صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

viding a furety for us every way able to pay our debt, there is more grace in that.

It is the gracious act of God in and through Chrift: the fatisfaction of Chrift is the procuring cause of our remission, and fo God declares himself juft in the remiffion of our fin, Rom, iii. 25. "Gracious is the Lord and righteous," Pfal. cxvi. 5. Juftice and mercy meet here, and embrace each other; "in "whom (faith the text) we have remiffion :" no other price could purchase this privilege, Micah vi. 6, 7. not rivers of oil, or of human blood.

And this gracious act of God discharges the pardoned foul both from guilt and punishment. Guilt is nothing else but the force and power that is in fin, to oblige the finner to undergo the penalty due to fin; therefore finners are faid to be guilty of hell-fire, Mat. v. 22. Guilty of eternal judgment, Mark iii. 29. To be under the judgment of God, Rom. iii. 19. Remiffion takes away both guilt and punishment together; it takes away all guilt, Acts xiii. 38, 39. and all punishment. And fo much of the first thing to be opened, namely, what the remiffion of fin is.

Secondly, Now that this remiffion of fin is the privilege of believers, is most apparent; for all the causes of remiffion are in conjunction to procure it for them: the love of God, which is the impulfive caufe of pardon; the blood of Chrift, which is the meritorious cause of pardon; and faving faith, which is the inftrumental caufe of pardon, do all co-operate for their remiffion, as is plain in the text.

Befides, all the promises of pardon are made to them, Jer. xxxi. 34. Micah vii. 18. And, laftly, all the figns of pardon are found in them, and in them only, that love God, Luke vii. 47. Mercifulness to others, Mat. vi. 14. A bleffed calmness and peace in the confcience, Rom. v. 1. So that it is a truth beyond controverfy, that all that are in Chrift are in a pardoned ftate.

Secondly, Next I will fhew you, that the pardon of believers is the purchase of the blood of Chrift: nothing but the blood of Chrift is a price equivalent to the remiffion of fin, for this blood was innocent and untainted blood, 1 Pet. i. 19. the blood of a Lamb without fpot: this blood was precious blood, blood of infinite worth and value, the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. It was prepared blood for this very purpose, Heb. x. 5. Prepared by God's eternal appointment; prepared by Christ's miraculous and extraordinary production by the operation of the Spirit,

[ocr errors]

prepared by his voluntary fequeftration, or fanctification of himfelf to this very use and purpose.

The blood of Jefus is not only innocent, precious, and prepared blood, but it is also blood actually shed, and facrificed to the juftice of God, for the expiation of guilt, and procurement of our discharge, Ifa, liii. 5. To conclude: the fevere justice of God could put in no exception against the blood of Chrift; it is unexceptionable blood, being, (as before was noted), untainted by fin, and dignified above all eftimation by the perfon whose blood it was: Juftice required no less, and could demand no more; and this is the price at which our pardons are pur chafed, and without which no fin could be pardoned; for "without shedding of blood, (fuch blood as this) there is no "remiffion," Heb. ix. 22.

Thirdly, The last thing to be opened is, That God hath mar nifested the riches of his grace, in the remiffion of our fins. So fpeaks the apostle, Rom. v, 20." Where fin abounded, grace did much more abound:" And, 1 Tim. i. 14. “ The grace "of our Lord (viz. in the pardon of fin) was exceeding a"bundant." Which will appear, if we bring our thoughts close to the matter, in feveral particulars.

First, From the nature of the mercy, which is the riches of all mercies, except Chrift the purchafer of it: No mercy sweeter than a pardon to a condemned finner: no pardon like God's pardon to a man condemned at his bar; all the goodness of God is made to pafs before our eyes in his pardoning acts of grace, Exod. xxxiii. 19.

Secondly, The very riches of grace must needs be in the par don of fin, if we confider the method in which pardons are dif penfed, which is, as the text fpeaks, "through his blood." Herein "God commends his love to us," Rom. v. 8. He commends it more than if he had pardoned fin without fuch a facrifice; for then he had only displayed his mercy, but not caufed mercy and juftice to meet and triumph together,

Thirdly, The riches of his grace faine forth in the peculiarity of the mercy. Remiffion is no common favour; it was never extended to the fallen angels, nor to the greater part of the children of men, but only to a little flock, a fall remnant of mankind, Luke xii. 32. John xvii, 9.

Fourthly, The riches of grace are manifefted in remiffion, if we confider the fubjects of this privilege, who are not only es qually plunged into fin and mifery with others by nature, Eph. ii. 3. but many of the Lord's pardoned ones, have been actual

ly guilty of a deeper-dyed abomination, than many unpardoned ones, in the civilized world, are defiled with.

"To me,

(faith Paul), the greatest of finners, one that was before a "blafphemer, a perfecutor, &c. yet to me is this grace given; "I obtained mercy," 1 Tim. i. 15. "And fuch were fome of 46 you, but ye are juftified," 1 Cor. vi. 11. Yea, God fingles out the most bafe, defpifed, poor, and contemptible ones among men, to be the subjects of this glorious privilege, 2 Cor. i. 26. "You fee your calling brethren," &c.

Fifthly, More of the riches of grace fill appear, if we view the latitude and extent of this act of grace. O how innumerable are our tranfgreffions! "Who can understand his errors?” Pfal. xix. 12. "Yet the blood of Chrift cleanfeth us from all "fin," John i. 7. Small and great fins, open and fecret fins, old and new fins, all pardoned without exception. O the riches of grace! O the unfearchable goodnefs of God!" With the "Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption; and he shall redeem Ifrael from all his iniquities,” Pfal. CXXX. 7, 8.

