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duly; we read there, that all the congregation murmured against Moses and Aaron: Aaron was the High Priest: and, says the text, “all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.” They had murmured against Moses and Aaron. Then, at the 46th verse, “ Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, put fire therein from off the altar, put on incense, go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord, the plague is begun.” And see what Aaron did : “ And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation, and behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed.” They had sinned against Aaron the high priest, and yet Aaron (but the typical high priest, he was but a type of Christ) he ran in, although they had sinned against him, and he stood between the dead and the living, and made an atonement for them. Oh! if there was so much bowels of compassions in the type, in Aaron, when they had sinned against him, as to go and intercede for them: how much more is there in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the typified High Priest, to poor souls, to intercede for them. But now, this may
be more fully made out to us, if we do but take in the third thing, and that is: The Lord Jesus Christ, he is infinitely willing to intercede for us. We have seen who those are unto whom the intercession of Christ belongs: namely, such as have had any fellowship with God the Father, or with Christ: such as do believe, or shall hereafter believe : and all those poor transgressors that come unto God the Father by Christ. Now observe, how infinitely willing the Lord Jesus Christ is to intercede for us that are thus : that will appear thus :
First, He must needs be willing to do that which he hath received his anointing for. It is said of Aaron that he was anointed; and that ointment ran down upon his beard, and unto the skirts of all his garment : not a piece of Aaron's garment but was perfumed with the ointment that Aaron was anointed with. Surely there is not a skirt of the garment of Jesus Christ, but the anointment wherewithal he, our
High Priest was anointed, does run down upon him. He is the Messiah, the anointment: so he is called in the xth of Isaiah. The anointment. He was anointed with the oil of gladness above all his fellows: above all the high priests that ever were before him. And he was anointed for this very end, that he might do the work of the high priest; which is, to intercede for the sins of the people. And therefore in that place in John, 1st Epis. ii. 1, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ." Christ signifies anointed. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father: but who is that? he is Jesus, that signifies your Saviour, and so he is willing to intercede. Aye, but it may be he is not able to do it, it may be he hath not received the anointing to do it. Yes, he is called Christ. “ If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ:" or, if you will, Saviour, Anointing. So that he is anointed for this end and purpose, to be your Advocate. Now if a man do receive money for to lay out for the benefit of others, poor orphans, or the like; if a man be faithful, certainly he will lay out the money for them, according to the intention of him that did trust him with the money. The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath received the anointing, he is anointed as our great High Priest, to do the work of the priestly office: and this is one work, to intercede, and therefore he must needs be very willing to do it.
Again, the more any thing is the work of a man's relation, wherewithal he is clothed, the more (if he be faithful) is he willing to do the work. And I pray mind it a little. When men are exalted, and come to greatness or honor, then they give down the comforts of their relation unto those that depend upon them: if a father come to any great preferment, the comfort of the relation of the father then falls down upon the children, runs down then upon the fruit of his loins. And so, if one friend do come unto preferment, the comfort of the relation (or friendship) falls down. Now the Lord Jesus Christ, he is our High Priest; and he is now exalted, he is gone to heaven: and therefore all the comforts of all the relations that he stands in towards us, do now fall upon
And therefore he is willing, he is very willing, because this is the work of his relation.
