A New Creature.
2 Cor. 5.17.
If any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature.
EVery one that is out of Christ, is ou• of the root of life, out of the stock of grace, out of the way, the only true way unto eternal happiness, and thus are all the posterity of Adam by nature.
It mainly concerns every one therefore, to consider seriously, what he bottoms upon, the old Adam or the new, one of these two all flesh standeth on: How we shall come to the know∣ledg of this, this Text tels us, If any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature.
These words, as they are in themselves an intire sentence, contain in them a true and lively description of a man in Christ; in them the Apostle lays down posit•vely, one great Character of a soul resident in Christ, He is a new Creature.
This he layes down indefinitely [if any man, &c.] as if he had said, If any man, of what Nation, station, quality, rank or condition Page 100 soever [be in Christ] it will appear thus, He is a new Creature.
Quest. But what is it to be in Christ?
Answ. To be in Christ, according to the meaning of this Text, is to be truly and really united unto Christ, or ingrafted into Christ, as a sience is into the stock, incorporate into it, and made truly one with it, and every one that is thus in Christ, is a new Crea∣ture.
Quest. But what is that (may some say) what is a new Creature?
Answ. A •ew Creature, according to his formality, is a Creature wholly new (I say) a Creature wholly new, so saith the Apo∣stle in this Text, Old things are past away, all things are become new.
*By a Creature wholly new, I do not mean a Creature void of humane frail•y, nor a Crea∣ture totally freed from the being or power of corrupt Nature, not a Creature exempt from the exercise of temptations, but a Creature renewed in every part, though but in part, and freed from the evil of temptations.
*His appearances are many, for a new Crea∣ture, according to the meaning of this Text, is one that is born again, born of the Spirit, as Christ speaks; He is one in whom Christ is formed, one in whom Christ lives; He is one that is sanctifi•d throughou•, in soul and body, and spirit of his mind as the 〈…〉 one holy〈…〉 and 〈…〉 He is 〈…〉from the 〈…〉 old thing•〈…〉 new, as Page 101 this Text speaketh; He is one whose heart and spirit, principles and practises are all new and holy; He is one, who having received a new life from Christ, desires and endeavours to live, as a new Creature unto Christ only: one that in every condition, labours to live for the honour of Christ, and so as he may truly say, To me to live is Christ; to me, thus and thus to live, is for the honour of Christ: he is one in whom the name of Christ is glorified, and the Gospel held forth: one, who in all things whatsoever he doth, in word or deed, labours to do all in the name of the Lord Iesus Christ, to the glory of God by him: one, who desires and endeavours to have his whole conversation, such as becometh the Gospel of Christ, and to have every thought brought in subjection to the Obedience of Christ. He is one, who though he have fleshly lusts in him, doth not make pro∣vision to fulfill them, he doth not habitually design, and take thought, how to fulfill them, but how to mortifie them: he is one,* who though he walk in the flesh, doth not warre after the flesh, but against the flesh; He makes not his liberty an occasion to the flesh: He is one, who though he cannot live without sinne, doth not al∣low himself in any known sinne, but hates every false way, and groans under the remainder of the old man in him, as his greatest burden; He is one, that carries a holy jelousie over h•mself, and all his wayes, and thence labours to keep a spi∣rituall watch within, and without; He is one, that worships God in the Spirit, and puts no con∣fidence in the flesh: one that servs God in new¦ness of Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter; one that labours to be filled with the Spirit: He is Page 102 one, whose conversation is in Heaven, whilst he is on Earth; one that delights in the Law of God after his inward man, he delights to do the will of God. He is one of another Spirit, then the world hath; one that walks by another rule then the world doth, to wit, the Word of God. He is a growing Crea•ure, he grows in grace; He forgets what is behind, and reacheth forth to that which is before: He aims at perfection, and presseth towards this neark. He is one, that lives in Christ, as a branch in the Vine and brings forth fruit in him: He is one in whose Nostrils the whole body of death, and every part and member of it stinks: one that labours to abstain from all appearance of evill,* and to be holy and blameless before God, out of Love to God: He is one that minds the things of the Spirit, is led by the Spirit, and walks after the Spirit: He is a world-contemning, and a world-overcoming Creature: He is one that labours to deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Christ,* as Caleba did (to wit) fully▪ and as David did, of whom God saies, bHe followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; And as Ruth,cfollowed Naomi, as Elisha followed dElijah, and Asaebele followed Abner, he would not leave Abner, though he died by his hand. A new Creature is one, that counts himself a stran∣ger and a pilgrim in this world, and lives like a stranger a and pilgrim in this world: one, whose Conversation here, declares that he minds, de∣sires, and seeks after a better Country, then this world affords (to wit) an Heavenly. He is one, that makes it his chiefest work to glo∣rifie God, and save his soul: one to whom the Page 103Talent of time is very precious: one, that la∣bours to use every Talent, wherewith he is in•rusted, according to the will of his Lord, and for the honour and glory of his Lord: one that labours so to walk before God here, that whether present or absent, he may be accepted of him: one that labours to Honour God by using lawfull things lawfully, as well as by shunning things unlawfull in themselves: He is one that labours so to keep his account here, that he may give it up with joy, when the day of account comes: He is one, that doth not commit sinne: one that seeks not his own, but Christs, and his Brothers good: one whose affections are set on things above, more then on the things below. He is one, to whom the Preaching of the Cross of Christ, to wit, the Gospel, is the wisdom of God, and the Power of God: one, who being born again, as a new born Babe, desires the sin∣cere and nourishing milk of the word, that he may grow thereby: one that hears the voice of Christ, speaking in his word, by his Ministers, knows it, and obeys it, and declines the voice of a stranger: He is one, to whom the whole Word and Will of God is sweet, every bitter thing in it sweet: He accounts no truth gall and wormwood, as some phrase it: He is one, to whom all Gospel-Ordinances are sweet and delectable: He is one that deserts not old truth to follow new light, but makes it his sunne to discover the verity of it: He is one, that receiveth the Ambassadors of Christ, (to wit) the lawful and faithful Ministers of the Gospel, as Christ himself, and esteems them very highly in love, for their work sake: He is one that delights in the Law of God after his inward man: Page 104 one that labours to live by saith, in every con∣dition, prosperity and adversity: one to whom the yoke of Christ is easie, and his burden light: one to whom none of Christs Commandements are grievous; He is one that continu•th in the word of Christ, in the love of it, in the belief of it, in the obedience of it; He is one faithfull unto the death; He is one, which how high soe∣ver he be in place, in parts, in gifts or grace, is low in his own eyes, little in his own fight, his heart is lowly still; hence it comes to pass, that when he hath done his best to follow the rule of righteousness, he abh•rs himself for his unrigh∣teousness, and accounts himself a wretched man: Finally, he is one that is joyned to the Lord Ie∣sus Christ, and one spirit with him.
All this, and much more then this, the Scriptures affirm to be in a new Creature, as all that are acquainted wit• the holy Scriptures know: Who so desires to be better informed, touching a new Creature, may consult learn∣ed Dr Preston on a new Creature; but a prefect enumeration of all the qualifications of a new Creature, is no where to be found, but in the holy Scriptures, which indeed do picture him to the life, and to them I refer the Reader, for full satisfaction herein: and for the benefit of those which are unacquainted with the Scrip∣tures, or want time, or ability, to collect a cleare and sound evidence of a new Creature from the Scriptures, I will reduce this long description of a new Creature to seven particu∣lars, and speak of them particularly, what God hath been pleased to impart unto me, that if ever God in his providence should any wayes bring this Manuscript to publique Page 105 view, it may be helpful to some poor souls this way.
First, A new Creature is one,* in whom Iesus Christ, the new man is formed, (to wit) truly formed; the truth of this is evident, by the language of the Apostle, Gal. 4.19. My little Children (saith he) of whom I travell in birth again, untill Christ he formed in you, &c. which words do clearly and strongly prove, That when Christ is formed in the Creature, the Creature is then new and not before, it is then a new Creature, and not till then, it is then born again, born of God, and new indeed. Regeneration may well be called a forming of Christ in us, for it formes Christ in the under∣standing, in the will, in the affections, in the conscience, in all the faculties of the soul, in all the parts and members of the body, in the whole man, in the whole life and conver∣sation.
Here note two or three things; First, That God forms Christ in the whole man, where he forms him truly; God forms Christ in the whole man, by conforming the whole man to Christ.
2. When every faculty of the soul, is in its scope and bent for Christ, then is Christ formed in the soul, when every facultie of the soul and member of the body is bent for Christ, then is Christ formed in the whole man.
3. When a mans will, desire, aim and in∣deavour, is to square his whole life by the Word of God, as his rule, then is Christ form∣ed in his Conversation, then is he a new Crea∣ture in Gods account, who measures man more by his will and affection, then his action, as Page 106 appears by 2 Cor. 8.12. compared with Prov. 23.26.
Wouldest thou then know, whether thou art a new Creature, yea, or nay; consider then, whether Christ be formed in thee (•o wit) truly formed, yea or nay; ask thy soul the question that Saul asked the wi•ch? What form is he of (said he) What sawest •hou? so do thou ask thy soul,* What form art thou of, O my soul? Whose image dost thou beare, Christ's or Satans? If Christ's, truly though weakly, this argues thy state good, thy Creation •tw, this demonstrates thee a Creature new, a new Creature.
Then again, say as he, What seest thou? What seest thou O my soul in thy self? What light? what darknesse? if nothing but dark∣nesse? what darknesse is it? affected dark∣nesse or afflicting darknesse? if afflicting dark∣nesse, this speaks the Creature new.
*If thou descriest light in thy understanding, Consider then, how it operates, how it regu∣lates, how it transforms.
1. Consider, how that light which thou hast, be it more or lesse, doth operate, whe∣ther it puffeth up or casteth down thy soul,* whe∣ther it lifteth up thy soul, in praise or in pride, whether it give glory to God or self; renew∣ing light is humbling. God glorifying; the more Iob saw of God, the more he abhorred himself;* the more a new Creature knows God and himself, the more he loaths himself, and admires his God, and desires to advance him.
Consider, what affection sutable to its noti∣on that light which thou hast produceth in Page 107 thee; what love to God, and the things of God; what love to man for God; what ha∣tred of sinne, what joy in the Lord, what de∣sire to injoy the Lord in all, and above all things; what comfortable hope of increase of grace and glory; what trust in God, and de∣sire to do for God, and be with God, it gene∣rates in thee.
