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but Christ and the Gospel to direct them, we shall be satisfied of this great truth, that by works no man can be justified; and, consequently, that by works no man can be delivered from death. The heathen who have not the law of God, but only those faint traces of it, which constitute what is termed the light of nature, are convicted by their own consciences of a want of conformity to that standard of rectitude, which they mentally propose to themselves, as indispensable to their safety ; whilst those who have the moral law as a rule of life,as a standard to which their actions are to be conformed, if they are not blinded by pride, and carnality, and prejudice, must admit, in the language of our excellent Liturgy, “that they have done those things which they ought not to have done, and left undone those things which they ought to have done." And were we to grant for argument's sake, that some of the actions of natural men are righteous, this admission would avail them nothing; for if a man were to observe the law in ninetynine instances, and transgress it in the hundredth, he would be obnoxious to death, as the wages of his sin. But, unavailing as this admission would be, Scripture precludes us from making it. Some of the actions of unconverted men may have the semblance of righteousness; but the Spirit of God declares, even of these, that they are defiled in the sight of God,—that they are as the whited sepulchres of the ancients, which outwardly were heavenly, but inwardly were full of corruption. This language may to some appear harsh: yet is in unison with the 13th Article, which says of works done before justification : “ Yea, rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.” In the Homily for Whitsunday, the Church of England employs even stronger language, declaring, that “man of his own nature, is fleshly and carnal, corrupt and naughty, sinful and disobedient to God, without any spark of goodness in him, without any virtuous or godly motion, only given to evil thoughts and wicked deeds." The righteousness of such a being, therefore, whatever it may arrogate, cannot possibly deliver from death.

Once more, it is not any righteousness implanted in man by the Spirit of God, which delivereth from death. I grant, that the good actions of the man who has partaken of the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, inasmuch as they spring from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and are done to the glory of God, are pleasant to God. Yet even the righteousness of the true convert is so defective, that he can challenge nothing on account of it: for though he would do good, evil is oft present with him; so that the good that he would do, he does not, and the evil that he would not do, he does. No one, perhaps, was ever more conformed to Him in whom was no unrighteousness, than the Apostle Paul. He labored more abundantly than any of the Apostles : he fought, not as one that beat the air, but as one determined to win : yet he himself declared, that he desired to be found, not having his own righteousness which was of the law, but a better righteousness, of which we shall hereafter speak. If, then, the implanted righteousness of Paul could not deliver from death, much less can that of any other saint of God.

What then, is that righteousness which delivereth from death ?St. Paul, in Romans v. 21, tells us “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so hath grace reigned through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord;” whilst, in Romans v. 19, he says, “as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” From these passages, we see, that as sin hath reigned unto death, so grace hath reigned unto eternal life: but we are taught at the same time that it has reigned through righteousness; and that this righteousness is the obedience of Jesus Christ our Lord. The righteousness, therefore, which delivereth from death, and conferreth eternal life, is neither inherent, nor wrought out by man, nor yet implanted in man, but, a righteousness which is by Jesus Christ; so that though he who has come unto Christ, and hath life, and shall not come into condemnation, feels that in many things he offends, and that his daily suit to Almighty God must ever be, “ Pardon my offences, and bear with my short comings,” yet being found in Christ, he is accounted righteous before God, yea, the righteousness of God.

Let us endeavour to ascertain, secondly, how this righteousness, called in Scripture the righteousness of God, cometh to deliver mankind from death. Here it will be needful for me to enter into some details. All men having sinned, and come short of the glory of God, it followed as a necessary consequence, that death, the penalty of sin, likewise passed upon all men. And since God is a Being with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, it is self-evident that this penalty could not be remitted, until sin had been signally punished, and the divine attributes, justice, truth, and holiness, fully satisfied. Some short-sighted mortals, overlooking the immutability of God, have contended, that the Deity would have acted in a way more worthy of himself had He freely and gratituously pardoned his apostate creature, man. Such short-sighted reasoners may, however, lay aside this unseasonable concern for God's honor; for He is a jealous God: He will be no less glorified in the punishment of sin, than in the salvation of the sinner. The immutability of God thus requiring the exaction of the penalty to which man through transgression had become liable, divine wisdom devised a plan whereby full satisfaction might be made to od, and man, notwithstanding, be delivered from death. For a long season this plan remained in some


a hidden mystery. The sacrifices which apostate men from the earliest period were taught to offer up, and which intimated that without shedding of blood there could be no remission of sins, did, indeed, give some obscure intimations of it to mankind,-intimations sufficient to direct the honest and good inquirer to the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world in the purposes of God, in the types which directed mankind to Him, and in the writings of the prophets; but the plan was not fully developed, until the Son of God assumed the human body prepared for Him, and came, as the Surety of apostate man, to do the Father's will. Putting himself in the place, and stead of fallen man, He, not only undertook to do what man had failed to perform, but to endure what man was required to suffer. Scripture testifies that Christ satisfactorily fulfilled his mediatorial engagements. Being made sin for us, He bore the penalty of sin. A life of sorrow, and that sorrow so surpassing that we may truly say, “never was sorrow like unto his sorrow," was closed by the painful and ignominious death of the cross. Being made the Surety of sinful men, He fulfilled all righteousness for them: yea, a life of obedience so perfect, that neither friend nor enemy, neither man nor spirit, could detect any flaw in it, attested, that one, made under the law, had fulfilled the law, and not allowed one tittle of it to fall to the ground. Thus the Lord Jesus by his active and passive obedience, not only made reconciliation for iniquity, but brought in an everlasting righteousness,not only expiated the outrage done unto the law, but became the end of the law for righteousness. And the Lord Jesus did all this, that men might be made the righteousness of God in Him: yea, that his righteousness being accounted theirs, and put upon them, might deliver them from death.

But who are they whom this righteousness delivereth from death? It does not, my brethren, deliver all men indiscriminately. I grant, indeed, that Christ, by the one oblation of himself once offered, has made a full, perfect, and sufficient satisfaction for all sin, whether actual or original—for the sin of the whole world. But this admission is not equivalent to saying that the Lord will deliver from death every particular person comprehended in that world, for the sin of which He has made such ample satisfaction. No: the marriage supper is prepared: the oxen and fatlings are killed : every thing, in short, is ready for the salvation of an apostate world; but when men are called unto it, they make light of the invitation,—they will not come unto Christ that they may have life. I do not say that the purpose of God is frustrated by the perverseness of man, for a seed shall serve the Lord, and be counted unto Him for a generation; but I may say, that the perverseness of man fully explains why the whole world is not saved, even though the Lord Jesus was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. Who then are they whom the righteousness of God delivers from death? It delivers those only, who by faith are incorporated into, and made one with Christ. To them who are in Christ Jesus, that is, to them who have received Him as the propitiation for their sins, and the Lord their righteousness, there is no condemnation : He has paid their ransom, and delivered them from death : He has been made sin for them, and they are made the righteousness of God in Him.

That judicious divine, Hooker, in his celebrated Sermon on justification, has this striking passage bearing on the subject under consideration : “Christ has merited righteousness for as many as are found in Him. In Him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated into Christ. Then although in ourselves we be altogether unrighteous and sinful, yet even the

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