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decay of the strength of sin, yet it is in the root and principle of it insensibly weakened.

Secondly. See also what the sad and deplorable condition of wicked men is, who are strangers to the life of grace.

Without mortification, no life is to be expected: without grace, no mortification can be exercised: and what doth this, when it is cast up, amount to, less than the eternal damnation of such men? The war, which we are to wage against our lusts, admits of no other terms, but to kill or to be killed: either the blood of your dearest sins must be spilt, or the blood of your precious souls. Is it not now a sad thing for men, in such a merciless war, to be thrust naked upon the sharp swords of their enemies ? so it is with sinners, who are many times by conscience or convictions thrust on to fight with armed and cruel lusts, and yet have neither weapons to wound them nor to defend themselves. What can be imagined more sad, than is the case of these men? on the one hand, conscience scourgeth them; on the other, sin wounds: conscience drives them on; corruption beats them back: and yet, in all these conflicts, never can they obtain so much success, as to subdue the least and weakest lust.

What should these men do? should they give over this opposition, such as it is; and sit still, under despair of mortification? No: let them still strive and struggle, and make what strength they can, and act as far against sin as natural conscience will carry them. Let not the doctrine which you have heard to day, of a carnal man's impotency to mortify any one sin, slacken your endeavours: still press upon it.


First. Though all, that you can do without grace, will not amount to a true mortification; yet it may cause much outward reformation: though, hereby, you cannot kill corruption; yet you may mightily curb it.

It is true, this, when done, will not avail to save you; but yet, suppose the least, it will avail to mitigate your punishment, and abate the degrees of torment: and, certainly, that man never had a right apprehension of hell, who doth not account the striking off the least degree of wrath infinitely more worth, than all the pains and trouble of an endeavoured mortification. And,

Secondly. Though you cannot mortify corruption without grace, yet, when you oppose it with the power you have, God may give you in the grace that you want.

While carnal, you cannot pray, ner perform any other spiritual duty in grace; yet you may and ought to do it for grace: so, here, though your struggling against sin be not mortification, without grace; yet ought you to persist in it, that it may be mortification, through grace. How know you but that conflict, which was begun between the flesh and the flesh, may end in a victory of the spirit over the flesh? Certainly, it is far more probable, that that man should obtain true mortification, who earnestly strives against his lusts; than he, who willingly yield* himself up as a slave unto them.

That is the first thing. Without grace, no one lust can be mortified; and yet wicked men are not hereby to be discouraged in their endeavours.

(2) Another requisite unto mortification, is the Influence of the Spirit of God, drawing forth this inward grace, and acting it to the suppressing of sinful motions and sinful eruption's.

And, therefore, the text tells us, If ye, through the Spirit, do mortify. Though grace be wrought in the heart, yet it is not in our power to act it; but the same Spirit, that implanted it, alone must excite it: he must marshal it, and set it in array: he must head it, and lead it on; and, under his conduct, it will certainly prove victorious. I might here, at large, shew you* what aid, force, and recruit the Spirit brings us in for our assistance in the work of mortification, that the Apostle should here attribute it unto him. But r shall only briefly touch at this point, and so proceed.

[1] The Spirit discovers the sin, that is to be mortified.

He drags it out of its lurking holes; strips it naked to the view of the soul; uncases its deceits; discloses its methods; shews the ugliness, deformity, and hellishness of it; tells the soul what a desperate and sworn enemy it is against its eternal happiness, and what an endless train of woes, and plagues, and torments it draws after it: and, hereby, he highly exasperates the heart to a resolution, that, since it is so opportunely delivered into its hands, it shall no more escape alive. Now this assistance unto mortification the Spirit lends us, as he is the Author of Conviction: John xvi. 8. He shall convince the worU 6f sin.

[2] The Spirit doth inwardly and really, by the immediate working of his own power, gradually weaken and destroy the habit and principle of corruption.

He, with his own hands, wounds the Old Man, breaks the hard heart, takes out the stony heart, and gives a heart of flesh. He burns up and consumes all that dross and corruption, that lies in the heart; and is, therefore, compared unto fire: Mat. iii. 11. He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; that is, Avith the Holy Ghost working as fire, purifying and refining you as the fire doth metals; who is therefore called, Isai. iv. 4. The Spirit of Judgment, and of Burning. The Spirit of Judgment, that is, he judgeth between what is flesh and what is spirit in the heart; and separates them, the one from the other: and the Spirit of Burning; when they are so severed, he preys, as fire on stubble, upon that which is corrupt and fleshly, till he hath consumed it.

[3] The Spirit brings home and applies the efficacy of the cross and death of Jesus Christ unto the soul, in which there is contained a sin-mortifying virtue.

