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before me, and be thou perfect." Psal. xix. 13. “keep back tny servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.' Eph. i. 4. " he hath chosen us..... that we should be holy and without blame before him in love." Or, lastly, it may mean that they were declared righteous by God through grace and faith. Thus Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah, Gen. vi. 8. compared with v. 9. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God," and Heb. xi. 7. “he became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”
With regard to Luke vii. 47. " her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much," it is to be observed that this love was not the cause, but the token or effect of forgiveness, as is evident from the parable itself, v. 40. for the debtors were not forgiven because they had loved much, but they loved much because much had been forgiven. The same appears from what follows; to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little; and still more plainly from v. 50. “ thy faith hath saved thee." That which saved, the same also justified; namely, not love, but faith, which was itself the cause of the love in question. Compare Book II. Chap. i. on the subject of merit.
From a consciousness of justification proceed peace and real tranquillity of mind. Rom. v. 1, &c. being justified by faith, we have peace with God." 1 Cor. vii. 15. "God hath called us to peace." Philipp. iv. 7. "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Coloss. iii. 15. "let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body." This is that peace for which the apostles pray in their salutations addressed to the church.
CHAP. XXIII.-OF ADOPTION.
WE have considered JUSTIFICATION, the first of those particulars connected with the increase of the regenerate which bear reference to the Father; that which remains to be treated of is ADOPTION.
ADOPTION is that act whereby GOD ADOPTS AS HIS CHIL
DREN THOSE WHO ARE JUSTIFIED THROUGH FAITH.
In one sense we are by nature sons of God, as well as the angels, inasmuch as he is the author of our being; Luke iii. 38. "which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God." But the sense here intended is that of adopted children, such as those probably were, though in profession only, who are mentioned Gen. vi. 2. "the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair.' 1 Chron. xxviii. 6. "I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father." Isai. lvi. 5. "I will give them a name better than of sons of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off."
THROUGH FAITH. John i. 12. “as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Gal. iii. 26. "ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Eph. i. 5. "having predestinated us into the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Heb. ii. 10. "for it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Gal. iv. 4--6. "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."
HIS CHILDREN. Rom. viii. 15, 16. “ ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father; the Spirit
1 This interpretation of the passage, which is now generally received, is adopted in the eleventh Book of Paradise Lost:
To these that sober race of men, whose lives
But elsewhere Milton understands it of the fallen angels becoming enamoured of the daughters of men:
Before the flood thou with thy lusty crew,
Compare also Paradise Lost, III. 463. V. 447.
itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Gol." v. 23. "waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." Philipp. ii. 15. "that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God." 1 John iii. 1, 2. "behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." We are also said to be like God, v. 2. and chap. iv. 17. "herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.”
From adoption is derived, first, liberty; a privilege which was not unknown to the posterity of Abraham, in virtue of their title as children of God, Deut. xiv. 1. even under the law of bondage. In the spirit of this liberty, they did not scruple even to infringe the ceremonies of religion, when their observance would have been inconsistent with the law of love. Thus they did not circumcise "all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way," Josh. v. 5. and David "when he was an hungred, did eat that which was not lawful for him to eat,” Matt. xii. 4. compared with 1 Sam. xxi. 6.2 Psal. cxix. 45. "I will walk at liberty, for I seek thy precepts." But the clearer and more perfect light in which liberty, like adoption itself, has been unfolded by the gospel, renders it necessary to reserve the fuller exposition of this privilege to that part of our work in which the subject of the Gospel is considered.
By adoption we are also made heirs through Christ. Gal. iii. 29. "if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." iv. 7. "wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Rom. viii. 17. "if children, then
2 I will now show the wrong it doth, by violating the fundamental privilege of the gospel, the new birthright of every true believer, Christian liberty.' Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes. Prose Works, II. 539.... 'that they meddle not rashly with Christian liberty, the birthright and outward testimony of our adoption.' Ibid. 542.
The Scripture also affords us David in the shewbread, Hezekiah in the passover, sound and safe transgressors of the literal command, which also dispensed not seldom with itself, and taught us on what just occasions to do so; until our Saviour, for whom that great and godlike work was reserved, redeemed us to a state above prescriptions, by dissolving the whole law into charity.' Tetrachordon. Prose Works, III. 324. 'Justice and religion are from the same God, and works of justice oft. times more acceptable.' Tenure of Kings and Magistrates, II. 24.
heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." Tit. iii. 7. "that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." 1 Pet. iii. 9. knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” This also confers the title of first-born. Heb. xii. · 22, 23. "ye are come.... to the general assembly and church of the first-born." And of brethren of Christ. Heb. i, 11, 12. "for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren.' Hence we are said to be "of the household of God." Eph. ii. 19. 66 now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God." Hence even the angels minister unto us. Heb. i. 14. 66 are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them that shall be heirs of salvation?"
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Lastly, we become sons of God by a new generation; by the assumption, as it were, of a new nature, and by a conformity to his glory: Luke xx. 36. "they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."
CHAP. XXIV.-OF UNION AND FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST AND HIS MEMBERS, WHEREIN IS CONSIDERED THE MYSTICAL OR INVISIBLE CHURCH.
HITHERTO the increase of the regenerate has been considered in its relation to the Father alone. We are now to consider that increase which has reference to the Father and Son conjointly.
This consists in our UNION and FELLOWSHIP with the Father through Christ the Son, and our glorification after the image of Christ.
Of this union and fellowship mention is made John xiv. 20. "at that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." v. 23. “if a man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto, him, and make our abode with him." xvii. 21-23. "that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.... and the glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be
one, even as we are one; I in them, and thon in me, that they may be made perfect in one." I Cor. vi. 17. "be that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit." 1 John ii. 23. "whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; but he that acknowledgeth the Son, hath the Father also." iii. 24. “he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him: and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he bath given us." i. 3, 6, 7. “truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." iv. 13, 15, 16. "hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit: whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God: and we have known and believed the love that God hath to us: God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
THE FELLOWSHIP arising from this union consists in a participation, through the Spirit, of the various gifts and merits of Christ. John vi. 56. "he that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” Rom. viii. 9. "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." v. 32. "how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" 1 Cor. i. 9. "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” Epb. iii. 17. "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith." Rev. iii. 20. "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with me." 2 Cor. xiii. 14. "the communion of the Holy Ghost.”
From this our fellowship with Christ arises the mutual fellowship of the members of Christ's body among themselves, called in the Apostles' Creed THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS. Rom. xii. 4, 5. "for as we have many members in one body, and ali members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. "as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ: for by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink