The Coalheaver's Scraps
Paul's Law in His Members Considered
In a Letter to the Rev. J. Jenkins.
"But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind." - Rom. vii. 23.
My dearly beloved and faithful brother in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Son of the Father in truth and love:
I HAVE of late come to some little degree of certainty, and satisfaction to myself, about this law in Paul's members, and the nature of its warrings. The contents of my private thoughts in hints, scraps, and fragments, I here send to my venerable and dearly beloved friend and fellow-labourer.
It was true in the days of old, and it is a present truth, that "Love is of God," 1 John, iv. 7; and he that loveth is a partaker of the incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever, I Pet. i. 23. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him," 1 John, iii. 9. This, my beloved friend, is that charity that never faileth, 1 Cor. xiii. 8; it passeth into heaven with every child of God, and is expressly called the love of God, in contradistinction from all other love, and "is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us," Rom. v. 5. This is that holy seed which the law of God respects and commands, as our Lord declares; "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind," Matt. xxii. 37; "and thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law."
This law was in brief made with Adam, and the love that this law required was put into Adam, and under this law God placed him.
And we are informed by Paul that this law is spiritual, reaching to the soul and to every faculty of it, as our Saviour sheweth; therefore Adam must have something spiritual in him, or he never could stand upon a level with this spiritual law. "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin," says Paul. Here is the disparity that now subsists between the law and the natural man. But this was not the case with Adam in his state of innocence, for he had the image of God in him; and John tells us that, "God is love," and God's image in Adam was love, and nothing else. "God," says John," is light," and this is the same as love; for, "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light."
"God made man upright," says Solomon; and he adds," The upright love thee," Canticles, i. 4. God's image is said to be knowledge, Coloss. iii. 10; "And every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God," 1 John, iv. 7. God's image is said to be righteousness; and "Love is the fulfilling of the law," which to fulfil is our righteousness, Deut. vi. 25. God's image is said to be true holiness, Ephes. iv. 24; and the saints are to be "holy and without blame before him in love," Ephes. i. 4.
Now the man was created in the image of God, yet God's image was something distinct from man, for Adam remained a man after the loss of God's image. When God breathed the of life into Adam, the Holy Spirit entered into him, created his soul, quickened his body, and gave him life: "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life," Job, xxxiii. 4. The most holy Spirit of God entering into Adam, and forming his soul within him, adorned every power of that soul with his divine love: this the law of Adam still calls for of every one that is under it. The Spirit not only adorned every faculty of Adam's soul with love, but he put it on him as his righteousness, his robe and diadem; and, when this was lost, he is said to be naked; not in his body, for so he was before, but in his soul: and this is the case with all Adam's children to this day, for Christ declares they are blind and naked, Rev. iii. 17
When Adam, undeceived, 1 Tim. ii. 14, broke through the bounds of the law, contrary to his own judgment, his better knowledge and conscience, the Holy Ghost and his divine love left him; God gathered unto himself his spirit, and Adam died, Job, xxxiv. 14. And, having sinned, enmity and hatred to God took place in him, and he was left in full possession of ii. The word of God makes this divine love to be three things to men.
1. It is called the bond of all perfectness, Coloss. iii. 14. It was the bond of union between God and Adam, and all their communion was founded on it: but, when enmity was conceived in Adam's heart, this union was dissolved, God was displeased with man, and man's mind was enmity against God. and God himself asks, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos, iii. 3. And Adam immediately made this disagreement manifest; for, as soon as he heard the voice of God in the garden, he fled from him, and hid himself: he loved darkness, and hated the light of God's countenance, desiring no more union nor communion with him, and therefore fled to shun it and escape it.
2. I have before observed that God's love in Adam was the image of God in Adam's soul, and his robe of righteousness: hence it is that Adam felt himself naked when lie lost it, and immediately began to substitute something instead of it, which was a dress made of leaves, setting a sad example to all his children, which to this day tread in the same steps, by clothing themselves with a covering, but, not of God's Spirit, Isaiah, xxx. 1.
3. Love, according to Scripture, is the way of God, and a way that excels all others: hence Paul calls charity the more excellent way, I Cor. xii. 31; and declares that all gifts, knowledge, language, and miraculous faith, are nothing without it but noise and shew. In complete happiness, and in perfect freedom, were our first parents turned adrift on this most excellent way at the beginning. And I have often observed that way, in the singular, not ways in the plural, is to be met with in the complaints of God upon this head.: "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth," Gen. vi. 11, 12.
I come now to shew what this corruption is. Adam's transgression of God's law brought the sentence of the law, which is death, into his conscience; at the entrance of which Satan took occasion to fill Adam's mind with his own infernal enmity against God, which was not a difficult work for satanic wisdom to perform, seeing the Holy Spirit and his divine love was gone, and Adam's mind was carnalized by sin, a proper soil for Satan to sow his desperate enmity in.
The image of God in Adam is expressly called the glory of God; "Man is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man," 1 Cor. xi. 7. This glory of God being lost by sin, we are all said to fail, or come short of it; "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God," Rom. iii. 23.
Instead of God's glory being on us, we are become most inglorious by sin; and, instead of being in God's image which was spiritual, and which the law of God, being spiritual, requires, the Apostle says we are carnal, sold under sin, Rom. vii. 14; and this disparity is manifest enough between a spiritual law and a carnal man, sold under sin. God's love by the Spirit in Adam set him on a level with this spiritual law of God; but when this image or love of God was lost, then the disparity between the law and man took place; nor could all the purest natural affections in the world, if they met and centred in one soul, amount to a single act of obedience to the first and great command of the moral law; for the law being spiritual, natural affections cannot attain unto it. The Holy Ghost in Adam, adorning and enrobing his soul with divine love, set him on a level with God's law: and, if the authority of an Apostle may be depended upon, nothing less can fulfil the law than "The love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us," Rom. v. 5: for so he says; "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," Rom. viii. 4. By this fulfilling principle, Paul does not mean the righteousness of Christ imputed, for that is without us, and not in us, and is said to be put on, and not into us: by this fulfilling principle he means the love of God in the heart. "Love is," as he says," the fulfilling of the law," Rom. xiii. 10; and this is not done by us, but God does it in us. This love is the image of God in his saints; and every discovery of God's love to us is inflaming the soul with fresh love to God, which Paul calls changing us "into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2 Cor. iii. 18.
