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who is the object of all praise and adoration, verse 6; that God who is " King over all the earth," verse 7; that God who "reigneth over the heathen," and who "sitteth upon the throne of his holiness," verse 8; the God of Abraham, to whom all the shields of the earth do belong;" it is that same God that is gone up with a shout. Who dares to wear that great name, but only he who is in the form of God, and thinks it no robbery to be equal with God? Among other winds that are blowing at this day in the valley of vision, the wind of blasphemy against a glorious Trinity, and particularly blasphemy against our glorious Emmanuel, blows very hard. I fear there are more than we are aware of in this land, that are carried off with the wind of that detestable Arian heresy; and therefore it concerns all that love the Lord Jesus, to think and speak honourably of him, and to be established in the faith of his supreme and self-existent Deity; you see here how honourably the church speaks of him, with a view to his ascending in our nature, God is gone up with a shout, the Lord (or JEHOVAH) with the sound of a trumpet.

2. Notice his ascension and exaltation; he is gone up. This plainly alludes to the carrying up of the ark to the hill of Zion, which was done with great solemnity; the ark being the instituted token of God's special presence among them; its being carried from the house of Obed-edom, where it had remained in obscurity, to the high hill of Zion, typified the ascension of Christ to mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem above, from this lower world, where his divine glory had been eclipsed for about three and thirty years.

3. In the words we have the solemnity of Christ's ascension; he is gone up with a shout, and with the sound of a trumpet. When the ark was carried up to mount Zion, David danced before it, and the priests blew with their trumpets, and the people huzzaed and shouted for joy. Indeed, when Christ ascended into heaven, we do not read of any such shouting or sounding among the inhabitants of this lower world; but there was a great and glorious solemnity among angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect. The psalmist speaks of the solemnity of Christ's ascénsion among the inhabitants of the invisible world, Psal. lxviii.: "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is in the midst of them as in Sinai. Thou hast ascended up on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious, also, that the Lord God might dwell among them." And it is thought by the judicious Owen, that in the 5th chapter of the Revelation, it is the solemnity of Christ's ascension to the throne of glory that is spoken of, ver. 11-14. "I beheld, and I heard the

voice of many angels round about the throne: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands," &c. Oh! sirs, we generally think little of Christ's ascension; and indeed it made little noise here below; but it made a great noise in the other world, and will make heaven to ring with shouts of praise through an endless eternity. But I do not insist farther upon the explication of the words.

OBSERVE, "That the ascension of Christ to heaven, or his ascension to the throne of glory, is great matter of joy and triumph both in the church militant and triumphant," namely, Here it is told us as matter of praise and triumph, even to us who are yet in a militant state, that God in our nature, is gone up with a shout, and the Lord with the sound of a trumpet; and therefore the exhortation follows, "Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our. King, sing praises." We are called to join in the solemnity. O rejoice in an exalted Christ, "ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Here, through grace, I would,

I. Confirm the truth of the doctrine, that God in our nature is ascended.

II. I would inquire what is supposed or implied in that expression of his ascension, he is gone up.

III. I would speak a little of the solemnity of his up-going, implied in his going up with a shout, and with the sound of a trumpet.

IV. 1 would make it evident, that his going up is indeed a matter of joy and triumph to all that believe it, whether in the visible or invisible world, in the church militant or triumphant.

V. Make some application of the whole,

I. The first thing is, to prove the truth of this doctrine. And there are two things to be proved. 1. That Christ is gone up or ascended. 2. That this is matter of triumph and joy to the church militant and triumphant.

As to the first of these, that Christ is actually ascended, or that God is gone up in our nature.

1. This was typified under the Old Testament by the ark, which continued in a wandering uncertain condition, as to the place of its abode, till at length, as you heard, it was taken up to mount Zion, and fixed in that secret place of the temple, called "the holy of holies," which typified the highest heavens into which Christ is now entered in our nature. This was also typified by Joseph, who, after he had been sold by his brethren, carried into Egypt like a slave, unjustly cast

into prison, and laid under fetters of iron, was taken from prison, exalted in the court of Pharaoh, having the whole government of the kingdom devolved upon him, vested with such absolute authority, that he bound their nobles with fetters of iron at his pleasure, every one bowing the knee before him. See how this answers the antitype, Phil. ii. 6—


2. Christ's triumphant ascension was not only typified, but foretold by the prophet. Psal. cx. we are told, that he should sit on his Father's right hand, and after he had "drunk of the brook in the way, he should lift up the head," and be vested with such power and authority, as to "strike through kings in the day of his wrath, and wound the heads of his enemies over many nations." In a word, all the prophets prophesied of his resurrection and exaltation, how he was first "to suffer, and then to enter into his glory."

