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the front of the battle. He exhibited him to the world in a state of so complete subjection, that no slave could be more entirely his master's property than Paul was Christ's. Paul himself avers, that he “bears “ in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus ;”, as servants of old, both in the East and amongst the Romans, were distinguished by the marks of their masters, impressed on their bodies with red-hot iron.* “ Thou hast received gifts.” Thy Father hath given thee power over all, that from the abundance of spiritual and heavenly treasures, thou mayest impart to thy church, whatever is calculated to adorn and to enrich her. Nor hast thou obtained the rewards due to thy merits, in thine own person only, but also—“ in
men." For since they are thine, given thee by the Father, redeemed by thy blood, and members of thy mystical body; and since nothing is given them but by virtue of thy satisfaction and merit, and whatever is given them redounds to thy glory and honour as the Head,—thou receivest in them, as a recompence for thy service, whatever they receive on thy account.h “ Even the rebellious also;" that is, Thou hast received the rebellious—thou wilt possess the once refractory Jews for thine inheritance ; that, although, by the righteous judgment of God, they have long “ dwelt in “ a dry land,"i destitute of all grace and comfort, they may now “ inhabit the comeliness,t or beauty of Je“ hovah.” To inhabit the beauty of Jehovah, is to be joined to the Church of Christ, where it is our privi
See Lips. Elect. lib. ii. cap. 15.
is sometimes used abstractly, as in Ps. lxxxix. 8, and is defrom Jer. x. 7. which denotes comeliness. & Gal. vi. 17.
Comp. Acts ii. 33. i Verse 6.
lege to behold and to enjoy the pleasant light of Jehovah's countenance. Or if any one disrelish this interpretation, let him take the expression in the following sense;—in order to dwell, that is, that thou, O Jan JEHOVAH, O Lord, LORD, mayest dwell in them by thy grace and Spirit. Thus we have here a truly luminous prophecy, respecting the ascension of Christ, and its consequences; which the Apostle also explains in his Epistle to the Ephesians.j
XXXV. Add to this Isaiah liii. 8. “ He was taken " from prison and from judgment.” The Hebrew word* exactly corresponds with the Greek term Analepsis, of which we spoke above, and signifies here his being taken up to the heavenly place, and the heavenly glory. It is said, in like manner, of Enoch: “ And “ he was not, for God took him.”k And the disciples of the prophets at Bethel said to Elisha: “ Knowest " thou that the Lord will take away thy master from 'thy head to-day ?" Nor is that expression dissimilar, which we have just cited from the Revelation, namely,—“ caught up unto God.”m
Xxxvi. The Jewish High-priest was the most illus-· trious Type of Christ's ascension to heaven. Once every year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, upon the first day of which the common or civil year began, the High-priest entered, with the shed blood of a victim, within the vail, into the Holy of Holies, to make intercession for the people. In like manner also,
3 Ch. iv. 8.
knp Gen. v. 24.
at the commencement of the year of grace and of liberty, the Lord Jesus, by his own shed blood, and through the rent vail of his own flesh, entered, not into the holy places made with hands, but into the heavenly sanctuary, to consecrate the way for us, that by representing the virtue of his satisfaction to the Father, he might make continual intercession
XXXVII. The ascension of Christ was also shadowed forth by the golden pot or casket of Manna, which was deposited in the presence of Jehovah, that there it might be preserved, exempt from all corruption and putrefaction. It was thus signified, that he who descended from heaven to be the bread of life to sinners, who without him must inevitably have perished, was again to be taken up to heaven, that, no longer obnoxious to infirmity, he might live eternally with the Father in unfading glory.
XXXVIII. Add to this, the translation of Enoch and Elijah. As the former was translated to heaven under the promise, and the latter under the law; so Christ was translated under grace, as the exemplar of believers of all ages. A vast difference, meantime, may be observed, between the ascension of our Lord, and the translation of these ancient prophets. They were graciously translated to heaven, by no power and by no title of their own; but by the power of God, and by the virtue of the merits of Christ, and of his future ascension-a virtue which was exerted even from the beginning. Our Saviour, on the contrary, ascended to heaven, as to his own habitation, by his own power
p Exod. xvi. 32-34.
• Heb. ix. 24. vi. 19, 20.
and authority, and by the right of his Deity, as well as · by a mediatorial title acquired by his sufferings. This observation throws light on that expression of Christ: “ No man hath ascended up to heaven, but “ he that came down from heaven, even the Son of “man, which is in heaven.”r 42 They were translated, besides, without tasting death; for it did not belong to them to make satisfaction for sin. But Christ ascended, after having undergone death, and after having conquered it by his own death, and triumphed over it by his resurrection from the dead; for he was not to “ sit down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” till he had first “ by himself purged our sins.”
xxxix. And truly it was of importance to God the Father, that he should receive home at last to the embraces of his love, his Only-begotten Son, who “ was daily his delight,”t and who had now spent so many years in a sort of exile on the earth; and that this honorary ambassador, having performed his whole work aright, should, after sojourning so long in a foreign land, return to court, to render an account of his embassy. The glory of his justice required, that his well-beloved Son should not be disappointed of that reward, which was due to an obedience so signal, and a service so arduous and so perfect; and which was to be enjoyed only in heaven.u
XL. It was of importance, also, to Christ, that he should possess the right which he had procured for himself, and that having valiantly and successfully overthrown his enemies, he should be carried in a triumphal chariot, and, amidst the shrieks of devils, and the acclamations of angels, amidst the amazement of the wicked, and the songs of choirs of the faithful, make a joyful and glorious entry, not into such a place as Rome, or the Capitol, but into the heavenly Jerusalem, and the Temple not made with hands, there to enjoy a delightful rest, after the protracted travail of his soul. He had indeed finished all those parts of his work, which were to be discharged in the state of humiliation. But some operations belonging to each of his offices remained, which could be accomplished only in heaven. There he had to erect his chair as a Prophet, that he might instruct his people by his Spirit, who irradiates their minds from above. There he had to appear in the presence of God as a Priest ; •and this was so absolutely necessary, that if he had remained on earth, he could not have been our Priest. It behoved him either to be a Priest in every respect, or not to be a Priest at all. It belongs also to the Priest, namely, the High-priest, of whom we now speak, to enter within the vail, to make intercession for the people. Hence such an High-priest became us, as, after having offered up himself, “is made higher than “ the heavens." There, in fine, hewas to take possession of the Throne of the kingdom, that he might hear the Angels around the throne, shouting with a loud voice : “ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, “ and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and
John üi. 13.
s Heb. i. 8.
u Is. xlix. 5-7. 12 See Note XLII.
glory, and blessing;"?—that, looking down from on high, he might laugh at the impotent rage of his enemies ;-—and finally, that from that impregnable fortress he might afford the most effectual succours for
Rev. iii. 21. * Heb. viii. 4. • Rev. v. 12.
* John xvi. 7-!3. y Heb. vii. 26, 27. a Ps. ii. 4.