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be had" chosen and ordained his therefore, as well as for other reaapostles, that they should bring sons, it may be expedient to subforth fruit, and that their fruit should join a few more particulars, in which remain;" and whoever duly con-growth in grace consists, and by siders the instruction conveyed by which it may be ascertained both the parable of the vine and the in respect of its reality and degree. branches, will be ready to conclude, I. Genuine growth in grace is that no man is a living branch of always accompanied with proporthat true Vine, who does not bring tionable humiliation, and the haforth more and more fruit, during bitual exercise of repentance. This his continuance in this world; and hath indeed been implied and intiwill at least determine, that when mated in every part of our progress: the reverse takes place, the pro- but it is a matter of that importance, fessor's state and character become and creates such difficulty to many proportionably ambiguous. persons, that a more explicit conWe have now followed the apostle sideration of it seems necessary. through the several petitions of this True grace consists in illumination, important prayer; intending to re-sensibility, submission, and spiserve the concluding words to be rituality; and, as these increase by considered in the application of the progressive sanctification, deeper subject. We shall therefore here humiliation must be produced. close this division of the treatise Clearer and more distinct views of with the words of the apostle to the divine Majesty and greatness the same Philippians: Finally, must proportionably abate our selfbrethren, whatsoever things are importance, and render us little, true, whatsoever things are honest, and, as it were, nothing in our own whatsoever things are just, what- eyes. Fuller discoveries of the hosoever things are pure, whatsoever liness, justice, mercy, and truth of things are lovely, whatsoever things God, and of the glory and beauty are of good report,-if there be any of his harmonious perfections as virtue, if there be any praise, think displayed in the person of Christ, of these things. Those things, which must show us more and more the ye have both learned, and received, intrinsic evil of sin, and the heinousand heard, and seen in me, do, and ness of our own transgressions; the God of peace shall be with you." and the same defects or defilements Phil. iv. 8, 9. must give us proportionably greater uneasiness, than they did when we had less sensibility and spirituality. Thus self-abhorrence, on account of Containing some additional Observa-present sinfulness, must increase tions on the Nature and Effects of with our growth in holiness. The Growth in Grace, as deducible from habit also of comparing every part other Scriptures. of our temper and conduct with the WHILE We attempt to inculcate those perfect law of God and the example practical subjects, which have been of Christ, instead of judging ourenlarged on in the preceding part selves by other rules, tends to bring of this treatise, it may perhaps be us more acquainted with the hidden feared lest we should draw men evils of our hearts, and the unsusfrom the simplicity of dependence pected sins of our lives; as well on free grace, by faith in the right-as to show the imperfection of our eousness and atonement of the Di- duties. That intimate communion vine Saviour. On this account, with God, which accompanies


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growth in grace, must make us more] Daniel, or the centurion whom our sensible of our sinfulness; and even Lord commended: their actual atthe company of the most pious tainments and unaffected humility Christians tends to abate our self- are well known to all who diligently confidence, to cover us with shame, consider the subject. and to excite us to renewed exer- This increase of humility never cises of deep repentance, from the fails to produce a proportionable consciousness that we fall far be- disposition to condescension, courtneath them in many parts of our eousness, and modesty; a willingcharacter and behaviour. Every ness to take the lowest place, discovery of the glory of redemption honour preferring others to ourby the cross of Christ, and of the selves;" and a satisfaction of mind immensity of our general and par- in obscure stations, or with ordinary ticular obligations to his love, tend services, if they be allotted to us. to make us dissatisfied with our The believer gradually acquires present measure of devoted obe- such a view of himself and his misdience, and to humble us under the conduct during a succession of years, consciousness of multiplied instances that he "remembers, and is conof ingratitude to our Benefactor. founded, and never opens his mouth So that, while there is any alloy of any more for his shame, when the sin in the heart of a regenerate per- Lord is pacified to him for all son, his self-abhorrence and humi-that he hath done." Ezek. xvi. liation before God for it must bear 63. This cures him of his propenproportion to the degree of his sity to boast, revile, censure, and actual proficiency in holiness. No complain; and produces lowliness, proof that a sinner has become pure in meekness, candour, resignation, conheart is so unequivocal, as his groans tentment, and gratitude, in the haand tears of account of his remain-bitual frame of his temper, and ing pollution, while it appears less tenor of his conduct. If then any and less in his external conduct; person's supposed growth, in other yet this often occasions dejection, respects, be accompanied with eviwhen not attended with a clear un-dent pride, ambition, ostentation, derstanding of that sanctifying work, contention, arrogance, boasting, and by which the Holy Spirit seals be- bitterness; we must conclude his lievers to the day of redemption; apparent graces to be counterfeits, and would always produce this ef- and not the real fruits of the Spirit: fect, were it not for the discoveries for "this wisdom is not from above, made to the soul, of the entire free- but is earthly, sensual, and devilish." ness and inexhaustible riches of Indeed, unless such proficiency be divine grace to all that flee for re- accompanied with an evident infuge to the hope set before them. crease in tenderness, modesty, and Thus, when holy Paul abounded in gentleness; with a readiness to subgrace, and was fruitful in good mit to conviction, and to be very works, probably above any man on sorry for every fault; and with a earth; he was more humbled be- disposition to be more and more refore God than others, not only for signed under contempt and neglect; his former rebellions as "the chief a man's growth in grace cannot be of sinners;" but also in respect of clearly ascertained. "Be ye clothed his present disposition and services, with humility," is an exhortation "less than the least of all saints." to the most arduous attempt and Nor is it necessary to refer to the the most exalted attainment, to well known examples of Job, Isaiah, which man is capable of aspiring.

