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15.

12, 13.

our fins did Nay him; it must be our repentance that re SERM. viveth him to us, our obedience that maketh him to live XXX. in our behalf; for Christ is not in effect risen to impenitent people: as they continue dead in trespasses and fins, 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 xatartậv sis tolv étavácuoiv, attain Phil. iii. 11, unto that happy refurrection, whereof our Lord's resurrection was the pledge and pattern; so did our Lord assure in his preaching ; He, said 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 everlasting life; but ó atestãy, 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. vii. ors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if we live after the flesh, we Mall die ; but if through the Spirit we do mortify the deeds of the body, we all 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 poffeffions of this world; for him we should Rev. xiv.

Eph. ii. 6. follow whither foever he goeth ; rising with him, not only from all sinful 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. the Lord in the body, we may be present with him in fpi- 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 enslaved to corrup-2 Pet. ii. 19. tion, we do not partake of our Lord's resurrection, being 31. quite severed from his living body, and continuing in vast (Gal

. vi. 8. distance from him : I shall therefore conclude, recom- 1 Tim. v. mending that admonition of St. Paul; If ye then be risen 6.)

Col, iii, 1

21.

Rom. viii.

SERM. with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ XXX. hitteth 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 Chrif in God; that when Chrift, who is our life, shall appear, then ye may also appear with him in glory. Amen.

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 wellpleasing in his hght, through Jesus Chris; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Heb. xiii. 20, 21.

he ascended into Heaven, and ütteth at the

right hand of God.

)

SERMON XXXI.

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 im-
moveable convi&ion, enflaming their affections by patheti-
cal discourse, comforting their minds with gracious pro-
mises 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 pro-
cured 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 blood; 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 αυτούς, after

he had spoken to them; and which St. Luke compriseth in AEs i. 2. the words évtanáusvos autoīs, 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 sat on the right hand of God.

Which words of the Evangelist do contain two grand points of our faith, the ascenson of our Lord to heaven, and his feshon 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 fouls and the direction of our practice: in order to which purposes, I shall endeavour to explain them, to confirm the truth of them, to fhew 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 ad, aveapon, he was assumed, or taken up, faith St. Mark

here; dvedépeto, he was elevated, or carried up; and énýputni, Luke xxiv. he was borne up, faith St. Luke; & opeud, he went into Afts i. 9.

heaven, saith St. Peter: which phrases do import, that he 1 Pet. iii. was, according to his humanity, (or that his body and

foul 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,

51.

32.

17.
xiii. 1.

ται το προσ

AEts ii. 33.
V. 31.

ix. 12.

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 into the place of God's more especial presence and residence; where he, as the Apostle to the Hebrews faith, 'Evepavicoappeareth to the face of God; being, as St. Peter speaketh,

ώσω Θεέ. exalted to the right hand of God; (that is, to the greatest Heb.ix.24. proximity, and therefore highest eminency, with God.) It is termed being taken up into glory, and entering into his 1 Tim. iii. głory; that is, into'a most glorious place and state peculiar Luke xxiv. to him; that place which St. Peter calleth weyadot penis 2 Pet. i. 17. obča, the magnificent, or most excellent glory. It is styled Heb. vi. 19. entering εις το εσώτερον το καταπετάσματος, into the moft in

Διεληλυθέward part behind the veil; and into the teáyıs, the efpe- You Tùs egacially holy places; that is, into the inmost receffes of glory, Heb. iv. 14. 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, over Υψηλότεabove all the heavens; to have become higher than the head on tav egavens, 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 moft illustrious; the inmost fanctuary of God's temple above, not made with Heb. ix. 11, hands; the most august chamber of presence in the celestial court : and whereas there are, as our Lord telleth us, many manfions, or apartments, in the house of God, the John xiv. 2. chief and best of them our Lord hath taken

up fidence; whereas heaven is a place of vast extent, to the utmost top thereof our Lord hath ascended, even into that pãs á pócitov, inaccesħlle light where God dwelleth.

And there, as it followeth, he htteth at God's right 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

22.

for his re

1 Tim, vi. 16.

VOL. V.

1

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