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sons, yet it doth not appear what we shall be ");" should make us pray for the accomplishment of his promises, for the hastening of his kingdom, where we shall be changed into a universal spiritualness, or purity of nature ;—where those relics of corruption, those strugglings of the law of the members against the law of the mind shall be ended ; those languishings, decays, ebbs and blemishes of grace shall be removed, where all deficiencies of grace shall be made up, and that measure and first-fruits of the Spirit which we here re. ceive, shall be crowned with fulness, and everlasting perfection. Here we are like the stones and other materials of Solomon's temple, but in the act of fitting and preparation : no marvel if we be here crooked, knotty, uneven, and therefore subject to the hammer, under blows and buffets. But when we shall be carried to the heavenly building which is above, and there laid in, there shall be nothing but smoothness and glory upon us, no noise of hammers, or axes, no dispensation of word or sacraments, no application of censures and severity ; but every man shall be filled with the fulness of God, Faith turned into sight, Hope turned into fruition, and Love everlastingly ravished with the presence of God, with the face of Jesus Christ, with the fulness of the holy Spirit, and with the communion and society of all the saints.-And so much for the first observation out of the third particular concerning the willingness of Christ's people.
There was farther therein observed the principle of this willingness, “ In the day of thy power, or of thine armies ;" that is, When thou shalt send abroad apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and doctors, and teachers, forevidencing the Word and Spirit unto the consciences of men. Whence we may secondly observe, That the “ heart of Christ's people is made willing to obey him by an act of power," or by the strength of the Word and Spirit. It is not barely enticed, but it is conquered by the gospel of Christi; and yet this is not a compulsory conquest (which is utterly contrary to the nature of a reasonable will, which would cease to be itself, if it could be compelled), but it is an effectual conquest. The will as all other faculties) is dead naturally in trespasses and sins: and a dead man is not raised to life again by any
h 1 John. iii. 2.
i 2 Cor. x. 4, 5.
enticements, nor yet compelled unto a condition of such exact complacency and suitableness to nature by any act of violence. So then a man is made willingly subject unto Christ, neither by mere moral persuasions, nor by any violent impulsions; but by a power in itself, supernatural, spiritual, or divine, and, in its manner of working, sweetly tempered to the disposition of the will, which is never, by grace, destroyed, but perfected. Therefore the apostle saith, that " It is God who worketh in us to will and to dok." First, he frameth our will according to his own (as David was said to be 'a man after God's own heart'); and secondly, by that will, and the imperate acts thereof, thus sanctified and still assisted by the Spirit of grace, he setteth the other powers of nature on work in farther obedience unto his will. And therefore the prophet David praiseth God, that had enabled him and his people to offer willingly' unto the service of God's house, and prayeth him that he would ever keep that willing disposition in the imaginations and thoughts of the hearts of his people! Therefore, the apostle saith, that “Our faith standeth not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." Therefore likewise it is called “ The faith of the operation of God who raised Christ from the dead n."
For the more distinct opening and evidencing this point, how Christ's people are made willing by his power, I will only lay together some brief positions, which I conceive to be thereunto pertinent,—and proceed to that which is more plain and profitable. First, Let us consider the nature of the will, which is to be a free agent or mover, to have,'ex se' and within itself, an indifferency and undeterminateness unto several things ; so that when it moves or not moves, when it moves one way or other, in none of these it suffers violence, but works according to the condition of its own nature.
Secondly, We may note that this indifferency is twofold, either habitual, belonging to the constitution of the will, which is nothing else but an original aptitude, or intrinsecal non-repugnancy in the will, to move unto contrary extremes, to work; or to suspend its own working; or else actual, which is in the exercise of the former, as objects present themselves ;-and this is twofold; either a freedom to good or evil, or a freedom to will or not to will.
& Phil. ii. 13.
11 Chron, xxxi, 14, 18.
m I Cor. iv. 5,
a Col. ii, 12.
Thirdly, Notwithstanding the will be in this manner free, yet it may have its freedom in both regards so determined, as that, in such or such a condition, it cannot do what it should, or forbear what it should, or cannot do what it should not, nor forbear what it should not. Man fallen, without the grace of God, is free only unto evil; and Christ, in the time of his obedience, was free wholly unto good. Man free to evil,—but yet so, as that he only doth it voluntarily; he cannot voluntarily leave it undone. Christ free only to good,yet so, as that he doth it most freely, but could not freely omit the doing of it.
Fourthly, The will worketh not in this condition of things unto moral objects without some other concurrent principles, which sway and determine it several ways: so that the will is ‘principium quod,' the faculty which moves; and the other, principium quo,' the quality or virtue by which it moves. And these qualities are, in natural men, the flesh or the original concupiscence of our nature, which maketh the motions of the will to be denýuata papròs, the will of the flesh ; and, in the regenerate, the grace and Spirit of Christ, so far forth as they are regenerate.
