« السابقةمتابعة »
be to us the occasion, the time, and the instru- / Now, if there be any foundation in fact for this ment of this greatest of all gifts.
charge, it arises from some persons holding this In all these instances, and in all indeed that doctrine defectively; I mean from their not attendrelate to the operations of the Spirit, we are to ing to one main point in the doctrine, which is, judge, if we will take upon us to judge at all, that the promise is not to those who have the Spi(which I do not see that we are obliged to do,) rit, but to those who are led by the Spirit; not to not only with great candour and moderation, but those who are favoured with its suggestions, but also with great reserve and caution; and as to to those who give themselves up to follow, and do the modes of Divine grace, or of its proceedings in actually follow these suggestions. Now, though a the hearts of men, as of things undetermined in person, by attending to his feelings and conscious Scripture, and undeterminable by us. In our own nesses may persuade himself that he has the Spicase, which it is of infinitely more importance to rit of God; yet if he stop and rest in these sensaeach of us to manage rightly, than it is to judge tions without consequential practical exertions, even truly of other men's, we are to use perse- it can by no possibility be said of him, nor, one veringly, every appointed, every reasonable, every would think, could he possibly bring himself to probable, every virtuous endeavour to render our believe, that he is led by the Spirit, that he follows selves objects of that merciful assistance, which the Spirit; for these terms necessarily imply undoubtedly and confessedly we much want, and something done under that influence, necessarily which, in one way or other, God, we are assured, carry the thoughts to a course of conduct entered is willing to afford.
into and pursued in obedience to and by virtue of, that influence. Whether the objection here noticed has any foundation in the conduct of those
who hold the doctrine of which we treat, I am SERMON XXV.
uncertain; accounts are different: but at any
rate the objection lies not against the doctrine, ON THE INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRIT. but against a defective apprehension of it. For, (PART III.)
in confirmation of all which we have said, we may Know not that ye are the temple of God; and the doctrine of spiritual influence higher than he
produce the example of St. Paul. No one carried that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?-1 Cor. did, or spoke of it so much; yet no character in iii. 16.
the world could be farther than his was from restAs all doctrine ought to end in practice, and all ing in feelings and sensations. On the contrary, sound instruction lead to right conduct, it comes, it was all activity and usefulness. His whole his. in the last place, to be considered, what obligations tory confirms what he said of himself, that "in follow from the tenet of an assisting grace and labours," in positive exertions, both of mind and spiritual influence; what is to be done on our part body, he was" above measure.” It will be said, in consequence of holding such a persuasion; perhaps, that these exertions were in a particular what is the behaviour corresponding and consist- way, viz. in making converts to his opinions ; but ent with such an opinion. For we must always it was the way in which, as he believed, he was bear in mind, that the Grace and Spirit of God promoting the interest of his fellow-creatures in no more take away our freedom of action, our the greatest degree possible for him to promote it; personal and moral liberty, than the advice, the and it was the way also which he believed to be admonitions, the suggestions, the reproofs, the enjoined upon him by the express and particular expostulations, the counsels of a friend or parent command of God. Had there been any other mewould take them away. We may act either right thod, any other course and line of beneficent enor wrong, notwithstanding these interferences. It deavours, in which he thought he could have been still depends upon ourselves which of the two we more useful, and had the choice been left to himwill do. We are not machines under these im- self, (which it was not,) the same principle, the pressions ; nor are we under the impression of the same eager desire of doing good, would have Holy Spirit. Therefore there is a class of duties manifested itself with equal vigour in that other relating to this subject, as much as any other; line. His sentiments and precepts corresponded and more, perhaps, than any other important. with his example: “Do good unto all men, espe
And, first, I would apply myself to an objection, cially unto them that are of the household of which belongs to this, namely, the practical part Christ.” Here doing is enjoined. Nothing less of the subject; which objection is, that the doc- than doing can satisfy this precept. Feelings and trine of spiritual influence, and the preaching of sensations will not, though of the best kind. this doctrine, causes men to attend chiefly to the “Let him that stole, steal no more, but rather let feelings within them, to place religion in feelings him labour with his hands, that he may have to and sensations, and to be content with such feel- give to him that needeth.”. This is carrying acings and sensations, without coming to active du- tive beneficence as far as it can go. Men are ties and real usefulness: that it tends to produce commanded to relieve the necessities of their poor a contemplative religion, accompanied with a sort brethren out of the earnings of their manual laof abstraction from the interests of this world, as bour, nay, to labour for that very purpose ; and respecting either ourselves or others; a sort of their doing so is stated as the best expiation for quietism and indifference which contributes no- former dishonesties, and the best proof how much thing to the good of mankind, or to make a man and how truly they are changed from what they serviceable in his generation; that men of this de- were. "Let him that ruleth, do it with diligence.” scription sit brooding over what passes in their This is a precept which cannot be complied with hearts, without performing any good actions, or without activity. These instructions could not well discharging their social or domestic obliga- come from a man who placed religion in feelings tions, or indeed guarding their outward conduct and sensations. with sufficient care.
Having noticed this objection (for it well de
served notice,)! proceed to state the particular though fallen, we may not be lost. This is a duties which relate to the doctrine of spiritual as- condition which flies to aid and help, if aid and sistance. And the first of these duties is to pray help can be had; and it is a condition to which the for it. It is by prayer that it is to be sought; by promised support of the Spirit most peculiarly apprayer that it is to be obtained. This the Scrip- plies. On such an occasion, therefore, it will be tures expressly teach. “How much more will sought with struggles and strong contention of your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to mind, if we be serious in these matters. So them that ask him?" The foundation of prayer, sought, it will be obtained. in all cases, is a sense of want. No man prays Again : Is it not always a fit subject of prayer, in earnest or to any purpose for what he does not that the Holy Spirit would inform, animate, warm, feel that he wants. Know then and feel the and support our derotion ? St. Paul speaks of weakness of your nature. Know the infinite im- the co-operation of the Spirit with us in this very portance of holding on, nevertheless, in a course article. " Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our inof virtue. Know these two points thoroughly, firmities, for we know not what we should pray and you can stand in need of no additional mo- for as we ought; but the Spirit maketh intercestive (indeed none can be added,) to excite in you sion for us with groanings that cannot be uttered." strong unwearied supplications for Divine help; The specific help here described is to supply our not a cold asking for it in any prescribed form of ignorance. But the words speak also generally prayer, but cryings and supplications for it, strong of helping our infirmities; meaning, as the pasand unwearied. The description in the Epistle sage leads us to suppose, the infirmities which atto the Hebrews, of our Lord's own devotion, may tend our devotion. Now these infirmities are not serve to describe the devotion of a Christian, pray- only ignorance, but coldness, wanderings, abing, as he ought, for the Spirit; that is, praying sence; for all which a remedy is to be sought in from a deep understanding of his own condition, the aid and help of the Spirit. a conviction of his wants and necessities. * He Next in order of time, to praying for the Spirit offered up prayers and supplications with strong of God, but still superior to it in importance, is liscrying and tears unto him that was able to save tening and yielding ourselres to his suggestions. him from death; and was heard in that he feared.” This is the thing in which we fail. This is devotion in reality.
Now, it being confessed that we cannot ordinaThere are occasions also, which ought to call rily distinguish at the time the suggestions of the forth these prayers with extraordinary and pecu- Spirit from the operations of our minds, it may be liar force.
asked, how are we to listen to them? The answer Is it superstition ? is it not, on the contrary, a is, by attending unirersally to the admonitions iust and reasonable piety to implore of God the within us. Men do not listen to their consciences. guidance of his Holy Spirit, when we have any It is through the whisperings of conscience that thing of great importance to decide upon, or to the Spirit speaks. If men then are wilfully deaf undertake; especially any thing by which the hap- to their consciences, they cannot hear the Spirit. piness of others, as well as our own, is likely to If hearing, if being compelled to hear, the remonbe affected ?
strances of conscience, they nevertheless decide, It would be difficult to enumerate the passages and resolve, and determine to go against them; and occasions of a man's life, in which he is par- then they grieve, then they defy, then they do deticularly bound to apply to God for the aid and spite to the Spirit of God. In both cases, that is, direction of his Spirit. In general, in every turn, both of neglecting to consult, and of defying, as it may be called, of life; whenever any thing when they cannot help feeling the admonitions critical, any thing momentous, any thing which which rise up within them, they have this judgis to fix our situation and course of life; most es- ment hanging over their heads: “He that hath pecially any thing which is likely to have an in- not, from him shall be taken even that which he Huence upon our moral conduct and disposition, hath.” He that misuses or abuses the portion and thereby affect our condition, as candidates for and measure of spiritual assistance which is afheaven, and as the religious servants of God, is to forded him, shall lose even that. be resolved upon; there and then ought we to say The efficacy of the Spirit is to be judged of by our prayers; most ardently supplicating from our its fruits. Its immediate effects are upon the disCreator and Preserver the grace and guidance of position. A visible outward conduct will ensue; his Holy Spirit.
