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afterwards happy. It is more apparently free and without merit in us, because we are actually without any kind of excellency to merit, if there could be any such thing as merit in creature-excellency. And we are not only without any true excellency, but are full of, and wholly defiled with, that which iş infinitely odious. All our good is more apparently from God, because we are first naked and wholly without any good, and afterwards enriched with all good.
2. We receive all from the power of God. Man's redemption is often spoken of as a work of wonderful power as well as grace. The great power of God appears in bringing a sinner from his low state, from the depths of sin and misery, to such an exalted state of holiness and happiness. Eph. i. 19. “ And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power."
We are dependent on God's power through every step of our redemption. We are dependent on the power of God to convert us, and give faith in Jesus Christ, and the new nature. It is a work of creation : 6 If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature,” 2 Cor. v. 17. 66 We are created in Christ Jesus," Eph. ii. 10. The fallen creature cannot attain to true holiness, but by being crcated again, Eph. iv. 24. " And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is a raising from the dead. Colos. ii. 12, 13. “ Wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." Yea, it is a more glorious work of power than mere creation, or raising a dead body to life, in that the effect attained is greater and more excellent. That holy and happy being, and spiritual life which is produced in the work of conversion, is a far greater and more glorious effect, than mere being and life. And the state from whence the change is made-a death in sin, a total corruption of nature, and depth of misery-is far more remote from the state attained, than mere death or non-entity.
It is by God's power also that we are preserved in a state of
grace. 1 Pet. i. 5. “ Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” As grace is at first from God, so it is continually from him, and is maintained by him, as much as light in the atmosphere is all day long from the sun, as well as at first dawning, or at sun-rising.-Men are dependent on the power of God for every exercise of grace, and for carrying on that work in the heart, for subduing sin and corruption, increasing holy principles, and enabling to bring forth fruit in good works. Man is dependent on divine power in bringing
grace to its perfection, in making the soul completely amiable in Christ's glorious likeness, and filling of it with a satisfying joy and blessedness; and for the raising of the body
to life, and to such a perfect state, that it shall be suitable for a habitation and organ for a soul so perfected and blessed. These are the most glorious effects of the power of God, that are seen in the series of God's acts with respect to the creatures.
Man was dependent on the power of God in his first estate, but he is more dependent on his power now; he needs God's power to do more things for him, and depends on a more wonderful exercise of his power. It was an effect of the power of God to make man holy at the first; but more remarkably so now, because there is a great deal of opposition and difficulty in the way. It is a more glorious effect of power to make that holy that was so depraved, and under the dominion of sin, than to confer holiness on that which before had nothing of the contrary. It is a more glorious work of power to rescue a soul out of the hands of the devil, and from the powers of darkness, and to bring it into a state of salvation, than to confer holiness where there was no prepossession or opposition. Luke xi. 21, 22. “When a strong man armed keepeth bis palace, his goods are in peace; but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all bis armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils." So it is a more glorious work of power to uphold a soul in a state of grace and holiness, and to carry it on till it is brought to glory; when there is so much sin remaining in the heart resisting, and Satan with all his might opposing, than it would have been to have kept man from falling at first, when Satan had nothing in man.— Thus we have shewn how the redeemed are dependent on God for all their good, as they have all of him.
Secondly, They are also dependent on God for all, as they have all through him. God is the medium of it, as well as the author and fountain of it. All we have, wisdom, the pardon of sin, deliverance from hell, acceptance into God's favour, grace and holiness, true comfort and happiness, eternal life and glory, is from God by a Mediator; and this Mediator is God; which Mediator we have an absolute dependence upon, as he through whom we receive all. So that here is another way wherein we have our dependence on God for all good. God not only gives us the Mediator, and accepts bis mediation, and of his power and grace bestows the things purchased by the Mediator; but he the Mediator is God.
Our blessings are what we have by purchase; and the purchase is made of God, the blessings are purchased of him, and God gives the purchaser; and not only so, but God is the purchaser. Yea, God is both the purchaser and the price; for Christ, who is God, purchased these blessings for us, by offering up himself as the price of our salvation. He purchased eternal life by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. vii. 27. “ He
offered up himself.” And chap. ix. 26. “ He hath appeared to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Indeed it was the human nature that was offered; but it was the same person with the divine, and therefore was an infinite price.
As we thus have our good through God, we have a dependence on him in a respect that man in his first estate had not. Man was to bave eternal life then through his own righteousness; so that he had partly a dependence upon what was in himself; for we have a dependence upon that through which we have our good, as well as that from which we have it: and though man's righteousness that he then depended on was indeed from God, yet it was his own, it was inherent in himself; so that his dependence was not so inmediately on God. But now the righteousness that we are dependent on is not in ourselves, but in God. We are saved through the righteousness of Christ : he is made unto us righteousness; and therefore is prophesied of, Jer. xxiii. 6. under that name, “the Lord our righteousness.” In that the righteousness we are justified by is the righteousness of Christ, it is the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. v. 21. “ That we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”—Thus in redemption we have not only all things of God, but by and through him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. “ But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in bim; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him."
Thirdly, The redeemed have all their good in God. We not only have it of him, and through him, but it consists in him; he is all our good.-The good of the redeemed is either objective or inherent. By their objective good, I mean that extrinsic object, in the possession and enjoyment of which they are happy. Their inherent good is that excellency or pleasure which is in the soul itself. With respect to both of which the redeemed have all their good in God, or, which is the same thing, God himself is all their good.
1. The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption. He is the bighest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; he is the portion of their souls. God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling-place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honour and glory. They have none in heaven but God; he is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world. The Lord God is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem ; and is the “ river of the water of life" that runs, and “ the tree of life that grows, in the midst of the paradise of God.” The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will
for eyer entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast. The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things; they will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another : but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in any thing else whatsoever that will yield them delight and happiness, will be what shall be seen of God in them.
2. The redeemed bave all their inherent good in God. Inherent good is two-fold; it is either excellency or pleasure. These the redeemed not only derive from God, as caused by him, but have them in him. They have spiritual excellency and joy by a kind of participation of God. They are made excellent by a communication of God's excellency. God puts his own beauty, i. e. his beautiful likeness, upon their souls. They are made partakers of the divine nature, or moral image of God, 2 Pet. i. 4. They are holy by being made partakers of God's holiness, Heb. xii. 10. The saints are beautiful and blessed by a communication of God's holiness and joy, as the moon and planets are bright by the sun's light. The saint hatb spiritual joy and pleasure by a kind of effusion of God on the soul. In these things the redeemed have communion with God; that is, they partake with him and of him.
The saints have both their spiritual excellency and blessedness by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and his dwelling in them. They are not only caused by the Holy Ghost, but are in him as their principle. The Holy Spirit becoming an inhabitant, is a vital principle in the soul. He, acting in, upon, and with the soul, becomes a fountain of true holiness and joy, as a spring is of water, by the exertion and diffusion of itself. John iv. 14. 6 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Compared with chap. vii. 38, 39. “ He that believeth on me, as the scripture bath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water; but this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.” The sum of what Christ has purchased for us, is that spring of water spoken of in the former of those places, and those rivers of living water spoken of in the latter. And the sum of the blessings, which the redeemed shall receive in heaven, is that river
of water of life that proceeds from the throne of God and the Lamb, Rev. xxii. 1. which doubtless signifies the same with those rivers of living water, explained John vii. 38, 39. which is elsewhere called the “river of God's pleasures." Herein consists the fulness of good, which the saints receive of Christ. It is by partaking of the Holy Spirit, that they have communion with Christ in
bis fulness. God hath given the Spirit, not by measure anto him; and they do receive of his fulness, and grace for grace. This is the sum of the saints' inheritance; and therefore that little of the Holy Ghost which believers have in this world, is said to be the earnest of their inheritance, 2 Cor. i. 22. " Who hath also sealed us, and given us the Spirit in our hearts." And chap. v. 5. “ Now he that bath wrought us for the self-same thing, is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” And Eph. i. 13, 14. “ Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession.”
The Holy Spirit and good things are spoken of in scripture as the same; as if the Spirit of God communicated to the soul, comprised all good things. Matt. vii. 11. “ How much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask him?” In Luke it is, chap. xi. 13. "How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?” This is the sum of the blessings that Christ died to procure, and the subject of gospel-promises. Gal. iii. 13, 14. “ He was made a curse for us, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." The Spirit of God is the great promise of the Father, Luke xxiv. 49. “Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you.' The Spirit of God therefore is called “ the Spirit of promise;" Eph. i. 33. This promised thing Christ received, and bad given into his hand, as soon as he bad finished the work of our redemption, to bestow on all that he had redeemed; Acts ii. 13. “ Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye both see and bear.” So that all the holiness and happiness of the redeemed is in God. It is in the communica. tions, indwelling, and acting of the Spirit of God. Holiness and happiness are in the fruit, here and hereafter, because God dwells in them, and they in God.
Thus God has given us the Redeemer, and it is by him that our good is purchased. So God is the Redeemer and the price; and he also is the good purchased. So that all that we have is of God, and through him, and in him. Rom. xi. 36. “ For of him, and through him, and to him, (or in him,) are all things." The same in the Greek that is bere rendered to him, is rendered in him, 1 Cor. viii. 6.
II. God is glorified in the work of redemption by thim means, viz. By there being so great and universal a dependence of the redeemed on him.
1. Man hath so much the greater occasion and obligation