Upon a Graft
It was an ancient saying of the Rabbins, that the Divine Light does never descend without some clothing. While we are veiled with mortality, truth must veil itself too, that it may be better suited to our capacity — for in this imperfect estate, truth’s native luster is too excessive for our weak eyes, and its spiritual being too refined for our narrow understandings, which do imbibe and take in their objects by meditation of the sense with which they have contracted a league of amity.
Observable therefore it is, that in Scripture the highest and most divine mysteries of the Gospel are embodied in the terrene (earthly) expressions of metaphors, similitudes, and allegories, and so are represented to our view.
Thus, the efficacy and secrecy of the new birth is set forth by the wind’s blowing when and where it lists (desires). The resurrection of the body by corn sown, which is not quickened (made alive) unless it die. The glory of heaven by a marriage feast.
And among others, our mystical union with Christ by the incision of a graft into a foreign stock, which aptly shows forth the entire dependence we have upon Christ, without whom we can do nothing, and how also we that are at a distance from him are truly made one with him.
But methinks, it is a matter of delight and wonderment to see how much spiritual implantation out-goes the natural. In the natural, sweet grafts are advised to be in sour stocks, for though it be proper to the to be the conveyance of nourishment, yet the quality of the juice comes from the graft, and not from the stock.
But in the spiritual, it is quite otherwise: the graft is vile and worthless, but the root to which it is united is precious. The scion of a crab apple is put into a tree life; the wild olive into the true olive, and is thereby so changed as that it can no more degenerate into what it was, but shall forever abide what the almighty power of grace has made it to be, a branch of righteousness bringing forth the fruits of obedience to the glory of him who has made this blessed change.