The works of William Bridge, sometime fellow of Emanuel Colledge in Cambridge; now preacher of the Word of God at Yarmouth. The first volume. Viz. I. The great Gospel-mysterie of the saints comfort and holinesse, opened and applyed from Christs priestly office. II. Satans power to tempt; and Christs love to, and care of his people under temptation. III. Thankfulnesse required in every condition.
Bridge, William, 1600?-1670., Yates, John, d. ca. 1660., Greenhill, William, 1591-1671., Adderley, William.
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SERMON II.


HEBREWES 2.17, 18.
Wherefore in all things it behoved him,* to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful, and faithful High-Priest, in things pertaining to godliness, to make reconcili∣ation for the sins of the people. For in that He himselfe hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

I Have begun to discover from these words, That the Friestly Office of Jesus Christ, is the great Magazine, and Storehouse, of all that grace, and comfort which we have in this world: that whereby we are succoured, and relieved against all Temptations. This hath been made good in the Generall; and in one Particular work of the High Priest.

If we now inquire further, what the work of the High-Priest was, and is, that accordingly we may address our selves unto Jesus Christ for succour. We shall find, that it is also, to Pray, and Intercede for the people. To make re∣conciliation for the sins of the people, (saies the text) To make A∣tonement for the sins of the people, (saies the old Testament.) Which Reconciliation, or Atonement, was made in the times of the old Testament, not only by offering of a sacrifice, but by taking the blood thereof, and presenting that with Pra∣ers, Page  26and intercessions, unto God, to accept of it for the sins of the people. As we shall find, in that same 16. of Livitieus: After the sacrifice was kild, the Priest was to take the blood of it, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the Mercy-Seat; as we reade in the 14. verse. And at the 12. and 13. He shall take a Censer full of burning coals of fire from off the Alter before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet in∣cense beaten small, and bring it within the vaile; And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the Mercy-Seat. He was to cause a cloud of incense to arise upon the Mercy-Seat. All which was a great Type of the Prayers, and Intercessions of Jesus Christ: who having once offered up himself a sacrifice for our sins, hath carried the blood, and the vertue of it into Heaven, there sprinkled the Mercy-Seat, and there still by his Inter∣cessions does appear for us; As it is proved at large, in the 9. Chapter of this Epistle to the Hebrews, 11. and 12 verses: But Christ being come an High-Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building: Neither by the blood of goats and calves: but by his own blood be entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternall redemption for us. And at the 24. verse: For Christ is not entered into the Holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into Heaven it self, now to appear in the presence of God for us. And if you duely consider this book of the Hebrews, you will find, that this work of Christs Intercession, is The Essential work of his Priestly-Office: it seems rather to go beyond the for∣mer, than to fall short of it. Hebrews, the 8. Chapter and the 4. verse. For if he were on earth, he should not be a Priest. That is, look as it was in the times of the old Testament: if the Priest had only offered a sacrifice, and had not gone into the holy of holiest with the blood thereof, sprinkling the Mercy-Seat, praying, and interceding that it might be accepted for the sins of the people, the Priest had not done the work of the Priest, and so he had not been a compleat Priest: So now, (saies the Apostle) if Jesus Christ had only Page  27offred up himself here a sacrifice, and had not gone into Heaven, the holy of holiest, and carried the power and the vertue of his death thither, to pray and intercede for us, he had not done the work of the great High-Priest. Every Priest might sacrifice, but every Priest might not go into the Holy of Holiest, that belonged only to the High-Priest to do. Now therefore, Jesus Christ going into Heaven, the Holy of Holiest, there to make Intercession for us, is the great, and the special work of this High-Priest.

That I may cleer up this mysterious Truth, I shall deliver my self these Four waies; by opening.

  • First, Wherein the Intercession of Christ consisteth: and what he doth when we say he intercedes in Heaven for us.
  • Secondly, How powerfull, and prevailing his Intercessions are with God the Father.
  • Thirdly, That he doth now intercede as our great High-Priest and in a more transcendent and eminent way and manner, than e∣ver any High-Priest did before.
  • Fourthly, This does conduce to our Comfort, and to our Holi∣ness.

First, If it be demanded, [Quest.] Wherein consisteth this Intercessi∣on of Jesus Christ?

I Answer. [Answ. 1]

First it consists in this: His appearing for us in Heaven, his owning of our Cause, and of our souls to God the Fa∣ther: It is the word that is used in that 9. Chapter of the Hebrews, the 24. verse. Christ is not entred into the holy place made with hands, but into Heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us. He does not in an ordinary way, and man∣ner appear for us in Heaven; but with an Emphasis, he does openly, and publickly, before all the Saints and Angels, appear for us in the presence of God the Father. It is a comfort unto a man, sometimes, to have a good friend at Court, at the Kings elbow, that may own him, and ap∣pear for him: but though a man have a friend at Court, sometimes if there be any danger, he will not appear, and own a man; it may be he will own him, and countenance Page  28his Cause as long as there is no danger, but no longer. But now, here, we have a friend in Heaven, that will ap∣pear for us, and own our Causes, and our souls, and in all conditions appear for us. That is the First.

Secondly, [Answ. 2] He doth not only appear for us; but by ver∣tue of his Priestly Office, he does carry the power, merit, and vertue of his blood into the presence of God the Father in Heaven, and sprinkles the Mercy-Seat with it seven times. Seven is a note of Perfection. Those that Christ suffe∣red for, he does Intercede for. He takes all their bonds, and he carries them in unto God the Father, and he saies, Fa∣ther, I have paid these bonds, I have paid this debt, I have satisfied thy Justice for these poor sinners; and now my de∣sire is, that they may be acquitted from these bonds, and from these debts. This also is remarkable in that 9. Chap∣ter of the Hebrews, 11, 12. verses.

