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This holy resolution is formed not merely from necessity, but from a conviction of the honor, delight, and immortal glory, which await the followers of the Lamb. If, then, there was no voice of justice pronouncing the woe of sin ; if there were no fiery prisons of wrath, and regions of everlasting despair : -still, the soul which had been taught of God would behold Jesus as “ the chiefest among ten thousand, and altogether lovely ;" and pant after him as its only satisfying portion, and its "exceeding great reward." In the rapturous language of the Psalmist it would exclaim, “ Whom have I in Heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire beside thee ?" If, when the world offers to its votaries the enchantments of pleasure, the splendors of wealth, or the dazzling honors of exalted station and power, they readily resolve to grasp the delusive prize—how much more shall they who have been taught to make a due estimate of things, whose views extend to both worlds, who know that the service of God is rational and delightful, who have by faith seen the glory of the LORD's Christ, and who believe that an interest in his merits will secure to them a bliss, large beyond measure, and permanent as the days of Heaven-how much more shall they, through good and evil report, and in all varieties of condition, firmly resolve to lay hold upon the “inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away."
My Christian brethren, is your resolution to be for Christ, to continue in his exalted service, to follow him as faithful disciples, habitual and predominant ? Especially, when you have been delivered from some impending danger, or fiery temptation; when, through grace, your faith is unexpectedly strengthened ; or, when " the love of God is shed abroad” abundantly in your hearts ; do you not, with renewed ardor, cleave to your adorable Savior ? Does not his faithful remembrance of you, make him doubly precious in your sight? When the unbelief of Thomas was succeeded by faith, and he saw and recognized the crucified Savior as arisen, his full heart could sacrcely express his gratitude and joy. He can but exclaim, “ My LORD, and my God!"
Amid his wonder and delight, he appropriates the blessed Redeemer to his soul; and feels, what Peter declares in the text, an unconquerable resolution never to forsake him.
When the LORD
made all his goodness pass before his servant Moses, and proclaimed his name, “ The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin ;” overcome with the wonderful manifestation of Jeho. vah's love, he made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped ;” and having received large draughts of heavenly delight, he pants for the full fruition of God, and cries out, “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.”
Such, in some measure, have been the exercises of thy soul, O Christian, when Jesus and his benefits have, in a peculiar manner, been manifested unto thee. What though false disciples go back to their folly, and walk no more with the Savior; what though multitudes never even profess his name; and but a little flock,-insignificant and contemptible, in the eye of the world, be left to follow the good Shepherd; wilt thou not still repeat the profession, and make the holy resolution of the faithful few, “LORD, to whom shall I go? Thou hast the words of eternal life!" Christian, thou hast made a good choice. Be not afraid nor disheartened. God has revealed unto thee the pearl of great price, and given thee faith to make it thy own. O, greatly esteem thy precious treasure. Be assured of thy interest in it. If thou hast adopted the language of the apostles; if thou art convinced of the utter insufficiency of all created means to rescue thee from ruin, and make thee an heir of eternal joys; if thou hast resolved, and dost still resolve, to receive the LORD CHRIST as all-sufficient for these glorious purposes; be encouraged. Thy merciful Redeemer casteth none out that come unto God through him. “ Supported by the power of Christ, and by thy own faith, thou shalt be safe in the midst of dangers. Without that power, thy faith will prove vain. Without thy faith, that power will not be exerted."* Come, then, and avail yourselves of this great salvation. Seek in Christ pardon and deliverance, and embrace his offered mercy. Thy faith shall be increased, thy resolutions strengthened; thy mourning shall be changed into laughter, thy darkness into day; and in “ JEHOVAH, thy Righteousness," thou "shalt be justified, and shalt glory."
* Bishop Hall.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL PULPIT.
SERMON BY THE LATE RIGHT REV. JOHN HENRY HOBART, D. D.
ON THE OFFICES OF CHRIST:
BY THE LATE RT. REV. JOHN HENRY HOBART, D. D.
Jerenciah, xxiii. 6.-—" And this is the name whereby ho shall be called- The LORD Our
The prophet, in the verses connected with my text, predicts the coming of the Messiah, and exhibits his glorious offices as King who should reign and prosper, and execute judgment and justice in the earth, in whose days Judah should be saved, and Israel dwell safely."
