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The circumstance of their being clothed in white robes, denotes the righteousness and purity of these saints in light at the time when the apostle saw them. But the very language employed, intimates that such had not been always their state. There had been a time when they were not righteous and pure. There had been a time when their robes were not white; for they had “ washed them and made them so ;" a process, which implies that they were previously discoloured and stained. But how had this process been conducted ? How had these robes been washed ?
They had been washed in blood.” What a strange, what a contradictory proceeding does this appear to be! Who would ever think of washing their garments in blood? Who would ever suppose that the garments so washed, would be made white? To wash their robes in blood, we might have thought, would have tended only to make them more offensive and defiled. And so, My Brethren, it would had the blood in which they were washed been common blood; the blood of bulls, and of goats; the blood of men, even of martyrs; the blood of any created being. The application of such blood could only increase the evil which it was designed to rebeen slain, but who was now in the midst of the Throne; who fed them, and led them unto the living fountains of waters; to whom their worship, their praise, and their adoration were paid. Need I to dwell upon this part of the text? Need I minutely to explain the meaning of the language here used ? What truth does the whole description teach, but that it was solely through the Blood of Jesus Christ, who was God as well as Man, and by faith in this blood, that the glorious change which was wrought in the condition of these Saints had been effected ? It was through the efficacy of this blood, applied by faith to the conscience, that the stain and guilt of their sins had been washed away ; that their persons had been justified and accepted as righteous before God; that their souls had been purified from corruption; that their victory over the devil, the world, and the flesh had been accomplished. through the blood of the Lamb alone that they had prevailed and overcome.
What then is the blood here meant ? Whose blood is it declared to be? « The Blood of the Lamb;" of that Lamb, who had
It is the property of this blood to cleanse from all sin ; to make white those garments which are washed in the fountain that God has thus opened for sin and for uncleanness. It is the property of this blood, when received and applied by faith, to purify, to heal, and strengthen the soul; to confer on it a title to
heaven, and a meetness for glory. It was thus that these saints had received and applied it.
Therefore are they before the Throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His Temple. Therefore have all their former tribulations worked together for their good. Therefore does “ the Lamb now feed them and lead them, and God hath wiped away all tears from their eyes.” Such was the Process through which this change in their condition had been wrought.
And now; My Brethren, would you not all wish to partake of the blessedness of these Saints in light ? Would you not all wish, when you shall have passed through this world of sorrow and trial, to share their rest, and felicity, and joy; to drink with them out of the living fountains of bliss; and with them to have all tears for ever wiped away from your eyes ? Surely you must desire these things. You cannot but seriously wish, if you will but seriously reflect on the subject, that when you die, you may be happy in heaven, and numbered with the people of God-And most earnestly do I wish that it may be so ! But how can it be done? How can you secure to yourselves an abundant entrance into the kingdom of heaven? There is but one way. You must here wash your robes and make them white in the Blood of the Lamb. There
is, there can be no other title to heaven, than that which the Blood of Christ confers : no other fitness for glory than that which this blood effects. You are defiled with sin. You have no righteousness of your own to hide your shame.
shame. You have neither the will nor the power to serve God with a holy and spiritual mind. You want pardon, you want righteousness, you want purity. And where are these things to be procured, but in and through Jesus Christ? With the heart apply to and believe in Him; and you shall be saved. He “ hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers ;” to those who trust in His blood, once shed as the full satisfaction for all their sins. Wash in this fountain and you shall be cleansed. Your garments, though red like scarlet, though purple like crimson, shall become white as snow. Cast yourselves, unrighteous, unholy as you are, cast yourselves before the foot of the Cross ; look up with a penitent, believing heart to Him, who there died to expiate sin; and your sin shall be expiated. You shall die to sin, and through the Spirit shall henceforth live unto righteousness. That application by faith of the blood of Christ, which will purge the conscience from guilt, will also impart to your soul new life and vigour for running the way of God's Commandments.
Christ crucified is the sinner's peace and hope, his righteousness, his sanctification, and redemption; his title to heaven; his meetness for glory. Oh! make this crucified Saviour your own by faith. Come to Him in faith for the pardon of your sins, for grace to serve Him. This will be to you the beginning of life, the earnest of heaven. Wash in this fountain, and you will soon know the meaning of being cleansed from sin; the privilege of having Christ for your Saviour. Ministers cannot give you this knowledge. But Christ Himself will give it you. He will give you to “ know Him and the power of His Resurrection," in quickening, comforting, purifying, and strengthening your souls. It is true that in the world you will have, you must have “ tribulation." This Cross you must bear: but it shall be sanctified to you ; and you shall be supported under it. You shall in due time “come out of this tribulation;" and shall come out of it for ever. And where will
then be? In heaven, in glory, before the Throne of God, in the presence of the Lamb, at the living fountains of waters. There you shall hunger and thirst no more. There shall God wipe away all tears from your eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; “ for the former things shall be passed