Consider, what power of godlinesse thy light produceth in thee, what self-discovery, what self-denyall it hath begotten in thee, espe∣cially touching thy predominate sinne; what contempt of the world in the good and evill of it, what conscience of sinne, of duty, and the manner of it, what conjunction of duties of the second Table with the duties of the first Table; what contentation with thy state, what watchfulnesse over thy heart, and all the out∣goings of it; what willingnesse to take Christ with the Cross; what desire and indeavour to help others; what hunger and thirst after all those means, which God hath appointed for the increase of it, and all grace in us; what fruitfullness in righteousness, &c.* Saving illu∣mination produceth fruitfulnesse.
Secondly,* Consider how that light which thou hast, doth regulate and reform thee, con∣sider how it regulates thy judgment, thy will and affections; how it reforms thy life and all thy actions, and conforms them to the Word and Will of Christ: Consider, what death to sinne, what life to righteousnesse it produ∣ceth in thee, what through reformation it hath begotten in thee; renewing light is reforming light; universally reforming, inwardly re∣forming, and perseveringly reforming.
Page 108*Thirdly, Consider how that light which thou hast, transforms thee. Consider, what transformation it makes in thee. Renewing light is transforming light; Light from the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, transforms into the Image of Christ; Christ truly formed in the understanding speaks the man transform∣ed, by the renewing of his mind, as is evident by the Language of the Apostle, Rom. 12.2. Be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, &c. Consider, how that light which thou hast, elevateth and raiseth thy soul from Earth to Heaven; and if thou findest that the light that is in thy understanding do thus operate, thus regulate, and thus transform, truly though weakly, be it more or lesse, know, it lively demonstrates Christ formed in thy un∣derstanding, thy light renewing light, and thee a Creature new.
Of Christ formed in the other faculties of the soul, (to wit) Will and Affection, and in life and conversation, more shall be spoken in due place: For the present,* note this.
As Christ the new Man, is more or lesse formed in the Creature, so the Creature is more or lesse new.
When Christ shall be perfectly formed in the Crea•ure, then, and never till then, the Creature shall be perfectly new, according to degrees.
Thus far of the first appearance of a new Creature, he is one in whose understanding Christ is formed:
2. The second appearance of a new Crea∣ture, which I mean to insist on, is this: He is one that hath a new heart, this conclusion I deduct from the Language of the Lord, Ezek.Page 109 36.26. where the Lord speaking of making the Creature new, begins at the heart:*A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, saith the Lord, &c.
Satan doth his best works without, but God and Nature do their first works within.
Nature begins its work within,* as Philoso∣phers and Anatomists conceive; In natural ge∣neration, the heart, lives, and brain, parts which have in them, the begining of motion, are the first in being, though not the first in ap∣pearing, nor the first perfected, say they.
So in spiritual generation (to wit,) regenera∣tion, where it is true and reall, the work is be∣gun within, in the heart and spirit, that is made new first, although perfect•d last, words and actions, which are but the effects of these causes, appear before them, and give demon∣stration of them, but these, as the cause, must needs preceed the effect.
A man by a common work of the Spirit of God on him,* may be made another man then formerly he was, and yet not be a new Crea∣ture; He may have another heart then for∣merly he had, and yet not have a new heart; He may be qualified with moral grace in a high degree, and inabled to do much for God, and yet not be a new Creature, as appears in Saul and Iudas; when God brought Saul to the Kingdom of Israel, according to Samuels pro∣p•esie, The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and •e became another man, and the Text saies, God gave him another heart, 1 Sam. 10. ver. 6, 9. A he•rt other wayes qualified then for∣merly. And Saul was valiant and prosperous in his enterprises against the Philistins, and gifted Page 110 for ruling, yet Saul never was a new Creature, he never had a new heart: Iudas when called to the Apostleship by Christ, was by the Spi∣rit of Chrift gifted for the work whereunto Christ called him, he was made another man then he was before, yet was he not made a new Creature, he never had a new heart; He was gifted for the Church, but not for his own sal∣vation.
There is a vast difference, between being made another man,* and being made a new man, as these instances declare; Neither Saul nor Iudas ever were new Creatures, nor ever had a new heart, nor any renewing grace wrought by the Spirit of God in them.
A new heart is proper and peculiar to a new Creature, fit, and but fit, to give the appearance of a new Creature.
The Creature therefore is to be accounted new, only as it can derive newnes from within, newnes from the heart and spirit; all without may be new, all the apparel new, and yet the person old that weares it; so all without may be new in appearance, profession, words and actions, all new, and yet the Creature old still; the newness of the Creature consists chiefly in the renovation of the inward man; I say (chief∣ly) not only.
A new Creature is one all glorious within, one that hath the root of the matter within him, as Iob speaks (to wit) integrity in his inward parts, a new heart and spirit.
He therefore that will judg aright of his own spiritual estate,* must needs begin where God begins, at the heart and spirit, he must confi∣der, whether he have a new heart or not.
Page 111Quest. But you will say, What is a new heart? And, how may I discern whether I have a new heart, yea, or nay?
Ans. A new heart,* considered according to its formality, is a heart wherein Christ is form∣ed, a heart indued with renewing grace, and acted by it, a heart made one with the Lord, a heart wherein Christ is resident and president; And it may be discerned by divers appea∣rances.
Take this discription of a new heart, in which expression you like best, it comes all to one, it is not my work, nor purpose to speak of the terms of this description, therefore I passe from it, to the appearances of a new heart.
1. A new heart is a heart washed from wick∣ednesse, this is intimated by the Language of the Lord to Ierusalem, Jer. 4▪ 14. O Ierusalem wash thy heart from wickednesse, that thou maist be saved, &c.
Quest. But you will say, How shall I know, whether my heart be washed from wickedness, or not?
Ans. I will mention only one Character of a heart washed from wickednesse, which is this; In a heart washed from wickedness, vain thoughts do not lodg as welcome guests, and if not vain thoughts, then much lesse wicked thoughts: this is plainly hinted in this Text, wash thy heart from wickedness, that thou maist be saved; how long shall vain thoughts lodg within thee, it is as if the Lord had said? Thy willing lodging of vain thoughts within thee, plainly demonstrates thy heart is not washed from wickednesse, for were thy heart washed from wickednesse, vain thoughts would not, Page 112 nay they could not lodg within thee, as welcom guests.
Vain thoughts may, and oftentimes do, a∣rise in the best and most holy man or woman alive,* but they do not lodg with such a person as welcome guests.
Object. But may some say, I cannot from this conclude, that my heart is washed from wick∣edness, but rather that it is not washed from wick∣edness, for I find that vain thoughts do not only arise in me, but lodg with me, abide with me long, and many times with delight, I do not only think vain thoughts, but many times bid them wel∣come.
Ans. This know, that every one whose heart is washed from wickednesse, beares the Image of a double person; he beares the I∣mage of a person washed, and of a person unwashed, of the old man, and of the new; and so farre forth as he is washed and clensed, he doth decline and hate vain thoughts, but so farre forth as unwashed and unregenerate, they are welcome and pleasing to him; The heart that is washed from wickednesse is not perfectly but imperctfely washed: hence it comes to pass, that there is in it both a detesting of, and a delighting in (the same thing,) at the same time; vain thoughts lodg not with the regenerate part of the man, as welcome guests, whatever they may do with the unrege∣nerate part.
Vain thoughts, as Satans souldiers, may quarter upon a man,* whose heart is washed from wickednesse, will he, nill he, but they are not welcome guests, but wearysome guests to him, so farre forth as washed.
Page 113Whosoever therefore can find, that he doth truly hate and decline vain thoughts, ought not hence to conclude, that his heart is not washed from wickednesse, nor that he hath not a new heart, but rather to conclude with the Apostle, Rom. 7.17. It is no more I that do it, but sinne that dwelleth in me; it is no more I, as washed and sanctified, that welcome these guests, but it is sin that dwelleth in me that doth it.
2. Secondly, Another appearance of a new heart is, purity: a new heart is a pure and sim∣ple heart: That which is in Ezekiel called, a new heart, is by Christ called, a pure heart, Mat. 5.8. and a blessed heart; which plainly declares, that a new heart is a pure heart.
A pure heart is of all other the most sensible of its impurity, it still finds more impurity, then purity in its self, and therefore goes to Christ for more cleansing stills, to the Blood of Christ, to the Spirit of Christ, to the Ordi∣nances of Christ, with the desire and language of David, Create in me a cleane heart, O Lord, and puts that promise in suit, Ezek. 36.25.
A pure heart will not mix with any impure thing, but is still purging it out, it is like a pure fountain, still purging it self, it makes a man very industrious tokeep a pure conscience. To keep himself pure from the pollutionsthat are in the world through lust, pure in thought, in word▪ and in deed: a pure heart desires to have all pure within and without.
A pure heart loves the pure word of God, for the purity of it, not for the novelty of it; Thy Word is very pure, therefore •h•Page 114 Servant loveth it, saith a pure heart, Psal. 119.140.
A pure heart makes the pure Word of God its rule to walk by in all things, and labours to order its conversation by this, both towards God and towards Man in all things.
The purity of the heart in the state of grace, consists in the simplicity and sincerity of holi∣nesse,* not in the perfection of it; its purity is E∣vangelical.
The purity of sincere holinesse, is fit, and but fit to give the appearance of a new heart.
3. A new heart is an upright heart: Upright∣nesse is another expression, whereby a new heart is deciphred in Scripture; in divers places, when the heart is made new, it is made upright; uprightnesse therefore is fit, and but fit to give the appearance of a new heart; upright∣nesse of heart being that which makes the great difference between a true Child of God and an Hypocrite.
*An upright heart, by the grace of regenera∣tion,* is not a heart totally void of Hypocrisie, but a heart indued with sincerity, which is con∣trary to, and warreth against Hypocrisie, such a heart Christ cals, an honest and good heart, Luk. 8.15.
The appearances of uprightnesse of heart are very many,* but for brevity sake, I will mention only some few, which an upright heart cannot well be without.
An upright heart,* is a heart set against all sinne; original, as well as actual; secret, as well as open sinne, applauded, as well as down cr•ed sins: Sinne and uprightnesse, by the Page 115 grace of regeneration, are direct Antipodes, flat contraries, and the heart fo farre forth as upright, is set against all sinne, but most a∣gainst that sinne, which is more its own then o∣ther (to wit) its predominate sin, as the lan∣guage of an upright man declares, Psal. 119. ver. 101. & 104. compared with 2 Sam. 22.24.
An upright heart▪* is a heart careful of all duty, and desirous to correspond all circum∣stances in duty; Integrity and uprightnesse, shews it self by yielding universal Obedience to all Gods revealed Will, 1 King 9 4. It makes a man studious and careful to approve himself upright towards God, and towards man in all things, Act. 24.16. It makes a man very desirous to know, what God would have done, and how he would have it done: The upright heart saith as Paul, Lord, What wilt thou have me to do? And with Manoah, intreats the Lord to shew him, how he would have him to do it, Let the Angel come again and teach us, what we shall do unto the child that shall be born, said Manoah to the Lord, when his wife told him, what tidings the Angel of the Lord had brought her a of sonne; and not only fo, but inquires farther, how he should do it, How shall we order the C•ild, and how shall we do un∣to him? said he, Iudg. 13. ver. 8, 12. And it is the property of an upright heart, to de∣sire to know Gods Will, and to do Gods Will, as he would have it done,* and so as it may be accepted of him; I will worship the Lord in the beauty of holinesse, saith an upright heart, I will seek the Lord, and I will do it ear∣ly, in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Page 116 thee, and will observe what becomes of it, saith an upright man.
An upright heart, is an humble heart, the heart that is lifted up is not upright; so much pride, so much Hypocrisie there is in the heart; so much integrity and uprightnesse, so much humility is there in the heart: Christ formed in the heart, and the heart, must needs re∣semble him in humility, for he was meek and lowly in heart; an upright heart is a levelled heart.
*An upright heart, is a heart in love with Christ, The upright love thee, saith the Spouse to Christ, Cant. 1.4. An upright heart, is a heart espoused to Christ and faithfull to him; a heart intire to Christ, whether present or ab∣sent, a heart which desires that all its approach∣es to Christ might be in marriage-dresse, Psal. 45.14.
*An upright heart, earnestly and cordially desires that all were like it self, sincere and up∣right, witnesse the language of an upright man, Act. 26.29. and wishes well to all that are such.
An upright heart, delights to walk by an upright rule and in an upright way, I delight to do thy Will, O God, saith an upright heart, Psal. 40.8. I will behave my self wisely in a perfect way, I will walk within my house with a perfect heart, Psal. 101.2.
An upright heart begins the work of Refor∣mation at home, as the Language of Christ, Mat. 7.5. intimates. Thou Hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own Eye, &c. There∣by intimating, That it is the nature and pro∣perty of sincerity and uprightnesse to begin at Page 117 home, to labour for self-reformation in the first place, and then reformation of all under its charge, Psal. 101.78. Integrity and up∣rightnesse is no patron of tolleration, it cannot tollerate sinne, where it hath power to suppress it or restrain it.
An upright heart delights in uprightnesse in whomsoever it finds it,* more then in any o∣ther qualification whatsoever, it knows that all parts put together without this, will not make a good whole, and therefore esteems up∣rightnesse, more then any other qualification whatsoever, Psal. 101.6.
An upright heart, is a faithfull heart, it is so called, Neh. 9.8. where it is said of Abraham, who had an upright heart, that God found his heart faithfull before him: an upright heart is a heart faithfull to God, and faithfull to man; it is faithfull to God absolutely, and first, it is faith∣full to man, relatively and conditionally, with reference to God and the conditions between it and others.
An upright heart is not satisfied with a bare forme of Godlinesse, but labours for the power of Godlinesse; it is not satisfied without works, but labours to have all glorious within; it labours to do all duties after a spiritual manner, and so as they may be accepted of God, and it labours conscionably to practise what it doth profess and teach others, do and teach.
An upright heart is a heart stedfast with God, stedfast in his Covenant, as it is easie to be ga∣thered, from that which is spoken of the Isra∣elites, Psal. 78.37. Their heart was not right with God, that is, their hearts were not sin∣cere and upright: but how doth that appeare? Page 118 why the next words tell us, They were not sted∣fast in his Covenant; had their hearts been sin∣cere and upright, they had been stedfast in his Covenant they would wilfully have broken it, and cast it behind their backs.
An upright heart longs and desires still to be more upright, it groanes under the guile that it finds remaining in it self, and warrs against it, and longs to be delivered from it.
An upright heart is a heart perpendicularly, directly and chiefly for God, in all its aimes and ends; it exalts God in all things, and a∣bove all things, because he only is to be exalt∣ed: Uprightnesse exceedingly desires, and indeavours to improve every price in its hand to the glory of God the giver, Ioh. 7.18.
*An upright heart is not satisfied with its own tryal, but desires God should try it, and goes to God to do it; Thus did upright David, Psa. 26.2. & 139.23▪24. And upright Iob. Let me be weighed in an even Balance, saith he, Iob 31.6.
An upright heart can comfor•ably appeal to God in its worst condition, except in some cases (viz.) in case of ignorance of its own integrity, or in case of some guilt charged up∣on it by God, conscience, or Satan, or in case of some Temptation, wherein Satan by his sophistery mis-represents him to himself, and fantacy joyning with Satan, gives a false Idea and representation of things to the understand∣ing, whereby it comes to passe, that consci∣ence doth accuse, when it should excuse; in such cases, an upright heart cannot, nor dares not to own its own integrity, nor appeal Page 119 to God, but if it be not hindered by the inter∣position of some one of these, or the like, it can comfortably appeal to God in its worst condi∣tion, as is evident by divers examples, as in Hezekiah, 2 King. 20.3. and in Iob,* Job 23. ver. 10, 11, 12 Chap. 16.17. and in Ieremi∣ah, Jer. 12.3. David, 1 Chro. 29.17. Paul,* 1 Thes. 2.10.
An upright heart is a soyl, wherein the im∣mortall seed of the word takes kindly rooting, springs up, and brings forth fruit, in some mea∣sure, more or lesse, as Christ affirms in that Parable, Mark 4.8.
Integrity or uprightnesse is a growing and spreading plant, it is a plant which how small soever it be at its beginning, if once planted, grows greater and greater, it is alwayes grea∣ter at last, then at the first; This Bildad hinted to Iob, Job 8.7. and this Christ plainly af∣firms in the Parable of the mustard seed, Mat 13.31, 32. Uprightnesse is a plant that will thrive, though in a barren soyl.
Finally, Integrity or uprightnesse is an a∣biding plant;* It is a plant that will live under a torrid or a friged Zone, a plant that will bide the hottest Summer and the coldest Winter; my meaning is, it will hold out in the hottest persecution, and in the greatest defection; An upright heart abides in the truth,*and the truth abids in it: The upright do hold on his way, Job 17.9. An Hypocrite may professe the truth,* and go farre in the profession of it for a time, but he will not alwayes abide in it,* sooner or lat∣er he will fall off quite, as is evident by those Texts quoted in the Margin;* but an upright heart will hold on its way, & hold out upright in Page 120 crooked times, it will hold fast its integrity whatever it part with else, as God and an up∣right man affirms, Iob 2.3. and 27.5, 6.
*As an Hypocrite will not abide in the truth, no more will the truth abide in him: Truth may be in an Hypocrite for a time, but it will not abide in him; God doth sooner or later take it quite from him; but truth in an upright heart, it abideth there, so saith the Apostle, The annointing which ye have received of God abideth in you, 1 Joh. 2.27. Truth in an upright heart is in its proper element, and therefore a∣bideth there.
These appearances of an upright heart, which I have collected from the bare Word, I thought not amisse here to insert, and for brevity sake, I will multiply no more, but proceed to the fourth appearance of a new heart.
4. A new heart is a self loathing heart, as appears by Ezek. 36.26. compared with ver. 31. A new heart will I give you, saith the Lord, and what follows? Then shall ye remem∣ber your own evill wayes, and your doings that were not good, and shall loath your selves in your own sight, &c. Thence it is evident, that a new heart is a self-loathing heart, it loaths it self for all its iniquities, and for all its abominati∣ons, for all its guilt of sinne, and for all the filth of sinne that it sees in its self, for its inward corruptions as well as its outward transgres∣sions.
5. A new heart is an obedient heart, a heart made pliable to the Will of God, as appears by the fore-cited place, Ezek. 36. A new heart will I give you, saith the Lord, v. 26. And Page 121 cause you to walk in my Statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them, ver. 27. Hence it is evident, That a new heart is a heart pliable to all the revealed Will of God, a heart on which the Word of God, and the Works ofGod make impression, and it is therefore called a heart of flesh, Ibid v. 26.
6. A new heart is a heart new principled; it hath in it principles above nature, above mo∣rality (to wit) Divine principles, princi∣ples of grace, by which the whole new man is acted.
7. Another appearance of a new heart, is this, A new heart is alwayes accompanied with a new spirit, A new heart will I give you,*and a new spirit will I put within you, saith the Lord, Ezek. 36.26. A new heart and a new spirit are here coupled in infusion by the Lord, which shews, they are twins born together, they alwayes go together, live everlastingly toge∣ther; this David pointed at, Psal. 51.10. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, &c. David knew that where God gave a new heart, he gave a new frame of spirit also, and therefore he puts both into his bill, when he put this promise in suit; When God makes the heart new, he makes the spirit new also, he frames it of another fashion, points it towards another course, raiseth it from Earth to Heaven, meekeneth it, and makes it more easie to be intreated.
8. The principles then being new and the spi∣rit new, where the heart is made new, it must needs follow in the next place, by necessa∣ry consequence, That the life and conversati∣on is new also, for these being made new,Page 122 cannot but produce newnesse of life; therefore I conclude this thus, A new heart alwayes produc∣eth a new life; if the heart be new, the life will be new also; Christ if truely formed in the Creature, is formed in every part of the Crea∣ture, in the whole man, in the whole life and conversation of the man, from his converti∣on, and new birth; This is the last, but not the least demonstrator of a new heart, of a new Creature, and such, as without which, no man can ever safely conclude, that his heart is new or his Creation new; He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the World, that we should be holy and blamelesse before him in love, Eph. 1.4. This therefore is vigor fit, and but fit to give the appearance of a new heart, of a new Creature. Thus much of the second appearance of a new Creature, he is one that hath a new heart.
*3. In the third place, A new Creature is one that lives in Christ, the new ftock, as a branch in the vine; And brings forth fruit in him.
That a new Creature is one that lives in Christ the new stock, is evident by the Lan∣guage of the Apostle in this Text, If any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature; hence it is evident, that he is in Christ, or else he is not a new Creature, first in Christ and then a new Creature; as Dr Preston doth well observe. A new Creature is one that hath his abiding in Christ, one that lives in Christ, as his stock; If you ask him the question, that the two Disciples asked Christ, Master, where dwellest thou? He may say, in Christ.
That a new Creature is one that lives in Page 123 Christ, and hath his abiding in him, as his stock, is evident by the language of Christ, Ioh. 15.6. If any man abide not in me, he is cast forth, as a branch withered &c.
That he bringeth forth fruit, is evident by the Language of Christ in the 5, & 6. verses of that Chapter, He •hat abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth fo•th much fruit; And not only beareth fruit, but beareth fruit in Christ, as a branch in the vine, as the Language of Christ in the 2 v. of that Chap. implies, Eve∣ry branch that beareth not fruit [in me] he taketh away; Hence it is evident, That a new Creature, is one that beareth fruit in Christ, as a branch in Christ, the true vine; and this is that which distinguisheth him from a meer mo∣rall Creature, both may be fruitfull in righte∣ousnesse, and bring forth much fruit, as ap∣pears in the Scribes and Pharisees, who were a generation fruitfull in righteousnesse, and brought forth much fruit, and so do many o∣thers which have but morall grace, as appears, Mat. 7.22, 23. But herein lyes the diffe∣rence, as to this point, between a meer moral∣list, and a new Creature.
A meer morallist brings forth fruit in him∣self, that is, from his own principles, by a com∣mon assistance from Christ, he being but self, and in the state of nature still, and he brings forth fruit to himself, as Ephraim did, to his own honour, and praise, and glory; self is his utmost end in all he doth; but a new Creature brings forth fruit in Christ, he is fruitfull in righteousnesse, as a branch in Christ the true vine; his fruitfulnesse issueth out from super∣natural and Divine principles, from a special Page 124 work of the Spirit of Christ in him.
Quest. But how may I discern, whether my fruitfulnesse in righteousness issue from a common assistance of the Spirit of Christ, to wit, naturall and moral principles only, or whether I be fruitfull in righteousnesse as a branch in Christ the true vine?
Sol. 1. Fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse issu∣ing from natural and moral principles only,* is not universal but partial, but he that is fruitful in righteousnesse as a branch in the vine, is fruitful in every good work, at least in his aime and indeavour.
2. Fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, issuing from moral principles, is usually more exem∣plary in circumstantials, then in substantials, more in mint and annise, then in judgment and mercy; but he that is fruitfull in righteousnesse, as a branch in the vine, sunders not what God hath coupled together, but places substantials in the vant-gard, in the first place.
3. Fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, issuing from morall principles is usually more in the eyes of men, than in the eye of God: Such as are fruitfull in righteousnesse from their own principles, are more studious to make all things seem good and glorious in the eyes of men, than they are to approve the righteousnesse of their hearts or wayes to God; but he that is fruit∣full in righteousnesse as a branch in the vine, is more studious and carefull to approve the uprightnesse of his heart and actions to God in all things, than to make things seem good in the sight of men; He is more desirous to be fruitfull then to seem fruitfull.
Page 1254. Fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, proceed∣ing from naturall and morall principles, is usu∣ally attended with much pride inwardly in heart, if not outwardly in expression; and the more fruitfull this man is,* the more proud he is: contrarywise fruitful in righteousnesse as a branch in the vine, is attended with much hu∣mility; a man that is fruitful in righteousnesse, as a branch in the vine, sees that he hath no sap, but what he hath from the stock, into which he is ingrafted; no sufficiency in himself to any good; he sees that his good motions, af∣fections and actions, flow all from Christ, and therefore he humbly ascribes all to Christ; The glory of all his fruitfulnesse, he layes on Christs shoulders, he shall beare the glory, saith this soul, he dares take none to himself, though tempted thereunto by Satan, but sayes of Christ, as Mephibosheth did of Ziba, Let him take all, who is all in all, Who am I? and what am I, that I should offer, after this manner. Thus his being filled with the fruits of righteousnesse, re∣dounds to the Glory of Christ, who is his righ∣teousnesse: The more fruitfull a branch in the vine is, the lower he is.
That fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, pro∣ceeding from natural and morall principles on∣ly, is attended with these forementioned ef∣fects, is evident in the Scribes and Pharisees, who were men very fruitfull in righteousnesse from their own principles, yet did pick and chuse in the wayes of God; Tythe mint and annise, and omit the weightier matters of the Law, and of the Gospel too; strain at a Gnat, and swallow a Camel, as Christ tells them, Mat. 23. were very industrious to make all they Page 126 did, feem good and glorious in the eyes of men, but cared not how rotten their hearts were; the more fruitfull they were, the more proud they were; all this Christ taxes them with, Mat. 23. and thereupon cals them, not new Creatures, not fruitfull branches in the v•nt, but whited Sepulchers, graves, fools, blind, Hypo∣crites, &c.
That fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, proceed∣ing from Divine principles, from a Christian, as a branch in the vine, doth produce effects contrary to these forementioned, is evident in David and Paul, and other fruitfull branche• of the true vine. They were not partiall in the wayes of God, but had respect unto all Gods Will, Psal. 119.128 their great care was to approve their hearts and their wayes to God, as appears, Psal. 139.23. & 119.80. compared with the 2 Cor. 5.9. Their fruitfulneffe did not produce pride, but humi∣lity, as appears by the language of as fruitfull a branch, as ever was, Eph. 3.8. Less than the least, &c.
[ 5] In the fifth place, Fruitfulnesse in righte∣ousnesse, proceeding from moral principles, is usually attended with repose and trust in the work done; he that is thus fruitfull, rests in the work done; Thus it was with the Pharisee that pleaded his actions, his repose was in them, as Christs Language to the Publican in∣timates; but contrarywise, he that is fruitfull in righteousnesse, as a branch in the vine, as a branch truly and really in the vine, rests not in any works done by him, but renounces all, in matter of justification; he sees more unrighteousnefse then righteousnesse in his Page 127 best actions; All our righteousnesses are as filthy raggs, said the fruitful branches, Isai. 64.6. All as dross and dung, saith another fruitfull branch, Phil. 3.8. We are unprofitable ser∣vants, and have done nothing, that is worth any thing. Lord, when saw we thee an hun∣gred? or athirst? or a stranger? or naked? or sick? or in prison? and did minister unto thee? say the fruitfull branches, Matth. 25.37, 38, 39. which language evidently declares, that their repose and trust was not in their actions.
In the fixth place, Fruitfulnesse in righte∣ousnesse, [ 6] issuing out of morall principles, brings no true peace to the mind and consci∣ence of a man, as appears in the young man that came to Christ, to ask, what he should do to be saved? He was very fruitfull in righteous∣nesse from his own principles, as appears by his own language, yet very scrupulous, how it would go with him at the last; which shews, That the effect of his fruitfulnesse was not qui∣etnesse, but unquietnesse; not confidence, but diffidence: But on the other side, fruit∣fulnesse, as a branch in the vine, brings sweet peace and rest to the mind, and conscience of a man, as appears, Isai. 32.17, There the Lord promises his People, That the work of righteousnesse shall be peace, and the effect of righteousnesse, quietnesse and assurance for ever. The more fruitful in righteousnesse a man is, as a branch in the vine, the more con∣tentment and rest shall he have within him∣self.
Object. But do we not see the contrary, may some say, Are not many fruitfull branches in Page 128 the vine very unquiet, and restless, and un∣satisfied in conscience about their Eternall e∣state?
Answ. This, if granted, doth not null the truth asserted; For, First, This unquiet∣nesse doth not spring from their fruitfulnesse, but rather from that unfruitfulnesse, which they see in themselves: Secondly, The Text doth not say, That it alwayes is quietnesse, but it shall be peace and quietnesse, it shall yield him peace and quietnesse at the last, it shall end in peace and quietnesse, and assurance for ever, that shall be the issue of it, with this David con∣curreth, Psal. 37.37.
[ 7] Seventhly, Fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, proceeding from naturall and morali princi∣ples, is usually stinted at a stay, bounded and limited by carnal reason; so far it will go, but no farther;* this is evident in Saul, seven dayes he would stay for Samuel, but no longer, if Samuel come not then, he will offer sacrifice himself; this mans fruitfulnesse doth not in∣crease, but decrease: But fruitfulnesse in righteousnesse, proceeding from a branch in the vine, is a thriving and a growing fruitful∣nesfe, a branch in the vine proposeth no other period to himself in piety, then perfection, and this he labours to the utmost of his ability, through the help of his heavenly husband-man to attain, and goes on dayly by degrees towards, so that he brings forth most fruit in age, as the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 92.14.
[ 8] Eighthly, Fruitfulnesse, proceeding from natural and moral principles, is many times attended with malice ag•inst those that are Page 129 fruitful in righteousnesse, as branches in the vine, as is evident in the Scribes and Pharisees, who whre men very fruitful in righteousnesse from their own principles, they prayed, and fasted, and gave alms, tythed mint, and anice, and cummin, and yet were very malicious against Christ and his Disciples, none more malicious than they were: But fruitfulnesse in righte∣ousnesse, proceeding from a branch in the vine, is not attended with malice to any but with love to all, even to very enemies.
Ninthly, A man fruitful in righteousnesse [ 9] from his own principles, brings forth fruit from the good treasure of his brain, and such maxims as are fastened there; this did the Phari∣sees, and thus do all meer moralists; But a man fruitful in righteousnesse, as a branch in the vine, brings forth fruit out of the good treasure of his heart, as Christ affirmeth, Luk. 6.45. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, or, that which is good. A branch in the vine, out of an ho•est and good heart bringeth forth fruit, so saith Christ, Luk 8.15.
