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The enquiry is, What believers themselves, who are habitually sanctified, can do as to actual duties by virtue thereof; and I say, they can no more do any thing spiritually good, without the particular concurrence of the grace of God, than a man can naturally do any thing in an absolute independence on God, his power and providence. This analogy between the works of providence and grace is expressed, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works," &c. Eph. ii. 10. When God had produced all things out of nothing by his creating power, he did not leave them to their own powers; but he sustains and preserves them in the principles of their beings and operations. Without an incessant emanation of divine power, the whole fabric of Nature would dissolve into confusion and nothing. Thus also it is in the New Creation. "We are the workmanship of God;" formed for himself, and fitted for good works, which he has appointed as the way of our living to him. This new creature he supports and preserves; for without his continual influential power it would perish and come to nothing; but this is not all. He effectually concurs to every single duty, by new supplies of actual grace. This we shall confirm.

First. The Scripture declares that we ourselves cannot, by virtue of any strength or power we have received, do any thing. So our Saviour tells the apostles, when they were sanctified believers, "Without me ye can do nothing ;"-separated from me, as a branch may be from a vine. Unless believers have uninterrupted influences of grace from Christ, "they can do nothing;❞—nothing which appertains to fruit-bearing. Now every act of faith and love, every motion of our minds or affections toward God, is a part of our "fruitbearing;" and so are all external duties of obedience. Wherefore, our Lord being Judge, believers themselves cannot, without new actual supplies of grace, do any thing spiritually good.

Our apostle confirms the same truth: "And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward; not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of

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ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." 2 Cor. iii. 4, 5. It is an eminent grace which he declares that he was acting, namely, trust in God in the discharge of his ministry, and for the success of it. But he had no sooner expressed it, than he seems to be jealous lest he should appear to have assumed something to himself; and therefore he adds a caution against any such apprehension, and renounces any such power or sufficiency in himself::-"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves." And he excludes such a sufficiency with respect not only to eminent acts and duties, but even to a good thought, or whatever may tend to a spiritual duty; for it is the beginning of duties which the apostle expresses by thinking, our thoughts being the first thing that belongs to our actions. We cannot engage in the beginning of any duty by our own sufficiency : but "our sufficiency is of God;" that is, we have it by actual supplies of grace, as necessary to every duty; and how God communicates this sufficiency, the apostle declares in chap. ix. verse 8: "God is able to make all grace abound towards you, that ye always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." God manifests the abounding of grace towards us, when he works an effective sufficiency in us, so as to enable us to abound in good works, or duties of holiness. These are the effects of grace, and must be wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, who is the immediate author of all divine operations.

Secondly. All actings of grace, all good duties, are actually ascribed to the Spirit of God. The particular testimonies to this purpose in Scripture are so multiplied, that we can mention only a few by way of instance, and which may be reduced to three heads.

(1.) There are many texts wherein we are said to be led, guided, acted by the Spirit; to live in the Spirit; to walk after the Spirit; to do things by the Spirit that dwelleth in us. For nothing in general fan be intended in these expressions but the actings of the Holy Spirit on our souls; in a compliance with which, as acting when we are actuated by him, our obedience to God according to the Gospel consists: "Walk in

the Spirit." Gal. v. 16. To walk in the Spirit, is to walk in obedience to God, according to the supplies of grace which the Spirit administers to us; for so, it is added, "we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." So we are said to be "led by the Spirit" (verse 18.) being actuated by him, and not by the vicious principles of our corrupt nature: "Walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. viii. 4. To walk after the flesh, is to have the principles of indwelling sin, actuating us to the production of actual sins. Wherefore, to walk after the Spirit, is to have the Spirit acting in us, to the effecting of all gracious acts; and we are commanded not to neglect his motions in us, but comply with them in a way of diligence and duty: see verse 14, 15. So we are enjoined to attend to particular duties "through the Holy Ghost that dwelleth in us" (2 Tim. i. 14.) that is, through his assistance.

(2.) He is declared to be the author of all gracious actings in us: "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance." All these are wrought and produced in us by the Spirit, for they are his fruits; and not only the habit of them, but all their actings, in all their exercise, are from him. So in another place he adds an universal affirmative, comprehending all instances of particular graces, Ephes. v. 9. "The fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth."

(3.) Particular graces are assigned to his influences : "We, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." The hope of the righteousness of faith, is the thing hoped for thereby. All that we expect in this world or hereafter, is by the righteousness of faith. This we do not of ourselves, but through the Spirit. "We worship God in the Spirit." "We love the brethren in the Spirit." We "purify our souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren."

Thirdly. There are direct testimonies to the position as before laid down:-"It is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Phil. ii. 13. The things thus wrought pertain to our

obedience and salvation: "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Two things are necessary to this end. Power for such operations; and the actual exercise of that power. The whole work of grace consists in the internal acts of our wills, and external operations in suitable duties. This therefore is incumbent on us, to stir up and exercise the grace we have received in and to its proper operations; but it is so our duty, as that of ourselves we cannot perform it. It is God who worketh effectually in us all those gracious acts of our wills, and all holy operations in a way of duty. Every act of our wills, so far as it is holy, is the act of the Spirit of God efficiently; he worketh in us to will, or the very act of willing. The apostle says, "I laboured abundantly; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.' 1 Cor. xv. 10. He was obliged to declare his great labour in preaching the Gospel; but, lest any one should think he ascribed something to himself, he immediately adds, “Yet, not I;"-let me not be mistaken; it was not I, by any power of mine, but it was all wrought in me by the free grace of the Spirit of God. "Not I, but grace," is the apostle's assertion.

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CHAPTER VIII.

Mortification of Sin, and the Nature and Causes of it.

THE duties of holiness, we have observed, are of two kinds. (1.) Such as have the will of God in positive commands for their object; and (2.) Such as respect divine prohibitions. The first, which we have just insisted on, concerns the improvement and practice of the principle of grace; the second, which we now propose, respects the weakening, impairing, and destroying the contrary principle of sin; and as the Spirit is every where said to sanctify us, we ourselves are constantly commanded to mortify our sins; for sanctification expresses grace given and received in general; mortification, grace improved to a certain

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end; and there are two things to be considered. (1.) The nature of the duty itself; (2.) The manner in which it is wrought in us by the Holy Ghost; which last, I principally intend.

It is well known, that this duty is frequently prescribed to us. 66 Mortify, therefore, your members that are on the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." Col. iii. 5. By our members, we are to understand, not the parts or members of our natural bodies, as though they were to be destroyed, but our carnal affections; some of the fruits of which are mentioned, as fornication, &c. And these are "on the earth;" that is, they are earthly and sensual. They are called our members, because the whole principle of sin, and course of sin proceeding from it, are called "the body of sin; with respect to which, particular lusts are termed Members. These affections and lusts are used as naturally and readily by the old man, or depraved nature, as the body uses its members; and, which adds efficacy to the allusion, by them it draws the very members of the body into a compliance with it, and service of it; against which we are cautioned by the apostle, "Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof" (Rom. vi. 12); which exhortation he pursues (ver. 19.) "As ye have yielded your members servants unto uncleanness and to iniquity, even so now yield your members servants to righteousness.

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And concerning this great duty, we may consider three things:-1. The name of it; 2. The nature of it; 3. The ways and means whereby it is effected.

1. The name of it, which is to mortify. Two words in the original are used for this purpose. The first (NEKROSATE, Col. iii. 5.) which signifies to mortify, destroy, or extinguish all that vigour of corrupt nature which inclines to earthly carnal things. It signifies a continued act in taking away the power of any thing, till it comes to be dead, to some certain ends and purposes. There is another word to the same purpose

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