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have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." And again: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now it is evident, the Apostle here also speaks of a deliverance wrought in this world. For he saith not, the blood of Christ will cleanse at the hour of death, or in the day of judgment, but it "cleanseth," at the time present, "us," living Christians, "from all sin." And it is equally evident, that if any sin remain, we are not cleansed from all sin: if any unrighteousness remain in the soul, it is not cleansed from all unrighteousness. Neither let any sinner against his own soul say, that this relates to justification only, or the cleansing us from the guilt of sin; first, because this is confounding together what the Apostle clearly distinguishes, who mentions first, to forgive us our sins, and then to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Secondly, because this is asserting justification by works, in the strongest sense possible; it is making all inward as well as outward holiness, necessarily previous to justification. For, if the cleansing, here spoken of, is no other than the cleansing us from the guilt of sin, then we are not cleansed from guilt, i. e. are not justified, unless on condition of walking in the light, as He is in the light. It remains then, that Christians are saved in this world from all sin, from all unrighteousness; that they are now in such a sense perfect, as not to commit sin, and to be freed from evil thoughts and evil tempers.
29. Thus hath the Lord fulfilled the things he spake by his holy Prophets, which have been since the world began ;-by Moses in particular, saying, (Deut. xxx. 6,) I" will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; "—by David, crying out, "Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me ;-and most remarkably by Ezekiel, in those words: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you;-and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.-Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses.-Thus saith the Lord God, In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities,— the heathen shall know that I the Lord build the ruined places; the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it." (Ezek. xxxvi. 25, &c.)
30. " Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,” both in the Law and in the Prophets, and having the prophetic word confirmed unto us in the Gospel, by our blessed Lord and his Apostles; "let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." "Let us fear, lest [so many] promises being made us of entering into his rest, [which he that hath entered into, has ceased from his own works,] any of us should come short of it." "This one thing let us do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, let us press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus;" crying unto him day and night, till we also are "delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God!"
THE PROMISE OF SANCTIFICATION.
BY THE REV. CHARLES WESLEY.
1 GoD of all Power, and Truth, and Grace,
2 Calmly to thee my soul looks up,
And waits thy promises to prove;
3 That I thy mercy may proclaim,
That all mankind thy truth may see,
4 Chose from the world, if now I stand
5 Perform the work thou hast begun,
6 Thy sanctifying Spirit pour,
To quench my thirst and wash me clean :
7 Purge me from every sinful blot;
My idols all be cast aside:
Cleanse me from every evil thought;
8 Give me a new, a perfect heart,
From doubt, and fear, and sorrow free;
9 O take this heart of stone away!
O take away this heart of stone!
10 The hatred of my carnal mind
Out of my flesh at once remove;
And pure, and fill'd with faith and love.
11 Within me thy good Spirit place,
Spirit of health, and love, and power; Plant in me thy victorious grace,
And sin shall never enter more.
12 Cause me to walk in Christ my Way,
13 Hast thou not said, who canst not lie,
14 O that I now, from sin releas'd,
Thy word might to the utmost prove! Enter into the promis'd rest,
The Canaan of thy perfect love!
15 There let me ever, ever dwell;
Be thou my God, and I will be
16 From all remaining filth within
17 Wash out my old original stain:
His blood was all pour'd out for me!
THE PROMISE OF SANCTIFICATION.
18 Sprinkle it, Jesu, on my heart:
One drop of thy all-cleansing blood
And fill me with the life of God.
19 Father, supply my every need ;
Sustain the life thyself hast given ;
The manna that comes down from heaven.
20 The gracious fruits of righteousness,
Nor let me ever hunger more.
21 Let me no more, in deep complaint,
22 The painful thirst, the fond desire,
Thy joyous presence shall remove;
23 Holy, and truc, and righteous Lord,
And stamp me with thy Spirit's seal.
24 Thy faithful mercies let me find,
In which thou causest me to trust;
25 Show me how foul my heart' hath been,
26 Open my faith's interior eye,
Display thy glory from above;
27 Confound, o'erpower me, with thy grace;
28 Now let me gain perfection's height!
"Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Cor. x. 5.
1. But will God so "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ," that no wandering thought will find a place in the mind, even while we remain in the body? So some have vehemently maintained; yea, have affirmed, that none are perfected in love, unless they are so far perfected in understanding, that all wandering thoughts are done away; unless not only every affection and temper be holy, and just, and good, but every individual thought, which arises in the mind, be wise and regular.
2. This is a question of no small importance. For how many of those who fear God, yea, and love him, perhaps with all their heart, have been greatly distressed on this account! How many, by not understanding it right, have not only been distressed, but greatly hurt in their souls ;-cast into unprofitable, yea, mischievous reasonings, such as slackened their motion towards God, and weakened them in running the race set before them! Nay, many, through misapprehensions of this very thing, have cast away the precious gift of God. They have been induced, first to doubt of, and then to deny, the work God had wrought in their souls; and hereby have grieved the Spirit of God, till he withdrew and left them in utter darkness!
3. How is it, then, that amidst the abundance of books which have been lately published almost on all subjects, we should have none upon Wandering Thoughts? At least none that will at all satisfy a calm and serious mind? In order to do this in some degree, I purpose to inquire,
I. What are the several Sorts of Wandering Thoughts?
II. What are the general Occasions of them?
III. Which of them are Sinful, and which not?
IV. Which of them we may expect and pray to be Delivered from?