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more immediate consideration of the lavish on him the riches of his goodresurrection state itself.
ness.-As we read of the eastern 1. It is pretty generally acknow- monarchs sometimes raising men, ledged among Christians, that the according to the pleasure of their grand purpose of God in redemption will, from very lowly circumstances, is to make such an exhibition of treating them as special favorites, certain of his attributes, as could exalting them among
all other not otherwise be properly conceived princes, presidents and rulers, and of. It is not sufficient, either for sending them forth as those whom men or angels, that Jehovah should the king delighteth to honour :" be proclaimed as " the Lord, the the Lord Jehovah hath purposed to · Lord God, merciful and gracious, raise up man as a beggar from the long-suffering, abundant in good- dunghisl,a to receive him to his own ness, &c. ;' he will be known as bosom, to dwell and walk with such by his actings : so that the him as his friend and familiar, to universe may have experimental exalt him in dignity above the evidence of this blessed and glorious angels and archangels, giving him truth. I pass however from the to inherit all things as his portion, general consideration of this point, and in fact only in the throne being to its particular bearing on redeemed greater than him. man, which is not, I think, so com- It will. I trust, be readily admitted, monly dwelt upon.
that these things are true concerning For aught we know to the con- the MAN Christ Jesus : would that trary, angels had never witnessed an they were as fully believed in regard example of the justice and severity of to the elect of God in general ! I God, until the angels that rebelled am persuaded that we should find were hurled down to Tartarus. But this blessed expectation most inin regard to the rebellion of man, fluential in stirring us up to walk the principalities and powers in worthy of our high vocation. But heavenly places are to behold a dis- so wonderfully is the love of God play of the mercy and goodness and above all that we could ask or think, Tove of God : not such a
that the saints in every age have ordinary instance of these qualities, need to pray, “ that, the eyes of as shall only prove that they are their understanding being enconnected with the nature of the lightened, they may know what is deity ; but such an exhibition of the hope of His calling, and what them as shall be worthy of Jehovah, the riches of the glory of his inand afford the most wonderful and heritance in the saints." exalted specimen of these attributes. It may be well however to inTo this end man is permitted to fall, stance two or three testimonies conand so to fall, that he becomes lower, cerning Christ. As Jesus declares if possible, than the angels that re- that the Father hath committed all belled; being “ earthly and sensual” judgement to the Son, because he is as well as devilish,” and as it the Son of Man ,b so St. Paul aswere two-fold more the child of hell serts, that all things are put under than his deceiver. But God will him, He only excepted which did not only pardon him, and re-instate put all things under him.c
In him in his former condition of hap- Ephesians we are told, that God piness; but he hath determined to hath raised him far above all prin
a 1 Sam. ii, 8.
b Compare John v, 12. 22, & 27.
€ 1 Cor. xv, 27, 28.
cipality, and power, and might, and ship to Jesus. For example, they dominion, and every name that is " the body of Christ ;'g and it named, not only in this world, but is difficult to imagine how honor
also in that which is to come, and can be put upon the head, unless the · hath put all under his feet."d In members are also made immediate Philippians again we read, “that partakers of it. Again, they are
God hath highly exalted him, and - the bride” or spouse of Christ, given him a name which is above whom he nourisheth and cherisheth every name: that at the name of as his own flesh, and of whose Jesus every knee should bow, &c.”e honor he is jealous.h And it is And once more in Hebrews it is writ- manifest, that when a man is raised ten, that God hath appointed him to regal dignity, his wife is likewise
heir of all things;—that he is elevated to the throne ; and her lord "made so much better than the an- would resent an indignity or slight
gels, as he hath by inheritance ob- offered to his consort, the same as • tained a more excellent name than if offered to himself. This latter
they; for unto the angels hath he figure will further serve to point ' not put in subjection the world to out one important distinction as to come whereof we speak; but one the degree of glory to be respectively in a certain place testified, saying, enjoyed by Christ and the saints : • What is man that thou art mind- for a queen, though she share im
ful of him ? or the son of man that mediately in all the pre-eminence · thou visitest him? Thou madest and splendor and greatness enjoyed him a little (while] lower than the by her husband, does nevertheless angels : thou crownedst him with possess it subordinate to him. It glory and honor, and didst set him becomes his by inheritance perhaps,
the works of thy hands : or by conquest: it is hers rather as thou hast put all things in subjec- it is reflected on her by him. She tion under his feet.”f Every one can lay no claim to it in her own acquainted with Scripture must be right, separate from her lord : and aware, how readily these passages she enjoys it only because he has set might be multiplied: and I trust his love upon her, and called her to none will be disposed to contend come and share in his glory. that they relate to the divine nature But these things are not merely to of our Lord; since it were absurd be inferred from types and figures, to make the circumstances, that he but are declared in more plain and abshould be above the angels, and in- solute terms. I have shewn at page herit all things, the subject of pro- 95 of No. IV and page 175 of No. phecy or promise in regard to his deity. VI, that the saints are to sit down
Now it is clear to my mind, from in the throne with Christ and to the obvious tenor of the Scriptures, participate in the judgement: but that, in this exaltation and glory of mark how, in regard to some of the the man Christ, the saints are to have things spoken in the passages cona direct participation. This may be cerning His exaltation, the same made evident, first, from a due con- things are said in other places in sideration of one or two of the respect to the saints. Is the prefigures under which they are fre- eminence of Jesus above the angels quently spoken of in their relation- argued from the circumstance, that
d Ephes. i, 20-22.
e Phil. ii, 9-11. f See the whole of chapters i and ii. 8 Ephes. i, 23. h Ephes. v, 23–33.
