Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

11; 1$ INWARD WITNESS TO CHRISTIANITY. [S1:Ri11..1I. nothing that defileth, Rev. xxi. 27. Every inhabitant there is completely averse to all iniquity, and hates every thing that displeases God ; for nothing but perfect obe- dience is found there ; the spirits of the just are there Made perfect, Heb. xii. 23. Now this in a measure and degree is found in believers here, for he that abideth in Christ, sinnethnot, 1 John iii. 6. He cannot sin with a full purpose of heart ; he that is born ofGod cannot sin zcith constancy and greediness, as others do that are only born of flesh and blood; he cannot sin without an in- ward sincere reluctancy, without the combat of the spirit against the flesh; he doth not make a trade of sin, sinning is not his business, his delight, and pleasure. This is a blessed testimony of the truth of the gospel, that faith in the Son of God purifies the heart, Acts xv. 9. Every christian has an aversion to all sin : If he chuses some sins, to continue in them, and hates other iniqui- ties, he can never be said tobe a true believer in Christ, and to have the work of faith in sincerity wrought in his heart. Other religions have professed an aversion to some sins,, but indulged others. Some make cruelty a part of their duty,. and require the sacrificing of mankind to appease the anger of 'their gods; a bloody and impious practice, as well as a vain and fruitless one ! Some forbid murder, but allow and encourage variety of un- cleanness, and make that a. part of their worship. Other professions have forbid wanton practices, and commend- ed chastity; but they indulge resentment. and revenge, as a necessary part of the character of a warrior, or á great man. Carnal and sensual lusts have been opposed and hated by some of the old philosophers, but spiritual iniquities have hereby been promoted.. Pride has. here- by been wonderfully increased, and none of them can excuse themselves from those sins which make men very like Satan, although they are freed from the brutality óf sensual lusts. But the business of the gospel of Christ is to keep men from committing any kind of sins whatsoever. Other religions have changed . one lust for another ; but the religion of Christ forbids all manner of iniquity,