« EdellinenJatka »
“ eousnessk:” also,“ the lips of the righteous “ feed many';" which means that a part of righteousness is wise instruction: and “ the righteous sheweth
and giveth"." Moreover, we are informed that David was more righteous than Saul; for says Saul, “ Thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I “ have rewarded thee evil”.” These
passages, and others which might be adduced, if necessary, satisfactorily prove that he who renders “ to all their dues : tribute to whom “ tribute is due; custom to whom custom; « fear to whom fear; honour to whom ho“ nour':”he, in a word, who oweth“ no man
any thing but to love one another”,” is righteous,
because conformed to the law: for love " is the fulfilling of the lawy.”
As this law is infinitely holy, just, and good, it never can be abrogated, or altered. The obligations to obey it remain still in force, and will continue so eternally. A want of conformity to, or obedience of, this law, is sin. All mankind having sinned, are therefore destitute of righteousness. How then shall
I Prov. x.
k Prov. xii. 17. xiii. 5.
21. m Ps. xxxvii. 21. Prov. xxi. 26. xxix. 7. n 1 Sam. xxiv. 17. o Rom. xiii. 7. p Rom. xiii. 8. q Rom. xiii. 10.
sinful man be just with God ? How can he be made conformable to the standard of right and wrong? These are questions which neither men nor angels could have answered, had not God revealed the way, the truth, and the life. He “sent forth his Son,” our Lord Jesus Christ,“ made of a woman, made
under the law, to redeem those that were “ under the law, that we might receive " the adoption of sons".” Jesus Christ became our substitute, by assuming our nature into a personal union with his divine nature, and paying the price of redemption by shedding of his blood for our deliverance and salvation. All they who believe in him, become one with him, by an intimate, inseparable, everlasting union, “ members of his “ body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” He, as their covenant head, fulfilled the law in its penalty and precept for them: so that he is the Lord their Righteousnessk, the end of the law for righteousness to them'; one who, being himself of full weight and measure, perfectly conformable to the law, makes them just, or of full weight before God, by clothing them with his righteousness and washing them in his blood. h Gal. iv. 4, 5. i Eph. v. 30. k Jer. xxiii. 6. (Rom. X. 4.
This doctrine of righteousness through a Redeemer, otherwise called the righteousness of faith, is the radical principle of revealed religion from Genesis to Revelation. “Other “ foundation can no man lay than that is laid, “which is Jesus Christ.” Through his grace only can we do any thing acceptable to God. This was the thing signified by the shadows of the law, especially its sacrifices, to the origin and design of which your attention will be more particularly directed this afternoon. This is the substance of the Gospel.
With this doctrine of righteousness through a Redeemer, are inseparably connected all those doctrines which regard the nature and perfections of God, the state and character of man, the duties arising from his various relations, and his responsibility to God: in short, all those doctrines which constitute the essentials of salvation. For the Redeemer, being of full weight himself, satisfying perfectly the law, must be divine, since none but God could make adequate reparation for an infinite offence. The offence, for the satisfaction of which the shedding of the blood of the Redeemer was deemed necessary, must be awfully malignant, deserving the
g 1 Cor. iii. 11.
most fearful punishment. The
power requisite to change the character of those who were under the guilt and pollution of such an offence, must be almighty. The change which this power produces, so that the guilt is cancelled and the pollution washed away, must be radical and thorough. The life which follows upon such a thorough change, must be essentially a new one, in which old things are done away, because the understanding is enlightened, the heart is purified, and a deep and abiding sense of God's presence in this world, and his judgment in that which is to come, are cherished. Thus all those principles which lay at the foundation of a sinner's hope; which constitute the cement of society; which make a man happy in his own bosom, and useful as well as happy in all his relations, originate in, are inseparably connected with, and receive their power to affect the heart and regulate the life from, the doctrine of righteousness through a Redeemer.
In this enlarged sense, as including the whole system of revealed truth, both what
man is to believe concerning God, and s what duty God requires of man,” the word righteousness is here used. These two divisions of revealed truth cannot be sepa
rated; for as no man can perform the latter without embracing the former, so no man can embrace the former without performing the latter. Hence it is impossible for individuals, and of course for nations, to be righteous in their intercourse with each other, or among themselves, if they are not righteous towards God.
2. Exaltation, means advancement or promotion to a state of dignity and honour, usefulness and happiness. The exaltation of a nation does not therefore consist in their territorial acquisitions, their splendid victories, or their universal authority ; for in each of these particulars it may originate in fraud, be established by oppression, and connected with human misery. It consists in their intellectual, moral, political, social, and physical excellence. These particulars cannot be separated in any correct views of national exaltation.
II. We proceed now to an illustration of the manner in which revealed religion, the essence of which is righteousness through the blood of a Redeemer, exalteth a nation.
1. Righteousness exalteth the intellectual state of a nation.