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its first motions, and cause it to milcarry in the womb, like an untimely birth, before it comes to its full maturity; it shall never be able to gain the full consent of the will, as it doth in the unregenerate.
Secondly, If, notwithstanding all the oppofition grace makes to hinder the birth, or commiffion of it, it doth yet prevail, and break forth into act; yet fuch acts of fin, as they are not committed without regret, fo they are followed with fhame, forrow, and true repentance: And thofe very furprizals, and captivities of fin at one time, are made cautions and warnings to prevent it at another time. If it be fo with thee, thou doft not fulfil the lufts of the flesh.
And now, reader, upon the whole, if upon examination of thy heart by thefe rules, the Lord fhall help thee to difcern the faving work of the Spirit upon thy foul, and thereby thine interest in Christ, What a happy man or woman art thou! what pleasure will arife to thy foul from fuch a difcovery! Look upon the frame of thine heart abfolutely as it is in itself at prefent, or comparatively, with what once it was, and others ftill are, and thou wilt find enough to transport and melt thy heart within thee: Certainly this is the most glorious piece of workmanship that ever God wrought in the world upon any man, Eph. ii. 10. The Spirit of God is come down from heaven, and hath hallowed thy foul to be a temple for himself to dwell in; as he hath faid, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will "be their God, and they fhall be my people," 2 Cor. vii. 16. Moreover, this gift of the Spirit is a fure pledge and earnest of thy future glory: Time was, when there was no fuch work upon thy foul. And, confidering the frame and temper of it, the total averfation, Atrong opposition, and rooted enmity that was in it; it is the wonder of wonders, that ever fuch a work as this fhould be wrought upon fuch an heart as thine; that ever the Spirit of God, whofe nature is pure and perfect holiness, should chuse such an unclean, polluted, abominable heart to frame an habitation for himself there to dwell in; to say of thy foul (now his fpiritual temple) as he once faid of the material temple at Jerufalem, Pfal. cxxxii. 13, 14. "The Lord hath "chofen it, he hath defired it for his habitation. This is my "reft for ever: Here will I dwell; for I have defired it. what hath God done for thy foul!
Think, reader, and think again : Are there not many thoufands in the world of more ingenuous, fweet, and amiable difpofitions than thyfelf, whom yet the Spirit of God paffeth by, VOL. II.
and leaveth them as tabernacles for Satan to dwell in? Such a one thou lately waft, and hadst still remained, if God had not wrought for thee, beyond all the expectations and defires of thine own heart. O blefs God, that you have received not the fpirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that ye might know the things which are freely given unto you of God.
Of the Nature and Neceflity of the NEW CREATURE.
2 COR. v. 17. Therefore if any man be in Chrift, he is a new creature: oll things are paffed away; behold, all things are
OU have feen one trial of an intereft in Christ, in our laft discourse, namely, by the donation of the Spirit. We have here another trial of the fame matter, from one of the greatest, and moft noble effects of the Spirit upon our fouls; namely, his work of renovation, or new creation: "If any man "be in Chrift, he is a new creature." The apostle's fcope in the immediate context, is to diffuade Chriftians from a carnal, finful partiality, in their respects to men: Not to defpise them after the manner of the world, according to the external differences, but the real internal worth, and excellency that is in men. This the apostle preffes by two arguments; one drawn from the end of Christ's death, verfe 15. which was to take off from thefe felfish defigns, and carnal ends, by which the whole world is fwayed. Secondly, From the new Spirit, by which believers are actuated: they that are in Chrift, are to judge, and meafure all things by a new rule: "If any man be
in Chrift, he is a new creature: Old things are paffed away;", d. we have done with that low, felfish fpirit of the world," which was wholly governed by carnal intereft; we are now to judge by a new rule, to be actuated from new principle, aim at a new, and more noble end ; Behold, all things are become "new." In these words we have three general parts, to be diftiuctly confidered, viz.
1. The great question to be determined, "If any man be in "Chrift?"
2. The rule by which it may be determined; viz. "he is a
3. This general rule more particularly explained; "Old "things are paffed away; behold, all things are become new."
First, We have here the great question to be determined, Whether a man be in Chrift? A question, upon the determination whereof, we must stand, or fall for ever. By [being in Chrift] the apostle doth not here mean the general profeffion of Christianity, which gives a man the reputation of an interest in him; but by being in Christ, he means an interest in him, by vital union with his perfon, and real participation of his benefits. Now this is the question to be determined, the matter to be tried;' than which, nothing can be more folemn, and important in the whole world.
