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Messiah the Prince; or, the Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ.

Database

Messiah the Prince; or, the Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ.

James Dodson

BY

WILLIAM SYMINGTON, D.D.,

LATE PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY IN THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH


WITH

A MEMOIR OF THE AUTHOR

By HIS SONS


London:

T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW
EDINBURGH; AND NEW YORK

1881


EDITOR’S PREFACE


DR. SYMINGTON’S reputation as an author rests chiefly on his treatises on the Atonement and Intercession, and on the Mediatorial Dominion, of Jesus Christ. The former was published at the beginning of 1834, the latter at the beginning of 1839. Both books were popular in their day, and still hold a good place in theological literature.
The Atonement met a felt want in this country, and four editions of it were issued in the United States, where it was used for a text-book for students. But during these forty-five years several valuable books have been produced on the same subject and constructed on the same main lines of Scriptural Calvinism. The works of Dr. Candlish, Dr. Crawford, Dr. Hodge, Mr. Dale and others, treat of the Atonement with reference to phases of thought which had not become prominent when Dr. Symington wrote.
A similar remark cannot be made regarding his other treatise. Much has been written—more spoken—on practical questions relating to the reign of the Mediator; but what the author said in his preface in 1839 remains true in 1879. No book dealing with the subject systematically and comprehensively, as a matter of theology rather than of polemics, has appeared. It is on this account that Messiah the Prince has been selected to be issued afresh as a memorial of one whose name will long be fragrant.
And also because the matter is one of high importance, the interest of which increases with time and the developments of Providence. Several who to-day occupy foremost places in the Church of Christ have recently expressed to the Editor their obligations to this book at the time when their opinions were forming. Its publication during the Ten Years’ Conflict was recognised as highly opportune; and it may a second time be of service in guiding some to apprehend the teaching of Scripture concerning the relation in which the reigning Saviour stands to the Church and the State and the World.
Dr. Symington went over the same ground which is gone over here in his lectures as Professor of Theology. These lectures have been carefully used in preparing this edition, so that it has the advantage of a revision by the author himself twenty years after the first publication. It must be understood that any changes which may be observed have been made in this way. In one or two places these are considerable, but they affect the order of thought rather than the thought itself.

A. M. S.

  BIRKENHEAD, 1879.


CONTENTS


MEMOIR


CHAPTER I-NECESSITY OF THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS, 1
Connexion of Christ’s offices, 3
Importance of the mediatorial dominion, 3
Terms explained, 6
Mediatorial dominion necessary, 6
    To fulfil the divine purposes, 7
    To complete the character of the Saviour, 9
    To reward his obedience to the death, 10
    To bear down his enemies, 12
    To meet the wants of his people, 14


CHAPTER II-REALITY OF THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Prefigurations, 17
Prophecies, 19
Titles, 21
Personal claims, 21
Acknowledgment of others, 22
Regal appendages, 23


CHAPTER III-QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Personal dignity, 28
Near relationship, 30
Knowledge and wisdom, 32
Power, 33
Moral worth, 34
Compassion and bounty, 37
Authority, 38


CHAPTER IV-APPOINTMENT OF CHRIST TO MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Formally appointed from eternity, 40
Solemnly set apart in the fulness of time, 41
Actually invested at resurrection, 43
Attested by many witnesses, 45
Difficulties removed, 46
Gives validity to mediatorial acts in all ages, 47
Confers a right to subjection, 48
Secures the overthrow of enemies, 49


CHAPTER V-SPIRITUALITY OF THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Not that it has no sort of connexion with what is secular, 51
Spiritual in its Origin, 51
           Ends, 53
           Administration, 54
           Principles, 56
           Concomitants, 57
Neglect of Spirituality the error of Jews, 64
                     Millennarians, 65
                     Papists, 66
Test for trying Protestant churches, 67
Means of testing personal character, 69


CHAPTER VI-UNIVERSALITY OF THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Importance of this view, 71
Scripture proof, 73
Embraces Inanimate creation, 77
      Inferior animals, 79
      Holy angels, 82
      Fallen angels, 89
      The family of man, 95
      Human associations, 97
      Providential dispensations, 98
Objections answered, 100
      That tends to exclude the Father and Spirit, 100
      That confounds essential and mediatorial rule, 101
      That lays foundation for divine honours, 102
      That supposes the wicked to be interested in Christ, 103
      That it is at variance with fact, 106
Glorifying to Christ, 106
Comforting to Saints, 107
Appalling to Sinners, 108


