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1 Tim. ii. 5. There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
THAT sinful men cannot be saved without a mediator, is one of the most obvious truths of holy writ. God, who is transcendently holy, will not suffer men to approach him in their own name; but in the name of Jesus they may draw near with humble confidence, for he is their mediator. There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
MEDIATIO OF CHRIST. 19 Let US consider the character of our Mediator—his mediatorial work— and thehappy consequences of his ifiediation. I. The character of our mediator. The name of our mediator is called WonderJul; and every thing 'which is said orhim by the inspired writer? is ivoiiderful. Having two natures, the divme arid human, he stands nearly related both to God and man. He is the heloved Son of God, and the despised Son of Man. Withoutybrm or comliness in his huriian nature ; but in his divine, the brightness of his Fathers glory, aiid the express image of his person. Heb* i. 3. The word was God, and the word was
\\\?n\ejlesh. This is a deep mystery which the human mind cannot fathom, but which we are bound to believe on the authority of inspiration. We cannot explain it, because it far exceeds the limits of our contracted understandings. The best method for us to take, is to give full credit to that which God has revealed, without either attempting to pry into hidden secrets, or to explain that which is inexplicable. Had all inen adopted this plan, many painful disputes, in the christian world, woukl never have been known; and the real character of our blessed Mediator would have been maintained on scrip-
20 MEDIATIO OF CHRIST. tural principles. For my part, I see nothing in the union of Godhead and manhood, in the person of Christ, contrary to reason ; and he who objects merely because it is above reason, must, to be consistent with himself, object to every part of God's creation. The ivisdom of our Mediator exceeds all olir conceptions. Peter said to him. Lord thou lenoivest all things. John xxi. 17. And the apostle Paul informs us, that in him are hid all the treasures of ivisdom. Col. ii. 3. He is perfectly acquainted with our sinfulness, weakness, frailty, and temptations,^ and with the best methods of delivering us from all these evils ; so that we may safely depend upon him as an infallible guide to heavenly glory. His poiver is equal to his wisdom. He made and preserves the world : For hy him ivere all things created that are in heaven, and that arc in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be
thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or poiver s; all things ivere created by himyandfor him: and he is before all things, and by him all things, consist. Col. i. 16, 17. This power, blessed be God, is employed in saving a lost world. Well might the apostle to the Hebrews say.
WtEDlATIOlSF OF CHRIST. Sl He is ahle to save them to the uttermost tJmi come unto God by him. Heb. vii. 25, Let tis commit ourselves Avholly to him, remembering tliat he is ahle to keep that which we commit unto him against that day — that great decisive day, which will determine the everlasting state of all mankind. , Our mediator is perfectly holy. Such an high jjriest became its ivho is holy, harmless, um^ defiled, separate from sinners, a7id made Jiiglier than the heavens. Heb. vii. 2(3. On this account sinners can have no union with him till they are saved from their sins. In reference to this, the angel of the Lord said to Joseph, ThouskaU call his name JESUS; for he shall save hit people from their sins. Matt. i. 21. Christ our mediator is full of compassion for the human race ; yet, such is his regard for the honour of God, that he will not save them who obstinately live and die in sin. Possessed both of divinity and humanity, he regards the one as much as the other ; and it is as ranch his plan to secure the divine glory as it is to save the world. This should never be forgotten, lest, while we view his unbounded love, we should indulge ourselves in those things whicb will ever be hateful in his fcight.
2f MEblATIO OF CHRIST. Tiie^.?. tliin^^, duly considered^ lead us to roucliide that he is in every respect a fit person to luediate between God and men. Have we tQ do >yith God ? Hie is (^od. Are we men ? He is man. Are we ignorant ? He is wise. Are we' weak? He is strong. Are w'e polluted ? He is pure. Are we miserable ? He is compassjionate. ^— Let us now proceed to consider II. His MEDIATORIAL WORK. Our Lord as Mediatory«/^//e(? f/ie laiv, and madi2 it hoj^ourable. His obedience was perfect. In all his w orks the precepts of the law shone peculiarly bright. Every command apl^eared in its native beauty and grandeur ; and Uie world beheld what God designed man to be at first, and what he actually was while he remained in a state of innocency. The following prophecy was remarkably accomplished in his holy conduct : The Lord is icell pleased for his righteousness' sake: he ivill magnify the laic and make it honorable. Isa. xlii. 21. By his death he made aionemcntfor sin. Man was guilty anii condemned. God required satisfaction ; and a sacrifice of great value must be offered up before givilt could be removed.
