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of God is made unto us wisdom and he was bruised for our iniquities; the righteousness, and sanctification, and chastisement, whereby our peace was redemption." Similarly, Romans, v. 18, effected, was upon him and by his “ Therefore, as by the offence of one, stripes we are healed; all we like judgment came upon all men to con- sheep have gone astray ;
we have demnation, even so by the righteous-turned every one to his own way, and ness of one, the free gift came upon the Lord hath laid upon him, or caused all men unto justification of life.” St. to meet upon him, the iniquity of us Pauls tell us that this was the habitual all.” Again, says St. Peter, “
“ who object of bis faith. See Phil. iii. 8 and himself bare our sins in his own body on 9, “ Yea, doubtless, and I count all the tree by whose stripes we are healed;" things but loss for the excellency of thus, then, is this two-fold righteousthe knowledge of Christ Jesus, my ness of Christ, his legal obedience, Lord, that I may be found in him, rendered to the commandments of the not having my own righteousness holy law of God, and his passive obewhich is of the Law, but that which dience when he endured the penalty through the faith of Christ.” Nor was and curse of the law, are both imputed this the hope of the New Testament to the believer in the act of justification. believers merely. See Jeremiah, xxiii. The passive righteousness of his suf6, where the Prophet, speaking offerings is the atonement whereby his Christ, says, “This is the name where sins are blotted out, and the legal disby he shall be called, the Lord our obedience of Christ is by imputation, righteousness.” The Psalmist was per- his positive righteousness whereby he fectly acquainted with the same mode receives a title to a happy immortality. of justification; see Psalm lxxi. 16, I promised, THIRDLY, to show, that “I will go in the strength of the Lord FAITH OR TRUST IN CHRIST IN THE God; I will make mention of his
BELIEVER IS, AS IT WERE, THE INSTRUrighteousness, and of his only.” Isaiah MENT, WHEREBY THESE BENEFITS ARE too regards it as the hope of the whole RECEIVED. There is no point respectchurch; Isaiah, xl. 24, 25, “Surely ing which it is more important to have shall one say, in the LORD have I distinct views than this; this importrighteousness and strength—in the ance is derived not merely from the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be nature of the subject, which is no less justified and glorified.”
than that of our salvation, but also beFrom these passages, it is clear that cause a time is coming, when, either the legal obedience of the Lord Jesus by affliction or death, our principles will Christ is imputed to the believer in be thoroughly tried and shaken, and in the act of justification. But the suf- such times it is of great consolation to ferings of Christ, consisting of all those know on what ground we stand; the griefs, insults, and provocations, which time of affliction of any kind is not fahe endured through life, and especially vourable to the investigation of such from the pains of body and sorrows of subjects, our attention is so absorbed mind amid which he departed out of then in our immediate trial, as not to the world, are equally also imputed to admit of being profitably directed to the believer ; that is to say, the Al- the study of religion, or we may be almighty Father regards the illustration together disabled by the pressure of of his holiness thus made, as if it had calamity, or by the shock of approachbeen made by the actual sufferings of ing death. Permit me then now briefly the curse of his law in the person of to offer you a few remarks, which may sinners themselves. Isaiah, liii. “He tend to administer stability of hope and was wounded for our transgressions, | comfort, whenever the hour may come.
Observe, then, thatjustification, orthe belief is exhibited under the idea of imputation of the active and passive not receiving Christ. Faith then conobedience of Christ by God, is a free do- sists in receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, nation of mercy. Rom. iii. 24, “Be- as he is yet before us in the Gospel as ing justified freely by his grace through our righteousness and atonement. the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Faith also is set forth in the ScripIt is as we have before seen, “ to him tures under the idea of looking to that worketh not but believeth in Christ. “Look unto me and be re him that justifieth the ungodly, that saved all ye ends of the earth.” the his faith is accounted unto him for Redeemer also conveys the nature of righteousness ;” “not by works of faith under the same terms ; " As righteousness which we have done, but | Moses lifted up the serpent in the according to his mercy he saved us." wilderness, even so must the Son of
Observe next, that justification is Man be lifted up, that whosoever bereceived on the part of the believer by lieveth in him should not perish, but faith, which faith is also given him by have everlasting life.” the Holy Spirit of God. See Rom. iii.
