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drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy." Deut. 32 : 40-42.
Yea, God is an unavoidable Enemy. Fly to the utter, most parts of the earth, there shall his hand hold thee. Psa. 139 : 10. The wings of the morning cannot carry thee out of his reach. If God be your enemy, you have an immortal Enemy, who lives for ever to avenge himself upon his adversaries. What wilt thou do when he departs from thee, even in this world, as from Saul? 1 Sam. 28 : 15, 16. Alas, whither wilt thou turn? To whom wilt thou complain? And what wilt thou do when thou shalt stand at his bar and see that God, who is thine Enemy, upon the throne ? Sad is their case indeed, who are not comprehended in the articles of peace with God.
3. If Christ died to reconcile us to God, give diligence to be assured of your interest in this reconciliation. If Christ thought it worth his blood to purchase it, it is worth your care and pains to obtain it. And what beto ter evidence can you have than a conscientious tenderness lest you sin against him? Ah if reconciled, you will say, as Ezra, 9:13, 14, " And now our God, seeing thou hast given us such a deliverance as this, should we again break thy commandments ?" If reconciled to God, his friends will be your friends, and his enemies your enemies. If God be your friend, you will be diligent to please him. John, 15:10, 14. He that makes not peace with God is an enemy to his own soul. And he that is at peace, but takes no pains to be assured of it, is an enemy to his own comfort.
III. But I must pass from this to the third end of Christ's death, namely, The sanctification of his people. Typical blood was shed to purify them that were un. clean; and so was the blood of Christ to purge away the
sins of his people : He "gave himself for the church that he might sanctify and cleanse it." Eph. 5 : 25, 26. "For their sakes I sanctify myself,” that is, consecrate or devote myself to death, "that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John, 17:19. This benefit received by the blood of Christ, is the theme of that doxology, which, in a lower strain, is now sounded in the churches, but will form the song of the Lamb in heaven; " To Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, -be glory and honor for
Rev. 1:5, 6. The evil of sin consists not only in its punishment, but in its pollution. Justification properly removes the former, sanctification the latter ; but both justification and sanctification flow unto sinners from the death of Christ. And though it is proper to say the Spirit sanctifies, yet it is certain it was the blood of Christ that procured for us the Spirit of sanctification. Had not Christ died, the Spirit had never come down from heaven upon any such design.
The pouring forth of Christ's blood for us obtained the pouring forth of the Spirit of holiness upon us. Therefore the Spirit is said to come in his name, and to "take of his, and show it unto us." Hence it is said, he came both by blood and by water, 1 John, 5:6; by blood, washing away the guilt; by water, purifying from the filth of sin. Now this fruit of Christ's death, even our sanctification, is a most incomparable mercy. Do but consider a few particular excellencies of ho. liness.
1. Holiness is the image and glory of God. His image, Col. 3:10, and his glory, Exod. 15:11. "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, glorious in holiness ?" Now, when the guilt and filth of sin are washed away, and the soul clothed with the beauty of God by sanctification, Oh what a beautiful creature is the soul now! It is a beam of Divine glory upon the creature.
2. And as it is the soul's highest beauty, so it is the soul's best evidence for heaven. Blessed are the
pure in heart ; for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8. Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” Heb. 12:14. No gifts, no duties, no natural endowments can claim heaven, but the least measure of true holiness will secure it to the soul.
3. Again, as holiness is the soul's best evidence for heaven, so it is a continual spring of comfort on the way thither. The purest and sweetest pleasures in this world are the results of holiness. Till we live holy lives, we never live comfortably. Heaven is epitomized in holiness.
4. And, to say no more, it is the peculiar mark by which God hath visibly distinguished his own from other men: The Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself." Psalm 4:3. Oh holiness, how surpassingly glorious art thou!
INFERENCE 1. Did Christ die to sanctify his people ? How deep is the pollution of sin, that nothing but the blood of Christ can cleanse it! All the tears of a penitent sinner, should he shed as many as there have fallen drops of rain since the creation, cannot wash away one sin. The everlasting burnings in hell cannot purify the flaming conscience from the least sin.
2. Did Christ die to sanctify his people ? Behold the love of a Saviour. "He loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” He did not shed the blood of beasts, as the priests of old did, but his own blood. Heb. 9: 12. And that not common, but " precious blood," 1 Pet. 1: 19, the blood of God, one drop of which outyalues the blood that runs in the veins of all Adam's posterity. And not some of that blood, but all, all, to the last drop. And thus liberal was he of his blood to us when we were enemies. Oh what manner of love is this !
IV. As Christ died to sanctify his people ; so he died also to confirm the new testament to all sanctified ones. So it was in the type, Exod. 24 : 8, and so it is in Christ, Matt. 26:28, " This is the new testament in my blood,” that is, ratified and confirmed by my blood. For " where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” Heb. 9:16. So that now all the blessings and benefits bequeathed to believers in the last will and testament of Christ, are abundantly confirmed and secured to them by his death. Yea, he died on purpose to make that testament of force to them. Men make their wills and testaments; and Christ makes his. What they bequeath, and give in their wills, is a free and voluntary act, they cannot be compelled to do it. And what is bequeathed to us in this testament of Christ, is altogether a free and voluntary donation. Other testators usually bequeath their estates to their wives and children, and near relations; so doth this testator: all is settled upon his spouse, the church ; upon believers, his children. A stranger intermeddles not with these mercies. Men give all their goods and estate that can be conveyed, to their friends that survive them. Christ giveth to his church, in the new testament, three sorts of goods :
1. All temporal good things; 1 Tim. 6:6; Matt. 6: 33; that is, the comfort and blessing of all, though not the possession of much ; " As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” 2 Cor. 6: 10.
2. All spiritual good things, as remission of sin, and acceptance with God, which are contained in their justification. Rom. 3:24–26. Sanctification of their natures, both initial and progressive. 1 Cor. 1:30. Adoption into the family of God. Gal. 3:26. The ministry of angels. Heb. 1:14. Interest in all the promises. 2 Pet. 1:4.
3. All eternal good things. Heaven, glory, and eter
nal life. Rom. 8:16, 17. No such bequests as these were ever found in the testaments of princes. All that kings and nobles settle by will upon their heirs, are but trifles to what Christ hath conferred in the new testament upon his people.
All this is confirmed and ratified by the death of Christ. He died, not merely, as Socinians say, to confirm the new testament by way of testimony, or witness-bearing in his death. This is a fearful derogation from the efficacy of Christ's blood, bringing it down to equality with the blood of martyrs; as if there were no more in it than in their blood. But know, reader, Christ died not only, or principally, to confirm the testament by his blood, as witness to the truth of those things, but his death ratified it as the death of a testator, which makes the new testament irrevocable ; just as when a man hath made his will, and is dead, that will is presently in force, and can never be recalled. Besides, the will of the dead is sacred with men; they dare not cross it. It is certain the last will and testament of Christ is most sacred, and God will never annul or make it void. Moreover, it is not with Christ as with other testators, who die, and must trust the performance of their wills with their executors; but as he died to put it in force, 60 he lives again to be the executor of his own testament. And all power to fulfil his will is now in his hands. Rev. 1:18.
INFERENCE 1, Did Christ die to confirm the new tes. tament, in which such legacies are bequeathed to believers? How are all believers concerned to assure their title to the mercies contained in this blessed testament !
Examine your relations to Christ. Are you his spouse? Have you forsaken all for him ? Psa. 45: 10, 11. Are you ready to take your lot with him, in prosperity or in adversity? Jer. 2:2. Are you loyal to Christ ? " Thon shalt be for me, and not for another.” Hos. 3 : 3. Do