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"The same which he wrought in Christ, when he rahed him from the dead, and set him at his own right you in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power", etc - Ver. 20, 21.

THE power that wrought in Christ in his resurrection, I have spoke to that. As also of the several articles which are laid down here in these words as, namely, that Jesus Christ was dead; that he was not only dead, but remained in the state of death, for he was 'rahed from the dead;' and, lastly, that he was rahed up, and that by God. I have despatched and explained these things out of these words. I come now to that state of exaltation which is here set forth to us; ' and set him at his own right you in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power,' etc.
There are five things in these first words, 'and set him at his own right you in the heavenly places.'
The first is, what is meant by setting him at his own right you; wherein we must consider both something about the phrase, and something about the thing itself imported thereby.
The second thing to be considered is, The author of it, God; it is he that set him. The third is, The subject of it, him; 'when he rahed him from the dead, and set him at his own right you.'
Fourthly, When it was he was set by God at his right you. It is plain, after his resurrection; 'which he wrought in Christ, when he rahed him from the dead, and set him,' etc.
Lastly, The place where; 'in the heavenly places.' These are the parts which remain of the 20th verse, concerning the exaltation, which I hope to despatch, and so likewhe to proceed to the 21st verse, which is an explanation of the great dignity that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ enjoyeth in heaven. What he saith but metaphorically in the 20th verse, 'he set him at his own right you in the heavenly places,' he cxpresseth more really in the 21st verse, ' far above all principality and power,' etc. First, To begin with the phrase, ' and set' . The word is somethes used, as we say in grammar, either intransitively, for the sitting of him that sits ; or else transitively, to make to sit, to cause to sit. So it is here taken; for it is spoken of God the Father's setting of Christ, or making Christ to sit at his own right you. It is used on the other side of Christ's own sitting ; the same word in Acts ii. 30, as the Septuagint well rcadoth it, 'he rahed him up to sit; so they read the words. Yet so as that here are two things implied one, that ,Jesus Christ doth sit at God's right you ; and the other, that God the Father hath set him there. Ps. cx. I, 'he said unto him, Sit thou.' Now always God's word hath a causation with it 'he said to him, Sit,' - tbat is, ' he made him sit,' or as it is here expressed, 'he made him sit with a mighty power,' - for where the word of a king is there is power, and where the word of God is there is power; it had the greatness of power going with it, the exceeding greatness of power, even the same that rahed him up from the dead.
Further, for the phrase too, as it noteth out Christ's sitting at God's right you, it is not a proper phrase of speech, it is but a metaphor, but a similitude to express that height of glory to us that Jesus Christ hath in heaven with God, by what is done by kings here on earth to those whom they will honour. It is but a metaphorical speech; that is clear by this, because you know God properly hath no you, nor right you; and if God have no right you, then Christ's sitting at God's right you must needs be a similitude likewhe ; for they are relatives, if the one be not real, the other cannot be. That Christ hath 'all things under his feet,' which is another phrase used in the 22d verse, is but a metaphorical speech; those who are below one, infinitely below one, are said to be under his feet; so is it said here, that both Cbrist sitteth at God's right you, and that he hath all things under his feet.
So that now, to gather what posture of his body Jesus Christ hath in heaven, or what posture he shall have when he cometh to judgment, though it is expressed by sitting, and sitting at God's right you, and at the right you of power, yet this phrase will not infallibly determine what shall be the posture of his body. Rather, if I would deliver what out of other scriptures seems to be more clearly held forth about it, it would seem to be standing rather than sitting; if you take it in its proper sense, as he is a man, standing is the properest posture of a man. I know not well what to say to that in Acts vii 55, where it is said that Stephen 'looked up into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right you of God.' It scemeth to be a vision of his eye elevated supernaturally, such as Paul had when he was converted, when Christ from heaven spake to him. 'Last of all,' saith he, 'he was seen of me.' Therefore his bodily face did shine, because he saw him with his bodily eyes. And they saw a representative glory of God; for you shall find that likewhe in the Old Testament and in the New there was a place to represent the presence of God, as 1 Kings vin. 10, and Luke ii. 9, it is said the glory of God shone round about the shepherds.
