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him a right to their privileges. That we may the more diftinctly take up this, we fhall take a view of this whole bleffed tranfaction, from the first to the laft, together with the parties concerned in it. And,
1. The adopter is God, and in respect of dispensation the Father, the first perfon of the bleffed Trinity, the Father of our Lord Jefus. For as the work of redemption is the Son's, and the work of our fanctification the Spirit's, fo our juftification and adoption are the Father's, Eph. i. 3. 5. And hence the Father's love is celebrated in this benefit, 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the fons of God; though not excluding that of the Son and the Holy Ghoft, who are one God with him, and act their part in this bleffed tranfaction, bringing it about. And becaufe God is the Sovereign of the univerfe, therefore he is also the Judge, who paffeth the fentence, and adjudgeth the adopted fons to himself.
2. The party adopted is an elect finner; for it is done in pursuance of God's eternal predeftination, and falls on those and only those who are elected to it from eternity, Eph. i. 5. God from all eternity forefeeing, that though Adam was to be created a fon of God in his own likeness, yet he would degenerate, and all his race be born children of wrath and of the devil, refembling Satan naturally, and prone to obey him, as children do a father, John viii. 44. decrced not to lose the whole race, but to bring a certain number of them into his family again by the way of adoption, the way of natural (Adam's) fonfhip failing, leaving others to continue in their natural father's houfe and family. And all these elect ones were known from eternity to God, 2 Tim. ii. 19.
3. The natural father is the devil, that enemy of God, John viii. 44. His children they are by nature as well as others. He has a great family, one part whereof dwells in the lower houfe; these are the damned fpirits in hell. And of those that are once
got thither, there are no more hopes nor poffibility of their ever getting out of his family. Thefe are entered to the inheritance of their father, in almost full tale already. Another part of them are fojourning in the upper house of this world, and that house is very throng with his family. It contains a people that are his, Pfal. xlv. 10. Many entire nations and families are there, wherein there are none but that are his. Nay, there is a world of men and women he has in this house, 1 John v. 19. and himself is god and father of the family, 2 Cor. iv. 4. who all can have no hope of a better inheritance than he has given them, even the wrath and curfe prepared for him and his. It is out of this part of Satan's family that the adopted are taken.
4. The fuitablenefs of this adoption to the glory of the Adopter, and to his family. We dare not fay, he needed to take this way of furnishing himself with children, as in the cafe of adoption among men. He was happy in himself from all eternity, in his Son by eternal generation, when there was neither man nor angel in his family. And had all been loft together, his happiness had not been one whit diminished. But we may fay, that this device of adoption was a device becoming him, and very agreeable to his glory and family.
His family did originally confift of two forts of fons, angels and men, (not to fpeak here of his eternal Son). Angels were the one fort, Job xxxviii. 7. man the other, Luke iii. 38. the one as well as the other created after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holinefs. The one were kept in the higher house, the other in the lower. But fin entering among them, many of the family died fuch a death as quite diffolved the relation betwixt God and them, that they could no more call him Father, nor could he own them for his children. It feized those first of the upper houfe, and multitudes of them (for in one man was a legion of them) dropt down to the pit, 2 Pet. ii. 4. They in
fected thofe of the lower house, and they that received the infection from them, conveyed it to all the reft, fo that death paffed upon all that part of the family to a man, Rom. v. 12. So that here was an empty house
This evinces the fuitableness of making up the family again, by the way of adoption, which by fpiritual death received fuch a diminution. As alfo the fuitableness of adoption from among men, which the fallen angels have no fhare in. For fince they were not all to be recovered that had fallen, but the juftice of God was to be glorified in forme of them; it was agreeable to the wifdom of God to adopt men, not fallen angels, fince the whole man-kind was loft, but not the whole angelic kind. Multitudes of angels ftood when the reft fell, but all mankind was lost together.
