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his Blood on Earth, nor shews it in Heaven SERM. for such as these, who continue in Sin with a blasphemous Expectation that Grace may as bound, No; it is only the faithful, penitent, and returning Sinner, whofe Cause our Savi. our pleads in Heayen.
On these Conditions only are we to place any Hopes in the Priesthood of Jesus : For such only will he execute his Office, for such only will he intercede. His Prayer now in Heaven is suitable, certainly, to what he used upon Earth: And here we know, in his mediatory Prayer just before he suffered, he difclaimed the unbelieving impenitent World: I pray not for the World (faith he) but for tbem which thou hast given me, John xvii. 9. And of this Number, I beseech
you, pray and endeavour earnestly to be. And when by our Lives and Actions we have Reason to think that we are so indeed, then,
In the third Place, Having, Brethren, Boldnefs, i. e. Confidence, to enter into the Holieft by the Blood of Jesus (from which the Jews were debarred, the way into the Holiest having not been revealed to them ;) By a new and living Way which Jesus hath consecrated for us, through the Vail, that is to say (through) bis Flesh, (which was offered up
SER M. for our Sins upon the Cross ;) And having
such an High Priest (so merciful and faithful) over the House of God; Let us draw near with a true Heart, in full Asurance of Faith, that our Services shall be accepted now, and our Persons hereafter admitted into his heavenly Presence, as having our Hearts sprinkled (not with the Blood of Bulls and Goats, but with the Blood of Christ) from (the Accusations of) an evil Conscience, and our Boo dies washed with (the) pure Water, chap. x. 19-22. (of Baptism, the Laver of Regeneration.)
This Courage and holy Confidence would the sacred Penman (from a due Contemplation of our Saviour's Priesthood) inspire into such as are qualified to feel the Comfortableness of it; it is much the same, as he had exhorted us to before : Let us (depending on his Power, his Interceffion, and Sympathy with us) come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, (i. e, to the Mercy Seat) that we may obtain Mercy (in the Pardon of our Sins), and find Grace to help in Time of Need, chap. iv. 16. (i.e. seasonable Relief in all our Sufferings for his Sake.)" And this, if we are but in a proper Disposition ourselves, we ought by no Means to distrust or doubt of from HIM.
For we have not an High Priest, who cannot SERM. be touched with the Feeling of our Infirmities, but (one who) was in all Points tempted (exposed to Sufferings) like as we are, (but) yet without Sin, ver. 15. (without Sin to deserve the least of them, or in yielding to the greateft.) And therefore fince he himself bath suffered being tempted, be is able, (and willing be very well assured) to succour them who (at any Time) are tempted, chap. ii. 18. (or exposed to any Sufferings whatever.) Nay, he is able to succour them who fall when they are tempted; who yield to the Temptation, provided that as soon as they perceive themselves fallen through the Inadvertency, or evil Inclination of their own Nature, they endeavour immediately to rise again by the Help of God's Grace. If they suffer not their Sin to grow into a Habit, but recover themselves from it, and apply to him, or to God through him, for Pardon for it, we have Assurance given us by the Divine St. John, that our heavenly Advocate will obtain our Pardon. If any Man fin (faith he) (i, e. fin through Weakness or Infirmity, or repent him thoroughly of his wilful Sins) we bave
an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous, and be is the Propitiation for our
SERM. Sins, (i. e. our Atonement to render God
propitious in the Forgiveness of our Sins) and not for ours only, but also for the Sins of the whole World. Be affured therefore, goodi Christians, if you relent for your Offences, though you have been Sinners, you may yet apply with Comfort to your Saviour, for you are the proper Objects of his Mercy and Power. You have finned it is true against a glorious Majesty who dwells in Heaven, whither
ye cannot approach yourfelves : But you have a Friend there, a Mediator to make your Peace, an Advocate to plead your Cause, who appears there in your Stead, and intercedes for your Pardon in the heavenly Court * Had God taken Delight in the Death of a Sinner ; he would not have admitted any to fpeak for us: Much lefs would he have appointed as such an Advocate as has been acquainted with our Infirmities, that he might pity us, and is his own well-beloved Son to engage bim; an Advocate peculiarly stiled the Righteous, as being wholly innocent and without Exception: So that it is not the Interceffion of one Sinner for another; but of one who being separate from Sinners himself, has made Satisfaction for our Sins . * Comber, on the Communion Office, P 516.
and therefore one who with Authority urges
X. the Merits of his own Blood, by which God may preserve his Justice, and yet forgive us. And is it possible that such a Mediator and Advocate should be rejected ? It is certain,
very ill to offend, nor must we take Encouragement, from our having such an Advocate, to sin more easily : Only now, that we have been deceived, and are exceedingly grieved for it; let us from hence take Courage to repent, and not sit down under a sad Despair. For except we heedlessly go on in our Sins, how can we perish, who have fuch an Advocate and such a Propitiator ? Faith and Trust in such an Atonement, will banish our Terrors, and free us from all that Confternation and Confusion which the Sense of Guilt, and the Fears of Vengeance naturally create *. This inspires Life and Vigour into our Undertakings. For nothing is so powerful a Motive to be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the Work of the Lord, as the being perfectly satisfied that our Labour is not in vain in the Lord. And this is directly our Case. Live without Sin we could not : Make Satisfaction to the Justice of God we could not : And therefore God has done this * Stanhope, on the fifth Sunday in Lent, p. 421.