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for by this you see, that considerate persons in heathenism did conceive it was proper to go to God by a mediator. And by this I controul the arrogance of some that are under the gospel, that think they can go to God without a mediator, of themselves. And then you have an account here of the idolatry of the Jews. They were not so fottish to think the calf they made, was the Deity that brought them out of Egypt; but he was a middle thing. And so their idolatry was not a taking the thing worshipped for Deity, but a Damon, a middle thing whereby they address’d themselves to that Deity. And this you have also hinted by St. John, and in the Revalations, Rev. ix. 20.
The Mediation of CHRIST, the Grand
Institution of GOD.
Col. iii. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the
pame of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
His is the great institution of the gospel ; and if
any of us mean to be saved, we are to li
sten to what God speaks, now that he makes proposals concerning our recovery, our reconciliati
on to him, and our supply in the state of contracted misery and necessity wherein we are. The fum is this: we are all of us under an universal forfeiture, we have prejudiced the interest we have in God as our creator ; we cannot have confidence in the relation to God as the original of our being, because we have given him offence; we have forfeited our happiness, by consenting to iniquity, we have worsted our faculties, and marred our spirits. In this case of general necessity, divine goodness hath de. clared itself, in finding out a way, and recommending it to us ; a way, in which if we come to God, we shall not be refused, but find acceptance ; that is, by the son of God, whom God hath appointed the head of mankind. He hath gathered all together in Christ, as to a head. We who, as related to the first Adam, are children of disobedience so in Christ are received into fayour ; we come to God, and we pray to be accepted upon his account. This is, in short, a comment upon the text, whatsoever ye do, do all in the name, &c. as knowing we are acceptted in God by Chrift, who ever lives to make intercession for all those that come to God by him. This knowledge is the faving doctrine of the church ; in this we are to be well informed and directed, and to take heed we do not fall off from Christ. Miscarriages on this account I shall presently lay before you : and as mariners, by the miscarriages of ships that went before them, take warning, so may we do. The miscarriages that were before on this ac. count, and the judgments upon men, are revealed VOL. II,
and written in scripture, that we may be made aware.
I have shewed you already, that notwithstanding there is a various and different use of the word name in scripture ; yet that which I pitched upon was, that what one does in the name of the Lord Jefus, he does in his acceptance. He is the great recommender of the creature to the
and goodness of God, the only mediator between God and man, the foundation upon which we must build, if we would stand against storms and tempests. All glory must be to the Lord ; whatsoever is in any thing else, is the infolence of a foolish creature, and falls under this condemnation, God resists the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
Whatsoever ye do, &c. To make this out, I shewed you, that Christ hath been declared by God, as the only way of man's acceptance with God, ever since the fall of man. I have shewed you in the several ages, when God hath been highly pleased with the service of an eminent person, or willing to gratify the world, he hath then declared fomething more of Jesus Christ. The great faith of the Jewish nation, was the expectation of Christ. I have also íhew'd you, that all the Jewish ceremonies were types of Christ, and were fulfilled in him. And God, who formerly in divers pieces and shapes, fpake in time past by the prophets ; now, in the time of the gospel, hath spoken fully out, manifefting his son. Whereas before it was a mystery hidden; now 'tis no longer such a mystery, but God manifest in the flesh. I Tim. iii, 16. I have thewed
you, that divinity inhabiting human nature, is that which God intimated by the temple among the Jews, which was a shadow of divinity, inhabiting the human nature of Christ.
I have also shewed you, that there is no fear, or Tuspicion, or danger of God's jealousy, in this making use of Christ to go to God. For we have plain institution for this : he is the great angel of the covenant, to perfume, with the incense of his own worthiness, the prayers of the saints; and those that are accepted of God, are accepted in and through Christ's facrifice. We, notwithstanding the utmost improvement of our faculties, must not terminate our selves in our selves, or think of our selves above what we ought to think ; but depend upon God's courtesy, and think our felves well provided for, only by the goodness of God declared in Jesus Christ.
Lastly, This great salvation, going to God by means of a mediator, hath not been unacceptable to the world in general ; but the most sober men in the world out of the Jewish nation, have thought so great difference between the immortal God, and mortal creature, that they thought it neceflary something should mediate between them. Hereof we may make great advantage : fo that fince this truth is revealed, and we have warrant from God to believe, we may think it is not contrary to the nature of man to receive the truth, now that it is revealed by God. The most refined philosophers have discoursed excellently in this case, of the ne. ceffity of a mortal creature going to Deity by a
mediator. But for' want of knowing by whom to go, they did ferr in the medium, and did fancy ejther angels, or glorificd spirits to be their media
And this was the philosophy that was general, and did prevail in the world in the time of eur Saviour, as I fhew'd you by the doctrine of Demons; which was the doctrine of a middle power, that they did mediate in, and interpose between fupreme Deity and us who live in bodies of Aesh. I was the more free to give you an account of this
, because it is so much in scripture. St. Paul tells them, they were too much given up to this doetrine of Dæmons. Acts xvii. 22. The apostle doth exprelly dispute against it ; Gol. ii. 18. and brings an argument against it, for he faith, that in Christ dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily ; v. 9. and therefore he needs no collegue.
And we are compleat in him. And he doth assert that to us (who are taught of God) there is one God, and one Lord Jefus Christ, the mediator. I Cor. vii. 6. And in the book of the Revelations, there they are punithed for the Dæmon-worship: Rev. ix. 20. for though it be translated devil, we are not to understand it, as we do, devil; but it were better that the word were rendred Damon. The idolatry charged upon the Jews, and that which the apostle pleaded so against, and that which in the Revelations is condemned, Thews, that it is natural to the reason of man, to think of a disproportion to Deity. It is according to the reason of man's mind, to imagine that there should be a mediator between God and man. But when we consider, how much we have disabled our