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the Lord your God raise up
ye him. And now here, in the xviith of Matthew, at the transfiguration, Moses and Elias appeared, which they did not in the iiird of Matthew.
First, consider that the emphasis may lie upon the word hear, and not upon the word him, only : “ This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased : hear ye him;" his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And Christ appeared in great glory, and they stood looking upon him; nay (says the Lord from heaven) do not make it a gazing matter, but hear him: do not stand looking upon him, but hear him. He does not appear in such a glory in the iiird of Matthew, when he was baptized; and therefore those words are not added there.
But again, here now in the xviith chapter of Matthew, at the transfiguration, appear Moses, and Elias.
Behold (at the iiird verse) “ There appeared unto them, Moses and Elias talking with him.” Moses that gave the law; Elias that restored it. “ Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus; Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” Peter and so the rest of the disciples, began for to equalize Moses to Jesus Christ: one for Moses, and one for Elias, and one for Jesus Christ; no more for Christ than for Moses. Now the Lord takes Peter off from all his mistakings: Your
upon Moses (saith he) but I (saith the Lord God Almighty) am well pleased in my Son : this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. I am well pleased with you, and with your duties, through this my Son, and not through Moses; and therefore hear Christ, and not Moses. He lays this in upon it, that therefore they should be evangelical, and hear Jesus Christ, because the Lord Christ gives acceptance unto all, and by him God is well pleased with them.
Again further, the more glory Christ does appear in, the greater reason there is why we should hear him. Now here the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in glory; his face did shine as the sun and his raiment was white as the light. In the iiird of Matthew, he was there baptized, and he did not appear in glory: but now here he appears in glory; and therefore says the Lord, now hear him ; this is your glorious
Saviour, hear him. Beloved ! what greater glory can Jesus Christ appear to your souls in, than this, the glory of his love? he takes every one of your duties, and your prayers, and he carries them into the bosom of God the Father, and by him you have acceptance. Oh! what a glorious Saviour have ye! therefore hear him : this is that, if anything, will make ye very obedient to Christ, more than to Moses, to be evangelical in all your duties.
Yet further, the more a man can rejoice in spiritual privileges with humility; and the more humble a man is, and yet can rejoice in his spiritual privileges, the more holy he is: there goes a great deal of holiness to it, to join these two together: for a man to rejoice in his spiritual privileges and yet to be humble: and to walk very humbly. Some there are, that look upon their spiritual privileges, and rejoice much; but they do not walk humbly: some labour to walk humbly, and are much troubled in the consideration of their own evil ; but they do not rejoice in their spiritual privileges. Give me a christian that doth both, and he is a blessed man.
The study of this truth that is now before you, will teach you to do both, to do both together : for, what a great privilege is this, not a sigh, not a groan, not a duty, but the Lord Christ takes it, and carries it in, and presents it to God the Father for me, whereby I have acceptance ? Considering this; here is matter of much joy and rejoicing. Aye but, it is Christ that does it; there is no such worthiness in mine own duty; it were lost, and cast away, if Jesus Christ did not take it in his hand, and carry it into the bosom of God the Father, and therefore, why should I not walk humbly.
I conclude all with this, if that the Lord Jesus Christ our great High Priest, offers up all our gifts unto God the Father, whereby we have acceptance: what infinite cause have we all to be thankful to God for Christ, and to love Jesus Christ for ever!
Suppose one of you had been among the disciples, when the Lord Christ washed his disciples' feet; and he should have come, and washed your feet, and have done it; would not your heart have glowed with love to Jesus Christ? Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ washed his disciples' feet, it was in the days of his flesh, when he was here on the earth : but
now he is in glory, and yet for all this, he takes your dirty prayers, and does (as it were) wash the feet of your prayers, that he may present them to God the Father: he washes your tears over again in his blood, and presents them to God the Father: he takes all your duties, and perfumes them with his intercessions, and so presents them unto God the Father. Oh! what cause have we to love Jesus Christ! that never loved Christ, love him now; and you that loved him before, love him much more: you that fear the Lord, love the Lord : and let us all, even go away with our hearts warmed with this love, blessing and praising the name of the Lord,
And thus I have led you into a third work of our great High Priest, which is this, to offer up the gifts of the people unto God the Father : A fourth follows, &c.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him, to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to godliness, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”—HEB. II. 17, 18.
