Absent from the Body, by Jonathan Edwards
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                        SERMON VI.[1]


                      Jonathan Edwards

     2 CORINTHIANS v. 3.--We are confident, I say, and willing
rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the

     THE apostle in this place is giving a reason why he went on
with so much boldness and immovable steadfastness, through such
labors, sufferings, and dangers of his life, in the service of his
Lord; for which his enemies, the false teachers among the
Corinthians, sometimes reproached him as being beside himself, and
driven on by a kind of madness. In the latter part of the
preceding chapter, the apostle informs the Christian Corinthians,
that the reason why he did thus, was, that he firmly believed the
promises that Christ had made to his faithful servants of a
glorious future eternal reward, and knew that these present
afflictions were light, and but for a moment, in comparison of
that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The same
discourse is continued in this chapter; wherein the apostle
further insists on the reason he had given of his constancy in
suffering, and exposing himself to death in the work of the
ministry, even the more happy state he expected after death. And
this is the subject of the text; wherein may be observed,
     1. The great future privilege, which the apostle hoped for;
that of being present with Christ. The words, in the original,
properly signify dwelling with Christ, as in the same country or
city, or making a home with Christ.
     2. When the apostle looked for this privilege, viz., when he
should be absent from the body. Not to wait for it till the
resurrection, when soul and body should be united again. He
signifies the same thing in his epistle to the Philippians, chap.
i. 22, 23: "But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my
labor. Yet what I shall choose, I wot not. For I am in a strait
between two; having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ."
     3. The value the apostle set on this privilege. It was such,
that for the sake of it, he chose to be absent from the body. He
was willing rather, or (as the word properly signifies) it were
more pleasing to him, to part with the present life, and all its
enjoyments, and be possessed of this great benefit, than to
continue here.
     4. The present benefit, which the apostle had by his faith
and hope of this future privilege, and of his great value for it,
viz., that hence he received courage, assurance, and constancy of
mind, agreeable to the proper import of the word that is rendered,
we are confident. The apostle is now giving a reason of that
fortitude and immovable stability of mind, with which he went
through those extreme labors, hardships and dangers, which he
mentions in this discourse; so that, in the midst of all, he did
not faint, was not discouraged, but had constant light, and inward
support, strength, and comfort in the midst of all: agreeable to
the 10th verse of the foregoing chapter, "For which cause, we
faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man
is renewed day by day." And the same is expressed more
particularly in the 8th, 9th, and 10th verses, of that chapter:
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast
down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body, the
dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our mortal flesh." And in the next chapter, verses 4-
10: "In all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in
much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in
stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in watchings, in
fastings, by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by
kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of
truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the
right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report
and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet
well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as chastened, and not
killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making
many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
     Among the many useful observations there might be raised from
the text, I shall at this time only insist on that which lies most
plainly before us in the
words, viz., this:

     The souls of true saints, when they leave their bodies at
death, go to be with Christ.

     Departed souls of saints go to be with Christ, in the
following respects:
     I. They go to dwell in the same blessed abode with the
glorified human nature of Christ.
     The human nature of Christ is yet in being. He still
continues, and will continue to all eternity, to be both God and
man. His whole human nature remains: not only his human soul, but
also his human body. His dead body rose from the dead; and the
same that was raised from the dead, is exalted and glorified at
God's right hand; that which was dead is now alive, and lives for
     And therefore there is a certain place, a particular part of
the external creation, to which Christ is gone, and where he
remains. And this place is that which we call the highest heaven,
or the heaven of heavens; a place beyond all the visible heavens.
Eph. iv. 9, 10, "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also
descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that
descended, is the same also that ascended up far above all
heavens." This is the same which the apostle calls the third
heaven, 2 Cor. xii. 2, reckoning the aerial heaven as the first,
the starry heaven as the second, and the highest heaven as the
third. This is the abode of the holy angels; they are called "the
angels of heaven," Matt. xxiv. 36; "The angels which are in
heaven," Mark xiii. 32; "The angels of God in heaven," Matt. xxii.
30, and Mark xii. 25. They are said "always to behold the face of
the Father which is in heaven," Matt. xviii, 10. And they are
elsewhere often represented as before the throne of God, or
surrounding his throne in heaven, and sent from thence, and
descending from thence on messages to this world. And thither it
is that the souls of departed saints are conducted, when they die.
