Flavel, Fountain of Life, File 8.
( ...continued from File 7)
Sermon 8. Of the Nature of Christ's Mediation. 
1 Tim. 2: 5. 
And one Mediator betwixt God and Man, the man Christ Jesus. 
    Great and long preparations bespeak the solemnity and greatness 
of the work for which they are designed; A man that had but seen the 
heaps of gold, silver and brass, which David amassed in his time, 
for the building of the temple, might easily conclude before one 
stone of it was laid, that it would be a magnificent structure. But 
lo, here is a design of God as far transcending that, as the 
substance does the shadow. For, in deed, that glorious temple was 
but the type and figure of Jesus Christ, John 2: 19, 21, and a weak 
adumbration of that living, spiritual temple which he was to build, 
cementing the lively stones thereof together with his own blood, 1 
Pet. 2: 5, 6. that the great God might dwell and walk in it, 2 Cor. 
6: 16. The preparations for that temple were but of few years, but 
the consultations and preparations for this were from eternity, 
Prov. 8: 31. And as there were preparations for this work (which 
Christ dispatched in a few years) before the world began; so it will 
be matter of eternal admiration and praise, when this world shall be 
dissolved. What this astonishing glorious work is, this text will 
inform your as to the general nature of it: it is the work of 
mediation betwixt God and man, managed by the sole hand of the man 
Christ Jesus. 
    In this scripture (for I shall not spend time to examine the 
words in their contexture) you have a description of Jesus the 
Mediator: and he is here described four ways, viz. by his work or 
office, a Mediator; by the singularity of his mediation, one 
Mediator; and by the nature and quality of his person, employed in 
this singular way of mediation, the man; and lastly, his name Jesus 
    1. He is described by the work, or office he is employed about 
"Mesites", a Mediator, a middle person. So the word imports a fit, 
indifferent, and equal person, that comes between two persons that 
are at variance, to compose the difference and make peace. Such a 
middle, equal, indifferent person is Christ; a day's man, to lay his 
hand upon both; to arbitrate and award justly and give God his due, 
and that without ruin to poor man. 
    2. He is described by the singularity of his mediation, one 
Mediator, and but one. Though there be many mediators of 
reconciliation among men, and many intercessors in a petitionary 
way, betwixt God and man; yet but "heis Mesites", one only mediator 
of reconciliation betwixt God and man: and it is as needless and 
impious to make more mediators than one, as to make more Gods than 
one. There is one God, and one Mediator betwixt God and men. 
    He is described by the nature and quality of his person, 
"anthropos Christos" &c. the man Christ Jesus. This description of 
him by one nature, and that the human nature also (wherein, as you 
shall see anon, the Lord especially consulted our encouragement and 
comfort); I say, his being so described to us, hath, through the 
corruption of men, been improved to the great dishonour of Jesus 
Christ, both by the Arians and Papists. The former took occasion 
from hence to affirm, that he was but "psilos anthropos", a mere 
    The latter allow him to be the true God, but on this weak 
ground affirm, that he performed not the work of mediation as God, 
but only as man. Thus what the Spirit ordered for our comfort, is 
wickedly retorted to Christ's dishonour; for I doubt not but he is 
described by his human nature in this place; not only because in 
this nature he paid that ransom (which he speaks of in the words 
immediately following) but especially for the drawing of sinners to 
him; seeing he is the man Christ Jesus, one that clothed himself in 
their own flesh; and to encourage the faith of believers, that he 
tenderly rewards all their wants and miseries, and that they may 
safely trust him with all their concerns, as one that will carefully 
mind them as his own, and will be for them a merciful and faithful 
High Priest, in things pertaining to God. 
    4. He is described by his names; by his appellative name 
Christ, and his proper name Jesus. The name Jesus, notes his work 
about which he came; and Christ, the offices to which he was 
anointed; and in the execution of which he is our Jesus. "In the 
name Jesus, the whole gospel is contained, it is the light, the 
food, the medicine of the soul," as one speaks. The note from hence 
    Doct. That Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator betwixt 
    God and men. 
    "Ye are come to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant," Heb. 
12: 24. "And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New 
Testament," &c. Heb. 9: 14. I might show you a whole vein of 
scriptures running this way; but to keep a profitable and clear 
method, I shall show, 
    First, What is the sense of this word "Mesites", a Mediator. 
    Secondly, What it implies, as it is applied to Christ. 
