Imatges de pàgina
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nal rest, satisfaction, and blessedness, in that enjoyment of them, whereof our nature is capable. Howbeit of these things in particular, the Scripture is silent; however it testifies our eternal reward and blessedness to consist alone in the enjoyment of God.

But there is somewhat else proposed, as the immediate object of the faith of the saints at present, as unto what they shall enjoy upon their departure out of this world. And Scripture revelations extend unto the state of things unto the end of the world, and no longer.

Wherefore heaven is now principally represented unto us, as the place of the residence and glory of Jesus Christ, in the administration of his office; and our blessedness to consist in a participation thereof, and communion with him therein. So he prays for all them who are given him of his Father, 'that they may be where he is, to behold his glory;' John xvii. 24. It is not the essential glory of his divine person that he intends, which is absolutely the same with that of the Father : but it is a glory that is peculiarly his own; a glory which the Father hath given him, because he loved him. My glory which thou gavest me, for thou lovedst me.' Nor is it merely the glorified state of his human nature that he intendeth, as was before declared in the consideration of the fifth verse of this chapter, where he prayeth for this glory. However, this is not excluded; for unto all those that love him, it will be no small portion of their blessed refreshment, to behold that individual nature, wherein he suffered for them, undergoing all sorts of reproaches, contempts, and miseries, now unchangably stated in incomprehensible glory. But the glory which God gives unto Christ, in the phrase of the Scripture, principally is the glory of his exaltation in his mediatory office. It is the “all power' that is given him in heaven and earth ; theʻname' that he hath · above every name,' as he sits on the right hand of the majesty on high. In the beholding and contemplation hereof, with holy joy and delight, consists no small part of that blessedness and glory which the saints above at present enjoy, and which all others of them shall so do, who depart this life before the consummation of all things. And in the due consideration hereof consists a great part of the exercise of that faith, which is the evidence of things not seen, and

which by making them present unto us, supplies the room of sight. This is the ground whereon our hope doth anchor; namely, the things within the veil,' Heb. vi. 19. which directs us unto the temple administration of the mediatory office of Christ. And it is for the strengthening of our faith and hope in God, through him, that we do, and that we ought to inquire into these things.

The consideration of the present state of Christ in heaven, may be reduced unto three heads :

1. The glorification of his human nature; what it hath in common with, and wherein it differs in kind from, the glory of all saints whatever.

2. His mediatory exaltation; or the especial glory of his person as mediator.

3. The exercise and discharge of his office in this state of things; which is what at present I shall principally inquire into. I shall not speak at all of the nature of glorified bodies, nor of any thing that is common unto the human nature of Christ, and the same nature in glorified saints; but only what is peculiar unto himself. And hereunto I shall premise one general observation.

All perfections whereof human nature is capable, abiding what it was in both the essential parts of it, soul and body, do belong unto the Lord Christ in his glorified state. To ascribe unto it what is inconsistent with its essence, is not an assignation of glory unto its state and condition, but a destruction of its being. To affix unto the human nature divine properties, as ubiquity or immensity, is to deprive it of its own. The essence of his body is no more changed than that of his soul. It is a fundamental article of faith, that he is in the same body in heaven, wherein he conversed here on earth; as well as the faculties of his rational soul are continued the same in him. This is that'holy thing' which was framed immediately by the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin. This is that Holy One' which, when it was in the grave, saw ņo corruption. This is that body which was offered for us, wherein he bare our sins on the tree. To fancy any such change in, or of, this body, by its glorification, as that it should not continue essentially and substantially the same that it was, is to overthrow the faith of the church in a principal article of it. We believe that the very

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same body wherein he suffered for us, without any alteration as unto its substance, essence, or integral parts, and not another body of an ethereal, heavenly structure, wherein is nothing of flesh, blood, or bones, by which he so frequently testified the faithfulness of God in his incarnation, is still that temple wherein God dwells, and wherein he administers in the holy place not made with hands. The body which was pierced, is that which all eyes shall see, and no other.

On this foundation I willingly allow all perfections in the glorified human nature of Christ, which are consistent with its real form and essence. I shall, therefore, only in some instances inquire into the present glory of the human nature of Christ, wherein it differs either in kind or degree from the glory of all other saints whatever. For even among them I freely allow different degrees in glory, which the eternal order of things, that is, the will of God, in the disposal of all things unto bis own glory, doth require.

