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Chrift, unto the glory and praise ness and righteousness, glory and of God.”—Also for the Colof- beauty, joy and happiness. For love fians, that they might be “ filled is made unto them wisdom, and with the knowledge of his will, rightcousness, and sanctification, in all wisdom and spiritual under and redemption. In the heaven. standing ;" and for the Ephe- ly state, he will so fill them, as fians, that they might be “ filled to give them unceasingly the most with all the fulness of God.” complete and perfect satisfaction. These and suchlike passages
For there “the lamb himself shall help to show, in some measure, feed them, and shall lead them what those things are, with which unto living fountains of waters." the members of Christ's body are There they shall walk in the light filled. They comprise all their of the holy city, which the glory light and knowledge and holiness of God doth lighten, and of -all the wisdom and spiritual which the Lamb is the light : and underftanding, and gracious exer- there they will continually drink, cises of their hearts, and all the to the full, of the pure river of fruits of righteousness in their water of life, clear as crystal, conversation and practice, and all proceeding out of the throne of their peace and comfort, joy and God, and of the Lamb. happiness. He gives them and - The way is now prepared, to causes them to drink of that wa consider and illustrate the other ter, which in them is a well of general propofition, viz. water springing up into everlast II. The church of Christ, ing life. He gives them his Ho- which is his body, the whole and ly Spirit, whose fruits, with all the members of which he fills which they are filled in a measure in all things, is his fulness the now, and will be completely in fulness of him who filleth all in due time, are love, joy, peace,
all." long-suffering, gentleness, good. How is this to be understood,
meckness, tempe- or what doth it import and figni. rance," and every thing truly fy? This propofition is not inamiable and excellent, beautiful, tended to fuggeft, that Chrift deand comely, beneficial and cheer- rives any supplies, any support or ing, joyous and happifying. He assistance from the church, to comgives them, and will finally fill plete, to augment or increase his them, to the full, with the know-effential glory and happiness. His ledge of God and Jesus Christ, essential glory and happiness, as which is eternal life.
God, are the fame from everlastThus Christ, as the head of his ing to everlasting, without inbody, the church, fills the whole crease or diminution. body and all the parts and mem But Christ in his official char. bers of which it is composed, in acter, and particularly and efpeall things, and in all respects, in cially, in his peculiar relation to which they may be said to be fil the church, as its head, would be led, completed, and perfected. incomplete without the church. In him they are complete. In A head supposes a body, and has him they have all things necessary such relation to and connection to render them complete, to the with it, that if the body is want. extent of their capacities, in ing, the head, though it be in itknowledge and wisdom, in holi. self whole and entire, is in a very
incomplete, imperfect and defect measure of the stature of the fulive state. A natural human head, ness of Christ, that it may want though ever so entire and com- nothing, to render it complete and plete, doth not of itself conftitute perfect in holiness and beauty, a man. To constitute a complete glory and happiness. man, the head must have a body, And in the church as his body, a body entire and complete in all and in every part and member of its parts, joined to it. And in it, made and kept alive, and fit. this view, the body is the fulness ted, furnished and capacitated, for of the head its complement or supplying the place, and performfilling up, without which the ing the offices, and answering the head would be in a destitute and ends, for which cach is defigned incomplete state, incapable of the in the body, and rendered holy offices, functions and enjoyments and happy by union to and con. appertaining to it as the head of ftant communications from him a body. In a sense somewhat its head, he rejoices, and experianalogous or fimilar to this, the ences peculiar pleasure and de. church, confidered as the body light. of Christ, is his fulness, confider By the important truths, which ed as its head. If Chrift, in him. have now been ftated, and, it is self confidered, was just fuch a hoped, in some measure illuftrated, person as he now is just as the following remarks are plainly great, wife and powerful, holy suggested. and righteous, just and good, 1. That by the conftitution, or faithful and true, and his worthi. formation and existence of the nefs and merit the same ; yet if mystical spiritual body, of which he had no church, no body, in Christ is the head, there is a great the sense in which the church is increase of real good and true his body, and was never to have happiness in the moral system. any, it is plain, that he could nei. The members of this body are ther perform the offices of a head an innumerable multitude, out of of such a body, nor partake of all nations, and kindreds, and peothe enjoyments. In regard to ple, and tongues. The perfect, these there would be a total defi- everlasting holiness and happiness ciency, which could be supplied of all these will comprise an imor filled up, only by the existence mense quantity of real good. of a body united to him as its head. All this good is the fruit and In this sense, the church, which consequence of the execution and is Chrift's body, is the fulness of accomplishment of the divine plan, him its head, who filleth all in all. whereby the myriads of individu
