Page images
PDF
EPUB

; the more boldly it counterfeits the new man, the

the whole man; so that there is nothing in the fanctified person, no part, no faculty, that remains untouched, or neglected, by the sanctifying spirit, and unadorned with new habits. And as the citadel and throne of virtue stands in the mind and inward

parts; therefore Paul speaks of the inward man, Rom. 7. 22. and Peter, 1 Pet. 3. 4. of the bidden man up the

beart. The under

XXXII. A new and gracious light shines upon ftanding the understanding. The eyes of the mind are enenlighten- lightened, Eph. 1. 18, by which he fees divine divine

truths, not under false and confused ideas, but in traths in their native form and beauty, as the truth is in Jesus, their na- Eph. 4. 21; so that the sanctified person really betive form. holds, in those truths, the manifold wisdom of God,

the depths of his perfections, and the unsearchable riches of Christ ; nor does he fee them only, but, in a manner not to be expressed, feels them, penetrating themselves into his in most heart, embraces them with a glowing affection of piety, exults in them, and desires, that what is truth in Christ, may be also truth in him, and that he may be modelled to the likeness of those truths, and cast, as it were, into the very shape of them. In fine, that knowledge of God, which Autters not in the brain only, but brings forth the fruit of every good work, from the day that he bath truely heard and known the grace of God, is a part of the new man, Col. 1. 6, 9, 10. Whereas that other knowledge, which puffs up and boasts itself, and

more it appears to be earthly, fensual, and devilis,

Jam. 3. 152 In which XXXII. Among other things, the understandhe sees no ing of a fanctified person beholds fo much purity in thing he

God, who is the patern, of the rational creatore, so be altered, much equity in the law of God, which is the rule of

every virtue, so much holiness in Christ Jesus, who exhibited himself to us as a living law, fo much

beauty

wants to

beauty in virtue, or holiness itself, which is, as it were, the native image of the Deity ; that he reckons nothing more excellent than exactly to resemble that patern, that rule and that image. He sees nothing in any of these, that he would correct, nothing he would have otherwise appointed, neither does he imagine that any thing can be better framed: and thus he consenteth to the law, that it is good, Rom. 7, 16. This is, what Paul calls, a being filled with the knowledge of bis will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Col. 1.9. Si XXXIV. And as the eyes are with difficulty di- And with verted from a pleasing object, fo to him, whose mind the medi15 enlightened by the Holy Spirit, nothing can be tation of more delireable, nothing more pleasant, nothing is delightmore charming, than to dwell on the contemplation ed. of God, and the medication of divine things. He Joves to join the night to the day, Pf. 1. 2, and then he entertains himself, then he is delighted, 'then he exules, and seems, by his earnestness, to enjoy heaven itself; for, when he is deeply engaged in this facred emeditation, and, at the fame time forgetting himself, is plunged, as it were, in the immense gulf of the divine perfections and mysteries.

XXXV. Nor is the enlightened mind satisfied to Which it taste things alone by itself, nor enviously to conceal its repeatedly treasure, but it discovers thofe sacred truths to the the will. will, to which it frequently presents them, as things most precious,' which are far more valuable than gold and filver, or even than pearls, which are still more highly esteemed, thar the will also may be united to them by the indiffoluble band of love, and, with the utmost readiness, be in holy subjection to them. This is the activity of the sanctified understanding.

XXXVI. Now the will cannot poffibly reject fo which is great a good, which is constantly pointed out to it dire&tly by the understanding as such. It is therefore ravish- charmed ed with the love of it, Pf. 119. 97. O! how love I withthein

tby

[ocr errors]

ty to God.

tby law! Rom. 7. 22. It delights in the law of God. Pf. 40. 8. I delight to do thy will, O my God! For, what is truth in Christ, becomes also truth, in its order and degree, in those who are Chri't's. The will is never easy, never satisfied, when it finds, iç

has displeased God, and departed from his will. 11 Whence a

XXXVII. Hence arifeth a steady and fixt purpofe purpose of of heart, to be conformable in all things to God, conformi PS. 119. 106. To whom the wilt wholly resigns itself

up, to be iwallowed up, as it were, in his will; eftablishing this into an inviolable and facred law for itself, to have the same inclinations, the faine aver fions with God. And God himlelf declares, that the true reverence or fear of the Deity lies in this Prov. 8. 13. The fear of the Lord isto hate evil; pride and arrogancy and the evil way, and the forward mouth do I bate. He that truly fears God, will hate what he knows to be hateful to God; and, on the con

trary, love what God loves, Pf. 139. 21, 22. fit!! And a rea XXXVIII. And seeing the will commands the indiness of ferior faculties, as they are called, and, in its mea. faculties Sure, even the understanding itfelf; hence, with the for his fer- greatest alacrity, it makes all things to be ready at vice.