Here nore one main difference that is be∣tween an evill man and a good,* or a meer for∣malist and a branch truly in the vine; in an evill man, or a meer formalist,* his heart is the trea∣sury of all the evill, which he bringeth forth, but not of the good; but a good man, or a branch truly in the vine, his heatt is the treasu∣ry of the good fruit which he bringeth forth: in the heart of an evill man (to wit) a man out of Christ, dwelleth no good thing, nothing that is truly and spiritually good, therefore (out of it) can come no such fruit: But in the heart of a Page 130good man (to wit) a branch truly in the vine, dwelleth a principle of faith and love, from which his fruitfulnesse springs; these constrain him, or lead him along, as the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 5.14. And herein lies the great and main difference, that is between the fruitful∣nesse of a man in Christ, and a man out of Christ, between a branch in the vine, and a meer motalist, both bring forth fruit, good fruit; but the one bringeth it forth out of the treasure of an honest and good heart, and the o∣ther doth not so; this Christ confirms in that forecited place, Luk. 6.45.
[ 10] In the tenth place, A man whose fruitful∣nesse in righteousnesse, springs from naturall and moral principles only, his fruit doth not re∣main, but rots before it is ripe, fals before it is fit to be gathered: How much fruit soever the best meer moralist brings forth, he brings none at all to perfection, as these Texts here quoted do excellently and elegantly set forth, Iob 15.33. He shall shake off his unripe fruit, as the vine, and cast off his flower, as the Olive, Mat. 13.6. And when the Sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not roote, they withered away, And bring no fruit to perfection, Luk. 8.14. Here we have the pe∣riod of the fruitfulnesse of the best meer mo∣ralist, set down by the holy Ghost, all his fruit comes to just nothing at last: But con∣trarywise, he that is fruitfull in righteous∣nesse, as a branch in the vine, his fruit remain∣eth and •indly ripeneth, as appears by Ioh. 15.16. I have chosen you, and ordained you, saith Christ of the living branches of the vine, that ye should bring forth fruit, and that your frui•Page 131 should remain: And it is said of such an one in Ier. 17.8. That he shall not cease from yielding fruit: and Luk. 8.15. He brings forth fruit with patience: and Psal. 1.3. He bringeth forth his fruit in his season; By all which it is evident, That a branch truly in the vine, hath this priviledg and Character, be∣yond the best meer moralist or formalist whatsoever, how little soever his fruit of righ∣teousnesse seems to be, either in his own eyes or the eyes of other men, yet his fruit remaineth and kindly ripeneth, it cometh to perfection at the length.
Eleventhly, A man fruitfull in righteousnesse [ 11] from naturall and morall principles, brings forth fruit to himself only, as Israel did, Is∣rael is an empty vin•, he bringeth forth fruit to him•elf, Hos. 10.1. Israel was a fruit∣bearing vine, yet but an empty vine; how comes this to passe? why the next words tell us, he brings forth fruit to himself. Thus it is with a man, whose fruitfulnesse springs from naturall and morall principles only, he brings forth fruit to himself, to his own base ends, his own honour, profit, and the like; but he that is fruitfull in righteousnesse, as a branch in the vine, bringeth forth fruit unto God, to the glory of God, as the Scripture speaks, Rom. 7.4. His fruitfulnesse springs from, and de∣pends upon Christs conjunction with his soul, and tends chiefly to the advancing God in Christ, God is both the efficient and fina•• cause of his fruitfulnesse.
Lastly, A fruitfull branch in the vine, is u∣sually [ 12] most pulled and cudgelled, •ressed and oppressed; Ioseph was a fruitfull branch in the Page 132 vine, even a fruitfull bough by a well, whose branch runs over the wall, yet the Text tels us, That the Archers sorely grieved him, they shot at him, and hated him, Gen. 49.22, 23. As it was with Ioseph, so it is usually with other fruitfull branches in the vine, Satan and men stirred up by Satan, do impugne, molest and trouble them more than they do meer mora∣lists, this Jesus Christ hinted to his Disciples, when he told them, In the world ye shall have tribulation.
Lay all these together, and make a touch-stone of them to try thy fruitfulnesse by, and according as thou findest it, agree or disagree with them, make up the conclusion.
[ 4] A fourth Character or appearance of a new Cre•ture,* is this, he is one that sinneth not, one that doth not commit sinne, so saith the Text, 1 Ioh. 3.6. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; and ver. 9. Whosoever is born of God▪ doth not commit sinne; This assertion is a touch-stone of the holy Ghosts making, therefore it must needs be both necessary and safe for a Christia• to try himself by, and this I thi•k is such, as (if rightly understood) may afford much comfort, to a poore Child of God, when many other appearances of his new birth are hidden from him, though in the letter (I confess) it seems one of the unlikeliest Texts in Scripture so to do.
Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not, saith the •ext; what shall I hence conclude, That a branch in Christ, a true beleever, a new Creature, is totally freed from the power, act, and being of sinne, so that he doth not nor cannot sinne actually? (God forbid) this Page 133 were to give the Scripture the lye, which saith, That in many things we sin all, even [we] that are born again.
And if we say that we have no sinne, we de∣ceive our selves, and the truth is not in us, 1 Ioh. 1.8. And Rom. 7.23. a new Creature saith, I see a Law in my members, rebelling a∣gainst the law of my mind, and leading me cap∣tive to the Law of sinne, which is in my members. He doth not say (I saw) as one speaking of the time past, before conversion, but [I see] as one speaking in the (present Tence) and of the time after conversion; he doth not say, bringing me into captivity to the Law of sinne (which was) in my members, but (unto the law of sinne which is in my members;) by all which it is evident, That this Text means no such thing as immunity and freedom from the motions, act, or being of sinne: He there∣fore that shall hence conclude, That he is to∣tally freed from the power and being of sinne, so that he doth not nor cannot sinne no more than the glorified Saints, or Christ himself, doth make of a touch stone, a mill-stone to grind him to powder.
Object. But if this be not the meaning of this Scripture, what then is the meaning of it?
Answ. The meaning of it (•s I humbly con∣ceive) is this, That a true beleever, one that lives in Christ, and Christ in him, one that 〈◊〉 again, and made a new Creature, sinne••ot as an u•regenerate person doth, he give• not himself over to the commission of any known sinne, neither allows himself in the omission of any known duty; He is not a willing slave to Page 134 any sin; He sins not knowingly, without damping and quenching, in some measure, for some time the actings of grace, and the Spirit of God in him, He doth not commit sin; He doth commit sinne in the Apostles sense (as I conceive) which doth sin of pur∣pose,* and with the consent of the whole will, and with the whole sway of his affections, this every one in the state of nature doth, he sins with the consent of the whole will, and with the whole sway of his affections, and must needs do so, because he hath no principle fastened on those faculties to cross him, therefore in sinning, he doth the evill which he would do, the evill which he loves.
But it is quite other wayes with a Child of God, who is born again, and made a new Creature, put in a state of grace; He doth not (so sin,) neither indeed can he, because his feed (to wit) the grace of the Spirit remain∣eth in him; though he sinne, and sinne in ma∣ny things, yet doth he not sinne with the con∣sent of his whole will, nor with the whole sway of his affections in any thing. (The evill which I would not that do I) saith a new Creature, What I hate that do I.
*The will, as all other faculties of the soul, is but in part renewed; Christ is formed in it im∣perfectly, it hath in it (at the best estate here) a regenerate part, and an unregenerate part, and so far forth as it is renewed, it doth nill the evill which the unregenerate part doth chuse; there∣fore a regenerate man saith, It is no more I that do it, and so the Apostle here, He that is born of God, doth not commit sin, because he doth it not as regenerate, but as unregenerate.
Page 135So for the affections; a renewed man cannot sinne with the whole sway of his affections, because the renewed part of them doth decline, and oppose what the unrenewed part of them doth imbrace and cleave to.
This contradiction, in the same faculty of the soul, is proper and peculiar to a Child of God, in his state of imperfection, and may therefore well serve to decipher him out, and distinguish between a new Creature and a meer naturalist.
For although there may be, and oftentimes is, a contradiction and combate in an unrege∣nerate person, between severall and distinct faculties of the soul, the appetite against rea∣son, the will or affections against conscience, yet there never is a contradiction in the same faculty of the soul, in an unregenerate person, neither indeed can there be, for there is no∣thing in it to oppose; This combate is peculiar to a new Creature, where there is flesh and spirit in the same faculty, and what the one chuseth, the other refuseth, it may there∣fore well be a Christians touch-stone to try himself by.
There is yet another way, whereby a man may be said to commit sinne, which is far more dangerous than the former, yea, remedilesse, and that is, when a man doth wilfully and ob∣stinately oppose that which the Word of God, and the Spirit of God doth throughly convince his conscience is the Truth, and ought to be followed, out of meer malice, scorn and con∣tempt, and this is that which (I think) this Text points at chiefly; but (thus) a Child of God, a member of Christ, a new Creature Page 136 cannot commit sinne,*because his seed remaineth in him, as the Apostle here speaks, He that thus commiteth sin is of the Divell, and sealed by him to Hels eternity, 1 Ioh. 3.8. ch. 5.16. Mat. 12.32.
In the fifth place; a new Creature, is one that groans under the remainder of the old man in him (to wit) the naturall propensity which he finds in himself to all evill; the inticing temp∣ter of corrupt nature, which makes him a verse to all good, and prone to all evill, as that which spoiles all his good dutyes, as that which is his greatest burden, bewailes it as that alone which makes his condition wretched and mi∣serable, longs earnestly for a total deliverance from this burden of corrupt nature, prayes ear∣nestly for strength against all the inticings thereof,* and rests of Christ by Faith, in the use of all lawfull meanes by him appointed, for a total deliverance at length, and strength against all the inticings thereof, until total de∣livera•ce be granted, all which is evident in Paul, Rom. 7.
And truly I never yet found any burden like this burden, though I have born many; this burden alone had not Christ borne the heavior end of it, had sunk my soul in despaire, or driven it upon desperate attempts; the time hath been, when to have been freed from the power of natural corruption, My soul hath chosen death, rather than life, and longed for d•ath, more then for hid treasures, as Iob speaks; yea, when it would have joyed in that which nature abhors, an untimely death by the hand of man, would have infinitely more joyed me, than the acquiring of the Page 137 whole earth with all it affords, only for the freeing of my soul from the power of corrupt nature, which was so potent, that my unbe∣leeving heart did often conclude, That I should one time or other fall by it, and by it be un∣done to all eternity; yet the Lord was my stay, and prevented what I much feared, and out of this deep the Lord at length delivered me, to the glory of Christ my keeper and deliverer, and the incouragement of others in the like case; I speak this, much more I could speake on this subject experimentally, but I for∣beare. [ 6]
In the sixt place, a new Creature is one,* that minds the things of the Spirit, is led by the Spirit, and walks after the Spirit; These ex∣pressions tend all to one and the same end, namely, to denominate a new Creature, therefore I put them together.
