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flesh. The members, of which this body is made up, are in the next chapter described : Mortify therefore your members which are on earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry :' Col. iii. 5. This body is by St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, called the body of death, for the same reason that the state of sin is called the state of death : • 0 wretched man that I am ! who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?' or as the margin renders it, ' from this body of death : chap. vii. 24. The body, together with the soul, which is the active principle of life, and the influencer and director of the body and all its motions, constitutes the man. From hence therefore, by an easy and natural metaphor, these depraved appetites and affections, which are the instruments or members of sin, and which compose the body of sin, together with the evil principle ruling in us, and directing these affections in the pursuit of all uncleanness and iniquity, and which is called "sin,' are said in Scripture to be the old man ;' the man which only lived before the regeneration by Christ Jesus. Thus, Rom. vi. 6. “the old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed. And the Ephesians, chap. iv. 22., are exhorted to put off, concerning their former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. This is the state of nature, according to the representation and language of holy Scripture : and it is easy to see what must become of this
old man,' this man of sin, on the appearance of Christ Jesus, who came to destroy the works of the devil, to give light and life to those who sat in the shadow of darkness and death ; he and his works must be destroyed to make way for the Spirit of righteousness and his holy works. But thus to destroy the old man, to root out all the corrupt affections of nature, and to implant a new principle of life and holiness, to restore the decayed image of God, to give new desires to the soul, new affections to the heart; what is it but to new-make the man, and by a second creation to restore him to the rights and privileges of the first, which were long since forfeited by sin and disobedience? For this reason the Christian is said to be a new creature : 6 man be in Christ, he is a new creature :' 2 Cor. v. 17. Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor un
. In you as have
circumcision, but a new creature :' Gal. vi. 15. In the second chapter of the Ephesians, we are said to be the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. And in the fourth chapter, ver. 23 and 24. we are said “to be renewed in the spirit of our mind : to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.' Nay, we are said even to put on Christ, from the similitude of will and affections between Christ and his true members : ' As many
of been baptised,' says the Apostle to the Galatians, ' have put on Christ:' chap. iii. 27.
From this account it is easy to understand the propriety of the words or phrases made use of to express these two conditions. Sometimes we read that we were dead' before the knowlege of Christ : sometimes, that we died' and ' were buried with Christ:' again, that we rose with Christ, and are alive in him. Now to be dead before the coming of Christ, and yet to die with Christ after his coming, and yet still to be alive in Christ, may seem to be assertions inconsistent with respect to the same person : and so indeed they are. But if we take the same view of man that the Scripture does, the inconsistency will soon vanish. Man was at first created after the image and likeness of God, with a rectitude of mind and will, with inclinations adapted to his true happiness, and subject to the influence and direction of reason : this was man after the image of God. But on disobedience man became a quite different person ; his understanding was darkened, his will corrupted, his inclinations distorted to the pursuit of evil continually. This change was a real death of the man created after the image of God; he could no longer exercise any of the functions proper to his life, but lay buried under the ruins of sin and iniquity; and this was the death of the world before the knowlege of Christ. What then was the life of the world at the coming of Christ? It was the life of sin ; of the earthly man, maile not in the image of God, but after the likeness of the son of disobedience. To destroy this man of sin, Christ came into the world ; "and they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts :' Gal. v. 24. And thus, with respect to the life we had at the coming of Christ, which was the life of sin, we are said to die with Christ,' and to be · buried with him ;' because we renounce
that life, and the affections proper to it. Thus dying to sin, we
. begin again to live unto God and unto true holiness : and this is a resurrection of the man made after the image of God, which before was dead in trespasses: and therefore we are said to be made alive in Christ,' and to rise' together with him.
Farther; this change was what we had not power so much as to wish for or desire for ourselves; it was undertaken and effected by Christ alone; he took our nature and our iniquities on himself, and underwent death in the behalf of all : he dying therefore on the cross for all, all are said to be crucified with him. •He,'as the Apostle to the Hebrews tells us, “tasted death for every man:' Heb. ii. 9. And it is St. Paul's inference, that if one died for all, then were all dead :' 2 Cor. v. 14. And the way to attain to the benefits
the death of Christ, is, as we learn from the same Apostle in his Epistle to the Philippians,
to be conformable unto his death.' This conformity consists, as we have already seen, in dying to sin and the affections of it; in putting off the old man, in putting on the new man, who is created after righteousness. This St. Paul, in the sixth of the Romans, styles, being planted in the likeness of his death,' and being planted in the likeness of his resurrection. To this likewise he plainly refers in the 29th verse of the eighth chapter: For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. There are many precepts likewise in Scripture, founded on this notion of our conformity with Christ. The text is one instance: another you have in the thirteenth of the Romans ; ' But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh to fulfil the lust thereof.' And again ; • How shall we, who are dead to sin, live
any longer therein ?' And many other places there are, which must be opened with this key.
