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the heart is perfect, undivided, and goeth all together, the mind will be willing to serve the Lord.
This willingness of Christ's people showeth itself in two things: First, In begetting most cordial and constant enmity against all the enemies of Christ, never holding any league or intelligence with them, but being always ready to answer the Lord as David did Saul, “ Thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”-He that is a voluntary in Christ's armies, is not disheartened with the potency, policy, malice, subtilty, or prevailing faction of any of his adversaries. He is contented to deny himself; to renounce the friendship of the world; to bid defiance to the allurements of Satan; to smile upon the face of danger ; to hate father and mother, and land and life; to be cruel to himself, and regardless of others, for his Master's service. Through honour and dishonour, through evil report and good report, through a sea and a wilderness, through the hottest services, and strongest oppositions, will he follow the Lamb, whithersoever he goeth: though he receive the Word 'in much affliction, yet he will receive it' with joy' too. Secondly, In begetting most loving, constant, and dear affections to the mercy, grace, glory, and ways of God, an universal conformity unto Christ our head, who was contented to take upon him the form of a servant, to have his ear bored, and his will subjected unto the will of his Father. “I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.d" And as he was, so are all his, in this world,-of the same mind, judgement, spirit, conversation, and therefore of the same will too.
Now this dear and melting affection of the heart toward Christ and his ways, whereby the soul longeth after him, and hasteth unto him, is wrought by several principles : First, By the conviction of our natural estate, and a thorough humiliation for the same. Pride is ever the principle of disobedience. They were the proud' men, who said unto Jeremiah, “ Thou speakest falsely; the Lord hath not sent theee.' And they were the proud men, who hardened their necks, and withdrew the shoulder, and would not hear, and refused to obey, (Nehem. ix. 16, 17, 29.) A man must be
d Psal. xl. 8.
e Jer, xliii. 2.
first brought to deny himself, before he will be willing to follow Christ, and to lug a cross after him. A man must first humble himself, before he will walk with God.' The poor only receive the gospel. The hungry only find sweetness in bitter things. Extremities will make any man not only willing, but thankful, to take any course wherein he may recover himself and subsist again; when the soul finds itself in darkness, and hath no light, and begins to consider whither darkness leads it; that it is even now in the mouth of Hell, under the paw of the roaring lion, under the guilt of sin, the curse of the law, and the hatred and wrath of God ;—it cannot choose, but most willingly pursue any probability, and, with most enlarged affections, meet any tender of deliverance. Suppose we that a prince should cause some bloody malefactor to be brought forth, should set before his
all the racks and tortures which the wit of man can invent to punish prodigious offenders withal, and should cause him to taste some of those extremities; and then, in the midst of his howling and anguish, should not only reach out a hand of mercy to deliver him, but should further promise him, upon his submission, to advance him like Joseph from the iron which enters into his soul, unto public honour and service in the state ;-would not the heart of such a man be melted into thankfulness, and with all submission resign itself unto the mercy and service of so gracious a prince? Now the Lord doth not only deal thus with sinners; doth not only cause them, by the report of his Word, and by the experience of their own guilty hearts, to feel the weight, fruitlessness, and shame of sin, and the firstfruits of that eternal vengeance which is thereunto due ;nor only set forth Christ before them as a rock of redemption, reaching out a hand to save, and offering great and precious promises of an exceeding, eternal, abundant weight of glory ;—but besides all this, doth inwardly touch the heart by the finger of his Spirit, framing it to a spiritual and divine conformity unto Christ. How can the soul of such a man in these present extremities of horror, which yet are but the pledges of infinite more which must ensue; and in the evidence of so wonderful and sweet promises, the seals of
I Micah vi. 8.
the eternal favour and fellowship of God, choose but, with much importunity of affection, to lay hold on so great a hope which is set before it, and, with all readiness and ambition of so high a service, yield up itself into the hands of so gracious a Lord, to be by him ordered and overruled unto any obedience ?
Secondly, This willingness of Christ's people is wrought by a spiritual illumination of the mind. And therefore the conversion of sinners is called a conviction,' because it is ever wrought in us ' secundum modum judicii,' as we are reasonable and intelligent creatures. I take it (under favour and submission to better judgements) for a firm truth, that if the mind of man were once, thoroughly and in a spiritual manner (as it becometh such objects, as are altogether spiritual), possessed of the adequate goodness and truth which is in grace and glory,—the heart could not utterly reject them; for human liberty is not a brutish, but a reasonable thing: it consisteth not in contumacy or headstrongness, but in such a manner of working, as is apt to be regulated, varied, or suspended by the dictates of right reason. The only cause why men are not willing to submit unto Christ, is, because they are not, thoroughly and in a manner suitable to the spiritual excellency of the things, enlightened in their mind. The apostle often maketh mention of fulfilling 5 and “ making full proof of our ministry", and of preaching the gospel fully', namely, with the evidence of the Spirit and of power,' and with such a manifestation of the truth, as doth commend itself unto the conscience of a man.'“ The word of God," saith the apostle “, “is not yea and nay,” that is, a thing which may be admitted or denied at pleasure, but such a word as hath no inevidence in itself, nor leaveth any uncertainty or hesitancy in a mind fitted to receive it. And as we may thus distinguish of preaching, that there is an imperfect and a full preaching ; so may we distinguish of understanding the things preached : in some, it is full,--and in others, superficial. For there is a twofold illumination of the mind, the one theoretical and merely notional, consisting in knowledge; the other practical, ex
h 2 Tim. iv. 5.
