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before stood upon highest terms of hostility, did' not only entertain peace, but also joined themselves together into one body and one state.
God and we were "enemies," before we were conciled to him by his Son." He that is to be "our" peace," and to "reconcile us unto God," and to " slay this enmity," must have an interest in both the parties that are at variance, and have such a reference unto either of them, that he may be able to send this comfortable message unto the sons of men; "Go to my brethren, and say unto them: I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God." For as long as "he is not ashamed to call us brethren; God is not ashamed to be called our God;" and his entering of our appearance, in his own name and ours, after this manner: “Behold', I, and the children which God hath given me;" is a motive strong enough to appease his Father, and to turn his favourable countenance towards us: as on the other side, when we become unruly and prove rebellious children; no reproof can be more forcible, nor inducement so prevalent, if there remain any spark of grace in us, to make us cast down our weapons and yield, than this. "Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee?" and bought thee "not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood" of his own Son?
How dangerous a matter it is to be at odds with God, old Eli sheweth by this main argument: "If" one man sin against another, the Judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall plead or intreat for him?" and Job, before him: "He" is not a man as I
Sic pax facta, foedusque percussum secutaque res mira dictu, ut relictis sedibus suis novam in urbem hostes demigrarent, et cum generis suis avitas opes pro dote sociarent. L. Flor. histor. Rom. lib. 61. cap. 1.
m Rom. chap. 5. ver. 10.
Eph. chap. 2. ver. 14, 16.
• John, chap. 20. ver. 17.
4 Heb. chap. 11. ver. 16.
s Deut. chap. 32. ver. 6.
u 1 Sam. chap. 2. ver. 25.
P Heb. chap. 2. ver. 11.
Ibid. chap. 2. ver. 13.
1 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 17, 18, 19.
w Job, chap. 9. ver. 32, 33.
am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment: neither is there any day's-man or umpire betwixt us, that may lay his hand upon us both." If this general should admit no manner of exception, then were we in a woful case, and had cause to weep much more than St. John did in the Revelation; when none was found" in heaven, nor in earth, nor under the earth, that was able to open the book" which he saw in the right hand of him which sat upon the throne, "neither to look thereon." But as St John was wished there, to refrain his weeping, because "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, had prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals thereof:" so he himself elsewhere giveth the like comfort unto all of us in particular. "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is a propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
For as there is one God, so there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all;" and in discharge of this his office of mediation, as the only fit umpire to take up this controversy, was to lay his hand as well upon God the party so highly offended, as upon man the party so basely offending. In things concerning God, the priesthood of our Mediator is exercised; "For every high priest is taken from among men, and ordained for men in things pertaining to God." The parts of his priestly function are two, satisfaction and intercession: the former whereof giveth contentment to God's justice; the latter soliciteth his mercy, for the application of this benefit to the children of God in particular. Whereby it cometh to pass, that God in shewing mercy upon whom he will shew mercy, is yet for his justice no loser: being both " ‘justa, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Rev. chap. 5. ver. 3, 4.
z 1 John, chap. 2. ver. 1, 2.
y Rev. chap. 5. ver. 5.
a 1 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 5, 6.
b Heb. chap. 5. ver. 1. and chap. 2. ver. 17. Rom. chap. 9. ver. 15, 16.
Rom. chap. 3. ver. 26.
By virtue of his intercession, our Mediator appeareth in the presence of God for us, and maketh' request for To this purpose, the apostle noteth, in the fourth to the Hebrews, I. "Thats we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God." II. "Thath we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all things tempted as we are, yet without sin." Betwixt the having of such, and the not having of such an intercessor, betwixt the height of him in regard of the one, and the lowliness in regard of his other nature, standeth the comfort of the poor sinner. He must be such a suitor as taketh our case to heart: and therefore "in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." In which respect as it was needful he should partake with our flesh and blood, that he might be tenderly affected unto his brethren so likewise for the obtaining of so great a suit, it behoved he should be most dear to God the Father, and have so great an interest in him, as he might always be sure to be heard in his requests: who therefore could be no other, but he of whom the Father testified from heaven; "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." It was fit our intercessor should be man, like unto ourselves; that we might "boldlym" come to him, and "find grace to help in time of need:" it was fit he should be God, that he might boldly go to the Father, without any way disparaging him, as being his "fellow"," and "equal."
