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One great mystery is that the holy frame and disposition, by which our souls are furnished and enabled for immediate practice of the law, must be obtained by receiving it out of Christ’s fullness, as a thing already prepared and brought to an existence for us in Christ and treasured up in Him; and that as we are justified by a righteousness wrought out in Christ and imputed to us, so we are sanctified by such a holy frame and qualifications as are first wrought out and completed in Christ for us, and then imparted to us. And, as our natural corruption was produced originally in the first Adam, and propagated from him to us, so our new nature and holiness is first produced in Christ, and derived from Him to us, or as it were propagated. So that we are not at all to work together with Christ, in making or producing that holy frame in us, but only to take it to ourselves, and use it in our holy practice, as made ready to our hands. Thus we have fellowship with Christ, in receiving that holy frame of spirit that was originally in Him. For fellowship is when several persons have the same thing in common (1 John 1: 1-3). This mystery is so great that notwithstanding all the light of the gospel, we commonly think that we must get a holy frame by producing it anew in ourselves and by forming and working it out of our own hearts. Therefore many that are seriously devout take a great deal of pains to mortify their corrupt nature and beget a holy frame of heart in themselves by striving earnestly to master their sinful lusts, and by pressing vehemently on their hearts many motives to godliness, laboring importunately to squeeze good qualifications out of them, as oil out of a flint. They account that, though they be justified by righteousness wrought out by Christ, yet they must be sanctified by a holiness wrought out by themselves. And though, out of humility, they are willing to call it infused grace, yet they think they must get the infusion of it by the same manner of working, as if it were wholly acquired by their own endeavours. On this account they acknowledge the entrance into a godly life to be harsh and unpleasing, because it costs so much struggling with their own hearts and affections, to new frame them. If they knew that this way of entrance is not only harsh and unpleasant, but altogether impossible; and that the true way of mortifying sin and quickening themselves to holiness is by receiving a new nature, out of the fullness of Christ; and that we do no more to the production of a new nature than of original sin, though we do more to the reception of it – if they knew this, they might save themselves many a bitter agony, and a great deal of misspent burdensome labour, and employ their endeavours to enter in at the strait gate, in such a way as would be more pleasant and successful.”
- Walter Marshall, The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification