« 前へ次へ »
planted in the heart, as well as displayed in the word, teaches to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. —- 7. Sanctification appears in lamenting sin, in deplora ing the corruption of nature, bewailing inilwelling-sin, as well as all sinful actions, of thought, word, and deed; sanctified persons are like doves of the valley, every one mourning for his own iniquities, and for those of others, and the sad effects of them. - 8. In earnest desires to be wholly freed from sin; oneasy that vain thoughts should so long lodge within them, weary of a body of sin and death, they groan under the burden of it, and cry, () wretched inen that we are! who shall deliver us from it? they long to be with Christ, and to be in heaven; for this reason greatly, among others, that they may be entirely free from sin, and be perfectly holy.
Now can such actings in the mind, and in life, spring from nature ? mut thev not arise from a principle of holiness in the heart? can there be such reverer:ce of God, love to him, resignation to his will, affectionate and fervent devotion to him, desires of communion with him, and a concern in all things for his glorv, without a supernatural principle of grace and holiness in ihe soul. Is it possible, that an unsanctified man shouid ever apply to Christ for cleansing, : be subject to him as King, be desirous of walking as he walked, and of being wrought up to a conformity to him? or be concerned to mind the things of the Spirit, and to walk after the Spirit, and to live in hiin, and be careful not to grieve him? can there be such actings in the mind concerning sin, as to love the law, which forbids it; to dislike sin, abhor it, and hate it; engage in an opposition to it, abstain from it, lament it, and earnestly desire to be rid of it; can these be the produce of nature? or be without being internally sanctified by the Spirit of God?
II. The subjects of sanctification are next to be enqued into; who they are that are sanctitiel, and what of them.
1. Who ale sa.ctifed? not all men; all men are unholy, and need sanctification; but all are not made holy; some are filthy, and remain filthy still. 1. Then they are the elect of God; and all of them, whoin God chose in etere Dity, he sanctius in time; those who are a chosen generation, become an holy people; whom God nose, he chose to holiness, as an end which is always at:suced, and he chose then through sanctification, as a means in order to a further enl, salvation; conformity to the image of the Son of God, in which sancpirication dies, is what the chosen are predestinated in:0; and in consequence of their lastinatin, ale mie partakers of it. Faith, which is a part of sanctiIconien, tius trientierile grace, and is insured by it; as many as are ordained tv eternal of live, a su are everlastingly glorified, which is their perfect
Thy are the redeemed ones; the subjects of ele.tion, ce
: plint?, 27 ... 1. tisuudicio, are the same persons. In order, they are first choSin?, Cisco recit.ms, and then sanctified; those who are chosen by the Father, aurere by the Sun, are sanctitied by the Spirit. One end of Christ's reCustvo tren, was to sanctify and purify them, a peculiar people to hini
self, zealous of good works; and that they being dead to sin, and that to them, through his sacrifice for sin, they might live unto righteousness; hence of the same persons it is said, They shall call them the holy people, t’e rediemed of the Lord! Isai. lxii. 12.
11. What of those persons are sanctified? The whole of them; The God of peace sanctify you whoily; that is, as next explained, in soul, body, and spirit, 1 Thess. v. 23. — 1. The sonl, or spirit, is the principal seat, or subject of sanctification, in all the powers and faculties of it, Be renewed in the Spirit of your minds, Eph. iv. 23. lus the heart into which the fear of God is put, and which is circumcised to love the Lord, and which is purified by faith: it is the ander. standing that is enlightened, to discern holy and spiritual things; and so to mind them, approve of them, and gaze at thein, with wonder and delight: the will is bowed to the will of God, and made wisting in the day of his power, to serve him, as well to be saved by him; and which is resigned to all the dispensations of divine providence: the affections are made spiritual, holy, and heavenly i from whence springs a chearful obedience to the commands of God and Christi and the mind and conscience, which were defled with sin, are purged from dead. works to serve the living God. — 2. The body also is influenced by sancitying grace. As, though the heart is the principal seat of sin, out of which all manner of wickedness flows, and spreads itself, not only over the powers and faculties of the soul, but also over the members of the body; so that there is no part nor place clean: thus, though the soul is the principal seat of sanctification, yet it diffuses its influence, as over all the powers of the soul, so over all the members of the body; its sensual apperite and carnal lusts are checked and se. strained by sanctifying grace; so that sin reigns not in our mortal bodies, as to obey the lusts thereof, and to yield our members, as instruments of unrighteousness, unto sin, Rom. vi. 12, 13.
