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took our nature and our iniquities upon himself, and underwent death in the behalf of all : he dying therefore upon the cross for all, all are said to be crucified with him. He, as the Apostle to the Hebrews tells us, tafted death for every man, Heb. ji. 9. And it is St. Paul's inference, that if one died for all, then were all dead, 2 Cor. v. 14. And the to attain to the benefits of the death of Christ, is, as we learn from the fame Apostle in his Epistle to the Philippians, to be conformable unto his death. This conformity consists, as we have already seen, in dying to fin, and the affections of it; in putting off the old man, in putting on the new man, who is created after righteousness. This St. Paul, in the fixth of the Romans, styles, being planted in the likeness of his death, and being planted in the likeness of his resurrection. To this likewise he plainly refers in the 29th verse of the eighth chapter: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firft-born among many brethren. There are many precepts likewise in Scripture, founded upon this notion of our conformity with Christ. The text is one instance : another
have in the thirteenth of the Romans; But put ye. on the Lord Jesus Chrift, and make not provison for the flesh to fulfil the luft thereof. And again; How shall we, who are dead to fin, live any longer therein ? And many other places there are, which must be opened with this key.
Nay, the very effence of Christianity confifts in this conformity with Chrift; and therefore baptism, which is our admission to the Gospel, is nothing clse but a solemn taking upon ourselves this confor
mity. This we learn from St. Paul in the fixth of the Romans : Know ye not, says he, that so many of us as were baptized in Jesus Chrif, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism intó death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we alf should walk in newness of life, chap. iii. 4. To walk in newness of life is our conformity to the resurrection of Christ, which was to new life and glory. For thus the Apostle presses the argument: Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more: death hath no more dominion over him. Likewife reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto fin, but alive unto God through Jesus Chrift our Lord. Let not fin therefore reign in your mortal body, ver. 9, 11, 12. As the resurrection of Christ was to perpetual life, never more to be exposed to death ; so must our first resurrection, according to this pattern, be to perpetual holiness, and a conftant freedom from
If we bear in our minds this account of the . Scripture language, and of the reasons upon which it is founded, it will be a key to open unto us the meaning of many, otherwise intricate; passages of Scripture. For instance: we shall not be to seek, when we find mention made of two deaths which we must undergo, of two resurrections which we must partake in : we shall easily distinguish between the natural death of the body, and the death unto sin; between the resurrection to life eternal hereafter, and the resurrection to holiness and righteousness in this present world. I am crucified to the world, says St. Paul, and the world to me. Whofo
ever is born of God, says St. John, i. e. whoever is begotten to this new life in Christ by the power of God, overcometh the world. St. Paul tells us, that the Spirit of God will quicken our mortal bodies, as well as our dead bodies. Which is not to be understood without having recourse to the first resurrection, which is to a new life of holiness here, and which must be the forerunner and introducer of the second resurrection to glory. The Apostle to the Philippians tells us, that he willingly suffered the loss of all things, that he might know Christ and the power of his resurrection. And this he desired to know, that he might attain to the resurrection of the dead, Phil. iii. 10, 11. Where, if you remember what has been said of our being made conformable to the death and resurrection of Chrift, by rising to holiness and righteousness, you will not be at a loss to understand what it is to know, or feel, the power of Christ's resurrection; or to understand, how the knowing the power of Christ's resurrection should be a means of attaining to the refurrection of the dead. Such is the power of Christ's resurrection, that those who feel it have, as the Apostle in the 20th verse informs us, their conversation in heaven ; whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Chrift. This, which St. Paul calls knowing the power of Christ's resurrection, and having our conversation in heaven, the author to the Hebrews calls, tasting the powers of the world to come, Heb. vi. 5. The resurrection is indeed one of the powers of the world to come, which all partake in, and taste of, whose mortal bodies are quickened by the Spirit of God. In the verse after thiş it is said, that those who fall from their. faith, crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame. How does he who falls away crucify Christ, or put him to open shame? This cannot be understood, but by having recourse, to the Scripture representation already explained. But, if we remember that all who are baptized crucify the old man with his deeds ; that they put on the new man created after holiness; that the Apostle to the Galatians expressly says, that as many as are baptized put on Chrift ; it will readily appear, why it is that those who fall away crucify Christ afresh: for, by receiving the faith, they put on Christ, and crucified the old man and his deeds; but if they desert the faith, and return to their former deeds, and again put on the old inan, they do then crucify Christ again with his deeds, and put him once more to open shame.
This notion of the different states and conditions of man, of the death of the old man, of a new creature in Christ, runs through the precepts, exhortations, and doctrines of the Gospel, which cannot be understood but by analogy to this notion ; and therefore I hope I may be excused in spending so much of your time in the illustration of it. You have heard already of our death, and burial, and resurrection with Chrift; but the Apostle in the , text carries the metaphor Itill one degree higher;
If ye be rifen with Chrift, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. As if he had said, It is not enough that ye are risen from the dead with Christ, you must also ascend after him into heaven; for there is your life hid in
Chrift, there are your true riches, and thither must you go to take care of them. You are dead to the world, and can no longer live to it; your life is spiritual and heavenly: as is your life, such must be the actions which flow from it, the inclinations that attend it. Since therefore you are dead to the world, alive to Christ through the Spirit of holiness, you
must act like members of Christ, and set your affections on things above, where Christ your life is ascended. Hence it is that St. Paul often exclaims against the absurdity of a Christian's living in fin. You may just as well say, that all the actions of life may be performed in the grave, when a man is dead and buried, as say that a Christian may continue in fin: for the Christian has crucified and buried the body of fin. How then, as the Apostle cries out, shall we who are dead to fin continue any longer' therein? Sin is the only poison by which the life of Christ, which is in us, may be destroyed. It is a life which no inan can take from you but yourself. Those who kill the body cannot reach it : not all the powers of darkness, fin only excepted, can separate believers and our Lord. But every unmortified lust, every unsubdued vice, is a cancer that eats into our very vitals, and, if we do not cut them off, will in the end destroy us quite. Holiness is as necessary to our spiritual life, as eating and drinking are to our natural; and therefore the Apostle's conclusion in the text is just, If we be rijen with Chrift, if we live with him, we must foek the things which are above.