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into possession of the heavenly inheritance. On him, therefore, their whole dependance must be for eternal life. There must be no dependance on their own faithfulness, but upon his power, who is able to keep them from falling. Thus looking to Jesus they shall be kept from all the hurtful snares of sin; as their day is, so shall their strength be, till the purposes of divine mercy being accomplished, they enter into everlasting rest. For these blessings, believers are to look to Jesus, and happy is their state, when a state of want and distress causes them to look to Jesus as their full and blessed portion. How comfortable their state in adversity,—how happy their state in death, how secure their eternal happiness!
But we proceed 3rdly, to shew, the encouragement which believers have to look to Jesus. Here, brethren, a delightful subject opens before us. When we consider the amazing love of Christ, as manifested in dying for their sins, and calling them by his grace, when we reflect on the tender compassion of his heart, and the promises which he hath given his people, we see that there is encouragement for the saints to look to him under all circumstances. Consider, as a ground of encouragement, the blessings which Christ has to bestow. Jesus is the treasury of heaven. Is the believer in need of comfort ? Christ has comfort to bestow. Is he in need of strength ? Christ has strength to impart. Is he in need of grace ? Christ has grace to confer. These blessings he gives freely. He delights to bestow blessings upon his people, and after all that they have received he invites them to look to him and receive grace upon grace. What encouragement then does this truth give to look to Jesus. Come then, mourning, penitent, and afflicted believer,--come then, tempted and persecuted saint, and look unto Jesus. Look off from all your trials and distresses to Jesus, and every needful blessing shall follow.
Consider also, as a ground of encouragement to look to Jesus, the tenderness of his heart. Jesus is full of compassion. He cannot behold his people exercised with trials, or oppressed by temptation, but he flies upon the wings of love to their relief. What encouragement then, is given to look to him! Is Christ full of compassion ? How then can he reject the returning penitent? How can he send the believer from his throne unblessed, uncomforted ? How can he behold him looking to him with deep penitential sorrow and gratitude, and not say, “ fear thou not, for I am with thee?” He cannot turn away from the cry of his people, for he knows he sympathizes with them under their sorrows. Look then, thou afflicted christian, to Jesus, He knoweth thy walking through the wilderness, and to you the command is given, “trust in him at all times: ye people, pour out your heart before him.”
Consider also, as a further ground of encouragement to look to Jesus, the blessings which he has conferred upon those that looked to him. How many weighed down with sorrow have looked to Jesus, and been comforted under their trials,-been enabled to adopt the language of the prophet, “ although the fig-tree shall not blossom,” &c.
-How many when surrounded with temptations, have looked to Jesus and been delivered : the snare has been broken, and their souls escaped, like a bird from the fowler.-How many, when racked with pain, have looked to Jesus and found comfort.-And is not Jesus the same? Is he not still gracious, wise, and great ? Yes - he hath still mercy for them that look to him,--still comfort to bestow,-still grace to help in-time of need. He is as much touched with the feeling of his peoples' infirmities as ever. Be of good courage then, ye humble followers of Jesus. Look to him and you shall find that he rests in his love. Ere long ye shall enter into his presence, and the promise will be fulfilled, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more sorrow, pain, or death.”
(For the Spiritual Magazine.)
THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE ELECT. « Even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of
life.”-Rom. v. 18. THE apostle in this chapter has been setting forth Adam and Christ as the two covenant heads: Adam as the head of nature, and Jesus as the head of grace and glory. And at the 18th verse he says, “therefore, as by the offence of one, (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, (Christ) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” There are three things in the text which require to be noticed: first, the wall men;" secondly, the righteousness; and thirdly, the justification.
It is absolutely necessary for us to keep our eye fixed upon the drift of the apostle in the chapter, viz. Adam, as the head of all his natural offspring, and their partaking of the effects of his offence ; and Jesus, as the head of his spiritual offspring, or seed, and their partaking of the effects of his obedience. Arminians tell us, that by the wall men,” intended in the passage, we are to understand the whole of Adam's posterity ; if so, then the whole of Adam's race, are and ever will be justified, and never can be condemned, for they are said to be justified by the righteousness of Jesus. But the word of God declares to the contrary, and the day of judgment will prove it, for on that day the Judge will separate the sheep from the goats, and will place the former on his right hand, and the latter on his left. We are told in the present day, that the goats might have been sheep if they had believed as the sheep did; but does faith make men the sheep of Christ? No: it is God's eternal purpose of grace which makes them sheep. I find they are called sheep before they are converted : “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring;" and of others (the goats) not believing because they are not his sheep, John x. 16--26. Faith manifests them to be what they ever were in Jehovah's purpose, and is the gift of God, the operation of the Spirit, and has Christ for its object.
We are to understand, those whom the Redeemer represented. when he was set up from everlasting, was made under the law, suffered upon the cross, was buried in the grave, rose again from the power of death and the grave, and ascended up to heaven and took his seat at the Father's right hand. And those whom he thus represented were chosen in him by the Father before the foundation of the world, according to his foreknowledge of them, independent of any good done by them, either of a moral or spiritual nature, Romans ix. 11. Indeed, it was impossible for Jehovah to choose his people upon the ground of their doing something good, because he eternally foresaw that they could do nothing; and what was foreseen by the eternal Three, the Redeemer declared to his followers, as without me ye can do nothing." John xy. 5. Therefore he chose them as the effect of his unmerited grace, as it is written, “even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." Rom. x. 5. And those who were thus chosen in Christ were given to him to be his bride, body, and flock, whom he accepted at the hands of the Father, and engaged to answer every charge that should be brought against them; and for these he prayed, and not for the world: “ I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me.” John xvii. 9. Jehovah in thus choosing a part of Adam's family, and giving them to Christ, has done as it pleased him, and what he has done in this respect is to stand for ever : “ My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” The number chosen cannot be either increased or diminished ; and though carnal men may fight against it and its Author, they never can overturn it. Yea, they may call their Maker's ways unjust, but he is justified by his children in this world, and on the great day of account he will justify himself before an assembled world, and will then prove that he has done right in saving some and leaving others to perish.
Secondly; we proceed to speak of “ the righteousness," by which we are to understand, the active and passive obedience of Christ in fulfilling the law, and bearing the punishment due to the sins of the elect. It is called the righteousness of God, because God the Father contrived it, God the Son wrought it out, and God the Spirit reveals it. It is called the righteousness of the law, because it is answerable to all its requirements, as it is written, “the Lord is well pleased for his righteousness sake, for he (Christ) will magnify the law and make it honourable.” Isaiah xlii. 21. Yea, he has become the end of it for righteousness to every one that believeth, Romans x. 4. It is called the righteousness of faith, because it is seen by the eye of faith, in all its dignity, glory, perfection, and suitability, and received by the hand of faith as that which clothes the naked, justifies the ungodly, and renders the worthless sinner acceptable in the sight of God. And it is imputed to all the elect, upon the ground of their union to Jesus, as Adam's sin is imputed to all his posterity, upon the ground of their union to him. Yea, he wrought it out in their name, and on their behalf; therefore it is just in the Divine Being to impute it to them:
Vol. IV.-No. 47. 2S
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness, without works.” Rom. iv. 6. And all those to whom it is imputed “are justified from all things from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Acts xiii. 39.
