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this right; they have fellowship with one another, and that fellowship with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ: they set forth the Lord's death till he come: they are intrusted with all the ordinances of the house, and the administration of them: and who shall deny them the enjoyment of this right, or keep them from what Christ hath purchased for them: and the Lord will in the end give them hearts every where to make use of this title accordingly; and not to wander in the mountains, forgetting their resting-place.
2. They have a title to the future fulness of the inheritance that is purchased for this whole family by Jesus Christ. So the apostle argues, Rom. viii. 17. If children then heirs, &c. All God's children are first-born, Heb. xii. 23. and therefore are heirs : hence the whole weight of glory that is prepared for them, is called the inheritance, Col. i. 12. The inheritance of the saints in light: if you
be Christ's then are you Abraham's feed, and heirs according to the promise, Gal. iii, 29. heirs of the promise, that is of all things promised unto Abraham in and with Christ.
There are three things that in this regard the children of God are faid to be heirs unto.
1. The promife as in that place of the, Gal. iji. 29. and Heb. vi. 1 1. God shews to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his councel: as Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, are said to be heirs of the fame promise, Heb. xi. 9. God had from the foun. dation of the world, made a moft excellent proniife in Christ, containing a deliverance from all evil; and an engagement for the bestowing all good things upon them: it contains a deliverance from all the evil which the guilt of fin, and dominion of Satan had brought upon them, with an investiture of them in all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ Jesus: hencè, Heb. ix. 15. the Holy Ghost calls it a promise of the eternal inheritance. This in the first place are the adopted children of God heirs unto. Look whatever is in the promise which God made at the beginning to fallen man, and hath fince soleninly renewed, and confirmed by his oath; they are heirs of it, and are accepted in their claim for their inheritance in the court of heaven.
. 2. They are heirs of righteousness, Heb. xi. 7. Noah was an heir of the righteousness which is by faith: which Peter calls a being heir of the grace of life, i Pet. iii. 9. and James puts both thefe together, James ii. 6. heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised: that is, of the kingdom of grace, and the righteousness thereof, and in this respect it is that the apostle tells us, Eph. i. 11. that we have obtained an inheritance ; which he also places with - the righteousness of faith, Aets xxvi. 13. now by
this righteousness. graće, and inheritance, is not only intended that righteousness which we are here actually made partakers of, but also the end, and ac- * complishment of that righteousness in glory, which is also assured in the
3. Place. They are beirs of salvation, Heb. i. 14. and heirs according to the hope of eternal life, Tit. iii. 7. which Peter calls an inheritance incorruptible, 1 Pet. i. 4. and Paul the reward of the inheritance, Col. üi. 24. that is, the issue of the inheritance of light, and holiness which they already enjoy. Thus then distinguish the full falvation by Christ, into the foundation of it, the promises and means of it, righteousness and holiness, the end of it eternal glory; the fons of God have a right and title to all in that, that they are made heirs with Christ,
And this is that which is the main of the saints title and right which they have by adoption: which in fum is, that the Lord is their portion, and inheritance, and they are the inheritance of the Lord; and a large portion it is that they have, the lines are fallen to them in a goodly place.
2. Besides this principal, the adopted fons of God have a second consequential right: a right' unto the things of this world: that is, unto all the portions of it, which God is pleased to entrust them here withal. Christ is the heir of all things, Heb. i. 3. all right, and title to the things of the creation was loft, and forfeited by fin. The Lord by his fovereignty, had made an original grant of all things here below for man's use; he had appointed the re. fidue of the works of his hands in their several ftations, to be serviceable unto his behoof. Sin reverfed this whole grant, and institution: all things were set at liberty from the subjection unto him: yet that liberty being a taking them off from the end, to which they were originally appointed, is a part of their vanity, and curse. It is evil to any thing to be laid alide as to the end, to which it was primitively appointed: by this means the whole creation is turned loose from any fubordinate ruler; and man having lost the whole title whereby he held his dominión over, and poffeffion of the creatures, hath not the least colour of interest in any of them, nor can lay any claim unto them; but now the Lord intending to take a portion to himself, out of the lump of fallen mankind, whom he appointed heirs of salvation, he doth not immediately destroy the works of creation, but reserve them for their use in their pilgrimage. To this end he invests the whole right and title of them in the second Adam, which the first had lost; he appoints him heir of all things. And thereupon his adopted ones, being follow heirs with Christ, become also to have a right and title unto the things of this creation.
To clear up this right what it is, I must give some few observations.
1. The right they have, is not as the right that Christ hath: that is sovereign, and supreme, to do what he will with his own; but theirs subordinate, and such as that they must be accountable for the use of those things whereunto they have a right and title. The right of Christ, is the right of the Lord of the house, the right of the saints in the right of servants.
2. That the whole number of the children of God have a right unto the whole earth, which is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, in these two regards.
1. He who is the sovereign Lord of it, doth preserve it merely for their use, and upon their account: all others whatever being malæ fidei pollolores, invading a portion of the Lord's territories, without grant or leave from him.
2. In that Christ hath promised to give them the kingdom and dominion of it, in such a way and manner, as in his providence he shall dispose; that is, that the government of the earth shall be exercised to their advantage.
3. This right is a spiritual right, which doth not give a civil interest, but only sanctifies the right and interest bestowed. God hath providentially disposed of the civil bounds of the inheritance of men, Acts xvii. 26. suffering the men of the world to enjoy a portion here, and that oftentimes very full, and plenteous, and that for his children's sake, that those beasts of the forrest, which are made to be destroyed, may not break loose upon the whole poffeffion. Hence,
4. No one particular adopted person, hath any right by vertue thereof, to any portion of earthly things, whereunto he hath not right and title upon a civil interest given him by the providence of God. But,
5. This they have by their adoption, that,
1. Look what portion soever God is pleased to give them, they have a right unto it, as it is reinvested in Christ, and not as it lies wholly under the curse and vanity that is come upon the creation by fin, and therefore can never be called unto an account for usurping that which they have no right unto, as shall all the fons of men, who violently grasp those things which God hath set at liberty from under their dominion because of sin.
2. By this their right, they are led unto a fan<ified use of what thereby they do enjoy : inasmuch as the things themselves are to them pledges of the Father's love, washed in the blood of Christ, and endearments upon their spirits to live to his praise, who gives them all things richly to enjoy.
And this is a second thing we have by our adoption : and hence I dare say of unbelievers: they lrave no true right unto any thing of what kind soever, that they do poffess.
They have no trúe unquestionable right, I say, even unto the temporal things they do possess; it is true they have a civil right in refpect of others, but they have not a fanctified right in respect of their own souls. They have a right and title that will hold plea in the courts of men, but tota right