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upon God for providing the means of his purification. “Behold, I was shapen in wickedness and in sin hath my mother conceived me. But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts; and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly. Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” This my brethren, as far as it goes, which is in proportion to the light afforded, is in the very spirit and power of the gospel. What an entire absence is here of all self-confidence-all self-righteousness. Observe David's entire trust and dependence upon God. Thou shalt purge me, Thou shalt wash me; not I myself, not my own hands. Hear again his prayer for inward strength and purity, “make me a . clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence: and take not thy holy spirit from me. O give me the comfort of thy help again and stablish me with thy free spirit.” How fervently may the penitent Christian join in this humble and pious petition. We see the Psalmist imploring the same high and holy Comforter, to direct and sanctify his heart, to whom the Christian, by his Saviour's command looks for help and consolation. “ Take not thy Holy Spirit from me,” is a supplication often poured forth to heaven by the true believer now, when temptations beset and
troubles assail him, when the world in which he lives allures him with its flatteries, or threatens him with its frowns.
And this, my brethren, I think, was the disposition and temper, which even the Jewish religion had power to infuse into the sincerely pions and spiritually minded amongst its servants. The light vouchsafed indeed, though, as we have seen, enough to console the traveller, and point the way to the rest he was seeking, was yet but a dim and distant flaine, when compared to the brightness of that full effulgence which beams upon
Still it was an emanation from the saine glorious sun of righteousness, which is now shining on our earth—the dawn, as it were, of that day which has risen so brightly upon the nations. Well then might St. Paul declare, as he does in the 4th chapter of this epistle to the Hebrews, that “the gospel was preached to the Israelites, who came out of Egypt,” when so large and important a part of their religious worship, tended thus strongly to impress upon their hearts, this evangelical truth, that they had no power in themselves, to help themselves, and that they could only be purified from sin by the shedding of innocent blood.
Had this foreshowing of the great and consoling doctrine of the Christian atonement, profited those who heard it; bad it been received with faith
into their hearts, with what joy would they have crowded to the presence of that Redeemer, who came to fulfil these long promised, but unhappily, much mistaken mercies. Had the Jew, who ate his passover with psalıns of thanksgiving, understood the true nature of the solemn service he was in the habit of performing, how would he have rejoiced in the coming of that paschal Lamb of God, who was to take away the sins of the world. How would his heart within him have blessed God for his mercies, in having permitted him to see that day, the distant prospect even of which, had filled his father Abraham's breast with gladness! Happy, indeed, is that Christian, to whom the tidings of salvation are tidings of great joy. They were alas ! to the Jews a stumblingblock, and they are so to many an unbeliever
And yet, as surely as God's word is true, so surely is there none other name under heaven by which we may be saved, but that of Jesus Christ. Search the sacred revelations of God's unchanging will, and you will no where find forgiveness promised, except through the blood of the Redeemer. Man in his miserable vanity and presumption, may devise other schemes of salvation, other means of propitiating heaven; but God knows of none. Man may give his wretched sopbistry the name of wisdom and superior discernment, but God will laugh his subtleties
to scorn, and wither to the dust, the short-lived vanity of the worm who dared to mock his truth.
We need not look beyond this epistle, for testimony the most positive and ample to this precious doctrine. Turn to the 10th chapter, and you will find the following passage, “By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take
away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.” And again, in the 9th chapter, we read, “ Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many." Here then we have the declaration of our text fully confirmed and illustrated. Here is that corner-stone of the gospel, that rock of the sinner's hope, placed full in view before him. It is the blood of Christ alone which cleanseth us from sin. We ourselves have no part nor share in our own purification ; we cannot wipe away even the smallest spot of guilt which clings to our souls. Our redemption is the free gift of God, most undeserved by us, and too often most impiously refused. Yes, my brethren, it is a solemn though a melancholy certainty, that every man who does not accept with gladness these only means of salvation ; who hopes for
other mercy hereafter, than that which Christ has purchased for him; wilfully sbuts himself out from the courts of heaven, and speaks peace to bis sonl, when there is neither peace nor rest for ever. That there are many who expect to live hereafter with the spirits of the just, and yet despise, or what is equally dangerous, neglect“ the blood of Jesus," is a truth which cannot be denied. And there is too, a mistaken spirit abroad, falsely called a spirit of charity, which would refrain from setting before these men the fatal error into which they have fallen. But he is the truest friend, who will pluck his brother from the pit of destruction, even though he grasp him rudely ; rather than let him sink in the gulf, lest haply he should bruise, in endeavouring to save him.
Beware then, my brethren, how you reject the only offers of salvation which will ever be set before you. There is a beaven above, and a hell beneath
You do not like perhaps to hear the sound of this latter word, you think we ought not to address you in such plain and unvarnished language. Bear with me, however, for a moment, and then judge whether you should not keep the one in mind to avoid its terrors, as well as the other to inherit its blessings. You are all of you, aye, every soul, the wisest or the weakest—the highest or the lowest—the richest or the poorest -the children of sin; and, as such, the heirs of