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yet to come, a rear hence, but he is to look unto that which is done already, a sacrifice once offered, and once for all : so that he needs not be in suspense now, as the Jews were; his conscience it may be fully purged from sin.
Again, take the high priest in the times of the Old Testament, and though he did make an atonement for the sins of the people, yet sometimes also he did make the people to sin. It is said of Aaron the great high priest, concerning the golden calf, that he did make the people naked: but the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, he makes an atonement for sin, and never does make them sin; he is so far from making the people naked, that he covers them with his righteousness that their nakedness may not appear. Here is a glorious High Priest.
Yea, this High Priest of ours, he does not only make an atonement for sin committed, and pays the debt; but he does also become our Surety unto God the Father: he does not only pay the debt that is past, but he becomes a Surety for time to come. None of all those High Priests that ever did so; not Aaron, not any high priest that ever gare his bond unto God the Father, that any sinner should never sin no more. But our Lord Jesus Christ, our High Priest, he becomes our Surety: and what Surety? not an ordinary Surety; for amongst us the Surety joins and does become bound with the debtor, but still it runs in the name of the debtor, and the debtor he gives the bond for to pay the debt. But now here, our Surety, he gives the bond, and we that are the debtors, we do not give the bond for to pay the debt: there is no godly man or believer that ever gave a bond unto God the Father that he will pay the debt: but our Surety comes, and the bond goes in the name of the Surety, and the debtor's name is out. Oh! what a glorious and blessed High Priest is here? here is a High Priest, beyond all the high priests that ever did go before! And that is the fourth thing.
Fifthly, How does all this conduce to our comfort or holiness?
I. How does all this make to our comfort ?
1. Is it not a comfortable thing in the ears of a poor sinner, that there is a magazine and a storehouse of mercy set up? that the Lord hath erected an office of love, and of
mere compassion for poor sinners? Is it not a comfortable thing that God the Father is satisfied, and so your sins pardoned? “Son,” says Christ unto the palsied man,“ be of good comfort, thy sins are forgiven thee,” Mark ii. 5. He does not say, Be of good comfort, thy disease is healed: no, whether thy disease be healed, or whether it be not healed, this is comfort, “ Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.”
If the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied for my sins, may a believer say, then whatsoever affliction I do meet withal, it does not come upon me as a punishment (properly), it does not come upon me as an arrest for to pay my debt. When a reprobate is smitten and afflicted, all his miseries, they are arrests for to pay his debt. Hath the Lord Jesus Christ satisfied divine justice, and God the Father for me? then surely these afflictions they do not come for me to make satisfaction.
Again, if the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied for my sins, may a believer say, then I shall never be damned, I shall never fall from grace. I have had many fears that I should fall from grace, and so go to hell, and perish at last: but if the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied divine justice for my sin, then God the Father will never punish my sin again, for it was punished in Jesus Christ, therefore I cannot fall from grace, therefore I can never be damned.
And if the Lord Jesus Christ hath satisfied divine justice as our great High Priest, then I may come with boldness unto the throne of grace. A debtor, so long as his debt is unpaid, he dares not come by the prison door, by the compter door; he is afraid of every sergeant, he is afraid of his friends that they should be sergeants : but when his debt is paid, then he dares go up and down with boldness. And so the poor soul, when he knows that his debt is paid, and Christ hath satisfied, then he may go with boldness unto the throne
But you will say, I cannot have the comfort of this, because I cannot say that Christ hath satisfied for me: How shall I know that Jesus Christ is my High Priest, so as to have satisfied for me? Ah, if I did but know that the Lord Jesus Christ were my High Priest in this particular, so as to have satisfied for me, then should I have comfort indeed : how shall I discover that? I am afraid he hath not satisfied for me!
And why not for thee? (man or woman why not for thee? I shall tell you what I have heard concerning a young man, that lay upon his death bed, and went to hearen : while he was lying upon his death bed, he comforted himself in this: That the Lord Christ died for sinners. Oh! blessed be the Lord (says he Jesus Christ hath died for me.
Satan came in with this temptation to him: Are but, young man, why for thee? Christ died for sinners, but why for thee? how canst thou make that appear, that Christ died for thee? Nay Satan (says he) and why not for me? Ah ! the Lord Jesus, he died for sinners, and therefore, Satan, why not for me? So he held his comfort, and went up to heaven triumphing.
So say I to thee, poor drooping soul, that labours under temptation; why not for thee? why not for thee? and say so unto Satan, Why not for me?
Again, Christ's satisfaction it lies open for all sorts of sinners to come unto it. As the promise, it runs indetinitely; and if a man come to the promise, and apply it his very applying the promise does make it his. You may, Oh! that I did but know that the promise belongs to me: I say, thy very resting upon the promise makes it to belong to thee. So, the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, this piece of Christ's priestly office, it lies open for all sorts of sinners for to come unto it: and your very resting upon it, and applying it to your own souls, it makes it to belong unto you.
