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saint is a subject of righteousness and true holiness: he is therefore born of the Spirit: and, as “that which is born of the flesh is flesh," so, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The new man has the Spirit of Christ, for, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." And, surely, there can be po resemblance between the Spirit of Christ, and a filthy rejected garment.

2. The righteousness of saints, is, in the word of God, compared with that which is directly contrary to filthy rags: it is illustrated by linen clean and white. "And to her," says Saint John, speaking of the wile of the Lamb, “was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” And the Psalmist represents the church as a queen standing at the right hand of the King, in gold of Ophir. She is represented as beautiful, even in the eyes of the King. This appears from what follows; Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget thine own people and thy father's house: so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty-even the rich among the people shall entreat thy favour. The King's daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle work."

True religion is illustrated by things that are clean, and not by things which are unclean. True religion is called "undefiled religion.” And no true saving re. Jigion belongs to any person unless his heart be pure. Therefore, "blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” We cannot see God while our righteous. ness is as filtby rags. Moral uncleapness is expressive of the natural heart: sin is moral pollution. Therefore, “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,” says David in his prayer to God, “and cleanse me from my sin—purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean-cie. ate in me a clean heart; and renew a right spirit within me

The righteousness of saints is the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost: it


must therefore be in its nature pure. The moral cloth: ing with which the disciples of Christ are clothed, is expressed not by filthy rags, but by white raiment, Therefore, “I counsel thee," says Christ to the poor and naked sinner, “to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and WHITE RAIMENT that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear.” We are by nature unclean: but when we become saints, it supposes that Christ has washed us from our sins in his own blood. “And round about the throne,” says Saint John, “were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment.” And this white raiment is the same as that with which the sinner is clothed when he is born of the Spirit. God has not two kinds of righteousnesses, one for the pres. ent world, and another for the heavenly world. When a good man dies and goes to heaven, he does not leave his religion, his righteousness behind him; for if so, he would lose his title to that blessed world.

The righteousness of the saint is wisdom which comes from above, and he will retain it until he return to God who gave it. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peacea ole, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” It is the meek and quiet spirit with which the apostle Peter exhorts women to be adorned, “which is in the sight of God of great price.”. Now, shall we denominate that as filthy rags, which is, even in the sight of God of great price? Certainly not.

3. Therefore the righteousness of saints, is represent. ed in the word of God as most precious, and above all things valuable. It is the one thing needful; the good part, which is never taken away from the possessor. It is that essential property of which the kingdom of God is composed. It is the essence of that faith which “is the substance of things hoped for;"--and, according to the apostle James, it is “the precious faith of God's elect." It is that which forms a union to Christ which no power can dissolve. It is that sure and steadfast anchor of the soul which will hold us to Christ through every trial. Hence, "I am persuaded,” says Paul, that neither death nor life--nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” It is the good man's religion which forms this inseparable union. There is no union between Christ and him who is destitute of righteousness. The righteousness of saints therefore is of great price. It is worth infinitely more than all the things of this world: for, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath; but righteousness delivereth from death."

True wisdom is precious above all things; "It can not be gotten for gold; neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx or the sapphire. The gold and the crystal canrot equal it."*

4. All the great and precious promises of God are made to those who are subjects of righteousness and true holiness. Saints and sinners, righteous and wicked, comprehend all men. And that which dis. tinguishes the saint from the sinner, or the righteous from the wicked, is this; The saint has a degree of moral goodness or true holiness; whereas the unrightcous is entirely destitute of all moral goodness. There is therefore no moral likeness between saints and sinners, the righteous and the wicked. “The ungodly are not” like the godly: but they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish”

God “will render to every man according to his deeds; to them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life:” And they who do good in this life, “shall come fortia to the resurrection of eter

* See Job xxvii.

nal life.” Can we suppose that God would promise eternal life, to that which is as filthy rags? Are the poor in spirit and such as hunger and thirst after righteousness like a “rejected garment?”

To what has now been offered, there will no doubt be a number of objections, which I will state and endeavour to answer.

1. OBJECTION. “A person may be a saint, a subject of spiritual goodness, or true holiness, and yet not be justified; and until a person is justified, all his righteousness is as filthy rags; or, the man is still infinitely unworthy and hateful in the sight of God, as he was before without diminution, because his goodness bears no proportion to his unworthiness, and therefore when taken together it is nothing.”'

This objection supposes that all the beauty or moral excellency there is in righteousness arises from the - union of the person to Christ; for, the objector says, “While God beholds the man separate from Christ, he must behold him as in himself; and so his goodness cannot be beheld by God, but as taken with his guilt and hatefulness; and as put in the scales with it; and being beheld so, his goodness is nothing; because there is a finite in the balance against an infinite, where proportion to it is nothing. The excess of weight in one scale above the other must be looked upon as the quality of the man. These contraries being beheld together, one takes from the other, as one number is substracted from another; and the man must be looked upon in God's sight according to the remainder.” Here we have the objection fairly and fully stated; and what follows is offered as an an wer:

1. It does not appear from the word of God that a person can be a saint, or a subject of moral goodness, that is, of true holiness, and yet be in the sight of God separate from Christ. A saint is a person who is born of God, one in whose heart the love of God is. Now, can God look upon a person as born of him, and yet view that person as separate from Christ? I think not. For the children of God are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, to future and eternal glory. Being born of God, he cannot be looked upon as separate from Christ. For a person separate from Christ is not a saint; he is an unregenerate sinner. To view a person as a saint is a very different thing from viewing him as in himself. For to view a person as in himself, is to view him as unregenerate. The objector, however, speaks of a person's being beheld of God, as separate from Christ, and as in himself; and at the same time he considers this person as a subject of reál moral goodness. This supposes that a person may be separate from Christ, while he is united to God. But if this be impossible there is nothing to support the objection.

2. The objection goes upon the supposition that sin is an infinite evil; but that virtue, true holiness, is only a finite good. I do not deny that sin is an infi. nite evil. But if it be an infinite evil to act against God; is it not for the same reason an infinite good to act for God? Is not virtue praise worthy for the same reason that sin is blame worthy? For that which constitutes a man a friend to God, and that which constitutes him an enemy to God, are infinitely opposite. Virtue therefore is an infinite good, and vice an infinite evil. Besides, virtue, true holiness, must be an infinite good, because it is of the same moral nature with God himself. God is love. And true holiness is love. Adam therefore in his apostasy, by losing the moral image of God, lost an infinite good; and God, in restoring the divine likeness, which he does in regeneration, bestows an infinite good. Therefore,

3. The objection is not valid, because it makes no real difference between a saint and a sinner. The saint, according to the objector, has more sin than goodness, and therefore has no goodness; because the one being substracted from the other, the remainder is sin; and “the person is to be viewed according to the remainder; for his virtue is all lost, it becomes nothing; and the man is as hateful in God's sight as he was be

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