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your rebellious lusts still bear sway in you; if you continue to fulfil the lusts of the mind and the flesh; if you walk after the fashion of this world, and not as obedient servants of that kingdom of his, which is "not of this world,"-deceive not yourselves any longer, Christ will be of no advantage to you!
This is the sum of our argument:-if the Lord Christ act no otherwise for our good, but in and by his blessed offices of Priest, Prophet, and King; and if the immediate effect of the grace of Christ acting in all these offices towards us, be our holiness and sanctification,—those in whom that effect is not produced, have no reason to promise themselves an interest in Christ, or any advantage by his mediation. For men to name the "name of Christ," to avow an expectation of salvation by him :-and in the mean time to be in themselves worldly, proud, ambitious, envious, revengeful, haters of good men, covetous, living in divers lusts and pleasures,-is a scandal and shame to the Christian religion, and unavoidably destructive to their own souls.
The Necessity of Holiness, from our Condition in this World.
ANOTHER argument for the necessity of holiess, may be taken from the consideration of ourselves, and our present state and condition; for hereby alone the vicious distempers of our mind can be cured. That our nature is universally depraved by sin, I have sufficiently proved before; and I do not now consider it with respect to the disability of living to God, nor yet as to future punishment: but it is the present misery occasioned by it, which I intend; for the mind of man being possessed with darkness, folly, and instability; -the will under the power of spiritual death stubborn and obstinate; and all the affections carnal, sensual, and selfish;-the whole soul being hurried off from
God, and so out of its way, is perpetually filled with confusion and disorder. It is not unlike that description which Job gives of the grave: "A land of darkness and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness." When Solomon set himself to search out the causes of all the vanity and vexation that is in the world, this was the sum of his discovery : "God made men upright: but they have found out many inventions;" that is, cast themselves into endless entanglements and confusions. What is sin in its guilt, is punishment in its power; yea, the greatest that men are liable to in this world. Hence God, for the guilt of some sins, penally gives men up to the power of other sins; and there is no greater misery nor slavery than to be under the power of sin. This proves the original depravity of our nature, the whole soul is filled with darkness and disorder, being brought under the power of various lusts and passions, captivating the mind and will to their interests, in the vilest drudgeries of servitude and bondage. No sooner does the mind begin to act agreeably to the small remainders of light in it, than it is immediately controled by impetuous lusts and affections, which darken its directions, and silence its commands. Hence is the common saying not so common as what is signified by it :
Video meliora proboque,
· Deteriora sequor
see good things, and I approve,-but still pursue the sins I love. Hence the whole soul is filled with fierce contradic tions and conflicts. Vanity, folly, instability, sensual appetites, inordinate desires, disquieting passions, act continually in our depraved natures. How full is the world of confusion, oppression, rapine, uncleanness, and the like dreadful miseries! Alas! they are but an imperfect representation of the evils that are in the minds of men by nature; for as they all "proceed from the heart," so the thousandth part of what is there conceived is never brought forth and acted. Wicked men are like " a troubled sea that cannot rest; whose
waves cast up mire and dirt." The heart is in conti-
Hence is the life of man full of trouble, disappointment, vexations, and endless self-dissatisfactions; which some of the wiser heathens saw, complained of, and attempted in vain to relieve.. All these things proceed from the depravity of our natures; and as, if they are not healed, they will assuredly issue in everlasting misery, so they are woful and calamitous at present. True peace and tranquillity of mind are strangers to such souls. Alas! what are the perishing profits and pleasures which this world can afford! How unable is the mind to find out rest and peace in them! They quickly satiate in their enjoyment; which only heightens present vanity, and makes provision for future vexation. We have therefore no greater concern in the world, than to inquire how this disorder may be cured. What we intend, will appear in the following observations :
1. It is true, that some persons are naturally of a more sedate and quiet temper than others; they fall not into such excesses of outward sins as others; nay, their minds are not capable of such turbulent passions as the most are possessed with. These comparatively are peaceable, and useful to their relations and others; but yet their minds and hearts are ful darkness and disorder; for so it is with all by nature (as we have proved); and the less troublesome waves they have on the surface, the more mire and dirt frequently they have at the bottom.
3. Education, convictions, afflictions, hope of a righteousness of their own, love of reputation, associa
tion with good men, resolutions for secular ends, with other means of the like kind, often put great restraints on the actings of the evil imaginations of men, and the course of life may be much altered by them.
3 Notwithstanding all that may be effected by these means, the disease is uncured, the soul continues still in its disorders and inward confusion; for our original order consisted in the inclinations of our minds, wills, and affections to regular actings towards God as their end and reward. While we continue in due order towards God, it was impossible we should be otherwise in ourselves; but being by sin fallen off from God, having lost our conformity to him, we fell into all the confusion and disorder before described. Wherefore,
4. The only cure of this condition is by holiness, by the renovation of the image of God in us. By this our souls are in some measure restored to their primitive rectitude; and without this, attempts for inward peace, with due order in the affections, will in vain be attempted. It is the holy soul, the sanctified mind alone, that is composed into an orderly tendency towards the enjoyment of God; and hence, to all persons not in love with sin and ruin, arises a cogent argument and motive to holiness.
But it may be objected hereto, that we admit there are remainders of sinful disorder in sanctified persons; that it occasions great conflicts, yea, that it works so powerfully as to make them captives to the law of sin : therefore it does not appear that this holiness doth so cure the sinful distempers of our minds. On the other hand, men supposed to be yet destitute of this renewing grace, seem to possess more inward peace and quiet of mind; they complain of no inward conflict, and find that satisfaction in their lusts and pleasures by which they relieve themselves against the troubles of life.
Answer, 1. As to the peace and order pretended to be in unsanctified persons, it is like that which is in Hell and the kingdom of darkness. Satan is not divided against himself, nor is there such a disorder in his kingdom,as to destroy it; but it has a consistency
from the common end of all that is in it, which is an opposition to God and all that is good. Such peace there may be in an unsanctified mind: there being in it no active principle for God, all works one way, and all its troubled streams have the same course : there is no other peace than that by which Satan," the strong man armed, preserves his goods, till a stronger than he comes to bind him:" and if any one think that peace and order to be sufficient for him, wherein his mind, in all its faculties, acts uniformly against God, or for sin, and the world without opposition, he may find as much in Hell when he comes there.
2. There is a difference between confusion and rebellion. Where there is confusion in a state, all government it dissolved, and every thing is let loose to the utmost disorder: but where the rule is firm, there may be rebellions that disturb some parts and places, but yet the whole state is not disordered thereby. So it is in the condition of a sanctified soul; there may be rebellion in it, but no confusion. Grace keeps the rule in the heart, so that there is peace to the whole state of the person, though lusts and corruptions rebel against it; but in the state of unsanctified persons, though there be no rebellion, yet there is nothing but confusion and however men may be pleased with it for a season, yet it is nothing but perfect disorder, because it is a continual opposition to God.
3. The soul of a believer has such a satisfaction in this conflict, that its peace is not ordinarily disturbed; and is never quite overthrown by it. Such a person knows sin to be his enemy, and knows the assistances prepared for him against its deceit; and considering the nature and end of this contest, is satisfied with it. Yea, the greatest hardships to which sin can reduce a believer, only put him to the exercise of those graces in which he receives great spiritual satisfaction: such are humiliation, self-abasement, and abhorrence, with fervent cries for deliverance. Now, though these things may seem to be grievous, yet the graces of the Spirit being acted in them, they are so suited to the nature of the new creature, that it finds secret satisfaction in