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PRIVILEGES PECULIAR TO SUCH.
IV. AND for thy further encouragement in this matter, I will here bring in the fourth chief head, to wit, to show whatEXCELLENT PRIVILEGES (I mean over and above what has already been spoken of) they have, that are made partakers of the benefit of this office. “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1. Thy Advocate pleads to a price paid, to a propitiation made; and this is a great advantage. Yea, he pleads to a satisfaction made for all the wrongs done, or to be done, by his elect. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:10-14; Hebrews 9:26. “By one offering;” that is, by the offering of himself, by one offering once offered, once offered in the end of the world. This, I say, thy Advocate pleads. When Satan brings in fresh accusations for more transgressions against the law of God, he forces not Christ to shift his first play. I say, he puts him not to his shifts at all; for the price once paid has in it sufficient value (would God impute it to that end) to take away the sin of the whole world. There is a man that hath brethren; he is rich and they are poor, (and this is the case betwixt Christ and us;) and the rich brother goeth to his father, and saith, Thou art related to my brethren with me, and out of my store, I pray thee, to let them have sufficient; and for thy satisfaction I will put into thy hand the whole of what I have, which perhaps is worth a hundred thousand pounds by the year: and this other sum I give, that they be not disinherited. Now, will not this last his poor brethren to live upon a great while? But Christ’s worth can never be drawn dry.
Now, set the case again, that some ill-conditioned man should take notice that these poor men live all upon the spend, (and saints do so,) and should come to the good man’s house, and complain to him of the spending of his sons, and that while their elder brother stands by. What do you think the elder brother would reply, if he was as good-natured as Christ? Why, he would say ‘I have yet with my father in store for my brethren; wherefore then seekest thou to stop his hand? As he is just, he must give them for their conveniency, yea, and as for their extravagances, I have satisfied for them so well, that however he afflicts them, he will not disinherit them. I hope you will read and hear this, not like them that say, “Let us do evil that good may come,” but like those whom the love of Christ constrains to be better. However, this is the children’s bread; that which they have need of, and without which they cannot live; and they must have it, though Satan should put pins into it therewith to choke the dogs.
And for the further clearing of this, I will present you with these few considerations. (1.) Those that are most sanctified, have yet a body of sin and death in them. Romans 7:24. And so also it will be, while they continue in this world. (2.) This body of sin strives to break out, and will break out, to the polluting of the conversation, (if saints be not the more watchful;) yea, it has broke out in a most sad manner, and that in the strongest saints. Galatians 5:17. (3.) Christ offereth no new sacrifice for the salvation of these his people; for, being raised from the dead, he dies no more. Romans 6:9.
So then if saints sin, they must be saved (if saved at all) by virtue of the offering already offered: and if so, then all Christ’s pleas, as an Advocate, are grounded upon that one offering which before, as a Priest, he presented God with, for taking away sin. So then Christians live upon this old stock; their transgressions are forgiven for the sake of the worth that yet God finds in the offering that Christ hath offered. And all Christ’s pleadings, as an Advocate, are grounded on the sufficiency and worth of that one sacrifice; I mean all his pleadings with his Father, as to the charge which the accuser brings in against them. For though thou art a man of infirmity, and so incident to nothing as to stumble and fall, if grace doth not prevent, (and it preventeth not always;) yet the value and worth of the price that was once paid for thee, is not yet worn out; and Christ, as an Advocate, still pleadeth that, (as occasion is given,) with success, to thy salvation.
And this privilege they have, who, indeed, have Christ for their Advocate; and I put it here, in the first place, because all others do depend upon it. 2. Thine Advocate, as he pleadeth a price already paid, so, and therefore, he pleads for himself as for thee. We are all concerned in one bottom; if he sink, we sink; if we sink, he sinks.
Give me leave to make out my meaning. Christ pleads the value and virtue of the price of his blood and sacrifice for us. And admit of this horrible supposition a little for argument’s sake, That though Christ pleads the worth of what, as Priest, he offereth, yet the soul for whom he so pleads perishes eternally. Now where lieth the fault?’ In sin,’ you say. True; but it is because there was more virtue in sin to damn, than there was in the blood pleaded by Christ, to save. For he pleadeth his merit; he put it into the balance against sin; but sin hath weighed down the soul of the sinner to hell, notwithstanding the weight of merit that he did put in against it! Now, what is the result, but that the Advocate goes down, as well as we; we to hell, and he in esteem? Wherefore, I say, he is concerned with us; his credit, his honor, his glory, his renown, flies all away, if those for whom he pleads as an Advocate, perish for want of worth in his sacrifice pleaded.
