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deserves the punishment of sorrow and death which God has laid upon it--and we must also acknowledge, that the only way of escaping from the bondage of that corrupt life, is by getting quit of it, or by shedding it out; but this we could not do, without another principle of life within us, in the strength of which we might do it, and yet survive. To bring this principle of life, the eternal life, into the whole race, so as to be within the reach of every man, was the work of the root, and He effected it by shedding out the life which belongs to the flesh and blood, in which he along with the other children of the family partook ; and to receive this principle of life, thus brought within their reach, so that it should become their own life, is that co-operation which is required of all men, and in which their trial consists, and which they can only effect by consenting in like manner to the shedding out of the corrupt life of the flesh, in the strength of the new principle.
The root does important things for the tree, but in doing them, it is not a substitute for the tree,nor is its action intended to dispense with the cooperating action of the branches. It commences a process, which they are to carry on, in the power communicated to them through it. They could not have commenced the process, but the root by commencing it, has put it in their power to carry it on.
Our Great Root received the sap for us, in saying, “Not my will, but thine be done;" that is, by dying to the will of the flesh, and consenting to the punishment laid on the flesh,-and we can receive it from him to be our life, only by following out the same process. And thus the history of Christ is not only the history of God's love in calling us to be partakers of His nature and blessedness, but is also a model of the way in which alone we can truly receive the unspeakable gift. Hence I see the oneness of meaning in the three following passages :“ If they accept of the punishment of their iniquity, then will I remember my covenant with their fathers." Levit. xxvi. 41, 42.—“The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil; so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.” Prov. xx. 30.—And, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John i. 7. The meaning of them all is the same, but the two first passages refer simply and directly to the action of the branch, whilst the third refers to the action of the root, by which the branch has been made capable of performing its action. The love which gave the root, and the spirit communicated through the root are profitable, only when they are thus received and used by the branch.
Christ did not suffer to save men from punishment, but to save them from sin, by enabling them and encouraging them to accept their medicinal punishment, that blueness of a wound which cleanseth away evil. See to this effect, 2 Cor. iv. 10-18.
In looking over the book since it has been finished, I see that I have not always kept to the same meaning of the word conscience, and that I have used it sometimes to signify the Spirit of God in man,
and sometimes to signify the man's own apprehension of the mind of the Spirit in him, which is often a very different thing. But though this is a fault in point of accuracy, I do not think that it produces any confusion in the meaning, as the context always shows which of these senses is intended.
Lastly, I should here account for the Epistle to the Ephesians not having a more distinct place given to it, amongst the passages commented on in this Work, as connected with the doctrine of Election. The fact is, that I had proposed to take it up, after going through the Epistle to the Romans; but finding that part of the work grow so much beyond what I had intended, and anticipating the same result in treating the Epistle to the Ephesians, if I should undertake it, I determined to give it up altogether, rather than to do it in a slight way.
DOCTRINE OF ELECTION, &c.
My object in this treatise is to set forth, as distinctly and simply as I can, the grounds on which I have come to the conclusion, that the doctrine of God's Election, as taught in the Bible, is altogether different from, and opposed to that which has passed under the name of the Doctrine of Election, and been received as such, by a great part of the professing church, through many ages. I know that this undertaking will appear to many nothing else than a foolish and presumptuous attempt to pry into the secret counsels of God, and to bring down to the level of man's understanding, that which he has placed above it. But God knows that this is not true. He knows that I have undertaken the exposition of this subject, only in as far as I see that it belongs not to the secret things, from which man is shut out, but to the revealed things, which man is invited and re