Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

power," Pfal. cx. 3. Thera is heavenly oratory in the Mediator's lips, to persuade finners, Psal. xlv 2.“ Grace is poured into thy lips.". There are cords of a nian, and bands of love in his hands, to draw them afrer him, Hos. xi. 4.

Love makes a net for elect fouls, which will infallibly catch them, and hale them so land. The cords' of Christ's love are strong cords : and they need to be fo ; for every linner is heavier than a mountain of brass ; and Satan, together with the heart itself, draws the contrary way. But love is (troog as death; and the Lord's love to the foul he died for, is strongest love ; which acts. To powerfully, that it must come off victorious.

1, The Willis cured of its uiter inbility to will what is good. While the opening of the prison to them that are

bound, is proclaimed in the gospel : The Spirit of Gud comes to the prison door, opens it, goes to the prisoner, and, by the power of his grace, makes his chains fall olf; breaks the bond of ini quiry, wherewith he was held in fin, so as he could neither wilk nor do any thing truly goud; brings him forth into a large place, Working in him both to will and to do, of his good pleasure,” Philip. ii. 13. Then it is, that the soul that was fixed to the earth, can move heaven ward ; the withered handi is.restored, and can be stretched our

2. There is wrought in the Will ä fixed averfion to evil, In regeneration, a man gets a new fpirit put withiin him," Ezek. xxxvi 26. and that " fpirit lusterh againft the flet?" Gal. v. 17. The sweet morsel of fin, so 'greedily swallowed down, he now lothes, and would fain be rid of it; even as. willing y as one that had drunk a cup of poison, would throw it up again. When the spring is stopt, the mud lies in the well vomoved: but when once the spring is cleared, the waters fpringing up, will work the nud away by degrees. Even so, while a man continues in an unregenerata ilate, fie lies at ease in the heart : but as soon as the Lord strikes the rocky heart, with the rod of his strength, in the day of converfion, grace is in him, " a well of water springing up into everlasting life," John iv. 14. working away natural correption, and gradually purifying the heart, Acts xv. 9. The renewed Will riseth á geint {in, frikes at the root thereof, and the branches too... Lufts are now grievous, and the foul endeavours to ffarve shem: the corrupt nature is the fource of all evil, and therefore the foul will be often laging it before the great Physician.. O what Corrow, shame, and self-lothing fill the heart, in the day that srace, makes its triumphant eptrance into it. For now the

made

up.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

nadman is come to himself, and the remembrance of his follies cannot bat cac him to the heart,

LASTLY, The Will is endued with an inclination, bent, and propenfiy to good. In its depraved ftate, it lay quite another way ; being prone and bent to evil only: bat now, by a pull of ihe on nipotent all conquering arm, it is drawn from evil 10. goud, and gets another fet. And as the former fet was natural, to this is natural too, in respect of the new natore given in regeneration, which has its own holy luftings, Gal. v. 17. The Will, as renewed, inclines and points towards God and godliness. When Gud made man, his Will, in refpect of its intention, was directed towards God, as his chief end : in refp- & of its choice, it pointed towards that which God willed. When man ung - made nimfeif, his Will was framed into the very reverse hereof; he ma:ie himself his chief end, and his own W]} his law. But when man is new made, in regeneration, grace rectifies this diurder in fome measure, thus not perfe&ly indeed; because we are but renewed in part, while in this world. It brings bick the finner, out of himfelf, 10 Goil as his chief end, truly, though no perfeétly, Pfal. xxiiii 25. " Whom have I in heaven buc shee? and there is none opon earth that I desire besides thee." Philip. 1. 21." For to me to live, is Christ." It makes him to deny himself; and whatever way he turns, to puint habitually towards God, who is ihe center of the gracious foul, its home, its dwelling place in all generations, Pfal. xc. 1. By regeneratiog graces. the Willis framed into a conformity. to the Will of God. It is conformed to this preceptive Will, Bzing endued with holy inclinations, agreeable to every one of his Commands. The whole Law is impressed on the gracious soul: every part of it is written over on the renewed heart. And altho' remaining corruption makes such blots in the writing, that oft-times the man minimes; it is never quite.''

cannot read it ; yet he who wrote it, can read it at all blotted out, nor can be. What he has writen he has written it shall stand ; " For this is the Covenant, I will

laws into their mind, and write them in reir hearts,” Heb. viii, 10, And it is a Covedant of salt, a prepe oal Covenant. It is also conformed to lis providencial: Will; so that the man will no: more te master of his own process; nor carve out his lot for himself. He learns to say, from his heart, " The Will of the Lord be. done, he shall. chuse our inheritance for 08,"? Pfal.. xlvij.

4. Thus the Will is disposed to fall in with those things which, in its depraved, tate, it could never be reconciled to.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

put my

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

have ovi

Particularly, (1.) The Lord is reconciled to the Covenant of Peace. The Lord God promiferh a Covenant of Peace to finners; a Covenant which he hath himself framed, and registrated in the Bible ; bar they are not pleased with it : Nay, an unrenewed heart cannor be pleased with it. Were it put

into their hands, to frame it according to their minds, they would blo many things our of it which God has put in; and pur in many things, God has kept out. But the renewed heart is entirely fatisfied with the Covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.“ He hath made with me an everlasting Covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, this is all my falvation, and all my defire,” Thom elie Corenant could not be brought down to their depraved Will; their Will is, by grace, brought up to the Covertanti they are well pleased with it : there is nothing in it they would

wor is any thing left out of it, which they would have iQ. (2.) The Wilt is disposed to receive Christ Jefus the Lord Thé foul is content to submit to him. Regenerating grace undermines and brings down the towering imaginations of the Heart, raised up against its rightful Lord : it breaks the irop finew which kept the finner from bowing to him, and disposeth hin to be no more ftiff 'necked bor to yield to himself. He is: willing to take on the yoke of Christ's comniaads ;. to take up. the Cross, anii to follow him. He is content to take Chiit on' arry termsi Pfal. cxi 32". Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.

