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bodily eye, it was necessary, both for their own faith, and to enable them to testify to all the church, that they should know whither he went. And they had the highest possible evidence that he actually ascended into heaven.

He fixed upon a proper place. He ascended from Mount Olivet, a considerable eminence contiguous to Bethany. He chose this, to prevent any appearance of deception. Some think that what was done on this mountain might have been discerned from almost every street in Jerusalem; but whether any saw his ascent from the city or not, his disciples had a clear and distinct view of it. He was in the midst of them-conversing with them; and in the act of blessing, they could not but be attentive. Thus employed, he was parted a little from them; and when he began to be taken up, they had a distinct view of his person, and of the cloud in which he was carried up into heaven. Here there was no possibility of deception, as his ascension was slow and gradual; and the eyes of the beholders steadily followed him-rose as he rose, till the faint eye, flung backwards in the chace, was quite disabled. After this, the attending angels addressed them thus: "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing? 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.

As they were now eye-witnesses of this great event; soon after, they had another indubitable proof that their Lord and Master was actually ascended into heaven: he promised that, when he went to his Father, he would pour out the Spirit. For the accomplishment

of this promise they tarried at Jerusalem till the day of Pentecost, when he punctually, and in a very remarkable manner, performed it; and thus they were fitted to be witnesses unto him both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."

4. At Bethany too, they learned that Christ's finished work was acceptable to his Father, and accepted by him. In his death he paid the price, and made satisfaction; and in his resurrection he was discharged. In his ascension, and the glory which followed, he was highly exalted and rewarded, God expressing infinite satisfaction with him, and also the great work he had accomplished. Nothing could be of greater importance than to know what acceptance Christ met with: if God is not satisfied and wellpleased in him, there is no peace to the sinner; but if his sacrifice is accepted in the room of guilty men, there is the best ground for faith, hope, and joy. Whatever others may do, sure, they who saw this sight, and were blessed by their departing Lord, could not entertain a single doubt, either that Christ glorified God upon earth, or that God now glorified him in heaven. As full proof of infinite complacency in him and his finished work, Christ's ascension to heaven is the safety of sinners; and as long as he dwells there, the most guilty, looking to him in the way of reliance and dependance, have nothing to fear from the holiness and justice of God, This is expressed in the most triumphant manner by the Apostle Paul, Rom. viii. 31-34. "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can

be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." The acceptance of Christ's work in the room of sinners, and the Father's satisfaction with it, are also strongly asserted, Philip. ii. 6-11. "Christ Jesus, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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." When God the Father has received Christ to glory, and exalted him at his right hand, it is impossible that he can send any other or contrary declaration to sinners, than what he made when Christ was on earth, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him." Every where the Scripture assures us that God is well pleased for his righteousness' sake.

5. They got instruction about another matter of the greatest importance, that death made no change

or alteration either in his love to them, or the execution of his mediatory offices in their behalf. He had given them many and great proofs of his love before his death. In all their difficulties and straits he relieved them. He supplied their wants, and stood between them and every storm. He treated them as friends, and admitted them to the greatest intimacy. His death was a trying hour, and they did not act the best part. When he most needed the sympathy of friends, and any small help they might have afforded; he was forsaken of all. It was no wonder though his extreme suffering and their shameful conduct might have rendered them suspicious about the continuance of his love. But as he loved them before his death, after it he rested in his love; and having loved his own, he loved them to the end. When risen, he gave them the highest evidences that his love was the same. Quickly did he despatch the news to them all, and to Peter, that he was risen; and that he would see them at Galilee, not to chide with them, but make their hearts rejoice. When he met with them he proclaimed his love in these gracious words, "Peace be unto you." And in this last interview he blessed them. It is the comfort of all his people, that his love, like himself, is immutable, and that no part of their conduct produces any alteration in it.

Death made no change as to the execution of his offices. Before his death, as the great Prophet, he instructed them and others publicly, in the things which concerned their peace; and in private, he opened up to them the mysteries of the kingdom. After his death, he employed the forty days he tarried with them in

speaking of the things which pertain to the kingdom of God. At Bethany, too, he instructed them, and will continue for ever to execute this office. As in his death he offered up the great atoning sacrifice, so after his resurrection, as the great New Testament Aaron, he lifted up his hands and blessed them; and still he stands at the altar with his golden censer and much incense, and offers it with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar before the throne." Rev. viii. 3. And "this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. vii. 24, 25. As King in in Zion, too, with authority he commanded the blessing, and by his infinite power effectually bestowed it upon them. The manner of giving it, proves that it was not a common but special blessing, and one that would never end. He went away in the act of blessing, intimating that, while they needed, he would bless; and as King, he ascended to be enthroned.

6. That, great as their happiness was, while they enjoyed Christ's bodily presence, the want of it would be abundantly compensated by his gracious presence. Before his death, when he spake of leaving them, sorrow filled their hearts; but now he leaves them, and they return with great joy. The blessing made them glad; and the sight of their Master ascending to glory filled their hearts with joy, both on his account and theirs: he was glorified and exalted to the highest dignity, and received all power in

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