A new Creature, is one that minds the things of the Spirit, so saith the text, Rom. 8.5. They that are after the sl•sh, do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit; As carnall hearts mind carnall things, so spirituall hearts, mind spirituall things; a new Creature minds the things of the Spirit, after the rule of the Spirit, the Word of God; He minds the things of the Spirit in the first place, he minds them savour∣ly, chiefly and principally, more than the things of the flesh, and declares it by follow∣ing after them industriously; The apprehen∣sion of the love and favour of God,* and that which leades thereunto (to wit) the pure Ordinances of God, are the only jewels which he esteems and follows after, and for the ac∣quiring Page 138 and retaining of these, he will part with all the good of the world, and count it but dung, as is evident in the parable of the mer∣chant-man, who sould all to buy the pearl: A new Creature, his great care, desire, and indea∣vour is, to be more new: O that I were more dead to sinne, more alive to righteousnesse! that I were lesse in the flesh, more in the spirit! lesse in my self, more in Christ! saith a new Creature; And these are the things which he minds and follows after.
He is led by the Spirit of God, so saith the A∣postle, Rom. 8.14. As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. This language plainly shews who are the Adopted Sonnes of God, and so consequently, who are new Creatures; for to be such a Sonne of God, as this Text speaks of, and to be a new Crea∣ture, is all one in effect, and he that is such, is led by the Spirit of God; That is his mark, set by the holy Ghost, by the hand of the Apo∣stle.
The Spirit of God may be said to lead man two manner of wayes;* more generally, or, more specially; as a qualifier only, or as a sanctifier; and that leading of the Spirit which denominates our son ship, or the Creature new, is not the more generall, but the more speciall leading of the Spirit (to wit) the Spirit leading, as a sanctifier, as an inward sanctifier, as well as an outward.
*A man may then be faid to be led by the Spi∣rit of God, according to the meaning of this Text, (as I humbly conceive) when h•, by a speciall work of the Spirit of God upon his soul Page 139 is inabled voluntarily, and cordially to resign up himself, in all things to be guided by the Spirit of God, and cordially and couragiously to decline all other leaders (contrary unto this.)
1. He that is thus led by the Spirit of God, is not under the Law, saith the Apostle, Gal. 5.18. If ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the Law: by [Law] in this Text, some Di∣vines take to be meant the moral Law, and so taking it, conclude, That he that is led by the Spirit, is freed from the curse of the moral Law, which is very true; of this mind was Mr Perkins: others by Law here, understand the domineering power of corrupt nature, that which the Apostle cals, The Law of sinne, Rom. 7 25. of this mind was Luther: [Law] thus taken, the conclusion is, That he that is led by the Spirit of God, is not under the dominee∣ring, reigning power of sinne; He is no ser∣vant of sinne, he doth not voluntarily yeeld himself to obey any sinne in the lusts thereof, as an unregenerate person doth, with free consent; [Law] taken in this latter sence, is that which (I think) this Text points at, by the scope of this Chapter, and all the pas∣sages of it; and taken in this sense, I am sure it is most for my purpose, therefore I pitch upon it; He that is led by the Spirit of God, as a sanctifier, is in great measure freed from this Law of sinne.
When this Law, (to wit) lust, leads,* as commander in chief, the person is soon led a∣way with a spirit of errour and inticers thereunto, as the Apostle shews, •Tim. 3.6.
Page 1402. But he whom the Spirit of God leads, as commander in chief, beleeves not every spirit, but tries the spirits whether they are of God, as the Apostle exhorts all Christians to do, 1 Ioh. 4.1. He makes the written Word his touchstone to try them by; He knows that whatsoever is revealed contrary to the Word of God, is not of the Spirit, for the Spirit of God doth not dispense things contrary unto, but agreeable with the Word of God, as Christ affirms, Ioh. 16.13, 14, 15. The Spirit (saith Christ) shall not speak of himself, but he shall glorifie me, for he shall receive of mine and shew it unto you; He shall take of mine, and shew it unto you; which language plainly shews, That the Spirit of God doth make use of the Word of God, and revealeth the meaning of it, but never contrad•cts it: Note this, all you that boast of the Spirit, and yet slight and contemn the Word.
3. He whom the Spirit of God leads after a special manner, he leades into all truth, as Christ affirms, Ioh. 16.13. He shall guide you into all truth, that is, into all truth neces∣sary for you, in such a sphere and condition, as God hath assigned you unto, truth in judg∣ment, in heart, in practice.
*But here note, That although the Spirit of God doth lead into all Truth, yet the Spirit doth not this all at once; neither doth the Spi∣rit this ordinarily, without the reading and preaching of the Word, but by it, specially where it may be had.
4. He whom the Spirit of God thus leads, he fits and inables to walk with God, under Ordinances, as appears by Ezek. 36.27. where Page 141 God gives his Spirit, he gives him for a leader, and whom the Spirit of God leads, it inables to walk with God, in the use of his Ordinances, as that Text plainly shews, (even in the most glorious times of the Gospel, for of these the Prophet here speaks.) Note this, all you that boast of the Spirit, and think you are led by the Spirit, and yet cry down Ordi∣nances.
5. He whom the Spirit of God thus leads, he quickeneth in some measure, Rom. 8.11. where the Spirit of God dwels as a leader, he dwels as a quickener, he quickeneth our souls even while they dwell in houses of clay, in mortal bodies, he quickeneth them in every faculty, and to every holy duty, though not all in like measure, nor to all duties at the same time. Note this, all you that not being under a Temptation to distrust,* think you are led by the Spirit of God, and yet find no quickening at all by the Spirit, neither desire any, nor feel want of it.
6. He that is thus led by the Spirit of God, worships God in spirit and in truth, he doth serve God in newnesse of spirit, as the Apostle affirms, Phil. 3.3. he doth inwardly, and sincerely, worship and serve God as well as outwardly and formally: He knows his leader is not pleased with any outward performances, severed from the service of the spirit (to wit) the inward man, and therefore he strives with all his might, to exercise all the powers of his soul, and act, and improve all his graces in, and by the service of God, being exceedingly desirous to serve his leader acceptably. Note this, all formal and persunctary servers of Page 142 God, that think you are led by the Spirit of God, and all Gods People, that think you are not led by the Spirit of God, and yet exceedingly desire and labour thus to do.
7. He whom the Spirit of God thus leadeth, he helpeth his infirmities, The Spirit (saith the Apostle) helpeth our infi•mities, meaning theirs to whom he is a leader; But how doth the Spirit that? Why, by discovering our in∣firmities unto us, and supplying what is want∣ing in us, out of Christs fulnesse, which he holds up and applies to us. The Text doth not say, That the Spirit perfectly cureth our infirmities, [but he helpeth our infirmities,] He helpeth them, by doing that for us, which we cannot do our selves, Rom. 8.26. this each mans experience, which is thus led by the Spirit will tell him.
8. He that is thus led by the Spirit, finds so much sweetnesse in his leader, that he still desires to be more led by him, to be filled with the Spi∣rit, as the Scripture speaks; He never thinks he hath enough of the Spirit, but still desires more, and his soul follows hard after the Lord in Prayer, and in the use of all meanes by him appointed, for the attaining a greater measure of the Spirit than he yet hath.
9. He that is thus led by the Spirit of God, is led by the written Word of God, the reveal∣ed Will of God, which is the instrument, rule, and demonstrator of the Spirit of God, in re∣ference to man; and he that hath the Word of God, or might have, and will not be led by it, hath no ground to conclude, that he is led by the Spirit of God, as it is evident by Isai. 8.20. These leaders (to wit) (the Word and Page 143 the Spirit,) are never opposite one to ano∣ther.
10. He that is thus led by the Spirit of God, is chary of the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) and fights with it against all his spi∣ritual enemies, the World, the Flesh, and the Divel; this is evident in the natural Sonne of God, Jesus Christ, Mat. 4.4, 7, 10. and in many of the adopted Children of God, of whom we read in Scripture. Note this, all you that slight the Wor• of God and fight not with it, but against it, and yet make your boast, that you are led by the Spirit.
11. He that is thus led by the Spirit of God doth walk in the Spirit, and he doth walk after the Spirit; But what is it to walk •n the Spirit, or to walk after the Spirit? These expressions (I think) differ not much. To walk in the Spi∣rit (saith Luther) is to wrestle in spirit against the flesh, and to follow spirituall motions. Walking in the Spirit (saith Mr Perkins) is to order our lives according to the direction and motion of the Spirit. A man may then be said to walk after the Spirit (saith Ios. Ex•n.) when in respect of the trade and course of his life, he walks not ac∣cording to the guidance, and motion of his cor∣rupt nature, but of the holy Spirit. Hence (I conceive) a man may then be said to walk [in and after the Spirit] when he walks not after the flesh, as the Apostle speaks; but after the rules of the Spirit, given in the Word of God, and according to the motions, dictates, and guidance of the Spirit (which are never contrary unto, but agreeable with the Word of God) when he doth not voluntarily, and approvedly obey the dictates of corrupt na∣ture, Page 144 but the Word and Spirit of God, when he doth walk according to the rule of the writ∣ten Word (at lest, in his aim desire and endea∣vour.
*Here note two or three things; He that is thus led by the Spirit of God, walks after the Spirit, more strongly, or mor• weakly, as he is more or lesse new.
He walks after the Spirit, more swiftly, or more slowly,* as Chris• by his Spirit draws him more strongly or mor• weakly; some Christ by his Spirit draws more strongly and they run after him, as the Church speaks, Cant. 1.4. They follow their leader vigorously, unweari∣edly, wit• delight; others he draws more weakly, 〈◊〉 they walk more slowly after him, according to the different dispensations of the Spirit of God; so doth man move more strong∣ly or more weakly, more swiftly or more slow∣ly, in the wayes of God.
