Who Shall Lay Anything to the Charge of God’s Elect? It Is God That Justifieth ROMANS 8:33, 34 by John Gill


Who Shall Lay Anything to the
Charge of God’s Elect?
It Is God That Justifieth
ROMANS 8:33, 34
by John Gill
(London: Aaron Ward, 1745)
Thou hast given a standard to them that fear thee;
that it may be displayed because of the truth
— Psalm 60:4
SERMON 36
Occasioned By The Death Of Mrs Ann Brine, Late Wife Of The
Reverend Mr John Brine. Preached August 11, 1745.
ROMANS 8:33, 34.
Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that
justifieth: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God,
who also maketh intercession for us.
THE preceding chapter contains the believer’s complaint of indwelling sin,
and expresses the nature; prevalence and ill effects of it, and his grief of
mind on that account; and this chapter declares his triumph of faith in a
view of deliverance from it, and from an condemnation by it, through the
blood, righteousness and sacrifice of Christ: which triumph is founded
upon things the most solid and substantial, delivered in the text and
context; such as relate to the grace of the Father in predestination, in the
mission of his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, in not sparing him, but
delivering him up for us all; in the effectual vocation, justification, and
glorification of his chosen ones; and which relate to the grace of Christ, in
his assumption of human nature, in fulfilling the law both in its precept and
penalty, in his sufferings and death, in his resurrection, session at God’s
right hand, and intercession for his people; and which relate to the grace of
the blessed Spirit, in quickening, and renewing carnal minds; in leading men
out of themselves, to Christ; in witnessing to their Spirits that they are the
children of God, and in helping their infirmities, and making intercession.
for them according to the will of God; and particularly this triumph, of faith
is expressed in the fullest and strongest manner in the words before us, who
shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? etc.
The words are put by way of interrogation, who shall lay any thing, to the
charge of God’s elect? or accuse them? or call them to an account? or
enter an action against them, in open court? It is a challenge, a bidding
defiance to all and every one to do it; since it is God that justifieth, that is,
his elect: he acquits and clears them from. all charges exhibited against
them; and therefore whatever are said against them are of no avail, and can
never issue in their condemnation; who is he that condemneth the elect of.3
God? that will censure or pass sentence upon them? and if any should,
what will it signify, seeing it is Christ that died for their sins, and rose
again far their justification, and is at the right hand of God, as their
advocate, and ever lives to make intercession far them. Though these
things are put by way of question, they may be reduced to absolute
propositions: the sense of them is, that
„there are none that can lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect
to any purpose, but what will easily be set aside; nor can any justly
bring them under a sentence of condemnation, and much less
execute such a sentence on them.”
The whole may be comprised in the two following propositions:
I. That no charge shall be brought against, nor any condemnation
brought upon the elect of God.
II. That the Father’s justification of them, the Son’s dying for them; his
resurrection from the dead, session at the right hand of God, and
intercession on their account, are a sufficient and full security to them
from all charges and condemnation whatever.
I. That no charge of any avail shall, or can be laid against, or any sentence
of condemnation executed upon the elect of God. These are without spot
and fault before the throne of God; they are unblameable and
unreproveable in his sight, and there is no condemnation to them. For the
further explanation, of this doctrine, I shall,
First, Shew who the elect of God are.
Secondly, In what sense no charge and condemnation can be upon
them.
First, Who are the elect of God. These are a select number of men, who
are the objects of God’s love, whom he has chosen in Christ, unto eternal
life and salvation before the foundation of the world, of his own sovereign
good will and pleasure, by certain ways of his own appointing, so that they
are peculiarly his. It will be proper to take this account into several parts,
and briefly explain them.
1. The elect of God are a select number of men, of Adam’s posterity; for
elect angels are not here meant: they are a chosen generation, a royal.4
priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; not whole nations, churches,
bodies, and communities of men, but particular persons; they are such who
are separated and set apart from the rest of mankind, and are alone, and are
not reckoned among the nations: as they are redeemed and called, so they
are chosen out of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues; and though,
considered by themselves, they are a great number, which no man can
number; yet, comparatively, they are but few, many be called, but few
chosen,

Matthew 20:16.
2. They are the objects of the love of God, of his everlasting and
unchangeable love; and because they are the beloved of the Lord, therefore
they are chosen by him unto salvation: so the people of Israel were chosen
as a nation to outward privileges above all nations, not because they were
more than others, for they were the fewest of all people, but because the
Lord loved them,

Deuteronomy 7:7,8. Electio praesupponit
dilectionem, „Election presupposes love.” Love is the source and original
of it: whom God did foreknow, them he did predestinate, as in the context;
hence they are stiled
elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,

1 Peter 1:2
which is to be understood not of the bare prescience of God, which reaches
to all the sons of men, for then, all would be the elect of God; but of such
foreknowledge of them as includes in it the strongest love and affection for
them; of which his choice of them to everlasting life, is a glaring instance
and evidence.
3. They are chosen in Christ, as is expressly asserted in

