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ence of the angels of God, over one sinner that repenteth.”

As intelligent, holy, and benevolent beings, the atonement in all its designs and influences must be a source of pleasure to them. As intelligent beings they take an interest in the atonement, from the circumstance that it is a measure in which the Father of wisdom and mind is “well pleased,” and over which he "joys with singing." It is a subject, in grandeur and immensity, suited to the keen penetration, and the large comprehension of their glorious minds. The atonement as the ground and medium of an inmense accession of good to the universe, cannot fail to interest and deliglot their minds, as amiable and benevolent beings Neither of these aspects of the atonement, however, would be desirable to their minds, were it void of a holy character

Because they are holy themselves, they rejoice in the atonement on account of the demonstration which it gives of the evil of sin; on account of its public expression of the beauty of divine holiness; on account of its vicarious virtue to expiate and sanctify guilty and sinful' men; and on account of its practical tendency 10 deter accountable beings from sin, and to melt the hard heart to repent

This diffuses "joy in their presence," because that by repentance, through the atonement, the sioner is coming back into order and harmony with the universe; that his repentance is reasonable, and due to the divine government; that by this process he is introduced into the circle of happiness and fellowship with God; and that eventually, he is to join them for ever as an associate in glory, and sharer in their joy.

If there be such “joy” among these intelligences now in their inquiries into ihis stupendous measure; if they are so delighted and entranced with its present unfoldings, developements, and evolutions, bow will they be ravished with the glory of its splendid consummation. The apostle John represents them, as in that auspicious period, thrilling the vast uņiverse with their rapturous songs. “And I beheld and heard the voice of many

ance.

angels 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, saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen." Rev. v, 11-14.

The information which is communicated to the intelligences of other worlds, concerning the mediatorial transactions, in the church, and for the church, is intended to affect themselves, and to have a practical influence upon them as subjects of the divine government. Their great minds are capable of enlargement by exercise, of advancement in knowledge, and of growth in their love and admiration of the character of God. Their study of the atonement is calculated to strengthen their confidence in the righteousness and benevolence of the divine government, and to give them a clear insight into the heinous enormity of revolt and transgression. When they see the tremendous evil of sin, set forth in the sufferings of the Mediator, they perceive the justice of the eternal destruction for sin of their former compeers in glory, and feel high gratitude to sovereign grace for their own preservation in bliss. In their contemplation of what the mediatorial President has done for the universe, they feel themselves united more nearly and dearly to the system of which He is the centre and the glory: and they feel prompt and unshrinking to undertake any service, in his work, after his illustrious example. Probably by the information which they receive from the atonement, they become more aware and sensible of the value and worth of their own dignity and glory. Gabriel never knew the worth of his harp and crown, till he saw at what immense cost, the lost harp and crown of a sinner were ransomed, among the scenes of Gethsemane and Calvary.

The Intelligences of other worlds are positively benefitted by sharing in the blessings of the atonement. “He that descended, is the same also that ascended up far above all hearens, that he might fill all things.” In this passage the blessed Redeemer njay be considered either as taking his place, as the central Sun, in the midst of a vast system of heavenly places, to every part of which he diffused light and heat; or as, in bis ascending progression, passing on his way to his throne, worlds upon worlds, and systems upon systems, strown amid "all heavens,” scattering his blessings all around, and sanctifying and baptizing every world with "he blood of sprinkling.' With what can he “fill all things in all heavens" but with the blessings of his mediatorial grace? It is to this the apostle refers when he speaks of "spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” This proves that the inhabitants of “heavenly places," the intelligences who occupy all the celestial orbs of the universe, actually have "spiritual blessings," and that these "spiritual blessings” are enjoyed “in” and through Christ.

It is not to be supposed that these intelligences are benefitted in the atonement, as it is a ransom for redemption from sin, for they never needed a deliverance: but they are benefitted by it, as it is the medium of all divine communications. God has no medium, no way of blessing any being, in any world, but the mediation of Christ; and the whole circle of his mediation is around his atonement.

The benefits which they have derived through the provision of atonement are such as are fitted to their nature, rank, and character. They have had a greater nearness to their Maker who has made an approach to them in a created nature. They have a more enlarged acquaintance with the character of God in the various evolutions, in the full and free exercise, and, in the beautiful and glorious harmony of all the divine perfections.

The application of their energies, and the employment of their ministry have been chiefly directed to the execution of the

messages

of
mercy

and

grace. As social and benevolent beings they must regard it as a benefit to be having accessions of ransomed and holy companions, who will partake with them in the honors of the "heavenly places,” and who will unite with them in the services and praises of God and of the Lamb for ever and ever.

SECTION III.

Christ the President of the Universe on the ground

of his Atonement.

The Scriptures speak of Jesus Christ as being the president of all the ranks and grades of being in the universe. “God has set him at bis own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

We have such an High Priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens, “a M'NISTER of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Heb. viii, 2. Dr. John Owen has labored much to shew that the sanctuary and the true tabernacle” here, mean the human nature of the Son of God: but the whole context, and the train of argument, make it evident that the apostle is speaking of the place into which Jesus has entered, that is, “into the heavenly places,” or “heaven itself.” In the “heavenly places,” Christ sits, the PUBLIC MINISTER, the "antistes sacrorum,”*—the official organ, “qui publicis officis præest,”--the president

*Ernesti, and Dr. Pye Smith.

Professor Moses Stuart,

over all the employments, offices, and services of all the heavenly intelligences.

It is not, I conceive, the philosophy of Newton only, that teaches us the doctrine of plurality of worlds; the illustrious President of the universe himself has said, “In my Father's house are many mansions." The “Father's house is the vast temple of the universe, and the many mansions," are the innumerable stars, and suns, and systems which compose its apartments. These stars are not mansions of untenanted glory, nor provinces of luxuriant wastes in the divine empire. They are “heavenly places,” in which are thrones, and principalities, and powers, and dominions, to which the manifested wisdom of God is made known by the church. This scriptural enumeration of ranks and dignities, is not a series of high sounding and pompous titles without meaning and without verity. It is a list of real offices, of actual employments, and of public services.

In our speck of world we see every speck of matter teeming with life, activity, and employment. The microscope has its hades of living existences, as well as the telescope. It is therefore unnatural, unreasonable, and unscriptural to regard "all heavens" as solitudes of majesty, or deserts of beauty. On the supposition that all these gradations and orders of intelligences are in active employments, and in, useful service, it enlarges our conceptions of the official dignity and glory of Jesus Christ, to see him "wear the crown as Lord of all,” the head of all principality and power,” in all things having the pre-eminence, as President over all.

The state of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven is, indeed, one of transcendent glory and power, but it is also a state of office, of mediatorial care and authority, and of plenipotentiary administration over the entire universe.

He directs and regulates all their services and employments by his mediatorial authority. It is he who gives to every one his work, and allots to every one his sphere of employment. "In his name” every knee

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