United to this body, Christ is als composing this innumerable in a situation and hath opportuni multitude, are constituted and ty, to perform all the offices of formed into one spiritual body in the head, for which he is perfectly union with Christ its head. By fitted and furnished, and hath in this divine head, that filleth all in himself the most perfect fufficien- all, this infinite happiness is procy. And his fulness flows out duced. From him it is commuand is communicated to his body, nicated and derived. And by un. the church, and fills it with all ion to him and communion with things necessary to bring it to the him, and constant communica. . ftate of a perfect man, unto the tions from him, it is supported and
preserved, as really as the life and the glory thereby redounding to health and vigor of the natural God forever, and in all the inbody and all its members, are struction and joy thence resulting maintained and preserved by union to the principalities and powers in to and communion with the head, heavenly places, the man Chrif and communications derived from Jesus experiences, and will eterit into every member and part. nally experience, the most heart
What a vast, what an immense felt' satisfaction and ineffable joy degree of real good, of holiness and felicity. Yea, in all this and happiness in the moral fyftem, good, God the Father, and Christ is hereby effected !--By this considered as God, antecedent to means also, the man Christ Jesus his actual assumption of the huattains and experiences ineffable man nature, rejoice with entire joy and happiness. He sees of satisfaction and inconceivable de. the travail of his soul, and is satis- light ; though the joy of God, fied. As the bridegroom rejoi- or of Christ considered merely as
over the bride ; fo doth he God, had no beginning, and adrejoice over his church. He pof- mits of no increase. For before fesses her as his fpiritual bride and the actual existence of these ob body-as the fruit and reward of jects, in which he hath real pleashis labors and sufferings. ure and delight, they, being com
With the most entire satisfac- prised in his eternal purpose, were tion and ineffable joy and de-as certain, as real and present in light, Chrift beholds in his church, his view, and he had the fame joy viewed in her complete and per- and delight in them, as after their fcet ftate, a body composed of an actual existence. But the created innumerable multitude of living or human nature of Christ had a bea members, all living and filled with ginning, and admits of an increase light and love, comfort and joy, in knowledge and happiness. Jesus; holiness and happiness, and cov when a child, increased, not only ered with glory and beauty, derived in ftature, but alfo, in wisdom, from him by union to him and and in favor with Cod and man. communion with him ; all, with | The joy and happiness of his crethe most fervent love and grati-ated or human soul had a begiutude, thanksgiving and praise, uni- ning, and admits of great increase. tedly ascribing all their salvation, And all the ineffable joy and deall their light and holiness, glory light, which his human soul hath, and happiness to him, and to God, in the glorious effects and fruits who gave, appointed and fent of his obedience and sufferings, him, and accepts them in him.- and administration as the head of In their perfect moral beauty and his church, is so much increase of complete happiness thus effected real good and happiness in the sysand eternally secured in their On the whole, ther, how love, and worship, and joyful songs immense is the increase of real of gratitude and praise-in the good and true happiness in the clear and itriking expressions of intellectual fyftem, by the plan divine wisdom, power and love, and execution of that divine conholmess and grace, mercy and fitution, which makes Christ the truth, exhibited and appearing in head, and his church the mem. the contrivance and accomplish-hers, of one myftical or fpiritual ment of their salvation-in all body ? Hence,
2. We may remark, That the great to be endured, that we may fame things, which serve to dis-win Chrift, and be found in him ! play and promote the glory of
ASTHENES. God, do also increase the sum or quantity of real good and true
Mess'rs EDITORS, happiness in the created system.
THE perufal of the EvanGod is glorified and hath real joy in those very things, which gelical Magazine, which, I con
ceive well answers its proposed deconftitute and enlarge the happi
fign, has afforded me not a little 1:ess of his kingdom. These two
entertainment. The doctrine of objects have a most intimate and
election, in my view, is an imporinfeparable connection, and mutually involve and promote each several pertinent pieces on the sub
tant gospel doctrine and though other.—Hence, therefore, we may je&t have been published, yet in remark,
as much as it is a doctrine so con3. There is no clashing or con- trary to the depraved heart and tradiction between those passages opposed in this day of infidelity; of scripture, which represent God and probably, many will read this, as having a supreme and ultimate who have not seen the preceding regard to his own glory, and re- volumes ; possibly, a few thoughts quire the fame of us ; and those, on the subject may not be useless. which represent him as acting If the following do not meet your with an ultimate view to the approbation, you are at liberty to good of his people, and propose suppress them. the happiness to be enjoyed by THE leading thought that I them, as a motive to excite us to seek and ferve him--to believe in
would propofe is, that there Chrift, and obey the gospel.
is a particular number of our lap. On the whole, How admirable
, eternity, to salvation. From the
fed race chosen in Chrift from how wonderful and surprifing, infinite knowledge and perfection and far surpaffing our utmost conceptions, are the divine wisdom, feet view of all that he designed
of Deity, he muit have had a per: and power, and love, and grace,
ever to effect. He saw what was expressed and appearing in the gracious and infinitely beneficial infinitely fit and beft to be done,
and determined that it should be conflitution, to which we have been attending ! What love and done-thus he conducted like a
wife master-builder--accordingly gratitude, adoration and praise, doth it demand from us, and pe
inspiration teaches, that knows
unto God are all his works from culiarly from those, who are favored with the honor and happi
the beginning ; that is, he had a ness of a place, as members, in
perfect view of all that was poffi
ble, all that would and should that glorious body, which hath Chrift for its head, and a vital best he determined on as the plan
come to pass ; and that which was union with him as such ! And how ardently and unceasingly his other purposes, this was one,
of his operation. And among Should we desire and seek this pri- he determined to be gracious to vilege, counting nothing too dear
a select number of the children of or valuable to be given up
for it, nor any labors or sufferings too sels of mercy, and that, before the
men ; whom he chose to be vef.
foundation of the world--- ing any of his purposes-we greeably to Ephesians i. 4, 5. therefore read, “the Lord knowAccording as he hath cholen us in eth them that are his." They are bim before the foundation of the mixed among the mass of man. world, that we should be holy and kind, but known to God. The without blame before him in love : Father hath given them to his Having predeftinated us unto the Son to save. John vi. 37. All adoption of children by Jesus Christ that the Father giveth me foc! to himself, according to the good come to me : and liim that cometh 19 pleasure of his will.ij. 10. 11. me I will in no wise call ou!. Here To the intent that now, unto the is an engagement that these shall principalities and powers in heaven- all come to Christ by the power ly places, might be known by the of divine grace ; and when they church the manifold wisdom of God, come, he will in no wise reject according to the eternal purpose which them. And Christ says, other be purposed in Christ Jefus our Lord. Theep have I, which are not of The chosen of God are not to this fold, them also must I bring, suppose that they have done some and they shall hear my voice; ail thing acceptable to him, by which there shall be one sheep-fold and he was moved to choose them in-one shepherd. Now this choice to the number of his children ; being absolute, without reserve, but he makes them holy for the all the operations of divine grace purposes of his own glory and the are in prosecution of this eternal general happiness. See this mat. purpose-and further, it will be ter clearly stated in Jer. xxxi. 3. effectual. God will find out ways, The Lord hath appeared of old un. to bring about his own purposes to me, saying, Tea, I have loved thee of grace ; though hand join in with an everlasting love ; therefore hand, the Lord will work, and with loving kindness have I drawn none shall let, or hinder himthee. That this choice respects par- hence our Saviour says, all that ticular persons, who were given to the Father hath given me, fball Christ in the covenant of redemp- come to me.
God is fovereign tion, as a reward of his humilia of his own grace, which is all-. tion, appears from John xvii. fufficient ; no heart too hard for 24. Father I will that they also him to soften--110 will too stvbwhom thou has given me be with born for him to how--he takes me where I am ; that they behold | away the heart of stone. St. Paul my glory, which thou has given was a chofen vefful, even when me : for thou lovedst me before the he fo furioufly perfecuted the foundation of the world. Christ, in church of Chritt.
The outa peculiar manner, makes chosen ward call of the gospel upon such, vessels subjects of his prayers. will, sooner or later, be effectual, See above cited chap. ver. 9.––The good Spirit sometimes I would remark,
strives with finners by his word 2. This eternal choice is ab- and providences, but to no saving folute and effectual ; that which effect : but when it comes to acGod will never vacate or alter, complish the purpose of divine nor fhall its accomplishment be grace upon the heart of a chosen prevented. There are no
There are no new veffel, he rides forth conquering apprehensions with Deity. He and to conquer. Zech. iv. 6, 7. fees no justifiable reason for alter. Then he anfovered and joke unto