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the house made holy, and all things that are within the house, and without the house, and round about the house, the top of the mount, the whole limit thereof round about ; this is the law of the house. The Lord knows how little it is observed now !
V. The next thing proposed, was, To touch a little at the privilege of access to the most holy place. This being a special part of the gospel that lies in the text, hid under this Old-testament phrase; I would open
up in these two or three remarks.
" That access to the most holy place, is nothing else " but access to the most holy God; and therefore, it is " the most glorious privilege that a finner can be ad“ vanced unto.” The fanctuary, or holy of holies in the Old-testament temple, was a symbol and type of the gracious presence of God; and to come to that, was to come to God: and the holy of holies is in the New-Teftament, called a throne of grace, Heb. iv. 16. And what is it to come to the throne of grace, or mercy-feat, but just to come to a merciful God, a gracious God in Christ? Therefore it is there faid, “ Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Where will we find mercy or grace, but with a merciful and gracious God? This is then the most holy place to which there is access.
Remark 2. " That access to the most holy place is “ by the blood of Jesus.” The priests, under the law, went into the holy place with blood of bulls and goats ; but Christ, our High-Priest, having entered, by his own blood, into the holy place, Heb. ix. 12.“ We have bold. ness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,” Heb. X. 19. that is, in the faith of his blood; a justice-fatisfying blood, and fin-expiating blood: even we guilty finners have freedom to come to a juft and holy God, and boldness to expect grace and glory, as the purchase of that blood; even that blood which is God-glorifying, finner-sanctifying, heaven-purchasing.
Remark 3. " That access to the most holy place is " the privilege of the whole church.” The whole family, all within the house, have access either proclaimed or obtained : All within the visible church, tho' but in the outer-court, have access proclaimed; “ Whosoever will, let him come.” And all within the church invisible, viz. Believers being in the inner-court, have access obtained, and daily admission to the holy place. Only the highpriest under the law had access to the holy place, and that once a-year only; but now all believers being a royal-priesthood, and made kings and priests unto their God, have access, not once a-year, Heb. ix. 7. nor once a-month; but, perhaps, once a-week, once a-day; yea, feveral times a-day ; perhaps, twenty times in one communion-day; even as oft as they get grace to act faith upon a God in Christ. This privilege of the whole church, is here represented by the top of the mount, and the whole limit thereof round about, having the privilege of the holy place.
Remark 4. • The privilege of access to the most holy place, is not only now extended to all persons within • the house, but also every-where, in all places where
the church or children of God are. Not only the top of the mount, but the whole limit round about, is the most holy place. Under the law, only the sanctuary was the most holy, but under the gospel the whole mountain shall be so, and the whole limit thereof round about; in as much as, where-ever the believer is, in public or in secret, there he hath access to the most holy place, the most holy God; according to what our Lord said to the woman of Samaria, John iv. 21. “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father; but the true worshippers every-where shall worship him in spirit and in truth.” The holy place was formerly hid in a corner of tlie temple ; for, the holy God hid himself in a corner, as it were, under the dark dispensation : but now the holy place, the holy God, is every-where to be seen and enjoyed in Christ. The vail of the temple is rent in twain, by the death of Christ; and the holy of holies is exposed, that whosoever will, may come and fee, come and partake, come and enjoy God through Jesus Christ, through whom the door of access is opened to us Gentiles, as well as it was to the Jews; “ Thro' him we both have access, by one Spirit, unto the Father,” Eph.ii. 8. The most holy place is not now confined to the the top of the mountain, where the temple stood, but extended to the whole mountain, and the whole limit thereof round about. This is the law of the bouse, the privilege of the house, according to the law of faith, or covenant of grace, wherein the grace of God, that bringeth falva. tion, hath appeared unto all men. O has it so appeared unto you this day, as that you find that you have got access to the most holy place! Then surely you are ob. liged to be the most holy people. Hence,
VI. The fixth head proposed, was, To show, that this privilege of access to the most holy place, obliges the whole houshold of God, that are thus privileged, to be the most holy people. This grace of God that hath appeared to all men, does not, cannot lead to licentioulness, but teaches to deny all ungodliness and worldly lufts; and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit. ii. II, 12. This privilege of access to the most holy place; brings us not only under greater obligations to holiness than Pagans, that are far from the most holy place; not only under greater obligations to holiness than professors, who only are admitted to the outer-court, and not to the most holy place; and not only under greater obligations to holiness than Jews, who were only adınitted, by their high-priest, to the holy place in the material temple; but also it lays us under greater obligations to holiness than Adam in a state of innocency, suppose we were as innocent as he was before the fall, and that the covenant of works were on the field, promising life to our perfect obedience; for, when you are admitted to the most holy place, then you fee everlasting righteousness, and perfect obedience wrought to your hand, and eternal life purchased to your hand; and therefore are obliged by the law of love and gratitude, to serve the God that hath saved you, and not to work hard for your life.
