Tuesday, October 22. - At three o'clock, P. M., a sermon was preached, from Acts 16:17, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, which show unto us the way of salvation," by Brother Nicholas Cox.
2. After sermon, Brother Oliver Hart was chosen moderator, and Brother William Vanhorn, clerk. Letters from thirty churches were read.
3. A letter and minutes from the Warren Association were read. Their messengers, Elders James Manning, William Rogers, and William Williams.
4. A letter from the Ketockton Association was read.
5. A late branch of the church at Montgomery being constituted a church at Hill Town, were, at their request, received into this Association.
6. Adjourned till to-morrow morning, nine o'clock.
7. Wednesday, October 23d. - Met pursuant to adjournment. The committee appointed last year to examine the books in the hands of the librarian, report, That they have proceeded in that business, and conclude, that about three pounds ten shillings would repair them. Agreed to collect the above sum immediately; which was done, and put into the hands of the librarian.
8. This Association being informed of some difficulties subsisting in the church at Goshen, recommended to our brethren, Samuel Jones, Nicholas Cox, and William Vanhorn to visit them.
9. A letter from Mr. Aitkin, printer in this city, was read, setting forth, that he had, with great pains and much expense, just completed the first English edition of the Bible in America, together. with Watt's Psalms, and requesting this Association to make the undertaking as universally known as we can.
Voted, That this Association, on the recommendation of Congress of said impression, present their thanks to Mr. Aitkin, for his faithful execution of this laborious and important undertaking, and most
heartily recommend to all the churches with which we are connected, to encourage the sale thereof. Adjourned to half after two o'clock, P. M.
10. Met pursuant to adjournment.
Voted, That the seventh article of the Warren Association minutes be adopted by us, which is as follows: "The Association, from a representation made to them by the corporation of the College in Providence, of the low state of the funds of said College, and the urgent necessity of increasing them, in order to support suitable instructors therein, and from an idea of the great importance of good education, have taken into consideration, as the most probable method to accomplish this valuable end, the recommendation of a subscription throughout all the Baptist societies on this continent, as well as to all the friends of literature of every denomination, on the following conditions:
"We the subscribers promise and engage to pay the several sums affixed to our names, - to be by him paid to John Brown, Esq., of Providence, treasurer of. the corporation, or his successor in said office, or order; to be placed at interest, and the interest only to be applied for the above purpose.
"N. B. The several churches are desired to insert in the above blank the name of the most suitable person in the society for this service."
11. Brother Thomas Ustick was appointed to write a letter to the Warren Association, and Brother Samuel Jones to the Ketockon, in answer to their request on the subject of last year's letter. Messengers to the former, Brother Nicholas Cox, and to the latter, William Worth, Thomas Fleeson, and Abner Sutton.
12. As we have received information, that a legacy has been left to this Association, in the last will and testament of John Honeywell, of Knowlton, in Sussex county, New Jersey, deceased,
Resolved, That our treasurer, Rev. Samuel Jones, who is also in said will constituted a trustee of the same, proceed immediately to make use of all due and necessary measures to recover said legacy for and in our behalf, and at our expense.
13. Supplies were granted to the following destitute churches Piscataqua and Knowlton.
14. Next Association to be held at Philadelphia, to begin on Tuesday after the third Lord's day in October, at three o'clock, P. M. Sermon by Brother Abel Morgan; and, in case of failure, by Brother Oliver Hart.
"Christ the Mediator"
By Rev. Oliver Hart, Pastor
Hopewell Baptist Church, N. J.
The ministers and messengers of the several Baptist churches, met in Association, at Philadelphia, October 22d, 1782.
Send Christian salutation to the churches with whom we are in union.
Well beloved in our dear Redeemer, - We are now, in course, to
address you on the subject contained in the eighth chapter of our Confession of Faith, which treats of Christ the Mediator.