Thirdly, [Answ. 3] He doth not only carry the power, and vertue of his blood, and present it to God the Father for our dis∣charge: but he does also plead our Cause in Heaven, an∣swering unto all those accusations that are brought against us. And therefore we may reade what the Apostle saies in the 8. of the Rom. 33. ver. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? it is God that justifies, who is he that condemneth? it is Christ that died, yea, rather that he is risen again, who is e∣ven at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Upon this ground the Apostle speaks thus; Who shall con∣demn them? Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the Father, to take off all accusations, that shall be brought a∣gainst them. Let the World condemn, let Moses condemn, let Satan condemn; Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God the Father, to take off all accusations that shall be raised against them. Concerning this there is a clear and full instance in that notable Scripture the 3. Chapter of Za∣chariah, and the 1. verse, We find Satan standing at the right hand of Joshua to resist him. He shewed me Joshua the High-Priest, standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right band to resist him. It was the custome of Page  29the Accuser, to stand at the right hand of the accused: Psalme, 109. ver. 6. Set thou a wicked man over him, and let Satan stand at his right hand: take the wall of him in his ac∣cusation, condemning of him. Now here Satan-standing at Joshua's right hand, notes his accusing of him. Well, what was the matter that he accused him of? Ye shall find that there was matter, verse the 3. Now Joshua was cloathed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. Satan came and accused him that he had filthy garments; and so he had: for the Priests, had defiled themselves in Babylon, in marrying of strange wives, as Joshua and his children are charged, in the 10. Chapter of Ezra, and the 18. verse. (Give me leave a little to open this charge of Satan, that we may see Satan had matter of Charge, and accusation a∣gainst Joshua) And among the sons of the Priests, there were found that had taken strange wives: namely of the sons of Joshua. He was High-Priest. So that now, Joshua had defiled his garments: thre was then matter of accusation for Satan to work upon. But now, our Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest steps in, and takes off this accusation: The Lord said (at the 3. of Zachariah, 2. verse) unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusa∣lem rebuke thee. The word used by the Septuagint, is the same that is used for Excommunication. And it is here twice repeated, (The Lord rebuke thee, even the Lord rebuke thee) not only to show the fulnesse of Satans rebuke; but to show the fulnesse of the intercession of Jesus Christ. Now would we see the fulnesse of Christs apology for Joshua? Saies the Lord unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, even the Lord re∣buke thee: And (saies he at the latter end of the 2. verse) Is not this a brand pluck't out of the fire? Thus; it is true Lord, that Joshua hath filthy garments: but yet notwithstan∣ding, Joshua is but as a brand pluck't newly out of the burning. Take a brand, and pull it newly out of the fire, and there will be dust, ashes, and dirt about it. Lord (saies he) Joshua is but newly puld out of the burning, and therefore, Lord, he must needs have some ashes, and some Page  30dirt, and some filth about him: O Lord, (saies Christ) al∣though that Joshua be clothed with filthy garments, I will take away those filthy garments: verse the 4. He answered and spake unto those that stood before him saying, Take away the filthy garments from him: and unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to passe from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. This can be none but Christ. Thus Christ takes off the accusation that was brought against Joshua by Satan, for his filthy garments. And so does the Lord Christ now: If a poor soul fall into any sin, defile his garments: Satan, he comes in, and takes the right hand of him, stands at the right hand and accuses, by reason of this filthy garment: but our Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he being at the right hand of the Father, takes up the cause, and answers to the accusation: True Lord, this poor soul, indeed hath filthy garments; but he is but as a fire-brand pluck't newly out of the burning: He was in his natural, and sinful condition the other day, in his burning, and he is but newly changed, and therefore he must needs have some dirt, and some filth upon him, as a fire-brand pluck't out of the burning; and therefore consi∣der him in that respect, and though he have filthy gar∣ments now upon him; yet I will give him change of rai∣ments, and take away his filthy garments. Thus the Lord Christ steps in to God the Father, and answers to all those accusations that are brought against him to God the Father. This is the Third thing that he does by way of his Intercession.

Again, [Answ. 4] He doth not only plead our Cause, and take off accusations that are brought against us: But he does also, call for Absolution, and for Pardon of poor sinners, at the hand of God the Father, in a way of justice and e∣quity: And therefore he is called,*our Advocate: If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. The work of an Advocate, differs from the work of a Petitioner: an Advocate does not Petition the Judge, but an Advocate, he tels the Judge what is Law, Page  31what is right, & what ought to be done. So the Lord Jesus Christ being in Heaven, and making Intercession, is there as our Advocate: Lord (saies he) this man he hath sinned indeed, but I have satisfyed for his sins, I have paid for them to the full, I have satisfied thy wrath to the ful: now therefore, in a way of Equity, and in a way of Justice, I do here call for this mans pardon: Thus Christ intercedes. And thus we see (briefly) wherein the Intercession of Christ consisteth, and what he does when we say, That he Inter∣cedes for us in Heaven.

Well, But suppose he does Intercede, [Quest.] Can he prevaile in his Intercession, hath he any potency, power, or preva∣lency with God the Father in his Intercession?

Yes very much: [Answ.] and therefore we find in that same 3. of Zach. That Joshua goes away with a faire Myter upon his head: ver. 5. And I said, let them set a faire Myter (or a Crown) upon his head: so they set a faire Myter (or a Crown) upon his head, and clothed him with garments, and the Angel of the Lord stood by. Satan (at the beginning) stood at his right hand to accuse him: but this Accuser of the brethren goes away with a double rebuke, and Joshua goes away with a Crown, through the Intercession of Jesus Christ he goes away with a Crown upon his head.

All which will appear to you, if we consider Three things.