but the true seat of grace and of spiritual energy Is it not, again, a time for calling earnestly for is in the heart and inward disposition. Whenthe Spirit of God, and for a greater measure of ever, therefore, we find religious carelessness sucthat Spirit, if he be pleased to grant it to us, when ceeded within us by religious seriousness; conwe are recovering from some sin into which we science, which was silent or unheard, now powerhave been betrayed? This case is always critical. fully speaking and obeyed; sensuality and selfishThe question now is, whether we shall fall into a ness, the two grand enemies of salvation, the two settled course of sinning, or whether we shall be great powers of darkness which rule the natural restored to our former, and to better than our man-when we find even these giving way to the former endeavours to maintain the line of duty. inward accusing voice of conscience; when we That, under the sting and present alarm of our find the thoughts of the mind drawing or drawn conscience, we have formed resolutions of virtue more and more towards heavenly things; the vafor the future is supposed; but whether these reso- lue and interest of these expectations plainer to lutions will stand, is the point now at issue. And our view, a great deal more frequent than heretoin this peril of our souls we cannot be too earnest fore in our meditations, and more fully discerned; or importunate in our supplications for Divine suc- the care and safety of our souls rising gradually cour. It can never come to our aid at a time above concerns and anxieties about worldly afwhen we more want it. Our fall proves our fairs; when we find the force of temptation and weakness. Our desire of recovery proves, that, I of evil propensities not extinct, but retreating be
fore a sense of duty; self-government maintain- | vigour; though it be true, that unless he had e3ed; the interruptions of it immediately perceived, erted what power and strength he was possessed bitterly deplored, and soon recovered; sin rejected of, he would not have been saved at all. and repelled; and this not so much with an in Lastly: This doctrine shuts the door against a crease of confidence in our strength, as of reliance most general, a most specious, and a most deceivupon the assisting grace of God; when we find ing excuse for our sins; which excuse is, that we ourselves touched with the love of our Maker, have striven against them, but are overpowered by taking satisfaction in his worship and service; our evil nature, by that nature which the Scrip when we feel a growing taste and relish for reli- tures themselves represent as evil; in a word, that gious subjects and religious exercises ; above all, we have done what we could. Now, until by when we begin to rejoice in the comfort of the supplication and prayer we have called for the proHoly Ghost; in the prospect of reaching heaven; mised assistance of God's Spirit, and with an in the powerful aids and helps which are given us earnestness, devotion, perseverance, and importuin accomplishing this great end, and the strength, nity, proportioned to the magnitude of the con and firmness, and resolution, which, so helped and cern; until we have rendered ourselves objects of aided, we experience in our progress: when we that influence, and yielded ourselves to it, it is not feel these things, then may we, without either en-true, “that we have done all that we can.” We thusiasm or superstition, humbly believe that the must not rely upon that excuse; for it is not true Spirit of God hath been at work within us. Ex- in fact. If, experiencing the depravity and imbeternal virtues, good actions will follow, as occa- cility of our nature, we see in this corruption and sions may draw them forth ; but it is within that weakness an excuse for our sins, and taking up we must look for the change which the inspiration with this excuse, we surrender ourselves to them; of God's Spirit produces.
if we give up, or relax in our opposition to them, With respect to positive external good actions, and struggles against them, at last consenting to we have said that they must depend in some mea our sins, and falling down with the stream which sure upon occasions, and abilities, and opportuni- we have found so hard to resist; if things take this ties, and that they must wait for opportunities; turn with us, then are we in a state to be utterly, but, observe, it is not so with the breaking off of finally, and fatally undone. We have it in our our sins, be they what they will. That work must power to shut our eyes against the danger; we wait for nothing. Until that be effected, no change naturally shall endeavour to make ourselves as is made. No man, going on in a known sin, has easy and contented in our situation as we can; any right to say, that the Spirit of God has done but the truth, nevertheless, is, that we are hastenits office within him. Either it has not been given ing to certain perdition. If, on the contrary, perto him, or being given, it has been resisted, deceiving the feebleness of our nature, we be driven spised, or, at least, neglected. Such a person has by the perception, as St. Paul was driven, to fly either yet to obtain it by prayer, or, when obtain- for deliverance from our sins to the aid, and intiued, to avail himself duly of its assistance. Let ence, and power of God's Spirit; to seek for Dihim understand this to be his condition.