Ephesians 1:4.
Christ himself, as mediator, is God’s elect; he is so by way of eminency; he
was first chosen and then the elect in him; he is the first-born of the
election of grace; he was first conceived in the womb of election, and
brought forth, and then the many brethren among whom he is the first-born;
he was chosen as the head, and they as members in him: hence all
grace was given to them in him, and they were blessed with all spiritual
blessings in him; yea, hence it is, that they being sanctified, or set apart by
God the Father in election, were preserved in him, not withstanding the fall
of Adam, and their own actual transgressions, in order to be called by
grace,

Jude 1..5
4. The choice of them in Christ is unto eternal life and salvation; not unto
external blessings and privileges, as the Israelites were, nor to any outward
office, though ever so great, as that of apostleship, as Judas the son of
perdition was; but to special grace here, and eternal glory hereafter: these
are persons ordained to eternal life, vessels of mercy, afore prepared for
glory; they are appointed not unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our
Lord Jesus Christ; which he has been appointed to work out for them, has
effected, and will put them into the possession of.
5. This choice of them was made before the foundation of the world, as is
affirmed in

Ephesians 1:4. The Thessalonians are said to be chosen from
the beginning,

2 Thessalonians 2:13, not from the beginning of the
preaching of the gospel to them, nor from the beginning of their
conversion, but from the beginning of time: or, in other words, from
eternity; the phrase being the same with from everlasting, as appears from

Proverbs 8:23. This is an act, that does not commence in time, but bears
date from eternity; it paired before the men who are the objects of it, were
born, and had done either good or evil,

Romans 9:11.
6. It is owing to the sovereign good-will and pleasure of God, who does all
things after the counsel of his own will: he predestinates to the adoption of
children, according to the good pleasure of his will; he has mercy on whom
he will have mercy, and is gracious to whom he will be gracious; and his
election of persons to everlasting life, is an election of grace, and is
strongly denied to be of works,

Romans 11:5, 6. It is irrespective of
faith, holiness, or good works, as causes, motives, and conditions of it;
there all follow upon it, and are fruits, effects, and evidences of it.
7. This choice of men to happiness is through certain ways and means of
God’s own appointing; such as sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the
truth,

2 Thessalonians 2:13 which, as they are fixed in the decree of the
means, have their sure and certain accomplishment. God chooses men, not
because they were, or because he knew they would be, but that they might
be holy; and this he secures for them; for by virtue, and in consequence of
their being chosen, he sends the Spirit down into their hearts to sanctify
them; and though the work of sanctification is at present imperfect, in
pursuance of the divine purposes it shall be completed. So likewise belief
of the truth, or faith in Christ who is the truth, and in every doctrine of the
word of truth, relating to, him, is another mean ascertained in the decree of
election, and is sure by it: as many as are ordained unto eternal life, have.6
believed, do believe, and shall believe, in all ages of time; and none truly
believe, but such; and therefore true faith is called: the faith of God’s elect,

Titus 1:1. It springs from electing grace; it is the fruit of it, it is the gift
of God’s grace, and is insured by it; and because of it, the work of faith is
begun, it shall be performed with power, Hence,
8. Persons thus chosen, are peculiarly his, the elect of God, yea, they are
emphatically cared, his own elect,

Luke 18:7. They are not only his by
creation, as all mankind are, but they are the people of his choice, a
peculiar one; they are elect according to his foreknowledge, they are set
apart for himself, for his own use, service and glory; they are chosen by
him for his peculiar treasure. But,
Secondly, I am next to show you in what sense no charge can be laid
against, nor condemnation come to these persons.
First, No charge, no accusation of them, no crime to be alledged against
them: But,
1. Is there nothing they are chargeable with? Are they in every sense clear
of all crimes? Can nothing be objected to them, and laid against them? yes,
many things. They are, as the descendents of Adam, chargeable with his
sin: they were in him seminally, as the root and parent of mankind; they
were in him federally, as their covenant-head and representative; in which
he was the figure of Christ that was to come; and so they sinned in him,
and were made and constituted sinners, through his disobedience; the guilt
of which is imputed to them, and they in themselves are liable to
condemnation by it: they are chargeable with a corrupt nature they bring
into the world with them, being conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity;
they are justly called transgressors from the womb; they are chargeable
with the loss of original righteousness, and of the image of God, and with a
want of conformity to the law of God; they are chargeable with a multitude
of actual transgressions committed before conversion, and some with very
grievous and notorious ones; not only as being foolish, and disobedient,
serving divers lusts and pleasures; but, as living in malice, hateful, and
hating one another: so Saul, afterwards Paul, was guilty of injury,
persecution and blasphemy; and the Corinthians are laid to be fornicators,
idolaters, adulterers, and every thing that is bad,

