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place of its abode, till at length, as you heard, it was taken up to mount Zion, and fxed in that secret place of the te nple, called "the holy of holies," which typified the highest heavens into which Christ is now entered in our nature. This was also typified by Joseph, who, after he had been fold by his brethren, carried into Egypt like a flave, unjustly cait into prison, and laid under fetters of iron, was taken from prison, exalted in the court of Pharaoh, having the whole government of the king. dom devolved upon him, vested with fuch absolute authority, that he bound their nobles with fetters of iron at his pleasure, every one bowing the knee before him. See how this answers the antitype, Phil. ii. 6.-11.
2. Christ's triumphant ascension was not only typified, but foretold by the prophet. Pfal.cx. we are told, that he should Git on his Father's right-hand, and after he had “ drunk of the brook in the way, he should lift up the head," and be vested with such power and authority, as to “strike through kings in the day of his wrath, and wound the heads of his enemies over many nations.” In a word, all the prophets prophesied of his resurrection and exaltation, how he was first “ to suffer, and then to enter into his glory."
3. This is further evident from the testimony of famous witnesses. Acts i. we are told, that when Christ had led the disciples out of Jerusalem to mount Olivet, while he was talking with them about the affairs of his kingdom, after he had instructed them as to their management in these matters, he was taken up into heaven, and a cloud received him out of their light; and thereupon two of his glorious retinue, clothed in white, whom he had on purpose left behind to comfort his disciples, say to them, ver. 11. "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? this same Jesus which is taken up from
into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” We have this same truth attested by the proto-martyr Stephen, Acts vii. 55. 56. while standing before the Jewish council, he being filled with the Holy Ghost, his face thining like the face of an angel, cries out, “ Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God;" and Paul tells us, that “ he was seen of him also, as of one born out of due season."
4. This is further confirmed from many pleasant texts of scripture, Heb. i. 3.-iv. 14.-viii. .-xii. 2. and many other places, where we read of his being " at the right hand of the Majesty on high."
5. This appears from the glorious fruits and consequences of his actual accesion to the throne of glory, which have ap
peared in the open view of all mankind. If he be not gone up, and actually vested with all power in heaven and in earth, whence was it that the spirit was poured down from on high in such a miraculous way and manner at Pentecost, Acts ii. like the rushing of a mighty wind, resting on each of the apoftles like cloven tongues of fire ? Whence came the gift of tongues, whereby the illiterate fishermen, who knew no language but their mother tongue, were enabled to speak with the greatest volubility all manner of languages ? Surely this power from on high came down from him who had gone up with a shout, that they might be in a capacity, according to the commission they had received from him, to “go and teach all nations" the knowledge of the mysteries of salvation through him, and particularly that he who was dead, was now alive, and liveth for evermore ;" and that he “had the keys of hell and of death."
Whence came the gift of miracles, the opening the eyes of the blind, the unstopping the ears of the deaf, their healing the fick, and raising the dead, and the like excellent signs and wonders which were wrought by the hands of the apostles and disciples, of which we read in the Acts of the apostles? These things were not done in secret, but in the open view of the whole world; and whatever miracles they wrought, they were always done in the name of a risen and exalted Jefus.
How came it about, that by the fimple preaching of the doctrine of Christ's resurrection and exaltation, the Mofaic oeconomy, which had the authority of the divine institution, was unhinged; the idolatries of the Heathen, in which they had been habituate for many ages and generations, made to fall down and give way to the kingdom and government of Christ, and the purity and fimplicity of gospel-worship? How came it about, that, in the compass of a very few years, almost all nations were brought to bow to the royal sceptre of this exalted King; for Paul tells us, that even in his day, the found of the apostles “ went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world ?” How came it about, that the fol. lowers of Christ, and his do&trine and kingdom, were not entirely buried in oblivion, when the strength of the Roman empire, which had subdued all nations under it, was employed to stifle and suppress it, in ten several bloody persecutions? Whence was it, that the disciples of a crucified Christ, with such invincible courage, were enabled to bear the greatest barbarity that their enemies could exercise upon them? How came their numbers rather to increase than diminish when so many millions of them were slaughtered for their adherence
anto the faith of Chrilt's resurrection from the dead ? How came it about, that the Roman emperors, and that whole powerful empire, after their utmost efforts to raze the name of Christ and Christianity from the earth, were at length obliged to bow at the name of Jesus, and to confess, that he was the Lord of all, to the glory of his eternal Father? All these things, I say, are clear and uncontested evidences of the ascension of Christ, and his accession to the throne of glory above. And I am ready to think, that it was with a view to these, and the like events, that were to follow upon his resurrection and exaltation, that he said to his disciples, while he was yet on this side of death, and of the sea of his sufferings, John
“ He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these Thall he do: because I go unto my Father:" and indeed it was fit that he should do greater works after he came to the throne, than when he was yet on the danghill.
I should now go on to prove, that Christ's ascension to the throne of glory, is matter of triumph and shouting to all the redeemed, both in the church militant and triumphant; but this will be cleared in the sequel of the discourse ; and therefore I wave it now, and proceed to,
II. The second thing in the method, which was, to few what is imported in this expression of his going up: God is gone up with • fhout. I answer in these particulars.
