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

SER94. IV.1 VLE$H ANI) SPIRÍ2', &C. S thod that I am capable of, 1 would derive some remarks for our information and practice. Remark I. We may hence derive a rule of judgment concerning our own state, and find whether we have any principle of holiness in our hearts or no, or whether we are yet in the flesh, and in a state of sin. We may draw an easy answer to these questions, by making an inward enquiry into ourselves, according to the three descriptions of flesh and spirit. First, What are our chief aims and desires ? Are they bent to gratify the appetites of the flesh, and set upon sensual enjoyments ? Or dowe seek and pursue spiritual and eternal things, as our most valuable and lovely por- tion? What is our chief treasure? Where are our hearts and our hopes? Are they wandering amongst heaps of gold and silver, roving over fair ad large es- tates, entertaining themselves with gay clothing, ho- nours and vanities ? Or are they pointing upwards, and directed towards God, the first and best of beings ; and fixed on the blessedness of the spiritual world ? Is our chief concern to make provision for the flesh and this life, or to secure an inheritance for our souls among the in- corruptible glories of the upper world ? What is it that sits highest in our esteem, and awakens our warmest af- fections and brightest joys ? Is it God or the creature, heaven or earth, things fleshly or invisible ? Let consci- ence be faithful, and answer to such enquiries. Again, Let us ask ourselves, have we nothingwithin us but what was derived from nature and the flesh ? or do we find ourselves enriched with divine graces by the influence of the Holy Spirit? Are we the same sort of creatures that we were born? or have we had a mighty change wrought in us, so that we can find in ourselves that we are born again, born of the spirit ? Have we new love and new hatred, new designs and pursuits, new joys and sorrows? or are the affections of our souls the same that we brought into the world with us, and en- gaged chiefly about the affairs of this body, and this tem= poral life? Let us enquire, in the third place, whether there be any opposition made by our spirits against fleshly passions and appetites ? Let every one of us ask our souls, What inward conflict do I find in myself? Do I cömply with VOL. I