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justifying and saving him, by the merits of Christ, without the least respect to any worthiness in himself; and there is much ado to bring the proud heart to this, to forego his own righteousness.
6. Restlessness of spirit in its present state. The sinner is now heavy laden, Matt. xi. 28, and must have rest somewhere, but can enjoy no rest in a sinful state; “ There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked,” Isa. lvii. 21. This is not a state to be rested in, saith the trembling soul, I am got off my former ground, I see my
old unregenerate state hopeless and deplorable, yet I fear I am not centred and anchored on Christ. Woe is me, I am fluctuating on the waves betwixt hope and despair, I fear the issue; sometimes I think I see the day break, but clouds and darkness overwhelm me again : however, I am not content with these poor husks of the world in my Christless state in a far country, “ I will arise and go to my father,” Luke xv. 18. In this quagmire, I find no bottom for the sole of my foot, I must make to firm ground; none but Christ, none but Christ, let me have him, though with “fightings from without, and fears within.” I am shifting from post to pillar, let me be dissettled till my soul fix on Christ," then shall not my heart be troubled, if believing in God, I believe also in Christ,” John xiv. 1. Let me never be at rest, till all ways are blocked up but this; if I sit still, I die, 2 Kings vii. 4; if I go to the world, I pine; I will venture upon God's promises, upon Christ's purchase; if I must die, I will die thus; but never did any die at this door.
7. At last the troubled spirit utters its perplexed thoughts in complaints and prayers. God saith, “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself,” Jer. xxxi. 18. So methinks I see the disquieted soul creep into a corner to unburden his spirit in this manner :
Lord, here I am, as wicked a malefactor as ever stood at thy bar, and as miserable a beggar as ever lay at thy door; I was condemned as soon as born, and have too, too wofully increased the stock of original sin, by thousands of actual transgressions; I am twice dead, in danger of being "plucked up by the roots,” Jude, 12, and cast into the fire of hell; many means hast thou used, but nothing does me good, yet now “thou hast brought me into the wilderness; O speak to my heart.” Every sin deserves damnation ; Oh, how many hells then do I deserve? Thou art righteous, if thou condemn ine; my mouth is stopped, I am found guilty before God, I am self-condemned, thou wilt need no other witness or jury to find me guilty ; but Christ suffered and satisfied justice for poor sinners, and why not for me, the chief of sinners? I find not one word in scripture against it, but a proclamation of a general pardon to all; Christ with all his benefits is offered to me in the ministry of the word, upon the condition of faith and repentance. It is true, I can neither repent nor believe, but they are both included in the absolute grant of the gospel covenant, which gives what it requires. Lord, give me a gospel repentance unto life, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; I hang on thee, blessed Jesus, who wast exalted on purpose “to give repentance and forgiveness of sins,” with every grace and every blessing.
Secondly, The parts of this new creature lie in the renovation of the several faculties of the soul, which consists of—the mind and understanding—the conscience—the will—the affections, which are the acts and tendencies of the will.
1. The new creature consists much in the illumination of the mind, which is called “a renewing in the
• Hos. ii. 14. Rom. iii. 19. 1 Tim. i. 15. Acts v. 31. VOL. V.