A mediator is concerned with parties at variance, betwixt whom he stands as a middle person, and his business is to bring them together and make peace between them. Christ acts in the capacity of a Mediator between God and men, 1 Timothy ii. 5. "There is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." For the elucidation of this point, we may,
I. Consider what a Mediator between God and men supposes.
II. Take a view of the appointment of Christ to that office.
III. Consider his ability, suitableness, and qualifications for the great work.
IV. How he hath effected it, or what he hath done for that purpose.
V. Point out some of the blessed effects of Christ's mediatorship.
I. A Mediator between God and men supposes --
First. A difference subsisting between them. This commenced upon Adam's eating the forbidden fruit; prior to which the most cordial amity and friendship subsisted between God and man. But this first act of disobedience broke the tender ties of love and esteem. Adam flew from, as dreading the divine presence; and soon contracted a contrariety of soul to the perfections of the Deity, and a horrid enmity against God. Thus the staff of friendship was broken, and the quarrel commenced, entirely on the part of man. On the other hand, God, whose law had been violated, and whose goodness and friendship had been abused, appeared in the disagreeable light of an enemy to man; and, in fact, he was an injured sovereign, insisting that reparation should be made for the dishonor done him, by this, violation of faith and breach of friendship.
Second. A Mediator between God and men, supposes inability on man's part to repair the injuries done by sin, or to restore himself to the divine favor. Could he have done this, there would have been no need of the interposition of a Mediator; but the divine law was to be punctually observed, and satisfaction was to be made for the breach of it; which were impossible terms to man in his fallen state.
Third. A Mediator between God and men seems to suppose, that God could not, consistent with the honor due to his law, and the glory of his divine perfections, pardon man and receive him into favor, merely as a simple act of mercy. Had he done so, his justice must have bled, his holiness would have been tarnished, his truth shaken, and the rights of his throne and government infringed. Consequences, which it would be horrid and blasphemous to attribute to any of the proceedings of the Almighty; for the Judge of all the earth will do right. Hence appears the necessity of a Mediator. And this leads us,
II. To take a view of the designation or appointment of Christ to that office.
In order to which, we must look into the transactions of the Deity from eternity, before his works of old, Proverbs viii. 22; for thus early
was Christ appointed to the mediatorial office, in the counsel, decree, and purpose of Jehovah. The Apostle Peter confirms this truth with a strong note of asseveration, 1 Peter i. 20, where, after having spoke of redemption by the precious blood of Christ, he says, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world." And our Lord himself fully establishes this point, Proverbs viii. 23, "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was," -- set up, constituted, or appointed Mediator. God, from eternity, foresaw that Adam would fall from his allegiance, integrity, and fidelity; and that the whole human race would be involved in guilt, and must inevitably perish, unless a medium were provided for their recovery, in a way consistent with the glory of the divine perfections. To effect which, the three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, formed a council, and entered into a covenant of grace, in order to lay the plan on which the salvation and happiness of fallen man should proceed; and to determine which of those divine persons should engage in the arduous work, Jehovah, the Father, in his manifold wisdom, having predestinated a select number of the fallen race to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Ephesians i. 5; iii. 10, 11,) now proposed the business, or work of saving the elect, to Jehovah the Son; as well knowing the love he bare to them, as also with what alacrity he would comply with his will, proposing to furnish him with a body, and every way equip him for the discharge of his trust. The Son, whose will was the same with that of the Father, readily consented to engage in the work, and did in effect, say, "Father, thy will is that rebellious man should obtain favor, the means therefore of his restoration shall not be wanting; here am I, send me on that important design. Man shall be saved, in a way that will secure the honors of divine government; and by means through which the glory of the divine perfections will shine forth with the brightest effulgence." The cheerfulness with which Christ then complied with the requisition of the eternal Father, is pointed out by the Psalmist, Psalm xl. 7, 8, "Then said I, lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, 0 my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." And Christ himself is represented as speaking of his being appointed to the mediatorial office, by the eternal Father, in Psalm lxxxix. 19, 20, "Then thou spakest in vision to the holy One, and saidst, I have laid help upon One that is mighty; I have exalted One chosen out of the people; I have found David my servant, with my holy oil have I anointed him." Thus it appears that God was in Christ, even from everlasting, reconciling the elect world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, 2 Corinthians v. 19; and that Christ was thus early chosen and appointed to the mediatorial office, in the counsel of peace, which was between them both, namely, the Father and the Son; and in the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator, Hebrews xii. 24.
