Page images

his mediation, as hath been declared, is founded the whole dispensation of grace.

2. Being thus actually vefted with this power and privilege and fulness, he designs the Spirit to take of this fulness, and to give it unto us. He fall take of mine and few it unto you, John xvi. 15. the Spirit takes of thar fulness that is in Christ, and in the name of the Lord Jesus, bestows it actually on them, for whose fanctification he is fent. Concerning the manner and alınighty efficacy of the Spirit of grace, whereby this is done (I mean, this actual collation of grace upon his peculiar ones) more will be {poken afterwards.

3. For actual grace, or that influence of power whereby the faints are enabled to perform particular duties according to the mind of God, there is Rot any need of further enlargement about it. What concerns our communion with the Lord Chrift therein, holds proportion with what was spoken before.

There remainech only one thing more to be obferved concerning those things, whereof mention hath been made, and I proceed to the way whereby we carry on communion with the Lord Jesus in all thefe. And that is, that these things may be considered two ways.

r. In respect of their first collation or bestowing on the soul.

2. In respect of their continuance and increase; as unto the degrees of them.

In the first sense, as to the real communicating of the Spirit of grace unto the soul, so raising it from death unto life, the saints have no kind of communion with Christ therein, but only what consists in a paflive reception of that life-giving, quicken

ing Spirit and power. They are but as the dead bones in the prophet, the wind blows on them, and they live: as Lazarus in the grave, Christ calls, and they come forth; the call being accompanied with life, and power. This then is not that whereof particularly I speak. But it is the second in respect of farther efficacy of the Spirit, and increase of grace, both habitual and actual, whereby we become more holy, and to be more powerful in walking with God, have more fruit in obedience, and success against temptations: and in this they hold communion with the Lord Christ: and where. in and how they do it, shall now be declared.

1. They continually eye the Lord Jesus as the great Joseph, that hath the difposal of all the granaries of the kingdom of heaven, committed unto: him; as one in whom it hath pleased the Father to gather all things unto one bead, Eph. i 10. that from him all things might be dispensed unto them. All treasures, all fulnefs

, the Spirit not by measure, are in him. And this fullness in this Joseph in re-ference to their condition, they eye in these three particulars.

1. In the preparation unto the dispensation mentioned, in the expiating, purging, purifying efficacy of his blood, it was a sacrifice not only of atonement as offered, but also of purification, as poured

This the apostle eminently fets forth, Heb. ix. 13, 14. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the afhes of an heifer, sprinkling the unclean

fanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more Dall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot unto God, purge your consciences from dead works, that you may serve the living God. This blood of his is that which



answers all typical institutions, for carnal purification, and therefore hath a spiritual parifying, cleanfing, fanetifying virtue in itself, as offered poured out. Hence it is called a fountain for fin and for uncleanness, Zech, xiii. 1. that is, for their washing and taking away. A-fountain opened, ready prepared, 'vertuous, efficacious in itself, before


be put into it; because poured out, instituted, appointed to that purpose. The faints fee that in theinfelves they are still exceedingly defiled: (and indeed to have a sight of the defilements of sin, is a more fpiritual discovery, than to have only a fenfe of the guilt of fin. This follows every conviction, and is commenfurate unto it; that usually only such as reveal the purity and holinefs of God, and in all his ways. Hereupon they cry with shame within them. felves, Unclean, unclean. Unclean in their natures, unclean in their persons, unclean in their converfations. All rolled in the blood of their defilements : their hearts being by nature a very fink, and their lives a dungshill. They know also, that no unclean thing shall enter into the kingdom of God, or have place in the new Jerusalem : that God is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. They cannot endure to look on themselves, and how shall they dare to appear in his presence? what remedy shall they now use? Though they wash themselves with nitre, and take them much fope, yet their iniquity will continue marked, Jer. ii. 2 2. Wherewith then thall they come before the Lord ? For the removal of this, I say, they look in the first place to the purifying vertue of the blood of Christ, which is able to cleanfethem from all their sins, 1 Joh.i. 7. Being the spring from whence floweth all the purifying vertue, which in the issue will take away all their spots and stains; make them holy and with

out blemish, and in the end present them glorious to himself, Eph. v. 26, 27. This they dwell upon with thoughts of faith; they roll-it in their minds and spirits. Here faith obtains new life, new vigor, when a sense of vileness hath even overwhelmed it. Here is a fountain opened; draw nigh and see its beauty, purity, efficacy. Here is a foundation laid of that work, whose accomplishment we long for. One moments communion with Christ by faith herein, is more effectual to the purging of the soul, to the increasing of grace, than the utmost self-endeavours of a thousand ages.

2. They eye the blood of Christ, as the blood of sprinkling. Coming to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, they come to the blood of sprinkling, Heb. xii. 24. The eyeing of the blood of Christ as shed, will not of itself iake away pollution. There is not only a sheding of blood, without which, there is no remision, Heb. ix. 2 2. but there is also a sprinkling of blood, without which there is no actual purifica: tion. This the apostle largely discribes, Heb. ix. When Mofes, faith he, had spoken every precept to the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and byf sop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God bath enjoined unto you : moreover, he sprinkled with blood, both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry; and almost all things are by the law purged with blaod : it was therefore necessary that the patterns of the things in the heavens, should be pulrified with these, but the heavenly things themselves, with better sacrifices than these, v. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. He had formerly compared the blood of Christ, to the blood of sacrifices as offered in respect of the impetration and the purchase it made; now he doth it unto that blood as sprinkled, in respect of its application unto purification and holiness. And he tells us how this sprinkling was performed, it was by dipping hyffop in the blood of the facrifice, and so dashing it out upon the things and persons to be purified. As the institution also was with the paschal lainb, Exod. xii. 12. hence David in a sense of the pollution of fin prays, that he


purged with hyssop, Pfal. li. 7. for that this peculiarly respected the uncleanness and defilement of fin, is evident, because there is no mention made in the inftitution of any sacrifice, (after that of the lamb before mentioned,) of sprinkling blood with hyssop, but only in chofe which respected purification of uncleanness. As in the case of leprosy, Lev. xiv. 6. and all other defileinents, Nunb. xix. 18. which latter indeed, is not of blood but of the water of feparation, this also being eminently typical of the blood of Christ, which is the fountain for separation for uncleanness, Zech. xiii. 1. now this branch of hyssop wherein the blood of purification was prepared for the sprinkling of the unclean, is unto us, the free promises of Christ. The cleansing vertue of the blood of Christ lyes in the promises, as the blood of facrifices in the hyssop, ready to pass out unto them that draw nigh thereunto. Therefore the apostle argueth from receiving of the promises unto universal holiness and purity. Having therefore these promises (dearly beloved) let us cleanse our

felves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord, 2 Cor. vii. 1. this then the saints do; they eye the blood of Christ as it is in the promise, ready to issue out upon the soul for the purification thereof: and thence is purging


« PreviousContinue »