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art a hater of true holiness; and at the first sight of a saint there, wouldst cry out, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy! Nay, the unrenewed man, if it were possible he could go to heaven in that state, he would no otherwise go to it, than now he comes to the duties of holiness; that is, leaving his heart behind him.

Boston's Fourfold State.


11th Link.

In nature, after the birth, the child is called a son or daughter; so, spiritually, after the soul is born of God, it is pronounced a son by adoption. Christ was sent to redeem them that were under the law, "that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ." Gal, iv. 5-7.

Although adoption may seem to precede regeneration in order of nature, yet it does not in order of time: they may be distinguished, but they cannot be separated. The new name is never given till the new nature is imparted. They may be distinguished thus: Regeneration is a physical act, and gives us likeness to God in our nature: adoption, as a legal act, gives us a right to a spiritual inheritance. Regeneration makes us formally the sons of God, by conveying a principle: adoption makes us relatively his sons, by conveying a power. Charnock.

Q. What is adoption?

A. Adoption is an act of God's free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.

Q. How many sorts of sons are there?

A. There is one by generation, and another by adoption; John i. 12, 13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power

to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,

Q. What moves God to adopt any man?

A. Nothing but his free love; 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.

Q. What is the first property of adoption?

A. It is a costly relation; Gal, iv. 4. When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons,

Q. What is the second property of adoption?

A. It is an high and honourable relation; 1 John iii. 1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God,

Q. What is the third property of adoption?

A. It is a free relation on God's part; Eph. i, 4,5. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. And it makes us free; John viii. 36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, shall be free indeed.


Q. What is the fourth property of adoption?

A. It is a permanent relation; John viii, 35. The Sou abideth in

the house for ever.

Q. What is the first privilege of the adoption?

A. They have an interest in God, as children in a Father; 2 Cor, vi. 18. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,

Q. What is the second privilege?

A. Seasonable and sanctified afflictions; Heb. xii, 6. He scourg eth every son whom he receiveth,

Q. What is the third privilege?

A. The attendance and ministry of angels; Heb, i. 14. Are they

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not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Q. What is the fourth privilege?

A. The assistance of the Spirit in prayer; Rom. viii. 15. For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. And God's audience of their prayers; 1 John v. 14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he beareth us.

Q. What use should we make of this?

A. It teacheth us to carry ourselves as children to our heavenly Father. 1. In our imitation of him; Eph. v. 1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. 2. In our submission to him; Heb. xii. 9. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, who corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? 3. In our dependance on him; Matt. v. 32. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

Flavel's Exposition of the Assembly's Catechism.

The word Adoption signifies that act, by which a person takes the child of another not related to him, into the place, and entitles him to the privileges, of his own son. In the Grecian and Roman states, it was customary for a man of wealth, in default of issue from his own body, to make choice of some person upon whom to put his name, requiring him to relinquish his own family, never to return to it again, and to proclaim him publicly his heir. The person thus adopted was legally entitled to the inheritance upon the decease of his adopter; and though before he was entirely void of all claim to such a benefit, or any expectation of it, was invested with the same privileges as if he had been born an heir to his benefactor.

Mr. Venn's Complete Duty of Man.

That spiritual and divine adoption, about which we treat, is God's gracious admission of strangers and aliens into the state, relation, and enjoyment of all the privileges of children, through Jesus Christ : according to that glorious promise of the New Covenant, "I will be

a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." 2 Cor. vi. 18.

Reconciliation, justification, and adoption, may be thus distinguished:-In reconciliation, God is considered as the Sovereign Lord and the injured party, and the sinner as an enemy to him. In justification, our Maker sustains the character of the supreme Judge, and man is considered as a guilty criminal standing before his tribunal. In adoption, the Source of all mercies appears as a Father, and the apostate sons of Adam as aliens from him, as belonging to the family of Satan, and denominated children of wrath. In reconciliation, we are made friends; in justification, we are pronounced righteous; and in adoption we are constituted heirs, and have a declared right to the eternal inheritence. Booth's Reign of Grace.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the power and privilege to become the sons of God; John i. 12. Eph. i. 5. derived unto us from Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became by incarnation our brother, that by him God might bring many sons and daughters unto glory. Heb. ii. 10. What are the benefits that flow to us from our adoption? Some are private immunities, and freedom from many grievances. As, 1. We are freed from the slavery of sin; Rom. vi. 14. 2. From condemnation; Rom. viii. 1. 3. From all slavish fears and terrors; Rom. viii. 15. "We have not received the spirit of bondage to fear, but the spirit of adoption." 4. From the law; not ceremo nial only, (Gal. v. 1.) but moral: freed, I mean, from the curse of it; freed from the condemning power of it; freed from the coaction and compulsion of it; freed from the rigorous exaction and inex orable demands of it, as it is a covenant of works: but not freed from the doctrine of holiness contained in it. The justified and and adopted are every way freed from the law, as it was an enemy against us; but not freed, as it is our guide and director, containing the rule of God's holy will. Our sonship doth not free us from service, but from slavery; not from boliness, but to holiness. There is a free service, which befits the condition of a son. God's service is perfect freedom,


Some are positive dignities. As, 1. Free access to the throne of grace, that we may come to God in prayer, as to a Father; Gal. iv. 6. Rom. viii. 15. 2. We have an interest in God's particular and special providence; 2 Cor. vi. 8, &c. 3. We by our adoption have a free and sanctified use of all God's creatures restored, the right unto which we forfeited in Adam; for no man hath any spiritual right to any thing, or a sanctified use of God's creatures, until he be in covenant with God in Christ, and made a son and heir with him; and then all things are his; 1 Cor. iii. 21. Rom. viii. 32, 4. From adoption flows all Christian joy; which is called the joy in the Holy Ghost; Rom. xiv. 17. unspeakable and glorious; 1 Pet. i. 8, 9. Rom. v. 2. For the Spirit of adoption is, 1. A witness Rom. viii, 16. 2. A seal; Eph. iv. 30. 3. The pledge and earnest of our inheritance; Eph. i. 14. settling a holy security in the soul, whereby it rejoiceth, even in affliction, in hope of glory.


Archbp. Usher's Body of Divinity-1650. Beloved, it is another thing than the world imagines it to be (i. e. adoption). He that hath this Spirit, is mighty in prayer; he is able to wrestle with God, as Jacob did, by the Spirit of adoption; he has power with God; he is able to prevail with the Lord; and why? because he can speak to him as to a father; he can “continue in prayer, and watch thereunto with all perseverance;" he can speak to him, as one that he is well acquainted with; he can not only speak remissly, but he can cry, Abba, Father; that shows fervency in his prayer: there is no man in the world that is able to do it besides. Preston's Sermons-1621. That believers are the children of God, the scriptures expressly declare. They may be so called, as they are begotten and born from above; as they stand in a marriage-relation to Christ; and as they are adopted into the heavenly family. These different ways in which the scripture speaks of their filial relation to God, are intended to aid our feeble conceptions, when we think upon the grand, ineffable blessing; one mode of expression supplying in some degree the ideas that are wanting in another. To express the origin of spiritual life, and the restoration of the divine image, we are said to be born of God. To set forth, in the liveliest manner, our most intimate and

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