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tering spirits to restrain their curiosity, and to confirm their faith concerning his second coming: which he had himself frequently intimated to them, but which it is likely they did not at that time recollect, though it wasvery necessary they should do so, in order to reconcile themselves to the loss of his presence,
When the disciples had heard from the heavenly messengers, that the LORD was actually gone to heaven, they believed his repeated declaration, that he was the SON OF GOD, and as such paid him adoration.
In order to understand the phrase of sitting at the right hand of GoD, we must recollect that our SAVIOUR constantly referred the glory of his mighty works to GOD THE FATHER. Our LORD was the only-begotten SON of this glorious Being: for the GODHEAD, or WORD, which dwelt in him (or constantly remained with him as our souls do with our bodies) proceeded immediately and essentially from the fountain of Being, and he never had a mortal father, Sitting at the right hand of Gon, signified being exalted above all creatures, to be honoured as the next in power and dignity to the FATHER. The following Sections will explain this more fully.
When the Apostles found their LORD would return no more to earth till he should descend to call mankind to judgment, they resolved to go back to Jerusalem, in obedience to his command. A sabbath-day's journey is generally reckoned by the Jews to be two thousand cubits, which was the distance between the ark and the camp when they marched. This is usually computed to be about a mile.
Struck with the profoundest awe and reverence at the wonderful things they had lately seen and heard, the Apostles resorted to a private apartment, where they could without interruption give way to the pious effusions
effusions of their hearts, which exulted with rapturousdelight at their blessed LORD's exaltation, and the hopes of being in due time partakers of his heavenly kingdom. Here they were joined by Mary our LORD'S Mother, whose sorrow was now turned into joy:and here they exchanged congratulations with those pious women who had so courageously followed their beloved Master, and so tenderly bemoaned his death. What a happy change of scene was this! Private praises could not sufficiently express their gratitude; therefore they took every opportunity of attending the public service of the temple, that they might in the sacred courts bless the name of GOD, and make supplication for the aid of his HOLY SPIRIT, which their divine Master had repeatedly taught them to expect.
Let the thoughts of our LORD's ascension lead us to pay a willing allegiance to him; let it also animate our devotion, and comfort us in our passage through life, and excite us to use our best endeavours to purify our hearts and exalt our affections, that we may aspire after heavenly joys, and at length follow our blessed Redeemer to the regions of eternal bliss!
The following Psalms, written by King David, appear to be prophetic of our LORD's exaltation, and are excellently calculated to assist the minds of Christians in meditating on this important subject.
EXTRACTS FROM THE PSALMS*.
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
* Psalm xxir,
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? and who shall stand in His holy place?
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who huth not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the GOD of his salvation.
This is the generation of them that seek Him, of them that seek thy face, O Jacob.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.
* The MESSIAH shall joy in Thy strength, O LORD; and in Thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips.
For Thou preventest him with the blessings of goodness: Thou settest a crown of pure gold on His head.
He asked life of Thee, and Thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.
His glory is greut in Thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him.
For Thou hast made him most blessed for ever: Thou hast made him exceeding glad with Thy countenance. For the MESSIAH trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved.
Thine hand shall find out all Thine enemies: Thy right hand shall find out those that hate Thee.
* Psalm xxi.
Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
Their fruit shalt Thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men.
For they intended evil against Thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform.
Therefore shalt Thou make them turn their back, when Thou shalt make ready Thine arrows upon Thy strings against the face of them.
Be Thou exalted, LORD, in Thine own strength: so will we sing and praise Thy Power
Though our LORD's Apostles no more beheld him on earth after his ascension, some of them were indulged with visions, representing him to their imagination in his glory. His beloved disciple John in particular, who wrote a book, which has been transmitted to us, called "The Revelation of John the Divine.” It contains a number of prophecies relating to the state-of the church in different ages, from the days of the Apostles to the end of the world, which are at present involved in great obscurity; but there are many plainer passages, which may be considered as the continuation of our LORD's personal history. These afford great satisfaction in the perusal; we will therefore examine some of them. But it will be proper first to have recourse to the ancient prophecies, in order to see how they describe the Divine Being, whom they style the LORD, and what they predicted concerning the glorification of the SoN of MAN.
EXTRACTS FROM THE ANCIENT PROPHECIES.
From Isaiah, Chap. xliv. xlviii. vi.—Ezek. i.
I. THUS saith the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, JEHOVAH GOD of Hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no Gon.
II. Hearken unto me, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have called. I am He; I am the first, and I am the last.
Yea, my hand hath founded the earth: and my right hand hath spanned the heavens.
I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel thy SAVIOUR.
III. I saw the LORD sitting upon a throne high and lifted up, and his train filled the Temple.
Above it stood the Seraphims-and one cried unto another and said, Holy, Holy, LORD GOD of Hosts, the whole earth is full of thy glory.
And above the firmanent that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as appearance of a sapphire stone, and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as of the appearance of a MAN above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire, round about within it; from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about as the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
IV. I lift up mine eyes and looked, and behold a