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" like third benefit flowing Christ, become chilan with him, who
«i aflurance of faith, having his heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, Heb. x. 21, 22. But then, what becomes of the body, the weak and, weary flesh? Why, “His flesh fhall be fresher than a child's, he thall « return to the days of his youth, ver. 25. Yea, all his bones, (which “ were chastened with strong pain, ver, 19.) thall say, Lord, who is " like unto thee!” Psal xxxv 10: i
A Third benefit flowing from union with Christ, is Adoption. Believers, being united to Christ, become children of God, and members of the family of heaven. By their union with him, who is the Son of God by nature, they become the fonsof God by grace, John i. 12 As when a branch is cut off from one tree, and grafted in the branch of another; the ingrafted branch, by means of its union with the adopting branch (as some not unfitly have called it) is made a branch of the same stock, with that into which it is ingrafted : so tinners being ingrafted into Jesus Christ, whofe name is the Branch, his Father is their Father, his God their God, John xx. 17. And thus they, who are by nature children of the devil, become the children of God. They have the Spirit of adoption, Rom. vii. 15. namely, the Spirit of his Son, which bring them to God, as children to a father; to pour out their complaints in his bosom, and to seek necessary fupply, Gal. iv. 6.“ Because ye are fons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his “ Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Under all their weaknesses, they have fatherly pity, and compassion fhewn then, Psal. ciij. 13. Like as a father pitieth his children: ro the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Altho' they were but foundlings, found in a defort land; yet now that to them belongs the adoption, he keeps them as the apple of his eye, Deut. xxxii. 10. Whosoever pursue them, they have a 'refuge. Prov. xiv. 20. His children shall have a place of refuge. In a time of common calamity, they have chambers for protection, where they may be hid, until the indignatior: be overpust, Isa. xxvi. 20 And he is not only their refuge for protection, but their portion for provision, in that refuge; Pfal. cxlii. 5. “Thou art “ my refuge and my portion in the land of the living” They are provided for, for eternity, Heb. xi. 16. He hath prepared for them a city And what he sees they have need of for time, they thall not want, Matth. vi. 31, 32. “ Take no thought saying, What' shall " we eat? Or, what Thall we drink? Or, wherewithal shall we be
clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of " all these things.” Soufonable correction is likewise their privilege: as fons: so they are not suffered to pass with their faults, as happens. to others who are not children, but servants of the family, and will be turned out of doors for their miscarriages at length Hleb xii. 2. 66. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with funs: for 66 whatson is he whom the Father chafteneth not?” They are heirs. of, and shall inherit the pmifts. Heb. vi. 12. Nay, they are beirs of God, who himself is the portion of their jaheritance, Pfal. xvi 5. and joint heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17, And because they are the
Matth. vi. Hat shall my Father keition is likew siaults, as hapl wil
our Seasonable compass with their che family;
children of the great King, and young heirs of glory, they have angels for their attendanes, who are sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs of falvation, Heb. i. 14. . .
A Fourth benefit is Sanctification, 1 Cor. i. 30. “ But of him are " ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom and “ righieousness, and fan&tificacion. Being united to Christ, they partake of bis Spirit, which is the Spirit of holiness. There is a fulness of the Spirit in Chrift, and ic is not like the fulness of a vesel, which only retains what is poured into it; but it is the fúl. nefs of a fountain for diffusion and communication, which is always Sending forth irs water, and yet is -always full. The Spirit of Chrift, chat fpiritual lap, which is in the lock, and from thence is communicate to the branches, is the Spirit of grace, Zec. xii. 1o: And where the Spirit of grace dwells, there will be found a complication of all graces. Holiness is not one grace only, but all the graces of the Spirit: it is a constellation of graces ; it is all she graces in their feed and root. And as the sap conveyed from the Stock into the branch, goes thro' it, and chuo' every part of ir ; lo the Spirit of God fanctifies the whole man.' The poison of Gin was diffufcd through che whole spirit, soul and body of the man; and sanctifying grace pursues it into every corner, i Theff. vi 23. Every part of the man is fanctified, though no part is perfectly so.' The truth we are farctified by, is not held in the head, as in a prison : but runs, with irs sanctifying influences, through heart and life. There are indeed some graces in every believer, which appear as top-branches above the rel: as meekness in Mofes, parience in Job: but feeing chere is in every child of God, a boly principle guing along with the holy law, in all the parts hereof, loving, liking, and approving of it; as appears from their universal respect to the commands of God: it is evident they are endurd with all the graces of the Spirit; because there can be no more in the effect, than there was in the cause.
