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If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith
is also vain. 1 Cor. xv. 14. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain. 1 Cor. xv. 17. 6. As a pattern of our resurrection.
Death made no change in the person or character of Christ; he was the same after he rose, as he was before he was put to death. His kindness to his friends, and his pity to his enemies, were the same; and death will make no change in us. Where the tree falleth, there it shall be. Eccl. xi. 3, He which is filthy, let him be filthy still ; and he that is right
eous, let him be righteous still. Rev. Ixii. 11. The Apostles laid down the resurrection as the foundation of their preaching. Acts i. 21, 22; ii. 31, 32; üi. 15; iv. 2. 33; x. 40; xiii. 31; xvii.
18. 32 ; xxiv. 15. 21.
Where did our Saviour go, when he left the earth after his
resurrection? • He ascended into heaven.” Mark xvi. 19. Luke xxiv. 51. Acts i. 9. Eph. iv. 8-10. Whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution
of all things. Acts iii. 21. He promised to send the Spirit as the fruit of his ascension.
John xvi. 7. It was accordingly sent on the day of Pentecost. Acts ii. 3, 4.
The ascension of our Lord was predicted by the Psalmist. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, &c.—and the King of glory
shall come in. Ps. xxiv. 9, 10. Thou hast ascended on high. Ps. lxviii. 18 What is his station in heaven?
He “sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty." God also hath highly exalted him, &c. Phil. ii. 9.
God is a Spirit, and has no parts : but he describes himself as having them in condescension to our capacities.
" The right hand of God” means a place of power.
Sometimes Christ is described as sitting, to signify his continuance in his high station.
He was received into heaven, and sat down, &c. Mark xvi. 19. This Jesus hath God raised up, &c. The Lord said unto my lord,
sit thou on my right hand. Acts ii. 32–34.
He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Heb.
i. 3. Who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in
the heavens. Heb. viii. 1.
Sometimes he is represented as standing, to show that he is ever making intercession for us. Stephen saw Jesus standing on the right hand of God. Acts
The place of his abode is heaven; a place of eternal blessedness. We have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God. Heb. iv, 14. What is his office in heaven?
He appears before the Father as our Mediator, Intercessor, and Advocate. He pleads his merits, and takes care of all the interests of his Church.
1. He is there to intercede for us. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. John xiv. 6. Who also maketh intercession for us. Rom. viji. 34. He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Heb, vii. 25. Now to appear in the presence of God for us. Heb. ix. 24. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous. 1 John ii. 1. 2. To supply our wants. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. John xii.
32. My God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in
glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. iv. 19. That we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of
need. Heb. iv. 16. 3. To prepare a place for us. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. John
xiv, 3. 4. To turn us from iniquity. Acts iii. 26. 5. To give repentance and forgiveness of sins. Him hath God exalted to give repentance and remission of sins.
Acts v. 31.
But although he is thus removed out of our sight, he is nevertheless present wherever two or three are met together in his name; and he has declared that he is with his church alway, even unto the end of the world.
What glorious gifts has our Lord received for men by his resurrection and ascension, and how freely does he dispense them even to the chief of sinners! By virtue of this his exaltation, he sends down his Holy Spirit, to convince of sin, to lead to repentance, to assure of forgiveness, to enable us to grow in grace, to keep us from falling, and
to prepare us'for eternal glory. Through him we receive a gracious answer to our prayers, and obtain all things needful both for our souls and bodies. If our souls be impressed with a due sense of gratitude to our blessed Redeemer, for these, his inestimable gifts, purchased at so great a price, we shall indeed die unto sin, crucifying the fesh, with its affections and lusts, and being raised from our spiritual death, shall henceforth live a life of righteousness and holiness, by faith on the Son of God.
Collect, Sunday before Easter.-Grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection.
Ascension Day.-Grant that as we do believe thy only begotten Son to have ascended into the heavens, so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell.
ON THE CREED.
$ 5. ON THE LAST JUDGMENT. WHAT is the last article of the Creed respecting our Saviour ?
“ From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
We have already considered the office of Christ in heaven as the Mediator: he will fill that office till all his enemies be subdued, (Heb. x. 12, 13,) and his people all gathered in; then cometh the end, (1 Cor. xv. 24–28,) when he shall come to judgment, and sitting on his great white throne, surrounded by his holy angels, shall dispense rewards and punishments to all men, according as their deeds have been good or evil, admitting the righteous into the kingdom of his Father, and taking vengeance on them that have not known God, nor obeyed his gospel. The time when this awful event will take place is unknown, even to the angels, (Matt. xxiv. 36,) but
It is certain. In this life God's people have very many sorrows and troubles, while the wicked are in prosperity, and say, in the pride of their heart, “How doth God know ?" Reason therefore intimates, and Scripture confirms the truth, that another state of existence is to be looked for, in which the justice of God will be made appa
rent, where happiness will attend the righteous, and misery be the portion of the wicked. Ps. x. xvii. 14; xxxvii. 10. 35, 36; lxxiii. 4. 11, 12. He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matt. v. 45. The tares are suffered to grow with the wheat till the harvest.
Matt. xiii. 24–30. But then a final separation takes place; the wheat is gathered
into the garner, and the tares will be burnt: so will it be at the end of the world. Matt. xii. 40. Intimations of a judgment were given in Old Testament times,
Gen. v. 24.
Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints. Jude 14.
he calleth the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of
19. To ELIJAH. The Lord took up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind. 2 Kings
ii. 11. To David. The wicked shall be turned into hell. Ps. ix. 17. My flesh also shall rest in hope, &c. Ps. xvi. 9-11. He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of
days for ever and ever. Ps. xxi. 4. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth that
he may judge his people, &c. Ps. 1. 46. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive
me to glory, &c. Ps. lxxiii. 24-26. For he cometh, for he cometh, to judge the earth. Ps. xcvi. 13;
To SOLOMON. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but the righteous
hath hope in his death.' Prov. xiv. 32. God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. Eccl. iii. 17. But know that for all these things God will bring thee into judg.
ment. Eccl. xi. 9. The spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Eccl. xii. 7. God shall bring every work into judgment. Eccl. xii. 14.
To Isaiah. They shall both burn together, and none shall quench them.
Isa, i. 31. He will swallow up death in victory, &c. Isa. XXV. 8. Thy dead men shall live, &c. Isa. xxvi. 19-21. Tophet is ordained of old; the breath of the Lord, like a stream
of brimstone, doth kindle it. Isa. XXX. 33. Who shall dwell with everlasting burnings? Isa. xxxiii. 14. The righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall
enter into peace. Isa. lvii. 1, 2. Their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched.
Isa. lxvi. 24.
set, and the books were opened. Dan. vii. 9, 10. Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;
some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everlasting contempt. Dan. xii. 2. To HoSEA. I will ransom them from the power of the grave, &c. O grave,
I will be thy destruction. Hos. xiii. 14.
Mal. iii. 17. The patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, spoke of themselves
as pilgrims and strangers in a land which was not their home: and they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. Heb. xi. 13, 14. The New Testament points it out still more clearly, Martha saith, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection,
at the last day. John xi. 24. Jesus Christ whom the heaven must receive until the times of
restitution of all things. Acts iii. 20, 21. To be with Christ, which is far better. Phil. i. 23, 24. We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Rom.
xiv. 10. 2 Cor. v. 10. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judg
ment. Heb. ix. 27. Behold, the judge standeth before the door. James v. 9.