Imagens das páginas

is renewed day by day; But this renewing is not to be understood as if it were unrenewed in any one part or faculty, but of its growing and increasing in spiritual strength: Thus they that wait upon the LORD, are said to renew their strength; that is, to wax stronger and stronger.

But is not the body then to be sanctified at all in this life? Yes, verily; for the Apostle prays that God would fančtify us wholly in body, soul and Spirit: The bodies of believers must needs be fanctified, that is, separated to the use and service of God; for altho' they are not changed in their natures, qualities, or condition, but in these refpects remain the very fame after, as before conversion ; yet, by the abundance of grace given to the renewed soul, they may and will be subdued, and its rebellious lufts mortified thro' the power of the Spirit of God which dwelleth in us: By whose help also every member, and consequently the whole body is gradually brought into subjection, and as it were preled into the service of God. And this sanctification of the body is not unlike that of the vessels of the Tabernacle which were employed in the service of God, with. out any will of theirs, or change of quality whatsoever. But by this means believers glorify God both in their souls and bodies, which are God's. In this L 13

sense sense also our bodies are said to be holy, and the temple of the Holy Ghost : Therefore the Apostle beseeches us by the mercies of God to present our bodies a living sacrifice, boly, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service : he adds, and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfeet will of God.We may not therefore practically ferve sin with our mortal bodies because there dwelleth in them no good thing But,

[ocr errors]


THIRDLY: I proposed to thew in what way, and by what power this grace is bestowed on us, and received by us.

Nothing can be more plain from Scripture than this, that the preaching of Christ crucified, or the Gospel of God's glorious grace to man, is the doctrine whereby this fanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed on us : For this doctrine is the truth of God according to his own will, and commandment ; whereby also he is glorified, and therefore this blessing attends it: But we receive it by faith ; that is, thro' believing the word, and testimony of God comcerning his Sor Jesus Christ, who is our peace. The effectual worker, or author of this grace in us, (for it is not of ourselves) is the

Holy Holy Spirit; who invisibly, powerfully, and favingly worketh in us; first, by regenerating our fouls, and leading us to Christ, that we might believe on his name ; and then by teaching and causing us to follow him, as our pattern and example in the regeneration : For by our union with CHRisT thro' the Spirit, we are both inclined and enabled by faith to live unto God: For Christ is made of God unto us fan&tification, which is be'gun in our souls when we are born of the Spirit ; but is not perfected in our whole persons, that is, in body, soul and spirit, until we awake up after his complete likeness. Therefore this divine grace and inestimable benefit is first prepared for us in Christ, and lodged in him as our living spiritual Head; hence he is called, our life : From whom, by union with him thro' the Spirit, it descends into all the members of his body the Church; whom he cleanses and fanctifies by the washing of water with the word.

Thus it first exists and abides in Christ, as the fountain of spiritual life and influence; from whom it fows forth into all those channels, which, by being united to him, are fitted for its reception, and opened to receive it. But all this is wrought in us by the Spirit of God and of Christ; who prepares, opens, and disposes our souls to receive

L 14

CHRIST; CHRIST; by whose glorious power we are caused to hunger and thirst after Christ, and his falva. tion, and enabled alfo to draw water out of the wells of salvation : Thus the people of God, thro' the Spirit, put off the old, and put on the new man, until they are complete in Christ, and in all things made like unto him ; for of bis fulness do we all receive, and grace for grace.

The personal obedience or righteousness of Christ cannot be communicated to any other, but is imputed to us only: But the holiness of Christ's human nature is actually imparted and as really fornied in us by regeneration, as the depravity of the first Adam's sinful nature is transmitted and derived into us by natural generation : Yet not the very identical holiness of Christ's individual person; but the similitude and likeness of it only is formed in us, by a spiritual birth from Christ the second Adam, who is at the right hand of God; angels, principalities and powers being made subject unto him.

Thus Christ is made of God sanctification unto his people : They have no holiness but what they receive from him ; for fo is the will of God, that Christ in all things might have the preheminence. And this grace cannot be made known or imparted

to us fave by the Holy Spirit only: As the body Cannot receive the light of this world without the eye, fo neither can the soul receive CHRIst without faith: The heart also must needs be purified before it can love or desire holiness.; as well as the eyes of the understanding be enlightened before the soul can know what is the hope of God's calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the faints, and what the exceeding greatness of his power towards them who believe.

[ocr errors]

LASTLY; I shall close with suitable inferences.

1. then ; I infer, that such is the state and condition of man by nature, that he cannot truly and acceptably worship and serve God unless he is first fanctified, or separated from his natural union with and relation to the first Adam, as a guilty and polluted creature ; and supernaturally united, and grafted into the second Adam Jesus Christ. And for this cause God pours out of his fpirit upon all his feed; by whose divine power this necessary and important work is begun and perfected : For God hath chosen his people throʻ sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and the sprinkling of the blood of JESUS CHRIST.- Thus the Holy Spirit divinely separates God's elect from the rest of the world,


« AnteriorContinuar »