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himself so deeply for you, by doing whatsoever he commands you, and avoiding all appearance of evil.
9. Lastly, Grudge not to part with any thing for Christ. He left the bosom of his Father, laid aside the robes of his glory, and exposed himself to the şeyerest hardships and most intolerable sufferings, that you might not perish for ever? and will ye refuse any thing for his sakę? Ye have no reason to shift his cross, or decline to take on his yoke, when he suffered on the accursed cross to procure your deliverance from everlasting wrath and burnings.
OF CHRIST'S EXALTATION.
Phil. ii. 9, 10, 11.-Wherefore God also hath highly exalted
him, and given him a name which is above every name : that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. "
LTAVING spoke to the several parts of our blessed ReI deemer's state of humiliation, I come now to treat of the several branches of his exaltation, or that high dignity and glory to which he is exalted, as the reward of his suffering even unto death. This bright Sun set as it were in a cloud, but he rose again, surrounded with the brightest rays of the most exalted glory and splendour. This exaltation is held forth very 'expressly in the text, which, as it is opposed to his death, includes his resurrection, or releasement from the grave. God has not only exalted him, but super-exalted him above the earth in his ascension. The name above every name which is given him, is the same in effect with his sitting at the right hand of God. The bowing of the knee is that acknowledgement of this power, dignity, and authority of Christ, by angels, men, and devils; the great evidence of which shall be at the last day, Rom. xiv. 10, 11. 'We shall all 'stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.' For it is written, “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” ..* · In discoursing further from this subject, I shall consider the several steps of our Lord's exaltation, as they are laid
down from the scriptures in our Catechism, viz. his rising from the dead on the third day, his ascending up into heaven, his sitting at the right-hand of God the Father, and his coming to judge the world at the last day.'
I. The first step of his exaltation was his resurrection, his rising out of the grave. Concerning this, consider the fol. lowing things.
1. The nature of it. His resurrection was not the re-uniting of his divine to his human nature, for death had not se. parated that union, as I have formerly shewn; but his re-, uniting his soul to his body, taking that life again which he had before laid down, John s. 17. And it was the very same body for substance which was crucified; it was the very same body that fell under death that rose again. It had been laid in the grave mangled and macerated with blows, stripes, and wounds; but in his resurrection the deformity thereby occasioned was removed, and nothing but the prints of the Tails remained; as appears from John xx. 25, 27.
2. The truth of his resurrection. Christ truly rose again, This truth was attested by the soldiers who guarded the se. pulchre, as ye will find, Matth. xxviii. 11-15. though the elders took care to smother the effect thereof. . His friends bore the most ample testimony to it; such as the women who came to anoint his dead body, his disciples and many others. To these, he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs,' Acts. i. 3. And we are told, 1 Cor. xv. 6. that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.' The evangelists are unanimous in this matter. This truth is also manifest from the person's being God, who could not be confined in a grave, and the many miracles wrought to confirm it, evincing him to be alive, and reigning in glory.
3. The necessity of his resurrection. It was necessary he should rise from the dead.
(1.) That the scripture might be fulfilled, 1 Cor. xv. 4. which cannot be broken. See Psal. xvi. 10. ^ Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (the state of the dead); neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption. This passage is expressly applied to the resurrection of Christ, Acts ii. 31. and xiii. 35. And it was prophesied of him : Isa. liii. 10. He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.' A
notable type of it was Jonah's coming out of the whale's belly, Matth. xii. 40.
(2.) In respect of the dignity and glory of his person. He was the true God and eternal life. How was it then possible, that he should be holden by death? Acts-ii. 24. . (3.) In respect of his Mediatory office, which would have been broken if he had not risen again. He was to reign for ever, Psal. xlv. 7. Luke i. 32; to intercede as a Priest for ever, Psal. cx. 4. and therefore to enter into the holiest of all, after he had expiated our sins by his blood.
(4.) In respect of our salvation. If Christ had not risen, all the elect's hopes of heaven had rotted in the grave for ever: 1 Cor. xv. 17. If Christ be not raised, (says the apostle), your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. His resurrection was the life of his death, and had he not by his resurrection overcome death; it would for ever have devoured us also
4. The time of his resurrection, the third day. He was crucified on Friday afternoon, and he arose early on the first day of the week, which has from that event been called the Lord's day, and observed as the Christian Sabbath in all the churches of Christ. This period was long enough to confirm the truth of his death. His body did not corrupt in the grave, Psal. xvi. 10. Acts xiii. 37. Nor was it ever after mortal, but put on immortality, Rom. vi. 9. - Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more ; death hath no more dominion over him. This was one difference betwixt Christ's resurrection and that of Lazarus, who rose again only to a mortal life.
