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their way) upon Christ, and the satissaction of his blood, when the efficacy and terror of conscience is upon them, and they feel the fling of guilt within them; but as soon as the storm is over, and the rod that conscience soaked over them laid by, there's no more talk of Christ then: alas! it was not Christ, but quictoeft, that they fought; beware of mistaking peace for Christ.
Diretl. 3. Thirdly, In receiving Christ come empty handed unto him: "believing on him who'julUties the ungodly," Rom. iv. 5. and know that the deepest sense of your own vileness, emptiness, and unworthiness, is the best frame of heart that can accompany you to Christ. Many persons stand off from Christ for want of lit qualifications; they are not prepared for Christ as they should be, i. e. they would not come naked and empty, but have something to commend them to the Lord Jesus for acceptance.' O! this is the pride of mens hearts, and the snare of the Devil. Let him that hath no money come: You are not to come to Christ because you are qualified, but that you may be qualified with whatever you want; and the best qualification you can bring with you, is a deep fense that you have no worth nor excellency at all in you.
Diretl. 4. Fourthly, In receiving Christ, beware of dangercus delays. O follow on that work till it he sinished. You read of some that are almost persuaded, and others not sar from the, kingdom of Cod; O take heed of what the prophet says, Hofea xiii. 13. Delays here are full of danger, life is uncertain, Ib are means of grace too. The man-stayer needed no motives to quicken his flight to the city of refuge.
Dirett. 5. Fifthly, See that you receive all Christ, u<ith nil your heart. To receive all Christ, is to receive his person cloathed with all his offices; and to receive him with all your heart, k to receive him into your understanding, will, and affections, Acts viii. 37. As there is nothing in Christ that may be refused, so there is nothing in you from which he must be excluded.
Diretl. 6. Lastly, Understand that the opening of your hearts to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, is not a work done by any power of your own, but the arm of the Lord is revealed therein, Isa. liii. 1. It is therefore your duty and interest to be daily at the feet ot" God, pouring out your souls to htm in secret,: for abilities to believe. And so much, as to our actual reception of Christ.
Thanks he to God for Jesus Christ.
Setting forth the Believer's Fellowship with Christ, the next End of his Application to them.
Psalm xlv. 7. Theresore God thy God, hath anointed thee
,with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
THE method of grace in uniting fouls with Jesus Christ, hath been opened in the former discourses; thus doth the Spirit (whose office it is) make application of Christ to pod's elect, the result and next fruit whereof is communion with Christ in his graces and benefits. Our mystical union is the very groundwork, and foundation of our sweet, soul-enriching communion, and participation of spiritual privileges; we are first ingrafted into Christ, and then fuck the sap and satness of the root: first' married to the person of Christ, then endowed and instated in the privileges and benefits of Christ. This is my proper wprk to open at this time, and from this scripture.
"The words read, are a part of that excellent song of love *, "that heavenly Epithalamiutn, wherein the spirituai espousals "of Christ and the church are figuratively, and very elegantly,; "celebrated and shadowed. The subject matter of this psalm "is the very same with the whole book of the Canticles;" and: in this psalm, under the sigure of king Solomon, and the daughter of Egypt, whom be espoused, the spiritual espousals of Christ and the church are set forth and represented to us. Among many rapturous and elegant expressions in praise of this glorious bridegroom, Christ, this is one, which you have before you i "God thy fellow hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness a"bove thy fellows :" (i. e.) enriched and filled thee, in a singular and peculiar manner, with the fulness of the Spirit, whereby thou art consecrated to thy office: and by reason whereof thou outfhinest and excellest all the saints, who are thy fellows or copartners in these graces. So that in these words you have two parts;'' viz. First, The saints dignity, and Secondly, Christ's pre-eminency. Firjl, The saints dignity, which consists in this, that they li 2
'''„' * y
* Hie Pfafmus prophetical ejl, continetque Epilathamium qtt* Chrijli cum ecclejia nuptiæ celeb.''antur, idemqite habet argttmentuw quod canticum cattticorum ejntjue videtur esje epitome. ' Cocceiu* in loc.
are Christ's feRoifis. The Hebrew word f is very full and copious, and is translated "consorts, companions, copartners.
partakers: or, as ours read \t,feUoixis:" (i. e ) such as are partakers with hhh in the anointing of the Spirit, who do, '«' their measure, receive the feme Spirit, every Christian being anointed, mod* fibi proportionate, with the same grace, and dignified with the feme titles, i John ii. 27. Rev. i. 6. Christ and the saints are in common one with another: doth the spirit of holiness dwell in him? So it doth in them too. Is Christ king and priest? Why, lo are they too by the grace of union with, him. He hath made us kings and priests to God, and his Father. This is the saints dignity to be Christ's fellows, consorts,, or copartners; so that look, whatever spiritual grace or excellency is in Christ, it is not appropriated to himself, but they do share with him' for indeed he was filled with the fulness of the Spirit, for their sakes and use 1 as the fun is filled with light, Hot to Ihine tQ itself, but to others; so is Christ With grace. And therefore, some transtate the text, not prae consortibus, above thy fellows; but propter (onsortes, for thy fellows %. Making Christ the first receptacle of grace, who first and immediately is filled from the fountain, the Godhead: but it is for his people, who receivg and derive from him, according to their prpportion.
This is a great truth, and the dignity of the saints lies chiefly, in their partnership with Christ, though our transtation, abovethy fellow, suits best, both with the importance of the word, and scape of the place.
Secondly, But then, whatever dignity is aserrbed herein to the saints, there is, and still must be, a pre-eminency acknowledged, and ascribed to Christ: if they are anointed with the spirit of grace, much more abundantly in Christ: "God thy God hath *} anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows."
By the oil of gladness, understand the spirit of holiness, compared here with oil, of which there was a double use under the law, viz. a civil, and a sacred use, It had a sacred and a solemn jse, in the inauguration and consecration of the Jewish, kings and high-priests; it had also a civil, and common use, for. the anointing their bodies ||, tp make their limbs more agile,
f "I^OTC) Cotis<srtcixp(trtieipes,fodoles,fiehs. Vex Helrtca fuidcunqu* focictatii Jivs comtnunionis gettui Jignificnt. Metis. % Rivet.
. I Oil itself is pure and clear; which supplies and feeds the fiarae, expedite, and nimble; to make the sace shine, for it gave a lustre, freshness, and liveliness to the countenance. It was also used in lamps, to feed and maintain the fire, aud give them light. These were the principal uses of oil. Now, upon all these accounts, it excellently expressed), and, siguratively, redfesentt to us the spirit of grace poured forth upon Christ and his people. For,; '» ,
First, By the spirit poured out upon him, he was prepared for, aod consecrated to his offices; he was anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power, Acts x. 38.
Secondly, As this precious oil runs down from Christ, the head, to the borders of his garments, I mean, as it is shed upon believers, so it exceedingly beautifies their saces, and makes them shine with glory, -
Thirdly, It renders them apt, expedite, and ready to every good work; Non tardat untla rota. .
Fourthly, It kindles and maintains the flame of divine love in . their souls, and, like a lamp, enlightens their minds in the knowledge of spiritual things; the anointing teaches them.
"And this oil is here called the oil of gladness f, because ** it is the cause of all joy and gladness to them that are anoiot"ed with it:" Oil was used (as you heard before) at the instalment of sovereign princes, which was the day of the glad'ness of their hearts-; and, among the common people, it was liberally used at all their festivals, but never upon their days of mourning, . Whence it becomes excellently expressive of the nature and use of the spirit of grace, who is the cause and author of all joy in believers, John xvii. 13.
And with this oil of gladness is Christ said to be anointed ahove his fellows, i. e. to have a sar greater share of the spirit of grace than they: "For to everyone of the saints is given grace "according to the measure of the gift of Christ," Eph. iv. 7. But to him the Spirit is not given by measure, John iii. 34.
fuel ; hence the metaphor of anointing with oil used in scripture, frequently signifies the internal illumination of the mind by the Holy Spirit, and the communication of the true knowledge of God, and suitable affections of foul to it. Miller, on the place,
f '£>.«/»» «y«AAi««»s dicitur id quod causam dat summigaudii. Grot..in Heb. i. 9. 'autos vfJUi airlos run laptcti T* irtrafixTti, Kui tm'rir'C0-*f*iW iri' ct&Qu&er rt *,iVf*» Kxi tiftit (a&Tcti'Mt- i. *'
He is the cause of the gift of the Spirit to you,' and bang anointed, with the Spirit as he is man, he communicates the Spirit 10 us alia. QEcum.
"It hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness "dwell," Col. i. 10. and" of his fulness we all receive grace "for grace," John i. 16. The saints partake with him, and through him, in the same spirit of grace, for which reason they are his fellows; but all the grace poured out upon believers, comes exceeding short of that which God hath poured out upon Jesus Christ. The words being thus opened, give us this note.
Dost. That all true believers have a real communion, or /ellow/hip, -with the Lord Jesus Chrijt. . .
From the saints union with Christ, there doth naturally, and immediately, result a most sweet and blessed communion or fellowship with him in graces and spiritual privileges, Eph. i. 3. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who "hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places "(or things) in Christ: in giving us his Son, he freely gives us "all things," Rom. viii. 32. So in 1 Cor. i. 30. " Of him are ye "in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righte"busness, sanctisication and redemption." And once more, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. "All are yours, and ye are Christ's." What Christ is, and hath, is theirs by communication to them, or improvement for them; and this is very evideutly implied in all those excellent scripture metaphors, by which our union with Christ is figured and shadowed out to us: as the marriageunion betwixt a man and his wife, Eph. v. 31, 32. You know that this conjugal union gives the wife interest in the estate and honour of the husband, be she never so meanly descended in herself J: The natural union betwixt the head and members of the body, by which also the mystical union of Christ and believers is set forth, 1 Cor. xii. 12. excellently illustrates this fellowship or communion betwixt them: for from Christ " the whole bo'' dy fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every "joint fupplieth, according to the effectual working in the "measure of every part, maketh increase of the body," as the apostle speaks, Eph. iv. 16. The union betwixt the graff and the stock, which is another emblem of our union with Christ, John xv. 1. imports, in like manner, this communion, or partnership betwixt Christ and the saints; for no sooner doth the graff take hold of the stock, but the vital sap of the stock is communicated to the graff, and both live by one and the same juice.