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enthusiasm, egotism and presumption, and advise the use of more moderate terms. I value, and bless God for, the moderation of the gospel; but we will keep to that, and not the moderation invented by man's free-will. We keep to the simple point that there is forgiveness with Jehovah, that He may be feared; and then, when that forgive ness is brought home to the conscience, it is that He may be loved. A man may live in solemn and legal fear of the existence of God, when he is only convinced that He can and does forgive ; for there is a dread that God may not forgive him. But let the blood of sprinkling seal the pardon to his heart, and bring the truth home to his conscience, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more;' and then he says, “There is forgiveness with God: He has brought it down to my soul, and He shall be feared and loved too." There is thus a heavenly joy—a calm and a peace realized in the soul. If you have peace, joy, and satisfaction, and a holy calm imparted to your spirits, and are made happy, it is by knowing that the blood of the covenant has been applied to your conscience, and has, in personal experience, washed away your iniquities, and cleansed you from your sins. The knowledge of forgiveness, then, is essential for the enjoyment of our naturalization in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. And what is it when we have it? Why, just the enjoyment of the common privileges, and mercies, and advantages of all His household, and the subjects of His grace—of all the elect family of God—of all that were purchased by His most precious blood. So that, if we may keep to the phrase, "naturalization” in the kingdom of Christ, all the promises, precepts, ordinances, and privileges are our's, because we are Christ's, and Christ is God's. Oh, the blessedness of thus being so completely at home in the kingdom of Christ. I hope by this time that you have entered a little into the inquiries I have made as to what government you are under, and if you are completely at home in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I confess I am at home nowhere else, and that even those recreations which are accounted essential to bodily health have for me a palling, flattening, disgusting, depressing influence at all seasons; and I am never at rest until I get back to my own kingdom, and glorify His name, exalt Him, honour Him, love Him, feed upon Him, and lift Him up in the view of others to admire and adore Him also.
Just follow on to one thought more-the station that we occupy. If, indeed, we are sure that we are under the government of grace at home and abroad, by night and by day; from the beginning to the end of the week under the government of reigning grace, and thus naturalized into the kingdom of the Son of God, or, as the Apostle has it, “ translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son,” then what is the situation we occupy? Let us find it out, and be very anxious to fill it. You must know, that in a kingdom all are not monarchs, nor are all premiers, nor are all nobles, nor are all senators, nor all merchants, nor all tradesmen, nor all labourers. And yet there are some of every class in the kingdom, and that, too, essentially for the well-being of the kingdom
Now I should like my hearers, to inquire diligently as to what station God has placed you in, To some He has given a station the most solemn and important, overwhelming and awful, and which makes them cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things ?” I mean the station of a Christian pastor or bishop—the highest, the most solemn, the most responsible, the most overwhelming of any official
station in the kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth-ambassadors for Christ, to make known the mind and the will of the King; and woe to the man among them who is not loyal enough to proclaim the King's sovereignty. To others, he gives the station of Evangelists. He not only gives some pastors and some teachers, but some Evange lists, appointed by the King Himself as messengers, to run to and fro, and proclaim His glories and His precious gospel, without taking a special charge. An important station this a highly valuable and useful station. And I would have those whom God has qualified for, and thrust into it, to be vigilant in filling it up. There are others who are qualified and ordained by God in this kingdom with the wisdom, mind, and integrity of men filled with the Holy Ghost, and with faith to discharge the office of deacons; and they whose station it is must bear in mind what that station is, and bless God that “they who have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree" “and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Others, again, are qualified for visiting the sick and afflicted : let them do so. Others for instructing the rising generation : let them take it in hand. I name these, as specimens of the stations in which God places the subjects of His grace. Others are qualified and gifted to offer public prayers at the prayer meeting: many ought to be ashamed that they use this gift so- seldom. Others are in the station of Aquila and Priscilla, who, with little gift of utterance, can yet take the young Apollos, and" pound unto him the way of God more perfectly," and say what God has done for their souls.