They are not reserved in some abode distinct from the highest
heaven; a place of rest, which they are kept in, till the day of
judgment; such as some imagine, which they call the hades of the
happy: but they go directly to heaven itself. This is the saints'
home, being their Father's house: they are pilgrims and strangers
on the earth, and this is the other and better country that they
are travelling to, Heb. xi. 13Q26. This is the city they belong
to: Philip. iii. 20, "Our conversation or (as the word properly
signifies) citizenship, is in heaven." Therefore this undoubtedly
is the place the apostle has respect to in my text, when he
says,"We are willing to forsake our former house, the body, and to
dwell in the same house, city or country, wherein Christ dwells;"
which is the proper import of the words of the original. What can
this house, or city, or country be, but that house, which is
elsewhere spoken of, as their proper home, and their Father's
house, and the city and country to which they properly belong, and
whither they are travelling all the while they continue in this
world, and the house, city, and country where we know the human
nature of Christ is? This is the saints' rest; here their hearts
are while they live; and here their treasure is. "The inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, that is
designed for them, is reserved in heaven," 1 Pet. i. 4; and
therefore they never can have their proper and full rest till they
come here. So that undoubtedly their souls, when absent from their
bodies (when the Scriptures represent them as in a state of
perfect rest), arrive hither. Those two saints, that left this
world, to go to their rest in another world, without dying, viz.,
Enoch and Elijah, went to heaven. Elijah was seen ascending up to
heaven, as Christ was. And to the same resting place, is there all
reason to think, that those saints go, that leave the world, to go
to their rest, by death. Moses, when he died in the top of the
mount, ascended to the same glorious abode with Elias, who
ascended without dying. They are companions in another world; as
they appeared together at Christ's transfiguration. They were
together at that time with Christ in the mount, when there was a
specimen or sample of his glorification in heaven. And doubtless
they were also together afterwards, with him, when he was,
actually, fully glorified in heaven. And thither undoubtedly it
was, that the soul of Stephen ascended, when he expired. The
circumstances of his death demonstrate it, as we have an account
of it, Acts vii. 55, &c.: "He, being full of the Holy Ghost,
looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and
Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see
the heavens opened, and the Son of man (i.e. Jesus, in his human
nature) standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out
with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with
one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him. And they
stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive
my spirit." Before his death he had an extraordinary view of the
glory that his Saviour had received in heaven, not only for
himself, but for him, and all his faithful followers; that he
might be encouraged, by the hopes of this glory, cheerfully to lay
down his life for his sake. Accordingly he dies in the hope of
this, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." By which doubtless
he meant, "receive my spirit to be with thee, in that glory,
wherein I have now seen thee, in heaven, at the right hand of
God." And thither it was that the soul of the penitent thief on
the cross ascended. Christ said to him, "To-day shalt thou be with
me in paradise." Paradise is the same with the third heaven; as
appears by 2 Cor. xii. 2, 3, 4. There that which is called the
third heaven in the 2d verse, in the 4th verse is called paradise.
The departed souls of the apostles and prophets are in heaven; as
is manifest from Rev. xviii. 20: "Rejoice over her, thou heaven,
and ye holy apostles and prophets."
     The church of God is distinguished in Scripture, from time to
time, into these two parts; that part of it that is in heaven, and
that which is in earth; Eph. iii. 14, 15, "Jesus Christ, of whom
the whole family in heaven and earth is named." Col. i. 20, "And
having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to
reconcile all things to himself, by him, I say, whether they be
things in earth or things in heaven." Now what things in heaven
are they for whom peace has been made by the blood of Christ's
cross, and who have by him been reconciled to God, but the saints
in heaven? In like manner we read, Eph. i. 10, of God's gathering
together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
and which are on earth, even in him." The spirits of just men made
perfect are in the same city of the living God, and heavenly
Jerusalem, with the innumerable company of angels, and Jesus the
Mediator of the new covenant; as is manifest by Heb. xii. 22, 23,
24. The church of God is often in Scripture called by the name
Jerusalem; and the apostle speaks of the Jerusalem which is above,
or which is in heaven, as the mother of us all; but if no part of
the church be in heaven, or none but Enoch and Elias, it is not
likely that the church would be called the Jerusalem which is in
     II. The souls of true saints, when they leave their bodies at
death, go to be with Christ, as they go to dwell in the immediate,
full and constant sight or view of him.
