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ON THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, is set down as the right
hand of the throne of God. The exalted station which Christ now occupies, intimates to us,' that his sufferings are ended, that he hath entered into rest, and on the possession of happiness and joy in the heavenly state.' Having endured all the punishment of sin, which, as a surety he had engaged to suffer, he sits down, to enjus everlasting rest, and fulness of joy at the right hand of God. He shall no more be exposed to sufferings from the band of God, nor subjected to any ungrateful treatment from the hand of man.
He is beyond the reach of every foe; and no plague shall ever disturb his glorious and peaceful abode. This rest he enjoys is permanent and secure; for,'having spoiled principalities and powers, and made a shew of themi openly, triumphing over them on his cross; having, through death, destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the Devil,' he has no enemies to fear, he has no warfare to renew, but is now exalted to enjoy everlasting and undisturbed rest in the presence of the Father. For this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right hand of the throne of God; from that time, expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. This rest is attended with unspeakable happiness and joy; for while he is himself addressed in the praises of angels, and of the spirits of just men made perfect, he is filled with unutterable joy, in fellowship with God, and with the hosts of heaven, communicating and receis. Ang delights, in the friendship of these celestial tribes, with which no other happiness is worthy to be compared, and to wbich no succession of time can set limits. In his presence there is fulness of joy; at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore,
That Christ is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God, intimates to us that the work of redemption, as to purchase, is completed. He came into the world to lay down his life a ransoin for many; and appearing in the world with this gracious design, the Lord Jaid upon hin the iniquities of us all. Since he had appeared in the character of a substitute, it was not possible, in strict justice, that he could escape, till he had fulfilled the demands of the law. Since our guilt de volved on him, by his own choice and the will of the Father, he must submit to that punishment to which the law had condemned those in whose 'stead he appeared. In no other way could he exvicate himself from the distressing circumstances into which he was brought by his obligation to suffer; and in no other way could be bring redemprion to his people, but by enduring the punishment due to their offences; to that, in all its
extent, he submitted, till he said on the cross, It is finished ; and he bowed the head and gave up the ghost. He brought to a close his humbled life, in a manner worthy of the grace and power that were displayed in it; thereby finishing transgression, and making an end of sin, bringing in everlasting righteousness, and making reconciliation for iniquity. Of this we have ample proof in the station which he now occupies at the right hand of the throne of God. He would never have been exalted, had he not fulfilled those engagements into which be voluntarily entered, and by the merit of his work procured for hiunself a title to that distinguished preferment. As the şurety and representative of his people, he is now in such circumstances in the heavenly places, as to give them the most confortable evidence that he has completely redeemed them, and procured for thein a title also to that glorious state to which he, as their Forerunner, is now advanced. By his own blood he entered into the holy place, not into that which is a figure of the true, but into heaven itself, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
That Christ is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God, is a proof that God is well pleased for his righteousness sake.' He caine into the world, not to do his own will, but the will of Him that sent him ; and he spake of the decease he was to accomplish, as an act of obedience unto God: “This commandment have I received of my Father. As the servant of God, whose doctrine he taught, whose will he studied, whose work he performed, and in obedience to whose command he laid down his life, he could receive no higher approbation than to be set down at the right hand of his throne. Because he humbled ' himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, wherefore God also highly exalted him, and set him at his own right hand.?
Christ, in being seated at the right hand of God, ‘is exalted to the highest honour.' In scripture-language, and agreeably to the manners of eastern nations, to be placed on the right hand of those in power, is to occupy a place of honour and pre-eminence. Of this there are many examples; but the great distinction that shall be made among men at the last day, is striking and applicable. God shall place some on his right hand, and some upon his left; thereby expressing his delight in the one, and his displeasure with the other. To afford us some ideas of this subject, the Author of revelation adapts the language and sentiments of scripture to our capacity, by making allusion to objects of sense with which we are acquainted. Thus God, the Majesty on high, is represented as seated on his glorious throne in the heavens, and the Mediator as seated on the right hand of the throne, next to Him who sits on it. God hath highly exalted him, and given him glory and bua
nour; 'for he hath set him at his own right hand in the beat venly places, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. Of this glory and honour which Christ now enjoys at the right hand of God, our feeble minds can forin po conception; for' eye hath not seen, DOE ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived wirat God hath prepared for them that love him,"even after the many discoveries afforded of it by the light of the gospel,-much less can our minds rise to a fúlland perfect apprehension of that giory and honour with which Christ is now clothed in the presence of God. It is the highest to which he could be advanced. He is set down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavensi
Christ, at the right hand of God, is invested with supreme authority and power. All power is given to him in heaven and in earth. God hath thus exalted him, that to him every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Who is gone into heaven, says Peter, and is on the right hand of God; angels, principalities, and powers being made subject to him. When the apostle Paul says he is set at God's right hand, far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but in that which is to come, he adds, And hath put all things under his feet; and given him to be Head over all things to the church.'— Thon madest hím a little lower than the angels, thou crownedst him with glory and honour, thou didst set him over the works of thy bands; thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.
Finally, This exaltation of Christ at the right hand of God is the honourable reward of his work on earth. Gud glorified his Son Jesus, in that he raised him from the dead; and he glorified him in setting him on high, and committing to bim all judgment and power, as the reward of his work and sufferings in his humbled state. With this reward in view, did Christ thus express himself while lie was on earth :- I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do; and now, Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' · He huinbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross'; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and set him at his own right hand; and we see Jesus, says the apostle, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, now crowned with glory and honour.'
To the Editor. I submit the following Specimen of Antijacobin Knowledge and Cardour
for insertion in the Evangelical Magazine, accompanied by Annotations and Inferences, with Figures of Reference, for the edification of your numerous plain readers.
Yours, &c. ANNOTATOR. QUOTATION, OR TEXT. " It is a remarkable fact, that the Presbyterians and Dis senters have, correctly speaking, no public worship (1); for, although they have public meetings on Sundays, one makes a discourse, called A Prayer ;' in which his inind is wholly occupied in arranging his words (2); while his auditors are equally engaged in criticising and judging the merits of that discourse (8).
To call such operations of the human mind worship, would be to pervert the plainest terms, and burlesque true religion and piety (4); yet the Calvinists and Dissenters are always proclaiming, That religion is a personal thing, without considering that it is also a mental and spiritual, and not a mechanical duty (5). If the heart were filled with gra, titude to the Divinity for manifold blessings, or the mind entirely engrossed in contemplation of the divine attributes, nei ther the speaker nor his critics could so egregiously deceive themselves (6), and misemploy their time under the delusive
ANNOTATIONS. (1). Correclly speaking, it is a remarkable fact, that two millions of people should meet on a Sunday, and yet have no public worship ! - an anomaly the world never saw till this Autijacobin discovery! What is the discovery of a comel to this?
(2) Corrictly speaking, this discourse, called A Prayer,' is nothing more nor-less than syntax. Dissenting Ministers are sole proprietors of syntax !
(3) Yet these men of syntax are in a poor plight, being placed before none but critics and judges, wealthy or plebeian, learned or ignorant, male or female, adult or minor, all making a critical burlesque of true religion ! - and we vouch all our Antijacobin knowledge of the motives, the worship, and the conduct of Dissenters on what we say.
(4) What barbarous absurdity, to eall such operations of the human mind,' as syntax and criticisin, by the name of Worship.
(5) How ridiculous to suppose, that what is personal, as the operation of the human mind, can be mental and spiritual! Surely, extemporary prayer must be all mechanical, because it consists of nothing but arrange, ment; while praying by, a form must be altogether a mental and spiritual duty. No mechanism in this, althougb it has been made and dealt out one hundred and fifty or sixty years ago. (6) Astonishing, that successive generalions of Dissenters should have XIX.
notion, that they are performing public worship, when, in fact, they are both only talking or arguing about it (7); but most assuredly not performing it. Sermons, or moral essays might, with equal propriety, be called Devotion, as well as the Meeting-house Service of the Calvinists” (8)*.
Ilere let the Annotator request the serious attention of the reader
to the Inferences that follow. 1. How lamentable is it, that men, at the present day, should be so grossly ignorant, or rather be guilty of such palpable misrepresentation !
II. You smile at their weakness, laugh at their logic, and despise their bigotry; yet their imbecility, their want of righe reason, and their bigotted attachments and aversions, are, more properly, the objects of your pity and prayer.
III. Let. ihe pious reader bless God for his emancipa. tion from the prejudices of education, and for his admission into that. glorious liberty, wherewith Christ has made him free.'
IV. Bless God that you have not such Antijacobin rulers, whose combined ignorance, prejudice, and power would soun abridge and annihilate your civil and religious liberties.
V. While we indulge in gratitude for our adrantages, let us not abuse them, our enemies being judges, if they judge fairly. • Let not your good be evil spoken of.''
VI. While you enjoy free prayer for its tendency to promote spiritual feeling, and think it has much advantage every way,'gnard against all formality and irreverence in its exer. cise, that if there come in one that believeth not, or one orilearned, &c. he may worship God (with you) and report that God is in you of a truth.'
so awfully deceived themselves. and have misemployed their time merels in arranging words, judging of their propriety, and then to have called this Worship! What a perversion of terms !
(7) · Correally speaking, the speaker and his critics,' are bolk talking, or arguing about worship, even though one is speaking, and the other
listening to criticize! Can Autijacobin logic or grammar make the malter plainer: We trow not.
(8) Meeting house prayers, though addressed to the Deily, . might, with equai propriety, be called Sermons, &c. which are addressed to meri because all prayer that comes not from a bishop, or a consucation of bishops, can bave no devotion in it; for if it have, there is an end to all our Aalijacobin logic. - Miserubile dictu !
• Such is our logical decisier,
And such our wondrous knowledge;
We learnt all this at college !'