Imágenes de páginas

power,” Pfal. cx. 3. There is heavenly oratory in the Mediator's lips, to persuade finners, Pfal. xlı 2.“ Grace is poured into thy lips." There are cords of a man, 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 10 be fo; for every finner is heavier than a mountain of brass ; and Satan, together with the heart itself, draws the contrary way. But love is stroog as death; and the Lord's love to the foul he died for, is itrongest love ; which acts. fo powerfully, that it must come off victorious.

1. The Willis cured of its uiter in.bility 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 prifoner, and, by the power of his grace, makes his chains fall off; breaks the bond of iniquiry, wherewith he was held in fin, so as he could neither will 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 ixed to the earth, can move heaven ward; the withered hand is restored, and can be stretched out.

2. There is wrought in the "Vill a fixed averfion to evil. In regeneration, a man gits a new spirit put within him,"" Ezek. xxxvi 26. and that spirit lufteth against the fleth," Gal. v. 17. . The {weet morsel

. of fin, so greedily swallowed down, be 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-uomoved : but when once the spring is cleared, the waters fpringing up, will work the mud away by degrees. Even so, while a man continues in an unregenerate date, fie lies at ease in the heart :. but as foon as the Lord strikes the rocky heart, with the rod of his ftrength, in the day of converfion, grace is in him, “ a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” Jobn is. 14. working away natural correption, and gradually purifying the heart, Acts xv. 9. The renewed Will rifeth up against an, frikes at the roor thereof, and the branches too. Lults are now grierous, and the foul endeavours to ffarve Them:: the corrupt nature is the source of all evil, and therefore the foul will be often laying it before the great Physician. O what forrow, shame, and self-lothing fill the heart, in the day that race makes its triumphant eptrance into it. For now the


[ocr errors]

niadman is come to himself, and the remembrance of his follies cannot bat cut 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: but now, hy a pull of ihe onnipotent all conquerjag arm, it is drawn from evil 10. good, and gets another fet. And as the former fet was natural, to this is natural too, in refpeét of the new narare given in regeneration, which has its own holy luftings, Gal. v. 17. The Will

, as renewed, inclines and points towaris God and godliness. When God made nan, his Will, in refpect of its intention, was directed towards God, as his chief enit: in resp: &t of its choice, it pointed towards that which God willed. When man un. made nimfeif, his Will was framed into the very reverse hereof: he ma:ie himself his chief end, and his own Will bis law.

But when man is new made, in regeneration, grace rectifies this diorder in fome measure, thus not perfectly indeed; because we are but renewed in part, while in this world. It brings bick the finner, out of him felf, 10 Gol as his chief end, truly, though noc perfe&tly, Plal. lxxiii. 25. < Whoni have s in heaven bucchee? and there is none opon earth that I desire belides thee." Philip. 1. 21." For to me to live, is Christ." It makes him to deny himself; and whatever way he turns, to point habitually towards God, who is the center of the gracious foul, its home, its dwelling place in all generations, Pfal. xc. 1. By regeneratiog graçethe Will is framed into a conformiy. to the will of God. It is conformed to this preceptive Will, being endued with holy inclinations, agreeable to every one of his Commands. The whole Law is impressed on the gracious foul: every part of it is writien over on the renewed heart. And althoremaining corruption makes such blots in the writing, that oft-times the man himself cannot read it; yet: he who wrote it, can read it at all times : it is never queste blotied oui, nor can be, What he has written he has writie o ga it ihall stand; " For this is the Covenant,-. I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts,” Heb. viii, 10 And it is a Covevant of fali, a prepe cat Covenant. It is also conformed to lis providential. Will; fo that the man will no: more be master of his owo process ; nor carve out his lot for himself. He learns to say from his heart, " The Will of the Lord be done, he hall. chuse our inheritance for us," Pfal.. xlvii. . 4:

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


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

' 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 bath himself framed, and registrated in the Bible ; bat they are not pleased with it : Nay, an unrenewed heart cannot be pleased with it. Were it put into their hands, to frame it according to their minds, they would blor many things our of it which God has put in ; and put io many things, God has kept out. But the renewed heart is entirely iatisfied with the Covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. s." He hath

