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ously shine, the Lord suffers the sinner sometimes to proceed extraordinary lengths in sin, before he begins to sanctify him. Manasseh, the thief on the cross, and Paul, are eminent instances of this. The meritorious cause of it is the blood of Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God. “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate,” Heb. xiii. 12. This infinitely precious blood, as it has an atoning, so it has a sanctifying efficacy. It purges the conscience from dead works to serve the living God. It has also a regulating cause, namely, the holy law. It is denominated holiness, because it has a resemblance to the holy nature of God, and righteousness, because it corresponds to his law as a rule of duty. The instrumental cause of it is saving faith, Acts xv. 9.
6th, It is initial and progressive-Initial sanctification is the same as regeneration, or the renewing in effectual calling. It is the sowing of the spiritual seed of grace, in the heart of the dead sinner. " Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him," 1 John iii. 9. In initial sanctification, the Spirit of Christ enters the heart with all his train of spiritual graces, and implants them there. He introduces spiritual life, im. presses the soul with the image of God, creates new inclinations and motions, or, in other words, forms the new creature. This he does in an instant. How inexpressibly happy is the soul that is favoured with it! In this initial sanctification, the sinner is entirely passive.-Progressive sanctification is the Holy Spirit's carrying on the work already begun, till he brings it to perfection. Initial sanctification introduces a perfection of the parts of the new creature; progressive, is the gradual advancing of each of those parts to perfection, till this new creature grows to a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. In progressive sanctification, the body of sin is more and more mortified ; the image of Satan is more and more defaced ; the graces of the Holy Spirit are gradually strengthened ; and the image
of the second Adam is more distinctly expressed: the soul's aversion from evil increases, and its inclination to good becomes more universal. The Holy Spirit, not only preserves the habits of implanted grace, as so many sparks of fire in the midst of an ocean, but quickens them for exercise, and by daily communications from the fulness of Christ, strengthens, and in due time renders them perfect. “The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.”
7th, It is a native consequence of union with the second Adam, of justification, reconciliation, and adoption.-It, is a fruit of vital union with Christ. By vital union with him, we become members of his mystical body, of that body to which he is united, as the glorious Head of sanctifying influences ; but as the head is boly, the members must be holy also. Besides, they who are united to Christ are in him ; but all who are in Christ are sanctified. - To them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus," 1 Cor. i. 2. In virtue of this union, the believer lives in Christ, and Christ in him: he partakes of the same Spirit that dwells in Christ.-It is a necessary fruit of justification, and inseparably connected with it. It is connected with it in the decree and promise of God, in the offices of Christ, and the design of his obedience unto death. When the blood of Christ is sprinkled on our conscience for justification, it has a special efficacy for sanctification. It purges the conscience from dead works, and then the believing sinner is enabled to serve the living God. blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” The sprinkling, or application of the blood of Jesus, has a sanctifying efficacy; for it removes the curse of the law which is the strength of sin, and which hinders the acceptance, both of the sinner's person and performances. When this is done, the dominion of sin is taken away: its power and pollution begin to be gradually removed. Hence are these reviving expressions ;
Sin shall not have dominion over you : for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,--that we might receive the adoption of
sons, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. It is also a fruit of reconciliation. No sooner does the sinner begin to have peace with God in Christ, as one reconciled to him, than a way of free communication is opened between Christ the head of influences, and his soul. Besides, the sanctifying efficacy of the blood of Christ arises from its atoning or pacifying virtue, Heb. ix. 14. It necessarily follows adoption. “ Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” “ Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son; that he might be the first-born among many brethren," Rom. viii. 29.
8th, Sanctification, instead of being a proper condition, is a part of salvation.--Inherent holiness in the saints gives them neither a meritorious nor a pactitious title to eternal life ; but is itself a necessary part of that life to which the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed gives all the title. Salvation signifies not only spiritual safety, but health: now sanctification is the very health of the soul. When the blessed Spirit sanctifies, he heals the sinful soul. “I have seen his ways, and will heal him ;"“I will heal their backsliding, and will love them freely."
