(Guthrie, The Christian's Great Interest. part 4)

heart is laid out in breadth and length for Him; yea, when the fame and 
report of Him goes abroad in His truth, although faith sees not much, yet 
it 'believeth on His name,' upon the very fame He has sent abroad of 
Himself. (John 1: 12.) 
III.--Farther explanatory remarks concerning saving faith 
But here, for avoiding mistakes, considers--1. That although justifying 
faith acts so variously, yet every believer who has a good title to 
Christ Jesus has not all these various actings and exercises of faith; 
for his condition requires them not; and also the faster is sometimes 
pleased not to lead out the faith of some persons, in all these 
particular ways, for reasons known to Himself, even when their necessity 
(to their apprehension) calleth for such an acting of faith. Surely, 
every one dare not say, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.' 
(Job 13: 15.) Many would not have gone up with the woman of Canaan, 
spoken of in Matt. 15:, but would have been discouraged, and have given 
up the pursuit. It is on this account that Christ highly commends the 
faith of some beyond the faith of others; as of the centurion, and the 
woman of Canaan. (Matt. 8: 10.) Many good people are much disquieted 
about their faith, because it goes not out in all those ways we find 
recorded in Scripture; but there is hardly any one to be found whose 
faith has acted all these ways. 
   2. Many of these actings of faith are much intended and remitted. They 
are sometimes strong and vigorous, and discernible; and sometime they 
fail, and unbelief prevails, so it were an uncertain thing to judge of a 
man's state by these. We find the saints at times very different from 
themselves in regard of the acting of faith, as we showed before. 
   3. Each one of these actings of faith speaks good to the person in 
whom it is, and has promises annexed unto it, as we have said. Yet-- 
   4. Although these acting of faith have promises annexed to them, they 
are not, on that account, the condition of the new covenant; for then 
every one behaved to have each one of them, which is not true, as we said 
before. A promise is made to him who overcometh: but perseverance is not 
the condition of the new covenant, though it supposeth it. There are 
promises made to the exercise of all graces in Scripture; but faith only 
is the condition of the covenant. I say, then, these promises are made to 
these workings of faith, not as such, but as they imply justifying faith, 
which is the condition of the covenant. All these are acting of faith, 
but not as it is justifying. Therefore-- 
   5. There is something common to all gracious persons, which may be 
supposed by all the aforesaid acting of faith, wherein the nature and 
essence of justifying faith consist: and this is the heart's satisfaction 
with God's plan of salvation by Christ. When man is pleased with God's 
method of satisfaction to justice, through Christ Jesus, in whom all 
fulness now dwells, by the Father's pleasure; when the soul and heart of 
man acquiesce in that, then it believeth unto salvation. As at first the 
Lord made man suitable to the covenant of works, by creating him perfect, 
and so putting him in a capacity to perform his will in that covenant: 
so, under the new covenant, when God giveth the new heart to man, He puts 
the idea and stamp of all His device in the new covenant upon the man, so 
as there is a consonance to God's will there: thus he bears the image of 
the second Adam, Christ Jesus, on him. This is a great part of the new 
heart, and is most opposed to works: since now the man absolutely falls 
from works, 'becoming dead to the law,' as to the point of justification, 
'by the body of Christ.' (Rom. 7: 4.) Man perceiving that God has devised 
a way of satisfying Divine justice, and recovering lost man by the 
incarnation of Christ, he thinks this so good and sure a way, that he 
absolutely gives up with the law, as I said before, and closes with this 
device; and this is believing or faith, very opposite to works, and all 
resting thereupon. This cannot fail to be in all gracious persons, in 
whom many of the acting of faith are not to be found. This does clearly 
suppose known distress in a man, without any relief in himself: this 
supposes known fulness in Christ, as the alone sufficient relief: this 
imports a sort of appropriation; for the heart, being pleased with that 
device, in so far swayeth towards it. This is a thing clearly supposed in 
all the acting of faith spoken of before. He that greedily hungereth, has 
this; and he that leaneth has this, etc. This is to esteem 'Christ the 
wisdom and power of God' to salvation, as He is said to be to all that 
believe. (1 Cor. 1: 24.) They esteem that device wise and sure, becoming 
God; and that is to believe. On this account, Christ, who is the stone 
rejected by many, is 'precious to them who believe;' a fit stone to 
recover, fortify, and beautify the tottering building and fabric of lost 
man--'To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, 
but chosen of God and precious; ye also, as lively stones, are built up a 
spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, 
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore it is also contained in the 
Scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; 
and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you, 
therefore, which believe He is precious; but unto them which be 
disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made 
the head of the corner; and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, 
even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, whereunto also 
they were appointed.' (1 Peter 2: 4-8.) 'The kingdom of God is like a man 
finding a treasure, for which with joy he selleth all.' (Matt. 13: 44.) 
