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1, (the other) of whom I was speaking : young men, and some old men. Nor has which gloss our adversaries put upon this this fiction of a threefold distinct state, any word, Itrengthening themselves from this, ground from Rev. iii. 15. 16. as is supporthat he useth the pronoun 1, verses 8. 9. ed; for these luke-warm people were still 10. where indeed, it is true, he speaketh in the state of nature, though not so gross of himself, but not in the present time, as might be called cold; and sure it is, that as here, but in the preterite.
these luke-warm Laodiceans were no way 5thly, Because these for the contrary legally exercised, and under the terrors of opinion lay down that for a ground which the law; but having renounced Heathencannot be granted, viz. That there is ism, and received a form of religion, they a threefold fate of man, viz. a fate of rested without the power and life thereof, nature under the law, a fate of grace, and and so were plain hypocrites. Thus then a distinct fate from both, viz. when a soul we have a fourth distinct state, if there be is under the legal work, and so prepared three here. And though Christ call upfor welcoming the gospel, and laying hold on the weary and the heavy ladened, yet on the promises, which they call an un- it will not follow, that these are in a difconstant flate, unto which all this that is tinct state from nature : gradual differenhere faid is by them applied. . The scrip: ces will not make specifical differences. ture speaketh only of two, viz. the state 6thly, Because the contrary opinion will of nature, and the state of grace; and they, leave us in the mist, and at an uncertainty seeing that what the apostle is here speak- where to fift, or of what kind of folks in ing of himself, cannot be meant of one in nature to take these here spoken of. It black nature, have therefore feigned this is true, they mean one who is under the third state without scripture, and to help law, that is, as they expone it, under the the matter, call it only an unconstant state. terrors of the law; but can these things I say, the scripture knoweth no such third here be spoken of a Cain and Judas, and ftate, distinct from the other two; for other reprobates, who were under strong whatever legal terrors be upon the consci- terrors and legal fics, and died in them? ence of a sinner, until the promise be grip. I cannot think it; for, to say no more, ir. ed, and Christ in the gospel laid hold on, is scarce probable, that such can really the man is still in nature; he may be in consent unto the law that it is good, verle deed nearer the kingdom of heaven chan 16. aod not rather wish from their hearts when he was living in all profanity, but there were no such law above their heads. yet still out of it, and in the kingdom of Can any imagine, that such do delight in darkness. It is true, there are different de. the law of God, after the inward man? grees, but to feign diftin&t states upon that Sure I am of one thing, that that word, fcore, were to lay a foundation, not only verse 25. I thank God, through Jesus for tbree states, but for three and three Chrift,
Chrift, speaks small comfort to them. 100: for as some are most profane, runing Now, are not these in this third state? or
all riotousness; so some are more is it peculiar unto such who shall at length civil in their carriage; some not only ci be delivered from it? If so, what reason vil, but externally religious, and painted can be brought for this? is not the one hypocrites; some not only deceiving o- under the law (for so they call this third thers, but also deceiving themselves; some state,) as well as the other? or if not, let under light convictions, and some drinking them shew better what it is to be under deeper of that cup; and yet all of them the law : Sure, if we take that exposition under fin, and the children of wrath : So which they give, viz. that he is under the of these under grace, some babes, some law, who has the knowledge of the law;
who have their thoughts accusing and ex. | fwer, 1. There can no such qualifications: cusing them; who know that lujt is a sin, be given that may be called saving, that, the matter will be worse yet, for that will is, such as have salvation necessarily fol-appear another distinct state; for many | lowing them, before the soul close withsuch are utterly strangers to the work Christ: For, (1.) the tenor of the gospel of the law upon their own consciences, is, IV boloever believeth shall be saved; (2.) and are not such as are heavy laden- ruch a one wiihout faith cannot please Gody ed, and sinners in their own eyes, and so Heb. xi. 6. yea, he is such as has wrath are in another state than these : and will spoken to him, Mark svi. 16. and is unnot this agree even to a Judas, or a Cain? der the curse, Gal. ii. 13: 2. Even such, And if it be faid, that this non-confiftent according to their judgment, may never state is rather