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him; manifesting that we cannot learn them, nor know them, but with a due respect thereunto.
1. There are two things wherein the glory of truth doth consist. (1.) Its light. (2.) Its efficacy or power. And both these do all supernatural truths derive from this relation unto Christ.
(1.) No truth whatever brings any spiritual light unto the mind, but by virtue thereof. In him is life, and the life is the light of men ;' John i. 4. He is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world;' ver. 9. Wherefore as truth is the only means of illumination, so it cannot communicate any light unto the mind, but only as it is a beam from him, as it is an organ to convey it from that fountain. Separated from him and its relation unto him, it will not retain, it cannot communicate, any real spiritual light or understanding to the souls of men. How should it, if all light be originally in him, as the Scripture testifieth? Then alone is the mind irradiated with heavenly truth, when it is received as proceeding from, and leading unto, the Sun of righteousness, the blessed spring of all spiritual light, which is Christ himself. Whatever notional knowledge men may have of divige truths, as they are doctrinally proposed in the Scripture, yet, if they know them not in their respect unto the person of Christ as the foundation of the counsels of God; if they discern not how they proceed from him, and centre in him, they will bring no spiritual saving light unto their understanding. For all spiritual life and light is in him, and from him alone. An instance hereof we have in the Jews. They have the Scriptures of the Old Testament, wherein the substance of all divine truth is revealed and expressed. And they are diligent in the study of them. Howbeit their minds are not at all illuminated, nor irradiated by the truths contained in them, but they live and walk in horrible darkness. And the only reason hereof is, because they know not, because they reject the relation of them unto Christ, without which they are deprived of all enlightening power. (2.) Efficacy or power is the second property of divine
And the end of this efficacy is to make us like unto God; Eph. iv. 20—24. The mortification of sin, the renovation of our natures, the sanctification of our minds, hearts, and affections, the consolation of our souls, with their edification in all the parts of the life of God, and the like, are the things that God hath designed to effect by his truth; John xvii. 17. Whence it is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among all them that are sanctified;' Acts xx. 32. But it is from their relation unto the person of Christ, that they have any thing of this power and efficacy. For they have it no otherwise but as they are conveyances of his grace unto the souls of men. So 1 John i. 1, 2.
Wherefore, as professors of the truth, if separated from Christ as unto real union, are withéring branches; so truths professed, if doctrinally separated from him, or their respect unto him, have no living power or efficacy in the souls of men. When Christ is formed in the heart by them, when he dwelleth plentifully in the soul through their operation, then, and not else, do they put forth their proper power and efficacy. Otherwise they are as waters separated from the fountain, they quickly dry up or become a noisome puddle ; or as a beam interrupted from its continuity unto the sun, is immediately deprived of light.
2. All divine spiritual truths are declarative either of the grace and love of God unto us, or our duty, obedience, and gratitude unto him. But as unto these things Christ is all and in all; we can have no due apprehensions of the love and grace of God, no understanding of the divine truths of the word wherein they are revealed, and whereby they are exhibited unto them that believe, but in the exercise of faith on Christ himself. For in, by, and from him alone it is, that they are proposed unto us, that we are made partakers of them. It is from his fulness that all grace is received. No truth concerning them can by any imagination be separated from him. He is the life and soul of all such truths, without which, as they are written in the word, they are but a dead letter, and that of such a character as is illegible unto us as unto any real discovery of the grace and love of God. And as unto those of the other sort, which are instructive unto us in our duty, obedience, and gratitude, we cannot come unto a practical compliance with any one of them but by the aids of grace received from him. For without him we can do nothing;' John xv. 5. and he alone understands divine truth who doth it; John vii. 17. There is not therefore any one text of Scripture which presseth our duty unto God that we can so understand as to perform that duty in an acceptable manner, without an actual regard unto Christ, from whom alone we receive ability for the performance of it, and in or through whom alone it is accepted with God.
3. All the evidence of divine spiritual truth, and all the foundation of our real interest in the things whereof it is a declaration as to benefit, advantage, and comfort, depends on their relation unto Christ. We may
take an instance in one article of divine truth, which seems to be most disengaged from any such relation, namely, the resurrection of the dead. But there is no man who rightly believes or comprehends this truth, who doth it not upon the evidence given unto it, and example of it in the person of Christ rising from the dead. Nor can any man have a comfortable expectation or faith of an especial interest in a blessed resurrection (which is our whole concern in that truth, Phil. iii. 11.), but by virtue of a mystical union unto him as the head of the church that shall be raised unto glory. Both these the apostle insists upon at large, 1 Cor. xv. So is it with all other truths whatever.
Wherefore, all divine supernatural truths revealed in the Scripture, being nothing but the declaration of these counsels of God, whose foundation was laid in the person of Christ; and whereas they are all of them expressive of the love, wisdom, goodness, and grace of God unto us, or instructive in our obedience and duty to him; all the actings of God towards us, and all ours towards him, being in and through him alone ; and whereas all the life and power of these truths, all their beauty, symmetry, and harmony in their union and conjunction, which is expressive of divine wisdom, is all from him, who as a living Spirit diffused through the whole system both acts and animates it, all the treasures of truth, wisdom, and knowledge may be well said to be hid in him. And we may consider some things that ensue hereon.
1. Hence it is that those who reject the divine person of Christ,' who believe it not, who discern not the wisdom, grace, love, and power of God therein, do constantly reject or corrupt all other spiritual truths of divine revelation; nor
can it otherwise be. For they have a consistency only in their relation unto the mystery of godliness, 'God manifest in the flesh;' and from thence derive their sense and meaning. This being removed, the truth in all other articles of religion immediately falls to the ground. An instance hereof we have in the Socinians. For although they retain the common notions of the unity and existence of the divine nature, which are indelibly fixed on the minds of men, yet is there no one truth that belongs peculiarly unto Christian religion, but they either deny it, or horribly deprave it. Many things concerning God and his essential properties; as his immutability, immensity, prescience, they have greatly perverted. So is that fulfilled in them which was spoken by Jude the apostle, ver. 10. They speak evil of the things which they know not, and what they do know naturally as brute beasts, in them they corrupt themselves.' So they do in the things mentioned, whereof there are natural notions in the minds of men. But of evangelical truths, which they know not, they speak evil, and deride them. The holy Trinity they blaspheme; the incarnation of the Son of God they scorn; the work of his mediation in his oblation and intercession, with the satisfaction and merit of his obedience and suffering they reject. So do they whatever we are taught of the depravation of our natures by the fall, of the renovation of them by the Holy Ghost, and unto all other articles of our faith do they offer violence to corrupt them. The beginning of their transgression or apostacy is in a disbelief of the divine person of Christ. That being rejected, all other sacred truths are removed from their basis and centre; that which gives them their unity and harmony. Hereon they fluctuate up and down in the minds of men, and appearing unto them under various deceiving colours, are easily misapprehended or disbelieved. Yea, there can no direct proper representation be made of them unto the understandings of men. Dissolve the knot, centre, and harmony in the most beautiful composition or structure, and every part will contribute as much unto the deformity and ruin of the whole, as it did before unto its beauty and consistency. So is it with every doctrine, so is it with the whole system of evangelical truths. Take the person of Christ out of them, dissolve their harmony in relation thereunto, whereby we no who doth it; John vii. 17. There is not therefore any text of Scripture which presseth our duty unto God tha. can so understand as to perform that duty in an accep manner, without an actual regard unto Christ, from w alone we receive ability for the performance of it, and through whom alone it is accepted with God.
3. All the evidence of divine spiritual truth, ai. the foundation of our real interest in the things where a declaration as to benefit, advantage, and comfort, de on their relation unto Christ. We may take an insta one article of divine truth, which seems to be most gaged from any such relation, namely, the resurrec the dead. But there is no man who rightly believes o prehends this truth, who doth it not upon the evidenc unto it, and example of it in the person of Christ : from the dead. Nor can any man have a comfortal pectation or faith of an especial interest in a blesser rection (which is our whole concern in that truth, P 11.), but by virtue of a mystical union unto him as tt of the church that shall be raised unto glory. Bot. the apostle insists upon at large, 1 Cor. xv. So is it other truths whatever.
Wherefore, all divine supernatural truths reveal Scripture, being nothing but the declaration of the sels of God, whose foundation was laid in the p Christ; and whereas they are all of them expressi love, wisdom, goodness, and grace of God unto us, o tive in our obedience and duty to him; all the acting towards us, and all ours towards him, being in an him alone; and whereas all the life and power truths, all their beauty, symmetry, and harmony union and conjunction, which is expressive of divin is all from him, who as a living Spirit diffused th whole system both acts and animates it, all the tr truth, wisdom, and knowledge may be well said in him. And we may consider some things t hereon.
1. Hence it is that those who reject the divine Christ, who believe it not, who discern not t1 grace, love, and power of God therein, do const, or corrupt all nti