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The Peculiar Spirit of Christians.

The Peculiar Spirit of Christians.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


I. CORINTHIANS ii. 12.

Now wc have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that wt might know the things that are freely given to
us of God.
BY NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.


I. CORINTHIANS ii. 12.

Now wc have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit
which is of God; that wt might know the things that are freely given to
us of God.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 29, 2013
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06/30/2014

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THE PECULIAR SPIRIT OF CHRISTIAS.BY ATHAAEL EMMOS, D. D.I. CORITHIAS ii. 12.ow wc have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spiritwhich is of God; that wt might know the things that are freely given tous of God.It seems to be generally supposed, that experimen-tal religion is something very mysterious and unintel-ligible. There was a sect of christians in the thirdcentury who called themselves Mysticks. They main-tained, that the bible is a mystical book, and oughtto be understood and explained in a mystical, and notin a literal sense. This opinion has never since beenentirely exploded. The serious and devout WilliamLaw, who wrote excellently on christian perfection,and several other subjects, finally died a Mystick.There is something of a mystical nature to be dis-covered in many of the old divines, who wrote uponexperimental religion, under the title of the mysteryof godliness, and the mystery of sanctification. Evennow we often meet with the phrases, the mysteries of the gospel, the mysteries of religion, and the mysteriesof our holy religion. The phrases sound so scriptu-rally, that they are generally well received, thoughseldom understood. And it must be allowed, that thesacred writers use so many figures, metaphors, simili-tudes, and parables, that it does seem at first view,as though the doctrines and spirit of the gospel werein some measure mystical. At least, this idea seemsto be suggested by the Apostle's mode of speaking inthe text. " ow we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God ; that we
 
SERMO XVIII. 291might know the things that are freely given to us of God." The plain import of these words is,That God has given christians a peculiar spirit, bywhich they have a peculiar knowledge of divine things.I shall endeavour to describe,I. The peculiar spirit which God has given to chris-tians ; and,II. Show that this peculiar spirit does give them apeculiar knowledge of divine things.1. I am to describe the peculiar spirit which Godhas given to christians.By a spirit peculiar to christians is meant a spirit,which no other men possess. This is evidently whatthe Apostle means by saying, " now we have received,not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God." God has given christians a spirit, which he hasnot given to the world, and which is directly oppositeto the spirit of the world. If, then, we can ascertainwhat the spirit of the world is, we may ascertain whatthe spirit of God is, which he has given to christians.The spirit of the world is that spirit, which is commonto mankind in general, and which governs all theirconduct so long as they continue in a state of nature.It is the spirit of the prince of the power of the air.Or to speak in plainer terms, it is a selfish spirit, whichleads men to seek their own private, separate interest,in opposition to the glory of God and the general goodof the universe. Selfishness reigns in the hearts of themen of the world, and is the essence of all the moralevil that overspreads the earth. But the apostle tellsus, that God has given christians a spirit, which is dia-metrically opposite to \he spirit of the world ; and this
 
must certainly be the spirit of benevolence. There arebut two kinds of moral exercises, which are diametri-cally opposite to each other, in moral beings. Theseare benevolent and selfish exercises. They all possesseither a spirit of benevolence, or a spirit of selfishness,and are either holy, or unholy, accordingly as theypossess the one, or the other of these essentially dif-ferent exercises of heart. And if we now search the292 SERMO xvin.scriptures, we shall find, that the spirit which Godgives, when he renews and sanctifies men, is the spiritof benevolence, which is the moral image of the Deity.Our Saviour says, " except a man be born again, hecannot see the kingdom of God." And the reason is," that which is born of the flesh is flesh ; and that whichis born of the spirit is spirit.'''' And that spirit, whichis the fruit of the spirit is love. So says the apostleJohn. " Love is of God, and every one that loveth isborn of God.'''' When God regenerates any person, hesheds abroad his love in his heart. He gives him anheart after his own heart, which is an heart of love.When God foretold his purpose of renewing the heartsof his people in Babylon, who were pining away intheir iniquities, he promised to give them a new, ten-der, benevolent heart. " A new heart will I give you,and a new spirit will I put within you : and I will takeaway the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will giveyou an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit withinyou." When God renews men in the spirit of theirminds, he forms their hearts after his own moral image ;and his own moral image is love., which comprises allhis moral perfections. The spirit which is of God, isa Godlike spirit, or a spirit of pure, disinterested love;which is the essence of all virtue or moral excellence,and which is perfectly opposed to the spirit of theworld. This spirit of universal benevolence, is so pe-

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