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transgression; they had also lost God's mercy have abounded to-
his holy image, and become vile and wards us, in all wisdom and pru-
miserable, even "vessels of wrath dence," (Eph. i. 7, 8). Through
fitted for destruction:" but it pleased the intervention of a Mediator sin-
their offended Sovereign, "to the ners are saved, and yet the Lord
praise of his glory," and the dis- does not so much as seem to favour
covery of his infinite and everlasting sin; nay, he in the most decisive
mercy and bounty (for God is Love), manner shows his judgment of what
to purpose the reconciliation, re- punishment it deserves, his holy
covery, and eternal felicity of an abhorrence of it, and his determi-
innumerable multitude of the fallen nation in all possible cases,
race. It did not, however, become magnify his law and make it ho-
him, as the infinitely righteous and nourable."
holy governor of the universe, to If, in discoursing on such sub-
show such favour to the guilty and jects, we are constrained to accom-
unholy, without adopting some de-modate our language and reasonings
cisive method of showing his judg-to the conceptions and usages of
ment concerning their crimes and men, we do no more than imitate
deserts otherwise it might have the sacred writers, and can aptly
been supposed, that he did not express our meaning in the words
wholly abhor sin; that he meant to which they have used before us:
desist from the demands of his vio- whereas they who object to such
lated law; that it needed not to explanations, are obliged to repre-
have been made so strict; that it sent the style of Scripture as highly
was not requisite for his rational (if not absurdly) figurative, and fre-
creatures on all occasions to obey quently to caution their disciples
it, or that transgressors should be against a too literal explanation of
punished according to its sanction; it: nay, it costs them much labour,
and that it was owing to some other as well as great ingenuity, to furnish
cause, than his perfect justice and such interpretations as accord with
holy abhorrence of evil, that he so their rational systems, and which
severely executed vengeance on common readers could never have
some of his rebellious subjects. To thought of: and what is this but an
obviate such conclusions, it became insinuation that the sacred writers
the God of glory to devise some have used a language extremely
plan, according to which, the largest suited to mislead and confuse the
exercise of his pardoning mercy unlearned and simple part of man-
and saving grace might consist with kind? But indeed the apostle has
the most affecting display of his shown at large, (Rom. iii.), that the
avenging justice and hatred of ini- mediation of Christ was intended
quity. For this purpose, as is ma- especially for this end, "that God
nifest from the Scriptures, his infi- might be just and the justifier of the
nite wisdom and love had formed, believer,' a just God and a Sa-
and then revealed the plan of a viour."
Mediator, through whom a new If we examine the subject more
covenant was arranged and pro- minutely, we shall find, that the
posed to sinners; according to which, mediation of Christ is of that kind,
all things pertaining to eternal life which required such a person to
are freely bestowed for his sake, on sustain and perform it as the Scrip-
all who apply for them in the ap-tures testify him to be. If any
pointed way.
"Thus the riches of one should interpose between an

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offended sovereign and his rebel-created being have undertaken to lious subjects, in order that, for his render the exercise of mercy and sake, exemption from punishment, grace to sinners consistent with his and the grant of valuable privileges perfect justice, and the honour of should be conferred on them; he his law? Alas! their best services must stand high in the estimation must all be due for themselves, and of the prince, and be a person of on account of benefits already conknown worth and dignity among ferred: even their own felicity, all who are acquainted with the strictly speaking, must be gratuitous, transaction, otherwise there would not merited: nor hath one of them be no ground to expect that his re-power to endure the punishment of quests would be attended to, or any a single transgression, without finally care taken, if they were to manifest sinking under it, for the wages of the demerit of the pardoned of- sin is death. So that it cannot be fenders, or the clemency and bounty conceived, that the office of a Meof their reconciled sovereign. But diator between God and man, which what man, or mere creature, could Christ performs, could possibly have thus interpose between the infinite been sustained by any mere creaGod and the apostate children of ture; or that any of them had sufmen? Who could have thought of ficient love to have induced him to requesting, that for his sake, and at undertake it for the benefit of the his instance, all the crimes of those unholy and rebellious. But when who came in his name, should be the eternal Son of the Father,pardoned, all their wants supplied, when he who created and upholds and all spiritual and eternal bless- all worlds, for whom all things were ings conferred upon them? Would made, and whom all angels worship, not such an intrusion have been voluntarily engaged himself to meconsidered as an act of rebellion, or diate a peace between the offended at least a preference given to the Sovereign of the universe and his happiness of rebels above the glory sinful creatures: "to the princiof God? Who, among the angels palities and powers in heavenly of heaven, or any of the creatures places was known-the manifold that God has made, could pretend wisdom of God:" and all the holy to personal dignity, excellency, intelligences that ever have been, merit, or services, sufficient to au- or shall be made acquainted with thorize such a requisition? Or how could it have been imagined, that if the Lord did not see good to spare and bless sinners for his own name's sake, he would be induced to do it for the sake of a derived, dependent being, who lived, moved, and existed in and by him alone? Had it been consistent with, or conducive to the display of his glory, to have saved sinners without an If a Mediator was to be constiatonement, he would not have tuted for such ends as have been wanted any external inducement to stated, it must be proper that the do it if it were not, could any one Lord should choose and appoint possibly prevail with him to disho-him to this important office. 'No nour himself? Or could any mere one taketh this honour to himself,


