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seen her enter the harbor, and landed in the highest heavens, in complete and eternal glory in all her members, soul and body. We have gone through time, and the several ages of it, as the providence of God, and the word of God, have led us; and now we have issued into eternity after time shall be no more. We have seen all the church's enemies fixed in endless'misery, and have seen the church presented in her perfect redemption before the Father in heaven, there to enjoy this most unspeakable and inconceivable glory and blessedness ; and there we leave her to enjoy this glory throughout the never ending ages of eternity.
Now all Christ's enemies will be perfectly put under his feet, and he shall have his most perfect triumph over sin and Satan, and all his instruments, and death, and hell. Now shall all the promises made to Christ by God the Father before the foundation of the world, the promises of the covenant of Redemption, be fully accomplished. And Christ shall now perfectly have obtained the joy that was set before him, for which he undertook those great sufferings which he underwent in his state of humiliation. Now shall all the hopes and expectations of the saints be fulfilled. The state of things that the church was in before, was a progressive and preparatory state : But now she is arrived to her most perfect state of glory. All the glory of the glorious times of the church on earth is but a faint shadow of this her consummate glory in heaven.
And now Christ the great Redeemer shall be most perfecto ly glorified, and God the father shall be glorified in him, and the Holy Ghost shall be most fully glorified in the perfection of his work on the hearts of all the church......And now shall that new 'heaven and new earth, or that renewed state of things, which had been building up ever since Christ's resurrection, be completely finished, after the very material frame of the old heavens and old earth are destroyed : Rev. xxi. 1. « And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth : For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away."....And now will the great Redeemer have perfected every thing that apperains to the work of redemption, which he began so soon as
ter the fall of man. And who can conceive of the triumph of those praises which shall be sung in heaven on this great occasion, so much greater than that of the fall of Antichrist, which occasions such praises as we have described in the 19th chapter of Revelation! The beloved disciple John seems to want expressions to describe those praises, and says, “ It was as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Allelujah : For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." But much more inexpressible will those praises be, which will be sung in heaven after the final consummation of all things. Now shall the praises of that vast and gloricus multitude be as mighty thunderings indeed!
And now how are all the former things passed away, and what a glorious state are things fixed in to remain to all eternity ......And as Christ, when lie first entered upon the work of redemption after the fall of man, had the kingdom committed to him of the Father, and had took on himself the administration of the affairs of the universe, to manage all so as to subserve the purposes of this affair ; so now, the work being finished, he will deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, 1 Cor. xv. 24. “ Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power." Not that Christ shall cease to reign or have a kingdom after this ; for it is said, Luke i. 33. “ He shall
; reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” So in Dan. vii. 14. “ That his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” But the meaning is, that Christ shall deliver up that kingdom or dominion which he has over the world, as the Father's delegate or vicegerent, which the Father committed to him, to be managed in subserviency to this great design of redemption. The end of this commission, or delegation, which he had from the Father seems to be to subserve this particular design of redemption ; and therefore, when that design is fully accomplished, the commission will cease, and Christ will deliv. or it up to the Father, from whom he received it.
IMPROVEMENT OF THE WHOLE.
İ PROCEÉD now to enter upon some improvement of the whole that has been said from this doctrine.
1. Hence we may learn how great a work this work of redemption is. We have now had it in a very imperfect manner set forth before us, in the whole progress of it, from its first beginning after the fall, to the end of the world, when it is finished. We have seen how God has carried on this building from the first foundation of it, by a long succession of wonderful works, advancing it higher and higher from one age to another, till the top stone is laid at the end of the world. And now let us consider how great a work this is. Do men, when they behold some great palaces or churches, sometimes admire their magnificence, and are almost astonished to consider how great a piece of work it was to build such an house? Then how well may we admire the greatness of this building of God, which he builds up age after
age, by a series of such great things which he brings to pass ? ? There are three things that have been exhibited to us in what has been said, which do especially show the greatness of the work of redemption.
