John Bunyan.

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let men say what they will, what they can to per-
suade to come, to dissuade from neglecting to come.
they are resolved not to stir. They will try if God
Avill be 60 faithful to himself and to his word as to
dare to condemn them to hell-fire that liave refused
to hear and comjily with tho voice of him that
speaketh from heaven.

But tiiis is but a desperate venture ; several
things declare that he is determined to be at a point
in this matter.

1. The gallows are built — hell is prepared for
the wicked.

2. There are those already in chains, and stand
bound over to the judgment of that day, that are,
as to creation, higher and greater than men — to wit,
the angels tliat sinned. (2 Pet. ii. 4.) Let sinners
then look to themselves.

3. The Judge is prepared and ajipointcd, and
it hath fallen out to be lie that thou hast refused
to come to God by ; and that predicts no good to




thee : for then will ho pay of all such, " Those
mine enemies that would not that I should reign
over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."
(Luke xix. 27.)

But what a surprise will it be to them that now
have come to God by Christ to see themselves in
heaven indeed, saved indeed, and possessed of
everlasting life indeed ? For, alas I what is faith
to possession ? Faitli that is mixed with many
tears, that is opposed with many assaults, and that
seems sometimes to be quite extinguished, I say,
what is that to a seeing of myself in heaven ?
Hence it is said that he shall then come to be
admired in them that now believe, because they
did here believe the testimony ; then they shall
admire that it was their lot to believe when they
were in the world. (2 Thess. i. 10.) They shall
also admire to think, to see, and behold what be-
lieving has brought them to, while the rest for
refusing to come to God by Christ drink their tears
mixed with burning brimstone.

Repentance will not be found in heaven among
tliom that come to God by Christ; no, hell is the
]/lace of untimely repentance; it is there where the
tears will be mixed with gnashing of teeth, while
they consider how mad, and worse, they were in not
coming to God by Jesus Christ.

Then will their hearts and mouths be full of
" Lord, Lord, open unto us." But the answer
will be, Ye shut me out of doors ; " I was a
stranger, and ye took me not in." Besides, you
refused to come to my Father by me, wherefore
now you must go from my Father by me.
(Matt. XXV.)

They that will not be saved by Christ must be
damned by Christ. No man can escape one of the
two. Refuse the first they may, but shun the
second they cannot.

And now they that would not come unto God by
Christ will have leisure and time enough (if I may
call it time) to consider what they have done in
refusing to come to God by Christ. Now they will
meditate warmly on this thing, now their thoughts
will be burning hot about it, and it is too late, will
be in each thought such a sting, that, like a bow of
steel, it will continually strike him through.

Now they will bless those whom formerly they
have despised, and commend those whom they
once contemned. Now, would the rich man wil-
lingly change places with poor Lazarus, though
ho preferred his own condition before his in the

The day of judgment will bring the worst to
riL^hts, in their o])inion3 ; they will not be capable
of niisapiirehending any more. They will never
aftor that day put bitter for sweet, or darkness for
lii^'ht, or evil for good any more. Their madness
will now be gone. Hell will be the unbeliever's
biMllam-house, and there God will tame them as to
all those bedlam tricks and pranks which they
played in this world, but not at all to their profit
iior advantage. The gulf tliat God has placed

and fixed betwixt heaven and hell, will spoil all as
to that. (Luke xvi. 23— 2r,.)

But what a joy will it be to the truly godly to
think now that they are come to God by Christ I
It was their mercy to begin to come ; it was their
happiness that they continued coming; but it is
their glory that they are come, that they are come
to God by Christ.

To God ! why ? he is all ; all that is good,
essentially good, and eternally good. To God I
the infinite ocean of good. To God in friendly
wise, by the means of reconciliation ; for the other
now will be come to him to receive his anger,
because they come not to him by Jesus Christ.
Oh that I could imagine ! oh that I could think,
that I might write more effectually to thee of the
happy estate of them that come to God by Christ I

But thus have I passed through the three former
things, namely,

1. That of the intercession of Christ.

2. That of the benefit of his intercession.

3. That of the persons that are interested in
this intercession.

IV. Every sincere Jicart certain of salvation.

Wherefore now I come to the last head, and
that is to show you the certainty of their reaping
the benefit of his intercession. " Wherefore he is
able also to save them to the uttermost that come
unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them."

