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version to the Lord. In the soul's spiritually apprehending of Christ true conversion unto God consists; this leads into real communion with him: and herein lies the very efsence of real grace and eternal blefsednefs. This communinion, as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we most highly prize; because in it we truly live to God, and find that the very life of grace and glory is contained and most sweetly and divinely experienced in fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is the utmost perfection of our most holy religion, which begins with knowing "the only true God, and Jesus Christ "whom he hath sent," through the divine unction of the Holy Ghost, who leads into real, spiritual, and supernatural communion with the Father and the Son. It is begun when we receive spiritual life from Christ our living Head, and is carried on by the secret, imperceptible, and powerful operations of the eternal Spirit. It is manifested by those spiritual breathings after God in the outgoings of the soul to him in aspirations and desires after him, and by those vehement thirstings to enjoy his love and manifestative presence, which are found in our experiences, and in the true exercise of our faith, and hope, and love to

him, in our attendance on his divine and instituted worship. In the use and observance of these ordinances, which the Lord hath appointed, the Holy Ghost is pleased to breathe on the souls of believers, drawing out their graces into act and exercise, and giving them some precious views of Christ and divine discoveries and sensations of the Father's love. Hence it is that they find it good to draw nigh unto God at his throne. Whilst we can never value communion with the Lord too highly, (as we may well esteem it heaven really enjoyed on earth) yet we should learn to understand what it consists in; and should estimate it, not so much by the length and extraordinary elevation of it, and the joys with which it may at some special seasons be accompanied, as by the reality of it. We are apt to overlook what communion with God is, and wherein it consists; because we conceive too much of the spirituality and sublimity of it, when it is indeed an immutable verity, that though it is wholly supernatural, yet it is in its own nature truly simple. Yea, we are apt to overlook it merely on account of its entire and perfect simplicity and spirituality. It consists on God's part in the outgoings of his heart in the discoveries and manifestations of his love to us in his beloved Son. And on our part in the

goings forth of our hearts towards him in return for his everlasting love to us. It is a spiritual and supernatural act and exercise of the mind on God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as our God, our portion, and inheritance. We are, it may be, continually prone to conceive that we have no communion with the Lord, unlefs we have some very high-raised aspirations after God, and some very special and unspeakable joy and consolation from him. Yet, if we were to lay aside all prejudices, which we may have entertained in our minds concerning this subject, it would be found, on a very close, exact, and impartial examination into the real case, frames, and universal experience of all saints, and it would prove to be a real fact, that there is very intimate fellowship with the Holy One, when there is not the least sensible joy attending it. To explain and illustrate it by way of example. Communion consists in mutual intercourse. Two friends, who love each other, as David and Jonathan did, even as their own souls, find that their sweetest fellowship consists in the mutual opening of their hearts; and if the one can afsist the other, he who can receive afsistance from his friend finds that he has peculiar fellowship with him in interview, freely opens his case to him, and leaves it to his consideration. The

fellowship is inestimably free on both sides. The one expresses it in speaking out his case; the other in affording that relief to his necefsitous friend, which his real circumstances require. This may serve to convey a clear idea to our minds what communion is, and wherein it consists between God and us. It also proves, even to demonstration, that it may be very close and intimate without any extraordinary joys and raptures following it. As an efsential union, in-being, and communion, which are absolutely ineffable, exist between the eternal and co-equal Three in the ONE INCOMPREHENSIBLE GODHEAD; so their union and communion are the foundation of the union and communion which they have with Christ and the elect in him. As the Father hath life in himself, so, according to the federal or covenant-acts of the efsential Three, the Father" hath given "to the Son, as God-man, to have life "in himself." Our Lord exprefseth himself on this great subject thus, "That they all may be one, as thou, Father, "art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:-I in them, and "thou in me, that they may be made "perfect in one." And as, according to these eternal acts of the efsential Three, the elect are united to Christ, God-man; f John xvii. 21-23.



so they are quickened through him, and live by him which great truth our Lord sets before us in these words, "As the "living Father hath sent me, and I live "by the Father; so he that eateth me, " even he shall live by me."

The elect have union and interest in each of the divine persons in the Godhead. This is founded on the union and relation which the elect have to the person of Christ, God-man, their eternal Head, everlasting Father, Husband, and Friend. The eternal Three are therefore pleased to hold distinct and personal communion with them, whereby they give the called in Christ Jesus distinct apprehensions of their personal interest in the everlasting and unchangeable love of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the ETERNAL THREE in the ONE JEHOVAH. This communion is set forth as exprefsed to us through the mediation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, under the Levitical dispensation, when the sacrifices were offered and the blood carried into the holiest of all, the high priest was to pronounce the following benediction on the people, "The Lord blefs thee and "keep thee: the Lord make his face to "shine upon thee, and be gracious unto "thee: the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon thee, and give thee 46 peace."

g John vi. 57.

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