The full work of John Brown is not in view here and just as with any historical figure, publishing of this work does not constitute an approval thereof. We are scholars, learners, teachers, and researchers. Therefore we can adhere to reading material that may not suit our doctrinal positions.
John Brown of Haddington
Systematic Theology, pp. 309-315.
Christ’s Mediatorial Dominion Distinguished from his Natural Supremacy.
Besides that natural supremacy and dominion over all things equally with his Father and the Holy Ghost, Christ hath also a mediatorial dominion, or kingdom, which,
I. Was given him by his Father as the reward of his offering himself in sacrifice, Ps 2:8; Matt 28:18; Phil 2:6-11; Isa 53:10-12; Isa 52:13-14; 1 Pet 1:21; Luke 22:29; Dan 7:14.
II. Belongs to him as God-man, Isa 9:6-7; John 5:22-27.
III. Which chiefly respects his church, and is administered for promoting the eternal salvation of her true members, Eph 4:11-14.
1. Multitudes of scriptures ascribe lordship and dominion to him, Gen 49:10; 1 Sam 2:10; 2 Sam 7:16; Ps 2; Ps 21; Ps 45; Ps 72; Ps 89; Ps 96-100; Ps 110; Ps 132; Ps 47; Ps 145-149; Ps 22:27-31; Ps 68:17-35; Ps 24:7-10; Ps 118:22; Isa 9:6-7; Isa 11:4-5; Isa 32:1-2; Jer 23:5-6; Jer 33:15-16; Jer 30:21; Ezek 17:22-23; Ezek 21:26-27; Ezek 34:23-24,29; Ezek 37:24-25; Ezek 43:3; Ezek 46:10; Dan 2:44-45; Dan 7:13-14. Dan 9:25; Dan 12:1; Hos 3:5; Hos 13:9-10; Mic 5:1-6; Mic 2:13; Zech 6:9-13; Zech 9:9-10; Matt 2:2; Matt 25:34,41; Matt 28:18; John 1:49; John 18:36-37; 1 Tim 1:17. And, even on his cross, his kingly power was marked in three different languages, John 19:19.—
2. Many kingly titles are ascribed to him,—as a made Lord, Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 8:6; Eph 4:5; Prince of life, Acts 3:15; King of saints, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Rev 15:3; Rev 17:14; Rev 19:16; Head of the church, Eph 4:15-16; Eph 5:23; Eph 1:22; Hos 1:11; Col 1:18; Col 2:19; the Foundation, 1 Cor 3:11; Isa 28:16; Eph 2:20-22; chief cornerstone, Ps 118:22; Zech 10:4; Eph 2:20; Ruler, Judge, Leader, Commander, 2 Sam 23:3; Mic 5:1-2; Isa 33:22; Isa 55:4; Captain of the Lord’s host, and of salvation, Josh 5:13; Heb 2:10; Shepherd, Ezek 34:23; Isa 40:11-12; 1 Pet 2:25; 1 Pet 5:4; Heb 13:20.
3. Many symbols of kingly power are attributed to him,—as royal unction, Ps 45:7; Ps 2:1-3; Ps 89:19-20;—royal inauguration commenced in God’s eternal purpose, Ps 2:6-9; intimated by angels at his conception and birth, Luke 1:31-33; Luke 2:10-11; and acknowledged by himself and others at his death, John 18:33-37; John 19:12-19; Matt 26:64; Luke 23:42-43;—solemn investiture with royalty in his resurrection, ascension, and sitting down at his Father’s right hand, Matt 28:18; Acts 2:36; 1 Pet 3:22; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:9-11;—royal coronation by his enemies, Matt 27:29; John 19:2-3; by his church, Song 3:11; and by his Father, Heb 2:9; Phil 2:9-11; Ps 21:3;—a royal throne, Ps 110:1,5; Ps 45:6; Heb 1:5; Heb 8:1; Rev 3:21; Matt 19:28; Matt 26:64; a royal sceptre, by which he gathers and governs his people, Heb 1:8; Ps 45:6; Ps 110:2; and destroys his implacable enemies, Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27; Rev 19:15; royal laws, Isa 2:3; Rom 3:27; 1 Cor 9:21; Matt 11:29-30; Gal 6:2; Prov 8:15;—royal servants or ambassadors, 2 Cor 5:20; 2 Cor 3:6; 1 Cor 4:1-2;—royal guards or attendants, Zech 14:5; Hab 3:3-7; Deut 33:2; Jude 14; Matt 4:11; Matt 26:53; Dan 7:10; Ps 68:17; Ps 47:5-6; Matt 13:41,49; Matt 25:31; royal revenues, Ps 96:8; Ps 45:11;—royal magazines of spiritual armour, Eph 6:10-19;—royal power to judge, acquit, or condemn, John 5:22; Mark 2:5-11; Matt 25:31-46.
4. He was prefigured in his kingly office by Melchizedek, king of Salem, Heb 7:1-24; Moses, king in Jeshurun, Heb 3; Joshua the conqueror of Canaan, David and Solomon, kings of Israel, and by all the kings of Judah, Jer 30:9,20; Song 3:6-11; Matt 12:42.
I. Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is Very Extensive.
Christ’s mediatorial kingdom is:
I. Very extensive, reaching to all creatures, either as conquered enemies, ministers, and instruments of government, or faithful subjects, Matt 28:18; Acts 10:36; Ps 110:1-3,5-6; Ps 8:6-8, Heb 1:14; Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 6:11; Titus 3:5-7; Eph 5:25-27,30; to persons of all ages, nations, and conditions, Ps 2:8; Ps 73:10-14; Ps 22:27-28; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11; and to both body and soul, Phil 2:10-11.
But, though Christ, as Mediator, hath a power to influence the management of all things in heaven and earth for the benefit of his church, Eph 1:22; John 17:2; Matt 28:18; Prov 8:15-16; 2 Sam 8:15, he is not, as Mediator, the moral governor of men, who are without his visible church.
Christ Not Mediator of the Heathen.
1. The Scripture never represents him as mediatorial moral governor of heathens, but as King of Zion, Zech 9:9; Ps 2:6; of the house of Jacob, Luke 2:33; of his own house, Heb 3:6. His kingdom can have multitudes added to it, Ps 110:2-3; Rev 11:15; Obad 21. Men are not naturally members of his kingdom, but graciously brought into it, Col 1:13.
2. We find no mediatorial laws without his church, Rom 2:14; Eph 1:12; Isa 2:3; nor any proclamations of his mediatorial authority, Isa 63:19; Ps 147:19-20.
3. Christ being alway undivided, he cannot be the mediatorial governor of Heathens’ morals, till he be first their mediatorial prophet or teacher, Ps 147:19-20; Eph 2:12; Acts 14:16; Acts 17:30.
4. Christ cannot be the mediatorial moral governor of Heathens without their being under a dispensation of the covenant of grace, and having the means of their eternal salvation, which it is certain they have not, Eph 2:12; Prov 29:18; 2 John 9.
II. Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is Spiritual.
II. Christ’s mediatorial kingdom is of a spiritual nature, Luke 17:20-21; John 18:36. And hence, in its New Testament form, it is called the kingdom of heaven, or of God, to mark that its original, form, administration, privileges, and tendency are heavenly and divine, Matt 3:2; Matt 4:17; Matt 22; Matt 25.
1. In its more glorious form, it began when the temporal dominion was departed from the tribe of Judah and the family of David, Gen 49:10; Dan 9:24-27.
2. It was typified by the temporal government of the Jews, and therefore must be of a more excellent, a spiritual nature, Heb 11:40; Heb 10:1; Heb 9:10-11.
