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when the times of refrefhing fhall come from the prefence of the Lord," Acts iii. 19.
Thus juflification, in all refpects, is of God; and therefore fanctification must be fo; becaufe juftification is the root of fan&ification, even as ingraftment into Christ is the root and caufe of fruitfulness. It is only the juftified perfon that is a faint; "Whom he juftified, them he allo glorified;" that is, fanctified partly here, and perfectly hereafter. "There is no condemnation to them that are in Chrift;" there is juftification the root: "Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" there is the fruit of it, and the evidence and character of the juftified perfon. Again,
2dly, That fanctification is of God, appears from this; that every thing relating to fan&tification, is of God: particularly,
1. The beginning of it is of God; therefore he is faid to begin the good work, Phil. i. 6. “ Being confident of this very thing, that he that hath begun the good work in you, will perform it unto the day of the Lord." He begins it in regeneration, or effectual calling, at the fame time that he juflifieth; and fo it hath a double root.As we are twice dead by nature, dead in fin, and dead in law; fo we need to be twice quickened, as it were, before we be fanctified. In oppofition to our being dead in fin, we need to be regenerated and born again; and in oppofition to our being dead in law, we need to be justified, and fo liberate from the sentence of death; and then is the foundation of fanctification laid: then he that begins to renew the will paffively, in effectual calling, begins to renew it actively in fanctification, by making us active receivers of his grace.
2. The advancement and progrefs of it, is of God, who makes the rain of heaven to fill the empty pools for the paffengers, through the valley of Baca, Palm lxxxiv. 6, 7. As the fruits of the ground grow up by the influence of the natural fun; fo the Sun of righteoufnefs, arifing with healing in his wings, then his people go forth, and grow as calves in the ftall, Mal. iv. r.
3. The promife of it is of God. He hath promifed to be as the dew unto Ifrael; and then it is faid, "He fhall
grow as the lily, and caft forth his roots as Lebanon: his branches fhall spread, and his beauty fhall be as the olive tree, and his fmell as Lebanon," Hof. xiv. 5, 6.
4. The reftoration of it, when decayed, is of God; "They that dwell under his fhadow fhall return; they fhall revive as the corn, and grow up as the vine, and the scent thereof fhall be as the wine of Lebanon," Hof. xiv. 7. It is he that reftoreth the decayed foul, Pfalm xxiii. 3. Let thefe that are under lamentable decays of grace, fee where their help lies.
5. The means of it are of God, both inward and outward. Is faith a mean? Yea, the heart is purified by faith and this faith is of the operation of God. Is hope a mean? Yea; "He that hath this hope purifieth himfelf:" and this hope is of God; for by him we are begotten to a lively hope. Is knowledge a mean? Yea; "Beholding his glory, we are changed:" and this knowledge is of God, who hath promifed, They fhall
all know me."-The external means are made effectual, through the bleffing of God. The word is a mean; but it is of God, who puts virtue in the mean. The rod is a mean; but it must be like a pruning knife in the hand of God, who purgeth the branches in Chrift, That they may bring forth more fruit," John xv. 2. 6. The motives of it are of God. It is he that moves his people to all the duties of holinefs, and draws them to his fervice; and especially by cords of love, fo as the love of Chrift conftrains them. He moves them by a regard to his glory and honour, and to their own intereft and happinefs; becaufe their fellowship with him is furthered thereby: "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him," John xiv. 23. See alfo ver. 21.
7. The cause of it; the efficient caufe is God, who fays, "I will put my Spirit within you, and caufe you to walk in my ftatutes, and keep my judgments, to do them," Ezek. xxxvi. 27. "Every thing shall live, whitherfoever the river cometh," Ezek. xlvii. 10. And John iv. 14. "The water that I will give him, fhall be him a well of water springing up to everlasting life."
The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of life in the believer, and the fountain of sanctification : " Because I live, says Christ, ye shall live also."
8. The extent of it is of God, both to the inward and outward man: for, it is a "renewing of the whole man " after the image of God, and enabling of us to die “ unto fin and to live unto righteousness.” It is he that fanctifies the understanding, the will, the affections, the memory, the foul, the body; “ The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and foul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thef. v. 2 3.
9. The measure and degree of it is of God. Some have more, and some less of fanctification. Though all believers are equally justified, and perfectly, even in time, upon the ground of Christ's perfect righteousness; yet, they are not equally fanctified, but some of them more holy, more humble, more zealous, than others. Some of them more glorify God, by doing and suffering his will, than others. Some of them are more active than others, just according as the Lord stirs then up. And who maketh them to differ thus ? Why, even he who gives a double portion of his Spirit to fome apd not to others, and makes his wind to blow where it lifteth; he makes it to blow in what measure and de. gree also he listeth : he pours out his Spirit plentifully at times, and then fanctification thrives, and goes on progressively; “ For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour may Spirit upon thy feed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses,” Ifa. xliv. 3, 4.
10. The knowledge and comfort of it is of God. Some are fanctified, and do not know it, till the Lord make it known to them, by fhining upon the graces that he hath given, and shining upon this and that experience of his powerful prefence. He fometimes makes them feel the drawing cords of his love about their heart, strengthening them with strength in their foul; and makes them run the way of his commandments, when he enlarg. eth their heart; and making them know their fanctification
by their confolation, and know their grace, by the dash that he gives to their fin and corruption, Rom. vii. at the clofe. Again,
11. The perfeverance thereof, is of God; "I will make an everlafling covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their heart, and they fhall not depart from me," Jer. xxxii. 40. They hall never totally and finally depart; but, after all their partial departures, "I will put my fear in their heart," that fhall make them turn back again to me, faying, "I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now," Hof. ii. 7.
12. The perfection and completion of it is of God, who hath undertaken to prefent his people to himself a glorious church, not having fpot, or wrinkle, or any fuch thing, but that it fhould be holy and without blemish, Eph. v. 27. Thus fanctification, in all respects, is of God. All things, relating to it, are of God.
Now, for Application. Is it fo, that fanctification is of God? Then,
1. Hence fee the holy nature and holy will of God. By his will he commands it: for," This is the will of God, even your fan&tification," i Thef. iv. 3, And by his will he effects it; "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my ftatutes.-By which will we are fanctified, through the offering of the body of Jefus Chrift once for all," Heb. x. 10.
2. Hence we may fee great encouragement to use the means of fanctification, without refting upon the means; because it is not they, but God, that can fanctify us; and yet hopefully using them. Therefore, favs God, "Sanctify yourselves;-I am the Lord that fanctifieth you." Ufe the means becaufe I can put a bleffing in them: "Work out the work of your falvation with fear and trembling; for, it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do." We could have no encouragement to ufe the means of fanctification, if sanctification were not of God.
3. Hence fee how. foolish they are, that think they can fanctify themselves by their own natural powers and
endeavours; they can repent and reform when they will. No wonder that thefe cry up free-will as the cause of converfion, and deny the efficacy and neceffity of fpecial grace, deny alfo the perfeverance of the faints; for the grace that is the fruit of man's free-will cannot indeed perfevere. They that know God, will know that all things are of God; and that fanctification particularly is of him.
4. Hence fee, that poor, weak believers, wrestling with a body of fin and powerful corruption, need not defpair of victory over their fin and corruption: for, fanctification is of God, and mortification is of God; If ye, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, ye fhall live." The Spirit will be mafter over the flesh; and the Spirit of God, that dwells in the children of God, will fubdue their iniquity. Up with your heart and hope, poor conquered and captivated believer, fanctification is of God. Tho' your own power cannot effectuate the victory; yet, a merciful God can and will: "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that fheweth mercy; and mercy fhall be built up. for ever." The mercy that faves your foul will flay your fin.
Hence fee, that fin is of the devil. If fanctification be of God, and holiness be of God, then is fin of the devil; yea, "He that committeth fin, is of the devil:" God is not the author of fin.-Drunkennefs, fwearing, whoredom, adultery, Sabbath-breaking, lying, and all unholy actions, are of the devil.-Unholy neglect of prayer in fecret and in your families, is of the devil.The fins of the time, that provoke God, are of the devil. The wicked acts and fentences of church-judicatories, are of the devil.-The corruptions of courts, civil and ecclefiaftical, are of the devil, and not of God. For alt things are of God, except fin, which is no part of the new creation in Chrift Jefus. However God permit it, for holy and wife ends, to over-rule it for his glory; yet, it enters contrary to his revealed will and royal orders.The condemning of the reformation-caufe, at this day, is not of God, but of the devil.-Wicked compliances with any fuch finful fentence are not of God, but of the devil, and will bring in little credit or comfort in the