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consideration of this point, to its particular bearing on redeemed man, which is not, I think, so commonly dwelt upon.

For aught we know to the contrary, angels had never witnessed an example of the justice and severity of God, until the angels that rebelled were hurled down to hell. But in regard to the rebellion of man, the principalities and powers in heavenly places are to behold a display of the mercy and goodness and love of God: not such a mere ordinary instance of these qualities, as shall only prove that they are divine; but such an exhibition of them as shall be worthy of JEHOVAH, affording the most wonderful and exalted specimen of these attributes. To this end man is permitted to fall, and so to fall, that he becomes lower, if possible, than the angels that rebelled; being "earthly and sensual" as well as "devilish," and thus as it were two-fold more the child of hell than his deceiver. But God will not only pardon him, and reinstate him in his former condition of happiness; but he hath determined to lavish on him the riches of grace and glory. As we read of the eastern monarchs sometimes raising men, according to the pleasure of their will, from very lowly circumstances, treating them as special favourites, exalting them among all other princes, presidents and rulers, and sending them forth as those "whom the king delighteth to honour;" so the Lord Jehovah hath purposed to raise up man as a beggar from the dung-hill, to receive him to his own bosom, to dwell and walk with him as his friend and familiar, to exalt him in dignity above the angels, giving him to inherit all things as his portion.

It will, I trust, be readily admitted, that these things are true concerning the MAN Christ Jesus: would that they were as fully believed in regard to the elect of God in general! I am persuaded that we should find this blessed expectation most influential in stirring us up to walk worthy of our high vocation. But so wonderfully is the love of God above all that we can ask or think, that the saints in every age have need to pray, "that, the eyes of their understanding being enlightened, they may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints."

It may be well, however, before I proceed to prove these things of the redemed in general, to instance two or three testimonies concerning Christ. As Jesus declares that the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, because he is the Son of Man; so St. Paul asserts, that all things are put under him, He only excepted which did put all things under him. In Ephesians we are told, that God hath raised him far above all a Rom. ix. 23; Ephes. i. 7, 18; ii. 7; iii. 16; Phil. iv. 19. Compare John v. vv. 22 and 27. d 1 Cor. xv. 27, 28.

b 1 Sam. ii. 8.

principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and hath put all under his feet." In Philippians again we read, "that God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, "If &c.' And once more it is written, "that God hath appointed him heir of all things;-that he is made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they: for unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come whereof we speak; but one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man that thou art mindful of him? Thou madest him a little [while] lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.” Every one acquainted with Scripture must be aware, how readily these passages might be multiplied: and I trust none will be disposed to contend that they relate to the divine nature of our Lord; since it were absurd to make the circumstances, that he should be above the angels, and inherit all things, the subject of prophecy or promise in regard to his deity.

Now it is clear to my mind, from the obvious tenor of the Scriptures, that, in this exaltation and glory of the manhood of Christ, the saints are to have a direct participation. This may be made evident, first, from a due consideration of one or two of the figures under which they are frequently spoken of in their relationship to Jesus. For example, they are "the body of Christ;" and it is difficult to imagine how honour can be put upon the head, unless the members also are made partakers of it. Again, they are "the bride" or spouse of Christ, whom he nourisheth and cherisheth as his own flesh, and of whose honour he is jealous. And it is manifest, that when a man is raised to regal dignity, his wife is likewise elevated to the throne; and her lord would resent an indignity or slight offered to his consort, the same as if offered to himself. This latter figure will further serve to point out one important distinction as to the relative degree of glory to be respectively enjoyed by Christ and the saints; for a queen, though she share immediately in all the pre-eminence and splendour and greatness enjoyed by her husband, does nevertheless possess it subordinate to him. It becomes his by inheritance, perhaps, or by conquest: it is hers rather as it is reflected on her by him. She can lay no claim to it in her own right, separate from her lord; See the whole of chapters i. and


Ephes. i. 20-22.

f Phil. ii. 9-11.

ii. Ephes. i. 23.


Ephes. v. 23-33.

and she enjoys it only because he has set his love upon her, and called her to come and share in his glory.

But these things are not merely to be inferred from types and figures, but are declared in more plain and absolute terms. I have shewn in Essays No. V. and VII. that the saints are to sit down in the throne with Christ, and to participate in the judgment; but some of the things also which are alleged in Scripture to prove this great pre-eminence of Christ, are in other places spoken in respect to the saints. Is the exaltation of Jesus above the angels argued from the circumstance, that God hath never said to one of them, Thou art my SON?— "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God! Beloved now are we the sons of God."k Again, is Jesus, being the Son, "appointed heir of all things?" So the Apostle argues of the saints, "that if children, then heirs-HEIRS OF GOD, and JOINTHEIRS with Christ! if so be that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together!"m_"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. " I cannot take these things as mere rhetorical flourishes, spoken without any definite meaning: I view them as blessed and glorious realities, not one jot or tittle of which shall fail: and therefore I cannot conceive, how the saints can be "predestinated to the adoption of children, and made "joint-heirs with Christ," unless they stand in the next immediate gradation to him in rank and privilege and glory in the kingdom of their Father. For this purpose they are made "to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might shew the EXCEEDING RICHES of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus." I know not how others who can receive and realize these truths are affected by them: as for me, though they excite my joy and wonder, yet they fill me with self-loathing and abasement.

