« AnteriorContinuar »
largemcnt in another. For it is with the church, as it is with the sea; what it loses in one place, it gets in another; and so really loses nothing. He may suffer them also to distress us in outwards, but that shall be recompensed with inward and better mercies; and so we shall lose nothing by that. A footstool you know is useful to him that treads on it, and serves to lift him up higher; so shall Christ's enemies be to him, and his; albeit they think not so. What singular benefits the oppositions of his enemies, occasion to his people; I havefl elsewerc discovered, to which I refer my reader; and pass to
Infer. 3. Is Christ set down on the right-hand of the Majesty in heaven? 0 with -what awful reverence should we apprtach him in the duties of his worship! Away with light, and low thoughts of Christ. Away with formal, irreverent, and careless frames in praying, hearing, receiving, yea, in conferring and speaking of Christ. Away with all deadness, and drowsiness in duties; for he is a great King with whom you have to do. A King, to whom the kings of the earth, are but as little bits of clay. Lo the angels cover their saces in his presence' He is an adorable Majesty.
When John had a vision of this enthroned king, about sixty years after his ascension; such was the over-powering glory of Christ, as the fun when it Jhineth in its strength; that when he saw him, he fell at his feet as dead, and died it is like he had, if Christ had not laid his hand on him, and said, "Fear not, I am "the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead, "and behold I am alive for evermore," Rev. i. 17, 18. When he appeared to Saul in the way to Damascus, it was ia glory above the glory of the fun, which over-powered him also, and laid him as one dead upon the ground.
O that you did but know, what a glorious Lord you worstiip, and serve. Who makes the very place of his feet glorious, wherever he comes. Surely He is greatly to be feared in the assembly of his saints, and to be had in reverence if all that are round about him. There is indeed a mtf?*"x boldness or free liberty of speech allowed to the saipts, Eph. iii. 12. But no rudeness or irreverance. We may indeed come, as the children of a king come to the sather, who is both their awful sovereign, and tender sather; which double relation causes a due mixture of love, and reverence in their hearts, when they come before him. You may be free, but not rude, in his presence. Though he be your Father, brother, friend; yet the distance betwixt him and you is infinite.
1] A Saint indeed.
Inferences. If Christ he so gloriousty advanced in the highest throne *, then none need to reckon themselves dishonoured, by suffering the vilest things for his fake f. The very chains and sufferings of Christ have a glory in them. Hence Moses '' e"steemed the very reproaches of Christ greater riches than the "treasures of Egypt," Hebt xi. 26. He saw an excellency in the very worst things of Christ, his reproaches, and sufferings, as made him leap out of his honours, and riches into them. He did not (as one saith) only endure the reproaches of Christ, but counted them treafurcst To be reckoned among his honours and things of value. So Thuanus reports of Ludovicus Marsacus, a noble "knight of France, when he was led with other martyrs, that were bound with cords, to execution; and he for his dignity was not bound, he cried, give me my chain too, let me be a knight of the same order %. Disgrace itself is honourable, when it is endured for the Lord of Glory. And surely there is (as one phraseth it) a little paradise, a young heaven* in sufferings for Christ. If there were nothing else in it, but that they are endured on his account, it would richly reward all we can endure for him; but if we consider how exceeding kind Christ is to them, that count it their glory to be abased for him; that though he be always kind to his people, (yet if we may so speak) he overcometh himself in kindness, when they suffer for him; it would make men in love with his reproaches.
Infer. 5. If Christ fat not down to rest in heaven, till he had finished his 'work on earth,- then it is in vain for us to think of rest, till we have finished our work, as Christ also did his.
How willing are we to find rest here! To dream of that, which Christ never found in this world, nor any ever found before us. O think not of resting, till you have done working and done sinning. Your life and your labours must end together. "Write (saith,'the spirit) blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, "for they rest from their labours," Rev. xiv. 13. Here you must have the sweat, and there the sweet. It is too much to have two heavens. Here you must be content to dwell in the tents of Kedar, hereafter you shall be within the curtains of Soloson. Heaven is the place of which it may be truly said, that there the weary be at rest. O think not of sitting down on this
* It 11 no disgrace for us to suffer what Christ suffered, nor is it any glory for you to do what Judas did. Hieronym. f Dr. Manton on Jam, p. 228.
% Cnr et not) me quoque torque donas f Et injignis hujit: ordir.lt nilitem creas? Thuan, H>st»
fide heaven. There are four things will keep the saints from fitting down on earth, to rest, viz. grace, corruption, devils and wicked men.
First, Grace will not suffer you to rest here. Its tendencies are beyond this world. It will be looking and longing for the blessed hope. A gracious person takes himself for a pilgrim, seeking a better copntry, and is always suspicious of danger in every place and state. It is still beating up the fluggish heart with such language as that, Mic. ii. 10. "Arise, depart, this '* is not thy rest, for it is polluted." Its further tendencies and continual jealoufies, will keep you from fitting long still in this world.
