Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

another priesthood there, which was not to give place but upon the accomplishment of his ; for the whole figure was to pass away, when the whole truth was come. Now Christ's oblation was the tò aanbevòy, “the Truth,' prefigured in the priest's sacrificing of the beast; and his entrance into Heaven, was the truth, prefigured in the priest's carrying of the blood into the Holiest of all: and therefore both these were to be accomplished, before the Levitical priesthood did give place.

Here then it will be needful, for the more full unfolding of the priesthood of Christ, to open the doctrine of his intercession at the right hand of his Father. The apostle calleth it “ the appearing of Christ for us,” which is 'verbum forense,' an expression borrowed from the custom of human courts ; for as in them, when the plaintiff or defendant is called, their attorney appeareth in their name and behalf; so when we are summoned by the justice of God to defend ourselves against those exceptions and complaints, which it preferreth against us, we have " an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous," who standeth out and appeareth for us. As the High-priest went into the sanctuary with the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast; so Cbrist entered into the Holiest of all, with our persons, and in our behalf; in which respect the apostle saith, that “ he was apprehended of Christ 3,” and that “we do sit together in heavenly places with him 6." " Merit and efficacy are the two things, which set forth the virtue of Christ's sacrifice, by which he hath reconciled us to his father. The merit of Christ, being a redundant merit, and having in it a plentiful redemption, and a sufficient salvation, hath in it two things: First, there is anonútpwois, an expiation, or satisfaction, by way of price :--Secondly, there is wspimoinois, an inheritance by way of purchase and acquisition. “He was made of a woman, made under the law,” for two ends, ivc iEaryopáon, and ίνα απολάβωμεν υιοθεσίαν, that he might redeem us from the curse under which we lay, and that he might purchase for us the inheritance which we had forfeited before; for so by adoption, in that place, I understand in a complexed and general sense ; every good thing, which belongs unto us in the right of our sonship with Christ, and that is the inheritance of glory."

fl John ii. 2.

. Phil. iii. 12.

• Heb. ix. 24. i Eph. i. 14.

Eph. ii. 6.

Now all this is effected by the obedience of Christ's death; for in that, was the act of impetration or procurement, consisting in the treaty between God and Christ. But there is yet farther required an execution, a real effectualness, and actual application of these to us. As it must be, in regard of God, a satisfaction and a purchase,-so it must be likewise, in regard of us, an actual redemption and inheritance. And this is done by the intercession of Christ, which is the commemoration, or rather continuation of his sacrifice. He offered it but once, and yet he is a priest for ever; because the sacrifice, once offered, doth for ever remain before the mercy-seat. Thus as, in many of the legal oblations, there was first mactatio,' and then ostensio :';_first, the beast was slain on the altar, and then the blood was, together with the incense, brought before the mercy-seat'; —so Christ was first slain, and then by his own blood he entered into the Holy place". That was done on the earth without the gate; this, in Heaven"; That the sacrifice or obtaining of redemption; this the application, or conferring of redemption. The sacrifice consisted in the death of Christ alone : the application thereof is grounded upon Christ's death as its merit, but effected by the life of Christ as its immediate

His death did obtain, his life did confer, redemption upon us. And therefore, in the Scriptures, our justification and salvation are attributed to the Life of Christ. delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification°;"_" If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins P;”—He shall convince the world of righteousness, because I go to my Father;"_" Because I live, ye shall live also ?." "If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him $;"_“ Being made perfect," or consecrated for ever, “ he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"_" He is able perfectly to save, because he ever liveth u. We were

cause.

“ He was

k Rom. viii. 17. 10. 1 Levit. xvi. 11, 15. m Heb. ix. 12. x. 12. n Heb. xiï. 11, 12. o Rom. iv. 25. pl Cor. xv. 17. 4 John xvi. 10. John xiv. 19. • Rom. vi. 8. Heb. v. 8. vii. 28. u Heb. vii, 25,

reconciled in his death : but had he there rested, we could never have been acquitted nor entered in, for he was to be our forerunner. And therefore the apostle addeth a work värdav, " a much more" to the life of Christ ;--"Much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life *.” Not in point of merit, but only of efficacy for us. As, in buying land, the laying down of the price giveth a man a meritorious interest,—but the delivering up of the deeds, the resigning up

of the property, the yielding up of the possession, giveth a man an actual interest in that which he hath purchased; so the death of Christ deserveth, but the intercession and life of Christ applieth, salvation unto us. It was not barely Christ's dying, but his dying victoriously, so that it was impossible for death to hold him, which was the ground of our salvation. He could not justify us, till he was declared to be justified himself: therefore the apostle saith “ that he was justified by the Spirit ?;' namely, by that Spirit which quickened him. When Christ offered himself a sacrifice for sin, he was numbered amongst transgressors b. He bore our sins along with him on the tree; and so died under the wrongs of men, and under the wrath of God, in both respects, as a guilty person.

guilty person. But when he was quickened by the Spirit of Holiness, he then threw off the sins of the world from his shoulder, and made it appear, that he was a righteous person, and that his righteousness was the righteousness of the world. So then, our faith and hope was begun in Christ's death, but was finished in his life: he was the author of it, by enduring the cross; and he was the finisher of it, by sitting down on the right hand of the throne of God. The apostle sums up all together; “ It is God that justifieth ; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us d."

Now then to show, mote distinctly, the nature and excellency of Christ's intercesssion. It consisteth in these particulars :-- First, His appearance, or the presenting of his person in our nature, and in his own, as a public person, a mediator, a sponsor, and a pledge for us; as Judah was both a mediator to request, and a surety to engage himself to bear the blame for ever with his Father, for his brother Benjamin. And Paul for Onesimus, a mediator ; “1 beseech thee for my son Onesimus f;" and a sponsor; “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account, I will repay it 8.” So Christ is both a mediator and surety for ush.

» Rom. v. 10. viii. 11. 1 Peter iii. 18. viii. 33. 34.

y Acts ii. 24.

71 Tim. iii. 16. b Mark xv. 28.

Heb. xii. 2.

a Rom. i. 4.

a Rom.

C

Secondly, The presenting of his merits as a public satisfaction for the debt of sin, and as a public price for the purchase of glory. For the justice of God was not to be entreated or pacified without a satisfaction; and therefore where Christ is called an advocate,' he is called a propitiation' too i; because he doth not intercede for us, but in the right and virtue of the price which he paid. For “the Lord spared not bis Son, but delivered him up for us all k.” he dealt in the full rigour of his justice with him.

Thirdly, In the name of bis person, and for the vigour and virtue of his merits, there is a presenting of his desires, his will, his request, and interpellation for us, and so applying both unto us. “ Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am," &c.

Fourthly, To all this doth answer the consent of the Father, in whose bosom he is, “who heareth him always m;" and “in whom he is well pleased ";" who called him to this office of being, as it were, Master of Requests in the behalf of his church, and promised to hear him in his petitions—“Ask of me, and I will give thee o," &c. Thus as once when Æschylus P the tragedian was accused 'in Areopago' for impiety, his brother Amyntas stood out as his advocate, using no other plea but this ;-he opened his garments and showed them.cubitum sine manu,' how he had lost his hand in the service of the state, and so vindicated his brother. Or as Zaleucus ?, when he put out one of his own eyes for his son, who had been deprehended in adultery, delivered him from half the punishment which himself had

• Gen. xliii. 8, 9. f Phil. ver. 9, 10. & Phil. ver. 18, 19.

h Heb. vii. 22, 8, 6. il John ii, 2. * Rom. viii, 32. 1 John xvii. 24. m John xi. 42. o Matth. xvii. 5. o Psal. ii. 8. P Ælian. Var. Hist. I. 5. c. 19. 4 Ælian. lib. 13, cap. 24. VOL. 11.

2 c

decreed against that sin. Or to come nearer, as when the hand steals, if the back be scourged', the tongue may, in matters that are not capital, intercede for a dismission: so Christ when he suffered for us (which he might more justly do, than any one man can for another, because he was, by divine pre-ordination and command, and by his own power, more lord of his own life, than any other man is of his "), may justly, in the virtue of those his sufferings, intercede in our behalf for all that which those his sufferings did deserve, either for the expiation of sin, or for the purchase of salvation. In which sense the apostle saith, that “The blood of Christ is a speaking or interceding blood t.”

By all which we may observe the impiety of the popish doctrine, which distinguisheth between mediators of redemption, and mediators of intercession ; affirming that, though the saints are not redeemers of the world, yet they are (as the courtiers of Heaven) mediators of intercession for us, and so may be sought unto by us. To which I answer, That we must distinguish of interceding or praying for another. There is one private and another public (which some learned men have observed in Christ's own prayers); or praying out of charity, and out of justice or office : or Thirdly, praying out of humility with fear and trembling, or out of authority, which is not properly prayer,-for prayer, in its strictest sense, is a proposing of requests for things unmerited, which we expect 'ex vi promissi,' out of God's gracious promise, and not. ex vi pretii,' out of any price or purchase;but the presenting of the will and good pleasure of Christ to his Father, that he may thereunto put his seal and consent, the desiring of a thing so, as that he hath withal a right jointly of bestowing it, who doth desire it. That the saints in Heaven and the blessed angels, do pray for the state of the church militant, as well as rejoice at their conversion, inasmuch as charity remaineth after this life, seemeth to be granted by Cyprian " and Jerome* ; neither know I any danger in so affirming. But if so, they do it only 'ex caritate, ut fratres,' not 'ex officio, ut mediatores ;' out of a babit of

Ωσπερ αμαρτήσας ο άνθρωπος αμάρτημα δια καν τυφθή εις τον vârov, oùk adikei Ó Tuathras airó. Just. Mart. Quæst. et Resp. ad Orthodox • John x. 18. I Cor. vi. 19. + Heb. xii. 24. u Cameron, de Eccles. p. 12?

Cyprian. Ep. i. * Hieron. lib. adversus vigilant.

« ElőzőTovább »