صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

fice to God, to ferve and honour him with, whether by doing or fuffering, Rom. xii. 1.

But although the whole man is fanctified, yet no part of the man is perfectly fanctified in this life. It is neither midnight to them as with the unregenerate, nor mid-day as with the glorified, but twilight, which is a mixture of darkness and light. Hence arises the combat betwixt the flesh and Spirit, Gal. v. 17. Every grace has a weed of the contrary corruption by the fide of it, which occafions this ftruggle and imperfection in the best of their works.

SEVENTHLY, I am to fhew the effect of fanctification. That is holiness. The fruit of this work of the Spirit is habitual holiness, that is, an habitual averfion of the foul to evil, and inclination to good; and actual holiness in all manner of life and converfation, in good works, which have God's word for their rule, his glory for their end, and are done in faith. Both which we have, Pfal. xlv. 13. The King's daughter is all glorious within; her cloathing is of wrought gold.

EIGHTHLY, I proceed to fhew how fanctification is carried on. Now, though fanctification must needs be begun in an inftant, yet it is not a fimple act, but a work carried on by degrees, to which many actions (and these repeated) of the Holy Spirit do conThe believer not being perfectly renewed at first, the renovation is carried on by degrees, and the Spirit is at that work ftill, fo as not to give it over, till it be perfected, though there may be many interruptions of it. And,


1. The Spirit implants grace in the foul, fows the heavenly feed there, framing the heart anew, giving it a new power, and a new fet, towards God and his law; and putting in new motions and inclinations in the foul, agreeable to the holy law, and contrary to the natural finful ones, Heb. viii 10. So that the foul is inclined to love what before it loathed, and to loath what before it loved.

2. He preferves the grace implanted, 1 Pet. i. 5.

Though it is lodged in the fame heart with an ill neighbour, the remains of natural corruption; yet he keeps it that it do not die out, he preferves it as a spark of fire in the midft of the ocean.

3. He excites it and quickens it, to pursue and refift the flesh, Phil. ii. 13. Grace fometimes may fall fo very low in the foul, that it becomes like a spark hid under the afhes: yet the fanctifying Spirit blows it up again into a flame, Cant. iv. 16. As the tree in the winter divefted of its leaves and verdure, when the warm fun returns in the fpring, the fap driven to the root returns, and is diffufed through the whole.

4. He ftrengthens it by new fupplies, If. xl. ult. fo as the foul is enabled more and more to hold on the battle, and gets victories of the enemy, 2 Cor. xii. 9. 10. For grace is a child of heaven, which has all its nourishment and ftrength from the fame Spirit that gave it life.

5. Lastly, At death, but not till then, he perfects it, Heb. xii. 23. Then the new man is brought to its perfect ftature, Eph. iv. 13. Often may the foul be ready to fay, One day I will perish by the hand of fuch a luft. But the Spirit of God will perfect the work he has begun. And when the walls of the leprous house are taken down, the leprofy fhall be quite removed. From what has been faid we may infer,

Inf. 1. The cafe of unfanctified finners is a wretched cafe; they are lying with the loft world, in their filthinefs, utterly unfit to ferve God acceptably, or to have communion with him here or hereafter. For they are not fanctified, not feparated, purified, nor prepared for God's fervice.

2. Behold the beauty of holiness, and fall in love. with it, and labour to attain it. The holy man is more excellent than his neighbour, as fet apart for God; Ifrael fhall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations, because they are a holy people. It is the purity of the foul, it is God's image drawn on

the man, it is a newness of nature from heaven, and like heaven. By it a man is a veffel fit for the Master's ufe, honourably employed now, and moft honourably hereafter.

3. See the way how ye may be made holy. The fire from your own hearth will not purge you; faithlefs vows, refolutions, and endeavours will not do it, I.1. ult. The Spirit of the Lord can only perform the work. O cry for the Spirit, wait on in ordinances for the blowing of the Spirit. Come to Chrift by faith, that ye may partake of his Spirit.

