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Of CHRIST's fitting on the Right
[Preached on Afcenfion-Day.]
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HEB. viii. I.
Now of the things which we have spoken,
N the foregoing chapter, the SER M. Apostle fets forth at large the XV. Excellency, of our Saviour's perpetual and unchangeable Priesthood; by comparing it with That mutable and fucceffive one a
SER M. mong the Jews. Ver. 23. They truly XV. were many Priests, because they were not fuffered to continue by reafon of Death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable Priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to fave them to the uttermoft, that come unto God by him, feeing he ever liveth to make interceffion for them. For fuch an High Prieft became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, feparate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens. Who needeth not daily, as thofe High Priefts, to offer up Sacrifice, firft for his own Sins, and then for the peoples; but has, by One Offering of himself, for ever perfected them that are fanctified. The full explication of This Doctrine, and of the Confequences of it, is the Subject of this Whole Epiftle: And a brief Summary of it, is given us in the words of the Text; Now of the things which we have spoken, This is the Sum: We have Such an High Priest, who is fet on the right hand of the Throne of the Majefty in the Heavens.
OUR Lord, after his Resurrection, as S E R M. we find it recorded in the Gospels and in the History of the Acts, showed himself alive to his Difciples by many infallible Proofs, being feen of them forty days, and Speaking of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God; converfing with them familiarly, opening their Understandings, expounding to them the Scriptures, explaining to them in all the Prophets the things concerning Himself, directing them in what manner they should preach the Gospel to all Nations, and promising to be with them by the Affiftance of his Spirit even unto the End of the World. By which means when they were fully inftructed for the execution of their Office, he departed from them, ascending visibly into Heaven, in fuch a manner as is defcribed by St Paul under the prophetick words of the Pfalmift, When he afcended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men: Now-----He that defcended, is the fame alfo that afcended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. From thenceforth therefore,
SER M. we have (as the Text expresses it) such an XV. High Prieft, who is fet on the right hand of the Throne of the Majefty in the Hea
THE word, Heaven, when applied to the Omnipresent God; as in that expreffion of Solomon, God is in Heaven, and thou upon Earth, therefore let thy words be few; and in that compellation wherewith our Lord begins his prayer, Our Father which art in Heaven; The word, Heaven, I fay, when thus applied to God, does not fignify literally a particular place, in point of Situation; but figuratively, a State of Higheft Dignity and Supreme Dominion. For God, being essentially present every-where, cannot be really and literally in One place more than in Another. But he can make particular manifeftations of his Glory, when and where and how he pleases: And where he does This in the most confpicuous manner, That place is called, by way of Eminence, his Habitation, his Throne, his Prefence. Now because the Heavens, are higher than the Earth; because Thence are derived all beneficial
beneficial Influences, upon this lower S ER M. World; because There is the Habitation of Angels, attending upon the Commands of God; therefore God, who is really and effentially Prefent every-where alike, yet, with regard to the Exercife of his Power and the manifeftation of his Glory, is to Us reprefented as being particularly in Heaven. And Thither therefore did our Lord Jefus Chrift accordingly afcend, to the Highest place of Glory and Dignity, to the most immediate Prefence of the Majefty of God, to His Father and Our Father, to His God and Our God; and is fat down (as the Text with great elegance expreffes it) on the right hand of the Throne of the Majefty in the Hea
THIS phrafe, The Majefty, ufed thus absolutely and indefinitely, without mentioning the perfon to whom it belongs is, in a very fublime and emphatical manner, expreffive of the Supereminent Glory and Majesty of God. It fets forth to us in such a sense, the fingular and tranfcendent Glory of the Divine Majesty;