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A Sermon on Romans Viii. 14.

A Sermon on Romans Viii. 14.

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For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons

of God.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons

of God.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A SERMO O ROMAS VIII. 14.BY ROBERT SOUTH, D.D.For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sonsof God.HERE is that known averseness in the nature of man (asnow it stands) to all acts of virtue, (especially such as areof an higher strain,) and withal that deplorable impotence andinability to go through with them, whensoever it undertakesthem, that not only in the Christian, but also in all otherreligions, men have found it necessary, in every great action,to engage some other agent and principle besides the manhimself. So that amongst the heathens, who acknowledged aplurality of gods, you will hardly find any noble or heroicachievement done by any of them, but you will find some one orother of their gods made a coadjutor in the case. Thus Homerbrings in Diomedes and Ulysses assisted by Mars and Pallas,(one notable for acts of valour, and the other for those of counsel and wisdom ;) and the like is said of many others.All which was but a kind of tacit acknowledgment of thatweakness and decay upon man's nature, which has been eversince the fidl. For they found, it seems, within themselves anDigitized by VjOOQ IC230 Enthusiasts, not led by the Spirit of God. [Serm. 55.experience of the thing itself^ though they could give noaccount of its cause. And accordingly^ being ignorant of thesource of the malady, it could not be expected but that theyshould be as much out in the remedies they applied for relief 
against it. Only thus much is deducible from the wholematter, that they clearly saw themselves concerned to do manyworthy thmgs, which they found themselves wholly unable todo without the help of divine power, or at least some powermuch superior to their own.ow what these ignorant heathens blundered about, touch-ing this great debilitation of human nature to great and goodactions, (a thing owned and agreed to by the common expe-rience of the most considering part oi mankind,) having beenfirst taught the world (though more obscurely) by Moses, hasbeen since more fully and clearly declared to the Christianchurch (and that above all Pelagian or Socinian oppositionwhatsoever) by our blessed Saviour himself. For as thebooks of Moses and of the prophets do assure us, that manwas at the first created perfect in all his faculties, and strongin his inclinations to good ; and that by the fidl of our firstparents the entireness of these perfections was lost, both tothemselves and to their posterity ; so the gospel (like a tabulapost naufragium) informs us, that the great design of theRedeemer of the world was to repair these sad breaches madeupon man's nature ; (so &r as it was necessary to the grandpurposes of man's salvation ;) and that to effect this, (amongstother things which he purchased of his Father by his merito-rious death,) he procured the assistance and abode of hisSpirit to be in us, as it is in John xiv. 17 ; and to dweB in us,Rom. viii. 9 ; and to help our infirmities, as in Bom. viii. 526 ;and, in a word, to lecui us into aU truth, in John xvi. IS ; andso to be, as it were, an universal assisting genius more or lessto all mankind.It being clear, therefore, firom these and the like places of scripture, that the Spirit of God, in some degree, leads andhelps all men, though more eminently and peculiarly some;I shall cast the prosecution of the words under these fourheads. As,1. 1 shall shew how the Spirit is said to be in men.
Digitized by VjOOQ ICRoH. yiii. 14.] EnthuaitudSy not led by the Spirit of Ood, 281n. I Bhall Bhew how men are led by the Spirit.UI. I shall shew what is here meant by being the sons of God.IV. And lastly, I shall gather some conclu^ons by way of use and information from the whole. And first.For the first of these. The Spirit may be said to be in mentwo ways.I. Substantially, as he is God filling all things; and byreason of the infinity and indivisibility of his nature, beingwholly every where and in every thing. For his nature beinginfinite, he can be excluded from no place or thing whatso-ever ; and being also indivisible, wheresoever he is, he is andmust be totaUy. Forasmuch as his simplicity and indivisi-bility render him without parts or quantity ; the only thingsthat make a being so present to a place by one of its parts, asnot to be present to the same place at the same time byanother. And according to this sense the jSpirit of God isequally in all men, and indeed in all things, and that essenti-aUy and necessarily by the omnipresence and unlimited ex-pansion of his divine nature. And therefore this cannot bethe thing we are now inquiring after.% The Spirit may be said to be in men, in respect of theefiTects he produces in them. And thus God is said to be inheaven, and sometimes in one place more than in another,because of some notable operation which he exerts in that placeand not in another. In like manner the Spirit of God is saidto be in that man, whom, by any immediate impulse ormotion, he causes to do a thing ; or in whom he creates those

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