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us to be conformed to the image of his Son, so he hath predestinated us to the adoption of children, that our character may, in some measure, answer or agree with his. And I believe that the highest character, and greatest honour, that ever was put upon a human creature in this world is that of a son or a daughter of the Lord God Almighty. It is much higher than that of princes, kings, or emperors; for these are common in this world. And, though the name, Son of God, is sometimes applied to angels, Job xxxviii. 7; magistrates, Psalm lxxxii. 6, 7; and hypocrites, Gen. vi. 4; yet there is a distinction to be made between their sonship and ours. Angels are sons by creation, as all men are, Mal. ii. 10. Magistrates are only so by office; but at death they die like men, and fall like one of the princes, Psalm lxxxii. 7. And hypocrites are only nominally so by an external profession, and are called so only because they outwardly appear such. But to be a son of God by pre-adoption, and manifestly so by spiritual regeneration and faith, is a most wonderful honour, and a very exalted character. And this appears in the Almighty's most gracious and encouraging promise, "Neither let the son of the stranger that hath joined himself to the Lord speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people; neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree. For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; even unto them

will I give in mine house, and within my walls, a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off,” Isa. lvi. 3—5. It is easy to see what this everlasting name is which is to abide. The eunuch complains that he is a dry tree, he hath no sons nor daughters; therefore he cannot be under the blessing pronounced upon him that hath his quiver full of children; and another part of his complaint is, he hath no sons to keep up his house, family, or name. To these complaints God answers, “I will give him a place in my house, and a name better than of sons and of daughters;" a place in my house that is better than a lot of inheritance in the promised land. And the name of a son of God is better than the name of a father which a man obtains by having sons and daughters. Let a man's house be never so great, or his family never so innumerable, yet it must be cut off by death; or, if it continue till the day of judgment, it must be cut off from the earth then; but adoption remains for ever. They are called the many sons, when brought to glory, and will be embraced and acknowledged as such by God himself when Christ presents them to his Father, with a “ Behold me, and the children which thou hast given me." This is an everlasting name that shall not be cut off, either at death or at judgment. "The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance, when the name of the wicked shall rot."

To this adoption of sons we are predestinated:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will; to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved," Eph. i. 5, 6. Having shewn and proved that we were loved in Christ with an everlasting love, and that this love was fixed first upon Christ as our head, in whom it is safe, and upon us in him, that we might participate the same love in him, and with him: and that we were predestinated to the adoption of children, that there might be something of a resemblance between us and him in honour and character; so likewise it is determined by God the Father, that there shall be something of a family likeness between the Covenant head, the everlasting Father, and his seed. Hence, says the apostle, "Whom he foreknew, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son," Rom. viii. 29. Now, if the good Spirit of my God will be so kind as to lead me to point out clearly what we were predestinated and appointed to, or what that is that is given to us in Christ Jesus in eternal election, we shall see what this image of his Son is to which we are predestinated to be conformed. And,

1. It seems to stand in wisdom and understanding. This the great apostle points out to us: "Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even

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the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew; for, had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory," 1 Cor. ii. 6-8. This wisdom is a spiritual and an experimental knowledge of Christ, and of God as a covenant God and Father in him, given by the Holy Ghost; and is attended with a believing insight or view by faith into his secret purposes and grace, into his good-will of promise in Christ Jesus, that we might know most assuredly, by the teaching of the Holy Ghost, the things which are freely given us of God; such as his eternal love to us, the gift of Christ to us, and all saving benefits and spiritual blessings in him. Hence we have the promise of a knowledge of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, by the threefold witness they bear in the souls of all believers upon earth. The love of God the Father, when shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost, says "Yea I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Thus we come to God the judge of all; and God leads us to Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and to the fountain open for sin and uncleanness. This is the blood of sprinkling that speaks pardon, peace, reconciliation, and friendship; and these are better things than were spoken by the blood of Abel. And the Holy Ghost cries, Abba, Father; and bears his eternal and invariable witness to our sonship, even in the court of conscience. And this threefold witness upon

earth will most assuredly bring us to the blessed and eternal enjoyment of the holy three which bear record in heaven. In this triune witness on earth we must all meet and agree as one body, if we hope ever to meet in the happy enjoyment of the holy three who bare record above, which three are one; and so says Jesus, "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one, and that they may be made perfect in one, John xvii. 21-23. They must come to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, Col. ii. 2. Hence it appears that the first thing in this image of Christ is wisdom, or knowledge. This appears, in the purpose of God, as the first part of Christ's image to which we are predestinated; hence Christ is said to be made of God unto us wisdom, righteousness, &c.; wisdom stands first. And so it will be found in Adam at his creation, and on the saints that are regenerated, and in heaven at last, as I shall endeavour to prove as I proceed. But I must go on to prove,

2. That the next divine feature, or heavenly ingredient, in the image of Christ is righteousness. And this we were likewise predestinated to; "Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." When

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