The apostle's Divine policy, to beget a due regard to his Divine doctrine of eternal life.-The apostle's explication of this expression, viz., The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.-The apostle's exhortation to separation from sin, as a good effect of a good cause, viz., Forgiveness-The apostle's addition, to prevent misunderstanding, viz., We have an advocate with the Father . . . . 154

This brings to the text, in which are two great truths contained: I. A supposition, viz., That men in Christ may sin. II. An expression, by way of consolation, in case of sin, viz., We have an Advocate with the Father . . . . 155

Two things for inquiry in these truths: First. An inquiry into what our apostle means by sin; in which is considered, A difference in the person and in the sin. And, Second, An inquiry into what it is for Christ to be an Advocate, viz., To plead for another in a court of judicature . . . .155

Seven things supposed in the office of an advocate: 1. That God, as judge, is on the throne of judgment. 2. That saints are concerned at that bar. 3. That Christians have an accuser. 4. That sinning saints dare not appear at this bar to plead their own cause. 5. That Christians are apt to forget their Advocate, and remember their Judge. 6. To remember our Advocate is the way to support faith and hope.-7. That if our advocate plead our cause (though that be never so black) he is able to bring us off . . . . 155-157

The apostle's triumph in Christ on this account.-An exhortation to the difficult task of believing.-Christ's advocateship declares us to be sorry creatures . . . . 157



First, By touching on the nature of this office . . . . 158

Second, By treating of the order or place of this office . . . . 158

Third, The occasion of this office, viz., some great sin.-Christ, as Advocate, pleads a bad cause.-A good cause will plead for itself.-A bad man may have a good cause, and a good man may have a bad cause.-Christ, the righteous, pleading a bad cause, is a mystery.-The best saints are most sensible of their sins.-A pestilent passage of a preacher . . . . 159,160


First, How he manages his office of Advocate with the Father.-1. ALONE, not by any proxy or deputy.-2. Christ pleads at God's bar; the cause cannot be removed into another court.-If removed from heaven, we have no advocate on earth.-3. In pleading, Christ observes these rules: (1.) He granteth what is charged on us.-(2.) He pleads his own goodness for us.-He payeth all our debts down.-All mouths stopped, who would not have the sinner delivered.-(3.) Christ requires a verdict in order to our deliverance.-The sinner is delivered, God contented, Satan confounded, and Christ applauded . . 160-162

Second, How Christ manages his office of an Advocate against the adversary by argument.-1. He pleads the pleasure of his Father in his merits.-Satan rebuked for finding fault therewith.-2. He pleads God's interest in his people.-Haman's mishap in being engaged against the king's queen.-N. B. It seems a weak plea, because of man's unworthiness; but it is a strong plea, because of God's worthiness.-The elect are bound to God by a sevenfold cord.-The weight of the plea weighed . . . .162-164

Third, Christ pleads his own interest in them.-A parallel between cattle in a pound and Christ's own sheep.-Six weighty reasons in this plea.-1. They are Christ's own.-2. They cost him dear.-3. He hath made them near to himself.-(a.) They are his spouse, his love, his dove; they are members of his body.-(b.) A man cannot spare a hand, a foot, a finger.-Nor can Christ spare any member.-4. Christ pleads his right in heaven to give it to whom he will.-Christ will; Satan will not; Christ's will stands.-5. Christ pleads Satan's enmity against the godly.-Satan is the cause of the crimes he accuses us of.-A simile of a weak-witted child.-6. Christ can plead those sins of saints for them for which Satan would have them damned.-Eight considerations to clear that.-Seven more considerations to the same end.-Men care most for children that are infirm.-A father offended hath been appeased by a brother turning advocate . . . . 164-169


First, This office of advocate differs from that of a priest.-1. They differ in name.-2. They differ in nature.-3. They differ as to their extent.-4. They differ as to the persons with whom they have to do.-5. They differ as to the matter about which they are employed.-6. Christ, as Priest, precedes; Christ, as Advocate, succeeds . . . . 169

Second, How far this office of an advocate is extended; in five particulars . . . 169

Third, Who have Christ for their Advocate.-1. In general, all adopted children.-Object. The text saith, "If any man sin."-Answ. "Any man," is not any of the world; but any of the children of God.-A difference in children; some bigger than some.-Christ an Advocate for strong men.-2. In particular, to show if Christ be our Advocate-(1.) If one have entertained Christ to plead a cause.-Quest. How shall I know that?-Answ. By being sensible of an action commenced against thee in the high court of justice.-(2.) If one have revealed a cause to Christ.-An example of one revealing his cause to Christ, in a closet.-In order to this, one must know Christ, (a.) To be a friend.-(b.) To be faithful.-(3.) If one have committed a cause to Christ.-In order to this, one must be convinced, (a.) Of Christ's ability to defend him.-(b.) Of Christ's courage to plead a cause.-(c.) Of Christ's will for this work.-(d.) Of Christ's tenderness in case of his client's dullness.-(e.) Of Christ's unweariedness-(4.) If one wait till things come to a legal issue.-Quest. What is it thus to wait?-Answ . (a.) To be of good courage; look for deliverance.-(b.) To keep his way in waiting.-(c.) To observe his directions.-(d.) To hearken to further directions which may come from the advocate.-(e.) To come to no ill conclusion in waiting, viz., that the cause is lost; because one hears not from court.-(f.) To wait waking, not sleeping.-Ordinances and ministers compared to a post house and carriers of letters.-The client's comfortable conclusion about his advocate and cause.-But yet doubting and desponding.-The author's reply to, and compliance with, the client's conclusion; and his counsel in the case . . . . 169-176


First Privilege.-The Advocate pleads a price paid.-Of a rich brother and his poor brethren.-Of the ill-conditioned man, their enemy.-Further cleared by three considerations . . . .176

Second Privilege.-The client's Advocate pleads for himself also; both concerned in one bottom.-1. He pleads the price of his own blood.-2. He pleads it for his own.-A simile of a lame horse.-Of men going to law for a thing of little worth.-Object. I am but one.-Answ. Christ cannot lose one . . . .177

Third Privilege.-The plea of Satan is groundless.-Satan must be cast over the bar.-A simile of a widow owing a sum of money.-Of an old law nulled [1] by a new law.-Satan pleads by the old law; Christ by the new . . . . 177, 178

Fourth Privilege.-Is consequential; the client's accuser must needs be overthrown.-The client's solemn appeal to the Almighty.-In case the accused have no advocate, Satan prevails . . . . 179

Fifth Privilege.-The Advocate hath pity for his client, and indignation against the accuser.-Men choose an advocate who hath a quarrel against their adversary . . . . 179

Sixth Privilege.-The judge counts the accuser his enemy.-To procure the judge's son to plead, is desirable . . . .179, 180

Seventh Privilege.-The client's Advocate hath good courage; he will set his face like a flint.-He pleads before the God, and all the host, of heaven.-He is the old friend of publicans and sinners.-He pleads a cause bad enough to make angels blush.-Love will do, and bear, and suffer much . . . . 180

Eighth Privilege.-The Advocate is always ready in court.-He appears NOW in the presence of God . . . . 180, 181

Ninth Privilege.-The Advocate will not be blinded with bribes . . . . 181

Tenth Privilege.-The Advocate is judge in the client's cause.-Joseph's exaltation was Israel's advantage.-God's care of his people's welfare . . . .182

Eleventh Privilege.-The Advocate hath all that is requisite for an advocate to have . .182


First.-To vindicate the justice of God against the cavils of the devil.-Satan charges God with unjust words and actions.-God is pleased with his design to save sinners . . . . 183

Second.-There is law to be objected against us.-Christ appeals to the law itself.-Christ is not ashamed to own the way of salvation . . . . 183, 184

Third.-Many things give our accuser advantage.-1. Many things relating to the promises.-2. Many things relating to our lives.-3. The threats annexed to the gospel. . . 184, 185

Fourth.-To plead about our afflictions for sins.-A simile of a man indicted at the assizes, and his malicious adversary.-An allusion to Abishai and Shimei, who cursed David . . . . 186

Fifth.-To plead the efficacy of our old titles to our inheritance, if questionable because of new sins-Saints do not sell their inheritance by sin . . . . 186, 187

Sixth.-Our evidences are oft out of our hand, and we recover them by our Advocate 188


First Object.-What need all these offices or nice distinctions.-Answ. The wisdom of God is not to be charged with folly.-God's people are baffled with the devil for want of a distinct knowledge of Christ in all his offices . . . . 188, 189

Second Object.-My cause being bad, Christ will desert me.-Answ. Sin is deadly destruction to faith.-A five-fold order observed in the exercise of faith . . . 189, 190

Third Object.-But who shall pay the Advocate his fee?-Answ. There is law, and lawyers too, without money.-Christ pleads for the poor.-David's strange gift to God . . 190

Fourth Object.-If Christ be my Advocate once, he will always be troubled with me.-Answ. He is an Advocate to the utmost . . . . 191


Use First.-To consider the dignity God hath put upon Christ, by offices, places of trust, and titles of honour, in general . . . . 191, 192

Use Second.-To consider this office of an Advocate in particular; by which consideration these advantages come:-1. To see one is not forsaken for sin.-2. To take courage to contend with the devil.-3. It affords relief for discouraged faith.-4. It helps to put off the visor Satan puts on Christ.-A simile of a visor on the face of a father.-Study this peculiar treasure of an advocate.-(1.) With reference to its peculiarity.-(2.) Study the nature of this office.-(3.) Study its efficacy and prevalency.-(4.) Study Christ's faithfulness in his office.-(5.) Study the need of a share therein . . . . 192-194

Use Third.-To wonder at Christ's condescension , in being an Advocate for the base and unworthy.-Christ acts in open court, 1. With a holy and just God.-2. Before all the heavenly host.-3. The client is unconcerned for whom the Advocate is engaged.-4. The majesty of the man that is an Advocate . . . . 194-196

Use Fourth.-Improve this doctrine to strengthen grace. 1.To strengthen faith.-2. To encourage to prayer.-3. To keep humble.-4. To encourage to perseverance.-Object. I cannot pray; my mouth is stopped.-Answ. Satan cannot silence Christ.-5. Improve this doctrine, to drive difficulties down . . . . 196, 197

Use Fifth.-If Christ pleads for us before God, we should plead for him before men.-Nine considerations to that end.-The last reserve for a dead lift . . . .198

Use Sixth.-To be wary of sin against God.-Christianity teaches ingenuity [2]. Christ is our Advocate, on free cost.-A comely conclusion of a brute.-Three considerations added . . . . 198, 199

Use Seventh.-The strong are to tell the weak of an Advocate to plead their cause.-A word in season is good . . . . 199, 200

Use Eighth.-All is nothing to them that have none to plead their cause.-An instance of God's terrible judgment.-Object. There is grace, the promise, the blood of Christ; cannot these save, except Christ be Advocate?-Answ. These, and Advocate, and all, little enough.-Christ no Advocate for such as have no sense of, and shame for sin.-Object. Is not Christ an Advocate for his elect uncalled?-Answ. He died, and prayeth, for all his elect, as Priest; as Advocate, pleads for the called only . . . . 200, 201

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1 "Nulled"; repealed or annulled.-ED. [return]
2 "Ingenuity"; ingenuousness, frankness, sincerity.-ED. [return]

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