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nueth for ever, having an unchangeable priesthood, Heb. vii. 24. He will eternally represent his own sacrisice as the foundation of our eternal glory; and as for his kingdom, it is an everlasting kingdom, that shall not be destroyed, Dan. vii. 14. Let us,
4. Attend to his Mediatorial sovereignty. He hath the keys of hell and death. He hath all power over the present and suture worlds. Hell and death are terrible to the believer; but Christ holds the keys of both. He went down to the grave, opened the door, and brought the keys away with him. None go to hell but whom he sends there, and consequently the keys of heaven are in his hand; which is here also understood. He has " all power in heaven and earth," Matth. xxviii. 18. Of this, Joseph's exaltation in Egypt was a type, Gen. xli. 40. And these keys are the purchase of his blood, Phil. ii. 8. 9. "Because he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name. which is above every name," &c.
Now, these things, the death, resurrection, lise, and power of Jesus, may be considered three ways, in order to improve them for consolation to the saints. (1.) As patterns and examples. It is the ordinary way of distressed persons, to conclude there is no sorrow like their sorrow; and if ye can satisfyingly answer that ordinary question of theirs, Was there ever any in my case that got sasely out of it? you will do much to allay their grief, and raise their hopes. Thus we sind the apostle improving the sufferings and glory of Christ, Heb. xii. 3. " For consider him," fays he, " that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, kst yc be wearied, and faint in your minds." Yea,
Jesus himself says, Rev. iii. 21. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne." (2.) As pledges, assuring the saints of what they wish for. Thus the apostle improves the resurrection of Christ, to assure believers they shall not lie ever consuming in a grave, but shall be raised up to glory. Christ says he is risen from the dead, the sirst-fruits of those that flept, 1 Cor. xv. 20.; and Jesus tells us, that his lise is a pledge of ours: "Because I live, ye shall live also," John xiv. 19. (3.) As containing in them sussicif nt salves for all their sores. Thus are these the magazine of the saint's consolation, his wounds are the clefts of the rock, wherein the poor creature may sasely hide itself. Only bruise the spices, pour out the ointment, consider them in their nature and effects, and assuredly they will send forth a pleasant smell, sussicient to revive and comfort a fainting soul. We are now,
II. To point out the nature of that consolation which saints may derive from these. For this purpose, let us take a view of the fountains of their sears and distrust.
i. There is the supereminent glory and insinite majesty of the great God. This, when seen and considered by poor worm man, whose habitation is in the dust, is a great source of sear. This made John fall down at his seet as dead. Who can behold the glorious majesty upon this earth, and not be ready to dwindle into nothing? How do some tremble at the view of their sellow-creatures exalted above them in power and dignity! But O what a vast disproportion betwixt God and the greatest monarch! This challenges our lear indeed, but the saints ought not to let it degenerate into flavish
fear. God has vailed his throne in the heavens, he spreads his cloud upon it, Job xxvi. 9. This is the common benesit of mankind upon this earth. But the saints have another ground of consolation. in the text; and that is the death of Christ, wherein we behold God incarnate, God made flesh, God in our nature. Can ye not look straight forward to divine majesty, then setch a compass, and look through the vail of the flesh of Christ, and so ye may see God, and not die. "Often and willingly," said Luther, "would I thus look at God." 2. Sin is another fountain of sear; sinsulness considered with the nature of God. Here the sinner sirst sees guilt in himself, and justice in God, which two together make a very frightsul spectacle. It is the nature of guilt to bind over to punishment, and of justice to inflict it; so that guilt is a great source of sears. But sear not, O Christian; Christ was dead, and is alive for evermore; therefore the guilt that exposes to hell-sire is doræ away. Thou mayest indeed be guilty, so as to bring upon thee fatherly chastisements for your amendment, but thou art not liable to eternal plagues. You may plead not guilty to the charges of the law as a covenant of works: "For if God be for us, who can be against us ?" Rom. viii. 31. Upon the cross there were two crucisied, the Son of God, and the law of God. But the Son of God, by his becoming dead, bruised to death the law as a covenant of works, in respect of believers. He took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross, ColofT. ii.-14. Therefore the law, our sirst huf-' band, being dead, our relation to it is dissolved, and we are legally married to Christ, who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Justice is satissied. .No flaming sword stands any more to guard the tree of lise.
The The storm hath exhausted itself upon Christ; sear not, but come forward. He died in our room. Justice exacted, and he answered. Fear not old accounts, for God spared not his own Son. A thousand may fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right-hand, by the stroke of justice, but it shall not come nigh thee. Do ye doubt the completeness of the satisfaction ? 'Behold Christ in heaven, with the complete discharge in his hand. He is out of prison. He brought the keys with him, and is now on the throne. Everlasting righteousness is brought in, and it is put on thee by him. He is made of God unto you righteousness. Your own is only silthy rags; but that which is imputed unto you will abide the judgement of God, and endure for ever.—Bus
3. The sinner sees pollution in himself, and holiness in God. When they behold the spotless purity of God, and themselves as an unclean thing, they are ready to fay, O will God look on vile me? will these pure eyes cast a favourable glance on such a dunghill-worm? Fear not, Christ •was dead, and is alive. He is made of God unto you sanctisication. Thou hast some grace amidst a heap of corruptions. Though thou seest not what a lustre this casts within thee, yet God sees it: "The king's daughter is all glorious within," Psal. xlv. 13. But look to your outer garments, which are of wrought gold, they will hide all your deformities. Though you are, in respect of inherent grace, but fair as the moon, yet your imputed righteousness is clear as the sun.—To this some may object, "I am guilty of gross sins, and that even since the Lord began to deal with me." Fear not, Christ died; and if so, God died for your sins, If he was God who died, when he was pouring out his blood, he knew all the sins you would be
guilty of, even aster your conversion. He did not shed his blood in vain, and therefore in his death he had even these in his view; and will not the blood of God be able to expiate the grossest sins? It cleanseth from all sin. Remember also, he is alive evermore to intercede for you: "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with she Father," John ii. I. If his blood was sufficient for expiation, his intercession cannot but be prevalent.—" But I may fay, I sin evermore, and that breaks my foul." tear not, Christ lives evermore; and, if ye believe the apostle, it is to make intercession for you. If Christ lives evermore, ye shall not sin evermore: For he will not thus live alone without you; where he is, there you shall be also, John xvii. 24.—" But the sin of my nature lies nearest my heart: I am just a lump of hell, and a mass of sin. Acts of sin are transient, but this is permanent, and I cannot be freed of it." Fear not: Christ died, and therefore, though it may make your way to heaven difsicult, yet ye shall never be condemned for it. Nay, good news, O believer! with the death of Christ sin got a fatal wound: Your old man was crucisied with him, that the body.of sin might be destroyed, Rom. vi. 6. You wonder it is so troublesome; but why do ye do so? The old man is mortally wounded; and can you think he will groan out his lise in silence, and not move a tongue against Christ? But as surely as Christ came not down from the cross till he breathed out his last, so surely shall the body of death in you be destroyed. 3. Desertions are a cause of sears. The deserted soul is an. affrighted soul.—Say some, " Christ is withdrawn from me: My sun has gone down: Nothing now but darkness and consusion: I can see no evidences of the Lord's love to me: I may fay as Job, ch. xxiii. 8.9. " I go forward arid backward,