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but beautifies the face of nature with a variety of colours, so the knowledge communicated to the people of God does not merely expand and improve the intellect, but gives a new moral aspect to the whole soul. And the necessity of supernatural illumination will be manifest, if we reflect that the understanding is the leading faculty, which not only, if I may speak so, points out the path to be pursued by the other powers of the soul, but excites them by the attractive and interesting views which it presents. Complete ignorance would be followed by a death-like torpor of the soul, and man would remain in a state of inaction, except so far as he was stimulated by his bodily appetites. Knowledge awakens his dormant faculties. It exhibits objects of love and fear, of hope and aversion, and gives rise to active exertions, with a view to obtain what is good, and to avoid what is evil. As God begins, so he carries on to perfection, the work of the new creation, by the communication of light. “ The new man is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him who created him."

Secondly, In sanctification the will of the believer is rendered more and more conformable to the will of God. In this the essence of holiness consists. As Cicero says, that to have the same desires and aversions, is the consummation of friendship; so we may say, that to be like minded with God, to be entirely resigned to him, to choose what he chooses, and to refuse what he refuses, is the highest moral perfection of a creature. Absolute conformity to the will of God is not attainable in this world, and exists only in heaven, where his will is so done by its blessed inhabitants, that they are proposed as a pattern to us. But it is the effect of regenerating grace to subdue our rebellious hearts, and to bring them under subjection to the authority of our Maker. This is their predominant state; but it is often disturbed by the wayward movements of the will; and it is the design of the Holy Spirit, in his operations upon it, to correct and restrain its aberrations, and to reduce it to a state of habitual submission. The object proposed is, to establish a complete moral dependence upon God; and, with this view, to make the subjects of his influence eease more and more from their own views, and desires, and pursuits. Without pretending to explain what power the Holy Ghost secretly exerts upon the soul, we may say that the effect is produced by means of the light that he gives to the mind; in which, the will of God appears not only supreme and sacred, but so just, and wise, and good, that nothing is more consonant to the dictates of reason, as well as to the commands of religion, than that we should acquiesce in it without reserve and without a murmur. Thus are the people of God led to submission, not only when his will is enforced and recominended by the nature of the duty which it enjoins; but when, naked and unsupported, it demands our obedience, solely because it is his will. In this abstract form it was exhibited to Adam, when the injunction was given to him, to abstain from the fruit of a particular tree in the garden, there being no reason for abstinence but the simple prohibition. It appears equally absolute still in many of the dispensations of Providence, of which no other account can be given, than that such is the decree of heaven; and it is a proof of no inconsiderable progress in holiness, when the person who is tried in this manner, bows to his sovereign Lord, and says, 'God is his will.' Job is an example, whose submission amidst the greatest afflictions, was expressed in these remarkable words: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”+ When a Christian finds that he is less disposed to consult with flesh and blood, and more to consult the Scriptures; that he is sincerely desirous to know what is his duty, and more diligent than before to ascertain it; that every intimation of the Divine pleasure commands his atten

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* Col. ii. 10.

+ Job i. 21.

tion, and inspires him with holy reverence; that he is more ready, and cheerful, and determined in obedience; and that his supreme desire is to glorify God and to be accepted of him: when this is the prevailing state of his mind, it is evident that God has made him willing in a day of power, and that the work of sanctification is advancing in his soul towards perfection.

Thirdly, In sanctification, all the holy principles or habits, as they are sometimes called, of believers are strengthened. If the affections are considered as modifications of the will, they are purified in proportion to its conformity to the standard of rectitude. The love and hatred, the fear and hope of the believer, will be excited by proper objects, and be regulated with respect to their degree. While the soul is thus affected by proper objects, the lower appetites will be restrained and subjugated, and, although not eradicated, as they are essential principles of our nature, will be directed and retained within due bounds by the light of the understanding and the authority of conscience. The change effected by sanctifying grace may be ascertained by the different feelings with which external things are now regarded. Once, they alone were

emed to be important, but now they are considered as insignificant, or, at least, as subordinate; once, they stirred up strong and impetuous desire, but now they awaken comparatively faint emotions; once, under their influence, the soul was degraded and brutified, as if it had lost its nature and were merely the principle of animal life and feeling; but now they are counteracted by the spirituality of the mind, which, surrounded with earthly things, soars aloft and holds high intercourse with heaven: “By the cross of Christ,” says Paul, " the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."* In proportion to the increasing vigour of holy habits, the moral connexion of the soul with this world will be dissolved, and the impression diminished which the latter was accustomed to make. The illumination of the mind has a powerful effect upon our active powers. Faith is strengthened by clear apprehensions of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. Love grows warmer, as the love of God is more steadily contemplated and more sensibly felt. Hope brightens at the glorious prospect of life and immortality which the Gospel displays. Repentance melts into more copious tears, while it looks at the cross, where the vileness of sin is exhibited with an evidence which the heart feels, but words cannot express. All the graces grow under the influence of the truth, which first gave them birth, and now rears them up to manhood. When the Christian “is adding to his faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness charity," he is "neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”+ The work of sanctification is not only begun, but is going on to perfection. If we inquire how far the work of sanctification extends, we answer, in the language of our church, that it extends to the whole man.