These words hold out the very way of believing, namely, salvation is 
discovered in the gospel to be by Christ; the heart valueth that method 
as satisfying. This is to believe on the Son of God lifted up; which is 
compared with looking to the brazen serpent. (John 3: 14.) It was man's 
approbation of that device which made it effectual for his healing; so is 
it here, 'He that so believeth, setteth to his seal that God is true.' 
(John 3: 33.) True! Wherein? In that record He has borne, that God has 
provided life for men, and placed it all in Christ. 'He that believeth 
not maketh God a liar.' (1 John 5: 10.) Wherein? In His saying that 
Christ is a safe and sure way to heaven. This is being pleased and 
acquiescing in that device; and it is consonant to all I know spoken of 
justifying faith in Scripture. This is the believing on Christ and on His 
name, the receiving of Him, and resting on Him for salvation, in our 
Catechism; the believing that Jesus is the Christ, that is, the anointed 
one, whom the Father has sealed and set apart, and qualified for the work 
of reconciling man unto God; and 'he that believeth that Jesus is the 
Christ, is born of God.' (1 John 5: 1.) This is to 'believe with the 
heart that God has raised Christ from the dead.' (Acts 8: 37.) The man 
believeth Christ died and rose on the account of satisfaction for man's 
transgression. Devils may believe that: nay, but the man I speak of, 
'believeth it with the heart' (which no natural man does, until a new 
heart be given unto him); that is, he is cordially pleased, and satisfied 
with, and acquiesceth in, this glorious method. And thus faith layeth out 
itself now and then in its acting, outgoings, and exercise, according to 
all the covenant relations under which Christ is held forth in the 
   Now, I say, this faith is discernible, not only in these actings;-- 
many times a man may know if his heart does hunger after Christ, and flee 
for refuge to Him when pursued, and if he does commit himself unto God, 
etc.--but also in its very nature; as it is justifying, it is 
discernible, and may be known. A man may clearly know, if from known 
distress in himself, upon the report and fame of Christ's fulness, his 
heart is pleased with God's device in the new covenant; if it goes after 
Christ in that discovery, and approveth Him as Lord of the life of men, 
terminating and resting there, and nowhere else, acquiescing in that 
contrivance with desire and complacency. This is a discernible thing; 
therefore I call upon men impartially to examine themselves, and if they 
find that their heart has closed so with that device of salvation, and is 
gone out after Him as precious, that thereupon they conclude a sure and 
true interest in Jesus Christ, and a good claim and title to the crown, 
since 'he that believeth shall never perish, but have everlasting life.' 
(John 3: 16, 36.) 
IV.--Difficulties as to what seems to be faith removed 
Object. Hypocrites and reprobates have a sort of faith, and are said to 
believe; and cannot choose but go out after Christ, and that device of 
salvation, when they hear of it; and they profess they do so, yet are 
deluded, and so may I. 'Many believed in His name, when they saw the 
miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, 
because He knew all men.' (John 2: 23, 24.) 'Then Simon the sorcerer 
himself believed also.' (Acts 8: 13.) 
