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epistle to the Ephesians. The apostle breaks forth saying, "Blefsed be the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blefsed us with all spiritual blefsings in heavenlies, (or "heavenly places) in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him be"fore the foundation of the world, that

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we should be holy and without blame "before him in love; having predesti"nated us unto the adoption of children

by Jesus Christ to himself, according "to the good pleasure of his will, to the "praise of the glory of his grace, where"in he hath made us accepted in the "beloved'." In which pafsage of sacred writ we have a recital of those benefits, which the Father hath bestowed on us in Christ, as he stands related to his church as the eternal head of it. Immutable holinefs, adoption, which gives us a title to eternal glory, and immediate communion with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ are blessings, which' flow immediately from our election in Christ, and are supercreation ones, irrespective of all consideration of the fall, and of Christ, as the mediator of reconciliation. All the springs of spiritual and eternal life are in Christ our head. The love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to the elect can never be fully I verses 3, 4, 5, 6.

comprehended. It is the very fountain from whence all the felicity of the glorified flows: and, as the love of the eternal Three to the elect surmounted and does surmount all thought, so they blessed them with blefsings equal to the love, which they bore to Christ the head, and the church his body. Christ,

God-man, was a suitable head and husband for his spouse. She was bestowed on him, as the gift of his Father's ineffable love; and was presented in all that holinefs, majesty, and glory, with which she will shine forth in Heaven for ever and ever. This view of her attracted the heart of the God-man. He received. her into his heart and into his arms, and betrothed her to himself, saying, "Thou "art all fair my love, there is no spot in "thee." As Jehovah willed the manifestation of the glory of his grace to the uttermost, and the good of his people to an inconceivable degree, by admitting them to the closest union and most intimate fellowship with himself, through the God-man as the medium thereof; so in his infinite mind he permitted, and by his own counsel and will predestinated all and every thing, which should befal his people, designing the whole to serve as means of illustrating and manifesting his love in a variety of ways unto his elect, and thereby to in

crease the glory and praise of his be loved Son.


God chose Christ for himself. styles him, "Mine Elect." He predestinated the church for Christ; and appointed the world to be for a season the place where his people should dwell, Hence saith the apostle, "Whether Paul, "or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or "things to come, all are yours; and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's '.'

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As JEHOVAH had predestinated elect angels (for so they are styled") and elect men, as the objects and subjects, in whom he would shew forth his glorious grace, and designed to manifest in them how intensely he could love them in Christ, even with an immutable love: so it was decreed by him to bring them forth in the respective worlds, which he would create for them, pure and holy in their creature-nature, state, and condition: and he planned two vast designs to be executed on them. He ordained two worlds for them-Heaven for angels, and the earth for men. In these they were for a season to dwell, and by the exercise of his providence towards them he willed to give clear proof and convincing evidence, such as Isaiah xlii. 1. I Cor. iii. 22, 23. " 1 Tim. v. 21.


should most sensibly touch and affect them, what the creature, simply as a creature, was;-how liable to change, and that they were far from having any firm foundation in and of themselves to stand on, even for a moment. The angels were to be created in the heavens. The elect were all to be brought forth by creation, and to stand in one pure head of nature. And by the divine permission of the fall, elect angels and elect men were to see that no creature hath whereof to glory before God. This was to be discovered first to elect angels, by leaving some of those angelic beings, who were equal with them in nature, purity, and excellency, to the mutability of their wills: by which it would appear, "They kept not their first estate," but left it, fell into sin, and were entirely corrupted thereby. At which time the elect angels would see what they were as creatures, what would have been their case had they been left to the guidance of their own wills, and what would befal them were they left to stand on their own bottom for a single moment. From hence they would be led to apprehend what great GRACE had been freely shewn them in their election and in appointing Christ to be their head; and that they owed their PRESERVA TION from falling to the God-man.

This would lead to a discovery that in its proper season this ineffable blefsing would be conferred on them, which was far beyond their due as creatures, and which they could of themselves lay no claim to, viz. a sight of the God-man, and such an intellectual view and knowledge of him as would create in their understandings such apprehensions of God's love, goodness and glory manifested in him, as would satisfy their minds and sanctify their wills for ever: which did, when first revealed to them, and still does, and will for evermore, so sanctify their intellectual faculties, and lead them into such communion with the eternal Three, and into such an enjoyment of their goodness, in a way of communication, through the person of the Godman, who is their head', as fill them with all the fullness of God: so that God in him is their all in all. The knowledge and enjoyment of this so immutably fix all their faculties on Jehovah, as he hath manifested the glories of his nature, persons, and perfections in the God-man, that the pofsibility of their sinning is thereby prevented to eternity. And in a vision of and in communion with the God-man consist their everlasting blefsednefs and perfection: so that they admire grace, electing grace,

v Col. ii. 10.

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