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ple, for that would be to confound his human nature with -his divine; and it is only in the human nature that he prays, though the efficacy of this prayer is founded on the infinite value of his oblation performed therein, which was the result of its union with the divine, as has been before observed*; therefore,

(2.) When Christ is said to make use of words in interceding for his people, these are principally to be considered, as expressive of their wants and infirmities in a general way; so that a few comprehensive words may include in them the general idea of those things that are common to them all. In this respect, I am far from denying that Christ, in interceding for his people, makes use of words; but, when we consider his being in heaven, or appearing in the presence of God in the behalf of his people, as virtually containing (as was before hinted) the nature of a plea, this extends itself to every particular necessity of those for whom he intercedes at all times.

2. It is farther observed, that Christ, in making intercession, declares his will to have the merit of his obedience and sacri

fice applied to all believers: thus he says, Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, &c. John xvii. 24. in which he does, as it were, make a demand of what is due to him, in right of his purchase; and so it is distinguished from a supplication, or entreaty, that God would bestow an unmerited favour. All our prayers, indeed, are supplications, that God would bestow upon us undeserved blessings; but Christ's prayer is a kind of demand, of a debt due to him pursuant to the merit of his obedience and sufferings. Moreover, this mode of speaking may be farther understood, as containing an intimation of his divine will, to have what he purchased, in his human nature, applied to his people; though this is rather a consequence of his intercession, than, properly speaking, a formal act thereof. 3. It is farther observed, that he intercedes for his people, by answering all accusations that may be brought in against them: thus the apostle, Rom. viii. 33, 34. supposes a charge to have been brought in against God's elect, and that they were under a sentence of condemnation; and shews how this sentence is reversed by the death of Christ; and the charge answered by his intercession. If we consider the many things laid to the charge of God's elect, either by the world, satan, or their own consciences, these are supposed to be either false or true. What is falsely alleged, Christ, as their Advocate, answers, by denying the charge, and undertakes to vindicate them from it: but when the thing laid to their charge is undeniably true; as, for instance, that they are sinners, and have *See Page 235.

thereby contracted guilt, and deserve to be for ever banished from the presence of God; this Christ undertakes to answer, no otherwise than by pleading the merit of his obedience and satisfaction, whereby they obtain remission of sins and a right to eternal life.

VI. Christ, by his intercession, procures for his people many valuable privileges, three of which are mentioned in this answer.

(1.) Quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings. This supposes, that the best believers on earth, by reason of the remainders of indwelling corruption, are liable to many sinful infirmities; as it is said, There is not a just man upon earth, that doth good and sinneth not, Eccles. vii. 20. and, If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, 1 John i. 8. And these have a proportionable degree of guilt attending them; and this guilt has a tendency to make the conscience uneasy, unless we have an Advocate, who has a sufficient plea to allege in our defence: but such an one is Christ, and consequently his intercession procures for us this privilege; If any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, chap. ii. 1.

(2.) He also procures for us access, with boldness, to the throne of grace. As sin renders us guilty; so guilt exposes us to fear, and a dread of coming before the throne of God, as a God of infinite holiness and justice: but when he is represented as sitting on a throne of grace, as the consequence of Christ's death and intercession, our servile fear is removed, and we are encouraged, as the apostle says, to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace 10 help in time of need, Heb. iv. 16.

(3.) Another consequence of Christ's intercession is, the acceptance of our persons and services; first, of our persons, then of our services; as it is said, The Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering, Gen. iv. 4. The acceptance of our persons is a branch of our justification, which is founded on Christ's sacrifice and intercession, as it is said, Ike hath made us accepted in the beloved, Eph. i. 6. And the acceptance of our services, which are performed by faith, supposes the removal of the guilt that attends them, by reason of our sinful infirmities: thus God's people are called an holy priesthood, and said to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by fesus Christ, 1 Pet. ii. 5.

VII. Let us consider how Christ's intercession ought to be improved by us.

1. It is a great remedy against those desponding or despairing thoughts, which we are sometimes liable to, by reason of the guilt of sin, when charged on our consciences; in which

case, we should give a check to ourselves, and say, with the Psalmist, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Psal. xlii. 10. Why should we entertain such sad and melancholy thoughts, especially if Christ intercedes, on our behalf, for the forgiveness of all our sins? and our sincere repentance, together with the exercise of those other graces, that accompany it, will afford us an evidence of our interest in this privilege, which will be an expedient to raise our dejected spirits, and fill us with the joy of his sal


2. Christ's intercession is to be improved by us, as an encouragement to prayer; and, as a farther ground, to conclude, that our poor, broken, imperfect breathings, shall be heard and answered for his sake, who pleads our cause.

3. This is a great inducement to universal holiness, when we have ground to conclude, that those services, that are performed to his glory, shall be accepted, upon the account of his intercession.

QUEST. LVI. How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world?

ANSW. Christ is to be exalted in his coming again to judge the work, in that he, who was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men, shall come again at the last day, in great power, and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father's, with all his holy angels, with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel, and with the trumpet of God, to judge the world in righteousness.

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UR Saviour being in his exalted state, is to continue at the right hand of God, till he has finished the remaining part of his work, in the application of redemption, and, by his Sirit, in the methods of his providence and grace, brought in the whole number of the elect; after which follows another branch of his Mediatorial glory, when he shall come again to judge the world at the last day, which is the subject matter of this answer. For the understanding of which, let it be considered,

I. That though he was, before this, solemnly invested with a power of exercising judgment, and is continually distributing rewards and punishments in the course of his providence; yet the full manifestation of his glory, as Judge of quick and dead, and that in a visible manner in his human nature, is deferred till the last day. Though he be now known by the judgments that he executes, which are oftentimes attended with

wonderful displays of his divine glory; and, though the eternal state of all men be fixed by him at their death, at which time a particular judgment is passed on them by him, as the apos tle says, It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment, Heb. ix. 27. yet this is done without those external and visible marks of glory in his human nature, with which he shali appear in the end of time. This is styled, The last day, John xi. 24. chap. xii. 48. and, in that respect, that measure of duration, which we generally call time, will be ended, and another, which is distinguished from it, which, by reason of its having no end, is called eternity, shall commence; not that it is like eternity of God, without succession: but some think it differs from time, principally in this, that it shall not be described by the same measures that it now is; nor shall the motion of the heavenly bodies produce those effects which they do, in the frame of nature, whereby the various changes of seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, day and night follow each other in their respective courses.

Some, indeed, think that this is called a day, in the same sense as the present season, or dispensation of grace, is sometimes called the sinner's day, Luke xix. 42. or the day of God's patience, and long-suffering. And when this shall be at an end, and the gospel, which is compared to a glorious light, that shines therein, shall be no longer preached, the end thereof being fully answered, this may well be styled the last day, when Christ shall come to judgment.

II. This glorious appearing of Christ to judge the world, is set in opposition to that part of his state of humiliation, in which he was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men, and is designed to aggravate the crime of those, at whose tribunal he stood, who, though he then told them of this matter, namely, that hereafter they should see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven, Matt. xxvi. 64. yet they believed him not. And this may also be considered, as set in opposition to all that contempt, which his name, interest, and gospel, daily meet with, in an ungodly world, whereby he is, as it were, judged and condemned afresh, and the unjust sentence that was passed upon him, in effect, approved of; from all which, Christ shall be for ever vindicated, when his glory shines forth in a most illustrious manner, as calling the whole world to stand at his tribunal, and rewarding every one according to their works.

III. The time when Christ shall thus come to judge the world, is unknown, either by angels or men; and, indeed, our Saviour himself, while here on earth, speaks of this, as a secret, that had not been made known to him, as man, Mark xiii. 32. and the reason why God has thus concealed it, is because

he would not give occasion to any to indulge the least degree of carnal security, (for the same reason that he has not made known to us the term or bounds of life) but that we may be always ready for his coming. Therefore we cannot but reckon it an instance of unwarrantable presumption in several Jewish. writers, and some of the Fathers after them,* to suppose, as they do, that the world shall continue six thousand years, from the creation; and that, as it was made in six days, and the seventh ordained to be a Sabbath, this had a mystical signification; and accordingly, in its application to this matter, a day answers to a thousand years; or that, as the world was two thousand years without the written word, or law of God, and after that, two thousand years under the law, so the days of the Messiah shall continue two thousand years, and then follows the eternal sabbatism at Christ's second coming. As for the Jews, who speak of this matter, their unbelief is condemned out of their own mouths; since they do, as it were, concede, that the time in which the Messiah was to come, was that in which he actually appeared; notwithstanding, this is a groundless conjecture, so far as it respects the end of the world; and, indeed, it is an entering into a secret, which is altogether hid from mankind.

IV. We are now to consider that glory with which Christ shall appear, when he comes to judge the world. Accordingly it is said, he shall come in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father's, with all his holy angels, and with other circumstances, that will be very awful and tremendous.

1. He shall come in his own glory, by which we are to un

As for the Jewish writers, they mention a tradition taken from one Elias, which, some think, refers to a spurious writing, that went under the name of the prophet Elijah: but this they leave uncertain: neither do they signify whether it was a writen or an oral tradition; nor do they intimate when, or where, this Elias lived. However, the tradition was received by many of them. It is mentioned in the Talmud in Tract. Sanhedrim, cap. xi. § 29. Edit. a Cocc. Traditio est domus Eliæ: Sex mille annos durat mundus: bis mille annis inanitas & vastitas. Bis mille annis Lex. Denique bis mille amis dies Christi. At vero propter peccata nostra & plurima & enormia, abierunt ex bis, qui abierunt. And the same is mentioned in another Talmudic treatise, called, Avoda Sura, (Vid. eund. edit, ab Edzard. cap. 1. page 65. cum, ejasd, cunot. page 244, & seq.) And Manasseh Ben-Israel asserts the same thing, (Vid ejusd. de Creat. Probl. 25.) Other writers, among them, improve upon this conjecture, and pretend, that as the sun was created the fourth day, so the Messiah was to come, after 4000 years, by which they appear to be self-condemned. However, us an expedient to disembarrass themselves, they all pretend, that Christ's coming in deferred for their sins ; which evasion is too weak to ward off the evidence which we have for the truth of Christianity. That several of the Fathers imbibed this notion, concerning the world's continuing 6000 years, according to the number of the days of the creation, is evident. Lactantius begins his Millennium then, and supposes, that the thousand years, from thence to the end of time, answers to the seventh day or Sabbath of rest. (Vid. Lactant. de Vit. Beat. § 14.) Avgustin, who does not give into the Millennium, supposes, that time will end with the 6000 years, which answer & to the sixth day of the creation; and then, according to him, follows an eternal sub. batism, (Vid. Aug. de Civ. Dei, Lib. XX. cap. 7.)

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