But shall this ever be said of Christ? or will it be found that any, for whom Christ as Advocate yet pleads, perish for want of worth in the price, or of neglect in the Advocate to plead it? No, no; himself is concerned, and that as to his own reputation and honor, as to the value and virtue of his blood; nor will he lose those, for want of pleading for them, concerned in this office.
I argue again: Christ, as Advocate, must needs be concerned in his plea, for that every one, for whose salvation he advocates is his own; so then if he lose, he loses his own, his substance and inheritance. Thus, if he lose the whole, and if he lose a part, one, any one of his own, he loseth part of his all, and of his fullness; wherefore we may well think that Christ, as Advocate, is concerned, even concerned with his people, and therefore will thoroughly plead their cause.
Suppose a man should have a horse, though lame, and a piece of ground, though somewhat barren, yet if any should attempt to take these away, he would not sit still and so lose his own. ‘No,’ saith he, ‘since they are mine own, they shall cost me five times more than they are worth, but I will maintain my right.’ I have seen men sometimes strongly engaged in law, for that which, when well considered by itself, one would think was not worth regarding; but when I have asked them, Why so concerned for a thing of so little esteem? they have answered, ‘O, it is some of that by which I hold a title of honor, or my right to a greater income, and therefore I will not lose it.’ Why, thus is Christ engaged: what he pleads for is his own, his all, his fullness; yea, it is that by which he holds his royalty, for he is “King of saints.” Revelation 15:3; John 6:37-39; Psalm 16:5,6. It is part of his estate, and that by which he holds some of his titles of honor. Ephesians 5:23; Jeremiah 50:34; Romans 11:26; Hebrews 10:10. Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, and Captain, are some of his titles of honor; but if he lose any of those upon whose account he wears those titles of honor, for want of virtue in his plea, or for want of worth in his blood, he loseth his own, and not only so, but part of his royalty, and does also diminish and lay a blot upon his glorious titles of honor. And he is jealous of his honor; his honor he will not give to another.
Wherefore be not afraid. He will not leave nor forsake those who have given themselves unto him, and for whom he is become an Advocate with the Father, to plead their cause; even because thou art one, one of his own, one by whom he holdeth his glorious titles of honor. Objection. ‘O, but I am but one, and a very sorry one too; and what is one , especially such a one as I am? Can there be a miss of the loss of such a one?’ Answer. One and one make two, and so ad infinitum. Christ cannot lose one, but as he may lose more, and so in conclusion lose all. But of all God has given him, he will lose nothing. John 6:38,39. Besides, to lose one, would encourage Satan, disparage his own wisdom, make him incapable of giving in, at the day of account, the whole tale to God of those that he has given him. Further, this would dishearten sinners, and make them afraid of venturing their cause and their soul in his hand; and would, as I said before, either prove his propitiation in some sense ineffectual, or else himself defective in his pleading of it: but none of these things must be supposed.
He will thoroughly plead the cause of his people, execute judgment for them, bring them out to the light, and cause them to behold his righteousness. Micah 7. 3. The plea of Satan is groundless; and that is another privilege. For albeit thou hast sinned, yet since Christ before has paid thy debt, and also paid for more; since thou hast not yet run beyond the price of thy redemption, it must be concluded, that Satan wants a good bottom to ground his plea upon, and therefore must, in conclusion, fail of his design. True, there is sin committed, there is a law transgressed; but there is also a satisfaction for this transgression, and that which superabounds; so, though there be sin, yet there wants a foundation for a plea. Joshua’ was clothed with filthy garments, but Christ had other garments prepared for him, change of raiment; wherefore iniquity, as to the charge of Satan vanishes. And the Angel answered and said, “Take away the filthy garments from him;” (this intimates, that there was no ground, no sufficient ground for Satan’s charge;) and to him he said, “Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” Zechariah 3:4.
