HEBREWES. 2.17, 18.
THE Apostle Paul, (whom I take to be the Pen-man of this Epistle) having in the former part of this Chapter, shewed the Reasons, why it behoved Christ for to suffer death: He comes now, in the lat∣ter end thereof, to give you an account, by laying down some Reasons, Why it Page 2behoved Christ, to be in all things made like unto us, whom the Apostle here cals the Brethren of Jesus Christ.
In other Scriptures we find, that our Lord and Saviour Christ, is called our Father, The everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Here he is called our Brother, we his Brethren. Now the same Person, to be both a Father, and a Brother unto the same man, in nature it cannot be.
But because all these Relations, are to scant, and narrow Vessels to hold forth the love of Jesus Christ towards us: Therefore Inconsistent Relations are given unto him. A Father Provides for his child, which the brother doth not. A Brother can stoop, and condesend unto his brother, which the superiority of the Father will not bear. So that here is held forth unto us, the stooping, Condesending love of Jesus Christ: and therfore he is called our Brother, and we his Brethren.
But why, [Quest.] and what Reason is there, That the Lord Jesus Christ should in all things be made like unto us his Bre∣thren?
The Apostle in these words gives the Reason, [Answ.] That he might be a merciful, and a faithful high Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, &c. The Lord God our Father, swear unto Jesus Christ, Thou art a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek. He was to be the great high Priest. Among the Jews, in the times of the old Testament, they had an high Priest, that was in all things to stand between God and them, and in case any sinned, to make an atonement for them. As the Jewes had their High Priest: So the Lord Jesus Christ, he was to be, and he is, The Apostle, and the High Priest of our Christian professi∣on, as Aaron was of the Jewes profession. And therefore saies the Apostle, It behoved him, in all things to be made like unto us.
But could not Jesus Christ be merciful unto poor tempted souls, [Quest.] unless he were in all things made like to them: like in their Natures, like in their Affections, like in matter of Temptations.Page 3
Christ as God, could have been merciful unto us, [Ans.] although he had not been made like unto us: but not as our High Priest.
There is an ability of Sufficiency, and of Power: and so Christ as God, was able to succour those that are temp∣ted, although himself had never been tempted. But there is an ability of Idoneity, or Fitness, or Aptness and Dis∣position: and so the Apostle saies here, For in that Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
It's plain then, what that is, that is the great support of a Christian against all Temptations: wherein lies our suc∣cour against all Temptation, namely, in the Priestly-Office of Jesus Christ.
The Priestly-Office of Christ, Is it the great Magazine, and Stonehouse, of all that Grace, and Comfort which we have on this side Heaven: It is that, whereby we are reconciled to God the Fa∣ther, and relieved against all temptation. This is the great thing that these words hold forth.
And therefore, upon this account, the Apostle Paul, finding the Hebrewes labouring under great Temptations, Doubtings, Fears, and much Unbeleef; he does not only here, but all along in this book of the Hebrews, open the Priestly Office of Christ unto them.
