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to the noble army of martyrs, to the holy Church militant on earth, and triumphant
in heaven. Thirdly, The belief of the communion of saints is necessary to inflame our hearts with an ardent affection towards those who live, and a reverent respect towards those which are departed and are now with God. If all the saints of God living in the communion of the Church deserve the best of our affections here on earth, certainly when they are dissolved and with Christ, when they have been blessed
with a sight of God, and reward. ed with a crown of glory, they may challenge respect from us, who are here to wait upon the will of God, expecting when some such happy change shall come.
Fourthly, This tendeth to the directing and enlarging our acts of charity. We are obliged to be charitable unto all men, because the love of our brother is the foundation of our duty towards man, and in the language of the Scriptures whosoever is another is our brother; but we are par. ticularly directed to them that are of the household of faith. And as there is a general reason calling for our mercy and kindness unto all men ; so there is a more special reason urging those who are truly sanctified by the Spirit of God to do good unto such as appear to be led by the same Spirit; for if they communicate with them in the everlasting mercies of God, it is fit' that they should partake of man's compassion; if they communicate with them in things spiritual and eternal, can it be much that they should partake with them of such things as are temporal and carnal ?
ON THE CREED.
§ 9. ON THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. What is the next article in the Creed ?
“ 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 shall speak, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment. Tatt. ii. 36. All unrighteousness 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. In sin did my mother conceive me. Ps. li. 5.
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. whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Rom. xiv. 23.
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.
Yes. (See also chapter 1st.)
vi. 36. There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sin
neth not. Eccl. vii. 20. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii. 23. For that all have sinned. Rom. v. 12. The Scripture hath 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 ab
tained ? He made it known to the Old Testament saints by several types and ceremonies.
To Adam, Gen, iii. 15; to Abel, Gen. 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, Num. xxi. 6-9; Cities of Refuge, Num. xxxv. 12; to Isaiah, Isa. liii. 5, 6. 10; lix. 16; to Zechariah, Zech. xlii. 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 man came to give his life ransom. Matt. XX. 28.
Mark x. 45. This is my blood-shed for the remission of sins. Matt. xxvi. 28. God-gave his only begotten 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 his
life for his friends. John xv. 13. Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive re
mission of sins. Acts x. 43. Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.
Acts xiii. 38. The Church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Acts xx. 28. 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, but 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 into the world to save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15. Who gave himself a ransom for all. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Not by our works, but according to his mercy he saved us.
Tit. iii. 5. He needed not to offer sacrifices for his own sins. Heb. vij. 27. Without shedding of blood is no remission. Heb. ix. 22. He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. ix. 26. This man, after he ha 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 hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that
he might bring us to God. 1 Pet. iii. 18. God sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John iv. 10. To him 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 has 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. Num. xiv. 18. Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive. Ps. Ixxxvi. 5. There is forgiveness with thee, &c. Ps. cxxx. 4. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow. Isa. i. 18. I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions. Isa. xliii. 25. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy sins. Isa. xliv. 22. Our God will abundantly pardon. Isa. lv. 7. I will pardon all their iniquities. Jer. xxxiii. 8. The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be
none; for I will pardon them. Jer. I. 20. If the wicked will turn, his sins shall not be mentioned. Ezek.
xviii. 21, 22. To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness. Dan. ix. 9. Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth sin? Mic. vii. 18. Him hath God exalted to give-forgiveness of sins. Acts v. 31. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. 1 John i. 9.
Do you feel yourselves to be sinners, exposed to the wrath and under the curse of God? or are you sinning with a high hand, setting at defiance the Majesty of heaven, and saying in your hearts, “Tush ! God careth not for it?". If the remembrance of your sins be grievous unto you, have you sought the forgiveness of them through Jesus Christ ?—If not, apply to him now for pardon ; for he has said, (Rev. xxii. 17,) " Whosoever will, let him come.” He pardoned David, Manasseh, and Peter, and he will also pardon you. He took upon himself your nature-he put himself in your stead he has satisfied the offended justice of God, by having kept that law which you have broken; and having suffered the punishment due to your offences; if you flee to him for refuge, he will say to you, (Matt. ix. 2) “ Thy sins be forgiven thee-the Lord hath put away thy sin.”—But if you should die with your sins unforgiven, it would have been better for you never to have been born. Absolution.—He pardoneth and absolveth all those who truly
repent. Litany.--Pray that it may please God to forgive you all your
sins, negligences, and ignorances. 11th Sunday after Trinity.- O God, who declarest thy Almighty
power chiefly in showing mercy and pity, &c. Collect.--0 God, whose nature and property is ever to have
mercy, and to forgive-though we be tied and bound with
the chain of our sins, yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us.*
THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. "That we may understand the notion of forgiveness of sins," says Bishop Pearson, " three considerations are required; first, what is the nature of sin which is to be forgiven; secondly, what is the guilt or obligation of sin which wanteth forgiveness; thirdly, what is the remis. sion of sin itself, or the loosing of that obligation.”
Under the first head Bishop Pearson quotes several passages of Scrip. ture which define sin as “the transgression of the law,” (1 John iii. 4. Rom. iv. 15,) and then continues, " The law of God is the rule of the actions of men, and any aberration from that rule is sin : the law of God is pure, and whatsoever is contrary to that law is impure. Whatsoever therefore is done by man, or is in man, having any contrariety or opposition to the law of God, is sin. Every action, every word, every thought, against the law, is a sin of commission, as it is terminated to an object dissonant from, and contrary to, the prohibition of the law, or a negative precept. Every omission of a duty required of us is a sin, as being contrary to the com: mánding part of the law, or an affirmative precept. Every evil habit contracted in the soul of man by the actions committed against the law of God is a sin, constituting a man truly a sinner, even then when he ac. tually sinneth not. Any corruption and inclination in the soul, to do that which God forbiddeth, and to omit that which God commandeth, howso. ever such corruption and evil inclination came into the soul, whether by an act of his own will, or by an act of the will of another, is a sin, as being something dissonant and repugnant to the law of God."
of the second particular the author just quoted remarks, that "every sin doth cause a guilt, and every sinner, by being so, becomes a guil person; which guilt consisteth in a debt or obligation to suffer a punishment proportionable to the iniquity of the sin.” This guilt is caused both by sins of omission and commission, and remains after the act or omission causing the sin has passed away. This guilt, in the natural course of things, must remain for ever, and for ever subject the offender to the wrath of God. But he against whom the offence is committed has been pleased to interpose, and provide a way by which our guilt may be reinoved. In considering the ways and means which were used by hiin for this purpose-in considering what has been done by him towards the remission of sins, we may best understand in what that remission or for. giveness consists.
It appears from the Scriptures that, in order to render the forgiveness of sins possible, two things were necessary, first, a reconciliation of an offended God, and secondly, a satisfaction to a just God. These two things must go together, and provision has been made for both in the work of Christ for our redemption. In this there is contained a RECONCILIATION, without which God cannot be conceived to forgive ; it compre. hends a SATISFACTION, without which God was resolved not to be recon. ciled. Such are in substance the views of Bishop Pearson, of whose remarks upon these two points the following is an abridgement:
For the first of these, we may be assured of forgiveness of sins, be. cause Christ by his death hath reconciled God unto us, who was offended by our sins; and that he hath done so, we are assured, because he who before was angry with us, upon the consideration of Christ's death be.
# This collect of the Church of England has not been retained in the American Prayer-book.