Now, if there be no ground, no sound and sufficient ground, to build a charge against the child of God upon, I mean as to eternal condemnation; for that is the thing contended for; then, as I said, Satan must fall like lightning to the ground, and be cast over the bar, as a corrupt and illegal pleader; but this is so, as in part is proved already, and will be further made out by that which follows.
They that have indeed Christ for their Advocate, are themselves, by virtue of another law than that against which they have sinned, secured from the charge that Satan brings in against them. I granted before, that the child of God has sinned, and that there is a law that condemneth for this sin: but here is the thing, this child is removed by an act of grace into and under another law. “For we are not under the law;” and so consequently, “there is now no condemnation for them.” Romans 6:14; 8:1. Wherefore when God speaketh of his dealing with his, he saith, it shall not be by their covenant; ( Ezekiel 16:61;) that is, not by that of the law, they then being not under the law. What if a plea be commenced against them; a plea for sin, and they have committed sin; a plea grounded upon the law, and the law takes cognizance of their sin? Yet, I say, the plea wants a good bottom, for that the person thus accused, is put under another law; hence he says, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law.” If the child of God, was under the law, Satan’s charge would be good, because it would have a substantial ground of support; but since the child is dead to the law, Galatians 2:19, and that also dead to him, (for both are true as to condemnation, Romans 7:5,) how can it be that Satan should have matter of fact, sufficient matter of fact, that is sin? For by his change of relation, he is put out of the reach of that law. There is a woman, a widow, that oweth a sum of money, and she is threatened to be sued for the debt; now what doth she but marry; so when the action is commenced against her as a widow, the law finds her a married woman, what now can be done? Nothing to her; she is not what she was; she is delivered from that state by her marriage; if any thing be done, it must be done to her husband. But if Satan will sue Christ for my debt, he oweth him nothing; and as for what the law can claim of me while I am under it, Christ has delivered me by redemption from that curse, “being made a curse for me.” Galatians 3:13.
Now, the covenant into which I am brought by grace, by which also I am secured from the law, is not a law of sin and death, as that is from under which I am brought, but a law of grace and life; ( Romans 8:2;) so that Satan cannot come at me by that law and by grace. I am by that secured also from the hand, and mouth, and sting of all other; I mean still as to eternal concern. Wherefore God saith, if we break his law, the law of works, he will visit our sin with a rod, and our iniquity with stripes; but his covenant, his new covenant, will he not break, ( Psalm 89:30-37,) but will keep close to that, and so secure us from eternal condemnation.
Christ is also made the Mediator of that covenant, and therefore an Advocate by that; for his priestly office and advocateship are included in this mediation. Wherefore when Satan pleads by the old, Christ pleads by the new covenant, for the sake of which the old one is removed. “In that he saith, A new covenant he hath made the first old. Now, that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:13.
Now, what doth Christ plead, and what is the ground of his plea? Why, he pleads for exemption and freedom from condemnation, though by the law of works his children have deserved it: and the ground of this his plea, as to law, is the matter of the covenant itself, for thus it runs: “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” Hebrews 8:12.
Now here is a foundation, a foundation in law, for our Advocate to build his plea upon; a foundation in a law not to be moved, or removed, or made to give place, as this is forced to do, upon which Satan grounds his plea against us.
