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Brother having taken up his refidence in heaven, the whole family, in heaven and earth, are one. His perfonal poffeffion of glory, at once, fecures their continuing in a ftate of triumph, who are already with him; and their being brought to the fame manfions of falvation, who are yet in the houfe of their pilgrimage. Were it not, thus, for our Lord's goings in heaven, neither of thefe valuable, important ends could be reached; and, confequently, neither the joy of the one, nor the other could be full. But this view of the Mediator is equally big with confolation, to all on earth or in heaven, within the bond, under the influence of the cove
In our Lord's goings, he acts a part in the world; by which, as diftinct from his goings in the churches, to be afterwards viewed, we may understand the kingdom of providence, wherein faints and finners are equally and mutually concerned. In this respect our Lord, as Mediator, and confequently, in his human, as well as divine nature, holds the reins, and steers the helm. He fixes the bounds of mens habitation, orders their refpective lots, and determines concerning each, as to him, in fovereign wisdom, seems beft. He raises up or cafts down; he wounds, or heals; kills, or makes alive. He vifits with peace or war, plenty or poverty, fafety or danger, fickness or health, profperity or adver fity; without rendering, or being obliged to render, an account of his matters to them. In way of permiffion, if not immediate difpenfation, nothing falls out, in nations, provinces, cities, villaes, families, or to particular perfons, without the Lord, as having the goverment upon his fhoulders. D 2
Though, from the prefent conduct, and circumftances of numbers in the world, it would, to an inattentive spectator, look as if Jesus Christ, had little or no fay in the management of human affairs; efpecially, from the power of his enemies, and the oppreffion of his friends: yet thefe very providences are under his immediate direction, and keep that particular channel; because, upon the whole, moft conducive towards the glorious ends, in which all are finally to terminate. Vice in profperity, and virtue in adverfity, are phaenomena too intricate for human wisdom to reconcile with our Lord's goings on earth. But none, who pretend to the faith of a divine revelation, will venture to argue from thence, that they are, indeed, irreconcileable. All these seeming paradoxes in our Lord's adminiftration are to himself plain, obvious and confiftent; as they will, fooner or later, appear to have been, angels and men, themselves, being judges.
In our Lord's goings, as Mediator, he acts a part in the churches on earth; by whom we understand the faithful, in a collective, minifterial, or perfonal capacity. Collectively, the churches are, all the members of Jefus Chrift, fcattered through the world; all renewed ones, pardoned finners, of whatever nation or denomination. Minifterially, the churches are, all the office-bearers of the Lord's appointment, in their exertion of difcipline and government, according to the pattern of the New Teftament. And Perfonally, the churches confift of every individual faint, whether he be a churchofficer, or member; whether amongst the paftors, or people; whether a ruler, or ruled; whether admitted to the communion of particular churches,
or excluded from it; whether of neceffity, or choice, deprived of church privileges.
The Lord's goings in the churches comprehend every thing he does in way of gathering, feeding, preferving, reviving, enlarging, comforting, chaftifing and beautifying them with his falvation. His prefence is, to them, what the fun is to the natural world; his influence to them, what the rain is to mown grass; his bleffing to their spiritual profperity, what the caufe is to its effects. While, under the withdrawings of his grace, they languish and decay; when his ftately goings appear, they "look forth as the morning, bright as the fun,
clear as the moon, and terrible as an army with "banners," Song vi io. His goings in the churches as Zion's God and King, ftrike finners with awe, fill faints with joy, and make all the affemblies, ordinances and inftitutions, peculiar to the churches, appear with uncommon folemnity, fhine with diftin- guishing beauty, command fingular veneration, and productive of the most furprifing effects. Under the influence of his goings, darkness is difpelled, formality banifhed, deadnefs removed, error difmiffed, defection afhamed, and all manner of fpiritual difeafes cured. In proportion only as the Mediator's goings are manifested, the churches appear and act in character as his fpoufe. How requifite, then, and how laudable, for them, to long for fuch exertion of his power, and displays of his glory, as have had place in times past.
SE C T. IV.
In our Lord's goings, as Mediator, he acts a part, likeways, in hell; acts a part, refpecting devils and damned fpirits in the chambers of darkness. As his prefence in heaven diffuses strength, joy, and
delight; fo his prefence in hell is the fource of woe, terror, and despair. Over them he acts as the Law-giver and Law-avenger. That he acts as the Law giver, is evident from the many miracles he wrought, in the days of his flesh, in reftraining the powers of hell, and commanding them out of thofe poffeffed and tormented by them. So much were they under his authority, that, without leave, afked and obtained, they could not fo much as enter a herd of groveling fwine. "The devils befought him, faying, If thou caft us out, fuffer us to go away into the herd of fwine," Matth. viii. 31. and if he could give laws to them when on earth, is it to be imagined, he is lefs capable of it, in his Mediatory character, now that he is in heaven?
And that our Lord acts, refpecting these loft creatures, as the Law avenger, appears from the manner in which those very devils accofted him, on that occafion, in the country of the Gergefenes. When he commanded them to come out of the man, they cried out, faying, What have we to do with "thee, Jefus thou Son of God? art thou come "hither to torment us before the time?" Matth. viii. 29. They knew him to be the Son of God, and underflood, that, as fuch, he was appointed the Minifter of heaven, in their damnation. In both thefe refpects, he rules, and will continue to rule, that whole army of infernal locufts, and to rule them as with a rod of iron. Thefe circumftances having place, when he tabernacled upon earth, is a fure indication, that the powers of hell are intirely fubject to him, not only as God, but as God-Man.
Moreover, our Lord's majestical goings in, and over, the powers of darkness, appear with further evidence, from what he faid, when manifefted, in his mediatory glory, to John in Patmos. "Fear not, "I am the first, and the laft: I am he that liveth, and
" and was dead: and behold, I am alive for ever-
Our Lord's goings, in all these respects, were established, by the Father, as Man-Mediator; for, as fuch only, his goings were, or needed, to be made firm. He acted, does, and will continue, to act, in virtue of a valid commiffion from the Father, representing the Deity, for thefe very purposes. That he was and is poffeffed of fuch a commiffion, is certain, from his acting in the capacities mentioned for no ufurpation of power can, in the remotest way, be fuppofed, without reflecting, deeply reflecting, against the Father permitting, and the Mediator practising, it. But manifold fcriptures put the truth beyond peradventure. "I "have fet my King (fays the Father) upon my holy D 4