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State of those that believe, in Chrift, with the different States of an Heir, whilft he is a Child, and when he becomes of Age. The State of the Jews under the Law anfwers to the Heirs State of Child-hood. And as the Heir, as long as he is a Child, differs nothing from a Servant; even fo the Jews under the Law differed nothing from Servants. For they were in bondage, or (f) a State of fervitude. And as the Heir, whilft he is a Child, does therefore differ nothing from a Servant, because he his under Tutors and Gover nors even fo the Jews under the Law were therefore in a State of fervitude, because they were in bondage under the Elements of the World, viz. the Law, which was their Tutor or Gover nor, or (as the Apoftle expreffes it) their Schoolmafter to bring them to Chrift, Gal., 3.. 24. And as the Heir is not to differ nothing from a Servant alwaies, but only until the time appointed of the Father; fo neither were, the Jews to continue alwaies under the Law, but only till the fullness of the time was come, For then God fent forth his Son, made of a Woman, made under the Law, to redeem them that were under the Law, that they might receive the adoption of
Now it must be obferved, that when the Heir is faid to differ nothing from a Servant during his Child-hood, and confequently to be a Son and not a Servant, when the time appointed of the Father is come; the Apoftle means, that he differs nothing from a Servant in Condition and Circumftances during his Child-hood, and con-, fequently is in the Condition and Circumftances:
of a Son, when the time appointed of the Father is come. This, I fay, is undoubtedly the Apostles meaning; because otherwife his affertion would be falfe. For the Heir does, as well before, as after the time appointed of the Father, differ from a Servant, in as much as he is the Fathers Child, which the Servant cannot pretend to be whereas in Condition and Circumftances he differs nothing from a Servant untill the time appointed of the Father; becaufe his Father has plac'd him under Tutors and Governors, and thereby made his Condition and Circumftances the fame with those of a Servant. And when the time appointed of the Father is come, and the Heir is no longer a Servant but a Son; he then commences his Sonship as to Condition and Circumstances only. For he was a Son, even whilft he differed nothing from a Servant, in as much as he was his Fathers Child. And accordingly, when the Jews are faid to be in bondage or fervitude, under the Law; and to receive the adoption of Sons, when Chrift came: we are to underftand, that whilft the Jews were under the Law, they were in the Condition and Circumftances of Servants; and that when Christ came, they then began to be in the, Condition and Circumflances of Sons.
Now from thefe different States, in which God the Father of the Jews had placed them, arofe` a difference in the temper and difpofition of their Minds. Whilft they differ'd nothing from Servants by being under the Law, the difpofition and temper of their Minds. was- fuch as befitted the State of Servants. And this is what St. Paul calls (das) the Spirit of bondage or fervitude; in oppofition to what he calls (Tea viferias)
the Spirit of adoption, viz. that difpofition and temper of mind which befits the State of Sons. For that (a) Spirit frequently fignifies the difpofition and temper of a Mans Mind, I have already fhewn,
Thus then it appears, what the Spirit of Adoption is. And from hence we may learn, after what manner it bears witness with, or teftifies unto our Spirit, that we are the Children of God. For 'tis plain, that the Spirit of Adoption cannot bear witness with, or teftify unto our Spirit, that we are the Children of God, by an immediate Revelation of that truth to our understandings. For what Man in his Wits can imagin, that the difpofition and temper of a Mans mind, or what we call the frame of his Spirit, does reveal any thing to him? Wherefore the Spirit of Adoption does bear witnefs with, or teftify unto our Spirit, that we are the Children of God, by being in us. For no Man can have in himself fuch a filial dif pofition and temper of mind, grounded upon, and refulting from Gods fatherly treatment of Him, unless he be the Son of God..
The Apostles Argument therefore, whereby he proves, that the Romans were the Sons of God, is very conclufive. For the Romans were admitted into the Church, the Middle Wall of Partition being broken down by Chrift, who of the Jews and Gentiles made one Body. And by being Members of Gods Church as well as the Jews, they had the fame relation to God which the Jews had. Now the Jews, tho' they had formerly been in a State of Servitude under the Law, were now in aState of Sonship, or in the Condition and Circumstances of Sons; God having by the appearance of Chrift in the fulness of time delivered them from their
Servile State under the Law, and bestowed upon them the Glorious Liberty of the Sons of God. And confequently the Romans alfo, being Partakers of the fame Priviledge, were in a State of Sonship. For the Apoftle faies to them, Te have not received the Spirit of Bondage again unto fear, that is ye who have been united with the Jews into the Myftical Body of the Church, have not thereby been made fubject to Law, as y 1 the Jews once were before Chrift came; from which State of Bondage or Servitude fuch a difpofition and temper of mind as becomes Servants 1 would have been wrought in you, and have filled your Souls with Terror and dreadful apprehenA fions. But ye have receiv'd the Spirit of Adoption, ! that is, you as well as the Jews are by the coming of Chrift put unto a State of Sonship, and 5 have confequently fuch a difpofition and temper of mind as becomes Sons; even that by which we cry, Abba, Father, that is, by which we are inclined and encouraged to approach God with cou 1. rage and Confidence, as knowing him to be our moft tender and compaffionate Parent. And finçe this is the Cafe, 'tis manifeft, that the Spirit (of Adoption) it felf beareth witness with, or teftifies unto, our Spirit, that we are the Children of God; becaufe God would never place us in the Condi1 tion and Circumftances of his Children, and thereby cause in us fuch a difpofition and temper of 1 mind as becomes none but his Children, if we really were not his Children. ⠀
And now, how vaftly different this witness of the Spirit which the Apoftle fpeaks of, is from that witness by immediate revelation which our Adverfaries contend for, the Reader cannot but perceive.
Foel 2. 28, 29. Rom. 10. 8. Col. I. 23. John 1. 9. explained.
18. TH HEY alledge thefe Words of Jael; And it hall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your Sons and "your Daughters fhall prophecy; your Old Men shall dream Dreams; your Young Men fball fee Visions: and also upon the Servants, and upon the Hand-maids in thofe daies will I pour out my Spirit, Joel 2.28, 29. From hence they endeavor to proye, that the Spirit vouchfafes immediate Revelation to every true Chriftian. Now 'tis true, that this paffage contains a Prophecy which was to be fulfill'd under the Gofpel Difpenfation; and that it contains alfo a promife of immediate Revelation: but then this Prophecy is fo plainly limited, that the promifes contained therein cannot be extended to all true Chriftians.
For it manifeftly relates to that fpace of time, between the beginnings of the Gofpel and the deftruction of Jerufalem. This appears not only, 1. from the Prophets faying, that it shall come to pass afterward, v. 28. that is, as St. Peter explains it, in the last daies, Acts 2. 17. which laft daies do frequently fignifie the end of the Jewish State; but alfo, 2. from the undeniable Characteristics of that very space of time. For the very next words of the Prophet are thefe; And I will shew wonders in the Heaven and the Earth, Blond and Fire, and Pillars of fmoak, The Sun fhall be turned into