Nor does the apostle Paul, when contrasting Christ with Adam, as the two covenant heads, and heads of two different families, contradict what I have said of Adam. It is highly necessary to distinguish the Creator from the creature, and between Adam and the law from heaven, between Adam dead and the quickening Spirit. Paul, in that whole chapter, the xvth of the first book of the Corinthians, never once mentions the image of God in Adam, nor Adam as standing in God's image. He begins with Adam as fallen; "Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead; for, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Then Paul goes on to the creation of Adam; "And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul, the last Adam a quickening Spirit." Here is no mention of God's image in Adam, but of his being made a living soul; and this soul Adam had after the fall, for the soul is the life of the body, the body without the spirit being dead. And the soul of Paul Was alive without the law, until the commandment Came; for, although the sentence was passed upon Adam, and entered into his conscience by. sin, yet that sentence was not then, nor is it yet, fully executed; for God says, "The soul that sinneth it shall die," which shews that the execution of death's sentence is yet to come.
Moreover, Paul's contrasting Adam as made a living soul, with the last Adam a quickening Spirit, shows that Paul's contrast was between Adam, as dead, and the quickening Spirit, as giving life; for all the time that the Spirit of God, the love of God, and the life of God, abode in Adam, there was no room for the quickening Spirit to give newness of life, because the old life was not lost; but, when death entered, and man became condemned, and alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that was in him, Eph. vi. 18, then, but not till then, was life and immortality by Christ needed. Furthermore, Paul calling Adam a natural head, can mean no more than that he is the one common father of all flesh; such fathers are no more than the fathers of our flesh, Heb. xii. 9; but one soul is not generated of another, for God is the father of spirits, Heb. xii. 9. "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth," Acts, xvii. 26. Here is one blood made, and from that in Adam all flesh sprung; but every soul under heaven is a particular branch of God's creative work; hence they are called the souls which God has made, Isaiah, lvii. 16. Here is one blood made and made at once; and from that all flesh springs, being born of blood, and of the will of the flesh, and of the will of man, John, i. 13. But our souls are not made of one, nor at once, but in succession, and are God's workmanship; and every one requires a creative power displayed; and God is the maker of them, and the father of them, and not man; for Paul calls God the Father Of Spirits, and not men; and Isaiah calls God the Maker of Souls, which shews that men are not the propagators of them. In all these things Paul never once mentions the image of God in Adam, but the image obtained after his fall, and that only, which he brings in to the comforts of the saints; "And, as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." In all this it plainly appears that God's image is something distinct from man; and God always claims it as his own, and it always bears his name, let it be what it may, or in whom it will. It is called God's image, Gen. i. 27; God's likeness, Gen. i. 26. It is called the similitude of God, James, iii. 9. It is called the glory of God, I Cor. xi. 7; Rom. iii. 23. And love, which is this image, is said to be of God, 1 John, iv. 7. It is the seed of God in man, 1 John, iii. 9. This love is indeed called nature by the apostle Peter; but then infinite Divinity claims it, and hence it is called the divine nature, 2 Pet. 1.4.
Furthermore, it is called charity that never fails, having the incorruptible, living, and eternal God for its parent, and is therefore called the "incorruptible seed, which liveth and abideth for ever," 1 Pet. i. 23. Paul says that Adam was the figure of lure that was to come, Rom. v. 14: but, if the image of God in Adam was not divine or spiritual, he was no more a figure of the quickening Spirit, the Lord from heaven, than I am.
I shall now re-assume my subject. Adam was made in God's image, which was his inward glory and his righteous robe: this he which, lost, and became naked. This was God's glory in Adam, of by sin, he came short. It was, in Adam, the bond of all perfectness, which bond of union was dissolved by sin, and sin separated between him and his God. Love is, and ever was, the most excellent way; but, man becoming corrupt, all flesh corrupted his way. The devil now carnalized man's mind: and filled it with his infernal enmity against God: and, this enmity being the devil's own seed in man, man is called from hence the seed of the serpent, which is at enmity with the church and her seed. They are called serpents, a generation of vipers, and children of the devil, from this principle of enmity which the devil infused into man. This enmity is the image of Satan, which God despises, Psal. lxxiii. 50. In this image Adam begat a son, Gen. v. 3; yea: all his sons; for all the elect, as well as others, have borne the image of the earthly Adam, 1 Cor xv. 49
Hence I conclude that the image of God in man, when created, was love; and the image of Satan in men, when fallen, is enmity against God, and hatred to him. And the law itself confirms this; for lovers of God and haters of God are the only characters which the moral law describes and rewards. "Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." "Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me," Exod. xx. 5, 6. The moral law knows of no other characters than these two; it describes no other, and it rewards no others: hence it is plain what the two images are; the saints shall bear the image of the heavenly Adam, and sinners the image of the earthy, which in the great day God will despise, as such souls despise him; and he will shew mercy on them that love him, and display his eternal love in Christ Jesus to them. These are the true principles that Moses pursues through all his writings: "Know therefore this, the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him, and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations; and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face," Deut vii. 9, 10. This was the character of the Jews in Christ's time; they saw and hated both Christ and his Father, and wrath came upon them to the uttermost. This enmity or hatred to God was originally in Satan, and by this was he influenced to murder Adam and all his race. When Adam conceived this in his mind he fled from God; and the same, being communicated to Cain, it wrought in him to slay his brother. This principle of itself is no less than murder in the bud, whether it work in the saint or in the sinner, as may be seen not only in Cain and Lamech, Gen. iv. 23, but even in Solomon, who, in a fit of jealous fury, sought to slay Jeroboam, and by so doing to counteract the design and promise of God, made known to Jeroboam, 1 Kings, xi. 40. Hence it is plain that this enmity is the seed of the devil in man, and man is called the seed of the serpent from hence; and it is Satan's own in, age, which he infused into the mind of Adam. In his image and likeness Adam begat his children, whence it is called the image of the earthy Adam in all mankind.
The Holy Spirit, with his life and love, being separated from Adam, and this carnal enmity succeeding, there was nothing of love left in Adam but natural affections, and these the devil corrupted and turned into a thousand channels of iniquity; but never can they run in a right channel, as appears plain in the words of Christ Jesus. "Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death," Prov. viii. 34 - 36. Here we have man's hatred described, and the object of it, which is God; we have also his love set forth, and the object of that, which is death. And this witness is true of every natural man in the world: for, whether he be a Pharisee or openly profane, he loves the world, in which sin and death reign; he loves sin, which is the sting of death; he loves the treasures of this world, which end in death; he loves a form of godliness, performed by them that are dead in trespasses and sins; nor can he glory but in dead works. And, if he be a professor of the gospel, even one of the first magnitude, it alters not the case; for, if he be in a state of nature, he loves death, and nothing else; for man is alienated from the life of God, Ephes. iv. 18. He hates divine life, he shuns it, it is a strange thing to him, and he is averse to it; his appetite is vitiated, and he cannot savour the things of God, but those that be of men. He hates God, and loves death: no preaching suits him but legal discourses upon the law, which is the ministration of death; or, if his head be at all enlightened and evangelized, yet not the spirit, but the letter does he love. No professors are dear to him but those that have a name to live while dead; no ambassadors charm him but the sons of death, who are ministers of the letter; nor is he in his element but when in the congregation of the dead, Prov. xxi. 16. If this be the love of fallen man, and death the object of it, where is that morality to be found which is so much cried up in the present day?
Adam by his fall lost the Holy Spirit, that formed his soul and quickened him; he lost the love of God, which is God's image; and he lost the life of God, which always goes with love: nor shall man find the life of God again until the heart be circumcised to love God with all the heart and all the soul, Deut. xxx. 6. It was when the Spirit left him that he became carnal, sold under sin; when love left him his carnal mind became enmity to God, and could no more be subject to the law, because it requires love; and when divine life departed from him, death seized him, and every thing that he loves had death in it;" All they that hate me love death." This is our morality; this is our obedience to the spiritual law of God; and this is all the obedience that our corrupt nature has to boast of - enmity and hatred to God; "They have seen and hated both me and my Father," says Christ; and they are "hateful, and hating one another," says Paul, Titus, iii. 3.
From the fall of Adam our corruption takes its title, the old man, being derived to us from the first man, and to distinguish it from the grace of Christ, which we receive from the fullness of the last Adam, the Lord from heaven. His incarnation being called a new thing, Jerem. xxxi. 22; and his covenant a new covenant; so his grace is called the new man; though in one sense the new man is much older than the old one, for the mercy of God displayed in our regeneration, "is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him," Psalm, ciii. 17. But, in order of time, sin is the old man, for we were the servants of sin before we were made partakers of grace.
Corrupt affections, and nothing else, compose this law in Paul's members, which warred against the law of his mind, "Put off the old man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts," Ephes. iv. 22. Here is this corrupt love, affecting, craving, desiring, and lusting; filling the carnal mind with imaginary entertainments, much pleasure and satisfaction in sin, and promising the utmost security and secrecy; and all as deceitful as the devil himself, exposing souls to God's sore displeasure, to nakedness, shame, disgrace and contempt.
These corrupt affections led some of Paul's friends to covet wealth, promising much happiness and honour therein, till they erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows, 1 Tim. vi. 10. Those deceitful lusts prompted David to imagine that sending for Uriah, and making him drunk, would be an inducement to him to go and sleep with his wife, and that would cover both the sin and the shame of David; but these deceitful lusts deceived him. The devil is the artful fowler, and our corrupt affections are his snares, traps, nets and lines; "But they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts," Gal. v. 24. This is the law in the members - fleshly affections, affecting, loving, admiring, and being charmed and enamoured with fleshly gratifications; and then lusting, craving, and desiring, the enjoyment of them; which are what Paul calls the affections and lusts of the flesh. Various and innumerable are the objects of man's corrupt affections; but this I know, that they seldom run in a right channel; but when kept within bounds they are called natural affections, which is the best name they bear. And, if God was to manifest even these to men, they might see that they themselves are beasts, Eccles. iii. 18, for the same appears in the brute creation. And even natural affections often prove a snare, as in Lot's wife, who looked after her children behind till she lost herself; and this was the case of one man invited to the gospel feast, who had married a wife and could not come, and so failed of the marriage supper.
Sometimes these corrupt affections exceed the bounds of all the brute creation, as was the case of many inhabiting the cities of the plain, and many others, as Paul relates: "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature; and likewise also the men," &c. &c. Rom. i. 26, 27.
Many are the objects on which corrupt affections dote, but death is sure to be in every object they admire "All they that hate me love death" says God, and we know that the world loves its own.
