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1. Consider the Intercession of Christ, in respect of the Time.
And so we may take notice too, how he performed it before his assumption of flesh, and likewise how it shall be performed after the consummation of all things to all eternity.
(1) As to the former, observe, that though it be most emu nently performed since the hypostatical union of both natures in the person of Christ; yet it was also effectually performed before his taking of our flesh upon him.
For, as now Christ intercedes upon the account of those sufferings, which he hath undergone in his body: so he interceded, and his intercession was prevalent, before he was made flesh; though the merit, which made that intercession prevalent, was wrought out in the flesh. Therefore we find, in the Old Testament, Christ interceding before he was God-Man, actually; but, as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, he was afterwards to be made God-Man: Zech. i. 12. The angel of the Lord (that is, Jesus Christ) answered and said, 0 Lord of Hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, He. Yea, the saints then alive made use of the name of Christ, in their prayers to God the Father: so you have it, Dan. ix. 17. Now, therefore, 0 our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, Hc^ and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake. So that hence you see, that Christ's intercession began in heaven, long before his abode here upon earth: yea, it was the very first part of the office of his mediatorship that he entered upon: Christ did nothing as Mediator, till after the Fall: and the first thing which he did as in that relation, was interceding for fallen man; to keep him from death threatened, and to restore him to life which he had forfeited.
(2) Consider Christ's intercession, not only as performed from all eternity, but after the consummation of all things. i
He intercedes for his Church, not only while militant on earth, but when triumphant in glory: He ever liveth to make intercession for us. Christ is said to be a. priest for ever: Heb.vi. 20. and to have an unchangeable priesthood, in the verse before the text. The priesthood of Christ hath two parts, Oblation and Intercession: his Oblation was when he made his soul an offering for sin, and offered up himself as a sacrifice to God upon the altar of the cross: now this part of his priesthood is ceased, Heb. x. 14.; ix. 26. By once offering up himself he hath perfected for ever, them that are sanctified, He. Christ being a priest for ever, and not being a priest any longer in respect of his oblation, it remains, that the eternity of his priesthood descends upon his Intercession only; and, therefore, his Intercession is eternal.
But, you may ask me, " What need shall we stand in of the Intercession of Christ, when we are glorified with him; and what then shall he intercede for?'?
To this I answer: The Intercession of Christ is twofold, Conciliatory and Reconciliatory. The first is that, whereby mercy and all good things, both temporal, spiritual, and eternal, are effectually procured for us, and bestowed upon us: the other is that, whereby pardon, justification, and atonement are freely conferred upon us. While we are upon the earth, we stand in heed to receive the benefit of both these Intercessions: for they are aptly suited to our twofold state, pf wants and miseries, and of sin and imperfection. Our Wants are supplied, by his Con, ciliatory Intercession; and our Sins pardoned, by his Reconciliatory Intercession: and of both these we have absolute need while we live here in this vale of tears. But, accordingly as the church and people of God do out-grow the state pf want and sin, so likewise these Intercessions of Christ, our High? Priest, cease.
 Christ's Reconciliatory Intercession ever ceaseth in heaven, when he hath gathered together the number of his elect into one: for then they shall all be in a full, perfect, and sinless condition. We shall then never more offend God, never more be alienated and estranged from God by sin: and, when we are possessed of such a blessed state as this, there shall be no more need of a Daysman, to make intercession and reconciliation for all distances; and enmity shall be utterly abolished. Therefore, Christ's Intercession doth not last for ever, as to this part which is Reconciliatory.
 As for his Consolatory Intercession, whereby he obtains for us mercy and all good things, that is, those good things that are either temporal or spiritual, or that respect either this life or the future state of glory in heaven; the former part of this Intercession of Christ shall likewise shortly cease, because this life itself shall shortly cease, and the saints themselves also: for, when all, that have been translated or that have died, shall be raised to a better life, all the wants which they do now sustain, a want of grace, or a want of peace, or a want of protection, pr a want of provision, inward wants or outward worldly wants or evils, shall all cease there: and therefore the Intercessipn ojf Christ, as it respects the mercies of this life, shall shortly cease.
Christ's Intercession for Future Glory, is either for the substance of it or for the continuance of it.
As for the Substance of their Glory, Christ intercedes for that before he crowns them with it: John xvii. 24. Father, I will that those, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, that they may belwld my glory, which thou hast given me. The Beatifical Vision is the very glory and happiness of the saints in. heaven; and, when they are brought to behold this glory of Christ, this Intercession ceaseth.
