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Son of God, called his offspring. But in this new being much more are we so; we are of him as his children, partakers of the divine nature, and that so fastned, that it abideth: And the medium of this excellent and permanent being is primely to be considered; for in him it becomes so. It is both high and firm, being in the essential Son, as the foundation of it; therefore here exprest, as bearing the whole weight of this happy fabric.
Of him ye are in Christ Jesus, &c. The life which believers derive from God is through him; he is that eternal Word, by which all things were made, in their first creation, and do still subsist', And he is made the basis of the second creation, in a wonderful way, becoming himself a creature; and so the root of the new progeny is from heaven, the sons of God: So it follows in both these cited scriptures, the Word was made flesh; and so they that receive him are made the sons of God. And so", amply and excellently is that mystery unfolded. The first frame of man, at least the excellency and beauty of it, was broken by his fall; therefore a new model is framed of a selected number, to be a new world, more firm than the former, united unto God so close, as never to be severed again. Man, though he was made holy and God-like, continued not in that honour. Now, God himself becomes a man, to make all sure, that is the foundation of an indissoluble union. Mau is knit to God in the person of Christ so close, that there is no possibility of dividing them any more; and this union of our nature in his person is made the ground of the union of our persons with God. We find our own flesh in Christ catch hold of a man, and in that may find God, and are made one with him by faith in Christ; and this all the powers of hell cannot dissolve. Our life none can cut off from his, more than a man can cut a beam from off the sun. We are and subsist * John i. 12, 13, 14.
e Acts xvii.
f Heb. i.-John i.
of God in Christ. This is an unknown mystery, but, were it known, would prove a depth of rich inexhaustible consolation. The world doth not know what christians are: This is no wonder ; for truly they know not themselves, or but very little. How would it elevate their spirits, but not in pride. Oh! nothing is more humbling than this, as the apostle here implies; but it would raise them above the world, and suit their desires and their actions to their condition, having all under foot, that the world accounts great; walking as heirs of heaven, led and moved by the Spirit of Christ in them; thinking, when solicited to any base way, how doth this become the sons of God ? Shall one that lives in Christ degrade him so much, as to borrow com, fort or pleasure from any sin, for the killing and destruction whereof he laid down his precious life.
Oh! my brethren, that this divine ambition were kindled in your breasts, to partake of this high and happy being, and leave all your pursuits to follow this, restless till you be in Christ : For solid abiding rest, sure I am, out of him there is none; and then, being in him, remember where you are, and what you are. IValk in Christ, and live like him, as one with him indeed; let his thoughts and desires be yours. What was his work, yea, what bis refreshiment, his meat and drink? To do his Father's will. Oh! when shall we find ourselves so minded, as the apostle's word is, the same mind in us that was in Christ.
Who of God is made unto us wisdom, &c. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning. It was not an accidental after-device in God, (for in him there can be no such thing) but was his great fore-thought project, out of the ruins of man's first estate to raise a fairer and former fabric, new from the very foundation. And in the new foundation lies the model and excellency and stability of the whole structure. This is the choice of all his works, wherein he chiefly glorics, his master-piece, which great angels admire; and this is it, Who of God is made unto us wisdom, &c. and this is one letter of his name.
He is called Wonderful, who is here spoken of; so all is wonderful in this work: Wonderful, first, that he should be made any thing, the Maker of all things himself made something that before he was not, then made to us. That he should be made any thing, to our interest and advantage, who are a company of traitors, and made unto us of God, the God against whom we rebelled, and continued naturally enemies. The purpose bred in the Father's own breast, to give out his son from thence to recover us, and bring us back. O! astonishing depth of love! Then made unto us. What? What not? We made up in him, for ever rich and happy: He made all uuto us, all we need, or can desire, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Without him we are undone, forlorn caitiffs, masses of misery, as you say, having nothing, neither in us or on us ; nothing but poverty and wretchedness, blindness and nakedness, altogether ignorant of the way to happiness, yea, ignorant of our very misery; a nest of fools, natural fools, children of folly, (as they that are renewed by and provided with this wisdom, are called children of wisdom) guilty, filthy, condemned slaves.
This is the goodly posture we are in, out of Christ; vet, who resents it? How few, can be brought to serious thoughts about it? Nay, are not the most in the midst of this misery yet full of high conceit of their worth, wit, freedom, fc. As frantic bedlamites, lying naked and filthy in their chains, yet dreaming they are great and wise persons, commanding and ordering all about them, possibly, that they are kings, a stick in their hands a sceptre, and their iron chains of gold. This is a pleasing madness for the time; yet who does not pity it that looks on?
Methinks I see one of this sort, when I see one evidently destitute of Christ, bearing himself big
upon the fancy of his parts, and birth, and riches, or stoutness, and upon any cross word swelling against others, threatning high, and protesting they will be slaves to none; not knowing that, even while they speak thus, they are wretched caitiffs, under the hardest and basest kind of slavery. Enquire, my brethren, if ever you had a right and clear view
, of yonr natural misery, otherwise you are, it is likely, still in it: And though you profess to believe in Christ, are not yet gone out of yourselves to him ; and not knowing your great need of him, do certainly make little esteem and little use of him. You are full, and reign without him : All is well and in quiet; but it is the strong man yet possessing the house, and keeping you captives as quiet as he can, that you look not out, or cry for a deliverer: He is afraid of him, to be dispossessed and turned out by' him that is stronger, the mighty Redeemer that came out of Zion. Oh! that many amongst you were crying to him, and waiting for him, to come unto you for
your rescue. Mude unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.] To supply and help all, he is our magazine, whither to have recourse to; for this end replenished with all the fulness of God, the very fulness of the godhead dwelling in him; the spirit not given to him by measure. He is fit to be made our wisdom; the wisdom of the Father, as here in this place the apostle lately called him, the wisdom of God. In him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. They that find him, and come in to him, find it so; but the most look but on the superfice, they hear his name, and know not what is under it.
Righteousness.] By fulfilling the whole law, and all righteousness, and yet suffering the rigour of it, as if he had transgressed it: No guile, no spot was found on him; he was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and yet the greatest sinner
i Matt. iii.
by imputation, (white and ruddy) he laid on him the iniquity of us all. And Psal. xl. which is
prophesied of him, Mine iniquities have taken hold on me; he owns them as his, though not his, and endured all that justice could require, entered and paid the debt, and is acquitted and set free again, and exalted at the right hand of God. So it is evident that he is righteous, even in that representative and sponsional person he put on.
Sanctification.] Christ is a living spring of that, anointed above his fellows. In him is no mixture of any iniquity. The Holy Ghost descended on the apostles in the shape of fire : There was somewhat to be purged in them; they are to be quickned and enabled by it for their calling : But in him, as a dove, there was no need of cleansing or purging out any thing; that was a symbol of the spotless purity of his nature, and of the fulness of the the Spirit dwelling in him.
And redemption.] Christ is mighty to save, and having right to save, a kinsman, a brother; and as he hath brought freedom for sinners, will put them in possession of it, will effect and compleat it: All that are in him are really delivered from the power of sin and death, and shall
, ere long, be perfectly and fully so; they shall be lifted up above them, no longer to be molested with any remainders of either, or with fear of them, or so much as any grief for them And that day is called the day of redemption, to which we are before-hand made sure, and sealed by thespirit.
We cannot then doubt of his fitness and fulness to be thiese, and these for us; but withal, we must know that he is designed so to be made unto us, and came, and did, and suffered all for this purpose: and having done, returned, and now lives, to be these to us. It is his place and office, and so bis delight; he loves to be put upon the performance of this, to be their wisdom and righteousness, made of God to us. It is agreed betwixt the Father and