First, [unspec 1] What great interest our Lord and Saviour Christ hath in the bosome of God the Father. Paul prevailed with Philemon for Onesimus, through the great interest that Paul had in the bosome of Philemon. Our Lord and Savi∣our Christ, he hath lien in the bosome of God the Father from all eternity: he is his Son, his natural Son, his belo∣ved Son, his Son that did never offend him: and therefore surely when he comes, and intercedes for a man, he is most like to speed, to prevaile. We know, that David go∣ing out against Nabal and his house; Abigail comes forth, meets with David, and intercedes for Nabal: and Abigail did so powerfully intercede, even for Nabal, that she turned Page  32Davids heart quite round about. David swore he would not leave one of the house, and after Abigail had interce∣ded a little for Nabal, in the 1 of Sam. 25.32. verse, David said unto Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou which hast kept we this day from coming to shod blood. Pray, what did Abigail say, that shee turned David thus about, that her intercession was thus powerful? Saies Abi∣gail, as for Nabal, he is according to his name. And it shall come to pass (at the 30. verse) when the Lord shall have done to my Lord, according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel, that this shall be no griefe unto thee, nor offence of heart to my Lord, either that thou hast shed blood causelesse, or that my Lord hath avenged himselfe. This shal be no griefe at all unto thine heart (saies she) and other words that she used; by which she prevailed here with David. But Abigail was a stranger to David: and Abigail she prayes, and intercedes for Nabal, a wicked, vile, foo∣lish man. Shall Abigail, a woman, a stranger prevail thus with David for a Nabal? and shall not the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, not a stranger, nor a stranger to his bosome, but beloved from everlasting, shall not be prevaile much more, when he comes, and pleads the cause of the Elect, and of the Children of God, in the presence of God the Father, whom the Father loves also? Great is the Rhetorick of a Child: if a Child do but cry, Father, especially if the child be a wise child, he may prevail much with a tender hearted father. The Lord Jesus Christ, he is the Son of the Father, and he is the Wisdom of the Fa∣ther too; and God the Father is a tender hearted father: Oh! surely therefore, Powerful are the Intercessions of Je∣sus Christ with God the Father.

Secondly, [unspec 2] The prevalency of Christs Intercessions with the Father, will appear: if we consider, The inclination, and disposition, that God the Father hath, unto the same things that Christ prayeth, and intercedeth for. If a child should come, and intreat his father, in a matter that Page  33the father hath no mind to, or that the father is set a∣gainst; possibly he might not prevail: But if a beloved child shall come and pray the father, in a business that the father likes as well as the child; surely then, the child is very like to speed. Thus it is: The Lord Jesus Christ comes, and he intercedes for us: and the Father hath as great an inclination, and disposition unto the work that Christ intercedes for, as Christ himself hath: And there∣fore saies Christ, Loe, I come to do thy will: I come not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. That which Christ did, that he had a mind to, it was rather, the will of the Father, than Christs will: the Father is as strongly in∣clined, and disposed to what Christ did, and wils, as Christ himself. Those that thou hast given me (saies he) I have lost none: they are thine own, Lord, and therefore I pray for them. We have a notable expression to this end, in the 10. Chapter of John, and the 17. verse. Therefore doth my father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it a∣gain. I lay down my life: Here's his suffering, and his sa∣tisfaction. That I may take it again: Go up to Heaven, and take it again and intercede. Therefore doth my father love me. Oh! what a round of love is here: God the fa∣ther out of love, sends Christ into the world to die for man: God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. Wel, Jesus Christ out of love to us, he dies for us: Who hath lo∣ved us, and given himself for us. The Father loves the world in giving Christ, The Son loves the world in dying for us; and the Father, he loves Christ again, for loving us: Christ loves us, and the Father loves Christ again for loving of us: a mighty high expression, That the Father should love Christ, for loving us. So then look wherein the love of Christ is seen unto poor sinners, the Fathers in∣clination, and disposition is untot hat as much as Christs: So that when he comes unto God the Father, and does in∣tercede, he must needs prevail, because the Father loves him for his interceding, the Father likes the matter as well as he, loves you the better for it.

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Thirdly, [unspec 3] This will appear also, if we consider, upon what termes our Lord and Saviour Christ, our great High-Priest, was taken, and admitted into Heaven, the Holy of Holiest: so it is called. He was Honourably received into Heaven, and he ws received thither, for to do the work of the High-Priest. He was Honourably received when he came to Heaven: Sit thou down at my right hand (saies God the Father to him) a note of Honour. When Solomon would expresse his Honour to his mother, he set her down at his right hand. Thus God the Father would expresse the Honourable welcome that Christ had when he came to Heaven: Sit thou down on my right hand (saies he.) Now ye shall observe, that when soever this is made menti∣on of, The sitting down at the right hand of God the Fa∣ther; it is made mention of, not with the Kingly Office of Christ, but with the Priestly Office of Christ: as if that he were set down there, to do the work of the Priestly Office: One would think (I say) that this should be exprest with the Kingly Office of Christ: but you shall find it running along in the Scripture, still with the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ. Look into the 8. Chapter of the Hebrews, the 1. verse. Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an High-Priest, who is set on the right hand of the Throne, of the Majesty in the Heavens. It's named with the Priestly Office. And so again, in the 10. Chap∣ter of the Hebrews, at the 11. and 12. verses. Every High-Priest standeth dayly ministring, and offering often times the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin: But this man, (speaking of Christ) after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sate down on the right hand of God: It is carried a long with the mention of the Priestly Office of Christ: as if he were sate down on the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, on purpose to do the work of the Priestly Office. When Jesus Christ came into Heaven, into the Holy of Ho∣liest, he came thither as our great High-Priest; and he said unto God the Father; Lord, I am not now come in mine own name, for my own sake only, but I come as the Page  35great High-Priest, having on this Brest-plate, the name of all the Elect; and I come to intercede for poor sinners; I come as High-Priest: Saies God the Father to him, Wel∣come upon those termes, welcome upon those termes, not wich standing thou doest come in their names, come and sit down at my right hand, saies God the Father to him: Thus Father is ingaged, for he received him upon those termes into Heaven, as our great High-Priest; the Father therefore is engaged to hear his Intercession, and so the in∣tercession of Jesus-Christ, must have a great deal of power, and prevalency with God the Father in Heaven. This is the Second thing.

But, Thirdly, Does the Lord Jesus Christ intercede for us in Heaven, as our great High-Priest?

Yes, and he does do this, in a more transcendent, and eminent way and manner, than ever any High-Priest did before Him.

For First, [unspec 1] He hath gone through more Temptations than ever any High-Priest did. He was tempted (saies the text) that he might succour those that are temped, as an High-Priest: If he was Tempted, that he might succour those that are Tempted; succour them as an High-Priest, then the more he was Tempted, the more experimentally able he is for to succour those that are Tempted. Never any High-Priest, that was Tempted like unto Christ. He was (saies the Apostle) in all things tempted, like unto us, sin only excepted. Poor soul, name any temptation, that thy heart is scared at the thoughts of, and you will find, that the Lord Jesus Christ, he was tempted with that temptati∣on. You will say, I am often times tempted to doubt Whether I be the Child of God or no, and that very often. So was Christ too: you know the place in the 4. of Mat∣thew: If thou be the Son of God; and if thou be the Son of God, twice that the Devil would set an If upon Christs Son-ship. Oh! but I am tempted often times to use indirect means to get out of trouble. So was Christ too: Command that these stones be made bread, saies the Devil to him. Oh! but Page  36sometimes I have been tempted, even to lay violent hands upon my self. So did the Devil tempt Christ too; Cast thy self down off the pinacle of the Temple; that was a temptation. Oh! but I am tempted unto such evil things, that truely I am afraid to speak of, such Blasphemies, such horrid, and wretched Blasphemies, as I think never came upon the heart of any child of God, so that I am afraid to think of them, and ashamed to mention them. And was not Christ so? was not he tempted so? Saies the Devil to him, All this will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Oh! horrid Blasphemy! Blush, blush, O Sun: that the Lord Jesus, the God of glory, should fall down to the Devil, and worship the Devil; what wretched blasphemy was here, that he should speak this? and yet the Lord Jesus Christ, he was tempted to it. What shall I say, He was in all things tempted like unto us, sin only excepted. Now, there was never any High-Priest that was so tempted, and he was therefore tempted, that he might succour those that are tempted. He is more able as our High-Priest to inter∣cede, to put in for you, and to succour you, than ever any High-Priest was before him.

Again, [unspec 2] As he hath gone through more Temptations than ever any High-Priest did: So also, he is filled with more Compassions. It behoved the High-Priest to be Mer∣ciful: it is an office of love, and Mercy. Now our Lord and Saviour Christ (saies the Apostle) is such an High-Priest, as cannot but be touched with your infirmities: the High-Priest that did go before him, sometimes, was not touched with their infirmities: Hannah came and prayed, and Eli's heart was not touched with her infirmity, at the first. But our High-Priest cannot but be touched, he does sympathize with us under all our infirmities. He is affli∣cted in all our afflictions. It was the work of the High-Priest to sympathize with the people; and yet notwith∣standing, there was a law, that the High-Priest might not mourn for his kindred, in that he might not, as others, sympathize, or mourn. But now, our Lord Jesus, he does Page  37fully sympathize with us, and therefore goes beyond all the High-Priests that ever was before him.

Further, He is more faithful in his office, [unspec 3] and place than ever any High-Priest was. Aaron was an High-Priest, butunfaithful in the matter of the golden calfe. But our Lord and Saviour Christ, he is more faithful than Moses was, In this 3. Heb. 1.2. verses, (and so on.) Wherefore ho∣ly brethren, consider the Apostle and High-Priest of our profession Christ Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as al∣so Moses was faithful in all his house. He steps over Aaron, who was the the High-Priest, and he compares him here to Moses in faithfulness. Now Moses was faithful in all his house: But our Lord and Saviour here, he is preferred before Moses in point of faithfulness; yet it is said, Moses was faithful in all his house. When that the Lord comman∣ded Moses any thing, as the Lord commanded so did he, and rose up early in the morning to do the commandement of God: He was faithful in all his house; and yet our Lord and Saviour was more faithful than Moses in the mat∣ter of his Priesthood. For so it is brought in here, at the 3. verse. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as be who hath builded the house, hath more honour than the house. Verse the 5. Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; but Christ as a Son over his own house. Look now, as a Child, or a son is more faithful in his fa∣thers house than a servant will be: so, (saies the Apostle) Christ is more faithful than Moses. And look as the buil∣der of the house, does go beyond, and excel every beam, and stone in the house, or every part of the building: So does the Lord Christ in faithfulness, exceed Moses. You will say, there is a great difference between a stone in the building, and the maker of the house: Look what diffe∣rence there is between a stone, or a piece of wood, & the ma∣ker of the building! so great a difference there is (saies the Apostle) between Jesus Christ, in the matter of his Priesthood, and Moses; yet notwithstanding, Moses is faithful in all his Page  38house. Oh! then, how faithful is Jesus Christ, in the matter of his Priesthood! He goes before all that ever went before him.

Again, [unspec 4] Take other High-Priests, and though they were never so good, they could not alwaies intercede, they died; the High-Priest died, and another came in his room: But this man liveth for ever to make Intercession.

Yea, [unspec 5] Take the High-priest in the times of the old-Testa∣ment; and while he lived, he did not alwaies intercede for the people: Once in a year, the High-priest came to enter into the Holy of Holiest to sprinkle the Mercy-seat with blood, and caused a cloud to arise upon the Mercy-seat, with his prayers, and intercessions for their acceptance: and then he went out of the Holy of Holiest, and laid aside his garments. But now, our great High-priest, is ascended into the Holy of Holiest never to put off his Priestly gar∣ments: and he does not once a year sprinkle the Mercy-seat with his sacrifice, but every day: and therefore he goes beyond all the High-priests that ever went before him.

And yet further: [unspec 6] Take the High-priest in the old Law, in the times of the old Testament: and though they did offer sacrifice for some sinnes, and intercede; yet there was other sins again, that no sacrifice was to be offered for. If a man did kill another at un-awares, there was a sacrifice. If a man sinned ignorantly, there was a sacrifice. But saies the Text in the 15. of Numbers, 30. vers. If any man sin pre∣sumptuously, he shall be cut off, and there shall be no sacrifice for him: No sacrifice, no intercession by the High-priest then. But we have such an High-priest, that makes intercessions for All sins. So he saies himself: Every sin and blasphemy, shall be forgiven, except the blasphemy against the Holy-Ghost. Every sin, though it boyle up to blasphemy, it shall be for∣given; but without sacrifice there is no remission: and therefore he hath made a sacrifice, and so he presents the sacrifice, and intercedes for every poor sinner: and there∣fore, he is such an High-priest, that transcends all the high-priests that euer was before him.

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In the Fourth place, [unspec 4] How doth all this conduce now to our Comfort, or our Holiness, to ur Grace, or Peace?

First, To our Comfort. Very much to our Comfort. And therefore in the 1. Chap. of Zach. good words, & comfort∣able are spoken upon this occasion: (ver. 8.) saies the Pro∣phet, I saw by night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrile-trees that were in the bottome, and behind him were there red horses speckled & white. Then said I, O my Lord, what are these? And the Angel that talked with me, said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle-trees, answered and said, These are they, whom the Lord hath sent to walke to and fro through the earth. And they answered the Angel of the Lord that stood among the myr∣tle-trees, and said, Wee have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest. And the Angel of the Lord answered, and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the Cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years? Here is Intercession. And the Lord answered the Angel that talked with me, with good words, and comfortable words. Give me leave to open the words a little, and we shall see how much it makes to our comfort, this Interces∣sion of Jesus Christ. At the 8. verse, I saw (saies he) a man riding upon a red horse. This is the Lord Jesus Christ presen∣ted thus unto us. And he stood among the myrtle-trees. The Saints and people of God, they are called myrtle-trees, for their greenness, sweetness, and fruitfulness. And these myr∣tle-trees were in the bottome. That is, in a dark, in a low, and a poor condition: it is the condition of myrtle-trees, and of the Saints and people of God to be oft in bottoms, and in a dark and low condition. Well: Behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white: And I said, O my Lord, what are these? Now that this is Christ; First of all, he is called a Man, and an Angel too. Secondly, As Christ walked between the golden Candlesticks, in the book of the Reve∣lation: So here he stood among the mirtle-trees, among the Saints. And behind him (attending upon him) were red Page  40horses, speckled and white. That is, Angels sent to and fro through the earth, upon his message, and upon his er∣rand; and unto him they come and give an account, and to none but Christ. Then we shall see this Angel, that stood among the myrtle-trees, comes and Intercedes: all the An∣gels they come and bring in this report, That the Church and people of God were in a low condition. Then this An∣gel that stood among the Myrtle-trees, answered and said, (at the 12. verse) O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the Cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten yeers? It must needs be Christ, for no Angel intercedes, but Christ alone. What is the fruit of this Intercession? (at the 13. verse) The Lord answered the Angel that talked with me, with good words, and comfortable words. I (indeed) good words, and comfort∣able are the fruit of the Intercession of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of great comfort this, That the Lord Christ, our great High-Priest, is in Heaven to intercede for us. Is it not a comfort to a poor man, to have a friend above, neer the King, or in the Court, that may be able to do him kind∣ness? A man sometimes saies, I had a friend indeed in the Court, but now he is dead. I but, here is a friend that never dies: He ever lives to make Intercession. Friends may alter, and turn enemies; but he changeth not. Our Lord and Saviour Christ said unto his Disciples, Rejoyce not in this, that the Devils fall down like lightning before you: but rejoyce in this, That your names are written in Hea∣ven: it is a matter of great joy to have ones name written in Heaven: Oh! but what is it then, to have ones name written in the chiefe part of Heaven, to have ones name written there, upon the breast-plate of Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, that is gone into the Holy of Holiest. Thus it is, The Lord Christ is now gone to Heaven, en∣tred into the Holy of Holiest, and carries our names into the presence of God the Father, and there pleades, and in∣tercedes for us. Oh! what matter of comfot is here!

But you will say unto me: [Object.] This is indeed exceeding Page  41good, and very comfortable in it self: but what is this to me? for I am afraid that the Lord Christ, does not intercede for me: if indeed I could perswade my self, that the Lord Jesus were in Heaven as my High-Priest, to intercede for me, I think verily I should have comfort, though I were in the lowest bottom, though I were in Hell it self: but Oh! I am afraid to bear my self upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ, lest I should presume.

This is the great Objection, and stands up continually, [Ans.] to resist the comforts of Gods people: Give me leave there∣fore, to deal with this Objection all along, and to take it off, that so the comfort may fall the more fully upon you.

First, I will shew, It is no presumption for us, to bear our selves upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, Who those are, that the Lord Christ does Intercede for in Heaven.

And Thirdly, How willing, how infinitely willing he is to Intercede for us: that so I may bring the comfort neerer to our own bosomes.

First, [unspec 1] I say it is no Presumption for us to bear our selves upon the Intercession of Jesus Christ: no Presumption to beleeve. We know the story of the woman in the Gospel, that came unto our Lord and Saviour, touching the hem of his garment for her cure, and she was cured thereby. But our Saviour perceiving vertue to be gone from him, he cals out the person, Who hath touched me? come forth; and the woman came forth trembling. Our Lord and Savi∣our Christ, does not say to this poor woman, How dare you thus touch me? how durst you thus presume to do it? Consider, The woman had no Command to do it, no Precept to back her: The woman had no promise to en∣gage her; that if shee did touch the hem of his garment, she should be cured. The woman had no Example; ne∣ver any before that touched the hem of his garment and was cured: No Commandement, No Promise, No Exam∣ple: Surely now, if any woman, or man, should Presume, it should be this woman, that had no Commandement, Page  42nor no Promise, nor no Example; and yet the Lord Jesus Christ does not chide her away, does not tell her, she had presumed; but, O woman thy faith hath saved thee, thy faith hath made the whole. Let me speake this home, we have a Command now to beleeve in Christ; and a Promise: Those that come unto him, he ever liveth to make Inter∣cession for them: And we have Examples of many that have come unto Jesus Christ, born themselves upon his Intercession, and have gone away cured: what! was it no Presumption for the woman to come and touch Christ, without a Commandement, and a Promise, and an Exam∣ple? and have you Examples, and have you Promises, and have you Commandements to beleeve, and will you say this is Presumption? Be not deceived, it is no Presumpti∣on for thee, poor soul, to bear thy self at length upon Jesus Christ.

Secondly, [unspec 2] To make this out a little more fully: I shall discover who those are that the Intercession of Jesus Christ does belong unto.*If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. You will say, This is to be carried upon those that were spoke of before: and those were such as had fellowship with the Father: Truely, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Sonne Jesus Christ; Chap. 1. verse 3. Now if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. If a∣ny man that hath fellowship with the Father, or Christ, sin; they have an Advocate with God the Father. First therefore stand you by I pray, that we will take for gran∣ted, all you that ever had any fellowship with God the Fa∣ther, or with Jesus Christ; this Doctrine of the Intercessi∣on of Jesus Christ, and the comfort hereof does belong to you.

Moreover, In the 17. Chapter of John, there we find, that our Saviour saies, He prayes for those that do beleeve, and should beleeve. Those that he prayes for here, he in∣tercedes for in Heaven: Neither pray I for these alone (at the 20. verse) but for them also which shall beleeve on me through thy Page  43word. I do not pray only for those that do beleeve now, but for them also which shall beleeve. Well then, here is a second sort, Those that do beleeve, and those that wait upon the Lord in the Ordinance, that they may beleeve, or shall beleeve; Stand you by also, you are another sort of people, that the Intercession of Jesus Christ, and the com∣fort thereof does belong unto.

But now yet further, If we look into the 7. Chapter of this Epistle unto the Hebrews, at the 25. verse, we shall find these words: Wherefore, he is able also, to save them to the utter∣most, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make In∣tercession for them. Who are those? Those that come unto God by him. Lay this, and 53. Chapter of I saiah the 12. verse together. He was numbred with the transgressors (spea∣king of Christ cleerly) and he bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. It may be thou canst not say, I have fellowship with God the Father: it may be thou canst not say, I do beleeve, I am perswaded that I do be∣leeve; thou canst not say so: Well, but can you say thus: Through the Lords grace, I do come unto God by Christ; I have been, and I am a great transgressor, but I come unto God by Christ; I am one of the coming-transgressors: I have been a transgressor, but I am a coming-transgressor, I come unto God by Christ. Stand you by also, this In∣tercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, it belongs unto you: And let me tell thee for thy comfort (poor soul) whatsoe∣ver thou hast been, that comest unto the Lord by Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he is gone to Heaven to intercede for thy soul.

But you will say, [Obj.] There is one thing that makes me afraid he will not intercede for me, I have been so great a transgressor: for I have been a transgressor against Jesus Christ, this High-Priest: Oh! I have sinned against this great High-Priest, Jesus Christ, and therefore I am afraid he will not intercede for me.

For answer to this, I shall only desire you to turn to the 16. Chapter of Numbers, the 41. verse, and consider it duely; [Answ.] we reade there, that all the Congregation murmured a∣gainst Page  44Moses, and Aaron: Aaron was the High-Priest: And (saies the text) all the Congregation of the children of Israel mur∣mured against Moses, and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord. They had murmured against Moses, and Aaron. Then (at the 46. verse) Moses said unto Aaron, Take a Censer, put fire therein from off the Altar, put on incense, go quickly unto the Congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord, the plague is begun. And see what Aaron did: And Aaron took as Moses comman∣ded, and ran into the midst of the Congregation, and behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stayed. They had sinned against Aaron the High-Priest, and yet Aaron (but the Ty∣pical High-Priest, he was but a Type of Christ) he ran in, although they had sinned against him, and he stood betwen the dead and the living, and made an atonement for them. Oh! if there was so much bowels, and compassions in the Type, in Aaron, when they had sinned against him, as to go and intercede for them: How much more is there in our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Typified High-Priest, to poor souls, to intercede for them.

