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pattern of obedience to the will of God, as far as it was then made known. But Christ, as he made a fuller revelation of the mind of God to the world than ever was done before, so he never failed in any one instance of exemplifying the proper duty of man.
3. How inexcusable then must they be, who are not recovered to a godlike temper and conversation by this most excellent dispensation ? Where we have not only the most perfect and plain precepts, and the most exceeding great and precious promises, but also the most full and lively, the most suitable and engaging example. If the word spoken by angels was stedfastand every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great fàlvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord ?” Heb. ii. 2, 3. Or if we neglect to comply with so excellent a conftitution, which the Son of God himself not only taught us, but exemplised to us ?
4. With what care and attention should we study the life of Christ, as it is drawn in the Gospel-history ? Indeed every thing which God hath thought fit to reveal, must be worthy of our diligent and serious consideration. 166 All Scripture is written by inspiration of God; and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Tim. iii. 16. And no part of Scripture must be magnified to the depreciating of others. But certainly none can be more useful and necessary, more fit for our frequent search and meditation, than that which gives
is the picture of the mind and life of our malter ; that while we stedfastly behold in the glass of the Gospel the glory of the Lord, we may be changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, As by the spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. And that leads me to infer,
5. We should earnestly pray for the grace of the same divine Spirit with which Christ was anointed without meafure, in order to our being formed to the fame mind in our measure. In vain will the bright representation of the holy mind of Christ be set before us in the Gospel, unless the blessed Spirit open our eyes, and cause the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ to shine into our hearts. But this we are directed to ask for, and encouraged to hope we shall not be denied, if we cry to the common Father for this great gift, Luke xi. 13. ..
6. Let us never allow ourselves to rest in any thing short of a real and growing conformity to our Lord. By this we should judge of our relation to him, and of his complacency in us, and not merely by the name we bear, or the notions that fill our minds. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” Rom. viii. 9. Study then so to know him, as to be made conformable to him, Phil. iii. 10. Reckon every view you take of him, every thought you have of him, occafioned by reading or hearing concerning him, to be indeed of little service to you, if it has no transforming influence. Go on then still following after this, if that you may apprehen! that, for which also you are apprehended of Christ Jesus, ver. 12. VOL. I.
7. As far as this is our aim and scope, we may take comfort from the discovery of his
present glory. For, as his heavenly mind and conversation ended in the heavenly glory; so a present imitation of him by us, as he was upon earth, is indeed a pledge of our future conformity to him in the upper world. As if we fuffer with him, so especially if we live with him and like him, we shall also reign with him. If, as he did, we live to God, are dead to sing overcome the world, serve our generation, and persevere to the end in the exercise of chriftian graces, and virtues, suitable to the conditions and circumstances of life, through which we pass : we shall, at the end of such a course, follow him into his kingdom.
SE R M O N V.
A carnal and a spiritual Mind.
Rom. viii. 6.
For to be carnally-minded, is death : but to be
fpiritually-minded is life and peace, N the former part of this epistle the apostle
world is involved, whether Gentiles or Jews : they are all become guilty before God, and obnoxious to his wrath. He then shews, that
the way of salvation for both, which was always designed in the counsel of God, and gradually made known to the world, but now most fully in the Gospel, was not to be by the works of the law, or by any merit of our own, but by the gracious and free pardon of our fins for Christ's fake, and upon faith in him.
But left this way of justification by faith should be misinterpreted, and abused to encourage men in sin, and in the neglect of holiness; the apostle in the sixth chapter comes to treat of fan&tification, and to shew, that the Gospel lays us under the strictest engagements to universal holiness ; that our faith in Christ and our baptismal dedica tion in his name bind as indispensably to this.
And in the first verse of the eighth chapter, he sums up both the great blesling of which he had been treating, and the holiness that he had been inculcating; and represents them as in, feparably connected.. 66. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” This is a certain truth, that the fentence of condemnation no longer holds a. gainst real Christians, but all their fins are par doned. But who are so in Christ, that they may take the comfort of this privilege ? They, and they only, 66 who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And after the apostle hath shewn, how effectual a provision is made by the gift of the Spirit of life, and by God's fending his own Son into the world, both in order to our pardon, and our recovery to holimessg. ver. 2, 3, 4, he proceeds more fully to
explain the character which he had given of Christians, and to urge the necessity of it.
Would you know whether you are in Christ, and may be esteemed in the sense of the Gofpel to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ? The apostle tells you, ver. 5. “ They that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” And to thew that: it is of the utmost consequence to us, as ever we would escape condemnation, to see that we mind not the things of the flesh, but those of the Spirit ; he adds in the text, “ For to be carnally minded, is death ;, but to be fpiritually minded, is life and peace.”
In the words we have,
I. Two very opposite characters; to be carnally minded, and to be spiritually mindedo Charaéters, which divide all mankind into two parties. Every man must be denominated either the one or the other of these. Howev. er people may agree or disagree in other things, here is the most effential and wide difference that can be between man and man, that some are carnally, and others spiritually minded. And yet on the other hand, there is often such a mixture in the temper of those to whom these very different characters belong, that contributes not a little on both sides to darken the character, unless diligent care and serious confideration be used to know, which in truth is our own. But then, to excite our concern for making this discovery, and to convince us of the great preference due to the one above the other ;