3. Everything pertaining to the kingdom is spiritual. The king is meek and lowly,—a root out of a dry ground, that came not to be ministered unto, but to minister,—a servant of rulers, who avoided every appearance of temporal dominion, Zech 9:9; Isa 11:5; Isa 53:2; Isa 49:7; Matt 20:28; John 6:13; Luke 12:13-14; and is a quickening Spirit, 1 Cor 15:45.
His throne at his Father’s right hand, and in the hearts of his people, is spiritual, Ps 110:1; Heb 1:3; Rev 3:21; Eph 3:17; Col 1:27. His sceptre is his spiritual word, made the power of God to men’s salvation or destruction, Isa 2:3; Isa 53:1; Ps 110:2; Rom 1:16; John 6:63; Heb 4:12; 2 Cor 10:4-5; Ps 45:4-5; Ps 2:9; 2 Cor 2:16; Hos 6:5; Rev 2:12,16; Rev 19:15,21. His laws are spiritual, Rom 3:27; Rom 8:2; Rom 7:12,14.
The worship and homage paid him are spiritual, John 4:24; Rom 12:1; 1 Pet 2:8-9; Phil 3:3. His true subjects are spiritual men, a willing people, renewed in the spirit of their minds, born from above, not of the will of the flesh, but of the will of God by his Spirit, 1 Cor 2:15; Ps 110:2; Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23; John 1:13; John 3:5-6; James 1:18; 1 Pet 1:2,23; 1 Pet 2:5; Gal 4:19; and their dwelling and conversation are heavenly and spiritual, Eph 2:6 Phil 3:20; Col 3:1-2.
His manner of government is spiritual, Zech 4:6. His ministers, principal enemies, armour, warfare, and principal punishments and rewards, are spiritual, 1 Pet 3:22; Heb 1:14; Ps 103:19-21; Eph 4:11-12; Eph 6:10-20; 2 Cor 10:3-5; John 14:27; John 16:33; Rom 14:17; 2 Cor 4:18; 2 Thess 1:6-10.
4. His ends of erecting his kingdom are spiritual, i.e. to destroy the works, power, and kingdom of the devil, 1 John 3:5,8; Col 2:13; and to glorify God in the eternal salvation of men, Gen 49:10; Ps 72:17; Isa 45:17; Eph 1:3; 1 Pet 4:11; Luke 12:14; Eph 3:21.—It is only in allusion to the Jewish state, and in condescension to men’s weakness, that this spiritual kingdom is often represented by the prophets in figures drawn from a temporal kingdom, Deut 30:4-5; Ezek 34; Ezek 37; Dan 7:27; Mic 4:6-8; Ps 2; Ps 72; Ps 21; Ps 45.
III. Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is Everlasting.
III. It is everlasting. Christ was appointed to it from all eternity, Ps 2:6-8; Prov 8:23; Mic 5:2. He began to execute his kingly office immediately after the fall, Gen 3:8-19. He executed it all along under the Old Testament, in taking Adam, Noah, Abraham, and their families, into a church state, Gen 3:24; Gen 4:3-4; Gen 9; Gen 12-28;—in prescribing laws to the Hebrews in the wilderness, Exod 15 through Deut 31;—in appointing the form and service of Solomon’s temple, 1 Chron 17; 1 Chron 22-26; 1 Kings 5-9.
