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us, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace we are saved; and to ascribe all to him, " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” 8

And this mention of the beloved leads us naturally to the consideration of the next subject, the WORK OF GOD THE SON in our salvation, the REDEEMING LOVE of our Lord and only Saviour Jesus Christ.

This is the third point in the order of the words, but in reality it is the second in the order of the events. The Father elects before time, the Son redeemed us in time, and the Holy Spirit is still applying the perfect and complete work of salvation to the hearts of men. This then naturally claims our next consideration.

It is here spoken of by the term, "the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." The apostle was writing to those who would at once recognise the reference to the ceremonies of the law, which were known to be typical of the Messiah. The first of these was that of the Paschal Lamb. The blood of this was sprinkled on the lintel and on the door-posts of 7 Ephes. ii. 4, 5. 8 Ephes. i. 3-6.

91 Peter i. 2.

the houses of the Israelites. This was the sign which the destroying angel acknowledged: wherever that blood was seen he passed over. It was their protection and their safeguard. Thus the apostle speaking of Moses says, "Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them."1 The next sprinkling of blood was in the daily sacrifices; and that was a sprinkling of the blood of the victim round about upon the altar, as we read in the 1st of Leviticus. But the most solemn sprinkling of all was that which took place on the great day of atonement, when the "high priest went into the second tabernacle alone once every year, not without blood," and "sprinkled it with his finger on the mercy-seat eastward, and before the mercy-seat seven times."3

The meaning then of this expression in the text is, obviously, that in all respects there was an analogy between the office of our blessed Saviour and the sacrifice. As the blood of the sacrifices was shed, so was the Lord's. He was the victim, and for this reason he took part of flesh and blood, that through death he might deliver us." His was the precious blood, "as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. "5 He was that very paschal lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world, and as "our passover was sacrificed for us;" and it is by the sprinkling of that blood on us, that the destroy

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i Heb. xi. 28.

Heb. ii. 15.

3 Lev. xvi. 14.

2 Heb. ix. 7.
51 Peter i. 19.

6 1 Cor. v. 7.

ing angel passes over us, acknowledging the mark of the Lamb which points us out as the Israel of God, his redeemed and ransomed people. And as upon the day of atonement the blood was sprinkled upon the mercy seat in acknowledgment of the people's sins, and in confession of their desert of death, so our blessed Lord took his own blood, as our voluntary substitute, which he gave as a ransom for many, into heaven, the holy of holies; and there, in the name of the people, made confession of their guilt, and there sprinkled it, presenting it a sacrifice of a sweet smelling savour, being thus "made sin,” or a sin-offering for us, "that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Moreover, as on that day the high priest came forth and blessed the people, so our Lord, acting as our Mediator, having first sacrificed himself for us, and God having accepted his blood in place of ours, further sprinkles

it

upon the hearts of believers, that their "conscience should be purged from dead works to serve the living God," and that "being justified by faith," they should know that they have " peace with God," through him, the Lord Jesus Christ.9

Unto "the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," the text tells us, that we "the are "elect" to that blessed assurance and peace which arises from the belief that our sins are forgiven, and ourselves "accepted" through the sacrifice of “the beloved." And it is the privilege of myself and every

7 2 Cor. v. 21. 9 Rom. v. 1.

8 Heb. ix. 14.
'Ephes. i. 6.

minister of the Lord, to desire you to "behold the Lamb of God," and to invite you to come to that "blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel." It is our duty to endeavour to use such means as, humanly speaking, are most likely to prevail upon you, to see your actual need of this blood, to show you your defilement, and to assure you that there is no sprinkling except for sin felt and acknowledged; "that Christ came into the world to save sinners," and unless you feel your guilt, that you are no more likely to seek the cleansing of his blood than you are to seek a physician's help without a feeling of your infirmity. It is likéwise our duty to exhort all who have a sense of sin, that they flee to no other refuge. I am not addressing those that are in danger of flying to penances and austerities, and will worship, to free them from the guilt of sin; but I am bound to warn you, that the great deceiver is ever busy at work, even among those who profess the truth, and that his one great object is to keep them from Christ, because in keeping them from him he keeps them from salvation, since there is no other name under heaven whereby they may be saved;"5 and that he leads many to. presume that they are able to cleanse themselves in the performance of their duties, and in their own resolutions. We are far indeed from dissuading you from seeking grace in holy duties, but we would solemnly warn you against an attempt to free

2 John i. 29.

41 Tim. i. 15.

3 Heb. xii. 24.

5 Acts iv. 12.

you,

your consciences from the stain of sin by means of them. Prayer is a duty, but to put prayer in the place of Christ is an abomination: all the ordinances of the gospel are things commanded, but to use them so as to keep us from the blood of sprinkling, is to pervert them to our destruction. And as we are called upon to show you that nothing but the blood of sprinkling can justify or cleanse it is our privilege to set it forth as effectual to that end; to urge you to place your whole dependance on it, to show you that as this alone cleanseth, so it "cleanseth from all sin," that this is "a fountain opened," the sprinkling of which is effectual to remove all uncleanness. The believer is to see his justification, streaming from the life-blood of the Son of God. It is this on which your confidence is to rest; and by which you will be enabled to perform every duty. It is upon this that prayer must be founded; without this you could not draw nigh to God acceptably. Whatever communion with God you have here, is founded on this. By nature and by sin, you are at a distance and it is this only that brings you nigh. It is through Jesus, as it is by the Spirit, that you have "access to the Father." And as it is the blood of sprinkling that will even now bring you nigh in prayer and communion, so it is this only which will lead you into the actual presence of God. Jesus, as your forerunner, entered into the "heaven of heavens," with the blood of sprinkling; and if

6 1 John i. 7.
8 Ephes. ii. 18.

7 Zech. xiii. 1.
9 1 Kings viii. 27.

you

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