     When we are absent from our dear friends, they are out of
sight; but when we are with them, we have the opportunity and
satisfaction of seeing them. So while the saints are in the body,
and are absent from the Lord, HE is in several respects out of
sight: 1 Pet. i. 8, "Whom having not seen, ye love: in whom,
though now ye see him not, yet believing," &c. They have indeed,
in this world, a spiritual sight of Christ; but they see through a
glass darkly, and with great interruption; but in heaven they see
him face to face, 1 Cor. xiii. 12; "The pure in heart are blessed;
for they shall see God," Matt. v. 8. Their beatifical vision of
God is in Christ, who is that brightness or effulgence of God's
glory, by which his glory shines forth in heaven, to the view of
saints and angels there, as well as here on earth. This is the Sun
of righteousness, that is not only the light of this world, but is
also the sun that enlightens the heavenly Jerusalem; by whose
bright beams it is that the glory of God shines forth there, to
the enlightening and making happy all the glorious inhabitants.
"The Lamb is the light thereof; and so the glory of God doth
lighten it," Rev. xxi. 23. None sees God the Father immediately,
who is the King eternal, immortal, invisible; Christ is the image
of that invisible God, by which he is seen by all elect creatures.
The only begotten Son that is in the bosom of the Father, he hath
declared him, and manifested him. None has ever immediately seen
the Father, but the Son; and none else sees the Father any other
way, than by the Son's revealing him. And in heaven, the spirits
of just men made perfect do see him as he is. They behold his
glory. They see the glory of his divine nature, consisting in all
the glory of the Godhead, the beauty of all his perfections; his
great majesty, almighty power, his infinite wisdom, holiness, and
grace, and they see the beauty of his glorified human nature, and
the glory which the Father hath given him, as God-man and
Mediator. For this end, Christ desired that his saints might "be
with him, that they might behold his glory," John xvii. 24. And
when the souls of the saints leave their bodies, to go to be with
Christ, they behold the marvellous glory of that great work of
his, the work of redemption, and of the glorious way of salvation
by him; desire to look into. They have a most clear view of the
unfathomable depths of the manifold wisdom and knowledge of God;
and the most bright displays of the infinite purity and holiness
of God, that do appear in that way and work; and see in a much
clearer manner than the saints do here, what is the breadth and
length, and depth and height of the grace and love of Christ,
appearing in his redemption. And as they see the unspeakable
riches and glory of the attribute of God's grace, so they most
clearly behold and understand Christ's eternal and unmeasurable
dying love to them in particular. And in short, they see every
thing in Christ that tends to kindle and inflame love, and every
thing that tends to gratify love, and every thing that tends to
satisfy them: and that in the most clear and glorious manner,
without any darkness or delusion, without any impediment or
interruption. Now the saints, while in the body, see something of
Christ's glory and love; as we, in the dawning of the morning, see
something of the reflected light of the sun mingled with darkness;
but when separated from the body, they see their glorious and
loving Redeemer, as we see the sun when risen, and showing his
whole disk above the horizon, by his direct beams, in a clear
hemisphere, and with perfect day.
     III. The souls of true saints, when absent from the body go
to be with Jesus Christ, as they are brought into a most perfect
conformity to and union with him. Their spiritual conformity is
begun while they are in the hotly; here beholding, as in a glass,
the glory of the Lord, they are changed into the same image; but
when they come to see him as he is, in heaven, then they become
like him in another manner. That perfect sight will abolish all
remains of deformity, disagreement, and sinful unlikeness; as all
darkness is abolished before the full blaze of the sun's meridian
light: it is impossible that the least degree of obscurity should
remain before such light; so it is impossible the least degree of
sin and spiritual deformity should remain, in such a view of the
spiritual beauty and glory of Christ, as the saints enjoy in
heaven; when they see that Sun of righteousness without a cloud,
they themselves shine forth as the sun, and shall be as little
suns, without a spot. For then is come the time when Christ
presents his saints to himself, in glorious beauty; "not having
spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing;" and having holiness without
a blemish. And then the saints' union with Christ is perfected.
This also is begun in this world. The relative union is both begun
and perfected at once, when the soul first closes with Christ by
faith: the real union, consisting in the union of hearts and
affections, and in the vital union, is begun in this world and
perfected in the next. The union of the heart of a believer to
Christ, is begun when his heart is drawn to Christ, by the first
discovery of divine excellency, at conversion; and consequent on
this drawing and closing of his heart with Christ, is established
a vital union with Christ; whereby the believer becomes a living
branch of the true vine, living by a communication of the sap and
vital juice of the stock and root; and a member of Christ's
mystical body, living by a communication of spiritual and vital
influences from the head, and by a kind of participation of
Christ's own life. But while the saints are in the body, there is
much remaining distance between Christ and them: there are
remainders of alienation, and the vital union is very imperfect;
and so consequently is the communication of spiritual life and
vital influences: there is much between Christ and believers to
keep them asunder, much indwelling sin, much temptation, a world
of carnal objects, to keep off the soul from Christ, and hinder a
perfect coalescence.
     But when the soul leaves the body, all these clogs and
hinderances shall be removed, every separating wall shall be
broken down, and every impediment taken out of the way, and all
distance shall cease; the heart shall be wholly and forever
attached and bound to him, by a perfect view of his glory. And the
vital union shall then be brought to perfection; the soul shall
live perfectly in and upon Christ, being perfectly filled with his
spirit, and animated by his vital influences; living, as it were,
only by Christ's life, without any remainder of spiritual death,
or carnal life.
     IV. Departed souls of saints are with Christ, as they enjoy a
glorious and immediate intercourse and converse with him.
     While we are present with our friends, we have opportunity
for that free and immediate conversation with them, which we
cannot have in absence from them. And therefore, by reason of the
vastly more free, perfect, and immediate intercourse with Christ,
which the saints enjoy when absent from the body, they are fitly
represented as present with him.
     The most intimate intercourse becomes that relation that the
saints stand in to Jesus Christ; and especially becomes that most
perfect and glorious union they shall be brought into with him in
heaven. They are not merely Christ's servants, but his friends,
John xv. 15. His brethren and companions, Psalm cxxii. 8; "yea,
they are the spouse of Christ." They are espoused or betrothed to
Christ while in the body; but when they go to heaven, they enter
into the king's palace, their marriage with him is come, and the
king brings them into his chambers indeed. They then go to dwell
with Christ constantly, to enjoy the most perfect converse with
him. Christ conversed in the most friendly manner with his
disciples on earth; he admitted one of them to lean on his bosom:
but they are admitted much more fully and freely to converse with
him in heaven. Though Christ be there in a state of glorious
exaltation, reigning in the majesty and glory of the sovereign
Lord and God of heaven and earth, angels and men; yet this will
not hinder intimacy and freedom of intercourse, but rather promote
it. For he is thus exalted, not only for himself, but for them; he
is instated in this glory of head over all things for their sakes,
that they might be exalted and glorified; and when they go to
heaven where he is, they are exalted and glorified with him; and
shall not be kept at a more awful distance from Christ, but shall
be admitted nearer, and to a greater intimacy. For they shall be
unspeakably more fit for it, and Christ in more fit circumstances
to bestow on them this blessedness. Their seeing the great glory
of their friend and Redeemer, will not awe them to a distance, and
make them afraid of a near approach; but on the contrary, will
most powerfully draw them near, and encourage and engage them to
holy freedom. For they will know that it is he that is their own
Redeemer, and beloved friend and bridegroom; the very same that
loved them with a dying love, and redeemed them to God by his
blood; Matt. xiv. 27, "It is I; be not afraid." Rev. i. 17, 18,"
Fear not:--I am he that liveth, and was dead." And the nature of
this glory of Christ that they shall see, will be such as will
draw and encourage them; for they will not only see infinite
majesty and greatness, but infinite grace, condescension, and
mildness, and gentleness and sweetness, equal to his majesty. For
he appears in heaven, not only as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
but as the Lamb, and the Lamb in the midst of the throne, "Rev. v.