Secondly, Your corruptions will keep you from rest here. They will continually exercise your spirits, and keep you upon your watch. Saints have their hands filled with work by their own hearts every day. Sometimes to prevent fin; and sometimes to lament it. And always to watch and fear to mortify and kill it. Sin will not long suffer you to be quiet, Rom. vii. 21, 22,23, 24. And if a bad heart will not break your rest here, then i
Thirdly, There is a busy devil will do it. He will sind you work enough with his temptations, and suggestions, and except you can sleep quietly in his arms, as the wicked do, there is no rest to be expected. "Your adversary, the devil, goeth about as "a roaringilion, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist," I Pet. v. 8.
Fourthly. Nor will his servants and instruments let you be quiet on this fide heaven. (| Their very name speaks their turbulent disposition. "My soul (saith the holy man) is among lions,, and "I lie even among them that are set on fire^ even the sons of "men, whole teeth are spears and arrows," Psal. lvii. 4. Well then, be content to enter into your rest, as Christ did into his. He sweat, then sat, and so must you.
I Inquietum ejfe, Turbulentu1.
Wherein Christ coming to Judgment, being the fourth and last Degree of his Exaltation, is opened and improved.
Acts x. 42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be' the Judge es quick and dead.
CHRIST enthroned in the highest glory in heaven, is there to abide for the effectual and successful government, both, of the world, and of the church, until the number given him by the Father, before the world was, and purchased by the blood of the cross, be gathered in; and then cometh the judgment of the great day, which will perfectly separate the precious from the vile; put the redeemed in full possession of the purchase of his blood in heaven, and " then shall he deliver "op the kingdom to his Father, that God may be all in all."
This last act of Christ, namely, his judging the world, is a special part of his exaltation and honour, bestowed upon him, "because he is the Son of man,'* John v. 27. In that day shall his glory, as king, and absolute Lord, shine forth as the fun when it shineth in its strength. O what an honour will it be to the man Christ Jesus, who stood arraigned and condemned at Pilate's bar, to fit upon the great white throne, surrounded with thoasands, and ten thousands of angels! men aad devils waiting upon him to receive their sinal sentence from his mouth. In this will the glory of Christ's sovereignty and power, be eminently and illustrioufly displayed, before angels and men *, And this is that great truth, which he commanded to be preached and testified to the people; namely, that it is "he which is "ordained of God, to be the Judge of quick and dead."
Wherein we have four things to be distinctly considered, viz. The subject, object, fountain and truth of the supreme judiciary authority.
'First, The subject of it, Christ, it is he that is ordained to judge. Judgment is the act of the whole undivided trinity. The Father and Spirit judge, as well as Christ, in respect of
* To the royal dignity, doth belong that power, or authority, by which Christ is made the judge of all men and angels. Ames. Med. p. 117.
authority and consent, but it is the act of Christ, in respect of visible management and execution, and se it is his per proprietatem, by propriety, the Father having conferred it upon him, as the Son of m m; but not his per appropriationem, so as to exclude either the Fattier or Spirit from their authority, for they judge by him.
Secondly, The ohjetl of Christ's judiciary authority. The quick and dead, (i. e.) all that at his coming do live, or ever had heed. This is the Ohjetl personal. All the men and women that ever sprang from rtdam; all the apostate spirits that fell from heaven, and are reserved in chains to the judgment of this great day. And in this personal object, is included the real oh* jetl, viz. all the actions, both secret and open, that ever they did, 2 Cor. v. 5. Rom. ii. 16,
Thirdly, the Fountain of this delegated authorUy, which is God the Father; for he hath ordained Christ to be the Judge, "He is appointed f," as the Son of man, to this honourable office and work. The word notes, a firm establishment of Christ in that office by his Father. He is now, by right of redemption, Lord and King. He enacts laws for government, then he comes to judge of mens obedience and disobedience to his laws.
Fourthly, And lastly, here is the insallible truth, or unquestionable certainty of all this. "He gave us commandment to "preac hand testify it to the people." We had it in charge from his own mouth ; and dare not hide it. Hence the poipt of doctrine is plainly this.
Doct. That our Lord Jesus Christ is ordained by God tie Father, to he the Judge of quick and dead.
This truth stands upon the firm basis of scripture authority. You have it from his own hand, John v. 22. " The Father j ndg"eth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son," viz. in the fense before given. And so the apostle, Acts xvii. 3 r. "He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world "in righteousness, by the rn^n whom he hath ordained; where"of he hath given assurance," &c. And again Rom. ii. 16. " Ib »< the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by je^s '' Christ." Three things will fce opened here. First, Th* certainty of a judgment to come. Secondly, Tb.e <juaAi$yand nature of it. Thirdly, That it is a special part of ChihTs exaltation to be appointed Judge in this day.
f O-'.trwu;- D (suit us feu cenjiitutut.