« PredošláPokračovať »
that they belong to the class of the spiritually minded, merely because they have escaped the gross pollutions that are in the world. It should be remembered that the young man in: the Gospel could say this, and yet had the love of present things prodominant in him, though unperceived by himself till the trial, which induced him to leave Christ, when he muft either abandon him or his portion in this, life, Mat. xix. 20-22
Let none think them felves freed from the afcendant of a carnal mind, barely because they statedly attended on the outward means which are appointed for their spiritual advan. tage. Christ has intimated, that men may prar' and fast, and give alms, only to be feen of meng. Mat. vi. which is a mere carnal aim : and that they may, eat and drink in his presence, and yet
be pronounced by him workers of iniquity. Efteem not yourselves among the fpiritual,. barely because you are right in your opinions, or because you receive the truths of the Goli pel with a flash of affection. The devils believe the most important truths, and tremble at: them : and we find, 6 the stoney ground received the word with joy."
In truth, you should reft upon nothing as a: foundation for a favourable judgment concerning yourselves, short of what will prove a: prevailing bent. of heart to the fpirit, more than to the flesh : that is, that commonly the biass turns this way; that this is and approved temper; that your relish of fpiritual things has a suitable practical influence; and that you are upon the advance in such a disposition, tending toward the perfect day.
A carnal and a spiritual Mind.
Rom. viii. 6.
Eor to be carnally minded is death : but to be
Spiritually minded is life and peace.
carnally minded and spiritually minded, have been distinctly explained in a former discourse. I'am now,
II. To consider what the apostle affixes te each character ; to shew the evil and hatefulness of being carnally minded, and the good. ness and excellence of being spiritually minded. The characters are not more opposite than their attendants and consequences. “ To be carnally minded is death : but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
A lively and moving description this is of that which stands inseparably connected with these different tempers of soul, though express, ed in a few words...
Life is the most desirable thing that can be to most people.. “ Skin for skin, and all that a man hath, will he give. for his life.” And accordingly.this word is used in Seripture metaphorically, to express the greatest good. Death, on the other hand, is naturally the dread of mankind; and therefore the greatest evils are in Scripture-language expressed by:
it. Peace joined with life, if we should take it in the latitude in which it is often to be understood in the Hebrew ftile, comprehends all that is good and desirable. That was the Jewish falutation, “ Peace be unto you ;” as if it was faid, All happiness to you. But the sense of the word here seems rather more confined, and to stand opposed to that which is declared of the carnal mind in the verse following the text. “ The carnal mind is enmi: ty against God.”
It carries in it direct hoftility against him, and therefore cannot fail to in-tail upon a man the dreadful misery of having God for his enemy; so it follows, ver. 8. 66 They that are in the flesh, cannot please God." And how unavoidable is it in such a case, if a man has, any sense left, that he cane not be at peace with himself? In opposition to this, a fpiritual mind is peace. He who is of that temper is at peace with God, and has a solid foundation for peace in his own breast.
I shall directly insist upon the former characters of death and life; in the consideration of which the other will be comprehended.Death and life stand most certainly and unal: terably annexed to these different dispositions of the soul, the carnal and the spiritual mind : which is true, both in the nature of the thing, and by the fentence and constitution of God.
1. In the very nature of the thing, to be carnally minded is death, spiritual death; but to be fpiritually minded is life, the truest life of the foul.
He who is carnally minded is. truly “dead while he lives," as is said of a perfon devoted to pleasure, 1 Tim. v. 6.
# Dead in trespasses and sins,” Eph. ii. 1. but the spiritually minded man is “ Dead unto fin, but alive unto God, Rom. vi. 11. This is a frequent method in Scripture of representing the case; and a very juft and prop-er one : for, as far as the bent is toward fpiritual things, so far the soul is alive in the truest and nobleft sense. Life capacitates for action and enjoyment ; death disables for both. And for this reason we esteem human life in this world most perfect, in that period which we call the state of manhood, in opposition to infancy and childhood on the one hand, and to enfeebled age on the other; because at maturity it is more capable of the actions becoming the reasonable capacities, than in tender years; and more fit to enjoy the delights and satisfactions, which are suita. ble to our nature, than in the decline of life, when inded we rather sigh and groan than live. Upon the same account, to be spiritually minded is life, the truest and most suitable life of a reasonable creaturc, whereby he is capacitated for the most exalted actings and enjoyments, or for the holiness and happiness of a spiritual life. And on the contrary, to be carnally mined is death; because it is opposite to both, and indisposes for both.
(1.) Spiritual-mindedness is life ; for a man of this temper is disposed to the proper alks of spiritual life. He is not insensible of spiritual objects; but “the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ shines into his heart," 2 Cor. iv. 6. He apprehends the reality, the moment and worth of that which is con
tained in-it. Before, he understood as a child, lae thought as a child of these matters, being diverted from a close attention by the poor trifles of a present evil world ; but now he puts away childish things. He is sensible of the peculiar wants of the soul itself, and most desirous to have them fupplied. His heart breathes after God, and Christ, and holiness, and heaven. He endeavours to know his duty, and applies himself vigorously to the practice of it, and his greatest concern is for his imperfection in it, and for' his acting in any infance contrary to it. His great conflict is against the remains of fin, the snares of life, and the opposition of Satan in his christian course. This is life; these are indications that a man is Spiritually alive, and come to himself, for now he lives unto God.
The carnal mind is the reverse of all this, He is under the power of death ; having the understanding darkened, and prejudiced a gainst the admission of heavenly light. He is insensible of the wants and interests, of the re&titude and depravity, of the soul ; or unaffected with these things. He is either wholly, or predominantly, set upon earthly things, and such as tend farther to vitiate and enslave the foul. His mind is shut up against divine instructions and adınonitions; and his will opposes the will of God, and exalts itself against the knowledge of him, and obedience to him: For the carnal mind is enmity against God; not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can beg" till it is altered, ver. 8. This is spiritu