The Purification of Conscience
The Hebrew Christians, to whom the apostle wrote, were well acquainted with the laws of ceremonial purification by the blood of beasts and birds, for by blood almost every thing was purified in the service of the temple. But it is only the blood of Christ that can purge the human conscience. In speaking of this purification, as presented in our text, let us notice - the object, the means, and the end.
I. The object of this purification is the conscience; which all the sacrificial blood shed, from the gate of Eden, down to the extinction of the fire on the Jewish altar, was not sufficient to purge.
What is the conscience? An inferior judge, the representative of Jehovah, holding his court in the human soul; according to whose decision we feel either confidence and joy in God, or condemnation and tormenting fear. His judicial power is graduated by the degree of moral and evangelical light which has been shed upon his palace. His knowledge of the will and the character of God is the law by which he justifies or condemns. His intelligence is the measure of his authority; and the perfection of knowledge would be the infallibility of conscience.
This faithful recorder and deputy judge is with us through all the journey of life, and will accompany us with his register over the river Jordan, whether to Abraham's bosom or the society of the rich man in hell. While conscience keeps a record on earth, Jehovah keeps a record in heaven; and when both books shall be opened in the final judgment, there shall be found a perfect correspondence. When temptations are presented, the understanding opposes them, but the carnal mind indulges them, and there is a contest between the judgment and the will, and we hesitate which to obey, till the warning bell of conscience rings through the soul, and gives distinct notice of his awful recognition; and when we turn away recklessly from his faithful admonitions, we hear ...
There are 18630 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.