In his incarnation, he was born a king, Matt 2:2. He was acknowledged as such by the wise men, Matt 2:1-2,11; by Nathaniel, John 1:49; and by the Syrophenician woman, Matt 15:22; by blind men, Matt 9:27; Matt 20:30-31; by mariners, Matt 8:27; by the crucified thief, Luke 23:42; by Pilate, John 19:19; by angels, Luke 1:31-33; Luke 2:10-11; and by his Father, Matt 17:5. In his state of humiliation, he acted as King of his church, in instituting ordinances, appointing officers, and issuing forth commandments in his own name, Matt 10; Matt 16:18-19; Matt 18:15-20; Matt 26:26-28; Matt 5-7; Luke 6; Luke 10;—in dislodging devils, Matt 4:25; Matt 12:28, etc.; in repeatedly purging the Jewish temple from buyers and sellers, John 2:13-17; Matt 21:12-13;—in triumphantly riding to Jerusalem on an ass, Matt 21; John 12; Zech 9:9; in conquering and triumphing over his enemies on the cross, Col 2:14-15; Gen 3:15.—In, and after his resurrection, he was more solemnly invested with royal power, Matt 28:18-20; Phil 2:8-11; Acts 5:31; Acts 2:36; 1 Pet 1:21; 1 Pet 3:18,21-22; Eph 1:20-23; Ps 47:5-7; Ps 24:7-10; Ps 68:18; Ps 110:1-7.
In his exalted state of royalty, he appointed the form and laws of his New Testament church, John 20:21-22; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:3-4,8; Mark 16:15-18; 1 Cor 12:28-29; 1 Cor 11:23-29; Eph 4:11-12; he hath and shall govern her to the end of the world, Matt 28:20; Ps 89:37; 2 Sam 7:13; Isa 9:7; 1 Cor 11:23,26. At the last day, he will judge the world; and thereafter continue his reign through all eternity, Ps 50:2-6. Matt 25:31-46; Rev 20:11-15; Ps 45:6-7; Ps 89:37; 2 Sam 7:13; Dan 2:44; Dan 7:14,27; Luke 1:33; Isa 9:7; 1 Thess 4:17.
—At the end of the world he will account to his Father for his management in time, present all his redeemed, perfect in holiness and happiness, and change his present form of government, 1 Cor 15:24-28; but will for ever retain his kingly power. His enemies, being then all conquered, and under his feet, will not be able to dethrone him, John 16:33; Col 2:15; Heb 2:18; Isa 25:8; Ps 110:5-6; 1 Cor 15:25. His subjects will not seek to dethrone him, Isa 54:9-10; Isa 61:10; Isa 26:2; Jer 32:39-40. Nor will his Father attempt it, Ps 45:6; Heb 1:8; Ps 89:3-4,28. Nor would it be for the honour of God or the benefit of his people, that he should be deprived of his peculiar honours of reward, while they enjoy the glories which he purchased.
Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom Distinguished.
Christ’s mediatorial kingdom may be distinguished into,
1. His kingdom of power, in which he hath the disposal of all things in heaven and earth, for the good of his church, Matt 28:18; Matt 11:27; John 3:35; John 5:22; Eph 1:20-22; Phil 2:9-11; 1 Pet 3:22; 1 Cor 15:25.—David’s headship over the heathen nations which he conquered, was typical of this, 2 Sam 8:14; 2 Sam 22:44; Ps 18:43-44.
2. His kingdom of grace,—the external form of which consists in men’s conjunct profession, worship, and service of God in Christ, by means of officers, and ordinances of his own appointment. In respect of this, men often but feign subjection to him, and shall be cast out, Ps 18:44; Matt 8:12; Matt 13:47; Matt 21:43. The internal form of it consists in the spiritual subordination of true believers to Christ as their Husband, Saviour, and Lord,—and in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, Luke 17:20-21; Isa 44:3-5; Isa 45:23; Rom 14:17; Phil 3:3; Titus 2:14.
3. His kingdom of glory, which is also called the kingdom of the Father, because he gives it to redeemed men, and reigns in it in a more immediate manner, ordinances and church-officers being laid aside, and the subjection of Christ, as man and Mediator, to him, more fully manifested, Matt 25:34; Matt 13:43; 1 Cor 15:28.
How Christ manages his Kingdom of Power.
1. In appointing or making angels, men, and every other creature, to work together for the good of his church, especially her true members, in their militant state, Heb 1:14; Ps 34:7; Ps 78:49; Rom 8:28; 1 Pet 3:13.