My object in naming this variety of stations in the kingdom of Christ, is to induce you to inquire what station God has placed you in, and how God has employed you in your family, among your friends, and in the Church of the living God. 'How has he employed you? Have you asked this question diligently? I am quite satisfied that God has appointed me to my station, and that all the little effort I am enabled to put forth He Himself has given to me; and I would not quit it until I go to glory. All I want is more grace to fill it, more liberty, more power, more heavenly unction, more of the Spirit and mind of Christ in every department of my labour. While I name these merely as samples, I trust my hearers will inquire how God has employed them to honour Him, to advance His interests in the world, to glorify Him, and to minister to the necessities of the saints. And that is another station. Some are stationed in wealth and affluence : let them be “rich in good works," as saith the Holy Ghost by the pen of the Apostle, and “minister to the necessities of the saints."
Search your Bibles, and you will find this inquiry to be a most momentous one; and, after settling that you belong to His kingdom, and that
you have a right and interest in all that is treasured up in his com venant for His people, then see to it that the station which you occupy is of God, and seek for grace to fill it as you ought. The daily work, the daily pursuit, the daily employment, may all be put forth so as to honour Christ; so that “whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, you may do all to the glory of God.” Search your New Testaments, and there you will find the most explicit directions given to masters and servants, husbands and wives, parents and children, marking the station in which God has placed them, and urging upon them the filling of those stations according to the spirit of Christianity. May God bless His own word. Amen.
A Discourse, Delivered in Grove Chapel, Camberwell, Sunday Morning, Sept. 17, 1848,
BY THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.
“ Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth
into the holy place every year with blood of others." —Heb. ix. 25. The entire scope of the apostle's arguments and instruction in this epistle is to set forth the contrast, not the comparison—the contrast between the Levitical priesthood and the priesthood of Christ. This latter is so important a topic that it cannot be too often presented to your view, especially as in the day in which we live it is so frightfully perverted, I had almost said supplanted, by a human priesthood. Our glorious Christ is set forth in His word, under three prominent titles of office, as Prophet, Priest, and King; and yet I have never met with an honest and full admission of all that pertains to this office, as hanging upon Him all the glory of the Father's home. People will allow Him to be King in Zion, though very frequently they limit His sovereignty, and kingship, and authority, and even cavil at His decrees. Those who will allow the the term priest, as applicable to Christ, very frequently wish to thrust Him into Aaron's line, instead of allowing Him to stand, as the word of God exhibits Him, “after the order of Melchisedec.” And those who speak of the prophetic office of Christ, generally leave out and omit the sure fulfilment of all He said, as well as the important instruction, which in that office He imparts to His people. Instead of allowing that our precious Jesus executes all those offices to their full extent, and entire completion, He is supplanted in them all by the mockers of Christianity, unless God Himself raises up a defence for the glory of His only-begotten Son, which defence my soul desires to be employed in, even to the day of my death.
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In our last week's discourse we gave Him His sovereignty, we dwelt upon His kingly authority and kingdom, His throne prepared in heaven, and His kingdom ruling over all. We intend now again to attempt to set forth His priestly office, and the infinitude of blessings treasured up therein, and put forth thereby. If I look through only two or three chapters, and two or three of the shortest chapters in this epistle, I find it repeated no less than seven times in that little compass, that the order of Christ's priesthood is after Melchisedec's, and not after Aaron’s; and yet all the priests that I know of, assuming that appellation, arrogantly, in our day, are as far from Melchisedec's order as light is from darkness; nay, they all abide by Aaron's order, and go to Aaron's account of his office, and of his services, to establish and sanction their own. If they were honest men they would own themselves to be Jews at once, and never pretend to put the name of Christian to it. If they will belong to Aaron's order, let them belong to Aaron's race, and let them acknowledge where they stand, and openly avow what they do virtually, and reject Christ. Now the conspicuous inference which the apostle draws is this. He says, that the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did. Having told us that the law is changed, and that the priesthood is changed in connection with it, he gives this as the reason; because they made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did. Follow for a moment the solemn steps of the high priest in the Jewish temple and the sanctuary. See him full-robed in his office, with his golden censer in his hand, the incense therein, the blood of atonement sprinkled before the mercy seat, and entering solemnly within the veil, in the name of the people to appear before God. Mark the solemnity of the scene, while all the assembly are waiting in the outer court for his return to pronounce the blessing, having dealt with God for them. And would not any one who witnessed this scene, be ready to say, “This is the perfection of worship?". And yet, as he returns, I hear pronounced by his own lips, "Nothing perfect. The law made nothing perfect. The law made nothing perfect.” The blood of bulls and of goats could not put away sin; but the bringing in of a better hope did. And where shall I find it?