Before I quit this part of my subject I may here anticipate one particular concerning the enjoyments of the saints; which is, that their experience does in many respects increase their capacity for spiritual bliss, above that of the angels. According to our present apprehensions, the measure of our spiritual happiness is proportionable to the measure of love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost. Love is indeed the very essence of the divine nature;P conformity to which, beyond a question, constitutes our ability to taste of divine bliss. But then our love towards God depends on our sense of the extent of God's love and condescension towards us; especially in the. j Heb. i. 5. k 1 John iii. 1, 2. 1 Heb. i. 2. xxi. 7. P 1 John iv. 16.

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Ephes. ii. 6, 7.

m Rom. viii. 17. ■ Rev.

instance of redeeming mercy. He who is conscious of many sins forgiven, the same loveth much; "but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." In this respect then the probationary experience of the saints, painful and degrading as it is in the first instance, is by divine grace ultimately overruled to enhance their sense of God's condescension and goodness. The elect angels, so far as we know, have never sinned; and therefore have not been placed in jeopardy by hell-deserving guilt. They have not been plucked as brands from the burning; they have no inward corruptions nor evil world to contend against;-they have not "come out of great tribulation." Nothing so much enhances our sense of present blessings, as the retrospect of opposite dangers and evils. The comforts of a fire-side are never more appreciated, than when we have been subjected to the pelting and severity of a storm: the refreshment of cooling shade is best understood by him, who has wandered through desert wastes, exposed to the fury of a vertical sun. The angels' conception of the condescension of God must likewise be inferior to ours; for we are the immediate objects on whom it is bestowed; they rather the spectators, who "desire to look into" these things. God hath never identified himself with the nature of angels by assuming it, as he has done ours:" and in one word,-Christ did not Die for them; and therefore they can only view his mercy as it is exhibited to others.

II. Having, as I trust, established the general position, that in the resurrection the condition of the saints will transcend in glory that of the angels, I pass on to the next consideration.

In my last Essay I contended, (from 1 Cor. v. 6-8 and Phil. i. 21-23,) that the souls of believers are, in the intermediate state, in the enjoyment of the presence of Christ. In what manner they see him and are with him, is not, that I am aware of, revealed; it is for us to receive the fact itself; and for the rest, it appears to me the safest to leave it in that obscurity, in which it has pleased God to envelope it. But in regard to the person of the FATHER, I think it is clearly intimated to us, that our formal introduction and presentation to Him does not take place until the period of the resurrection. Though we are now said to be sons, (or rather "sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,") yet it is only the Spirit of adoption we have as yet received, which is the pledge and earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession: the adoption itself being identified with the redemption of the body, which is also the time of "the

a Luke vii. 47.

Hebrews ii. 16.

8 2 Cor. vi. 18.

manifestation of the sons of God." But as this is an important point in regard to the millennarian view of the Advent and Resurrection, I shall endeavour to illustrate it further.

When the Lord Jesus was risen from the dead he said to Mary, "that he was not yet ascended to his Father;"'" plainly intimating, as I conceive, that Hades or Paradise, from which he was just come, was not the abode of the Father. The same may be inferred from the words of the Apostle concerning David; viz.-"David is not ascended into the heavens:" and the Psalmist himself defers the period of the beholding the face of God in righteousness, until he shall awake up with God's likeness."w It would appear also, that the saints are not publicly declared to be the sons of God, until their glorious manifestation: for it is to this period Jesus refers, when he promises, concerning him that overcometh,-"I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. " And there

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are various other scriptures referring the time of the saints' introduction to the royal presence, (if I may so say,) to the period of the resurrection. Thus St. Paul expresses his confidence, "that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also (meaning himself) by Jesus, and shall present us with you. In the epistle to the Thessalians he connects it with the advent; praying for their increase in love, "to the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our FATHER, at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." Similar is the doctrine of St. Jude: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen." Thus am I compelled to conclude, that man, whilst in the separate state,*

t Compare Rom. viii. 15, 19, and 23; 2 Cor. v. 5, 6; Gal. iv. 5, 6; Ephes. i. 13, 14. u John xx. 17. v Acts ii. 34. w Psalm xvii. 15. x Rev. iii. 5. y 2 Cor. iv. 14. z 1 Thess. iii. 13. *There is a curious passage on this head by the ancient author of "Questions and Answers to the Orthodox," bound up in the editions of Justyn Martyr's works, and incorrectly ascribed to him. Being asked, what became of those who came out of their graves after the resurrection of Jesus and went into the holy city and appeared unto many; and having stated, among other things in reply, that they went again to Hades with their bodies, in order to afford assurance to the souls there, that the resurrection of Christ was a pledge of the resurrection of all; he concludes by saying, They died not again, but continue in immortality, just as Enoch and Elijah, and are with them in Paradise, still waiting a change after the manner of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; according to the words of the Apostle,-"We shall all be changed." A αιτίαν εδε ετελευτησαν παλιν, αλλα μενεσιν εν αθανασια καθαπερ ὁ Εναχ και ο Ηλίας, και εισι συν αυτοίς εν τῷ παραδείσῳ αναμενοντες την ήδη αιωνίαν της τε Χρισε ανασάσεως γινο μένην κατα εναλλαγην καθ ̓ ἦν, ως φησιν ὁ θεος αποσόλες, παντες αλλαγησόμεθα. Εις γαρ

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