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My Dear Brother,
I am not sorry to know with some distinctness what the views of those are who maintain the law to be the Christian's rule of life; and what the arguments by which they maintain their opinions.

I desire, but without controversy, to consider the subject, which is really an important one, as calmly as I can. I make allowance, or would endeavour to do so, for theological habits of mind.

Taught myself exclusively by scripture, a multitude of expressions which are never found there appear strange to me, while they are at the base of the habits of thought of those whose views I have here to consider. Thus, "the moral law," "Christ's righteousness," and the like, which lie at the heart of the subject, are never found in scripture. But we must make allowance for these theological habits and expressions, see how far they are scriptural in substance, and hold fast the substance, while preferring, as surely clearer and more excellent, scriptural forms of expression. I have no doubt that unscriptural expressions are the fruit of, and lead to, unscriptural habits of mind; on the other hand it is not good to jeopardize substantial truths by making war on words which express them. The word "Trinity" is not found in scripture; the expression "justified by faith only" is not found in scripture; yet I need not justify them to you as human expressions of essentially fundamental truths. I have no better words, and I use what I find commonly used to express what I believe in my inmost soul; and I would not shake the faith of those who hold fast the truth expressed in these words to quarrel with the words by which thousands of saints have expressed it before me. So with the word "Person" applied to the Godhead. It is not scriptural; but I have no better word for One who sends, is sent, comes, goes away, wills, distributes, and does distinctive acts. The Father sends the Son, the Son does not send the Father. I doubt that any one will give me a better word than that which has clothed the deep divinely given convictions of faith in saints for ages. If a person quarrels with the word always used to express a truth without having a better, I dread a little his quarrelling with the truth it conveys. I say this that you may be assured that I do not seek to unsettle any simple soul by captious difficulties about words, or by resistance to expressions formed in the schools.

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If a servant of God merely sought to insist on the danger of what is vulgarly called Antinomianism -- that is, the wickedness of making liberty a cloak for maliciousness (and we know from scripture that flesh is perfectly capable of doing so), certainly he would not have me for an adversary. If they called this the moral law, in urging godliness as the necessary fruit of a living faith, I might have regretted the vagueness of an unscriptural phraseology -- the want of spiritual point and power in not making Christ the substance of moral teaching, as of doctrinal, as the scripture surely and blessedly does; but, in the root of the matter, I think I may say I should have cordially joined with what was intended. Such exhortations have their place and their necessity. That a Christian should walk according to the precepts of the New Testament, and all the divine light he can gather for his walk from the Old, be it the Ten Commandments or anything else, no consistent or right-minded Christian could for a moment deny. I could not own as being on christian ground one who would. I may not be his judge, but I am bound to judge the principles he professes. But I suppose such are rare, if such are to be found. At any rate he would receive no support from me or from you. I need hardly dwell on it otherwise than to reject it as utterly evil and unchristian.

It is one of the distinctive marks between heresy and any advance in true divine knowledge, that the latter always holds the moral foundation fast, the difference of right and wrong immovable and fixed, as it is in the divine nature and revealed in the word; the heretic slights or loses sight of it. This is remarkably shewn in Romans 2: 6-10, found at the outset of an epistle where justification by faith and by grace is so largely, methodically, and blessedly insisted on. The apostle does not stop to enquire there how the good is to be arrived at, or to weaken fundamental principles by explanations to prove their consistency with other doctrines, so as to enfeeble them. Other scriptures may teach us this, and do, I doubt not, clearly, and these we have to compare; but there is the great truth, in all its immovable and unalterable firmness, founded in the nature of God and responsibility of man. The divine fines bonorum et malorum (if I may use a heathen expression in divine things) are not to be overpassed. I may see that in myself I must, in my state of nature, be condemned on this ground, and flee for refuge to the hope set before me, and find a life which does continue in well-doing, as is here demanded, and find righteousness in Christ, and know I can find these things nowhere else; but immutable righteousness is there to make it necessary I should find them, however unspeakably the grace and glory which I do find may be beyond the measure of the responsibility which has forced me to seek them. These will never destroy nor enfeeble that. My objection to the way in which the moral law is spoken of, where Christians are put under law, is not the maintenance of moral obligations (this is all right); but that, by using the term moral law, and then referring to law as spoken of by the apostle, the teaching of the apostle is subverted and set aside, and that in practically most important points. And as this will lead me to some very vital truths, I desire to take the question up, which for mere controversy's sake I should not.

If I speak of moral law (which scripture does not), I make it, by the very expression, a fatal thing to be delivered from it. Yet Paul says the Christian is delivered from the law. If I make of the law a moral law (including therein the precepts of the New Testament, and all morality in heart and life), to say a Christian is delivered from it is nonsense or utterly monstrous wickedness; certainly it is not Christianity. Conformity to the divine will, and that, as obedience to commandments, is alike the joy and the duty of the renewed mind. I say, "obedience to commandments." Some are afraid of the word, as if it would weaken love and the idea of a new creation; scripture is not. Obedience and keeping the commandments of one we love is the proof of that love, and the delight of the new nature. Did I do all right and not do it in obedience, I should do nothing right, because my true relationship and heart-reference to God would be left out. This is love, that we keep His commandments. We are sanctified to the obedience of Christ. Christ Himself says, "The prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so I do." His highest act of love is His highest act of obedience.

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But this it is that just makes it so mischievous to put the Christian under the law, and change the scripture phraseology to another, and speak of the moral law being given as a rule of life; and having no passage in which "moral law" is used, quoting Paul's statements as to "law," from which he says, and insists on it as one of the chief topics of his teaching, we are delivered. Not merely that we are not justified by its works (yet we should be if the moral law were kept, and so he declares, "the doer of the law shall be justified"); but that we are delivered from it. A Christian is delivered from it, because it is ruinous in its effect, whenever applied to men who are fallen. Not, clearly, the ceremonial law -- that he could fulfil, however burdensome it might be. It is the moral law which is ruinous in its effect to every fallen son of Adam. Is it morality that is ruinous, or obedience to Christ's precepts? That were a blasphemy to say, and shocking to every christian mind. But it is of law the apostle declares, what was ordained to life he found to be to death. (Romans 7.) It is a ministration of death, and ministration of condemnation. (2 Corinthians 3: 7-9.) As many as are of its works -- on the principle of it -- its works are not bad ones -- are under a curse. (Galatians 3: 10.) That is, law means, in the apostle's teaching, something else than a rule or measure of conduct. It is a principle of dealing with men which necessarily destroys and condemns them. This is the way the Spirit of God uses law in contrast with Christ, and never in christian teaching puts men under it; but carefully shews how they are delivered from it -- are no longer under it.

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Nor does scripture ever think of saying, You are not under the law in one way, but you are in another; you are not for justification, but you are as a rule of life. It declares you are not under law, but under grace; and if you are under law, you are condemned and under a curse. It must have its own proper force and effect. Remark, it puts it as a principle contrasted with grace. But will a man say, You wrong us in saying we hold that a Christian is under law? I ask, How is that obligatory which a man is not under -- from which he is delivered? No; the apostle carefully insists that the law is good, that it is not the fault of the law that we are condemned, if we have to say to it (but he as carefully declares we are if we have); and that, in fact, we are delivered from it; that if led of the Spirit, we are not under law. He uses it to express a principle, a manner of dealing on the part of God, contrasted with grace. That is the way he speaks of law. I repeat it, scripture speaks elaborately of being delivered from the law as ministering death and a curse, declaring that we are not under it. Use the term moral law, and say so, and see where you bring us.

But that this may be before our eyes, I will quote some scriptures, that we may see that this is no light subject nor strained assertion: "As many as are of the works of the law are under a curse." "The law entered that the offence might abound." Mark the word entered (pareishsee footnotelqe). It was a principle, a system, a way of dealing that came in. "Sin shall not have dominion over you, because ye are not under the law, but under grace." "The sting of death is sin; the strength of sin is the law." "I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Is the apostle speaking of the ceremonial law? Far from it; he is speaking of the law in its moral nature and essence. He says, "I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet (lust)." And when he had said that sin should not have dominion over us, because we are not under the law, he immediately adds, "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?" shewing that the introduction of the notion of the ceremonial law has no place at all here. Nor is it justification he is speaking of here; but serving sin, or the contrary. No; he treats the whole question of law in a way totally different, and contrary to that in which it is treated in much evangelical teaching. I continue: "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence." "Sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good, that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful." Is this ceremonial law? It is a principle on which God placed man "four hundred and thirty years after the promise," which "was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made." But now the seed is come to whom the promise was made, and "now we are delivered from the law." What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God has done in another way. How we are delivered from the law, so as not to allow sin, I shall speak of presently.

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I am now shewing that scripture treats the question of law in another way from what I am here examining. Before faith came, we were kept under the law; but after that faith came, we were no longer under the schoolmaster. If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it unto Abraham by promise. The law was added. Further, if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness should have been by the law. "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin." "I, through law," says the apostle, "am dead to law, that I might live to God." "If I am led of the Spirit, I am not under law." "Ye are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, that ye might be married to another." It is "the ministration of death written and engraven on stones." How is it possible, if law could be used as the moral law, by which a Christian is bound, that the apostle should say, "Wherefore, my brethren, ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ?" It would be, as Paul says, making Christ the minister of sin. Let it not be attempted to be said, Oh, but he is speaking of justification by works of law: he is doing nothing of the kind. His words are, "Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that ye might bring forth fruit unto God." Being dead to the law is the way to bring forth fruit. So in Galatians: "I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." If I would bring forth fruit and live to God, I must be dead to law. Law is a principle on which we cannot live to God any more than we can be justified. No doubt, we cannot be justified by works of law; but there is much more than that. It condemns us positively if we are under it. It "works wrath." It cannot give life: but that is not all; it is a ministration of death -- is found to be unto death. It is "the strength of sin." By it, as an occasion, sin works in us all manner of concupiscence -- bringing forth fruit unto death. The motions of sin are by the law. It makes sin exceeding sinful. Is all this scripture, or is it not?

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Will it be said that this was the effect of law out of and before Christ? Let the reader remember that the apostle is writing to Christians, and reasoning against a tendency and an effort which beset Christians everywhere to bring in the obligation of the law after Christ. And he shews the working of the law for any that took it up to bring its obligations upon them when they were Christians, and declares that he who had been under law was delivered from it, and that it was a schoolmaster up to faith; but that when faith came men were no longer under it. The subject he is everywhere treating is law in its nature,+ or specifically an attempt to place men under its obligation after they had received the faith.

Law has its own proper effect. This leads me to the text constantly quoted: "Yea, we establish the law." And here I would pray you to weigh what I say. I declare, according to scripture, that law must always have its effect as declared in the word of God, always necessarily upon whoever is under it; but that that effect is always, according to scripture, condemnation and death, and nothing else, upon a being who has in him a lust or a fault; that it knows no mercy, but that it pronounces a curse upon every one who does not continue in all things written in it; and that whosoever is of the works of the law is under a curse. Now, in fact, the Christian has sin in him as a human being, and alas! fails; and if law applies to him, he is under the curse; for it brings a curse on every one who sins. Do I enfeeble its authority? I maintain it, and establish it in the fullest way. I ask, Have you to say to the law? Then you are under a curse. No escaping, no exemption. Its authority and claim must be maintained -- its righteous exactions made good. Have you failed? Yes, you have. You are under the curse. No, you say, but I am a Christian; the law is still binding upon me, but I am not under a curse. Has not the law pronounced a curse on one who fails? Yes. You are under it. You have failed, and are not cursed after all! Its authority is not maintained; for you are under it; it has cursed you, and you are not cursed. If you had said, I was under it and failed, and Christ died and bore its curse; and now, as redeemed, I am on another footing, and not under law, but under grace, its authority is maintained; but if you are put back again under law, after Christ has died and risen again, and you are in Christ, and you fail and come under no curse, its authority is destroyed; for it pronounces a curse, and you are not cursed at all. The man who puts a Christian under law destroys the authority of the law, or puts a Christian under the curse -- "for in many things we all offend." He fancies he establishes law: he destroys its authority. He only establishes the full immutable authority of law who declares that a Christian is not under it at all, and therefore cannot be cursed by its just and holy curse.

+The reader who understands Greek will see that, in a multitude of instances, where "the" law would seem to refer to Jewish law, the apostle is speaking of law as a principle. In fact, Judaism was the only case where God had tried this principle, so that it comes in the main to the same thing.

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What the measure of christian conduct is, I shall shew from scripture before I close. I only remark now, that, in point of fact, what we specially need is, not the rule of right and wrong, though that be most useful and necessary and in its place, but motive and power for our new nature. The law gives neither. The scripture declares it is an occasion for sin's working concupiscence in me, that the motions of sin are by it, that it is the strength of sin, and that sin shall not have dominion over me, because I am not under it, but under grace. Let a bowl lie reversed on the table: who thinks of it? Say, "No one is to know what is under it:" who is not wishing to know? The law is the occasion to lust. If we only remember that the apostle is speaking of law -- is speaking of its effect on every one that is under it, and particularly on Christians putting themselves under it after they are Christians, and not merely (though he does that fully) of being justified by it, but of its own proper and necessary effect in all cases, and the question, if scripture be an authority, is soon decided.

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How then is a conscientious man delivered from the law without any allowance of sin? First, they that sin without law shall perish without law, so that he is none the better for setting aside the law in order to sin with impunity. Secondly, the law is no help against sin. Sin has not dominion over us, according to the apostle, because we are not under law but under grace. What then does deliver from sin and law? It is death, and then newness of life in resurrection. We are in Christ, not in Adam.

Let us first see the legitimate effect of law, for it is good if a man use it lawfully. It condemns sins. But known in its spiritual power, it does more -- it condemns sin. It first condemns all transgressions of its own commandments. Here, as to outward conduct, a man, as St. Paul, may escape its fangs in the conscience. But known spiritually, it condemns lust. But lusts I have. Yet I see the law is right. I am self-condemned. It judges the working of my nature in lust, but gives no new one. It condemns my will, claiming absolute obedience as due to God; and, if my will be right, I discover that under law I have no power. How to accomplish that which is good I find not. Acts, lusts, will -- all I am morally, is judged and condemned to death, and I have no force to accomplish what is good. Such is the effect of the law on one when it does take effect in the conscience. It kills me. I have, as to my conscience, died before God under it. But then law applies to man as a child of Adam living in flesh. It condemns and brings death into me in this way because I am such. As such I have died under it; but, then, that to which it applied is dead under it, and it applies no more. A man is put in gaol for thieving or murder; he dies there; the law can do no more, the life it dealt with is gone. I, through law, am dead to law, that I might live to God. As regards my conscience before God, it has killed me. It can do no more.

But there is more than this, because I got at the intelligence of all this by faith, by being a Christian, and could not else thus see or reason on it. Hence I am dead to the law by the body of Christ. The death it sentenced me to in my conscience has fallen on another. I have died in Him -- in Christ. The sin has been thus put away from my conscience. Had this come upon me, it would have been everlasting misery. But Christ having put Himself in this place, it is everlasting love; and I have a right to reckon myself dead, because Christ has died, and I have really received Him into my heart as life; and He is really my life, who died for me and rose again. I am alive by the life of Him who is a life-giving Spirit; and hence have the right, and am bound to account myself dead, since He in whom I live did die. On this the apostle founds all his reasonings and exhortations as to sin and the law. He looks at the Christian as dead and risen again, because his true life, his "I," the life he has got, and in which he lives as a Christian, is Christ, who has died and is alive again. After saying, "I through law am dead to law," he adds, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." "If ye have died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living [alive] in the world, are ye subject to ordinances?" -- "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."

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Let us see how he applies this doctrine to sin and the law. In Romans 5 he had applied the resurrection to justification. Christ (chapter 4: 25) was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. It is justification of life; not merely the putting away of sins, but the putting us in a quite new accepted place before God. This connection of life, the power of life in Christ, and justification in Him that is risen after dying for us, it is (and not the law) which, in the apostle's doctrine, assured also godliness. "How shall-we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?" (Chapter 6: 2.) We cannot if we are dead to it. But such is our place in Christ dead and risen, and that a real thing, by having a wholly new life in Christ who is our life. "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin, for he that is dead is freed from sin." Then he shews how Christ died and is risen again and lives to God, and adds, "Reckon ye yourselves likewise to be dead indeed unto sin, and alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord." "Let not sin therefore reign," he continues, "in your mortal body," adding what I have already quoted; "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law but under grace." He then refers to the abuse the flesh would make of this; but, instead of insisting that the moral law was binding, shews them to be freed from sin, and servants to righteousness and to God, yielding their members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Thus, by being dead and alive in the life of Christ, are we freed from sin.

In chapter 7 he applies the same truth more elaborately to the law. You cannot, he insists, have two husbands at the same time. You cannot be under obligation to Christ and the law. Well, how is freedom to be obtained for the man under the law? He dies in that in which he was held. The law could only assert its claim on the man as a living child of Adam. The "law has power over a man as long as he lives;" but I am dead to law by the body of Christ; the bond to the law has absolutely, wholly, and necessarily ceased, for the person is dead; and the law had power over him only as long as he lived. Hence he says, in such strong and simple language, "When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins which were by the law." The law applies to man in the flesh; but we have died, we are not in the flesh: when we were, it applied. It applied to flesh, provoked the sin, and condemned the sinner. But he died under it, when he was under it -- died under it in Christ, and lives delivered from it in a new life, which is Christ risen out of the reach and place of law. He is not tied to the old husband; death has severed the bond, his own death and crucifixion in Christ; for he has owned that that was his affair as a sinner. He is married to another -- Christ, who is risen from the dead, that he may bring forth fruit to God. He is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of Christ dwell in him; if not, he is none of His.

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You will say, Yes; but the flesh is still there, though he has a right and ought to reckon himself dead; and therefore he needs the law, not to put away sin, but that it may not have dominion. But I read, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, because ye are not under law." When I was in the flesh, the law was the occasion of the working of sin in my members. I have died in that, and the law cannot pass death. Godliness is in the new life, which lives by the faith of the Son of God. It is death -- conscious death -- in Christ, and my being in Him, so that I am no longer in the flesh at all, but have Him for my life, which is the scriptural way of godliness -- righteousness, with its fruit unto holiness -- not the being under the law.

Living in a risen Christ as one who has been taken out of the reach of law by death -- that is christian life. The measure of that walk is Christ, and nothing else. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk as he walked." Let us consult scripture as to this point -- the scripture rule of life. I have given it: we ought so to walk as Christ walked. Again it is written, "He hath left us an example, that we should follow his steps." He is life, motive, and example too, He lives in us, and the life which we live in the flesh we live by the faith of Him. He has trod the path before us. He is all, and in all. It is as beholding in His face unveiled the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3); and thus, He being engraved on the heart by the Spirit of the living God, we become the epistle of Christ. (2 Corinthians 3.) And mark, it is there in contrast with the law on the tables of stone. We are to put on Christ, to put on the new man. This goes so far that it is said, "Hereby perceive we love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (1 John 3.) The law knew no such principle, no such obligation as this. Was it the law which made Christ come and lay down His life for us? Does not this example shew the extreme poverty of the thought, that the law is the rule or measure of our conduct? The truth is this -- there were two parts of Christ's life. First, man's obedience to God's will, which itself went much farther than law; for law did not require the path of grace and devotedness to man in which Christ walked. He did, as under the law, magnify and make it honourable. But there was another -- the manifestation of God Himself in grace and graciousness. This is not law. It is God in goodness, not man in responsibility. It is mischievous to confound the two.

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Will any one say, But we are not, and cannot be, called upon to follow Christ in the latter? I reply, We are expressly called upon to do so, and never to follow Him under law. What scripture says on this last point is that, if I love my neighbour as myself, I shall fulfil the law, so that I have no need to be under it; and, again, that in walking after the Spirit, the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in me, and produce what the law could not do, because it was weak through the flesh. The Spirit will produce fruits against which there is no law. It is a new nature, guided by the Spirit and formed by the word, growing up to the Head in all things, which walks worthy of the Lord. The commands of law do not produce this; but looking through grace at Christ does change us into the same image. But in this path of Christ manifesting God, He is expressly set before us as our example. "Be ye followers [imitators] of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and given himself for us as a sacrifice and an offering to God of a sweet smelling savour." We are called upon to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that we might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, not according to law. We are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us. See this character described: "Put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." If any one desire to have a complete exhibition of christian life, the life of Christ risen in us, let him read Colossians 3: 1-17.

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I believe I have said enough and quoted enough to shew the mind of scripture on the point that engages us. What its views of law and of its operation and effect are, and what the christian rule of life is too of one who has died and is associated with Christ risen, and who lives through Him. Law is the measure of man's responsibility as such to God. It is perfect as such and no more, and could not have been more than the measure of man's walk. Christ was perfect in this as in everything; but He went farther, and displayed God Himself in His own sovereign grace and goodness, and we ought to follow Him here as in His perfect obedience to God. He and He alone is our pattern and example, and nothing else. He is the object for the heart to rest on, and is to govern it, and to which it is to grow like, and nothing else. He is the motive and spring of conduct in us, as well as its perfect model which the law cannot be; for it is not life, nor gives it, nor feeds it.

But there are other points connected with this subject as to which a great deal of the evangelical teaching seems to me unsustained by scripture, and not according to its teaching on all material practical points. And first, as to the essential oneness of the Church in all ages and under all dispensations. That a sinner, at all times since the fall, is saved in the same way, no Christian can doubt for a moment. But salvation is not the Church, nor the Church salvation. If it be said, Must not a man belong to the Church of God now to be saved? I say, Surely. That is, if he is saved, he does belong to it, because this is God's divine order; but -- what saves him is Christ, not the Church. Christ saved a Jew who was saved; but he belonged to Israel as the order of God at that time, not to the Church; and the Jewish church (as men speak) is an utterly unscriptural idea. So far as an individual was saved, he was always saved by Christ; but that did not constitute the assembly.

There never was a Jewish church. There was a Jewish nation, and to that the man, called by grace as a Jew, belonged by birth, and was bound to adhere. Now he is not, because in the Church there is neither Jew nor Greek. A man was a Jew by birth, and a Jew in orderly fellowship when circumcised. The Church, even in its outward profession, stands by faith, is never composed of natural branches. The Jews were natural branches. They did not, in their divinely ordained place as Jews, stand by faith. A Jewish church is an unscriptural fallacy. Christ gave Himself for the nation, but not for that nation only, but to gather together in one the children of God that are scattered abroad. That formed the Church. The Church or assembly is the gathering together of "such as should be saved." This was never done in Judaism. The unity was a national unity, and no other. They were a holy people in their calling. When Christianity was founded, the Lord added to the Church such as should be saved. He never did this before. That was the Church -- God's assembly in the world. If before that a Jew came to believe, he was added to nothing. He was a godly Jew instead of an ungodly one; he belonged to what he belonged before -- there was nothing to be added to. "By one Spirit we are all baptized into one body." But the baptism of the Holy Ghost is positively asserted to be after Christ's ascension; in a word, the day of Pentecost. The church invisible is no scriptural nor tangible idea. It is an invention, particularly of St. Augustine, to conciliate the awful iniquity of the professing church with the truth and godliness necessary to the true Christian. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Ye are the light of the world. What is the value of an invisible light? A church under a bushel? There is no community in the invisible church. That the Church is become invisible, I admit fully; but I admit it as the fruit of man's sin. But this has no application to Judaism. There the nation -- the children of Jacob -- were the public visible body, and meant by God to be so; and individual saints were never otherwise gathered. In Christianity they were. He gave Himself, to gather into one the children of God who were scattered abroad. If they were gathered before as a church, an assembly, how could He gather what was scattered abroad? Christ gave Himself to gather together the children of God which were scattered. They were children of God, but were not a church, an assembly. They were scattered, and Christ came to introduce another state of things. If they were a church gathered before, how did Christ come to gather the scattered? If it means that He was to save in one body, at the end of time, all the redeemed, they were never scattered.

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But the nation here is contrasted with the scattered children of God, and Christ came to change this state of things -- to gather the scattered children of God; that is, to found the Church or assembly. Therefore He says, "On this rock [the confession that He was the Son of the living God] I will build my church." Had He been doing it before, when it was not, and could not be confessed that Jesus was the Son of the living God? Both Christ and the apostles speak of the Church and the gathering the children of God as a distinct and newly introduced thing.

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All the reasoning relative to a Jewish church comes from judaizing Christianity, or rests on the utterly fallacious idea that, because men are saved in the same way, they therefore form a visible community, and even the same community. Why so? Men could be saved without forming a community. Individuality is quite as important as community -- nay, more so in divine things. Conscience and faith are both individual; sonship is individual. The Jews were a community, but not of saved persons; but a national community of the sons of Jacob. The Church is a community, but not in any way of the same kind, be it profession or reality; it stands by faith. Individual salvation does not affirm the existence of a community, and there may be a religious community which does not imply salvation. The Jewish nation was such.

The whole theory on which the idea of a church in all ages and dispensations rests is utterly false. Facts fail equally. Up to the time of the Jewish nation, there was no community of persons making a credible profession. Abel offers his sacrifice in faith, but there is no community of those who make a credible profession; nor in Enoch, nor in the case of Noah. It is all a dream -- the idea of a visible community before the flood. When I turn to the time after it, I find Job alone, and no visible community whatever; and of Abraham it is carefully stated, "I called Abraham alone, and blessed him." (Isaiah 51: 2.) The point there urged is, that he was alone, and that numbers were not necessary for blessing. When I come to the first religious community, I find it founded on a wholly different principle than a credible profession of faith. A man was of it by birth before he could make any profession. He was of it, ipso facto, and could not be anything else: only his parents were bound to circumcise him the eighth day. The principle on which the visible church stands is faith. (Romans 11.) The principle on which Judaism stood was birthright, though not such as to destroy God's sovereign rights.

If scripture be true, though salvation was always the same, the Church, or community, or unity of the body of believers, never existed till Pentecost. Nor did its Head, in that condition in which He could be its Head, i.e., the exalted Man who had accomplished redemption. When thus exalted, God gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church, the fulness of Him who filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1: 20-23.) He has made of twain one new man, builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Chapter 2: 14-22.) God dwelt in the nation of Israel in the temple of old. He does dwell, through the Spirit, in a habitation formed as a new man from Jew and Gentile by faith, and that only is the Church; a mystery which from the beginning of the world had been hid in God, to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be made known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God. (Chapter 3.) The heavenly powers, at any rate, could not see it, visible or invisible. It was kept secret since the world began (Romans 16) -- was not made known nor revealed to the sons of men before. Men were not builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit; it was a mystery hidden from ages and from generations -- did not exist in fact. It is founded on the breaking down the middle wall of partition, and having one new man. The old thing was founded on strictly maintaining the middle wall of partition, and having only the old man. If scripture have any meaning, the Church did not exist till Pentecost, when Christ had been exalted, as Head over all, to the right hand of God, and sent down the Holy Ghost to gather into one body on the ground of faith. All men are saved alike, but all men are not assembled alike. Now "church" means assembly.

[Page 15]

I now turn to the ground of a common justification giving a common place with Christ. It is alleged from Romans 3: 20, and affirmed, that the righteousness of Christ is the only ground of our justification. This is incorrect. The apostle has proved as a fact, that on their own ground all -- Jew and Gentile -- are under sin, and that no flesh is justified by deeds of law. But the righteousness of Christ is not spoken of at all, but that "God hath set him forth to be a propitiation [propitiatory] through faith in his blood, to declare his [God's] righteousness for the remission of sins that are past through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness; that he [God] might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." That it is God's righteousness in justifying is declared positively, and that as distinguished from Christ, in verses 21, 22. The righteousness of God is manifested, the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ, towards all and upon all them that believe. God was proved righteous in forgiving Old Testament saints, as to whom He had exercised forbearance, and this righteousness was now manifested for our souls to build on: yea, we are it in Christ. To say that all saints from the fall are righteous in the same way is scriptural; to say that they are all the Church is contrary to scripture. God forbore with them, knowing what He would do; but righteousness was not manifested. Now at this time it is manifested, that God may be just and the justifier of him that believes on Jesus. The difference made by the manifestation of righteousness is a serious one as to our practical state.

[Page 16]

I now turn to another point, that the same rule of conduct must be given of God at all times. It is a theory founded on a theory. No doubt God's nature is immutable, and certain principles are immutably true in one who is a partaker of the divine nature; but to say that the law is this, or that the rule given to us to follow is the same, is false. This is the effect of an unscriptural use of the term "moral law." God did give another rule to His creatures for their obedience. Did He not give the law of Moses? -- the only law, remark, He ever gave (save the prohibition to eat the forbidden fruit). That is, the only law God ever gave to His creatures for their obedience was another from the present rule of walk. It had commandments given, because of the hardness of their hearts, which Christ abrogated. "The law made nothing perfect" (Hebrews 7: 19); and therefore "there is a disannulling of the commandment going before." It was said of old, so and so, "but (says the Lord) I say unto you."

To allege that it is impossible that a holy, just, good, and perfect God can give us any rule but one, is contrary to the plain facts and declarations of scripture. God did give another, which He has disannulled because it made nothing perfect; and there is the bringing in of a better hope, by which we draw nigh to God. Christ knew how to draw out from the inner chambers of this law the two great principles on which all hung, and these do present the perfection of the creature -- supreme love to God, and loving our neighbour as oneself. But even this is not in any way "the transcript of the divine character;" and it is a mere fallacy to talk in an abstract way of love, as commanded in it. I deny altogether that the law is a transcript of the divine character. It is the absolutely perfect expression of what the creature ought to be; and that is evidently what ought to be given as a law to the creature. I believe the angels in heaven fulfil it, and are blessed and happy in fulfilling it. But because it is the perfection of a creature, it is not the transcript of the divine character. Can God -- I would speak with reverence -- love His neighbour as Himself, or even (in the sense here used rightly of a creature) Himself with all His heart, and all His mind, and all His strength? These two commandments are the perfection of a creature in blessedness, and not the transcript of the character of God. The idea is fundamentally false.

[Page 17]

And further, it is not in this that the perfection of divine love is shewn, or the nature of divine love as commended in its own excellency to us. The love required -- commanded by the law -- is a duty flowing from the relationship in which the objects of love stand to us, and in virtue of which they have a claim upon our love -- God supremely and my neighbour as myself. It is the adequate measure of accomplishing a duty which is perfect happiness, from an adequate motive. God's love, as specially known and commended to us, has its excellency therein that there was no motive, no claim, no worthy object, but, on the contrary, an utterly unworthy object.

He loved sinners; He sent His Son when we were dead in sin that we might live through Him. "Herein is love, not that we loved God [that is what law required], but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." In a word, "God commendeth his love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Legal love is based, as law must be, on this -- that there is a claim. Divine love, as revealed to us, has its essence in this -- that there was none, yea, the very opposite to one. The only possible analogy to such love (and that it becomes us not to introduce in what we are speaking of here) is "the Father loveth the Son," or "therefore doth my Father love me;" but this is infinitely above all our place and thoughts; and if we are in any sense admitted into it, as (blessed be God) we are, it is only by sovereign grace, which has given us a place in Him and with Him.

The law is not the transcript of the divine character. It is the perfect rule for a creature, and cannot therefore, in the nature of things, apply to God Himself, because He is not in the relationship of a creature, and law is the expression of what becomes these relationships. If it is the expression of what we owe to God, it cannot be that of God's character. Adam was put under a law which required no knowledge in his mind of what was good and evil, or right and wrong in itself. There was no evil in eating the forbidden fruit, save as it was prohibited. It was not good or evil in itself: he acquired the knowledge of good and evil by eating it. The introduction of sin and conscience came together. God did not allow man to go out as a sinner from Paradise to commence this world without carrying a conscience with him. It may have been corrupted -- hardened; but it is there to be corrupted and hardened. Hence the apostle reasons as to the Gentiles on the ground of conscience, though not on that only; but he speaks of no law written on the Gentiles' heart. If that were so, they would be under the new covenant. It is not the law, but the particular work which their natural conscience approves or reproves, that is written on their hearts, a work found in the law too.

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It is often said that Adam was created in righteousness and holiness. This is all erroneous. He was created in innocence. It is the new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness, which we are called to put on: Christ, not Adam. (Ephesians 4: 24.) It is wholly new (cainovn), created. We are therein created again in Christ Jesus: at least so scripture says. So in Colossians 3: 10, We "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." The common statements on this subject confound Christ and Adam -- the new creation and the old. Adam was innocent -- had not the knowledge of good and evil. As to this the testimony of scripture is positive, it is the essence of the history of the fall. Hence he could not have righteousness or holiness, which imply the knowledge of good and evil. If God declares "the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil," he did not know good and evil before. Hence what is commonly stated is equally erroneous, namely, that Adam was righteous and holy, made after the image of God in righteousness and holiness. By the fall man acquired a knowledge of good and evil, which gives him, or rather is, a sense of right and wrong, suited to the state in which he is, the duties of various relationships in which he stands. These, in the main, the Mosaic law maintains, though not all in their details, according, to God's original institution. From Adam to Moses men were not placed under law, but they had the knowledge of good and evil -- were a law thus to themselves.

But we must not confound this with a revealed or given law; because in a law revealed or given of God there is the express authority of the Lawgiver; and the disobedient is guilty of express transgression of the Lawgiver's authority. Yet sin was there from Adam to Moses, but not transgression; for where no law is, there is no transgression. Hence it is said (referring to Hosea, where it is said of Israel, "They like men [Adam, in Hebrew] have transgressed the covenant"). "Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression." Israel had broken the law as Adam had, and had not only sinned -- done what their conscience condemned -- but violated the authority of God exercised in imposing the law.

[Page 19]

But it is the great mistake, as to the reasoning of the Apostle Paul, or the Christian's relationship to law, to make the difference which is attempted to be made between moral and ceremonial commandments. There is a difference assuredly. What natural conscience condemns as wrong makes guilt, if done without a law; a ceremony does not, as is evident. But the apostle goes much deeper into the question, and shews the effect of all law as a principle of relationship when a sinner is concerned in it. Hence he mingles up moral and ceremonial all together, not as indifferent to the distinction (for he is not), but as treating another question; using the law to convict of sin and kill the soul when it is looked at morally, and is known spiritually, and delivering from it as so known, by death and resurrection; and shewing that it puts man, if applied after redemption, under a fatal responsibility. It is a system, viewed as a whole, of which circumcision was the initiatory pledge, and man must do all or be cursed; for such were the terms of the law. Law, according to the reasoning of the apostle, was a distinct and definite dispensation of God, according to which life was promised consequent on obedience, and had its whole nature from this -- a righteousness characterized by this principle; obedience first, then life therein -- righteousness.

The gospel goes on an opposite principle. It does not give life as a consequence of obedience; nor is righteousness obtained in this way, or on this principle. To bring law in after divine righteousness is made ours by faith, is to upset and annul divine righteousness. It is, as we have seen, bringing in the law after Christ that the apostle resists. It is not merely ceremonies he sets aside: doubtless they fell as the shadow of good things to come, of which the body is Christ. But the apostle reasons on the application or use of what is called the moral law, of the use of the ten commandments, or tables of stone, as ruinous to the Christian, its use being to convict and condemn. He sets aside the dispensation of the law, referring specifically to the ten commandments, and yet mixes up the whole system with them as inseparable, as parts of one great whole, to the end of which Israel could not look, and which was to be abolished. It was given to have life by, but was found, from man's sinful state, to be death. To put man under it after redemption is to destroy (not man but) redemption itself, and bring in final ruin.

[Page 20]

Hear now what he says, "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? ... For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious ... . And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished." (2 Corinthians 3.)

Besides the contrast of law and gospel, I have two things collaterally here. The separation of the tables of stone, the ten commandments, as a dealing of God, from all the rest that Moses gave, is negatived. The apostle speaks of the tables of stone as a ministration of death, and of the whole system received by Moses, and which the glory on his face accompanied, as one whole. Any distinction made between the first tables broken and the second placed in the ark is futile. It was when Moses came down the second time that his face shone, not the first. The first time Israel never got the tables of stone. That is, what is abolished, because it was deathful, is that which was put in the ark. Let the reader consult 2 Corinthians 3. And the fact here referred to is one of no small importance. For, though the apostle distinctly refers to law, yet the ministration of grace does not help out the case if man be put under law afterwards. God had revealed grace (I do not say redemption) when Moses went up the second time, but put Israel back under law because Moses could not make atonement. (See Exodus 32: 32, 33.) And it is this putting man under law after grace, when the law was in the ark, that the apostle says is condemnation and death. For Israel was only thus definitely put under law (gracious forbearance in sovereign mercy), and life consequent on obedience or blotting out of God's book -- this was condemnation and death. Israel never received the tables the first time: they never came into the camp. After God had spoken to them out of the midst of the fire, Israel had made the golden calf; and Moses' face did not shine at all the first time he came down. Law after grace and provisional forgiveness is death and condemnation.

As to gaining life by the law, as put forth by Moses, the apostle says, "For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man that doeth these things shall live by them." (Romans 10.) That is, Moses proposed righteousness and life by the law; Paul but contrasts it with the righteousness of faith. Hence, in Romans 7, the apostle says, in his experience, "The commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death." The reader may also consult Hebrews 7, already quoted, and chapter 8, where the apostle insists on the disannulling the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof, and bringing nothing to perfection -- "made nothing perfect;" that the first covenant (for covenant it was) of Sinai was not faultless, and hence a new one was to be made with Israel. No Christian supposes he is at liberty to kill or steal. That is not the question. But does he refrain from killing or stealing because it is forbidden in the law? Every true Christian, I am persuaded, will answer, No; though he recognizes the prohibition as quite right. The man who refrained from killing simply because it was forbidden in the law would be no Christian at all. I have only to add, that the apostle does not refer to the law as the great standard, nor do all the duties they enjoin form part or parcel of it; for they enjoin duties which flow from grace. And grace is not law.

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We must not then confound the law with duties to God and our neighbour, imperfectly given in the law, and perfectly given in Christianity, along with the duties which the knowledge of God's love in Christ added to the others, the duty to be an imitator of God as manifested in grace in Christ. Being under the law gave sin dominion over me. The grace of God (is that law?) has appeared, and teaches me to live soberly and righteously and godly. But that is just the reason why I do not want law, because I am better taught by grace, which gives me power as well as rule. Under grace we are taught of God to love one another in the very nature and spirit we have. Hence, loving my neighbour as myself, I fulfil the law; not by having it, but by having love wrought in me by grace, and not being under law.

That the written word, from one end to the other, guides this new nature, and leads it in obedience, that is blessedly true. That when born of God -- which I am not by the law, for a law cannot give life -- this life is formed, directed, instructed, yea, commanded, by every word that comes out of the mouth of God, and especially by those of Christ, as the actual expression of that life in its own perfectness in man, I own with my whole heart. But that is not the law. It tells me I am risen with Christ, and that I am to seek those things which are above, where Christ sits; that I am an epistle of Christ, graven in my heart by the Spirit of the living God, in contrast with the law graven on tables of stone.

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But there is another portion of scripture which is relied on to put Christians under the law, I mean the sermon on the mount, and in particular Matthew 5: 17; but I apprehend the Lord's words are wholly misapprehended here. I do not believe the law or the law's authority is destroyed. I believe those who have sinned under it will be judged by it. I believe it will be written in the heart of Judah and Israel hereafter under the new covenant, the substance of which we have in spirit though not in the letter. It will never pass till it be fulfilled. But Christ is the end of it -- the tevlo", the completion and end of it -- for every one that believes. We are not under it, because we are dead and risen in Him, and the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives -- applies to man in flesh; and we are not in flesh, but in the Spirit in Christ risen: "If ye be dead with Christ ... why as though living [alive] in the world," etc., says the apostle. In flesh a man must be under law (which is indeed death and the curse, because the flesh is sinful) or lawless, which is surely no better; but in Christ he is neither. He is led by the Spirit in the obedience of Christ.

But we must remember that the kingdom of heaven was not come when the sermon on the mount was given. Redemption is not touched on in it. The kingdom of heaven was at hand. And here the Lord gives the character of those who would get in, in no wise of the revelation giver. to a Christian as in the Church. That this is not merely an idea of mine will be at once evident to the reader, if he continues the verse after those quoted, where the Lord gives the application of what He has been saying, "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." The kingdom was going to be set up. It was neither for lawless ones nor Pharisees, but for the poor in spirit and such like. But this is not the description of the state and responsibilities of those who are dead and risen in Christ. It is not the language of the gospel to a sinner to say, "Except your righteousness exceed ... ye shall in no case enter;" though this remains always true in principle. Then it was the humble, godly, converted remnant who would enter; not the lawless nor the proud. When the kingdom is set up, sovereign grace to sinners is preached. Yet it is certain, that he who really enters will have a practical godliness which is of the character here described, because he receives a new nature; and that the precepts here given will suit and guide him, because they suit Christ, and are His mind; but not as putting him under law. Hence, when it is said, "I am not come to destroy but to fulfil," it is a false deduction to say that I am come to call upon Christians to fulfil it. Christians are associated with Christ where He is now. The apostle's statement is, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes." The law itself is not abrogated, but we are not under it. "It is good if a man use it lawfully;" but "it is not made for the righteous, but for ungodly and profane." That is not for Christians surely. Useful to convict of sin, to bring in death and condemnation on the sinner, to make the offence abound, and sin exceeding sinful. Christ is all for the believer; while every word of God is good, rightly used.

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I have spoken of Romans 7. The apostle is contrasting the Christian's state with that of a man under the law. I am carnal, sold under sin; never once doing the thing I would, always the thing I hate. To say, "To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not," is not the christian state; or is not the christian state rather described when he says, "The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death?" The apostle is comparing the state under two husbands, the law and Christ; and the doctrinal statement is that, being dead by the body of Christ, we are delivered from the law -- no longer bound by it. Subjection to the first husband is the experience, practically, of Romans 7, though viewed from a higher point -- when a man is out of it; chapter 8, the experience of one who is married to Him who is risen from the dead, to bring forth fruit unto God. Mind, I do not say chapter 7 is not a converted man; but it is one who has yet to say, Who shall deliver me? Chapter 8 is one delivered. In chapter 7, consequently, the Spirit is not named; chapter 8 is full of it.

To quote "under the law to Christ," is mere want of reference to the Greek. It is e[nnomo" Cristw/see footnote, duly subject to Christ. "Fulfil the law of Christ" is a plain appeal against the law. The Galatians would have the law after Christ, and the apostle would not hear of it -- hardly knows whether he is to own them as Christians -- will not salute one at the end or at the beginning -- is severer than with all the abominations at Corinth. They were, it seems, biting and devouring one another about it. And he says, "Bear rather one another's burdens." If you want a law -- that is Christ's, that is what He did; that will suit you better. It is exactly the contrary of bringing them back to the law.

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The same neglect of the original has alone given occasion to making sin the transgression of the law. It is ajnomiva, lawlessness; not paravbasi" novmon, transgression of the law. It is a defective, very defective view of Christ indeed to see only fulfilment of law in His walk. God's grace, and man's obligations, as such, are not the same; nor was even the obedience of Christ limited to fulfilling the law. The law forbad sin, but could not command the Son of God to give Himself for sinners. This whole view of Christ's life is, it seems to me, an exceedingly low one. It is true, that "to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." But to say that following Christ, in laying down our lives for the brethren, is fulfilling the moral law, is an unscriptural and unhappy confusion of terms.

It will be alleged that Psalm 119 speaks of the law in a general way (and I desire to weigh all scripture, as far as I am able, for the good of our souls, and not merely reason as a controversialist), as to what may be expressed by the term moral law, and speaks of the saint's delight in it. This seems to me to be the strongest ground which can be taken. Psalm 19 also may be referred to. I apprehend that this is much more than the moral law being a rule of life. The whole power of the word of God is referred to in Psalm 19 as the means of conversion -- giving light to the simple. It refers in some passages to the law written in the heart, the true desire of a godly Israelite. The promises are trusted in; the threatenings of God's word, His judgments, looked at and counted on in the world; the word, as furnishing an answer to the reproach of men -- it is looked at as quickening the soul. It is the word of God, the confidence and guidance of the saint in Israel, not the rule of life of a saved Christian. What I would insist on is (not that the word of God is not used by God now for every effect in the soul, but) that it is not as law. It is a different thing from the law-being a rule of life. The word of God is called "law" there. This is plain if we look at Psalm 19. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." It is quite evident that this speaks of the word of God, as then known, as the law, in a much wider sense than a mere rule of life. So Christ says, "Is it not written in your law?" whereas the passage quoted was in the Psalms. It was the word of God, known in its capital and characteristic designation.

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If an objector complain that I speak of the form and character of the word as then given to Israel (while admitting in the fullest way, yea, with the most earnest insistence, the divine inspiration and authority of all), I answer unhesitatingly that I do, looking to be guided by the Spirit, view it as adapted to Israel, because given to Israel. I must rightly divide the word of truth. And I think it very important that we should so view it. Am I to say, "Of thy mercy slay mine enemies" -- "Happy he that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones" (Psalm 137: 9) -- "That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of enemies, the tongue of thy dogs in the same"? (Psalm 68: 23.) When the earthly government of God is executed, this has its place. I, a Christian, see, as a general truth, the righteousness of it; and, as regards that government, when God's patience has done everything, as it will, I can rejoice in wickedness being removed. Still this language is not, nor is meant to be, the present language of the Christian. Christ is presented in Psalm 69 as demanding the most dreadful vengeance and judgment on His enemies. (verse 22-28.) Did He, when revealed in the gospels as a pattern for us according to grace, ever express such a wish? His words were, at the very time the psalm speaks, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Is that, "Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold upon them"? Both will be fulfilled. One is the gracious personal desire of Christ, as we know Him revealed in the gospels; and to this the Holy Ghost answers by Peter, "And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus," etc. And this will surely be accomplished in the end of the days.

The other is the association of Christ by the prophetic spirit with the Jewish remnant connected with the government of God, which will bring a just and righteous vengeance on the nation who rejected Him, and with all who clung and shall cling to the word of His servants. And this shall be accomplished too, fully, as the foretaste of it has already come upon them -- wrath to the uttermost, eij" tevlo". But if we confound the Jewish spirit of the Psalms with the gospel, and take it as the expression of our feelings, we shall falsify Christianity. No doubt I shall find lovely confidence in the Lord in respect of His government of this world, the comfort of forgiveness, the happy confidence of integrity of heart, and remarkable prophecies as to Christ; but where shall I find heavenly hopes, or the union of the Church with a glorified Christ, or even the outflowings of divine grace, as manifested in His person on earth, or the blessed affection which flows from hearts acquainted with these? Where the blessed Spirit of adoption? Every saint knows the touching expressions of piety which the Psalms furnish to us; but no intelligent Christian can turn from the writings of John to the Psalms without finding himself in a different atmosphere.

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It is monstrous to suppose, if the disciples in seeing Jesus were blessed as no prophet or king had been, and yet that it was expedient for them that He should go away, because otherwise the Comforter could not come; that when He is come He should not have given us in joy, piety, intelligence, motives, knowledge of God, even of the Father and the Son, the Spirit of sonship, consciousness of being in Christ and Christ in us, communion with the Father and the Son, which the Old Testament saints did not possess. "The heir, as long as he was a child, differed nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all." This, the apostle diligently teaches, is the difference of the state of Old Testament saints -- "God having reserved some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect," so that the least in the kingdom of heaven should be greater than the greatest of those before born of women. Life and incorruptibility are brought to light by the gospel. I do not see piety or respect for the word in denying or undervaluing the revealed gifts of God unfolded to us in the New Testament. Is it nothing that the Comforter is come? Where in the Old Testament are saints called on to yield themselves to God as those that are alive from the dead? Is this no rule of life? Is it the law? It is a mere abuse of words to say so.

I have only a few words to add in closing. I am quite aware that it will be said, and is said, that it is not just to confound seeking justice and life by the law with making it a rule of life; but the whole theory on which this distinction is based is a delusion. Who has authorized us to take the law for one thing, and leave it for another, when God has presented it specifically for one? The apostle's statement is that, if we have to do with the law, it takes us, it puts us, under a curse, ministers to us death and condemnation. It does not ask us how we take it; it pronounces its own sentence on us. Is it transgressed? It curses. The effect of the law on all under it is the curse. I see no allowance in scripture for saying, I do not put myself under it in that way: Scripture puts you under it in that way, if you are under it. If indeed faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster, and, of course, not under its curse. To be under the law, and not be under its curse when broken, is an unscriptural fancy and pretension of men. "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh." "If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Such is the language of the word of God.

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But I have a yet happier aspect of the subject to touch on before I close -- the positive side of it. What is the rule of life? I answer, Christ. Christ is our life, rule, pattern, example, and everything; the Spirit our living quickener, and power to follow Him; the word of God, that in which we find Him revealed, and His mind unfolded in detail. But while all scripture, rightly divided, is our light as the inspired word of God, at least to those who have an unction from the Holy One, Christ and the Spirit are set before us as the pattern, life, and guide, in contrast with law; and Christ is exclusively everything. And power accompanies this (see 2 Corinthians 3), we are "declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart ... . But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." I ask, Is not Christ here in contrast with law? and if this be not exactly what I am to be, an epistle of Christ? and if there be not power in looking at Christ to produce it, which cannot be in a law? So Galatians 2: 20; 5: 16, where, in contrast with law, he shews the Spirit to be the power of godliness; that if led of it, we are not under law; and that against the fruits it produces there is no law. We are to walk in the Spirit; but this is not law. So Romans 13, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfil it in the lusts thereof." It is an object governing the heart, which is life, and at the same time the object of life -- One to whom we are promised to be conformed, and One to whom we are earnestly desirous of being as conformed as possible now; One who absorbs our attention, fixing it to the exclusion of all else. We are predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He may be the firstborn among many brethren. My delight in Him is the spring of action and motive which governs me. I cannot separate the person who is the example and the motive. My love to the person, and the beauty I see in Him, is the spring of my delight in being like Him. It is not a rule written down, but a living exhibition of One who, being my life, is to be reproduced by me; always bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in my mortal body. No doubt the written word is the means of shewing me what His mind and will is. But it is not a law which is a rule, and Christ only an example how to follow it. It is the word, shewing me what the perfection of this heart-ruling example is. "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." "We know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; and he that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

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Then He is a source to me of all in which I long to be like Him. Beholding with open face the glory of the Lord, I am changed into the same image. No rule of life can do this. Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. A rule of life has no fulness to communicate. Hence He says, "Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth ... . And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth." It is the Spirit taking the things of Christ which thus forms us into His image. What a blessed truth this is! How is every affection of the heart thus engaged in that which is holiness, when I see it in One who not only has loved me, but who is altogether lovely! Hence I am called to "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing," to "grow up into him in all things who is the head."

Paul seeks to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Christ is all, and He is in all saints as life to realize the all that is in Him. I am called, moreover, by glory and virtue. The object I am now aiming at is not now on earth; it is Christ risen. This makes my conversation to be in heaven. Hence he says, "If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." It is by looking at Christ above, that we get to be like Him as He was on earth, and walk worthy of Him, for so He walked. We get above the motives which should tie us to earth. We are to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to walk worthy of the Lord. No mere rule can give this. The law has no reference to this heavenly life. So we are to discern things that are excellent. Even Abraham did not, in the most excellent part of his life, walk by rule. He looked for a city which hath foundations, and was a stranger and a pilgrim in the land of promise. Reduce me to a mere rule of life, I lose the spring of action.

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The discernment of a Christian depends on his spiritual and moral state, and God means it to be so. He will not be a mere director, as it is expressed. He makes us dependent on spirituality even to know what His will is. It is not that there are counsels of perfection, for the discernment of the inward life makes what it discerns at once a delight and a duty; and the perfection of Christ we are not very likely to get above. Yet that is set before us as attainment; the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, our measure, our model, our rule, our strength, and our help in grace, the object of our delight, and our motive in walking, and One who has an absolute claim on our hearts.

I see, in reading this over, a thought wanting which may make one point more clear. We must not confound obedience and law. The character of Christ's obedience was different from legal obedience. When a child desires anything, as to go anywhere, and I forbid, and it at once obeys, I speak of its ready obedience. Christ never obeyed in this way; He never had a desire checked by an imposed law. It was never needed to say to Him, Thou shalt not, when He willed to do anything. He acted because His Father willed it. That was His motive, the only cause of His acting. He lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. When there was none, He had nothing to do. Hence the will of God, whatever it was, was His rule; obedience to sovereign will is not a limited law. There may be no revelation to us of particular duties; but such things are recorded in scripture, and the readiness to do whatever God's will may be is right; and spiritual discernment becomes a command.

St. Paul was not to go into Mysia and Bithynia. He used also Isaiah 49, and called it a command when it applied. We may have none of the first as he had it, and much less of the discernment; but the principle of readiness to any will of God is right. Again, there is the active bringing forth of fruit to God which characterizes Christianity in contrast with the law -- the fruits of the Spirit, the bringing forth fruits, and much fruit (Galatians 5: 22), which is impossible to ascribe to law. Romans 7; John 15; so Philippians 1: 11, "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." Surely these are not according to a rule of law.

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I would just refer with more preciseness to Galatians 2. Its reasoning is this. "If I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor in destroying them." Now I have left the law, argues the apostle, to come to Christ. If I set it up again, I was wrong in destroying it; but Christ led me to do it; and thus He has brought me into what is wrong. Thus, in setting up the law again, you make Christ a minister of sin. It is setting up the law again after Christ that the apostle has to combat everywhere. We have seen that it was not only justification which was in question. They had abandoned the law because it could not justify, but they had left it altogether. And they were charged with Antinomianism. Thereupon the apostle answers, not by setting up the law in another shape again, but by declaring that there is a new nature, and walking according to this rule -- Christ, looking to Him and walking as He walked, and the Spirit, in following which they were not under law, but produced fruits against which there was no law. Patience with sincere souls who are under law, is all right: God only can deliver them; but clear scriptural truth is all-important for the glorifying of Christ, even for their sakes who are under law.

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It was, for its own purposes, a well-devised law in France which, to destroy the influence of the press, made the writer of every article sign his name to it. That told its value. We are freer here, and I cannot regret it. But singular effects and discoveries would be made if every one were bound to put his name to his commentaries on his neighbour or on his brethren.

The article in the "Quarterly Journal of Prophecy," which has led me to make this remark, is however characterized by its contents without any name at all. Charity calls upon me to suppose it is a brother, though his paper takes, alas! the form of accusing those whom he does not deny to be brethren. He may be assured that, reviled, they are not going to revile again. I should not have noticed at all the article on account of the attack contained in it. On no ground would I do so; and it seems to me that this attack will, for every mind that has a trace of nobleness in it, carry its own answer with it, or will find it in the bosom of one who is morally above the spirit in which it is conceived. I take notice of it because it is one of a series attacking doctrines -- doctrines which I, for my part, admit and regard very important points: some reaching even to the personal glory of Christ; others, to the true christian liberty of the disciples of the Lord. The attack on doctrine is not made on the writer of these lines. He treats it as a subject of common interest to all.

I will first venture some short words of counsel to the brother who is the author of the article. I regret that Mr. S -- should have furnished occasion (I cannot doubt that he regrets it now himself), in a moment of excitement, to such a comment on his language; I regret that one, whom I must suppose to be a brother, should have profited by it. I should have thought its character, which is noticed by the writer in the journal, would have been sufficient to lead a mind, which itself was morally above it, not to use it as a weapon of attack, but see sufficient excitement in it to have regretted it himself for its author's sake, and to have left it in the silence which probably he, in cooler moments, would desire. But I must leave my anonymous author to judge of this for himself. It was a good occasion to attack the "Brethren," and he was disposed to profit by it. He has sought out other allies too. I would only add a word of warning as to all this part of the article: that if a person will grabble in the mud to cast dirt at his neighbours, he is sure to dirty his own hands, whatever he does with others. Perhaps those whom he is flinging it at may go peacefully on their way, guarded by an unseen hand from his efforts. With these few words, I can only leave the author in the position and with the allies he has chosen for himself, and turn to what is really important -- the doctrines impeached. I may be perhaps allowed to say, as personally interested in them, I am thankful to the "Brethren" for their patience and grace in the trying circumstances alluded to, and to the Lord for them that He enabled them to be so; admitting, as I suppose all would, imperfection and shortcoming.

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Mr. Mackintosh's accuser shelters himself under the Thirty-nine Articles and the Westminster Confession. But these may be signed and appealed to, and all manner of intolerable doctrines held. Those whom the Free Church of Scotland left signed the Westminster Confession. Justification by works is preached under shelter of the Thirty-nine Articles; Puseyite altars are erected, and baptismal regeneration taught, by those who have signed them -- is taught in the Westminster Confession itself. The denial of inspiration is largely spread under the safeguard of the Thirty-nine Articles; and in the Free Church the doctrine is securely promulgated, that Christ was viewed as such a leper that God did not allow Him to visit any holy place nor sleep in Jerusalem. They are a poor protection for the faith of God's elect. More error than truth is taught by those who have signed them, and error ruinous to souls.

The writer in the "Journal of Prophecy," who is not under French law, would give more security for sound doctrine by teaching it than by referring to the Anglican and Scottish Confessions, which are elastic enough to admit many novel doctrines and all manner of evil ones.

But I have a more serious charge than the vain shelter by which he seeks to secure confidence in his orthodoxy, and that is, that his accusations are unfounded, and that, in one point at least, he knows them to be unfounded. I will take the second point first, as it will lead into the main object of these lines -- the doctrine of the sacrifices.

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"Of late," says our author, "they have become very zealous for the old Valentinian heresy of the 'heavenly humanity of Christ.' ... They deny that Christ's body was of the substance of the Virgin. The author of that very unsound and objectionable book, 'Notes on Leviticus,' maintains this." Now, my brother, you must have known that this was not true. I make allowance for excitement and prejudice, but your accusation is a serious one. I shall quote from Mr. Mackintosh's book, which I had not before read, and every one will judge. We are all liable to mistakes, and it is well to correct them; but your charge is a definite one -- that Mr. Mackintosh maintains this: i.e., the denial that Christ's body was of the substance of the Virgin. The reader shall judge whether this accusation is well-founded.

Mr. Mackintosh says, "It was a real human body -- real flesh and blood." There is no possible foundation here on which Gnosticism (that is, the old Valentinian heresy of which the journal speaks) or mysticism can base its vapid and worthless theories. Again, "None but a real man could accomplish this [the first promise of the woman's seed], one whose nature was as real as it was pure and incorruptible. 'Thou shalt conceive in thy womb,' said the angelic messenger, 'and bring forth a son."' To this passage the following note is appended: "But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." (He gives the Greek words, genomevnon, etc.) "This is a most important passage, inasmuch as it sets forth our Lord as Son of God and Son of man: 'God sent forth His Son, made of a woman.' Precious testimony to the 'flesh and blood,' of which the Eternal Son 'took part,' while absolutely real," etc. And so is all the doctrine of this part where he treats of the subject. He speaks of Mary's relation to the blessed One as the mother of Jesus.

Now he does not accept the doctrine of a sin-bearing life shut out from the favour of God; but, because he does not agree as to this with the school of the "Journal of Prophecy," is this a reason for charging him with what he formally condemns, and the contrary of which he diligently teaches? I must leave the reader to compare the extracts I have given with the accusations of the article. I will state from Gieseler and Mosheim what the Valentinian heresy is, and readers will judge how applicable it is.

"From the great original (according to him, depth, first father, first cause) with whom is the consciousness of himself ([inward] thought, silence) emanate in succession male and female Aeons (mind or firstborn and truth, word and life, man and church, etc. So that thirty Aeons together, divided into the octoad, decad, and dodecad, form the pleroma -- fulness). From the passionate striving of the last Aeon, Sophia (wisdom), to unite itself with 'depth' itself, arises an untimely being, Achamoth, which, wandering about outside the Pleroma, communicates the germ of life to matter, and forms the Demiurge (creator) of psychical material (matter having the life of a living soul), who immediately creates the world. In the meantime two new Aeons had arisen, Christ and the Holy Ghost. Then there emanated from all the Aeons Jesus the Saviour, who, as the future associate (suvxugo") of Achamoth, was to lead her and the spiritual nature into the Pleroma. The Saviour united Himself at His baptism with the psychical Messiah (having a living soul) promised by Demiurge." For the Old Testament came from the creator of the world, not from God. Hence Hyle, or matter, being from the bad god, or itself eternal and bad and put in order by him, they held it to be bad. Some or all of them held that when Christ was crucified the Aeon flew away, and indeed the Aeon only to have taken an apparent, or rather an ethereal, body, and hence never to have really suffered.

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"The misery Achamoth was in, outside the Pleroma, led her to look for Jesus, the Aeon produced by the Aeons to help her, which was granted, and creation went on between her, Demiurge, and Jesus, spiritual, animal life, and matter being separated; only Achamoth put a little spiritual, unknown to Demiurge, into man. This last must go back to God; matter could not (there was no resurrection); and the living soul might or might not. Demiurge was the God of the Jews, and author of the Old Testament. Men becoming corrupt, Christ came to save them. He took human nature, spiritual, animal, and corporeal; but this last (that He might not be leavened, so to speak, with matter) was ethereal, heavenly in its nature, and only passed through the Virgin Mary. At John's baptism, Jesus descended on him as a dove. When he was going to be crucified, the Aeon Jesus and his spiritual soul left, and only his animal soul and ethereal body were crucified."

Now I do not know whether the reader will be edified with this short account of the old Valentinian heresy; but at any rate he will be able to judge whether Mr. Mackintosh maintains it. Our journal selects the part merely as to the ethereal body to prove him guilty: whether he is, any one has only to read Mr. Mackintosh's remarks on the second chapter of Leviticus, and he can easily judge. The one expression, "The conception of Christ's humanity by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary," would suffice to shew the character of the accusation. Indeed the full declaration of the deity of Christ found in Mr. Mackintosh's statements equally sets aside the Valentinian notions, as to the precise nature of which there is some confusion, but the folly of which, to our sober western minds, is almost incomprehensible. In the Valentinian theory Jesus came down only at John's baptism. Now, I ask, how can I think that the writer believes his own accusation? But this is a serious thought.

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I turn to the sacrifices. Here, again, I must complain of the accusations not being founded on fact. I can understand another not agreeing with Mr. Mackintosh in his explanations of a type, or his views as to Christ's not being a sin-bearer during His ministerial or previous life. But the article charges Mr. M. with declaring the burnt offering not to be propitiatory. He does not use the word propitiatory; it is not used in the chapter. But he does several times declare it to be atonement, and speaks of it as a special and a blessed character of atonement. The difference he refers to is, that atonement in the sin offering is measured by man's sins; in the burnt offering, according to the infinite value to God of Christ's voluntary offering Himself without spot to God. "Atonement, as seen in the burnt offering, is not merely commensurate with the claims of man's conscience, but with the intense desire of the heart of Christ to carry out the will and to establish the counsels of God. It is atonement, not according to the depth and enormity of human guilt, but according to the perfection of Christ's surrender of Himself to God, and the intensity of God's delight in Christ. This gives us the very loftiest idea of atonement." "The burnt offering aspect of atonement is that about which the priestly household may well be occupied in the courts of the Lord's house for ever." Now, Mr. M. does not enter upon the question here at all why this atonement was by death. He is entirely occupied with the different character of the atonement itself, as exhibited in the burnt and in the sin offering, and that the view of the atonement in the burnt offering was (not its sin-bearing character as "made sin," as it was in the sin offering, but) Christ's voluntary offering Himself up to death in order to glorify God. As Mr. Darby's name is set at the head of the article, I may add that, in the "Types of Leviticus," it is said that Christ, as the burnt offering, fully underwent the judgment of God; and that, besides other things, the cry, "My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" -- a cry which remained without answer till the expiation was accomplished -- shews to us the Son of God fully put to the test by judgment. And this is enlarged upon, shewing that it only rose in a sweet savour. I quote the following words, "All the manifestations of righteousness in Him were of no avail (i.e., to win man) in themselves. Thus it was needful that He should become a sacrifice; it was necessary that His blood should be shed that we might draw near to God. Now, it is under this character that the burnt offering represents Him to us." Now this part of the subject Mr. Mackintosh does not dwell on, but he does call the burnt offering an atonement.

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Two points arise here. Is the charge of Socinianism just? And is the view of the article in the "Quarterly Journal" just as to the sacrifices? As to the charge of Socinianism it is simply ridiculous. The author admits that propitiation is taught as to the sin offering. All he can bring himself, however, to say is, "Admitting the sin offering to be propitiatory, which they could hardly deny." But do not the Socinians quite deny it? Is it not their characteristic view? That, and the denial of Christ's deity, both of which Mr. Mackintosh largely and zealously puts forth. I should have to cite all his pages on the sin offering, did I quote passages to prove that he views Christ as the sin-bearer, made sin, so making propitiation. Now the journalist must know that Mr. Mackintosh's views are the direct and absolute opposite of Socinian views. I say he must know it; I will examine his own views on the subject in a moment: but he must know this. The point Mr. Mackintosh is insisting on is thus summed up: "He (the Lord) says on one occasion, The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" And again, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." The first of these passages he refers to as expressing the spirit of the burnt offering; the latter, of the contemplation of His place as the sin offering. The statements, then, of the article are untrue. The motive of them is evident in it too.

"The vicariousness of Christ's life," it says, "is denied: Christ was not our substitute till He came to die." Hinc illae lachrymae. But is it an honourable thing to charge deadly doctrine on a person falsely, because he does not agree with the accuser on another point? The author has heard that some of them speak of imputed righteousness as imputed nonsense. Where did he hear it? If I do not mistake, it was Wesley's saying, though I cannot affirm it. Was he a Socinian? The writer should be calmer; by all this violence he betrays what it is that animates him. He plunges himself too into very unguarded assertions in his haste. He says, "If Christ was not the sin-bearer during His life, the Socinian explanation of His sorrows is the right one." Of what sorrows? His sorrows on the cross? This is foolish language. I do not know what particular views the Socinians have of Christ's sorrows during His life, but every one knows their main principles are the denial of the deity of Christ and of the atonement. Now saying, if Christ was not a sin-bearer during His life, their explanation of His sorrows is the true one, casts the whole truth of the gospel on the particular views of the journalist on the point of Christ bearing sin all His life, and living all His life under wrath; that is, that the Socinian's views as to Christ's sufferings on the cross and all are right, if the writer's views as to Christ's vicarious life are not right: for the writer makes no distinction in sufferings during the life of Christ and sufferings on the cross, none between what He suffered from man, when He had hatred for His love, and what He suffered from the wrath of God. He throws all together; and if this confusion be not right, he says the Socinians are.

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Now I do not at all charge him with any approach to their views, but I do with rashness, and great carelessness or ignorance in speaking of the sufferings of Christ. For he makes His sufferings and sorrows all one in character (those on the cross and all the rest being undistinguished) and says that the Socinian view of them is right, if his particular thoughts are not. It is to be remembered that, although it went on to death, Christ was alive when bearing our sins on the tree.

And now as to the doctrine of the sacrifices itself. Bishop Patrick is first referred to, to destroy the edge and break the handle of the Socinian axe of C. H. M. and Darbyism. But I am often at a loss to know whether it be the haste of violence and vexation, or real want of honesty, that animates the pen and argument (I am sure, not the heart) of our Scottish adversaries; but I really believe the former. But it is sadly rash and careless, and ought not to be allowed in grave accusations. "Bishop Patrick," we are told, "in his Commentary on Leviticus, remarks, that the burnt offering, the holocaust, was the most ancient sacrifice in the world." I have turned to Bishop Patrick. He does so. That is the beginning of his note; here is the end: "I shall add no more, but that these whole burnt offerings seem to have been simple acknowledgments of God, the Creator of the world, and testifications that they own Him to be their Lord, and continued in covenant with Him, and implored His blessing upon them. And therefore, with respect to the first and last of these considerations (the first was, no man eating of them), the Gentiles were permitted to bring these sacrifices (as the Jews tell us), but no others whatsoever to be offered to God." This is in the same note as what our journalist quotes -- a note whose real object is to shew that they were not propitiatory. If C. H. M. had written this! But perhaps Noah's sacrifice, and Abel's, will help us out. They are tacked on to Bishop Patrick by the article.

