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- The plain Sense of the Verse seems to be El this. That which above all Things I desire, is w to be found in Chrift, i. e. to be found a Disciple
of his, ingrafted into him, by, being a Member of his Church; not having my own Righteous * nefs which is of the Law, i. e. not being content - with those outward Privileges, and that outil ward Obedience, which by my own natural *Strength, I am able to yield to the Precepts of
the Law, which is that Righteousness, in which
the Yews place their Confidence, and by which Fill they expect to be justified before God; But am that which is by the Faith of Yesus Christ, the hot Righteousness which is of God by Faith; i. e. - that Righteousness which I desire, and in which Oft only I shall have the Confidence to appear
I before God, is an inward Principle of Holiness; deel that Spiritual renewed Obedience to God's Laws,
which he doth require as the Condition of his
Favour and Acceptance, and which I can never Fattain to, but by the Faith of Christ; by beit coming a Christian. This is none of my own
Righteousness, but God's, it being wrought in me by his Spirit, accompanying the Preaching of the Gospel; and as it is his Gift, so he will own it, and reward it at the last Day.
This is the full Importance of that Verse, his and then it follows by way of Explication of 3 what we now said, That I may know him, and i the Power of his Resurrection, &c. This is the hree Righteousness that I aspire after, that I may fou know Chrift, not only by a Notional Belief of his del Doctrines, or Profesion of his Religion, but by ia Spiritual experimental Knowledge of him,
fuch' a Knowledge as transforms me into his in Spirit and Temper; And that I may know the fo Power of his Refurrection; i. e. that I may experience in myself all the good Effects that his Resurrection has a Power to work in me; IR that I may feel the Virtue and Efficacy of it, 1 x in my daily dying to Sin, and rising again to b New, Holy, and Heavenly Life. This is that Righteousness I long for, and in comparison of which, I account all Things in the we World but as Lofs, and as Dung.
Thus have I given you a fúll Account of the up Text, and all the Apostle's Discourse that it depends upon. I come now to treat more particularly of it, with reference to the sou lemnity of this Day.'::.
We all here present do profefs to believe the Article of our Saviour's Resurrection, and our li Business, at this Time, is to celebrate the Meniory of it; but we must not rest here: We · are not to look upon our Lord's Resurrection meerly as a Thing to be believed, or professed, or commemorated; or as a Matter of Fact, that only concerned himself : But there is a great deal in it, which doth nearly concern us. The Apostle tells us, there is a great Power in it; even a Power of raising us from Sin to a Holy and Virtuous Life. It is so ordered, as to be capable of being, and it ought to be, a Principle of rew Life in us, as it was the begin. ning of a netv Life in our Saviour. Now this Virtue, this Power, this Efficacy of it, as it is that, which with the Apostle, we ought all moft earnestly to endeavour the experiencing
in ourselves 1 iso it is that which willi be fittest
for us, at this Time, to apply our Meditations to. i jo My Work, therefore, at this Time, shall be
to give fome, account of the Power of Christ's Refurrection, in order to the making Men good, which the Apostle here speaks of; to Thew how,; or in what respects it doth influence upon the Lives of Christians. L e !!
Now if we look into the Holy Scriptures, we shall find that there is a Four-fold Power attributed to it, or that it hath an Influence upon our Lives in these Four. Respects; That is to say, : : siin
,,? I. As it lays an Obligation upon Christians to Holiness and Virtue. - II. As it is the Principal. Evidence of the Truth of our Religion, the Design of which, is to make Men Holy and Virtuous. vh.. :* . III. ." As it is the great Support of our friture Hopes, or our Hopes of another Life; which, indeed, is the main Encouragement we have to apply ourselves feriously to the Business of
Holiness and Virties E IV. And Fourthly, As to it we do princi
pally owe all that supernatural Grace and Strength, by which we are enabled to live Holily and Virtwusly. Of thefe Four Points, I shall discourse very briefly
- I. And Firft of all, our Saviour's Refurrection hath an Influence upon our Practice, as it lays an Obligation upon Christians to lead Holy and Virtuous Lives; As it is in itself an Incitement to Piety, and Heavenlymindedness. i ntrinis . .?.
This is, indeed, the lowest Instance of its Power ; but yet we ought not to pass it by, because the Writers of the New Testament, do frequently insist on it : For thus they argue; If Christ was crucified for our Sins; then ought we to crucify them in our Members. And if Christ rofe again the Third Day; then are we engaged in Conformity to him, to rise again to Newness of Life, to lead a Spiritual, Divine, Heavenly Life, such a Life as he now lives with God...
And this, in the ancient Times, was taught every Chriftian in and by his Baptism. Whenever a person was Baptized, he was not only to profess his Faith in Christ's Death and Refurretion, but he was also to look upon himself as obliged, in Correspondence therewith, to mortify his former carnal Affections, and to enter upon a new State of Life. And the very Form of Baptism did lively represent this Obligation to them. For what did their being plung'd under Water fignify, but their undertaking, in Imitation of Christ's Death and Burial, to forfake all their former evil Courses: As their ascending out of the Water did their Engagement to lead a Holy, Spiritual Life ? This our Apostle doth more than once declare to us.
Thus, Rom. vi. 4. We are buried (faith he) with Christ by Baptism into Death, that like as Christ was raised up from the Dead, by the Glory of the Father, even fo we also hould walk in Newness of Life. Thus again in the roth and with Verses of that Chapter, In that Chrif
died, he died unto Sin once; but in that he liveth, be liveth unto God: likewise reckon ye yoúrselves to be dead indeed unto Sin, but alive unto God, through' Jesus Christ our Lord. That is to say, after the Šxample of Christ's Death and Re Jurrection, account ye yourselves oblig'd to die to Sin, and to live to Righteousness. ..
Lastly, to name no more Texts, The same Use doth the Apostle niake of Christ's Relurrection, in Color 3. 1, 2. If ye then (faith he) be rifen with Christ, seek those Things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the Right Hand of God; i. e. You by entring into the Christian Covenant, are incorporated into Christ; He is your Head, you are his Members; and therefore since he no longer leads a Life of this World, it will by no means become you to live like. Worldlings or Epicures; but being risen with him (as the Members ought to do with the Head) to mind those Things that are above, where he is; to set your Affections (as he goes on) on the T hings above, and not on the Things of the Earth. For ye are dead, and your Life is bid with Christ in God.
These Things plainly shew, that the Apoftles delivered the Doctrine of Christ's Refurre&tion, as a Practical Doctrine ; as a Point, which, if Christians believed as they should do, it would ingage them to mortifie their Lufts, to die to the World, to place their Atfection on Spiritual Things, to have their Conversations in Heayen, where Christ our Head, our Life, now sits at the Right Hand of God. VOL. I.
Aa II. Great