And indeed, what comfort can we have in God Himself, but through Christ? and what comfort can we have in Christ Himself, but as he is cloathed with his Prestly-Gar∣ment, with his Office of the High Priest? Whatsoever com∣fort we have in the other Offices of Christ, namely his King∣ly, and his Prophetical Office, it is all Originated, and Prin∣cipiated in this: The Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, it does give a Life, and Being, and Efficacy to both the other Offi∣ces. 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 breast-plate of Ʋrim, 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.Page 4
Yea, If you look into the, First, Second, and Third Chapters of the Revelation, you will find, that whatsoever streames of comfort did run down upon the Churches through the other Titles, and Attributes of God, they are all fountain'd here. In the Second Chapter, and the first 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 Eight 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 Twelf verse, writing un∣to the Church of Pergamus, he takes up another Title: These things saith he, who hath the sharp sword with two edges. Now look into the first Chapter, and you shall see, that those several Titles, wherewith he cloaths Himself when he speaks unto the Churches severally, are all summed up to∣gether at the 16. verse. And he had in his right hand seven stars; There's his Title unto the Church of Ephesus: And out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: There's his Ti∣tle unto the Church of Pergamus. And at the 18. verse. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for ever more; There's another Title, that he useth when he speak∣eth unto the Church of Smyrna. But in the 13. vers. is o∣pened the fountain of all these streams: In the midst of the seven candlesticks, I saw me like unto the Son of man, cloathed with a garment down to the foot; and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. This was then the robe and attyre 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 Page 5Priestly office of Jesus Christ? What is the whole body of Anti-christianisme, but an invasion upon this Priestly Of∣fice of Christ? What is the Popish Masse, (that unbloody sa∣crifice,) but a derogation from the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ once upon the Crosse, and so a derogation from his Priest∣ly Office? What are all those Popish Penances, and satis∣factions injoyn'd, 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 de∣rogation unto the Intercession of Jesus Christ, and so unto the Priestly Office of Christ? What does the Pope call himself? He cals himself, the High Priest,* the very Title that our Lord, and Saviour takes unto himself. So that the whole body of Anti-christianisme, 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 com∣fortable, and beneficial unto Gods people. The truth is, This Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, is an Office of meer love, and tender compassion; erected, and set up on purpose, for the reliefe of poor distressed sinners; and there is no mix∣ture of terrour with it: there is a mixture of terrour 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 mee to Reign over them, bring them, and slay them before mee. The Prophetical office of Jesus-Christ, it extendeth unto many that shall never be saved: Light shines in darkness, and darknesse comprehendeth it not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But now, where o∣ver the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ is let forth upon an soul, that soul shall certainly be saved for ever.
What was the great relief amongst the Jewes against their sins? The Jewes, you shall observe they had many reliefs: when they were in the wilderness, and were stung with the Page 6fiery serpents, then they had a brasen-serpent for to look up∣on, as a reliefe against that distresse. When they wanted water, they had the water out of the Rock, as a reliefe a∣gainst that distresse. When they wanted Bread, they had Manna from Heaven, as a reliefe 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 a∣gainst all Temptations under Heaven.
You will say unto me, [Quest.] But generall things affect not: let us see it in some Particulars, wherein this Priestly Office of Christ, is the great Magazin, and Storehouse of all our grace and comfort.
For Answer, [Ans.] hereunto, I will begin this exercise with one Particular of the Priestly Office of Christ, in shewing what a relief, and succour it is unto a Christian against all Temptations, and what a bottome of comfort, and special means of Grace and Holiness.
The text saies, 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 finned, he brought a sacrifice, and his sins were laid upon the head of the sacri∣fice. Once every yeer, 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 cleerly appear, in that, 16. of Liviticus, at the 14. verse. He shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mer∣cy-Seat east-ward: and before the Mercy-Seat shall be sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times. And at the 21. verse. And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confesse over him all the iniquities of the chil∣dren Page 7of 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 finned, to make an atonement, and satisfaction (by way of Type) for the sins of the peo∣ple.
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 Crosse, 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 beleevers, past, present, and to come, were all laid up∣on 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, then 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 were 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 oyle. There was a alwaies, Destructio rei oblatiae, 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 be∣ginning of the world. If it were a dead thing that was of∣fered up, as bread, or corn, a solid thing, then the sacri∣fice, Page 8or 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 oyle, then it was said to be powred out. In answer to this, it is said of our Lord and Saviour, That his soul was powred out unto death. Thus all Sacrifices meeting in him. Behold the Lamb of God (saies John the Baptist when he saw Christ.) He does not say, Behold the Bull of God, or the Goat of God; and yet Buls, 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 Mercy-Seat, 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 on∣ly because that Christ was of a lamb-like, and meek dispo∣sition (as some would have it:) Nor only because, that the great Type of Christ, was the Pascal-Lamb, (though these be reasons.) But there was a dayly sacrifice in the Temple; whether men brought any offering or no, there was a stan∣ding sacrifice in the Temple, morning, and evening, and that sacrifice was a Lamb. Now therefore, to shew, that Jesus Christ is the dayly sacrifice, therefore he cries out, and saies, Behold the Lamb of God, and not the Goat of God; for the Goat was not sacrificed every day as the Lamb was.
For proof of this, take the Apostles Exhortation, Ephe. 5.2. Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath given him∣self for us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God. Here are Three things considerable. First, He does not say, Who hath redee∣med us: but, to show his great love unto us, Who hath given himself for us: He doth not say, Who hath given him∣self for our sins: Yet he saies so, in Gal. 1.4. Who gave him∣self 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 saies here, He gave Page 9himself for us, an offering, and a sacrifice, not only an offe∣ring, but a sacrifice too. So that this first Proposition is cleer∣ly proved, That our Lord Jesus, when he died upon the Crosse, he did offer up himself as a sacrifice unto God the Father.
Secondly, [unspec 2] 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 beleevers were then laid upon Jesus Christ: those that do now beleeve, or shall hereafter beleeve, they were all then laid upon Jesus Christ. Look into the 53. of Isaiah ver. 6. All we like sheep have gone astray, and have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all. That which God laies on shall never be taken off, no man shall take it off: The Lord hath laid on him the i∣niquities of us all.
Yea, Our iniquities are not only said to be laid on him, but (to use the same word that is used for the sacrifice) it is said, he bare our sins upon the Crosse; as the Goat bare the sins of the people: So saies the Apostle, He himself bare our sins upon the Cross.
Moreover, He did not only bare our sins upon the Cross: but (saies the Apostle) he was made sin for us. 'Tis not said, He was made a sinner, or accounted a sinner only for us, but he was made sin for us. All our iniquities were laid on him; he bare our sins; and he was made sin for us upon the Crosse. Thus briefly the Second Proposition is cleared, That when he did thus offer up himself upon the Crosse as a sacrifice, the sins of all beleevers were then laid on him.
Thirdly, When the sins of beleevers were laid on him, [unspec 3] then he did make full satisfaction unto God the Father, and Divine Ju∣stice for all our sins. This is a bottom of much comfort. For if the Lord Jesus Christ our surety had not satisfied to the utmost farthing, our great Creditor, God the Father, for all our debts, God the Father might come upon us the Debters. But our Surety, the Lord Christ, hath given full satisfaction unto God the Father, that no more de∣mands can be made upon us: And indeed else, how could our Surety ever have come out of prison: He was under ar∣rest, Page 10he was in the Jayle, in the grave: The Father, the great Creditor lets him out; and did not only let him out, but the Lord Jesus Christ, he goes inbto Heaven, and sits down there at the right hand of the Father; Surely, if the Creditor had not been satisfied, the Surety should never have bin released out of prison.
He was so fully satisfied, That he looked for iniquity, and he found none, (saies the text.) He look't over all his books, to see if he could find any thing upon the score, but he found none: all our debts were paid. Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sin of the world. He does not say, That takes away the sin of the Jewes only; but takes away the sin of the whole world. He does not say, That takes away the sins, (in the plural Number) but takes away the sin) (in the singular Number:) Sins go so together, as if they were but one: but let the sin be never so twisted toge∣ther, as if it were but one sin, this lamb of God, he takes away the sin of the world. And he does not say, That hath pardoned the sin of the World: for then a poor soul might say, I but, though he hath pardon'd my sin, yet my sin is not mortified. Neither does he say, Behold the lamb of God that Mortifies, or Destroyes the sin of the world: But he gives you a word, that takes in, both pardon, and Mortification too. Behold the lamb of God that takes them away: both in regard of Pardon, and in regard of Mortification: Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
There is nothing that does so satisfie God the Father, as Obedience, and the more full the Obedience is, the more God the Father is satisfied thereby: Now it is said of our Lord and saviour Christ, That in this great sacrifice upon the Crosse, he was Obedient. He was Obedient even to the death of the Cross. That he that did make the Law, should come down from Heaven, and be subject to the Law, what Obedience was here! Obedient to the Death. Yea, unto the Deaths (in the plural Number) And he made his grave with the sinners: and his Deaths was with the rich. He made Page 11his grave with the wicked, and with the rich had his Deaths, I∣saiah, 5• ver. 9. It is in the Plural Number in the Hebrew, though in your English translation it is in the Singular. As if the holy Ghost had called death, the Second