CHRISTIANS Ingrafting into CHRIST.
1 Cor. 12. 13.
WEE have spoken of Regeneration, which is a work of the Spirit, and the first implanting of a man into Christ: Now we come to speak of a new work of the Spirit, The implanting of a man into the Church, the Body of Christ, when the Spirit makes a man to be a Member of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ; Page 140 and this is done all under one; for being once in∣grafted in Christ, we come to be fellow-Members with all those that are Christs; and this we have here in the Text, By one Spirit we are all Baptized into one Body, &c. The Apostles meaning is this, All we that are the people of God, we are all one Body; and the efficient cause of this, is the Spi∣rit of God, it is by the Spirit that we are made thus, and the instrumental cause, though it be not here expressed, yet it is implyed, and that is Faith; and the means of confirming this Faith are the Two Sacraments: First, The Sacrament of Baptisme, we are baptized into the same Body. Secondly, The Sacrament of the Lords Supper, intimated in one part of it, namely, the Cup, which is put for the whole, and are made all to drink of the same Cup, we are all of one and the self same Body; as many as are in Christ, are en∣dued with the same Spirit; not one endued with one Spirit, and another endued with another Spirit, but by one Spirit we are Baptized into one Body; our Baptisme is one, and our Food one; it is altogether one, though our condition in the world be never so different, bond, or free, though our Countrey, and Nation, and Parish be never so various one to another, one of one, and ano∣ther of another, Jews and Gentiles, we are all baptized into one Body, and this is done by one and the self-same Spirit.
Now to speak of the putting of a man into the Body of Christ: We will shew you these Five things.
First, What this Body of Christ is.
Secondly, What this putting of a man into it is.
Page 141Thirdly, That this is done by the Spirit of God.
Fourthly, How the Spirit of God doth it: How a man is made part of the Body of Christ.
Fifthly, The Application of the Point.
For the First, What is this Body of Christ,* which the Spirit of God doth ingraft his people into? In a word, It is the invisible Church of God: which is a peculiar company of men and women, out of all Nations under heaven pre∣destinated to eternal life, gathered together by the Word, and made all one in Christ: This is the Body of Jesus Christ: so that here are Five Things that are to be opened.
First, It is the Church of God; as the Apostle* saith, Col. 1. 18. He is the Head of the Body, the Church: So that the Church is the Body of Christ, that same peculiar company of men and women, as Saint Peter calls them, You are a chosen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priest∣hood, 1 Pet. 2. 9. The Author to the Hebrews calls them, The Assembly of the first born▪ Heb. 12. 23. And Christ himself calls them A little flock, in regard of the multitude of other people that is in the world, and are not of this brother∣hood: Now I call this invisible, for though their persons, and courses, and manner of life be seen and known, and they may be known who they are, yet all of them were never known, nor e∣ver will be; there may be more then we can tell, and fewer then we think of; The foundation of God is sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2. 19. The Lord had seven Page 142 thousand in Israel that had not bent their knees to Baal, when Eliah could see never a one: So that this is the First Thing; it is the invisible Church of God.
Secondly, It's such a company as is gathered out*of all Nations under heaven; As Saint John speaks, Rev. 7. 9. After this, behold and loe, I saw a great multitude of all Nations, & Countryes, and Tongues, &c. Though it be a little Flock in re∣spect of the Reprobate; yet it is a great multi∣tude considered in it self: and they stood before the throne, & before the Lambe, with long white Robes, and with Palms in their hands: This white Robe is the Righteousnesse of Christ Jesus imputed, which begets another Righteousnesse which is inherent in some measure; and the Palms in their hands, is the sign of Victory over Sin, Death, and Hell; and this is a great multitude▪ and it was out of all Cities, & Nations, and Kindreds of the world; and therefore our Saviour Christ, speaking of his own taking of this company home unto himself at the last day, see what he speaks, Matth. 24. 31. He shall send his Angels with a great sound of a trum∣pet, and they shall gather his Elect from the four Winds, from the one end of the Earth to the other: The Lord gathers here one, and there another, as a man would gather a Posie in a Garden, here a flower, and there a flower. This is Another Thing in the Body of Christ: it is a Company ga∣thered out of all Nations, and People, and Places, at one time, or other.
