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the world to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and, in the merit and virtue of that sacrifice, appearing in heaven in the presence of God for us, is become a perpetual advocate and a most powerful intercessor with God in heaven for us. So that instead of the endless facrifices of the Jewish religion, which were ineffeétual to the real expiation of sin, and only types and shadows of the true expiatory facrifice, and instead of the bloody and inhumine sacrifices of the Heathen idolatry ; the Son of God hath, by one facrifice for fin once offered, perfettet for ever them that are fančtified, and obtained eternal redempti, on for us. And instead of the mediation of angels, and the souls of their departed heroes, which the Heathen made use of to offer up their prayers to the gods, we have one mediator between God and men, appointed by God himself, Jesus the Son of God, who in our nature is ascended into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for

And who fo fit to be our patron and advocate, as - he who was our facrifice and propitiation ?

Thus the method of our redemption, as it was by the wisdom of God admirably suited to the common apprehensions of mankind, concerning the necessity of a facrifice to make expiation of sin, and of a mediator to interceed with God for finners ; so was it likewise excellently fitted, not only to put an end to the Jewish facrifices, but likewise to abolish the barbarous facrifices and rites of the Heathcn idolatry, and to cashier that infinite number of mediators and intercessors by whom they addressed their prayers to the Deity; and, instead of all this, to introduce a more reasonable and spiritual worship, more agreeable to the nature and perfections of God, and the reason of mankind; which was one of the main and principal designs of the Christian religion. And therefore to bring in any other mediators, to interceed in heaven for us, whether angels or saints, and by them to offer up our prayers to God, is directly contrary to the design of the Christian religion.

III. It is likewise evident from the nature and reason of the thing itself, that there is but one medicior and intercessor in heaven, who offers up our prayers to God, and that there can be no more: because under the gospel there being but one High Priest, and but one facrifice VOL. IV.

X

Once up our

once offered for fin; and intercession for finners being founded in the merit and virtue of the facrifice by which expiation for fin is made, there can be no other mediator of intercession, but he who hath made expiation of sin, by a sacrifice offered to God for that purpose. And this Jesus Christ only hath done. He is both our High Priest and our facrifice; and therefore he only, in the merit and virtue of that sacrifice which he offered upon earth, can interceed in heaven for us, and offer prayers to God.' Others may pray to God for us; as our brethren upon earth do, and perhaps the angels and saints in heaven : but none of these can offer up our prayers to God, and procure the acceptance of them; for that can only be done in virtue of a sacrifice first offered, and by him that offered it; this being the peculiar office and qualification of a mediator or intercessor, properly so called.

It is the plain design of the author of the episțle to the Hebrews, to prove that Christ is our only mediator in heaven, in virtue of that facrifice for fin which he offered upon earth;

and that he alone appears in the prefence of God for us, to present our requests to him, and obtain a gracious answer to them : and he shews at large, how this was particularly typified by the Jewish High Priest, who upon the great day of expiation, after the facrifice was slain without, entered alone into the holy of holies, with the blood of the facrifices, in virtue whereof he made intercession for the people. Answerably to this, Jesus, the high priest of our profesion, offered himself a facrifice for the fins of men ; and, in virtue of that facrifice, is entered into the high place not made with hands, that is, into heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for 145"; where he lives for ever to make intercession for us, in virtue of that eternal redemption which he hath obtained for us, by the price of his blood; as the Apostle declares in several chapters of that epistle. So that this intercession being founded in the merit of a facrifice, which he alone offered, he is of necessity the only mediator between God and men.

And for this reason it is, that the mediation and intercession of Christ is so frequently in scripture mentioned together with the expiation which he made for the fins of men, or, which is the fame, with the price which he

paid for the redemption of mankind; because the one is founded in the other, and depends upon it. So we find 1 John ii. 1. 2. If any man fin, we have an 'advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous : and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the Sins of the whole world. And here likewise in the text, There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jefus; who gave himself a ransom for all: therefore the only mediator between God and men, because he only gave himself a ransom for all men ; the efficacy and prevalency of his mediation being founded in the merit and virtue of the ransom of his blood.

