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his children, and accordingly, as his children and heirs, puts them in possession of their inheritance, of that inheritance which he their heavenly Father had prepared, which Christ their elder brother had purchased, which their faith had believed in, and to the expectation of which their hope had raised them. “It doth not yet appear what we shall “ be, but we know that when he shall appear,

we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he “ is.” Thus have I endeavoured to open up the nature of the promises referred to in the text. I now proceed to the

Second head, to explain the qualification necessary for being partakers in these promises, namely, holiness, or being cleansed from “ all fil“ thiness of the flesh and spirit.”

From the former epistle to the church of Corinth, and the preceding chapter of this, we may gather, that the sins the Corinthians were chiefly addicted to, were idolatry, intemperance, and uncleanness; the first of which may not improperly be termed“ filthiness” or impurity“ of spirit, and the two last “ filthiness of the flesh;" and it is not improbable that the apostle might have these chiefly in his view in the exhortation of the text, however he expresses himself at large, with

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out condescending on any one, or any particular number of vices: let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness. The word “ spirit” is here taken to signify the inward, mental part of man; those secret recesses of the soul which are penetrable only by the eye of the Deity. The scripture represents the soul of man as polluted and diseased by sin, in the same manner as the body is by any loathsome, noxious distemper, “ from the “ sole of the foot, even unto the head,” saith the prophet Isaiah, “ there is no soundness in it, but “ wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores; the “ whole head is sick, and the whole heart is “ faint:" and our Saviour himself saith, “out of “ the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adul

teries, fornications, thefts, false-witness, blas

phemies, these are the things which defile a “ man.” The purity, and health, and perfection of the human soul, consist in an enlightened understanding, a will conformed to the great standard of purity, and affections regular and undefiled. ' Filthiness or impurity of spirit therefore, as it regards the first grand faculty of the mind, is that ignorance, error, and prejudice, under which the human understanding lies buried. Though “ life and immortality" are now clearly “ brought “to light,” yet the bulk of mankind remain wholly ignorant of their truest and most important interests; they remain ignorant of God, ignorant of themselves, ignorant of true happiness, of consequence they fall into numberless and fatal errors, whereby the soul is betrayed into a situation the most fearful and dangerous. They imagine"

“God is altogether such an one as themselves," and therefore, neither to be feared nor loyed. They are clean in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their filthiness; they imagine themselves “ rich, and increased in

goods,” and to stand in need of nothing, and “ know not that they are wretched, and miser“able, and poor, and blind, and naked;” their cry is, “ who will shew us any good?” no matter who is the giver, or what the gift, if it serves the present turn. Hence they catch at shadows, and follow after dreams; they eagerly pursue the unsatisfying pleasures of sin, which are but for a moment, and despise those solid, those substantial joys which are durable, which are eternal. The third defilement of the understanding is prejudice, which weakens its vigour, renders it proof against reason, truth, and sense, and fortifies it in igno

It is a very peculiar weakness of human nature to imagine it a mean thing to confess having been in a mistake, and to renounce an opinion we have once entertained; whereas, in reality, nothing discovers more genuine greatness

rance.

of mind than the contrary conduct. Next to not having erred at all, is to acknowledge and forsake error when known, as it is next to being innocent to confess, repent, and amend. Again, filthiness or impurity, as it regards the will, consists in that propensity to what is forbidden, and that aversion to what is our duty, which are so natural to man; this necessarily follows from the corruption of the understanding, just now described, dressing up vice in a form so attracting and lovely, and giving religion an appearance so forbidding and unlovely, as to make the former an object of desire, the other of disgust.—The will of necessity must make choice of good, real br apparent, for its object; but this faculty is so unhappily disposed by the perversion it has undergone, as to embrace unthinkingly the most fatal of evils, under the appearance of the greatest good; to grasp at the shadow and let go the substance. In the third place, impurity or filthiness of spirit consists of disordered and impure affections. The passions were implanted in the human breast for the wisest and noblest purposes, as prompters and assistants to virtue; but they too are by their perversion become the advocates of vice--from being the life and vigour of the soul, are become its diseases and plagues; one like a raging fever, another like a pining consumption, and a third like a nauseous leprosy, by turns, tosses, wastes, and pollutes it. Besides, it is very observable, that there is in every heart some one reigning domineering passion, which may peculiarly be called its own; this the apostle to the Hebrews calls,“ the sin that doth so easily beset us,” which never fails to triumph over us. So long, therefore, as the soul is under subjection to any of these, it must be very unfit to become an inhabitant of those mansions into which nothing that is impure, or that defileth, can enter—to enjoy the promise of being made “ the child of God,” of that Being who is “ of purer eyes” than to look upon sinners without abhorrence

Second, by filthiness of the flesh, we are to understand the actual outbreakings of those corrupted affections, whereby the body as well as the mind is discomposed, troubled, and often destroyed; it is the real and open productions of anger, lust, and ambition, of malice, envy, and pride, and such like, which are the occasion of all that disorder we observe in the world; which are the destruction of kingdoms, societies, and individuals; which make men resemble damned spirits, and this earth resemble hell. endless to recount all the corruptions of heart and life, which every hour present themselves to our

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