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SERM. of any good advantage thereby. Awake, saith the XXX.
apostle, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, Eph. v. 14. and Christ shall give thee life; to awake from our
spiritual slumber, to arise from dead works, are the terms on which Christ doth offer that eternal happy
life: for as the pains and ignominies of his death will Phil. iii. 10. nowise avail those who are not conformable to his Rom. vi. 5.
death, in dying to sin and mortifying their lusts ; so will not they be concerned in the joys and glories of his resurrection, who are not planted in the like
ness thereof by renovation of their minds and re2 Cor. v. 15. formation of their lives; for as he died, so he was
also raised for us, that we should not henceforth live to ourselves, but unto him who died and rose again for us : our sins did slay him; it must be our repentance that reviveth him to us, our obedience that maketh him to live in our behalf; for Christ is not in effect risen to impenitent people: as they continue dead in trespasses and sins, as they lie buried in corruption of heart and life, so their condemna
tion abideth, and death retaineth its entire power Phil. iii. u. over them; they shall not katavtõv eis Tino e Faváctativ,
attain unto that happy resurrection, whereof our
Lord's resurrection was the pledge and pattern; so John iïi.36, did our Lord assure in his preaching; He, said our
Lord, that believeth in the Son (that is, who with a sincere, strong, and lively faith, productive of due obedience, believeth in him) hath everlasting life; but o amestöv, he that disobeyeth (or with a practical infidelity disbelieveth) the Son shall not see life, but
the wrath of God abideth on him ; whence we may Rom. viii. well infer with St. Paul, Therefore, brethren, we
are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: for if we live after the flesh, we shall die ; but if
Phil. i. 23
Matt. vi. 21.
through the Spirit we do mortify the deeds of SERM. the body, we shall live ; that is, assuredly by obey
XXX. ing God's will we shall obtain, by disobedience we must forfeit, all the benefits of our Lord's resurrection.
5. Lastly, The contemplation of this point should elevate our thoughts and affections unto heaven and heavenly things, above the sordid pleasures, the fading glories, and the unstable possessions of this world; for him we should follow whithersoever he goeth ; Rev. xiv. 4.
Eph. ii. 6. rising with him, not only from all sinful desires, but from all inferior concernments, soaring after him in the contemplation of our minds and affections of our heart; that although we are absent from the Lord 2 Cor. v. 6. in the body, we may be present with him in spi- . 20: rit, having our conversation in heaven, and our heart there, where our treasure is; for if our souls do still grovel on the earth, if they be closely affixed to worldly interests, deeply immersed in sensual delights, utterly enslaved to corruption, we do not 2 Pet. ii. 19. partake of our Lord's resurrection, being quite se- 21. vered from his living body, and continuing in vast Rev. ii. :: distance from him: I shall therefore conclude, re- Tim. v. commending that admonition of St. Paul; If ye then Col. iii. 1be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God : set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth : for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God ; that when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then ye may also appear with him in glory. Amen.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from Heb. xiii. the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd 20, 21. of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting
SERM. covenant, make us perfect in every good work to XXX. do his will, working in us that which is wellpleas
ing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the
right hand of God.
MARK xvi. 19.
He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand
OUR Lord after his resurrection having consum- SERM. mated what was requisite to be done by him upon
XXXI. earth, for the confirmation of our faith, and the constitution of his church; having for a competent time conversed with his disciples, enlightening their minds with knowledge of the truths concerning him, and in right understanding of the scriptures relating to him ; establishing their faith in immoveable conviction, inflaming their affections by pathetical discourse, comforting their minds with gracious promises against tribulations ensuing, and arming their hearts with courage and patience against all oppositions of earth and hell; directing and prescribing to them how they should proceed in the instruction of men, and conversion of the world to the belief of his doctrine, the acceptance of his overtures, the observance of his laws; furnishing them with authority, and giving them orders to attest the truth concerning him, to dispense the grace and mercy procured by him, and to promulgate the whole will of God to
RARROW, VOL. V.
SERM. mankind; promising them spiritual gifts and aids XXXI.
(both ordinary and extraordinary) necessary or conducible either to the common edification or to the particular welfare of Christians; ordering them to collect and compact the society of faithful believers in him, which he had purchased with his blood ; in fine, imparting to them his effectual benediction, and a promise of continual assistance in the prosecution of those great and holy designs which he committed to their management; having, I say, accomplished all these things, which St. Mark in this verse express
eth briefly by the words μετά το λαλήσαι αυτούς, qfter Acts i. 2. he had spoken to them; and which St. Luke com
priseth in the words évterdumeros autcīs, that is, having imparted to them all needful instructions, and imposed all fitting commands upon them; he in their presence departed away into the possession of his glorious state; He was, saith St. Mark in our text, received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand
Which words of the evangelist do contain two grand points of our faith, The ascension of our Lord to heaven, and his session there at God's right hand; the right understanding and due consideration whereof (as it is now peculiarly, when the church recommendeth these points to be the subjects of our devotion most seasonable, so perpetually] is of great use for the edification of our souls and the direction of our practice : in order to which purposes, I shall endeavour to explain them, to confirm the truth of them, to shew the ends and effects of them, and practically to apply them.
I. He was received into heaven; this is the first point, wherein we may observe the act, and its term: