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hither tfiy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side,* and be not faithless but believing,” Which condescending indulgence of the meek and humble Jesus extorted from the incredulous disciple this noble confession, “ My Lord and my God !f And the reply, which bis blessed Master made to it, most nearly concerned not only the generation then présent, but the whole race of mankind in future; " Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou Hast believed ; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have belicved.ll" For all these things were done for our admonition and instruction, that there might not be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief; or, if there were, that we should be left without excuse. For what fact was there ever recorded, which had such accumulated evidence to support the truth of it, as the resurrection of Christ; and, if we will not believe it upen inis indisputable authority, our condemnation lieth at our own door, and judgement without mercy awaits us. But the belief of this important article of our religion is not matter of mere speculation; for, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again for 'us, the necessary inference to be drawn from this faith is, that, to be partakers of the benefit of his sufferings and of the power of bis resurrection, we must die unto sin and henceforth live unto righteousness ; otherwise we shall frustrate the ineffable grace of God, which haih
brought salvation unto all men, and Christ has died and risen again in · vain.
Knowing this, therefore, that our old man is crucified with him, and that we are buried with him by baptism into death ; that, like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life; let us yield ourselves unto God as those
* “ Repetit Thomæ verba, ut se omniscium ostendat," Menochius, &c.
+ " Christum hic palam vocat Deum: quod Christus agnovit, utique repulsuris si falsd dictus fuisset Deus." Erasmus.
“ Non tam mihi, aut authoritati meæ, quam manibus tuis credidisti." Brugensis. # Beati, &c. “ Beatiores. Positivus pro comparativo. Qui non viderunt. Est et hic aosistus pro præsenti: præsens autem quovis tempore; et præcipue agitur de futuris discipulis, cum er Judæis, tum ex Gentibus.” Grotius, &c.
that are alive from the dead; having this always in remembrance, that, if we have not part in the first resurrection from the death of sin, we shall be only so far partakers in the second resurrection as to rise to shame and everlasting contempt, as the Son of Man himself has expressly declared in these memorable words, Mark viü. 38 : “ Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him, also, shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his father with the holy angels.” Whon we come to the cross of Christ and see him pouring forth his blood to redeem us from all iniquity, shall we continue in sin and thereby crucify the Son of God afresh far be it from us, Lord, thus to vilify the sufferings of our Saviour, and, by our ungrateful contempt of them, to put him to an oapen,shame, When we go with Peter and John to the sepulchre and see the napkin pot lying with the linen clothes but wrapped together in a place by itself, we shall cry out, in an exstasy of admiration, the Lord is risen indeed and under the fullest conviction of this most important truth, that the Lamb that was slain now liveth again and is alive for ever. more, we must put on the garments of holiness and be clad in the robes of righteousness, that we may be meet to be partakers of the marriagesupper of thic Lamb in the kingdom of hçaven, ... ? . .
"PSALM 'xxiv. 7, 8. Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, Cand the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? : The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. *
The original occasion of this hymn of triumph, and the solemnity 1. have at present adapted it to, bear so great a resemblance to each other,
• « Dicuntur porta attollere capita, quum ita ædificantur ut sursum versùs eleventur, ne obsint magnitudini rei per 'eas ingressuræ,” Rivetus. “Sunt quædam portæ pendulæ, quæ demittendo clauduntur, et elevando aperiuntur. Tales Anglice portcullis vocamus, quæ usurpantur in locis munitis, qualis erat Sion, 2 Sam. v. 7, &c.” Hammond, &c. Everlasting doors. “Sic dicun. tur portæ templi, quod illic arca esset perpetud habitatura, hoc est, usque ad destructionem" templi.” Vatablus, &c. --Repetitur hic versus, 1o. Ad excitandam nostram negligentiam ac stuporem. 20. Ad' incutiendam reverentiam coram lanto rege. 30. Ob adventum Messiæ geminum, tum ad templum secundum, juxta Hag. ii. 8, 10, tum ad extremum mundi judicium.' Gejerus.