1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
And after conversion they are all chargeable, with many sins of thought,
word, and deed; with sins of omission and commission; with daily
infirmities and frequent backslidings; in many things they all offend; and.7
their errors are so many, they cannot understand; and same of them are
suffered to fall into very gross enormities, as Noah, Lot, David, Peter, and
others. Wherefore,
2. Are there none that will rise, stand up and charge, these persons? yes,
now: their own hearts rise up against them, and charge them; their
conscience which is as a thousand witnesses, does often accuse them: there
is in every man a conscience, which excuses or accuses for good or bad
things done, unless where it is seared as with a red hot iron: but this is not
the case of good men, their consciences are tender; and though they are
sometimes tempted to extenuate their faults, yet, at ether times, they are
ready to aggravate them, and put them in the worst light; and write dismal,
desperate, and bitter things against themselves: likewise, they are very apt
to charge one another; they are sometimes too forward this way, too
inquisitive after each other’s weaknesses; bear too hard upon one another
for them; and are too severe and censorious, indeed, they are not to suffer
sin upon one another; charges may be very lawfully brought, whether in a
private, or in a public way, as the nature of the care requires, provided the
rules of God’s word are observed, and they are exhibited in a kind and
tender manner, with a view to the glory of God, and the good of the person
or persons charged: moreover, the men of the world are full of charges
against the people of God, and traduce them oftentimes very wrongfully, as
the Jews did our Lord; and as Tertullus the orator, the apostle Paul; and it
is the common lot of the saints to go through good report and bad report;
but no weapon formed against them shall prosper, and every tongue that
riseth up in judgment against them shall be condemned: they have real
faults enough in them; and there is no need of false ones to be imputed to
them; to which may be added, Satan is the adversary of believers,
antidikov, „a court adversary;” one that enters a suit at law, and brings in
an action in open court against another, as the word signifies; he goes
about the world, and observes the failures of the saints, takes all
advantages, and every opportunity against them; picks up their faults, and
aggravates them, and accuses them before the throne: whence he is called
the accuser of the brethren,

Revelation 12:10. To say no more, the law
accuses of the breaches and violations of it; one commandment says, Thou
hast sinned against me; and another, Thou hast sinned against me; and the
law is able to make good, and support its charges, and give evidence of
them; and it proceeds to pronounce the whole world guilty before God,
and so the elect of God among the rest. But then,.8
3. What will these charges signify? Of what avail will they be? and to what
purpose are they laid? since God justifies and discharges from them all,
who is superior to all, and from whose judgment there can be no appeal.
Though the saints bring charges against themselves, and bring heavy ones
against each other; and though the world, Satan, and the law, lay charges
against them; yet none of the divine persons bring any, nor will they bring
any against them. Not Jehovah the Father, as may be learnt from the text
and context; he predestinates them to be conformed to the image of his
Son; he calls, justifies, and glorifies them; he is on their side; he is for them,
and it matters not who is against them; he has not spared his own Son, but
has delivered him up for them all, and gives all things freely with him,
verses 29-32. and therefore he will lay nothing to their charge: nor will the
Son of God; he is the surety for them; he has died for their sins, and has
made an end of them, and brought in everlasting righteousness; and is an
advocate for them; wherefore, he will exhibit no charge against them: nor
will the holy Spirit; for though he convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of
judgment; yet he brings near the righteousness of Christ: unto them; works
faith in them, to lay hold upon it, and pronounces them righteous on the
account of it; he takes of the things of Christ, and shews them to them; he
is the comforter of them, and the Spirit of adoption to them; and as Christ
is an advocate for them, in the court of heaven, he is an intercessor for
them in their own hearts.
2dly, No condemnation can befal them; for if no charges can be laid
against them with success, no condemnation can follow. Who is he that
condemneth? that is, the elect of God: there are the persons that are
understood, though not expressed. Others may be, and are condemned,
even all mankind are in Adam;
through his offense judgment came upon all men to condemnation,

Romans 5:18.
And some being ungodly men, and such who turn the grace of God into
lasciviousness, are righteously appointed unto eternal condemnation; yea,
every one that believes not, and who lives and dies in impenitence and
unbelief, is condemned already; and there is a world that will be
condemned at the last day; but the elect of God, who shall condemn? They
are indeed, with the rest of mankind under the sentence of condemnation as
considered in Adam, in whom they sinned; and so the sentence of death
passed upon them in him. They are by nature children of wrath, and.9
deferring of it, and in their own persons commit things worthy of death;
and when they are thoroughly convinced of sin by the Spirit of God, they
have the sentence of death within themselves, and say, as the Egyptians
did, when their first-born were killed, we be all dead men,