Now, this fanctifying Spirit, whereof believers. partake, is unto chem, (5.) A Spirit of mortification. -". Through the Spirit they it mortify the deeds of the body,”: Rom. viii. 13. Sin is crucified in them, Gal v. 24. They are planted together (namely, with Christ) in the likeness of his death, which was a lingering death, Rom. vi. 5. Sin in the raint, tho' not quite dead, yer is dying. If i it were dead, it would be taken down from the cross and buried out of his right; bur, ic hangs there as yet, working and Struggling undir its mortal wounds. Look, as when a tree has got such a Stroke as reaches the heart of it, all the leaves and branches there. ; of begin to fade and decay: so, where the fanétifyiog Spirit comes ; and breaks the power of fin, there is a gradpal ceasing from it, and dying to it, in the whole man; so that he no longer lives in the flesh, i to the lufts of men. He does not make sin his trade and balinels ; ; it is not his great design to seek himself, and to satisfy his corrupt
elinations : but he is for Immanuel's land; and is walking in the
actions of life: so, the foul being influenced by the fanctifying - Spirit of Christ, is enabled more and more to perform all the . actions of spiritual life. And as the whole of the law, and not
some scraps of it only, is written on che holy heart; so believers - are enabled to transcribe that law in their conversation. And, alchough they cannot write one line of it without blots; yet God, for Chrilt's sake, accepts of the performances, in point of fanctification: they being disciples to his own Son, and led by his own Spirit.
This fan&ifying Spirit, communicated by the Lord Jesus to his menbers, is the spiritual nourishinent the branches have froin the Stock into which they are ingrafted; whereby the life of grace, given them in regeneration, is preserved, continued and actuated It is the nourishment whereby the new creatore liveth, and is nourished up towards perfection. Spiritual life needs to be fed, and must have supply of nourishment: and believers derive the
fame from Christ their head, whom the Father has constituted the · head of infisances to all his members, Col. ij. 19. “ Anu not holding " the head, from which all the body, by joints and hands having
nourishment ministred,” or supplied, &c. Now, this supply is, o the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ," Phil. i, 19. The saints feed richly, eating Christ's Aeth, and drinking his blood, for their Spiritual nourilhnent: yet our Lord himself teachech us, that "it " is the Spirit that quickneth,” even that Spirit who dwells in that blcsled body, John vi. 63. The human nature is united to the divine nature, in the perfon of the Son, and so (like the bowl in Zechariah's candlestick, Zech. iv.) lies at the fountain-head, as the glorious means of conveyance of influences, froin the fountain of the Deity'; and receives not the Spirit by measure, but ever hath a folness of the Spirie, by reason of that personal union. , Hence, believers being united to the man Chrift, (as the seven lanıps to the bowl, by their seven pipes, Zech. iv. 2.) his ficph is to them meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed: for, feeding on that blessed body (i.e. effectually app wing Christ to their souls by faich) they partake more and
more of that. Spirit, who dwelleth therein, to their spiritual E' nourishment. The holince of God could never admit of an inmediat
. . State III. union with the finful creature, nor (consequently) an immediate communion with it: yet, the creature could not liv: the life of grace, without communion with the fountain of life: Therefore, that the honour of God's holiness, and the salvation of finners, might jointly be provided for ; the second person of the glorious Trinity, took, into a personal union with himself, a sinless human nature; that so this holy harmless and undefiled humanity, might immediately receive a fulness of the Spirit, of which he might communicate to his members by his divine power and efficacy. And likeas, if there were a tree, having its root in the earth, and its branches reaching to heaven; the valt distance betwixt the root and the branches would not interrupt the communication betwixt the root and the top-branch; even so, the distance betwixt the man Christ, who is in heaven, and his members, who are on earth, cannot hinder the communication betwixt them. What though the parts of mystical Christ (viz. the head and the members) are not contigu ius, as joined together in the way of a corporal nnion? The union is not therefore the less real and effectual. Yea, our Lord himself shews us, that albeit we should eat his flesh, in a corporal and carnal manner, yet, it would profit nothing, John vi 63. we would not be one whit holier thereby. But the members of Christ on earth, are united to their head in heaven, by the invisible bond of the self-fame Spirit dwelling in both : in him as the head, and in them as the members, even, as the wheels, in Ezekiel's vision, were not contiguous to the living creatures, yet were united to them, by an invisible bond of one spirit in both; so that “ when the living 6c creatures went, the wheels went by that, ; and when the living “ creatures were lift up froin the earth, the wheels were lift up, Ezek i. 19 For, says the Prophet, the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels, ver. 20.
