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to his disciples [that is, to men, who walk by faith, and not by sight] ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

On this assurance, then, we may reasonably believe what, by reason, we cannot understand. And the substance of what we are to believe on this whole subject, is contained in a single text of St. Peter, where the three divine persons, yet ineffably one God," the Trinity in "unity," whom we adore, and their respective offices, are accurately distinguished. For in the opening of his first epistle, he pronounces the Christians, to whom he writes, ELECT, that is, entitled to salvation, according to the foreknowledge, or pre-determination, of God the Father; through the sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience; and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.

In these memorable words, we have a brief, yet clear epitome of our whole faith.

x Athanasian creed.


y So the word wpóyvwo means in this place; as it likewise does in Acts ii. 23. where the sense of it is clearly explained and defined by the words, Two Buy, which introduce it. The participle pasywoμive has the same sense in 1 Pet. i. 20.

thus at length you see that, though eternal life be the gift of GOD in his SON, it is only ensured, and finally conveyed to us, by the ministry of his HOLY SPIRIT to which blessed TRINITY, therefore, be all honour, and praise, and adoration, now and for ever! AMEN.

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2 COR. vii. 1.

Having therefore these promises (dearly beloved) let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

OUR discourses from this place turning very much, as they ought to do, on the great Christian doctrine of salvation, that is, of eternal life, considered as the gift of God to mortal and sinful man, through the redemption of his Son, and the sanctification of his holy Spirit, it would be a strange neglect in us, if we did not take care to remind our hearers

of the effect which that doctrine ought to have upon them.

This duty I mean now to discharge towards you: and I cannot do it more properly than by enforcing that advice which St. Paul gave the Corinthians, as the result of a long and eloquent discourse to them on the same subject. Having THEREFORE (says he) these promises [i. e. the promise of eternal life, and of acceptance through Christ, so as to become the people of God, nay the sons of God, with other assurances of the like sort, interspersed in the two preceding chapters, Having these promises] let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The inference, you see, is direct to our purpose: and common ingenuity, if nothing else, might well engage us, in return for such great and precious promises, to draw the same conclusion for ourselves. But, when we further consider that these promises are conditional, and made only to those who obey the giver of them, interest, as well as gratitude, will oblige us to yield that obedience so expressly required of us.

* Ch. v. 1. v. 18. And vi, 16, 18.

b Heb. v. 9.

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This obedience is briefly summed up in the direction; to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, that is, to take care, agreeably to the double obligation imposed upon us by the distinct parts of our constitution, that we consult the integrity both of our bodies and minds; and preserve them both from that defilement which each of them, according to its nature, is liable to contract in this state of moral probation.

I. With regard to the FLESH,, the gross vices which defile that part of our frame, are so expressly condemned by the law of reason, as well as of the gospel, and are so repugnant to the inbred modesty of every man, especially of such as have had their natural sense of decency quickened by a good education, that but to mention them in this place, I would hope, is quite sufficient. If I go farther, it shall only be to remind you of one thing, which I have explained at large on a former occasion, That Christianity hath added unspeakably to the worth and dignity of the human body, by considering it no longer as the store-house of impure lusts, but as the habitation, the temple of the living God, to whose sole use it is now dedicated.

• See Sermon XXVI. in the preceding volume, p. 378. à 2 Cor. vi. 16. 1 Cor. iii. 16.

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