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fore he can remove them-see how much it was necessary for him to accomplish! It was necessary for him to come down from heaven to earth, and to return back from earth to heaven. To your complete happiness-his death was necessary-his resurrection was necessary-his ascension and intercession were necessary-his universal empire, and his dispensation of the Holy Ghost were necessary.

He went away, not only to possess a personal reward, but to assume a relative dignity-not only to live a life of glory, but also a life of office: and hence, says the apostle, "If when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Hence he said to his disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." With his own blood he entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. He appeared in the presence of God for us; pleading his sacrifice, and claiming the purchase of the cross. "" Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." He has taken possession of heaven in our name, and he holds it for us. And we read, that he entered within the veil as our forerunner, whose office it is to prepare for the reception, and to announce the approach of those to whom he belongs.

Again. If, says the Saviour, "I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself." This is fulfilled in two

cases. He comes again at death. And this is infinitely desirable. It is an awful thing to die. And many a Christian has found himself in such a frame of mind as to say

"O, if my Lord would come and meet,

My soul should stretch her wings in haste;
Fly fearless through death's iron gate,
Nor feel the terrors as she pass'd."

He does this. He is peculiarly near to his people in their expiring moments. Many of them have confessed his presence in words, while others, who have not had the same degree of rapturous confidence, have equally proved it by effects. Yes, he comes to irradiate the dark valley; he comes to establish their faith, and to enliven their hope, and to make all grace to abound towards them in this time of need. He comes to take them in from this world of storms to their everlasting refuge-to receive them to himselfas you would go to the door to receive a beloved friend from a distance, or hasten to embrace a dear child, returning, after a long absence, from school.

He also comes again at the last day, to receive them to himself. And this coming differs very much from the former. The one is spiritual, but the other will be personal: the one is private and invisible; the other will be public, and obviousfor every eye shall see him: the one is to receive his people individually, the other will be to receive them collectively: the one is to receive their souls, but the other is also to receive their bodies. This is a grand article of our faith, and hope. "To them that look for him, will he appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation. Our

conversation is in heaven, from whence we also look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."

Finally, he adds, "That where I am, there ye may be also." Whatever situation were prepared to receive the Christian, he would feel himself more than disappointed, if when he came he could not see him, enjoy him, be for ever with him.-For he has learned to place all his happiness him, and it is only in proportion as he can experience his presence, that he can say of any situation, It is good to be here.

There is in heaven company of the first sort; society the most delicious. There we shall join the innumerable company of angels. There we shall mix with all the truly wise and good. There we shall be introduced to martyrs, apostles, patriarchs. We shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God. We shall see those who have gone before us, with whom we were once connected by the tender ties of nature or of friendship. But Jesus is the chief of ten thousand. Whom have we in heaven but him? And he cannot be satisfied, unless we shall be with him to share in all his honour and happiness. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. Where I am, there shall also my servant be." Such are the contents of this gracious declaration.

II. But the more important, and interesting any intelligence be, the more anxious are we for

""

its certainty. Our Saviour, therefore, meets this state of mind in the disciples, and says-" If it were not so, I would have told you.' How friendly and familiar! And yet how convincing and forcible is this address! Take it thus:

First. If it had not been so he could have told them. For he knew all from the beginning. He was perfectly acquainted with the situation of his Father's house, with the work and enjoyments of heaven, with the character of the persons who were to possess it, the way in which it was to be obtained. And so of the rest.

Secondly. If it had not been so-he should have told them. As their professed teacher, it was his office to rectify their mistakes, and to save them from delusion.

Here you will also observe, that he had always laid a peculiar stress upon a future state in his doctrine. He had endeavoured to induce them to give up the present for the future-to abandon treasures on earth, in expectation of treasures in heaven. Now, if there were no such state of blessedness, and recompense-ought he to have suffered them to give up every thing that was dear to them here, for the sake of a fool's paradise? He knew that they had forsaken all to follow him; and he knew that in consequence of their adherence to him, they would endure persecution, and death-and if there was nothing to indemnify them, should he not have told them?

Thirdly. If it had not been so he would have told them. This follows from the former. what was proper for him to do, he always did.

For

Besides, on all other occasions, when they had apprehended things to be otherwise than they

really were, he had set them right. We see this with regard to his sufferings, and the nature of his kingdom.

He had kept back nothing that was profitable for them. "Henceforth," says he, "I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends: for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known."-And surely he would not have held them in darkness and error, in a case of so much consequence as this.

What room was there for suspicion? Could they question his love? Had he not abundantly proved his readiness to serve them? Was he not even then going to lay down his life for them?What could be more awful than the circumstances he was now in? He was now ready to be offered: and do men feel inclined to deceive when-dying?

We therefore conclude, by remarking,

1. How unlike our Saviour is the god of this world. "The god of this world blindeth the minds of them that believe not. 99 He is afraid of the entrance of light. He reigns by delusion. He knows that the end of these things is death. He knows that even now the pleasures of sin are not equal to the sorrows of religion. His servants indulge expectations, every one of which will issue in disappointment. He knows thisbut he refuses to tell them so: till from the blindness of sin he plunges them into the darkness of hell.

2. We shall never go on well in religion till our Lord and Saviour has gained our confidence. And this he surely deserves. He is often better than his promise, but never worse. Let us in all cases run to his word, and consider what he has

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