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and ability to make contracts, and to acquire and enjoy their profit, stands firm and unimpaired. But by our crucifixion all these exertions and sensibilities are turned into new channels, and made subservient to our glorying and enjoying God, the all-sufficient, independent, and everlasting portion of our souls.
Secondly, Conformation to Christ in their crucifixion unto the world is the glory of christians. Fair shews may be made in the flesh, where there is no likeness to Christ in the heart. Appearances may be counterfeited and assumed. The graces and decencies of a profession may be burnished to a considerable degree of brightness, and, in times of ease and quietness, preserved without difficulty among men who are not conformed to the image of the Son of God. But in these there is no spiritual glory, nor of themselves are these evidences of crucifixion unto the world. The conformation, which is the glory of our crucifixion, rises in the hidden man of the heart; and, breaking forth upon the conversation in spiritual and holy actions, renders our crucifixion unto the world, by the virtue of the cross of Christ, visible and conspicuous. Unto this conformation his elect were predestinated before the foundation of the world was laid, and by it they are adorned and dignified when they are baptized into his death.Like the light of the morning, it shines more and more unto the perfect day; when, by their resurrection, it will break forth gloriously, and, in the kingdom of their Father, shine as the brightness of the firmament, for ever and ever. "For if we have been planted together in the like"ness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his "resurrection." "And as we have borne the image of the "earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.""Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashion"ed like unto his glorious body, according to the working "whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto him"self." "We know, that when he shall appear we shall "be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
Thirdly, Conformation to Christ in our crucifixion unto the world is effected in us by the virtue of his cross.Suffering and dying under the character of our representative in law, the virtue of his sufferings and death reaches unto our state in law, and produces a conformation which, though ridiculed by natural men, to christians in
him is a subject of experience. He was crucified for them, and they are crucified with him. In his crucifixion for them, he was crucified unto the world; and in their crucifixion with him, they are , crucified unto the world. The virtue of his crucifixion for them, crucified him unto the world; and through their crucifixion with him, crucifies them unto the world. Doth this crucifying and triumphant virtue of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ transcend all experience? It doth, indeed, transcend the experience of natural and earthly men. But though the language of it be high, it is notwithstanding an object of knowledge and boasting among men who are spiritual and heavenly. With the knowledge of this sublime object, Paul was enlightened, and by him it was taught with great energy of expression and metaphor. "Crucified with Christ," "Baptized into his death,' "Planted together in the likeness of his death," "Knowing "the fellowship of his sufferings," "Made conformable un"to his death," "Dead with him," "Buried with him,” "Risen with him,” are metaphors and forms of expression under which the operation of this virtue is set forth in the writings of this holy man; and though their measures of knowledge be smaller than his, Christians taught of God, and led by the Spirit, understand the meaning of his words, and feel the energy of the virtue which the words express. "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all "things. And the anointing which ye have received of "him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach "you. But as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, "and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, "ye shall abide in him."
Fourthly, The virtue which effects our conformation to Christ in crucifixion unto the world, is received and enjoyed by believing and glorying in his cross. Our text is the description of the experience of the apostle concerning this: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of "our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified "unto me, and I unto the world." Beholding, as in a glass, the revelation of the riches of the glory of the mystery of the humiliation and crucifixion of Christ, and believing and glorying in his death as the principle of his hope of the glory of God, the virtue of the principle wrought in him mightily, and effected the mutual and deeply mysterious
crucifixion of the world unto him, and of him unto the world. In all who behold the same glory, and believe and boast in the same object, the virtue of the same principle operates proportionally to their measure of the Spirit, and the strength of their faith, crucifying the world unto them, and them unto the world. "For this cause," saith Paul to the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus, "I bow my knees “unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the "whole family. in heaven and on earth is named; that he "would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to "be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; "that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye be"ing rooted and grounded in love, may be able to compre"hend, with all saints, what is the breadth, the length, and "depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which "passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the ful"ness of God." Read over again this solemn prayer, O Hearer! and observe attentively the principles which with devotion and reverence it importunes. Among these, you will observe Christ dwelling in the heart by faith; and the Spirit, according to the riches of his glory, strengthening the inner man with might. By the virtue and operation of these principles, derived from the cross in believing, the world is crucified unto us, and we are crucified unto the world. With nails and hammers, with arguments and pride, men may attempt this mutual crucifixion; but till these principles be received and acknowledged, every attempt will fail. For without Christ dwelling in the heart by faith, and his Spirit strengthening the inner man with might, we can do nothing.
