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various shapes, it remains still but a base metal. Mert may escaape the pollutions of the world, and yet be but dogs and swine, 2 Pet. ii. 20, 22. All the external acts of religion are within the compass of natural abilities. Yea, hypocrites may have the counterfeit of all the graces of the Spirit: for we read of true holiness, Eph, iv. 23. and faith unfeigned, iTim i 5. which shews us, that there is a counterfeit holinefs, and'a'feigned faith. (5:). Men may advance to a great deal of strictness in their own way of religion; and yet be ftrangers to the new birth, Acts xxxvi. 5. After the most frieteft fect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee. Nature has its own un sanctified strictness iir religion. The Pharisees had so much of it, that they looked on Christ as little better than a mere libertine A man whose conscience hath been awakened, and who lives under the felt influence of the covenant of works, what will he not do, that is within the compass of natural abilities? It was a truth, cho' it came out of a hellish mouth, that fkin for skin, all that a man hath will he give for his liie, Job ii. 4. (6.) One may have sharp soul-exercises and pangs, and yet die in the birth. Many have been in pain, that have but as it were brought forth wind. There may be fore pangs and throws of conscience, which turn to nothing at laft. Pharaoh and Simon Magus had such convictions, as made them delire the prayers of others for them. Judas repented himflf; and under terrors of conscience, gave back his ill-gotten pieces of silver. All is not gold that glisters. Trees.! may blossom fairly in the spring, on which no fruit is to be found in the harveft: and some have sharp soul-exercises, which are nothing but foretaftes of hell.

The new birth, however in appearance hopefully begun, may be marred two ways. First, Some, like Zarah, Gen xxxviii, 28, 29 are brought to the birth, but go back again. They have tharp convictions for a while: but these go off, and they turn as careless about their salvation, as profane as ever: and usually worse than ever, their last ftate is worse than their first, Mat. xii. 45. They get awakening grace, but not converting grace; and that goes off by degrees, as the light of the declining day, till it issue in midnight darkness. Secondly, Some like Ifomael, come forth too soon; they are born before the time of the promise, Gen. xvi. 1, 2: compare Gal. iv. 22, and down.' ward. They take up with a mere law-work, and stay not till the, time of the promise of the gospel. They snatch at confolation, not waiting till it be given them; and foolishly draw their comfort from the law that wounded them. They apply the healing plaister to themselves, before their wound be sufficiently searched. The law, that rigorous husband, severely beats them, and throws in curses and vengearice upon their souls : then they fall a reforming, praying, mourning, promising and vowing, till this ghost be laid ; which done, they fall asleep again in the arms of the law; but they are never faken out of themselves and their own righteousness, nur brought forward to Jesus Christ. Lastly, There may be a wondeaful movir

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of the affections, in fouls thatere not at all touched with regenerating grace Where there is 110 grace there inay, notwithstanding, be a food of tears, as in Elau, who found no ploce of repint unce, thi' h Torsht it carefully with tears, Heb xii. 17 There may be gro't falhes of joy; as in the hearers of the word, represented in the pärable by the {tony ground. who anon with joy receive it, Matth xiji. 20. There may also be great delire after good things, and great delight in them too; as in these bvpocrites defcribed, Ifa lviii. 2. Yit, they leek me dai:y, and deli: ht to know my ways. They take delight in cipp: cach ng unto Goi. See how high they may sometimes stand, who yet fall away, Heb vi. 4, 5,6 They may be nlightned, tafie of the heuvenly gift, b. part kers of the holy Ghaft, taste the good wnd of God, and the powers of the worl.. to cume Coinmon operations of the divine Spirit, like a land flood, make a strange turning of things up lide down. And when they are over, all runs again in the ordinary channel All these hings may be, where the fanctifying Spirit of Chritt never rests upon the soul. but the stony heart itill remains : and in that cale, these affections cannot but wither b-rule hey «VE no rogh.

But regeneration is a real thorough change, whereby the man is made a new creature,-2. Cor. v. 17 The Lord God makes the creature a new creature, as the goldsmith melts down the vessel of dilhonour and makes it a vessel of honour Man is, in respect of his natural itate, altoge her disjointed by the fall ; every faculty of the foul is, as it were, dislocate : in regeneration the Lord looseih every joint, and sets it right again Now this change made in regeneration is,

1. A change of qualities or dispositions: it is not a change of the substance, but of the qualities of the foul Vicious qualities are re. moved, and the contrary difpofitions are brought in, in their room. The old man is put off, Eph iv 22 the nw mun put on, ver 24. Man lost none of the rational faculties of his soul by fin; he had an inderstanding Hill, but it was darkened; he had still a will, but it was contrary to the will of God So in regeneration there is not a new substance created, but new qualities are infused; light instead of dark., ness, righteousness instead of unrighteousness.

