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cvermore, is an Evidence to us, that he
demption in the 8th Chapter to the Romans; Ver.23. there, says the Apostle, We ourselves, who
have the First-fruits of the Spirit, even we
thy of the Rewards of the other World in Luke 20. that Day, tells us, that they are the Chil
dren of God, being (or because they are)
36. Rom. 8. 19.
consequent upon it ; and to no other Kinds
ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of 14.
tion. And there is no doubt but this Par-
Having thus given a particular Account
Luke 21. 28.
II. A Seal hath always been ufed for two especial Purposes; either for the Confirmation of Covenants and Contracts between God and Man, or for marking any Thing far one's own. Now to either of these Uses of a Seal, we may suppose the Apostle to allude, when he says that we are sealed by the Spirit. If we take it in
the former Notion, then the Sense is this ; that as it is the Custom amongst Men, to confirm their Agreements and Covenants by mutually setting their Seals to the Instruments wherein the Articles of them are recorded, so God having made a Covenant with all faithful Christians, wherein he promises to give them eternal Life in the other World, he is pleased to ratify this Covenant, and the Promises therein made on his Part, by sending down the Holy Spirit into their Hearts; which is the strongest Assurance that he can possibly give, that he sincerely intends to make good to us what he has promised, and that on his side the Contract is inviolable. And such a Seal hath God set to this Covenant of Christianity, as hath infinitely the Preeminence above the Seal of the Jewish Covenant that was before it, and gives greater Security to us that God will perform it. The Seal of that Covenant was only an outward Seal, an external Mark in the Flesh, viz. Circumcifion : But this is an inward Seal, a Seal in the Heart and Mird. The Israelites were sealed in their Flesh to the Possession of the earthly Land of Canaan; but Christians are fealed in the inward Man by the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon their Minds, to the Possession of that Inheritance that is eternal in the Heavens. But we may well suppose that the Apostle doth by this Phrase of fealing allude to the other
Use of a Seal, as it was, and is still used by Merchants and Men of Trade, viz. as a Declaration of their Right and Propriety in a Thing. Thus it was the Custom of those Persons, [that] whatever Commodity was bought by them, or consign’d to them, to have their Seal or Mark put upon it, whereby it might be distinguished from all others, and known to be theirs only: Nay, in those Times they did not only set their Seal upon Goods, but upon Persons too, whom they bought or had any Property in. And accordingly, in Allusion to this, we find in the Revelations, that the true Worshippers of Jesus Christ, that were to be saved in the midst of the Judgments and Calamities that were to fall upon the Antichristian Churches, are faid to have the Seal of God on their Foreheads : And on the other side, they who belonged to the Beast, who were Subjects of Antichrist, are faid to have the Mark of the Beast upon them. And in this Sense the Phrase is used
even of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he is said John 6.26.to be sealed by the Father, viz, God, by his
sending the Holy Spirit down upon him at his Baptism, did declare to all the World, that Jesus Christ was owned by him. And in this Sense all Christians may be truly said to be sealed by the Holy Spirit to the Day of Redemption ; that is, God, by giving them the Spirit, hath marked them for his own; they have an Evidence in