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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism

John Whitecross

Q. 28. Wherein consisteth Christ's exaltation?

A. Christ's exaltation consisteth in His rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up to heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.

1. A little child, when dying, was asked where he was going: 'To heaven,' said the child. 'And what makes you wish to be there?' said one. 'Because Christ is there,' replied the child. 'But,' said a friend, 'what if Christ should leave heaven?' 'Well,' said the child, 'I will go with Him.' Some time before his departure, he expressed a wish to have a golden crown when he died. 'And what will you do,' said one, 'with the golden crown?' 'I will take the crown,' said the child, 'and cast it at the feet of Christ.' Does not such a child — to use the language of prophecy — die a hundred years old?

2. On the morning of the day on which Dr John Owen died, Thomas Payne, an eminent dissenting minister, who had been entrusted with the publication of the doctor's work, entitled, Meditations on the Glory of Christ, called to take his leave, and to inform him that he had just been giving it to the printer. 'I am glad to hear it,' said the doctor; and, lifting up his hands and eyes, exclaimed, 'But, O brother Payne, the long-wished for day is come at last, in which I shall see that glory in another manner than I have ever done, or was capable of doing in this world!'

3. Legh Richmond, in one of his visits to the Young Cottager, found her asleep, with her finger lying on a Bible, which lay open before her, pointing at these words, 'Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.' 'Is this casual or designed, thought I. Either way is remarkable. But in another moment, I discovered that her finger was indeed an index to the thoughts of her heart. She half awoke from her dozing state, but not sufficiently so to perceive that any person was present, and said in a kind of whisper, "Lord, remember me — remember me — remember — remember a poor child; Lord, remember me."'

4. A Christian king of Hungary being very sad and pensive, his brother, who was a gay courtier, was desirous of knowing the cause of the sadness. 'O, brother,' said the king, 'I have been a great sinner against God, and know not how to die, or how to appear before God in judgment!' The brother, making a jest of it, said, 'These are but gloomy thoughts.' The king made no reply; but it was the custom of the country, that if the executioner came and sounded a trumpet before any man's door, he was presently led to execution. The king in the dead of night, sent the executioner to sound the trumpet before his brother's door; who hearing it, and seeing the messenger of death, sprang into the king's presence, beseeching him to know in what he had offended. 'Alas! brother,' said the king, 'you have never offended me. And is the sight of my executioner so dreadful? and shall not I, who have greatly offended, fear to be brought before the judgment seat of Christ?'

5. 'In January last,' said a godly father, in writing to his friends, 'I dreamed that the day of judgment was come. I saw the Judge on His great white throne, and all nations were gathered before Him. My wife and I were on the right hand; but I could not see my children. I went to the left hand of the Judge, and there found them all standing in the utmost despair. As soon as they saw me, they caught hold of me, and cried, "O, father, we will never part." I said, "My dear children, I am come to try, if possible, to get you out of this awful situation." So I took them all with me, but when we came near the Judge, I thought He cast an angry look, and said, "What do thy children with thee now? they would not take thy warning when on earth, and they shall not share with thee the crown in heaven; depart, ye cursed." At these words I awoke, bathed in tears. A while after this, as we were all sitting together on a Sabbath evening, I related to them my dream. No sooner did I begin, than first one, and then another, yea, all of them burst into tears, and God fastened conviction on their hearts. Five of them are rejoicing in God their Saviour; and I believe the Lord is at work with the other two, so that I doubt not He will give them also to my prayers.'

6. Not long after the Rev. J. Cooke became a Methodist minister in the town of Maidenhead, the mayor of the town, one Sabbath evening, attended the meeting-house, and heard Mr Cooke preach. The text was, 'Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him" (Rev. 1.7). His attention was powerfully arrested: an arrow of conviction entered his heart; he speedily became a changed man, and regularly attended the means of grace. He had been a jovial companion, a good singer, and a most gay and cheerful member of the corporation. The change was soon perceived. His brethren, at one of their social parties, chaffed him upon Methodism. But he stood firm by his principles, and said, 'Gentlemen, if you will listen patiently, I will tell you why I go to meeting, and do not attend your card-table. I went one Sunday evening to hear Mr Cooke. He took for his text, "Behold, He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him." Your eye shall see Him!' In short, he gave them so faithful and powerful an epitome of the sermon, and applied it so closely to them individually, marking the words, 'every eye shall see Him,' with such emphasis, and pointing to them, said, 'Your eye,' and 'your eye,' that they were satisfied with his reasons for going, and never again durst speak to him on the subject.

This material is taken from THE SHORTER CATECHISM ILLUSTRATED by John Whitecross revised and republished by the Banner of Truth Trust edition 1968 and reproduced with their permission.

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