vine help and succour, as a sinking mariner calls The next duty, or rather disposition, which out for help and succour, not formally, we may be flows from the doctrine of spiritual influence, is sure, or coldly, but with cries, and tears, and suphumility. There never was a truer saying than plications, as for life itself; if we be prepared to that pride is the adversary of religion, lowliness co-operate with this help, with the holy working and humility the tempers for it. Now religious of God's grace within us; then may we trust, both humility consists in the habit of referring every that it will be given to us, (yet in such manner as thing to God. From one end of the New Testa- to God shall seem fit, and which cannot be limitment to the other, God is set forth and magnified ed by us,) and also that the portion of help which in his agency and his operations. In the greatest is given, being duly used and improved, (not deof all businesses, the business of salvation, he is spised, neglected, put away,) more and more will operating, and we co-operating with him. “Work be continually added for the ultimate accomplishout your own salvation with fear and trembling;"ment of our great end and object, the deliverance and why? "for it is God that worketh in us to of our souls from the captivity, and the consewill and to do, according to his good pleasure.” quences of sin. He is not superseding our endeavours, (the very contrary is implied by commanding us to exert them,) but still nothing is done without him. If we have moral strength, we are strong in the in
SERMON XXVI. ward might of the Holy Ghost: consequently all boasting, all vanity, all self-sufficiency, all despis
SIN ENCOUNTERED BY SPIRITUAL AID. ing of others, on ihe score of moral and religious inferiority, are excluded. Without the grace of
IN THREE PARTS.PART 1.) God, we might have been as the worst of them. o, wretched man that I am! who shall deliver There is in the nature of things, one train of sentiment belonging to him who has achieved a work
me from the body of this death?—Rom. vii. 24. by his own might, and power, and prowess; and BEFORE we can explain what is the precise another to him, who has been fain to beg for suc subject of this heavy lamentation, and what the cour and assistance, and by that assistance alone precise meaning of the solemn question here askhas been carried through difficulties which were cd, we must endeavour to understand what is intoo great for his own strength and faculties. This tended by the expression, "the body of this death," last is the true sentiment for us. It is not for a or, as some render it, “this body of death." man, whose life has been saved in a shipwreck by Now, let it be remembered, that death, in Saint the compassionate help of others; it is not for a Paul's epistles, hardly ever signifies à natural man, so saved, to boast of his own alertness and death, to which all men of all kinds are equally
subjected; but it means a spiritual death, or thai : You see then what death is in the Scripture perdition and destruction to which sin brings men wense; in St. Paul's sense. “ The body of this in a future state. —" The wages of sin is death;" | death.” The phrase and expression of the text not the death which we must all undergo in this cannot, however, mean this death itself, because world, for that is the fate of righteousness as well he prays to be delivered from it; whereas from as sin, but the state, whatever it be, to which sin that death, or that perdition understood by it, and sinners will be consigned in the world to come. when it once overtakes the sinner, there is no deNot many verses after our text, St. Paul says, liverance that we know of. The “ body," then, "carnal mindedness is death:"'" to be carnally " of this death,” is not the death itself, but a staté minded is death;” leads, that is, inevitably to that leading to and ending in the second death; namely, future destruction which awaits the sinful indul- in misery and punishment, instead of happiness gence of carnal propensities, and which destruc- and rest, after our departure out of this world. tion is, as it were, death to the soul. The book And this state it is, from which St. Paul, with of Revelation, alluding to this distinction, speaks such vehemence and concern upon his spirit, seeks expressly of a second death, in terms very fit to to be delivered. be called to mind in the consideration of our pre Having seen the signification of the principal sent text. “I saw the dead, small and great, phrase employed in the text, the next, and the stand before God; and the books were opened; most important question is, to what condition of and another book was opened, which is the book the soul, in its moral and religious concerns, the of life ; and the dead were judged out of those apostle applies it. Now in the verses preceding things which were written, according to their the text, indeed in the whole of this remarkable works: and the sea gave up the dead which were chapter, St. Paul has been describing a state of in it, and death and hell (which last word denotes struggle and contention with sinful propensities; here simply the place of the dead, not the place which propensities, in the present condition of of punishment) delivered up the dead that were our nature, we all feel, and which are never in them; and they were judged every man accord wholly abolished. But our apostle goes further: ing to their works; and death and hell were cast he describes also that state of unsuccessful struginto the lake of fire;" (that is, natural death, and gle and unsuccessful contention, by which many the receptacle of those who died, were thenceforth so unhappily fall. His words are these: “That superseded.) This is the second death. “And which I do, I allow not: for what I woulu, that I whatsoever was not found written in the book of