But such was God's love to justice, and hatred to sin; that he would not have his justice swallowed up with mercy, nor sin pardoned without the making of fit reparation. And therefore our Mediator must not look to
e Heb. chap. 9. ver. 24.
Rom. chap. 8. ver. 34. Heb. chap. 7. ver. 15.
Heb. chap. 4. ver. 14.
Heb. chap. 2. ver. 17.
Matt. chap. 3. ver. 17. n Zach. chap. 13. ver. 7.
h Ibid. ver. 15.
k John, chap. 11. ver. 42.
Heb. chap. 4. ver. 16.
Philipp. chap. 2. ver. 6.
procure for us a simple pardon without more ado; but must be a "propitiation" for our sins, and redeem us by fine and "ransoma:" and so not only be the master of our requests, to intreat the Lord for us; but also take upon him the part of an "advocate"" to plead full satisfaction made by himself, as our "suretys," unto all the debt wherewith we any way stood chargeable. Now the satisfaction which our surety bound himself to perform in our behalf, was a double debt: the principal and the accessory. The principal debt is obedience to God's most holy law, which man was bound to pay as a perpetual tribute to his Creator, although he had never sinned; but, being now by his own default become bankrupt, is not able to discharge in the least measure. His surety therefore being to satisfy in his stead, none will be found fit to undertake such a payment, but he who is both God and
Man it is fit he should be, because man was the party that by the articles of the first covenant was tied to this obedience; and it was requisite that, "ast by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man likewise many should be made righteous." Again, if our Mediator were only God, he could have performed no obedience, the Godhead being free from all manner of subjection: and if he were a bare man, although he had been as perfect as Adam in his integrity, or the angels themselves; yet being left unto himself amidst all the temptations of Satan and this wicked world, he should be subject to fall, as they were: or if he should hold out, as "the" elect angels" did; that must have been ascribed to the grace and favour of another: whereas the giving of strict satisfaction to God's justice was the thing required in this behalf. But now being God as
Pixaoμòs. Rom. chap. 3. ver. 25. 1 John, chap. 2. ver. 2. and chap. 4. ver. 10. 9 λύτρον ἀντι πολλῶν. Matth. chap. 20. ver. 28. ἀντίλυτρον ὑπὲρ πάνSee Job, chap. 33. ver. 24.
1 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 6.
Heb. chap. 7. ver. 22.
well as man, he by his own "eternal" Spirit" preserved himself without spot: presenting a far more satisfactory obedience unto God, than could have possibly been performed by Adam in his integrity.
For, beside the infinite difference that was betwixt both their persons, which maketh the actions of the one beyond all comparison to exceed the worth and value of the other: we know that Adam was not able to make himself holy; but what holiness he had, he received from him who created him according to his own image: so that whatsoever obedience Adam had performed, God should have eaten but of the fruit of the vineyard which himself had planted; and "of his own" would all that have been, which could be given unto him. But Christ did himself sanctify that human nature which he assumed, according to his own saying, "For their sakes I sanctified myself:" and so out of his own peculiar store did he bring forth those precious treasures of holy obedience, which for the satisfaction of our debt he was pleased to tender unto his Father. Again, if Adam had done all things which were commanded him, he must for all that have said: "I am an unprofitable servant; I have done that which was my duty to do." Whereas in the voluntary obedience, which Christ subjected himself unto, the case stood far otherwise.
True it is, that if we respect him in his human nature, "his Father is greater than he ;" and he is his Father's "servant:" yet in that he said, and most truly said: "that God was his Father," the Jews did rightly infer from thence, that he thereby "made himself equal with God;" the Lord of Hosts himself hath proclaimed him to be the man that is his fellow." Being such a man therefore, and so highly born, by the privilege of his
Heb. chap. 9. ver. 14.
1 Chron. chap. 29. ver. 14, 16.
a Luke, chap. 17. ver. 10. Esai. chap. 53. ver. 11. John, chap. 5. ver. 18.
* 1 Cor. chap. 9. ver. 7.
2 John, chap. 17. ver. 19.
Matt. chap. 12. ver. 18.
e Zach. chap. 13. ver. 7.