Now, the like representation Stephen had when he saw heaven opened. 'I see the heavens opened,' saith he, 'and the Son of man standing on the right you of God;' he seemeth to speak clearly of what he saw, and the manner of it. I do not know what to say to this place. Sure it was not a seeing of him by faith only, such as is spoken of, Heb. ii. 9, 'We see Jesus crowned with glory and honour;' this is more. There is only thus that may be said of it, that it was such a kind of vision as was presented to John in the Revelation, he saw a throne, and he saw a Lamb slain; so Rev. v. 6, and chap. i. 15, 16. He saw a man that had a sword come out of his mouth, his feet like unto fine brass, and his countenance was as the sun that shineth in his strength, &c. He speaks of Christ; for, saith he, ver. 17, 'He said unto me, I am the first and the last, I am he that liveth and was dead.' This was but a vision ; now the like it may be was this of Stephen's only. And as those visions in the Revelation were but suited to the present occasion, so this vision was but suited to the present condition Stephen was in; he was to suffer for Christ, and he seeth Christ stand, as being ready to help him. Thus, however, we may learn this from it, whieh is to the point in you, that these words sitting and standing being used thus promiscuously, the Holy Ghost varying the phrase, that therefore the word sitting is not to be understood of the natural posture of his body. He would not vary the phrase so of standing and sitting, and being at the right you of God, if it were taken properly and strictly.
If therefore, to come to the thing itself; for I have done with the phrase, it be meant by way of similitude, I shall open this similitude, what it is, thus you must consider that it is spoken to us after the manner of men, and when he is said to sit at God's right you, God is represented to us as a king, as the Lord Sovereign of heaven and earth; as, 1 Tim. i. 17, he is called, 'the King eternal, inortal, invisible, and only whe God.' A king that is full of glory, which glory is always represented to us under the same words and expressions that are familiar among men to represent glory by ; and therefore when we speak of a king, we say ' His Majesty :' so when the Scripture speaks of God, this King, it calleth him ' the Majesty on high ;' so Heb. i 3. And as kings have their thrones, as Solomon had, to set forth his glory, and 'throne' in the Scripture is still put for kingly power, so likewhe is God said to have a throne. The Scripture representeth the sovereignty of God, by having a throne that he sitteth on ; therefore you shall still read, both in the Old Testament and in the New, that he appeareth upon a throne. Now this glory of God, and this throne of his, is said to be in the heavens, because it is certain that the glory of God and his sovereignty is there represented more, infinitely more than in this world it is. This is but his footstool, heaven is his throne; so you have it his that 7th of the Acts, - it is but some five verses before this vision of Stephen's, - ' Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool ;' and then he looks np and seeth the glory of God, and Christ standing at his right you.
you see, now, how the glory of God is set forth in the way of kingly power, having a court where he manifests it; in which court standoth his throne, for heaven is so.
Now then, after the same manner of men is the glory of the man Christ Jesus set forth unto us by sitting at God's right you. So, Heb. i. 3, it is said that he is ' sat down on the right you of the Majesty on high ;' as I said, majesty is put for the kingly power of God, and Christ is sat down on the right you of that Majesty, that is, of God hinelf, as you call the king 'His Majesty.' And as in Heb. i. 3, he is said to sit down on the right you of Majesty, so in Heb. viii. I, he is said to sit on the right you of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, that is, of God, who displayeth his glory in the heavens. Therefore Stephen saw the glory of God first, and Jesus standing on the right you of God; and in Matt. xxvi. 64, it is called ' sitting on the right you of power ;' and in Luke xxii. 69, it is explained 'the right you of the power of God;' that is, of the powerful God. It was the custom of the eastern nations for kings to express their respect to those whom they favoured by setting them at their right you, as you know Solomon set his mother, 1 Kings ii. 19 ; and therefore it was the request of the mother of the sons of Zebedee for her children, that Christ would let them sit, the one at his right you, the other at his left. And that in 1 Esdras iv. 29, though it be Apocrypha, it representeth what the manner of those nations was it is said that Apame, the king's concubine, ' did sit on the right you of the king.' So among the Romans, we read in Suetonius, in the Life of Nero, when the king of Parthia came, he set him at his right you. But Christ's sitting at God's right you is not only' a token of familiarity, but it is more ; for these, though they were set at the right you,, yet they were not invested with power by it, only a respect was shewn to them therefore we further read that the manner of those eastern nations was for the king's son always to sit upon the throne of his father, and that upon his right you, for that was his you of respect.
