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of knowledge of Christ, to be hereafter, when we shall see him as he is. How they worship, we do not know, we know what worshipping in a temple is, but we do not know what worshipping is without it, where the Lord God almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof, Rev. xxi. 22. I only take notice of these things, because I was saying that these were the main parts of salvation, and that we come only to them through Christ Jesus. We cannot worship God acceptably but in Christ; we cannot enjoy God, but in Christ; never was there a gracious communication of God's love given unto men, but through Jesus. The application of this truth, that the way to heaven lies through the vail of Christ's flesh, I shall forbear until I have gone through the words of the text, upon the second thing, which is the properties of this way. The way is through his flesh, but what sort of a way is it? The apostle gives us here three properties of it, and I will take one of them to speak to at this time.
It is called a new way, it is called a living way, and it is called a consecrated way for us. We would have no need of Christ's Aesh, or of its being made a vail, unless it had been the purpose of his grace to save a multitude of poor lost sinners in a way consecrated for us.
Of the first of these, it is a new way. The meaning of this, is what I would discourse a little to.
First, To avoid mistakes, I shall remove those things that this word may lead people to, and tell you what is not the meaning of the newness of this way, then positively what it is.
1. This is not a new way, as if it were of a new invention, a late contrivance and device of God; but is as old as eternity; and there can be nothing before nor after in eternity. Our Lord is the way to heaven; he is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and that in a usual scripture-sense, as much as to say, from eternity, Rev. xiii. 8. I was set up from ever. lasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was, Prov. viii. 24. His ways are from everlasting, Micah v. 2. The way of saving men by Christ Jesus is not a way of late invention: It is according to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, Eph. iii. 11. 2 Tim. i. 9.
2. Neither is it a new way, as if it were newly revealed, as if it were of late revelation ; for this way of saving men by the Son of God, is as old as sin is, and was revealed immediately upon sinning, in that way that we shall further hear of. Adam knew this way, Abel knew this way, and Enoch; and Abraham saw Christ's day, and Christ was before him: Before Abraham
am, says our Lord, John viii. 58. 3. Neither is it of late as to the use of it, for the benefit has been received by multitudes; all along by Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets that are in the kingdom of God. There is bu: one way to heaven, though this seems strange to us. Adam died some thousands of years before Christ came in to the world, before this vail was actually made; so did Abraham, so did the Old Testament church, according to the order of their generations, some a longer, and some a shorter while before : But they had the way for substance revealed to them; there was a revelation of God's good will to wards them in such ways as he thought good, whereby his pardoning grace and acceptance, through a mediator, was pointed out to them; they had the same hope that we have, and the same faith that we have; only with this difference, their faith was to look forward, and our faith is to look backward; their faith was in the Messiah to come, and our faith is in the Messiah which is come. Their faith was in the vail of that flesh that was to be reared up, and our faith is in the vail of his flesh that has been reared up, and is now gone up to heaven: the same faith we have, saith the apostle, the same spirit of faith, 2 Cor. iv. 13. We find there is a great difference between David and Paul, as to their expressions of godliness, and as to the clearness of their knowledge : ay, but, says the apostle, we have the same spirit of faith with David; David said, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; says the apostle Paul, The same spirit of faith is in us. These are the things that are to be removed, when Christ as to heaven is come to be a new way; not that it is newly devised, or newly revealed, nor newly used. It is called positively a new way.
Ist, Because it comes after another, as the apostle teaches us to argue, Heb. viii. 13. In that he saith, A new covenant,
he hath made the first old. So may we say, when Christ is said to be a new way, there hath been then some way before, that is now made void, and made void by it, as this was. There was a way by the first covenant, wherein sinless man might have been saved and happy. This was a way God never intended to bring one man to heaven by. Do not imagine, that God did ever design that which bę never efected. When the Lord made the first covenant with Adam, he foresaw the event. If I may so speak, the first covenant was but a scaffold reared up a little while, that the glory of the new might be displayed. The first covenant was, (1.) A covenant without a mediator, God and man treated immediately together; sinless creatures made in so great perfection, as God made them, were in case, if I may so speak, of treating with God. (2.) This covenant was made upon condition, that is to say, the blessings of that covenant were suspended until the duty of that covenant was fulfilled. (3.) There were peremptory threatenings that did make all void, whenever it was incurred, In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die. Sin broke this quite to pieces, this covenant of works, this covenant without a mediator, this covenant upon conditions, this covenant that might be broken by sin, is altogether removed, and no man can ever get good by it. The bridge is quite broke down; but such is the folly of this blind world, that multitudes will labour to build up this bridge again, whereas the day of the Lord, or a storm, will quickly discover how rotten it is.
2dly, It is called new, because of its great light in the revelation of it under the gospel, because it is newly revealed in greater light than it was before. There is a pregnant place to this purpose, Heb. ix. 8. The apostle is speaking upon the same thing that I am, The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the koliest of all was not yet made inanifest, while as the first tabernacle quas yet standing. Pray observe it, it is a great scripture; the Holy Ghost by these things taught the church of the Jews; the holiest of all was a type of heaven, there was an entrance into this typical heaven for the highpriest, in the name of all Israel; the Holy Ghost signified to them, that there was greater light to come in the way to heaven, but that the first tabernacle must be removed before that
light come. How much does the apostle speak, 2 Cor. iii. 6. to the end, of the difference betwixt the Old Testament and New Testament dispensation? He depresseth the one, and raiseth and exalteth the other greatly, both in the power and glory of the one beyond the other. Let us now consider this matter a little more narrowly, because it is of considerable use for directing our patb, in order to make us thankful for the blessing of our lot in the New Testament day. You heard there was a revelation of Christ, and the way to heaven; there were promises, there was worship, there was faith, and there was salvation under the Old Testament, but how vastly preferable is our state beyond theirs ? (1.) As to the doctrine of Christ, see how the matter was discovered to Adam and Eve. He was to be the seed of the woman, that is all we find they knew, that was to break the head of the serpent; there was to be a child born into the world, that · should defeat all that the devil had done in destroying mankind in the first brood. Our Lord Jesus was to Abraham the seed of the woman, in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed; to Jacob he was Shiloh, Gen. xlix. 10, 11. Binding his fole into the vine, &c. and in Acts vii. 37. he is a Prophet raised up like unto Moses, as Moses foretold in Deut. xviii. If we go further, he was to David the son of David; if we go on to the Prophets, Isaiah speaks greatly of him, chap. ix. 6. He was to be a child given to us, a Son born to us; his name was to be called Wonderful, &c. chap. liii. He was to be a man offlicted of God, he was to be slain, &c. And Micah v. 2. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel. These are several of the brightest dawnings of the light, and the knowledge of Christ in the Old Testament: but pray what are all these to one word that John Baptist speaks, Behold the ļamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, John i. 29.? And therefore he is greater than all the Prophets, that is, all the Old Testament Prophets, until the testimony of the apostles! That qwhich was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our Hands have hand!ed of the word of life, 1 John i. 1. Thereupon
it was that our Lord said, Blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say
For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them, Matth. xiii. 16, 17. Certainly there was, if I may so speak, a greater temptation unto the Old Testament saints, to desire to see Christ in the desh, than there is to New Testament saints, to long impatiently for his second coming. Surely the strong faith of Abraham, that saw Christ's day near two thousand years before he came, had great desires to have seen him in person, and the Lord was pleased to gratify him in some measure ; for even the Son of God in all appearance did take on him the form of a man, in appearance, not really, not the nature of a man, but the form of a man, and did converse with the prophets of old. The happiest man that we find in the Old Testament, as to this point, was old Simeon; he was both an Old Testament saint and a New, he had it revealed unta him, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. I only touch on these things, to shew that the doctrine of Christ is a great deal more clearly reyealed to us than to them; therefore the way may be called new. Next, as to their worship, they had in the wilderness a curious tabernacle, in Canaan a stately temple, and there was a multitude of glorious ornaments in the outside and in the inside ; there were courts, there were washings, there was incense, there was blood, sprinkling with blood; and what signified these things ? Since we have got the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man, Heb. viii. 2. We worship towards the true tabernacle, that their tabernacle was but a type of. How weak a type and resemblance was that of a great house, of threescore cubits long, twenty cubits broad, and thirty cubits high, 1 Kings vi. 2, &c. what sort of resemblance was this to a man like to this ? But it was so, and all that they had. Our Lord is the minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man; all their washings and sacrifices were but shadows of that, of which we have got the substance; these were all the shadows of things to come, but the body is of Christ, Col. ii. 17. So I may say as to their prog