« PreviousContinue »
femblance of fanctification, going under the name of moral virtue, having no fpecial relation to Jefus Chrift and his indwelling Spirit; but fuch as it is, made the foundation of mens relative ftate in the favour of God. And fince the world by their wisdom knew not God; it is not at all ftrange, the produce of their wisdom, in the matter of fanctification, or affimilation to his image, lies fo wide of the true fanctification acceptable to him, discovered in his word. Truly it is there only we can learn the myftery of the fanctification of a finner. And there it is revealed, that that great work is wrought by the Spirit on the fouls of men in a state of union with Jefus Chrift, and after believing, Eph. i. 13. In whom alfo after that ye believed, ye were fealed with that holy Spirit of promife. It neceffarily depends on our union with Chrift, in that we are sanctified in Chrift Jefus, as members of his body, 1 Cor. i. 2.; created in Chrift Jefus unto good works. And faith is the inftrumental caufe of our fanctification, feeing we are fanctified by faith, Acts xxi. 18.; for thereby it is, that of his fulness we receive grace for grace, (John i. 16.); the which is communicated to us by his Spirit, who glorifies him, by reforming us after his image, by means of that communication of grace from Chrift unto us: John xvi. 14. He fhall glorify me: for he Jhall receive of mine, and shall fhew it unto you. So beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord (Chrift), we are changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. Thus one being in Chrift, is made a new creature: forafmuch as he is fuch a ftock as changes the graft into its own nature: Therefore if any man be in Chrift, he is a new creature, chap. v. 17. For as many of you as have been baptized into Chrift, have put on Chrift, Gal. iii. 27. It dependeth alfo upon our juftification and reconciliation with God; inafmuch as the blood of Chrift,
with which we are fanctified, according to the fcripture, Rev. i. 5. 1 Pet. i. 2. 1 John i. 7. is effective of our fanctification, as it is the meritorious cause thereof: and fo the fanctifying virtue of that precious blood, proceeds from its atoning virtue; i fanctifies us, because it juftifies and reconciles us to God: Heb. ix. 14. How much more shall the blood of Chrift, who, through the eternal Spirit, "offered himfelf without fpot to God, purge your confcience from dead works to ferve the living God? Wherefore, faith the apostle, Theff. v. 23. And the very God of peace fanctify you. In like manner, it prefuppofeth our adoption; inafmuch as it is upon our being adopted into the family of God, that we receive the Spirit of his Son, conforming us to his image as our elder brother, which is the very thing wherein our fanctification doth confift: For whom he did foreknow, he alfo did predeftinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren, Rom. viii. 29. And because ye are fons, God hath fent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father, Gal. iv. 6. We are changed into the fame image, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18. And it ftands in the fame relation to God's becoming our God, Ezek. xvi. 8. I fware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, faith the Lord God, and thou becameft mine. Verfe 9. Then washed I thee with water: yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
But although in this work of fanctification, there is communicated out of the all-fulness of grace in Christ, a measure, and that a predominant meafure of every grace; yet it is not a full measure of any grace. Hence it comes to pass, that howbeit we are thereby renewed in the whole man, yet we are still unrenewed in the whole man too; to wit, in refpect of two general parts, thence called the renewed part,
and the unrenewed part. For this communication of grace, being of grace for grace in Chrift, we are thereby renewed in every particular part indeed : but the measure of none of these graces being full in any foul while here, we are not wholly renewed
in any fuch part, but there are remains of corruption ftill indwelling in every fuch part, in the mind, will, and affections, and in the body by way of communication with the unrenewed part. Thus, two contrary principles, to wit, grace and corruption, are in the fanctified; being together in fuch fort, that in every particular part where the one is, the other is there alfo by it: even as in the twilight, light and darkness are in every part of the hemifphere. All which the fcripture doth abundantly declare. For what we have of this gracious work upon us, while here, is but in part; it is not perfect, 1 Cor. xiii. 9, 10. Though there is a new man put on, there is an old man to be put off, Eph. iv. 22, 24. There is flesh as well as fpirit in the best, Gál. v. 17.; who therefore do look forth but as the morning, Cant. vi. 10.; or, as the word properly fignifies, as the dawning: yet as the dawning differs from dark night, they differ thereby from the unfanctified, in whom there is no light, Ifa. viii. 20. Heb. no dawning. See Rom. vii. 14,-24. Philip. iii. 21.
Howbeit, forafmuch as it is a predominant meafure of every grace that is thus communicated; this work of fanctification doth iffue, in a state of death unto fin, and a state of life unto righteousness.
1. It iffueth in a state of death unto fin, or in mortification. For by means of that communication of grace from Chrift the head, though it is not full, the old man of fin gets his deadly wound. The reigning power of the whole body of fins is destroyed: inafmuch as a reigning principle of grace is thereby fet up in the believer; and that his feed remaineth in him; and he cannot fin, because he is born
of God, John iii. 9. Sin fhall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. And the total pollution, or defilement, thro' fin, is by the fame means purged off; inafmuch as the restored image of God makes one really and perfonally pure and clean in the fight of God, as far as it goes: Tit. iii. 5. He faved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the holy Ghost. Compare Col. iii. 10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him. And thus one is put into a state of death, in refpect of his unrenewed part, Col. iii. 3. For ye are dead; Rom. vi. 11. dead indeed unto fin. The which state of death is fuch as a crucified man is in, who being nailed to the crofs, shall never come down till he have breathed out his last: Gal. vi. 14. The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Rom. vi. 6. Our old man is crucified with him.
2. It iffueth alfo in a ftate of life unto righteoufness, or in vivification. For by means of the fame communication of grace from Chrift the head, one is endued with infufed habits of grace, the immediate principles of gracious actions: the law is written in his heart; and his heart is circumcifed to love the Lord. And thus he is put into a state of life unto righteousness, in refpect of his renewed part; being dead indeed unto fin, but alive unto God through Jefus Christ our Lord, Rom. vi. 11. So faith the Apofile of himself, Gal. ii. 20. I am crucified with Chrift Nevertheless I live. And this ftate of life is fuch, as a man is in for the common actions of life, which is not only quickened, but rifen and come forth of the grave: Col. ii. 12. Te are rifen with him through the faith of the operation of God. Rom. vi. 4. That like as Chrift was raised up by the glory of the Father, even fo we alfo fhould walk in newness of life. And it is an eternal life; for the grace communicat
ed from Christ to the believer, for that effect, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlafting life, John iv, 14.
Now, this death unto fin, and life unto righteoufnefs, fpring from our communion with Christ in his death and refurrection. These last have in them a power and virtue to render his myftical members conformable to him in them. They have a power and virtue, to caufe in them a dying unto fin, as Christ died for fin, a violent death, lingering, and painful, yet voluntary; and a rifing from fin to a new manner of life, continued during their abode in this world, and perfected in glory; even as he rose from the dead to a new manner of life, continued till his afcenfion: Philip. iii. 10. That I may know him, and the power of his refurrection, and the fellowship of his fufferings, being made conformable unto his death. Rom. vi. 4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptifm unto death: that like as Chrift was raifed up by the glory of the Father, even fo we alfo fhould walk in newness of life. Ver. 5. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death: we shall be alfo in the likeness of his refurrection. Since there is in Adam's fin and death, a malignant virtue, conforming his natural offspring unto him therein, to their defilement; why should it be thought frange, that there should be such a benign virtue in the death and refurrection of Chrift the fecond Adam, conforming his myftical members unto him therein, to their fanctification? For as in Adam all die, even fo in Chrift fball all be made alive, 1 Cor. xv. 22. The death and refurrection of Christ have this virtue, inafmuch as he died and rofe again as a public perfon, and merited this conformation of his mystical members to his image, Rom. vi. 4,——12. Eph. ii. 5, 6. And they have this effect, as they are applied to us by the Spirit. For the cafe of our justifica. tion and fanctification, is much like that of the deli