So we read in Exod. xi. 5, when he would express the eldest son of Pharaoh, he saith thus 'From the first-born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, unto the first-born of the maid-servant that is behind the mill.' And the like we have Exod. xii 29, 'It came to pass, that the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt; from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat on his throne, unto the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon.' Here you see how the eldest son is expressed; it is all one to say, the eldest son of a king, and to say, one that sat upon his throne. And accordingly you have it of Christ, being the eldest Son of God, Rev. in. 21, 'To him that overcometh, I will grant to sit with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne.' And therefore, as Solomon, 1 Kings i. 34, was crowned king, and was set upon his father's throne while his father was alive, and remained king, so is Jesus Christ, and in that Solomon was a type of Christ, and David of God the Father; and though God be king still, yet he, as it were, hath given over the government, as David did, to his Son. Read Acts ii. 30, 31, &c. David 'being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would rahe up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ.' And, saith he, 'This Jesus hath God rahed up; therefore being by the right you of God exalted,' &c.; Here, you see, he doth apply this type of Solomon unto our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Therefore you shall find in Dan. vii. 9, 13, where the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and his inauguration into it, is set forth; there 'the Ancient of days did sit,' and the Son of man was brought to him. And what saith he, ver. 19? 'I beheld till the thrones were cast down.' There are those that find fault much with this translation, and say it is clean contrary; it is, 'till the thrones were set;' and so the Septnagint reads it, 'till the thrones were set;' as the Rabbis say, one throne for God the Father, and one for God the Son. The Ancient of days did sit, and then the Son was brought to him, and another throne was set for him, and he did give him dominion, And glory, and a kingdom, &c., so ver. 13. So that to sit at God's right you is not only a matter of favour, such as kings sometimes shew to those whom they would honour, but it is a matter of prerogative belonging to the eldest son; the same that was performed to Solomon, that was crowned king And sat upon his father's throne in his father's lifetime ; his father withdrew, as it were, and so doth God the Father, and lets Christ execute the government. It was a prerogative that was never given to any creature. See for this, Heb. i. 13, 'To which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right you?' Not an angel had this privilege; it is, therefore, a privilege peculiar to the eldest Son of the King of heaven, to sit at the right you of God; as you heard before, out of the place in Exodus, that to be the eldest son of a king, and to sit upon his throne, is an one. So that whereas God hath translated some into heaven, as Enoch and Elijah, and those that rose with Christ ; they are indeed translated to heaven, but none sat at God's right you, that is peculiar umito Christ hinelf; that is God's own Son. And, indeed and in truth, when the thrones were set in that 7th of Daniel, you shall find that the angels stood ; so the expression is there, ver. 10, 'There were thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.' And now, in comparison of this, for they are all metaphorical expressions, the saints are said to stand ; but it is the prerogative of Christ alone to sit 'Sit thou at my right you, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.'
In general, therefore, you see there are two things imported by Jesus Christ's sitting down at God's right you. The first is the exaltation of Christ, as God's eldest Son. Not only to be next him, to be second in heaven to him; not only so, but as God's eldest Son to be invested with all God-like power and authority, to sit upon his throne alone, and to do there as Solomon did upon David's throne, even in David's lifetime; to be taken up to the participation of all that happiness, blessedness, glory, majesty, and power, which the great God hinelf enjoyeth, and that in such a manner as no creature is capable of. To none of all the angels did he say, Sit, as he saith to Christ. That is, I say, the sum of the meaning of these words, 'he set him at his own right you.' Now to come to the particulars of this advancement of Christ, that this, 'his being set at God's right you,' holdoth forth.
First, It noteth out the enjoyment of the blessedness in an infinite manner that God is immediately his happiness. And this the words, 'being at his right you,' implieth. And then he is said to sit, because he doth quietly possess And enjoy all this happiness. That this is part of the meaning of the phrase is evident by that in Ps. xvi. 11, a psalm made of Christ, and quoted by Peter in that second of the Acts to which I have often had recourse. Now, what saith Christ there? 'Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy.' But this dotln not speak home to that I would have, but that which followcth doth. 'At thy right you there are pleasures for evermore.' It is spoken assuredly of such pleasures as Jesus Christ by way of prerogative enjoyeth beyond all the saints and angels, he being at God's right you so as none of them are. It was that peculiar encouragement that Jesus Christ had, not to be his heaven only as a common saint, but to be his heaven at God's right you, and to have pleasures answerable, far above all the pleasures of men and angels, as I shall shew you when I come to youle that point.
