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“the Lor legally represencin in him, I
and actual guilt, by believing in the blood and righteousness of Jesus. The apostle puts believers on considering what they are in Christ. “Likewise "reckon ye yourselves to be dead indeed "unto sind. A believer should view himself one with Christ in his death, and reckon himself to be what Christ is.' Did he die the death? die to sin? The believer is discharged from the imputation of all sin, guilt, and condemnation, on the footing thereof; so that he may well say, “ Blessed is the man to whom “the Lord will not impute sin.” The believer is legally represented by Christ, -is what he is, -dead to sin in him,holy, as he is holy,righteous, as he is righteous, and, as thus viewed by his heavenly Father, shines in his sight, in the person and work of Christ, holy, fighteous, pure, and complete in him.' So saith the apostle speaking to thie CoJoisians: 6 And you, that were sometime "alienated and enemies in your minds
by wicked works, yet now hath he re“conciled in the body of his flesh
through death, to present you holy, .unblameable, and unreproveable in his "sight°.” Christ is the representative of his people. And he represents them in himself, holy, unblameable, and unre- d Rom. vi. 11.
Col. i. 21, 22.
proveable in the sight of his father and our Father, his God and our God.
When it is given the believer to view the everlasting perfection and sufficiency of Christ's salvation; and when he is led by the Holy Spirit to look on himself as one in Christ and with him in all the perfection of his holiness, righteousness, and oblation, and to trust thereon for his eternal discharge from all his sin, and for his everlasting perfection before the Lord, then he triumphs as being justified from all things. He believes now that there is no condemnation to thein which are in Christ Jesus. This leads him to seek for real and growing fellowship with him in his death, in all the benefits of it. The Holy Ghost gives the believer clear and spiritual conceptions of these truths. The believing mind is exercised in spiritual contemplations on them; and hereby, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, the believer is led into actual communion with Christ, and experiences the power and efficacy of his death, which produces in him such effects as these. His heart is purified from the guilt of sin by faith in the virtue and value of our Lord's most precious bloodshedding. His mind is at peace with God, believing he hath freely forgiven him all trespasses. And having
in the light of the word and spirit a believing perception of Christ as his holiness, purity, and perfection, he feels the influence thereof in all his spiritual faculties, and throughout his whole spiritual frame. It leaves its sanctifying influence on the mind and affections. It leads the believer to hate all sin, both inward and outward, carnal and spiritual wickedness, with a perfect and immutable hatred. He loathes, and most sincerely mourns at, the least rising of inward corruption. He longs for perfect conformity to Christ, and to be delivered from the very in-being of sin; which will be the case with him, when he is delivered from his present state of warfare, and introduced by Christ into the kingdom of glory. These are the fruits and effects of our being dead to all sin, even to the whole body of it, in Christ. Our union with Christ in his death and our communion with Christ by faith therein are the foundation of all our death to sin. Here is our complete mortification of it. It is in Christ's obedience unto death, as our surety ; who hath removed our transgressions from us, as far as the East is from the West. The believer is without all sin in Christ. Like as Immanuel was perfectly free from all sin inherently, though he once was made sin, and bore all the sins of his people in his own body; so the believer, notwithstanding he has a borly of sin inherent in his fallen nature,
is yet in God's sight as perfect in Christ, « as if he were entirely without it; be
cause he is wholly absolved from it, and it is not imputed to him: the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth him from all sin. This is the doctrine of the book of God. And in the union of the believer with Christ and in interest in and communion with him in his death is founded his complete mortification. And all the strength which he receives from Christ to inortify sin in its fruits and effects is the effect of it. The believer from the word and spirit learns to know that he is accepted in the beloved, -that he is beloved by the Father with the same love, wherewith Christ is loved,—that we appear in his view, and are in his sight, what Jesus is, and are justified, and freely, fully, and irrevocably pardoned. From the spiritual beliet of these eternal truths the whole body of sin inherent in him receives its death-wound; which will one day, viz. at the disunion of soul and body by death, end in his complete deliverance from it, so that he will be as truly without sin in him as Christ himself. The believer is led by the Holy Spirit to see that all exhortations con
cerning mortification of sin in the word are built on these gospel truths, as their foundation; and finds in real experience, that nothing saves him from the love, power, guilt, and dominion of sin, so much as the knowledge and belief of his perfect deliverance from the guilt and filth of the whole body of sin by virtue of his union with and interest in CHRIST JESUS. As the believer hath, in the light of the Holy Spirit, a clear knowledge and belief of his union with Jesus, he is led to seek intimate fellowship with him. And, as this is carried on by the Holy Spirit in the believer's mind, sin dies, corruptions are subdued, and he experiences the truth of this apostolic assertion, that “ They that are “ Christ's have crucified the flesh with “ the affections and lusts.” They were first crucified in Christ, as they were nailed to the cross with him. And they are crucified in the believer by virtue of.. Christ's death. The influences of which are put forth in the soul through the gracious energy of the Lord the Spirit; which the believer gives open evidence and manifestative proof of by his putting off the old man with his deeds. The apostle, liaving set forth the true and perfect mortification of sin. in. Christ; and shewn how the believer is dead to