BLTC Press Titles

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The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Some Experiences of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

A discourse on sin in believers. By John Wesley, M.A.

by John Wesley



s crucify him. As little does it imply, That "fin maintains its ufurpation of our hearts." The ufurper is dethroned. He remains indeed where he once reigned; but remains in chains. So that he does in fome fenfe " profecute the war," yet he grows weaker and weaker: while the believer • goes on from ftrength to flrength, conquering and to conquer.

12. "I am not fatisfied vet. He that has fin in him, is a (lave to fin. Therefore you fuppofe a man to be juftified, while he is a flave to fin. Now if you allow, men may be juftified, while they have pride, anger, or unbelief in them; nay, if you aver, Thefe are (at leaft, for a time) in all that are juftified: what wonder that we have fo many proud, angry, unbelieving believers?"

I do not fuppofe any man who is juftified, is a flave to fin. Yet I do fuppofe, fin remains (at leaft for a time) in all that are juftified. "But if fm remains in a believer, he is a finful mat}: if pride, for inftance, then he is proud: if felf will, then he is felf-willed; if unbelief, then he is an unbeliever; confequently, no believer at all. How then does he differ from unbelievers, from unregenerate men?"

This is ftill mere playing upon words. It means no more, than, if there is fin, pride, felf-will in

him, then there is fin, pride, felf.will. And

this no body can deny. In that fenfe then he is •jproud, or felf-willed. But he is not proud or felfwilled willed in the fame fenfe that unbelievers are, that is, governed by pride or lelf-will Herein he differs from unregenerate men. They obey fin, he does not. Flelh i« in ihem both. But they walk after thejlrjh: he walks after the Spirit.

"But how can unbelif be in a believer?" That word has two meanings. Ii means either no faith, or little faith; either the ahfence of faith, or the weaknefs of it. In the former fenfe, unbelief is not in a believer: in the latter, it is in all babes. Their faith is commonly mixt with doubt or fear, that is (in the latter fenfe) with unbelief^ Why are yejear Jul;fays our Lord, 0 ye of little faith. Again, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didjl thou doubt? You fee here was unbelief in believers? little faith and much unbelief.

13. "But this do&rine, That fin remains in a believer, That a man may be in the favour of God, while he has" fin in his heart, certainly tends to encourage men in fin." Underiiand the proportion right, and no fuch confequt•nce follows. A man may be in God's favour though he feel fin; but not if he yields to it. Having fin does not forfeit the favour of God; giving way to fin .does Though the flefh in you lufl againfi the Spirit, you may ftill be a child of God. But if you walk after thefe/h, you are a child of the devil. Now this dociiine does not encourage to they fin, but to refill it with 3II your might.

V. 1. The ( •■ )

..v r

V. l. The fum of all is this. There are i* every perfon, even after he is juflified, two contrary principles, nature and grace, termed by St. Paul, the flejh and the Spirit. Hence although even babes in Chrifl axejantlijied, yet it is only in part. In a degree, according to the meafure of theii faith, they are fpiritual: yet in a degree they are carnal. Accordingly, believers are continually exhorted to watch againft the flelh, as well as the world and the devil. And to this agrees the conftant experience of the children of God. While they feel this witnefs in themfelves, ..p. they feel a will not wholly refigned to the will of God. They know they are in him, and yet find a heart ready to depart from him, a pronenefs to evil in many inflances, and a backwardnefs to that which is good. The contrary doflrine is wholly new: never heard of in the church of Chrift, from the time of his coming into the world, till the timet)f Count Zinzendorf. And it is attended with the moil fatal confequences. It cutsoffall watching againft our evil nature, againft the Delilah, which we are told is gone, though fhe is ftill lying in our bofom. It tears away the fliield of weak believers, deprives them of their faith, and fo leaves them expofed to all the affaults of the world, the flefh and the devil.

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