Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

be forgiven unto the sons of men," Mark 3:28. i. e. scarlet sins, or crim.' son sios; sins of the deepest die shall by Christ's intercessions be done away; the voice of his blood speaks better things than the blood of Abel; it intercedes for the abolition of bloody sins.

7. The high priests then interceded not without all these materials, diz, a temple, an altar; a sacrifice of a young bullock for a sin-offering and a ram for a burnt-offering; a censer full of burning coals of fire taken off the altar, a putting the incense upon the fire, that the cloud of the in. cense might cover the mercy-seat; a sprinkling the mercy-seat with the blood of the bullock, and of the goat with their finger seven times, Lev. , 16:3. Such materials they had, and such actions they did, which were all distinct as from themselves; but Jesus Christ in his intercessions now, needs none of these materials, but rather he himself and his own merits are instead of all. As, 1 He is the temple, either in regard of the Deity, the gold of the temple being sanctified by the temple; or in regard of his human body, “ Destroy this temple, (saith Christ,) and I will build it again in three days;" it was destroyed, and God found it an acceptable sacrifice, and smelt in it a sweet savor as in a temple. 2. He is the altar according to his Deity, for as the altar sanctifies the gift, so doth the God. head sanctify the manhood; the altar must needs be of a greater dignity than the oilation, and therefore this altar betokens the divinity of Jesus Christ. 3. He is the sacrifice most properly according to the manhood, for although by communication of properties the blood of the sacrifice is called the “ blood of God,” Acts 20:28. yet properly the human soul and flesh of Christ was the holocaust, or whole burnt-offering, roasted in the fire of his Father's wrath. 4. His merits are the cloud of incense, for so the angel Christ is said “ to have a golden censer, and much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne; and the sinoke of the incense which came up with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God out of the angel's hand," Rev. 8:3,4. The merits of Christ are so mingled with the prayers of all his saints, that they perfume their pravers, and so they find acceptance with God his Father.-We see now the difference betwixt Christ's intercessions, and the intercessions of the high priests of old.

SECT. 7. What the properties of this Intercession of Christ are.

7. What are the properties of this intercession of Jesus Christ? I answer,

1. It is heavenly and glorious; and that appears in these particulars.

1. Christ doth not fall upon his knees before his father, as in the days of his humiliation; for that is not agreeable to that glory he hath re. ceived; he only presents his pleasure to his Father, that he may thereto put his seal and consent. 2. Christ doth not pray out of private charity, as the saints pray one for another in this life, but out of public office and meditation, “ There is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ," 1 Tim. 2:5. 3. Christ prays not out of humility, which is the proposing of requests for things unmerited, but out of author. ity which is the desiring of a thing, so as withal he hath a right of be. stowing it as well as desiring it. 4. Christ prays not merely as an advo. cate, but as a propitiation too; Christ's Spirit is an advocate, but only Christ is advocate and propitiation; Christ's Spirit is our advocate on earth, but only Christ in his person applieth his merits in heaven, and furthers the cause of our salvation with bis Father in heaven. In every of these respects we may see Christ's intercession is heavenly and glorious

2. It is ever effectual and prevailing; as he hath a power to intercede for us, so he hath a power to confer that upon us for which he intercedes, “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, Joho 14:16. Ir i go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you,” John 16:7. If Christ prayed on earth be was ever heard; but if Christ pray in heaven, we may be sure the Fa. ther ever beareth and answereth there: when Christ, as inan, praved for himself, he was heard in that which be feareth; but now Christ as Media. tor praying for u3, he is ever heard in the very particular which he desireth. We sinful men maoy a time ask and receive not, because we “ ask amiss, that we may consume it upon our lusts," James 4:3. But Jesus Christ never asks amiss, nor to wrong ends; and therefore, God the Father, who called him to this office of being (as it were) i be great “ Master of requests in behalf of his church," he promised to hear him in all his requests, " Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me, and I know thou hearest me always," saith Christ, John 11:41,42.

3. It is of all the other transactions of Christ till the very end of the world, the most perfective and consummate: indeed so perfective, i hat without it, all the other parts of Christ's mediatorship would have been to little purpose. As the sacrifices under the law had not been of such force and efficacy, had not the high-priest entered into the holy place, to appear there, and to present the blood there unto the Lord; so all that ever Christ did or suffered upon earth, it had been ineffectual for us, had he not entered into heaven, “to appear there in the presence of God for us," Heb. 9:24. Surely this intercession is that which puts life into the death of Christ: this intercession is that which strikes the last stroke, during this world, in the carrying on of our soul's salvation, and makes all sure. * It is a witty observation that one makes of these several steps of Christ's actings for us; as first, There was an all-sufficiency in his death, “ Who shall condemn? It is Christ that died,” Rom. 8:34. 2. A rather in bis resurrection, yea, rather that is risen again. 3. A much rather in his life and session at God's right-hand, “ For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God, by the death of Christ: much rather being reconciled we shall be saved by his life," Rom. 5:10. 4. The apostle riseth vet higher, to “ a saving to the utmost," and puts that upon his intercession, “ Wherefore he is able to save us to the uttermost, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us,” Heb. 7:25. If in the former were any thing wanting, this intercession of Christ supplies all: it is the coronis which makes all effectual: it saves to the uttermost, for itself is the uttermost and bighost step; on earth Christ begins the execution of his office, in beaven he ends it; in his life and death, Christ was the meritorious cause. but by his intercession, Christ is the applying cause of our soul's salvation. In this very intercession of Christ is the consummation and perfection of the priesthood of Christ. O then! how requisite and necessary must this needs be?

4. It is gracious and full of bowels; Christ's intercession, and indeed Christ's priestly office is erected, and set up on purpose for the relief of poor distressed sinners. There is no mixture of terror in this blessed office of Jesus Christ, and this doth distinguish it from his other offices, Christ by his kingly office rules over the churches, and over the world; but all obtain not mercy whom he thus rules over; Christ, by his prophet. ical office, comes to his own, but many of his own received him not; but

• Goodwin', Christ sot forth.

now wherever the priestly office of Jesus Christ is let forth upon a soul, that soul shall certainly be saved for ever. O this priestly office of Christ, is an office of mere love and tender compassion!“ Christ (saith the apos. tle) is such an high-priest, as cannot but be touched with the feeling of our infirmities," Heb. 4:15. Oh! he is “a merciful, and a faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people,” Heb. 2:17. He is merciful and exceeding compassionate, “ in all our afflictions he is afflicted; and in his love, and in his pity he redeemed us," Isa. 63:9. and in his love and pity be intercedes for us.

Sect. viu. Wherein the intercession of Christ consists. B. WHEREIN more especially doth the intercessions of Jesus Christ consist? Some suppose, that Christ's very being in heaven, and putting God in mind of his active and passive obedience by his very presence, is all that intercession that the scripture speaks of. But I rather answer in these particulars: As,