Sometimes they affect nothing but imaginary pleasure; "Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God," 2 Tim. iii. 4. Sometimes they turn a sinner to self-admiration; self is the grand idol; and so we read; "Men shall be lovers of their own selves," 2 Tim. iii. 2. In others they are set upon money, which such will use the basest means to accumulate; "The love of money is the root of all evil," I Tim. vi. 10. The Jewish pharisees doted on human applause; and these men were led to act against light, knowledge, judgment, and the fullest convictions: for, although in their conscience they believed Christ to be the Messiah, they acted quite contrarily; "Among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but, because of the Pharisees, they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God," John, xii. 42, 43. "Whosoever shall confess me before men," says Christ, "him will I confess also before the angels of God;" and the faith of such confessors shall be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.7. But these things have no weight with corrupt affections; they savour not the things that be of Christ, but love the praise of men more than the praise of God; yea, such love the devil himself more than God, for "God is light," and the devil is darkness: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil," John, iii. 19. Here we see the objects on which corrupt affections dote; they love death, they love the praise of men more than the praise of God, and darkness more than light. They love the uppermost rooms at feasts, they love greetings in the markets, and they love to be called of men Rabbi, Rabbi. This was the law that all these men cleaved to, abode by, and obeyed, for they had no other in them, as Christ declares; "But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you," John, v. 42. Now death is in all the objects above described, on which corrupt affections dote, which confirms what the Saviour asserts; "All that hate me love death." This law in the members, or these corrupt affections, cannot be subject to the divine law of God; they cannot savour the things of God; they are at enmity with God, his Spirit, and his grace; and never can affect, delight in, or call for, or crave, any one thing but the obedience or the compliance of fleshly lusts. All the motions of this law work in evil, and in nothing else, and how can it be otherwise, when it is not the moral law, nor the law of faith, but the law of sin? and sinful flesh will serve this law, and no other. "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin," Rom. vii. 25.
The apostle intimates that these corrupt affections are the heart and life of the old man; for sin of itself has no life but in the corrupt love of the Sinner: hence he styles the old man corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. Craving, desiring, and imagining evil things is the life and labour of this law; and to crucify the flesh, with these affections and lusts, is the labour which God has given us to be exercised with under the sun. Disobedience to this law of sin is what our Lord calls denying self daily, and taking up the cross and following him. Making provision for the flesh, in laying up treasure on the earth, pampering the body, adorning and setting it off to be admired, vain imaginations about creature charms, chambering and wantonness, fornication, uncleanness, and (as Paul calls it in himself) all manner of concupiscence, Rom. vii. 8.; by these vain imaginations does the flesh serve the law of sin, which works even in good men. Paul says he saw this law in his members warring against the law of his mind. It works in the eyes, Peter says, and fills them with adultery, 2 Pet. ii. 14; it works in the ears at the hearing of foolish conversation; in the hands by unwarrantable liberty, and in the feet by running to mischief: but evil concupiscence is its natural element, making all the members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity, Rom. vi. 19.
This law in the members has two branches, love and hatred; it hates God, and loves death; for Paul says, The carnal mind is enmity against God," who is love; and that it is not subject to the law of God, which commands love, nor can be, because they are natural affections, corrupted by sin: and this may be seen in the royal Psalmist, when the law in his members warred against the law of his mind, and brought him into captivity to the law of sin. It is the old man with his deceitful lusts that is called the wayfaring man in Nathan's parable to David: he wrought first in David's eyes on the house-top; then the ewe lamb was searched out, looked up, and brought home to be dressed for this wayfaring man. To the saint he is in some sense but a wayfaring man, not being suffered to show his head when God and his love are present; but to the sinner he is a constant inmate, yea the only ruler and leader. David's fall by this law in the members is called a despising both God and his law. "Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife," 2 Sam. xii. 9, 10. By this it plainly appears that the carnal mind and the law of sin are enmity against God, and lovers of evil. Nor was this the only time that David was ensnared by corrupt affections. Absalom appears to have been one of the worst of men, an enemy both to God and his own father, and nothing admirable about him but the figure of his person and the hair of his head; and yet the violence offered to his daughter Tamar, and the murder of Ammon by Absalom's orders, never affects David like the death of Absalom, who was cut off in the very act of treason and rebellion, both against God and the king. "Oh Absalom, my son, my son, would God I had died for thee!" and what is this but inordinate affection? which Paul tells us to mortify; "Mortify: therefore, your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection," &c. Col. iii. 5. The love of this world, and the things of it, at times drew down the soul of David to them, and for the moment seemed to glue his mind to them; "My soul cleaveth unto the dust; quicken thou me according to thy word," Psalm, cxix. 25. At another time he found his corrupt affections working him up to covetousness, and to the love of money: hence his prayer; "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness," Psalm, cxix. 36. You may see what was working within by the prayer that came out; and from this sense of danger sprung the following caution; "If riches increase, set not your heart upon them," Psalm, lxii. 10.
There is not one natural power or faculty in the human soul that can stand before corrupt affections; they prevailed against conscience, convictions, and faith in the Jewish rulers, as we have already observed; many of them believed on him, but did not confess him, loving the praise of men more than the praise of God. Men may will and determine, as Paul speaks, "To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not." Why? Because "evil is present with me." What evil? Why a law in my members warring against the law of my mind; my mind is engaged in serving, the law of God, but my flesh ill serving the law of sin. This law prevails not only over the will, but over the mind also, of every natural man; hence you read of being vainly puffed up with a fleshly mind, Coloss. ii. 18; yea, over the judgment also, as Christ says to the Jews, "Ye judge after the flesh," John, viii. 15. And I much question if these corrupt affections be not the chief spring in all natural religion. Some indeed may be driven by fears and terrors, and the reproaches of conscience, for awhile, into a profession; but these things do not destroy legal pride; the love of praise and the applause of men are still the main springs that keep them in motion, as our Lord declares of the Pharisees, "But all their works they do to be seen of men," Matt. xxiii. 5. Hence it is plain that corrupt affections and the lusts of the flesh make some people labour hard in religion, as they did in the Judaizing preachers who followed Paul; "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised," Gal. vi. 12. Here we have the lustings or desires of the heart of these men, and what they desired, a fair shew in the flesh. What for? that men might see it; it was to make a shew to others, and that these preachers might glory in their flesh, in their having gained proselytes to circumcision, which circumcision is in the flesh; for such labourers know that the children of the flesh will glory in such proselytes, and admire their diligence and success in this work. And I believe that this thirst for human applause, and of seeking honour one of another, has driven some, in times of old, and in the present times too, to compass sea and land to make one proselyte; not proselytes to God, but to themselves; and have made them, in the sight of God, twofold more the children of hell than themselves.
