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his death, refurrection, afcenfion, yea, of his very present interceffion in heaven, and fhew it to us. He can be with us in a moment, he can, (as * one well obferves), tell you what were the very last thoughts Christ was thinking in heaven about you. It was he that formed the body of Chrift in the womb, and fo prepared him to be a facrifice for us. He filled that humanity. with his unexampled fulness t. So fitting and anointing him for the discharge of his office.
It is he that puts efficacy into the ordinances, and without him they would be but a dead letter. It was he that blessed them to your conviction and converfion t. For if angels had been the preachers, no conversion had followed without the Spi-' rit. It is he that is the vinculum unionis, bond of union betwixt Chrift and your fouls, without which you could never have had intereft in Chrift, or communion with Christ. It was he that fo often hath helped your infirmities, when you knew not what to fay; comforted your hearts when they were overwhelmed within you, and you knew not what to do; preferved you many thousand times from fin and ruin, when you have been upon the flippery brink of it in temptations. It is he, (in his fanctifying-work), that is the beft evidence your fouls have for heaven. It were endless to enumerate the mercies you have by him. And now, reader, doft thou not blush to think how unworthy thou haft treated fuch a friend? For which of all these his offices or benefits doft thou grieve and quench him? O grieve not the Holy Spirit whom Chrift fent as foon as ever he came to heaven, in his Father's name, and in his own name, to perform all these offices for you.
Infer. 5. Is Chrift afcended to the Father as our forerunner? Then the door of falvation ftands open to all believers, and by virtue of Chrift's afcenfion, they alfo fball afcend after him, far above all visible" heavens \\. O my friends, what place hath Chrift prepared and taken up for you! what a fplendid habitation hath he provided for you!" God is not afhamed to be "called your God; for he hath prepared for you a city," Heb. xi. 16. In that city Christ hath provided mansions, and restingplaces for your everlasting abode, John xiv. 2., and keeps them
*Mr. Tho. Goodwin. † Luke i. 35. Ifa. Ixi. 1. Col. i. 19. 2 Cor. ix. 6. John xvi. 9. I Pet. i. 12. 1 John iii. 24. Rom. viii. 9, 26. John xiv. 26. Ezek. xxxvi. 17.
The hope of future inheritance is most fully secured to us in our Head, and we are fet down together with him in heaven, Eph. ii. 6. Synopfis purioris Theol. Difp. 28. p. 342.,
for you till your coming. O how auguft and glorious à dwelling is that, where fun, moon, and ftars, fhall fhine as much below your feet, as they are now above your heads? Yea, fuch is the love Chrift hath to the believer, that, as one faith, if thou only badt been the chofen of God, Chrift would have built that houfe for himself and thee. Now it is for himself, for thee, and for many more, who fhall inherit with thee. God fend us a joyful meeting within the veil with our Forerunner, and sweeten our paffage into it, with many a forefight and foretaste thereof. And, in the mean time, let the love of a Saviour enflame our hearts, so that whenever we cast a look towards that place, where our Forerunner is for us entered, our fouls may fay, with melting affections, Thanks be to God for Jefus Chrift; and again, Blefjed be God for his unspeakable gift.
Wherein CHRIST's fitting at Gop's right-hand is explained and applied, being the third Step of his glorious EXALTATION.
HEB. i. 3.When he had by himself purged our fins, fat down on the right-hand of the majesty on high.
HRIST being returned again to his Father, having finished down in the feat of honour and reft. A feat prepared for him at God's right-hand, that makes it honourable; and all his enemies as a footstool under his feet that makes it easy. How much is the ftate and condition of Jefus Chrift changed in a few days! Here he groaned, wept, laboured, fuffered, fweat, yea, fwear blood, and found no rest in this world, but when he comes to heaven, there he enters into reft, Sits down for ever in the highest and easiest throne, prepared by the Father for him, when he had done his work. When he had by himself purged our "fins, he fat down," &c.
The scope of this epiftle is to demonftrate Chrift to be the fulness of all legal types and ceremonies, and that whatever light glimmered to the world through them, yet it was but as the light of the day-ftar, to the light of this fun.
In this chapter, Chrift the fubject of the epiftle, is defcribed,
and particularly, in this third verse, he is described three ways. First, By his effential and primeval glory and dignity, he is anavyoua, the brightnefs of his Father's glory, the very fplendor of glory, the very refulgency of that fon of glory. "The primary reafon of that appellation is with respect to "his eternal and ineffable generation, light of light, as the "Nicene creed expreffes it. As a beam of light proceeding from "the fun. And the fecondary reafon of it, is with respect to
men," for look as the fun communicates its light and influence to us, by its beams, which it projects; fo doth God communicate his goodness, and manifeft himself to us, by Chrift. "Yea, "he is the exprefs image, or character of his perfon. Not as "the impressed image of the feal upon the wax, but as the en"graving in the feal itfelf +." Thus he is described by his ef fential glory.
Secondly, He is defcribed by the work he wrought here on earth, in his humbled ftate, and it was a glorious work, and that wrought out by his own fingle hand," when he had by "himself purged our fins." A work that all the angels in heaven could not do, but Christ did it.
Thirdly, and laftly, He is defcribed by his glory, the which (as a reward of that work) he now enjoys in heaven. "When
he had by himself purged our fins, he fat down on the right"hand of the majesty on high," i. e. the Lord cloathed him with the greatest power, and highest honour, that heaven itself could afford; for fo much this phrase of " fitting down on the
right-hand of the majesty" imports, as will appear in the explication of this point, which is the refult of this clause, viz.
