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by the outward appearance ; but he is a true Christian, who is admitted to communion with God in that ordinance : Cant. v. 1. “ I am come into my garden, my fifter, my spoufe, I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. Eat, О friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” In this matter, the inside Christian goes beyond the outside
The outside Christian gets the token from men, the inGde Christian has also the Lord's token.. The one only eats the bread of the Lord, the other, with it, eats that bread which is the Lord : John, vi. 57. “He that eateth me, he shall live by me;" he feeds by faith on a crucified Christ, unites with him, as partaking of his Spirit, of all the benefits of his purchase, to his spiritual nou-rishment, and growth in grace. The one is heldin the outer court, the other is admitted into the inner, and is there feasted in greater or lefser meafures. The lusts of the former are strengthened by the abuse of that ordinance, those of the latter: are weakened by the holy use of it.-I observe,
II. THAT he is not a true Christian, whose outward man only is cleansed from the gross pol-. lutions of the world, but he whose inward man is. also cleansed. Saving grace penetrates to the inGide, and stays uot in the outside only: Psal. xxiv. 34. « Who shall afcend into the hill of the Lord ?and who shall stand in his holy place ? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted
up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceita fully.” A person may be clean from gross pollutions of the outward man, and yet be but an out-. fide Christian ; no swearer, liar, Sabbath-breaker, fornicator, &c. and yet no Christian, Luke, xxviii.. 11. Negative holiness and outside religion, though.
the want of it will damn the profane, i Cor. vi. 9. 10. yet the having it will not keep the outside Christian from ruin. A blameless life in the world, though good in itself, yet comes not the length of true Christianity. There are several things beside faving grace, that may in fome meafure cleanse the conversation from grofs pollutions. -- Among others, there is,
1. Good education, and good company, as in the case of Joash under the tutorage of Jehoiada. This may chain men's lufts, though it cannot change their nature; their heart is of an apish nature, apt to follow example. Though readily the worst example is the most taking, yet good example has a mighty influence, especially when persons are brought up with it from their childhood. -There is,
2. A good natural temper and disposition. Many a person is more indebted to his natural temper, than to the tenderness of his conscience, for his cleanness from gross pollutions. It is evident, that several persons who have no real religion, nay,
even the form of it, may be fober, as it would be a pain and a torment to them to go to the extravagant courses in which others indulge themselves.
But no man is born a true Christian, as he is with his natural temper; religion in reality is a supernatural temper: 2 Pet. i. 4. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”-There is,
3. Their being kept out of the way of temptation. It is a mercy to be so kept ; but while people's corruptions are not tried with a suitable bait, they cannot so well know what influence the commandment has or has not upon them. The
cleanness of the outward converfation of many is owing more to those circumstances in which they were placed in the world, than to any gracious difpofition ; as may appear from the cafe of some who kept right as long as they were not tried, but so soon as the trial of their corruptions comes, they give way.-There is,
4. The workings of a natural conscience under the common influences and convictions of the Spirit, and a rousing ministry : Mark, vi. 20. “ For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man, and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” The preaching of the word sometimes serves to embalm dead souls, who are never by it quickened. It also sets the natural conscience aworking to purify the outward man, while the inner is never renewed. It brings on many so far, as that they are not far from the kingdom of God, who yet never have power to go forward to it.
5. Self-love may do it, in fo far as a regard to their foul or body, credit or reputation, may move men to all this. Fear of punishment, and hope of reward, are powerful incentives, where God's authority is but little valued ; nay, some reigning luít, as covetousness, pride, or ambition : Matth. vi. 2.
“ Therefore, when thou dost thine alms, do not found a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.” But what avails all this to salvation, while the hidden man of the heart is funk in pollutions before the all-feeing God, while the man is as a painted fepulchre, fair without, but within full of rottennefs : Ezek. viii. 12. “ Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of
Ifrael do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they fay, The Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth.” It is a weak evidence to lean to outward religion.. But the true Christian has this cleanness of the outward conversation, and besides goes farther than the outward Christian in that point, in two. particulars.
(1) The infide Christian joins internal purity: to external : Psal. xxiv. 4. “ He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart, who hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” Mato v. 8. “ Blessed are the poor in heart, for they shall. see God.” He does not sit down contented with outside purity, as the other does, but his chief concern is the heart, the fountain of all impurity of life. And though the world cannot charge him with any gross pollutions, he finds he has work. enough to do with the blind mind, the rebellious will, and the carnal corrupt affections. He accorda ingly strives to get them mortified : Gal. v. 24. “ And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lufts." Though the world sees not, yet, fince God sees the disorder of. his heart, that is enough to humble him, and give him new errands to Christ for his blood and Spirit..
(2.) Even his external purity is from religious, motives, springs, and principles. Thus Joseph,. Gen. xxxix. 9. “ How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God ?"* In this he serves. God, while in it the outward Christian does but ferve himself. It is God's authority that sways. him to it; though his natural inclinations be to break out, yet the fear of God in his heart does restrain him. And if he be surprised into temptations, the offence and dishonour to God weighs
more with him than all the shame and loss in the world which he incurs.
From all which we may learn, that certainly they are not true Christians, who are profane in their walk, whose conversation is not so much as cleansed from gross pollutions, such as cursers and swearers, drunkards, mockers at religion, obscene speakers, unclean persons, &c. Gal. v. 19. 20. 21. These bear the devil's mark on their foreheads, Isa. iii. 19.; and have not so much as the rude draughts of the form of godliness.-Hence,
Let no man value himself on the cleansing of the outward man from those pollutions, for a person may go all that length, and much farther, and yet be a cast-away. Religion is much deeper than this is, and is more inward. What the world observes leaft, God, looks most to. Therefore study the inwards of religion, truth and purity in the in