In both these instances the persons, 28, Therefore, we conclude that a directed to look unto the LORD, are man is justified by faith without the represented in a lost state, when the deeds of the law. This doctrine per- inhabitants of the earth are directed vades the Scriptures. By grace, or to look to Christ, it necessarily follows, favour, or gratuitously, or for nothing that they are in that condition. This ye are saved, through faith, and that is very strongly illustrated in the case not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. of the Israelites. Bitten by the fiery For a proof that our church is in serpents, numbers of the people pe. this respect also built upon the foun- rished, till at the command of God, dation of the Apostles, see the eleventh they turned their eyes to a serpent of Article entitled, “Of the justification brass erected upon a pole, and straightof man.” We are accounted righteous way they recovered. Now, says the before God, only for the merits of our Redeemer, “as Moses lifted up the serLord and Saviour Jesus Christ by pent in the wilderness, even so must faith, and not for our own works or de- the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoservings. “Wherefore, that we are soever believeth in him should not pejustified by faith only, is a most whole- rish.” Faith then is that act of the some doctrine and very full of comfort.” soul whereby they, who are hopeless,
But now another most important helpless, and lost in themselves, do in question is, what is that faith in the a way of expectation and trust seek merits of Christ whereby, as by an for help and relief in Christ. In a instrument, we are justified. How is similar manner, it is represented as it defined and distinguished, for un- coming to Christ. “Come unto me less we entertain right views respect all ye that labour and are heavy la. ing it, we can never possess it, and den.” “Him that cometh unto me I except we possess it, we can not be will in no wise cast out.” He who justified and saved. He that believeth has been convinced of sin hath enin the Son of God hath life, and he dured something of its burden and that believeth not the Son hath not desires to flee from its guilt and power, life. With regard to the nature of when he hears the voice of Christ sayfaith, it appears to me simply to being, “Come unto me, I will give you that act of the whole soul whereby a rest," and thus goes out of himself by sinner, convinced of sin, goes wholly a total renunciation of his own duties out of himself to rest upon Godin Christ as a ground of hope, and betakes himfor mercy, pardon, lise, righteousness, self entirely to Christ for pardon of sin and salvation, with an entire acquies and for acceptation with God, does in cence of heart.
Hence, you fre- the scriptural sense of the term, believe quently find set before us in Scrip-in Christ—he comes to Christ as to a ture, under the idea of receiving chief corner stone, and is built up on Christ-John, i. 12, “To as many him as on the foundation laid in Zion. as received him, to them gave he
Again, faith is also expressed under power to become the sons of God;" the idea of flying for refuge-Heb. vi. so in a great number of passages un
18, “Who have fled for refuge to the
** If ye,
hope set before them.” Hence, one of | rally, and upbraideth not. the ancients defined faith to be the being evil,” said Jesus, “know how to flight of the soul unto Christ for deli- give good gifts to your children, how verance from sin and misery. Such a much more shall my heavenly Father man is convinced of his lost estate, give the Holy Spirit to them that ask and that if he abide therein he must him.” Be assured, that although every perish ; that he possesses nothing in moral power within you, and almost himself whereby he may be delivered every affection within you, feel as if from it-that he must betake himself scathed and powerless through the into some one else for relief, and for this fluence of sin, He knows the bitterpurpose he considers Christ and his ness of your regret, He hears the feeble work, as proposed to him in the Gos-moan of your spirit lamenting that the pel. He is enabled to perceive that it spring of its love to Christ and God is is becoming the divine character, even dried up, and He will not withhold the infinitely honourable to Him, and he communication of his grace, according Aieth to Him as to the hope set before to his promises; he will come down him-he looks unto Christ and is like the dew, and like showers upon saved-he runneth into the name, that the new-mown grass. is, the character of the Redeemer, and By way of conclusion I shall conis safe. And it must be observed, that sider the subject of justification through they, who thus apply by faith to the the imputed merits of Christ, as the Son of God, do confess themselves to be source of joy, as the source of love, pcor, lost, hopeless, desolate, and they as the source of obedience. do believe that in the Lord they have First, let it be considered as the righteousness, strength, wisdom, and source of joy. Joy, you are aware, sanctification : thus is the nature of my brethren, is an emotion of the faith familiarly explained in the Scrip- mind, consisting, in the highest detures.