III. We pass on to consider the ability, suitableness, and qualifications of Christ for the great work.
Had not Christ been able, fit and every way qualified for the discharge of the mediatorial office, the work might have been marred in his hands; God might have been frustrated in his designs of mercy to his creatures, and all mankind might have perished in their sins. Events which cannot be admitted, even in idea; for God laid help upon One that is mighty, and exalted One chosen out of the people; every way able to save, even to the uttermost, Psalm lxxxix. 19; Hebrews vii. 25.
First. The ability of Christ to execute the office of a Mediator will appear, when we consider who and what he was. He was no other than the eternal Son of God, of the same nature and essence with Jehovah the Father; for he and the Father were one; of one nature or essence, equal in power and glory; equally possessed of divine attributes and godhead characters, and alike objects of divine worship and adoration. He was the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person; who upheld all things by the word of his power; superior even to angels, and the object of their religious adoration and worship, Hebrews i. 3, 6. And even as Mediator, all power in heaven and earth was given unto him. Thus powerful, thus able, was the divine person chosen and appointed to the office of a Mediator between God and men. We will proceed,
Second. To consider his suitableness or fitness for the discharge of that office. Power, simply considered, did not render him eligible. No, not even his eternal power and godhead. But what principally fits Christ for the execution of his mediatorial office, is the union of the divine and human natures in his one person. Hereby he is Immanuel, God with us; and being partaker of both natures, he must have an interest in, and a concern for both; therefore, while he mediates for man, he must still have a view to the glory of God.
Not to take any notice of his suitableness as the Son of God, and middle person of the Trinity, which yet seems to have some weight, it was necessary that the Mediator should be man, possessed of a human body and a reasonable soul, and so in all points be made like to his brethren, in whose cause he engaged; that he might appear to be their brother and near kinsman, after the flesh; which must afford them the greatest encouragement, when they fly for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them. Nothing could affect -- nothing could encourage the distressed sons of Jacob more than those tender -- those moving words, "I am Joseph, your brother." And nothing can more encourage the spiritual Israel, than to know that their Mediator and days-man is their brother, kinsman, and friend. Again, it was necessary that satisfaction and atonement for sin should be made in the same nature that had sinned; therefore, the Mediator must be man. The apostle confirms this observation when he says, "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham," Hebrews ii. 16; intimating that the nature of angels would not have been eligible to have made conciliation for the sins of human nature. Moreover, it was needful that the Mediator
should be man, that he might be capable of obeying the law, given to man and broken by him. Therefore, "he was made of a woman, and made under the law, that he might redeem them that "were under the law," Galatians iv. 4, 5. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Further, it was necessary that the Mediator should be man, that he might be capable of dying, to make an atonement for the sins of men. As God, he could not die. And "without shedding of blood there could be no remission." Therefore, a body was prepared for him, that he might die, the just for the unjust, to bring us unto God, 1 Peter iii. 18. In fine, it was needful the Mediator should be man, "that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest;" have a fellow-feeling "with his people under their infirmities - sympathise with them under their afflictions, and succor them under their temptations. Hebrews ii. 17; iv. 15.