And the force of these texts, and the reasoning from them, is not to be avoided and turned off, by distinguishing between a mediator of redemption and of intercellion; and by saying, that it is true, that Christ is the only mediator of redemption, but there may be many inediators of intercession : for if the force of his being advocate or intercessor be founded in the virtue of his ran.fom and propitiation, as I have plainly shewn, to the conviction of any that are not strongly prejudiced, ang that will read and consider what the scripture says in this matter without prepossession; then it is plain, that none can be a proper mediator of intercession, but he that paid the price of our redemption. So that the mediator of our redemption, and our mediator of interceflion, must of necessity be one and the same person ; and none can appear in the quality of our advocate with the Father, but he only who is the propitiation for the fins of the whole world.

I should now have proceeded to the fourth thing I proposed in the handling of this argument, namely, to Thew how contrary to this doctrine of the Christian religion, concerning one only mediator and interceffor in heaven for us, the doctrine and practice of the church of Rome is in this matter ; namely, in their invocation of angels, and the blessed virgin, and the saints, and flying to their help, and making use of their mediation and intercession with God for finners; as likewise how contrary all this is to the doctrine and practice of the Christian church for several of the first ages of it: and then I fhould have answered their chief pretences and excuses for these things; and shewed that this practice of theirs is not only needless, being no where commanded by God, but useless also and unprofitable; and not only so, but very dangerous and impious, being contrary to the Christian religion, and highly derogating from the virtue and merit of Christ's sacrifice, and from the honour of the only metiator between God and men. But of this another time.

S E R M O N LXXII. Christ Jesus the only mediator between God

and men.

1 ΤΙ Μ. ii. 5. 6. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and

men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom

for all.

The third sermon on this text.

I

N thefe words are four propofitions; three expressed, and the fourth implied.

1. That there is one God. 2. That there is one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.

3. That he gave himse!f a ransom for all.

4. That the mediation or intercession of Jesus Christ is founded in his redemption of mankind : that because be gave himself a ransom for all men; therefore he, and he only, is qualified to interceed for all men, in virtue of that sacrifice which he offered for the salvation of all mankind.

The Second of these I spake to the last time, and endeavoured to show,

1. I hat God hath appointed but one mediator, or advocate, or intercessor in heaven for us, by whose mediation we are to offer up all our prayers and services to God. II. That this doctrine of one mediator is most agree

abe

able to one main end and design of the Christian religion, and of our Saviour's coming into the world; which was, to destroy idolatry.

III. That from the nature and reason of the thing, (viz. because intercession for sinners is founded in the merit of that facrifice by which expiation of Gin is made), there can be no other mediator of intercession, but he who hath made expiation for sin, by a sacrifice offered to God for that purpose. And this Jesus Christ only hath done. Thus far I have gone. I proceed now to

IV. The fourth thing which I proposed in the handling of this argument, namely, to fhew how contrary to this doctrine of the Christian religion, concerning one only mediator and intercessor in heaven for us, the doctrine and the practice of the church of Rome is in this matter; namely, in their invocation of angels, and the blessed virgin, and the saints; and flying to their help, and making use of their mediation and intercession with God for finners.

And that I may proceed more distinctly in this argument, I shall handle it under these particular heads.

1. I shall endeavour to shew, that the doctrine and practice of the church of Rome in this matter is contrary to the doctrine of the Christian religion, concerning one only mediator and intercessor in heaven for us.

2. That it is contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Christian church, for several of the first ages of it.

3. I shall endeavour to answer their chief pretences and excuses for this doctrine and practice,

4. To fhew, that this doctrine and practice of theirs, is not only needlefs, being no where commanded by God, but useless also and unprofitable.

5. And not only fo, but very dangerous and impious; because contrary to the Cariftian religion, and greatly derogating from the virtue and merit of Christ's facrifice, and from the honour of the only mediator between God an: mien.

1. I shall endeavour to fhew, that the doctrine and practice of the church of Rome in this matter is contrary to the doctrine of the Christian religion, concerning one only mediator and intercessor in heaven for us; namely, in their invocation of angels, and the blessed virging X 3

and

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