Men, when they plead before a judge, use to plead matter of law. Now suppose there is an old law in the realm, by which men deserve to be condemned to death; and there is a new law in this realm, that secureth men from that condemnation which belongs them by the old; and suppose also, that I am completely comprehended by all the provisions of the new law, and not by any tittle thereof, excluded from a share therein; suppose again, that I have a brangling adversary that pursues me by the old law, which yet cannot in right touch me, because I am interested in the new; my Advocate is also one that pleads by the new law, where only there is ground of plea; shall not mine adversary feel the plea to the delivering of me, and the putting of him to shame? Yes, verily, especially since the plea is good, the Judge just, nor can the enemy find any ground for a demur to be put in against my present discharge in open court, and. that by proclamation; especially since my Advocate has also, by his blood, fully satisfied the old law, that he might establish the new. Hebrews 10:9,11,12. 4. Since that which goeth before is true, it follows, that he that entereth his plea against the children, must needs be overthrown: for always before just judges it is right that takes place. “Judge the right, O Lord,” said David; or, “Let my sentence come forth from thee,” according to the law of grace. And he that knows what strong ground or bottom our Advocate has for his pleadings, and how Satan’s accusations are without sound foundation, will not be afraid (speaking in Christ) to say, ‘I appeal to God Almighty, since Christ is my Advocate by the new law, whether I ought to be condemned to death and hell, for what Satan pleads against me by the old.’ Satan urgeth, that we have sinned; but Christ pleads to his propitiatory sacrifice. So Satan pleads the justice and holiness of God against us; and there the accuser is overthrown again; for to them Christ appeals. And his appeal is good; since the law testifies to the sufficiency of the satisfaction that Christ has made thereto by his obedience, ( Romans 3:22, 23,) and also since, by another covenant, God himself has given us to Jesus Christ, and so delivered us from the old. Wherefore you read nothing as an effect of Satan’s pleading against us, but that his mouth is stopped, as appears by Zechariah 3; and that he is cast, yea, cast down, as you have it in Revelation 12.
Indeed, when God admits not, when Christ wills not to be an Advocate, and when Satan is bid stand at the right hand of one accused, <19A906> Psalm 109:6, 7,) to enforce by pleading against him, the things charged on him by the law, then he can prevail, prevail for ever against such a wretched one.
But when Christ stands up to plead, when Christ espouses this or that man’s cause, then Satan must retreat, then he must go down. And this necessarily flows from the text, “We have an Advocate,” a prevailing one; one that never lost a cause; one that always puts the children’s enemy to the rout, before the judgment seat of God. This, therefore is another privilege, that they have, who have Jesus Christ for their Advocate; their enemy must needs be overthrown, because both law and justice are on their side. 5. Thine Advocate has pity for thee, and great indignation against thine Accuser: and these are two excellent things. When a lawyer hath pity for a man whose cause he pleadeth, it will engage him much: but when he has indignation also against this man’s accuser, this will yet engage him more.
Now, Christ has both these, and that not of humor, but by grace and justice; grace to us, and justice to our accuser, He came down from heaven that he might be a Priest, and returned thither again to be a Priest and Advocate for his; and in both these offices he leveleth his whole force and power against thine Accuser. “For this cause was the Son of God manifest, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”
Cunning men will, if they can, retain such a one to be their advocate that has a particular quarrel against their adversary. For thus think they — ‘He that is such, will not only plead for me, but for himself, and to right his own wrongs: and since it is so my concerns and my advocate’s are interwoven, I am like to fare much better for the anger that is conceived in his heart against him.’ And this, I say, is the children’s case. Their Advocate counts their Accuser his greatest enemy, and waits for a time to take vengeance, and often takes opportunity, when he has aught to do for his people. Hence he says, “The day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” Isaiah 63:3,4.
I do not say that this revenge of Christ is, as oft-times is a man’s, of spite, prejudice, or other irregular lettings out of passion; but it arises from righteousness and truth. Nor can it be, but that Jesus must have a desire to take vengeance on his enemy and ours, since holiness is in him to the utmost bounds of perfection. And I say again, that in all his pleading as an Advocate, as well as in all his offering as a Priest, he has a hot and flaming desire and design to right himself upon his foe and ours. Hence he triumphed over him, when he died for us on the cross; and designed the spoiling of his dominion, while he poured out his blood for us before God. Colossians 2:14,15. We then have this advantage more, in that Christ is our Advocate — our enemy is also his, and the Lord counts him so. 6. As thine Advocate, so thy Judge holdeth thine Accuser for his enemy also. For it is not in love to righteousness and justice that Satan accuseth us to God, but that he may destroy the workmanship of God. Wherefore he also fighteth against God when he accuseth the children; and this thy Father knows right well. He must therefore distinguish between the charge and the mind that brings it, especially when what is charged upon us is under the gracious promise of a pardon, (as I have showed it is.) Shall not the Judge then hear his Son (for our Advocate is his Son) in the cause of one that he favors, and that he justly can, against an enemy who seeks his dishonor, and the destruction of his eternal designs of grace.