    Thirdly, How it appears that he is the true and only Mediator 
betwixt God and men. 
    Fourthly, In what capacity he performed his mediatory work. 
    First, What is the sense and import of this word "Mesites", a 
Mediator? The true sense and importance of it, is a middle Person, 
or one that interposes betwixt two parties at variance, to make 
peace betwixt them. So that as Satan is medium disjungens, a medium 
of discord; so Christ is medium conjungens, a medium of concord and 
peace. And he is such a Mediator, both in respect of his person and 
office; in respect of his person, he is a Mediator, i. e. one that 
has the same nature both with God and us, true God, and true man; 
and in respect of his Office or work, which is to interpose, to 
transact the business of reconciliation between us and God. The 
former some call his substantial, the latter his energetical, or 
operative mediation: Though I rather conceive that which is called 
his substantial mediation, is but the aptitude of his person to 
execute the mediatorial function; and that it does not constitute 
two kinds of mediation. His being a middle person, fits and 
capacitates him to stand in the midst betwixt God and us. This, I 
say, is the proper sense of the word; though "Mesites", a Mediator, 
is rendered variously; sometimes an umpire or arbitrator; sometimes 
a messenger that goes betwixt two persons; sometimes an interpreter, 
imparting the mind of one to another; sometimes a reconciler or 
peace-maker. And in all these senses Christ is the "Mesites", the 
middle person in his mediation of reconciliation or intercession; i. 
e. either in his mediating, by suffering to make peace, as he did on 
earth; or to continue, and maintain peace, as he does in heaven, by 
meritorious intercession. Both these ways he is the only Mediator. 
And he manageth this his mediation, 
    1. As an umpire or arbitrator; one that layeth his hands upon 
both parties, as Job speaks, chap. 9: 33. so does Christ, he layeth 
his hands (speaking after the manner of men) upon God, and saith, 
Father, wilt thou be at peace with them, and re admit them into thy 
favour? If thou wilt, thou shalt be fully satisfied for all that 
they have done against thee. And then he layeth his hand upon man, 
and saith, poor sinner, be not discouraged, thou shalt be justified 
and saved. 
    2. As a messenger or ambassador, so he came to impart the mind 
of God to us, and so he presents our desires to God; and in this 
sense only Socinus would allow Christ to be Mediator. But therein he 
endeavours to undermine the foundation, and to exclude him from 
being, Mediator by a suretiship; which is, 
    3. The third way of his mediation. So the apostle speaks, Heb. 
7: he is "enguos", the surety, or pledge. Which, as the learned 
David Pareus well expresseth it, is one that engageth to satisfy 
another, or gives caution or security by a pledge in the hand for 
it. And indeed, both these ways, Christ is our mediator by 
suretiship, viz. in a way of satisfaction, coming under our 
obligation to answer the law; this he did on the cross and in a way 
of caution, a surety for the peace, or good behaviour. But to be 
more explicit and clear, I shall, 
    Secondly, In the next place enquire, what it implies and 
carries in it, for Christ to be a Mediator betwixt God and us. And 
there are, mainly, these five things in it. 
    1. At the first sight, it carries in it a most dreadful breach 
and jar betwixt God and men; else no need of a Mediator of 
reconciliation. There was indeed a sweet league of amity once 
between them, but it was quickly dissolved by sin; the wrath of the 
Lord was kindled against man, pursuing him to destruction, Psal. 5: 
5. " Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity." And man was filled 
with unnatural enmity against his God, Rom. 1: 30. "theostugeis", 
haters of God; this put an end to all friendly commerce and 
intercourse between him and God. Reader, say not in thy heart, that 
it is much, that one sin, and that seemingly so small, should make 
such a breach as this, and cause the God of mercy and goodness so to 
abhor the works of his hands, and that as soon as he had made man: 
for it was a heinous and aggravated evil. It was upright, perfect 
man, created in the image of God, that thus sinned: he sinned when 
his mind was most bright, clear and apprehensive; his conscience 
pure and active; his will free, and able to withstand any 
temptation: his conscience pure and undefiled; he was a public as 
well as a perfect man, and well knew that the happiness or misery of 
his numberless offspring was involved in him. 
    The condition he was placed in, was exceeding happy: no 
necessity or want could arm and edge temptation: he lived amidst all 
natural and spiritual pleasures and delights, the Lord most 
delightfully conversing with him; yea, he sinned while as yet his 
creation-mercy was fresh upon him; and in this sin was most horrible 
ingratitude: yea, a casting off the yoke of obedience almost as soon 
as God had put it on. God now saw the work of his hands spoiled, a 
race of rebels now to be propagated, who, in their successive 
generations would be fighting against God: he saw it, and his just 
indignation sparkled against man, and resolves to pursue him to the 
bottom of hell. 
    2. It implies, a necessity of satisfaction and reparation to 
the justice of God. For the very design and end of this mediation 
was to make peace, by giving full satisfaction to the party that was 
wronged. The Photinians, and some others, have dreamed of a 
reconciliation with God, founded not upon satisfaction, but upon the 
absolute mercy, goodness, and free-will of God. "But concerning that 
absolute goodness and mercy of God, reconciling sinners to himself, 
there is a deep silence throughout the scriptures:" and whatever is 
spoken of it, upon that account, is as it works to us through 
Christ, Eph. 1: 3, 4, 5. Acts 4: 12. John 6: 40. And we cannot 
imagine, either how God could exercise mercy to the prejudice of his 
justice, which must be, if we must be reconciled without full 
satisfaction; or how such a full satisfaction should be made by any 
other than Christ. Mercy, indeed moved in the heart of God to poor 
man; but from his heart it found no way to vent itself for us, but 
through the heart blood of Jesus Christ: and in him the justice of 
God was fully satisfied, and the misery of the creature fully cured. 
And so, as Augustine speaks, "God neither lost the severity of his 
justice in the goodness of mercy, nor the goodness of his mercy in 
the exactness of his severity." But if it had been possible God 
could have found out a way to reconcile us without satisfaction, yet 
it is past doubt now, that he has pitched and fixed on this way. And 
for any now to imagine to reconcile themselves to God by any thing 
but faith in the blood of this mediator, is not only most vain in 
itself, and destructive to the soul, but most insolently derogatory 
to the wisdom and grace of God. 
    And to such I would say, as Tertullian to Marcion, whom he 
calls the murderer of truth, "spare the only hope of the whole 
world, O thou who destroyest the most necessary glory of our faith!" 
All that we hope for is but a fantasy without this. Peace of 
conscience can be rationally settled on no other foundation but 
this; for God having made a law to govern man, and this law violated 
by man; either the penalty must be levied on the delinquent, or 
satisfaction made by his surety. As good no law, as no penalty for 
disobedience; and as good no penalty, as no execution. He therefore 
that will be made a mediator of reconciliation betwixt God and man, 
must bring God a price in His hand, and that adequate to the offence 
and wrongs done him, else he will not treat about peace; and so did 
our Mediator. 
    3. Christ being a Mediator of reconciliation and intercession, 
implies the infinite value of his blood and sufferings, as that 
which in itself was sufficient to stop the course of God's justice, 
and render him not only placable, but abundantly satisfied and well 
pleased, even with those that before were enemies. And so much is 
said of it. Col. 1: 21, 22. "And ye that were sometimes alienated, 
and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now has he 
reconciled, in the body of his flesh through death, to present you 
holy, and unblamable, and unreproveable in his sight." Surely, that 
which can cause the holy God, justly incensed against sinners, to 
lay aside all his wrath, and take an enemy into his bosom, and 
establish such an amity as can never more be broken, but to rest in 
his love, and to joy over him with singing, as it is, Zeph. 3: 17, 
this must be a most excellent and efficacious thing. 
    4. Christ's being a Mediator of reconciliation, implies the 
ardent love and large pity that filled his heart towards poor 
sinners. For he does not only mediate by way of entreaty, going 
betwixt both, and persuading and begging peace; but he mediates, (as 
you have heard) in the capacity of a surety, by putting himself 
under an obligation to satisfy our debts. O how compassionately did 
his heart work towards us, that when he saw the arm of justice 
lifted up to destroy us, would interpose himself, and receive the 
stroke, though he knew it would smite him dead! Our Mediator, like 
Jonah his type, seeing the stormy sea of God's wrath working 
tempestuously, and ready to swallow us up, cast in himself to 
appease the storm. I remember how much that noble act of Marcus 
Curtius is celebrated in the Roman history, who being informed by 
the oracle, that the great breach made by the earthquake could not 
be closed, except something of worth were cast into it, heated with 
love to the commonwealth, he went and cast in himself. This was 
looked upon as a bold and brave adventure. But what was this to 
    5. Christ being a mediator betwixt God and man, implies as the 
witness of his person, so his authoritative call to undertake it. 