Exodus
12:33. Whatever vain opinion they entertained of themselves before the
commandment came with power into their consciences, as it did in the
apostle Paul; sin then revives, as it did in him, and they die, as to all hopes
of attaining happiness by their works; they see themselves dead in law,
dead in sin: and after conversion, their hearts often smite and condemn
them for sin, though God is greater than their hearts, and knows all
things; his own covenant-transactions and agreement with his Son; what
his Son has done, and what satisfaction he has made to his law and justice,
and therefore will not condemn them. They are too apt to condemn one
another: hence that advice of our Lord’s, condemn not, and ye shall not be
condemned,

Luke 6:37. The men of the world are very forward to
condemn them as hypocrites, as the worst of men, and not fit to live upon
the earth; but the Lord
stands at the right hand of the poor to save him from those that
condemn his soul,

Psalm 109:31.
The God of this world, as he accuses them, and stands at their right hand
to resist them; so he seeks, and calls for judgment against, and upon them,
but in vain. The law is a ministration of condemnation and death to them
that are under it: indeed, the elect of God are redeemed from it, and from
the curse and condemnation of it; Christ being made a curse for them; and
be it so; that it should pass as many sentences of condemnation upon them,
as there are sins committed by them; for every sin deserves a sentence, yet
ouden katakrima, „there is not one condemnation to them that are in
Christ Jesus,” and redeemed by him; not one sentence can be executed
upon them: and though these may all condemn, yet neither Father, Son, nor
Spirit, will condemn them: not the Father, for he justifies them; not the
Son, for he died for them; and is the Lord their righteousness: he came not
into the world to condemn the world, but that it might be saved by him;
nor the blessed Spirit, for these are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God. To which may be subjoined, that there
persons are loved by God with an everlasting love, which God has swore
shall never depart from them: they are predestinated to eternal life, and
shall be glorified; they are in Christ, and to such there is no condemnation;
they are brought to believe in Christ, and such have passed from death to.10
life, and shall not come into condemnation; they are justified by the blood
of Christ, and shall be saved from wrath through him. I proceed to the
other doctrinal proposition.
II. That the Father’s justification of the elect, the Son’s dying for them, his
resurrection from the dead, his session at the right hand of God, and
intercession for them, are a sufficient and full security of them from all
charges and condemnation.
First, The Father’s justification of them: it is God that justifieth; that is, his
elect: which shews the eternity of this act; for if the elect of God, as such
considered, are the objects of justification; and there were chosen in Christ
before the world began, they must be justified as early; or otherwise it
could not be always said with truth, God justifieth the alert: and also the
specialty of this act of grace; it belonging only to the chosen of God, and
precious: and likewise the continuance of it; it can never be made void; it is
inseparable with glorification, and so is a security from all charges and
condemnation; for,
1. Let it be considered whose act this is: it is God’s act; it is he that
justifies; he against whom these persons have sinned, whose law they have
broken, whose justice they have affronted, whose legislative power and
authority they have trampled upon; who is the lawgiver, that is able to
save and to destroy it is he that acquits; and if he discharges, who can lay
any thing to their charge? Besides, he is just whilst he is the justifier of
them: nor would he be just if he did not justify them; for his justice is
intirely satisfied with the righteousness of his Son, on their account; and it
would be unjust to take satisfaction of their surety for them, and yet bring
charges against them: this the judge of all the earth will not do; he always
does that which is right.
2. The nature of this act of justification: it is not teaching men the way of
righteousness, or how sinners may be just with God, or instructing men in
the doctrine of justification, shewing the method God takes in justifying a
sinner: this is what the ministers of the gospel do, who are therefore said to
justify many,

Daniel 12:3 or, as we render it, turn many to
righteousness: nor is it an infusion of righteousness and holiness into the
hearts of men, which is no other than sanctification, and is a quite different
thing; a work of grace within, and which is imperfect, and is gradually
carried on: but it is a forensic term; by this act a man is made rectus in.11
curia: it is a pronouncing him righteous, as if he had never sinned; an
acquitting him from all charges; and is opposed to condemnation,