   Ans. To say nothing of that thought of your heart, whereby you wonder 
that any man should not approve of the device of salvation by Christ, and 
be led out towards Him, as a very promising thing, and implying that 
justifying faith is in your bosom; and, to say nothing in contradiction 
to that which you think, that a natural man, whilst such, and before he 
gets a new heart, can be pleased with that device, and affectionately 
believe with his heart, and that which perfectly overthrows the covenant 
of works, and abaseth man in the point of self righteousness already 
attained, or that can be attained by him, which is inconsistent with many 
scriptural truths; I shall notice the following differences between the 
faith of all hypocrites or reprobates, and that true saving justifying 
faith, whereof we have spoken. 
   1. They never close with Christ Jesus in that device, and Him alone, 
as a sufficient severing of the eyes, as is said of Abraham to Sarah 
(Gen. 20: 16); they still hold fast somewhat of their own, at least to 
help to procure God's favour and salvation; their heart does still speak, 
as that young man in Luke insinuates, 'What shall I do to inherit eternal 
life?' (Luke 10: 25; 18: 18.) Besides that, they still retain their 
former lovers, and will not break their covenants with hell and death, 
imagining they may have Christ with these things equally sharing in their 
heart; contrary to that, 'A man cannot serve two masters.' (Matt. 6: 24.) 
Either Christ must be judged absolute Lord, and worthy to be so, or 
nothing at all; and so it is clear their heart is not prepared for that 
device of salvation by Christ, whom God has alone made Lord here, in whom 
all fulness shall dwell. But where justifying faith is, the soul of a man 
and his heart does close with Christ, and Him alone, 'having no 
confidence in the flesh,' and trusting only in God. (Phil. 3: 3; Psa. 62: 
5.) Also the man here giveth up all other lovers; as they compete with 
Christ, he resolves 'not to be for another.' (Hos. 3: 3.) He calls Him 
Lord, which a man can only do by the Spirit of Christ. 
   2. As hypocrites and reprobates never close with Christ alone, so they 
never fully close with Christ as anointed to be a King, to rule over a 
man in all things; a Priest, to procure pardon and to make peace for man 
upon all occasions; a Prophet, to be wisdom, and a teacher and counsellor 
in all cases to man: so they do not receive Christ, especially in the 
first and third offices. But where true justifying faith is, a man 
closeth wholly with Christ in all His offices, judging all His will 
'good, holy, just, and spiritual (Rom. 7: 12); and right concerning all 
things' (Psa. 119: 128); 'making mention of His righteousness only.' 
(Psa. 71: 16.) 
   The man also giveth up himself to be taught of Him--'Learn of me.' 
(Matt. 11: 29.) So that 'Christ is made,' to the true believer, with His 
own consent, 'wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.' (1 
Cor. 1: 30.) And although he has not all these things formally in 
exercise when his heart goes out after Christ, yet, upon search and 
trial, it will be found with him as I have said. 
   3. Hypocrites and reprobates never close with Christ, and all the 
inconveniences that may follow Him; they stick at that, with the scribe-- 
'And a certain scribe came and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee 
whithersoever Thou goes. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, 
and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has not where to 
lay His head.' (Matt. 8: 19, 20.) But where true justifying faith is, a 
man closes with Him at all hazards; he resolves to forego all rather than 
forego Christ. 'We have left all and followed Thee' (Mark 10: 28); 'he 
reckoned all to be loss and dung for the excellency of Christ Jesus, as 
his Lord, and to be found in Him.' (Phil. 3: 8.) 
   We might point out other differences also, as that true faith is 
operative, 'purifying the heart' (Acts 15: 9); 'working by love' (Gal. 5: 
6); whilst hypocrites do only cleanse the 'outside of the platter' (Matt. 
