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Wherefore, faith the Apoftle, We look not at the things which are feen, but at the things which are unfeen: for the things which are feen are temporal; but the things which are not feen are eternal.
3. The eternal Heaven confifts of distinct parts.
As the Heaven of God exifts in the eternal operation of the divine principle: according to theory, it must be conceived of as being a world, and to have a frame and real form, according to the nature of the divine will; all which glory is contained in the esfential word of God.
And to this, again, agree the fcriptures. The pattern fhewed in the mount, had distinct parts, and was a certain form and frame, according to which Mofes was commanded to make all things in his divine economy: which, as we have noticed, was a pattern of heavenly and eternal things; thofe things, therefore, muft themselves have diftinct parts, and be a moft glorious form and frame of eternal workmanship. This pattern, upon a great fcale, was threefold, and fhewed three diftinct parts; and the fame device unfol ded in numberlefs views of the whole wonderful ftructure.
The glory of the God of Ifrael, which the elders with Mofes faw in the mount Horeb, is in like manner described as with a form, and as having the fame diftinct parts and threefold glory: first, a glory like as to a ground; or, as it were a paved work of a fapphire ftone: fecondly, a glory in likeness as to an expanfe;
or, as it were the body of Heaven in his clear nefs and thirdly, a glory that was above and filled all.
The word of the Lord came expressly unto Ezekiel, in the vifion he faw by the river Chebar; and the description he gives of it bears the fame impreffion and likeness; it had a form, and the fame diftinct parts and threefold glory the view here given of the cherubim, wheels, &c. whofe running and returning, emitted glory the most powerful, like a flash of lightning; is wonderfully expreffive of that part of the divine will exhibited in the service work of our Lord Jefus Christ: And that, given of the Spirit, in obedience to which the living creatures and wheels went, and the voice from the firmament that was over them, when they stood, or had done the work they were sent to do, accords, exactly, with the will of the Father, which fent forth Chrift into the world, and which announced him as his beloved Son; and alfo, the view which we have, as of a throne, and of one in appearance as a man above upon it, agrees perfectly with the ftate of Chrift's exaltation.
It will be understood, that I only hint at the truth contained in these visions; they are views of a whole world, and each one contains a fuli fyftem. In this of Ezekiel there was a fire, or a glory infoiding itfelf, and a wheel in the middle of a wheel. But it may be feen that ever appearance fhewed the fame device, and that the whole is comprised in the divine principle, or will of God, contained in the doctrine of Chrift.
Daniel, alfo, describes this effential glory of God, distinctly, and as being threefold:Firft, his garment was white as fnow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool.-It is obferved, that the difciples allude to this defcription, in speaking of the glory of Chrift in the mount of transfiguration, that his raiment became fhining, exceeding white as fnow; fo as no fuller on earth can white them: Secondly, his throne was like the fiery flame: and, thirdly, his wheels as burning fire.The order of the description here is reversed. It appears, therefore, both from the divine theory, and the teftimony of the fcriptures, that in our heavenly Father's houfe are many manfions.
4. The heaven of God is a realm and dominion.
The inftitution of Chrift, or the setting up of a king, implies a throne and kingdom; and as, according to theory, the Lord Chrift was fet up from everlasting, we are led to contemplate a realm and government of eternal glory.
And to this, moreover, agree the fcriptures: From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God, Pfalm xc.-God is a name of authority, and implies the exercife of power and govern ment. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlafting, Pfalm xciii. i. e. he is king from everlafting.-Whofe kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, Daniel vii. 27.
That eminent divine, Dr. Thomas Goodwin, remarking upon the word potentate, in the Doxology, 1 Tim. vi. 15, observed, that
it referred not only to the dominion of the Lord over all created things, but also to a kingdom feated in himself, and to an exercise of power and fovereignty in his own eternal purpose.
This kingdom is fet out in the fcriptures by a throne; justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne, Pfalm lxxxix. ver. 14: by a guard, Who is firong like unto thy faithfulness round about thee? ver. 8: by macebearers, Honor and majesty are before him, Pfalm xcvi. and by harbingers, and commiffiorers; Mercy and truth fhall go before thy face, Pfalm lxxxix. 14. He fhall fend from heaven, Whom fhall he fend? God fhall fend forth his mercy and his truth, Pfalm lvii.Creatures might fail; but if mercy and truth -his mercy and his truth be employed to dispatch the business of his promises and threatenings, and to accomplish all his pleafure, they will do it thoroughly.-The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majefty, Pfalm xciii. 1.-Majefty is his eternal robe. His kingdom began from everlafting: he reigned within himself from eternity: Then it was, that by one almighty act, he clothed himself with majefty, and covered himfelf with light; and was exalted and glorified in his own firength.
It has often been noticed in the fcriptures, how remarkably the word heaven is joined with the appropriate ufe of the name Father; as though this glory of God in heaven, and this his relation to his people in Chrift, fubfifted together, and were infeparable. I will only infiance from Matth, And glorify your
Father which is in heaven, v. 16. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven, ver. 45. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect, ver. 48.-Our Father which art in heaven, vi. 9. How much more fhall your Father which is in heaven give good things? vii. 11. But he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven, ver. 21. Him will I confefs also before my Father which is in heaven, x. 32. Him will I alfo deny before my Father which is in heaven, ver. 33.-Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, xvi. 17. Their angels do always behold the fa.e of my Father which is in heaven, xviii. 10.-It fhall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven, ver. 19.-For one is your Father which is in heaven, xxiii. 9.-Your heavenly Father will also forgive you, vi. 14.-Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them, ver. 25,-Your beavenly Father knoweth that ye have ne d of all these things, ver. 32.-Every plant which my bravenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up, xv. 13.-So likewife shall my bealy Father do alfo unto you, xviii. 35. And, according to the divine theory, it appears that the eternal glory of God, even his own heaand his relation to a throne and dominion there, exifts in that fame tranfaction, which constitutes his relation of Father and God, both to Jefus Chrift and to his people.
The fame cbfervation may be made, refpecting the appropriate or covenant use of the name God; that it is never fo ufed but in connexion with heaven, and eternal things,