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

66 FLESH AND SLIRST, &C, ESERM. Iv. all the sinful tendencies of fleshly nature, or do I main- tain a continual resistance? Is there a combat, and, as it were, a duel within me, when temptations present themselves? or am I easily led away, and yield to sin naturally, without any reluctance ? Do I find my flesh and spirit at war within me, when any sensual allure- ments appear ? or do I yield up all my powers as ser- vants to sin, and comply with the lusts of the flesh, with á hearty delight ? Am I like a dead fish carried down with the stream of my appetites and passions, and make no pretences to oppose the vicious current ? If upon this enquiry I find that the flesh is sovereign, and the spirit never opposes it, I may pronounce myself then to be in the flesh, in the most significant and complete manner: then I have nothing but flesh in me, and my soul is, as it were, carnalized, and deep immersed in the fleshly life. I confess there may be some sort of opposition made to fleshly lusts, where there is no renewed nature, no saving grace, no true principle of holiness, such as is described by the spirit in my text. Many a youth re- sists his inclination to a drinking hour, or unclean ini- quities, by the 'mere force of his education, by the awful regard he has to his parents, by a fear of injury to his health, or of public shame or scandal. Many a wicked roan refuses to complywith his corrupt appetites, be- cause he cannot bear the anguish of his own conscience, and the sharp reproaches of his reason and betterjudg- ment. And many a guilty passion is restrained and suppressed, from a natural fear of the justice of God, and an everlasting hell, without any inward principle of real piety. It is not every, resistance therefore that we make and maintain against sin, can be a sufficient evidence that we are new creatures, unless we can say with St. Paul, Rom. vii. 22. Idelight in the law o fGodafter the inwardman ; that my soul not only approves, but takes pleasure in holiness; that sin is the object of my utter hatred, as well as my present resistance ; and that not only as it promotes my own ruin, but as it brings'dishonour, to God : that myvery heart and soul are set for Gad and religion, and it is a grief and daily burden to me, that ,there should be any such thing as a law in my members