But now, [unspec 3] this may be more fully made out to us, if we do but take in the Third thing, and that is: The Lord Je∣sus Christ, he is infinitely willing to intercede for us. We have seen who those are unto whom the Intercession of Christ belongs: namely, Such as have had any fellowship with God the Father, or with Christ: Such as do beleeve, or shall hereafter beleeve: And all those poor transgressors that come unto God the Father by Christ. Now observe, how infinitely willing the Lord Jesus Christ is to intercede for us that are thus: That will appear thus:

First, [unspec 1] He must needs be willing to do that which he hath recei∣ved his anointing for. It is said of Aaron, that he was anoin∣ted; and that ointment ran down upon his beard, and un∣to the skirts of all his garment: not a piece of Aarons gar∣ment, but was perfumed with the ointment that Aaron was Page  45anointed with. Surely, there is not a skirt of the garment of Jesus Christ, but the anointment wherewithal He, our High-Priest was anointed, does run down upon him. He is the Messiah, the anointment: So he is called in the 10. of Isaiah. The anointment. He was anointed with the oyle of gladness above all his fellows: above all the High-Priests that ever were before him. And he was anointed for this very end, That he might do the work of the High-Priest; which is, to Intercede for the sins of the people. And therefore in that place in John, 1 John 2.1. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ. Christ signifies A∣nointed. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father: But who is that? He is Jesus, that signifies your Saviour, and so he is willing to intercede. I but, it may be he is not able to do it, it may be he hath not received the anointing to do it. Yes, He is called Christ. If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ: or if you will, Saviour, Anointing. So that he is anointed for this end and purpose, to be your Advocate. Now if a man do receive money for to lay out for the benefit of o∣thers, poor Orphans, or the like: if a man be faithful, certainly, he will lay out the money for them, according to the intention of him that did trust him with the money. The Lord Jesus Christ, he hath received the Anointing, he is anointed as our great High-Priest, to do the work of the Priestly Office: and this is one work, to Intercede, and there∣fore he must needs be very willing to do it.

Again, The more any thing is the work of a mans Relation, [unspec 2] wherewithal he is clothed, the more (if he be faithful) is he willing to do the work. And I pray mind it a little. When men are exalted, and come to Greatnesse, or Honor, then they give down the comforts of their Relation unto those that depend upon them: If a father come to any great pre∣ferment; the comfort of the Relation of a father, then fals down upon the children, runs down then upon the fruit of his loynes. And so, if one friend do come unto prefer∣ment; the comfort of the Relation, (or friendship) fals Page  46down. Now the Lord Jesus Christ, he is our High-Priest; and he is now exalted, he is gone to Heaven: and therefore all the comforts of all the Relations that he stands in to∣wards us, do now fall upon us. And therefore, he is wil∣ling, he is very willing, because this is the work of his Re∣lation.

And further, [unspec 3] It is the work of his Office. What a man does by office, that he does willingly; what a man does by office, he does industriously, he does not do it by the bye: what a man does by office, he does it readily; according unto a mans place, or office, so will his interpretation be. Suppose now a Child that hath very good parts, come be∣fore three men, of three several professions; A Lawyer, a Minister, and a Merchant. The Child having very good parts; the Merchant saies, He will make a very good Mer∣chant: the Lawyer saies, He will make a very good Law∣yer: and the Minister saies, He wil make a very good Scho∣lar: according to their three Relations, or Places, or Of∣fice, or work, their interpretation is. So now, if three men, of three several Trades, whose work lies about wood, come and behold a fine green-tree: One man saies, It is good for this: And another saies, It is good for that: and the third saies, It is good for another use: according to his Place, and Calling, will his interpretation be. So now, when a poor soul comes before God: Moses (the Law) looks upon him: And the Devil looks upon him: And Jesus Christ looks upon him: The work of the Law, is to Condemn; The work of the Devil, to Accuse; And the work of Jesus Christ, is to Intercede, it is the work of his office. Now therefore, assoon as the Devil sees such a soul, Oh (saies he) here's a fine instrument for me, here's a fit subject for me to injoy. Assoon as Moses sees this man, Here's a fine subject for me to condemne unto all Eternity. But when Jesus Christ looks upon such a soul, saies he, Heres a fine soul for me to save unto all Eternity, to intercede for: why? because it is his Office, and what a man does by office, he interprets accordingly. Therefore what the Page  47Lord Jesus Christ does, he does by office, and he does it readily, and willingly. And I will give you one demon∣stration of it; It was the end why Jesus Christ was taken into Heaven, into the Holy of Holiest; that he might In∣tercede. According to the Scriptures mentioned before, in Heb. 9.24. For Christ is not entered into holy places made with hands, but into Heaven it self, now to appear in the presence of God for us. He does not say thus, Christ is now gone to Heaven, to be glorified there; Christ is now gone to Hea∣ven, to injoy the bosome of his Father, for his own happi∣ness. No, but he is gone into Heaven to appear in the pre∣sence of God for us. This is the end of his ascention. And so again in the 7. of the Hebrews, Wherefore, he is able to save to the uttermost, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us. What? is he in Heaven to be glorified there? No, but the end why Christ is in Heaven, Is to make intercession for poor sinners: And therefore, he must needs be infinitly willing to do this, because it is the end of his going thither, into the Holy of Holiest. Oh therefore, be of good comfort, all you that do come unto God by him, for he is willing to intercede for you. And let not any thing discourage you: It may be you will complain, and say Oh! but I am much opposed here in this world. What matter, so long as Jesus Christ does intercede for me in Heaven, and speaks good words unto God the Father for me in heaven; what though I be opposed by men? It may be you will complain, and say, Oh! but I am much tempted, and cannot pray. Be humbled for it; but yet know this, That when you cannot pray, Christ prayes for you; and he prayes that you may pray. It may be you complain, and say, Oh! but I la∣bour under such and such corruptions, and the Devil he is busie with me, exceeding busie, and I cannot overcome them: and the Devil stands at my right hand for to tempt me, and to lead me into such and such sins. Wel, be it so, yet notwithstanding, the Lord Jesus Christ, he is at the right hand of our Father, and he is set down at the right hand of God the Father, till all enemies be made his foot∣stool; Page  48and your sins are his enemies: And therefore be of good comfort, O all ye people of the Lord. Is there ever a poor myrtle-tree, a soul that growes in a bottom, in a poor dark condition? be of good comfort, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High-Priest, he is entered into Heaven, into the Holy of Holiest, there to intercede with God the Father for thee.

