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for advantages of walking with God, pant after more ability, and this is a great share of their sonlike freedom in obedience; it gives them joy in it, 1 John iv. 18. there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear ; when their soul is acted to obedience by love, it expels that fear which is the issue of bondage upon the Spirit. Now when there is a concurrence of these two, life, and love, there is freedom, liberty, largeness of heart, exceedingly distanced from that streight and bondaged frame, which many walk in all their days, that know not the adoption of fons.
2. The object of their obedience is represented to them as desireable, when to others as it is terrible. In all their approaches to God, they eye him as a Father; they call him Father, Gal. iv. 6. not in a forin of words, but in the spirit of fons. God in Christ is continually before them, not only as one deserving all the honour and obedience which he requires, but also as one exceedingly to be delighted in, as being all-fufficient to satisfy and fatiate all the desires of the soul; when others napkin their talents, as having to deal with an austere mafter, they draw out their strength to the uttermoit, as drawing nigh to a gracious Rewarder. They go from the principle of life and love, to the bosom of a living and loving Father; they do but return the strength they do receive unto the Fountain, unto the Ocean.
3. Their motive unto obedience is love, 2 Cor. V. 15. from an apprehenfion of love they are effectually carried out by love, to give up themselves unto him who is love. What a freedom is this what a largeness of spirit is in them who walk a Ff2
cording to this rule ? Darkness, fear, bondage, convi&tion, hopes of righteousness, accompany Others in their ways; the sons by the Spirit of adoption have light, love with complacency in all their walkings with God; the world is an universal stranger unto the frame of children in their Father's house.
4. The manner of their obedience is willingness. They yield themfelves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, Rom. vi. 13. they yield themselves, give up themselves willingly, chearfully, freely; with my whole heart, faith David, Rom. xii. i. They present themselves a living Sacrifice ; and a willing facrifice.
5. The rule of their walking with God is the law of liberty, as divested of all its terrifying, threatning, killing, condemning, cursing power, and rendred in the blood of Jesus, sweet, tender, useful, directing, helpful as a rule of walking in the life they have received, not the way of working for the life they have not. I might give more instances, these may fuffice to manifest that liberty of obedience in the family of God, which his sons and daughters have, that the poor convinced Gibeonites are not acquainted withal.
2. The second thing which the children of God have by adoption, is title. They have title and right to all the privileges and advantages of the family whereunto they are translated; this is the preheminence of the true fons of any family. The ground on which Sarah pleaded the ejection of Ilhmael, was, that he was the son of the bond woman, Gen. xxi. 10. and so no genuine child of the family, and therefore could have no right of heirship with Ifaac. The apostle's arguing is, we are no more
fervants but fons, and if fons then heirs, Rom. viii. 14, 16. then have we right and title, and being not born hereunto (for by nature we are the children of wrath) we have this right by our adoption.
Now the faints hereby have a double right and title, 1. Proper and direct in respect of spirituals, 2. Confequential in respect of temporals.
The first also, or the title as adopted fons unto fpirituals is in respect of the object of it, twofold;
1. Unto a present place, name, and room in the house of God, and all the privileges and adminiftrations thereof.
2. To a future fulness of the great inheritance of glory, of a kingdom purchased for that whole family, whereof they are by Jesus Chrift.
1. They have a title unto and an interest in the whole administration of the family of God here.
The fupream administration of the house of God in the hand of the Lord Christ, as to the institution of ordinances and difpenfation of the Spirit, to enliven and make effectual those ordinances for the end of their institution, is the prime notion of this administration. And hereof they are the prime objects: all this is for them; and exercised towards them; God hath given Jesus Christ to be the bead over all things unto the church which is his body, Eph. i. 22, 23. he hath made him the Head over all thefe fpiritual things, committed the authoritative administration of them all unto him to the use and be· hoof of the church, that is the family of God. It is for the benefit and advantage of the many fors whom he will bring unto glory, that he doin all these things, Heb. ii. 17. fee Eph. iv. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. the aim of the Lord Jesus in establishing ge pel administrations, and administrators, is for il
perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, Bc. All is for them, all is for the family; in that is the faithfulness of Christ exercised, he is faithful
in all the house of God, Heb. iii. 2. hence the aCor. postle tells the Corinthians, * .iii. 22, 23, of all
these gospel administrations, and ordinances they are all theirs, and all for them. What benefit foever redoundeth to the world by the things of the gospel (as much doth every way,) it is engaged for it to the children of this family: this then is the aim and intendment of the Lord Christ in the institution of all gospel ordinances and administrations, that they may be of use for the house and family of God, and all his children and servants therein.
It is true the word is preached to all the world, to gather in the children of God's purpose, that are scattered up and down in the world, and to leave the rest inexcusable: but the prime end and aim of the Lord Christ thereby, is to gather in those heirs of salvation unto the enjoyment of that feast of fat things which he hath prepared for them in his house.
Again they, and they only have right, ard title to gospel administrations, and the privileges of the family of God, as they are held out in his church according to his mind. The church is the house of God, 1 Tim. iii. 15. Heb. iii. 6. herein he keeps and maintains his whole family, ordering them ac cording to his mind and will: now who fhall have any right in the house of God, but only his children? we will not allow a right to any, but our own children in our houfes, will God think you, allow any right in his house, but to his children? Is it meet to take childrens bread and to cast it unto dogs? We shall see that none, but children have a
ny right or title to the privileges and advantages of the house of God, if we consider.
1. The nature of that house, it is made up of such perfons, as it is impossible that any but adopted children should have right'unto a place in it; it is composed of living stones, 1 Pet. ii
. 25. a chofen generation, a royal people
, an holy nation, a peculiar people, ver. 9. saints and faithful in Christ Jefus, Eph. i. 1. saints, and faithful brethren, Col. i. 2. a people that are all righteous, Isa. }x. li. and the whole fabrick of it glorious, Isa. liv. 11, 12, 13, 14. The way of the house is a way of holiness which the unclean shall not pass through, chap. xxxv. 8. yea exprefly they are the fous, and daughters of the Lord God almighty, and they only, 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18. all others are excluded, Rev. xii. 27. It is true that oftentimes at unawares other persons creep in into the great house of God; and fo there becomes in it not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, &c. 2 Tim. ii. 20. But they only creep in as Jude fpeaks, ver. 4. they have no right nor title to it.
2. The privileges of the house are fuch, as they will not suit nor profit any other. To what purpose is it to give food to a dead man? will he grow strong by it? will he increase upon it? The things of the family, and house of God, are food for living souls: now children only are alive, all others are dead in trespasses and sins. What will outward signs avail, if life and power be away. Look upon what particular. you please of the saints enjoyments in the family of God, you shall find them all suited unto believers: and being bestowed on the world would be a pearl in the snout of a swine. It is then only the sons of the family that have