Ralph Erskine Archive

Ralph Erskine

SERMON LXIX.

This Sermon was preached at Dunfermline, Sept. 21, 1740,
being a short time after the sacrament.

"All things are of God." 2 Corinthians 5:8

[The Third Sermon on this Text.]

Ralph Erskine -SERMON LXIX

Ralph Erskine Archive

Ralph Erskine

SERMON LXIX.

This Sermon was preached at Dunfermline, Sept. 21, 1740,
being a short time after the sacrament.

"All things are of God." 2 Corinthians 5:8

[The Third Sermon on this Text.]

My friends, this text hath such a wide bosom, that we can never speak of all that may be brought forth out of it. To speak of some things, may be easy; of many things is hard; but to speak of all things is impossible; and yet more so, to speak of the fountain­head, whence they all rise: however the context limits the subject a little to all things that relate to the new creation; and yet even these are so vast and numerous, that time must be swallowed up in eternity, ere the subject can be exhausted.

The doctrine that I spoke to at the late solemnity, from this text, was,

That all things relating to the new creation in Christ Jesus are of God, as a reconciled God in him.

Hence, besides the inferences that I then deduced, I have, since that time, inferred the following, namely, That effectual Cal­ling, or the new creation itself, is of God; That justification is of God, [What the Author delivered upon these two inferences was never transmitted to the public, the notes having fallen by; and were the subject-matter of the second Sermon on the text]. And I come to another inference, namely, That sanctification is of God. And this I shall a little insist upon, by proving and improving it.

For proof of it in general: He is the commander of it: "Be ye holy as I am holy." He is the wilier of it: "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." He is the effecter and worker of it: "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly," (1 Thess. 5:23). It is of God the Father: "To them that are called and sanctified of God the Father," (Jude 1). It is of God the Son: "Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it," (Eph. 5:25). It is of God the Holy Ghost: "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God," (1 Cor. 6:11). More particularly,

1st, The root of it is of God. Justification is the root of sanc­tification; and justification is of God, as I have already demon­strated, and might further show, in whatever sense we view it. Justification is of God, if we view it preparatively: it is God that prepared the justifying righteousness: "I have found a ransom." View it imputatively; it is God that imputes the righteousness of Christ, (Rom. 4). where it is ten times spoken of. View it merito­riously; it is of God, in Christ, that purchased our justification, and merited for us. View it operatively; it is God, in Christ, that performed the righteousness for which we are justified, and accepted as righteous. View it applicatively; it is of God, by his Spirit, applying the blood and righteousness of Christ for justification. View it instrumentally; though faith, justify as the instrument, yet this faith is the gift of God, and the work of God: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent," (John 6:29). View it manifestatively, and sensibly, to the comfort of the believer: it is God that gives the peace and joy of justification, as he is the God of peace, that fills with joy and peace in believing. View it declaratively; if works justify, by evidencing and declaring our justification, whence do they proceed? Why, "It is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure;" and, "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." View it reputatively by men: when we are thus justified by being reputed so, it is of God as the God of providence, giving us favor and respect even in the eyes of men, as justified persons. View it publicly and openly at last, before all the world, at the last day: "Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord," (Acts 3:19).

Thus justification, in all respects, is of God; and therefore sanctification must be so; because justification is the root of sancti­fication, even as engraftment into Christ is the root and cause of fruitfulness. It is only the justified person that is a saint; "Whom he justified, them he also glorified;" that is, sanctified partly here, and perfectly hereafter. "There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ;" there is justification the root: "Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" there is the fruit of it, and the evidence and character of the justified person. Again,

2dly, That sanctification is of God, appears from this: that everything relating to sanctification, is of God; particularly,

1. The beginning of it is of God, therefore he is said to begin the good work, "Being confident of this very thing, that he that hath begun the good work in you, will perform it unto the day of the Lord," (Phil. 1:6). He begins it in regeneration, or effectual call­ing, at the same time that he justifieth; and so it hath a double root. As we are twice dead by nature, dead in sin, and dead in law; so we need to be twice quickened, as it were before we be sanctified. In opposition to our being dead in sin, we need to be regenerated and born again; and in opposition to our being dead in law, we need to be justified, and so liberate from the sentence of death; and then is the foundation of sanctification laid: then he that begins to renew the will passively, in effectual calling, begins to renew it actively in sanctification, by making us active receivers' of his grace.