But then, the Mediator must not only be man, he must be more than man; he must be a divine person; otherwise he would not be able to draw nigh unto God, and treat with him about the terms on which peace was to be restored to guilty man; and enter into a covenant with him to perform those conditions. "For, who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me, saith the Lord?" Jeremiah xxx. 21. Could men or angels have done this? No. None but Jehovah's fellow was equal to this arduous task. Moreover, had the Mediator been only man, he cou1d never have supported under the amazing load of sufferings he had to endure; therefore, he must be God as well as man. All the sins of an elect world were imputed to him, and all the ponderous weight of divine wrath, demerited by those sins, was to fall on his devoted head. "Surely," saith the prophet, "he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows," Isaiah liii. 4. A load which would not only have borne down an individual of the human race, but even crushed, as it were, to atoms, all created intelligences, angels as well as men. None could have sustained the stroke of that flaming sword, divine justice, but that wonderful Man, even the God-Man, who was Jehovah's Fellow, Zecheriah xiii. 7. In fine, it was necessary that Christ should be God, to raise himself from the dead; for had he remained in the grave, we must have perished in our sins, 1 Corinthians xv. 17, 18. And to have raised himself, had he been only man, he could not; therefore, he must be God.
Now this Mediator was not only God and man, but he was the God-man; God and man in one person. The human nature was taken into union with, and subsisted in the person of the Son of God. And this personal union was necessary in order to give efficacy, dignity, and merit to his obedience and sufferings. Had he been a mere man, his obedience and righteousness could have been beneficial only to himself; nor could his sufferings and death have atoned for the sins of others; but being God and man, in one person, his mediatorial righteousness is the righteousness of God, and therefore all-sufficient to justify men; and his blood is the blood of the Son of God, and so cleanses from all sin, and is a proper atonement for it.
And in this view, God is said to have purchased the church "with his own blood," Acts xx. 28. Thus having taken a view of the ability and suitableness of Christ for the office of Mediator, we shall,
Third. Consider his qualification for the great work. Although the ability and suitableness of Christ, involve the idea of qualifications for the execution of his mediatorial office, yet those spoken of are purely personal, or such as relate to his person as the God-man; besides which, he sustains various relative characters and offices, which qualify him for his work, as,
1. That of a covenant head to the elect. As such, God chose him from all eternity, and chose all his people in him, as members of his mystical body, Isaiah xlii. 1; Ephesians i. 4. As such, God made a covenant with him of life and peace, respecting the salvation and happiness of his people. This covenant was confirmed of God, in Christ, i. e., made sure with his covenant-people, in Christ, their head and representative. All the promises and blessings of the covenant are secured to the elect in Christ, their federal head. All that Christ did and suffered, was in their room and stead. They were crucified with Christ, arose from the dead, ascended up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God with him; or in him representatively, as their covenant head, Galatians ii. 20; Colossians iii. 1; Ephesians ii. 6.
2. Christ is the surety of his people. As such, he drew nigh to God, in covenant, and engaged to do and suffer all that the law and justice of God required, to make satisfaction for their sins. He put himself in their law place, took the whole debt of his people upon himself, and became re[s]ponsible for it. They owed a debt of obedience to the law, and a debt of punishment for the violation of it; this double debt he assumed payment of, and did pay: in consequence of which, the elect, who were the principal debtors, were set free; and Jehovah, the Father, said, "Deliver them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom," Job xxxiii. 24. Although the ransom price was not actually paid until the death of the surety; yet he being the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, in the decrees and purposes of God, who had accepted of his surety ship - engagements, the virtue and efficacy of his obedience, sufferings and death was applied to all the Old Testament saints; and they were justified, pardoned, and saved thereby, as fully and. amply as those under the New, 2 Corinthians v. 19; Acts xv. 11; Hebrews Xl. 13.
3. The Mediator is an advocate for all the chosen people of God, 1 John ii. 1. In his character he drew nigh unto God, in the eternal council and covenant of grace, "and made intercession for the transgressors," Isaiah liii. 12. This he did, not by laboring to extenuate their crimes, but by offering himself as their sponsor, to stand in their room and stead; bear their sins; make an atonement for their guilt; restore to the law its honors, and answer all the demands of justice, Isaiah liii. 4-6; Romans v. 11; Isaiah xlii. 1. And the advocacy of the Meditator proved efficacious to the pardoning, justifying, and glorifying an elect world, Romans viii. 33, 34.
