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· Largely as I have trespassed, in following up the illustration of this important doctrine, I must not dismiss it, without desiring that you will take with you, some at least of those highly interesting reflections, which arise out of it.
In the infinite merits, of the Sacrifice, and Everlasting Priesthood, of the Lord Jesus, are founded the sole hopes, of the acceptance of every poor Sinner before God. Whether we approach the mercy seat in ordinances in this life; or when we come to stand before the throne of judgment in another; these, become the only possible medium of divine favor, for there is salvation in no other neither is there any other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. *
it, and inconsiderate persons, may rush into God's presence, in the engagement of holy ordinances, as the unthinking horse, rusheth into the battle. But this is what Solomon calls, the sacrifice of fools who know not that they do evil.f It is possible, I may be speaking before one, of this description. If so, shall I beg of you, my unthinking Brother, to pause over the subject, we have been contemplating, if it be but a moment only,
and * Acts 4. 12 Eccles. 8: 1.
and ask your own heart; whether you have ever seriously considered the 'subject as you ought, and with that reverence it demands. We read in holy scripture, that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity: that he requireth truth in the inward parts : that he searcheth the heart and trieth the reins : and that he will be sanctified in all them that draw nigh to him. Are you prepared for this inspection, from any righteousness in yourself? Can you venture to say, try me O God and seek the ground of my heart for thou shalt find no wickedness in me? Is it possible, that any man can be so great a stranger to what passes within, as to fancy that he has any thing of his own, to offer before God? If the Sons of Aaron under the levitical Priesthood, were devoured when offering strange fire before the Lord ;* can you think that under the gospel, the presumption of seeking acceptance, in any way, contrary to the divine appointment will be less dangerous ? And is it not seeking it contrary to the divine appointment, when, instead of wholly resting on the merits, and intercession, of the Lord Jesus, we bring somewhat of our own for justification; or what is much the same thing, seek to mingle it for acceptance, with the righteousness of Christ? What is this short of what the Apostle calls, treading under foot the Son of God counting the blood of the Covenant wherewith we are sanctified an unholy thing and doing despite unto the Spirit of Grace? I
While * Levit. 10. 1. 2. Heb. 10. 29
While I very earnestly recommend these solemn considerations, to the congregation at large, and more particularly, to that part of it, who may not have begun as yet, to reflect seriously, upon the subject at all; I beg the favor, to drop a word, of encouragement, and consolation, to those true Believers in Jesus, who are seeking acceptance with God through this only medium, in which it can be found, the finished salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How animating my Brother ought this view of Jesus, in his Priestly Office, to be to your heart? Convinced as you are, that in yourself, you have nothing to bring, and nothing to offer before God, by way of propitiation; is it not sweet, with the eye of faith, to see Jesus, having completed redemption-work upon earth, now going in as the Priest, and Sacrifice, and also your Intercessor, before the Father, in heaven? That the Apostle Paul, thought this enough to encourage every heart, is evident from hence; for he makes this, the foundation of all, our hopes, and the sure means of all our acceptance. Seeing (says he) we have such an High Priest that is passed into the heavens Jesus the Son of God let us hold fast our profession. And, as if aware, in the moment of recommending it, some poor, self condemned sinner, might still be distressed, and kept back, through fear; the Apostle sweetly adds, for
we have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin. $ As if he had said forget not, that your Great Intercessor, knows what your feelings are, from his own. He commiserates your state under trial, from having passed through every possible instance of it himself. Let us come boldly therefore to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Make application, of this precious consideration, of the Apostle's to every case, as it may be necessary among you, and see, how unanswerable it is, in its appeal, to the heart of all the faithful. Are you mourning
from a coldness of affection, and indisposition, * to divine things ? Are you in darkness, and the hidings of God's countenance, and crying out, with One of old, why standest thou so far off ( Lord and hidest thy face in the needful time of trouble? Is there a trembling Sinner present, groaning under the burthen, of fresh contracted guilt, and saying with David, my sins have taken such hold upon me that I am not able to look up yea they are more in number than the hairs of my head and my heart hath failed me. Have any of you lost your evidences of the renewed life, and are tempted by the Enemy, almost to believe, that you have no interest in the Covenant? Do you complain
my Brother of a dead silence at the mercy seat, and that God refuseth to hear and answer Prayer? What shall give consolation to cases of such peculiar distress as these, and the like, but the view of Jesus, as the High Priest of our holy calling, going in before the throne of ! God, and presenting himself, and his finished righteousness, for the acceptance of his People ! Doth not the Holy Ghost, graciously hold him up, to our view, through all the scriptures, for this express end? Did not the Redeemer himself appear, to the beloved John, in his Priestly Vestments, on purpose to teach the Church these precious truths? And was it not in effect saying, to him, and to all believers through him; “ See I wear the Priesthood still. I ever. live to make intercession for transgressors." Nay, by virtue of this, do I not know, that even in the very moment I am speaking to you of him here, his blood is speaking for every one of his people before the throne in heaven!
What shall I add, unless it be an earnest prayer to God, that while under these impressions of his grace, we may enter into the full meaning of the Apostle's precept, and feel our hearts disposed to the solemn service to which we are now approaching, under the encouraging views, he hath given us. Having therefore brethren boldness to enter into the holiest