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Now, that the scope of this discourse be not mistaken, let the reader know that I am not here treating of the saints communion, or fellowship with God in his duties, as in prayer, hearing, facrameats, &c. but of that interest which believers have in the good things of Christ, by virtue of the mystical union betwixt them through faith : there is a twofold communion of the saints with Christ.

The first is an act.
The second is a state.

There is an actual fellowship, or communion the saints have with Christ in holy duties, wherein Christians let forth their hearts to God by desires, and God lets forth his comforts and refreshments again into their hearts; they open their mouths wide, and he fills them : this communion with God is the joy and comfort of a believer's life, but I am not to speak of that here. It is not any act of communion, but the state of communion, from which all acts of communion flow, and upon which they all depend, that I am now to treat of; which is pothing else but the joint interest that Christ and the saints have in the same things : as when a ship, an house, or estate, is among inany partners, or joints heirs, every one of them hath a right to it, and interest in it, though some of them have a greater, and others a lesser part. So it is betwixt Christ and his people ; there is a xownict, (i. e.) a fellowship or joint interest betwixt them, upon which ground they are called coheirs with Chrift, Rom viii. 17. This communion or participation in Christ's benefits, depends upon the hypoftatical union of our nature, and the mystical union of our persons with the Son of God: in the first he partakes with us, in the second 'we partake with him : the former is the remote, the latter the next cause thereof.

In the explication of this point, I shall speak to these four things : 1. What are those things in which Christ and believers have

fellowship 2. By what means they come to have such a fellowship with

Christ. 3. How great a dignity this is to have fellowship with Jesus

Christ. 4. And then apply the whole in divers practical inferences.

First, What are those things in which Christ and believers have fellowship, to which I must speak both negatively and pofitively.

1. Negatively, The faints have no fellowship with Jesus Christ in those things that belong to him as God; such as his

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consubstantiality, coequality, and coeternity with the Father : It is the blasphemy of the wicked Familifts to talk of being godded into God, and chrifted into Christ. Neither men or angels partake in these things; they are the proper and incommunica. ble glory of the Lord Jesus.

2. The faints have no communion or fellow hip in the hor nour and glory of his mediatory works, viz. his fatisfaction is God, or redemption of the elect. It is true, we have the benefit and fruit of his mediation and satisfaction; his righteoul. nefs also is imputed to us for our personal justification, but we thare not in the least with Christ in the glory of this work: Dor have we an inhereot righteoufness in us as Christ hath; oor can we juftify and save others as Christ doth : we have aothing to do with his peculiar honour, and praise in these things. Tho we have the benefit of being saved, we may not pretend to the honour of being Saviours, as Christ is to our felves or others,

|| Chrill's righteousness is not made ours as 'to its univerfal " value, but as to our particular oecessity; nor is it imputed to

us as to so many causes of salvation to others, but as to fu " many subjects to be saved by it ourselves.”

Secondly, But then there are many glorious and excellent things, which are in common betwixt Christ and believers, tho' in them all he hath the pre-eminence, he shines in the fulness of them, as the sun, and we with a borrowed and lesser light, but of the same kind and nature as the stars. Some of these I shall particularly, and briefly, unfold in the following particulars.

Firft, Believers have communion with Chrift.in his names and titles ; they are called Christians from Chrift, Eph. iii. 15. trom him the whole family in heaven aod carth is named: this is tl:at worthy name the apostle speaks of, James ii. 7. He is the Son of God, and they also, by their union with him, have power or authority to become the Sons of God, John i. 12. He is the heir of all things, and they are joint-heirs with him, Rom. viii. 17. He is both king and priest, aod he hath made them kings and priests, Rev. i. 6. But they do not only partake in the names and titles, but this communion consists in things as well as titles. And therefore,

Secondly, They have communion with him in his righteousne/s, fi. e.) the righteousness of Christ is made theirs, 2 Çor, v. 21. and he is “the Lord our righteousnels," Jer. xxiii. 6. It

1 Fulitia Chrifti fit noftra, non çuoad universalen valorem fed particularem necessitatem, et imputatur nobis non ut caufis falvas tionis, fed ut fubjeétis jalvandis, Bradihaw de justificatione,

is true, the righteousness of Christ is not inherent in us, as it is in him; but it is ours by imputation, Rom. iv. 5, 11, and our union with him is the ground of the imputation of his righteo ousoess to us, 2 Cor. v. 21. “We are made the righteousness " of God in him,” Phil. iii. 9. for Christ and believers are considered as one person, in construction of law; as a man and his wife, a debtor and surety, are one : and so his payment or fatisfaction is in our name, or upon our account.

Now, this is a most inestiinable privilege, the very ground of all our other blessings and mercies. what a benefit is this to a poor finner, that owes to God infinite more than he is ever able to pay, by doing or suffering; to have such a rich treasure of me. rit as lies in the obedience of Christ, to discharge, in' one entire payment, all his debts to the last farthing? “Surely shall one say, " in the Lord I have righteouspels," Ifa. xlv. 24. even as a poor woman that owes more than the is worth, in one moment is dil charged of all her obligations, by her marriage to a wealthy man.

