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anointed by the Father for this express purpose. The blood of which we speak is infinitely valuable, because it was shed by the Christ of God. Of him it is said, “ Grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows ;"— for him hath God the Father sealed. He himself said, “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me." The priests, under the Mosaic dispensation, were anointed ; see Lev. iv. 3, Numb. iii. 3; besides many other passages.
Now Jesus is the Anointed of the Lord; the Spirit was poured upon him without measure. Hence, when we pray for acceptance with the Father, we say with the Psalmist, “ Look upon the face of thine Anointed.” This anointing eminently qualifies him for the important office of a Saviour to his people. And must not that sacrifice be exceedingly valuable, which was made by the Christ of God?
Must not that blood be precious, which was shed by the Lord's Anointed? The text then evidently points out its value, when it calls it the blood of Jesus Christ. It would be well for us, if our consciences were more and more assured of our interest in the salvation of Jesus Christ; then with what deep humility, unfeigned gratitude, and joyful praise, should we contemplate the subject !
Jesus is the Son of God, therefore his atonement is infinite; and, consequently, unspeakably valuable. It is the blood of Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, that cleanseth us from all sin. It is true that this blood was the blood of Christ's humanity, yet the merit of it was derived from his Divinity. It was not his blood, as the Son of the virgin, which is the means of salvation, but his blood as he was the Son of God. We need not
wonder, then, that it has efficacy sufficient to cleanse believers in all ages of the world from their vast load of guilt, when we recollect that it is the blood of Christ, who is God over all, blessed for evermore. Oh! how infinitely valuable does the sacrifice of Christ appear, on account of the Divinity of his person! Let us all then highly value the atonement, the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus ; for his was the blood of the Son of God.
What a privilege it is to belong to that church which he has purchased with his own invaluable blood! Our faith is precious, inasmuch as it lays hold on the atonement of a precious Saviour, who shed his invaluable blood for sinners of the human
It is the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, which cancels the debt we all owe to God, which is the way by which we are delivered from condemnation, which insures our pardon, and by virtue of which we arrive at glory.
Having considered the text, as pointing out the infinite value of the blood of Christ, we hold it up to your view,
II. As declaring its continual efficacy.
The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin ; it has a cleansing quality. And here it is evidently implied, that man by nature is defiled, is brought into such a state as to need cleansing; and who can doubt this solemn truth?—who, that studies his own heart, makes daily observations on mankind, reads the page of history, and peruses the sacred volume ? There is not one who does these things, but will confess that man is by nature defiled. Sin is of a defiling nature, and it renders the subject of it impure in the sight of a holy God, who can never look upon sin with the least degree of approbation. It makes a man dis
gusting to angels and glorified spirits, the abhorrence of good men, and the fit companion for devils. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one. So none but God can newcreate the soul. All men by nature are defiled with sin; they come into the world polluted, and soon, by a long list of actual crimes, they render themselves more obnoxious to Divine justice, and expose themselves to eternal wrath. From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, there is nothing but wounds, bruises, and putrifying sores. Sin has completely ruined us; made us defiled in every power and faculty of the soul, and left us without God, and without hope in the world.
Oh! what great reason have we all to lament the polluted state of man, and to use the prayer of the Psalmist, saying, “ Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me !" Or to say, in other words, “ Lead us to the blood of Jesus Christ thy Son, which cleanseth us from all sin.” Blessed be God, there was a day when “this fountain was opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." But here we would observe, that the blood of Christ does not perfectly cleanse us from the sense of sin : the sparks of the fiery law will flash in our consciences; very often the smiles of God's countenance seemed changed into frowns ; Satan accuses, and conscience knows not how to answer. Unbelief very often starts in the mind of the believer, and he distrusts the Lord that bought him ; but, however, the blood of Christ shall never lose its cleansing virtue, it shall be perfect in its effects ; it has rent the vail between God and us, and it will rend that vail which is between us and conscience. The soul of a christian shall
be, ere long, presented before the throne of God, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Nor does the blood of Jesus entirely remove the risings of sin. The mind of a good man continues to be vexed, not only with abominations without, but corruptions within. We are not freed from the remains of sin, whatever some men may talk about perfection. Paul knew nothing of it, when he said, Oh! wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" We may see an end of all perfection, if we are led into the wickedness of our hearts, and the spirituality of the Divine law : nevertheless, the blood of Christ will, in some future period, remove every stain, and make us holy as God is holy. It shall perfect what it has begun. The soul of a child of God shall be made pure as snow, and white as wool. Although the blood of Christ does not yet cleanse from the sense nor the risings of sin, yet, adored be the name of Jesus, it removes the condemnation of sin, it frees us from its punishment. Although the nature of sin does not cease to be sinful, yet the power of it ceases to be condemning. Sin is not imputed to them that believe; and where the crime is not imputed, the punishment cannot be inflicted. Jesus having suffered, justice is satisfied, and God can demand no inore. and effect of Almighty vengeance are removed, as it respect those that believe, by the blood of Christ. The blood of Christ cleanseth them from sin. The pardon of sin properly consists in a remission its punishment. It would be contrary both to the mercy and justice of God to punish a man who had been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Contrary to his justice, for he has accepted the sacrifice made by Christ, who paid the debt and acquitted the
criminal, when he bare our sins in his own body on the tree : contrary to his mercy,
because it would be cruelty to adjudge a person to punishment who had been legally acquitted, and made innocent by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ. The believer, then, being freed from the charge of the law, is no longer obnoxious to its curse, for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus. An accusing conscience, a violated law, a hostile world, and the enemy
Satan, may bring their sentences of condemnation on others, but they cannot condein believers ; for there is nothing left that shall condemn them for sin, because Christ by his own sacrifice has condemned sin in the flesh. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin. The cleansing efficacy of this blood shall be made manifest before an assembled world. Believers shall then be collected out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, to have their purification made known to all the world. That will be a time of refreshing indeed; sin shall no longer distress, conscience no more reproach, and God no more correct, In the present life there is a secret grant of pardon to the believer, but then there shall be a solemn publication of it before men and angels. Christ will pronounce all his children righteous, and present them unblameable, and without spot, to God his Father.
When the apostle says, “ The blood of Christ cleanseth," it evidently implies that his blood is the only means of obtaining pardon. He joins nothing with it. As it possesses the sole,
the sovereign virtue of cleansing from iniquity, in vain do men expect pardon from mere inercy, from the intercession of saints, or from any righteousness of