23: 5); and 'do all to be seen of men' (Matt. 6: 5); 'not seeking the 
honour that is of God only' (John 5: 44), and so cannot believe. We might 
also show, that true faith is never alone in a man, but attended with 
other saving graces. But because these things will coincide with what 
follows, and as we are showing here that a man may determine his gracious 
state by his faith, and the acting thereof on Christ, we pass these 
things for the present. 
Chapter IV.--Evidences of a Renewed State 
The second great mark of a gracious state, and true saving interest in 
Jesus Christ, is the new creature--'If any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature.' (2 Cor. 5: 17.) This new creation or renovation of man, is a 
very sensible change; although not in those who are effectually called 
from the womb, or in their younger years; because those have had this new 
creature from that time in them, so that this change in after-periods of 
time is not so discernible as in those who have been regenerated and 
brought unto Christ after they were come to greater age, and so have more 
palpably been under the 'power of darkness,' before they were 'translated 
into the kingdom of Christ.' (Col. 1: 13.) But in all who do warrantable 
pretend to Christ, this new creature must be; although some do not know 
experimentally the contraries of every part of it as others do; because 
they have not been equally, in regard of practice, under the power of 
darkness. This new creature is called the 'new man' (Gal. 3: 10), which 
points out the extent of it. It is not simply a new tongue or new hand, 
but a new man. There is a principle of new life and motion put in the 
man, which is the new heart; which new principle of life sendeth forth 
acts of life, or of 'conformity to the image' of Him who created it, so 
that the party is renewed in some measure every way. (Col. 3: 10.) This 
renovation of the man who is in Christ may be reduced into these two 
great heads:--  
I.--The whole man must be to some extend renewed 
There is a renovation of the man's person,soul and body, in some measure. 
   1. His understanding is renewed, so that he judgeth 'Christ preached' 
in the gospel to be 'the wisdom and power of God,' a wise and strong 
device beseeming God. (1 Cor. 1: 23, 24.) He knoweth the things of God 
really and solidly, not to be yea and nay, and uncertain fancies; but all 
to be yea and amen, solid, certain, substantial things, having a 
desirable accomplishment in Christ, and resolving much in Him. 'The 
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are 
foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are 
spiritually discerned: but he that is spiritual judgeth all things.' (1 
Cor. 2: 14,15.) 'As God is true, our word towards you was not yea and 
nay. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, 
even by me, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in Him 
was yea. For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, 
unto the glory of God by us.' (2 Cor. 1: 19, 20.) Natural men, educated 
under gospel ordinances, although they have some notional knowledge of 
God, Christ, the promises, the motions of the Holy Spirit, etc., so that 
they may confer, preach, and dispute about these things; yet they look on 
them as common received maxims of Christianity, from which to recede were 
a singularity and disgrace; but not as real, solid, substantial truths, 
so as to venture their souls and everlasting being on them. The 
understanding is renewed also, to understand somewhat of God in the 
creatures, as bearing marks of His glorious attributes (Psa. 19: 1); they 
see the heavens declaring His glory and power; and somewhat of God in the 
providence, and the dispensations that fall out: His wondrous works 
declare that His name is near. (Psa. 75: 1.) The understanding also 
perceives the conditions and cases of the soul otherwise than it was wont 
to do; as we find the saints usually speaking in Scripture --'O my soul, 
thou hast said unto the lord, Thou art my Lord.' (Psa. 16: 2.) 'My soul 
said, Thy face will I seek.' (Psa. 27: 8.) 'Why art thou cast down, O my 
soul' 'Return unto thy rest, O my soul.' (Psa. 42: 5; 116: 7.) 
