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disciples. When they worshipped him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And no wonder; for this last appearance of our Saviour was the highell testimony to his character, and the seal of his promises. How would it animate their zeal, and enliven their hopes, when they called to mind what he had said to them before his crucisixion !" Ye cannot "follow me now, but ye shall follow me asterwards; "and where I am, there shall my servant be." With the same joy ought our hearts to be silled, when we reflect on his ascension and exaltation. When he came into the world, he began the work of our redemption^ Hence, his birth was published to the shepherds, as matter of great joy; but when he ascended, it was to sinilh and complete that glorious work, and, o£ consequence, to lay the most solid foundation for our 1 saith, and hope, and comfort. "Who then shall "lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is "God that justiskth. Who is he that condemneth? "it is Christ that died: yea, rather, that is risen a"again; who is even at the right hand of God, wher"also maketh intercession for Us."
4. From this subject, the people of God may derive the greatest relief and consolation under all their distresses and sears. It is encouraging to his servants to know that their Redeemer is still alive, and lives for evermore; that all power in heaven and earth is committed to him; and that he is able to make all things work together for their good. When he afeended on high, he led captivity captive; he triumphed over all his people's enemies: hence, except by his permission, they can never assault his servants j and even Satan, their grand adversary, shall, in a short time, be bruised under their seet. How com-: fortable is it, then, my brethren, to reflect, that, in every temptation and state of trial, he can make his grace sufsicient for you, or give a way to escape? In darkness, he can give you light; and in the valley andihadow of death, he is the resurrection and the life*
D 2 an . and from on high can breathe on your dry bones, and wake them to live. In a word, this Friend and Saviour on high, makes apprehension of danger, or discouragement under trial, without reason; for he will never leave nor forsake you, tisl he has persected what concerns you, and made you glorious and happy for ever.
5. Let the consideration of Christ's ascension into heaven, inspire us with humble boldness, and make us zealous and servent in our applications to the throne of grace. In this manner, tjie apostle to the Hebrews improves this sact: "Seeing, then, we have "a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, ** Jesus the Son of God; let us come boldly to the ** throne of graice, that we may obtain mercy, and <? sind grace to help in the time of need (a)." Our approaches to the throne of grace should be frequent, in proportion to the necessity and importance of the ends of prayer. We daily need mercy for pardon, and grace for supplying our various wants. But the consciousness of our own numberless desects and sailings, is apt to mar our considence, and prevent our prayers. In those circumstances, how comfortable and enlivening i3 the thought, That, if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father; that Jesus pur Redeemer stands before his throne; that he pleads our cause; and that Him the Father heareth always. "Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter in"to the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, by a new and "living way, which he hath consecrated for us *c through the vail, that is to say his flesh; and hav"ing an High Priest over the house of God, let us "draw near with a true heart, in sull assurance of "saith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil con"science, and our bodies washed as with pure wa"ter."
6. As our Saviour is ascended into heaven, let us follow him thither with our hearts and affections.
ftj Hcl|. iv. 14,-16,
This improvement the apostle Paul also directs us to make of the ascension of Christ. "If ye then," says he, " be risen with Christ, seek those things which "are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand "of God: set. your asfections on things above, not "on things on earth." Your Saviour and Master is in heaven, and. should not your heart6 be there also? The Captain of your salvation is entered within the gates of the New Jerusalem : He invites you to follow him, and proposes the most glorious rewards for your encouragement: "-To him that-overcometh," says he, " will I grant to sit with me on my throne, "as I also overcame, and am set down with my Fa"ther on his throne." Let us then, .my brethren, lift up our hearts and assections to that place whither he is gone. . Let us be much in heaven in our thoughts and desires, and cultivate all holy aud heavenly dispositions.. In a word, it becomes us, as the apostle expresses it, " to have our conversation "in heaven, where our Saviour is, and from whence "also we look for him again, to change our vile bo"diesj that.they may be sashioned like to his glorious
bfiiy, according to the working of that mighty pow- "er -whereby he is able to subdue all things to him-
Lajily. Lessors frequently look, and wait for his second coming. The heavens indeed must receive him, till the times of'the restitution of all. things j. . but then he will appear the second time, without sin, to the sinal and complete salvation of his people. "If I go away," says he, " and prepare a place for "you, I will come again and receive you to, myself." His second coming, though similar in fome-. respects to his -ascension, will be inconceivably more solemn, public* and glorious. For he will come again in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. He ascended in the sight of his^ disciples only.; but he . will come again \\\ the view of the whole. assembled world; " For behold he cometh with• clouds, and fj 3 . "-every . "every eye shall see him."' Let us then frequentlyrepresent to our minds this glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour: Let us look and "wait for it, as the day of complete redemption, when he will come to vindicate his honour, and display his glory.
THE BLESSINGS OF CHRIST'S PURCHASE SUFW FICIENT: FOR SUPPORT AND HAPPINESS.
Abd' in-this mountain Jhall the Lord of Hosts . make unit all people a feast of fat things, afeafl of -wines on the lees, of fat things suit of marrow-, of •wines on the lees •well refined^
THESE wordsj in the opinion of some commcn. tators, reser to the great joy that should be in Zion or Jerusalem, upon the miraculous overthrow of the Assyrian army, in the reign of Hezekiah j or to the rejoicing of the Jews, when. they should be delivered from the captivity of Babylon. And this perhaps is the primary and more immediate design of the prophecy- But it may be also understood in a more sublime and exalted sense, as reserring to the blessings of the kingdom of Christ, and the happiness which was to be enjoyed by the saithsul under his administration. Considering the text in this point of view, it is a sigurative, but beautisul description of that rich provision of grace, which is made for the entertainment of the, saithsul in the gospel covenant, and which was procured for them by the appearance