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bath, as it was certainly the main end of its munion. The Sabbath-day is a day of institution. While the Sabbath was fellowship; fellowship with one another, made for man; for his benefit and in- but especially with the Father and his terest; it was so in the way of its being Son Jesus Christ. And what is heaven, first made holy to the Lord. And Divine but a state of high, holy, and blest worship, in like manner, is the appro- society; where fellowship in all its forms, priate work, and habitual occupation, of and in their most perfect degree, shall be the blessed in heaven. It is but rarely enjoyed, without measure, and without in Scripture that heaven is exhibited as end? When you come to heaven, Chrisa scene of instruction; but how often as tians, you shall, in the highest sense of a scene of worship? The most natural, the terms, “come to the general assemwe may say, and certainly the most com- bly and church of the first-born, whose mon representation of its inhabitants, is names are written in heaven, and to an that of a great assembly of adoring wor- innumerable company of angels, and to shippers, all in the attitude, and all in the spirits of just men made perfect, and the act of rendering honour and glory, to God the Judge of all, and to Jesus thanksgiving and praise, to Him that the Mediator of the new covenant." sitteth upon the throne, and to the Is the heavenly state a Sabbath state, Lamb. We have, in fact, only to take then how should those, in the words of a Sabbath congregation, and according Matthew Henry, who love Sabbaths long to a scale corresponding to the magnitude for heaven, and how should those who of the subject, multiply its numbers, long for heaven love Sabbaths ? Most purify and elevate its character, and in- suitable it certainly is, Christians, at Hame its devotion, in order to have the once to your characters and hopes, that most scriptural image of heaven which it you should value and improve Sabbathis possible to have here below. But days, and Sabbath ordinances as the while resembling, how superior the wor- means, and look forward to, and desire ship of the upper sanctuary to that of heaven as the end of your spiritual life the lower! How dull, frigid, and in- and being. Your Sabbath on earth will harmonious, at the best, the worship of soon be over; your last Lord's-day will the church upon earth. But in the soon arrive; but rejoice in the prospect celestial state, how will the heavenly that is set before you of a state where temple resound with the loud and melo- worshipping assemblies never break up, dious hallelujahs of the great congrega- and Sabbaths have no end. In the mean. tion; loud as the sound of many waters, time, therefore, improve your few and and melodious as the voice of harpers, transient Sabbath opportunities upon harping with their harps—not one voice earth, as preparatory to the everlasting wanting, not one discordant. But in Sabbath which you expect to enjoy with fine, in the heavenly state, we shall be God and the Lamb above. engaged in the exercise of holding com- Biggar.
AIDS TOWARDS A REVIVAL IN RELIGION. CHRISTIAN FRIENDS, -Our resources we have been in the habit of disregardand obligations are infinite; but our at- ing. To know our errors is infinitely tainments and exertions are exceedingly important; and the Bible is the immelimited. Some of our brethren, both at diate source of all moral and spiritual home and abroad, are proceeding in a excellence. What a mercy that we have manner which deserves high commenda- such a volume in our possession! and tion; and their statements convince us what a lamentable thing that it should that the blessings they realise are of no be so often neglected ! Did we but search ordinary character. In fact, they ex- its sacred records as we ought, we might perience what may be termed a revival hope to arise from our slumbers, and of religion; and if we but adopt the fol- enjoy the rich influences of the Spirit, to lowing means, our spiritual improve- renew and sanctify our souls. ment will be equally manifest:
But to insure these favours, we must First, Let us re-examine the Scriptures, devoutly consider the High Priest of our and ascertain the number of warnings, profession, Jesus Christ, in whom we reproofs, invitations, and entreaties, which have eternal redemption, and inexhaust
ible treasures of grace. We must cling necessary that we should suspend this to his dear cross, contemplate his great solemn and transforming exercise, we sacrifice, witness his agony and bloody must be prepared for the attacks of Satan sweat, and see him turn toward us with and his emissaries, and proceed with a look of pity and reconciliation. We care and circumspection, until we can must give him our hearts, that they may again retire to examine our hearts, and be purified; our wants, that he may commune with our exalted Redeemer. plead them in the presence of his Father; O how great are our deficiencies ! We our souls, our spirits, our bodies, that can recite many portions of Scripture ; they may be his, and employed in the converse with propriety on spiritual subcelebration of his praise. Then our con- jects; attend public meetings for exhortdition would begin to improve; our ation and prayer, and discover on those convictions of sin would be deep and occasions more than ordinary zeal ; but genuine ; our repentance towards God how do we feel in retirement? Alas! would be truly evangelical ; our faith in are not our secret devotions oftentimes the Redeemer would be lively and pro- exceedingly short and feeble, cold and ductive; our various efforts would be dull, heartless and unbelieving? Then, made in the strength of Divine grace; shall we not, O shall we not repair to and the prospect of our being wholly our closets, determined, by the grace renewed would brighten continually. O and strength of Jehovah, to obtain a rethe importance of having our attention newed sense of forgiveness, and a more entirely directed to Christ! O the sweet- satisfactory acquaintance with ourselves, ness of a Saviour's love shed abroad in with Christ, and his salvation ? our hearts! Let us, then, think of him And we must furthermore remember more in earnest ; seek him night and the necessity of perseverance. There day, and give no sleep to our eyes, nor must be a going to the closet, from day slumber to our eye-lids, until we expe- to day, from week to week, from month rience the re-animating and soul-cheering to month, and from year to year. It influence of his presence.
may well be considered a great thing to We must, moreover, enter our closets, be really a Christian. The exercises shut our doors about us, and pray; above described seem very laborious, looking to Jesus, to his blood, to his and the necessity of their being continued righteousness, to his infinite merit. We in the manner just stated makes them must plead what he is, what he has done, appear to us still more so; but why do what he has suffered, and what he has they appear to be laborious ? Ah, is it promised. In this sacred place we must not because we are carnal, and in love remain, till our whole hearts are engaged, with the objects of sense ? When do we our very souls lie prostrate, and we feel find it burdensome to be engaged in unable to leave without a blessing from what affords us gratification ? The mere on high. We must reflect on the beau- form of religion is a tiresome thing; but ties of holiness, and the felicities of let us only secure its constraining and heaven. We must entreat the Saviour omnipotent power, and feel that Christ is to manifest himself according to his gra- the fairest among ten thousand and the cious declaration. We must beg the altogether lovely, and then the exerSpirit to purify our polluted hearts, and cises of the closet will be ease, joy, and entirely possess them. We must pray satisfaction. It is possible to become so the Father to grant us a pleasing and an accustomed to a spiritual element as to abiding sense of his unchangeable love. feel inconvenience in breathing any And while thus secretly engaged in com- other. O, the advantages arising from munion with God and ourselves, we a habit of devotion; what liberty, what must remember our iniquities, and fully elevation, what dignity, what bliss it confess them; our daily mercies, and occasions! Then let us maintain the pour out our hearts in grateful acknow- conflict, continue the struggle, press to jedgments; our follies, our offences, our the throne, pray with all prayer, watch corruptions, yea, our total depravity; and and pray without ceasing; that we may in the recollection that Christ is made gather up the stumbling-blocks, destroy unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctifi- animosities, live in unity, and constrain cation, and redemption, call upon our the enemies of the cross to exclaim, souls and all that is within us to bless and “ See how these Christians love." This praise his holy name. And when the is the way to obtain the blessed and coperiod arrives, which seems to render it pious influences of the Holy Spirit ; to
enlighten, to convince, to convert, to comfort, to establish, to render the Gospel of Christ the power of God unto salvation. This is, therefore, the way to destroy the kingdom of Satan, to ex
tend the borders of Zion, to warm our spiritual atmosphere; and to fill our hearts, our temples, yea the whole earth, with the glory of God.
March 4th, 1838.
Most solemn and searching is the one is perfectly clear and satisfactory. question of Job in answer to Bildad, Justification is an act of God's free grace "How should man be just with God,” and favour. In this act he pardons our or before Him? And if he contend sins, and accepts us as righteous in his with him in law or argument, “ he can- sight, and this he does for the sake of not answer him one of a thousand." the righteousness of Christ; and this is Whether he condescend to question us, imputed to us, and received by faith we cannot reply; or if he exhibit charges alone. " It stands opposed,” says an against us, we have scarcely an excuse eminent writer, “to condemnation. It or extenuation to make.
