Abbildungen der Seite

tity, he cannot intend by breaking his promises to deceive us : therefore if he be also of infinite power, he must be able to perform what he intended, and consequently we can have no reason to distrust his promises, From whence every good Christian may say with the apostle, “I know whom I have believe ed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that, which I have committed unto him, against that day.” (2 Tim. i. 12.) I am assured that if I be a sheep, and hear my Saviour's voice, the powers of darkness and the gates of hell can never prevail against me; for it was the voice of the Son of God, “My Father, which gave them me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” (John x. 29.)

Lastly, The belief of God's omnipotency is necessary to give life to our devotions. We ask those things from heaven which none but God can give, and many of them such, as if God himself were not Almighty, he could not effect. And therefore in that form of prayer, which Christ hath taught us, we conclude all our petitions unto the Father with that acknowledgment, “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory.” (Matt. vi. 13.) Nor can there be a greater encouragement in the midst of all our temptations, than that we are invited to call upon him in the day of trouble, “who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Eph. iii. 20.)

After this explication of our Saviour's session, we may conclude what every Christian ought, and may be supposed, to intend, when he maketh profession to believe, that Christ is set on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. For thereby he is conceived to declare thus much: I assent unto this as a most infallible and necessary truth, that Jesus Christ, ascending into the highest heavens, after all the troubles and sufferings endured here for our redemption, did rest in everlasting happiness; he which upon earth had not a place to lay his head, did take up a perpetual habitation there, and sit down upon the throne of God, as a Judge, and as a King, according to his office of Mediator, unto the end of the world; according to that which he merited by his mediatorship, to all eternity: which hand of God the Father Almighty signifieth an omnipotent power, able to do all things without any limitation, so they involve not a contradiction, either in themselves or in relation to his perfections. And thus I believe in Jesus Christ, who siTTETH AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.


From thence he shall come to judge the quick

and the dead. * This Article containeth in it four particular considerations and no more; First, That Christ, who is gone from us, shall come again. Secondly, That the place from whence he shall then come, is the highest heaven, to which he first ascended, for from thence he shall come. Thirdly, That the end for which he shall come, and the action which he shall perform when he cometh, is to judge ; for from thence he shall come to judge. Fourthly, That the object of that action, or the persons whom he shall judge, are all men, whether dead before, or then alive; for from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

For the illustration of the first particular, two things will be necessary, and no more; first, To shew that the promised Messias was to come again, after he once was come: secondly, To declare how our Jesus (whom we have already proved once to have come as the true Messias) did promise and assure us of a second coming.

That the Messias was to come again, was not only certainly, but copiously foretold: the Scriptures did often assure us of a second advent. As often as we read of his griefs and humility, so often we are admonished of his coming to suffer; as often as we hear of his power and glory, so often we are assured of his coming to judge. We must not fancy with the Jews, a double Messias, one the son of Joseph, the other of David; one of the tribe of Ephraim, the other of Judah: but we must take that for a certain truth, which they have made an occasion of their error; that the Messias is twice to come, once in all humility, to suffer and die, as they conceived of their son of Joseph; and again in glory, to govern and judge as they expect the son of David. Particularly, “ Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied of this advent, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his angels.” (Jude ver: 14.) And more particularly Daniel saw the representation of his judiciary power and glory; " I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the

* Or from whence; the Latins ουρανούς, και πάλιν παραγενησόμενον sometimes inde, sometimes unde. And Kpitov trávtwv årlūs av@pøtwv mexpis the Greek is 60ev, unde, both in the an- avroũ 'Adáu. Dial. cum Tryphone, cient MS. in Sir Robert Cotton's li- p. 362. Others without inde or unde, brary, and in the Creed of Marcellus. only venturus, as the Nicene Creed, ButékecDev &PXójevov, in the latter MS. Socrat. I. i. 8. &pxóuevov vpival, others in Bene't College Library. Others zálev pxóuevov, Constantin. Symb. neither %0ev, nor łmetyev, but náliv, Concil. Gen.t.i. p.534. or novra máliv, as Justin Martyr : 'Hueīs éméyvwyev and Fortunatus, leaving out inde venΧριστον Υιόν θεού σταυρωθέντα και turus, hath only judicaturus νivos et αναστάντα, και ανεληλυθότα εις τους mortuos.

clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Dan. vii. 13, 14.) This Son of man the Jews themselves confess to be the promised Messias,* and they take the words to signify his coming, and so far give testimony to the truth; but then they evacuate the prediction by a false interpretation, saying, that if the Jews went on in their sins, then the Messias should come in humi. lity, according to the description in Zachary, "lowly and riding upon an ass;” (Zech. ix. 9.)but if they pleased God, then he should come in glory, according to the description in the prophet Daniel, “ with the clouds of heaven:" whereas these two descriptions are two several predictions, and therefore must be both fulfilled. From whence it followeth, that, being Christ is already come,“ lowly and sitting upon an ass," therefore he shall come gloriously " with the clouds of heaven.” For if both those descriptions cannot belong to one and the same advent, as the Jews acknowledge, and both of them must be true, because equally prophetical; then must there be a double advent of the same Messias, and so his second coming was foretold.

That our Jesus, whom we have already proved to have come once into the world as the true Messias, shall come the

, ' ). :' : 3315 9785 In Bereshith speaking of the Messias. Indeed the Rabba, speaking of the genealogy con- Jews do so generally interpret this cluding (1 Chron. iii. 28.) with Avani, place of Daniel of the Messias, that the youngestof the seven sons of Elioe- they made it an argument to prove nai, the author asks this question, 27 that the Messias is not yet come, beBy x17 And who is this Anani? and cause no man hath yet come with the , '.

+ This ipterpretation is delivered in libro

, is the Messias, as it is written, Dan.

vii. Dy 1989 Tot ho by an 13. I saw in the night visions, and be- XNT OR WR 122 xow gay

y Anani, that is, the clouds of heaven ; Sy 2017 W1 XS Nav y

: TTWDN 239, and Aben Ezra, ibidem, Rabba R. Mosch. Haddarsham, Gen.

. : of Tzeror Hammor; XUTOTX TIDY or demerit: whereas the promises of The mystery of man is the mystery of tive, depending only on the goodness the Messias, according to that of Da- of God, not to be evacuate t or alterniel, he came as the Son of man. This ed by the wickedness of men. Nay, place is mentioned for one of the the unworthiness of the Jews, which Main which speak of the Messiah, Christ found, when he came in humiin the Midrash Tillim, Psal. ii. And lity, is one special cause why he should the Midrash upon the 21st Psal. ver. 7. come again in glory.

אר' ברכיה בשם ר' שמואל כתוב זהו ,R

. Saadias Gaon ad locum • אחד אומ' עם ענני שמיא כבר אנש: משיח צדקינו כדכתיב נאם יר//

.clouds of heaven זה משיח שנ' חזה ,answers it thus ארי אלכסנדרי ,ibre Sanhedrim הִית בחזוי ליליא וארו עם ענני

אגש אתר הוא:

וכתיב עני ורוכב על חמור זכו עס hold one like the Son of man came with Idem etiam legitur im Bereshit חמור: אנש הוא ,Solomon Jarchi ad locum

xlix . 11. Thus they make the coming אמר רב ישועה כי זה כבר אנש So the author of Christ to depend upon their merit המשיח ונביז הדבר: -the Messias are absolute and irrespec סוד המשיח כאומרו כבראנש אתי:

second time, we are most assured. We have the testimony of the angels, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts i. 11.). We have the promise of Christ himself to his apostles: “If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself: ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you.” (John xiv. 3. 28.) He it is which from the beginning was to come; that express prophecy so represented him, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, until Shiloh come:" (Gen. xlix. 10.) the name of Shiloh was obscure; but the notion of the comer, added to it, was most vulgar. According to this notion, once Christ came; and being gone, he keeps that notion still; he is to come again: “For a little while, and he that shall come, will come.” (Heb. x. 37.)* Our Jesus then shall come; and not only so, but shall come, as the Messias was foretold, after the same manner, in the same glory of the Father, as the “Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (Matt. xvi. 28.) This was expressed in the prophetical vision by coming with clouds; and in the same manner shall our Jesus come: “Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.” (Rev. i. 7.) Those clouds were anciently expounded by the Jews of the glorious attendance of the angels, waiting upon the Son of man :p and in the same manner, with the same attendance, do we expect the coming of our Jesus, even as he himself hath taught us to expect him, saying, "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his father with

his angels.” (Matt. xvi. 27.) And thus our Jesus as the true Messias shall come again; which was our first consideration.

