[this is the first chapter from a 400+ pg. volume]
AND ILLUSTRATIONS OP
AND ILLUSTRATIONS OP
Outlines of Solutions to critical Questions in Theology :
PULILLCLY DISCUSSED BY
W. W. HORNE,
at Hcphzibah Chapel, Three Colt Street, Limehouse.
No. [ I.] SATURDAY, JANUARY Π, 1824. [Price 2d
PULILLCLY DISCUSSED BY
W. W. HORNE,
at Hcphzibah Chapel, Three Colt Street, Limehouse.
No. [ I.] SATURDAY, JANUARY Π, 1824. [Price 2d
Λt issuing this little work from the press, the religious public ought to be informed, that a Meeting is held, every Monday Evening, at, the above chapel, denominated a QUESTION MEETING; at which any theological question, proposed with a desire of receiving information or consolation, is discussed by the Author; and as those discussions have been graciously blessed of God, with a view of rendering them more extensively useful, Mr. Home complies with the request of his friends, to print the OUTLINES of each answer, that they may peruse in epitome, what they heard more largely in public: and that others, who have not an opportunity of hearing may be benefitted by reading what the Author wishes to be considered but outlines of his Monday Evening addresses.
It is hoped that sufficient encouragement will be given, to ensure a continuation of the Work, at least through the ensuing year; which will then make a handsome volume, of upwards of 400 pages.
A Number will be regularly published every Saturday by W. DAY, 17, GOSWELL STREET.
Limehouse, MONDAY, JAN. 12, 1824.
How the painful experience of the Christian, who feels the prevalence of sin with in him, and sometimes, is outwardly overcome with temptation, agrees with the following portions of God's word ? "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted, above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also maka a way for your escape." (1 Cor. 10: 13.) Sin shall not have dominion over you." (Rom. 6: 14.)
The question is rendered more particularly important and engaging, by comprising the doubts and fears of babes in grace, as well as the established believer's painful exercises of mind, under a sense of sin that dwelleth in him And I feel peculiarly happy that I am called upon to treat on a subject in which I not only enjoy a sense of interest myself, but am animated with an hope that your best interests will be promoted, and your spiritual happiness increased, by a scriptural illustration of that doctrine, which so few, even of the children of God, comprehend, and through their ignorance of which, they are kept in bondage and distress, prisoners to their soul-discouraging doubts and fears !— The doctrine of the two natures in a regenerated soul; the flesh and the spirit, which maintain perpetual hostility. Through the want of an establishment in this great and undeniable truth, I am persuaded hundreds of precious souls are unacquainted with the spiritual state of their minds — and feeling indwelling sin, are taking up the question and asking, how can my painful experience agree with the promise, "Sin shall not have dominion over you."
There are two words in the portions of scripture which the question contains, that we must make powerfully emphatic, to shew that they are harmoniously consonant with the painful sensations lamented by the querist.
1. Sin, shall not have dominion.
Sin, which has marred the beautiful creation of God, ruined the whole human race, "brought death into the world and all our woes' and deluged the earth with floods of misery! Sin, detestable sin: which, as a thick cloudy has blackened the rational atmosphere, with the darkness of ignorance, (Isaiah 44:22.) and brought thousands of its miserable vassals to eternal perdition!
This horrible monster, dear Christians! against which we feel an inexpressible indignation, shall not have dominion over us: though it " dwells within us;" for grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life !
2. Sin, the plague of God's people, their worst enemy; their most painful trouble, their most direful disease; — Which they lamentingly acknowledge; for the Holy Spirit has given them life to feel it — light to behold its hateful colours, and deceptive operations; and love to Christ, to hate it with the most perfect implacability, and to groan beneath its burden, before the gracious throne, with groaning’s which cannot be uttered. (Rom 8: 26.)
Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, could bear all other things, for the elect's sake, and endure all other sufferings, with patience peculiar to faith, and with an heroism peculiar to a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, oh! When sin, indwelling sin, made incursions on his spiritual enjoyments, and waged war with the law of his mind, he with self-indignation, pronounced himself a very wretch! (Rom. 7: 24.) He could cheerfully bear any thing but SIN! The same principle of true heaven-descended, holiness, pervades the immortal powers of all the family of God! This is the genuine sanctification of the Holy Spirit, not purifying carnal nature and making it a little better; but acting counter to all its hateful operations, and declaring eternal war against it!
How often alas! are the children of God brought to write bitter things against themselves, when the Holy Spirit has thus given them a view of their own vileness !