And indeed the Father, who was the wronged person, called him to be 
the umpire and arbitrator, trusting his honour in his hands. Now 
Christ was invested with this office and power virtually, soon after 
the breach was made by Adam's fall; for we have the early promise of 
it, Gen. 3: 15. Ever since, till his incarnation, he was a virtual 
and effectual Mediator; and, on that account, he is called, "the 
Lamb slain from the beginning of the world," Rev. 13: 8. And 
actually, from the time of his incarnation. But having discussed 
this more largely in a former discourse, I shall dismiss it here, 
and apply myself to the third thing proposed, which is, 
    Thirdly, How it appears that Jesus Christ is the true and only 
Mediator betwixt God and men. I reply, it is manifest he is so, 
    1. Because he, and no other, is revealed to us by God. And if 
God reveal him, and no other, we must receive him, and no other as 
such. Take but two scriptures at present, that in 1 Cor. 8: 5. "The 
heathen have many gods, and many lords," i. e. many great gods, 
supreme powers and ultimate objects of their worship; and lest these 
great gods should be defiled by their immediate and unhallowed 
approaches to them, they therefore invented heroes, demigods, 
intermediate powers, that they were as agents, or lord mediators 
betwixt the gods and them, to convey their prayers to the gods, and 
the blessings of the gods back again to them. "But unto us (saith 
he) there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we 
by him," i. e. one supreme essence, the first spring and fountain of 
blessings, and one Lord, i. e. one Mediator, "by whom are all 
things, and we by him." By whom are all things which come from the 
Father to us, and by whom are all our addresses to the Father: So 
Acts 4: 12. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is 
none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be 
saved." No other name, i. e. no other authority, or rather, no other 
person authorised under heaven, i. e. the whole world: for heaven is 
not here opposed to earth, as though there were other intercessors 
in heaven besides Christ: no, no, in heaven and earth God has given 
him, and none but him, to be our Mediator. One sun is sufficient for 
the whole world; and one Mediator for all men in the world. So that 
the scriptures affirm this is he, and exclude all others. 
    2. Because he, and no other, is fit for, and capable of this 
office. Who but he that has the divine and human nature united in 
his single person, can be a fit day's-man to lay his hand upon both? 
Who but he that was God, could support under such sufferings, as 
were, by divine justice, exacted for satisfaction! Take person of 
the greatest spirit, and put him an hour in the case Christ was in, 
when he sweat blood in the garden, or uttered that heart-rending cry 
upon the cross, and he had melted under it as a moth. 
    3. Because he is alone sufficient to reconcile the world to God 
by his blood, without accessions from any other. The virtue of his 
blood reached back as far as Adam, and reaches forward to the end of 
the world; and will be as fresh, vigorous, and efficacious then, as 
the first moment it was shed. The sun makes day before it actually 
rises, and continues day sometimes after it is set: so do does 
Christ, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; so that he 
is the true and only Mediator betwixt God and men: no other is 
revealed in scripture; no other is sufficient for it; no other 
needed beside him. 
    Fourthly, The last thing to be explained is, in what capacity 
he executed his mediatory work. 
    About which we affirm, according to scripture, that he performs 
that work as God-man, in both natures. Papists, in denying Christ to 
act as mediator, according to his divine nature, do at once spoil 
the whole mediation of Christ of all its efficacy, dignity and 
value, which arise from that nature, which they deny to co-operate, 
and exert its virtue in his active and passive obedience. They say, 
the apostle, in my text, distinguishes the Mediator from God, in 
saying, "there is one God and one Mediator." We aptly reply, that 
the same Apostle distinguishes Christ from man, Gal. 1: 1. "Not by 
man, but by Jesus Christ." Does it thence follow that Christ is not 
true man? Or that according to his divine nature only, he called 
Paul? But what need I stay my reader here; Had not Christ, as 
Mediator, power to lay down his life, and power to take it up again? 
John 10: 17,18. Had he not, as Mediator, all power in heaven and 
earth to institute ordinances, and appoint officers? Matt. 28: 18. 