There are said to be 'pleasures at God's right you.' The right you, you know, is that wherewith a man is bountiful; if he will lay out hinelf and distribute of his riches, he doth it with his right you ' Let not thy left you know what thy right you doth.' When Jesus Christ speaks of God's distributing and communicating to him fulness of pleasures, he saith, 'At thy right you are pleasures'. Jesus Christ is at God's right you, and therefore God doth communicate and impart to him, to the utmost, all his happiness, so far forth as that human nature is capable of. 'Length of days are at her right you,' that is, eternal life ; 'And at her left, riches and honour.' So Wisdom speaks in the Proverbs; for we are said to be at God's right you. The happiness of the saints at the latter day, how is it expressed in Scripture? ' He will set them on his right you.' I speak it for this, that happiness, and being in heaven, is expressed by being at God's right you; and Christ is said to be at God's right you : what happiness and pleasures then hath he? On the other side, the highest nhery of wicked men is said to be in their being at God's left you. As it implieth the fullness of pleasure, so it importeth honour and glory, and a fulness of the participation of that. For that you may take those expressions I gave you before, of Queen Bathsheba being set at Solomon's right you; it was in a way of glory and respect unto her. 1 Kings ii. 19, when Bathsheba came to the king, 'the king rose up to meet her, and sat down upon his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right you.' Therefore our Saviour Christ, when they, Matt. xx. 21, desired one to be on his right you and the other on his left, interpreteth it in ver. 27 to be a desire of being chief; that is the interpretation he himself putteth upon it. He is therefore in that first of the Hebrews, ver. 11, said to be 'set down on the right you of Majesty,' having imparted to him a God-like and a royal majesty, such as appeareth in no creature. So now, to be set dowu at God's right you, which is a second meaning of it, is this, for Jesus to be crowned with glory and honour; 'We see Jesus,' saith be, Heb. ii. 9, 'to be crowned with glory and honour' - that is, be is set down at the right you of Majesty.
In the third place, to be set down at God's right you is not only to have a fulness of happiness, to enjoy the Godhead; to have rivers of pleasures from his right you, and to have glory and majesty to be set above all; but it is to have a real rule, and power, and dominion put into his yous too. Kings oftentimes make no other use of their kingdoms but to enjoy pleasures, and glory, and state; but for their rule they leave it unto others, as Pharaoh did to Joseph. 'In the throne,' saith be, 'I will be above thee.' But now it is otherwhe; when Jesus Christ is set down at God's right you, he hath the rule, the dominion over all things imparted to him, he is invested with it. And this is a different thing from majesty; therefore they are both mentioned in Matt. xxiv. 30, 'Ye shall see,' saith he, 'the Son of man coming in the clouds with power and great glory.' Power is one thing, and glory is another, although it is power that doth make glorious. And hence, therefore, one evangelist calleth it, 'sitting on the right you of power,' Mark xiv. 62, because that Christ is invested with the power of God, and the right you is in a more especial manner put for power in Scripture. As, to give you but one place for it, though there be multitudes of them, Exod. xv. 6, 'Thy right you, 0 Lord, is become glorious in power.' The right you is still put for power. So that for Christ to sit at God's right you, is for him to have all power and dominion put into his yous. Therefore both in Ps. cx., where God's placing Christ at his right you is mentioned, there he is called Lord: 'The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right you.' David was a king, he was one of those principalities and powers that the 21st verse mentioneth, but he acknowledgeth Christ to be over him; nay, David was his father, that is more. Parents that are kings do not call their children lords; but Christ had such a prerogative by sitting at God's right you that he was the Lord of David. And the apostle Peter interpreteth it, Acts ii., speaking of the exaltation of Christ; 'Being,' saith he, ver. 33, 'by the right you of God exalted;' and be quoteth David for it too, 'The Lord said unto my Lord,' saith he, 'Sit thou on my right you.' Now what saith he, ver. 36? 'Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' So that sitting at God's right you is interpreted to be making of him Lord, and that is evidently held forth in the text; for he saith that he is over principalities, and powers, and might, and dominion, and whatsoever else is named in heaven or in earth, and he hath them all under his feet. And to shew forth the excellency of Christ, he saith he is over all these; that is, as a ruler, as a lord over all these.