gree, of complacency and exultation Before I close this head, permit me, upon the discovery of some supposed my brethren, to ask you, all and each, benefit. We are familiar with the af. affectionately yet earnestly, do you fection as it respects the concerns of think you possess this faith thus de- life, may I hope that we are in some scribed. It is, I beg you to remember, by measure so as it respects the concerns faith that you are justified, and by faith of our souls and the views of eternity. only : the question is not unimportant, These joys are as real, they rest upon not merely formal, but the mere ask- objects as certain, as any of the taning you it once more, effects another gible things around us. To you, then, change in your actual condition in the who have by faith been enabled to sight of God.
discern, and to rest in the work of To those of you who do not yet feel Christ thus exhibited in the Gospel, I that Christ is in the terms described, would say, rejoice in the Lord; and, the foundation of your hope who feel again, I say rejoice. You have found still a great deficiency of faith, who the pearl of great price which has enare conscious merely of a sort of un- riched you for eternity; you have beeasy conviction of your need, but who come possessed of durable riches, the have not yet entirely renounced all contemplation and enjoyment of which, hope as arising from within your- as you go along, shall be a well of selves, permit me to observe that faith peace, and a spring of consolation in is the gift of God. You may, it is the desert. The Almighty Father retrue, use many subordinate means for gards you as in his Son, and as posobtaining it; you may read the Scrip- sessing, by means of this union, the tures, meditate, hear sermons. This same moral beauty and fulness which you should do, for faith cometh by he regards in Christ himself as mehearing. Nevertheless, my brethren, diator. You know he was sin for you, place your primary reliance upon God that you might become the righteousfor the communication of his grace. ness of God in him ; venture, then, God is the father of lights, from whom upon the enjoyment of these truths, cometh every good and perfect gift. launch forth upon the depths of the If any man lack wisdom, let him ask divine promises made to all that trust of God, who giveth to all men libe- 1 in Christ. Adopt the language of the Church expressed by Isaiah, lxi. 10., applied in the most absolutely free “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, manner, justified freely, and termimy soul shall be joyful in my God: nating in the most glorious results. for he hath clothed me with the gar.. “Whom he justified them he sanctified ments of salvation; he hath covered --whom he santctified them he glorime with the robe of righteousness as a fied.” What instance of forgiveness can bridegroom decketh himself with orna- be compared for freeness, fullness, and ments, and as a bride adorneth herself extensiveness, to this? what subject, with jewels.” What, then, shall we therefore, is replete with so many insay to these things if God be for us, ducements to love? We love Him who can be against us? He that spared because He loved us : thither, then, not his own Son, but freely delivered my dear believing hearers, direct your him up for us all, how shall he not, view-regard this counsel of mercy, with Him, also freely give us all behold the character of God unveiled, things ? Who shall lay any thing to and lo it is unmingled loveliness and the charge of God's elect? It is God compassion; approach-possess it, for that justifieth ; who is he that con- it is all thy own. demneth? It is Christ that died, yea, Lastly, contemplate this subject as rather, that is risen again, who is the source of obedience: “If ye love even at the right hand of God-who me, keep my commandments.” This also maketh intercession for us—who is an universal argument, and never shall separate us?
yet was found the human heart that Consider this subject as a source of could withstand it. The service of love. In Luke, vii. we are told that Si- those whom we entirely love is perfect mon, the pharisee, when the Lord con- freedom, perfect enjoyment. descended to be his guest, censured him If we could be supposed perfectly to for permitting a poor outcast woman love God, to approve and delight in his to come and to anoint him with oint- character, our whole soul would be dement. Christ knew his thoughts, and voted to him in the most unceasing said, “Simon, I have somewhat to say and universal obedience. Neither is to thee :” and he said, “ Master, say there any source of real obedience but
“ There was a certain creditor this. You may compel unwilling obewhich had two debtors, the one owed dience of the body, as you may compel him five hundred pence, the other fifty; a slave; by menaces and sufferings you and when they had nothing to pay he may procure the obedience of terror, frankly forgave them all; tell me, which arising out of a dread of consequences, of them will love him most:" He re- but never will the heart obey—and this plied, “I suppose he to whom he for- is the obedience God requires--till the
Jesus answered, “thou love of God is shed abroad therein by hast well said." Here, the Redeemer the Holy Ghost. teaching that forgiveness, confers pe- Let, then, my dear hearers, your culiar obligation and awakens peculiar chief endeavour be to grow in the love love, and that love is proportioned to of God, and to be de perfect in love the degree of guilt committed.
to Him. For this purpose read your This just and solid principle may be Bible, and you will there behold the applied with admirable effect to the divine character exhibited in the most subject before us. Here we behold a attractive manner. “God is love." I scheme suggested by the pure, un- love myself in that ineffable ocean of merited love of the divine persons of benevolence, God is love! My every the Godhead, undertaken prospectively fear is dissipated by that one word, before we were conscious of our need, God is love. From that one truth a accomplished by an inconceivable ex- light is diffused over the valley of the ertion of benevolence, even the degra- shadow of death, and gilds the prosdation and sufferings of Christ, and ' pects of eternity.
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2 Timothy, xi. 12.—“ It is a faithful saying, For if we be dead with him we shall also
live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us.
If the present world were the only one I laugh at their declamations, and call in which we have any interest—if con- their doctrines romantic fables. Free fined within the limits of time, which from the apprehension of Divine judgmay terminate any hour, we had no- ment and human accountableness, they thing to expect beyond the tomb—if would tread in security the broad ways death were to be the end of all, and the of ungodliness, and plunge without soul were mortal like the body, alike control into every sensual indulgence. to be consigned for ever to the dust- But the still small voice of unbiased if the breath which God breathed into reason, and, in our solemn text, the man were not an emanation from his louder and more certain voice of inspi. Eternal Spirit, a living soul which will ration, infalliable as the Spirit that survive the wreck of matter and the wrote it-point to an hereafter—a fucrush of worlds, the Gospel which we ture world, big with horror and conare sent to preach would be a dead fusion to the hardened and remorseless letter, and we should entirely de- sinner, against whom the gates of the spair of carrying on the work of blessed mansions will be shut; “ If we conversion among our hearers, because deny the Son of God, the Son of God the motives to holiness and virtue will deny us.” drawn from the consideration of fu- And if the wicked require judgments ture rewards and punishments would and threatnings to warn them of their be void of life and energy. The minis- danger, and snatch them from the ters of religion might go forth in the flames of eternal indignation, so do the might of argument, and the power of righteous stand in need of mercies and eloquence; but they would want the promises to smooth the rugged stages Spirit of God which alone can give the of mortality, and encourage them to increase. When the most gifted go on passive and content towards the successor of the Apostles should insist end of their sufferings and the crown each hallowed day upon the deep of their rejoicing. Yes Christiansthings of God, and call His terrors to and here we all sail in the same their aid, sinners and infidels might frail bark, and have to pass through