And are led to conclude that this foul murderer of their comforts; this loathsome disease of the human heart, has dominion over them; hence the question now before us.
But it shall not have dominion over you.
It has dominion over all, except God's children—" For we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." (1 John 5: 19.) Whosoever committeth sin δουλος εστιν της αμαρτιας ) is the bond-slave of sin. (John viii. 34.) A carnal man could as soon create a new world, as deliver himself from sin! How glorious then the deliverance of a believer by the Lord Jesus Christ!
But let it be remarked
1. That it is not said sin shall not dwell in you: for it does in all believers; as it did in Paul (Rom. 7: 17.) “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1: 8.)
2. Neither does it say, that the child of God cannot sin: But on the contrary, John addresses believers, as those who are liable to sin : — " My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not ; but if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (1 John 2: 1.)
3. Yet let it be observed, if the believer should be "outwardly overcome with temptation," as the question states —he is overtaken in a fault, but cannot maintain a practical course of outward sin — for what a difference between being overcome, overtaken, and knocked down by sin, as by a thief, and persevering in an evil and reprobate conduct, with a seared conscience!
4. The believer is in his carnal nature, no better than an unbeliever Nature is not sanctified — Grace does not eradicate sin. The work of regeneration is a work of im-maculate holiness, distinct from, and opposite to, corrupt nature, maintaining perpetual hostility against it, and counteracts its innate viciosity. Or why the following particular descriptions of carnal nature?
1. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit. (Gal. 5: 17) — Consequently is not in a sanctified conformity to it; for " the ONE is contrary to the OTHER."
2. A body of death — (Rom. 7: 24). There is no diminution in the old man of sin: he has undergone no amputation; he has not lost an atom of his corruptible body.
3. The old man who is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. (Eph. 4: 22). In contradistinction to the new man, the hidden man of the heart.
4. Lust. "The Spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy. Hence the abundance of malice, and calumny in the world; and sometimes it is to be lamented, enters the church of the living God — but James adds most delightfully, “He giveth more grace." (James 4: 5, 6). What an infinite mercy! or we had, ere now, been consumed of our lusts !
5. The law of sin in our members, warring against the law of our minds. (Rom. 8: 23.)
6. The carnal mind, enmity against God. (Rom. 8: 7.) Hence all the believer's rebellion against the divine will.
And were it not that believers are naturally carnal, sold under sin, why the following exhortations? " Put off the old man — mortify the deeds of the body — Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God — lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth most easily beset you" — with a great variety of others, all which loudly proclaim, and indubitably prove, that carnal nature, is so far from being sanctified, that it still remains hostile to the work of the Spirit in a believer, and is " earthly, sensual and devilish."
But glory to God that he hath lifted up a standard against sin, in creating us new creatures in Christ Jesus, and that the new and hidden man shall never, for a mo- ment, be under its dominion: for he is
1. The Spirit of Christ. (Rom. 8: 9).
2. The workmanship of God created in Christ Jesus unto good works. (Eph. 2: 10).
3. God's pure seed, sown in the heart. (1 John 3: 9).
4. The kingdom within us. (Rom. 14: 17).
5. The love of God shed abroad in the heart. (Rom. 5: 5).
6. The word of Christ dwelling in us richly. (Col. 3: 16).
7. Christ in us the hope of glory. (Col. 1: 27).
And when all these can be completely conquered by sin, then, and not till then, shall a believer live under its dominion.
While the new man continues to fight against sin, it has no dominion over him. Two armies contending in the field of battle, have neither the dominion till one is completely conquered. Thus the new man, though frequently wounded, and dejected, is still " striving against sin and consequently is not under its lordship, or dominion — for the Lord makes out a way for his ESCAPE if it be but " with the skin of his teeth," and though victory often hangs in doubtful scale,
“Yet Jesus has his promise past, That grace shall overcome at last,''
And we more than conquerors through him who hath loved us.
The apostle, renders a most delightful and satisfactory reason why sin shall not have the dominion — " For ye are not under the law, but under grace "
1. Not under either the curse or command of the law.
Christ by his active obedience, completely fulfilled its
commands, in behalf of his people, and by his unparalleled sufferings bore the curse, the full penalty due to all their sins ! Hence, as his redeemed sheep, they shall never perish (John 10: 28.) being already presented unto his Father, without" spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." (Eph. 5: 25).