1."| The apostle Paul says that God sanctifies his people wholly in soul, body, and spirit."'S Man is a compound being, and, according to the opinion of the moderns, learned and unlearned, consists of two parts, a body and a soul. But a different system was held by the ancients, who called man—Tppepas iTootaris—a three-fold person or substance; affirming that, besides the body, there were two internal principles, the soul and the spirit, or, as it was sometimes called, the mind. The soulj turn they defined to be the principle of life, or that which distinguishes animate from inanimate things, and they considered it as in itself irrational, as the seat of the appetites and passions, as affected by the body, and as the medium by which the body affects the spirit. The spirit, to twie, or ó reus, the mind, was rational, and acted with reason; and it was its office to contend

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* Gal. vi. 14.

+ 2 Pet. i. 5-8.

Conf. xii. 2.

01 Thess. v. 23.

with the body, and to regulate the movements of the inferior principle. It would be foreign to our purpose to inquire whether this, or the modern theory of human nature, is true. The question is not decided by the words of the apostle; for, as it was not his business to teach philosophy but theology, he might adopt, without intending to give his sanction to a particular system, language familiar to those whom he addressed, and, at the same time, well fitted to convey the informaton which he meant to communicate. He explains his meaning by the word oactuus, which is translated “wholly,” and subjoins the words soul, body, and spirit, to signify, in the style of the age, that the work of sanctification is universal, or that every part of human nature is the subject of it; the soul in all its faculties, understanding, will, and affections or passions, and also the body. Strictly, indeed, the body is not the subject of sanctification, because, being a material substance, it is susceptible neither of virtue nor of vice; but it is sanctified in this sense, that it is dedicated to the service of God; and its organs and members, which were formerly employed in sinful actions, and were excitements to them, are converted into the instruments of righteousness. It is called in Scripture, "the temple of the Holy

“ Ghost."*

But while sanctification extends to our whole nature, and leaves no part of it unrenewed, we must not imagine the work to be so complete, as to restore us to a state of perfect purity. There have been men, and there still are, who maintain that sinless perfection is attainable in the present life. This was the doctrine of the founder of the Methodists, and I presume it is still held by his followers. It is acknowledged that the Scriptures call upon us to aim at perfection, and speak of some individuals in such a manner as may lead

superficial readers to conclude that they had fully succeeded. They call upon us to “behold the perfect man,” and give this as the character of certain individuals. But, one part of Scripture should be explained in consistency with another; and it is contrary to the laws of legitimate interpretation, to wrest a particular expression to a sense at variance with the known and avowed sentiments of the author. If we take this rule along with us, we shall immediately perceive that, in the cases before us, perfection can mean nothing more than integrity or sincerity. He is perfect who unfeignedly loves God, and has a respect to all his commands.

That the most eminent saints mentioned in Scripture, even some of those to whom the epithet, perfect, is applied, were not free from sin, is evident from the defects and blemishes which are discovered in their conduct. The praise of high attainments will undoubtedly be conceded to the apostle of the Gentiles, and it is not easy to conceive upon what principle any man could persuade himself that he or others have excelled him; but, as he expressly disclaims any pretension to perfection, so the relation which he has given of his experience, demonstrates that he uses, on this occasion, the language not only of humility but of truth. “I see,” he says, “ a law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”+ Not to confine our attention to a particular case, let us recollect the words of the wise man, " There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not."! And observe in what strong terms an apostle rejects the doctrine of sinless perfection, “ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."'S It is a doctrine, you see, which will be maintained only by ignorant presumption. Were any person truly perfect, he would not stand in need of those institutions or means of grace, which God has provided for the perfecting of the saints. In pare ticular, daily prayer for the forgiveness of sin would not be his duty; he would

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# 1 Cor. vi. 19. Vol. II.-31

+ Rom. vii. 23.

1 Eccl. vii. 20.

$ 1 John i. 8.

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enjoy uninterrupted communion with God; would not be subject to discipline, which presupposes errors and failings; and, having spent a life undisturbed by pain and sorrow, would be translated, we may presume, into a better world without suffering death.