Thirdly, This same godly Company, are a* Company of Predestinated men unto Eternal life. For there are none but the chosen of God that Page 143 are the true Body of Christ; this is a company only of Elect men, and women, and babes; therefore they are called Elect, Rom. 8. 33. They are such a company as are written in the Lamb's Book of life, Rev. 21. 27. Therefore all those that seem to be of God, and go a great way with the people of God, and yet turn back, as Orphah from Naomi, Ruth 1. They were never of this number, 1 Joh. 2. 19. They were not of us, they went out from us; if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: So that it is only the E∣lect of God that are of this Company, that are the Members of this Body.
Fourthly, It is such a godly Company as is ga∣thered*by the Word of God: The Word of God gathers them together; they, as well as other people by nature, are of another Body, of another Corporation, as vile, and as wretched, and as miserable in themselves, if left to them∣selves; but God found them when he passed by them, and said to them, Live; they were defiled as well as others in their bloud, but the Lord tur∣ned their hearts by the Word, & doth beget them again thereby: This is that immortal seed where∣by God doth beget them again unto eternal life.
Fifthly, They are such a company as are made one, knit and combined together in Christ; though themselves are never so many, and never so remote and distant from one another, may be they never saw one another, nor ever heard of one another, one lives in one Country, ano∣ther in another▪ one in one parish, another in ano∣ther, and have little bodily communion, and are not known one to another; may be some of this Page 144 company are in heaven already, and some upon earth; yet they are all one in Christ, they all meet together in one heart and soul in Christ Je∣sus, they are all of one minde in him, as being all one body, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 12. 12. and they are all one seed, Gal. 3. 16. Now to A∣braham and his seed were the Promises made. He saith not, To seeds, as if they were many; but, To thy seed, as of one, that is Christ: that is, which is Christ, and all that are Christs; they are one seed, the seed of the woman; indeed all men come forth of the womans loins, the wicked as well as the godly, only here is the difference, The one is the seed of God, the other of the Serpent: Now Christ, and all that are Christs, are one and the self-same seed; though they are different in Place, different in Countrey, different in estate and con∣dition; some Jews, some Gentiles, some Bond, some Free, some Noble, some Mean; yet they are all one in Christ Jesus, as the Apostle saith, Gal. 3 28. There is neither Jew nor Grecian, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 'Tis true, you are different among your selves, one is a master, another a servant, one is a rich man, a∣nother a poor man, so there is a difference; but they are all one in Christ Jesus, they have all one and the self-same Faith, they have all one and the self-same Father, there is but one Lord, and one Spirit to quicken and unite them all: Thus we see what this Body of Christ is.
Now in the Second place, What it is to be put*into this Body; to be implanted into it, to be knit into this Body: I Answer, in a few words it is this:
Page 145It is a part of a mans Ingrafting into Christ by Faith, whereby a man is ingrafted into the Body of Christ, having one common life with all the rest of the Members for mutual consent, and profit, and care, and help, and sympathy, or fellow-feel∣ing.
First, It is a part of a mans ingrafting into*Christ; For the ingrafting of a man into Christ, and into the body of Christ, are not Two things, but God doth them by one and the self-same act, as you may see, Rom. 12. 5. We being many are one body in Christ, and every one Members one of another: that is, by being Members of Christ, and by being ingrafted into Christ, we come to have fellowship, and conjunction, and joyning one with another: it must needs be the same work, for the putting a man into Christ in whom are the other Members, that very act makes a man to have fellowship with Christ, together with all the other Members, as the Apostle speaks, Rom. 11. 17. Though some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wilde olive tree, wast grafted in for them, and made partaker of the root: When a man is ingrafted into this Olive tree, he is in∣grafted with the rest of Christs Members, and he doth partake together with the other Members of the same root, and of the same Gifts, and Gra∣ces, God doth both under one: Therefore though I handle this after the other, it is because I cannot handle them both at once. Saint John saith, 1 Joh. 1. 7. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; So that if a man be in Christ, he hath communi∣on with the Body of Christ; if he hath fellow∣ship Page 146 with Christ, he hath fellowship with the Bo∣dy of Christ; so that you see the Spirit doth both by one and the self-same act, as the Apostle saith, Ephes. 2. 12. Ye were at that time without Christ, and aliants from the common-wealth of Israel: It is all one thing to say that a man is out of Christ, and an aliant from the common∣wealth of Israel, without that corporation, with∣out that Body, he is no Member of that Body; therefore it follows on the other side, If a man be in Christ, and ingrafted into Christ, then he is of this society, he is of the common-wealth of the Israel of God: So that this is the First Thing, It is a part of a mans ingrafting into Christ.
