breath, holiness his health, and love his element. We read of his hunger and thirst, food and drink, garment and habitation, armour and conflicts, pain and pleasure, fainting and reviving, growing, walking, and working. All this supposes senses, and the more these senses are quickened by God, and exercised by the new born fout, the clearer and stronger is his percep

tion of divine things. . On the other hand, in unbelievers, the inward man is deaf, blind, naked, asleep, past feeling ; yea, dead in trespasses and fins; and of course, as incapable of perceiving fpiritual things, as a person in a deep sleep, or a dead man of discovering outward objects. St. Paul's language to him is, “ Awake, thou that feepest, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." He calls him a natural man, one who hath no higher life than that liis parents conveyed to him by natural generation-one who follows the dictates of his own sensual foul, and is neither born of God, nor led by the Spirit of God. " The natural man," says the Apostle, " receiveth not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are fpiritually difcerned." He has no sense properly exercised for this kind of discernment, his "eye hath not feen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into his heart, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

The reverse of the natural man is the fpiritual, so called, because God hath revealed fpiritual things to him by his Spirit, who is now in him a principle of spiritual and eternal life. - The spiritual man,” says the Apoftle, 6 judgeth, i, e, difcerneth all things, yet he himself is difcerned of no one." The high state he is in can no more be difcerned by the natural man, than the condition of the natural man can be discerned by a brute. *

St. Paul not only describes the spiritual man, but Speaks particularly of his internal moral senses.

• Cor. ii. 10-15

Christians, says he, of full age, by reason of use, have their fenses 'exercised to discern good and evil.* He prays, that the love of the Philippians “may abound more and more in knowledge, and er moon ang Ints in all sense or feeling.”+ The scriptures constantly mention, or allude to one or other of these spiritual fenfes :-Give me leave to produce some instances.

1. To begin with the Sight. St. Paul prays, that, the eyes of his converts being enlightened, they might know what is the hope of their calling. He reminds them, that Christ had been evidently set forth crucified before their eyes. He assures them, that the God of this world hath blinded the eyes of them that believe not the gospel ; and declares that his commif. fion was to open the eyes of the Gentiles, and turn them from darkness to light. Abraham faw Christ's day, and was glad. Moses perfevered, as seeing him who is invisible. David prayed, Open my eyes that I 'may fee wonders out of thy Law. Our Lord complains, that the heart of unbelievers is waxed grofs, that their ears are duli of hearing, and that they have closed their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes, understand with their hearts, and be converted. He counsels the Laodiceans, to anoint their eyes with eyefalve, that they might fee. He declares, that the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth, because it sees him not; that the things which belong to the peace of obftinate unbelievers, are, at last, judicially hid from their eyes ; and that the pure in heart shall see God. St. John testifies, that he who does evil, hath not seen God; and that darkness bath blinded the eyes of hiin, that loves not his brother. The Holy Ghost informa us, that believers look at the things which are not feen, and behold the glory of God, shining in the face of Jesus Christ. These are the eyes, with which believers see the falvation of God. They are so distinct from those of the body, that when our Lord 'opened them in St. Paul's soul, he suffered scales to grow

* Heb. v. 14.

+ Phil. i. 9.

over his bodily eyes. And no doubt, when Chrift gave outward fight to the blind, it was chiefly to convince the world, that it is he who can say to blind finners, Receive your fight ; see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living ; look unto me and be saved,

2. If you do not admit of a fpiritual HEARING, what can you make of our Lord's repeated caution, He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear? And what can be the meaning of the following scriptures---Hear, o foolish people, who have ears and hear not. Ye uncircumcised in heart and ears. Ye cannot hear my words ; ye are of your father the Devil. He that is of God heareth God's words ; ye, therefore, hear thein not, because ye are not of God ? Can it be supposed, that our Lord spake of outward hearing, when he said, The hour cometh, and now is, that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live. My sheep hear my voice. He that hath heard and learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Do not all finners stand spiritually in peed of Christ's powerful Ephphatha, Be thou opened? Is that man truly converted, who cannot witness with Isaiah, The Lord hath wakened my ear to hear as the learned ; and with the Psalinift, Mine ears hast thou opened ? Had not the belieyers at Ephesus heard Christ, and beert taught of him? When St. Paul was caught up into the third heaven, did he not hear words unspeakable ? And far from thinking fpiritual hearing absurd, or impossible, did he not queftion, whether he was not then out of the body ? And does not St. John positively declare, that he was in the Spirit, when he heard Jesus say, I am the first and the last ?

