This is an excerpt from his common domain writings: The Whole Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning; Heart-Humiliation; Sermon 10
The whole will of God concerning your duty may be summed up in two, John has one of them 1st John 3:23, “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment,” and Paul has another to the Thessalonians 1st-4:3 “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.” And these two make up this text, so that it unites both gospel and law. The commandment of the law comes forth, and it has found that we have broken and are guilty, that we cannot answer for one of a thousand. The law entering makes sin abound. Our inability, yes, impossibility of obedience is more discovered. Well, then, the gospel proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ for the Savior of sinners, and commands us, under pain of damnation, to believe in him, –to cast our souls on him, as one able to save, as one who has obeyed the law for us, so that this command of believing in Christ is answerable to all the breaches of the law, and tends to make them up in Christ. When he proclaimed the law on mount Sinai, with terror, that which you are in the first instance to obey, for all these we have broken, but It has a gospel command in its bosom, it leads to Jesus Christ, and if ye could read the mind of God in it, you would resolve all these commands which condemn you and curse you, into one command of believing in the Son, that you may be saved from that condemnation. And if you obey this command, which is his last command, and most decisive, then are the breaches of the rest is fulfilled, though not in your obedience, yet in Christ’s which is better than ours. Believing in Christ presents God with a perfect righteousness, with an obedience even to death of the cross. When a sinner hears the holy and spiritual sense of the law, and sees it in the light of God’s holiness, O how vile must he appear to himself! What original pollution, what actual pollution, what a fountain within, what uncleanness in streams without, will discover itself! Now, when the most part of men get any sight of this, presently they fall a washing and cleansing themselves, or hiding their filthiness. And what water do they use? Their own tears and sorrows, their own resolutions, their own reformations. But alas, we are still plunged in our own filthiness; that is still clear, because all that is as foul as that we would have washed away. What garments do men take to hide themselves ordinarily? Is it not their own righteousness? Is it not a skirt of some duty that is spread over transgressions? Do they not think their sins hid, if they can mourn and pray for a time? Their consciences are eased by reflection upon this. But alas, your iniquity is still clearly there, and counted.
Your righteousness is as a vile garment, as a menstrual cloth (Isaiah 64:6) as well as your unrighteousness, how then will it cover your nakedness? Seeing it is so then, what is the Lord’s mind concerning our cleansing? Seeing stretched out hands and many prayers will not do it, what is there to do? The Lord has shown you what to do, and that is, that you do nothing in relation to that end, that you should try to wash away the least spot by all your repentance. Yet, you must be washed and made clean, and the water is made new to you, even the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses from all sin. Wash in this blood, and you will be made clean. And what is it to wash in this blood? It is to believe in Christ Jesus, to lay hold on the all sufficient virtue of it, to trust our souls to it, as a sufficient ransom for all our sins, to spread the covering of Christ’s righteousness over all our righteousness and unrighteousness, as having both alike need to be hid from his holy eyes. Jesus Christ “came by water and by blood,” (1st John 5:6), by water to make holy, and by blood to justify, by the power and cleansing virtue of the Holy Spirit, to take away sin in the being of it, and by virtue of his blood, to take away sin in the guilt and condemnation of it.