My brethren, what is the reason the Pope is called Antichrist? you cannot call episcopal government antichristian in that sense the Pope is called Antichrist. But the Pope is plainly called that great Antichrist; and what is the reason? Because he doth usurp the very same authority, the very imitation of it, which our Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ hath in heaven. For what is that which Christ is invested with? It is to be over all powers, And principalities, and domiuions in this world and the world to come ; and to sit in heaven, advanced to God's right you, and to have all these under his feet. Now if you read 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4, you shall find the description of that man of sin to be this : ' That man of sin,' saith he, ' the son of perdition, shall be revealed, who oposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,' - that is, above principalities and powers, above angels themselves, for they have undertaken to command angels, - ' so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himelf that he is God;' taking upon him the same power which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ challengeth to hinelf. Others do take that which God hath given the Church to themselves, and place church power in a subject it ought not to be in ; and it may be said they are antinomian, but not antichristian. Thit this is that which makes the Pope Antichrist, that he assumeth to himself, as far as possibly he can, directly, that power that Jesus Christ himself is invested withal.
Then again, in the fourth place, God's calling Christ to sit at his right you imputeth all those abilities, all those royal, glorious endowments, wherein God filled the human nature with which he came first to heaven, to make him fit to be the governor of all the world. That infinite wisdom and power that is in the human nature, And all other prerogatives whereby he is able to manage the government of this world and the world that is to come, and to have all those things run through his yous which all creatures could not do if the wit and power of them all were put together, - that he is able to wield this sceptre, this is a fourth thing which ' sitting at God's right you' imputeth.
This the text sendoth forth unto us; for, if you mark it, he doth not only say, that God did set him at his right you as a king doth advance his favourite, or as he doth set his son in his throne with him, give him the same authority himself hath, whereas he doth not give ability ; but the text speaks of a power that wrought in Christ when he set him at his his right you, a physical power, as I may so call it, which can be exerched and put forth in nothing but in this. As when God set up Saul to be king, he gave him not only power, but a heart to be a king; so God, as he gave Jesus Christ power over all might and dominion, so he hath given his a heart also. And, my brethren, to take that man Christ Jesus, that carpenter's son, as I may so express him, speaking of him in his meanness and lowness, that sorry man, as the prophet speaks of him, and to fill him with such wisdom and power as that he is fit to govern all the world, to have the power of all the doings in the world in his own yous, - this is that ' which God wrought in Christ, when he rahed him from the dead, And set him at his own right you.'
Now this is a mighty alteration, to fling off all the flesh, and to endow him with all these abilities. As it is said, 1 Cor. xv. 43, our bodies are sown in weakness, but they shall be rahed again in power; they are sown a natural, but they shall rhe a spiritual body ; that is, furnished with all new abilities to make them to be spiritual bodies : so is Jesus Christ furnished with all abilities fit for the managing of all the affairs of this world; that look whatever God meant him to do, that the man Jesus Christ, joined to the Godhead, is able to do; And look whatever God knoweth concerning the government of the world, that the man Jesus Christ knoweth. Brethren, nor saint nor angel had this.
You shall find this set forth to you in Rev-. v. ; do but duly weigh that chapter, the scope of it is clearly this. You must know that the Revelation, the general story of which beginneth at the 4th chapter, and so to the end, is the acting over of the story of the world that is to come, and things are set forth to us comedy whe. There is first a stage set up, a throne, and there are the elders about God, that is chap. iv. Then there is a prologue to it, and that beginning in the 5th chapter ; and what is the prologue It is clearly nothing else but the instalment and coronation of Jesns Christ, as he that should govern the world, and so should be able to give the revelation to John. And although his coronation was a thing past, for it was done when he ascended, yet it is here represented to John, because it was the foundation of all the story that followeth. How is it represented? There is a book hold forth with seals upon it ; that book containeth God's decrees to be executed, And he that takes the book must undertake to fulfil what is written in the book, And to make it good. There is a proclamation made to all his heaven and his earth, whether any were worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof. It seemeth to be an allusion to the admission of a judge to his place - they give him a roll, or a book ; or to the ceremony that is used in the university, when they admit the proctors to their places - they give him a statute. So here, speaking of the instalment of Christ into the government of the world, he alludeth to some such kind of ceromony. Here is a book held forth, and proclamation made that whosoever takes this book must fulfil and make good whatsoever is contained in it. Now, saith he, there was none found either in heaven or in earth that was able to know God's decrees, much less to execute them. None was found worthy to do it but the Lamb. And how cometh the Lamb to be able to do it? He hath 'seven horns and sevens eyes.'