Furthermore, if Jesus Christ be willing that you should think that he hath satisfied for you, then it is no presumption for you to think so. Now says he at the Lord's Supper, Take my blood that is shed for thee, I apply it to thee. Ben hold thy King cometh unto thee. When he rode upon an ass's colt, it was not said, Behold thy Lord cometh, but Behold thy King cometh to thee: he would have every one o to think.
More especially, if that a poor christian now, might not go unto Jesus Christ as unto his High Priest, and sny, that he is an High Priest to me; then are we Christians, in a grent deal worser condition than the Jews were ; for when a Jew had sinned he might carry his sacrifice to the priest, and he might say, That this priest here belongs to me. And there was never a Jew, amongst all the people of the Jews, but
when the high priest sprinkled the mercy-seat, but he might say, This he hath done for me. Now, we are not in a worse condition than the Jews were: this High Priest is beyond all the high priests that ever was before him: and therefore there is never a poor christian but he may go to the Lord Christ and say, Oh! my High Priest, and, This my High Priest hath satisfied for me. Oh, what comfort is here to poor drooping souls ! Lift up your heads, Oh all ye saints and children of God; methinks here is that indeed, that might bring you off your own sands. When there is no water in the river but his own, the tide comes not in, no sea water, only the water of the river, the native water, as I may so speak) then your bottoms, your ships they stand upon the sands; but when the tide comes in, then they are raised, and come off the sands then. And so long as thou hast nothing in thy own channel, but thiné own righteousness, thou stickest upon the sands in the deep mire; but now, when the tide of the Lord's satisfaction comes in, there is a full sea of mercy, and satisfaction (able to swim the heaviest vessel) made by Jesus Christ. Ah, methinks this should lift up a poor soul and fetch him off from his sands : Be of good comfort then. Thus it is evident how this truth does much conduce to our comfort. But you
Does it not much conduce to our grace or holiness too? Or if it do, I pray how?
Yes, this truth does conduce much to our holiness too. You shall observe, that the new covenant of grace, it is laid and founded upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ upon the cross, upon that oblation. Three times the apostle Paul makes mention of the new covenant of grace in the book of the Hebrews, the viïith, ixth, and sth chapters: and in all these places he lays the covenant of grace, and founds it upon this satisfaction of Jesus Christ.
But especially in the ixth chapter, 13th, 14th, and 15th verses. The 14th: “ How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God." Then at the 15th verse, “ And for this cause, he is the Mediator of the New Testament.” For this cause: plainly laying the new covenant of grace upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, upon this part of his priestly office. So
then, thou mayest now go unto God the Father and say, Lord, thou hast made a covenant of grace with poor man, and this covenant of grace is founded upon the priestly office and satisfaction of Jesus Christ; and the Lord Jesus Christ he hath satisfied for me; and the new covenant promises, that we shall be all taught of God.” Lord, I am ignorant, Oh! therefore now, by the satisfaction of Christ let me be taught of thee, that I may be made wise unto salvation. And so again, Lord, thou hast made a covenant of grace with poor man; this is laid upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ: the covenant of grace says, “ I will write my law in your inward parts:" now, O Lord, seeing Jesus Christ hath founded this covenant in his blood, and I am one of those that he hath made satisfaction for; Oh! write thy law in my inward parts that I may do all thy wills.
But again in the second place) that we may see how this doth conduce to our holiness : strengthen faith, and we strengthen all : if faith be weakened, all grace is weakened: strengthen your faith, and you strengthen all your holiness, and all your graces. The way to strengthen a bough, or a branch of the tree, is not to carry dung up into the tree, but to lay it to the root: strengthen the root, and ye strengthen all the branches. Faith is the root-grace: now the knowledge, and the thorough digesting of this truth, that the Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Priest, in this point of satisfaction, it does wonderfully strengthen our faith. For, the more I know that God is willing, and Christ willing to shew mercy unto me, the more my faith is strengthened: I know this, that every man is willing to do the work of his office, if he be faithful: a porter is willing to carry a burden: why? because it is his office to do it. It is the office of Jesus Christ for to bear our sins: it is his office to be the great High Priest, that does satisfy God the Father for our sins: surely therefore, he is willing to do it, for he is faithful in his office.
But besides, the more I see an holy necessity upon Christ Jesus, for to show mercy to me, the more my faith rises. It is very remarkable the Lord Jesus Christ, as God, he may refuse, and might refuse, whether he would shew mercy to us or no: but now as a High Priest, he cannot refuse à poor sinner that does come unto him. If I know that Christ