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lution or uncleanness? His blood is the “Fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness to wash in.” Is sin called death? He is called Life. Is there ignorance in sin ? He is called our Prophet in opposition to that. Is there disorder in sin? In opposition to that he is called our King to order. Is there guilt in sin? In opposition to that he is called our Priest; he is called our Propitiation in that place of John: but in the ižird of the Romans, and the 25th verse, he is called our Propitiatory, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation,” so you read it, but rather, cacnpiov a propitiatory; the same Greek word that the Septuagint used for the Jews' propitiatory: and in that he is our Propitiation or Propitiatory; this speaks him a succouring Christ.
Famous was the succour and relief that the Jews had from their cities of refuge: and as if the Holy Ghost intended the confirmation of this truth that is now before us, those Hebrew names that were given to the cities of refuge are given to Christ. Is any of the cities of refuge called Kedesh ? signifying holy. He is called, Holy, holy, holy. Was another city called Shechem ? signifying shoulder : Upon his shoulder is the government; and the lost sheep brought home upon his shoulder. Is another city called Hebron? from society or fellowship: By him we have fellowship with the Father. Is another called Golan? signifying one revealed or manifested : It is said of him, He was manifested in the flesh. Is another city called Ramoth? things exalted : Him hath God exalted, and by him are all exalted. In the phrase of the New Testament, he is called our Father, and our Brother, and our Friend, and our Shepherd; a Hen, a Lamb, a Door: there are none of all his names, but speak him full of sweetness, and loving disposition, and succour unto poor souls.
But that I may the better clear up this truth I shall deliver myself these four ways.
First, That Jesus Christ is able to succour tempted souls.
Fourthly, How he doth it, in the day and time of their temptation; and so come to the application.
First, He is able to do it, he is able to succour them that are tempted. He is able (saith our apostle in that xviith of
the Hebrews) to save those that come unto God by him, he is able to save them to the uttermost: as Satan tempts to the uttermost he is able to save to the uttermost. And as they sin to the uttermost, he is able to save to the uttermost. A man is said to be able to do all that which he hath a commission, and power from God to do: the Lord Jesus Christ in the iiird of the Romans and the 25th was set forth to be a propitiation : “ Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation.” “ He hath laid help upon one that is mighty :” and that is Christ. Designed, and called he is to the office of the high priest. The proper work of the high priest's office was to condole with, relieve and succour the people against their sins; and the more eminent any high priest was, the more in this work. In the xviith of the Hebrews, we find all along, how abundantly he excels all the high priests that ever were. As for other high priests, they did not take an oath when they came into their office : but he swears.
Other high priests, had sins themselves to offer for : but he holy and separate from sinners. Other high priests died, and did not continue so for ever : but he “ liveth for ever to make intercession.” Other high priests offered not themselves : but he offered up himself. He was a king and a priest: they were not. They indeed entered into the holy of holiest, but it was earthy: he is gone into the holy of holiest and that is heavenly. They were but types of him, shadows : if a shadow fall upon a dirty ground, it cannot make it dry: but the sun can: and yet notwithstanding, these other high priests, the apostle saith of them, “ Being compassed about with infirmities; they could have compassion on those that are ignorant, and out of the way;" they men of infirmities, sin. ners; they in the time of the law : how much more is Jesus Christ able to succour, who is so transcendant an High Priest, and excelling all others that ever went before him. I will say nothing of the great power that he hath with the Father, or in his own hands : the keys of hell and death. He is able by conquest for to succour you that are tempted : he is able by conquest for to raise the seige that is laid against our souls; he hath beaten through the enemy: as now, if a town be beleaguered straitly, besieged by an enemy, and the enemy abroad in the field, having an army in the field : if any will come to raise the siege, they must fight through the
army, they must beat through the army before they can raise the siege. Never a tempted soul but is thus besieged with temptation, closely begirt, and the devils were abroad in the field, were masters of the field till Christ came: and no man, nor angel was able to beat through : but Jesus Christ beat up the quarters all along, beat through the enemy, cast out devils all along, overcame. Paul by being tempted overcame temptation. So by his dying he overcame death; and by taking our infirmities upon him, he overcame our infirmities; and by being subject to the law, he overcame the law, and the curse of the law: and so by being tempted, he overcame temptation; and having beaten the enemy out of the field he is now able to raise the siege ; he is absolutely able to raise the siege, which none else is able to do: he is able to save to the uttermost. We shall not need to stand long on this.
But you will say, secondly, We will grant Christ is able to succour tempted souls: but is he willing?
Yes, he is infinitely willing to succour poor tempted souls. Our great succour lies in reconciliation with God the Father; as by comparing these two verses together doth appear. God the Father hath set him forth to be a propitiation : it was the will of God the Father, that Jesus Christ should come and make propitiation, it was his will. Now, look into the xlth Psalm, and see what Christ saith concerning the will of the Father; verse the 7th. “ Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart:" some books read it, “ thy law is within my bowels :" thy law is within my heart, it is in my desires. Yea, not only, saith he, in my desires : but in the gospel we read it, with desiring have I desired to eat this passover, before he suffered. Desiring have I desired. And, saith he, “ I have a baptism to be baptized with, and I am straitened till it be accomplished :” I can have no rest till it be done, I am straitened till it be accomplished. Yea, not only so: but, saith he, here in this Psalm, “ I delight to do thy will :" it is the will of God he should make propitiation, and so succour: “I delight to do thy will.” And in the viïith of the Proverbs:
My delights are with the sons of men :" some read it, “ All my delight:” but it is in the plural number. When God laid the foundations of the earth my delights were with the
sons of men. A high, and a great expression. Surely, Jesus Christ cannot but he willing to succour tempted ones, when his delights are with the sons of men.
Again, a man must needs be willing to do that which he is willing to suffer much for, to be at much cost and pains for. David was willing to build the temple, because he laid out so much by way of preparation. And Araunah was willing to have a sacrifice, because he gave up his threshing ftoor: it appeared he was willing. And now then Jesus Christ is content to suffer so much that he may make a propitiation for sinners, and reconciliation with the Father and so succour; it argues that he is very willing.
Besides, a man is willing to have that done which he is much troubled for if it he not done. You know when Christ came to Jerusalem, he wept, says the text, and he wept : he came a succouring, and they would not be succoured ; “ How often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not.” A hen is a succouring creature: Christ came a succouring, came to gather them as a hen. A hen sits upon the eggs, and hatcheth with the warmth of her body : So doth Christ do with the warmth of his love. A hen sits until the feathers be off her own body, makes her own body naked for to hatch up: And so did Christ. When the chicken is hatched, she succours it, and covers it under her wings; and when the chicken can run abroad, let the hen find but a grain of corn, she clucks, and calls the chicken to her to have part of it: and so did Christ. And when danger comes, the kite comes, she calls the chicken under her wings again to succour it: So does Christ. When he says thus, He came to gather them as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, he came to succour them, but they would not be succoured; see how he takes it: the text says “He wept,” he was much troubled. Wise men do not use to weep
before company; children will : but those that are very wise, if they will weep, they weep in private. Jesus Christ (that was the wisdom of the Father) falls a weeping, and all because they would not be succoured. Surely then, Jesus Christ is very willing to succour poor sin
And beloved, this was his love, and this was his compassion in the day of his infirmity: how great is it now in the day of his glory!
Again, It argues that he is very willing to succour poor tempted souls, because he was so willing to cure diseased bodies; when he was upon the earth he was willing to cure them, so willing, as though it did cost a miracle, yet he would do it. So willing, that though they did not know him as he was, but thought him a prophet, yet he would do it. So willing, as that though they did not desire it themselves, but were brought by others, yet he would do it. So willing, as that though they were unmannerly in their coming to him, witness the pulling the tiles off the house, yet he would do it. And that so willing, though much unbelief expressed by those that were brought unto him, yet he would do it. I beseech you
consider it: this was a work that Christ came into the world to do; this is the work, the work that Christ came to do, it was to bind up broken hearts: the work that Christ came to do, was to open the prison doors to poor captives : “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (you know the place) to administer a word in due season to those that are weak. He hath given me the tongue of the learned to administer a word in due season to those that are weak. Now then, if Jesus Christ was so willing to do the other work which was but his work by the by, which was not the work that he did come about: how infinitely willing must he needs be to do the work that he did come about. But I say, to succour poor tempted ones, this was the work that he came upon; heaven hath not altered him, he hath lost none of his love by going thither : Surely therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ is infinitely willing to succour poor tempted souls.
Well, thirdly, But though he be able and willing, yet it may be he is not faithful.
Yes, saith the former verse, faithful ; merciful and faithful High Priest. Faithful in all his house as Moses was. What honest man will break his word? go contrary to his oath ? He is sworn into this office of the High Priest. Yea, we have not only his promise and his oath, but the Father's bond for the Son's performance : “ The seed of the woman shall break the serpent's head;" it shall bruise his heel, she shall break his head. The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. This is the work that is in his hand, to succour tempted ones : it shall prosper in his hand. In the viiith chapter of Matthew, we read there at the 16th verse, that