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2. The intercellion of Christ is conftant; it always continues: though he was dead, he is alive, and lives for evermore; and he lives not for himself only but for others; he ever lives to make intercession : and because he is constantly employed in this work, therefore, as fast as charges are brought against his ple, he removes them; by pleading for them, and shewing the falshood or injustice of such charges; or the reason why, though true, they are not to be received, and on any attempt to condemn them, he shews reason why there is, and should be, no condemnation to them.
3. His intercession is always prevalent : he, who is the redeemer of his people, is strong ; the Lord of Hofts is his name; and he pleads their cause, and thoroughly pleads it; and always carries his point; for his pleas are founded upon his propitiatory sacrifice, which is of a sweet smelling favour to God, and gives a full satisfaction to his justice; so that it has nothing to object to those on whose account it was offered up, and the virtue of it is pleaded. Christ was ever heard, when here on earth, and so he is now in heaven : whatever he asks for he has ; yea, whatever is asked for in his name, is given.
4. The application of salvation is owing to the intercession of Christ, though the impetration of it is by his death; and the apostle argues from the evidence of the one to che certainty of the other; for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be Javed by his life, Rom. v. 10. that is, by his interceding life: yea, the proof of Christ being able to save, is taken from his perpetual intercession; wherefore be is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make interceljion for them, Heb. vii. 25. The influence therefore which the intercefsion of Christ must have on the security of the saints from condemnation, is very evident.
Thus have I endeavoured to improve this passage of seripture upon the mourn ful occasion of the death of Mrs ANN BRINE, late member of the church of Christ in this place ?, and late wife of the pastor of it; at whose request I have preached from it to you ; it having been of fingular use to the deceased.
It may now be expected I should say something concerning her, which will be chiefly about the gracious experience she was favoured with. She was a daughter of Mr John Moor of Northampton; an eminent preacher of the gospel, à minister of the Baptist denomination, of considerable abilities and learning, whom I had the honour to have a personal knowledge of, and acquaintance with. But though she had a religious education, her converfion, her knowledge of Christ, and experimental acquaintance with divine things, were not owing to that, but to the efficacy of divine grace: by several papers of her own writing, put into my hands, it appears, how she came by the knowledge of salvation by Chrift, and the great doctrines of the gospel; which were the support of her soul, and the foundation of her joy. These express the sight and sense she had of sin; her abhorrence and detestation of it; the view she had of the loveliness of Chrift; of the necessity and suitableness of salvation by him; and how she was enabled to cast her soul on him; and trust in him for eternal life and happiness : but, among the rest, I find one paper, written little more than a year ago, when she took a review of her experience ; led thereunto upon a supposition, that there were yet some very great troubles to come upon the churches and servants of Chrift, she once thought had been over; which put her upon considering, how it would fare with her in such a time of trial; and what evidence she had of her being a child of God: for which purpose she observed how it had been with her of late ; what was her present frame of mind and thoughts of things, and how it had been with her heretofore, and whether her former experience was from nature, or from the Spirit of God. As to the first of these, how it had been of late, and how it was with her then, her words are these : “ I have “ often thought my spots are not the spots of God's children; I find so much “ sin bubbling up in my heart; so many sins of omission and commission, daily “ and hourly; I can say, that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing ; “ and such an evil beart of unbelief, departing from the living God. Sure it is “ not with the saints as with me! at the same time I have some secret hope, “ which I would not part with for all the world : at some times I have earnest “ desires after a full conformity to Christ, and thirstings after him. O! chac « I could love him more: O! that I could serve him better: O! that I « found more love in me to his ways, his ordinances, and his people : but, O! “ wretched creature that I am; who fall deliver me from this body of fin? At “ some times I think I can say with the apostle, thanks be to God, through Jesus “ Christ, who balb given me the vi&tory. Those three scriptures have of late, “ upon various occasions, been sweet under a sense of fin, If thou wilt, ibou “ canst make me clean, Matt. viii. 2. To whom shall I go, but unto thee? Thou
the .a Near Cripplegate.
bast the words of eternal life, John vi. 68. The name of the Lord is a strong tower, “ whither the righteous run, and are safe, Prov. xviii. 10. Though I am a vile, “ (inful, polluted creature, and, as I think, the most vile of all thy creatures;
yet, for such, for the very chief of finners, thou didst suffer and die, and “ who knows but for me? I know this, that if thou wilt, thou canst make “ even me clean; and though I am thus linful, to whom can I go, but to that “ God against whom I have sinned ? there is no help any where else; no other “ name given, whereby any can be saved, but the name Christ Jesus.” She next proceeds to inquire, how it had been with her formerly, when God first begun to work upon her soul, and she set out in the way of religion; concerning which, the thus expresses herself : “ Have I not experienced some things
“ which natural men are strangers to ? O! sure I hope I have: upon a recol“ lection of several parts of my former experience, I was warmed, and asked " myself this question; Did this or that flow from nature ? No; nature is “ averse to it. Did education produce it? No; for if that could have had “ such an effect, it might as well have produced it sooner : for it was not any “ particular care of my parents, at the time of my awakenings, that was a " means thereof; for some time before their care had been abated to what was “ usual; and my heart more averse to God and good than ever : Did fabbaths s seem before this time delightful? and was I before convicted, instructed, “ edified, or comforted, by the word preached? No; I too well remember the
quite contrary of this; even when fabbaths were burdensome instead of de
lightful; when, if I was obliged to be present, I strove to keep from giving is any attention to what was delivered. Had I love for the people of God? “ No; I had an aversion to many of them ; nor did I love any for the sake of “ their being saints. Had I a light and sense of fin; of its evil nature ? No; « I thought myself as good as others that talk more: I did not know that I " was poor, and wretched, and blind, and naked then: Did I taste a sweetness in “ the scriptures ? No; I thought them to be only the inventions of some men, “ done with a design to keep others in awe. Did I ever see the absolute need “ of a Saviour before ? No; I thought my own works were to save me, and “ reasoned thus fometimes: I have not been guilty of murder, stealing, &c. “ and so am in as fair a way for a better world, if any such there be, as others." Having put these questions, and resolved them in the above manner, she rightly draws the following conclusion.
