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his Life after Death, was a Demonstration of his Resurrection. But being 3 de xhi oxé
ascended into Heaven. Wherefore beside that grounded
Wherefore beside that grounded upon the Hypostatical Union, beside that glorious Condition upon his Resurrection, there was yer another, and that more proper Ascension: for after he had both those ways ascended, it was still true that he had not yet ascended to his Father.
Now this kind of Ascension, by which Christ had not yet afcended when he spake to Mary after his Resurrection, was not affer to be performed; for at the same time he said unto Mary, Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I afcend unto my Father and your Father. And when this Ascension was performed, it appeared manifestly to be a true local Translation of the Son of Man, as Man, from these Parts of the World below into the Heavens above, by which that Body which was before locally present here on Earth, and was not so then present in Heaven; became substantially present in Heaven, and no longer locally present in Earth. For when he had spoken unto the Disciples, and blessed them, laying his Hands upon them, and fo was corporally present with them, even while he blessed them he parted from them, Luke 24.50; and while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of 51. their sight, and so he was carried up into heaven, while they looked sted. Aets 1.9, 10. fastly towards heaven as he went up. This was a visible Departure, as it is described, a real removing of that Body of Christ which was before present with the Apostles; and that Body living after the Resurrection, by Virtue of that Soul which was united to it; and therefore the Son of God according to his Humanity was really and truly translated from these Parts below unto the Heavens above, which is a proper local Afcenfion.
Thus was Christ's Ascension visibly performed in the Presence and Sight of the Apostles, for the Confirmation of the Reality and the Certainty thereof..
* They did not see him when he rose, but they saw him when he af- * Bretór?av sig cended; because an Eye-witness was not necessary unto the Act of his Re- 8x avisa, Bassurrection, but it was necessary unto the Act of his Ascension. It was fuffi- Tap
πόντων και επήςcient that Christ Jewed himself to the Apostles alive after his Passion ; ci ab a jóst is for being they knew him before to be dead, and now saw him alive, they
το πάν ίχυσε :
rej gS fdvesen were thereby' assured that he rose again : for whatsoever was a Proof of is to me si
no sidor, the Apostles were not to see our Saviour in Heaven, being the Session was more not to be visible to them on Earth, therefore it was necessary they should anysas pie be Eye-witnesses of the Ad, who were not with the same Eyes to behold de kleur vions
το τέλG- the Effect.
gỗ crãro to 7 αρχω ιδεών, αυτά τα ταύτα φθεγξομία παρόν7%, και το μνήμας», δηλών(G- ότι εκ έσιν κά· άλλα ο κ τετο λόω έδες pezedsav. S. Chryf. Hom. 2. in A&t. Apoft.
Beside the Eye-witness of the Apostles, there was added the Testimony of the Angels ; those blessed Spirits which ministred before, and saw the Face of God in Heaven, and came down from thence, did know that Christ afcended
from hence unto that place from whence they came : and * be- * 'Egeoay o's cause the Eyes of the Apostles could not follow him so far, the Inhabitants of égzšou or ipthat Place did come to testifie of his Reception, For a behold two men stood by ma, da them in white apparel, which also said, Te men of Galilee, why stand ye wadiion gazing up into heaven? This fame Jesus which is taken up from you into what you get
heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go
into heaven. So wis eis i We must therefore acknowledge and confess against the wild | Heresies of old, segoàn
, orega that the Eternal Son of God who died and rose again, did with the same Bo
yereg: 071 dy and Soul, with which he died and rose, afcend up to Heaven ; which was ošs poloer iz the second particular considerable in the Article,
y diner: προς αυτες
(σόρρωθεν και six drlü idóv7as yvãvon) öso cis i sexvà cvanaubave), autor doctor ididesxor oi äyleros. S. Chryf. Hom. 2. in Acta Apoft. | The various Herefics in the Primitive Time concerning the Humanity of Christ
a Acts 1. 10, 11.
