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men are, in virtue of their redemption, introduced to the companionship of angels, to see that these celestial beings have another most powerful reason for contemplating, with the deepest interest, the atonement of Jesus.
The things in heaven and things in earth are thus brought together into
Men and angels are, in consequence, to engage in the same exercises, partake of the same privileges, share in and reflect the same glory. And it admits not of doubt, that this companionship will prove a source of knowledge and of happiness to even the elder sons of light.'
Thus extensive does the subject we have had under review appear to be in its influence. Men, some men only, are the subjects of Christ's atonement; but its moral bearing embraces not merely the human race, but the whole moral family of God. As a source of instruction, social happiness, and moral delight, it reaches far beyond the bounds of our earth. It not only scatters blessings over the plains of this lower world, but calls forth the benedictions of angels, awakens the sympathies of the heavenly hosts, and animates celestial beings to jubilant songs of thanksgiving and praise. Who, then, dare represent it as unimportant ? Who can estimate the consequences of treating it with neglect? Rather let us count it all our salvation and all our desire. • To them that believe he is precious.' How shall we escape if we neglect so GREAT SALVATION !'
REV. WILLIAM SYMINGTON.
PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION.
Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1837, by
ALEXANDER W. MITCHELL, M. D.,
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
INTERCESSION OF CHRIST.
REALITY OF CHRIST'S INTERCESSION.
INTERCESSION is the correlate of atonement. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at, that those who deny the doctrine of Christ's atonement, should have maintained the position, that his intercession is only figurative. This is the view taken of the subject by Socinians, who resolve the intercession of Christ into his kingly office, understanding by it nothing more than the exercise of his regal power in communicating to men the blessings of his mediation. That the Saviour possesses and exerts such a power, is not by any means denied, but that it is the same thing as his intercessioni, and is all that is meant by this part of his work, may fairly be disputed on the most satisfactory grounds.
The relation which intercession bears to atonement has just been remarked. They are correlate ideas. They stand to each other in much the same character as do the ideas of creation and providence. The providence of God consists in upholding all things, or maintaining in being the creatures he has made : it is best conceived of as a continued putting forth of the creative energy. So the intercession of Christ is the continued efficacy of his expiatory merit; on which account it has been spoken of by some of the ancient writers as a perpetual oblation. If the providence of God were suspended, all created being must be annihilated ; and if Jesus were not to make intercession, the merit of his atonement would prove utterly unavailing. The arguments by which the reality of atonement has been established, thus support the reality of intercession. Admit the necessity and truth of Christ's atoning sacrifice, and the certainty and prevalence of his intercession within the vail naturally and irrefragably follow.
Christ's intercession, is, indeed, essential to the fulfilment of the covenant of grace. As mediator of the covenant,' every thing which he performs as a priest has a relation to this divine economy. The sacerdotal functions of oblation and intercession have regard respectively to the condition and the administration of the covenant. The stipulated condition of the covenant is, that satisfaction shall be made to the law
and justice of God for the sins of those who are redeemed ; and this is done by the sacrifice of Christ. The administration of the covenant comprehends whatever is concerned with putting and maintaining the covenant children in possession of the blessings of redemption: and this takes its rise directly and immediately from the intercession of Christ. True it is, the agency of the Spirit and the instrumentality of means are concerned in this object: but, in the economy of man's salvation, the intercession of the Mediator is necessary alike to the operation of the one, and to the efficacy of the other. It is so arranged by infinite wisdom that all the good done to the souls of men, in connexion with the covenant of grace, shall be begun, carried forward, completed, and maintained through eternity, in relation to Christ's intercession.
The perfection of his priesthood also demonstrates the reality of his intercession. That Christ's intercession belongs to his priestly, and not to his regal, office, is a necessary proof of its reality. And that it constitutes one of his sacerdotal functions, appears from the connexion in which it is spoken of :
—He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,' (Is. liii. 12.) To bear sin, means,
have seen, to make atonement, and it is here connected with making intercession. • Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ who died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.' (Rom. viii. 34.) Christ died as a priest, and here his intercession stands connected with his death. But the connexion is expressed in so many terms, in the following words :- This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood; WHEREFORE he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,' (Heb. vii. 24, 25.) Moreover, he is spoken of as being a priest in heaven. Not on the cross only does he act in his sacerdotal character:
:- He shall be a PRIEST UPON HIS THRONE,' (Zech. vi. 13.) His priestly office claims the stamp of perpetuity ;— Thou art a PRIEST FOR EVER, after the order of Melchizedek.' (Ps. cx. 4.) Heaven is the scene of his priestly acts :-“We have such an HIGH PRIEST who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the HEAVENS.' (Heb. viii. 1.) If, then, Christ is a priest on the throne of the heavens for ever, there must be some sacerdotal act which he performs in this situation. And what is this act? Oblation it cannot be; he offered himself a sacrifice for sin once for all; by one offering he perfected for ever them that are sanctified : and this one oblation was made upon earth. It can only, then, be.