Page images

out of the heart and life, and grace planted therein, and actuated, and advanced. This is done by the Spirit of God, who is holy, and makes the elect holy.

2. In justification, whereby the guilt of sin is removed, and the soul clothed with a perfect righteousness. This is done ' in the name of the Lord Jesus;' i. e. by the merits and blood of Christ, through Christ apprehended by faith. The apostle's order of stating these two will be considered afterwards.

The doctrine of the text is as follows, viz.

Doct. 'All that are effectually called, are freely sancti. fied by the Spirit of Christ.'

In treating this subject, I shall shew,
I. The general notion of sanctification.
II. More particularly inquire into the nature of it.

III. Deduce some inferences. 1. I will lay before you the general nature of sanctification. It imports three things.

1. Separation, or setting apart to a holy use or serviceThus the bread and wine in the sacrament are sanctified, and thus Aaron and his sons were sanctified. And thus the sanctification of the Spirit, is the Lord's taking one out of the

corrupt mass of mankind lying in wickedness, and setting him apart for himself, Psal. iv. 3. So that holiness is God's mark and seal set on a soul, testifying it to be his in a peculiar manner, Eph. i. 13.

2. Purification, or taking away of pollution. Thus people are called to sanctify themselves. There is a natural impurity and filthiness that every soul naturally is sunk in, 2 Cor. vii. 1. They are loathsome in the sight of God, all over defiled with filthy lusts. Sanctification is the Spirit's cleansing of the soul from its impurities; breaking the reign of sin, working out sin from the heart and life, as the spring doth the mud cast in it.

3. Preparation, whereby a thing or person is made fit for use or service. Thus our food is sanctified by the word and prayer. Naturally we are unfit for God's service; sanctification fits us for it, 2 Tim. ii. 21. What use are we for in the world, if not for God? But the unsanctified soul is not meet for his use : but the Lord loathes them, and their services too, as one would do liquor in a foul vessel. II. More particularly, I will inquire into the nature of the sanctification of a soul. And let us consider,

1. The kinds of sanctification.
2. The Author of it.
3. The moving cause of it.
4. Wherein it consists.
5. The parts of it.
6. The subject of it.
7. The effect of it.
8. How it is carried on.
9. The means of it.

FIRST, I shall consider the kinds of sanctification distinguishable. Sanctification of a soul is twofold.

1. Initial sanctification, which is the implanting of the seeds of grace in the soul at first, and is the same with regeneration, 1 John iii. 9. wherein the Spirit of Christ comes into the man's heart with his graces, and takes possession of him for God. The whole soul is cast into a new mould and frame, and the image of God is drawn anew upon it.

2. Progressive sanctification, whereby that change is carried on more and more, the Spirit holding hand to the begun work, Acts xx. 32. Satan's image is more defaced, and the image of God more perfected in the soul; corruption more weakened, and grace more excited and strengthened. This work lasts through the saint's whole life, and is never perfected till death.

These are one and the same work for substance, though differing in circumstances ; and no man has the one, but he has the other too. Initial sanctification


before justification in the order of nature, as being the principle from which faith doth arise ; and this accounts for the apostle's order in the text : but progressive sanctification, i. e. sanctification distinguished from regeneration, follows justification.

SECONDLY, Let us consider the Author of sanctification, whose work it is.

1. Negatively, It is not the sinner himself, nor any other creature, who is the author of it. We can well defile our. selves with all impurity, but cannot cleanse ourselves. We will lie still in our filthiness, till help come from another quarter, Eph. ii. 1. We are bid to cleanse our hands and hearts : but, alas! the rule of our duty is not the measure of our strength. Vol. II,

I i

2. Positively, It is the work of God; for it needs no less power than was necessary for creating a world, or raising the dead. It is the work of a whole Trinity to sanctify a soul, as lightly as many think of being holy. It is the work of the Father, Jude, ver. i. . Sanctified by God the Father;' of the Son, Eph. v. 26. “That he (Christ) might sanctify -it;' of the Holy Spirit, 2 Thess. ii. 13. • Through sancti. fication of the Spirit. But in a special manner it belongs to the Spirit; as the Father elects, the Son redeems, and the Holy Ghost sanctifies. It is the work of the Spirit of God then. For,

1. In initial sanctification the Spirit acts alone, and the poor sinner is wholly passive, and can do nothing that way, For he is dead in sin, and cannot move out of its dominion. He lies in the grave like the dry bones, which cannot live, nor stand up till they be breathed upon by the Lord himself.

2. In progresive sanctification, though the sinner does act towards his own sanctification, 2 Cor. vii. 1. yet he acts not but as he is acted by the Holy Spirit, Phil. ii. 13. In vain will he spread out his sails, if the wind from heaven blow not, Cant. iv. 16. No blow of his struck in the battle against lusts will do execution, if the Spirit do not carry it home.