4. Another office which Christ sustains, is that of a prophet,
Acts iii. 22. Under this character he was expected by the Jews, John vi. 14, and in this capacity he acted as Mediator. As a prophet, he not only foretold future events, as the destruction of Jerusalem, the calamities that should befall the Jews, the end of the world, &e.; but he taught, and does teach his people, so as never roan taught. He teaches the knowledge of God, even the saving knowledge of the Most High, as a God of grace and mercy, as a God in covenant, pacified towards poor sinners, notwithstanding all that they have done, John xvii. 3; Ezekiel xvi. 63. He teaches the knowledge of himself, as the only and alone Mediator, the Redeemer and Saviour: of lost sinners, Matthew xi. 28. He teaches man to know himself, that he is a sinner, lost and undone, without power to help or deliver himself, and the necessity of a better righteousness than that of his own, Philippians iii. 8, 9. He teaches the necessity of holiness in order to happiness, Hebrews xii. 14. All which, this great Prophet teaches powerfully and efficaciously, by his word and Spirit.
5. Again, the Mediator is a priest, Psalm cx. 4. He is "an High Priest over the house of God," Hebrews x. 21. The business of a priest was to minister at the sanctuary, and offer up gifts and sacrifices for the sins of the people, Hebrews viii. 3. "For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that this man should have somewhat also to offer;" and for this purpose a body was prepared him: a true body and a reasonable soul, even the whole of human nature; which being united to the person of the Son of God, was offered up a sacrifice, to satisfy divine justice for the sins of an elect world. And by this oblation a true and proper atonement was made for sin, satisfaction to divine justice was given, the wrath of an offended Deity was appeased, and sinners have free access unto God, as a God in covenant, a Father and Friend. Amazing scheme of salvation! Astonishing to men and angels! 1 Peter x. 12. Intercession was another branch of the priestly office. Christ ever lives to make intercession for his people, Hebrews vii. 25. He prays for them that they may be pardoned, justified, sanctified, and saved; yea, he prays that where he is, there they may be also, that they may behold his glory, John xvii. 24. But,
6. The Mediator is also a king, Psalm ii. 6. Saints are the subjects of his mediatorial kingdom; whom he rules by the most wholesome laws; and unto whom he hath given a most glorious charter of privileges, contained in the covenant of grace; which is ordered in all things and sure, 2 Samuel xxiii. 5. He rules in his people by the power of divine grace, and he rules for them, conquering and subduing all his and their enemies; and "he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet," 1 Corinthians xv. 25. These are some of Christ's qualifications for his work as Mediator.
IV. We are now to consider how he hath effected it, or what he hath done for that purpose.
Besides those eternal transactions and covenant engagements, already taken notice of, and in consequence thereof, the eternal Son of God did, in time, take upon him human nature, with all its sinless
infirmities. According to ancient predictions he was to be made of the woman's seed, and born of a virgin; therefore he was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary; of whom he was born, free from sin. Thus "the Word was made flesh," and dwelt with men on earth; some of whom "beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth," John i. 14. The grand design of his incarnation was to save an elect world: in order to which, as he was made of a woman, so he was made under the law. He was born under obligations to keep the law, as the surety of his people. The law must be kept, or man could not be saved. It is holy, just, and good, righteous in all its demands. Perfect obedience it positively requires; a single deviation therefrom exposes to the curse, Galatians iii. 10. Had Christ failed only in one point, his mediation would have been of no avail. But his obedience was complete. Divine justice could not charge it with the least flaw. "Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners," Hebrews vii. 26. And such an one was Jesus Christ: "who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth." 1 Peter ii. 22.