It is remarkable that, whatever name the love of God goes by, this law of sin goes by the same, only with different appendages. I believe that the love of God, shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, is the fulfillment of the moral law, and the decreed end of God in the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, called file end of the commandment. "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned," 1 Tim. i. 5, Corrupt affections, or a love to death, to darkness, and to the praise of men, go by the same name, and are called a law, which is said to be the law of sin, the law of sin and death, and law in the members.
The love of God is called the bond of all perfectness, uniting souls to God, to Christ, to the Spirit, to the saints of God, and to the angels in heaven; and is the bond between the King of saints and his subjects, between the Lamb and his wife, and between the father and his family, making every union perfect and complete. And corrupt affections are a bond also, only with this appendage, it is called the bond of iniquity; which bond was strong in Ananias and his wife, who could act the hypocrite, tempt the Spirit of God, counterfeit the hospitality of the saints, and lie unto the Holy Ghost, by an attempt to live on the church's stock, as the poor saints of God did, when they kept back part of the price as an independency to themselves.
The love of God shed abroad in the heart, is called the root of the matter, by Job, and is explained by the apostle to be love; "Be ye rooted and grounded in love," Ephes. iii. 17. Corrupt affections go by the same name. In idolaters they are called a root that beareth gall and wormwood, Deut. xxix. 18; but in the covetous they are called the love of money, and the root of all evil, 1 Tim. vi. 10.
Love is the incorruptible seed lodged in the soul by the Holy Spirit; and is intended to abolish death, to expel legal bondage, and all the slavish and servile fear which is administered to the soul by the law, and which is peculiar to servants who serve God, not in the exercise of grace, and with the powers of the soul, but with bodily exercise only; not in the newness of Spirit, but in the oldness of the letter; and that not with the power and life of godliness, but with an external form only. But the love of God in the saints is the lively principle, and the constraining power that influences, actuates, allures, attracts and compels, with an invincible sweetness, the soul to deny self, loathe the world, and follow through fire and water, through the shadow, of death, and death itself, rather than come short of the desired and expected end. This love is the produce of divine agency; "That which is born of the Spirit is Spirit;" that is, the love of God, which is a grace of the Spirit of God, and a grace that is born of God, is Spirit; it is called the love of God, and it is of God. It is an incorruptible seed from the incorruptible God; it is the divine nature from the Divine Being; which shows that God will be worshipped with nothing but his own. By God's own Spirit are the men of God furnished for every good work, as Paul declares, 2 Tim: iii. 17; and he adds, "Our sufficiency is of God," 2 Cor. iii. 5. And indeed in God's light men see light; when he shines into their hearts, his glory as seen in the face of Jesus. And it is the life of God in the soul that gives us all our spiritual motions, and a sense of our wants; all our appetites and cravings after spiritual provision, all our hungerings and thirstings find the bread of life, and the water of life, spring from life; and every promise, every grace, every divine visit, every deliverance, every divine indulgence from God, or sensible nearness to God, every answer to prayer, every delivering mercy or smiling providence, serve to feed the principle of divine life, wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit of God. And, if what Paul says be true, that "I live, yet Not I, but Christ liveth in me," then it is the life of Christ in us that is fed by all the before-mentioned sweet morsels, In Short, God is worshipped in his own Spirit, and by his own truth; he is admired, and adored by his own love; confessed and abode by in his own strength; waited for, and waited on in his own patience, and submitted to in his own submission; approached in his own meekness, and exalted by his own humility; confided in by his own confidence, hoped for by his own hope, and honoured in his faithfulness by his own faith: for every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights. "What hast thou," says Paul, "that thou didst not receive?" 1 Cor. iv. 7. Whatsoever is more than these is not worship in the Spirit, but human invention and superstition; and all that is less is bodily exercise.
The saint's living law has two branches, faith and love, and the former always works by the latter; whatever faith brings in love admires, and love works to cast out, and keep out slavish fear, that such fear may not clog or hinder faith. The giver of this law is the Holy Ghost; hence it is called the law of the Spirit, Rom. viii. 2; and the Holy Spirit styles himself the Spirit of faith, 2 Cor. iv. 13, and the Spirit of love, 2 Tim. i. 7; not only because he works these graces in us, but because he is the spirit, the life, and the power of them; and all their actings and exercises depend upon his influence and operations. I have called this a living law, because Solomon says, "The law of the wise is a fountain of life," Prov: xiii. 14; because faith and love ascend and descend, and in the exercise of these we go in and out and find pasture, John, x. 9.
