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Father, dispose by testament of his goods to be communicated
to the elect: “and I diariðipal appoint by testament unto you
a kingdom, as my Father hath dioro appointed by testament
unto me,” Luke xxii. 29. So that this making . the testa-
ment is, indeed, originally from the Father, yet immediatel
from Christ the mediator: who died, not to vacate or .
by his death, the inheritance; for, he is alive for evermore,
Rev. i. 18, but to seal the promises, and acquire for his
people a . to the inheritance. Hence the blood which he
shed, is called the blood of the testament, Zech. ix. 11. Mat.
XXIX. The goods or blessings bequeathed by this testa-
ment, are of all others the most excellent; as became, 1st.
The riches and liberal bounty of our heavenly Father, from
whom we may expect so extraordinary goods or blessings,
which neither eye hath seen nor ear heard, nor hath entered
into the heart of man to conceive any like them, 1 Cor. ii. 9.
Concerning this the Psalmist deservedly sings, O how great
is thy goodness which thou hast laid up for them that fear
thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee
before the sons of men Psal. xxxi. 19. 2dly. The glory of
our elder brother, whose joint-heirs we are, Rom. viii. 17.
and who glories in his heritage, Psal. xvi. 6. 3dly. As be-
came that dignity, to which God hath raised us, having
adopted us for his sons ! for to them he gives great and
precious promises, 2 Pet. i. 4. Did we minutely prosecute
these points, we should write a large volume; at present we
will reduce the whole to three principal heads.
XXX. The first is the possession of the whole world: for
it was promised to Abraham and his seed that they should
be heirs of the world, Rom. iv. 13. On which place let us
hear the commentary of Ludovicus de Dieu : “as sin, by
separating us from God, and subjecting us to his curse, ba-
mished and disinherited us, so that we have no spiritual
right or dominion, as became sons of God, over the mean-
est creature; so on the other hand, when God becomes our
God, and we his blessed people, we are restored as sons, to
the right and dominion .. our paternal inheritance; and
seeing there is nothing besides God and the world, we are
made heirs of the world, both the earthly, the heavenly, the
present, and the world to come.” When God introduced
Adam into the habitable earth, he constituted him Lord of
the world, and gave him a right and claim to use the rest of
the creatures for his own advantage, Gen. i. 28. But Adam,
by his sin, lost that right; so that neither himself, nor any
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of his o, while in a state of sin, have any true and -
spiritual right which can stand in the court of heaven, to .
touch any creature. But Christ has made a new purchase of
it for himself and his brethren, Psal. viii. 6. Whence 1 Cor.
iii. 21. all things are yours; and, among these all things, the
world is mentioned ver, 22. and whatever is in it, things
present and things to come. For, adds the apostle, ver, 23.
ye are Christ's. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
XXXI. Now this possession of the world consists in these
following things: 1st. That every son of God does
so much of the good things of this world, as the wisdom of his
heavenly Father has ordained, to be so sufficient for the support
of his animal life, that his spiritual may suffer no detriment,
and that he truly possess it in such a manner, as in the use
and enjoyment thereof, he may taste the love of his Father,
bestowing that upon him, as an earnest of a far better good, and
of his elder brother who became poor, that his people might
be rich, 2 Cor. viii. 9." This love of God the Father, and of
Christ, when added to the least crumb of bread, or drop of
cold water, makes these preferable, in the highest degree, to all
the most exquisite dainties of the rich of this world: “a lit.
tle that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many
wicked,” Psal. xxxvii. 16. 2dly. That all the creatures ought.
to serve them as steps, by which to ascend to the Creator. For
in all of them they view, as in a bright mirror, his adorable
persections, Psal, civ. 24. and in that meditation they exult,
Psal. xcii. 4, 5. Above all, they perceive in them the love
of God towards them. When they view the sun, the moon,
the stars, they rejoice that their Father has lighted up so many
tapers for them, at which they may work, what becomes the
sons of God: nor do they less admire this, than if every one
had his own sun or his own moon, shining upon him. Nei-
ther do they exceed the bounds of decency, Psal. viii. 8, 4. when
they think, that the world remains in its present state on
their account, and that the wicked are indebted to them for,
this: for o: seed is the substance (support) of the world,
Isa. vi. 13. 3dly. That all the creatures, and the whole go-
overnment of God about them, may work *..." their. . - - hat both angels.
