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be ministered too late to work, and judgments may fall too late, to supple or entender the soul: for as we may die with that physic in our stomach, so may we be carried to the last judgment, with that former judgment upon our shoulders. And therefore our later translation hath expressed it more fully, not that that fury shall light, but shall rest upon us.

This cleansing therefore, is that disposition, which God by his grace, infuses into us, that we stand in the congregation, and communion of saints, capable of those mercies, which God hath by his ordinance, annexed to these meetings; that we may so feel at all times when we come hither, such a working of his hyssop, such a benefit of his ordinance, as that we believe all our former sins to be so forgiven, as that if God should translate us now, this minute, to another life, this dosis of this purging hyssop, received now, had so wrought, as that we should be assuredly translated into the kingdom of heaven. This cleansing applies to us those words of our Saviour, My son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee; but yet there is a farther degree of cleanness expressed in Christ's following words, Go, and sin no more; and that grace against relapses, the gift of sanctification, and perseverance, is that that David asks in his other petition, Lara me, Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Here we proposed first the action, Lara, Wash me. This is more than a sprinkling, a total, and entire washing; more than being an ordinary partaker of the outward means, the word, and sacraments; more than a temporary feeling of the benefit thereof in a present sense; for it is a building up of habits of religious actions, visible to others, and it is a holy and firm confidence created in us by the Spirit of God, that we shall keep that building in reparation, and go forward with it to our lives' end. It is a washing like Naaman's in Jordan, to be iterated seven times, seventy-seven times, daily, hourly, all our life; a washing, begun in baptism, pursued in sweat, in the industry of a lawful calling, continued in tears, for our deficiencies in the works of our calling, and perchance to be consummated in blood, at our deaths. Not such a washing, as the washes have, which are those sands that are overflowed with the sea at every tide, and then lie dry, but such a washing as the bottom of the sea hath, that is always

equally wet. It is not a stillicidium, a spout, a shower, a bucket poured out upon us, when we come to church, a Sabbath sanctification, and no more, but a water that enters into every office of our house, and washes every action proceeding from every faculty of the soul. And this is the washing, a continual succession of grace, working effectually to present habits of religious acts, and constituting a holy purpose of persevering in them that induces the whiteness, the candour, the dealbation that David begs here, Lara et dealbabor.

18 2 Cor. vii. 1.

The purging with hyssop, which we spoke of before, which is the benefit which we have by being bred in a true church, delivers us from that redness, which is in the earth of which we are made, from that guiltiness, which is by our natural derivation from our parents imprinted in us; baptism doth much upon that; but that that is not red, is not therefore white. But this is our case: our first colour was white; God made man righteous. Our redness is from Adam, and the more that redness is washed off, the more we return to our first whiteness; and this which is petitioned here, is a washing of such perfection, as cleanses us ab omni inquinamento, from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. Those inquinamenta, which are ordinary, are first in the flesh, concupiscence and carnality, and those other, of which the apostle says, The works of the flesh are manifest"; and in the spirit, they are murmuring, diffidence in God, and such others. But besides these, as an over-diligent cleansing of the body, and additional beauty of the body, is inquinamentum carnis, one of St. Paul's filthinesses upon the flesh, so an over-purifying of the spirit, in an uncharitable undervaluing of other men, and in a schismatical departing from the unity of the church, is inquinamentum spiritus: false beauties are a foulness of the body, false purity is a foulness of the spirit. But the washing, that we seek, cleanses us ab omni inquinamento, from all foulness of flesh and spirit. All waters will not cleanse us, nor all fires dry us, so as we may be clean, smoky fires will not do that. I will pour clean water upon you, and you shall be clean20. The sun produces sweat upon us, and it dries us too: zeal cleanses us; but it must

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be zeal impermixt as the sun, not mingled with our smoky, sooty, factious affections. Some grammarians have noted the word washing here, to be derived from a word, that signifies a lamb ; we must be washed in the blood of the Lamb, and we must be brought to the whiteness, the candour, the simplicity of the lamb; no man is pure, that thinks no man pure but himself. And this whiteness, which is sanctification in ourselves, and charitable interpretation of other men, is exalted here to that superlative, Super nivem, Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow". Esay was an evangelical prophet, a prophetical evangelist, and speaks still of the state of the Christian church. There, by the ordinary means exhibited there, our scarlet sins are made as white as snow; and the whiteness of snow, is a whiteness that no art of man can reach to; so Christ's garments in his Transfiguration are expressed to have been as white as snow, so, as no fuller on earth can white them. Nothing in this world can send me home in such a whiteness, no moral counsel, no moral comfort, no moral constancy; as God's absolution by his minister, as the profitable hearing of a sermon, the worthy receiving of the sacrament do. This is to be as white as snow; in a good state for the present. But David begs a whiteness above snow; for snow melts, and then it is not white; our present sanctification withers, and we lose that cheerful verdure, the testimony of an upright conscience; and snow melted, snow-water, is the coldest water of all; devout men departed from their former fervour are the coldest and the most irreducible to true zeal, true holiness. Therefore David who was metal tried seven times in the fire, and desired to be such gold as might be laid up in God's treasury, might consider, that in transmutation of metals, it is not enough to come to a calcination, or a liquefaction of the metal, (that must be done) nor to an ablution, to sever dross from pure, nor to a transmutation, to make it a better metal, but there must be a fixion, a settling thereof, so that it shall not evaporate into nothing, nor return to his former nature. Therefore he saw that he needed not only a liquefaction, a melting into tears, nor only an ablution, and a transmutation, those he had by this purging

