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obtained a more excellent name than they." (Heb. i. 4.) “ To whom every knee shall bow.” (Rom. xiv. 11.) Our Saviour himself alluded to his exaltation as man when before his crucifixion he said to the high priest, “ Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. xxvi. 64.) It was in that exalted state that Stephen wa favoured with a vision of Him when about to be stoned. (Acts vii. 55.) The meaning, therefore, of the expression, “ sitting at the 347. right hand of God,” is not to be taken literally, for God being a spirit hath no shape, but simply as denoting the highest and most honourable place in heaven; and not only does it mean that, but also a place of rest and happiness, as we may infer from what our Saviour says, “ That the sheep, or righteous, he shall set on his right hand, but the goats, or wicked, on the left.” (Matt. xxv. 33.) It 348. is from that high station that He now exercises continually his mediatorial power, that he superintends, through the Holy Spirit, his church on earth; and that he will come, finally, to judge the quick and the dead; that is, all mankind, in soul and body, both
A. D. 33.
good and bad; the dead as well as those then living, shall be summoned before his tribunal, to receive from him according to what they respectively have done in the flesh.*
In the third and last part of our creed, we
acknowledge our belief in the Holy Ghost, or 349. Third Person of the Holy Trinity. To that
Person frequent allusion is made in the sacred writings. Zacharias, for example, speaks of the Holy Ghost, when he says, “ that God spake through the mouths of his prophets, which have been since the world began.” (Luke i. 70.) Again, St. Paul equally alludes to Him when he says, that “God in sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets.” (Heb. i. 1.) It is also to the Holy Spirit that St. Peter alludes, when he says, that
we have a more sure word of prophecy,' which " is not of any private interpretation,' (or of the prophets' own impulse,) but that they, the prophets, “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. i. 19–21.) The divine powers of the Third Person are in
King's History of the Apostles' Creed, p. 289. For an account of the righteous on that day, see 1 Thess. iv. 16.
ferred from the words of the Saviour himself, who attributes to his power what David said, when speaking of Him, Jesus Christ. (Mark xii. 36.) He further commands his apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And so necessary to the admission of a Christian into the benefits of our holy religion was this conjunction of the Third Person to the Father and Son in the sacrament of baptism, that those persons mentioned in the nineteenth of the Acts, who had been baptized only “unto John's baptism,” were again baptized “unto that of Christ Jesus.” Again, it was under the name of Comforter that his supernatural assistance was promised to the apostles after our Saviour had left them, and that that assistance could be no other than divine, and could only be imparted by a person possessing divine power, our Saviour's assertion will
prove, when He says, “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.” (John xvi. 7.) “ Ye shall be baptized with the Hol Ghost not many days hence.” (Acts i. 5.) Why, then, do we so often read of the 350. apostles, that “these things were hid from them ;” that “they understood not that saying,” &c. &c.; or when Christ, whom they knew well, personally appeared to them after his rising, “that they knew him not, for their eyes were holden ?" Not, surely, because Christ had not the power if He had chosen, to make things plain to them in the former instances, or to undeceive them in the latter. But, because such belief was alone to be obtained through “faith,” and that “faith” through supplication to God. The apostles must have been aware of their deficiency in that “faith,” when they applied to their Master to“ increase their faith;" and that their request was not sooner granted, was because their “faith” which was as yet imperfect, was only to be completed through the assistance of the Holy Ghost; for we have seen how our Saviour reproved them for their unbelief, when He was risen from the dead. The full measure of God's
grace to believe was, therefore, only granted to the apostles when, feeling their utter dependence on their Maker, they applied to Him for it. This becomes evident from our Saviour's declara
tion to them already quoted, “ It is expedient
Accordingly, no sooner “was Jesus Christ 351.