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produced fo glorious an effect upon them.-Make the experiment, Sir, and you will be forced to acknowledge the Lord Jefus Chrift to be indeed your Saviour, when you feel that he hath actually faved you.
Let me therefore set before you fome of the marks given of a real Chriftian in the New Teftament, that when you come to difcover the lineaments of this divine image upon your foul, you may know the caufe from the effect. In doing this, I fhall not defcend into all the minute particulars of the Chriftian character; but only fet before you a few of the moft plain and intelligible marks by which a Chriftian indeed may be diftinguished from all others, and by which he may most clearly discern, that Chrift is a Saviour indeed.
And first, the most general mark, by which this may be known, is, that if any man be in Chrift, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, (2 Cor. v. 17.). That he is renewed in the Spirit of his mind; and that he puts on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, (Eph. iv. 23, 24.). Here, you may fee, is reprefented a very remarkable and distinguishing change of ftate; a change, which may be known by thofe who have had the bleffed experience; and a change, that has been felt by all thofe, and none but those who are Chriftians indeed.—Could you then find this blefied effect of your committing your foul and your eternal interefts into the hands of our Lord Jefus Chrift; that all the powers, paffions, and appetites of your foul are renewed, you could not doubt the Author of the wonderful change.. You must own it to be from him, that you are brought to hate what you before loved, and to love what you before hated. Can you help but acknowledge
ledge this, when you find, that the thoughts and difpofitions of your mind are new, and the chief fubjects of your care and meditation are the things unfeen and eternal; that the defires and affections of your foul are new, and placed upon the things that are above, where Chrift Jefus fits at the right hand of God; that your views and ap prehenfions of yourself are new, and your haughty and felfifh imaginations are changed to an humble and contrite fpirit, that trembles at God's word; that your confidence and dependence is new, and, inftead of depending upon your good attainments, purposes, promises, reformations, or duties, you are endeavouring to be found in Chrift Fefus, not having on your own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Chrift, the righteousness which is of God by faith ; that your joys and fatisfactions are new, and, inftead of rejoicing in your temporal and fenfual acquifitions, you rejoice in Chrift Jefus, and have no confidence in the flesh; that the objects of your love and complacency are new, and, inftead of loving the world and your idols, you efteem God's favour to be life, and his loving-kindness to be better than life; and, inftead of loving the company of worldly and fenfual perfons, you have your only delight and complacency in men of serious vital piety, and have this evidence, that you are paffed from death to life, that you love the brethren; that your appetites and paffions are new, and, inftead of thofe boundless. defires you were before acted by, you are brought into an humble fubjection to the will of God, and, instead of those turbulent paffions which before had the afcendant, you experience the blessed fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, long-fuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meeknefs, temperance ;and, to fum up all, that your converfation is new,
and that you live a life of holiness towards God, and of righteoufnefs, charity, and beneficence towards men, endeavouring to fill up every station, relation, and capacity of life with duty, and striving to have your whole conversation as becomes the goSpel of Chrift?
This, Sir, is a brief fummary of the true Chriftian character. This the falvation (in its moral view) which our Lord Jefus Chrift beftows in this world upon all his fincere followers.-No man ever failed of obtaining this, who, by faith unfeigned, brought his foul to Chrift, and depended upon him for his fanctifying, renewing influences.
Now, fecondly, another thing which all true Chriftians experience, and none but they, is the fpiritual warfare. They have a warfare with their remaining corruptions. The flesh lufteth against the Spirit, and the fpirit against the flesh, (Gal. v. 17.). And they fee another law in their members warring against the law of their minds, in order to bring them into captivity to the law of fin and death, (Rom. vii. 23.). They have still so many imperfections remaining in their hearts, in their duties, and in their converfations, as make them' groan, being burdened and cry out, O wretched man that I am, who fhall deliver me from the body of this death!— When therefore you are heartily engaged in this war, and feel in yourself that you are continually led on to victory, can you doubt who it is that approves himself the Captain of your Salvation?-Can you doubt this, when you fenfibly feel in yourself a hatred to all fin, without any referve, even to those fins which by conftitution, or custom, are so nearly and intimately united to your affections, as to become your members, even a right hand, a right foot, or a right eye?-Can you doubt this, when you feel that you even hate vain thoughts, and that the irregularities of your heart and affections, as well
well as of your outward conduct, are matter of your continual grief and burden; what you continually watch, and pray, and strive against ?-Can you doubt this, when it is your conftant experience, · that there is nothing more grievous to you, nothing more contrary to the governing defires of your foul, than the prevalence of thefe corruptions, and the deadnefs, formality, and distractions which accompany your holy duties; and when you experience that it is your moft ardent and impatient purfuit, to gain further victory over the imperfections of your heart and life, and to obtain more uninterrupted communion with God, in your religious approaches to him? Or, to fum up all in a word, can this be doubted, when (under the tharpeft conflict you can meet with from this quarter) you are able fincerely to say, that though when you would do good, evil is prefent with you; yet you delight in the law of the Lord, after the inward man?
You must, befide this inteftine war, have the trial of another campaign. You will find enemies from without, as well as within, to maintain a continual conflict with. For we wrefle not against flesh and blood only, but against principalities, againft powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against fpiritual wickedneffes in high places, (Eph. vi. 12.).-This is what you have probably had no experience of. A prifoner in the hands of his enemies, led captive by them at their pleasure, has no acquaintance with the progrefs of wars and conflicts, battles and fieges; makes no attempts for victory and triumph; but fubmits to the injunctions of his conquerors; and the more cheerful his fubmiffion, the more eafe and comfort he will find. This you must acknowledge to be eminently true of fuch, who, without opposition, refign themselves voluntary prifoners into their enemies
hands; as all carelefs and fecure finners do into the hands of fin and Satan.-But when once perfons come to be, in good earnest, engaged in the cause of Chrift, what violent oppofition do they meet with? What dreadful temptations do they often encounter, which carry their own evidence with them from what quarter they come ?-This I warn you of beforehand, that when you come to the experience, you may not be difcouraged, but established in the faith of that revelation which you find experimentally true.
How frequently are Chriftians indeed called into this field of battle? How frequently are they affaulted with moft violent and impetuous temptations, which will follow and hurry them, and fometimes foil them, notwithstanding all their good defires, godly refolutions, and most active endeavours after holinefs? What horrendous, blafphemous thoughts are often injected into the minds of fuch, which though the greatest burden and abhorrence of their diftreffed fouls, yet follow and haunt them whereever they go, and whatever they do, and efpecially at the feafons of their nearest approaches to God? -What doubting apprehenfions, what fubtile, furprizing reasonings will be darted into the minds of fome, even the most established Christians, against the very Being of God, and the truth of Chriftianity, notwithstanding their highest rational conviction, and fulleft fatisfaction of the truth of these great fundamentals of religion?-What horrible and amazing difpofitions and affections will feem to arife in the minds of fome of the most devout and heavenly perfons in the world, who, in the dreadful conflict, are fometimes made to roar by reafon of the difquietness of their hearts?-What diftreffing darkness, dejections, and defpondings will fome Chriftians be exercised with, after clear and fatis