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grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon: his branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon,” Hof. xiv.'5, 6.
4. The restoration of it, when decayed, is of God; " They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they fhall revive as the corn, and grow up as the vine, and the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon," Hof. xiv. 7. It is he that restoreth the decayed soul, Psalm xxiii. 3. Let there that are under lamentable decays
of grace, see where their help lies. 5. The means of it are of God, both inward and outward. Is faith a mean? Yea, the heart is purified by faith : and this faith is of the operation of God. Is hope a mean? Yea; " He that hath this hope purifieth himself :” and this hope is of God; for by him we are begotten to a lively hope. Is knowledge a mean? Yea; “ Beholding his glory, we are changed :” and this knowledge is of God, who hath promised, “ They shall all know me.”The external means are made effectual, through the blessing of God. The word is a mean; but it is of God, who puts virtue in the mean. The rod is a mean; but it must be like a pruning knife in the hand of God, who purgeth the branches in Chrift, “ That they may bring forth more fruit,” John xv. 2.
6. The motives of it are of God. It is he that moves his people to all the duties of holiness, and draws them to his service ; and especially by cords of love, Ho as the love of Christ constrains them. He moves them by a regard to his glory and honour, and to their own interest and happiness; because their fellowship with him is furthered thereby : “ If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with thim,” John xiv. 23. See allo ver. 21.
7. The cause of it; the efficient cause is God, who vays,
“ I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you -20 walk in my statutes, and keep my judgnients, to do them,” Ezek. xxxvi. 27. “Every thing shall live, whitherfoever the river cometh," Ezek. xlvii. 10. And John iv. 14. “ The water that I will give him, thall be a him a well of water springing up to everlasting life.”
The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of life in the believer, and the fountain of sanctification : " Because I live, says Christ, ye shall live also."
8. The extent of it is of God, both to the inward and outward man: for, it is a "renewing of the whole man " after the image of God, and enabling of us to die “ unto fin and to live unto righteousness.” It is he that fanctifies the understanding, the will, the affections, the memory, the foul, the body; “ The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and foul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Thef. v. 2 3.
9. The measure and degree of it is of God. Some have more, and some less of fanctification. Though all believers are equally justified, and perfectly, even in time, upon the ground of Christ's perfect righteousness; yet, they are not equally fanctified, but some of them more holy, more humble, more zealous, than others. Some of them more glorify God, by doing and suffering his will, than others. Some of them are more active than others, just according as the Lord stirs then up. And who maketh them to differ thus ? Why, even he who gives a double portion of his Spirit to fome apd not to others, and makes his wind to blow where it lifteth; he makes it to blow in what measure and de. gree also he listeth : he pours out his Spirit plentifully at times, and then fanctification thrives, and goes on progressively; “ For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour may Spirit upon thy feed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses,” Ifa. xliv. 3, 4.
10. The knowledge and comfort of it is of God. Some are fanctified, and do not know it, till the Lord make it known to them, by fhining upon the graces that he hath given, and shining upon this and that experience of his powerful prefence. He fometimes makes them feel the drawing cords of his love about their heart, strengthening them with strength in their foul; and makes them run the way of his commandments, when he enlarg. eth their heart; and making them know their fanctification
by by their confolation, and know their grace, by the dash that he gives to their fin and corrupti n, Rom. vii. at the close. Again,
11. The perseverance thereof, is of God; " I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their heart, and they shall not depart from me,” Jer. xxxii. 40. They ihall never totally and finally depart ; but, after all their partial departures, “ I will put my fear in their heart," that thall make them turn back again to me, saying, “ I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now," Hof. ii. 7.
12. The perfection and completion of it is of God, who hath undertaken to present his people to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish, Eph. v. 27.-Thus fanctification, in all respects, is of God. All things, relating to it, are of God.
Now, for Application. Is it fo, that fanctification is of God? Then,
1. Hence fee the holy mature and holy will of God. By his will he commands it : for, “ This is the will of God, even your fanctification," i Tiel. iv. 3, And by his will be effects it; “ I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. --By which : will we are sanctified, through the offering of the bidy of Jesus Christ once for all,” Heb. 8. 10.
2. Hence we may see great encouragement to use the means of fanctification, without resting upon the means; because it is not they, but God, that can fanctify us; and yet hopefully using them. Therefore, says God,
Sanctify yourselves ;-I am the L rd that fanctifieth • you.”. Use the means, because I can put a blessing in the in:
"Work out the work of your salvation with fear and treinbling; for, it is God that worketh in you both to will and
We could have no eno uragement to use the means of fanctification, if sanctification were not of God.
3. Hence fee how. foolish they are, that think they can fanctify themselves by their own natural powers and
endeavours; they can repent and reform when they will. No wonder that these cry up free-will as the cause of conversion, and deny the efficacy and necessity of fpecial grace, deny also the perseverance of the saints; for the grace that is the fruit of man's free-will cannot indeed persevere. They that know God, will know that all things are of God; and that fanctification particularly is of him.
4. Hence fee, that poor, weak believers, wrestling with a body of fio and powerful corruption, need not despair of victory over their fin and corruption : for, sanctification is of God, and mortification is of God; “ If ye, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, ve shall live.” The Spirit will be master over the flesh; and the Spirit of God, that dwells in the children of God, will subdue their iniquity. Up with your heart and hope, poor conquered and captivated believer, fanctification is of God. Tho' your own power cannot effectuate the victory; yet, a merciful God can and will: “ It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that she weth mercy; and mercy shall be built up for ever.” The mercy that saves your foul will flay
5. Hence fee, that fin is of the devil. If fanctification be of God, and holiness be of God, then is fin of the devil ; yea, “ He that committeth fin, is of the devil :"> God is not the author of fin.-Drunkenness, swearing, whoredom, adultery, Sabbath-breaking, lying, and all unholy actions, are of the devil.--Unholy neglect of prayer in secret and in your families, is of the devil.The sins of the time, that provoke God, are of the devil. The wicked acts and sentences of church-judicaturies, are of the devil.-The corruptions of courts, civil and ecclefiaftical, are of the devil, and not of God. For alt thing's are of God, except fin, which is no part of the new creation in Christ Jesus. However God permit it, for holy and wise ends, to over-rule it for his glory; yet, it enters contrary to his revealed will and royal orders:The condemning of the reformation-cause, at this day, is not of God, but of the devil. Wicked compliances with any such sinful fentence are not of God, but of the devil, and will bring in little credit or comfort in the
close of the day. The defections of the day are of the
There is no new appear-
6. Hence see the great need of coming to Chrift: for fanctification is of God in him, who is made of God unto us fanctification. O consider how fanctification is of God, namely, as he is a God in Christ, a reconciled God, and a reconciling God, reconciling us to himself. While we apprehend God as an enemy to us, or a hard Master, we will remain enemies to him avd his way: but, if you Look to God in Christ, as a well.pleased God, and be reconciled to him, then you will be reconciled to his tvill, and fanctified. O then, look to God in the glass of the gospel; that is, in a word of reconciliation to you. I own, indeed, the first look you must have of God is in the glass of the law, as a sin revenging God, making you cry out for mercy, saying, “What shall I do to be faved?" But yet, never will you be satisfied, saved, or fanctified, till you look to him in the glass of the gospel,