spirit of the mind,” Eph. iv. 23. Interpreters have been much perplexed to know what is meant by the spirit of the mind. Calvin saith, “ The meaning is, we are renewed not only in our inferior appetites, and sensual desires, but in that part of the soul which is esteemed the most noble and excellent." * For the mind is accounted a queen, and almost adored by philosophers. Now the mind is renewed, when there are,
(1.) New conceptions of things, such as it never had before, for a new light is set up in the soul, to see things after another manner," the eyes of the understanding are now enlightened,” Eph. i. 18. Now a person sees more wickedness in his depraved heart, than ever he did, which makes him cry out like Job, “ Behold I am vile." “ Lord, thou art heaven, I am hell,” said Mr. Hooper. Now the soul sees more poison and malignity in sin, than it ever did before ; he sees it "exceedingly sinful,” as striking at the majesty, and clouding the glory of the holy God,as crucifying Christ,--as grieving the Holy Spirit. The new creature forms other conceptions of Christ, as “ the rose of Sharon, the chief of ten thousand.” He looks on God's commands as “not at all grievous,” † but pleasant, comfortable, and profitable. He looks on the saints as the “ most excellent in the earth.” He hath got eyesalve to judge of things as they are ;
“ the spiritual man judgeth all things.” I
(2.) The new nature brings a new memory; the Christian forgets injuries, and remembers truths ; his
* Ego simpliciter accipio, acsi dixisset, Renovemini non tantum quod ad inferiores appetitus aut concupiscentias quæ palam sunt vitiosæ, sed etiam quod ad partem illam animæ quæ
nobilissima et præstantissima habetur.–Calv. in loc.
+ Job xl. 4. Rom. vii. 9-17. Cant. v. 10. 1 John v. 3. # Psalm xvi. 3. Rev. iii. 18. 1 Cor. ii. 15.
memory is sanctified and strengthened, he lays up things in his heart, as the pot of manna was laid up in the ark: he “can abundantly utter the memory of God's great goodness.” The new creature is as a phylactery to prompt and put him in mind of God's law. If he hath not a great memory, yet he hath a good memory : God brings sins to remembrance committed many years ago, and the soul is humbled for them, as if but newly committed : and though sometimes the best of God's children are subject to slippery memories, and do need monitors, yet they have minds clarified, and apt to be tenacious of the things of God: “I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance.” A hint will bring God and good things into their thoughts again ; but wicked men are described by the character of “forgetting God.” *
Do you make it your business to remember God upon your beds, and in all places? Psalm lxiii. 6.
(3.) The new creation introduces a new counsellor. Formerly the person who has experienced this change, consulted with carnal interest, even in things of religion ; if the practice of religion did cross his low and selfish designs, he laid it down; but as soon as this principle acts within him, he saith as Paul did, "immediately, I conferred not with flesh and blood;" God's glory, and the good of his own soul and the souls of others lay uppermost. Now the Christian goes to the sanctuary in arduous cases, and makes the Scriptures (those divine oracles) “his chief counsellors” in his actions, natural, civil, and spiritual ;t and dare venture upon nothing but that for which he hath a warrant from God : not, What saith this friend, or the other relation ? but what saith God in the case, directly, or
* Psalm cxlv. 7. Numb. xv. 39. 2 Pet. iii. 1. Psalm 1. 22. + Gal. i. 16. Psalm lxxiii. 17. cxix. 24.
by good consequence? See the difference between good Jehoshaphat and Ahab : the former said, “ Inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to-day;" the other made nothing of it. “ They soon forgat his works,” saith the Psalmist ; " they waited not for his counsel :” and “God gives them up to walk in their own counsels.” *
(4.) The new creature hath new admiration; the carnal heart wonders at trifling novelties. David prays, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” There indeed he discovers wonders of power, wisdom, holiness, faithfulness, and a display of all God's attributes, but especially of free grace and love in the work of redemption: he sees no reason to admire any thing, but “ things the angels desire to look into,” and in admiration of which they are in continual ecstacy. O the love of God in sending Christ,-of Christ in becoming man, in taking any of the sons of men to be the children of God. † 'Bášos, “ Oh the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.” There only, there is something to be admired : all the glories of the world are but mere contemptible pageantry; the believer can trample them under his feet with a better disdain, than Diogenes trampled on Plato's finery, for he is in a sort “crucified to the world;" and can pass by things seen with a holy scorn, when compared with things unseen, which are eternal. I
2. The new creation also affects the conscience, which though it be not a distinct faculty, but of a complex nature, yet it is of great use in the soul of man: and it is necessary that “the heart be sprinkled
* 1 Kings xxii. 5–8. Psalm cvi. 13. lxxxi. 12.