- Then sure what I have met with and expe“ rienced, must be from the Spirit of God; as conviction of sin, of its heinous
and aggravated nature; of original, as well as actual transgression; the curse " demerited by it; the sense of my own inability to perform the thing that is
good; the discovery of my need of a Saviour; my seeing Christ to be a suit« able, all-sufficient, and able Saviour; my approving of him, and application “ to him for my Saviour ; my pressing desires towards hiin, as my alone and " complete Saviour; my admiration of the love of Father, Son and Spirit, ma^ nifested in the great concern of man's salvation; my discovering the harmony " and agreement; the sublimity and sweetness of the holy scriptures; and the « effects that many sweet and precious promises set home to my foul have had " on me; my hungering and thirsting after Christ, his grace, and manifestation “ of his love and pardoning mercy; my abhorring myself for all that I have “ done; especially for those fins which I thought were committed against light " and love; my love to young converts; my longing for the return of fabbaths; “ the comfort I have received under the preaching of the gospel, &c. These
“ were things I was once an utter stranger to, and do believe the carnal mind “ is enmity against. Why then it must be from above ; and if so, then be that “ hath begun the good work, will carry it on to ihe day of Christ. If the Lord had " a mind to have destroyed me, he sure would not have lhewn me such things
as these; and if I am the Lord's, then that promise stands firm, with the
righteous it all go well, Isaiah iii. 10. and what if troubles should arise ? “ what if I should suffer, or even fall in the common calamity ? if the Lord is “ pleased to support under, and give suffering grace, suffering faith, and suf“ fering patience, with suffering trials,
“ I can do all things, or can bear
“ I leave myself, my all, in his hands, and desire chearfully to fubmit to his “ will in all things; and not be anxious about this, or the other trying dispen6 sation of providence; knowing that he can make hard things eafy, and crook. “ ed things straight; hoping that these things he will do for me, and not for“ sake me.” This was the comfortable result of her thoughts, occasioned by a melancholy scene of troubles De had in view: but, she is got safe to her father's house, and is secure from them. How soon they may come to pass, namely, the “giving the outward court to the Gentiles, to be trodden under foot; the
Naying of the witnesses; the leaving their dead bodies unburied for three “ days and a half, or three years and a half; and their enemies rejoicing over “ them;" things she was meditating upon, God only knows : may we be prepared for them, supported under them, and carried through them, should they be in our day, which is very probable.
She was a person attended with frequent disorders of body, and which often came upon her on Lord's days; whereby she was prevented waiting upon the Lord in his word and ordinances, which were delightful to her, and in which she received much spiritual advantage: this gave her a great concern of mind, and she would sometimes say, “she chose, if it was the will of the Lord, that “ The might have two days affliction, instead of one, on other days, could she be “ free on the Lord's day, that she might have the opportunity of hearing the " word which was so useful to her.”
Her last illness was very short, and it was not expected it would have issued in death. Under it she was very comfortable, resigned to the will of God, and trusting in Christ, and so died in tbe Lord: wherefore, you, my Brother, and
the rest of the surviving relations, have no reason to mourn as those without hope, fince them that sleep in Jesus, God will bring with him, and her among the rest, when you will meet, and never part more, and be for ever with the Lord.
Let what has been the subject of discourse on this sorrowful occasion, be regarded by each of us; which may serve as a direction to us, where to go for relief under all charges brought against us, either by ourselves or others; and under a sense of deserved condemnation, and especially when harrassed with the accusations of Satan, and the condemnation of our own hearts : let us apply to Christ; let us take the shield of faith, that shield which faith lays hold on, and uses to good purposes when it weilds it aright; namely, the blood, righteousness and sacrifice of Christ; his resurrection, feflion at God's right hand, and intercession : let us hold up, and hold forth these things, as a full answer to every charge, and as a sufficient reason, why no condemnation can come to us.
This may lead us on to observe, how much we are beholden to Christ; and of what use he is to us, as dying, rising again, ascending on high, sitting at the right hand of God, and there'interceding for us : how valuable he is, and how precious he should be to us; and, particularly, what a regard we should have for his righteousness, which of itself clears from all charges, and secures from condemnation; and, therefore, it should be our chief desire, and real concern to be found in him, not having on our own righteousness, but his. It becomes us, and is best for us, to look to him at all times; to place our confidence in him, and fetch all our comfort from him; for if there be any consolation, it is in him; and seeing we receive so much benefit by him, we are under obligation to glorify him, with our bodies and spirits, which are his.
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