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Hear him on Noah's: "Some think these burnt offerings had something in them of the nature of a propitiatory sacrifice, as well as eucharistical, which they certainly were, for their deliverance from the flood. Their reason is taken from what follows, 'The Lord smelled a sweet savour' (verse 21); that is, as Munster understands it, He ceased from His anger, and was appeased. So the Syriac and Josephus. But it may signify no more, but that his thankfulness was as grateful to God as sweet odours are to us." As to Abel: "What kind of sacrifices these were is a question among learned men. The Talmudists are of opinion they were whole burnt offerings. Abel brought of the fat thereof, that is, of the very best." Cain ate the firstfruits himself, as some allege. He says, "But there is no certainty of this; and the apostle to the Hebrews hath directed us to a better account -- Abel offered with a pious mind." And before, "It was a very seasonable time to make their grateful acknowledgments to God who had given them a plentiful year." But worse yet, "He graciously accepted them (Abel's offerings, offered with a pious mind), and his offering was accepted, because he himself was accepted. It is a metaphor from those who, when a present is made to them, look kindly upon the person who brings it, if they like him and his present." What do you think, my reader, of citing Bishop Patrick to prove that burnt offerings are propitiatory? And what do you think of the journal which cites him for it? "Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, but did not devote himself to God." Now I do not agree with Bishop Patrick, though I do not charge him with Socinianism; but he lays the Socinian axe to the parent root and stem in a terrible way.

Now there was, the Jews state, no other sacrifice before the law. I somewhat doubt of this among the heathen, but they are right according to scripture history. Sin-bearing was not brought out distinctly as it was under the law. Yet sin was in the world, and death by sin. And death, as needed atonement, was kept in sight in the divine way of a sinner's approach to God. Under the law this was brought far more clearly out. Sin-bearing was distinctly expressed, and, as the sacrifices were types of Christ, other deeply interesting parts of His sacrificial work, which had to be distinguished from this, were presented in them. The journalist's effort is to confound all these together, so that we should lose the profoundly interesting instruction conveyed in them. Mr. Mackintosh, to bring out the contrast, and while stating it expressly to be atonement (which Bishop Patrick demurs to), does not enter into the question of how it was so.

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Now in the burnt offering the thought is distinctly kept up that death had come in, and that atonement and a victim were needed for our approach to God. But while this is carefully maintained, and sin, being there, Christ could not have offered Himself for us and as making atonement for sin without bloodshedding ("for without shedding of blood there is no remission"); yet the specific purport of the burnt offering is that which the article seeks, as far as possible, to destroy. Christ is presented in the burnt offering as offering Himself to God for us. This must go on to death most surely for atonement; but it had not the specific character of the sin offering, but another. Job, when there were no other than burnt offerings (unless feasts are offerings, peace offerings, for such I think they were, see Exodus 18: 12), offered them in case his sons should have sinned. The whole idea of an offering, even to death and expiation by it, was embraced in the one kind. In the law, God, while maintaining the grand principle of death and atonement, separated the distinctive parts, that is, the voluntary offering (because Christ was to offer Himself wholly, even unto death), and the actual bearing of sins and drinking the cup of wrath, though both were in one act, death being there for both.

The article states, "It (the burnt offering) is spoken of in almost precisely the same language as the sin offering." Now this is a very great mistake indeed. The blood, the fire, and the altar are used for both, as alleged, though even this statement is very inaccurate. The one general previous sacrifice, the Holocaust, was, under the law, separated into two. One preserved the name of Hola; but the specific character of Chata (to which we may add Ascham, a trespass offering), a sin offering, was set apart as distinct under the law.

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This was called for when such a one as the Son of God was to be brought near the eye, so to speak, as a sacrifice; and this difference the writer obliterates, and C. H. M. insists on. The differences are these:

The name of the sin offering in Hebrew is the same as sin itself. So Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin. The offerer was to bring his sin. The sin offering was appointed to be offered only when a man had sinned. He was to offer, and was bound to do it, for that sin. He could not rightly offer the burnt offering till this was done. The burnt offering was not offered when a man had sinned, but of his own voluntary will. The sin was forgiven (the word is omitted as to the high priest) when the sin offering was offered. This is never said as to the burnt offering. When the blood of the sin offering was brought into the holy place, the body was not burnt on the altar at all (hence I said the writer was very inexact) -- and this was a capital fact referred to by the Epistle to the Hebrews -- but burnt outside the camp. It was not called a sweet savour (though the fat was, in the individual ones, to intimate the connection of the two in the one perfect person of Christ). In the burnt offering the sacrifice was wholly burnt on the altar and was always a sweet savour. And this was so distinct that the word burn is not the same. As to the sin offering, "burn" is the common word; as to the burnt offering, the same as burning incense. In the individual sin offering the priests ate a part; in the burnt offering all was consumed on the altar.

Now all this marks out a very different aspect of the work. Sin offering, called sin, supposes a person incapable of worshipping. He must bear sin (or another for him) and be forgiven. The burnt offering does not suppose an actual state of sin before God, which forbids approach, though it shews that no man could approach without blood; and that if Christ gave Himself up for us, it must be to death. When the case called for it, he first offered a sin offering, and, being forgiven, could offer his burnt offering. It was the voluntary act of the worshipper, not the present necessity of sin. Thus it represents Christ who gave Himself up obedient unto death; and then, in a subordinate sense, our coming through Him, worshipping, and devoting ourselves to God.

The law does carefully distinguish between the two aspects of sacrifice, which were, in the previous days of undeveloped truth, left confounded. These the writer confounds. No approach but by Christ's death, by atonement; but transgressions are singled out by the law and imputed somewhere, and this is distinguished from a voluntary offering. I see only ignorance in the objections of the article.

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Imputed righteousness has been treated of elsewhere. I only add here, that the writer's mistake here arises from his not understanding what imputed righteousness means. It does not mean a quantum of formal righteousness outside us, imputed to us, but our being accounted righteous. Righteousness being imputed to a man simply means the man being accounted righteous. As the writer refers to the Thirty-nine Articles, he may see it so expressed there. Hence the argument of the article about imputing a divine attribute goes for nothing -- has no sense in it; it is, like the rest, simply ignorance. God, according to that divine attribute, accounts us righteous, because of the work of Christ. There is nothing "lurks" at all, except in the mind or pen of the writer of the article. I simply, very openly, deny his doctrine of the justifying vicariousness of Christ's life as under the law. But the writer says we evade the passages which speak of His righteousness. We do not evade them; we ask for them. It does not at all follow because Christ is God that, if God's righteousness is spoken of, it means Christ's as a man under the law. What we say is, that Christ's righteousness as a man under law is not spoken of at all. The righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, in 2 Peter, is not spoken of as to justification at all, and has nothing to do with the subject. The promises have been fulfilled in sending Christianity (Christ the object of faith, though not personally present) to the dispersed remnant by a righteous God. (Chapter 1: 1.)

In fine, the sacrifices do incontestably point out the difference of Christ's voluntarily devoting Himself to death to glorify God Himself in the work of atonement when sin was come in, and His specifically charging Himself with the sins of His guilty people to bear and put them away. If the writer cannot understand the difference, he loses a large part of the blessed truths specially exposed in St. John's Gospel, and suffers very great loss to his own soul.

I know not that any further answer is necessary, unless I may recommend my reader to Mr. Mackintosh's "Notes on Leviticus" if he wishes to learn whether the accusations of the article in the "Quarterly Journal of Prophecy" have one particle of truth in them. I cannot but think, if the writer of the article be a Christian, as I suppose, that the time may come when he will regret having been the author of such a one; I confess I should much prefer being the object to being the author of it.

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The Christian has to watch, and closely watch, himself in controversy, particularly if he has any keen sense of the ridiculous, lest, when his adversaries expose themselves to being confounded by the manner of their attacks, he should seek victory, and not the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ -- lest he should seek to expose them instead of patiently insisting on the truth. My desire is to do this last, because I feel that important truth is in question.

The "Quarterly Journal of Prophecy" has again attacked the "Brethren," quoting Mr. Ryan and Dr. Carson. Of the former I shall, as heretofore, take no notice whatever; the point referred to by the "Journal" I have fully noticed in reply to other correspondents in the "Bible Treasury." (See Number for July, 1862.) I only recall here, that the use of such expressions as are insisted on by the "Journal" as proof of the divinity of Christ, is denounced by Athanasius as the madness of the Arians. We may estimate the value of the judgment of these modern theologians by this circumstance. The "Journal" quotes Dr. C. I shall notice Dr. C.'s doctrine, because truth is important. I prefer refraining from expressing any judgment on the character of the pamphlet which the "Journal" admires, lest I might even seem to imitate it. I confess I pity those who cannot estimate that character. The reader may judge of the kind of thing it is, by learning that while the first page assures us it is the first five thousand (so that the "Journal" rejoices at six thousand being sold), the last, the very same side of the same sheet, assures us that the first five thousand are all sold! It is painful to have to do with such adversaries, but the truth concerned is my motive. I will give one quotation from the "Journal" to shew the spirit in which "Brethren" are met. "Mr. Darby's bitterness we do not mean to imitate, and his unchristian imperiousness we leave to others to admire; we look in vain for the mind of Christ, or the word of Christ, or the doctrine of Christ, in his writings. He has made shipwreck of his faith, and his adherents, instead of trying to reach the shore on the planks of the broken vessel, are drifting far out to sea, not knowing whither they are floating." Now I admit that this is not an imitation of Mr. D.'s bitterness. What follows as a consequence as to it I will not say. I only seriously add, that I challenge in all grace the Editor to produce an example of the bitterness of Mr. D. -- the bitterness he has not imitated. Doctrines which dishonour Christ I shall not cease (according to what is given me) to denounce; but it is ill work to pain and irritate those here below, of whom we may meet the lowest in the scale in heaven.

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Having said this, perhaps too much (which I do as an excuse for noticing writings which, to my mind, have the character these have), I turn to state first the doctrines which have led me wholly to break with, and, when needed, to denounce, a certain school of doctrine. Casual expressions, in which we may all offend, have not called forth my remarks, but an elaborate system of doctrine which I have denounced and do denounce as characterized by blasphemy against the Lord. I do not speak of the intentions of individuals, but of the doctrine which they intended to promulgate. The reader will judge whether these statements as to Christ, defended by journals and theological names, ought to be denounced or not. I will enquire whether the attack on Mr. Mackintosh is a righteous one or not, and what the ignorance of Dr. C. is (for I do not think more of it) which theologians and reviewers can admire or pass over so that "Brethren" are attacked, and then pursue what is my main object in all this -- the question of what is divine righteousness.

Mr. Cox's pamphlet comes in here, which I confess I have hardly read, and do not feel the need of answering, because, as far as I saw, it quotes only modern human authorities, and I recognize none but the word of God.

Mr. Newton taught that Christ had all the experience an unconverted elect man ought to have; that He was farther from God than Israel when that people made the golden calf; that He had to find His way to a point where God could meet Him, and that point was death, the death on the cross; that He heard the gospel from John the Baptist, and so passed as from the law under grace; that till He took the place of repentance with the remnant the Holy Ghost could not come upon Him; that He was, as born of Adam and a Jew, subjected to the wrath and terror of God in His soul, from which He was able to extricate Himself by prayer and obedience and piety; that we could not be surprised if a man with a heavy burden going up an ice-mountain should slip. These statements are not casual unguarded expressions, but an elaborate justification of a doctrine when it was objected to, after having been secretly taught for some years and then discovered.

Persons under this teaching, as is usually the case, came out more plainly. Miss Adelaide Newton (who is I trust now in heaven, but the character of whose piety on earth has been, I judge, most falsely estimated) declares, "There were moments when Jesus appears to have had fears for His ultimate deliverance and safety ... . He entreated, at least, that a way of escape might be left Him, that He might not be shut up in hopeless despair! Oh what depths we may be led into through our own prayer to know the fellowship of His sufferings!" Again, "Jesus knew what it was to be apparently set fast in His onward course, as is strikingly expressed in the image of miry clay: 'I sink in deep mire (margin, mire of the depth), where there is no standing.' 'Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: he brought me up out of the miry clay, out of an horrible pit.' It was no light thing which made Jesus express Himself thus. He knew what it was by painful experience to be in such a position. Thus He says in Psalm 28: 16, 17, 'When my foot slipped (who but knows the difficulty of walking in miry clay without slipping?) they magnify themselves against me, for I am ready to halt.' He would have shrunk back if He could consistently with His Father's will. 'If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.' What comfort is this for believers when they are ready to halt (set fast)!" The darkness of unbelief and inability to pray are declared by Miss Newton to be the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. The best traces we have of this fellowship, we are told, are when we doubt of our salvation; for He often did not know how it would end with Him.

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It will be asked why I bring forward the publication of a female, and of one deceased. I answer, It was not published by a female, but by the Revelation Mr. Baillie, Free Church minister (now, I believe, in the English Establishment). Nor was it only published as Miss A. Newton's Remains, but separately as a tract for edification, in which shape I received and first read it.

Next, Dr. Bonar publishes an article in his journal as Editor, in which he declares that Christ was on earth as the banished One; that, viewed as leprous all His life here and loaded with our leprosy, He must keep at a distance from the holy and clean; that He was not permitted to sleep in Jerusalem. "If permitted to visit Jerusalem, He must retire at night. If allowed to frequent the temple, He can only come as far as the outer court on the common footing of a sinner, just as the publican might do. He might stand on the day of atonement ... and see the high priest take the basin and carry the blood into the holiest, Himself standing outside, and (though the blessed One) waiting amid the crowd to receive the well-known blessing, but more than this He could not do." My object is not now to answer this: the reader may see it noticed in the "Bible Treasury" for September, 1861. My object is to shew to my reader that it is an elaborate system of doctrine, a system in which Christ is horribly dishonoured, in which He is blasphemed. The terms may be gross and rise up to absurdity, or they may be guarded and calculated to perplex and trouble a simple reader; but, be it Mr. Newton, Mr. Baillie, or Dr. Bonar, the doctrine is the same.

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Christ, who according to scripture was always in the bosom of His Father, the Son of man who was in heaven, according to this system was banished thence, and not allowed to visit a holy place. "His true place was outside the city of God: outside the dwelling of the Holy One." "He must keep at a distance from the holy and the clean." This has been noticed and commented on: has there been any acknowledgment of its shocking character? None. Has the doctrine been withdrawn? It has not. Dr. Bonar's journal insisted that "bearing our sins in his own body on the tree" meant bearing them to it, not on it. The utter ignorance of this assertion was shewn: was it withdrawn? Never. It has been alleged indeed that Mr. Newton has retracted. I can state from his own words that in his judgment there is no heresy contained in the tracts which contain the statements referred to above, nor anything approaching to it. I may add that Mr. Craik has declared that he knows none in Bethesda who consider him a heretic: it gives him, as others, their moral support.

Now I desire no squabbling, no indulgence in abuse against the persons who, in various forms, are always propagating this system of doctrine. The majority of them I have never seen, and have personally no possible ground of quarrel with; but I do denounce this system of doctrine and language as dishonouring to Christ and blasphemous in its character. It is a system of doctrine elaborated in various shapes, but very distinct and definite in its character, and leading those who hold it to a use of language as to Christ which those who are not on that system of doctrines, not used to this dishonouring way of thinking of Christ, could not for an instant bear to use, which would never enter their minds. Those who hold it may abuse me for noticing it -- bringing it to light. They may ingeniously, if not ingenuously, charge me with teaching the same. I shall bear the abuse, not retort it; but the doctrine I will denounce, and call on every godly soul to denounce with me, not to suffer themselves to be contaminated with it, and, while walking in grace, to hold aloof from those who propagate and sanction it. This is all plain sailing. If I have used a bitter expression, let it be produced, and I will retract it, and acknowledge my fault. But there is the doctrine. Is it to be covered up that others may be infected by it, and the piety of its propagators vaunted to make it acceptable? or to be plainly brought forward and without respect of persons?

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I am the rather induced to do the latter, because the favouring of this system, perhaps the desire to attack "Brethren" also, seems to deprive Christians of spiritual judgment. In Ireland the "Christian Examiner," which represents the waning evangelicalism of the Establishment, borrowed from an English periodical an article full of German views on the subject, written by some one imbued with these Newtonian views. In this article there was an utter setting aside of the atonement. Yet this was not perceived (for I do not believe the Editor would do it willingly and with the knowledge of what he was about), and the article was in great vogue in the Establishment. The true value of the atonement is weakened by the doctrine of propitiatory sufferings without bloodshedding. The writer looks at all Christ's work as a mere completing obedience at all costs, which, though true, is not propitiatory. Christ is dishonoured and thus spiritual discernment lost, and, provided "Brethren" are attacked, any doctrine is welcome. My adversaries may be assured that this is dangerous ground to be upon; and, if we are in the last days, a fearful look out for them. I entreat Christians to pause and see if they are prepared to receive such doctrines as those I have detailed, and to think what are the characters of attacks directed against "Brethren," coming from such a quarter and associated with such doctrines.

I will turn to the question of the attack on Mr. Mackintosh -- not to enfeeble the acknowledgment he has sent out, the value of which is in its frankness and integrity. I am glad he has done so. I think he laid himself open to the attack that was made against him by language which, if it might be defended, at any rate gave I occasion to those who sought occasion. The expression might be laid hold of, and it was laid hold of. The charge against him was unfounded and unrighteous. Our writings are not to be compared with scripture, which is perfect. If I were only writing for argument, I might challenge the accusers of Mr. M. to explain, without confounding themselves, the sixth chapter of John. But I am not. John 6 is perfect and infallible truth; Mr. M.'s statement an unguarded one -- I say, unguarded. I am not afraid of my adversaries: I know what they have said of "guarded." It is an accusation which recoils only on the accuser, whose mind suggested the imputation. Where no error was meant, it was the way of expressing himself that had to be more guarded. The man who can have any other thought than this of the word is at liberty to have his own thoughts, and he can indulge himself in them: I shall not interrupt him.

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As I am not defending myself, I feel at liberty to express myself thus freely. But I am bound to prove the charge made against Mr. M. to be unfounded and unrighteous. The charge made against him was denying the true humanity of the Lord Jesus as truly born of the Virgin Mary. Dr. Bonar charged him with the renewal of the Valentinian heresy, which taught that He had only the appearance of flesh, and was really a spiritual Aeon come down from heaven, which might pass through the womb of the Virgin, but no more; there was no being really born of her, so as to have the human nature. Dr. C. says, If (as to His humanity) He was the Lord from heaven, He could not by any possibility in the world be of the substance of the Virgin. "If His humanity be heavenly, it cannot in any sense be of the substance of the Virgin; if it was gent from heaven, it was not formed on earth."

I shall now quote a passage from the work of Mr. M. which gave occasion to these remarks, and from the same part of it just two pages off.

"It was a real human body -- real flesh and blood. There is no possible foundation here on which Gnosticism or mysticism can base its vapid and worthless theories ... . The early promise had declared that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and none but a real man could accomplish this prediction; one whose nature was as real as it was pure and incorruptible. 'Thou shalt conceive in thy womb,' said the angelic messenger, 'and bring forth a son.' And then, lest there should be room for any error in reference to the mode of this conception, he adds such words as prove unanswerably that the flesh and blood of which the eternal Son took part, while absolutely real, was absolutely incapable of receiving, of retaining, or of communicating a single taint." Mr. M. then refers to the words he had quoted, Luke 1: 35. He elsewhere speaks to the same purpose. The whole contents of this part of his book are as plain as possible upon the point of incarnation. I here quote from the first edition; and, strange to say, he specially condemns as vapid and worthless that theory of which Dr. Bonar accuses him. I repeat, therefore, the accusations are unfounded and unrighteous.

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Had he held the doctrines imputed to him, I for one should have objected to holding communion with him; but his statements on this point are as plain as their plainness makes the injustice of the accusers to be evident. But I think his expression objectionable. "The second man was, as to His manhood, the Lord from heaven." The objectionableness lies in this, that in ascribing the title of the Lord from heaven, it goes beyond ascribing it to His person, being man; and by the expression "as to" separates the nature and ascribes the title to it. Had he said, He was Lord from heaven in His manhood, he would have been perfectly right; and he who denied it would be unquestionably a heretic; but "as to" separates the manhood, and thus the words cannot refer to His person who was there in manhood. Dr. C. does not see the difference, and quotes them as "in His manhood," condemning them alike as the same. That Mr. M. ever asserted that His manhood came down from heaven, is, as far as I can discern, simply a false accusation. The second man was the Lord from heaven: that scripture states. And it goes a great deal farther (in predicating of the nature what belongs to the person) than the ignorance of Dr. C. seems to be aware of. "This," says Jesus, "is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." Now I fully admit that this language deals with His human nature, His flesh, having in view the union of the two natures in His person, just as He says "The Son of man which is in heaven." He begins by "I am the living bread," and then passes on to the bread being His flesh. Still this union is so true, that He speaks of Himself as the living bread which came down from heaven, and declares that this bread is His flesh. Hence, as mere human expressions, "the divine man," and "the heavenly man," can be used as expressing what is blessedly true, though they may not have the accuracy of scripture. The true humanity of Jesus is fundamental; but he who would so separate the natures in the person as to touch such expressions as the sixth of John gives is on very slippery ground. The bread came down from heaven, and the bread was His flesh. Yet it would be wrong to say His flesh came down from heaven.

But this is not all I have to say to Dr. C. His statements on the subject, which the "Journal" admires, need no such careful examination as to expressions. What he states is a ruinous and a fatal false doctrine in a great and essential truth as to Christ. I do not charge Dr. C. with heresy in it, because it seems to me sheer ignorance. He says, "To speak of His being Lord as to His manhood seems a strange contradiction in terms." "As Mr. Mackintosh, however, expressly applies the term Lord to the humanity of Christ, he should join the Socinians and Unitarians in denying that the expression 'Lord' is a proof of the divinity of Christ." "Regarding the divinity of Christ, there are plenty of proofs that He is the Lord from heaven; but regarding His manhood, we are plainly told He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh."

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Now I have not read any Socinian books; but if they were to be met only by such statements as these of Dr. C., they would have an easy victory. "Lord" is often a clear testimony to the deity of Jesus, because it is used of Jehovah; the term cuvrio" being that used by the LXX for Jehovah, and retained in the New Testament in a multitude of passages. But the word "Lord" in itself is not a proof of the divinity of Christ; and to deny His Lordship as man, and that in a way in which it is impossible to apply it to His Godhead, is to deny the first great truth promulgated as the foundation of Christianity. And this is what Dr. C. does. "Therefore," says Peter, "let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." And he quotes the passage which puts this Lordship in contradistinction with Jehovah. "The Lord (Jehovah) said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand." Christ as man was made Lord by God. That is not Godhead, I suppose.

Now this was the great truth which Peter preached first of all at Pentecost, by which Christianity was founded in the world. And this, which makes the apostle's first announcement of Christianity to be joining Socinians and Unitarians, is (the "Journal" assures us) "most excellent, and only requires to be added to and amplified to bring the subject fully before the Church." "We (the 'Journal') are much indebted to Dr. C. for it." That God had set man over the works of His hands, man whom He (God) has raised from the dead, is one of the great and glorious truths of Christianity, as taught in Psalm 8 and quoted in 1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 2; Ephesians 1. This place of man, and the true manhood of Christ in connection with it, is set forth specially in Hebrews 2, just as the first chapter had unfolded His Godhead. God has "set him over the works of his hands." The Lordship of Christ, as a conferred Lordship, the New Testament is full of. So it is said, "To us there is but one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ." "Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." That He is Jehovah too the scripture is full of. Nor does the soul of the believer ever lose sight of this, whatever position He takes. But where every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord, it is God also who has highly exalted Him, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Does this shut out His being God? That the Socinian perhaps might say. We have only to turn to Romans 14: 10-12 to shew the falseness and folly of this conclusion; just as turning to Acts 2 shews the falseness and folly of Dr. C.'s. But this statement of Dr. C.'s, destructive as it is of the Holy Ghost's first announcement of the truth on which Christianity was founded, may lead us to see what the worth of the criticisms of our adversaries is.

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The next piece of Dr. C.'s theology that I shall notice is this very wise conclusion: "Again, page 36 [of Mr. M.], we have the words, 'the conception of Christ's humanity, by the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin.' The doctrine is here again. The scripture says in regard to the Virgin, 'Thou shalt conceive in thy womb,' but Mr. M. says it was the Holy Ghost conceived in her womb, it was not the Virgin herself who conceived. According to this view, the Virgin had no more to do with the conception than, as Valentine said, the conduit has with the water that runs through it." What a mercy it is to have a detecter of heretics! No doubt Dr. C. is not of the Establishment, and has never learned "the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments in the vulgar tongue." I will quote one of these: "And in Jesus Christ our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Ghost." This is the Apostles' Creed, Dr. C., and "the doctrine is here again." The creed the church has been saying these fourteen hundred years, and taken for apostolic, contains this dreadful doctrine, and, "according to this view," the whole church has been Valentinian unto this day, without knowing it! I ask any reader in his senses, what effect criticisms, which make Peter, in the first sermon that founded Christianity in the world, teach such doctrine, that "he had better join the Socinians" -- criticisms by persons who have never read the Apostles' Creed, and accuse it of what Valentine said (of being Valentinian) -- can produce upon the "Brethren"?

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But, further, Mr. M. has said, page 40, "'Such was the humanity of Christ, that He could at any moment, as far as He was personally concerned, have returned to heaven, from whence He had come, and to which He belonged.' What do you think of this, reader? Could this be misunderstood?" Well, I should have thought not. I suppose Christ belonged to heaven, that He came from heaven (at least He says so), nay, was in it ("the Son of man who is in heaven"); and that His humanity was such -- so holy, so pure, so undefiled -- that He could have returned at any moment; that, as He "came from God," so, unsullied as He was, He could "go to God." And this purity is what Mr. M. is speaking of. He says, "He assumed a body inherently and divinely pure, holy, and without the possibility of taint -- absolutely free from any seed or principle of sin or mortality. Such was the humanity of Christ," etc. According to Dr. C., "No words could more plainly assert that the humanity of Christ could return to heaven, from whence it had come, and to which it belonged." The only answer is, that there is not a word of the kind. It is said, not it, but "He had come," "He belonged," and "He could return," and that the humanity was of such a purity that it would not preclude His doing so. And if Dr. C. does not believe that, he is a very great heretic, and not a Christian at all.

Dr. C. complains that it is asserted that there could be no union between humanity as seen in Christ, and humanity as seen in us. "At this side of death there could be no union between Christ and His people." Dr. C. makes no remark on this ("it would be waste of time," he says); I shall, because important truth is concerned in it. I affirm it to be sound and important truth. The union of saints with Christ is with Christ glorified, by the Holy Ghost, and not otherwise. God gave Him to be Head over the Church when He had exalted Him above all principality and power. The union of saints with Christ is consequent upon redemption, not before it, as these false doctors teach. "Except a corn of wheat," our Lord expressly teaches us, "fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; if it die, it brings forth much fruit." A union without atonement and redemption is fundamentally false doctrine. Incarnation is not union. Christ was among men, very man, in the likeness of sinful flesh, in grace and love; but there was no union. I am aware that these teachers say He was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, scripture does not; but that, when He was exalted, "we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." There was no union between Christ's humanity and our sinful humanity. Scripture never speaks of anything of the kind. It is the ruinous doctrine of Irvingism and Puseyism, sanctioned, it seems, by Dr. C. and the "Journal." I say so, not to attack them, but because it is of vital importance that Christians should understand and hold fast, if they would have the truth, and be in safety in these last days, that there is no union by incarnation; that scriptural union with Christ as the Head of the body is of the saints, by the Holy Ghost, with an exalted Christ, consequent on the accomplishment of redemption. It is vital, in these days, to hold this fast. Incarnation is not union. Christ was not united to sinners when He came in the flesh, but saints are united to Christ when exalted to God's right hand. Union without redemption, or, if you please, this side of Christ's death, is the destruction of true Christianity.

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Having said this much, I would press my reader to do as I do -- leave their attacks where they are, without further notice; only I would recommend those who have Dr. C.'s attacks on the "Brethren" upon their table, whether of the first five thousand or of the second, to read the Apostles' Creed and Acts 2, and if they wish to be thought to know something about Christianity, to put the pamphlet on the bookshelf; for this denial of Christianity as taught by Peter is on Dr. C.'s first page. And then it is awkward, if they belong to the Establishment, to have the creed they recite every Sunday accused of Gnosticism. The pleasure of seeing "Brethren" attacked may perhaps outweigh this with some; but what can we think of such a judgment? And now I will beg my reader to turn to more material things.

Yet here excessive ignorance pursues me. We are assured that divine attributes cannot be conferred upon the human race. Here all is triumph. Now the believer is made partaker of the divine nature, and all God's moral attributes are communicated to or conferred upon man. He is created again, and "renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him," "in righteousness and true holiness." Is holiness not one of God's attributes? Is it not conferred upon man? Is it some other kind of holiness? It is said, "that we may be partakers of his holiness." I can hardly call "love" an attribute, for it is God's nature; yet practically it is the same, or a stronger case; but "he that loveth is born of God and knoweth God." "Love is of God;" I suppose this is conferred upon us. The very essence of practical Christianity is our partaking of the divine nature, and having God's moral attributes conferred on us, or implanted with His nature in us. And as to "righteousness" as an attribute, this is equally true. But an attribute being imputed to us is simple nonsense, being a contradiction in terms; because an attribute is something which belongs to, or is in, the being spoken of, so as to be a part of himself. But that which was an attribute or was in God may be imputed, taken abstractedly. Nobody has said that the righteousness of God is imputed. It is really difficult to deal with such extreme ignorance as this pamphlet displays. The righteousness of God is an attribute of His nature; I suppose Dr. C. does not deny that. Nobody ever thought of imputing an attribute of God, or any attribute at all.

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What I have insisted on (in conformity here with the expressions of the Establishment) is, that imputing righteousness to a man is accounting him to be righteous; and that is all. And this the scripture use of the phrase clearly demonstrates to be its sense there: "God imputeth righteousness without works;" i.e., accounts the man to be righteous. "His faith is imputed to him for righteousness." It is not the value of his faith; but, as the Article of the Establishment expresses it, "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings."

I am asked why I do not say inherent; and it is said that this is no imputation at all. I do not say inherent, for the simple reason that it is not inherent. If I am accounted righteous for the sake of the work of Christ, that cannot be inherent. The man is accounted righteous because of it. To talk of its being inherent would be nonsense. Dr. C.'s objection to this makes me doubt whether he is a Christian at all; at any rate, he is totally ignorant of justification by faith. I am not his judge, and I would hope all things; but indeed I do not see (judging only by what is said) how it is possible to own anyone as a Christian who could write what follows: "According to the turn Mr. D. has now taken, the righteousness is not imputed at all, but the man who is not righteous is accounted righteous! Most monstrous! The God of truth and justice is to come forth with a lie in His right hand, and to account the man righteous who is not truly righteous -- to call the thief an honest man!! Horrible, most horrible!" Now if a man not truly righteous in himself has righteousness wrought out by another imputed to him, when he has not done it (which is the theory of my adversaries), "is not truly righteous," the case is just the same -- the man is held for righteous when he is not truly so. All the horror is thrown away. But although a man must be born again, have Christ as his life, to have a part in the righteousness of God, yet that is not being righteous before God. Were it so, it would be inherent righteousness. But the essence of justification by faith is, that God justifies the ungodly. I suppose "ungodly" does not mean "truly righteous." It is the ungodly whom God justifies; and if we believe on Him who justifies the ungodly, our faith is counted for righteousness. No attribute of God is imputed; but a man who is a sinner is accounted righteous according to that attribute, according to all its perfection and all its exigencies, because of Christ and His work. If only a man who was truly righteous was accounted righteous, there would be no ground for imputed righteousness at all. Imputed righteousness has all its value and meaning in this: that a man who cannot pretend to be righteous in himself is so accounted for another's sake. It is God's justifying the ungodly. I repeat, the work of God in us is needed that we may have a part in divine righteousness; but Dr. C.'s statements are a denial of the whole gospel, and nonsense to boot. For a man who is truly righteous does not want imputed righteousness; and if he is accounted so for another's sake, it is because he is not truly so in himself in God's sight. It is a denial of the gospel; for the essence of this is, that God justifies the ungodly. No one who knew what scripture means by imputed righteousness could for a moment speak of imputing the righteousness of God; not only, as I have said, because imputing an attribute is a contradiction in terms, but because it is denying the proper sense of imputing righteousness. Clamour and abuse are no argument.

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I affirm that scripture never speaks of imputed righteousness as of a sum of righteousness first existing in itself and then imputed. The truth is, it never speaks of imputed righteousness at all, but of imputing righteousness; and the difference is very great indeed. Imputed righteousness may carry with it in the mind the sense of a substantive quantity of righteousness first existing and then imputed; imputing righteousness cannot. It is an act of the mind accounting the person something at the moment the act of the mind takes place. If it is God's mind, it is perfect, and does not change, no doubt; but when I say God imputed his faith to Abraham for righteousness, it is plain that He held Abraham to be righteous in His sight on account of faith; that is, imputing righteousness means, in scripture, to hold a person to be a righteous man, to reckon or account him such.

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Theologians may torture themselves, and abuse those who state it, and quote clouds of doctors like themselves. They advance nothing. When scripture says Abraham's faith was imputed to him for righteousness, it means Abraham was accounted righteous on account of his faith. Hence imputing God's righteousness could not be employed or thought of by me, because I deny all such previous sum of righteousness made out and then imputed to be the meaning of righteousness being imputed. Imputing righteousness (for, I repeat, imputed righteousness, as a compound term, is unscriptural) is the estimate of the man's relative state to God. The man is righteous in the sight of Him who judges.

But further (I have explained in a previous tract that righteousness has a double sense), what is inherent, i.e., characterizes the nature of the persons -- this is its constant use as to God. He is righteous; His righteousness is as the great deep. It is used as to man -- a man is a righteous man; but it is used relatively or judicially. A man is held to be righteous -- righteous in God's sight. Here it is the estimate God forms judicially, not the intrinsic statement. If the state be such, He will hold him such; but this is impossible for sinful man. Hence if a man even partakes of the divine nature, loves righteousness, and, as to his new nature, nothing else, yet relatively and judicially, because of the old man he cannot pretend to be -- is not in himself -- truly righteous in God's sight, because of what he is. Because of Christ, God holds him relatively and judicially to be perfectly righteous, according to His own divine estimate; righteousness is imputed to him. All that God is Christ has glorified; and the man is in Christ before God according to the value of this. He is made thus the righteousness of God in Him. Righteousness first existing as a sum of righteousness, under obligations fulfilled and then imputed, is not in scripture. Imputed righteousness is not a scriptural term; imputing righteousness is what scripture speaks of. But this has nothing to do with inherent righteousness, but is God's accounting a man righteous who could not pretend to that by what was inherent in him.

The real question however lies further; that is, by reason of what is the man accounted righteous, yea, the righteousness of God in Christ? My adversaries say it was Christ's keeping the law for us; but when I ask for scripture, it is impossible to have any. It is a mistake to say "Brethren" deny Christ's righteousness. Of course, personally, He was righteous. They deny the imputation of His law-keeping to the believer, and that the righteousness of God means anything of the kind.

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What Mr. Haldane says has no foundation in the word of God. The point on which his argument rests is not in scripture at all. "The righteousness of God which is received by faith, denotes something that becomes the property of the believer." But the phrase which he says denotes so and so, and on which he founds consequently his argument, is unfortunately Mr. Haldane's phrase, not that of scripture, so that the whole argument comes simply to -- nothing. Scripture never says that the righteousness of God is received by faith, our enemies themselves being judges; if it did, it might be alleged it was a sum of righteousness wrought out before, and subsisting to be received; but scripture does not speak so. The nearest approach to it is where it is said, in Romans 5, "They who receive the abundance of grace, and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life." Now here it is in general stated that they receive abundance of the gift of righteousness. They have their righteousness by gift, not by works, as every Christian owns; but not a word of receiving the righteousness of God by faith. I deny all possibility of righteousness becoming a property; there is no idea of it in scripture, nor is there any sense in it. It is not the idea of righteousness in scripture: that is either a quality in God or man, and then it is inherent (but if in man, not his justifying righteousness before God), or it is a relative state, his judicial acceptance in God's sight. Innocence is no longer the lot of man, nor applicable to God. The knowledge of good and evil exists. No keeping of the law makes a man innocent: it makes him righteous if he does so. The blood of Christ does not make him innocent; it cleanses him from sin and justifies him.

Let me sum up distinctly what I affirm. I am not speaking of inherent righteousness at all, not any quality in or actual state of man, but what he is reckoned or accounted; and (as it is on account of another, and not of what he is in himself) of righteousness being imputed to him.

Next, I say imputed righteousness is an unscriptural term and an unscriptural idea; if it be used in scripture let the passage be produced. You have neither dicaiosuvnh lelogismevnh, nor dicaivwma lelogivsmenon, nor dicaiwvmata lelogivsmena. Imputing righteousness is a scriptural and most important truth; not accounting a man righteous who is truly so, but, according to scripture, "justifying the ungodly."

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Next, imputing righteousness means in scripture accounting a man to be righteous.

These statements must be answered from scripture; it is of no use talking about their being monstrous. Answer them from scripture, or confess they are true according to scripture. As to the first, that the term "imputed righteousness" is not found in scripture, a concordance will prove.

Imputing righteousness, or righteousness being imputed, is found; the question is what it means. Does it mean a given quantum of righteousness transferred over to a man's account; or holding a man to be righteous -- reckoning or accounting him such? I affirm that in scripture it always means the latter. Thus in Romans 4: 11 it is abstract -- "that righteousness might be imputed to them also;" that is, that they might be held or accounted righteous though not of the circumcision. There is no question at all of a quantum of righteousness subsisting and then put to their account; but that righteousness itself should be reckoned to them. And this is the more clear, because the sentence on which all the apostle's reasoning on the point and his whole use of the phrase rests is, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness;" "faith was reckoned to him for righteousness," i.e., he was accounted righteous before God because of his faith. The meaning of the phrase is, Abraham was held for righteous on this ground. That is clearly the meaning of the passage; but this passage is the governing passage -- that from which the use of the phrase is drawn in every instance.

A sober mind, taught of God, subject to the word of God, has only to read the passages in which imputing righteousness is spoken of in scripture to see at once the force of the expression.

The last question, which lies behind all this is, Why is the believer accounted righteous?

My adversaries say it is because Christ kept the law in his stead, and that this is imputed to him.

I deny this as an utterly anti-scriptural doctrine; I have said it and repeat it. I know many beloved and godly souls have been so taught, and have held it in integrity of heart. But since it is insisted on, and the truth is evil spoken of, I speak more plainly. It is an anti-scriptural doctrine which does great injury to souls.

Our union with Christ is not under law. "We are not under law" at all. We are not justified by works of law, by whomsoever done, but entirely in another way. It was never God's intention to bring in righteousness by law. "If righteousness come by law, Christ is dead in vain." The whole system is mischievous and false. My statements, I think, are plain. I shall now turn to scripture to prove them.

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My difficulty here is, that I am reproducing the whole argument of Paul. For it is the point he insists on in all his doctrine.

He teaches that Adam was under a law; not a law by which he was to obtain life (for these false doctors are unscriptural on every point), but a law the breach of which was to entail death on him who was alive. That law he broke, and came under death and condemnation; only the promise of the woman's Seed came in. He was not replaced under a law again, but, saved through grace and faith, remained dead and lost under the effect of that he had broken, which none else could come under personally. But he had acquired a conscience, the knowledge of good and evil, which served for law, but was a very different thing; because in its nature it was an intrinsic consciousness, of right and wrong, but was not the imposed authority of the Lawgiver. It was a new quality in himself, which was found also in God; not a law imposed by authority, though the violation of it might make him fear, because he had the consciousness, that he was subject to God. But he was a law to himself, had not God's law over him and the explicit authority of the Lawgiver -- a most important point. The Gentiles, we are solemnly assured by scripture, had not the law, have no law (novmon mh; e[conte"). Afterwards come the promises, the unconditional promises, and four hundred and thirty years after that, and not till then, came the law, and under it promise became conditional. But that could not disannul the previous promise. But it was added, came in by the by, was our schoolmaster to Christ, was added because of transgressions, entered (or came in) by the by that the offence might abound. It was the strength of sin; the motions of sin were by it. Sin has dominion over us if we are under it; such is the testimony of scripture. The Gentile had no commandment. If one went to condemn him because he had transgressed, his answer would be -- I never heard the commandment: how could I transgress the authority of Him who gave it? To say that sin became exceeding sinful by the commandment, and yet that men had the law everywhere, is simple nonsense. It cannot be in vigour everywhere, at all times, and yet sin become exceeding sinful by its being given.

The statements made as to the law are unscriptural and false. Only one passage would seem to bear out the doctrines advanced -- "Sin is the transgression of the law." But every one acquainted with Greek knows that this is not the word elsewhere used for "transgression of law," and that that is not its true sense. It is ajnomiva, not paravbasi" novmon. But the turning point of the question lies yet farther on.

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Christ was made under the law, and kept it. But sinners had no connection with Him in this place. It was needed for His personal perfection and God's glory, but there was no union with Christ so alive in the flesh. We are married to another, even to Christ who is risen from the dead. God raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church which is His body. He is exalted, that is consequent on His redemption work, that we may be united to Him there in virtue of redemption, not as unredeemed and under law. If He did not die, He abode alone.

Two systems, then, are in presence. One puts all men, and not only men but Christians, under law, and makes the fulfilment of law to be righteousness; and as men have not kept it, and hence have not righteousness, connects them as thus still in flesh with Christ known after the flesh and under law, and makes His accomplishment of it their righteousness.

The other says, No; all that is of the flesh is finally and hopelessly condemned. Christ, by dying, has closed all possible connection between God and man in the flesh. Man in the flesh has rejected Christ, is condemned, and judgment only remains for him. The law was not given to all men. It was the rule of right for man in the flesh, but given when man was a sinner, whom God knew to be wholly and hopelessly lost, to the Jewish people, to bring out the great truth of man's condition, if righteousness was claimed from him. Sin, death, judgment, were already man's portion, and nothing else. He was lost; he proves it by rejecting Christ. But the law came in to raise the question of righteousness. Christ was perfect here as everywhere, but alone in it. Man in flesh, unless redemption came in, was as alienated from God as ever. But redemption came in by death, and the believer has died with Christ, does not in God's sight exist in the life in which he was in the flesh (and if he were under law, it was in flesh), and he has died away from under it to have his place and portion through redemption in Christ risen, having died as to the life in which he was under the law. He is in Christ, and in Christ accepted according to Christ's own acceptance. The value which Christ has in the sight of God, which is real and meritorious, is the value in which he stands, but as dead and risen. The death of Christ has put away his sin, and all the glorifying of God, in virtue of which Christ as man is at God's right hand in righteousness (he stands in the value of Christ) is his righteousness. He is not under law at all, but under grace. Which of these two schemes is the scriptural one? I affirm the first to be false and anti-scriptural, the latter to be the Christianity taught in the New Testament. The first is not Christianity, but a human unscriptural scheme, putting the Christian back into the flesh; the second is the Christianity of scripture.

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I challenge my adversaries to meet this question fairly. As yet they have not dared to do it: I can understand this as prudence. I put it plainly and fairly. I declare their whole scheme of putting Christians under law, and then imputing Christ's law-keeping for righteousness to them, to have no foundation in scripture. I dare say they can quote evangelicals and modern theologians by sacks full. It is no use. Allegatio ejusdem rei cujus dissolutio petitur nil valet, say the lawyers. This modern opinion of theologians I denounce as unscriptural and mischievous, as subversive of the true power of Christianity.

Christians are not under the law in any way. So scripture positively states: to allege that this is allowing evil is attacking scripture, not me. Scripture states that walking in the Spirit is our path, but that then we are not under law; it states why even those who were under law ceased to be so before God when they became Christians. They had died, and the law had only power over a man as long as he lived. Their deliverance from sin was not by law -- the contrary was the case -- but because they had died to sin; they were crucified with Christ, and Christ was their life. He that is dead is freed from sin. Sin shall not have dominion over us because we are not under law. The law is the strength of sin.

That a Christian is under law, or that Christ has kept the law for us, so that it should be imputed to us, I defy all my adversaries to shew from scripture.

I will first take a single chapter (I have elsewhere discussed the different texts) to shew the ground Paul sets the Christian on; and the reader will remark if the Spirit of God does not contrast the christian state with being under law in any way whatever. (Galatians 3.) "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness." Here we have precisely the question raised, imputing righteousness, and all believers put on Abraham ground: "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." There is our thesis -- imputing righteousness -- not merely forgiving sin, if we are to make the difference, but especially imputing righteousness.

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Now my adversaries say that this is done by law-keeping, and is only to be done so: only that Christ kept it, which we did not, and that so it was imputed to us (His righteousness by law-keeping), and we are thus righteous. It is by faith, because it is by believing we get a share in Christ's law-keeping.

I say, No; faith is contrasted with law. Promise is distinguished from law. Promise comes first, is confirmed to the Seed -- Christ. Law comes in afterwards, by the by -- four hundred and thirty years afterwards -- and has its application to men on earth until the Seed came. They that were under it were under it till faith came, and then, as redeemed, they take the place of sons with the risen One.

Now what does the chapter say? We have righteousness imputed to Abraham believing, and because of believing the promise. Had this anything to do with law or its fulfilment, or was it the fullest and carefully argued contrast with the law? And we have blessing, note it, the same way. (verse 9.) So far from faith having a part in law-fulfilling, it is in the fullest contrast. "As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse," for it curses every one that does not keep it, and none have kept it, Christ excepted. "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident." Now we are told that we are justified by the law being kept, and thus righteousness being imputed to us. We are justified (we are told) only by law; forgiven, cleansed, by blood; but justified by law-keeping. The apostle declares that it is evident we are not, that no one is; it is not by law or law-keeping we are justified. Will it be said that means our doing so? The apostle does not say so.+ He speaks of the principle upon which it takes place -- It is evident that no man is justified by law -- and he gives the reason, "It is written, The just shall live by faith." But, then, why cannot the believer have the benefit of law-keeping by faith? Because "the law is not of faith;" the two principles are opposed. The man must keep the law himself to have life by it. Is not this a strange thing to say if we have it by Christ's keeping it? See how it stands. My adversaries say a man can be justified only by law, and he need not do the commandments, but Christ for him, and he get it by faith. The apostle says, that no man is justified by law it is evident, for scripture says the righteous shall live by faith. Well, but we have, says my adversary, the good of law-keeping by faith. You cannot, says the apostle; the law is not of faith. The principle is wholly opposed. "The man that doeth them shall live by them:" he must do them himself to have righteousness by them. It must be his own righteousness. The law is not of faith at all. The law was mighty to curse, but the redemption has come in by Christ's bearing the curse, that the blessing which was by promise -- not by law at all -- should come upon us, and we receive the Spirit, which does not come by works of law. God gave the blessing to Abraham by promise, and if it be of the law, it is not by promise at all; but by law is not the way in which God has given the inheritance. I pray you, reader, to mark all this distinctly.

+I fully believe, however, that he had no idea of any law-keeping, except a man's doing it for himself. The ungodly principle of putting a man under law, as a way of obtaining righteousness, and making provision for his not keeping it, never entered his mind.

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The apostle then shews it was confirmed to the Seed, that is, Christ; but this was a distinct unconditional promise made (Genesis 12) to Abraham, and confirmed (Genesis 22) to the Seed; depended on no condition of law-keeping at all; was God's simple unconditional promise. The law was a distinct thing which came in afterwards, most useful to raise the question of righteousness in flesh, and shew man could not have it; but it could not affect, disannul, or be added as a condition to the unconditional promise -- this must remain untouched, unaffected, unadded to, in all its own force. The law was added because of transgressions till the Seed should come and the promises be made good. To Him they were confirmed, and if we are His, consequent on the work of redemption, we are heirs according to promise; but the inheritance is not of law at all, it is of promise in contrast with law, which cannot affect the unconditional and confirmed promise. But it will be said that, though no formal law was given, the law was always in force. It is false. For a law to be in force, there must be an enactment of it, the authority of the lawgiver intervening. That the contents of the law were holy, and just, and good, is nothing to the purpose; that the natural conscience acquired by the fall saw many things contained in it to be right, is true; but to have a transgression and a law there must be a formally given commandment. Since the law given to Adam, God never gave a law till Sinai came, unless we except the condition of not eating blood to Noah. It was never given to have righteousness by; for man was a lost sinner before it was given, and Christ's death needed. It was given to make the offence abound, to bring in the conviction of the helpless condition of sin man was in more definitely and distinctly. It was never meant to be the means of having righteousness, it came too late for it: if a law had been given which had given life, then man in that life had wrought the righteousness, and righteousness would have been by the law. But such was not God's plan, and He took care to shew it, and gave the promise on which the blessing depended before any law at all, confirming it to the Seed -- Christ; and then, when He had established the blessing otherwise than by law, He gave the law.

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Now if I am to take the use and application of law, I must take it as God used and applied it, and that was not to produce righteousness but to make the offence abound, having previously given the blessing in a way which excluded any bringing in of the law for it. Justification and righteousness then are declared to be in another way than by law, and by a way with which it is impossible to connect the law, because nothing can be added to the promise confirmed to Christ. Adding the law, setting it up again, when we have gone to Christ, the promised Seed, for justification, is frustrating the grace of God; for if righteousness came by law, Christ is dead in vain. But if we are righteous by Christ's keeping the law, it does come by the law, and Christ's death is in vain. The inheritance is not by law, says the apostle; righteousness is not by law: the doctrine which teaches that it is, is a subversion and denial of Christianity as Paul taught it. The apostle's reasoning is careful and reiterated-on this point; it is his great thesis as to justification. That is, his great thesis as to justification is to deny and denounce what my adversaries insist on, and in the chapter which follows the one to which I have alluded the apostle carefully shews that the two principles of promise and law cannot go together, that the scripture declares that the bondwoman and her seed must be cast out.

What does he say in the Romans? "For the promise that he should be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith;" that is, the righteousness of faith is not by law at all. "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of none effect." Yet we are told it must be by law and so only, and Christ's keeping it; that is, righteousness is in a work done according to our responsibility in flesh, and accomplished before any redemption is wrought by blood; whereas we are all called to reckon ourselves wholly dead as regards that life, yea, told we are dead, and so justified or freed from sin, and alive now to God as risen in Christ, taught not even to know Christ after the flesh. And what consequently am I called upon to believe in order to righteousness being imputed to me? On Him who raised up Christ from the dead, who was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification. I am not called upon, the law being in question, to believe He kept it for me that I might have righteousness imputed to me; I am told the promise does not come in that way, but to believe that He was delivered for my offences and raised again for my justification. It is to a Christ raised from the dead I am called to look. It is not to His keeping the law that God teaches me to look for my justification. I am taught that my righteousness does not come by law or that His death is vain.

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If I go a step farther, I find not only that Christ died for me and rose again, but I am dead and risen with Him so as to have no existence in relationship to that to which law applied. Law applied to a man alive; but I have died. I am become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that I might be to another, to Him who is raised from the dead. "When we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members; but now we are delivered from the law, having died in that in which we were held." The law has power over a man as long as he lives, but our old man is crucified with Christ: the whole footing we are on now, not in the life in which we are born of Adam, to which as long as it lived law could apply, but created again in Him who is raised from the dead, passed out of the region to which law applies, not by enfeebling it, but by dying as to the nature and state to which it applies and to sin at the same time, and being a new creature, accepted in the Beloved and belonging to another, so that we cannot live to the old, nor admit the claim of law over us, and so be to another while we are to Christ.

If we turn to the Ephesians, where the subject of our place in Christ is fully viewed, we find man, Jew or Gentile, viewed as dead in trespasses and sins, and Christ Himself as Head. God's power raises Him up and gives Him to be the Head of the body; we, by the very same power, when dead in trespasses and sins, have been quickened together with Him, and raised up together -- Jew or Gentile, under law or without law, near or far off, alike children of wrath -- and made to sit together in heavenly places in Him. Under law? Surely not; but brought out wholly from the place, state, and condition we were in before, were it under law or lawless, by the power of the new creation, in union with Christ as sitting at God's right hand. It is not a making good the duties of the old state or creation, but holding all as dead and ruined in it, and forming a new, which has its duties -- good works which God has afore prepared. We were predestinated, the whole place and glory too, before the world, and the works afore prepared as suited to the new place, even to be "imitators of God as dear children," and not, as Paul says, to build again the old thing out of which we have been delivered.

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This alone gives a just estimate of what Christianity is. I do not say that every truly converted person has laid hold of this. A man may be a Christian and only just know that he is forgiven -- blessed knowledge too. But the doctrine I oppose denies the truth I am speaking of, builds up again that out of which we are delivered, makes Christ a restorer of the old man, not the beginning to us of the new in the state into which He is entered as risen. The making Christ a keeper of the law for us as being under it is destroying the very truth and nature of Christianity as scripture teaches it. Was then the breach of the law by those under it held to be of no account and immaterial? In no wise Christ took its curse so as to maintain all its authority in the highest way, but not to put Jews back, and Gentiles for the first time under it; but, having risen after having died as bearing the curse, to introduce both into a wholly new place founded on the power of divine life in resurrection, where neither Adam innocent nor Adam fallen, nor the Jew under law nor the lawless heathen, ever were, one more than the other, different as their states might be. Taken even in their highest character, the duties of man as man are not the manifestation of God; and this last is what we are called on to follow and imitate. Christ was perfect as come in the flesh, and born under the law; but by redemption He has placed us on a new ground, where we are not in the flesh at all nor put under the law. We are sons in the power of resurrection, not servants. Christ has perfectly glorified God as regards the old position, both in His own walk and in bearing the curse due to our failure in it; but He has not put us into it and met our failures in it as now under law by keeping the law, but delivered us out of it by redemption, and given us a part with Himself in the new place into which He is entered, and no other.

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People make this great mistake, that because the moral law is in itself good and perfectly holy, therefore man is necessarily and always under it. This is not so. It was not the case at the beginning: men were distinctly placed under promise as contrasted with law, and the law's use and place is distinctly stated in scripture. Man was under a law when innocent, a specific law which only tested obedience, and required no personal knowledge of right and wrong. He failed and became a sinner. To give him a law then as a way of righteousness and life would be only condemnation and death.

But God shewed that He did not mean putting man under law to be the way of righteousness. His order of dealing was this: an absolute unconditional promise, to which the blessing was attached, and which was irrevocable and unchangeable, was given. The question of righteousness was not raised by it. God promised and of course would give the blessing as promised. This promise was confirmed to the Seed -- Christ; and, if we look closer into the figure, confirmed to Him after being offered in sacrifice and raised. However, it was confirmed to the Seed, that is, to Christ. After this the law is added, enters, but cannot change the promise. It raised the question of righteousness, and put it on man's accomplishment to shew that he could not make it out, and to make sin transgression and exceeding sinful. But it was only till the Seed came, to whom the promise was made. The administration of law, its use with man, was special and occasional. Christ, the Seed, was to be life and righteousness, and the One through whom the Spirit was to be received, not the law. But He comes in connection with man's position in flesh. Though He knew no sin, He was in the likeness of sinful flesh, "born of the seed of David according to the flesh" -- genovmeno" of a woman; genovmeno" under the law. This was man's and Israel's place as a sinner; Christ's place sinless, and in a sinless way. He glorified God in it, as man had dishonoured Him. But He works redemption and takes a new place, taking believers out of the old, so that now we say "when we were in the flesh,""ye are not in the flesh." Promise confirmed to the Seed; law till the Seed came; the Seed come; the time of the law closed, and the redemption of him who was under it valid for every believer, who thereon receives the Spirit: such is the divine order of God's dealings. He who puts us under law, or makes law so universal as to hinder promise being first (when man was a sinner and law only brought in for important purposes by the by), upsets the revealed order and principle of all God's dealings with man.

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I know not that I can add anything to what is so exceedingly plain, if we follow scripture and are subject to it. I do not pretend to answer all the reasonings of Dr. C. To tell the honest truth, I do not see any sense in them. I meet heaps of such as "I was told, a few days since, that it is impossible for the obedience of Christ to be so imputed that the man who has broken the law becomes entirely innocent." If so, I reply, on the same principle of reasoning, it is impossible for the work of Christ on the cross to be so imputed that the man becomes entirely free from the punishment of his guilt. If the one is impossible, so is the other. With a man who can reason thus it is lost time to reason at all. There is not a particle of sense in the passage. An innocent man is (to go no deeper) a man who has never been guilty. And his ever becoming innocent is simple nonsense. Whereas being free from punishment of guilt, if another bear the punishment in our place, is the simplest thing possible.

A man who has made debts can never become a person who has never made any; but, if his debts are paid by another, he is free from the consequences of his folly. I ask any man of commonsense, if a person who has something else to do can be expected to go through some thirty or forty pages of such reasoning as that? And I can assure my reader that a glance at Dr. C.'s book has shewn me pages of writing of no greater worth. I am told that the book is on the tables of evangelicals on every side; I pity them.

Dr. C. has taken up the question of ministry and pastorship, which I shall not mix up with that which concerns the truth of Christianity itself. I only say that his pages prove that he does not even know what the question which has been agitated is. He says "Existence of the christian ministry or pastoral office." This is one blunder. They are not the same thing, and nobody denies either. Next he makes pastor and bishop the same thing, which is another blunder. Bishops and elders were the same. Scripture is very plain as to christian ministry, it does speak of pastors, and both have their place now. It speaks of elders too. It speaks also of apostles: yet we have none. Why should not they be useful now? why not choose some now? Dr. C. will doubtless think it absurd. So do I. You cannot. It is therefore possible that there may be elders in scripture, and yet that we cannot now have elders according to scripture. If Dr. C. will shew me a direction to the Church to choose elders, or particular instructions sent to a church for it, it would be another matter. Elders were appointed in every city. By whom? is the question; though indeed there is another question -- to find the churches themselves first. Dr. C. cannot understand how the Holy Spirit can choose the man, and then make His choice known. He may very easily learn. He said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul." He did not do so with elders, but He did not confide the choice to the Church either. But all I shall say on this head is that Dr. C. knows neither what "Brethren" hold, nor what the scriptures teach on the subject. The former is easily accounted for. What controversy there was on the subject was abroad and not in England. When he can produce to me a scriptural church and apostles, we may be nearer finding scriptural elders; but I do not purpose going farther into the question here or mixing it up with the far more vital question of what Christianity itself really is. I deny all choice or election of elders by the Church, as unscriptural, and pastors are not elders. I should have thought he had lived near enough to Presbyterians to know that, if he had not learnt what is very easily found in scripture.

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I close by recalling my reader's attention to the main subject. The word of God teaches us that we are not justified by law, nor by any one's keeping it, but carefully assures us we are not -- that, if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. My adversaries teach it does come by law, Christ having kept it for us. The word of God teaches that the Christian is not under the law, that the law has power over a man so long as he lives, but that we are dead to it by the body of Christ, and that we are not in the flesh, in which a man was subjected to it, according to scripture.

Defending the "Brethren" is not my task, but defending the truth. I hold the doctrine of my adversaries to be unscriptural. When they can produce any scripture to prove it I will bow to it. I promise to answer, with God's help, any sober statement which appeals to scripture, or even any question. I challenge them to produce any scripture -- I know they cannot. They should not charge unsound doctrine and then retreat into silence; or, if they speak, indulge in abuse -- that I must be excused answering: but here I am for any argument attempted to be based on scripture. I have no doubt it is more convenient to them not to attempt to answer. Their articles, they tell us, are exciting attention. Be it so. I am glad of it too. But they may be well assured that, if scripture be appealed to largely against them, and they do not attempt to answer by scripture, the kind of attention will be such as they will not like. I do not expect every adversary will be convinced, but they may find that many sincere souls will, and that they may be put to silence.

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I only add that practical sanctification and godliness is as little by law as justification. All that has truly that character comes under the title of the fruits of the Spirit, and the apostle carefully tells us that, if we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law. We want life, power, motive, but that is in Christ and the Spirit, not in law.

"If righteousness come by the law, Christ is dead in vain."

"If the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise."

"Christ is become of none effect unto you, as many of you as are justified by the law. Ye are fallen from grace."

The very day on which I terminated the above I received a "Record" of August 11 from England, in reply (if it can be called so) to my letter on the Righteousness of God. I do not think there is any superfluous honesty in it, but only one thing which calls for any answer, because it refers to scripture. The rest insists on the question being settled by divines, about which I trouble myself very little.

The "Record" says I have (in quoting it) omitted what was "the substance of three proof texts." Had I quoted the passage in full, it says, it would have been an answer to my demand of scripture. Here is what is stated to be omitted, "That he bore the curse of the broken law, and also at the same time magnified it and made it honourable. He was obedient unto death, His obedience unto death."The "Record" then refers to Galatians 3: 13; Philippians 2: 8; Isaiah 42: 21. Now I am quite ready to admit that the "Record" had these passages in mind, though it did not quote them. Let us look at them. The question is, whether Christ's keeping the law for us during His lifetime is imputed to us for righteousness.

Galatians 3: 13 -- "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." The second is Philippians 2: 8, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." The third is Isaiah 42: 21, "The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake. He will magnify the law and make it honourable." The reader must judge for himself how bearing the curse in hanging on the tree, or Christ's being obedient unto death, applies to Christ's keeping the law during His life being imputed to us for righteousness. That Christ magnified the law and made it honourable, both by keeping it in His life and bearing its curse in His death, is assuredly true, but does not touch the question of its being imputed for righteousness.

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You have now what, after long months' advisement, the "Record" can produce from scripture for its doctrine. There could hardly be a greater proof of what I have alleged -- that it has no scripture to produce. It admits that it has not argued the subject. Of course it asserts that all my tendencies are decidedly Socinian. That is the fashion. I beg leave distinctly to deny the statement.

"He denies that Christ had anything to do with law." It is simply false. I say, "He kept the law surely, He was born under it." And again, "Christ, while perfect under the law in His own person, did not keep it to make good our defects under it." Again, "Being born under the law, He could not but be perfect under it in His person and walk. This is above all enquiry. It is received by the simplicity of faith as the truth." It is not true that I hold that justification is simply by death for our sin. It is said in the paper referred to, "Thus far we have only His death. But the apostle goes farther -- not surely to anything inconsistent. Up to this he had met the sin of the old man by the blood of Christ. Now from chapter 4 he takes up the new man in resurrection. Abraham is justified by faith. So we are to believe on Him who raised up Christ from the dead. What Christ? A Christ who kept the law for us? Not such a thought. A Christ, blessed be His most gracious name, who was delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification." I shall quote one passage of mine as a whole, that the reader may judge how far the "Record" is to be trusted. "We believers are not under law but under grace. Christ, while perfect under law in His own person, did not keep it to make good our defects under it, or give us legal righteousness or justification by it. He died for our sins and thus put them away; but we are viewed as being also dead with Him, and no longer in the flesh at all, to which law applied, but stand as risen in the presence of God in the position in which He stands, with all the value of His work upon us, and accepted in His person, according to His acceptance now that He is risen. This is measured by His having perfectly glorified God in His work, and hence He is glorified in and with God in heaven; and this is our title to be in heaven and glory in due time with Him -- conformed to His image -- the firstborn among many brethren." Again, "As Christ is righteousness to us, and we are the righteousness of God in Him, we are accepted according to God's own character, righteous in Him. His infinite value, including therein His work, is our title before God."

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After these quotations I can only leave the judgment of the "Record's" statements to my reader, begging him to read my tract, and to take my statements as to scripture, Calvin, Luther, the Homilies, and the "Record" only from my own tract. Let him note too in anything quoted, whether it applies to Christ's keeping the law for us.

But there is one passage in the new article of the "Record" to which I must turn, because it is to me vital in this question, more so than some which relate to the law. Those who hold our justification by Christ's keeping the law are obliged, more or less, to obliterate the true character of His death as propitiation. If His living sufferings and obedience had this character, then the death of Christ loses its peculiar atoning force. "Without shedding of blood there is no remission." He gives His flesh for the life of the world. On the cross He stands a victim under the curse -- under wrath, forsaken of God, pouring out His soul unto t death. The life, says the "Record," "is the basis of the death, the death the close of the life-work." So before, "We ought to think of Christ's work as a whole. The Bible speaks of it as His obedience unto death." The "Record" states that I do "not believe in the obedience unto death of the Lord Jesus Christ as the one man's obedience whereby many were made righteous." This is simply untrue: I do believe it.

But I pray my reader to weigh earnestly the point I am now upon. It is a question of the value and character of the death of the blessed Lord, of His bloodshedding. Was His bloodshedding under the curse the same in character and nature as His living obedience under divine favour? Was the drinking that cup of wrath, which Christ prayed, if it were possible, might pass from Him, the same thing as His life-work when He was not drinking it at all, but found it His meat to do His Father's will, and finish His work? Was Christ forsaken of God all His life? No doubt He was perfectly obedient all His life, and that even unto death, and so I have stated, and insist on His obedience in this respect as being a whole. But was that, to and in which He was obedient on the cross, as there obedient to His Father's will, the same as His life-work? Had it nothing peculiar in it? Could any one who really believed in the propitiatory power of His wrath-bearing death use the language of the "Record," and say "Death was the close of the life-work"? I believe it impossible. No doubt death closed His life-work; but when it says "We ought to think of Christ's work as a whole," it is making it all one like work. Was all His life-work bloodshedding under wrath? Was He made sin all His life long? Was He brought under the curse as being upon the tree all His life long? When John says His hour was not come, was there nothing peculiar in that hour? I repeat it, Was He always drinking the cup, the thought of which, as thus still before Him, made Him sweat as it were great drops of blood? In a word, had the hour of wrath and the cup nothing peculiar in it? Was it only the close of His life-work? Answer it if you can and dare.

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It is this slighting of propitiation and the dying sorrow of Christ -- when it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, when He made His soul an offering for sin, when the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, when He was bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, when He once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, being put to death in the flesh -- it is this that I abhor and denounce above all. This indeed the Socinian would own-that He was blessedly obedient unto death, that His death was the close of His life-work, all one whole: why should he not? But substitution on the cross, propitiation, drinking the cup of wrath for us there -- this the Socinian would not hear of; and this the language of the "Record" sets aside. Nothing, it seems to me, is a more terrible sign of the state of the professing church than the open slighting of Christ's death which is current in it. With Mr. Newton first it was an incident; with the "Christian Examiner" it was having life to pass through death with; for the "Record" it is the close of His life-work, and to be viewed as a whole.

Is propitiation nothing then? or is there such without death and bloodshedding? Was there no cup of wrath then? Was Christ forsaken of God all His life? Why this agony in Gethsemane? Why speak of the cup as yet to drink? I charge the "Record," and all who hold these doctrines, with the horrible denial of the whole meaning and value of Christ's death. The charge is not a light one -- I feel it is not. The question is, Is it a true one? None can answer but he who feels what sin is in the sight of God, and knows that Christ was there made sin for us. Scripture indeed shews the folly of such language as that of the "Record." But I do not believe that any one who is not horrified at the language of the "Record" and the "Christian Examiner" has ever felt in his own soul, what none indeed can fathom, what the dying sufferings and sin-bearing of the blessed One were.

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Death the close of His life-work! It is an undermining of atonement and propitiatory sacrifice, and all the quotations of John Owen, or countless bishops, will not purge the contempt that is thus put upon the cross.

The subjection of the Christian to law we may firmly discuss. His lordship of Ossory, for whom I have a sincere respect, may assume we are under it, as the quotation taken from his book by the "Record" does,+ and I may not agree with him. My recollection of his Sermons on Justification, if that be the same work, leaves me under the impression that, however useful they may have been, there was defect in his idea of faith. He treats it, if I am not mistaken, as trust. Now I apprehend this does not adequately keep in view a preceding, and the fundamental, element of faith, of which trust is only a consequence -- the reception of testimony as divine. "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." This, the testimony being what it is, inseparably produces trust, but the trust is not faith simply in itself. I avow I speak only from recollection, and may do injustice to the right reverend prelate. At any rate, this I should discuss with all worthy respect both to his rank and person; but with the doctrine of the "Record" and others, on the death of the blessed Lord, I will have no peace. I have caused my Lord to suffer agonies through my sins, and I am told His death was the close of His life-work. Was His life-work atonement and propitiation, the drinking of the cup of God's wrath? Take heed, reader, lest, under this vile pretension to orthodoxy and setting up of the law, you have not lost the value of your Saviour's death, and become a Socinian in good earnest. Let it come from what quarter it will, this point I will not let go.

What I think of law the reader may see in the tract the "Record" is commenting on. I will profit by the opportunity to state more distinctly what scripture sets before us as the measure of the Christian's walk, answering to the place grace has set him in, as contrasted with law. I make no modification of the plain statement of truth. We are not under the law for justification-that point I have treated. But though the Christian alone fulfils the law, it is not his rule of life. But then it is important to know what his rule of life is: that I shall now state.

+I have not myself read it, nor have any opportunity to do so at this moment, or I would.