, Rom. viii. 28. This is so extensive,
and devils are obliged to this service; as to angels, are they not
“ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who
shall be heirs of salvation;” Heb. i. 14. Psal. xxxiv. 7. and
Psal. xci. 11. And with respect to that infernal spirit, the
teacher of arrogance; was he not constrained, by his buff
fetings, in spite of himself, and acting from a different view, to
454 OF ADOPTION. [Book III.
teach Paul humility ? 2 Cor. xii. 7. 4thly. If this world,
which is subjected to vanity because of sin, shall not suffice
them; from its ashes, when perished, God is to form another;
to make “a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth
†. 2 Pet. iii. 13. There is none of these things,
which may not be included in that general promise of the in-
heritance of the world.
- XXXII. The second good thing in this testament is “a
spiritual kingdom; I appoint unto you a kingdom,” Luke xxii.
29. To which, even the most despicable of the children of
God in other respects, even man-servants and maid-servants,
are called; “ hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich
in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to
them that love him f" Jam. ii. 5. To this belong (1.) The ex-
cellency of the sons of God, whereby they surpass all other
men, Prov. xii. 26. (2) Victory over sin, and the unrul
lusts of the flesh, to which kings themselves and the most .
ed tyrants are subject and inslaved, Rom. vi. 14, 18. (3.)
The bruising of Satan under their feet, Rom. xvi. 20. (4.)
Triumph over a whole conquered world, for notwithstanding its
rage, they shall be for ever saved, 1 John v. 4, 5., (5) Ines-
timable riches of spiritual gifts, Psal. xlv. 9. even in the midst
of poverty, Rev. ii. 9. (6.) Holy peace of soul and joy in the
Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. All these begin here in grace,
and shall be consummated hereafter in glory.
XXXIII. The third benefit is God himself, Rom. viii. 17.
Heirs of God: here is a mutual inheritance; believers are
God's portion, and God is their portion, for these are male re-
ciprocal, Jer. x. 16. “ the portion of Jacob is the former of all
things, and Israel is the rod (tribe) of his inheritance.” In
this possession of God, his children find, (1) Protection against
every evil, Psal. xci. 2. “I will say of the Lord, he is my
refuge and my fortress. Why? He is my God, in whom I
will trust.” See Psal. xxvii. 1, 2. Isa. xliii. 2, 3. (2) Com-
munication of every good, Psal. xxxvi. 7. For of all that
infinity of perfections, which are in God himself, will appear
glorious and admirable in the children of God, and be enjoyed
by them to complete their consummate happiness. And what
can the soul desire beyond that infinity? Psal. lxxiii. 25.
Secondly, What will not God give those, to whom he gives him-
self? 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23.
XXXIV. There are no proper stipulations in this testa-
ment, if considered in its whole extent, together with all its
promises; for it consists of absolute and mere promises, which
depend on no condition, to be performed in our own strength.
Yet divine providence hath so disposed every particular in it,
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char. x1.] of THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION. 455
- * *. -
as to have a certain and wise order among themselves, and the *
practice of the former benefits, which are promised, is to pave
the way for the possession of further blessings. We have at
large treated of this, chap. i. § X. seq. of this book...To which
I now add the words of Ames in his Coronis ad Collectionem
Hagicusem, Art.W. chap. ii., “The whole of the disposition
hath the nature of a testament, as considered simply, either in
the whole or its parts; but if the benefits bequeathed are com-
pared together, then one bears to the other the relation, as it
were, of a condition.” to . . . .
XXXV. In the same books therefore, in which the testament
is contained, God commanded, that whoever would take com-
fort from the promised inheritance, should, 1st. Love, search into,
meditate upon, and keepin his heart the writings exhibiting the
testament, as no contemptible part of his inheritance, Deut. xxxii.