The place from whence he shall come, is next to be considered, and is sufficiently expressed in the Creed by reflection upon the place whither he went, when he departed from us; for he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand * 'O épxóuevos hčer

, that is, he who is that exposition in Midrash Tillim, known by that vulgar appellation • Psalm. xxi. 7. ' OW2'), 'ox fpxóuevos, he which did once come by 9789 018 78 in x 100 good, is still to be known by the same 70Xnxina Top

, again. This was it wbichi made the : 773TIQTY INIX 7'D'ID 733527 apostles ask that question. Matt. xxiv. Rabbi Barachia said in the name of 3. “ When shall these things be, and Rabbi Samuel, one scripture - saith, what shall be the sign of thy coming, (Dan. vii. 13.) “ And behold one like and of the end of the world ?"

the Son of man came with the clouds + As R, Saadias Gaon upon that of heaven, and came to the Ancient place of Dan. vii. 13. O'OUN'IY DY of days, and they brought him near

O ." And another seripture .: w X710 in'w 17297207 The saith, (Jer. xxx. 21.) “And I will clouds of heaven they are the angels of cause him to draw near, and he shall the host of heaven; this is the great approach unto me." Behold in what magnificence and power which God shall manner! The angels shall bring him give unto the Messias. From lience is into the midst of them.

" .before him הס מלאכי,צבא השמים זו היא רוב

« For

of God, and from thence he shall come; that is, from and out of the highest heaven (where he now sitteth at the right hand of God) shall Christ hereafter come to judge both the quick and the dead. For him “must the heaven receive, till the time of the restitution of all things;" (Acts iii. 21.) and when that time is fulfilled, from that heaven shall he come. the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” (1 Thess. iv. 16.) “Our conversation ought to be in heaven, because from thence we look for our Saviour the Lord Jesus.” (Phil. iii. 20.) Our High-priest is gone up into the Holy of Holies not made with hands, there to make an atonement for us; therefore as the people of Israel stood without the tabernacle, expecting the return of Aaron, so must we look unto the heavens, and expect Christ from thence," when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels." (2 Thess. i. 7.) We do believe that Christ is set down on the right hand of God; but we must also look upon him, as coming thence, as well as sitting there; and to that purpose Christ himself hath joined them together, saying, “ Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. xxvi. 64. Thus shall the Saviour of the world come from the right hand of power, in fulness of majesty, from the highest heavens, as a demonstration of his sanctity, that by an undoubted authority, and unquestionable integrity, he might appear most fit to judge both the quick and the dead; which is the end of his second coming, and leads me to the third consideration, the act of his judging: From whence he shall come to judge.

For the explication of this action, as it stands in this Article, three considerations will be necessary. First, How we may

be assured, that there is a judgment to come, that any one shall come to judge. Secondly, In case we be assured that there shall be a judgment, how it appeareth that he which is ascended into heaven, that is, that Christ shall be the judge. Thirdly, In case we can be assured that we shall be judged, and that Christ shall judge us, it will be worthy our inquiry, in what this judgment shall consist, how this action shall be performed: and more than this cannot be necessary to make us understand, that he shall come to judge.

That there is a judgment to come after this life, will appear demonstrable, whether we consider ourselves who are to undergo it, or God who is to execute it. If we do but reflect upon the frame and temper of our own spirits, we cannot but collect and conclude from thence, that we are to give an account of our actions, and that a judgment hereafter is to pass upon us. There is in the soul of every man a conscience; and whosesoever it is, it giveth testimony to this truth, The antecedent or directive conscience tells us what we are to do, and the subsequent or reflexive conscience warns us what we

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »