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would discourse on; Ist, Of the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus in itself, and then, 2dly, I would speak to the relation and respect that electing grace hath to it; for it is said in the text, that we are elected to the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
Ist, Concerning the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus in itself: and here there are three things. 1st, I would speak of the blood of Jesus Christ, and what it is. 2dly, Of the shedding of that blood; for there could be no sprinkling of blood till it was shed. 3dly, I would speak to the sprinkling of it.
Ist, The blood of Jesus Christ is the life-blood of that man Jesus Christ the Son of God (which he assumed into personal union with himself): they are but ridiculous and Popish notions that many people have of the blood of Christ. This blood was shed many ways; it was shed in circumcision ; it was shed in the garden when he was in an agony; it was shed by scourging, and shed by the crown of thorns on his head. But the blood that we mean here was the life-blood of the man Christ Jesus; that blood which is called by our apostle, 1 Pet. i. 19. The precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb withcut blemish, and without spot. The same blood is called the blood of God. Acts xx. 28. Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. And therefore whosoever they are that do deny or doubt that Jesus Christ is a true man, or deny that Jesus Christ is true God, they are not to be called Christians; call them what you will, Christians they are not; call them Pagans, Heathens, Mahometans, give them what name you will, they are no Christians that do not believe Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, and that he was God before he came into flesh, that he was truly God in the flesh, and that the Godhead remained united with the flesh as our great Emmanuel.
2dly, How came Christ's blood to be shed ? for it could not be sprinkled unless it was shed. If I may so say, as long as Christ's blood ran in his veins, it could sprinkle none. How Christ's blood came to be shed, every one, even carnal Protestants and Papists know, and can give a ready answer to it. As that Christ's blood was shed by the cruelty of barbarous people, who murdered him by nailing him to the cross,
where he bled to death in great torment, according to the nature of that violent death. But how far is this from the gospel account of it ? from what Christ and his servants say of it? The Son of man, saith our Lord, Matt. xx. 28. came to give his life a ransom for many.
Christ died, saith the apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 3. for our sins, according to the Scriptures. Of this blood-shedding take these four or five things, and lay them together, Ist, That Jesus Christ the Son of God was sent into the world in the room and in the stead of his elect. He did not come as a single person into the world, but he came as a public person, representing a great many, even all that were given to him by his father; for their sakes, saith our Lord, do I sanctify myself, John xvii. 19. 2dly, By virtue of this substitution of Jesus Christ, all that the elect were indebted for, was justly charged, on him : I say, by virtue of his coming in their place, in their name and stead, all that was owing by them to the law and justice of God, was justly exacted of him; and therefore it is said, That he died for our sins, 1. Cor. xv. 3. because our sins were charged on him : if he had no relation to our sins, there could be no justice in punishing him for them. He had indeed no guilty relation to them, but he had a near and gracious relation to them: for they were debts that he undertook to pay. 3dly, This debt that was exacted of Christ, and which he paid, was for our disobedience to the law of God, and for the punishment due to us for that disobedience." The law saith, D, and live ; Sin and die; and therefore our Lord's undertaking was made up of two parts, a perfect obedience to the precept of the law, and a severe punishment according to the threatening of the law, commonly called the active and passive obedience of Jesus Christ, by both which he brought in that righteousness that we are saved by. 4thly, The debt of sin being death, Christ therefore died: he owed death to the law of God; he had never transgressed it, but he bore the sins of mariy transgressors : He was numbered with transgressors, Isa. liii. 12. and dealt with as a transgressor, and died as a transgressor. The justice of God can slay no man, nor smite any man but for sin; it would cease to be the sword of justice if it should fall upon any that were perfectly innocent. Indeed the Son
Of God for us. Sirs, when we say that Christ entered into heaven with his own blood, it would be a foolish thing for any body to imagine that our Lord ascended into heaven in a state of infirmity, and in that weakness of flesh in which he died; no, our Lord Jesus was glorified, and he went in glory to glory. But Christ's entering into heaven with his own blood, was an allusion to the high priest's entering into the holiest of all with the blood of the sacrifice, and points forth to us the virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ, making heaven patent to us, like a victorious head, opening the door to all that were to follow through faith in him. 3dly, The sprinkling of the blood of Jesus is upon the new covenant. This the apostle to the Hebrews speaks of, chap. ix. 15. For this cause he is the mediator of the Nerw Testament, that by means of death, fer the transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which are called might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. Christ's blood, I say, sprinkled the new covenant, it was the seal of it; it was sprinkled on it, if I may so say, to seal it, (as' the blood of the sacrifice was called the blood of the old covenant, so the blood of Christ is called the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.) Oh that believers would learn to know what the promises are, and learn to read the promises well, and look well on them. We look upon the promises thus : This is God's word, and this word of God holds forth great blessings to me, and these blessings I very much need, and therefore I pray upon the promise ; and all this is well done : Aye, but when do ye see the promises sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ? That is a work for your faith ; every promise in the Bible, the blood of Christ is upon it, to seal it, to purchase the blessings contained in it, and to secure the performance of it to every one that believes. 4thly, and lastly, The virtue of the blood of Christ is sprinkled upon believers, upon their persons and upon their consciences. Of this the apostle to the Hebrews speaks, chap. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God?
Ind this is what we should seek to feel. What Christ did to justice is a matter of faith; the satisfaction that his blood gave to justice : what Christ doch in heaven by the virtue of
his blood, that is matter of faith; he makes intercession there in virtue of his blood : what Christ doth with respect to the new covenant, this is also a matter of faith : but the power and virtue of the blood of Christ on the conscience, is not only a matter of faith, but it is also a matter of feeling; that which we must feel ourselves, the virtue of the blood of Christ purging our consciences: therefore the apostle, in that place I last quoted, speaks of it with a How much more; how much more shall the blood of Christ do it? Surely the blood of bulls and of goats was far inferior to the blood of Christ, and the purifying the flesh was a far inferior effect to the purging of the conscience; but yet the apostle lays a stress upon this word, How much more shall Christ's blood do so? If the Lord was pleased to appoint such an ordinance, that the sprinkling of the blood of certain beasts should convey along with it a sort of Levitical cleanness, much more shall the blood of Christ have its spiritual saving gospel effect in purging and sprinkling the conscience; and this is that which gives a man confidence towards God. The law of God is backed by the justice of God, and the law of God is levelled at the conscience of a sinner; the law saith, The sinner shall die ; conscience saith, I am a sinner, and I must die ; it is only having the conscience purged by the blood of the sinless Son of God, that can give us confidence towards God, though we are guilty in ourselves.
A few words by way of APPLICATION.
Use 1. Learn to come to this blood of sprinkling. It is a duty, and the great privilege of true believers, expressed by the apostle, Heb. xii. 24. But ye are come to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, he is good company; well, what great thing do
ye mind when you come to Christ ? Ye are come to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. It is the blood of sprinkling, and it is blood that hath a voice, (blessed are the ears that can hear it!) it is only the ear of faith that can hear what mighty shouts arise from this blood of sprinkling; what great and good things it speaks for poor sinners; it speaks to God for them. A few things concerning this coming to the blood of sprinkling.
1st, You that would set about coming to the blood of sprinkling, that it may be upon you, learn to know and lay to heart your own filth and defilement. There was no sprinkling of blood but in the case of sin; the sprinkling of blood was for atonement, and the user of it was to acknowledge his sins: they who are too high and too proud to own themselves to be sinners, will not be found too good to go to hell : all such shall perish. Christ came into the world to save sinners, and no man can come to him to be saved but a sinner.
2dly, You must be persuaded of this, that nothing cleanses you from sin but the sprinkling of this blood, and that this can do it effectually. When the stain of sin is seen upon people's consciences, there are a great many wells of water that the devil and the world dig up; they think to cleanse themselves in their duties, and in their performances, their vows, their purposes, their resolutions, their praying, reading, hearing, and meditating; these are used by a great many, just as water, to wash away the stain of sin on their consciences. Vain, dangerous, wicked ways ! țhings not wicked in themselves, but most wicked as so used. Prayer is a duty, but to put prayer in Christ's place is an abomination. All the ordinances of the gospel are things commanded us, but to use them so as to keep at a distance from this blood of sprinkling, is to pervert them to our destruction.
It is a great matter to believe firmly, that nothing but this blood of sprinkling can justify and cleanse us; and it is also a great matter to believe that this can do it effectually. The poor creature thinks it is now about seventeen hundred years since Christ's blood was shed at Jerusalem, and so it is; but what then ? the virtue of it is everlasting to cleanse us from all sin. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, 1 John i. 7.
3dly, If you would come to this blood of sprinkling, that it may be upon you, you must adventure upon it, and place all your confidence in it, and make it your only plea for your acceptance and justification before God. We are justified by his blood, saith the apostle, Rom. v. 9. The believer is to see his justification streaming from the life-blood of the Son of God. When a poor creature sees the holiness of God's law, and the severity of his justice, and feels a disturbance in his own con