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His place is not under law but in Christ glorified in the presence of God. "As he is, so are we in this world." "As is the earthy, such are they that are earthy; as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly." Christ is the rule of walk, and what He is the measure of attainment. What answers to this glory of Christ is the presence of the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, and sealing us for the day of redemption, when we shall be like Him and bear His image. Grieving the Spirit thus becomes the other measure of right and wrong for us, not breaking the law. Take Ephesians 4, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." He is speaking of Christ ascended. The Spirit takes the things of Christ and shews them to us. "We, beholding with open face the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord." Thus we grow up into the Head; all that is in Christ is the means of forming us by the power of the Holy Ghost into the same image. Thus, in Ephesians 4, again, we are to grow up into Him who is the Head (the exalted Christ) in all things, even Christ. Hence the truth as it is in Jesus is the having "put off the old man" altogether, and "put on the new, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." It is a new creature formed after God and into God's image. We are to forgive as God forgave -- surely that is not law. Here also is found the other principle I have referred to, "Grieve not that Holy Spirit of promise by which ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Thus the stature of Christ Himself -- the new man created after God in His image, and renewed in knowledge according to it, and not grieving the Holy Spirit, being an imitator of God as Christ displayed Him -- this is the rule of life, the only rule of life for one who has been created again in Christ Jesus.

The two systems are undoubtedly at variance. One is law for justification, the flesh, Christ under law before His death, the law the rule of life. The other is the flesh judged, condemned, dead, no union with Christ in flesh, but now redemption accomplished, Christ risen our righteousness, we new creatures risen with Him and in this new place before God, the Holy Ghost dwelling in us. Our measure of attainment is Christ as He is, and now revealed in the heart, thus the image of God practically as revealed in Him here, and all accounted evil which grieves the Spirit of God in us.

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Even when here, when His walk presents our practical rule, there were two parts in Christ's life: the obedient man under the law, and "God manifest in the flesh." We are called to imitate His walk in the latter character (Ephesians 5: 1, 2); we are not in His place in the former.


I have been furnished, through the kindness of a friend, with a still more recent number of the "Record" than that to which I have referred above. It affords us an opportunity, for which I am very thankful, of judging of the system advocated by the "Record" and others who desire to be teachers of the law. I agree with the "Record" that the question is vital, that it tinges every part of the doctrine of those it attacks, as it does its own; indeed I have insisted on this above. It pervades, it justly says, the whole system of teaching. I am also glad that I have nothing to denounce, as I must when they speak of Christ's death as the "Record" did in the other article I have noticed. We can discuss calmly by scripture the justness of the statements, however shocking some of them may seem to me.

C. H. M., we are told, "holds and teaches the Darby doctrine of a gospel without a law. He denies to the law the place and position given it by all orthodox Christians, and hence his whole system is out of joint. It has no backbone, but goes goggling about like a mollusc." I leave to my reader the good taste of the phraseology; the meaning is very plain. Again, "The law of God cannot be wholly taken away from the gospel of God, and yet leave anything deserving the name of the gospel behind it." The Darby heresy is charged with teaching that "We are under quite a different principle from law, and under quite a different head from the first Adam." I pray the reader to notice this last statement, for it is the whole question: what they call heresy, I call Christianity. We are under quite a different principle from law, and under quite a different head from Adam.

But first I must notice some statements to correct them. It is difficult to do so only from the extreme ignorance and neglect of scripture which the "Record" displays. They accuse us of teaching that "Christ did not obey our law." This is simply false, unless our law is some other law than the law of God. I have stated the contrary in many places. One passage of scripture suffices: "Made of a woman, made under the law." Further, I hold that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully. It is useful to convince of sin, but it is not made for the righteous: at least so scripture says. Using it to convict a sinner of sin is a different thing from a Christian being under it; as different as having a sword with a handle, and running another through the body, from being run through oneself. The law is good, if a man use it lawfully; it is death and condemnation if he is under it. "It is the ministration of death and condemnation," as scripture teaches. Further, the law may be used as all scripture teaching which communicates the mind of God, as in Ephesians 6, where the importance attached to obedience to parents is noticed; God thinks so much of it that it is the first commandment to which a promise is attached. Further, the authority of the law is proved by those who have sinned under it being judged by it; a passage which at the same time disproves positively its universality, because this is contrasted with those who have sinned without law perishing without law. A Christian is not under it, because he has in Christ died and risen again. Of this I have spoken and shall have occasion briefly to refer to it.

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I will here add a word as to sanctification. Scripture speaks of it, as both absolute and progressive. Where it is connected with justification however, in spite of "the orthodox," it precedes it in scripture. In its ordinary natural sense, it is absolute, and once for all. A vessel sanctified to God is set apart to Him simply and absolutely, and so is a person. We are saints by God's calling. But as a man is a compound being, and the flesh is there as well as the new nature, there may be, and ought to be, practical progress in practically reducing it to subjection, and in the new man's growing up to Him who is the Head, in all things. We are "sanctified in God the Father," "sanctified by the word," that is, set apart to God: so we are "washed, we are sanctified, we are justified," where it precedes justification. So when it is said we are "sanctified unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ" -- we are sanctified unto the blood of sprinkling That it is not by the law is carefully brought out when it is said; Christ is "of God made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." There, it may be said, it follows righteousness. I do not think it refers to application, but states what we are to hold as sanctification; but I make no resistance, as I think there is an intended order, though not a state described. The Spirit of God seems to me to be speaking of the first necessity as before God, righteousness; and then the actual result, as viewing the end of being actually before Him; and hence sanctification, the setting apart of the whole man according to what is in Christ Himself, is brought out afterwards; and then final delivery from our whole mortal state into glory, which is what I understand here by redemption.

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In 1 Thessalonians 5: 23, we get what may justly be called progressive sanctification -- "May the God of peace sanctify you wholly." Again, Hebrews 12: 14, "Follow after holiness." (See too 2 Corinthians 3: 18.) These fully justify speaking of progress in holiness, or practical setting apart of the heart and mind to God by its being filled with Christ, provided that the first truth be held of a primary setting apart, which is absolute and once for all, and that in the way of a new life, being born of God -- of water, and of the Spirit. If this be not held, sanctification becomes a mere gradual fitting of man as such for God, leaving out a new life, and denies that in that he is washed (leloumevno") he needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit. And this is a mischievous doctrine; and this, as far as I can see, is the doctrine of the "Record," the rather as it speaks of a peculiar view as to flesh. Does it not believe that the flesh is irreparably bad, and is not subject to the law of God (which is the "Record's" means of sanctifying), neither indeed can be? The "Record" must answer for itself in this. Does it believe in a new nature really imparted, that Christ becomes our life, and that thus we are in Christ sanctified to God, though this may be developed, as a child's life may, but is never in its nature other than it is at the beginning? What does the "Record" say? It does not venture meeting its adversaries on scripture truths.

The "Record" assures us that Romans 6 and 7 fully bring out its doctrine; it forgets to tell us where. But the appeal is a singular one. There we are told we are to reckon ourselves dead and alive to God through Christ; that sin shall not have dominion over us, because we are not under law but under grace; that we are delivered from the law, having died in that wherein we were held; that we cannot be subject to the law and Christ together -- that it is as bad as having two husbands. Further, we get the effects of attempts at sanctification under law; namely, the discovery that there is no power; and that, when to will is present, there is no possibility of finding the means of performing what is good, so that the soul is forced to cry for deliverance -- a deliverance which is found in Christ, because in Him we are no longer in the flesh at all. Thus the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made the Christian free from the law of sin and death; which the law could not do, because it was weak through the flesh. This, the "Record" tells us, teaches us the doctrine of progressive sanctification by means of the law! It really is infatuation.

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I return to the accusation -- that we hold that we are on another principle than law. Assuredly we do. I say with Paul, "Be ye as I am; ye have not injured me at all." We are under grace, not under law. We are not justified by the law. And as to the dominion of sin, we believe that sin will not have dominion over us because we are not under law but under grace. The principle we find in scripture is, being dead to the law by the body of Christ. Nothing can exceed the diligence and care with which the apostle -- that is, the Spirit of God -- teaches us that we are on a different principle from law. We are not under the first husband but the second; and death has wholly severed the bond. We are called upon to reckon ourselves dead to the principle on which the "Record" insists, and married to another to bring forth -- and by which alone we can bring forth -- fruit to God (namely, to Him that is risen from the dead).

Further, we are under quite a different head from the first Adam. This is the vital point -- we are under the Second. We have died in Christ as under the first Adam, and belong to Christ only. We say "when we were in the flesh," because God has taught us so in His word. The truth is, it is difficult to understand how the writer of this article can be a Christian. If he be, he must have wholly neglected scripture. We are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us; if not, we are not Christ's at all. We have died in Christ to our whole condition as under Adam headship -- died in that which put away sin for us, and we know no head but Christ. The flesh remains, to lust against the Spirit, but we are called upon not to own it -- to reckon ourselves dead, knowing there is no good thing in it. We are told we are dead; if dead with Christ, not living (alive) in the world.

The essence of the christian position is what the "Record" accuses us of as evil; and I earnestly entreat my reader to notice and weigh it, and search scripture as to it; namely, that we are not under Adam the sinful head, but, as dead to that entirely, wholly and solely under Christ as head, who is risen from the dead and sits at the right hand of God. We admit no other headship at all, though we have to contend with flesh as an enemy; but we are not in it, but in Christ. A person may know forgiveness by bloodshedding, and not enter into this; but to raise the question, and deny our being as dead and risen solely under Christ the Second man as head, and not under the first, is to deny the power of Christianity. I freely admit -- insist upon it, that here, with every one who has learned Christianity from scripture, I am with earnest decision (as believing there is no good in my flesh) on wholly, entirely, eternally separated and opposite ground from the "Record." In fact its doctrine is a denial (through ignorance I doubt not) of Christianity. It does pervade all the system.

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I merely add, that to say the taking away the law from the gospel leaves nothing deserving the name of the gospel, is a monstrous statement. Forgiveness, justification, eternal life, sovereign love, all, and still more than this, are ignored as of no consequence. The "Record" quotes, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Does the "Record" believe we get life by keeping the law? The statements of this article are incredible. Of course, under the law, to one who said "Good Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" no answer could have been given than "Keep the commandments." "This do and thou shalt live" is the principle of law. But was a law given which could give life? or is eternal life the gift of God through Jesus? Is not the whole teaching of the epistles, of Christianity itself, that neither life nor righteousness can be had by law? that Moses says, he that doeth shall live by them, but that the righteousness of faith speaks otherwise? Do we get life by the law, or by Christ? No doubt the path towards eternal life in its fulness in glory is the path of patient obedience. But to quote "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments" as the way of attaining life, or as a sufficient rule of life, is setting Christ aside.

And this brings me to another question and to statements in the "Record" which again almost throw the Christianity of the critic into doubt. He accuses C. H. M. of writing "of something higher, better, than the law." Let him, he says, "tell us what it is, what specifically is the morality, the heart-holiness, that is higher than the commandments demand? Who exemplified it? for Christ did not. The law contented Him. That and that alone was in His heart. The ark was empty of all besides the two tables of stone. Let C. H. M. put his higher law in writing that we may read it and test it."

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The simple answer to this is, God was in Christ. Was He (with reverence be it spoken) to love His neighbour as Himself? Was there nothing but this in Christ? Was this the highest standard of His walk? Let us continue the passage: "God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them." Did all His path not answer to this? Were His relationships to saints and sinners not founded on and characterized by this position? Did not all the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Him stamp His walk in everything as a man? But it will be said, He was no pattern for us in this. This, too, is a mistake. Let us still continue the passage. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." All are not apostles; but all are called, each in his place, to walk in the spirit and temper of this. See how the apostle speaks in 2 Corinthians 5, "The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they that live should live henceforth not to themselves, but to him that died for them and rose again. Therefore if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new; and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ." Nor is the love of Christ in His death excepted from this following of Him. "Hereby," says the apostle John, "know we love, because he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." Again, see the end of Ephesians 4 and beginning of chapter 5, and the parallel passage in Colossians 3, "And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." "Be ye therefore imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ also hath loved us, and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour."

I have anticipated this question, happily, already at the close of the article to which this is appended. I only add therefore, that it is quite evident that the actings of God in grace must be something quite different from the subjection of man to law in its highest form; and he who does not understand this understands neither what the grace of God nor what the law is.

I turn to the question of judgment. That we must all appear, or rather be manifested, before the judgment-seat of Christ, and receive the things done in the body, that every one of us must give an account of himself to God, is as plainly stated in the scriptures as possible (nor would any wise Christian seek to enfeeble its force); but that the believer has to look for Jesus in glory, and not for judgment, is equally certain. The passage quoted to the contrary by the "Record" is a most unhappy one for its purpose. Had it quoted the whole of it, it would have proved exactly the opposite of that for which it quotes it. That I shall do now. Let the reader judge. It begins with an "as," and the "so" which gives the answer the "Record" has left out. Let us have the whole: "As it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment." Thus far the "Record" quotes. But this is only laying the ground of the natural condition of man as the fallen race of Adam. Then follows what Christianity is -- the part that the "Record" has left out: "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." That is, Christ's second coming for the believer is for final deliverance or salvation, in contrast to judgment. Man was under death and judgment; but, as to believers, Christ bore their sins, and comes again for their salvation. No passage could shew more truly the truth on this subject. The "Record" quotes the first half to shew the believer's portion.

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Every one who can read the original knows that John 5 is a distinct statement that the believer will not come into judgment. First, both the Father and Christ are spoken of as quickening or giving life. But the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son, thereby securing His glory in the case of the unwilling and the wicked. But the cases are not confounded. "He," says the Saviour, "who heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life." Hence we read at the end, there is a resurrection to life and a resurrection to judgment.

That we wait for Christ in glory, consequently, scripture makes plain: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." Are we not to believe that Christ will come and receive believers into glory? Is that taking them up to raise the question, whether they are to be accepted or not? And if we take the saints who have died, it is, if possible, still more absurd; for they have been in blessedness with Him. Are they to be brought afterwards to judgment, to know whether they will be accepted or not?

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Again, take the resurrection: "it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory." We must be judged after we are glorified, if we are thence taken to judgment. I might cite many other passages -- Philippians 3, for instance. None is stronger than the one the "Record" has quoted the half of to prove the contrary. The doctrine of a general judgment at the end, in which the acceptance of the believer is to be settled, is not Christianity. It teaches that Christ's first coming was a perfect and saving work for those who, through grace, believe on Him; that they are accepted in the Beloved and loved as He is loved; but that all will be brought out in the presence of God. But believers know that, when Christ shall appear, they shall be like Himself; as it is so beautifully stated in 1 John 4, "Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world." Christ has borne their judgment, their sins; and when they appear before Him, they will meet Him who has done so. Christ's coming is, for them, their final bringing into glory.

We have now to take up the question of what the Church is. On this point I can well suppose beloved saints not seeing clear, but I distinctly maintain the doctrine which the "Record" attacks. The Church, a thing spoken of in the doctrinal part of scripture only by Paul, is composed, according to scripture, only of the saints from Pentecost till the Lord comes to receive it to Himself. We must distinguish between salvation and an assembly. When men speak of the Church, Christians have a general vague idea of all the redeemed. If we say "assembly," we can easily understand that individuals can be saved without forming an assembly. We can easily understand that Israel was an assembly -- as it is often called in the Old Testament -- without confounding it with an assembly formed of Jew and Gentile, by the breaking down of that middle wall of partition, the maintenance of which alone maintained the Jewish assembly. Even in heaven we find an innumerable company of angels, the general assembly (panhvguri"), the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven (ejcclhsiva), and the spirits of just men made perfect, all distinguished. Now the christian assembly, properly called the Church, neither was revealed nor existed, nor could have existed, before the death of Christ and the mission of the Holy Ghost. The Jewish assembly was that of the people contrasted with the nations. The christian church is, ostensibly and in its real purpose, the gathering together in one of the children of God scattered abroad. These two, Israel and the assembly, are noticed as distinct objects of Christ's death in that remarkable comment on the prophecy of Caiaphas: He gave Himself "not for that nation only, but that he might gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." This distinction between Israel and the assembly is brought into distinct relief when the Lord, setting aside Israel for a time, added to the Church the remnant of them that escaped by grace. At the end, when the christian saints get their heavenly portion, Israel will be established as a whole.

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I will now shew that the Christian Church had never been revealed before Christ. "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began." (Romans 16: 25.) "Whereby when ye read ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel." (Ephesians 3: 4-6.) "And to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God who created all things: to the intent that now to the principalities and to the powers in the heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." (verse 9, 10.) "Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints." (Colossians 1: 25, 26.) Thus we see that with this manifold wisdom of God, neither man nor principalities and powers in heavenly places could have any acquaintance; it was hid in God.

Next, I say that the Church did not exist, any more than the knowledge of it was given. The first time it is mentioned in scripture is when the confession of Christ's being the Son of the living God is made by Simon, and the Lord declares that on this Rock, now first thus revealed, He will build His Church, a thing yet future. I may add that in the following chapter the glory of the kingdom is revealed, and in chapter 18 the Church is practically substituted for the synagogue.

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Next, when the Holy Ghost is come down and the disciples have been baptized with it, we find, as we have seen in the beginning of Acts, "The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

We now turn to divine teaching on the subject, which, as we have said, is found only in Paul: not even the word is found elsewhere, save as applied to a local church. It is distinctly founded, in the end of Ephesians 1, on the exaltation of the man Christ above all principalities and powers (we being quickened together with Him, to be united with Him in this place). In chapter 2, where the effectuating of these truths is unfolded, it is expressly taught that it is by the breaking down of the middle wall of partition by Christ's death, and reconciling both Jew and Gentile in one body by the cross, making in Himself of twain one new man; and then shewing that we are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit -- a different kind of dwelling of God from that which formed the centre of the assembly of Israel. All this is enlarged and insisted upon, and applied to our walk in this new condition in chapters 3 and 4 from which I have quoted already, and to which the reader may refer. If we turn to 1 Corinthians we are taught how the unity of the body is formed. We are the body of Christ and members in particular; and it is by one Spirit we have been all baptized into one body; and we are expressly taught in the beginning of Acts that this baptism took place at the day of Pentecost. "Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

Thus the formation of the body is distinctly revealed to date from the day of Pentecost. The Church according to God did not exist before. I add that it could not have existed before; first, because the head was not yet in heaven, to which the body was to be united; secondly, that consequently the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified; and thirdly, as to its actual formation on earth, because it was founded on the breaking down of the middle wall of partition by Christ's death. Its existence in the mind of God is nothing to the purpose -- that it did from all eternity. And the question still remains, What existed in the mind of God to be revealed in due time? And this, if scripture is to be believed, was the gathering together Jew and Gentile in one body, by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, consequent upon the exaltation of the Christ to the right hand of God. I would just warn the reader to take notice of the double character of the Church: its being the body of Christ on the one hand, and the habitation of God through the Spirit on the other. The confusion of these two is that which has been the foundation of the abuses of Popery and Puseyism, attributing, sacramentally, the privileges of the one to those who have part in the other. The Lord's Supper alone, even as a sign, is connected with the unity of the body.

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The "Record" quotes many coming from the east and from the west to sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, as a proof that they belonged to the Church, the body of Christ. But this is mere blundering: the kingdom of God is not the body of Christ. The reader may see, from the quotation from C. H. M., which immediately follows in the "Record," that it is expressly taught, that they will be in the heavenly glory. No further remark as to this theme is called for.

The subject of the Sabbath I approach with more fear, though perfectly clear in my own mind about what scripture teaches, because it really requires, in order to understand it, a knowledge of God's ways, and because of the abuse likely to be made of it by those who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. But as the subject has been raised, I will refer to it.

Were I merely arguing against the Sabbath, as people say, I might cite the fact of the entire omission of any reference to it in the "Sermon on the Mount," where the spirituality of the law is insisted on. I might cite the fact, that in every instance in which it is mentioned, the Lord throws a slight upon it, Christ declaring the Son of man to be Lord of it. I might appeal to history, shewing that the primitive church was unaware of its obligation, and treated it as Judaism, and that there were even stringent canons against the observance of it. I might challenge the "Record" (not "stoutly to maintain," which it is easy to do, but) to give some scriptural proof or authority for the change of day it talks of; but all this would misrepresent my feelings on the subject. I hold it to be one of vast and important bearing; because a part in the rest of God seems to me distinctive of the blessing belonging to God's people, whatever the foreshadowing of it may be. A promise is left us of entering into God's rest; and it must be God's rest, and not rest without God, if such were even possible.

The sabbath did begin in Paradise: "And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." Into this rest man never entered, as Hebrews 4 assures us. That it was a law imposed upon man departed from God has no sort of scripture proof; and I flatly deny it. To make one totally departed from God an obliged partaker in God's rest, nothing but unintelligent legalism could have thought of. But I believe, from the Lord's own statement, that "the sabbath was made for man;" that its observation would have been a temporal blessing to man condemned to labour, and a continual remembrancer, in the scene into which sin had brought him, that his hopes and blessings were elsewhere. That men forget all this we know too well. But the moment that God brought man, in a covenant way, into relation to Himself by redemption, He made the sabbath a sign of the covenant. God's rest belongs to God's people. As the form of that covenant was legal, it was given in a legal way. And it is remarkable that in every particular institution, on which in any respect the relationship of God with Israel was based under the old covenant, the sabbath enters for part; and the prophets allude to this as a sign of the covenant. Outside this we only get traces of it in hebdomadal [weekly] divisions of time, as in the cases of Noah and Jacob.

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But that old covenant, in which the sabbath was made legally obligatory, was to be done away, and the time of Messiah, the true rest of His creation, was to come in. We have here, therefore, to consider how the Lord Jesus deals with the sabbath. We have already seen that He does not introduce it in His spiritual summary of practice in the Sermon on the Mount. Nor can the smallest instance be found in which He sets up or insists upon its authority. But when He goes out of Judaism and reveals Himself as Son of man, He declares that He is Lord of it. Speaking in His divine character, when charged with the breach of it, His language is still more striking -- "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Grace might labour in a world of sin; but neither the holiness nor the love of the Father and Son could find their rest in a world of sin and misery. No one can find in the writings of the New Testament a word that insists upon the moral obligation of the sabbath. When the question arose between Jew and Gentile Christians as to what was to be maintained as obligatory, the sabbath was not one of the things insisted upon. Have we then lost the rest of God? or even every trace of it here below? God forbid! And I have no doubt that the last words, "The sabbath was made for man," remain in practice a true blessing now for man; but when we come to spiritual hopes of that rest, it is a different matter. The rest of God in the first creation is over, because sin has entered. It will, I doubt not, have its sabbath; but that will be in the millennium, in a new order of things. It is not a seventh day, but the seventh day -- God's rest after finishing His work.

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But our rest is not in this creation. We have been rejected out of it, as Christ has been too, who (if man had not been a sinner as he was) had power to bring in rest, when He first came. But now He has introduced us by resurrection into a new and heavenly rest of God, a brighter and a better hope; and the seventh day, the sabbath, the sign of the old covenant, the rest of this creation, in no way meets our hopes. For the writer of the "Record," who puts us under Adam headship, this might do, but not for a Christian; and, even so, it is impossible, for how could a sinner have the rest of God under the old covenant? And what introduces us into this new and better hope? It is resurrection -- the resurrection of our blessed Lord. In the grave on the sabbath (the only rest He found here), He rises up to begin, as the head of the new creation, brighter and better hopes founded on His sacrifice. Hence, to the Christian Church, the first day of the week, as all the New Testament after His resurrection testifies, not the seventh, becomes the sign and pledge of her rest. It is not a law, but established by the testimony of scripture. It is monstrous, as Christians, to say or think that the neglect of that which is not established by law is not ruinous in its nature. We do not pray by law, nor read scripture by law. And this day is marked out in the New Testament. The day of Christ's resurrection He met His disciples assembled; the next first day He did the same. The first day of the week, we read, "the disciples met together to break bread."+ The first day of the week they were to lay by for the poor, as God had prospered them. And in Revelation 1 it is formally called "the Lord's day," with the testimony that John was in the Spirit on it. To make it the seventh day, and a mere change of day, which scripture always positively contradicts, is to confound the old creation (which is under condemnation by sin) with the new, into which we are risen with Christ in resurrection. That corrupt Christianity, which has lost all spirituality, should have lost this altogether, is but too natural; that reformed Christendom could only go back to the law, and make a seventh day of it, is only one of the sad proofs how little its members have known the privileges that God has conferred on us.

+["When we came together," etc., as the true reading runs, rather strengthens the case as being more distinctively Christian. -- Editor]

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I add, that as long as Christianity is to be the nominal religion of the world, or of a country, it must live by institutions, although its tone and character will be really expressed by its preaching. Now of all these institutions, though there are others, the institution of the christian sabbath has, though greatly abused, by far the widest and most beneficent influence on the masses. It is the poor man's day, and the family day; two objects to which, in the government of the human race, God attaches peculiar importance. And here I may apply the expression, "The sabbath was made for man." In Popery and in Puseyism, christian institutions, blended with an immense power of Satan over the imagination, have been turned into puerilities and superstitions. Man has been put between man and God. The measure of right and wrong having fallen below that of natural conscience, and sin, what I may call, pried into by man, with occasional individual devotedness, the masses have been universally morally degraded, or, if not, turned infidel. The dissenters (while there are many individuals in their ranks more excellent and devoted than myself) appear to me in the old world to be now in an entirely false position; and the same remark applies to all denominations in the new world, where, as there is no Establishment, there can be no dissent. They profess to build up and form the true church upon its own proper principles, and at the same time grasp energetically at the masses and the world. What the state of Presbyterianism is, where it does not come under the category of dissent in the old world, is sufficiently known not to call for any remark from me. The consequence has been, since the full freedom of dissent, a tendency to adapt Christianity itself to the progress of the age, and hence towards latitudinarianism and rationalism, from which the Establishment itself, though with more fixed formularies, knows perhaps still less how to free itself. In the midst of all this God surely carries on His own work; and I have no doubt the just maintenance of the christian sabbath is, as I have said, a great blessing as regards God's government of the professing world. But this is another thing from the truth of eternal life -- another thing from the narrow path in which the Christian has to walk.

I would make one remark here (and they might be multiplied if I were to notice everything), that the ten commandments and Christ's commandments are most unwarrantably confounded. It is in vain to say that Christ was the Jehovah who gave the ten. Christ's commandments in the New Testament and the ten commandments in the Old Testament are clearly defined and distinct one from another. Commandments I insist upon, and not merely on doing right; because obeying command is obedience to Him who commands, and not merely doing right. But under the law the commandments were ordained to life, as in the passage quoted by the "Record" -- "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments:" but it was found to be unto death to us. Christ is that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us, and His commandments are the expression of that life and His authority as thus come. When we receive Christ, we possess this life; and His commandments are His guidance and His blessed authority over us at the same time.

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I return briefly to the great principle already noticed -- the "Record's" accusation that we teach that we are under another headship than Adam. Now I entreat the reader to consult Romans 5, 6, and 7, and see if the apostle is not there laboriously teaching that we are not under the first Adam, or in the flesh at all, in our standing before God, but in Christ. Let him take Ephesians 2, let him take Colossians 2 and 3, and see if there be any other head but Christ. Let him take 1 Corinthians 15 and see whether our place is not in the last Adam. What is the meaning of having a second man, and the last Adam, if the first is to remain our head? Are we to have two heads -- a fallen one and a risen one? To say that our fallen nature of flesh remains in us now, is quite true, but does not hinder the believer saying, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." I will not go farther; I am almost ashamed to insist upon that which I should have thought would be familiar to every scripturally informed Christian. But this I say, that this passage in the article of the "Record" shews its whole system in the clearest manner to be fatally and fundamentally unscriptural.

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It seems to me that in the four tracts -- "The Righteousness of God," "A Letter on the Righteousness of God, in answer to the 'Record,'" "The Law," and "Brethren and their Reviewers" -- I have gone sufficiently fully into the question which has been raised as to legal righteousness to make it unnecessary to pursue the subject farther at present. Controversy may instruct but it seldom feeds the soul. It is my comfort to know that in my controversial tracts the great truths of grace have been pretty largely brought out, so that there may be edification as well as conviction. I am more than ever convinced that the question which now occupies us involves the true character of Christianity. Is our connection with Christ association or union with Him risen, consequent on accomplished redemption, or one under law, and Christ living on the earth the One with whom we are united? But as the pamphlet comprising the articles in the "Record" has been published and circulated, and professes to give a fair account of the views set forth in my tracts, and that in my own words, I am obliged to say that its statements, in most essential points, are entirely false; I can hardly avoid saying deliberately false. I could, of course, suppose that the writer had overlooked statements I had made. But statements the opposite of what the "Record" declares to be my doctrine are found on the same page with quotations the "Record" has made from my letter, so that they could hardly have escaped the writer.

I shall here merely give the statements of the "Record" and my statements, and every one will judge how far the "Record" is exact. Its honesty I leave to the reader's own appreciation:

Record, in reply to my Letter.

J.N.D. holds, then, and teaches that when Adam was created he was put under no law. page 14.

J.N.D.'s Letter, on which the "Record" comments, page 23.

Adam had a law, that is plain; a simple test of obedience before the knowledge of good and evil. Moses gave from God a law when man had the knowledge of good and evil, and suited to that state. Both these suppose the express authority of God. They both impose a rule under a penalty.

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Record, page 41.

The "Record" in stating the leading points of alleged evil in my theology, says,

The fourth step required before the Darby theology can find a resting-place for the sole of its foot, is, that the Lord Jesus Christ did not keep the law. The very utterance of the words we hold to be profanity.

My Letter.

He (Christ) kept the law surely; He was born under it. page 17.

And being born under law, He could not but be perfect under it -- in His person and walk. That is above all enquiry. It is received by the simplicity of faith as truth. page 18.

Now I will commence by stating that I hold the maintenance of the law, in its true and highest character, to be of the deepest importance, and necessary to a right and full apprehension of divine teaching. It is the abstract perfection of a creature, loving God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves; and this Christ most surely did in all He did. page 22.

Did not God, then, magnify the law, and make it honourable? Undoubtedly. I have already said it was the perfect law of the creature abstractedly; and Christ came under the law, and God glorified His law thus; and it was most right and just. page 35.

The merely coming down to die would not have failed in putting away sin, but in glorifying God as a living man. page 37.

The same doctrine is repeated elsewhere, as in page 21 of my letter, but this may suffice.

Record, page 43.

Mr. Darby says a thousand times that grace is contrasted with righteousness; and that, just because it is of grace, it cannot also be of righteousness.

Mr. Darby would have grace without righteousness; the apostle would have grace reigning through righteousness.


Grace reigned, but reigned through righteousness, Jew or Gentile, when the matter was looked into, being all alike. page 40.

As Christ is righteousness to us, and we are the righteousness of God in Him, we are accepted, according to God's character, righteously in Him. His infinite value, including therein His work, is our title before God. page 41.

Are we not saved, then, made righteous, by one man's obedience? Surely, as contrasted with Adam's disobedience; but not by the works of law of one man. page 35.

I add from my original tract: "The Righteousness of God:"

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"We need, and have a perfect righteousness apart from our life, though in Him who is our life. Christ is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. No soul can or ought to have solid settled peace in any other way. The whole perfection of Christ is that in which, without any diminution of its value, we are accepted. The delight of God in His obedience is that in which we are received. What we have done as children of Adam, He took on the cross in grace, and entirely put away; and what He did is our acceptance with God. It is needed for us, for otherwise we have no righteousness."

From this page the "Record" quotes, as from others which I have cited, from my letter. The statement is one in which I am insisting on imputed righteousness as contrasted with inherent, which would be life in us.

Again in the same tract: "Now I believe, and bless God for the truth, that Christ is our righteousness, and that by His obedience we are made righteous. It is the settled peace of my soul."

Record, page 7.

J. N. D. denies that the Homily contains our doctrine, and maintains that it affirms his own.


The Homilies of the Establishment teach that Christ fulfilled the law for us in His life.

Were I answering the statements of the collected articles of the "Record" I should have many things to complain of as unfair, and as suppressions of my statements. I only give cases of positive false statements, by which any one may judge whether what the "Record" says is to be trusted. I have only to request, as I did before, that anyone who pretends to judge my doctrine may learn it from my own publications. The points are serious and important, and I felt it well sincere souls should know the truth, and what they and I have to deal with. The main subject -- Is our righteousness effected by Christ's keeping the law? -- has been amply discussed. Of the attacks on "Brethren" I of course take no notice. I gladly add that Bethesda openly disclaims having anything to say to "Brethren," as much as Mr. Newton; I understand it professes to be an open communion Baptist church.

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No person with christian feeling will expect that I should bandy abuse with Dr. Carson: it is not my intention. Nor do I complain of any attacks upon me. Of the statements of the "Record," or of Dr. Tregelles, I shall not take any notice whatever. Dr. Tregelles has profited by the present attacks against brethren to seek to bolster up Mr. Newton's doctrine. I shall not be turned aside from the main subject of the law by any such effort. That doctrine should be discussed fully, if such discussion were called for, directly from the statements of the author. That is not my object here. I seek only to take up every argument by which the main point of the present controversy may be assailed; namely, Did Christ keep the law substitutionally for us, so that we have righteousness thereby (that is, Are we justified by the deeds of the law fulfilled by Christ)?

I only refer to one fact in Dr. C.'s statements. His judgment of its motives, I leave between him and his readers. One edition of "Brethren and their Reviewers" was published without a paragraph as to Dr. C.'s tract, another with it in. There is no statement that Dr. C. told an untruth. And I do not know why I should not be at perfect liberty to leave the passage out if I thought proper. Had I done so, courtesy might have expressed regret for putting it in. But the fact is, one edition was published under my eye in Canada, having sold largely to all kinds of people there, while a number were sent to England. English publishers asked permission to republish it in England; which was given. Those of the first edition sent to England having some considerable faults of impression, the publisher of the new English edition employed a person in England to revise it -- a friend of mine. He, as I have learned since I returned to England, struck his pen through the passage, judging, I suppose, the point referred to, beneath notice.+ He may be right: I have doubts that he was. But I certainly think it undesirable to change a person's tracts without his knowledge. I attach no importance to it; but I think it should not have been done. I was wholly ignorant of it till it was shewn me in Dr. C.'s attack the day I left Canada for the States to come to England. I am quite willing to accept Dr. C.'s explanation of the contradiction on the cover of his tract, namely, that he had orders for the whole five thousand, and so stated it was sold. But I still think it was a glaring contradiction to sell a tract which positively declared that it was one of the first five thousand then and there sold, and to state on the back of the same cover that the first five thousand were all sold already. Dr. C.'s statement may explain it; but the thing to be explained remains a contradiction on the face of it. I know nothing, of course, of what was ordered of Dr. C.; but I know that a tract was bought for me which professed to be itself one of the first five thousand, and which also declared that the first five thousand were all sold.

+But, he tells me, at the suggestion of the publisher.

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I now turn to the weighty subject of righteousness and the law, and shall take up any objection I find without minding who makes it. I write for souls, and heed not where the objection is found. The first serious question is, if all Christ's obedience was mere law-fulfilling. It is said, if He loved God with all His heart, He always kept the law. No doubt; but that does not touch the question. The question is, if that be the whole character and principle of His obedience, whether He did not do more than keep the law. "Every acting of the creature," we are told, "is in accordance with the law laid down by God -- or else in opposition to it. The incarnate Son of God formed no exception." Now, this statement assumes that all are under the law, and that the law is the measure and principle of the believer's conduct, and that no action of Christ could go beyond the obligations of the creature under law. It is the whole proposition, and its foundation and principle, which I deny. There are things in which we obey which are not within the scope of law at all; more, truly, none of our obedience is on the principle of law, or its obligation, as its motive or measure; it is that to which neither accordance with law, nor opposition to it, can be applied. I mean the actings of grace; love to sinners; the superiority of the divine nature over evil.

Law may be the perfect rule of man's duty towards God and his neighbour; that, no doubt, Christ fulfilled. But it is not the measure of God's actings in grace toward man, and that Christ displayed too; and yet did so in obedience to His Father. But no law of loving God as the responsibility of the creature to God can measure Christ's self-sacrifice for us, nor, consequently, the path in which we are called upon to follow Him. The will of God is not all made up of law (that is, of the measured rule of creature-duty). No doubt, Christ loved God perfectly; but to make Christ's sacrifice the measure of the creature's duty in accordance with law, or else in opposition to it, is monstrous. Was He not obedient, then? But scripture is very distinct on this point. It contrasts obedience with law as much as anything else.

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First, as to the passage quoted -- Romans 5: 19: we are told, that "His whole life, as the law-fulfiller, constituted the obedience by which many are made righteous." Now, how does the passage speak? It speaks of Adam and Christ as two heads of races subordinated to them, in contrast with law, shewing that we must not confine Christ to those under law, since death and sin had reigned when there was none -- between Adam and Moses -- over those who had not transgressed any covenant like Adam. (Hosea 6: 7.) And Christ's work could not be limited within bounds short of sin and sinners. It is a contrast between sin and law-breaking; the passage shewing that it was not simply by law-breaking, but by a disobedience which applied to those who were not under law, and an obedience which did the same, that evil and good came; and making, not individual law-keeping, but their state in their respective heads, the true ground of ruin or righteousness, and then adds, in direct explicit contrast with this: "(But) law entered that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded grace did much more abound." Romans 5: 19 is the summary of the argument of the obedient and disobedient man in contrast with law; and not only so, but declares that the law came in by the by as a distinct thing. Verses 12, 13, 14, 20, shew that the apostle diligently argues here against obedience, sin, or righteousness being confined to law-breaking or law-fulfilling. But this is not all. In chapter 6, the apostle raises the question, in practice: whether not being under law is a reason for sinning, as is alleged. "Sin," he assures us, on the contrary, "shall not have dominion over us, because we are not under law, but under grace." And then shews that, though not under law, we yield ourselves up to obedience unto righteousness. He contrasts christian obedience and law. Taking from under law might seem, as with our modern legal divines, to take away from obedience. The answer of the apostle is, "In no wise." We get from under the power of sin, because we are not under law; and we obey as servants to righteousness and to God, being not under law. In a word, the passage quoted to shew that obedience is law-fulfilling is an elaborate argument of the apostle's to shew that, while doubtless Christ kept the law, as to Him and as to us obedience is insisted on outside, and in contrast with, law.

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But it is said, we confound all laws together. I take it as the word of God does. That law is not the way of righteousness or sanctification, nor of obedience. Paul does not even say the law. Law came in by the by (novmo" pareishsee footnotelqe), that system and way of dealing on God's part. He carefully distinguishes men under law, and men not under law -- without it; he alludes to Adam as under a law, Israel also; whereas people between them are on a different ground: so all Gentiles, having no law (novmon); so Christians. I know that great pains are taken to undo his words, and shew they must have had some law, though the apostle declares they have none, and perish without it, instead of being judged by the one which was given. I know that it is urged they were a law to themselves where they had none, because they had a conscience; but this is only to prove that actual righteousness by conscience is better than the having a law and breaking it; that working good was better than having a law, if it was broken. Scripture contrasts being under law and being without law, and does not know these speculations on it. What it calls law as absolutely as words can make it, it declares the Gentiles to be without (mh; e[conte" novmon), having no law at all. It does say every one has a conscience which tells him of right and wrong. They are without law -- cwri;" novmon. They are inexcusable, from natural proofs of God, and as giving up God when they knew Him. But they are not proved guilty by any law they were under; but it is declared, having sinned without law (ajnovmw"), they will perish without law -- while others have sinned under law, and will be judged by it. The sense in which scripture says they were without law and had none, in that sense I believe and say it. Nothing can be more absolute. The reasonings of men as to it are all inventions not found in scripture. What scripture calls law, Gentiles and Christians are not under. I know passages are quoted to shew that they must be, in spite of what scripture says. I shall refer to these. Ignorance of Greek can hardly excuse the use of some of them, where positive scriptures are so plain.

Sin, we are told, is the transgression of the law. Now, no one knowing Greek could cite this theological, but fatally unscriptural, translation. It is simply, Sin is lawlessness, ajnomiva, not paravbasi" novmon. Another passage quoted is, "under the law to Christ;" but neither here is the law spoken of at all; it is, not as lawless in respect of God, but rightly subject to Christ -- e[nnomo" Cristw/see footnote. It is in contrast with having to say to the law. But there is another passage which is reckoned on to prove that all men are under law, Romans 3: 19. It is astonishing how any one could so little see the force of the apostle's argument. I am aware that Dr. O'Brien refers to this; but I am only so much the more astonished. The apostle had proved Jews and Greeks all under sin, and then turns back to the many advantages the Jews had. He was not derogating from them. Well, he says, you have the oracles of God. Let us hear them. Are we better than Gentiles? You are as much under sin as the Gentiles. Read your own books, from which he then cites passages, and, relying on the claim of the Jews that the law belonged to them, that the law spoke to those who were under it, applies these denunciations to the Jews who were; thus stopping their mouths by their own oracles, which they claimed as belonging exclusively to them. There you are then, says Paul. You say the scriptures apply to you, and that is what they say; and then every mouth is stopped. That the Gentile was a sinner was admitted; they were not Jews by nature. But their own oracles brought in the Jews too; and every mouth was stopped. How any one could think that the statement that the law spoke to those who were under it, meant that it spoke to all, when the subject is the Jews alone possessing it and its advantages, would be hard to think, but for the prejudices of a system. I do not go on to insist on what follows, that the righteousness of God is manifested (cwri;" novmon ) absolutely apart from law, because I have done it elsewhere.

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But we are told of absolute law, and referred to Hooker. Hooker, as is known, pleaded the cause of the Episcopalian Establishment against Travers, resting it on the nature of law, with a view to justify the obligation of what was not contained in scripture. I have nothing to do with his views; but it is singular enough that what is referred to contains the germ of the two principal infidel doctrines of the present day, and of the Puseyite movement -- quite unknown, surely, to himself; but a false principle bears its fruit in its own season. One is the subjecting God to the law He has imposed on Himself in a way which destroys His sovereignty; the other exalting conscience under the name of right reason: quoting Plato, Aristotle, etc., for proof, so as to give conscience a title, enfeebling that of scripture; and on the other hand, insisting (contrary to the Reformers) that scripture does not prove itself, but we must have proof of it from another source; and further, that scripture does not contain full direction for men. I quite admit he did not contemplate the consequences. But the great stand-point of infidels now is that, God acting necessarily by, and having established, uniform law, miracles are impossible; and that conscience or right reason must judge of scripture. That scripture cannot prove itself is the war-horse of Popery, as is its insufficiency.

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Here are the author's words on the first point (vol. 1: 204 of Keble's edition, book 1, chap 2: 3), "That law, the Author and Observer whereof is one only God to be blessed for ever," etc. "The law whereby He worketh is eternal, and therefore can have no show or colour of mutability," etc. "Nor is the freedom of the will of God any whit abated, let, or hindered; because the imposition of this law upon Himself is His own free and voluntary act. This law, therefore, we may name eternal, being that order which God, before all ages, hath set down with Himself for Himself to do all things by." Now this (however far it was from Hooker's mind) excludes all miracles. It is the modern ground of denial of them. If Hooker had said, God has established a law for nature and left Himself free, it had been all well. Then nature would go on orderly, as Hooker speaks of it, and God interfere in power, when He pleased, for good. And in this he might have well said, "God could not act inconsistently with His own blessed nature." But farther on we shall see a little the danger in practice of entering on such a ground. Still, in a general way, we can say, "God who cannot lie."

Hooker takes up these forms of law, first, a rule imposed by authority, alone held to be such by some, which he extends to any rule by which actions are framed. I have no objection. The first only is properly law, and the difference is all-important; but the second is often in a secondary sense so called, as the law of faith, the law of the spirit of life; so in natural things, the law of gravity. But scripture, speaking of law as such, uses it in the former sense. The fact of an imposed rule (as contrasted with the voluntary actings of nature, uniform because it is such) is capital. But to return a moment to Hooker. He classes under the general idea of law, nature's laws, what angels observe, the law of reason (he never speaks of conscience, which is by no means immaterial), divine law known but by special revelation, human law, suppose conformed to one of the last two. The first two he calls law eternal. God may overrule, he alleges, the law imposed on the creature -- nature's law -- according to the law which Himself hath eternally proposed to keep. Still this is eternal and immutable. I quote this to shew that as to this highest law, however overruling power may operate, God is, though by His own act imposing it on Himself, immutably bound. Now this is surely unsound. God will not act contrary to His nature, for then He would not be Himself, which is impossible. But it is not an imposed law; or freedom, grace, miracle, sovereign goodness, are all taken away from God. The reader must not think this metaphysical. I am speaking of what I have been referred to as setting me right. And we shall soon see it is at the root of the whole matter.

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Law is the rule of just conduct in the relationship in which we stand -- its measure. Now I will suppose that conscience perfectly maintains this rule. This is, in fact, impossible, because man got the knowledge of right and wrong when he broke from his relationship with God (hence law can only condemn, as the apostle shews); as if a son have gone off in rebellion, he may not steal, etc., may judge of right and wrong, but he can do nothing right till he repents and goes back home again. But I will suppose conscience does maintain its rule -- conscience can only maintain the rule of duty according to the place I am in. This shuts out -- not the conferring of greater benefits (Adam innocent, for example, might have gone to heaven), but -- dealings of grace and sovereign goodness to evil doers. These cannot be a law in any sense: God is free in His mercy. Part of the law of His nature is to be so. Hence the apostle shews us that grace and law cannot go together. Well, what Christianity teaches is, that God has acted so. In contrast with all that law, man's duties, and all right reason could tell man, He has given His Son for sinners. It may confirm law in the highest way, because it meets its obligation and curse in the death of the blessed Son of God: but there is no law for God's giving Christ to die for us, no right reason to talk of obligation, save as shewing we have been wanting to it. Even to understand this gift, man must be taught of God. It would have been audacious sin for man to have looked for it. God has acted in sovereign grace. When He has, I by grace apprehend it. He is free, infinite in goodness, in doing it. If He is not free in it, I have lost grace. It is according to His blessed nature, for He is love; but its free actings above all that could be imposed on it. It is an act, not a law; though an act according to the perfection of His nature, which is always such. This saves me, not by any law, but by redemption, by power. Along with this, I partake of this nature as born of God.

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Now, Christ came to accomplish this work in obedience, but not according to any law imposed on man. He did love God perfectly in it, which law required, but He came to fulfil the work out of sovereign love to man a sinner. He became obedient in this special service which was not in itself any "rule or canon by which actions are framed," though He fulfilled the highest formula of law in doing it, but He was not accomplishing any law in what He did, but a special sovereign will of God. There was no uniform rule or canon by which actions are framed in God's giving His Son, none by which the Son offered Himself. God prepared Him a body. No doubt, when a man, He obeyed, and being born under the law, He obeyed the law; but obedience to will, when there is no law, is the highest, truest, and most absolute obedience, personal subjection, absolute and entire, without any law to measure it. This Christ did. And this we have to do. We have, as born of God, a nature which delights to do it, and asks no law or measure, but asks a will -- is glad there is a will. It is this which, even in ordinary walk, is contrasted (that is, law and obedience) in Romans 6. It is thus that Christ baffled Satan. He waited for a will to act, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God shall man live." A word comes out -- I act. None comes -- I wait. The delight to do God's will, whatever it is, and to do it because it is, and having no motive when it is not revealed, this is true obedience.

Note, I may fulfil the law by this; but it is not by being under the law, nor in virtue of it, that I do so, but the contrary; and this is what the apostle insists on. Nor was it assuredly because Christ was under law that He died for sinners. He came freely into obedience by His own love, and accomplished the work of obedience to a special sovereign will, though in doing so He proved when man, His perfect love to God, and even before it to His Father. And He did it in obedience. Note, hence this kind of obedience does not exclude commandments; it supposes them. It does exclude taking the requirements of law as the motive and principle of conduct; it alone fulfils it. But it is not obedience of law and under law.

I repeat, it is exactly in this way (Christ, the blessed One, being our life) we are called to obey. Obedience is not the estimate of a measured rule, a canon to which we are bound, but the delight in love which refers to a person whose every command and expression of will governs this nature. Thereupon commands, precepts, perception of His mind, of what is pleasing to Him, all govern us; the written word being that which ministers this to us. I repeat, he who keeps the Lord's commands, loves. He who loves Him, and so his neighbour, has fulfilled the law; but subjection of delight to anything a person wills is absolute obedience, not a canon or measure I refer to, though in doing it I fulfil the canon. I am not uJpo; tousee footnote novmon, but e[nnomo" Cristwsee footnote. I prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God, having offered my body a living sacrifice.

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All I find in Hooker on this point then is, subjecting God to a self-imposed law, destroying the possibility of miracles, or free sovereign grace, and destroying thus along with it the true principle of christian obedience and acting in grace after Christ's example. It is evident, if we speak of a law binding on the conscience of any being, it must be a law suited to his nature according to the measure of it; and so God's law expressly is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself." Now this is evidently the measure, and must be so to the conscience. Man may be incapable of it through sin; but that is the normal measure.

Now the love of the Son to the Father (may we ever speak with adoration and reverence of Him!) was infinitely above this in its nature. No doubt, when a man, He fulfilled what the law thus required; but His service to the Father was none the less according to His love to Him. Hence reducing it to law given to man, and saying it must be in accordance or opposition to it, is only a proof that the blessedness of His service is unknown. In its true blessedness -- who indeed does know it? But it is by these views reduced in its nature to His dishonour. It may be said, We have nothing to do with this kind of obedience. We have everything to do with it, as far as it is revealed. That in ourselves we never rise up to it, that surely is true; but it is made known to us in Him, and becomes the motive and spring of all our christian thoughts of God, and so of moral life and obedience. "The Father loveth the Son." We read, "That the world may know that I love the Father." "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life and take it again." Yet herein He was also obedient; and the blessed Lord tells us, that the world shall know that the Father has loved us as He loved Himself, and that we are to know it, He dwelling in us. So our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. The Father Himself loves us. God is thus revealed to us, and makes us partakers of His holiness. And when, as He is thus fully revealed, God becomes the test and measure of responsibility either in rejecting Him or in walk, the grace revealed is unfolded in the relationship and revelation of the Father and the Son. This difference of light in and of God, and grace in the Father and the Son, never fails in John's Gospel and Epistle.

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Now the revelation of these unutterably blessed truths gives the spring and character to our life and obedience. We are not our own; we are bought with a price. We do not love a neighbour as ourselves, but give ourselves up, our bodies a living sacrifice, lay down our lives for the brethren, because thus Christ has shewn us love, because they are His. The law knows nothing of this. No doubt, in thus forgetting ourselves, we love God with all our heart; but the nature and measure of our obedience is infinitely advanced. Some are afraid of this. But God, in leading us on to serve as Christ served, and love as Christ loved (for we are to love one another as Christ loved us), has not taken us away from His fear, but brought us closer into it. God is indeed revealed; but we are manifested to God. And, as the apostle teaches us, if we bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, there is no danger of any law condemning us. We serve the Lord Christ. The Lordship of Christ (not the law), the eye of God (not a rule for one who cannot approach), is the check upon our thoughts. We wait too for His Son from heaven.

Hooker's views as to right reason are spread over a wider space, and more difficult thus to present to my reader. But the lowering of God, so as to bring Him under law, is naturally accompanied by exalting man. One would almost think, that in Hooker's mind philosophy had shut out the fall. I know it had not; but I think it had deeply clouded his view of it. I do not doubt there is a conscience in men; but, let us well remember, he got his knowledge of good and evil (what Hooker boasts of as right reason) by the fall. But, as far as possible, I will let him speak for himself.

He declares, "There is a desire to be perfecter than they now are; and wise men [quoting from a heathen] study to frame themselves according to the pattern of the Father of Spirits." (Book 1: 5.) "To will is to bind our souls to the bearing or doing of that which they see to be good. But we are specially to remark how the will, properly and strictly taken as it is of things which are referred unto the end that man desireth, differeth greatly from that inferior natural desire which we call appetite. The object of appetite is whatsoever sensible good may be wished for. The object of will is that good which reason doth lead us to seek for ... neither is any other desire termed properly will but where reason and understanding, or the show of reason, prescribeth the thing desired." (Chapter 7: 2.) For this latter cause he admits reason may be misled. Yet he says, "As everything naturally and necessarily doth desire the utmost good and greatest perfection whereof nature hath made it capable, even so man ... . All particular things which are subject unto action, the will doth so far forth incline unto, as reason judgeth them to be the better for us, and consequently more available to our bliss." (Chapter 7: 3.)

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"Again, the rule of voluntary agents on earth is the sentence which reason giveth concerning the goodness of those things which they are to do." (Chapter 8: 1.) Certain things, he says, are evidently good. "Notwithstanding such principle there is, it was at the first found out by discourse, and drawn from out of the very bowels of heaven and earth." (Chapter 8: 4.) Now here it is not mere conscience acquired at the fall, but man's moral power and capacity of reason. "The heathens," he says, "shewed this principle by making Themis, which we call 'right,' the daughter of heaven and earth." (Chapter 8: 5.) "So," he says, "by degrees of discourse the minds of men, natural men, have attained to know not only that there is a God, but also what power, force, wisdom, and other properties that God hath, and how all things depend on Him. Hence," he says, "they have learnt to pray to Him, and what amounts to the first great commandment to which Christ refers. So of the second, the like natural inducement hath brought men to know that it is their duty no less to love others than themselves. And the law of reason, or human nature, is that which men by discourse of natural reason have rightly found out themselves to be all for ever bound unto in their actions." (Sec. 7.) "As to evil," he says, "if it be demanded why so many thousands of men notwithstanding have been ignorant of even principal moral duties, not imagining the breach of them to be sin, I deny not but lewd and wicked custom, beginning perhaps at the first among a few, afterwards spreading ... may be of force even in plain things to smother the light of natural understanding." (Sec. 8.)

He says, too, "Take away the will and all actions are equal." (Chapter 9: 2.) See Romans 7. Yet appetites and lusts, we are told, have nothing to do with will, arise without it, nor choose, but rise at the sight of some things -- hence, of course, are no matter; for will is not in them.

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We see that our sovereign good is desired naturally. "That is the enjoyment of God" (chapter 12: 3), though he admits that man has lost nature's way of attaining it by working. So chapter 11: 4, he seeks a triple perfection, sensual, intellectual. Thirdly, "Nature, even in this life, doth plainly claim and call for a more divine perfection than either of these two that have been mentioned." Yet this he admits can only be had by salvation. I do not pursue this farther.

I turn to his views of scripture: "It may be, notwithstanding, and oftentimes hath been demanded, how the books of holy scripture contain in them all necessary things, when of things necessary the very chiefest is to know what books we are bound to esteem holy, which point is confessed impossible for the scripture itself to teach." (Chapter 14: 1.) And he continues to insist on this point: saying, "It is only what is necessary, and could not at all or easily be known by natural discourse, which we learn from scripture. It sufficeth, therefore, that nature and scripture do serve each in such full sort that they both jointly, and not severally, either of them, be so complete, that unto everlasting felicity, we need not ask the knowledge of anything more than these two may easily furnish our minds with. And as regards the reception of the scripture by the Spirit or natural judgment -- wherefore, albeit the Spirit lead us into all truth, and direct us in all goodness, yet, because these workings of the Spirit in us are so privy and secret, we therefore stand on a plainer ground, when we gather by reason from the quality of things believed or done, that the Spirit of God hath directed us in both, than if we settle ourselves to believe or to do any particular thing as being moved thereto by the Spirit." Book 3, 8: 16: "Capable we are of God, both by understanding and will; by understanding, as He is that sovereign truth which comprehendeth the rich treasures of all wisdom; by will, as He is that sea of goodness, whereof whoso tasteth shall thirst no more." (Chapter 11: 3.) "Now, if man had not naturally this desire to be happy," etc. (Chapter 11: 4.) I quote this to shew how he identifies the natural desire of happiness with God as the sovereign good. "Therefore this desire in man is natural, so that our desire being natural is also that degree of earnestness to which nothing can be added. Scripture is not only the law whereby God hath opened His will touching all things that may be done; but there are other kinds of laws which notify the will of God." (Book 2, chapter 2: 2.) Again, he argues that there may be a certain belief grounded upon other assurance than scripture. (Chapter 4: 2.) Again, "It is not the word of God which doth or possibly can assure us that we do well to think of His word." (Chapter 4: 3.) "The light, therefore, which the star of natural reason and wisdom casteth, is too bright to be obscured by the mist of a word or two uttered to diminish that opinion which justly hath been received concerning the force and virtue thereof, even in matters that touch most nearly the principal duties of men, and the glory of the eternal God."

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When I compare all this with scripture, such as the beginning of Romans, "There is none that understandeth, none that seeketh after God" (whereas, we are told that nature cannot but seek after this sovereign good with "intentive desire," so as to neglect all else); that "the natural man understandeth not the things of the Spirit, because they are spiritually discerned;" that "the mind of the flesh is enmity against God" (whereas, Hooker declares it is necessary and cannot be avoided, and quite distinct from the will; that sin works the lust in me, where, according to him, will is not, even at all) -- in a word, when I weigh Hooker's doctrine with the word of God, I am not at a loss to judge what are the views of law absolute, and others to which I am invited to look, in contrast with the plain declarations of scripture. Hooker uses them to vindicate those things in the English Establishment for which there is no warrant in scripture. But they equally warrant, though he did not intend it, Popery and modern Rationalism; one contending that scripture does not suffice, the other contending that the christian conscience has its light independent of scripture, just as Hooker does, applying it then to the judgment of statements in scripture, and, of course, soon to the rejection of all that reason does not like, Hooker laying full ground for it in insisting that scripture does not prove itself (in which he wholly departs from the first Reformers). As regards Popery, Hooker distinctly asserts, not that scripture suffices -- this he denies in terms -- but that, as we have reason and scripture, they are sufficient, and tradition therefore is not needed. It is a pity that the national Establishment should be founded on such principles. I recognize, not right reason, but conscience; I recognize all use of gifts of ministry, parental care according to God; but the doctrine of Hooker is low and dangerous.

But I turn to the substance of the objections. Does my reader believe that Christ, in giving Himself for us, offering Himself through the eternal Spirit without spot to God, was simply fulfilling law for us? When we are called to reckon ourselves dead, when we are said to be dead -- are called to have the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, who made Himself of no reputation, is that law? Yet I suppose we are to obey in this.

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And this leads me to another point, on which, as to us, all really hinges. We are not, we Christians, looked at as alive under law, but as dead. Hence not under its empire at all, but on a new footing of obedience as risen. Let it be remembered that no deliverance from law is deliverance from obedience or commandments. I add even commandments, for it is not sufficient to be right, Christ's expressed authority must be obeyed. It is said that, if Christ's whole life had not been law-fulfilling, it must have been law-transgressing. This is simply saying that He was incapable of going beyond the measure to which all as creatures are subject. If there is no alternative but law-keeping and law-transgressing, there could have been no act of sovereign goodness and love to sinners; for that is neither. He could not go beyond man's obligations. Such is the theology and reasoning opposed to us.

The imputation of Adam's guilt is insisted on, and Romans 5: 19 is quoted. But that does not prove imputation of sin or of righteousness. There all are looked at in their head; only, as to sinners, the condition (ejfj w/|) of their own sin is added. All are involved, as one, in the state Adam brought them into by his one act; so all in Christ are in His standing before God. But imputation of the particular act is not spoken of here. Christ is righteousness, and it is imputed to us, for it is not our own doing; but the point which is always avoided is, that imputing righteousness has the sense in scripture of accounting the man righteous (and not seeing this is at the root of the fallacy of all they say), not of something done which is imputed. It might be in that way or not, but it does not say that -- it is not in its meaning. It is not somebody else's righteousness imputed to me, but my being accounted righteous. Many being constituted sinners by one man's disobedience is not saying that the individual's sin was imputed to them, but that they by him all entered into and stood in that standing before God into which he got by that one sin. All are looked at as in his loins and as alienated and in sin before God. It is really the opposite of imputation of a particular act, as far as this passage goes.

It is attempted to prop up the opposition by quoting Augustine, alleging the Reformers followed him. Now Augustine, in the passages referred to, teaches (as Milner's "Church History" long ago remarked of him) inherent righteousness, not imputed righteousness in any way. His words are these, in the same passage as is quoted: "But the righteousness of God without law is that which God confers on the believer through grace, without the help of the law." What that is the same section shews: "Not that it is done without our will, but how will is by the law shewn to be infirm, that grace may heal our will and the healed will fulfil the law, not constituted under the law nor wanting the law." (De Sp. et Lit. 9: 15.) It is inherent righteousness without law. And so he continues in chapter 10: 16. And this view of righteousness and grace is a settled one with Augustine, as the other passages quoted shew. But no one fulfils the law save he whom grace has helped (he is speaking of the righteousness of God): "What is this, the righteousness of God and the righteousness of men? The righteousness of God is here spoken of, not as that by which God is just, but which God gives to man that man may be just by God; but what was that justice of theirs? That by which they persevered in their own strength, and, as if they were fulfillers of the law by their own virtue, gave themselves the name of righteous. But no one fulfils the law save he whom grace has helped; that is the bread descended from heaven. For the fulness of the law, says the apostle, is charity ... . Whence is that charity to man? Let us hear himself. "The charity (love) of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given us. The Lord, therefore, being about to give the Holy Spirit, said that He was the bread descended from heaven, exhorting to believe on Him."

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If the Reformers followed Augustine, their belief in imputed righteousness was a very poor one. Here is Dr. Milner's account: "The precise and accurate nature of the doctrine itself seems not to have been understood by this holy man. He perpetually understands St. Paul's term, to justify, of inherent righteousness, as if it meant sanctification: still he knew what faith in the Redeemer meant." The extracts I have given of the continuation of the passages quoted by my opponents prove pretty clearly how right Milner was. A pretty clear proof that they have no scripture for it is afforded in the following sentence: "We say imputed, because the scripture speaks of imputation; we say imputed righteousness, because that which is imputed is righteousness (Romans 4: 6). "If this is the authority, faith, not another's righteousness, is imputed, and it is equal to not imputing sin: only it is convenient not to bring this out by quoting the text. But to proceed: "We say the imputed righteousness of Christ, because there is no other righteousness but His which will avail before the tribunal of God." Would it not be well to shew us some scripture for so speaking on so momentous a subject? Well, he will try. "Because the word of God teaches us that our acceptance is through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ."

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I still say, Where? "Oh, there is 2 Peter 1: 1." But this says nothing about our acceptance, but that we have received like precious faith through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, which makes it perfectly impossible to apply it to imputed righteousness. And also, "The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake [i.e., Messiah's]; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable." (Isaiah 42: 21.) First, Why Messiah's? It is always, in the prophets, Jehovah's righteousness; Messiah is not mentioned. I have no doubt Jehovah is infinitely well pleased with Christ's righteousness. But Jehovah's righteousness is spoken of here, nor is there a question of imputation, good or bad. But to conclude my citation: "Thus, the expression is not merely one which conveniently states a doctrinal truth, but it is one which flows from the use of words by the Holy Ghost Himself in scripture." Could there be a more distinct acknowledgment, that, after every effort, it cannot be shewn that the Holy Ghost has taught it?

Christ is our righteousness; and we have no other one -- desire no other. And thus righteousness is imputed to us: we are accounted righteous before God, according to the acceptance of Christ Himself. To that His perfect obedience was needed -- an obedience shewn in life as in death. But I reject the unscriptural statement, not to make any an offender for a word. I have used Christ's righteousness often myself as a general term, expressing divine righteousness by Him, and I have no regret about it; but it is employed to put us under law, to make Christ's law-keeping our righteousness; and to make us stand before God in legal righteousness in flesh, wrought for us by Christ, by His law-fulfilling. This is unscriptural. I repeat, as I have said, abuse and charges of heresy are no use. We must have scripture, not theology. When it is alleged that Christ is our righteousness, we are told that the living obedience of our Surety explains what this righteousness is. That is, our opponents so explain it, but this will not do.

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But I turn to further points as to scripture. We are told, If we are not under law, we may live licentiously. It is singular, how hard it is to get our opponents to scripture or scriptural truths. Paul takes up this question in Romans 6, and asks, Shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? -- not the question, mark, of justifying, but of practice. The apostle declares there, as to practice or to sinning, we are not under law; but that our being dead to sin, and alive to God through Christ, is the principle of our obedience, not law. I do not know how any could speak plainer. We are obedient to God Himself in a new life, in which we are not under law, having died to sin, and having life in Christ.

And see the consequence. Our being dead to sin is openly denied. St. Paul in this chapter (Romans 6), tells us we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God. "It must certainly be," we are told, "that we are dead to, or freed from, the guilt and consequences of sin." This is why I am glad of this otherwise wearisome service of controversy -- the true character of doctrines is brought out. Here we are told, that being dead to sin is only being dead to the guilt; a most serious statement; for thus the doctrine of a Christian being dead to sin is wholly set aside. He is only dead as regards guilt; and this is to maintain godliness! Now no one can read the chapter with the smallest attention, without seeing that it is sin, practical righteousness, serving God, which is in question. It is the apostle's, the Holy Ghost's answer, to the charge that being righteous by Christ's obedience was giving license to sin. What answer to that was being dead to guilt? It was just the contrary. To be sure, the flesh would say, That is what I am glorying in. I am dead to all the guilt: so I may continue in sin. The apostle's answer is, Ah! but you were baptized to Christ's death -- you have been planted in the likeness of Christ's death -- to be thus clear: how can you live in a thing you are dead to? Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We were servants of sin in the flesh -- now to righteousness and God, as alive through Christ. Not under law -- but this is no reason for sinning; for it is a question, not of law or measured claim, but of yielding ourselves wholly to God as alive from the dead. Death to sin, and life to God through Christ, are contrasted with the sin in the flesh we are dead to, and the law which found it in us and left us under its dominion. Sin would not have dominion (it is no question of guilt) because we were not under law, but under grace; and living in the life we have through Christ, and thus to yield ourselves wholly to God (obedience to a person in full and absolute devotedness to do what His will is), our members as instruments of righteousness to God, and so grow up in holiness itself by living to Him in righteousness.

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Now the divine way of being able to do this is (not by saying sin is in the flesh, therefore I am not dead; as my opponent does; but) reckoning myself dead, so as to get power under grace; every motion of sin, which is by the law, being thus disallowed. But I beg distinct attention to the point that, to sustain this doctrine of our being under law, my adversaries are obliged wholly to deny the Christian's reckoning himself dead to sin. "I unhesitatingly conclude then, that when scripture says we are dead to sin, and dead to law, it means no more than that we are dead to the guilt and consequences of sin, and dead to the justification or condemnation of the, law, on account of what Christ has done in our room and stead." I only ask my readers to read through Romans 6, 7, which treat these two questions, and see if it is not a total subversion of the whole doctrine of the apostle, and of the power of Christianity, as to godliness. But if so, the whole system falls with it; because, if so, godliness and obedience come not by law, but by a new nature in the power of Christ's resurrection, in virtue of which we count ourselves dead as regards the old, not in the flesh at all. Sin and law are met by our death as to the flesh, and a new nature in which we live to God. Hence the apostle says, "When we were in the flesh;" "Ye are not in the flesh." Flesh, sin, and the law, are correlatives; for the old man lives in a fallen nature, and the law applies to man as responsible in that nature in which he is fallen.

Scripture teaches that the true Christian (whose life Christ, the Second Adam, is) has by faith -- has as partaker of that life -- died with Christ, and is to reckon himself dead; and, as in the new man, is not to place himself under law, but to live to God as one that is alive from the dead, Christ's authority being that which governs him; His word the guide as well as the seed of life to him -- His Father's will his constant delight.

My opponents tell me we are not dead, nor to reckon ourselves dead to sin; but, ignoring our having put on the new man, and Christ being our life, put us back under law, as if sin was our only desire, and that which would break out if law did not hinder it -- which it never did. The apostle, on the contrary, assures us that sin shall not have dominion over us, because we are not under law.

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I have been referred to Dr. O'Brien's book as a masterpiece on this subject. There is a great deal that is excellent in that book; especially when the faith of the writer himself breaks through, it rises up into real moral eloquence. In its insistence on the plain doctrine of justification by faith, I am thankful for it; but on this point we are treating, I find nothing that can be called argument -- indeed, nothing about it (save a mistaken piece of logic) but what the "Record" quoted, which assumes the whole question, and is no argument at all. "It is evident," says the now Right Revelation Prelate, "then, that in the justification with which we have to do -- in which man is the party and God is the Judge -- we have only to look to the law to which man is answerable, to see what his justification means." Now, what argument is there in -- "It is evident?" He says, "The law to which man is answerable."