Again, Christ, as Mediator, not only kept the law inviolable, but he died the cursed death of the cross, to atone for the sins of his people. Without shedding of blood there could be no remission. And as the blood of slain beasts was insufficient to cleanse from sin, Christ offered his own, Hebrews ix. 19. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered once into the holy place: having obtained eternal redemption for us." "The blood of Jesus Christ," being the blood of the Son of God, hath a divine efficacy, and "cleanseth from all sin," 1 John i. 7. But, not only did Jesus suffer in his body, he endured infinitely greater torture in his soul. His bodily sufferings were indeed great, beyond compare. In this view, he was emphatically "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief," Isaiah liii. 3. His wounded, mangled, bruised body, was so changed from what it had been, as to excite astonishment in the beholders. "As many were astonished at thee. His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons [of] men," Isaiah lii. 14. So distorted were his limbs, as to extract from him this grievous complaint; "My bones are all out of joint. I may tell all my bones, they look and stare upon me," Psalm xxii. 14-17. Let imagination paint to faith's view the innocent Jesus, clothed in a robe of mock majesty, enveloped round with invidious foes taunting and jeering at him, spitting on his face, smiting it with their hands, piercing his head with a crown of thorns, plowing furrows, long and deep, on his back, with a whip of wires; driving iron spikes through his hands and feet, nailing them to the cross, and thus suspending him between heaven and earth, exposed naked to the inclement rays of a burning sun, a spectacle to men and angels. Thus behold the agonizing Jesus, and judge whether there were ever any sorrows like unto his sorrows, or pains comparable to those he endured. But, after all, the sufferings of his soul were infinitely superior to these.
These he bore - those he deprecated. Apprehensions of the divine wrath, which was to fall on his soul, caused his human nature to shrink, and drew from him these mournful accents, "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour," John xii. 27. And when the vials of wrath began to be poured out upon him, he was in an agony - sweat great drops of blood, and said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt," Luke xxii. 44; Matthew xxvi. 38, 39. And when his soul was made an offering for sin, and divine wrath was poured out upon him to the uttermost, he cried out, "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" Matthew xxvii. 46. Thus Jesus, the Mediator, suffered for us men, and for our salvation. Thus he died, commending his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father, Hebrews ii. 10. And that his humiliation might be reduced to the lowest degree, he was laid in the grave, where he continued three days and three nights, but his body "saw no corruption." On the third day he arose from the dead; for it was not in the power of the grave to hold him. Though he had been put to death in the flesh, he was quickened by the Spirit, Hebrews iii. 18. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is an essential part of his mediatorial work; for had he not been raised out of the grave, all that he had done would have been ineffectual to the salvation of sinners. Hence saith the apostle, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, you are yet in your sins," 1 Corinthians xv. 17. If the Head had continued under the power of death, the members must have remained there also. "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept," 1 Corinthians xv. 20. After his resurrection he continued many days on earth, showing himself to his disciples; comforting, encouraging, and confirming them; and then "ascended up on high, leading captivity captive;" when the everlasting doors were opened to receive the King of glory; and the heavenly arches rang with joyful acclamations; shouting, The Redeemer! God the Father manifested his approbation of all that he had done, and the high esteem he had for him as Mediator, by placing him at his right hand, "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named," Ephesians ii, 21. There the Mediator now sits, pleading the value of his merits on behalf of his chosen people; and we may be sure that "he is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," Hebrews vii. 25.
V. We proceed to point out some of the effects of his mediatorship.
First, With regard to God. Hereby God is glorified, more than he would have been if Adam had never fallen, or if all mankind had perished under the ruins of sin, John xvii. 4. All the moral perfections of the Deity are illustriously displayed and glorified in the salvation of sinners, through Jesus Christ. His wisdom appears conspicuous in contriving the plan; his power, in effecting it; his love, in giving his own Son; his justice, in punishing him; his mercy, in pardoning
sinners; and his holiness in cleansing them from sin in his Son's blood. The angels, at the Redeemer's birth, sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men." And all the ransomed of the Lord will praise God for this wonderful scheme of salvation, to all eternity.
Second. With regard to the law of God. The mediatorship of Christ hath restored to the law all its rights and honors; for he hath magnified the law and made it honorable, by yielding a perfect obedience to it, and dying to make satisfaction for the breach of it.
Third. With regard to man, the blessed effects of Christ's mediatorship are scarce to be enumerated.