5. But what fhall be done for the law that forbids the staining of the Adopter's honour by the meanness of the party adopted? This was a notable impediment in the way of this device of repairing the family. The Adopter can be no higher, for he is the Sovereign King of the world; the adopted no lower, for they are not only the children of base men, but of the devil, the most miserable creature in the universe. No law could be more ftrict for the honour of the Adopter than the holy law of God is. And he would by no means overlook it, but magnify it, and make it honourable. What poffibility then is there of God's adopting children of the devil in confiftency with his honour?
Wifdom finds out the way, that is, that they fhall be adopted in Jefus Chrift, Eph. i, 5. 6. Gal. iii. 26. 27. And to let you fee that this way makes it confiftent with the honour of God to adopt thofe that by nature are children of the devil, confider three things in the myftery of Chrift,
(1.) By the incarnation of the Son of God the hus man nature is dignified and nobilitated, raised to a
pitch of honour, even above that of the angels, Heb. i. 13. So the Son of God partaking of human nature with the elect, owns them as his brethren, by virtue of their common human nature, Heb. ii. II. 12. And for this very cause he did become man, ver. 14. which takes away the impediment arifing from the meanness of the adopted, it being very agreeable to God's honour to adopt thofe for children who were of the fame nature with his own Son, i. e, of human nature. For the Son of God, to make way for this adoption, took to himself a holy human nature, into perfonal union with his Godhead. Hence,
(2.) The man Chrift is the elder brother, in the repaired family of heaven, Rom. viii. 29. the firft of the human nature having intereft in God as a Father, after the extinguishing of the firft relation by creation. So that the elect drawing to him, as one betwixt whom and them there is a natural bond, of the fame human nature, way is made for their adoption through him, in confiftency with the honour of God.
(3.) By his obedience and fatisfaction he purchafed their adoption, with all other priviléges to them, Gal. iv. 4. 5. And his natural bond with them gave him a direct intereft to redeem them, as being their near Kinfman. So law and juftice can have nothing to ob ject against the adoption. Thus, by Jefus Chrift, the glorious device of repairing the family of heaven in the way of adoption is made practicable. But how fhall it be executed? Why,
6. Our Lord fends his meffengers, minifters of the gofpel, out into the world among thofe of Satan's family, to proclaim the offer of adoption unto them, that whofoever of them will leave their father's house and people, fhall be adopted into the family of heaven. This is offered to them, and it is preffed upon them by many arguments and entreaties to accept, and come away. By their mouths the Lord cries to them, 2 Cor. vi. 17. 18. Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye feparate, faith the Lord, and
touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my fons and daughters, faith the Lord Almighty. Pfal. xlv. 10. Hearken, O daughter, and confider, and incline thine ear; forget alfo thine own people, and thy father's houfe. They expofe the nakedness of their father's houfe to them. They tell them, that he is a cruel and deceitful father, John viii. 44. that he treats them as flaves, not as fons, 2 Tim. ii. ult. that the entertainment of his house is wretched and beggarly, that they have nothing to eat but duft with the ferpent, or husks with the fwine; that their work is bafe, fulfilling the defires of the flesh and mind; the wages, death; and that he has no inheritance to give them, but what will make them eternally miferable. On the other hand, they commend the family of heaven, the Father of the family, the entertainment, the work, wages, inheritance, &c.
Hereupon the father of the family rages, and firs up the children againft them and their meflage. Sometimes he raises the family against them, and all that take part with them, and they fet upon them violently, and knock them down, and defpitefully use them, by perfecutions, &c. fo that many have loft their lives in the caufe, for prefuming to difturb that family. When he cannot get that done, he teaches them to flop their ears, that, if they muft fpeak, what they fay fhall not get accefs into their hearts, Pfal. lviii. 4. 5. And thus the most part of the family get a deafness that abides with them, and grows more and more to their dying day, and they are never cured of it.
7. But unto the elect among them God fends his Spirit, which opens their ears, awakens their confcience, and roufes them fo, that they can no longer mifs to hear and understand too what concerns themfelves and both the families, Job xxxvi. 10. And then that makes deep impreffion on them, which the reft of the family do not at all regard; that makes them