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believer upon earth experience this inward cross? When his conscience summoned him to the bar of God, and put him upon enquiring what he would plead there for his justification, had he any thing to urge but the sacrifice and righteousness of the ever blessed Immanuel? And is not this thy plea, O my soul? Dost not thou find so much weakness and infirmity in thy holy things, that thou wouldest seek atonement for the iniquity of them through the intercession of the great high priest? And thou wouldst not think of standing before the throne to claim eternal life as the reward due to thine own holiness. Is not this thine experience? If it be, then take up thy cross in this FAITH. It is thy grief, that sin is in thee. The motions and lustings of it are thy burden. The resisting and opposing them is thy continual warfare. And thou hast no prospect before thee of enjoying perfect deliverance from this heavy cross, until death release thee. Blessed be God for the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. There is a provision made in the covenant of grace for the pardon of indwelling sin, for victory over it daily, and for the eternal destruction of the whole body of sin: It shall have no existence in the members, any more than it has in their glorified head. Here is a comfort for thee. O my soul, of God's own providing, and of God's own applying. When it is applied to the heart, the cross will be easy. Observe carefully what is revealed concerning the being of sin in the best Christians, and concerning the pardon of it. The Holy Ghost declares it dwells in them, but they are forgiven all trespasses-they are in Christ without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing-in the first Adam they are heirs of sin, death, and hell, in the second Adam the Lord from heaven they are heirs of righteousness, life and glory. He is their covenant-head: And they are before God, what he is. This is the record of truth-YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM. Abide by it, O my soul. Give it full credit, and boldly plead it
"It is true; I have sin in me, but it is pardoned. "God has forgiven me ALL trespasses. I stand be"fore him in my surety, who undertook for me and I am perfect in him. The Father chose me in his "Son: He looks upon the face of his beloved, and "sees me in him. In him he is well pleased, so he is ❝ with me. As he loves him so he loves me. This is "the glorious privilege, which by faith I now enjoy. "I deny sight and sense; and I stick to the word of "God. I adhere strictly to its testimony concerning
me, believing myself to be dead indeed unto sin in “Christ, and in him absolutely freed from guilt and ❝condemnation. The Father is at peace with me, " and he loves me in his Son, and with the same love "with which he loves him-His Father and my Fa"ther. With this persuasion I go to war with my "corruptions. I see their traiterous designs. They "are fighting against every thing that is dear and "precious to my soul. But having the promised grace "of the almighty Saviour for my help, I desire to set them in his I know he has them among upon "mine other enemies under his feet, and I have his "word for it that he will put them under mine. Yea, "Lord I believe, and on thy faithful promise I trust
this day. Although I must carry my cross, yet I "bless thee and worship thee for removing curse and “wrath from it: I can now take it up as thy soldier "and fight against it in thy strength, expecting vic"tory from thee, and to thy glory. O my God save "me from indwelling sin. Let me feel it my burden. Glorify thy grace in me, and by me, that being en"dued with power from on high I may hold out resisting and conquering it, till thou give me everlast"ing victory."
If this, O my soul, be thy constant dependence, then the cross will become light. Guilt makes it heavy. The curse in it makes it intolerable; but by faith thou canst see guilt and curse removed, then it will be no hindrance to thee in thy heavenly walk, but will
daily call forth into use and exercise those graces, which will help thee forward, and especially
PATIENCE. Here is great need of patience-a continual war-and within thee-thine own bosom the seat of it—and thine own lusts carrying it on and maintaining it. The more spiritual thou art, the more wilt thou feel this inward conflict. The more thou growest into Christ, the more will thy corruptions stir and move-they will be thy continual plague, so that thou wilt not be able to draw any comfort from what thou art in thyself. Here is exercise for patience. Every where indwelling sin is present with thee: Upon every temptation ready with its flatteries to entice, and with its power to break out into act and deed. The opposing it, is like cutting off a right hand, and plucking out a right eye-as contrary to nature, as painful. The hand and the eye cannot be destroyed twice, but inbred lusts overcome a thousand times are not in the least discouraged from warring against the soul. Like the troubled sea never at rest, they are always casting up some sinful mire and dirt. What canst thou do without faith in the Redeemer's blood, without patience to wait for the Redeemer's strength. Every moment there is need of faith and patience, and every moment if these graces be exercised they will be improved. The bearing of the cross continually, and fighting under it on the side of God will also be the means of teaching thee.
THE TRUE SPIRITUAL MORTIFICATION, which does not consist in sin not being in thee, nor in its being put upon the cross daily, nor yet in its being kept upon it. There must be something more to establish perfect peace in thy conscience; and that is the testimony of God concerning the body of sin. provided for thy perfect deliverance from it in Christ. Every thing needful for this purpose was finished by him upon the cross. He was thy surety. He suffered for thee. Thy sins were crucified with him and nailed
for he was thy covenant head, and thou as a member of his body wast legally represented by him, and art indeed dead to sin by his dying to sin once. law has now no more right to condemn thee a believer, than it has to condemn him. Justice is bound to deal with thee, as it has with thy risen and ascended Saviour. If thou dost not thus see thy complete mortification in him, sin will reign in thee. No sin can be crucified either in heart or life, unless it be first pardoned in conscience: because there will be want of faith to receive the strength of Jesus, by whom alone it can be crucified. If it be not mortified in its
guilt, it cannot be subdued in its power. If the believer does not see his perfect deadness to sin in Jesus, he will open a wide door to unbelief: and if he be not persuaded of his completeness in Christ, he gives room for the attacks of self-righteous and legal tempers. If Christ be not all in all: self must still be looked upon as something great, and there will be food left for the pride of self-importance and self-sufficiency. So that he cannot grow unto the death of Christ in sensible experience, farther than he believes himself to be dead to sin in Christ. The more clearly and stedfastly he believes this, as the apostle did
I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST, in proportion will he cleave to Christ, and receive from him greater power to crucify sin. This believing view of his absolute mortification in Christ is the true gospel method of mortifying sin in our persons.
Examine then, O my soul, the mistakes which thou hast made, and the temptations which thou art under, concerning this leading truth in thy walk. Pray to thy God for his wisdom to guide thee. Without it thou wilt be afraid, where no fear is. Thou wilt be inclined to think this doctrine rather encouraging to sin; because it seems to carnal reason to take off thy mind from watchfulness against it, and from praying for victory over it. But be assured this is a great error. If thou art not complete in Christ thou never
canst be complete. Seek for the death of sin where thou wilt, it is not to be found but in his death. to conquer it upon any other principle, than faith in his death, the very attempt is sinful, and proves thee to be under the law. Unless thou art one with him in his death, there can be no pardon of sin, and consequently no victory over it. O fear not then to lay the whole weight of thy salvation upon Jesus. Depend on him, as dying to sin for thee, and look at thyself dead to sin in him-as completely dead to it, as he is. Read the testimony of the holy Spirit. Study the infinite, the everlasting sufficiency of his death for thine absolute freedom from guilt and condemnation. Trust without wavering: be not afraid to view the everlasting perfection of thy deliverance in Jesus, and this will weaken the tyranny, and will crucify the power of sin. This will, and nothing else can. Read the sixth of the Romans, and pray for the Spirit of revelation to open it to thee. There thou wilt discover the true way to mortify sin. It is by believing, that thou art planted together with Christ in his death from thence only thy pardon flows, from thence thy daily victory is received, and from thence thy eternal victory will be perfected. Fight on, soon thou shalt be, what Christ now is. The member shall be perfectly like the head. O glorious prospect ! Thou shalt be with him and like him-spotless and fair, as Jesus, righteous and holy, happy in body and soul. Thou shalt see him as he is, and awakening after his likeness thou shalt be satisfied with it. Take up thy cross for the joy here set before thee. Bear it in faith. It will be light and easy to thy pardoned conscience: yea, the carrying of it in patience will bring forth many peaceable fruits of righteousness: Among the rest there is one, which in the sight of God is of great price, and which is daily improved by the inward cross, namely,
HUMILITY, which consists in the right knowledge of ourselves, not only of what we have been, but also