Secondly, The rule by which this great queftion may be determined, viz. The new creation: "If any man be in Chrift, "he is a new creature." By this rule all the titles, and claims made to Chrift in the profeffing world, are to be examined. [If any man] be he what he will, high, or low, great, or fmall; learned, or illiterate; young, or old; if he pretend interest in Chrift, this is the ftandard by which he must be tried: if he be in Chrift, he is a new creature; and if he be not a new creature, he is not in Chrift, let his endowments, gifts, confidence, and reputation be what they will: [A new creature] not new phyfically, he is the fame perfon he was; but a new creature, that is, a creature renewed by gracious principles, newly infufed into him from above, which fway him, and guide him in another manner, and to another end than ever he acted before; and thefe gracious principles not being educed out of any thing, which was pre-existent in man, but infufed de novo, from above, are therefore called, in this place, a new creature: This is the rule, by which our claim to Chrift must be determined.
Thirdly, This general rule is here more particularly explained; "Old things are paffed away; behold, all things are become "new." He fatisfies not himself to lay down this rule concifely, or exprefs it in general terms, by telling us, the man in Christ must be a new creature; but more particularly, he fhews us what this new creature is, and what the parts thereof are; viz. Both
1. The privative part; "Old things are paffed away."
2. The pofitive part thereof; "All things are become new." By old things, he means all thofe carnal principles, felf-ends, 1 and fleshly lufts, belonging to the carnal ftate, or the old man a
all these are paffed away; "not fimply, and perfectly, but "only in parts at prefent, and wholly in hope, and expectation "hereafter." So much briefly of the privative part of the new creature, "Old things are passed away." A word or two must be spoken of the pofitive part; "All things are become "new." He means not that the old faculties of the foul are abolished, and new ones created in their room: but as our bodies may be faid to be new bodies, by reason of their new endowments, and qualities fuper-induced, and beftowed upon them in their refurrection; to our fouls are now renewed by the infusion of new gracious principles into them, in the work of regeneration. These two parts, viz. the privative part, the paffing away of old things; and the positive part, the renewing of all things, do, betwixt them, comprize the whole nature of fanctification, which, in other fcriptures, is expreffed by equivalent phrafes; fometimes by putting off the old, and putting on the new man, Eph. iv. 24. fometimes by dying unto fin, and living unto righteoufnefs, Rom. vi. 11. which is the felf-fame thing the apoftle here intends, by the paffing away of old things, and making all things new. And because this is the most excellent, glorious, and admirable work of the Spirit, which is, or can be wrought upon man in this world; therefore the apostle afferts it with an ecce, a note of fpecial remark, and obfervation, "Behold, all things, are become new;" q. d. Behold and admire this furprizing, marvellous change which God hath made upon men; they are come out of darkness into his marvellous light, 1. Pet. ii. 9. out of the old, as it were, into a new world; "Behold, all things are become new." Hence note,
Doct. That God's creating of a new fupernatural work of grace in the foul of any man, is that man's fure, and infallible evidence of a faving intereft in Jefus Chrift.
Suitable hereunto are thofe words of the apoftle, Eph. iv. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24: But ye have not fo learned Chrift; if fo be that 66 ye. have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth, "is in Jefus: That ye put off, concerning the former converfa.. "fation, the old man, which is corrupt, according to deceitful. "lufts and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righte "oufnefs and true holiness," Where we have, in other words of the fame importance, the very felf-fame defcription of the man that is in Chrift, which the apostle gives us in this text. Now,
* Non fimpliciter, es perfecte, fed partim fpe. Eftius in lec
for the opening and stating of this point, it will be necessary that
1 shew you,
1. Why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation.
2. In what refpects every foul that is in Chrift is renewed, or made a new creature.
3. What are the remarkable properties, and qualities of this
4. The neceffity of this new creation to all that are in Chrift. 5. How this new creation evidences our interest in Chrift. 6. And then apply the whole in the proper uses of it. First, Why the regenerating work of the Spirit is called a new creation. This must be our firft, enquiry. And, doubtlefs, the reafon of this appellation is the analogy, proportion, and fimilitude which is found betwixt the work of regeneration, and God's work in the first creation. And their agreement, and proportion will be found in the following particu lars.
First, The fame almighty Author who created the world, createth alfo this work of grace in the foul of man, 2 Cor. iv. 6. "God, who commanded the light to fine out of darkness, hath "shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of "the glory of God in the face of Jefus Chrift." The fame powerful word which created the natural, createth alfo the fpiritual light. It is equally abfurd for any man to fay, I make my felf to repent, or to believe, as it is to fay, I made my self to exift, and be.
Secondly, The first thing that God created in the natural world was light, Gen. i. 3. and the first thing which God createth in the new creation, is the light of fpiritual knowledge, Col. iii. 10." And have put on the new man, which is renewed "in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”
Thirdly, Creation is out of nothing; it requires no pre-exiftent matter; it doth not bring one thing out of another, but fomething out of nothing; it gives a being to that which before had no being: So it is alfo in the new creation, 1 Pet. ii. 9, 19. Who "hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; "which in time paft were not a people, but are now the people "of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have ob"tained mercy." The work of grace is not educed out of the power and principles of nature, but it is a pure work of creation.
+ Minus eft, te feciffe hominem, quam fanctum, i. c. We may fooner make ourselves men, than faints.