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incredible and imposible to Unbelievers, yet it is really so with regard to Christ and the (true) Church, Eph. v. 30, 32. For as God caused a
. deep Sleep to fall upon the first Adam, and then took a Rib from his side, of which he made him a Wife, and brought her unto him : " And Adam said, This is now Bone of my Bone, and Fielh of my Flesh, she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man," Gen. ii. 21, 22, 23.
So God, according to his eternal Counsel caused a deep Sleep to fall on Christ, the second Adam on the Crols, and then cut open his Side, by the Hand of a Soldier, as was foretold, Zech. xii. 10. For faith God, “ Awake, O Sword, against the Man
, that is my Fellow, saith the Lord,” Zech. xiii.
7. Then one of the Soldiers with his Spear pierced his precious Side, and forthwith came thereout Blood and Water, John xix. 34. Of which mysterious Spring proceeds a numerous Race of new Creatures, who are the Children of the Promise, taughę to believe in Christ, as the atoning Sacrifice, and the cleansing Laver; which brings Peace to the Conscience, and Purity to the Soul. The Spirit which reveals him, influencing the Heart to love him, and forsaking all others, to become the Lamb's Wife, Rev. xix. 7. willing henceforth to honour and obey him, whose Yoke is easy, and his Burden light. And this divine uniting Love constitutes the new Creature in Christ, without which all Religion is vain : for in Christ Jesus, neither Circum. cision nor Uncircumcision availeth any Thing, but a new Creature, and as many as walk according to this Rule of Salvation by Grace, Peace be on them, and Mercy, and upon the Israel of God, Gal. vi. 159. 16. God, having created the Bride, now opens the Eyes of her Understanding, and fheweth her that without the Shedding of (hier
Husband's) Blood there could be no Remiffion (of her Sins) Heb. ix. 22. And that she was bought with a Price, and therefore ought to glority God with soul and Body, which are God's, 1 Cor. vi. 20. Likewise that the Blood of Christ cleanseth the believing Soul from all Sin, 1 John i. 7. Also that God can be juft, and righteous, as well as merciful in justifying her soul, by the Obedience and Sufferings of Jesus, Rom. iii
. 26. And now she being cut off from her own Righteousness, viz. the wild Olive-tree by Nature, and ingrafted into Christ, the good Olive-tree by Grace, Rom. xi. 17. Every high and lofty Look is now brought low; and the crooked Paths made straight; and rough Ways smooth, Luke iii. 5. Now hath God made Peace with her Soul through the Blood of the Cross, by the suffering Body of his Flesh, through Death, to present her ever unblameable in his Sight, Col. i. 20, 22.
And now in the most profound Humility, the often looks on him, who, for her Sins was pierced, and mourneth in the Bitterness of her Soul, that she was the Cause of Crucifying her beloved Lord, Zech. xii. 10. Here the Holy Ghost insensibly mollifies her Heart, and engraves thereon her Husband's Name, which is Love, whereby she begins to know him, and grieves as it were to Death over her suffering Redeemer. And so the travaileth, she groaneth, and is in Pain, praying for compleat Deliverance from the Burden of Sin, while Christ is formed in her, Rom. viii. 22. Gal. iv. 19. Here she dieth unto Sin, by having an Eye to the bloody Cross; she hears his Groans by Faith, and feeds on the Merits of his Death, and views him that came by Water and Blood for her Sancti. fication and Juftification, 1 John v. 6. For being justified by his Blood, we shall be saved from Wrath through him, Rom. v.9. For by his Know
ledge to redeem loft Souls, and by making himself known unto them, shall God's righteous Servant justify many, by doing and suffering his Father's Will, for he shall bear their Iniquities, Isa. lii. 11. He came by Water and Blood to signity that he intended, and would not only justity, but also sanctify and cleanse her with the Washing of Water by the Word, Eph. v. 26. “ Not for Works of Righteousness which we have done, but according to his Mercy, he saved us by the Washing of Regeneration, and Renewing of the Holy Ghost,” Tit. iii. 5. Here she beholds “ the Lamb of God that taketh away the Sins of the (believing) World,” Joon i. 29. and asketh him, “ What are these Wounds in thy Hands ? and he answering, " Those with which I was wounded in the House of my Friends,” Zech, xiij. 6. Here The views him who is invisible, being every Way suitable to her Case, and sees him altogether lovely, Cant. v. 16. And as Jacob put the Flocks to conceive before Rods, which being partly pilled, had white Strakes in them, in order that they might bring forth Cattle ring-straked, speckled, and spotted ; all which was to be his own, Gen. xxx. 38, 39. So God puts his Flock to conceive before Christ, prophetically styled, The Rod of Jese, Ifa. xi. 1. Having first partly pilled him, when he made long Furrows down his Back, by scourging him in Pia Late's Judgment-hall, Pfal. cxxix. 3. Mark xv. 15. And then hanged him on the Cross, in order that the Flock might clearly see the Blood and Water flow down his facred Body in Strakes of white and red; of which Materials God forms and creates his new Creature, or Image, in every Believer. And they being God's Workmanship, created in (and from) Christ Jesus unto good Works, Eph. Therefore, God also calls them his own O 2
peculiar Treasure, Psal. cxxxv. 4. My Heritage, iaith God, is unto me as a speckled Bird, and the speckled Bird (the true Church) being adopted into God's Family; therefore the Birds round about are against her, Jer. xii. 9. And the Bride, being spiritually produced of the Efience of Christ's Blood (as Adam called his Wife, Woman), therefore, holy Men of old, being moved by the Holy Ghoft, called the Bride of Christ, a Christian (or one anointed) The Holy Ghost honoured the Disciples with Christ's venerable Name, and called them Christians first at Antioch, Act, xi. 26. God the Father now views his Son's Bride with great Complacency, she being all glorious within (Christ dwelling in her Heart by Faith) and she panting for Holiness, crieth like God's Elect Day and Night, and prayeth with great Vehemency, saying, “ Teach me, O Lord ! the Way of thy Statutes, and I shall keep it unto the End. Give me Understanding, and I shall keep thy Law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole Heart. Make me to go in the Path of thy Commandments ; for therein is my Desire," Pfal. cxix. 33, 34, 35. Foralmuch as the Eyes of the Lord are over the Righteous, and his Ears open to their Prayers, i Peter iii. 12, He immediately answerețh her Requests, and instructeth her in the School of Christ, directing her “ As she received Christ Jesus the Lord, at first, fo to walk in him," Col. ii. 6. Looking unto him, who was the Author, and will be the Finisher of her Faith," Heb. xii. 2. “Look unto me (faith Christ) all the Ends of the Earth, and be saved,” Ifa. xlv. 22. “ And as Moses lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness, even lo muft the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoscever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life," John iii. 14, 15. Thus by looking on him through Faith, having an Eye
to the Merits of his Sufferings on the Cross, the Vail of Legality is taken away. And all Believers in a Measure, with open Face, beholding as in a Gospel-glals, the Glory of the Lord, in the Face of Jesus Christ, are changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory, by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. which is a Spirit of Love and Praise. " Whoso offereth me Praise (faith God) glorifieth me : and to him that ordereth his Conversation aright, I will shew the Salvation of God,” Psal. I.23. The Bride having received the Answer of her Prayer, and God's Promise made good, wherein he faith, “ Before she (the Church) calleth, I will answer, and whilft she is yet speaking, I will hear," Ifa. lxv. 24. For he answers the Cries of his own Spirit, who searcheth the Heart ; and according to the Will of God, maketh Intercession for the Saints with Groanings which in the extensive Manner they are conceived) cannot be uttered, Rom. viii. 26, 27. And the Bride, being united to Chrift, (the Elect of God) in whom his Soul delighteth, Isa. xlii. 1. is made comely, through his Comeliness, and acceptable in him, Ezek. xvi. 14. She being now all glorious within, and her Clothing is of wrought Gold, Psal. xlv. 13. She, having put on the Lord Jesus by Faith, can through Peace and Joy in believing, live happy without the finful Gratifications of the Flesh, Rom. xiii. 14. All Christ's Righteousness, from his Birth to his Death, The puts on as her own. He is called The Lord our Righteousness, Jer. xxiii. 6.
and Jerusalem, (the Church) Tbe City of the great King, has the Honour of bearing his Name, Jer. xxxiii. 16. being the Place of his Residence, and himself the Bride's Habitation, Pfal. xc. 1. and xci. g. She being now
9 clothed with the Ornaments of Salvation, the Bride's Wedding Dress, the beautiful Garments which the