So, on the other hand, Satan has usurped an empire over the children of men, and filled them with sin, so that poor sinners are his subjects and slaves, because it rules in them; hence sin is set forth as a king or sovereign, reigning and ruling. "Sin," says Paul," has reigned unto death," Rom. v. 21. In this mass of corruption there is a law, which the apostle mentions three times: "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me," Hem. vii. 21. Here, the apostle calls this law evil. Again, "But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members," Rom. vii. 23. Here the apostle calls it the law of sin, that warred in his members against the faith and love of God, which is the law of his mind. Again, "So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin," Rom. vii. 25. And this law of sin is the corrupt affections, which, are contrary to God, and at enmity with him, and never were subject to God's law, nor can be. These affections, being corrupted, they affect and dote upon nothing but what God hates; hence men are said to love death, to love darkness rather than light, and to love the praise of men more than the praise of God. The world loves its own, sinners love sinners. Prophesy deceits; my people love to have it so. They are called lovers of pleasure; lovers of themselves, lovers of the world, and lovers of money. Indeed these corrupt affections never can delight in, or be entertained with, any thing but the works of the flesh, the lusts of the flesh, or in things pertaining to the flesh. And, as sure as faith works by love, so sure does unbelief work by corrupt affections; for when faith is in exercise, the soul is sweetly fed and entertained; it is kept alive, and is lively: but, when faith lies dormant, then unbelief and legal bondage work and stir up corrupt affections, self-love, self-pity, and enmity at the prosperity of the wicked; calling the proud happy, Mal. iii. 15; blessing the covetous, whom the Lord abhors, Psal. x. 3; and envious against the pleasures, the carnal ease, and the glory and honours, of the ungodly.
The apostle owns that he delighted in the law of God after the inner man; but when he would do good evil was present with him, and how to perform that which is good he found not. Corrupt affections swayed his mind from the good works wherein he was engaged. And this I am fully assured of, that Satan might set before our eyes what he pleased, or bring what news, tales, or tidings he would to our ears, or present what he might to our imagination, or suggest a thousand things to the mind, or labour to fill the thoughts with what vanities he could invent; if there were no affections and lusts in the body of sin, he would labour in vain, as he did with the Saviour when he shewed him all the kingdoms of this world and the glory of them; which had no effect upon him, because when the prince of this world came he had nothing in him, John, xiv. 30. It was not so with Demas; when this world was presented to him it caught him; "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present evil world." When the golden wedge and Babylonish garment appeared before Achan, he coveted them. A thousand women allured Solomon; he loved many strange wives, his wives turned away his heart, and corrupt affections brought him into captivity to the law of sin, which was in his members. The same kind of object took the incestuous Corinthian: and what numbers fell by the same snare in the Wilderness, through the counsel of Balaam, is obvious enough. The love of money caught Judas, Ananias, and Sapphira, as also the young man in the gospel, who had great possessions. Corrupt affections are the law of sin; the affections lead the van, and the lusts of the flesh follow hard after. These are coupled together; crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts, for all that obey these are said to be servants of sin, and to obey unrighteousness. "As fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them," Eccles. ix. 12. The law of sin is Satan's trap, and he knows how to bait it.
But my dear brother may be ready to ask, why man's corrupt affections should be expressly called the law of sin, and not the law of Satan? Let him attend to this: that there are three sovereigns or ruling enemies over the race of mankind is plain, for God is said to deliver us "from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;" Colos. i. 13. This darkness is expressly called by Christ the kingdom of Satan; "If Satan be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Matt. xii. 26. Here our Lord himself owns that Satan hath a kingdom in this world, which he most carefully and studiously strives to maintain, and never acts against himself in the least by weakening it.
The great apostle tells us also that sin is another ruling sovereign over mankind, and that "sin hath reigned unto death," Rom. v. 21.
3. He asserts that "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that that not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression," Rom. v. 14.
Now, although the devil stands first in this list, yet he is not the first in power and dignity, though he is in crime; for he and his fellow angels were informed that Adam was the figure of him that was to come, Rom. v. 14, in a state incarnate, and this divine mandate following upon it, "Worship him, all ye gods," Psal. xcvii. 7, which the apostle explains to amount to this; "And when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let the Angels of God worship him," Heb. i. 6. At this Lucifer took an offence, and conceived a dislike and an enmity, being too proud to submit; and this his pride so lifted him up that he fell into condemnation, 1 Tim. iii. 6. The sentence of condemnation entering into him, and the hot displeasure of God attending it, filled him with envy at the feeble race of mankind, as the objects of his dislike, and the procuring cause of his fall, and of all his misery that followed upon it; which accounts for his unparalleled rage and hatred, even at those of mankind who have been his most trusty, most loyal, and faithful subjects; as Saul, Ahithopel, and Judas; all of whom he drove to suicide, though they promoted his cause to the uttermost, and hated God and his children as much as he did. In this envy at mankind and enmity against God, and in full possession of this his rebellion, rage, and desperation, God left him, and gave him up to his reprobate mind, to oppose the Saviour with all his might, and to do despite to the Spirit of grace wherever he found it: and upon the back of this came the curse of God, passed upon him in Eden, which is his hell; and being given up to enmity, rage, rebellion, and desperation, these are the chains with which he is bound: the wrath and curse of God are his hell; and the dominion of sin his dark chains. His implacable enmity to God, his perfect hatred to men, the desperation of his state, the wrath of God, and his dreadful curse upon him and it, him, are what I understand by his being "cast down to hell, and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment," 2 Pet. ii. 4. So that we see that Satan has no dominion over sin, though he is said, in one sense, to have the power of death, Heb. ii. 14. Desperate enmity at God in all his persons, at the holy angels, at the saints, and at all the children of men, is the boiling rage of his infernal mind; and the wrath and curse of God, attending it, will keep his mind boiling and smoking in desperation and vengeance to all eternity. And this may be seen in all those professors who are given up to a reprobate mind, to work all uncleanness with greediness, Ephes. iv. 19; and in them also who are said to be given up to a "fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries," Heb. x. 27. These are called adversaries. And this principle of enmity is manifest in common worldlings, who hate the saints of God for Christ's sake; in professors, who love the killing letter, but hate the life of God; in the Pharisee, who admires the form, but hates the power of godliness; and in every lunatic, who has this fire of hell already kindled in him.
This law of sin is the ruling principle even in Satan: to this he is given up; under this he carries on all his dark designs; and by this he his actuated, influenced, and hurried on, in all his works. Could he get rid of sin, and sin's dominion, he would gain his point: but this he cannot do; for God has delivered him into these dark chains, and hence eternal restlessness drives him on. Christ says he seeks rest, but findeth none, Matt. xii. 43.
Could Satan subdue his own sin, root it out of himself, or deliver himself from its reigning power, its burning fury, or its desperate workings, he would find rest; but this never can be; therefore all his seekings are in vain; lie seeks rest, and finds none. Hence it appears plain that love to evil and hatred to God are the law of sin, even in Satan, and in all mankind; and this is the law in the saint's members, which even in them maintains a perpetual war against the Spirit and his grace. So that Satan himself, even the god of this world, is no more than a subject, a servant, a slave, and even a drudge to sin. This is the law that he obeys, the dark chain in which he is held, and the master that he serves; "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin," John, viii. 34, whether he be angel or man And it is worth the saints observation, that, whenever the sin of Satan or graceless sinners is mentioned in the epistles of John, it is generally in the present tense, "sinneth," which implies one continual act of sinning, and nothing else. "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from thee beginning," 1 John, iii. 8. "Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him," &c. One continual trade of sinning, both in Satan and in sinners, is what the evangelist means. And likewise the new man, or the seed of God, from which immortal principle the saint takes his title, and from which he is denominated a child of God, is the utmost of what John can mean; for in every other sense there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not.
From all which I conclude, that loving and making lies; that all deceivableness and lying wonders; all malice and rage against God and his saints; all foulness, filth, and uncleanness, that work in Satan, called a foul and an unclean spirit; all this love to, and delight in falsehood, false doctrines, deception, or receivableness of unrighteousness; and all the foulness, filthiness, and uncleanness, that work both in devils and in mankind; together with all the rage, desperation, madness, enmity, and malice, that burn and smoke both in devils and men at the saints of God; proceed from the corrupt affections which reign and rule both in devils and sinners; so that our apostle calls it expressly, the law of sin. I shall submit this to my dear friend, and to his superior judgment, while I remain, in the path of much tribulation,
P, S. These contending parties are variously set forth in the word of God.
1. They respect the persons of different births. Some are born of blood, of the will of the flesh, and of the will of man, John, i. 13; this is the natural birth of all mankind. But the believer, who in faith and love receives Christ, is said to be born of God, John, i. 13.
2. These different births bring forth different principles, which never change, nor will be changed in their nature; "That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit," John, iii. 8. The flesh is all in all, the flesh bears rule; the soul with all its natural light, knowledge, wisdom, or judgment, cannot subdue sin, nor keep it within the bounds prescribed by God in his word.
The lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, conquered Eve through the malice of Satan, although she shared with Adam in the image of God. The lust of the eye prevailed at the sight of the forbidden fruit, the appetite craved it, it was in her opinion good for food; and above all, it was desirable to make one wise; and this prevailed in Adam, though he was not deceived, yet he was in the transgression; from hence God denominates man to be flesh, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, seeing he is flesh;" "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit," especially faith, hope, light, life, and love; these are called the incorruptible seed, and they are by Peter called the divine nature, and by Paul the life of God, which man is alienated from through ignorance. These fruits are derived to us by the Spirit from the fullness of the second Adam. These are the soul and the springs Of real godliness, and the Spirit of God working in these is the power of godliness, and where these are not there is nothing but the form of it.
3. These contending parties are called laws; the law of sin, and the law of the mind, as hath been shown: the law of sin is the corrupt affections working in the carnal mind, which feeds upon the imagined lusts of the flesh, hates God, and wars against God, and against the soul of man. The law of the mind is, first, faith that worketh by love, and these are influenced, guided, and directed in all their acts, works, and exercises, according to the mind of the Spirit. For instance, the Holy Spirit set before Paul's mind a distressed sinner praying to Paul for help. Paul sets off, assured God had called him to Macedonia to the work; ere long the gaoler appears before Paul on his knees, praying for salvation, and Paul points him to faith in Christ, and tells him to believe, and he shall have it; the gaoler believes and is saved. The Spirit gave Paul the vision, and assured his mind of the divine call; he sends the gaoler to Paul in the greatest distress, the Spirit spoke by Paul to him, and entered the gaoler's heart at the sound of Paul's voice, and wrought faith, salvation, and joy in his soul: all this was the mind of the Spirit in Paul. And I am more than sure that every branch of such Work, and every branch of real worship which meets with the approbation of heaven, is performed by the same most holy and ever-blessed agent. God will be served in the newness of the Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter: and he seeketh such to worship trim as shall worship him in Spirit and in truth.
4. These averse parties are called sin and grace: "Sin shall not have dominion over you, grace shall reign." Sin shall not have the dominion over the believer, nor ever make any inroads into the kingdom of God; God's sovereign love through Christ shall reign over hellish hate: and reign to eternal life, through the second Adam, as sure as ever sin has reigned unto death through Adam the first. 5. These warriors are called the old man and the new. Put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness, Ephes. iv. 24. Sin is called the old man, being derived from Adam by natural generation; grace is called the new man, being derived to us from the fullness of Christ by the Spirit.
6. Paul calls the one a body; Put off the body of the sins of the flesh: and the other he calls Christ; Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk in him. And
7. The Apostle expressly calls it, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Here the Apostle tells us plainly, that this war of the flesh is carried on against the most holy Spirit of God; that these lust against each other; that these are contrary the one to the other; and that to will is present with us, but a power to perform is not; and this lies at the bottom of every cross; namely, a capability to will, but an inability to perform, so that you cannot do the things that you would. But God the Spirit is the agent both, of willing and doing: he works in us both to will and to do; and often gives the one, when he withholds the other: we can will, but not work; but let the work be what it may, if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted, because even this is of God.
