Owen - BX9315 O81

WITH HIS PRESENT STATE t1te church therein declared, is, that. God was " gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound ofa trumpet," ver. 5. which is nothing but the glorious ascent of Christ into heaven, said to be accompanied with shouts, and the sound of a trumpet, the expressions of triumphant rejoicing, because of the glorious acclamations that were made thereon by all the attendants of the throne of God. 2. The place whither he thus ascended, is " on high. He ascended up on high," Kph. iv, 8.; that is heaven. He went into heaven, Acts i. l I.; and the " heavens must receivehim," ver. S, 21.: not these aspectable hea- vens which we behold; for in his ascension " he passed through them," Heb. iv. 14. and is made higher than they, chap vii. 27 ; but into the place of the residence ofGod in glory and majesty, Heb. i. i. chap. viii. 1. chap. xii. 2. There on " the throne of God," Rev. iii. 21. t, on the right hand of the Majesty on high, he sits down in thefull possession and exercise ofall power and authority. This is the palace of this King of saints and nations. There is his royal eternal throne, Heb. i. 8. And many crowns are on his head, Rev. xix. 12. orall dignity and honour. And he who in a pretended imi- tation of him wears a triple crown, bath upon his own head thereby, " the name of blasphemy," Rev. xiii. 1. There are before him his sceptre of righteousness, his rod of iron, all the regalia of his glorious kingdom. For by these emblems of power doth the scriptures represent unto us his sovereign divine authority in the execution of his kingly office. Thus he ascended triumphantly, having conquered his enemies; thus he reigneth glori- ously over all. 3. The end for which he thus triumphantly ascended into heaven, is twofold. (1.) The overturning and de- struction of all his enemies in all their remainingpowers. He rules them with a rod of iron, and in his due time will dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel, PsaL ii. 9. For he must " reign until all his enemies are made his footstool," I. C'or. xv. 25, 22. Psal. cx. 1. Although at present for the most part theydespise his authority, yet they are all absolutely in his power, and shall fall under his eternal displeasure. (2.) The preservation, continuation, and rule of his church, both as unto the internal state of the souls of them that believe, and the external order of the church in its worship and obedi- ence, and its preservation under and from all oppositions L I AND CONDITION 'IN GLORY. 133 and persecutions in this world. There is in each of these such a continual exercise of divine wisdom, pow- er, and care, the effects of them are so great and mar- vellous, and the fruits of them so abundant unto the glo- ry of God, that the world would not contain the books that might be written of them; but to handle them dis- tinctly is not our present design. 2d/y, His ascension may be considered as gracious; as the ascent of an highpriest. And herein the things before mentioned are ofa distinct consideration. 1. As to the manner of it, and the design of it, he gives an account of them himself, John xx. 17. His design herein was not the taking on him the exercise of his power, kingdom, and glorious rule; but the acting with God on the behalf of his disciples. 't I go," saitlt he, " to my Father, and to your Father, to my God, and to your God;" not his Godand Father with respect unto eternal generation, but as he was -their God and Father also. And he was so, as he was their God and Father in the same covenant with himself; wherein he was to procure ofGod all good thingsfor them. Through the blood of this everlasting covenant, namely, his own blood, whereby this covenant was established, and all the good things of it secured unto the church, he was brought again from the dead, that he might live ever to communicate them unto the church, Heb. xiii. 20, 21. With this design in his ascension,' and the ef- fects of it, (lid he often comfort and refresh the hearts ofhis disciples, when they were ready to faint on the apprehensions of his leaving of them here below, John xiv. I, 2. chap. xvi. 5, 6, 7. And this was typified by the ascent of the high priest unto the temple of old. The temple was situated on an hill, high and steep, so as that there was no approach unto it but by stairs. Hence in their wars it was looked on as a most impreg- nable fortress. And the solemn ascent ofthe high priest into it on the day of expiation, had a resemblance of this ascent of Christ into heaven. For after he had of- fered the sacrifice in the outward court, and made a- tonement for sin, he entered into the most holy place, a type of-heaven itself, as theapostle declares, Heb. ix. 24. of heaven, as it was the place whereinto our High Priest was to enter. And it was a joyful ascent, though not triumphant.- All the psalms from the 120th, to the 134th inclusively, whose titles are mover, =To songs of degrees, or rather ascents or risings, being generally 7