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2. Q. After what manner did Christ ascend into heaven.
A. He was taken up visibly in the presence of all his disciples. A cloud caine down under his feet, and he mounted by degrees in it. They followed him a long time with their eyes, till, at last, having lost sight of him, but still looking after him to the place where he passed, two angels appeared to them, and thus confirmed them in the truth of what they had seen: Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? The same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him
go into heaven, Acts, i. 9, 10, 11. PROOFS SUBJOINED.—Luke, xxiv. 50, 51. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. Mark, xvi. 19. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven.
3. Q. Did Christ ascend in the same body in which he conversed with his disciples, after his resurrection ?
A. He did ascend in the same body; and has assured us thereby, that we shall hereafter be received up thither in our bodies, as well as souls; and so reign in both together with him.
4. Q. Into what part of heaven did Christ ascend?
A. He ascended into the highest heaven; where God does in a singular manner shew his majesty and glory. And therefore our Creed tells us, that being ascended into heaven, he 'sat down at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, Luke, xxii. 69; where also he shall continue till he shall come again from thence, to judge both the quick and the dead. Matt. xxv. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations. xxvii. 64. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Acts, i. 11. Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.--Eph. iv. 10. He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. Heb. ix. 24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true ; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
x. 12. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.
• Mark, xvi. 19. So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Rom. viii. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God. Psalm cx. 1. Compare Acts, ii. 34. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. Acts. For David is not ascended into the heavens : but he saith himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand. Heb. i. 3, 13. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power; when
he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. viii. 1. We have such an high-priest, who is set on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Eph. i. 20. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places. Col. iii. 1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
5. Q. What do you mean by the right hand of God?
A. Not to represent God under the figure of a man, nor to intimate any particular posture of Christ above; though having a humane body he might well enough be described in it. But as by the one I understand a place of power, honour, and authority, (1 Kings, ii. 19. Bath-sheba therefore went unto King Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.
Psalm xvi. 11. At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. xliv. 3. For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. Luke, xxiii. 69. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Heb. i. 3, 4. As above).
So, by the other, I suppose is meant, the settled possession and enjoyment of all these. Prov. xx. 8.
A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes. Heb. x. 12. This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.
And the sense of the whole I take to be this, that Christ being ascended up into heaven, was immediately instated by God in the full possession of his regal office and dignity; and shall continue to enjoy it, till he shall have finished the whole work of our redemption : by bestowing glory and salvation upon all his faithful servants; and by finally destroying in hell-fire all the enemies of his power and dig. nity.
• See Rom. viii. 34. It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God. 1 Pet. iii. 22. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God: angels, and authorities, and powers, being made subject unto him. Acts, vij. 56. Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. v. 30, 31. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree, him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Eph. i. 20, 21, 22. Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church. Phil. ii. 8, 9. Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.
* 1 Cor. xv. 25. Compare Psalm cx. 1. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. Psal. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
6. Q. Does our Saviour do any thing, at present, for us, with God, in heaven?
A. Yes; he perfects his priestly office there, by interceding effectually to God for our forgiveness: as the high-priest under the law, when he went into the holy place, before the ark, with the blood of the sinoffering, did thereby finish the propitiation, which he was to make for the sins and offences of the people of the Jews. Rom. viii. 34. It is Christ that died; yea, rather that is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 1 Tim. ii. 5. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Heb. ix. 11, 12, 24. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building : neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. x. 21. Having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. John, ii. 1, 2. If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : and he is the propitiution for our sins ;