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NEW EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,
ON THE INTERCESSION OF CHRIST. [From a Circular Letter, drawn up luy Mr. W. STEPHENS of Manchester, and addressed to the Baptist churches in the Lancashire and Yorkshire Association, 1812.] -BELIEVING the Scriptures to between himself and guilty man; the word of God, we believe it to whom he sent into the world in the be a fact, a scripture fact, that fulness of time; who was conJesus Christ, as the Saviour of ceived by the Holy Ghost; who men, is in the presence of God in was born of a virgin: who was Heaven, engaged in the great work obedient unto death, even the death of intercession on behalf of the of the cross for the justification children of men. The scripture of his people; who rose again testimony as to this fact is Heb. from the dead, and was exalted to ix. 24. that Christ has entered the right hand of the Father; in into Heaven it self, now to appear that state of exaltation we believe in the presence of God for us ; also | he is indeed engaged in the gracich. vii. 25. that he ever lives to make ous work of intercession with the intercession for them that come Father of mercies. unto God by him. This is the It has not pleased God to inplain testimony of God upon the form us in his word of the partisubject. Before our Lord left the cular manner in which Christ inworld, he delivered this gracious tercedes for his people; whether promise to his disciples, John xiv. he prays to the Father for them 16, 17. I will pray the Father, in words, as he did when on earth, and he shall give you another Com- or whether in some manner that forter, that he may abide with you infinite wisdom may have deterfor ever, even the Spirit of Truth.mined upon: therefore we would As he cannot fail in any promise not perplex you with the speculathat he has made to his people, all tions of men on the subject; but who believe in him may be assured exhort you to be satisfied with that he is in Heaven praying to what God has in his wisdom rethe Father on their behalf. We vealed; persuaded that it is sufcannot see Jesus thus engaged in ficient to answer all the purposes the presence of God, for the place of his love. of his glory is not visible to mor. It is necessary, brethren, that tal eyes; but, as it is, testified by we should next call your attention God, who cannot lie, we believe to the eminent qualifications of
: yes, that glorious person whom Christ for the gracious work of inGod chose, in his love to man, to tercession. The fact alone is not the high office of Mediator be sufficient for our hope and conso.
lation; we must believe that we | nation of God, that without the have in Christ Jesus, a suitable in- shedding of blood there should be tercessor, one in all respects quali- no remission; aud in vain would fied for the great work; for this is the Son of God appear in the preabsolutely essential to the preva-sence of God for us, if he appeared lency of his intercession.
without blood; nor would it sufJesus Christ is qualified for mak- fice if he appeared there with the ing intercession with God on our blood of animals as the Jewish behalf, by virtue of the office he high-priest did, for the blood of fills, by the appointment of God, bulls and of goats cannot take as the great High Priest over the away sin--but he is eminently house of God. It is in that office qualified for intercession on behalf he officiates as making interces of the guilty, because he appears sion. In that office he was typi. l in the presence of God for them, fied by the High Priests under the not with the blood of others, but law: like them he offered a sacri- with his own blood; that blood fice for sin; like them he appears which he shed by the gracious in the holiest of all with the blood appointment of God for the sins of that sacrifice: but they and of his people. The priest himself their work were shadows of good is the Lamb of God that takes things to come; Christ is the sub. away the sin of the world ; ever stance: they and what they did appearing in heaven as the Lamb were types; Christ and his offer- that was slain, and whose precious ing, and his appearing in the pre- blood was shed for the redemption sence of God for us, are the anti- of the guilty. types. And the substance being! And remember, dear brethren, come, the shadows are gone, and that the infinite wisdom of the Son the substance abides ;. for Christ is of God eminently qualifies him a Priest for ever after the order of also for the work of intercession. Melchisedec; possessing an un- He who pleads on behalf of others, changeable priesthood. As our should be perfectly acquainted great High Priest appears for us with their state and circumstances, in the presence of the righteous and also with the power of him God, the just lawgiver, on behalf with whom he pleads, to relieve of those who have violated his and save. Now, the Son of God law, and deserve the awful punish- not only knows