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God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past
unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by bis Son. Heb. i, 1, c.
We have communion with God when we determine to forsake sin, when we exercise unshaken hope in Christ, and when we endure affliction in an humble, patient, and quiet spirit. This intercourse is carried on in devout aspirations, and is evidenced by the word of God becoming more and more precious.
There is great danger of mistaking a spirit of self and pride for the spirit of God. Let us guard against such a dangerous error. With whom besides do saints hold communion?
6. With holy angels. They encamp about the righteous, and minister to the saints. Ps.
xxxiv, 7; Heb. i, 14, Thus an angel brought Lot out of Sodom, and another conducted Israel out of Egypt. Daniel was preserved by an angel, who stopped the mouth of the lions. The angel of his presence saved them. Isa. Ixiii, 9. At the end of the world they will sever the wicked from the just.
Matt. xiii, 39, 49. Angels foretold the birth of John the Baptist. Luke i, 13. And that of Jesus. Luke i, 30. They sung a hymn at the nativity. Lake ii, 13. There is joy among them over every sinner that repenteth. Luke
V, 19; xii, 8,
7. With other saints on earth by love; and with the saints in glory, in hope of the happiness they enjoy. Ye are come unto Mount Sion, and upto the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant. Heb. xii, :2, 23. They have the same ordinances, promises, and affections ; are engrafted into the same stock; receive life from the same root; and are heirs of the same glory.
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, Eph. iv, 5.
They have an intimate union with all the saints on earth, as living Members of Christ.
What are the uses of this article?
1. To excite to holiness. To receive an inheritance among them which are sanctified. Acts
xxvi, 18. What concord hath Christ with Belial ? 2 Cor. vi, 14, 15. Who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the
saints in light. Col. i, 12. If we walk in the light---we have fellowship one with another.
1 John i, 6, 7. 2. To inspire gratitude. Who am I, that I should be son in law to the king ? 1 Sam. xviii, 18. Great and precious promises---whereby ye might be partakers of the
divine nature. 2 Pet. i, 4. How high a vocation is that of Christians, who are called to fellowship with angels, apostles, prophets, martyrs, and with God himself, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and how very foolish and wicked are those who ridicule the name of saints, and despise this heavenly calling. Do not you imitate their example ; but pray for the Holy Spirit, that you may be admitted to this high fellowship, being conformed to the Divine image, in righteousness and true holiness, numbered among the excellent of the earth, and made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. He will keep the feet of his saints. 1 Sam. ii, 9. The Spirit maketh intercession for the saints. Rom. viii, 27. Collect, 3d Sunday after Easter...Grant unto all them that are
admitted into the fellowship of Christ's religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and fol
low all such things as are agreeable to the same. All-Saints' Day...O Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship; grant us grace so to follow the blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for them that love thee.
On the Creed. No. 9.
ON THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
What is the next Article in the Creed ?
[I believe in] the forgiveness of sins. What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law. 1 John iii, 4.
Any thought, desire, word, or action, contrary to God's law, or the omission of any duty commanded therein: every evil inclination, as well as every evil habit, contracted in the soul. Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, &c. Matt. xv, 19. The thought of foolishness is sin. Prov. xxiv, 9. Every idle word that men sball speak, they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment. Matt. xii, 36. All anrighteousness is sin, 1 John v, 17. To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin,
James iv, 17.
The original corruption of our nature is sin.
God has an unlimited right over us, and has given us holy laws for the regulation of our conduct, which he has enforced by promising rewards, and threatening punishment. Every sin, therefore, which we commit, causes guilt; and every sinner, deserves to suffer in proportion to his offence; for when God is wronged, he has a most just right to punish : and we may judge how very extensive his commandments are, when we consider our Saviour's exposition of them, Matt, v, 21, 27, 33, 38, 43.
We should so reverence conscience as not to do what we suspect may be wrong, Thy commandment is exceeding broad. Ps. cxix, 96.
But however extensive God's command may be, Fools make a mock at sin; Prov. xiv, 9; and Sin does not appear sin, and become exceeding sinful, until the Spirit
be given us. Rom. vii, 13. When he is come, he will reprove (or convince) the world of sin.
