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is now occupied by a perfect righteousness. He is now Jesus Christ the righteous.
THE believer should know in what this righteousness consists, and that it is perfectly adapted to his condition. The sinner is necessarily under that eternal law of righteousness, one jot or tittle of which cannot pass, till all is fulfilled. "He is a debtor to do the whole law." Gal. v. 3. He is also liable to the execution of the curse for sin. "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." Rom. iii. 19. A perfect righteousness must, then, include all that the law demands of the sinner, perfect obedience to the precept, and satisfaction for sin; as he cannot be sustained as righteous unless he is in such a state as the law shall fully approve of him. The sinner is naturally stout-hearted and far from righteousness, so that he is totally unable to answer either of the requisitions. The divine Surety pledged himself for both. He has also fulfilled his engagements, and now possesses a finished righteousness.
He fulfilled the preceptive part of the law. The character he sustained as our Surety required this. When John hesitated to baptize him, he insisted upon it from this reason," It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.' Baptism alone was not all righteousness, but as it was a solemn consecration, and initiatory rite to his public ministry, comprised all the work belonging to his public character. Every circumcised proselyte was a debtor to do the whole law, and, by submitting to that rite, avowed his obligation and resolution to obey. It is so with every baptized proselyte in the Christian church. It was so with Christ. Wherever justification is denied to our personal obedience, and ascribed to the righteousness of
Christ, his obedience to the law is necessarily implied. The Jews were ignorant of God's righteousness, went to establish a righteousness of their own, and did not submit to the righteousness of God, the Mediator's. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness." Rom. x. 1-4. The disobedience of Adam and the obedience of the Surety are contrasted. "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Rom. v. 19. It is plain from the contrast, that by obedience here is not meant the sufferings Christ, as Baxterians and some Arminians would persuade us. Two consequences followed Adam's act of disobedience-The defect of that righteousness which he was to complete by his obedience-And the entail of condemnation. The latter is contrasted with Christ's righteousness in the preceding verse: the former with Christ's active obedience here. All men were to be sustained righteous, according to the first covenant, by Adam's fulfilling its condition. In this he failed. But perfect obedience is still necessary, and the Surety took up the cause on the same footing, and obeyed the law, that many might be made righteous.
BUT the most perfect obedience to the precept of the law was insufficient to remedy the sinner's state. was obnoxious to the curse, and could not atone for his sin. The Mediator had also to expiate sin by his death in order to complete his righteousness. "He was made a curse for us." This necessarily proceeded from his being made under the law. A penal sanction is inseparable from a law; but such as are not bound to obey
with its sanction; because Those, however, who are
the law, have nothing to do they cannot violate the law. bound by the law cannot escape the sanction if they
transgress. If one become surety for another who has broke the law, he must take the law as it stands with the penalty annexed. Christ did so for sinners. He was made under the law; but the curse being inseparable he became under it also, and suffered all the punishment due to sin, which terminated in his death. In this way an atonement was made. "He offered one sacrifice for sins." "He put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Made reconciliation for iniquity, and brought in an everlasting righteousness." By being thus made a curse for sinners, he redeems them from the curse of the law. This completed his substitutionary work, and finished his righteousness; so that in the highest sense, "He is the end of the law for righteous
THIS righteousness remains in the person of Jesus, and here only can it be seen. His death was the finishing part of it, and it is often put for the whole of his substitutionary work. To commemorate this is the design of the holy supper; and in it this righteousness may be seen to great advantage, by the believer. By having it Christ is a justified head, approved and accepted of God, for the justification and salvation of his people. Through Jesus, as the Lord his righteousness, the believer meets with God, not armed with vengeance, but ready to communicate the blessings of his covenant, and the soul-refreshing assurance of his love. A view of this righteousness emboldens and encourages him in every holy duty; and the assurance of acceptance makes his fears subside, his disquieting doubts evanish, accelerates his pace, and adds wings to his soul. Appropriating this righteousness as his own, he makes it his ornament and his defence. In it he is not afraid to appear in the presence of his God, and to urge it as the ground of his plea for
every favour. Be persuaded, then, Christians, that a more suitable object cannot engage your attention at the Lord's table, or in your preparatory steps to it, than the perfect righteousness of your Lord. Renew your faith in it, put it on for whatever purpose you need it: Let it be your chief ornament in the house of wine, when in the presence of the king; that he may greatly desire your beauty, and delight in
7. THE believer may and ought to discern in the Lord's body the fulness of the Spirit and of all grace. To apply to sinners the salvation purchased by Christ is the Spirit's work. This follows the work of purchase, and depends wholly upon it. He performs this work for the Mediator, who is represented as having the Spirit, and sending him. This was promised to him Isaiah xi. 2. "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him." This promise was eminently fulfilled at his baptism when "The Holy Ghost descended like a dove and abode upon him." Mat. iii. 16. This fit. ted his human nature for its work, and carried it through every part of it. But he was to have a source of supply to his people, "That of his fulness they might receive, grace for grace. For this end, on his ascension, "Grace was poured into his lips, and he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows." Psalm xlv. 2, 7. He is the Lord's anointed; so are all believers, by a participation of his unction. This required his unction to be more abundant than theirs That he should have the fulness of the Spirit.
BUT sin stood in the way of the sinner's access to this grace. The Lord's body behoved, therefore, to be broken, to remove this obstruction. He came both by water and blood. He could not come to sinners by the influences of his Spirit, without first com
ing by the virtue of his blood. He expiated sin by his blood, and sanctifies by his Spirit. Both of these are implied in the words of Jehovah. Zech. iii. 9. "On one stone shall be seven FOUNTAINS: behold I will OPEN the OPENING of it, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day." This rendering varies a little from the common version: it is, however, warranted by the original, and the context requires it. The latter clause of the text is evidently a consequence from the former: but it is impossible to trace any connection between seven eyes engraven upon this stone, in whatever sense they are taken, and the removing of the iniquity of the land. The connection is beautiful and striking between the opening of so many fountains, as expressive of the fulness of merit and grace in Christ, and the taking away of sin. When the rock in Horeb was struck by Moses, water, some say in twelve streams, issued from it adequate to every purpose for which Israel needed it; so when God smote our Surety, of whom that rock was a type, these seven fountains were opened, that the streams might flow out. This was the "fountain opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." Zech. xiii. 1. To express the Mediator's perfect fitness for every part of his work, he is represented as having seven eyes, seven horns, seven spirits, so here seven fountains. The infinite moral virtue of his blood, and the irresistible energy of his Spirit, for the destruction of sin, are meant by these fountains. These render Christ a fit source of supply to his people.
BELIEVERS have not, at any time, a more urgent call for the communications of the Spirit, than when they propose to eat the new testament passover. Not only is