2. The advancement and progress of it, is of God, who makes the rain of heaven to fill the empty pools for the passengers, through the valley of Baca, (Ps. 84:6-7). As the fruits of the ground grow up by the influence of the natural sun; so the Sun of righte­ousness, arising with healing in his wings, then his people go forth, and grow as calves in the stall, (Mal. 4:1).

3. The promise of it is of God. He hath promised to be as the dew unto Israel; and then it is said, "He shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon; his branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon," (Hosea 14:5-6).

4. The restoration of it, when decayed, is of God; "They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow up as the vine, and the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon," (Hosea 14:7). It is he that restoreth the decayed soul, (Ps. 23:3). Let these that are under lamentable decays of grace, see where their help lies.

5. The means of it are of God, both inward and outward. Is faith a mean? Yea, the heart is purified by faith; and this faith is of the operation of God. Is hope a mean? Yea; "He that hath this hope purifieth himself:" and this hope is of God; for by him we are begotten to a lively hope. Is knowledge a mean? Yea; "Beholding his glory, we are changed:" and this knowledge is of God, who hath promised, "They shall all know me." The exter­nal means are made effectual, through the blessing of God. The word is a mean; but it is of God, who puts virtue in the mean. The rod is a mean; but must be like a pruning knife in the hand of God, who purgeth the branches in Christ "that they may bring forth more fruit," (John 15:2).

6. The motives of it are of God. It is he that moves his people to all the duties of holiness, and draws them to his service: and especially by cords of love, so as the love of Christ constrains them. He moves them by a regard to his glory and honor, and to their own interest and happiness; because their fellowship with him is furthered thereby: "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him," (John 14:23; See also v. 21).

7. The cause of it: the efficient cause is of God, who says, "I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, to do them," (Ezek. 36:27). "Every thing shall live, whithersoever the river cometh," (Ezek. 47:10). And "The water that I will give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up to everlasting life," (John 4:14). The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of life in the believer, and the fountain of sanc­tification: "Because I live, says Christ, ye shall live also."

8. The extent of it is of God, both to the inward and outward man: for, it is a "renewing of the whole man after the image of God, and enabling of us to die unto sin and to live unto righteous­ness." It is he that sanctifies the understanding, the will, the af­fections, the memory, the soul, the body; "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," (1 Thess. 5:23).

9. The measure and degree of it is of God. Some have more, and some less of sanctification. Though all believers are equally justified, and perfectly, even in time, upon the ground of Christ's perfect righteousness; yet, they are not equally sanctified, but some of them more holy, more humble, more zealous, than others. Some of them more glorify God, by doing and suffering his will, than others. Some of them are more active than others, just according as the Lord stirs them up. And who maketh them to differ thus? Why, even he who gives a double portion of his Spirit to some and not to others, and makes his wind to blow where it listeth; he makes it to blow in what measure and degree also he listeth; he pours out his Spirit plentifully at times, and then sanctification thrives, and goes on progressively: "For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water­courses," (Isa. 44:3-4).

10. The knowledge and comfort of it is of God. Some are sanctified, and do not know it, till the Lord make it known to them, by shining upon the graces that he hath given, and shining upon this and that experience of his powerful presence. He sometimes makes them feel the drawing cords of his love about their heart, strengthening them with strength in their soul; and makes them, run the way of his commandments, when he enlarges their heart; and making them know their sanctification by their consolation, and know their grace, by the dash that he gives to their sin and corrup­tion, (Rom. 7 at the close). Again,

11. The perseverance thereof is of God: "I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their heart, and they shall not depart from me," (Jer. 32:40). They shall never totally and finally depart; but, after all their partial departures, "I will put my fear in their heart," that shall make them turn back again to me, saying, "I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better with me than now," (Hosea 2:7).

