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the whole world : * But likewise the revelation of Christ in our hearts; a divine evidence or convidion of his love, his free, unmerited love to me, a sinner, a sure confidence in his pardoning mercy, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost : à confidence, whereby every true believer is enabled to bear witness, I know that my Redeemer liveth; that I have an Advocate with the Father ; that Jesus Christ the Righteous is my Lord, and the propitiation for my sins. Į know he hath loved me, and given himself for me.
He hatb reconciled me, even me to God; and I have redemption througḥ his blood, even tbe forgiveness of sins.
8. Such a faith as this, cannot fail to şhew, evidently the power of him that inspires it, by delivering his children from the yoke of sin, and purging their consciences from dead works : by strengthening them so, that they are no longer constrained to obey sin in the desires thereof; but instead of yielding thein members 'unto it as instruments of unrighteousness, they now yield themselves entirely unto. God, as those that are'olive from the dead.
9. Those who are thus by faith, born of God, have also strong consolation through hope. This is the next thing which the circumcision of the heart implies; even the testimony of their own spirit, with the Spirit which witnesses in their hearts, that they are the children of God. Indeed it is the same Spirit who works in them that clear and cheerful confidence, that their heart is upright toward God ; that good assurance, thạt they now do, through his grace, the things which are acceptable in his sight; that they are now in the path which leadeth to life, and shall, by the mercy of God, endure therein to the end. It is he who giveth them a lively expectation of receiving all good things at God'shand; a joyous prospect of that crown of glory, which is reserved in heaven for them. By this anchor a Christian is kept steady in the midst of the waves of this troublesome world, and preserved from striking upon either of those fatal rocks, presumption or despair
. He is neither discouraged by the misconceived severity of his Lord, nor does he despise the riches of his goodness. He
* N. B. The following part of this paragraph is now added to the sermon formerly preached.
neither appréhends the difficulties of the race set before him to be greater than he has strength to conquer, nor expects them to be so little as to yield him the conquest; till he has put forth all his strength. The experience he already has in the Christian warfare, as it assures him, his labour is not in vain, if whatever his hand findeth to do, he doth it with his might; so it forbids his entertaining so vain a thought, as that he can otherwise gain any advantage, as that any virtue can be shewn, any praise attained, by faint hearts and feeble hands : or indeed by any but those who pursue the same course with the great apostle of the Gentiles ; I, says he, soʻrun, not as uncertainly, so fight. I, not as one that beateth the air. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subje&tion ; lest by any means 'when I have preached topt bers, " I myself should be a cast-away. . 10. By the same discipline is every good soldier of Christ, to inure himself to endure hardship. : Confirmed and strengthened by this, he will be able' not only to renounce the works of darkness, but every appetite too, and every, affe&tion, which is not subject to the law of God. For every one, saith St. John, who hatb this hope, purifieth himself even as he is pure. It is his daily care, by the grace of God in Christ, and through the blood of the covenant, to purge the inmost recesses of his soul, from the lusts that before possessed and defiled it; from uncleantiess, and envy, and malice, and wrath, from every passion and temper, that is after the flesh, that either springs from, or cherishes his native corruption: as well knowing, that he whose very body is the temple of God, ought to admit into it nothing common or unclean ; and that holiness becometh that house for ever, where the Spirit of holiness vouchsafes to dweli.
11. Yet lackest thou one thing, whosoever thou art, that to a deep humility, and a stedfast faith, hast joined a lively hope, and thereby in a good measure cleansed thy heart from its inbred pollution. If thou wilt be perfect, add to all these charity; add love, and thou hast the circumcision of the heart.. Love is the fulfilling of the law, the end of the commandment. Very excellent things are spoken of love;, it is the essence, the spirit, the life of all virtue.': It is not only the first and great command, but it is all the commandments in one.-Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, No. IV.
whatsoever things are amiable ör honourable, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, they are all com prized in this one word, love. In this is perfection, and glory, and happiness: The royal law of heaven and earth is this, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with allo:tdyv hearts and with all thy soul and with all thy mind and with all! thy strength.