Nay, the very essence of Christianity consists in this conformity with Christ; and therefore baptism, which is our admission to the gospel, is nothing else but a solemn taking on ourselves this conformity. This we learn from St. Paul in the sixth of the Romans : Know ye not,' says he,' that so many of us as were baptised in Jesus Christ, were baptised into his death ; therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death ;
that like as Christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life:'chap. vi. 3. 4. To walk in newness of life is our conformity to the resurrection of Christ, which was to new life and glory. For thus the Apostle presses the argument: Christ being raised from the dead, dieth no more : death hath no more dominion over him. Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body:' ver. 9. 11. 12. As the resurrection of Christ was to perpetual life, never more to be exposed to death; so must our first resurrection, according to this pattern, be to perpetual holiness, and a constant freedom from sin.
If we bear in our minds this account of the Scripture language, and of the reasons on which it is founded, it will be a key to open unto us the meaning of many otherwise intricate passages of Scripture.
of Scripture. For instance: we shall not be to seek, when we find mention made of two deaths which we must undergo, of two resurrections which we must partake in : we shall easily distinguish between the natural death of the body, and the death unto sin; between the resurrection to life eternal hereafter, and the resurrection to holiness and righteousness in this present world. •I am crucified to the world,' says St. Paul, and the world to me.' · Whosoever is born of God,' says St. John, that is, whoever is begotten to this new life in Christ by the power of God, overcometh the world.' St. Paul tells us that the Spirit of God will quicken our mortal bodies, as well as our dead bodies. Which is not to be understood without having recourse to the first resurrection, which is to a new life of holiness here, and which must be the forerunner and introducer of the second resurrection to glory. The Apostle to the Philippians tells us that he willingly suffered the loss of all things, that he might know Christ and the power of his resurrection.' And this he desired to know, that he might attain to the resurrection of the dead :' Phil. ii. 10. 11. Where, if you remember what has been said of our being made conformable to the death and resurrection of Christ, by rising to holiness and righteousness, you will not be at a loss to understand what it is 'to know,' or feel, 'the power of Christ's
resurrection;' or to understand how the knowing the power of Christ's resurrection should be a means of attaining to the resurrection of the dead. Such is the power of Christ's resurrection, that those who feel it have, as the Apostle in the 20th verse informs us, • their conversation in heaven; whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.' This, which St. Paul calls knowing the power of Christ's resurrection, and having our conversation in heaven, the author to the Hebrews calls, “tasting the powers of the world to come:' Heb. vi. 5. The resurrection is indeed one of the powers of the world to come, which all partake in, and taste of, whose mortal bodies are quickened by the Spirit of God. In the verse after this it is said that those who fall from their faith, 'crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame.' How does he who falls away crucify Christ, or put him to open shame? This cannot be understood but by having recourse to the Scripture representation already explained. But if we remember that all who are baptised crucify the old man with his deeds; that they put on the new man created after holiness; that the Apostle to the Galatians expressly says, ' that as many as are baptised put on Christ ;' it will readily appear why it is that those who fall away crucify Christ afresh : for by receiving the faith, they put on Christ, and crucified the old man and his deeds; but if they desert the faith, and return to their former deeds, and again put on the old man, they do then crucify Christ again with his deeds, and put him once more to open shame.
This notion of the different states and conditions of man, of the death of the old man, of a new creature in Christ, runs through the precepts, exhortations, and doctrines of the gospel, which cannot be understood but by analogy to this notion; and therefore I hope I may be excused in spending so much of your time in the illustration of it. You have heard already of our death, and burial, and resurrection with Christ: but the Apostle in the text carries the metaphor still one degree higher : •If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. As if he had said, It is not enough that ye are risen from the dead with Christ ; you must also ascend after him into heaven ; for