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[Charnock Stephen] a Discourse of the Cleansing Vi

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  A Discourse of the Cleansing Virtue of Christ's Blood by Stephen Charnock   And the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1. 7.The apostle, in the beginning of the chapter, puts the saints to whom he writes in mind of the Gospel he had writ, wherein he had declared to them that Word of life which had been with the Father, and was manifested to the world, and which he now declares again, that they might have a fellowship with the apostles in the truth, and not with the false teachers in their errors and for an incentive, assures them that the fellowship of those that !ept the truth as it is in Jesus was with the Father and with the on# ver. $, 1 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his on, Jesus %hrist# with the Father, as the source and spring of eternal life and happiness with the on, as mediator, who has opened the way to us, removed the bars, and given us an access to and a communion with the Father. For by sin we were alienated from God, our sin had caused &ustice to loc! up the gates of paradise, and forbid such guilty and  polluted offenders to approach to the pure ma&esty of God. The apostle, to encourage them to cleave to the gospel,  proposes to them a fellowship with God by the means of Jesus %hrist, his on and our 'ediator, as the chief happiness and felicity of man, and that which can only afford them a full and complete &oy. (nd afterwards, ver. ), 1 *This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him there is nodar!ness at all* he prescribes to them the means whereby they may !eep up a communion with God, which he infersfrom the transcendent e+cellency of the divine nature, who is light# light, in regard of the clearness of his !nowledge light, in regard of his unstained purity, not tainted with the least spot or dust of evil, not having anythingunworthy in his nature, nor doing anything unbecoming in his actions. f, therefore, our conversations be in dar!ness., if we wallow in the mire of any untamed, unmortified lust, what soever our evangelical professions may  be, or howsoever we may fancy ourselves entered into a fellowship with the Father by the means of the mediator, it is but a lying imagination for how can there be a communion between two natures so different, between light and dar!ness, purity and impurity, heaven and hell, God and the devil- ut if our conversation be agreeable to gospel  precepts, we have then a fellowship with him# ver. 7, *if we wal! in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowshipone with another,* i.e. God has a fellowship with us in affection and delight, and we have a fellowship with God in salvation and happiness God gives himself to us, and we give ourselves to God. /e bestows grace and pardon on us, and we resign up our hearts and affections to him. (nd this is a certain proof that we are interested in the e+piatory virtue of the blood of %hrist. 0r else those latter words may be a prevention of an ob&ection which might result from the apprehension of the relies of corruption in the best man in this life. ince God is infinitely pure light, without dar!ness, and we have so much dar!ness mi+ed with our best light, we must for ever despair of having any fellowship with God the infinite distance, by reason of our indwelling corruption, will put us out of all hopes of ever attaining such a sovereign felicity. ut this reply is prevented by this clause of the apostle# *(nd the blood of Jesus %hrist, his on, cleanseth us from all sin.* et not the sense of your daily infirmities animate any desponding fears. f you s2uare your hearts and lives in all sincerity according to the gospel rule, there is a provision made for your security in the blood of %hrist. God will wipe off the guilt of your defects by the virtue of that precious blood which has been shed for your reparation. The apostle here supposes remainders of sin in those that have the privilegeof wal!ing with God, and interest in the blessings of the covenant. The blood of Jesus Christ. y this is meant the last act in the tragedy of his life, his blood being the ransom of our souls, the price of our redemption, and the e+piation of our sin. The shedding his blood was the highest and most e+cellent part of his obedience, 3hilip. ii. 4, /is whole life was a continual suffering, but his death was the top and complement of his obedience, for in that he manifested the greatest love to God and the highest charity to man. The e+piatory sacrifices under the law were always bloody, death was to be endured for sin, and blood was the life of thecreature the blood or death of %hrist is the cause of our &ustification.  His Son . /is sonship ma!es his blood valuable. t is blood, and so agreeable to the law in the penalty it is the blood of the on of God, and therefore acceptable to the lawgiver in its value. Though it was the blood of the humanity, yetthe merit of it was derived from the divinity. t is not his blood as he was the son of the virgin, but his blood as he was the on of God, which had this sovereign virtue. t is no wonder, therefore, that it should have such a mighty efficacy to cleanse the believers in it, in all ages of the world, from such vast heaps of guilt, since it is the blood of %hrist, who was God and valuable, not so much for the greatness of the punishment whereby it was shed, as the dignity of the person from whom it flowed. 0ne on of God weighs more than millions of worlds of angels. Cleanseth . %leansing and purging are terms used in cripture for &ustifying as well as sanctifying. The apostle interprets washing of both those acts# 1 %or. vi. 11, *ut you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are &ustified in the name of the ord Jesus, and by the pirit of our God.* The latter words are e+egetical of the former they both are the fruits of the merit of the blood of %hrist. The one is the act of the Father as a &udge appeased by that blood,  the other the act of the pirit as a sanctifier purchased by that blood. (nd so the *washing of us in the blood of %hrist,* spo!en of 5ev. i. ), is to be understood of &ustification. anctification is e+pressed, ver. 6, by *ma!ing us !ings and priests to God,* giving us royal and holy natures, to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God and several times the word chafar, which signifies to e+piate, appease, is translated to sanctify, 8+od. ++i+. $$, $6, and to cleanse, ver. $7 and a word that signifies cleansing is sometimes put for &ustifying, as in the third commandment, 8+od. ++. 7, *The ord will not hold him guiltless that ta!es his name in vain,* lo yena!eh, will not cleanse or  purge them. ut it must be understood of cleansing from guilt, because it refers to the penalty of the law. t is here used in this sense it is spo!en to them that are sanctified and have a fellowship with God, that if they wal! in the light, God will impute to them the blood of his on for their absolution from the guilt of all their infirmities.The blood of %hrist cleanseth.1. t has a virtue to cleanse. t does not actually cleanse all, but only those that believe. 9or does it cleanse them from new sins, but upon renewed acts of faith. There is a sufficiency in it to cleanse all, and there is an efficacy in it to cleanse those that have recourse to it. (s when we say a medicine purges such a humour, we understand it of the virtue and 2uality of the medicine, not that it purges unless it be ta!en in, or otherwise applied to the distempered  person.:. The blood of %hrist cleanseth, not has cleansed, or  shall cleanse. This notes a continued act. There is a perpetual  pleading of it for us, a continual flowing of it to us. t is a fountain set open for sin, ;ech. +iii. 1. There is a constant streaming of virtue from this blood, as there is of corruption from our nature. t was shed but once, it is applied often, and the virtue of it is as durable as the person whose blood it is.$. The blood of %hrist cleanseth. The apostle &oins nothing with this blood. t has the sole and the sovereign virtue. There is no need of tainted merits, unbloody sacrifices, and terrifying purgatories. The whole of cleansing is ascribedto this blood, not anything to our own righteousness or wor!s. t admits no partner with it, not the blood of martyrs nor the intercessions of saints.<. The blood of %hrist cleanseth us from all sin. t is an universal remedy. Whatsoever has the nature of sin, sins against the law and sins against the gospel. t absolves from the guilt of sin, and shelters from the wrath of God. The distinction of venial and mortal sins has no footing here no sin but is mortal without it, no sin so venial but needs it. This blood purges not some sort of sins, and leaves the rest to be e+piated by a purgatory fire. This e+pression of the apostle, of all sin, is water enough to 2uench all the flames of purgatory that 5ome has !indled what sins are not e+piated by it are left not to a temporary, but an eternal death not to a refining, but a consuming fire. o that we see these words are an antidote against fears arising by reason of our infirmities, a cordial against faintings, an encouragement to a holy wal! with God. t is a short but a full panegyric of the virtue of the blood of %hrist.1. n regard of the effect, cleansing. :. n regard of the cause of its efficacy. t is the blood of  Jesus, a saviour the blood of %hrist, one appointed, anointed by God to be a  Jesus; the blood of the Son of God, of    one in a special relation to the Father, as his only  begotten, beloved on.$. n regard of the e+tensiveness of it, all sin.  9o guilt so high but it can master, no stain so deep but it can purge  being the blood of the on of God, and therefore of infinite virtue, it has as much force to demolish mountains of    guilt as level mole=hills of ini2uity.The words are a plain doctrine in themselves#  Doct  . The blood of %hrist has a perpetual virtue, and does actually and perfectly cleanse believers from all guilt. This blood is the e+piation of our sin and the unloc!ing our chains, the price of our liberty and of the purity of our souls. The redemption we have through it is e+pressly called the forgiveness of sin, 8ph. i. 7, *n whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sin,* = by a metonymy of the effect for the cause remission was an act of redemption. When the apostle, /eb. +. 