[ocr errors]

Sixthly, and laftly, The riches of grace fhine forth in the irrevocablenefs and perpetuity of remiffion. As grace pardons all fins without exception, fo the pardons it beflows are without revocation: The pardoned foul fhall "never come into condemnation," John v. 24. "As far as the east is from "the weft, fo far hath he removed our tranfgreffions from us,' Pfal. ciii. 10. The east and weft are the two oppofite points of heaven, which can never come together; neither shall the pardoned foul, and its fins, ever meet any more. "Thou haft

caft, (faith Hezekiah), all my fins behind thy back." The penitent believer fets his fins before his face, but the merciful God cafts them all behind his back, never to behold them more, fo as to charge them upon his pardoned people. And thus you fee what the pardon of fin is, what the price that purchaseth pardon is, and what riches of grace God inanifesteth in the remiffion of a believer's fins; which were the things to be explained and opened in the doctrinal part. The improvement of the whole you will have in the following uses.

Infer. 1. If this be fo, that all believers, and none but believers, receive the remiffion of their fins through the riches of grace, by the blood of Chrift; What a happy condition then are belivers in! Thofe that never felt the load of fin, may make light of a pardon; but fo cannot you, that have been in the deeps of trouble and fear about it: thofe that have been upon the rack of an accufing and condemning confcience, as David,

Heman, and many of the faints have been, can never fufficiently value a pardon. "Bleffed is the man whofe tranfgreffion "is forgiven, whofe fin is covered; bleffed is the man unto "whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity," Pfal. xxxii. 1, 2, or, O the blessedness and felicities of the pardoned man! as in the Hebrew *. Remiffion cannot but appear the wonder of mercies, if we confider through what difficulties the grace of God makes way for it to our fouls; what ftrong bars the love of God breaks afunder, to open our way to this privilege; for there can be no pardon without a Mediator; no other Mediator but the Son of God: the Son of God cannot discharge our debts, but by taking them upon himfelf as our furety, and making full payment, by bearing the wrath of God for us; and when all this is done, there can be no actual pardon, except the Spirit of grace open our blind eyes, break our hard hearts, and draw them to Chrift in the way of believing. And as the mercy of remiffion comes to us through wonderful difficulties, fo it is in itself a complete and perfect mercy God would not be at fuch vaft expence of the riches of his grace: Christ would not lay out the invaluable treasures of his precious blood to pra cure a cheap and common bleffing for us. Rejoice then, ye pardoned fouls, God hath done great things for you, for which you have caufe to be glad.

[ocr errors]

Infer. 2. Hence it follows, That interest in Christ by faith, brings the confcience of a believer into a state of rest and peace, Rom. v. 1. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God." I fay not that every believer is presently brought into actual peace and tranquility of confcience; there may be many fears, and much trouble even in a pardoned foul: but this is an undoubted truth, that faith brings the pardoned foul into that condition and state, where he may find perfect reft in his conscience, with respect to the guilt and danger of fin. The blood of Chrift fprinkles us from an evil (that is, an accufing, condemning) confcience. We are apt to fear, that this or that fpecial fin, which hath most terrified and affrighted our confciences, is not forgiven: but if there be riches enough in the grace of God, and efficacy enough in the blood of Chrift, then the fins of believers, all their fins, great as well as fmall, one as well as another, without limitation or exception, are pardoned.

For let us but confider, If God remits no fin to any man, but with respect to the blood of Chrift, then all fins are pardoned,

אשריבשוי *

as well as any one fin; because the dignity and defert of that blood is infinite, and as much deferves an univerfal pardon for all fins, as the particular pardon of any, even the leaft fin: moreover, remiffion is an act of God's fatherly love in Christ; and if it be fo, then certainly no fin of any believer can be retained or excluded from pardon; for then the fame foul should be in the favour of God, fo far as it is pardoned; and out of favour with God, fo far as it is unpardoned, and all this at one and the fame inftant of time; which is a thing both repugnant to itself, and to the whole strain of the gospel,

To conclude: What is the defign and end of remiffion, but the faving of the pardoned foul? But if any fin be retained or excluded from pardon, the retaining of that fin must needs make void the pardon of all other fins; and fo the acts of God muft crofs and contradict each other, and the defign and end of God milcarry and be loft; which can never be. So then we conclude, faith brings the believing foul into a state of rest and peace.

[ocr errors]

Infer. 3. Hence it also follows, That no remiffion is to be expect ed by any foul, without intereft by faith in Jesus Christ: no Chrift, no pardon; no faith, no Chrift. Yet how apt are many poor deluded fouls to expect pardon in that way, where never any foul yet did, or ever can meet it. Some look for pardon from the abfolute mercy of God, without any regard to the blood of Christ, or their intereft therein; we have finned, but God is merciful, Some expect remission of fin by virtue of their own duties, not Chrift's merits: I have finned, but I will repent, restore, reform, and God will pardon. But little do fuch men know how they therein diminish the evil of fin, undervalue the justice of God, flight the blood of Chrift, and put an undoing cheat upon their own fouls for ever. To expect pardon from abfolute mercy, or our own duties, is to knock at the wrong door, which God hath fhut up to all the world, Rom. iii. 20. Whilft thefe two principles abide firm, that the price of pardon is only in the blood of Chrift, and the benefit of pardon, only by the applicacation of his blood to us; this must remain a fure conclufion, that no remiffion is to be expected by any foul, without interest by faith in Jefus Chrift. Repentance, reftitution, and reformation are excellent dutics in their kind, and in their proper places, but they were never meant for faviours, or fatisfactions to God for fin.

.

Infer. 4. If the riches of grace be thus manifefted in the pardon of fin, How vile an abufe is it of the grace of God, to take the more liberty to fin, because grace abounds in the pardon of it!

« السابقةمتابعة »