death that our Lord Christ had in some measure suffered. For, if you consider things truly, and rightly, I beleeve you will find, that our Lord and Saviour Christ when he died, and was in his agony, he did not only indure the first, but the torments of the second death. He overcame no more than he submitted to: he overcame death by submitting to death. Now he overcame the second death also, and there∣fore in some measure submitted to the torments of it, so far as he was capable. Look what the first Adam should have indured for his sin in the fall, that the second Adam now did indure in some measure for to take it off: The day that thou eatest thou shalt die the death. It was not barely the cor∣poral, and outward death, but it was the second death. If our Lord and Saviour Christ did not indure the torments of the second death, the wrath of God upon his soul; why did he sweat drops of blood, and tremble, and shake so, when he came to die? There is many Saints, and Martyrs, when they come to die, they go skipping, and leaping, and rejoycing: and our Lord and Saviour, when he came to die, he sweats drops of blood; surely there was more than an outward death: Oh! the wrath of God, and the tor∣ments of the second death was upon his soul. Thus obedi∣ent he was, and this obedience of his, it was volontary, for he needed not to have died; but he saw that God the father was dishonoured by mans sin, and that poor man would be lost, and rather than that should be, he does volontarily offer himself unto this Obedience. Loe, I come (saies he) in the volum of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, and thy Law is within my heart, Psal. 40.7, 8. Mark what an expression there is in that Psalm, 'tis spoken concering Christ, as is plainly interpreted by the Apostle in the 10. of the Hebrews, at the 6. verse. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine eares hast thou opened (or bored.) The Apostle Page 12when he translates these words, he translates them thus: My body hast thou prepared. But reade them as they are here in the Psalm: Sacrifice and offring thou didst not desire, mine eare hath thou bored. That as when a servant was willing to stay with his Master, and to do him yet more service, the ser∣vants eare was to be bored: So saies the Lord Christ, I am as willing to do this work, to be thus obedient, as a servant whose eare is bored, is willing to stay with his master: And mine eare hast thou bored, (saies he) ah, here's obedience, here's obedience: this now did infinitly satisfie God the Father; In so much, that ye may see what is said, in that same 5. of the Ephesians, and the 2. verse. Who hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering, and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. The whol world it was ful of a stench before, and the Lord was displeased with man before: but now when Christ comes, and offers up this sacrifice, he did thereby give full satisfction unto God the father, for it was a sweet swelling-savour unto God the Father. So that thus the Father he was fully satisfied.
To this I shall ad one word; When the Lord Jesus Christ offered up himself a sacrifice unto God the Father, and had our sins laid upon him, he did given more perfect satisfaction unto Di∣vine justice for our sins; than if you, and I, and all of us had been damned in Hell unto all eternity. For a Creditor is more satisfied, if his debt be paid him all down at once, than if it be paid by the week: A poor man that cannot pay all down, will pay a groat a week, or sixpence a week; but 'tis more satisfaction to the Creditor to have all paid at once. Should we have been all damned, we should have been but paying the debt a little, and a little, and a little: but when Christ paid it, he paid it all down to God the Father. Had we gone to Hell, and been damned for ever, we had alwaies been satisfying of God, I but God had ne∣ver been satisfied: but now when Christ makes satisfacti∣on, God was satisfied. The Creditor, if he be a merciful and a good man, is more truly satisfied where the Debter is spared; he does not desire that the Debter should be cast Page 13into prison, and there lie and rot; but he is better satisfied with the sparing of the Debter; let me have but my Money, and so the Debter be spared I am willing, nay I desire it saies the good Creditor. Now if all we had bin cast into everlasting burnings, indeed the debt should have been a paying, but there the Debter had been lost: But not when Christ comes, and makes satisfaction unto Divine justice, Ah! poor man is redeemed; here is the Debter spared. And therefore, the Lord he is infinitly more satisfied, by the satisfaction that Christ made upon the Cross for our sins, than if all we had gone to Hell, and been damned to all e∣ternity. Oh! what a glorious, and blessed satisfaction did this our High-Priest make unto God the Father!
