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censorious of others, trifling in your spirit, and unsettled in your conduct. Oh! be afraid of resembling the foolish virgins *, of having the lamp of your profession expire in darkness, for want of the oil of grace. Lest when the Bridegroom cometh, you should find the door shut against you.
* Matt. xxv. 1—12.
THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST.
Rom. viii. 34.
Who is he that condemneth f It is Chriji that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
THE redemption of the soul is precious. Fools make a mock of fin *. But they will not think lightly of it, who duly consider the majesty, authority, and goodness of him, against whom it is committed j and who are taught, by what God actually has done, what fin rendered necessary to be done, before a sinner could have a well-grounded hope of forgiveness. For wisdom does nothing in vain. The death of the Son of * Prov. xvi. o.
God God would have been in vain *, if the great design, in favour of sinful men, could have been effected by inferior means. But as be, in the office of Mediator, was the hope of mankind, from the beginning; so the great work he has accomplished, and the characters he sustains, when made known to the conscience, are, in fact, sufficient to relieve in every case, to answer every charge, and to satisfy the believer in Jesus, that there is now no condemnation to fear. There are many (as we have observed) ready to accuse, but it is in vain; the charge may be true, but it is overruled. Who shall dare to condemn, if things be as the apostle states them in this passage? Whoever would impeach the hope of a true believer, must prove (if he can) that Christ did net die; or that he did not rife from the dead; or that he was not admitted into the presence of God on our behalf; or that he is unmindful of his promise, to make intercession for all who come unto God by him. For if these points are indubitable and sure, it is impossible that the foul, which h^s trusted in Jesus, and put its cause into his hands, can miscarry. * Gal. ii. 21.
The death and resurrection of our Lord, his appearance in our nature, clothed with glory, stated on the right hand of the Majesty on high, as the High Priest of our profession, can scarcely be considered too often. These old truths are always new to those who love him, and are the food by which their souls live. Yet, I shall not, at present, repeat what I have offered upon them from former passages, but shall chiefly confine myself to the subject of his intercession, which has not, until now, expressly occurred to our meditations.
The word the apostle uses, here, and in Heb. vii. 25—-seeing he ever liveth to make interceffion, occurs likewise ASis xxv. 24. where Festus speaks of the process managed by the Jews against Paul; and also Rom. xi. 2. of Elijah's making intercession to God against Israel. From these passages compared together, we may observe, that the word is to be taken in a large fense. He pleads our cause, he manages our concerns, he answers our enemies. Who then shall condemn those for whom the Lord Jesus thus employs his power and his love? He is our advocate *. . * 1 John ii. 1.