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displayed. Now without the perfection of Christ's work, in His priestly character, I could not preach mercy. I know very well that it is a common-place sentiment and saying among mortals, that God is a merciful God. Whenever I hear that, I answer, Yes, He is a just God as well as a merciful God, and I am much delighted with the practice of preaching mercy in such wise as to give equal honour to justice at the same moment. But I should have no opportunity of doing so, if it were not that Jesus's work is perfect. A clerical gentleman, who knew nothing of God, one day took in hand to give me a lecture, about the importance of preaching mercy, and he put it in the plural number so nicely :-"You know, Mr. Irons, that we minis ters are accustomed to preach mercy to others, and we must always manifest it to others as well." I let him give his lecture out, and then politely thanked him for it. Afterwards I said, "Now allow me to preach to you: I do preach mercy. I have not heard you preach, and and therefore cannot say how you preach, but I always preach mercy, so as not to do violence to justice; and when I preach mercy, which i do to all the most wretched, and forlorn, and worst of all the children of men, that I meet with, those who have gone furthest from God, and sunk deepest in vice, and in every way vile, wretched, and undone, I preach mercy to them all, but I preach it in such wise as that the justice of God is honoured, and that is by the full satisfaction, the perfect work of the Divine Surety and Substitute, the precious blood of Christ, the full satisfaction He gave to the justice of God, and the entire atonement offered up in behalf of poor ruined sinners; and, publishing that, I can find plenty of scope to display, exhibit, and make known, the mercy of God. The reverend gentleman did not attempt to preach to me any longer, but appeared very glad when I bade him “Good morning;' this was a doctrine which he did not understand-did not receive.
I mention this merely to fasten on your memories the fact, that in the display of mercy, we must keep in view the honour and the satisfaction of the justice of God, the truth and glory of God, so that not one of the perfections of Deity may be tarnished or robbed to display mercy,
But the precious glorious Christ of God offered a perfect, finished, satisfactory, acceptable atonement for the sins of the vilest and worst, and consequently is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him; we then tell the distressed sinner, broken-hearted, distressed in his conscience by the sentence of God's holy law, that, if he can prove that by the drawings of mighty grace, he has come to God in the name, merit, and righteousness of Christ Jesus, He is able to save to the uttermost, and mercy, sovereign abundant everlasting mercy, is stretching her wings, bedewed with atoning blood, to fly over the mountains of his guilt and rebellion, to pass by Sinai with all its thunders and lightnings, and drop the balmy dew Divine on his conscience, so as to seal pardon and peace to his soul. Oh! the blessedness of displaying the mercy of God, the sovereign, rich, free, distinguishing mercy of God, in such way as that justice is honoured and glorified as much as mercy. I never did like, since I have known the Lord, that old cant phrase of mercy being God's darling attribute. I do not believe one word of it. I believe that justice is as dear to Him as mercy, and that holiness and truth are as dear to Him. It seems invidious and insulting to God's perfections, to speak of His darling attribute, All His attributes are equally dear to Him. One may be more darling to you than another through the failure of your judgment, but not to God.