Nuw, the Mind being savingly enlightened, and the Will renewed; the finner is thereby determined and enabled to answer the Gospel-call. So the main work in regeneration is done ; the fort of ile heart is taken there is room made for the Lord Jesus Christ, in the innermost parts of the firul: the outer-doorof the Will being now opened to him, as well as the inner door of the Understanding. In one word, Christ is paflively received

ihé hethe is come into the foul by his quickning fpirit whereby fpiritual life is given to the man, who in himlelf was dead iolin. And his first vital act we may conceive to be an active receivir.g of Jesus Chrift; difcerned in his glorious excel-lencies; that is, a believing on him, a chefrag with him, as discerned, ofered, and exhibited in the word of his grac-, the glorious gospel : the immediate effect of which, is union with him, John i, 12, 13. “. To as many as received him to them gave he powet (or: priviledge) la become the fors of God even: to them that believe on his Name; which were born noi of blood, nor of the will of the fisih, nor of the will of man, but

of God," Eph. iii. 17.;“ That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”. Christ having taken the heart by storm, and triumphantly entered into it, in regeneration, the soul by faith, yields itself to bim, as it is expressed, 2 Chron. xxx. 8. Thus, iliis glorious King, who came into the heart by his Spirit, -dwells in it by faith. The soul being drawn, runs: and being effectually called, comes.

Thirdly, In regeneration, there is a happy change made on the Affections: they are both rectified and regulated.

1. This change rectifies the Affections placing them on fuitable obje&s, 2 Thefl. iii. 5. “ The Lord direct your hearts into the Love of God." The regenerate man's defires are rectified: ihey are set on God himself, and the things above. He who, before, cried with the world, 5. Who will shew us any good ?" he changes his note', and says, “ Lord lift up the light of ihy courtenance upon us,'' Psal. iv. 6. Sometimes he saw no beauty in Christ, for which he was to be desired; but now he is all desires," he is altogether lovely," Cant. v. 16. The main stream of his defires is turned to run towards God : for there is the one thing he desire!h," Psal. xxvii. 4. He defires to be holy, as well as to be happy : and rather to be gracious than great. His hopes, which before were low, and staked down to things on earth, are now raised, and set on the glory which is to be revealed. He entertains the hope of eternal life, founded on the word of promise, Tit. i. he has, as an anchor of the soul," fixing the heart under trials, Heb. vi. 18. And it puts him upon purifying himself, “ even as God is pure,” John iii

. 3: For he is begotten again 'unto a lively liope," 1 Pet. i. 3. His love is raised, and set on God himself, Psal. xxviii. 1. On his holy Law, Psal. cxix. 97. Tho' it strike against his most beloved loft, he says, “ The Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good," Rom.

He loves the Ordinances of God, Pfal. Ixxxiv. I. " How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!" Being passed from death unto life, he loves the brethren, (1-John iii. 14.) the people of God, as they are called, 1 Pet. j. ro. He loves God for himself, and what is God's for his fake. Yea, as beir.g a child of God, he loves his own enemies. His heavenly Father is compassionate and benevolent; "he makech his fun to rise on the evil and the good : and sendeth rain on the juft, and on the injuit:" and therefore he is in the like manner disposed, Marth. v. 44. 45. His hatred is turned, against lin in himself and others, Pial. ci. 3. "Thuse the work

of

2.

Which hope

vii. 12.

of them that turn aside : it shall not cleave to me.", He groans' under the remains of it, and longs for deliverance, Rom. vii. 24. “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” His joys and delights are in God the Lord, in the light of his countenance, io bis Law, and in his people ; because they are like him. Sin is what he chiefly fears, it is a fountain of inirow to him now, tho, formerly a spring of pleasure. 2. - It regulates the Affections placed on suitable objects

. Our Affections, when placed on the creature, are naturally exorbitant: when we joy in it, we are apt to over-joy; and when we forrow, we are ready to forrow over much : But grace bridles these Affections, clips their wings, and keeps them within bounds, that they overflow not all their banks. It makes a man hate his father and mother, and wife and children, yea, and his own life also, comparatively ; that is, to love them less than he loves God, Luke xiv. 26. It also fanétifies lawful Affections; bringing them -forth_from right principles, and diretting them to right en's. There may be unholy desires after Christ and his grace : as when men defire Christ, not from any love to hin, but merely out of love to themselves. - Give us of your oil," said the foolish virgins, " for our lamps

are gone out,” Matth. xxv. 8. There may be an unfanctifed sorrow for lin: as when one forroweth for it, not because it is difu pleasing to God, buie only because of the wrath'annexed to it; as did Pharaoh, Judas, and others. So a man may love his father and mother, from mere natural principles, without any respect to the command of God binding him thereto. But gráce sanctifies the Affections in fuch cases, making them to run in a new channel of love to God, respect to his conimands, and regard to his glory. Again, grace fcrews up the Affections where they are too low. It gives the chief seat in them to God: and pulls down all other rivals, whether persons or things, making them ly at his feet. Pfal. lxxiii. 35. Whom have I. in leasen but thee? And there is none upon earth that I defire Belide thee.” He is loved for himself and other persons or things, for his fake. What is lovely in them to the renewed heari, is fome ray of the divine goodness appearing in them; for anto gracious fouls they shine only by borrowed light. This accounts for the fainis loving all men, and yet hating those that hate God, and contemoing the wicked as vile persons. They hate and contemn them for iheir wickedness: ibere is notliing of God is that, and therefore nothing lovely nor honourable in

it :

j

« AnteriorContinuar »