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II. The power communicated to him to enable him to walk and please God; and,

III. The way in which in heart and life he continually advances; namely, the "good works which God hath before ordained that he should walk in them."

I. The principle of all spiritual life is Christ. Until we are joined to the Lord "the motions of sin which are in our members do work to bring forth fruit unto death.” (Rom. vii. 6.) Our nature, with all the labour and pains which may be bestowed on it, will never cease to be a nature "dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. ii. 1.) We must be quickened before we can live; and live before we can "walk and please God. Christ is this quickening spirit." (1 Cor. xv. 45.) Spiritual life is a new creation in him: therefore we are said to be "begotten, born again, made partakers of a divine nature, one Spirit with the Lord, members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." (2 Pet. i. 4. John iii. 3. 1 Cor. vi, 17. Eph. v. 30.) As really as "in Adam we have died," so really "in Christ must we be made alive." (1 Cor. xv. 22.) Until we are so, it is impossible to do any good work: for "as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John xv. 4.) There must be as real a union betwixt Christ and us, as between the members and the head, or between the root and the branches: "Without Christ we can do nothing." (John xv. 6.) Until he dwell in us and we in him we cannot live unto God, no more than a limb can live separate from the body, or a branch bear fruit when severed from the tree. This is God's work. In the second creation we are as much his workmanship, as matter was in the first. He must give the life he commands:

"I passed by thee in thy blood, and said unto thee, Live." (Ezek. xvi. 6.) There is no more power in a natural man to do good works, than for "Ezekiel's dry bones" (Ezek. xxxvii. 3.) to arise and stand upon their feet. God's Spirit must breathe ere we can live: this Spirit is in its fulness resident in Christ. "He quickeneth whom he will: (John v. 21.) He is at the right hand of God exalted, to give repentance unto his people." (Acts v. 31.) His first act of grace towards us is his choice of us, then he draws us that we may follow him: "That I may apprehend that for which I am also apprehended in Christ Jesus." (Phil. iii. 12.) And in order hereunto his first work in us is the enlightening our minds by his word to know him as our Redeemer and Saviour. He that "caused the light to shine out of darkness," doth as sovereignly shine into us "to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor. iv. 6.) Faith then, the bond of union on our part, embraces the promises in him; for the divine truth, when accompanied with divine light, brings its own evidence along with it: "We know and believe the love that God hath unto us.' By this faith we live, or rather, as the Apostle expresses it, "Christ liveth in us :" for he is our life: "All our fresh springs are in him." From hence arises a wonderful difference in our state. "We are passed from death unto life." All our views, desires, dispositions, designs, are altered; and this will be confirmed by those effects which naturally now flow from the new creation in Christ Jesus,


This deserves especial notice. It is men's folly, that they are for attempting the practice without knowing the principle of holiness. Wash the


Ethiopian's skin with all the water of the sea,
and you will see the black unchanged. It is his
nature. So is corruption yours. It is deeper
rooted than the tawny hue of the Ethiopian, or
the spots of the Leopard. Take this one scrip-
ture: "If any man be in Christ, he is a new
creature;" (2 Cor. v. 17.) and there your way
is open.
You must be created anew in him, and
then your heart will have the true and genuine
image. You will" put on the new man, which,
after God, is created in righteousness and true
holiness." (Eph. iv. 24.)

II. The power to put forth into act the life we receive, is derived from the same source. He not only prevents but follows us; "worketh in us that we may have a good will, and worketh with us when we have the good will." (Art. X. )

The peculiar office of the Holy Ghost is said by our church to be "sanctifying the elect people of God." (Catechism.) And this he doth by representing to us in his word the obligations we lie under to obey, and communicating power to enable us for obedience.

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1. The Holy Ghost represents to us in the word the obligations we are under to walk and please God. He shews us how much we are in duty bound to do so: "For we are bought with a price, that we may glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits which are God's." (1 Cor. vi. 20.) He hath the most undoubted right in and over us, who hath paid so dearly for us, as to give "his own blood" to redeem us.

This view of our state most powerfully engages us to answer the end of his purchase, by "yielding ourselves, body, soul and spirit, a living sacrifice to him, holy and acceptable, which is our reasonable service." (Rom. xii. 1.) Indeed, what can be so reasonable, and therefore so ob

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ligatory, as that "he who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people," (Titus ii. 14.) should see in us "the travail of his soul, and be satisfied?" (Isa. liii. 11.)

2. It not only appears so reasonable, but there is a "constraining power of love shed abroad in our hearts," inclining us to and enabling us for the practice of the things which are excellent. The Holy Ghost in the scripture so represents the love of Christ in his salvation to our hearts, that it constraineth us, uvex, carrieth us along with it as a mighty stream. For when this love is known and believed, its "breadth and length, and depth and height," ever fixed upon our hearts, then we cannot but love God again and walk before him in all holy obedience. The influence of this principle of love to produce holiness in us is evident: "it is itself "the fulfilling of the law." (Rom. xiii. 10.) But we can never reason ourselves into this love. It is the office of the Spirit not only to set before us the grounds of it in the character of a pardoning God, but to "direct our hearts into the love of God." (2 Thess. iii. 5.) The gospel becomes effectual, not merely by moral suasion, but by divine operation. This power habitually is min istred to us from Christ for the work of sanctification. "Out of his fulness we receive." (John i. 16.) Our works are begun, continued and ended in him. Christ (in whose hands the ministration of the Spirit is lodged) as the life of our souls, communicates to us light and love; and these dispose us to and enable us for the practice of "righteousness and true holiness.


I would wish you never to lose sight of this source of our obedience. All our holiness is derived from above. If we see not this, our mis

take will be endless; and our labour after holiness only the more estrange us from it. We shall be building a Babel to confound ourselves : and if hereafter we should be undeceived, shall have our work not only to begin, but our wall built with untempered mortar to pull down also. Which brings me,

III. To consider that practice of true holiness, which the soul "created in Christ Jesus is ordained to walk in."

Holiness is "the conformity of the heart "to God." It is having our will like God's will, and our ways directed by the rule of our duty. It is the answer of that emphatical petition, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matt. vi. 10.) As the proof of it goes through every the minutest action of our lives, the time would fail me to enumerate all the particulars wherein in heart and life it appears; in all holy desires and dispositions towards God, and in those works of righteousness “which are good and profitable unto men.' But it will be necessary to set before you some of its most striking parts, and beg you to judge yourselves thereby.

Let me only observe in what followeth, I would not be understood to affirm, that every true believer hath this state of perfect conformity unto God. I will not say, that any ever did on earth attain to "be perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect." But this I may venture to assert, that wherever a soul doth not watch and la

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bour, and pray, and " press towards the mark, to be holy as God is holy, in all manner of conversation," (1 Pet. i. 15.) he can have very little reason to imagine himself one with Christ, or a real partaker in the blessings of the gospel.

The following instances of a right spirit will,

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