this grand design, must perceive, that his personal dignity and excellence, his ineffable union with, and relation to the Father, as well as his boundless power, love, and holiness, rendered him in all respects the proper person to accomplish it, and bring it to a happy and glorious event; and that he only was competent for such an undertaking.





but he that is called of God." Almere man: the more we had conself-appointed Mediator must have sidered the matter in all its diffibeen deemed an intruder: the cri- culties and consequences, the greater minals could not reasonably expect hesitation should we have felt to to have the nomination of him; confide it to the hands of a mere they had no just ground of com- creature, as all are changeable; plaint the whole design must be and we should have been apprehenformed for their relief and advan- sive, lest some want of power, love, tage; the rights and glory of God truth, wisdom, or constancy should must be first considered and secured induce a failure, when our eternal in the execution of it; and he alone all was at stake. But we could could know whom it became him to never have thought of such a Meentrust with so vast a concern, as diator as our offended God hath involved in it not only the interests himself provided, appointed, and of his universal kingdom, but the revealed," who is the same yestereternal honour of his own great day, to-day, and for ever," and who We know to whom he hath is "the true and the holy One,” committed this office; and we are Emmanuel," God over all, blessed sure from the event, that he saw for evermore." Here, then, we can none else in heaven or earth whom have no ground for fear: unbelief he could so properly have appointed alone can hesitate. He whose power to it; for he does nothing in vain, sustains the universe, is able to save and would not have sent his only our souls in all possible cases. begotten Son on a design which one who is worthy to be entrusted with of his servants could have executed the rights of God, and the eternal with the same success and advan- glory of his name, must also be tage. But we may understand worthy to be entrusted, with our enough in this matter to perceive immortal interests (for our rights in that it would have been highly im- this respect are all forfeited): and proper for the infinite God to have he who, perfect in justice and purity appointed a mere creature to such himself, could so pity and condean office, and to have entrusted his scend to guilty, polluted creatures, own glory, the salvation of innume- as to undertake such an office wholly rable souls, and the interests of his for their benefit, cannot want love everlasting kingdom into such hands: to accomplish whatever is wanting in such a cause " he puts no trust for the eternal salvation of all who in his servants, and charges even accept of his mediation. his angels with folly," (Job iv. 18). But the appointed method in Yet, at the same time, this Mediator which this great Mediator performs is, in all respects, suited to our case, his most gracious design, hath laid and worthy of our confidence. If a still more firm foundation for our it had been revealed, that God unshaken confidence. It was proper would deal with us through a Me- that the terms of our reconciliation diator, and we had been required should be proposed by the Lord to look out for one on whom we himself; and as these related to could most entirely and unreservedly the Mediator, they required him to depend, even when eternal happi- assume our nature into personal ness or misery was at stake, what union with his Deity, that, as " God could we have done? We could manifest in the flesh," he might never have entrusted such an im-stand related to us also, in the most portant cause in the hands of any intimate manner, as our brother,

bone of our bone, and flesh of our to, and avail themselves of his meflesh; that so he might properly diation. For this also must be