ascended into Heaven are briefly touched by Tertullian; Ut & illi erubescant, qui adfirmant carnem in cælis vacuam sensu ut vaginam exempto Christo sedere, aut qui carnem & animam tantundem, aut tantummodo animam, carnem verò non jam. De carne Christi, c.24. of which Gregory Nazianzen, Ei ti amolecias veñ I Cögre nivou, na superlu eleon 966711c Cápalo, ante un perro segärópu pic70 m river sej nguv, rentador T dožav of woolrias. Epist. 1. ad Ciedonium. The Apellitæ taught that Christ left his Body dissolved in the Air, and so ascended into Heaven without it; Hunc Apellem dicunt quidam etiam de Christo tain falsa senfisse, ut diceret eum non quidem carnem duxisse de cælo, sed ex elementis mundi accepiffe, quæ mundo reddidit cùm fine carne resurgens in cælum afcendit. S. Aug. Haref. 23. This Opinion of Apelles is thus delivered by Epiphanius in his own Words. 'E, TN pexeats and to in reaviwy jaθέν ες τ' γλώ και ζωή Γκρο εαυτω Απο η τεσσάρων (ώμα-Έδωκεν ο Χριστός εαυτον παθείν και αυτό το ζύμαι, και έφυρώθη ω αληθεία, και έδωκεν αυτίω τ' Cάρκα τους εαυτό μαθηταίς, και αναλύσας αυτίω τ' ανθρώπησιν εαυτά απεμέρισε πάλιν εκάσω ή τοιχίων το ίδιον λπιδες, το θερμόν το θερμώ, το ψυχρoν το ψυχρώ, το ξηρών των ξηρώ, το Γρον τω Γεώ" και έτως διαλύσας at' wri sean to 'vouezon Cãuest avírin eis i segvòv, ödev sej ixt. Hæref. 44. Of whom Gregory Nazianzen is to be understood in that Epifle before cited, dis alege ixion ng duecóln, wis Paris Púcis, rj odrãs púois, as seguis deguo % isaurs.
Heb. 4. 14.
as much as
Thirdly, Being the Name of Heaven admitteth divers Acceptions in the Sacred Scriptures, it will be necessary to enquire what is the true Notion of it in this Article, and what is the proper Termination of Christ's Afcenfion. In fome Sense it might be truly said Christ was in Heaven before the Cloud took him out of the Apostles Sight; for the Clouds themselves are called the Clouds of Heaven : but that Heaven is the first ; and our Saviour certainly ascended at least as far as S. Paul was caught up, that is, into the
third Heaven; For we have a great High-priest that is * passed through * We read it the heavens. And needs must he pass through the Heavens, because he the heavens, was a made higher than the heavens; For 6 he that descended is the same but the Origi- also that ascended up far above all heavens. When therefore Christ is said nal imports
to have ascended into Heaven, we must take that Word as fignifying as through ; die- much as the Heaven of Heavens; and fo Christ is ascended through and aAnavesta, pois bove the Heavens, and yet is still in Heaven : for he is entred into that qui penetra- within the veil, there is his Passage through the Heavens : d into the holy vit calosc place, even into heaven it self to appear in the presence of God, this is * . 7. 26. b Ephe. 4. 10.
the Heaven of Heavens. For thus said the Lord, the heaven is my throne, Heb. 6. 19. and the earth is my footstool; and as Christ descended unto the Footstool of Heb. 9. 12, his father in his Humiliation, fo he ascended unto the Throne of his Father
in his Exaltation. This was the Place of which our Saviour fpake to his Disciples, What and if you shall see the Son of man afcend up where he was before ? Had he been there before in Body, it had been no fuch Wonder that he should have afcended thither again : but that his Body Should afcend unto that place where the Majesty of God was most resplendent; thar the Flesh of our Flesh, and Bone of our Bone should be seated far above all Angels and Archangels, all Principalities and Powers, even at the Right Hand of God; this was that which Christ propounded as worthy of their greatest Admiration. Whatsoever Heaven then is higher than all the rest which are called Heavens; whatsoever Sanctuary is holier than all which are called Holies; whatsoever Place is of greatest Dignity in all thofe Courts above, into that Place did he ascend, where in the Splendour of his Deity he was before he took upon him our Humanity.