1. It implies his voluntary humiliation, according to that of Christ, John iii. 13. where he says to Nicodemus, in order to afford him a view of his divine nature, and of his humiliation and exaltation at once, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which isin heaven.” Our great and glorious Redeemer, though he had glory with his father before the world was; though he was by him as one brought up with him ; was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him ; yet he rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the fons of men : such was his kindneso to the fallen tribe and family of Adam, that he would needs pay us a visit in our low estate. More particularly,
2. God is gone up; it supposes his incarnation, or assumption of the nature of man; for, as I said in the explication of the words, God essentially considered cannot be said to go up or to come down, to ascend or to descend, because he fills heaven and earth, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; therefore his going up must have a respect unto him as incarnate. And here is a mytery that you and I had need to be learning VOL. II.
every day. This is a strange thing that God hath wrought in the earth, the fulness of the Godhead dwelling bodily in the mian Christ Jefus. Without controversy, it is a great mystery, that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. In the fulness of time, God sent forth his Son made of a woman.” Oh! let every one of us for himself take hold of this kinsman, as Ruth did of Boaz, and claim relation to him, saying, “ Cast thy skirt over me, for thou art my near kinsman.”
3. Christ going up; it supposes, that he had ended or finished the work or service for which he came down into this lower world; that he had fulfilled the law, satisfied justice, and brought in everlasting righteousness. To this purpose is that of Christ, John xvi. speaking of the work of the Spirit, when he should be poured out after his afcenfion, he shall convince the world “ of righteousness, because I go to the Father." Sirs, if Christ had not brought in everlasting righteousness, if he had not magnified the law and made it honourable, he could never have gone up to the Father ; but his going up with a shout of triumph, is a declaration to the world, that “the Lord is well pleased for his righteousness fake.”
4. It supposes his resurrection from the dead, whereby he was justified as the public head and furety of an elect world, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness. If the bonds of death had detained him, he could never have gone up with a shout. Oh! Sirs, Christ is risen indeed, and by his resurrection we are begotten again unto the lively hope of “an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away."
5. God is gone up with a fout, implies that the gates of glo. ry, which had been shut, were again opened by the death and satisfaction of Christ. Immediately upon the breach of the first covenant, heaven's gates were barred against Adam and all his posterity, and would have continued so to all eternity; but, upon the satisfaction of Christ, promised and actually made, and fulfilled in the fulness of time, the gates of glory were cat open for the reception of Christ himself, as the furety, and of all that do by faith fly in under the covert of his righteousness; hence we are said to “ have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Heb. X. 19. ; and the ground of this you have, chap. ix. 24. “ Chrift himself entered into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us.”
6. It implies, that God the Father is perfectly well pleased with the person and undertaking of our glorious Redeemer; for, if he had not been well pleased, how could he give him fuch a solemn reception after his work was done? God the Father he declares bis fatisfaction with him, while he was yet
about his work, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased :" and when his work was ended and finished, he teitified his fatisfaction wiih it, by giving him a triumph upon the back of it; he uthers him into the throne of glory with the joyful fhouts and triumphs of the heavenly hoits of saints and angels.
7. It implies, that when Chrift afcended, after his finishing our redemp:ion, he was received into heaven with the univer. sal applause and admiration of the triumphant company, Oh! Sirs, when the Son of God returned to heaven, wearing the nature of man, carrying the scars of the wounds he got upon the field of battle, when he bruised the head of the ferpent, how did every one of the heavenly company ftudy to outdo another in warbling forth his prailes ! How did the arches of heaven echo and retound, while the triumphant Conqueror refumed his throne, crying, “ Worthy is the Lamb that was fain, to receive power, and riches, and wila dom, and strength, and dominion, and honour, and glory, and blessing !-Salvation to our God which fitreth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever!” But this loads
HII. The third thing in the method, which is, to speak a little of the folemnity of Christ's afcenfior ; for here we are told, he went up with a fhout, and with the suund of a trumpet. And here let us consider,
1. The place from whence he did go up. He went up from this earth, where he had many a sorrowful and weary day; for he was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with griefs." Oh! what a fence of forrow and mifery had he gone through from his birth to his grave! He was indeed “the hind of the morning," as he is called in the title of the 22d pfalm. This world was the hunting-field, where dogs compaffed him about, and pursued him till they bit him to death upon mount Calvary. What good reason had he to hate this world, where he bad niet with such bad entertainment ? especially if we consider,
2. Whither he is gone up. He is gone up into the third heavens, where no unclean thing can enter; and the heavens are to contain him till the time of the restitution of all things. He is gone to a paradise of pleasure, where the old ferpent cannot enter ; there is no lion or ravenous bealt to hurt or deAtroy in all that holy mountain. He is gone up from the dunghill to the throne, where he is swaying the sceptre of glory, where thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, angels and archangels, cherubiins and teraphims, attend him, as