Then again note this, Man at his best estate here follows his leader, walks after the Spirit, but as a blind, lame impotent Creature, if at one time he runs after his leader, and follows him vigorously, at another time he is weary and walks slowly; now he stumbles, and anon fals, and were it not that his leader, is very able, wise, and watchfull, he would give over quite and fall irrecoverably.
12. In the next place, A man that is thus led by the Spirit of God, is a curagious and resolute opposer of all leaders, contrary unto this leader; if the World tempt and strive to be his leader, he opposes that; if the flesh tempt, and strive to be his leader, he opposes that; if the Divell tempt, and strive to be his leader, Page 145 he resisteth him; and all this he doth in the strength of the Spirit of God, whom he hath chosen for his leader; all this is evident in Paul, a man led by the Spirit of God, after a special manner; his courage and resolution was such, that he maintained a constant warre with these three enemies, on this ground, that they would have been his leader, they had led him before, & would have led him again, but this he had rather dye then yield to, when once led by the Spi∣rit, as his own testimony, in divers places proves.
He that thus doth, may be, and sometimes is led captive,* by some one or other of these enemies; This the Apostle Paul sadly com∣plains of, as an experimented truth, Rom. 7.23.
13. Finally he whom the Spirit of God thus leads, he leads so long as he needeth leading; He will lead us over death, unto glory, Psal. 48.14. compared with Psal. 73.24. He whom the Spirit of God once leads as a san∣ctifier, he never totally nor finally gives o∣ver leading, but leads him through grace unto glory.
Lay all these things together, and consider, whether it be thus with thy selfe, yea, or nay; and if upon a true tryal thou findest it thus with thee; conclude thou mayst safely, That thou art one led by the Spirit of God after a special manner, and so consequently a sonne of God by Adoption, an heir of Heaven, a new Crea∣ture.
The seventh and last appearance of a new Creature, which I will mention here, is thi•; he is one that is joyned to the Lord Jesus Chr•i•, and one spiri• with him.
Page 146That he is one joyned to the Lord Jesus Christ,* is evident from the words of this Text, If any man be in Christ, he is a new Creature; Here it is granted, That a new Creature is in Christ; E•go, it must needs then be granted, That he is joyned to Christ; for to be in a thing, is more then to be joyned to it, and the greater doth necessarily comprehend the lesser; but according to the meaning of the A∣postle here, these expressions of being in Christ, and being joyned to Christ, I conceive comes all to one.
That he that is thus united to Christ, is one Spirit with Christ, is evident by the Language of the Apostle,* 1 Cor. 6.17. He that is joyn∣ed to the Lord, is one spirit; In these few words we have a compleat description of a new Crea∣ture, in his conjunction with Christ, and in his conformity to Christ; in his Union with Christ and Communion with him; of this Uni∣on with Christ, what it is, and how effected the Reader may see more in Pag. 2, 3. this only I will add here, and so proceed; That the joyning to the Lord, here spoken of, is not a bare joyning in nature only, by Christ's par∣ticipation of our humane nature, neither is it a joyning in glory; but it is a joyning to the Lord in grace. A new Creature is one then, that is joyned to the Lord in grace; And he that is thus joyned to the Lord is one Spirit, that is, he is one Spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ, he is one with Christ in every thing, one with Christ, in affection; one with him, in action; one with him, in function; one with him, in life and conversation; Christ is formed in him in all these, and he thereby made one spirit with Christ.
Page 1471. He is one with Christ in affection; Christ is formed there, he loves what Christ loves, and hates what Christ hates; Christ loves righteousnesse, and hates iniquity; all iniquity, Heb. 1.9. and so doth he that is joyned, uni∣ted and married to the Lord, and so become a new Creature, He loves righteousnesse and hates iniquity, as truly, though not so strong∣ly, as Christ doth, as the Language of such an one declares, Psalm 119. verse 127, 128.
2. He is one with Christ in action; Christ is formed there▪ he walks by the same Rule, he obeys the same Law that Christ doth (to wit) the Will of the Father; the rule of Christ's action was the Will of his Father. I (saith he) came down from Heaven, not to do mine own Will, but the Will of him that sent me, Joh. 6.38. I seek not mine own Will, but the Will of the Father which hath sent me. Joh. 5.30. My meat is to do the Will of him that sent me, and finish his Work Joh. 4.34. Not as I will, but as thou wilt, Mat. 26.39.
Christ and a new Creature, walk by one and the same rule; the head doth not walk one way, and the members another; the head doth not walk •y one rule, and the members by another, but both by one and the same rule, to one and the same end (to wit) the glory of the same God; Christ's Rule was the Will of the Father, Christ's ultimate end of all his actions, was the glory of the Father, and he that is joyned to the Lord Jesus Christ▪ is one with him in this; Christ and a new Creature are one in their ends and aimes; Lord, What wilt thou have me to do? saith a new Crea∣ture,Page 148 I desire thy Will should be the rule of my action; I desire Christ may be magnified, in my body, whether it be by life or by death; This is the language of one joyned to the Lord Jesus Christ, and one Spirit with him; He that seek∣eth the glory of him that sent him,*the same is true (saith Christ) and he that seeketh the glory of Christ, according to the rule and examp•e of Christ, the same is [new] say I.
3. Thirdly, Christ and a new Creature, are one in function; Christ is a Prophet, and he that is joyned unto him, is one with him in this; Chris• is a Prophet to teach his members, and his members are one Prophet with him, to exhort and build up themselves and one ano∣ther in their m•st holy faith; but with these differences.
Christ hath the Spirit of Prophesie, as a fountain, and without measure, in all fulnesse; but h•s members as streams issuing from that fountain, by gift, and of his •ulnesse▪
Ch•ist is an universal Prophet to teach all his Pe•ple, without limitation of persons or place; but all his members are not so, they are limited Prophe•s, and m•y not go beyond the bounds of their proper sp•ere, not beyond the bounds set by this great Prophet, in his Word.
Christ is a Priest, and he that is joyned to him, is one with him in thi•; Christ hath made all •is Members Priests to God,* Rev. 1.6. to offer up spirituall Sacrifice to God; Christ hath offered up himself to God, he dyed and s•crificed hims•lf to God; And he that is j••ned unto him is made conformable unto his death, he hath sacri•iced all to Christ, his whole Page 149 self, his own reason, will, righteousnesse and wickednesse; all within him and without him; he is become dead to sinne, dead to his own righteousnesse, dead to the World, dead to all by the body of Christ; They that are Christs have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts, saith the Apostle, Gal. 5.24.
Christ is a King, to rule over his People, and over his enemies, and he that is joyned un∣to the Lord Christ, is one with him in his Kingly Function; He hath made us Kings, saith the Text, Rev. 1.6. Kings in a spiritual sense, to rule over our thoughts, affections, words, and actions, over all our lusts, so as sin doth not rule, nor reign in us, within nor with∣out, as an approved Lord,
Christ and a new Creature are one in Life and conversation; A new Creature, is one dead with Christ, and risen again with him,*to newn•sse of Life; he that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit, Christ is formed in his Life and Conversation, by transforming him, in hi• Life and Conversation, and conforming him in his Lise and Conversation, to the Image, and Example of Christ; so as he may truly say with the Apostle, It is no more I that live, but Christ that dwelleth in me.
Christ was holy and harmlesse in his Nature, Life and Conversation, Heb. 7.26. He w•s inwardly holy, as well as outwardly holy; ho∣ly in his Thoughts, in his Affections, in his Words, and in his Actions; Holy in all man∣n•r of Conversation, in all places, in all compa∣ny, in all times, and variety of conditions: holy in Life, and holy in Death, and he that is joyned to the Lord Jesus Christ, is holy as he is Page 150 holy; but with this difference.
*Christ our head was holy by nature, but we his members, are holy by grace only.
Christ our head was holy with a perfect ho∣linesse, but we his Members have only a sincere holynesse in this Life, our conformity unto Christ is in kind, not in degree.
Christ our head had a derivative holynesse; he could derive holynesse into his Members, and infuse it into them which had none; but this is proper and peculiar unto him; this cannot the best of his Members do.
He that is joyned unto the Lord, is one Spi∣rit; one holy Spirit dwelleth in the head, and in the Members; in the head without measure, in the members, as it seemeth good unto the Head to infuse it.
Christ and his have one heart, and they have chosen one way; one way of holynesse, leading to a place of perfect holynesse and hap∣pinesse; they speak one language, mind one thing, aim at one end; one they are in the state of grace, and one they shall be for ever in glory; He that is joyned to the Lord, is one Spirit.
A new Creature, a true Member of Jesus Christ,* is better known by his Spirit, then his outward man;*for the root of the matter, (as Iob speaks) is within him, his Circumcision is inward, in his heart and spirit; he is one Spirit with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ye know not what Spirit ye are of, said Christ to his Disciples, Luk. 9.55. But this Text shews what Spirit a new Creature, a true Mem∣ber of Christ is of, he is one Spirit with Christ; He that is joyned to the Lord, is one Spirit.
Page 151A new Creature, one joyned to the Lord in grace, is very watchful over his outward man, over his words and deeds, but especially over his heart and spirit, to keep them stedfast with God: Thus was Christ, and he that is joyned to the Lord, is one Spirit.
Quest. But what Spirit was the Lord Iesus Christ of?
Answ. 1. The Spirit of Christ was a Spirit of Truth, it is so called, Ioh. 14.17, & 16.13. We read of a lying spirit in the 2 Chro. 18.21, 22. and this is powred out in these dayes, wherein so many lyes and slanders are daily broached to the dishonour of God, and the Truth; but this Spirit is not one with Christs Spirit, but with Antichrists; Christs Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, but Antichrists Spirit is the Spirit of falshood, error and all deceiveableness, as appears by the 2 Thes. 2.10.
2. Christ was of a humble, meek, and low∣ly Spirit, as himself affirms, Matth. 11.29. And the Prophet Zechariah of him, Zech. 9.9. Of this Christ gave many reall testimonies when here on Earth; He was not only hum∣ble, meek, and lowly in his carriage, and in shew, but in Heart and Spirit; He was really such, as his Birth, Life and Death did testifie.
