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may meet with pious men, who are the subjects of morbid excitement from constitutional disease, who do so; but the idea of a man in his sound senses, being a contrite penitent, humbled before God, and at the same time proud, angry, passionate, and revengeful, in his dealings with his fellow-creatures, is arrant nonsense, The thing cannot be. Let those look to it well, who are indulging these unholy and unbroken tempers. As long as these have the mastery, all the knowledge, and all the occasional affection to spiritual things which they shew, is nothing, or worse than nothing. In the sons of God," grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life." In him who breaks out into unrestrained anger, and uncharitable conduct and language, sin is evidently reigning. Wrath, malice, anger, strife, envy, emulations, these are the works of the flesh; and they that are Christ's have crucified them. Although they continue to struggle within, and distress the sanctified mind; they are there only the dying struggles of a crucified malefactor. But the Christian cannot allow a single harsh word to escape his lips, without gross inconsistency. He purifies himself both in his tongue and his temper, even as the meek and lowly Jesus was pure. Let those then who worship with the saints in the house of God, but who habitually or occasionally, as events give rise to it, make their homes and their hearts a very hell, of passion and of uproar let them lay this closely to their con
sciences and tremble. The sacrifice that God ac
cepts is a broken spirit.
Thirdly, The Christian attains to the purifying the affections. In their natural state, they do most powerfully testify to his corruption and depravity. They go forth vehemently after earthly and forbidden things; whilst there is not one thought of affectionate feeling towards God. But where the Christian hope is implanted, there a change is begun, which shews itself in this respect also, and shews itself increasingly. The treasure is in heaven,
there the heart will be also; and though in circumstances of temptation and occasional decline, the affections may sometimes linger contrary to the better judgment, round a worthless idol, yet the Christian's experience of life goes directly to correct this. He soon finds the absurdity and misery of such idolatry. He soon finds his heavenly Father speaking in unequivocal language, “ My son, give me thine heart;" and wearied with every vain attempt to find satisfaction elsewhere, he returns humbled, and convinced, and thankful; and weaned from earthly attachments, he exclaims, "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee!"
Fourthly, The Christian attains to purity of conversation in the world, and of intercourse with his fellow-men. The opinion of experience as to the conduct of men in general towards each other, is any thing but approbation. The wisdom of an ex
perienced man of the world, teaches him to be on his guard at all times, in all respects, against all people, from the conviction that men are not to be judged of by their faces or their words, but dealt with as if they were all hypocrites, and with the same hypocrisy. But the Christian is an honest, conscientious, plain-speaking, transparent man. He has no shifts, and tricks, and concealments, and contrivances; no dread of discoveries, no colouring this and cloaking the other, insinuating in one place and equivocating in another. All this is gone by. St Paul says, "We have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." And again, "Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." That is the true Christian spirit in the intercourse of life. It is guileless, frank, upright, and pure: and to this the believer does gradually attain. He learns to abhor the carnal selfseeking policy of unscriptural men; that manœuvering which his own bad heart once approved; and instead of a cunning knave, he becomes as a little child. The law of universal purity is written in his heart, as the principle of his moral being; and to that it is his happiness to be conformed.
He renders "custom to whom custom is due, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour." "He owes no man any thing but love ;" and as to those things which it is a shame to speak of, he "keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
Fifthly and lastly, He attains to purity of conscience. The conscience is the standard of progress. "If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things; but if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God." The truly desirable state for a Christian is this," Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God;" and peace with God implies a "conscience void of offence, both towards God and man." There is then in the heart a sense of the love of Christ, and the fulness and freeness of his salvation; and there is no inward conviction of sin, wilful and habitual, to come as a cloud between God and the soul. This is peace, a peace which passeth all understanding. Every man's errors are innumerable. Every man's heart is untrust-worthy. But it is one thing to act in self-confidence, and another to lean, as a sinful lost creature upon the promise of grace, and to carry every error, and every tendency to error, to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness; and to find practically that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, and emancipates the conscience from terror, and that the strength of imparted grace triumphs over all temptation.
Such, then, is the obedience of faith to which
the Christian attains.
tion of sin in the members; but it is, in this sense, purity even as Christ is pure, that it is the establishment in the soul of the same reigning influential law of purity,-the law of the Spirit of life, which dwells in the heart of Jesus Christ. In the follower of Christ, it has to struggle against inherent sin; but in all these respects, it obtains a practical victory and in the thoughts, the tempers, the affections, the conversation, and the conscience, it establishes an habitual purity and conformity to the will of God,
There are, however, two points in which it will certainly be as yet defective. First, The Christian will not be able to obtain all that he wishes. grasp of his soul is at the perfect standard of holiness in Jesus Christ; whilst his body is still a body of sin and death. He delights in the law of God after the inward man. That holiness is really his admiration and his joy. But he finds a contrary law in his members, warring against the law of his mind; and occasionally, therefore, he has melancholy and humbling proof in his own errors, that it is by grace only he is saved. So that till he lays aside the burden of the flesh, he is not likely to be satisfied with his attainments in holiness. Then only will he be satisfied when he awakes with the likeness of his God.
Secondly, Whatever be the purity of the Chris