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his Work on Our part, are the twos ligaments' tiy which we are* knit to Christ.

So that the Spirit's work in uniting or engraving a' foul inter Christ, is like the cutting off the graff from its native stock (which he doth by his illuminations and convictions) andclos!ag it with the living, when it is thus prepared, and so enabling" it (by the infusion of saitti) to luck and draw the vital sap, ana thus it becomes one with him. Or as the many members in the? natural body, being all quickened and animated by the sime'vital spirit, become one body with the head, which is the principal member, Eph. iv. 4. "There is one body, and one spirit."

More particularly, we shall consider the properties of this union, that so we may the better understand the nature of it. And here I shall open the nature of it both negatively and affirmatively.

First, Negatively, by removing all salse notions and misapprehensions of it. And we say,

First, The saints union with Christ, is not a mete mental union, only in conceit and notion, but really exists extra mentem, whether we conceit it or not. I know the atheistical world censures all these things as sancies and idle imaginations, bus believers know the reality of them; John xiv. 20. "At that day '* you shall know that I am in my Father, and< you in me, and *' I in you." This doctrine is not santastical, But fcicritifical.

Seceridfy, The saints union with Christ is not a physical union, such as is betwixt the members of a natural body and the head; our nature indeed is assumed into union with the person of Christ, but it is the singular honour of that blessed and holy' fieth of Christ, to be so united as to make one person with him; that union is hypostatical, this only mystical.

Thirdly, Nor is it an essential union, or union with the divine nature, so as our beings are thereby swallowed up and lost in the Divine Being.

Some there be indeed that talk at that wild rate, of being godded into God, and christed into Christ; and those unwary expressions of Greg. Naz. ©fc<#<u<i», and Xpftw4iu», do but too much countenance those daring spirits; bin oh, there is an insinite dw stance betwixt us arid Christ, in respect of nature and excellency, notwithstanding this union.

Fourthly, The union I here speak of, is not a foederal union, or ari union by covenant only; such art union indeed, there is betwixt Christ arid believers, but that is consequential to, and Wholly dependent upon, this;.

Fifthly, and lastly, It is not a mere moral union by love and affection ; thus we say, one soul is in two bodies, a friend is atiother self; the lover is in the person beloved; such an union of hearts aud affections there is also betwixt Christ and the saints, but this is of anbthef nature; that we call a moral, this a mystical union; that only knits our affections, but this our persons, to Christ.

Secondly, Positively. And first, Though this union neither: liiakei us one person'or' essence with Christ, yet'it'knits our persons most intimately and neatly to the person of Christ. The church is Christ's body, Coloss. i. 24. not his natural, but his mysticar body; that is to say, his body is a mystery, because it iS whim as his natural body. The saints stand' tb Christ in the fame relation that the natural members of the body stand to the. Hears, and- he stands in the fame relation to them; that the head stands in to the natural' members; and consequently they stand related to one another, as the members of a natural body, do to" each other.

Christ and the faints are not one, as the oak, and the ivy that clasps it are one, but as the graff and stock are one; it is not an union by adhesion, but incorporation. Husband and wife are not so near, loul and body are not so near, as Christ and the believing soul are near to each Other.

Secondly, The mystical union is wholly supernatural, wrought by the alone" power of God. So it is said, 1 Cor i. 30. "But of "him are ye in Christ Jesus." We can no more unite ourselves tb Christ, than a branch can incorporate itself into another stock; it is of him, i. e. of God, his proper and alone work.

There are only two ligaments, or bands of union betwixt Christ and the soul, viz. the Spirit on his part, and saith on ours. But when we say saith is the band of union on our part, the meaning is not, that it is so our own act, as that it springs naturally from us, or is educed from the power of bur own wills; nb, for the apostle exprefly contradicts it, Eph. ii. 8. " It is not "of yourselves, it is the gift of God." But we are the subjects of it, and though the act on that account be ours, yet the power enabling us to believe is God's, Eph. i. 19, 20.

Thirdly, The mystical union is an immediate union; immediate I say, not as excluding means and instruments, for several means and many instruments, are employed for the effecting of it'; but immediate, as excluding degrees of nearness among the members of Christ's mystical body.

Every member in the natural body stands not ns near to the head as another, but so do all the mystical members of Christ's body to him: every member, the smallest as well as the greatest,' hath an immediate coalition with Christ, i Cor. i. 2. "To the "church of God, which is at Corinth, to them that are sant"tified in Christ Jesus, called to bt saints, with all that in every "place call upon the name of Jeius Christ our Lord, both theirs "and ours."

Among the sactions, in this church at Corinth, those that said, Jam of Christ, as arrogating Christ to themselves, were as much a saction, as those that said, I am of Paul,. i Cor. i. 30. To cure this he tells them, he is both theirs and ours. Such inclosers are against law.

Fourthly, The saints mystical union with Christ is a fundamental union; it is fundamental by way of sustentation; all our fruits of obedience depend upon it, John xv. 4. "As the "branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the vine, no more "can ye, except ye abide in me." It is fundamental to all our privileges and comfortable claims, 1 Cor. lit- 23. "All is yours, "for ye are Christ's." And it is a fundamental to all our hopes and expectations of glory; for it is " Christ in you the hope of "glory," Col. i. 27. So then destroy this union, and with it you destroy all our fruits, privileges, and eternal hopes, at one stroke.