   2. The heart and affections are renewed. The heart is made a new 
heart, a heart of flesh, capable of impressions, having a copy of His law 
stamped on it, and the fear of God put into it, whereby the man's duty 
becomes in a manner native and kindly to the man--'A new heart also will 
I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away 
the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my 
statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them.' (Ezek. 36: 26, 
27.) It was before a heart of stone, void of the fear of God. The 
affections are now renewed: the love is renewed in a good measure; it 
goes out after God, after His law, and after those who have God's image 
in them, 'I will love the Lord' (Psa. 18: 1);--after His law, 'O how love 
I thy law!' (Psa. 119: 97);--after those who have had God's image in 
them, 'By this shall all men knave that ye are my disciples, if ye have 
love one to another.' (John 13: 35.) 'We know that we have passed from 
death unto life, because we love the brethren.' (1 John 3: 14.) This love 
to God's people is purely on the account that they are the children of 
God, and keep His statutes: it is with a 'pure heart fervently' (1 Peter 
1: 22); and therefore it goes towards all those whom the man knows or 
apprehends to be such. 'I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and 
of them that keep thy precepts' (Psa. ~119: 63);--in all cases and 
conditions, even where there is nothing to beautify or commend but the 
image of God. And this love is so fervent many times, that it putteth 
itself out in all relations; so that a man seeks a godly wife, a godly 
master, a godly servant, a godly counsellor, in preference to all others- 
-'Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell 
with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.' (Psa. 101: 
6.) And 'it is not quenched by many waters.' (Cant. 8: 7.) Many 
imperfections and infirmities, differences in opinion, wrongs received, 
will not altogether quench love. Also it is communicative of good 
according to its measure, and as the case of the godly poor requires-- 
'Thou art my Lord, my goodness extendeth not to thee, but to the saints,' 
etc. (Psa. 16: 2.) 'But whose has this world's good, and sees his brother 
have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how 
dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in 
word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know 
that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.' (1 
John 3: 18,19.) The man's hatred is also renewed, and is now directed 
against sin, 'I hate vain thoughts' (Psa. 119: 113); against God's 
enemies, as such, 'Do not I hate them that hate Thee?' (Psa. 139: 21, 
22.) The joy or delight is renewed, for it runneth towards God, 'Whom 
have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire 
besides thee (Psa. 73: 25);--towards His law and will, 'His delight is in 
the law of the Lord' (Psa. 1: 2);-- and towards the godly and their 
fellowship, 'To the saints in whom is all my delight.' (Psa. 16: 3.) The 
sorrow is turned against sin which has wronged Christ--'Looking to Him 
whom they have pierced, they mourn.' (Zech. 12: 10.) The sorrow is godly 
there, and against what encroacheth upon God's honour--'They are 
sorrowful for the solemn assembly, and the reproach of that is their 
burden.' (Zeph. 3: 18.) There is some renovation in all the affections, 
as in every other part of the soul, pointing now towards God. 
   3. The very outward members of the man are renewed, as the Scripture 
speaks--the tongue, the eye, the ear, the hand, and the foot, so that 
those members which once were abused as weapons of unrighteousness unto 
sin, are now improved as weapons of righteousness unto holiness. (Rom. 6: 
II.--He must be, to some extent, renewed in all his ways 
A man who is in Christ is renewed in some measure in all his ways-- 
'Behold all things are become new.' (2 Cor. 5: 17.) The man becometh new. 
   1. In the way of his interest. He was set upon any good before, though 
but apparent and at best but external. 'Many say, who will show us any 
good?' (Psa. 4: 6); but now his interest and business is, how to 'be 
found in Christ, in that day' (Phil. 3: 9); or how to be obedient to Him, 
and 'walk before Him in the light of the living' (Psa. 56: 13); which He 
would choose among all the mercies that fill this earth--'The earth, O 
Lord, is full of Thy mercy, teach me Thy statutes.' (Psa. 119: 64.) The 
interest of Christ also becomes the man's interest, as appears in the 
song of Hannah and of Mary. (1 Sam. 2:; Luke 1). It is strange to see 
people newly converted, and having reached but the beginnings of 
knowledge, concern and interest themselves in the public matters of 
Christ's kingdom, so desirous to have Him riding prosperously and 
subduing the people under Him. 
