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our fins did say him; it must be our repentance that re SERM. viveth him to us, our obedience that maketh him to live_$ in our behalf; for Christ is not in effect risen to impenitent people: as they continue dead in trespasses and sins, as they lie buried in corruption of heart and life, so their condemnation abideth, and death retaineth its entire power over them; they shall not xatartãy sis Thy égavasari, attain Phil. iii. 11, unto that happy resurrection, whereof our Lord's resurrection was the pledge and pattern; so did our Lord assure in his preaching ; He, laid our Lord, that believeth in the John iii. 36, Son (that is, who with a sincere, strong, and lively faith,' productive of due obedience, believeth in him) hath ever. lasting life; but o atendãy, he that disobeyeth (or with a practical infidelity disbelieveth) the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him ; whence we may well infer with St. Paul, Therefore, brethren, we are debt- Rom. viii. ors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if we live after the flesh, we shall die ; but if through the Spirit we do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live; that is, afsuredly by obeying God's will we shall obtain, by difobedience we must forfeit, all the benefits of our Lord's resurrection.
5. Lastly, The contemplation of this point should elevate our thoughts and affections unto heaven and heavenly things, above the fordid pleasures, the fading glories, and the unstable possessions of this world; for him we should Rev. xiv. 4.
Eph. ii. 6. follow whither foever he goeth ; rising with him, not only from all finful desires, but from all inferior concernments, soaring after him in the contemplation of our minds and affections of our heart; that although we are absent from 2 Cor. v. 6.
· Phil. i. 23. The Lord in the body, we may be present with him in Spi- iii. 20. rit, having our conversation in heaven, and our heart there, Matt. vi. where our treasure is; for if our souls do still grovel on the earth, if they be closely affixed to worldly interests, deeply immersed in sensual delights, utterly ensaved to corrup-2 Pet. ii. 19.
:- Rom. viit. tion, we do not partake of our Lord's resurrection, being ... ! quite severed from his living body, and continuing in vast (Gal. vi. 8.
Rev. iii. Lo distance from him : I shall therefore conclude, recom- 1 Tim. v. mending that admonition of St. Paul; If ye then be risen 6.
Tom Cól. iii. 1
SERM. with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ XXX. stteth on the right hand of God: set your affections on
things above, not on things on the earth: for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God; that when Christ, who is our life, Mall appear, then ye may also appear with
him in glory. Amen. Heb. xiii. Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead
our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the Sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is wellpleaħng in his hght, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
he ascended into Heaven, and ütteth at the
right hand of God.
MARK xvi. 19.
He was received up into heaven, and fat on the right hand
of God. OUR Lord after his resurrection having confummated SERM. what was requisite to be done by him upon earth, for XXXI. the confirmation of our faith, and the constitution of his Church; having for a competent time conversed with his disciples, enlightening their minds with knowledge of the truths concerning him, and in right understanding of the Scriptures relating to him ; establishing their faith in immoveable convi&tion, enflaming their affections by pathetical discourse, comforting their minds with gracious promises against tribulations ensuing, and arming their hearts with courage and patience against all oppositions of earth and hell; directing and prescribing to them how they should proceed in the instruction of men, and conversion of the world to the belief of his doctrine, the acceptance of his overtures, the observance of his laws; furnishing them with authority, and giving them orders to attest the truth concerning him, to dispense the grace and mercy procured by him, and to promulgate the whole will of God to mankind; promising them spiritual gifts and aids (both ordinary and extraordinary) necessary or conducible either
SERM. to the common edification or to the particular welfare of XXXI. Christians; ordering them to collect and compact the fo
ciety of faithful believers in him, which he had purchased with his Vlood; in fine, imparting to them his effectual benediction, and a promise of continual assistance in the prosecution of those great and holy designs which he committed to their management; having, I say, accomplished all these things, which St. Mark in this verse expreffeth briefly by the words μετά το λαλήσαι αυτοίς, after
he had spoken to them; and which St. Luke compriseth in AAs i. 2. the words évtanáuevos aútois, that is, having imparted to
them all needful instructions, and imposed all fitting commands upon them; he in their presence departed away into the possession of his glorious state; He was, faith St. Mark in our text, received up into heaven, and fat on the right hand of God.
Which words of the Evangelist do contain two grand points of our faith, the ascenßon of our Lord to heaven, and his fefon there at God's right hand; the right understanding and due consideration whereof (as it is now peculiarly, when the Church recommendeth these points to be the subjects of our devotion most seasonable, so perpetually] is of great use for the edification of our souls and the direction of our practice: in order to which purposes, I shall endeavour to explain them, to confirm the truth of them, to shew the ends and effects of them, and practically to apply them.
I. He was received into heaven; this is the first point, wherein we may observe the act, and its term : the adt, åvenýpun, he was assumed, or taken up, faith St. Mark
here; dvedépeto, he was elevated, or carried up; and trupin, Luke xxiv. he was borne up, faith St. Luke; śropeu on, he went into
sio. heaven, saith St. Peter: which phrases do import, that he 1 Pet. iii. was, according to his humanity, (or that his body and
soul united together were,) translated by the divine power into heaven; or that he as God (by the divine power immanent in him) did transfer himself as man thither; so that he both was carried and did go with a proper local motion, the term whereof was heaven,
Pet. i. 1
eb. iv. 14.
And what is meant by heaven; in the proper sense ade- SERM. quate to this matter, may appear from other places equi- XXXI. valent, by which this action, or the result thereof are expressed. It is called ascending to his father, and passing John xx. out of this world to his father ; that is, departing hence xiii. 1. into the place of God's more especial presence and residence; where he, as the Apostle to the Hebrews faith, 'Evepavilón appeareth to the face of God; being, as St. Peter speaketh, met exalted to the right hand of God; (that is, to the greatest Heb.ix. 24.
Acts ii. 33. proximity, and therefore highest eminency, with God.) It . 31. is termed being taken up into glory, and entering into his 1 Tim. iii. glory; that is, into'a most glorious place and state peculiar Luke xxiv. to him; that place which St. Peter calleth Meyadonpervis 26; obta, the magnificent, or most excellent glory. It is styled Heb. vi. 19. entering εις το εσώτερον τα καταπετάσματος, into the moft in- και
Arsandudan ward part behind the veil; and into the ti äyra, the efpe- vou tes keacially holy places; that is, into the inmost recesses of glory, inaccessible, and in degree incommunicable, to any other. Eph. iv. 10. He is said to have passed through the heavens, (that is, through all places inferior to the highest top of glory and felicity ;) to have afcended υπεράνω πάντων των έρανών, ουer Yψηλότεabove all the heavens; to have become higher than the head on. Tavs vens, or advanced above them: by which expressions it Heb. vii.26. appeareth, that the term of our Saviour's ascent, called heaven here, was that place of all places in the universe of things in situation most eminent, in quality most holy, in dignity most excellent, in glory most illustrious; the inmost fanctuary of God's temple above, not made with Heb. ix. 11, hands; the most august chamber of presence in the celes- 22. tial court : and whereas there are, as our Lord telleth us, many manfons, or apartments, in the house of God, the John xiv. 2. chief and best of them our Lord hath taken up for his refidence; whereas heaven is a place of vast extent, to the utmost top thereof our Lord hath ascended, even into that põs ánpócitov, inaccessible light where God dwelleth. Tim. vi.
And there, as it followeth, he fitteth at God's right 16. hand; the meaning of which words it is not difficult to find out; it being obvious and clear, that the state of things above, in the other blessed world, is in the Scrip