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commiseration. When a law is It will be proper here to add once broken, the injury can ney- a few remarks on the ground of er be repaired, but by suffering our justification in a gospel sense. its full penalty, or by that which From what was suggested to is equivalent. Besides, if repen- prove, that we cannot be justified tance will furnish an excuse for by the law, it is obvious, that transgression, and thus render it nothing which we can do our consistent for God to justify the selves, or which belongs to us, transgressor, repentance must be can furnish any ground for our the penalty ; but this is directly justification in the sight of God. contrary to the language of the The true and only ground of our law.
justification before him is pointThat we cannot be justified by ed out to us by the apostle, in the law, is further evident from Rom. iii. 24. “Being justified the death of Christ. God can freely by his grace, through the do nothing in vain. All his ac- redemption that is in Christ Je. tions are dictated by infinite wis- sus." The only ground of our dom. But God has sent his Son justification is, what Christ hath into the world to make an atone. effected in his obedience, sufferment for sin, that he might be ings and death. It is wholly out just and yet the justifier of him of respect to this, that any are that believeth. We are also as. justified in the sight of God. sured that Christ hath not died i Forasmuch as ye know," says in vain. But if men could be Peter to believers," that ye were justified by the law, there could not redeemed with corruptible be no necessity for the death of things, but with the precious Christ. Would God have paid blood of Christ, as of a lamb such a price, unless it had been without blemish, and without necessary? Would he have suf- spot.” “ By Christ all that befered the Jews to shed the prec- lieve are justified from all things, ious blood of his Son, if salvation froin which ye could not be jus. might have been obtained in any tified by the law of Moses." other way?
“ There is, therefore, now no Since we cannot be justified condemnation to them which are by the law, we must, if ever we in Christ Jesus." It is unneces. obtain justification, be justified sary to add further quotations to through the gospel. Though prove, that the obedience and all have come under the con- sufferings of Christ are the only demnation of the law, still, ground of our justification before through the grace of the gospel, God. there is hope. Sinners, even Though the law speaks noththe chief of sinners, may now be ing to transgressors but indignajustified in the sight of God, and tion and wrath ; yet, in the gos. become heirs of glory. Over
and immortality are all their defilement and unwor- brought to light. From the gosthiness grace reigns. Sinners pel we learn that Jesus Christ may be released from the slav- the righteous hath made an 2ery of sin, and brought into the tonement, and prepared the way glorious liberty of the sons of for the reconciliation of man to God.
his Maker. The penalty of the law,
which the sinner has incurred, righteousness of Christ is indeed has been the great and the only imputed to the sinner, and in conhinderance to his justification. sequence of this imputation be But in the atonement of Christ, is justified. But this imputation there is found a full equivalent is not a transfer of Christ's perto the penalty of the law; and sonal righteousness to the sinthough the penalty is still an- On this supposition, we nexed to the law, which in all its shall put the sinner in situation force is binding upon every one ; to receive justification from God, yet out of respect to this atone- on account of his own personal ment, God may pardon the sin- merit. For if the righteousness ner, and release him from suffer- of Christ be actually transferred ing any part of the deserved pen- to the sinner, it immediately bealty. It is evidently consistent comes his own, as much as any and reasonable for God to exer- thing else which belongs to him. cise mercy, as it can be done Impute, when used in connexwithout infringing his just and ion with the righteousness of holy law.
