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our Lord's own person. But to stamp them with a character which should alarm, and put us on our continual guard, lest we be deluded by them, our Catechism particularly describes them as the produce of this WICKED world, It may at first sight seem exceptionable, that we should call the world (the work of God's hands) a wicked world. As God first created it, it certainly was not so; for, at the conclusion of every part of his wondrous work, God declares that it was good: but we use this expression, only to show how far we are to renounce the world since sin has been admitted into it, and consequently, as it is a certain mixture of natural good and moral evil.-We must consider it, therefore, as a wicked world, in all such cases, in which it would draw us into wickedness for the sake of any thing in it, which we desire or enjoy, and against which we are admonished in God's word; as St. James testifies (iv. 4), Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world (i. e. attaches himself to its vain pleasures and favourite vices), is the enemy of God. And in this sense, doubtless, we are to understand our blessed Lord, when he says in his prayer before his death (John, xvii. 9), I pray not for the world (meaning the sinful part of it, the unbelieving, incorrigible, impenitent world).

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And, among many other authorities, we have that of St. Paul, for giving this title to the world; who, in Gal. i. 4, saith, Christ gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the present evil world ; that is, from the temptations of the great enemy, and the society of wicked men, who compose the greater part of the world.

The importance of the subject respecting this first part of the engagement entered into for us at our baptism, having led me into such a variety of observation, I shall draw to an immediate conclusion of the present Discourse, lest I should weary your attention. All that rea mains, then, of this first part, is what may be implied in our renouncing the sinful lusts of the flesh. By which we mean, in short, the whole of our fallen, or corrupted nature, with all the evil tempers, dispositions, thoughts, and desires of the heart; or, in other words, those inclinations of sense, or appetite, whereby we are led to commit those sins which in a peculiar manner are called, in Holy Scripture, the works of the flesh. We have a long, black catalogue of these in Gal. v. 19; Rom. viii, 13; Coloss. iii. 5; and 1 John, ii. 16. Moreover, saith the Apostle, the works of the flesh are manifest ; which are, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulation, wrath, contention, sedition,

heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, gluttony, and such-like ; whereof I tell you now, as I have told you before, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.-We know for ourselves, to which of this dreadful list our particular nature or consitution is most inclined; and we ought to consider, that, as depraved creatures, the seeds of them all lie hid in our distempered souls, and need only accidental circumstance or opportunity (and to be forsaken of God) to cause them to appear. And we must guard against them accordingly, by every method appointed by God, to improve this corrupt nature, and by continually imploring and trusting in his gracious help; for the wilful and habitual practice of only one of them, will exclude us from God's presence, equally with all. St. James assures us (chap. ii. 10.), that whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all; that is, if he thinks to be cleared, because he is not so bad as many reprobate and atrocious transgressors, while he indulges any one favourite vice, he shall certainly be brought into judgment. We partake of an animal and spiritual nature. We are brought into the world to show forth God's infinite goodness and glory in making us candidates for eternal happiness. Our great trial here, is to subject the animal part of us to the spiritual, that we may be fitted for this happiness. This as we cannot possibly

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do of ourselves, God's merey is still further shown, in the promise of a power (the aid of his Holy Spirit) to enable us to subdue these lusts, desires, or works of the flesh. This leads to the source of all our hope and strength; the astonishing and inestimable love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; who, by his sufferings and death, hath obtained this power for us. To him, therefore, we must apply, as our Mediator and Intercessor with the Father, to accept our own diligent and humble endeavours, and to engage him to supply us with such help as shall assure us victory in the end. As rational creatures, with a will of choosing good and evil, this blessed Saviour hath further furnished us with his Gospel, the glad tidings of our redemption, in which he gives us his own bright example, and sufficient precepts of holy conduct to work upon this will, and to help to incline it to the will of the Father. He tells us, he came to make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke, i. 17); and, in another place, his Apostle declares, Christ came to purify to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works (Tit. ii. 14); which clearly shows, both the necessity of our combating the works of the flesh, and by whose aid alone we can expect to do it; for, purified or prepared we must be here, by the Spirit of God, through faith in Christ, or we shall never reign with him. However estimable Christ's merits, in the sight of God, so as certainly and sufficiently to have atoned for the sins of the whole world, in his mysterious purpose; yet still the effects of his spiritual influence must be visible in our lives, either in attending us from our earliest conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil; or by leading us to repentance and reformation after we have gone astray, and forced the Holy Spirit to leave us to ourselves.-Great is the encouragement to work out our salvation, which our Lord hath given us, in words that can never be mistaken--He who doth his will, shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God. Here is a promise, that must urge the industry of every Christian to ask God's grace, and to use every appointed means to obtain it; since it is plainly declared, that, in proportion to our keeping God's law, our minds shall be enlightened to grow in faith, and the knowledge of him; or, as may be explained in our Saviour's own words, in another place—To him that hath, more shall be given; and to him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath-i. e. he who will not follow the light of reason and conscience, but acts perversely against both, must not expect a share of preternatural grace. Hence it appears, that God's gifts are conditional (though FREE*); and that no one may expect to

• God's grace is not less free because it is conditional ; for we can neither merit nor command his help or mercy,

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