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loathfome and abominable in the fight of $ER M. God, I shall have my spots so washed away 1. that he shall see no fin in me; and that there shall not be the least appearance of guilt left, any more than if I had never finned : So that I shall appear amiable and lovely in his eyes, with no less than the sweetness of a Cherub and glory of an Angel. In short, if by this mystical washing of his blood, our whole finful nature shall be transformed into the likeness of himself; this I say is a reasonable ground of hope : For this is an expectation of love and acceptance, not because we are polluted and defiled, but because we are innocent and truly amiable. And this is what we hope from thy blood, O blessed Jesu, O! let us not be disappointed of our hope.
Now by what wondrous incomprehensible efficacy this work is performed God only knows, such knowledge is too wonderful and excellent for us, we cannot attain unto it; therefore we adore the mystery, and admire the wisdom and goodness and power of God in it. And 'tis this which makes it a sure foundation for our hope, because we are not able to form any notion of the true manner of it. Alas! could our limited understanding reach it, it could have no such effect, no, 'tis a work of no less than almighty unlimited power, 'tis the Lord's doing, and’tis marvellous in our eyes.
The fad degeneracy of our nature, and indeed our present wretched condition of infir
Ser M. mity, would incline one to think it impoffible
I, for this effect to be wrought in us ; but with m God all things are poffible; and our trust is in
the unsearchable riches of Christ; and therefore . we believe, Lord help our unbelief. .
Let therefore the Socinians take notice that whilst they know not where to fix, herein is our glory and our rejoycing; that by the blocd of Christ we are not only freed from pu- nishment, but from sin. And this is the true · quiet of a man's mind, and the tranquillity of his soul ; to be freed from all sense of guilt. This is truly the peace of God, and the only thing that can preserve a considering mind from deep despair, and keep it above all despondency. 'Tis this alone can raise our hopes to a firm expectation of all the glorious promises of God."
So that every truly sincere and humble person who groans under a feeling sense of his former guilt may say with comfort, Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul, and why art thou fo disquieted within me For though my sins be as scarlet, yet thou shalt purge me with bylop, and I hall be clean, thou malt wash me and I shall be whiter than snow ; and in thy own good time, shalt present me spotless before the presence of thy glory."
How shall we express this our glorying in the cross of Christ, and in him crucified ? And how shall we describe that peace of God within us, that is the result of a fixed dependance upon this hope ? Alas ! 'tis not to be
expreft, 'tis conceived only in the minds of S E R M. sincere Christians who are in an habitual state I. of penitence and devotion. The sudden rap-m tures of beginners in religion, and violent excursions of a warm imagination, are but like flashes in the lower region of the air ; this is a beam of glory from the father of light. This full assurance of being washed from all our guilt in the blood of the lamb is a thought that overcomes the mind, and leaves us in filent wonder. We know not what to say of it now; for in truth our time of rejoycing is to come. 'Tis sweet and sordial to the soul that possesses it ; let them enjoy it for the present, and it will one day break out like the morning sun from a cloud, and display it self in rays of unconceiveable brightness; and then shall be put into our mouths that new song in the Revelations, Worthy is the lamb that was sain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and Prength, and honour, and glory, and blessing : For thou bast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred,' and tongue, and people, and nation. . And therefore unto him that hatb thus loved us, and washed us from our fins in his own blood ; to bim be glory, and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
SERMON II. That the Blood of Christ cleanses us
from Sin. PART II.
HEBR. ix. 14.
through the eternal Spirit offered himself with
SERM. TN a former discourse on these words, after
be I had shewn how the Apostle in them had m compared the blood of the legal facrifices
with that of Christ in several instances; and how the purging in the text was to be literally understood of washing and sprinkling; before I spoke more particularly of the virtue of the blood of Christ in respect of men, I obferved to you these two things.
1. That it was an opinion universally prevailing among all nations that washing of the body was necessary in order to take away the guilt of fin.
2. That the whole cuftom of washing with Serm. water and sprinkling with blood referred to II. the washing away of sin by the blood of Chrift, · Then I laid before you the opinion of the Socinians in this point, together with the ground of their error ; from whence it appeared that the true question in dispute between them and us on this head of the present controversy, was not, whether the blood of Christ literally and properly washes away the guilt of sin but whether the holy scriptures do not represent the manner of our consciences being freed from guilt by the blood of Christ under such emblems as express a real effect in nature ? And whether by that analogy is not signified a real proper supernatural efficacy?
Thus we divide the two parts of the question, which having been treated of jointly hath necessarily caused confusion.
Now as to the first part of the question, whether the holy scriptures do not represent the manner of our consciences being freed from guilt by the blood of Christ under such emblems as express a real effect in nature ? This I believe no one can deny, for washing and purging and cleansing, &c. are real effects in nature, and these are the things by which this great mystery is revealed to us, which is in itself unconceivable in this our present condition of infirmity,
. . As