And further, It is the work of his office. What a man
does by office, that he does willingly; what a man does by office, he does industriously, he does not do it by the by: what a man does by office, he does it readily; according unto a man's place, or office, so will his interpretation be. Suppose now a child that hath very good parts, come before three men, of three several professions; a lawyer, a minster, and a merchant. The child having very good parts; the merchant says, he will make a very good merchant; the lawyer says, he will make a very good lawyer: and the minister says, he will make a very good scholar: according to their three relations, or places, or office, or work, their interpretation is. So now, if three men, of three several trades, whose work lies about wood, come and behold a fine green tree: one man says, it is good for this : and another says,
it is good for that: and the third says, it is good for another use: according to his place and calling will his interpretation be. So now, when a poor soul comes before God: Moses (the law) looks upon him: and the devil looks upon him: and Jesus Christ looks upon him: the work of the law is to condemn; the work of the devil to accuse; and the work of Jesus Christ is to intercede, it is the work of his office. Now therefore, as soon as the devil sees such a soul, Oh, says he, here is a fine instrument for me, here is a fit subject for me to enjoy. As soon as Moses sees this man, Here is a fine subject for me to condemn unto all eternity. But when Jesus Christ looks upon such a soul, says he, Here is a fine soul for me to save unto all eternity, to intercede for! Why? Because it is his office, and what a man does by office, he interprets accordingly. Therefore what the Lord Jesus Christ does, he does by office, and he does it readily and willingly. And I will give you one demonstration of it; it was the end why Jesus Christ was taken into heaven, into the holy of holiest: that he might intercede. According to scriptures mentioned before, in Heb. ix. 24: “ For Christ is not entered into holy places made with hands, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” He does not say thus, Christ is now gone to heaven, to be glorified there; Christ is now gone to heaven, to enjoy the bosom of his father, for his own happiness. No, but he is gone into heaven to appear in the presence of God for
This is the end of his ascension. And so again in the
viith of the Hebrews : 6 Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us." What! is he in heaven to be glorified there? No, but the end why Christ is in heaven, is to make intercession for poor sinners : and therefore, he must needs be infinitely willing to do this, because it is the end of his going thither into the holy of holiest. Oh therefore be of good comfort, all you that do come unto God by him, for he is willing to intercede for you. And let not any thing discourage you. It may
be you will complain, and say, Oh! but I am much opposed here in this world. What matter, so long as Jesus Christ does intercede for me in heaven, and speaks good words unto God the Father for me in heaven; what though I be opposed by men ? It may be you will complain, and say, Oh! but I am much tempted, and cannot pray. Be humbled for it; but yet know this, that when you cannot pray, Christ prays for you; and he prays that you may pray.
you complain, and say, Oh! but I labour under such and such corruptions, and the devil he is busy with me, exceeding busy, and I cannot overcome them: and the devil stands at my right hand for to tempt me, and to lead me into such and such sins. Well, be it so, yet, notwithstanding the Lord Jesus Christ, he is at the right hand of our Father, and he is set down at the right hand of God the Father, till all his enemies be made his footstool; and your sins are his enemies: and therefore be of good comfort, O all ye people of the Lord. Is there ever a poor myrtle tree, a soul that grows in a bottom, in a poor dark condition? be of good comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, he is entered into heaven, into the holy of holiest, there to intercede with God the Father for thee.
Aye but, you will say unto me, Does not this conduce to our grace and holiness too ? and how does it do it?
This intercession of Jesus Christ; this work of the priestly office of Christ, and the consideration thereof, it does conduce exceedingly unto our grace and holiness. For,
First, what a mighty encouragement is here unto all poor sinners, for to come unto Jesus Christ. 66 He ever liveth to make intercession for those that come unto God by him.” Oh! then, who would not come unto God by Christ? who would not come unto Jesus Christ ? Methinks a poor sinner
were so great, that I was afraid for to come unto God; but now I hear that the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven, to make intercession for all those that come unto God by him, though I have been a drunkard, now I will go unto God by Christ; and though I have been a swearer, and though I have been an unclean wanton, yet I will go unto God by Christ. Indeed I thought that my time was past, for I have been an old swearer, and I have been an old drunkard, and I have been an old Sabbath-breaker, and I have been a sinner so long, that I was even afraid of going to God at all, and thought there was no mercy, nor no pardon for me: but seeing now that this is true, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven to make intercession for all those that come unto God by him, well, through the Lord's grace, now I will go unto the Lord Christ, I will go unto Jesus Christ. I indeed am a young man, and I thought it was to no purpose to go unto God, God would not regard poor ignorant ones, and I am a poor ignorant creature, and thought it was to no purpose for me to go unto God. But now I understand this, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven to make intercession for all those that come unto God by him ; well then, though I am ignorant, yet will I go unto God by Christ; and though I am but a poor young thing, and scarce understand the terms of religion, yet will I go unto God by Christ. Oh! come unto Christ, come unto Christ. Behold here, in the name of the Lord, I stand and make invitation to poor sinners. Come, poor drunkard, swearer, Sabbath-breaker, unclean heart, the Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven to make intercession for all that come unto God by him; and will not you come? Oh, how will you answer it at the great day! when it shall be said, The Lord Jesus Christ made a tender and offer of mercy to you, and
you would not accept of it, you would not come unto him. Here is matter of great encouragement unto all poor sinners to come unto Jesus Christ.
Again, secondly, the more I apprehend or see with a spiritual eye that the Lord Jesus Christ does appear in heaven for me, the more am I engaged to appear upon earth for him. Mark, I pray, that you may see how this does conduce unto grace and holiness. Ah! shall the Lord Jesus Christ appear in heaven, before saints and angels and God