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This disease, our great physician, Christ, cutes, by remission, which is the dissolving of the obligation to punishment; the loosing of the foul that was bound over to the wrath and condemnation of God, Col. i. 13, 14. Heb. vi. 12. Micah vii. 17, 18, 19. This remission being made, the soul is immediately cleared from all its obligations to punishment. Rom. viji.
" There is no coodemnation.” All bonds are cancelled, the guilt of all fins is healed; or removed, origioal and actual, great and small. This cure is performed upon souls, by the blood of Chrift: nothing is found, in heaven, or earth, besides his blood, that is able to heal this disease.
Heb. ix. 22. “ Without shedding of blood there is no femiffion;" nor is it any blood that will do it, but that, only, which dropped from the wounds of Christ. Ifa. liii. 5. By his stripes we are “ healed.” His blood, only, is innocent, and precious blood, 1 Pet. i. 19. blood of infinite worth, and value ; blood of God, Acts xx. 18. blood prepared for this very purpose, Heb. X. S. This is the blood that performs the cure; and how great a cure is it! for this cure, the fouls of believers shall be praising and magnifying their great phyfician in heaven, to all eternity; Rev. i. 5, 6.“ To him that loved us, and washed us from our fins, “ in his own blood, &c. to him be glory and domision, for
ever and ever.”
Secondly, The next evil in fin cured by Christ, is the domini. op of it over the fouls of poor finners. Where sin is in domi. nion, the soul is in a very lad condition ; for it darkeas the onderstanding, depraves the conscience, ftiffens the will, hardens the heart, misplaces and disorders all the affections; and thus er very faculty is wounded, by the power and dominion of fin over the soul. How difficult is the cure of this disease ! it passes the skill of angels, or men, to heal it; but Chrift undertakes it, and makes a perfect cure of it, at last, and this he doth by his Spirit. As he cures the guilt of lin by pouring out his blood for us ; fo he cures the dominion of fin, by pouring out his Spirit upon us. Justification is the cure of guilt, sanctification the cure of the dominion of sin. For,
First, As the dominion of fin darkens the understanding, I Cor. ii. 14. fo the Spirit of holiness, which Christ Theds upon his people, cures the darkness and blindness of that nobile facule ty, and restores it again, Eph. v. 8. They that were darkness, are hereby light in the Lord; the anointing of the Spirit, teacheth them all things, 1 John ii. 27.
Secondly, As the dominion of fa depraved and defiled to set
confcience, Tit. i. 15. wounded it to that degree, as to disable it to the performances of all its offices, and functions ; fo that it was neither able to apply, convince, or tremble at the word : So, when the Spirit of holiness is shed forth, O what a tender sense fills the renewed conscience! For what small things will it check, smite, and rebuke! How strongly will it bind to duty, and bar against fin!
Thirdly, As the dominion of fin Niffened the will, and made it stubborn, and rebellious; fo Christ, by fanctifying it, brings it to be pliant, and obedient to the will of God. “ Lord (faith " the finner,) what wilt thou have me to do!” Acts ix. 6.
Fourthly, As the power of fin hardéneth the heart, so that nothing could affect it, or make any impression upou it; when fanctification comes upon the soul, it thaws, and breaks it, as hard as it was, and makes it dissolve, in the breast of a fioner, in godly forrow, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. “ I will take away the heart " of stone out of your flelh, and I will give you an heart of ir flesh.” It will now melt, ingenuously, under the threatnings of the word, 2 Kings xxii. Ty, or the strokes of the rod, Jer, xxxi. 18. or the manifestations of grace and mercy, Luke vii. 38.
