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The good objective characteristics then being thus compounded are generally known by the common name of Righteousness; and the evil, by its antithesis or Unrighteousness, with several synonymes or corresponding terms for each, which may thus be stated in the order of proximity to their root, v. g. OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.


Wrong. 2. Uprightness or Rectitude. Obliquity, Frowardness,

Perverseness. 3. Perfection, Soundness, In- Imperfection, Unsoundness, tegrity.

Corruption. 4. Goodness, Innocence. Wickedness, Guilt, De

pravity. Righteousness *, according to the ancient orthography, means right wisenesse ; and to be righteous, means to be rightly wise; not being over righteous, nor over wise (Eccl. vii. 16), neither under, nor yet beside. And by this rule the property of wisdom would be more essential than characteristic, signifying only practical knowledge, which may be very wrong by chance in the moral, as we often find it in other departments. But in the moral department especially, we often find men, who, according to the prophet's observation, “ are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge” (Jer. iv. 22). Therefore wisdom originally would require some qualification, like the characteristic epithet Right, to make it that excellent thing which it is allowed to be ; just as its correspondent Sense is beholden to another epithet for making it that Good-sense, which any one may be proud of, if he may be proud of any thing.

Besides the terms above mentioned, Duty is also fre

* One of our old countrymen, speaking of manslaughter, in an excellent discourse on Divine Morality, says thus:-“ Manslaughter in dede is in foure maneres. That on is by lawe, right as a justice dampneth him that is culpable to the deth : but let the justice beware, that he do it rightfully, and that he do it not for delit to spill blood, but for keeping of rightwise. nesse.”

quently used as an equivalent for righteousness: and equivalent indeed it may be, but with two distinctions; 1, that duty is righteousness in embryo, the form of righteousness chiefly ; righteousness due, but not done : and duties, or kinds of duty, are righteousnesses, or kinds of righteousness, or righteous acts, due, but not done; and which ought to be done, if they are not: righteousnesses in thought and description, but not in word and deed; their intellectual type; their form or notion in short, and not their substance or being; 2, that duty may stand as a metonymical expression for righteousness, in the same manner that toll, tribute, &c. stand sometimes for the money they are discharged with. Righteousness is a duty, impost or tribute which the Lord of heaven and earth has laid upon his subjects in either sphere; first as a return for his bounty and protection; next as a means for communicating the same to them, his subjects. For, as tribute enables earthly sovereigns to maintain the states confided to them in peace and prosperity, so the tribute of righteousness is returned upon the heads of the payers, whether sovereign or subject, in many blessings both spiritual and temporal, by their heavenly King. “ ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD” (Rom. viii. 28).

Thus being viewed in different lights, the same subject may be differently apprehended and named. But no dif. ference of apprehending and naming can ever make two things of righteousness : for righteousness can be but one under all circumstances, as its Author is One. Righteousness is the will of God: and one God can have but one will. Therefore, to ascertain, what is righteousness, or in what it consists, or what may be the right going of that wonderful machine, the moral man, i. e. the mass of our spiritual and intellectual constituents, whether considered as properties, or more precisely as acts or accidents composing the same, one should do as one would to ascertain what was right going in any other machine; as in a watch for example; or perhaps in some newly invented,

and still more elaborate piece of mechanism. If we wished to know whether its motions were all true, and all its curious offices duly performed, who should tell us ? whom should we go to for information, but the artist who made it, and to him? His must certainly be allowed to be the highest and best authority, as he should know best his own purpose in such production; and although the servants or apprentices may be able to satisfy us in ordinary cases, yet in cases of greater doubt and importance, we must recur to the master himself, and by his authority be determined. Even so should we recur to the authority of God, to learn what is righteousness: for “it is He that hath made us; and not we, ourselves” (Ps. c. 2), nor any other person or being. Man did not make us, angels did not make us : to neither men nor angels therefore can we look, to tell us what is right in our sphere, but to God alone who made us, and (as all one with Him) to the Branch of David, whose name is “ The Lord our Righteousness” (Jer. xxiii.6), as being an example of the same, or indeed its Very Presence. When parties are at issue on any point especially, whether it be a matter of property or opinion, and the prepossession on either hand is such, that neither party will yield, it would seem, that the only way to end all disputes, is by arbitration : and here a difference on the most interesting point than can be suggested having thus found its Arbiter, we have only now to wait on his sentence, and learn from Him what is righteousness.

