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Lord shall all the seed of Israel be made righteous,” or justified. “For their righteousness is of me saith the Lord.” “He shall bring in an everlasting righteousness,” &c. &c. I do not remember the whole of these passages, but I know that they are in Isaiah and Daniel the Prophets, so that this righteousness is attested by the Prophets, as well as by the types of the law.
Olympas. James, can you give us any more direct and striking proof that this is a righteousness provided, and not an attribute of God?
Jumes. I think the qualification of this righteousness is found in the adjunct, by faith, a righteousness through faith. Now, surely personal righteousness, or the attribute of righteousness, cannot be by faith; for faith receives and does not impart or create any thing. This, then, is something obtained through faith, which is not our
It is not, then, God's personal or characteristic righteousness, but a righteousness provided by him. But I heard a very learned preacher affirm one day, that righteousness is not transferable. It is personal, and must, of necessity, be so. That gentleman said something like this—"That imputed righteousness, is imputed nonsense, for," said he, "righteousness is doing right, being right, and as a sinner is one doing wrong, it is impossible that if B do wrong, and C do right, that the wrong of B can become the wrong of C, or the , right of C, the wrong of B.” I could not understand this.
Olympas. We should like now, just here, to have a few words from father Clement, on the premises, but our evening hour is far advanced, and we will request from him his views to-morrow evening? We shall, then, call upon the Lord, and adjourn till to-morrow evening:
COMMUNINGS IN THE SANCTUARY-No. IX. Thou art near, O Lord! and all thy commandments are truth.-Ps.cxix. 151.
How precious, how beautiful is truth! How worthless, how injurious, and how deformed is error! And how singularly has the beneficent Creator formed our nature that we might be enabled to discriminate between them! Whether it respects the objects of the material world around us, or the more refined and mysterious things of invisible thought, how wonderfully has he provided us with powers of examination and of just discernment !
How quick and accurate is the sense of vision in discovering the presence and character of objects! How delicate the power of hear
ing! How discriminating the taste! How sensitive the nerves of smelling! And how reliable the information of the touch! Yet, however extended the range; however accurate the perception of each sense, the Creator has not restricted us to a single one. We might have been endued with the power of vision only; or with that of taste or touch alone; and have been left to judge by its unaided power of every thing presented to us—to test thereby our food and poison; our safety and our destruction. But God has furnished us with five distinct and peculiar tests to determine the gnalities of things, and in his infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, has endued those objects which are useful or necessary to us, with qualities which delight the senses; while poisonous and unwholesome matters are gifted with properties which disgust and offend them. Hence it results as a general rule, that every thing fitted to give us sensitive enjoyment, is, within its appropriate limits, equally adapted to nourish and maintain us. These are the good things of animal life, analogous to the truths of the intellectual and moral nature;—physical adaptations, imparting at once pleasure, life, and health to the physical nature, just as moral truths give happiness and vigor to the moral constitution.
And what are all the varied attributes of mind with which we are endowed but so many tests by which we may discriminate between truth and error; the truth that saves—the error that destroys the soul? What are our powers of apprehension; our faculties of comparison; our attributes of reasoning and of judging but means of investigation, and safeguards against delusion? And what that cautiousness in regard to our decisions; that disposition to pause, to hesitate, and consider, by which the mind is characterized, but the out-post of the soul to prevent surprize-the indispensable precaution amidst surrounding evil and aggressive error?
When, then, we consider the care which the divine Being has manifestly taken to furnish us with ability to detect that which is injurious to us, and to discover that which is conducive to our wellbeing-when we reflect upon the complicated nature of the delicate organizations through which he has thus sought to secure us against imposition and provide us with the good and truthful things of the natural as well as the spiritual world, how important must appear the right employment of these faculties; and how valuable the objects they were designed to accomplish! And when we think of the superior nature of the immortal soul and the irrevocable and eternal destiny that awaits it, how incalculably precious must that sacred truth appear by which that soul is saved from ruin, and how dreadful the error by which it is deluded and destroyed?
It is here, in the solemn teachings and institutions of our religion that this truth is presented to our contemplation. It is here, apart from the vain world in which the soul languishes, that this divine truth may invigorate the heart with the joys of a divine nature, and diffuse through all its recesses that celestial peace which the world can neither give nor take away. For, it is here that the King of saints himself provides the feast for his redeemed, and satisfies the hungry soul with the bread of heaven and the water of life. It is here that He who is emphatically “the way, the truth, and the life," becomes himself the spiritual repast that yields eternal blessedness and supplies the welling fountain that springs up to everlasting life.
How pure the blessings which this truth confers! How free the liberty with which the Son of man emancipates the soul! How glorious the destiny to which his love invites us! All other truths are precious more or less, but this is a priceless pear). All other truths confirm and strengthen one another, but this connects and corroborates them all. Without this all else were vain and futilethe earth abortive and man himself an enigma and a failure. With this, the very mysteries of nature are unfolded; the dark places of the universe are lighted up, and consistency, wisdom, order, harmony, and love are seen to pervade the past, the present, and the future.