Doct. That when cur Lord Jefus Chrift had finished his work on earth, he was placed in the feat of the highest honour, and authority; at the right-hand of God in heaven.
This truth is transformingly glorious. Stephen had but a glimpse of Christ at his Father's right-hand, and it caused "his "face to fhine, as it had been the face of an angel," Acts vii. 56. This, his high advancement, was foretold and promised
*Ratio appellationes primaria eft refpectu Patris cœleftis à quo ab æterno, per ineffabilem generationem inftar luminis, de lumine refplenduit, fecundaria refpectu hominum, &c. Glaff. Rhet. p.
† Xaparluv infculpere dicitur, non tam imaginem ex figillo cera impreffam, quam ipfum figillum denotare, Glaff. Rhet, fac. p. 159.
before the work of redemption was taken in hand, Pfal. cx. 1. "The Lord laid unto my Lord, fit thou at my right-hand, " until I make thine enemies thy footstool." And this promife was punctually performed to Chrift, after his refurrection and afcenfion, in his fupreme exaltation, far above all created beings, in heaven and earth, Eph. i. 20, 21, 22. We shall here open two things in the doctrinal part, viz. What is meant by God's right-hand, and what is implied in Chrift's fitting there, with his enemies for a footstool.
First, What are we to understand here by God's right-hand? + It is obvious enough, that the expreffion is not proper, but figurative and borrowed. God hath no hand, right or left; but it is a condescending expreffion, wherein God stoops to the creature's understanding, and by it he would have us to understand honour, power, and nearness.
First, The right-hand is the hand of honour, the upper hand, where we place thofe whom we highly efteem and honour. So Solomon placed his mother in a feat, at his righthand, Kings ii. 19. So, in token of honour, God fets Chrift at his right-hand; which, on that account, in the text is called the right-hand of Majefty. God hath therein expreffed more favour, delight, and honour, to Jefus Chrift, than ever he did to any creature. "To which of the angels faid he "at any time, fit thou on my right-hand?" Heb. i. 13.
Secondly, The right-hand is the hand of power: we call it the weapon hand, and the working hand. And the fetting of Chrift there, imports his exaltation to the highest authority, and moft fupreme dominion. Not that God the Father hath put himself out of his authority, and advanced Chrift above himfelf; no," for in that he faith he hath put all things un"der him, it is manifest that he is excepted which did put all things under him," 1 Cor. xv. 27. But to fit as an enthron. ed king at God's right-hand, imports power, yea, the most fovereign and fupreme power; and fo Chrift himself calls the right-hand at which he fits, Mat. xxvi. 64. "Hereafter ye "fhall fee the Son of man fitting on the right-hand of pow"er."
Thirdly, And as it fignifies honour and power, fo nearness in
The right hand of God denotes divine honour and glory, on which the Son of God, who exifted before all ages, as God, in the higheft, co-effential with the Father, and incarnate in the latter times, fat down with his glorified body. Damafc. lib. 4. c. 2. de orth. fide.
place, as we use to say at one's elbow, and fo it is applied to Chrift, in Pfal. cx. 5. "The Lord at thy right-hand, fhall "ftrike through kings in the day of his wrath;" that is, the Lord, who is very near thee, prefent with thee, he shall subdue thine enemies. This then is what we are to understand by God's right-hand, honour, power, and nearness.
Secondly, In the next place let us fee what is implied in Chrift's fitting at God's right-hand, with his enemies for his foot-ftool. And, if we attentively confider, we shall find that it implies and imports divers great and weighty things in it. As,
Firft, It implies the compleating and perfecting of Christ's work, that he came into the world about. After his work was ended, then he fat down and refted from thofe labours, Heb. x. 11, 12. "Every prieft ftandeth daily miniftring, and offering "oftentimes the fame facrifices; which can never take away "fins: but this man when he had once offered one facrifice for fins, for ever fat down on the right-hand of God." Here he affigns a double difference betwixt Chrift, and the Levitical priests; they ftand, which is the pofture of fervants; he fits, which is the posture of a Lord. They stand daily, because their facrifices cannot take away fin; he did his work fully, by one offering; and after that fits, or refts for ever in heaven. And this (as the accurate and judicious Dr. Reynolds * obferves) was excellently figured to us in the ark, which was a lively type of Jefus Chrift, and particularly in this, it had rings by which it was carried up and down, till at last it rested in Solomon's temple, with glorious and triumphal folemnity, Pfal. cxxxii. 8, 9. 2 Chron. v. 13. So Chrift, while he was here on earth, being anointed with the Holy Ghost and wisdom, went about doing good, Acts x. 38. and having ceafed from his works, did at last enter into his reft, Heb. v. 10. which is the heavenly temple, Rev. xi. 19.
Secondly, His fitting down at God's right-hand, notes the high content and fatisfaction of God the Father in him, and in his work. "The Lord faid to my Lord, fit thou on my right"hand;" the words are brought in as the words of the Father, welcoming Christ to heaven; and (as it were) congratulating the
* Dr. Edward Reynolds, on Pfalm cx. p. 35, 36.
†They are faid to fit down, who reft from their labour, and thereby refresh themselves, Gen. xviii. 1. in which fenfe fome underftand what is faid of Chrift. To fit at God's right-hand, i. e. in the heavens, to rest in that eternal blessedness with God, from thefe Jabours and miferies to which he voluutarily fubjected himself for us. Ravan. on the word to fit.