12. The perfection and completion of it is of God, who hath undertaken to present his people to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish, (Eph. 5:27). Thus sanctification, in all respects, is of God. "All things," relating to it, "are of God."

Now, for Application. Is it so, that sanctification is of God? Then,

1. Hence see the holy nature and holy will of God. By his will he commands it: for "This is the will of God, even your sanc­tification," (1 Thess. 4:3). And by his will he effects it: "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. By which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all," (Ezek. 36:27; Heb. 10:10).

2. Hence we may see great encouragement to use the means of sanctification, without resting upon the means; because it is not they, but God, that can sanctify us; and yet hopefully using them. Therefore, says God, "Sanctify yourselves;—I am the Lord that sanctifieth you." Use the means, because I can put a blessing in them: "Work out the work of your salvation with fear and trem­bling; for it is God that worketh in you both to will and to do." We could have no encouragement to use the means of sanctification, if sanctification were not of God.

3. Hence see how foolish they are, that think they can sanctify themselves by their own natural powers and endeavors; they can repent and reform when they will. No wonder that these cry up free-will as the cause of conversion, and deny the efficacy and neces­sity of special grace, deny also the perseverance of the saints; for the grace that is the fruit of man's free-will cannot indeed persevere. They that know God will know that all things are of God, and that sanctification particularly is of him.

4. Hence see, that poor, weak believers, wrestling with a body of sin and powerful corruption, need not despair of victory over their sin and corruption; for, sanctification is of God, and mortification is of God: "If ye, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." The Spirit will be master over the flesh; and the Spirit of God that dwells in the children of God, will subdue their iniquity. Up with your heart and hope, poor conquered and cap­tivated believer; sanctification is of God. Though your own power cannot effectuate the victory; yet a merciful God can and will: "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy; and mercy shall be built up for ever." The mercy that saves your soul will slay your sin.

5. Hence see, that sin is of the devil. If sanctification be of God, and holiness be of God, then is sin of the devil; yea, "He that committeth sin, is of the devil:" God is not the author of sin. Drunkenness, swearing, whoredom, adultery, Sabbath breaking, lying, and all unholy actions, are of the devil. Unholy neglect of prayer in secret and in your families is of the devil. The sins of the time, that provoke God, are of the devil. The wicked acts and sentences of church judicatories are of the devil. The corrup­tion of courts civil and ecclesiastical, are of the devil, and not of God. For, "all things are of God," except sin, which is no part of the new creation in Christ Jesus. However God permits it, for holy and wise ends, to overrule it for his glory; yet, it enters contrary to his revealed will and royal orders. The condemning of the reforma­tion-cause, at this day, is not of God, but of the devil. Wicked compliances with any such sinful sentence are not of God, but of the devil; and will bring in little credit or comfort in the close of the day. The defections of the day are of the devil; and so are all the complaints and outcries about the divisions of the time, more than about the defections, that are the cause and root thereof. The wicked reproaches cast upon the work of God, and any testimony lifted up for his truth and cause, these wicked reproaches and ca­lumnies, I say, are of the devil. The wicked commentaries upon God's providences, and upon sad accidents, are of the devil. There is no new appearance for God's work, or for a reformation cause, condemned at this day, but sad accidents may be ascribed to it; as the Pagans of old ascribed all the sad accidents and ills that befell them to the primitive Christians and their new religion, in opposi­tion to their old heathen idolatry. In a word, if sanctification be of God, then the unholiness, even of saints, is of the devil; their little zeal, and their great lukewarmness about their own personal con­cerns, are of the devil. Christ said to Peter once, "Get thee be­hind me, Satan; thou savourest not the things that be of God, but these that be of men." Whatever sinful things in our day take place, let us never ascribe them to God, but to men, and to the devil; for holiness and sanctification is of God: whatever, therefore, fall out, let us justify God, and condemn ourselves; because we have so much of the devil about us.

6. Hence see the great need of coming to Christ: for sanctifi­cation is of God in him, who is made of God unto us sanctification. O, consider how sanctification is of God, namely, as he is a God in Christ, a reconciled God, and a reconciling God, reconciling us to himself. While we apprehend God as an enemy to us, or a hard Master, we will remain enemies to him and his way: but, if you look to God in Christ, as a well-pleased God, and be reconciled to him, then you will be reconciled to his will, and sanctified. O then, look to God in the glass of the gospel; that is, in a word of recon­ciliation to you. I own, indeed, the first look you must have of

God is in the glass of the law, as a sin-revenging God, making you cry out for mercy, saying, "What shall I do to be saved?" But Yet, never will you be satisfied, saved, or sanctified, till you look to him in the glass of the gospel, as a reconciled God, reconciling you to himself; as a God pardoning your sin, and imputing his righte­ousness to you; a God putting your sin upon Christ, and making him sin for you; and putting his righteousness upon you, making you the righteousness of God in him. The faith of this wonderful grace and mercy will reconcile your heart to God's heart, and recon­cile your mind to God's mind, and your will to God's will. The unbelief of this good-will works by enmity and unholiness; but the faith of this grace and good-will of God would work by love, which is the fulfilling of the law, and so by holiness and sanctification. O then, seek after this sight of God, as coming and appearing in a word of reconciliation to you; for "all things," relating to the new creation, "are of God;" and sanctification is of him, as a reconciled God in Christ.

7. Hence see matter and ground for trial and examination, whether you be sanctified or not. And, if sanctification be begun, two things will take place.

(1.) You will see and know your own pollution and deformity, and that sanctification is not of you; nay, not one holy thought. You will be brought to acknowledge, that you are not sufficient of yourselves to think anything, as of yourselves; and that nothing is of you but sin. These that are most holy, do see most of their own unholiness, and know the plagues of their own hearts. It is the light of the Sun of righteousness, shining into the window of the heart, that discovers all the motes and atoms of sin and filthiness, all the corruptions and abominations that were before un-discerned. They that think they have a good heart, a holy heart, a heart right enough, are far from being sanctified; for sanctifying grace, though it removes sin according to the measure of it, yet it discovers sin more than ever, and makes it appear. Like a golden ball put into a vessel brim-full of water, it makes the water rise and run over, while it makes room for itself: even so does the gold of grace put into the heart full of sin and corruption; it makes sin appear more than ever, and rise up, as it were, and run over. Hence it is pos­sible, where sanctifying grace comes the soul may think itself more unholy than ever it was.

(2.) You will see and know, that your sanctification is wholly and only of God, and that in all the particulars that I have before-mentioned; that the beginning of it is of God; that the progress and advancement of it is of God; that the restoration of it, when decayed, is of God; that the means and motives of it are of God; that he is the efficient cause and author of it; that the extent and measure of it, the knowledge and comfort of it, the perseverance and perfection of it, are all of God, as the God of peace and reconcilia­tion in Christ. And hence your dependence will be only and wholly upon him for it; and you will find that the more you live upon him by faith, the more holy, both in heart and life, will you be; where­as the more that, through an evil heart of unbelief, you depart from the living and life-giving God, of whom the life of holiness and sanctification is, the more unholy will you be.

8. Hence see where we ought to go for sanctification. If it be of God in Christ, then to God in Christ let us go for it. Never were there more sin and less holiness, both among sinners and saints, than, perhaps, in our day. O let us come to the fountain of purifi­cation that God hath opened. We read (Isa. 12:3), of the wells of salvation, out of which we may draw water with joy; now, sancti­fication is a great and leading part of salvation; and because sanc­tification is of God, therefore he hath opened so many wells and fountains of sanctification, that thence we may come and draw living, and life-giving, and soul-purifying water. I shall direct you to some of these; and may the Lord enable you to come and draw.

