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the spirit of a Christian pilgrim is required to be exemplified by us.
Now who is so blind as not to perceive the necessity of Divine grace to a compliance with the requisitions of Scripture respecting the abstinence which it enjoins? Who can fail of approving the language of our collect in which we pray for it? Who can be so stupid and insensible to his own interest, so great a stranger to the genuine spirit of Christianity, and to the corruption of his own heart, as to refuse a cordial union with the cry of the church in supplicating for the grace of religious abstinence?
The end for which we implore the grace of abstinence is very important. It is that "Our "flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever "obey the Godly motions of Him, who for our "sake did fast forty days and forty nights, in "righteousness and true holiness, to His honour "and glory, who liveth and reigneth with the "Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world "without end." In all believers "the flesh "lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against "the flesh; and these are contrary the one to "the other, so that they cannot do the things *' that they would." In the most advanced Christians corrupt propensities still exist which require watchfulness, abstinence, and prayer, to keep them under; for " in us, that is in our "flesh," even to the end of life, "dwelleth no "good thing." The subjugation of the flesh to the Spirit is therefore the object of earnest prayer and of constant endeavour to the true Christian, whether he be a child, or a father in Christ. It is supposed to be the object, aim, and end of all the members of our church; for unless it be, they cannot use our collect without hypocrisy. Let the reader inquire if it be his.
By 'c Godly motions" we are to understand those holy thoughts which are suggested to the mind, and that heavenly attraction which is communicated to it, by the Word and Spirit of Christ. Obedience to these is that " holiness, "without which no man shall see the Lord/' And as the Spirit of God, moving on the face of the deep, was the primary cause of arrangement and beauty in the chaotic mass out of which all things have been formed, so also it is the motion of the Divine Spirit on the human soul which is the producing agency of "all holy "desires, good counsels, and just works." "It "is He that worketh in us both to will and to "do of His good pleasure."
Now without abstinence the flesh cannot be subdued to the Spirit; for the health and vigour of the one is the sickness and infirmity of the other. The reciprocal antipathy of these contending principles is such that they cannot flourish together; so that, without a subjugation of the flesh to the Spirit, the Godly motions of Christ within us cannot be obeyed. How important then is our prayer for the grace of abstinence, in order that, by obtaining it, selfmortification may produce and cherish within us the new life of holiness! The transformation of the caterpillar affords an apt emblem of the process of the life of grace. At first it crawls on the ground a mean and despicable worm, leading an earthly and sensual life. That life is then extinguished, after which it becomes a new creature. Its life is ethereal. Its habits, food, and enjoyments, are all new.
In our abstinence from carnal gratification and its consequent effects, "the honour and ". glory" of.God our Saviour is nearlv concerned; yea, "the honour and glory" of each per n in the adorable Godhead. For herein ie Father sees the fruit of His everlasting lo i j the Son, the fruit of His redeeming grai i; and the Holy Ghost, the fruit of His renew g power. It is to the honour "and glory af "Him who Iiveth and reigneth with the 1 i"ther and the Holy Ghost, one God, wo Id "without end," that we be enabled to i ie "such abstinence that, our flesh being si :>"dued to the Spirit, we may ever obey I is "Godly motions in righteousness and true ho i"ness." For it proves that He "Iiveth" to ma ce intercession for us; and that He reigneth to conquer in us those enemies which no arm but His own could subdue. Those who are "samc*' tified in Christ Jesus" will be an everlasting monument to His praise.
It may be asked whether the doctrine taught in this essay be not popish and legal? If the drift of it be misapprehended, it will appear to be such. It may be proper therefore to observe that the necessity of self-mortification has no connection with the justification of the fallen soul in the sight of God, as a cause has with its effect; for the worshippers who use this collect are considered, on a supposition of sincerity in their profession, as persons who have believed in Christ to the salvation of their souls; and, consequently, self-mortification in them is the •ffect, not the cause, of a transition from death unto life. The object then which is proposed by the use of abstinence is not justification but sanctification, as our collect fully declares. And even in this relation it is not the efficient Cause of purification, but a mean employed for its promotion. The amputation of a mortified limb in the human body is not the cause of animal life, but a prudent measure adapted to its preservation and improvement; and the agency by which the operation is performed must, of all necessity, be extrinsical. To trust in acts of self-mortification, as the meritorious cause of acceptance with God, or as sufficient, without Divine influence, to sanctify the heart, is the essence of Pelagianism and Popery; whilst to deny the necessity of self-mortification, and to neglect the practice of it, is the essence of Antinomianism and the height of spiritual delusion.
THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT,
Almighty God, who seest that we have no -power of ourselves to help ourselves; keep us both outwar!ly in our bodies and inioardly in our souls, that ice may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
AN exact uniformity prevails in the religious experience of the genuine members of the catholic church, however distant from each other may be the ages in which they have lived, and however different the outward circumstances in which they have been placed. This uniformity is especially manifest in the addresses which they present to the throne of grace. At its footstool they have all been found, stating the same wants, making the same requests, and urging the same arguments. There David a thousand years before the coming of Christ cried, "Make haste «* to help me, O Lord, my salvation." And there all the genuine members of the church of England at the present day, and near two thousand years after His coining, cry in the same strain of self-abasement and fervent desire, ** Almighty God. who seest, &c."
If the awakened sinner would consult his own reelings* wants, and desires, and compare them with itte provisions of the gospel, he would derive from the result of his inquiry a complete grstem of orthodox Divinity. He would be in