life. And which of these are the strongest ties to love and obedience, namely, to find God saying, Do, and do perfectly, and you shall have eternal life for your pains ? Or, to find
God giving you life, falvation, righteousness, and all in Christ; and, from the faith thereof, kindling love in your soul, and constraining you to ferve him in gratitude? If this be the strongest obligation to holiness, then belie. vers in Christ are under stronger obligations to holiness, than ever Adam was in a flate of innocency.
Access to the most holy place obliges us to be the most holy people, both effectively and argumentatively.
1. Effectively and powerfully; for, when one hath ac. cess to the most holy place, then he sees the glory of God; and, “Beholding this glory, he is changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord,” 2 Cor. ii. 18. Thus, what the law teaches preceptive. ly, the gospel teaches effectively. It is said of these that are mounted to the upper story of the house of God, to heaven, They are like him, because they fee him as he is. Being come to the most holy place, they see the most holy God, and are made like him in holiness. This privilege is commenced in the lower house; the more that believers see the most holy God in the most holy place, or the glory of God in the face of Christ, the more they are like unto himn. When they come boldly to the throne of grace, or to the holy of holies, then they obtain mercy, and find grace to help them, and grace to strengthen them in all the duties of holiness. All their holiness comes from that most holy place, to which they have access. And thus it obliges them to holiness, sweet. ly, powerfully, necessarily, and effectively.
2. Argumentatively ; it obliges them to be the most holy people; for, access to the most holy place furnishes them with an argument drawn from equity ; “ What! shall we, that are dead to fin, live any longer therein ?” Rom. vi. 2. Have we by access to God, got a dead stroak given to the tyrant fin, and shall we return to slavery ? God forbid. Access to the most holy place furnishes with an argument drawn from gratitude; “Shall I thus requite the Lord, O foolish and unwise ? Is not he my Father that hath bought me?” Deut. xxxii. 6. Has he allowed me access to him, and shall I spurn at such bowels, and spit on the face of such love!-At the most holy
place place the man fees that there is mercy with God that he may
be feared and obeyed, and so is encouraged to duty ; and there he fees that it is God that worketh in him both to will and to do: there he fees that the law he is under, is not a law of works, but a law of love, where all the commands are love-commands; ". If ye love me, keep niy commandments;" and the threatenings, lovethreatenings, not of vindictive wrath, but of fatherly displeasure. The law-threatening of hell, and vindictive wrath, works wrath and enmity, which is the height of disobedience; while the man fears that God will damn him, he flees from God as an enemy: but gospel-threatenings, if we may so call them, work upon love, and inflame it, while the believer fears, in a filial manner, saying, “ O! shall I incur my Father's displeasure; and · “ provoke him to hide his face, and deny me that gra" cious presence of his, which is even a heaven upon “ earth to me?"--At the most holy place, the believer sees God clothed with a garment of salvation, compassed with love and grace, and riding, as it were, in the chariot of a free gracious promise ; not a promise of life upon our doing, but a promise of grace to do, and of glory to crown our doing; and of grace and glory both, as the reward of Christ's doing all.-In a word, when we have access to the most holy place, we see the place encircled with blood, the mercy-seat sprinkled with blond, and that by this blood the infinite justice of God is fully satisfied, and that we have to do with him as a reconciled God and friend; and therefore our obligation is not under the authority of an angry Judge, but the authority of a loving Father, testifying his everlasting love to us, by drawing with loving kindness: and shall we not kindly run, when thus kindly drawn ?---Why then, this privilege of access to the most holy place, lays us under the strictest and strongest obligation, to be the most holy people. And, bebold, this is the law of the kouse: the bond of love is the strongest bond.
VII. I come now to the application of the subject. And we shall apply it, in the first place, by deducing a few inferences for information. Is it so, that universal