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This also shows, how much is still in our heart, which is contrary to the love of our ncighbour.
9. Covetousness, in every kind and degree, is certainly as contrary to this as to the love of God; whether cihegyuşik, the love of money, which is too frequently “the root of all evil ;” or Theovežia, literally, a desire of having more, or increasing in substance. And bow few, eveu of the real children of God, are entirely free from both ? Indeed one great man, Martin Luther, used to say, He “never had any covetousness in him (110t only in his converted state, but) ever since he was born." But, if so, I would not scruple to say, he was the only man born of a woman, (except him that was God as well as man,) who had not, who was born without it. Nay, I believe, vever was any one born of God, that lived any considerable time after, who did not feel more or less of it many times, especially in the latter sense. We may therefore set it down as an undoubted truth, that covetousness, together with pride, and self-will, and anger, remain in the hearts cven of them that are justified.
10. It is their experiencing this, which has inclined so many serious persons to understand the latter part of the Seventh Chapter to the Romans, not of them that are “under the law,” that are convinced of sin, which is undoubtedly the meaning of the Apostle, but of them that are “under grace; ” that are “justified freely through the redemption that is in Christ.” And it is most certain, they are thus far right :-there does still remain, even in thein that are justified, a mind which is in some measure carnal ; (so the Apostle tells even the believers at Corinthi, “Ye are carnal ;) an heart bent to backsliding, still crer ready to “ depart from the living God;" a propensity to pride, self-will, anger, revenge, love of the world, yea, and all cvil; a root of bitterness, which, if the restraint were taken off for a moment, would instantly spring up; yea, such a depth of corruption), as, without clear light from God, we cannot possibly conceive. And a conviction of all this sin remaining in their hearts, is the Repentance which belongs to them that are justified.
11. But we should likewise be convinced, that as sin remains in our hearts, so it cleares to all our words and actions. Indeed it is to be feared, that many of our words are more than mixed with sin ; that they are sinful altogether; for such undoubtedly is all uncharitable conversation; all which does not spring from brotherly love; all which does not agree with that golden rule, “What ye would that others should do to you, even so do unto them.” Of this kind is all back-biting, all tale-bearing, all whispering, all evilspeaking, that is, repeating the faults of absent persons ; for none would have others repeat his faults when he is absent. Now how few are there, even among believers, who are in no degree guilty of this; who steadily observe the good old rule, “Of the dead and the absent,-nothing but good!” And suppose they do, do they likewise abstain from unprofitable conversation? Yet all this is unquestionably sinful, and “grieves the Holy Spirit of God:” yea, and “ for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment.”
12. But let it be supposed, that they continually " watch and pray," and so do “not enter into this temptation;" that they constantly set a watch before their mouth, and keep the door of their lips ; suppose they exercise themselves herein, that all their “ conversation may be in grace, seasoned with salt, and meet to minister grace to the hearers;" yet do they not daily slide into useless discourse, notwithstanding all their caution ? And even when they endeavour to speak for God, are their words pure, free from unholy mixtures ? Do they find nothing wrong in their very intention? Do they speak merely to please God, and not partly to please themselves ? Is it wholly to do the will of God, and not their own will also ? Or, if they begin with a single eyc, do they go on “ looking unto Jesus,” and talking with Him all the time they are talking with their neighbour ? When they are reproving sin, do they feel no anger or unkind temper to the sinner? When they are instructing the ignorant, do they not find any pride, any self-preference ? When they are comforting the afflicted, or provoking one another to love and to good works, do they never perceive any inward self-commendation : “ Now you have spoke well?” Or any vanity, a desire that others should think so, and esteem them on the account? In some or all of these respects, how much sin cleaves to the best conversation even of believers ? The conviction of wbich is another branch of the Repentance, which belongs to them that are justified.
13. And how much sin, if their conscience is thoroughly awake, may they find cleaving to their Actions also ? Nay, are
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there not many of these, which, though they are such its the world would not condem, yet cannot be commended, 1:0, por exeised, if we judge by the Word of God? Are there not many of their actious, which, they themselves know, are not to the glory of God! Mawy, wherein they did not even aim at this; which were not undertaken with an eye to God? And of those tliat were, are there not many, wherein their eye is not singly fixed on God? Wherein they are doing their own will, at least as much as His; and sceking to please themselves as much, if not more, than to please God ?-And while they are endeavouring to do good to their neighbour, do they not feel wrong tempers of various kinds ? Fence their good actions, so called, are far from being Stricily such; being polluted with such it mixture of evil? Such are their works of MIcry. And is not the same mixture in their works of Picty? While they are hearing the word, which is able to save their souls, do they not frequently find such thoughis as make them afraid lest it should turn to their condemnation, rather than their salvation? Is it not often the same case, while they are endeavouring to ofler up their prayers to Cuci, whether in public or private?. Nay, while they are engaged in the most solem service, even while they are at the table of the Lord, what manner of thoughts arise in them ! Are not their hearis sometimes wandering to the ends of the earth; sometimes filled with such imaginations, as make them fear lest all their sacrifice should be an abomination to the Lord ? So that they are now more ashamed of their best duties, than thes were once of their worst si!s.
