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what he prays for is before in the heart and promise of God his Father to grant him, and that in a way of recompence, for the faithful discharge of the trust reposed in him by his father? Psal. ii. viii. Isa. liii. 12.
There are some poor trembling believers who, when they need such or such a mercy, and know not what they shall do without it, dare not beg the mercy they want: the mercy is so great, and they themselves so every way unworthy, they think it great presumption to seek or pray for it. Let such turn their eye off from staring and poring on their own unworthiness, keeping it fixed on the incomprehensible merit and worthiness of the Lord Jesus Christ; and then let them keep back from God's throne of grace, and give way to discouragement, if they can. It is Christ's worthiness, not the believer's qualifications, that prevails with God.
Oh! poor distressed, fainting soul, who art even swallowed up of that gulf of sinfulness, distraction, deadness, and heart-hardness, whereof thou complainest; consider and remember, for thine
encouragement, that when thou findest thyself unable to pray, there is one at God's righthand praying for thee, whom God the Father knows not how to deny or throw off; so prevalent with him is that efficacious intercession of his own Son, who was consecrated thy high-priest by God's own sacred oath: “ The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,” Psalin cx, 4. And
having such an high undertaker for thee with God, for my part, I cannot conceive what should discourage, or drive thee back from wrestling with God, till, Jacob-like, thou overcome him. This is the use that God himself would have the weakest believer make of that great High-priest : “ Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that
grace to help in the time of need,” Heb. iv. 16.
3. There is, there can be, no case or condition so desperate or wretched, in respect either of sin or of affliction, out of which Christ; by his intercession, cannot rescue and save the tempted, fallen, and deserted believer: “Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him there is plenteous redemption; and he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities,” Psal. cxxx. 7, 8. “ The Lord preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me, Psal. cxvi. 6. “ The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation,” &c. 2 Pet. ii. 9. 66 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer
you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear," i Cor. x. 13. To which I will only add, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,” Heb. vii. 25. And can any fruit be sweeter than this to a poor distressed, tempted, and despairing soul? 4. By the intercession of Christ the
reconciliation procured by his meritorious sacrifice is kept up and continued for ever : “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders,” &c. Isa. ix. 6. The keeping up and continuing the peace
between God and the elect is as necessary as the first procurement of it. As by the meritorious virtue of his sacrifice he hath procured peace with God for the elect; so, by the renewing efficacy of his Spirit in the souls of believers, and his prevailing intercession in heaven for them, he continues and keeps up that peace.
Psal. xxxvii, 23, 24. Jer. xxxii. 40. Rev. vii. 3, 4.
5. The intercession of Christ in heaven is the cause of application of all the good, spiritual and bodily, which believers receive at the hands of God. As the procurement of all good for the elect depends on Christ's sacrifice, so the actual application thereof to them depends on his intercession: “ And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John xiv. 13, 14.
6. In the sixth place, to add no more, The intercession of Christ with his Father, in behalf of the elect, is not a matter of precarious entreaty, but of justice and equity; wherein he cannot be put off. He intercedes for no favour or mercy what he first paid a price for on the behalf of his elect; and therefore it must not be thought a matter of mere entreaty, but of equity and justice,
for God to grant to believers what they ask in Christ's name.
To what hath been observed concerning those six several sorts of works which are peculiar to Christ as mediator between God and sinners, I will add one more; and it is his providential work of gubernation, or ruling the world; and that, as all the rest of his works, is most sweet to the true believer.
That the government of the world is, in a way of recompence, committed by the Father to Christ, is plain by his own declaration thereof to his apostles: “ All power is given to me, in heaven and in earth, &c.” Matt. xxviii. 18. The same witnesseth Paul: “ And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,” Ephes. i. 22. The same apostle to the Philippians saith, “ Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, both of things in heaven, and things on the earth, and things under the earth,” Phil. ii. 9, 10.
That the works of Providence are also sweet to the true believer, seven things will make it appear.
First, God's King, who rules the providential kingdom here on earth, is also the believer's King.
That Christ is God the Father's King, is plain and evident from the scriptures above mentioned.
To which may be added, “Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.” Psal. ii. 6.
From these scriptures it is plain that God hath committed the government of all things in his providential kingdom to Christ his Son, to be improved for the good and advantage of God's elect. The prospect which Balaam had hereof put him on declaring the victoriousness and felicity of the people of God above all other people on earth: “ The Lord is God," saith he of Israel, “ is with him, and the shout of a King is among them. Numb. xxiii. 21.
That Christ is the believer's King, is evident from the scriptures following. " For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King; he will save us,” Isa. xxxiii. 22. “ And
of Moses the servant of God, and of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Rev. XV. 3.
Of kings, it is said, “Regum est parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos—It is the part or property of kings to deal gently with those who submit readily to their rightful authority; but to subdue and vanquish their enemies, who submit not to the yoke of duty.'
This property of a king will be found to be in God's and the believer's King above all the crowned heads that ever breathed on earth: for, as Christ is Cod the Father's King, to sway the sceptre of his