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from the same source. They, in whom the “ Spi“rit of God dwells,” are “ not in the flesh but in “ the Spirit;” but “ if any man have not the Spirit “ of Christ, he is none of his."
They who through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, “shall live:” they " that are led,” or willingly guided and influenced, by the Spirit, are the “ children of God.” He dwells in them, not as a spirit of bondage,” to induce them to obey God from servile motives; but “as a Spirit of “adoption, by whom they cry, Abba, Father:" and thus producing all filial dispositions and affections in their hearts, “ he witnesses with their spi
rits, that they are the children and heirs of “ God.”
They have, therefore, “ the first fruits “ of the Spirit;" called also the “ seal of the Spi
rit,” being the renewal of the divine image on their souls; and the “ earnest of the Spirit,” or the beginning and sure pledge of heavenly felicity.' But, who can deny that these things are essential to genuine christianity, at all times, and in all places ?
Finally, we are directed “to pray in” or by " the
Holy Ghost,” who “ also helpeth our infirmi" ties;” and whatever words we use, his influences alone can render our worship spiritual, Our holy tempers, affections, and actions, are called “ the “ fruits of the Spirit,”” to distinguish them from
'2 Cor. i. 22. Eph. i. 13, 14. iv. 30,
* Gal. v. 22, 23. Eph. v.9.
mere moral conduct, proceeding from worldly or selfish principles.
We are said to " live in the Spirit,” and “ to walk in the Spirit,” and to “ be filled with the Spirit:” and all our heavenly wisdom, knowledge, strength, holiness, joy; all things relative to our repentance, faith, hope, love, worship, obedience, meetness for heaven, and foretastes of it, are constantly ascribed to his influences: nor can we escape fatal delusions, resist temptations, overcome the world, or glorify God; except as we are taught, sanctified, strengthened, and comforted by the Holy Spirit, who dwells in all believers as a well of water springing up into
We need not then wonder at the low state into which vital christianity is fallen, when we consider how many nominal christians utterly disclaim all dependence on the Spirit, as enthusiasm: and how greatly this part of the gospel is overlooked by numbers, who are zealous for other doctrines of it. The subject, therefore, suggests to us the vast importance of owning the divine Person and whole work of the Spirit, in all our services; of praying for, that we may pray by, the Spirit;' of applying to him, and depending on him in all things; of cautiously distinguishing his genuine influences from every counterfeit, by scriptural rules; of avoiding those worldly cares, and that indolence which “ quench,” and all those evil tempers which “grieve, the Spirit of God;" and of giving the glory of all the good wrought in us, or by us, to him as its original Source and Author.—Thus, depending on the Mercy of the Father, the Atonement of the Son, and the Grace of the Spirit; we shall be prepared to give glory to the Triune God our Saviour, both now and for evermore.
i Luke xi. 13.
On the uses of the Moral Law, in Subserviency to
the Gospel of Christ.
When we have duly considered our situation as fallen creatures, and those things which relate to our recovery by the mercy of the Father, the redemption and mediation of the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit; we must be convinced that “ we are saved by grace, through faith;
(and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God;)
not of works, lest any man should boast:"" and under this conviction it is natural for us to enquire, “Wherefore then serveth the law ??” What end does it answer? The apostle indeed introduces this question, as the objection of Judaizing teachers to the doctrines of grace: but in the present endeavour to state the uses of the law as subservient to the gospel, it is necessary to premise, that neither the ritual law, nor the legal dispensation, is meant: the former typified, and the latter introduced, the clear revelation of the gospel; and they were both superseded and rendered obsolete by the coming of Christ. The moral law alone is intended,
which was originally written in the heart of man, as created in the image of God; was afterwards delivered with awful solemnity from mount Sinai, in ten commandments; is elsewhere summed up, in the two great commandments of loving God with all our hearts, and our neighbour as ourselves; and is explained and enlarged upon in a great variety of particular precepts, throughout the whole Scripture. This law, besides what it more directly enjoins, implicitly requires us to love, admire, and adore every discovery, which God shall ever please to make to us of his glorious perfections; cordially to believe every truth which he shall reveal and authenticate; and willingly to obey every positive institution which he shall at any time be pleased to appoint.
This law is immutable in its own nature: for it could not be abrogated, or altered, without an apparent intimation that God was not so glorious, lovely, and excellent; or so worthy of all possible honour, admiration, gratitude, credit, adoration, submission, and obedience, as the law had represented him to be; or without seeming to allow, that man had at length ceased to be under those obligations to God, or to stand in those relations to him and to his neighbour, from which the requirements of the law at first resulted.
The moral law, I say, could not be changed, in any essential point, unless we could cease to be under nfinite obligations to our great Creator; unless he