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would oppose individual or national, piety, or pity for such folly, conceal profligacy. No wonder that the from your view a much more importhaughty, cold, and calculating phi- ant subject-I mean the real nature losopher, who comes to dictate to his and effects of the faith which you proMaker, and cavil at the decrees of fess. In proportion as you discern the Omniscience, should be abandoned to evidences for the divine origin and the senselessness of his boasted wis. truth of your Bible, so is the responsi. dom. “God taketh the wise in their bility which attaches to your proown craftiness.” “ He filleth the fession. Faith is a matter of deep hungry with good things, but the rich personal concern. The Gospel is a sendeth he empty away.”
scheme of redemption in which you Cheerless and disheartening, and must have a personal interest, or worse void of all consolation, are the mere than none at all. To believe that discoveries of reason, unassisted by the Jesus is the Christ, includes much of Bible : : worse, far worse, the delusions which the world of professing Chrisof infidel philosophy. Here the cele- tians knows but little. brated Quintilian, in the absence of the Is yours a faith which has purified cheering light of the Gospel, when your hearts, which has rescued you death had deprived him of a beloved from the trammels of the world, and
“What affectionate parent,” said caused you to live superior to its blanhe, “ would pardon me if I could any dishments, and unawed by its frowns, longer give myself to study? Would a life of holy devotedness to your Rehe not hate that strength of mind, if I, deemer? Has it subdued your evil who have survived all my family, could passions and substituted the mind of make any other use of my voice than Christ? Has it regulated your vain to blame the gods, and to testify that no imaginations, and induced that calm Providence looks down upon the earth?" sobriety of temper and demeanour, How different the language of Job! that affectionate zeal for the welfare of “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath souls, that tender and lively solicitude taken away.
Blessed be the name of for the spiritual good of all around the Lord!”
you, which glowed within the heart, What was the remedy devised by and shone forth in the spotless life of the celebrated Infidel, Hume, for the your Redeemer? Has it exalted to afflictions of life? It is to be found in you, as chief amongst ten thousand, his “ Essay on the Propriety and Law- that once despised, but now highlyfulness of Suicide;" a publication so honoured Messiah, in whom “we have monstrous that his admirers and friends redemption through his blood,” and were absolutely ashamed of it, and en- sanctification through his spirit ? Is deavoured, in the face of positive evi- he your wisdom and your righteousdence, to deny that he was the author.
ness, your friend and intercessor, The vaunted discoveries of this de- your Saviour and the God of your spiser of the Bible afford no better re- worship? fuge than SELF-MURDER to the broken
O, my brethren, if this, or somehearted sinner; while that blessed book thing of this kind, be not your faith, points to
a blood that speaketh better beware that you have but a name to things,” and will at once purify and live and are dead. "Be watchful, and set the guilty conscience at peace. strengthen the things that remain,
Are you, my brethren, Infidels ? which are ready to die," lest you You shudder at the very question. O should be “ weighed in the balances let not your abhorrence of such im- and found wanting."
DELIVERED BY THE REV. J. F. DENHAM,
AT ST. BRIDES CHURCH.
2 Cor. v. 21.--" For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
The subject upon which I am about of Adam, deals with him as if he were to discourse is one of supreme im- a righteous person, and gives him an portance, both to your peace of mind entrance into a blessed immortality? while passing through this world, The answer is, the righteousness and and to your happiness in that future sufferings of the Saviour; the sins of world whither your are hastening. the believer being imputed to Christ, I take it for granted, that all now and the righteousness and sufferings of present acknowledge, that in some Christ being imputed to the believer. measure at least they are sinners, that In order to demonstrate that this is is offenders, against the laws of Al- the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures, I mighty God. You will also giant shall pursue the following method. that, considered merely as such, you First, Shew that the justification of a are liable to punishment. In propor- sinner, in the sight of God, consists in tion as your views of these truths are the imputation of a righteousness unto deep and affecting, will be your anxiety him which is not the sinner's own. to become acquainted with those means Secondly, That the righteousness thus which God has revealed, whereby you imputed is the righteousness of the may be delivered from his wrath and Lord Jesus Christ, consisting of his receive forgiveness and favour at his legal righteousness or his obedience to hands. Your minds stand in need of the commands of the law while on no argument to convince