Of this Messiah, who “in the fulness of time” appeared in the person of Christ, my text affirms—“ This is the name whereby he shall be called — The LORD Our Righteousness”—in the idiom of the sacred language equivalent to saying-He shall be--The LORD our Righteousness. Thus where it is said of this same blessed personage, that his name shall be called Immanuel-the meaning is, that he shall be Immanuel-God with us—as when it is said—“ Jerusalem shall be called an holy city;" the meaning obviously is, Jerusalem shall be an holy city.
Thus then, my text, in calling the Messiah, Christ our Lord, Jehovah, establishes his divinity. For Jehovah is the name that denotes the essence, the infinite, eternal, and immutable nature of God; and therefore, to apply it to any created being, would be the most tremendous blasphemy. Jesus Christ then, the Messiah, is JEHOVAH_"God over all,” as stiled by the apostle.
It is my intention, however, to enlarge not on the divinity of
Christ as JEHOVAH, but on the other character ascribed to him in my text as “our Righteousness."
In what respects does CHRIST become the justifier, the righteousness of his people ? is the inquiry I mean to prosecute.
CHRIST becomes the “righteousness” of his people, of those who believe in him.
I. As their Atoning Mediator.
As their atoning Mediator, he procures the pardon of their sins. As their Lawgiver, he places them under an evangelical law, obedience to which will secure to them the favor of God. And as their Sanctifier, he impresses this law on their hearts, and enables them sincerely to obey it. He thus becomes their righteousness, completely justifies them, by freeing them from the guilt and dominion of sin, and by renewing them to holiness, thus releasing them from the wrath of God, and restoring them to his favor.
But in considering the various characters in which CHRIST becomes the righteousness of his people, it is necessary to bring into view in all these respects, his Divinity. It is this which gives full effect to his agency as our Mediator, Lawgiver, and Sanctifier. And it is this, his divine character as “ JEHOVAH,” which, in the view of all his offices, infinitely augments our duties and our encouragements.
Exhibiting then CHRIST not only in the various offices in which he becomes “our Righteousness," but in connexion with each, his divine power as JEHOVAH, I shall, I conceive, have fully exhibited him to your grateful adoration, confidence, and obedience, as " JEHOVAH our Righteousness."
I. Christ becomes the righteousness of those who believe in him-as their Atoning Mediator.
Fact, as well as Scripture, affirm the truth, that man is a fallen creature, subject to the displeasure of the infinitely good, and holy and just Being, whose laws as his Maker and Sovereign, he has transgressed, and to whom as his Judge he is accountable.
Of the Jews, on whom God bestowed the revelation of his will
in the precepts and institutions of the Law, as well as of the Gentiles, who were left to the light of natural reason and traditional religion, sad was the denunciation of the apostle.-They “ have all gone out of the way-they have altogether become unprofitable -there is none that doeth good, no not one."
The first step, therefore, in the recovery of fallen man, subject as he is, on account of his transgressions, to the displeasure of his Maker, is to free him from that penalty, by sustaining it; and to obey, and thus to satisfy the just and holy law of God, which man has violated; in other words—to make expiation for man's guilt. But how could man make this expiation ? The most perfect obedience which he could render, would only be discharging the obligations already incumbent on him, and therefore could not atone for past transgressions, nor entitle him to a release from the penalty of his Maker's wrath, which by those transgressions he had justly incurred. It is evident that man, as a sinner, must have a righteousness better, infinitely better, than his own, even that divine, all perfect righteousness of the Son of God, by which the claims of the divine law were satisfied to the uttermost, and fallen man released from its penalties.
The Son, the second person of the Godhead, “ JEHOVAH,” became “our righteousness." In our nature he became subject to that law by which we were bound, and fully obeyed it. In our nature he sustained the penalties of that law which we had transgressed, which was death; and thus the blood which he shed, became a fountain, in which the deepest stains of sin might be washed away in our nature. By virtue of his all perfect obedience and all sufficient atonement, the Son becomes vested by the Father with power as Mediator, to release from their sins all that come to him. “ If any man sin, he has an advocate with the FATHER, even Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins. Whosoever cometh unto him he will in no wise cast out."
Salvation is thus of grace, free unmerited grace, not of works, lest any man should boast. To the humble and penitent, who feel and acknowledge their subjection to sin, and flee for refuge from the wrath denounced against them to Jesus CHRIST,