1. The greatness of those particular events, and dispensations of providence, by which it is accomplished. How great are those things which God has done, which are but so many parts of this great work! What great things were done in the world to prepare the way for Christ's coming to purchase, and what great things were done in the purchase of redemption! What a wonderful thing was that which was accomplished to put Christ in an immediate capacity for this purchase, viz. his incarnation, that God should come man! And what great things were done in that purchase, that a person who is the eternal Jehovah, should live upon earth for four or five and thirty years together, in a mean despised condition, and that he should spend his life in such labors and sufferings, and that at last he should die upon the cross ! And what great things have been
done to accomplish the success of Christ's redemption ! What great things to put him into a capacity to accomplish this success ! For this purpose he rose from the dead, and ascended up into heaven, and all things were made subject to him. How many miracles have been wrought, what mighty revolutions have been brought to pass in the world already, and how much greater shall be brought to pass, in order to it!
2. The number of those great events by which God carries on this work, shows the greatness of the work. Those mighty revolutions are so many as to fill up many ages. The particular wonderful events by which the work of creation was carried on filled up six days : But the great dispensations by which the work of redemption is carried on, are so many, that they fill up six or seven thousand years at least, as we have reason to conclude from the word of God...... There were great things wrought in this affair before the flood, and in the flood the world was once destroyed by water, and God's church was so wonderfully preserved from the flood in order to carry on this work. And after the flood, what great things did God work relating to the resettling of the world, to the building of Babel, the dispersing of the nations, the shortening of the days of man's life, the calling of Abraham, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and that long series of wonderful providences relating to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph, and those wonders in Egypt, and at the Red sea, and in the wilderness, and in Canaan in Joshua's time, and by a long succession of wonderful providences from age to age, towards the nation of the Jews !
What great things were wrought by God, in so often overturning the world before Christ came, to make way for his coming! What great things were done also in Christ's time, and then after that in overturning Satan's kingdom in the Heathen empire, and in so preserving his church in the dark times of Popery, and in bringing about a Reformation! How many great and wonderful things will be effected in accomplishing the glorious times of the church, and at Christ's last coming on the day of judgment, in the destruction of the world, and in carrying the whole church into heaven.
3. The glorious issue of this whole affair, in the perfect and eternal destruction of the wicked, and in the consummate glory of the righteous. And now let us once more take a view of this building, now all is finished and the top stone laid. It appeared in a glorious height in the apostles' time, and much more glorious in the time of Constantine, and will appear much more glorious still after the fall of Antichrist'; but at the consummation of all things, it appears in an immensely more glorious height than ever before. Now it appears in its greatest magnificence, as a complete lofty structure, whose top reaches to the heaven of heavens ; a building worthy of the great God, the King of kings.
And from what has been said, one may argue that the work · of redemption is the greatest of all God's works of which we have any notice, and it is the end of all his other works. It appears plainly from what has been said, that this work is the principal of all God's works of providence, and that all other works of providence are reducible hither ; they are all subordinate to the great affair of redemption. We see that all the revolutions in the world are to subserve this grand design ; so that the work of redemption is, as it were, the sum of God's works of providence.
This shows us how much greater the work of redemption is, than the work of creation : For I have several times observed, that the work of providence is greater than the work of creation, because it is the end of it ; as the use of an house is the end of the building of the house. But the work of redemption, as I have just said, is the sum of all God's works of providence ; all are subordinate to it : So the work of the new creation is more excellent than the old. So it ever is, that when one thing is removed by God to make way for another, the new one excels the old. Thus the temple excelled the tabernacle ; the new covenant, the old ; the new dispensation of the gospel, the dispensation of Moses ; the throne of David, the throne of Saul ; the priesthood of Christ, the priesthood of Aaron ; the new Jerusalem, the old; and so the new creation far excels the old. VOL. II.