Romans 5:18 and so is a security from all such things.
3. That by which God justifies: which is not the obedience of man; nor any
works of righteousness done by him: there are imperfect, and by them no
man can be justified in the sight of God; these would not be a sufficient
security from charges and condemnation; for they themselves are as filthy
rags, and need washing in the blood of Jesus: but it is the obedience and
righteousness of Christ, by which God justifies; which is complete and
perfect; which is answerable to all the demands of law and justice; by
which the law is magnified, and made honorable, and with which God is
well pleased; and this he imputes to his people, without any consideration
of their works; and this secures them from all the charges of law and
justice.
4. This act of justification is universal: it reaches to all things with which
God’s elect may be chargeable; and the righteousness of Christ justifies
from all things, from which there can be no justification by the law of
Moses: being clothed with this change of raiment, all their iniquities are
caused to pass from them; sin is not imputed to them; their iniquities are
forgiven, and their sin is covered; and when it is sought for, it shall not be
found; they will never be charged with it, nor will it ever be brought against
them to condemnation.
Secondly, The death of Christ for them: it is Christ that died. That Christ
died is certain; and that he laid down his life for the sheep, for the elect of
God, is as certain; and it is plain, from the scriptures, that he died for their
sins, to make atonement and reconciliation for them; and this came to pass
through his substitution in their room and stead, by having their sins
imputed to him and though his death was but once, it is of an eternal
efficacy; and so a full security from all condemnation: for,
1. Sin, the cause of condemnation, is removed by it. Sin was the cause of
the condemnation of the angels, and of the old world, and of all mankind in
Adam, This is that for which the saints condemn themselves, and one
another; and for which the world, Satan, and the law condemn: but this is
done away by the death of Christ; he has removed the iniquity of his people
in one day, even as far as the east is from the west; he has put it away by
the sacrifice of himself; he hath abolished it, he has taken away it, damning
power from it; yea, he has finished, and made an utter end of it..12
2. By dying, Christ bore the condemnation due to sin: not only the sentence
of condemnation paged upon him, as he was the surety of his people; but it
was executed on him: and he was not only condemned unanimously by the
Jewish sanhedrim, and then by Pontius Pilate the Roman governor, but he
was condemned by the justice of God: and God condemned sin in his flesh,
finding it upon him, it being imputed to him: for as he was made sin by
imputation that the elect might be made the righteousness of God in him;
so he was made a curse for them, that he might redeem them from the
curse of the law, which he has effectually done; and consequently there can
be no condemnation to them,
3. Through the death of Christ, the law and justice of God are fully
satisfied. The law requires holiness of nature, this it has in the human
nature of Christ, which is without sin; and also perfect obedience, which it
finds in Christ, who always did the things that pleased his Father; and in
case of disobedience, it requires a penalty, and which Christ, as the surety
of his people, has bore by his sufferings and death; and so the whole
righteousness of the law is fulfilled by him for them; which is a full
satisfaction to the justice of God; and therefore there is none that can
condemn them.
4. Hereby the pardon of sin is procured: without shedding of blood there is
no remission; the blood of Christ has been shed for the remission of sins,
and it is obtained by it: God, for Christ’s sake, forgives all trespasses; and
delivers from going down to the pit, having found a sufficient ransom-price
in the blood of his Son: nay, since the blood of Christ has been shed for this
purpose, it is a point of justice and faithfulness with God to forgive sin, and
cleanse from all unrighteousness; and sin being pardoned, there can be no
condemnation for it.
5. The complete justification of God’s people, is brought about by the
death of Christ: justification is sometimes ascribed to the obedience of
Christ;
by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous,

Romans 5:19,
and sometimes to the blood of Christ, being now justified by his blood,
verse 9. And both are concerned in justification: the one is what is
commonly called his active obedience; the other his passive obedience; and
both together, with the holiness of his nature; are imputed for justification:.13
his righteousness intitles to life; and his blood, his sufferings, and death,
secure from wrath to come; and; therefore, it may well be said, with a view
to Christ’s dying for his people, who is he that condemneth?
Thirdly, The resurrection of Christ from the dead, is another part of the
security of God’s elect, from all charges and condemnation, yea, rather
that is risen again. That Christ is risen, the angels asserted; the apostles
were witnesses of it; and so was the holy Ghost, being plentifully poured
forth on the disciples as an evidence of that, and of his ascension to heaven.
This is a fundamental article, which he that heartily and experimentally
knows the power of, shall be saved,

Romans 10:9 and shall never enter
into condemnation. For,
1. Christ rose as a conqueror over all his, and his people’s enemies: by
rising he abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light; and
shewed that he had took away the sting of death, which is sin; and had
destroyed him that has the power of death, which is the devil; and had
overcome the world, and now has in his hands the keys of hell and death;
and therefore who shall condemn those for whom he died, and rose again?
2. He rose again as a surety, having satisfied justice: he engaged as a surety
for his people from all eternity; God in strict justice, and according to his
righteous law, dealt with him as such; he awoke the sword of justice
against him; satisfaction was demanded of him, and it was given; and both
law and justice being satisfied, Christ was set free: an angel is sent to roll
away the stone from the sepulcher; he is discharged by a divine order; it
was not possible he should be held by the cords of death, both because of
the dignity of his person, and the performance of his suretiship
engagements; and therefore being risen and discharged, as the surety of his
people, law and justice, cannot condemn them, nor can any other.
3. He rose again as a common head and representative, and for the
justification of God’s elect: he stood charged with all their sins; these being
laid upon him by his Father, with his own consent, he was condemned, for
them; and suffered death on account of them; and when he rose, he was
justified in the Spirit; and acquitted from them all; and his people were all
justified in him as their public head. Just as they were crucified with him,
and buried with him; so they rose with him, and were justified together
with him; he.14
was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our
justification,

