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beauty of thefe excellent ones of the earth, under all their present disadvantages, and in them is all his delight. With regard to perfons of an oppofite character, the penitent often recollects, with a bleeding heart, his fondness for, and attachment to, finful companions; and his kindness to them, is converted into a yearning tenderness and compaffion for their miferable ftate.
Further, the regenerate perfon has new apprehenfions of eternity. Formerly, the fhadows and vanities of time fo engroffed his thoughts, fo filled and occupied his fight, that eternity was feldom at all, and never fully in view. But now, it is frequently and ftrongly upon his mind. Now it, as it were, joins itself with, and points out its own relation to, every fubject, and its concern in every purfuit. Now, it is prefent as the object of faith, to correct the falfe reprefentations of fenfe, and to oppose the unjust claim of earthly and momentary gratifications. Formerly, things unfeen were counted in a manner precarious and fabulous, of small moment any determination: but now, there is such a difcovery of the great realities of another world, as weighs down all created things, and makes them feel as a feather in the balance.
Let us here ftand ftill, and paufe a little. Let me befeech every reader to ponder this reflection, which I cannot pass. Oh! *what concern
have we all in everlasting endless eternity! O fubject without bounds! Who is able to do it. justice in words? Who is able to reach it even in thought? Happiness that shall continue through everlasting ages. Mifery, anguifh, tor-1 ment, that shall never have an end. Are we all, without exception, to be fo divided at laft? Yes; the great Judge fhall feparate the righteous from the wicked, and fhall fet the one on his right-hand, and the other on his left. Shall then companions on earth; fhall fellow-citizens,' and fellow foldiers; the dearest friends and the nearest relations, be parted afunder, and take a long, long, eternal farewel? O the strong deceit and illufion of fin, that is able to hide eternity from dying men! O the inconceivable blindness of those who are unmindful of a fùture state, while they inhabit these tabernacles of clay, which are so often tottering; which are daily wafting, and shall fo foon fall in pieces* and crumble into duft! How is it poffible we fhould forget, that in a little time "we must all "appear before the judgment-feat of Chrift."
The regenerate perfon has alfo new views of Jefus Chrift, the great and only Saviour of fin-' ners. Before, he was "without form or comelinefs, or any beauty, that he fhould defire "him." Before, (as is, alas! the cafe with very many) all the truths, relating to the per
fon, character, and office of a Mediator, were hated as abfurdities, or defpifed as enthusiasm. They were nick-named nonsense, cant, and unintelligible ftuff. Or if decency forbad this, they were altogether cold and without relith. But now, the name of a Saviour is "precious-even "as ointment poured forth." The ftrongeft. language is too weak to express his gratitude, or breathe out his love. "He is white and ruddy, "the chief among ten thousand-yéa, he is "altogether lovely +." How great is the difference between the felf-righteous formalift and the humbled penitent? The one, trusting in himfelf that he is righteous, knows little of the value of a Saviour; the other, deeply penetrated with a fenfe of guilt, and ftrongly conscious of ablolute weaknefs, "counts all things but lofs, for "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Je"fus his Lord; and defires to be found in him, "not having his own righteousness, which is of
the law, but that which is through the faith "of Christ, the righteousness that is of God "by faith .'
Again, the regenerate perfon has new views of the ordinances of Chrift's appointment. They. were formerly his burden, now they are his delight. Before the fabbath wore, as it were, a fable garb, and an offenfive gloom. It was look
* Cant. i. 3.
↑ Cant, v. 10,
Phil, iii. 8.
ed upon as a piece of confinement and reftraint. He was ready to say, "What a weariness is it ; "when will the fabbath be over, and the new "moon, that we may fet forth corn, and fell wheat?"" But now, he calls it a delight, the "holy of the "Lord, and honourable." Now, he thirts after the water of life, efteems, loves, and defires the word of God. He now readily joins the holy Pfalmift in all thefe fervent expreffions to be found in his writings, of affection to the truths and ordinances of God. "O how love I thy "law! it is my meditation all the day *. "The law of thy mouth is better to me than "thoufands of gold and filver +. My foul!
thirfteth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee, "in a dry and thirfty land, where no water is. "To fee thy power and thy glory, so as I have "feen it in the fanctuary .I was glad when "they said unto me, let us go into the house "of the Lord; our feet fhall ftand within thy gates, O Jerufalem §!"
Suffer me now to conclude this general account of the fpirit and temper of the regenerate, with a few particular characters, by which they will commonly be diftinguished.
1. The new nature will difcover itself by great humility. There is no difpofition more the ob† Pf. cxix. 72. † Pf. Ixiii. 1, 2.
* Pf. cxix. 97. § Pf. cxxii. 1, 2,
ject of divine abhorrence and deteftation, than pride; nor confequently, any more amiable and neceffary than humility. We are told, that "God refifteth the proud, but giveth grace to "the humble*." To the fame purpose the prophet Isaiah, "For thus faith the high and "lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose "name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy "place; with him alfo that is of a contrite "and humble fpirit, to revive the fpirit of the "humble, and to revive the heart of the con"trite ones t.' Pride was the fin by which the angels fell from their glory and happiness. It ap-' pears to have been the chief ingredient in the first fin of man; and in general, the leading part of a finful character. Before there can be any faving change; before there can be any efteem or relish of the gospel of the grace of God, there must be a deep humility of mind, and thorough conviction of guilt and wretchednefs. This muft ftill continue, and have a conftant and vifible effect upon the believer's temper and carriage. The truth is the way in which a finner's peace is made with God, the ground on which his hope and comfort is founded, and the means of his improvement in the fpiritual life, all confpire in making him humble. Where is boafting? It is excluded. NoAlefh is permitted to glory" in the divine pre* James iv, 6. † If, lvii. 15′′*