1<, tells, *That by one offering he has for ever perfected them that are sanctified,* he places this perfection in the remission of sin, ver. 17, 14. /e did in the offering himself so transact our affairs, and settle our concerns with God, that there was no need of any other offerings to e!e it out or patch it up. (sthe blood of the typical sacrifices purified from ceremonial, so the blood of the anti=typical offering purifies from moral uncleanness. The cripture places remission wholly in this blood of the 5edeemer. When %hrist ma!es his will and institutes his supper, he commends this as our righteousness# 'at. ++vi. :4, *This is my blood of the 9ew Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins,* according to the title and end given it in the prophet, ;ech. i+. 11. *y this blood of the covenant the prisoners are delivered from the pit of corruption, wherein there was no water no water to 2uench our thirst, no water to cleanse our souls, but mud and mire to defile them. This was the design of his death, as himself spea!s# u!e ++iv. <6, <7, *That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name amongst all nations.* (nd 3eter, in his discourse at %ornelius his house, comprises in this the intent of the whole cripture# *To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins,* (cts +. <$. (s this was the &ustifying blood in the time of the prophets, so it will be the  &ustifying blood to the end of the world. y this blood only the robes of any are made white, 5ev. vii. 1< by this  blood the accuser of the brethren is overcome and cast in his suit, 5ev. +ii. 1>, 11. The maintaining of &ustification  by this blood seems to be the great contest between the true church and the anti=%hristian state.?1.@ The blood of %hrist is to be considered morally in this act. The natural end of blood in the veins is a reparation of the substance of the body by a conversion of the blood into it. (nd the proper use of blood is not to cleanse, for it  defiles and bespots anything whereon it is dropped but morally considered, as the shedding of b1ood implies loss of life and punishment for a crime, so blood is an e+piation of the crime, and a satisfaction to the law for the offence committed against it. (s the shedding innocent blood does morally pollute a land, so the shedding the blood of the malefactor and murderer does morally cleanse a land# 9umb. +++v. $$, *lood defiles the land, and the land cannot  be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein but by the blood of him that shed it*. /ad not this blood of %hrist been shed, our sins had not been pardoned, our souls had not been secured, our chains had continued, and our terrors had  been increased the stro!es of &ustice bad been felt, and the face of mercy had been veiled we had wholly been the vassals of the one, and foreigners to the other.?:.@ The cleansing is to be doubly considered. There is a cleansing from guilt, and a cleansing from filth, both are thefruits of this blood# the guilt is removed by remission, the filth by purification. %hrist does both# he cleanses us from our guilt as he is our righteousness, from our spot as he is our sanctification for he is both to us, 1 %or. i. 4>, the oneupon the account of his merit, the other by his efficacy, which he e+erts by his pirit. The proper intendment of the  blood of %hrist was to ta!e off the curse of the law, and free us from our guilt the washing off our stains is the  proper wor! of the pirit, upon that account signified to us by water in the prophets. The blood and water flowing from the side of %hrist upon the cross were distinct, John +i+. $<, $), as appears by the great seriousness wherewith John affirms the relation# */e that saw it bare record, and his record is true, and he !nows that he saith true.* These two li2uors flowed from his side distinctly, and do not mingle in their streams and this seems to be so disposed by the providence of God, to signify that from the death of %hrist there flow two sorts of benefits of a different nature, and which ought to be differently considered viA., sanctification, represented by water destined to washing and  &ustification, which arises from satisfaction, represented by the blood shed for remission of sin. These both spring upfrom the death of %hrist, yet they belong to two distinct offices of %hrist. /e &ustifies us as a surety, a sacrifice by suffering, as a priest by merit but be sanctifies us as a !ing, by sending his pirit to wor! efficaciously in our hearts.When we consider the blood of %hrist, we consider %hrist as a sacrifice and sacrifices were called purifications,  , not in regard of washing away the filth, but e+piating the guilt of sin yet indeed the &ustifying virtue of this blood is never e+erted without a sanctifying virtue accompanying it. (s blood and water flowed out of the side of %hrist together, so blood and water flow into the heart of a sinner together. The typical blood of the covenant,when sprin!led by 'oses upon he boo! and people, was mi+ed with water, /eb. i+. 1B, :>, to signify that holiness, signified by water, accompanies the application of propitiation, signified by blood. (ll the force of sin consisted in condemnation, to which it had sub&ected men as it was a transgression of the law, and in con&unction therewith it haddefiled the soul as it was loathsome, and filthy. 9ow %hrist shed his blood to ma!e an e+piation of sin, and sent his pirit to ma!e a destruction of sin. y virtue of his death there is no condemnation for sin, 5om. viii. 1, $ by virtue of the grace of his pirit there is no dominion of sin. 5om. vi. <, 1<.?$.@ This cleansing from guilt may be considered as meritorious or applicative. (s the blood of %hrist was offered to God, this purification was meritoriously wrought as particularly pleaded for a person, it is actually wrought as sprin!led upon the conscience, it is sensibly wrought. The first merits the removal of guilt, the second solicits it, the third ensures it the one was wrought upon the cross, the other is acted upon his throne, and the third pronounced in the conscience. The first is e+pressed, 5om. iii. :6, his blood rendered God propitious the second, /eb. i+. 1:, as heis entered into the holy of holies the third, /eb. i+. 1<, %hrist &ustifies as a sacrifice in a way of merit and when thisis pleaded, God &ustifies as a &udge in a way of authority. %hrist laid the foundation of a discharge from all guilt uponthe cross, and procures an actual discharge upon the first loo! of a sincere faith towards him and when this blood is sprin!led upon the conscience, it *purgeth it from dead wor!s,* /eb, i+. 1<, from the guilt of death we contracted by sinful wor!s, and from the sentence of death which the law pronounced by reason of those wor!s, that thereby we may have a liberty to appear before God, and be fit to serve him. The sprin!ling the tabernacle and the vessels of thesanctuary, and the person officiating in it, was the applying of the propitiation made by the sacrifice to those things for the special consecration of them unto God. 9o blood was sprin!led but the blood of the victim, solemnly offered unto God upon the altar, according to his own appointment no blood applied to the conscience can cleanse it but the blood of this great sacrifice, which is peculiarly called *the blood of sprin!ling,* as it is the blood of the covenant, /eb. +ii. :<. The virtue of it conveyed as sprin!led is from the propitiation it made as shed. ( not     guilty  is entered into the court of God when this blood is pleaded, and a not guilty inscribed upon the roll of conscience when this  blood is sprin!led. t appeases God*s &ustice and 2uenches wrath. (s it is pleaded before his tribunal, it silences the accusations of sin and 2uells tumults in a wrangling conscience, as it is sprin!led upon the soul.:. The evidence of this truth well appears=?1.@ From the credit it had for the e+piation and cleansing of guilt, before it was actually shed, and the reliance of  believers in all ages on it. The blood of %hrist was applied from the foundation of the world, though it was not shed till the fullness of time. They had the benefit of the promise of redemption before the accomplishment of the sacrifice for redemption. The cleansing we have now is upon the account of the blood of %hrist already shed the cleansing they had then was upon the account of the blood of %hrist in time to be shed# the one respects it as past, the other as future. We must distinguish the virtue from the wor! of redemption. The wor! was appointed in a certain time, but the virtue was not restrained to a certain time, but was communicated to believers from the foundation of the world, as well as e+tended to the last ages of the world. everal considerations will clear this.  C.D The cripture spea!s but of one person designed for this great wor!. John aptist spea!s of *the amb of God,*  pointing to one lamb appointed to *ta!e away the sins of the world,* John i. :B. The world is to be understood  , for all ages, all times of the world as the same is meant,  John ii. :, */e is a propitiation for our sins# and not for ours only, but also for the sins, of the whole world* and he, and only he, is the propitiation, by once offering of himself. 9ot for the sins of us only that live in the dregs of time, and the declining age of the world, but of those that went before in all ages of the world, from its youth till his appearance in the flesh and e+piring upon thecross. %hrist is said to be the one mediator, in the same sense that God is said to be the one God# 1 Tim. ii. ), *For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man %hrist Jesus.* (s there is but one creator of man, so there is but one mediator for men. (s God is the God of all that died before %hrist came, as well as of those that lived after, so %hrist is the mediator of all that died before his coming, as well as of those that saw his day. They had %hrist for their mediator, or some other some other they could not have, because there is but one. They might as well have had another creator besides God, as another mediator besides the man %hrist Jesus. n regard of the anti2uity of his mediation from the foundation of the world, he is represented, when he wal!s as mediator in the midst of the seven golden candlestic!s, with *hair as white as wool,* a character of age, 5ev. i. 1<. (s God is described so in regard of his eternity, Ean. vii. B. There is but one God from eternity, but one mediator, whose