Sidor som bilder

in bis mouth: who when he was reviled, reviled nos again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.” We grant that evhen he suffered, it was on account of our sins; and that we might be redeemed from them. "Who his own self,” says the apostle Peter, "bare our sins in his own body on the tree; that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."

Now the question is, in what sense did Christ bear our sins and ia what sense are we healed by his stripes? Chirist did not bear them in the same sense in which transgressors bear their own sins. It is evident from many places of Scripture, that for a person to bear his sins, is to be punished for them. Aaron and his sons were commanded of God, to be furnished with suchi a dress as he had prescribed, “when they should come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity and die.” And the Lord saith in another place; They shall therefore, keep mine ordinance lest they bear sin for it.” And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying; "And thou shalt speak urto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth bis God, shall bear his sin." Bearing sin in these places and in many others, that might be mentioned, evidently, means to be punished for it. In this sense, Christ did not bear our sin. Christ suffered in his body on the tree on account of our sin; and this suffering was included in the work of redemption, which opens the way

for our salvation. This suffering was necessary in the divine estimation, in the same sense that the shedding of the blood of Christ was necessary. A person bears his sin when it is imputed unto him. "Blessed" then is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”

When sin is imputed to a person it supposes that he has to bear the punishment of it; and therefore when it is not imputed, it is forgiven, and the punish, ment, of course, not inflicted. Christ's bearing our sins in his own body on the tree, supposes, that his blood, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, will take away sin, if suitable application of it be made to the mind of the sinner: For this reason, the language of the redeemed is, “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Christ having shed his blood for us, so far as application of it is made, all sin will be taken away. “Therefore, once in the end of the world, the Son of man hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." When our sins are forgiven through the blood of the Lamb, it may be said that Christ has borne them away; in the same sense as when he heals the sick, he is said to bear their sicknesses. This is fully illustrated by what we find in St. Matthew, viii, 16, 17. When the even was come they brought unto him, (that is to Christ) many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying Himself took our infirmities, and bear our sicknesses.

4. Being redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, does not suppose, that the righteousness of Christ is transferred from him to those for whom he died. A transfer of righteousness is not necessary to salvation.

When we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly. Christ was obedient unto death even the death of the cross, for our benefit, for our sal. vation. We are redeemed from our vain conversa. tion, by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blernish and without spot. But this does not sup. pose that his righteousness becomes our righteousness; cr that his obedience becomes our ubedience. This is impossible in the nature of things. The way to be righteous is to do righteousness, is evident from what is şaid by Saint John, "Little children, let no man deceive



you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” That is, he that doeth righteousness'is righteous even as Christ is righteous. Therefore the

way to be righteous as Christ is righteous, is not to have his righteousness transferred to us, but that we do righte

No man can be righteous except he himself do that which is right. To be right in the sight of God, we must act with an upright heart: it must be our own uprightness, and not the uprightness of anoth

“Christ was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” But our sins are not taken away by the transferring of his righteousness to us, and our sins to him. When Christ takes away our heart of stone, he does not take that hard heart to him. self; there is no hardness transferred to him from us. * And so, when we are made righteous through the obedience of Christ, his righteousness does not become our righteousness. God can make us holy and happy, in consequence of the righteousness of Christ; or he can justify us through the redemption there is in Christ Jesus. But this does not make our sin to be his sin, nor his righteousness, our righteousness. Where it is said, He was made sin for us, the meaning is, he was marie a sin-offering for us, which, according to the original plan in the covenant of redemption was neces. sary; and, to answer the type according to the Mosaic dispensation, it was necessary that Christ sbould give himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.”

"Sume, how:ver, may still ask, does not the Scripture speak of imputation? and does not imputation suppose that God may and does transfer both righteousness and usinghteousness, from one person to another?” The Scripturę speaks of good and bad actions being imputed: but when this is done, the good actions are imputed to those who do them; and a reward is

* Ezek. xxxvi, 26.


connected with them. And bad actions are imputed to those who do them, and they are punished accordingly, unless forgiven. “This will appear, if we consider the Seripture account of imputation. According to the Scripture, a man's own actions are imputed to himself, when he receives the due reward of his deeds.” Abraham believed God, and it was counted, or imputed, to him for righteousness. It was Abraham's faith, which consisted in exercises of his own mind that was imputed to him, and not the faith of another. It is not said Christ believed God, and this faith or virtue was imputed to Abraham. But Abraham himself be. lieved God, and it was imputed to him for righteous

Abraham was rewarded according to his faith, and be received the benefits of his own righteousness. Abraham became a righteous man when he was converted from idolatry, being called of God from the land of Ur of the Chaldees.* If Abraham, when called from the land of idolatry, had not been effectually called, or converted from sin to boliness, he would not have believed God; and there would have been no true virtue in him to be imputed for righteousness, or for which he would, in any sense, be entitled to a reward. If Abraham had not been the friend of God, had he not walked in the fear of God with a perfect and upright heart, there would have been no virtue in his faith; and God would not have said unto him, "-Fear not, Abraham; I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.” The faith of Abraham was imputed for righteousness, because it included in its naEure cordial love to God his Maker

Shimei, who had deserved to die for cursing David came to him and said, “Let not my lord impute ini. quity unto me.” That is, “let me not suffer the just consequence of my own personal criminality. Thus men's actions are imputed to themselves, when they receive the good or evil which their actions deserve."

[ocr errors]

Gen. xi, 31.


may be thought by some that there are certain texts of Scripture, which militate against the sentiment now expressed.

Let us attend then and exam. ine some of those passages of Scripture which seem to favour a contrary sentiment: as 1 Corinthians i, 30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. The object of the apostle in what is here declared is evident from the inference which he draws from it; which is contained in the next verse. That according as it is written, “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” But why should be draw such an inference? Answer, because we receive wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, from God, through the Lord Jesus Christ. Man by nature is destitute of all these things. By nature, he is unwise, unrighteous, unholy, unhappy. He is foolish, stout-hearted, and far from righteousness, and, therefore, far from redemption or salvation. Have we true wisdom? Have we ceased to say in our heart, with the fool, there is no God? Then we are in Christ Jesus who of God is made unto us wisdom. That is, God has made us wise through Jesus Christ. By nature there is none righteous, no, not one. Are we righteous? if so, we are new creatures; we have “put off the old man,”—and "put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Through the grace of God we are made righteous, by Christ Jesus: we are sanctified by the spirit of grace, and redemption is ours: we are the redeemed of the Lord. Hence, “all things are of God, who hath recon. ciled us to himself through Jesus Christ.”'

These things explain the text referred to, and agree with the context; “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought

« FöregåendeFortsätt »