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I will, that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am," John 17:24. he desires as a man, but he wills as God, and as the effect of this he gives the Spirit, “ the Spirit itself making intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered,” Rom. 8:26. But what are the inter. cessions of the Spirit to the intercessions of Christ? I answer, much every way, the Spirit's intercessions are as the effect, and Christ's intercessions are as the cause; the Spirit's intercessions are as the echo, and Christ's intercessions are as the first voice; the Spirit intercedes for inen, in and by theinselves, but Christ intercedes in his own person; there is a depen: dence of the Spirit's intercessions in us upon Christ's intercessions in him. self. First, Christ by his intercession applies his satisfaction made, and lays the salve to the very sore; and then be sends down his Holy Spirit in. to our hearts, to help our infirmities, and to teach us what to pray, and how to pray as we ought. Now this he doth as God, for who shall give a commission to the Spirit of God, but God himself? It is as if Christ should say, “See Holy Spirit, how I take upon me the cause of my saints, I am perpetually representing my sacrifice to God my Father, I am ever pleading for them, and answering all the accusations that sin or Satan can lay against them, and now go thy way to such and such, and take up thy dwelling in their hearts, and assist them by thy energy, to plead their own cause; I am their advocate or intercessor by office, and therefore be thou their advocate or intercessor by operation, instruction, inspiration, and assistance."
Sect. III. To whom Christ's intercession is directed. 3. To whom is Christ's intercession directed? I answer, immediately to God the Father, “ Ifany man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous," 1 John 2:1. In the work of intercession are three persons, a party offended, a party offending, and the intercessor distinct from them both; the party offended is God the Father, the party offending is sinful man, and the intercessor distinct froin them both, is Jesus Christ, the middle person, as it were, betwixt God the Father, and us men; the Father is God, and not man; and we that believe in Christ are men and not God; and Christ himself is both man and God; and therefore, he intercedes and mediates betwixt God and man; if any object, that not only the Father is offended, but also the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and therefore there must be a Mediator to them also, the solution is easy: Christ's intercession is immediately directed to the Father, but because the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, have all one indivisible essence, and by consequence one will: it therefore follows, That the Father being appeased by Christ's intercession, the Son and the Holy Ghost are also appeased with him and in him. I deny not but Christ's intercession, is made to the whole Trinity, but yet immediately, and directly to the first person, and in him to the rest. “But if so, then in some sense, (say our adver. saries) Christ makes intercession to himself, which cannot be; because in every intercession there must of necessity be three parties;" this point hath sore puzzled the church of Rome, that for the solving of it, they knew no other way but to avouch Christ to be our intercessor only as man, and not as God, which is most untrue, for as both natures did concur in the work of satisfaction, so likewise they do both concur in the work of intercession: and it is an ancient and approved rule, * « That names of office which are given to Christ, such as Mediator, Intercessor, &c. agree
• Appellationes officii competunt Ohristo secundum utramque naturum.
unto him according to both natures;" and can the act of Christ's interces. sion, be the act of Christ's manhood alone? What, to hear and offer up prayers? To receive and present the prayers and praises, and other spir. itual sacrifices of all believers in the world? To negotiate for them all at one and the same time, according to the variety and multiplicity of their several occasions? Surely this is, and inust be the work of an infinite, and not of a finite agent: this cannot be effected without the con: currence of the divine nature with the human: but what needs any further answer to this objection? Suppose Christ intercede to himself as God: that is not immediately, and directly to the same person God the Son, though to the same God essentially; indeed Christ, (Theanthropos,) Godman, in respect of his natures, agreeth with both, being not only God, nor only man, but God-man, Man-God blessed for ever; but in respect of his person, being the second person in the Trinity, he is distinct from both. 1. From the personality of man, for he hath only the persorality of God, and not of man. 2. From the first person of the Godhead, who is God the Father, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one," 1 Jobn 5:7. i. e. Three persons, and but one God.
Sect. iv. For whom this Intercession is made. 4. For whom is this intercession made? I answer, 1. Negatively, not for the world, " I pray not for the world,” John 17:9. saith Christ; whilst Christ was on earth he would not so much as spend his breath, or open his lips for the world, he knew God would not hear him for them; in like inanner Christ prays now in heaven “ not for ihe world,” he never had a thought 10 redeem them, or to save their souls, and therefore they have no share in his intercessions; I know the objection, that Christ upon the cross, prayed for the bloody Jews, " Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” Luke 23:34. but that might be of private duly as man, who in that respect subi mitted himself to the law of God, which requires, that we forgive our en. einies, and pray for them that persecute us, and not of his proper office as Mediator; or if it be referred to the proper mediatory intercession of Jesus Christ, (which I rather think it will not prove that he prayed for them all universally, but only indefinitely, i. l. only for them that were presi ent at his crucifying, and that in simplicity of heart, and not of affected ignorance, crucified Christ; and accordingly this prayer was beard, when so many of the Jews were co!iverted ai Percr's sermon, Acts 2:41. What needs more? His own words are express, that Christ's intercessions “ are not for the world," or reprobates. So much negatively.
