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little is it improved by faith? We do not consider him, how great a person he is, and how fit for us, Heb. iii. 1, 2. Such as have any serious thoughts of God, and of themselves and they are in a forlorn state that have none), find a necessity of a Mediator, when they consider the strictness of his justice, the power of his wrath, the perfect purity and holiness of his nature, compared with the sinfulness and vileness of their own nature, hearts, and lives. But there is another deeper thought of God, that will discover as great necessity of a Mediator; and that is of his greatness. With God is terrible majesty; with God is unsearchable glory. How can there be a bold and acceptable approach to him of whom we cannot frame a right suitable thought ? How is it avoidable, but that all our worship must be to an unknown God? for no man hath seen God at any time, John i. 18. Here comes in the Mediator Jesus Christ ; who is not only a screen betwixt justice and us, but is a glass wherein we may behold the glory of God. This glory is only to be beheld in the face or person of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor. iv. 6. All other views of God's glory are either confounding, or but vain unprofitable notions. All the speculations of the Pagans, that polished the dim light of nature; and all the curious studies of some called Christians, about the nature, being, properties, and attributes of God, are nothing but pretty pieces of philosophy. There is nothing of sound theology in those thoughts, unless they be all stinted, limited, directed to, and determined by that discovery chat God makes of himself to us in and by his Son Jesus Christ. The mediation then of Jesus Christ, is not only an argument which, and on which we may plead with God; but it is the mean by which only we must approach to God, and the light wherein we see, and know savingly the God we worship. He knew the way best, who is the way to the Father, and said, No man cometh to the Father but by me; and did answer Philip's weighty and very natural desire, Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth, thus, Have I been so long time with and
hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father: and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father? John xiv, 6, 7, 8, 9. They all worship an idol, or wander in a perfect maze and Jabyrinth, that seek God out of Jesus Christ. No where else
is he to be sought or found, but as a consuming fire. God of old put his name at Jerusalein; to it they must come with their solemn sacrifices; when afar off, they must look to it, as Dan. vi. 10. When they are bid remember the Lord afar f, it is added, and let Jerusalem come into your mind, Jer. li. 50. Now, Jerusalem, temple, altar, holy of holies, mercy-seat, priests, sacrifices, &c. were all but shadows of Jesus Christ. Under the New Testament, when Christ is come, the name of God is in him, and all the worship and approaches are to be made to God dwelling in this true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man, Heb. viii. 2.
2. Let us consider our Lord's office of High Priest. So the apostle calls him our great High Priest, and we have him, ver. 14. This is a great ground of boldness in dealing with God, that we have Christ for a High Priest. He was of God's own chusing and calling. He is not of our chusing, but he is for our using. Should that man be called a Christian, who hath no use for this great High Priest ? High priests were taken from among men, and orde ined from men in things pertaining to God, Heb. v. l. Consider the honour of this office to Christ, and its usefulness to his people. He glorified not himself to be made an High Priest; but he that said to him, ver. 5. Christ's offices of King and Prophet carry visible plain glory in them. But to be made an High Priest, especially when he is to be both priest, altar, and sacrifice, seems to have no glory, but abasement. But if we look to the inside of this office, it excels in glory. What inconceivable glory is it to Christ, to be the reconciler of all things, to take up so honourably the grand quarrel betwixt angry heaven and sinful earth, to purge our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and then sit down at the right hand of the Mnjesty on high? Heb. i. 3. ; to offer a sacrifice, in the virtue whereof an innumerable company, out of all nations, tongues, and languages, are redeemed, and justified, and glorified; for which he shall be eternally praised in heaven, by all the happy inhabitants of that blessed place ! Rev. v. 9. As for the usefulness of this office to his people, I shall only name two things. 1. In this office he manageth all our busi, ness with God; such as we could never have done ourselves; and must be eternally undone, if it were not done for us : to
satisfy justice, fulfil the law, and bring us in a sure title to the inheritance of heaven. 2. By him we offer all our spiritual services, and have them presented by him for acceptance, Heb. xiii, 15. We must do all in his name, Col. iii. 17.
