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vated. If ever you will act becoming the principles and nature of new creature?, then seek earthly things with lubmiffibn, enjoy them with fear and caution, resign them with cheerfulneis and readiness; and thus "let your moderation be known unto "all men," Phil. iv. 5. Let your hearts daily meditate, and your tongues discourse about heavenly things; be exceedingtender of sin, strict and punctual in ever duty; and hereby convince the world, that you are men and women of another spirit.
. Fifth use, for consolathn. Let every new creature be cheerful and thankful: is God hath renewed your natures, and thus altered the frame and temper of your hearts, he hath bestowed the richest mercy upon you that heaven or earth affords. This is a work of the greatest rarity; a new creature may be called, One amoog a thousand: it is also an everlasting work, never to be destroyed, as all other natural works of God (how excellent soever) must be: it is a work carried on by almighty Power, through unspeakable difficulties and mighty oppositions, Eph. i. 12. The exceeding greatness of God's power goes forth to produce it; and indeed no less is required to enlighten the blind mind, break the rocky heart, and bow the stubborn'will of man; and the seme almighty power, which at first created it, is necessary to be continued every moment, to preserve and continue it, 1 Pet. i. 5. The new creature is a mercy, which draws a train of innumerable and invaluable mercies after it, Eph. ii. 13, 14. 1 Cor. iii. 2c. When God hath given us a new nature, then he dignifies us with a new name, Rev. ii. 17. brings us into a new covenant, Jer. xxxi. 33. begets us again to a new hope, 1 Pet. i. 3. intitles us to a new inheritance, John i. 12, 13. It is the new creature which through Christ makes our persons and duties acceptable with God, Gal. vi. 1 j. In a word, it is the wonderful work of God, of which we may say, " This is the Lord's "doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." There are unsearchable wonders in its generation, in its operation, and in its preservation. Let all therefore, whom the Lord hath thus renewed, sall down at the feet of God, in an humble admiration of the unsearchable riches of free grace, and never open their months to complain under any adverse or bitter providences of God.
Of the Nature, Principle, and Necessity, of Mortification.
Gal. v. 24.' And they that are Christ's, have crucified the first), 'with the affections and lusts.
TW O great trials of our interest in Christ, are sinished; we 'now proceed to a third, namely, The mortification of fin: "They that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh." The lcope of the apostle, in this context, is, to heal the unchristian breaches among the Galatians, prevailing, by the instigatioa of Satan, to the breach of brotherly love. To cure this, he urges four weighty arguments.
First, From the great commandment, to love one another; np» on which the whole law f i. e.J all the duties of the second table, do depend, ver. 15.
Secondly, He powerfully dissuades them, from the consideration of the sad events of their bitter contests, calumnies, and detractions, viz. mutual ruin, and destruction, ver. 15. .
Thirdly, He dissuades them, from the consideration of the contrariety of these practices, unto the Spirit of God, by whom they all profess themselves to be governed, from ver. 17. to ver. 23
Fourthly, He powerfully dissuades them from these animosities, from the inconsistency of these, or any other lusts of the flesh, with an interest in Christ: "They that be Christ's, have cru"cified the flesh," &c. q. d. You all profess yourselves to be members of Christ, to be followers of him; but how incongruous are these practices, to such a profession? Is this the fruit of the dove-like Spirit of Christ? Are these the fruits of your saith, and professed mortification? Shall the sheep of Christ snarl, and sight like rabid, and furious beasts of prey? Tantaene anim'is cselestibus irae? So much rage in heavenly fouls? O how repugnant are these practices with the study of mortification *, which is the great study and endeavour, of all that arc in Qjiq 2
* Nen fecus ac.
Cum duo converss inimica, in praelia tauri,
Christ !" They that arc Christ's have crucified tbe flesh, with the affections and lusts." So much for the order of the words; the words themselves are a propofition wherein we have to consider, both
1. The subject.
2. The predicate.
First, Thesuhjetl of the proposition, they that are Christ's, viz. f " True Christians, real members of Christ ; such as truly "belong to Christ, such as have given themselves up to be go"verned by him," and are, indeed, acted by his Spirit; such, all such persons (for the indesinite is equipollent to an universal) all such, and none but such.
Secondly, The predicate; " They have crucified the flesh, "with the affections and lusts." By flesti, we are here to understand carnal concupiscence, the workings, and motions of corrupt nature; and by the affections, we are to understand, not the natural, but the inordinate affections; for Christ doth not abolish, and destroy, but correct, and regulate the affections of those that are in him: And by crucifying the flesh, we are not to understand the tjotal extinction, or perfect subduing of corrupt nature; but only the deposing of corruption from its regency, and dominion in the foul; its dominion is taken away, though its life be prolonged for a season; but yet, as death surely, tho' slowly, follows crucifixion, (the life of crucified persons gradually departing from them, with their blood) it is just so in the mortification of sin; and therefore what the apostle, in this place, calls crucifying, he calls, in Rom. viii. 13. mortifying. "If
ye, through the Spirit, do mortify," Sawtsn \ if ye put to death the deeds of the body: But he chuses, in this place, to call it crucifying, to shew, not only the conformity there is betwixt the death of Christ, and the death of sin, in respect of shame, pain, and lingering slowness; but to denote, also, the principle, means, and instrument of mortification, viz. the death, or cross of Jesus Christ, in the virtue whereof, believers do mortify the corruptions, of their flesh; the great arguments, and persuasives to mortification, being drawn from the sufferings of Christ for sin, In a word, he doth not say, They that believe Christ was crucified, for fin, are Christ's; but they, and they only, are his, vthofeel, as well as profess the power, and efficacy, of the sufferings of Christ, in the mortification, and subi
f Ver* Chrifiiani qui ad Christum pertinent, qui fe ei dedere re% ftudet, Pol, Synop.