Christ, is synonymous with conLet it be here remembered, sider, esteem, or reckon; and in that the atonement of Christ is most of the instances in which it not merely the present ground is used in the Bible, it might, of justification, but that it always with propriety, be rendered by will be so. The desert of the either of these words. Christ's sinner is not altered by the mer righteousness, therefore, is not its of the Redeemer. Those made the personal righteousness who have broken the law can of the sinner, but reckoned, as never be in a situation in which belonging to him. In consethey will not deserve its whole quence of the atonement, in penalty. After they are brought which Christ wrought out everinto a state of justification by the lasting righteousness for the begrace of God, they are as really liever, now put to his account, deserving of eternal damnation, God treats him in the same manas before they were justified. ner, us if he were righteous. Hence it appears, that those who Herein we discover the peculiar are justified, are not only de- genius and divine nature of the pendent on the grace of God for gospel. Here we find a plan dethe first act of justification, but vised for the salvation of sinners also for their continuance in this worthy of Jehovah. In every state. The atonement of Christ part of it, God supports the diga has not altered the nature of sin ; nity of his character; the Medinor has it rendered it possible ator, who is the “day's-man” for the sinner to lay aside his ill appointed, appears unparalleled desert. The personal righteous- in beauty and excellence ; the ness of Christ can never become sinner is kept at the footstool, the personal righteousness of led, during the whole of his the sinner. Christ and the sin- Christian course, in the vale of. ner must forever sustain their humility, and at last exalted at own respective characters. The the right hand of God.
IS A LIE IN ANY CASE JUSTIFI
pect of restraint, and exclaim, shall we suffer ourselves, or our
friends, to risque our lives, our Nothing ought more to ex- property, our health, in order cite our surprise, than that there barely to keep our word ? This are found among those, who style mode of proving their point has themselves Christians, men, who two very serious defects. In the can decide the question, “wheth- first place, it needs proof, thai er a lie is in any case justifia- this expediency is a proper law, ble,” in the affirmative ; or can by which to try the question : even doubt concerning that de- and in the next place, it needs cision, the basis of all moral ex- proof, to establish the fact of excellence. The question is, may pediency in given instances. not lying, in certain cases, be pre- Against us, who maintain that ferable to speaking the truth? a lie is never justifiable, it is ofThis to be sure is a strange ten alleged, that scripture has question, but it is the real one authorised lying in some cases, to be determined ; for I shall because it has recorded, without not suppose that even those in censure, examples of good men, the affirmative would consent to who have violated the truth. utter a falsehood, if the truth Admitting that no censure, eithwould equally answer their pur- er direct or implied, (which perpose.
haps it will be difficult to show) The word of God is the stan- has been passed; this of itself dard which a Christian will
will prove nothing. Noah's ought, in all questions, to appeal. drunkenness is recorded withThose, however, who maintain out comment; but what tippler that a man may in certain cases ever justified himself from Noviolate the truth, decide the ah's example? Paul and Barnaquestion by the law of expedi- bas quarrelled; but who ever ency. They tell you that in considered their example, as llgeneral a man ought to speak censing others to do the same. nothing but the truth, because to Some have declared that Rahab do otherwise would destroy all was justified in her lying to the confidence, and hazard the very spies. Paul declares that she being of society. At the same was justified by her faith. The time they put an extreme case, conduct of men becomes an exthe exigence of which demands ample to us then only, when they the speaking of falsehood rather act in obedience to a just law; than truth. By exigence here and the examples in scripture is meant, that the truth would are for us to follow so far, as they be productive of mischief, and comport with the divine law, and falsehood of great good. To
no farther. If the scriptures this good, however, the scrip- forbid lying, then no examples tures would give another name. to the contrary are authoritative. If you expostulate with them on Let us then hear the word of the manifest wrong of violating God on this subject. a scriptural precept in order to “ The mouth of them that suit some particular emergency, speak lies shall be stopped. they grow impatient at the pros. He, that telleth lies, shall not
tarry in my sight. These six bound to give us a rule, and things doth the Lord hate ; yea, from scripture too, which shall seven are an abomination unto enable us to know on what occahim; a proud look, a lying sions we may lawfully break our tongue, &c. A false witness shall word. This has never been not be unpunished ; and he, , done, but every man is permitthat speaketh lies, shall not es- ted, according to them, to lie cape.
Remove far from me whenever he thinks that he can vanity and lies. Lord, who shall justify himself in so doing. But abide in thy tabernacle ; who
has God thus directed us conshall dwell in thy holy hill? He, cerning our moral conduct? Has that walketh uprightly, and he left it to men, in this great worketh righteousness, and affair, to be their own lawgivers speaketh the truth in his heart. and judges ? Let us beware, Deliver my soul, O Lord, from that we do not deceive oursclves lying lips, and from a deceitful as well as others. tongue. Lying lips are It is altogether foreign to the abomination to the Lord. purpose to say, that by speakWherefore, putting away lying, ing truth we may sometimes speak every man truth with his hazard our best interests, and neighbour. For without are even our lives. The same might dogs, and sorcerers, and whore- be said of our adhering to the remongers, and murderers, and ligion of Jesus. If we may desert idolaters, and whosoever loveth our duty because of temptation, and maketh a lie. All liars shall right and wrong are then interhave their part in the lake, changeable, as circunstances which burneth with fire and may happen. The truth is, brimstone; which is the second when a man has once settled it death."
in his mind, that he may violate These passages exhibit to us the truth in extreme
cases; the character of lying, and the such cases, to him, will occur sentence pronounced upon those, very often, and he will soon conwho are guilty of it. The scrip- clude it expedient to break his tures no where contain an ex- word, whenever it meets his inception to what is here deliver- clination.
Our best interests, ed. Every thing contained in moreover, are not to be found in them, respecting this point, is this state of existence; nor are decisive; referring to all per- they to be sought in neglecting sons, cases, and times. Such is
our duty, and in the commission the immense importance of of sin. We best pursue our intruth, that the whole moral terest, when we most faithfully world depends upon it; and such keep the commandments of God. is the amazing obliquity of ly. To obey him is always truly ing, that Satan himself is de- expedient. clared in the word of God to be Let those parents, who are in the father of it ; and we know too the habit of making promises to well its fatal effects on our first their children, with no intention parents and their posterity. of fulfilling them, and which
Those who maintain that ly- perhaps they cannot fulfil, reflect ing is sometimes allowable are on what they do, and the conse
quence of such examples. No- ence of his life : that his death, thing can justify such conduct or the shedding of his blood , had in those, who are under the nothing peculiarly meritorious in strongest obligations to be scru- it, except that it was obedience in pulously exact, and solicitously the most trying circumstances. watchful in all their behaviour, This seems to fall far short of from which their offspring may the scripture representation of take a bias toward that, which is the atonement. The vicarious good or evil. The practice of sacrifices under the Mosaic disdeceiving children with regard pensation evidently pointed to to food, medicine, and other something more ; and they were things, to which they are oppos- only “the shadow
of good ed, is on this ground, highly cen- things to come, of which Christ surable. Not only does the pa
was the substance. He offered rent destroy his own veracity in himself up once for all, for the the eyes of the child, but teaches sins of the world. And " withthe child to undervalue truth, out shedding of blood, is no reand prepares him to act accord- mission.”+ However highly we ingly.
may speak of Christ, as an exWhatever attempts may be ample to believers, if we exclude made to justify or palliate a lie, thé merit of his blood, as the that Being, who requires truth the ground of pardon and justiin the inner parts, cannot be fication, every pious soul might deceived as to its turpitude ; nor complain with Mary," they have will he fail to retribute according taken away my Lord, and I know to his own laws, and his own de- not where they have laid him.” clarations.
C. D. Christ made a proper expiation
for sin : therefore it is said, in view of the sinner, “ Deliver him from going down to the pit, I
have found a ransom,” (in the ATOXEMENT .
Heb.) atonement. I As atonement for sin is a dis- But as some make too little of linguishing trait in the Christian the atonement ; so there are religion, it is important rightly others who make 100 much of to understand the nature of it. it. Not too much, as to its gloIt is the foundation of the believ- rious effects. That is impossi. er's hope, and peace, and joy. ble. But they include things in “ We joy in God, through our it, which are repugnant both to Lord Jesus Christ, by whom reason and scripture. They have
received the consider that in Christ's dying atonement.*
for the world, there is a transfer Some have considered the of the sins of men to the person Saviour, especially those who and character of Christ, and a deny the divinity of his nature, transfer of his righteousness to merely as an exampile of holiness, them. But sin and holiness are opening the way to pardon and personal, and therefore not transjustification only by the obedi. ferable qualities. Such a pro* Rom. v. 11.
| Heb. ix. 22. Job xxxüi. 24.