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Spirit; to Him, in our lives, by His grace; with Him, in eternity, to adore and to love Him.
Only now, in the day of salvation; now, in this season of penitence; now, while the door is not shut to; now, when He anew calleth thee, turn to Him, if thou hast not yet turned; resolve, by His grace, to break off any deadly sin if thou yet be in one; if not, pray for true, abiding, loving sorrow, that thou didst ever displease Him; pray, day by day, for that His great gift-perseverance against that sin, perseverance unto the end; remember, whenever thou canst, His poor, (and now, those penitent sinners who, with thee, have been snatched from the jaws of hell P). Pray Him, with the penitent Robber, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom; though last, least, lowest, Lord, remember me;" and He Who came, not to destroy men's lives but to save them, will in that dread Day remember thee, deliver thee, that thou too mayest for ever behold His Face, for ever have the beatitude of adoring Him, of loving Him, of being loved by Him.
There was a collection for a Penitentiary.
The Victor, on His Throne, the Mediator between God and Man.
HEBREWS vii. 25.
"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."
HE subject to which I have to invite your atten
tion this evening is,-"The Victor, on His Throne, the Mediator between God and Man."
You have had already brought before you, in this course of Lenten Sermons, the various stages which Holy Scripture unfolds in the gradual development of the great scheme of redemption through the onlybegotten Son of God. Your thoughts have been carried back to a point beyond the limits of time, when in the "Counsels of Eternity" He was "foreordained before the foundation of the world," as the Redeemer of our race you have reviewed the "Times of Preparation" -those long ages of preliminary education and training -which God, in His infinite Wisdom, saw fit to interpose between the Fall and the Restoration, between the first dim promise of a Redeemer and the actual advent of the "Desire of all Nations." You have contemplated
"the great mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh;" when He, who was "the brightness of His Father's glory and the express image of His person," emptied Himself of His Divine majesty and glory, and "took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men ;" "for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man." You have beheld Him, after being "made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death," "exalted to His Throne" on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Seated there on His mediatorial throne, you have regarded Him as "the Object of Divine Worship," the centre of countless multitudes of the host of heaven, uttering, as with the voice of many waters, their hymn of adoration, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing;"—a strain taken up and re-echoed by every creature in heaven and earth, "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
With minds thus prepared, you come to the contemplation of the subject proposed for our special consideration this evening,—“The Victor, on His Throne, the Mediator between God and Man."
This introduces us to the all-important subject of the Priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I need not remind you that, among the topics of which the Apostle Paul treats most largely and elaborately in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the subject of the High-Priesthood of Christ holds a conspicuous place. The Jew, accustomed to the gorgeous temple-worship at Jerusalem, would naturally deem it an essential defect in the Christian system, that
it had no proper ritual or ceremonial worship, and, especially, no priesthood, through whose ministry and sacrificial mediation God might be approached and propitiated. We know how the same craving after a sacerdotal religion corrupted Christianity in later ages, until, at length, it became, in this respect, little better than a modified Judaism. St. Paul addresses himself with especial care to answer this alleged deficiency in the Gospel scheme. He shews that every important end which the Jewish sacrificial system could accomplish was secured by Christianity, and in a much higher and more perfect manner; inasmuch as the incarnate Son of God Himself discharged the mediatorial functions of the Levitical High-Priest, and in His own person supplied the place of the abolished sacrifices of the Mosaic Law.
Now, the priestly office of Christ embraces two distinct, though closely related, functions: namely, first, that of Atonement, or satisfaction for sin; and, secondly, that of Intercession, founded upon the Atonement. The former of these functions - that of Atonement Blessed Lord discharged ONCE FOR ALL, by His vicarious sufferings and death upon the Cross, and by His oblation of Himself in heaven, the true Holy of Holies, of which the earthly sanctuary was only the image and shadow. The vicarious sacrifice which took place upon earth, and the oblation of it which was made in heaven, after the Ascension, constitute two intimately connected parts of the same expiatory action, which was typified in the Jewish ritual by the high-priest's slaying the victim, on the great day of atonement, outside the sanctuary, and then presenting the blood before the mercyseat in the Holy of Holies. This whole expiatory action-the sacrifice on earth, the oblation in heaven
-took place once for all, and was never more to be repeated:" Not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own Blood, He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
The second function belonging to Christ's priestly office that of Intercession-He perpetually exercises, at the right hand of God, and will continue to exercise until the close of His mediatorial kingdom. This perpetual Intercession which He carries on in heaven is based upon, and derives its efficacy from, the Atonement made and perfected once for all.
I shall presently inquire a little more particularly in what this intercession consists. As a preliminary step, it is important to bear in mind that, in several passages of the Apostolic epistles, and especially in the epistle now before us, this function of intercession, while it is based on that of expiation or atonement, is yet very carefully and clearly discriminated from it. In the eighth chapter of Romans, for example, we have a locus classicus on the subject:-" who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died" (made atonement once for all for sin by His death on the Cross), "yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession "-(ÉVTVYXável, continues to make intercession)-" for us."
But it is in the Epistle to the Hebrews that we find these two functions, or aspects, of Christ's priesthood most clearly distinguished. Thus, at the close of the second chapter we read, "Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High-Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people;"-this is the first part of His sacerdotal office the second is stated in the following verse, "For