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the Disciples of Christ : That Principle of Holiness by which they are enabled to mortify the Deeds of the Flesh; by which they do no Sin, and are alive to Righteousness: Elsewhere spoken of as the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them, and by which their mortal Bodies are quickened; and described as so necessary to a Christian, that the Apostle to the Romans has affirmed, If any Man have not the Spirit of Chrift, he is none of his.

This Grace is called Wisdom upon the same Account that the Fear of the Lord is said to be the Beginning of Wisdom; because the Wisdom of Man confifteth in the Obedience of God, in whose Hand are the Issues of Life and Death, and not upon the Account of any Degrees of Knowledge, either sacred of civil, which it is supposed to convey. The Fruits ascribed to this Wisdom in the Text are all moral Qualifications : It is pure, and peaceable, and gentlé, full of Mercy, and the like ; of the Learning and Knowledge which proceed from it, we read nothing. The Knowledge of Mysteries, and

Things' facred, may be reckoned among the extraordinary Gifts of the Spirit, and are mentioned as such by St. Paul in the Passage of his Epistle to the Corinthians already al


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ledged : But he speaks of them as not necef sarily inferring Charity, and consequently asdistinct Gifts from that Grace, or Wisdom, wkich is pure, and peaceable, and full of Mercy.

The Gifts of the Spirit, considered with respect to the Author of them, and the Motives inducing him to bestow them, are properly styled the Grace of God; for of his own Will begat he us with the Word of Truth, and of his own Will it is that he enableth us to run the Course that is set before us : So that our Confidence is, to use the Language of St. Paul, that he which hath begun a good Work in us, will perform it until the Day of Yesus Chrift. But, considered with respect to their Influence on the Receiver, they are, by St. James in the Text, styled Wisdom, as correcting the Depravity of Nature, and enabling Men to become wife unto Salvation.

The Gifts of God are free, and he beftoweth them as seemeth best to his Wisdom. If he gives to one more liberally than to another, yet he who receives least has Reason to be thankful, and no Reason to demạnd an Account of God of the unequal Distribution of his Favour. Were the Gifts therefore of the Spirit to be considered as





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special Favours only granted to some, we fhould not be obliged, by the Terms of our Religion; to render an Account of God's ceeding herein. But the Promise of the Spirit being general to all Christians, and represented in Scripture as the Purchase of Christ's Obedience to the Will of his Father, and as a Principle of new Life, by which they who were dead in Sin are made alive to Righteousness; it is evident that we cannot account for our being Christians, without fhewing a Reason for the Necessity of Grace to render our Hopes and Assurances of Salvation effectual.

This is a Point in which there is an eflential Difference between the Gospel, and mere Natural Religion ; and it is consequent to another Point of Difference relating to the State and Condition of Mankind before the Gospel. If Men were in that State of original Purity in which God must, in Justice to his divine Attributes, be supposed to have made them, it will be hard to say what Grace was wanting to enable them to attain the End of their creation. If they have fallen from that State, and contracted a Corruption not to be cured by natural Means, it will be þard for any Man to difpute against the


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Grace of God, without having a Reason to produce, that shall render it impossible, or improper, for God to redeem the World. For, the Fall of Man supposed, it is more reasonable to think, because it is far more honourable to God, that he should destroy the Power of Sin by communicating a new Principle of Holiness, in order to the Salyation of the World, than that he should honour Sin so far, as to render Sinners both glorious and immortal. Since then there can be no Redemption, but either by destroying Sin, or by granting Happiness to Sinners, unreformed Sinners, it is easy to judge which Method is most suitable to the Wisdom of God, who is of purer Eyes than to behold Iniquity.

It will be onė Means of Thewing the Necefsity of Grace, to thew the Effects ascribed to it in Scripture. For the Spirit of God is certainly given for the sake of those Effects, which were to be produced by it in true Believers : And he that can prove that the same Effects generally are, or may be, attained by the mere Strength of Nature, will give the best Argument against the Necessity of Grace in order to Salvation. For, if Men are naturally inclined to Virtue and Holiness, they will not want Gracę to make them fo.


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But this has never yet been the Case; and if we may judge of those who shall be after us, by ourselves, and those who have lived before us, this never will be the Cafe.

Now the Works of the Spirit are described to us in

many Places of Scripture. They are in the Text set forth to be pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of Mercy and good Fruits, without Partiality, and without Hypocrisy. The Apostle to the Galatians, Chap. v. 22. reckoning up the Fruits of the Spirit, places them in this Order ; Love, Yoy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance; and continuing his Account, though varying his Style, he adds, And they that are Christs have crucified the Flesh, with the Affections and Lufts.

Were the Manners of any people to be defcribed in this Language, there is no one so little acquainted with human Nature, but that he would suspect the Truth of the Relation. Where must we go, to the East or to the West, to find a People pure and peaceable, full of Mercy and good Works, without Partiality, without Hypocrisy, crucifying the Flesh, and the Affections and Lusts thereof ? No Hiftory yet has presented us with


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