Pride is the most offensive to God | ven against all ungodliness and unof all sins: a proud holiness is there- righteousness of men," regard his fore self-contradictory; for no grace warnings, nor understand the nature can subsist except by connexion and value of his salvation :-we can with humility; and the idea, that neither accept of his invitations, exhortations to Christian tempers rely on his promises, give up pre and evangelical fruitfulness tend to sent objects for better things in render men proud, arises from an reversion, nor render the willing entire misapprehension concerning obedience of grateful love. It is the very nature of that "holiness, impossible therefore to be saved without which no man shall see the without faith; because we shall Lord." certainly neglect the great salvation It is indeed true, that the exer- revealed in Scripture, if we do not cise of grace, or diligence in duty, believe the record of God concernmay prove an occasion of pride to ing it. It is also manifest, that the a believer: and so may the know- more fully we are acquainted with ledge of evangelical truth, or even revealed truths, and the more firmly the exercise of self-abasement and we believe them, without vain reacontrition in any remarkable de-sonings or sceptical hesitations; gree. But then true grace conti-and the more entirely we realize nually counteracts these emotions; to our minds the awful and affectand the root of pride is gradually ing scenes thus presented to our weakened, even by means of these view; the greater degree of every rank but unhallowed buddings: as holy affection, the more decided "Hezekiah was humbled for the victory over the love of the world pride of his heart." The vigorous and the dread of the cross; the exercise, therefore, of holy affections deeper compassion for perishing must eventually produce deep hu- sinners, and the firmer attachment miliation; whereas gifts, high and to the cause and people of God, false affections, lifeless notions, os- will be produced. Faith at first tentatious services, and an unholy works by fear and hope, and afterzeal for evangelical truth, not only wards by love: the increase of allow the branches of pride to shoot faith therefore must increase the forth luxuriantly, but water and energy of these active principles, nourish the root of that hateful pro- and of every affection dependent on pensity. them.

II. The increase of faith, in all On the other hand, growth in its varied exercises, is an essential grace strengthens faith, and habitupart of growth in grace, and inse-ates the soul to a realizing contemparably connected with all the rest. plation of invisible objects, to a This has hitherto been taken for deep sense of their importance and granted: but it may be useful to of our intimate concern in them, give the subject a more particular and to a decided preference of eterconsideration. If we define faith nal things above all the interests of to be "belief of the truth," or "a this transient scene. Thus the bedisposition to credit implicitly the liever faints not while “he looks testimony of God in his word;" we not to the things which are seen, may easily perceive that all true but to the things which are not religion begins and increases with seen.' He learns, with Abraham, it. Unless we thus believe the tes-to part with objects which nature timony of God, we can neither fear most endears to him, when the will his wrath," as revealed from hea-lof God requires them; believing

him able to make up every loss; | For he continually discovers evil and, with Moses, he is enabled to in his heart and duties, which he count" the reproach of Christ did not at all suspect, and has paingreater riches than the treasures of ful experience of his own weakness the world, and the afflictions of and folly. Many a sharp conflict God's people preferable to the and conscious relapse into evil tend momentary pleasures of sin, en- to convince him that "he can do during as one who sees him that is nothing of himself;" and he escapes invisible." well if he be not so baffled by temp If we consider faith as including tation, as to act inconsistently in the idea of dependence, or com- some degree before men, whilst the mitting ourselves to the Lord's Lord "humbles him, and proves hands, in credence and confidence; him, and shows him what is in his the increase of it is inseparable heart, to do him good at the latter from growth in grace. The con- end." Deut. viii. 2. In this way, vinced sinner discovers, perhaps however, after a course of years, gradually, that he has no resources when he has really grown in grace, in himself, and possesses no ability and is justly regarded as an estabof escaping the wrath to come: but, lished, honourable, and fruitful hearing of the mercy of God in Christian; he is so far from feeling Christ Jesus, and of the encourage- less need of supplies from the Saments and promises of the new viour's fulness, that he depends on covenant, he applies for the grace him more simply and explicitly for of his free salvation, and submits to every thing, than he did at his first give God all the glory. As his views acceptance of his salvation. He enlarge, he more expressly intrusts more entirely "counts all but loss his soul and all his eternal interests that he may win Christ and be into the hands of Christ, according found in him, and in his righteousto the nature of his redemption, ness;" and continually seeks forand the offices he sustains; and ex-giveness of his daily sins, and the pects the supply of all his wants acceptance of his daily services, by from his unsearchable riches. Thus faith in his blood. He now conhe learns" to live by the faith of siders the inclination, ability, and the Son of God," and as consciously opportunity of doing good works, deserving of wrath alone, to expect as so many gifts from the God of every blessing as the purchase of grace, increasing more and more his his blood and the gift of his grace. obligations to him; and is deeply He has not as yet, however, ob-conscious, that he hath not duly tained a very deep acquaintance improved his talents; so that he with the intrinsic evil of sin, the has great cause to be humbled on aggravations of his own iniquities, account of his unfaithfulness, but the deceitfulness and desperate none to be proud of those things wickedness of the human heart, or which never were his own: he is his own helpless and exposed con- also entirely sensible, that he candition: so that, attending diligently not perform any good work in future, on every means of grace, he hopes or withstand the temptations which speedily to rise superior to every obstruct his progress, without suptemptation, and to feel himself ad-plies of wisdom and strength day vancing in holiness every day; and by day, out of that same fulness, in this he commonly experiences from which he has so long been a mortifying disappointment, even accustomed to receive. Thus his when actually growing in grace.growth in grace is connected with

proportionable simplicity in the ex-shadow of death "without fearing ercise of faith while our Lord any evil;" hoping that the Lord plainly declares, that the habitual will then be with him, as his guide, simplicity and energy of faith in guard, and comforter, and at last rehim, secures the growth of grace in ceive him to his eternal glory. all other particulars, when he says, "He that abideth in me, the same bringeth forth much fruit."

The increase of faith in this respect must be a most important part of growth in grace, as it produces a The consistent believer learns al- calm, submissive spirit in the most ways to consider every object, that perilous and distressing seasons: surrounds him, in its relation to the when the hearts of unbelievers, and providence, the moral government, even of the weak in faith, "are or the salvation of God; and this shaken like the trees by the wind:" induces a constant dependence on it induces an habitual intercourse, him, even in the common affairs of in the spirit of adoption, between life. He “acknowledges God in all the redeemed sinner and his reconhis ways:" he relies on him to in-ciled God and Father; as he now cline the hearts of those with whom walks with God in humble confihe is concerned to act properly to- dence, and reverential fear: it sewards him; Neh. i. 11. to succeed cures a man from seeking relief in his undertakings, to protect him in trouble by indirect means, and rendanger, to supply his wants, and to ders him watchful against every comfort and deliver him in trouble. thing that would interrupt his comHe depends on the perfections and munion with God, by which his providence of God to fulfil his pro- present comfort and hopes of future mises in these respects, as far as felicity are principally maintained. conducive to his good; being as- And, on the other hand, as he grows sured that not a sparrow falls to the in grace, he will attain to greater ground without his Father's notice simplicity of dependence on God, and design. He considers the power which will render him less depenof God as engaged to restrain the dent on men and on second causes; malice and rage of Satan, to mode- he will be less affected by the flucrate his trials, and to preserve him tuating appearances of external affrom circumstances of overwhelm-fairs, "his heart being fixed, trusting temptation; as well as his grace ing in the Lord;" and will more to strengthen holy affections and uniformly consider all creatures as give energy for resistance. Thus he his instruments of judgment or of passes through one difficulty after mercy, of correction or of comfort; another; conscious of his weakness, and remember that "all things work but relying on the Lord for strength together for good to them that love and protection; he casts his care on God." Thus it appears, that growth him, and "in every thing by prayer in grace, as to the various partiand supplication, with thanksgiv-culars comprised in the Apostle's ing, makes his requests known to prayer for the Philippians, will cerGod:" while his experience of the tainly be accompanied with deeper Lord's faithfulness and attention to humility, stronger faith, and more his prayers tend to increase his entire reliance on God in all things faith, and encourage the confidence pertaining to this life, and to that of his dependence, without anxious which is to come.

alarms or distrustful solicitudes. It cannot, therefore, be doubtful, And this prepares him for at length in what a believer's growth in grace passing through the valley of the consists. When a man abounds

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