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his intercessor; and overthrow him, and you over- bigger than the altar of incense, which was a throw even him that made him a priest for ever. figure of Christ's intercession, Exod. xxvii. 1;
For the text is without restriction : “ He is xxx. 1; Rev. viii. 3. But this, I say, his interable to save to the uttermost them that come cession is for those for whom he died with full unto God by him.” He saith not, now and then intention to save them ; wherefore it must be one, or sinners of an inferior rank in sin, but grounded upon the validity of his sufferings. And, them that come to God by him, how great soever ndeed, his intercession is nothing else, that I their transgressions are, as is clear in that it know of, but a presenting of what he did in the addeth this clause, “ to the uttermost”- He is world for us unto God, and pressing the value of able to save them to the uttermost.
it for our salvation. The blood of sprinkling is But if he were not, why did the King send, that which speaketh meritoriously, (Heb. xii. 24 ;) yea, come and loose him, and let him go free; it is by the value of that that God measureth out yea, admit him into his presence; yea, make and giveth unto us grace and life eternal ; wherehim Lord over all his people, and deliver all fore Christ's intercessions also must be ordered things into his hand ?
and governed by merit: “By his own blood he But he liveth, he ever liveth, and is admitted entered into the holy place, having before by it) to make intercession, yea, is ordained of God so obtained eternal redemption for us,” (Heb. ix. 12,) to do; therefore he is “able to save to the for our souls. uttermost them that come unto God by him.” Now, if by blood he entered in thither, by
This, therefore, that he liveth, seeing he liveth blood he must also make intercession there. His to God and his judgment, and in justice is made blood made way for his entrance thither, his so to do, it is chiefly with reference to his life blood must make way for our entrauce thither. as Mediator for their sakes for whom he makes Though here again we must beware ; for his intercession. He liveth to make intercession. blood did make way for him as priest to interAnd in that it is said he liveth ever, what is it cede; his blood makes way for us, as for those but that he must live, and outlive all his ene- redeemed by it, that we might be saved. mies, for he must live, yea, reign, till all his This, then, shews sufficiently the worth of the enemies are put under his feet, Cor. xv. 25. blood of Christ, even his ever living to make inYea, his very intercessions must live till they tercession for us ; for the merit of his blood lasts are all dead and gone. For the devil and sin all the while that he doth, and for all them for must not live for ever, not for ever to accuse. whom he ever liveth to make intercession. Oh, Time is coming when due course of law will precious blood ! oh, lasting merit ! have an end, and all cavillers will be cast over Blood must be pleaded in Christ's intercession, the bar. But then and after that Christ our high because of justice, and to stop the mouth of the priest shall live, and so shall his intercessions ; enemy, and also to encourage us to come to God yea, and also all them for whom he makes inter- by him. Justice, since that is of the essence of cession, seeing they come unto God by him. God, must concur in the salvation of the singer ;
Now if he lives, and outlives all, and if his but how can that be, since it is said at first, “ In intercession has the casting voice, since also he the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely pleadeth in his prayers a sufficient merit before die,” unless a plenary satisfaction be made for sin a just God, against å lying, malicious, clamorous, to the pleasing of the mighty God. The enemy and envious adversary, he must needs carry the also would else never let go his objecting against cause, the cause for himself and his people, to our salvation. But now God has declared that the glory of God and their salvation. So, then, our salvation is grounded on justice, because his life and intercession must prevail, there can merited by blood. And though God needed be no withstanding of it. Is not this, then, a not to have given his Son to die for us that he demonstration clear as the sun, that they that might save us, and stop the mouth of the devil come to God by him shall be saved, seeing he in so doing, yet this way of salvation has done ever liveth to make intercession for them? both, and so it is declared, “We are justified
Fourthly, The duration of Christ's interces- freely by his grace through the redemption that sion, as it is grounded upon a covenant betwixt is in Jesus : whom God hath set forth to be a God and him, upon an oath also, and upon his propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare life, so it is grounded upon the validity of his his righteousness for the remission of sins that merits. This has been promiscuously touched are past ; to declare, I say, at this time his rightbefore, but since it is an essential to the lasting- eousness: that he might be just, and the justifier Dess of his intercession, it will be to the purpose of him that believeth in Jesus,” Rom. iii. 24, 25. to lay it down by itself.
