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"By his own blood he entered in once, into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:12)

There is somewhat very blessed in these words; “his own blood.” Thus defining the acts of our most glorious Christ and the offerings of our most glorious Christ, as his own. All is personal; and indeed, there is of necessity an identity, a personality, which forms the character of all beings and all things. Even Jehovah in the unity of the divine essence is revealed to the church in that sublime description which distinguisheth him from all creatures he hath made by his identity; and as possessing in that unity of GODHEAD a trinity of persons. Hence those wonderful Scriptures: “Hear, 0 Israel the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deut. 6:4) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are One.” (1 John 5:7) And when these sacred truths of the Holy Scripture as brought home by an unction from above, and engraven in the heart, they create “a joy unspeakable and full of glory!”

But we go on to observe, that from those divine revelations, which had not God himself taught us we never could have known; we are farther instructed that this Almighty God, in his trinity of persons, hath in a marvelous way and manner, and infinitely beyond the comprehension of our present finite capacities to grasp, made himself over in covenant relations, and declared, that he hath formed and constituted the church for himself. Moses sang this great mystery many ages since in his love-song, being taught it by the Holy Ghost. “For the Lord’s portion (said he) is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (Deut. 32:9) And we find the same precious declaration in the Psalms “For Jehovah hath chosen Jacob unto himself and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” (Psalm 135:4) It is a blessed thing for a regenerated and redeemed child of God to say, and when he is taught it of God he will say, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my Cup; thou maintainest my lot!” (Ps. 16:5) But it is a far greater thing when the Lord saith that we are his. For this is the cause, the other is the effect. “The Lord hath chosen Zion; he bath desired it for his habitation; here will I dwell, for I have desired it.” (Ps. 132:13,14)

And what endears it yet more is this, namely, that it is all personal. It is God the Father which hath made his people his own. “Of him the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Eph. 3:15) And no less hath God the Son made the church his own, For thus we read: “Thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the holy One of Israel: the God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isa. 54:5) And of God the Holy Ghost, the Lord Jesus himself hath testified when he said: “He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.” (John 14:17) And Jehovah in his trinity of persons sets his almighty seal to those soul-refreshing truths, when by his servant the prophet speaking of his Israel he said, “I am their inheritance, and ye shall give them no possession in Israel, I am their possession. (Ezek. 44:28) And as man lives upon his substance, his property, his heritage, in earthly things, so spiritually the church lives upon the Lord. And as the glory of Jehovah in his trinity of persons is in the pleasure of his people; so he draws a revenue of praise from them, which he condescends to call his portion. And in the upper and brighter world, when he hath brought them all home to himself, and made them everlastingly holy, and everlastingly happy in himself; such an effulgence of glory will be reflected back upon Jehovah in his trinity of persons from their blessedness, as shall be “to the praise of the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus!”

I pause for the moment just to remark, that if those divine truths were realized and lived upon day by day in the minds and hearts and consciences of the Lord’s people, so as to become the habitual frame of their walk and conversation; what a source of spiritual joy would it continually open! And, if added to this habitual frame, the gracious Lord, in the manifestations of the Holy Three in One, should sometimes and not infrequently let in upon the soul, the renewings of his love; and give his people to possess enlarged and enlarging views and apprehensions of Jehovah in his trinity of persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as our home and dwelling-place in all generations:” such effects would follow, as for the season would lift the soul in meditation above the confines of time, and bring her into the suburbs of heaven. We should by faith see ourselves as entering our possession, before the Lord comes to take us home to dwell there. All which are founded in the everlasting love and manifestations of grace from the personal acts of covenant love in the holy Trinity to the church in Christ; and which is opened to us in that distinguished part of it, of our glorious Lord, described in the text: “who by his own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Heb. 9:12)

We shall have a clearer apprehension of the subject if we look back to a few verses preceding the text, and observe how the words themselves are introduced. God the Holy Ghost had been speaking in the former part of the chapter, of the dispensations of grace under the law; and had very blessedly shown how the whole ministered to the gospel. And having described both the furniture of the first tabernacle, and of the second; and of the daily services of the priests in the first, and of the high priest in the second; and that only “once every year,” it is added, “the Holy Ghost this signifying.” Without staying to enquire what that Almighty God thereby signified, (for that is too obvious to need explanation) what I would more particularly desire you to notice is, the thing itself; namely, that it was the Holy Ghost, which by these ordinations signified what his sovereign mind and will was. For here we prove, first, the person of the Holy Ghost. For the act of signifying can be no other than the act of a person, and distinct from another and secondly, the same acts which could be no other than the acts of God, as plainly demonstrate his eternal power and GODHEAD. For had he not been God, he could not have inspired the apostle to the relation of these things; neither could he have ordained them; neither could they have been called his services. And thirdly, the institution of those services in the church in those first appointments of ordinances, as plainly proves, that he it was who founded the church, presided over the church from the beginning, and gave unction to every service in the church among the faithful, in the savor of Christ. I beseech you not to overlook those precious words, (for they are eminently precious in the present awful day of a Christ despising generation) “the Holy Ghost this signifying.”

And I request you to take with you another observation before that we enter upon the words of the text, namely, to keep in mind what this Almighty God the Holy Ghost hath himself declared, that the whole of the ordinances, under that dispensation, were no other than symbols or figures of the gospel Church. “For the law was a shadow of good things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Col. 2:17) And what is a shadow? There can be no such thing as a shadow without a previous substance; for it is the substance which forms the shadow by the interposition of some medium. If (for example) I put my hand between the sun when shining and the earth; or any other substance on which the sun shines, or between a candle and the wall, the shadow of my hand will appear; but it is the substance of my hand which forms the shadow, without which, or somewhat to the same effect, there would be none. Precisely the same in things pertaining to our most glorious Christ. He was the substantial whole, which formed the shadow of the law. And hence every lamb offered under the law, shadowed him; “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev. 13:8) And hence, when Christ came and openly tabernacled amongst us, and by ”the one offering of himself once offered, for ever perfected them that are sanctified:” (Heb. 10:14) all the symbolic representations were over: the substance being come, the shadow was forever done away. And it should be yet farther observed, that the whole ritual of sacrifices under the law had neither use nor efficacy while they were in being, but as the people which followed them looked beyond the service, and eyed Christ in all. Hence the Holy Ghost, in the very verse of my text, most blessedly introduceth it, with this divine observation; “Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say not of this building neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

It is this one feature in our Lord’s person that I would desire at this time your minds and mine to be fixed on for meditation; for in the scriptural and spiritual apprehension of this Almighty Being doing all he did, as his own; the indwelling Godhead giving dignity and value to the whole; proves the blessed doctrine that thereby he obtained “eternal redemption for us.” And nothing less than eternal redemption could have answered the wants of his people; for his body the church being involved in one common ruin with the whole nature of man, by the Adam-fall transgression, became alike subject to death, both the first death and the second death; so that nothing short of eternal redemption, accomplished by an eternal power, would have done. Hence, under the law, the high priest was appointed once in every year, to enter into the holy place with blood, thereby shadowing the entrance, once for all, of Jesus with his own blood into heaven itself, there to appear in the presence of God for us!” Our glorious Lord in this his atoning character, not only offered himself an offering upon earth; but priested it (if I may so speak) in heaven, and carried up his own blood on the mercy seat and having obtained eternal redemption, “sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high; angels, principalities and powers being made subject unto him!”

The leading design of my present discourse being intended for the consideration of the personal glory of Christ, in this incommunicable work of his, by accomplishing the eternal redemption of his people by his own blood; I have to request your closest attention to the scriptural statement of this divine truth, in the prosecution of which I shall, in the first place, endeavor to pave the way to the clearer apprehension of it, by calling upon you to observe with me, as the foundation of the whole, the personal acts of Jehovah in his trinity of persons, (for all took equal part in the same) to this stupendous mystery in the covenant of grace. And when we have surveyed this platform, I shall, in the second branch of my discourse, bring before you some of the more prominent parts of our glorious Lord’s personal character, when by his own blood he “entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” And the Lord grant such an unction from the Lord accompany our view of the whole subject, as may render it profitable both to saint and sinner. The sinner, under the most desperate circumstances, may behold in it, if taught of God, that as it is Christ’s own personal, incommunicable work, no merit in the creature can recommend, neither demerit disqualify, for partaking of such great salvation. The whole proclamation from the court of heaven, is summed up in these words of the Almighty author, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is none else; and beside me there is no Saviour.” (Isa. 45:22) And the saint no less is hereby taught that all other resources for salvation are vain. The Lord saith himself, “of the people there was none with me; therefore mine own arm brought salvation.” (Isa. 63:3—5) And if there are any of the Lord’s people who do not realize this blessed truth to their souls; the cause is obvious, namely, they are calculating their spiritual state before God more by what they feel, than what Christ is. Oh! For grace for lively actings of faith upon this glorious person, who hath “by his own blood entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us;” that that Scripture may he daily realized to our comfort; “surely shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that believe in him shall never be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.” (Isa. 45:24,17)