But you will say then, [Quest.] If the Lord Christ made this full satisfaction unto God the Father; how is it that Beleevers, many of them have their sins, and debts standing upon the score still, in their Consciences, so perplexed in regard of sin, as if there were no satisfaction at all made?
Luther cals this aspect of sin, A sacralegious aspect, [Answ.] and beholding of sin. As now, (saies he) If a man take out of an holy place some goods, and bring them into his owne house; This is sacraledge. So, for me to go and take my sins From Christ, and lay them in mine own bosome, this is sacraledge, saies Luther.
But the reason of it is this, Because that men do not study this Truth, but was ignorant of it. As, suppose that a man do owe, three or four hundred pound to a shop∣keeper, for wares, and commodities that he hath taken up there: a friend comes, and he payes the debt, crosses the book: but the Debter, when he comes and looks upon the book, he is able to reade all the particulars; Item; for such a thing, and Item for such a thing, and Item, for such a thing; but the man being not aquainted with the nature of crossing the book, he is able to reade all th particulars, and he charges it still upon himselfe, because he does not understand the nature of this crossing the book, and he is as much troubled how he shall pay the debt, as if it were Page 14not paid at all. So now 'tis here, The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath come and cross't our book with his own blood: the sins are to be read in your own consciences, but we being not acquainted with the nature of Christs satisfaction, and the crossing of the book, we charge our selves, as if no sin at all were satisfied for us: Yet when the Lord Jesus Christ was made an offering for sin upon the Cross, then he did give full satisfaction unto God the Father. And that's the Third.
Fourthly, [unspec 4] This now he hath done as our great High-Priest, and in a more transcendant, and eminent way, than ever any high-Priest did before. For, though the High-Priest did come, and make an atonement for a poor sinner, yet he himself was never made a sacrifice; the Priest offered up a sacri∣fice, but himself never was made a sacrifice. But our great High-Priest, does not only offer up a sacrifice, but Himself is made a sacrifice. Yea, that sacrifice, that was then in the times of the old-Testament, it could not purge the con∣science; not only, because (as the Apostle speaks) it was the blood of bulls, and goats: but because the sacrifice was performed successively; as thus, A man sinned, then he brought a sacrifice; sins again, and then he brings another sicrifice: and once every yeare, the High-Priest goes into the holy of holiest to make an atonement: But in the mean while, a poor soul might think thus, What if I die before the year come about, what will become of me? the High-Priest, he goes once a year into the Holy of Holyest, and sprinkles the mercy-seat, but what will become of me if I die before that time? But now, our great High-Priest, he does not only offer up a sacrifice, and Himself the sacrifice; but he offers up a sacrifice once for all. (So saies the Apostle) So that now, when a Christian hath sinned, he is not to think of a sacrifice that is yet to come, a year 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 suspence now, as the Jewes were, his Conscience, it may be fully purged from sin.Page 15
Again, Take the High-Priest in the times of the old-Te∣stament, 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, concer∣ning the golden-Calf, that he did make the people naked: But the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he makes an attonement 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's a glorious High-Priest!