the will and pleasure of God and of Chrift. So that the foul of one, who is fanctified, is like a well marsalled army, in which every individual will, in his place and order, directly move upon the first word or sign of command. This is that willing mind,

by which we are acceptable to God, 2 Cor. 8. 12.1 The affec. XXXIX. The understanding and will being thus tions also fët in order, the tumult of the wild affections grabrought dually comes to sublide ; which being forced into intoorder.

order, learn to wait the conjnands of reason, before they take a fingle step ; and in proportion to the object, act either more intensely, or more temissly ; moreover, they exert themselves in a right and proper manner, with respect to spiritual and heavenly things, with which before they were wont to be scarcely, it at all, affected: In short, they calmly relign them

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

selves to be governed by the Holy Spirit, receiving
from him, with full submission, the law of notion
and of rest. When formerly, furious lust held
the reins; they were accustomed to run mad after
worldly, carnal, and vitious objects, now they suffer
themselves to be led, as circumstances require, and
being sublimated to a higher pitch, and having ob-
tained a more generous and noble guide, they strong-
ly, by their native vehemence, excite or push for-
ward, the mind, otherwise now in its motion, to ob-
jects that are holy, heavenly and becoming a
Christian.

! XL. In the mean time, this admonition is conti. And en-
nually inculcated upon them, that they must not joined a

filent subconsult with their affections, whenever they are call

million to
ed to comply with, or submit to, the will of God, the will of
whether that of his decree, or that of his precept. God.
In that case, they are enjoined to a perfect silent sub-
mislion, He, who is sanctified, does not pre-
fumé, so much as to wish, that God would regu-
late, either his precepts or purposes from any re-
gard to his desire, hope or fear. That felf-denial,
which is the first lesson in Christ's school, commands
all the affections to be Glent, and unliinited obedience
obliges them to be relign'd to God. It is not law-
ful for a Christian, to with, that any thing, that God
has done, or spoken, should be otherwise, than it is;
and whenever that foolish self-love, which is not yet
quite rooted out, begins, thro? its unmortified lufts
and vain anxiety, to go away from God to other
things, then the superior faculcy of the soul, under

the conduct and direction of the spirit, repeats that
pious ejaculation, and thou, my soul be silent unto
(wait thou only upon) God, Pfa. 62. 5. This is to
compose the faul, and keep it in quiet ; Ps. 131, 2, that
it may look upon it as unlawful, either to wilh, or
mutter any thing against the will of God.

XLI. Moreover, that holy disposition of soul com- The body municates itself to the members of the body, which, itself alio being before infruments of unrighteousness unto fin, cre fantified

now

P 4

novo inftruments of rigbteousness unto God, Rom. 6. 13. In a sanctified person, the eyes, the tongue, the ears, the hands, and the feet, are not only reltrained from giving the least occasion, to entice and disturb the mind, as Paul faid of himself, that he kept under bis body, and brought it into subjection, 1 Cor.190 27'; but all of them are ready, and inclined to obey God, to whom they yield themselves, in order to the practice of righteousness, and even as weapons, aby which the kingdom of fin and Satan, may be itrongly opposed. For, so long as the most eminentg virtutes.lie concealed in the inward recess of the mind, they cannot edify our neighbour, and gain him overfrom fin so holiness; but when they are exercised by the members of the body, when the tongue lays itself outingthe praises of God, and the commendation of virtue or holi: nefs ; the hands and feet, in affifting his neighbour, and the other parts of the body,"according to their several capacities, in the practice of religion : 'tis then he fights manfully, for extirpaing pice, and promoting virtue. Nor can it be doubted, but the

Apostle's expression imports all this. :dod 50 2tos Hence ap XLII. From all this, it is now evident, chat cven pears, the new man, no less than the old, poffeffes the there is an universal whole man, both foul and body; according to the change command of Paul, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Glorify God in your made in body, and in your spirit, which are God's: and his

prayer, I Thel. 5. 23. And the very God of peace Sanétify you wbolly, and your whole spirit, and fout and body, be preserved blameless unto the corning of our Lord Fefus Christ. Interpreters differ with respect to the distinction between spirit and foul, and the significa tion of each term. We agree with those, who, by Ipirit, understand the mind, the syejioumovs or leading faculty of man, called, by Philo de Mundo, itaipettr: awwe yéfas, the seleit ornament of many in which his principal excellence above the other creatures confifts; and elsewhere called by the Apostle vás, mind, Epb.:4. 17: but by foul, the inferior faculties; not as it

There

man.

« PreviousContinue »