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Opening the general Nature of effectual Application.
1 COR. i. 30. But of him are ye in Chrift Jefus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and fanctification, and redemption.
E that enquires what is the juft value and worth of Chrift, afks a queftion which puts all the men on earth, and angels in heaven, to an everlasting non-plus. The highest attainment of our knowledge, in this life, is to know, that himself, and his love do pafs knowledge, Eph. iii.
But how excellent foever, Chrift is in himself, what treasures of righteoufnefs foever lie in his blood, and whatever joy, peace, and ravishing comforts, fpring up to men out of his incarnation, humiliation, and exaltation, they all give down their distinct benefits and conforts to them, in the way of effectual application.
For never was any wound healed by a prepared, but unapplied plaifter. Never any body warmed by the moft coftly garment made, but not put on: Never any heart refreshed and comforted by the richest cordial compounded, but not received: Nor from the beginning of the world was it ever known, that a poor deceived, condemned, polluted, miferable finner, was actually delivered out of that woful state, until of God, Chrift was made unto him, wisdom and righteoufnels, fanctification and redemption.
For look as the condemnation of the firft Adam paffeth not to us, except (as by generation) we are his; fo grace and remiffion pafs not from the fecond Adam to us, except (as by regeneration) we are his. Adam's fin hurts none but those that are in him: And Chrift's blood profits none but those that are in him: How great a weight therefore doth there hang upon the effectual application of Chrift to the fouls of men! And
* Parifienfis de caufis, cur Deus homo, cap. 9. Quemadmodum non tranfit Ada damnatio, nifi per generationem in carnaliter ex eo generatos: fic non tranfit Chrifti gratia, et peccatorum remissio, nifi per regenerationem ad fpiritualiter per ipfum regeneratos. Sicut delictum Ada non nocet, nifi fuis, in eo quod fui funt : fic' nee gratia Chrifti prodeft, nifi fuis, in eo quod fui funt.
SERM. I, what is there in the whole world fo awfully folemn, fo greatly important, as this is! Such is the strong confolation resulting from it, that the apostle, in this context, offers it to the believing Corinthians, as a fuperabundant recompenfe for the defpicable meanness, and bafeness of their outward condition in this world, of which he had just before fpoken in ver. 27, 28. telling them, though the world contemned them as vile, foolish, and weak, yet "of God Chrift is made unto them wif "dom and righteoufnefs, fanctification and redemption."
In which words we have an enumeration of the chief privileges of believers, and an account of the method whereby they come to be invested with them +.
First, Their privileges are enumerated, namely, wisdom, righteousness, fanctification, and redemption, mercies of inestimable value in themselves, and fuch as refpect a fourfold misery lying upon finful Man, viz. ignorance, guilt, pollution, and the whole train of miferable confequences and effects, let in upon the na ture of men, yea, the best and holieft of men, by fin.
Lapled man is not only deep in mifery, but grofsly ignorant, both that he is fo, and how to recover himself from it: Sin hath left him at once fenfelefs of his ftate, and at a perfect lofs about the true remedy.
To cure this, Chrift is made to him wisdom, not only by improvement of thofe treasures of wisdom that are in himself, for the benefit of fuch fouls as are united to him, as an head, confulting the good of his own members; but alfo, by imparting his wisdom to them by the Spirit of illumination, whereby they come to difcern both their fin and danger; as also the true way of their recovery from both, through the application of Chrift to their fouls by faith.
But alas! fimple illumination doth but increafe our burden, and exafperate our misery, as long as fin in the guilt of it is, either imputed to our perfons unto condemnation, or reflected by our confciences in a way of accufation.
With defign therefore to remedy and heal this fore evil, Chrift is made of God unto us righteousness, complete and perfect righ teousness, whereby our obligation to punishment is diffolved, and thereby a solid foundation for a well-fettled peace of conscience firmly established.
Yea, but although the removing of guilt from our perfons
He afcribes a fourfold commendation of Chrift, which comprehends all his virtue, and all the good we receive from him. Cake vin on the place.
and confciences be an inestimable mercy, yet alone it cannot make us completely happy: For though a man fhould never be damned for fin, yet what is it lefs than hell upon earth, to be un der the dominion and pollution of every base luft? It is mifery enough to be daily defiled by fin, though a man should never be damned for it.
To complete therefore the happiness of the redeemed; Chrift is not only made of God unto them wisdom and righteousness, the one curing our ignorance, the other our guilt; but he is made fanctification alfo, to relieve us against the dominion and pollutions of our corruptions: "He comes both by water and "by blood, not by blood only, but by water alfo," 1 John v. 6. purging as well as pardoning: How complete and perfect a cure is Chrift!
But yet fomething is required beyond all this to make our happiness perfect and entire, wanting nothing; and that is the removal of those doleful effects and confequences of fin, which (notwithstanding all the forementioned privileges and mercies) itill lie upon the fouls and bodies of illuminated, juftified, and fanctified perfons. For even with the best and holiest of men, what fwarms of vanity, loads of deadnefs, and fits of unbelief, do daily appear in, and opprefs their fouls! to the imbittering of all the comforts of life to them? And how many diseases, deformities, pains, opprefs their bodies, which daily moulder away by them, till they fall into the grave by death, even as the bodies of other men do, who never received fuch privileges from Chrift as they do? For if "Christ be in us" (as the apostle fpeaks, Rom. viii. 10.) "the body is dead, because of fin:" Sanctification exempts us not from mortality.
But from all these, and whatfoever elfe, the fruits and confequences of fin, Chrift is redemption to his people alfo: This feals up the fum of mercies: This fo completes the happiness of the faints, that it leaves nothing to defire.
These four, wisdom, righteousness, fanctification, and redemption, take in all that is neceffary or defirable, to make a forl truly and perfectly blessed.
Secondly, We have here the method and way, by which the elect come to be invested with thefe excellent privileges: the account whereof, the apoftle gives us in these words, ["Who "of God is made unto us"] in which expreffion, four things are remarkable,
First, That Christ and his benefits go infeparably and undividedly together it is Chrift himself is made all this unto us: we can have.no faving benefit feparate and apart from the per
fon of Chrift: many would willingly receive his privileges, who will not receive his perfon; but it cannot be; if we will have one, we must take the other too: Yea, we must accept his perfon firft, and then his benefits: as it is in the marriage covenant, fo it is here.
Secondly, That Chrift with his benefits, must be perfonally and particularly applied to us, before we can receive any actual, faving privilege by him; he must be [made unto us] i. e. par ticularly applied to us; as a fum of money becomes, or is made the ranfom and liberty of a captive, when it is not only promised, but paid down in his name, and legally applied for that ufe and end. When Chrift died, the ranfom was prepared, the fum laid down; but yet the elect continue ftill in fin and mifery, notwithstanding, till by effectual calling, it be actually ap plied to their perfons, and then they are made free, Rom. v, 10, 11. reconciled by Chrift's death, by whom " we have now re"ceived the atonement."
Thirdly, That this application of Chrift, is the work of God, and not of man : "Of God he is made unto us:" The fame hand that prepared it, must also apply it, or elfe we perish, notwithstanding all that the Father hath done in contriving, and appointing, and all that the Son hath done in executing, and accomplishing the defign thus far. And this actual applica tion is the work of the Spirit, by a fingular appropriation.
Fourthly, and Laftly, This expreffion imports the fuitablenefs of Chrift, to the neceffities of finners; what they want, he is made to them; and indeed, as money anfwers all things, and is convertible into meat, drink, raiment, phyfic, or what elfe our bodily neceffities do require; fo Chrift is virtually, and eminently all that the neceffities of our fouls require; bread to the hungry, and cloathing to the naked foul. In a word, God prepared, and furnished him on purpose to answer all our wants, which fully fuits the apoftle's fenfe, when he faith, "Who of "God is made unto us wifdom and righteoufnefs, fanctification "and redemption." The fum of all is,
Doct. That the Lord Jefus Chrift, with all his precious bene fits, becomes ours, by God's Special and effectual application.
There is a twofold application of our redemption, one primary, the other fecondary: The former is the act of God the Father, applying it to Chrift our furety, and virtually to us in him; the latter is the act of the Holy Spirit, perfonally and actually applying it to us in the work of converfion: The for
mer hath the refpect and relation of an example, model, or pattern to this, and this is produced and wrought by the virtue of that. What was done upon the person of Christ, was not only virtually done upon us, confidered in him as a common public reprefentative perfon, in which fenfe, we are faid to die' with him, and live with him, to be crucified with him, and buried with him, but it was alfo intended for a platform, or idea, of what is to be done by the Spirit, actually upon our fouls and bodies, in our single perfons. As he died for fin, so the Spirit applying his death to us in the work of mortification, causes us to die to fin, by the virtue of his death: And as he was quickned by the Spirit, and raised unto life, fo the Spirit applying unto us the life of Chrift, causeth us to live, by fpiritual vivification. Now this perfonal, fecondary, and actual application of redemption to us by the Spirit, in his fanctifying work, is that which I am engaged here to difcufs, and open; which I shall do in thefe following propofitions.
Prop. 1. The application of Chrift to us, is not only comprebenfive of our juftification, but of all those works of the Spirit, which are known to us in fcripture, by the names of regeneration, vocation, fan&tification, and converfion.
Though all these terms have some small respective differences among themselves, yet they are all included in this general, the applying, and putting on of Chrift, Rom. xiii. 14. " Put ye on the Lord Jefus Chrift."
Regeneration expreffes thofe fupernatural, divine, new qualities, infufed by the Spirit into the foul, which are the principles of all holy actions.
Vocation expreffes the terms from which, and to which, the foul moves, when the Spirit works favingly upon it, under the gofpel-call.
Sanctification notes an holy dedication of heart and life to God: our becoming the temples of the living God, separate from all prophane finful practices, to the Lord's only use and fervice.
Converfion denotes the great change itself, which the Spirit caufeth upon the foul, turning it by a sweet irrefiftable efficacy from the power of fin and Satan, to God in Christ.
Now all these are imported in, and done by the application of Chrift to our fouls: For when once the efficacy of Chrift's death, and the virtue of his refurrection, come to take place upon the heart of any man, he cannot but turn from fin to God, and become a new creature, living and acting by new principles and rules. So the apoftle obferves, 1 Thef. i. 5, 6. fpeaking of the