It hath been opened and applied, that the work of the high priest, was, and is, to satisfy for the sins of the people; to make intercession for them; and to offer up their gifts unto God the Father; all which Christ doth for us.
I shall speak of one work more of our great High Priest, and that is, to bless the people. We read in the Old Testament, of two sorts of high priests: one according to the order of Aaron the Levitical high priest, as I may so speak, and his work was, for to bless the people; as we may read in the vith chapter of Numbers, and the 23rd verse : “ Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them," &c. . There was another high priest; not according to this order of Aaron; and that was Melchisedec: and he also did bless Abraham. And the apostle speaking of him as a great type of, and in relation to Jesus Christ our great High Priest, in
the viith chapter of this book of the Hebrews, and the 6th verse, saith, that he blessed Abraham : “ But he whose descent is not counted from them, received tythes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises." So then this blessing of the people, being the work of both the high priests ; and both Aaron and Melchisedec being great types of Jesus Christ our High Priest; surely it must needs be one of the great works of our High Priest, for to bless the people.
For the opening and clearing up of this truth, I shall endeavour to discover :
First, What the blessing of Christ our High Priest is, wherein it consists, and what Christ doth, when he doth bless the people.
Secondly, That it belongs unto Jesus Christ especially, for to bless the people.
Thirdly, That our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High Priest is exceeding willing for to bless poor sinners; and that this blessing of the people, is a work whereunto he is much inclined, and wherein he is much delighted.
Fourthly, That he doth this, and doth it fully.
Fifthly, According to our method : how all this doth conduce unto our comfort, and unto our holiness.
First, If ye ask me, what the blessing of Christ, and of the gospel is; and wherein it consists?
I answer first in the general, That the blessing of the gospel, and of Christ, consisteth in spiritual things especially, and not in temporal. And therefore saith the apostle in that ist of the Ephesians, and the 3rd verse: “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us, with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.” The curse, and judgments of God, that do befal men now. under the gospel, are not in outward afflictions, and bodily troubles so much; as in spiritual miseries, blindness of mind, and hardness of heart : and so also on the contrary, the blessing of the gospel, doth not consist so much in outward things, as in spiritual; “ Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings.” Indeed, if we look into the Old Testament we shall find, that when Moses did bless the people, he blessed them much in temporal blessings. In the xxviiith of Deuteronomy, and the 2nd verse. “ All these things shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken to the
voice of the Lord thy God.” What blessings are those ? “ Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field : blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep: blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.” Thus he goes on in outward blessings. But now if we look into the gospel, and consider the blessings of Jesus Christ, and lay them together with Moses, we shall find them to be spiritual blessings. In the vth of Matthew, and the 3rd verse &c. 66 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven : blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted." Indeed the promise of the earth comes in at the 5th verse ;
but he returns again to spiritual blessings : “ Blessed are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.” Here are spiritual blessings'; this is the stream of the gospel, it runs this way. When the Lord blesseth a man, he gives him that which is suitable to him. In the times of the gospel, men are more spiritual than they were in the times of the law; therefore gospel-blessings, they are spiritual blessings. Every thing gives, and communicates to another, according to what it hath itself: the sun communicates light unto the world, because it hath light itself: and man communicates the nature of man unto his child, because he hath the nature of man himself. So our Lord Christ, when he blesses, he communicates according unto what he hath himself; and his blessings especially consisting in spiritual things, so he doth bless. Indeed, as in the times of the Old Testament there were spiritual blessings, that were mixed with temporal, by virtue of the covenant that was made with Abraham: so now, outward blessings are thrown in as an overplus : but yet notwithstanding, though they be not spiritual in their nature, they are spiritual in their end, and so it is true to say that the blessing of the gospel, and of Christ is a spiritual blessing.
But more particularly, if ye ask me wherein this consisteth? I shall name but two things :
First, This blessing of the gospel, or of Christ, it consists in a supernatural, and spiritual enjoyment of God in Christ : the love and favour of God in Christ. When the priests