Now the apostle declares that, when God is the Judge, there are those who have sinned and perished without law; and others who are judged by the law. And he equally assures us that the Christian is not under law at all; but that law has power over a man as long as he lives. But that the Christian is viewed as having died, and risen again in virtue of a new sovereign way of God's dealing in grace.

The teaching of the word tells me, that talking of man's being amenable to law, as if nothing had happened -- that this generic way of talking of man -- is false altogether. It tells me that man was with God under a covenant; broke it, and was driven out from God's presence; and is wholly lost, sinful, and lawless. And that God took a special people out of the world to shew us clearly what flesh (sinful human nature) was, when subject to law; and to give us the profitable lesson of its convicting of sin. It does shew me that, when man was driven out from God's presence, he got a knowledge of right and wrong -- a conscience to carry with him into the world; but that the law was given by Moses.

This whole view of man and law is heathenish and false. If my reader take Hooker's argument, he will find heathens, not scripture, quoted for it, the apostle's judgment of whom is, "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest." But I said our preacher added a piece of false logic: it is this. He does not mean to intimate that, when he speaks of acquitting of violating the divine law and acceptance as though he had fulfilled it, these are distinct acts. The nature of the divine law recognizes no intermediate state between the guilt of violating it, and the merit of obeying it. There is, he insists, no separation between the acts of pardon and acceptance; but my reader will remark that the theory is, that Christ died for the violation, and lived for the fulfilment besides. But if that be so, the prohibitions of which Dr. O'Brien speaks could have no fulfilment. When a command was violated, there was satisfaction for the violation, and fulfilment of the command. May our hearts be kept in reverence towards the Blessed One, while we meet such arguments! But if I had acted when something was forbidden, satisfaction may be made; but there is nothing to be fulfilled, so that there cannot be the merit of doing here; and the difference the writer so justly seeks to avoid, his false system drags him into. Our bolder adversaries do not stumble on the difficulties which beset the cautious prelate's path. Do this and live, we are told, is written on heaven's gates; and we want active duties to be added to make up the inadequacy of atonement.

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But to the substance of the matter: Dr. O'Brien assumes the whole question, and only discusses its form as to negative and positive precepts. I deny the whole ground assumed, and affirm that scripture puts the believer on a wholly new footing in Christ, as dead and alive again in Him, where law does not reach. I may be allowed to quote Hooker here. It may instruct some as to justifying the ungodly, and awaken some who may receive his testimony, and would not mine, to a righteousness beyond law. It shews the power of God's word on a godly mind, in spite of system. "Christ has merited righteousness for as many as are found in Him. In Him God findeth us, if we be faithful; for by faith we are incorporated with Christ. Then, although in ourselves we be altogether sinful and unrighteous; yea, even the man which is impious in himself -- full of iniquity -- full of sin; him, being found in Christ through faith, and having his sin remitted through repentance -- him God beholdeth with a gracious eye; putteth away sin by not imputing it; taketh away the punishment due thereto by pardoning it; and accepteth him in Jesus Christ, as perfectly righteous as if he had himself fulfilled all that was commanded him in the law. Shall I say, more perfectly righteous than if himself had fulfilled the whole law? I must take heed what I say. But the apostle saith, 'God made him which knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.' Such are we in the sight of God the Father, as is the very Son of God Himself." Now, I am not giving all this as systematically what I hold; but it does shew how the word of God forced on the mind of a godly man the belief that there was a righteousness of God beyond law. There are other objections, too poor to dwell on, as that Christ is an example, not a rule. But that Christ is an example because He rendered perfect obedience to the law, I wholly deny. He does not become a law, but He is a rule or measure of our conduct, and as far beyond the law as the manifestation of God is beyond the perfect measure of man's ways. As to Romans 13: 9, Paul does not quote the commandments to put us under them at all, but to shew that love fulfils them; so that, as Augustine says, we do not want the help of the law for it.

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I would just refer to two passages said to be obscure in what I have written, because one of them is so on an important subject. It is from the tract "The Righteousness of God," page 9. The word "it," in "no conferring of righteousness on it," refers to what precedes the passage quoted by Dr. Carson, and is not in the quotation at all. It refers to the old man, our sinful nature in flesh. But that to which the "it" refers, though carried on in my mind as being the main subject treated of, yet is so far from the "it" that the sentence is obscure. The doctrine is all important, and easily apprehended by those who wish to know what is meant; but I do not justify the obscurity.

As regards the second, I have nothing to change or remark, save that he who does not understand it does not understand the true place of a Christian before God, nor the diligent teaching of Paul on the subject; I know many dear saints of God do not. And I take this opportunity of saying, that, for my part, my heart would receive a Christian who believed Christ had kept the law for him, as cordially and freely as any other. I know of no difference on that ground. Only I am sure that such are not clear on the scriptural doctrine as to the place we have in Christ by faith. But clearness as to truth, or progress in it, is not the ground of union in Christ, however precious it may be.

Let me add, as I am speaking of corrections (and it is an important point) that there are other adversaries of the truth than Dr. C. and his friends whom he comprised in the word "we," and who distinctly hold that all Christ's sufferings in life were penal sufferings; he may see it stated in Dr. Tregelles' preface to his letters just published in the "Record" as being the Protestant doctrine. The true question with Dr. C. and his abettors is this: he says Christ's people "are united to Him in life," i.e., in life down here before His death. This is denied. They are united to Him, as risen and gone on high after His accomplished work, by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. The statement, that except the corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone, is referred to; and it proves that and more, to shew that there was not union before His death, for till then He abode alone. He was not united to man in the flesh; but believers are united to Him by the Spirit when He had accomplished His work and taken His place on high as the glorified man, the head, and thus become members of His body. They were not members of His body as living on earth, but as exalted to heaven. In connection with this, it is objected to as blasphemous, that I have said that Christ "required to keep it for His own personal perfection." Certainly, if Christ was under the law and bound to keep it, He would not have been perfect if He had not kept it. Nothing can be more simple. It was not possible He could fail; but it was necessary He should keep it to be perfect. There is not a word to withdraw in it. If I had said, as Dr. C. in the same sentence practically does, that Christ required to keep the law to become perfect as the sinner's substitute, it might have afforded a handle. But I say freely, I do not suppose Dr. C. meant any harm by it, though I think his doctrine wrong. Righteousness does come by law, if it comes by its being kept. Men before Moses, Gentiles since, and Christians now, are not under law. They are in themselves sinners as children of Adam and of wrath; but, if Christians, redeemed, justified, and risen in Christ. The great point I contend for is that we are not in the flesh; we are crucified with Christ and so dead, for faith, to that life to which law applied, and alive to God by Jesus Christ who is risen.

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I had got thus far in my comments when a pamphlet, by Mr. Frederick Trench, came to me by post (with a recommendation by the "Record") entitled, "Extreme Views." He advocates common sense. But common sense has its extremes as well as other things. It is sometimes human prudence contrasted with simplicity of faith. I had rather mistake somewhat in the way of energy for Christ -- would that I knew more of it! -- than prudently refrain from committing myself. The man with one talent acted with extreme prudence, and found himself ill of it. There is often a common sense which, judging by possible results, leaves very little conscience, and less of its kindred faith. It is common sense which Mr. Trench recommends, and it will, of course, find favour with all who seek to avoid being stirred by conscience or earnest zeal. He is of what is called very low doctrine, and this is largely wrought into the structure of his pamphlet. As this may be found discussed in many other places, I shall only take up a few points of it here. For the rest, his pamphlet is made up, as many others are, of scurrilous attacks on "Brethren" which are taken as facts, and expressions in popular preaching and tracts which overstep scripture.

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Now I have no doubt that, in recent activities, Christians outside and inside "Brethren" so-called have (in their zeal -- a zeal I wish in many things I imitated better -- for winning souls, and delivering them from the state of death in which they were) stated many things less soberly than was right. They have pressed the love of God and the freeness of the gospel in a way which would not bear critical examination. I have no doubt such defects are to be found in their statements, as I have no doubt they are in Mr. Trench's; only that his are more detrimental to the glory of God a great deal than theirs. Still truth is truth; and it is well that errors should be corrected. But I do not think Mr. Trench's views that which will do it. Of all styles of Christianity, I avow, the calculating one of Mr. Trench I believe to be the least agreeable to God. As to the charges against "Brethren," the simple way is to leave them where they are; they have outlived many others.+ "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you." Mr. Trench is little in danger of being so attacked. I would warn him that, in the present breaking up of much that he trusts in, common sense will be found an awfully poor thing to guide a man. In these last days God directs us to the scriptures as a safeguard. Mr. T. would secure us by the Establishment and confessions of faith. Why, they drive a coach and six through them now-a-days. Here is the highest legal authority of his church, acting for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who tells us that unfeignedly believing all canonical scriptures means simply that all necessary to salvation is to be found in them. And the clergy of the system he belongs to are the public active promoters of infidelity in the country; and the same high authority has gone out of his way to declare that, if they do not contravene the letter of the thirty-nine Articles, they may teach all the devil ever hankered after. And they are doing it earnestly enough, and infidelity moves over the country with rapid strides by the means of the clergy. Mr. Trench thinks a person may hear the most unprofitable doctrine in a "Brethren"-meeting. It is of course possible; but he is certain, by Mr. Trench's system, to hear what is confessed to be the contrary of divine truth in the majority of parishes, if he holds to that system. The ministers are not converted, and are teaching what the apostle wished men cut off for teaching. But then it is true it does not violate common sense. On the other side, whence have people passed over to Popery, and who has led them? Clergy of the Establishment.

+Mr. Trench, indeed, is an undaunted prophet as to their state: he published some twenty or thirty years ago an article entitled "Atoms at Last," predicting from the condition of the Ammonites we should not be two together. He gives us the same prophecy now. This is unhappy. The "Brethren," in spite of many difficulties, are a hundred to one in number, compared to what they then were; and Mr. Trench, if I may judge from his pamphlet, is afraid of their increasing, though numbers are far from the chief point.

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The person who sent me Mr. T.'s pamphlet, and with it the "Record's puff" of it, little knew what a precious morsel he was sending with it. I turned the morsel of paper round and found the following: "Law intelligence -- The Claydon Church Disturbances. At the Needham Market Petty Sessions, on Wednesday, the Revelation George Drury, Rector of Claydon, was summoned for having, on the 7th inst., assaulted Abraham Watkin, labourer, one of his parishioners. A cross summons had been taken out against Watkin, charging him with having assaulted Mr. Drury, and a second charging him with riotous and indecent conduct in the church. It appeared from the evidence, that on the evening in question, two young men from Ipswich, attracted by the reports of the doings at Claydon Church, paid a visit to the parish. Not knowing the way to the church, the complainant Watkin, at their request, accompanied them thither. They found the principal door fastened; but a boy in the churchyard told them, that if they went to the organ-room door, they would be able to get admittance. They did so, and found this door also fastened, but it was opened by a girl, and all three went into the church. Four monks were then engaged in prayer. There were about twenty lighted candles upon the altar. On entering, Watkin exclaimed in a low tone, addressing Brother Ignatius, 'What do you mean by that, Blazer?' Brother Ignatius, who heard what had been said, at the conclusion of the prayer, walked up to the complainant and the other two young men, and requested them to leave the church, as the ceremony then going on was private prayer. The young men from Ipswich left as desired, but Watkin refused, stating that he meant to remain during evening service, which did not commence till seven o'clock. Brother Ignatius endeavoured to persuade him to go, but in vain; and he then called in the aid of the Revelation Mr. Drury, who, the complainant alleged, took a red-hot iron out of the fire, and, without having previously said a word, struck him with it on the forehead, inflicting a wound from which blood flowed, and also burning him. Having done this, Mr. Drury turned to go away, and the complainant admitted that he followed him to the chancel ... "

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I have no more of this morsel; but I hear Brother Ignatius (otherwise Mr. Spencer+) is going about Suffolk in a monk's dress to get the means of establishing the Benedictines. Such is the security creeds give. It was a witty remark of the Pope, and good sense in it too, as to a large class of English clergy: You are like the church bells, gentlemen; you call people into the church (i.e., Roman), but you do not go in yourselves.

But a little more history before I turn to doctrine. Mr. Trench refers to the Irish Home Mission, in which the old Home Mission took its rise. I also had part in setting the former a-going, a little more perhaps in its first organization than I suppose Mr. Trench would like now to allow; but it is of little matter. I admit fully, that Mr. Trench, by his capacity for arrangement and activity, was, as to its establishment and carrying on as a matter of business, the efficient instrument, working in it actively too. But I will refresh his memory, how what grew out of it came to be "old." As he says, clergy worked in it, but very few; a few however did. Many of the "Brethren," perhaps some Dissenters. I do not recollect them; but, in principle, any one who truly preached the gospel; and it went on, and circled pretty much all Ireland round -- I hardly know a county I was not in myself. I have no boast to make of it. We all did our best. It had planted itself pretty substantially in many quarters; and the clergy, I suppose, began to think a work thus rooting itself into the country ought not to be left out of the hands of the clergy. However that may be, Mr. Trench went to Dublin and came to an arrangement with the clergy (guided, I suppose, by sound sense), that they should take it up, and what they call the laity be turned out of it. Mr. Trench came down to me at Limerick, and told me of it, saying, I was sure of your largeness of heart, and that you would join in the plan. I replied: "Impossible. I was delighted to have the clergy preach where they would; but when it is the clergy as such to exclude others whom God has sent and blessed, I cannot. It is against my principles, and certainly not my place." And we, laymen if you please, went on as far as we could, on a smaller scale, doubtless, but with a good deal of blessing; and, in a very short time, the various prelates, who could not hinder the laity and a mixed set of preachers, put a stop to the clergy doing so, and it became the "Old Established Church Home Mission." Mr. Trench told me when we met about it, that it was the only thing he regretted doing in his life. It is not the only thing where his common sense has been baffled by his clerical friends.

+It may be well to say that there seems to be a mistake here. Mr. S. was distinguished as Father Ignatius; a different and much younger person, nominally an Anglican Clergyman, bearing the name of Brother Ignatius. -- Editor]

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After these little discursions, I turn again to doctrines. There are extreme views, and when one of these is settled, and mischievously settled, the introduction of the balancing part of truth is always one-sided, often held to be new; and, I freely admit, there is danger (in those introducing it) of settling into exclusiveness on that side. That is human nature. Thus the common evangelical doctrine for some hundred and fifty years is put thus: justification, then progressive sanctification; and this connected with perpetual doubting -- a human scheme of truth. People have seen that sanctification is spoken of as an absolute accomplished thing also, and, when it is connected with justification, always put first. They have rejected that view, and taken up this. That view has lowered grievously the truth of the gospel, and kept souls in bondage. It is the extreme which Mr. Trench, whose views of truth are very contracted, and, withal, what are called low, adopted. Others, I think, and Plymouth Brethren so-called among them, have fallen into the other extreme.

Now, sanctification is chiefly spoken of as accomplished, and before justification; but it is also spoken of as progressive: "Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified." "Sanctified unto obedience and the blood of sprinkling." "Sanctified in God the Father." Such are the expressions of scripture, treating the Christian as sanctified and set apart by grace, and thus brought under the efficacy of the blood of sprinkling and justified. But while thus personally, as born of God, wholly sanctified, scripture does say, "Follow after holiness," "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly." It looks for a practical and increasing realization of this setting apart in thought and affection by a growing knowledge of Christ. The Evangelical school, fancying it knows how to take care of holiness better than divine wisdom does, takes only the latter, rejecting the former. This has led to pressing the former more particularly; it may be to the exclusion of the latter. But those who reject the former press a mere practical change, in contrast with a divine title over us and personal setting apart to God, and use the practical state as a test of justification, and they thus cast true souls into doubt, and lower the nature both of justification and sanctification itself. The gospel is lost. This is the mischievous extreme in which Mr. Trench is. I would recommend him a sentence of Dr. O'Brien's: "God's honour is to be maintained by the right use of the safeguards which He Himself has provided for it, not by our devising new muniments for its protection."

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The doctrine of self-examination is taken up; but here Mr. Trench does not even know what the question is. I never heard of any one objecting to self-examination. It would be sufficient to quote 1 Corinthians 11: Let a man examine himself. If we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged of the Lord. That is not the question; but whether people should examine themselves, in order to know whether they are justified, whether they are children of God, whether they are in the faith. Cannot Mr. Trench's boasted good sense understand the difference between his children examining whether they are his children, and whether they are acting as his children ought, seeing they are such? One would be a horror in a family, the other a duty. Now I affirm it is unscriptural to examine ourselves if we are in the faith, and absurd too. We all pass through it. It is a useful humbling process till we are forced to submit to God's righteousness, but always a proof that we are not in the liberty wherewith Christ has set us free -- that we are not clear as to redemption. It is absurd; for if I have not a spiritual mind, I am not competent to do it; if I have, the question is settled -- does not exist. I know, "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith" is triumphantly quoted But people leave out "If ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, examine yourselves." The Corinthians were calling in question Paul's ministry; and, as a last appeal to their "common sense," he says, "Why, you were converted by it, you had better doubt about yourselves. Do you not know you are Christians? How did you become so? Who spoke to you?" There is no command for Christians to examine themselves, but an appeal to the certainty the Corinthians had to shew the folly of doubting the ministry by which they themselves had been converted.

John's Epistle has more appearance of confirming this idea; but John treats all he writes to as undoubtedly children of God. "I write unto you, children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake ... . I write unto you, babes, because you know the Father." Others were trying to seduce them from this full confidence that they had eternal life already; and John writes that they might not be shaken, but know, as he says, that they had, and confirms them by the contrast of their love to the brethren, and the character of the seducers. But there is no call to doubt, no command to examine. If my self-examination were the means of my having peace, I ought to say, Therefore, being justified by experience, etc. But it lowers practical walk also. If I examine myself to know whether I am a Christian, I content myself with finding that out. If, as freely justified by grace, I examine whether I am living up to the example of Christ, I am always at peace, having blessed confidence in divine favour, and never content without growing up to Him who is the Head in all things, having the same mind that was in Him. The whole tone of soul is different in piety and standard of holiness.

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Next, it is complained that it is held that all our sins are put away. The only meaning of this is, that Mr. Trench is in the evil extreme of a low gospel. His doctrine is akin to Wesleyanism. He believes in a sufficiency for the world, but knows nothing of a substitution for God's people. If Christ has really stood in my place (and I believe through grace He has), it is clear He has borne all my sins. If He has not, He never can: that is equally clear. When I am brought to simple faith in the gospel, I know it. All my sins were future when He bore them. Mr. Trench says, "There may be here a mistake between forgiveness and atonement. I believe an atonement sufficient for the sins, past, present, and to come, of the world was made by the Lamb." Be it so. But does Mr. Trench believe that the blessed Lord bore his sins in His own body on the tree? Some, or all? Without shedding of blood there is no remission. And the apostle's argument is, that if this work -- this really putting away of sin -- was not done once for all, Christ must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. He draws the conclusion, that the worshippers once purged would have no more conscience of sins, and gives the reason -- "that by one offering Christ has perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Mr. Trench may think all this dangerous. I reply, there is no worse, nor so dangerous, an extreme as denying scripture, and putting your own good sense in its place. If he takes the trouble to read Hebrews 9, 10, he will find that it is a careful contrast of the divine truth of purging the conscience once for all with his repeated clearings and forgivenesses; and he will do better to trust God's care of His own honour, than be devising new muniments for its protection. All his statement means is, that he holds Wesleyan or Arminian doctrine instead of a true view of the gospel; and he is so little informed in truth, that he is not aware of it. If he seeks a guard against abuse of it, he will find it, not in the lowering of truth and grace, but in such a chapter as Romans 6, and the truth that, if we are Christians, we are dead to sin and alive to God; and, I may add, if the power of the word through grace be not sufficient -- for that may be the case, and his system will not help it -- in that, of which he can know nothing, the just scriptural discipline of the Church of God.

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I have spoken of the Church; so has Mr. Trench. I would again remind him that, besides common sense, there are such things as conscience and faith, and that the wisdom of men is foolishness with God. Mr. Trench says, "The Church of England (like all other churches) being a human institution, must necessarily have its faults, and partake of human infirmity." Supposing a person, humbly bowing to God's word, found that the Church was a divine institution, had its order and directions from its heavenly Head, "Son over his own house," and felt that it was a monstrous inroad on God's authority, a dreadful denial of His sovereign title, to have substituted a human institution for a divine one -- does Mr. Trench deny that the Church was a divine institution? or does he think men may substitute a human one for God's own special institution in the earth with impunity? And if a man does not, what is he to do? If he finds conscience towards God something, and not merely something "better for the present, and likely to be better in the long run;" if he finds solemn warnings in the word of the inroads of this apostate principle of substituting man for God, and directions that whoever names the name of the Lord should depart from iniquity; and that when the Church does become a great house, we are to purge ourselves from vessels of dishonour -- is he to judge by what is convenient, or to follow what is conscientious by the light of God's word? Supposing he sees men educated for a profession, for a living, made to declare that they are moved by the Spirit of God to become ministers; and then another man, named by the Prime Minister of the day, professing to give him the Holy Ghost, and then, after leading him into it, laying the guilt, Satan-like, on the same man, because he has made the profession they have put into his mouth; and he feels it is profanation -- is he to join with what is profane because it is better for the present, and likely to be so in the long run? I believe it is worse for the present, and likely to meet with God's judgment in the long run.

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If I find men declaring that all the infants they christen are born again, and regenerate of the Holy Ghost, which they do not believe; teaching these children, without any question of an alleged charitable hope, that they were therein made members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, which they do not believe either: if a man has conscience enough not to do and say what he sees is wrong, and does not believe, in the solemn services of religion, what is he to do? If he has faith enough to break many a cherished tie, the path of conscience and of God is clear. If a man cannot say such things as, "Spare thy people whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and be not angry with us for ever;" if he do not think it "truly scriptural" to say always and perpetually that God is angry, and may be for ever, with the people whom He has redeemed -- not merely doubting a person's own redemption, but affirming God's anger of those whom He has redeemed; if a man cannot settle himself to go always in future, and say, always say, for ever repeat as his worship, that he is "tied and bound with the chain of his sins," when he knows the essence of practical Christianity is, that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made him free from the law of sin and death; if he cannot say that the burden of his sins is intolerable, and then get absolution, because his conscience is already purged; if a person's conscience and faith both call him to depart from this because it is iniquity, and he names the name of the Lord -- will Mr. Trench's common sense give him a good conscience? A bad or hardened one it may. If he even sees that the whole principle of the language is Jewish in what Mr. Trench has referred to, "Remember not the offences of our forefathers;" if he has a little knowledge of liturgies (of which, for my own part, I cannot boast much), and knows that a litany is a supplication and common intercession to God when His wrath is upon us; and that our litany was arranged by Pope Gregory, out of previous ones used to this end in processions, and that Rome was thus delivered from a grievous mortality, and that this, so very Jewish in its character, is now made spiritual food Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays, when there is no thought of calamities at all; if one, humble as he may be in spirit and not given to change, cannot force his conscience through such a mass of contradictions to scripture and true spiritual Christianity, what is he to do? Go to other human institutions? Is this what Mr. Trench's human institution has done for us, brought us to fly to common sense, and the best we can, because they have grossly violated scripture, and nothing better is to be had? What shall I think of a minister of Christ's gospel telling us this? I regret these questions being raised.

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I remember when, though I could not in conscience stay in it, I looked with affection to the Establishment as that which was a barrier against popery and professed infidelity. Alas! (and it is a grievous sorrow, for I see the breaking up of all things, and the inroad of both) it is become "the bell," as the Pope said, to call to one, and the public promulgator of the other. Can any honest man deny it? I am sure, no one, no clergyman, will grieve as I do in saying It. We want something real, and of faith, for those who have faith in these perilous times, and not a plea of common sense to sustain evil, which every exercised conscience is getting dissatisfied with, and active faith breaking the bounds of, while infidelity and popery are rampant all around us.

I will turn to more peaceful subjects.

Mr. Trench leans on Dr. O'Brien for his definition of faith. I can heartily desire that the book in its main objects may be abundantly blessed, and have no desire to weaken, in any way, its effect on the minds of those it may address itself to; but Dr O'Brien was defining, and I take up his definition. Had I heard a mere sermon on faith, urging to trust in Christ, I should have hailed it, and made no comment on the word. Simple minds take the good, and do not define. But all souls are not simple; and many an earnest one may anxiously enquire, "Do I really trust; for I fear it is not for me?" I am sure deliverance is with God; still we must not make difficulties for souls. I do not believe faith means trust, though I believe trust will infallibly be there if faith is. As surely as I am burnt, being a man, pain is there; but burning is not pain. I am sure that the right reverse prelate, as he now is, is humble enough to allow me to speak freely of his writings without thinking it any want of deference.

In the main purport of his book I heartily concur. I rejoice in the testimony, which is its main object. But I do not think him, as Mr. Trench says, an accurate, though he is a careful, writer. To say that trust is an essential and leading constituent of faith, is different from saying faith is trust in Christ. I could almost assent to the first, for it cannot fail to flow from it: to the last I wholly object. But I have a further remark to make here.

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It is said (Serm. 1: page 12, 3rd ed.), "It is not belief of the truth of the scripture narrative, or an assent of the understanding to certain propositions; but it is trust in Christ." Now, I admit fully, belief in the truth of scripture may not be saving faith; and it is never the assent of the understanding to propositions. It is not a human thing as Rome makes it; nor mere assent as Sandemanianism would make it. But it is not therefore trust. It is not the fact of the assent to the testimony of scripture, or the contrary, which is real faith, or the contrary; but the nature of the assent which makes the difference of real faith and mere educational or intellectual. The latter is called believing in scripture (John 2: 23-25), and believing on (eij") His name; yet, being only an intellectual conviction, Jesus did not trust Himself to them. He knew what was in man. It was an honest conviction -- an assent; but it was only from what was in man, and was worthless. True 1 faith is the work of the Holy Ghost in the soul, revealing the object of faith in divine power; so that the heart receives it on divine testimony as divine truth, and a divine fact. "When it pleased God," says the apostle, "to reveal his Son in me." "He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." "He that heareth my words, and believeth (on) him that sent me, hath everlasting life." It is really identical with the communication of a new life by the power of the Holy Ghost through the word. Hence we are said to be the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; to be born of the Spirit, and to be begotten by the word of truth.

Faith is the divinely-given perception of things not seen, wrought through the word of God by the Spirit. Hence it is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. The examples in Hebrews 11 are not given to shew all that faith is, but how it works in man in active life or patient endurance, because God's word is believed. If the word reveals a divine person in grace, He becomes the object of trust; if a work, its efficacy becomes the ground of confidence. But the trust and the confidence is not the faith. Indeed, though there will always be attraction, and so far trust in Him as a person worthy of it, and drawing it, in the revelation of God in love, it does not at first always produce confidence, properly speaking, and, speaking of Christ, "a full reliance upon Him and upon His work;" because that revelation, if it attracts the confidence of the heart, awakens the conscience; and, till this is purged by a clear knowledge of redemption, we cannot trust. The element of it is there, but we cannot do so. When Peter preached to the Jews, the effect of the power of the word, convincing them that Jesus was the Messiah -- making them believe -- was to make them say, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" They had crucified Him. This was not trust; but faith was wrought in their hearts as to who Jesus was. Not that scripture was true -- that they believed before; not assent to a proposition -- but true faith that Jesus was the Christ. The answer to the need of soul this produced was Peter's shewing them the path of peace. They were to have remission of sins, and receive the Holy Ghost.

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As regards the words pisteuvw, used simply with a dative, it is to believe a person. There are at the utmost two exceptions, in the Acts. I leave out the cases of both accusative and dative, as not to our purpose. To believe ei" tov o[noma may be -- yet no genuine faith or trust at all. (John 2: 23.) It is recognizing the person to be what he comes as. The divine or human character of this faith is a subsequent question. Nor does ejn convey trust: "Repent, and believe (ejn) the gospel." (Mark 1: 15.) I cannot doubt that, as a general rule, believing eij" Crivston means a divinely given recognition of Christ. But it does not necessarily follow that it is divine. It was sincere recognition of Christ as such. But I am not aware of any case where pisteuvw eij", is used of dead faith. Pisteuvw eij" points out more the object faith looks at; ejpi; rare, I believe only in the Acts, and with an accusative, that which man has come to as the basis of the faith; ejpi; with dative only in quotation from LXX, and once in 1 Timothy 1: 16. These shades of meaning depend on the prepositions and cases. But I do not see any one passage which leads to the conclusion, that pisteuvw is employed for trust or confidence, save where it is trusting another with something, which is another thing. As to pisti", it is almost always used absolutely -- faith; a few cases with a genitive, faith tousee footnote Qeousee footnote recognizing Him -- the faith of Jesus Christ. But I find nothing to build upon to make it trust. Faith, if real, is a divinely-wrought recognition of the object of faith, through the power of the word of God; and, in a few cases, the actual revelation of the object. In connection with this, it is life.

And here, I think, there is a want in the volume of Dr. O'Brien -- the recognition of the real power of life in a risen Saviour become our life. Faith, it is said, unites us to Christ -- so commonly; but it is never so said in scripture. The Holy Ghost which dwells in us unites us to Christ; and we live in the power of life which is in Christ risen from the dead; and this is the way of holiness, not putting us under law. Hence all the doctrines connected with our being quickened together with Him, raised up together (Jew and Gentile), and sitting together in heavenly places in Him; so that we are before God in Christ, and always thus before Him accepted in the Beloved; this whole character of acceptance and justification is wanting in Dr. O'Brien's work, and Mr. Trench shews himself totally ignorant of it. Yet it is the very glory of Paul's doctrine, and that in which the apostle John shews the perfectness of God's love. "Herein is love made perfect with us [not "our" love, which is a wretched perversion, not a translation], that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world."

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Whatever Hooker may do, it is because Paul had received this ministry that he used great plainness of speech. Faith is then the real vivid perception of what cannot be known by sight -- God, I Christ, anything revealed of God, being the object. If there is merely a mental conclusion, as in the end of John 2, or assent to a proposition, it is worthless. If it is the revelation of the object of faith to the soul by the Holy Ghost, it is real and living; and this only is true faith.

Further, though all rightly preached together, we must not confound faith in the person, and faith in the work of Christ. The latter alone can give peace to the conscience (unless the direct revelation of God, as by Nathan to David, or Christ to the woman that was a sinner); but the former is always held out as the first proper object of faith; while scripture declares, that whoever believes on Him is under the benefit of His work. Faith in Him is quickening and saving. Peace of conscience according to God's declaration belongs to those who do in virtue of His work. This difference connects itself with the question of repentance. Mr. Trench makes it a sin in the "Plymouth Brethren," that they say that faith goes before repentance. He is extremely ignorant, as this pamphlet shews, of all the questions which have moved souls, and not a step beyond the lowest Wesleyan doctrines on these points. This question has been one on which all sticklers for the power of human nature, without grace, or to meet grace, have held with Mr. Trench. But all who know what grace is believe that faith precedes repentance, and everything else that is good and right in man. Otherwise he would have what is good before he believed the truth at all; he would have it without God. And as to repentance, substantially the whole moral change, the essence and substance of his return to God, would have been effected without any truth at all. For if he repents through the truth, he must believe the truth in order to repent. Nothing can be more absurd than putting repentance before faith; for a man then repents believing nothing at all. The word of God has not reached his soul, good or bad; for if it has, he is an infidel, or he believes it, and it has thus wrought repentance. That a man does not understand redemption and salvation before repentance, be it so; certainly, he does not really know it for himself. But that does not say faith does not precede it.

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Dr. O'Brien leaves all ambiguous here. So much of change of mind, he tells us, as is necessary to make faith real, is essential to it. But what wrought the change? After describing very justly what a convinced soul must feel, as one who knows it for himself, he says, This must be felt by all who can be truly said to trust in Christ, as knowing in whom they trust. Admit it all for a moment, for such trust cannot be without it; but how have they learnt that there is a Christ to trust in? Is it not by faith? Further, what produced these practical elements of repentance? Dr. O'Brien justly refers to the change of mind which the sinner undergoes under the operation of divine grace. Assuredly. But how does this divine grace operate? Is it not by the word; by the presentation of divinely given objects of faith? If faith is not the source of repentance (i.e., in the moral sense, precedes it), then the vital change in the state of a man's soul is without faith, without grace, or grace operates without any revelation of a divine object. The eye must be opened to turn men from darkness to light: is it opened on vanity, or on God's revelation of Himself in Christ? Hence I find that repentance and remission of sins were to be preached in His name. Am I to believe that the repentance was to be brought in unbelief in that name, or by faith in it? So in John 16. He shall convince the world of sin, because they believe not on Me. And Peter, accordingly, having announced Jesus, charges them with having crucified Him; and then they are pricked to the heart. And then he tells them the way of escape. Philip goes down to Samaria to preach Christ to them. Did they repent through faith in it, or not? The goodness of God leads man to repentance. Is there no goodness to be believed in in this work? What led the poor sinful woman in tears to the feet of Jesus? She heard that Jesus was in the house. Satan, to bring in lust and sin, had first undermined confidence in God. God, he insisted, had kept back just what would make man like Himself. God is manifest in flesh, and moves in grace through the wretchedness of man, shewing grace in Himself abounding over sin to win back the confidence of sinful man -- in spite of, yea through, the burden and shame of sin -- to Himself, while surely warning him of the consequences of abiding in it. The poor woman had felt this; she could go to God thus manifested (not explain it all, I dare say), and shewing her to herself too, in the light, when she dared not to any human heart. She loved much. When she heard that Jesus was in the house, she came. What business had she there? When God and grace were there, for her He filled the place in His beauty and grace. He was alone for her soul. Its brokenness and renewed feeling in life fitted to the grace that was revealed in Him. God was there for it. That was all. The rest was all human vanity. Christ had a claim which made nothing of all the rest. Its glitter had found its truth in her sorrow; but Christ met what she was. She knew what the Pharisee did not, that grace and that God, morally speaking (for she might not know it doctrinally), was there. She did not know forgiveness; but repentance had been produced by the revelation of God in Christ to her soul. And Christ pronounced the forgiveness, and told her to go in peace.

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Now, here we get faith, repentance, and forgiveness in their divine order -- now more clearly preached, no doubt; but not otherwise. Peter preaches Christ. There is faith; this works repentance (for the heart had been enmity to the Christ believed in); and then comes the knowledge of forgiveness through His work.

Faith, then, according to scripture, does go before repentance; peace may not, and surely will not. What was the first thought in the prodigal? His father's house; he had no best robe until he met his father. Mr. Trench has only shewn that he is wholly astray from the truth (I trust neither he nor Dr. O'Brien will count it amiss that I speak plainly; nor any want of courtesy -- I should be sorry to be guilty of any), that he charges an error, when it is only his own; and that the passage he quotes from Dr. O'Brien's book, in heart and substance sound, is not either clear or accurate. Such feelings must be before there is solid peace; but that does not touch the question -- What produces the feelings? The danger of the obscurity of Dr. O'Brien is seen in Mr. Trench's use of it, who will have repentance without any grace at all; or, if he deny that, without the word of God, or anything it reveals (for, if otherwise, faith goes before repentance). It is an open denial of grace to say it does not. I judge repentance to be a much deeper thing than is thought. It is the judgment of the new man in divine light and grace on all that he who repents has been or done in flesh. Law may be the means of bringing the soul to it; but, though salutary, it is made for the unrighteous. The full knowledge of Christ gives a far deeper hatred of sin. And such is the Holy Ghost's way: all else, if true, is imperfect. "He shall convince the world of sin, because they believe not me." To have hated good, seen no beauty in Christ to desire Him -- a nature which could do this is worse even than the lusts which the spirituality of the law so justly condemns. Lawless, law-breaking, and God-hating; such is the flesh's character in scripture, and the order of its manifestation for shewing what sin is. Hence, repentance will, in one sense, deepen all one's life, as the knowledge of God grows. It is not a quantum of sorrow, nor even a perception of separation from God by sin. That leads to it. It is the soul of man judging divinely of sin, and that, in the consciousness, it had been self, when God is known in grace -- at any rate in some measure. I shall return to this point in closing, in the way of positive truth.

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I notice some more objections. A great deal is said about being innocent. Scripture never speaks of any one being innocent in God's sight (I am not speaking, of course, of unfallen Adam). It is unfortunate when the whole argument depends on what is not found in scripture. God never declares a man innocent; nor does it, as we have already seen, ever speak of the righteousness of Christ; yet all the argument of my adversaries is, that man must have the latter in order to be the former. We are guilty of sins of omission and commission. For my sins of commission it is clear there can be no doing, but atonement, because I ought not to have done the things; and here Christ cannot do anything for me. I have stolen: He has put my sin away. What has He to do for me? If the sin is put away, I am guiltless. So that we have one kind of righteousness as to these; another as to sins of omission. Is this scriptural? But as to these -- Christ, by His life, has perfectly made them up, they tell us, so that I am absolutely innocent, "as pure as the majesty of heaven." And then Christ dies for what? Here, consequently, I look in vain for scripture. The passage, "Who can say anything to the charge of God's elect?" is none. Why is the question, mark, "lay anything to the charge?" Now, I say, if Christ has died for me, none can lay anything to my charge. Dare any one say they can? If not, I cannot be charged with the slightest stain of guilt. Whatever I was in sin, Christ has died for, and I am cleared from all charge -- what they call innocent. This they deny. If not, let them admit it. If they deny it, they destroy the value of Christ's death. If they admit it, all my adversary's reasoning is false. No, they demand an additional quantum of merit, and hold that man is not cleared from charge by Christ's death. I repeat, if he is, the whole reasoning falls through as false. This controversy arose from a preacher stating that besides Christ's blood, and regeneration, it was written on heaven's gates, "This do and live," and meritorious righteousness must be gained by doing. That is the doctrine stated by them.

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If my adversary will not come to scripture, I will. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died." Not a word of law-fulfilling. Again, "Being justified freely by his blood." Is there anything about law-fulfilling? "The righteousness of God, without the law, is manifested." Well, let us turn to Romans 5. God commends His own love to us, "in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." Again, How do I get my conscience purged? for another important epistle speaks of this. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience?" He appeared once to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Again, "by the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." And, "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." So "Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by the which he received testimony that he was righteous." "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Let us hear Peter: we are redeemed by "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." Christ has suffered for us, "the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh." Christ, "who knew no sin," has been made sin for us, "that we might be made the righteousness of God."

Such is the testimony of the word: justifying, cleansing, purging the conscience, perfecting for ever, boldness to enter into the holiest, redemption, bringing to God, are all attributed to the precious blood of Christ and His sacrifice.

Now, I ask my opponents for one text which teaches that the fulfilling of the law is the way of having righteousness. I cite these: "By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." "If righteousness come by law, Christ is dead in vain." "The righteousness of God without law is manifested." I know they tell me this is our keeping it. No; it is stated absolutely. But if it be, let them produce a text which teaches us that Christ's keeping the law was a different thing, and that that is the way of righteousness -- a passage which refers to the value of His keeping the law for righteousness for us. The curse of a broken law, omission or commission, is spoken of. As many as are of its works are under the curse. Well, we are theologically told that His keeping it is needed. Paul says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, as it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Is it not singular we should get righteousness or justifying treated of in various shapes, and never once the thing mentioned which alone can give us righteousness? that it is never mentioned in the word of God? If it is, let us have it. I must have divine testimony for what is to make me righteous in God's sight. It is alleged that pardon and righteousness are distinct. Now, in the way they put it, this (which there is a certain truth in, rightly understood) they are wholly wrong in. David describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness without works, saying, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." Now, as far as it has the character of what they call innocence (that is, for holding a man as without sin) it is the same as pardon. In that sense, justifying and pardon, clearing, no sin being charged, is all the same.

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There is another truth connected with it, a ground on which they never enter, which does not leave us simply here negatively. He was raised again for our justification. He has perfectly glorified God in His work on the cross, and now, according to the perfection of it, appears in the presence of God for us. There is more than bearing our sins, glorifying God in His holy and glorious nature, and that about sin, and we are before God according to that in Him. I will refer to this when I speak of what I see Christianity to be. I must now turn to objections.

Mr. Trench's respect for Mr. Simeon, as an aged servant of Christ, who was the means of his conversion, every one will respect. But Mr. Simeon's views of truth are not such as would govern my mind. I remember once calling on Mr. Simeon with Mr. Trench. I had been endeavouring to draw Mr. Trench's mind to the person of Christ and failed. It was obscure -- a common case for common sense with divine truth. He knew He was God, and knew He was man; but I could get no farther. When we called on Mr. Simeon, I put it to him, thinking he would make it clearer to Mr. Trench than I could, requesting he would do so. His reply I will not repeat, for it seemed to me irreverent; and I would not bring up an aged Christian now long gone to rest; but he treated it with contempt, so that I held my tongue and so left it. Now when Christ's person is not the centre of our religious thoughts and apprehensions, all will be cold and narrow. This has influenced all Mr. Trench's religious habits of thinking. I remember -- at a time when I laboured with him, and when, I bear him witness, he laboured with assiduity and devotedness as a clergyman, and I do not doubt was blessed to many, if not in the spirit and way I should delight in -- Mr. Trench used to preach from a collection of skeleton sermons prepared by Mr. Simeon. Mr. T. had the habit of coming to me, and asking, for his sermons, what I drew from such and such a text: I told him as well as I could; and how often did I hear, "Oh, but that will not go into the skeleton!" Now that is the history of all Mr. T.'s theological life since -- putting the word of God into a skeleton! I do not quote this as idle recollection, but, while recalling with sincerity Mr. T.'s diligent labours, as the true history of the scope of Mr. Trench's views. I turn to his objections.

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The first is very simple. He was told of "Brethren," that any person in the apparel of a man could speak. Any sensible person can see that this is simply maintaining the scriptural rule, "Let your women keep silence in the churches;" and that it is left free, in meetings which are not preachings nor lectures, but assemblies of saints, according to the clear scriptural rule, to all brethren who can edify, to do so. We glory in this. We have for it the authority of God's word, which is worth a host of objections, and, I am bold to say, have found the good fruits of it, in spite of our infirmities.

The next objection shews an ignorance of facts which makes it an unrighteous thing of Mr. Trench to speak of "Brethren" (for I will not suppose bad faith), as it is notorious that "Brethren" have suffered everything -- reproach of divisions and narrowness; that they have broken publicly with Bethesda and all connected with it, because the latter wilfully let those who held this doctrine amongst them, rather than have the smallest connection with those who hold it; while Mr. Trench's friends and colleagues have supported and encouraged those who do hold these abominable blasphemies. Mr. Trench may have borrowed it from others; but borrowing accusations, without even enquiring whether they be true, is poor work. It is notorious, that the "Brethren" have at all cost rejected and refused any connection with those infected with upholding this doctrine. They broke with Bethesda, because Bethesda let in knowingly those who held it.

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The next accusation requires more detailed reply. It refers to Mr. Mackintosh. I distinctly affirm that the charge against Mr. Mackintosh was an unfounded calumny. The very doctrine he was charged with was distinctly denied and rejected as false and worthless in the immediate part of his book taken as the ground of the calumny. The charge was a false one. And the utter folly of the reasoning by which it was attempted to be fixed on him was evident; for it applied equally to the expression of the Apostles' Creed, which was thus charged with Valentinianism. It has been replied, in reference to my quoting the Creed to shew it, that I do not quote scripture in appealing to the Apostles' Creed. I was not proving any doctrine by it, but the folly of a reasoning which charged the Apostles' Creed with Valentinianism. It shewed the absurdity of the charge. Mr. Mackintosh used the words of the Apostles' Creed. The words were charged with being evident Valentinianism. I denied the folly of the charge by pointing out that the same words were in the Apostles' Creed. And I am told I did not quote scripture! To be sure I did not. But Mr. Mackintosh did overstep the bounds of scripture statement. He used language open to attack, and I have no doubt his mind, in opposing one extreme, had gone into the opposite. To have stated the opposite to what he said would have been equally false. Scripture says nothing on it, in its divine wisdom; and our wisdom is to say nothing. That wisdom Mr. Mackintosh overstepped the bounds of. The part "Brethren" took on it was, long before this attack, to point it out to him; and the passage was left out in the second edition, just then being published. Subsequently he published a declaration that he had made a wrong statement, and that it was to be condemned wherever it might be found. I have no doubt his mind had overstepped the bounds of scripture; but the incriminated language not one in a thousand would have noticed as anything particular. When first it was shewn to myself, before it was publicly in question, it was in MS., with an answer by another person. I replied to an enquiry on it. Both have gone beyond scripture; but I do not believe either meant anything wrong. I did not then know whose either statement was. Still I recognize fully that Mr. Mackintosh did overstep scripture, and, of course, it is his duty to undo it as far as possible. He spoke of Christ as a divine man, a heavenly man, which few Christians would find any harm in, however enemies fasten on them. He also said that Christ was Lord as to His humanity. The answer to this statement on the part of his accuser was fatal heresy and denial of Christ's glory, an open denial of Christ's lordship as man. But that does not excuse, of course, Mr. Mackintosh. The worst of things may pass with those who fall in with the current; where a testimony is, nothing can. So much the better: I do not complain. But I repeat, the charge against Mr. Mackintosh w as a false one. Yet there was a root of unscriptural thought in his mind. I hold it a great mercy that it was brought out to light. The true humanity of Christ is a fundamental truth, and His person and salvation are given up if it be touched. We cannot be too jealous of it, or count it too precious. Attempts to define will plunge any one into heresy and irreverence. For my own part, I have found no truth more blessed for myself and in my labours. If He were not God, His humanity has no value; but with the faith that He is so, it becomes infinite in price, and the very way of blessing in every sense.

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The two points charged against Mr. Mackintosh were, that Christ's humanity came from heaven, and that it was not formed in, and born of, the Virgin Mary. There was not the smallest foundation for one or the other: neither thought was in his mind, or in his writings, but explicitly the contrary. But in dwelling on the perfection of the "holy thing" born of the Virgin Mary, he went on to define, in a way which produced statements beyond scripture, and which cannot be justified by scripture. The "Brethren" objected to them, and he both withdrew and retracted them, seeing he had done so. They were, for all that, of a nature which, if man had denied them, he would have been equally in error. It was presuming beyond scripture. It ill becomes those who belong to a system where the grossest and most dishonest infidelity and popery reign with impunity to make themselves the sound correctors of the admitted errors of others. But I am glad that Mr. Trench has taken it up; it has afforded me an opportunity, now that it has been much talked of, to state what the facts are. Mr. Mackintosh is, of course, bound in the Lord to do all needed to remove any evil flowing from his words.

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I do not like the expressions objected to in the next charge -- of our faith not justifying, but the work of Christ. Many, outside "Brethren," have so expressed themselves. I do not think it is the soberness of scripture. The work which justifies us was clearly finished before ever we believed, or it would not have been there to be believed in; but, as to the state of justification, scripture does not so separate the work, and that by which we have a part in it.

As to the general resurrection being a Jewish doctrine and not taught by the Holy Ghost to the Church, it must be either a proof of incredible ignorance on the part of Mr. Trench of what has passed in the Church these thirty years, or clap-trap. It is hard to believe he should be unaware that half the pious clergy -- the Birks, Bickersteths (some of them guilty of wild speculations about it, which it is well the Brethren did not put forward, but it is allowable, of course, with such), Dean Alford, and hundreds of others -- deny a general resurrection. For two hundred years nothing else was held in the Church than a first resurrection, and distinct from the final one. I am bold to add that, apart from fundamental truth, I do not know a more mischievous contradiction of scripture than a general resurrection. It throws back the redeemed into the common mass of men for judgment, and upsets the plain statements and authority of scripture. I defy Mr. Trench, or any one else, to shew me in scripture a general resurrection, meaning by it one common to all. I am very glad he speaks of it. We must come to scripture -- traditions are losing their power, or leading to Popery. Infidelity is rampant under the shadow of the Establishment. The word of God, and faith in it, must have its place. There is no such thing in scripture as a resurrection common to just and unjust. All will be raised. But scripture carefully distinguishes the first and the second in its objects, nature, time, effects, and everything, save that the power of the Lord Jesus will be exercised in both.

Mr. Trench's bringing this as an objection only shews his incompetency to say anything about the matter. He may not agree with the view of the mass of godly men who think thus, and whose number increases rapidly, as it must if scripture be believed, instead of taking Simeon and Scott and other men for authority; but to make it an objection in itself is puerile in the present state of the Church of God. Saints are raised by reason of the Spirit's dwelling in them. They are raised in glory to complete the divine work of life in them; the wicked for judgment. These have no part in the resurrection of the just. Scripture is as plain as possible on it.

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The next objection is to what simply draws attention to an important statement of scripture. It is not our repentance which leads to the intercession of Christ, but Christ's intercession which leads to our repentance. I understand that Mr. Trench believes, as an Arminian, that it is good in us that leads to grace in God; but this he cannot expect those better taught of God to follow him in. It was Christ's intercession that led Peter to repentance; and it is when we sin, not when we repent, according to 1 John 2, that Christ's advocacy is exercised. Grace leads to humiliation and repentance, it is not our repentance without grace that procures the latter. It is Mr. Trench who has to learn here, not those he condemns. There cannot be a more blessed truth, more precious to the humble soul desirous of holiness and feeling its weakness, than what he, through ignorance doubtless, condemns here.

As regards his next objection, prayer for the Spirit by Christians is unscriptural. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." And it is a mischievous denial that we have it, and of our responsibility as having it, to ask for it. To ask to be filled with the Spirit is scriptural, but to ask for it is not for a Christian. It is deplorable the ignorance Mr. Trench exhibits in almost every line; but it is useful its being brought up, because it is a very common ignorance.

The next objection is on the grand point of our whole controversy. The contrast of imputing righteousness and imputed righteousness is presented as absurd. For all that, though I cannot give intelligence to my adversaries, I can assure them that it strikes at the root of the whole question. Mr. Trench ought to be able to comprehend it, because his Thirty-nine Articles have given the true sense of imputing righteousness, as his friend, Dr. O'Brien, has very justly remarked. In defining the true meaning of justifying, it says, "We are accounted righteous before God," etc. Now that is the force of imputing righteousness to a man-accounting a man righteous -- no more. That is always its scriptural sense. Thus: "that righteousness may be imputed to us also." "Faith was imputed to him for righteousness." In this last case, if it were not so, it would be the merit or worth of his faith.

Imputing righteousness to a man is accounting a man to be righteous, without by that saying why. When imputed righteousness is said, it means that righteousness has been in some way made out by another, so that it exists; and so, being made out, is then, as a sum worth so much, put to the account of the person. Now imputing righteousness never means this in scripture. It means, simply accounting a man righteous (whatever the reason), as Article II justly states it. One is holding a man in a given state; the other is a quantum made up beforehand which is then put to his credit. In the former case, the reason for accounting a man to be righteous has still to be settled. As a general statement I have no objection to Article II, though I should have liked to see Christ's blood more in the foreground, but as far as it goes it is all well. My opponents may hold Christ's fulfilling the law to be the accomplished righteousness which is put to our account; another the value of His precious blood; others may take a wider view of the whole matter. But in any case imputing righteousness to a man, in scripture, only means holding him for righteous, and does not state why he is held so. This may be stated too, but imputing righteousness does not mean it. One is a person held to be in a certain state; the other, a thing done, a sum of righteousness accredited to a person. A person being accounted righteous may be in a thousand ways, may be by his own keeping the law, but you could not call this imputed righteousness. Imputed righteousness can only be in one way, namely, righteousness in a needed quantity, made out by another and afterwards appropriated. I insist on this, because I affirm, that in scripture imputing righteousness only means what the Thirty-nine Articles give as the force of justifying. And all the errors of my opponents flow from a totally false use of the words of scripture, assigning to them a meaning they never have nor can have there.

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I believe in imputed righteousness with my whole soul in the true sense of the words, that it is by the perfectness and work of Christ, and not by any desert or state of mine, that I am through grace accounted righteous. I am held by God to stand, as alive in Christ, in all the worth, value, and perfectness of that in which He has glorified God. It is not my doing, but I am accounted righteous according to the value and by reason of what He has done, and what He is. Part of this my opponents could not say, but of that by and by. I object to their imputed righteousness -- a thing not found in scripture; because they, in the teeth of scripture, put me under the law, and then make Christ fulfil it for me. I reject inherent righteousness altogether as my standing before God, though practical righteousness be wrought in a Christian; but my adversary's view of imputed righteousness I reject as antiscriptural. I will give my own in a moment. The rest of the objections hardly demand any notice.

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Mr. Trench's calm and calculating mind does not reach the expressions of a poetical one. There would be really nothing more in it, but that I fear Mr. Trench does not see at all that which is thus vividly portrayed. He may complain of obscurity and exaggeration, or, stronger still, incomprehensible, extravagant, nay, silly interpretations. He will allow me to say that some do understand them. Does he ask me for a proof? His pamphlet -- it is a cry of alarm. If things go on as they are going, he warns people they will fall into the hands of the "Brethren." Now I would warn Mr. Trench, as (if he will allow me to call him so) an old friend, that he must not make his comprehension the measure of the truth which is gaining hundreds of minds. I am quite willing to suppose that every one does not put it out soberly, wisely, as a St. Paul would; but what Mr. Trench wants to learn is, that there are truths largely disseminated now, of which he evidently, from his pamphlet, knows nothing -- precious truth, which is everywhere arousing and acting on the saints and sinners too. And if he seeks to confine them within the limits of Scott and Simeon, he will find, however justly their names may be respected, that with all his common sense, he has made a great blunder. He will keep some back -- those with little conscience and little interest in truth. But multitudes of souls will go on, search the scriptures whether these things are so, and act on others. Some will exaggerate, some be poetical, in spite of him; but souls will learn infinitely precious truth, and go on, and he will be left behind. Those who will not have scripture as the stay of their souls, will be Puseyite or infidel. Paul has given it as the one stay under grace of the last days. The thought that eternity is worth more than time is a most solemn one -- one we should do well to take heed to; it may lead us to the gospel by grace, and keep the soul steady; but it is not the richest soil for the faith of God's elect to grow in.

Mr. Trench complains of speaking of clearing the shores of the old world in the resurrection of Christ, and now living and having your happy home in the new. Now I affirm this to be most precious truth, poetically put, so that many more would read it than my dry reasonings on it, but sober, blessed, scriptural truth. Does Mr. Trench know what being risen with Christ is? Does not resurrection clear us of the old world, and introduce us to the new? Does not the scripture say we are risen with Christ, and our life hid with Him in God? Is not our Father's house our home? Where is it? Is it not in the new world, the heavenly one? We are sitting in heavenly places in Christ. Mr. Trench may seek in every way to lower these truths, and thus destroy their power; this is all he can do; but he may be assured he will not do it with all. Scripture is too precious -- has too much authority with them. They will search into it -- seek to realize these truths -- value them for their own sake -- value them more than the false teaching that every christened child is regenerate and made a member of Christ. Mr. Trench will tell me he does not believe it; no, he only signs it, or declares his assent to it. This, he may be assured, does not make everybody acquiesce the more in the dictates of what is called good sense.

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The next thing objected to is, that, as far as life is concerned, we are in the resurrection state already. To be sure we are. Mr. Trench is only shewing his own ignorance of truth, the truth by which God is acting in so many souls now. We are quickened together with Christ, and raised up together. We are risen with Christ, as we have been crucified with Him, nevertheless live, but not we, but Christ lives in us. The whole doctrine of the Ephesians (though it goes farther) and of the Colossians, as indeed of other parts of scripture, is founded on this truth. It lies at the basis of our true christian position. First, that Christ is risen, consequent on His death; and then that we are risen with Him. He is the resurrection and the life. That it would happen to us hereafter, Martha believed. The Lord insists on it as present power; the apostle as our place in Christ.

Is Mr. Trench going to reject St. Paul's doctrines, and run away from the Lord's teaching, like Martha, as that which he cannot bear? We are risen together with Him, through faith of the operation of God, who raised Him from the dead. This is our very profession in baptism, according to scripture. Those who lean on the word of God, will seek its power, not despise its truth. It may be opposed by scurrilous abuse, by gathering up every calumny, by the calculations of good sense, by the traditions of men. It is probable that these influences will keep many from it. There is nothing new in this. It may be coloured by poetry, exaggerated, as truths fresh to the soul often are, untowardly expressed by some, the bounds of scriptural soberness overstepped by others. This is poor human nature too. But there it is in scripture; and souls who feed on truth and love the Lord will go on to learn it.

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I do not dwell on various interpretations; such, of course, may be sound, sober, or otherwise. But "I regard" will not weigh much with those who learn of God from scripture, and (I pray Mr. Trench to forgive me, and to believe I say it in love) not from one whom they see to be ignorant of fundamental truths of scripture connected with the whole nature of the divine life, and our standing before God -- truths which furnish the key to the understanding of a vast body of scripture, and the development of its contents.

Mr. Trench, however excellent a clergyman, lives in his own circle of ideas, transported from Cloughjordan to Newtown, near Kells, but little beyond. He will learn, if he enquires a little farther into what is passing in the Church of God, that many have got, and many are getting, out of that circle. I have no doubt he will hinder them if he can; of course he will some. But there is that work which he will not, and that which is directly of God too. I mean conscience and the truth, the authority of God's word, and the power of God's Spirit; the authority of God Himself over their consciences, which will be too strong in many souls to be restrained by the motives by which Mr. Trench would bind them down to the measure of truth and character of walk, which his common sense would allow.

I close by stating, as briefly as I can, what the real question of all this controversy is, and what I believe to be the truth as to it. My opponents hold that we are all under the law, and that Christ, born under the law, kept it for us, and that this is the way we are justified and obtain righteousness. It is well my readers should recall, that all this controversy arose from the preaching of Mr. Molyneux, in Exeter Hall, who declared that if a man was born again of the Spirit, and washed in Christ's blood, still he could not go to heaven; that there was written on heaven's gates, "Do this and live;" that we were sanctified by the Spirit, cleansed by Christ's blood, but had positive righteousness only by the law's being kept. As to which, remark, it is not merely that the law is a rule of life, which is asserted, but specifically that righteousness comes by the law. All this I reject, founding my opposition on the plain and repeated statements of the word of God. It is making a righteousness in flesh for men in the flesh, by the law to which they are, as in the flesh, subject; and moreover at the same time excusing their fulfilling it actually by another's doing it for them. But, specially, it is a first Adam's righteousness, a righteousness for man in flesh.

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Now I believe that it is not the mind of God to set up righteousness of man in flesh, or to set up sinful flesh again in any way. He has put the saints in a wholly new position in the second Adam, passing sentence of death and condemnation on the flesh never to be removed. Christ (as come down here in the likeness of sinful flesh, but perfectly sinless, come under the law in the place and circumstances where man was, but having entered into them by a miraculous birth, as every Christian owns) was perfect in this place, glorified God in it. And all that perfectness was needed for God's glory, and for His being our Saviour; but He did not do it to set up man in the flesh again (flesh had proved in His death its hopeless enmity to God), but to bring man into a wholly new state (where even Adam innocent had never been) by resurrection, Himself the firstfruits, the Old Testament saints having to await our entering into it to be made perfect with us. The Lord Jesus gives us a place, not under law, but in resurrection, and finally with Himself risen. This did not take away our responsibility as Adam's children in flesh: not only were we separated from God by it, driven out of the earthly paradise, but sinners and guilty all, and more especially those under law -- transgressors of law. Hence the blessed Lord, to glorify His Father, yea, God's own nature in this behalf, not only, as I have said, was perfect, and kept the law in the midst of temptations, glorifying God in every way of life, but through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself with out spot to God, bearing our sins and the wrath due to them, taking the curse of the law on Himself; thus cleared the believer perfectly, having by one offering perfected for ever them that are sanctified. We believing in Him are clear, justified from all things which attached to us, in our position of men in flesh. But flesh in His death is judged, condemned, and sentenced for ever. But this was not all. He glorified God perfectly in dying. Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. Hence, raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, God has glorified Him in Himself, and straightway. This is witnessed in His resurrection, and we may add in His ascension. But He is raised again for our justification, and appears in the presence of God for us. Hence we have justification of life, and from Him risen a wholly new life, standing, and nature, though we have the treasure in an earthen vessel; standing before God as to acceptance, in the acceptance He is in, by His glorifying God in what He stood in for us, on the cross. We are not in the flesh at all; not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; and the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we know we are in Him, and He in us. It is a new creation, where what belongs to the old things is passed away. Hence, when in Christ, we reckon ourselves dead to sin, to the old man, and the law; alive to God by Jesus Christ thus risen and gone on high, when He had by Himself purged our sins. Our place in the Spirit is wholly in Him, according to the power of the life of the second Adam, risen from the dead. We are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God. This it is connects inseparably godliness and justification. Christ is both righteousness and life to us. We are in Him for one. He in us as the other, the Spirit given to us giving us the consciousness of it. (John 14.) This, and not our being under law, is the true way of godliness. It is not the imposition of human righteousness on flesh, which would it not; but the display of the life of Christ in us. Against that (as the apostle says, speaking of the fruits of the Spirit) there is no law. The safeguard of this is, not changing the principle and putting us back under law, which scripture forbids, but the precepts, commandments, example of Christ, the government of God, and the discipline of the Church itself.

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Our acceptance is in the whole of the work of Christ, and in Himself who has done it, and that according to the value God has, and has manifested for it, in virtue of which Christ sits at His right hand, and we in Him. To return into flesh and law is to ruin and subvert all this. It is not Christianity. The man who only sees that Christ has died for him knows what justifies him from all his sins as a man in flesh, has the ground of peace, and is a Christian; the man who sees that he is risen with Christ, and in Him in God's presence, according to the glorifying of God by the man Christ Jesus, knows his acceptance in the Beloved, and the character of it. Christ is His righteousness. He knows what the righteousness of God is; that he is made it in Christ, who was made sin for us. He who brings us back under law brings us back into flesh, and subverts the whole truth. It may be only a blunder in his mind, and he may sincerely trust in Christ's precious blood, and be a Christian; but all is obscured and muddied by his views: he cannot stand in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. He does not know what it is to be dead with Christ; to reckon himself dead; nor risen with Him; nor sitting in the heavenly places in Him. All this is dark to him, as we have seen in those who have written against this view. Being dead to sin they openly deny, save as dead to their guilt (to which, on the contrary, they ought to be ever alive); and being in resurrection in Christ is a hopeless riddle to them.

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Practically Christianity is a wholly different thing, and repentance, though it may begin by the acknowledgment of sin, is the judgment the new man passes on the whole condition of the old. So little do I reject imputed righteousness, that, if I were obliged to choose between Christ's keeping the law for my righteousness, and inherent righteousness, I should prefer the former, because, at least, it would be Christ's, and not myself; but I am not. I am reckoned righteous according to the perfection and acceptance of Christ Himself, having glorified God in all He is, when sin was in question before Him. I stand in the value of Christ's own value and worth before God, and that in respect of His work -- a work which was wrought in perfect obedience. I reject my opponents' view of imputed righteousness, because it is legal righteousness for the flesh, for a living child of Adam; whereas Christianity treats that as dead, condemned, and set aside, and shews our place in the Second Adam risen. It does not bring in the Second to set up the first again on its own ground; but to substitute the Second for the first, for eternal glory and the blessing of our souls, brought to infinite delight in being brought to God in Him.

Such is the christian place; such is the christian hope, realized through the Holy Ghost which dwells in us, enjoyed in the knowledge of the perfect love of God, according to which we know that as He (Christ) is, so are we in this world, not returning under the law, which, perfect in its claim on tile first man, brought a curse on the flesh. Let the reader remark withal, how, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, death has been fully entered into, and its power broken, Satan who had its power annulled in His, and the true deliverance of the believer in every respect, now in spirit, hereafter in the glorifying of the body in which he now groans. He will find it portrayed in Romans 8: 1-11.

I have not the remotest thought, that the subject of the present paper is distinctive of "Brethren." I know that a great body of the established clergy reject Christ fulfilling the law being our righteousness. What I believe does distinguish "Brethren" is, the believing the forming of the Church of God by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; the unity of that Church, and its union with Christ on high as His body, and that this ought to be manifested on earth. Clearness as to our being risen together with Him accompanies this; the waiting for God's Son from heaven, to see Him as He is, and find then the accomplishment, the full result, of heavenly blessing. Collaterally this deliverance from the law flows in the same channel of grace; but that which characterizes their doctrine, as far as I understand it, is faith in the presence of the Comforter sent down from heaven, uniting the saints to their Head, thus forming them into one body, and acting in the members of that body for its edification in revealing Christ, giving withal enjoyment of the Father's love.

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The progress of discussion on the question of divine righteousness, and a rapid review of what I have myself written, present the whole matter to me in so serious a light, that I have been led to resume my pen upon it. I do this the rather as I see that more are entangled in the pernicious error which I seek to oppose than I was at first aware of, and that the error is more grave than I had thought when I first rejected it as wrong.

That the "British and Foreign Evangelical Review," and after it, the "Irish Christian Examiner," should have admitted an article so utterly anti-christian in doctrine as they did, proves such utter blindness as to what truth and error is, in the professed leaders of religious opinions, that I feel more than ever the need of having the truth as to the righteousness of God fully and clearly before the mind. I am not unaware of the clamour that has been raised, nor of the warnings against dangerous errors, which have been the natural resource of those who could not answer what was said, and would not admit the truth that was produced. Nor am T ignorant how any error was accepted, provided the divine truth I insisted on from scripture was condemned. All this has only served to shew me the real source of the opposition and the importance of the question raised.

Were it merely a question as to "Brethren" (so-called), I should not feel disposed to stir; but this is in no way the case. What the Church is, and its present state, and the presence of the Holy Ghost, is that which is important, and with that, the coming of the Lord. But the question of what is righteousness before God, and the righteousness of God, is of vital importance for the whole Church of God. I am satisfied that a large number of souls are misled as to it, and that a right apprehension of it is a means of spiritual deliverance for them. Many a simple soul has no distinct thought about it, resting simply in peace before God upon Christ's work. They are happy. They may learn more, no doubt, but I can only hope they may keep their simplicity and their peace. But many are kept back by false teaching on the subject. What has been taught beyond simple redemption and atonement has, I am bold to say, only darkened counsel. I am perfectly aware that I shall have a whole host of evangelical teachers warning and denouncing. Save for their sakes, I am quite indifferent to that, if I have scripture with me and guiding me; as I have no kind of doubt I have. The opposition only shews the need of being decided, and making the matter plain from scripture. My opponents have gone wrong, and the clamours of those I am sure are wrong do not move me, except to be still more decided.

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Some may blame my confidence as to the possession of the truth, and this apparent braving of others. But scripture is of sacred and sufficient authority, and if the school of doctrine I oppose is misleading the saints, it is worth while to denounce their doctrine as unscriptural and mischievous error. Had I any bitter feeling, I should be blameable; but I do not even know the persons I am opposed to, save one or two by name. I am not conscious of any such feeling. But I do denounce the doctrine of our righteousness being made out by Christ's keeping the law for us, as unscriptural, and subversive of the whole scheme of Christianity, as regards our position before God. Paul (who, as is well known, is the great teacher of the doctrine of justification) laboriously argues against every thought of the kind;+ and the doctrine which Paul teaches is wholly set aside, if such a notion be received. It is this which makes me earnest on it. It subverts the doctrine of the New Testament as to the true standing of a Christian before God. My adversaries insist that Christ kept the law for us, and that that constitutes our positive righteousness before God. This I deny: not that He kept the law, but that this is our righteousness. Scripture teaches no such doctrine; but it teaches the contrary. Issue is thus fairly joined. I denounce the doctrine as unscriptural and contrary to christian truth. I affirm that those who teach it are in this respect false teachers. The arguments of my adversaries I have sufficiently met as they have been presented from time to time in the controversy. My object now is different -- to treat the subject as a whole from its source as a system of doctrine.

The starting point of these doctors is the law. Righteousness is measured by the law. There must be a law to have righteousness, or sin on the other hand. Sin is the transgression of the law. "It is evident then," says Dr. O'Brien, "that in the justification with which we have to do -- in which man is the party and God is the Judge++ -- we have only to look to the law to which man is answerable, to see what justification means." This is the doctrine of the whole party. Hence, all must be put under the law and the same law. Thus Adam is placed under it; and hence Mr. Molyneux, who does but refer to the common doctrine, says, "It was said to Adam 'Do this and live.'" And this is carried so far, that in the "Marrow of Modern Divinity," it is explained how Adam broke each of the commandments. So the heathen are put under the same law; hence the Christian also; while distinctions of absolute law, and particular formal law, are invented to meet the plain argument which scripture affords against this.

