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I tually determined to leave their father's house, not
to stay there, come of them what will, to come to the Lord and sue for reception, not to depart, if they should die at his door. · 10. Hereupon the soul comes away to Christ, the elder brother of the family, and of our nature; and joins himself to him by faith, and is received, John vi. 37. takes hold of the offer of the marriage-covenant, and confents to the spiritual marriage with him, who is the heir of all things and the Son of God, and so becomes his by a marriage-tie, Cant. ii. 16. The roul drawn by the Spirit to him whose name is the Branch, is put into that branch, being cut off from the natural stock, and knits therewith by faith. Thus the soul is united to Christ, justified, and reconciled to God, and fet beyond the reach of the curse : 11. Lastly, Upon this follows the adoption of the believer, who now has received, and is ingrafted into Chrift, John i. 12. · Being brought out of the state of condemnation, by justification, he is further dignified by a réception as a member into the family of heaven.
• (1.) The Lord Jesus presents unto the Father, the · Adopter and Judge, the party to be adopted into his
family, Heb. ii. 13. as Joseph did Ephraim and Manafseh to Jacob. And he presents him for adoption, as one that though by nature he be of a strange family, yet is now his own child by the spiritual birth, being born of his Spirit. As an elder brother he presents the believer as his brother by common human nature, and as the head and husband presents the foul as his fpoyfe by marriage-covenant. He pleads his purchase of believers by the price of his blood, and their actual relation to him; and that therefore, in fulfilment of his Father's decree, they be adopted by him, Eph, i. 5.
(2.) The natural father, the devil, upon the account of the purchase made of his child by Jesus Christ, and : the child's lawful renouncing of his power and famig
ly, and coming unto Christ, is obliged to renounce and give up with him, as no member of his family any more, though fore against his will. If he appear in this judgement to defend his own interest, as Satan stood at Joshua's right hand to resist him, Zech. iii. I. the Mediator ftops his mouth, as ver. 2. Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
(3.) Lastly, The Father of our Lord Jesus, for the fake of his Son, receives the believer into the number of his children, saying in effect, As the man Chrift and the angel Gabriel, ye are mine, and shall be inipe; and as a judge he adjudges the believer to be his child, and the relation betwixt him and his natural father extinguished, Il. xlix. 24. 25. as having purchased them with the blood of his dear Son : and farther gives them a right to the privileges of his sons.
Thus is the glorious benefit brought about, by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the elect soul adopted into the family of heaven. And this consists of two parts.
FIRST, Thę adopted are received into the number of the sons of God. God becomes a Father to them, and they his fons and daughters. His family conGifts of many children, each one for holiness and happiness illustrious ; all relembling, what indeed they are, the children of a king. They are taken by adoption qut of the black number of the devil's family, confifting of devils, damned fpirits, and an unconverted world bearing the devil's image. And they are taken into the blessed number of the fons of God, whereof his family consists. And who are they that make up that number?
1. Jesus Christ the Son of God, by eternal generation, who has taken on our nature, and was declared the Son of God by his resurrection, Pfal. ii. 7. He is one of the number they are received into, and therefore is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb. ji. 7. And who can recount the dignity of being of that number, whereof he is one; hę who is the brightness of his Father's glory, the luminary of heaven, Rev. xxi. 22. whose splendor is greater than sun and moon ? He is the chief of that number, the eldest brother, not only in respect of men, but of angels. To him belongs the dominion, priesthood, the blessing, and the double portion, And it is fit, that while we reckon him one of the number, we notice well his pre-eminence over all the reft, remembering the dignity of the eldest brother.
(1.) The dominion is his, the supremacy and royalty belongs unto him, and our Father has fo. lemnly invested him therewith, Psal. ii. 6. Though all his brethren are the children of the King, yet he a. lone is the heir of the crown. On this Lion of the tribe of Judah the kingdom is settled, and the sceptre is given him over all the glorious family of his bre. thren, who are in number as the land of the sea, Col. i. 18. Him must all his brethsen praise, to him must they bow down (
Gen. xlix. 8.) Heb. i. 6. The scep. tre put into his hand shall never depart.
