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- Secondly, What of them is sanctified. The whole man is sanctified, 2 Cor. v. 17. i Thess. v. 23. The grace of sanctification is a holy leaven, that goes through the whole lump, and makes every part of the man holy.
1. The soul is sanctified in all the faculties thereof, new qualities being infused into and advanced in them. (1.) The understanding naturally darkened, is renewed in saving knowledge, after God's image, Col. iii. 10. A new light is struck out in the mind; the light of grace arises there, whereby the soul knows spiritual things in another manner than before ; and this advanceth unto the perfect day, Prov. iv. 18. (2.) The will, naturally perverse and rebellious, gets a righteous set and bent, agreeable to the will of God, Eph. ii. 24. whereby it is averse to evil, and prone to good. (3.) The unholy affections are made holy, ibid. So that their love, hatred, delight, sorrows, &c. are changed. And herewith comes along the sanctification of the conscience and memory.
2. The body is sanctified, in so far as it is made the temple of the Holy Spirit, and a member of Christ, 1 Cor. vi. 15, 19. And the members thereof are changed in respect of their use, becoming instruments of righteousness employed for the Lord, Rom. vi. 13. In respect of which the body is presented a holy sacrifice to God, to serve and honour him with, whether by doing or suffering, Rom. xii. 1.
But although the whole man is sanctified, yet no part of the man is perfectly sanctified in this life. It is neither midnight to them as with the ungenerate, nor mid-day as with the glorified, but twilight, which is a mixture of darkness and light. Hence arises the combat betwixt the flesh and Spi. rit, Gal. v. 17. Every grace has a weed of the contrary cor. ruption by the side of it, which occasions this struggle, and imperfection in the best of their works.
SEVENTHLY, I am to shew the effect of sanctification. That is holiness. The fruit of this work of the Spirit is habitual holiness, that is, an habitual aversion of the soul to evil, and inclination to good; and actual holiness in all manner of life and conversation, in good works, which have God's word for their rule, his glory for their end, and are done in faith. Both which we have, Psal. xlv. 13. “The King's daughter is all glorious within ; her clothing is of wrought gold.'
EIGHTLY, I proceed to shew how sanctification is carried on. Now, though sanctification must needs be begun in an instant, yet it is not a simple act, but a work carried on by degrees, to which many actions (and these repeated) of the Holy Spirit do concur. The believer not being per. fectly renewed at first, the renovation is carried on by de. grees, and the Spirit is at that work still, so as not to give it over till it be perfected, though there be many interruptions of it. And,
1. The Spirit implants grace in the soul, sows the heavenly seed there, framing the heart a new, giving it a new power, and a new set, towards God and his law; and putting in new motions and inclinations in the soul, agreeable to the holy law, and contrary to the natural sinful ones, Heb. viii. 10. So that the soul is inclined to love what before it loạthed, and to loath what before it loved.
2. He preserves the grace implanted, í Pet i. 5. Though it is lodged in the same heart with an ill neighbour, the remains of natural corruption; yet he keeps it that it do not die out, he preserves it as a spark of fire in the midst of the ocean.
9. He excites it and quickens it, to pursue and resist the flesh, Phil. ii. 13. Grace sometimes may fall so very low in the soul, that it becomes like a spark hid under the ashes: yet the sanctifying Spirit blows it up again into a flame, Cant. iv. 16. As the tree in the winter divested of its leaves and verdure, when the warm sun returns in the spring, the sap driven to the root returns, and is diffused through the whole.
4. He strengthens it by new supplies, Isa. xl. ult. so as the soul is enabled more and more to hold on the battle, and gets victories of the enemy, 2 Cor. xii .9, 10, For grace is a child of heaven, which has all its nourishment and strength from the same Spirit that gave it life.
5. Lastly, At death, but not till then, he perfects it, Heb. xii. 23. Then the new man is brought to its perfect stature, Eph. iv. 13. Often may the soul be ready to say, One day, I will perish by the hand of such a lust. But the Spirit of God will perfect the work he has begun. And when the walls of the leprous house are taken down, the leprosy shall be quite removed. From what has been said, we may in
Inf. 1. The case of unsanctified sinners is a wretched case; they are lying with the lost world, in their filthiness, utterly unfit to serve God acceptably, or to have communion with him here or hereafter. For they are not sanctified, not separated, purified, nor prepared for God's service.
2. Behold the beauty of holiness, and fall in love with it, and labour to attain it. The holy man is more excellent than his neighbour, as set apart for God: Israel shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations,' be. cause they are a holy people. It is the purity of the soul, God's image drawn on the man, it is a newness of nature from heaven, and like heaven. By it a man is a vessel fit for the Master's use, honourably employed now, and most honourably hereafter.
3. See the way how ye may be made holy. The fire from your own hearth will not purge you; faithless vows, resolutions, and endeavours, will not do it, Isa. I. ult. The Spirit of the Lord can only perform the work. O! cry for the Spirit, wait on in ordinances for the blowing of the Spirit. Come to Christ by faith, that ye may partake of his Spirit.
4. Sanctification is not the work of a day, but a work that must be in a continual progress. Sit not down on any measure of grace attained. They that are converted still need the Spirit for their sanctification. Beware of grieving the Spirit, lest the work be interrupted. Make no truce with the enemy, but pursue the lusts of the body of sin vigorously.
5. Lastly, See here that there are none so unholy, but they may be made holy. It is a work of grace, and grace is powerful to overcome the strongest lusts. It is a work of free grace, and therefore no vileness nor unworthiness of the creature, that is content to be made holy, can hinder it. This may lay the pride of some, who think they deserve grace, and whose hearts fret against the Lord, if grace be not given thein in an hour of temptation. Man's heart pervert. eth his way, and fretteth against the Lord. And this may encourage those who think the Lord will never look on them.
LASTLY, Let us consider the means of sanctification. The outward means that the Spirit makes use of in this work, and which have all their efficacy from him, are,
1. Ordnances, public, private, and secret, Isa. xii. 3. es. pecially the word, and sacraments thereto appended, Eph. v. 26. And they that would be holy must use these means of sanctification, whereby the Spirit begins and carries on the work.
2. Providences; smiling and favourable dispensations have a tendency that way, Rom. ii. 4. but especially afflictions are means which the Spirit makes use of for this end, Isa. xxvii. 9. • By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, and this is all the fruit to take away his sin.'
I shall now shut up this subject with a few inferences, besides those I drew under the former heads.
Inf. 1. Those who are unrenewed are unsanctified. Where there is no change of heart and life, there is no grace, 2 Cor. v. 17. Ah ! how many live as they were born, and are like to die as they live? They have no changes, but from evil to evil: no change from sin to holiness, and yet are unconærn. ed with their unrenewed state, sleeping until they sleep the sleep of death.
2. A partial change is not sanctification. Those who are changed, but not in the whole man, are not truly sanctified, but are yet in their natural pollution. Sanctification is not a new head full of knowledge, with the old heart and lite; nor is it a new life, with the old heart and nature. But it is a change that goes through the whole soul and body, which must needs be followed with a new life, 2 Cor. v. 17.
3. True sanctification puts work in the hand of the sanctified, that will fill their hands while they live. Dying to sin, and living to righteousness, are works that will fill up every minute we have in the world.
4. Let none be so foolish as to sit down contented without sanctification, but study holiness as ever ye would see heaven. We want a title to heaven, we must get that in justi. fication and adoption : we want a meetness for heaven, and we must get that in sanctification. The sanctified are elected, and shall be glorified, i Pet. i. 1, 2, 4. And they that live and die unsanctified, shall never see heaven, Heb. xii. 14. • For without holiness no man shall see the Lord.'
5. Lastly, As ever ye would be holy, attend and improve the means of grace. Let not your aflictions drive you from God, neither be stupid under them, but fall in with the de. sign of providence in them, for your sanctification.
UNION WITH CHRIST THE ONLY WAY TO SANCTIFICATION.
1 Cor. i. 30.—But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who is
made unto us sanctification.
THE world in its greatest darkness was not insensible that
I man's nature was corrupted, that they needed some. what wherewith they might please God, attain to happiness, and repair the wound which they understood their nature had got. And although that Jews and Gentiles had different devices whereby they thought this might be obtained, yet all agreed in that it behoved them to go into themselves for it, and to draw something out of the ruins of their na. tural powers wherewith to help themselves, thereby discovering they did not sufficiently understand the depth of the corruption of human nature. And this principle is so agreeable to corrupt reason, that God's device to bring about man's salvation from sin and misery in and by another, to wit, Christ, was to the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness,' ver. 23. And if we sound to the bottom, it is the same at this day to the unregenerate part of the Christian world.
In the text we have the sum of God's device for the salva. tion of sinners, and it centres in Jesus Christ who was cru. cified. We may take up the text and it in these two things.
1. That the whole of man's salvation shall be from Christ. God has made or constituted him the fountain of all salva. dion, from whom it must be conveyed to all that shall partake of it. As Pharaoh made Joseph ruler over Egypt; and when the famished people cried to him for bread, he bade them go to Joseph, Gen. xli. 55. so God has dealt with the Mediator, and tells us by the gospel, Psal. lxsxix. 24. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him : and in my name shall his horn be exalted.' If we look into the ruins of the fall, we may take them up under four heads, answer. able to which there are remedies in Christ.
(1.) Man is ignorant naturally of the way to true happiness: he has lost God, and knows not how to find him again.Falling into the hands of Satan, he lost his two eyes, like VOL II.