2. Positively, Christ's intercession is general, and particular; for all, and every faithful man, I pray for them, “ I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine, John 17:9. And the Lord said, Simon, Siinon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not," Luke 22:31,32. As the high priest went into the sanctuary with the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast, so Christ entered into the holiest of all, with the names of all believers upon his heart, and still he carries them upon his breast, and presents bis will and desire unto his Father for them; nor doth he only intercede in general, but Simon, Simon, mark that; whatever thy name is, John, Peter, Thomas, Mary, Martha, if thou art a believer, Christ prays for thee; it is our common practice to desire the prayers one of another, but, O! who would not have a share in the prayers of Jesus Christ? Why, certainly if thou believest in Christ,
Christ prays for thee, “I have prayed, I will pray for thee, saith Christ, that thy faith fail not.” SECT. v. What agreement there is betwixt Christ's Intercessions, and
the Intercessions of the high Priests of old. 5. What agreement is there betwixt the intercessions of Christ, and the intercessions of the high priests of old? Among the Jews in the times of the Old Testament, they had an high priest, who was in all things to stand betwixt God and thein. Now, as the Jews had their high priest to intercede for them, so the Lord Jesus was to be the high priest of our Christian profession, and to intercede for us; it will therefore give soine light to this doctrine of intercession, if we will but compare these two, and first consider, what agreement betwixt Christ and the high priests of old; betwixt Christ's intercession, and the high priests' intercessions?
1. Christ and the high priests of old agreed in name; not only they, but Christ himself is called an high priest, “ We have such an high priest, who is set down at the right-hand of the Majesty on high, Heb. 8:1.-Con. sider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Jesus Christ, Heb. 3:1.
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,” Heb. 5:6. the old priesthood of Aaron was translated into the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that he was a priest as well as they
2. They agreed in office; i hat consisted of iwo parts, oblation and pre. sentation. i. They offered a sacrifice: and secondly, they presented it in the holy of holies with prayer and intercession unto God; the one was done without, the other within the holy of holies: and in answer thereun. to, there are two distinct parts of Christ's priesthood. 1. The offering of himself a sacrifice upon the cross. 2. The carrying of himself and of his blood into the holy of holies, or into the heaven of heavens; where he appears and prays in the force of that blood: and this was so necessary a part of his priesthood, that without this he had not been a complete priest, “ For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest,” Heb. 8:4. that is, is he should have made his abode upon the earth, he should not have been a coinplete or perfect priest, seeing this part of it, (which we call the pre. sentation or intercession,) lay still upon him to be acted in beaven. And indeed, this part of his priesthood is of the two the more eminent, yea, the top and height of his priesthood; and therefore it is held forth to us in the types of both those two orders of priesthood that were before him, and figures of him, both that of Aaron and Mclchisedec, 1. This was typified in that Levitical priesthood of Aaron and his fellows; the highest service of that office was the going into the holy of holies, and making an atonement there; vea, this was the height of the high priest's honor, that he did this alone, and it constituted the difference betwixt him, as he was high priest, and other priests; for they killed and offered the sacrifi. ces without as well as he, but only the high priest, was to approach the holy of holies with blood, and that but once a year. 2. This was typifi. ed by Melchisedec's priesthood, which the apostle argues to have been much more excellent than that of Aaron's, in as much as Levi, Aaron's father, paid tithes to this Melchisedec in Abraham's loins; now Melcbis. edec wis his type, not so much in respect of his oblation, or offering sac. rifice, as in respect of his continual presentation and intercession in her. ven; and therefore the same clause," for ever," still comes in when Mel. chisedec is nained. “ Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Mel. chisedec," Heb. 5.6.-7:17. Hore then is the agreement betwixt Christ and the high priests of old; in respect of name, both were priests, and in
respect of office, both had their oblations and presentations, or interces. sions with God in glory.
3. In the point of intercession, they agreed in these particulars.
1. The high priests of old, usually once a year, went into the most holy place within the veil; and so is Christ our great high priest, passed into the heavens within the veil, even into the holy of holies. Christ by bis own blood, entered in once into the holy place." Not into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us," Heb. 9:12.24.
