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Heb. ix 14.

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are united to him by faith, John vi. 572."? As the living Father bath seot me, and I live by the Father ; so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.'* Now, Christ is Mediator, not as God only, as some have asserted-; nor yet as man only, as the Papists generally kold: but he is Mediator as God-man, Acts xx. 28. " The church of God, which he hath purchafed with his blood,"

“ Christ, who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God." The divine and human natures bave their distinct actings, yet a joint operation in this, dischargingihe office of a Mediator. This is illustrated by the fimilifude of a fiery sword, which at once cuts and burns : cutting, it burneth ; and burning, it cutteth; the steel cuts, and the fire burns : Wherefore Christ, God man, is the stock, whereof believers are the branches; and they are united to whole Christ : They are united to him in his human nature, as being bars of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones," Eph. v. 30. and they are united to him in his divine ....ture; for so the Apostle speaks of this union, Col. i. 27. “ Christ in you the hope of glory." And by him they are united to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, 1 John iv, 15.

"Whosoever shall confess thai Jesus is the Son of God, God dwellech in him, and he in God." Faith, the bond of this union, receives whole Christ, God-man; and fo.. unites us to him as such.

Behold here, o believers, your high privilege. Ye were once branches of a degenerate stock, even as others: but ye are, by grace, become branches of the true Vine, Jokes xv..1... Ye are cut out of a dead and killing stock; and ingrafted in the last Adam, who was made a quickning spirit," I Cor. xv. 45. Your loss by the first Adam is made up, with great advantage, by your union with the second. '- Aila", ar his beft eftate, was but a fhrub, in comparison with Christ, the Tree of Life. He was but a servant, Christ is the Sor, the Heir, and Lord of all things, " the Lord from heaven.” It cannot be denied, that. grace was shown in the firtt covenant: but it is as far 'exceeded, by the grace of the second covenant, as the cwilight is by the liglic of the mid-day.

Ill. What branches are taken out of the natural stock, and grafted into this Vive? Anf. These are the elect, and none other They, and they only, are gratied into Christ; and consequently none but they are cut off from the killing stock. For them alone he intercedes, " that they niay be one in him and his Facher, John xvii, 9, 23. Faith, the bond of this union, is given to none elle: " the faith of God's elect,” Tit. i. 1. The Lord paffes

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. by many branches growing on the natural ftock, and cuts off only here one, and there one, and grafts them into the true Vine, according as free love hath determined. Ofi does he pitch upon the most unlikely branch, leaving the top-boughs ; paffing by the mighly, and the noble, and calling the weak, base, and de. fpifed, I Cor. i, 27. Yea, he often leaves the fair and smooth, and takes the rugged and knotty : “And such were some of you, but ye are washed,” i Cor. vi. 11. If ye inquire why so? We find no other reason, but because they were “ chosen in him," Eph. i. 2. vs Predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Chrift,” ver. 5. Thus are they gathered together in Chrift, while the rest are left growing on their natural stock, to be afterwards, bound up in bundles for the fire. Wherefore, to whomsoever the gospel may come in vain, it will have a bleft effect on God's elect, Acts xiii. 48.“ As many as were ordained, to eternal life, believed. Where the Lord has much people, the Gospel will have much fuccefs, sooner or later : Such as are to be saved, will be added to the mystical body of Christ.

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How the Branches are taken out of the natural Stock, and in.

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IV. I am to shew how the branches are cut off from the narural ttock, the first Adam, and grafted into the true Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks to the husbandman, not to the branch, that it is cut off from its natural stock, and in grafred into a new one. The sinner, in his coming off from the first ftock, is paflive; and neither can, nor will, come off from it, of His own accord, bus clings to i!, till almighty power make him to fall off, John vi.

44.

6'No man can conie unto me, except
The Father, which hath sent me, draw hin)." And ch. x. 40.
" Ye will nos come to me, that ye might bave life." The in-
grafted branches are "God's husbandry,” 1 Cor. iii. 9. " The
planting of the Lord,” Ifa.lxi. 3. The ordinary mears he makes
use of io this work, is the ministry of the word, 1 Cor. j.
“We are labourers together with God." But the efficacy
thereof is wholly from him, whatever the minister's pares er
picty be, ver. 7. “Neither is he that planteth any ehing, neither
he ihat watererh: but God 'that giveth the increase. The
Apoftle preached to the Jews, yet the body of that people re.
mained in infidelity, Rom. X. !6. " Who hath believed our re-
port?” yea, Chrif himself, who spoke as never man spoke, faith
sacerning the success of his owa miniftry, “ I have laboured'in

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vain, I have spent my ftrength for nought," Ifa. xli. 4. The branches may be backed by the preaching of the word : but the Atroke will never go through, till it be carried home on them, by an omnipotent arm. However, God's ordinary way is, " by the foolishn: fs of preaching to fave item that bělieve,' i Cor.f. 21..

The cutting off of the branch from the natural stock, is performed by the pruning kuife of the Law, in the hand of the Spirit of God, Gal. ii. 19. • For I, through the Law, am dead to the Law.” It is by the bond of the Covenant of Works, I faid before, that we are koit to our natural stock : and, thereforeg. as a wife, unwilling to be put away, pleads and hangs by the marriage-tie ; fo do men by the Covenant of works. They hold by it, like the man who held the ship with his hands; and when one hand was cut off, held wich the other; and when both: were cut off, Keld it with his teeth. This will appear from a: distinct view of the Lord's work.on men, in bringiog them off from the old stock;, which I now offer in these following. particulars :

First, When the Spirit of the Lord comes to deal with aí person, to bring him to Christ, he finds him in Laodicea's cafe, in a found sleep of security, dreaming of heaven, and the favour of God, tho?... full of sin against the holy One of Israel.”

