Conco. 2a ac ultima}
Afternoon. 11. Octob. 1691.
20. John. 17. But go to my Brethren, & say unto them, I ascend unto my Father & your Father, & to my God, & your God (Doctr.) Our once humbled, wounded, & bruised Mediator, has long since been exalted, not only by a Glorious Resurrection from the Grave, but also by a Glorious Ascension into Heaven. We have treated of Christs Humiliation, in his life, & Death. And are speaking of Christs Exaltation (1) In the first step of it, namely his Glorious Resurrection (which has been insisted on) (2) In the Second step of it, namely, his Glorious Ascension, upon which we are now treating. Here (1) We have shown you that Christ is Ascended (2) How Christ Ascended. To proceed
- III. Now we come to show you the Place from which, & to which, Christ Ascended.
- 1. The Place from which Christ Ascended, & that it seems was Mount Olivet. 1. Acts. 12. In this Place began our Saviours chiefest Passion, when he underwent a bloody Sweat. 22. Luke. 39. 44. And from this Place Christ would Ascend. Now why from this Place? Why to show us (as the famous Dr. Ames observes76) that both his Passion & Ascension did drive at the same Scope, viz. the benefit of Beleivers.
- 2. The Place to which Christ Ascended, & that is into the Heaven of Heavens. Hince Paul sais that Christ is Ascended far above all Heavens. 4. Eph. 10. The Scripture mention three Heavens, viz an Aerial Heaven, a Cælestial Heaven, & a Beatifical Heaven. Into this last Christ Ascended, & so far above those other, Heavens. Hince as to Christs Humane nature, & Local presence, it is truly said Christ is not with us upon earth. 28. Matth. 6. Yet he himself as to his Person, & spiritual efficacy which cleaves to his humane Nature, is every where present wth his to the very end of the world, ult. Matth. ult.
- IV. The next thing proposed is to show you the time when Christ Ascended. And that it seems was fourty dayes after Christs Resurrection. 1. Acts. 3. He Ascended not sooner, because the infirmity of his Disciples required such a space of delay; in which their Faith might be strengthened by divers apparitions, & also they themselves might be more fully instructed in the Mysteries of Religion: Nor did he tarry any longer least he should seem to be desirous of an earthly life.
- V. Last: thing proposed, is why Christ Ascended. Or to give some Reasons of Christs Ascension.
- 1 R. That he might seat his humane nature now glorifyed in the mansions of Glory. Whilst he was in an humbled state, he could submit to a mean dwelling, a poor earthly cottage, but now having conquered all enemies, & finished the work on earth given him to do, & being glorifyed even as to the Humane nature by a Glorious Resurrection: now no earthly chair of state was fit for his Regency, & therefore he ascends the throne of Heaven as most suitable for his Glorious Majesty. The earth can find no suitable habitation for a Glorifyed Saint, how much less for a Glorifyed Christ.
- 2. R. That he might show us that it was he who was able to penetrate the Heavenly & most deep counsels of God. 3. Joh. 12. 13. If I have told you earthly things, & ye beleive not &c. i.e. if I have discoursed after a mean & low manner, in a humane stile of the things of Religion, & yet ye understand not how then would you be puzzled & amazed if I should speak in a more lofty & heavenly style of the things above? I am more than a Prophet, I came down from Heaven, & I ascend unto Heaven, & am far better acquainted with all the secrets of that Kingdom, than any other is.
- 3. That he might open the doors of Heaven to Beleivers. 14. Job. 2. I go to prepare a Place for you. Sin had shut up Heavens Gates against us, Now Christ ascends into Heaven to open them to us. 10. Heb. 19. 20.
- 4. That he might in the Name & stead of Beleivers take possession of an Heavenly Kingdom. 2. Eph. 5. 6. He hath raised us up together, & made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We have taken up our rooms afore-hand in heaven, whereunto we have a just right now upon earth, by virtue of the union, wch is the ground of all com̄union. 1 Joh. 5. 12. He yt hath the Son hath life. He hath the life of Grace in re, & the life of Glory in spe. Hince sais Christ I go to prepare a place for you. 14. John. 3. And I appoint unto you a Kingdom—That ye may eat & drink at my Table in my Kingdom &c. 22. Luke. 29. 30.
- 5. That he might take care of those things which were to be performed in Heaven by his Intercession & Power for the Salvation of his Members. It is by his Intercession in Heaven, that our Services are perfumed, whereby they become acceptable to God: It is he also sends down the Comforter the Spirit of Truth. 14. Joh. 13. 14. 16. 17. It is he also in Heaven that has the Regency of the world, & manages all providences for the best good of his Church.