a degree from one state to be born; for, fay they, it is left to their: another, as from the state of nature unto own free will to believe or not believe; the state of grace, according to which de- and if so, that they will believe is but a gree, that man may be called, ene in bear. may be, and this may bear a may not be. ing; for there is too large a distance from 7thly, The contrary opinion, viz. That the one ftate to the other, without some Paul speaks of a man under the law, that degrees betwixt them. I anfwer, 1. A man is in this third state, or mid degree, is in these mid degrees is either in nature or such as cannot be cleared from their intergrace, or in neither; if in neither, then pretation, which is such as will agree as why should it not be called a state distinct well to such as are without the law, (asfrom both, seeing even in these states there they are pleased to make the distinction ;) is degrees? If in either, then there is but For, 1. They explain these words, verte two states. :2. I is true, that there is a 15. of a combat berwixt the flesh and a: transition from the one state to the other; natural conscience; fueh a combat this is, but still, I say, until Christ be clasped a. as hath place (even by their own confeffion) bout, the man is still under nature, as is in all who know good and evil
, right and clear from many places of scripture, take wrong, who have the work of the law writthese few, Mark xvi. 16. John iii. 34. en in their hearts, their thoughts accusing Rom. xiv. 23. Heb. xi. 6. 2 Cor. xiii. s. and excusing, Rom.ii. 15, who hold the truth John v. 12. Rom. viii. 9. 3: Then it will in unrighteousness, Rom. i. 18. Now, this . follow, that all in that third state, or mid is meant of Heathens, who have nothing degree, shall be certainly saved, contrary, but the light of nature to guide them, and to what was said before, or else we must are without the law, as is clear in that first have another description of such than as and second of the Romans; now, tell me yet we have seen; for the objection faith, if such cry out, as he doth of whom the that fueh in that degree are, or may be apostle meaneth, verfe 24. O wretched called, in bearing; or such as are about to man that I am, who foall deliver me, &c. be born; and certain it is, that many who 2. After the same manner do they explain ly within the compass of the descriptions verse 16. citing the forecited first and feof those in that degree, which we have cond chapters of this fame epistle for conhitherto got shall never be born again. firmation. 3. They take consenting unto If again any shall say, it is to be understood the law, not for approving, but esteeming ; of luch who have saving qualifications, as and this may be spoken of many more hungering and thirsting after righteouf. than such as they will have here meant. ness, which are so acceptable unto God, But they fay, this consenting unto the law as that therefore he will communicate un is not according to the flesh, but as they to them saving grace, as faith, 66 I an- I are under the law. I answer, (1.) This is a distinction altogether without ground; to be this, I as consenting to the law; and for, as we fhewed before, there can be this is as unclear as the other. But it is no medium betwixt flesh and grace, so as not every distinct respect that can found if any thing could be done that neither such a proposition as this, I do this, yet , was from the flesh, nor from grace, as not I, but fin in me; or, I do this as such, its principle. (2.) It must be from the but not as such; otherways in one even fielh, because themselves say, that such a without the law the same may be verified; man is not yet regenerated, and while a for such a one may be said to fin as carnal, man is unregenerated, he is in his old state but not as such or such a man, in such or of nature; they say, the state of unregene- such a place, &c. therefore, they must be ration containeth two other states, viz. such distinct respects as are principles of without the law, and under the law; so such actions : as, for example, (taking but that whether what is done be done by what themselves fay) in the regenerate them while under the law, or while with there is a principle of grace, and this is oout the law, it is still done by them in a perative of good, and active in producing it, State of unregeneration, and so without and never consenteth unto what is ill, nor grace, and consequently the flesh must be contributeth any aslistance thereto: Also, the principle thereof; for I know not of a there is the reliques of the old man, and third principle beside nature or filesh, and that is a principle of evil; this is busy in grace. 4. In explaining verse 18. they bringing forth sin, and nevar is assistant to say, that in the unregenerated there is what is good; so that here when the man something beside flesh, viz. a mind taking sineth he may be faid to fin, not as having up that which may be known of God, &c.
