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do then? I am sure thou would say, I yourselves, in the Greatness of your would labour by any-Means to have him Way, turn in hither, as to a Place of mine; why then, thou knows that can- Refuge, without further disputing in the not be before believing, and receiving Business; and fo by believing in Cbrift, him on his Promises, and not at all, bus and waiting upon him in his Ways, you by believing. Therefore, since that this shall put that out of Question, which de. is it you must at length turn unto,supposebating would make an endless Question. the Case were decided, why do ye not T Lord make you wise to know the presently, rather without more wearying Things that belong to your Peace.
SERMON XV. i John i. 7.—And the Blood of Jesus Christ his Soni
cleanseth us from all Sin.
be agreed? As Darkness cannot have World's Delights, such a poor Shift as Fellowship with Light, till it be changed the rich Glution would have taken in into some Conformity to the Light'; even Hell; those Drops of cold water that so there can neither be any Fellowship thou canst distil out of the Creature, will in walking, nor Conformity in Nature, never give any solid Ease to thy Conbetween God and us, who are Enemies science; chou may abate the Fury of it, to him by Nature, unless there be some' or put it off for a Season ; thou who att Agreement and Reconciliation of the afraid of Hell and Wrath, may procure Difference. Now, here is that which some short Vacancy from those Terrors, maketh the Atonement, The Blood of by turning to the World: But certainly Jesus bis Son cleanseth us from all they will recur again, and break out in a Sin. This is it that takes away the Dif- greater Fire, like a Fever that is not ference between God and Men, and , diminished, but increased by much drinkmakes Reconciliation for us; this Blood ing cold Water : Or if thou go about to hath quenched the Flame of Indignation ' refresh thy felf, and satisfie thy Challenand Wrath kindled in Heaven againft us. 'ges by thy own Attainments in Religion, And this alone can quench and extinguish and by Reflection upon thy own Heart the Flames and Furies of a tormented and Ways,finding something in thy Efteem, i Soul, that is burnt up with the Appre. that may counterballance thy Evils, and hension of his Anger : All other things fo give thee fome Confidence of God's thou can apply, or caft upon them, will Payour; these, I say, are but deceitful be as Oil to increase them, whether it Things, and will never either quench the
Displeasure of God for thy Sins, but rather And will not rather come straigheway add Fewel to it, because thou justifies thy at it, by the Door of Jesus Chrift, for Telf, which is an Abomination before he is the new and living Way, into him ; nor yet will it totally extinguish which you must enter, if ye would walk and put to Silence the Clamours of thy in the Light ; and the Wounds of his Conscience, but that some Day thou shalt Side, out of which this Blood gushed, be spoiled of all that Self-confidence, and these open you a Way of Access to him, Self-defence, and find thy self so much because he was pierced for us. That the more displealing to God, that thou Stream of Blood, if ye come to it, and did please thy self, and undertook to follow it all along, it will certainly carry pacifie him. Therefore, my Beloved, you to the Sea of Light and Love, where let me above all Things recommend this you may have Fellowship with God. And unto you, as the prime Foundation of all O, how much Comfort is in it, that there Religion, upon which all our Peace with is such a Stream running all the way of God, and Pardon of Sin, and Fellow our walking with God? all the way of fhip with God must be built, that the our Fellowship? That Fountain of Cbrift's Blood of Jesus Christ be applied unto Blood runs not dry, but runs along with your Consciences by believing; and the Believer, for the cleansing of bis that, first of all, upon the Discovery of After-pollutions, of his Defilements, even your Enmity with God, and infinite Dir in the very Light itself: This then, as it tance from him, you apply your Hearts is the first Foundation of Peace and Comunto this Blood, which is the Atonement, munion with God, so it is the perpetual to tbe reconciling Sacrifice, which alone Assurance and Confirmation of it, that bath Virtue and Power with God. Do which first gives Boldness, and that alone not imagine that any Peace can be with which still continues Boldness in it. It is out this; would yé walk with God, which the first Ground, and the constant Warrand is a B dge of Agreement ? Would ye have and Security of it, without which it would Fellow chip with God, which is a Fruit be as soon diffolved as made : If that of Reconciliation ? Would ye have Par. Blood did not run along all this Way, don of Sins, and the particular, Know to wash all his Steps ; if the Way of ledge of it, which is the greatest Effect Light and Fellowship with God were of Favour? And all this, without and not watered, and refreshed with the conbefore