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may conceive, God is more or less displeased, and there is more or less guilt upon the soul.

12. But if so, then there may be some sins of surprise, which bring much guilt and condemnation. For, in some instances, our being surprised is owing to some wilful and culpable neglect; or, to a sleepiness of soul which might have been prevented, or shaken off before the temptation came. A man may be previously warned either of God or man, that trials and danger are at hand and yet may say in his heart, "A little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to rest.' Now, if such a one afterwards fall, though unawares, into the snare which he might have avoided; that he fell unawares is no excuse: he might have foreseen and have shunned the danger. The falling, even by surprise, in such an instance as this, is, in effect, a wilful sin; and, as such, must expose the sinner to condemnation, both from God, and his own conscience.

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13. On the other hand, there may be sudden assaults, either from the world, or the god of this world, and frequently from our own evil hearts, which we did not, and hardly could, foresee. And by these even a believer, while weak in faith, may possibly be borne down, suppose into a degree of anger, or thinking evil of another, with scarcely any concurrence of his will. Now, in such a case, the jealous God would undoubtedly show him that he had done foolishly. He would be convinced of having swerved from the perfect law, from the mind which was in Christ, and, consequently, grieved with a godly sorrow, and lovingly ashamed before God. Yet need he not come into condemnation. God layeth not folly to his charge, but hath compassion upon him, "even as a father pitieth his own children." And his heart condemneth him not; in the midst of that sorrow and shame, he can still say, "I will trust and not be afraid For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he is also become my salvation."

III. It remains only to draw some practical inferences from the preceding considerations.

And, first, If there be "no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, and who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," on account of their past sins: then, why art thou fearful, O thou of little faith? Though thy sins were once more in number than the sand, what is that to thee, now thou art in Christ Jesus? "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect! It is God that justifieth who is he that condemneth?" All the sins thou hast committed from thy youth up, until the hour when thou wast "accepted in the Beloved," are driven away as chaff, are gone, are lost, swallowed up, remembered no more. Thou art now" born of the Spirit;" wilt thou be troubled or afraid of what was done before thou wast born; Away with thy fears! Thou art not called to fear, but to the "Spirit of love and of a sound mind." Know thy calling. Rejoice in God thy Saviour, and give thanks to God thy Father through him.

2. Wilt thou say, 'But I have again committed sin, since I had

redemption through his blood? And, therefore, it is, that "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." It is meet thou shouldst abhor thyself; and it is God who hath wrought thee to this selfsame thing. But, dost thou now believe? Hath he again enabled thee to say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God." Then that faith again cancels all that is past, and there is no condemnation to thee. At whatsoever time thou truly believest in the name of the Son of God, all thy sins, antecedent to that hour, vanish away as the morning dew. Now then, "Stand thou fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made thee free." He hath once more made thee free from the power of sin, as well as from the guilt and punishment of it. Oh, "be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage!" Neither the vile, devilish bondage of sin; of evil desires, evil tempers, or words, or works, the most grievous yoke on this side hell: nor the bondage of slavish, tormenting fear, of guilt and selfcondemnation.

3. But, secondly: Do all they who abide "in Christ Jesus, walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?" Then we cannot but infer, that whosoever now committeth sin, hath no part nor lot in this matter. He is even now condemned by his own heart. But, “if our heart condemn us," if our own conscience bear witness that we are guilty, undoubtedly God doth for "he is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things:" so that we cannot deceive him, if we can ourselves. And think not to say, 'I was justified once; my sins were once forgiven me :' I know not that; neither will I dispute whether they were or not. Perhaps, at this distance of time, it is next to impossible to know, with any tolerable degree of certainty, whether that was a true, genuine work of God, or whether thou didst only deceive thy own soul. But this I know, with the utmost degree of certainty, "He that committeth sin is of the devil" Therefore, thou art of thy father the devil. It cannot be denied for the works of thy father thou dost. O flatter not thyself with vain hopes. Say not to thy soul, Peace, peace! For there is no peace. Cry aloud! Cry unto God out of the deep; if happily he may hear thy voice. Come unto him as at first, as wretched and poor, as sinful, miserable, blind, and naked. And beware thou suffer thy soul to take no rest, till his pardoning love be again revealed: till he "heal thy backslidings," and fill thee again with the "faith that worketh by love."