+My friends are often more frightened than I am. I suppose, from a note in the "Bible Treasury," some Mr. Furlong found some wonderful root of evil in the expression of "the Pauline doctrine of righteousness." It was. as there stated, merely borrowed from the paper I answered; but I would beg to state to Mr. Furlong that, while surely one only divine Spirit indited the whole, no apostle, with the exception of James insisting on its demonstration by works, treats the question, or speaks of justification at all; and there cannot be a more appropriate or apt expression than "the Pauline doctrine of righteousness." It is in the writings of Paul, and there only, that this doctrine is found elaborately treated. That all other scriptures are in accordance with it, I do not for a moment doubt.

++Note here, it is only a justification provided for God of which He judges, not His work to justify. But even so, it is not true; Gentiles are judged differently from Jews.

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The whole system is false in every part of it; and if, instead of saying, "we have only to look to the law to which man is answerable," I do look to scripture and revelation, I find the apostle there very carefully shewing that this is not the ground on which we stand at all, but another -- God's righteousness, which he carefully and diligently contrasts with it. He diligently shews that we are not to do, what Dr. O'Brien says we are to do; and moreover, that we are under the curse if we do it. This evidently is a serious question. These teachers of the law are telling us to do exactly what the apostle is telling us not to do -- what he denounces -- what he tells us puts men under a curse. But I must answer each portion in detail to clear the ground, before I take up the system as a whole.

Every part and parcel of it is false. In the first place (for it is well to give the first place to what is alleged as scripture) sin is not the transgression of the law. The translation is a false one, brought about, I doubt not, by this system of doctrine. The word is used in contrast with being under law. It is translated differently by the translators themselves elsewhere. They that have "sinned without law shall also perish without law," and they that have "sinned under the law shall be judged by the law." (Romans 2: 12.) Now, what has been translated "transgression of the law" (1 John 3: 4) is the same (as to the force of the word, only here as an adverb) as what is translated here "without law" (Romans 2: 12), in contrast to being under it and judged by it. That is, what has been translated "transgression of the law," is by the apostle expressly contrasted with it. It is lawlessness. This is a serious thing. This doctrine as to the law has led to the falsification of the scriptural definition of sin. I do not think any honest man will pretend to say that ajnomiva means transgression of the law, or the same thing as paravbasi" novmou.

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The principle of the system is, that "Do this and live" was said to Adam. This is equally false. "This do and live" was not said to Adam; nor, as is stated in the "Marrow of Modern Divinity," implied in the threat of death on his eating the forbidden fruit. Adam had nothing to do. He was not put to gain life by doing anything. He was not yet fallen under the power of death at all. As far as security of life was attached to any act at all, it was to the eating of the other tree; but that he was never told to eat and live. It is a striking fact, that responsibility, and a source or sustainment of life, were thus set as distinct things even in Paradise. That which has been the puzzle of heathens and Jews, and school men, and theologians, to reconcile -- responsibility, and the free gift of life -- stood out there, were represented in these two trees. The creature failed in his responsibility -- did, and died. It is to this these teachers seek to bring us back, when the revelation of God is "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." But Adam was never given a promise of life conditioned on his doing anything; was never put on this ground by God; but had a warning of death, he being alive, if he disobeyed. What is said on this subject is a mischievous, fatal, and anti-scriptural statement. Not only is it not found in scripture (for they can never produce scripture for any of their statements) but scripture puts Adam on wholly different ground. There was nothing he was set to do, there is no promise of life in doing it. He was alive and threatened with death. This false doctrine subverts the whole truth of the fall, and of our condition as fallen. Adam fell from what he was in -- did not lose a promise, for none was made to him. All the revealed principles of God's dealings are falsified by this system.

We have seen man on the ground of responsibility, and failing; and the tree of life, otherwise free to him without any doing or condition, untouched. Man was now fallen and sinful; separated from God, and sinful in nature. I pass over the great and solemn judgment, executed on earth as the result of this state, because it was a judicial act.

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The next thing God does is to give a promise, not of life, but of the Seed, of Christ (an unconditional promise that all nations should be blessed in Abraham), and this subsequently is confirmed to the Seed. No promise of life was given to Adam, fallen or unfallen. It was declared in the judgment on Satan, that the Seed of the woman should bruise his head. But the Seed of the woman -- the first Adam was not; but the Second. This seed is now promised to Abraham without any condition as to its gift. Up to this, the one only law, and which in its nature (as a covenant on express terms) excludes all other as ground and measure of responsibility, was the prohibition of eating the forbidden fruit. Man's heart and nature had departed from God before even he outwardly broke through the prohibition; but this is another matter. The spiritual man may perceive this, but this has nothing to do with a law or the terms of a covenant.

After this promise, made unconditionally to Abraham (not of life, but of the Seed), came the law. Not that it could touch that promise or the covenant -- impossible, as the apostle shews us in the Galatians; but it was added that there might be transgressions till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. Up to this there had been no promise of life at all. There had been the legal covenant made with Adam, the transgression of which involved death; and the promise of the Seed, without any condition at all -- as to its principle, an unconditional promise. Such unquestionably are the scriptural facts as to this, and the statement, in fact, of the Galatians. When the law came, there was a promise of life, a conditional promise: "he that doeth them shall live in them" (Leviticus 18), quoted by Paul in Romans 10, as the expression of the law's principle as to the way of righteousness, although it remains still and infallibly true, that life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel: it is not said first given.

But thus far we have found -- that the statement as to Adam, that he was put under the terms "Do this and live," is not found in scripture; but that, on the contrary, he was set in a quite different condition, and on other terms. It is a subversion of scripture instruction to place him under the law as subsequently given. He was under a covenant; but, as living, threatened with falling under the power of death. We have found that Abraham, the next remarkable dealing and revelation of God, was not placed under any law at all as the ground of righteousness -- he was justified by faith; and that the promise was given to him without any condition whatever, and that that promise was not of life, but of the Seed, Christ. These cases shew that this general putting under law, from Adam onwards, is an effacing of the clear positive instruction of scripture as to the various positions in which men were set. The notion that the law was written in Adam's heart is equally unfounded. He had not yet acquired the knowledge of good and evil necessary to the application of the law, and it is yet more evident, for he had another formal law to test obedience; and, certainly, that was not written on his heart.

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But we are arrived, in the progress of God's dealings, at the giving of the law. The question of righteousness, which the unconditional promise had not raised, is now raised. Righteousness is required from man. But we must notice this a little more particularly.

We find, again, the two great principles of paradise, responsibility and life; but life dependent on man's satisfying his responsibility, "This do, and thou shalt live." No doubt the literal statement in Leviticus refers to their enjoying life, under God's blessing, in this world; still the great principle is laid down, and hopes beyond this world gleamed through the darkness by the inspired cravings of men's hearts, and the prophetic testimony of the word. If a man kept God's commandments, he would live. But, as the apostle says, "that which was ordained for life, I found to be unto death." "If there had been a law given, which could have given life, righteousness should have been by the law." But there was not.

The law was a special system introduced to test man when he was really a sinner under death, yet pretending to power and free will, and to bring to light what he really was. It was found to be a ministration of death and condemnation, the strength of sin, making sin exceeding sinful; and, though not by any fault of the law, provoking the action of sin. But it was only added till the Seed should come, to whom the promise was made. It was the exact rule of what God required from man, but man was a sinner. It did not give life, did not lead into righteousness before God. The keeping of it would make a man find life. But this, Christ excepted, no man ever did. It prohibited, necessarily and rightly, what man did and was and felt; and commanded what was contrary to his state and feelings, according to the nature of the old man. It was a process, a dealing with man, of the weightiest character, because its contents were the perfection of man as such; but it was a testing process, it did not give life. It could not do so in itself, even if it were kept. It resulted in sin's becoming exceeding sinful, not in righteousness.

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In Christ, God took up the question of the trees again; but not in requiring or forbidding, but in acting. He gives life -- life in Christ, and Christ takes the whole consequence of our responsibility on Himself; puts all away; and, having perfectly glorified God therein, places man, according to sovereign goodness, in the glory of God. I speak, of course, of the efficacy of His work for believers. Here only can man find the conciliation of responsibility and the possession of life. But it is grace, the act and work of God. He has given His only begotten Son, that we might live through Him, and to be the propitiation for our sins. Now, as He is, so are we in this world. It is a glorious and blessed solving, by God in sovereign grace, of what never could be solved in any other way. Grace reigns, through righteousness, unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Law never was the means of obtaining righteousness, or giving life, and was never meant to be. It was given to Adam in a way not involving the knowledge of good and evil, but testing obedience under the penalty of death. On failure the Seed of the woman was announced in the judgment on the serpent, but no promise was given to Adam. Promise of the blessing of all nations is given to Abraham, and confirmed to the Seed, Christ. Then the question of acquiring righteousness before God is raised (which, yet in principle, was already settled in Abraham) in the giving of the law, and divine favour on obedience. The result, and necessarily so to a sinful nature, is that law works wrath by transgression. We may add, man's state is then fully tested by God's manifestation in grace on the earth, and judgment pronounced on the world: "Now is the judgment of this world." But thus God is perfectly glorified by the Second Adam's work; and He the author of divine life and eternal salvation.

We may consider the law and Christ, as the two great principles on this question of life and righteousness; the old covenant, and the great foundation of the new; or (which more concerns us now, because both are directly made with Israel) as the two great principles of righteousness -- on man's part, under responsibility for God, and life sought for thus (and here God is simply a Judge, as Dr. O'Brien says), or righteousness on God's part for man, and eternal life given, our sins being put away, and God perfectly glorified (and here God is a justifier), this leading into heavenly places by sovereign grace to us, according to the perfect glorifying of God, accomplished by Christ.

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Now the law, as we have seen, was never the way of getting life -- law, either on tables of stone, or on the heart, never the way of obtaining righteousness, though if it could have given life, it might have been so; that is, of obtaining the righteousness of law, not God's, but man's.

The notion of a universal legal righteousness is proved false by God's various ways with man. But if we reject the thought of one general rule -- the law, by which righteousness was to be obtained -- were there then various ways of obtaining life and righteousness before God, because God dealt in these various ways? By no means. But God's way of giving life alike proves the falseness of their legal system. These were means of testing and instructing man by the dealings and ways of God, that he might know himself in relationship to God. Eternal life was always the gift of God. It was promised before the world began, and was manifested in due time through preaching. Our saving and calling were given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, and is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who "hath abolished death, and hath brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel." No man can give himself natural life; still less, divine: this is in and from Christ for man. The law did not give it, so Paul tells us; no law was given that could, and no better law was possible than what was given. It did declare that "he that doeth these things shall live in them;" but declared it to one who had a nature not subject to the law of God, and which could not be. But righteousness and life cannot really be separated. If we live before God, it must be as accepted and righteous in His sight. If a law had been given which could have given life, righteousness should have been by the law. So Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law on this wise, "The man that doeth these things shall live in them." The righteousness of faith is not separated from life, though not by it. Christ is both to us, both to all who ever had life, or ever had righteousness. His death proved the righteousness of God in forgiving the sins of believers before He came. "God hath set him forth for a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his (God's) righteousness." But eternal life was promised before the world was. The question of righteousness was raised by sin coming in.

To turn now to this: Adam, innocent, had never the question of his acceptance raised, nor that of righteousness. He was what God made him. To speak of justifying him were to call in question the workmanship of his Maker. But conscience once come in, the question is there: "how can a man be just with God?" Abraham was not justified by law or by works, but by faith without works; for "to him that worketh is the reward of debt not of grace." Those under the law were not justified by its works, as is manifest from scripture. The whole system of the law as the means of righteousness was left behind by the christian Jew, to have it in another way (Galatians 2: 15, 16), the faith of Christ. Was the law then abrogated for those who were under it? It was not. But they died from under it by the body of Christ, to stand on another footing and in another life altogether -- even in Christ, their life and their righteousness. They are not in the flesh, they are not under the law; but they have put off the old man and put on the new man. They are alive unto God through Jesus, according to all the value of what He has done for them, purged from sin, and accepted in the Beloved. The law is always an individual thing. "The man that doeth shall live in them." The very essence of it is that the man himself does it, that he is obedient; not he disobedient, and another obedient for him. The man that does them is justified. But the law had raised the question of righteousness.

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The knowledge of good and evil was come in, sin and conscience together, and for peace and divine acceptance there must be righteousness. The law had put it on the ground of man's doing, as alive and responsible to God in this world. It could only have done it thus. No doubt faith looked beyond, but man on earth had to be righteous according to his state on earth. That was the way, the only way, on the ground of man's responsibility, and as God, in giving the rule of this in the law (though its highest requirements were, so to speak, hidden in it), gave a perfect rule for man as His creature down here, man has applied it to all times, and as eternal, necessary, and the only ground of righteousness, the only one for all times. So it would be, if man was to have his own righteousness. But is that so? And if eternal life, promised in grace before the world was, is to be conferred, is that to be found by earning it under law? Or, has not God some other way, and man another need? Man's conscience tells him he ought to be what the law requires; his pride tells him he may be; and theologians, feeling they cannot, seek to meet it by making it up some other way, but keep it as the measure.

This, then, is the question: the law being the perfect rule of man's conduct as a creature, is it the one ever true abiding way of life and righteousness to him, or has God another? That which makes it difficult to man to get out of this thought that the law has this eternal place is, that it is the measure of righteousness for man, the true perfect rule of it, and his conscience owns it. My adversaries say it is the one abiding way of righteousness, and that what God has done is to fulfil it for man, maintaining it, not merely as right, and as the rule of righteousness for man, but as that by the fulfilling of which righteousness is to be obtained and life eternal. I affirm that it is the perfect rule of human or creature righteousness; but that it is not, and never has been, the way of obtaining righteousness before God; the way of God's righteousness; that God's ways have shewn it; and that, though it be in itself a perfect, and therefore, immutable rule for creature righteousness, God, who did not mean us to have righteousness that way, brought it in by the by. I go farther, and say, it was never meant to be, and never could be, that by which righteousness was established for us, but that God has shewn the weakness of the creature, and the impossibility of his attaining to righteousness as such, and has condemned and set aside the whole nature and state of things in which the law has its operation, in view of our introduction into heavenly places.+

+The law will be written in men's hearts for the establishment of government and righteousness on earth under Christ. But even that is founded on the work by which divine righteousness is established.

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In the first place, our salvation and calling was given us, not according to any works at all, but in Christ Jesus before the world began. There was the promise of eternal life. It is the sovereign gift of God. The Son quickens whom He will. No law has been given which could give life. As regards righteousness, the law could do nothing in it. Adam, innocent, had no need to acquire any righteousness. As I have said, he was what God had made him; the law, as God has given it, could have no application to him; stealing, lust, and loving his neighbour, had no force for him. In no way could the principle of law, as requiring righteousness, be applied to an innocent person. An imposed rule does not suit such a one; nor a law which supposes evil, one who is ignorant of it. When he had fallen, it is quite clear the law could not justify or give righteousness. It was applicable then, but could only condemn. By it was the knowledge of sin. Neither the purpose nor the ways of God give righteousness by any law. The law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. In Him was life, and "he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" -- the eternal source of it, He that hath "brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel."

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The great question then arises as to direct proof: has not God set up another kind of righteousness than that of law? And if so, the fulfilment of the law cannot accomplish that righteousness, a righteousness which is not the adequate fulfilment of man's obligations (and the law can be no more), but the glorifying of God's nature fully, so that He is glorified in blessing according to all that that nature is. Not the setting aside of the authority of the law; for both God's authority and real creature-righteousness were involved in it; but magnifying it, yet putting man on another ground as to his acceptance, the fruit of God's thoughts and God's work, made good in setting Christ at His right hand; setting man on the ground of resurrection by the glory of the Father, and, I may add, heavenly glory; the law knowing nothing of resurrection, but applying to man alive in this world. I affirm that, according to scripture, there is such a new divine justification and righteousness. It has a double bearing or aspect. It meets the failure of men, as under the responsibilities of the first Adam, including the transgression of the law. It places man, accepted of God, in a wholly new position, in which divine life in power is also found: and God is just or righteous in both. It is according to what He is, not what man ought to be merely, though atonement meets that. It is from Him, His doing, and put in force by Him in justifying. He it is that acts in it in grace, so that it is His righteousness. It is in contrast with man's, founded on Christ's work in manhood, but in which God Himself was glorified; and into which man is brought, so that in it, He, God, is just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus; otherwise God could only have been just in condemning, for justice had nothing to do with unfallen Adam. He was, I repeat, what God had made him, and should have stayed so. God cannot judge or call in question His own work, so as to apply justice to it.

Now, in scripture, we find man's righteousness, or legal righteousness, always contrasted with God's, in nature, in fact, and in principle; the latter being distinctively introduced by the gospel, while promised of old; the law having in the interval raised the question of man's righteousness and given the true measure of it so that God has confirmed it by His divine sanction. Thus "Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not ... That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "That is," as he says, "the word of faith which we preach." Now, here I find expressed that the righteousness which is of the law speaks one language, and the righteousness which is of faith another. This is expressly declared, but it is confirmed by the fact that, when speaking of Christ, it speaks nothing of His life or law-keeping, as connected with the righteousness of faith, but of His death and resurrection. Remark further, that, in this righteousness of faith, man does not do or act, but believe; God acts. He has raised Christ from the dead. I believe in what God has done.

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Paul is not ashamed of the gospel, because therein the righteousness of God is revealed in the way of faith to faith -- a new thing as to its revealed completeness and ground, though prophesied of old. So, in Romans 3, God's righteousness apart from law is manifested. It is "at this time," and "His righteousness," that He might be just and justify him that was of the faith of Jesus. It may be alleged, Yes, but that is by Christ's keeping the law. But it is not. The same passage says, "God hath set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his [God's] righteousness for the remission of sins that are past." God's righteousness is shewn in remission through blood-shedding; and this, the apostle emphatically declares, that God might be just and the justifier of believers. And note, in speaking of the sins of believers in past times, there is not a hint of fulfilling law for them, but of His blood. That made God evidently righteous as regards Old Testament saints. Surely, if the other had been true, it would have come in here as regards these. But no; he is justified freely by His grace through redemption; but keeping law is not redemption.

So, in Galatians, the law was our schoolmaster unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. It is not faith in one's fulfilling law; but faith in contrast with law -- faith in the Seed to which the promise was made, according to the statements we had already gathered from scripture; and if the inheritance be of law, it is no more of promise. It is a diligent contrast of the two principles. One is Hagar, the other Sarah. But Hagar is cast out with her children. Law can have no place with the promise and faith. And that no man is justified by law is evident, for the just shall live by faith. But the law is not of faith -- is another and a contrasted principle. Curse came by the law. Is it then set aside? No. Christ has glorified it, and redeemed us from its curse, having been made a curse for us. Is there anything added to shew that He kept it for us, that we might be justified? Not a word -- contrast with it only. It is not of faith. I find, then, an opposite principle to law brought in, and that by which we are justified set in careful contrast with law -- God's righteousness by faith, contrasted with man's, our own by law, Christ's keeping it for others being never hinted at nor supposed to be possible (righteousness by law being always considered as our own, and rejected, as in Philippians 3: 9, "Not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is of the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith"). The law, if kept, would be man's righteousness; what we have through faith is God's.

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But if the law be not thus a rule of life and way of righteousness, and Christ's own obedience unto death makes us righteous who believe in Him, what principle have we to guard us against sinning and practical ungodliness? Here what answers to the other tree of Paradise comes in -- the tree of life. It is not by imposing a law that we are kept in obedience (that failed us, for the same reason that it did in obtaining righteousness), but by giving a life. Christ becomes our life, and our obedience is in this life to God Himself, in contrast still with law. (Romans 6.) But this introduces another point, which applies to law too. The law indeed kills us, as alive in conscience without it; but this could only be ruin and condemnation. Christ has died in grace for us, and this is appropriated to us by faith in Him that is risen. We say we are crucified with Christ. The faults of the old man are not made up by law-keeping, but the old man itself is wholly condemned and set aside. God has condemned sin in the flesh by Christ's death, and set it aside; for we are dead. He only that is dead is really justified from sin. The sins have been put away, for Christ is crucified for us; sin in the flesh condemned by His death, but we are crucified with Him, not in the flesh. We were in the flesh, and then the motions of sin could be excited by the law. We reckon ourselves, being baptized to His death, dead to sin, and alive to God; Christ risen, our life; so that we walk in newness of life. But this is our deliverance from law; because He who was under it has died and satisfied its claims, and come from under them; law having dominion over a man as long as he lives -- and we are dead, and alive with a new kind of life, out of the state and place where law reached us. We have died wholly out of that, as truly as Christ has died and risen into another, God's true place for man in Christ. It is a new creation in us, and by which we are placed in the new creation, where the old things are passed away and all things are new.

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Thus life is new, as well as righteousness. It is divine life, as well as divine righteousness: Christ our life, and Christ our righteousness. Neither is obtained by the law, both in and through Christ. Deliverance from the law is not by abrogating its authority; that could not be, for it was God's, and was the necessary and right rule for living man, alive in this world. But as such, he was wholly guilty, wilful, and condemned. But in Christ we have died to that state of being to which the law applied. We are not alive in the world. Thus the first man has been tested by law as the rule and measure of man's righteousness in the flesh, but he was already a sinner, and faith, looking to that which was in God's counsels before the world existed, but which has been manifested in Christ and by the gospel, knows that while the law was a perfect rule for man in flesh as long as he lived, it was, in God's use of it, only a temporary thing between promise and the Seed, when man was already a sinner; useful to convict, but incapable of giving life or righteousness. Having seen the promised Seed dead and risen again, faith knows our sins to be put away, reckons the flesh dead, and ourselves alive in a new state (where Christ raised is our life, Christ raised our righteousness), out of the nature, scene, life, and condition, to which alone law applied. Hence, we are always said to be as Christ is now, not as He was; while we are to walk as He walked.

And this leads me to the rule of practice, which is, equally with our justifying, in principle and nature above and out of law, divine and not human, though in human forms and circumstances. Law required that we should love our neighbour as ourselves, a perfect rule where all is right, mutual and common blessing; but unsuited to, unequal to meet, a state of sin. We are called to love as Christ loved, and to give ourselves, our lives, if needed, for others. One recognizes self as a measure in a happy state of things; the other, the giving up of ourselves for need, misery, or want of any kind. It looks for the self-sacrificing power of divine love, as manifested in Christ; not mutual kindness measured by self. We are to be imitators of God as dear children.

This then is the christian position. It takes life as it was in Christ before the worlds, but manifested in Him in the flesh, the eternal life which was with the Father, which we have as having the Son. It knows nothing of life by the law. It is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Son quickening whom He will. It is man made the righteousness of God in Christ; not by law, though Christ kept it, but through Christ's having perfectly glorified God in His death, obedient even unto death -- put away our sins wholly, so that we are justified completely from them -- condemned absolutely and set aside the old man (so that we are not in flesh); and brought us into God's presence according to His glory, according to the worth of that sacrifice in which God Himself was perfectly glorified. Man's perfect righteousness is measured by the law, but that law was given to sinners as requirement to obtain it, and served to convict of sin. The law was made, not for a righteous man, but for sinners and profane, "ouj ceisee footnotetai" does not apply to the righteous. But this way of righteousness is not what is ever made good at all and the creature set up before God by it; but a new kind of righteousness is set up, God's righteousness by faith. The law is man's righteousness: we are not justified by that; the gospel reveals God's -- the righteousness in which he is just; not just in recognizing that man has, or has not, come up to the measure required of him (that will have its place, as justice, in condemnation in the day of judgment); but just in accepting and glorifying, because He, God Himself, has been perfectly glorified, and glorified where sin was, so that He should be glorified in all He is, love as well as righteousness. Man's righteousness, were there such (in Christ there was), there is no difficulty in measuring and defining; the law gives it us perfectly. Human righteousness, and human life in blessing before God, would be the result of keeping it. God's righteousness is God's, and not man's; and yet man (that is, the believer) stands in it before Him. This is the difficulty which attaches to the expression. It is God's; yet man is in it, yea, said to be it, before God.

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My adversaries consequently reduce it to the former, and make it to be man's righteousness; only that Christ has fulfilled it. The Reformers, while bursting into light, soar far beyond this, and declare that the Christian was far away out of and beyond law. Yet, pressed by those who accuse them of setting aside law, they slipped back into vague language, or held Christ's fulfilling it, while Luther suppressed the expression in his translation of the New Testament altogether. Since then this has been systematized. But it is a curious fact, that that because of which the apostle says he was not ashamed of the gospel, is not found in Luther's Testament.

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The reason of all this confusion and error is that men have not seen that the old man is wholly set aside by the gospel, with all its life and standing before God; that we have, as seen in Christ, died out of it altogether, are not alive in the world, and are set on a new footing altogether, founded on death and resurrection in Christ; Christ for us, and we in Christ, namely in Christ risen, and before God, according to that which He has wrought and in the power of a divine and endless life, but in resurrection, sin being put away, death overcome, and we in the place of the second Adam, according to what He has wrought (and wrought as offering Himself, and made sin), and not according to what the first Adam wrought, nor, I may add, according to what he ought to have wrought, nor any more in question as to that, and brought to this state as recognizing ourselves wholly dead in trespasses and sins, guilty and ruined in him, transgressors if under law, enmity against God, but now passed out of that state as quickened together with Christ, consequent upon the blessed work in which He glorified God. And as the first Adam sinned and left God and was turned out of an earthly paradise, and was then the parent of a ruined race in that state, so the Second has perfectly glorified God, making an atonement for our sins; and, having perfectly glorified God in that place of sin when it was now needed (Himself sinless or He could not have done so, yea, His sinlessness in it was His perfection), has entered into a heavenly paradise, and we (as spiritually, so to speak, born of Him) stand in His place before God. But He has entered into this place now, not as filling up the measure of man's righteousness, though when alive He surely did so and much more; but by glorifying God in the place of sin, i.e., made sin for us, all that God is, so that we should stand, not on the footing of man's righteousness measured by man's duty, but God's measured by God's glory, Christ having in that put away all our sins and guilt incurred in our standing as men.

Now I fully admit, that many a beloved child of God only knows this last (that is, the blessed and righteous forgiveness of sins), and such are on a sure ground of grace. May they ever hold it! But these do not know the whole blessing of their position. They go to Romans 5: 11, a blessed journey for the heart too; but they do not with intelligence go through chapter 6 or on to chapter 8. If they get into chapter 7, they stop at it, inconsistently perhaps, but they do.

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Why then (though man be it before God by grace) is this righteousness God's righteousness, not man's? Man's is simple. That is the fulfilment of his duty to God, of which the law may be taken as the perfect measure: man's work measured by man's duty. This is God's work measured by God's glory. It is His counselling entirely, and no duty of any man to any one. His acting as the fruit of His own love, the Son's undertaking in His own blessed love, but so undertaken for His Father's glory, the divine glory. So Hebrews 10, "A body hast thou prepared me ... Lo, I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me ... Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." Surely God's law was in His heart, but was man's duty the measure of that work? Was it by keeping that law we were sanctified? Was that the will He did to sanctify us, and to perfect us before God? No: "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all." But perhaps we needed the other to be perfected before God? No: "By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." It was not, though obedience, merely that of a creature who had his measure of duty from the place he was in naturally, but a divine surrender of Himself, and undertaking to do God's will, a heavenly undertaking of obedience to do God's will, be it what it might, but completed, not by doing what was the duty of man, but by suffering in obedience and love the whole wrath of God, as offering up Himself. When the blessed Lord became a man, He was, I need not say, a perfect man, and consequently an obedient man; for that was man's place. But the obedience was absolute. All was obedience even to death, to death under wrath, which proved its perfectness. He, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God. Of that the law could know nothing. It had its duly prescribed measure, and was perfect because it had. He gave Himself a ransom for many. No doubt He kept the law in this, for He loved God with all His heart, but He did a divine work too.

But there is more. God's love was perfectly glorified, not to holy beings, but in its own supremacy according to its sovereign glory in and through Christ. God commended His love, what is peculiar to Himself, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and this at the cost of the infinite self-sacrifice of Christ, so that it should be a motive for His Father to love Him: "Therefore doth my Father love me." God's righteousness against sin was glorified; and mark, not in the way simply of judgment against the evil -- the day of judgment will do that, but in the way of drinking that cup of wrath for others, in love to others, in love to those His Father loved, and to glorify God's love to man, so that God would be glorified in justifying; not justifying the just, but sinners: "Just, and the justifier of them that believe in Christ Jesus;" "the justifier of the ungodly." This was a glorious glorifying of God, i.e., not merely a doing of man's duty, but of displaying sovereign and otherwise unknown and impossible qualities (after all a very feeble word), and sovereign excellences in God, there only possibly brought out. How was God's sovereign majesty there brought out? "It became him, [what a word!] in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." How was the truth, that the wages of sin was death, here made good! Not a mere human succumbing, though He truly died as man, but a divine testimony to its import!

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But I stay myself, however much more we might attempt to say, because I feel the thought and pen of man are feeble when they treat such a subject. They may suggest, but the Holy Ghost alone can give divine thoughts on so holy a subject, and we bow better than we explain. Still we have the word of the Lord Himself for this solemn hour: "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him." It was this that brought man to divine and heavenly glory, not the keeping of the law. Christ had always, as an obedient man, glorified His God and Father; but there was a "now" when all had another character, though it threw the lustre of its perfectness on all His path from the beginning. His life, though truly man, was always a divine life; but this was a divine work to do which He had come. He gave Himself. As then it was God's counsel, God's will, so it was in its nature a divine work (though He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death), and God Himself glorified in it, a display of God's righteousness which could justify through grace; which mere righteousness, dealing with responsible man, could not do. It was redemption in righteousness -- grace reigning through righteousness. Man's? No, God's; where man was only sin, but where sin was put away -- put away by the sacrifice of Himself.

If any say that Christ did not glorify God by more than mere obedience to the law, they lie against the truth. Say, He fulfilled the law in doing it, I have nothing to say. We are called to do it by walking in the Spirit. But He gave Himself. He was made sin, was obedient to death, drank the cup of wrath. He who was the brightness of God's glory, the express image of His being, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. It is not man's righteousness, which is doing his duty in his place as man; but God's counsels, God's thoughts, God's work, God's love, when the question of man's righteousness was over, and the One righteous man made sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. A work carried on by the love of God as man, between Him and God, where we had no part at all but sin, and where He, though sinless, was made sin, and stood only as such; and where, if there were any righteousness, it must be God's, and that was displayed in raising Him up, and that is shewn in justifying us because of it, and hence giving us glory in the Christ according to His title in redemption.

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It was the voluntary act of God, yea, even in Christ, not the duty of the first Adam fulfilled, though that He surely did, when man was in a state of sin. It is God's righteousness, because God has been displayed in it, glorified in it, as He could not have been by any innocence or any law-keeping, because it is His thought and His work -- a thought which would have been blasphemy for any one else, but which is His sovereign glory; a work which no creature could have done, innocent or guilty, which is necessarily divine in its nature and character, and by which God is righteous in justifying sinners, not by their legal righteousness, but by His own.

Man ought now to keep the law -- does, so far as heart, in the new creature. Could he have done that work? though, blessed be God, a man did it.+ Well then, it is not man's righteousness, in its nature or in fact. Done between God and Christ the Son of God, it is for man, but God's righteousness for him. That righteousness is displayed in setting Christ at His right hand, and bringing us into divine glory because it is Christ's, because it was done for us. Would keeping the law entitle us to be like Christ in glory? In doing more than that, we should only have to say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which it was our duty to do. But whom He justified, them He also glorified; predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

+The Christian is called to imitate Christ fully, in spirit; but it needs no argument to shew he never could have undertaken it as a work for God.

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A few remarks as to details remain. The mere falsehoods which my opponents have permitted themselves, I shall not notice; my object has been positive truth, not controversy. The notion has been expressed that God cannot justify without the person's being righteous in fact. This has no sense, if it is a sum of another's righteousness imputed. It is a denial of that grace which justifies the ungodly. But what I would note here is, that the point I insist on is that it is God's righteousness which is revealed, not the claims of God on man satisfied,+ so that it is man's measure reached in conduct, but God's work according to His own glory in contrast with what man should be for Him. In virtue of God's own work for man, He justifies him; not in virtue of man's work for Him, by whomsoever accomplished. Hence glory with Christ is the fruit of it. Hence it is not justice sitting to estimate debt (though this be satisfied by atonement), but grace reigning through righteousness. God has acted for Himself in the matter according to His own glory, though for man, and imputing it to him. But the principle is false, as it is stated: for the righteousness of God (Romans 3) is known in remission. God justifies therein, and that is through faith in Christ's blood. So that it is false that there must be actual righteousness in conduct for God to justify. His righteousness is revealed. He is just, and justifies through blood and faith in it.

I have yet another word to add as regards the difficulties, insisted on with some pretension, of making a difference between "imputed righteousness," and "imputing righteousness." The attempt to confound them may serve to mislead; and souls who trust others, and do not examine, may be misled by it. But as to those who raise the difficulty, it is either wilful, or very great stupidity. Change the word expressive of the thing imputed. He imputes goodness to that man in that matter, but he did not deserve it. Here it is simply accounting the man to be good, reckoning him to be such in the given case. Or, on the other hand, say, it was imputed goodness as to him, though I shewed him favour as such, for the act was his father's doing. Here it is an act of goodness in the father imputed to the son, and he therefore treated as the good person.

Now scripture always uses it in the first sense. God imputes righteousness to man without works (that is, He holds the man for righteous), just as if I impute goodness to a man in some matter, I account him good. That is all it means, and no more. It does not say why. Only in our case, it is because of faith. But imputing righteousness to a person, that is, accounting him righteous, is not a statement that there is a quantity of righteousness accomplished outside him, in virtue of which he is so accounted righteous. The question I am discussing is, why a believer is accounted righteous, beyond that righteousness which is equivalent to remission. My adversaries say, it is making up the legal righteousness in which they have failed. I affirm that it is God's work for them, accomplished in Christ, for His own glory and their good (demonstrated in putting Christ in that glory) according to His own glory, not merely according to the legal claim on man. Hence it is God's righteousness, which the legal righteousness could not be; not man's. And legal righteousness can be no more, for it is not righteousness in respect of a claim, if it goes beyond the claim. In either case, righteousness is imputed in virtue of a work, which the man himself has not done. There we are one; but I affirm that it is that glorious work, the glorifying of God by Christ, in virtue of which He now sits at God's right hand, and we shall be in glory with Him. They say it is Christ's fulfilling the law for them during His life. Thus they put the Christian back now under the law, as if he were alive in the flesh, and Christ's living obedience his righteousness. I say no. His life was blessed, perfect, or He could not have been a spotless Lamb. But our connection is with Christ after He is dead and risen; consequently we are not in the flesh, nor know Him after the flesh -- not alive, for faith, in the life to which law applies. We have died and risen with Christ. We belong to the other world, to heaven. We are dead, and our life is hid with Christ in God.

+In atonement they were, but that is a divine work; we speak of positive righteousness.

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The standard of walk follows. For my adversaries, it is the law. That is their rule of life. I say, Nay; I am dead and not under it, but obedient in a new nature to God, in which His holiness and love are to be developed in my heart. I am called to be a follower, an imitator, of God as His dear child. And the measure is different. My opponents say the fulfilment of the law is my righteousness, the accomplishment of it the aim of our practice. I say, No; Christ is my righteousness, as having glorified God Himself, and so, being in His glory and Christ the standard of my path, His actual glory my point of attainment, and I, changed here from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord, I am to purify myself as He is pure, for I am to be like Him when He appears.

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By the law my measure is to love my neighbour as myself. In grace I am to give up myself, as Christ offered Himself up a sacrifice and an offering to God. He laid down His life. I am to lay down my life for the brethren. I am become light in the Lord, and I am to arise from among the dead, and He will give me light. But the principle of the contrast is clear. The law requires us to love our neighbours as ourselves. The gospel calls the Christian to act like Christ, and give himself up for others in the path of love. That is the kind of love wanted in a sinful world. But these are consequences. The main point is that I stand in God's righteousness, according to the effectual work of the Lord Jesus, for the glorifying of God; which is so imputed to me, that I shall be with Him in the glory, and meanwhile know the love which has imparted to me the unspeakable gift, the love shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost given to me.

It is God's righteousness by grace, and the work of Christ, not man's righteousness by law, for God -- what God has wrought for man, not what man has wrought for God -- that of which God's glory, not man's duty, is the measure; though man's failure in that duty has been atoned for in it.

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The rule of life -- what is it? Of what life? of mere man, or of man partaker of the divine nature? Of man subjectively responsible to meet a claim, or of man displaying the divine character? Are they the same? Was the conduct binding on Adam the same as that which was suitable to the place Christ held in the world? Which is our standard, if they are different? Such are some of the questions which arise when I enquire "What is the rule of life?" It is evident that duties as such flow from the relationship in which I find myself. A child's duties are not a servant's nor a wife's. The duties of each, as of the parent or of the husband, flow from -- and if rightly accomplished are the fulfilment of -- what belongs to the place each is in. It is not a duty if one is not in the place.

It will be alleged, however, that there are certain immutable principles of right and wrong, an eternal law. But the question presents itself, Do not the duties flow from an ever-subsisting relationship? is not the obligation to love God and our neighbour as ourselves the consequence of our relationship to God and our neighbour? There may be -- creation being assumed -- necessary and constant relationships, or at least such apprehended by reason of it, which are thus always the rule of our duty. The fact of the character of the relationship involves the duty, the name of the relationship is the name of the duty. Conjugal affection, conjugal submission, parental love, filial obedience, all express this great truth. But the relationship and the duty cease together; if the relationship has never existed, the duty cannot. If it ceases for all, the duty ceases in fact absolutely as to the persons. The idea of God, even of Adam, excludes the idea of a neighbour, and makes the duty of love to his neighbour an impossible one, if I think of God or even of Adam; of God absolutely because He is God, of Adam in fact because he was created alone. These obligations or duties may be of inferior to superior, or between equals, or of superior to inferior, but implying (I think) a superior to whom the relative inferior is subject, a created superiority. They may be thus so far complicated that the duty may be to an equal, or to an inferior, or even to a superior, yet the responsibility in the relationship be to another. This results from created relationships which form duties, and a Creator's authority, to whom we are besides responsible to maintain them. This gives in itself a sanction; or a positive sanction, as it is called, may be attached to the law and obligation of the relationship, but the measure of duty depends on the relationship itself. But it becomes obedience, and legal obedience it may be. From a creator to a creature I cannot draw a duty as a necessary result of the relationship as duty or obligation. God's supremacy is the first of all rights. He is in His nature supreme. He will act, if good, according to the relationship.

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But another principle as to good and evil presents itself here, the display of a nature or character; and we conclude (not from duty, but) from character to acting in consistency with it. We have no title over any we are in relationship with -- save in the measure and limits of that relationship, as a father, a husband. But a Creator has an absolute title and place, and hence we cannot speak of duty, or it is not absolute. But though imperfect judges, we do judge rightly in principle in another way.

There is such a thing as kindness, goodness, which is pleasant to the spirit in itself; and, where this is developed and God has been revealed, we conclude God will be such and consistent with Himself, and this is true, but supposes He is good and righteous. It must be remembered that men never formed for themselves such an idea of God. In extremity of need they might cry out for help and desire it, shewing themselves so far cognizant of God by their wants. The idea of love or care for His creatures formed no part of man's mythology nor result of his reasonings. Those who worshipped Him or behaved right were favoured. Power was recognized as to be propitiated or won. Goodness in man was liked; in God it was not known. Particular cases of intervention or favour to devotees was. Since revelation, man has had the thought. The Christian who does know God can even say, "Committing the keeping of our souls to him as to a faithful Creator." Man may and does make God a debtor to himself -- in pride; but then he puts God out of His place and himself into it, and judges God. And even when he speaks of love (a word in this sense unknown in classical Greek), he forgets divine claims on himself, and divine supremacy too. Still, when through revelation I have known God, I have a new principle of good and evil, not duty, but the display of good. God is not under law to man, but, assuming man to have continued in natural goodness, God could not have been inconsistent with Himself, or He would not be Himself.

Another element too has come in. Man has been inconsistent with himself, with the relationship in which he was placed. So that, though the nature of duty cannot change, he is in no place at all with God, unless being an outcast and having thrown off God be a place. Still, when the idea of a good God has been re-awakened, we draw conclusions from it, often leaving out other essential parts of His character, and hence reasoning falsely always, unless under grace, forgetting our true place and state, but rightly judging that God cannot be inconsistent with Himself.

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Such reasoning in man is, however, necessarily to no purpose, though there be abstractedly a true element in it, because the actual state of things is, on his simple supposition of goodness, a perfect riddle. Man must be insensible to what is, to conclude as to what must be; or he would find out that he was a lost sinner separated from God. For the world is a scene of misery and confusion, though goodness be also manifested in it. We have thus right and wrong, good and evil, brought before us in two quite distinct ways: the obligation connected with relationships which were formed by God -- and these relationships, when not with God Himself, yet, in virtue of that with Him and our subjection to Him as creatures, enforced by His authority and it may be with the sanction of reward or threat of the consequences of unfaithfulness to it; secondly, the expression of nature, which may have its display in these relationships when they were formed according to it.

With God the relationship of a creature necessarily took the form of obedience where a will was expressed or even apprehended. When the duties of a relationship are enforced by express command, or any express command is given maintaining or founded on the claim to obedience attached to a relation implying authority, we have a law. If it be accompanied by a threatened or promised consequence, we have a law with a positive sanction. The display of a nature becomes a rule of life, though one of liberty when that nature places in a relationship of which its display is the measure and duty.

But in fact we have to consider other questions. When one has failed in a relationship and is become an outcast, what is the measure or rule of duty, and how is it to be applied? When tendencies quite contrary to the form and duties of that relationship, as self-will and lust and their fruits, have come in, how is the law of that relationship -- that is, the authoritative assertion of the duty attached to it -- to be applied? A man by his own sin cannot destroy the claim over him which another possesses. He may have lost his own rights or privileges in it, and not even be in a condition to fulfil them, but the claim of him with whom he is in relationship cannot be thus set aside. The duty remains even if the person be incapable of performing it. By my own fault I cannot destroy the title of another. If I owe one thousand pounds, my having by folly ruined myself disables me from paying, but does not destroy the claim of my creditor.

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Such are the questions and considerations which an enquiry into "the rule of life" suggests. We will now look for the answer; and that the dealing of scripture with our conscience will afford. First of all, I look for the rule of christian life -- the rule of the life which the Christian has received from Christ, which Christ is in him. If the christian relationship is that in which I am, the measure and form of my relationship, my rule of life, must be that of Christ in me, of Christ's life here below, and of the relationship in which the possession of that life puts me. But we will consider that which scripture puts before us from the beginning. It may help to clear our minds.

Adam had a double rule of life. He was set in blessing, with a nature suited to it, to dress and keep the garden, and manifest his thankfulness to Him who set him there. The breath of life breathed into his nostrils would naturally have gone up in praise to Him who had breathed it into him. He would have enjoyed with thankfulness the blessings in the midst of which he was placed, and have been the affectionate centre of those placed around him, the kind and good head of a subject world. His nature, though our data be small, would have loved and acted suitably in the place of blessing. We can see, from the circumstances of the discovery of his fall, that intercourse with God according to His good pleasure would have been his portion.

But another principle also appears. The condition of the continued enjoyment of this was attached to obedience, and death threatened. Not only was obedience claimed, besides worship and enjoyment and rule, but the threat of death on disobedience was added. He was placed in Paradise to enjoy and manifest the blessing of Him who had conferred it. He was placed under law; not a law supposing lust or sin, but a test of obedience, and the sanction of the threatened consequence of death on its breach.

He lost confidence in the goodness of which he was the earthly intelligent expression. He fell. Lust came in, transgression was accomplished. He was cast out of Paradise, the place of created goodness, and became subject to death as he had been threatened. Return was impossible. He knew good and evil for himself. It was not now a prohibition as a mere test of obedience -- forbidding what there was no moral evil in, the evil being only disobedience. It was the loss of the simple enjoyment of good in relationship with God in a nature suited to and displayed in it. Man obtained the knowledge of good and evil in his own estimate of things; "the man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil." He knew such and such a thing was right or wrong, without a prohibition or a law. By his own internal conscience he knew right from wrong. We have here a most important truth or principle. A being may rise immensely in moral capacity, and fall infinitely in his relationship with God, and the happiness connected with it. His state as to apprehension of good and evil has nothing to do with a consequent enjoyment of good. It may be the loss of what he had before, and an immense increase of capacity for misery in the measure of his subjective change. Happiness is in the enjoyment of right relationships, not in capacity for them -- when the object that forms them is not enjoyed. This is a very solemn truth, were it only "the waste of feelings unemployed." But it is not so -- far from it; man's unfaithfulness, however, to his relationship to God could not destroy his duty, the duty which attached to the fact of his being His creature. He ought to have retained God in his knowledge, and, whatever humiliation was called for, owned it with God.

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As I am occupied with the rule of life, I pass over the blessed intimations of grace which we find in scripture, the judgment of the serpent, the clothing of Adam and Eve, the sacrifice of Abel, the promise to Abraham, and even to Noah, with the too easily forgotten testimony of judgment in the flood.

A formal rule was given when God brought a people to Himself. The law was given by Moses. It put man, externally redeemed (or the idea would have been impossible), into the place of obedience, on the ground of God's claiming the fulfilment by man of the duties of the relationship in which he stood with God and with his neighbour. It was not now one central head of a race in blessing and obedience, tested when in the enjoyment of blessing, but individuals responsible to God and called to act up to that responsibility, and to their duty towards neighbours, or equal companions in a like position, while sanctioning the natural relations in which God had originally placed man, and which He still maintained. As a hidden principle which grace could find there, there was the claim of love to God and our neighbour as ourselves, and an open positive series of commandments maintaining relationships, and positively forbidding the breaches of them to which sin, self-will, independence, and lust, with ignorant subjection to the devil, now disposed man. Except as the redemption of the people displayed goodness, there could be no claim of a conduct according to it. And even as to this, it was not the expression of a new nature in man (though that alone can fulfil it), but the claim of consistency with the relationship they were in as a matter of duty. Thou shalt love.

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The law, then, supposing Israel's redemption by God, was founded as a system on the duties of the relationship of man as such with God: on Adam's duties modified by the coming in of sin and God's taking up a people for Himself; but taking them up as men on the earth. He could not have taken up the heathen as such -- it is not here a question how Enoch, Job, and others may have lived to Him, but He could not have taken up the heathen as such, for man was an outcast judicially and alienated from God. But when He had taken up Israel and externally redeemed him, then came a rule of life. A rule of life, now we are fallen, belongs to a redeemed people; i.e., none other can have it dispensationally from God. It would be owning what He had cast out judicially already. But when He had taken up Israel, God placed him on the footing of his original relationship, of his duties as man, only modified by the fact of the entrance of sin and the knowledge of good and evil. It was not the expression of a nature communicated, but the claim of a relationship where duties were to be fulfilled, assuming lusts and independence and self-will. It was a perfect rule for man in the flesh. Sanctions accompanied -- life if obeyed, a curse if disobeyed. It became a perfect expression of claim, relationship, and sin, but not of any nature communicated and displayed in goodness; for man to whom it was addressed had an evil one. In its highest aspects, it was what man ought to be with God and his neighbour, but what responsible man who now knew good and evil ought to be. In the day when God will judge the secrets of men's hearts, He will judge the heathen on their own ground. They that have sinned without law will perish without law,+ as they that have sinned under the law will be judged by it. The law then is the rule of life to man in the flesh, alive as a child of Adam; the expression, not of life in him, but of a claim upon him in that natural relationship with God. "I am the Lord thy God -- thou shalt." There is no other for heathen if we suppose a rule, but they were not under it, and will be judged, as God has declared, on another ground.

+This is a striking proof of the unsoundness of the translation in 1 John 3, "Sin is the transgression of the law." The word so translated there is the same, only a noun, here put in express contrast with transgressing the law; they have sinned without law -- lawlessly; and that is the sense in 1 John 3. Sin is lawlessness.

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The other kind of rule of life, the expression of a nature like God, failed under the law. I do not mean that no individual had this life, but it was not the ground which the law went upon. It required a living man to live up to the relationship he was in. If he did, he would live. But when man was put to the test, it was found that on this ground there was no hope; that his flesh was not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So that they that were in the flesh could not please God; so that what was ordained for life, what promised it on obedience, was effectually to death, a ministration of death and condemnation. This life, the expression of God's nature and goodness, it is clear the flesh was NOT. It was enmity against Him; and if the rule of life came as a claim, it found a rebellious will and corrupt lusts. The law thus became death and condemnation, and Christ could not to any purpose be a model for a nature which was enmity against God. He was a model for man, but in a life which in its nature and character was exactly the opposite of the Adam-nature and life. Love is of course right, but love cannot be a rule for enmity. Holiness is right, but cannot be a guide for corruption; it becomes a condemning light, not exactly a law, but practically, as a model, the same thing. It condemns the conscience, and no more, as such. Thus the law works death and condemnation, and all the effort of a man (once its true claims, its spirituality, are known) only results in the discovery of this: -- "I found to be unto death," says the apostle; "when the law came, sin revived and I died." But then it produced this: "I by the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God." In a word, brought fully into the conscience, it not only condemns actual sins, but the working (in its first displays, namely, lusts) of the nature that is there. And by it thus the renewed soul learns that in it, that is in the flesh, there is no good thing. In result the nature is judged, death written on it in the conscience and for the spiritual judgment and heart. By the law we are dead to the law. But if this were all, it would evidently be condemnation too, for it shews our guilt. By the law is the knowledge of sin (not merely sins), and sin by the commandment becomes exceeding sinful.

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Well, now comes a totally new life connected with redemption, and death to the sinful nature is immense gain. "I through law am dead to law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live," etc. The soul bows to the just judgment against itself, but through the death of Christ finds its sins blotted out and forgiven, redemption accomplished, and Christ its righteousness before God. It is at peace and accepted in the Beloved. But another truth accompanies this -- Christ is its life. We are made partakers of the divine nature, and this has its full force by the Holy Ghost dwelling in us; by Him we know that we are in Christ and Christ in us. It is for this life we want a rule. It will fully recognize our previous obligations and sinfulness in respect of them. It can understand that the law, even if as a heathen it was never personally under it, is the perfect rule given to man in the flesh; a law violated by all his acts, and to which that flesh was not and could not be subject. But it knows that we are not in the flesh; it says, "when we were in the flesh." But we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, because the Spirit of God dwells in us. Hence it does not look for a rule of life in the law, because that was a rule of life for a man in the flesh, a child of Adam. And we have died to the law -- are delivered from it, if we have been under it, having died in that in which we were held. He is now a child of God, has the life of Jesus, and looks to the word of God for the rule for that life.

We have seen there is another measure or rule of life -- the display of, and consistency with, the life in which we live, and the relationship in which we are placed. Such would have been the abiding rule for created Adam, supposing he had stood the test. Now, though we are yet in the body, Christ risen from the dead is become ours consequent on accomplished redemption; we are reconciled to God, and Christ's relationship is that of Son; was so on earth and ever is. And He has brought us into the same relationship through His work. He is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God. Here then is our measure and rule of right and wrong: the manifestation of the life of Christ and consistency with the relationship of sons as He was in it and walked in it. The rule of life then is Christ's walk, who manifested God in flesh; not what would be claimed from Adam, but what was displayed in Christ; the manifestation of the divine life and nature, not the mere righteous claim of God on man in the flesh, with a test of obedience whose fitness and immense importance we can easily apprehend.

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The rule of life for unfallen Adam was consistency with the innocent nature and place of blessing in which God had set him. He should have felt and walked in consistency with this.

To continue man's subsequent history briefly and see what rule of life is before us in scripture -- warnings, we know, were given, as by Enoch and Noah, but the scene after the fall ended in the flood. The power of evil in corruption and violence was judged. For them the knowledge of God (brought with them from the beginning), conscience, the testimony of these prophets, with the witness of God in the creation, was the rule by which they would be judged. So others, as the apostles, teach us after them. It is evident when God was revealed -- as to Enoch -- the true knowledge of God as far as given. in grace would guide. So with Abraham: the revelations God made to him of Himself, realized by faith, would form the guide and rule of his conduct. "I am the Almighty God, walk before me and be thou perfect." Conscience surely was there, but the original and constant revelations of God impressed their character on his walk by faith. All these are partial revelations. Yet it was thus the elders obtained a good report; they walked by faith.

At length the law was given; and in this was -- a comparatively hidden part which the Lord drew out from its recesses, but on which all hung -- love to God and one's neighbour; and the public and almost entirely prohibitory part which openly supposed sin and forbad it. It referred to obligation and claimed its fulfilment. It took up relationships, assumed their existence and obligation, and pronounced a curse on failure, promising enjoyment of life on obedience. The mass of mankind were hidden in darkness -- the times of ignorance at which God winked. The time was not come for the revelation of the Gentiles (for that is the force of the passage). The law was given to a people placed in relationship by redemption with a God who had revealed Himself to them, and now looked for the maintenance of duty towards God and towards each other. The Gentiles had no place. It supposed and tested whether man was free. Individuals really walked by faith as ever, but of course took the law in obedience as their rule. In fact, as we know, they were by nature children of wrath as others, and the law brought this fully out, in the public judgment of the nation outwardly, and in the conscience when its spirituality was known. But all this went on the ground of man's duties as a living man.

And though from Adam there was new nature in those born of God (and that certainly shewed itself), yet the perfection of that nature in a man had never been displayed. In Christ this was the case. The divine nature and heavenly perfection shewed itself in His walk. He was in His path here (and the cavils of objectors make me the rather use these words) a divine and heavenly man. He was essentially and truly that -- the Lord from heaven, and displaying what was divine and heavenly in this world. In Him it flowed from its source; for us it is a perfect example; but it was the display of divine life, of God in man, and the rule of that life for all else. In us this hangs on these points, redemption out of the standing of the old man, and perfect reconciliation with God, our being in Christ, consequent on His having accomplished the work, so that our place is a perfect one before God -- is Christ's place. There is no question between us and God. We are in spirit in our Father's house, created again in Christ Jesus. It is not a question of imposing a claim on one in rebellion, or as a test of obedience for the enjoyment of life. The soul has recognized, as a starting point, entire condemnation on this ground, and no good thing in us. Jew or Gentile, we are by nature children of wrath; but not only so, we have been perfectly redeemed out of that place; we are dead (for faith) to the nature in which we once lived -- by the cross of Christ, crucified with Him, nevertheless we live; yet not we, but Christ lives in us. Our place being before God, "as He is, so are we in the world." Christ is our life. We are only that, as to what we own, for faith. No doubt we are it in weakness and temptation, the flesh lusting against the Spirit; but that has nothing to do with our rule of life, but with our difficulties in carrying it out. Our rule of life is simple: that life in which Christ as a man displayed the character of God; His love, His holiness, is the rule of life to us, because we have the life which was displayed in it. It takes, of course, and necessarily, the relationships in which Christ stood -- a Son and obedience and love to His Father; but while it has love to God and obedience as its secret springs, yet it is not as satisfying a claim, a measured claim -- but it is effectual, has its constant measure and rule in the display of the life which we have, which is a divine one. As to divine claim even, it is not a prescribed measure of conduct; we are not our own at all. The claim is ourselves, not a measure of obedience. If this life subsists in and is characterized by love to God and love to our neighbour as it is in its nature, it clearly does not break the law; but its rule is the display of the divine nature in a man, afforded us in Christ. Hence, while we owe everything and ourselves to God, it is the free and thankful outgoing of our new nature, the life of Christ in us (as would have been the case as to Adam in respect of his life of innocence), not an imposed claim of law, but different in principle and nature, and higher in its measure as in its nature; not what the first man ought to be for God, but what the Second was as displaying Him. We have -- fruits, the fruit of the light, the fruits of the Spirit, not a necessary and enforced claim -- obedience, (for who shewed such as Christ did?) love enjoyed and active, holiness, God's holiness, of which He makes us partakers.

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Let us see how the scriptures speak of these things. First, Peter tells us we are made partakers of the divine nature; we are born of the Spirit, born through the word which reveals the divine mind and nature. Christ Himself is our life. (Colossians 3.) The life of Jesus is to be manifested in our mortal body. (2 Corinthians 4.) We are to produce the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5), of light (Ephesians 5);+ i.e., of that which is our nature as in the Lord. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given us. (Romans 5.) Hence we dwell in love, that is, in God, and God in us. So we know we are in Christ and Christ in us. The Father and the Son, as to our enjoyment of it, come and make their abode with us. It is well we should recall these things, that we may cultivate communion and attribute whatever good is wrought in us, or displayed by us, to its true source, and that, not by looking at the good, but at the source of it, so that it should flow forth. And the apostle uses the fact of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost as a motive against common gross sins. What lifts us above saves us from what is below. The divine nature and its manifestation is our model: "Be ye followers of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ has loved us and given himself for us a sacrifice and an offering to God as a sweet smelling savour." It does not cease to be obedience. It was such in Him. It does not fail of having consecration to God in heart and ways, even to death if needed; that characterized His life. The love that comes down working in man always goes up first of all to God in self-offering; and in that is love to others, offering oneself for them. This is divine perfection as manifested in Christ. We, as faithful to Him, loving Him, ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. Hereby know we love, that He laid down His life for us, and we shall shew His life and spirit in doing it.

The rule of life then is, not a legal claim on man as man, just and right as that was, but the manifestation of divine life and love in the place in which they, and the divine grace which has given us a part in them, have set us (Christ Himself being the pattern and display of this in its own perfection). This will be the relationship in which we are to God in Christ, to a sinful world, and to the brethren, as it was in Him. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk as he walked." God makes us through His discipline partakers of His holiness. We are light in the Lord, and are to walk as children of light, and Christ gives it to us. Let our light (not our works) so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify the true source of them all. It is a new nature, the divine nature, the life of Christ, the Holy Ghost dwelling in us as its power, in which, knowing we are in Him before God, and perfect love and acceptance resting upon us, we are set in this world the manifestation of the divine character in man and its ways in Christ, the epistle of Christ. Conflict exercises, that our scenes may discern good and evil according to this, always carrying about the dying of the Lord Jesus in our body, that nothing may hinder the manifestation of the life of Jesus; death thus works in us as to self, and so only life in Christ in others with whom we have to do. All this there will or should be; but the rule and measure of life is Christ, the display of His life, walking as He walked, following His steps in the joy in which the consciousness of being in Him before God places us, in the sorrow that filled His heart in passing through a world of evil. No doubt there has to be growth in us, but God is faithful not to suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear. And a young Christian, a babe in Christ, if devoted in heart and humble, has his place and beauty in Christ as well as the father. It is a wonderful place, but the place in which God has set us.

+This is the true reading.

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It has been said, Still Christ kept the law. Surely He did; He was "born under the law," of course was perfect in it; and in result so does he who walks in love; but He, besides this, manifested God in a man. And we are connected with Him, united to Him when He is no longer under law, having died to it in Him when He died, and risen up from death wholly out of that place. It is this that Paul refers to (i.e., this whole position of Christ in flesh), when he says that he knows Christ no more after the flesh. It is this, I doubt not, which is the true force of Ephesians 2: 10 -- good works which God hath afore prepared. The kind of work was prepared afore, as well as the place and blessing in Christ -- works suited to this place were afore prepared too.

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Dear -- ,
The questions you put make me feel deeply all that there is sorrowful in the walk of one whom nevertheless I love very sincerely, our friend M.
G. To enter upon subtle questions as to the person of Jesus tends to wither and trouble the soul, to destroy the spirit of worship and affection, and to substitute thorny enquiries, as if the spirit of man could solve the manner in which the humanity and the divinity of Jesus were united to each other. In this sense it is said, "No one knoweth the Son but the Father." It is needless to say that I have no such pretension. The humanity of Jesus cannot be compared. It was true and real humanity, body, soul, flesh, and blood, such as mine, as far as human nature is concerned. But Jesus appeared in circumstances quite different from those in which Adam was found. He came expressly to bear our griefs and infirmities. Adam had none of them to bear; not that his nature was incapable of them in itself, but he was not in the circumstances which brought them in. God had set him in a position inaccessible to physical evil, until he fell under moral evil.

On the other hand, God was not in Adam. God was in Christ in the midst of all sorts of miseries and afflictions, fatigues, and sufferings, across which Christ passed according to the power of God, and with thoughts of which the Spirit of God was always the source, though they were really human in their sympathies. Adam before his fall had no sorrows: God was not in him, neither was the Holy Ghost the source of his thoughts; after his fall, sin was the source of his thoughts. It was never so in Jesus.

On the other side, Jesus is the Son of man, Adam was not. But at the same time, Jesus was born by divine power, so that that holy thing which was born of Mary was called the Son of God: which is not true of any other. He is Christ born of man, but as man even born of God; so that the state of humanity in Him is neither what Adam was before his fall nor what he became after his fall.

But what was changed in Adam by the fall was not humanity, but the state of humanity. Adam was as much a man before as after, and after as before. Sin entered humanity, which became estranged from God; it is without God in the world. Now Christ is not that. He was always perfectly with God, save that He suffered on the cross the forsaking of God in His soul. Also the Word was made flesh. God was manifest in flesh. Thus acting in this true humanity, His presence was incompatible with sin in the unity of the same person.

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It is a mistake to suppose that Adam had immortality in himself. No creature possesses it. They are all sustained of God, who "alone has immortality" essentially. When God was no longer pleased to sustain in this world, man becomes mortal and his strength is exhausted: in fact, according to the ways and will of God, he attains to the age of near one thousand years when God so wills, seventy when He finds it good. Only God would have this terminate, that one should die sooner or later when sin enters, save changing those who survive to the coming of Jesus, because He has overcome death.

Now, God was in Christ, which changed all in this respect (not as to the reality of His humanity, with all its affections, its feelings, its natural wants of soul and body; all which were in Jesus, and were consequently affected by all that surrounded Him, only according to the Spirit and without sin). No one takes His life from Him; He gives it up, but at the moment willed of God. He is abandoned in fact to the effect of man's iniquity, because He came to accomplish the will of God; He suffers Himself to be crucified and slain. Only the moment in which He yields up, His spirit is in His hands. He works no miracle to hinder the effect of the cruel means of death which man employed, in order to guard His humanity from their effect; He leaves it to their effect. His divinity is not employed to secure Himself from it, to secure Himself from death; but it is employed to add to it all His moral value, all His perfection to His obedience. He works no miracle not to die, but He works a miracle in dying. He acts according to His divine rights in dying, but not in guarding Himself from death; for He surrenders His soul to His Father as soon as all is finished.

The difference then of His humanity is not in that it was not really and fully that of Mary, but in that it was so by an act of divine power, so as to be such without sin; and, moreover, that in place of being separated from God in His soul, like every sinful man, God was in Him who was of God. He could say "I thirst," "my soul is troubled," "it is melted like wax in the midst of my bowels;" but He could also say "the Son of man who is in heaven," and "before Abraham was, I am." The innocence of Adam was not God manifest in flesh; it was not man subjected, as to the circumstances in which His humanity was found, to all the consequences of sin.

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On the other hand, the humanity of man fallen was under the power of sin, of a will opposed to God, of lusts which are at enmity with Him. Christ came to do God's will: in Him was no sin. It was humanity in Christ where God was, and not humanity separate from God in itself. It was not humanity in the circumstances where God had set man when he was created, the circumstances where sin had set him, and in these circumstances without sin; not such as sin rendered man in their midst, but such as the divine power rendered Him in all His ways in the midst of those circumstances, such as the Holy Ghost translated Himself in humanity. It was not man where no evil was, like Adam innocent, but man in the midst of evil; it was not man bad in the midst of evil like Adam fallen, but man perfect, perfect according to God, in the midst of evil, God manifest in flesh; real, proper humanity, but His soul always having the thoughts that God produces in man, and in absolute communion with God, save when He suffered on the cross, where He must, as to the suffering of His soul, be forsaken of God; more perfect then, as to the extent of the perfection and the degree of obedience, than anywhere else, because He accomplished the will of God in the face of His wrath, instead of doing it in the joy of His communion; and therefore He asked that this cup should pass, which He never did elsewhere. He could not find His meat in the wrath of God.

Our precious Saviour was quite as really man as I, as regards the simple and abstract idea of humanity, but without sin, born miraculously by divine power; and, moreover, He was God manifest in flesh.

Now, dear -- , having said thus much, I recommend you with all my heart to avoid discussing and defining the person of our blessed Saviour. You will lose the savour of Christ in your thoughts, and you will only find in their room the barrenness of man's spirit in the things of God and in the affections which pertain to them. It is a labyrinth for man because he labours there at his own charge. It is as if one dissected the body of his friend, instead of nourishing himself with his affections and character. It is one of the worst signs of all those I have met with for the church (as they call it) to which M. G. belongs, that he has entered thus, and that it presents itself after such a sort before the Church of God and before the world. I may add, that I am so profoundly convinced of man's incapacity in this respect, that it is outside the teaching of the Spirit to wish to define how the divinity and the humanity are united in Jesus, that I am quite ready to suppose that, with every desire to avoid, I may have fallen into it, and in falling into it, said something false in what I have written to you. That He is really man, Son of man, dependent on God as such, and without sin in this state of dependence, really God in His unspeakable perfection -- to this I hold, I hope, more than to my life. To define is what I do not pretend. "No man knoweth the Son but the Father." If I find something which enfeebles one or other of these truths, or which dishonours what they have for object, I should oppose it, God calling me to it, with all my might.

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May God give you to believe all that the word teaches with regard to Jesus! It is our peace and our nourishment to understand all that the Spirit gives us to understand, and not to seek to define what God does not call us to define; but to worship on the one hand, to feed on the other, and to live in every way, according to the grace of the Holy Ghost.

Yours affectionately, J. N. D.

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Elberfeld, October 23, 1861.

Very Dear Brother,
I had a little lost sight of an important subject of your last letter but one, solely through the multitude of my occupations. This fresh breaking out of the doctrine of free-will helps on the doctrine of the natural man's pretension not to be entirely lost, for that is really what it amounts to. All men who have never been deeply convinced of sin, all persons with whom this conviction is based upon gross and outward sins, believe more or less in free-will. You know that it is the dogma of the Wesleyans, of all reasoners, of all philosophers. But this idea completely changes all the idea of Christianity and entirely perverts it.

If Christ has come to save that which is lost, free-will has no longer any place. Not that God hinders man from receiving Christ -- far from it. But even when God employs all possible motives, everything which is capable of influencing the heart of man, it only serves to demonstrate that man will have none of it, that his heart is so corrupted and his will so decided not to submit to God (whatever may be the truth of the devil's encouraging him in sin), that nothing can induce him to receive the Lord and to abandon sin. If, by liberty of man, it is meant that no one obliges him to reject the Lord, this liberty exists fully. But if it is meant that, because of the dominion of sin to which he is a slave, and willingly a slave, he cannot escape from his state and choose good (while acknowledging that it is good, and approving it), then he has no liberty whatever. He is not subject to the law, neither indeed can be; so that those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

And here is where we touch more closely upon the bottom of the question. Is it the old man that is changed, instructed, and sanctified? or do we receive, in order to be saved, a new nature? The universal character of the unbelief of these times is this -- not the formally denying Christianity, as heretofore, or the rejection of Christ openly, but the receiving Him as a person, it will be even said divine, inspired (but as a matter of degree), who re-establishes man in his position of a child of God. Where Wesleyans are taught of God, faith makes them feel that without Christ they are lost, and that it is a question of salvation. Only their fright with regard to pure grace, their desire to gain men, a mixture of charity and of the spirit of man, in a word, their confidence in their own powers, makes them have a confused teaching and not recognize the total fall of man.

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For myself, I see in the word, and I recognize in myself, the total ruin of man. I see that the cross is the end of all the means that God had employed for gaining the heart of man, and therefore proves that the thing was impossible. God has exhausted all His resources, and man has shewn that he was wicked, without remedy, and the cross of Christ condemns man -- sin in the flesh. But this condemnation having been manifested in another's having undergone it, it is the absolute salvation of those who believe; for condemnation, the judgment of sin, is behind us; life was the issue of it in the resurrection. We are dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Redemption, the very word, loses its force when one entertains these ideas of the old man. It becomes an amelioration, a practical deliverance from a moral state, not a redeeming by the accomplished work of another person. Christianity teaches the death of the old man and his just condemnation, then redemption accomplished by Christ, and a new life, eternal life, come down from heaven in His person, and which is communicated to us when Christ enters us by the word. Arminianism, or rather Pelagianism, pretends that man can choose, and that thus the old man is ameliorated by the thing it has accepted. The first step is made without grace, and it is the first step which costs truly in this case.

