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der to our ingrafting into him, John xix. 34. the opening of that deadly wound gives life to the souls of believers.
6. The graff is intimately united, and closely conjoined with the stock; the conjunction is so close, that they become one tree.
There is also a most close and intimate union betwixt Christ and the soul that believeth in him. It is emphatically expressed by the apostle, 1 Cor. vi. 17. “ He that is joined to the Lord; « is one fpirit." The word imports the neareft, closest and stricteft union. Christ and the foul cleavę together in a blessed oneness, as those things do that are glued one to another ; so that look as the graff is really in the stock, and the spirit or fap of the stock is really in the graff; fo a believer is really (though mystically) in Chrift, and the spirit of Christ is really communicated to a believer..“ I live, (faith Paul) yet not I, but Chrift “ liveth in me," Gal. ii. 20. “He that dwelleth in love, dwel« leth in God, and God in him," 1 John iv. 16.
7. Graffs are bound to the stock by bands made of hay or fags;
these keep it steady, else the wind would lopfe it out of the stock.
The believing soul is also fastened to Christ by bands, which will secure it from all danger of being loosed off from him any more. There are two bands of this union; the Spirit on God's part, this is the firm bond of union, without which he could never be made one with Chrift, Rom. viii. 9. “ If any man « have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his ;" and faithe on our part, Eph. iii. 17. “ That Christ
may cs hearts by faith.” These hold strongly.
8. Though the stock be one and the same, yet all graffs do not thrive and flourish alike in it; fome outgrow the rest, and those
grow not so well as the others do, the fault is in them, and not in the stock; fo it is with souls really united to Chrift; all do not flourilla alike in him, the faith of some grows exceedingly, 2 Thef. i. 3. the things that be in others, are ready to die, Rev. iii. 2. and such fouls must charge the fault upon themselves. Chrift fends up living fap enough, not only to: make all that are in him living, but fruitful branches.
REFLECTION S. 31. Is it so indeed betwixt Christ and my foul, as it is betwixt the ingraffed cyon and Four comfortable : the stock? What honour and glory then refleftions for a hath Christ conferred upon me, a poor un- regenerate foul. worthy creature ! What! to be made one
dwell in your
with him, to be a living branch of him, to be joined thus to the Lord! Oh what a preferment is this! It is but a little while fince I was a wild and cursed plant, growing in the wilderness amongst them that shall shortly be cut down and faggotted up for hell; for me to be taken from amongst them, and planted into Christ. O my soul! fall down and kiss the feet of free grace, that moved fo freely towards fo vile a creature! The dignities. and honours of the kings and nobles of the earth, are nothing to mine. It was truly confessed by one of them, that it is a greater honour to be a member of Christ, than the head of an empire. Do I say, a greater honour than is put upon the kings of the earth? I might have said, it is a greater honour than is put upon the angels of heaven : For " to which of them faid « Christ, at any time, thou art bone of my bone, and fleth of
myflesh? Behold what manner of love is this !” 1 John iij. I.
2. Look again upon the ingraffed cyons, O my foul! and thou shalt find, that when once they have taken hold of the ftock, they live as long as there is any sap in the roots and be cause he liveth, I shall live also, for my life is hid with Christ in God, Col. iii. 3. The graff is preserved in the stock, and my soul is even fo“ preserved in Christ Jesus !” Jude, ver. 1.
3: Am I joined to the Lord as a mystical part or branch of him ? How dear art thou then, O my soul, to the God and Fa. ther of my Lord Jesus Chrift! What! a branch of his dear Son! What can God with-hold from one so ingraffed? Eph. i. 6. “ All is yours, (faith my God) for ye are Christ's, and 4 Christ is God's," i Cor. iii. 23,
4. Once more, draw matter of instruction, as well as comfort, from this sweet observation : seeing God hath put all this honour upon thee, by this most intimate union with his Christ, look to it, my soul, that thou live and walk as becomes a soul: thus one with the Lord : be thou tender over his glory : doth not that which strikes at the root, Itrike at the very life of the graff? And shall not that which strikes at the very glory of Christ, tenderly touch and affect thee? Yea, be thou tenderly affected with all the reproaches that fall upon him from abroad, but especially with those that redound to him from thine own unfruitfulness. Oh ! disgrace not the root that bears thee let it never be said, that any evil fruit is found upon a branch that lives and is fed by such a root.