So, then, here is also a ground of intercession, Intercession, then, I mean Christ's interces- even the blood shed for us before. sion, is, that those for whom he died with full And that you may see it yet more for your intention to save them might be brought into that comfort, God did at Christ's resurrection, to shew in heritance which he hath purchased for them. what a price he set upon his blood, bid him “ ask Now, then, his intercession must, as to length and of him the heathen, and he would give him the breadth, reach no further than his merits, for he uttermost parts of the earth for his possession,” may not pray for those for whom he died not. Psalm ii. 7, 8. His blood, then, has value enough Indeed, if we take in the utmost extent of his in it to ground intercession upon; yea, there is death, then we must beware, for his death is more worth in it than Christ will plead or imsufficient to save the whole world. But his inter- prove for men by way of intercession. I do not cessions are kept within a narrower compass.
at all doubt but that there is virtue enough in the The altar of burnt offerings was a great deal | blood of Christ, would God Almighty so apply it,
to save the souls of the whole world. But it is death while he was an infant; he hated him in the blood of Christ, his own blood; and he may his cradle; he persecuted him while he was but do what he will with his own. It is also the a bud and blossom, Matt. ii. blood of God, and he also may restrain its merits, When he was come to riper years, and begin or apply it as he sees good. But the coming to manifest his glory, yet, lest the world should soul, he shall find and feel the virtue thereof, be taken with him, how politicly did this old even the soul that comes to God by Christ ; for serpent, called the Devil and Satan, work? He he is the man concerned in its worth, and he ever possessed people that he had a devil, and was liveth to make intercession for him.
mad, and a deceiver; that he wrought his miNow, seeing the intercession of Christ is racles by magic art, and by the devil that the grounded upon a covenant, an oath, a life, and prophets spake nothing of him, and that he sought also upon the validity of his merits, it must of to overthrow the government which was God's necessity be prevalent, and so drive down all / ordinance. And not being contented with ail opposition before it. This, therefore, is the last this, he pursued him to the death, and could nerer part of the text, and that which demonstrateth rest until he had spilt his blood upon the ground that he that comes to God by Christ shall be like water, Matt. ix. 34; xxviii. 11-16; Luke, saved, seeing " he ever liveth to make interces- xxiii. 2; John, vii. 12, 52; x. 20. Yea, so unsion for him."
satiable was his malice, that he set the soldiers I have now done what I intend upon this to forge lies about him to the denial of his resursubject when I have drawn a few inferences from rection, and so managed that matter that what this also.
they said has become a stumbling-block to the First, then, hence I infer that the souls saved Jews to this very day. by Christ are in themselves in a most deplorable
2. When he was ascended to God, and so was condition. Oh, what ado, as I may say, is here out of his reach, yet how busily went he about before one sinner can be eternally saved. Christ to make war with his people, (Rev. xii.) yes, must die; but that is not all; the Spirit of grace what horrors and terrors, what troubles and must be given to us; but that is not all;—but temptations, has God's church met with from that Christ must also ever live to make intercession day till now! Nor is he content with persecu.
And as he doth this for all, so he doth it tions and general troubles ; but oh! how doth for each one. He interceded for me before I was he haunt the spirits of the Christians with blasborn, that I might in time, at the set time, come phemies and troubles, with darkness and frightful into being. After that, he also made interces- fears; sometimes to their distraction, and often sion for me, that I might be kept from hell in the to the filling the church with outcries. time of my unregenerate state, until the time of 3. Yet his malice is in the pursuit, and now bis my call and conversion. Yet again he then in- boldness will try what it can do with God, either tercedes that the work now begun in my soul to tempt him to reject his Son's mediation, or to may be perfected, not only to the day of my dis- reject them that come to God by him for mercy. solution, but unto the day of Christ, (Phil. i. 6 ;) And this is one cause among many why “he that is, until he comes to judgment. So that, as ever liveth to make intercession for them that he begun to save me before I had being, so he come to God by him." will go on to save me when I am dead and gone, 4. And if he cannot overthrow, if he knows and will never leave off to save me until he has he cannot overthrow them, yet he cannot forset me before his face for ever.
