Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

CHAP. It would be an unequal Combat for the con-
XV. fess'd Weakness and Degeneracy of human Na-

ture, to engage both against the Devil and the
Flesh ; if there was not Aid ready at hand
superior to both of them. Therefore the
Apoftle, in the Person of an unconverted Jew,
and Gentile, both of whom he had concluded
under Sin, and in the most inoffensive Metasche-
matism of himself, had convicted each of them,
in their Turns, of Wretchedness, cries out, O
wretched Man that I am, who hall deliver me
from the Body of this Death? In the following
Verse, he thanks God thro' Jesus Christ (which noc
being a direct Answer, it may be question'd, as
Mr. Locke has observed, whether yzépis Ts Oeg,
which is the Remedy, is not the true Reading,
being a more direct Answer) and in the following
Chap. + proposes the only Remedy for being freed
from the Law of Sin and Death, and that is, the
Law of the Spirit of Life in Chrif Jesus.

For the Spirit of Christ attending his Gospel
(and he that has nor his Spirit is no real Chri-
ftian) as it is the Spirit of Adoption, is a new
Principle to the carnal Mind, both for freeing it
in its Anxiety from the Condemnation of Sin,
arising from the transgress'd Law of Moses, and
the unperform'd Law of the Mind, i. e. the Law
of Nature ; and from the ill Consequences of
Death, which has no harm in it after its Sting
is taken away, viz. the Guilt and condemning
Power of Sin : And likewise a new Principle
leading to eternal life, by directing, soliciting,
and helping our Infirmitics of the Flesh to a
present Newness of Life, not to live after the
Flesh but after the Spirit, or the Law of the Spi-
rit, i. e. the Gospel.
+ Rom. viii 2, 9, &c.

FOR

FORASMUCH as they who govern themselves CHAP. by the old Principle or Rule of Action, the Law XV. of the Members or Flesh, controuling the Mind and bringing it into Captivity to the Law of Sin, cannor, of themselves, free themselves from Sin ; and as long as the Mind submits itself to that Law, it is carnally minded, is in a State of Enmity against God, cannot please bim ; because, being habitually subject to a contrary Master, and a contrary Law, it is not (at the same time) fubječt to the Law of God, neither indeed can be ; the Law of Contraries makes it impossible that it should. But when the Mind fubmits to the Law of the Spirit of Life (as all who put on Christ, or take the Profession of Christian upon them, are obliged to do) then it is spiritually minded, minding the Things of the Spirit, and being so guided and governed is pleasing to God; and the bleffed Effect of that, is Life and Peace, Remiffion of Sins, and eternal Life: For the Spirit, than dwells and refides in them likewise, to raise them from the Dead to eternal Life; as in ver. Ir. Then being led by the Spirit of God as we were devoted in Baptism, and having that Testimony of our Conscience that we are govern'd by his Word, and act as becomes our Baptism and Calling in Christ, it beareth Witness with our Spirit, that we are the Children of God, ver. 16.

The Apoftle's Inference is very just, Therefore Bretbren, we, as many as profess ourselves Chriftians, are Debtors not to the Flesh, to live after the Flesh, but co the Spirit, to mortify the Deeds of the Flesh, in order to enjoy the Redemption of the Body from the Grave, and the Glory that foall be reveald in the eternal Life ensuing, which the Faithful groan after in their mortal

persecuted

CHAP. persecuted Bodies ; as all Mankind, unwilling to XV. die and part with their Bodies for good and all,

