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but neither rules nor prevails; in some measure it is rooted
CXX. When the Apostle speaks of the conflict The con>
Spirit. And when the Scripture speaks of flesh, it does not mean the body of man, but all the remaining corruption, which in its measure doth really abide in part in the body and its members, while it still has its principal seat in the foul itself, which is the proper immediate subject both of virtue and vice. : The enemies therefore in this combat, are not foul and body, but the grace of the fanctifying Spirit, and the re
mains of natural corruption. Ligt! 100 God is CXXI. But known to God are the reasons of his pleafede conduct, in dispensing the operations of the spirit of pel entire grace in believers, so that the remains of the fiefh are ly the re- not entirely expelled in this life, For, ift. He would mains of by this, shew the difference between earth and heaven, sin in this
the time of warfare and of triumph, the place of toil life. 1. To dif- and of rest, that we may the more earnestly long for, tinguith our transation out of this valley of fin and misery into earth from the heavenly country, where every thing thall be heaven.
made perfect; and may, with open arms, embrace death, which will bring us to that perfection; crying out with the apostle ; 0! wretched man that I am, who Mall deliver me from the body of this dcarb?
Stisiny boj) o 2. For the CXXII. 2dly. He is willing to exercise and accufexercise of rom his people to patience, humility and sympatliyor his peo- fellow-feeling. As in old time, he suffered the Amorites ple.
and Philistines to remain in the land of Canaan, for the exercise of the Israelites; to prevent their growing indolent thro’a slothful ease, and disolved in too much prosperity and quiet: so in like manner, he exercises his saints by the remains of the Aesh... For, nothing teaches them to think more lowly of themselves, than a daily sense of so many infirmities : nothing is more effectual to bring them to patience, than the constant assaults of those most wicked enemies, from whom, to their considerable grief, they have often experienced blows and wounds. Nothing, in fine, is more adapted to render them more sympathising, with respect to the failings of others, both in judging
concerning their state, and their general conversation, than the consciousness of their own defects. Gal. 6. 1. "CXXIII. 3dly. By this means he strongly con- 3. Tolhew vinces all, that the salvation of his people is owing
tion is only to his most free grace. For who, that is con- owing to fcious of his own infirmities and daily failings, hut must his grace. be obliged to acknowledge, that he obtains life from God, not as the judge of merit, but as the bestower of pardon ?- The rigour of the law excluded from the priesthood the blind, the lame, the disjointed in any members or those who had any such blemish, Lev, 21.18. What then can we infer, but that the grace of the Gospel is unmerited, which admits to the heavenly priesthood, and does not refufe access, to the holy of holies made without hands, to those who have far worse disorders of mind? If, notwithstanding such imperfection, it be scarce if at all posible to banish the arrogance of merits out of the church; what would it be; fhould we teach the possibility of perfection?
CXXIV. 4thly and lastly. It becomes the wisdom 4. Because of God to raise his people by degrees to the highest historia pitch of holiness. As in the creation of the first dom graworld, he began with a rude chaos and indigested mass dually to which, in six fucceffive days, he fashioned into this lead on." beautiful frame, till, having given the finishing hand,
his people he rested on the Sabbath, Gen. 2. 2: fo, in the cre- tion.
to perfésation of the new world of grace, beginning with nothing, he gradually leads his people higher and higher, till, on the expiration of this earthly week, on the dawn of the heavenly sabbath, he crowns them at once with holiness and glory. 5. CXXV. It cannot, indeed, be denied, that some- Perfection times the scripture makes mention of fome, who are is inScripfaid to be perfekt even in this life. But it is to be ob.
in differferved, that the term perfektion, is not always used ent senses, in the fatte fense. For, ilt there is a perfection of SINCERITY consisting in this, that a man serves God
with an unfeigned heart, without any reigning hypo. crisy. In this sense it is said of Job, that he was wan, perfeet and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil, Job 1. I. In the same sense, Hezekiah protests that he had walked before God in truth and with a perfeet heart, and done what was good in his eyes, Ifa. 38. 3. 2dly. There is a perfection of PARTS, and that both subjective with respect to the whole man, in so far as he is fan&tified wholly, in spirit, foul and body, 1 Thess. 5.23. And objective, with respect to the whole law, when all and every one of the duties prescribed by God are observed without exception. Of this David was speaking Pf. 119. 128, I esteem all tby precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way. And it is said of Zacharias and Elizabeth, Luke 1.6, that they walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless.. zdly, There is a COMPARATIVE perfection, ascribed to those, who are advanced in knowledge, faith and sanctifi, cation, in comparison of those who are still infants and untaught:- in this manner John distinguishes little children, young men and fathers, 1 Jahn 2. 12, 13; In that fense Paul speaks of the perfect
. I. Cor. 2. 6, and Phil. 3. 15. 4thly. There is also an evANGELICAL perfection, or with a vail or covering of grace, according to which, these persons are looked upon as perfect, who sincerely endeavour after perfection, God, for the sake of Chrift, graciously accepting the attempts of a ready mind, and accounting every thing to be done, because what is not done is forgiven. The Apoftłe speaks of this 2 Cor. 8. 12; for if there be first a. willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man bath, and not according to that be hath not. Thus we are compleat in Cbrist, Cal. 2. 10, his most perfect righteousness covering all our defects. However this is to be understood in a proper manner : for the judgment of God is always according to truth: he so judges of us and our actions, as they are: and seeing we ourselves and our actions are imperfect, he cannot
but judge us to be so. This is what we would say
CXXVI. It is certainly true, that; when God To love