I believe we ought to hold to the word; but, philosophically and morally speaking, free-will is a false and absurd theory. Freewill is a state of sin. Man ought not to have to choose, as being outside good. Why is he in this state? He ought not to have a will, any choice to make. He ought to obey and enjoy in peace. If he ought to choose good, then he has not got it yet. He is without what is good in himself, any way, since he has not made his decision. But, in fact, man is disposed to follow that which is evil. What cruelty to propose a duty to man who has already turned to evil! Moreover, philosophically speaking, he must be indifferent; otherwise he has already chosen as to his will -- he must then be absolutely indifferent. But if he is absolutely indifferent, what is to decide his choice? A creature must have a motive; but he has none, since he is indifferent; if he is not, he has chosen.

Finally, it is not at all thus: man has a conscience; but he has a will and lusts, and they lead him. Man was free in Paradise, but then he enjoyed what was good. He used his free choice, and therefore he is a sinner. To leave him to his free choice, now that he is disposed to do evil, would be a cruelty. God has presented the choice to him, but it was to convince the conscience of the fact, that in no case did man want either good or God.

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I have been somewhat oppressed with sleep while writing to you, but I think you will understand me. That people should believe that God loves the world -- this is very well; but that they should not believe that man is in himself wicked, without remedy (and in spite of the remedy), is very bad. One does not know oneself and one does not know God.

... The Lord is coming, dear brother; the time for the world is departing. What a blessing! May God find us watching and thinking only of one thing -- the One of whom He thinks -- Jesus our precious Saviour. Salute the brethren.

Your very affectionate brother, J. N. D.

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I desire to meditate a little on John 3, and its connection with some other parts of scripture; more particularly in reference to the new birth. I desire to do so for the profitable understanding of what the new man is; and the place in which we are set as made partakers of it, as we now are in Christ. I shall necessarily go over some ground with which Christians are familiar, in speaking of such a subject; but this is necessary, in order to connect with it the further developments and distinctions which lead me to treat of the subject.

Many believed in Christ when they saw the miracles which He did, but Jesus did not commit Himself to them ... . He knew what was in man. (Chapter 2: 23-25.) Their conclusion about Him was a just one, but it was a conclusion drawn by what was in man. It was perfectly worthless; it left man in his own nature, and under the motives, influences, and passions to which he was subject before; nor did it take him out of the domain of Satan, who had power over the flesh and the world. The conclusion was right; but it was only a conclusion: the man remained what he was -- unchanged. Jesus, who knew what flesh was, had -- could have -- no confidence in it.

But Nicodemus (chapter 3), under God's leading, for our instruction, goes a step farther. The others believed it, and left it there. But where the Spirit of God is at work, it always produces wants in the soul, craving and desire after that which is of God and godly; and so the sense of defect in ourselves. There is at once, instinctively too, the consciousness that the world will be against us; consciousness too of its opposition and scorn. Nicodemus comes by night. There was a want of something better in his soul; but his being a ruler and especially an ecclesiastical ruler, made it more difficult for him to go to Christ. The dignity of one set to teach is not a facility for going to learn. However, conscience urges him to go, and he goes; the fear of man makes him afraid, and he goes by night. How poor is that dignity which tends to hinder one learning of Christ! Nicodemus, though spiritual craving had led him to Christ, goes on the same ground in his enquiry as those who had no such want at all. "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." (verse 2.) It was a conclusion drawn from proofs, perfectly lust, but that was all. Still he wanted something from Him who shewed them; but he took for granted that he was, as a Jew, a child of the kingdom, and would have teaching. The Lord meets him (for he was sincere and known of Him) at once, by declaring that the whole ground he was on was wrong. He did not teach flesh, nor had He come to do so. God was setting up a kingdom of His own. To see this, a man must be born again, completely anew. The kingdom was not yet come visibly, not with observation; it was there among them; but to see it a man must have a wholly new nature. Nicodemus, arrested by the language, does not understand how this could be, stops as a human reasoner, though sincere, at the present difficulty, and in truth does not see the kingdom.

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But two great truths had been brought out here already. First God is not teaching and improving man -- as he is. He sets up a kingdom, a sphere of power and blessing of His own; there He acts. And secondly, man must have a new nature or life. He must be born again, in order to have to say to God who so works. Flesh cannot even perceive the kingdom. Both facts are of supreme importance. A new divine system is set up where the blessing is -- a new nature is needed in order to have to say to it.

But the Lord does not leave the enquiring Nicodemus here. He shews definitively the way of entering into the kingdom: "a man must be born of water and of the Spirit" (verse 5) -- of the word and Spirit of God. The word of God -- the revelation of God's thoughts -- must operate in the power of the Spirit, judging all in man -- bringing in God's mind instead of his own (supplanting it by God s), and an absolute new life from God, in which these thoughts have their seat and living reality -- a new nature and life. It is not that two births are here, but two important aspects and realities in being born again. "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth" (James 2: 18); "that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Ephesians 5: 26); "ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John 15: 3.) It is -- not teaching flesh, which has its own thoughts, but -- supplanting all its thoughts by God's. We are born of water. Next, it is a nature coming from the Spirit "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3: 6.) Everything born follows -- is of -- the nature of that which begets it. So here: the water acts on man as man, his person is not changed; but the Spirit communicates a new life, which is of itself [the Spirit] -- just as flesh's nature is flesh -- in that which is born of it. We have now, not flesh taught; but the thoughts of God, operative in power, and the partaking of the divine nature which is imparted by the Spirit -- the mind and nature of God vitally communicated to us. This is my life, as mere flesh was before.

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This clearly opens out the blessing to Gentiles. "Marvel not" (said the Lord to Nicodemus), "that I said unto thee, Ye [Jews] must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth ... so is every one that is born of the Spirit." (Chapter 3: 7-8.) The sovereign communication of a new nature (needed by the Jew, as much as by the Gentile, when we come to his nature), as an entirely new thing, a new nature given -- in which the man thenceforth lives with God -- is as applicable to a Gentile as to a Jew. For thus a man, as to his life, is neither [Jew nor Gentile]. "He is born of God." This truth is here not unfolded; only the groundwork is laid down for it. The far deeper truth of the fact of the divine life, and that sovereignly imparted, is what is taught: only the other is directly implied.

This again stops Nicodemus. He does not come forward with "We know;" he must be silent to learn. And now some other truths come out which associate us with heaven. But first the Lord shews, what Nicodemus ought to have known, that, as to even earthly promises, the testimony of God was clear, that Israel had to be born again, born of water and of the Spirit. Chapter 36 of Ezekiel is clear as to this:

"But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel." That is, to enjoy the blessings of God's promises in the land Israel must be born of water and of the Spirit -- must be cleansed according to God's thoughts and be renewed by the Spirit of God. The statement of the Lord is more simple, more full and absolute, because He is laying down the truth in itself, how man can enter into the kingdom, and, therefore, brings out the need of the communication of a wholly new life in terms -- with the blessed assurance, that it is a being really born of the Spirit, so as to partake of the nature of Him of whom we are born. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (verse 5.) But Nicodemus, as the teacher of Israel, ought to have known that such a change was needed for Israel, in order to partake of their earthly blessings with God.

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But this brings out the difference of the Lord's instructions and their character here from the way in which the prophet had spoken of the matter. He had stated it prophetically, as the practical operation of Jehovah's grace; and that was all right and in its place. But the Lord had another kind of knowledge. The prophecy had perfect divine authority, because the prophet said what he had been inspired to say. But the Lord knew the things themselves, in their very nature. He could tell absolutely what was needful for God, because He was God and came from God. This is indeed divine teaching, teaching of infinite price. We learn from Him, who essentially knew it, what is needful for God. It tells us what the Christian is. He has the knowledge of God from God Himself, according to His own nature, and is partaker of that nature -- in order to know it, and to be able to enjoy it -- without which he does not know it; and this brought down in man to us. But as the Lord spake that which He knew, so He testified that which He had seen. He could tell of the heavenly glory and what became it, what was needed to have a part in it. Man did not receive this testimony. The human mind understood human things -- what was heavenly and spiritual not at all. That which was heavenly and spiritual was darkness and foolishness to it. Those who received this witness were born again. (Chapter 1: 12, 13.)

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Let our hearts dwell a little on this blessed truth. In Christ we have One fully revealing God Himself. His words told His nature, the nature of God Himself; told it to man, so as to reveal what was needed in man in order that he might have to do with God in blessing, but told it directly, fully. His words were a revelation of the divine nature, which He knew. We are in the full light, with God Himself. We have -- not merely messages, however true, and however blessed it be to have them from God, but what leaves nothing behind -- the revelation of God Himself, and in His nature; so that what is perfect in blessedness is revealed, and revealed perfectly. Here it is nature first of all, then the fact of what He had seen; but it is the competency of witness specially which is expressed in this verse. But this necessarily leads to the nature of the things. No prophet could say "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." (verse 11.) God revealed future things to them, or sent messages to the people; and they announced the one and the other. But if Christ announced what He knew, and testified that which He had seen, these were necessarily heavenly things. Of course He knew what had been foretold of God; but, in speaking of the nature needed in order to have to say to God, and of that which He knew and had seen, He goes beyond that to that which is above. Thither consequently He leads us. "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (verse 13.) No one had gone up to bring down word of what was there. But He came thence; and He could tell perfectly what was there, and was ever there, for He was God. But this divine knowledge was knowledge for man; for it was the Son of man had it. Heaven and man were connected in the person of Christ. If man out of Christ -- as all yet were -- had not in any sense entered there, still there was One who was in His person the revealer of that which was heavenly. But how could man -- who could not, even if a teacher of Israel, understand the reality of the new nature (even as needed for the known earthly things), for he thought in the old nature -- understand heavenly things? But this brought out another truth, the necessary door of what was heavenly; but if so, it is the open door to every one that should believe. Not only was it necessary to be born again, even for earthly blessings, but there were further counsels of God.

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The Son of man -- for Jesus was more than Messiah -- must, in the counsels of God and in the need of man, be lifted up, rejected from this earth. But this lifting up was His rejection by the world. Christ could not (for man was a sinner) take His place as Messiah in blessing to Israel. He was to suffer in the character in which He had to say to all men, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness" (verse 14); so, instead of a living Messiah, they were to have a rejected dying Son of man. The cross was healing saving power for man. Whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life; for God so loved the world -- an immense truth then, which opened the way to the fullest display of God and of grace, if one should not rather say it was such. It was an efficacious work of God (not to fulfil prophetic promises merely, but) to bring to God, "that whosoever believed in him" (this Son of man) "should have everlasting life." It was needed. Atonement must be made -- redemption must be accomplished-if sinful man was to have to say to a holy God. If there was a revelation of the divine nature, and man's partaking of it was connected with his having to say to God, there must be atonement as well as a new birth. The Son of man -- He who as man was to have in man's nature the inheritance of all things, and who took up man's cause -- must be lifted up, like the serpent in the wilderness, made sin for us, that men may look on Him and live.

This met the need of man, but it was only one side of the truth. When men rest here, they see what meets the holy nature and judgment of God, but God stands as a holy Judge; nor does this therefore give full liberty to the soul. It is the propitiatory, the needed side of Christ's death. But how did this come about? It was that God so loved the world, that the Son of man who must be lifted up was the Son of God whom He had given in love. God so loved that He gave. Thus, though propitiation was needed, love was the source of all; the holiness of God's nature, His righteous judgment, maintained as regards sin; but His love manifested. The Son of man was Son of God -- both with a view to one wondrous object -- that sinful man, whosoever believed in Jesus, should have eternal life. This was the final test of man too. We have thus the nature of God revealed; and a twofold work wrought which, while it fits man to enjoy that nature by his being born of it, glorifies it too in all its character: so that the gift of eternal life maintains and displays the love and holiness and righteousness of God. And this is what is essential and blessed. But the full peculiar dispensed character of this, as wrought out in grace, is not brought out here: and it is this which I would now endeavour to bring out, the gracious Lord helping me.

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If the Son of man was lifted up, died to bring us to God, where and how is life? It is in resurrection. This too leads us to another important element of truth. If risen, I am risen from the dead. I have died in Christ. This, we shall see, has a double character. I may look at myself as having no spiritual life -- hence as dead in trespasses and sins; or I may look at myself as alive in sin and the flesh, and then I speak of having died to it. Christ could speak of a new nature needed in order to enter the kingdom; but He could not then call on any one to reckon himself dead. He could connect that nature with God directly -- in the statement of what it was, and what He was; and that was peculiarly suited, as is evident, to His person -- a divine revealer of what He knew and of man's partaking of the divine nature. This was indeed the excellent part. But for our deliverance another truth was to be connected with this -- the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We receive Christ as our life: when He has died and risen, He is a life-giving Spirit. Because He lives, we live. He is our life -- that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. But, for sinners to have part in this righteously, and according to God, Christ must make the propitiation, must die. He died to sin once; and now, alive in resurrection, lives to God. We receive Him through the Spirit in our hearts, and have life. "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life: and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5: 11, 12.) But He whom we receive is the dead and risen One, our life -- the true "I" in which I say of sin, this is no longer I. "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." In us this is the life of Christ as risen from the dead -- the power of life in resurrection. We are alive for faith, only in and by Him, though the flesh be in point of fact there; yet I do not own it as alive and part of myself, but only as an enemy which I have to overcome. Thus in Romans 7: 5 we find, "When we were in the flesh;" and in Romans 8: 9, "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Many other passages illustrative of this point will come before us in pursuing our subject.

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I have said, that this view of the divine life in resurrection comes before us in two ways in scripture. Man may be viewed either as alive in sin; or as dead in sin. His flesh is alive and active as regards evil; it is utterly dead as regards God -- not one movement of soul in the natural man towards Him. The epistle to the Romans presents the former view; that to the Ephesians the latter. They coalesce in presenting the man as risen with Christ; though the epistle to the Romans barely reaches this ground, but just touches on it. Their epistle teaches fully Christ's being raised by God the Father, but only just touches on our being alive to God. The Ephesians saw, as regards the doctrine of their epistle on this point, Christ as dead, and the sinner dead in sin (chapter 2: 1); and both raised up together. This flows from Christ's being seen exalted on high and the Church united to Him. Man is not contemplated doctrinally as wickedly living in sin (although the fact is recognized), but in the full apprehension of his state in relation to God -- he is dead in sin. And the whole condition of the Church is the result of the same power being exercised in raising Christ Himself and every believer spiritually. (Chapter 1, 2.)

In the epistle to the Romans, Christ is seen risen from the dead, but not ascended (save an allusion in one verse of chapter 8), because the object is to shew the putting away of the old state, and the introduction in life and justification into the new -- not the glorious results, save in hope. Man's guilt is largely proved. Christ has died for us; but Christ has risen also, for our justification; we are justified -- dead to sin and alive to God -- delivered from the law.

The epistle to the Colossians is between the two in doctrine. It views man as living in sin, but the Christian as having died and as now quickened with Christ. Our new nature there, as born of God, takes, when our condition is fully displayed, the character of our having died and risen again with Christ, and even of our sitting in heavenly places in Him.

But my object now is, our condition in life. Let us recall, that Christ as thus risen is our life. The work of atonement must have been accomplished, or no sinner could have been united with Him. He could have given no life according to God to any. The corn of wheat would have abode alone. Not that life and the power of life was not in Him, but that the righteousness of God would have been in abeyance.

But that work has been accomplished; and now Christ -- not the first Adam -- is my life as a believer. But then I say, When I was in the flesh. I am not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. The first Adam in his sin and responsibility is not my standing before God at all; but the second, who has become my life. I am in Him as my righteousness: He is in me as my life. Now I say, I have died to sin; I am crucified with Christ; I am alive to God through Jesus Christ. "In that he died, he died unto sin once; but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves." (Romans 6: 10, 11.) This is what Paul insists on in Romans 6. "We were baptized into his death" (verse 3); "planted together in the likeness of his death." (verse 5.) We are dead to sin. "If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him." (verse 8.) Hence (for, as I said, the apostle only just touches this ground) we are to reckon ourselves alive to God through Him. (verse 11.) So in the epistle to the Galatians, "Christ liveth in me." (Chapter 2: 20.) "The Spirit is life because of righteousness." (Romans 8: 10.) But we are not said to be risen with Him.

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And remark in the elements even of this doctrine, necessarily from its very nature we are not called to die to sin. No such thought is in scripture. We are called upon, as alive in Christ, to mortify every movement of sin; but not to die to it. We are alive in Christ who has died, and we are viewed as dead; and called upon to view ourselves as dead, because Christ who is our life has died. "I am crucified with Christ." (Galatians 2: 20.) "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh." (Chapter 5: 24.) "Reckon yourselves to be dead." (Romans 6: 11.) "Ye have been planted together in the likeness of his death." (verse 5.) "Buried with him unto death." (verse 4.) "Ye are dead." (Colossians 3: 3.) Such is the uniform language of scripture. All the sentimental talk about crucifying being a lingering death is the setting aside the plain and imperative sense of these passages. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." (Galatians 2: 20.)

We have died in Christ: this is the doctrine of scripture.

The Epistles to the Galatians, the Romans, and the Colossians, etc., all alike teach this and press it on Christians. I am wholly delivered from the whole system in which I lived as alive in the flesh. So the apostle appeals, "If ye be dead with Christ ... why, as though alive [living] in the world, are ye subject to ordinances?" (Colossians 2: 20, 21.) This is life then (being born of God) as possessed by the Christian, now that Christ has died, and become, as risen, his life.

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The Epistle to the Ephesians goes a step farther. It does not, as I have said, view Christ as alive in blessed love and godliness, and man in sin; but man dead in sin, and Christ is first seen as dead, which was for and to sin. That is, the apostle sees man down in the ditch and grave of death through sin, and Christ has come down into it in grace, where man was by sin. But so He has put away the sin as guilt, and come down to save and redeem out of that condition: God raises up both by the same power. "What is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe ... which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 1: 19, 20.) Of "His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ." (Chapter 2: 4, 5.) Thus we are God's "workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." (verse 10.)

Thus as chapter 3 of John's Gospel taught us the nature of the life which we receive (that as born of the Spirit it is spirit -- divine, morally speaking, in its nature), so do the epistles shew to us the position in which the possession of this new life places us, inasmuch as it is the life of Christ risen, after being delivered for our offences and having died to sin once. And what is the consequent effect as to our relationship to sin and to God? The Epistle to the Romans, as indeed that to the Galatians, teaches us that we have died with Christ, and that we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, that our old man has been crucified with Him; but that we are alive to God; that it is not we that live, but Christ that lives in us. The Epistle to the Colossians teaches us that we have died with Christ, and that we are risen with Him; and further that, when dead in sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh, God has quickened us together with Him, having forgiven us all trespasses -- brought up from the dead with Christ into newness of life as to ourselves; but, according to the blessed efficacy of His death, entirely forgiven all the sins and state of sin in which we were till thus raised, consequent on the efficacy of His death. This last point the Epistle to the Ephesians takes up fully and exclusively, and shews us quickened with Christ and raised out of the death of sin by the same power which raised Christ Himself. It is not merely the divine nature become our life, but death to sin, life to God; raised up, forgiven, and accepted, as in the state in which He is as risen yea, sitting in heavenly places in Him. The nature is divine. That is supremely excellent; but, by death and resurrection having come in and our being united to Christ, our whole relative condition is changed; we are not, for God and for faith, accounted as alive in the old man; we are not in it at all, we have put it off. It is (for the reckoning of faith, and that according to the possession of and being alive in a new life) dead and gone. We are in Christ, and Christ is our life: alive in Him and alive in what He is alive to -- to God. Our standing is not consequently in the first Adam at all. We have died as in the first Adam to all that he is; we are alive in the last Adam, the Lord Jesus, according to all the acceptance in which He now lives before God.

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Thus chapter 3 of John's Gospel teaches us the intrinsic excellency of the life we receive of God, and shews it in direct connection with what is divine, Christ speaking what He knew and shewing that we must have a nature from God, and fit for God Himself. Christ speaking thus, that which He knew is of the deepest interest -- the direct communication of what is divine. This life is there shewn in its nature and origin as contrasted with flesh. Its proper character and excellency is more seen in John. The Epistle to the Ephesians however confirms it in result: "That we should be holy and blameless before him in love." (Chapter 1: 4.) But in its condition and state, the epistles are more full as to this life. There -- inasmuch as Christ died -- living in the life of Christ we are [looked at as] dead to sin, the life being a new thing wholly distinct from the old man, and we alive in Christ. We are not in the flesh; we have died and are risen again. Being regenerated is being dead and risen again; for we receive Christ as life. It is having left Adam, his nature and fruits, condemnation, death, and judgment behind; and being, as delivered from all these things, in necessary and righteous acceptance, according to Christ's acceptance before God. The natures are distinct. I am not in the flesh; I have died; I am risen again; I am accepted in Christ risen; I am partaker of the divine nature and to enjoy its fulness in God.

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I am not sure that I have sufficiently distinguished in the following article between the atonement and the sprinkling on the altar of incense. The blood of the bullock was sprinkled on the mercy seat for Aaron and his sons -- the heavenly saints; the blood of the goat also. This made an atonement for himself and for the holy place, and for the tabernacle of the congregation. He was alone within in doing it; the congregation of Israel being in view also, for God must have been glorified in order to bless them. Then he went out and sprinkled the altar of incense with the blood both of the bullock and of the goat. After all this was complete, he confessed the sins of Israel on the scape-goat, and it was sent away.

Controversy, where there is research after truth, has this advantage attending it, that it urges the spirit to more attention and diligent research, and, where the subjects are scriptural, to search the scriptures; and these ever afford to the humble and enquiring soul, fresh and blessed inlets into the mind of God. Two points have been before me in consequence of recent controversy on the law and the righteousness of God. I would now bring them before your readers; in part, as presenting questions tending to conduct to more light; in part, as acquired instruction.

If we examine the order of the ceremonies of the great day of atonement, we shall find a more definite character in them than had yet drawn my attention. The blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat, and on the altar of incense, but on nothing else, according to the directions of Leviticus 16; we may specially remark, not on the altar of burnt offering. But atonement is made for the holy place; I presume it is meant, by the sprinkling that did take place, but there was none on the candlestick or the shew bread. These aspersions of blood at once lead to the thought, that what was in view was approach to God in the sanctuary. There was clearly the great general fact, that the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat, so that God's nature and character were glorified in Christ's shedding His blood; so that, His blood being thus presented to God, the gospel founded on that could be preached to every creature. It was the Lord's lot. But this I have spoken of elsewhere, as of the other aspect of Christ's sacrifice typified by the scapegoat, that is, bearing the sins of His people. I only note now the specific character of the offering.

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The blood was sprinkled on the place connected with the drawing near of the priests in the sanctuary, and that as representing the whole people approaching God, coming into God's presence in the highest way, or a daily approaching in the same character. For us there is no veil; but the altar of incense, though without the veil, specially referred to what was within. God in the holy places was seen in His divine righteousness. It is such as He is that He must be approached. It is not merely how He deals with responsible man as such, but His own nature. If we approach Him, we must approach Him as He is in Himself. This is evidently the character of approaching Him in the sanctuary. This connects itself, I have no doubt, with the gold. All was of gold in the sanctuary. In the court of the tabernacle the vessels were of brass, specially the laver and the brazen altar. This refers, as the place also shews, to God's dealing with sin in this world. Not that the court represented this world; but it was not the sanctuary. It referred to God's dealings with sinners in this world. Men came there as unclean, whether for sacrifice for their suns when in them, or for cleansing; that is, to Christ as a sacrifice, or to have the washing of water by the word, which, without the sacrifice, they could not have had. Hence it was priests who washed; but it was washing.

The idea in all these cases was drawing near, whether as a sinner or a saint: only one, a drawing near about sin; the other, drawing near to God as cleansed, the laver being a washing to consecrate at the first, or cleanse for present service. But on the great day of atonement it was only in the holy places that the blood was sprinkled. But this gives it a very full character. A blessed thought it is for us that we draw nigh to God in His own nature and character, what He is in Himself. He is there in His own nature, in righteousness and holiness, and we, absolutely cleansed for that, and, in the new man, created therein after God, draw near to Himself without having any question as to sin, now put away. Our delight is in holiness and righteousness, in God as He is; and we draw near according to the intrinsic value in God's sight of the blood of Jesus. It is the enjoyment of what God is, in righteousness and true holiness; but Christ in His offering has been the glorifying of what He so is. This is very blessed. We approach God, and joy in God. This is divine righteousness as it is in itself, as it is in God, enjoyed by us as admitted through Christ. And, note here, it is in this way we specially know atonement, for peace and drawing near to God. Hence for the atonement for Aaron and his sons this only was done. The bullock was slain, and the blood sprinkled upon the mercy seat and the altar of incense. There was no confession of sins, no scape-bullock. Christ, raised from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant, enters in according to the glory of the Father, according to the display of all His perfections brought out in the resurrection of Christ (for He was raised through the blood of the everlasting covenant, and by the glory of the Father); so we, as associated with Him, draw nigh in the full acceptance which that blood has in the necessary righteousness of God as regards it. It is not merely that sins can be forgiven, and therefore I can have to say to God as a moral governor (which is also true -- "There is forgiveness with thee that thou mightest be feared"); but I draw near in the positive and perfect acceptance in which God in His own nature receives, in righteousness, that which has glorified it absolutely; that is, according to His own nature. God is active in owning Christ thus in righteousness, in raising Him from the dead and setting Him at His own right hand; and thus we enter.

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But there is another thing needed. The sacrifice of Christ is available for transgressions. There is not only its intrinsic value as the Lord's lot, but Christ is the bearer of the sins of His people as the scapegoat. God, as a governor that has to do with sins, has to do with us as responsible men, the Jews as a responsible nation, both in flesh. Christ has borne them in His own body on the tree, and they are gone. It is not and cannot be of course another sacrifice. The sacrifice must be suited to God, but it is another aspect of it than the one we have previously spoken of. It is the removing of sins that men may be received judicially in righteousness, not enter into God's presence according to the intrinsic excellence of His nature, and Christ's acceptableness in it, and enjoy that nature. (In the new nature we enter in. The transgressions belong to the old.) This is our proper and only present place, because we are risen, and in Christ, in the place of priests. The bullock fully represents the character of Christ's sacrifice in this aspect for us. Then our sins, when we were alive in the flesh, have been put away, and we are reckoned dead, and he that has died is justified from sin. The whole nature of the flesh and its deeds are viewed as a past existence, the moment Christ rose, which is actually realized when we put off the old man and put on the new.

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As all my sins were future when He died for them, so when once I am not in the flesh all that belongs to it faith looks on as past as to atonement and righteousness when He died. For so, and so only, could they be put away. But, as risen, I come into the holiest, not only because I am cleared from sins (a process which, in itself, went no farther than judicial acknowledgment of me where I was responsible), but according to all the value of that in which Christ is entered in. This, I repeat, is our only proper present position; because the old man, who was the responsible man in this world, is viewed as dead and buried, so that we are not in the flesh. Hence, though we were responsible, and the sins were borne and atoned for, we are not at all now in the place, and condition, or nature, in which that government and dealing took place; it is over for us. The bullock, the fullest and highest value of Christ's sacrifice, is ours, and represents our present -standing. The two goats clearly shew that the same one sacrifice of course applies to both parts of His work; our being presented to God according to His nature, and the putting away of sin, which was inconsistent with our duty as children of Adam.

But the application is, in a measure, different when Israel comes in question: because they do not enter into the holiest through the rent veil, the new and living way. They know the value of Christ's sacrifice when He comes out, and they look on Him whom they have pierced. They are under the weight of multiplied transgressions as a nation, and stand on that ground, and in flesh -- have not to do with Christ within the veil, but when He has come out. I need not say, it is no new sacrifice. Isaiah 53 presents to us their recognition of the One we already own. They are not in heavenly places in Him; but He appears to and is with them, to bless them in the earth. They are accepted according to the righteousness of God as a moral governor. I do not say individuals, and all of them, as spared, are not viewed of God in His sight according to Christ's blood in heavenly places -- I cannot doubt indeed they are; but it is not their dispensed place to stand there in their own souls before God. That moral government indeed continues as that under which they are as men in flesh on the earth.

Hence it was, after all the blood-sprinkling was done -- "When he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place and the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, he shall bring the live goat," etc. -- that the live goat was sent off into the wilderness with the sins of Israel on its head. I dare say the godly Israelite, thus at peace with God, may be learning the intrinsic value of the great sacrifice which has cleansed him, so as to get in growing nearness into the knowledge of God; but his dispensational place is, according to sin-bearing, ours according to Christ's presence in heaven, our old man, in which we were connected with earth, having died in that by which our sins were put away.

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It is this point I feel important -- the character of the blood-sprinkling, as confined to the holy place and tabernacle itself. Israel's ordinary sacrifices were on the altar of burnt offering; the blood was sprinkled there; they came as from without there. It was all right; every sinner must do so. It is as blessed as it is needed that we can. The sins must be put away if we are to draw near to God. But it does not take into the sanctuary. And here multitudes of Christians rest, if indeed they know this: they rest in the putting away, or hoped for putting away of their sins. It must be the first approach, but they stay on Jewish ground; and indeed in every way; for they look for a new sprinkling with blood (a new sacrifice they dare not, and nothing else would do, for, as the apostle says, Christ must often have suffered from the foundation of the world) every time they fail. It is not the value of the sacrifice in itself which is different. There is, we know, but one -- never to be repeated, which has its own intrinsic, necessary value; but the sacrifice and sprinkling of blood on the brazen altar has a different character from sprinkling it on the mercy seat and on the altar of incense. This, the brazen altar, was judicial righteousness, as dealing with man as responsible to God, and in the exercise of moral government. Here the Israelites came to God. Christ met this claim on the cross, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, dying for the nation of Israel also. This bearing of sins was shewn in the scapegoat, but in a way which not only met our case in principle, but had, in its form, special reference to Israel in the last days after the Church's time was over. But the sprinkling of blood on the day of atonement went further. It entered into that within the veil. It carries us up to God, where Christ is gone. It may be remarked that the offerings of the day of atonement, which gave it its special character, did not include burnt-offerings. The bullock and the goat were both sin-offerings. The burnt-offerings for himself and for the people were not offered till the last special service of the day -- the letting loose the live goat into the wilderness -- was concluded. All was properly sin-offering. It placed Christ, and those associated with Him, in the sanctuary, and, as far as this world went, outside the camp. A religion of the world in flesh was not recognized in it, but the cross (i.e., Christ rejected on the earth, and His place in heaven). It is available for Israel but as bearing their sins and making a sacrifice of Himself, by which they could be blessed on earth. The burnt-offerings were offered on the brazen altar. These prefigure Christ presenting Himself to God as a sacrifice here on earth, through the eternal Spirit. This was the perfection of Christ here on earth, and that indeed in which, consequent on our admission into the holy place, we have to follow Him here below. I present these things, though some parts of them are to me acquired instruction, more as subjects for meditation, than as teaching your readers. But they will find them, if soberly followed out for profit according to scripture, full of rich edification.

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I turn to the second subject of which I spoke, introducing it by begging my reader to refer to the well-known chapter (3) of John's Gospel, as shewing the way the Lord connects His life and death with the heavenly place, which He contemplates, but does not then speak of. A man must be born again, He assures Nicodemus, even to have a share in the earthly part of the kingdom of God, as taught by Ezekiel; but it was sovereign grace, and so went out, as the wind, whither it listed. But Christ spoke from His own knowledge, who came from heaven, yea, was in heaven, and it was a nature intrinsically capable -- immense blessing! -- of enjoying God, and the rejected Messiah was the Son of man lifted up, that whosoever believed in Him should have eternal life; not blessing, as life on earth. He died to all that was here, yea, even to His own Messiahship, as born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and opened the door by His death to those heavenly things of which He was able to speak. The life of the Spirit and the death of Christ, in their proper value, when known as death to this world, as was seen in Christ and glorifying God in His nature, are the entrance, as possessing life in Him risen, into the heavenly sanctuary. Compare Colossians 3 (where life aspiring after those heavenly things is the subject) and Ephesians (where the power of the Holy Ghost, uniting us to Christ, gives us the sitting of the saints in heavenly places in Him). In John 3 it is only opened out to us in vista. Thus, in the resurrection of Christ, as risen with Him, we pass up into the heavenly places, while Christ has died to the whole world, and sin, to everything which is in the world and connected with sin. It is passed and gone as nonexistent. Christ is risen, and is the firstfruits and beginning of a new state of things, of a new creation. Old things being passed away, God has quickened us together with Him, having forgiven us all trespasses. Christ died to sin and for sins. The new covenant does not go beyond forgiveness, remembering sins and iniquities no more. But it never deals with any entrance into the presence of God in the sanctuary. This, as we have seen, is our place by redemption. This leads me to the second point I would refer to -- the difference of sins and sin. It is not new; but I do not think that Christians have sufficiently remarked the force of St. Paul's reasonings on the subject.

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Sins of course are fully recognized, wholly condemned, and atonement made for them. Nay, it is by them that the conscience is first acted on and brought to repentance. The blood of Jesus, the cross, is the blessed answer to them. Not only so, but even where all are brought under the sin of Adam, the actual sins which affect the conscience, are introduced as that which is the added occasion of death. Of course, where the law is alluded to, positive transgression is recognized. But we shall find, besides all this, and where this has been recognized, the great question treated of a state of sin, and being in the flesh. Up to the end of Romans 3 sins are dealt with, but the conclusion drawn that we are all under sin, in that state or condition before God, as in Psalm 32: "Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sin is covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord doth not impute sin." This question Romans 5 treats. But it goes farther; it shews sin entering into the world -- a principle of evil in which man was alienated from God. It has reigned. It is not merely that I have committed sins; but sin has reigned, death being the proof of it. Chapter 6 carries out this thought distinctly, and introduces death as that which closes the evil, that, our state being one of sin, as alive as children of Adam, death closes that state. We are crucified with Christ, do not any longer exist as before God, as alive in the flesh. But what was this death in Christ? Here we have no dying for sins but to sin.

We all are aware that there was in Christ no sin, but ever living in the midst of this scene of sinners, His obedience tried to the utmost, even unto death, and drinking the cup, tempted in all points, like as we are, He died to that scene, died rather than fail in perfect and absolute obedience, in glorifying God. And He did so glorify Him, and, perfect in all things, closed all connection with this world, and with man as in a state of sin. He died to sin once, closed all connection of man with God, as on the ground of living in the flesh.

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There was not a movement of His life which was not the perfection of the divine nature in man, in the midst of the temptations through which we pass, and having completed and finished that obedience, He died to the whole sphere and scene of existence -- really died to it, and in resurrection entered on another, which did not belong to that order or state of things, but which had its starting point, its womb of existence, in death to it. Always morally separate from sinners, His life proved that that divine display could not win man to association with it, or to come to Him to have life, and He died so as to make a final and judicial separation of divine life from the whole first Adam condition, because there was nothing but sin there in will, and transfers, so to speak, the divine life which was in Him to a new and heavenly sphere, where flesh or sin could not come -- the resurrection state.

In this life of Christ as risen with Him, our sins all atoned for, we live, He Himself being our righteousness according to His acceptance in the value of His work. Romans 6 therefore speaks no more of sins, save as past fruits of another state, from which we are freed. Christ has died unto sin once; we are to reckon ourselves dead unto sin, and alive unto God through Him. He that is dead is justified from sin; no state of sin can be charged on him, for as to that he is dead. He cannot be accused of being in that state, for he has died. Sin will not have dominion over us.

So, in chapter 7, we have died; when we were in the flesh, there were motions of sins, and the law only provoked them. Hence when by a new nature, as taught of God, we see the spirituality of the law, I discover this active principle of sin, and look to be delivered, and so I am in Christ. I die in the state I was in, and am now alive in Christ risen. The law is seen here -- not as working a curse, but -- as the means, when we are under it, of detecting the hopelessness of flesh, its sin being only detected and made exceeding sinful by it. It is the body of death. We are delivered from it (not pardoned its fruits) through Jesus Christ our Lord. Sin in the flesh is condemned, but in that in which Christ was for sin -- a sacrifice for sin. And then the contrast of flesh and Spirit in their nature is dwelt upon and insisted on.

And where is the groundwork of deliverance? Resurrection. I have passed, as dead with Christ, out of flesh ("Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of Christ dwell in you") into a new scene by resurrection, not as to our bodies (for the redemption of which we wait), but as to our state before God and our souls. It is the Spirit, because this is the power of life; but it is Christ risen, our life, and we alive in Him, and by the Holy Ghost united to Him, as sitting in heavenly places, and so sitting there in Him. If I speak of being at the foot of the cross, I simply say I have not died with Christ. I have not passed through the rent veil into the holiest of all. I am then before the cross in my old nature, with my sins upon me; for if I am dead with Christ and risen with Him, I have passed on through the cross, as the door of faith, without any sins into God's presence in light.

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So, in Galatians, though not with the same development.

I would draw some practical conclusions from this. I get a double character of divine righteousness, typified by the gold and the brass. One, His own divine nature and delight; the other, judicial requirement from the creature, according to its place. The gold is divine righteousness as in the nature of God. According to this, Christ, having glorified God in all that He is, is received within as man, and sits at God's right hand; we, partakers of the divine nature, being of God in Christ Jesus, created after God in righteousness and true holiness, and renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created us, united to Him whom God has set on high, have our place (not personally of course) at God's right hand -- that could not be but in Him -- in that heavenly place, according to the delight of God's nature, for that is in Christ. It is fellowship with this, or restoration to it, which is the character of our approach to God, as simply enjoying it in the new nature; it is not in contrast with evil, it is not forgiveness of what is past, sweet as that is in its place. I have, for faith -- and shall have, in fact -- entirely done with the nature which sinned, and the whole state of existence in which flesh moved. I exist only in the new creation. Hence the apostle says he did not even know Christ after the flesh any more. It is the joy of the new man in the presence and blessedness and glory of God.

The brazen altar is righteousness too, and divine righteousness, but in its claims on man's nature, not in the revelation of its own. Here the blood was sprinkled by which the sinner approaches God, and this will be the standing of Israel. How many of God's children remain here in fact! How little they have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus! They remain outside, and hope, when the time comes, they will pass in judgment, and have a share in glory. They are in Egypt, looking to the blood to keep the holy Judge out; not in the wilderness redeemed out of the bondage they were in and passed the Red Sea. They do look to the blood as that which is the ground of their hope against judgment, but they have no thought of having been crucified with Christ, and risen. They hope in Christ, as in fear of the righteousness of God, instead of in a new nature and life as risen with Christ, enjoying God as in the Spirit, and not in the flesh. One thing we must remember: that even there, where we enter into the full blessedness of God's presence, the Lamb that was slain will be the object in whose perfection we have learnt that blessedness.

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In the New Testament the Jewish priests are often spoken of, and their high and chief priests too. The priest of Jupiter is spoken of, who would have offered sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas as gods. Melchisedec and his priesthood are spoken of. Christ Himself is spoken of as a priest in general and as high priest. All this is simple enough, and needs no particular comment for our present purpose. But others also, men on earth, are spoken of as priests and a priesthood. (1 Peter 2: 5, 9.) The first passage says, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ;" the latter, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light." These words are addressed, beyond all controversy, to the whole of the Christians to whom Peter addresses his epistle, and whom he is instructing and encouraging in their trials. All Christians therefore are a holy and royal priesthood.

Again, in Revelation 1: 5, 6 we find, "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests to God and his Father." Here again all Christians are priests. This is in the introduction, before the prophetic part of the book. In chapter 5: 9, we read, "Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us+ to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests." In chapter 20: 6, we read, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." These passages tell us that all Christians are priests to God.

Another passage, though the word is not used, alludes to it. "By him [Jesus] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving praise to his name." (Hebrews 13: 15.) This calls on all Christians to exercise their priesthood, and shews how they are to do it. There is not in the New Testament one passage which speaks of or alludes to a priesthood upon earth, save as every Christian is; or supposes the existence of a priesthood on earth save that of all Christians. No one on earth is ever called a priest -- except the Jewish priests, and once a heathen one -- save when Christians in general as such are called so. A distinct class of priests on earth among Christians is totally unknown to the New Testament. Our great High Priest is gone to heaven. And all Christians are priests in a spiritual and heavenly way for praises and intercessions under Him. The New Testament does not know or own a class of Christians on earth who are priests in a distinct office from other Christians. Such a thought is unscriptural and false in every way.

+I am aware that this is read otherwise by critics, but it does not affect the present subject at all, and I give it therefore as usually read.

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If it be asked then, Who are priests under the christian revelation? I reply (because the word of God replies), Christ is the great High Priest. All Christians are priests, and no other priesthood than this is owned among christian men in the New Testament.

Next we may enquire, What is a priest? and more exactly, What are the principles on which earthly priesthood, where it is established amongst men, is founded? A high priest from among men is thus described in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins." Other priests had the same office when priesthood was established upon earth. Certain functions belonged to the high priest only, but gifts and sacrifices for sins were offered by all the priests. Hence, when priests are officially established now, there is always either the formal institution of a sacrifice, as that of the mass, which is quite consistent; or the hankering after one, and the effort on the part of those called priests to turn the Lord's Supper into one, from the sense of inconsistency and of what they ought to be about, if they are really priests.

But this whole system denies the force and efficacious truth of Christianity altogether. The Epistle to the Hebrews carefully assures us that there remains no more sacrifice for sin, now that Christianity is established, founded on the one perfect sacrifice of Christ, whose value and efficacy are eternal. But let the reader turn his attention to what the system of an earthly priesthood supposes -- what it means; and he will readily see that the idea of a priesthood on earth, acting for men in things pertaining to God, is a denial of the whole truth of Christianity. I do not say every one that believes there are consecrated priests, desires to do so, but the system he maintains does so.

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The establishment of a class of priests to offer gifts or sacrifice or prayers, is the public declaration that other worshippers cannot directly approach God with their gifts, and sacrifices, and prayers. They must stay at a distance, and the more favoured class approach for them. The character which God assumed in such an order of things was distance from men, shutting Himself up in a hidden sanctuary, where none could approach freely. There was in the Jewish system one veil, inside which the priests went to offer incense; then another, inside which even the priests could not go, and where God's glory was enthroned between the cherubim. Into this the high priest alone went, only once a year, with the blood of propitiation to put upon the mercy seat, and even then enveloping himself in a cloud of incense lest he should die. Thus God was hidden within the veil. "The Holy Ghost," the Epistle to the Hebrews tells us, "this signifying, that the way into the holiest was not yet manifested, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing." Even to the altar, which was outside the two veils, the worshipper could not approach to offer his gifts or sacrifices. The priest received the gifts, or the victim's blood, at his hand, and he offered them.

All this system taught that men could not approach God: He dwelt in the thick darkness, and even those who were nearest to Him, His own priests, could not approach close to Him; they must remain without the veil. Christianity is the opposite of all this, though beautiful figures of truths as to Christ are found in it. By it God has revealed Himself. He does not dwell in the thick darkness. "The darkness is past," says the Apostle John, "and the true light now shineth." And for a blessed and simple reason. The Word has been made flesh and come among us: perfect grace has been manifested to the chief of sinners. Instead of our not being able to approach God, God has approached us. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them." "In him [Christ] was life, and the life was the light of men." The record of God is that "God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life." "The grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared." The chief of sinners was welcome to the Lord Jesus. On the leper, whose defiled state excluded him from the camp of Israel and every one that touched him (an image of sin), Jesus laid His hands and touched him. Gracious goodness has visited us. God has shewn Himself "the friend of publicans and sinners." But this is far from being all; for, though God visited the sinner thus in grace, the sinner could not approach Him in His holy habitation uncleansed. Hence the blessed Jesus not only lived but died. And now mark the effect of His death.

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The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. This was the veil behind which God was previously hidden and unapproachable. But that which rent the veil (that is the death of Christ) put away sin perfectly from every one who believes in Him. He has borne their sins: His blood cleanses them from all sin. And not only have they found that God is perfect love -- has commended His love to them, in that while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them -- but they have found, if they believe in the efficacy of that sacrifice, what has purged their sins, for it was "when he had by himself purged our sins," and not till then, that "he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Hence the blood of Christ purges the conscience, making it perfect (Hebrews 9, 10), and God remembers our sins and iniquities no more. Hence also, "there remains no more sacrifice for sins," because they are remitted; and "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

The Epistle to the Hebrews, from which I quote these statements, gives two striking reasons why there could be no repetition of the sacrifice, nor any more sacrifice for sins. First, without shedding of blood there is no remission; therefore, Christ must have suffered often if there were any besides that accomplished on the cross. Further, it is added, the Jewish priests stood offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which could never take away sins, but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down; for by one offering He hath perfected for ever them who are sanctified. Such is the plain and blessed language of scripture. God would shew His goodness and grace towards us, but He could not bear sin, nor receive what was defiled and guilty into His presence, in His holy habitation, and hence gave His Son to put it away, that we might draw nigh with full assurance of faith. But this work is accomplished once for all. We have therefore (it is the conclusion drawn in Hebrews 10) "boldness to enter into the holiest by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." There no priest could enter (save the high priest, once a year, as we have said) when there were priests. And now every Christian can enter with boldness under the great High Priest, who is over the house of God. Believers are that house. We are those priests, as I have already shewn. No priest can go farther than entering into the holiest; and there I do not want him, for I can go boldly myself. If I get him to go for me, I am denying my own right and christian character, and the efficacy of Christ's work. He who sets up a priesthood on earth, between the believer and God, is denying the efficacy and truth of the work of Christ. He has "died the just for the unjust to bring us to God." If I am brought to God, I do not want a priest: to go to Him for me. If the veil is rent, and I am told by God to enter into the holiest through that new and living way, I do not want another to go there because I cannot -- another who could not go either if I cannot.

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The essence of Christianity is to reveal God, and to bring us to God, to give us holy, happy liberty as children in His presence, into which we can enter as cleansed by the precious blood of Christ. The essence of a distinct human priesthood is to say we cannot, but must get others to go into God's presence, to offer our gifts and sacrifices for us. It is a denial of the whole efficacy of Christianity and the place in which all Christians are set; who, if Christianity be true, are all God's priests on the earth, to offer up spiritual sacrifices -- the fruit of their lips, giving praise to His name.

But, I add more: it is false and useless. The veil is rent, God is manifested in His holiness, the light has gone forth; and you, my reader, must "walk in the light as he [God] is in the light," or you can have nothing to say to Him. You cannot have a hidden God, as in Judaism, for a priest to go to, who yet could not reach Him. The light shines, and you must walk in it yourself. There is no veil over the glory of God now; there may be over your heart, but then you are an unbeliever, and no priest can represent you before God. You have to stand before God in the light yourself. If you have come through the blood of Christ, the light will only shew so much the more that you are perfectly clean through it. But you cannot even be clean and another go into God's presence for you. If you are clean, you are a priest and have to draw nigh yourself.

The work of Christ is a perfect and divine work, but you cannot approach God by a proxy here below. You cannot have another person clean or holy for you on the earth. If Christ has answered for you, all is well. Go boldly to the throne of grace yourself. If not, no one else can do it for you. You must have to do directly with God, now He has been revealed. No doubt that will be in condemnation, if you do not come to Him through Christ; but you must come yourself: the state of your own conscience is in question directly between you and God. If you do come to God by Him, no human priest can interfere, nor do you want any.

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I repeat, then, the establishment of a human priesthood, as a class distinct from all other Christians, is the denial of the truth and efficacy of Christianity.

All Christians are priests, according to the New Testament: their offerings are spiritual offerings of praise to God's name.

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The setting a certain quantity of repentance first (as some men preach), as a preliminary process to believing, I hold to be utterly mischievous and unscriptural. According to such views, repentance must take place without the word of God; for if it be by the word of God, there must be faith in that word, or else repentance is founded on unbelief, which is absurd. That it should be wrought by the preaching of a full gospel -- glad tidings of a free and finished salvation -- is the desire of my heart.

In some tracts on this subject of repentance, there has been an unhappy mingling up of the means and the effects. Be it that the true means of working repentance now is a full free gospel; be it too that there is a change of mind as to God in repentance. I believe both; yet neither of these is repentance itself.

According to scripture, I cannot admit that believing the gospel is repentance, nor that a change of mind simply is repentance. I admit that the mind must be changed to have it, but it is not simply a change of mind. When the Lord said, "Repent and believe the gospel," the two things do not mean one and the same thing; nor, here, was the gospel that which we now have consequent upon the death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord.

But to turn to a few instances in scripture. First, Acts 2 ... Peter charged the people distinctly with their sin, and they were pricked to the heart and said, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" The gospel was preached, and, being believed, produced godly sorrow. Then he says, "Repent and be baptized every one of you ... for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Then came fruits and praise. Here it is not merely presenting the blessed and glorious revelation of God in Christ, nor indeed is this finished work spoken of. The contrast is made between what they had done to Christ, and what God had done to Him. They had crucified Him; God had exalted Him, and the Holy Ghost, whose work they saw, was the proof of it; and they, through grace, were pricked to the heart.

Secondly, again, I may notice Acts 3. Here there is not a word of the gospel. It is an earnest pressing upon them of their sin in rejecting Christ, and promising the blotting out of their sins and the return of Christ on their repentance. In this case we have, however, no record of the effects. For the chief priests and captains of the temple came upon them and stopped the discourse.

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Thirdly, Acts 10. Here there is no call for repentance at all. Cornelius was already a godly man; his prayers and his alms had gone up for a memorial before God. It was a revelation that in every nation those who feared God and wrought righteousness were accepted of Him. It was salvation brought to a godly man, though he was a Gentile.

Fourthly, Acts 13 is more to the purpose. It is an announcement of the fulfilment of promise in Christ, His resurrection, and forgiveness of sins and justification to those that believe. But the question of repentance is not raised, though I cannot doubt it was wrought in them that believed.

Fifthly. In Acts 17 repentance is spoken of, but in view of the judgment of this world, and nothing is said of grace.

But now let us see how repentance itself is spoken of in scripture. And I beg you to note that I do not in the least plead for the call to repentance being founded on what it is founded on in the passages which I shall cite. It ought to be founded now on a full free gospel. It is wrong to set it as a preliminary in man, though it may precede man's enjoyment of peace and solid assurance, and, I believe, must. I quote the texts to shew the ground in scripture for what I said at first about repentance. In scripture it does not mean believing; though man must believe in order to repent. Neither does it mean change of mind as to God, though a man's mind must be changed as to God in order to true repentance.

But I must add that this change of mind does not in itself give peace or assurance.

The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonas. Was that belief in the glorious free salvation of the gospel? No; but scripture calls it repentance. I do not say Jonas's sermon to produce it should be ours. But scripture says these men repented; and thus repentance does not mean belief in the gospel.

Again, John the Baptist's ministry was a solemn call to repentance; but it was not the belief of that gospel which we now so rightly preach. The axe, he told them, was laid to the root of the trees. They were to repent because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. The effect was, the people feared God, had their hearts broken about their sins, and confessed them; they repented like the Ninevites at the preaching of Jonas.

When the Lord said, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish," it was not believing a free gospel, but judging themselves and their sins with a heart turned to God. So when the Lord upbraided the cities where most of His mighty works were done because they repented not. When it is said, If thy brother repent, forgive him, and that seven times a day, it clearly is not believing the gospel, but self-judgment and recognition of his fault in sorrow of heart which is meant.

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In passages such as Acts 8: 22, we have "repent of this thy wickedness;" a clear proof that repentance does not mean believing, nor a change of mind as to God, for he was to repent of something done. So in Revelation 2: 21, "repent of her fornication." So in 2 Corinthians 12: 21, as to the Corinthians' sins. So, when it is said God by sorrow works repentance never to be regretted, they were already believers; but here the apostle's reproofs had wrought in them repentance, as regards their allowance of disgraceful evil; and what wrought it was godly sorrow, not the joy of the gospel.

Again, when it is said, repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have distinct things: one, a state of mind as regards God; the other, faith and confidence in Christ. And repentance is justly thus applied to God, not ever, I believe, to Christ as the object, as faith is; because it is in the heart and conscience toward God in this our nature and character as such, not faith in the means and power of salvation. So I read in 2 Timothy 2: 25, "If God will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth," evidently a breaking down of soul; and will was to bow to God's word. Now these passages shew to me clearly that though a full and free gospel may be the means of leading to repentance, yet repentance is a state of heart produced by it, and not the belief of it in itself. I repent because I believe; I repent of my sins.

Let me now take the rich exhibition of grace in Luke 15. In the first two parables it is sovereign grace, and nothing wrought in the saved one; but the third brings before us the work wrought. The young man comes to himself; and there is the change of mind as to his father, which is always the case when grace works: the hired servants had bread enough there. But the first effect was not joy. "I perish with hunger." "I will arise and go." Nor in going was there yet the knowledge of forgiveness. He proposes to say, Make me as one of thy hired servants. Nor had he yet met his father; he met him in his rags. Then he does not say, Make me as one of thy hired servants. He does then know what his father is -- does then get the best robe and entrance into the house. But the effect of this, that there was goodness with God, was to find that he was perishing far from him, was to make him arise and go; to change his mind and to turn his face to his father instead of his back, not merely to change his mind as to God, but by that to produce a judgment of himself, and all his ways and state. In a word, the goodness of God led him to repentance. And this repentance was to be preached as well as remission of sins. Faith must be objective, is only objective, and the way of peace and confidence; the judgment of my own state will never be so, nor ought to be. But the faith in the objects presented -- God's free and sovereign love, and the Saviour and His work -- produces a subjective state which scripture calls repentance. This is not a preliminary to faith, but its fruit. But there is the subjective fruit. There may have been a faith in Christ's person and words which has wrought a work in the soul before a free gospel may have been even heard; it may have wrought sorrow and self: judgment, made the soul weary and heavy laden. Then a free gospel will produce outward joy. But when a full and free gospel is preached, and is the first thing heard by a careless soul, it is not a good sign that "they anon with joy receive it." So the parable, and so ample experience, shews a deep subjective work is a happy and blessed thing produced by the gospel -- not man's work on himself to prepare for it -- still produced.

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And now, having plentifully quoted scripture, I may appeal to experience, whether he who recalls what has passed in his own mind does not know that he was brought to a subjective state of hatred of sin, self-judgment, confession of sins, with humiliation and self-loathing. In a word, whether repentance was not produced in his soul, if it were through the terrors of the law, with fear and dread perhaps, yet, if real, always with some drawing to God as good, some love of holiness, some sense of responsibility in grace whatever the terror, for mere terror of consequences is not repentance at all. If it be produced by a full display of God's love and grace, it will be a softer, deeper, fuller work; the humiliation and hatred of sin so much the deeper. If, as I have said, a previous divine exercise of soul has been already there, a full and free gospel will give liberty and peace. But I appeal to every soul that has believed the gospel, if they are not conscious of a subjective work -- the fruit of faith; and I ask them, Which, according to scripture, is repentance? That, or the belief of the gospel, or word of God in any shape, which produced it? I do not ask about the form which the repentance took -- that depends on the nature of the testimony that wrought it; but whether there was not such a work in them, wrought by the testimony, distinct from faith in it, and distinct from a change of their mind as to God, though produced by that change. I do not want them to attach importance to that work as something they are to bring to God. It would be a mischievous mistake. But the state of soul is in itself important. There is a question of the authority and claim of God in it, never lightly passed over.

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But I add here a word more. The forgiveness of sins is something different from the judgment of sin. And I do not believe there is settled peace, in respect of divine righteousness, till the latter work is wrought. A person may be joyous because of the forgiveness of sins, and rightly so, with very little knowledge of self and sin, and yet this has to be learned. If it has been learnt through the law, before forgiveness of sins is known, all the rest is easy; but with a free and clear gospel, specially such as is preached in these days, forgiveness of sins is often known where self is not, and this must be learnt. The Epistle to the Romans treats of sins to the end of chapter 5: 11; it then takes up the question of sin, unfolded in connection with the law in chapter 7, the result being, not that Christ was set forth for a propitiation through His blood, but that we are not in the flesh but in Christ. You will find more than one soul rejoicing in forgiveness that could not think of the judgment-seat with peace. They do not know Christ as righteousness. The blood on the door-post was not one and the same thing as being out of Egypt by crossing the Red Sea. It will be said, But they were secure by the blood. Surely: God was for them; but for all that they did not know it as deliverance from the state they were in, and when assailed by Pharaoh at the Red Sea they were afraid. Once past that they were free. Do I for a moment mean that a full, free, finished salvation should not be preached to sinners? God forbid. Do I wish that a certain quantum of repentance should be insisted on as a preliminary? I reject such a thought altogether. I believe the life of Christ was just to win back confidence to God which Satan had destroyed; that this want of confidence preceded, and was the door of, the entrance of lust into Eve's heart. But all this does not hinder my believing that the faith of that gospel produces in the heart a deep subjective work, in which it is humbled, broken, and subdued; in which it repents towards God; in which God's claim is owned; in which self, past self, is judged. You will tell me, a man has life when he does this. Be it so. But it is not the less true that the work is wrought and must be wrought. It is wrought before the reception of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2, consequently before joy and liberty, though the truth, and growing truth, will remain.

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A gospel which makes light of this is a defective gospel. It opens the door to legalism and false views as to repentance. Men put repentance as a human preliminary. I abhor this, and rightly; but if anyone speaks of repentance in a way not borne out by scripture, hundreds of souls, in finding him wrong, will suppose it as a question between his view and the Arminian doctrine, and take the latter to be right. It is because I reject the view such contend for, that I dread the use of the statements not borne out by scripture which I have referred to, and because I think that so speaking of repentance, as if it was itself only believing the gospel of the grace of God, is calculated to give superficiality and self-confidence to newly-converted souls, even if the conversion be real. I believe many souls have been set free from legal apprehensions of repentance and untrue bondage by such erroneous statements; but we are sanctified by the truth, and an error imbibed with it always bears its subsequent fruit.

The Greek word signifies an afterthought, a change of mind on reflection; but the question is, a change of mind as to what? Not, I distinctly say, as to God, though true knowledge of God gives us, on reflection, a just judgment of self, involving, I believe, a sense of God's claims upon us, and our responsibility, which is a different thing from knowing Him; and thus a true judgment of all our past ways. Godly sorrow is not this, but it works it. In repentance the bent of life is changed by the apprehension of God.

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Allow me to present to you my thoughts on repentance, as I believe scripture presents it to us. I have already once, I think, sent you a small paper on it, but I think the character of the gospel now commonly preached, calls for a distinct scriptural statement of what it is.

It is not conversion, as even the Lausanne translators of the New Testament have rendered it. That is in no way the meaning of the word. Conversion is the turning of the heart and will to God through grace. It is not faith; that, in its true force, is the divinely given perception of what is seen through the revelation of it to the soul by testimony in the power of the Holy Ghost.

It is literally an after or changed thought, a judgment formed by the mind on reflection, after it has had another or previous one; habitually, in its use in scripture, the judgment I form in God's sight of my own previous conduct and sentiments, consequent on the reception of God's testimony, in contrast with my previous natural course of feeling. Of course this may be more or less deep. It is not the sorrow itself: that works repentance if it is godly sorrow. Not the regret or remorse: that is metamevleia not metavnoia;" words used sometimes one for another, but not in scripture. Judas had remorse and hanged himself, not repentance. Godly sorrow works repentance never to be regretted. Repentance is the judgment we form, under the effect of God's testimony, of all in ourselves to which that testimony applies. Hence it is always founded on faith: I do not say the faith of the gospel. That may be its source; but we may repent through the testimony of God to the soul, and afterwards receive those glad tidings. Conversion itself may follow repentance; that is, conversion as the full deliberate turning of the heart to God. "Repent," says Peter, "and be converted." (Acts 3: 19.) Conversion is the turning of the will to God. Repentance (metavnoia) is the changed thought, or judgment, we have of things, bringing in with it often, when it concerns self, the sense of a change of feeling. The use of it in classical writers will shew us the meaning of the word in itself; Scripture, the scriptural use of it.

I select a few cases of the former, and then shall cite scripture, which alone can give its own use of it, and does so amply. Thus as to metanoevw, "ejc touvtou dh; hjnagcazovmeqa metanoeisee footnoten." ("From this we were obliged to change our mind.") -- Xenophon Cyr. "Kai; aujto;n mevntoi fari;n ajnanhvyanta ou[tw metanohsee footnotesai ejfj oiJsee footnote" ejpoivhsen." ("And he, indeed, they say, having thus come to his senses, repented of what he had done.") -- Lucian. I might cite others. The first is change of mind; the second, repentance or regret. So, metavnoian: "oJ me;n ejlevgcw/ cai; yovlw/ dhgmo;n ejmpoiwsee footnoten xai; metavnoian ejxqro;" doceisee footnote cai; cathvgoro", here coupled with dhgmo;", a bite or sting, it is evidently pain itself on conviction. In no sense is it conversion, for the convicter is counted an enemy, but the guilty man is forced to see his fault in another light by the reproof. So, metavnoia deinh; tou;" jAqhnaivou" cai; povqo" e[sce tousee footnote Kivmwno". Here again we have sorrow and regret as the form of the change of mind. These from Plutarch. Any dictionary with quotations will give others. Thus, with the original meaning of an afterthought and change of mind, it came specifically to mean sorrow and self-condemnation, and regret at what had previously pleased. I quote yet another example from Kypke (2 Peter 3: 9): Plutarch has "eij" metavnoian ejpi; toisee footnote" pracqeisee footnotesi cwrhvsa"" -- "Had recourse to repentance for what was done. So, "gameisee footnoten o]" ejqevlei eij" metavnoian e]ceta '' -- "He who has a mind to marry will come to regret [repent] it."

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I will now turn to scripture, which it is more especially important of course to search into. In the LXX it is, save in the Proverbs, used for God's not changing His mind. In the Proverbs, it is said, "Vow not hastily, for afterwards a man will repent of it." And in another case it is said, "The simple believeth every word, but the prudent uses (metavnoian) reflection, afterthought."

In the New Testament, we have John the Baptist's well-known testimony. He preached the baptism of repentance, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Christ's first testimony is the same: Matthew 3: 2, 4: 7; 3: 8, 11; Mark 1: 4, 15; Luke 3: 3, 8. The effect was, that they went out confessing their sins. Surely this was a judgment of themselves and of their sins produced through the testimony of the word. There was a change of mind, an afterthought on reflection -- the definition given of metavnoia -- light being let into their conscience as to their state: and fruits were looked for suited to this change of mind as evidence of its reality.

Again, this force of the word is clearly seen by contrast, "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than over ninety and nine that need no repentance." Luke 15: 7, 10. Where there is nothing to judge, repentance has no place; where sin is, this judgment of one's own state is called for. So the Lord came to call sinners to repentance, Mark 2: 17; Luke 5: 32. Again, the Lord upbraids the cities where most of His mighty works were done, because they repented not. Tyre and Sidon would have repented if they had seen them. Is it not a practical change and self-judgment on the testimony before them? Matthew 11: 20, 21. Again, the Ninevites repented at the preaching of Jonas. Matthew 12: 41. We cannot say they were converted. Fear caused it, but they believed the testimony, judged themselves, fasted and put on sackcloth. Again, if a brother wrong me, and seven times a day come, saying "I repent," I am to forgive him. Luke 17: 4. Here there is no question of conversion, he is not converted seven times a day. Again, we see by many of these passages it refers to their previous state of sin. So Acts 8: 22, "Repent of this thy wickedness." So Revelation 9: 30, 31; 2: 21, 22. The same principle is contained in Matthew 18: 2, 5: so, in its fruit in 2 Corinthians 7: 9, 10, they sorrowed to repentance; godly sorrow worked repentance. Here they were converted long ago, and had believed long ago. But they had been in a bad state, and had repented. How it shewed itself may be seen in verse 11: "For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge." Now these I admit are the proofs and fruits of repentance, how it shewed itself. Still they teach us what it is. So Hebrews 6: 1, we have repentance from dead works.

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The only place in the New Testament in which I believe it means simply change of mind, without reference to the judgment of ourselves and our sins, is in Hebrews 12: 17. He found no place for repentance -- for going back from his previous way of taking up the matter, though he sought it -- the blessing, not the repentance -- bitterly with tears. The blessing and taking back his previous act, and unbelieving self-gratification go together; but here it has nothing to do with repenting of sin, but the first ordinary sense, changing his mind. It is not necessary, nor, I believe, just, to refer it to Jacob.

One text remains which gives its character and full force to repentance, "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20: 21.) He looked, not merely that crimes and wickedness should be judged, but that a man should judge all his state in the light of God's own presence, and in reference to His divine character and authority over him, and in the thought of His goodness. This is true repentance; man judged and judging himself in the presence of God, to whom he belongs and to whose nature he has to refer with mercy before him. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ meets this; because there God has judged sin according to His own nature and authority, and His love is perfect, and we are reconciled to God according to that nature and righteous claim. But this requires a word of explanation. It is not that repentance comes first by itself and then in an absolute way faith. But that repentance, the judgment of what we are before God and in God's sight, is one great effect of the truth; it refers to God as God with whom we have to do; whereas faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is faith in that sovereign intervention of God in which in grace He has met our state in the gift of His Son. Repentance is not change of mind as to God, though this may produce it, but self-judgment before Him, the soul referring to Him who is over us, with whom we have to do. It is not that repentance precedes faith. We shall see that it is not so: but it is first the heart returned into divine light, and then faith in the blessed intervention of God that fitted the state it finds itself in.

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Practical repentance then is the estimate a man forms of sin, of his own ways as a sinner, on reflection, through the light of God penetrating into his soul, with some sense of goodness in Him, and setting up withal divine authority there. This may be through divine warnings as in the case of Jonah, or the lamenting of a John Baptist announcing that the axe is laid to the root of the trees. It is always mercy. He gives repentance to Israel, grants repentance unto life: His goodness leads us to it. That is, instead of visiting sins according to man's desert, He opens the door to return to light and grace through grace. Hence, when grace is fully announced, when the truth is there, repentance is on the footing of God's perfect revelation of Himself in grace, in Christ. I Repentance was to be preached in His name, and remission of sins. In coming to God it is always the first effect in the soul when it is real, and the turning of the will to God, and faith in the redemption and forgiveness the gospel announces comes after. Hence it is said, "Repent and be converted," "Repent and believe the gospel." But this just shews us how faith is the only and necessary source of repentance. It is by the testimony of the word it is wrought. Be it prophets, or Jonas, or John, or the Lord Himself, or the apostles, who taught that men should repent and turn to God, it was wrought by a testimony of God, and a testimony believed. Now, this testimony is the testimony to Christ Himself. Repentance, as well as remission of sins, was to be preached in His name. It is by the revelation of God, whether in judgment or in grace, grace in any case working in the heart, that repentance is wrought. When the prodigal came to himself he repented; he is converted when he said, "I will arise and go to my Father;" the gospel is realized when he meets his Father and gets the best robe. But he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and there is always in true repentance some sense of goodness. "How many servants of my Father's have bread enough and to spare." There would be no returning if there was not hope, it may be very vague, but still a hope of being received, and goodness trusted to. Even the Ninevites say, "who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?" In the gospel the full grace of God is made the very ground of a call to repentance, still in view of judgment. "Now he calls all men everywhere to repent, seeing he hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained." Goodness leads to it, the door to flee is open, but to flee from the wrath to come, to flee to God, who assures of forgiveness in coming through the perfect work of Christ.

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My object was to give a scriptural statement of what repentance is. I add a practical word.

In practice, the true working of the gospel in the heart is to bring first of all to repentance. As we have seen, warnings such as Jonah's may lead men to repent, or a John Baptist ministry. But the fullest gospel does the same. It brings into the light though it tells of love, for God is both, and that love makes us judge ourselves when God is really revealed. It cannot be otherwise. If men have been already exercised, the preaching of a simple and clear redemption will, through grace, give peace. It answers the soul's need, which, having already looked to itself, is now enabled to look to God through Christ, learns that God is for it, and learns divine righteousness. If a man has not been previously exercised, wherever there is a true work, the effect of the fullest grace is to reach the conscience, to lead to repentance. Not to give peace as the first thing, but to bring the soul into that light, in which it discovers that state which makes it need a peacemaking for it. It has lived without God, perhaps openly flown in His face, and it does not merely discover He is holy and good, that is, change its mind as to God and learn to love Him, but it casts its eye on itself, on its past ways, has a reflective afterthought in which it judges itself in the presence of God so known, judging sin by the great work which has put it away. It repents. The soul feels it has to do with God responsibly, has failed, been evil, corrupt, without God, is humbled, has a horror of itself and its state; may fear, will surely hope, and eventually, if simple, very soon find peace. But it will say, "Now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." If there is not this -- though the degrees of it may be various, as the form it takes in the soul -- there is no true work wrought. If revivals (so called) be examined into, it will be found that previously exercised souls have got happy if a plain gospel has been preached. Those who have not and rush into peace are found after all to have no root at all. And if there be a superficial work and hasty peace, the work has to be done afterwards of reaching the springs and foundation of the conscience, and often through much sorrow. We cannot preach the gospel too clearly or too fully, grace abounding where sin has, grace reigning through righteousness; but the effect of this when fully received, the effect we ought to look for in souls, is repentance -- I mean the present first effect. It will be a deepening one all through our course.

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Galatians 2: 19 -- 3: 14.

There are two things presented here which distinguish the Christian. The first is an entirely new life in the presence of the Lord Jesus: (Galatians 2: 19, etc.) The second is the possession of the Holy Ghost (chapter 3), in contrast with the law, and also the promises; for the accomplishment is quite distinct from the hope. The difference is immense; for, in order to enjoy the effect of the promise, it is needful that faith come in and that righteousness be accomplished. The perfect righteousness of Christ in God's presence must be put on. One cannot have the accomplishment of the promise save in Christ.

The Galatians had, to a certain point, succeeded in introducing some measure of works of the law in order to salvation. Not that the name of Christ was set aside, but His work was despised. Now God in His grace has set us before Him without questions: they have been all solved in Christ and God. We are not clear till we have recognized ourselves under the efficacy of all that Christ has done for our salvation, and we cannot enjoy it as long as there are questions to be solved.

To enjoy the efficacy of Christ's work is the foundation of all. It is the joy of the full revelation of God. Abraham had precious promises. (Genesis 15; 17.) But it is one thing to have promises like those made to Abraham, precious as this is without doubt, a totally different thing to have a full entire revelation of God in respect of us, such as we have in the epistles. The work which has been fully and clearly revealed has put me where Jesus is in the presence of God, happy and without a cloud. What Christ has done the law could not do, and did not pretend to it; for the law, having a shadow of things to come, shewed, after all, that God could not be revealed therein. Why? Because righteousness was not accomplished: it would have been judgment, for the law demanded its fulfilment. The Holy Ghost tells us that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest. God kept Himself in the thick darkness.

Now they were seeking to add things in order to be saved, when the believer was without questions in the presence of God. Therefore, says the apostle, "If I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. I have done wrong then in overthrowing them, I am a transgressor and Christ a minister of sin!" (Galatians 2.) "But," he adds, "I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

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What then is the effect of the law, and wherefore serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, but it is not a thing which I could accomplish. The apostle has not even the idea of such-a thing, for the law was given to shew man that he was a sinner. The righteousness which is by faith is quite another thing from abiding under the law. I know all the power of the law; it can only condemn me. But now I am dead to the law. How happy to know the thing by grace, for grace is of little moment to me if I am under law! The knowledge of grace makes me understand that, the more God is good, the more guilty am I if I offend Him. The revelation of this grace of God. if the law enters and I must render an account, makes one more culpable in every respect. When Moses came down from the mountain, he brought a ministry of condemnation and death. (Compare Exodus 34 and 2 Corinthians 3.) God had proclaimed Himself as the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and sin, and that would by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. This was not a ministry of pure grace, as some suppose; for God had said, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. (Exodus 32: 33.) But under grace he who sins against such a God is more guilty than a sinner under the ministry of condemnation and death. Nor is this a piece of reasoning; for the word says that Moses put a veil on his face, that the children of Israel could not look to the end of that which is abolished. If God impute my sin to me, all this goodness does but aggravate my case.

What is it that I really want? The manifestation of righteousness. For whatever was the goodness of God displayed, it rendered man more blamable, and promise could not take this away. The people were guilty, and the ministry with which Moses was invested was a ministry of condemnation and death. But the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ is unto all, and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference; for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3: 22, 23.) God, knowing that which should be manifested, bore with sins. The cross has only displayed His righteousness which He has declared at this time. We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood to declare His righteousness. (Romans 3: 24, 25.)

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The important thing for our souls is that God's righteousness has been fully revealed. It is not that faith denies the authority of the law: "yea, we establish the law." Faith owns that the law demands perfect righteousness; but it also says, "If I seek my salvation by the works of the law, I am condemned and lost." But now faith says, "I, through the law, am dead to the law." This is what Christ has accomplished for us personally. Christ has put Himself under the sentence of the cross, and by His death I am crucified with Him. The life in which I was responsible and I had sinned exists no longer. This it is which makes such a total difference. The life in which God saw me a sinner, the life to which sin is attached and consequently condemnation and death, no more exists. "Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." This is not yet all. It is no more a question for me, if I can find the favour of God by keeping the law; for I live no longer according to this life, but in the life of Christ who loved me. My responsibility as to this life is gone: Christ has loved me, and loved me as I am. Such is the sole relation that I know; and I am sure of His love. It is the action of Christ for me which has set me thus, and not mine for Him.

It is true that I have failed; but I am dead. And my responsibility, as a saved person, flows from this that Christ has loved and saved me, and from the relations which exist between Him and me. If my soul has not understood its responsibility before God as saved, I have not understood the gospel; nevertheless, I cannot deny it: God has revealed it to me. It is not any more a question of what I ought to be, but of what Christ has done, and done for me. What I find is, that He has loved me as I was. I find in Jesus the manifestation of the God who loved me. I have the full assurance before God, that I have no longer anything to do with this first life, the life of the first Adam; but that I live now in another life, communicated by the second Adam, even Christ, of whose love to me I am assured.

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There is a great difference between the enjoyment of a lost child introduced into a family, and that of him who is adopted there. The child may find the father to be kind, but he has not yet the child's heart, nor position, as long as he feels himself a mere foundling. As soon, however, as his position is changed, because he understands that the head of the family is become his father by adoption, he enjoys those intimate relations which exist between a parent and his child.

Everything depends on the relations which exist. One cannot enjoy the affections of God without being His child; all depends on the knowledge and enjoyment of this relationship. Then the heart is happy, and such is the place of the Christian. The effect of Christ's work is to set us thus in the relation in which Jesus stands with the Father.

The apostle presents us with a second position in Galatians 3: 2: "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?" To this he replies: "As many [persons] as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." ... "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

Now we have the contrast, not only with the law, but also with the promises; for Christ is far above the promises, seeing that He is Himself their accomplishment. Those who are of the works of the law -- on that ground and principle -- are cursed; those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. (Galatians 3: 9.) Impossible to have joy in God's presence without the question of sin's being settled. Can we stand before God without that? No; righteousness is necessary. If I have the least thing upon my conscience, how can I be happy in the light? For one must be there without spot. But Christ has done more than answer to righteousness; and herein we find a glorious manifestation in Christ, for He has accomplished, in perfection, all that was demanded of man, and He is now glorified. We enjoy not merely the righteousness which was required, but this -- that God has been glorified; and this is much more. Had God merely shewn Himself just, He would have cut off all men as sinners: without the work of Christ, God's majesty would have been compromised; but Christ gave Himself up to be the vessel for displaying on the cross all that God is for us. God Himself has been so glorified, that Christ could say, "Therefore doth my Father love me." The God-man has not only satisfied the righteousness of God, but, besides, the consequence of His perfect work is that we can rejoice in His presence without questions and without trouble of conscience. We have received not life only but the Holy Ghost as the seal of our justification, and in order that we may understand all the effect of this righteousness to enjoy it without a cloud in the Father's presence.

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Another thing besides flows thence -- the base on which the Church is founded. For this is not on what man was not, but on what he is in Christ; and in this manifestation Christ has unfolded all that was in God for us. The Church of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3: 15.) There is the truth, because God has been manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up in glory. This had not been all promised. For the Church to receive her existence, it was needful that God should be manifested in flesh. Christ having accomplished the work of redemption, God has introduced man in His presence, and set him in glory. Having proved man to be a sinner, He was not contented to take away sin, but He would see him His own, and make him enjoy all His grace in perfect peace, giving him to understand that His righteousness was accomplished in Christ. Such is the Church. Souls convinced of sin enjoy all the fulness of the sovereign grace of God, because there is no more question of sins for them. By the gift of the Holy Ghost this effect is produced; there is the consciousness of the perfect righteousness of God Himself without conscience of sins. Can you say that there is no more question of sins for you? Is this question entirely at rest, and your relation to God founded on that? Have you recognized that your responsibility, your relation with God, is based upon the accomplished righteousness in Christ? If so, you are happy and blessed. Formerly you were sinners, but now you can say, God loves me. I do not speak of your thoughts; but you have made the discovery that you are God's children by faith in Christ Jesus, that your responsibility as sinners is closed. Are your hearts thus at large? to consider before Him that you are crucified with Christ, and that sin is gone for you? I cannot have the feelings of a bride towards one whom I dread as my judge: I need the consciousness of being in the presence of my bridegroom, according to that lovingkindness which is better than life.

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Is God your daily resource in your faults and sins, even when you have committed them? Do you believe that His love can do that? There is where the apostle regards the Christian as set; and, when the contrary happens, the Jewish position is more or less taken by the heart. If I have not full confidence in God, I must seek something outside, instead of having recourse to God to find strength and to restore my soul. If God is your resource, you will not seek the law. The touchstone for the child of God is, whether his resources are in God or in himself. Perhaps, like the Jews, he seeks to offer sacrifices. If Christians, we are under grace, and it is of moment for us to be clear as to the position Christ has brought us into. There we are blessed in His presence; there also we are in possession of the precious things which are promised us. For, I repeat, it is not the promises which constitute our joy, but Christ, in whom we have them all Yea, and Amen, in virtue of the work which has been wrought and accepted; and we can be strangers and pilgrims.

May God strengthen us more and more in the consciousness of His love, which has saved us, and brings us into His presence to enjoy all that He is for us. Then Christ will be the object of all our thoughts. May we have it simple and settled before us, that it is no more ourselves that live, but Christ that lives in us, that nothing is wanting to the accomplishment of the requirements of God, and that our position is based upon His love.

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People must retrograde if they do not advance. I know not whether those who believe with scripture, that the Church, the body of Christ, began at Pentecost, have made progress because they bow to scripture and to Christ, or that those who reject the truth on these points have lost or gone back from what they had; but the distance seems immeasurably enlarged. Whether it be that failure in faithfulness has been the occasion of the latter losing so much precious truth, I will not pretend to judge; but the ignorance of a vast field of scriptural knowledge is very striking. In the writer of the tracts I comment on, I recognize one whom I had long known, and, though entirely and in every way separated from his present course, one whose laboriousness I recognize with thankfulness to God. I am sure, and it is a joy to me, God will recognize all that is of Himself in him. But light on these subjects there is not in his tracts, but simple darkness; and all that his tracts prove is total ignorance of what the Church is, and what the presence of the Holy Ghost the Comforter is, as scripture speaks of each -- of the two points, that is, of primary importance for Christians now, and those by which God is working to lead the saints on, out of the state they are systematically in, to go forth to meet the Bridegroom. The same darkness exactly it is which confounds the coming of Christ for the Church, and His appearing -- I say the same.

The opposition to these two truths (the Church, and the rapture, so-called) ever and necessarily go together. The denial of these leads Christians back to, or retains them in, that out of which God is calling them.

I admit then the importance of the difference; I insist on it. I do not speak of terms of communion, but of that by which God is acting in His saints and sending even a clear gospel to sinners. That which reduces the Church to the level of Judaism reduces the gospel to the obscurity of the legalism opposed by Paul. It is this that makes me take up these tracts. For it is really tedious to go over the ground so often trodden without one new idea, even an erroneous one, to enliven the journey; for all that is said in these tracts has been completely answered again and again. One would think that the writer must be ignorant of all that has passed in the discussion he introduces with such naive solemnity, objections without the least force to one acquainted with scripture, after the ignorance they testify of has been exposed hundreds of times.

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The writer has found an obscure passage in the very valuable tract he comments on, and has made the most of it; he has found an incorrect expression used by one of his own friends who holds the truth on these points, and he makes the most of that. The latter is, "when Christ was in incarnation." It is inexact; but every one can understand what is meant, and the speaker was quite right. He means, evidently, the period of Christ's life on earth when incarnate down here. In the former the expressions may lead an ignorant person to confound the state of life into which Christ has entered (and what is necessary to association and union with Himself, in contrast with His state down here, in which there could not possibly be union) with the fact of life in power in the Son. This last is the prerogative of the Son at all times (yet never revealed till He was incarnate). He could and did quicken while on earth (John 5), but there was no union with Him. But this is obscurely expressed, and union with Him in life spoken of, or, as it is there expressed, "be united to Him in the same life that He has," which might lead to suppose union to consist in life -- a notion as common as it is unscriptural and false. And, as this is the false doctrine of the commentator, he has naturally taken it in his own sense; as to which one may fairly excuse him. But his whole system of doctrine as to it is mere popular error, a hundred times exposed.

It is exceedingly important to see the doctrine our opponents, with the mass of Evangelicals, hold as to the Holy Ghost -- their total denial of what constitutes the essential difference of the christian position; and that, not only as to the Church, but as to the individual. What constitutes the essential difference of the present christian state (not its foundation, but its essential difference) is the presence of the Comforter. This it is the prophets had prophesied of; this it is Christ had promised; this it is He gave as the witness of His being gone on high and set down at God's right hand. T. M. and his companions affirm that this is lost to the Church. There was nothing, they will have it, peculiar at Pentecost, but what are called miraculous gifts, and they are gone. Here are his words: "The scripture is, 'baptized with the Holy Ghost,' or 'in the Holy Ghost.' Acts 1: 5; 2: 15. The obvious meaning is, that they were to be submerged or baptized into the powers of the Holy Ghost, which took place at Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came down upon them ... Does our speaker mean to say that we have now the Pentecostal baptism which he connects with 1 Corinthians 12: 12, etc.? If so, we must now be in the enjoyment of Pentecostal gifts, which most certainly we have not." "The fact is, that our being baptized by one Spirit into one body is not subsequent to regeneration, but an integral and necessary part of it." I believe these statements to be the root principle of the apostasy prophesied of, and a denial of the essential characteristic of Christianity, the power and grace consequent on the exaltation of Jesus to the right hand of God, and the fruit of His finished work. This consisted simply, they say, in the enjoyment of Pentecostal gifts, which most certainly we have not.

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Let us see how scripture speaks on this point. The fact of miracles clearly does not make the difference. They were wrought of old, and by the Lord, and, through His power, by the disciples. It is true that, in their extent and in their character in certain respects (and these very interesting ones, such as tongues), there was a difference. The apostles were to do greater things than those which Christ had done, because He went to the Father. But the fact of miracles did not make the difference. They were wrought of old. But the outpouring of the Spirit was spoken of by the prophets as distinctive of the great time of Messiah's blessing -- the hoped-for promised blessing. It was identified with the blessing of Abraham coming on the Gentiles. The Jews received it then. Galatians 3: 14. This was the glory of the great promise in Joel; this, the blessed promise connected with the Redeemer come to Zion, Isaiah 59; this the promise of full blessing by the same prophet in chapter 32: 15. Messiah did come and was rejected; but this presence of the Holy Ghost (though Christ was not there, and so far in lieu of His presence) became for that very reason the essential, necessary, distinctive, present blessing of Christianity, founded on the perfect accomplishment of His work and His exaltation to the right hand of God. This the Lord carefully teaches us Himself in the Gospel of John: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet, because that Jesus was not yet glorified." This is a most important passage. No Christian in the world thinks that that divine person began to exist after that. I need not dwell on this with any who are in the truth.

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Scripture shews that that divine Spirit is the direct agent in creation and on creatures from the beginning. The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. By His Spirit He garnished the heavens. I might cite other passages; and even the Lord Himself in His blessed works on earth could say, "If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils." So every believer knows that the Spirit of God wrought on the prophets. I need not multiply quotations.

But that this divine Person should come and take up His abode on earth, consequent on an accomplished redemption, was a wholly new thing; and this was so distinct and prominent a fact, and a fact so characteristic of the earthly condition, of a state of things which was the special object of God's eternal counsels, that it is said, looking at earth, "The Holy Ghost was not yet." That which could be called the Holy Ghost (that is, His personal presence on earth in the redeemed) was not yet; and the reason is given: Jesus was not yet glorified. The Holy Ghost might accomplish every divine operation which was to be wrought; but He could not dwell, and have a temple on earth as come down from heaven, until Christ was in heaven as man having accomplished redemption -- till Jesus was glorified. This distinction of the previous operations of the Spirit, and His coming down, is clearly made by Peter: "The prophets searched what and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories which should follow; to whom it was revealed that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them which have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven." The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets. Now the Holy Ghost is sent down from heaven. But the end of John's Gospel treats this subject at large (chapter 14: 16): "I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." The Father had been revealed in the Son. That they ought to have known (verse 9, 10); but now they should know that He was in the Father, and they in Him, and He in them. This was a wholly new thing by the Comforter. The Father was to send Him in Christ's name.

In chapter 15 Christ, on the other hand, sends Him from the Father, and He was to testify of Christ. "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father." And so immeasurably important was this, that, great and precious as was the blessing of having Christ there, He told them the truth: "It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

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Now I beg the reader to weigh very earnestly all these testimonies of the Lord to the sending and coming of the Holy Ghost, after, and consequent upon, Christ's going away. They were told accordingly to tarry at Jerusalem till they were endued with power from on high. On the departure of Christ they were assured they were to be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1: 5.) The importance of this we may judge of by its being presented by John Baptist as one of the two great features which distinctively characterized the Christ, the other being that He was the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1: 33; Matthew 3: 11.) But, further, we are assured that it was only on His going up on high that Christ received the Spirit to this end. (Acts. 2: 33.) "Therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear." So Peter testifies to his auditors, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." So, again, Acts 5: 32: "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him" -- connecting this gift, as spoken of in Acts, with John 15: 26,27. So in John's Epistle we read, "And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us."

Now these scriptures make it plain, as plain as God's testimony can make it, that the Holy Ghost -- what is called distinctively, "the Holy Ghost" and the Comforter -- was not given until after Christ was exalted; that, if Christ had not gone away, He could not have come; and that He never came till Christ had been so exalted: then He was sent, Christ having then received Him according to the promise of the Father. I say the Holy Ghost, as thus come, "was not" till Christ was exalted. If it was merely an integral and necessary part of regeneration, then nobody was regenerate before at all. That the Comforter thus promised was not regeneration or quickening+ is quite certain, however, because "the Son quickens whom he will."

+It may be well to observe that the author does not himself believe that regeneration is identical with quickening, but rather expressive of the new state of things which the Christian now enters in Christ. The word is here employed in its ordinary usage as equivalent to the new birth. -- Editor]

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And further, during His lifetime the dead did hear His voice, and they that heard lived; yet the Comforter was not yet come. The Father raises up the dead and quickens them, and so the Son quickens whom He will. But the Comforter could not come till Christ went away. The coming of the Comforter is not quickening. But T. M. will surely say, "Of course it is not." The coming of the Comforter was after Christ's exaltation. It was the conferring of "Pentecostal gifts, which most certainly we have not." Now this is just the point. The Comforter is not quickening: as is certain. That took place before Christ was on high; the sending of the Comforter did not. It is then the enjoyment of "Pentecostal gifts which certainly we have not." That is, we have not the Comforter! Do you not see, my reader, what a serious thing this is -- where this dreadful system lands us in the total denial of the presence of the Comforter as the portion of Christians? What then comes of the statement, that the promise of the Holy Ghost, to be received after they repented and were baptized, was to all that were afar off, even to as many as the Lord their God should call? What comes of the Lord's promise, that He would give them another Comforter, who could not come till He went away, but that He would abide with them for ever? Whatever the Comforter was, He certainly was not given at all till Christ went away and was glorified -- that is, was not what existed before in action of the Holy Ghost in prophets and saints. If it be only Pentecostal gifts, and if we certainly have not the enjoyment of them, then the Comforter is gone. But if it be something else, though displayed in these, if it be the true presence of God by the Spirit on earth in the saints, then my opponents, and alas! many others, are denying the true presence of God on the earth in His saints -- that immeasurably important and divine fact, which was to characterize Christianity, and be the source of all our present blessing -- what alone makes Christianity what it is. If God dwells in us by His Spirit, this is not merely Pentecostal gifts, nor is it merely the fact that I am spiritually alive through grace.

The doctrine of T. M.'s tract is the denial of the presence of God by the Spirit with the Church or the saint; though Christ has promised He should abide for ever with us, and that all whom God should call should receive Him. Let us now trace what scripture teaches us positively on this point also. These quotations will serve to shew also the deadly error of T. M. in confounding the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or the saints receiving Him, with regeneration, or being born again.

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The scripture is as plain as words can be. First, in the quoted passage: "This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive." They believed on Him, and must do so, before they received the Spirit thus; but we are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. That is, they were first children, regenerate, and afterward received the Holy Ghost. And this is distinctly thus followed out in Galatians, "We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus;" and, having received the adoption of sons by the Son's coming down here for us and redeeming us, "because we are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Note, it is not Pentecostal gifts, but the Spirit crying Abba in our hearts.

Again, Peter says, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Now I suppose T. M. would admit that, when they had repented and were baptized, they were what he calls regenerate. But this, according to Peter, was only the ground of their receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as a consequence. Indeed, all the eleven were quickened believers, clean through the word spoken to them; but they were to receive and did receive the Holy Ghost afterwards.

In perfect analogy with Peter's sermon, Paul asks the disciples at Ephesus, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" -- a question perfectly senseless had that receiving been an integral and necessary part of their regeneration. Their answer was, "We have not so much as heard if the Holy Ghost is" -- that is, if what John has taught us has been fulfilled, that Christ would baptize with the Holy Ghost.

Again, we read in Ephesians, "In whom, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." Again, in 2 Corinthians 1, "He that stablisheth us together with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." So in 1 Corinthians 6: 19, "What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost ... which ye have of God?" It is not a regenerate state of the heart; but the body the temple of the Holy Ghost. Again, in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, they lie to the Holy Ghost -- lie therefore to God. For the Church was builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

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We have thus the certainty from scripture of the personal presence of God in the Church, and in the saint, in the person of the Spirit, after and distinct from believing and being children, and the seal of that faith, the fruit of accomplished redemption, and hence after, and only after, the exaltation of Jesus, by whom and in whose name by the Father He was sent down as the other Comforter. And this is simple, when we consider who are regenerated, and who are sealed; for unbelievers only can be regenerated, believers only can be sealed.

There never was any thought of God's dwelling in the midst of His people until redemption was accomplished. He never dwelt with Adam, never with Abraham, but visited both. But so soon as Israel was redeemed out of Egypt, He tells them that it was that He might dwell amongst them. (Exodus 29: 46.) Now He does so by His Spirit, but that is consequent on redemption. Figures taught the same thing: the leper or the priest, first washed-regeneration; then sprinkled with blood, as we with that of Christ; then anointed, that is, with the Holy Ghost -- not the washing of regeneration, but the Holy Ghost given to us. So, when we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith, the faith comes first. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirits that we are sons, and He helps our infirmities, making intercession according to God. I might cite other passages, but let these suffice. Believers are sealed with the Holy Ghost; unbelievers are regenerated by Him, and they must be the latter before they can be sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise.

And is it merely gifts? Our body, remember, is a temple through our receiving Him; it is not a mere action from without, but His dwelling in us. Is that merely Pentecostal gifts? The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given to us. He is the earnest of our inheritance. We are led of the Spirit, guided into all truth by Him. Is all this gone, or is it merely regeneration? Is there not a personal presence of the Holy Ghost the Comforter, dwelling in the saint whose body He makes a temple, dwelling in the house of God, the habitation of God through the Spirit?

The distinctive character of Christ, besides being the Lamb of God, was that He could baptize with the Holy Ghost. But this could not be till He was exalted to the right hand of God. He was anointed and sealed, the scripture tells us, but stood alone until He died. And now we are sealed and anointed with the promised Spirit which He has received as exalted of the Father. This constitutes Christianity -- the exalting of Christ and the consequent conferring of the Holy Ghost.

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These teachers come and assure us that it was all the same before: only that Pentecostal gifts were given which have wholly ceased. So that we are reduced, though Christ be exalted, to the old patriarchal or Jehovah condition. It is the denial of Christianity -- I do not say of Christ, but it is of Christianity. And now remark how this connects itself with the doctrine of the Church. Christ having been exalted as man to the right hand of God, the Holy Spirit comes down and unites us to Him, the Head, as sitting at God's right hand. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." That is the body of Christ: He the Head on high, we His members on earth. Hence it could not be till Christ was exalted. You must have the Head to have the members. If Pentecost be merely gifts, this is not the case -- there is no union. Gifts do not unite. They are exercised in the members of the already one body. But if they be only distinct gifts, we are regenerate individuals and no more.

But it will be said, "Had not the Son quickening power from the beginning?" Undoubtedly. This is not the question at all. We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. This had no application whatever until He was incarnate. It will be said, "It is a figure." Be it so, but it is a figure which applies to Him only when He is become a man. And when He had become a man, we could not then be members of His body, because He had not accomplished redemption, and taken His place as man on high (the place in which He was to be Head as man), and sent down the Holy Ghost to unite us to Himself. And here is the application of the plain words, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone." He is not speaking here of divine quickening power (that had nothing to do with being alone), but of Himself, man, the Son who had taken the place as a man, the Christ. As man, He was alone, not united to men, though a true man. If He died, He would, being exalted, associate believers with Himself, yea, unite them to Himself. He might, as Son of God, quicken souls in a divine way: and the essence of everlasting blessing is in that; but we could not be quickened together with Him as one raised from among the dead, raised up together and made to sit together in heavenly places, unless He, a man, was raised.

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And this is the doctrine of scripture, "What is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and every name which is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come; and gave him to be head over all things to the assembly, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." Now whomsoever he might divinely quicken, all this is impossible -- evidently has no place -- till Christ is raised and exalted as man. It is as sent, as raised, and exalted by God, that He is given to be Head to the Church, His body. It is the exalted man that is the Head, who is surely the Word, the eternal Son. But it is not as Word, or Son, that He is given to be the Head of the body, but as a man raised by God from the dead. Such is the doctrine of the word of God.

T. M. and his friends may think it a small thing, if they have life from God, to be united to Christ, the exalted Head on high; I do not; scripture does not. It is the exceeding greatness of God's power to usward who believe. Now it is perfectly clear that Abraham could not be this, because Christ was not incarnate and exalted. He may have been quickened by the Son; he could not be united to the risen exalted man at God's right hand; for none such was there. T. M. and others before him tell us that he will be hereafter, that there is some new work of God to go on in another world, by which what did not and could not take place in this world will in the next.

But we must have some other authority than T. M., or any one else, for this. We must have the word of God. I shall shew, farther on, that scripture speaks otherwise in the rare passages that refer to it. One thing is certain, which is the main point for us, that in this world the distinction exists. Abraham was not united by the Holy Ghost to a glorified man in heaven, for there was no glorified man in heaven; the Holy Ghost consequently was not yet, who unites us. Is it a small thing that there is a man sitting at the right hand of God, and that we are united to Him?

And here, let me remark in passing, is the tendency to confusion in the passage of the tract made use of by T. M., "united to him in life." The words are perfectly true, but there was no distinction previously made between the quickening power of the Son of God, and our being quickened together with Him as a man raised from the dead, and raised up together, and made to sit together. And as T. M. is wholly ignorant of the last, and only knows life-giving power in Christ, which he considers union (as many others whom I cordially own as Christ's saints), he takes "united to him in life" in the only sense he is acquainted with. So far it is, as I have said, an excuse for him; but the excuse is his entire ignorance of this wondrous truth, our quickening together with Christ, and our union with Him, so as to be members of His body, as described in the end of Ephesians 1 and beginning of Ephesians 2. And this is the assembly viewed as the body.

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It has another character -- the house of God. As such, it is the habitation of God through the Spirit, as we see in Ephesians 2. Compare 1 Timothy 3: 15. Hence in 1 Corinthians Christians are told, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" None of this is regeneration, but the personal presence of the Holy Ghost on earth. T. M. may count this a small thing. I need hardly say that such an assembly never existed before Christ's exaltation. He gave Himself to gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

But, further, T. M. insists that the baptizing into one body is by regeneration, not by the Holy Ghost given, the Pentecostal gifts being the only other blessing by the Spirit. But then he cannot have read the chapter (1 Corinthians 12), because it speaks of gifts, not of regeneration at all. See verses 1, 4 -- indeed the whole chapter. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." "To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom," and so on. The gifts are the manifestations of the Spirit given to profit withal. "All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." I ask any man in his senses if this can apply to regeneration. And now what follows? "For as the body is one and hath many members ... so also is Christ; for by one Spirit we have all been baptized into one body;" and then he proceeds to consider the diversity in the members. Again, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the assembly, first apostles," etc. In a word, there is not a word about regeneration in the chapter; but the Holy Ghost distributing gifts to each severally as He will, and that we are baptized by one Spirit into one body, each member having his distinct office; all of which has nothing to do with regeneration. The Church, then, being Christ's body, could not exist before the Head was in heaven, as Ephesians 1 teaches clearly, nor the habitation of God through the Spirit when the Spirit was not sent. But the doctrine of the Church's being only now set up, or revealed, is positively taught in scripture. The apostle says, Ephesians 3, "To make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things, to the intent that now unto principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." So in Colossians 1, "The mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints."

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T. M. and his friends tells us it was and must have been revealed in the Old Testament. I can only say I prefer believing the word of God, which tells me it was hid in God (than which nothing can be more absolute), and is now manifested. T. M. goes so far as to say it was formerly not fully revealed, and not revealed at all to Gentiles (page 23): a thought there is not a trace of in scripture; while scripture declares it was hid from ages and generations -- hid in God. Yet we are told the death of Christ was to produce a formal and visible unity, and that the children of God were scattered abroad in former ages; that is, in plain terms, were not an assembly, but after the death of Christ were.

We are told that Stephen speaks of "the assembly in the wilderness;" no doubt T. M. may find (hundreds of times, and with three distinct words in Hebrew) the assembly or congregation. Was that the gathering together in one the children of God which were scattered abroad? This is trifling, often as it is quoted. I cannot consider the person who deliberately quotes Acts 7 to prove the Church to have existed then, an honest man. Of course it was an assembly: so was the riot at Ephesus, and called by the same name. Is there any honesty in applying it to the body of Christ -- these men whose carcases fell in the wilderness? There is only one quotation which is plausible -- not for the existence of the Church, it proves the contrary, but -- for its being prophesied of. It proves the contrary of its existence before Christ's resurrection; because the Psalm has gone on to the resurrection, and brings this in it as the fruit of it. But it is plausible as alleging it was prophesied of. It is quite sufficient for me to know that the mystery was hid in God; but, like all difficulties in scripture, it gives fresh light if God be patiently waited on. It is quite clear, if we look at the Psalm, it refers to the remnant of Israel, and then to all Israel. And it was literally so fulfilled in John 20. The Psalm then goes on to the millennium. Whereas the mystery hid, the assembly of which the epistles speak, is the uniting Jews and Gentiles into one body (suvsswma) in Christ. Psalm 22 does not touch on ascension. It was fulfilled by the Lord before His ascension, necessary, as we have seen, to His sending the Holy Ghost. Psalm 22 passes from the resurrection to the last days, when all Israel will be gathered, and leaves out entirely what Paul calls the assembly.

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We have spoken and justly spoken of the Church, as Paul speaks of it. The mere word may mean anything, from the tumultuous meeting at Ephesus to the bride and body of Christ. But to apply these uses of them to that bride is an abuse of words, or wicked cavilling. The quotation of the passage in the Hebrews has nothing to do with the matter. The epistle does not ever go on the ground of union with Christ, or of the Church; but on Christ being a mediator between God and the saints, or as One over God's house. The passage is quoted, not to say anything good or bad as to the Church, but to shew that Christ is not ashamed to call the saints brethren. Blessed truth! But it is all on Jewish ground (that is, Christ's connection with the remnant) though we are grafted in. The saints are viewed as partakers of the heavenly calling, not as members of Christ's body. But the passage in the Psalm was not, any more than the type of Eve, and many other such, in the smallest degree a previous revelation of the Church. Now we have the Church, we can apply Eve to it. But Eve was simply Adam's wife and the transgressing woman, as known in the Old Testament, and revealed just nothing at all. And Psalm 22 spoke of the Messiah in the congregation of Israel and revealed nothing more. "The congregation" to a Jew was the congregation of Israel, and the Gentiles are not hinted at in the Psalm till the millennium is spoken of. Now I have the key to it, I can use it for the congregation as begun after Christ's resurrection at Jerusalem. But it revealed beforehand absolutely nothing of the mystery of the one body of Jews and Gentiles.

Let me add a consideration which may facilitate, to persons who, like T. M., believe in Christ's coming before the millennium, the thought of persons being saved and regenerate who form no part of the Church or body of Christ. There will certainly be saints on earth during the millennium. Now before that begins the marriage of the Lamb is come and His bride has made herself ready; so that it is perfectly clear there are saints, regenerate persons, who do not form part of the bride. For the bride is ready, and the marriage come, and these saints are manifested afterwards.

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I will now examine the statements from which T. M. concludes that the Old Testament saints form part of the body of Christ -- concludes, for scripture he has none. I meet constantly, "I believe," "I think," "it is scarcely conceivable that he should have left out," and the like. All this is nothing but proof that proofs were wanting.

The quotation of Hebrews 11: 39, 40 is rather impudent however: T. M. says, "Until we of this dispensation were ready to share like blessings with them;" the passage, "God having provided some better thing for us." That is, the scripture declares that we have better things, though perfected in resurrection together; T. M. and his friends, that we have like blessings. Well, I believe scripture -- that we have a better thing -- and not T. M. But this is the whole question -- just what they will not allow. "The mother of us all" may be excused, as the author is not versed in criticism. But every one who is acquainted with the subject knows that the true sentence is, "Who is our mother" so that it is a testimony the other way.

T. M. asks if it can be supposed for a moment that, if the Old Testament saints pass into a real and substantial resurrection condition in glory ... that they are not united to Christ and to us in this dispensation, and that in the fullest sense, and in the same sense as we are united to Christ, as part of His body. I answer, I suppose nothing, but learn from scripture. But why not? Why are all risen saints necessarily part of the body and bride of Christ? It is clear when on earth they were not; for the Christ we are united to did not exist as head in glory. What scripture has T. M.? where some future act by which they are? The giving life is no proof of union at all. Possession of life is not union. My children receive life from me; they are not my bride.

T. M. asks, "If the Holy Ghost be God, how is it that He has not been always here?" Here you have the key to the whole system: the sending of the Comforter, consequent on Christ's death and exaltation, is wholly ignored. Supposing I were to say, Is the Son God or not? If He be, how can it be said that He was not always here? My question ignores Christianity, as to the Father's sending the Son to be the Saviour of the world. T. M.'s question ignores Christianity as to the sending of the Spirit and His dwelling in us. His spiritual actings are not confined to this dispensation; but His presence as sent and dwelling on earth is, if scripture be true. As regards the assertion that the tract commented on says, that "it is life in Christ which unites to Christ's body," I cannot find it. It says, "united to Him in the same life that He has," which is quite true, though it has misled T. M. But it adds, "It is not, however, life only, but the presence of the Holy Ghost down here, that forms the body." T. M. is quite unwarranted in saying that the tract asserts, that it is life in Christ which unites to Christ's body. I repeat, the communication of life by Christ, or the possession of life from Him, is never union. It may be necessary to it. Both may come in an instant, but life and faith must be there for us to be sealed with the Holy Ghost, by which we are united. On this scripture is clear and positive, as we have seen. God took care at the beginning that there should be an interval. I see no reason, now the Comforter is come, why we should not be sealed the instant we believe; but believing must come first, or there is nothing and no one to seal, for believers only are sealed.

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T. M. asks, Are we to come to the conclusion that so honoured a servant of Christ (as Enoch) is to have no place in it (the Church)? He then speaks of Noah. My answer is, You must conclude nothing at all, but give me some scripture for it. The Church did not exist: so they could not be in it. Where was the body when there was no head? Where was the assembly of which Noah formed a part? Where was the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven to unite, or the Christ to be united to? All that is said here, is false reasoning without scripture. In the recital of their deeds, the apostle says, "And these all ... received not the promises: God having provided some better thing for us." That better thing then they had not, in spite of all the claptrap appeal to prejudice. It was expedient that Christ should go away, so excellent was what the apostles got; so far is it from being true that they had nothing better than the patriarchs. "So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." The apostle was contrasting law and faith, and shewing who got the blessing. But what the blessing is is spoken of -- the blessing of the nations by Him; not the Church, of which there is no question, good or bad. The Church was no subject of promise at all.

And Paul carefully distinguishes (Colossians 1) the ministry of the gospel, and the ministry of the Church to complete the word of God. No doubt, as believing Abraham was blessed, believers will be blessed with Abraham. But this says absolutely nothing of a place in the Church. Whoever believed was blessed, as was witnessed in Abraham; that Abraham had righteousness by faith and we too -- all true; that he is the heir of the world -- beyond doubt; but how these shew that he was a member of the body of Christ, no one can tell. They do not speak of the matter. Abraham had a heavenly hope; but why does this say he is of the body the Church? The passage is shewing that the law brought a curse and faith a blessing, as the case of Abraham proved, and that hence we, having faith, got blessing with Abraham; but that the blessing involved identity of position, there is not a trace of. That it did not, is proved by the passage -- falsified by T. M. in quoting it -- that God had provided some better thing for us. The mystery formed no part of revelation, no subject of promise. It was hid in God. I have already remarked that an historical type does not reveal a thing at all till the antitype comes. It is a simple history. Romans 16: 25 does not simply relate to the preaching of the gospel, as is said. It speaks of a mystery kept secret since the world began, but now made manifest.

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The bringing in of the Gentiles was not an unrevealed mystery. It is referred to in many scriptures; but Romans 16: 25 speaks of a mystery kept secret since the world began, and to say that this is what is plainly taught in the Old Testament scriptures referred to is a bold defiance of scripture, and that is all. To say that "Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people," and "I will set thee for a light to the Gentiles," is a matter kept secret since the world began, is to trifle with the word of God. The only thing it proves is that the writer is ignorant of the mystery, now it is revealed, and knows nothing beyond the passages quoted. The Lord, it is said, expounded after His resurrection the things concerning Himself. It is scarcely conceivable that He should have left out the calling of the Gentiles in His exposition. Concerning Himself is not concerning the Church, but as to His own person. The Spirit was to come to guide them into all the truth. It is expressly stated, that He was shewing them "that Christ must suffer and enter into his glory." (Luke 24: 26, 44-46.) A person must be singularly hard driven up to quote such scripture as this, and in the face of positive scriptures that it is now revealed by the Spirit, and had been kept secret since the world began -- hid in God. The calling of the Gentiles is not in itself the formation of the Church. "Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people" is a different thought. It justifies blessing to the Gentiles which the Jews would not hear of, "forbidding to preach to the Gentiles that they might be saved." But it treats the Jews as God's people, whereas in the Church there is neither Jew nor Gentile at all.

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All this proves merely that T. M. has not the smallest idea of what the Church is, and is really most tedious to have to answer. No one denies that Christ spoke prophetically of the Church, though the Church itself was not yet revealed; but John 10: 16 does not even do this. Gathering individuals into a flock does shew the calling of the Gentiles, which had always been revealed, and approaches the outward state of things here. But the doctrine of the Church is not in it at all (that is, of the body of Christ). All this still only proves (what indeed makes all plain, as to the whole of these teachers), that they have not the scriptural doctrine of the Church at all. John never speaks of the Church -- once of a local church -- but never of the Church, but of Christ and individuals. None of the apostles speaks of the Church, nor uses the word of Christians as a whole, but Paul. It was a dispensation committed to him, as he tells us. Christ prophesies of it; the Acts relate historically its being founded; but no one speaks of it as a teacher, or doctrinally, but Paul. The nearest approach is an allusion in 1 Peter 2 to the temple: "We are built up a spiritual house." T. M. is forced to admit that this purpose of God in gathering the saints into one was revealed in a manifested form and visible unity, never known or seen before. It is easy to say, never known or seen. When did it exist before? Where was the head to which the body was to be united? or did it subsist without any head at all?

That Ephesians 3: 5, 6 does not mean fellow-heirs with all the Jewish redeemed, if by that is meant they should be one body, is perfectly certain, because chapter 2 shews that Christ made of twain one new man, and that this is the way they are fellow-citizens and fellow-heirs, thus reconciling both in one body. It is very convenient to take only the expression "fellow-heirs" and to leave out the one body, which is expressly revealed to be a new thing. And note here a striking proof that in every sense the Church must be a new thing -- as a fact, not merely as a revelation. Judaism was founded on and maintained by the keeping up the middle wall of partition; the Church is founded on its being cast down. To have revealed the Church during the subsisting of Judaism would have been to have destroyed the whole force and value of the revelation by which Judaism subsisted. The Lord. when His death was approaching which was to do it, could prophetically reveal it, in general terms, as a fact, and so He does in Matthew 16. But that was because Judaism was passing away. T. M. is obliged yet again to admit that the Gentile calling, comparatively hidden and unrevealed, is "the subject of a positive and bodily manifestation." "Now that the head has appeared, the truth of the body is no longer kept secret, and the secret purpose of God, hid in other ages from the sons of men, is becoming manifest." Was ever greater confusion? The truth of the body then was kept secret; it was a secret purpose of God hid in other ages from the sons of men. So we say; so scripture says; so T. M. says now. But why in the beginning of the sentence is it "comparatively hidden?" Here it is a "secret purpose" and "kept secret." Which is true? Why alter scripture, and say "comparatively hid in God?" But the calling of the Gentiles was neither comparatively nor in any other way hid, but revealed as clearly as possible in passages already quoted, "Rejoice ye Gentiles, with his people," etc., -- not even comparatively hid; but the other, if we are to believe scripture, was kept secret -- hid in God. Why will not T. M. believe it, instead of changing scripture to meet his theory and contradict himself in the same page?

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But Colossians 1 affords another important witness besides verses 25, 26, namely, verse 18. It is as risen from the dead that Christ is the beginning, the Head of the body. It is not merely that as Son He quickens and gives life (this is blessedly true), but that as risen from the dead, He takes a wholly new place Himself, as man, is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and becomes the head of the body, the Church. It is not merely the value of a work, or the operation of divine power, but a place now first taken, and a special place; not a place held in common with others (which, in a certain sense, is true of resurrection), but a place of pre-eminence, in which He is alone: the Head and the assembly united to Him as His body. T. M. is forced to admit the difference now of a manifested form and visible unity never seen before: let me add, a union with Christ impossible before; for we could not be members of Christ until He took His place as Head.

But T. M. assures us "that when they (Jews and Gentiles) pass out of them into an eternal state, these distinctions vanish." The distinction of Jews and Gentiles has vanished now in the assembly, because it is an eternal thing -- is what remains. But where does T. M. find that the Church's distinctive position, which he cannot deny here, vanishes in another world? Where is his gospel of a new work in that unseen world, which is to introduce those who were not in the Church here into it there? I read, "To him be glory in the Church throughout all ages." It is an eternal relationship as such, which the Church, formed here, keeps. So I read, "The tabernacle of God is with men." But that is the heavenly Jerusalem, the Bride, the Lamb's wife, still God's dwelling and with men. So in Hebrews 12, I read of the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven, and of the spirits of just men made perfect. Why this distinction, if all are to be swamped in one?

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Thus, while these teachers are obliged to invent a new gospel as to another world, to make the distinctions, which they cannot deny, vanish there, the few passages which speak of such subjects clearly speak of their continuance. Page 27 of T. M.'s tract is a revelation of his own. But what is important to me is the real present difference of the Church. Now all that T. M. says in this part of the tract proves only that he has not the idea of the Church at all. He knows, he tells us, no redemption apart from the blood of Christ; nor do I. Christ's death and resurrection must be the basis of all union, relationship, and blessing: agreed. No life apart from Christ's eternal life. As far as I understand T. M.'s meaning here, I admit it, though I doubt he apprehends the force of eternal life as used in scripture; but as he uses it, I have already said the same thing. No power to quicken the soul save the power of the Holy Ghost: all right.

But all this does not say one word of union with Christ, the Man exalted to God's right hand, by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven and dwelling in us. He adds, "according to this view I am constrained to admit all believers into the Church of God." But in the blessings he has spoken of, he has not mentioned a single thing which, according to scripture, constitutes the Church of God. He tells us, that when immortality sets in, there shall be but one flock and one Shepherd, one body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all. This does but add to the confusion and display of ignorance the tract exhibits. All this is true now, and cannot apply as to much of it "when immortality sets in;" there will be no hope and faith then. But farther, while it is true now, it will not be true at all when we are glorified; because when, for us at any rate, "immortality sets in," and that is the proper hope of our calling, there will be saints on earth in quite a different state. Let me remind my good friend, T. M., too, that at that time the marriage of the Lamb will have come, and His wife have made herself ready; that is, the Church will be complete and the marriage will have taken place.

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T. M. asks the reader's careful consideration of Galatians 4: 1-7. He tells us, they (the Old Testament saints) are called "the heir," "lord of all," "children." "Thus they had all the privilege and calling of the Church." Could I ask a clearer proof of the total ignorance of what the Church is than this tract displays? Not one of these terms gives the proper character and standing of the Church at all. No doubt the individuals who compose it partake of all this. But the Church's place is not spoken of at all in it. There is nothing of union with Christ the Head; nothing of being His body; nothing of being the bride; nothing of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. They were children not differing from servants, whereas we have the Spirit of adoption; but the Church's place is not spoken of. When will these dear friends submit to learn the truth, instead of printing and publishing their own (scripturally) unlearned thoughts!

I do not go into other questions. Errors and false grounds of attack, even on his own friends, abound in this production; as, for example, that as to the gospels and epistles is a most untrue and unfounded accusation on the author's own shewing. But we can expect no right judgment from those who do not submit to the word. But I confine myself to the one question.

We are told that 'building on the rock' is a Jewish prophecy. (Is. 28.) It is nothing of the kind. Jehovah is, no doubt, called a Rock, and Christ is prophesied of in Isaiah 28 as the sure foundation-stone. But the only point we are concerned in is the building of the Church on it, and of that Isaiah does not say a word, nor allude to it. The Lord's statement is not the revelation of the assembly, which is brought out as union with a glorified man, but it does surely teach that the Church was to begin thereafter. If He had said, I build, or, am building, it might be said; but it was a new direct revelation to Peter from the Father, that that humbled man, the rejected Messiah, was the Son of the living God; upon that He declares that He will build, not had been building, His Church.

T. M. quotes John 15 as a proof that the Church was formed on earth. I deny entirely that John 15 applies to the Church. The branches are cut off: members of Christ's body cannot be cut off from it. The vine was Israel, but not the true Vine. Christ on earth -- only on earth -- was the true Vine. I say on earth, for there is pruning, and bringing forth fruit, and cutting off. All this is on earth, and was true then. The false application of this to the Church has led to a mass of difficulties. There may be an analogy in professors now -- the Church in its outward profession; but that is all. The same substitution of Christ to Israel may be seen in Isaiah 49, and Matthew's use of Hosea's prophecy, I have called my son out of Egypt," but all relating to earth. The Church is seated in heavenly places in Christ; there is no pruning and cutting off in heavenly places. These views lead astray on every point.

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It is a loose way of speaking to say, "fortunate to live a few days longer till Pentecost was come." The thief himself was the first witness, so to speak, that the veil was rent. I do not know whether T. M. thinks it a small thing that "the way into the holiest" was not made manifest till Christ died. One thing is certain, that he counts the gift of the Holy Ghost, the coming of the Comforter, which made it expedient that the blessed One should go away, a very small matter. The thief was not so fortunate as to wait a few days.

I reply to his questions.

First. The Gospels do not contain the widest possible form of instruction. I know no part of scripture so blessed, because they present Christ Himself to me. But they teach me that as to truth there were many things which Christ had to teach, which the disciples could not then bear, and that the Spirit was to guide them into all truth. If T. M. does not believe this, he does not bow to what Christ says in the gospels.

Secondly. We are to believe that the Church was not related to Christ when He was on earth; because Ephesians tells us He was to be exalted in order to be the Head of the body, and that by His death He was to make of twain one new man, and reconcile both in one body by the cross.

Thirdly. No doubt the disciples were children of God while Christ was on earth, but they had not the Spirit of adoption, nor did Christ own them as His brethren. The expression of "brother and sister" has evidently no relation to this. They were as much His mother as His brethren.

Fourthly. It is no part of our faith that the blood of Christ gives an equal standing and relationship to all whom it cleanses -- not even as on earth. It gives power to enter into the holiest. It did not on earth to the Old Testament saints; it will not to the millennial saints on earth. It is "a new and living way which is opened to us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." As to any standing and relationship with Christ in the heavenly state, that must be learnt from scripture, not from human inferences. When a scripture is brought which teaches me that all saints are the body and bride of Christ, I shall of course bow. I read that God has reserved some better things for us. Salvation is the same for all; but our special place must be learned from God's revealed purpose. If the result must be the same, why are there those who sit on the right hand and on the left, others who do not? If there is a difference in degree, as T. M. is forced to admit, then the blood of Christ does not involve equality of place; if it did, it must be absolute equality; if this be not so, the inference is false. We must learn from the word what is true.

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Fifthly. We are to limit Matthew 16 to the formation of the Church at Pentecost and after. It is not an Old Testament prophecy at all. It does not contain a promise to Israel in the millennial days. Were it even so, it could not be true of days preceding Christ's coming.

Sixthly. We are to hold that the Old Testament saints are not united to Him. It is a delusion to hold that men are united to Christ because they are quickened and raised by Him.

The seventh is a mere false accusation against his own friends. No such thing is said in his friend's speech, as quoted by T. M. It is only said they are not so easy to be understood, which is quite true, and for the reason stated.

Eighthly. Romans does not contain the truth of the Church. In practical exhortation, it alludes to it as existing in chapter 12; but it is not at all the subject of its teaching. It speaks of what is even more important, individual justification and peace, forgiveness of sins, and judgment of the law of the old man, and freedom from it in a new life. Nay, more; it does not (save in an allusion, in order to speak of intercession) speak of Christ as ascended. It teaches us the new condition into which Christ's death and resurrection bring us. It is so far a contrast to Ephesians, that Romans begins with man in wickedness and sin, and presents the remedy; Ephesians, with God's purpose, and, looking at Christ dead, and we dead in sins, shews us quickened together with Him, does not teach us justification as responsible men on earth, but a new creation, by which we are associated with, and united to, Christ in heaven.

Ninthly. It is undoubtedly true that we are first regenerated and then sealed and baptized into one body. I speak of no interval of time being necessary; but the consequence of the divine acts is perfectly clear from scripture. It is impossible an unregenerate man can be sealed: T. M. ought to see it is an absurdity; whereas only an unregenerated man can be regenerated. He ought to know that we are children of God by faith, and that it is after we have believed we are sealed. The truth is, he does not believe in any sealing at all, in any gift of the Holy Ghost to us but Pentecostal gifts, which we certainly have not; and hence these questions. It is well this infidelity as to the promise of the Spirit should come out.

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Tenthly. The operations of the Spirit are not limited to this dispensation; but the sending of the Comforter is, because Christ expressly declares it could not come till He went away, and when it did come, was to abide for ever, not go away like Him. The Holy Ghost is not the same as the gifts of the Holy Ghost. He distributes, when come, to whom He will. All this is but infidelity as to the presence of the Spirit. True, the Church has so grieved Him, it is hard often to discern His operations; but God is calling back the conscience of the Church to its sin in this respect, and what it has lost; and these teachers are denying the evil. It is only repeating what I have said in the body of the tract, but there cannot be a more complete denial or ignoring of the specific sending the Comforter on Christ's going away -- that is, of the essential characteristic of Christianity which is the ministration of the Spirit.

Eleventhly. This question betrays the same setting aside of the Church that the former did of the Spirit. Scripture never says, the Church which is in the Father, but "the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father." And the difference is all important, because, though a local church may stand locally in the responsibilities of the body, it is a candlestick which may be removed out of its place. But the body of Christ cannot come to nought. Further, there is no question of sonship or union. The Church, the assembly, is not a son of God, nor can there be union with the Father. The question is a complication of blunders. Individual Christians are sons, the church of the Thessalonians has nothing to do with being a son, and, save Christ in a divine way, no son is in the Father. The whole question is a blunder.

In fine, I see nothing in this tract -- save the denial, in ignorance (I fully admit) not of the foundation of a sinner's hope, nor of the work of God in him for salvation, but of the essential and characteristic truth of Christianity, both as to the Spirit and the Church. Other grave errors are in it; but it is only of these that I have any desire to speak. I would add, that a sentence of his friend's, of which T. M. makes a great deal, is wholly unfounded. "Forgiveness of sins," he says, "includes everything." It does nothing of the kind, in any sense. Nor is even "redemption in Christ" a justifiable expression. "In whom we have redemption through his blood," is a very different thing. It states that in Christ we have a certain measured blessing, whatever else we may have besides. And this difference is the whole question here. Is not the purchased possession redeemed? Is that on the same level as is here spoken of -- no getting any higher? "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance." Is that the same as an inheritance in Him? Clearly not, to every spiritual mind. The inheritance is what is below, as distinct from our calling. In Him we have obtained it; but the inheritance is not in Him. All this is fallacious language; which I notice, because from the fallacy most mischievous conclusions are drawn.

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It is then ever true, that for every blessed soul there must be regeneration and a holy nature; there must be redemption and cleansing by the precious blood of Christ. Confiding faith in Him is the privilege of the saints at all times. But take the whole dealing of God with us now, and all depends on and is wrought by truth which no prophet could have used at all. Go no farther than Peter's sermon (Acts 2): not a word of that would have been said by a prophet. Take John 16, God's whole present testimony in the world: not one word of it possible but by the coming of the Comforter. I only pray the reader to recall what is lost by T. M.'s doctrine of the Comforter being only Pentecostal gifts -- no Spirit of adoption, no love shed abroad in our hearts, no earnest of the inheritance, no taking the things of Christ to shew them to us, no unction of the Holy One by which we know all things, no access into the holiest or to the Father, no knowledge of the things freely given to us of God, no knowledge that Christ is in the Father, we in Him, and He in us. I need go no farther. None of these are Pentecostal gifts, which are gone; none simply regeneration; for they are by the Spirit sent down, and given consequent on Christ's exaltation; whereas regeneration, T. M. insists, was at all times true. Is all this (and I might largely add to the list) lost? or what is the Comforter?

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I cannot but feel these tracts of T. M. remarkable, not by their intrinsic character (for their contents are merely a repetition of Mr. Newton's views on the subject), but as presenting afresh the views of his party at this moment, when the power of the evil of the last days is becoming so astonishingly manifested; when everything is gradually taking its own place. I have often said, there are three great positions of Christ to which our christian thoughts answer: on the cross; at the right hand of God; and coming again. The first is the foundation of all for us; the last two give, so to speak, its present christian character to the Church. To Christ's sitting at the right hand of God answers the presence of the Holy Ghost down here. The Church's hope, in reference to the second, is, beyond all controversy, Christ's coming and receiving the saints to Himself; whatever glory or reign may follow, being for ever with the Lord in heavenly places is our proper hope. "I will come again," said Christ, "and receive you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."

Both these points Mr. M. has taken up. In one tract, he has denied the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost peculiar to Christianity, consequent on the exaltation of Christ, as man, to the right hand of God; in another, he has denied the proper hope of the saint as to the Lord's coming. The system he belongs to presents itself as the denial of the true power of Christianity in what essentially characterizes it, as given in the scriptures of the New Testament.

I have replied to his tract as to the blessed Spirit; I now reply to his tract on the Coming of the Lord. His object is, that we should not constantly look for the Lord without intervening signs. To this end, he denies the difference between Christ's coming to receive the Church and His appearing. "Not only," he says, "are we to serve the Lord until the appearing, but the appearing itself is our blessed hope." "We have distinct proof that the Church remains on earth until the appearing, and is not, as our author teaches, taken up previously." He refers to the exhortation to Timothy to keep the commandment until "the appearing of Christ." "Otherwise," he tells us, "he would have said, until His coming, not His appearing."

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Now all this is the hinge of the question. But all this shews the evil consequence of drawing conclusions instead of bowing to the word. It is clearly and distinctly revealed, that, when Christ appears, we shall appear with Him in glory; and therefore it is simply impossible that we should be on earth till His appearing, and "at that time;" because we appear with Him from heaven "at that time." Now that the glorious appearing is the hope of believers, and that we wait for it, I accept fully. But why should that not be the case if we appear with Christ, instead of being on earth when He appears? Much more so, I should think. No doubt, the earth will then be set right, and that is a blessed thought indeed; but not less so if we are the companions of Christ when He comes. And this all scripture fully testifies. "The Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee." (Zechariah 14: 5.) Again, "The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." (Jude 14.) And again, "The armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." (Revelation 19: 14.) And again, "They that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." (Revelation 17: 14.)

Thus the direct positive revelations of the word of God contradict the conclusions of Mr. M., which have not even any foundation in reasonable argument. For I can love His appearing to have the world I live in (which was made for man) set right, without my living in it when He appears; and my appearing with Him does not in the smallest way hinder, but rather increase, this joy. And I beg my reader also to remark, that if Timothy, and those then on earth, were to remain to be able to enjoy it, their hope was vain, for they certainly will not be on earth; whereas if they come and appear with Him, they still will. On Mr. M.'s theory, none but just a few will: the Church at large has nothing to say to it.

But Mr. M. goes farther, and seriously so: "Christ's appearing is the proper hope of the Church," and the distinction of that and His coming, is "an arbitrary distinction." Now, as we have seen, it cannot be the hope of the Church viewed as Mr. M. views it (though scripture does not); for the immense majority of the Church will not and cannot be there: a very small minority indeed have anything to say to it.

Next, Mr. M. should be careful in his way of stating things. He is ill-informed as to these views, and, what is worse, as to scripture. "The coming" and "the appearing" are not put in contrast by those he attacks, though appearing is a definite and distinct thought; so that we have, in 2 Thessalonians 2: 8, "the appearing of his coming:" yet "coming" is a general word and which includes all, and this is expressly stated in the tract he opposes. Here are the words (second edition, page 33), and the same statement has been made in various shapes by many: "It is the latter (His coming to the world which He has not done before+) which is called His epiphany or manifestation, and which is never applied to the rapture, but always to Christ's appearing in glory with His saints, whilst parousia++ is sometimes used in speaking of one, sometimes of the other, as the context, or the persons addressed, or the way in which it is brought forward, determines; for He may come, or be present, in different ways to different persons."

+That is, at the rapture.

++That is, "coming."

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I have myself, in the tract "The Rapture of the Saints and the Jewish Remnant," already fully spoken of this point (page 52): "Do the saints not await His coming to earth and His appearing? Undoubtedly; but not as the time of their joining Him, for I expect they will appear with Him." "Christ's appearing will be the full establishment of divine power in government, and the result of responsibility; the rapture of the Church, and its entrance into the Father's house, the accomplishment of sovereign grace towards the saints," etc. The appearing of Christ is the display of His glory to the world; we shall partake of it with Him. "He comes to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe," for the glory His Father has given Him, He has given us, that we may be made perfect in one, that the world may know that He has sent Him, and has loved us as He has loved Him. So, in the transfiguration, Moses and Elias appear in the glory with Christ; but when they enter into the bright cloud, whence the Father's voice came, the excellent glory, the disciples were afraid. The cloud was known as God's dwelling: that any man should enter there was something new. The kingdom they saw, and its glory: the entrance into the Father's house was a strange thing to them altogether.

What shall we say of those who oppose its distinctive character now? I will quote some passages which give plainly this distinctive hope of the saint: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14: 2, 3.) So in John 17: 24, after speaking of the glory in a passage which I have quoted, the blessed Lord adds, "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory; ... for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." So Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4: 17; "We shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." Now all these shew, that the proper hope of the saint is not Christ's appearing -- is not even glory as displayed to the world, not to be at the right hand or the left in the kingdom, glorious and undeserved as it may be, -- but to be with Christ Himself. That is not the appearing. It is another kind of hope, a hope of another nature altogether. It is being with Himself, for ever, and in the Father's house. Hence the apostle, in 1 Thessalonians 4, adds nothing. But that passage intimates very clearly something more. The Thessalonians thought and expected pretty much as T. M. does: only they appear to have drawn the conclusion (a very natural one, but which T. M. has forgotten), that the saints who had died would not be there to see and meet Him. The apostle meets this. How? By saying, Oh, yes, they will be raised, and then they, and you who will have seen Him without them in unchanged flesh (for, if not, then all T. M.'s system falls to the ground), will go up to meet the already visible Lord? Not at all. He says, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." When Jesus comes in glory, He will bring His saints with Him, as we have seen. And then the apostle explains how they will be with Him so to come: they will go to meet Him in the air.

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I would recall another passage, along with this, that the marriage of the Lamb takes place in Revelation 19, before the Lord comes forth with the armies of heaven. The obliterating, as the author does, the distinction of going up thus to be for ever with the Lord falsifies morally the nature of the Church's hope. The presenting to Himself, the receiving to Himself that where He is we may be, the being for ever with the Lord, without adding anything to such a hope, is swamped in the appearing in glory. This, not being with Jesus, is what, according to T. M., we are waiting for. Now what I desire the reader specially to note is that coming and appearing is all one to T. M., and that being with Christ as the result never once appears in any shape in the tract. The proper hope, the special joy, what is the essence of Christ's coming for the saint who knows what the saint's place is, is wholly, totally, absent from the tract. If this were so truly, coming or appearing would be pretty much alike; and hence they are so for T. M. But what does this shew to one who has learnt from scripture what that place is? Simply this, that not a trace of it has ever entered T. M.'s mind. And that is the whole matter.

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As regards the dealings and ways of God in government, the day, the appearing of Christ, is the great and solemn epoch set before us; and then we shall appear in glory, each in the place assigned him with Him. Hence this is set before us as the great public announcement to all. But God has something for the affections and heart of those who love the Lord, which is (not the display of glory, but) being with Him in the common and individual joy of His presence, with Him in the Father's house. This is not appearing at all; nor can it be.

Now a person may make plausible objections to the truth and the special privileges of the saints, difficulties from obscure passages, or where scripture has to provide for public facts and hopes to be unfolded afterwards. Ignorance of this is not to be despised, but the using these passages which may present obscurity, to hinder the minds of the untaught receiving the truths God is leading them to, is Satan's work. And this, I must say, T. M. is doing. Many minds may be ignorant as to a Jewish remnant and the like; nor is it in itself any reproach; but to use passages which require that knowledge to obscure the highest and best hopes of the soul is the enemy's work. T. M. denies the proper hope of the Church in this tract, as he did the present power and joy of the Church in the other. If he has read the tract he comes forward to oppose, or many others, he must have seen that the being for ever with the Lord is the great blessing of this doctrine, and what is insisted on in the difference, "parousia" used for the whole scene, and "epiphany" used for Christ's manifestation before men. But this blessing disappears wholly in his book, written to say the epiphany is all -- is what we are to wait for.

A mere difference of prophetic notions would not have made me take up my pen. I do so because the present power and proper blessed hope of Christianity are denied by these tracts. I hardly know whether it is worth while for me to discuss the details. What I have said shews the falseness and the practically infidel tendency as to the hope of the Church, of the tract I comment on; but as many may not have an answer ready, I take up some of these details.

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The avowed object of the tract is to hinder a present constant expectation of Christ and to put it off, to shew that it is as good if it be held to be far off as if near, that it is wrong, "a sort of feverish and unhealthy excitement, expecting a daily or hourly return;" that, if the early saints had this feeling, "it was a false one" -- "the distance of the object in no way enfeebling the power of the hope." This is plain speaking. What the difference is between this and the evil servant saying in his heart, "my lord delayeth his coming," I confess myself unable to perceive. T. M. tells us that servant "makes use of a fact to his own destruction." Is that all the parable teaches us? The Lord is exhorting to watch because men know not the day nor the hour their lord comes, and then applies it to the saints. But it was the evil servant saying in his heart, "My lord delayeth his coming," which set him free to beat the men-servants and the maid-servants. It was the cause of the horrible iniquity the Church fell into.

It is a fact that the Lord has delayed: every one knows that. The question is, Ought the Church to have expected or have waited constantly for the Lord? I say, "have waited constantly for the Lord" -- not have said, "My lord delayeth his coming." What does T. M. say? I will tell him what the Lord says; and may the Lord give him grace to heed it: "Let your loins be girded about and your Lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord when he will return from the wedding, that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants." (Luke 12.) Was this a "feverish and unhealthy excitement?" T. M. will find in what follows the question of service. He says it will give time for service. Let him read, then, what the effect in service is of thinking of possible delay. And such has been the history, alas! of the Church.

And now let me recall to my reader that that delay which T. M. insists on as the fact to be thought of and meant to be thought of+ -- the protracted history of the Church's progress in evil -- has taken place already, and that it is after this that T. M. is afraid of a present hope. God gave such instruction in His own blessed wisdom as left it as a present hope to the saints; and if there was delay and the scene opened out, left room for that scene in the manner of presenting the thought; still the watchfulness, called for at first, being as possible as at the beginning, and more called for.

+"It is plain on the face of scripture, that an orderly and detailed system of things is placed before the view of the Church which must be gone through ere our Lord returns," etc.

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Thus T. M. alleges the inconsistency of the seven churches being treated as the protracted scene, and yet looking for, or supposing the early saints could look for, an immediate coming of Christ. See now the wisdom of God. All these churches were existing contemporary churches. There was nothing to wait for then, when the revelation was made. When the protracted scene was coming to a close, when the protracted scene is over or nearly so, men can look back and see the progress of evil developed in the professing Church. When given, they were scenes before their eyes in existing churches. I hold still, with a multitude of Christians, that it is a portraying of the progressive history of the professing Church -- a history now just over, and that it offered no prospect of a protracted history, but the contrary. "Behold I come quickly" was the comfort of the faithful Philadelphians then, as it is of the true saints now. All I see in T. M.'s reasoning is that unbelief has blinded his eyes as to the holy wisdom of God's ways.

The parable of the ten virgins teaches us the Bridegroom tarried. How long? The picture is all the affair of one night and of the same virgins. That is, it tells us there must be patient watching for an unknown moment (in which they failed); but gives no idea of any prolongation; but it does give a principle which is of the deepest instruction to us, where we have by facts learned the long delay. But this it clearly shews, that not to have been always watching was the culpable neglect of the Church. While He tarried, they went to sleep, and had to be not only awakened but called out unto their original position. To say that a sudden awakening of sleepers by a midnight cry is the perception of continuous signs by a wakeful heart capable of appreciating them, is worthy of the system. There has been a protracted scene. That the Church was taught to look for it is deplorably false; and to use the fact so as to lead souls to think that such a constant expectation was false, is the work of the enemy. Ought not the virgins to have been watching? Were they taught that an orderly and detailed system of things was placed before the Church which must be gone through? The conclusion is, "watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour."

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The same is true of the servants. The man went to receive a kingdom and to return. But the servants are the same, and it is, as a parable, supposed to be in the lifetime of the man and the lifetime of the servants. There is no protracted system. Now it is passed, we can say -- so it was; but it is always presented as a present uncertain expectation. They are assured by Peter that God was not slack concerning His promise; that it was the patience of His grace which made the delay; that Christ was ready to judge; yea, that the time had come for judgment to begin at the house of God. The last word of scripture for the hearts of the saints is, "Surely I come quickly." I do not doubt that in the book of Revelation there have been analogies in the protracted period; but it applies, I have no doubt (as I believe the churches give the prolonged existence of the Church), literally to the time when the Church is done with.

The scriptures press, then, the word, "Behold I come quickly," and tell the disciples to be as men that wait for their lord. T. M. asks, Can it be gravely said that the Lord would teach His people nearly two thousand years ago to expect any hour an event which He knew would not take place ere centuries had passed over? Would the God of truth produce such a false impression? This is bold enough. My answer is, that the Lord told His disciples to watch, and be ready to open immediately, whenever He came; for of that day and hour knew no man, neither the angels, no, not the Son. I ask, which am I to receive? the folly of Mr. M.'s presumption, or the solemn testimony of the Lord?

When Mr. M. says the disciples had the false notion that the kingdom of God would immediately appear, which the Lord unqualifiedly repudiated, he forgets himself. It was during Christ's lifetime, and not His disciples' particularly; and He tells them that He must go away first, and that they, the servants, are to occupy till He comes. But there is nothing as to any interval; the Lord has always carefully avoided it. They might expect Him at any time, and were to work till He came.

