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fions. Whence occasion has been taken to conclude, that all that is said about the old man being crucified with Christ, crucifying the flesh, with the lusts and affections of it, are no more but bold metaphors and figures of speech, which they tell us the eastern people were very fond of; and mean no more but the finner's forsaking his evil courses, reforming his life, and thus becoming a new man. To make their plan consistent, they must make God's grant of pardon and eternal life, which Christ is said to convey to them by his quickening Spirit, to be likewise figurative and metaphorical; and to mean no more, but lengthening out this perishing life the children of Adam are in some sort possessed of, until, by a gradual progress in virtue, they raise themsèlves to the highest perfection and dignity the human nature is capable of. And some have carried it
but how consistently with the accounts God himself, by his blessed Soni and his apostles, hath given us of these things, those who will give themselves the trouble of reading them, will easily judge. It will not surely be refufed, that such as was the life which
our first father lost, such, at least, believers in Christ are raised up to ; that there is a spiritual and eternal world, of which this gross perishing one is but an imperfect image; that, of course, there must be a sort of life, and way of living, suitable to that.world, as the life we have from Adam fits us for living in this world; and that God himself is the very substance of that world, on whom all the happy inhabitants subsist.
If these things be fo, (and they must be so as certainly as that there is a God), whenever any creature, made for living in this manner, comes to be separated and cut off from God, and of course shut out from all communication with the spiritual world, however alive to this present world, it must be really, and without any metaphor, dead, being deprived of that kind of life which can only make it capable of living as fpirits do, and must do. And as we can be surer of nothing, than that fin thus makes a separation between the creator and the creature, it is truly, and without any figure, the death of the human spirit; and so much worse than what we call natural death, the death of the
body, body, as it is infinitely worse to have our connection with the spiritual world, that is, with God, by whom only spirits can live, dissolved, than to have all our connections with the present world destroyed; which is all that we can mean by natural death, where not one atom of the body is destroyed, tho' the animal fabrick be diffolved ; nor can such a spirit be reunited, or raised up to such an union with the great Father of spirits as shall communicate to them the spirit of life, which no mortal either can expect, or have the remotest hope of, but by what we have so often had occafion to glance at, viz. the gift of grace in Christ Jesus. They who are joined to him are
one fpirit;" and that carries in itone life, and one way of living with him; which must be carefully observed, because it is on this ground that we are so often told of being quickened together with Christ, and raised from the dead, in the virtue of his obedience unto the death, his great
facrifice and powerful intercession, to partake in his spirit and life. Hence the Christian's life is said to be “hid with God in him;" and, what carries it as far as words can be found to express it, Christ is said to be their
“ life,” and “ to live in them,” as we shall fee by and by
It may possibly be said, What is all this to the present purpose, where the Apostle says, that through the law he was dead to the law? Let the Apostle himself answer it. Let us first obferve how the man is brought under death, and held under it. He had said it was by the law; and he thus describes the progress of it, i Cor. xv. 56.
the sting of death ;” that by which it kills the man,
is sin.” And if we want to know how sin comes by this power, he tells us it is by the law :
“ The strength of sin is the law.” It was that which armed it with its killing power; it drives and rivets the sting so, that it comes to be the very death of the sinner, as it end to life in all the views we can take of it. And thence it follows of course, that fo long as the finner continues under the law, he must stand bound under death. And by what we have already observed, there is only one way in which a finner can possibly escape, viz. that which the Apostle here mentions, by becoming dead to the law, as he says he was through the law itself. Vol.III.
Those who maintain, that nothing more than the ritual or ceremonial part of the law of Moses was abrogated, or rather fulfilled, by Christ, while the moral continues in full force, are forced to say, that the deliverance of the believer from this law, arises from its very nature, being altogether figurative and typical, a shadow or faint delineation of the good things that were to come; and when Christ, the fubstance of them all, came, the law, in this view, expired of course. But had this been the Apostle's intention, as no man ever knew better how to express himself properly, he must have said, The law was dead to him, and not he to the law. But neither could that have answered his views, nor what he had been saying but just before, that the law bound all who were under it, at the same time under the curse; which cannot be removed until it has brought the finner to death, and put a full end to all that life wę derive from Adam. It had done one principal part
of this its office, when mankind were, in the virtue of the original curse, brought under the power of the spiritual death. And in this situation they are taken up by