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any thing less than this be meant by drawing near to God by the blood of Jesus ?
-Was there more virtue in the typical. than in the real atonement? Or is less to be expected from the substance than from the shadow ? Did the offending Jew, when he made his confeffion over the head of the victim, look back to any instances of past obedience, or even forward to any purposes of future amendment, and conjoin these with the blood of the facrifice, for rendering it more effectual to obtain pardon and acceptance ? Surely none who attended to the nature and form of the institution, could be led by it to dream of any .
mixture of this kind. And can we fuppose, that the blood of Fefus, by wbich we have boldness to enter into the holiest, is only a joint cause with our own imperfect obedience, of our obtaining admission into the heavenly fanctuary? Is no more meanė by his confecrating for us a new and living way, than that he hath repaired the old way which fin had broken; and by removing some obstructions, rendered it more smooth and accessible than originally it was ? Hath
he, instead of paying to the last mite what justice demanded, done no more by his facrifice, than purchased an easy composition of the debt, that an hundred pence might be accepted for the ten thousand talents !-Is it possible that human pride and vanity can give such a colouring to this motley scheme, as to make it pass with any reasonable creature, for that marvellous doing of the Lord, that highest exertion of wisdom and grace, which angels themselves desire to look into ?-To account for this, we must have recourse to what the Apostle Paul writes, I Cor. ii. 14.
66 The natural man receiveth. “ not the things of the Spirit of God; fov « they are foolishness unto him: neither
can he know them, because they are fpi“ ritually difcerned.” He is becoine vain in his imaginations, and his foolish heart is darkened. But they whose eyes are opened by the Spirit of truth, will cordially join with the same Apostle, and say as he did, Plrilip. iii, 7, 8, 9.
" What things “ were gain to me, those I counted loss “ for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count 66 all things but loss, for the excellency of
& the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord :
and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not
having mine own righteousness, which “ is of the law, but that which is through w the faith of Christ, the righteousness “ which is of God by faith.” This is the language of a true heart, in drawing near to God by the blood of Jesus ; which may suffice to explain the first qualification here mentioned. I do not say that no more is included in it; but this I affirm, that such an absolute renunciation of every other ground of hope, is one principal thing implied in the true heart, as it stands connected with the Apostle's reasoning, if not the very thing he had most directly in his eye.
2dly, To a true heart, the Apostle adds the full assurance of faith.
This leads us back to the great objects of faith that have already been presented to our view, viz. the high-priest over the house of God ; ---the vail of his human nature, which is the passage into the sanctuary ;and the blood of his facrii ce, that emboldens Ms to enter in :--And it is required, that
our faith in this way of access be full and assured.
The true heart, giving a faithful verdict upon the demerit of fin, and subscribing to the justice of the sentence, whereby the finner is excluded from the presence of God, acknowledgeth this to be the only way. But faith advanceth a step farther, and presents it to the enlightened mind, as a safe, a sure, and infallible way. Hear its genuine language
from the mouth of our Apostle, i Tim. i. 15.
This is a faithful saying, s and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus
Christ came into the world to save finners; ☆ of whom I am chief.” Faith, contemplating the dignity of the High-Priest, and the nature and design of the facrifice he offered, can have no doubt of the merit of his blood; but may conclude, firmly, and without hesitation, that it haĻh sufficient efficacy to cleanse from all fin. But when it proceeds farther, and reads the commiffion he received from the Father ; when it weighs the evidence that ariseth from his resurrection and ascension, of the Father's infinite delight in him, and his perfect fa
itisfaction with his whole conduct as Medi-ator ; above all, when it follows him into the heavenly sanduary, whither he hath carried his atoning blood, and sees the reWard conferred upon him for his voluntary obedience unto death, a name given him above every name, and all things in heaven and on earth put under his feet: What shall I say? from this entire view of God in Chrift reconciling the world unco himself, can any other conclusion be drawn, than what the Apostle John hath done before us, viz. God is love? So complete is the evidence afforded us in the gospel, of God's merciful nature, and of the good-will he bears to the children of men, that the most entire credit to his declarations upon this head, is in effect no more than a setting to our feal, to what one should think the most obvious and self-evident of all propositions, that God is true. And is there a man to be found that denies this proposition? Dare any be so outrageously insolent and injurious, as to call God a liar? Let me refer you to the fame Apostle, who testified that God is love, for an answer to this question,