be known of God, &c. a principle of grace, or as regenerated, Rom. i. and ii. and'if so, fure this agreeth but as having the reliques of corruption to many more than are here meant by within him; so when he doth well, he may them, and so their distinction of such as be said to do it, not as carnal, but as reare without the law, and such as are under generated. But now, to speak of a man the law, is needless, and to no purpose. unregenerate, and say, he fineth not as 5. In explaining verse 22. they say, that under the law, but as carnal, is, in my the inner man is not the regenerate part of judgment, to speak contradictions ; for, a man, but the immortal part, and invisible, (1.) even as under the law he is unregeneand that is the foul; and so the man meant rated, seeing they themselves divide the here, must be every man who hath a foul, state of unregeneracy into a lesser state which there without the law, as well as without the law, and under the law; and these under the law have. 6. In like man. so it were to say, he finerh not as unregener they explain the law of the mind, nerate, but as unregenerate.
2. Doth ver. 23. the knowledge of the law, thoughts their being under the law give them a accusing and excusing, and the knowledge of new principle of ation, not only distinct, lujt to be fin.
but contrary unto the principle of nature ? 8thly, They who maintain the contrary how shall this be got proven? 3. Where opinion, are forced to interpretations that is it said, that a man under the law doth can hardly be understood, if not worse: not sin as such?
not fin as such? 4. If as consenting unto as, for example, they explain these words, the law, or as being under the law, (for It is no more I that do it, but sin that these are one with them) they did not lin, dwelleth in me, thus, It is not I as under then as such they had something in them the law, but I as carnal, and a servant to opposite to fin, entering a protestation afin. Now, what can the meaning of that gainst it, resisting it, &c. for how else be, I as under the law? They explain it could they be said not to sin as such, un
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less as such they had fome impediment ly, asserted two things, verse 13. in answering in their way, fomething standing in ing of that objection proposed, viz. 1. That opposition to sin, and if so, then they hould the law is the cause of death; and 2. that have grace; for what can resist, oppose, it is corruption which is always strong, hinter, and counter-work sin but grace ? even so strong as to take occasion 10 fin eand if they have grace, then are they re ven at the very law itself, he cleareth and generated, for grace is peculiar to luch ; confirmeth both here. The law is spiritual, and so we are where we would be, and to says that it is not the cause of death. And be under the law, (though there be a the other he proveth thus; Corruption is great mistake in the word,) is to be under so strong even in me while regenerated, grace.
that in part I may be called carnal, fold II. We come now to speak unto their under sin; therefore it cannot but be strong grounds, and to answer their objections : in others. So that this is an affirmative And,
argument from the greater to the leffer, First, They object ihis, That the con Now I would gladly know what inconvepection will make against us, thus, The nience is in this connection. apostle must mean the fame man here by Secondly, They object, That our opinithe pronoun ), that he meaneth by it in the on is injurious to God's free grace, be. former verses, because the connection for, cause it ascribes less to it than ought to be fheweth that the fame purpose is handled ascribed ; scripture ascribes to grace not here, which was handled before ; but in only that it worketh the will, but also the the former verses he spoke of a man under deed, Phil. ii. 13. it crucificth the old the law, and there can no connection be man, &c. Rom. vi. 6. mortifieth the deeds of imagined if we understand this of a rege the body, Rom. viii. 13. and maketh believers
victorious, Eph. vi. 10. James iv. 6. 1 John ut, I answer, It is true the particle for iv. 4. and v. 4. but we (say they) make the will knit this with the preceding verles; Spirit of God to be weaker than corrupbut it will not follow, that therefore he tion, because the event of this battle is to muft understand the same man he spoke corruption's advantage. of before, because the connection will stard ist, I answer; It is granted, that the tho' that be not, as we shall show.
