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and amply concerning heaven itself, when the Messiah entered into it at his first ascension, and will be fulfilled to a much more glorious degree still at his second ascension, at Christ's entrance into that heavenly temple, with his glorified and complete mystical body, as well as his natural body, after God has in a literal manner shaken the heavens and the earth, the sea, and the dry land, and shaken all nations.
The beautifying and adorning the temple of Jerusalem so exceedingly be a little before Christ came into it, seems to be some shadow of this; and I believe was intended as a type of it; though not parallel in every circumstance, as the beautifying of it not being at the very instant of Christ's first entering into the temple, and some other circumstances. This seems also to be typified by the immensely more glorious abode that the ark had in Solomon's time than that which it had in David's time. The carrying up of the ark into mount Zion in David's time, was a type of Christ's first ascension into heaven, as is evident from scripture, and the carrying of it up into mount Moriah, into Solomon's glorious temple, is a type of his second more glorious ascension into a more glorious abode at the end of the world. David's militant reign till all the enemies of Israel were subdued under them, was a type of Christ's present reign in heaven, over his church till the resurrection, which is a militant reign; for till the end of the world be goes on fighting, and will continue so to do till all enemies are made his footstool. As yet we see not all things put under him, and the last enemy that shall be conquered is death, which shall be at the end of the world. Solomon's glorious reign in perfect peace and tranquillity with all subdued under him, and settled in subjection to him, is a type of the reign of Christ after the end of the world: all enemies shall be subdued ; and the place of the ark in his reign, in this glorious and most magnificent temple, was a type of the abode of Christ in heaven, in its advanced glory, at the consummation of all things. It is the same heaven, only sublimated and exalted to exceeding greater glory; which is typified by the mountain of the temple, being called by the same name after the ark was removed into it, that the place of its former abode was called by, viz. mount Zion; so that the ark is represented as never changing its place from mount Zion; and when it was carried into mount Zion, God said of it, "This is my rest for ever, here will I dwell; for I have desired it." Ps. cxxxii. 13, 14.
There is a place somewhere in the universe, (perhaps in the central parts of the earth,) that is called Hell; but hell will be made immensely more terrible after the day of judgment, when instead of that fire in the centre of the earth, all the visible universe shall be turned into a great furnace and probably heaven will be
made as much more glorious, after the day of judgment, as hell will be made more terrible.
Thus the External new Jerusalem, or the glorious and eternal abode of the church of God; (which cannot be excluded from the description in the two last chapters in Revelations, because there is in the description, often a distinction made between the city and the saints that are the inhabitants;) I say, Thus the external new Jerusalem will come down from God out of heaven; i. e. Heaven, in this new creation of it, shall come down from the infinitely High and Uncreated Heaven, in which God had dwelt from all eternity, from which God stoops and humbles himself to behold the things that are in heaven.
Thus that will be fulfilled that is proclaimed in Rev. xxi. 5, "And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new." The whole creation, external and spiritual, shall be altered, and new formed; and thus the New creation will be parallel with the First creation that Moses gives us an account of, to which it is spoken of as parallel in scripture; and all the Elect Creation, which is composed of all elect things in heaven and in earth, shall be gotten together in Christ, and all made new, both spiritual and external; all that appertains to the elect, not only elect spirits, but their external habitations: their bodies, that are the microcosm or their particular habitations; and the microcosm, that is, the general habitation. There shall be collected all that is Elect in heaven or earth, being all perfectly purified by fire, and not mixed with the reprobate part of the world, and all shall be made new, and so is justly called "the New Heaven and New Earth.” There will be new angels and new men, new bodies and new spirits: things that are originally of the earth made new, and things originally of heaven also made new. the place of the church of Christ (for whose sake chiefly all Though heaven and earth is made) be different from what it was before: she dwells in another place, instead of that heaven and earth that was her habitation before: yet it is called by the same name, but only new, as the ark when it moved from Zion to mount Moriah, carried the name with it, only it was a New Zion.
When God has obtained his end of the Universe that he created in the beginning, when all things are brought to issue into their end at the Consummation of all things, and God in the final event appears to be the OMEGA, as he was the ALPHA; then God will show his mighty power a second time towards the whole : towards the Reprobate part of the creation, in terribly destroying it; and towards the Elect part, in bringing it to its highest perfection. The Elect creatures, who are the eye and mouth of the creation, who are made to behold God's works, and to give him the glory of them, did not behold the first crea
tion. The angels did not behold the first creation of heaven, that most glorious part of the creation, nor did they see the creation of themselves; and men beheld no part of God's work in producing the creation; but the time will come when God will make all things new by a new creation, wherein bis power towards the whole will be much more displayed than in the first creation. When God shall effect this creation, men and angels shall see God perform it, they shall see God produce the New heaven and New earth by his mighty power. Men, who saw the creation of nothing in the first creation, shall see the creation of all, and even their own new creation; and angels shall see the creation of heaven and of themselves: all shall see that creation that shall be a work so much more wonderful, and so much greater than the former, that the former shall not be mentioned, nor come into mind.
