NUMB. xiv. 24. But my fervant Caleb, because he had another fpirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went, and his feed fhall poffefs it.

Now proceed to the confideration of


DOCT. II. THAT they who would follow the Lord fully, muft have another spirit; another than the spirit of the world, another than their own spirit naturally is.

IN attending to which, I fhall,

I. Shortly point out, that it is another spirit. II. Shew what that spirit is, which they who follow the Lord fully have, and must possess.—Illustrating, at the fame time, the nature and neceffity of such a spirit.

III. Make fome practical improvement.

I. I AM fhortly to point out, that it is another fpirit which fuch poffefs.




This other fpirit, which is fo neceffary to following the Lord fully, is understood, either of the Holy Spirit of God, who dwells in all the faints, Rom. viii. 9. or rather of a spirit fanctified by the Holy Spirit, and raised above its natural spirit by the power of grace. Thus it feems here to be understood, though both amount to the fame thing. Such a fpirit may well be called another fpirit. For,

1. It is another spirit than that which the world is poffeffed of, which is a mean and base spirit, influencing them to grovel on this earth. The world has what it calls a fine fpirit. But even that does but grafp at fhadows, while the most excellent things are out of its view. But this is a spirit truly noble.

2. It is another spirit than the most refined hypocrites have. By the common operations of the Spirit, the fpirit of hypocrites may be raised to act more nobly than before, but these change not the nature of a man's fpirit, but only help it to act in a natural way to a better purpofe; whereas, this fpirit raises it to gracious actings.

3. It is another spirit than what the faints had before they were fanctified. Another, not in subftance, but in qualities. How does this other spirit make a man differ from himself? How doth it advance him to a higher sphere? It made a preaching Paul of a perfecuting Saul. It endows a man with quite new principles, motions, ends, and aims, and elevates him to new measures for attaining the fame.

II. I Go on to fhew what that other fpirit is which these who follow the Lord fully have and muft poffefs.-Illuftrating, at the fame time, its nature and neceffity. This spirit is,

1. A noble elevated fpirit, aiming at high things, and is not fatisfied with these with which the common herd of mankind are satisfied. Thus Caleb aimed at Canaan, Numb. xiii. 30. while the reft were for Egypt again, chap. xiv. 4. Such another spirit have the faints, Phil. iii. 14. "They prefs forward toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Chrift Jefus." Were a beggar's child adopted by a prince, he would change his fpirit with his lot, and aim at things. suitable to his new quality. Thus the children of God rife in their aims and defigns, will not be content with the creatures, but with God himself; not with earth, but heaven, not the favour of men, but of God, not with gold, but grace; for they have another fpirit, which can be content with nothing less. They have high projects, not bounded within the limits of this narrow world, but aiming at a greater conqueft. Now, fuch a fpirit they must have that would follow the Lord fully.-For, if lefs can fatisfy, they will be content to take their portion on this fide Jordan; they will exchange heaven for earth, and keep their grand profpect within the bounds of this world: Phil. iii. 19. "Their God is their belly, and they mind earthly things ;" and fo will never follow the Lord fully, nay, they will leave him where they cannot get their carnal intereft along with them, as Demas did.-Again, if they have not fuch a fpirit, they will continue creeping on the earth, to get their food, as the beafts among their feet, and never follow the Lord in the way to true happiness. They will fall down before thefe three that are in the world: "The luft of the flesh, the luft of the eye, and the pride of life," 1 John, ii. 16. They will wrap themselves up in the world's profits, or drench themselves in its pleafures, and, like beggars,

I 2


take care of their cottages, having no eye to a palace. Finally, if they have not such a spirit, they will never ufe means and endeavours fuitable to fuch high aims. Noble fpirits will proportion their endeavours to their high defigns, while the mean fpirit will go heartlessly about them. Gold is not got, like ftones, befide every brook; nor is grace and glory got, but in the way of hearty exertions: Prov. ii. 3.-5• "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and lifteft up thy voice for understanding, if thou feekeft for her as filver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

2. It is a spirit of faith, as the apostle speaks, 2 Cor. iv. 13. "We having the fame spirit of faith." Such a spirit had Caleb, another than that of the reft, who could not enter because of unbelief. Such another fpirit have the faints, while the rest of the world remain under the power of unbelief, and if they had it not, could never follow the Lord fully; for unbelief will foon trip up a man's heels in following the Lord: Heb. iii. 12. "Take heed, brethren, left there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Now, Caleb's other spirit of faith thus discovered itself.

(1.) It took part with the promife, and hung by it, while the unbelieving spirits of the reft fided with fenfe in oppofition to it. Thus, while the unbelieving world, whatever they pretend, do never folidly venture their happiness on the promife, but feek it rather among those things which are the objects of fenfe. The faints have another fpirit, which rejects these, and by faith rolls the weight of its eternal happiness on the promise; which spirit of faith realifes to them the things

which are not seen, Heb. xi. 1. affords a view of them, as matters of the greatest realities, and of the word of promife as fufficient fecurity. Without this, none will ever follow the Lord fully; —For, if that which is held out in the promise be not realised unto men, it will never make fenfible things, the reality of which men certainly know, to yield and give place to it; for men will not quit certainty for hope. Were men as much perfuaded of the reality of the things contained in the promise, as they are of gold, and other metals in the earth, think ye, they would flight the promife and take up with the objects of their fenfes as their happiness? No. The truth is, all the glorious promises are to the world but fair words about fancies.-Again, if men cannot trust the promise as fufficient fecurity, they will never venture their all upon it, but our all must be ventured upon it, if we follow the Lord fully: 2 Sam.. xxiii. 5. "This is all my falvation, and all my defire." We must glorify him by faith, hanging by his bare word. All for another, world muft be laid upon it, and often it comes to this, that all for this world must also be laid upon its.

(2.) This fpirit of faith took up the land of promife, as a land well worth all the pains, toil, and hardships, which the conquering itwould incur: Numb. xiv. 7. " It is an exceeding good land." Thus, while unbelievers cannot fee heaven worth the pains and toil that must be at the work, like the falfe fpies, chap. xiii. 32. " they bring up an evil report of it." But the faints have another fpirit of faith, which makes them fee the glory of that land to be fuch as to deserve their utmost efforts. and endeavours. "Let us therefore labour," say they, Heb. iv. 1." to enter into that rest, left man any fall after the fame example of unbelief." Now, without


« ForrigeFortsett »