represent us, undertake our cause taken into the account, as if men as interested in it by the ties of who have this divine constitution one common nature, and encourage stated to them, with suitable eviour most unlimited confidence in dence, do not approve of the Mehis compassion and love. Thus diator, but reject his mediation, hath he humbled, emptied, and im- they of course exclude themselves poverished himself; as they, in be- from the benefit of it. We shall, half of whom he mediated, were in the two following Essays, conpartakers of flesh and blood, he also sider more particularly the rightetook part of the same:" "he is not ousness and atonement of our great ashamed to call them brethren :" Mediator, and his continual interand now, as his union with the cession in heaven for us. It is inFather, in the divine nature, ren- deed almost impossible to discourse ders him a proper person to vindi- in general concerning his mediation, cate his rights, and display his without in some degree adverting glory; so, in virtue of his union to these subjects, but it would be with us in the human nature, we improper any farther to anticipate may most cheerfully rely on him to them in this place. take care of our immortal souls. It does not seem necessary to atThis also shows the propriety of his tempt a laboured proof, that our interposing in our behalf; for some Lord's mediation is of that nature, connexion or relation is supposed and instituted for the purposes to subsist between the Mediator which have been stated. The geand those for whom he acts; else, neral language of Scripture conveys why does he solicit favour for them, this idea of it, to those who underrather than for others in similar stand and believe it in its obvious circumstances? And even if the and literal import. In particular, plea be supported by some pay- the scope of St. Paul's reasoning in ment or satisfaction made, it seems the epistle to the Hebrews, estaproper that there should be a ground blishes the doctrine under consion which to determine for whom deration. Was Moses a typical this should be done, and to whom mediator, at the giving of the law, the benefit of it should belong. that through his intervention the When, therefore, the Son of God national covenant might be ratified undertook the office of Mediator be- between God and the people? This tween God and man, he took not only shadowed forth a better coveon him the nature of angels, as he nant, founded on better promises, meant not to mediate on their be- which Christ hath mediated behalf; but he assumed the human tween the Lord and his spiritual nature: and this renders it very ob- Israel: and "this person was countvious and natural for us to conclude, ed worthy of more honour than that all he did and suffered on earth, Moses, being a Son over his own and all he now performs in heaven, house, which he had builded; in the character of Mediator, was whereas Moses was no more than exclusively intended for the benefit a servant," or even a part of the of men, whose nature he bears, for house itself (Heb. iii. 1—6). Were whom he mediates, and to whose the high priests, of the order of account the whole will be imputed, Aaron, typical mediators between that is, to such of them as accede God and the people, in virtue of





their perpetual sacrifices, and burn- He" is our Peace-maker;"
ing of incense? The insufficiency Advocate with the Father."
and unprofitableness of such medi- says, "I am the way, and the truth,
ators, and all their sacrifices and and the life: no man cometh to the
services, must be shown, to make Father but by me" (John xiv. 6).
it manifest that another priest must So that no man ever did, or ever
arise, after another order, whose dig-will, find acceptance with God, who
nity, excellency, and invaluable mi- rejects Christ's mediation. We
nistrations might really effect those must come to God in his name,
ends which the other merely pre- asking all blessings for his sake,
figured and represented as in a pic and presenting all our services by
ture, or rather as an indistinct and his hands, and through his interces-
feeble shadow. So that through sion, even "giving thanks to God
Him, access was given to believers, and the Father through him."
to the mercy-seat of God, in the In this view of the subject, we
holy places not made with hands; may consider Christ as the Medi-
whereas, before, the very shadow of ator between God and man, in such
this blessing was concealed by the a sense, that no sinner on earth can
veil; and none might approach to be found to whom we may not pro-
it on pain of death, but the high pose all the benefits of his media-
priest alone; nor he more than one tion, provided he truly "come to
day in a year, with the blood of the God by faith in Christ;" whereas
sacrifices, and the burning of in-fallen angels, and those men who
cense. What do all these arguments have died in their sins, are wholly
(which fill up more than half this excluded from this benefit by the
epistle) signify, but that Jesus is very constitution of the covenant
such a Mediator as hath been de- which he mediated. On the other
scribed? The apostle says, "that hand, all other mediators, and all
there is one Mediator between God attempts to approach God without
and man; even the man Christ a Mediator, are an affront both to
Jesus" (1 Tim. ii. 5, 6). No doubt the Father and the Son; even as
he is truly man, and performs his the sacrifices which Israelites of-
mediation in human nature; for he fered contrary to the law were an
assumed our flesh for this very pur- abomination to the Lord. As, there-
pose; but the apostle, by declaring fore, we must shortly meet our of-
him to be the one Mediator, ex-fended Sovereign at his awful tri-
cludes all other mediators. Moses, bunal, let us now avail ourselves of
and the priests of Aaron's line were, this inestimable appointment; and
in a certain sense, mediators be- constantly approach his throne of
tween God and man; and every grace, through our faithful and mer-
believer, when he prays for others, ciful " High-priest and Mediator;
in some degree interposes his re- that we may obtain mercy, and find
quests between God and them, to grace to help in every time of need."
seek mercy in their behalf. Yet
Christ is the only Mediator; be-
cause he alone is capable of, and
appointed to perform such a media-
tion as hath been described, in vir-
tue of his personal dignity and the THE opinion, that the Deity might
ransom he hath made. Through be appeased by expiatory sacrifices,
him we have access to the Father." has been very widely diffused among



On the Merits and Atonement of

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