duing of their lusts, and sinful affections. And so much, briefly, of the parts, and fense of the words. The observation followeth.
Doct. That a saving interest in Christ, may be regularly, and Jlrongly inferred, and concluded, jrotn the mortification cf the fie/h, -with its affetlions, and lusts.
This point is fully confirmed, by those words of the apostle, Rom. vi. 5, 6, 7, 8. " For if we have been planted together in '* the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his "resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with "him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth "we should not serve sin; for he that is dead, is free from sin: "Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also '* live with him."
Mark the force of the apostle's reasoning; if we have been planted into the likeness of his death, viz. by the mortification of sin, which resembles, or hath a likeness to the kind and manner of Christ's death (as was noted above) then we shall be, also, in the likeness of his resurrection; and why so, but because this mortification of sin is an undoubted evidence of the union of such a soul with Christ, which is the very ground-work, and principle, of that blessed, and glorious resurrection: And therefore he saith, ver. it. "Reckon ye, also, yourselves to be dead, "indeed, unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ "our Lord;" q. d. Reason thus with yourselves, these mortifying influences of the death of Christ, are unquestionable presages of your future blessedness, God never taking this course with any, but those who are in Christ, and are designed to be glorified with him. The death of your sin is as evidential, as any thing in the world can be, of your spiritual life for the present, and of your eternal life with God hereafter. Mortification is the fruit, and evidence of your union, and that union is the firm ground-work, and certain pledge, of your glorification.; and so you ought to reckon, or reason the case with yourselves, as the word *eyity<r$-s there signifies. Now for the stating, and explicating of this point, I shall, in the doctrinal part, labour to open and confirm these five things.
1. What the mortification, or crucifixion of fin, imports.
2. Why this work of the Spirit is expressed by crucifying.
3. Why all that are in Christ, must be so crucified, or mortified unto sin.
4. What is the true evangelical principle of mortification.
5. How the mortification of sin evinces our interest in Christ. And then apply the whole.
First, What the mortification, or crucifixion of sin, import?. And, for clearness sake, I shall speak to it, both negatively^ and pofitively »' shewing you what is not intended, and what is principally aimed at, by the Spirit of God, in this expression.
First, "The J crucifying of the flesh doth not imply the "total abolition of sin, in believers, or the destruction of its "very being and existence in them, for the present; sanctified "souls so put off their corruptions with their dead bodies at "death:" This will be the effect of our future glorification, not of our present sinctification. Sin doth exist in the most mortified believer in the world, Rom. viu.17.'( ^ acteth, and lusteth in the regenerate soul, Gal. v. 17. yea, notwithstanding its crucifixion in believers, it still may, jn respect of single acts, surprize, and captivate them, Psal. lxv. 3. Rom. vii. 23. This, therefore, is not the intention of the Spirit of God, in this expression.
Secondly, Nor doth the crucifixion of sin consist in the suppression of the external acts of sin only; for sin may reign over the fouls of men, whilst it doth not break forth into their live?, in gross, and open actions, 2 Pet. ii. 20. Mat. xii. 43, Moratity in the Heathens (as Tcrtuallian well observes) did abscondere, fed non abscindere vitia, hide them, when it could not kill them; Many a man shews a white, aud sair hand, who yet hath a very foul, and black heart.
Thirdly, The crucifixion of the flesh doth not consist in the cessation of the external acts of sin; for, in that respect, the lusts of men may die of their own accord, even a kind of natural death. The members of the body are the weapons of unrighteousness, as the apostle calls them; age or sickness, may so blunt, or break those weapons, that the foul cannot use them to such sinful purposes, and services, as it was wont to do, in the vigorous, and healthful season of life; not that there is less sin in the heart, but because there is less strength and activity in the body. Just as it is with an oldsojdier, who hath as much skill, policy, aud delight, as ever in military actions; but age, and hard services have so enfeebled him, that he can no longer follow the camp.
Fourthly, The crucifixion of sin doth not consist in the severe castigation of the body, and penancing it by stripes, sasting, and tiresome pilgiimages. 1 his may pass for mortification among
% Mortificari carneni nen estearn ita perimi,ut aut prorsus non stt, aut nulla prava in hov.ine defideria commoveat, quod in cerpart mortis bujus non cantingit, isa. Estius in loc.