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النشر الإلكتروني

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CHA P. IV.

On the Application of Redemption.

SECTION I

On the Application of Redemption in general.

THE firft Adam was united to all his pofterity as their father, head, and conflituted reprefentative and fubftitute; and all mankind were united to him, as fuch. may be confidered, both as a natural and conftituted union; by which all his children were to have the benefit of his obedence, as much as if it were their own perfonal obedience, fhould he obey through the time of his trial; fo that his holinefs fhould infure perfect, everlafting holiness and happiness to them: And, on the other hand, his disobedience should defcend to them, and make them finners, and entail fin and ruin on all his pofterity; fo that their fin, guilt and ruin, were connected with his rebellion, and, in this sense, his fin was their fin.

The fecond Adam has no fuch natural union with mankind, as their natural father and head, and they have. no union to him in this way; But they muft, in some way and manner, be united to him, and he to them, in order to his becoming their head and reprefentative, fo as to share in the faving benefits of his atonement and righteoufnefs. He is conftituted by God a public head and representative, as the firft Adam was, and is fubfli

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PART II. tuted to obey and suffer for man; but in order to their being actually interested in the benefit of his atonement and righteousness, they must be united to him, and he to them, so as to be in a sense one, as the head and members of the natural body are one. This union, by divine constitution and appointment, is to take place and confift in a mutual voluntary confent; the Redeemer offering himself to them, and they confenting and complying with his propofal, offer, and accepting of him, and trufting in him as their Redeemer. This lays the foundation for a treaty with mankind; in the profecution of which, redemption is actually applied; not to all mankind; but to those who cordially embrace the offer, and accept of Christ, and falvation by him. This is particularly stated in the fcripture. Chrift fays, "God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in him, fhould not perish, but have everlasting life."* These words fuppofe, and im plicitly affect, that none but believers are to be saved by the Redeemer, as no others have that relation to him, and union with him, which is neceffary, in order to give them an interest in redemption by him. This Chrift expressly afferts, when he commiffioned the Apoftles to go forth and treat with men, in order to effect the application of his redemption; without which, no man could be faved. "And he faid unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, fhall be faved; but he that believeth not, fhall be damned."t

As all mankind are united to Adam, as his pofterity, his feed So Chrift has a feed, a pofterity, who are by their union to him, made the children of God, and joint heirs with him, to whom the promise of salvation is made. These are not all mankind, but believers in him. For thus faith the fcripture. "The children of the promise are counted for the feed. Know ye, therefore, that they

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which are of faith, the fame are the children of Abraham. For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Chrift Jefus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Chrift. And if ye be Chrift's, then ye are Abraham's feed, and heirs according to the promife; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jefus Christ. Now we, brethren, as Ifaac was, are the children of the promise."*

The Redeemer has made an atonement fufficient to expiate for the fins of the whole world; and, in this fense, has tafted death for every man, has taken away the fin of the world, has given himself a ransom for all, and is the propitiation for the fins of the whole world, fo that whofoever believeth in him may be faved, and God can now be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. Therefore, the gospel is ordered to be preached to the whole world, to all nations, to every human creature: And the offer of falvation by Chrift is to be made to every one, with this declaration, that whofoever believeth, is willing to accept of it, fhall be delivered from the curfe of the law, and have eternal life.

But as all mankind are totally depraved, and are become enemies to God, his law and government, and confequently equal enemies to the Redeemer, and salvation by him; they are all prepared and disposed to refuse to accept of the offered falvation, and reject it with their whole hearts, whatever motives are set before them, and methods taken, to perfuade them to comply. This lays the foundation of the neceffity of the renovation of the hearts of men by the Holy Spirit, in order to their believing and embracing the gofpel; of which the fcripture speaks abundantly. Chrift taught, that except a man be born of the fpirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, or so much as fee it. St. Paul fays, that

* Rom. viii. 17. ix. 8. Gal. iii. 7, 26, 27, 29. iv. 28.

all

PART II. all believers are the fubjects of the mighty power of God, operating upon them, by which they have been brought to believe: That they being naturally dead in trefpaffes and fins, have been made alive by God; and that faith is the gift of God; that they are faved not by any works of righteoufnefs which they have done, but by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft; fo that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who fhew eth mercy, and worketh in them by his fpirit, to will and to run, &c. &c.

By this renovation, men are faid in fcripture, to be made new creatures, and to be created in Christ, unto good works; and believers are said to be in Chrift, and to put on Chrift. This union of the believer to Chrifl, may be confidered as confifting in two things, viz, 1. In Chrift's uniting himself to him by his fpirit, by which he takes poffeffion of him, is formed in him, and dwells in him: And by the spirit of God, the believer is drawn to him. "No man cometh unto me, fays Chrif, except the Father which hath fent me, draw him." 2. In the believer's uniting himself to Chrift, by actually cleaving to him, trufling in him, and loving him; all which is implied in faving faith, or believing on Chrift; and which is alfo implied in Chrift's uniting himself to the believer, mentioned in the foregoing particular. This union is begun in regeneration and conversion, by which Chrift, by his fpirit, takes poffeffion of the heart, produces faith and chriflian holiness; in the exercife of which, the believer cleaves to Christ in holy love. But of thefe it is proposed to treat more particularly in fome following fections.

This union between Chrift and believers in him, is represented by a variety of fimilitudes in fcripture. I: is reprefented by a building compofed of ftones, all refl. ing on a chief corner ftone, which bears up the whole. By the natural body, confifting of head and members, all

united to the head; the life and every function of the body, and each of the members depending upon their union with the head, and being derived from that: It is compared to the union of the food and drink, to the ftomach and body; being taken into that, and digefted; and thereby spreading life and spirit through the whole, for its conftant fupport. "Except ye eat the flesh of the fon of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whofoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life."* It is illuftrated by the union of the branch with the vine, by which the former derives life, fap and nourishment from the latter. "I am the vine, ye are the branches."+ To mention no more, it is fre quently reprefented by the union between the husband and the wife, which is a voluntary or a moral union, and by which the wife fhares in the dignity, goods and pof feffions of her husband, and receives protection and fupport from him. The church is therefore called "the bride, the Lamb's wife." Believers, by their union to Chrift, receive the benefit of his fufferings and obedience, and are made rich, partaking in all his fulness; and become joint heirs with him of eternal inheritance.

The union between Chrift and believers, is a moral and spiritual union: In this refpect," He who is joined to the Lord, is one fpirit." It is an imperfect union in the beginning of it: It is therefore a growing union, until it fhall be made perfect; it being a lafting union, which fhall continue forever. And when this becomes perfe&t, which it will not, in its moft complete ftate, till the refurrection, there will be a full and perfect participation of redemption by Chrift; and that prayer of Chrift will then be completely answered. "Neither

oray I for these alone, but for them alfo which fhall be ieve on me through their word: That they all may be ›ne, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they

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• John, vi. 53, 54

+ John, xv. 5.

II Cor. vi. 17.

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