3. How void of meaning are the following passages, if they do not allude to that sense, which is calculated for the reception of, what the barrenness of buman language compels me to call fpiritual perfuires ? The finell of thy ointments is better than all spices. The smell of thy garments is like the smell of Le. banon. All thy garmets smell of myrrhi, aloes, and cassia ; and because of the favour of thy gond ointments, thy name is as ointment poured forth.

4. If believers have not a spiritual faculty of Taste InG divine things, what delusion must they be under, when they say, Christ's fruit is sweet to their taste ; and cry out, How sweet are thy words to my taste ! they are sweeter than honey to my mouth? But how justly can they speak thus, if they have tased the heavenly gift, and the good word of God, and, as new born babes, desire the fincere milk of it? Surely, if they eat the flesh of the Son of God, drink his blood and laste that the Lord is gracious, they have a right to testify, that his love is better than wine ; and to invite those that hunger and thirst after righteouf. ness, to taste that the Lord is good, that they also may be satisfied with his goodness and mercy, as with marrow and fatness.

5. If we are not to be perfect stoics in religion, if we should have one degree more of devotion, than the marble statutes, which adorn our churches, we should have, I think, fome FEELING of our unworthi. nefs, fome SENSE of God's majesty. Christ's tender heart was pierced to atone for, and to remove the hardness of ours. God promises to take, from us the heart of stone, and to give us an heart of flesh, a broken and contrite heart, the sacrifice of which, he will not de. spise. Good king Josiah was praised, because his heart was tender. The conversion of the three thousand, on the day of pentecost, began by their being pricked in their heart. We are directed to feel after God, if haply we might find him. Our Lord himself is not ashamed to be touched, in heaven, with a feeling of our infirmities. And St. Paul, intimates, that the highest degree of obduracy and apostacy, is to be past feeling, and to have our conscience feared as with a hot.iron. · I hope, Sir, you will not attempt to set aside fo many plain passages, by saying, they are unfit to support a doctrine, as containing empty metaphiors, which amount just to nothing. This would be pouring the greatest contempt on the perspicuity of the oracles of God, the integrity of the sacred writers, and the wis. dom of the Holy Ghost, who inspired them. As certainly as there is a spiritual life, there are senses calculated for the display and enjoyment of it; and these senses exist no more in metaphur, than the life that exerts itself by them. Our Lord settled the point, when he declared to Nicodemus, that no man can see the kingdom of God, the kingdom of grace here, and of glory hereafter, except he is first born of God, born of the Spirit; just as no child can see this world, except he is first born of a woman, born of the fesh. Hence it appears, that a regenerate soul hath his spiritual senses opened, and made capable of dif, cerning what belongs to the spiritual world, as a new born infant hath his natural senses unlocked, and be. gins to see, hear, and taste, what belongs to the ma,

terial world into which he enters. . II. These declarations of the Lord, his prophets,

and apoftles, need no confirmation. Nevertheless, to shew you, Sir, that I do not mistake their meaning, I shall add the testimony of our own excellent church. As she strictly agrees with the scripture, she makes also frequent mention of spiritual sensations, and you know, Sir, that sensations necessarily suppose senses. She prays, that God would give us a due sense of his inestimable love in the redemption of the world, by gur. Lord Jesus Christ."* She begs, that he would « make us know and feel there is no other name than that of Jesus, whereby we must be saved.”+ She af. firms, that true penitents feel “ the burden of their fins intolerable ;”+ that godly persons “ feel in theniselves the workings of Christ's Spirit ;''ll that " the Lord speaks presenly to us in the scriptures, to the great and endless comfort of all that have any feeling of God in them at all ;" that “godly men felt, in. wardly, the Holy Ghost inflaming their hearts with the fear and love of God, and that they are miserable

, Y Thanksgiving t Ofice for the sick. Communion, 117 Article.

« 前へ次へ »