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in the spiritual and heavenly affairs of that family of God, that is not of the world, that are chosen and called out of the world, and redeemed from the earth; and, as is represented by the apostle, do not live in the world, but have their conversation and citizenship in heaven.
2. It is manifest that by the context, the wise man speaks of temporal death as it is in itself, and not as it is by redemption, an inlet into a more happy state, in those that are redeemed from death, from the power of the grave; for the dead are here said to have no more a reward, and as being in a far worse state than when living. Ver. 4. The wise man's design and drift leads him to speak of temporal death, or death as it is in itself, with regard to things temporal and visible, without any respect to a future state of existence; and therefore, all that is implied is, that the dead body knows not any thing; they that are in their graves know not any thing, not but that the immortal soul that never dies knows something, knows as well that the dead body shall rise again, as the living know that they must die. It is in this sense, and no other, that all things come alike to all, and there is one event to the righteous and the wicked, ver. 3, and preceding verses. The event is the same in the death of both, only as temporal death is the same in all. In this sense, as dieth the wise man, so the fool. Chap. ii. 16.
Texts of scripture that show that the saints in heaven see and are concerned, and interested in the prosperity of the church on earth. Math. xix. 27, to the end; Prov. x. 30; Ps. xxv. 13.
 Saints in heaven reign on earth. It is evident, when Christ promises a kingdom to his true followers, as he does especially in Luke xxii. 29, 30; that one thing especially intended, is their rejoicing with him in his kingdom of grace on earth; by Christ's words in that place: "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me, that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." By this it also appears, that by that expression, used here and elsewhere, of sitting on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, is not intended merely judging the world with Christ at the day of judgment; (as indeed it will be unreasonable on other accounts to suppose this chiefly intended, for the saints' judging the world, at the day of judgment, will not consist in their judging the church of God; for they shall all have the blessed sentence pronounced on them together, and sit down on Christ's right hand together, to be assessors with him in judging others: after this they shall not judge one another ever again;) but their judging the world will consist in their judging angels and wicked men.
 The saints in heaven acquainted with what is done on earth. It is an argument of this that God so often calls the heavens to be witness of his dealings with men on earth, Deut. xxxi. 28; xxxii. 1; iv. 26; xxx. 19; Ps. i. 4; Isai. i. 2.
 Saints and angels in heaven acquainted with what is done on earth. The psalmist, in Ps. lxxxix. speaking of the work of Redemption, the covenant God had made with his chosen, God's prosecuting the designs of his mercy and covenant faithfulness in his dealings with his church from age to age, and gradually bringing the designs of his mercy to their consummation, as an architect gradually erects and completes a building, ver. 1. 5, says, ver. 5, "The heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord, thy faithfulness also in the congregation of thy saints," or holy ones. Now this cannot be merely such a figure of speech as when sometimes the earth, seas, rocks, mountains and trees, are called upon to praise the Lord. This is rather a prediction of an event that shall come to pass, of the notice the heavens shall take of those particular wonders of God's mercy and faithfulness, and their celebrating them in their praises, and doing it in the assembly of God's holy ones. And what assembly can that be but that which we read of, Heb. xii. 22, 23? Such a praising of the heavens scoms here to be spo ken of, as is described in Rev. v. 8, to the end; vii. 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17; xii. 10, 11, 12; xiv. 3; xviii. 20; xix. 1-7.
 Heaven, the everlasting abode of the church. That the saints shall enter into heaven after the day of judgment, and not continue with Christ here below is evident; John, xiv. 2, 3. "In my Father's house are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also." Doubtless these words, "I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am," &c., will be most eminently fulfilled at Christ's second coming at the end of the world, that second coming spoken of, Heb. ix. last verse. And when it is said he will receive them to himself to be where he is, he must be understood to the place to which I am now to go, to that house of my Father to which I am ascending, in which I am going to prepare a place for you. At my second coming I will receive you to those mansions which I now go to prepare in my Father's house.
It is also evident that Christ went to the highest heavens, the third heaven, far above all heavens, at his first ascension, as the Forerunner of his people; implying that they shall all go there in their turn, or after him; and doubtless in this he was the Forerunner of them, with respect to their reception of their proper reward, or their complete happiness, which will
not be till the last day; and their Forerunner as to a bodily ascension or translation, wherein the saints' bodies shall be made like to Christ's glorious body, and shall ascend as that did. But they will not have glorified bodies till then; and he is doubtless the Forerunner of the whole church in going to heaven; which he would not be, if after the day of judgment the saints were to stay here below; for those, who shall then be found alive, in such a case never would ascend into heaven at all. And then it is most reasonable to suppose, that Christ will be the first fruits in his ascension, in like manner as in his resurrection; but Christ is the first fruits in his resurrection with regard to what the saints shall be the subjects of at the second coming of Christ: 1 Cor. xv. 23,"Christ the first fruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming."
