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he had, in all likelihood, carried his difeafe to the
grave with him. How doft thou know but this very fabbath, this fermon, this prayer, which thou haft no heart to attend, and are tempted to neglect, may be the feason, and inftrument wherein, and by which, the Lord may do that for thy foul, which was never done before?
Infer. 8. To conclude, How are all the faints engaged to put forth all the power and ability they have for Gad, who hath put forth his infinite almighty power to draw them to Chrift!
God hath done great things for your fouls; he hath drawn you out of the miferable state of fin and wrath; and that when he let others go, by nature as good as you, he hath drawn you into union with Chrift, and communion with his glorious privi. vileges. Othat you would henceforth employ all the power you have, for God, in the duties of obedience, and in drawing others to Chrift, as much as in you lies, and fay continually with the Church, "Draw me, we will run after thee," Cant. i. 4. Thanks be to God for Jefus Chrift.
SERM ON. V.
Opening the Work of the Spirit more particularly, by which the Soul is enabled to apply CHRIST.
Eph. ii. 1. And you hath he quickened who were dead in trefpaffes and fins.
IN the former fermons we have feen our union with Chrift in the general nature of it, and the means by which it is ef fected, both external, by the preaching of the gofpel, and internal, by the drawing of the Father. We are now to bring our thoughts yet clofer to this great mystery, and confider the bands, by which Chrift and believers are knit together in a bleffed union.
And if we heedfully obferve the fcripture-expreffions, and ponder the nature of this union, we shall find there are two bands which knit Chrift and the foul together, viz.
1. The Spirit on Chrift's part.
2. Faith on our part.
The Spirit on Chrift's part, quickening us with spiritual life, whereby Christ first takes hold of us, and faith on our part, when thus quickened, whereby we take hold of Christ: Accor
dingly, this union with the Lord Jefus, is expreffed in fcripture, fometimes by one, and fometimes by the other of thele means or bands, by which it is effected. Chrift is fometimes faid to be in us; fo Col i. 27. “ Chrift is in you the hope of glory." And Rom. viii. 10, “And if Christ be in you, the "body is dead becaufe of fin." And other times it is expreffed by the other band on our part, as 1 John y. 20. " We are in "him that is true, even in his Son Christ Jefus." And 2 Cor. V. 17. "If any man be in Chrift, he is a new creature.
The difference betwixt both thefe, is thus aptly expreffed by a late author *. "Chrift is in beleivers by his Spirit, 1 John iv. 13. The believer is in Chrift by faith, John i. 12. Chrift " is in the believer by inhabitation, Rom. iii. 17. The believer "is in Chrift by implantation, Rom. vi. 35. Chrift is in the "believer as the head is in the body, Col. i. 18. As the root "in the branches, John xv. 5. Believers are in Chrift as the "members are in the head, Eph. i. 23. Or as the branches are in the root, John xv. 1, 7. Chrift in the believer, implieth life, and influence from Chrift, Col. iii. 4. The be"liever, implieth communion, and fellowship with Christ, 1 Cor. “i. 30. When Chrift is faid to be in the believer, we are to "understand it in reference to fanctification. When the be"liever is faid to be in Chrift, it is in order to juftification."
Thus we apprehend, being ourfelves first apprehended by Jefus Chrift, Phil. iii. 12. We cannot take hold of Chrift, till first he take hold of us; no vital act of faith can be exercised till a vital principle be firft infpired: Of both thefe bands of union we mat speak diftinctly; and firft of "Chrift quickening us by his Spirit, in order to our union with him," of which we have an account in the fcripture before us, "You hath he quickened who were dead in trefpaffes and fias:" In which words we find thefe two things noted, viz.
1. The infufion of a vital principle of grace.
2. The total indifpofednefs of the fubject by nature.
First, The infufion of a vital principle of grace, You hath he quickened. Thefe words [hath he quickened] are a fupplement made to clear the fenfe of the apoftle, which else would have been more obfcure, by reafon of that long parenthesis betwixt the firit and fifth verfes," for as the † learned observe
*Mount Pifgah. p. 22, 23.
+ Illud vuas regitur a cuve? woπoince, V. 5. eft igitur hoc loco et hyperbaton it fuckyfis et αποκοπη της περίοδο, quæ eft fpecies
SERM. V. "this word uses, you, is governed of the verb vazomre, hath "he quickened, ver. 5. So that here the words are tranfpofed "from the plain grammatical order, by reafon of the interjec"tion of a long fentence, therefore, with good warrant our "tranflators have put the verb into the first verse, which is re"peated ver. 5. and fo keeping faithfully to the fcope, have excellently cleared the fyntax and order of the words." Now this verb Guvewoonce, hath he quickened, imports the first vital act of the Spirit of God, or his firft enlivening work upon the foul, in order to its union with Jefus Chrift: For look, as the blood of Chrift is the fountain of all merit, fo the fpirit of Chrift is the fountain of all fpiritual life: And until he quicken us, (i. e.) infufe the principle of the divine life into our fouls, we can put forth no hand, or vital act of faith, to lay hold upon Jesus Christ.