(1.) One fountain of sanctification, that God hath opened, is the death of Christ: where it is said, "He gave himself for his church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it, with the washing of water by the word," (Eph. 5:25-26) "Who gave him­self for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works," (Titus 2:14). Look then, O sinner, to a crucified Christ, whose cross hath a purifying virtue: they that look to him by faith, are accounted in law, to be dead to sin in him, (Rom. 6:3-11). He died as a public person; and, "Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed."

(2.) A second fountain of sanctification that God hath opened unto us is the resurrection of Christ, which is the ground of our faith of life: "By him we believe in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God," (1 Pet. 1:21). As he rose for our justification, so also for our sanctification, that we might be planted together with him in the likeness of his resurrection, and might be made alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, (Rom. 6:4). Look then to a risen Christ. The view of his resurrection will make you rise and live a holy life.

(3.) Another fountain of sanctification, that God hath opened, is the ascension of Christ: "He hath ascended on high, and led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord might dwell among them," (Ps. 68:18). Look to an ascending Jesus, receiving the Spirit above measure, and all the sanctifying gifts and graces of the Spirit for you, that you may be sanctified.

(4.) Another fountain of sanctification, that God hath opened, is the exaltation of Christ to his right hand: "Him hath God ex­alted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins," (Acts 5:31). He is exalted to save and sanctify sinners, as well as he was humbled for that end. And, if you could look to him as once upon the cross, and now upon the throne, for these blessed purposes, sanctification would follow.

(5.) A fifth fountain that God hath opened for sanctification is the intercession of Christ, who hath prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth," (John 17:17). This was a prayer for all his ransomed ones; and all sinners that need sanctification, may look to him for the benefit of his intercession; for, "He is able to save to the uttermost, all that come to God by him, because he ever liveth to make intercession for them," (Heb. 7:25).

(6.) A sixth fountain of sanctification that God hath opened, is the covenant of promise that stands fast in Christ; and by these precious promises we are made partakers of the divine nature; "Having these promises, we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, per­fecting holiness in the fear of God," (2 Pet. 1:4; Ezek. 36:25-33). The more improvement we make of these promises, which are Yea and Amen in Christ, by be­lieving and pleading in them, the more holy will we be.

(7.) A seventh fountain of sanctification God hath opened is the sanctifying Spirit of Christ, promised to cause us to walk in his statutes, (Ezek. 36:27). See what a plentiful communication thereof is promised, and the effects thereof: "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring; and they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water-courses," (Isa. 44:3-4) &c. Let us seek the promised Spirit to be in us a well of water springing up to everlasting life.

(8.) Another fountain of sanctification God hath opened is the sanctifying blood of Christ. God hath provided this well for us to wash in; it is a fountain opened to the house of David, and inhabi­tants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness, (Zech. 13:1). "Even the blood of Christ that cleanseth us from all sin," (1 John 1:7), that we may sing and say, "To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and dominion for ever and ever," (Rev. 1:5-6). The blood that Christ shed is still an open fountain: it was the price of sanctification on the cross, and it is the plea for it on the throne, and the plea we have to make use of at the throne of grace.

(9.) Another fountain of sanctification God hath opened is the sanctifying relation that Christ hath to the Church, as the root on whom alone we grow in grace and holiness, and from whom alone we draw sap and sanctifying virtue, (John 15:1-5). All our stock of grace is in him; and he communicates life to the branches in him, whereby they grow, and bring forth fruit to the praise and glory of God. O look to him who says, "I am like a green [fir] tree, from me is thy fruit found," (Hosea 14:8).

(10.) Another fountain of sanctification that God opens to us is the sanctifying offices of Christ. O look to every one of these offices, and you will find them springs of holiness and sanctification. Why, as a Prophet, he instructs us in the way wherein we should go; as a Priest, he purchases and procures grace and holiness for us; and, as a King, he subdues all our spiritual enemies, sin and corruption; yea, in all these particular offices, it is his general office to be a washer of polluted sinners and polluted saints, as he said to Peter, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part in me," (John 13:8).