ll. The causes of sanctification, by whom it is effected, from whence it springs, and by what means it is carried on, and at last finished. — 1. The efficient cause is God, Father, Son, and Spirit. Sometimes it is ascribed to the Father, the God of all grace, who will make us perfect, perfectly holy; the very God of peace, with whom we have peace, through Christ, will sanctify us wholly; the Father, on whom we call, the Father of Christ, and of us, says, Be je holy, as I am hely, and who only can make us so, 1 Pet. i. 16. And Christ is not only our sanciification, but our sanctifier; He thxt sanctifieth is Christ, and they who are sanctified are his chosen and redeemed ones; and these are all of one, Heb. ii. 11. of one and of the same nature, he partakes of their nature, and they are made partakers of his; all that holiness which thuy have, they have from him; from that fulness of it which is in him. Though this work of sanctification is more coirmonly ascribed to the holy Spirit, who is therefore called, the Spirit of holiness; not only from his own nature, but fion his being the author of holiness in the hearts of God's people, and which is
therefore called, the sanctification of the Spirit; it is he that begins, and carries on, and finishes this work; every grace is from him, faith, hope, and love, and every other; and which are supported and maintained, and drawn forth into exercise, and brought to perfection by him. – 2. The moving cause, is the grace and good-will of God, the same grace which moved God to choose any to holiness, moves hiin to work it in them: the same grace which moved him to send his Son into the world to redeem men, moves him to send his Spirit into their hearts to sanctify them: the same great love, and abundant mercy, that moves him to regenerate and quicken them, moves him to sanctify them: as of his own good-will lie begets them again, it is of his own good-will that he sanctifies them; This is the will of God, not only his will of precept, and his approving will; but the purpose and counsel of his will, what flows from his sovereign will; even your sanctification, 1 Thess. iv. 3. The state and condition of the people of God, before their sanctification, clearly shews that it must arise, not from any merit or motive in them; but from the free-favour and good-will of God, i Cor. vi. 9–11. 3. The istrumental cause, or means, is the word of God; both the written word, the scriptures, which are holy scriptures; the author holy, the matter holy, and, when attended with a divine power and influence, are the means of making men holy, and of fitting and furnish
ing them for every good work; and also the word preached, when accompa· nied with the same power; Faith comes by hearing, and is increased thereby ;
the doctrines of the gospel are according to godliness; and with a divine blessing, influence both the heart and life to godliness and holiness; the ordinances are made and continued, for the perfecting of the saints, for the carrying on, and perfecting the work of holiness in them, and various providences of God, even alllictive ones, are designed of God, and are means, in bis hand, of making his people more and moie partakers of his holiness, Heb. xii. 10. of this use afflictions were to holy David, Psal. cxix. 67, 71,
IV. The adjuncts or properties of sanctification.
1. It is imperfect in the present state, though it will most certainly be made perfect; where the work is begun it will be performed: sanctification in Christ is perfect, but isanctification in the saints themselves is imperfect; it is perfect with respect to parts, but not with respect to degrees. Sanctification, as a principle, which is the new creature, or new man, has all his parts; though these are not grown up to the measure of the fulness of the stature of Christ, as they will do; where there is one grace, there is every grace, though none perfect ; there is a comparative perfection in the saints, when compared with what they themselves once were, and others are; and when compared even with other saints, for one saint may have a greater degree of grace and holiness than another; let us therefore, as many as be perfect; and yet the greatest of those was not absolutely perfect, even the apostle himself, who so said, Phil. iii. 12, 17.
all the saints may be said to be perfect, as perfection denotes sincerity and truth; so
their faith, though imperfect, is unfeigned; their hope is without hyprocisy, and their love without dissimulation; but otherwise sanctification in the best of men is imperfect, this appears, — 1. From the continual wants of the saints; they are always poor and needy, as David says of himself; which could not be true of him as to things temporal, but as to things spiritual: the best of saints continually stand in need of more grace to oppose sin, resist temptations, perform duty, and persevere in faith and holiness; the grace of God is sufficient for them, but then that must be daily communicated to them; God has promised to supply, and he does supply all their need, as it returns upon them; but theni it cannot be said that they are perfect and entire, wanting nothing; since they are continually in want of more grace. — 2. This appears from their disclaiming perfection in themselves, and their desires after it. Job, David, the apostle Paul, and others, have in express words declared they were not perfect, nor thought themselves so, but far from it; and yet expressed strong desires after it which shewed they had it not; the apostle Paul has fully set forth both in those words of his, Not as though I had already attained, &c. Phil. iii. 12-14. 3. That sanctification is imperfect, is abundantly manifest from indweiling sin in the saints, and the sad effects of it; the apostle Paul speaks of sin dwelling in him, Rom. vii. 18. and John says, if we say we have no sin, we deceive curselves, 1 John i. 8. and the experience of the saints in all ages testifies the same: this is clear from their ingenuous confessions of sin, such as made by Jacob, David, Isaiah, Daniel, and others; from their groans and complaints under the weight of sin, as an heavy burden, too heavy to bear; from the continual war in them between flesh and the spirit, the law in their members and the law in their minds; from their prayers for the manifestation of the pardon of their sins, and for cleansing from them, and to be kept from the commission of them; from the many slips and falls which the best are subject to in one way or an ther; and from backwardness to duty, remissness in it, and that coldness and lukewarmness which too often attend it. 4. This is also evident froin the several parts of sanctification, and the several graces of which it consists, being imperfect. Faith is imperfect; there are deficiencies in faith to be made up; the best of saints have had them, and their failings in the exercise of that grace have been manifest, as in Abraham, Peter, and others; and they have been sensible of their imperfection in it, as the apostles of Christ were then they said, Lord increase our faith, or add to it, Luke xvii. 5. hope sometimes is so low as that it seems to be perished from the Lord, and only the mouth is put in the dust with an if so be there may be hope, Lam. iii. 18. Love, however warm and fervent at first, remits and abates; its ardour is left, though that is not lost; the love of many waxes cold. Spiritual, experimental, sanctified knowledge is but in part, and will remain so until that which is perfect is comę.
11. Though sanctification is imperfect, it is progressive, it is going on gradu.' ally till it comes to perfection; this is clear from the characters of the saints,
who are first as little children, infants new-born; are in a stale of childhood, and by degrees come to be young men, strong and robust, and overcome the evil one, and at length are fathers in Christ, 1 John ii. 13, 14. and from the similes by which the work of grace is illustrated; as that in general by seed sown in the carth, which springs up first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear; and faith in particular by a grain of mustaid-seed, which when first sown is small, the least of all seeds, but when it grows up, it becomes greater than all heibs, and shoots out great branclies ; so spiritual light and knowledge at first is very din and obscure, like the sight that the man had whose eyes Christ opened; first he saw men like trees walking, and after that all things clearly; so the path of the just is as the shining lighi, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, Prov. iv. 18. there is such a thing as growing in grace, in the grace oi fait , and abounding in hope ar:d love, and increasing in the knowledge of divine things; which there would be no room for, if sanctifi. cation was perfect. Yet,
1. Though it is imperfect, it will certainly be perfected; grace in the soul is a well of living water, springing up unto everlastiug lise: it is always running to, and will issue in eternal life: it is certain, frun election and redemption, the ends whereof would not be answertd, if this was not completed; and from its being the work of the holy Spirit, who having begun it, will finish it; he is a rock, and his work is perfect: having undertook it, he will not leave it till it is done; and when he works, none can let; he will perfect that which concerneth his saints, and will fulfil the good pleasure of his will in them, and the work of faith, with power.
Iv. Sanctification is absolutely necessary to salvation. It is necessary to the saints, as an evidence of their election and redemption; this is the closing work of grace, and is the evidence of all that
goes before. It is necessary to churchfellowship, to the communion of sairts in a social manner. Members of churches are described as holy brethren, saints, and faithful in Christ Jesus, and none are meet to be alıniited among them but such who are so; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? &c. 2 Cor. vi. 14–16. Sanctification is necessary as a meetness for heaven; for the inheritance of the saints in light; without regeneration, in which sanctification is begun, no man shall see, nor enter, into the kingdom of God. It is absolutely necessary for the beatific vision of God in a future state; Without holiness no man shall see
; the Lord; but being possessed of that, they shall see him, and enjoy uninterrupted communion with him for ever. To say no more, it is necessary for the work of heaven, which is singing songs of praise; songs of electing, redeemins, regenerating, calling, and persevering grace; how can unholy persons join with the saints in such work and service as this? yea, it would be irksome and disa agreeable to themselves, could they be admitted to it, and were capable of it; seither of which can be allowed.