The slow, the solemn, the weary step of our glorious High Priestfollow it from Pilate's hall to Calvary's mount, from Calvary's mount to Joseph's tomb, from Joseph's tomb to Olivet's top, from Olivet's top to within the veil, and hear Him interceding for His Church, presenting His own blood, and demanding the satisfaction, the desire of His heart; yea, demanding that which the Father had promised from eternity, that He should see of the travail of His soul, that He might therewith be satisfied. Now then I mark everything perfect,and how the Church is made perfect, and has written on that glorious transaction, “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
I did not intend to have detained you so long in our exordiumthe importance of the subject must be my apology, if apology is due. It weighs down my spirit with its greatness, and overpowers my intellect with its contemplation, and I sigh for larger powers, a more expanded mind, richer expression and more extended thought to tell of the glories of that High Priest of our profession; then of the one offering which He has offered up once for all; and then of the triumphs resulting therefrom, in which I trust we have a share. This is to be the order of our subject this morning.
1.- First of all we must speak of the Priest Himself. If I were to speak of any other priests, I should perhaps use severe language, some might think it censorious language. I do not think, however, that it is possible to be too severe or censorious, if we use the strongest language we can upon that subject, unless they renounce the name of Christians. Then they may be called priests as long as they like But when I speak of this glorious High Priest, whom the high priest under the law typified, and mark what is said concerning Him in this very epistle, under the Divine inspiration, I have a wide field to range over with regard to the description of His person, the excellency of His office, the superiority of His order, the completeness of His work, the great salvation perfected thereby.
I shall not go over all these particulars, but rather limit myself to two things under this first head of discourse, because much inore is before me. The first is His ordination and qualification. I put the tko together as one. I find it expressly written, that the priests under the law were ordained and made such, though by the call of God, yet without oath. But the ordination of the glorious High Priest of our profession was with an oath. Wonder, oh heavens, and be astonished oh earth, that the great, the glorious, the self-existent Jehovah should stoop so low to the capacities and weaknesses of worms of the earth, as to bind Himself in solemn oath, and, because He could swear by no greater, Heswareby Himself. This is the language of one of His oaths :** The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” So that the appointment of our precious glorious Christ, and His ordination to His office-work in His Church, was by the oath of the Father. Aye, by His own consent, and registered in the archives of heaven by the witnessing of the Holy Ghost; so that the glorious Three in One by mutual compact and ancient settlement, by predestinating purposes and unalterable decrees, have constituted, appointed, and ordained the Lord Jesus Christ, as the one glorious Priest of His Church, according to the order of Melchisedec,
Though the subject has recently come before us, I may here be required just to say a word or two about the order, and two or three things must suffice. The order of Melchisedec, in which Christ was ordained for ever in His Church, was without descent. It was not only without descent, but it was united with a kingly authority and glory, which was positively forbidden under the Mosaic economy, And here Paul draws a most striking contrast, that under the Levitical order in Aaron's line, there was descent, succession. It ran in the family until the law of Moses, and then in the tribe. In Christ there is neither succession nor descent, is expressly the phrase used concerning Him.
Moreover in Aaron's order it was expressly prohibited that the kingly and priestly office should be united in one man. In Melchisedec's order it was Divinely appointed, for he was a priest of the Most High God, at the same time that he was king of Salem and of peace. Now it must follow that wherever an attempt is made by human beings to unite temporal power, kingly authority, with priestly sanctity, that is Antichrist, be it where it may, for none but our precious glorious Christ-and He because He is of Melchisedec's order-is to wear both the regal and the sacerdotal dignity. They both belong to Him, and, blessings on His holy name, it is purposed, and written concerning Him, “ He shall be a priest on His throne," and no other priest has a right to be there.