bear but vex and perplex them, even as he did But, I say, what a deplorable condition has our their Lord, from the day of their conversion to sin put us into, that there must be all this ado to the day of their ascension to glory. save us. Oh, how hardly is sin got out of the Thirdly, Hence I infer that the love of Christ soul when once it is in! Blood takes away the to his is an unwearied love, and it must needs be guilt ; inherent grace weakens the filth ; but the so; an undaunted love, and it must needs be so. grave is the place, at the mouth of which sin, Who but Jesus Christ would have undertaken such as to the being of sin, and the saved must have a task as the salvation of the sinner is, if Jesus a perfect and final parting, Isaiah, xxxviii. 10. Christ had passed us by? It is true which is Not that the grave of itself is of a sin-purging written of him—“He shall not fail nor be disquality, but God will follow Satan home to his couraged till he has set judgment in the earth," own door ; for the grave is the door or gate of &c. If he had not set his face like a fint, the hell, and will there, where the devil thought to greatness of this work would surely have daunted have swallowed us up, even there by the power his mind, Isa. xlii. 4 ; l. 6, 7. of his mercy make us, at our coming thence, For do but consider what sin is from which shine like the sun and look like angels. Christ all they must be saved ; do but consider what the this while ever liveth to make intercession for us. devil and the curse are from which they must be
Secondly, Hence also I infer that as Satan saved ; and it will easily be concluded by you that thought he struck home at first when he pol- it is he that full rightly deserveth to have his luted our nature, and brought our souls to death, name called Wonderful, and his love such as verily so he is marvellous loath to lose us, and to suffer passeth knowledge. his lawful captives now to escape his hands. He Consider again by what means these souls are is full of fire against us, full of the fire of malice, saved, even with the loss of his life, and together as is manifest,
with it the loss of the light of his Father's face. 1. Not only by his first attempt upon our first I pass by here and forbear to speak of the matchparents, but behuld, when the Deliverer came less contradiction of sinners which he endured into the world, how he roared; he sought his against himself, which could not but be a great
grief, or, as himself doth word it, a breaking of have such a high priest, such an intercessor as heart unto him; but all this did not, could not Jesus Christ ; who would dishonour such a Jesus hinder,
by doubting that all the devils in hell cannot Join to all this his everlasting intercession for discourage by all their wiles ? He is a tried us, and the effectual management thereof with stone, he is a sure foundation ; a man may contiGod for us; and withal the infinite number of dently venture his soul in his hand, and not fear times that we by sin provoke him to spue us out but he will bring him safe home. Ability, love of his mouth instead of interceding for us, and to the person, and faithfulness to trust committed the many times also that his intercession is re- to him, will do all ; and all these are with infinite peated by the repeating of our faults, and this fulness in him. He has been a Saviour these love still passes knowledge, and is by us to be four thousand years already, (two thousand bewondered at.
fore the law, two thousand in the time of the What did, or what doth, the Lord Jesus see in law,) besides the sixteen hundred years that he us to be at all this care, and pains, and cost to has in his flesh continued to make intercession save us? What will he get of us by the bargain for them that come unto God by him. Yet the but a small pittance of thanks and love? for so it day is to come, yea, will never come, that he is, and ever will be, when compared with his can be charged with any fault, or neglect of the matchless and unspeakable love and kindness salvation of any of them that at any time have towards us.