9th, Sanctification is a blessing inexpressibly excellent. Next to the glory of God, it is the chief end of all the precepts of the law as a rule of life, and the great design of all the promises of the Gospel, 2 Cor. vii. ). It is the end of the almighty operations of the Holy Spirit, both on the Head and on the members ; the end of all the mysterious dispensations of Providence, both to the church and the world, Isa. xxvii. 9. ; the end also of all the offices of Christ. Was he set up from everlasting to be a Saviour? It was that he might save his people from their sins. Is he the Prophet and Messenger of the covenant? It is that he may give his people an understanding to know him that is true. Is he a sacrificing and interceding Priest? It is that he may sanctify the people with his own blood. Is he the King of Zion ? He is so, that he may slay our enmity to God, and subdue us to himself. Are we chosen in him to life eternal ? It is that we should be holy, and without blame before him. It is the end of our effectual vocation, 2 Tim. i. 9.; of our justification, Rom. vi. 14. ; and of our adoption. It is the most important of all the Christian's privileges.
II. Under the second general head I was to discourse a little of habitual sanctification.-Sanctification is properly distinguished into habitual and actual. Habitual sancti. fication is a renovation in the whole man after the image of God. It is the renovation, not so much of the life as of the nature; and it produces habitual holiness in the soul.
lst, To be sanctified in this sense is to be renewed : it is to have a renewed nature, or, as an apostle expresses it, to be renewed in the spirit of the mind. Sanctification is much more than a change of life; it is a renovation of the nature. Though the substance of the soul is not renewed, its qualities are rendered new : “old things are passed away ; behold, all things are become new.” There is a difference between the renewing of the heart in effectual calling, and the renewing of it in sanctification. The renewing in effectual calling is only a begun renovation, consisting in the implantation of graces, or in sowing the seed of grace : the renewing in sanctification is a gradual renovation, consisting in the Spirit's watering the seed of grace, and causing it to grow. In the former, he begins ; in the latter, he continues to renew : in that he infuses principles of grace; in this, he strengthens them, “We are saved, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost,” Tit. iii. 5. To renew is to take away what is old, and to fill its room with what is new.
2d, It is to be renewed in the whole man; in all the powers of the soul, and all the members of the body.-In sanctification, the faculties of the soul are gradually
renewed: The understanding is renewed in knowledge. The time was when the understanding was involved in thick darkness ; was so grossly ignorant of Divine truth as to be darkness itself; was not only blind, but in love with blindness ; not only ignorant, but unwilling, as well as unable to know. This was depravity and misery indeed. But the case is now happily altered ; this leading faculty is not merely opened to apprehend spiritual things, but is enlightened, Eph. i. 18. A new and spiritual light shines into it with increasing brightness, in which the believer will see the things of Christ in their own beauty, and behold in them the manifold wisdom of God. He will now see the truth as it is in Jesus, and see it so as to feel the power of it penetrating the very centre of his soul, transforming it into the Divine image. He now sees nothing in the promise but what is agreeable to him ; nothing in the precept that he chooses to alter ; and nothing in holiness but what is inexpressibly attracting. Thus he is gradually filled with the knowledge of God's will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. The will also is gradually renewed. Formerly this faculty was totally averse from all that is spiritually good, and strongly inclined to all evil ; inclined to it in so high a degree, that every imagination of the heart was only evil, and that continually ; in such a degree, that it was the more impelled to what is evil and forbidden, merely because it was forbidden But now when it is renewed, it is irreconcilably averse from sin, and strongly inclined to holiness. The enlightened understanding now represents to it the blessings of the new covenant, as good things greatly to be desired; and it cheerfully consents to receive them. ambition now is to be swallowed up in the will of God, and to be so conformed to him as to have the same incli. nations, and the same aversions. Reader, is your want of more resignation to the will of God's purpose, precept, and providence, a grievous and heavy burden to you ? If it be, it is a favourable sign. The affections and the other inferior faculties are also renewed. Formerly the