Our Old Man was crucified with him; and, therefore, it is mortified in us. The inscription on the cross might have been, not only Jesus, the King of the Jews, but " Satan, Prince of this World, and Sin, that Tyrant of the Heart, are all here crucified." I might here insist on that influence, that the death of Christ hath upon the death of sin, both as the meritorious and as the protatartical cause of it; but this I intend at large to speak ofj under another head. Now what a liveless thing were a crucified Christ, if the Spirit did not act him and bring him from the cross; nay, bring him with the cross into the heart, and there conform it to the fellowship of his sufferings! Saith Christ, concerning the Spirit, John xvi. 15. He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Indeed, whatever power there is, either in.the death, resurrection, or intercession of Christ, to any spiritual end, it becomes effectual, only by the declaration and application of it to the soul by the Spirit.

[4] The Spirit is both the Author and Finisher of the whole work of Sanctification in us.

We are said to be sealed by him unto the day of redemption: Eph.'iv. 30. Now what are the effects of a seal?

1st. It gives firmness and stability to our spiritual estate.

Having received the seal of the Spirit, we are inviolable; like that book in the Revelations, which none in heaven, or earth, or hell can break open.

2dly. It gives security and assurance concerning our eternal estate.

Receiving the earnest of the Spirit, we also receive our salvation ratified and confirmed to us as under God's hand and seal. But, besides this,

3dly. A seal imprints an image upon the wax, and receives the impression of it.

And, indeed, this is that, on which the two former depend. A seal adds no firmness nor assurance to a deed, unless some impression be thereby made. It is but an airy assurance, a void evidence, an insignificant charter for heaven, which hath not on it the print of the Spirit's Seal. Now the impress of this seal is the very image and superscription of God, which, when the heart is like wax made soft and pliable, is in a man's regeneration enstamped upon it, and in the continual progress of our sanctification conformed more perfectly to the similitude of God. This .work of sanctification, which the Spirit begins and carries on, hath but two parts: as the one is a living unto holiness, so the other is a dying unto sin; so that, if the Holy Ghost be a sanctifying, he must also be a mortifying Spirit. The image of God bears but this double aspect: the one, towards grace, which is fresh, vigorous, and lively; the other, towards sin, which is pale, ghastly, and dying: and the same Spirit imprints both these at once upon the soul; and, therefore, the death of sin is to be ascribed to him, no less than the life of grace.

What abundant support and consolation may we hence reap! Are not your hearts ready to fail and sink within you, when you see such clusters of sinful thoughts swarming about you, such violent hurries and careers of sinful desires and sinful affections, such numberless monsters of callow and unfledged lusts, such a crowd of grown and noisome temptations able and well appointed for the battle, such snares laid for you without, such treachery hatched against you within? do not your hearts, I say, sink -within you, when you consider that you must break through all these: not as men that run the gauntlet, to receive a scourge from one, and a wound from another; but as triumphant, as conquerors, routing, scattering, slaughtering these forces of hell, and, what is worse, of your own hearts? What strength can you make? will you muster up the poverty, the nakedness, the weakness, the languishment, the wounds of your souls, to achieve this great enterprise by? or, will you bring forth and marshal your graces? Alas! do you think to obtain the conquest as the Jebusites presumed, by the blind and the lame, weak and imperfect things? and yet, besides these, what other auxiliaries have you? what other, besides these! yes, the Spirit of God himself is pleased to enrol and list himself in this warfare; and, though we are weak and have no might against that great company that comes up against us; yet not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord. What are the deeds of the body to the power of the Spirit? what are principalities, and powers, and spiritual wickednesses compared to that God, who is far above all principality and power, who is the Spirit of Holiness? Go forth boldly, therefore, and fight the Lord's battles against these uncircumcised, though gigantic lusts: the sons of Anak, with whom thou seemest to thyself but as a grasshopper, rush on thee; yet the sword of the Lord and of Gideon can destroy the whole host of them. Wilt thop shrink from this engagement, when thou hast so much the odds of thy corruptions? when the Spirit of God stands by to encourage thee, to help and assist thee? The Prophet tells the Israelites, Isai. xxxi. 3. that the Egyptians' horses were bat flesh, and not spirit, and therefore their help was but vain. I may tell you, your enemies are but flesh, fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; but your helper is the Spirit, and therefore their opposition is in vain. Never yet was it known, that that soul, who engaged the Spirit of God in the quarrel, ever came off with less than a victory. Though thou hast formerly gone out in thine own strength, and thereby betrayed thine own weakness; and hast got nothing but many a deep wound, many a sad fall, many a sore bruise: yet now call in the Spirit to thine assistance: he can root out and destroy every prevailing lust: he can reinforce thy scattered graces: he can revive thy drooping and fainting soul: he can strengthen thy feeble knees, and thy weak hands, and make thee more than a conqueror. Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earthy fainteth not, neither is weary?....He giveth power to the faint; and to them, that have no might, he increaseth strength. Isai. xl. 28, 29.

Thus you see wherein true Mortification consists; in the habitual weakening of the principle of corruption, and in the .actual curbing of its motions: and what is thereunto necessarily

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