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dated to our Capacity: for the Hand being the Inftrument of Power, by which most of our Actions, natural and artificial, are perform'd; therefore the Power by which God is faid to act or do any thing, is ufually exprefs'd by the Hand of God. And because the right Hand, by being more frequently us'd than the left, acquires a greater Strength and Activity; therefore the infinite Strength and Power of God is often fet forth and fignify'd by the right Hand of God. Moreover,

The right Hand is ever efteem'd the Place of greatest Honour and Dignity. Hence Solomon fitting on his Throne is faid, in honour to his Mother, to feat her at his right Hand, 1 Kings 2. 19. And therefore the right Hand of God is us'd to denote the highest Honour and Dignity in his Prefence. Again,

Because Gifts are generally given and receiv'd by the right Hand, therefore the right Hand of God is fometimes fet to fignify his Bounty, and the Bleffednefs of those that receive it; according to that of the Pfalmift, In thy Prefence is Fulness of Joy, and at thy right Hand are Pleasures for evermore, Pfal. 16. ult. In fhort then, by the right Hand of God, here we are to underftand the greatest Power, the highest Honour, the pureft Pleafure, and the fureft Happinefs.

2dly, The fitting at the right Hand of God, is not meant of any one determinate Pofture of the Body; for St. Stephen, Looking up fedfastly into Heaven, is faid to fee Jefus standing at the right Hand of God, Acts 7. 56. And St. John reprefents him as lying in his Father's Bofom, John 1. 18. But by fitting here is meant the enjoying, inhabiting and poffefling this fuperlative Degree of Glory. And because fitting is a Pofture of Reft, Honour, Command and Continuance, therefore Chrift's fitting at the right Hand of God implies his eternal and undisturbed Enjoyment of the highest Honour, Power and Happinefs with God in the highest Heavens. Of this David prophetically foretold long before, Pfal. 110. 1. The Lord faid unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right Hand, till I have made thine Enemies thy Footstool. This Prophecy our Saviour applies to himself, as not spoken li terally of the natural Son of David, but myftically of the Son of God, Mat. 22. 44, 45. which made him fay to the Chief Priefts and Elders before his Death, Hereafter shall ye fee the Son of Man fitting at the right Hand of Power Mat. 26. 64.

But

But what Benefits or Privileges accrue from Chrift's Sef fion at the right Hand of God? Why, very great and noble ones indeed, both with refpect to Chrift himself, and to all his faithful Followers. I fhall mention only two of them and they are, a compleat Victory over his and our Enemies; and his powerful Interceffion, or Appearance in the Prefence of God for us.

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(1.) I fay, Chrift's fitting at the right Hand of God af fures us of a compleat Victory over his and our Enemies; fo we read, Heb. 10. 12, 13. He is fet down at the right Hand of God, from henceforth expecting till all his Enemies be made his Footstool. And elsewhere, He must reign till he hath put all Enemies under his Feet, 1 Cor. 15. Where the Apostle in both thofe Expreffions, of making his Enemies his Footstool, and putting them under his Feet, alludes to the antient Cuf tom of the Eastern Conquerors, who were wont to tread upon the Necks of their fubdued Enemies. So we read of Joshua, who having made five Kings his Prifoners, faid unto the Men that went with him, Come near, and put your Feet upon the Necks of them, Joh. 10. 4. which was a Token of a perfect Conqueft and Subjugation of them.

Now this Victory of our Saviour's extends not only to the temporal Enemies of his Church, fuch as the Jews and Gentiles were of old, and all Oppofers of his Kingdom ever fince, but likewife to all the fpiritual Enemies of our Souls, and our Salvation, fuch as Sin, Satan, Death and Hell: all which are perfectly fubdued to him, by the Merits of his Death, the Power of his Refurrection, the Triumphs of his Afcenfion, and the Glory of his Seffion at God's right Hand. This is confirm'd to us by St. Paul, who tells us, that God raifed him from the Dead, and fet him at his own right Hand in heavenly Places, far above all Principalities and Powers, Might and Dominions, and every Name that is named, not only in this World, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his Feet, and gave him to be Head over all things to the Church: Eph. 1. 20, 21, &c. And St. Peter to the fame purpofe, Jefus is gone into Heaven, and is at the right Hand of God, Angels, and Authorities, and Powers being made fubject unto him. I Pet. 3. 22.

(2.) Another Privilege proceeding from Chrift's fitting at the right Hand of God, is his being an Interceffor and Mediator for us at his right Hand. This is one great Ufe he makes of his high Advancement, to be ready at hand to plead our Caufe, and to appear in the Prefence of God for

us:

us: If any Man fin (faith St. John) we have an Advocate with the Father, Jefus Christ the righteous, who ever liveth to make Interceffion for us; 1 John 2. 1. Heb. 7. 25. And if it be a Matter of fo great Favour and Benefit to have a Friend in the Courts of Princes, how much greater Honour and Advantage is it to have a Friend and Favourite in the Court of Heaven? Where, as the things we ask are much greater, fo have we need of a more powerful Inter-. ceffor; and a greater we cannot have than the Son of God, who by pleading his Merits at the Throne of Grace, is fure to obtain Mercy and Grace, to help in time of need.