Moreover, among the triumphs of our glorious High Priest, we must reckon the emancipation that is continually going on. Now the Popish universal redemptionists-and it is downright Popery-talk of universal redemption, without emancipation. I cannot understand it. At any rate, it can only be a part of redemption-it is not a work complete. Sure I am, that the emancipation and deliverance of every soul for whom Christ died, is as sure and as certain as has been His own acceptance within the veil. The glorious High Priest is there within the veil for the purpose of interceding-"ever living to intercede "—and for the purpose of claiming what is His just due, and the Father's oath has bound Him to bestow it upon him. “He shall see his seed. He shall prolong bis days. The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hands. He shall see the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
And I tell you that our glorious High Priest would never be satisfied, without bringing in, and home, all His blood-bought family, and in order, to that their emancipation from the thraldom of Satan, and the life and pursuit of sin must be effected by omnipotent grace. Glory to His name, that that is going on, and by the “foolishness of preaching." it is effected. Now and then, while these truths are simply and plainly stated, the Holy Ghost is pleased to take fast hold of the rebel sinner's conscience, and bring him to the feet of Jesus, bringing the wanderer to God by the blood of Christ, to take fast hold of soine abominable heresiarch, showing him his errors and wickednesses, and bringing him to embrace the truth, to take fast hold of some legal soul, who is toiling in his legal bonds, to do something that will render him acceptable to God, saying, as He takes him,“ behold my blood," and then allowing His herald, John, to proclaim him with, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.” While this mighty work is going on, Satan resigns his prey, the world loses a votary, sin is conquered and subdued, and his very heart and life are reversed, the current of his affections is changed, the bias of his mind is completely altered, old things pass away, and all things become new, and he who was lately the slave of sin and Satan, is now become the servant of Christ, devoted to God, and bringing fruits unto holiness. These then are among the triumphs of our glorious High Priest, and I long to see more of them, the little remaining time that I have to stay upon earth. My soul desires and earnestly entreats God, that He would not allow a sermon to be preached, or a discourse dropped from this pulpit, without making some use of it in bringing sinners, who were afar off, nigh unto Him. Oh! who shall it be this morning? And where is he? Is it some one in the gallery? Is it some one in the lower part of the chapel? Is it some hardened sinner, or is it some friend who has everything we wish, but grace? My God, put forth Thy power, and bring sinners to Thy feet.
Further, among the triumphs of our glorious High Priest, we must reckon the negociations that are going on in heaven; aye, and from heaven with earth, and from earth with heaven. These are triumphs indeed. Not only has He entered into the holiest of all-not only does He ever live there to intercede on behalf of His Church, negociating His Church's affairs with the Father in glory, preparing mansions for every redeemed soul, furnishing them according to His own infinite wisdom and love, and receiving them home to occupy them one by one, as the pale messenger is commissioned to perform his office-not only this, but He has opened a new way by His own blood, He has given access to the very Father's throne and bosom, in His dear precious name, to every broken-hearted sinner that is taught by the Holy Ghost to lift up a thought, or breathe a prayer; so that we do not want any saints to intercede, or priests to mediate, or a round-about retinue of virgins and canonized Infidels to plead with God. No, a straightforward road marked out. The veil is rent from the top to the bottom, and every poor broken-hearted sinner, that knows and feels his need of the precious Christ's atoning blood, and pardoning love, is invited and welcomed with, “Come ye near unto me”-the very language of God Himself. Again, “ Come now let us reason together." And how will you reason with God-you guilty, rebellious, wandering sinners? I tell you how I reason it with Him. I acknowledge all; I confess the worst. I open my mouth to acknowledge the vilest. Then turn and say to Jehovah, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” There is my High Priest—there is atoning blood —there is perfect righteousness,
—a finished work—a satisfactory atonement, accepted within the veil, and I plead it as my only hope, my only ground of dependence.
Then observe how negociations go on with regard to the Church of God, in the name of Christ, relative to all the wants, exigences, trials, providences, as well as all the features of experience, all temptations, all the curse, There is liberty to cast them all upon the Lord, because the way is open. Place them all at His feet, plead the merit of Christ, and then wait at the footstool of Divine mercy, to get the answer or answers, the promises applied, providences arranged and ordered well, and made to work together for good, Satan repelled, his fiery darts warded off, and God bruising him under our feet, the world kept at a distance, all that belongs to old corrupt nature, mortified, subdued, and kept under, the new man imbued with life from above, grace for grace pouring down, while
groan ascend; more grace, Lord!” and He giveth more grace, for He is the God of all grace.
How is the negociation going on with you? Is there a living, close habitual dealing with the Most High, in the name, and precious blood, and righteousness of Jesus ?
Then let me lead you on to one thought more, and I will draw to a close. The Trinity is glorified, and the Church is saved. This is the final triumph; the consummation, if I may so speak, of our glorious High Priest. The Trinity is glorified; the Father's fixed purposes of unchanging love are carried out, and accomplished to the fullest extent. The Son's joint love with the Father, co-equal and co-eternal, displayed and manifested to the very same persons, on the very same grounds, for the very same ends—to bring many sons to glory. The Spirit's love, according to the registration by His own hand in the Book of Life, manifested in ministering to the very vessels of mercy for whom Jesus bled, bringing them to His feet, creating within them a capacity to approach and enjoy God-revealing Christ
in his glories and official character to their souls--enabling them to plead His merits and righteousness, shedding abroad the Father's love in their hearts, and drawing, attracting, constraining, winning, and engaging souls that are born from above, to keep up their conversation in heaven, and from thence to be looking for the Saviour. There is not an attribute of Deity which he does not glorify, as well as all the person
alities ;–His holiness, His justice, His truth, His love, His mercy, His condescension, His immutability, His omniscience, His omnipresence, His eternity ;—the self-existent Jehovah, glorified in the perfect and entire work of our great High Priest. Is not thy soul burning with love to Him? Canst thou not by faith follow Him within the veilsee Him presenting the golden censer now, and hear his voice saying, “ Father, I will that those whom Thou hast given me be with me in glory?" Dost thou not witness, since we have been speaking of Him, another, another, and another entering into bliss, welcomed home by Christ, placed side by side with Him on the throne, and Jesus smiling with delight, and saying, “Here am I, and the children Thou hast given me?”
Ere long, it will be thy turn, and mine. Ere long, the glorious Priest, who ever lives, shall bid us come away. Ere long, He will send us His messenger to beckon us to eternal glory, opening to the view our precious Christ in His own glorious body, waiting to receive us, angelic hosts dividing their ranks, i a glorious way made open to the throne for souls emancipated. Your's and mine go forth at liberty, enjoy the freedom of eternal life, the rest that is preparing for His own saints. Await the happy hour. Look for the arrival of the messenger. Be concerned, as long as you stay in the wilderness, to exalt and honour our precious, glorious High Priest. May He command a blessing upon this effort to honour Him, and His dear name shall have all the glory. Amen.
THE 194th SONG IN
MR. IRONS'S NEW VERSION OF THE BOOK OF PSALMS.
Jehovah said to Christ my Lord,
Sit thou on my right hand;
As nothing can withstand.
Rule thou amidst thy foes.
To bow before thy face;
To thee thy chosen race.
From the eternal morn,
Yea, millions yet unborn.
For ever He's the same;
And triumph in His name.
A Discourse, Delivered in Grove Chapel, Camberwell, Sunday Morning, Sept.24, 1848,
BY THE REV. JOSEPH IRONS.
“ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.”
Deuteronomy xviii. 15. During the two preceding weeks we have been dwelling upon the kingly office of Christ, and upon the priestly office of Christ; in the former of which we advocated the absolute sovereignty of Zion's King, and the spirituality of His kingdom, which is destined to rule over all ; last week we proclaimed and maintained the priestly office of Christ, showing it to be after the order of Melchisedec, and not after the order of Aaron, consequently excluding all other priests from office in the gospel dispensation.
It is our design this morning to open, as the Lord shall enable, the prophetic office of Christ as contained in the words of our text, thus we shall have a view of the official character of our beloved Lord, as Prophet, Priest, and King; and though we shall have reversed the order of the words to King, Priest, and Prophet, I trust we shall have a scriptural view of the offices, and feel a holy confidence in them; so as to escape the common delusion of the day in which we live, of thinking and speaking of Him as if He were merely a Saviour who had done all He could to save all mankind, but after all, had left it quite uncertain whether
any will be eventually saved; whereas, His official character, and consequent covenant engagements, render the salvation of all His Church a matter of infallible certainty.
These three offices belong to Christ alone, and are essential to His being the Christ of God. As King He reigns, and must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet, and with absolute sovereignty
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