mediation has the same date as the foundation of the world, and runs parallel with it but one captain of salvation also for many sons, /eb. ii. 1>, that were brought to glory. (ll that were brought to glory were brought into that happy state by this captain of salvation, as made perfect by sufferings so that either none were brought to glory  before the sufferings of %hrist, which is not true, or they were brought to glory by virtue of the sufferings of that captain of salvation. f that one captain were not a perfect head of salvation but by shedding his blood, then those that were under his conduct from the beginning of the world could not be perfect, but upon the account of his  passion. For they had no perfection but in and by their head the same way that he was &ustified for them, they were  &ustified by him.C:.D This one mediator was set forth ever since the fall of man as the foundation of pardon and recovery. The covenant of grace commencing from the time of the fall of man, the virtue of this blood, which is the blood of the covenant, bore the same date and, indeed, the blood of the 5edeemer, as the way of procuring restoration, was signified in that first promise, which was the first dawning of the covenant of grace after that blac! night of obscurity the revolt of man had drawn upon the world, Gen. iii. 1). The recovery of man from that gulf of misery thehead or subtle brains of the serpent had cast them into, is promised there to be by a man ?for that must be signified  by the seed of the woman@, and some great and worthy person able for so great an underta!ing, and to be effected bysuffering, intimated by bruising his heel, which could not be without something of blood in the case. atan would not cease, but e+press his enmity against the dissolver of his wor!s, and the deliverer of his captives. t must also signify a deliverance from that which he was reduced to by the subtilty of the serpent, and that was sin and destruction. t could not be meant of a freedom from a bodily death, because this promise being made before, the  pronouncing the sentence of a bodily death, which was not till ver. 1B, was a bar to any such thought, for it had been a moc!ery, a falsity in God to promise (dam a redemption for that, and afterward overturn his promise by threatening that which he had promised before to redeem him from. This bruise, therefore, that the seed of the woman was to receive from the devil, at what time soever it should be inflicted, was to e+tend in the virtue of it to (dam, and his believing posterity that should come upon and go off the stage of the world before the revolution of that time wherein it was to be transacted otherwise, the ma!ing of this promise to him, which should not distil any gracious dews upon him, had been to feed him with mere smo!e, a thing unbecoming the %reator of the world. esides, it was declared in types and figures. (s the ceremonial uncleanness, which the legal sacrifices were appointed to purge, was an image of the moral impurity which needed e+piation, so the blood of beasts, shed for the cleansing of it, was a shadow of that blood which was designed in the fullness of time for the e+piation of the other.  9ay, there were not only types of it, but plain prophecies concerning it. The righteousness whereby all believers are  &ustified is witnessed in the whole current of cripture, both by the law and the prophets, to be without the wor!s of the law# *8ven that righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus %hrist,* 5om. iii. :1, ::. (nd therefore when there was a conference between 'oses and 8lias on the one part, and %hrist on the other, the sub&ect of it is not anything but that of his decease, u!e i+. 41# the declaration of that being the chief intent of the types of the law, instituted by the ministry of 'oses and of the prophets, whereof 8lias was the chief, though not in the publishing of the mediator, yet in the peculiar mar! of the favour of God in his translation to heaven. ut saiah is the plainest and most illustrious in the proclamations of the coming, the design and methods of the 5edeemer. (nd particularly the  pardon of sin by virtue of his suffering is discovered# sa. +liii. :<, :), *Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, then hast wearied me with thine ini2uities.* Then it follows, *, even , am he that blotteth out thy transgression for my own sa!e.* %hrist is said to serve with their sins and sa. liii. is a comment upon this, showing what !ind of servitude it was that the 5edeemer endured, and what that weariness was which he sustained for our ini2uity, viA. that he was wounded, bruised, and offered up. The whole scope of the chapter proves this, for it is spent in numbering up the benefits of the 'essiah, the calling of the Gentiles, and gathering a church from all parts of the world, vers. ), 6, c., and vers. 1B, :> and in the last part describes the chiefest benefit by the 'essiah, viA.  propitiation and remission of sin and to show that pardon was wholly free, he removes all false causes of pardon, human merit, and legal sacrifices# ver. ::, :$, *Thou hast not called upon me, thou hast not filled me with the fat of
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