Fifthly, From our crucifixion unto the world, as a work effected in us by the virtue of the cross of Christ, is derived our virtue to crucify ourselves unto the world, as a duty of obedience to the law of Christ. By the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, Christians in him are crucified unto the world. Their crucifixion unto it is an effect in them of the virtue of his cross, and a work of his power resting upon them by his Spirit in their inner man. But the virtue of his cross, and the power of his Spirit, are improveable, and improved, by their faith to the crucifying of themselves unto the world. It hath been observed, that in scripture metaphor is frequently retained when the sense is varied. In one text, Paul says, "I am crucified with
"Christ;" and in another, "They who are Christ's, have "crucified the flesh." The metaphor, crucified, is the same in both, but the sentiment is varied, and the effect is different. Paul was crucified with Christ, that he might live by the faith of his cross; and, by faith in his cross, he crucified the flesh, that its affections and lusts might die. In the former text, under the metaphor crucified, privilege is expressed; and, in the latter, duty is described under the same metaphor. Accordingly, Paul was passive in the one and active in the other. The derivation of virtue from the virtue of the cross of Christ, by which we are crucified unto the world, to crucify ourselves unto it is illustrated by another text, where the same holy writer discovers the supernatural principles, and opens the mysterious sources of the mortification of sin. "Our old man is "crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be de"stroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." By the crucifixion of our old man with Christ, the virtue of his cross exerts itself upon the body of sin, dissolves its strength to reign, and operates against its life incessantly, until it be driven out of the new creation and destroyed. The effect of the operation of the crucifying and triumphant virtue of his cross against our old man, is redemption from the servitude of sin, and recovery of our liberty. Henceforth we should not serve sin, which has lost its dominion over us, but repress, resist, and mortify it in every member.
We shall conclude with one exhortation to Christians who are in Christ Jesus, and by virtue of his cross, crucified unto the world; and another unto Professors, who are not in him, nor by the virtue of his cross crucified unto the world.
Christians in Christ Jesus, and, by the gracious and triumphant virtue of his cross, crucified unto the world, we exhort to behave themselves every where, and, on all occasions suitably to their rank and dignity in the world. Union to Christ is a state of rank and honour; and, in the conversations of all who are raised to it, an high degree of circumspection and reserve is becoming with respect to these condescensions and intercourses, which, while they live in the world, are unavoidable. Holy brethren, baptized into the death of Christ, and crucified with him unto
the world, suffer the word of exhortation, and remember the text upon which it is founded: "He who saith he abideth "in him, ought himself also so to walk even as he walked.” The walk, or conversation of our Lord Jesus Christ, is described by the writers of the gospel in four books. Read these frequently, and follow him in obedience and self-denial, considering the end of his conversation. In every step, from his birth to his death, his crucifixion unto the world appears, and exhibits an example which you are bound to follow. With the world, in its opposition to the will of his heavenly Father, he contracted no friendship. Toward its riches, and honours, and pleasures, he never looked with an ambitious and inordinate eye. Upon his affections and feelings, neither its promises nor threatenings made impressions; and against the tendency of its principles and manners he desisted not to wrestle and contend, until by, crucifying him, the proof of his crucifixion unto it was completed.'
Now, his conversation toward the world in the days of his flesh is the pattern and example of yours. It is not be. coming the rank and dignity of your state in Christ to contract friendship with this present evil world, to covet its riches and honors, to tremble at the noise of its threatening, or hearken to the sound of its promises, nor, while you live in it, to cease contention and wrestling with its spirit and manners. Intercourses and familiarities, which cement and strengthen the friendship of the world, would be indecencies in your conduct who, by the precious blood of Christ, are redeemed from the vain conversation of the world, and stains upon the face of your sonship, which is the glory of your rank in Christ. Believe me, the moment you enter into avoidable connections, or fellowships with the enemies of the cross of Christ, in their enmity against him or their indifference toward him, you degrade yourselves before them, and forfeit their confidence and esteem. They are not ignorant that, by profession, you are crucified unto the world, nor without penetration and quickness to discern, in your walk, these compliances with their humour, which operate against the honour of your profession. Decency may restrain them from throwing you off, or from treating you with rudeness; but, assure yourselves, they despise you in their heart as weak, or rather as double-minded men. Be not ye therefore companions and partakers with them." D d