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wit, mediatorial worship, baptism, the Lord's Supper, and keeping holy the sabbath, they are things so valuable and excellent, that it is impossible for a reason well fixed on the foundation of religion, to quarrel with Christianity on account of these positive dutys. We will consider them, if you please.
As to the christian mediator, it signifys, in of the first place, a reconciler between Goddia and a sinful world, by declaring the mind of God in the gospel, which is the rule of reconciliation, that is, indemnity upon repentance and amendment, and therefore, one of the apostles fays, God reconciled the world to, himself by Jesus Christ and his apojlles, not1% imputing their trespasses to them (a).
(a) I must observe to you, Jewks, that although what Mrs. Bcnloiv fays in the next place is very reasonable, well thought, and may be the truth of the cafe; and that a very valuable writer in his fine paraphrase on the Romans, in his excellent book, called, The scripture doclrine of originalsm, and bis scripture account osaton,tment, (pieces well worth your purchasing) hath come into this way of thinking, and both written with great judgment and accuracy upon the subject; 1 mean Mr. Taylor os Norwich, to whom the world is under very great obligations for his most excellent and delightful work, the Hebrew concordance adapted to the Englijh Bible; the second volume of which is with impatience expected by all true friends to Biblial learning; yet what Mrs. Benlow hath in the first place fayed, is a good scripture-account of the christian mediator. There Is no fancy in it.
. In the next place, that the mercy of God in pardoning might be consistent with the honor of his righteous laws, and rectoral goodness might adt with prudence and caution, not simply, immediately, and unconditionally, because that would not be proper j it was the appointment of supreme wif» dom, that the blood of Christ mould be esteemed pretious, and his perfect character of all virtue and righteousness be considered as an atonement. It was ordained, that his unblemished virtue and steady obedience, even to death upon the cross, in defence of truth and goodness, and for the advancement of whatsoever is noble, generous, and praise-worthy, should be the basis of the divine mercy, that is, the mercy-feat from whence the divine favor was to flow. There is no equivalent in this. No infinite satisfaction. No vicarious punishment. No commutation for the death of the nocent. There is no second person of a trinity slaughtered here to satisfy the justice of a triune deity. The blessed God and Father of mercys does only shew by this institution, that virtue wins the prize. God fixes the throne of his grace upon the worthyness of Jesus Christ, and thereby declares, that the way for us to receive immortal glory, is to imitate, to our power, the exemplary piety and perfect obedience of our
Lord. Lord. To reason this appears the most excellent method for the recovery of finners. The governor of the universe, in this way, makes his pardon contribute to the advancement of goodness. The scheme confirms our hope in God, by mewing us the divine compassion and tenderness, in this instituted memorial of his forgiving us; and the term upon which he does forgive us, shews the excellence and necessity of true holyness, and disposes to universal obedience. The slatuted appointment of mercy rejoyces us, and in our greatest troubles supports us. . The example of duty and goodness for our imitation, in the life and death of Jesus, is, like the marching pillar of fire, to lead us to the regions of immortality and day. And therefore it is, that we pray in the name of our great legislator, that is, as the goodness and obedience of Christ hath been declared the ground of remission of fin, and of eternal redemption j we ask the Father almighty in the spirit of truth and holyness, and may expect to be heared as the disciples of Jesus, if we walk in wisdom, harmless and blameless, shining as lights in the world, in the midst o/'Phii. u. ,s. a crooked and perverse generation; that is, if we believe and obey the gospel, which entitles us to that remission of sins which Christ received authority from God to declare. In
short, the wise and righteous governor of the world was pleased to call the virtue and obedience of Christ satisfaction, and to make the death he suffered by the hands of wicked men, in the ordinary course of things, the foundation of a new covenant. The consequence was, that in order to our obtaining a happy and glorious immortality, nothing farther was required of us than to comply with those terms of holynefs which the gospel has delineated, and which the grace of God will render possible to those who give all diligence to add virtue to virtue. 'The Spirit of God, the spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, the comforter, are abundantly sufficient for this purpose j and by such like phrases the gospel means assistance; that is, given strength and firmness of mind, generous principles and sentiments, resolutions and desires influencing the mind, and all our conduct. All this offers no violence to reason. It is perfectly consonant to it.
In the last place, by the appointed mediator, a stop is for ever put to idolatry, while the gospel is strictly regarded, and made the sole rule of our religion. For by the positive order of the most high God, no being is to act or interfere between the Creator and his creature man, as viceroy or supernal, whom we are to regard, but Jesus the reconciler, the redeemer, our constituted king and judge under the supreme Being. This first born of every creature, in his high capacity or character of the word and reconciler, is the only one of all the beings produced by God that we are to address ourselves to and glorify. This is a positive command. Woe to them that break it. And that we might not err in our address, or assigning honor to this Being, we are farther told in the sacred letters in what manner we are to apply ourselves to him, and worship him. We are there ordered to give him mediatorial worship, that is, to honor and glorify him as the word and reconciler, in proportion to what his grand character deserves j and through his mediation, in his name, to offer our prayers and praises to the supreme Father, and author of all things; beseeching the Lord Jesus, whose worthyness hath been ordained a propitiation for our sin, (for the advanancement of virtue, as before observed) to present, as our High-Priest, our prayers, offerings and intercessions to the supreme God. Thus is the divine unity preserved, and the honor due to the peerless majesty of the blessed God secured. Idolatry is for ever excluded, and the purest religion that infinite wisdom could contrive, is established. We have but one God, the Father of all, and to him alone