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address to you, adding, as the psalmist doth, Blessed are all they, that put their trust in him* ; which leads us to the other reflection, 2. How unreasonable are the fears of those, that have ventured

their souls upon Christ!

Too frequently does the humble christian, in the view of all his difficulties, his dangers, and his enemies, secretly borrow the word of David in his melancholy frame, and say, I shall one day perish by their handt: But as the anointing oil of God was upon him, he preserved him in all, and made him victorious over all: And it was an emblem of the victory of the christian, under the conduct of Christ, and the anointings of his spirit. It is very dishonourable to Christ, as well as very uncomfortable to ourselves, to be continually terrified and alarmed, while under the care of such a helper, who declares himself the Lord mighty to save; and the devil gains a great advantage against the soul, by throwing it into such panic terrors : The succours of reason are then betrayed, and the nobler relief of faith in some measure intercepted. And therefore let the particulars I have now been illustrating he often recollected, and frequently plead them with your own hearts. “Oh my soul, is there any thing so peculiar in thy case, that he who has saved so many millions cannot save thee? Has Satan acquired any new power, since Jesus conquered him on the cross ? or can I imagine, that hell shall now begin to triumph over heaven, and the Almighty Shepherd be at length repulsed by these infernal wolves, so as to stand by, a helpless spectator, while they are destroying his sheep? How blasphemous, and how detestable a thought! My soul, thou art in the hands of Christ ; and by a new act of faith, I do this moment commit thee to him, as able to save to the uttermost, those that come unto God by him.” Nor is that additional encouragement light and inconsiderable, which may be derived from the concluding words, Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. But this great argument will be handled at large in the following discourse.

* Psal. i. 10 -12.

+ 1 Sam. xxvii. 1.

move the astonishment, as well as the indignation, of all that view him and you, in a just, that is, in a scripture light; yet my heart is both grieved and terrified for you, when I think, what the end of your opposition to him will be. Unhappy creatures ! What will you do, when he rises up? And when he judges, what will you answer him* ? When he proceeds to execute his sen. tence, how will you escape, or resist, or endure it? Wereit merely the indignation of a man like yourselves, you might either oppose it, or bear it. But, alas, how insupportable will be the vengeance of an almighty arm! If it could alone bring salvation, it will alone be able to bring calamity and ruin. Yet were auxiliary force necessary, all the legions of heaven would appear armed against you, under the command of Jesus their Lord. If you do indeed believe your bibles, I wonder that you do not tremble, when you read, or hear, of that dreadful day, in which you are to be so intimately concerned ; when it is expressly said, that the most insolent of his enemies shall flee before him in wild and belpless consternation; when The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, as well as others of meaner rank, shall hide themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and shall say to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wruth is come ; and who shall be able to stand+? What a dreadful emphasis is there in these words! How plainly do they intimate, that they would prefer the crush of a mountain to the more insupportable weight of his wrath ; and that they will have more hope of moving rocks by their intreaties, than of prevailing on their then inflexible judge? And will your Hearts endure, or your hands be strong, when the Heavens shall depart as a scroll, and mountains and islands shall be removed ? Were the least of the servants of Christ this day addressing himself to an assembly of the greatest princes and potentates on earth, he might be bold to say in the name of this king of glory, Be wise now therefore, () ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth : Serve the Lord with humble fear, and rejoice in your own dignity, or in the offers of his grace, with trembling : Kiss the Son of God, in token of your ready submission to his government : lest he be angry, and you perish from the way in a noment, when his wrath is kindled against you. And this faithful and necessary warning would I now address to you, adding, as the psalmist doth, Blessed are all they, that put their trust in him* ; which leads us to the other reflection, 2. How unreasonable are the fears of those, that have ventured their souls

* Job xxxi, 14.

+ Rev. vi. 15–17.

upon

Christ! Too frequently does the humble christian, in the view of all his difficulties, his dangers, and his enemies, secretly borrow the word of David in his melancholy frame, and say, I shall one day perish by their handt : But as the anointing oil of God was upon him, he preserved him in all, and made him victorious over all: And it was an emblem of the victory of the christian, under the conduct of Christ, and the anointings of his spirit. It is very

dishonourable to Christ, as well as very uncomfortable to ourselves, to be continually terrified and alarmed, while under the care of such a helper, who declares himself the Lord mighty to save; and the devil gains a great advantage against the soul, by throwing it into such panic terrors : The succours of reason are then betrayed, and the nobler relief of faith in some measure intercepted. And therefore let the particulars I have now been illustrating be often recollected, and frequently plead them with your own hearts. “ Oh my soul, is there any thing so peculiar in thy case, that he who has saved so many millions cannot save thee? Has Satan acquired any new power, since Jesus conquered him on the cross ? or can I imagine, that hell shall now begin to triumph over heaven, and the Almighty Shepherd be at length repulsed by these infernal wolves, so as to stand by, a helpless spectator, while they are destroying his sheep? How blasphemous, and how detestable a thought! My soul, thou art in the hands of Christ ; and by a new act of faith, I do this moment commit thee to him, as able to save to the uttermost, those that come unto God by him.Nor is that additional encouragement light and inconsiderable, which may be derived from the concluding words, Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. But this great argument will be handled at large in the following discourse.