2. In permitting evil angels and their instruments to tempt and persecute his professed subjects, 2 Cor 12:7; Eph 6:12; 1 Thess 2:18; Rev 2:10; Rev 12-13; Rev 20:7-9.
3. In restraining and bounding their rage and hatred, in respect of its fervour, duration, or effects, Rev 2:10; Rev 12:10,12; Rev 20:1-3; Ps 76:10.
4. In making all their temptations, and the harassments of his people, turn out to his glory and their good, Ps 76:10; Rom 8:28; 2 Cor 4:17; Ps 119:67,71; Ps 119:65; Heb 12:10-11; Phil 1:12-14; 1 Cor 11:19; Mic 7:9,14; Isa 27:9.
5. In judging and punishing all his and his people’s enemies, Ps 2:9; Ps 21:8-12; Ps 45:5; Ps 72:9; Ps 110:1,5-6; 2 Cor 15:25;—particularly his Jewish opposers, Matt 24:29-51; Matt 21:44; Matt 22:7; the persecuting heathens of the Roman empire, Rev 6:12-17; the Antichristian papists, Rev 9; Rev 11; Rev 13; Rev 14-19; 2 Thess 2:8; and all wicked angels and men at the last day, 2 Thess 1:8-9; Rev 14:11; Rev 20:12-15; Matt 25:31-46.
6. In rewarding those that had been friendly to his people and interests, as in making most honourable use of angels at the last day, Matt 25:31; Jude 14; 2 Thess 1:7; and in gloriously renewing this lower world, Rom 8:21; 2 Pet 3:13.
How Christ Manages his Kingdom of Grace in its External Form.
1. In appointing many different ordinances of worship, common or more solemn, for erecting or preserving his church in her infant or adult state, Gen 4:4-5; Gen 17:10-14; Exod 12-40; Lev 1-27; Num 3-6; Num 15; Num 17-19; Num 28-29; Deut 4-32; Matt 5-7; Matt 10; Matt 16:18-19; Matt 18:15-20; Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-18; 1 Cor 11:23-29; 1 Cor 14; 1 Tim 2-6; Titus 1-3.
2. In instituting offices, qualifying and sending ordinary and extraordinary officers, for erecting and maintaining his church, 2 Chron 36:15; Heb 1:1; Eph 4:11-14; 1 Cor 12.
3. In giving his Spirit, that, by his ordinary and extraordinary influences, accompanying the proclamation of his truth, he may attest his officers and doctrines, gather and preserve his subjects, and make them observe his ordinances and laws, Isa 32:15-18; Isa 44:3-5; Isa 59:21; Joel 2:28-29; John 16:7-14; John 15:26-27; John 14:16-17,26; John 7:37-39; John 3:5-6,8; John 20:22; Ezek 36:27; Prov 1:23; Acts 1:5,8; Acts 2:1-47; Acts 4:31; Heb 2:4; 1 Thess 1:5; 1 John 2:20,27.
4. In providentially protecting his church from being ruined by erroneous teachers or naughty professors within her, or by open persecutors without her, Zech 2:5; Isa 63:9; Rev 6-7; Rev 11-12; Rev 14:1-5.
5. In enlarging his church at the expense of her Jewish, Heathen, or Antichristian enemies, Ps 110:2,5-6; Dan 2:44; Rev 12:10; Rev 11:15; Isa 49; Isa 54-55; Mic 4-5; Zech 8-14; Zech 2:11.
How Christ Manages his Kingdom of Grace in its Internal Form.
1. In effectually calling his elect, and by changing their state and nature, bringing them to himself, thus rescuing them from their slavery to the broken law, sin, Satan, the world, and death, Ps 110:3; Ps 22:27-31; Isa 27:12-13; Isa 44:3-5; Isa 45:24-25; Isa 49:25-26; Rom 8:2; Rom 6:14; Rom 7:4; John 3:5-6,8; John 5:25; John 8:32,36; 1 Cor 6:11; Titus 3:3-7; Col 1:13; 1 Pet 1:2-3.