THIRDLY, The moving cause of it. Sanctification is a great benefit: whom the Lord bestows it upon,

he puts an honour on, for they are set apart for himself. There is an intrinsic glory in holiness, Psal. xlv. 13. 'The King's daughter is all glorious within. God is glorious in it, ond therefore no wonder it be the glory of the creature.

When the Lord makes one holy, he does more for him than if he would give him all the gold of the Indies, or make him sole monarch of the world. Nay, the gift of sanctification is more worth than the Spirit of prophecy, or the faith of miracles : for men may be ruined notwithstanding of these, but not if they have this.

The only cause of it is free grace, not any personal worth in the creature, Tit. iii. 5. As the sun shines without hire, and enlightens the dark world; so does the Holy Spirit sanctify the unholy sinner freely, without any thing in him to move him thereto, Matth. xi. 25, 26. For,

1. There is nothing in an unholy sinner that is pleasing and acceptable in God's sight, Rom. viii. 3. There is nothing but stench and rottenness in the dead soul, till the sanctifying Spirit enter into him. His best dispositions, actions, and performances, are sin, being without faith, and the mere product of nature unrenewed.

2. Though there be a great difference betwixt natural men before the world, one having by far the advantage of the other in respect of their natural tempers and the way of their life ; yet the Lord does not give his sanctifying grace according to these advantages, but oft-times grace takes hold of those who are most unlikely to get it, 1 Cor. i. 26, 27, &c. Publicans and harlots enter into the kingdom of God before Scribes and Pharisees. · And oft-times sovereign grace overlooks those of the most sweet natural dispositions, and brings in those of the most rugged.

3. Sovereign grace often chuses the time for sanctifying the sinner, when he has gone the farthest length in sin and wickedness. Paul was carried the length of blasphemy and persecution, ere sanctifying grace took hold of him, 1 Tim. i. 13. And Manasseh was carried to horrid murders and witchcraft, ere he was prevented by divine grace. Many have been carried to extraordinary acts of wickedness, whereby they have lost their lives in the course of justice, whom grace has plucked as brands out of the burning, tó proclaim the freedom of grace.

FOURTHLY, I shall shew wherein sanctification consists, or what the Spirit doth to a sinner when he sanctifies him. It consists in the renewing of the sinner after the image of God. Eph. iv, 23, 24.

The ruin of man's nature lay in defacing of the image of God which was upon him: sanctification is the renewing and repairing of it, without which God can take no delight in his creature. Now, in all renewing, the old is put away, and the new brought in. So there are two acts of the Spirit in sanctification.

1. Destroying of the body of sin, called the old man, Rom. vi. 6. putting it away, Col. ii. 11. The Spirit of the Lord breaks the dominion of sin in the soul, and turns it off the throne, that it cannot command the sinner as afore. time, Rom. vi. 14. weakens and mortifies the several lusts thereof, Rom. yiii. 13. So that it is a crucified man, who has got his death's wounds by the nails, and shall not come down till he die out. 2. Endowing the sinner with grace, even with all the graces of the Spirit, John i. 16. whereby the sinner becomes a new creature, 2 Cor. v. 17. This is the new man which is put on in sanctification; the seed of heaven, which can never misgive, but will spring up to everlasting life, being carried on towards perfection, by the same Spirit.

FIFTHLY, The parts of sanctification are two.

1. Mortification, whereby the sinner is enabled more and more to die unto siu, Rom. vi. 4, 6. The Spirit applying the virtue of Christ's death to the sinner, mortifies him to sin, blunts the edge of his affection to sin and sinful courses, so that in respect of sin, he is like a dying man. So that although he be not quite freed from it, yet he is on the way to be so. His lusts are upon the cross, nailed through and pierced to the heart, not to come down till they have breathed out their last, Gal. v. 24. Like a dying man taking leave of friends, he is parting with his old lusts : like a man leava ing off cares about the world, the bent of his soul is turned away from his former courses.

2. Vivification, whereby the sinner is enabled more and more to live unto righteousness, Rom. vi. 4. The sanctified sinner leads a new life, in respect of which he is as a man raised from the dead, not meddling as before in the business of the world : so the sanctified sinner lives as one of another world, not conforming himself to the sinful courses of this world, but being transformed into likeness to those of the better world, Rom. xii. 2. Phil. iii. 20. The business of his life is to serve the Lord, and work out his own salvation; to be preparing for the eternal rest in heaven, whither his heart is carried before him.

SIXTHLY, Let us view the subject of sanctification.Under which consider,

1. Who are sanctified. 2. What of them is sanctified.

First, Who are sanctified, It is the elect who are sanctified, even all of them, and they only, Eph. i. 4. 2 Thess. ii. 13. And elect infants among the rest, dying in infancy, being naturally corrupted, must needs be sanctified too, by the Holy Spirit, since they are of the number of the elect. For others may be sanctified from the womb, Jer. i. 5. And none other but the elect do partake of this grace of sanctification: so that sanctification is a certain evidence of election.

« PreviousContinue »