This his quickening work, is therefore the firft in order of nature to our union with Chrift, and fundamental to all other acts of grace done, and performed by us, from our first closing with Chrift, throughout the whole courfe of our obedience: and this quickening act is faid, ver. 5. to be together with Christ: Either noting (as fome expound it) that it is the effect of the fame power by which Chrift was raifed from the dead, according to Eph. i. 19. or rather, to be quickened together with Chrift, notes that new fpiritual life which is infufed into our dead fouls in the time of our union with Chrift: "For it is Christ to "whom we are conjoined and united in our regeneration, out of "whom, as a fountain, all fpiritual benefits flow to us, among which, this vivification or quickening is one, * and a most "fweet and precious one."
Zanchy, Bodius, and many others will have this quickening to comprize, both our juftification and regeneration, and to ftand oppofed both to eternal and Spiritual death, and it may well be allowed; but it moft properly imports our regeneration, wherein the Spirit, in an ineffable and myfterious way, makes the foul to live to God, yea, to live the life of God, which foul was before dead in trefpaffes and fins: In which words we have,
Secondly, In the next place, the total indifpofedness of the
ναυταποδοτε, ετ ειs quidem anomalie caufa eft επεμβολη interjedio fententiæ prolixioris. Pifcator. Pool's Synop.
* Ex Chrifto conjuncto nobifcum, ut capite cum membris. profluunt in nos omnia beneficia, in quorum numero eft vivification Kolloc. in Loc.
fubjects by nature: For, as it is well noted by a ‡ learned man, "the apostle doth not fay of thefe Ephefians that they were half "dead, or fick, and infirm, but dead wholly; altogether dead, "deftitute of any faculty or ability, fo much as to think one "good thought, or perform one good act." You were dead in refpect of condemnation, being under the damning sentence of the law, and you are dead in refpect of the privation of spiritual life; dead in oppofition to juftification, and dead in oppofition to regeneration and fanctification: And the fatal inftrument by which their fouls died is here shewed them; you were dead in, or by trefpaffes and fins; this was the fword that killed your fouls, and cut them off from God. Some do curiously diftinguish betwixt trefpaffes and fins, as if one pointed at original, the other at actual fins; but I fuppofe they are promifcuously used here, and ferve to exprefs the caufe of their ruin, or means of their spiritual death and destruction: this was their cafe when Chrift came to quicken them, dead in fin, and being fo, they could not move themfelves towards union with Christ, but as they were moved by the quickening Spirit of God. Hence the observation will be this,
Doct. That thofe fouls which have union with Chrift, are quickened with a fupernatural principle of life by the Spirit of God in order thereunto.
The Spirit of God is not only a living Spirit, formally confidered; but he is alfo the Spirit of life, effectively or cafually confidered: And without his breathing, or infufing life into our fouls, our union with Chrift is impoffible.
It is the obfervation of learned || Camero, "that there must "be an unition before there can be an union with Chrift. Uni"tion is to be conceived efficiently as the work of God's Spirit, joining the believer to Chrift, and union is to be conceived formally, the joining itfelf of the perfons together" We clofe with Chrift by faith, but that faith being a vital act, pre
Non vocat his femimortuos aut aegrotos ac infirmos, fed prorfus mortuos, omni facultate bene cogitandi aut agendi deßituti. Rolloc. in Loc.
Obfervandum eft unionem et unitionem inter fe differe: unio eft rerum actus, qui forma rationem habet, nempe actus rerum unitarum qua unitæ funt: unitio autein actus fignificat caufæ effi cientis, &c. Camero de Ecclef. p. 222.
fuppofes a principle of life communicated to us by the Spirit; therefore it is faid, John xi. 26. "Whosoever liveth and be"lieveth in me, fhall never die :" The vital act and operation of faith fprings from this quickening Spirit: So in Rom. viii. 1, 2. The apostle, having in the firft verfe opened the bleffed eftate of them that are in Chrift, fhews us, in the second verse, how we come to be in him: "The Spirit of life (faith he) which "is in Chrift Jefus, hath made me free from the law of fin and "death."
There is indeed a quickening work of the Spirit, which is fubfequent to regeneration, confifting in his exciting, recovering, and actuating of his own graces in us: and from hence is the liveliness of a Christian; and there is a quickening act of the Spirit in our regeneration, and from hence is the fpiritual life of a Chriftian; of this I am here to fpeak, and, that I may fpeak profitably to this point, I will in the doctrinal part labour to open thefe five particulars.
First, What this fpiritual life is in its nature, and properties. Secondly, In what manner it is wrought or infpired into the foul. Thirdly, For what end, or with what defign, this life is so inspired.
Fourthly, I fhall fhew this work to be wholly fupernatural. And then, Fifthly, Why this quickening must be antecedent to our actual closing with Chrift by faith.
First, We fhall enquire into the nature and properties of this life, and discover (as we are able) what it is. And we find it to confift in that wonderful change which the Spirit of God makes upon the frame and temper of the foul, by his infufing or implanting the principles of grace in all the powers and faculties thereof.
A change it makes upon the foul, and that a marvellous one, no less than from death to life; for though a man be phyfically a living man (i. e.) his natural foul hath union with his body, yet his foul having no union with Chrift, he is theologically a dead man, Luke xv. 24. and Col. ii. 13. Alas, it deferves not the name of life, to have a foul ferving only to feafon, and preferve the body a little while from corruption: To carry it up and down the world, and only enable it to eat and drink, and talk, and laugh, and then die : Then do we begin to live, when we begin to have union with Chrift the fountain of life, by his Spirit communicated to us: From this time we are to reckon our life * as fome have done: There be many changes made upon
* Hic jacet fimilis, cujus aetas multorum annorum fuit, ipfe Septem duntaxat annos vixit.