The certainty of their reaping the benefit of
being saved that come unto God by Christ, is thus
expressed : " Seeing he ever liveth to make inter-
cession for them." The intercession of Christ,
and the lastingness of it, is a sure token of the sal-
vation of them that come unto God by him.

Of his intercession, what it is, and for whom, we
have spoken already ; of the success .and the pre-
valency of it, we have also spoken before ; but the
reason of its successfulncss, of that we are to speak
of now. And that reason, as the apostle sug-
gosteth, lies in the continuance of it, " seeing he
ever liveth to make intercession." The apostle
also makes very much of the continuation of the
priesthood of Christ, in other places of this epistle.
He abides a priest continually, " Thou art a priest
for ever." He " hath an unchangeable priesthood."
(lleb. vii. 3, 17, 21, 24.) And here he "ever
liveth to make intercession."

Now, by the text is showed the reason why he
so continually harpeth upon the durableness of it,
namely, for that by the unchangeableness of this
priesthood we are saved ; nay, saved demonstra-
tively, apparently : it is evident we are. " He is
also able to save thom to the uttermost that come
unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them." For,

First. The durableness of his intercession proves
that the covenant in which those that come to God
by him arc concerned and wra})t up is not shaken,

both frc


broken, or made iuvalld by all their weaknesses
and iufiruiities.

Christ is a ]oriest according to covenant, and in
all his acts of mediation he has regard to that
covenant : so long as that covenant abides in its
strength, so long Christ's intercession is of worth.
Hence when God cast the old high priest out of
doors, he renders this, reason for his so doino- ;
because they continued not in my covenant, that
is, neither priests nor people. Therefore were they
cast out of the priesthood, and the people pulled
down, as to a church state. (Heb. vii. 6 9.)

Now the covenant by which Christ acteth as a
priest, so far as we are concerned therein, he also
himself acteth our part, being indeed the Head and
Mediator of the body. Aviierefore God doth not
count that the covenant is broken, though we sin,
if Christ Jesus our Lord is found to do by it what
by law is required of us. Therefore he saith, " If
his children forsake my law, and keep not my com-
mandments, then will I visit their transgressions
with a rod," &c. But their sins shall not shake
my covenant with my Beloved, nor cause that I
for ever should reject them. " My covenant will
I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of
my lips. His seed, also, will endure for ever, his
seed shall endure for ever." (Ps. Ixxxix. 29 — 36.)
Hence it is clear, that the covenant stands good to
us, a? long as Christ stands good to God, or before
his face. For he is not only our Mediator by
covenant, but he himself is our condition to God-
ward ; therefore he is said to be the covenant of
the people, or that which the holy God by law re-
quired of us. (Isa. xlii. 6.) Hence, again, he is
said to be our justice or righteousness; to wit,
which answereth to what is required of us by the
law. He is made unto us of God so, and in our
room, and in our stead preseuteth himself to God.
So then, if any ask me by what Christ's priest-
hood is continued, I answer. By covenant ; for
that the covenant by which he is made priest
abideth of full force. If any ask whether the
church is concerned in that covenant, I answer.
Yes ; yet so as that all points and parts thereof,
that concern life and death everlasting, is laid upon
his shoulders, and he alone is the doer of it. He is
the Lord our righteousness, and he is the Saviour
of the body ; so that my sins break not the cove-
nant. But them notwithstanding, God's covenant
stands fast with him, with him for evermore. And
good reason, if no fault can be found with Christ,
who is the person that did strike hands with his
Father upon our account, and for us, to wit, to do
what was meet should be found upon us when we
came to appear before God by him.

And that God himself doth so understand this
matter is evident, because he also, by his own act,
giveth and imputeth to us that good that we never
did, that righteousness which we never wrought
out : yea, and for the sake of that, transniitteth
our sins unto Christ, as to one that had not only
wcil satisfied for them, but could carry them so far,


om us and from God, that they bliould
never again come to be charged on the'comuiit-
ters, to death and damnation. The Scriptures uru
so plentiful for this, that he must be a Turk, ur a
Jew, or an atheist, that denies it. BosideH, God's
commanding that men should believe in his Sou
unto righteouuess, well enough i)roveth this thin^' ;
and the reason of this command doth prove itwitli
an over and above ; to wit, " For he hath made
him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we
miglit be made the righteousness of God iu him."
(2 Cor. V. 19— 2L)

Hence comes out that proclamation from God,
at the rising again of Christ from the dead, " Bo
it known unto you therefore, men and brethren,
that through this man is preached unto you the
forgiveness of sins; and by him all thatbt-lievo
are justified from all things, from whicii yc cuuld
not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts xiii.
38, 39.)

If this be 60, as indeed it is, then here lieth a
great deal of this conclusion, " he ever livcth to
make intercession," and of the demonstration of
the certain salvation of him that cometh to God
by him, " seeing he ever liveth to make interces-
sion for them." For if Christ Jesus is a priebt by
covenant, and so abides as the covenant ahidc-s,
and if since the covenant is everlasting, his jiri«.-bt-
hood is unchangeable, then the man that conictli
to God by him must needs be certainly saved.
For if the covenant, the covenant of salvation, is
not broken, none can sliow a reason why he that
comes to Christ should be damned, or why the
priesthood of Jesus Christ should cease. Heucc,
after the apostle had spoken of the excellency of
his person and priesthood, he then shows that the
benefit of the covenant of God remaineth with us,
namely, that grace should be comnmnicated unto
us for his priesthood's sake, and that our sins and
iniquities God would remember no more. (Ucb.
viii. 10—12; X. IG— 22.)

Now, as I also liave already hinted, if tin's cove-
nant, of which the Lord Jesus is Mediatt)r and
High Priest, has in the bowels of it, not only
grace and remission of sins, but a j)roniisc that wo
shall be partakers thereof through the blood of his
priesthood, for so it comes to us, then why bIkhiM
not we have boldness, not only to couie to God by
him, but to enter also into tlie holiest by the blood
of Jesus, by that new and living way, iic.

Second, But further, this priesthood, as to iho
unchangeableness of it, is confirmed unto him
" with an oath, by him that said unto him, The
Lord sware, and will not repent ; thou art o pricut
for ever." This oath seems to mo to be for tlic
confirmation of the covenant, as it is worded la-
fore by Paul to the Galatians, (Gal. iii. 15—17.)
when he speaks of it with resi»eet to that cbtal>li.-<h-
ment that it also had on Christ's i>art, by the
sacrifice which he offered to God for us; yea, he
then speaks of the mutual confirmation of it, both
bv the Fa'-her and the Sou. Now, I say, since

»i ii 2



by this covenant lie atands and aLides a Priest,
and since " the Lord sware and will not repent,
saying, Thou art a priest for ever," we are still
further confirmed in the certain salvation of him
that conieth to God by Christ.

The Lord by swearing coufirmeth to Christ,
and so to us in him, the immutability of his counsel,
(Ileb. vi. 16 — IS,) and that he is utterly unchange-
able in his resolutions to " save them to the utter-
most, that come unto God by Christ." And this
also shows that this covenant, and so the promise
of remission of sins, is steadfast and unmovable.
And it is worth your noting the manner and
nature of this oath, " The Lord swear, and will not
repent." It is as much as to say, What I have
now sworn I bind me for ever to stand to ; or, I
determine never to revoke ; and that is, " that
thou art a priest for ever." Now, as was said
before, since his priesthood stands by covenant,
and this covenant of his priesthood is confirmed
by his oath, it cannot be but that he that comes
by him to God must be accepted of him; for
should such an one be rejected, it must be either
for the greatness of his sins, or for want of merit
in the sacrifice he presented, and urged, as to the
merit of it, before the mercy-seat. But let the
reason specified be what it will, the consequence
falls harder upon the sacrifice of Christ than it can
do anywhere else, and so on upon the covenant,
and at last upon God himself, who has sworn, and
will not repent, " that he is a priest for ever." I
thus discourse, to show you what dangerous con-
clusions follow from a conceit that some that come
to God by Christ shall not be saved, though "he
ever liveth to make intercession for them."