3. This is farther evident from the testimony of famous witnesses. Acts i. we are told, that when Christ had led the disciples out of Jerusalem to mount Olivet, while he was talking with them about the affairs of his kingdom, after he had instructed them as to their management in these matters, he was taken up into heaven, and a cloud received him out of their sight; and thereupon two of his glorious retinue, clothed in white, whom he had on purpose left behind to comfort his disciples, say to them, (ver. 11,) "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." We have this same truth attested by the proto-martyr Stephen, Acts vii. 55, 56, while standing before the Jewish council, he, being filled with the Holy Ghost, his face shining like the face of an angel, cries out, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God;" and Paul tells us, that "he was seen of him also, as of one born out of due season."

4. This is farther confirmed from many pleasant texts of scripture, Heb. i. 3;-iv. 14;-viii. 1 ;-xii. 2; and many other places, where we read of his being "at the right hand of the Majesty on high."

5. This appears from the glorious fruits and eonsequences of his actual accession to the throne of glory, which have appeared in the open view of all mankind. If he be not gone up, and actually vested with all power in heaven and in earth, whence was it that the spirit was poured down from on high in such a miraculous way and manner at Pentecost, Acts ii. like the rushing of a mighty wind, resting on each of the apostles like cloven tongues of fire? Whence came the gift

of tongues, by which the illiterate fishermen, who knew no language but their mother tongue, were enabled to speak, with the greatest volubility, all manner of languages? Surely this power from on high came down from him who had gone up with a shout, that they might be in a capacity, according to the commission they had received from him, to "go and teach all nations" the knowledge of the mysteries of salvation through him, and particularly that he who "was dead was now alive, and liveth for evermore:" and that he "had the keys of hell and of death."

Whence came the gift of miracles, the opening the eyes of the blind, the unstopping the ears of the deaf, their healing the sick, and raising the dead, and the like excellent signs and wonders which were wrought by the hands of the apostles and disciples, of which we read in the Acts of the Apostles? These things were not done in secret, but in the open view of the whole world; and whatever miracles they wrought, they were always done in the name of a risen and exalted Jesus.

How came it about, that by the simple preaching of the doctrine of Christ's resurrection and exaltation, the Mosaic economy, which had the authority of the divine institution, was unhinged; the idolatries of the Heathen, in which they had been habituated for many ages and generations, were made to fall down and give way to the kingdom and government of Christ, and the purity and simplicity of gospel wor ship? How came it about, that, in the compass of a very few years, almost all nations were brought to bow to the royal sceptre of this exalted King: for Paul tells us, that even in his day, the sound of the apostles "went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world?" How came it about, that the followers of Christ, and his doctrine and kingdom, were not entirely buried in oblivion, when the strength of the Roman empire, which had subdued all nations under it, was employed to stifle and suppress it, in ten several bloody persecutions? Whence was it, that the disciples of a crucified Christ, with such invincible courage, were enabled to bear the greatest barbarity that their enemies could exercise upon them? How came their numbers rather to increase than diminish when so many millions of them were slaughtered for their adherence to the faith of Christ's resurrection from the dead? How came it about, that the Roman emperors, and that whole powerful empire, after their utmost efforts to raze the name of Christ and Christianity from the earth, were at length obliged to bow at the name of Jesus, and to confess, that he was the Lord of all, to the glory of his eternal Father? All these things, I say, are clear and uncontested evidences of the ascension of Christ, and his ac

cession to the throne of glory above. And I am ready to think, that it was with a view to these, and the like events, that were to follow upon his resurrection and exaltation, that he said to his disciples, while he was yet on this side of death, and of the sea of his sufferings, John xiv. 12: "He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do: because I go unto my Father" and indeed it was fit that he should do greater works after he came to the throne, than when he was yet on the dunghill.

I should now go on to prove, that Christ's ascension to the throne of glory, is matter of triumph and shouting to all the redeemed, both in the church militant and triumphant; but this will be cleared in the sequel of the discourse; and therefore I wave it now, and proceed to,

II. The second thing in the method, which was, to show what is imported in this expression of his going up: God is gone up with a shout. I answer in these particulars:

1. It implies his voluntary humiliation, according to that of Christ, John iii. 13, where he says to Nicodemus, in order to afford him view of his divine nature, and of his humiliation and exaltation at once, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.", Our great and glorious Redeemer, though he had glory with his Father before the world was; though he was by him as one brought up with him; was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; yet he rejoiced in the habitable parts of the earth, and his delights were with the sons of men: such was his kindness to the fallen tribe and family of Adam, that he would needs pay us a visit in our low state. More particularly,

2. God is gone up; it supposes his incarnation, or assumption of the nature of man; for, as I said in the explication of the words, God essentially considered cannot be said to go up or to come down, to ascend or to descend, because he fills heaven and earth, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him; therefore his going up must have a respect to him as incarnate. And here is a mystery that you and I had need to be learning every day. This is a strange thing that God hath wrought in the earth, the fulness. of the Godhead dwelling bodily in the man Christ Jesus. Without controversy, it is a great mystery, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. In the fulness of time, God sent forth his Son made of a woman." Oh! let every one of us for himself take hold of this kinsman, as Ruth did of Boaz, and claim relation to him, saying, "Cast thy skirt over me, for thou art my near kinsman."

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