The possibility of perfection in the present state, could be conceived only by men who were ignorant of Scripture and of themselves. They must have first lowered the standard of holiness. They must have narrowed and abated the demands of the divine law, to meet their fancied attainments. It is impossible that any person in his senses, could suppose himself capable of performing that high obedience which the law, uncorrupted by human interpretation, evidently requires. We might justly call in question the veracity, or the understanding, of the man who should seriously assure us that he loved God with all his strength, and soul, and mind, and heart, and loved his neighbour as himself. At any rate, we may call in question his Christianity; for his sentiments are as contrary to those of a genuine believer, as darkness is to light. The latter is distinguished by a humble estimate of himself. He acknowledges that he fails more or less in every duty, that he is daily guilty of sin, that he could not stand if God should enter into judgment with him, and that he has no hope of acceptance but through the mediation of Christ As these acknowledgments are dictated by his feelings, so they are in exact accordance with the Scriptures. The perfectionist belongs to a different class; and his arrogance and self-confidence manifests that, while he boasts of occupying the first form, he is a mere lyro in the school of Christ, and has need that some one should teach him what are the first principles of the oracles of God,

LECTURE LXXV.

ON SANCTIFICATION.

Sanctification the Work of the Three Persons of the Godhead— Their Several Offices

Nature and Effect of the Spirit's Operations on the Souls of Believers in SanctificationChrist, the Pattern of Sanctification-Rule of Sanctification, the Word-External Means of Sanctification-Faith as a Means of Sanctification.

Having in the preceding lecture explained the nature of Sanctification, I proceed to take notice of several particulars, the consideration of which is necessary to give us a complete view of the subject.

I shall speak, in the first place, of the Author of sanctification; and here we shall see that, like other divine works, it is ascribed to all the Persons of the Trinity. I would remark, in general, that there is no inaccuracy or confusion in attributing the same work sometimes to one Person and sometimes to another; because, although the Persons are distinct, the Essence is one and indivisible; and because the same work is said to be performed by one, in one view, and by another, in another. In relation to the present case, all the Persons in the Godhead are concerned in the sanctification of the soul; but a different office is assigned to each.

First, This work is ascribed to the Father in those passages in which prayer is offered up to him, that he would sanctify us, and make us perfect in every good work, and in which he promises to circumcise our hearts to love and

fear him, and to give us a new heart and a right spirit.* In the economy of redemption, he is exhibited as the fountain of grace. All spiritual blessings are his gifts; they originate in his goodness, and are bestowed according to his will. To this blessing he predestinated his people before the foundation of the world ; and he appointed and prepared the means by which it was attained and is actually communicated. As “this is the will of God, even our sanctification,” so it is by his power, (exerted in the manner which will be afterwards pointed out, when we come to speak of the agency of the Spirit,) that the renovation of the soul after his image is begun, and advanced, and per fected.

Secondly, The work is ascribed to Jesus Christ, “who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”+ He is the Author of this work, as he has obtained for us the privilege of sanctification, by his obedience unto death. This may be explained in two ways. First, He has done that, in consideration of which God bestows so great a blessing upon us. In ourselves, we were unquestionably unworthy of it; and in creatures guilty and polluted, there was nothing to induce God to restore his image, which they had impiously defaced. As the whole obedience of our Saviour was performed not for himself but for us, and as it was meritorious in the highest degree, not simply because it was perfect, but because he was a person of infinite dignity, his righteousness is to be considered as the procuring cause of those supernatural influences by which we regain that holiness in which man was created, and which was the chief glory of his nature. “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” He loved the church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without bleniish.”| Secondly, Jesus Christ has removed the curse, which retained men under the dominion of sin by keeping them at a distance from God; and has brought them into a state in which they may receive those influences by which the purification of their nature will be effected. That you may understand this point, let me remind you that the guilt of sin, or the curse of the law, which is founded upon it, is a mighty and insurmountable obstacle in the way of any gracious communication from God to the sinner. Hence the law is said to be “ the strength of sin.” It is its strength, as it protects it, if I may speak so, against any power which could overthrow or weaken its dominion, and leaves it at full liberty to exert itself in enslaving more and more its unhappy subjects. While men remain in this state, all the arguments which are employed to convince their understandings, to awaken their consciences, and to interest their affections, and all the dispensations of Providence, whether calculated to alarm or to allure, have no permanent effect. The divine blessing, without which Paul plants and Apollos waters in vain, does not accompany them. By the removal of guilt, à channel is opened in which the grace of God flows into the soul; and thus you perceive the connexion between the death of Christ and our sanctification. “Jesus, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”! The sanctification which was the immediate design of his death, is not moral but legal sanctification; and it signifies, I apprehend, in this place, our dedication to the service of God by the removal of the guilt of sin, which was the great impediment to our acceptance; but moral sanctification is the certain consequence. “Our old man,” says the same apostle, in another Epistle, “is crucified with Christ,

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* 1 Thess. v. 23. Heb. xiii. 21. Deut. xxx. 6. Ezek. xxxvi. 26, &c. + Tit. ii. 14. # John xvii. 19. Eph. v. 25—27. $ 1 Cor. xv. 56. || Heb. xiii. 12.

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