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mation and illustration. It was typified, indeed, under the law, by the success which attended the entrance of the high priest into the holy of holies on the day of expiation; for, had he not been accepted, the fire would have been extinguished on the golden altar, the censer of incense would have dropped from his hand, and he would never have been permitted to return to bless the people. In the twenty-first Psalm, which, from the lofty terms in which it is conceived, must have a higher reference than to the literal David, we read, 'Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips." Nor did Christ ever, while on earth, intercede in vain. 'Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me,' is his own testimony on one particular occasion, to which he subjoins the general affirmation, 'And I knew that thou hearest me always. The apostle assures us, that 'when in the days of his flesh he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears, he was heard in that he feared.'5 One request only was he ever denied, 'Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me.' But this was no part of his intercession: it was the natural shrinking of his holy human nature from the awful scene that was before him; and, instead of militating against our position, it gives it support, inasmuch as his drinking the bitter cup of mingled woe, which could not possibly pass from him, laid a meritorious foundation for the success of his advo
3 Ps. xxi. 2.
4 John xi. 41, 42.
5 Heb. v. 7.
cacy. If that one prayer had been heard on his own behalf, not another could have been heard on ours. When the character of the intercessor is considered, there can be no reason to dread his ever being unheard. The dignity of his person must give weight and influence to his petitions; the relation in which he stands to God as a Son, cannot but have its effect; nor are his personal and official qualifications here to be forgotten. That one who is infinitely wise, and holy, and compassionate; whose diligence, and zeal, and affection are boundless; who acts moreover under the high authority of a divine commission, should fail in his suit is utterly impossible. Were he man only, or even angel, failure were not impossible; but being the Son of God, Jehovah's fellow, it must be that as a Prince he has power with God and shall prevail. The foundation on which his intercession rests affords farther security. It proceeds on the footing of his atonement. He asks nothing for which he has not paid the full price of his precious blood. What he seeks is what he has merited; and he who has 'accepted his sacrifice' cannot but 'grant him his heart's desire,' cannot 'withhold from him the request of his lips.' Nor is there in the matter of his intercession, as before delineated, any thing but what is good in itself, agreeable to the will of God, and fitted to advance the glories of the godhead. The objects, too, for whom he pleads, are all the chosen of God, the children, the friends of Him with whom he pleads, dear to his heart as to his own, alike the objects of his com
placent affection and esteem. 'The Father himself loveth them.' Add to all these considerations, the security arising from the results of Christ's intercession that have been already realised. How many souls have been converted, how many sins pardoned, how many temptations repelled, how many acts of holy obedience performed and accepted, how many sons brought to full and eternal glory, in all of which the efficacy of Christ's intercession has been proved by the best of all evidence-its actual effects! So abundant, thus, is the evidence of its prevalence, that the timid can have no reason for distrust, the unbeliever no excuse for neglect.
It only remains to observe the constancy of Christ's intercession. He is continually employed in this work. His oblation was the work of comparatively a short period, but his intercession never ceases. Human benevolence may become languid, may intermit for a time, or may finally die away altogether. But not so the benevolence which prompts the petitions of our Advocate. He can never become languid from ignorance of his people's wants, for he is omniscient; nor from want of affection, for his love is abiding; nor from want of merit, for his sacrifice is of unfailing virtue; nor from fatigue, for he is the almighty and immutable God. Nothing can ever occasion a suspension. A moment's intermission would prove fatal to the eternal interests of all the elect. But, while attending to the case of one, he has no need to suspend attention to that of another. Innumerable as are his applicants, he attends to the
wants of each as if there were not another that needed his care. Multiplicity cannot bewilder, variety cannot divide, importance cannot oppress his thoughts. To him the care of millions is no burden. Ten thousand claims meet with the same attention as if there were but one. His understanding, his love, his merit, his power, are all infinite; and we must beware of measuring him by the low standard of our own limited capacities. Nor can his intercession ever come to an end. There will be need for it for ever. So long as his people sin, he will plead for pardon; so long as they are tempted, he will procure them strength to resist; so long as they continue to perform services, he will continue to give them acceptance; so long as they are in the wilderness, he will procure them guidance and safety; nay, so long as the blessings of Heaven are enjoyed, will he plead his merits as the ground on which they are bestowed. Through eternity will he continue to plead on behalf of his people. Never shall they cease to be the objects of his care; never shall their names be erased from his breast; never shall their cause be taken from his lips; never shall the odour-breathing censer drop from his hand; nor shall his blessed merits ever cease to rise up in a cloud of fragrant incense before the Lord. HE EVER LIVETH TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM.
RESULTS OF CHRIST'S INTERCESSION.
THE intercession of Christ affords a bright display of the love of God. In appointing for men an advocate at all, and especially such an advocate, this feature of the divine character, so conspicuous in every other part of redemption, is strikingly developed. Without this appointment the purchased salvation could never have been enjoyed; man could never have successfully pled his own cause; and the evils to which he is constantly exposed, must inevitably have wrought his ruin. His services could never have been accepted; temptations must have placed him in daily jeopardy; and his sins should have brought him, without fail, under condemnation. Without it, even the people of God could never reach final salvation; not a prayer which they might offer could be heard; not a service they might perform could be accepted; not an assault of satan could they repel; and the very first sin, however small, that they should commit, would sink them to perdition. How, then, is the love of God displayed in providing for men an advocate to plead their cause, and to secure them