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mine, Lord, because my will shall be thine, there shall be but one will between us ; this hath been the language of all the holy men in scripture, Eli, David, Paul. Let the Lord do as seems good to him ;* this harmony of wills is a glorious fruit of the new creation; and a pleasing and certain character of the new creature; this brings serenity to the soul in all states, when wind and tide gently go both one way, there is no storm ; so when the Christian acquiesceth in God's will, there is great peace in the soul.
4. The new creature is formed in the affections : these are the movements of the will, the primum mobile, or main wheel that carries the affections along with it; the affections are characterized either as disliking, or liking; as discovering the aversion or approbation of the soul, and both of them are reduced to sweet order and harmony, according to scripture rule.
(1.) The disliking or disapproving affections: the stream is quite turned into another channel, the soul loathes what it before loved, and bears an implacable hatred, yea, antipathy; not only to sin, but to all appearances of it, 1 Thess. v. 22, and avenues that lead to it, or proceed from it, “hating even the garment spotted by the flesh,” Jude, 23, as one detests a coat with the plague in it, as a man's heart riseth against some kind of meats, or a toad for its poisonful quality, or a serpent for its sting, or rather for its loathsome nature. David saith, “I hate, and abhor lying,” Psal. cxix. 163; he cannot use words enough to express his antipathy to hypocrisy. And true hatred is apòc tà
προς τα yévn, against all kinds of what we hate, “I hate every false way,” ver. 104, saith the holy man. creature makes the Christian not only angry at sin, as against his interest, or as a man may be with his
* 1 Sam. ii. 18. 2 Sam. xv. 26.
wife or child, in a fit of passion, who entertains good thoughts of them again, when the passion is over; but there is an implacable enmity commenced in the heart against all sin, yea, there is even a hatred of wicked men's persons on account of their sin, which otherwise the soul would love, as he would not hate the devil but for sin. O, how weary am I of this body of death, I know not how to bear it, it is like a loathsome dead carcass, which at once both burdens me with its weight, and poisons me with its stench. It is this, and this alone that makes me send forth daily groans, and lamentations. Othat I could put a bill of divorce into
. the hands of my dearest lust, never to have any connection with it again; I will never be reconciled to sin more; I will cut off my right hand sin, and force the knife of the law into the very heart of my sensuality and worldly-mindedness; I will study their utter extirpation; I am “ ashamed and blush to lift up my face to God,” because of my spots of guilt and pollution; never did any thing so affect my heart, as my sin against God, “I will declare mine iniquity, and be very sorry for my sin;"* for the future, I'will “stand in awe that I may not sin,” I will fear sin more than hell; “I cannot bear them that are evil;” though I have patience to bear any affliction, “I behold transgressors, and am grieved,” and' shed many tears for the dishonour they bring to my God.f O that sin were banished out of the world, or my soul withdrawn from this wicked world.
(2.) As for the liking or kind affections, the renewed soul can truly say, with David, “I have set my affections to the house of my God;" as to inferior objects, "my soul is as a weaned child.” New light creates new
* Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. Rom. vii. 24. Ezra ix. 6. Ps. xxxviii. 18. + Psal. iv. 4. Rev. ii. 2. Psal. cxix. 136, 158.
love, new desires new delights. Truth in the understanding, darting upon the affections, and made to converge by the glass of meditation, inflames the soul : did not "our hearts burn within us while he opened to us the scriptures ?” said the disciples travelling to Emmaus. * The sun in the firmament sheds his influence into the bowels of the earth, and light and heat come together into the soul; knowledge affects the heart; the more the Christian knows God, the more he loves him. The soul risen with Christ, cannot but “set its affections on things above;" for “where the treasure is, there will the heart be also." Oh saith the Christian, how good is God, I love the Lord above every person and thing, "with all my heart, soul,
, “ mind, and might;t with my soul have I desired him in the night :” even “as the hart panteth after the water brooks. When shall I come and appear before God?” God, even God alone “is my exceeding joy." I will take pleasure in nothing but God; this, this is both may duty and privilege: I hope I can “call the sabbath. a delight:" | and he promiseth I shall delight myself in the Lord. My comfort and content is, in communion with God, and it is an anticipation of heavenly joys. I love the word of God, “his testimonies are the rejoicing of my heart, and I have rejoiced in the ways thereof, more than in all riches; and delight myself in the Lord's statutes,” Psal. cxix. 14. O how
O the good soul is elevated, and transported in the galleries of love! its pleasures are infinitely beyond the pleasures of sense.
O then, Christian, feel how the pulse of thy soul beats usually: is thy heart working God-wards in
* 1 Chron. xxix. 3. Psal. cxxxi. 1, 2. Luke xxiv. 32.
duties of his worship, or in daily converse ? which way tends the bent of the soul ? Art thou sincerely troubled, that thou canst“ not delight thyself in the Lord,” as thou oughtest? Wouldst thou give all the world that thou hadst but a heart to love God more? Canst thou say as Peter did, “ Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee?” A flame may be painted, but a painted flame cannot be felt. I find the workings of love kindled in my bosom, if I know any thing of my heart. I have also searched the characters of true love in the scriptures, and I find my heart corresponding thereto, harmonizing therewith ; I am further told, that this love is the proper character of the new creature, connatural with, and engraven on the new nature, for “ he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him."*
Thirdly, I proceed to consider the properties of this new creation; and they are these seven:
1. It is universal. It is not in a part of the soul, but runs through the whole man, “ soul, body, and spirit.” It is extensive and comprehensive, takes in all internal powers and external members, all acts in all faculties, at all times, and in all employments. As in the law, the whole sacrifice was to be offered to God; so it is not acceptable to God if any part be withheld from him. This new creation " is as leaven that runs through the whole lump,” † and puts a gracious tincture into all the faculties. This is not a limb or member, but a whole new man; yea, the Christian is a perfect man, having all the parts of a saint, though defective in point of degree. Our heavenly Father has no blind, lame, deranged, or maimed children; there are no idiots in his family. A Christian indeed hath all graces radically; but the hypoerite is mainly defective in something of an essential nature, requisite to constitute a saint; he is a cake half baked, dough on one side; the legs of the lame are not equal.
* Psal. xxxvii. 4. John xxi. 15–17. 1 John iv. 16. + 1 Thess. v. 23. Exod. xxix. 18. Rom. xi. 1. Matt. xiii. 33. * Gal. j. 20. Col. iii. 3. 1 John iii. 9.
2. It is vital and self-moving; “I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." It is true, it is hid from outward observation, as the spring that moves the visible hand, for " our life is hid with Christ in God :" but a vital principle it is. This gracious habit is to the soul as the soul is to the body; it is a spark of divine life kindled by the holy Spirit; a seed of God,* quickened within the womb of the earth by the influence of heaven, putting forth gracious acts and precious fruits, through excitations of assisting grace, after a nipping winter of temptations or cold autumn of spiritual decays ; his Spirit makes us willing. Oh, saith the Christian, I am restless, as a bird out of the nest, or a fish out of its proper element of water, unsatisfied till I return to my God. But the hypocrite resembles a puppet dressed like a saint, moved by art, or a machine put in motion by something external, which the workman affixes to it; such is the hypocrite: as one saith, there is a vast difference betwixt wool on the sheep's back, which clipped, will grow again ; and the wool of the sheep's skin on the wolf's back, which grows no more. The living saint still works upwards, the graceless soul is dead, and puts forth no vital acts.
3. It is sensible and susceptible of impressions ; it is not a dead, inanimate log, but of a tender, quick sensation, and can easily discern what profits or prejudices it, what helps or hurts it; it groans under what it feels as making against its being or well-being: