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Ivaill do it, that the Father may be glorify'd in the Son j John 14. 19, 14.
But may we move him then for any thing we please, and are we sure to speed in whatever we ask?
Yes, in all that is proper for us to ask, and sit for us to receive; all, that God hath promis'd, and our Saviour purcha.s'd: both which extend to all that is necessary and convenient for us. We may not indeed move for any thing that tends to the dishonour of God, or the prejudice of our own Souls, as some things we are fond of too often do: for these things being contrary both to his Nature and Will, and inconsistent with the Goodness as well as the Glory of God, are not the proper matter of our Requests; and the Mercy would not be so great in the Grant, as in the Denial. Our Saviour, in acting as our Intercessor, bath a due regard both to the Honour of his Father, and the Happiness of his Followers, and therefore will not appear in any thing that is prejudicial to either: But for all the Mercies and Blessings of the New Covenant, all the Benesits promis'd by the Father, and purchas'd by the Son, these being all for our Good and God's Glory, he allows us to ask, and is ever ready and willing to bestow.
But for whom doth Christ now intercede at God's Right Hand? Have all Men a share and interest in his Intercession t
No, as the Merits of his Death, so the Mercies of his Intercession appertain only to his own People ; he neither shed his Blood nere on Earth, nor shews it now in Heaven for wicked and obdurate Persons, who continue in Sin that Grace may abound. No,'tis only the Penitent, Faithful, and Returning Sinners, whofe Cause our Saviour pleads at the Tribunal of Heaven, and there procures Mercy and Pardon for them; he leaves obstinate and obdurate Offenders to themselves, who must therefore perish thro' their own Impenitence: I pray'not (fays he) for the W&rld, but fir them which thou hast given me out of the Wotld, that they all may be one, and that where I am, these they may be aljb; John 17. He intercedes not for careless and presumptuous Persons, who think and fay that all is done for them, and will be at no pains to work out their own Salvation; that depend only upon absolute Promises, arid talk of nothing but overpowering and irresistible Grace, without using their own Endeavours, or observing the Conditions of the New Covenant: These are left to satisfy arid help themselves as
well as they can; and if they cannot, justly miscarry by their own Negligence: for Christ no where offers Paraoh but to the Penitent, nor saving Grace but to the sincere and sound Reliever.
Thus we fee both the Sense and Certainty of Christ's Session at the right Hand of God, together with the great Benesits and Privileges that accrue to his Followers by it*
It remains that we proceed to the Use we are to make of it. And,
1. From Christ's being exalted and seated in Heaven, we may learn the Error of the Doctrine of Transubstantiation s for Christ's natural Body having all the Properties of a Bods as ours have, as appears by his appealing to the Senses of his Disciples about it, it must be circumserib'd and consin'd to a Place as ours are; and consequently, if it be locally ascended into Heaven, it cannot, with a local Descent from thence, be corpora.ly present here on Earth, and much less in many thousand Places at once: and if the Heavens must contain him till the time if the Restitution of all things 'tis absurd to imagine that the Priest, by the powerful Charm of a few Words, should be able to fetch him thence at pleasure.
2. From Christ's being exalted to the highest Honour and Power at God's right Hand, we may learn to pay the greatest Homage, Reverence and Subjection to him ; for God hath thus highly exalted him, that at the Name of Jesus every Knee should bow, and every l"o?igue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father; Phil. 2. 9, 10, 11. Subject we must be to him, for he must reign till he hath put all his Enemies under his feet: and if we do not submit to his Kingdom of Grace here, in order to follow him to his Kingdom of Glory hereafter, we shall before'dat last, to stoop to the Kingdom of his Power; when be will bruise those with a Rod of Iron that would not submit to his Golden Scepter, and cause thofe bis Enemies, that would net that he should reign over them, to be brought forth and /l"<in before him.
3. From Christ's making all his and our Enemies his Footstool, by sitting at the right Hand of God, we may learn to rejoice in and congratulate the Happiness of the Victory, triumphing in the words of the Apostle; 0 2)eatb, where is thy Sting? O Grave, where is thy Viclory? But fbanks be to God, who givetb us the VitJory thro' our Lord
Jesus Christ. We may challenge Sin and Satan, Death and Hell, to do their worst, and say with the Apostle, Whojhall lay any thing to the Charge of God's Elect? it is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, and set down at the right Hand of God: which is matter of the greatest Joy and Exultation.
