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Witnesses to our Lord's Resurrection.
LECT. were rolled about Him, and which He left when He rose ;the soldiers, and the money given to them;-the spot itself also, yet to be seen;-and the house of this holy Church, which out of his loving affection to Christ, was by the Emperor Constantine of blessed memory, both built, and beautified as thou seest.
23. A witness of the resurrection of Jesus is Tabitha also, who was in His name raised from the dead; for how shall we disbelieve that Christ is risen, when even His Name has vid. sup. raised the dead? The sea also bears witness to the resurrection of Jesus, as thou hast heard before. The draught of fishes also testifies, and the fire of coals and the fish laid thereon. Peter also bears witness, who had erst denied Him thrice, and who then thrice confessed Him; and was commanded to feed His spiritual sheep. To this day stands Mount Olivet, still to the eyes of the faithful all but displaying Him mounting on a cloud, and the heavenly gate of His ascension. For He descended from heaven to Bethlehem, but to heaven He ascended from the Mount of Olives; at the former place beginning His conflicts for men, but in the latter, crowned after them. Thou hast therefore many witnesses; thou hast this very place of the Resurrection; thou hast also the place of the Ascension towards the east; thou hast also for witnesses, the Angels which then bore witness; and the cloud on which He went up, and the disciples who came down from that place.
(13.) 24. It follows in course, in teaching the Faith, to speak of zové- the Ascension; but the grace of God has so ordered it, that thou heard most fully concerning it, as far as our weakness nar' oi- allowed, yesterday, on the Lord's day; since, by the proxovoμíav. vidence of divine grace, the course of the Lessons in Church, included the account of our Saviour's going up into the heavens; and though what was then said was spoken for the sake of all, and for the united body of the faithful, yet was it especially for thy sake. Now I ask, didst thou attend to what was said? Thou knowest that the words which come next in the Creed teach thee to believe in Him" who rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father." Now I suppose that thou certainly rememberest the exposition; yet I will now also cursorily
Prophecies of our Lord's ascension.
put thee in mind of what was then said. Remember what is distinctly written in the Psalms, God is gone up with a shout; Ps.47,5. remember that the divine Powers also said to one another, Lift up your gates, ye Princes, and the rest; remember also Ps.24,7. the Psalm which says, Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast Sept. Ps. 68, led captivity captive; remember the Prophet who says, Who 18. buildeth His ascension unto heaven; and the other particulars 6. Sept. mentioned yesterday with a view to the gainsaying of the (marg.) Jews.
25. For when they gainsay the ascension of the Saviour, as being impossible, remember the account of the carrying away of Habakkuk: for if Habakkuk was transported by the Bel and Dragon, Angel, being carried by the hair of his head, much rather v.33.&c. was the Lord of both Prophets and Angels, powerful with His or Dan. own strength to mount on a cloud from the Mount of Olives Sept. into the Heavens. It is well to bear in mind wonders like to this, but reserve thou the preeminence for the Lord, the Worker of wonders; for the others were borne up, but He bears up all things. Remember that Enoch was translated; but Jesus ascended: remember what was said yesterday concerning Elias, that Elias was taken up in a chariot of vid. 2 fire; but that the chariots of Christ are twenty thousand, Kings 2, even thousands of Angels: and that Elias was taken up, Ps. 68, towards the east of Jordan; but that Christ ascended at the east of the brook Cedron: and that Elias went as into 2 Kings heaven; but Jesus, into heaven: and that Elias said that 2, 11. Sept. a double portion in the Holy Spirit should be given to his disciple; but that Christ granted to His own disciples so great enjoyment of the grace of the Holy Ghost, as not only to have it in themselves, but also, by the laying on of their hands, to impart the fellowship of it to them who believed.
26. And when thou art thus wrestling against the Jews, (14.) after thou hast worsted them by parallel instances, then come further to the preeminence of the Saviour's glory. For they were servants, but He the Son of God. And this will remind thee of His preeminence, that the servant of Christ was caught up to the third heaven. For if Elias attained as far as the first heaven, but Paul as far as the third, the latter has doubtless obtained a more honourable dignity. Be not ashamed of thine Apostles; they are not inferior to
180 The Apostles more highly favoured than the Prophets.
LECT. Moses, or behind the Prophets; but they are noble with the noble, yea, than the noble yet more noble. For Elias truly was taken up into heaven; but Peter has the keys of the Mat. 16, kingdom of heaven, having received the words, Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Elias 2 Cor. was taken up only to heaven; but Paul both into heaven, and into paradise; (for it behoved the disciples of Jesus to receive more manifold grace;) and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. But Paul descended again from above, not because he was unworthy to abide in the third heaven, but in order that after having enjoyed things above man's reach, and descended in honour, and having preached Christ, and died for His sake, he might in addition receive the crown of martyrdom. I pass over the rest of this argument, as I went through it yesterday in the iris Lord's day service; for with understanding hearers, a recapiJurás tulation is sufficient for instruction.
27. And remember also what I have often said concerning the Son's sitting at the right hand of the Father; because that comes next in the Creed, thus,' And who is ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.' Let us not curiously pry into what is properly meant by the throne; for it is incomprehensible: nor endure those who falsely say, that it was after His Cross and Resurrection and Ascension into heaven, that the Son began to sit on the right hand of the Fathers. For the Son gained not His throne by advancement; but from the time that He is, (and He is ever begotten,) He also sitteth together with the Father. And this Ts throne the Prophet Esaias having beheld before the incarnate coming of the Saviour, says, I saw the Lord sitting on a παρουσίας. throne, high and lifted up, and the rest. For the Father no Is. 6, 1. man hath seen at any time, and He who then appeared to Ps.93,2, the Prophet was the Son. And the Psalmist says, Thy throne is established of old; Thou art from everlasting. But though many are the testimonies on this point, yet because of the lateness of the time, we will content ourselves only with these.
28. Our present business is to remind you of a few out of much which I said concerning the Son's sitting at the right
3 The Paulianists,
Prophecies concerning our Lord's sitting at God's right hand. 181
hand of the Father. For the hundred and ninth Psalm says plainly, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right Ps. 110, hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. And the Saviour, confirming in the Gospel what is here said, says that David spake not these things of himself, but by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, saying, How then doth David in Mat. 22, Spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, and the rest. And in the Acts of the Apostles, Peter on the day of Pentecost standing with the Eleven, and discoursing to the Israelites, has in very words Acts 2, cited this testimony from the hundred and ninth Psalm.
29. A few other testimonies must also be suggested concerning the Son's sitting at the right hand of the Father. In the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, Neverthe- Mat. 26, less, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and the rest. And following this the Apostle Peter also says, By the Resurrection of 1 Pet. 3, Jesus Christ, who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God. And the Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, says, It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, Rom. 8, who is even at the right hand of God. And charging the Ephesians, he thus speaks, According to the working of His Eph. 1, mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand; and the rest. And he thus taught the Colossians, If ye then be Col. 3, risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. And in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, When He had purged our sins, He Heb. 1, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. And' again, But unto which of the Angels said He at any time, ver. 13. Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? And again, But this Man, after He had offered Heb. 10, one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till His enemies be made His footstool. And again, Looking unto Jesus, the Author Heb. 12, and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before2. Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God.
30. And though there are many other texts concerning the session of the Only-begotten on the right hand of God, yet
Exhortation and Blessing.
LECT. let these suffice us at present; with a repetition of my