(1.) There is that wherein the present glory of the human nature of Christ differetḥ, in kind and nature, from that which any other of the saints are partakers of, or shall be so after the resurrection. And this is,

[1.] The eternal subsistence of that nature of his, in the person of the Son of God. As this belongs unto its dignity and honour, so it doth also unto its inherent glory. This is, and shall be, eternally peculiar unto him, in distinction from, and exaltation above, the whole creation of God, angels, and men. Those by whom this is denied, instead of the glorious name whereby God doth call him, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God,' &c. do call him Icabod, where is the glory? or, there is none that is peculiar unto him. But the mystery hereof, according unto our measure, and in answer unto our design, we have already declared. And this glory he had indeed in this world, from the first instant of his incarnation or conception in the womb. But, as unto the demonstration of it, he emptied himself, and made himself of no reputation under the form of a servant. But now the glory of it is illustriously displayed in the sight of all his holy ones. Some inquire, whether the saints in heaven do perfectly comprehend the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God? I do not well understand what is meant by perfectly comprehend: but this is certain, that what we have

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now by faith, we shall have there by sight. For as we live now by faith, so shall we there by sight. No finite creature can have an absolute comprehension of that which is infinite. We shall never search out the Almighty to perfection in any of his works of infinite wisdom. Wherefore this only I shall say, there is such a satisfactory evidence in heaven, not only of the truth, but also of the nature of this mystery, as that the glory of Christ therein is manifest as an eternal object of divine adoration and honour. The enjoyment of heaven is usually called the beatifical vision; that is, such an intellectual present view, apprehension, and sight of God, and his glory, especially as manifested in Christ, as will make us blessed unto eternity. Wherefore, in the contemplation of this mystery doth a great part of our blessedness consist; and farther, our thoughts cannot attain. This is that wherein the glory of the human nature of Christ doth essentially excel, and differ from that of any other blessed creature whatever. And hereon other things do depend. For,

[2.] Hence the union of the human nature of Christ unto God, and the communications of God unto it, are of another kind than those of the blessed saints. In these things, namely, our union with God, and his communications unto us, doth our blessedness and glory consist.

In this world, believers are united anto God by faith. It is by faith that they cleave unto him with purpose of heart. In heaven, it shall be by love. Ardent love, with delight, complacency, and joy, from a clear apprehension of God's infinite goodness and beauty now made present unto us, now enjoyed by us, shall be the principle of our eternal adherence unto him and union with him. His communications unto us here, are by an external efficiency of power. He communicates of himself unto us in the effects of his goodness, grace, and mercy, by the operations of his Spirit in us. Of the same kind will all the communications of the divine nature be unto us unto all eternity. It will be by what he worketh in us by his Spirit and power. There is no other way of the emanation of virtue from God, unto any creature. But these things in Christ are of another nature. This union of his human nature unto God, is immediate in the person of the Son; ours is mediate by the Son as clothed with our nature. The way of the communications of the divine nature unto the human in his person, is what we cannot comprehend ; we have no notion of it; nothing whereby it may be illustrated. There is nothing equal to it, nothing like it, in all the works of God. As it is a creature, it must subsist in eternal dependence on God; neither hath it any thing but what it receives from him. For this belongs essentially unto the divine nature, to be the only independent eternal spring and fountain of all being and goodness. Nor can Omnipotency itself exalt a creature into any such condition, as that it should not always, and in all things, depend absolutely on the Divine Being. But as unto the way of the communications between the divine and human nature in the personal union, we know it not. But whether they be of life, power, light, or glory, they are of another kind than that whereby we do or shall receive all things. For all things are given unto us, are wrought in us, as was said, by an external efficiency of power. The glorious immediate emanations of virtue, from the divine unto the human nature of Christ, we understand not. Indeed the actings of natures of different kinds, where both are finite in the same person one towards the other, is of a difficult apprehension. Who knows how directive power and efficacy proceeds from the soul, and is communicated unto the body, unto every the least minute action, in every member of it; so as that there is no distance between the direction and the action, or the accomplishment of it; or how, on the other hand, the soul is affected with sorrow or trouble in the moment wherein the body feeleth pain, so as that no distinction can be made between the body's sufferings and the soul's sorrow? How much more is this mutual communication in the same person of divers natures above our comprehension, where one of them is absolutely infinite? Somewhat will be spoken to it afterward. And herein doth this eternal glory differ from that of all other glorified creatures whatever. And,

[3.] Hence the human nature of Christ, in his divine person, and together with it, is the object of all divine adoration and worship; Rev. v. 13. All creatures whatever do for ever ascribe blessing, honour, glory, and power, unto the Lamb,' in the same manner as unto him who sits on the throne. This we have declared before. But no other creature either is, or ever can be, exalted into such a condition

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