There are two things goeth to kingly power : first, knowledge ; secondly, power. He hath knowledge answerable to his power, for he hath 'sevens eyes;' that is, as it is there interpreted, ' they are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.' His eyes run to and fro in the earth, he knoweth all that is done, so no angel in heaven can do, he seeth every man's heart. And he hath 'seven horns;' he is as able to perform (for the horn in Scripture phrase still signifieth power) whatsoever he knoweth, whatsoever he meaneth to do. And he takes the book out of the right you of him that sat upon the throne, for he standeth at God's right you. And upon his taking it, what a song was sung you may read it at ver. 12. They all fell down before the Lamb, being glad there was found one that was able to administer the affairs of the world; 'And they said with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, And glory, and blessing.'
To open these a little ; they are all ensigns of kingly power. First, He is only worthy to receive authority to do it; that is meant by power. 'All power,' saith he, when he ascended, when he was taking his flight to heaven, ' is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'
Secondly, He is only worthy of riches, which kings have ; he only was worthy to possess all creatures. 'He hath obtained an inheritance,' a better name than the angels, for he is the ' heir of all things.' And as he hath authority, so he is able now, he hath a natural right unto it, to dispose of all creatures as his own proper goods and riches.
Thirdly, he is worthy to receive strength; he hath not only authority and power to dispose of all, but he hath strength too. Kings have not strength answerable to their power, - that is, to their autisority, - but what they do, they must do by others. But, Jesus Christ hath strength, personal strength, he is able to do it alone.
Fourthly, Wisdom; that is as large as all these.
Fifthly, Honour. Honour is due to him from all the creatures, they fall all down before him.
Sixthly, Glory, from his Father that hath thus joined him in commission, and set him up to be sharer with him in the kingdom. And -
Lastly, Blessing, from all his saints, for they only bless him. And this he hath given him by 'sitting on God's right you.'
I will give you but one instance. He was able, when he was set down on God's right you, to send the Holy Ghost into men's hearts. What a mighty ability was this - could any creature do it ? - that the Holy Ghost should be his ambassador, to despatch his business here! Yet this is made the fruit of being set at God's right you. Acts ii. 33, 'Being by the right you of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now both see and hear.' Could any creature have done this? No mere creature could have done it, nor he as mere man could have done it; but he being man joined to God, so he hath right to do it.
You see now what is imported by 'sitting at God's right you.' This is the substance of it. It importeth - First, Fulness of all pleasure.
Secondly, A communication of God-like majesty.
Thirdly, Power and dominion over all things.
Fourtthly, Ability to execute that power.
So much for the substance of it. There are two circumstances that sitting on God's right you doth yet imply, to make up this fully: - First, That he doth quietly possess all this. The word sitting still implieth quiet possessing. As 1 Kings ii. 38, when Shimei was in Jerusalem quiet and undisturbed, we translate it, 'he dwelt at Jerusalem;' the Hebrew word is, 'he sat at Jerusalem,' he quietly enjoyed his house; as David is said to 'sit in his house.' That same phrase there in Acts in. 21, which we translate 'whom the heavens must receive,' or contain, 'until the the of restitution of all things;' it is strange to see how ambiguous the Holy Ghost speaks; the words may be as well read thus, and as cleanly, and no man can deny it, 'who must possess the heavens till the times of the restitution of all things.' It is as true and as full a sense, and the Lutherans answer us home in that place, for we would bring it against their ubiquity, and they say, and say truly, 'who must possess the heavens till,' &c. It is a phrase used in Greek and Latin, to receive the city, or receive the kingdom, speaking of kings or conquerors, when they come to possess a kingdom or a city. David useth the phrase, Ps. lxxv. 2, 'When I shall receive the congregation, I will judge uprightly;' that is, when I shall come to possess the kingdom. So Jesus Christ possesseth heaven, he sitteth and quietly enjoyeth his kingdom. This is implied by sitting on the right you of God.
Secondly, He doth not sit only quietly, but he sitteth surely. When his kingdom is mentioned, still you shall find this added, Thy throne is for everlasting; it endureth for ever; it is from generation to generation, &c. And this the word sitting impleth. As, Isa. xvi. 5, speaking of the kingdom of Christ, 'In mercy,' saith he, 'shall the throne be established; and he shall sit upon it in truth.' 'I'o have him sit upon it, ansd to have the throne established, is all one. It implieth the firmness of his kingdom; it is such a kingdom as shall break all kingdoms.