Yea, This High-Priest of ours, He does not only make an atonement for sin committed, and paies 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 gave 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 joyns, and does become bound with the Debter, but still it runs in the name of the Debter, and the Debter he gives the bond for to pay the debt. But now here, our Surety, he gives the bond, and we that are the Debters, we do not give the bond for to pay the debt: there is no godly man, or beleever, 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 Debters 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's the Fourth thing
Fifthly, How does all this conduce to our Comfort or Ho∣liness.[unspec 5]
First, How does all this make to our Comfort? [Quest.]
first, [Answ. 1] Is it not a comfortable thing in the eares of a poor sinner, that there is a Magazine, and a Storehouse of Mer∣cy set up? that the Lord hath erected an office of Love, Page 16and of meer compassion for poor sinners? Is it not a com∣fortable thing, that God the father is satisfied, and so your sins pardoned?*Son (saies Christ unto the palsie man) be of good comfort, thy sins are forgiven thee. He does not say, Be of good comfort, thy disease is healed: No, whether thy dis∣ease 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 beleever 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 beleever 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 a∣gain, for it was punish't in Jesus Christ, therefore I can∣not 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 un∣to the Throne of grace.
But you will say, [Quest.] I cannot have the comfort of this, be∣cause I cannot say that Christ hath satisfied for me: How shall I know, that Jesus Christ is my High-Priest, so as to Page 17have 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 satisfi∣ed for me?
And why not for thee? (man or woman) why not for thee? [Ans. 1] I shall tell you what I have heard concerning a young man, that lay upon his death bed, and went to Heaven: While he was lying upon his death bed, he comforted him∣self in this, That the Lord Christ died for sinners: Oh! blessed be the Lord (saies he) Jesus Christ hath died for me. Sa∣tan came in with this temptation to him; I 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 (saies 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 un∣der Temptation; Why not for thee? why not for thee? and say so unto Satan, Why not for me?
Again, Christs satisfaction it lies open for all sorts of sinners to come unto it. As the promise, [Ans. 2] it runs indefinite∣ly; and if a man come to the promise, and apply it; his very applying the promise does make it His. You say, Oh! that I did but know that the promise belongs to me: I say, thy very resting upon the promise, makes it to be∣long to thee. So, the satisfaction of Jesus Christ, this piece of Christs 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, [Ans. 3] then it is no presump∣tion for you to think so. Now saies he at the Lords Sup∣per, Take my blood that is shed for thee, I apply it to thee. Behold thy King cometh unto thee. When he rode upon an Page 18Asses colt, it was not said, Behold thy Lord cometh, but behold thy King cometh to thee: he would have every one so to think.
More especially, [Ans. 4] If that a poor Christian now, might not to unto Jesus Christ as unto his High-Priest, and say, that he is an High-Priest to me: then are we Christians, in a great 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 Jewes, 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 Chri∣stian, 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, O all ye Saints, and Children of God; me thinks here is that indeed, that might bring you off your own sands. When there is no water in the river but his own, the tyde 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 tyde comes in, then they are raised, and come off the sands then: And so long as thou hast nothing in thy own channel, but thine own righteousness, thou stickest upon the sands in the deep mire; But now, when the tyde of the Lords satisfaction comes in, there is a full-sea of mercy, and satisfaction (able to swim the heaviest vessel) made by Jesus Christ. Ah, me thinks this should lift up a poor soul and fetch him off from his sands: Be of good Comfort them. Thus it's evident how this truth does much conduce to our Comfort. But you will say, [Quest.] Does it not much conduce to our Grace, or Holiness too? Or if it do, I pray how?
Yes, [Answ. 1] This truth does conduce much to our Holiness too. Page 19You shall observe, that the new Covenant of grace, it is laid, and founded, upo the satisfaction of jesus Christ upopn the Crosse, upon that oblation. Three times, the Apostle Paul makes mention of the new Covenant of grace in the book of the Hebrews, the 8, 9, and 10. Chapters: and in all these places he laies the Covenant of grace, and founds it upon the satisfaction of Jesus Christ. But especi∣ally, in the 9. Chapter, the 13, 14, and 15. verses. The 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eter∣nal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God. Then at the 15. 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 Priest∣ly Office. So then, thou maiest now go unto God the Fa∣ther and say, Lord, thou hast made a Covenant of grace with poor man, and this Covenant of grace is founded up∣on 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 amignorant, Oh! therefore now, by the satisfacti∣on 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 saies, 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 satisfacti∣on for; Oh! write thy Law in my inward parts that I may do all thy wills.