Conflagration. Many suppose the fire of the conflagration will be a pyrifying fire, by which the heavens and the earth will be refined in order to their standing forth in new perfection and beauty. This is very true, yet not in the manner in which many reem to understand. It will indeed be the fire by which the whole universe shall be purified, i. e. by which it shall be purged from its reprobate parts; all the filthiness of the whole universe shall be gathered into it, there to be consumed. The reprobate part of heaven was removed out of it to be cast into this fire; the filthiness that once was there is consumed here, and so is all that is reprobate, and filthy in the earth. It is a purifying fire, as it is the fire of God's justice and holiness; but the justice and holiness of God shall perfectly purify heaven and earth, and purge all the elect creation from all manner of defilement or mixture of that which is reprobate; whereby it will be fitted to be exalted to its highest beauty and glory. And not only so, but such a wonderful and terrible display of the holiness and justice of God, will be a great means of further sanctifying all the elect universe, setting them at a vastly greater distance from sin against this Holy God, and a means of vastly exalting the purity and sanctity of their minds.
Many have supposed that the place of the residence of the saints, after the day of judgment, would be different from what it is before; that the Paradise in which the departed souls of saints are now, is different from the Heaven into which they shall be admitted after the day of judgment; and that Paradise is only a place of rest, in which the saints are reserved till the judgment, when they shall be admitted into heaven. Here is a mixture of truth with It is true that the habitation of the saints, after the day of judgment, will be new and different, exceeding different, from what it was before, but not in that manner that has been supposed:
not that the place or situation will be different, there is no need of that; but the habitation will be new created, and shall appear with quite new and transcendently more excellent glory.
It may be objected against what has been here supposed, that Christ, at the day of judgment, will invite his saints to "inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world;" as though it were the same heaven, that was made and prepared for them at the first creation, which they were now going to inherit.
Answer. It is the same house then built, not taken down, never shaken or removed, but only made more glorious; as they are the same angels of heaven that were made for the saints, from the foundation of the world, though they shall be so much more glorified that they will be as it were new creatures. As it will be with the angels of heaven, who are the principal part of the kingdom spoken of, so it will be with the external habitation: it was prepared for them at the foundation of the world-the foundation of it was laid then, and has been preparing from the foundation of the world, from that time that the foundation of the world was laid, it has been preparing ever since, in all that has been done to it, and in it, and about it. And not only the kingdom is prepared from the foundation of the world in creating heaven, and in what has been done there from that time; but the creation of the whole universe was made to prepare a kingdom for them, to lay a foundation for their kingdom and dominion, and all that has been done in providence, ever since, has been to prepare a kingdom for them. And these words of Christ are a good argument, that the work of redemption is the end and sum of all God's works. It was the end of the creation of the whole universe, and of all God's works of providence in it.
Quest. By whom and at what time will this glorious work of God, in making the highest heavens new, be accomplished? will it be done by God the Father in the absence of his Son, while he is here in this lower world taken up in the concerns of the last judgment, to garnish heaven or prepare it for his Son with his blessed bride against their coming? or will it be accomplished by the Son at his return into heaven with his church?
Answer. Not by the former, but by the latter; for the following reasons.
1. All communicated glory to the creature must be by the Son of God, who is the brightness or shining forth of his Father's glory: and therefore when the Eternal World comes to receive its greatest brightness and glory, it will doubtless be by him, and it will be by him as God man; for all that God doth by Christ, or the medium of communication between himself and the creature since Christ became God man, or at least since as God man he has been glorified and enthroned as Lord of the universe; he doth by Christ
as God man, in whom it hath pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, and that in all things he should have the pre-eminence. As he glorifies the angels and saints who are the inhabitants, so doubtless it will be he who will glorify the habitation.
2. The old creation was by him, the highest heavens were created by him; for without him was not any thing made that was made; it was said concerning him, "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thine hand," Heb. i. 10; and not only the visible but the invisible heavens were created by him; for he is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature, and the beginning of the creation of God; for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. So likewise the New Creation will be by him, for by him God makes the worlds; not only the visible but invisible world, not only the present world, but the world to come, that new world, the new heavens and new earth; for God hath given him a name above every name that is named, not only in this world but in that which is to come, Eph. i. 21. By the world to come in that place, the apostle seems to mean the new world that shall follow when the age of this shall be at an end, for the word is Awv, Age: this age, and that which is to come; and unto Christ hath God put in subjection the world to come. If God committed to him the creation of the old world, much more would he commit to him the creation of the new, for it his business to renew all things. The creation of the new heavens and the new earth is by the work of Redemption, which is his work; and it is a work that he works out as God man, and therefore as God man he will make the heavens new. All new things are by Christ: the new creature, the new name, the new covenant, the new song, the new Jerusalem, and the new heavens and new earth, are all by Christ, God man.
3. The destroying the lower world, the reprobate part of the creation, is committed to him; and therefore much more will the glorifying of the elect part of it be his work, for this is his most proper business; the other is his business more indirectly, and in subordination to this.
4. The creation is certainly by him, as to the principal parts of it, viz. the glorifying the saints and angels. He shall build the inner temple, and doubtless therefore, he will build the outer temple. The glorifying of that, which is his temple and city in the highest sense, is committed to him; and therefore, doubtless, the glorifying of that which is the temple and city in an inferior sense will be committed to him.