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First, In the general, for under standing the union betwixo the Lord Jesus Christ, and his eleét, who believe in him and on him :
1. It is a spiritual union. Man and wife, by their marriageunion, become one filtfh ; Christ and true believers, by this union, become one spirit, 2 Cor. yi. 17. As one foul or spirit actuates both the head and the members, in the natural body; so the one Spirit of God dwells in Christ and the Christian; for, “ If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his,” Rom.
Corporal union is made by contract : fu the stones. in a building are united. But this is an union of another naiure. Were it possible we could eat the flesh, and drink the blood of Christ, in a corporal and carnal manner, it would profit, nothing, Jobn vi. 63. It was not Mary's bearing him in her womb, but her believing on him, that made her a faint, Luke xi. 27, 28. 66 Ar certain. woman-said unto him, Blefied is the womb that: bare thee, and the paps which ihou haft fucked. But he said, Yea, rather: blessed are they that: hear the word of God, and keep it."
4. It is a realiunión. Such is, our weakness in our present ftate, so much are we immersed in fin, that we are prone to form in our fancy, an image of every thing proposed to us :. and as to whatsoever is denied us,, we, are apt to suspect it to be but a hétion, or what has no reality. But nothing is more real, than what is. spiritual:. as approaching nearest 10 the nature of him who is the fountain of all reality, namely, God himself. We do not: see with our eyes the union bet * ixt our own soul and body ;: neither can we represent it to ourselves truly, by imagination, as we do fenfible things : yet the reality of it is not to be doubled.. Faith is no fancy, but the fabítance of things hoped for, Hebr xi. Neither is the union: thereby nùade betwixt. Christ and believers, imaginary, but most real :: ' for 'we are members of his body, of his flith, and of his.bones,” Eph. V. 30.,
3. It is a mofi close and intimate, union.. Believers; regene. rale peșsons, who fiduciously credit him, and rely on him, have put on Christ, Gal. 111..27. If that be not ecough, he is in them,, John. xvii 23. fçrmed in tbem, as the child in the : mother's belly, Gal. iv. 19. He is the foundation1.Cor. iii. 11. They
ji are the lively ftones built upon hint; 1. Pet. ii. 5. He is the head, and they the body, Eph. 1. 225 235 Nay, he liveth in them,, as their very souls: in their bodies, Gal. ii. 30. And what is more than all this, they are one in the Father, and the Son, as the Father is in Chrift, and Christ in the Father, John xvii. 21.
*. That they all may be one as thou the Father art in me, and I in thee, they also may be one in us.''
4. Though it is not a mere legal union, yet it is an union fustained in law. Christ as the Cautioner, the Christians as the principal debtors, are one, in the eye of the law. When the elect had run themselves, with the rest of mankind, in debt to the justice of God; Chrift became furety for them, and paid the debt. When they believe on him, they are united to him in a fpiritual marriage union ; which takes effect so far, that what he did and suffered for them, is reckoned in law, as if they had done and suffered for themselves. Hence they are said to be “ crucified with Christ," Gal. ii. 20. ** Buried with him," Col. ii. 12. Yea, "raised up together, (namely, with Chrift,) and made to fit together in heavenly places in Christ Jefus," Eph. ii. 6. In which places, saints on earth, of whom the Apostle there speaks, cannot be said to be fitting, but in the way law-reckoning:
5, It is an indiffoluble union. Once in Christ, ever in him. Having taken up his habitation in the beart, he never removes. None can untie this happy knor. Who will dissolve this union ? Will he himself do it? No, he will not ; we have his word for it : I will not curn away from them," Jer. xxxii. 40. But, perhaps, the finner will do this mischief for himself: No he shall not ; “ They thall not depart from me, faith their God,” ibid. Can devils do it.? No, unless they be stronger than Chrift, and bis Father too : “ Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” faith our Lord; John X. 28. “And none is able to pluck , them out of my Father's band,” ver. 39. But, what say you of death, which parts husband and wife ; yea, separates the soul from the body? Will not death do it? No; the Apostle, Ron. viii. 38, 39. is persuaded that neither death, as terrible as it is) nor life, (as desireable as it is) nor devils, those evil angels, nor the devil's perfecuting agents, tho' they be principalities or powers on earth; nor evil things present, already lying on us ; nor evil things to come on us; nor the height of worldly felicity, nor depth of worldly misery; nor any other creature, good or ill, “ fhall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As death separated Christ's foul from his body, but could not feparate either bis foul or body from his divine nature : so, tho? the saints fhould be separated. from their nearest relations in the world, and from all their earthly enjoyments; yea, though their fouls should be separated from their bodies, and their bodies separated in a thoufand pieces,
their bones. scattered, as when one curreth or cleaveth wood: yet soul and body, and every piece of the body, the smallest dust of it shall remain united to the Lord Christ : for even in death,
they sleep in Jesus," 1 Thess. iv. 14. Ants. “ he keepeth all their bones,” Plal. xxxiv, 20. Union with Chrift, is the grace wherein we land firm and stable, as “ Mount Zion, which caunot be removed."
Lastly, It is a mysterious unior. The go!pel is a doĉtrine of myfteries. It discovers to us the substantial union of the three persons of the God-head, 1 John y. 7." These three are one : The hypoftatical union of the divine and human natures, in the person of the Lord Jesus Chrift, 1 Tim. iii. 16. God was manifelt in the flesh : And the mystical union betwixt Christ and believers ; “ This is a great mystery,” also, Eph. v. 32. O what mysteries are here ! the Head in heaven, ihe members on earth ; yet really united ! Christ in the believer, living in him, walking in bim ; and the believer dwelling in God, putting on the Lord Jesus, eating his flesh, and drinking his blood ? this makes the faints a mystery to the world; yéa, a mystery to themselves.
