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the office of High Priest? Whatsoever comfort we have in the other offices of Christ, namely his kingly and his prophetical offices, it is all originated and principiated in this : the priestly office of Jesus Christ, it does give a life, and being, and efficacy to both the other offices. And therefore the high priest, in the times of the Old Testament, (who was a type of Christ) he wore a crown upon his head, and the breastplate of Urim and Thummim upon his breast: showing that both the other offices, the kingly and the prophetical office, were planted upon the priestly office of Jesus Christ.
Yea, if you look into the ist, iind, and iiird chapters of the Revelation, you will find, that whatsoever streams of comfort did run down upon the churches through the other titles and attributes of God, they are all fountained here. In the iind chapter and the 1st verse, the Lord Christ hath this title, that he holdeth the seven stars in his right hand! “ These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand.” In the 8th verse, writing unto the church of Smyrna, he takes up another title or attribute: “ These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive."
At the 12th verse, writing unto the church at Pergamus, he takes up another title : “These things saith he who hath the sharp sword with two edges.” Now look into the ist chapter, and you shall see that those several titles, wherewith he clothes himself when he speaks unto the churches severally, are all summed up together at the 16th
“ And he had in his right hand seven stars :" that is his title unto the church of Ephesus: “And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword;" that is his title unto the church of Pergamus. And at the 18th verse, “ I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore;" that is another title that he useth when he speaketh unto the church of Smyrna. But in the 13th verse is opened the fountain of all these streams: “ In the midst of the seven candlesticks, I saw one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” This was then the robe and attire of the High Priest: whose garment came down unto his feet, and he was girt about with a golden girdle. So that all these other attributes and titles of Christ, they have their rise
here; here is the spring-head of all those consolations, even the priestly office of Jesus Christ.
Usually those excellencies and attributes of Christ are most beneficial unto the saints, that are most opposed by the world. What title, attribute, or excellency of Christ is there, that is more invaded by the world, than the priestly office of Jesus Christ? What is the whole body of anti-christianism, but an invasion upon this priestly office of Christ? What is the popish mass (that unbloody sacrifice) but a derogation from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ once upon the so a derogation from his priestly office? What are all those popish penances, and satisfactions enjoined, but a derogation unto the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, and so unto the priestly office of Christ? What is all their praying to saints and angels, but a derogation unto the intercession of Jesus Christ, and so unto the priestly office of Christ? What does the Pope call himself? he calls himself the high priest, the very title that our Lord and Saviour takes unto himself. So that the whole body of anti-christianism, is a great invasion upon the priestly office of Jesus Christ. Now that which is usually opposed most by the men of the world, that excellency and that attribute of Christ is of all other the most comfortable and beneficial unto God's people. The truth is, this priestly office of Jesus Christ is an office of mere love, and tender compassion ; erected and set up on purpose for the relief of poor distressed sinners; and there is no mixture of terror with it: there is a mixture of terror with the other offices of Christ. The Lord Christ, he is King, and he hath a kingly office, and by his kingly office he rules over the churches, and rules over all the world : but all do not obtain mercy that he rules over. “As for those mine enemies, that will not submit, will not have me to reign over them, bring them, and slay them before me.” The prophetical office of Jesus Christ, it extendeth unto many that shall never be saved : “ Light shines in darkness, and darkness comprehendeth it not." 6 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” But now, wherever the priestly office of Jesus Christ is let forth upon a soul, that soul shall certainly be saved for ever.
What was the great relief amongst the Jews against their sins ? The Jews, you shall observe they had many reliefs :
when they were in the wilderness, and were stung with the fiery serpents, then they had a brázen serpent for to look upon, as a relief against that distress. When they wanted water, they had the water out of the rock, as a relief against that distress. When they wanted bread, they had manna from heaven, as a relief against that distress. But when they sinned, whither did they go ? Then they took a sacrifice, and went unto the priest, and he was to offer for them. So that the priestly office then, was the only relief they had against sin.
And so now, the priestly office of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is that great succour and relief which christians have against all temptations under heaven.
You will say unto me, But general things affect not: let us see it in some particulars, wherein this priestly office of Christ is the great magazine and storehouse of all our grace and comfort?
For answer hereunto, I will begin this exercise with one particular of the priestly office of Christ, in showing what a relief and succour it is unto a christian against all temptations, and what a bottom of comfort, and special means of grace and holiness.
The text says that the work of the high priest is, “ To make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” In the times of the Old Testament, the high priest made an atonement for the people: in case any man had sinned, he brought a sacrifice, and his sins were laid upon the head of the sacrifice. Once every year the high priest did enter into the holy of holiest, and with the blood of the sacrifice did sprinkle the mercy-seat, and laid the sins of the people upon the head of the scape-goat, and so made an atonement for the people. All which will clearly appear in that xvith chapter of Leviticus, at the 14th verse : “He shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercyseat eastward: and before the mercy-seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times.” And at the 21st “ And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon
the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, and
so he shall make an atonement:" as in that chapter. This was the work of the high priest, in case any had sinned, to make an atonement and satisfaction (by way of type) for the sins of the people.
Now for the better proof of this great gospel truth that I have
propounded, I shall insist on these five things. First, That when the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross, he did offer up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father.
Secondly, That when this sacrifice was upon the altar, then the sins of all believers, past, present, and to come, were all laid upon Jesus Christ.
Thirdly, That when these sins were thus laid upon Christ, he did thereby give full satisfaction unto God the Father, unto divine justice.
Fourthly, That all this he did as our great High Priest, and in a more transcendent, and eminent manner, than ever any high priest did before him.
Fifthly, How all this doth conduce to our comfort, and to our holiness.
First, When our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the cross, he did offer up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father. He did not (as the Socinians say) die only as an example for to teach us how to die; but he offered up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father then. Yea, as if all sacrifices were met in him; all those titles that are given unto other sacrifices, they are given unto him. There are three sorts of sacrifices: some were living; others were not living, and those were either solid, as bread and the like; or else they were liquid, as wine and oil. There was always, destructio rei oblatie, a destroying of the thing offered. If it were a living thing that was sacrificed, then it was said to be slain : in answer to that, Jesus Christ is said to be a Lamb slain from the beginning of the world. If it were a dead thing that was offered up, as bread, or corn, a solid thing, then the sacrifice or offering was said to be bruised: in answer to that, our Lord and Saviour Christ is said to be bruised for our iniquities. If it were a liquid thing that was offered up
to God, as wine or oil, then it was said to be poured out: in answer to this, it is said of our Lord and Saviour, that his soul was poured out unto death. Thus all sacrifices meeting in him. “ Behold the Lamb of God!” (says John the Bap
tist) when he saw Christ.
He does not say, Behold the bull of God, or the goat of God; and yet bulls and goats were sacrificed. Why does he rather say, Behold the Lamb of God, than the bullock or the goat? For when the high priest went into the holy of holiest, and sprinkled the mercyseat, he did not sprinkle the mercy-seat with the blood of the lamb, but with the blood of a goat; and yet, notwithstanding, it is not said, Behold the goat of God, but, Behold the Lamb of God! Why so ? Not only because that Christ was of a lamb-like and meek disposition (as some would have it): not only because that the great type of Christ was the paschal lamb (though these be reasons), but there was a daily sacrifice in the temple; whether men brought any offering or no, there was a standing sacrifice in the temple, morning and evening, and that sacrifice was a lamb. Now therefore, to shew that Jesus Christ is the daily sacrifice, therefore he cries out, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, and not the goat of God? for the goat was not sacrificed every day as the lamb
For proof of this take the apostle's exhortation, Eph. v. 2, “ Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God.” Here are three things considerable. First, He does not say, Who hath redeemed us; but to shew his great love unto us,
66 Who hath given himself for us:” he doth not say, Who hath given himself for our sins; yet he says so in Gal. i. 4, “Who gave himself for our sins ?” but, “Who gave himself for us.” Why? To shew who they were that he gave himself for: he gave
himself for us, as sinners. Again, he says here, he gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice; not only an offering, but a sacrifice too. So that this first proposition is clearly proved, That our Lord Jesus, when he died upon the cross, he did offer up himself as a sacrifice unto God the Father.
Secondly, As he did offer up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father, so when he was upon this altar, this sacrifice; the sins of all believers were then laid upon Jesus Christ: those that do now believe, or shall hereafter believe, they were all then laid upon Jesus Christ. Look into the ližird of Isaiah, verse 6, “ All we like sheep have gone astray, and have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath