What a mercy it is for God’s people that before they have a ‘vital union’ with Christ—before they are grafted into Him experimentally—they have an ‘eternal, immanent union’ with Him before all worlds. It is by virtue of this eternal union that they come into the world—at such a time, at such a place, from such parents, under such circumstances—as God has appointed.
It is by virtue of this eternal union that the circumstances of their lives are ordained. By virtue of this eternal union they are preserved in Christ before they are effectually called. They cannot die until God has brought about a vital union with Christ! Whatever sickness they may pass through—whatever injuries they may be exposed to—whatever perils assault them on sea or land—die they will not, die they cannot—until God’s purposes are executed in bringing them into a vital union with the Son of His love.
Thus, this eternal union watched over every circumstance of their birth—watched over their childhood—watched over their manhood—watched over them until the appointed time and spot, when “the God of all grace,” according to His eternal purpose, was pleased to quicken their souls, and thus bring about an experimental union with the Lord of life and glory. – J. C. Philpot