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1. HE apostle Peter, i Pet. ii. 9. has, in very high terms,
declared, that the chosen, the regenerate, and the adopted sons of God, are a HOLY NATION. And this holiness being really the most excellent ornament of the house of God, Pfal. xciii. 5. is a subject which ought not to be passed over in filence, especially as it is none of the least of the promises in the covenant of grace, that God will be the sanctifier of his people Ifrael.
II. In order profitably to explain the nature of fanctification, we must consider, not so much the etymology and import of the Latin word, as of the Hebrew wip and Greek diyeórytos, wywo175, ayaous, and OPOTNtos, with words of the like original, as most frequently made use of by the sacred penmen. It will be proper therefore to enquire more distinctly first, who is meant by holiness, and then, what by fanctification.
III. The word holy in fcripture is afferted firft of whatever is
, but especially from a
IV. Balaam has beautifully prophesied of them, Num. Xxiii. 9. “Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” Israel is called the people: ift, On account of their prodigious numbers, ver. 10.
« Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel;" 2. On account of those sacred ties, by which this vast congregation was united together. They were not a promiscuous affembly but a multitude, under a proper polity, or form of goveriment, united together by covenant, governed by falutary laws, with rights and an inheritance, and having God himself for their head. Thus the apostle, 1 Pet. ii. 10. • zóne s nosos, vūv de needs Oiš, which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God. This is the meaning of by, dos, the people, when used in its emphatical fenfe, and distinguished from on, Gentiles. And boxy, not a people, Deut. xxxii. 21. is a multitude that has no such privileges. Balaam testifies of the former that they dwell alone, or are separate, not reckoned among the nations : they are severed and distinguished from the rest of the world, by peculiar laws, customs, and institutions. Tacitus in his history, book 5. says, “ Mofes, the better to attach the
people afterwards to himself, appointed them new rites, contrary to those of the rest of the world. There all things are accounted profane, which we look upon as facred; and those things are allowed by them which we hold to be incestuous.”
V. This separation of the Jewish people, in as far as it was the effect of ceremonial institutions, constituted a ceremonial holiness; but if we consider it as the effect of the excellency of those laws, which prescribed moral duties, in that respect, they much surpassed other nations, yet that constituted a holiness common to the godly in all ages. Hence the church of the New Testament is called, “ the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily.” Micah vii. 14. And Christ says of his people; they are in the world, but not of the world; for he has chosen them out of the world,” John xv. 19.
« Delivering them from this present evil world, according to the will of God, and our Father,” Gal. i. 4. To this purpose is the admonition of Paul, Rom. xii. 2. Μη συσχηματίζεσθε τω ανωνε 787w, « Be not conformed to this world.”
VI. And this is that singularity of piety fo recommended by fome, which does not confift' in external niceties of an over-strained will-worship, and an austerity of discipline, as was generally the practice of the Pharisees among the Jews, and of the Afcetics formerly among the ancient Christians; .concerning whom Casaubon may be leen in his Efere, ad Baron, Exerc. I. No. 9. A manner of life fignificantly called by
Epiphanius, benodxgolntoe dixcloouuns, the utmost piteb of self-righteoufness: but in fhunning the vices of the age, pride, drunkennels, luft, and vanities of every kind.
1 Pet. iv. 3,
“ For the time paft of our life may fuffice us, to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousnefs, lufts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries.” Eph. v. 7, “Be not ye therefore partakers with them:" and' v. 11.“ and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” Tertullian, in his Apologetica, advises us, that in what we say, see and hear, we correspond in nothing with the madness of the circus, the lewdness of the theatre, the shocking cruelty of the amphitheatre, and the vanity of the Xyftus; we are not to attend on such shows and representations as thefé. 2. That in opinions and sentiments we keep at a distance from those of the vulgar: that is what Paul hints in what follows: “but be ye formed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the will of God." By the vulgar I mean, not only the lowest class of people, of whom Tacitus says, they have neither judgment nor truth; but even such as seem to themselves and others extremely wise in this world; from whom God generally conceals those mysteries of his, which he reveals to babes, Mat. xi. 25. 3. In will and affections, 1 Pet. i. 14. “Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.”