13. 9, 12. Not that this forbids us. toilave anything besides? God: ; It implies, tugeva alde brotbert alsaar Norr
: : yet does it forbid us (as some have strangely imagined) to take pleasure in any thing butu Goda w To suppose this is to suppose the Fountain of Heliness, nisedia redly the author of sin : since he bags inseparahly annexed pleasure to the use of those creatures, which are necessary to scistain the life Ke has given us. This, therefore, can never be the meaning of his command. What the real sense of it is, both our blessed Lorda arld his apostles telb'us too frequently and too plaiuly: tobe miss anderstood. They all with one mouth bear witness, thatı the true meaning of those several declarations, The Lord tby God is one Lord. I hou shalt have no other gods but me: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy strength : I bort shalt cleave unto him: The desire of' thy soul sivall be to his name is no other than this. The one perfect good shalb be your one ultimate end. One thing shall ye desire for its own sake, the fruition of him that is All in AlloirOno happiness will ye propose to your spuls, even an union with him that made them: the having fellowship with the Father and the Son : the being joined to the Lord in one spirita One design ye are to pursue to the end of time, the enjoyment of God in time and in eternity. Desire other things so far as they tend to thisLove the creature:
-as it leads to the Creator. But in every step you take, be this the glorious point that terminates your views i Let every affection, and thought, and word, and work, be subordinate to this. Whatever ye desire or fear, what ever ye seek or shun, whatever ye think, speak, or, do, be it in order to your happiness in God, the sole end as well as source of your being.
13. Have no end, no ultimate end, but Godi: Thus our Lord, One thing is needful. And if thine eye be singly fixed on this one thing, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Thus St. Paul, This one thing I do ; I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. Thus St. James, Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your bearisve doubleminded.. Thus St. John, Love not the world, neither the thing's that are in the world. For all that is in the world, the last of the flesh, the lust of the mye, and the pride of life, is not of the Fat ther, but is of the world. The seeking happiness in what gratifies either the desire of the Hesh, by agreeably strik ing upon the outward senses, the desire of the eye, of the imagination, by its novelty, greatness, or beauty; or the pride of life, whether bý pomp, grandeur, power, or the usual consequence of them, applause and admiration, Is not of the Father, cometh not from, neither is approved by the Father of Spirits ; but of Dhe World; it is the distinguishing mark of those, who will not have him to reiga over themi nini
baine II. 1. Thus have I particularly inquired, What that circumcision of beart is, which will obtain the praise of God. I am, in the second place, to mention some reflections that naturally arise from -such an inquiry, as a plain role whereby every man may judge of himself, whether he be of the world or of God. 1: And, 'first, It is clear, from what has been said, that no man has a title to the praise of God, unless his heart is circumcised by humility unless he is little, and base, and vile in his own eyes : unless he is deeply convinced of that inbred “corruption of his nature, whereby he is very far gone from original righteousness," being prone to all evil, averse to all good, corrupt and abominable ! having a carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God; nor indeed can be : unless he continually feels in his inmost soul, that without the Spirit of God resting upon him, he can neither think, nor desire, not speak, nor act, any thing good or well-pleasing in his sight.
No man, I say, has à title to the praise of God, till he feels his want of God; nor indeed, till he seeketh that honour, which corneth of God only; and neither desires nor pursues that which cometh of man, unless so far only as it terids to this.
266 Another truth which naturally follows from what has been said, is, that none shall obtain the honour that cometh of God, unless his heart bes tircumcised by faith ; even a faith of the operation of Godis unless refusing to be any longer led by his senses, appetites, nór passions, or even by that blind leader of the blind, so idolized by the world, natural reason, he lives and walks by faith, directs every step, as seeing him that is invisible, looks: not at the things that are seen which are temporals, but at the things that are not-seen, which are seterval; and governs all his desires, designsand thoughes; aalb his actions and conversations, as one who is entered within the veil, where Jesus sits at the right hand of God. a 19d! -113; It were to be wished, that they were better ac: quainted with this faith, who employed much of their time and pains, in laying another foundation; ingrounding religion, on “ the eternal fitness of things," on the intrinsic excellence of virtue," and the beauty of actions flowing from it: on the reasons, as they term them, of good and evil, and the relations of beings to each other. Either these accounts of the grounds of Christian duty, coincide with the scriptural or not. If they do, why are well-meaning men perplexed, and drawn from the weightier matters of the law, by a cloud of terms, whereby the easiest truths are explained into obscurity. If they are not, then it behoves them to consider, who is the author of this new doctrine : whether he is likely to be an angel from heaven, who preacheth another gospel than that of Christ Jesus': though, if he were, God, not wę, hath pronounced his sentence, Let bim be accursed.
4. Our gospel, as it knows no other foundation of good works than faith,vor of faith than Christ, so it clearly informs us, we are not his disciples, while we either deny him to be the author, or his Spirit to be the inspirer and perfecter both of our faith and works. If any inan bave not the Spirit of Christ, be is none of his. He alone can quicken those who are dead unto God, can breathe into them the breath of Christian life, and so prevent, accompany, and follow them with his grace, as to bring their good desires to good effect. And as many as are thus led, by the Spirit of God, they are the sons