This is the Gospel for this Day, which we may improve in the following Particulars.

If, From the Disciples Backwardness to believe the Truth of Chrift's Refurrection, we may learn to pray for the Increase and Establishment of our Faith in him; for if the Faith of the Apostles fail'd, who had all the Opportunities and Encouragements to believe, how much more may ours fail, who have fo many Suggestions and Temptations to disbelieve him? The Sadduces of old deny'd both Chrift's Refurrection and ours; and we have too many Sadduces ftill, who feek by all means to undermine the Belief of both: which fhould teach us to match and pray, that we be not led into Temptation, but may continue firm and fedfast in the

Faith to the end.

2dly, From Chrift's being exalted to the right Hand of God, we may learn the infinite Wisdom and Juftice of God the Father, in recompenfing the Sufferings of his Son with fo high and honourable a Reward. He humbled himfelf fo low as the Grave, and defcended into Hell by his Father's Appointment; and therefore it was but fit that he fhould be exalted to the highest Heavens, and feated in the moft honourable Place there; and fo he is, being fet down at the right Hand of the Majefty on high: and as no Abafement could be lower, fo no Advancement can be higher than his.

3dly, From Christ's Exaltation at the right Hand of Power and Glory, we may learn all due Reverence and Subjection to him: for God hath thus highly exalted him, that at the Name of Jefus every Knee fhould bow, and every Tongue confefs that Jefus Chrift is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father; Phil. 2. 9, 10, 11. Let us then be Subjects of his Kingdom' of Grace here, that we may become the Subjects of hisi Kingdom

Kingdom of Glory hereafter: fubject we must be either to his Mercy or his Power; for they that will not fubmit to his Golden Scepter, fhall be bruifed with his Rod of Iron; and thofe his Enemies, that will not have him to reign over them, fhall be brought forth and Дain before him. Luke 19. 27.

4thly, From Chrift's fitting at the right Hand of God, we may learn to triumph over Death and the Grave in the Words of the Apoftle; O Death! where is thy Sting? O Grave! where is thy Victory? But Thanks be to God who giveth us the Victory thro our Lord Jefus Chrift; 1 Cor. 15. We may challenge all our ghoftly Enemies to do their wort in the Words of the fame Apoftle; Who fhall lay any thing to the Charge of God's Elect? It is Christ that died, or rather that is rifen again, and fet_down at the right Hand of God to make Interceffion for us; Rom. 8. 34.

5thly, From Chrift's fitting at God's right Hand, let us learn by the Eye of Faith frequently to look up to him, to enable us to bear up with Courage under all the Troubles and Tribulations of this World: Só St. Stephen did, who looking up stedfaftly into Heaven, faw the Son of God ftanding at his right Hand; and from that Profpect he look'd down with Contempt on this World, and defpis'd all the Rage and Malice of his Perfecutors, Acts 7. latter end. And fo the Apostle exhorts all good Chriftians to do, Heb. 12.2. Looking unto Jefus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who for the Glory that was fer before him, endured the Crofs, and defpifed the Shame, and is now fet down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.

6thly, From Chrift's interceding for us at the right Hand of God, let us learn to come boldly to the Throne of Grace; where we have a prevalent Friend and Advocate to obtain Grace and Mercy for us. And let us fo rely upon his Interceffion, as not to feek to any other Mediators, for there is one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Chrift Jefus: He hath all Power both in Heaven and Earth; and therefore as we have no need, fo neither have we any warrant to have recourfe to any other.

Lastly, From Chrift's being at the right Hand of God, we may learn the great Leffon of Heavenly-mindedness; to feek those things that are above, where Chrift fitteth at the right Hand of God, Col. 3. 2. In a word, let us raife up our Hearts and Defires after him, that where he is, there may we in time be alfo: Which God grant, &c.

Vol. IV. Part 2.

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The EPISTLE for the Sunday after Afcenfion-Day.

1 Pet. iv. 7-12.

The End of all things is at hand; be ye therefore fober, and watch unto Prayer, and above all things have fervent Charity among your felves; for Charity shall cover the Multitude of Sins, &c.

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HE Collect for this Day minds us of God's exalting his only Son Jefus Chrift with great Triumph unto his Kingdom of Heaven; and thence takes occafion to befeech him not to leave us comfortless, but to fend to us his Holy Ghost to comfort us, and to exalt us unto the fame place, whither our Saviour Chrift is gone before.

To this end, the Epiftle for the Day puts us in mind of the approaching End and Confummation of all things, that we may be fit to be receiv'd at laft into that holy place, which Chrift is gone before to prepare for us. In this Epif tle then we may observe,

Firft, A Propofition, in these words, The End of all things is at hand.

Secondly, Some preparatory Vertues or Graces that help to fit us for it. And they are,

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ift, Sobriety or Temperance in the Ufe of God's Creatures; Be ye therefore fober.

2dly, Watchfulness or Diligence in Prayer; And watch unto Prayer.

3dly, Fervent Love and Charity among our felves, which will cover a Multitude of Sins.

4thly, Hofpitality to be used one to another without grudging; and this to be fhew'd by miniftring the Gifts we have received, as occafion fhall require, like good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God.

5thly, Teaching and inftructing the People, as God hath

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