SECONDLY, I come now more particularly to speak of this union with, and ingrafting into Jesus Chrift. And, (1.) I shall conlider the natural. "stock, which the branches are caken out of. (2.) The supernatural ftock, they are ingrafted into. (3.) What branches are cut off the old stock, and put into the new. (45) How it is done. And, Laitly, The benefits flowing from this union and ingrafting,
of the natural and supernatural Stocks, and the Branches taken
out of the former, and ingrafted into the latter.
I. Let us take a view of the stock, which the branches are taken out of. The two Adams, that is, Adam and Christ, are the two stocks : for the fcripture speaks of these two, as if there had never been more men in the world than they, 1 Cor. XV. 45.
“ The first man Adam was made a living soul, the last. Adam was madei quickning Spirit,” ver. 47. “ The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” And the reason is, there were never any, that were not branches of one of these two ; all men being either in the one stock, or in the other; for in thefe two forts all mankind stands divided, ver. 48. “ As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy : and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.'
The first Adam, then, is the natural flock : on this stock are the branches found growing at first; which are afterwards cut off, and ingrafied into Chrift. As for the fallen angels, as they had. no relation to the fi:lt Adam, so they have none to the second.
There are four things to be remembred here, (1) That alb mankind (the Man Christ excepted) are naturally branches of the 6rft Adam, Rom. v. 12.“ By one man lin entered into the world, and death by lin: and fo death passed upon all men.” (2) The bond which knit us unto the natural stock, was the Covenant 'of works. Adam being our natural root, was made the moral root also ; bearing all bis polterity, as, representing them in the Covenant of Works. For,“ by one man's disobe dience, many were made finners,” Rom. v. 19. Now, there behoved to be a peculiar relation betwixt that one man and the many, as a foundation for imputing his in to them. lation did not arise from the mere natural bond betwixt him and us, as a father to his children ; for so we are related in our immediate parents, whose lins are not thereupon imputed to use as Adam's fin is. It behoved then to arise from a moral bond; betwixt Adam and us;, the bond of a Covenant, which could be no other than the Covenant of Works, wherein we are united: u him as branches to a stock, Hence Jesus Christ, tho'a son, of Adam, Luke iii. 23, 38. was none of these branches ; for feeing he came not of Adam, in virtue of the blessing of mar-. riage, which was given befure the fall, (Gen. i. 28. “ Be fruitful, and multiply," &c.) but in virtue of a special promise made after: the fall, (Gen. iii. 15. To The Seed of the Woman shall bruise. the serpent's head.”) Adam could not represent liim in a cove.. nant made before his fall. (3.) As it is impoffible for a branch, to be in two stocks at once ; so no man can be, at-one and the fame time, both in the first and second Adam. (4.) Hēnce it: evidently follows, that all who are ncr ingrafted in Jasus Christ, are yet branches of the old stock ; and fo partake of the nature: of the same. Now, as, to. the first Adam, our natural stock,, Confider,
First, What a stock he was originally. He was a vine of: the Lord's planting, a choice vine, a poble vine, wholly. a right, feed. There was a consultation of the Trinity, at the planting. of this vide, Gen. i. 26. “ Let us make man in our own image,. after our own likeness." There was no rottennels ar the heart of it. There was sap and juice enough in it, to bave nourished all the branches, to bring forth fruit unto God. My niearing is, Adam was made able perfectly to keep the commandments of
God which would have procured eternal life to himself and to all his posterity: for feeing all die by Adam's disobedience; all should bave had life, by bis obedience if he had stood. Coolider,
Secondly, What that stock now is : Ah! most unlike to what it was, when planted by the author and fountain of all good. A blait from hell, and a bite with the venomous teeth of the old feipent, have made it a degenerate stock, a dead stock, nay, a killing itock.
oft, It is a degenerate naughty stock. Therefore the Lord God said to Adam, in that dismal day, " Where art: thou?" Gen. iii. 9. In what condition art thou now? How art thou: turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vive unto me? Or, where wait thou? Why not in the place of meeting with me? Why so long a coming? What meaneth this fearful change, this hiding of thyself from me ? Alas! the stock is degenerate, quite spoiled, become altogether naught and brings forth wild grapes. Converse with the devil, is preferred to communion with God. Satan is believed ; and God, who is truth-itself, disbelieved. He who was the friend of God is now in confpiracy against him. Darkness is come into the room of light; ignorance prevails in the mind, where divine knowledge shone: the will, sometime righteous or regular, is now turned rebel againft its Lord : and the whole man is in dreadful disorder.
Before I go further, let me stop and observe, Here is a mirror: both for faints and finners. Sinners, stand here and consider, what you are : and saints learn ye, what once ye were. Ye fióners, are branches of a degenerate stock. Fruit ye may bear iodeed; but now that your vine is the vine of Sodom, your grapes'must of course be grapes of gall, Deut. xxxii. 32. The Scripture speaks of two forcs of fruit, which grow on the branches upon the natural stock: and it is plain enough, they are of the nature of their degenerate ftock' (1.) The wild grapes wickednes, Isa. v 2. Thefe grow in abundance by influence from hell. See Gal. v. 19, 20, 21, At their gates are all manner of ihese fruits both new and old. Storms come from heaven to put them back ; but tbey still grow. They are struck at with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God: conscience gives them many a secret blow : yet they thrive. (2.) “ Fruit to themselves," Hof. x, 1. What else are all the unrenewed man's acts of obedience, his reformation, fober deportment, his prayers and good works? They are all done, chiefly, for him. felf, not for the glory of God. These fruits are like the apples of Sodom, fair to look at; but fall to alhes, when handled and