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into one Spirit," v. 27. "ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
Lastly, from this union and fellowship of the regenerate with the Father and Christ, and of the members of Christ's body among themselves, results the mystical body called THE INVISIBLE CHURCH, whereof Christ is the head. 1 Thess. i. 1. "unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ." See also 2 Thess. i. 1. John xi. 52. "not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." 2 Cor. vi. 16. "ye are the temple of the living God." Gal. iv. 26. "Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Eph. i. 22, 23. "he gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." iv. 13, 15, 16. "till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." v. 23. “Christ is the head of the church, and he is the Saviour of the body." Col. i. 18, 19. "he is the head of the body, the church." ii. 19. "not holding the head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." i. 24. "for his body's sake, which is the church.' Heb. iii. 6. "Christ as a son over his own house, whose house are we." xii. 22, 23. ye are come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect."
Seeing then that the body of Christ is mystically one, it follows that the fellowship of his members must also be mystical, and not confined to place or time, inasmuch as it is composed of individuals of widely separated countries, and of all ages from the foundation of the world. Rom. ii. 29. " he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of
the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Eph. ii. 19-22. " now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Col. ii. 5. "though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith
The love of Christ towards his invisible and spotless Church is described by the appropriate figure of conjugal love.3 Rev. xix. 7. "the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.'
Christ is also called the Shepherd, by reason of his protecting and teaching the church. John x. 14. "I am the good shepherd." v. 16. "there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Heb. xiii. 20. "now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant-." 1 Pet. v. 4. "when the chief shepherd shall appear
CHAP. XXV.-OF IMPERFECT GLORIFICATION, WHEREIN ARE CONSIDERED THE DOCTRINES OF ASSURANCE AND FINAL PERSEVERANCE.
OF that increase which has reference to the Father and Son conjointly, the remaining part is GLORIFICATION.
Glorification is either IMPERFECT or PERFECT.
3If Christ be the Church's husband, expecting her to be presented before him a pure unspotted virgin, in what could he show his tender love to her more than in prescribing his own ways, which he but knows would be to the improvement of her health and beauty.' Reason of Church Government urged against Prelaty. Prose Works, II. 444. Marriage, which is the nearest resemblance of our union with Christ-' Tetrachordon, III. 340. Marriage, which is the dearest league of love, and the dearest resemblance of that love which in Christ is dearest to his Church. Reply to an Answer against the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Ibid. 447.
IMPERFECT GLORIFICATION is that state wherein, being JUSTIFIED AND ADOPTED BY GOD THE FATHER, WE ARE FILLED WITH A CONSCIOUSNESS OF PRESENT GRACE AND EXCELLENCY, AS WELL AS WITH AN EXPECTATION OF FUTURE GLORY, INSOMUCH THAT OUR BLESSEDNESS IS IN A MANNER ALREADY
BEGUN. John xvii. 22. "the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them."
St. Paul traces this glorification by progressive steps, from its original source in the foreknowledge of God himself: Rom. viii. 29, 30. "whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son .... 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." xv. 7. "receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God." Eph. i. 3. "blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." iii. 17-19. "that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." 1 Thess. ii. 12. "that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." 2 Thess. ii. 14. "whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Pet. v. 10. "who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." 2 Pet. i. 3. “that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
OUR BLESSEDNESS IS IN A MANNER ALREADY BEGUN. Matt. v. 3, &c. "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Both regeneration and increase are accompanied by confirmation, or preservation in the faith, which is also the work of God. I Cor. i. 8. "who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. i. 21, 22. "now he which stablished us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." Eph. iii. 16. "that he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. 1 Pet. v. 10. "the God of all
grace, who hath called us.... make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." Jude 24. "unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."
These three, regeneration, increase, and preservation in the Faith, considered as proximate causes on the part of God, and their effects, as faith, love, &c. considered as proximate causes on the part of man, or as acting in man, produce ASSURANCE OF SALVATION, and THE FINAL PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS. On the part of God, however, the primary or more remote cause is his predestination or election of believers. Rom. viii. 30. "whom he did predestinate," &c. as quoted above. xi. 29. "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Heb. vi. 17, 18. "wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation," &c. 2 Pet. i. 4. " whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature."
Hence ASSURANCE OF SALVATION is a CERTAIN DEGREE OR GRADATION OF FAITH, WHEREBY A MAN HAS A FIRM PERSUASION AND CONVICTION, FOUNDED ON THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT, THAT IF HE BELIEVE AND CONTINUE IN FAITH AND LOVE, HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED AND ADOPTED, AND PARTLY GLORIFIED BY UNION AND FELLOWSHIP WITH CHRIST AND THE FATHER, HE WILL AT LENGTH MOST CERTAINLY ATTAIN TO EVERLASTING LIFE AND THE CONSUMMATION OF GLORY.
HAS A FIRM PERSUASION; or, to speak more properly, ought, and is entitled to have a firm persuasion. 2 Pet. i. 10. "wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure," that is, the fruit of your calling and election, eternal life; for the calling itself cannot be made more sure, inasmuch as it is already past; but this is of no avail, unless we give diligence to make both sure. It follows, that, as far as this depends upon ourselves, it must be in our own power to make it sure.
IF HE BELIEVE. John iii. 16. "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." See also vi. 47. Rom. v. 2. “ by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the
glory of God." 2 Cor. xiii. 5. " examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reBut "Christ dwells in our hearts by faith,' probates ?" Eph. iii. 17. Hence we are enjoined to prove our faith, lest we should be reprobates; not our election, which cannot be sure without faith.
CONTINUE IN FAITH AND LOVE. Heb. vi. 18-20. "that we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil." x. 22, 23. "let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water: let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." 2 Pet. i. 9—11. "he that lacketh these things, is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins: wherefore the rather, brethren, &c. . . . . for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 1 John iii. 14. 66 we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren." iv. 18. " there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." Rev. ii. 17. "to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." Here each is represented as receiving the stone, or pledge of election, after he has individually obtained the victory.
HAVING BEEN JUSTIFIED. Rom. v. 9, 10. "much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him for if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." We are only justified, however, through faith.
ADOPTED. Rom. viii. 15, 16. “ye have not received the pirit of bondage again to fear, but have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father."
ON THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPIRIT. Rom. viii. 16. "the Spirit itself heareth witness with our Spirit that we are the children of God." Eph. i. 13, 14. "in whom ye also trusted