But again, [Answ. 2] (in the Second place) that we may see how this do 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 Holi∣ness, 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, Page 20and ye strengthen all the branches. Faith is the Root-grace: now the knowledge, and the thorow degesting of this truth, That the Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Priest, in this point of satisfaction, it does wonderfull strengthen our faith. For, the more I know that God is willing, and and Christ willing to shew mercy unto me, the more my faith is strengthened: I know this, That every man is wil∣ling to do the work of his office, if he be faithful: A Por∣ter is willing to carry a burden; why? because it is his of∣fice 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 sa∣tisfie God the Father for our sins: Surely therefore, he is willing to do it, for he is faithful in his office. But besides, [Answ. 3] The more I see an holy Necessity upon Christ Je∣sus, for to show mercy to me, the more my faith rises. (It's very remarkable) The Lord Jesus Christ, as God, he may refuse, and might refuse, whether he would show mercy to us or no: But now, as a High-Priest, he cannot refuse a poor sinner that does come unto him. If I know that Christ is able to satisfie, is able to show mercy to me, my faith stirs a little, at the sight of Christs ability; If I know that Christ be willing to show mercy to me, my faith rises higher: but if I know, that Christ cannot refuse me, if I do come unto him, then my faith rises up to a great height indeed. When a poor sinner amongst the Jews, had sinned, and brought his sacrifice to the High-Priest, the Priest might not refuse it: Our Lord Jesus Christ is our great High-Priest; I say, as God he may refuse, but now, he being our great High-Priest, therefore when a poor sinner comes to Jesus Christ, as a High-Priest he cannot refuse: Oh! what a great streng∣thening is this to faith! Strengthen faith, and you streng∣then all: the right understanding of this truth, doth wonderfully strengthen faith.
Further, [Answ. 4] The more a man is ingaged to Jesus Christ, and takes himself to be ingaged to him, the more Holy he is: the more a man sees himself freed from sin by Christ, the more he takes him∣self to be ingaged to Christ, for freeing of him from his sin. Now Page 21this truth tels us how Christ hath satisfied for our sins, freed us from sin; and so we shall be the more ingaged to Christ. If a man were going to prison, even at the Comp∣ter door, for a great sum of money; and the door were un∣locking: if a man should come and speak to the Sergeant, Hold your hands, here is money for you, I will pay this mans debt, and laies the money down; would not this poor debtor take himself for ever ingaged to that man, that should thus come, and lay down the money, and free him so seasonably from the Compter, and prison? Thus it was with the Lord Christ; Ah, we were all going to pri∣son, everlasting prison, chains of darkness, and he comes; and laies down the money, makes full satisfaction to God the Father as our great High-Priest: Oh! what an ingage∣ment is this to every soul unto the Lord Christ, to become the Lord Christs for ever.
Lastly, The more a man does deny his own righteousness, [Answ. 5] the more Holy he is with Gospel-Holiness. It is said of the Jewes, That they going about to establish their own righteousness, submitted not unto the righteousness of Christ. So on the contrary; when a man does go about to establish the righteousness of Christ, then he submits unto it, and then he denies his own righteousness. The more we see a ful∣ness of satisfaction made by Jesus Christ, for all our sins, unto God the Father, the more we acknowledge Christs righteousness, and the more we establish it, and the more we shall be brought off from all our own righteousness.
