ascension, Christ Ascended, Christopher Love, John 14, Preaching, Puritan, Puritan Preaching, The Saints' Advantage by Christ's Ascension
This book written by Christopher Love and published in 1652 will be presented here as I transcribe it (with minor editing to make it more readable in 2014):
The Saints’ Advantage by Christ’s Ascension.
John 14:3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, but where I am, there ye may be also.
This chapter out of which my text is taken, is counted famous by most interpreters, because in it begins the legacy that Christ gives, and the last will and testament that Christ made when he was to leave the world. This will and testament of Christ’s begins in the 14th chapter and continues to the 18th chapter of this book. The scope and drift of this chapter is to comfort his disciples both against their fears of persecution in the world and also against their sorrows, upon this consideration that Christ was shortly to leave this world.
Christ here mentions many comfortable considerations for them. That they were to be left without a guide and that Christ was shortly to leave the world and go to his Father; it much trouble them. It went ill with them when Christ was with them, and they thought it would be worse with them when he was gone. So he does encourage them by means of these arguments.
Four Encouragements of Christ
First, he says, I am but going to my Father’s house. In the 28th verse of this chapter he says, You have heard how I sat on to you, I go away, and come again on to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I.
Again secondly, he would not have them troubled because of his departure. He says, I do not intend to go to my Father alone, but intend for it to have all you with me, though you shall not go with me now. Though you shall not die with me now, though you shall not go to heaven with me now, yet you shall be with me another day. In my Father’s house are many mansions. I do not intend to go to heaven alone, for there is room for you as well as for me, and room for every believer in the world. Heaven first is a mansion, a place which notes the duration of the saints in heaven. Heaven is not a movable place, and a mansion is an abiding place.
Again, there are many mansions in heaven, there is room enough for Christ, for his 11 apostles, and room enough for all the believers in the world. It notes the lasting this of heaven. Hebrews 11:12, Therefore, sprang from even that one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky and multitude and as the sands by the seashore innumerable. And besides the innumerable company of angels, there is a great multitude in heaven which no man can number, so that they are. Heaven is a mansion, and there are many mansions.
Thirdly, but they may say, these may be symbolical expressions, but there is more spoken of than it is. But says Christ in the second verse, In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. To think that Jesus Christ speaks of more than there are, if there had been no such thing as having a mansion in heaven with Christ, says Christ, if there were not such I would have told you. I do not love to tell you a fool’s paradise, as the devil does, but I tell you, in heaven there are many mansions. I will not tell you of a vain hope.
Fourthly, say the disciples, but Lord, you are going to your Father’s house, and what shall become of us? Therefore Christ comforts them and says, I go to prepare a place for you. As if he should have said, I go to heaven, to make ready heaven for you when you die. As Grossius observes, that the phrase is borrowed from a company of travelers which send one man before as a harbinger to provide the inn, and take up rooms and make provision ready for them for they come to the inn. So Jesus Christ is gone to heaven, that so he might be as a harbinger to take up heaven for you, to take up room for you in heaven.
Again, he comforts them by his coming again, to receive them to himself. As if he should say, though I leave you for a season, yet I will not leave you forever.
I shall explain the phrases when I come to handle them as they lie in order.
 At this time “mansion” did not mean a fancy, expensive house. It referred to a dwelling place; as does the Greek original. There is no doctrine of bigger and smaller houses.