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and fill up their stations in the church for the benefit of the whole'. According to the remarkable words of the apostle, “ I am crucified with
Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but “ Christ liveth in me.”—“ Your life is hid with “ Christ in God; when Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, then shall
There is, however, another way of illustrating the subject, which may help us to explain the way in which sinners attain to so high an honour, and so blessed a distinction. The believer is in Christ, as Noah was in the ark. By faith Noah “ being warned of God was moved with fear, and “prepared an ark?.” He believed the sure testimony of God, both respecting the deluge and the appointed method of preservation; he feared the impending judgment, and revered the justice and power of God; and thus he was moved to follow his directions. To prepare the ark was a vast undertaking: his labour and expence must have been exceedingly great, and his perseverance, amidst the scorn and hatred of an unbelieving world, most exemplary. But when the deluge came, he was found in the ark, and preserved to be the progenitor of a new race of men; and even of the promised Redeemer, on whom doubtless his faith had ultimately been placed: while all the rest of the human species, however distinguished, or to whatever refuges they fled, were swept away with one common desolation. But had he bestowed as much pains and expence, in building a lofty tower on a high mountain, following the dictates of his own wisdom; he would have shared the common doom; as they will, who "go about to establish their own
'1 Cor. xii. 12_31. 2 Gal. ii. 20. Col. iii, 3, 4.
3 Ileb, xi, 7. 1 Pet. iii. 20.
righteousness,” instead of diligently seeking the salvation of God. For like Noah, the sinner, hearing of “the wrath of God revealed from heaven “against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,” believing the divine record “is moved with fear,” and takes warning to flee from the wrath to come. He hears also of Christ, the true Ark, which God himself hath provided; and renouncing all other confidences, by faith he betakes himself to this sure refuge, applies for admission, and endures the self-denial, contempt, and persecution to which this may expose him. And whatever difficulties he may now encounter; his wisdom will be acknowledged and his felicity envied, when 'no unbeliever shall find any shelter from the overwhelming deluge of divine vengeance, which
perhaps he now despises or blasphemes.
Under the Mosaick dispensation, the guiltless man-slayer was exposed to the sword of the avenger
of blood : but cities of refuge were provi ded, to which he might flee for shelter.—Yet in this perilous situation an Israelite had no choice: he must scarcely turn back to take his clothes, and by no means go home to bid farewell to his dearest relatives : he must leave all his outward comforts, employments, and interests: he must flee without delay, and hardly stop for necessary refreshment: he must not yield to indolence, or sit down when weary; and could never think of loitering, to interfere with other men's business, to examine curiosities, or to join in vain diversions. With all speed he must urge his course to the city of refuge; as if he had seen the avenger of blood with a drawn sword close behind, and heard him uttering most dreadful menaces. When he had gained the appointed asylum, he was required to abide there, at a distance from all his connexions, those excepted who chose to follow him; and this restriction continued, till the death of the highpriest set him at liberty from his confinement.
Thus the sinner, perceiving himself exposed to the wrath of God and the curse of his violated law, must“ flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope
set before him” in the gospel. Without delay he must diligently use all the means of grace, and separate from the vain pursuits and pleasures of an unbelieving world. He must not give “sleep to “his eyes or slumber to his eye-lids; but flee as a “ bird from the snare of the fowler, and as a roe “ from the hand of the hunter.” He must “ work
out his own salvation with fear and trembling," and earnestly apply for an interest in the great atonement; knowing that if death should previ
ously overtake him, the avenging justice of God would prove the ruin of his immortal soul. And when he hath obtained a good hope of his acceptance, he must still keep close to this refuge; renouncing the society of all those, that refuse to join with him in his new course of life; rememe, bering that “ if any man love father, or mother, " wife, or children, more than Christ, he cannot “ be his disciple.”
Thus the true believer is in Christ, as in the city of refuge: and if we do not wish to deceive ourselves, we may know whether our experience, conduct, and confidence bear any resemblance to this representation; and whether we desire to join the apostle in saying, “ Yea doubtless, I count ail
things but loss, for the excellency of the know
ledge of Christ Jesus, iny Lord:- I count them “but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found “ in him, not having mine own righteousness ” which is of the law; but that which is through “ the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of ço God by faith',”
He, that is thus in Christ is finally delivered from condemnation; all his sins are blotted out and buried in the depths of the sca; “Being justified
by faith he hath peace with God;" to whom being reconciled when an enemy “by the death of “his Son, he shall be saved by his life.” He is
Phil. iii, 8, I,
admitted into a covenant of friendship with the everlasting God, and adopted into his family as a son and heir. “ All things shall work together “ for his good,” and “nothing shall separate him “ from the love of Christ." All the promises without exception belong to him, and shall be fulfilled in due season and order; “ for,” says the apostle, "all things are your's, and
ye are Christ's, "and Christ is God's.”—We consider, then,
II. The inward change, which every real christian has experienced. " He is a new creature.”
Whether any one were previously a Jew or a gentile; whether he were moral, civil, learned, ingenious, devout, zealous, or superstitious and enthusiastical, a sceptical reasoner, or a scoffing infidel; when he becomes a christian," he is a new “ creature.”_"We are his workmanship, created “in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God “ hath before ordained that we should walk in " them.” “For in Christ Jesus neither circum“cision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, “but a new creature!" What are we then to understand by these energetick expressions ?-Will any
sensible man maintain, that a new creed or name may properly be called a new creation ? Will he affirm that nothing more was meant than a
! Gal. vi. 15. Eph. ü. 10.