(11.) Another fountain of sanctification, that God hath opened to us, is the sanctifying example of Christ, who hath said, "Learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart," (Matt. 11:29); which may import both the encouragement we have to come to this school, be­cause he is such a meek and condescending Master, and also the lesson we are to learn of him, viz. that of meekness and lowliness. "He hath left us an example, that we should follow his steps," (1 Pet. 2:21). It is true, some will have Christ to be only an example, and not a proper sacrifice to justice for our sins; but "We have not so learned Christ." In vain do men speak of making Christ a pattern for our imitation, if they do not own him also to be the propitia­tion for our sins.

(12.) Another fountain of sanctification that God opens to us in the gospel is the sanctifying victories of Christ, who came to de­stroy the works of the devil, (1 John 3:8), and in whom we may be more than conquerors. We are to look to his victories, and be con­vinced of judgment to be executed upon Satan's works in us, be­cause the prince of this world is judged, (John 16:11). By follow­ing the Captain of our salvation, we may expect to have all the works of wickedness in our souls destroyed, sin subdued, and our hearts and lives sanctified.

Now, in order to the due improvement of these fountains of sanctification that God hath opened to us, I shall close with a cau­tion or two.

1. Let us beware of neglecting the means, the outward means: such as, the instituted ordinances of God, the word, sacraments, and prayer; for these are sanctifying means. The word of grace is a sanctifying word; therefore, "As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby," (1 Pet. 2:2).

2. Beware of the careless performance of, and attendance upon the means of sanctification; for, in this world it is the hand of the diligent that maketh rich: and "Cursed is he that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully," or Negligently as in the margin. Be­ware of sloth; for, what fruit can be seen in the garden of the slug­gard? Yet,

3. Beware of laying weight upon the means, and depending upon them, as if they could work the effect. We tempt God, if we think to be sanctified without the use of means, which he himself hath appointed; and we provoke him also if we depend upon them, as if sanctification were of them; whereas means can do nothing but as the principal agent is pleased to make use of them, and to work by them. When we lean to means and instruments, we pro­voke God to leave us, so as we can find no advantage by them.

4. Beware of slighting the motions of the Spirit, or of grieving the Spirit, and quenching the Spirit. We may lose the best oppor­tunities of thriving in sanctification, and improving these open foun­tains thereof; if we stand not always ready to embrace the motions and breathings of the Spirit. And if we resist the Holy Ghost, by whom the work of sanctification is begun and carried on, we have a hand in marring and retarding his work; especially if; by restraining prayer, and by neglecting known duties, and living in known im­piety, and conscience-wasting sin, we provoke him to be gone.

Let us live under the conviction of the necessity of holiness, without which no man shall see God; under a conviction of our own utter inability to sanctify ourselves, and of this, that our suf­ficiency is only of God. Let us despair of doing anything in our own strength, knowing the treachery and deceitfulness of our own hearts, as deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. And let us keep our eye fixed upon the all-sufficiency of Christ, as able to save us to the uttermost, and as made of God to us sanctification. And, that we may be the more provoked to come to God in Christ for salvation and sanctification, let us consider the pleasure and satisfaction that he hath in saving and sanctifying of lost sinners, and in seeing them come to him for life, salvation, and sanctification; it is promised to Christ, "He shall see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied; and that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand," (Isa. 53:10-11). His delights were with the children of men from eternity; and they are fresh in time when sinners come in to him: their day of coming to and believing in him is the day of the gladness of his heart. Many a time have we grieved him by our sin and unbelief. O may we now give him a glad heart, by com­ing to him to be saved from our sin, and sanctified throughout: and thus may we give evidence, that we believe that sanctification is of God, and that whatever relates to the new creation in Christ, whether as to its commencement or advancement, continuation or consummation, these and All things are of God.


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