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Christ; whereas he offered but one sacrifice, and, by that, perfected for ever them that are sanctified'. And if legal sacrifices would not serve the turn, then neither would legal priests be fit for so great a work : for all the good which the priest doth, is in the virtue of the sacrifice which he brings. And this likewise the apostle proves by many arguments. First, because of their sinfulness: for they themselves wanted an expiation, and therefore could not be mediators for the sins of others m. Secondly, because of the carnalness of their institution: they were made after the law of a cârnal commandment; that is, of a temporary, perishable, and merely external ordinance", which prescribed only the examples and shadows of heavenly things. Thirdly, because of their mortality: they were not suffered to continue by reason of death, whereas our priest must live to make intercession. Fourthly, because of their ministry, and the revolution of their services, which never came to a period or perfection in which the priest might give over, and sit down:' they 'stood daily ministering,' and oftentimes offering (their service did daily return upon them again); whereas Christ, after he had offered. “one sacrifice for sin," for ever “sat down on the right hand of God.”
To show you then the qualifications of this priest:-a priest, in general, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, to offer sacrifice for the obtaining of righteousness and remission of sins.
First, then, Christ, being a priest, must of necessity be a mediator and a surety between parties, that he might have one unto whom, and others for whom and in whose behalf, to offer a sacrifice. Every priest must be a mediator, to stand between God and the people, and to intercept and bear the iniquity P even of their holy things. And unto this mediation there must concur the consent of the parties between whom it is negotiated; for a mediator is not a mediator of one. Now God giveth his consent by laying on him our iniquities, and making his soul an offering for sin, and thereby declaring himself to be one with us". And man gives his consent, when by faith he receiveth Christ; and so becometh not only the friend, but the son of God.
1 Heb. x. 12, 14. m Heb. v. 3. vii, 27.
Heb. vii. 16.
o Heb. I John i. 12.
Secondly, But every mediator is not presently a priest ; for there is a mediation only by way of entreaty, prayer, and request, wherein men do obtain but not deserve or purchase remission for others : such mediators were Joab and the widow of Tekoah in the behalf of Absalom! And there are mediators by way of satisfaction; as sureties are between the creditor and the debtor; and such a mediator was Christ, not only a mediator, but also a surety of a better covenant! He was not to procure remission of our sins by way of favour and request; but he was set forth “to declare the righteousness of God ?:" and such a mediator between God and us must needs be a priest too; for the debt which we owed unto God, was blood : “ Without shedding of blood, there is no remission."
Thirdly, Being such a priest, he must have a sacrifice answerable to the debt, which was owed to his father. The debt we owed, was the forfeiture and subjection of our souls and bodies to the wrath of God, and curse of the law. God is able “ to destroy both soul and body in Hell 2." It is not to be understood only of his absolute power, but of that power which, as our judge, he hath power over us 'per modum judicii,' as we are his prisoners, and so obnoxious to the curses of his law. Therefore our priest was to have a soul and a body, to pay as a surety for our souls and bodies :
_“ Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sina.” “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death b." And again; “A body hast thou prepared me:" we are sanctified " through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." "His ownself bare our sins in his own body on the treed.” So he was to be man, that he might have a fit and answerable sacrifice to offer, rāua xatuptiow uon, "Thou hast fitted,” or prepared, “ a body for me,” that my sacrifice might be proportionable to that in the place whereof it stood. And thereby as he is fit for passion, so also for compassion : he was to be our kinsman, and of our blood, that he might be a merciful and faithful High-prieste; and fit for derivation of his righteousness, and transfusion of his Spirit upon us; for “ he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified, are both of one." And as it must be thus fitted to the sinner, that it may be a proper and suitable sacrifice for his sin; so must it be perfect likewise. First, without blemish or sin :“Such an High-priest became us who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners f;" that so "he might offer himself without spot unto God," and have no need of a sacrifice for himself. Secondly, without any manner of defect, which should stand in need of supplement and contribution from something else ; that, of itself alone, it might be sufficient and available to bring perfection and salvation unto men, and to leave no more conscience of sin behind it h.
t2 Sam. xiv. • Matt. X. 28. di Pet. ii. 24.
u Heb. viii. 6. vii. 22. * Rom. iii. 25.
• Heb. ii. 11, 14, 17. Deut. xviii. 15.
y Heb. ix. 22. c Heb. x. 5, 10.