4. Thirdly, Is there no condemnation to them which "walk after the Spirit," by reason of inward sin still remaining, so long as they do not give way thereto; nor by reason of sin cleaving to all they do? Then fret not thyself because of ungodliness, though it still remain in thy heart. Repine not, because thou still comest short of the glorious image of God: nor yet, because pride, self-will, or unbelief, cleave to all thy words and works. And be not afraid to know all this evil of thy heart, to know thyself as also thou art known. Yea, desire of God, that thou mayest not think of thyself

more highly than thou oughtest to think. prayer be,

"Show me, as my soul can bear,
The depth of inbred sin :
All the unbelief declare,

The pride that lurks within."

Let thy continua?

But when he heareth thy prayer, and unveils thy heart; when he shows thee thoroughly what spirit thou art of: then beware that thy faith fail thee not, that thou suffer not thy shield to be torn from thee. Be abased. Be humbled in the dust. See thyself nothing, less than nothing and vanity. But still, "let not thy heart be troubled. neither let it be afraid." Still hold fast, "I, even I, have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And as the heavens are higher than the earth, so is his love higher than even my sins." Therefore, God is merciful to thee a sinner! Such a sinner as thou art! God is love; and Christ hath died. Therefore, the Father himself loveth thee. Thou art his child. Therefore he will withhold from thee no manner of thing that is good. Is it good, that the whole body of sin, which is now crucified in thee, should be destroyed? It shall be done. Thou shalt be "cleansed from all filthiness, both of flesh and spirit." Is it good, that nothing should remain in thy heart, but the pure love of God alone Be of good cheer! "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and mind, and soul, and strength." "Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it." It is thy part patiently to continue in the work of faith, and in the labour of love; and in cheerful peace, in humble confidence, with calm and resigned, and yet earnest expectation, to wait till the "zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall perform this."

5. Fourthly, If they that "are in Christ, and walk after the Spirit, are not condemned for sins of infirmity, as neither for involuntary failings, nor for any thing whatever which they are not able to help : then beware, O thou that hast faith in his blood, that Satan herein "gain no advantage over thee." Thou art still foolish and weak, blind and ignorant. More weak than any words can express, more foolish than it can yet enter into thy heart to conceive, knowing nothing yet as thou oughtest to know. Yet let not all thy weakness and folly, or any fruit thereof, which thou art not yet able to avoid, shake thy faith, thy filial trust in God, or disturb thy peace or joy in the Lord. The rule which some give as to wilful sins, and which, in that case, may perhaps be dangerous, is undoubtedly wise and safe, if it be applied only to the case of weakness and infirmities. Art thou fallen, O man of God? Yet, do not lie there, fretting thyself and bemoaning thy weakness: but meekly say, Lord, I shall fall thus every moment, unless thou uphold me with thy hand. And then arise! Leap and walk. Go on thy way. "Run with patience the race set before thee."

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6. Lastly. Since a believer need not come into condemnation, even though he be surprised into what his soul abhors, (suppose his

being surprised is not owing to any carelessness or wilful neglect of his own:) if thou who believest, art thus overtaken in a fault, then grieve unto the Lord; it shall be a precious balm: pour out thy heart before him, and show him of thy trouble. And pray with all thy might to him who is "touched with the feeling of thy infirmities," that he would establish, and strengthen, and settle thy soul, and suffer thee to fall no more. But still he condemneth thee not. Wherefore shouldest thou fear? Thou hast no need of any "fear that hath torment.' Thou shalt love him that loveth thee, and it sufficeth: more love will bring more strength. And, as soon as thou lovest him with all thy heart, thou shalt be "perfect and entire, lacking nothing." Wait in peace for that hour, when "the God of peace shall sanctify thee wholly, so that thy whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ !"

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SERMON IX.

THE SPIRIT OF BONDAGE AND ADOPTION.

* Ye have not received the Spirit of Bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." ROMANS viii. 15.

1. ST. PAUL here speaks to those who are the children of God by faith. "Ye," saith he, who are indeed his children, have drank into his Spirit. Ye "have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. But, because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts. Ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

2. The spirit of bondage and fear is widely distant from this loving Spirit of Adoption: those who are influenced only by slavish fear, cannot be termed, "The sons of God." Yet some of them may be styled his servants, and are "not far from the kingdom of heaven."

3. But it is to be feared, the bulk of mankind, yea, of what is called The Christian World, have not attained even this; but are still afar off, "neither is God in all their thoughts." A few names may be found of those who love God: a few more there are that fear him. But the greater part have neither the fear of God before their eyes, nor the love of God in their hearts.

4. Perhaps most of you, who by the mercy of God, now partake of a better spirit, may remember the time when ye were as they, when ye were under the same condemnation. But at first ye knew it not, though ye were wallowing daily in your sins and in your VOL. V.-L.

blood: till, in due time, ye "received the spirit of fear; (ye received, for this also is the gift of God:) and afterward, fear vanished away, and the Spirit of Love filled your hearts.

5. One who is in the first state of mind, without fear or love, is in Scripture termed a natural man. One who is under the spirit of bondage and fear, is sometimes said to be under the law: (although that expression more frequently signifies one who is under the Jewish dispensation, who thinks himself obliged to observe all the rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law.) But one who has exchanged the spirit of fear for the Spirit of Love, is properly said to be under grace.

Now, because it highly imports us, to know what spirit we are of, I shall endeavour to point out distinctly, First, The state of a natural man Secondly, That of one who is under the law: and, Thirdly, of one who is under grace.

I. 1. And, First, the state of a natural man. This the Scripture represents as a state of sleep: the voice of God to him is, "Awake, thou that sleepest." For his soul is in a deep sleep. His spiritual senses are not awake: they discern neither spiritual good nor evil. The eyes of his understanding are closed; they are sealed together, and see not. Clouds and darkness continually rest upon them; he lies in the valley of the shadow of death. Hence, having no inlets for the knowledge of spiritual things, all the avenues of his soul being shut up, he is in gross, stupid ignorance of whatever he is most concerned to know. He is utterly ignorant of God, knowing nothing concerning him as he ought to know He is totally a stranger to the law of God, as to its true, inward, spiritual meaning. He has no conception of that evangelical holiness, without which no man can see the Lord; nor of the happiness, which they only find, whose "Life is hid with Christ in God."

2. And for this very reason, because he is fast asleep, he is, in some sense, at rest Because he is blind, he is also secure : he saith, "Tush, there shall no harm happen unto me." The darkness which covers him on every side, keeps him in a kind of peace: (so far as peace can consist with the works of the devil, and with an earthly, devilish mind.) He sees not that he stands on the edge of the pit, therefore he fears it not. He cannot tremble at the danger he does not know. He has not understanding enough to fear. Why is it that he is in no dread of God? Because he is totally ignorant of him: if not, "saying in his heart, There is no God; or, that he sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and humbleth not himself to behold the things which are done on earth:" Yet, satisfying himself as well, to all Epicurean intents and purposes, by saying, "God is merciful:” confounding and swallowing up at once, in that unwieldy idea of mercy all his holiness and essential hatred of sin; all his justice, wisdom, and truth. He is in no dread of the vengeance denounced against those who obey not the blessed law of God, because he understands it not. He imagines the main point is, To do thus, to be outwardly blameless and sees not that it extends to every temper, desire, thought, motion of the heart. Or, he fancies, that the obliga

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