you of the earth, and also of his passive rightimportance of this doctrine, your own eousness, when he suffered the penal interest in it is sufficient for that pur- curse of the law for man in his death. pose. It will be my endeavour, on Thirdly, That faith or trust in Christ this occasion, to furnish you with for these benefits is the means or inclear, definite, and scriptural views on strument whereby they are received. a subject of such acknowledged value. FIRST, I would endeavour to shew And while I endeavour to enquire di- THAT THE JUSTIFICATION OF A SINNER ligently of the Scriptures respecting IN THE sight of GoD CONSISTS IN that way, whereby a distressed conscience may attain peace with God, may TO HIM BY ALMIGHTY God. Before He, who alone can give the increase, coming directly to shew this, perbe pleased to open the hearts of all haps I may be permitted to define the present to receive the truth, and ever- meaning of the two principal terms more to rejoice in it as they that have now used, namely, justification and found the pearl of inestimable price. imputation. What then is to be un
The enquiry we have in view may, derstood by justification ? This of perhaps, be best stated by way of ques course is to be determined by the use tion and answer :-The question is, made of it in the Scriptures. You what is that, on account of which find, then, that it is a term used alGod pardoneth the sins of any child ways in reference to the proceedings
THE IMPUTATION OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
of law and judgment, and that its tabernacle of the Lord, blood shall be meaning is to absolve, to acquit, to imputed to that man-he hath shed esteem righteous, to declare right| blood—and that man shall be cut off eous, to pronounce righteous : see from among his people.” But it is also Deut. xxv. 1. “ If there be a contro- quite plain, that the words impute and versy between men, and they come imputation may admit of two signifiinto judgment, that the judges may cations. Thus I may impute—that is, judge them; then they shall justify the reckon to a man that which really berighteous and condemn the wicked,” longs to him. Thus, if I impute guilt that is, evidently, declare and pro- to a man who is really guilty; or, if nounce the righteous man righteous, I impute learning to a man who is and the wicked man wicked: see Pro- | really learned. But it is also possible verbs, xvii. 15. “He that justifieth the to impute or reckon to a man that wicked, and he that condemneth the which does but belong to him. In just, even they both are abomination such a case upon some just solid to the LORD:" see Isaiah, I. 8. “He ground, we reckon or account that to is here that justifieth me; who will a man which is not really his, and contend with me? let us stand to. deal with him accordingly. Thus, by gether : who is mine adversary? let | divine appointment, the sin of Adam him come near to me; behold, the is imputed to his posterity. By the LORD God will help me; who is he disobedience of one many became sin. that shall condemn me?" One instance ners : again, GoD speaks concerning more from the 143rd Psalm, and 2nd the rebellious Israelites, Numbers, verse : “Enter not into judgment with xiv. 33. “Your children shall wander thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight forty years in the wilderness, and bear shall no man living be justified.” In your whoredoms.” Another instance these and in almost every other in- you have in St. Paul's Epistle to Phistance, both in the Old and New Tes- lemon, v. 18. where speaking of the tament, where this word is used, jus- fugitive slave Onesimus, whom St. tification means to acquit or pronounce Paul had begotten in his bonds, he righteous, as the result of a trial : ex- says, “if he have wronged thee or actly what we now mean by a verdict of oweth thee ought TOUTO Mos alloys imacquittal. And now what is meant pute it to me; put it to my account. by the term imputation ?-It means I Paul have written it with my own to esteem a thing, or to account a hand; I will repay thee.” From thing, as belonging to any one. This which instances we are taught, that is its simple signification : see Lev. the meaning of the word imputation, vii. 18. “And if any of the flesh of the is the reckoning or accounting somesacrifice of his peace-offering be eaten thing as belonging to any person : and at all on the third day, it shall not be our first head is to prove, that the jusaccepted, neither shall it be imputed tification of a sinner in the sight of unto him that offereth it; it shall be God consists in the imputation of an abomination; and the soul that righteousness to him which is not the eateth thereof shall bear his iniquity:" sinner's own. This will be evident if so again, Lev. clxxiii. 4. “What man you reflect on the character of that soever there be of the house of Israel, God with whom we have to do; for that killeth an ox or lamb or goat, in the Scriptures declare that it is God the camp, or that killeth it out of the that justifieth. In coming to this camp, and bringeth it not unto the trial we are greatly concerned to know door of the tabernacle of the congre- the character of the judge by whom gation, to offer an offering before the we are to be tried. In any investiga.