The saints must fill up the measure of Christ's sufferings, which are behind in their flesh, that is, while they abide in the body; and sinners, whether they be bad angels or bad men, must fill up their measure also. Hence we often will and are as often hindered. I would have come to Corinth, even I Paul, once and again, but Satan hindered; they that are not with Christ must be against Christ, and they that do not gather to Christ must labour to scatter from Him; both parties must do their work, and fill up their measure, before the talent of lead be thrown into the mouth of the ephah, Zach. v. 7, 8. This is one great reason why the power of doing is absent when the power of willing is present; it is also intended to shew us our frailty, and that it is the grace of God that labours in us and not us; that without Christ man can do nothing, but that all things may be done, and are done, through Christ strengthening us; but there are times and seasons fixed in the mind of God, for the putting forth and displaying his power; and this may be seen in the Saviour's days, and as displayed by him; when he had foiled Satan and all his wiles in the wilderness, he returned in the power of the Spirit. Again we read of a multitude of impotent folks being about the Saviour, and of the power of the Lord being present to heal. He tells his scoffing brethren to go up to the feast; I go not up yet unto this feast; "My time is not yet come; but your time is always ready." He gives the same answer to his mother at the marriage in Cana, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." Hence it is plain that there are appointed times and seasons for every purpose; and it well becomes the servants of God to pray, to watch, and to wait; and he that waiteth upon his master shall be honoured, and not confounded by disappointment, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
I believe that many of our misgivings of heart, especially When we are young in God's ways, spring from ignorance. We do not know what the Holy Spirit means by the word flesh; - we think the body, abstracted from the soul, is what is meant, hence when believers find rebellion working in their will, and carnal enmity in the mind, and unhallowed desires discovering themselves in their affections; this they think (and I once thought the same) can never stand with a genuine work of grace; and finding that neither prayers nor tears; resolutions nor vows; the deepest humility, nor the highest felicity; no, not the furnace of affliction, nor the mount of transfiguration, will either root up or eradicate these; no, neither subdue them, nor abolish them; not hide them from our sight, nor chase their bane from our senses. We conclude that the work of sanctification is not begun, much less going on in us. Answer: if it be true first God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before God in love, then it follows, that the more we love the more we are sanctified and when perfected in love, our sanctification must be complete; for our holiness and blamelessness are to be complete before God in love. And as for me, I have often found when in the furnace of affliction, every corruption has risen to its highest pitch; which has made me tremble, and fear even to approach God, expecting the divine resentment to the uttermost; and instead of this, such unexpected and unparalleled indulgence, as has reduced me to less than nothing; and sure I am that nothing ever endeared God to me or raised my soul in love to him like this; and this, according to my views, is no less than real sanctification, for it is love without dissimulation.
The word flesh means the corruption of the soul, more than the body of flesh abstractedly considered. The Apostle calls the whole mass of corruption the body of this death. It is man's corrupt affections that are the law of sin; these lead the sinner captive, and the carnality of the mind, being enmity against God, goes hand in hand with corrupt affections; for lust is conceived in the mind before sin is finished in the act, and death brought forth in the conscience. Hence the Apostle couples the mind and the flesh as working jointly together in the whole course of sinning. "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; among whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath even as others," Ephes, ii. 2, 3. The carnality of the mind is this enmity to God; it is alienated from the life of God, it is wholly bent upon evil; it lusteth to envy, and is called a fleshly mind; and the members of the body are no more than the instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; These are the things which the carnal mind is bent upon, and which corrupt affections labour in. And this I firmly believe, that if I had no remains of the old veil upon my understanding, no rebellion in my will, no corrupt affections in my heart, no carnal enmity, nor infidelity in my mind, that I should be one of the happiest men in all the world; there would be an end of the daily cross, an end of the arduous task of self-denial, and no more lusting against the Spirit, no more keeping the heart with all diligence, no more need of watchfulness and self-examination, no more shyness, nor distance between God and my soul. But this divine bliss is reserved for the other world; Lazarus must have his evil things in this life, and be comforted on every side when this life comes to its end. I cannot, I must not, I dare not say that I am not loved of God with an everlasting love; I dare not say that I am not in possession of that charity which rejoiceth in the truth, which is what Paul calls delighting in the law of God after the inner man. And yet I am in, and of myself, and by sin, a hater of God, Rom. i. 30. I was envious, says Asaph, at the prosperity of the wicked, and pricked in my reins: Why? because they increase in riches, and he was poor; and because they were not in trouble, nor plagued like him; and because they are fat, and at ease, and have no bands in death, but their strength is firm; I have washed my hands, and cleansed my heart in vain, for all day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning; my feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped; so ignorant, so foolish was I, I was like a beast before thee; nevertheless I am still with thee; thou hast held me by my right hand; thou shalt guide me by thy counsel, and afterwards receive me to glory, Psalm, lxxiii. Again,
"And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up, yea, they that tempt God are even delivered," Mal. iii. 15. These are nothing but Satan's subjects in a mock shew, and nothing in us is charmed with them, envies them their pride or their wealth; nothing in us that craves either their property or their pleasure but corrupt affections; and this is the law of sin, that wars against the mind of the Spirit. By these scare-birds is the law of sin discovered, and by these opposites is the mind of the Spirit made manifest; but the time will come when we shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked; then Asaph will not envy the foolish when he sees them shut out of the marriage chamber; nor will Malachi call the proud happy when he sees them to be nothing but stubble in the fire of divine wrath. Ever yours.