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capacities, and after the manner of men, and by way of comparifon to what belongs to mankind. And as the sitting at a prince's right-hand is esteemed a place of the highest honour, the first import of this phrase seems to be that Christ is invested with the highest glory from God and exalted to the highest dignity; and since by the hand of God his infinite power may be signified, this phrase may further import Christ's having received the highest power and dominion from God; but where Christ is said to be fitting, we are not to understand that he is determined to such a particular posture of body as is commonly meant by sitting; for he is sometimes representedas standing at God's right-hand, sometimes in general as being there, without expressing the particular manner of it; but by his fitting we are to understand his fecure and quiet continuance in that high glory, majesty, and judicaturė; and his full polèfon of dignity, and perpetuity in retaining it.
And this confirms our faith ; because it gives us a farther proof of our Saviour's divine mission. For, had he And its benot been fent into the world by God, he had not 'nefit to m.m. -approved of the message Christ delivered to man. His visi. ble ascension into heaven strengthens our hopes; for, by seeing our own nature thus advanced, we are assured that duit and ashes may thither ascend also; and the blessed Jesus being our head, as members of his body, we may expect admission into that heavenly court, where he sits in glory, since we have his word, which can never fail, that he is gone to prepare a place for us : and it exalts our affections, by putting us in mind that our treasure is above, and that therefore we ought not to fet our affections upon such things as must perish in this world ; that heaven is the true and only happiness of a christian; and that our great design in this world ought to be to fit and prepare ourselves for the enjoyment of a blessed eternity; that our constant endeavours ought to tend towards the qualifying ourselves to be received into our Saviour's presence, to whom we have the greateít obligations of gratitude and duty; that by trampling upon our sins, and subduing the lusts of the flesh, we may make our conversation correspond to our Saviour's condition, that where
the eyes of the apostles were forced to leave him, thither our thoughts may follow him, even into the highest heavens. We should also learn from hence to have an affurance of the pardon of our sins, acceptance of our sincere, though imperfect obedience, and of protection and defence in our spiritual warfare, as knowing that at last we shall be more than conquerors; and it should raise in us a noble ambition of being made partakers of that glory, to which Christ our head already is advanced; who has promised, that to him who Qvercometh he will grant to fit with him in his throne.
VII, When we profels, in the seventb ARTICLE of our Ckrif cur belief, that Christ will come again to judge the judge. quick and the dead, we declare that we stedfastly believe, that our Lord Jesus Christ Thall at the end of the world descend from heaven in his human nature. As to the manner and the circumstances of Christ's coming: He shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels : he shall descend with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, with the trump of God: he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and in that of his holy angels: he hall fit upon the throne of his glory, and all nations shall be gathered before him; and he thall separate them the one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: those that sleep in the grave shall awake, and the dead in Christ fall rise first, and they that are alive shall be changed, and caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Which sufficiently shews the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who shall then come glorious in the brightness and splendor of his celestial body; supported by that authority, which his Father hath committed to him, of universal judge, accompanied with thousands of holy angels, who shall attend, not only to make up the pomp of this appearance, but as ministers of his justice; and feated in that bright throne of glory, from whence he shall summon all mankind to appear before his dreadful tribunal, where they thall come upon that trial, and have all their actions strictly examined. Prozed by Concerning which, if we search the scriptures, feripture. there we shall find God hath given assurance unto all men, that he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, in
that he hath raised him from the dead. And the method, by which God will proceed with his creatures in that day, is fully described by the judge himself in his gospel.- The apostle of the Gentiles declares expressly, that we must all appear and stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. And the apostle of the circumcision fays, that the day of the Lord shall come, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