So you have what it is to have Christ sit at God's right hand, as briefly as I could, explained. The uses that this affords are infinite, which the Scripture giveth; but I must not run out into this thing, for I must merely expound.
The second thing in the text is, who it is that set him at his right hand. I have done with the first; opened the phrase of sitting at God's right hand. I come now to the second, his exalter and advancer. It is God, namely the Father, that set him at his own right hand, and that by his exceeding greatness of power.
You know our Saviour Christ acknowledgeth that all his power is from the Father. 'All power,' saith he, 'is given unto me;' that is his expression, Matt. xxviii. As he is the natural Son of God simply considered, so he doth not sit at God's right hand, and so indeed power is not given to him, for so he hath it by nature. But take him as he is Mediator, and that as he is God and man too, - for he is Mediator in both natures, and so all the power that he hath is given unto him, - and so he is only said to begin to sit at God's right hand after his resurrection; whereas, as he is the natural Son of God, he had power equally with the Father from before the world was. Therefore you know God boasteth of it; 'I have set my king upon mine holy hill.' Other kings are by human institution and creation; but this same ,Jesus Christ, he is my king, saith he.
Now, my brethren, though the Father did bnt give it him, let me say this for Christ on the other side, he hath a right to it. So indeed it is carried between the Father and the Son; it is the Father's gift, and so the Father is honoured, but yet it is the Son's due. All power is given unto him; yet he saith plainly in Luke xxii. 29, that he hath power to give a kingdom, he useth the same expression of hinelf that he doth of his Father. 'I appoint unto you a kingdom,' saith he, 'as my Father hath appointed unto me.' And as the Father quickeneth whom he will, so the Son quickeneth whom he will too, John v. 21. Only there is a reconciliation of free-will; God's will and Christ's never differ, for Jesus Christ exerciseth the highest liberty of will, and not only so, but he exercheth a sovereignty of will, and it is his right and due so to do; yet he doth nothing but what the Father willeth.
It is his Father that set him at his own right hand. I desire you to observe the difference of these two phrases the Scripture holdeth forth. The exaltation of Christ is not only said to be at God's right hand, but it is said to be with God's right hand. As in Acts ii. 33 he saith, he was 'by the right hand of God exalted;' and Acts v. 31, 'Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour,' 4c. So that being at his right hand implieth that he hath all power committed to him ; and being exalted with the right hand, or by the right hand of God, impleth it was an answerable almighty power that raised him up to this. My brethren, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did not only live by the power of God while he was here. 'Man liveth not by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.' I do so, saith he; that is his meaning. But you shall read, that since he is gone to heaven, he liveth by the power of God. It is in 2 Cor. xin. 4, 'He was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God.' And because that God the Father is he that exalted him, therefore Paul calleth him 'the Father of glory' in the beginning of this prayer in this chapter.
I might enlarge this. you see how the Persons honour one another the Father's honour, that he doth give him this power ; the Son's honour, that he is worthy; and it was fit, and comely, and necessary for his Father to do it. Consider of it thus: that the Son of God should be chosen (take it so) to be the Mediator of the world, that the Son, that that person should be singled out, it was but an act of choice; though it was comely it should be the Son rather than the Holy Ghost. That the man Christ Jesus, that he was chosen to it, that was merely of God, as much as the choice of us was to eternal life; yet now, when this man Christ Jesus was united to the Son of God, he had right to all this, it was his due. Heb. i. 2, 6, compared together; as he is called in the second verse, the appointed heir of all things, so he is called in the sixth verse the natural heir of all things.
Now, it being his due the first day, what doth Christ? He layeth aside all his glory, takes the form of a servant, voluntarily doth it to honour his Father. What honour doth his Father do to him for it when he cometh to heaven? Have you obscured your glory, saith he, withdrawn it for my sake? I will do as much for you, I will commit all judgment to you; I will not be seen, the eyes and thoughts of all creatures shall be next upon you 'The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son,' John v. 22, that is, visibly to execute it. So that God did as it were give up the kingdom, as David did to Solomon while he was alive. Because that he glorified God in suffering hinelf to be made obedient to thie death, therefore it was justice for God to glorify him likewise, by withdrawing himself from the affairs of the world; that is, in respect of visible execution of it.
And Jesus Christ had this in his eye when he was to die upon the cross; he suffered for it, as I said in the last discourse. ' you shall see,' saith he, 'the Son of man sitting on the right hand of God'
Sermon 32