Romans 4:25.
4. A rather is put upon Christ’s resurrection from the dead, as though it
was a greater security from condemnation than his death; and so indeed in
some sense it is: Christ’s death expiated sin, finished transgression, and
made an end of it; but his resurrection has brought in the everlasting
righteousness for his people: his dying shewed that he was arrested and
condemned; and that the sentence of condemnation was executed on him;
but his resurrection, that he is discharged, and they in him: notwithstanding
Christ’s death, had he not rose again, they would have been in their sins;
under the power and guilt of them, and so liable to condemnation,

1
Corinthians 15:17. But Christ being risen, re-appears without sin, even sin
imputed; and so they are freed from sin, and from condemnation by it in
him.
Fourthly, The session of Christ at the right hand of God, adds to the
security of the saints from charges and condemnation, who is even at the
right hand God.
1. This includes his ascension into heaven, and his entrance there, both
which serve to strengthen this point: when he ascended on high, he led
captivity captive, or he triumphed over those who had led his people
captive, sin, Satan, the law, and every enemy of theirs; and therefore, since
these are led captive, who shall condemn, them? yea, he received gifts for
men, even for the rebellious also; so that though they have been rebellious,
they are graciously regarded, and shall not be condemned. When he
entered into heaven, he entered as their forerunner, in their name, to take
possession of it, and prepare it for them, and has promised to come again
and take them to himself, that they may enjoy it; wherefore, it is not
possible that they should be condemned with the world.
2. Christ being at the right hand of God shews, that he has done his work
he came about; that he has made atonement for sin, and obtained eternal
redemption; and that he has done this to satisfaction; and therefore is
highly exalted by, and at the right hand of, God, where he has all power in
heaven and in earth; where he is above all; angels, principalities, and
powers, being subject to him; and where he must sit until all enemies are
put under his feet; it therefore cannot be in the power of any to condemn
those for whom he died: to which may be added, that these are not only.15
raised together with him, but they are made to sit together in heavenly
places in him; and must be secure from condemnation,

Ephesians 2:6.
Fifthly, and lastly, The intercession of Christ for those whom the Father
has chosen, and he has died for, is another branch of their security from
charges and condemnation: if he rebukes those that bring charges against
them, as he does, who dare bring them? and if he is an advocate with the
Father for them, as he is, who can condemn them? this part of Christ’s
work which he performs in heaven, as a priest upon his throne, is done, not
by making vocal prayer, as in the days of his flesh, which does not seem
necessary; nor by supplicating God, as an angry judge, which is not
consistent with his state of exaltation, nor with his having made peace, by
the blood of his cross; nor by litigating, or controverting a point, in the
court of heaven, though he is a counsellor, and an advocate: but by the
appearance of his person, for his people; by the presentation of his blood,
righteousness, and sacrifice for them, which speak for peace, pardon, and
atonement; by offering up the prayers and praises of them unto God; by
declaring it as his will, that such and such blessings be bestowed upon
them; and by applying the benefits of his death unto them; and which
abundantly secure them from condemnation. For,
1. It should be considered who he is that intercedes, and what an interest
he has in him with whom he intercedes: he is the Son of God who makes
intercession, who can engage his heart to approach unto him; and who
from the relation he stands in to God, must have an interest in him, and so
have the persons for whom he intercedes; for he is his God, and their God,
his Father, and their Father; wherefore, his intercession cannot fail: and,
whereas the consideration of Christ, the great high priest, that is passed
unto the heavens, being the Son of God, is an argument to hold fast a
profession of faith, and to come with boldness to the throne of grace,

Hebrews 4:14, 16. So it may be improved by faith, as a very strong one
against all charges and condemnation taking place on those for whom
Christ intercedes.
2. The intercession of Christ is constant; it always continues: though he
was dead, he is alive, and lives for evermore; and he lives not for himself
only but for others; he ever lives to make intercession: and because he is
constantly employed in this work, therefore, as fast as charges are brought
against his people, he removes them; by pleading for them, and shewing the
falsehood or injustice of such charges; or the reason why, though true, they.16
are not to be received; and on any attempt to condemn them, he shews
reason why there is, and should be, no condemnation to them.
3. His intercession is always prevalent: he, who is the redeemer of his
people, is strong; the Lord of Hosts is his name; and he pleads their cause,
and thoroughly pleads it; and always carries his point; for his pleas are
founded upon his propitiatory sacrifice, which is of a sweet-smelling savor
to God, and gives a full satisfaction to his justice; to that it has nothing to
object to those on whole account it was offered up, and the virtue of it is
pleaded. Christ was ever heard, when here on earth, and so he is now in
heaven: whatever he asks for he has; yea, whatever is asked for in his
name, is given.
4. The application of salvation is owing to the intercession of Christ,
though the impetration of it is by his death; and the apostle argues from the
evidence of the one to the certainty of the other;
for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the
death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by
his life,

Romans 5:10
that is, by his interceding life: yea, the proof of Christ being able to save, is
taken from his perpetual 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,

Hebrews 7:25.
The influence therefore which the intercession of Christ must have on the
security of the saints from condemnation, is very evident.
Thus have I endeavored to improve this passage of scripture upon the
mournful occasion of the death of Mrs ANN BRINE, late member of the
church of Christ in this place, (near Cripplegate) and late wife of the pastor
of it; at whose request I have preached from it to you; it having been of
singular use to the deceased.
It may now be expected I should say something concerning her, which will
be chiefly about the gracious experience the was favored with. She was a
daughter of Mr JOHN MOOR of Northampton; an eminent preacher of the
gospel, a minister of the Baptist denomination, of considerable abilities and
learning, whom I had the honor to have a personal knowledge of, and.17
acquaintance with. But though she had a religious education, her
conversion, her knowledge of Christ, and experimental acquaintance with
divine things, were not owing to that, but to the efficacy of divine grace: by
several papers of her own writing, put into my hands, it appears, how she
came by the knowledge of salvation by Christ, and the great doctrines of
the gospel; which were the support of her soul, and the foundation of her
joy. These express the sight and sense she had of sin; her abhorrence and
detestation of it; the view she had of the loveliness of Christ; of the
necessity and suitableness of salvation by him; and how she was enabled to
cast her soul on him; and truer in him for eternal life and happiness: but,
among the rest, I find one paper, written little more than a year ago, when
she took a review of her experience; led thereunto upon a supposition, that
there were yet some very great troubles to come upon the churches and
servants of Christ, she once thought had been over; which put her upon
considering, how it would fare with her in such a time of trial; and what
evidence she had of her being a child of God: for which purpose she
observed how it had been with her of late; what was her present frame of
mind and thoughts of things, and how it had been with her heretofore, and
whether her former experience was from nature, or from the Spirit of God.
As to the first of these, how it had been of late, and how it was with her
then, her words are these: „I have often thought my spots are not the spots
of God’s children; I find so much sin bubbling up in my heart; so many sins
of omission and commission, daily and hourly; I can say, that in me, that is
in my flesh, dwells no good thing; and such an evil heart of unbelief,
departing from the living God. Sure it is not with the saints as with me! at
the same time I have some secret hope, which I would not part with for all
the world: at some times I have earnest desires after a full conformity to
Christ, and thirstings after him. O! that I could love him more: O! that I
could serve him better: O! that! I found more love in me to his ways, his
ordinances, and his people: but, O! wretched creature that I am; who shall
deliver me from this body of sin? At some times I think I can say with the
apostle, thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, who hath given me the
victory. Those three scriptures have of late, upon various occasions, been
sweet under a sense of sin.
If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,

Matthew 8:2,
To whom shall I go, but unto thee?
Thou hast the words of eternal life,

John 6:68..18
The name of the Lord is a strong tower, whither the righteous run,
and are safe,

Proverbs 18:10.
Though I am a vile, sinful, polluted creature, and, as I think, the most vile
of all thy creatures; yet, (or such, for the very chief of sinners, thou didst
suffer and die, and who knows but for me? I know this, that if thou wilt,
thou canst make even me clean; and though I am thus sinful, to whom can I
go, but to that God against whom I have sinned? there is no help any
where else; no other name given, whereby any can be saved, but the name
Christ Jesus.” She next proceeds to inquire, how it had been with her
formerly, when God first begun to work upon her soul, and she set out in
the way of religion; concerning which, she thus expresses herself: „Have I
not experienced some things which natural men are strangers to? O! sure I
hope I have: upon a recollection of several parts of my former experience, I
was warmed, and assured myself this question; Did this or that flow from
nature? No; nature is averse to it. Did education produce it? No; for if that
could have had such an effect, it might as well have produced it sooner, for
it was not any particular care of my parents, at the time of my awakenings,
that was a means thereof; for some time before their care had been abated
to what was usual; and my heart more averse to God and good than ever.
Did sabbaths seem before this time delightful? and was I before convicted,
instructed, edified, or comforted, by the word preached? No; I too well
remember the quite contrary of this; even when sabbaths were burdensome
instead of delightful; when, if I was obliged to be present, I strove to keep
from giving any attention to what was delivered. Had I love for the people
of God? No; I had an aversion to many of them; nor did I love any for the
sake of their being saints. Had I a sight and sense of sin; of its evil nature?
No; I thought myself as good as others that talk more: I did not know that
I was poor, and wretched, and blind, and naked then: Did I taste a
sweetness in the scriptures? No; I thought them to be only the inventions
of some men, done with a design to keep others in awe. Did I ever see the
absolute need of a Savior before? No; I thought my own works were to
save me, and reasoned thus sometimes: I have not been guilty of murder,
stealing, etc. and so am in as fair a way for a better world, if any such there
be, as others.”
Having put there questions, and resolved them in the above manner, she
rightly draws the following conclusion. „Then sure what I have met with
and experienced, must be from the Spirit of God; as conviction of sin, of its
heinous, and aggravated nature; of original, as well as actual transgression;.19
the curse demerited by it; the sense of my own inability to perform the
thing that is good; the discovery of my need of a Savior; my seeing Christ
to be a fair, suitable, all-sufficient, and able Savior; my approving of him,
and application to him for my Savior; my pressing desires towards him, as
my alone and complete Savior; my admiration of the love of Father, Son
and Spirit, manifested in the great concern of man’s salvation; my
discovering the harmony. and agreement; the sublimity and sweetness of
the holy scriptures; and the effects that many sweet and precious promises
set home to my soul have had on me; my hungering and thirsting after
Christ, his grace, and manifestation of his love and pardoning mercy; my
abhorring myself for all that I have done; especially for those sins which I
thought were committed against light and love; my love to young converts;
my longing for the return of sabbaths, the comfort I have received under
the preaching of the gospel, etc, These were things I was once an utter
stranger to, and do believe the carnal mind is enmity against. Why then it
must be from above; and if so, then he that hath begun the good work, will
carry it on to the day of Christ. If the Lord had a mind to have destroyed
me, he sure would not have shewn me such things as these; and if I am the
Lord’s, then that promise stands firm, with the righteous it shall go well,