Fourthly, As there was to be such a sacrifice, perfect in itself, and fit for the use and occasion for which it was appointed, so there must be an altar upon which to offer it unto the Father; for it is “ the altar which sanctifieth the offering:" that is, which, in regard of God, giveth it acceptance; and which, in regard of man, giveth it virtue, merit, and value, answerable to his occasions. This sacrifice was to be sufficient for the satisfaction of God, and for the justification and reparation of man; and both these by means of the altar on which it was offered, which was the Divine nature :-" Through the Eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot unto God, and so by his blood purgeth our consciences from dead works.” For Christ as God sanctified himself as man, that so we, through the virtue and merit of his sacrifice, might be sanctified likewise . He was to be God as well as man, · Medium participationis,' before he could be medium reconciliationis,'—so that he might be himself supported to undergo and break through the weight of sin and the law; and, having so done, might have compass enough in his sacrifice to satisfy the justice of God, and to swallow
the sins of the world. Fifthly, Inasmuch as the virtue of the Deity was to be attributed truly to the sacrifice ;-else it could have no value nor virtue in it;—and that sacrifice was to be his own life, soul and body, who is the priest to offer it, because he was not barely a priest, but a surety,—and so his person stood instead of ours, to pay our debt, which was a debt of blood, and therefore he was to offer himself!:-and inasmuch as
Heb. vii. 26. i Heb. ix. 14.
& Heb. ix. 14, 1 Pet. i. 19. h Heb. vii. 19. 2. 14. k John xyii. 19. 1 Heb. ix. 26. 1 Pet. ii. 24.
his person must needs be equivalent in dignity and representation to the persons of all those for whom he mediated, and who were, for his sake only, delivered from suffering; for these causes necessary it was, that God and man should make but one Christ, in the unity of the same infinite person, whose natures they both were, that which suffered, and that which sanctified. The human nature was not to be left to subsist in and for itself, but was to have dependence and supportance in the person of the Son, and a kind of inexistence in him, as the graft of an apple may have in the stock of a plumb. From whence ariseth ; First, The communication of properties between the natures ; when, by reason of the unity of the person, we attribute that to one nature which is common to the other, not by confusion or transfusion, but by communion in one end, and in one person : as when the Scriptures attribute human properties to the Divine nature; "The Lord of life was slain ";" “God purchased the church with his own blood";” “ They crucified the Lord of gloryo.” Or Divine to the human nature : as, “ The Son of man came down from Heaven P;"_and “The Son of man shall ascend where he was before 9." Or when both natures work with their several concurrence unto the same work, as to walk on the waters,' to rise out of the grave,' &c. By which communication of properties, virtue is derived from the altar to the sacrifice, inasmuch as it was the Lord of glory which was crucified. So that his passions were, in regard of the person which bore them, Oeavêporal, both human and Divine, because the person was eelvpanos, God and man. Secondly, From the unity of the person supporting the human nature with the Divine, ariseth the appliableness of one sacrifice unto all men.
Because the person of the Son is infinitely more than equivalent to the
persons of all men, as one diamond to many thousand pebbles : and because the obedience of this sacrifice was the obedience of God, and therefore cannot but have more virtue and wellpleasingness in it, than there can be demerit or malignity in the sin of man.
Now this person, in whose unity the two natures are conjoined, is the second person in the holy Trinity. He was the person, against whom the first sin was principally committed; for it was an affectation of wisdom and to be like unto God (as the falling sin is now the siņ against the third person); and therefore the mercy is the more glorious, that he did undertake the expiation. “By him the world was made";" and therefore, being spoiled, he was pleased to new make it again, and “ to bring many sons unto glorys." He was “the express image of his father * ;" and therefore by him are we“ renewed after God's imageu" again. He was the Son of God by nature; and therefore the mercy was again the more glorified in his making us sons by adoption, and so joint-heirs' with himself, who was the heir of all things.
Acts xx. 28.
o 1 Cor. ii. 8.
P John iii, 13.
m Acts iii 15. 9 John vi. 62
So then sạch a High-priest it became us to have, as should be first an equal middle person between God and man: in regard of God towards man, an officer appointed to declare his righteousness; and in regard of man towards God, a surety ready to purchase their pardon and deliver, ance. Secondly, Such a one as should be one with us' in the fellowship of our nature, passions, infirmities, and temptations; that so he might the more readily suffer for us, who, in so many things, suffered with us : and one with God’ the Father in his Divine nature; that so, by the virtue of bis sufferings and resurrection, he might be able both to satisfy his justice, and to justify our persons, to sanctify our nature, to perfume and purify our services, to raise up our dead bodies, and to present us to his father a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. And both these in the unity of one person; that so, by that means, the Divine nature might communicate virtue, merit, and acceptableness to the sufferings of the human ; and that the dignity of that person might countervail the persons of all other men.-And this person, that person of the Three, by whom the glory of the mercy should be the more wonderfully magnified. In one word, two things are requisite to our High-priest :-a grace of union, to make the person God and man in one Christ; and a grace of unction, to fit him with such fulness of the Spirit, as may enable him to the performance of so great a work w.
By all which we should learn : First, To adore this “ great
• Heb. ii. 10.
Col. i. 16, 17. John i. 3. u Col. iii. 10. w Isai. xi. 2.
* Heb. i. 3. Col. i. 15.