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and mortification of every sort, that it gradually languishes and becomes weaker, and at length, with the life of the natural body, it utterly expires. The soul which acquiesced in its dominion has been sowing all along to the flesh, and of the flesh it shall reap corruption. The soul that struggled against its dominion, and refused compliance therewith, has through the Spirit, mortified the deeds of the body, and shall live,-has all along been sowing to the Spirit, and of the Spirit shall reap life everlasting
ROMANS, vi, 13, 14. " Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness
unto sin : but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
You will observe in the term 'yield' of the present verse, a counterpart to the term 'reign' of the last verse. We have not been enjoined to root out sin as to its presence; but we have been enjoined so to resist, as that it shall not reign over us in power. And in like manner we are not called upon to exscind from our members their evil tendency to unrighteousness; but we are called upon not to yield them up as instruments of unrighteousness. Could Paul have exscinded from his members their inclination to sin, he would have done it; and then, he would not have had to complain afterwards in the bitterness of his soul, that he found a law in these members, warring against the law of his mind -neither would he have said that in him, that is in his flesh, there dwelleth no good thing. But the truth is, that, after conversion, the organs of the body stand in the same relation as before to the objects that are suited to them—the natural influence of the one upon the other is just what it was—there is a power of temptation in the one, and a disposition to coalesce therewith in the other, neither of which is extricated by grace, either from
the constitution of the man, or from the constitution of outward nature. But what grace does, is, to stir up a resolve in the mind against submitting to this influence, against yielding to this temptation. And so there comes to be a law in the mind, warring against the law that is in the members—a new will that aspires, if not to such a sovereignty as can carry into effect a sentence of expulsion against the evil desires that are in the members, at least to such a sovereignty as shall lay upon these desires an effectual negative-So that if they cannot be got quit of while we are in the body, as so many troublesome companions, they may at least be deposed from the practical ascendancy they want to wield over us, as so many tyrannical lords and oppressors. Like the whole of a willul and stubborn team that have a perverse tendency to deviation, would they run into disorder on the reins being yielded to them; but, in virtue of the strength and determination of the governor, the reins are not given up; and so, though with much tension and fatigue and watchfulness, are they kept on the proper course.
The difference between such a management, and another where all the animals under command go smoothly and vigorously along in the very path of service that you desire, is another mode of exemplifying the difference that there is between the work of a saint on earth, and the work of a saint in heaven. On earth you have to maintain the guiding and governing power of the mind, over not willing but reluctant subjects, who, if permitted to take their own way, would run off to the by-paths of unrighteousness--and whom you are required by my text, not to yield up as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin.
There is a love of gossip in our nature, partly due to its malignity, and partly due to its taste for the ridiculous; and in virtue of which, there may be an urgent tendency, in the midst of an easy circle of companionship, to come forth with some of those more exquisite traits of a neighbour's folly, the recital of which would impart a zest to the conversation. To make use of a very familiar phrase indeed, you have sometimes a minor calumny of this sort on your tongue's end; and certain it is of such an inclination, that it will not only survive the passage of the soul from a state of nature to a state of grace—but it is an inclination, we know, often given way to, in many a brotherhood and many a sisterhood of common-place professorship. Well then, suppose that on the eve of its escape, a sudden remembrance of the verse which interdicts, not certain of the more flagrant and aggravated, but which interdicts all evil speakings together, should come into the mind; and the will, that power which sits in the chair of authority, should of consequence interpose, and lay its arrest on the offending member, and bind it over to a peace which it feels strongly nevertheless tempted to violateit is quite compatible with the man's Christianity, that he should have about him still, a part of a constitution to which the utterance of a thoughtless story were a pleasurable indulgence—it is quite compatible with his Christianity, that this is a temptation, and he should feel it to be so; but it is not worthy of his vocation, while sensible of its
force, that he should actually and indeed submit to the force: And his part is resolutely to put forth his hand on the reins of management, and not yield his member as an instrument of unrighteousness unto sin.
‘But yield yourselves unto God.' Amid the clamour and besetting importunity of the various affections of our nature, there is the will, whose consent must be obtained and whose authority must be given, ere any one of the affections shall be
graIt is true that the will may be the slave of unworthy passions—just as a monarch may be the slave of unworthy favourites. But still it is from the monarch, that the order is issued. And he must set his seal to it ere it can be carried into effect. It may be a base compliance in him, to grant what he does to the urgency of his profligate and parasitical minions.
But still his grant is indispensable; and the same of the will among all the other feelings and faculties of the human constitution. It may be in actual abject subordination to the appetites; and through it the whole man may be lorded over, by a set of most ignoble though most oppressive taskmasters. Yet the moment that the will shall determine to cast off this ascendancy, like as when a monarch dismisses his favourites, their power is at an end; and should the will resolve for God, this were tantamount to our yielding up of the whole man to the will and authority of God. It may do so by one act; and yet that act be the transition of the whole man into another habit, and the passing of the soul under another regimen, than before. Though one step only, it is indeed a big