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with all their concerns, as one that will be for them a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.
4. He is described by his names ; by his appellative name, Christ, and his proper name, Jesus. The name Jesus notes his work about which he came; and Christ, the offices to which he was anointed, and in the execution of which he is our Jesus. "In the name Jesus," says Glassius, "the whole Gospel is contained; it is the light, the food, the medicine of the soul.” Hence, Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator between
God and men. "Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.” Heb. 12 : 24. "And for this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament,” &c. Heb. 9:15. I shall endeavor to show what is the sense of this word me. diator; what it implies, as applied to Christ; how it appears that he is the true and only Mediator.between God and men; and in what capacity he performed his mediatorial work.
I. What is the sense and import of this word peritus, a mediator ? The true sense and import of it, is a middle person, or one that interposes between two parties at variance, to make peace between them. Christ is such a Mediator, both in respect to his person and office: in respect to his person, he is a Mediator ; that is, one that has the same nature both with God and us, true God and true man; and in respect to his office or work, which is to interpose, to transact the business of recon. ciliation between us and God. His being a middle person, fits and capacitates him to stand in the midst between God and us. This, I say, is the proper sense of the word; though ueritus, a mediator, is rendered variously; sometimes an umpire or arbitrator; sometimes a mes. senger
sometimes an interpreter, imparting the mind of one to another; some
times a reconciler or peace-maker. And in all these senses Christ is the Merutns, the middle person in his mediation of reconciliation or intercession; that is, either in his mediating, by suffering to make peace, as he did on earth ; or his continuing and maintaining peace, as he doth in heaven, by meritorious intercession. In both these respects he is the only Mediator. But let us inquire,
II. What it is for Christ to be a Mediator Letween God and us.
1. At the first sight it implies a most dreadful breach between God and men ; else no need of a mediator of reconciliation. There was indeed a sweet league of amity once between them, but it was quickly dissolved by sin; the wrath of the Lord was kindled against man, pursuing him to destruction, " Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity.” Psa. 5:5. And man was filled with unnatural enmity against his God; " haters of God.” Rom. 1:30. This put an end to all friendly intercourse be. tween him and God.
Reader, say not in thy heart, that it cannot be, that one sin, and that seemingly so small, should make such a breach as this, and cause the God of mercy and goodness so to abhor the work of his hands, and that as soon as he had made man; for it was a heinous and aggravated evil. It was upright, perfect man, created in the image of God, that thus sinned: he sinned when his mind was most bright, clear, and apprehensive; his con
and active; his will free, and able to withstand any temptation ; his conscience pure and undefiled: he was a public as well as a perfect man, and well knew that the happiness or misery of his numberless offspring was involved in him. The condition he was placed in was exceedingly happy: no necessity or want could arm and edge temptation : he lived amidst all natural and spiritual pleasures and delights, the Lord most
delightfully conversing with him; yea, he sinned while as yet his creation-mercy was fresh upon him: and in this sin was most horrible ingratitude ; yea, a casting off the yoke of obedience almost as soon as God had put it on.
2. It implies a necessity of satisfaction to the justice of God. For the very design and end of this mediation was to make peace, by giving full satisfaction to the party that was wronged. The Photinians, and some others, have dreamed of a reconciliation with God, founded not upon satisfaction, but upon the absolute mercy, goodness, and free-will of God. But, as one has well said, "concerning that absolute goodness and mercy of God, reconciling sinners to himself, there is a deep silence throughout the Scriptures :" and whatever is spoken of it, upon that account, is as it comes to us through Christ. Eph. 1:3-5; Acts, 4:12; John, 6:40. And we cannot imagine, either how God could exercise mercy to the prejudice of his justice, which must be, if we must be reconciled without full satisfaction; or how such a full satisfaction should be made by any other than Christ. Mercy, indeed, moved in the heart of God to wretched man; but from his heart it found no way to vent itself for us, but through the heart-blood of Jesus Christ; and in him the justice of God was fully satisfied, and the misery of the creature fully cured. And so, as Augustine speaks, "God neither lost the severity of his justice in the goodness of mercy, nor the goodness of his mercy in the exactness of his severity.”
But if it had been possible that God could have found out a way to reconcile us without satisfaction, yet it is past doubt now, that he has determined and fixed on this way.
And for any now to imagine to reconcile themselves to God by any thing but faith in the blood of this Mediator, is not only most vain in itself, and destructive to the soul, but most derogatory to the wisdom
and grace of God. And to such I would say, as Tertullian to Marcion, whom he calls the murderer of truth, "Spare the only hope of the whole world, O thou who destroyest the most necessary glory of our faith!” All that we hope for is but a phantasm without this. Peace of conscience can be rationally settled on no other foundation but this; for God having made a law to govern man, and this law being violated by man, either the penalty must be levied on the delinquent, or satisfaction made by his surety. As well no law, as no penalty for disobedience; and as well no penalty, as no execution. He, therefore, that is to be a mediator of reconciliation between God and man, must pay a price adequate to the offence and wrong; and so did our Mediator.
3. Christ being a Mediator of reconciliation and intercession, implies the infinite value of his blood and sufferings, as that which in itself was sufficient to stop the course of God's justice, and render him not only placa. ble, but abundantly satisfied and well pleased, even with those that before were enemies: as Col. 1:21, 22, "And ye that were sometime alienated, and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unblameable, and unreprovable in his sight." Surely, that which can cause the holy God, justly incensed against sinners, to lay aside all his wrath, and take an enemy into his bosom, and establish such an amity as can never more be broken, and joy over him with sing. ing, as Zeph. 3 : 17, must be a most excellent and efficacious thing
4. Christ's being a Mediator of reconciliation, implies the ardent tender love and large pity that filled his heart towards poor sinners. For he not only mediates by way of entreaty, going between both, and persuading and begging peace; but he mediates, as already shown, in the capacity of a surety, by putting himself under an
obligation to satisfy our debts. Oh how compassionately did his heart work towards us, that when he saw the arm of justice lifted up to destroy us, he would interpose himself, and receive the stroke, though he knew it would sink him to the grave! Our Mediator, like Jonah, his type, seeing the stormy sea of God's wrath working tempestuously, and ready to swallow us up, cast in himself to appease the storm. I remember how much that noble act of Marcus Curtius is celebrated in the Roman history, who being informed by the oracle, that the great breach made by the earthquake could not be closed except something of worth were cast into it, heated with love to the commonwealth, went and cast in himself. This was looked upon as a bold and brave adventure. But what was this to Christ?
5. Christ being a Mediator between God and man, implies, as the fitness of his person, so his authoritative call to undertake it. But having already discussed this more largely, let us proceed to inquire,
III. How it appears that Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator between God and men. I reply,
1. Because he, and no other, is revealed to us by God. And if God reveal him, and no other, we must receive him, and no other as such. Take but two Scriptures at present, that in 1 Cor. 8:5, The heathen have "gods many and lords many," that is, many supreme powers and ultimate objects of their worship: and lest these great gods should be defiled by their immediate and unhallowed approaches to them, they invented heroes, demi-gods, and intermediate powers, as agents, or lord mediators between the gods and them, to convey their prayers to the gods, and the blessings of the gods back again to them: "But unto us,” says the apostle, "there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we by him," that is, one supreme essence, the first spring and fountain of blessings, one Lord, Jesus