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need, let us earneftly apply to God, through Jesus Christ, for the enlightening, quickening and fanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit, to make us 6 dead unto sin, but alive unto God :” and under his gracious influences, which are readily granted to the humble and hearty seeker, let us resolve upon a vigorous and persevering warfare against the carnal mind, which“ wars against the foul.”
7. How thankful should every true Chriftian be, that he is delivered from so great a death! much more than for any temporal deJiverance, that he has received er can receive. The evil here was the greatest that we could escape, fpiritual death at present, and eternal death in prospect: we were fast bound in the chains of this death, so that none but God could have opened a way of escape: and notwithstanding the discovery of such a way, thousands in every age still remain in the fame miserable condition. Let all that is within us then bless the Lord, who has made us to differ.
8. Let christians behave as sensible of their Temaining carnality, and of its deadly nature, as far as it does remain. Let them live in the daily fenfe of this, that though the change in them be real and great, compared with the bent of depraved nature, yet it is incompleat at best in this life; and as far as carnality remains, so much death remains. Let us all therefore walk humbly with our God, as senfible that he has still much against us, if he would be stric to mark iniquity.
Let us Watch against indwelling sin, the new actings
of it, and the temptations which may excite it ; because we have not yet put off the harness, nor can justly apprehend ourselves out of danger. We should use habitual endeavours to “ mortify our affections which are upon the earth,” Col. iii. 5. and to s perfect holiness in the fear of God;". as those who have not yet attained, nor are already perfect. And whenever by seglect, and the force of temptation, carnality breaks out afresh, or recovers new Itrength, there should be an immediate care to repair and strengthen dying graces, Rev. iii. 2. “ Be watchful, and ftrengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die.” And since we must have occasion for this confliat more or lels, while we sojourn in the body, it must ever be worthy of a real christian, to look forward with longing expectations to the perfect life before him, where he will be entirely spiritually minded, “ like the angels of God in heaven.” Matth.
9. Let the confideration of the fad condition of carnal minds, engage all true chriftians in their proper places to use their utmost endeavours for the recovery of others out of such a state. This becomes heads of families, towards those under their immediate care, and one friend towards another, and every one according to his influence and talents.
We, who are ministers should especially “ be in. Itant in season and out of scafon" to this very purpose; since it is the direct design and scope of a Gospel-ministry. And surely we need not a stronger motive to animate us all, than
that that which is left us by the apostle James, ver. V. 19, 20. 66 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him ; let him know, that he which converteth a finner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of fins."
SERM ON VII. Faith the main Principle of the
2 COR. V. 70
is plain from the context, that the apos
press a disadvantage in a chrifian's present Itate, compared with that which he hath in prospect. He obferves, that he, and such other primitive fervants of Christ, “ having the earnest of the Spirit,” or the Spirit as the earnest of the promised inheritance, “therefore were always confident,” ver. 5, 6. i. e. undaunted in their work, whatever difficulties they met with, whatever dangers they were exposed to, even of life itself : “knowing," as he adds, " that while we are at hoine in the body, we are absent from the Lord.” Or, as we may render it more agreeably to the emphasis of the original, “ knowing that whilft VOL. I.
.. we sojourn in the body, we are abfent from 4 our home with the Lord." 66 For we walk by faith, not by sight;" that is, 6 While we 55 are in the body, the main things by which $.we govern and conduct ourselves as chris* tians, are only perceived by faith; not by " fight, as they will be, when we come to be
present with the Lord."
Faith is represented here as a way of perception, which falls short of fight : and so it certainly is. But then, on the other hand, it is intimated to be the best and most extensive principle we have in our state of trial : a principle of force and influence sufficient to regulate our walk and conduct : a principle Itrong enough at that time to inspire the apoftle himself and the primitive christians with boldness and courage in the face of danger : fufficient to make them willing to leave the body, that they might arrive at the higher difpenlation of sight. So that the greatelt heighs of christianity in this world are set out here as flowing from faith.
I have therefore chosen this passage to shew · the eminent place which faith holds in formįng and animating the whole christian temper and life: “ We walk by faìth, and not by fight.”. We christians conduct ourselves by faith, as the best principle of action we have, till we arrive at fight, and as esteeming it our wisdom to walk under the influence of it thro' pur passage-state. In the prosecution of this subject, I shall,
1. Endeavour to give you some account of faith, the christian's principle. And,
II. Shew the fitness of it to have a most powerful and commanding influence upon the whole of the christian temper and life.
Which will make way for some serious exhortations. · I. The nature of faith is to be explained, which is eminently the christian principle.
When we find it distinguished from fight, this at once points us both to the special objects about which it is conversant, and to that kind of persuasion which is implied in the term faith.
1. The special objects about which faith is conversant, are things not seen. This is inti. mated, when it is oppofed to fight. And so they are expressly called more than once in the New Testament, 2. Cor. iv. 18.
66 We book not at the things which are feen, but at the things which are not seen.” And Heb. xi. 1. “ Faith is the evidence of things not seen." By this representation of the things which the christian believes,
(1.) They are plainly distinguished from the concerns and interests of this visible world. The generality of people have their main regard to seen things, that is, to present things, which come within the notice of fenfe : they govern themselves chiefly by a refpect to these; and have their hopes and fears, which are the immediare principles of action, principally raised by the apprehension of outward good and evil. Bodily ease and pleasure, external advantages and interests, honour and reputa