14. Again : How many Sins of Omission are they chargeable with? We know the rords of the Apostle, “ To him that kuoveth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” But do they not know it thousand instances, wherein they might have done good, to enemies, to strangers, to their brethren, either with regard to their bodies or their souls, and they did it not?' lluw many omissions have they been guilty of, in their duty toward Cod! How many opportunities of communicatiug, of bearing bis vord, of public or private prayer, have they neglecteel! So great reason had even that holy mai, Archbishop Usher, after all his labours for God, to cry out, almost with liis dying breathi, “Lord, forgive me my sins of omission!”
15. But, besides these outward omissions, may they not find in themselves inward Defects without number? Defects of every kind: they have not the love, the fear, the confidence they ought to have, toward God. They have not the love which is due to their neighbour, to every child of man ; no, por even that which is due to their brethren, to every child of God, whether those that are at a distance from them, or those with whom they are immediately connected.
They have no holy temper in the degree they ought; they - are defective in every thing ;--in a deep consciousness of which they are ready to cry out with M. De Renty, “I am a ground all over-run with thorns;' or with Job, “ I am vile : I abhor myself, and repent as in dust and ashes."
16. A conviction of their Guiltiness is another branch of that Repentance which belongs to the children of God. But this is cautiously to be understood, and in a peculiar sense. For it is certain," there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” that believe in him, and, in the power of that faith, " walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Yet can they no more bear the strict justice of God now, than before they believed. This pronounces them to be still worthy of death, on all the preceding accounts. And it would absolutely condemn them thereto, were it not for the atoning blood. Therefore they are thoroughly convinced, that they still deserve punishment, although it is hereby turned aside from them. But here there are extremes on one hand and on the other, and few steer clear of them. Most men strike on one or the other, either thinking themselves condemned when they are not, or thinking they deserve to be acquitted. Nay, the truth lies between : they still deserve, strictly speaking, only the damnation of hell. But what they deserve does not come upon them, because they “ have an Advocate with the Father." His life, and death, and intercession, still interpose between them and condemnation.
17. A conviction of their utter Helplessness, is yet another branch of this Repentance. I mean hereby two things : First, That they are no more able now of themselves to think one good thought, to form one good desire, to speak one good word, or do one good work, than before they were justified; that they have still no kind or degree of strength of their own; no power either to do good, or resist evil; no ability to conquer or even withstand the world, the Devil, or their own evil nature. They can, it is certain, do all these things ; but it is not by their own strength. They have power to overcome all these enemies; for “sin liath no more domivion over them :" but it is not from naturc, either in whole or in part ; it is the mere gift of God: nor is it given all at once, as if they had a stock laid up for many years ; but from moment to moment.
18. By this Helplessness I mean, secondly, An absolute inability to deliver ourselves from that guiltiness or desert of punishment whereof we are still conscious ; yea, and an inability to remove, by all the grace we have, (to say nothing of our natural powers,) cither the pride, self-will, love of the world, anger, and general proneness to depart from God, which we experimentally know to remain in the heart, eren of them that are regenerate; or the evil which, in spite of all our endeavours, cleaves to all our words and actions. Add to this, an utter inability wholly to avoid uncharitable, and, much more, unprofitable conversation ; and an inability to avoid sins of omission, or to supply the numberless defects we are convinced of; especially the want of love, and other right tempers, both to God and man,
19. If any man is not satisfied of this, if any believes that whoever is justified is able to remove these sins out of his heart and life, let him make the experiment. Let him try whether, by the grace he has alrcady reccived, he can expel pride, self-will, or inbred sin in general. Let him try, whether he can cleanse his words and actions from all mixture of evil ; whether he can avoid all uncharitable and unprofitable conversation, with all the sins of omission; and, lastly, whether he can supply the numberless defects which he still finds in himself. Let him not be discouraged by one or two experiments, but repeat the trial again and again ; and the longer he tries, the more deeply will he be convinced of his utter helplessness in all these respects.
20. Indeed this is so evident a truth, that well nigh all the children of tod, scattered abroad, however they differ in other points, yet generally agree in this ; That although we may, “by the Spirit, mortily the deeds of the body;" resist and conquer both outward and inward sin ; although "e may weaken our enemies day by day ;-yet we cannot drive them out. By all the grace which is given at justification, we cannot extirpate them. Though the match and pray ever