Application of Christ wbo is our tinual Current of this Blood, certainly Peace, in wbom the Fatber only is well none could walk in it without being conpleased; will ye seek these, and yet dispute suined ; therefore it is, that the Mercy this point of Believing, as if it were por of God, and Riches of Grace in fible to attain there without the Sprinkling Cbrift, hath provided this Blood for us, of that Blood on the Heart, which in both to cleanse the Sins of Ignorance, be. deed cleanseth it from an evil accusing fore believing, and the Sins of Light, Conscience ? If you desire to walk in tbe after believing, that a poor Sinner may Ligbt, as be is in the Light, why weary conftantly go on his Way, and not be ye your selves in By-ways? Why take broken off from God, by his Infirmities ye such a Compass of endless and fruit and Escapes in she Way. less Agitation, and Perplexity of Mind? You see then the Gospel runs in these
two golden Streams, Pardon of Sin, ring our Weakness) that you defile your and Purity of Walking; they run un felves again, like foolish Children, who dividedly, all along in one Channel ; yet after they have washed, run to the Puddle without Confufion one with another, as again, forgetting that they were cleansed; it is reported of some great Rivers, if either your daily Infirmities trouble, or that run together between the fame Banks, some groffer Pollution defile and waste and yet recain diftinct Colours and Na: your Conscience, know that this Blood tures all the way, till they part : But runs all along in the same Channel of these Streams tbat glad the City of God, your Obligation to holy walking; and it never part one from another ; the clean is as fufficient now as ever, to cleanse fing Blood, and the purifying Light, these you from all Sin, from Sins of daily Inare the entire and perfect Sum of the curlion, and Sins of a grosser Nature ; Gospel ; Purification from Sin, the Guilt there is no Exception in that Blood, let of Sin, and the Purity of walking in the there be none in your Application to it, Light, flowing from that, make up the and Apprehension of it. Now, this is full Complexion of Christianity ; which not to give Boldness to any Map to fin, are so nearly conjoyned together, that if or continue in Sin, because of the lenghtthey be divided, they cease to be, and ned Ule, and continued Virtue and Ef. cannot any of them sublist, fave in Mens ficacy of the Blood of Cbrift; for if any deluded Imagination.' The End of warh- Man draw such a Result from it, and ining in the Blood of Cbrift is, that we prove it to the Advantage of his Flesh, may come to this Light, and have Fel- he declares himself to have no Portion lowship with it; for the Darkness of Hell, in ir, never to have been washed by it; the utter Darkness of the Curse of God, for what Soul can in Sobriety look upon which overspreads che unbelieving Soul, that Blood shed by the Son of God, to and ecclipfes all the Light of God's Coun. take away thé Sins of ibs World, and tenance from him, that dark and thick find an emboldning to Sin from that Cloud of Guiltiness, thar Heap of un- | View? Who can wash and cleanse here, renewed Conversation ; this, I say, muft and presently think of Defilement, but be removed by the cleansing of the with Indignation ? Blood of Cbrift, and then the soul is
I speak these Things the rather, be admitted to enjoy that Light, and walk | cause there is a twofold Misapprehension into it. And it is removed chiefly for of the Gospel among Christians, and on this End, that there may be no Impedi- | both Hands much Darkness and Stumment in the Way of this Fellowship ; bling is occafioned. We have poor narthis Blood cleansech, that you being row Spiries, and do not cake entire Truth cleansed, may henceforth walk in Purity; in its full Comprehention, and so we are and there is no Purity like that of the as unfit and unequal Discerners of the GorLight of God's Countenance and Com-pel, and Receivers of it, as he that mands: And so you are washed in the would judge of a Sentence by one Word, Blood of Christ, that you may walk in of a Book by one Page, of a Harmony the Light of God, and take heed that you by one Note, and of the World by one defile not your Garments again. But if Parcel of it. The Beauty and Harmony fo be (and certainly it will be, conside- of Things confifts in their entire Union ;
and though there should appear many | it: Yet finding withal, how infinitely Discrepancies, and unpleasant Discords short they come, and how oft their Pur. in several Parts, yet all united together, poses are broken and disappointed, and makes up a pleasant Confort. Now this themselves plunged in the Mire of their is our childish Foolishness, that we look own Filthiness; this doch discourage them, upon the Gospel only by Halfs, and this and drives them to such a Despondency being alone seen, begets Misapprehensions and Dejection of Spirit, that they are and Mistakes in our Minds ; for ordi- like to give over the Way of Holiness as narily we supply that which we see not desperate. Now my Beloved, for you with some Fancy of our own. When who look upon the Gospel by a Parcel, the Blood of Jesus Christ is holden out and such-a Parcel as injoins much upon in its full Virtue, in the large Extent of you ; I would earnestly beseech, to open its Efficacy, to cleanse all Sin, and to and enlarge your Hearts to receive the full make Peace with God, and wipe away | Body of the Truth, to look upon chat all Transgressions, as if they had never cleansing Blood, as well as that pure been, the Generality of you never appre-Light ; to conlider the perpetual Use of hending much your own desperate Con the one, until you have fully attained the dition, nor conceiving an absolute Neother. Know that the Fountain is kept cessity of a Change, you think this is all open, and not shut ; not only to admit that is in the Gospel
, and begin to Aatter you to come at first, but to give ready your selves, and bless your selves, though Access in all After-defilements; and there you live in the Imaginations of your is no Word more comprehenlive than own Hearts, and never apprehend the this here, it cleansetb from all Sin. All absolute Need, and inevitable Sequel of thy Exceptions, Doubts and Difficulties, walking in Purity after Pardon. And are about some particular Sins, and Circ alas, there is something of this sometimes cumstances; thy Debates run upon some overtakes the Hearts of true Believers, Exception ; but here is an universal comin the night and overly Consideration of prehensive Word, that excludes all Exthe Mercy of God, and Blood of Cbrift:ception; no Kind of Sin, either for QuaYou do not lay the Constraint upon yourlty, or Degree, or Circumstance, is too Hearis to a holy Conversation. I say, great for this Blood; and therefore, as it is not because you apprehend that Blood, you have Reason to be humbled under that you take more Liberiy to the Fles, your Failings, so there is no Reason to but rather because you too slightly and be discouraged, but rather to revive your superficially consider it, and that but the Spirits and Vigour again, in the Study of one Half of it, without piercing into the this Walking in the Light, knowing that proper End of that cleansing, which is, one Day we shall be in the Light, as he that we may walk in Purity.
is in it. Nay, take this alongs with you, But on the other Hand, some believing as your Strength, and Encouragement to Souls, having their Desires enlarged after your Duty, as the greatest Provocation more Holiness and Conformity 10 God, to more Purity, that there is so conftant and apprehending not only the Neceflity Readiness of Pardon in that Blood. of it, but the Beauty and Comliness of
1 John i. 8. If we say that we have no Sin, we deceive
our Selves, and the Truth is not in us.
at Hand, Rom. xiii. 12. This World xsites, lieth in Wickedness. But Life is but as Night, even to the Godly : we know tbat we are of God: Therefore There is some Light in it, some Star- the Apostle subjoins here very seasonably light, but it is mixt with much Darkness a Caution, or Correction of that which of Ignorance and Sin ; and so it will be, was spoken, about the walking in the till the Sun arise, and the Morning of Ligbt, and Fellowsbip with God; which their Translation to Heaven come: But Words found out some Perfection, and, though it be called Night in one Sense, to our self-flattering Minds, might por in Regard of that perfect glorious per- fibly fuggeft fome too high Opinion of petual Day in Heaven ; yet they are cale ourselves. . If we, even we that have led the Children of Light, and of the Fellowship with God, even I the Apostle, Day, and are said to walk in tbe Light, and you believing Christians; if we say, and are exhorted to walk honestly as in we have no Sin, no Darkness in us, we tbe Day; because though there be a Mix. do but deceive our felves, and deny ture of Darkness in them, of weakness the Trutb. But who will say that I have in their Judgments, and Impurity in their no Sin? Solomon gives a Challenge to all Affections, yet they are nati ad majora, the World, Prov. xx. 9. Wbo can say, born to greater Things, and aspiring to I bave made my Heart clean, I amz that perfect Day: There is so much pure from my Sin? And indeed, there Light, as to discern these Night-monsters, is no Man so far a Stranger to himself ; their own Corruptions, and Satan's Temp- but if he in Sobriety and Calmness retire tations, to fight continually against them : into his own Hears, the very Evidence
They are about this noble Work, the of the Impurity of it, will extort this. purifying themselves from Sin and Dark Confession from him. As it useth to be ness; so that they ly in the Middle, be said of an Atheist, he feels that diving tween the Light of Angels and glorified Majesty, within in his secret Thoughts Spirits, that hath no Darkness in it, and and Conscience, which he denyeth with the Midnight of the rest of the World, his Mouth, and he is often forced to who are buried in Darkness and Wicked iremble at the Remembrance of him ness, and ly intombed in it, as the whom he will not confess ; so if there be