As therefore when we fay Christ ascended, we understand a literal and local Afcent, not of his Divinity, (which possesseth all Places, and therefore being every where is not subject to the Imperfection of removing any whither) but of his Humanity, which was fo in one place that it was not in an
Other: fo when we fay the Place into which he ascended was Heaven, and * The Seleu- from the Expositions of the Apostles must understand thereby the Heaven of
Heavens or the highest Heaven, it followeth that we believe the Body with
the Soul of Christ to have paffed far above all thofe Celestial Bodies which the body of we fee, and to look upon that Opinion as a low Conceit which left his BoChrift afcend- dy in the † Sun. than the Sun, in which it was deposited; of whom Philaftrius, and out of him S. Austin thus, Negant Salvatorem in carne sedere ad dexteram Patris, sed eâ se exuifle perhibent, eamque
se exuille perhibent, eamque in Sole pofuiffe, accipientes occafionem de Pfalmo, in Sole pofuit Tabernaculum suum. Heref. 59. The same @pinion Gregory Nazianzen astributeth to the Manicheans,
ciani and Heriniani taught that
Ιε δο ωμα νιώ α μη με τα προσλαβόν76-; δη και τες Μανιχαίων λήρες των ηλίω αναποθέσει ένα τιμηθή δια τ ατιpices. Epift. ad Cledonium. And S. Austin says they taught the Sun to be Christ, Manichæi Solem iftum oculis carneis vifibilem, expofitum & publicum, non tantùm hominibus, sed etiam pecoribus ad videndum, Christum Dominum elle putârunt. Tract. 34. in Joh. This Opinion is more clearly set down, but without a Name, in the Catena Patrum on the 18th Pfalm, ου γδ προσεκλέον τοίς * Αιρετικών φλάιάφοις οι φασιν ότι με το ανάσασιν ο Σω7ης τη ηλιακή Codica ݽ o iøógnos Cäria, punétie als méxer idricas waçarias. This was the old Herefie of Hermogenes, as is related by Theodoret, oira (6 'Equogfóns) Kveix to Cãmeet cv Tep jaigo eltev dweblion, 4 Ž de color sj Tols dépovas His Fünk ávægetyviaf. Heref. Fab. lib. 1. cap. 19.
It was necessary to profess this Article of Christ's Ascension. First, for the Confirmation and Augmentation of our Faith. Our Faith is thereby confirmed, in that we believe in him who is received unto the Father, and therefore certainly came from the Father ; his Father sent him, and we have received the Message from him, and are assured that it is the fame Message which he was sent to deliver, because he is so highly rewarded by him that sent him for delivering it. Our Faith is thereby exalted and augmented, as being the evidence of things not feer. The farther the Object is removed from us, Hebuie the more of * Faith hath that Act which embraceth it, Christ said unto Tho- * Magnawing mas, a because thou hast seen me thou hast believed; blessed are they that hic vigor eit have not seen, and yet have believed: and that blessedness by this Afcenfion valdè fidelihe hath left to the whole Church. That Christ ascended is the ground and um lumen eft
aniinarum glory of our Faith; and by virtue of his being in Heaven, our Belief is both
incuncianter encouraged and commended; for his Afcent is the Cause, and his Absence the credere quæ Crown of our Faith: Because he ascended, we the more believe; and because corporeo non we believe in him who hath ascended, our Faith is the more accepted.
tuitu, & ibi
figere defiderium quò nequeas inferre conspectum. Hæc autem pietas undè in noftris cordibus nasceretur, aut quomodò quifquam justificaretur per fidem, fi in iis tantùm falus noftra consisteret quæ obtutibus subjacerent? Leo in Ascen. Serm. 2. Fides eorum qui Deum visuri sunt, quamdiu percgrinantur corda mundantur, quod non videt credit, nam fi vides non est fides : credenti colligitur meritum, videnti redditur premium. Eat ergo Dominus & paret locum; cat ne videatur, lateat ut credatur: tunc enim locus paratur, fi ex fide vivatur : creditus desideretur ut desideratus habeatur, defiderium dilectionis præparatio est mansionis. S. Auguft. Tratt. 68. in Joh. a Joh. 20. 29.