5, 6; and this Lamb in the midst of the throne shall be their
shepherd, to" feed them, and lead them to living fountains of
water," Rev. vii. 17; so that the sight of Christ's great kingly
majesty will be no terror to them; but will only serve the more to
heighten their pleasure and surprise. When Mary was about to
embrace Christ, being full of joy at the sight of him again alive
after his crucifixion, Christ forbids her to do it for the ended:
John xx. 16, 17, "Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself,
and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master. Jesus saith
unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Father:
but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father,
and your Father, and to my God and your God." As if he had said,
"This is not the time and place for that freedom your love to me
desires: this is appointed in heaven after my ascension. I am
going thither; and you that are my true disciples, shall, as my
brethren and companions, soon be there with me in my glory. And
then there shall be no restraint. That is the place appointed for
the most perfect expressions of complacence and endearment, and
full enjoyment of mutual love." And accordingly the souls of
departed saints with Christ in heaven, shall have Christ as it
were unbosomed unto them, manifesting those infinite riches of
love towards them, that have been there from eternity; and they
shall be enabled to express their love to him, in an infinitely
better manner than ever they could while in the body. Thus they
shall eat and drink abundantly, and swim in the ocean of love, and
be eternally swallowed up in the infinitely bright, and infinitely
mild and sweet beams of divine love; eternally receiving that
light, eternally full of it, and eternally compassed round with
it, and everlastingly reflecting it back again to the fountain of
     V. The souls of the saints, when they leave their bodies at
death, go to be with Christ, as they are received to a glorious
fellowship with Christ in his blessedness.
     As the wife is received to a joint possession of her
husband's estate, and as the wife of a prince partakes with him in
his princely possessions and honors; so the church, the spouse of
Christ, when the marriage comes, and she is received to dwell with
him in heaven, shall partake with him in his glory. When Christ
rose from the dead, and took possession of eternal life; this was
not as a private person, but as the public head of all his
redeemed people. He took possession of it for them, as well as for
himself; and "they are quickened together with him, and raised up
together." And so when he ascended into heaven, and was exalted to
great glory there, this also was as a public person. He took
possession of heaven, not only for himself, but his people, as
their forerunner and head, that they might ascend also, "and sit
together in heavenly places with him," Eph. ii. 5, 6. "Christ
writes upon them his new name," Rev. iii. 12; i.e., he makes them
partakers of his own glory and exaltation in heaven. His new name
is that new honor and glory that the Father invested him with,
when he set him on his own right hand. As a prince, when he
advances any one to new dignity in his kingdom, gives him a new
title. Christ and his saints shall be glorified together, Rom.
viii. 17.
     The saints in heaven have communion, or a joint participation
with Christ in his glory and blessedness in heaven, in the
following respects more especially.
     1. They partake with him in the ineffable delights he has in
heaven, in the enjoyment of his Father.
     When Christ ascended into heaven, he was received to a
glorious and peculiar joy and blessedness in the enjoyment of his
Father, who, in his passion, hid his face from him; such an
enjoyment as became the relation he stood in to the Father, and
such as was a meet reward for the great and hard service he had
performed on earth. Then "God showed him the path of life, and
brought him into his presence, where is fulness of joy, and to sit
on his right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore," as is
said of Christ, Psalm xvi. 11. Then the Father "made him most
blessed forever. He made him exceeding glad with his countenance;"
as in Psalm xxi. 6. The saints, by virtue of their union with
Christ, and being his members, do, in some sort partake of his
childlike relation to the Father; and so are heirs with him of his
happiness in the enjoyment of his Father; as seems to be intimated
by the apostle, in Gal. iv. 4--7. The spouse of Christ, by virtue
of her espousals to that only begotten Son of God, is, as it were,
a partaker of his filial relation to God, and becomes the king's
daughter, Psalm xiv. 13, and so partakes with her divine husband
in his enjoyment of his Father and her Father, his God and her
God." A promise of this seems to be implied in those words of
Christ to Mary, John xx. 17. Thus Christ's faithful servants
"enter into the joy of their Lord," Matt. xxv. 21, 23, and
"Christ's joy remains in them;" agreeably to those words of
Christ, John xv. 11. Christ from eternity is, as it were, in the
bosom of the Father, as the object of his infinite complacence. In
him is the Father's eternal happiness. Before the world was, he
was with the Father, in the enjoyment of his infinite love; and
had infinite delight and blessedness in that enjoyment; as he
declares of himself in Prov. viii. 30: "Then I was by him as one
brought up with him. And I was daily his delight, rejoicing always
before him." And when Christ ascended to the Father after his
passion, he went to him, to the enjoyment of the same glory and
blessedness in the enjoyment of his love; agreeably to his prayer
the evening before his crucifixion, John xvii. 5: "And now, O
Father, glorify me with thine own self, with the glory I had with
thee before the world was." And in the same prayer, he manifests
it to be his will, that his true disciples should be with him in
the enjoyment of that joy and glory, which he then asked for
himself, verse 13: "That my joy might be fulfilled in themselves:"
verse 22, "And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them."
This glory of Christ, which the saints are to enjoy with him, is
that which he has in the enjoyment of the Father's infinite love
to him; as appears by the last words of that prayer of our Lord,
verse 26: "That the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in
them, and I in them." The love which the Father has to his Son is
great indeed: the Deity does, as it were, wholly and entirely flow
out in a stream of love to Christ; and the joy and pleasure of
Christ is proportionably great. This is the stream of Christ's
delights, the river of his infinite pleasure; which he will make
his saints to drink of with him, agreeably to Psal. xxxvi. 8, 9:
"They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house.
Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with
thee is the fountain of life. In thy light shall we see light."
The saints shall have pleasure in partaking with Christ in his
pleasure, and shall see light in his light. They shall partake
with Christ of the same river of pleasure, shall drink of the same
water of life, and of the same new wine in Christ's Father's
kingdom, Matt. xxvi. 29. That new wine is especially that joy and
happiness that Christ and his true disciples shall partake of
together in glory, which is the purchase of Christ's blood, or the
reward of his obedience unto death. Christ, at his ascension into
heaven, received everlasting pleasures at his Father's right hand,
and in the enjoyment of his Father's love, as the reward of his
own death, or obedience unto death. But the same righteousness is
reckoned to both head and members; and both shall have fellowship
in the same reward, each according to their distinct capacity.
     That the saints in heaven have such a communion with Christ
in his joy, and do so partake with him in his own enjoyment of the
Father, does greatly manifest the transcendent excellency of their
happiness, and their being admitted to a vastly higher privilege
in glory than the angels.
     2. The saints in heaven are received to a fellowship or
participation with Christ in the glory of that dominion to which
the Father hath exalted him.
     The saints, when they ascend to heaven as Christ ascended,
and are made to sit together with him in heavenly places, and are
partakers of the glory of his exaltation, are exalted to reign
with him. They are through him made kings and priests, and reign
with him, and in him, over the same kingdom. As the Father hath
appointed unto him a kingdom, so he has appointed to them. The
Father has appointed the Son to reign over his own kingdom, and
the Son appoints his saints to reign in his. The Father has given
to Christ to sit with him on his throne, and Christ gives to the
saints to sit with him on his throne, agreeably to Christ's
promise, Rev. iii. 21. Christ, as God's Son, is the heir of his
kingdom, and the saints are joint heirs with Christ: which
implies, that they are heirs of the same inheritance, to possess
the same kingdom, in and with him, according to their capacity.
Christ, in his kingdom, reigns over heaven and earth; he is
appointed the heir of all things; and so all things are the
saints'; "whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or
life, or death, or things present, or things to come," all are
theirs; because they are Christ's, and united to him, 1 Cor. iii.
21, 22, 23. The angels are given to Christ as a part of his
dominion: they are all given to wait upon him as ministering
spirits to him. So also they are all, even the highest and most
dignified of them, ministering spirits, to minister to them who
are the heirs of salvation. They are Christ's angels, and they are
also their angels. Such is the saints' union with Christ, and
their interest in him, that what he possesses, they possess, in a
much more perfect and blessed manner than if all things were given
to them separately, and by themselves, to be disposed of according
to their discretion. They are now disposed of so as, in every
respect, to be most for their blessedness, by an infinitely better
discretion than their own; and in being disposed of by their head
and husband, between whom and them there is the most perfect union
of hearts, and so the most perfect union of wills, and who are
most perfectly each other's.
     As the glorified spouse of this great King reigns with and in
him, in his dominion over the universe, so more especially does
she partake with him in the joy and glory of his reign in his
kingdom of grace; which is more peculiarly the kingdom that he
possesses as Head of the church, and is that kingdom wherein she
is more especially interested. It was especially to reign in this
kingdom, that God the Father exalted him to his throne in heaven:
he set his King on his holy hill of Zion, especially that he might
reign over Zion, or over his church, in his kingdom of grace; and
that he might be under the best advantages to carry on the designs
of his love in this lower world. And therefore undoubtedly the

(continued in part 2...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-01: edwab-01.txt