come unto God by him. What ground, then, is Oh, how unworthy are we of this love! How here for confidence that Christ will make a good little do we think of it! But most of all, the an- end with me, since I come unto God by him, and gels may be astonished to see how little we are since he ever liveth to make intercession for me. affected with that of it which we pretend to know. Let me, then, honour him, I say, by setting on But neither can this prevail with him to put us his head the crown of his undertakings for me, 'out of the scroll in which all the names of them by the believing that he is able to save me "even are written for whom he doth make intercession to the uttermost, seeing he ever liveth to make to God. Let us cry, Grace, grace unto it.
intercession for me.” Fourthly, Hence again I infer that they shall Sixthly, Hence also I infer that Christ ought be saved that come to God by Christ, when the to bear and wear the glory of our salvation for devil and sin have done what they can to hinder ever. He has done it
, he has wrought it out. it. This is clear, for that the strife is now, who “Give unto the Lord, Oye kindreds of the people, shall be lord of all, whether Satan, the prince of give unto the Lord glory and strength." Do not this world, or Christ Jesus, the Son of God; or sacrifice to your own inventions, do not give which can lay the best claim to God's elect, he that glory to the work of your own hands. Your produceth their sins against them, or he that laid reformations, your works, your good deeds, and down his heart's blood a price of redemption for all the glory of your doing, cast them at the feet them. Who, then, shall condemn when Christ of this high priest, and confess that glory belongs has died, and doth also make intercession ? unto him—“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, Stand still, angels, and behold how the Father to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and
divideth his Son a portion with the great ; and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. how he divideth the spoil with the strong: be. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of cause he hath poured out his soul unto death, and his Father's house; the offspring and the issue, was numbered with the transgressors, and bear all vessels of small quantity ; from the vessels the sin of many, and made intercession for the of cups even to a!l the vessels of flagons," Rev. transgressors,” Isa. liii. 12. The grace of God v. 12; Isa. xxii. 24. Oh! the work of our reand blood of Christ will before the end of the demption by Christ is such as wanteth not proworld make brave work among the sons of men. vocation to us to bless and praise and glorify him They shall come to a wonderment to God by in our body and in our souls who has bought Christ, and be saved by a wonderment for Christ's us with a price, and glorify God and the Father sake-—“ Behold these shall come from far: and lo, by him, 1 Cor. vi. 20. these from the north, and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim," Isa. xlix. 12. Behold, these, and these, and these shall come,
I come now to make some use of this disand lo, these, and these, and these from the land course ; and, of Sinim.
First, Let me exhort you to the study of this, This is to denote the abundance that shall come as of other the truths of our Lord Jesus Christ. in to God by Christ towards the latter end of the The priestly office of Christ is the first and great world-namely, when Antichrist is gone to bed thing that is presented to us in the gospelin the sides of the pit's mouth; then shall na- namely, how that he died for our sins, and gave tions come in and be saved, and shall walk in the himself to the cross, that the blessing of Abraham light of the Lord.
might come upon us thrcugh him, i Cor. xv. 1–6; But
, I say, what encouragement would there Gal. iii. 13–15. But now because this priestly be for sinners thus to do if that the Lord Jesus office of his is divided into two parts, and because by his intercession were not able to save
one of them—to wit, this of his intercession is to to the uttermost” them that come unto God by be accomplished for us within the veil, therefore
(as we say among men, out of sight out of mind) Fifthly, Hence again I infer that here is ground he is too much as to this forgotten by us. We safor confidence to them that come to God by tisfy ourselves with the slaying of the sacrifice; we Christ. Confidence to the end becomes us who look not enough after our Aaron as he goes into
the holiest, there to sprinkle the mercy-seat with always new to us if they come to us with the blood upon our account.