perfectly well the ment which his justice threatened guilty and needy condition of sinagainst every offender, it is abso. ners, and all that is essential to their lutely essential to the success of salvation, but he possesses also the his intercession, that it should be most perfect knowledge of the founded on a satisfaction made to Father's purposes of grace; what divine justice, for the sins of those he can do, what he is willing to do, whose cause he has undertaken: , what he has 'engaged to do, for for though the Son of God him- the salvation of the objects of his self appears as the intercessor on love. In wisdom, as well as in behalf of the guilty, yet his inter- every other divine perfection, he cession cannot be heard by the is the equal of the Father, and his just and holy God, except he plead intercession, therefore, will not upon some ground that justice ap- come short of the Father's treaproves as well as mercy. The sures of grace : and it need not High Priest under the law was for- exceed those treasures, for they bidden to appear in the holiest of who are interested in the mediaall without blood which was of- tion of Christ, need nothing but fered for the sins of the people; what the Father is willing to do for for it was the righteous determi- them according to his abundant mercy in Christ Jesus. The Son, mediation in Heaven, from which koows that it is the good pleasure abasement, pain, and death, are of bis Father's will to bless his altogether excluded : where all is people, in him, with all spiritual exaltation, glory, and bliss. If his blessings, and his intercession is love did not fail him when he was bounded by nothing short of this. made a curse for us, surely it will The eternal purposes of God's not fail him now, when, for the grace, in Christ Jesus, toward his suffering of death he is crowned people, and the intercession of with glory and honour. Christ on their behalf, differ not In considering the qualifications in the least degree as to the num-/ of Christ for the work of interces. ber and nature of the blessings sion, we should ever remen ber, they comprehend. The infinite brethren, that he appears in the wisdom of the Son of God quali presence of God for us, as the fies him for asking of God, on be- God-man, Christ Jesus, the Son of half of bis people, all things that God and the Son of Man, in one are included in that covenant of person ; that before he thus apgrace in which provision is made / peared in Heaven for us, he dwelt for a full and eternal salvation. upon earth, and was in all points
Our gracious Mediator is also tempted like as we are, yet without admirably qualified for interces- sin: consequently that he is touchsion, by the great love he has for ed with the feeling of our infirmiall for whom he appears in the ties; that having himself suffered, presence of God. The love that being tempted, he is able to sucled him to undertake their cause, cour them that are tempted ; that to be humbled, to suffer, and to while he was assaulted by all the die for their salvation, leads him powers of earth and hell, he withalso to plead their cause with the stood all and remained holy, harmFather in his state of exaltation. less, and undefiled, separate from A perfect knowledge only, on the sinners; and that having engaged part of an intercessor, would not in such a conflict, and obtained suffice; for God would have per- such a victory, he knows all the fectly known our state of need, succours of grace that his people though he had never loved us and need in their state of warfare; he determined on our salvation. An sympathizes with them in all their intercessor, in order so to engage temptations and sufferings, for he in his work as to insure success, was a man of sorrow and acquaintniust abound in love towards us, ed with grief.--This qualifies him must feel the most tender compas- in a high degree for the office of sion for us, must enter into all the intercessor on behalf of those whose miseries of our condition, and in nature he bore in a state of humihis great love, must ardently desire liation, suffering, and strong temp. our full deliverance: He must be tation; whose present state upon what the Son of God really is, earth is the same as his was in the according to the divine testimony, days of his flesh. In this truth a merciful High Priest; one who there is abundant consolation for loved his church and gave himself all who in faith and patience are for it; one whose great love for treading in the steps of Jesus. his people is fully manifested in | The word of truth informs us, every part of his great work of | Heb. vii. 26, Such an High-Priest mediation. And if his love for his became us, who is holy, harmless. people bore him through his work undefiled, separate from sinners. of humiliation, suffering, and dying, Christ was perfectly holy in his on earth, the same love will surely nature and life, altogether pure carry him through that part of his and free from the least taint of sin;