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with it to give us a sense of our highest perfection, and to engage us to pursue it with a proportionable diligence. So far therefore as we regard the wisdom of the most high God, and of the ever blessed Son of God, we shall learn from his blood to detest wickedness, and to account true holiness, the glory of our nature; to value it above all temporal enjoyments, and to deny ourselves in all the honours, possessions, and pleasures of this world, that we may be confirmed in the habits of it. Or, if we view the vast and extensive effects of Christ’s obedient death, we shall be amazed, and convinced of the immense value and excellence of goodness and obedience. Again; Christ, the Captain of our salvation, was made perfect in that holiness, which he came to exhibit for our sanctification, through sufferings: this supplies right ideas of trials and afflictions ; disposes to faith and hope, fortitude and patience under them; and directs how to improve them to a spiritual and everlasting account. The way of virtue may prove rough and difficult : but we shall advance with resolution, when we see such a leader going before on purpose to guide and enL
courage us. The sufferings and death of
vince, that the sacrifice of Christ is a pow
erful mean of sanctification; or is naturally apt to affect the heart with the malignity of sin; the excellence and necessity of true holiness; to shew wherein it consists, and to excite to the practice of it. A mean far exceeding any naked instructions, because attended with circumstances the most astonishing, attracting, and ravishing. And as such, it is the properest and noblest reason with God, of granting the remission of sin, and other gospel blessings. By the blood of Christ God discharges us from the guilt, because the blood of Christ is the most powerful mean to free us from the pollution and power of sin. It is the ground of redemption, as it is a mean of sanctification. So Abraham's obedience was a proper ground or reason of God’s conferring singular blessings upon his posterity, because it was manifestly a proper mean of exciting them to obedience; though they would not be accepted of God, nor finally saved but by their own obedience. This is perfectly fit and reasonable; nor is it possible for human wisdom to conceive or devise any scheme of redemption, more just and excellent in itself, more worthy of God, or more suitable to our condition. A
scheme so grand and glorious, that doubtless it reaches far beyond the narrow theatre of our world, and will to all eternity have its happy effects in the spacious regions of light; where Jesus is seen in the body of his glory, and known to be exalted to universal dominion, on account of his obedient and benevolent death.
CHRIST'S DEATH THE GROUND OF REDEMPTION, AS IT IS A MEAN OF SANCTIFICATION.
172.NOR have I assumed this principle without scripture-evidence. It is the sense of our Lord and his apostles, that the sacrifice he offered to God for the remission of sins, or to make atonement for sin, is a mean of our sanctification. Jesus, as made perfect through obedient sufferings, hath the character of the Sanctifier, 6 &yiaław, Heb. ii. 10, 11, It became God, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth, Christ, and they that are sanctified [Gr, the sanctifier, and the sanctified] are both of one Father,
namely God ; who graciously appointed Christ to be our Sanctifier, and granted us the inestimable benefit of being sanctified by him. Heb. x. 10, By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of Christ once for all. Ver. 26–29, He that sinneth wilfully [contiuues finally impenitent in sin] hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unclean thing. Note ; sanctified in those texts doth imply, or suppose, the remission of sin ; but doubtless it also extends to the purifying the heart, and directing the conduct; as Heb. xiii. 12, 13, Jesus that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us therefore, that we may be sanctified by his blood, go forth unto him. without the camp, bearing his reproach ; i. e. in imitation of him, enduring any sufferings, or indignities, rather than sin against God, or be unfaithful to any obligations of duty to God or man. Heb. ix. 13, 14, For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the . ceremonially unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, and rendering a person fit to be taken into the congregation ; how