2. The high priests of old had a plate of pure gold upon their fore. heads, which was, “ To bear the iniquity of the holy things, that they might be accepted before the Lord,” Exod. 28:38. and so doth Christ bear the iniquity of our holy things. Spiritual Christians! here is your comfort, you are not able to perform any duty to God, but there is a great deal of sin in the same; you cannot hear, nor pray, nor confer, nor med. itate, without much sin; but Christ bears all these sins, even the iniquity of your holy things, and he presents your persons and prayers without the least spot to his Father; he is “ the Angel of the covenant that stands at the altar, having a golden censer with much incense, to offer it with the prayers of his saints," Rev. 8:3. and so they are acceptable before the Lord.
3. The Jewish high priests “ bore the names of the children of Israel on the breast plate of judgment upon their hearts, for a memorial before the Lord continually," Exod. 28:29. And so doth Christ, our great high priest, bear the names of his people upon his heart before the Lord con. tinually. But how is Christ said to bear the names of the saints upon his beart? I answer, .
1. Continually, in presenting of them to his Father as they are in him: how is that? Why, he presents them without spot as righteous in bis own righteousness, “ Christ loved the church, that he might present it to his Father, and in him, to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy, and without blem. ish,” Eph. 5:27.
2. In his continual remembering of them, “ The righteous shall be had in continual remembrance,” Psal. 112:6. This is the soul's comfort in a time of desertion, or in an evil day. If any cry out as sometimes David did, “How long wilt thou forget me, Lord, for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?" Psal. 13:1. Let such a one remember, that Christ's redeemed ones are upon his heart, and he cannot forget them, “ But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me;" Oh no! “ Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb! Yea, they may forget, yet I will not forget thee; behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me,” Isa. 40:14,15,16. The sons of Zion are upon Christ's heart and hands, and they are ever in his sight.
3. In his perpetual loving of them; they are near and dear unto him, he hath set them as a seal upon his heart; so was the prayer of the spouse, “ Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a soal upon thine arm;" and then it follows, “ for love is as strong as death," Sol. Song 8:6. Christ hath an entire love to his sainis; he died for them, and now he intercedes for tbein; and keeps them close to his heart, and there is none shall pluck them out of his hands, " For whom he loves, he loves unto the end,"
John 13:1. Thus far of the agreement betwixt Christ's intercessions, and the intercessions of the high priests of old,
SECT. VI. What the difference is betwixt Christ's Intercessions, and the
Intercessions of the high priests of old. 6. What is the difference betwixt Christ's intercesssions, and the intercessions of the high priests of old? There is no question, but howsoever they might agree in some respects, yet Christ officiates in a more transcendent and eminent way than ever any high priest did before him; now, the difference betwixt Christ and them, and betwixt Christ's intercessions and their intercessions, may appear in these particulais.
1. They were called high priests, but Christ is called the Great High Priest; such a title was never given to any but Christ, whence the apos. tle argues for the steadfastness of our profession, " Seeing then that we bave a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession,” Heb. 4:14.
2. The high priests then, were Aaron and his sons, but Christ our great high Priest, is the Son of God; for so he is styled in the same verse, the great high Priest that is passed into the heavens, “ Jesus tbe Son of God," Heb. 4:14.
3. The bigh priests then, were but for a time, but“ Christ is a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec,” Heb. 5:6. “Melchisedec, (saith the apostle) was withont father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life," Heb. 7:3. that is, as far as it is known; and so is Christ without a father on earth, and without a mo. ther in heaven; without beginning, and with end; he abides a priest per. petually, even to the end of the world; yea, and the virtue of his priest. hood, is infinitely beyond all time, even for ever and ever.
4. The high priests then entered only into that place that was typically holy; but Christ is entered into that place that is properly holy; he is en. tered into the heavens, or ( if you will) as into the holy of holies, so into the heaven of heavens.
5. The high priests then did not always intercede for the people; only once a year the high priest entered into the holy of holies, and after he had sprinkled the mercy-seat with blood, and caused a cloud to rise upon the mercy-seat with his prayers and incense, then he went out of the holy of holies, and laid aside his garments again; but our great high Priest is ascended into the holy of holies, never to put off his princely-priestly gar. ments; nor does be only once a year sprinkle the mercy.seat with his Bacrifice, but every day; he lives for ever to intercede: oh! wbat comfort is this to a poor dejected soul? If he once undertake thy cause, and get thee into his prayers, he will never leave thee out night nor day; he in. terccdeth ever, till he shall accomplish and finish thy salvation; the smoke of his incense ascends for ever without intermission.
6. The high priest then interceded not for sing of greater instances; if a inan sinned ignorantly, there was indeed a sacrifice and intercession for him, but “if a man sinned presumptuously, he was to be cut off from among his people,” Num. 15:30. No gacrifice, no intercession by the high priest then, but we have such an high priest as makes intercession for all sins; every sin, though it boil up to blasphemy, (so it be not against the Holy Ghost) shall, by the virtue of Christ's intercession be forgiven, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and 10 the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness," 1. e. for sins of all sorts, Zech. 13:1. "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall