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and sanctified, and saved, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus k.
Go now, then, and say, that the blood of Christ is only a metaphor, and means no more in the mouth of a Christian, than it might be supposed to do in that of an honest heathen, who should say, That he had been saved, or benefited in a moral way, by the blood, that is, the exemplary death, of Socrates ! - When we speak of its washing away sin, it is true, we use the term washing metaphorically (for sin is not literally washed): but the scriptures are unintelligible, and language itself has no meaning, if the blood of the lamb slain had not a true, direct, and proper efficacy (considered in the literal sense of blood) in freeing us from the guilt of sin, or, in other words, from the punishment of it.
2. A SECOND conclusion may be drawn, more particularly, from the words of the text- if I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. For, if these words mean, as I have endeavoured to shew, and as, I think, they must mean, that we are redeemed only by the blood of Christ; and if, as the context seems to speak, it is in our power to forfeit this benefit,
k 1 Pet. i. 12. 1 Cor. vi, 11. and elsewhere, passim.
by refusing to be washed by his blood, that is, to accept the deliverance, offered to us, through faith in his blood!: it follows, that there is something very alarming in the condition of those persons, who hold out against all the calls of Grace, and obstinately persist in a state of infidelity. In vain have they recourse to natural religion, or to any other supposed means of purification and salvation. In vain do they trust even to the moral part of the Gospel, while they reject or disbelieve the rest. They must be washed by Christ, if they desire to have any part with him ; they must place their entire hope and confidence in the blood of the covenant, who would share in the blessings of it.
Nay, more than this: the Redeemer is outraged by this refusal to comply with the
gracious terms of his salvation. And, though some may make slight of having no part with Christ, it may concern them to reflect, what it is to have a portion with unbelievers m.
3. LASTLY, and above all, I conclude, that they, who are washed, and, in consequence of that washing, trust to have a part with Christ, as they can never be enough thankful for the inestimable benefit, they have received, so they can never be enough careful to retain, and to improve it. If we, who have once embraced the faith, revolt from it; or, while we make a shew of professing the faith, pollute ourselves again with those sins, from which we have been cleansed; nay, if we do not strive to purify our hearts and minds still more and more by the continual efficacy of a lively faith in Jesus ; if, in any of these ways, we be in the number of those, who draw back unto perdition, what further sacrifice remains for us, or what hope have we in that, which has been already offered ?
! Rom. iii. 25.
in Luke xii. 46.
Judas himself, be it remembered, was washed among the other Disciples ; yet he was not clean, for all that, nor had he any part with Jesus. What can this mean, but that something is to be done, on our part, when the Redeemer has done his ? and that the perma
nt effect of this wasking, as to any particular person, depends on his care to keep those robes white, which have been washed in the blood of the lamb n ?
n Rev, vii. 14.
The account, and the conclusion, of the whole matter, is plainly this--If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth : but, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, then have we fellowship with him, and HIS BLOOD CLEANSETH US FROM ALL SIN o.
m 1 John vi..
SE R M O N XI.
PREACHED JUNE 20, 1773.
MARK ix. 49.
For every one shall be salted with fire, and
every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
This is generally esteemed one of the most difficult
passages in the four Gospels. I confess, I take no pleasure in commenting on such passages, especially in this place; because the comment only serves, for the most part, to gratify a learned curiosity, and is, otherwise, of small use.
But, when a difficult text of Scripture can be explained, and the sense, arising out of the