5. The author of his resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is ascribed to himself, and we are firmly to believe that he rose by his own power, John. ii. 19. « Destroy this temple, (says he), and in three days I will raise it up.' John x. 17. I lay down my life, that I might take it again. And this the scripture insists upon as an argument of the divinity of Christ, Rom. i. 4. where he is said to be • declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead :' which must needs be thus understood; for Lazarus also was raised; yet no such thing followed on it. It is ascribed also unto the Father, Rom. vi. 4. But there is no inconsistency here: for whatsoever the Father doth, the Son also doth the same, the external works of the Trinity being common to each person. The reason why Christ's resurrection is ascribed to the Father, is, that he acted therein as a judge, letting out the prisoner when the debt was paid.
6. The manner of our Lord's resurrection.
(1) It was ushered in with a terrible earthquake, Matth. xxviii. 2. Behold, there was a great earthquake. As the earth shook and trembled at our Lord's passion, so did it also at his glorious resurrection from the dead. This was an extraordinary and miraculous shaking of the earth, proceeding immediately from the divine power, as the eclipse of the sun which happened during his passion. It was a sign of triumph, and a token of victory, by which our Lord intimated to the whole world, that he had overcome death in its own dominions, and lifted up his head as a glorious conqueror above all his enemies. He came out of the grave with great solemnity, and marched out of the bloody field with a pomp and majesty becoming the dignity of Heaven's champion.
(2.) Christ in his resurrection was attended by some of the courtiers of heaven, Matt. xxviii. 2. • An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.' Christ's power was not confined to the grave or the earth, but extended to heaven and all the host of it. Though the chief priests and Pha. risees conspired together to keep him close shut up in the grave, sealed the stone which was rolled to the door of it, set a watch, and made all things as sure as they possibly could, yet one of the heavenly host by a touch baffled all their measures. The angel of the Lord rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. This action speaks a secure tri. umph over all the obstructions of Christ's resurrection. He sat on the stone, defying all the powers of hell to roll the stone to the grave again: and he sat as a guard to the grave; for having frightened away the enemy's black guard, he sat expecting the women to give them an account of our Lord's resurrection, as he very pathetically did, ver. 6. · He is not here : for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay.
(3.) He laid aside all the ensigns of mortality and death : for he stript himself of the grave-clothes, and left them be. hind him, John xx. 5, 6, 7. The reasons of this laying them aside might be these. [1.] Because he rose to die no
a watch, an de heavenly host by qolled back the
more. Lazarus came out with his grave-clothes on, because he was to die again; but Christ rising to an immortal life, came out free from all these incumbrances. [2.] Because he was going to be clothed with robes of glory. [3.] He left these clothes in the grave, as it were for the use of his people. For if the grave be a bed to the saints, he hath thus sheeted it, and made it ready for them, that in it they may lie quietly and easily till the morning of the resurrection, when they shall enter into the full and eternal possession of the glory that is to be revealed. These grave-clothes were found in very good order; which shews that his body was not stolen away when the watch slept, as the chief priests and elders foolishly bade them say. Robbers of tombs have been known to take away the clothes and leave the body; but none ever took away the body, and left the clothes, especially when they were made of fine linen and new.
(4.) Christ's resurrection was attended with that of many others, Matt. xxvii. 52, 53. “The graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept arose, and came out of their graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Here observe, (1.) Who they were that rose. They are expressly called saints, persons sanctified by the Spirit and grace of God: for such only shall rise by the virtue and power of Christ's resurrection. Who they were, whether the ancient patriarchs, the Old Testament martyrs, or more modern saints, who lived in Christ's time, but died before him, cannot be determined. (2.) That their number was considerable ; they are called many. The benefits of our Lord's resurrection extends to many. (3.) The time of their rising was posterior to Christ's resurrection. For though before this the earth did quake, the rocks rend, and the graves were opened, yet none of them stirred out of these dark mansions till Christ was risen. It is in virtue of Christ's resurrection, that the bodies of all the saints shall in the fulness of time rise again. (4.) They went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. They did not appear to all the people, but to many; but whether friends or enemies, in what manner they appeared, how of. ten, what they did and said, and how they disappeared, are secret things, not to be known. It is very probable, however, that the great design of their appearing to so many was to bear testimony to the truth and certainty, to the power and