With what ardent desire, then, should the soul seek this everliving and life-giving truth! With what readiness should it part with all that earth holds dear, to secure the possession of this inestimable boon! And with what earnestness should it devote its powers and energies to the discovery and appreciation of that truth, which is at once its light and life; its peace, its glory, and its joy!
But the truth that is so precious is not abstract or indefinite truth. It is not a mere mental conception-an unreal or ideal generalization. Nowhere in the book of God have we any revelation of this character-any truth that is not eminently practical. If it be stated that“God is spirit,” it is that he may be worshipped in spirit. If we are informed that "God is love,” it is that we may be influenced thereby to love one another. If it be announced that “God is light," it is that we may walk in light as he is in the light. And if He be revealed to us in Christ as "the truth," it is that we may so receive Him into the soul, and banish thence the false idols of sensuality and corruption.
Christ is indeed “the truth,” since he is "the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of his substance;—“God manifested in the flesh;"_"the only begotten of thc Father, full of grace and truth;"_"]mmanuel, God with us.” He is “the truth," as opposed to false divinities. He is "the truth,” as opposed to Satan, the father and the impersonation of falsehood. He is the truth,” as the fountain of salvation-the “author and the finisher of the faith." The gospel is "truth,” because it brings tidings of Him. We are viin Him that is true," when we are “in Jesus Christ;" and we know the truth” when we know Him, and realize that he is the liar who denieth that Jesus is the Christ."
Especially, here, in partaking of the mystic symbols of that sinless sin-offering upon the Christian altar, should we endeavor to appreciate the value of that sacred truth by which we live; endeared by dearest ties; approved by loftiest reason; received by living faith; and confirmed by an experience of the divine grace. That truth which came from heaver, and thither re-ascends, shall bear to the bosom of the Infinite, those who have been purified by its love; while all who refuse obedience to its authority, and walk in the broad road of error, shall descend to the dreary abodes of death, where their night of ignorance and crime shall be deepened in darkness by the storm of divine wrath, and aggravated in horror by the hideous presence of Satan and his malignant hosts, and the never-ending terror of eternal retribution.
THE BRITISH MILLENNIAL HARBINGER.
This excellent ally in the cause of Evangelical Reformation in Great Britain and Ireland, is conducted by Elder James Wallis, of Nottingham, England, a brother of great moral worth, and of high degree in Christian learning and piety. His magazine is a large monthly octavo of forty-eight pages, and is well stored with much useful learning and information. It is conducted with general ability, great prudence, and always breathes a good Christian spirit. It has able contributors and correspondents, and treats its readers with large quotations every month from our American writers. It publishes some of our regular series of articles in every number, and is almost as largely supplied by American as by European contribu. tions. Under the new postal arrangements, concluded between the English and American governments, it can now be sent to any part of the United States for about the same price per annum as our HarSERIES 111_VOL. VI.
binger, including both the postage and the price of the work. We select from it the following excellent remarks on conscience.
A. C. CONSCIENCE-WHAT IS IT? “I verily thought in my conscience I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus."-PAUL.
In various religious circles of the present day, when discussing theological topics, it is customary to appeal to conscience, sincerity, conscientiousness, &c. for decision as to the correctness or incorrectress of our theory and practice of Christianity. It has been said —but with what propriety we shall not pause to determine—that a correct theory will always produce a correct practice. We have thought, for some time past, that a few reflections, explanatory of the proper application of these terms, might be usefnl and edifying to our readers. These noble attributes, or virtues of the mind, are frequently introduced, even by some of our brethren-and especially by those who have been recently converted to the truth-as possessing a power which, in their estimation, ought to put an end to all controversy. Hence, how constantly do we hear the remark, “My conscience forbids me to do this, or that," in connection with Christianity. Yet at the same time, there may, or there may not be, any law on the subject. The feelings of one individual tell him that he must have "tee-total” wine at the Lord's table—the conscience of another that he must have unleavened bread-while a third says, there is no need either for bread or wine of any kind, for the institution is to be attended to mentally, or in the spirit—"and my own science must decide this for me, against all opposing brethren." Indeed, from the earnest and solemn manner in which some parties make their appeal to the above virtues, or attributes of mind, we might almost conclude that they were given instead of divine law, to be the great arbitrators of right or wrong among the children of men, or the disciples of the Lord. This, however, is not the case. peals to such arbitrators for the obtaining of a correct judgment in reference to the things of this life, would be truly ridiculous in the estimation of every intelligent mind. To the law and to the testimony, if we speak not according to this, it is because of our remain. ing ignorance and unbelief, or want of candor to confess the truth when presented to the mind.
We hear, repeatedly, of religious cases of conscience, or pious scruples of conscience. Now what are they? Scruple, derived from the Latin word scrupulus, a little hard stone, signifies that which gives pain to the mind, as a stone does to the foot in walking.– These cases, or scruples of conscience, are seldom of more importance than this little stone. They are often founded in personal conceits, or mere human opinions, which form no part of the Apostles' doctrine--of the fellowship-of the breaking of bread-or the worship of the congregation—and therefore, ought to be removed with the same ease and despatch as a small stone which inconveniences us when walking.
Again, sincerity is often introduced as another judge and lawgiver