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That after Christ was gone from them, they rose up the fame Hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the Eleven (Apoftles) and them that were with them. (ver. 33.) That while this Company was together, Jesus himself stood in ihe Midst of them, and discoursed with them. (ver. 36.) &c. And opened their Understanding that they might understand the Scriptures. (ver. 45.) And be led them out as far as Bethany, and be lift up his Hands, and blessed them. (ver. 50.) it is added, And it came to pass, while be blessed them, he was parted from tbem, and carried up into Heaven. (ver. 51.) Whence it appears, that the Apostles, and those who were with them, were Eye-Witnesses of our Lord's Ascension into Heaven.
In Aets, i. 4, 11. we are informed, that when our blessed Lord being assembled together with them, that is with his Apostles and Disciples, after he had concluded his Discourses with them, while they bebeld, he was taken up, and a Cloud received him out of their Sight. And while they looked steadfastly towards Heaven, as he went up, behold two Men (that is two Angels in the Likeness of Men,) stood by them in White Apparel, which also said, ye Men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven ? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into Heaven ; jball so come, in like Manner, as ye have seen him go into Heaven.
After this Glorious Event of Christ's Ascension into Heaven, his Prediction, and Promise of the Holy Ghost was fulfilled to the Apostles, (whom he had chosen to be his Witnesses,) while they staid in Jerusalem to be qualified for, and to be enabled to fulfil their Ministry and Apostleship.
For when they were all with one Accord in one Place, suddenly, there came a Sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty Wind, and it filled all the House where they were fitting. And there appeared unio tbem cloven Tongues, like as of Fire, and sat
upon each of them. (that is on each of the Apoftles,) And they were all filled with the Holy Ghosts and began to speak with other Tongues, as the Spirit gave them Utterance. Acts ii. 1, &c.
And many Signs and Wonders were done by the Apostles, (Acts ii. 43.) who wrought many Miracles in Confirmation of their Testimony, and Doctrine in the several Cities and Countries into which they went preaching the Gospel of Chrift; Wherefore it is said, God also bearing them Witness both with Signs and Wonders, and with divers Miracles, and Gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own Will, Heb. ii. 4.
I have now given myself a Pleasure, and a Pleasure to my Fellow-Christians, who shall read this summary Account of the Glories of the Messiah, our only Saviour; the Consideration of it, may confirm our Faith, establish our Hope in Him, and increase our Reverence of, and our Love to him.
The Great, and the Holy God, has demonstrated his Being, his Existence, and his infinite Perfections two ways, viz.
By his Works of Creation ; the Heavens declare his Glory, and the Firmament, and the vast Variety of Creatures (hew his handy Work, and all proclaim his infinite Wisdom and Power, and Goodness.
When I view the Heavens, and the Earth, the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Manifold Kinds of Animals, and Vegetables, I conclude and I ought to conclude, (if I would reason rightly,) that there is a God, whose Wisdom contrived, and whose Power brought them into Existence.
And likewise by the Works of his Providence, he demonstrates the same; especially by his giving to us the Holy Scriptures, and the everlasting Guspel, God has manifested his Being, and his Glory.
The Doctrines, and Laws, of the Old Testament, and the Gospel revealed more clearly in the New, are ratified, or proved to be from God, by a wonderful Constructure of Predictions, and by the Accomplishment of them.
And likewise when I read the Holy Scriptures, and the Prophesies of the Events many Years, and some of them many Ages future, and how exactly the Things foretold have come to pass, I conclude that there is a God, and that our Bible contain his Word, or the Revelation of his Will, and that the Doctrines of both the Testaments are certainly true.
Because if there was not a Foreknowledge of future Events, there could be no Prophesies of them; if there was not a God who foreknew his own Acts, what himself would do, and what he would permit, or prevent, and whose Power over-rules all Creatures, and all their Actions, Predictions could not be fulfilled. But as we are certain that the Prophesies, recorded in the Holy Scriptures have very many of them been fulfilled, and that others are fulfilling, so we are certain that there is a God, and as certain that the Gol. pel is true.
And that in Christian Countries, Unbelievers, those Infidels have no Excuse.
How God will deal with the Heathens, with Nations that never heard the joyful Sound of the Gospel, we Christians know not; only we know that The Judge of all the Earth will do right: And that in every Nation be that feareth God, and worketb Righteousness is excepted with him. (Acts X. 35.)
But as for those who live in a Country, where the Gospel is preached, and where the People have the Holy Scriptures, and may read them if D
they they will, we know how God will deal with them.
The Holy Jesus said to the Jews, If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your Sins. (John viii. 24.) which proves that the Unbelievers, if they continue such, can never escape everlasting Destruction,
Unbelivers, reject Christ from being their Kings they will not have this Man to reign over them : But that Time will surely come, when this King will appoint them to be destroyed. But those mine Enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring them bither, and say them before me. Luke xix. 21.
Are there not Infidels in this Age, Persons who do not and will not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the promised Saviour ? And may not those Predictions of his justly fill them with Dread? They may.
And so may those Predictions, recorded (2 Thes. i. 7, 8, 9.) where the Apostle foretells that The Lord Jesus hall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty Angles, in flaming Fire, taking Vengeance on tbem that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chrift: Who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power.
These Predictions may well excite in rational Minds the most amazing Fears, if they are guilty of disbelieving the Gospel of Christ; because their reasoning Faculty renders them capable of considering the Evidence of true Propositions, and thereby of receiving Conviction of the Truth of the Gospel.
And if they are not convinced of the most plain, and most important Truths, it is because they will not consider the Evidence of them.
If a Man at Noon Day, with a clear Sky, shall say the Sun does not shine, and that there is no such Thing as the Sun, he either is blind, or belies his Senfts, and either he has no Reason, or knowingly contradicts it.
And thus if a Man shall say, the Gospel of Christ is not true, (since Christ by many infallible Proofs has established it,) he speaks and acts against Reason in rejecting it.
Whạt the Holy Jesus said of the Jews, is applicable to these Unbelievers. In John xv. 24. the blessed Jesus said of them; If I had not done among them the Works which none other Man did, they had not had Sin; but now have they both seen and hated me and my Father. And it may be said of the Infidels (who have the Gospel among them, and will not believe it,) that they have Sin, and no Cloke for their Sin.
They shut their Eyes and will not see, but they shall see, and be ashamed, as it is said ; lsa. xxvi. 17, and it may be very foon: For when Death comes, tho' it closes the Eyes of their Bodies, it will open the Eyes of their Minds : And then they will see that the Holy Scriptures are indeed the Word of God, and that the Gospel came from God, publishing and offering Salvation to all Sorts of Sinners, by Jesus Chrift: Then they will see the Worth of their Souls, and the Excellency of the Happiness purchated by Christ, and offered to them, and refused by them.
O what Horror, what Distress filled the Mind of St. Paul, when Jesus of Nazareth appeared to him in the Way, as he went to Damascus, and when he found that just One, whom the Jews had crucified, both Lord and Christ!
But how much greater Horrors, and even a dreadful and irremoveable Despair join'd with