4. In the exercise of such a generous ble virtue, or holiness, as is infinitely beyond the reach of other people, Phil. ii. 15. “ That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”
VII. Secondly, the word holy, denotes whatever is dedicated to, or set apart for God and his service. Thus the altar, and what belonged to it, are called most holy, Exod. xxx. 29: also, Aaron with his sons, i Chron. xxiii. 13. So in like manner the truly godly are si a peculiar. treasure to God above all people," Exod. xix. 5. In the Hebrew it runs : no 5 on":7}. To Segullah the last of these, the Latin word figillum has an affinity : fo that bad SEGULLAH denotes a thing, which a person declares to be his own property, by impressing it with his seal ; nay indeed, it denotes such a thing, on account of which, persons and kings themselves are accounted rich, and by which they display their grandeur, Ecclef. ii. 8. “ I gathered me also filver and gold bobin nbadt, and the SEGULLAH peculiar trea. sure of Kings.” Thus « God hath chofen Israel maps for his Segullah, or peculiar treasure,” Pf. cxxxv. 4. Con,
cerning this word, see Waferus de nummis, lib. 1. c. I. The Septuagint express it by tipiscicuspcov iwuta, Deut. vii. 6. SD EY,
a special people;" which Paul, in imitation of the LXX. calls Λαος πιρόσιος, ,
a peculiar people;" Tit. ii. 14. And Jerome affirms, he could not learn the meaning of that Greek word from any one, that was conversant in profane literature ; but gathered it from the above place in Deuteronomy, and the like. Yet I think Grotius has not improperly observed, that rigtérios is derived from rigesīvai, which fignifics, to excel; and hence asgizstos denotes the same as ežáigelos
, excellent: and requeste superabundance ; in which fenfe Clemens Alexandrius uses it in Ad11011. ad Genter p. 5. μιστον ημίν της μαθήσεως, έκπεριέσιας, βασιλεαν έραναν Éreyville: promises to us, fuperabundantly, or over and above, the kingdom of heaven, as the reward of our doćirine. And again, p. 69. Φερε υμίν, εκ περιουσίας, την περι το λογο παραθησομαι πειθω; Ι Jhall abundatly bring a convincing proof concerning the word. In the same manner, as Demosthenes says, šros, ex tegiscias, pex zalnyogãã, he superabundantly accuses me: Polybius, book 4. C. 38, opposes rifixose to the di avansate T8 B18 Xesve, the necessaries of life. The godly therefore are God's excellent possession, which he claims and preserves, and in which he boalts, as his crown of glory and rayal diadem, Ifa. lxii. 3: Which he esteems as his
riches, and suffers not to become the property of another; and in this sense also may holiness be ascribed to them : dvaş dytov, Acos sis megstanou, a holy natioș, a peculiar people, are joined together, 1 Pet. ii. 9.
VIII. God also truly seals his servants, as his property, which he would keep from being lost, and in this sense, he likewise accounts such sacred or inviolable. Rev. vii. 2, 3. John saw an angel afcending from the east, distinct from the four ministring angels, and giving orders unto them: now Christ himself is avaloaneš icfes, the day spring from on high, Luke i. 78. and the Gospel was published chiefly from Jerusalem to the west, namely to the isles of the fea, or to Europe. This angel had the feal of the living God, viz. the Spirit of God, who is also the spirit of the Son, Gal. iv. 6. and by whom the elect are sealed, Eph. i. 13. because he imprints upon them the character of holiness declared in the Gospel, whereby they are known to, be the property of God. This angel gave his orders to the others not to hurt any one, till, says he, we have sealed the fervants of our God in their foreheads ; from which words we are not to imagine, that God has any fellow labourers in this fealingwork, but Christ says this concerning himself and his Spirit; who may well call God the Father, their God, as both are sent from him, Isa. xlviii. 16. The Lord God hath fent me and his spirit; as thus the Hebrew may very properly be rendered. Moreover, this seal was in the foreheads of God's servants; because, as the forehead is the molt conspicuous part of man, so the truth of the Gospel and the efficacy of true piety, which is impressed upon their hearts by the Holy Spirit, discover themselves in the public profession, and open practice of holiness, which ftrike the eyes and ears of all. Nor is it improbable, there is here an allusion to a received custom in the East, by which the names of masters were stamped on the foreheads of their fervants, as Grotius has observed from Hesychius and Aristophanes. The godly then are God's peculiar property; for they bear his name on their foreheads, Rev. xiv. 1. They also profess themselves to be fet apart for his service.
IX. And as God sets his seal upon them, so in like manner they subscribe with their hand to be only the Lords, Ifa. xliv. 5. The Roman soldiers of old according to Vegetius de re Milit
. Lib. 2. c. 5. being marked with indelible characters in the skin, were wont to be sworn when they were enlisted: and hence in the law of Mauritius, Signati in manu, they who are marked in the hand is a circumlocution for soldiers: for, siypale scotay sealevo. piveau év tais xipcov, the marks of soldiers are in their hands, says Ælian. This is what Chrysostom on Rom. iv. 11. calls opçuoyida tõ sealowe, the seal of the foldier : see Grotius on Revelations xiii. 16. In much the same manner, believers being sealed by God with the efficacy of the * flaming fpirit, and a truly indelible and never fading character, do, at the same time, bind themselves by an oath, to be faithful to God, as foldiers to their general. For, while they profess themselves to be God's, they also give themselves up to his service alonc, Acts xxvii. 23. Whose I am, and whom serve. Įn a word, the chosen and called are all faints, because feparated from the rest of the world, they are declared to be God's on several accounts. But we have not yet mentioned the principal thing,
X. Thirdly, Holiness denotes that purity of a man, in his nature, inclinations and actions, which consists in an imitation and expression of the divine purity or holiness. God is the great pattern of his rational creatures. His will is exprefled in the law, which was the pattern fhewn to Moses in the mount, according to which the fanctuary of our soul ought to be framed. But his divine virtues or perfections are a pattern, which we
I suppose the author here alludes, by this designation, to the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, when there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and fat upon each of them, Acis ii. 3. and he is called the spirit of burning, Ifa. iv. 4. and John the Baptift declared, that Christ should baptise with the Holy Ghosi and with fire. Mat. iü. 11.