2. But we are entirely under grace : serving not in the oldness of the letter, but in newness of Spirit. (Rom 7: 6). Dead, totally dead to the law, by the body of Christ, married unto him, that we should bring forth fruits unto God.
3. Under grace's influence we are actuated by the best, the most noble motives, to serve the true and living God. Working, not with terror, under the ministration of death and condemnation for life ; but under the ministration of life and righteousness, we obey from the heart; possessing, even while below, Eternal Life, through a knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 17: 3.)
4. We serve then under grace's quickening administration, not to appease Divine wrath, but because the Lord hath declared — "Fury is not in me, (Isaiah 27: 4.) My anger is turned away," (Isaiah 12: 1). "I have loved thee with everlasting love." (Jer.
31: 3.) Our service is perfect freedom — from the most noble principle of love : we dwell in love, and therefore, dwell in God, and God in us : by shedding abroad his love in our hearts.
5. We, under the covenant of grace enjoy the smiles, and all the especial blessings of the Father (Eph. 1: 3.) and rejoicingly pronounce, with the sweetest gratitude, blessings on his name ! — These blessings are treasured up in Jesus (Psa. 68: 18.) and are communicated to our regenerated souls by the Holy Comforter. (John 14: 26.)
6. Under the government of grace, Christ the great fountain of grace is our LAWGIVER ; not as Moses, who " verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, but Christ, as a son over his own house ; whose house are we." (Heb. 3: 5,6.) The government of which is laid upon his shoulders, (Isa. 9: 6) who will, by the power of his lore, possess our hearts; that our obedience may be voluntary, affectionate, and without slavish fear.
7. As grace is eternal, omnipotent and all-conquering, it will never give up its legitimate subjects : therefore we are confident we shall never perish but inherit eternal life.
The Querist then, may rest abundantly satisfied, that though “he feels the prevalence of sin within him, and an exposure to temptations without," that his experience is not, in the least, discordant with the scriptures, which we have had under consideration.
Suffer me to conclude by observing, that this doctrine of the TWO NATURES in a believer, gives all the glory to God alone. While the Arminian boats of sinless per-fection, and the modern Calvinist, that his flesh is sanctified in part, and that he is growing more holy in himself every day, the humble acknowledgment of the really obedient to Christ is; I KNOW THAT IN ME (THAT IS IN MY FLESH) DWELLETH NO GOOD THING. (Rom. 7: 18.) while the hidden man of his heart; the incorruptably new creation of the Holy Spirit rejoices in Christ Jesus and has no confidence in the flesh ; and sings, as he walks by faith in the King's high way of holiness, " Not unto us Ο Lord, not unto us, but to thy name be the glory !"
This doctrine of the two natures in a believer, is also alone calculated to encourage sinners, who know the plague of their hearts, to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; for while they labor under the awful delusion of fancying that they possess something inherently good, wherewith they may approach God, they will never look unto the "blood that cleanses from all sin;" nor cry, "Lead me to the rock that his higher than myself." But when assured, that in themselves dwelleth no good thing, and that the Lord never expects to gather the grapes of righteousness, off the thorns of indwelling corruptions, nor the figs of sanctification, off thistles of fleshly pretensions to purity, they come, led by the Holy Spirit, in God's own appointed way, as sinners, "sensibly " stout-hearted, and far from righteousness," entreating him, that he would bring near his righteousness, nor suffer his salvation long to tarry — for they are assured, salvation is of the Lord, and that his blessing is only on his people : that it is " not of works, least any man should boast," Ο how glad are they to hear of the omnipotent work of the Holy Spirit — that it is he who begins, and carries on the work of grace in their hearts — that it is not intermixed with their carnal passions — but a distinct and perfect work of holiness, leading a sinner with the most holy faith, to look unto a COMPLETE CHRIST, for everlasting righteousness and strength. It also strengthens the faith, reanimates the hope, and encourages the soul of a tried believer, amidst all his temptations, and spiritual conflict with sin and unbelief; for vile in himself, he is holy in Christ — and lost in himself, he has in Jesus, an everlasting salvation ! — Thus he sinks in himself into the deepest humiliation, while he ascends towards God with an holy confidence in Jesus, who is
made unto him wisdom, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: that according as it is written, 'He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord." — (1 Cor. 1: 30.)
FOR NEXT MONDAY EVENING. Was the human nature of Christ mortal or immortal ?
The Meeting commences precisely at 7 o'clock, and concludes about 9.
W. DAY, L'lmur, 17, Goswell Street.