A mention of the judge’s son goes far with countrymen; and great striving there is with them who have great enemies and bad causes, to get the judge’s son to plead, promising themselves, that the judge is as like to hear him, and to yield a verdict to his plea, as to any other lawyer. But what now shall we say concerning our Judge’s Son, who takes part not only with his children, but with him, and with law and justice, in pleading against our accuser? Yea, what shall we say when judge, advocate, and law, are all bent to make our persons stand and escape, whatever, and how true soever, the charge and accusation is by which we are assaulted of the devil! And yet all this is true; wherefore here is another privilege of them that have Jesus for their Advocate. 7. Another privilege that they have who have Jesus Christ for their Advocate, is, that he is undaunted, and of good courage, as to the cause that he undertakes. For that is a requisite qualification for a lawyer, to be bold and undaunted in a man’s cause. Such a one is coveted, especially by him that knows he has a brazen faced antagonist. Wherefore Christ saith, that he will set his face like a flint, ( Isaiah 1:5-7,) when he stands up to plead the cause of his people. Lawyers, of all men, need this courage, and to be above other men of hard foreheads, because of the affronts they sometimes meet with, be their cause ever so good, in the face sometimes of the chief of a kingdom. Now Christ is our lawyer, and stands up to plead, not only sometimes, but always, for his people, before the God of gods, and that not in a corner, but while all the host of heaven stands by, both on the right hand and on the left. Nor is it to be doubted, but that our Accuser brings many a sore charge against us into the court. But we have an Advocate, however, that is valiant and courageous, one that will not fail, nor be discouraged, till he has brought judgment into victory. Hence John inserts his name, saying, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.”
Men love to understand a man before they commit their cause to him, namely, whether he be fitly qualified for their business. Well, here is an Advocate propounded, an Advocate to plead our cause against our foe. ‘But what is he? What is his name? Is he qualified for my business?’ The answer is, It isJESUS CHRIST. ‘How! Jesus Christ, that old friend of publicans and sinners! Jesus Christ! he used never to fail! He is used to set his face like a flint against Satan, when he pleads the cause of his people! Is it Jesus Christ?’ says the knowing soul; ‘then he shall be mine Advocate.’
For my part, I have often wondered, when I have considered what sad causes Jesus Christ sometimes takes in hand, and for what sad souls he sometimes pleads with God his Father. He hath need of a face as hard as flint, else how could he bear up in that work, in which, for us, sometimes he is employed: a work enough to make angels blush. Some indeed will lightly put off this, and say, It is his office. But I say, his office notwithstanding, the work itself is hard, exceeding hard. When he went to die, had he not despised the shame, he had turned his back upon the cross, and left us in our blood! And now it is his turn to plead, the case would be the same, only he can make argument upon that which to us seems to yield no argument at all, and take courage to plead for a Joshua clothed with filthy garments! “He (saith he) that is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous generation, of him will I be ashamed, etc.” Mark 8:38.
Hence it follows, that Christ will be ashamed of some. But why not ashamed of others? It is not because their cause is good; but because they are kept from denying him professedly. Wherefore for such he will force himself, and will set his face like a flint, and will, without shame, own, plead, and improve his interest with God for them, even for them whose cause is so horribly bad and gross, that they blush themselves to think on it.
