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him." Ps. 97: 11. 30 : 5. 126 : 6. The same volume of inspiration which foretold his sufferings unto death, also announced his exaltation unto eternal glory. Hence, when the two disciples that went down to Emmaus, on the morning of Christ's resurrection, had told him the cause of their sadness, viz. their disappointment in Jesus of Nazareth, who, they trusted, would have redeemed Israel, but had been crucified; and that it is now reported that he was risen again, Jesus said unto them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses, and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke, 24 : 25–27. The one was as necessary to our salvation as the other. The former iras the sure foundation, and the latter the glorious superstructure.
His sufferings were necessary for the expiation of our sins, and his exaltation was necessary for the application of the merits of his death. "For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Heb. 2:10. As it was necessary for him to reconcile us by his death, so it was necessary for him to reinstate us in happiness by his life. Rom. 5:10. Reconciliation is ascribed to his death; salvation to his life in glory. He could not have been a Sarior without being a sacrifice; he could not have applied that sulvation without being a King; he was to descend from heaven clothed with our infirmities, to suffer for our crimes; he was to ascend to heaven invested with immortality, to present our persons before God, and prepare a glory for every believer.
Christ's state of humiliation we have already considered, and now I invite your attention to his state of exaltation.
But before we consider its different steps or parts, it may not be improper to make a few observations to explain its nature.
$ 2. As Christ's state of humiliation respected his tivo natures, the divine and the human, so also his exaltation has respect to both. With respect to his divine nature:
Not that an addition was made to his intrinsic glory, for his deity was never deprived of any essential glory; nor could that be advanced, because it being infinite, was not capable of any higher degree, and was above all change. The subsistence and properties of that nature, which always remain the same, are incapable of abasement and elevation. We may as well conceive of a diminution of the essence of God, as a decrease of his essential glory. But there was a manifestation of his divine nature. Whilst Christ dwelt or tabernacled in the flesh, his divine nature wanted that reputation which was due to it from man; and in this respect Christ is said to have made himself of no reputation," or emptied himself, as the word Ekenose signifies. Phil. 2:7. He that was sovereign became subject, as the seed of the woman, to the law of nature; subject as an Israelite to the law of Moses; subject as a man, and our surety, to the penal infirmities belonging to the human nature, as weariness, hunger, thirst, death. And as the divine nature seemed to be humbled, in being obscured under the veil of our flesh, so it is glorified in breaking out with the most resplendent rays in the Son. As he was humbled under the form of a servant, so he was exalted by appearing in the form of God. In the same sense that we say Christ as God was humbled, in the same sense we may say Christ as God was glorified; but it is certain that Christ, who was equal in regard of his deity with the Father, did humble himself to the form of a servant. Phil. 2:7, 8. As the divine nature may be said to be humbled by suffering an eclipse, so it may be said to be glorified by emerging out of it; as the sun may in a sort be said to enter into a glory, or reassume its glory, when it scatters a dark cloud which involved it, and strikes its warm
and clear beams through the air, there is nothing here of a glory added to the sun, but a glory exerted by the sun, which before lay in obscurity under a thick mist; and when God is said to be glorified by men, we must not conceive any addition of intrinsic glory to God, but an acknowledg. ment of that glory he displays in his works of creation, providence, and redemption. So the exaltation of Christ was not a conferring of a new glory upon the divine nature, but the outshining of it in the sacred vessel of his humanity, and the surmounting of those mists wherewith before it had been clouded.
$.3. With respect to his human nature, it was a real and intrinsic exaltation into glory. There was a glory conferred upon his humanity, by the grace of union with the second person in the blessed Trinity at his incarnation; and there was a glory bestowed upon it by the communication of unmatchable perfections to his soul, a fullness of the Spirit, a spotless sanctification, and an infallible knowledge of God, and of those truths he was to reveal. But now his humanity did ascend up where his person was before, and our nature was carried up to sit with him in the same court where he had been glorious before in his deity. That nature wherein the person of the Son of God was made lower than the angels, was crowned with glory and honor. Heb. 2:7. That nature wherein he was raised up, was set at God's right hand in heavenly places; Eph. 1:20; and in that nature, as well as in the divine, the person of the Son of God had a sovereign authority granted to him. Thus the humanity was glorified above all the reach of any human understanding. The glory of the saints is not to be fathomed by the conceptions of men, much less the glory of Christ, the exemplar of all the glory they are to have. Again, as the humanity of Christ consisted of two parts, body and soul, 80 his exaltation respects both.
4. His body was changed into a spiritual nature, in opposition to infirm flesh. The natural bodies of the saints shall at the resurrection be changed into spiritual ; 1 Cor. 15:41; much more is the body of Christ in glory so changed. since it is the pattern according to which the bodies of the saints shall be copied and fashioned. Phil. 3:21.
The body of Christ became immortal. He lives and shall live for erermore. Rev. 1:18. That body was not dissolved to dust by the power of the grave, and cannot sink into nothing in the glories of heaven. The union of the Godhead to it preserved it here, and the perpetual confirmation of that union preserves it for ever above. His body lives an endless life; death shall never more lay hands on it; he has no more sufferings to endure, or satisfaction to make to the demands of law. Men and devils cannot touch him in his person, though they do in his mystical body. If the righteous are to shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father, Matt. 13:43, the Head of the righteous shines with a splendor above that of the sun, for he hath a glory upon his body, not only from the glory of his soul, (as the sain's shall have,) but from the glory of his divinity in conjunc. tion with it.
8 5. The exaltation of Christ has respect to his soul, as well as his body. That soul which was sorrowful even unto death, was filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. David being a prophet, spake of the Messiah when he said, “ 'Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither xvilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Ps. 16:10,11. This is the language of Christ, triumphing in consideration of his exaltation, and taking pleasure in the fruits of his sufferings; "Thou wilt show me the path of life.” God has now opened the way to paradise, which was stopped up by a flaming sword, and made the path plain by admitting into heaven the Head of the believing world. This was part of the joy of the soul of Christ; he hath now a fullness of joy, a satisfying delight, instead of an over. whelming sorrow; a sullness of joy, (not only some sparks, and drops as he had now and then in his debased condition) and that in the presence of his Father. His soul is fed and nourished with a perpetual vision of God, in whose face he beholds no more frowns, no more designs of treating him as a servant, but finds smiles that shall give a perpetual succession of joys to him, and fill his soul with fresh and pure flames; pleasures they are, pleasantness in comparison whereof the greatest joys in this life are anguish and horror. His soul has joys without mixture, pleasures without number, a fullness without want, a constancy without interruption, a perpetuity without end.
O my beloved brother Benjamin, if I could but communicate to you some of that joy and felicity which fills my soul at the contemplation of that glory which shall be revealed in those who are regenerated by the Spirit of God, and adopted into his family! For although " it doth not yet appear what we shall be, yet we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall sce him as he is." 1 John, 3:2. To be like unto the Son of God! What tongue can express, what pen can describe, or what heart conceive the holiness, and the purity of body and soul, the persection of knowledge, the height of love, and the complete satisfaction to be realized through the never-ending ages of eternity! May you and I, my dear Benjamin, be now conforined to the image of God's dear Son, that “when Christ who is our life shall appear, we also may appear with him in glory." Col. 3:4. To return to our subject.
.8 6. The exaltation respects the person of Christ also. His divine nature being glorified in a manifestation, and a new manner of manifestation of it; and his human nature being glorified by an accession of new qualities to it, his person then was glorified. As his person was the prime subject of humiliation, in taking upon him the form of a servant, so it was the prime subject of exaltation and glory. In regard of his person, he is glorified, as in regard of his