joath yourself and your sin, as much as ever you loved


5. See what need we have to stand at a distance from fin. Sin has brought the greatest desolation upon nations and kingdoms; ruined the most famous and flourish: ing churches; brought destruction upon the greatest and inoit opulent cities ; vanquillied and overcome the greatest men; and turned the nost fertile land into barrenness. Therefore, we have much need to stand at a distance from it, seeing it has brought such devaitation on the earth.

6. Hence see the righteousness of God in punishing sin. How juft and righteous is he in punishing it, whether here or through eternity? Damnation it!elf is a moft holy, pure, and righteous action. The punishment is not above the fault. Thou that by fin dost trample upon God, how just is it that he should trample upon thee? Sin is an infinite evil, objectively considered; and therefore an infinite evil must follow. How unreasonable then are mens complaints of the punishment of their fins in time? Complain not against the Lord, for any thing that can come upon you i it is the punishment of your fin; accept of it: “Why should a living man complain?” So long as it is below damnation, it is far below your de: sert:"He hatlı punislied us less than our iniquities deserve.'

7. Hence lee the excellency of holiness: If fin be molt vile, holiness is most lovelyó Sin is our deforinity, ho. liness is our beauty: fin is a fliame, boliness is a glory.

8. See the impoflibility of satisfying God by ourselves; and the neceflity of flying to the blood of Christ. How impossible is it for you to satisfy God by your own du. ties, reformation, and righteousness? Can this repair the wrongs done to God, while we have cast the dung of fin upon all the perfections of God? We have, as it were, trampled God under our feet, and trodden un. der foot the Son of God, Heb. x. 29. This is worse than that all the world should burn in hell. Can we then make reparation or satisfaction by our duties? or be justified by our works, while our works themselves are full of fin, and so full of pollution ? No, no. See then the absolute neceility of Aying to the blood of Christ :

This is the only fanctuary and city of refuge for guilty finners; the only purgatory and laver for filthy sinners to be cleansed in : " The blood of Christ (and that only] cleanseth from all fin.”

The next Use that we make of the doctrine, is of Examination. From this we may try, if ever we got a right fight, a saving sight of sin, so as to see it in its polluting and defiling nature. There is a law-fight of sin that ushers in a gospel saving fight. Law-work is necessary; I do not speak of the degrees: but the bank. rupt will. not run to the furety, till he see himself a dyvour, quite insolvent. The polluted foul will not fly to the fountain till he fee himself polluted and defiled. • But possibly. it may be asked, How shall a person know, if, after some law-work of this fort, he hath got a gospel saving fight of the pollution of fin ? • We shall answer to this only in these two particulars following. · 1. If so, then you have seen it in the gospel-glass, and that is a crucified Christ: “ They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn:" that is, on a crucified Christ. Christ on the cross, is a glass wherein we see the sinfulness of sin more than any-where else. Here God's hatred against fin appears most clearly; and at the same time his love to the finner, in giving his Son to the death for his fin: and this love melts the heart, and breaks and diffolves it more than all the terrors of the law or flames of hell could do. 1. 2. If so, then the fight hath wrought a gospel-effect, such as that upon Job, chap. xlii. 5, 6. “ Now mine eye feeth thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in duft and ashes.” This fight hath made you look upon yourself with abhorrence; and made you displeased with yourfelf, and even to loath yourself before God; and loath your sin, and see yourself more filthy than the most loathsome creature on earth; yea, than the blackest de. vil in hell: And you will also find some disposition, under a sense of daily defilement, to make a daily improve. ment of the fountain of the blood of Christ, for cleans. ing. When any pollution is contracted, you will anew

find yourself uneasy, till you get a new dip in the fourtain. If it be thus with you; I think the Lord hath begun to cleanse you from your pollution. But, alas! the most part who hear me, ly stink ng in the filthy mire of the pollution of sin.

Therefore, in the next place, permit me to apply the doctrine in an use of Exhortation. Let me exhort you,

1. To see and be convinced of your fad, finful, and polluted state and condition. Alas! what is your natural state, man, woman ? You that are unregenerate, you are lying in the mire, and loving to wallow like swine in it. A sheep may run into the mire, but cannot rest there till it get out: but the swine love to ly in it; to wallow in it, and seek no better place to stay in.." The whole world lieth in wickedness,” i John v. 19. They ly in it like a vessel in the dub, that must needs be full. They are full of fin; never emptying, but always filling: yea, when the man thinketh he is emptying of fin, when he thinketh he is repenting and reforming, then he is fille ing with it, and carrying a fulness of it. about with him; in so much that he is dropping off that fulness of fin wherever he goes. You will say; that beggar is so full of vermin, that he is dropping his vernin wherever he goes : So, many people discover their fulness of finful pollutions, by dropping this vermin wherever they go. If they come into good company, they arë dropping their vermin there : if they come into bad company, they are diffusing their pernicious pollutions there. Why, they are so full of pollution, so full of sin, that sometimes it drops out of their eyes in proud looks, or wanton glances; sometimes it drops out of their lips, in vain discourse, or profane language, such as, swearing, lying, flandering and idle words; and drops out of their whole behaviour and deportment. Alas! what a miserable cafe and condition are they in? Their heart is the source of all corruption; a nest of vermin that was never herried, a fty that was never cleansed; and out of that recepe tacle creeps a multitude of noxious vermin every day, and every hour of the day; for, out of the heart pro. ceedeth all the wickedness of the heart and life: “ Out of

- the

the heart proceedeth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesles, blasphemies; these are the things that defile a man," Mat. xv. 19, 20. Oh! fee and lament your sad state; and know, if ever you dwell with a holy God, you must be washed, Psal. xxvi. 3, 4. If your filthine's remain, the filthy devil and you must lodge together in hell for ever. Therefore,

2. O seek to be washed: “ Wash ye, make ye clean," Isa. i. 16. This was an exhortation to the church of the Jews, when very corrupt and degenerate. In which exhortation, there is something suppoled, namely, that the church was greatly defiled. Indeed, the church of God is sometinies black like a Pagan nation ; yea; blacker by reason of sin against clearer light, greater love, stronger vows, and contempt of an offered Christ. Again; in this exhortation there is something expressed, even their in. cumbent duty; " Wash yè, make ye clean." It is a NewTestament duty under an Old Teflament phrase. But who can cleanse his heart? Indeed, when God coinmands us to make a clean heart, the defign is, that we may turn the precept into a prayer, and say, “Lord, create in me a clean heart; wath me, and I shall be clean:” This Teems to be the native view, and plain iniport of the text: " Wash your hands, ye finners; purify your hearts, ye double-minded,, faith the Lord, by the apostle James.

what filthy hands are there amongst us? and much more filthy hearts! Heart-unbelief, heart-hardness, heartenmity; heart-stupidity, heart-hypocrisy; heart-atheisin, heart-deadness and indisposition, heart-wandering and wickedness, and innumerable such plagues, discover the pollution of the heart. Do you not need walning?

There is a fourfold water that God makes use of for this end; and you should improve these waters.

(1.) The water of affliction : “ By this shall the ini. quity of Jacob be purged. It was good for me that I was afflicted.” This water, indeed, washes not of itself, but only as a mean in God's hand, when he blesses it; this water, walhes subserviently, as the saw hath a fub. ferviency to cut the timber, when in the workman's hand. Therefore, improve dispensations of providence; and cry, “ Lord, let not this affliction pass without Vol. Ii

Y .



“ some efficacy upon my soul, to wash and cleanse me “ from my fin.”

(2.) The water of the word, the waters of the sanctu'ary; thefe are healing, medicinal, and cleanling waters: * Now are ye clean, thro’ the word that I have spoken unto you. . Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” This water washes inftrumentally; not by an intrinsic virtue of its own, but by the power of God accompanying it. Therefore, when you hear the word, cry for power to attend it for washing you. The word discovers the spot of fin, James i. 23, 24. The word proposes the rule of holine's, and the most noble pattern of purity; “ Wherewith ihail a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto, according to thy word,” Pial.cxix. 9. The word hid in the heart, is like a fire, to burn and consume the cross of fin. The word holds forth the grace of God, and the love of Christ, which constrains to purity; “ Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse curselves from all filthiness." : (3.) The water of the Spirit's saving influences; this water walles efficiently." It is only through the Spirit, that we mortify the deeds of the body. O Sirs, employ the Holy Ghost to wath, to cleanse, to purify, regener. ate, and sanctify you: we are said to be washed, justified and fanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. It is the work of the Spirit to cleanië and purify ; it is his function, it is his oilice, and he loves to be employedt.

(4.) There is the crimson water of the Redeemer's blood; and this water washes meritoriously : this is the fountain opened to the house of David, and in.' habitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness, Zech. xiii. 1. The blood of the Lamb is a foun. tain; it is not a rivulet, but a fountain, gushing out with freedom ; it is not a fountain fealed, but a foun. tain open; every man, every woman is welcome to washi and purify t!temielves at it; welcome to bathe in it, till they be whiter than the snow: It is open, not only to the house of David, the royal family; but to the inhabitants of Jerusalem ; to the poorest and meanest of the visible church. This is the river that makes glad, because it


« VorigeDoorgaan »