1. Hereby that desirable blessing peace, lost by sin, is restored to all the people of God. Christ is "the Prince of peace," Isaiah ix. 6. His covenant is a covenant of peace, Isaiah liv. 10. His gospel is the gospel of peace, Romans x. 15. And this blessing he bequeathed to his people as a legacy, John xiv. 27. 1. Through him they have peace with God, Romans v. 1. Of him it is said, "This man shall be the peace," i. e. the peace-maker, Michiah v. 5; and "he hath made peace by the blood of his cross," Colossians i. 20. 2. They have peace of conscience, "joy and peace in believing," Romans xv. 13. Their hearts being sprinkled from an evil or guilty conscience, they enjoy great peace within. 3. They have peace one with another, Mark ix. 50. Being all one in Christ, their hearts are knit together in love, Galatians iii. 28; Colossians ii. 2. The enmity betwixt Jews and Gentiles is removed, and they are united together in one body; "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us," Ephesians ii. 13.
2. Pardon of sin is another effect of Christ's mediatorship. God, for Christ's sake, forgives his people, Ephesians iv. 32. The blood of Christ was shed to make an atonement for, and obtain the remission of our sins; and God "is faithful and just to forgiving us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness," 1 John i. 9.
3. Justification is also through the mediatorship of Christ, "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." Isaiah xlv. 35. The righteousness of Christ, as mediator, is the sole matter and cause of a sinner's justification before God, Romans v. 17, 18. This righteousness Christ wrought out by his active and passive obedience to the law; and by it, "all that believe are justified from all things, from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses," Acts xiii. 39.
4. Adoption is likewise through the mediation of Christ, and on account of what he hath done and suffered for us. He was "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the 1aw; that we might receive the adoption of sons," Galatians iv. 4, 5. By this act of divine grace, we are received into the family of God, as his dear children; and are favored with the grace and "spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father;" being "heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ," and so entitled to all the blessings and privileges of the sons of God, Romans viii. 15-17.
5. Through the mediation of Christ we enjoy the renewing, comforting, and sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. He was a party concerned in the covenant of grace, of which Christ is the Mediator: and he is sent by Christ to convince the world of Sin, renew the soul, comfort the people of God, sanctify and make them meet for heaven, John xvi. 8; Titus iii. 5; Hebrews xii. 14.
6. All the blessings and privileges of the gospel come flowing to us through the mediation of Christ. The gospel itself is his gospel, Romans xv. 20. The doctrines of it are his doctrines; they treat of his person, offices, grace, blood, and righteousness. The promises, which are exceeding great and precious, "are all yea and amen, in Christ," 2 Peter i. 4; 2 Corinthians i. 20. Gospel ordinances were instituted by Christ, and represent, the one, his death, burial, and resurrection; the other, his body broken, and blood shed, for our salvation, Romans vi. 3, 4; 1 Corinthians xxiv. 25. In a word, the laws, rules, and discipline of his house, are all good and wholesome, having a tendency to assimilate us to Christ and prepare us for glory.
7. Once more: through the mediation of Christ, we have liberty of access unto God, and are invited to "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in time of need," Hebrews iv. 16.
8. In fine, eternal life is enjoyed through the mediation of Christ; for, although heaven is no where said to be purchased by Christ, yet sinners are redeemed in order that they may enjoy it. They are "vessels of mercy prepared unto glory," Romans ix. 23. And it is the will of Christ, that all those whom the Father hath given unto him, should be with him, where he is, that they may behold his glory, John xvii. 27.
Thus, dear brethren, have we endeavored to treat of Christ the Mediator, and we trust that his fulness and suitableness have, in some measure, been made to appear. That you may live to, for, and upon him, and at last live and reign with him, is the prayer of yours in the faith and fellowship of the gospel.
Signed by order of the Association, OLIVER HART, Moderator. WM. VANHORN, Clerk.
NOTE. - Minister marked thus * were absent. A dash - denotes churches destitute of a settled minister.
[A. D. Gillette, editor, Minutes of Philadelphia Association, 1707-1807, 1851; reprint, 2001. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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