John xvi, 8, 9.
What is the sentence denounced on the sinner ?
Death. In the day that thou eatest thereof thon shalt die. Gen. ii, 17. Whoso hath sinned, him will I blot out of my book, Exod. xxxii,33. The wicked shall be turned into hell. Ps. ix, 17. The soul that sinneth it sball die, Ezek, xviii, 4, 20. Sin entered into the world, and death by sin. Rom. v, 12. The wages of sin is death. Rom, vi, 23. Have all mankind sinned?
Yes. (See also p. 3.) There is no man tbat sinneth not. 1 Kings viii, 46; 2 Chron. vi, 36. There is not a Just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not.
Eccles. vii, 20. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii, 23. For that all have singed. Rom, v, 12. The Scripture bath concluded all under sin, Gal, iii, 22.
All men, therefore, are by nature and practice sinners, and are exposed to God's everlasting indignation; and if they had never committed more than one sin in all their lives, yet Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he
is guilty of all, James ii, 10. If sin be committed against God, to whom must we look
for the pardon of sin ? Who can forgive sins but God only? Mark ii, 7. What intimations has God given to men, of the way in which
pardon of sin, and acceptance with him, were to be
obtained ? He made it known to the Old Testament saints by several types and ceremonies. To Adam, Gen. iii, 15; to Abel, Ger. iv, 4; by Noah's Ark,
Gen. vi, 13, 14; to Abraham, Gen. xv, 1, 10; to Isaac, Gen, xxii, 7; to Jacob, Gen. xxviii, 12; by the Paschal Lamb, Exod. xii, 5; Mercy Seat, Exod. xxv, 22; High Priest, Exod. xxviii, 1; Scape Goat, Lev. xvi, 8-22; Brazen Serpent, Numb. xxi, 6-9; Cities of Refuge, Nomb, xxxv, 12;
10 Isaiah, Isa. liii, 5, 6, 10; lix, 16; lo Zechariah, Zech. xiii, 1. But he reserved the clear discovery of the way of a sinner's salvation until the coming of Christ. For he shall save his people from their sins. Matt. i, 21. The Son of Mau came to give bis life a ransom. Matt. xx, 28 ;
Mark X, 45, This is my blood-shed for the remission of sins. Matt, xxvi, 28,
God gave his only Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish, &c. John iii, 16. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down bis life
for bis friends. John xv, 13. Through bis name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission
of sins. Acts x, 43, Throngh this man is preached the forgiveness of sins. Acts xiji, 38. The Church which he hath purchased with his-own blood. Acts xx,28. Who was delivered for our offences. Rom. iv, 25. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rom. v. 8. We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Rom. v, 10. God spared not his own Son, bnt delivered him up. Rom. viii, 32. Ye are bought with a price. 1 Cor, vi, 20; vii, 23. Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures. 1 Cor. xv, 3. He hath made him to be sin for us. 2 Cor. v, 21. Who gave himself for our sins. Gal. i, 4. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law. Gal. iii, 13. God sent forth his Son to redeem them, &c. Gal. iv, 4, 5. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of
sins. Eph. i, 7. Having made peace through the blood of his cross. Col. i, 20. Christ Jesus came to save sinners. i Tiin, i, 15. Who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Tim. ii, 6. Not by our works, but according to luis mercy he saved us. Titus iii, 5. He needed not to offer sacrifices for his own sing. Heb. vii, 27. Without shedding of blood is no remission. Heb. ix, 22. He put away sin by the sacritice of himself. Heb. ix, 26. This wan, after be had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat
down on the right hand of God. Heb. x, 12. Ye were redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. 1 Pet. i, 18, 19. Christ bath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that be
might bring us to God. 1 Pet, iji, 18. God sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John iv, 10. To bim that washed us from our sins in his own blood. Rev. i,5. Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood. Rev. v, 9. He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev.
xiii, 8. What assurance hos God given us that he will forgive the
sins of those who come to him through Jesus Christ,
feeling a deep sense of their need of pardon? The Lord, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin. Exod.
xxxiv, 7; Numb. xiv, 18.