God hath never said to one of them, apprehensions, the measure of our Thou art my Soni_“Behold what spiritual happiness is proportionable
manner of love the Father hath to the measure of love shed abroad bestowed on us, that we should be in the heart by the Holy Ghost. called the sons of God !—Beloved Love is indeed the very essence of now are we the sons of God.”j Is the divine nature ;o conformity to Jesus, being the Son, “appointed which, beyond a question, constiheir of all things ?"k_So the tutes our ability to taste of divine Apostle argues of the saints, " that
that bliss. But then our love towards if children, then heirs-HEIRS OF God depends on our sense of the · God! and JOINT-HEIRS with Christ! extent of God's love and conif so be that we suffer with him descension towards us ; especially in that we may be also glorified to- the instance of redeeming mercy: gether !!L“ He that overcometh he who is conscious of many sins shall inherit all things ; and I will
and I will forgiven, the same loveth much; be his God, and he shall be my " but to whom little is forgiven, the son.”m I cannot take these things same loveth little.”p In this respect as mere rhetorical flourishes, spok- then the probationary experience of en without any definite meaning: I the saints, painful and degrading as view them as blessed and glorious it is in the first instance, is by direalities, not one jot or tittle of vine grace ultimately overruled to which shall fail : and therefore I enhance their sense of God's concannot conceive, how the saints can descension and goodness. The
predestinated to the adoption elect angels, so far as we know, of children,” and made “joint-heirs have never sinned; and therefore with Christ,” unless they stand in have not been placed in jeopardy by the next immediate gradation to him hell-deserving guilt. They have in rank and privilege and glory in not been plucked as brands from the kingdom of their Father. For the burning :--they have had no this purpose they are made “to sit
to sit inward corruptions nor evil world 'together in heavenly places in to contend against ;—they have · Christ Jesus : that in the ages to
come out of great tribulacome he might shew the EXCEED- tion.” Nothing so much enhances
RICHES of his grace in his our sense of present blessings, as the • kindness toward us, through Christ retrospect of opposite dangers and
Jesus.”n I know not how others evils. The comforts of a fire-side who can receive and realize these
are never more appreciated, than truths are affected by them : as for
as for when we have been subjected to the me, they fill me with self-loathing pelting and severity of a storm : and abasement.
the refreshment of cooling shade is Before I quit this part of my sub- best understood by him, who has ject I may here anticipate one par- wandered through desert wastes, ticular concerning the enjoyments exposed to the fury of a vertical sun. of the saints; which is, that their The angels' conception of the conprevious experience does in many descension of God must likewise be respects increase their capacity for inferior to ours : for we
for we are the spiritual bliss, above that of the immediate objects of its greatest angels. According to our present exhibition; they rather the specta
i Heb, i, 5.
j 1 John iii, 1, 2. n Ephes. ii, 6, 7
k Heb, i, 2. 1 Rom. viii, 17. m Rev. xxi, 7. 0 1 John iv, 16. p Luke vii, 47.
tors. God hath never identified him- from the dead he said to Mary, self with the nature of angels, by that he was not yet ascended to assuming it, as he has done ours :9 his Father;'t plainly intimating, as and in one word,-Christ did not DIE I conceive, that Hades or Paradise, for them; and therefore they can
from which his soul was just come, only view his mercy shewn to was not the abode of the Father. others.
The same may be inferred from the II. Having, as I trust, established words of the Apostle concerning the general position, that in the David ; viz.-" David is not asresurrection the condition of the cended into the heavens :'u and the saints will transcend in glory that of Psalmist himself defers the period the angels, I pass on to the next of the beholding the face of God in consideration.