But, then, there is Christ's Intercession for the Continuance of their Glory. And this is that Intercession, which is everlasting; that Intercession, which he ever liveth to make. As our Saviour Christ ever lives, so he ever makes Intercession for the saints; that they may never be cut off from God's presence, nor fall from their happiness, nor forfeit their glorious inheritance: for, in heaven itself though we be there in a most perfect and sinless state, yet, were it not for the Intercession of Christ .whereby every moment he procures us a confirmation of that estate, we should have no more security of our continuance than the angels which fell, who were more holy and happy than ever we were; we should have no more confirmation than Adam had in Paradise^ who forfeited his happiness by the mutability of his own will. Therefore, I say, the continuance of the saints now in heaven depends upon the Everlasting Intercession of Jesus Christ.
Thus we have considered the Extent of Christ's Intercession, as to the Time wherein he makes it; and that, before his incarnation, and likewise after the consummation of all things.
2. Let us now consider the Extent of Christ's Intercession as to the Persons, for whom he intercedes.
And that is for all his, in opposition to the world. We have this plain in Christ's prayer on earth, which is the pattern and draught of his intercession in heaven: John xvii. 9. 1 fray not for the world; but for them, which thou hast given me out of the world. I pray for them; those, that thou designest shall be brought to glory by my merits. Now, of these, some are yet in a state of nature; disobedient, impenitent, unbelievers: others are in a state of grace; actually converted and regenerated: Christ intercedes for both: for these latter he intercedes
A VOL. HI. c
throughout the whole chapter. John xvii. 20. Neither pray I for t/iese alone, but for all those, that shall believe on me through their word: many of which were then living, and received the benefit* of Christ's intercession in their effectual vocation and conversion. For unbelievers, Christ prays that they may obtain grace; for believers, that they may obtain more grace, and through it be brought to glory.
And that is the second consideration in respect of the Intercession of Christ, as to the Latitude and Extent of it, both as to the Time and Persons.
iik Another thing propounded, is, to consider, the Intercession
Of Christ, IN RESPECT OF THE BENEFITS THAT FLOW FROM IT:
and those are very great and manifold blessings, worthy to be obtained by so great an Advocate.
There are but Two things, wherein the office of an Advocate properly consists:
To defend his client from wrongs and injuries.
The first he doth, by answering the accusations and exceptions, that are brought against him; and the latter he doth, by suing out his right and title. Both these the Lord Jesus Christ, our Advocate, doth for us.
I. He defends us from those Evils, that our adversaries, by their accusations, would bring agabist us.
As we are sinners, God's justice, our own consciences, and Satan's malice come in as our adversaries, and all lay their several charges against us. Justice calls for vengeance, Conscience thunders, Satan rages, and all accuse us. God calls to the bar. "Sinner, such and such a sin thou art guilty of, that deserves eternal damnation."—" True, Lord," saith Conscience: "I will witness the same against him, having warned him of it and checked him for it; but he hath fallen upon me, and wounded me, while I, in thy name, have given him these admonitions. "—" True, Lord," saith the Devil too: "All this he did upon my suggestions and temptations, therefore resign him over to me for punishment."
Now when the poor sinner stands mute and trembling, his mighty Advocate pleads his cause; and silences all these accusations that are brought against him, and sets him right. And this he doth Two ways.'
(1) He doth it by reconciling God and Conscience, through his own blood.
Which blood, as it is the blood of atonement, so it reconciles God and us; and, as it is the blood of sprinkling, so it reconciles our own Consciences to us. As it is the blood of atonement, so we are reconciled to God, and God to us: Rom. v. 10. We are reconciled to God by the death of his Son: and it is that blood, which speaketh better things for us than the blood of Abel; for, as that cries,to God for vengeance, so this cries louder for mercy and forgiveness. As it is the blood of sprinkling, so it reconciles our own Consciences to us, and makes them at peace with us: Heb. x. 22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, Uc.: an evil conscience, that is, an accusing and an affrighting conscience: it is said to be sprinkled, because the blood of Christ must first produce purity in our souls, before it can procure any well-grounded peace. That is the first particular, how Christ defends us from the accusations of our adverr saries, by reconciling the justice of God and our own consciences to us.
(2) Our Advocate defends us, as by reconciling God and our own consciences to us, so by stopping the mouth of the Devil; who, because he can never be reconciled, therefore he must be silenced.
So we find that Christ stopped the mouth of that great accuser, Zech. iii. 2. The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord, that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee, Uc. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ, by his powerful intercession, silenceth all the accusations that are brought against us, by the justice of God and our own consciences, reconciling them unto us, and stopping the mouth of our implacable adversary the Devil j so that none of their accusations, though preferred against us, can prevail to our detriment or disadvantage. All this we have summarily collected together in Rom. viii. 33, 34. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justijkth. Who is he, that condemncth? It is Christ, that died; yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right-hand of God, making intercession for us.
This is the first great benefit, which we receive from the Intercession of Christ: he defends us from those evils, whlchsow