A voice has been heard from Heaven: it was only one sentence; but the most memorable that ever came to mankind, even from above: more memorable than the whole law that came to Israel by Moses from Mount Sinai ; more memorable even than that which prescribed their duty to mankind in Paradise. For it was not a pattern of words merely, that this sentence conveyed, but a pattern of life, “ a new and living way” (Heb. x. 20), as St. Paul entitles it, indicated by “the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and a voice from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat. iii. 16, 17).

Whatever pleases God in any subject must be right; whatever pleases Him in any intellectual must be righteousness: any intellectual that pleases Him entirely must be all righteousness : now the Son pleases Him entirely; and Jesus Christ is declared in this memorable sentence, to be the beloved Son in whom he is well, i.e. entirely pleased. Therefore, to mention no other reason, the Son must be all righteousness in himself first; and, from the communion, freer than air, of those properties which constitute an intellectual spirit, righteousness in him must be righteousness in every intellectual, by the same spirit. Jesus Christ is righteousness to every created intellect, and to us, “ the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." He is our righteousness, and there is none other: all that is Christ or of Christ in us is righteousness, and no more : all the righteousness in us is Christ, or, as we should say, of Christ-“ BONE OF HIS BONES, AND FLESH OF HIS FLESH.”

God once embodied in the properties of a man both incidental and constituent; now glorified in these and disencumbered of those, as men shall be; yet still both now and for ever identified with human properties, whether spiritual, or intellectual, or both undistinguished; “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb. xii. 8)-is in every thought and deed the Lord our Righteousness: and in no thought nor deed have we any righteousness but him or his. His word or rule, his power or spirit, his life, example or practice, both inward and outward-are righteousness for every intelligent creature, and for man in particular. “ For (as St. Paul justly and eloquently observes) none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord ; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord : whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's” (Rom. xiv. 7, 8). With this principle of righteousness we shall please God in the well beloved Son, and fulfil the

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glorious destiny of high born creatures; without such principle, we shall miss our birth, and do neither: with this unerring Guide we shall go as true as time here; and long hereafter, when time shall be no more.

This is what we find to be the sum of our righteousness, namely Christ: other righteousness than this, have we none. By God's grace, and the discipline of his good providence, harrowing and exercising our froward hearts in many ways, some foreign properties may be wormed into them; as St. Paul and St. James have observed, “ And not only so (says the former) but we glory in tribulations also : knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed ; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us” (Rom. v. 3, 4, 5). And when we have suffered so much for these properties, patience, experience, hope, and above all—the love of God, they may indeed be called ours, by the same title that the painful offspring of a woman may be called hers, after suffering what she has suffered for it: but, as there will always be a distinction between her and it, so likewise, between us and our righteousness : we may call it ours; and ours it will be in effect, but not independently, nor alone. And hereupon, considering their righteousness in this view, i. e. as befalling rather than proceeding from them originally, the sorts of persons who are generally called “ “just” and "holy” in the world, would be more properly called “justified” and “sanctified,” as they are in Scripture sometimes, and all, as it is said, “ in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (Cor. I. vi. 11). So Isaiah in his song of Judah, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us : for THOU ALSO HAST WROUGHT ALL OUR WORKS IN US” (Isai. xxvi. 12). If therefore the righteousness of Christ be shed upon us, we shall be righteous in this way, that is incidentally; as we are made guiltless by his precious atonement; and that, whether we work or

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