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the bond of iniquity, wherewith he was held in sin, so as he could neither will nor do any thing truly good; brings him forth into a large place. «Working in him both to will and to do of his good pleasure,” Phil. ii. 13. Then
it is that the soul, that was fixed to the earth, can move * heavenward ; the withered hand is restored, and can be stretched out.
2. There is wrought in the will a fixed aversion to evil. In regeneration, a man gets a new spirit put within him, Ezek. xxxvi. 26. and that spirit lusteth against the flesh, Gal. v. 17. The sweet morsel of sin, so greedily swallowed down, he now lothes, and would fain be rid of it ; even as willingly as one that had drunk a cup of poison would throw it up again. When the spring is stopped, the mud lies in the well unmoved; but when once the spring is cleared, the waters springing up, will work the mud away by degrees. Even so, while a man continues in an unregenerate state, sin lies at ease in the heart; but as soon as the Lord strikes the rocky heart with the rod of his strength, in the day of conversion, grace is in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life, John iv. working away natural corruption, and gradually purifying the heart, Acts xv. 9. The renewed will riseth up against sin, strikes at the root thereof, and the branches too. Lusts are now grievous, and the soul endeavours to st rve them; the corrupt nature is the source of all evil; and, therefore, the soul will be often laying it before the great Physician. O what sorrow, shame, and self-lothing fill the heart, in the day that grace makes its triumphant entrance into it. For now the madman is come to himself, and the remembrance of his follies cannot but cut him to the heart.
Lastly, The will is endued with an inclination, bent, and propensity to good. In its depraved state, it lay quite another way, being prone and bent to evil only; but now, by a puil of the omnipotent all-conquering arm, it is drawn from evil to good, and gets another set. And as the former set was natural, so this is natural too, in respect of the new nature given in regeneration, which has its own holy lustings, as well as the corrupt old nature hath its sinful lustings, Gal. v. 17. The will, as renewed, inclines and points towards God and godliness. When
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God made man, his will, in respect of its intention, was directed towards God, as his chief end; in respect of its choice, it pointed towards that which God willed. When man unmade himself, his will was framed into the very reverse hereof; he made himself his chief end, and his own will his law. But when man is new made, in regeneration, grace rectifies this disorder in some measure, though not perfectly indeed ; because we are but renewed in part, while in this world. It brings back the sinner, out of himself, to God as his chief end, truly, though not perfectly, Psalm lxxiii. 25. . " Whom have I in heaven but thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee.” Phil. i. 21. « For me to live is Christ.” It makes him to deny himself, and whatever way he turns, to point habitually towards God, who is the center of the gracious soul, its home, its dwelling place in all generations, Psalm xc. 1. By regenerating grace, the will is framed into a conformity to the will of God. It is conformed to his preceptive will, being endued with holy inclinations, agreeable to every one of his commands.' The whole law is impressed on the gracious soul; every part of it is written over on the renewed heart. And although remaining corruption makes such blots in the writing, that oft times the man himself cannot read it; yet he that wrote it, can read it at all times ; it is never quite blotted out, nor can be. What he has written, it shall stand ; “For this is the covenant.--I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts," Heb. viii. 10. And it is a covenant of salt, a perpetual covenant. It is also conformed to his providential will; so that the man will no more be master of his own process, nor carve out his lot for himself. He learns to say from his heart, " The will of the Lord be done, he shall chuse our inheritance for us," Psal. xlvii. 4. Thus the will is disposed to fall in with those things, which, in its depraved state, it could never be reconciled to.
Particularly, (1.) The Lord is reconciled to the covenant of peace. The Lord God promiseth a covenant of peace to sinners; a covenant which he himself hath framed, and registered in the Bible ; but they are not pleased with it; nay, an unrenewed heart cannot be pleased with it. Were it put into their hands, to frame it according to Al was to Christ having taken the heart by storm, and triumphantly entered into it, in regeneration, the soul by faith yields itself to him, as it is expressed, 2 Chron. XXX. 8. Thus this glorious King, who came into thc heart by his Spirit, dwells in it by faith. The soul being drawn, runs; and, being effectually called, comeg.
their mind, they would nini many things out of it, which sering t25 God has put in ; airei Di in niany things which God has gone in kept out. But the Lawen heart is entirely satisfied with Las X the covenant, 2 Sam." .no . He hath made with me aking an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure;this sibi is all my salvation, and all my desire.” Though the cove- Exual's nant could not be brought down to their depraved will; their will is, by grace, brought up to the covenant; they fections are well pleased with it; there is nothing in it they would change have out, nor is any thing left out of it which they would visto have in. (2.) The will is disposed to receive Christ Jesus the the Lord. The soul is content to submit to him. Rege.
e rectific nerating grace undermines, and brings down the towering imaginations of the heart, raised up against its rightful Lord; it breaks the iron sinew, which kept the sinner front bowing to him, and disposed him to be no more stiff necked, but to yield to himself. He is willing to take on the yoke of Christ's.commands, to take up the cross and to
preber los follow him. He is content to take Christ on any terms, Psal. cx. 3. « Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power."
