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any of his faving benefits. If you have an intereft in hiin, you are united to him, as I have already demonftrated. If you have not an intereft in him, you have no plea to make for justification and acceptance with God upon his account. Our Lord Jesus Christ has indeed made a fufficient atonement for fin. He has wrought out a perfećtrighteoufness for finners, whereby they may be acquitted from guilt, reconciled to God, and freely justified in his fight. But what is this to impenitent unbelievers, who have never been drawn to Christ by the powerful influences of his holy Spirit, who have never received him by faith, fo have never belonged to him ; and therefore could never have any part in either his active or paffive obedience. If a man abide not in me (fays our blefied Lord) he is caff forth as a branch, and is withered ; and men gather them and caff them into the fire, and they are burned, John xv. 6. This therefore is a fufficient evidence of the truth of what I have before written to you upon the doćtrine of justification. We cannot be justified by works. We cannot bejustified by a conformity to any imaginary law of grace, without a vital union to Christ by faith. For he that believeth not is condemned already, John iii. I 8. And he that hath not the Son of God hath not life, 1 John v. 12. But then on the other hand, being united to his perfon, we are united to his benefits ; and partake with him in all the merits of his obedience, in his righteoufnefs, vićtories, graces, and inheritance. This then fhews you, what necessity there is of your acquaintance with the doćtrine of our union to Chrift. There is a necessity for it, that you may know what is the foundation of your eternal hope, how you may find acceptance with God, and how you may know Christ, and the power of his refurrestion, and the fellowship of his fifferings ; and be made conformable to his death. Moreover, our fanćtification does likewife immed iately and necessarily depend upon a vital union unto the Lord Jesus Christ. The fcriptures do indeed exhort us to be holy, as our Father which is in heaven is holy ; and to that end exhort us, to watch and pray, to crucify our flesh with its affećtions and lufts, to mortify our members which are upon earth ; and to place our affećtions

upon things that are above ; and to the like exercifes of religious duty. But they no where exhort us to attempt thefe in our own strength ; or to expeĉt a renewed nature by any performance of them within our power. To attempt our fan&ification merely by our endeavours, were to prefs oył out of a flint. Fór in the Lord, _/ball men /ay, we have righteoufnes and /trength : his - grace, and that only is fufficient for us ; and without him we can do nothing. I have fhewn you, that all fupplies of grace are treafured up in : for us ; and that we are to receive them all out of his fulnefs. How then can we partake of them, whilft eftrànged and difunited from him ? Can a branch cut off from the vine, bring forth fruit? No more can we except we abide in him, John xv. 4. Can the branches of an olive tree, flourish without the root ? Surely we cannot bear the root: but the root muft bear us; and we muft therefore be grafted in, if we would partake of the root and fatnefs of the olive tre, Rom. xi. 17. Can we live and aĉt, when feparated from our life ? Christ is our life, Col. iii. 4, And untill he quicken us, we are dead in trefpaffes and fins, Eph. ii. 1. In a word, our carnal minds are enmity to God, we are altogether as an unclean thing; and when love to God can be the produ&tion of enmity itfelf; and purity and holinefs, of nothing but defilement and uncleannefs; then, but not till then, can we be holy without an union to Jefus Chrift. If therefore, you would obtain that holinefs, without which no man can fee the Lord, you muft with aĉtive diligence repair to him for it. You muft by faith depend upon him as the fountain of all grace. You must receive all from him : and give him the glory of all you receive. Our communion with God does likewife wholly depend upon our union to Jefus Christ. I have already fhewn you, that all fanĉtifying grace is derived from our union to Jefus Christ ; and I think, I need not ufe arguments to prove, that we cannot exercife grace before we have it. All quickening, comforting, strengthning grace muft derive from the fame fource, as converting and fan&tifying grace does. Would you be humbled and abafed before God, you muft learn of Christ to be meek and lowly of heart, Mat. xi. 29. Would you have your affestions placed upon things above, you muft remember, that you are dead, and that your life is hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 2, 3. Would you have enlargement of foul, and cheerful hope in God’s mercy, when you approach his prefence, Christ in you is your hope of glory, Col. i. 27. In whom you may have boldne/ and access with confidence by the faith of him, Eph. iii. 12. And be accepted in the beloved, Eph. i. 6. Would you enjoy the earneft of your future inheritance, it muft be upon your believing in him, that you are fealed with that holy Spirit of promi/e, which is the earne/f of your inheritance, Eph. i. I 3, 14. Would you have joy and peace in believing, you muft rejoice in Christ Jesus, without confidence in the fle/b, Phil. iii. 3. Would you have the communications of the divine love to your foul, it muft be from Christ’s loving you; and manifesting himfelf to you, John xiv. 22. To conclude, certain it is, that without union there can be no communion ; and it therefore concerns you not only to confider, whether you are indeed united to Chrift, and have access to God through faith in him : but alfo, whether your deadnefs, formality, and distraćtions in duty, which you fo often complain of, are not owing to the want of a cheerful dependance upon Christ, as the head of influences; or elfe to your vain attempts to quicken your foul by fome endeavours of your own, without looking to him for the incomes of his Spirit and grace. I may add once more, our perfeverance in grace here, and our perfestion of grace in glory, do necessarily depend on our union to Christ, As we are accepted in the beloved, fo it is by Christ’s dwelling in our hearts by faith, that we are rooted and grounded in love, Eph. iii. 17. We stand by faith in him, Rom. xi. 2o. It is becaufe Chrift lives, that we live also, John xiv. 19. And if we do o live, it is not we, but Christ liveth in us,” Gal. i. 2o. We have nọ source of spiritual life, but in him : no stability in the exercifes of the fpiritual life, bat by continual fupplies of grace from him. It is becaufe none can pluck us out of Christ’s hand, that we shall have eternal life ; and never peri/b, John x, 28. Here and here only is the believer’s stability and fecurity; he elongs to Chrift, is a member of his body, of his fie/h,