4. From Christ's subduing all Enemies under his feet, let us learn to put our Trust in him in the greatest Exigencies, for he is faithful that hath promis'd: and being advanc'd to so high a Dignity at God's right Hand, is both able and willing to help us. Let us therefore commit ourselves to him in well-doing, without giving way to any anxious and distrustful Fears, and much less betaking ourselves to any sinister and indirect ways for our own safety; knowing that if we suffer with him here, we shall hereafter reign with him in Glory. In the mean time, let us look unto Jesus the Author and Finijber of our Faith, who for the Joy that was set before him, endur'd the Cross, and defpis'd the Shame, and is now set down at the right Hand of the Majesty on high ; lest we he weary and faint in cur Minds.
5 From Christ's interceding for us at God's right Hand, let us learn to come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace to help in time of need. Let us lift up holy Hands without Wrath and Doubting, having so good a Friend and Advocate to plead for us irr the Court of Heaven.
6. Let us learn hence, to rely upon his Intercession, without seeking to any other Mediators; for there is one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus. He hath all Power in Heaven and Earth, and consequently as there can be no need, so neither have we any warrant to have recourse to any other.
Lastly, Christ having advanc'd our Nature to so high a Dignity at God's right Hand, let us learn the greatest Purity, and not make the Members of Christ to become the Members of a Harlot; but rather, being risen with Christ, let us seek those things that are above, where Christ Jitteth at the right Hand of God.
2 T1m. iv. part of the 1st Verse.
The Lord Jesus Christ Jhall judge the ^nick and the 'Dead, at his Appearing and his Kingdom,
- - God: We are now to behold him coming from thence in Power and great Glory, to exercise the last Act of his Regal Power, which is the highest step of his Exaltation. And this is contain'd in the
Next Article of our Creed, in these words; From thence le shall come to judge the giiick and the Dead. Where we have,
First, Our Saviour's second Coming from Heaven: From thence he shall come; express'd in the Text by his appearing in his Kingdom.
Secondly, The End and Design of it, which is to ludge the
thirdly, The Persons that are to be judg'd, and they are
the Quick and the Dead. The
. First Thing we here profess to believe, is Christ's Second Coming; From thence he shall come. And of this we have many clear and express Revelations in Holy Scripture: Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of it,saying, Hehold, the Lord cometh with ten thoufands of his Angels; Jude, ver. 14. Daniel, in his Vision, saw one like the Son of Man coming in the Clouds of Heaven; Dan. 7. 13,14. His sirst Coming was in great Humility, cloth'd in all the circumstances of Meanness and Misery; but his second Coming will be in Power and great Glory, attended with a numerous Train of Angels, and appearing in his Kingdom with Matesty and Splendor, sutable to the Greatness of his Person, and the Dignity of his Errand: For so we read, Matth. 25. the Son of Mm Jhall come in the Glory of his Father, with
his Holy Angels. Christ himself told his Disciples more than once, I go away and come again to you: And 'twas often in their mouths, He tkatjball come, will come, and will not tar* ry. The Angels told the Men of Galilee, that fame Jesus which they saw, taken upto Heaven, Jbotild come again in tike manner as they had seen him taken up; Acts T. 11. He was taken up in a Cloud, and in that bright Vehicle was carry'd up intoHeaven: and we are told heshall come from thence in the Clouds os Heaven; thus in a literal fense making the Clouds his Chariot, and Jlying upon the Wings of the Wind. At which time, the Saints that fleep in the Dust, shall awake and be caught up to meet the Lord i» the Air, cojrjgratulaMng his Return from the higher Regions; and so /hall they ever be with the Lord, as we read in i Thejs. 4. 14, &c. But,
Secondly, What is the End of his second. Coming? Why, this we are here, and in sundry Places of Holy Scripture, told, is to judge the World : for God has appointed a day (faith the Apostle) in which he will judge the World in Righteousness, by that Man whom he has ordain d, of which he has given Assurance by raising him from the dead; Acts 17. 31. And we must all appear before the Judgment-Seat 4s Christ, to receive, according to the things done in the Body, whether it be good or evil; 2 Cor. 5. 10.
But is there any other Warrant or Evidence of such a Day beside Divine Revelation? Yes, Reason itself, by observing the Course of Affairs in this Life, may easily gather and inform us of a Reckoning. For,
1. Reason wills, that a Discrimination be made between good and bad Men, which in this Life, by reason of the Disguises of Hypocrify, and the promiscuous Events of things, are not known or disccrn'd from one another. And there* fore as the Shepherd divides the Sheep from the Goats; and as the Tares and the Wheat, which for a while grow together, will be separated at the Harvest: so at the great Harvest of the World, good Men will be known and separated from the bad, and a distinction made between them that sear God, and such as fear him not. Again,
2. Justice itself requires that Virtue; and Goodness be rewarded, and that Vice and Wickedness be punish'd: Now because this is not done in this World, where the. wicked prosper and good Men are afflicted, we may very well conclude there will be a future Reckoning, when both these will be set right. The necessity of reversing the Errors