· Fifthly, As the power of fin misplaced and disordered all the affections, fo fanctification reduces them again, and fets them right, Pfal. iv. 6, 7. And thus you see how fanctification becomes the rectitude, health, and due tem per of the foul, fo far as it prevails, curing the diseases that fin, in its dominion, filled the soul with. True it is, this cure is not perfected in this life; there are still some remains of the old diseases, in the holi
eft fouls, notwithstanding sin be dethroned from its dominion over them: but the cure is begun, and daily advances towards perfection, and at last will be compleat, as will appear in the cure of the next evil of fin, namely,
Thirdly, The inherence of fin in the soul: this is a fore difcafe, the very core and root of all our other complaints and ailes. This made the holy apostle bemoan himself, and wail fo bitterly, Rom. vii. 17. because of “ sia that dwelt in him :" And the Jame misery is bewailed by all fanctified persons, all the world
it "'Tis a wonderful mercy to have the guilt and dominion of lia cured, but we shall never be perfectly found, and well, till the existence, or in-dwelling of fia, in our patares, be cured too: when once that is done, then we fhall feel no more pain, nor forrows for fin : and this our great physician will at laft perform for us, and upon us. But as the cure of guilt was by our justification, the cure of the dominion of fin by our fanctification ; so the third and last, which perfects the whole cure, will be by our glorification ; and, till then, it is not to be expected, For it is a clear case, that fin, like ivy in the old walls, will never be gotten out till the walls be pulled down, and then it is pulled up by the roots. This cure Christ will perform in a moment, upon our dissolution. For it is plain,
First, That none but perfected souls, freed from all fin, are admitted into heaven, Eph. v. 27. Heb. xii. 23. Rev. xxi. 27.
Secondly, It is as plain, that no fuch personal perfection, and freedom is found in any man, on this side death, and the grave, 1 Jobn i. &. 1 Kings viii. 46. Phil. iii. 12. a truth, sealed by the fad experience of all the faints on earth.
Thirdly, if such freedom, and perfection must be before we can be perfectly happy, and no such thing be done in this life; it remains that it must be done immediately upon their disolu. tion, and at the very time of their glorification : as fin came in at the time of the union of their fouls and bodies in the womb, so it will go out at the time of their separation by death; then will Christ put the last hand to this glorious work, and perfect that cure which hath been so long under his hand, in this world: and thenceforth fin shall have no power upon them, it hall 'ne. ver tempt them more, it shall never defile them more, it shall never grieve and fadden their hearts auy more : henceforth it shall never cloud their evideaces, darken their understandings, or give the least interruption to their communion with God. When fin is gone, all these, its mischievous effects, are gone with it. So that I may speak it to the comfort of all gracious hearts, according to what the Lord told the Israelites, in Deut. xii. 8, 9. (to which I allude, for illustration of this most com. fortable truth) “Ye shall not do after all the things that ye do s here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, “ for ye are not as yet come to the rest, and to the inheritance $ which the Lord your God giveth you." Whilst you are under Christ's cure upon earth, but not perfectly healed, your understandings mistake, your thoughts wander, your affections are dead, and your communion with God is daily interrupted; but it shall not be so in heaven, where the cure is perfect : you shall not there know, love, or delight in God, in the manner you do this day; for you are not, as yet, come to the rest, and to the inheritance which the Lord your God giveth you. And so much as to the diseases of sin, and Christ's method of curing them.
Secondly, As Sin is the disease of the saints, fo, allo, is for row; the best saints must pass thro' the valley of Bacha, la heaven. How many tears fall from the eyes of the faints, upon the account of outward, as well as inward troubles ; even after their reconciliation with God? “Through much tribula$ tion we must enter into the kingdom of God,” Acts xiv. 22. It would be too great a digression, in this place, to note but the more general heads, under which almost infinite particulars, of troubles and afflictions, are found : it shall suffice only to thew, that whatever disress, or trouble, any poor foul is in, upon aby account whatsoever ; if that foul belongs to Jesus Chrift,'he will take care of it, for the present, and deliver it, at last, by a complete cure.