   2. The man that is in Christ is renewed in the way of his worship. He 
was wont to 'serve God in the oldness of the letter' (Rom. 7: 6); 
according to custom, answering the letter of the command in outward duty 
which one in whom the old man has absolute dominion can do; but now he 
worshippeth God in newness of spirit, in a new way, wherein He is 'helped 
by the Spirit of God' (Rom. 8: 26); beyond the reach of flesh and blood. 
He 'serveth now the true and living God' (1 Thess. 1: 9); 'in spirit and 
in truth.' (John 4: 23.) Having spiritual apprehensions of God, and 
engaged in his very soul in that work, doing and saying truly and not 
feignedly when he worshippeth; still desiring to approach unto Him as a 
living God, who hearth and seeth Him, and can accept His service. (Psa. 
62: 1, 2.) I grant he fails of this many times; yet I may say, such 
worship he intends, and sometimes overtakes, and does not much reckon 
that worship which is not so performed unto God; and the iniquity of his 
holy things is not the least part of His burden and exercise. To such a 
worship natural men are strangers, whilst they babble out their 
vainglorious boastings, like the Pharisee--'Lord, I thank Thee that I am 
not as other men' (Luke 18: 11, 12); or the Athenians, who worshipped an 
'unknown God.' (Acts 17: 23.) 
   3. The man that is in Christ is renewed in the way of his outward 
calling and employments in the world; he now resolves to be diligent in 
it, because God has so commanded--Not slothful in business; fervent in 
spirit; serving the Lord' (Rom. 12: 11); and to reward God in it as the 
last end, doing it to 'His glory' (1 Cor. 10: 31); and studying to keep 
some intercourse with God in the exercise of his outward employments, as 
Jacob on his dying bed--'I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord' (Gen. 
49: 18); and as Nehemiah did 'Then the king 8aid unto me, For what dost 
thou male request? So I prayed to the God of heaven' (Neh. 2: 4); so that 
the man resolves to walk with God, and 'set Him always before him' (Psa. 
16: 8); wherein I deny not that he often faileth. 
   4. He becomes new in the way of his relations;--he becomes a more 
dutiful husband, father, brother, master, servant, neighbour, etc. Herein 
does he exercise himself to keep a conscience void of offense towards men 
as well as towards God, 'becoming all things to all men.' (Acts 24: 16; 1 
Cor. 9: 22.) 
   5. He becomes new in the way of lawful liberties. He studies to make 
use of meat, drink, sleep, recreations, apparel, with an eye to God, 
labouring not to come under the power of any lawful thing--'All things 
are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient; all things are 
lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any' (1 Cor. 
6: 12); nor to give offense to others in the use of these things--'For 
meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is 
evil for that man who eateth with offense. It is good neither to eat 
flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or 
is offended, or is made weak.' (Rom. 14: 20, 21.) 'Let every one of us 
please his neighbour for his good to edification' (Rom. 15: 2),--not 
using 'liberty as an occasion to the flesh.' (Gal. 5: 13.) Yea, he 
laboureth to use all these things as a stranger on earth, so that his 
moderation may appear: 'Let your moderation be known unto all men.' 
(Phil. 4: 5.) And he regards God as the last end in these things, 'doing 
all to the glory of God;' so that we may say of that man, 'Old things 
are' much 'passed away, all things are' in some measure 'become new.' (2 
Cor. 5: 17.) He that is so a new creature is undoubtedly in Christ. 
   This renovation of a man in all manner of conversation, and this being 
under the law to God in all things, is that 'holiness without which no 
man shall see the Lord. ' (Heb. 12: 14.) Men may fancy things to 
themselves, but unless they study to approve themselves unto God in all 
well-pleasing, and attain some inward testimony of sincerity that way, 
they shall not assure their hearts before Him. The testimony of men's 
conscience is their rejoicing (2 Cor. 1: 12.) 'By this we know that we 
know Him, if we keep His commandments.' (1 John 2: 3.) 'And hereby we 
know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 
For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth 
all things. Beloved, if one heart condemn us not, then have we confidence 
towards God. ' (1 John 3: 19-21.) No confidence if the heart condemn. 