True, his offering himself in a sacrifice tried him greatly, but that was but for a while; his grappling as a Captain with the curse, death, and hell, tried him much, but that also was but for a while; but this office of being an Advocate, though it meets not with such sudden depths of trouble, yet what it wants in shortness it may meet with in length of time. I know Christ being raised from the dead, dies no more. Yet he has not left off, though in heaven, to do some works of service for his saints on earth; for there he pleads as an advocate or lawyer for his people. Hebrews 8:1,2. And let it be that he has no cause of shame, when he standeth thus up to plead for so vile a wretch as I, who have so vilely sinned; yet I have cause to think that well he may, and to hold my hands before my face for shame, and to be confounded with shame, while he, to fetch me off from condemnation for my transgressions, sets his face like a flint to plead for me with God, and against my accuser. But thus much for the seventh privilege that they have by Christ, who have him for their Advocate. 8. Another privilege that they have who get Jesus Christ to be their Advocate, is this, he is always ready, always in court, always with the Judge; then and there to oppose, if our accuser comes, and to plead against him what is pleadable for his children. And this the text implies, where it saith, “We have an Advocate with the Father,” always with the Father. Some lawyers, though they are otherwise able and shrewd, yet not being always in court, are ready to suffer their poor clients to be baffled and nonsuited by their adversary; yea, it comes to pass. because of this neglect, that a judgment is got out against them for whom they have undertaken to plead, to their great perplexity and damage. But no such opportunity can Satan have of our Advocate, for he is with the Father, always with the Father, as to be a Priest, so to be an Advocate. “We have an Advocate with the Father.” It is said of the priests, they wait at the altar, and that they give attendance there, ( 1 Corinthians 9:13;) also of the magistrate, that as to his office he should attend continually on this very thing. Romans 8:6. And as these, so Christ, as to his office of an Advocate, attends continually on that office with his Father. “We have an Advocate with the Father,” always with the Father. And truly such an Advocate becomes the children of God, because of the vigilance of their enemy; for it is said of him, that he accuseth us day and night, ( Revelation 12:10;) so unweariedly doth he seek and pursue our destruction. But behold how we are provided for him! “We have an Advocate with the Father.” If he comes a days, our Advocate is with the Father! If he comes a nights, our Advocate is with the Father! Thus then is our Advocate ready to put check to Satan, come when he will or can to accuse us to the Father. Wherefore these two texts are greatly to be minded; one of them, for it shows us the restlessness of our enemy; the other, for it shows us the diligence of our Advocate.
That also in the Hebrews shows us the carefulness of our Advocate, where it saith, he is gone, “into heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Hebrews 11:24. Now — just the time present; now — the time always present; now — let Satan come when he will. Nor is it to be omitted, that this word now, that thus specifies the time, the present time, doth also conclude it to be that time in which we are imperfect in grace, in which we have many failings, in which we are tempted and accused of the devil to God; this is the time, and in it, and every whit of it, he now appeareth in the presence of God for us. O the diligence of our enemy! O the diligence of our Friend! The one against us, the other for us, and that continually! “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” This then, that Jesus Christ is always an Advocate with the Father for us, and so continually ready to put a check to every accusation that Satan brings into the presence of God against us, is another of the privileges that they have who have Jesus Christ for their Advocate. 9. Another privilege that they have who have Jesus Christ to be their Advocate, is this, he is such a one as will not by bribes, by flattery ,or fair pretences, be turned aside from pursuing his client ’s business. This was the fault of lawyers in old time, that they would wrest judgment for a bribe.
Hence the Holy One complained, that a bribe did use to blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the judgment of the righteous. 1 Samuel 12:3; Amos 5:12; Deuteronomy 16:19. There are three things in judgment that a lawyer must take heed of. One is the nature of the offence; the other, is the meaning and intendment of the law-makers; and a third, is to plead for them in danger, without respect to affection or reward. And this is the excellency of our Advocate, he will not, cannot be biassed to turn aside from doing judgment; and this the apostle intendeth when he calleth our Advocate “Jesus Christ the righteous.” “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” or as another prophet calls him, “The just Lord,” one that will do no iniquity, that is, no unrighteousness in judgment. Zephaniah 3:5. He will not be provoked to do it, neither, by the continual provocations wherewith, by reason of thy infirm condition, thou dost often tempt him to do it. And remember that thy Advocate pleads by the new covenant, and thine adversary accuses by the old; and again remember, that the new covenant is better and more richly provided with grounds of pleading for our pardon and salvation, than the old can be with grounds for a charge to be brought in by the devil against us, suppose our sin be ever so heinous. It is a better covenant, established upon better promises.
