.
- 5. Last: Here is added in the last Place a promise concerning the just & severe Revenge which Christ shall execute upon his enemies. 5. 6. 7. v.
But to return to the Text. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, untill I make thine enemies thy Footstool.
We have you know upon this occasion been treating of our Saviour’s deep humiliation from 53. Isa. 5. He was wounded &c. And from thence have passed to speak of Christs Exaltation: which consists of three steps or degrees directly contrary to so many steps or degrees of his Humiliation. (1) His Resurrection, which has been spoken to from. 28. Matth. 6. (2) His Ascension directly opposite to his descending into the Grave, which has been spoken to from 20. John. 17. Now
- III. In the third & last place, we come to speak of Christs Session at the right hand of God (which is directly opposite to his abiding in the Grave, & in the state of the dead) for which purpose have made choice of this text. The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, untill I make thine enemies thy Footstool. In which words three things are observable (1) The Person speaking; The Lord said (2) The Person spoken unto; My Lord (3) Last: The subject matter spoken; Sit thou at my right hand &c.
- 1. The Person speaking; The Lord. Jehovah, which according to the consession of all agrees to God alone, & denotes a being existing from himself, from & to everlasting. And althôugh this name as it is the Essential name of God (i.e. as it signifies the singular & most simple Essence of the Deity) be common to all the Persons in the Trinity, Father, Son, & Holy Ghost, yet in some places, & according to some circumstances (& especially when there is comparison with, or relation to, some other Person in the holy Trinity, then) it is taken personally: as the word θεος77 among the Greeks is taken for the first Person in the Trinity; namely God the Father: And so in this Place, & therefore the speaker is God the Father
- 2. The Person spoken unto, Ladonai, Domino meo, to my Lord. i.e. Christ Jesus as is Plain. 22. Matth. 43 &c.
- Object: But it may be said, why dos David here, & Paul in his writings frequently call the Father God, and the Son Lord?
- Answ: Oftimes in Scripture, Christ is called God, when there is mention made of him alone without the Father: But as oft as the Scripture speaks of both, in one place most frequently Christ is called Lord, & the Father God, as Austine observes against the Arian Heretiques.78 For which these two Reasons may be given.
- 1. R. Least any one seeing the Name Jehovah given to two persons together should Mock thereat, & from thence imagine that there were two Gods, which ye Jews to whom the mysterity of the Trinity was not so well known were apt to do.
- 2. R. Because of the divers opperations attributed to the persons of the Holy Trinity, by a peculiar appropriation. As Creation, to the Father; Redemption, to the Son; And Sanctification, to the Holy Spirit. Moreover because the Father is the Fountain of Deity, therefore the name Jehovah is oftener given to him absolutely, yet so that it agrees with, & is proper to ye persons proceeding from him, but in order after the Father. So that the Person spoken to is Christ.
- 3. Last: Here is to be noted the Subject matter spoken. Namely Sit thou at my right hand: which is a figurative manner of speaking; For God not being a corporeal substance hath properly neither any right hand nor left. So also the word sitting is figuratively to be understood. But the more full explication of the text I shall leave to be prosecuted under the Doctrine.
And that is this,
- Doctr. Our once Humbled, Wounded, & Bruised Mediator, has long since been exalted, not only by a Glorious Resurrection from the Grave; & also a Glorious Ascension into Heaven; but also by a Glorious Session at the Right hand of God.
In the prosecution of this Doctrine these three things are to be enquired into.
- 1. What is this Session of Christ at the Right hand of God the Father?
- 2. At what time did it begin, & how long shall it continue?
- 3. Last: What are the Fruits of this Session?
- 1. Quest. What is this Session of Christ at the Right hand of God the Father?
Now in answere to this question three more questions are more particularly to be insisted on. As.
- 1. What may be meant by sitting?
- 2. What by the Right hand of God?
- 3. Last: What by sitting at the Right hand of God?
- 1. Qu: What may be meant here by sitting?
- Answ: Sitting properly cannot be attributed to Christ with respect to his Divine nature, with respect to his humane nature it ought not. But it is to be taken improperly & figuratively. And when it is so used in Scripture it signifies two things.
- 1. To cease or rest from Motion. 125. Ps. 1. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. They are built upon an immovable rock that there is no prevailing against.
- 2. To perform the office of a King or Judge. 20. Pro. 8. A King that sitteth in the Throne of judgment. For as it is the manner of those that are to be judged to stand: So of those that are to judge to sit. So here Christ sits at the right hand of God as a King & Judge. For
- 1. This sitting of Christ at the right hand of God is the last degree of his Exaltation in which he possesseth the highest Glory of his Mediation. Hince the two former degrees of his Exaltation, namely his Resurrection, & Ascension are as it were motions tending to this Session. And hince also Resurrection and Ascension is common, in some respect, to us with Christ; but now to sit at the right hand of God is peculiar to Christ only. 1. Hebr. 13.
- 2. The Kingly Power of Christ Jesus, who is exalted far above all Principalities & Powers is most fitly shadowed forth in this Phrase of sitting. For it is a phrase applyed to Kings & chief Magistrates who sit in judgment: as in Jethro’s speech to Moses. 18. Exod. 14. & 5. Jud. 10. Hince by sitting first in the Kingdom, are meant capital & principal Magistrates. 1. Esther. 14. So that as to stand is a sign of a mean & servile condition. 1. Sam. 22. 6. 7. Hince the Angels are said to stand before God: So on the other hand to sit, is a signe of Kingly Power & Authority. In this sense Christ is said to sit, & that at the Right hand of God, as Supreme Lord, & next to God the Father in his Kingdom. 2. Acts. 34. 35. 36.—Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him Lord & Christ. The name Christ signifies both Gods designation & anointing of him to be King. And by his sitting so much is imported.