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which he has received to communicate the Spirit. This truth is beautifully expressed by the Psalmist. Psalm xlv. 7. "Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." This view of Christ's fitness, for saving sinners shews us the propriety of what he said to his disciples immediately before his death, when sorrow had filled their hearts, on account of his departure. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you." John xvi. 7. On the accursed tree Jesus shed his blood; and by its virtue he burst asunder the bands of death, entered into the holiest of all, took his seat at the right hand of his Father, and now pours out his Spirit upon all flesh, and raises the sons of God to glory. May we not well exclaim with the Psalmist, "Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever." Psalm xlv. 2.
5. THE sufferings of Jesus made him perfect by laying a foundation for the administration of all his offices in the erection and propagation of his kingdom. The prophetical and kingly offices are wholly employed about the application of salvation, not about the purchase of it, as does also the intercessory part of his sacerdotal office. As a sacrificing high Priest only did he atone for their sins, and his obedience to the law may be, referred more properly to his general character of "Surety."
JESUS was invested with the prophetical office to communicate the knowledge of the divine will to sinners, in' order to their salvation. Man had lost all proper knowledge of God, nor was it in his power to learn by what means he might approach unto him with safety, or what
service would be acceptable. Such a situation rendered supernatural instruction necessary. Hence God's promise to Moses, "I will raise them up a propoet from among their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I command him." Deut. xviii. 18. Peter applies this prophecy to Christ. Acts iii. 22. He was actually sent for this purpose. "He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." John iii. 34. But if Jesus had not died there was nothing to reveal but indignation and wrath. The whole of divine revelation, prior to the death of the Messiah, was founded upon the certainty of that event. The first dawn of it was an exhibition of the death of the Saviour, by which he should bruise the serpent's head. But if Jesus had not suffered, this, with every subsequent revelation, would have been false and an imposition on mankind. All divine revelation is from Jesus, either immediately by himself, or by the prophets and Apostles whom he inspired for that purpose. By the prophets he revealed what he was to do, and by the Apostles what he has done. As the faithful and true Witness he clearly unfolds the gracious designs of heaven respecting sinners, and shows that all these have their accomplishment through his blood. Agreeably to this are his instructions to the two disciples going to Emmaus; "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke xxiv. 26, 27. And when he appeared to the eleven and others, ver. 46, 47.—"Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repent
ance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations," &c.
His blood gives efficacy to his intercession. Though the Son stood infinitely high in the favour of his Father, he could prevail nothing in behalf of sinners, but on the footing of atonement. To have pled on the footing of favour would have been to set God against himself; mercy and truth; righteousness and peace, at variance. A plea of this kind would have destroyed itself; for if the Son should have pled on the footing of infinite mutual love and esteem, the reason of that love could not have been overlooked; namely, their divine excellence and glory, which includes justice and holiness. But this love is the first and chief reason why sin is punished. Justice and holiness must be glorified in the punishment of sin. Intercession is the will of Christ expressed, with or without words, to the Father, according to the tenor of the new covenant, to obtain for his people the blessings which he hath purchased. After the legal priest had sprinkled the blood of atonement in the sanctuary, he burned incense, but not before; so Jesus shed his blood, and by it entered into the holy place, to appear in the presence of God for us. The satisfaction which he made entitles him to make this claim, "Father I will that," &c. The prevalence of his intercession depends on his moral ability as a priest. Wherefore he is "able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Heb. vii. 25. This ability lies radically in the virtue of his oblation: take away that and his intercession ceases. He lives to intercede because he died to redeem. God always hears him bècause he sustained the atonement he made for sin. When the Apostle cncourages believers against despon
dency on account of their sin, from the prevailing intercession of Christ, he also brings forward the ground of its prevalence; "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins." 1 John ii, 1, 2.
His throne and sceptre are equally connected with, and depend on his sacrifice. He could not erect his kingdom without purchasing the subjects of it, at the price of his own life. His kingdom was to be erected according to the tenor of his covenant engagements with the Father; "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations." Psalm lxxxix. 3, 4. Every promise in this covenant, which, in its fulfilment, was to. terminate on men, was founded upon the condition of that covenant, which Christ the Surety of it was to fill up. This is evident with respect to the seed which was promised him, and of which his kingdom was to consist; "when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed." Isaiah liii. 10. In describing Melchisedek, that eminent type of Christ, the Apostle first takes notice of his sacerdotal character, as priest of the most high God, and then proceeds to his righteous administration, and the peaceable effects of it, as a king. Peace is the fruit of Christ's blood,
"Peace by the blood of his cross." Col. i. 20. And as this peace is enjoyed by us as the fruit of his righteous administration, that administration must be founded in his blood. Psal. cx. contains a prophetic description of the Redeemer's exaltation to the right hand of God, as his solemn inauguration into his kingdom; and the general outlines of his administration, in converting sinners, making them obedient subjects by his
grace, and crushing all the enemies of his government. In the middle of this description his sacerdotal office is introduced, as giving effect to the whole. "The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedek." ver. 4. Every subject in his kingdom is "bought with a price, redeemed by his blood," to serve him, and to enjoy all the blessings of his purchase; and every act of royal administration is for the purpose of carrying into effect the designs of his priesthood. It is because he is the Lord our righteousness, that he is our Sovereign. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel' shall dwell safely; and this is name by which he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Jer. xxiii. 5, 6.
6. By his sufferings Jesus became competent to sympathise with his people under all their trials, afflic. tions and temptations. Believers, while in the world, are exercised with a great variety of trials, from different quarters, and different causes. Many are the afflictions of the righteous." They labour under many painful events, weaknesses and infirmities; and are exposed to many miseries and dangers: They have to conflict with many enemies, endure many temptations, bear many insults and reproaches, and suffer various persecutions. "They endure a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst they are made a gazing stock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst they become companions of them that are so used," Heb. x. 32, 33. Frequently too they are deprived of the joyful sense of his divine love upon their hearts, and experience a sense