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earneftly wish to leave their Sins, when they think of their Shame and Punishment, and even strive againft their Sins, before they intirely yield; neverthelefs they ftill live in them, because their Love to them is predominant. But they that are Chrift's, ' have crucified the Flesh, with the Affections and 'Lufts (k).' Indeed every true Christian would fain be perfect in Holinefs and Obedience, but cannot be fo, because of the Luftings of the Flesh; and in this Senfe, the Flefh lufteth againft the Spirit, fo that' true Chriftians cannot do the Things that they would (1).' We cannot do all that we would; but it does not follow that we can do Nothing we would, or that we cannot fincerely obey the Gofpel. So likewife to will' perfect Obedience to the divine Law, was prefent' with Paul; but how to ' perform it, he found not.' He defired to be free from every Infirmity, but could not; and therefore could not be juftified by the Law. He never fays, he would obey fincerely, and could not.

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He fays,

in me, that is, in my Flefh, dwelleth no good 'Thing (m);' but he does not thereby deny his fpiritual Power; in Confequence of which he fo often proposes himself as an Example for Imitation.

When the Spirit is ftriving with you, confider it as a fpecial Seafon for firiving with your own Heart. The Help of the Spirit is not at our Command. Improve it while you have it. God will not be a Servant to our Sloth and Negligence.

$17. Be much in Heavenly Contemplation, which is fo fuitable to the Nature and Defign of the holy Spirit. Set yourfelves to this Work. and it will

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be a fign that you are under the Influences of the holy Spirit; and you may depend upon his joining in a Work, which must be done both by him and you. An Apoftle bids us, pray in the holy Ghoft

(n);' because tho' Prayer must be from the Spirit, which is not in our Power; yet when we set ourfelves to pray, it is not only a fign that he excites us to Prayer, but a Proof that he will affift us in it. Alfo endeavour to converse with those who have mol of the Spirit. Not thofe who pretend to extraordinary Revelations, or oppofe the Spirit to Scripture, or boaft of the Spirit, in contempt of others. But thofe that are moft holy, humble, and heavenly, who moft love God and hate Sin. Such Converfe is the Way to make you fpiritual, as Converfe with the Learned is the Way to Learning. For the Spirit gives his Graces, as well as his common Gifts, in the Ufe of proper Means.

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$18.-Let even the Body itself be kept in a Difpofition to promote Spirituality. A clear and chearful Body is a fitter Inftrument for the Spirit to make Ufe of, than one oppreft with Excefs of Meat or Drink, or lying under the Influence of Melancholy. Why are we divinely directed to Fafting and Abftinence, but to fit the Body for a ready Obedience to the Spirit of God? The Apoftle fays, I keep under my Body, and bring it into Subjection; left by any Means when I have preached to others, I myfelf fhould be a Caft-away (o).' And he exhorts others, to walk honeftly as in the Day; not in Rioting and Drunkennefs, nor in Chambering and Wantonnefs, nor in Strife and Envying; • but

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(n) Juče v. 29.

(0) 1 Cor. ix. 27.

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but put ye on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and make Provifion for the Flesh, to fulfill the Lufts thereof (p).' Pampering the Body turns a Man from Spirituality into Brutifhnefs. And a difcontented melancholy Temper is contrary to that Alacrity which is requifite in the Service of God, and to all those Tempers, which the Spirit of God is to work in us.

(p) Rom. xiii, 13, 14.


How to live by Faith on divine Precepts, Promifes and Threatnings.

1-4. [1] Particular Directions how to live by Faith in dvine Precepts; $5-12. [II] and on divine Promifes; § 13–17. [II] and alfo on divine Threatnings.



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ET us next learn how to exer cife Faith on divine Precepts ProYa mifes and Threatnings.'

§2. [1] As to divine Precepts, See their perfe&t Suitablenes, not only to Reafon and Humanity, but to Self-Enjoyment. All that God commands, is, to ufe our Faculties


with Activity, in Oppofition to Idleness; and no: to debafe or pervert them, by fixing them on improper Objects. And if Reafon can difcern the Goodness of God to us in the Commands he has given us, Faith has greater Advantage for difcer ning, both the Goodness of their Author, and of their Reward andEnd. The Believer has found by his own Experience, how bitter the Ways of Sin' are, and how pleafant the Ways of God; that to deny his Lufts, and obey his Maker and Redeemer, is the Way to Peace, and Hope, and Joy; and that to gratify his fenfual Inclinations, is the Way to Terror of Mind, and Brokenness of Heart. Thus Wifdom's Ways are Ways of Pleafantnefs, and all her Paths are Peace. Great Peace have they which love the Law of God, and Nothing fhall offend them. Mark the perfect Man, and behold the upright, for the End of that Man is Peace. The Kingdom of God is Righteoufnefs, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghoft. But there is < no Peace, faith my God, to the Wicked. The Way of Peace they know not, and there is no Judgment in their Goings; they have made them crooked Paths; whofoever goeth therein, fhall not know Peace (a).'- Obferve how thofe divine Com mands, which feem unnecessary for yourselves, are plainly neceffary for others. He is not your God only, but the God of all the World. You may imagine, that if you had Leave to be Fornicators, Adulterers, or Thieves, the Permiffion would not hurt you; and fuppofing it would not, yet how pernicious would it

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Iv.iii. 17. Pfalm cxix. 65. xxxvii. 37. Rom xiv. 17.
Ifaiah lvii. 21. lix, 8.


be to others? Faith can tell you, that Sin is a Re " proach to any People (b).' And the Welfare of Societies is more to be regarded, than that of particular Perfons.


$3.Faith is principally to render Obedience delightful to us, by fhewing us that divine Precepts are ex-. cellent in themselves, and in their Motives and Rewards. Faith is not only to comfort us, and fave us from. Hell; but to bring our Souls to Obedience, Thankfulness, and Love. It has therefore to do with Precepts, as well as Promifes; and with Promifes, in Order to fweeten the Precepts. Believers are not called to the Obedience of Slaves, but of Children. Faith enables them to obey in Love. Forced Motives will not long endure. Love is our Nature; but Fear is only a Servant to watch for us, while we do the Work of Love. 'As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God,' and therefore will obey as Sons. For we have not recĉived theSpirit of Bondage again to fear; but we have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father(c).' Chrift came to deliver us out of the Hands of our Enemies,' Sin, Satan, and Death; that we might ferve God without Fear, in Holiness and Righteoufnefs before him, all the Days of our Life. There is no Fear in Love, but perfect Love cafteth out Fear, because Fear hath Torment (d).' So far as the Love of God and Holiness prevails, it renders the Fear of tormenting Punishment unneceffary to engage our Obedience. Employ Faith therefore Day by Day, in looking into the Love of God in Chrift, into the King

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(c) Rom, viii. 14, 15.

(b) Prov. xiv. 34.
(d) Luke i. 74, 75. 1 John iv. 18.

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