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make with the house of Israel: After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.”
The following blessings, specifically promised in this covenant, demand our special attention. 1. A confirmed state of pure and perfect holiness, such as the first covenant or moral law demands. “ I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” 2. The pardon of all sin, or perfect justification. “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.” 3. The perpetual fruition of the divine presence and favor. “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 4. The general spread of the gospel among mankind. “ All shall know me."
We will now notice the relations of these two covenants.
1. The same standard of character, perfect holiness, is common to both.
2. What the old covenant requires of Christians, the new promises to them. For example;
1st. The old covenant requires perfect holiness. Its language is, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” “He that keepeth the whole law, and yet offendeth in one point, is guilty of all.”
On the other hand, the new covenant promises to the believer perfect boliness. Jer. xxxi. 32. 66 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel ; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” See also Heb. viii. 10. Here, as above remarked, the very thing which the moral law requires, is positively promised to the believer. Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you : and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." Is it in the power of language to express the doctrine of entire sanctification, if it is not here expressed? Jer. I. 2. “In those days, and at that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not
be found: For I will pardon them whom I reserve.” What other thought, let me ask, is such language adapted to convey but this,-a state of entire sanctification ? Deut. xxx. 6, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." Here the perfect holiness required by the law, is promised in the very words of the law itself.
Again, 2d. The old covenant or moral law requires not only perfect, but perpetual holiness. Gal. iii. 10, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The new covenant, on the other hand, promises not only perfect but perpetual holiness. Jer. xxxi. 30, 40, “And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.” If, to give to Christians one heart and one way, that they may fear God for ever, and never depart from him, does not imply, not only perfect, but perpetual holiness, we may truly say, that language cannot express that idea. Ezek. xxxvii. 23, “ Neither shall they defile themselves any more
with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions.” Every one will perceive, that if the Holy Spirit has not here given us the promise not only of perfect but perpetual holiness, he has made as near an approach to it as is in the power of language to make, and that if he had designed to express that promise, no stronger language could possibly have been used.
The same truth is taught with equal distinctness in Isa. lix. 21, and Luke i. 74, 75; “As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord: My Spirit which is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.” “That he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the rest of our life.”
I cite but one other passage under this head, -a passage, which, if we had none others of the kind in the Bible, would place the doctrine under consideration upon an eternal rock. 1 Thes. v. 23, 24, “And the very God of
God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, . and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is
he that calleth you, who also will do it.” Here we have, 1. A prayer, for perfect and perpetual holiness, dictated by the direct inspiration of the Spirit of God. Who can believe, that the Holy Spirit has dictated a prayer which is not “according to the will of God,” and which he requires us to believe that God will never answer by the bestowment of the blessing “desired of him?" 2. We have the positive declaration of God himself, that this blessing, when asked in faith, shall be granted. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” On the promises of Scripture, as thus presented, I remark;
1. That we have evidence just as conclusive, that perfect and perpetual holiness is promised to Christians, as we have that it is required of them. Any principles of interpretation that would prove that the former is not promised, would be equally conclusive to show that the latter is not required.
2. We have the same evidence from Scripture, that all Christians may, and that some of them will attain to a state of entire sanctification in this life, that we have that they will attain to that state in heaven. No passages can be adduced which more positively affirm the latter than the former. Any principles of interpretation that will show that such passages as I have cited, and shall hereafter cite, do not prove the practicability of perfect holi