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blessed for ever be the dear Redeemer, who knows whereof we are made; who knows the weakness of human nature, and confessed it; though his body and soul were perfectly free and pure from that sin and corruption that we feel, yet he complained that the spirit was truly willing, but the flesh was weak.

The faithfulness of the Saviour appears wonderful in the repeated deliverances of Prodigalis. Well might Eliphaz tell Job that God would deliver him in six troubles, yea in seven no evil should touch him, Job v. 19. Prodigalis is a living witness of the delivering hand of God, and must be well acquainted with the blessed Saviour, especially in his glorious office as an Advocate.

Cushi. Yes, the office of Christ as an Advocate is precious to Prodigalis, and to other poor tempted souls, who lay under the accusations of Satan; indeed every poor sinner has three to accuse him; sometimes his sins cry with an accusing voice, as the sins of Sodom are said to do, Gen. xviii. 20, 21. Conscience also will often accuse him, live how he may; and Satan will accuse him right or wrong; but, blessed be God, "we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins ;" and I believe it is not an easy matter for Satan to get the ear of God the Father against us, because he has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ; this Prodigalis found by blessed experience, therefore he continually looks to and calls on his Advocate

every time he feels an accusation; he sees the need of Jesus Christ in every office character that he sustains, and is very wise in eying the Saviour in them according to the various trials that he passes through.

Ahimaaz. And pray how did Prodigalis manage that text that Satan so often buffeted him with; namely, "Whosoever is born of God sinneth not;” that is a very mysterious text; did he ever make it out; John says, that "if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us;" and James says, "In many things we offend all;" and Solomon declares "there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not;" and yet John says, "Whosoever is born of God sinneth not." Some say, it means that a just man doth not serve sin, and that he doth not sin with the full consent of his will, as an unregenerate man doth.

Cushi. That is a poor comment. Jonah sinned with the full consent of his will when he chose a voyage to Joppa, rather than a walk to Nineveh. Paul says, “With the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." The dreadful evil that Adam contracted by his fall, and which is propagated to us by natural generation, is called the old man, even in regenerate persons. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh," and will never be mended; it will retain its own devilish nature, devilish motions, and desperate

strugglings for mastery, even in the best of men, as may be seen in Paul's complaint in the seventh to the Romans. This is called the old man; and, like a desperate criminal under sentence, it will oppose that grace that reigns over it; insomuch, that when the believer would do good, evil is present with him; and how to perform that which is good he finds not; it is as binding as a law, and as furious as an hero; "I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind," Rom. vii. 23.

This being the case, John says, "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us;" while, on the other hand, all the fruits of the Spirit, which is the whole of grace wrought in the soul by the Spirit, is said to be born of God. Life makes us issues from death, Psalm lxviii. 20; light makes us children of light; faith is said to be born of God, and to overcome the world; to a lively hope we are said to be begotten; and all these things being promised in the word, the word is called the incorruptible seed, that lives and abides for ever; the Holy Spirit applying the word and all promised grace, from Christ's fulness, promised to us in the word. This new man sins not: and love, which is the principal thing in this new man, is called charity, which thinketh no evil, nor can it do any. John was not without sin, nor without committing it, for no man is exempt, as he owns; "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and

just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Now, a believer being denominated a new creature, because of the new man that is in him, he is said also not to sin, because the leading faculties of his soul are against it: I would do good, and with my mind I serve the law of God. Now, as my will is bent upon good, and thus to will is always present with me; and my mind is likewise engaged in this service, for with the mind I serve the law of God: but when I would do good evil is present; and how to perform what I will, I find not; for this, law in my members wars against the law of my mind, and brings me into captivity; so that, against my renewed will, against my purified mind, yea, and against divine love that dwells in me, I sin. What I hate, that do I; what I would not, that I do; and what I would, that do I not: therefore it is no more I, but sin that dwelleth in me. That which is born of the spirit is spirit, and will never be otherwise; and that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and will be always the same; grace will be grace, and sin will be sin. With the mind we shall ever serve the law of God, and with the flesh the law of sin.

Ahimaaz. I believe that to be the real meaning of the text, because it harmonizes with other parts of God's word; and for my part I am satisfied with your thoughts on it; and I take it for granted, that it was made out in that way to poor Prodigalis.

Cushi. It was; and therefore the devil never offered to give him another lecture on that subject, when he found that he understood its meaning. Satan works chiefly in the dark with God's people; when they are in dark frames, then he comes boldly; but when the rays of God shine upon them, he stands at a distance, he hates the light with perfect hatred.

Ahimaaz. O what a great salvation are we saved with! What potent and subtil enemies have poor believers got to grapple with! And what need is there of being fervent in spirit, and diligent in the means of grace, which God hath appointed for our growth and encouragement! Pray how does Prodigalis go on now?

Cushi. He goes on as most of the Lord's people do, I believe. Sometimes he is up, and sometimes down; sometimes in the light, and sometimes in the dark. He often complains of his wicked heart, and of the weakness of his faith; his short-lived joys, and long-lived corruptions; but against hope he still believes in hope; and says, that he shall neither believe nor hope in vain. Satan cannot dispute him out of his sonship, nor buffet him with the word of God, as he formerly has done, on account of the corruptions of his own heart. For he says there is not a corruption that he groans under, but what he can find some saints in the word of God that have groaned under the same; and while he is in

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