i Rom. xv. 19.
$ Col. iv. 17. Acts xiy. 26. k 2 Cor. i. 18. ILuke xxiv. 32.
perimental, and spiritual, consisting in the irradiation of the soul by the light of God's countenance, in such an apprehension of the truth, as maketh the heart to burn thereby, “ when we know things as we ought to know them m;" that is, when the manner and life of our knowledge is answerable to the nature and excellency of the things known, when the eye is spiritually opened to believe and seriously conclude, that the things spoken are of most precious and everlasting consequence to the soul, as things that concern our peace with God. This is the learning of Christ,--the teaching of the Father,--the knowing of the things which pass knowledge,—the setting to the seal of our own hearts that God is true,—the evidence of spiritual things not to the brain but to the conscience. In one word, this is that which the apostle calleth a 'spiritual demonstration. And surely, in this case, the heart is never overruled contrary to the full, spiritual, and infallible evidence of divine truths unto a practical judgement. Therefore the apostle saith, that “ Eve, being deceived, was in the transgression ";" and there is frequent mention made of the deceitfulness of sin,' to note, that sin got into the world by error and seduction. For certainly the will is õpetis ueta dóyou, a 'rational appetite,' and therefore (as I conceive) doth not stir from such a good as is fully and spiritually represented thereunto, as the most universal, adequate, and unquestionable object of the desires and capacities of a human soul. For the freedom and willing consent of the heart is not lawless, or without rules to moderate it; but it is therefore said to be free, because whether, out of a true judgement, it move one way,—or out of a false, another,-yet in both it moves naturally, 'secundum modum sibi competentem,' in a manner suitable to its own condition.
If it be objected, that the heart, being unregenerate, is utterly averse unto any good, and therefore it is not likely to be made willing by the illumination of the mind ;– To this I answer, That it is true, the will must not only be moved, but also renewed and changed °, before it can yield to Christ. But withal, that God doth never so fully and
o Oportet non tantum moveri,
m 1 Cor. viii. 2. nl Tim. 2. 14. sed etiam novam fieri. Prosper.
spiritually convince the judgement, in that manner of which I have spoken, without a special work of grace thereupon, opening the eye, and removing all natural ignorance, prejudice, hesitancy, inadvertency, mispersuasion, or any other distemper of the mind, which might hinder the evidence of spiritual truth. By which means he also frameth and fashioneth the will to accept, embrace, and love those good things, of which the mind is thus prepossessed.
Thirdly, This willingness of Christ's people is wrought by the communion and aspiration of the Spirit of grace, which is a free spirit, P a spirit of love y, and a spirit of liberty"; a spirit which is in every faculty of man as the soul and principle of its Christianity, or heavenly being and working. And therefore it makes every faculty, ‘secundum modum sibi proprium,' to work unto spiritual ends and objects. As the soul in the eye causeth that to see,--and in the ear, to hear,—and in the tongue, to speak; so the Spirit of grace in the mind causeth it rightly to understand, and in the will causeth it freely to desire heavenly things; and in every faculty causeth it to move towards Christ, in such a way and manner of working, as is suitable to its nature.
Fourthly, This willingness of Christ's people ariseth from the apprehensions of God's dear love, bowels of mercy, and riches of most unsearchable grace revealed, in the face of Jesus Christ, to every broken and penitent spirit. Love is naturally, when it is once apprehended, an attractive of love. And therefore it is that the apostle saith, “ Faith worketh by love;" that is, by faith, first, the heart is persuaded and affected with God's love unto us in Christ. “ I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for mes.” Being thus persuaded of his love to us, the heart is framed to love him again : for who can be persuaded of so great a benefit as the remission of sins, and not be most deeply inflamed with the love of him, by whom they are remitted? And lastly, by this reciprocal love of the heart to Christ, "faith becometh effectual” to work obedience and conformity to his will. “ Love is the fulfilling of the law;" he that loves God, would, with all joyfulness,
Gal. ii. 20.
p Psal. li, 12. Eph. iii. 17, 18.
9 2 Tim. i. 7. r 2 Cor. iii. 17. tl John iv, 19. Luke vii, 47.