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their religion. They are pilgrims and ftrangers in the world, who will be diftinguished by their way from the natives. For they who take the way of the world muft perish with it.

2. They are people of another world, they are of that world where life and immortality reign. They' have had accefs into heaven while on earth, and they have drawn near to it by faith. Wonder not at this, for if there be a foul here who has drawn near to God with a true heart, in the full affurance of faith, and taken God in Chrift for their God, they may well be faid to be in heaven, and to be creatures of another world. For,

(1.) Their Head is in heaven, even Jefus Chrift, who is as really united to the believer, as the head of a living man is to his body. There is as real an union and communion betwixt Chrift and them, as betwixt the head and the body: Col. ii. 19. "He is the head, from which all the body, by joints and bands, having nourishment miniftered, and knit together, increateth with the increase of God." This union the Spirit defcending from Chrift, and faith afcending from the true heart, conftitutes; and this the facrament feals.

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(2.) Their heart is in heaven, for their treasure, their stock, and portion is there: Matth. vi. 21. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be alfo." Their heart is divorced from the world and their lufts, it is away before them, in fome measure, to the place where they themselves are to be for ever. They have got a view of the glory and treasures of the upper houfe, and after thefe their fouls are breathing.

(3.) Their life is there, for Chrift is there Col. iii. 3. 4. "For you are dead, and your life is hid with Chrift in God. When Chrift, who is our life, fhall appear, then fhall we alfo appear

with him in glory." Their principle of life is the Spirit of Chrift, by whom they live. It is a hidden life indeed, hid from the world, often from themfelves. They fee not their dignity, it doth not yet appear what they are, but as really as they have taken God in Chrift for their God, the Spirit of Chrift dwells in them. And hence, their life can never be extinguithed, for it lies not in the grace of God within them, but in that without them in Chrift.

(4) Their hand is in heaven, even faith, that long arm of the foul, by which it can reach from earth to heaven, even to his feat; for by it, as was fhewn, we draw near to God. Faith penetrates through the vail, and refts not, till it rest in God himfelf, who draws near to us in his word, the word of the everlafting gospel.

(5.) Their converfation is in heaven, Phil. iii. 20. They are citizens there, their great trade is there. The King of heaven is their King, their Lord, Head, and Hufband; and fo they wait their orders from heaven, and do not take up with every thing which offers, according to the inclinations of their own corrupt hearts. The laws of heaven are their rule, for they are put in their mind, and written in their inward parts, Heb. viii. 10. They are not difpofed to do as others do, but to hear what the Lord fays to them. The word from heaven is their oracle, with which to confult in all their way. Their hope and expectation is from heaven. The work of heaven is their work, which is, tó ferve and to do the will of Chrift's Father which is in heaven. So much for the first thing, taking God for your God in Chrift, without doubting of your welcome.-The

2. Thing in drawing near with full affurance of faith was, That having taken God for your,


God in Chrift, you claim him as fuch, without doubting of your title. I gave two obfervations. on this, but it is too weighty a point briefly to pass over. It is a pity that a believer fhould fo long ftand afar from God, with his wifhes, O that he were mine! and that he should not draw near with full affurance, and fay, He is mine in Chrift.— To promote this exercife, I would have you to at-> tend to the following confiderations.

(1.) God allows you to claim him as your God.Satan, and an unbelieving heart, may contradict the claim, but God will never do it. The covenant runs in these terms, "I will be your God," Heb. viii. 10.; and will he ever resist you when: you plead his covenant? Did he not allow Thomas, formerly an unbeliever, to claim this, and fay, "My Lord, and my God?" John, xx. 28. Seeing, therefore, you may do it, it is folly to flight fuch a glorious privilege.-Consider,

(2.) That God is well-pleafed with you if you make this claim: Jer. iii. 4. " Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth ?" Is not a father well-pleased to hear his child call him fo? God is more loving than any father or mother upon earth. Though they may forget, yet he will not forget us, Ifa. xlix. 15. 16. The Son of his bofom, who beft knows what pleases him, teaches us to pray, Our Father; his Spirit, who fearcheth the deep things of God, teaches the children to cry, Abba, Father. It is true, that he is not pleased when carnal profeffors claim him as their God, Hof. viii. 2. 3. Pfal. 1. 16. 17. But why fhould the children ftart back from their food, because the dogs are boasted away? If you are cafting off the thing that is good, and are hating instruction, I am not advifing you to call him Father; but have you taken

him in Chrift for a reft to thine heart, to make thee holy, as well as happy? then claim him as thy God: Hof. ii. 23. " And they fhall fay, Thou art my God."--Confider,

(3.) That the faints of God, in former ages,

have claimed God as their God: Pfal. xvi. 2. “O my foul! thou haft faid unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord."-Song, ii. 16. " My beloved is mine, and I am his." And it is the ufual way of fcripture-faints, to plead their intereft in God by faith. These things are written for our imitation. I observe the faints in fcripture not only claiming God as their God in the funfhine days of their profperity, but also in deep affliction; when the hand of God lay heavy on them, they expected good from him Pfal. xlii. 6. "O my God! my foul is caft down within me, therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar." Was ever any more afflicted than Job, tempted even by his friends to quit his claim? yet he refolutely maintained it. The faints have done this alfo in deep desertion: Thus, Pfal. xxii. 1. "My God, my God, why haft thou forfaken me?" The 88th Pfalm begins with a believing claim. Why should it not be fo, seeing afflictions and defertions are the trial of faith? nay, what is more, they claim God as their God in the time when fin, guilt, and backfliding, are ftaring them in the face, Ezra, ix. 6.-10.; for this opens the heart to kindly forrow for fin, while unbelief locks it up. When the claim is altogether given up with, the heart may be broken into a thousand hard pieces, but it will never melt into godly forrow. Confider,

(4) That this claim honours God. Abraham was ftrong in faith, giving glory to God, Rom. Faith honours the blood of Christ, the

iv. 20.


blood of the everlafting covenant, when the foul, over the belly of felt unworthinefs, claims God as its God upon the title given by this blood. It gives Chrift the honour of the infinite virtue, value, and efficacy of his blood. Faith honours the truth of God in the promises of the gospel, when the foul, in view of the infinite difproportion betwixt God and his finful creature, yet, on the credit of the word, puts in its claim to God himself.- Confider,

(5.) That it is in the strength of faith by which perfons draw near when taking God as their God, but they come ftill nearer when claiming him asfuch: Job, xiii. 15. 16. "Though he flay me, yet will I trust in him. He also shall be my falvation." The stronger that the man is, he holds the harder, and the stronger that faith is, it comes the farther forward in the houfe of God. When Thomas got in his fingers, he cried, "My Lord, and my God," John, xx. 28. for then his faith was as a giant refreshed with wine.-- Confider,

(6.) If you dare not claim God as your God, how will you claim any benefit of the covenant? There is guilt lying on your foul, you come and claim a pardon; there is a luft too ftrong for you, you claim ftrength against it; in difficulties you feek light and direction. Now, how can you claim any of thefe, if you claim not God himself as your God? Can a man who has no claim to a woman, claim the benefit of a contract with her? "I will be their God," is the great promise of the covenant, on which all the reft depend; give up your claim to this, and you can lay claim to none of the reft. If God be not your God in Chrift, you have no right to pardon, peace, ftrength, &c. -Confider,

Laftly, That faith greatly adyances fanctifica

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