« السابقةمتابعة »
the observation of a late worthy, upon Matt. 5:44, that he is persuaded there is hardly that man to be found this day alive, that fully understands and fully believes that scripture. Oh, did men think that what they do for Christ's followers is done for Christ himself, it would produce other effects than are yet visible.
4. If Christ sanctified himself, that we might be sanctified by (or in) the truth; then it will follow, that true sanctification is the best evidence of our interest in his blood. In vain (as to you) did he sanctify himself unless you be sanctified. Holy souls only can claim the benefit of the great Sacrifice. Oh try then, whether true holiness, which is only to be judged by its conformity to its pattern, "As he that called you is holy, so be ye holy," 1 Pet. 1: 15, and which is, and acts, according to its measure, like God's holiness, be found in you.
God is universally holy in all his ways; and "his works are holy," Psa. 145: 17; whatever he doeth, is still done as becomes a holy God: he is not only holy in all things, but at all times unchangeably holy. Be ye therefore holy in all things, and at all times too, if ever you expect the benefit of Christ's sanctifying himself to die for you. Oh brethren, let not the feet of your conversation be as the feet of a lame man, which are unequal. Prov. 26: 7. Be not sometimes hot, and sometimes cold; at one time careful, at another time careless; one day in a spiritual rapture, and the next in a fleshly frolic but be ye holy "in all manner of conversation," 1 Pet. 1: 15, in every crook and turning of your lives; and let your holiness hold out to the end.
God is exemplarily holy, and Jesus Christ is the great pattern of holiness. Be ye examples of holiness too, unto all that are about you. ९९ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works." Matt. 5: 16. As wicked men infect one another by their examples, and diffuse their poison and malignity wherever
they come; so do ye disseminate godliness in all places and companies; and let those that frequently converse with you, especially those of your own families, receive a deeper dye and tincture of heavenliness every time they come nigh you.
God delights in nothing but holiness, and holy ones; he hath set all his pleasure in the saints. Be ye holy herein, as God is holy. Indeed, there is this difference between God's choice and yours; he chooses not men because they are holy, but that they may be so; you are to choose them for your delightful companions, that God hath chosen and made holy. "Let all your delights be in the saints, even them that excel in virtue." Psa. 16:3.
God abhors and hates all unholiness; do ye so likewise, that ye may be like your Father which is in heaven. And when the Spirit of holiness bestows this upon you, a sweeter evidence you cannot have, that Christ was sanctified for you. Holy ones may confidently lay the hand of their faith on the head of this great sacrifice, and say," Christ our passover is sacrificed for us."
OF THE NATURE OF CHRIST'S MEDIATION.
"And one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." 1 Tim. 2:5.
Great and long preparations bespeak the solemnity and greatness of the work for which they are designed. A man that had seen the heaps of gold, silver, and brass which David amassed in his time for the building of the temple, might easily conclude before one stone of it was laid, that it would be a magnificent structure. But lo, here is a design of God as far transcending that as the
substance doth the shadow. For, indeed, that glorious temple was but the type and figure of Jesus Christ, John, 2:19, 21, and a weak adumbration of that living, spiritual temple which he was to build, that the great God might dwell and walk in it. 2 Cor. 6: 16. The preparations for that temple were for a few years, but the consultations and preparations for this were from eternity. Prov. 8:31. And as there were preparations for this work before the world began; so it will be a matter of eternal admiration and praise when this world shall be dissolved. What this astonishing glorious work is, this text informs you; it is the work of mediation between God and man; and you have here a description of Jesus the Mediator.
1. He is described by his work or office: MEDITAS, a Mediator, a middle person. The word imports a fit and equal person, who comes between two persons that are at variance, to compose the difference and make peace. Such a person is Christ; a day's man, to lay his hand upon both.
2. He is described by the singularity of his mediation, one Mediator, and but one. There are many mediators of reconciliation among men, but there is one only Mediator of reconciliation between God and man; and it is as needless and impious to make more mediators than one, as to make more gods than one. "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men."
3. He is described by the nature and quality of his person, the man Christ Jesus. He is described by his human nature in this place, not only because in this nature he paid the ransom spoken of in the words immediately following; but especially for the drawing of sinners to him, as one who clothed himself in their own flesh; and, for encouraging the faith of believers, by reminding them that he tenderly regards all their wants and miseries, and that they may safely trust him
with all their concerns, as one that will be for them a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.
4. He is described by his names; by his appellative name, Christ, and his proper name, Jesus. The name Jesus notes his work about which he came; and Christ, the offices to which he was anointed, and in the execu tion of which he is our Jesus. "In the name Jesus," says Glassius, "the whole Gospel is contained; it is the light, the food, the medicine of the soul." Hence, Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator between God and men.
११ Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant." Heb. 12: 24. "And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament," &c. Heb. 9: 15. I shall endeavor to show what is the sense of this word mediator; what it implies, as applied to Christ; how it appears that he is the true and only Mediator between God and men; and in what capacity he performed his mediatorial work.
I. What is the sense and import of this word μeostus, a mediator? The true sense and import of it, is a middle person, or one that interposes between two parties at variance, to make peace between them. Christ is such a Mediator, both in respect to his person and office: in respect to his person, he is a Mediator; that is, one that has the same nature both with God and us, true God and true man; and in respect to his office or work, which is to interpose, to transact the business of reconciliation between us and God. His being a middle person, fits and capacitates him to stand in the midst between God and us. This, I say, is the proper sense of the word; though urins, a mediator, is rendered variously; sometimes an umpire or arbitrator; sometimes a messenger that goes between two persons; sometimes an interpreter, imparting the mind of one to another; some
times a reconciler or peace-maker. And in all these senses Christ is the MTs, the middle person in his mediation of reconciliation or intercession; that is, either in his mediating, by suffering to make peace, as he did on earth; or his continuing and maintaining peace, as he doth in heaven, by meritorious intercession. In both these respects he is the only Mediator. But let us inquire,
II. What it is for Christ to be a Mediator Letween God and us.
1. At the first sight it implies a most dreadful breach between God and men; else no need of a mediator of reconciliation. There was indeed a sweet league of amity once between them, but it was quickly dissolved by sin; the wrath of the Lord was kindled against man, pursuing him to destruction, "Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity." Psa. 5: 5. And man was filled with unnatural enmity against his God; "haters of God." Rom. 1:30. This put an end to all friendly intercourse between him and God.
Reader, say not in thy heart, that it cannot be, that one sin, and that seemingly so small, should make such a breach as this, and cause the God of mercy and goodness so to abhor the work of his hands, and that as soon as he had made man; for it was a heinous and aggravated evil. It was upright, perfect man, created in the image of God, that thus sinned: he sinned when his mind was most bright, clear, and apprehensive; his conscience pure and active; his will free, and able to withstand any temptation; his conscience pure and undefiled: he was a public as well as a perfect man, and well knew that the happiness or misery of his numberless offspring was involved in him. The condition he was placed in was exceedingly happy: no necessity or want could arm and edge temptation: he lived amidst all natural and spiritual pleasures and delights, the Lord most