4; nay, esteem them beyond his necessary food, Job xxiii. 12.
Deut. vi. 6. 2dly. Highly value, as it deserves, the promised
inheritance. (i.) That he hunger and thirst after it, and be so:
tisfied with nothing short of it, Mat. v. 6. (2) Reckon all
other things, in comparison thereof, as loss and dung, Phil. iii.
8. Most readily part with everything, in order to procure this
l of inestimable value, Mat, xiii. 46. (3). Glorify God
or the greatness of his love, Ps. Xxxi. 19. , (4) Diligently
keep what he has received, Rev. ii. 25., and iii, 11.3dly.
So walk, as becometh his condition, and the expectation of so
great an inheritance, 1 Thess. ii. 12. 1 John iii. 3, 4thly. Be
ready to impart to his brethren, what he has received from his
Father, both in temporals and spirituals, Rom. xii. 13.1 Thess.
ii. 8. And endeavour, that others also may be brought to enter
on the same inheritance with himself, Acts xxvi. 29. For none
heightened from the abundance of love,
. : ... . - --
*''' . . . . * CHAP. XI. -
s o of the spirit of adoption. o
: - I. Having thus explained the nature of Adoption, as' far
suffers any loss for the numbers that partake with him: that
he has rather an additional pleasure, his joy, being greatly
as our design required, we are now carefully to enquire, what
"the Spirit of Adoption is f and this is “the . Spirit, oper-
eto, and be-,
o coming the sons of God, who love God, and are beloved by him.
of "Faith, repentance, *a*** **ing promi-dia this testament, and
ating those things in the elect, which are suitab
456 - OF THE SPIRIT * * [hook III.
II. This Spirit differs from the spirit of bondage in this, that the spirit of bondage represents God as an austere master,
and a tremendous judge ; hence it is, that they, who are actu
ated by this spirit, in so far as o act thereby, perform the
commands of their master from dread and terror. But the Spirit
of adoption discovers God to the believing soul, as a kind and
indulgent Father; and by giving him assurance of the love of
God, and sweetly cherishing the hope of the future inheritance,
makes him, with alacrity and generous emotions of a filial rever.
ence, willingly obey God, as an affectionate parent. -
III. Moreover, seeing all believers were sons of God in
every period of time, we may with propriety assert, that the
Spirit of adoption was granted to them all in their measure and
degree. For certainly what Paul says, Gal. iv. 6, “ because
ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your
}. and Rom. viii. 9. “if any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his,” is true of all periods. All who are
regenerated, are born of the Spirit, John iii. 5, 6, 8. From
the Spirit proceedeth faith, Gal. v. 22. by which they obtain-
ed a right to become the sons of God. And if they had
any degree of love, righteousness, peace, holiness and the like,
without which true faith cannot subsist, they could have them
from no other but the Spirit. And as the Spirit they had, was
doubtless, such as became their state; and they themselves
were the adopted sons of God; why then should we not call it
the Spirit of adoption?
IV. We more than once read in the Old Testament of that
Spirit, as bestowed on believers at that time: such was that
generous spirit in Caleb, which made him follow God fully,
Numb. xiv. 24. Such that, concerning whom Nehemiah said,
ch. ix. 20. “thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them;”
which we are to understand of §: elect among the Israelites, in
that perverse generation. Such was that, which David prayed
might be given him, Psal. cxliii. 10. “thy Spirit is good, lead
me into the land of uprightness,” and Psal. li. 10, 11, 12.
“renew a right Spirit within me; take not thy Holy Spirit
from me; uphold me with thy free Spirit.” In short, as God
said to Israel of old, “surely they are my people, children that
will not lie;” so also “he put his holy Spirit within them,” Isa.
lxiii. 8, 11. -
V. Moreover, the operations of this Spirit may be considered
either absolutely in themselves, or in relation to the distinct
economies of the several periods. What the Spirit of adoption
operates indiscriminately in the sons of God, are principally
these things. As God has, ever since the very first sin of our