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S E R M. cleanse them by the perpetual assistance x^. of his Spirit, from all unrighteousness.
L/"vrNJ They have an High Priest, not who cannot be touched with the feeling of their infirmities, but who was himself tempted in all points like as They are, yet without Sin. And he is able also, as well as willing, to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever livetb to make intercession for them, Heb. vii. 2£. And because he thus lives for ever, and has an unchangeable Priesthood, therefore he is said in Scripture to be a Priest, not after the Order of Aaron, which was a perpetual Succession of Priests not suffered to continue by reason of death; but after the Order of Melchisedec, who was both Prince and High Priest, and of whom is recorded neither Predecessor nor Succeflor, that he might be a Type and Emblem of Him who ever livetb to make Intercession for us.
Some Unbelieves there have been in All Ages, and still are, who, in opposition to this Great Doctrine of Christianity, alledge, that God being always Omnipresent present and ready to hear the PrayersSermwhich every one offers for himself, there- ^V. sore there was no need of appointing a v**'v Mediator; and that God always acting, in his own nature, according to the exact Right and Reason of the Cafe; therefore he cannot be changed^ or have Any Affedlion moved, by the interposition of Any Intercessor whatsoever. But in This matter they greatly mistake. For if God's being himself every where present, were a sufficient reason why no Mediator should be appointed to intercede for Men; it would by the same argument be also a sufficient reason, why men should neither pray nor intercede for themselves: For God knows their Wants as perfectly, even without their ever praying for Themselves, as without a Mediator interceding for them. If therefore, notwithstanding God's Omnipresence and Omniscience, it be still reasonable to require that men should pray for Themselves; in order to keep up in their Minds a constant fense of God, and that they may make continual Acknowledgment of their Dependence upon A a 3 him:
S E R M. him: It may in like manner be very reaXV- sonable, in order to keep up in their
C/V>° Minds a just fense of their own Unworthiness and of the true Demerit of Sin, to require of them, that through such a Mediator only, as he has thought fit to appoint, should they have Access to Him who is of purer Eyes than to behold iniquity. And though it be indeed very true, that by No intercession whatsoever, can God ever be moved to act otherwise than is agreeable to perfect Right and Reason; yet in cases of Mercy and Compassion, where the whole of what he does, proceeds from mere Free Bounty, 'tis evident he may convey those his Free Gifts, in what Manner, and upon what Terms or Conditions, and through what Instruments he pleases; and may require their being accepted in that particular Method, or not at all. For however otherwise it be in all such cases, where there is any Claim of Justice, or Demand of Right; yet undoubtedly, in Dispensations of mere Mercy, that which is true of every Owner even among frail and mortal Men, may with much greater propriety be said ofSErM. God; shall he not do what and how he -^ will, with his own?
That which remains, is, to draw two or three practical Inferences from the whole of what has been said.
And 1st, From the doctrine of our Lord's sitting at the Right Hand of God to intercede continually for us, and to govern his Church by the mission of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, the Apostle's inference is very natural. Heb. iv. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Again, ch. x. 19. Having boldness to enter into the holies by the blood of Jesus, si. e. having access to God through Him,) by a new and living way which he has consecrated for us; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith. For He that spared not his own Son, Rom. viii. 32. how Jhall he not with
Him also freely give us all things? Who
is he that condemneth? it is Chris that A a 4 died,
S E R. M. died, yea rather that is risen again, wh& '*>- *? is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us,
zdly, If We follow the example of our Lord's Humility and Righteousness here upon Earth, we may hope through Him to be made Partakers also of his exaltation in "Heaven. I go, fays he, to prepare a place for you, and——-I will come a-, gain, and receive you unto myself, that •where I am, there Ye may be also. Again: To Him that overcometh, (that is, who perseveres in resisting the temptations of Sin;) unto Him will I grant to fit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His Throne, These Promises caused St Paul so to express himself, as if God had already raised us up together with Christ, and made us already fit together in heaven-, ly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. ii. 6. The manner of expression, is highly figurative; But the literal and proper Sense of it is what he elsewhere thus explains: We have Hope, fays he, as an Anchor of the Soul, hash sure andstedfajl, and which