21 Isaiah i. 18.

Mark ix. 3.

and this washing, this station in the church of God, and this present sanctification there, but he needed fixionem, an establishment, which the comparison of snow afforded not; that as he had purged him with hyssop, and so cleansed him, that is, enwrapped him in the covenant, and made him a member of the true church; and there washed him so, as that he was restored to a whiteness, that is, made his ordinances so effectual upon him, as that then he durst deliver his soul into his hands at that time so he would exalt that whiteness, above the whiteness of snow, so as nothing might melt it, nothing discolour it, but that under the seal of his blessed Spirit, he might ever dwell in that calm, in that assurance, in that acquiescence, that as he is in a good state this minute, he shall be in no worse, whensoever God shall be pleased to translate him.

We end all the Psalms in our service, those of praise, and those of prayer too, with a Gloria Patri, Glory be to the Father, &c. For our conclusion of this prayer in this Psalm, we have reserved a Gloria Patri too, this consideration for the glory of God, that though in the first part, the persons, the persons were varied, God, and man, yet in our second part, where we consider the work, the whole work is put into God's hand, and received from God's hand. Let God be true, and every man a liar; let God be strong, and every man infirm; let God give, and man but receive. What man that hath no propriety therein, can take a penny out of another man's house, or a root out of his garden, but the law will take hold of him? Hath any man a propriety in grace? What had he to give for it? nature? Is nature equivalent to grace? No man does refine, and exalt nature to the height it would bear, but if natural faculties were exalted to their highest, is nature a fit exchange for grace? and if it were, is nature our own? Why should we be loath to acknowledge to have all our ability of doing good freely from God, and immediately by his grace, when as, even those faculties of nature, by which we pretend to do the offices of grace, we have from God himself too? For that question of the apostle involves all, What hast thou that thou hast not received? Thy natural faculties are no more thine own, than the grace of God is thine own; I would not be beholden to God for grace, and I must be as much beholden

to him for nature, if nature do supply grace; because he hath made thee to be a man, he hath given thee natural faculties; because he hath vouchsafed thee to be a Christian, he hath given thee means of grace. But, as thy body, conceived in thy mother's womb, could not claim a soul at God's hand, nor wish a soul, no nor know that there was a soul to be had: so neither by being a man endued with natural faculties canst thou claim grace, or wish grace; nay those natural faculties, if they be not pretincted with some infusion of grace before, cannot make thee know what grace is, or that grace is. To a child rightly disposed in the womb, God does give a soul; to a natural man rightly disposed in his natural faculties, God does give grace; but that soul was not due to that child, nor that grace to that man.

Therefore, (as we said at first) David does not bring the hyssop, and pray God to make the potion, but, do thou purge me with hyssop, all is thine own; there was no pre-existent matter in the world, when God made the world; there is no pre-existent merit in man, when God makes him his. David does not say, do thou wash me, and I will perfect thy work; give me my portion of grace, and I will trouble thee for no more, but deal upon that stock; but Qui sanctificatur, sanctificetur adhuc, Let him that is holy be more holy, but accept his sanctification from him, of whom he had his justification; and except he can think to glorify himself because he is sanctified, let him not think to sanctify himself because he is justified; God does all. Yet thus argues St. Augustine upon David's words, Tuus sum Domine, Lord I am thine, and therefore safer than they, that think themselves their own. Every man can and must say, I was thine, thine by creation; but few can say, I am thine, few that have not changed their master. But how was David his so especially? says St. Augustine: Quia quæsivi justificationes tuas, as it follows there; Because I sought thy righteousness, thy justification. But where did he seek it? He sought it, and he found it in himself. In himself, as himself, there was no good thing to be found, how far soever he had sought: but yet he found a justification, though of God's whole making, yet in himself.

So then, this is our act of recognition, we acknowledge God,

od only to do all; but we do not so make him sovereign

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