The administration of which judgment is committed by the Father to his Son Jesus Chrift; God will judge the appointedly world in righteousness by that man Christ Jesus, the Faiber. whom he hath ordained. The Son of man fhall come in the glory of his Father with his holy angels, and then shall he reward every man according to his works. The Father judgetha no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. Christcommanded his disciples to preach unto the people, and testify, that it is Jesus that is ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead; and the tribunal is called the judgment-seat of Christ. Hence observe, that tho’the right of judging us belongs to God, whose servants and subjects we are, yet the execution of this power of judging is particularly committed to the Son of man; because all men should honour the Son, as they honour the Father ; that our blessed Saviour might receive public honour in that nature wherein he suffered; that he, who for our fakes stood before an earthly tribunal, might therefore be constituted judge of the whole world ; that he, who was despised and rejected of men, might appear in the glory of his Father, attended with an innumerable train of holy angels; that he, who was condemned and crucified to absolve us, might receive authority to abfolve or condemn the whole race of mankind: and be cause, being cloathed with an human body, he will make a visible appearance, which will be suitable to the other cira cumstances of that great day: all which will be performed in the sight of all the world. And again, mankind being judged by one of their own nature, a man like themselves, touched with a feeling of their infirmities, greatly declares the equity of his judgment; because he understands all our
circumstances, and whatever may influence our case, to lefsen or increase our crimes. And
Not only men, but angels also, will be judged at the last Tojudşean- day; the fallen angels are reserved in everlasting gelsana mer chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. For the apostle says, Know ye not that we shall judge angels; or, sit with Christ, and approve that sentence against them which he shall then pronounce? And all men that have ever lived in the world, and those that shall be alive at our Saviour's coming, shall be gathered before him, whe is ordained by God to be judge of quick and dead ; and they shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, both small and great. Neither riches, power, nor honour, shall deliver any great man from the hand of God; neither shall the poorest Nave be excused for his meanness; for they are all the works of his hands : neither will he have regard to such qualities and circumstances of persons, which do not appertain to the merits of the cause; pafling judgment upon all, according to all things we have done in the body, whether they be good or evil. · He will enter into a fevere fcrutiny how we have employ In what ed all those talents that he hath intrusted us with, manner. Then shall all the powers and faculties that have been given us, all the favours and benefits we have enjoyed, all the means and opportunities that have been afforded us for the living virtuouslyand holily, and thereby to bring honour and glory to our Master, be brought into our view, and an account be demanded of them; He will account with us for our senses, how we have employed them; whether to the purposes they were given us for, the furnishing our understandings, and the right governing of our bodies, or whether we have made them only instşuments of fin, and inlets to vanity: He will account with us for our reason and conscience, how we have employed them; whether we have done our best to improve them, and whether they have been faithful guides of our actions, or we have suffered them to be an bused with follyand false principles, and to be led captive by our luits and pailions: Hewill call us to account for our mes mories, how we have employed them; whether we have been careful to treasure up in them such things as might be useful to our lives, or have only made them the repositories of things idle, impertinent, and unprofitable: He will call us to account how we have spent our time in this world ; whether we have employed it to good purposes, in an honest laborious pursuit of a lawful calling, setting a due portion thereof apart for the more immediate service of God, and spending the remainder innocently and wisely; or whether we have squandered it away in idleness, in play, in revelling or in impertinent vicious conversation, in the neglect of our main business: He will call us to account for the good creatures he hath from time to time bestowed up us for our support and refreshment, how we have employed them; whether we have used them thankfully and soberly, with temperance and moderation; or whether we have abused them to luxury and excess, to gluttony or drunkenness, inaking therewith provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof : He will call us to account for our learning and intellectual accomplishments, for the advantages of our education, for our health and strength, for our wealth and riches, for our greatness, power, and reputation, and all those special and eminent talents that he hath intrusted us with above 0thers, how we have employed them; whether we have made them instruments of doing a great deal of good, and being eminently useful in our generation; or whether they have only ministered to pride, and vanity, and self-pleasing, if not to the worse purposes of vice and wickedness : Lastly, he will call us to account for all the opportunities of grace and means of salvation which we have enjoyed, for all the good counsels and wise exhortations that have been given us; for the revelation of his Son that hath been made known to us ; for the use of his word and facraments; for all the notions and suggestions of his Holy Spirit within us, dissuading us from fin, and alluring and folliciting us to a course of virtue and holiness: for all these, I say, he will call us to account how we have employed them; whether we have improved them to the purposes they were given for, as we should have done; whether we have grown in grace, and brought forth fruit suitable to so many helps and advantages, or have been