CHAPTER VII-THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION OVER THE CHURCH

Term church explained, 110
Visible church defined, 111
SECT. I. Christ gives the visible church existence, 115
           In every period, 115
           Marks of the true church, 117
SECT. II. Organises, incorporates, and purchases it, 120
           Organises, 120
           Incorporates by covenant, 121
           Purchases with blood, 123
SECT. III. Confers on it interesting properties, 126
           Spirituality, 126
           Independence, 127
           Subjection to Christ, 128
           Unity, 129
           Universality, 136
           Perpetuity, 137
SECT. IV. Accomplishes important ends by it, 139
           The glory of God, 139
           The display of truth, 140
           The celebration of worship, 142
           The salvation of souls, 144
SECT. V. Institutes its ordinances, 146
           Laws, 147
           Worship, 149
           Government, 150
           Discipline, 151
SECT. VI. Prescribes the qualifications of members, 153
           Intelligent orthodoxy, 153
           Submission to ordinances, 155
           Apparent experience, 155
           Consistent conduct, 156
      These must be united, 157
      Actual saintship not the term of admission, 158
SECT. VII. Appoints, qualifies, and invests office-bearers, 164
           Office-bearers necessary, 164
           Presbyters permanent office-bearers, 166
           These appointed by ordination, 169
                  Ordination what, 170
                  To whom it belongs, 171
                  What it confers, 175
           The powers of office-bearers, 176
           Their qualifications, 177
SECT. VIII. Renders administration effectual, 179
           Subdues, 180
           Comforts, 181
           Rules in heart, 181
           Protects, 182
           Consummates grace, 183
SECT. IX. Diffuses and perpetuates, 184
           Universal diffusion, 184
           Perpetual duration, 187
Concluding reflections, 188


CHAPTER VIII-THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION OVER THE NATIONS

SECT I. Proof of the fact, 192
           Scripture injunctions, 194
                  Ps. 2:10, 194
           Predictions, 197
                  Ps. 47:2–9, 198
                  Ps. 72:10, 11, 17, 198
                  Isa. 49:22, 23, 199
                  Isa. 60:10, 12, 16, 201
                  Ezek. 45:17, 202
                  Dan. 7:13, 14, 203
                  Rev. 11:15, 203
                  Rev. 21:24, 26, 204
           Designations, 205
                  Governor among the nations, 206
                  Higher than kings of the earth, 206
                  King of nations, 207
                  Prince of the kings of the earth, 207
                  King of kings, 208
           Objections considered, 210
SECT. II. Administration over the nations, 213
           Gives them existence, 213
           Watches over them, 216
           Demands obedience, 217
           Overrules rebellion, 219
           Executes judgments, 221
           Opens a way for the gospel, 224
           Protects church from injury, 227
           Will effect an entire change, 228
SECT. III. Duties of nations to Christ, 230
           To respect his glory, 231
           To take his law as their rule, 234
           To have respect to the qualifications of their rulers, 241
           To have regard to him in their subjection to rulers, 249
           To swear allegiance to him, 256


CHAPTER IX-THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION OVER THE NATIONS, CONTINUED

The duty of nations to have respect to religion, 262
           Importance of the subject, 262
           The question stated, 263
           The duty in question maintained, 265
                  From Christ’s dominion over the nations, 265
                  From New Testament language, 267
                  From approved examples, 269
                  From the mutual connexion of church and state, 269
               What religion can do for a nation, 279
                     Benefit its institutions, 279
                     Promote its Liberty, 280
                            Wealth, 280
                            Peace, 281
                            Morality, 282
                            Security, 282
               What a nation can do for religion, 285
                     Protect it, 286
                     Profess it, 286
                     Give sanction to the Sabbath, 289
                     Restrain irreligion, 291
                     Give pecuniary support, 292
               No confounding of things that differ, 293
                  From the injurious effects of separating them, 296
                  From the impossibility of an entire separation, 297
           The state of the primitive church no valid objection, 311
Inattention to this subject deplored, 313
The support of false religion censured, 316
Appeal to several classes of persons, 317


CHAPTER X-PERPETUITY OF THE MEDIATORIAL DOMINION

Mediatorial reign in glory explained, 318
Diversity of sentiment on the subject, 322
Explanation of 1 Cor. 15:24–28, 323
Perpetuity proved, 333
    From Scripture, 333
    From the reward of Christ, 336
    From the impossibility of its terminating, 338
    From the necessities of the redeemed, 341

CONCLUSION