1. Christ's intercession consists, in the presenting of his person for us; he himself went up to heaven, and presented himself; the apostle calls this, “an appearing for us; Christ is not entered into the holy place made with bands, but into heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” Ileb. 9:24. I believe there is an emphasis in the words, “ appearing for us." But how appears he for us? I answer, 1. In a public man. ner; whatsoever he did in this kind, he did it openly and publicly; he appears for us in the presence of God the Father; he appears for us in the presence of his saints and angels; heaven's eyes are all upon him in his appearing for us. 2. He appears for us as a Mediator, he stands in the middle betwixt God and us; hence it is that he is God-inan, that he might be a Mediator betwixt God and man. 3. He appears for us as a sponsor and a pledge; surely it is a comfort to a man to have a friend at court, at the prince's elbow, that may own him, and appear for him; but if this friend be both a mediator and surety; a mediator to request for him, and a surety to engage for him; O! what a coinfort is this? Thus Christ appeared in every respect; he is a Mediator to request for us; and he is a surety to en. gage for us: as Paul was for Onesimus a mediator, “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus,” Phil. ver. 10. and a sponsor, “ If he have wionged thee, or owe thee aught, put that to my account, I will repay it,” verses 18,19. So is Jesus Christ for his saints, he is “ the Mediator of a bet. ter coveuant;" Heb. 8.6. and he is a surety of a better testainent," Heb. 7:22. 4. He appears as a solicitor, to present and promote the desires and requests of the saints, in such a way as that they might find acceptance with his Father. He is not idle now, he is in heaven; but as on earth, he ever went about doing good; so now in glory he is ever about his work of doing good; he spends all his time in heaven in promoting the good of his people; as from the beginning it was his care, so to the world's end it will be his care to solicit his Father in the behalf of bis poor saints; he tells God, “ Thus and thus it is with his poor members, they are in want, in trouble, in distress, in affliction, in reproach;" and then he presents their sighs, sobs, prayers, tears and groans; and that in such a way as that they may become acceptable to his Father. 5. He appears as an advocate, “ If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous," 1 John 2:1. An advocate is more than solicitor; an advocate is one that is of counsel with another, and that pleadeth his cause in open court; and such an advocate is Jesus Christ unto his people. 1. He is of counsel with them; that is one of the titles given him by the prophet Isaiah, “ Wonderful, Counsellor,” Isa. 9:6. He counsels them by his word and Spirit. 2. He pleads for them, and this he doth in the high court of heaven, at the bar of God's own justice, there he pleads their cause, and answereth all the accusations that are brought in by Satan or their own consciences; but of this anon. 6. He appears as a public agent or ledger ambassador; what that is, some tell us in these particulars. l. His work is to continue peace; and surely this is Christ's work, “ He is our peace," Eph. 2:14. saith the apostle, that is, the author of our peace; be purchased our peace, and he maintains our peace with God; to this purpose he sits at God's right hand to intercede for us, and to maintain the peace and union betwixt God and us, “ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Rom. 5:1. 2. His work is to maintain intercourse and correspondency; and surely this is Christ's work also, “ By him we have access unto the Father.--In bim we have boldness and access with confidence, by the faith of him," Eph. 2:18. 3:12. The word access, doth not only signify coming to God in prayer, but all that resort and communion which we have with God, as united by faith to Jesus Christ; according to that, “ Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God," 1 Pet. 3:18. This benefit have all believers in and by Christ, they come to God by

him, they have free commerce and intercourse in beaven. 3. His work is Hinge to reconcile and take up emergent differences, and this is Christ's work

also, “ He maketh intercession for the transgressors," Isa. 53:12. He takes up the differences that our transgressions make betwixt God and us. 4. His work is to procure the welfare of the people or state where he ne. gotiates: and this is no less Christ's work, for he seeks the welfare of his people, he sits at God's right hand to intercede for them, and cominending their'estate and condition to his Father, he makes it his request to his Father, that his inembers may have “a continual supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” Phil. 1:19. that they may be strengthened in temptation, confirmed in tribulations, delivered from every evil work, enabled to every good duty, and finally preserved unto his heavenly kingdom

2. Christ's intercessions consist in the presenting of his wounds, death and blood as a public satisfaction for the debt of sin; and as a public price for the purchase of onr glory.

There is a question amongst the schools, whether Christ hath not taken his wounds, or the signs, scars, and prints of his wounds, into heaven with him? And whether Christ, in representing those wounds, scars and prints unto his Father, doth not thereby intercede for us? Some, I am sure, are for the affirmative, * Aquinas distinguisheth of Christ's intercession, as being threefold. The first, before his passion by devout prayer; and the second, at his passion, by effusion of his blood; and the third, af. ter bis ascension, by the representation of his wounds and scars. Howso. ever this hold, for I dare not be too confident without scripture ground, yet this I dare say, that Christ doth not only present himself, but the sacrifice of himself, and the infinite merit of his sacrifice. When he went to heav. en he carried with bim absolutely the power, the merit, the virtue of his wounds, and death, and blood, into the presence of God the Fatber for us; and with his blood he sprinkled the mercy-seat, as it were, seven times. We read in the law, “ that when the high priest went within the veil, he took the blood of the bullock, and sprinkled it with his finger upon the mercy-seat eastward: and before the mercy-seat he sprinkled the blood

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

with his finger seven times," Lev, 16:14. Not only was the priest to kill the bullock without the holy of holies, but he was to enter with the blood into the hols of holies, to sprinkle the mercy-seat therein with it; surely these were “ patterns of things to be done in the heavens,” Heb. 9:23. Christ that was slain and crucified without the gate, Heb. 13:12. carried his own blood into the holy of holies, or into the heaven of heavens, “ for by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us,” Heb. 9:12. And thither come, he sprinkles it, as it were, upon the mercy-seat, i. e. he applies it, and obtains mercy by it; by the blood of Christ, God's mercy and justice are reconciled in theinselves, and reconciled unto us, Christ sprinkles his blood on the mer, cy.seal seven times: seven is a note of perfection; where Christ's blood is sprinkled on a soul, that soul is sure to be washed from all filih, and at last be perfected and saved to the very utmost: Christ's blood was shed upon the earth, but Christ's blood is sprinkled, now he is in heaven; what, is any soul sprinkled with the blood of Christ? Surely this sprinkling comes from heaven: so the apostle, “but ye are come to mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,--and to Je. sus the Mediator of the new covenant:" and then it follows, " to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel,” Heb. 12:22, 24. It is upon mount Zion where this sprinkling is: there is Jesus at God's right-hand, there he stands, as it were, upon the mount, and there he sprinkles his blood round about him: heaven is all besprinkled, as the mercy.seat in the holy of holies was, Lev. 16:14.19. The earth is all besprinkled as the altar out of the holy of holies was; heaven and earth are all besprinkled with the blood of Jesus, so that the saints and people of God are no where, but their doors, and their posts, and houses, (I mean their bodies and souls) are all besprinkled with the blood of the Lamb, slain from the beginning of the world. Why, this is that “ blood of sprink. ling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Mark, that Christ's blood hath a tongue, it speaks, it cries, it prays, it intercedes; there is some agreeinent, and some difference betwixt Christ's blood and Abel's blood.

1. The agreement is in these things, Abel's blood was abundantly shed, for so it is said, “the voice of blood,” Gen. 4:10. And Christ's blood was let out with thorns and scourges, nails and spear, it was abun. dantly shed. Again, Abel's blood cried out, yea it made a loud cry, sol that it was heard from earth to heaven, “ the voice of thy brother's blond crieth unto ine from the ground," Gen. 4:10. and Christ's blood crieth out, it makes a loud cry, it fills heaven and earth with the noise; yea, the Lord's ears are so filled with it, that it drowns all other sounds, and rings continually in his ears.

2. The difference is in these things, Abel's blood cried for vengeance against Cain, but Christ's blood speaks for mercy on all believers; Abel's blood was shed because he sacrificed, and he and his sacrifice acé cepted; but Christ's blood was shed that he might be sacrificed, and that we through his sacrifice might be accepted. Abel's blood cried thus, See, Lord, and revenge; hut Christ's blood cried thus, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do;" and at this very instant, Christ's blood cries for remission, and here is our comfort; if God heard the servant, be will much rather hear the Son, if he heard the servant for spilling, be will much more hear the Son for saving. Yet that I may speak properly, and not in figures, I will not say that the very blood wbich Cbrist shed on the crogu is now in heaven, nor that it speaks in heaven; thoso sayings are

« AnteriorContinuar »