* Psal. ii. 10-12.

+ 1 Sam. xxvii. 1.

hood; wherefore he is able also to save, &c. and then it immedidiately follows, For such an High-priest became us.

And a very few verses after, the apostle observes, that the sum of what he had here spoken was this ; We have such an High-priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens*. So that seeing Christ's intercession in our text is so evidently a sacerdotal or priestly act, we may, no doubt, be assisted in our conceptions of it, by considering that of the Jewish priests, to which it is compared. Now you know, it was their office, to present their prayers to God in the name of the people, both in their daily, and their yearly ministration. In their daily ministration, they went into the holy place, to burn incense before the Lord on the golden altar; and this incense is often referred to in scripture, as an emblem of the acceptable prayers of pious worshipperst. And it is observable, that at the very time when the priest was thus employed, the people stood praying without f; and no doubt, it was a part of his duty to concur in the devotions, which in their name he presented be. fore God. But this intercession was most solemnly made once a year, i. e. on the great day of atonement, when the High-priest entered into the most holy place, with the blood of the victims, the incense at the same time fuming, with a grateful odour, before the mercy-seats. This was the grand act of intercession; by attending to which, we may be more particularly informed of the nature of that, which Christ as our high-priest is making in our favour: And we particularly learn, 3. That “ the appearance of Christ above, in that body in which

he suffered on earth, is virtually a continual intercession with the Father."

We are told, that the high-priest carried the blood of the burnt-offering, and of the sin-offering, into the most holy place, and sprinkled it before the Lord there ; and by this action he is said to make the atonement, the other sacrificial circumstances being only preparatory to this. And thus our Lord Jesus Christ has taken into heaven the human body, in which he bare our sins on the accursed tree T; and appearing thus in the divine presence, he does thereby present his own blood before the mercy-seat: As the apostle expresseth it, in a most evident allusion, to the preceding passage in the Mosaic institution** Not with the blood of goats and calves, which were the sacrifices

Lev. xvi. 12, 13.

• Heb. viii. 1. * Psal. cxli. 2. Rev, viü. 4. Luke i. 10. || Lev. xvi. 14-19.91 Pet. ü. 24.

** Heb. ix. 12.

appointed on the day of expiation, but by his own blood, he hath entered into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us : And by this one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified *; so that nothing farther should be requisite, for the complete expiation of their guilt. And it is accordingly declared, that Ifter he had offered one sacrifice for sin, he for ever sut down at the right hund of God t.

Now this appearance of Christ in heaven, which is expressed by his Standing in the inidst of the throne, as a lamb that had been slains, may properly be called a virtual intercession. There is a language in that circumstance, more forcible than in any words that we can imagine. This is happily illustrated by the pious Mr. Flavelş, by the story of Amyntas and Æschylus, as Ælian relates it. Æschylus was condemned to death by the Athenians, and was just going to be led to execution. His brother Amyntas had signalized himself in the service of his country; and on the day of a most illustrious victory, in a great measure obtained by his means, had lost his hand. He came into the court just as his brother was condemned, and without saying any thing, drew the stump of his arm from under his garment, and held it up in their sight; and the historian tells us, “that when the judges saw this mark of his sufferings, they remembered what he had done, and discharged his brother, though he had forfeited his life ll.” Thus does Christ, our dear elder brother, silently, but powerfully, plead for our forfeited lives: And such is the happy consequence. His Father looks on the marks of his sufferings, and remembers what he has done ; and in this sense His blood is continually speaking better things than the blood of Abell. We have an advocate with the Father, who is also the propitiation for our sins**. 4. “ Our Lord always intends, that his appearance before his

Father in heaven should be interpreted as a plea for his people.”

He does not only perform an action, which may be so understood; but it is his habitual and constant desire and intention, that it may be considered in that view. He'entered into heaven, not merely that he might in his glorious human nature be

* Heb. x. 14. + Heb. x. 12. Rev. v. 6. $ Flavel's Fountain of Life, p. 142.

| Ξlian. Var. Ηist. ν. 19. ειδον οι δικαςαι τα ανδρών το παθών, υπεμνησθησαν των εργων αυτό, και αφηκαν τον Αισχυλον. Heb. xii. 24.

.* 1 John ii, 1, 2. VOL. II.

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