Ralph Cudworth on Freeing Us from Sin
Christ came not into the world only to cast a mantle over us, and hide all our filthy sores from God's avenging eye, with his merits and righteousness; but he came likewise to be a chirurgeon and physician of souls, to free us from the filth and corruption of them: which is more grievous and burdensome, more noisome to a true Christian, than the guilt of sin itself.
Should a poor wretched and diseased creature, that is full of sores and ulcers, be covered all over with purple, or clothed with scarlet, he would take but little contentment in it, whilst his sores and wounds remain upon him; and he had much rather be arrayed in rags, so he might obtain but soundness and health within. The gospel is a true Bethesda, a pool of grace, where such poor, lame and infirm creatures as we are, upon the moving of God's Spirit in it, may descend down, not only to wash our skin and outside, but also to be cured of our diseases within. And whatever the world thinks, there is a powerful Spirit, that moves upon these waters, the waters of the gospel, spreading its gentle, healing, quickening wings over our souls. The gospel is not like Abana and Pharphar, those common rivers of Damascus, that could only cleanse the outside; but is a true Jordan, in which such leprous Naamans as we all are, "may wash and be clean." "Blessed indeed are they, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered: Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin;" but yet rather blessed are they, whose sins are like a morning cloud, and quite taken away from them. Blessed, thrice "blessed are they, that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be satisfied: blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."