righteousness, until when he shall In my last Essay I contended, “awake up with God's likeness.”'v (from 1 Cor. V, 6--8 and Phil. i, It would appear also, that the saints 21-23,) that the souls of believers are not publicly declared to be the sons are, in the intermediate state, in the of God, until their glorious manifestaenjoyment of the presence of Christ. tion : for it is to this period Jesus In what manner they see him and refers, when he promises, concerning are with him, is not, that I am aware him that overcometh,-" I will not of, revealed : it is for us to receive blot out his name out of the book the fact itself; and for the rest, it of life, but I will confess his name appears to me the safest to leave it before my Father, and before his in that mystery, in which it has 'angels.”'w And there are various pleased God to envelope it. But in other Scriptures directly referring regard to the person of the FATHER, the time of the saints' introduction I think it is clearly intimated to us, to the royal presence (if I may so that our formal introduction and say,) and their courtly presentation presentation to him does not take to the period of the resurrection. place until the period of the re- Thus St. Paul expresses his consurrection. Though we are
fidence, " that He which raised up said to be sons, (or rather
the Lord Jesus shall raise up us and daughters, saith the Lord Al- also by Jesus, and shall present us mighty,"r) yet it is only the Spirit with you.”x In another place he of adoption we have as yet received, connects it with the advent ; praying which is the pledge and earnest of for their increase in love, " to the our inheritance until the redemption 'end He may stablish your hearts of the purchased possession: the ' unblameable in holiness before adoption itself being identified with
God, even our FATHER, at the the redemption of the body, which is coming of the Lord Jesus Christ also the time of the manifestation with all his saints.”y Similar is of the sons of God. But as this the doctrine of St. Jude : « Now is an important point in regard - unto him that is able to keep you to the millennarian view of the from falling, and to present you advent and resurrection, I shall en- faultless before the presence of his deavour to illustrate it further.
glory with exceeding joy, to the When the Lord Jesus was risen only wise God our Saviour, be
q Hebrews ii, 16. r 2 Cor. vi, 18. s Compare Rom. viii, 15, 19, and 23 ; 2 Cor. 7, 5, 6; Gal. iv, 5, 6 ; Ephes. i, 13, 14. t John xx, 17. u Acts ii, 34. v Psalm xvii, 15. w Rev. iii, 5. X 2 Cor. iv, 14. y 1 Thess. iii, 13.
*glory and majesty, dominion and " that he may present it to HIMSELF ' power, both now and ever, Amen." a glorious Church, &c." He bids Thus am I compelled to conclude, his disciples pray, that they may be that man, whilst in the present cor- accounted worthy to escape the last ruptible body and in the separate tribulation and to stand before the state, *
* hath no access to that light Son Of Man;C as if they had not in which God dwells;2 and that he been brought into his presence predoes not visibly behold the glory of viously. Similar is the promise in God until that time when it shall be John's Gospel,d that He will come announced, Behold the
Behold the taber again and receive them to HIMSELF ; nacle of God is with men, and he which it is difficult to reconcile with ' will dwell with them."at
the notion of each believer being But there is a yet greater depth at death received to Christ. Agreein this part of our subject to be ably with this view the Apostle considered. Many expressions in says, that he had espoused the Scripture lead to the conclusion, Corinthians to one husband, that that the saints are not presented he might present them as a chaste even to Christ until the period of the virgin to Christ.e He declares also advent; and therefore, that in what- of the Thessalonians, that they will ever way the saints, when absent be “his hope and crown of rejoicing from the body, are to be considered ' in the presence of our Lord Jesus present with him and to behold Christ at his coming.”f And St. him by sight and not hy faith, it is John exhorts the saints to abide in not in that glorified nature which Christ,
" that when he shall appear, he will possess, when he comes as may have confidence, and "THE GREAT GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR." ' not be ashamed before him at his Thus it is written, that Christ sanc- coming.”g I pretend not to retifies and cleanses the Church, concile these two things, though
* There is a curious passage on this bead by the ancient author of “ Questions and Answers to the Orthodox,'' bound up in the editions of Justyn Martyr's works, and incorrectly attributed to him. Being asked, what became of those who came out of their graves after the resurrection of Jesus and went into the holy city and appeared unto many; and having stated, among other things in reply, that they went again to Hades with their bodies, in order to afford assurance to the souls there, that the resurrection of Christ was a pledge of the resurrection of all; he concludes by saying, They died not again, but continue in immortality, just as Enoch and Elijah, and are with them in paradise, still waiting a change after the manner of the resurrection of Jesus Christ ; according to the words of the Apostle,_"We shall all be changed.”' Δι' ήν αιτιαν εδε ετελευτησαν παλιν, αλλα μενεσιν εν αθανασια καθαπερ ο Ενωχ και ο Ηλιας, και εισι συν αυτοις εν τω παραδεισο αναμενοντες την ηδη αιωνιαν της το Χρις8 αναςασεως γινονενην κατα εναλλαγην, καθ' ήν, ως φησιν ο θειος αποςολος, παντες αλλαγησομεθα. Εις γαρ αθανατον τε και αφθαρτον ζωην 8πω γεγονε τινος ή αναςασις, πλην το Σωτηρος Χρισ8, διο και πρωτοτοκος των νεκρων, και απαρχη
? των κεκοιμημενων ανηγορευται. Question IxXXV. I give this without expressing any opinion on it, merely for the information of others.
† Not only can no man now approach to the presence of God; but there appears to be a distinction among the angels even.
For Gabriel states it to be his privilege, that he stood in the presence of God: (Luke i, 19 :) and of the angels who minister to the saints it is said, apparently by way of distinction, “In heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Matt. xviii, 10.
z 1 Tim. vi, 16. a Rev. xxi, 3. b Ephes. V, 27. e 2 Cor. xi, 2.
f 1 Thess. ii, 19.
c Luke xxi, 36. 8 1 John ii, 28.
d xiv, 3.