Secondly, This likewise is done by Faith:* When a man is ingrafted into Christ, he is in∣grafted into him by Faith: As the Apostle saith, Rom. 11. 23. And they also, if they abide not in un∣belief, shall be grafted in, for God is able to graft them: As who should say, If ever they have Faith, they are ingrafted into Christ; it is Faith that ingrafts a man into Christ, and the same Faith that makes a man to be of the Body of Christ, that puts a man into the number of the Members of Christ; as Paul saith, To Titus my Son in the common Faith, Tit. 1. 4. that is, it is such a Faith as doth not only ingraft this man in∣to Christ, but the very self-same Faith, another man having it, it doth ingraft him into the Body of Christ too: So that it is a common Faith, whereby one is ingrafted into the Body of Christ as well as another, as Act. 2. 44. They were all of one minde, and one heart, they all hung toge∣ther as one body, they imparted their gifts, and the Page 147 things they had, even to their very Lands and Goods, one to another; here was a sweet com∣munion: but then, what was the reason of this? What was the Instrument that wrought this? It was Faith; for the text saith, they were believers, or else they could not have done it: And there∣fore as we are said to come to Christ, so to the Body of Christ, as Heb. 12. 22. But ye are come to Mount Zion, to the City of the living God, the celestial Jerusalem, and to the company of in∣numerable Angels; and to the congregation of the first born, which are written in heaven. You are come, he speaks of a spiritual coming by Faith: So that this putting into the Body of Christ, is by Faith.
Then in the Third place, It makes a man have*a common life with all the rest of the Members of Jesus Christ: As you may see, Col. 3. 4. When Christ which is our life shall appear, ye also shall appear with him in glory. Christ who is our life; We that are the people of God, Christ is our life, we have one and the self-same life, all one and the self-same minde in the wayes of God; As it is said, Act. 4. 32. The multitude of them that be∣lieved were of one heart and one soul; all the peo∣ple of God in the whole world would quickly be acquainted if they were brought together, for they are all of one and the self-same disposition and mind; As our Saviour speaks to his Father, Joh. 17. 21. That they all may be one, as thou art in me, and I in thee, so that all they may be one in us: As the Three Persons in the blessed Trinity are three distinct Persons, and yet are all one; so in some sense, the Members of the Body of Christ, Page 148 though they be of several callings and conditions in the world, yet they are all one, that they may be all one as we are one, vers. 21. They all live by the same rule, and walk by the same rule, they are all guided by the same Word, and swayed by the same Commandment, they all walk in one Way, they all Pray by one and the self-same Spirit, they have a life that is common: look as one lives so lives another; look as one repents, so another re∣pents; look as one believes, so another believes; and look as one apprehends of God, and comes before him with affection, and fear, and trem∣bling, so doth another; though they never saw one another, yet they all meet in the same life, for they have the same root of life, the same cause of life.