- 6. That we might have most certain grounds for our Ascension into Heaven. Hince he is called the first-fruits. 1. Cor. 15. 20. In the oblation of the first-fruits, the whole harvest was offered; so in Christ our heads Ascension, every member is ascended.
- 7. Last: That we also in thought, affection, & conversation might be seeking after Heavenly things, 3 Col. 1. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above. Oh there should be in us continual ascensions of heart unto Christ: The Church is compared to pillars of Smoak. 3. Cant. 6. as having her thoughts, desires, affections upwards, Heavenward. Where should the desires of a faithfull wife be, but to that Rich Land & Kingdom where her Loving Husband is? So is with Christs true disciples. 3. Philip. 20. Our conversation is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior.
- 1. Use. May be of Information in a few particulars.
- 1. Infer: Hince learn, that our Mediator is a most glorious Person. He was indeed deeply humbled but now he is most highly exalted, above the Earth, above the clouds, above the stars, above the Heavens. This is a great Mystery, the Angels at the sight of it, are filled with admiration & adoration, how much more should we, who are more specially concerned in it. It is true Enoch, & Elijah ascended into Heaven, but their Ascension vastly differs from Christs Ascension. (1) They did not Ascend into Heaven by their own power & merit (2) They did not ascend into Heaven, having first tasted Death (3) They did not Ascend after they had conquerd Sin, & vanquished the Devil by their own power (4) They did not Ascend into Heaven, to become intercessors with God for us (5) Last: Elijah knew when once he was received into Heaven, he could not profit Elisha or any else upon Earth. 2. Reg. 2. 3. But now the contrary to all those is most true of the Ascension of Christ Jesus. So that our Mediator is a most glorious Mediator: And this
- 1. Concerns Sinners to awaken them. Oh! Sleepy Sinners! Oh mad sinners, see whom you despise & make light of! Why a most glorious Redeemer. He that as he is able to penetrate the clouds, & makes them his Chariots to ride triumphantly into Heaven, so he is able to open the Earth under thy feet to swallow thee; & to break the clouds over thy head to consume thee. Oh therefore embrace his offers, accept his Bowels, offered thee in the Gosple, or else assuredly thou shalt to thy everlasting shame & confusion know that thou hast despised a most glorious & powerfull Saviour. 2. Thes. 1. 7. 8. 9.
- 2. It concerns Saints to comfort them. Oh! you have a most mighty & Powerfull Redeemer. The Lord has laid help upon one mighty to save. He can save you from all your enemies, & he will do it, he has done it, he has taken away the Curse of the Law for thee, he has pluckt out the sting of Death for thee, he has conquered Satan for thee, he has broken thrô the Grave for thee, yea & he has opened Heavens Gate for thee &c. Hince
- 2. Infer: Hince learn that there is no entrance into Heaven, for those that are not interested in Christ Jesus. The Reason is because Sin has shut up Heavens Gates, yea barr’d & bolted them by the Eternal Decrees of God that no unclean thing shall ever enter therein, now such are all the rase of polluted Adam, & therefore Christ Jesus first washeth sinnners & then opens the doors of Heaven to them. Hince he is called our Forerunner. 6. Heb. 19. 20.
- 3. Infer: Hince learn that there are no blessings, i.e. no spiritual blessings for such as are not interested in this Ascended Mediator. He ascended Blessing the Apostles, & in them all Beleivers. ult. Luke. 51. & 1. Eph. 3. Blessed be the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, wo hath blessed us with all Spiritual Blessings in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Out of Christ, & out of Spiritual Blessings.
- 4. Infer: Last. Hince learn that both Christs Passion, & Christs Ascension are all for the Beleiver. He dyed for us. 53. Isa. 5. & in our Text I ascend to my God & your God, to my Father & your Father. But I will conclude with a
- 2. Use. Exhort: To all Beleivers to touch your Ascended Saviour. Now Christ is ascended, now you may touch him, now you should touch him. Touch me not (sais Christ) for I am not yet ascended to my Father, but when I am ascended touch me & welcome. Oh send up your Faith into Heaven, & touch your ascended Lord, & touch him as ye poor woman in the Gosple did till your bloody fountain be dryed. 5. Mark. 25–30. And more especially we should thus touch Christ at his Table: a blessing is pronounced to, & shall come upon the head of these. 20. Joh. 29. And Thomas answered & said unto him, My Lord & My God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast beleived: blessed are they that have not seen, & yet have beleived. FINIS TEXTUS.