Spirit of God makes both to will and 10 2dly, If this must be knit unto the for- do; but will"it follow, that every action mer purpose, and if the former purpose which the believer doth is wrought by was concerning a man under the law, then the Spirit? Was David's adultery, and Pewe cannot look upon it as the rendering of ter's denying of his Master, wrought by a cause of that which is set down, verse 5. grace, not only as to the willing of it, but where the apostle is speaking of one in the allo as to the effe&uating of it? I suppose flesh, and if such ap onę be the man that this will not be said : The meaning then is said to be under the law, then I am sure of these words is, That we must ascribe their distinction of tuch as are without the to God's grace allenarly any good whic! law, and such as are under the law, is but we do, borh as to the begining and per a fiction; for these without the law are in feeting of any good werk; so that not with the flesh, no less than these under the law, standing of ihis, believers may often fin if not more: and thus their analysis thall against God, as fad experience daily evid fall to the ground.
ceth; and to say that they fin so with ful 3dly, Tho' we understand here a rege consent of the will, without any protesta nerate man, yet we think there may be a tion to the contrary, is casily said, but no clear connection thus; The apostle having so easily proven.
2dly, It is true, the old man is upon the cause he is a far weaker party that dare dying hand, but is not quite dead, nor not make head, than he that dare come to will be till death, and therefore there will the field and is beaten; and it corruption still be room left for these exhortations, prevail so far, as grace shall not in the and occafion to go about these duties: least make any resistance, sure it must be in the strength of the Lord, unlefs we far stronger than grace, yea, and far more would say, chat believers might attain to strong, than if grace should resist, and be that degree of perfection, as to be void of overcome. Now, whether they that say, fin and corruption, and so have no cor-corruption doth so prevail, as grace dare ruption to be mortified, or crucified, which not stir against it; or we that say, grace is against all scripture and experience too. will never yield, the Spirit will never give
3dly, It is groundlesly faid, that grace over, but, though it hould be put to the makes believers fo victorious, as that they worse at one time, will try it again and : fhall never be foiled, nor commit fin, see again; be most injurious to the Spirit, let ing experience proves the contrary: They any man judge. 2. May it not fall out are indeed victorious in this respect, that so, that the weakest party may at a time although corruption prevail at a time, it is have the better? And so tho' corruption with a battle; and ere long they shall get may now and then prevail, may not the up their head again, and bid corruption Spirit be strongest notwithstanding. 3. As battle anew; and at length shall so gaia I said before, the power of the Spirit the day, as corruption shall never be able over corruption, or of corruption over the to rally: they that are victors on the set Spirit, is not to be estimate from one or day of battle, may have received the worse two single acts; but herein doth the power at many particular skirmishes before. Be- of the Spirit appear, in that let corruptilievers Thall indeed have the victory, and on lay believers never fo oft upon their that shall be brought to pass which is back, the Spirit shall raise them up by Written, Hof. xii. 14. I will tanfom them repentance, and shall fo preserve them, that from the power of the grave, &c. Death is they shall not fully and finally fall away. swaliowed up in victory. O death, where But 4. can it be denied, that regenerate is thy sing? O grave, where is thy victo- men may fin witingly? I hope, not; Then ry?' I be sting of death is fin; and the I ask, doth corruption prevail so far as the jtrength of sin is the law. But thanks be Spirit can make no opposition? or is the to God, which giveth us the viclory; But Spirit quite gone from the man? Some of when ? not until corruption hath put on in- these must be granted, or else that there Corruption, 1 Cor. xv. 54. 55. 56. 57. is a reluctancy and opposition; for they
4thly, Whereas they say, that hereby will not fay, that the regenerate part goes we make corruption stronger than the along with corruption, who blame us for Spirit. I answer, 1. I hope they will saying, That the Spirit opposeth, and yet not deny, that David and Peter were the deed is done, as wronging the Spirit. regenerated; aed now when they fined, If the Spirit remains, and yet makes no Talk, whether grace or the Spirit of God opposition, that is, either because it will made any oppofition, and did refift? If the Dot, or because it is not able by reason of Spirit did refiit, and yet the fact was commic- the strength of corruprion : and whatsoed; then it is clear, that they must grant ever they say here, we are sure they shall this fame absurdity : But if they say, The do more injury to the Spirit of grace
than Spirit did not once mutter or peep againīt we do. It they say, the Spirit is quite corruption; then I am sure, they must far gone; Then 1. this must be a punishmore yield the Spirit to be weakest, be- ment, and fo it must be for some criino