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that is our God, is the God of our salvation! Of all the blessings of it; of all the spiritual blessings saints are blessed with in Christ, and of all grace from him, and all the supplies of it. (Eph. i. 3; Phil. iv. 19.) Now, in the perception and enjoyment of this grand blessing, covenant interest in God, communion with him greatly lies. God sometimes says to his people, even when they are fearing and doubting, "Be not dismayed, for I am thy God!" and they in the exercise of faith say, as David, Ps. xxxi. 14; they avouch the Lord to be their God, and he avouches them to be his peculiar people, (Zech. xiii. 9;) and, when this is the case, sensible communion with God must be enjoyed: the Lord is the portion of his people; and when he says to them, as he did to Abraham, Gen. xv. 1, and they in return say, (Lam. iii. 24,) under such a discovery, and in such a view of things, there must be communion with God, they have a mutual interest in each other; the Lord's people is his portion, and he himself is the portion of Jacob; and therefore, with great propriety may they be said to be heirs of God; an amazing phrase! expressive of property, interest, and fellowship. Hence,

3. There is a mutual intercourse between God and his people, which is variously expressed in scripture.

By their mutual indwelling in each other; and God not only dwells in particular congregated churches of Christ, who are built up an habitation for God, through the Spirit, such as were the churches at Corinth, and at Ephesus; (2 Cor. vi. 16; Eph. ii. 22,) but in particular persons, who love Christ, and keep his commandments; of whom he says, "We will come unto him, and make our abode with him!" and, on the other hand, such dwell in God, (Psal. xc. 1,) who live in the continual exercise of grace upon him; and particularly of the grace of love towards him; and towards his people. (1 John iv. 16.) This is communion.

By a mutual walking together; which shows agreement, and is expressive of fellowship: can two walk together except they be agreed? God and his people are agreed. (Rom. v. 10.) God walked with the children of Israel in a tent and in a tabernacle, which moved from place to place; and he walks in the midst of his golden candle

sticks, particularly churches, as he has promised; I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and so in individual believers, (2 Cor. vi. 16,) and they walk with him: thus Enoch walked with God, as did Noah and others, as do all believers ; in which they have much communion with


By a mutual converse together; they talk together; God speaks to them, and they speak to him; such familiar fellowship had Abraham with God about the affair of Sodom, which, when over, it is said, he left communing with him; and such had Moses also, with whom God is said to commune, to talk with him, and to speak to him face to face; and something similar to this is the experience of all the saints, when the Lord appears unto them, and talks with them, when he visits them, and discloses the secrets of his heart unto them, and they talk with him, and speak to him in prayer; they have access to him through Christ, and that with freedom and boldness,

By a mutual sitting down and feasting together; the table on which the shew-bread, or bread of faces, was set, was typical of the saints' communion with God, and the enjoyment of his presence, through the mediation of Christ; so was the meat-offering, part of which was burnt for a savour, a memorial of it to the Lord, and the rest was eaten by Aaron and his sons. God has spread a table for his people, and made a feast of fat things for them, on his holy mountain.

II. Who the persons are who have communion with God.

Not unregenerate men, such who are in a state of nature; for they are in a state of alienation from the life of God; they are at a distance from him, their sins separate between God and them. They walk in darkness: and what communion hath light with darkness? No unholy and unrighteous persons have communion with God: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? as not righteous men with unrighteous men in a churchstate, so not a pure, holy, and righteous God, with impure and unsanctified sinners; but such only who are regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit of God, for this is necessary to communion with God; without holiness no man

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shall see the Lord, enjoy him, and have fellowship with him, neither now nor hereafter. The gift of the Spirit as a Spirit of sanctification, and the operations of his grace on the hearts of men, are the great evidence of union to God, from whence flow communion with him.

III. The especial fellowship which such persons have with the Father, Son, and Spirit, distinctly; the apostle John says, it is "with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ," (1 John i. 3,) to which may be added, (Phil. ii. 1,) "If any fellowship of the Spirit ;" and also, (2 Cor. xiii. 14,) "The communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." All which put together show that the saints have a communion with each person in the Godhead.

1. With God the Father, as he is the Father of Christ; who, as such, has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in Christ; and as such, has chosen them in him to holiness and happiness; and as such, regenerates them according to his abundant mercy; and is the Father of mercies, and the God of all grace and comfort to them: and, as he is their covenant God and Father in Christ, through whom they have access to him as their Father, and address him as their Father in heaven, and call upon him for what they want; and, under the witnessings of the Spirit of adoption, cry, Abba, Father; and say, doubtless, Thou art our Father: and then they may be said to have communion with him as such, when their faith and hope are exercised on him; and they are affected with his wondrous love in taking them into his family, and putting them among the children; (1 John iii. 1 ;) and, when they are sensible of the feelings of his heart for them, under their afflictions, temptations, trials, and exercises, (Isa. Ixiii. 9; Ps. ciii. 13,) then they have fellowship with the Father.

2. With Christ: fellowship with him is what they are particularly called unto, (1 Cor. i. 9,) and what Christ himself invites them to, (Cant. iv. 8,) and which lies, 1. On his part, in a communication of grace unto them, which they receive at his hands; he is full of grace, all fulness of it dwells in him, and out of his fulness they receive.-2. On their part; this fellowship lies in the exercise of grace upon Christ; in the goings forth of their

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souls to him in acts of faith, hope, love, joy, &c. Upon
this reason, as the Son of God, beholding his glory as
the glory of the only begotten of the Father, and the ex-
press image of his person; upon him, as considered in
his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. They have com-
munion with him as their Prophet, who teaches them by
his Spirit, word, and ordinances; and from whom they
receive that anointing which teacheth all things: to him
they hearken as the great Prophet of the church, em-
brace the doctrines of his gospel, and pay a regard to all
the instructions of his lips, and in whose hearts the word
of Christ dwells richly with him, in his priestly office,
they have to do with his blood, for the remission of their
sins and the cleansing of their souls; and with his right-
eousness for their justification before God, and acceptance
with him, they make use of him as their advocate and in-
tercessor with the Father, and put their petitions into his
hands, to be offered up by him, perfumed with the incense
of his mediation, they acknowledge him as their King,
submit to his government, yield obedience to his com-
mands, and esteem all his precepts concerning all things
to be right. Saints have such communion and fellowship
with Christ in his offices, that they have, in some sense, a
share in them; that is, they are made by bim prophets,
priests, and kings; prophets to teach and instruct others,
having received the anointing from him; and kings and
priests unto God and his Father. (1 John ii. 27; Rev. i.
6.) Much of fellowship with Christ is enjoyed in the use
of, and by the means of, the ordinances of his house.
The church is a banqueting house, into which Christ
brings his people, where they sit under his shadow, and in
his presence with delight, and his banner over them is his
love displayed; here he has a table spread, and at it he
himself sits, and welcomes his guests, saying,
"Eat, O
friends! drink abundantly, O beloved."

Now this communion with Christ greatly arises from the saints' relation to him he is the husband of his church and people, and they are his spouse and bride; hence a communion both of name and goods; they have the same common name, (Jer. xxiii. 6,) and all that Christ has is theirs, they being Christ's and he theirs: he is made to them "wisdom, righteousness, sanctifica

tion, and redemption." Christ is the head, to which his body, the church, are joined, and the saints are members of him, and one Spirit with him; from whom they receive life and nourishment, and increase with the increase of God: he is the vine, they the branches; and by virtue of union to him, a communication of the fruits of grace and holiness.

3. Saints have also a special and particular communion with the Holy Ghost, in the gifts of his grace unto them, and which they exercise under his influence; as the grace of faith, which is of his operation, and from whence he is called, the Spirit of faith; and good hope through grace, in the exercise of which believers abound, through the power of the holy Ghost; and love is a fruit of the Spirit, and which is under his cultivation. Moreover, this fellowship of the Spirit appears in the offices of grace, which he performs towards them, as the guide, teacher, and comforter, of them: as a Spirit of grace and supplication, making intercession in them; as a Spirit of adoption, witnessing to their spirits that they are the children of God; and as the earnest of the heavenly inheritance to them, and the sealer of them unto the day of redemption: in whom he dwells, as in his temple, enabling them to exercise every grace and perform every duty, working them for that self-same thing, eternal glory and happiness.

IV. The properties of it; showing the excellency of this communion and fellowship.

1. It is a wonderful instance of condescension in God; that he who is the high and lofty One, who dwells in heaven, the high and holy place, and yet with such also who are of a contrite and humble spirit; that he whose throne the heaven is, and the earth his footstool, and yet condescends to dwell with men on earth.

2. It is very honourable to the sons of men to be favoured with such communion: if it was an honour to Mephibosheth to sit at the table of king David, as one of the king's sons; or for an Haman to be invited to a banquet with the king and queen, how infinitely more honourable is it to be admitted to it with the King of kings at his table, and to be entertained by him as royal guests!

3. This is a privilege very desirable, nothing more so; this is the one thing saints are desirous of in public worship, to behold the beauty of the Lord.

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