Thirdly, Believers have communion with Christ in his holiness or fanctification, for of God he is made unto them, not only righteousness, but fanctification also ; and as in the former privilege they have a stock of merit in the blood of Christ to justify them, so here they have the Spirit of Christ to fanctify them, 1 Cor. i. 30. and therefore we are said of his fulness to receive

grace for grace," John i. 16.(i.c.) say fome, grace upon grace, manifold graces, or abundance of

grace; or

grace

for

grace, that is, grace answerable to grace : as in the seal and wax, there is line for line, and cut for cut, exactly answerable to each other; or grace for grace, that is, say others, the free grace of God in Christ, for the faoctification or filling of our souls

grace ; be it in which fense it will, it shews the communion believers have with Jesus Christ in grace and holiness. Now, boliness is the most precious thing in the world, it is the image of God, and chief excellency of man: it is our evidence for gloTy, yea, and the first-fruits of glory. In Christ dwells the ful. ness of grace, and from him, our head, it is derived and com. municated to us : thus he that fanctifieth, and they that are fanctified, are all of one, Heb. ii. 11, You would think it ao small privilege to have bags of gold to go to, and enrich your. selves with, and yet that were but a very trifle in comparison to have Christ's righteousness and holiness to go to for your juftification, and fančtification. More particularly,

Fourthiy, Believers have communion with Christ in his death; they die with him, Gal. ii. 20. “ I am crucified with Chrift,". VOL. II.

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(i. e.) the death of Christ hath a real killing and mortifying inMuence upon the lufts, and corruptions of my heart and nature: true ic is, he died for fin one way, and we die to sin another way : he died to expiate it, we die to it, when we mortify it: the death of Christ is the death of fin in believers: and this is a very glorious privilege ; for the death of fin is the lite of your souls: if fin do not die in you by mortification, you must die for lin by eteroal damnation : if Christ had not died, the Spirit of God, by which you now mortify the deeds of the body, could not have been given unto you ; then you must have lived vassals to your fins, and died at last in your sins; but the fruit, efficacy, and benefit of Christ's death is yoor's for the killing those fins io you, which elle had been your ruin.

Fifthly, Believers have communion with Christ in his life, and resurrection from the dead : as he rose from the dead, fo do they; and that by the power and influence of his vivification and resurrection : it is the Spirit of life which is in Chrift Jesus that makes us free from the law of sin and death, Rom. viii. 2. our spiritual life is from Christ, Eph. ii, 1. “And you hath he

quickned who were dead in trespasses and fins :” and hence Christ is faid to live in the believer, Gal. ii. 20. “Now, I live,

yet not l; but Christ liveth in me:” and it is no small privilege to partake of the very life of Christ, which is the molt ex. cellent life that ever any creature can live ; yet such is the happiness of all the saints, the life of Christ is manifest in them, and such a life as shall never see death.

Sixthly, To conclude, believers have fellowship with Jefus Christ in his glory, which they shall enjoy in heaven with him : they " shall be ever with the Lord,” i Thef. iv. 17. and that is not all, (though, as one faith, it were a kind of heaven but to look through the key-hole, and have but a glimpse of Christ's blessed face) but they shall partake of the glory which the Father hath given him; for so he speaks, John xvii. 22, 24. and more particularly, they shall fit with bim in his throne, Rev. iii. 21. and when he comes to judge the world, he will come to be glorified in the faints, 2 Thes, i. 10. So that you see what glojious and inestimable things are, and will be in common betwixt Christ and the faints. His titles, his righteousness, his holiness, his death, his life, his glory. I do not say thai Christ will make any saint equal with him in glory; that is impossible, he will be knowo from all the saints in heaven, as the sun is distinguilhed from the fars; but they shall partake of his glory, and be filled with his joy there ; and thus you see what those things are that the saints have fellowship with Chrilt in.

Secondly, Next I would open the way and means by which We come to have fellow hip with jetus Christ, in these excel. lent privileges; and this í fhall do, briefly, in the following positions.

Position 1. First

, No man hath fellowship with Christ in any special sav. ing privilege by nature, howsoever it be cultivated or improved; but only by faith uniting him to the Lord Jesus Chrift: It is not the privilege of our first, but second birth, * This is plain from

i. "But to as many as received him, to them gave " he power to become the fons of God, even to as many as beo " lieved on his name, who are born not of flesh, oor, of blood,

nor of the will of man, but of God." We are by nature children of wrath, Eph. ii. 3. we have fellowship with Satan ia sin and misery : the wild branch hath no communication of the fweetness and fatness of a more noble and excellent root, until it be ingrafted upon it, and have immediate union and coalition with it, Joho xv. 1, 2.

Position 2. Believers themselves have not an equal fbare, one with another, in all the benefits and privileges of their union with Christ, but in fome there is an equality, and in others an inequality ; accord. ing to the measure and gift of Chris, to every one.

In justification they are all equal : the weak and the strong believer are alike justified, because it is one and the same per-. fect righteousnefs of Christ, which is applied to the one and to the other, so that there are no different degrees of justification, but all that believe are justified from all things, Acts xiii. 39. and “ there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Je

fus," Rom. viii. 1. be they never so weak in faith, or defective in degrees of grace. But there is apparent difference in the measures of their fanctification, some are strong men, and others are babes in Chrift, i Cor. iii. 1. The faith of fome flourish. es and grows exceedingly, 2 Thel

. i. 3. the things that are in others are ready to die, Rev. iii. 2. It is a plain case, that there is great variety found in the degrees of grace, and comfort among them that are joiatly interested in Chrift, and equally justified by him.

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* The truly faithful only are members of Christ, not as they are men, but as they are Christians ; not by their first, but second birth Polan. Syntag. book 6. chap. 35.

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