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peace between God and inners : Lule, xix. ro. * For the Son of man is come to seek and to fave that which was lost.” O! may not his errand make him a welcome meslenger to the world ? If we will not receive him on this errand, we are self-destroyers a second time, who having first given ourselves a dreadful wound, in the next place reject the Saviour, the Physician sent to us.-Consider,
(4.) The work he was sent upon for this end ;. doing-work, suffering-work. His doing-work we have in our text, it will be pleasing and acceptable to sensible finners. His fuffering-work was hard work, but was a necessary foundation for the other. He preached good tidings, but he brought them from his own death. He bindeth up the brokenhearted, but the healing medicine is his own blood; he proclaims deliverance, but the ransom was his own life.--- Consider,
(5.) Whence and whither he was sent; from the Father's borom to this earth, where he was entertained with all evil treatment, till they nailed him to a cross, and he was buried in a grave, Phil. ii. 6.--8. He was sent from the regions of bliss to this lower world, and refused not the journey; he was sent from the halleluiahs of angels, to endure the contradiction of finners against himself. And when he is come, will we not receive him?
Lastly, Consider the necellity of this mission: Pfal. xl. 6. “ Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire ; mine ears hast thou opened ; burnt-offerings and sin-offerings halt thou not required; then said I, Lo! I come.” The world had universally perished without remedy if he had not come. He bare up the pillars thereof, and warded off the blow of justice, by laying his own neck on the block.And now that he is come, he must be embraced
and improved, else we perish ; for, Acts, iv. 12. “ Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” There is no other salvation to look to: Heb. ii. 3, “How then shall we escape, if we neglect so great falvation ?" --I shall now go on to illustrate very briefly,
DOCTRINE II. That the work upon which the
Mediator was sent forth, neceffarily required the fulness of the Spirit to be lodged in him.
In illustrating this, all that I intend is, To confirm the point briefly, and then conclude with a very short improvement.
To confirm this point, we need do no inore but give a short account of Christ's Mediatory work.
1. Christ is the Days-man betwixt God and sin·ners. He was employed to take cognisance of the difference betwten the two parties, to decide who it was had done the wrong, and on what terms they might be reconciled. Hence we read, John, v. 22. “ For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son.” He has framed the covenant of reconciliation, as Mediator between the parties : Song, iii. 9. “ King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon.” In him is found what Job so much defired, Job, ix. 33. “ a days-man to lay his hands upon both;" namely, to keep the diffenting parties afunder, left they should fall foul of one another. This the Mediator had to do; this he did when he timeously stept in betwixt an offended God and guilty sinners, like the ram caughtinthe thicket, when Isaac was lying bound on the altar, which stopped the execution, and held the hand of justice, Psal. vi. 7. (quoted above).--He is a days-man, to keep
them together, left they should quite seperate, and the reconciliation of the parties blow up. Thus Christ deals with finners, who otherwise would run away from God, and never come in terms with him. Thus he did with our first parents, whom he brought out of their hiding-place, to set matters on a new footing.
2. He is the Messenger that goes betwixt the parties, intimating the mind of the one to the other, in order to make reconciliation. And in this respect Mofes was a typical mediator : Deut. v. 5. “ I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lord; for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount.” So Christ is called the Messenger of the covenant, Mal. iii. 1. He brings the Lord's mind to poor finners, unfolds the thoughts of love which were from eternity in his breast: John, i. 18. “ No man hath seen God at any time, the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Thus he brings down the covenant out of the register of heaven, and proclaims it to rebels : And if there be any among them content to come into it, and who accept of it, he reports their acceptance to his Father : John, xvii. 8. “ For I. have given unto them the words which thou gaveft unto me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me.”
3. He is a Surety betwixt the parties, and there. fore is called the surety of a better testament, Heb. vii. 22.; engaging and taking burden upon him on their behalf, that so the peace may be firm and. lasting.--Christ, the Mediator, is surety, for man to God. In the first covenant, man had no surety for himself; and there needed none. He was able to do all that was required of him ; for he was in
good case, there was no flaw in his estate; but in his fallen state, God would not take his word, nor his most folemn engagement; it behoved him to have a surety to undertake for him, and that both by way of satisfaction and caution. Man was broken, was drowned in debt which he never would be able to pay, and so he needed a surety to make satisfaction, who should be able, and would engage himself to pay the debt. Christ the Mediator then became surety for the broken man, undertook to pay all his debt, gave in his bond for it in the covenant of redemption, which the Father accepted : Psal. Ixxxix. 19. “I have laid help upon one that is mighty;" he engaged body for body, life for life, like Judah for Benjamin, Gen. xliii. 9. ; in the fulness of time he paid the debt, and got up the discharge at his own resurrection from · the dead. Man was false and fickle, and not to be trusted; so needed a cautioner who would bind for his good behaviour. Christ became cautioner for the poor prodigals, engaging himself that they shall consent to the covenant: John, vi. 37. “ All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me : and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out." And that having consented, they shall hold by it, and never' fall away totally and finally : Jonn, x. 28. “ And I will give unto them eternal life, and, they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand.” By his Spirit of faith and holiness, which he puts in them, he accordingly fecures them. He is also surety for God to man. He undertook that God's part of the covenant shall be punctually fulfilled to us: 2 Cor.i. 20.“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, to the glory of God by us.” It is true, the infinite veracity and power of the principal leaves no need
of a surety, in respect of himself ; but poor guilty finners, sensible of their own unworthiness, are timorous, misbelieving, distrustful creatures; and therefore, that they may be helped to believe, there is a surety of their own nature, even the man Christ Jesus, granted unto them. That all the promises of God in the covenant, shall be fulfilled to those who come into it, he has completely ensured. He has given his cautionary word : John, v. 24. “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and belicveth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life.” He hath given his Spirit as the earnest and feal of the promises, Eph. i. 13. “ In whom also, after ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchafed poffefsion, unto the praise of his glory.” He has given them the first-fruits of the Spirit in themselves, Rom. viii. 23. He has also given them the Sacrament. He has gone to death with it, *saying, “ This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins," Matth. xxvi. 28.
4. He is an Interceffor betwixt the parties: Isa.liii. 12. « He makes intercession for the transgressors.” He, by his intereit, manages betwixt the Lord and poor finners, to set matters right, and keep them so. This is that which relates to the application of - his redemption, and puts life in the Mediator's death, that it may be efficacious to his chosen ones. As the High-Priest appeared in the holy of holies, presenting ihe blood of the sacrifice to the Lord; so does Christ appear in heaven to intercede for those for whom he has died. And he intercedes, -as a Peace-maker, who actually makes peace betwixt God and every believing finner: Hence, Heb.xii.24.