In the Fourth place, It makes a man to be of one*consent with all the people of God every where; As you may see, Zeph. 3. 9. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the Name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. The Lord helps them all to Pray after one pure language, and gives them all one pure consent in the Service of God (though it is in different degrees indeed, one ariseth to an higher pitch than another) therefore the Apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 1. 10. Now I beseech you brethren, by the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye speak all the same things, that there be no divisions among you: As who should say, All the Members of Christ are so, I beseech you endeavour to have this sign of being Members of Christ, be all joyn∣ed together in the same mind; it is true, that this union, and consent, and agreement, and oneness Page 149 of heart and mind (as I may call it) is very im∣perfect, but in some it is more imperfect then it is in other; some have attained to a further degree, there is a great deal of unlikeness of affections, a great deal of unlikeness in Prayer, a great deal of unlikeness in Obedience, there is a great deal of jarrings now and then through weakness; but as the Apostle saith, As far as we have attained, let us be thus minded, Phil. 3. 15, 16. Let us walk by the same rule, & mind the same things; the Children of God throughout the whole world, they are of one mind, as far as they have attained, though in Faith, in Repentance, in new Obedience they differ gra∣dually in their attainments, yet they all agree in this consent of judgment, That sin must be hated, that a man must live in no sin, that a man must yield Obedience to all Gods commandments, that a man must deny himself in all things, that in all things God must be glorified; they all agree that we are Members one of another, and that we must love one another, and forgive one another, as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us; they all agree in this, They are all of one mind: and as one is mortified, so is the other; and as one is meek and gentle, so is the other: It is truè indeed, one hath attained further then another; but whereunto they have attained, they are all alike minded: Now whereunto we have not attained, God will reveal it in his good time unto us, saith the Apostle: May be one seeth such a thing is a duty, which another doth not, yet all see that it is their duty to fear God, and obey him in all their wayes, and they all set themselves to hate and op∣pose all manner of known sins: As far asPage 150they have attained, they are all of one minde.
Fifthly, All this is for mutual profit, and help,*and care, and sympathy, as you may see deli∣vered by the Apostle, 1 Cor. 12. That it must be for mutual profit, see the seventh vers. The ma∣nifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal: that is, when the Spirit of God doth manifest himself in one man one way, and in another man another way; he gives one man (may be) the gift of Teaching, to another man the gift of knowledge; some have excellent gifts in one kind, some in another (but all have the gifts of new Obedience.) Now look whatsoever gifts they are, whensoever the Spirit doth manifest it self to any Member of the Body of Christ, it is to be helpful and useful to others, so that the Members of Christ need one another, that you may see, vers. 21, 22. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee, &c. We cannot be without the poorest, and vilest, and contemptiblest Mem∣ber in the Body; nay, the very life of the Body may depend upon the vilest Members.
So again, That they are to care for one another; That you may see in the 25. verse, Lest there should be any division in the Body, but that the Members should have the same care one for another. You see how it is in the Body of a man, the head hath care of the feet, it guides the feet, and the foot hath care of the head, to hold it up, and car∣ry it up and down, and the hand is useful for the relieving of any part, they have all the same care one of another, so it is in the Body of Christ. And for a Sympathy, see it in the 26. verse, WhereforePage 151if one Member suffer, all suffer with it; and if one Member rejoyce, all rejoyce with it; all have a fellow-feeling of one anothers necessities and comforts. Therefore when the Spirit of God doth implant a man into the Body of Christ, it is all one with the implanting a man into Christ, he doth give him a common life, one minde and heart, he doth give them all natural help, and na∣tural care one of another, for they have need one of another.
In the Third place we must shew, That the Spi∣rit*doth this, And why he doth it.
First, That it is the Spirit that unites and tyeth all these Members together; This makes them hang together; therefore it is called, the unity of the Spirit, Eph. 4. 3. He exhorts the Ephesians that were the Members of Christ to keep the unity of the Spirit; because as the Members of Christ are united to Christ, so they are united mutually by the Spirit; Therefore take heed (saith the A∣postle) to keep the unity of the Spirit, that you may be of one mind, and one heart: Therefore the Apostle speaking of the Body of Christ, he com∣pares it to a building; A building consists of di∣vers bricks, and stones, and timber, which being joyned together, make up an house: So the Mem∣bers of Christ being joyned together, make up an house for God to dwell in: But who makes this? The text saith, the Spirit of God, Eph. 2. 22. The Spirit of God makes up this blessed building, all the elect of God, all the faithful, all the heirs of Grace in the world, are as an house or body. though there be never so many parts in it, yet they make all but one body or house, so it is here; Page 152 Now the Spirit unites these, and layes them arti∣ficially together, so that they may prop one ano∣ther. Ezek. 11. 19. The Lord there speaking of his Elect, I will give them (saith he) one heart, and make them of one mind; How will he do it? I will put a new Spirit within them; And so he makes them to be of one and the self-same mind.