Now, put these two together, namely, that Jesus Christ is righteous, and will not swerve in judgment; also that he pleads for us by the new law, with which Satan hath nothing to do, nor (had he) can he by it bring in a plea against us; Jeremiah 31:29-34; Ezekiel 36:25-30; Hebrews 8:8-13. Because that law, in the very body of it, consists in free promises of giving grace unto us, and of an everlasting forgiveness of our sin. O children! your Advocate will stick to the law, to the new law, to the new and everlasting covenant, and will not admit that any thing should be pleaded by our foe that is inconsistent with the promise of the gift of grace, and of the remission of all sin. This therefore is another privilege that they are made partakers of, who have Jesus Christ to be their Advocate; he is just, he is righteous, he is “Jesus Christ the righteous;” he will not be turned aside to judge awry, either of the crime or the law for favor or affection. Nor is there any sin committed but what is pardonable, to those that have chosen Jesus Christ to be their Advocate. 10. Another privilege that they have who have Jesus Christ to be their Advocate, is this; the Father has made him, even him that is thine Advocate, the umpire and judge in all matters that have befallen, do, or shall fall out betwixt him and us. Mark this well; for when the Judge himself, before whom I am accused, shall make mine Advocate the judge of the nature of the crime for which I am accused, and of matter of law by which I am accused, that is, whether it is in force against me to condemnation, or whether by the law of grace I am set free, (especially since my Advocate has espoused my cause, promised me deliverance, and pleaded my right to the state of eternal life,) must it not go well with me?
Yes, verily. The Judge then making thine Advocate the judge, (for he “hath committed all judgment unto the Son,” John 5:22,) hath done it also for thy sake, who hath chosen him to be thine Advocate. It was a great thing that happened to Israel, when Joseph was become their advocate, and when Pharaoh had made him a judge. “Thou (says he) shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled. See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt; only on the throne I will be greater than thou.” Genesis 41:39,40,44.
Joseph in this was a type of Christ; and his government here, of the government of Christ for his church. Kings seldom make a man’s judge his advocate; they seldom leave the issue of the whole affair to the arbitration of the poor man’s lawyer; but when they do, methinks it should even go to the heart’s desire of the client, whose the advocate is; especially when, as I said before, the cause of the client is become the concern of the advocate, and they are both wrapped up in the self-same interest. And yet thus it is with that soul who has Jesus Christ for his Advocate.
What sayst thou, poor heart, to this? The Judge, that is, the God of heaven, has made thy Advocate arbitrator in thy business; he is to judge; God has referred the matter to him, and he has a concern in thy concern an interest in thy good speed. Christian man! dost thou hear? Thou hast put thy cause into the hand of Jesus Christ, and hast chosen him to be thine Advocate, to plead for thee before God, and against thy Adversary: and God has referred the judgment of that matter to thy Advocate, so that he has power to determine the matter. I know Satan is not pleased with this, he had rather things should have been referred to himself, and then woe had been to the child of God; but, I say, God has referred the business to Jesus Christ, has made him umpire and judge in thine affair. Art thou also willing that he should decide the matter? Canst thou say unto him as David, “Judge me, and plead my cause, O Lord.” Psalm 43:1.
O the care of God towards his people, and his desire of their welfare! He has provided them an Advocate, and has referred all causes and things that may by Satan be objected and brought in against us, to the judgment and sentence of Christ our Advocate. But to come to a conclusion for this: and therefore, 11. The advantage that he has, that has the Lord Jesus for his Advocate, is very great; thy Advocate has the cause, has the law, has the Judge, has the purse, and so consequently has all that is requisite for an Advocate to have; since together with these he has heart, he has wisdom, he has courage, and loves to make the best improvement of his advantages for the benefit of his client. And that which adds to all is, he can prove the debt paid about which Satan makes such ado; a price given for the ransom of my soul, and for the pardon of my sins. Lawyers do use to make a great matter of it, when they can prove, that that very debt is paid for which their client is sued at law. Now this Christ Jesus himself is witness to; yea, he himself has paid it, and that out of his own purse, for us, with his own hands, before and upon the mercy-seat, according as the law requireth. Leviticus 16:13-15; Hebrews 9:11-24. What then can accrue to our enemy, or what advantage can he get by thus vexing and troubling the children of the Most High? Certainly nothing but, as has been said already, to be cast down; for the kingdom of our God, which is a kingdom of grace, and the power of his Christ, will prevail. Samson’s power lay in his hair; but Christ’s power, his power to deliver us from the accusation and charge of Satan, lieth in the worth of, his undertakings. And hence it is said again, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,’ ( Revelation 12:10-12;) and he was cast out and down.