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lights in this spiritual frame of mind, and in all the holy tempers of the Redeemer; follows his footsteps, as nearly as may be, by the help of the Spirit; loves the will of God; and becomes resigned to it, more and more under all circumstances of sickness or health, joy or sorrow, life or death. In the course of thus raising the soul to spiritual and heavenly things, the Holy Spirit gradually weans it from the idol self, that closest of dangers and of snares ; mortifies the flesh, with its affections and lusts; subdues sin for the Christian, not only in its outward and palpable acts, but in its secret workings on the imagination, and in its most interior ebullitions or risings; to all which self-righteous persons are very much strangers, and the unrighteous are willing to remain so. By this proceeding, the Holy Spirit also deadens the heart to the love of the world and its vain pursuits; and,
at the same time, makes it tremblingly alive to the danger of its snares, the variable weakness of the Aesh, the deep subtlety and impetuosity of Sa
Under these impressions, he leads the soul to faith and prayer for watchfulness, for deliverance, for victory, for final safety, and true happi
The soul becomes thus more and more strengthened and refreshed by the agency and teaching of the Holy One, finds joy and peace in believing, exercises itself in every good word and work prepared by Providence for it, rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth, is daily ripening for heaven and glory, is supported in trials, sickness, and death, and at last obtains a safe, if not an abundant, entrance into the kingdom of God.
This is a short sketch of the mani. fold. blessings, mercies, struggles, trials, and victories, implied under the operations of grace in the soul, or,
what is the same, the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
§ 8. 2. We are next to consider the Persons, to whom the Holy Spirit is given-namely, to them, that ask this Gift of their heavenly Father.
And who are these, but the Children of God?-His Children, born of his Spirit ;-His own, by Adoption and Grace Regenerate, and renewed in the spirit of their minds, and so having the same mind with him.-Taught and enabled to cry, without falsehood and without hypocrisy, ABBA, Father - His heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ - God's Family, Portion, and Inheritance.
Who, beside these, can truly ask for the Holy Spirit, knowing for what they ask? Who, but the Children of God, can sincerely pray for his Spirit to lead them into these truths, which are calculated to humble them to the
dust, while Christ the Saviour is alone to be exalted ? Who can ask, for instance, to be quickened from the death of trespasses and sins, but those, who know what the death of sins mcans, and who groan to be delivered from it, as persons beginning to be alive from the dead? Who can ask for repentance to be granted them unto life eternal, but those, who feel their deplorable state by nature, and are alarmed at their present condition? Who can pray for faith, without knowing the nature or the worth of this indispensable mercy? Who can seek to be taught, but those, who are sensible of their own ignorance? Who can petition for spiritual strength, but those, who fear to perish from their own inherent weakness? Who can desire pardon, but sinners condemned by the law and their own consciences? or who plead the righteousness of another to justify them in the sight of infinite
Holiness, but they, who are convinced that no human righteousness can saye them ?. Who can beseech the Lord to grant them true holiness, but they who, through the Divine Spirit, have been led to the abhorrence of sin in their mortal bodies; or who, but they, really desire of this gracious Spirit to mortify the deeds of the body, and to crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts? Can flesh desire to, crucify flesh, or that, which is vile and wicked, love purity and righteousness, or that which is dead quicken itself, or any effect act against its cause, or above it, or without it? Our Lord tells us, that what is born of the flesh, is flesh,.*
* It is observable, that Learen and Flesh in the Old Testament are signified, in the original, by the same word. Hence, the Apostle's exhortation to purge out the old leaven, that is, the flesh with its affections and lusts, which cannot follow Christ, nor can be conjoined with him as the believer's passover, righteousness, or propitiation.