Reg. ii. 17; " Thou knoweit not that thou art wretched and! • miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."-And, therefore,

he darts is fome beams of light into the dark soul, and let's the man fee he is a. loft man, if he turn not over a new leaf, and. betake himself to a new course of life. Thi", by the Spirit of the Lord, acting as a spirit of bundagę, įhere is a criminal court erected in the man's breaft, where he is arraigned, accused, and condemned for breaking the Law.of.God; convinced of fin and judgment John xsi: 8. And now he can no longer sleep securely in his former course of life. This is yhe first. stroke the branch gets, in order to cutting offi.

Secondly, Hereupona: man, förfákes his former profane. curses, his lying, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, ftealing, and fuch like practices; though they be dear to him as right: eyes; he will rather quit them ihan ruin his fouli. The ship is like to. fink, and therefore he throweth his goods over-board, that he himself may not perith. And now he begins to bless himself in his heart, and look. joyfully on bis evidences frogi heaven ;-thinking himself a better servant to God than, many others, Luke xviii. 11.“ God I thank thee I am not as other men are, extpr. tioners, unjoft , adukerers,' &ce But he foon gets another stroke S3

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with the ax of the law, shewing him that it is only he that doth what is written in the Law, who can be saved by it; and that his negative holiness is 100 scanıy a cover from the storm of Gods Wrath: And thus, although his fins of commiffon, only, were heavy on him before ; his fins of omillion now crowd into his thoughts, attended with a train of law-curses and vengeance,

in And each of the ten commands discharges thunder-claps of wrath against him, for his omitting required duties.

THIRDLY, Upon this he turns to a positively holy course of a tife. He not only is.not profane, but he performs religious. he duties; he prays, feeks the knowledge of the principles of religion, Atrialy obferves the Lord's day, and, like Herod, does many things, and hears fermons gladly. In one word, there is a great conformity in his outward conversatiort

, to the letter of de boch rables of the law. And, now, there is a mighty change jev unon ulte, man, that his neighbours cannot miss to take notice of Hence he is cheerfully admitted by the godly into their fociety, fels as a praying person, and can confér with them about - religious Datters, yea, and about foul exercise, which fome are not ac. quainted with. And their good opinion of him, confirms his good opinion of himself. This ftep in religion is fatal to many, who never get beyond it. But here the Lord reached the elect branch a father stroke. Conscience flies in the man's face, for some wrong steps in his conversation ; the neglect of some da'y, or commission of some fin, which is a blot in his converfation: and then the farming sword of the Law appears again

the over his head, and the curse rings in his earş, for him that continaeth not in all things written in the Law to do them," Gal. m. 10.

FOURTHLY, On this account he is obliged to seek another * false for his fure. He goes to God, confefleth his fin; seeks the pardon of it, promising to watch against it for the time to come, and so finds cafe, and thinks he may very well take it, seeing the Scripture faith, " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our fins," + Johni. 9. not considering that be grasps

tako at a privilege, which is theirs only who are ingrafted into Christy & and under the corenant of grace; and which she branches yet growing on the old stock cannot pleads And here sometimes there are formal and express yows made against such and fuch fins, and binding to fach and fuch duties. Thus many go on all their days, knowing no other religion, but to da duties, and to confess, and pray for pardon of that wherein they fails mromising themselves ciernal happiness, though they are utter

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. Here many elect ones have been caft down wounded, and many reprobates have been lain; while the wounds of neither of them have been deep enough, to cut them off from their natural stock. But the Spirit of the Lord gives yet a deeper stroke to the branch which is to be cut off; thewing him, chat, as yet, he is but an out-fide faint; and discovering to him the filthy lufts, lodged in his heart, which he took no notice of before, Rom. vii. 9. “When the conmandment came, sin revived and I died." Then he sees bis heart a dunghill of hellish lofts; filled with coverousness, pride, malice, filthiness, and the like. Now, as foon as ihe door of the chambers of his imagery is thus opened to him, and he fees what they do there in the dark, his Qui-Gide religion is blowd up as insufficient; and he learos a new leilon in religion ; namely,

That he is not á Jew which is one outwardly," Rom. ii. 28.

FIFTHLY, Upon this he goes funher, even to in-lide religion :: fets to work more vigoronfly than ever, mourns over the evils of his heart, and strives to bear down the weeds he finds grow. ing in that neglected garden. He labours to curb his pride and paffion; and to banith speculative impurities; prays more ferFeptly, hears attentively, and strives to get bis heart affected im every religious duty he performs; and thus he comes to think himself not only an out-fide, but an in fide Chriftian. Wonder pot at this ; for there is nothing in it beyond the power of nature, or what one may atrain to under a vigorous influence of the Covenant of works. Therefore another yet deeper stroke is reached. The Law .chargeth home on the man's conscience, that he was a transgreffor from the womb; thar he came into the world a guilty creature: and {hat, in the time of his ignosance, and even ince his eyes were opened, lae has been guilty of many actual fins, either all together overlooked by him, or not sufficiently mourned over : (For, fpiritual fores, not healed by the blood of Christ, but skinned over fome other way, are easily Fuffled, and as soon break out again.) And therefore the Law takes him by the throat, saying, “ Pay what thou owest.”

SIXTHLY, Then the finner fays in his heart, “ Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all :'' and so falls to work to pacify an offended God, and to atone for thefe fins. He renews his repentance, such as it is; bears patiently the ami&tions. laid

upon him, yea, be amicts himself, denies himself the use of his lawful comforts, sighs deeply, mouros bitterly, cries with tears for a pardon, till he hath wrought up his beart to a conceit of having obtained it; having thus done penance for what is paft, and re

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