And if we is the absolving a man from a charge ; pursue the inquiry with Eliphaz, we acquitting him when accused, and promust ask, “What is man, that he should nouncing him righteous.” It has ever be clean and he that is born of a woman, been considered as a law term ; so that that he should be righteous ?” So formed when a person has been arraigned in a and constituted, he cannot be righteous court of justice, tried and acquitted, he before God; for “the heavens are not is by the court openly pronounced rightelean in his sight. How much more eous, and absolved from all liability to abominable and filthy is man, who punishment. It is, therefore, an act of drinketh iniquity like water ? If, pure jurisdiction. It is not to be conthen, we are naturally so unrighteous founded with regeneration ; for it is not and impure, so guilty, and so justly con- to make a person righteous, but to de. demned, let us, with all imaginable clare that he is righteous, and by the eagerness, inquire after, if we have not decision of a judge. Hence, the Realready found, a better righteousness deemer is represented as saying to “the than our own. And if that righteous- prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in ness is provided in the Gospel, and is so darkness, Show yourselves ;" like perstrongly pressed upon our acceptance, sons who are pardoned and set at liberty. why not renounce our own, so aptly Is. xlix. 9. compared to "filthy rags," that we may In the economy of mercy, we must be adorned with the heavenly robe, in consider that God, as the sovereign which we may appear holy and accepted Father, is the author of our justification. in the sight of God himself ?
If any charge be laid against “God's Interesting and hopeful is the case of elect,” the apostle repels the assault by those who are brought to see that there saying, “ It is God that justifieth.” God is no hope in themselves, and that the may be said to justify by his judicial law of God can do nothing for them but power and authority, since he is the to convince and condemn them; when in justifier of him who believes in Jesus: fact the law acts the part of a faithful while Christ is exalted as a Prince and a schoolmaster " to lead them to Christ." Saviour, has a dispensing power, for he Let each reader, if brought thus far in the gives repentance and remission of sins. way of mercy, adopt, without hesitation The Divine Spirit, in applying the rightor fear, the language of our excellent eousness of Christ, is represented as Watts
sharing in the great transaction ; hence " No more, my God, I boast no more
we are said to be “justified in the name Of all the duties I have done ;
of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of I quit the hopes I held before,
our God.” To trust the merits of thy Son."
Our state as sinners before our justifiThe writer will not attempt any new cation must, in every instance, be a state definition of his subject, because the old of sin, and guilt, and condemnation. Both Jews and Gentiles are all under thus the Psalmist, whether he considered sin, so that “all the world are become his past or his present sins, on his singuilty before God," and, therefore, being cere confession of them, could look up to under the curse of the law, we are sub- God and say, "Thou forgavest the inijected to his righteous judgment. But quity of my sin.” As to future sins, when a believer becomes united to Christ our exemption from future wrath is proby faith, he has a participation in his vided for by not imputing to us ; “Blessrighteousness; for Isaiah affirms, that ed is the man to whom the Lord will “in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel not impute sin."
And this is very be justified.” For their sins being im- consistent with the fact, that every beputed to him, he legally transferred their liever will pray for the pardon of every debts to himself, and undertook to dis- fresh transgression of which he knows charge them : “ The Lord laid on him he has been guilty. The reason is the iniquity of us all;" so that on our plain ; his commission of sin subjects union with him by faith, his perfect him to the fatherly anger of God, and obedience is imputed to us, as though hence he will pray for the removal of we had performed it ourselves. For his fresh contracted guilt. His lanGod made him to be sin, i. e., a sin- guage, at such times, must be like offering, “who knew no sin, that we David's, “Pardon mine iniquity, for it is might be made the righteousness of God great ;” and “ Restore unto me the joy of in him.” And this is but one act on the thy salvation." This proves that where part of our Sovereign Judge ; for it is salvation has been bestowed, the joy of it not a progressive work, like sanctifica- may be lost, and by penitent prayer it tion, but it is completed at once, and is may be restored. In the pardon of sin, for ever sure and irrevocable. Both the
we naturally consider the removal of its moving cause of our justification, and the guilt from the conscience; for guilt is channel through which it comes, are nothing less than our actual liability or happily stated by St. Paul, Rom. iii. 24, exposure to everlasting wrath. For, ac“ Being justified freely by his grace, cording to the apostle, all who live in the through the redemption that is in Jesus lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of Christ.” How glorious is the grace ! how the flesh and of the mind, become “by full, how consummate the redemption ! nature the children of wrath, even as
If it be asked, “What are the leading others.” But on being justified, there is or essential parts of our justification ?" no more condemnation ; for the obligathe reply is, pardon and acceptance. tion to punishment being now taken For if our " old man is crucified with
away, can never return again; and Christ,” then he that is thus dead is though our occasional transgressions may freed, or justified, from sin. And so provoke our gracious God to withdraw according to the glory of Divine grace, the sense of former pardon, the pardon we are made “accepted in the Beloved.” itself cannot be revoked, for St. Paul In the pardon of sin we see how God distinctly assures us, that “the gifts and completely absolves the sinner from all calling of God are without repentance." condemnation. For, on our union to Acceptance is the next branch of our Christ, the apostle assures us, that there subject; for all who are forgiven are is therefore no condemnation to them that accounted righteous in their person in are in Christ Jesus." It must be the the sight of God; they become the obsatisfaction and merit of Christ alone jects of unceasing favour and grace; and that secures the inestimable blessing of hence are entitled to everlasting life. entire absolution. And this full and free The apostle, in the fifth chapter of pardon prepares the way for the enjoy- Romans, reasons delightfully on these inent of all other covenant blessings. topics, which the reader will do well to Hence the promise runs in these terms : consult. The sum of all this is, that if, “I will be merciful to their unrighteous- "when we were enemies, we were reconness; and their sins and their iniquities ciled to God by the death of his Son, will I remember no more.”
much more, being reconciled, we shall Should any anxious reader inquire, be saved by his life ; and that as sin “ What sins are forgiven on being justi- hath reigned unto death, even so grace fied ?" the answer, from Psalm ciii. 3, is might reign through righteousness unto most cheering and delightful : The Lord eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.” " forgiveth all thine iniquities.” And And it is as clear as reason and Scripture
can make it, that our acceptance can justified by the works of the law, but by only be through the righteousness of the faith of Jesus Christ.” Gal. ii, 16. Christ imputed to us; for Jeremiah We are led to accept the gift of rightstyles him, “ The Lord our righteous. eousness freely, without money or price ; ness." Now the righteousness of the and, therefore, says St. Paul,' “ it is of Son of God must be the meritorious faith, that it might be by grace." But, cause of our acceptance, and this must then, it is not in the grace of faith itself, consist in the infinite dignity of his per- nor in any subsequent exercise of it, that son, in the holiness of his human nature, we can establish any claim to a free and in his perfect obedience to the law, and glorious righteousness ; it is only in the in the satisfaction he made to the law by order of means to an end. For “ to his death. Becoming, therefore, our him that worketh not, but believeth on surety, his righteousness is in reality him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith considered as our own; we are treated as is counted, or imputed for righteousness;" righteous, for we are made “the right that is, says Doddridge, “is placed to eousness of God in him.”
With re- his account, or to the purpose of his spect to the imputation of the Saviour's being accepted, and treated by God as righteousness, we are assured, that “ God righteous. imputeth righteousness without works." As to the distinction between saving He accounts, or reckons it to us, as if we and justifying faith, it seems a distinchad personally obeyed the law, and satis- tion without a difference ; for all the fied the demands of his justice. Hence characters and offices of Christ must be his righteousness is “unto all, and upon interesting to the believer. Hence he all, that believe ;” and then, of course, will adopt the prevailing sentiment of the their character, their security, their hap- apostle: “ To be found in him, not having piness, must be developed. “That the mine own righteousness which is of the righteousness of the law might be ful- law, but that which is through the faith filled in us, who walk not after the flesh, of Christ, the righteousness which is of but after the Spirit: blessed is the man God by faith.” to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
“ Yes, and I must and will esteem Here it is proper to observe, that the
All things but loss for Jesus' sakeGospel becomes the external or instru
O may my soul be found in him, mental cause of our justification ; for
And of his righteousness partake." “therein is the righteousness of God re- From this important doctrine, thus vealed from faith to faith ;" and the gift briefly but scripturally stated, we may of this righteousness is proposed for our surely learn, that all boasting is excluded; acceptance. Who, then, has any reason that good works, which flow in every ina to be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ ? stance from saving faith, are fruits and
Now let the reader further remark, evidences of its reality ; they adorn the that this doctrine, this gift of the Re- profession of the Gospel, stop the mouth deemer's righteousness, must be appre- of adversaries, and glorify God. Finally, hended, received, and enjoyed, by faith what a topic of hope and joy to the Chrisalone. This is the internal or instru- tian, and of fear and alarm to the sinner, mental cause of our justification. Faith is the language of Isaiah ! has been happily termed the hand that “Surely shall one say, In the Lord receives and applies the righteousness of have I righteousness and strength: even Christ, whereby we are justified.” It is to him shall men come; and all that are surely a gross error to suppose that re- incensed against him shall be ashamed.” pentance can be any condition of, or in any Then assuredly it is the language of way instrumental in, our pardon and ac- fidelity and love to say to the sinner, ceptance, for it is remarkable, that we are " Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye never said to be justified by repentance, perish from the way." but alone by faith ; for “a man is not
R. S. A.