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profession before men, but by that which the Apostle requires when he speaks of “ a professed subjection to “ the Gospel of Christ.” : 69

- XXXIII. 2dly, The spiritual Church of Christ is truly holy, s and surpasses other societies of men, and even nominal professors, in unblemished purity of conduct, as far as the temple of Jerusalem surpassed the ordinary

houses of the citizens in splendour and magnificence of workmanship. No one, therefore, can justly consider himself a member of this Church, who doth not possess in his heart, and discover in his behaviour, the superior excellence of the Christian character.t

XXXIV. 3dly, This Church is far more glorious within than without; just like the tabernacle erected by Moses, which was covered without, with rams skins, and badgers skins; whilst within it was adorned with fine linen, purple, gold, and jewels. Our Lord aptly compares hypocrites to " whited sepulchres, which indeed

appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead “ men's bones, and of all uncleanness.” The Spouse, on the contrary, is said to be “like the tents of Kedar," whose appearance was mean ; but also “ like the cur"tains of Solomon,” in which the elegance of the workmanship vied with the extraordinary magnificence of the materials. The one expression refers to her external appearance, the other to her internal beauty.70 And truly “ the King's daughter is all glorious with

in;" and her adorning consists " in the hidden man “ of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even

Υποταγη της ομολογίας εις το Ευαγγέλιον Χριστέ, 2 Cor. ix. 13. • Ephes. v. 26, 27.

+ Mat. v. 20. u Exod. xxxvi.

"Mat. xxiii. 27. Song i. 5. 6 I See Note LXIX.

70 See Note LXX.

" the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in “ the sight of God of great price.”s

xxxv. 4thly, Here the praises of God resound, and all things are referred to his glory. “ In his temple “ doth every one speak of his glory.”, y

“ This people “ have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my “ praise.”z Here then let every one investigate his own character, and if he find in himself the characters which have now been mentioned, he may conclude that he is a member of that Church, which is the Spouse of Christ, and the partaker of his blessings.

XXXVI. The sacred volume abounds with eulogies on the inexpressible felicity of the mystical Church. “ Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.”a” 1st, This is a society of men, which God chose before the foundation of the world, by an immutable decree of which he will never repent, that he might be glorified and admired in them ;b and into whose mouth he puts this unspeakably delightful song : “ Blessed be “ the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who “ hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly "places in Christ; according as he hath chosen us “ in him, &c.”c 2dly, A society which, the Son of God; by undertaking the character of her Surety, has betrothed to himself, and to which he has betrothed himself; and which he has purchased at the expense of his own precious blood,—“having obtained eternal redemption.”d This again is the subject of a new song.e 3dly,

* Ps. xlv. 13. 1 Pet. iii. 4.
y Ps. xxix. 9.
z Is. xliii. 21. Comp. 1 Pet. ii. 9.
a Ps. lxxxvii. 3.

b 2 Thes. i. 10. • Ephes. i. 3-6. d Heb. ix. 12. e Rev. v. 9, 10.

A society which he has called by his word and Spirit to his kingdom and glory. 4thly, A society in the midst of which he dwells, by an inhabitation far more excellent, far more lasting, than that by which he dwelt of old in the temple of Jerusalem. “ An habitation of God through “ the Spirit.” “ Ye are the temple of the living God, , “ as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in " them.”h 5thly, A society which he crowns with every blessing, and endows with the richest gifts of his Spirit. " I will abundantly bless ber provision ; I “ will satisfy her poor with bread; I will also clothe “ her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout “ aloud for joy.”i “ Therefore they shall come and “ sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to “ the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, " and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the " herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden, &c."j “ And it shall come to pass in that day, that the “mountains shall drop down new wine, and the bills “shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall “ flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of " the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of “ Shittim." 6thly, A society for which he bears so affectionate and tender a regard, that he prescribes no bounds or measures to himself in proclaiming her praises: “ Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse ; " thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, “ with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, “ my sister, my spouse, &c.”? And why do I select a part of this divine song, when the whole is to the same

! 1 Thes. ï. 12.

& Ephes. ï. 22.
h 2 Cor. vi. 16. See John xiv. 23. Rev. iii. 20.
i Ps. cxxxii. 15, 16. į Jer. xxxi. 12-14.
*Joel üü. 18.

1 Song iv. 9, 10.

effect ? 7thly, A society which he protects with so solicitous a care, that she is secure against the assaults of earth and hell, and amidst all adversities is more than a conqueror.m

8thly, A society which he will at last deliver from the tyranny of Antichrist, enlarge by the accession of the Jews and multitudes of the Gentiles, and render glorious by signal improvements in wisdom, holiness, consolation, and spiritual excellence of every kind. This is often promised in the prophecies of Scripture, and very expressly and copiously in the sixtieth Chapter of Isaiah, which relates entirely to the glorious state of the Church after the restoration of Israel to it, of which he had spoken in the Chapter immediately preceding." 9thly, A society, in fine, which, after having discharged from all her contests on the earth, and rescued from the jaws of the grave, in which the bodies of the greater part had been detained, he will bless with everlasting felicity in heaven. In “ Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in “ his own order, Christ the first-fruits; afterwards, they " that are Christ's, at his coming. Then cometh the “end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom "to God, even the Father, &c.”

XXXVII. Whilst all these privileges pertain to the whole body of the Church, every member of the mystical body individually, is blessed with a share of them, according to his own proportion. And since all believers are very intimately connected together by the bond of mutual love, each will regard what is given to the whole society, as conferred upon himself. Who that considers these things would not exclaim ; “ Bless

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“ ed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to “ approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts ; “ we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, “ even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in

righteousness, wilt thou answer us, O God of our sal“ vation, who art the confidence of all the ends of the “ earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea.”p

XXXVIII. But further, that faith which respects the Holy Church of Christ, requires and infers the offices of Charity towards her. How can we, without crime, be void of love to a society of men, who are the care of Angels, and the delight of Heaven ? 1st, Let us beware, therefore, lest in any instance we ever injure the Church; all the injuries done to which, the Lord will avenge as done to himself; Acts ix. 4, 5. Who that ever engaged in any enterprize against her, has not had the worst possible success? “ And in that day will “ I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; “ all that burden themselves with it, shall be cut in 6 pieces, though all the people of the earth be gather“ed together against it.”! On this subject instruction may be received from the ignominious and dreadful exits of Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Haman, Herod, and others without number, both in ancient and modern times. 2dly, Let us diligently inquire into the fortunes of the Church as detailed in the prophecies of Scripture, that, by a kind of holy ingenuity of faith, we may gather from the contests with which she has been already exercised, what she has further to fear or to hope for :-adoring on every occasion, the admirable ways of the Lord.

“ Blessed is he that readeth, and “ they that hear the words of this prophecy."" ?

p Ps. Ixv. 5, 6.

4 Zech. xi. 3.

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