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atonement for our guilt, and to open for us a passage to the mercy-seat; but that we, being assured of his perfect acquaintance with human infirmity, might have the most cheerful reliance upon his compassion and sympatby, and boldly approach the throne of grace, having such a friend to patronize us, and to plead our cause; “For we have not an High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
By such encouraging motives, my brethren, doth the apostle press the exhortation in my text.--“We have a great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God,” who offered up a sacrifice of infinite worth; not officiously or at random, but by the express appointment of his heavenly Father, and in consequence of a solemn agreement or covenant.--Tbis sacrifice was accepted for all the purposes for which it was intended; in testimony whereof our great High Priest hath “passed into the heavens;"> where, amidst all the splendours of his exalted state, he kindly remembers bis people upon earth, feels their infirmities, sympathizes with them in all their sufferings, and never ceaseth to make intercession for them. Have we not then reason to come boldly unto the the throne of gruce. that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
But, after all, it must be confessed, that in this, as in most other things, the knowledge of our duty is far easier than the practice of it.
“ Christ's flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed;" but our Lord hath assured us, " that except we eat his flesh, and drink his blood, we have no life in us." A speculative knowledge will avail us nothing; a Saviour uvapplied can be no Saviour to us. To think justly of Christ, and of the great things he hath already
dove, and continues to do, for sinners of mankind, is an attainment of no great difficulty; but to improve his mediation as the source of our joy, and the means of our comfortable access to God, requires greater skill than many who profess to believe on him are possessed of. Tbis wisdom cometh only from above. Nevertheless, as God usually worketh by the ministry of the word, be fore I conclude this discourse, I shall endeavour to suggest a few bints that may be of use to you.
Are you overwhelmed with the glory and majesty of God? Are you ready to say, as Elihu did, “ Behold! God is great, and we know him not?” Turn your eyes to the “ Word made flesh," and see the divine glory veiled in the human nature of your Redeemer. We can have positive conceptions of Jesus Christ; and though we may not think that the Godhead is flesh, yet we may think of it as it appeared in flesh, and shone forth in its holiness and goodness to the world. In the person of our Mediator, God approacheth us familiarly, to invite us to come to him with humble confidence and reverend bold. ness. Christ did not assume a form of terror; women durst talk with him, sinners durst eat with him, the poor and the diseased durst ask his help; and though we must not debase the dignity of the Son of God, by imagining that it is as much obscured in heaven as it was upon earth; yet, even the glorified humanity of the Word made flesh, affords unspeakable comfort to the soul, that might otherwise shrink back, and tremble to draw near to God.
Doth the guilt of sin terrify you? Do you fear that a just and holy God can never accept such offenders as you have been? Here Christ is our relief; who was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; who paid our debt, and hath purchased and
sealed our pardon with bis blood. The curse and condemning sentence of the law are indeed terrible; but if we have truly fled to Christ for refuge, he hath nailed them to his cross, and will give us a full and free discharge.
Are you discouraged with the infirmities you daily feel, the imperfection of your knowledge, the wandering of your thoughts, the coldness of your love, and the feebleness of your desires? Faith can still find a remedy in Christ Jesus, by reminding us, that our acceptance with the Father is through the merits of bis Son;-and he, my friends, is worthy, though we are unworthy; bis righteousness is perfect, and without spot; he is not weak when we are weak; he is not distempered when we are sick; our High Priest is unchangeable, “ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever."
Are you harassed with temptations, those fiery darts of the wicked one? Still faith can find a Saviour suited to your necessity. Our great Lord submitted, not only to be tempted by Satan, but to be tempted in a wilderness, where he had none to comfort him; nay, tempted to the most horrid blasphemy and wickedness, even to fall down and worship the devil himself. Look, therefore, to him who is touched with the feeling of your in. firmities, having been in all points tempted even as you are.” He who made all temptations subservient to the triumphs of his own patience and conquering power, will support and succour his tempted servants, and make his grace victorious in the weakest hearts.
It sometimes happens that the soul is oppressed with griefs and fears which it cannot account for. Such was the Psalmist's case when he said, “I remembered God, and was troubled; I complained, and my spirit was oferwhelmed. O my God, my soul is cast down in me;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.” But even in this case faith can look to Christ, and remember that he too was in an agony; an agony more painful than any thing we can feel; and yet in that agony he prayed more earnestly. Faith will recollect the very words he uttered, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say! It will remind us how he cried upon the cross, My God! My God! why hast thou forsaken me? thougb even then he was still the beloved of the Father, and suffered all this, that we might not be finally abandoned and forsaken.
After this manner we may improve the mediation of Christ, for bringing us, in all the variety of our circumstances, with humble boldness to the throne of grace ; where, to our present comfort, and our everlasting joy, we shall obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in every season of need. Amen.
Rom. viii. 32.
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
So bright and luminous are the principles of heavenly wisdom, that, like the sun, they are seen by their own light, and may rather be said to impart themselves to us than to be discovered by us. With regard to eternal
things, the learned have no advantages above the unlearned. Neither the gifts of nature nor the improve. ments of art confer any precedency in the school of Christ. The comfort of a Christian doth not depend upon a process of abstract reasoning, but results imme. diately from the knowledge and belief of interesting facts attested by God, and faithfully recorded in the Scriptures of truth; for as it is the will of God, that all the “ heirs of promise” should have a “strong consolation," therefore the grounds of their consolation are brought to the level of the weakest capacity, that all his children may have equal access to them, and feed like brethren at one common table. Accordingly, you may observe, that, in the passage I have now read to you, the apostle only reminds us of what God hath already done for sinners of mankind; He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. And instead of reasoning in form, as if the import of this fact were dark or ambiguous, he takes it for granted that the most sim. ple and illiterate will perceive it at once; and gives a defiance to ignorance, nay to distrust itself, either to pervert its meaning, or to draw from it any other conclusion than what he himself doth; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things! My present design is, in dependance upon divine aid,
First. To illustrate this great foundation of the Chris. tian's hope, God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; and then to show, in the
Second place, That the gift which God hath already bestowed upon sinners of mankind, affords every sincere believer the most absolute certainty, that nothing shall be withheld from him that is necessary to make him happy.
I begiu with the great foundation of the Christian's