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The blessedness of the church triumphant in heaven, and their joy and glory will as much consist in heholding the success of Christ's redemption on earth, and in as great proportion, as the joy that was set before Christ consists in it, or as the glory and reward of Christ as God man and Mediator consists in it.

[1072] Happiness of heaven. The saints in heaven will enjoy God as their portion, and possess all things in the most excellent manner possible; in that they will have all in Christ their head. Christ their head is as it were their organ of enjoyment; but the capacity of enjoyment that this organ hath, is of infinitely greater extent than the capacity of any of Christ's members taken separately, or by themselves; as the head of the natural body, by reason of its extensive and noble senses, has such a much greater capacity of enjoyment than the inferior members of the body by themselves. Were not the saints united to Christ, they could never enjoy God the Father in so excellent a manner as now they will in heaven, partaking with Christ in his enjoyment of him. And so they never could possess all the works of God in so excellent and glorious a manner as they do in their head, who has the absolute possession of all, and rules over all, and disposes all things according to his will; for by virtue of their union with Christ, they also shall rule over all. They shall sit with him in his throne, and reign over the same kingdom, as his body, and shall see all things disposed according to their will; for the will of the Head will be the will of the whole body. Christ being their head, the gratifying of his will shall be as much for their happiness, as if it were their own will separately that was gratified; for they shall have no other will, as the natural body, head, and members have but one will; and on the other hand, the holy desires of the saints (as they will have no other desires) will be evermore Christ's will. The appetite of the members will ever be the will of the head. If the whole universe were given to a saint separately, he could not fully possess it, his capacity would be too narrow. He would not know how to dispose of it for his own good; as the inferior members of the natural body would not know how to dispose of things that the body has possession of for their good, without the eyes or the head. And if the saints did know, they would not have strength sufficient; but in Christ their Head they have perfect knowledge and infinite strength.

[1089] The saints in heaven acquainted with the state of the church on earth. The man Christ Jesus is the head of the glorified saints in heaven. He is the head of the glorious assembly, who leads them in all their worship and praise, and is

their vital Head. They are in some sense the glorified body of Christ; they are with him as it were in all things, being partakers with him in all, all his exaltation and glory, all his reward, all his enjoyment of God the Father, all his reward by obtaining the joy set before him, his reign here on earth, the glory of his reign in his kingdom of grace, the bestowment of the promised reward in what is done to the elect here, his enjoyment of the success of his redemption, his seeing his seed the pleasure of the Lord, prospering in his hands, his justifying many by his righteousness, his conquering his enemies, his subduing and triumphing over Satan, and Antichrist, and all other enemies. What He sees of God, they in their measure see; what He sees of the church of God on earth, and of the flourishing of religion here, they see according to their capacity; what He sees of the punishment of his enemies in hell, they see in him; and therefore this damnation of the enemies of Christ, and its being in the presence of the inhabitants of heaven, consisting of Christ, and saints, and angels, is expressed thus, Rev. xiv. 10: "They shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:" Saying nothing of the glorified saints, including them in the name of the Lamb. Christ, with his glo rified mystical body, being but one mystical person, for he is the head of the glorified body, as the sight of the eyes that are in the head are for the information of the whole body, and what he enjoys they enjoy; they are with him in his honour and alvancement; they are with him in his pleasures; they are with him in his enjoyment of the Father's love; the love wherewith the Father loves him is in them, and he in them; they are with him in the joy of his success on earth; they are with him in his joy at the conversion of one sinner. The good shepherd, when he has found the sheep that was lost, calls together his friends and neighbours, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost," Luke xv. 5, 6. And they are with him in his joy at the conversion of nations, and the world. The day of Christ's espousals is the day of the gladness of his heart, Cant. iii. 11. The day of the marriage of the Lamb is the day of Christ's rejoicing. Isai. Ixii. 5; Zeph. iii. 17. So it is the day of the gladness and rejoicing of the hearts of the saints in heaven, Rev. xix. 1-9. When he rides forth in this world, girding his sword on his thigh in his glory and majesty, to battle against Antichrist and other enemies, they are represented as riding forth in glory with him, Rev. xix., and in his triumph they triumph. They appear on mount Zion with him with palms in their hands; and as Satan is bruised under his feet, so he is bruised under their feet also. The saints, there

fore have no more done with the state of the church and kingdom on earth, because they have left this world, and have ascended into heaven; than Christ himself had, when he left the earth and ascended into heaven, who was so far from having done with the prosperity of his church and kingdom here, as to any immediate concern in those things by reason of his ascension, that he ascended to that very end, that he might be more concerned, that he might receive the glory and reward of the enlargement and prosperity of his church, and the conquest of his enemies here, that he might reign in this kingdom, and be under the best advantages for it, and might have the fullest enjoyment of the glory of it, as much as a king ascends a throne in order to reign over his people, and receive the honour and glory of his dominion over them. Christ came with clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and was brought near before him to that very end, that he might receive dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him, Dan. vii. 13, 14. God the Father bade him sit at his right hand, that his enemies might be made his footstool, and rule in the midst of his enemies, and that he might enjoy that glorious reward that is called receiving the dew of his youth, and judging among the heathen, and wounding the heads over many countries, Ps. cx. God the Father set Christ on his holy hill of Zion, to that end that he might have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. And when the saints leave this lower world by death, and ascend to heaven, they do but follow their Forerunner; they ascend as it were with him, they are made to sit together in heavenly places in him, they are exalted to partake of his exaltation, they have written upon them the name of the city of his God, and his own new name, to sit with him in his throne, as he, when he ascended, sat down with the Father in his throne, to rule with him over the same kingdom, to partake with him in his reward, his honour, his victory, and triumph over his enemies, his joy that was set before him, viz. the joy of the success of his redemption, the joy of seeing his seed, of finding his lost sheep, the satisfaction of seeing of the travail of his soul, &c. They in this world travail with him for the same thing, they are crucified with Christ, they deny themselves to promote and advance his kingdom and glory in the world: they many of them suffer with him, and die with him in the very same cause, and their sufferings are called a filling up the sufferings of Christ; and as they suffer with him on earth in this cause, so they shall reign with him, they shall enjoy with him the prosperity of that cause, that interest which they sought by their labours and sufferings, as he did by his labours and sufferings when he was on the earth. They shall be as much with Christ in partaking with him

of the glory of his reigning over the world in his kingdom of grace, as they shall partake with him in the glory of his judging the world. Indeed they now are not visibly to the inhabitants of the earth reigning with Christ over his kingdom of grace here; as they will hereafter be seen judging the world with Christ. No more is Christ himself now seen by the inhabitants of the earth visibly reigning here, as he will be seen judging at the day of judgment; but yet this does not hinder, but that he does now as truly reign here, and possess and enjoy the glory of this dominion, as he will truly judge at the end of the world.

The saints in going out of this world and ascending into heaven, do not go out of sight of the affairs that appertain to Christ's kingdom and church here, and things appertaining to that great work of redemption that is carrying on here; but on the contrary, go out of a state of obscurity, and ascend above the mists and clouds into the bright light, and ascend a pinnacle in the very centre of light, where every thing appears in clear view. The saints that are ascended to heaven have advantage to view the state of Christ's kingdom in this world, and the works of the new creation here, as much greater than they had before, as a man that ascends to the top of an high mountain has greater advantage to view the face of the earth than he had while he was below in a deep valley or forest, surrounded on every side with those things that impeded and limited his sight.

On this account, as well as others, both Christ and his saints. are beautifully represented as ascending and reigning on a mountain, mount Zion, God's holy mountain, the mountain of the height of Israel, &c. On this mountain, they have their kingdom in view; as David, who dwelled and reigned in mount Zion, had Jerusalem in view; and as the saints in heaven have greater advantage to see those things, so also to enjoy them, to see the glory of them, and receive comfort and joy by them. They are under great advantage to possess them as theirs, being with Christ who does possess, in communion with whom they enjoy and possess their infinite portion, their whole heavenly inheritance and kingdom; as much as the whole body has all the pleasure of music by the ear, and all the pleasure of its food by the mouth and stomach, and all the benefit and refreshment of the air breathed in by the lungs; and thus it is the saints in heaven sing to the Lamb, Rev. v. 9. 10. "Thou art worthy, &c.; for thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast made us kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth." Thus it is, "The meek shall inherit the earth;" for Christ is the heir of the world, he has purchased the kingdom; the kingdom is promised him by the Father, and at last shall be given him when other kingdoms are destroyed, Dan. vii. 14; and the saints are heirs with Christ, and

shall inherit with him the same kingdom, and reign in the same kingdom, and so they shall enjoy the victory with him: he binds kings in chains; and all the saints shall have that honour with him, Ps. cxlix. 5, to the end. And thus it is that, when the time comes that Christ shall break his enemies with a rod of iron, they also shall have power over the nations, and shall rule them with a rod of iron, &c. Rev. ii. 26, 27, 28. And thus it is the souls of the martyrs of Jesus shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years. Rev. xx. They shall be most nearly interested in this revival or spiritual resurrection of the church that shall be then, that shall be in some sense the resurrection of Christ himself in the same manner as the setting up the kingdom of Christ in the world, is represented as Christ's being born. Rev. xii. They shall possess the joy and happiness of that revival of the church; it will be as much their own, and much more in some respects, than of the saints on earth; see Rev. xix. the former part of the chapter. Thus Abraham, who is spoken of as the heir of the world, inherits it, possesses his inheritance, and shall enjoy the great promise of old made to him.

As the saints in heaven shall be under much greater advantage in heaven to see and enjoy God than when on earth, so they shall be proportionally under much greater advantage to see and enjoy the works of God, and especially those works of God which appertain to the work of redemption; which is that work by which God chiefly manifests himself to the inhabitants of the heavenly world, and especially the redeemed there. The saints and angels see God by beholding the displays of his perfections, but the perfections of God are displayed and manifested chiefly by their effects. The chief way wherein the wisdom of God is to be seen is in the wise acts and operations of God, and so of his power and mercy, and justice, and other perfections. But these are seen even by the angels themselves, chiefly by what God does in the work of redemption. Eph. iii. 10. "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."

Corol. Hence we learn one reason, why the promises of the future glory of the church in this world are so much insisted on in the word of God, delivered to his church ages before the accomplishment.

Objection. In Eccles. ix. 5, 6, it is said of the dead, that they know not any thing; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Ans. 1. Their having no more a portion, &c. implies no more, than that they shall no more be interested in sublunary things, or in any worldly concern. But not that they are not interested

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