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When are they thus set apart?
In baptism. The holiest saints were once like othe men; but those who by Divine grace fulfil the promise made for them in this sacrament, viz, repentance and faith, are not only admitted by it into the Church, and outwardly numbered with God's people ; but are also sanctified in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit, and inwardly washed from the pollution of sin. Sanctified in Christ Jesus ; called to be saints. 1 Cor. i. 2. Such were some of you : but ye are washed, but ye are sancti
fied, but ye are justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus and
by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. vi. 11. Have the saints any patterns set before them for their imita
tion? Yes :--the spotless purity of God himself is the example they are to follow. They are required to be conformed to the divine nature and will, and to practise universal holi. ness. Be ye holy, for I am holy. Lev. xi. 45; xx. 7. 1 Pet. Leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps. "1 Pet.
But they are constantly to be making advances towards it, as members of that glorious body, of which Christ, who knew no sin, is the head. There are different degrees of holiness, but all true saints have some portion of it, siacerely love it in others, and earnestly long for, and strive after, its increase in themselves. So gennine gold, though it may, admit of different degrees of polish, is all of one essential substance. The temple of God is holy. I Cor. iii. 17. Who hath called us with a holy calling. 2 Tim. i. 9. Holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling. Heb. iii. 1. What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation
and godliness? 2 Pet. iii. 11.
This holiness is manifested by a love of spiritual things, and an aversion to those which are not so. Those who possess it in any degree will love God, his word, and his ordinances. They will honour his day, and reverence his ministers; and it will be their delight to frequent his house and to associate with his people. They will long for the enjoyment of Christ, and account it their highest
privilege to be pernitted to hold communion with their Heavenly Father in prayer. On the other hand, they will hate sin, in heart and life, come out from the world, and devote themselves to God. Who makes them holy?
God :—from whom alone proceedeth every good and perfect gift. Christ Jesuswho of God is made unto us sanctification. 1 Cor.
i. 30. Through sanctification of the Spirit. 2 Thess. ii. 13. 1 Pet. i. 2. How is holiness kept alive in the heart?
By watchfulness and prayer: these are the means which God has appointed to receive and to retain his Holy Spirit. Why is it necessary they should be holy ?
Because God, with whom they hold communion, is holy. There can be no agreement between persons of totally opposite habits and inclinations. Sin separates between us and God. Can two walk together, except they be agreed ? Amos iii. 3. What concord hath Christ with Belial ? 2 Cor. vi. 15. With whom do saints hold communion or fellowship?
1. With the Father. Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1 John i. 3. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon
us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John iii. 1. Exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might
be partakers of the divine nature. 2 Pet. i. 4. We (the Father and the Son) will come unto him and make
our abode with him. John xiv. 23. 2. With the Son. Because I live, ye shall live also. John xiv. 19. I am the true vineabide in me, and I in you. John xv. 1.4. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall be
lieve on me through their word ; that they also may be one
in us, &c. John xvii. 20. 23. Called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord
1 Cor. i. 9. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
1 Cor. xii. 27. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Fa
ther and the Son, 2 John 9. Christ has taken upon him our nature and infirmities, and borne our sins and curse. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same. Heb. ü. 14.
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isa. liii. 6.
In return we partake of his nature, and the purchase of
John i. 16.
through the Spirit. Eph. ii. 22.
2 Pet. i. 4. (ii.) Of his Spirit. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spi
rit of God dwelleth in you? for the temple of God is holy,
which temple are ye. 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17. (iii.) Of his sufferings. That I may know the fellowship of his sufferings. Phil. iii. 10.
(iv.) of his glory.
3. With the Holy Ghost.
to your remembrance. John xiv, 26.
14. If there be any fellowship of the Spirit. Phil. ii. !.
We are sanctified by the Spirit; communion with the
God, &c. Rom. viii. 14, 15.
1 Cor. iii. 16.
the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. Heb. i. 1, 2.
We have communion with God when we determine to forsake sin, when we exercise unshaken hope in Christ, and when we endure affliction in an humble, patient, and quiet spirit.. This intercourse is carried on in devout aspi. rations, and is evidenced by the word of God becoming more and more precious.
There is great danger of mistaking a spirit of self and pride for the Spirit of God. Let us guard against such a dangerous error. With whom besides do saints hold communion ?
4. With holy angels. They encamp about the righteous, and minister to the saints.
Ps. xxxiv, 7. Heb. i. 14.
just. Matt. xiii. 39. 49.
Luke xv. 10.
Acts v. 19; xii. 8.
5. With other saints on earth by love; and with the
God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company, of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to
Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant. Heb. xii. 22, 23. They have the same ordinances, promises, and affections; are ingrafted into the same stock; receive life from the same root; and are heirs of the same glory. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Eph. iv. 5.
They have an intimate union with all the saints on earth, as living members of Christ. What are the uses of this article ?
1. To excite to holiness.
Acts xxvi. 18.
the saints in light. Col. i. 12.
If we walk in the light-we have fellowship one with another.
1 Johni. 6, 7. 2. To inspire gratitude. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
&c. 1 John iii. 1. Great and precious promises--whereby ye might be partakers
of the divine nature. 2 Pet. i. 4. How high a vocation is that of Christians, who are called to fellowship with angels, apostles, prophets, martyrs, and with God himself, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and how very foolish and wicked are those who ridicule the name of saints, and despise this heavenly calling. Do you not imitate their example; but pray for the Holy Spirit, that you may be admitted to this high fellowship, being conformed to the Divine image, in righteousness and true holiness, numbered among the excellent of the earth, and made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. He will keep the feet of his saints. 1 Sam. ii. 9. The Spirit maketh intercession for the saints. Rom. viii. 27. Collect, 3d Sunday after Easter.-Grant unto all those who
are admitted into the fellowship of Christ's religion, that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same. All Saints' Day.-0 Almighty God, who hath knit together thine
elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord, grant us grace so to follow the blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which thou hast prepared for those who unfeignedly love the
THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS. In the preceding section the nature of this communion is described ; the following view of its necessity, abridged from Bishop Pearson, is full of instruction, and will doubtless be acceptable to the pious reader.
The necessity of the belief of this communion of saints appeareth, first, in that it is proper to exeite and encourage us to holiness of life. “If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. But if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.” 1 John i. 6,7. There can be no communion where there is no similitude, no fellowship with God without some sanctity; because his nature is infinitely holy, and his actions are not subject to the least iniquity.
Secondly, The belief of ihe communion of saints is necessary to stir us up to a proportionate gratitude unto God, and an humble and cheerful acknowledgment of so great a benefit. St. Philip the apostle said unto our Saviour, "Lord, show us the Father and it sufficeth,” (John xiv. 8;) whereas he hath not only shown us, but come unto us with the Father, and dwelt within us by his Holy Spirit; he hath called us to the fellowship of the angels and archangels, of the cherubim and seraphim, to the glo rious company of the apostles, to the goodly fellowship of the prophets,