Fifthly, As the will is ever carried either by the Aesh or the spirit to its objects, so neither to the one nor the other, without the preceding conduct and direction of the practical judgement, whether by grace illightened to judge aright, or by corrupt affections bribed and blinded to misguide the will; for the will, being a rational appetite, never moveth but' per modum judicii,' upon apprehension of some goodness and convenience in the thing, whereunto it moves.
Sixthly, The judgement is never thoroughly illightened to understand spiritual things in that immediate and ample beauty and goodness which is in them, but only by the Spirit of Christ, which makes a man to have the self-same mind, judgement, opinion, and apprehension of heavenly things which he had so that Christ and a Christian do TOŪTo Opoveis “think the same thing,” as the apostle speakso, By which the Spirit of grace, working first upon the judgement to rectify that, and to convince it of the evidence and necessity of that most universal and adequate good which it presenteth, the whole nature is proportionably renewed, and Christ formed as well in the will and affections, as in the understanding : as the body in the womb is not shaped by piecemeal, one part after another, but altogether by proportionable degrees and progresses of perfection. So that at the same time when the Spirit of grace, by an act of heavenly illumination, is present with the judgement of reason to evidence, not the truth only, but the excellency of the knowledge of Christ thereunto,-it is likewise present by an act of heavenly persuasion, and most intimate allurement unto the will and affections, sweetly accommodating its working unto the exigence and condition of the faculties, that they likewise may, with such liberty and complacency, as becomes both their own nature, and the quality of the obedience quired, apply themselves to the desire and prosecution of those excellent things, which are with so spiritual an evidence set forth unto them in the ministry of the Word. As by the same soul the eye seeth, and the ear heareth, and the hand worketh ; so when Christ by his Spirit is formed in us (for the Spirit of Christ is the actus primus, or soul of a Christian man, that which animateth him unto a heavenly being and working),' every power of the soul and body is, in some proportionable measure, enabled to work 'suo modo,' in such a manner, as is convenient and proper to the quality of its nature, to the right apprehension and voluntary prosecution of spiritual things. The same Spirit which, by the word of grace, doth fully convince the judgement, and let the light of the knowledge of the glory of God shine upon the mind, doth, by the same word of grace, proportionably excite, and assist the will to affect it; that as the understanding is elevated to the spiritual perception, so the will likewise is enabled to the spiritual love of heavenly things.
o Phil. ii. 5.
By all which we may observe, that this working of the Spirit of grace, whereby we become voluntaries in Christ's service, and whereby he worketh in us, both to will and to do those things which, of ourselves, we were not obedient unto, neither indeed could be,-is both a sweet and powerful work; as in the raising of a man from the dead (to which, in the Scriptures, the renewing of a sinner is fre
p Rom. viii. 9, 10, 11. I Cor. vi. 17.
quently compared) there is a work of great power,—which yet, being admirably suitable to the integrity of the creature, must needs bring an exact complacency and delight with it. We may frequently in holy Scripture observe, that of the same effect several things may be affirmed, by reason of its connexion unto several causes, and of the several casualties of manners or concurrence, with which those several causes have contributed any influence unto it. As the obedience of Christ was, of all other, the most free and voluntary service of his Father, if we consider it with respect unto his most holy, and therefore most undistracted and unhindered will (for if it were not voluntary, it were no obedience): and yet notwithstanding, it was most certain and infallible, if we consider it with respect to the sanctity of his nature, to the unmeasurableness of his unction, to the plenitude of his unseducible and unerring Spirit, to the mystery of his hypostatical union, and the communication of properties between his natures, whereby whatever action was done by him, might justly be called the action of God, in which regard it was impossible for him to sin ;-in like manner, the passive obedience of Christ was most free and voluntary, as it respected his own will : for he troubled himself, he humbled and emptied himself, he laid down his own life, he became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; and yet, thus it was written, and thus it behoved, or was necessary for Christ to suffer, if we respect the predeterminate counsel and purpose of God, who had so ordained 9. God would not suffer a bone of Christ to be broken, and yet he did not disable the soldiers from doing it; for they had still as much strength and liberty to have broken his, as the others who were crucified with him: but that which, in regard of the truth and prediction of holy Scriptures, was most certainly to be fulfilled, in regard of the second causes by whom it was fulfilled, was most free and voluntary. We find what a chain of mere casualties and contingencies (if we look only upon second causes) did concur, in the offence of Vashti, in the promotion of Esther, in the treason of the two chamberlains, in the wakefulness of the king, in the opening of the chronicles, in the accept
9 Acts iv, 28.