This is the new creature, having a principle of new spiritual life 
infused by God into the heart, whereby it becometh new, and putteth forth 
acts of new life throughout the whole man, as we have said, so that he 
pointeth towards the whole law--1. Towards those commands which forbid 
sin; so he resolves to contend against secret sins, 'not to lay a 
stumbling-block before the blind' (Lev. 19: 14),--little sins, which are 
judged so by many, the least things of the law--'Whosoever shall break 
one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be 
called the least in the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 5: 19),--spiritual 
sins, filthiness of the spirit--'Having therefore these promises, dearly 
beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and 
spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God' (2 Cor. 7: 1);--sins of 
omission as well as of commission, since men are to be judged by these-- 
'Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, 
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was 
an hungered and ye gave me no meat, I was thirsty, and ye gave me no 
drink.' (Matt. 25: 42, 44.) Yea, sins that are wrought into his natural 
humour and constitution, and thus are as a right eye or hand to him'--If 
thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee.' (Matt. 
5: 29.) This new principle of life, by the good hand of God, makes the 
man set himself against every known sin, so far as not to allow peaceful 
abode to any known darkness--'What fellowship has righteousness with 
unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?' (2 Cor. 6: 
14.) 2. As also he pointeth towards those commands which relate to duty, 
and the quickening of grace in man. It maketh a man respect all God's 
known commands (Psa. 119: 6); to 'live godly, righteously, and soberly' 
(Tit. 2: 12); yea, and to study a right and sincere way and manner of 
doing things, resolving not to give over this study of conformity to 
God's will whilst he liveth on earth, but still to 'press forward toward 
the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' 
(Phil. 3: 13,14.) This is true holiness, every way becoming all those who 
pretend to be heirs of that holy habitation, in the immediate company and 
fellowship of a holy God--'We know that when He shall appear we shall be 
like Him.' (1 John 3: 2.) 
III.--The supposed unattainableness of such evidences considered 
Some may think these things high attainments, and very hard to be got at. 
I grant it is true. But-- 
   First, Remember that there is a very large allowance in the covenant, 
promised to His people, which maketh things more easy. The Lord has 
engaged 'to take away the stony heart, to give a heart of flesh, a new 
heart, a heart to fear Him for ever;' He has engaged to 'put His law in 
men's heart; to put His fear in their heart, to make them keep that law; 
to put His Spirit in them, to cause them to keep it.' He has promised 'to 
satisfy the priests with fatness,' that the souls of 'the people may be 
satisfied with His goodness: and to keep and water them continually every 
moment.' (Ezek. 36: 26, Z7; Jer. 31: 12, 13, 14, 33; 31: 32, 36, 40; Isa. 
27: 3.) And if He must be 'inquired of to do all these things unto men,' 
He engageth to pour out the Spirit of grace and supplication on them, and 
so to teach them how to seek these things, and how to put Him to it, to 
do all for them. (Zech. 12: 10.) 
   Secondly, For the satisfaction of weaker Christians, I grant this new 
creature, as we have circumscribed and enlarged it, will not be found in 
all the degrees of it in every gracious person. But it is well if-- 
   1. There be a new man. We cannot grant less--'If any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature;' and that is the new man which all must put on who 
are savingly taught of Christ--'If so be that ye have heard Him, and have 
been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off concerning 
the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the 
deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and that ye 
put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true 
holiness.' (Ephes. 5: 21-24.) There must be some renewing after the image 
of God in a man's soul and body; there must be somewhat of every part of 
the man pointing towards God. Although I grant every one cannot instruct 
this to others, neither discern it in himself, because many know not the 
distinct parts of the soul, nor the reformation competent to every part 
of the soul and body; yet it will be found there is some such thing in 
them, yea, they have a witness of it within them, if you make the thing 
plain and clear to them what it is. 