But we must take notice of the justification, which implies a freedom from the charge of sin, in consequence of its having been charged to the account of Christ and atoned for by him. This was represented on the yearly day of atonement, under the law, when two goats were brought before the high priest, and lots were cast upon them, in order to ascertain which was to die and which was to live, Lev, xvi. 8. which were a figure of Jesus, by whose life and death our sins are atoned for; and the casting of lots upon them was a type of the lot of God's decree falling upon him. And as the sins of Israel were confessed over the head of the goat, it was a type of our sins being laid upon Jesus as our Surety. - The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all;" (i. e.) all our sins, past, present, and to come, in consequence of which we are freed from the charge of them. “ For who shall lay any sin to the charge of God's elect,” which he has not laid to the charge of Jesus as their Surety ? “It is God that justifieth," Rom. viii, 33. Yea, justification before God implies being perfectly righteous in his sight, through the righteousness of his Son. Surely, shall one say, in the Lord Jesus have I righteousness and strength." So that the church appears before God in the spotless robe of her Husband's righteousness, and appears as righteous before God as he does, " The Lord hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, nor seen perverseness in Israel.” Numb. xxiii, 21. « For as he (Christ) is, so are we in this world.” This, perfection we have in Christ, not in ourselves, as it is written, “ye are complete in him." .
And when this unalterable blessing is revealed to and received by us, so that we can say, “therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God," &c. it does not make us think lightly of sin, and be indifferent about our moral conduct in the world; but it influences us to deny ungodliness, and to live soberly and righteously,-to adorn the doctrine of God in the world, in the church, and in our respective families. Yea, we grieve because we cannot be so holy in all manner of conversation as we wish to be, Yea, we are careful to perform good works, as the effect of grace being bestowed upon us. Birmingham, 1828.
A FRAGMENT. It is said of Mary, that by strength of love, she was dead to all the objects of the world, she had her thoughts so deeply employed on her dear Jesus, that she was almost insensible: she had eyes, and saw not; ears, and heard not; senses, and felt not: she was not where she was, for she was wholly where her Master was ; though she knew not where he was. She knew no art but that of love; all in her turned to the love of him, whom she loved above all. O thus to love dear Jesus, is worth the name of love! How cold and frozen is ours !
THE WORD OF CHRIST. « Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom."-Col. iii. 16. It is a sadly mistaken notion of many, that those who enter into and are bold to proclaim the glories of a full, free, and finished salvation; arising out of the unalterable favour of God, and flowing through the perfect work of the glorious Redeemer, are necessarily indifferent to a concern for the glory and honour of God. But it has been found evident in all ages, if we take the word of divine truth for our guide, that in the same proportion as the mind has been enlightened in the knowledge of Jehovah's will, and brought to an enjoyment of the precious salvation his seriptures proclaim; in the same proportion a concern for his honour and glory is manifested, with a desire to be conformed to his will and devoted to his fear. The experience of all who are led through sovereign mercy into a knowledge and enjoyment of the salvation the gospel proclaims, all to an individual admit, that till they received that precious salvation, whatever the outward appearance might have been, there was not a concern, a true concern for the divine glory and the credit of a gospel profession, which now they feel arising from what God the Lord hath done for them.
We see this exemplified in the conduct of the apostles of Christ in all they have written for the benefit of the church. The apostle Paul, more deeply read than any other man in the mysteries of the kingdom, and probably, more honoured in the enjoyment of those mysteries than any other, he of all others most earnestly labours to set forth the genuine and unalterable effects of divine grace in the heart. And this is no where more fully evident, or more clearly demonstrated, than in the epistle whence our motto is selected. He sweetly sets forth Christ as the gift of Jehovah's love for the salvation of ruined and undone sinners; and holds him up in every point of view that can possibly endear him to the enlightened mind, as the one, only, all-sufficient Saviour, or object for needy sinners hope and confidence. Then to those who through tender mercy are brought to feel their need of him, and are blest with divine light, to behold and to rest their eternal interest on him, he points out, not what is to be required of them slavishly to perform to escape hell, but as highly privileged sons and daughters they are called to the performance of that which will manifest their gratitude, and shew forth their concern to glorify in all things the doctrine they profess to hold.
In considering the exhortation, “ Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly,” we are by no means to understand the apostle to signify it is in the power of a sinner either to secure any thing of the word