Outside the church, the communion of saints, there are no spiritual benefits, the forgiveness of sins cannot be appropriated. If, for some reason, the believer severs himself, as far as his conscious life is concerned, from that communion, the first effect of this error is always that he lacks the joy of forgiveness. Perhaps, for a time, he lives in hatred over against some of the brethren; or he evinces an unforgiving spirit; or he seeks the friendship of the world; or he lives in whatever other sin may sever his fellowship with the saints, and disturb the exercise of the communion of saints: in that state of separation from the body of believers, he forfeits the forgiveness of sins. The truth of this is emphasised in Scripture (1John 1:5-7). This implies, evidently, that outside of the sphere of that light, and of that fellowship with one another, the blood of Christ does not function in its cleansing efficacy, and that, apart from that communion, we cannot have the forgiveness of sins.