To baptise men with the Holy Ghost and fire? Matt. 3: 11. To keep 
those his Father gave him in this world? John 17: 12. To raise up 
the saints again in the last day? John 6: 54. Are these, with many 
more I might name, the effects of the mere human nature? Or, were 
they not performed by him as God-man? And besides, how could he, as 
Mediator, be the object of our faith, and religious adoration, if we 
are not to respect him as God-man? But I long now to be at the 
application of this: and the first inference from it, is this, 
    Inference 1. That it is a dangerous thing to reject Jesus 
Christ the only Mediator betwixt God and man. Alas! there is no 
other to interpose and screen thee from the devouring fire, the 
everlasting burnings! O it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands 
of the living God! And into his hands you must needs fall, without 
an interest in the only Mediator. Which of us can dwell with 
devouring fire? Who can endure the everlasting burnings? Isa. 33: 
14. You know how they singed and scorched the green tree, but what 
would they do to the dry tree? Luke 23: 31. Indeed, if there were 
another plank to save after the shipwreck; any other way to be 
reconciled to God, besides Jesus the Mediator, somewhat might be 
said to excuse this folly; but you are shut up to the faith of 
Christ, as to your last remedy, Gal. 3: 23. You are like starving 
beggars, that are come to the last door. O take heed of despising, 
or neglecting Christ! If so, there's none to intercede with God for 
you; the breach betwixt him and you can never be composed. I 
remember, here, the words of Eli, to his profane sons, who caused 
men to abhor the offerings of the Lord, 1 Sam. 2: 25. "If one man 
sin against another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man sin 
against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?" The meaning is, common 
trespasses betwixt men, the civil magistrate takes cognisance of it, 
and decides the controversy by his authority, so that there is an 
end of that strife; but if man sin against the Lord, who shall 
entreat or arbitrate in that case? Eli's sons had despised the 
Lord's sacrifices, which were sacred types of Christ, and the stated 
way that men had then to act faith on the Mediator in. Now, (saith 
he) if a man thus sin against the Lord, by despising Christ shadowed 
out in that way, who shall entreat for him? What hope, what remedy 
    I remember, it was the saying of Luther, and he spake it with 
deep resentment, Nolo Deum absolutum, "I will have nothing to do 
with an absolute God," i.e. with God without a Mediator. thus the 
devils have to do with God: but will ye, in whose nature Christ is 
come, put yourselves into their state and case? God forbid! 
    Inf. 2. Hence also be informed, how great an evil it is to join 
any other Mediators, either of reconciliation, or meritorious 
intercession with Jesus Christ. O this is a horrid sin, and that 
which both pours the greatest contempt upon Christ, and brings the 
surest and sorest destruction upon the sinner! I am ashamed my pen 
should English what mine eyes have seen in the writings of Papists, 
ascribing as much, yea, more to the mediation of Mary than to 
Christ, with no less than blasphemous impudence, thus commenting 
upon scripture: "What is that which the Lord saith, I have trod the 
wine-press alone, and of the people there was no man with me? true 
Lord, there was no man with thee, but there was a woman with thee, 
who received all these wounds in her heart which thou receivedst in 
thy body." I will not blot my paper with more of this, but refer the 
learned reader as under, where he may (if he have a mind to see 
more) be informed not only what blasphemy hath dropped from single 
pens, but even from councils, to the reproach of Jesus Christ, and 
his blood. 
    How do they stamp their own sordid works with the peculiar 
dignity and value of Christ's blood; and therein seek to enter at 
the gate which God has shut to all the worlds because Jesus Christ 
the prince entered in thereby, Ezek. 44: 2, 3. He entered into 
heaven in a direct immediate way, even in his own name, and for his 
own sake; this gate, saith the Lord, shall be shut to all others; 
and I wish men would consider it, and fear, lest while they seek 
entrance into heaven at the wrong door, they do not for ever shut 
against themselves, the true and only door of happiness. 