(2.) The priesthood is his. In him the crow'n and the mitre both meet together ; Zech, vi. 13: He shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a Priest upon bis throne. God hath given him an eternal and unchangeable priesthood confirmed by an oath, Pfal, cx. 4. He hath offered his facrifice, and gone into the holy of holies in heaven with the blood of atonement. He hath redeemed men, and confirmed angels, being made their head, Eph. i. 10. Whatever sacrifices we have to offer, God faith of Christ to us, as of Job to his friends, Go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourfelves a burnt-offering ; and my servant job shall pray for you ; for him will I accept, chap. xlii. 8. For to hin it belongs to offer for the family.
(3.) The bleming is his. Though all the children be blessed, yet the eldest brother had a peculiar ble fl? ing allotted to him above all the rest. Therefore said Ifaac, Thy brother bath taken away thy blefling, Gen. xxvii. 35. So our Lord Christ hath received
the peculiar blefling of his Father, Rom. ix. 5. He is the fountain and Itorehouse of blessing to all the family. Others receive the blessing in the capacity of a vessel to serve themselves, he in the capacity of a fountain, to shed abroad unto others. “And they whom he blesses shall be blessed indeed.
(4.) Lastly, The double portion of our Father's goods is his, as that is understood, 2 Kings ii. 9. The greatest fulness that ever any had was never compa. rable to him, who is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, Psal. xlv. 7. Whatever portion of the Spirit men or angels are partakers of, it is still by a certain measure; but God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him, John iïi. 34. For the fulness of the Godhead dwells in him bodily, Col. ii. 9. And accordingly his glory in heaven is without a parallel among his brethren, who lhall all be glorious : but they receive and borrow their light from him, he gives it, Rey. xxi. 23.
2. Angels, the fons of God by creation, Job xxxviii. 7. They are of this number, and are an innumerable company of pure and spotless and glorious spirits, all fons of the house, with whom the adopted are fel. low children of God, Heb. xii. 22. The angelical na. ture in itself is far more honourable than man's, seeing they are pure spirits, not clogged with bodies, as we are; therefore says the psalmist of man, Thou bast made him a little lower than the angels, Pfal. viii. 5. And they have never been polluted with fin, as we are. Yet they own themselves the brethren of the adopted saints even in this life. Nay, they are content to be miniftering spirits to them, even as the grown children of a family are employed to take care of the little children, their brothers and sisters, not capable to take care of themselves, Heb. i. ult.
3. Lalily, The faints in heaven and earth, sons of God by regeneration and adoption, Eph. iii. 15. The faints on carth are the excellent upon it, more ex. cellent than their neighbours, And as soon as one is ad
opted of God, he has them all for brothers and sisters ; and so there is a special love among them, as betwixt the children of one family, 1 John iii. 14. Nay, they are in the same relation to the saints in heaven, and incorporated with them, Heb. xii. 23. Though they are very far above us, yet we are children of God as well as they, as the little ones are as truly of the family as the fons of perfect age ; and as that part of the family that dwells in the lower rooms, as well as those that are advanced to the higher.
This is that glorious number the adopted are received into, with these they are counted. All these have one and the same Father, God, John xx., 17. the same elder brother, Chrift; and do all make up one family, whereof the elder brother is the head, whose head is God.
Use. Sue for this adoption, and for being received into this number; and for this cause come out from among the world lying in wickedness, and be ye fepa. rate. There is a feast before us made for the children. It is a fad token for people never to partake of the childrens bread, but ever to stand at a distance, as strangers to the family: and what concern can there be in the spirits of these for the privileges of God's invisible family, that have no concern for the privileges of his visible family on earth? On the other
hand, it is dangerous to intrude among the children, 1. while one is not of the family ; to come in among the
children of God at the Lord's table, while they are not come out from among the children of Satan.
This adoption is in your offer. Ye that are of the black number this day, my be received into this number so honourable and glorious. . If ye believe these things, they cannot but move you to come away, and join yourselves to the household of God.
SECONDLY, They get a right to the privileges of the fons of God. These are great privileges, even agreeable to the dignity of the family they are taken into. I