3. Let us consider what our Lord did when he was on earth, and thence we have great ground for confidence in coming to the throne of grace. This the apostle hath in his eye, ver. 15. and chap. v. 7. Two things I would take some ndtice of on this point. 1. He had the same things for substance as errands to the throne of grace that we have. 2. That he did ply the throne of grace as we should. Only permitting this, that there is but a likeness in what he did, to what we should do at the throne of grace ; and that likeness consistent with manifold differences, as we shall regard,
1st, Our Lord Jesus Christ had the same things, and the chief of them, that are to us errands to the throne of grace. I shall instance in some of them, and answer ap objection,
(1.) Our Lord had affliction for an errand, and more of it than any of his people. He was a Micted; yea, smitten of God and offlicted, Isa. lii. 4. He was oppressed and nflicted, ver. 7. If any man be afflicted, let him pray, James v. 13. When Christ afflicted, he
prays. (2.) Our Lord was deserted. Blessed be his same for it, We should rejoice, that he had not a life without clouds. The bitterest and saddest desertion that ever a believer was under, is nothing to what Christ met with, when he cried out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? None are so much to be pitied as a saint under desertion. When aftlietion is heavy and pressing, if all be clear above, thougka there be clouds round about, yet if the Lord smile from heaven, a Christian's case is not much to be pitied. But if all be dark about, and the darkest of all clouds 'on the amiable face of God, this is the extremity our Lord was in. Yet he prayed, and in his agony prayed yet more fervently. Deserted believers, take comfort in a deserted Saviour. His desertion was penal, yours but medicinal. Though it be bitter physic, it is of the great Physician's prescription; and he can and will bless it, and make you bless him, both for the physic and the cure.
(3.). Christ had temptation as an errand to his Father: Ima
all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin, ver. 15. O that Christians would learn to behave themselves under tempration, in some measure, as Christ did! Temptation to Christ was a fat other thing than it is to us. Temptation is bad to us, because of the danger of it; therefore he bids us, Watch and pray, that we enter not into temptation, Matth. xxvi. 42. when he was in the depth of his agony. But temptation to Christ was a mere affliction. There were never but two sinless men in the world, the first and second Adan. Satan came to both. When he came to the first Adam, he found nothing of his own in him ; but he quickly got somewhat pät in him, and left it with him, and in him and all his poste. rity. When he came to the second Adam, he found nothing in him, and could put nothing in him by temptation, John xiv. 80. The holier a saint be, and the more gross the sin be he is tempted to, and the more hatred he have of the sin, the greater is his trouble in and by the temptation. What affliction then must it have been to Christ to be so tempted as he was? Matth. iv.
(4.) Our Lord had the charge and burden of sin on his soul, not upon his conscience : The Lord laid on hint the iniquity of as all, Isa. liii. 6. And was not that a mighty laad? Sense of sin is the greatest discouragement to believers. But never was there a man out of hell, or in it, that had such a load of sin on him as Christ had. His own self baré our sins in his own body on the tree, 1 Pet. ii. 24. Law and justice charged Christ severely; and exacted more of him, than ever they did of any other person.
None but Christ was made sin, ? Cor, 1. 21. Men are sinners by nature, and increase their sinful. ness by their life ; and an inexhaustible fountain of sin is in their heart, Eccl. ix. 3. But none of them is, or can be made sin. He only that knew no sini, was made sin. And because he was made sin for us, he was also made a curse for us, Gal. ili. 13. The law curseth the sinner, but cannot make a sinner a curse for others: it can, and doth make him accursed, and a curse for himself. Here is heaven's art : all the righteous ness we are made, flows from Christ's being made sin for us; all the blessing we get, springs out of Christ's being made o curse for 19. Believers, learn where to seek and find true
blood must be shed, or we cannot enter; we must see it by faith, or we dare not venture. We must come to the blood of sprinkling, Heb. xii. 24. We dare not step one step into God'o awful presence, unless we see the way marked, consecrated, and sprinkled with the Mediator's blood. How shall the unholiest of sinners venture to come into the holiest of all, God's presence? Yes, saith the Holy Ghost, such may, by the blood of Jesus. Let us therefore consider what this blood of Christ doth, and speaks, in order to our boldness in approaching to the throne of grace.
1st, This blood satisfies justice, and answers all the claims and charges of the law against us. What mars boldness, like fears of a standing controversy betwixt heaven and us! God is holy, we are vile sinners; God's law is strict, we have sin. fully broke it, and deserve hell most justly. No answer can be given, but by this blood. What would the law have, but Christ gave? Would the law have a sinless man to answer it, as it was first given to sinless Adam ? Lo, I come, saith our Lord Jesus, without all sin ; a man against whom, for bimself, the law hath no charge or challenge. Would the law have perfect sinless obedience ? Christ did perform it. Must the law have life and blood for every breach of it? Christ never broke the law; but the burden of millions of breakers, and breaches of it lay on him, and his blood was shed for them: and thereby he fulfilled the law, put away sin by the sacrifice of himself, Heb. ix. 26. ; finished the transgression, made an end of sin, made reconciliation for iniquity, brought in everlasting righteousness, sealed up the vision and prophecy, and anointed the most holy, Dan. ix. 24. You can never have boldness at the throne of grace, unless by faith you apply this blood. Christ is set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, Rom. iii. 25. The propitiation is in his blood; faith in it makes it our propitiation.
2dly, This blood, as it is satisfying blood, so it is purchasing blood. It is both an atonement and satisfaction, and it is a price. It is redeeming blood for persons, and purchasing blood for blessings. All the blessings we come to the throne of grace for, are all bought by this blood. So that we may say, that though we have nothing, and deserve nothing; yet when we