smell of heaven upon them. I speak not this God forbid that the least syllable of what I say because I would have people despise their mi. should be intended by me, or construed by others, nisters, but to shew that there is nowadays so as if I sought to diminish the price paid by Christ much idleness among professors as hinders them for our redemption in this world. But since his from a diligent search after things, and makes dying is his laying down his price, and his inter- them take up short of that that is sealed by the cession the urging and managing the worthiness Spirit of testimony to the conscience. Witness of it in the presence of God against Satan, there the great decays at this day amongst us, and that is glory to be found therein, and we should look strange revolting from truth once professed by us. after him into the holy place. The second part Secondly, As I would press you to an earnest of the work of the high priests under the law had study and search after this great truth, so I great glory and sanctity put upon it; foras- would press you to a diligent improvement of it much as the holy garments were provided for to yourselves and to others. To know truth for him to officiate in within the veil, also it was knowledge' sake is short of a gracious disposithere that the altar stood on which he offered tion of soul; and to communicate truth out of a incense ; also there was the mercy-seat and the desire of praise and vain-glory for so doing is cherubims of glory (which were figures of the also a swerving from godly simplicity ; but to angels) that love to be continually looking and improve what I know for the good of myself and prying into the management of this second part others is true Christianity indeed. Now truths of the priesthood of Christ in the presence of received may be improved with respect to myGod; for although themselves are not the per- self and others, and that several wayssons so immediately concerned therein as we, yet 1. To myself, when I search after the power the management of it, I say, is with so much that belongs to those notions that I have received grace, and glory, and wisdom, and effectualness, of truth. There belongs to every true notion of that it is a heaven to the angels to see it. Oh! to truth a power; the notion is the shell, -the power, enjoy the odorous scent, and sweet memorial, the the kernel and life. Without this last, truth doth heart-refreshing perfumes, that ascend continu- me no good, nor those to whom I communicate ally from the mercy-seat to the "above” where it. Hence Paul said to the Corinthians,
“ When God is ; and also to behold how effectual it is to I come to you again, I will know not the speech the end for which it is designed is glorious : and of them that are puffed up, but the power. For he that is not somewhat let into this by the grace the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power," of God, there is a great thing lacking to his faith, 1 Cor. iv. 19, 20. Search, then, after the power and he misseth of many a sweet bit that he might of what thou knowest, for it is the power that otherwise enjoy. Wherefore, I say, be exhorted will do thee good. Now this will not be got but to the study of this part of Christ's work in the by earnest prayer, and much attending upon managing of our salvation for us. And the cere- God; also there must not be admitted by thee monies of the law may be a great help to you as that thy heart be stuffed with cumbering cares of to this, for though they be out of use now as to this world, for they are of a choking nature. practice, yet the signification of them is rich, and Take heed of slighting that little that thou that from which many gospellers have got much. hast; a good improvement of little is the way to Wherefore I advise that you read the five books make that little thrive, and the way to obtain of Moses often ; yea, read, and read again, and additions thereto: “He that is faithful in that do not despair of help to understand something which is least, is faithful also in much : and he of the will and mind of God therein, though you that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much," think they are fast locked up from you. Neither Luke, xvi. 10. trouble your heads though you have not com- 2. Improve them to others, and that, mentaries and expositions ; pray and read, and 1. By labouring to instil them upon their read and pray; for a little from God is better hearts by good and wholesome words, presenting than a great deal from men. Also, what is from all to them with the authority of the Scriptures. men is uncertain, and is often lost and tumbled 2. Labour to enforce those instillings on them over and over by men ; but what is from God is by shewing them by thy life the peace, the glofixed as a nail in a sure place. I know there are rious effects that they have upon thy soul. times of temptation, but I speak now as to the Lastly, Let this doctrine give thee boldness to common course of Christianity. There is no- come to God. Shall Jesus Christ be interceding thing that so abides with us as what we receive in heaven? Oh, then, be thou a praying man from God; and the reason why Christians at this on earth; yea, take courage to pray. Think day are at such a loss as to some things is, be- thus with thyself—I go to God, to God before cause they are content with what comes from whose throne the Lord Jesus is ready to hand men's mouths, without searching, and kneeling my petitions to him; yea, “ he ever lives to make before God, to know of him the truth of things. intercession for me.'
." This is a great encourageThings that we receive at God's hand come to ment to come to God by prayers and supplicaus as things from the minting-house, though old tions for ourselves, and by intercessions for our in themselves, yet new to us. Old truths are families, our neighbours, and enemies. Farewell.