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Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abid. ing in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospelholiness. Ministers and Christians of this spirit, have for many years been my brethren and companions, and, I hope, shall ever be, whithersoever the hand of God shall lead me.
Through the Lord's mercy to me, (as to many in London), I have often heard what is far more worthy of the press, than any thing I can publish. I have not been negligent in desiring such able ministers of the New Testament, to let their light shine this way; but have little prevailed. It may be this mean essay may provoke them more to that good work.
Whatever you may think of my way of managing this subject, (and indeed there is nothing in that, either as designed or expected by me, or that in itself deserveth any great regard); yet the theme itself, all must judge, who have spiritual senses, is of great importance, and always seasonable. It is concerning the throne of God's saving grace, reared up in Jesus Christ, and revealed unto men in the gospel; with the application all should make to that throne, the great blessings to be reaped by that application, and inens great need of those blessings.
This greatest of subjects is meanly, but honestly, handled in the same order in which it was preached, and mostly in the same words. Some few
Some few passages out of history are inserted, which were not spoken.
May the Lord of the harvest, who ministered this seed to the sower, make it bread to the eater, and accompany it with his blessing on some that are called to inherit a blessing, and I have my end and desire ; the reader shall have the benefit ; and the Lord the glory; for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
THRONE OF GRACE,
HEBREWs 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. The main drift of the blessed apostle, the Holy Ghost's penman, in this excellent epistle, is to set forth the pre-eminence of our Lord Jesus Christ, first; in his divine person, far above all angels, who are bid worship him, even when dwelling in man's nature. N the god-head of our Lord Jesus Christ be hid from the readers of this epistle, it must be a special power of the God of this world on their unbelieving minds, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. Will blinded men forbear to call the Son God, when the Father speaks so? chap. i. 8. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. Then the apostle speaks of his incarnation, chap. ii. 11, &c. And therewith speaks of his priesthood, chap. iii. The apostle compares Christ with, and prefers him above Moses, chap. i.; then above Aaron as a priest, chap. vii.; and compares him with Melchizedec, an eminent type of Christ. By this epistle we may know what Paul's reasonings with the Jews were, Acts ix. 22. and xvii. 2, 3. and what is the right way of dealing with the Jews at
this day. Till Christ's divine person, and righteousness, and
ven. But he is the head, and all his people are his body, his members, of his flesh, and of his bones, Eph. v. 30. A marvellous word! Can the flesh be torn, and the bones be broken, and the head not feel it? Though he be glorified above what we can conceive, he is a living, sensible, and compassionate head; and as nearly and closely united to all his members now, as when they saw with their eyes, and heard with their ears, and with their hands handled the word of life, 1 John i. 1, There is nothing ails a poor believer in Christ, there is no groan riseth from his distressed heart, but it is immediately felt at the tender heart of the Lord Jesus, at the Father's right-hand. We would groan and sing with the same breath, if we believed this firmly.
In my text, there is a most blessed exhortation, from this same ground of Christ's sympathy in heaven, unto a bold ap. proaching to the throne of grace. The nativeness and strength of the inference, is obvious to the most ordinary attention. The exhortation is unto the improving of the greatest privi, lege, an erected and revealed throne of grace; and that in the practice of the greatest duty, believing approaching wiltu his throne, or unto God sitting on this throne of grace. .
What I would take up in, and handle, in speaking to these words, shall be the resolution of four weighty questions, which should be in the hearts of all worshippers of God.
1. The first great question is, Where may I find God? This was Job's question and wish: Job xxiii. 3. O that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat ! And that this seat was a throne of grace to Job, is evident from ver. 6. This text tells you, God is on a throne of grace ; a fit place for God to be sought in, and where only he can be found graciously by a sinner,
2. The second question is, How should we come to God on this throne? Let us come boldly, saith the apostle. The original word signifieth, coming freely; with free, open, bold speaking, pouring out all our hearts and minds to him. Let us come, without making use of saint or angel to introduce us to this throne. Any poor sinner may come himself alone to this court, and that boldly, without fear of being repulsed.
3. The third question is the hardest, What ground hath a
sinner for this boldness? The ground the apostle gives for it, is hinted in the word therefore, which relates to ver. 14, 15. because of Jesus the Son of God, our great high-priest in heaven. If we had not such an high-priest, ministering in glory at the high altar above, no sinner could come boldly to the throne of grace on earth. So he argues, chap. x, 19, 20, 21, 22.
4. The last question is, What shall we get, and for what may we come to this throne of grace? The apostle speaks fully to this in the text: Let us come, that we may obtain
and find grace to help in time of need. These precious things, mercy and grace, are scattered round this throne. Any poor needy creature should come for a saving alms from this throne, and may have it for the coming.
HEAD I. The first of these I would begin with. Where is God to be found? The apostle tells us, on a throne of grace. The word is only here; no where else in the scriptures is the word to be found: but what is signified by it, is frequently in the Old and New Testament, as we shall hear. But though the phrase, The throne of grace, be only once named in this, Heb. iv. 16.; yet the thing signified is so precious, and the expression of it so savoury, significant, and suitable, that this form of speaking, The throne of grace, is become famous, known, and used among Christians, and will doubtless be till the end of time. As long as God hath a mind to give mercy and grace, as long as any of the children of men are sensibly needy of grace
and mercy, and askers and receivers thereof from the Lord, and that will be till the heavens be no more), this throne of grace will be plied and praised.
I would first consider the proper meaning of this word, a throne of grace. It is obvious, that the apostle, in this epistle, doth every where (if I may use a much abused word) christen the Old Testament types, and gives them New Testament names, and applies them to the doctrine of Christ he is teache ing the Christian Jews he writes to. The Old Testament church knew what a high-priest was, what his institution, office, and performance were in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and in the temple of Solomon in Canaan : but both Aaron and his successors, and the tabernacle and temple, were but types