Oh! Therefore now, as ever you do desire, to have more Grace, more Holiness, more Comfort; study, and study much this Priestly office of Jesus Christ. There are many that complain, that they cannot profit under the means of grace: That they have hard hearts: That the waies, and Ordinances of God are not sweet to them; Pra∣yer they do perform, but with no sweetness, they do not relish the blood and Spirit of Christ upon their spirits in their duties, &c. Many complain that their sins, and temptations (like the sons of Zarviah) are too mighty for Page 22them, and that one day they shall be slain by the hand of Saul, such a lust, such a corruption. No wonder that we have these complaints, when we do not go unto the store∣house of comfort, and grace that the Lord hath set open for us. The Priestly office of Christ, it is the great Maga∣zine, and Storehouse, of all that grace, and comfort which we have on this side heaven: if ye do not go unto it, is it any wonder that ye want comfort, or that ye want grace? I appeal to you now; are there not some nay, many that never went to Jesus Christ as their High-Priest to this day? Ah, are there not some even Professors, that do not know what the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ meanes? Oh! No wonder (poor soule) so uncomfortable, no more stength against thy temptations. If the State should appoint a man for to relieve poor, maimed souldiers, that go a beg∣ging: if they meet with the sawme man that is appointed by the State, and they beg of him in the streets as an ordina∣ry man, he relieves them not: but now, if they come un∣to him, as a man appointed by the State for relief of such, then he relieves them according to the duty of his place. So it is with men, they go to Christ in an ordinary way, they do not go to Christ as the great Lord Treasurer of all our grace, as our great High-Priest, they do not go unto him as in office, set up in office by God the Father for such re∣liefe: they do not addresse themselves to him as their High-Priest to make satisfaction for them, and therefore they go away and have no relief. But would we have more strength against corruption? would we walk more comfortably in our course? would we find the waies of God, Ordinances, and duties more sweet and comfortable to our souls? then reade, and consider that place in the Canticles, 2.3. As the apple-tree among the treesof the wood, so is my beloved among the sons: I sate down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet unto my tast. The spouse speaks it concerning Christ. What is this fruit of Christ? Your Justification, Adoption, Vocation, Sanctification, Consolation, it is al the fruit of Christ: All your own Du∣ties, Page 23your Prayers, Reading, Meditation, they are all the fruit of Christ: The injoyment of al his Ordinances, & al your spiritual priviledges under the Gospel, they are the fruit of Christ. Now saies she, I sate down under his shadow, and his fruit, it was sweet unto my tast. As it is unto a man that does love fruit; be it Pears, Apples, Cherries, or the like: I love this fruit (saies he) but yet notwithstanding, I must needs go where this fruit grows, and gather it off the tree; and when he hath gone to the tree, and taken the fruit off the tree, (saies he) I sate down under the tree. I had not the fruit, the Apple, or Cherry, brought unto my house, but I went unto the tree, and gathered it off the tree; and I sate down under the shadow of the tree, and Oh! how sweet was the fruit unto me! So saies the soul, so saies the Spouse of Jesus Christ: I sate down under the shadow of Jesus Christ, and then his fruit was sweet unto my tast. It may be we have had other shadows: we have sate down under the shadow of our Estate, our outward Estate hath been sweet unto our tast. We have sate down (it may be) under the shadow of friendship, and the fruit of friend∣ship hath been sweet unto our tast; But behold here a tree, the tree of life, whose shadow reaches to the end of the earth; Ah, Come, Come and sit down under the shadow of Jesus Christ. If there be ever a poor soul, that never yet knew what Comfort meant; Ah, Come, Come under the shadow of the Lord Jesus; The Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, it hath a very sweet shadow; Come therefore, you that say you cannot profit under the means, and you that complain of such, and such temptations, and such and such sins; and that you were never yet comforted, your consciences never pacified: Come now, and sit down un∣der the shadow of the Lord Jesus Christ. I tell thee, from the Lord, thus fruit of His, it shall be sweet unto thy tast: thou shalt go to Prayer, and Prayer shall be sweet unto thy soul, though heretofore thou couldst find no sweetness in it; so the Word and other Ordinances shall be sweeter un∣to thee than the hony or the hony combe.Page 24
Thus it's evident how comfortable the Priestly Office of Jesus Christs, and how much conducing unto our Com∣fort, and Holiness: Oh! therefore let us study, now study the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ, and come and sit down under his shadow, and the Lord make his fruit sweet unto all our souls. And thus I have opened, and applyed the first particular of Christs Priestly Office. The Second fol∣lows, &c.