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when its members, now many of them scattered far and near, but still united to their Head, shall one day have a glad universal meeting in an eternal temple never to part, and where they shall celebrate a jubilee of inconceivable ecstacy and transport, without mixture, without interruption, and, which crowns all, without end.

VIII. The Redeemer's union with his people illustrates his intercession for them. For what more agreeable to the most perfect order than that the petitions of the members should be strengthened by the pleading of their Head? Since their holy desires are excited by his grace, put up in his name, and granted for his sake; whether is it more reasonable to think, that, being at God's right hand, he stands by without concerning himself in his peoples' desires that come up before the throne, or that he seconds them and procures acceptance ?

If it be objected, that his intercession is super. fluous, because the Father can bestow all blessings without it, and is of himself inclined to bestow them; it should be observed, that if the objection had any force in it, it would infer that God makes use of no intermediate causes or means, for effects that he can produce immediately himself; and that it is not agreeable to his will, that blessings should be asked from him, which he is before-hand inclined to grant. The reverse of this is clear from experience and reason, as well as from Scripture. The Scripture says, that Job's friends were commanded of God to cause Job pray for them, for favours which he was before-hand resolved to grant. Surely this way of acting is agreeable to the best order of things, though we should not know all the reasons of it. There is a vast difference no doubt between Christ's intercession and men's prayers; yet the one illustrates the other, if it were carefully considered.

Christ's sacrifice and obedience on earth were

transient things. Their effects are permanent and Jasting to all ages. They continue still to be the meritorious cause of all spiritual blessings. If I may so speak, they are still contemplated as such by the Father; and why should it seem strange that they are still represented as such by the Son, in a way of pleading suitable to his interest in God, to his care for his people, and to the virtue of his merits?

Let us consider what may be certainly inferred from Christ's affection for his people, and his knowledge of their wants. Since he loves them constantly, he continually desires that God should grant them those blessings they stand in need of, and apply for. Since he sees all their wants, and knows all their petitions, these desires in him are not merely general but particular. Since it is for his merits that blessings are granted, it is on that account he continually desires them. And is not this intercession, unless it should be supposed that he does not represent these desires to the Father, though he be at his right hand, and though he hear him always?



BESIDES the duties that are incumbent on us,

as we are rational creatures, and as we are sinners; it is needful to consider the duties which we are obliged to, as we are sinners to whom the salvation revealed in the gospel is freely and graciously offered. It is sufficient for the design of this essay, to take such a short comprehensive view of the Christian doctrines, as is requisite for explaining the chief parts and characters of Christian piety. The chief peculiar doctrines of the gospel relate to the divine promises of salvation and happiness; the principal causes of that salvation, particularly the mercy and power of God in the mediation of his Son, and the effectual grace of his Spirit; the divine nature and glory of both; the means of that salvation on our part, namely the means of an interest in the divine promises, and the means of obtaining the accomplishment of them; and particularly the constant improvement that ought to be made of all the grounds of our hope and joy as motives to love and obedience.

1. Suitable acknowledgment of the mercy of

God in our redemption by Christ, is a principal branch of Christian piety. The same scripture instructions which prove the necessity and importance of such acknowledgment, serve also to explain the nature and characters of it.


The doctrine of redemption itself, is evidently contained in the many scriptures, which treat of the causes and effects of Christ's death; and is mixed and interwoven with all the other most important doctrines and instructions of holy Scripture. The scriptures which treat most directly of Christ's death shew that it was a real and complete satisfaction to divine justice for our sins, and that it is the meritorious cause of all the parts of our salvation. It is called a sacrifice, a ransom, a propitiation, an atonement for our sins. meaning of these and the like Scripture-expressions, is abundantly evident from the obvious import of the words themselves, and from a great variety of equivalent expressions made use of on the same important subject. Thus we are told that Christ died for our sins, was delivered for our offences, wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; that the iniquities of us all were laid on him; that he bare the sins of many; that he bare our sins on his own body on the tree; that he who knew no sin was made sin for us; that he suffered the just for the unjust to bring us to God. It is impossible to devise stronger and clearer assertions of Christ's substitution in the room of sinners. As the scriptures which have been hinted at, treat more directly of the causes of Christ's death; the doctrine of redemption is contained, with equal evidence, in the scriptures which treat more directly of the effects of his death. Thus we are taught "that we have redemption in Christ's blood, the remission of sins; that his blood was shed for the remission of the sins of many; that thereby he reconciles us to God by the blood of

his cross; that his blood cleanses from all sin; that it purges the consciences of sinners from dead works, and gives them boldness to draw near to God." Whereas some of these scriptures ascribe our redemption to Christ's death, and others of them ascribe it to his sufferings in general; there are various scriptures which shew that the merits. of his obedience are included in his satisfaction taken in its full extent. Thus we are told that by his obedience we are made righteous, Rom. v. 19. and that by his righteousness we receive the justification of life. But these things may be more fully proved in another section, designed for vindicating the grounds of Christian piety from objections.

II. As to the means of an interest in Christ's redemption; whereas the Scripture gives various warnings concerning the inefficacy of a dead faith, or of that faith which is without works, it teaches us also that there is a sincere holy faith, which works by love, and which has a necessary and sure connection with salvation. Thus we are taught, that by grace we are saved, through faith;" that "being justified by faith we have peace with God ;* that "God sent his Son to the world, that whosoever believes in him may not perish, but have life everlasting" that " he who believes has past from death to life;" that "to as many as receive Christ, even to them that believe in his name, it is given to be the sons of God;" that "through faith in him, sinners receive the remission of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified." It is evident from these and many other scriptures, that that faith which has a connection with salvation, includes the belief. and acknowledgment of the things revealed concerning Christ. Though the Scripture sometimes speaks of that faith which is a principal means of salvation, without speaking expressly of the object of it; yet where

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