Now, the mind being savingly enlightened and the will renewed, the sinner is thereby determined and enabled to answer the gospel call. Sothe main work in regenerationis done ; the fort of the heart is taken; there is room made for the Lord Jesus Christ, in the innermost parts of the soul; the outer door of the will being now opened to him; as well as the inner door of the understanding. In one word, Christ is passively received into the heart; he is come into the soul by his quickening Spirit, whereby spiritual life is given to the man, who in himself was dead to sin. And his first vital act we may conceive to be an active receiving of Jesus Christ, discerned in his glorious excellencies; that is, a believing on him, a closing with him, as discerned, offered, and exhibited in the word of his grace, the glorious gospel; the immediate effect of which is union with him, John i. 12, 13. “To as many as received him, to them gave he power (or privilège) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." Eph. iii. 7. " That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.”
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Thirdly, In regeneration there is a happy change made on the affections; they are both rectified and regulated.
I. This change rectifies the affections, placing them on suitable objects, 2 Thess. iii. 5. « The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God." The regenerate man's desires are rectified ; they are set on God himself, and the things above. He who before cried with the world, “ Who will shew us any good ?” he changes his note, and says,
Lord lift up the light of thy countenance upon us," Psal. iv. 6. Sometimes he saw no beauty in Christ, for which he was to be desired ; but now he is all desires, he is altogether lovely, Cant. v. 16. The main stream of his desires is turned to run towards God; for there is the one thing he desireth, Psal. xxvii. 4. He desires to be holy, as well as to be happy; and rather to be gracious than great. His hopes, which before were low and staked down to things on earth, are now raised, and set on the glory which is to be revealed. He entertains the hope of eternal life, founded on the word of promise, Tit. i. 2. Which hope he has, as an anchor of the soul, fixing the heart under trials, Heb. vi. 18. And it puts him upon purifying himself, even as God is pure, John iii. 3. For he is begotten again unto a lively hope, 1 Pet. i. 3. His love is raised and set on God himself, Psal. xxvüi. 1. on his holy law, Psal. cxix. 97. Though it strike against his most beloved lust, he says, “ The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good,” Rom. vii. 12. He loves the ordinances of God, Psal. Ixxxiv. I. How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lordof Hosts?” Being passed from death unto life, he loves the brethren, (1 John iii. 14.) the people of God, as they are called, i Pet: i. 10. He loves God for himself, and what is God's, for his sake. Yea, as being a child of God, he loves his own enemies. His heavenly Father is compassionate and benevolent; he maketh the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just, and on the unjust; and, therefore, he is in the like manner disposed, Matth. v. 44, 45. His hatred in turned against sin in himself and others, Psal. ci. 3. “I hate the work of them that turn aside, it shall not cleave to me." He groans under the remains of it, and longs for deliverance, Rom. vii. 24. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” His joys and delights are in God the Lord, in the light of his countenance, in his law, and in his people ; because they are like him. Sin is what he chiefly fears ; it is a fountain of sorrow to him now, though formerly a spring of pleasure.
2. It regulates the affections placed on suitable objects. Our affections, when placed on the creature, are naturally exorbitant; when we joy in it, we are apt to over-joy; and when we sorrow, we are ready to sorrow over-much: But grace bridles these affections, clips their wings, and keeps them within bounds, that they overflow not at all their banks. It makes a man hate his father and mother, and wife, and children, yea, and his own life also, comparatively ; that is, to love them less than he loves God, Luke xiv. 26. It also sanctifies lawful affections; bringing them forth from right principles to right ends. There may be unholy desires after Christ and his grace; as when men desire Christ, not from any love to him, but merely out of love to themselves. Give us of your oil, said the foolish virgins, for our lamps are gone out, Matth. xxv. 8. There may be an unsanctified sorrow for sin; as when one sorroweth for it, not because it is displeasing to God, but only because of the wrath annexed to it, as did Pharaoh, Judas, and others. So a man may love his father and mother from mere natural principles, without any respect to the com-' mand of God binding him thereto. But grace sanctifies the affections in such cases, making them to run in a new channel of love to God, respect to his commands, and regard to his glory. Again, grace screws up the affections where they are too low. It gives the chief seat in them to God; and pulls down all other rivals, whether persons or things, making them lie at his feet, Psalm 1xxiii. 25. " Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none up
on earth that I desire besides thee.” He is loved for himi, self; and other persons or things, for his sake, · What is
lovely in them, to the renewed heart, is some ray of the