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Christ is the whole of your salvation-he is all; and it is by studying him, and in the exercise of faith on every part of his work, we inwardly receive and enjoy the benefits of it. Would you triumph over death? Look at Christ, and at him only. Consider how completely he hath put away sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Remember, he hath conquered death, and him that had the power of death. Live on his victories over death; then you may live as though death had already done its office, because the sting is taken out of it, and Christ hath abolished it. Jesus will be with thee, O believer, when all the springs of nature cease within thee, and will swallow · up thy death in life everlasting. It may be thou mayest have no struggle in death. It pleases our Lord at times to take his people to himself so suddenly, that they are actually out of the body, without, as it were, feeling the stroke of dissolution. Some are gone by sudden death, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye; which shews what our Jesus can do. When and where this is not the case, he is with his dying saints, supports them frequently in a wonderful manner, often lets down such rays of his own glory and shines so immediately on them, that they find themselves in their dying moments in the very suburbs of glory. Lift up your heads, then, ye ranfomed of the Lord, who will soon be encircled in the icy arms of death; for your complete deliverance from all sin and forrow draweth nigh. Christ is all in death : and he will be all in glory. You and I shall have no other being in heaven, but what we have in Jesus. We shall live in Jesus, spend an eternity in beholding him, lose our little mite of creature being, and be everlastingly filled with all the fulness of God. Not a faint in glory lives a single moment to himself; not an eye in glory, but is fixed on the worthy Lamb. May the Holy Ghost give us such a foretaste of heaven, glory, and immortality, as may cause us to long to be for ever with the Lord. Even fo, Lord Jesus. Amen.
The Truth AS IT IS IN JESUS.
EPHESIANS, Chap. iv. Ver. 20, 21.
ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye bave heard him, and have been taught by, bim, as the truth is in Jesus.
HE epistle before us was written by Paul
when he was a prisoner for Jesus Christ at Rome; but though he was bound, the word of God was not bound; though he was straightened in body, yet the Holy Ghost took the advantage of it to enlarge his mind, opening more the eyes of his understanding, giving him more sublime and vast discoveries of the infinity of grace, of the mysteries of the gospel, of everlasting love and free grace, in their high and eternal original, with the perpetual spring and streams of divine clemency which flow therefrom: so that the holy apostle seems to speak of this epistle as the highest proof and instance of his real spiritual knowledge of Jesus, saying, Whereby when ye read (referring to the two former chapters) ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ. See chap. üi. ver. 4.
He enters into the depth of those things which are hid in God, as far as they concern us; brings them out, opens, explains, and sets them forth to view in the first chapter: in which he treats of that fundamental act in God, which is the one foundation from whence grace and glory are settled on us, and secured to us, viz. eternal, personal, unconditional election in Christ, before the foundation of the world. Which act, as it flowed from the free, sovereign, everlasting love, and good pleasure of Jehovah the Father's will, gave the elect being and existence in Christ from everlasting; by which means they had union with, interest in, and relation to the person of Christ, God-man, before all worlds. This high and ftupendous
grace of election is shewn forth by some of the immediate fruits and effects of it.
God having, by election, given his people fupercreation being and existence in Chrift, out of the same love wherewith he loved their persons in Christ, and blessed them in him with all spiritual blessings. And as their election was thus owing to his own sovereign, free, and immutable will, so, by an act of his infinite understanding, he de. creed their being and their utmost well-being in Christ, predestinated them to the adoption of children, and accepted their persons in the person of the God-man, his first and eternally beloved. All which high, eternal acts of grace towards the elect, are attributed solely to grace; Christ, as head and mediator, having no influence in them, he being, as such, the object of election as well as his church; therefore these acts which are eternally established in the mind and will of God, are said to be to the glory and praise of his grace.
The apostle descends from these high and ancient mountains of everlasting love and free grace, to speak of Christ the ancient and eternal head of the elect church of human race, as the glorious, all-fufficient mediator of reconciliation, and the redeemer of it from sin and eternal ruin : 'in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. He styles the gospel the mystery of God's will, and calls it the gospel of salvation, which, as accompanied with the efficacy of the Holy Ghost, is the means by which Christ is revealed, made known, believed on, received, and enjoyed. He fhews how the Holy Ghost is the sealer of the elect; and closes these subjects with a prayer, in which all the articles of our most holy faith are included, or expressed; and the degrees of Christ's exaltation mentioned in it are, as Dr. Ames observes, answerably opposite to the degrees of his humiliation : his rising from the dead being opposed to his death; hiş ascension into heaven, to his descent into the grave, and going down into hell, or into the state of death; and, his ficting at God's right hand, to his remaining in the grave, and in the state of death. After which,
, the apostle fets forth the love, mercy,
of God, as the original cause of quickening, raising up, and delivering the elect from that state of sin, guilt, death, and wrath, which they were in by Adam's fall, and in which they remained all the days of their unregeneracy: out of which, through the quickening