3. Christ was of a just and righteous Spirit;* so saith the Prophet Zech 9.9. He is just; Christ was not only morally just; but he was Divinely just, as is evident by his Govern∣ment; the revealed Will of God is the Can∣non by which he rules, they which walk con∣trary unto it, sooner or later he punisheth; and they which walk according to it, he sooner Page 152 or latter rewardeth; He doth judg with righte∣ousness, and reprove with equity, (saith the Pro∣phet) Isai. 11.4.
4. Christ was of a mercifull, tender, and compassionate Spirit;* he had compassion on the souls of his enemies, as that Text, Ezek. 16. ver. 4, 5, 6. with many others shew;* He had compassion on soul and body,* when he beheld Ierusalem, and thought on her sinne and sufferings,*he pittied her, prayed for her, admonished her,*and wept over her, Luke 19.41, 42. All which were reall testimonies of his compassionate Spirit,* and the Texts in the Magin illustrate this.
5. Christ was of a holy and Heavenly Spirit: He was holy, saith the Author to the Hebrews; his Spirit is called, a holy Spirit, Eph. 4.30. Christs Spirit was Heavenly, he was all for the things of the other World; his thoughts, words and works all steered their course thi∣ther-wards, which evidently declared his Hea∣venly Spirit.
6. Christ was of a publique and industrious Spirit, He sought not his own, but our good; when on Earth,* he was still doing good to soul or body, Mat. 4.23. He minded not himself, his own ends, or ease, but his Fathers busi∣nesse, and that he followed industriously, as appears by Luk. 2.46, 49. compared with Ioh. 4.34. which plainly shews, he had a publique and industrious Spirit.
7. Christ was of a soft and flexible Spirit, he had a Spirit pliable to all his Fathers Will, a Spirit easie to be intreated, a sympathizing Spi∣rit, In all their afflictions he was afflicted (saith the Prophet) Isai. 63.9. he had a broken and a Page 153 contrite Spirit, a Spirit broken with sorrow for our sinnes, all which were reall testimonies of his soft and flexible Spirit.
8. Christ was of a lively Spirit, and of a descerning Spirit, he had a Spirit directly op∣posite to that Spirit spoken of Isai. 29.10. he had a spirit, spiritually alive; hence it was, that he was of quick understanding in the feare of the Lord, as the Prophet speaks, Isa. 11.3.
9. Christ was of a patient Spirit, he had a Spirit slow to anger, and long suffering, he took all patiently, from God and Man, with∣out repining in heart or tongue; He was op∣pressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, saith the Prophet, &c. Isa. 53.7. When he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatned not, 1 Pet. 2.23. These were reall testimonies of his patient Spirit.
10. Christ was of a loving Spirit, even to∣wards his very enemies, he prayed for his ene∣mies, Luk. 23.34. died for his enemies, Rom. 5.10. and all this out of love to them, which was a reall testimony of his loving Spirit.
11. Christ was of a Praying Spirit,*he spent much time in Prayer, as the Evangelists shew, with much delight and industry, as appears by Mar. 1.35. Mat. 14.23. Luk. 6.12. Ioh. 17. chap. which shews he was of a pray∣ing Spirit.
12. Christ was of an obeying Spirit, of a self-denying Spirit; he denied his own Will (as man) to do his Fathers Will, as appears by Luk. 12.14. compared with Ioh. 5.30. Page 154 The last words, Matth. 26.39. Phil. 2.8. By all which it is evident, That Christ was of an obeying Spirit.
13. Christ was of a thankfull Spirit, that which was matter of joy to him, he made mat∣ter of praise and thanksgiving to his Father, as appears by Matth. 11.25. Mar. 6.41. Christ had a Spirit thankfull to God, and thankfull to man; whatever kindnesse was shewed unto him, returned upon the head of the doer with abundant recompence, and this lively domonstrates his thankfull Spirit.
14. Christ had a Spirit delighted in the ex∣ercise of all Gods Ordinances, and all holy duties, as his frequent exercise therein, and exhortation thereunto, do fully evince; he was still ready to take every opportunity to in∣struct the people, as appears by Mat. 5.1. Mar. 2.2. & 6.34. Luk. 5.1, 3. and he exhorted his Disciples to duty, Mat. 9. ult. By which it is evident, that his Spirit was de∣lighted therewith.
15. Christ was of a world contemning Spirit, as his Birth, Life, and Death, did ful∣ly declare and evince, for in all these he shew∣ed his contempt of the World, both in the good and evill of it.
16. Christ was not of a time-serving, but of a God-glorifying Spirit; He sought not his own, but his Fathers glory, in all times and things, as his own Language, Ioh. 12.28. & 17.4. shews, Christ sought his Fathers glory in all things, and above all things; which evi∣dently declares, he had a God-glorifying Spirit.
17. Christ was of a faithfull Spirit; he Page 155 was faithfull to God in all things; He was faithfull to him that appointed him, saith the Au∣thor to the Hebrews, Heb. 3.2. He was a faithfull High-Priest, He is called, Faithfull and true, Rev. 19.11. The faithfull and true witnesse, Rev. 3.14. By all which is evident, that Christ was of a faithfull Spirit.
18. Christ had an elivated Spirit, his Spi∣rit was raised above the World, and the things of the World; his Spirit did sore aloft and so∣lace it self, in the things of the other world; it did solace it self in God,* in what he did in∣joy in God, before he left the bosome of his Father, and what he should injoy with him a∣gain, when he had finished the work, which his Father gave him to do. This is evident by the Language of Christ, Ioh. 17.5. and by that which is spoken of him, Heb. 12.2.
19. Christ was of a stable Spirit; he did not stagger in Spirit, or reel up and down from one opinion to another, but his Spirit was stedfast with God, and unmoveable, in calmes and in storms; He was yesterday, and to day, and the same for ever: How variable so∣ever the world was in their opinion of him, yet he was still the same, as appears, Heb. 13.8. Which evidently demonstrates, his Spirit was stedfast with God.
20. In fine, Christ had a Spirit full of all Divine excellency and beauty, he had a Spirit of Wisdome and Vnderstanding, a Spirit of Counsell and Might, a Spirit of Knowledge and of the feare of the Lord, a Spirit indued with all Divine excellency, as the Prophet shews, Isa. 11.2,
All these qualifications were in the Spirit of Page 156 the Lord Jesus Christ; and he that is joyned unto the Lord, he that is ingrafted into Christ, and made new by him, is one Spirit with him; He that is joyned unto the Lord is one Spirit, saith this Text.
*Here note, That this Text doth not say, that he that is joyned unto the Lord is equal with him, but that he that is joyned unto the Lord [is one] with him, He that is joyned unto the Lord is one spirit; Christ, and he that is joyned unto him, are one in spirit.
The particulars fore-mentioned, shew what Spirit the Lord Jesus Christ was of, and this Text tels us, what spirit he that is one with Christ is of, what spirit a new Creature is of; He that is joyned to the Lord, is one spirit, he is one spirit with the Lord.
As face answers face in water, so doth the heart of man to man, saith Solomon; As a Picture answers to the Life, so doth the Spirit of a new Creature, answer to the Spirit of Christ, saith the Text, He that is joyned to the Lord is one spirit.
Wouldest thou then know thy self, and thy condition truely, I know no rule in Scripture more infallible, than this in this Text, He that is joyned to the Lord is one spirit; Consider what hath been said on this Text; Consider what Spirit Christ was of, and then examine thy self whether thou art one Spirit with him; Consi∣der whether the spirit that is in thee, do truly answer to the Life, to the Spirit of Christ; if so, know that it argues thy state good, thy Creation new, Christ and thee truely one.
Object. But I find so much Hypocrisie, so Page 157 much pride, so much hardnesse of heart, and un∣holinesse in my self, may a poor soul say here, that I cannot hence conclude, that I am one joyned to the Lord, and one Spirit with him; but rather that I am joyned to the Devill, and one Spirit with him: I cannot hence conclude, that I am a new Creature, but rather that I am in the state of nature still.
Answ. This Text doth not say, that he that is joyned to the Lord is totally freed from these corruptions, but that He is one Spirit, he is one Spirit with the Lord Iesus Christ, he is one with him in Spirit: And this a man may be said to be, when he hath these Divine qua∣lifications of spirit forementioned, truely wrought in him, though weakly and im∣perfectly, and much flesh, much corrup∣tion remaining in him; This must be gran∣ted, otherwayes no man in this life could be said to be joyned to the Lord, and one Spirit with him.
2. But secondly, A true sense of these corruptions, accompanied with a loathing of them, and warring against them in faith, is so farre from rendering thee such as the Objection speaks of, that it strongly argues the clean contrary (to wit) That thou art indeed joyned to the Lord, and one Spi∣rit with him; that thou art incorporate in∣to Christ, and made new by him; For it is from Christ, and that new quality of grace, which he hath infused into thy soul, that this sense of corruption and antipathy springs; hence it is that corrupt nature be∣comes a burden on the spirit, naturally it is not so.
Page 158The Apostle Paul, when joyned to the Lord▪ and one Spirit with him, when ingraf∣ted into Christ, and made new by •im; then, and never till then, did he groan under this burden; then, and not before, did he com∣plain of this body of death, and the motions of lusts that warre in our members.
Wouldest thou then know from Scrip∣ture-grounds, what thy condition is; Whe∣ther Christ be in thee and thou in Christ, go through what hath been said on these two Texts; If Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sinne, &c. and this we are now upon; If any man be in Christ he is a new Creature. Consider whether thou art become dead to sinne, alive to righteousnesse, a new Creature: Consider whether Christ be formed in thee, whether thou hast a new heart, whether thou livest in Christ, as a branch in the vine, and bringest forth fruit in him: whether thou art one that doth not commit sinne, in a Scripture sense: Whether thou art one that groans under the remainder of the old man in thee, as thy greatest bur∣den: Whether thou art one that minds the things of the Spirit, that art led by the Spirit, and walks after the Spirit. Finally, whether thou art one Spirit with the Lord Iesus Christ: and if upon a true tryall of thy self, thou findest by what hath been said, that it is thus with thy self, conclude thou maist safely (as I conceive) to thy comfort, with the Church in the Canticles, My well-be∣loved is mine, and I am his; That thy e∣state is good, thy interest in Christ true and real, and thy Title to Heaven, such Page 159 as no enemy whatsoever, no not Satan, nor sinne, shall be able to deprive thee of it, whatever Satan or thy own consci∣ence, abused by Satan, may say to thē con∣trary.