And this I have further to say, that the Lord's
swearing, since the manner of the oath is such as it
is, and that it also tended to establish to Christ his
priesthood to be unchangeable, it declareth that
as to the excellency of his sacrifice he is eternally
satisfied in the goodness and merit of it, and that
he will never deny him anything that he shall ask
for at his hands for his sufferings' sake. For this
oath doth not only show God's firm resolution to
keep his part of the covenant, in giving to Christ
that which was covenanted for by him, but it
declareth that, in the judgment of God, Christ's
blood is able to save any sinner, and he will never
put stop nor check to his intercession, how great
soever the sinners be that at any time he shall in-
tercede for : 80 that the demonstration is clearer
and clearer, " He is able to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he
ever liveth to make intercession for them."

Tliird. This unchangcableness of the priest-
hood of Christ dopendeth also upon his own life :
" This man, Itccause he continueth ever, hath an
unchangeable priesthood." Now, although perhaps
at first much may not appear in this text, yet
tlie words that we are upon take their ground
from thom. " This man, because he continueth
ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood: wherefore

he is able also" — that is, by his unchangeable
priesthood — " to save them to the uttermost that
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to
make intercession for them."

The life of Christ, then, is a ground of the
lastingness of his priesthood, and so a ground of
the salvation of them that come \;nto God by him.
" We shall be saved by his life." (Rom. v. 10.)
Wherefore, in another place, this his hfe is spoken
of with great emphasis, the power of an endless
life : " He is made (a priest) not after the law of
a carnal commandment, but after the power of an
endless hfe." (Heb. vii. 16.) An endless life is,
then, a powerful thing ; and, indeed, two things
are very considerable in it —

1. That it is above death, and so above him that
hath the power of death, the devil.

2. In that it capacitates him to be the last in his
own cause, and so to have the casting voice.

1. We will speak to the first, and for the better
setting of it forth, we will show what life it is of
which the apostle here speaks ; and then, how, as
to life, it comes to be so advantageous, both with
respect to his office of priesthood, and us.

What life is it that is thus the ground of his
priesthood? It is a life taken, his own life rescued
from the power of the grave, a life that we had
forfeited, he being our surety, and a life that he
recovered again, he being the Captain of our sal-
vation. I lay down my life, saith he, that I may
take it again. " This commandment have I re-
ceived of my Father." (John x. 18.) It is a life,
then, that was once laid down as the price of
man's redemption, and a life won, gained, taken,
or recovered again, as the token or true effect
of the completing, by so dying, that redemption.
Wherefore it saith again, " In that he died, he
died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth
unto God." (Rom. vi. 10.) He liveth as having
pleased God by dying for our sins, as having
merited his life by dying for our sins. Now, if
this life of his is a life merited and won, by virtue
of the death that he died, as Acts ii. 24 doth
clearly manifest ; and if this life is the ground of
the unchangcableness of this part of his priesthood,
as we see it is, then it foUows that this second part
of his priesthood, which is called here intercession, \s
grounded upon the demonstrations of the virtue of
his sacrifice, which is his life taken to live again :
so, then, he holds this part of his priesthood, not by
virtue of a carnal commandment, but by the power
of an endless life, but by the power of a hfe rescued
from death, and eternally exalted above all that
any ways would yet assault it : for " Christ being
raised from the dead, dieth no more : death hath
no more dominion over him." ( 9.)

Hence Christ brings in his life, the life that he
won to himself by his death, to comfort John
withal, when he fainted under the view of that
overcoming glory that he saw upon Christ in his
vision of him at Patmos : "And he laid his right
hand upon me," said he, " saying unto me. Fear


not, I cam the first and the hist : I am he that
liveth and was dead, and behokl I am alive for
evermore. Amen." (Rev. i. 17, IS.) Why should
Christ bring in his life to comfort John, if it was
not a Mfe advantageous to him ? But the advan-
tageousness of it doth he, not merely in the bein"-
of hfe, but in that it was a life laid down for his
sins, and a life taken up again for his justification;
a life lost to ransom him, and a hfe won to save
him ; as also the text affirmeth, saying, " He is
able also to save to tlie uttermost them that come
unto God by him, seeing he ever hveth to make
intercession for them."