Isaiah 3:10 and what if troubles should arise? what if I should suffer, or
even fall in the common calamity? if the Lord is pleased to support under,
and give suffering grace, suffering faith, and suffering patience, with
suffering trials,
I can do all things, or can bear
All sufferings, if my Lord be there;
Sweet pleasure mingles with the pains,
Whilst his left hand my head sustains.
„I leave myself, my all, in his hands, and desire cheerfully to submit to his
will in all things; and not be anxious about this, or the other trying
dispensation of providence; knowing that he can make hard things easy,
and crooked things straight; hoping that these things he will do for me, and
not forsake me.” This was the comfortable result of her thoughts,
occasioned by a melancholy scene of troubles she had in view: but, she is
got safe to her father’s house, and is secure from them. How soon they may
come to pass, namely, the „giving the outward court to the Gentiles, to be
trodden under foot; the slaying of the witnesses; the leaving their dead
bodies unburied for three days and a half, or three years and a half; and
their enemies rejoicing over them;” things she was meditating upon, God.20
only knows: may we be prepared for them, supported under them, and
carried through them should they be in our day, which is very probable.
She was a person attended with frequent disorders of body, and which
often came upon her on Lord’s days; whereby she was prevented waiting
upon the Lord in his word and ordinances, which were delightful to her;
and in which she received much spiritual advantage: this gave her a great
concern of mind; and she would sometimes say, „she chose, if it was, the
will of the Lord, that she might have two days affliction, instead of one, on
other days, could she be free on the Lord’s day, that she might have the
opportunity of hearing the word which was so useful to her.”
Her last illness was very short, and it was not expected it would have
issued in death. Under it she was very comfortable, resigned to the will of
God, and trusting in Christ, and so died in the Lord: wherefore, you, my
Brother, and the rest of the surviving relations, have no reason to mourn as
those without hope, since them that sleep in Jesus, God will bring with
him, and her among the rest, when you will meet, and never part more, and
be for ever with the Lord.
Let what has been the subject of discourse on this sorrowful occasion, be
regarded by each of us; which may serve as a direction to us, where to go
for relief under all charges brought against us, either by ourselves or
others; and under a sense of deserved condemnation, and especially when
harrassed with the accusations of Satan, and the condemnation of our own
hearts: let us apply to Christ; let us take the shield of faith, that shield
which faith lays hold on, and uses to good purposes when it wields it
aright; namely, the blood, righteousness and sacrifice of Christ; his
resurrection, session at God’s right hand, and intercession: let us hold up,
and hold forth these things, as a full answer to every charge, and as a
sufficient reason, why no condemnation can come to us.
This may lead us on to observe, how much we are beholden to Christ; and
of what use he is to us, as dying, rising again, ascending on high, sitting at
the right hand of God, and there interceding for us: how valuable he is, and
how precious he should be to us; and, particularly, what a regard we
should have for his righteousness, which of itself clears from all charges,
and secures from condemnation; and, therefore, it should be our chief
desire, and real concern to be found in him, not having on our own
righteousness, but his. It becomes us, and is best for us, to look to him at
all times; to place our confidence in him, and fetch all our comfort from.21
him; for if there be any consolation, it is in him; and seeing we receive so
much benefit by him, we are under obligation to glorify him, with our
bodies and spirits, which are his.

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