Hence, we may see the difference betwixt true Sanctification, and that shadow of it, which is to be found amongst fome strict professors of Christianity, who yet are not true Christians, are not regenerate by the Spirit of Christ, and is of the same kind with what has appeared in many sober heathens. True functification is the result of the soul's union with the holy Jesus, the first and immediate receptacle of the sanctifying Spirit; out of whose fulness his members do, by virtue of their union with him, 'receive sanctifying influences. The other is the mere product of the man's own-fpirit, which, whatever it has, or seems to have of the matter of true holiness, yet does not arise from the supernatural principles, nor to the high aims and ends thereof: for, as it comes from felf, so it runs out into the dead sea of felf again; and lies as wide of true holiness, as nature doth of grace. They who have this bastard holiness, are like common boat-men, who serve them. selves with their own oars; whereas, the ship bound for Immanuel's land, sails by the blowings of the divine Spirit. How is it possible there should be crue fanétification without Chrift?, Cani there be true fanctification, without paştaking of the Spirit of holiness? Can we
over: thile, others rock, by the
partake of that Spirit, but by Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the Tel life? The falling dew thall as soon make its way through the flinty
rock, as influences of grace Mall come from God to finners, any other - way, but through him whoin the Father has constituted the head of
influences, Col. i. 10. “ For it pleased the Father, that in him should " all fulness dwell?" and, chap ii 19." And not holding the head, " from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourishment " ministred, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." Hence see how it comes to pass, that inany fall away from their seem. ing sanctification, and never recover: it is because they are not branches truly knit to the true. Vine. Mean while, others recover from their decays, because of their union with the life-giving stock, by the quicken. ing Spirit, John ii. 19." They went out from us, but they were "not of us: for if they had been of us, they would rio doubt have " continued with us.”
A Fifth benefit is growth in grace. “ Having nourishment ministred, " they increase with the increase of God,"Col.ii 19.“ The righteous "Thall flourish like the palm-tree, he shall grow like a Cedar in " Lebanon,” Pfal. xcii. 12. Grace is of a growing nature :. in the way to Zion they go from strength to strength. Though the holy man be at first a little child in grace yet at length he becomes a young man, a father, i John ii. 13. Though he does not but creep in the way to heaven sometimes; yet afterwards he walks, he runs, he mounts up with wings as eagles, Ifa xl. 31. If a branch grafted into a stock never grows it is a plain evidence of its not having knit with the stock.
But some may perhaps say, " If all true Christians be growing ones, what shall be said of thefe, who instead of growing, are going back?"). 1 answer, Firft, Tiere is a great difference between the Christian's growing simply, and his growing ut all times. All true Chriftians do grow, but I do not say, they grow at all times. A tree thai has life and nourishment, grows to its perfection, yet it is not always growing; it grows not in the winter. Christians also have their winters, wher:. in the influences of grace, neceifary for growth, are ceased, Cant. v.2. I sleep. It is by faii, the believer derives gracious influence from Jesus Christ; likeas each lamp in the candlestick, received oil from the bowl, by, the pipe going betwixt them, Zech. iv. 2. Now, if 'that pipe be stopt, if the saints faith ly dorinant and unadive; then all the relt of the graces will become din, and seem ready to be extinguished. in consequence: whereof depraved nature will gather strength, and become active. What then will become of the loul? Why, there is til one sure ground of hope. The faint's faith is not as the hypocrite's, like a pipe laid ihort of the fountain, whereby there can be Do conveyance: it still remains a bond of union betwixt Christ and the loùl; and therefore, because Ghrift lives, the believer shall live also. jobiy xiv. 19. The Lord Jesus puts in his hand by the hole of the door, and clear's the ineans of conveyance: and then influences for growth Now; and the believer's graces look frelh and green again, Hof. xiv.7.