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paft away, behold all things are become new, 2 Cor. v. 17. And it is hard to conceive this new nature, without new propensions and inclinations, not only different from, but repugnant to our former original and corrupt ones; or at least we must suppose this new creation so far to have reformed and corrected the man, that original corruption has lost the strength and force which before it had. This will be more clear yet, if we observe never so slightly, the several parts of this great change. First, The soul of an excellent person is filled with an unfeigned and habitual sorrow for, and detestation of all fin; I hate, faith the Pfalmift, every false way. And how inconsistent is the strength and heat of corrupt propensions, with the tears and aversions of a true penitent? how tame is the body, how pure the mind, when the man is possessed with a firm and holy indignation against sin, when he dissolves in the pious tenderness of a contrite spirit ! next, the foul of a good man is possessed with an ardent love of God, and of Jesus; with a firm belief, and a steddy hope of a blessed eternity; with enlightened eyes he beholds the vanity of all earthly things, and admires the solidity, the weight, and duration of heavenly glory: He is risen with Christ, and therefore seeks those things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God: He bas fet his affections on things above, and
not on things on the earth; for he is dead, and his life is hid with Chrif in God. And must we not now suppose such a one cleansed and purified from all corrupt affections, when the very bent of his Toul is quite another way? must we not suppose the force and strength of depraved nature, overpowered and subdued by these heavenly affections? how mortified must such a man be to the world and to the body? how feeble is the opposition, that inferiour nature can raise against a mind invested with fo absolute and foveraign authority, and endowed with light and strength from above? Lastly, The perfect man has not only crucified the inordinate and finful lufts and affections of the body, but has also obtained a great mastery, even over the natural appetites of it; how else can it be that his depres and hopes are in heaven ;, that he waits for the Lord from thence; that he desires to be difJolved and to be with Christ; and groans to be rid of the corruptible tabernacle of the body ? he that is thus above the body, may certainly be concluded to be in fome degree above even the most natural appetites. He that has fet himself free in a great meafure even from his aversion to death, and in his affection at least very much loosened the bond, the knot, that unites soul and body, may certainly very reasonably be
persumed to be much more above all covetous, ambitious, or wanton inclinations. These are the grounds, on which I attribute to the perfect man fo high a degree of freedom from original sin as I do in the proposition laid down.
2dly, But yet I do not in the least think, that the most perfect man upon earth can so extinguish the sparks of original corruption, but that if he do not keep a watch and guard upon himself, they willgather strength and revive again: and the reason of this is plain; because it has a foundation in our very nature. The dispute concerning the existence of original corruption in us after baptism, or regeneration, is, methinks, a very needless one: for if it be about the notion we ought to entertain of it, that is, whether it be properly sin or not, this is a contention about words; for what signifies it by what name we call this remainder of original pravity, when all grant, that the Itain and guilt of it is washed off and pardoned? But if it be about the force and efficacy of it, this indeed is a controversy of some moment; but a very foolish one on one side: for to what purpose can it be, to-fay a grcat many fubtil and puzling things against a truth, that every man feels and experiments
at one time or other? Upon the whole then, I may
thus describe the liberty of the perfect man with respect to original fin: he has mortified it, though not utterly extirpated it; he has subdued it, though not exterminated it; and therefore he is not only free from sinful and inordinate lusts and affections, but also, in a far greater measure than other men, from those infirmities and irregularities, which are, as it were, the ftruglings and ebullitions of original fin, not yet sufficiently tamed. He has advanced his victory very far, even over his natural appetites; he has no stronger inclination for the body, or for the world, and the things of it, than such as becomes a man that is possessed with a deep sense of the vanity of this world, and the blessedness of another. The world is in a high degreecrucified to him, and he counts all things but dung and dross in comparison with the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord: His forrows and his joys, his desires and his fears, be the occasion never so just or lawful, pass not the modest bounds of a wise moderation. He desires without impatience, cares and contrives, hopes and pursues, without anxiety or follicitude ; he is cautious without fear and pusillanimity; he is sad without dejection or despondency, and pleasant without vanity. All this indeed shews
him, not only to have conquered sin and folly, but in a great measure also his natural propension to them. But after all, this happy creature must remember, that he is still in the body ; in the body, whose appetites will soon pass beyond their due bounds, if he be indulgent or careless : he must remember that he is not immutably holy, his understanding is not so clear and bright, but that it may be deceived; nor the bent of his affections so strongly set upon good, but that they may be perverted; and therefore he must be sober and vigilant, and fear always. Thus have I stated the curableness of our original corruption. And as I think I have plainly the countenance of scripture; so I do not fee, that I in the least clash with that clause in the ninth article of our church, which affirms concerning original sin thus : And this infection of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated, whereby the luft of the flesh, called in greek beornua ozepno, which some do expound the wisdom, fome the sensuality, fome the affe&tion, some the desire of the flesh, is not subject to the law of God. For this must not be understood surely, as if the flesh did always lust against the spirit in the regenerate, but only that the regenerate themselves are liable and obnoxious to these lustings; which, on supposal that the perfect man