I begin as I proposed, namely, under the first branch, to bring before you, in a short comprehensive manner, the Scripture statement of what is said of the whole persons in the GODHEAD taking an equal part in the great work of salvation: for all the works of the Holy Trinity are undivided, being acts of one and the same God; and for this plain reason, because though distinct in person, they are substantially but One in work, in counsel, will, and pleasure. And hence the church is alike dedicated to all, baptized in the joint names of all, blessed in all; and the first cause and final end, is alike to the glory of all. Hence we hear each divine person separately and distinctly called the God of glory. The apostle Paul speaking of God the Father calls him, “the Father of glory.” (Eph. 1:17) And James, speaking of God the Son, thus describes him, “my brethren, have not the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.” (James 2:1) And Peter calls the Holy Ghost, “the Spirit of glory.” (1 Pet. 4:14) And if those glorious truths, which are the fundamentals of all faith, were realized and lived upon, they would become principles of action, and carry on the regenerated child of God through all the time state here below, with full assurance of faith, until faith is swallowed up in open vision. But I hasten on to the leading object proposed in the doctrine of the text, which was proposed to form the second branch of my discourse, namely, the personal act of our most glorious Christ, in his entrance once into the holy place, “having obtained eternal redemption by his own blood.”

That this was a personal act of Christ is evident from his very character of Mediator: for the offering of what he had received from another, whether given to him, or borrowed, would have put quite another face on the transaction. Hence in allusion to the high priest under the law, it is said of him, “that every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices; wherefore (speaking of our most glorious Christ it is added) it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.” (Heb. 8:3) Hence we read, “that forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their life time subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14) So that as it was his person which, in the compound of God and man in one, became our Mediator, so was it “his own blood” and not another’s, by which he entered in once into the holy place, “having obtained eternal redemption for us? And hence those numerous Scriptures which identify his person, and identify his work. He gave himself for us, saith Paul, (Eph. 5:2) when he had by himself purged our sins, “he sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3) And the tenor of the covenant is expressed in these words, “As for thee, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water.” (Zech 9:11)

And it is both beautiful and blessed to observe, in every part of the great Redeemer’s character, this same identity of person in all the acts he wrought, uniformly carried on. In his death, he is said to have made himself an offering for sin. “Therefore (said he) doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17,18) And as in his death so in his resurrection it was all personal, and it was all of himself; “for he was declared (that is he was proved) to be the Son of God thereby with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1:4) A most beautiful illustration we have of this in the discourse of Christ to the Jews in the temple; pointing to himself he said, “destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews who thought our Lord referred to the temple of stone in which they then stood, expressed their astonishment at the declaration; but “Jesus spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:19-22)

I know not whether I have been happy enough to follow up the very interesting doctrine contained in this Scripture, of Jesus offering up and entering in, once by his own blood for the eternal redemption of his people; but if I have, I pray God to give all his redeemed and regenerated family that are here a true scriptural and spiritual apprehension of it in their minds and consciences, It is by realizing these sublime truths under the unction of the Holy Ghost, we make the doctrine practical and experimental, so as to live upon it. And in realizing this gracious act of our most glorious Christ, we no less do the same with all the like gracious acts of all the Holy Three in the GODHEAD. While I behold with an eye of faith, Jesus entering in with the vail with his own blood; I behold no less the sovereign act of the Father avenging, as our Lord saith, his own elect. (Luke 18:7) And with this also the divine and Almighty act of God the Holy Ghost himself indwelling in his people, as his own temple. (2 Cor. 6:16) And under the united testimony of all to behold Jehovah in his oneness of essence, and trinity of persons, blessing the church as his own, and our souls exulting by crying out with the church; “This God is our God for ever and ever. God, even our own God, shall bless us.” (Psalms 48. and 67)

And now, what is the sum and substance of the whole, in relation to our glorious Lord; and in reference to his church and people. If, as I hope it hath been very fully laid open before you, Jesus by his own blood hath entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us, then must it undeniably follow, that as the prophet ages ago stated it, he hath “finished the transgression, made an end of sins, made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in an everlasting righteousness.” (Dan. 9:24) And hence, when the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, there shall be none, and the sins of Judah shall not be found; for the Lord hath said, “I will pardon them whom I reserve.” (Jer. 50:20) And in relation to Christ’s church and people, nothing can be wanting, to complete their triumphs over sin, death, hell, and the grave, but through grace to believe, that in all the victories of Christ we are interested. “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11) Oh! the unspeakable felicity, in the realizing these divine truths in the soul and living upon them. When we were dead in sins, God quickened us together with Christ! so that I see my self “saved by grace,” raised up together with Christ, and now, even now “sitting together in heavenly places in Christ. And ere long shall find myself with Christ for ever. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”