Secondly, It is necessary to believe the Ascension of Christ for the corroboration of our Hope. We could never expect our Dust and Alhes should afcend the Heavens; but being our Nature hath gone before in him, we can now hope to follow after him. He is our * Head, and where that is, the * Christi af? Members may expect admission: for in so great and intimate an Union there cenfio noftra is no fear of leparation or exclusion. There are many mansions in his Fa- proxectio eft, ther's house. And when he spake of ascending thither, he said expressly to ceßit gloria his Disciples, I go to prepare a place for you, and will come again and re-capitis, co
spes vocatur ceive you unto my self, 'that where I am, there ye may be also. The † first
& corporis. fruits of our Nature are afcended, and the rest is fanctified. This is the new Leo de Afcen. and living way which he confecrated for us through the veil, that is to someo 14. 3 Say, his flesh. And hence we d have our hope as an anchor of the foul tales como ? both fure and stedfast, which entreth into that within the veil, whither og guy opeithe fore-runner is for us entred. For if Christ in his Ascension be the fore- Chimet e gu tilhus runner, then are there | fome to follow after ; and not only fo, but they are the to which follow are to go on in the same way, and to attain unto the fame was last monton place: and if this fore-runner be entred for us, then we are they which are 7 Caerd, to follow and overtake him there ; as being of the same Nature, Members dearois Xes
σος ανήγα/ε. of the fame Body, Branches of the fame Vine, and therefore he went thither before us as the first-fruits before those that follow, and we hope to 1. de Ascens. follow him as coming late to the fame Perfection.
τας ελπίδας πους ή ημετέραν απαρχω αφορώντες. ibid. Οrat. 2.
d Heb. 6. 19, 20. # There is a double
, Notion of wesoeg.no, to this purpose, one of a man sent before to make Preparations for others which follow; in which it is well observed by S. Chryfoftom : o webdeguem tivolo ési wego egu, wow is 'lvérons tô Xesso, se ox πεν απλώς εισήλθεν· αλλ' όπε πρόδρομG- εισέρ ημών εισήλθεν" ως και ημών οφειλών των καταλαβεν: Ου πολύ τα πρου ρόκα mi i izopokban ópeí xée cives tó récoy i wted vida av ein wegdegrew is gos a escogieov xj 785 i Foufos cu rõ witý xen divar öden.
S. Chr. Orat.
c Heb. 10. 20.
at odd'ev, og's į inixa? andybávev. Hom. 11. in Epist. ad Hebræos. Another Notion there is among the Greeks of the Fruit which is ripe and come to perfection before the rest, as Isaiah 28.4. Kai 'son cò čvoco. so irricon is invida a coEns in" öxqx rš bęgs a's wegdegna Cúxo, Things, tanquam primitiæ, or fructus primogeniti, ficus præcox. Hesychius. Πρόδρoσμα, τα ώ τω άξονι ξύλα, και τα πρ9 ακμάζοντα ζύκα: lege Πρόδρομοι; for they indeed are properly τα προακμάζω Göza, præcoces ficus : For ļo Theophrastus
, Speaking particularly wer Cuxas, hath' :hese Words, dereito pelúcs.g5 tonehevos τ τοιαύτης Γρώτη7%, όταν ανώς επιγένη και μαλακός και υγρος και θερμός, εξεκαλέσατο ή βλάστησιν· ότι το ζυμβαίνει φανερον, ότι κ τετε το μέρες ο καρπός ανίε, όθεν και οι πρόδρομοι. De caufis Plant. lib. 5. cap. 1. & paulò pòft, Háan pas προδρόμος αι μεν φέρεσιν, οίον, ήτε Λακονική και Λυκομφάλιο και έτεραι πλείες, αι δε φέρεσιν. The Firt-fruits of the early Figs were called az egdeguon, and the Tree which bare them weg?revxń. Now as this early Fruit doth fore-run the latter Fruit of the same Tree, and comes to Ripeness and Perfection in its kind before the rest ; so our Saviour goes before those men of the same Nature with him, and ihey follow in their time to the Maturity of the same Perfection.
