J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 4.)
Note the expression "Throne of Grace," Hebrews 4:16. "Throne" is connected with government, and the principles and character of Him who governs. God deals in grace, and governs in grace, but He does so according to His own nature and character - He governs. Israel, on Moses' intercession, was dealt with in grace, but that was not exactly a throne, and Israel was replaced under law. Here God governs a people who walk in this world, but, on the principles of grace, we come boldly to a throne of grace, to obtain mercy and seek grace to help in time of need. The Father takes a positive interest, as from his own heart, in the children, but an "Advocate with the Father" (1 John 2) is not simply "their Father" - that would not do - it is "the Father" "of whom ye say he is your God." The Son has revealed God, necessarily thus as Son. He Himself loves us because we have loved Christ, but it is a revelation of God the Father by the Son - not in the way of a relationship with us, though that be true. But it is a much fuller revelation of God, and in a new way. A child has not an advocate exactly with his father, but "if any one sin, we have an advocate with the Father." We have communion with the Father and with the Son, but it is with God who is Light. On sinning and getting out of communion, the nature of the revelation is not changed to put me under Law and Jehovah, but restoration is needed according to its nature.
Remark, here, that in John, however high the privilege spoken of, the saint is always looked at as in this world.
Note, further, that in Hebrews 4, we have, at the end, three great and important principles for going through the wilderness - the Word, the Priesthood, and the Throne. This is very instructive. The Word searches the thoughts and intents of the heart - all that is working in the mind (desire) and will - as the eye of God. The Priesthood sustains, in grace, in every infirmity and in difficulty and trial. The Throne is perfect grace, but it is a Throne - absolute sovereign power, positive government though in grace, and according to the character and majesty of Him who sits there. We go there "boldly," for all is grace, and the great High Priest is for us with God. Still the Throne rules according to its own principles, though I am sure to find mercy and help there, for He who sits there is sovereign goodness, and can bless righteously and graciously because of the Priest. Our privilege is to go there, but it acts as a throne when we do not, still in connection with the Priest.