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justice; for it was the blood of God, of him that is God, Acts xx. 28.
5. Jesus Christ is advanced to the highest dignity after his sufferings,
When God raised Christ from the dead, he set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principalities.—Eph. i. 20, 21. There he sits on the right hand of the Majesty on high ; from thence he will come to judge the quick and the dead. *
6. The exalted Jesus scatters his gifts or donatives among the sons of men.
This alludes to the triumphs of the Romans, wherein they scattered their bounty, the noble fruits of their large spoils. So doth Christ dispense and disperse precious gifts and gratuities,f the fruits of his glorious resurrection, ascension and session at God's right hand, sending forth ministers ordinary and extraordinary, instituting sacraments, seals of the covenant, sending down the Holy Ghost in cloven tongues, communicating spiritual grace, valuable privileges to believers, &c.
7. The great and strong, as well as poor and weak, need those important gifts of our exalted Jesus.
The great and strong may be considered :
(1.) Properly in a natural sense: kings and princes are said to see his glory, Isa. lxii. 2, kings' daughters to be among his honourable women, yea the rich among the people intreat his favour, f this was literally accomplished in Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea an honourable counsellor, who were Christ's disciples.
(2.) Figuratively : the souls that have true grace, though poor in the world, are yet rich in faith and heirs of a kingdom ; || even if persons be conceited of their goodness, and think themselves rich and strong he can batter down their confidence, make them poor in spirit, * Heb. i. 3. † Eph. iv. 11. # Psal. xlv. I, 12. || Jam. ii. 5.
and fill them with true spiritual riches, as he did Paul and many others.
Thus much for Christ's humiliation, and the distribution of his spoils, the consideration of which I purposely wave.
II. The latter blessed fruit of Christ's exaltation, consequent upon his sufferings, is his intercession, a delightful subject little treated on and less considered ; therefore I shall on purpose take it into serious consideration. The word [yp] signifies occurrere, to meet, obstruct, or hinder another's motion; and it is taken sometimes in a bad sense, as when a man hinders another in doing good, but here it is taken in a good sense, for Jesus Christ stopping the wrath of God that comes forth against poor sinners, and meeting God with a design to speak a good word for poor supplicants, so some render it in this sense, [ pro prævaricatoribus oravit, rogavit, obviam ivit, intercessit] that Christ prayed, besought the father, met him with entreaties and intercessions, to be gracious to poor sinners, shewing him the value of his blood and sufferings.
Doct. That Christ and Christ alone makes intercession for transgressors.
Transgressors of God's holy law have a High Priest in heaven to intercede for them : in handling this point, I shall shew,
1. What this intercession is.
ON THE CHARACTER OF OUR INTERCESSOR, AND
THE IMPORT OF INTERCESSION.
THE intercessor here meant is Christ himself in his own person, for the Holy Ghost, the third person of the Trinity is also in some sense an intercessor; so Christ saith, " I will pray the Father, and he will give you [äxlov mapáchytov] another paraclete, or comfort
But it is the same word which is applied to Christ, 1 John ii. 1, and rendered advocate—“ If any man sin, we have an advocate [mapák.ntov] with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Christ is the advocate without us, the Holy Ghost within, and though they always go together, yet they are thus distinguished :
1. According to the economy of salvation, Jesus Christ principally negotiates the affairs of believers with God the Father; the Holy Ghost is the divine agent with believers, to manage God's work in the world, -to testify of Christ, John xv. 26,—to reprove the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, John xvi. 8; and with respect to the church, to teach them all things, John xiv. 26,—to guide them into all truth, xvi. 13,—to comfort their hearts, therefore he is often called, “The Comforter.”
2. Jesus Christ is in heaven sitting at God's right hand, and makes intercession for us, Rom. viii. 34. But the Holy Ghost doth make intercession, or interpellation, with the saints, by directing them what to say in prayer, how to speak, helping their infirmities “ with groanings which cannot be uttered,” Rom. viii.
* John xiv. 16.
26. The Spirit indites the Christian's prayers for him, this is the blessed fruit of Christ's purchase; hence the Spirit is called the Spirit of his Son, sent forth by God into our hearts, “ crying Abba, Father,” Gal. iv. 6. Thus all the persons of the sacred Trinity carry on the same design.
But this work of intercession is more peculiarly appropriated to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity.
And this word applied to Christ in the New Testa-, ment, where he is denominated mapakanTOS, advocate or intercessor, hath a fourfold signification.
1. It signifies a deprecator, that is, one that deprecates evil that it may not fall upon another; so Jer. xviii. 20, “ Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, to turn away thy wrath from them.” This is Christ's work by impetration and intercession, “ to deliver us from the wrath to come.” * O what flames of wrath would seize on us, did not Christ restrain them! It was this angel of the covenant that prevailed with God, for turning away his wrath from Jerusalem : “ Jehovah answered the angel with good words and comfortable words,” Zech. i. 12, 13. Christ's prayer is always prevalent.
2. It means (exhortator) an exhorter, a persuader, and one that undertakes to prevail with another. The word also doth signify consolation ; so Barnabas is called úrós tapaklygewç, “ a son of consolation,” Acts iv. 36, so we read it: but it may as well be read, the son of exhortation, for he was very expert in persuading and exhorting—Acts xi. 23, 24, “ He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord :" and it was effectual, for much people were added to the Lord. Thus effectual are Christ's
* 1 Thess. i. 10.
arguments with his Father for believers, as we shall hear anon.
3. The word signifies (patronus) patron, defender, or maintainer of another's person and cause, and this is the same with his being an advocate in a court of judicature, to vindicate another's right or title according to law. Thus Christ doth undertake the patronage of his despised saints, against all those that would in any case wrong or abuse them ; thus all God's children may in him find grace to help them in time of need, Heb. iv. 16. It is of Christ that the church in all ages hath confidently asserted, “ The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.”—Isa. xxxiii. 22.
Once more, the word is employed to denote (intercessor, interlocutor) an intercessor or speaker on both sides, especially betwixt two parties that have had differences, who interposeth betwixt them to make them friends, and take up the controversy ; one that is concerned for both sides, and hath considerable interest in them, and doth offer his mediation : Job calls such a one a surety, chap. ix. 33, “ Neither is there any days' man betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.” The word in Hebrew  cometh from a root that signifieth to argue or reprove, such a one as may state the question right between us : thus the Lord himself was the umpire betwixt Laban and Jacob, in rebuking Laban :* thus doth our blessed Jesus step up to be arbitrator, mediator, and referee betwixt God and sinners. This is the case; God and man are at variance in consequence of Adam's apostacy. “Now,” saith the apostle, Gal. iii. 20,“ a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one;" he appears the same wise, just, holy God, under every dispensation of reli
Gen. xxxi. 24.