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have not particularly recorded every such exhibition of glory. For St John, who seems to be most particular in relations of this sort, yet acknowledges' that there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, the world itself could not contain the books.' And as to that singularly splendid appearance of his ascension, which would have been a noble subject for our modern historians, on which to have exerted their eloquence and rhetorical powers, how simply and plainly does the inspired writer detail the matter? * • While they beheld, he was • taken up, and a cloud received him out of their • sight.'
We live indeed in an age which will believe nothing, and be satisfied with nothing, without having what is thought a convincing reason assigned for it. To such reasoners, who pay so little deference to the virtue of faith, it may in the present case be answered, that, although Jesus saw proper at some times, and on certain occasions, to shew himself God by visible emanations of glory, yet, as the design of his incarnation was to suffer and die for men, it was not expedient that his glory should make a constant and perpetual residence upon his person, or appearance to the people, as was done between the cherubim in the Mosaic tabernacle, and in the temple of Solomon; because
thereby thereby the end of his incarnation would have been disappointed.; as it is not to be thought that the Jews would have persecuted to death one, in whom they saw so openly and daily the Shechinah of their fathers abiding. And hence it
i St John xxi. 25.
2 Acts i. 9.
And hence it is, that on most occasions the divinity in Christ withdrew, as it were, and retired out of sight, that so the humanity might be left to the will of his enemies, for accomplishing the gracious purposes of the divine wisdom. Yet on the whole we have testimonies enough, left on record, of Jesus Christ's being not only the 7935 17179 of the Old Testament, the glory of the Lord, but even of this 7127 or glory being exhibited to, and seen by, multitudes of spectators, and that too no less than four times expressly mentioned, besides several other indirect allusions, in the compass of little more than three years; which exhibitions, upon a computation, will I dare say be found to exceed the proportion of the appearances of the glony in the tabernacle to the Israelites, during their forty years wandering in the wilderness. The sum of all is, that, in the person of Jesus Christ, the human flesh was the tabernacle, or instead of the tabernacle, of the Jews; and the Godhead or divine nature was the glory, which in the Jewish tabernacle appeared between the cherubim, and now at last shone forth from the tabernacle of Christ's body. And hence He who in old times was called the GLORY OF THE Lord, as we have already seen, is now called the GOD OF GLORY!; and the LORD OF GLORY%;'
I Acts vii. 2.
1 Cor. ii. 8. St James ii. I.
and is distinguished from the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, who 'is called the Father of glory.' By this explication, as by a key, we shall be the ·better able to open up the meaning of those many passages throughout the New Testament, where mention is made of the glory of Christ, or of glory applied to Christ". And particularly it will help us to comprehend, in some measure, the beauty of that noble description of the New Jerusalem , of which among
other things it is said, that it has the glory of God abiding in it; and, “I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no • need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in
it; for the GLORY OF God did lighten it, and the · LAMB is the light thereof: and the nations of • them that are saved shall walk in the light of it,
and the kings of the earth do bring their glory • into it.' All which is to the same purpose with what Simeon had said of the Lamb before—' a light * to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.'
From these observations I hope it will be allowed, that the Bible in general affords sufficient proof of this position, that Jesus Christ was the
1 Ephes. i. 17. 2 See the whole of the third chapter of 2 Cor. and ch. iv. 17. Phil. iii. 21. Colos. i. 27. Tim. ii. 16.
3 Rev, xxi. 11. 22.
SHECHINAH or appearance of glory among the Jews; and that, while he lived on earth, this Shechinah was to be seen, and consequently was a visible exhibition; which was the first point of enquiry. I undertook to discuss.
The second falls now to be examined, viz. Whether, from any thing said in scripture, any discoveries can be made, wherein it was that this • Shechinah existed, or after what manner it was dis‘played.” In this particular, it must indeed be owned, that the scripture is not so clear and express, as that we can positively say, in what manner such a display was made. Yet upon consulting some texts, carefully attending to the import of them by themselves, and comparing them with others of a like import, I make no doubt but some light may be thrown even on this subject; which, if not sufficient to discover the foundation on which to build an article of faith, will at least be useful in assisting our devout meditations on the method of our redemption, and person of our Redeemer. In pourtraying the person of the blessed Jesus as man, (for none pretend to delineate him as God), the universal practice among artists, ancient and modern, has been to encircle his head with an arch, designed to resemble an arch of light, and this is commonly called a GLORY. It will not, I believe, be easy to fix upon the time when this practice commenced; but, that there has been some foundation at first, on which to ground such a practice, as is the case with all other general modes and practices, will not I presume be denied: And it is not improbable, that it might have taken its rise from the scripture-account of the covenant, that God established with Noah after the flood'; where, as a token or symbol of God's mercy to the earth, he
says, • I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall • be for a token of a covenant between me and the 6 earth: This bow in the cloud we call a rainbow ; and the natural cause, by which it is produced, I have no occasion to investigate; it being sufficient for my purpose, that God Almighty, who best knows the nature and design of it, challenges a peculiar title to it, and claims it as his own special property. He calls it MY BOW, which must imply a great deal more than that this bow is the bare production of nature. It seems to me to imply, as if such a bow were to be a symbol, or some kind of representation of God of the Jehovah, who covenanted to become man, confirming this covenant to Noah ; and who, we have seen, was the second person in Jehovah, or THE WORD. The subject of this everlasting covenant was mercy, and to it, at this time, was annexed a gracious promise never to destroy again the whole world with a tlood, which promise is made typical of the inercy to be extended to mankind by Jehovah the Redeemer, as the prophet expresses it', : With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith Jehovah thy Redeem
1 Gen. ix. 13
2 Isaiah liv, 8,9.