First, Christ cures troubles, by fanctifying them to the souls of his, that are under affliction, and makes their very troubles medicinal, and healing to them. Trouble is a Scorpion, and bath a deadly sting; but Christ is a wife physiciun, and extracts a sovereign oil out of this scorpion, that heals the wound it makes. By afflictions, our wife physician purges our corruptions, and so prevents, or cures, greater troubles, by lesser ; inward forrows, by outward ones. Ifa. xxyii. 9. “By this, therefore, tall the ini" quity of Jacob be purged ; and this is aļl the fruit, to take “ way his fin."
Secondly, Christ cures outward troublss, by inward confolations, which are made to rise in the inner man, as high as the wa. ters of affliction do upon the outward man, 2 Cor. i. 5. One drop of spiritual comfort, is fufficient to sweeten a whole ocean of outward trouble. It was an high expression of an afflicted father, whom God comforted, juft upon the death of his dear and only fon,+ with fome clearer manifestations of his love than was usual : "O, said he, might I but have such consolations as " there, I could be willing (were it poflible) to lay an only fon “ into the grave every day I have to live in this world." Thus all the troubles of the world are cured by Christ. Johp xvi. 33. “In the world ye shall have trouble, but in me ye foall " have peace.”
Thirdly, Christ cures all outward forrows and troubles in his people by death, which is their removal from the place of forrows, to peace and rest for evermore. Now God wipes all tears from their eyes, and the days of their mourning are at an end; the then put off the garments and spirit of mourning, and enter in. to peace, Isa, lvii. 2. They come to that place, and state, where tears and fighs are things unknown to the inhabitants ;
to Nihil corpus fentit -in nervo, cum anima fit in cælo. i. e. The body has ao feeling. when the faul is in heaven.
one step beyond the state of this mortality, brings us quite out of the fight and hearing, of all troubles and lamentations. These are the difeafes of souls ; fin, and forrow; and thus they are cured by Chrift, the physician.
Secondly, Next I shall Thew you, that Jesus Christ is the only physician of fouls, none like him for a fick finner : And this will be evident, in divers respects.
First, None fo wife, and judicious, as Jesus Christ, to underNand, and comprehend the nature, depth, aod đanger of souldiseases. O how ignorant and unacquainted are men with the late and case of afflicted fouls ! But "Christ hath the tongue rate of the learned, that he should know how to fpeak a word in “ feason to him that is weary,” Ifa. 1. 4. He only understands the weight of fin, and depth of inward troubles of fin.
Secondly, None fo able to cure, and heal the wounds of af. flicted fouls, as Christ is; he, only, hath those medicines that can cure a sick foul. The blood of Christ, and nothing elfe, in heaven or earth, is able to cure the mortal wounds which guilt ioflicts upon a trembling conscience : let men try all other receipts, and costly experience shall convince them of their insufficiency. Conscience may be benumbed by stupefactive medicines, prepared by the devil for that end; but pacified it cad never be, but by the blood of Chrift, Meb: xvi. 22.
Thirdly, None fo tender-hearted, and sympathizing with fick fouls, as Jesus Christ; he is full of bowels and tender compaffions to afflicted souls: he is one that can have compassion, bea cause he hath had experience, Heb. v. 2. If I must come into the chirurgeon's hands with broken bones, give me such an one, to chuse, whose own bones have been broken, who hath felt the anguish in himself. Christ knows what it is, by experience, having felt the anguilh of inward troubles, the weight of God's wrath, and the terrors of a forfaking God, more than any, or all the fons of meg : this makes him tender over distressed fouls. Ifa. xlii. 3. “A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking filax 5 he will not queach."
Fourthly, None cures, in fo wonderful a method, as Chrift doth; he heals us by his stripes; Isa. liii. 5. The physician dies, that the patient may live; his wounds must bleed, that purs may be cured: he feels the smart and pain, that we might have ease and comfort. No physician, bụt Christ, will-cure thers at this rate.
Fifthly, None fo ready to relieve a sick soul, as Chrift; he iş within the call of a distressed soul at all times. Art thou sich for fin, weary of fin, and made truly willing to part with fia?