the subject with a solemn inference: THIS IS A GREAT MYSTERY. Some refer this mystery wholly to
marriage. But the words which immediately follow, ascertain the object to which he primarily alludes;
"I speak concerning Christ and the church."
The UNION between Christ and the Church is mysterious. It comprehends something which is covered or hidden, as the term signifies. It is
known to exist, and his people glory in it, as an inestimable benefit of the covenant of grace, and the
highest honor that can be conferred upon creatures. But what the essential nature and extent of this union are, or what it fully comprises, is to them a great mystery.
The vulgate translation has improperly rendered the original word by the term sacramentum, which suggested the idea to the Church of Rome, that marriage
was a sacrament; and they according introduced it as one, among the five sacraments they have arbitrarily fabricated. But it has none of the properties
peculiar to a sacrament. It is common to the whole world, and not restricted to the Christian Church - This singular construction of marriage, furnishes among many others,
a palpable contradiction in the creed of the Catholicks. They extol marriage as an institution so sacred and divine, that it must be received
and consummated as a holy sacrament; and yet approach it as the filthy works of the flesh, indecent, and improper for such as profess extraordinary piety, and wholly
forbidden to those who are devoted to the offices of the Church.
Every believer is united to Christ. This is no metaphor; nor is it merely an union by
covenant, by mutual affection, or common interest. It is actual and real. As the branches are really united
to the vine, and the members are really united to the head, so all the children of God are really united to their Saviour. - The reality of this union with
Christ, is the basis upon which his representation of them as their surety, and the imputation of his righteousness to them for their justification, necessarily
rest. - Upon this also their spiritual life, their sanctification, and perserverance in grace, wholly depend.
There is as truly and essentially an union between the LAST ADAM and every one of his redeemed family, as there is between the FIRST ADAM and all
his posterity; but it is not produced in the same way. The bond of union with the first Adam is natural propagation, the bond of union with the last, is his Spirit.
"The last Adam is a quickening spirit," 1 Cor. xv. 45. The spirit of Christ dwells and abides in all believers. This makes them alive,
and constitutes them ONE with him. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." - "I will put my spirit within you," Ezek. xxxvi. 37. - "If any