MEDIATIO OF ClTPvIST. 23 o sacrifice was of sufficient value but that of Christ, The blood of bulls and goats could
not take dway sin. 'tlK^y ' vere offered up to God, under the ceremonial law, as types of the "great Redeemer, who had mercifully undertaken to atone for sin • and they Hirec'tecl the Jewish church to h'im, as the only foundation of hope to man. In the fulness of time Messiah came, and suffered the just for the unjust, that he viight bring us to God. — He was ivoundedfor our transgressions. Isa. liii. 5. He redeemed us hy his blood! 'Rev. t. 9. He idsied death for 'every man, ''Heb.il. 9. By his resurrection he conquered death, ami opmed the grave. The sentence pronounced /upon man when he first went astray, was, Dust thou art, and im^o dust thou slialt return. Geif. iii. 19. But, by the resurrection of Christ, a way is opened to a blessed immortality. Deafli •yielded to his superior power, and the dreary grave was opened. What cause of thankfulness to us ! What glorious prospects are befoie us ! We also shall arise from the dead, and heiyen will be our final home ! Before his ascension he appoitited a gospel jninistry. Chosen men were sent out into ill
24 MEDIATIO OF CHRIST. the world, to preach the gospel to every creature. Havhig fulfilled their mission, they died, iand others were raised up to fill their place ; and able ministers will be raised up by Jesus a>s long as the ministry shall be necessary. The snen whom he chuses are not ahvays furnished 'with vast stores of human learning ; but what is
j^r more important, they possess the spirit of l&eir divine Master. With zeal and persevejence they warn men of dangei*, and direct them to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of Ihe world. By their instrumentality sinners are awakened, mourners are comforted, believers are established, and backsliders are restored to the favour and image of God, After the ascension of our mediator into heaven, lie sent the Holy Spirit down to carry on his gracious designs tOAvards the children of men. The influences of the Holy Spirit are either extraordinary or ordinary. On the day of Pentecost he communicated extraordinary gifts to the holy apostles, to qualify them for an extraordinary Avork ; but those gifts were not continued long. There are other ordinary gifts of the Spirit which are communicated to all men in all ages, because they are absoutely necesgary to salvation. Without his sacred influ(suces we have neither inclination nor power
MEDIATIO OP CHRIST. 25 to return to God, He enlightens, that we may repent — he quickens, that we may live to God — he cleanses, that we may be happy. To deny these influences and operations upon the the human heart, is to deny all genuine religion. That which is not the work of the Spirit oi God should not bear this sacred name. Our blessed Mediator ever lives to make intercession. He appears for us in the presence of God, and pleads the merit of his death. It is on this ground alone that a sinful world is not destroyed. When a guilty sinner returns to
God, Jesus pleads for pardon and peace ; when a poor tempted and aiflicted saint looks up, he pleads for delivering grace. Through him the choicest blessings of heaven are sent down upon us ; and through him our prayers, praises, and duties ascend, and meet with divine acceptance. — We shall now hasten to the last thing proposed in. The happy consequences op his mediation. By his mediation God is glorified. The plan of mediation will reflect everlasting honour upon God, because it both secures his glory, and the happiness of his creatures. Here we
^§ MEDIATIO OF CHRIST. see all the attributes of Deity graciously employed, and sweetly harmonized in the salvation of men. Justice i8 satisfied, truth is vindicated, purity is displayed, the channels of mercy are opened ; and both the wisdom and power of God are made manifest in the contrivance and execution of this wondrous plan. A sufficient remedy is provided for guilty man. His guilt may be pardoned ; he may be reconciled to God ; his nature may be cleansed ; and lost happiness may be fully recovered. Shall we, then, refuse this remedy ? Are we determined to perish in our sins ? God forbid ! Blessed be the Lord for offering salvation to us upon gospel terms ! O may we accept his offered mercy, and live for ever ! A way is opened into the kingdom of glory
by the mediation of Christ. The vilest sinner upon earth may become a glorious saint in heaven. The crown of glory — the palm of victory are freely offered ; for the grand design of Christ, in all his undertakings, has been to bring many sons unto glory. Heb. ii. 10. Lord grant that we may be of the happy number ! Upon the whole, let us unite in praising God
MEDIATIO OF CHRIST* 2? for the gift of his Son : let us love the Lord Jesus in sincerity ; let us thankfully accept the gracious offers of the gospel, and follow on to know the Lord. Hereafter may we join all the glorified saints in heaven, in singing the following song of praise to our Redeemer: Worthy is the Lamh that ivas slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour^ and glory, and blessing. Rev. v. 12. Amen.
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