do not; but what I hate, that do I. For I know life, was cast into the lake of fire.” This descrip- that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good tion, which is exceedingly awful, is given in the thing: for to will is present with me, but how to last three verses of the 20th chapter. In reference perform that which is good I find not: for the good to the same event, this book of Revelation had be- ihat I would, I do not; but the evil which I would fore told us, viz. in the 21 chapter and 11th verse, not, that I do. I find a law, that, when I would that he who overcometh shall not be hurt of the do good, evil is present with me. For I delight second death; and in like manner in the above in the law of God after the inward man. But I quoted 20th chapter, “ Blessed and holy is he that see another law in my members warring against hath part in this resurrection: on such the second the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivideath hath no power.” Our Lord himself refers ty to the law of sin which is in my members.” to this death in those never to be forgotten words This account, though the style and manner of which he uttered, “He that liveth, and believeth expression in which it is delivered be very pecuin me, shall not die eternally.” Die he must, but liar, is, in its substance, no other than what is not eternally: die the first death, but not the se strictly applicable to the case of thousands. “The cond. It is undoubtedly, therefore, the second good that I would, I do not; the evil which I would death which Saint Paul meant by the word not, that I do." How many, who read this disdeath, when he wrote down the sentence " the course, may say the same of themselves! as also, body of this death ;” and the second death is the “what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, punishment, perdition, and destruction, which the that I do." This then is the case which St. Paul souls of sinners will suffer in a future state. It is had in view. It is a case, first, which supposes well worthy of observation, that this was indeed an informed and enlightened conscience: “I dethe only death which those who wrote the New light in the law of God.” “I had not known sin Testament, and probably all sincere Christians of but by the law.” “I consent unto the law that that age, regarded as important, as the subject of it is good.” These sentiments could only be uttheir awe, and dread, and solicitude. The first tered by a man who was in a considerable degree death, the natural and universal disease of the at least, acquainted with his duty, and who also body, they looked to simply as a change; a going approved of the rule of duty which he found laid out of one room into another; a putting off one down. kind of clothing, and putting on a different kind. Secondly: The case before us also supposes an They esteemed it, compared with the other, of lit- inclination of mind and judgment to perform our tle moment or account. In this respect, there is duty. “When I would do good, evil is present a wide difference between the Scripture appre- with me: to will is present with me, but how to hension of the subject and ours. We think en perform that which is good. I find not.” tirely of the first death: they thought entirely of Thirilly: It supposes this inclination of mind the second. We speak and talk of the death and judgment to be continually overpowered. “I which we see: they spoke, and taught, and wrote, see another law in my members warring against of a death which is future to that. We look to the the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivifirst with terror: they to the second alone. The se ty to the law of sin, which is in my members ;" cond alone they represent as formidable. Such is that is, the evil principle not only opposes the the view which Christianity gives us of these things, judgment of the mind, and the conduct which su different from wbat we naturally entertain. that judgment dictates, (which may be the case
with all,) but in the present case subdues and gets since he had occasionally likewise endeavoured to the better of it: “Not only wars against the law bring himself to an obedience to this law, however of my mind, but brings me into captivity.” unsuccessful his endeavours had been; above all,
Fourthly : The case supposes a sense and since he had sincerely deplored and bewailed his thorough consciousness of all this : of the rule of fallings off from it, he might hope, I say, that his duty; of the nature of sin; of the struggle; of the was a case for favourable acceptance. defeat. It is a prisoner sensible of his chains. It St. Paul saw it not in this light. He saw in it is a soul tied and bound by the fetters of its sins, no ground of confidence or satisfaction. It was a and knowing itself to be so. It is by no means state, to which he gives no better name than " the the case of the ignorant sinner; it is not the case body of death." It was a state not in which he of an erring mistaken conscience; it is not the hoped to be saved, but from which he sought to case of a seared and hardened conscience. None be delivered. It was a state, in a word, of bitterof these could make the reflection or the complaint ness and terror; drawing from him expressions which is here described. “ The commandment of the deepest anguish and distress : "0, wretched which was ordained unto life, I found to be unto man that I am! who shall deliver me from the death. I am carnal, sold under sin. In me body of this death ?" dwelleth no good thing. The law is holy; and the commandment holy, just, and good; but sin, that it might appear sin, (that it might be more conspicuous, aggravated, and inexcusable,) works
SERMON XXVII. death in me by that which is good.” This language by no means belongs to the stupified in- EVIL PROPENSITIES ENCOUNTERED BY THE AID OF sensible sinner.