Again : it is yet more manifest that Christ,
receiving of his hfe again, was the death and
destruction of the enemy of his people ; and to
manifest that it was so, therefore he kids — after
he had said, " And, behold, I am alive for ever-
more. Amen " — " And I have the keys of hell
and of death." I have the power over them, I
have them under me ; I tread them down, by
being a victor, a conqueror, and one that have
got the dominion of life — for he now is the Prince
of life — one that lives for evermore. Amen.
Hence it is said again. He *' hath abolished death,
and brought life and immortality to light through
the gospel." (2 Tim. i. 10.) He hath abohshcd
death by his death — by death he destroyed him
that had the power of death, that is, the devil ;
and brought life — a very emjjhatical expression —
and brought it from whence ? from God, who
raised him from the dead; and brought it to light,
to our view and sight, by the word of the truth of
the gospel.

So then the life that he now hath, is a life once
laid down as the price of our redemption ; a life
obtained and taken to him again as the effect of
the merit that was in the laying down thereof; a
life by the virtue of which death and sin, and the
curse, is overcome ; and so a life that is above
them for ever. This is the life that he livoth — to
wit, this meriting, purchasing, victorious life — and
that he improveth, while he ever so lives, to make
intercession for us.

This hfe then is a continual jilea and argument
with God for them that come to him by Christ,
should he make no other intercession, but only
show to God that he liveth ; because his thus
hving sailh, that he has satisfied for the sins of
them that come unto God by him. It testifies,
moreover, that those— to wit, death, the grave,
and hell— are overcome by him for them ; because,
indeed, he liveth, and hath their keys. Bnt now,
add to hfe, to a hfe meritorious, intercession, or
an urging of this meritorious life by way of prayer
for his, and against all those that seek to destrf)y
them, since they themselves also have been already
overcome by his death, and what an encouraging
consideration is here for all them that come to
God by him, to hope for hfe eternal ! Cut,

2. Let us speak a word to the second head-
namely, for that his living for ever capacitates him


to be the last in his own cause, and to liave tho
casting voice; and that is an advantage next to
what is chiefest.

His cause ; what is his cause ? but that tlio
deatli that he died when he was in the W(jrl.l, waa
and is of merit sufiicieiit to secure all those iVum
hell, or, as tlie text has it, to save them that conic
unto God by him; to save them to the uttermost.
Now, if this cause be faulty, wliy dutli he live ?
Yea, he liveth by the power of God, hy the jx)wer
of God towards us ; or with a respect to our
welfare, for "he liveth to make intercession" —
intercession against Satan our accuser — for ua.
(2 Cor. xiii. 4.) B sides, he liveth before (ioti,
and to Gud, and that after he had given his life a
ransom for us. \Vhat can follow more clearly
from this, but that amends was made by hiiii for
those souls for whose sins he suffered ujK»n the
tree ? Wherefore, since his Father haa given
him his hfe and favour, and that after he died for
our sins, it cannot be thought but that the life ho
now hveth is a life that he received as the effect
of the merit of his passion fur us.

God is just, and yet Christ liveth, and yet
Christ liveth in heaven. God is just, and yet
Christ our passover liveth there, do what our foes
can to the contrary.

And this note, by the way, that though tlio
design of Satan against us, in his labouring con-
tinually to accuse us to God, and to prevail
against our salvation, seems to terminate here,
yet indeed it is also laid against the very life of
Christ, and that his priesthood might be utterly
overthrown ; and in conclusion that Gud also miglit
be found unjust in receiving of such whose sins
have not been satisfied for, and so whose souls are
yet under the power of the devil. For he that
objects against him for whom Christ intercedes,
objects against Christ and his merits ; and he that
objects against Christ's intercession, object* againt-t
God who has made him a priest for ever. I)elioI<l
you therefure how the cause of God, of Christ,
and of the souls that come to God by liini, are
interwoven. They are ail wraj>t up in one bottom.
Mischief one, and you mi.-<ehief all; overtlirow
that soul, and you ovcrthrt)W his intercessor ; and
overthrow him, and you overthrow even him that
mad> him a priest for ever.

For the text is without restriction : " He is al»lo
to save to the uttermost, them that come nnto
God by him." He saith not now and thou one,
or sinners of an i'licvior rank in sin, l>ut ihoni that
come to God by him, how great soever their
transgressions are ; as is clear in that it addetli
this clause, "to the uttermost:" "He is able to
save them to the uttermost."

But if he were not, why did the King send,
yea, come and loose him, and let him go free ?
yea', adnut him into bis presence, yea, make him

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