2. It is a supernatural change; he that is born again, is born of the Spirit, Joh iii 5: Great changes may be made by the power of nature, elpecially when affifted by external revelation. And nature may be fo elevated, by the coinmon influences of the Spirit. that one may thereby be turned into another man, (as Saul wás, í Sam. x 0.) who yet never becomes a new man. But in regeneration nature itself is changed, and we become partakers of the divine nature ; and this must needs be a fupernatural change. How can we that are dead in trespasses and sins, renew ourselves, more than a dead man can raise himself out of his grave? lho, but the fan&tifying Spirit of Chrilt, can form Christ in a foul, changing it into the fame iinage? Who, but the Spirit of sanctification can give the new heart? Well may we say, . when we see a man thus changed, This is the finger of God."

pre 3. It is a change into the likeness of God, 2 Cor ii. 18. We * behalding as in a lafi the glory of th. Lord, are changed into the same

image. Every thing that generates, generates its like: the child bears

the inage of the parent; and they that are born of God, bear God's #image. Man aspiring to be as God, made himself like the devil. In

his natural state he resembles the devil, as a child doth the father, to a John viii 44 Ye are of your father the devil. But when this happy cik ni change comes, the image of Satan is defaced, and the image of God vih restored. Christ himself, who is the brightness of his Father's glory,

is the pattern, after which the new creature is made, Rom. viii 29. La For whom he did forcknow, he also did predeftinate to be conformed to ,

the image of his son Hence he is said to be conformed in the pa regenerate, Gal-iv. 19. , on 4 It is an universal change; all things become new, 2 Cor. vi. 17:

It is a blest leayen that leavens the whole lump, the whole fpirit, and foul and body. Original fin infects the whole man; and regenerating grace, which is the falve, goes as far as the fore. This fruit of the

Spirit is in all goodness; goodness of the mind, goodness of the will, 18 goodness of the affections, goodness of the whole man One gets not

only a new head to know religion, or a new tongue to talk of it; but a new heart to love and embrace it, in the whole of his conversation. When the Lord opens the sluice of grace on the soul's new.birth. dav, the waters run through the whole man, to purify and make hiin

fruitful. In these natural changes spoken of before, there are, as it på were, pieces of new cloth put into an old garnent; a new life fewed Es to an old heart: but the gracious change is a thorough change, a

change both of heart and life. . . .

5. Yet it is birt an imperfect change. Tho' every part of the man la is renewed, there is no part of him perfectly renewed. As an infant

has all the parts of a man, but none of thein are come to their perfect al growth; lo regeneration brings a perfection of parts, to be brought

forward in the gradual advances of fanctification, i Pec ii. 2. As new born babes di fire the fincere milk of the wird, that ye may grow thereby. Although in regeneration there is a heavenly light ler into the mind; yet there is still fome darkness there: tho' the will is renewed, it is not perfectly renewed; there is still fome of the old inclination to fin

reinaining: and thus it will be till that which is in part be done away, more and the light of glory come Adam was created at his full stature ;

but they that are born, must have their time to grow up : fo these mat are born again, do come forth into the new world of grace, but imperfectly holy; theugh Alum, being created upright, was at the a laine time perfectly righteous, without the least mixture of linful Hi Laily, Nevertheless icons a lasting change, which never goes off: T he feed is incorruptible, faith the text; and so is the creature that 5 13 torined of it. The life given in leneration, whatever decays it Hay fall under, can never be utterly lost. His fand remaineth in him,

who

e imperfection

who is born of God, 1 Jolin iii. 9. Though the branches should be cut down, the root shall abide in the earth; and being watered with the dew of heaven, thall (prout again: for the root of the righteous Mall not be moved, Prov. xii. 3.

But to come to particulars.

First, In regeneration the mind is savingly enlightned. There is a new light let into the understanding, so that they who were fome. times darkness, are now light in th Lord, Eph v. 8 The beams of the light of life make their way into the dark dungeon of the heart : then night is over, and the morning-light is come, which will shine more and more unto the perfect day. Now the man is illuminated,

1. In the knowledge of God He has far, other thoughts of God, than ever he had before, Hof. ii. 20. I will even bet, othe thee unto me in faithfuln-fs, and thou shalt know the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord brings him back to that question, What is God? And catechiseth him anew upon that grand point, so as he is made to say, I have heard of thee by th: bearing of the ear : but now mine eyes feeth thee, Job xlii.g. The spotless purity of God, his exact justice, his all-sufficiency, and other glorious perfections revealed in his word, are, by this new light, discovered to the soul, with a plainness and certainty that doth as far exceed the knowledge it had of these things before, as ocular demon. stration exceeds common fame. For now he sees what he only heard of before. "

2. He is enlightned in the knowledge of sin. He hath other thoughts of it, than he was wont to have. Formerly his fight could not pierce thro' the cover Satan laid over it: but now the Spirit of God strips it before him, wipes off the paint and fairding; and he sees it in its native colours, as the worit of evils: exceeding sinful, Rom. vii. 12. O what deformed monsters do formerly beloved lusts appear! were they right eyes, he would pluck them out: were they right hands, he would consent to their cutting off He sees how offensive fin is to God, how destructive ii is to the soul ; and calls himself fool, for fighting so long against the Lord, and harbouring that destroyer as a borom friend."

3. He is inítructed in the knowledge of himself Regenerating grace causeth the prodigal to come to himself, Luke xv. 17. and makes men full of eyes within, knowing every one the plague of his own heart. The mind being savingly enlightned, the man sees how desperately corrupt his nature is; what enmity against God and his holy law has long lodged there : so that his soul lothes itself. No 1 open fepulchre, no puddle, so vile and loathsome in his eyes as him. self, Ezek. xxxvi. 31. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own fight He is no worse than he was before: but the sun is shining: 1 and so these pollutions are feen, which he could not discern, when there was no dawning in him: as the word is, Isa. viii. 20. while as 1 yet the day of grace was not broken with him.

his naturearingly enlig very one to

4. He is enlightned in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor.i. 23,24. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews astumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness: but unto them that are called, both fews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. The truth is, unregenerate men, tho' capable of preaching Christ, y have not (properly speaking) the knowledge of him, but only an opinion, a good opinion of hiin; as one has of many controverted points of doctrine, wherein he is far from certainty. As when ye meet with a Aranger upon the road, he behaving himself discreetly, ye conceive a good opinion of him; and therefore willingly converse with him; but yet ye will not cornmit your money to him; because, tho' you have a good opinion of the man, he is a ftranger to you, ye do not know him. So many, they think well of Christ; but they will never conimit themselves to him; seeing they know him not. But saving illumination carries the soul beyond opinion, to the certain knowledge of Christ and his excellency, 1 Thess. i. 5. For our gospel cume not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the holy Ghost, and in much assurance. The light of grace thus discovers the suitableness of the mystery of Christ, to the divine perfections, and to the sinner's case. Hence the regenerate admire the glorious plan of salvation through Christ crucified, lay their whole weight upon it, and heartily acquielce therein : for whatever he be to others, he is to them Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. But unrenewed men, not seeing this, are offended in him; they will not venture their souls in that bortom, but betake themselves to the broken boards of their own righteoulness. The same light convincingly discovers a superlative worth, a transcendant glory and excellency in Christ; which darken all created excellencies, as the rising sun makes the stars to hide their heads: and lo it engages the merchant-man to sell all that he hath, to buy the one pearl of great price, Marth. xii. 45, 46. makes the soul well content, to take Christ for all, and instead of all. Even as an unskilful merchant, o whom one offereth a pearl of great price, for all his petty wares, dares not venture on the bargain; for tho' he thinks, that one pearl may be more worth than all he has, yet he is not sure of it: but when a jeweller comes to him, and assures him, it is worth double all his wares ; he then greedily embraceth the bargain, and chearfully parts with all that he has for that pearl. Finally, This illumination in the knowledge of Chrift, convincingly discovereth to men a fulness in him, lufficient for the supply of all their wants; enough to satisfy the boundless desires of an immortal soul. They are persuaded such ful

nels is in him, and that in order to be communicate : they depend upon - ", as a certain truth; and therefore their souls take up their eternal; rest in him.

4. The man is instructed in the knowledge of the vanity of the cc World, Pral cxix. 96. I have seen an end of zil perfection. Regene. 25 rating grace elevates the soul, fets ir, as it were, anongit the stars, from whence this earth cannot but appear a little, yea, a very little

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