that every one must see the propriety of applying it to both. The solemn procession of the ark of God and its entrance into Jerusalem, the city of David, is so manifest a type of the ascension of Christ into the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the great King, that, what is spoken of the former, must, though in a much more exalted sense, be necessarily supposed to refer to the latter : 'and, though this triumphant song might be properly made use of to usher the Ark of the Covenant into Mount Sion, yet it seems to be more naturally employed in proclaiming the arrival of Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, into the city of the living God.* If, indeed, we imagine ourselves at the gates of Sion,t and fancy that we hear the sweet singers of Israel celebrating the entrance of the Ark into the holy city, with tlieir voices tuned to melody, the idea must inspire us with rapture: bui. let us suppose ourselves at the gates of heaven, let us represent to ours: 18,5 the inexpressible splendor and majesty of the Son of Man attended with an inntimerable company of angels, and let us imagine we hear this heavenly choir shout for joy and sing the seraphic hymn, “ Lift up your heads, Oye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory! shall come in," and it must fill us with ecstasy and astonishment. So glorious a sight as this would be too dazzling and powerful for the weak eye of mortals; we must, therefore, acquiesce in what some of the heavenly retinue will tell us, that this same Jesus, which is taken up from us into heaven, shall so come in like manner as we have seen him go into heaven. Information sufficient for the confirmation of our faith and the support of our hopes. Infidelity is inexcusable,
" De Christo magis quam de arca Dei, Christi figura, hæc accipienda sunt." Muis. + “ Forsan duo chori ad portas Sionis utrinque collocati sunt, quorum hic canit, v. 1, 2, 3, ille respondet versibus 5, 6, 7, attollite, &c.” Hammond. “Hujusce autem dialogismi, seu rem ipsam, seu dictionem, imagines et figuras spéciemus, est vera summeque admiranda sublimitas.” Lowth de Sac. Poes. i
The King of Glory: '" Vel, 1.. Deus, qui arcæ cum, gloria et, majestale insidebal; vel, 20. Christus sive Messias, dictus Rer Gloriæ, i Cor. ii. 8. Apertin portarum illi significat introitum in. regnum suum, ejusque administrationem." Muis, Rivetus, &c.. lll Cum eadem majestate et gloria, cum eadem anima et corpore.” Tirinus.
and diffidence unpardonable. There are many reasons to be assigned for the necessity of the ascension of our blessed Saviour, and many truths to be drawn from it, which yield unspeakable confort to the șinner. The consideration of the former will naturally lead to the observation of the latter.
And, first, the ascension of our blessed Lord into heaven was necessary, that he might be inaugurated in his kingdom of glory,* and invested with that supreme dominion he had acquired by his death and sufferings. As Son of God, indeed, he had, from the creation of the world, governed and supported it by his all-wise administration; but he now assumes a different title, and all power and authority in heaven and on earth is given to him as the Son of man.t His right of dominion was before founded on his being the creator of the world, but now he claims it because lie is the Saviour of it. And, as the divine nature had accompanied the human in all its indignities and ignominious treatment, the human was now to be exalted, and partake of the glorics of the divine nature. It was requisite, therefore, that in his humanity he should ascend up into heaven, the throne of his glory, and there assume the authority committed to him, as God-man. What place so proper for the enthronement of this. Prince of Glory, as that where there is a continual display of divine majesty ? Or where could this sun of righteousness shine forth but in the heaven of heayens? Thus we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, by taking upon him the form of a servant, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, and, by virtue of his regal office, liberally dispensing the blessed effects of his gracious administration by
• In his kingdom of glory. “Erat Christus rex initio conceptionis suæ, regni autem possessionem paulatim ac progressu temporis accepit; plene autem usurpare cæpit cum stalu exaltationis; plenissime et perfecte accepturus in secundo suo adventu.” Estius, &c. See 1 Pet. iii. 22.
† “ Quia se adeo humiliavit, ut homo fieret, Deus eum exaltavit, &c. juxta Phil. ii. 8, 9.” Brugensis, &c. “ Quia hic ille est filius hominis, vel, 3o. Ille mulieri promissus, qui homines ra dimeret, Satanam perderet, &c. Gen. iii. 15. Vel, 2°. Ille do quo Daniel, vii. 13, 14, prædixit fore, ut et detur dominatus in omnes, &c. de quo sic R. SS. et R. Saadias in locum, Hic est rer Messias.” Lightfoot, &c. M :