The PO E M.
And whilft he contemplates, he doth not find
This meditation graffed on his mind?
Thy gracious hand did pluck
That I his fap might suck.
A deep incision make,
And I thereof partake.
Which binds us faft together ;
And nothing can us sever.
Me from my native place!
The triumph of thy grace!
Should thus preferred be,
Thou may'st in others fee.
The branches are not dry;
My soul can never die.
A graff cleave to the tree
United be with thee.
"Twill be a shame for thee
And yet thus gratfed be. Thus you may shake from graffs, before they blow, More precious fruit than e'er on trees did grow.
When trees are shak'd, but little
fruit remains, Just such a remnant to the Lord pertains.
hanging full of clusters, which weigh the boughs to the ground.
Afpice curvatos pomorum pondere ramos,
ferat arbor ortus.
Which I may thus English.
But these laden branches are foon eafed of their burden ; for as soon as they are ripe, the husbandman ascends the tree, and shaking the limbs with all his might, cause a fruitful shower to fall like hail-ftones upon the ground below ; which being gathered to a heap, are carried to the pound, broken all to pieces in a trough, and squeezed to a dry lump in the press, whence all their juice and moisture runs into the fat. How few escape this fat, of all those multitudes that grow in the orchard? If you look upon the trees, you may possibly see here one, and there another, two or three upon the utmost branches, but nothing in comparison to the vast number that are thus used.
tree, or gathered in for an hoard, do well resemble that Inall number of God's elect in the world, which free-grace h. th reserved out of the generalruin of mankind. Four things are excellently shadowed forth to us by this fimilitude.
1. You see in a fruitful autumn, the trees even oppressed and over-laden with the weight of their own fruits, before the shaking time comes, and then they are eased of their burden. Thus, the whole creation groans under the weight of their fins who inhabit it, Rom. viii. 22. the creatures are in bondage, and by an elegant Profopopeia, are said, both to groan and wait for deliverance. The original fin of man brought an original curse, which burdens the creature, Gen. iii. 17. “Curled is the
ground for thy fake; and the actual fin of man brings actual curses upon the creature, Psalm cvii. 34. Thus the inhabitants
of the world load and burden it, as the limbs of a tree are bure dened, and sometimes broken with the weight of their own fruit.
every year, what a. bundance of fruits daily fall, either by storms, or of their own aecord; but when the shaking time comes, then the ground is covered all over with fruit. Thus it is with the world, that myftical tree, with respect to men that inhabit it; there is not a year, a day, or hour, in which fome drop not, as it
of their own accord, by a natural death; and sometimes wars, and epidemical plagues blow down thousands together into their graves; these are as high winds in a fruitful orchard; but when the shaking time, the autumn of the world, comes, then all its inhabitants shall be shaken down together, either by death, or a tranflation equivalent thereunto.
3. When fruits are fhaken down from their trees, then the husbandman separates them; the far greater part for the pound, and some few referves for an hoard, which are brought to his table, and eaten with pleasure. This excellently shadows forth that great separation, which Christ will make in the end of the world, when some shall be cast into the wine-press of the Almighty's wrath, and others preserved for glory.
4. Those fruits which are preserved on the tree, or in the hoard, are comparatively but an handful to those that are broken in the pound; alas! it is scarce one of a thousand, and such a small remnant of elected fouls hath God referved for glory.
I look upon the world as a great tree, consisting of four large limbs or branches ; this branch or division of it on which we grow, hath doubtless, a greater number of God's elect upon it than the other three; and yet, when I look with a serious and considering eye upon this fruitful European branch, and fee how much rotten and withered fruit there grows upon it, it makes me fay, as Chryfoftom did of his populous Antioch; Ah, how small a remnant hath Jesus Christ among these valt numbers ! “Many indeed are called, but ah! how few are “ chofen ?” Matth. xx. 16. Alas! they are but as the gleanings when the vintage is done ; here and there one upon its utmost branches : to allude to that, Isaiah xvii. 6. It was a fad obfervation which that searching fcholar, Mr. Brerewood, long fince made upon the world, that, dividing it into thirty equal parts, he found no less than nineteen of them wholly overfpread with idolatry, and heathenish darkness; and of the eleven remaining parts, no less than fix are Mahometans, so that there