Now the Reason, Why the Spirit of God doth*do this, is,
First, Because none else besides the Spirit is able to do it: For by nature we are wofully and fear∣fully different from the Body of Christ, we are of another nature, of another kind, of another life; nay, we are contrary to it: all the Mem∣bers of Christ they are as young sucking chil∣dren; but wicked men, and all men by nature are Lions, and Leopards, and Bears, and Tigers, as the Prophet speaks, Isa. 11. 6▪ 7. Now the Prophet there speaking how Christ means to effect it, is to unite these together, to make the Lion and the Lamb to have communion together, to make the Bear and the Kid to lye down together: Mark how he sheweth how Christ will do it, in the second verse of the same Chapter, the text saith, The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; he speaks of Christ; that is, whereas this requires a great deal of power to do this, to make a man to be clean contrary to his nature; whenas a mans nature is carnal, and wicked, and earthly, to make him of the Body of Christ; therefore saith the text, The Spirit of Might shall be upon him, &c. There is a great deal of Might required to turn their dispositions: it is a mighty thing to Page 153 change a man that is a drunkard, a proud person, a wicked wretch; to turn this man topsie-turvy, to make him mind other things, to make him clean another man; this requires infinite wisdom: Therefore the Spirit of Wisdom shall rest upon him to do it; and the Spirit of Knowledge, and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord; that is, the Lord Jesus shall put in the Spirit of Fear into mens hearts, and this will turn them, this will alter mens minds, and conversations.
Secondly, There is none so fit as the Spirit of*God to do it: For this Body of Christ, it is a company of Sons and Daughters that God hath up and down in the world, that are able to cry, Abba Father: now who is so fit to do this as the Spirit of the Son? As the Apostle saith, That he might redeem them that were under the Law, that they might receive the Adoption of Sons, Gal. 4. 5.
Fourthly, How the Spirit of God doth this; and* that is Two wayes, as the Scripture reveals to us.
The One is, By being one and the same Spirit in*all the Members of Christ: He comes into them, and dwells in them as one and the self-same Spirit, and so makes up this union: The same Spirit that was in Paul, was in Peter; and so all the rest of the Members of Christ one and the self-same Spi∣rit is in them, 1 Cor. 3. 16. Know ye not that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit dwelleth in you? Therefore look what Spirit of Faith one man hath, another comes to have the same Spirit of Faith; as the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 4. 13. We having the same Spirit of Faith with them, asPage 154it is written, I believe, and therefore I speak; so we believe, and therefore we speak.
Secondly, The Spirit doth this by uniting and*tying a knot between these Members: He doth unite them, and make them hang together in one; he makes them to be of one heart, and of one soul by knitting and combining of their hearts al∣together: Therefore this fellowship is called the fellowship of the Spirit, Phil. 2. 1. Though Paul were far off from Phillippi, yet he could adjure the Phillippians by the fellowship of the Spirit. But you will say, How can this be? Can the people of God have communion and fellowship one with another when they are so far asunder one from another, and may be never saw one another, may be never heard one of another? how can this be? I say, Very well: for the Spirit of God hath a long arm, and is able to make the people of God shake hands, though they be a thousand miles sunder; it is the Spirit that tyeth this knot, and unites them together: As Paul speaks, Col. 2. 5. Though I be absent in the Flesh, yet I am present with you in the Spirit; and methinks I am in your company and meetings; when you meet together; I see you in my mind methinks, and I joy in your order: The Spirit makes the communion between the people of God; and hence it is that they can love one another, because all the Members are ty∣ed together by one knot; and they come to help one another, and do any thing one for another; even by the very love of the Spirit which they have one towards another, Rom. 15. 30. The A∣postle had some need of the good Romans to help him: Now see how he doth intreat help from Page 155 them: he desires them by the love of the Spirit, to pray heartily for him: he knew that the love of the Spirit would be a great motive to them: you know you and I are joyned together by the same Spirit, for the love of the Spirit pray for me. Thus we see,
First, What this Body of Christ is.
Secondly, What the putting a man into this Body is.
Thirdly, The Reasons why.
Fourthly, How the Spirit doth it.*
Now I come to the Ʋses.
And First, Is it so that the Spirit of God doth unite all the Saints of God together in one Body? Then here we may see the reason of the difference of men in the world: The difference of our Congre∣gations; some companies that hang together are of one mind, another of another mind; the rea∣son is, they have a different Spirit; but all the Saints of God have the Spirit of God which makes them hang together; and the wicked, they have another Spirit.
Secondly, Doth the Spirit of God joyn all the* Saints of God together in one Body? Then that which God hath joyned together, let no man put a∣sunder. It is spoken in regard of man and wife; if it be such a horrible thing to part man and wife, then what a horrible thing is it to part Saint and Saint that are joyned together by the Spirit of God; this blessed communion of the Spirit, what a fearful thing is it for a man to root it out? When there shall be heart-burnings and strivings between those that are the children of God, what a fearful thing is this? Is the number of those Page 156 that fear God so great, that we can spare any? Or are the Graces of Gods Spirit Wilderness Gra∣ces, that can walk alone and need no help from, or can do no good to others? Therefore the Apostle prayeth God in the behalf of the Corinthians, That the Members of Christ may be of one minde, and live in peace, 2 Cor. 13. 11.
Thirdly, Here we may see how to try our ac∣quaintance,*and whether the company we joyn our selves unto, be good or no: If our company be right, the Spirit of God tyeth the knot; there∣fore the Apostle will tell you, whether you have the right communion and fellowship, or no; try the spirits, whether they be of God or no, saith he, If the fellowship we have one with another be not of God, if the Spirit of God do not knit us toge∣ther, our fellowship is not right. 1 Joh. 1. 3. there is an excellent place, That they may have fellow∣ship with us (saith he) and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: As who should say, We would fain have you have fellowship with us; and I tell you what kind of fellowship you must have, if you be acquainted with us, you must have fellowship with the father, and with the Lord Jesus Christ, for our fellow∣ship is with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ: so that we may see, whether our Company be right or no, by this.
The Last Ʋse is this, Is it so that the Spirit of* God joyns all the Saints of God together in one Body? Then we should have a fellow-feeling with all the Members of Christ: Do not say thou art a Member of the Church of England, and not of France, or Germany; do not say thou art a Mem∣ber Page 157 of this Parish, but not of another; do not say so, for if thou art a Member of Christ, there is one Body, and one Spirit, Eph. 4. 4. If there be one Body, there must be one Spirit; and therefore we should have a fellow-feeling.*
But how shall we have a fellow-feeling with the Members of Christ?
I say, First, We must inform our selves as much as we can concerning one another; As when the Ark of God was among the Philistims, old Eli, though he gave way too far to his Sons wicked∣nesse, yet was he very careful of the Ark and people of God; and therefore (1 Sam. 4. 13, 14.) he went out and sate in the high-way, that so he might hear, in the first place, what was the news; and you know how his heart trembled when he heard that the Ark of God was taken: So it was with David, when any came out of the Camp of Israel, he saith to them, What is done I pray thee? 2 Sam. 1. 4. So we should enquire concerning one another.
Secondly, We should visit our fellow-members:* As it is said of Moses. though he were a great Courtier in Pharaoh's Court, yet he went out to look upon his Brethrens burthens, Exod. 2. 11. he would be ever and anon steping out to see how his brethren fared, and how did this affect his heart with their trouble?
Thirdly, We should lay to heart their Afflicti∣ons:* It is a strange thing how the people of God in all ages, have been affected with the Afflicti∣ons of the Church; nay, though they have not seen it, but only fore-saw what would be after∣wards; as Elisha wept when he fore-saw what Page 158 cruelty Hazael would use towards the People of Israel, 2 King. 8. 11, 12. So Daniel, Dan. 8. 27. when God revealed the Afflictions of the Church to him two hundred years before it should come to pass, yet when he heard of the Affliction that should fall out, the text saith, that Daniel fainted; and how can we think that the Spirit of Christ hath united us into one Body, when we have not this disposition in our souls?