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yet the apostle doth confess that concupis


icence and lust hath of itself the nature of
sin." And in the 15th Art. of Christ alone
without sin, they say," that all we, the rest,
although baptized, and born again in Christ,
yet offend in many things; and if we


sin, we

980 The compilers of our articles were holy

is not in us" dad ad os s
e deceive ourselves, and the

bmind and will according to the oracles of truth. And it will be a great comfort to a

poor soldier, wearied with fighting against


thee o

those lusts which war against the soul, to find that the best Christians, in every age, have been engaged in the same holy war. This will mightily encourage him to take to him the whole armour of God, that he may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.


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Attend, then, O my soul, to the law and to the testimony. Pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Desire grace to submit to the truth of God, that whatever he teaches plainly and expressly in his word, thou mayest believe it, and abide by it. Read and pray, till thou art satisfied, and the conviction of thy mind influence thy heart and walk. Art thou to carry the inward cross all the way to heaven? Is there no discharge in this war?-No truce to be made, not even a cessation of arms? But art thou to be fighting on the good fight of faith, till the captain of thy salvation take thee out of the field of battle? O hard service! To be night and day-at home and abroad-in the closet and in the church-at


hearing the word and meditating upon it

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fasting and praying-at the shop and at the exchange-every where and at all times forced to be in arms against the assaults of indwelling sin! this is a warfare terrible indeed to flesh and blood. The length of itnever ended so long as breath is in the body. The painfulness of it-consisting in being at war with a man's self, and in resisting his bosqm sins and strongest appetites.—What discouragements are these from entering into, and from continuing in this battle! Why should it be wondered, then, that some persons, who only follow the camp, and are not of it, should repent when they see this war, and return to Egypt? Or that others, pretending to be on Christ's side, but never one with him, should dream of shaking off this cross, and of sitting down here in a land of perfect peace? This is the coward's paradise. They want to rest quiet on this side of Jordan, and would not go over with Jesus to fight for the promised land. O dear Saviour, keep thy noble army from this delusion of Satan: so long as they are in the body of sin and death, make them good

soldiers of Christ Jesus, resisting unto blood -striving against sin. For so long must we be in this hot battle. It is decreed by the sovereign will of God-and he is always of one mind. He has revealed it in his word of truth, that the corruption of nature doth remain in his regenerate children; they have an old man and a new; they have flesh and spirit; they have nature and grace; and he has described the combat which is to last through life between these two. The beloved apostle bears a clear testimony. He is speaking of those whom the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, and who had fellowship with the Father and with the Son, and who proved the truth of this by their walking in the light: he puts himself among them, and declares: " If we say that we have no sin now, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." If we say-he saith not, if thou say, as if he spake of some particular person-nor if ye say, as if he intended ordinary Christians alone-But if wE, apostles, or whatever we be, say so; if any of us, if I, for instance, should think

I had no sin now, who am a saint of a hundred years old; because I was a great favourite of the Lord Christ, and have been a great sufferer for him; or because I have lived blameless before men, and have been a witness for the truth in my writings, and am ready to seal it with my blood: if upon account of any thing done by me, or in me, of any real excellency or attainment, I should fancy myself in a state of sinless perfection, the Holy Ghost charges me with self-deceit. A dreadful delusion! arising from the pride of my heart, and its rebellion against God, and discovering the most gross ignorance of God's righteousness in the holy law, and of Christ's righteousness in the glorious gospel: but if I was to say as well as to think it if I should tell any body--Now I have no sin-I am perfectNow, at this time, I have received perfect purity of heart: for, ever since I received it, I have had nothing stirring in me for one

year, for two, twenty, forty years, but love, pure love to God-God is in all my thoughts, and nothing but God-I do his

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