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I. We consider the apostle's description of a real Christian: “ If any man be in Christ.

This expression may appear singular to many who are called Christians, but it is the uniform language of the New Testament: and, “man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” New terms imperceptibly introduce new doctrines ; nor has any subtilty of Satan or his servants better succeeded, in “privily bringing in damnable “ heresies,” than that of modernizing the language of divinity

“ There is therefore now no condemnation to “ them that are in Christ Jesus.“I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago." “ He was also “in Christ before me.” “ Of whom are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wis

dom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and “redemption." “ That we might be made the “ righteousness of God in him.” Many of the epistles also are addressed “to the saints in Christ Jesus," “or to the church-in God the Father, " and in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Which accords to the language of the prophet, “ Israel shall be “saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation.”

Surely shall one say, In the Lord have I righ“ teousness and strength.” “ In the LORD shall “ all the seed of Israel be justified and shall

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The apostle John also employs similar expressions : “ And now, little children, abide in him :" “We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus

'Rom. vij. 1. xvi. 7. I Cor. i. 30. 2 Cor. xii. 2. ' Is. xlv. 17, 24, 25.

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Christ."1 But the words of our Lord himself are most decisive: “ He that eateth my flesh and “ drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in “ him."Accordingly when we administer the Lord's supper, that outward sign of this inward life of faith in a crucified Saviour, we pray that

we may so eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his 'blood ;—that we may dwell in him and he in us.' “Neither,” saith our divine Redeemer, when interceding for his disciples,“ pray I for these alone, - but for them also which shall believe on me “ through their word; that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that

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be But we must explain this language, and shew its propriety and energy ; lest it should be thought, that the whole argument rests upon our translation of the original particles. St. Paul says, “The

wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is “ eternal life through,or in “Christ Jesus our “ Lord :" and St. John, “ This is the record that “ God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is “ in his Son: he that hath the Son hath life, and “ he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”4 The salvation of Christ is completed as far as his mediatory work is concerned: but who are they that shall eventually be “ saved from wrath by “ him?" To this question the scripture answers with the most decided precision," they that re“ceive him,” “they that believe in him,” “ they “ that are found in him." Union with Christ is

11 John ii. 28. v. 20.

John xvii. 20—23.

2 John vi. 56.

Rom. vi. 23. 1 John v. 11, 12.

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necessary in order to communion with him : he saves all those, and those only, who thus stand related to him.

According to the illustrations of scripture, the believer is in Christ, as the stone is in the building. God is preparing a spiritual temple, in which he may dwell and be glorified for ever. The person of Christ is the precious foundation and cornerstone of this temple, and believers “come to him, “ and as living stones are built up a spiritual “ house,” “a habitation of God through the “ Spirit.”LBut this emblem, taken from things wholly inanimate, only represents our dependence on Christ, and consecration to God through him : we therefore learn more fully the nature of this mystical union, by the parable of the vine and its branches. Mere nominal Christians continue unfruitful; and at length are taken away, withered, and gathered to be burned: but true believers are vitally united to him, and abide in him, by the quickening and fructifying influences of the Holy Spirit.—Yet even this illustration falls short of fully elucidating the subject : nay, the nearest of all relative unions does not entirely answer to it; for believers are in Christ, as the members are in the human body. He is the Head of the church, and every Christian is a part of his mystical body, bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh; and the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers, as the life and soul of this mystical body. They live spiritually by virtue of this union with their Head ; they are placed under his guidance and authority; have one

' 1 Pet. ii. 4-8. Eph. ii. 20 - 22 •

John xv.1-8.

common interest, and fill up their stations in the church for the benefit of the whole. According to the remarkable words of the apostle, “ I am “ crucified with Christ ; nevertheless I live ; yet “not I, but Christ liveth in me." “ Your life is “ hid with Christ in God; when Christ, who is our

life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with « him in glory."?

There is, however, another method of illustrating the subject, which may help us to explain the way in which sinners attain to so high an honour, and so blessed a distinction. The believer is in Christ, as Noah was in the ark. “By faith Noah being “ warned of God, moved with fear, prepared an “ ark."3' He believed the sure testimony of God, both respecting the deluge and the appointed method of preservation ; he feared the impending judgment, and revered the justice and power of God; and thus he was moved to follow his directions. To prepare the ark was a vast undertaking: his labour and expense must have been exceedingly great, and his perseverance, amidst the scorn and hatred of an unbelieving world, most exemplary. But when the deluge came, he was found in the ark, and preserved to be the progenitor of a new race of men : and even of the promised Redeemer, on whom doubtless his faith had ultimately been placed: while all the rest of the human species, however distinguished, or to whatever refuges they fled, were swept away with one common desolation. But had he bestowed as much pains and

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? Gal. ii. 20. Col. iii. 3, 4.

1 Cor. xii, 12-31.
3 Heb. xi. 7. 1 Pet. ii. 20.

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expense in building a lofty tower on a high mountain, following the dictates of his own wisdom ; he would have shared the common doom; as they will, who “go about to establish their own righte

ousness," instead of diligently seeking the salvation of God. For, like Noah, the sinner hearing of “ the wrath of God revealed from heaven against “ all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men," believing the divine record“ is moved with fear,” and takes warning “ to flee from the wrath to « come.” He hears also of Christ, the true ark, which God himself hath provided ; and renouncing all other confidences, by faith he betakes himself to this sure refuge, applies for admission, and endures the self-denial, contempt, and persecution to which this may expose him. And whatever difficulties he may now encounter; his wisdom will be acknowledged and his felicity envied, when no unbeliever shall find any shelter from the overwhelming deluge of divine vengeance, which perhaps he now despises or blasphemes.

Under the Mosaic dispensation, the guiltless manslayer was exposed to the sword of the avenger of blood : but cities of refuge were provided, to which he might flee for shelter. Yet in this perilous situation an Israelite had no choice: he must scarcely turn back to take his clothes, and by no means go home to bid farewell to his dearest relatives : he must leave all his outward comforts, employments, and interests : he must flee without delay, and hardly stop for necessary refreshment: he must not yield to indolence, or sit down when weary ; and could never think of loitering, to interfere with other men's business, to examine curiosities, or to

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