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that I will plead for and justify, not the other. See the difference of these.
3. Art thou laid under the sense of thy wants and great exigencies? “The whole need not the physician, but they that are sick.”* They that are recti in curia, right in God's court, need not an advocate. This follows on the former ; due sensibleness is the fruit of conviction; and indeed “the Son of man is come to seek that which is lost.”† All are lost, but he finds none savingly except those that feel themselves in a lost condition. The poor sinner saith, with David, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep;"# then Christ will seek and save him. And indeed none will seek for a surety but the debtor-none desires or much cares for an advocate but he that is a necessitous client-none stands upon relief but the beggar. Let a Laodicean professor come in, he will say, “ I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” || nay, then, saith Christ, here is no work for me, shift for thyself. O, but saith the soul that is poor in spirit, and seeth himself in a forlorn state--woe is me, I am the chief of sinners, the least of all saints, if a saint, an ignorant, impotent, vile wretch : how am I estranged from God ? how long have I been the devil's vassal ? My fear is, that I am in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity; other lords have had dominion over me: $ I see nothing but bare walls about me; help I must have: whither shall I go? to whom shall I flee? Where is the advocate that will undertake iny desperate cause ? that hath interest in the Judge, and may bring me off clear who am a condemned malefactor? Is there any to be found that can draw up a petition to the Judge for my life, for the life of my soul ? “ Men and brethren, what shall I do?"* are there any hopes? “Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?”+ Eternal salvation is now the great concern, all other things are but trifles. It is to such sensible souls as these that our Lord reveals himself to bring them off.
* Matt. ix 12. + Matt xviii. 11. # Ps. cxix. 170. | Rev. iii. 17, § Acts viii. 23. Isa. xxvi. 13,
4. Hast thou regarded Christ and studied his mediatorial office? Christ will not lead sinners blindfold into this privilege: as they know their danger, so he will make them know their remedy. Indeed, Christ crucified is the chief object of the Christian's knowledge : “ I determined,” saith Paul, “ not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified :” ţ and again, “ That I may know him and the power of his resurrection.”
”. Yea, it becomes the Christian also to regard Christ at the right hand of God, and his employment there. § But observe it, it is not enough to know these things notionally, but they should also be known experimentally and practically, so as to be transformed into the very nature and image of Christ, to be buried with him by baptism into death, to rise with him, and walk in newness of life: being dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord : T so to rise with him, as in some sense to sit with him in heavenly places, ** not only as he represents us, but as our hearts are with him, “ seeking the things that are above,” our affections there, our desires and delights above. It Our Lord bears none upon his breastplate in the holy of holies, but such as are united to him, and conformed in their measure to his mediatorial undertaking, for he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, ## that is, he is naturally one with him in love, and spiritually one by faith, as Christ dwells in his heart by faith ; * hence, saith the apostle, Gal. ii. 20, “ I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” Conformity to Christ is an inseparable attendant of relation to Christ; for this is a certain rule, whosoever hath a true interest in one of Christ's offices, purchases, or undertakings, hath also a title to, and benefit from all: for God will not parcel out his Son's merits or undertakings as men do in selling their commodities in shops, that measure out as much as suits the customer's turn, and leave the rest—nothing in our Lord is such refuse commodity. You must have all or none, and what comes not within the reach of experimental feel. ing, may be gathered from what a Christian feels sensibly in his own soul : for example—he that feels the fruit of Christ's office, as Prophet and King, may conclude he is also his Priest, that he died for him on the cross, and intercedes for him in heaven; when the soul is savingly illuminated, sin mortified, the heart quickened, then you inay conclude that Jesus Christ is improving his sacerdotal office for you, in his intercession at God's right hand; for our Lord saith to Peter, “ If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” † Mind this, look at what you feel in your own hearts, if you would know what Christ doth for you in heaven,
* Acts ï. 37.
of. Acts xvi. 30.
1 Cor. Ü. 2.
Rom. vi. 4-ll. ## 1 Cor. vi. 17.
5. Hast thou retained Christ as thy advocate ? No counsellor can justly plead the client's cause, except he be retained and have fees. It is true, Christ takes no fees yet faith retains him, and he will not plead your cause except you act faith upon him; it is by faith that the king is held in the galleries ; sincere faith appropriates Christ, it takes him aside and engageth him to be a friend ; “My beloved is mine," saith the believer, , “and I am his;"|| I will not go to God without him, yea, • Eph. iii. 17. + John xiii. 8. # Cant. vii. 5. Il Cant. vi. 3.
if I have him, I have God; “My Lord and my God,” he loved me and gave himself for me ;* I would not for a world be without a title to Christ, I must have him or I am undone; "what things were gain to me, those
; “ I count loss for Christ;"+ O that I may be found in him as the poor client in his advocate! Alas, I am only as a briar and cannot stand before the consuming fire of divine justice, but I am resolved to take hold of thy strength, that I may make peace with thee, Isa. xxvii. , 4, 5. O for a well-grounded faith ; “Lord, increase my faith; help my unbelief;"I if I had but faith as a grain of mustard-seed, I should remove mountains; however, I will reach after my dear Lord, I will follow after, “ if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus ;"|| I will pursue apace, and when I have got hold of him, I will hold him fast, and not let him go, until I have brought him into my mother's house, that others may be delighted with him as well as 1.9 Lord, thou hast said, that those that come to thee, thou wilt in no wise cast out; I come to thee, draw me, draw me with cords of love; surely thou dost not use to reject clients, Jesus Christ makes intercession for all that come to him :** I am not worthy to be received, but I have thy promise to accept me, which is thy bond, and I will sue it while I retain mine advocate, and renounce all others; I hope it is not groundless presumption, for thou didst at last accept and commend that woman's faith, who resolutely followed thee, though she had no command, promise, or example in particular, yea, she had some checks, yet depending on thy compassionate nature, thou didst graciously own and commend her, Matt.
• John xx. 28. Gal. ii. 20.
Luke xvii. 5. Mark ix. 24. § Cant. iii. 4.
John vi. 37.
+ Phil. iii. 7, 8.
xv. 21–28. Lord, it is thine office and proper work to be thus employed, and I will retain thee.
6. Doth the Spirit of grace make intercession within you? This is a great truth that Christ makes intercession for none in heaven, but those that pray by the assistance of the Spirit. These always go together, Rom. viii. 26. 27, “Likewise also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities,-it maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered : and he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Christ at God's right
. hand, and the Spirit in the hearts of believers, have the same object in view. It is not the gift of prayer, but the grace of prayer, that God takes notice of; it is not our own spirit, but the Spirit of God, which is the Spirit of adoption, crying, Abba, Father,* and this is the Spirit of his Son, namely, Christ, he knows and owns the least whimper of his Spirit working in his children's hearts, and will echo to it above. None can rationally expect that our Lord should plead for such as plead not for themselves; nor is it any kind of pleading that is owned, but praying in the Holy Ghost,t depending upon and feeling his enlivening influences. The body of the sun is in heaven, its beams dart upon earth, and draw up sap into trees from the roots, and make the earth fruitful : the person of Christ is in heaven, but his Spirit is in the hearts of believers, actuating their faculties, and drawing up their hearts to God in duty. O what strong
) and powerful reflections God-wards doth the Christian feel! he is often beyond nature, and above himself, in a transport of grief, desire, joy, and delight in God; whence comes this? surely not from any power the Rom. viii. 15. Gal. iv. 6.
† Jude, 20.