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may be asked why sin should be called the flesh? for certainly sin is often meant by the word flesh; “ That which is born of the flesh is flesh;” and again, “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” Answer: there was no more evil in the body than there was in the soul when God made us; both were very good. And it is plain that all God's workmanship will be saved. It is the will of God that of all that the Father hath given me, says Christ, I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day; by which the bodies of the saints must be meant. Yea more; “The very hairs of your head,” saith he, “are all numbered;" which shows how much God respects the work of his own hands. But the body, the flesh, strictly speaking, is the lowest and meanest part in man. Its origin is mean; it is of the earth: but the soul is by far the noblest part; its origin is God; it is of God; and he is the God of the spirits of all flesh, Num. xvi. 22. Now it was this lower part in man that was the chief in our first parents' sin. The eyes of the body saw the forbidden fruit, and the appetite craved it. It was the hand of the body that took it, and the mouth of the body that ate it; and the stomach and belly received it. And I have no doubt but the soul was awfully alarmed at all this; and even conscience, being then pure, and furnished with the law of God, which they received by inspiration, did its office; for Eve knew the forbidden tree, and God's command about it, and mentions it; which
knowledge is peculiar to the soul; but the flesh gained the ascendency, and carried all before it; on which account the evil corruption in man is called the flesh. And ever since Adam fell it appears plain that whatsoever is the most strictly forbidden the flesh is the most apt to crave. Hence God complains, “ All flesh hath corrupted his way.” And as that nature that is generated from one to another is flesh, it is said that that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and as sin in the human body works in a lascivious way, so it is called the flesh that lusteth against the Spirit; and we are exhorted to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
Again : as thoughts and conscience often bear their protest against the works of the fleslr, and censure them, and condemn them, these being on God's side, and against the lust of the flesh, this makes sinful flesh the more culpable and blameworthy still. These are the reasons why sin is sometimes called flesh in scripture; because sin began here, and because this is the nature that Adam communicated to all his seed; for Adam is not the father of souls, or of spirits, but of bodies or of the flesh: “God giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” But one soul is not generated of another; we read of fathers after the flesh, and of the Father of spirits, in one verse: “Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flash, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” Heb. xii. 9. We should distinguish between the body, or the flesh, as it is God's workmanship, and the corruption of the flesh, which is the evil work of that arch apostate the devil. Consider it as the work of God's hands, formed out of the earth, and it is curiously and marvellously made. And the body is now the temple of the Holy Ghost; and as such regard it : “ For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Consider it also in its depravity, as corrupted by the devil, and then in my flesh dwelleth no good thing. But all that is meant, in short, concerning the flesh is comprehended in this text, “But if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” The evil lusting and cravings of sin in the body, called the deeds of it, is what is meant by flesh when it is spoken of in an evil
Hence I conclude that every one that sinneth is of the devil; for he that is still in a state of sin, and destitute of grace, is of the devil's lineage, and does the devil's work. And the remains of indwelling sin in every saint, which is called the old man, is of the devil also, because he opposes all that is good, and wars against God, and against the soul; and therefore is of the devil, and the dovil works in him.
THE VIOLENT STORM, AND HEAVENLY CALM.
ISAIAH liv, 11.
"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted!
behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires."
In this chapter the Jewish elect, the children of God who passed, under the ministry of Christ, out of the old covenant into the new, are bid to break forth into singing, and cry aloud, though they did not travail with child, but came forth, as it were, at an instant; for although they had been barren, and not borne, yet, being now a gospel church, she is the married wife, and not those who abide in the old covenant, though the Jerusalem that now is had more children than the heavenly Jerusalem. Those that abode by the old covenant are desolate, and had no husband; and a large family of children, without a husband, wa no honour to her, but rather a scandal. She is bid to enlarge the place of her tent, to show the church is portable, and to stretch forth the curtains of her habitation. One of the coverings and curtains of the ancient tabernacle was fine twined linen, which I think was typical of the righteousness of the saints, called white linen, clean and white. And the spouse, when adorned with this, says, “I am black, but comely, ( ye daughters of Jerusalem; as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.” This is the covering robe of the whole church; and blessed is he whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered with it.
She is bid to lengthen her 'cords of faith, peace, and love, and to strengthen all the stakes that embrace and bind these cords about them. And God promises that she shall break forth on the right hand and on the left, and that her seed should inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities, which had been without God, now to be inhabited by God in his saints. Two things God comforts her against, which lay heavy upon convinced sinners, the shame of their youth, which is grievous when the sins of youth are set before them. “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions,” says one, Psalm xxv. 7. He comforts the Gentiles against the reproach of their widowhood. The Jews used to call the Gentiles the forsaken and the desolate; but God promises to wipe away this reproach, and to give them better names: “ Thou shalt no more be termed, Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” The name forsaken is changed for the naine of God's delight; and instead of desolate it is