* Ephef.2.6. As therefore a God hath quickned us together with Christ, and hath
raised us up together by virtue of his Resurrection; so hath he also made
us fit together in heavenly places in Christ Jefus, by virtue of his AscenTās zemunās fion. We are already seated there * in him, and hereafter shall be seated by xoxo e gorelics, met him; in him already as in our Head, which is the ground of our Hope ; by xiongea him hereafter, as by the Cause conferring, when Hope shall be swallowed τετο επήραν
in Fruition. cu Xessõ 'lr
s. Chriya Thirdly, The Profession of Faith in Christ ascended, is necessary for the Soft. in locum. Exaltation of our Affections. b For where our treasure is, there will our 6 Mat. 6.21; hearts be also. If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men John 12. 32.
unto me, faith our Saviour; and if those words were true of his Crucifixion, d2 Kings 2. 2. how powerful ought they to be in reference to his Ascension ? d When the
Lord would take up Elijah into heaven, Elisha said unto him; As the
is ascended up on high, we must follow him with the Wings of our Medita• Col.3. 1,2,3. tions, and with the Chariots of our Affections. If we be rifen with Chrift,
we must seek those things which are above, where Chriji sitteth on the right hand of God. If we be dead, and our life hid in Christ with God, we must set our affection on things above, not on things on earth. Christ is ascended into Heaven to teach us that we are Strangers and Pilgrims here, as
all our Fathers were, and that another Countrey belongs unto us : From t'i Pet. 2. 11. whence we f as strangers and pilgrims should learn to abstain from fleshly 6 Phil. 3. 19, lusts; and not mind earthly things; as knowing thať we are & Citizens of Ephef. 2. 19.
Heaven, from whence we look for our Saviour, the Lord Jesus, yea h fellow Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God. We should trample upon our Sins, and subdue the Lusts of the Flesh, that our Conversation may be correspondent to our Saviour's Condition; that where the Eyes of the Apostles were forced to leave him, thither our Thoughts may follow him.
Fourthly, The Ascension of Christ is á necessary Article of the Creed in respect of those great Effects which immediately were to follow it, and did absolutely depend upon it. The blessed Apostles had never preached the Gospel, had they not been indued with Power from above; but none of that Power had they received, if the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner had not descended : And the Holy Ghost had not come down, except our Saviour had ascended first. For he himself, when he was to depart from his Disci
ples, grounded the necessity of his Departure upon the certainty of this John 16. 7. Truth, saying, If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you :
but if i depart, I will send him unto you. Now if all the Infallibility of those Truths, which we as Christians believe, depend upon the certain Information which the Apostles had, and those Apostles appear to be no way infallible till the Cloven Tongues had fat upon them, it was first absolutely necessary that the Holy Ghost should fo descend. Again, being it was impossible that the Spirit of God in that manner should come down, until the Son of God had ascended into Heaven; being it was not fit that the second Advocate should officiate on Earth, till the first Advocate had eutred upon his Office
in Heaven ; therefore in respect of this great work the Son of God must
Christian is obliged to confess in those Words of our Creed, He ascended into Heaven: for thereby he is understood to express thus much, I am fully perfuaded, that the Only-begotten and Eternal Son of God, after he arose from the Dead, did with the same Soul and Body with which he rose, by a true and local Translation convey himself from the Earth on which he lived, through all the Regions of the Air, through all the Celestial Orbs, until he came unto the Heaven of Heavens, the most glorious Presence of the Majesty of God. And thus I believe in Jesus Christ who ascended into Heaven.
And litteth on the Right Hand of God the Father
of the Son, and the Description of the Father : The First sheweth that
For the Explication of Christ's Session, Three things will be necessary
the promised Messias was to fit at the Right Hand of God, was both
The same was also expressly foretold, not only in the Sense, but in the Phrase. The Lord said unto my Lord, saith the Prophet David, Sit thou psal. 110. 1. at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Jews have endeavoured to avoid this Prophecy, but with no Success : fome make the