I but, [Quest.] you will say unto me: Does not this conduce to our Grace, and Holiness too? and how does it do it?

This Intercession of Jesus Christ; [Ans.] this work of the Priest∣ly Office of Christ, and the consideration thereof, it does conduce exceedingly unto our Grace, and Holinesse. For.

First, [unspec 1] What a mighty incouragement is here unto all poor sinners, for to come unto Jesus Christ? He ever liveth to make Intercession for those that come unto God by him: Oh! then, who would not come unto God by Christ? who would not come unto Jesus Christ? Me thinks a poor sin∣ner should say, Indeed my sins were so great, that I was a∣fraid for to come unto God: But now I hear, that the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven, to make intercession, for all those that come unto God by him; Though I have been a Drunkerd, now I wil go unto God by Christ: And though I have been a Swearer, and though I have been an unclean wanton, yet I will go unto God by Christ. Indeed, I thought that my time was past; for I have been an Old Swearer; and I have been an Old Drunkard; and I have been an Old Sabbath-breaker; and I have been a sinner so long, that I was even afraid of going to God at all; and thought there was no mercy, nor no pardon for me: But seeing now, that this is true, That the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven, to make intercession for all those that come un∣to God by him; Well, through the Lords grace, now I will go unto the Lord Christ, I will go unto Jesus Christ: I indeed, am a young man, and I thought it was to no purpose to go unto God, God would not regard poor ig∣norant ones, and I am a poor ignorant creature, and Page  49thought it was to no purpose for me to go unto God: But now I understand this, That the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven to make intercession for all those that come unto God by him: Well then, Though I am ignorant, yet will I go unto God by Christ: and though I am but a poor young thing, and scarce understand the termes of Religi∣on; yet will I go unto God by Christ. Oh! come unto Christ, come unto Christ: Behold here, in the Name of the Lord, I stand and make invitation to poor sinners; Come poor Drunkard, Swearer, Sabbath-breaker, Un∣clean heart; the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven to make intercession for all that come unto God by him; and will not you come? Oh! how will you answer it at the great day? when it shall be said, The Lord Jesus Christ made a tender, and offer of mercy to you, and you would not ac∣cept of it, you would not come unto him. Here is matter of great Incouragment unto all poor sinners to come unto Jesus Christ.

Again Secondly, The more I apprehend, [unspec 2] or see with a spiritu∣al eye, That the Lord Jesus Christ does appear in Heaven for me▪ the more am Fingaged to appear upon earth for him. (Mark I pray, that you may see how this does conduce unto Grace, and Holiness.) Ah! shall the Lord Jesus Christ appear in Heaven, before Saints, and Angels, and God the Father for my soul? and shal I be afraid to appear before poor worms for him? Shall the Lord Jesus Christ own me in Heaven? and shall not I own him upon earth? Shall the Lord Jesus Christ, as the great High-Priest, take my name, and carry it upon his breast into the presence of God the Father? and shall not I take the Name of Christ, and hold it forth to the world? Oh! I beseech you consider, what a mighty ingagement is here, to stand to and appear for the Lord Christ, and to own his Cause in these backsliding times; because he is now in Heaven appearing for you, and ma∣king intercession for you.

Thirdly, The more I confider, or apprehend, [unspec 3] That the Lord Jesus Christ does lay out himself for me, the more am I ingaged Page  50to lay out my selfe for him. The Scripture saies, He ever liveth to make intercession for you. He laies out his whole E∣ternity for you. Me thinks we have here before us, the greatest argument in the world for to make us to walke closely with God in Christ: For, shall the Lord Jesus Christ, spend of his Eternity for me? and shall not I spend of my whole time for him? He Ever liveth: he Ever liveth to make intercession. Before the world was made, his de∣light was in the habitable parts of the earth, among the children of men. He laid out himself in delighting upon you before the world was made. Well, in due time, he comes down into the world; and here while he was upon the earth, he laid out himself fully for you. Then he Dies, and goes up to Heaven, and (saies he) I go to prepare a place for you. He was at work for you, before the world began; Then he comes down upon the earth, and here he spends all his time for you: And now that he is gone to Heaven; the text saith, He ever liveth to make intercession for you: he spends off all his eternity for you. Oh! does not the Lord Jesus grutch me Eternity, to spend off his Eternity for my soul? and shall I grutch the Lord Jesus Christ a little time, to spend a little time for him? Surely, people don't think what Christ is doing in Heaven for them, (you that are Saints especially) if you did, you could not be padling in the world so much. Shall the Lord Jesus Christ be ap∣pearing in Heaven for me? and shall I be digging in the world? Shall he be making mention of my name unto God the Father, and interceding for me? and shall I be sinning against him? shall I be contending with his children? shall I now be joyning with his Enemies? shall I be opposing his waies? Oh! if people would but think, what the Lord Jesus Christ is doing in heaven for them, they could not re∣bel so in the world against him as they do. Wherefore, that you may be kept from your sins, & kept frō the world, think of these things. The Apostle saies, These things have I written unto ye, that ye sin not: and if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And so Page  51say I to you, I have been here delivering to you this Do∣ctrine, concerning the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ: and these things have I preach't unto you, that you sin not. And therefore, that you may be kept from sin, and your hearts made more Holy; think of the Priestly Office of Je∣sus Christ, he is gone into Heaven to make intercession for you. And thus have I discovered the Second Particular of the Priestly Office of Jesus Christ. A Third follows.