Fisthly, The mystical union is a most efficacious union, for through this union the divine power flows into our fouls, both to quicken us with the life of Christ, and to conserve and secure that life in us, after it is so infused.

Without the union of the soul to Christ, which is to be conceived efficiently as the Spirit's act, there can be no union formally considered; and, without these, no communications of life from Christ to us, Eph. iv. 16. And as there is that or effectual working of the spirit of life in every part, which he there speaks of, (as though you should say, the first appearances of a new life, a spiritual vitality diffused through the soul, which ere while was dead in sin) yet still this union with Christ is as necessary to the maintaining, as before it was to the producing of it.

For why is it that this life is not again extinguished, and wholly suffocated in us, by so many deadly wounds as are given it by temptations and corruptions? Surely no reason can be assigned more satisfying than that, which Christ himself gives us, in John xiv. 19. "Because I live, ye shall live also:" q. d. whilst there is vital sap in me the root, you that are branches in me cannot wither and die.

Sixthly, The mystical union is an indissoluble union; there is an everlasting tye betwixt Christ and the believer; and herein also it is beyond all other unions in the world; death dissolves the dear union betwixt the hulband and wife, friend and friend, yea, betwixt foul and body, but not betwixt Christ and the foul, the bauds of this union rot not in the grave. "What "shall separate us from the love of Christ?" saith the apostle, Roth. viii. 35, 38, 39. He bids defiance to all his enemies, and triumphs in the firmness of this union over all hazards that seem to threaten it. It is with Christ and us, in respect of the mystical union, as it was with Christ himself, in respect of the hyfostatical union: That was not dissolved by his death, when the natural union betwixt his foul and body was, nor can this mystical union of our souls and bodies with Christ be dissolved, when the uniou betwixt us and our dearest relations, yea, betwixt the foul and body, are dissolved by death. God calls himself the God of Abraham, long after his body was turned into dust.

Seventhly, It is an honourable union *, yea, the highest honour that can be done unto men: The greatest honour that was ever done to our common nature, was by its assumption into union with the second person hypqstatically, and the highest honour that was ever done to our single persons, was their union with Christ mystically. To be a servant of Christ, is a dignity transcendent to the highest advancement among men; but to be a member of Christ, how matchless and singular is the glory-thereof! And yet such honour have all the saints, Eph, T. 30. "We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his "bones."

Eightly, It is a most comfortable union: Yea, the ground of all solid comfort, both in life and death: Whatever troubles, wants, or distresses, besal such, in this is abundant relief and support. Christ is mine, and I am his; what may not a good foul make out of that! If I am Christ's, then let him take care for me, and, indeed, in so doing, he doth but care for his own: He is my head, and to him it belongs to consult the safety and Welsare of his own members, Eph. i. 22, 23. He is not only an head to his own, by way of influence, but to all things else, by way of dominion, for their good. How comfortably may we

* Christ is the head, summit, and crown of all dignity, without whom there is nothing (truly) noble in all this sublunary world, who has heaven for his throne, and the earth for his footstool. The earth, I say, with all the persons of high rank- and station in it are pat under his feet. Laur. Humfhred. an Nebility.

repose ourselves, under that cheering .consideration, upon him at all times, and in all difficult cafes!

Ninthly, It is a fruitful union: The immediate end of it is fruit, Rom. vii. 4. " We are married to Christ, that we should. "bring forth fruit .to God:" All the fruit we bear before pur ingrafture into Christ, is worse than none: Till the person he in Christ, the work cannot be evangelically good and acceptable to God: " We are made accepted in the Beloved," Eph. i.,$. Christ is a fruitful root, and makes all the branches, that live in him, so too, John xv. 8.

Tenthly, and Lastly, It is an enriching union: For, by our union with his person, we are immediately interested in all his riches, 1 Cor. i. 30. How rich and great a person .do the little arms of saith clasp and embrace !" All is yours," 1 Cor. iii. 22. All that Christ hath becomes ours, either by communication to us, or improvement for us: His sather, John xx. 1.7, His promises, 2 Cox. i. 20. His providences, Rom. vi'ii. 28. His glory, John xvii. 24. It is all ours by virtue of our union with him.

Thus you see, briefly, what the mystical union is. Next we {hall improve it.

Infer. 1. If there he such an unim betwixt Christ and believers, Oh then -what transcendent dignity hath God put upon believers!

Well might Constantine prefer the honour of being a member of the church, before that of being head of the empire +; for it is not only above all earthly dignities and honours, but, in force respect, above that honour which God hath put upon the angels of gsory.

Great is the dignity of the angelical nature: The angels are the highest and most honourable species of creaiures: They also have the honour continually to behold the sace of God ia heaven, and yet, in this one respect, the saints are preferred to tbep, they have a mystical union with Christ, as their head of influence, by whom they are quickned with spiritual life, which the angels have not.

It is true, there is an qetmfdkxiarif, or gathering together of c!l m heaven and earth under Christ as a common head, Eph. i. jo. He is the Head.of angels, as well as saints, but in different

\ if thou jiroujd'st be called a rnan of po'.ver, put on Chiist who is the po'.y^r aiid wisdom of God, and in all things join thyself to the Lord, that thou ra.iye.st be one spirit with him, and then thou sa.d: becoms a.nian of power. Orig. Horn, in Numi xxxi.

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