tion touching our obedience to the the clearest of all principles, that aslaw, it is of the last importance to as- sertion of the Apostle St. Paul, iii. 20. certain the nature of the law, by which “Therefore, by the deeds of the law, our case is to be determined. Let then there shall no flesh be justified in his the greatness, the majesty, the holi- sight.” And now, having brought to ness of God, and the infinite distance your recollection the proofs, that no between ourselves and Him be consi- child of Adam possesses any personal dered. Hear in what strains the most righteousness, let me add a few pasholy and exalted persons have spoken sages to shew that our justification in regard to Him, when an adequate before God is effected by the imputadiscovery of his perfection has been ticn of a righteousness, which is then made upon their minds. The prophet necessarily not our own. The first Isaiah, in his vision of the Holy One, express record of the justification of a exclaimed, “Woe is me, I am undone, sinner, is that of Abraham. We know because I am a man of unclean lips.” from the 11th chapter of the Hebrews, Job, the pattern of patience and faith-that Abel, Enoch, and Noah had all of Job answered the Lord and said, “be
them been justified in the same way, hold I am vile dust; shall I answer
but the instance of Abraham is the thee; I will lay my hand upon my
first recorded: see Genesis, xv. 6. mouth; I have heard of thee by the “ Abraham believed in the Lord, and hearing of the ear; now my eye seeth it was counted unto him for rightthee,” and with earnestness does Da- eousness;" Moses says it was counted vid pray, “enter not into judgment unto him for righteousness; St. James, with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy alluding to the same event, says, sight shall no man living be justified." “ Abraham's faith was imputed unto
My dear brethren, place, we beseech him for righteousness.” But now hear you, your consciences in the presence the Apostle St. Paul, who also refers of God and your persons before his to the same precedent, Ep. to the great tribunal, and then, upon a due Romans, iv. 23, 24. where, after noconsideration of his greatness, power, ticing the case of Abraham, he says, majesty, righteousness, holiness, and “ And it was not written for his sake the terror of his glory, and say whe- alone, that it was imputed unto him, ther your justification before Him can but for us also, unto whom it shall be ever result from your own righteous imputed, if we believe.” Here the jus
This will be still further evi. | tification of Abraham, the friend of dent, if you reflect on the explicit de- God, the father of the faithful, the clarations of Scripture respecting our
mirror of Old Testament piety, is said character in the sight of God. “That to have resulted, not from his persoevery imagination of the thoughts of nal righteousness, but from the impuour heart is only evil, and that con- tation of it; and the Apostle St. Paul tinually;" “ that the heart is deceitful declares, that the divine dealing with above all things and desperately wicked" Abraham is an example of his dealing
_"that we are born in sin and shapen with all men. To the same effect he in iniquity;" “that as sinners we are says, Rom. iv. 5. “To him that work. worthy of death;" "under the curse;" eth not but believeth in him that jus" that every mouth must be stopped, tifieth the ungodly, his faith is acand all the world become guilty before counted unto him for righteousness." God;" “ that there is none righteous, Further proof is unnecessary. It is no, not one :” consider these and other clear, from the consideration of the declarations to the same effect, and you supreme holiness of God, from the will be constrained to acquiesce in, as condition of man as guilty, and con
PUTED FOR JUSTIFCATION TO THE BE-
OF HIS LEGAL RIGHTEOUSNESS OR HIS
HIS DEATH ON BEHALF OF SINNERS.
demned in his sight, and, finally, from | Hebrews ii. 14, “ Forasmueh as the the plain declarations of Scripture, children are partakers of flesh and that when any child of Adam is justi- blood, Christ also took part of the fied, it is by the imputation of righteo same, through death he might destroy ousness, which is not his own. him that had the power of death.” It
We advance, Secondly, to shew, was for us men and for our salvation THAT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS THUS IM- he came down from heaven, took upon
him the form of a servant, and was
found in fashion as a man. Conse. The Lord Jesus Christ, CONSISTING quently, all the obedience which he
wrought in our nature was OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMANDS OF THE
own account, not on his own; but LAW, WHICH HE RENDERED IN
his obedience was at one and the LIFE ; AND ALSO HIS PASSIVE RIGHTE
same time perfect, and possessOUSNESS, WHICH HE FULFILLED, WHEN
ing a value in the view of the Fa. HE BORE ITS CURSE AND PENALTY IN
ther, measured only by the conde
scension of the Son who rendered it. The Redeemer's righteousness, thus It was, therefore, at his own disposal, imputed to believers, consists in the free to impute it to whom he would. obedience which he rendered, during his It was also sufficient and perfectly life, to the commands of the divine law. equivalent to the moral wants of all The word righteousness means legal to whom it should be imputed. And obedience. In order to explain this, that it is imputed to them that believe, permit me to remind you of the Redee- the Scriptures amply testify. See Romer's state previous to his coming on mans, xv. 9, “For as by one man's earth. He was in the beginning with disobedience many were made sinGod and was God. He was God over ners, so by the obedience of one shall all blessed for ever more, as such Christ many be made righteous.” Here the was under no obligation to obey the Apostle tells us, that as through law. He, in common with the Father means of the disobedience of one man, and the Spirit, was the fountain of that is Adam, many were made sinners, law; and though his own thoughts, so through means of the obedience of perceptions, and actions would bear one man, Christ, shall many be made the most entire resemblance to the righteous: these two are opposed, one law, which originated from himself, to the other ; the disobedience of yet he was, as far as respected him- Adam, which was the transgression of self, Lord of the whole law; as when the law-the obedience of Jesus Christ, on earth he declared himself to be which was the fulfilment of the law, Lord of the sabbath-day. Being un- and by this latter many were made der no personal responsibility he was righteous. See also 2 Cor. v. 21, “For at liberty to undertake what it pleased he hath made him to be sin for us who him to undertake, agreeably to the mu- knew no sin, that we might be made tual will of himself and his Heavenly the righteousness of God in him.” Here Father. Yet we are informed by the the same authority that makes the ReApostle St. Paul, Galatians, iv. 4. deemer sin for us, also constitutes us " That Christ was made of a woman the righteousness of God in him. For made under the law.” That is to say it is God that justifieth. He makes he assumed our nature. But the us righteous in Christ, or imputes his unanimous testiniony of all the wri- righteousness unto us.
To the same ters of Scriptures is, that he did this effect St. Paul says, 1 Cor. i. 30, “ But not on his own account but on ours. of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who