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views of divine truth enlarge. Sin will appear more and more hateful, and himself more and more vile, and consequently the man more and more humble. Will this man be likely to think himself better than others ? Will he feel that he knows more? Will he erect himself into a teacher, and proclaim his own goodness? The feet of Jesus will be his chosen place. A sense of the infinite holiness of God, the purity of his law, the evil of sin, his own deficiency in every grace, ' will kill that pride and religious vanity, which some discover as soon as they imagine they possess religion. Instead of running from place to place to proclaim his own goodness, the pious man feels more like the publican, who would not enter the temple, but stood a great way off“ and smote on his breast saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." As this spiritual perception of the glory and excellency of God, when first revealed, begets humility, so we may be confident it will, as it increases, produce greater degrees of the same grace. Their humility will be in proportion to their sense of divine things. Religion being what it is, it is impossible in the nature of things, that a person should have any true spiritual light, and yet have no humility; and as impossible that he should grow in the knowledge of God, and not grow in humility. For it is evident from the nature of religion, that the more a person has of it, with remaining corruption, the less will his holiness appear compared with his remaining sin. Sin will appear more exceedingly sinful than ever ; and he will find it in the defects of his highest and best affections, and brightest experiences.
But it is the nature of false religious affections to hide the deformity of the heart, and make it appear to those who are the subjects of these affections, that all their sin is gone, that they live almost, if not wholly without sin. This is indeed a sure evidence that their discoveries are darkness and not light. It is darkness and not light which hides from men their pollution. Light let into the heart will always discover deformity more than sufficient to keep the man humble ; he will even groan under its burden.
"wretched man, that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death !” This is his language. Some have been unable to account for this exclamation of the Apostle ; or to reconcile it with their views of religion. They have therefore supposed that these words are not discriptive of Paul the Apostle, but of Saul of Tarsus. In other words, that the Apostle here expressed his sense of himself before his conversion. This singular construction is put upon his words, to support the opinion, that when a man is converted, his sense of sin is taken away, and that he has no remaining corruption. Strange! Is it not evident from all the writings of the Apostle, that he viewed himself vastly more vile and unworthy than he ever did before ? Indeed there can be no doubt on this point. When a person rises in importance in his own eyes, and esteems his religious attainments great, we may be confident the poor man is under a delusion. His self esteem and pride is a sure evidence, that he is “ poor and miserable and blind and naked.” For it is manifest from what has been said, that the true saint is by no means disposed to think his religious attainments great.
indeed have reason to think he has more love to God, than some other christians, or than he formerly had ; but such is the nature of grace, that he will “esteem others better than himself.” And instead of speaking of himself in a way which may lead others to think him a christian of the first order, he will be more disposed to cry out, my leanness, my leanness !-It may therefore be laid down as infallible truth, that the person, who is apt to think that he, compared with others, is an eminent saint; much distinguished above others in christian knowledge and experience, in whom this is a first thought, a thought which rises of itself, and readily offers ; he is certainly mistaken. He is no eminent saint, but under the
prevailing dominion of a selfish spirit. And if this be habitual with the man, and is steadily his pervailing temper, he is no saint, but a self righteous, self deluded pharisee. This is the real character of all those whose religion elevates them with a fond conceit that they have remarkable discoveries, and distinguished experience in the divine life. For true spiritual knowledge is of such a nature, that the more a man has, the more sensible he is of his ignorance. “He that thinketh that he knoweth any thing, knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”
2. We may see that there is more truth and propriety than we may first suppose in this expression, that saints grow downwards. The meaning of which is, as grace strengthens, and grows, they increase in lowliness of mind, and are more and more disposed to take the lowest place. The more they know of God; of his law and themselves, the more reason will they see to be humble before God. And every additional degree of light serves to bring them lower, and to make them feel more sensibly the burden of sin.
3. If saints who have some conformity to God are so vile and unworthy, what is the state of sinners? How truly may every sinner exclaim, “wo is me for I am undone.” His lips and heart are wholly unclean. « From the crown of the head to the sole of the foot?' he is polluted with sin. Sinners, think of your lost condition, and your present desert of God's endless wrath and curse; the infinitely glorious God, your Creator, Perserver and Governor deserves to be loved, lived to, and delighted in with all your hearts. God knows at the same time, that you love your sins more than you
love him. Your heart is wholly and at all times opposed to God, to his law, and the way of salvation by a crucified Saviour. And should not God interpose you will continue to reject God as your portion, and Jesus as your Saviour. You will perish, unless God have mercy on you, and give you a new heart. He is under no obligation to do this; he may leave you to perish in your
How truly may you exclaim, “wo is me, for I am undone."
ON THE LORD'S SUPPER.
LUKE, Xxii. 19.
This do in remembrance of me.
n the twenty-sixth chapter of Matthew, we find i thus written, “and as they,” Christ and his disciples,
sat down to meat, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the
gave thanks, and
gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
The same thing is repeated, nearly in the same words, by St. Mark. The Apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, gives substantially the same account.
In the text, we are more particularly taught the end and design of this holy ordinance, and its perpetuity, and obligation on all the followers of Christ. Itevidently appears from the various accounts of its institution, that it was the design of Christ, that it should be observed in his church until his second coming. “As