   2. There must be such a respect unto God's known commands, that a man 
do not allow peaceably any known iniquity to dwell in him; for 'what 
fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has 
light with darkness?' He must not regard iniquity--'Then shall I not be 
ashamed when I have respect unto all Thy commandments.' 'If I regard 
iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.' (2 Cor. 6: 14-16; Psa. 
119: 6; 66: 18.) I grant men may be ignorant of many commands and many 
sins, and may imagine, in some cases, that some sins are not hateful to 
God; but supposing that they are instructed in these things, there can be 
no agreement between righteousness and unrighteousness. 
   3. Men must point towards all the law of God in their honest 
resolutions; for this is nothing else than to give up the heart unto God, 
to put His law in it without exception, which is a part of the covenant 
we are to make with God--'This is the covenant that I will make with the 
house of Israel--I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in 
their hearts.' (Heb. 8: 10.) I grant many know not how to have respect to 
God's law in all their ways; but if it be made manifest to them how that 
should be done, they will point at it. And it is true, they will many 
times fail of their resolutions in their practice; yet when they have 
failed, they can say they did resolve otherwise; and will again honestly, 
and without guile, resolve to do otherwise; and it will prove their 
affliction to have failed of their resolution, when the Lord discovers it 
to them, which He will do in due time. 
   4. When we are to judge of our state by the new creature, we must do 
it at a convenient time, when we are in good case; at least, not when we 
are in the worst case; for 'the flesh and spirit do lust and fight 
against each other' (Gal. 5: 17); and sometimes the one, and sometimes 
the other does prevail. Now, I say, we must choose a convenient time when 
the spiritual part is not by some temptation worsted and overpowered by 
the flesh; for in that case the new creature is driven back in its 
streams, and much returned to the fountain and the habits, except in some 
small things not easily discernible, whereby it maketh opposition to the 
flesh, according to the foresaid scripture. For now it is the time of 
winter in the soul, and we may not expect fruit; yea, not leaves, as in 
some other seasons. Only here, lest profane atheists should take 
advantage of this, we will say, that the spirit does often prevail over 
the flesh in a godly man, and that the scope, aim, tenor, and main drift 
of his way is in the law of the Lord; that is his walk (Psa. 119: 1); 
whereas the pathway and ordinary course of the wicked is sin, as is often 
hinted in the book of the Proverbs of Solomon. And if it happen that a 
godly man be overcome by any transgression, ordinarily it is his sad 
vexation: and we suppose he keeps it still in dependency before God to 
have it rectified, as David speaketh, 'Wilt thou not deliver my feet from 
falling?' (Psa. 56: 13.) 
IV.--The special attainments of hypocrites considered 
Object. Atheists and hypocrites may have great changes and renovations 
wrought upon them, and in them, and I fear such may be the case with me. 
   Ans. I grant that atheists and hypocrites have many things in them 
which look like the new creature. 
   First, in regard of the parts of the man, they may--1. Come to much 
knowledge, as (Heb. 6: 4) 'They are enlightened.' 2. There may be an 
exciting of their affections, as 'They receive the word with joy,' as he 
that received the seed into stony places. (Matt. 13: 20.) 3. They may 
effect a great deal of reformation in the outward man, both as to freedom 
from sin, and engagement to positive duty, as the Pharisee did 'God, I 
thank Thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, 
adulterers, or even as this publican; I fast twice in the week, I give 
tithes of all that I possess.' (Luke 18: 11, 12.) Yea 1. In regard of 
their practical understanding, they may judge some things of God to be 
excellent: the officers said that 'never man spoke as Christ.' (John 7: 
   Secondly, Hypocrites may have a great deal of profession. 1. They may 
talk of the law and gospel, and of the covenant: as the wicked do--'What 
hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou should'st take my 
covenant in thy mouth?' (Psa. 50: 16.) 2. They may confess sin openly to 
their own shame, as King Saul did--'Then said Saul, I have sinned: 

(continued in part 5...)

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