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love his own; but because ye are not of the spirit of the world, and I have chosen you out of the spirit of the world, therefore the spirit of the world hateth you."
St. Paul's words explain the same, and that those
to whom the promises were made were born of the Gal. iv. 28. spirit of God; “ Now we, brethren, as Isaac was,
are the children of promise : but as then, he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now."
Now, the object of our Saviour in calling St. Paul Acts xxvi. 17. to the ministry was, “ delivering thee from the peo
ple and from the gentiles, to whom I now send thee; to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto
God.” And after he had received the grace of the 2 Cor. iv. 3. Holy Spirit of God, he declares, “ if our gospel be
hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the
god of this world hath blinded the minds of them 1 Cor. ii. 12. that believe not.” And explains, “ Now we have
received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God: which things also we speak, not in the words which men's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
And St. Peter, speaking of the natural man, says, They are as natural brute beasts, made to be 2 Pet. ii. 12. taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.” The Epistle of Jude also accords with it.
“ But Jude 10. these (the unregenerate) speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”
We therefore find the Scriptures accord, in explaining the nature of the two characters of mankind, as we see them in the world : namely, man in his degenerate or malignant state, from the fall of Adam; and man in his regenerate state, by the Holy Spirit of God, through our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. That it is by the souls of the former being of the base nature of the passions, they cannot comprehend the Scriptures : whilst the latter do comprehend them, by their souls being of the Holy Spirit of God, that discerns the truth of its own knowledge.
Now to discern these two characters of mankind, our Saviour said to his disciples, “ Ye shall know them by their fruits.” In our ordinary judgment of mankind, however, we only look at those actions, to know them, which mediately or immediately affect the order of civil society; but in the actions here referred to, we are taught to discern the difference of spirits, that we may not be led astray by a
doctrine inconsistent with the light of the New Testament; or, in the words of St. Paul, “ comparing spiritual things with spiritual,” which alone influence the human frame.
We know, from experience, that the passions are ever present with all of us; and not only in ourselves, but are likewise perceived in the animal creation; and the revelations already given, answer the question in our introduction. May we not be allowed to suppose the malignant passions to proceed from one power, as they are equally perceived in man and brutes, acting by the same laws, in proportion to their influence over them?
The Scriptures throughout do answer this ques1 John v.19. tion, but St. John directly.
“ We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lieth in" the
spirit of “wickedness.” And to put us on our guard Joh n iv. 1. against that “ wicked one,” he says, “ Try the
spirits whether they be of God,” and adds, “hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God.” “ Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
Again, “ He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
Again, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever doeth
1 John iv, 6.
1 John ii. 6.
1 John üi. 10.
not righteousness, is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” *
Again, “ All unrighteousness is sin, and he that 1 John v. 17. committeth sin, is of the devil.” Again, “ Love 1 John iii. 8. not the world, neither the things that are of the world: if any man love the world, the love of the 1 John ii. 15. Father is not in him. For all that is in” the spirit of “ the world, is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; which is not of” the spirit of “the Father, but is of” the spirit of “the world: and the” spirit of the “world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever.”
Now St. Paul explains what actions constitute the lusts of the flesh, here called “the world which passeth away;" and they comprehend every word in the Scriptures that signifies evil: and our own experience informs us, that they are those actions,
* Our Saviour explained who were his brethren, when they told him that his mother and his brethren“ stood without, desiring to speak to him."
But he answered and said unto him, Who is Matt. xii. 48. my mother ? and who are my brethren ? And he stretched forth his hand towards his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother !” And that his mother did the will of his Father in heaven his words do testify, previous to his death on the cross. « Now, John xix. 25. there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene; when Jesus, therefore, saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved ; he saith unto his mother: Woman, behold thy son! Then said he to his disciple, Behold thy mother !"
caused by the passions in their various shapes, that are totally inconsistent with the purity of the Spirit of God. At the same time, bitter experience must assure all of us, that every mind is beset by them, and the very best they occasionally influence in thought, or action, to disobey the commandments
of God: and, therefore, every one must be sensiRom. iii. 23. ble, that “all have sinned, and come short of the
glory of God.”
The same temptations and infirmities by the
passions, the servants of the Lord were equally Acts xiv. 15. subject to, as they declare, “We also are men of James v. 17. like passions with you.” And St. James says “ Elias
was a man subject to like passions as we are.” And Rom. vii. 5. St. Paul observes, “When we were in the flesh, the
motions * of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”
We may now substitute the word passions for that of“ flesh,” in reading the epistle of St. Paul to the Galatians. “ Brethren, ye have been called into liberty in the Spirit of God, from the bondage and slavery of the passions; only use not liberty for an occasion to the passions, but by love serve one another,” in the Spirit of the Lord : “ for all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this—Thou
Gal. v. 13.
* In the marginal translation, it it passions, but literally passions of sin, in the Scripture Greek (wherein the genitive case of the substantive is often put for the adjective) sinful passions or lusts. See Mr. Locke's note on this passage of his paraphrase : and also the word “ Passion” in Cruden's Concordance.