2. In ruling them by his word published to them in the gospel, and written in their hearts by his Spirit, as their enlightener, directer, quickener, and comforter;—and in subordination hereto, by his providence, correcting them for their disobedience, or pardoning it, on their renewed actings of faith and repentance, Ps 147:19; Ps 119:11,18; John 14:16-17,26; John 15:26; John 16:13-15; Gal 6:8; Gal 5:18,22-23; Eph 5:9; Ps 89:30-35; Ps 94:12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; Mic 7:14,18-19; Ps 119:67,71; Ps 99:8; Isa 38:16; Isa 44:22; Isa 57:17-19; Hos 2:6-7,14; Jer 31:18-27; Heb 12:5-11; Rev 3:19.
3. In protecting them from the hurtful and re-enslaving influence of the broken covenant of works, and of sin, Satan, the world, or death, Col 3:3; Jude 1; 1 Pet 1:5; John 10:28-29; Ps 41; Isa 46:4; Isa 63:9; Isa 25:8; Hos 13:14; Heb 2:15; Ps 23:4.
How Christ Manages his Kingdom of Glory.
1. In giving all his true subjects on earth, a full and irrevocable title to it, and some foretastes of its happiness, 2 Cor 5:1-7; 2 Cor 12:1-6; 1 Pet 4:14; 1 Pet 1:8.
2. In preparing heaven for them against the appointed moment of their death, as well as them for it, John 14:2.
3. In readily admitting their departed souls into the heavenly mansions, Acts 7:59; Luke 23:43; Luke 2:29; 2 Pet 1:11; Rev 3:21; Rev 14:13; Isa 57:2; Phil 1:21,23.
4. In raising the dead, publicly and solemnly judging the world at the last day, John 5:28-29; Dan 12:2; Rev 20:11-12; Matt 25; 2 Tim 4:7-8; Titus 2:13.
5. In then putting down all temporary power and authority, which had been used in church or state, that every thing may be under the more immediate government of God, 1 Cor 15:24,28.
6. In solemnly presenting all his redeemed subjects in one body to his Father, perfect in holiness and happiness, 1 Cor 15:24; Heb 2:10,13.
7. In perpetually governing and blessing his saints in their heavenly state with the full and immediate enjoyment of God, 1 Thess 4:17; Isa 60:19-20; 1 Cor 15:28.
Four years ago this week my eldest daughter, for an academic project, needed to interview someone relating to their profession. She chose to ask me a series of questions relating to my life as a pastor. Having been reminded of this today I read back through my answers and the answer to this question is necessary for many who are in the ministry of shepherding these days. I have already made the distinction of a pastor/shepherd and just a teacher/preacher. The first does the second but not all who do the latter are called to the first. This answer was given to a 16-year-old girl who has always been fascinated by the work of the Lord in our lives, and moreover, His providence in the times of great hardship.
How has being a pastor affected your life? Well, it has made my life hard. Ministry for the average “church” is just a list of things done and programs practiced, but for me it has been different. Having pastored churches of over 2000 members as well as churches of 40 members, God has allowed me to see one continual stream through it all: suffering. In suffering God is made brighter because I have not been able to qualify any success in ministry by my wisdom or hands. So, at many times pastoring is a lonely place, even though we are surrounding continually by people, the burden is difficult to express and in some ways, unnecessary. Many pastors will lie and say, “It’s a big ball of fun..” But it isn’t, it is gloriously satisfying but gravely burdensome. So, to simply put it, pastoring has allowed me to see that my life is not mine, but it is God’s and He has given it away to others for His name’s sake. This gives me great satisfaction.
This, among other things, is a great reminder and glimpse at the nature of the cross work of Christ, the continued work of laboring as Paul and the Apostles did for the sheep of Christ. We will suffer and we will suffer well.
 And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia,  serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;  how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,  testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there,  except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.  But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:18–24)