groan for a Resurrection in the constitutional Desires of their Nature. So far is it from the true State and Constitution of Things, that the Body is the Prison of the Soul, that it is its dear and ever desirable Partner, an essential Part of the Nature and Being of Man, to revive again and live for ever.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God are (adopted) Sons of God : 'And therefore Heirs hereafter with Christ, of that Redemption, and Glory, which he is now in Poffeffion of. In the Hope of which incomparable Glory we are saved in the Sufferings of this present Life, counting them, tho' so much the Lot of Chriftians at that time, as nothing in the Comparison. Besides that Hope, Christians, who are led by the Spirit, and by being adopted to that future State, have this further Advantage, that the fame Spirit is ready, invisibly, as the Things hoped for are invisible, to belp our In-, firmities; when in our. Distresses, we pray to God, and yet know not, in particular, what to pray for as we ought, whether for Increase of PaEience under, or Deliverance from them; but the Spirit itself (which worketh those Desires of Glory and eternal Life in the Adopted) intercedetb for us with Groanings that can't be utter'd, i, e. filent, fervent, moving, and effectual, such as becomes adopted Sons, and according to the Will of God towards them ; what is best for them at such pressing Junctures, which the Spirit knoweth, cho' they don't ; and therefore supplies their mental Prayers with that silent Sorrow and Sighing which is the most moving: Silence proceeding from inward Grief at Sin is most loud, and

moving to the Ears of Heaven ! By Parity of CHAP:

XV. Reason it may be concluded, that when the Matter of our other Prayers and Addresses are according to the known Will of God, the Holy Spirit excites such filial Freedom and Chearfulness, fervent Desires, devout Affections, and Postures of Mind, as are suitable to the respective Matter and Subject of them: For that, in respect both of Matter and Manner, is praying in the Holy Ghost, Jud. 20.

As. God formerly in peculiarity of Favour dwelt among the Jews by Tabernacle, and by Temple, with a Partition Wall exclusive of the Gentiles ; so, upon the Ruins of the Temple, when the Duration, or for ever of that Dispensation was at an end, the Habitation of God i bro? the Spirit * was erected indiscriminately in the Hearts of all who embraced the Faith of Chrift; and the powerful miraculous Operations of the Spirit, fo commonly display'd among the Gentiles, demonstrated to the ihen Jews, that God dwelt as visibly among the Gentiles as ever they could pretend he had done among them ; and consequently that their Peculium and Adoption to Favour was at an end.

And as the Use of a Seal was to render a thing peculiar and appropriate, so by the undeniable Gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Gentiles, to the ainple Conviction of the other, were sealed and appropriated a chofen Generation, a roya! Priesthood, a peculiar People, an holy Nation, tas well as they had been, being sanctified in Baptism by Water, and the Renewal of the Holy Ghost to all moral Holiness, as those had been by Circumcision to legal ceremonial Holiness.' The

* Eph. ii. 22.

+ 1 Pet. ii. 9.

Foundation,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

CHA P. Foundation, or Covenant, of God ftandeth sure,
XV., having this Seal, The Lord knoweth who are his,

&c. And as their Kings, Priests, and Prophets,
had their particular Anointing and Designation
from Heaven ; fo Chriftians having receiv'd a
general Anointing, or the thing couch'd under
that Symbol, i, e. Sanctification and Confecra-
tion from the Holy Ghost, in allusion to the other,
are ftiled Kings and Prieftsy but no where Prom
phets ; for that laborious Office, as to the Teach-
ing, Exborting, and Reproving Part, was appro-
priated to a particular Order of Men. Tho'Christ
presenting those, who suffer for him, to the Fa-
ther as Kings and Priests to reign with bim, seems
to mean a particular Glorification of Honour for
the Disgrace and Contempt they met with on
Earth for the Sake of his Religion : Yet, even
upon Earth, to ferve God and Virtue, is to Rule
and be a King, in the most valuable Dominion
over a Man's felf; and moreover to offer to God
Sacrifices enough, being the highest rational Ho-
nour in the greatest moral Liberty. Hence that
of the Stoicles, The wife Man only has true Liberty,
be folely Reigns, be only enjoys Empire. With re-
spect to the other, there is a Passage in Hieroci.
Carm. Pyth. p. 24. to this effect, " The wife Man
s is only called the PRIEST of God; he is

only acceptable to him ; be only understands bove
" to pray to him, and only knows how to honour
bim, without confounding the Dignity due to him.
" For in the first Place, he offers himself a Sacri-
fice, making his Mind the Image, and preparing
" himjelf to be his Temple."

It may be added, that as Man was made the Priest of Nature, to offer up to the Creator the Praises of all inanimate and irrational Creatures, so Christ has obliged every Christian to be

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

a Priest

« ElőzőTovább »