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Christians. Has this change, at once of state and character, taken place on my readers ? Let me then beseech them to live agreeably to it; and to abound in zeal and faithfulness more and more. We are to speak the things which become sound doctrine, enjoining every personal and relative, every civil and sacred duty. « For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” Tit. ii. 11-14.
Are any conscious that no change, no sanctification, attends their profession of Christianity, let them hear what we are warranted to say to all ; Repent and believe the gospel." "Believe in the Lord Jesus , Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” « Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” “ Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved.” When the Lord poureth upon sinners the Spirit of grace and of supplications; and they look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and are in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first born ; in that day they shall
find that there is a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.
What necessity is there for all Christians cherishing a godly jealousy of themselves! When we consider how easily we reconcile ourselves to pollution and inconsistency, we may well dread that we abhor not, as Paul did, the thought of continuing in sin, that grace may abound. How affecting the expostulation of Jeremiah, « Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem ! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be ?" Jer. xiii. 27. How solemn the admonition of our Saviour ! • If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me," John, xiii. 8. If we are ever to be purified, it must be in the
present life. The hour is coming, when the Lord will verify the awful proclamation. Rev. xxii. 11. .“ He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still : and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
Rom. vi. 5.
We remarked, that, in treating of the connection between the justification and the sanctification of believers, the Apostle makes, in the beginning of this chapter, three distinct allusions, to Baptism, to Grafting, and to Crucifixion. It is the opinion of some,
however, that in the second of these allusions, he is still adverting to the ordinance of Baptism; and so full of the idea of immersion do they become, on reading this passage, that, besides supposing it to be intended in the foregoing verse, when it is said, “ we are buried with Christ by baptism," they imagine the Apostle is repeating it, in the language of the verse before us: “ For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” “ The burying of Christ," (says Dr. Macknight)“ and of believers, first in the water of Baptism, and afterwards in the earth, is fitly enough compared to the planting of seeds in the earth, because the effect, in both cases, is a reviviscence to a state of greater perfection.” We have already seen what an erroneous view is here given of both the Baptism and the burial of Christ; we now remark, that a view equally erroneous is here given of planting. * This operation does not consist in the depositing of “ seeds" under ground. Plants are not seeds, but productions from seeds. Planting and sowing are performed in a different manner.
Seeds, though sometimes thrown barely on the surface, are usually when sown covered with the surface : plants are set, either in the surface of the ground by partial insertion, or in some stock of another plant, above the surface, by grafting. Sowing is the means used for a plant's original growth; planting is its removal, its transplantation, for the sake of improvement, int a new situation.
* See “ Letters to a Deacon of a Baptist Church.”
These different operations are differently used, as similitudes, in the Holy Scriptures. When the apostle speaks of our death and burial, that is, our interment after death, he uses the similitude of sowing, 1 Cor. xv. 42-44. “ It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption : it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power : it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiri. tual body.” But when he speaks of our union with the true church of Christ, by union with Christ himself, (the root, as well as the offspring, both of Abraham and David,) he uses the similitude of planting ; and that by setting, not in the ground, far less under the ground, but in the stock of another plant, (“ a plant of renown,” Ezek. xxxiv. 29.) by the operation of grafting. Rom xi. 16—24. “ For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olivetree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive-tree ; boast not against the branches : but if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear : for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God : on them which fell, severity ; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness : otherwise thou
also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree, which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive-tree ; how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive-tree.” The same idea is always preserved in scripture, when this subject is alluded to. Ps. cxxviii. 3. “ Thy children, ws vaópura majāv, like olive plants round about thy table.” Ps. cxliv. 12. “ That our sons may be, ws vɛóQUTA, as plants grown up in their youth.” Isa. v. 7. “ The men of Judah, veomutov Vyamnuévov, his beloved or pleasant plant.” In these passages, I have inserted the Septuagint translation, because it not only preserves the metaphor in the original, but uses the same word which the apostle does in 1 Tim. iii. 6. where, in our translation, the metaphor is lost, “ not a novice," point veó Putov, which properly signifies, “not a newly planted, or transplanted stem.” The
passage before us has long been understood of ingrafting; and, from the supposition that it contains, like the preceding verse, an allusion to Baptism, that ordinance is, in some standard formularies, defined among other things to be," a sign and seal of our ingrafting into Christ,” or, as others express it, “ into the church."* As it is, in the original propagation of the gospel, dispensed to persons as soon as they pro
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