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no meat; the flock fhall be cut off from the "fold, and there fhall be no herd in the ftalls; yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in "the God of my falvation *:”
Thus I have endeavoured to point out wherein the change in regeneration doth immediately and properly confift. It is juft the recovery of the moral image of God upon the heart; that is to fay, to love him fupremely, and ferve him ultimately, as our highest end; and to delight in him fuperlatively, as our chief good. This recovery, however, is but begun on earth. It is gradually improved in the progress of fanctification, and shall be fully compleated at the refurrection of the juft. The fum of the moral law is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and foul, and strength, and mind. This is the duty of every rational creature; and, in order to obey it perfectly, no part of our inward affection or actual fervice ought to be, at any time, or in the least degree, mifapplied. This is the cafe with no mere man, while he continues in the body. But regeneration confifts in the principle being implanted, obtaining the afcen dancy, and habitually prevailing-over its oppofite. Even in those who are born again, there will still be many ftruggles between the "law "of fin in their members," and the "law Habbak, iii. 17, 18.
"of God in their minds." This we find deeply lamented by the apoftle Paul: "O wretched "man that I am, who fhall deliver me from "the body of this death?" It ought to give unfpeakable confolation to the chriftian, when he reflects, that the feed which is planted by divine grace, fhall be preferved by divine power. A gracious God will neither fuffer it to be fmothered by contending weeds, nor destroyed by the inclemency of this tempeftuous climate, till it be tranfplanted into the milder regions of peace and ferenity above.
The effects of regeneration; with fome of the prin cipal evidences of its fincerity.
N the further profecution of this head, I proposed to mention fome of the principal evidences and fruits of a faving change. Thefe, no doubt, it were eafy with fufficient propriety greatly to extend and enlarge, because they include all the marks and figns of real religion, fuited to every character and every fituation in which a chriftian can be placed. The heart being renewed, the life will of neceffity be reformed, and holiness in all manner of converfation, including the duties of piety towards God, and *Rom. vii. 24.
justice and charity towards men, will be its native and genuine effect. But this would be too wide and general a field. I find most writers on this fubject take particular notice of the new views and apprehenfions which the regenerate perfon hath of himself, and every other thing or perfon to which he ftands related. I fhall therefore very fhortly obferve, he who is born again, difcovers his new nature and life by new apprehenfions of God-of himfelf-of the world of eternity-of Jefus Chrift the Saviour of finners-and of all the ordinances of his appoint
The regenerate perfon has new views of God, both in respect of greatness and goodness. He really and inwardly believes the being, prefence, power and providence of God, which he in a great meafure difbelieved before. Whereas formerly, even what he did believe of God was feldom in his thoughts; now it is almoft impoffible for him to look upon any thing, or perfon, or event, without confidering its relation to God. O what "terrible majefty" does his fanctified understanding perceive in this Being of Beings, compared to the times of his former blindness? What a luftre and glory does the opened eye fee. in all the divine perfections? Above all, what a ravishing and astonishing view has he of the divine goodness and love? Wicked men, goF 6 verned
verned by felf-love, are therefore infenfible of obligations. Inordinate in their defires, they are never fatisfied with their poffeffions: whereas the child of God difcovers and confeffes the infinite goodness of his Creator in all his mercies, of the leaft of which he is not worthy.
He hath quite new apprehenfions of himself, his own character and state. Before, he thought himself his own mafter, looked upon every religious law as a hard and tyrannical restraint; but now, he sees that he belongs to God: he now remembers his Creator, confeffes his obligations, and mourns for his tranfgreffions. A converted finner often admires and ftands aftonished at his own former conduct. He wonders at the boldnefs of a poor guilty helpless rebel, perhaps curfing and blafpheming, perhaps rioting in fenfuality and luft. He wonders that the power of God did not arreft him in his courfe, and by fome fignal ftroke, make him a ftanding monument of righteous indignation. He trembles to think of his former ftate, and it excites in him a deep and lively acknowledgement of the riches of divine grace. How great a sense of this does the apoftle Paul often express in his own cafe; "who was "before a blafphemer, and a perfecutor, and
injurious.This is a faithful faying, and "worthy of all acceptation, that] Christ Jesus 66 came
"came into the world to fave finners, of whom "I am chief*."
The above is often connected with, and increased by, his views of the world and of worldly men. The charm is now broke; the false colours are now taken off from the world and all its enjoyments. How ardently did he love them once? how eagerly did he profecute them? and how rich did he esteem them? He envied every one who poffeffed them, and thought, that none fuch could fail of being compleatly happy. But now, he can never feparate the idea of riches from temptation, and often confiders the dreadful change of ftate in thofe who are carried about in pomp and grandeur on earth; who are cloathed in purple and fine linnen, and fare fumptuously every day; but are, in a little time," tormented in hell fire. Formerly, he valued perfons by their station, by their wealth, by their fpirit and genius, or other natural qualifications. But now, a chriftian in a cottage appears more honourable and more amiable than a blafphemer in a palace. Now, his heart is joined to every fervant of Chrift, though defpifed in the world, though emaciated by fickness, though deformed with old age; nay, though loathfome and fordid through penury and want. He fees the
* 1 Tim. i, 13, 15,