 Happiness of heaven. When God had finished the work of creation, he is represented as resting, and being refreshed and rejoicing in his works. The apostle compares the happiness Christ entered into, after he had finished his labours and sufferings in the work of Redemption, to this, Heb. iv. 4. 10.
Therefore we may well suppose, that very much of Christ's happiness in heaven consists in beholding the glory of God appearing in the work of redemption; and so in rejoicing in his own work and reaping the sweet fruit of it, the glorious success of it, which was the joy that was set before him. And as the apostle represents the future happiness of the saints by a participation of God's rest and Christ's rest from their works, Heb. iv. 4-11. This seems to argue two things, viz.
1. That the way that the saints will be happy in beholding the glory of God, will be very much in beholding the glory of his perfections in his works.
2. That the happiness of the saints in heaven, especially since Christ's ascension, consisting in beholding God's glory, will consist very much in seeing his glory in the work of redemption. The happiness of departed saints under the Old Testament consisted much in beholding the glory of God in the works of creation; in beholding which, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." But their happiness, since Christ's ascension, consists much more in beholding the glory of God in the work of redemption, since the old creation, in comparison of this, is no more men. tioned, nor comes into mind. But they will be glad and rejoice for ever in this work.
The beatific vision of God in heaven consists mostly in beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, either in his work, or in his person as appearing in the glorified human
 The saints higher in glory than the angels. It is evident that the four and twenty elders in the Revelation do represent the church or company of glorified saints by their song. Chap. v. 9, 10. "Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." But these are represented from time to time as sitting in a state of honour, with white raiment and crowns of gold, and in seats of dignity, in thrones of glory, next to the throne of God and the Lamb, being nextly the most observable and conspicuous sight to God, and Christ, and the four living ones. Chap. iv. 4. "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats, and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment, and they had on their heads crowns of gold." So chap. v. 6. "And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four living oues, and in the midst of the elders stood a Lamb, as it had been slain." And the angels are represented as further off from the throne than they being round about them, as they are round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders, and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. So chap. vii. 11. "And all the angels stood round about the throne and about the elders, and fell down before the throne on their faces and worshipped God." These things make the matter of the superiority of the privilege of the saints in heaven very plain.
 Hades-Saints before the resurrection-saints in heaven have communion in the prosperity of the church on earth. There are three things very manifest from Heb. vi. 12; "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
1. That the souls of the saints do go to a state of rewards and glorious happiness before the Resurrection. That although the resurrection be indeed the proper time of their reward, and their happiness before be small in comparison of what it will be afterwards, yet that they are received to such a degree of happiness before, that they may be said to be in possession of the promises of the covenant of grace. Those whom the apostle has reference to, when he speaks of them that now inherit the promises, are the Old Testament saints, and particularly the patriarchs, as appears by the next words, where the apostle instances in Abraham, and the promise made to him, and of his patiently enduring, and then obtaining the promise.
Again: It is manifest the things promised to Abraham which the apostle speaks of, were things which were not fulfilled till
after his death; and it is manifest by what the apostle expressly declares in this epistle that he supposed that Abraham and the other Patriarchs did not obtain the promises while in this life, chap. xi. 13. Speaking there of these patriarchs in particular, he says, "Those all died in faith, not having received the promises." But here he speaks of them as now inheriting the promises. This word, as it is used every where in the New Testament, implies actual possession of the inheritance; and so as it is used in the Septuagint. It generally signifies the actual possessing of an inheritance, lot, estate, or portion, and that being now in actual possession of the promised happiness, is what the apostle means in this place, is beyond dispute, by what he says, as further explaining himself in the words immediately following; where he says that Abraham, after he had patiently endured, obtained the promise. He not only has the right of an heir to the promise, which he had while he lived, but he actually obtained it, though he died, not having received the promise. And that we should suppose this to be the meaning of the apostle, is agreeable to what he says, chap. x. 36. "For ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." And that the apostle, when he speaks here of Abraham's having obtained the promise after patiently enduring, does not mean merely in a figurative sense, viz. that the promise of multiplying his natural posterity was fulfilled after his death, though he was dead, and his soul asleep, knowing nothing of the matter, for the word is in the present tense, inherit the promises, not only did obtain them, but continues still to possess and enjoy them, though Abraham's natural seed had been greatly diminished, and the promised land at that time under the dominion of the heathen, and the greater part of the people at that time broken off by unbelief, and rejected from being God's people, and their city, and land, and the bulk of the nation on the borders of the most dreadful destruction and desolation that ever befel any people.
2. If we compare this with what the apostle says elsewhere in this epistle, it is manifest that the saints he speaks of inherit the promises in heaven, and not in any other place in the bowels of the earth, or elsewhere called Hades. For it is evident that the promised inheritance which they looked for and sought af ter, and the promises of which they by faith were persuaded of and embraced, and the promise of which drew their hearts off from this world, was in heaven; this is manifest by chap. xi. 13, 14, 15, 16, "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were persuad