4. Sanctification is not the work of a day, but a work that must be in a continual progrefs. Sit not down on any measure of grace attained. They that are converted still need the Spirit for their fanctificátion. Beware of grieving the Spirit, left the work be interrupted. Make no truce with the enemy, but pursue the lufts of the body of fin vigorously.

5. Lastly, See here that there are none fo unholy, but they may be made holy. It is a work of grace, and grace is powerful to overcome the ftrongeft lufts. It is a work of free grace, and therefore no vileness nór unworthiness of the creature, that is content to be made holy, can hinder it. This may lay the pride of fome, who think they deferve grace, and whose hearts fret against the Lord, if grace be not given them in an hour of temptation. Man's heart perverteth his way, and fretteth against the Lord. the Lord. And this may encourage thofe who think the Lord will never look on them.

LASTLY, Let us confider the means of fanctification. The outward means that the Spirit makes ufe of in this work, and which have all their efficacy from him, are,

1. Ordinances, public, private, and fecret, If. xii. 3. especially the word, and facraments thereto appended, Eph. v. 26. And they that would be holy muft ufe thefe means of fanctification, whereby the Spirit begins and carries on the work.


Q ૧

2. Providences; fmiling and favourable difpenfa. tions have a tendency that way, Rom. ii. 4. but efpecially afflictions are means which the Spirit makes use of for this end, If. xxvii. 9. By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away bis fin.

I fhall now fhut up this fubject with a few infe rences, befides thofe I drew under the former heads.

Inf. 1. Those who are unrenewed are unfanctified. Where there is no change of heart and life, there is no grace, 2 Cor. v. 17. Ah! how many live as they were born, and are like to die as they live? They have no changes, but from evil to evil: no change from fin to holiness, and yet are unconcerned with their unrenewed ftate, fleeping on till they fleep the fleep of death.

2. A partial change is not fanctification. Thofe who are changed, but not in the whole man, are not truly fanctified, but are yet in their natural pollution. Sanctification is not a new head full of knowledge, with the old heart and life; nor is it a new life, with the old heart and nature. But it is a change that goes through the whole foul and body, which muft needs be followed with a new life, 2 Cor. v. 17.

3. True fanctification puts work in the hand of the fanctified, that will fill their hands while they live. Dying to fin, and living to righteousness, are works that will fill up every minute we have in the world.

4. Let none be fo foolish as to fit down contented without fanctification, but ftudy holiness as ever ye would fee heaven. We want a title to heaven, we muft get that in justification and adoption: we want a meetness for heaven, and we must get that in fanctification. The fanctified are elected, and fhall be glorified, 1 Pet. i. 2. 4. And they that live and die unfanctified, fhall never fee heaven, Heb. xii. 14. For without holiness no man fhall fee the Lord.

5. Lastly, As ever ye would be holy, attend and improve the means of grace. Let not your afflictions

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

drive you from God, neither be ftupid under them, but fall in with the defign of providence in them, for your fanctification.


Union with Chrift the only Way to Sanctification.


But of him are ye in Chrift Jefus, who is made unto us -fanctification.

HE world in its greatest darkness was not in

Tfenfible that man's nature was corrupted, that they needed fomewhat wherewith they might please God, attain to happiness, and repair the wound which they understood their nature had got. And although that Jews and Gentiles had different devices whereby they thought this might be obtained, yet all agreed in that it behoved them to go into themselves for it, and to draw fomething out of the ruins of their natural powers wherewith to help themfelyes, thereby discovering they did not fufficiently understand the depth of the corruption of human nature. And this principle is fo agreeable to corrupt reafon, that God's device to bring about man's falvation from fin and mifery in and by another, to wit Chrift, was to the Jews a ftumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, ver. 23. And if we found to the bottom, it is the fame at this day to the unregenerate part of the Chriftian world.

In the text we have the fum of God's device for the falvation of finners, and it centres in Jefus Christ who was crucified. We may We may take up the text and it in thefe two things.

1. That the whole of man's falvation fhall be from Chrift. God has made or conftituted him the Fountain of all falvation, from whom it muit be conveyed to all that shall partake of it. As Pharaoh made Jos

« السابقةمتابعة »