S. male with me an everlastiog Covenant, ordered in all things, and sure ; ihis is all my falvation, and all my desire," Thom slie Curenant could not be brought down to their depraved Will'; their Will is, by grace, brought up tò the Covenant ; they are well pleased with it : there is nothing in it they would have out; nor is any thing leit out of it, which they would have in. (2.) The Wilt is disposed to receive Christ Jesus the Lord The foul is conteni 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 iron Gnew which kept the finner from bowing to him, and disposeth hini to be no more stiff necked but to yield to himfelf. He is willing to take on the yoke of Christ's commands ;. to take up the Cross, and to follow him. He is content to take Christ on airy terms, Pfal. cx: 3.

;". Thy people shall be willing in the-diy of th y yor.

Nuw, the Mind being faviogly enlightened, and the will renewud; the finner is thereby determined and enabled to answer the Gospel-call. So the main work in reg. neration is done ; the fort of the heart is eken ; there is room made for the Lord Jesus Christ, in the innermi ft parts of the foul: the outei-ioor. of the Will being now opened to him, as well as the inner.cloor of the Understanding. In one word, Christ is paflively received

the hero he is come into the soul by his quickning Spirit, whereby (piritual life is given to the man, who in himlelt was dead 10 10. 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 cofrag with him, as discerned, oštred, and exhibited in the word of his grace,

the glorious gospel : the in mediate effect of which, is union with him, Joho i. 12, 13. “. To as many as received him to them gave he powet (or priviledge) to become the furis of God even. to them that believe on his Name; . which were börn noi of Wood, nor of the will of the fix ih, nor of the will of man,


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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

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

1. This change rectifies the Affections placing them on suitable objects, 2 Thesl. iii. 5. « The Lord direct


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, “Who will thew us

any good ?” he charges his note, and fays, " Lord lift up the :, light of ihy courtenance upon us,” Psal. iv. 6. Sometimes he faw

no beauty in Chrift, 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 defreih," Psal. xxvii. 4. He defires to be holy, as well as to be happy : and rather to be gracious than greato?

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. 2. “Which hope he has, as an anchor' of the scul,” fixing the heart under trials, Heb. vi. 18. And it puts him upon purifying himself, “ 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

, Pfal. xxviii. 1. On his holy Law, Psal. cxix. 97. Tho it strike against his most beloved luft, he says, The Law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good," Rom. vii. 12.

He loves the Ordinances of God, Plal. 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. i. 10. 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 compaffionate and benevolent: “ he maketh his fun to rise on the evil and the good: and sendeth rain oo the just, and on the injutt:" and therefore he is in the like mannar disposed, Marth. v. 44. 45.

His hatred is turned againit fin in himself and others, Pial. ci.

"I hate the work



[ocr errors]

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. ".0 wrerched 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, in his 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 sorrow, we are ready to forrow over much : But grace bridles these Affections, clips their wings, and keeps their within bounds, that they overflo v 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 be loves God, Luke xiv. 26. It also fan&tifies lawful Affections; bringing them forth from right principles, and directing them to right en 's. There may be unholy desires after Christ and his grace : as when meo desire Christ, hot from any love to hiin, but merely out of love to themselves.

66 Give us of your oil;" said the foolish virgins, " for our lamps are gone out,” Match. xxv. 8. There may be an unsanctifed sorrow for fin: as when one forroweth for it, not because it is difa pleasing to God, but 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 patural principles, without any respect to the command of God binding him thereto. But grace sanctifies the Affections in fuch cases, making them to run in a new channel of love to God, respect to his commands, 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. Ixxiii. 25. Whom have I. in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I de fire belide

He is loved for himself; and other persons or things, for his fake. What is lovely in them to the renewed heart, 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 iend contemn them for iheir wickedness: ihere is nothing of God in that, and therefore nothing lovely nor honourable in


« AnteriorContinuar »