    Inf. 3. If Jesus Christ be the only Mediator of reconciliation 
betwixt God and men; then reconciled souls should thankfully ascribe 
all the peace, favours, and comforts they have from God, to their 
Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever you have had free admission, and sweet 
entertainment with God in the more public ordinances, or private 
duties of his worship; when you have had his smiles, his seals, and 
with hearts warmed with comfort, are returning from those duties, 
say, O my soul, thou mayest thank thy good Lord Jesus Christ for all 
this! had not he interposed as a Mediator of reconciliation, I could 
never have had access to, or friendly communion with God to all 
    Immediately upon Adam's sin, the door of communion with God was 
locked, yea, chained up, and no more coming nigh the Lord: not a 
soul could have any access to him, either in a way of communion in 
this world, or of enjoyment in that to come. It was Jesus the 
Mediator that opened that door again, and in him it is that we have 
boldness, and access with confidence, Eph. 3: 12. "We can now come 
to God by a new and living way, consecrated for us through the vail, 
that is to say, his flesh," Hub. 10: 20. The vail had a double use, 
as Christ's flesh answerable has: it hid the glory of the Sanctum 
Sanctorum, and also gave entrance into it. Christ's incarnation 
rebates the edge of the divine glory and brightness, that we may be 
able to bear it and converse with it; and it gives admission into it 
also. O thank your dear Lord Jesus for your present and future 
heaven! these are mercies which daily emerge out of the ocean of 
Christ's blood, and come swimming in it to our doors. Blessed be God 
for Jesus Christ! 
    Inf. 4. If Jesus Christ is the true and only Mediator, both of 
reconciliation and meritorious intercession betwixt God and men, how 
safe and secure then is the condition and state of believers? 
Surely, as his mediation, by sufferings, has fully reconciled, so 
his mediation, by intercession, will everlastingly maintain that 
state of peace betwixt them and God, and prevent all future 
breaches. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through 
our Lord Jesus Christ," Rom. 5: 1. It is a firm and lasting peace, 
and the Mediator that made it, is now in heaven to maintain it for 
ever, and prevent new jars, Heb. 9: 24. "There to appear in the 
presence of God for us;" according to the custom of princes and 
states, who, being confederated, have their agents residing in each 
others courts, who upon all occasions appear in the presence of the 
prince, in the name and behalf of those whom they represent, and 
negotiate for. 
    And here it is proper to reflect upon the profound and 
incomprehensible wisdom of God, who has made an advantage to us, 
even out of our sin and misery. Come, see and adore the wisdom of 
our God, that has so improved, reduced, and disposed the fall of 
Adam, as to make a singular advantage thereby to advance his 
offspring to a better state! It was truly said by one of the 
ancients upon this account, "That Job was a happier man on the 
dunghill, than Adam was in paradise". His holiness indeed was 
perfect, his happiness was great: but neither of them permanent and 
indefeasible, as our happiness by the Mediator is. So that, in the 
same sense some divines call Judas's treasons foelix scelus, a happy 
wickedness: we may call Adam's fall, foelix lapsus, a happy fall, 
because ordered and over-ruled by the wisdom of God, to such an 
advantage for us. And to that purpose Austin somewhere sweetly 
speaks, "O how happily did I fall in Adam, who rose again more happy 
in Christ!" Thus did the Lord turn a poison into an antidote, thus 
did that dreadful fall make way for a more blessed and fixed state. 
Now are we so confirmed, fixed, and established in Christ, by the 
favour of God, that there can be no more such fatal breaches, and 
dreadful jars betwixt God and his reconciled ones for ever. The bone 
that is well set, is stronger where it is knit, than it was before. 
blessed be God for Jesus Christ! 
    Inf. 5. Did Jesus Christ interpose betwixt us and the wrath of 
God, as a Mediator of reconciliation? did he rather chose to receive 
the stroke upon himself, than to see us ruined by it? How well then 
does it become the people of God, in a thankful sense of this grace, 
to interpose themselves betwixt Jesus Christ and the evils they see 
like to fall upon his name and interest in the world? O that there 
were but SUCH a heart in the people of God! I remember it is a 
saving of Jerome, when he heard the revilings and blaspheming of 
many against Christ, and his precious truths, "O (said he) that they 
would turn their weapons from Christ to me, and be satisfied with my 
blood!" And much to the same sense is that sweet one of Bernard, 
"Happy were I, if God would vouchsafe to use me as a shield." And 
David could say, "The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell 
on me, Psal. 69: 9. Ten thousand of our names are nothing to 
Christ's name: his name is "kalon onoma", a worthy name; and no man 
that gives up his name as a shield to Christ, but shall thereby 
secure and increase the true honour of it. And though wicked men, 
for the present may bespatter them, yet Jesus Christ will take it 
out of the dirt, (as one speaks), wipe it clean, and give it us 
again. Oh, it is the least one can do, to interpose ourselves and 
all that is dear to us, betwixt Christ and the wrath of men, when he 
(as you hear) interposed himself betwixt you and the eternal wrath 
of God! 

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