THE SPIRIT. Nor, fifthly, as it cannot belong to an original insensibility of conscience, that is, an insensibility
(PART II.) of which the person himself does not remember the beginning, so neither can it belong to the sin- O, wretched man that I am! who shall delireri ner who has got over the rebukes, distrusts, and me from the body of this death?—Rom. vii. 24. uneasiness which sin once occasioned. True it is, that this uneasiness may be got over almost He who has not felt the weakness of his nature, entirely; so that whilst the danger remains the it is probable, has reflected little upon the subject same, whilst the final event will be the same, of religion. "I should conjecture this to be the whilst the coming destruction is not less sure or dreadful, the uneasiness and the apprehension are But then, when men do feel the weakness of gone. This is a case too common, too deplorable, their nature, it is not always that this conscioustoo desperate; but it is not the case of which we ness carries them into a right course, but some are now treating, or of which St. Paul treated. times into a course the very contrary of what is Here we are presented throughout with complaint right. They may see in it, as hath been observed, and uneasiness; with a soul exceedingly dissatis- and many do see in it, nothing but an excuse and fied, exceedingly indeed disquieted, and disturbed, apology for their sins. Since it is acknowledged and alarmed, with the view of its condition. that we carry about with us a frail, not to call it
Upon the whole, St. Paul's account is the ac a depraved, corrupted nature, surely, they say, we count of a man in some sort struggling with his shall not be amenable to any severities or extremivices; at least deeply conscious of what they are, ties of judgment for delinquencies to which such whither they are leading him, where they will a nature must ever be liable; or, which is indeed end; acknowledging the law of God, not only in all the difference there is between one man and words and speeches, but in his mind; acknowledg- another, for greater degrees or less, for more or ing its excellency, its authority; wishing also, fewer of these delinquencies. The natural man and willing to act up to it, but, in fact, doing no takes courage from this consideration. He finds such thing; feeling in practice a lamentable ina ease in it. It is an opiate to his fears. It lulls bility of doing his duty, yet perceiving that it him into a forgetfulness of danger, and of the must be done. All he has hitherto attained is a dreadful end, if the danger be real. Then the state of successive resolutions and relapses. Much practical consequence is, that he begins to relax is willed, nothing is effected. No furtherance, no even of those endeavours to obey God which he advance, no progress, is made in the way of sal. has hitherto exerted. Imperfect and inconstant vation. He feels indeed his double nature; but as these endeavours were at best, they become he finds that the law in his members, the law of gradually more languid and more unfrequent, and the flesh, brings the whole man into captivity. more insincere than they were before : his sins He may have some better strivings, but they are increase upon him in the same proportion : he unsuccessful. The result is, that he obeys the proceeds rapidly to the condition of a confirmed law of sin.
sinner, either secret or open; it makes no differThis is the picture which our apostle contem- ence as to his salvation. And this descent into plated, and he saw in it nothing but misery : “O the depths of moral vileness and depravity began, wretched man that I am!” Another might have in some measure, with perceiving and confessing seen it in a more comfortable light. He might the weakness of his nature; and giving to this have hoped that the will would be taken for the perception that most erroneous, that most fatal deed; that since he felt in his mind a strong ap. turn, the regarding it as an excuse for every thing; probation of the law of God; nay, since he felt a and as dispensing even with the self-dlenials, and delight in contemplating it, and openly professed with the exertions of self-government, which a to do so; since he was neither ignorant of it, nor man had formerly thought it necessary to exercise, forgetful of it, nor insensible of its obligation, nor and in some sort, though in no sufficient sort, had aver set himself to dispute its authority; nay, I exercised.