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to weaken it; the more violent the attack, the more carefully it will collect its whole force and prepare for a resistance. And what should retard its progress, when its enemies are now vanquished; seeing nothing could withstand its : power, in the begiri
ning, when every thing was against it? Flowing
XXXII. Moreover, 3dly, This life flows from the from the life of Christ, Gal. 2. 20, neverthelefs, I live ; yet not life of 1, but Christ liveth in me. Moreover Christ, by his Christ.
death, has obtained, that he should live for ever, Rev. 1:18, 1 an be that livetb, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore. But Christ lives noc only in glory with the father, as to his person, but also by bis Spirit in the Elect. The Spirit of life, which residing in him as the fountain, flows from thence to his people, and he is the author of the fame glorious life in them, which shall be perfected in their several degrees. And hence he argues from his own co out life, John 14. 19, because I live, ye shalt live aljo. This life therefore of Christ in us is different from the life implanted in Adam by creation. For, that was given him for the trial of his constancy, and length tried, he might expect a confirmation ind a holy and blefsed life, as was the case with the bleffed angels. Whereas the life of Christ in believers is the fruit of his fatisfaction and merits, and therefore mult be everlasting and eternal, that he might not lofe the pains he had been at : and is to be compared, as to its duratioo, not with the life of Adam, when ins a state of probation, but with that life, which he was to obtain, had he happily finished the course of his
trial. And hid XXXIII. That expression of Paul, is very memo
rable, which we have, Col. 3. 3; ye are dead, namely, Christ in
to the devil, the world, sin and yourselves, and your God.
life is kid with Christ in God; every word of this sentence is sufficient to prove the perpetuity of this life.
Life here denotes that holy and blessed energy, or activity of believers, which result from the communication of the Spirit of Christ, which begins in this life, and is perfected in that which is to come. That life is bid. ift, From believers themselves, who do not fully conceive the manner, in which the Spirit now worketh in them; and still less that inexplicable knowledge, that perfect holiness, that unthaken love, that unspeakable joy, which is ready to be revealed in the laft tine, 1 Pet. 1. 5. ' 1 John 3. 2. 2dly, For the world. For, as Christ, who is our life is not seen by the world; so neither does the world know, how we live in Chrift, and Christ in us; but reckons these mysteries of our christianity, as a kind of melancholy madness. 3dly, From the devil; whose mortal blows and victorys can have no access to it. The life of God's children, like a most precious treasure, is laid up in a secret place; from which the evil Spirit cannot take it away, neither by open violence, or secret stratagem.” In this sense it is said, Pf. 83. 3, they have consulted against thy hidden ones, whom thou protecteft in thy bosom. This life is hid with Christ, to whose care and custody it is entrusted; who is able to keep that, which is committed unto him against that day, 2 Tim. 1. 12. As Chrift therefore, though invisible to the world, actually sits at God's right hand, and will be really revealed; fo in like manner, our life is with Christ, and is really kept for 115. In fine, the fame life is hid in God: that is, is contained in the decree and love of God, who, in his own time, will make it'manifeft, for what end he loved us in Christ. The bofom of God, is that most sacred repository, in which that treasure is kept safe,
** A thing may be said to be hid for safety and security, as well as for concealment, and it is with respect to this, that our author here speaks,
3. The XXXIV. The fame Spirit, who is the author of
are sealed, Eph. 1. 13. The Apostle compares be-
, upon the thing fealed; whereby we both, assure the person to whom we write, of the author thercof, and more strongly confirm the contents of the epistle or ceftamént, fo as he may have no doubt about the truth of the thing. This mystical fealing, therefore, by the seal of the spirit, consists in the efectual com inunication of that divine light, purity, holiness, righteouiness, goodness, bleffedness and joy, which are found in the Floly Spirit. Of which the first lines are drawn at the beginning of regeneration, and this is the writing on the heart by the Spirit. But after faith in Chrift comes to be strong and operative, all these things are confirmed, strengthened, encreased, and more deeply im printed by the fame fpirit; and in this deeper impreßion confifts the fealing; by the view and senfe of which believers have ahurance, that they are the children of God.
XXXV. Moreover, this sealing of the Spirit is a Renders proof of the unshaken steadiness of believers, for the their ited
faftness Apostle himself with good reason, joins their establish
un haken. ment with this fealing, 2 Cor. 1.21, 22, he which STABLISHETH us with you in Christ, and bath anointed us, is God, who hath also SEALED us." For, ift, The promises of the eternal testamentare confirmed and ratified to us by that seal. The wonderful and almost incredible goodness of God shines forth in this matter. He not only promises the Elect, that he will never depart from them, but will fo order 'it, that they shall never depart from him. And he likewife ratifies the same in the facred and inviolable writings of both testaments : but this is not all, for he also engraves the fame promises, by the finger of his fpirit, on the hearts of the Elect. Nor does he stop here: but he adds the feal of the fame spirit whereby they are assured, in the highest degree, of the donation of these excellent promises. ' 2dly, This fealing denotes a firm and indelible impression of the graces of the Holy Spirit. For, who can efface God's own feal, which he has appended to his eternal testament, and deeply impressed on the hearts of his people? 3dly, By this sealing, the sealed are rendered inviolable or facred. Thereby God declares, that they are his peculiar property, which he will hever fuffer to be alienated, Rev. 7. 3.
XXXVI. We cannor here omit that remarkable As is passage, 2 Tim. 2. 19. nevertheless the foundation of God taught, standeth Jure, heving THIS SEÁL, the Lord knoweth 2 Tim. 2 them that cre kis: and let every one that nameth the
19. name of Chrijl depart from iniquity. Chryfofton, by the fure foundation of God, understands, these steadfast fouls, who stand firm and inmoveable. Which exposition is fuitable both to this context and to the language of scripture. It is agreeable to this context ; for the sure foundation of God is distinguished from those men, who suffered chemselves to be drawn aside from the
doctrine of the true faith, by the new doctrines and deliriums of deceivers, such as were Hymeneus and. Philetus. And it is agreeable to the language of fcripture, where the believer is called an Ost TiD' a foundation of ages, or an everlasting foundation,' Prov. 10. 25;, and a pillar in the temple of God; which shall go no more out, Rev. 3. 12. To this also might be referred, Ifa. 28. 16, where Christ is called op N3D 70ia 70113 , which may be translated a precious corner, (corner stone) of the furest foundation. For, Christ is the corner-stone of his church, which being built upon a rock, has the fureit foundațion: therefore the church of the faithful is the foundation. And as none but God can lay such a firm foundation, it is therefore called the foundation of God. Ye are God's building, 1 Cor. 3. 9. That foundation of God stands fure, and unshaken against all temptations. But what is the reason, and cause of that stability? Believers have it not of themselves, but from the seal of God: of which seal a two fold use is here proposed. ift. To fet a mark on the elect, as those, who are known to and beloved by God, and on whom he imprints characters, aş, his peculiar treasure, which he highly esteems and choicely keeps, and as testimories of his dominion and property: of this it is said, the Lord knoweth them that cre bis. 2dly. To impress upon them the likeness of that holiness, which is in the · feal, that is, in the holy spirit; whereby they are made to be diligently on their guard against iniquity and defection. To this purpose is the caution ; let every one, that nameth the name of Ckrift, depart from iniquity. For, whoever has this law infcribed within, so that it becomes the proper law of his heart, which he frequently repeats to himself; and as from this he may know, that he is chosen and beloved of God, fa he carefully reserves himself for God, to whom he belongs, iev