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and of his bones. And will the blefied Saviour neglećt his own body ? Will he leave any of his members to perish ? Is it in the power of hell or earth, of fin or Satan, to prevail against him ? Or can he who is the fame yesterday, to day, and for ever, change the purposes of love and eternal kindness towards those whom he has once loved and united to himfelf? And are not all the promifes of the believer's perfeverance, yea, and amen in Christ, with whom the believer is one mystical and fpiritual perfon ? Sooner shall heaven and earth pafs away, than the blefied Redeemer shall forget or neglećt the members of his body, and the objećts of his love: they were eternally chofen in him, they are his by covenant, they are united to him by faith, their intereft is his, and he is gone to take poffeffion of their inheritance, that where he is, they may be alfo. Thus are we kept by the power of God through faith, unto falvation. But how could we stand one day or hour against the efforts of our own corruptions, the craft, malice, and power of Satan’s temptations ; and the fnares and entanglements of a wicked world, if we were not founded upon this rock ? And now, Sir, you are to judge, whether there be not more than a doćtrinal acquaintance with our union to Christ neceffary for us, if we would either be justified in the fight of God, obtain that holinefs without which no man can fee the Lord, live near to God, or hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. By what has been faid, you cannot but fee, that it fhould be your great enquiry, how this union may be obtained, if you have not the evidence of it; or how it should be evidenced to yourfelf, if you are in doubt about it. *

If you have no evidence of your union to Christ, it

concerns you to realize your natural enmity of heart to God, deeply to affećt your foul with a fenfe of the dreadful mifery of a Chriftlefs state ; and to lament before God the pollution of your nature, the hardnefs of your heart, the guilt of your fins ; and the amazing destruction and perdition, unto which you are thereby exposed. It concerns you (as I have often advised you) to lie at mercy, to come to the footstool of fovereign grace, felfloathing and felf-condemning, pleading with importunate ardour, for the powerful influences of the blefled Spirit to draw and unite you to Chrift. It concerns you, to be careful and diligent in your attendance upon , all the duties of religious worship; and to be stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, if you would not have your labour in vain in the Lord. It concerns you, though watchful, aćtive, and diligent, yet utterly to despair of all help in yourfelf; and to maintain a lively impreifion, that all the progrefs of spiritual life must flow from your union to Jefus Christ : and that you must therefore rely upon him only, to do all in you and for you. It likewife concerns you, to look unto Jesus Chrift, not only as a fufficient but a compaffionate Saviour, willing to receive you to mercy in your prefent state, how bad foever ; and therefore to endeavour a chearful and immediate compliance with the gof. pel offer, without waiting for moral qualifications to recommend you to the Redeemer’s acceptance ; and Jet Christ Jefus be your steady hope and confidence : whatever darkness, difficulties, trials or temptation, you may meet withal in your way. If you are in doubt about your state; and in an un. comfortable fufpence whether you are united to Christ or not, do not rest fatisfied in fuch a cafe, wherein your eternal ALL is at ftake, and in a precarious uncertainty. But labour to refolve your doubts, by the lively exercife of faith ; and by an humble chearful confidence and delight in the blefied Saviour. Then may you know that he dwells in your heart by faith, when you are root. ed and grounded in love, Eph. iii. 17. Labour to evidence your union to Christ, by having your heart purified by faith; and your affećtions spiritual and heavenly. Then may you know that.“ you are rifen with Christ, * when you feek thofe things which are above, where * Christ fitteth at the right hand of God, and when you * place your affećtions on things above, and not on * things on the earth, Col. iii. 1. 2. Labour to clear up this doubt, by the exercife of all the feveral graces of the Spirit of life. If you live in the exercife of faith, repentance, love to God, humility, hope in Christ, deire after and delight in him ; if you bring forth the

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