Paul never spoke of wolves after his decease, till his ministry was closed and he was taking leave expecting to see them no more. People might have reasoned from the Lord's word (if they knew of it) to Peter, then an elderly man (for the Lord says, "when thou wast young"), he was to die first. But as regards the Church in general, Peter was dead some thirty years before this account was given; and both he and Paul, just at their death, then say they know or have a special revelation that they were to die. But why so, if the Church's hope was not a present waiting for Christ? Hence when, on the same occasion, the Lord had said of John "If I will that he tarry till I come," the saying went abroad that that disciple would not die. He did not say this; but it shews what they expected.

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It is a mistake to say, that "there lay between that time and Peter's death a long time of service; for the apostles were commanded to preach the gospel among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." There is nothing of the kind. He made them understand the scriptures, and that this was to be done. In Matthew, they were to disciple all nations, baptizing them, etc., adding there, "And, lo, I am with you alway to the end of the age." But here there was no ascension; and either He must have meant them to look at it as a present expectation during their lifetime, or the time runs on still, which, according to T. M.'s theory, the Lord must have known could not apply to the apostles. He did not expect them to live two thousand years. The apostles, moreover, never accomplished this mission at all, but gave it up to Paul, who then teaches the distinct doctrine of the Church and the rapture. But Christ's coming to receive the Church made no part of the revelation to Peter. For him the Lord was to come as He had gone; and he never goes beyond His appearing, nor teaches the doctrine of the union of Jews and Gentiles. It was not committed to him.

All this did not hinder Paul saying, "We which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord," not affirming that he would be actually there, but he was then of that class which were justly so expecting Him. And he has not lost by it. There was no revelation that Christ would come immediately, but there was a positive instruction to be always waiting for Him. If the time had been over, Peter might have been taken up and crucified while they were talking about it. If Christ could not come till Peter died, Peter might have died at any moment. This did not affect the general expectation of the saints then. Now it has no application, and is used simply to discredit what Christ most certainly taught -- that we should always be waiting. Peter is dead; and to use it now is proof only of the will to destroy the expectation of Christ's coming.

As to John 16: 2, 4, they are told they would be persecuted; but how that should hinder them in the persecutions waiting for Christ to take them out of them, I cannot see. Nobody speaks of a fixed near time, but the contrary -- that it was an unknown time, so that men should be always expecting it, never to arrest their service, but to sustain them in it. To say that neither time nor suddenness has anything to do with the genuine hope of the Church, if it mean that the Lord's coming is not sudden and at such time as men think not, is a bold defiance of scripture. I know that the surprise is to the world. But to say that the Lord does not come suddenly is too bold. "At such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh." Mr. M.'s assertions are a defiance of scripture. Mr. M. cites 2 Timothy 3. He forgets that this was an instruction just at the very close of his life (chapter 4: 7, 8) to Timothy, himself then living, how to get on. Mr. M. may think it was a false idea of the apostle thus to present these things as a matter of immediate practice, and perhaps that John was wrong in saying "we know that it is the last time," antichrists being there already; that if Christ knew that there were two thousand years of an orderly and detailed system to be gone through, the apostles were blind about it all and mislead the Church, the Timothys, and the saints at large. We believe it is inspired scripture, and that the last days are come, however a thousand years may be with the Lord as one day, and one day as a thousand years. It is all profoundly sad this.

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As regards the parable of the tares and the wheat, it proves exactly the contrary of what Mr. M. says. "From this parable," he remarks, "then, it is manifest that God's wheat remains on the earth up to Christ's appearing in glory." I have already shewn that Colossians 3 states, in terms, the contrary -- that they appear with Him. Is gathering into the garner appearing? They are taken away out of the field and hidden in God's garner -- the opposite of appearing. The wheat is not gathered home before the tares are disturbed; it is before they are burned. The righteous shine forth in the kingdom, but they are previously gathered into the garner, which is not shining forth. The shining forth, moreover, is a continuous act. The tares are, first of all, gathered by the angels into bundles ready -- not burned then; the wheat gathered into the garner. Afterwards judgment is executed. This is the time of the harvest. The harvest is the end of the age. No man can say that the tares are not being gathered together now; I believe they are. It is not said that Christ's appearing in glory is the end of the age, as Mr. M. says. They synchronize as a general period; and it may be the grand closing act. Yet even then the wicked on the earth have still to be judged. The harvest is the end of the age here in this passage at any rate.

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I now turn to Matthew 24. I cannot of course expect T. M. to know anything about the Jewish remnant and God's dealings with this world. But I can expect him to understand that the Lord was speaking of Jerusalem and the temple, and that the age has nothing to do with the christian dispensation, so-called, or the Church. The Lord was speaking of the temple. Their house was left unto them desolate, and they, the Jews, would not see Him till they said, Blessed be He that cometh. And the disciples were shewing Him the buildings of the temple. That was what was "interesting" the disciples, whatever T. M. may dream of, and this was their question: "When shall these things be?" They knew nothing of the Church, nor thought anything of it in their questions. They connected the end of the age with the desolations of Jerusalem and the temple. And so the Lord answers them, only telling them that that gospel of the kingdom would be first preached in all nations before the end of the age came. The age was the time of Jewish polity up to Messiah, of which it could be then said (as in Matthew 13) this age. Christianity is not the age, nor an age at all. Hence they are told, when they see the abomination of desolation set up, those in Judaea are to flee to the mountains, and those on the housetop are not to come down. Does Mr. M. think that this is a warning to the Church of God or for those at Jerusalem? There are no signs but the sign of the Son of man in heaven; but there are events which identify those spoken to and of with Jerusalem and an earthly deliverance: the saving of flesh; the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be delivered out of it; the great tribulation of Daniel 12, to which our Lord expressly refers us; snares as to Christ which have no application to Christians, because they do not expect Christ in the desert or the secret chamber, but to be caught up to meet Him in the air. I do not expect Mr. M. to apprehend how it is impossible to apply it to the Church, because he does not believe in the Church. But I have a right to expect that, when the blessed Lord speaks of Jerusalem and Judaea, and fleeing to the mountains, he should apply it to what the Lord applies it to.

I believe the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations before that end comes (though the apostle speaks of it as done in principle in Colossians 1), but the gospel of the kingdom will. But when Mr. M. says these signs were to be their warnings of His approach, What signs? I answer; and a warning to whom? Signs and events which were to happen as a warning to those in Judaea, who could not take more than a sabbath-day's journey. It is a sign of judgment on Jerusalem and the temple, in the place where the carcase will be; not a word about heaven, or being caught up to meet the Lord, but what could not be if that be believed; for the temptation was Christ's being in the desert or secret chamber. It is deplorable the labour those take who reject the doctrine of the Church and its being caught up to meet the Lord in the air -- take to reduce the Church to the level of Jews, even when Judaea and Jerusalem are named as the exclusive scene of what is passing and the events which are to take place.

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I know not that I need add more. I write more as a testimony than as an elaborate discussion; for it is ground which has been often gone over. The question cannot be separated from the doctrine of the Church. Paul alone, as to apostolic doctrine, teaches as to the Church, alone the rapture. The general thought, viewed from earth and as to the order of God's government, is Christ's coming and appearing. Paul has taught a special connection of the Church with Christ, ending in His receiving it to Himself. This these doctors diligently deny, and seek to bring down the Church, as far as they can, to the level of Judaism. They, consequently, deny the special mission of the Comforter, as the fruit of Christ's exaltation. In the Gospel of John we have the same truth of the rapture as to individuals. This, of course, is denied too. The glorious truth of the exalted Man, and all the consequences of that exaltation, present and to come, they seek to depreciate as much as they can. They dare not deny there is some difference; they admit there is a corporation on earth which there was not before; but they do all they can to hinder the saints from knowing the glory of Christ's position, and its consequences for those who believe. I am conscious this may seem hard; but there is a time to be silent and a time to speak. We are come to a crisis in the ways of God, and the world's history. Evil is not ashamed, and truth ought not to be. I believe it is a time to speak.

I cannot but feel that the appearance of these two tracts of Mr. M.'s is providential, and that it is well to say I am satisfied that they are precisely and directly the opposite to the testimony of God which He is giving at this time; that what God is bringing out to His saints and teaching they are laboriously seeking to set aside. I have nothing to do with the intentions of Mr. M., but with the teaching of his tracts. I admit the quickening of all saints, of course. I admit the Son to be the blessed source of life at all times, His blood, to be the forgiveness of the sins past before His coming, as of all time. I admit the general thought of Christ's appearing as the hope of this weary world. But the peculiar glory of the exalted Man, its consequences in the sending the Holy Ghost, the union of the Church with its Head, the indwelling of the Comforter in the individual saints, their being members of His body, of His flesh, and His bones; the taking the bride up and presenting it to Himself, and the rapture of the saints: all that constitutes distinctively Christianity, in distinction from piety and life in general -- that by which God is acting on the affections and filling the hopes of the Church of God now -- is diligently set aside.

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Such is my thorough conviction; and if it be so, Mr. M. himself cannot be surprised if I have spoken plainly.

I believe the Church may judge of signs; as the Pharisees ought to have discerned "this time;" I believe she ought of herself to judge what is right. She has all the advantage of them as warnings, but she knows they precede the judgments of the world; and her own heavenly and peaceful character is maintained, and the heavenly character of her hope, by the rapture, which takes her out of the scene in which she has to keep the word of Christ's patience. I cannot think it a privilege to be in a time of trouble which is caused by unfaithfulness and rejection of Christ; yet it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but trouble which he is in through subjection to the Gentiles, through sin.

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The rest of God seems to me a question of paramount importance. A part in it distinguishes the saint both from the wicked and from the unintelligent creation. Entrance into God's rest is perhaps the highest form in which we can conceive blessing; for the rest of God is not mere relief from labour, as it is with man, but peaceful complacency in what is perfect and good. It is cessation from work, if not from weariness -- cessation even from holy labour. But it is more; it is enjoyment in the completeness of that as to which we have laboured, and in the proper perfectness of that in which we are -- for us, in God Himself. The nature of God rests in that which is perfectly good. "The promise is left us of entering into his rest;" not merely into rest, though rest it will be, and blessedly so, but His rest -- the perfect satisfaction God has in all brought into perfectness before Him. Holy affections have rest in what is good; as also the labourer has gladsome rest from his labour. The rest of God is the portion of God's people. When God had created all (and behold it was very good), He rested. He ceased to create, and He was well pleased in what was created. It answered His mind. Better still the eternal rest of God in perfect good, the effect of redemption, and the work which has brought us into glory, and heaven and earth into holy order, the rest of God in Himself in love, and in the blessing of all around Him answering in its place to what He is.

I have sometimes felt on the Lord's day the utter poverty of the creation, beautiful perhaps in itself, that had no link with God in rest, and pursued its search of food, or its instinct, one day like another, on none the expression of relationship with God. "There remaineth a rest to the people of God." It is distinctive of them, though they have it not yet. It cannot therefore be of small importance to know on what ground, in what way, and how far they have part in it now consequently as Christians. I think we shall find how prominent a place it holds in the thoughts of God, the moment we examine the records He has given us of His ways.

But another question, as we are all aware, connects itself with it -- the place the law holds in the ways of God. This connects itself, or rather identifies itself, with the question -- Is the purpose, which is inseparable from the grace of God, the first thing in His ways, or the responsibility of man, that is, grace or law; in fact, the first Adam or the Second? Here the old Aristotelian adage becomes true -- jArch; thsee footnote" qewriva" tevlo" thsee footnote" pravxew". That law in principle, and ultimately the law as given in fact, identifies itself with, and is the measure of, responsibility in the first Adam, will hardly be questioned. That it is not in itself grace is evident. It requires from man, and does not give to him sovereignly or contrary to what he has deserved. Yet both are divine and true in their place. It is because the relative place of each of these is not seen that the difficulty has, I believe, been insoluble. If both be of God, both must be maintained: His authority in respect of man's responsibility; sovereign grace abounding over all. God's title in both must be maintained. The difficulty lies in this, that while God's title is involved in both, in their nature they contradict one another. To require and to give are necessarily opposed to one another. If a thousand pounds be due, it is very just to require it, but it is not grace. If I pay it so as to free the debtor, when he has no claim on me, it is pure kindness and grace; only righteousness is satisfied by the payment.

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But we shall find that this is not all. I affirm, then, that purpose and the Second man and eternal life in Him came before the question of responsibility in the first, but that responsibility and law came actually first in the history of man and of this world; that both meet in Christ, and in Him only the difficulty is solved -- a difficulty which heathens have reasoned on as well as Christians, because it lies in the nature and state of man. When I have unfolded this from scripture, I will apply it to our question and to the rest of God.

The truth that the purpose and full promise and grace of God was before the world, and in the last Adam, the Second man, not in the first, involves this additional truth -- that, whatever its collateral blessings for the world (and they are many), it is not of the world, not directly part of its history and government, though it be developed and find its place in it, and God's secret and overruling government order all things for good to those who are faithful to Him in it. As was true of Christ, so of Christians, "Ye are not of the world, as I am not of the world."

But I will proceed to the scripture proof of my proposition, that the purpose of grace, though revealed after, came before the responsibility of man (I do not say the predestination of persons here, but the purposes of grace); while the bringing in of the accomplishment of that purpose came after the question of responsibility was settled as to the first Adam. Thus 2 Timothy 1: 9, "Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works" -- in which clearly our responsibility is engaged, and to which judgment is applied -- "but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death" -- the fruit of failure in responsibility -- "and brought life and incorruptibility to light by the gospel." Works according to which responsibility is judged of are not that according to which God has saved us; death, which failure in responsibility brought in, is abolished, rendered void. That is, the principle on which responsibility is tried, and with which judgment deals (for He will judge every man according to his works), is not that according to which we are saved. The purpose of grace goes on another principle; and, further, positive power is come in, in which Christ has risen above and annulled the effect of failure, and which has besides acted in producing its own effects. But the purpose of grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. Nor was it brought to light till He came.

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So Titus 1: 1-3, "The truth which is after godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; but hath in due times manifested his word by preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour." This is very plain, only we have to remark that it is eternal life which is promised. So our election leads to the same truth. If God were to choose a part of the world now, it would be a., sovereign as doing so before the world: I know in His holy wisdom He does not, but it would be as sovereign as doing it before the world. But He has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world; and the effect is, He has chosen us for what is not of the world, but far above the world and all consequences of our responsibility, even if we had fulfilled it; namely, to be before Him as sons, like Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. This was sovereign goodness, giving us a place according to His own counsels.

The whole of that first chapter of Ephesians (be it calling, be it inheritance, and indeed the whole of the epistle) goes on this ground. Our place with the Father, our place with Christ as His body, is not grounded on responsibility in the first Adam, but on purpose accomplished in and through the Second. Romans meets man's responsibility and sin; Ephesians unfolds God's purpose. Hence our part in it is by a new creation. Is the Christian then beyond responsibility? In nowise; but his responsibility is according to his new place, not according to the one he has failed in and been saved out of. I will, with the Lord's help, touch on this before I close.

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The purpose in the Last Man is before and beyond responsibility in the first.

Let us now examine the development of the two principles of gift and responsibility in the history of the first, for it is full of interest.

The two great principles stood side by side in the garden of Eden. There was the tree of life, of which, as we find afterwards, if a man ate, he would live for ever; and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to which responsibility was attached, and a law, and judgment on failure. Life was there independent of responsibility or works, and a prohibition which involved responsibility. Neither supposed sin in man; for that which was prohibited was perfectly innocent, but that it was prohibited. I do not enter into the details of the fall. It is evident to me that departure from God in distrust of heart, introduced by Satan's wiles, came before lust; and when the heart had departed from God, lust and disobedience came in. The blessed Saviour came to win man's confidence back to God, sinner as man was -- no doubt to do a great deal more, but to do that: God was in Christ reconciling, not imputing; and the history of this is of the most affecting grace; but I cannot enter on it here. But the first Adam had taken the path of responsibility, broken through the hedge of the law, was lost; afraid of God, when there, calling him in gracious familiarity, bringing his state home to him; convicted and excluded from God's presence. And the world began. It was so filled with violence and corruption, that it was necessarily judged by a present judgment. On this I do not dwell.

In the new world, after it had been set on foot by the formation of nations, by the judgment of man at the tower of Babel, promises came first without condition,+ as the apostle reasons in Galatians. The question of responsibility and righteousness was not raised at all. But still righteousness must be; and the question is raised in the law, and founded entirely on man's responsibility; life is brought in, but made, not the fruit of gift, but of man's satisfying his responsibility. "This do, and thou shalt live." Life was to be had as the consequence of doing what the law required. But man was a sinner, and, if he knew himself, had only to say, "the law, which was ordained for life, I found to be unto death."

+It is a mistake to suppose that there was any promise to Adam at the fall. In the judgment on the serpent the revelation of the Last Adam, the Seed of the woman, was given, and of His destroying the serpent's power utterly. But the Seed of the woman is just what the first Adam was not. It is the revelation and promise of the Second.

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But this responsibility of man had a further trial in the way of grace. Not only God sent His prophets to recall Israel to the paths of peace and obedience, but He of whom they had testified came. This was the activity of God's love when man was already a sinner, when he had already broken the law, when his responsibility had had its full result without law and under law, and every mouth was stopped, and all the world guilty before God. But God was active in goodness. He sent the prophets, and at last He sent His Son, saying, "I have yet one Son: it may be they will reverence my Son." This was voluntary goodness when sin and guilt were complete as to human responsibility. To the Jew this had even a double character: a message to them as responsible, seeking for fruit; and pure grace as such making a marriage for the King's Son. But they refused alike the fruit and the invitation. This (although the patience of God even yet visited them in Christ's intercession, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,") completed the sin of man. "Now," said the Lord John 12), "is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out."

Man's history was complete -- the world judged, Satan its prince; the result of responsibility fully brought out. The world was judged. It had, without law, produced intolerable sin; under law, transgression; and when, being such, it was visited in grace, it refused grace that recalled to law, and grace that invited to blessing. It had proved, not only that it naturally produced sin, and could not be subject to law, but that the mind of the flesh was enmity against God, not only as a Judge, but enmity against God when in ineffable grace He visited the world in mercy reconciling it to Himself. For His love He had hatred, hatred without a cause. Satan they had, and could not help it; God, when He was there in the power of divine help and goodness, they would not have. Such was sin; such was man. Self-will that would always have itself, and hence not God nor law, which, both of them, will meet with a claim of subjection; self, which cannot be satisfied with self, and hence turns to unsatisfying lusts of things beneath itself; for it has not God, for whom, and to enjoy whom, man was created. Man has not only sinned, he is a sinner.

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Neither life nor righteousness was to be had by the law. "If there had been a law which could have given life, righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." Hence the Lord adds in the passage just quoted, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." It is as rejected by the world, not continuing in it (for they had heard out of the law that Christ should abide for ever), that He becomes, as rejected, the attracting centre to draw men to Him, delivering them from this present evil world. Hence it is too that it is said, "but now once in the end of the world (or the consummation of ages) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;" that is, it was morally the end of the world. All the ages, all the phases of man's probation had been gone through -- without law, under law, prophets, and the only-begotten Son having come, and in vain tested by grace presented to his responsibility, shewing not only that he sinned by his will, but that he was irrecoverable if it was to depend on his nature and will, even with all God could bring forward to try to reclaim it. A new creation, being born again, is not reclaiming the old thing; it is substituting a new. Man is not recoverable as such, but he can be redeemed by, and created anew in, Christ Jesus. Such is the testimony of God.

Man is preached to as lost; Christ (when the full truth came out, man having been tested by grace as well as law) came to seek and to save that which was lost. The law may be presented to a man now to prove it. It is made for the unrighteous, as the enlightened saint taught by the word knows. Christ may be presented to the sinner too; but if grace works not, he will none of Him; he will prove in his particular case -- what the word has proved of the world in its history -- he is a wilful doer of his own lawless (a[nomo") will, and a hater of God, even if He come in grace. And if God gives every evidence, "Ye will not come to me that ye might have life." (John 5 .) Thus the principle of man's responsibility was fully tested in every way.

And now comes God's part. Is it mixing up the new thing He brings in with the old, as a principle to recover and rectify it? Is it digging about and dunging and pruning the old tree that He may have good fruit? He has done it, and done it in vain. His word is -- "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?" and this was the meaning of Christ's cursing the figtree. Israel, even with all the appliances at God's disposal, bore no fruit; it was to bear none for ever. Flesh may remain in us, as the old stock in the grafted tree, as a thing hostile to the Spirit, for exercises and humbling profit, so that we may overcome, and have our senses exercised to discern good and evil; but it is never formed into a new (till glory changes all); it is as a nature hostile and condemned, and only that; not subject to the law of God, nor can be; enmity against God, where it has a mind at all. The second Adam is, morally and spiritually speaking, substituted for the first, does not restore and recover it. Without law it is lawless; with law it transgresses; with Christ it rejects and slays Him, and in him even who has the Spirit as a believer, lusts against it. What is Christ then, if we have followed the effect of responsibility out to "the end of the world," to the full effects of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Can I give up the knowledge of good and evil and go back innocent to the tree of life? Impossible; not meant to be. Christ, the Second man, the Last Adam, meets the case wholly. How? He bears atoningly the effect of our responsibility. It is wholly, fully met, and not only so, but God Himself glorified in that by which He met it. He died, having been made sin. He is the source of life to us, a new life, and life in the power of resurrection, clean out of the whole scene in which the first Adam fell. for He has died in that and is risen. The whole case resting on the two trees in Paradise, in the law founded on satisfying the responsibility so as to have life, is completely met, by Christ being the source and power of a wholly new life, having perfectly met the responsibility we were lying under in guilt; and done more -- glorified God so as to enter as man into God's glory. Redemption and eternal life, promised before the world began, the glory of God and conformity to Christ's image in it -- such are the terms of divine grace and the condition of the believer in Jesus; but by death, not by the restoration of the first Adam, but by his death and condemnation, and a new creation in Christ Jesus. This is Christianity in its true power.

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Is responsibility enfeebled or weakened? No; met, wonderfully and gloriously met. Is the law set aside, or law made void? No; both the principle of law and the authority of the law are established. Its principle is the authority of God justly requiring from the creature what he ought to be, and, when man was fallen, the true measure of his conduct as in flesh, and its authority is made good for ever. It will be good in the day of judgment, for they that have sinned under it shall be judged by it. Am I then under it? In no sense. Why? Because I have died, and the law has authority over a man as long as he lives. Israel, who was formally under law, has been set aside, as we know, for the present time, and is (till grace, blessed grace, restore them) without law, without idols, but without God, though loved for the fathers' sake; and the Gentile has his place in Christ after He has died and risen again, and takes his place on this new ground, when his guilt and the result of his responsibility have been borne by another, and that same One the life in which he lives to God, and in which he is responsible on a wholly new ground.

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It is because men have believed in a recovery of man in flesh -- and so a continuance of law, which applies to men alive in flesh, only spiritualized and suffused into a new system of grace -- that they have argued for the maintenance of law; while others have sought to prove that the law was dead, and did not bind, Christ having abrogated it and introduced something more suited to man. Both are alike wrong. It may seem presumptuous to say so; but the word of God has authority above all men, as I am sure the great body of those I refer to would cordially acknowledge. I avow, since I have spoken of it, that of the two parties who have discussed the matter in Glasgow I should prefer those who maintain the authority of the Sabbath. I do not agree with them; but they stand up for the authority of God, supposing it to be such for themselves: that I respect. It seems to me that the adverse party stand up for man, alienated as he is from God. This may be wise in these days when man is exalted, and I have no doubt will be; but I have no respect for this.

I love the poor, I have no distrust of them; I live by far the most of my time amongst them, and gladly. When first I began such a life, I as to nature felt a certain satisfaction in the intercourse of educated persons: it was natural. I avow that, if I find a person spiritually minded and full of Christ, from habit as well as principle, I had rather have him than the most elevated or the most educated: the rest is all alike to me. The latter are apt to spare themselves, to screen themselves, to get on in society; they want a fence round them. I would rather, in general, have a poor man's judgment of right and wrong than another's; only I think they are, from being thrown more together and the importance of character, apt to be a little hard on each other as to conduct, and jealous of favours conferred, but often very kind and considerate one towards another.

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After all, we are all one in Christ Jesus, and the word of God is to guide and lead us withal. I am sure that, while every Christian will readily give honour where honour is due, God loves and cares for the poor. I confess that I have no sympathy with the sentiment that, because the spirit of radicalism is to be feared, we must suit God's authority, if it be such, to man's wishes. This is all morally very low ground. If I had been in Parliament when a proposition was made to shut up the London parks on Sunday (that is, the foot gates, leaving the carriage gates perhaps open for the sick) I should have moved as an amendment (did I meddle with such things) to shut the carriage gates and open the foot ones -- the rich could go out every day, and if sick could drive elsewhere. That a poor man, the one day he has with his family, should be able to breathe, I delight in; I rejoice to see the affections of a father cultivated in kindness to his children, and both happy together; and if the Lord's day gives him the opportunity, the Lord's day is a true blessing.

The poor, every one labouring during the week, should insist on the Sabbath: it is essentially his own day. For the same reason I avow, if my vote decided it, and happily for me I have none, and would not have or use one, not a train should run on the Lord's day. As to excursions, they are a thorough curse to all engaged in them. I cannot help them; I leave them there. But as to Sunday trains, I do not believe they are for sober reasons to meet cases of necessity and mercy, as men speak; they are to make money. If it be alleged that the requirements of society oblige it, what are the requirements of society but haste to be rich, and an imperious claiming of the right to have one's own way? I understand very well that railroads, monopolizing the roads, there is a kind of supposed obligation to meet the case of those who could have travelled at any rate. But if obliged, they can hire something to go. No. It is facility, cheapness they want -- it is money and will. They are as free to travel as they were before. I have nothing to do with these things, and never intend to have to do with them. The world goes its way; and I am not of it. The allegations of Christians about it I have to say to, and I do not accept them, or the accommodating Christianity to what is called progress; only I think the Christian has to form his own ways, and not to expect to mend the world. I see no moral gain in its progress. I have telegraphs and railways -- very convenient, no doubt; but are children more obedient, men happier, servants more faithful and devoted, homes and families happier and more cherished? Is there more trust and genial confidence among men, more honesty in business, more kindly feelings between master and men, employers and employed? Let every one answer in his own heart. You have more facilities in money making, but more anxiety and restlessness in making it; more luxury and show, but not more affection or peace.

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But I confess I have got away from my subject. I return to it, and produce from Scripture the testimonies which shew that we are not under the law; yet not because the decalogue or law is abolished or buried, but because we are dead, buried, and risen again in Christ; because we are a new creation, redeemed out of the position we were in in flesh. That we are redeemed from its curse no one denies, so that I do not argue that point, all important as it is: that we are not justified by it is admitted in terms, but I think not really known and held, and is closely connected with our argument: still it is admitted in terms, and hence I do not argue it here. The point insisted on is, that it is the rule of life, and this point I shall here take up. And I begin by stating, that on the ground of man's responsibility as a child of Adam, it clearly is so; I believe it to be a -- the -- perfect rule of life for man as he is. Had Adam not eaten, he would have lived; had man kept the law, he would have lived. Only, it must be remembered, that we know what the mind of the flesh is, that it "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." The law was a test, but never to a sinner meant to be the way of life, which yet are its express terms -- Do this and live.

And here I must distinguish between law and the law, not as men do between an essential law and the decalogue, but between its principle and its enactments. Law is practically the principle of requiring from one, subject to the lawgiver, a certain line of conduct which he imposes by authority. So that we have the two principles: requirement, which may take the form of prohibition; and authority. There may be a sanction withal, a motive acting on fears or hopes, as is usual in laws applied to men's conduct. This modifies the character, but hardly enters, I think, into its essence; still it does characterize law as we have to say to it. Adam was under a law: something was prohibited by authority. Men were living without law then till Moses, and Israel was put under law at Sinai -- positive requirement by authority. Now this clearly goes on the principle of the responsibility of Adam or his children, men in the flesh. There was no giving of life. Life might be kept or had by fulfilment, it was not given. We have, as to what is required, three cases of law. The law given to Adam was a simple test of obedience. It implied no sin, no lust; but authority and obedience. But if man is put on the ground of responsibility as to right and wrong, I must expect a perfect rule to be given to him, and so there was; but it must not go beyond the duty of the being in the position in which he stood, or it would not be a test of his responsibility. The law given to Adam was perfect in this way. It was a simple test of obedience -- perhaps I might add, of confidence.

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Secondly, the essence of the law, that on which law and prophets hung, as presented by the Lord, was the abstract rule of perfectness in a creature, loving God with all the heart, and our neighbour as ourselves. This, in a creature, would be human perfection. Doubtless the angels do it, if even a commandment be not needed for them. It is folly to talk of a transcript of God's own mind, unless it be His mind as to what the creature ought to be, which, of course, His law must be; but it cannot be the perfection of God's mind in Himself, because it is of what man's ought to be. God cannot love His neighbour as Himself, nor any other being with all His heart, as owing it to him. It is, what it professes to be, a perfect rule for man as such. It condemns him as he is, because it tells what he ought to be; nor, if he were what he ought to be, would he want it. A command to do it, to feel right, supposes the need of it -- liability to fail in doing so.+ But in itself it is a perfect positive rule for man as a child of Adam.

The third form of law is the Decalogue, equally perfect, fourth commandment and all, in its place -- perfect for man, but here openly contemplating man as a sinner -- a perfect rule till man was fully made known as having no good thing in him; and a means, when spiritually understood, of shewing it; and hence known to be given in result, with a totally different idea on the part of God than that of man's keeping it. No doubt man ought to have done so, but to give to a being who lusted in his nature, a commandment not to lust, could not be with the idea of its being kept, as spiritually known by fallen man, however right it might be to keep it. A man might be blameless as regards his righteousness externally according to it, and the greatest enemy of God in the world. Hence, I say, it served as a rule to be kept till the truth came out, while man was under probation tested as to his state. A rule perfectly right for a being perfectly wrong in will may convict, but cannot actually guide. How guide a wrong will, a being who in his mind is not subject to the rule nor indeed can be? I speak of the law when the law was given as a law. It was a perfect rule, but only applicable when man did not know himself, unless to convict and condemn.

+How unsuited we should feel a command to Christ to love us or to love His Father! There were commands which tested the perfectness of His love, but none to love.

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But, as thus given to man as an external system, it was clearly (and that is admitted on all hands) set aside. There was an annulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof (for the law made nothing perfect), and the bringing in of a better hope by the which we draw nigh to God. God was not to be tempted by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither the Jewish disciples nor their fathers had been able to bear. The whole system, as a system, was declaredly and unquestionably set aside, and Christianity, the faith, not law, came in. After that faith came, that is, Christianity, the system of faith, we were no longer under the schoolmaster. I make a difference as to the ten words, of which I will speak. God spoke them out of the midst of the fire, and added no more. They were laid up in the ark. All this made a difference, but as terms of a covenant, they are clearly set aside with the rest, supposing them for a moment written on our hearts, and we the objects of the new covenant; if that were so, still, as engraved in stones as legal conditions of blessing in the old covenant, all is done away together. What waxed old was ready to vanish away. The old covenant we are not under, and surely the commandments formed the basis of that.

But it will be said, every one admits that: but you must distinguish between the principle of the old covenant and the contents of that which constitutes its main terms, though there may be other details. Precisely so. There is a principle in law, as well as contents. Now I am not in relationship with God on that principle at all; that is, I am not under law at all before Him. Such is the constant testimony of the apostle: it is not merely that I am not justified by it. If it is the measure of my righteousness, and I am under it as such, I must be justified on that principle in some way. Works of law must be my justification. The apostle tells me it is not so.

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But I leave this part of the question, because, as I said, in terms, at least, it is admitted, and I do not seek to raise questions; but I am not under law -- not in relationship with God on that principle in any respect. I am not under it for sanctification, or anything else whatever. I am not under law, but under grace. I may get great instruction from it: so I do from every part of the Old Testament. I get the deepest and most precious instruction from the sacrifices, as to what Christ's sacrifice is, nothing more precious; I get its various aspects more developed there, than in the New; but I am not under them. Something else has been substituted for them. I am not, as to anything, on the principle of law in relationship with God. I will speak of its contents. They are given on this principle, with a curse attached to them; the principle is really involved, but I confine myself to that now. I am not under law at all in my relationship with God.

We need power for sanctification, but law gives no power. I speak of the principle of relationship. It is requirement, righteous requirement; and I read, "Sin shall not have dominion over you, because ye are not under law but under grace." That is no question of justification, but of the dominion of sin. So "the strength of sin is the law." "Sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence; for without the law sin was dead, but when the commandment came in, sin revived, and I died."

Now all this applies, not to justification, but to the power and -working of sin in us. Law (not that it is the fault of law, as the apostle is careful to say) is only an occasion to the power of sin. It is so for us, and that is the case we have to deal with. Now this depends on the principle of law in our case, requiring from a sinner with a perverse will obedience to that which is contrary to his will (as a claim of authority over him) and to his lusts as being in sinful flesh. The principle of law is ruinous to us alike for condemnation and the power of sin. It is in vain to say I am under law with a new motive. I must be not under law not to be under the dominion of sin.

But it is alleged -- Yes, but the contents of the law are good. Undoubtedly, they are holy, just, and good. But if I take the contents, I am no better off, if they are a law, because I am in sinful flesh when the contents are brought before me. I cannot take the law to an innocent man. The forbidden tree man has eaten of. There is an end of that law. Well, let us take the commandments. They suppose sin, for they condemn it; they suppose lust, for they forbid it. The commandment even to love would not be addressed to a perfect being. It supposes him, as I have said, unloving or capable of being so. Hence no such precept was addressed to Adam. Besides, "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" would not do for Adam. What could stealing mean for him? what lust? The law, the apostle tells us, is not for a righteous man, ouj ceisee footnotetau, does not apply to -- suit -- belong to -- such. But if it applies to the unrighteous, what can it do for them? It is clear a prohibition to lust cannot even be understood personally by one who has no lusts -- can have, at any rate, no application to him; but if he has lusts in his nature, this nature cannot be subject to it. I am now speaking of the contents of it. The law supposes sin, and rightly so; because, when it was given, sin was there.

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But we are told that that is true in its present form, but that there is an essential truth in it, which was for Adam and given to Adam, though the shape it took afterwards supposed sin. Well, what is this essential truth? That the law is holy, just, and good, I admit as fully as possible; but how can stealing and lust apply to Adam, or anything but a formed state of proprietary possession and sinful flesh? Perfectly right to condemn them when they were there, but certainly not adapted to an unfallen state. Adam had no such law, and could not in fact or in essence. The best proof is that God did not give him such. Conscience of lust or stealing he certainly had not. God gave him another which perfectly suited his state and supposed no sin. To say he was under this, when God put him formally under another, seems to impugn the wisdom of God for a theory. It is not that the commandments are anything but perfect, when man is in the state and relationships to which they apply. But Adam was not in that state, and those relationships; and God wisely gave him one suited to the state he was in, which maintained His authority and tested his obedience, but supposed no sin nor implied its existence.

I believe the law to be the perfect rule of life for man in the flesh, but it supposes sin, and applies to sinful flesh, to man in the flesh; and, being on the principle of requirement, and rightly so (for it is a very important principle and maintains God's rights), it condemns me as to righteousness, and is no help to me, but the contrary, as to sanctification. If then the law be holy, just, and good in its contents, why not be under it? why not maintain it? Because I am then in a relationship with God which involves condemnation and the power of sin. Law is law, not grace, and the strength of sin is the law. Maintain the law as law and you destroy its authority if it be not law to you; and if it be law to you, it is the strength of sin, and sin will have dominion over you. It must, as law, have external authority, God's authority as such. If you weaken that, you have destroyed it as a law.

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And here I separate from both parties who have discussed it. They both, in my judgment, really destroy its authority, one unintentionally, the other declaring it is abrogated, buried, and the like. The former are obliged to yield a great deal, desiring to maintain its authority, because they cannot help it; the latter destroy its authority and make it to be abrogated. I do not abate one jot or one tittle. I do not raise the question of Gentiles not being under it, though historically true; because, if not, they are lawless, and I admit the law to be a perfect rule for man in the flesh. I say I am not on Gentile ground, though a Gentile; not a[nomo" Qew/see footnote lawless in respect to God, but e[nnomo" Cristw/see footnote, I do not say under the law to Christ (that is an utterly false translation), but duly subject to Christ. Yet I do not say the authority of the law is weakened or done away, but that I AM DEAD TO IT. The law has power over a man as long as he lives -- and can have it no longer; and I am no longer alive in the flesh.

I reject the altering, modifying, the law. I reject christianizing in it; that is, weakening its legal character by an admixture of grace that is neither law nor gospel. I maintain its whole absolute authority. Those who have sinned under it will be judged by it. It will have its own authority (that is, God's) according to its own terms in the day of judgment; but I am not under it but under grace, not under the schoolmaster but a son, because faith is come, and I have the Spirit of adoption. I am on another footing and in another relationship with God; I am not in the flesh, not in the place of a child of Adam at all, but delivered out of it by redemption. I have died and risen again; I am in Christ.

Let us see what scripture teaches on this point. Positive transgressions are blotted out by the blood of Christ. The law, we are told, as a covenant of works is gone in Christ's death. Now I say that scripture teaches more than that, teaches what applies to the old man as regards our standing before God, and that we have, for faith, died out of the place and nature in which we were under the law. Take the fullest and clearest case -- a Jew actually under it: I do not doubt it will be practically realized by a Gentile as a principle. What is the judgment of law on my old man, my being as in flesh? Condemnation only as a covenant? No, death. It is not merely a new motive, a new spring of conduct afforded, by which, law being maintained as law, I keep it. Law is (2 Corinthians 3) a ministration of death as well as of condemnation. But what then? "I through the law am dead to the law." It has killed me, "that I might live to God." "Add not to his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." You might say it is abrogated as a covenant of works but not as a rule of life, though scripture does not say so: it is a mere human invention. But you cannot say I am dead to it, but it is to be my rule of life. That is nonsense.

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I am dead to the law by the law. It has done its work and killed me as regards itself; I do not exist as regards the law, or it has failed in its power. And I am dead to the law that I might live to God. If I have not done with it, I cannot live to Him. And how? "I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." That is not law. When faith came, says the apostle, we were no longer under a schoolmaster, that is, under law. Note here: It is not Christ bearing our sins that delivers from law at all. True deliverance is wrought there as regards our sins. But, in freeing me from law, God is not delivering me, a living child of Adam, from the dread consequences of my sins. He is doing another work. It is I who have died with Christ. Nor is it forgiveness of sin which is spoken of in such case, although through this death of Christ it is not imputed. We die to sin -- not sins, not for sins, but to sin. "He that is dead is justified from sin."

If the obedience of one has constituted me righteous, why cannot I say then I may live in sin? How can we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? The reasoning of the apostle in the end of Romans 6 is fatal to the use of law as a rule of life. We have nothing to do here with a question of a covenant of works. It is a question of life, living in sin, obedience, holiness, -- what the principle and rule of it is. Am I going to sin, to be what is called an Antinomian, because I am not under law? No. What principle, what rule of life, have I? Reckon yourself to be dead to sin and alive to God. As alive in Christ, I am to yield my members as instruments of righteousness unto God. I can do it, obey, not a law, but a person, God Himself absolutely. Why? I am not under law but under grace. I yield myself. What an occasion to explain that we were not under it as a covenant of works but that we were as a rule of life! But now living rules of life are treated of; how we arrive, and on what principle, at sin not having dominion over us. It is this (not justification) which is arrived at by not being under the law. Will that lead us to sin? Again what an occasion to tell us, No, you know it is still a rule of life. But no. Silence, ominous silence. They had been the servants of sin, and what now? They had obeyed from the heart -- the law from having new motives? No; the form of doctrine which had been delivered to them. They were not under law: if they were, sin would have dominion over them. But they had obeyed the new form of doctrine. They were slaves to righteousness, slaves to God, and had their fruit unto holiness. Sin's wages were death, God's gift eternal life. The law does not come in at all, save to shew that those who get under it would be under the dominion of sin. Nor does the covenant of works come into the question, but life, walking in sin, its dominion, obedience, I holiness -- but we are not under the law. But this must be treated of specifically.

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The fifth (from verse 12) had shewn that all must be traced for righteousness to the two heads, Adam and Christ, and that the law had only come in by the by to make the offence abound. The sixth that we, having died in Christ, are not under the dominion of that sinful nature, nor under law which applied to it. The seventh will now fully treat the question of position under law itself. The apostle declares the absolute incompatibility of being under the law and Christ at the same time. He states it in the strongest way. We cannot be bound to the law any more than a woman can have two husbands at the same time. Husbands -- for what? To justify as a covenant of works? No. To obey, to bring forth fruit unto God. You have nothing about works to justify, nor covenant of works, but it is the question of what I am bound to, by what law I am bound.

Is not that it? Read and see. Well, I am become dead to the law by the body of Christ that I may be to Another. And then, mind, I am bound to Another who has authority over me, and I cannot have anything else come in and claim authority. I have seen Moses and Elias disappear, having served God in their generation, and have heard the Father's voice saying, This is my beloved Son, hear Him. I have been prepared by the sixth chapter to see that it is not disobedience and living in sin, because, being dead to sin, I live to God through Christ, and am obedient to Him. I now find, in detail, that, thus dead as I am, the obligation to my first husband is closed, become impossible. I am married to Another; I am bound to Him: the bond and obligation is absolute. I can hear only Him. I cannot even say, I go by my second husband to know what my first means and commands. I have but one: His authority is complete and absolute. We have nothing to do here with justification or covenant of works, but -- to whom am I bound? One paper I looked at tells me the chapter means "The death of Christ dissolved our old relation to the law as a covenant of works, and left us at liberty to contract a new relation." Did anybody ever read such an effort to elude scripture? -- a new relation with what? With the law over again? What old relation to the law is spoken of in the chapter? We have died, so that there is no more relationship at all, and we are married to another -- Christ raised from the dead. Where is a covenant of works spoken of or alluded to in the chapter? Further, what constitutes the whole point of the chapter, our being dead, is not alluded to by the author. "Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ." If I wanted a proof that I have to do with a writer who had a system which hindered him from daring to look scripture in the face, this sentence would be it. But I do not seek controversy, so I take no further notice of it. I add here it is well known that in verse 6 we should read as in the margin: "having died in that in which" -- ajpoqanovnte" not ajpoqanovnto". Else those who say the law was abrogated and buried would have this text to lean upon. If we have then died with Christ, we can also say, we have been quickened together with Him, and raised up together, and made sit together in heavenly places.

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The Christian is a heavenly person though walking through the wilderness, and he is the epistle of Christ in it. What is his rule? To walk as Christ walked. Every part of scripture, law and all, may furnish him light, and he may use it to convict of sin, for natural conscience owns the righteousness of it. Paul governed his conduct by a prophecy of Isaiah 49. And thank God the New Testament abounds in precepts to guide us. Nor are we to let slip the word commandment. Because if we did everything right, nothing would be right if it were not obedience, and command expresses authority. Still we ought to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. The spiritual man judges all things. I can only speak of the principle and standard here. I may surprise perhaps my readers when I say that the conduct of God is made our standard, as being made partakers of the divine nature. It is not the perfect rule for man in the flesh, but the divine conduct for man in the Spirit. The apostle can say, "When we were in the flesh," and describe in the seventh of Romans the conflicts of a renewed man who is not set free by known redemption, but is still under his first husband -- the law, knowing it is spiritual, consenting to it, delighting in it, but never keeping it. But he can, when he has known deliverance, say, "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath set me free," knowing that God has not forgiven but condemned sin in the flesh, but in Christ a sacrifice for sin, and that, now a Christian, not in the flesh but in the Spirit, his place and standing are changed -- alive thus in Christ, created again in Christ Jesus unto preordained good works that he may walk in them, renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him. What are these good works? I have said, scripture has said, he, perfect before God in Christ, is to imitate God. Where to find the image of this in a man? Christ is the image of the invisible God. United with Him in heaven, the Christian is to walk like Him on earth, in grace as manifesting God, looking to Him above, and so changed into His image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord.

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Let us see the scripture account of this. First, the Father's+ name being revealed, not the legal name of Jehovah, we are to be perfect as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. He loves them that do not love Him, He is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil. But more precisely in Ephesians 4, 5, this is fully developed. We have subjectively and objectively the pre-ordained walk of the Christian: subjectively -- the putting off the old man, and putting on the new, and, secondly, our bodies being the temple of the Holy Ghost, the not grieving the Spirit of God by which we are sealed to the day of redemption; then the objective rule -- Be ye kind, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ hath forgiven you. We have then the two essential names of God, given as that to be realized, and Christ presents the realization of them in man: "Be ye imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ hath loved us, and given himself for us, a sacrifice and an offering to God for a sweet smelling savour." We are to be imitators of God, His love in Christ being our pattern.

And here we find the superiority of the christian principle to law in its very nature. Law taught me to love my neighbour as myself -- made my love to self the measure of my duty to my neighbour. Christianity looks for having no self at all, but giving up ourselves for our neighbour. Two principles form the perfectness of this: He gave Himself for others and to God. This last is needed that the principle may be perfect. The affection must have a perfect object as well as be perfectly, and in order to be perfectly, free from self, and perfect in itself. For affections have their character and value from their object. But the principle of legal perfection is another, and wholly short of this. The rule was not what a man ought to be as such, but to be an imitator of God as a dear child of his Father, Christ being the manifestation of love in this and the measure of it. To compare the mutual love of oneself and another, and make it the same as the absolute self-devotedness of Christ, is a mere abuse of terms, because the word love is used in both. The other name of God is Light. We are light in the Lord: we are to walk as children of light. Again Christ is referred to: "Christ shall give thee light." Thus perfect love in self-sacrifice, imitating God therein, walking as being in Christ, in and of the light which manifests everything, Christ being the model of it. Such is the rule of life of the Christian. He is dead, and his life hid with Christ in God. If he believes, it is Christ lives in him, he is not living (alive) in this world. People may resist such views, but, if they do, they must resist scripture.

+This is the name of christian relationship in eternal life, and was revealed by Christ even when here. Jehovah was the name of relationship for Israel, Almighty (El Shaddai) for the Patriarchs. The Most High will be God's millennial name.

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The great secret of all is, that we are not, as before God, and responsible to Him, alive in the Adam life at all. Christ is our life -- Christ who is risen. I am dead, have been crucified with Christ, to sin or the flesh and the lusts thereof, to the law by the body of Christ, to the world, and the world to me. The whole scene of a living man, this world in which the life of Adam develops itself, and of which the law is the moral rule, I do not belong to, before God, more than a man who died ten years ago out of it. I come, having the life of Christ, having the Son and so have life, into the midst of it, to walk in the path which He has traced through it. And now, what is the sabbath the rest of? This creation. I am not of it. It is a new creation I am of, old things are passed away. If I had known Christ after the flesh, as belonging to this world, down here and under the law, I know Him no more. And what is the rest of the new creation to which I belong as having died and risen, Christ being my life? The heavenly rest of which the Lord's-day is the intimation, the day of Christ's resurrection.

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Let us see what scripture says directly on the subject; and first of all Genesis 2. Here God rested on the seventh day and sanctified it, because He rested on it. I do not think Paley's argument right, or of any value if it be right. In any case the seventh day is recognized by God as consecrated when He did give a law, as sanctified and blessed because He rested on that day. But it was the rest of creation, of the first creation as God made it, very good. Nobody says it was observed all along from that to Israel's departure from Egypt. There may have been traditions of it, clearer or more obscure. It seems there were, both scriptural and heathen, but they are obscure. But that creation fell at once, and the very thing we have heard in Christianity is, that man never did keep it, never could, nor ever can be subject to it, or have rest on that footing. It may be a mercy to his body (I believe it is): his body is part of the old creation. But I speak of relationship with God. Religiously the rest of the old creation is impossible to him.

In the law God took up man in the flesh and the creation, to test the possibility of man's living in relationship with God in them; and it was proved impossible there. But the sabbath was the sign then of relationship with God. It was not a seventh day, but the seventh, not of the six, on those God was working, they were not His rest. It is all very well to talk of a seventh day. A seventh day may be good for man, but shuts out God, leaves His rest aside, and gives man his rest as a physical rest without Him, rests when He was working, and works when He was resting, slights God, if it reposes man. It was the seventh day was blessed because God rested on it. Man did not want rest from toil in Paradise. Was he not to keep the seventh day if he had not fallen? Would he keep a seventh day as the essence of it, or the seventh because God rested on it? No, the seventh day alone is the religious character of it, because man's blessing is in God's rest. He is man all the six days as to his path according to God's will, with God the seventh. But he fell directly, never entered into God's rest.

And here I would note in passing, a very material point noticed in Dr. Cairn's speech at Berwick, that the argument against the sabbath, because man was fallen and could not have part in the original institution, would be valid if man were not recoverable.

Now I affirm, that exactly what scripture teaches is that man is not recoverable. Men are recoverable; but it is by being born again, by dying and rising, putting off the old man and putting on the new. The law, and even Christ's coming, as addressed to man's responsibility, was the proof that man was irrecoverable, that there must be a Second man instead of the first, and that death and resurrection must come in to found a place for man with God, that there must be a putting off the old man and a putting on the new man. The character of infidelity in the present day is, that man can be improved and recovered -- does not want a new man to be born again. It will just lead to Antichrist. It is anti-christianity unawares, the denial of the fundamental principles of Christianity -- being born again, and the cross. Man is not recoverable as in flesh, he must be born again, a[nwqen entirely anew, from the origin of his nature, and redeemed. The sabbath is the rest of man in flesh. Religiously there is no rest for man in the flesh, as there is no recovery for man in the flesh. The law tried it, and set up the sabbath as a sign consequently of the covenant; but the flesh was not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.

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And see the blessed and touching way in which Christ consequently met the stupid accusation of breaking the sabbath, when He made the man carry his bed, proving the life giving God and Lord of the sabbath was there. They charged Him with it. What is His answer? "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." Unspeakably blessed! Can the Father and the Son -- God in grace (for so in John God is ever spoken of, in grace as contrasted with responsibility to God as God), the God of love, rest where misery and ruin is? Can the holy God of love rest where sin is? God might have destroyed in judgment; but in goodness He cannot rest in sin. He works where sin and misery are. Can there be a more touching, wonderful answer of divine wisdom, making, as every word of that blessed one did, Himself more precious, and giving a proof that the all-wise God of grace was there? God has no sabbath really in a world of sin and misery.

We find this character in Christ. He was subject to the system He was in, while in it; but another truth, which came fully out after His resurrection, continually shines through. Does not your Master pay tribute (to the temple)? Yes, says Peter, He is a good Jew. When he goes in, the Lord prevents+ him, and shews that, as a divine person, He knew what was passing, away from His bodily presence. Divine knowledge was there, but He associates Peter with Himself -- we are "children" of the temple, and therefore free; but "lest we should offend." Then we have divine power over creation -- He makes a fish bring the needed money: but again He associates Peter with Himself -- "That take and give for me and thee." Subject to, but above all, around Him, He associates us with Himself in the place He has now taken as Son above, even as man.

+[That is, He anticipated Peter. Editor]

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But as Christ in reply to the Jewish charge declares He was divinely working as Son, not resting, so the apostles treat this subject of the Jewish sabbath. Hebrews 4 does so fully. The objection that we who believe do enter into rest means present rest of conscience as a believer, I reject utterly as entire insensibility to the whole purpose of the argument, which is, that we must labour to enter into that rest, and that there remains a rest (that is, that it is not come). The conscience does enter into rest by faith, and man has ceased from resting in his works as being a sinner. As an accommodation, it may be all very well; but he has not ceased from his works as a Christian as God did from His. The passage merely states who are the enterers. Believers enter, unbelievers do not; as if I should say, There is the door -- only peers -- only men enter. It is the present of title or habit, not of time. I dismiss this.

But there is important instruction in the chapter. Man has never yet entered into the rest of God; he did not in creation, although his works were finished from the foundation of the world; for God says, "if they shall enter." But, said the Jew, we have entered -- Caleb, Joshua, the children -- they did not fall through unbelief. No, says our chapter, "if they shall enter" comes after Joshua; and if he had given them rest, He would not so long after in the Psalms have spoken of another day. There remains a rest for God's people. Into God's rest man has not entered. He did not on its first institution in paradise. Well, promises of the Seed came. There was no promise to the first Adam; but in the judgment on the serpent the victory of the Seed of the woman, of the Second Adam (just not the first, who was no seed of the woman), was promised. Then when God called Abraham, the nations having turned to idolatry, came first the promise before legal responsibility, and the law 430 years after, which could neither annul nor add to the unconditional promise, and the law was blessing conditional on man's obedience. After the promise that is, comes the law, with the blessing founded on man's responsibility identified with the first creation, promises referring to it given as the blessing; and the sabbath -- the rest of God -- is immediately set up, of course on the principle of the institution (that is, legally).

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I will shew how very much was made of it, but first a few words on moral law and the decalogue. By moral law I understand the duty of maintaining the relationship in which we stand. But they acquire their obligation from their institution by God, and the first relationship of all is relationship with God -- hence the first of all moralities -- and which casts its light and character on all the rest, because, in whatever God has instituted or commanded, I am bound to obedience; and obedience itself is morality in its highest form. It is maintaining relationship with God. Hence, before sin came in, the test was abstract pure obedience -- "thou shalt not eat." Well, man disobeyed and fell -- got wholly away from God; but he got a conscience in and by his fall -- the knowledge of good and evil, that is, the sense of good and evil in itself without a commandment or law which made it obedience, which would have supposed his being still with God. Such was the wisdom of God. But this natural conscience enforced the obligation of these relationships in which God had placed man. Man's institutions might deface and obscure them: still the internal obligation was there. A wife was owned as a wife, though divorce might come in; parents as parents, though the state might claim rights over that tie; violence and robbery were known to be violence, though they might gloriously plunder enemies, and so on. And the blessed Lord would restore the testimony, "from the beginning it was not so." Thus, though there was no commandment, no law, there was morality, and the Gentile would do by nature the things contained in the law and be a law to himself, an expression which peremptorily excludes the having a law of God which made it obedience, and rests it on conscience acquired in the fall, when man left God and was turned out from Him.

After the promise which shewed that grace and the Seed could alone bring blessing, God's authority was set up in a revealed way, and after an external and typical redemption the law promulgated. This, while based on God's authority, established of course by its sanction all the relationships God had instituted, only chiefly by prohibitions of the breach of them; that is, where those relationships constituted a distinctive right against others, divine or human. The sabbath and parental authority are alone positive, though the former be negative in detailed directions. And here I avow, though it be not properly a relationship properly speaking, nor hence a morality independent of the knowledge of God, a matter of conscience when man was away from God and so a law to himself e.g. without God's authority, yet the moment God was brought in and that first of all relationships set up, a part of that, yea its essence, was the recognition of absolute obedience to Him and His sovereignty in commanding; and the sabbath, like the prohibition in paradise, became, as a positive command, a more absolute test of relationship with God than all the rest. Gentiles might be moral by conscience without God, as men may now; they might see the folly of idols, as Isaiah reasons, find out they had a lie in their right hand; but the sabbath was a sign of relationship with God, as a people known to Him and under His authority (as all men ought to have been). It was wisely so ordered as a sign of the covenant, it was arbitrary: God commanded it, and that was its authority; but with the knowledge Genesis gave, it was not absolutely so. The Jehovah of Israel was the Creator of heaven and earth. It might have been in one sense arbitrary, though I am sure perfectly wise, to create in six days or seven; but, if He created in six, to have the sabbath on the seventh day was to have a part in the rest of God. It was the very essence of blessing; it was having to say to God, and as God's people; it was not arbitrary in this, but it was special; not natural conscience, but eminently blessed association with God. But it was the rest of the first creation, and rest according to law (i.e., conditional blessing, on obedience), and that in fact in a fallen being, who could not have it in that way. That godly Jews found the sabbath a delight, when they were in relationship with God, I cannot doubt. God would be true to His own relationship. But the Maccabees, when Lo-ammi was written on the people, only found it a source of disaster, though their conscience might be good. Now the sabbath will be found to be a distinctive sign, the seventh day. One day in seven destroys the very idea of God's rest.

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I take up the law. I find every distinct ordinance has the sabbath annexed to it, not merely the ten commandments, but all that expressed any form of man's relationship with God. When they had come out of Egypt and manna is given them for daily food, the sabbath is immediately distinguished (Exodus 16). In Exodus 20 we have the commandments, God's relationship with Israel set up, thereupon the sabbath established. The second commandment gives the terms of Jehovah's relationship with Israel, He is here "Jehovah thy God," and the "sabbath of Jehovah thy God;" and it is expressly the rest of this first creation, "wherefore Jehovah blessed the seventh day." Keeping it holy was the point, though the rest of all was the sign of that. When the tabernacle is to set up (Exodus 31), and Moses is coming down, having received the pattern, the plan and order of relationship, the sabbath is again ordered; it is a sign between Jehovah and the children of Israel for ever, and emphatically, because it was Jehovah's rest. When Moses gets a new covenant on going up the second time (Exodus 34), the sabbath is introduced. So before the offerings for the tabernacle (Exodus 35). In Leviticus 23, the feasts of Jehovah, it is distinctly brought out in the first place by itself. So in Leviticus 19, when the people are to sanctify themselves, because Jehovah their God is holy, they are to be obedient to parents, and keep His sabbaths. He is Jehovah their God. So in Leviticus 26, when the threatenings as to departure are detailed, it begins, "Ye shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am Jehovah." The very land was to keep a sabbath (Leviticus 25: 2, 4, 6), a test whether they trusted a covenant God. And in Numbers 15, when in the midst of judgment the promises of the Lord and His sure faithfulness come in, gathering sticks on the sabbath is punished with death, as a presumptuous sin.

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I turn to the prophets, and cite only Ezekiel saying why Israel was rejected, (chapter 20: 11, 12), "And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Jehovah who sanctify them." A concordance will give many other passages, but these give the principal. It is Jehovah, Israel's God (His name with the patriarchs was Almighty; with us, Father through Jesus Christ). It was His sabbath, a sign of relationship with Israel, but founded on the rest of Elohim; but a sign of rest in the first creation, of relationship with God, with Jehovah, in that rest; but given as a law to man in the flesh, and blessing and rest conditional on obedience. Such was the sabbath. The rest of God in the first creation; and then the rest of relationship with God of man in the flesh under condition of obedience.

Now exactly what Christianity teaches us is, that this is impossible. Sin has entered in; the first Adam is lost by disobedience. The flesh is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. And hence He who redeems us was in the grave on the sabbath day, as coming amongst men here the sinless and gracious One, but in the likeness of sinful flesh. Death is the only rest from sin for us, and the covenant of flesh having part in God's rest is buried in His grave, and the sabbath, the sign of it, with it; but, I repeat, not by abrogating law as such for those under it, but by dying to it, having perfectly glorified it and borne its curse -- the highest possible sanction that could be given to it. But Christ's being in the grave was the final and absolute proof that there could be no relationship with God in the flesh of man; the fig tree was cursed, and never to bear fruit for ever.

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But, it is said, the sermon on the mount sets up and spiritualizes the law. How long had I accepted the latter as true! But it is not true. It reveals the Father's name as a new title of relationship, as the Lord in John 17 declares He had done; and puts inward truth of heart to God in the place of Pharisaic external observances. It does not contemplate redemption, but personal righteousness, as the ground on which the remnant, poor in spirit, could enter into the kingdom of heaven. Only two commandments are referred to, which raised the question of violence and corruption, the great principles of sin. If it be a spiritualization of the law, the sabbath is left out as having no part in that spiritualization; but I do not admit it is. Whatever rules it gives for our moral walk (for though it does not present the ground of entrance to sinners as given in the gospel, yet it shews us what suits the kingdom in which we are by grace), it does not bring in the sabbath as honouring it as a part of it. The truth is, it refers to inward principle and obedience. As regards the passage, "not a jot or tittle will pass from the law till all be fulfilled;" and "I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil," I receive it surely as a divine sentence to be accepted in its whole force. The most distant thought of His setting aside the law does not enter into my mind -- it would be setting aside God's authority. Christ sealed its authority in His death, but He died out from under it. It has authority over a man as long as he lives. Much of it has been fulfilled; some even of the types are not yet, as the feast of tabernacles; and I am satisfied every bit of it, as well as of the prophets, has been, or will. Christ fully glorified it in His life too. But if I have died, He does not put me under it as risen with Him. Being under it is the way of not fulfilling it to all save Christ Himself -- the way of sin having dominion over us.

In the sermon on the mount Christ was shewing the true character of those amongst the Jews who would enter in the kingdom when it was set up; and I therefore fully admit it shews the character we should walk with; but would any man, as preaching the gospel to sinners, present obedience to law and precepts as the way of entrance into the kingdom? Not one word of the glad tidings of Christ's death and resurrection is in it. I believe if a man is born again, in principle, and according to the principle of the sermon on the mount, his righteousness does exceed that of the Pharisees. But there is no thought of being born again, no thought of the cross; personal obedience is (here) the rock on which we build surely: all well as a guide to a Christian practically; but the terms of the sermon on the mount were addressed not to sinners, but gave the character of Jewish saints who would have part in the kingdom; most instructive to us to shew us what characterizes it, now it is set up, and that he who contradicts it cannot have really a part in the kingdom. I believe Christ came to fulfil the law, I believe it will be all fulfilled; but how can a divine declaration that all will be fulfilled, that it will not pass till all be fulfilled, apply to my fulfilling it? It is not spoken of as an obligation, but as certain of fulfilment. Have I fulfilled it so that it can pass? Have you, reader? Right and mercy never can pass. The Lord does affirm its authority, but He cannot speak in this sentence of people's fulfilling its moral obligations so that it should pass. Did this then leave them at liberty to slight them? Surely not. That would be slighting its authority, which the Lord establishes. Whoever did would be guilty under it; and this was true of every jot and tittle even when it was not moral, because authority was involved in it. These ought ye to have done. The least commandment had in its place God's authority attached to it. But I am not under it for quite another reason; I am dead to the law by the body of Christ, that I might be to another -- wholly, entirely dead to it: the bond is dissolved. Is therefore morality gone? No. But it is not maintained in Christianity by the law. "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." If I walk after the Spirit, I am not under the law; but the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, meekness, temperance, patience; against such there is no law. I keep the law de facto, by not being under it de jure, because the life and Spirit of Christ make me love my neighbour, and he who does that fulfils the law. It is produced, not imposed. Hence the first table is not alleged, because that was covenant with Jehovah as a people: we are sons of the Father through Christ; our duties are in that relationship.

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Let us now see what the New Testament directly affords us on the sabbath. Is any hint as to its sacredness to be found? Matthew 12: 1 is evidently of great consequence here. The Pharisees complained of the disciples' plucking and rubbing the ears of corn. The Lord's answer is remarkable. It is not to rebuke the Pharisees as He does elsewhere, but to shew that the sabbath and other ceremonial enactments have been set aside for sufficient cause, and that a greater than any obligation of the sabbath was there. Could God say, I am greater than a moral commandment? Would that be a divine way of putting things if it were a question of hating a brother or coveting another man's wife? Such a thought would revolt at once. But that is the Lord's reasoning as to the sabbath. First a rejected Messiah made all common, for another obligatory commandment, the sabbath, gave way under God's own eye. Christ was greater than the temple; and if they knew God's heart, they would not have condemned His disciples. All this proved the Pharisees wrong and unjustifiable. But, besides, the Son of man was Lord of the sabbath. Surely this could not be said of a commandment as to right and wrong! He had a title to dispose of the sabbath, through the dignity of His person and office. Could all this have been said if the Lord were insisting on the maintenance of its authority? He adds that it is lawful to do well on the sabbath. The parallel passage in Mark adds, The sabbath was made for man.

Matthew's gospel gives us dispensational changes, and, on that ground, Christ's person as divine; and the place He took as Son of man laid the ground for dealing with the sabbath as Lord of it. Here Christ is the servant-prophet, and we have another ground laid: the sabbath was made for man. It was in favour of -- for -- man; and hence He who ordered all for man, as the head of the race according to God, was Lord of it. It was a benefit conferred on man for his advantage, and the Son of man was the competent disposer in the matter. Could this be said of a divinely binding law?

In Mark 3: 2; Luke 6: 7; 14: 1-5; 16: 10-16, all are cases where He purposely heals so as to draw attention to it on the sabbath-day, diligently offending their prejudices (to say the least) making their zeal as to it a proof of hypocrisy, without a word to save any legal force. Is not this singular that the Holy Ghost only signalizes His casting a slur on their rigid observance of it? Can any one find any other testimony as to the sabbath in the New Testament? In the Old I find on every occasion a special insisting on it, as we have seen. In the New only statements which declare His title over it, or upset legal exactness as to it.

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I return for a moment to John 5, which I have already noticed. The other gospels teach us how Christ in different characters was presented to the Jews and to the world. In John both are seen as having not received Him, and the Jews are treated all through as reprobates and the systems rejected: man must be born again. Christ is substituted for the Jews, not presented to them, and brings in of course infinitely greater blessings. Thus the sabbath has a peculiar place here. Christ is not seen as still holding to the system, though going on towards His rejection. He is not traced down from Abraham and David, Emmanuel according to promises, nor up to Adam, the Son of man in grace. He is God in this world, unknown and rejected, the Word made flesh, the Lamb of God; He must make all things new. In person He is the beginning of what is new, though alone as yet in this character till He had died and risen again. Now the sabbath, as we have seen, had been the rest of the first creation; and when man had been taken up in flesh, the sabbath was made a sign of the covenant. A rejected Christ is on new ground, though, as we have seen, while in flesh, outwardly subject to what God had set up in flesh. It is therefore Paul says, "Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, a new creation." For us His death and resurrection must come in for this purpose. His divine person was above all dispensations, and this, with His work and the mission of the Comforter, is what we have in John. It is not Christ ascended to bring in the headship, but it is Christ a divine person become man. Purpose and grace therefore come necessarily before us.

The case of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda shews man incapable of using the means afforded in blessings which supposed strength and capacity in him to use them, which was the legal system. If it depends on us, sin has taken away the strength needed to use means given to heal sin, even when the will is there. The man is, so to say, in Romans 7 -- to will present -- no way of performing what must be done. Christ brings -- exercises -- power, instead of requiring it. A word heals the man, but it is the sabbath, the rest of flesh. But there can be none, and having drawn the attention of the Jews to the point by making the man carry his bed, He answers by declaring that His Father was working hitherto, and He was working, not keeping sabbath, having rest in the midst of sin. It was power come in the midst of evil in grace, not rest in evil. Judgment might have been, judgment will be; grace was and yet is. Where can rest be found for us? In the new creation, in resurrection; first for conscience and heart, finally altogether and perfect. Christ as risen has put man in a new place, on a new footing, not back where Adam innocent was, clean out of the place of Adam guilty and the world which has grown up from him in sin and rejected Christ. Having accomplished the work of redemption, destroyed the power of death, made peace by the blood of the cross, Christ has taken the new place, wholly a new place as man, which His work gives a title to, and places man in by resurrection power. We are before God as risen in Him, though we have the treasure in earthen vessels, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body. We are in Christ in the new creation. Our sabbath is not the sabbath in flesh (that of the old creation), but of faith by the resurrection of Christ. It is not imposed on us by law, for we are not under law, but dead, out of the place and nature of sin, for faith, and risen in Christ. But the Lord's day, the day of Christ's resurrection, is the happy witness, as far as a day can be, of a better and perfect rest.

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I do not enter on the detail of scripture ground for the distinction of this day, which I published many years ago, in reply to the taunt of priests who used it to prove the authority of the Church which had changed the day. I have died with Christ to the old creation, the flesh, and the law; my rest as flesh is in the grave with Him. I have true rest in the divine complacency in Him risen, His work finished, so that God rests in righteousness and delight, and so we in both rest from labour to attain one, rest in joy in what is good in the other, rest in God's love unhinderedly resting upon us in Christ: the pledge too by the Holy Ghost of the perfect rest which the resurrection of the body will give. Romans 8: 2. See John 20; Acts 20: 7; 1 Corinthians 16: 2; Revelation 1: 10.

The sabbath is not a seventh day. It is significatively the seventh day, the rest of God, Jehovah's rest. It is not now the seventh day, the rest of the old creation (to an intelligent Christian that is impossible), but, as clearly distinguished by scripture, the first day of the week in contrast with the seventh, Christ having been unquestionably in the grave during the seventh, and rising (the ground of our rest) the first, not the seventh. Talking about the sabbath being originally the first is slighting the facts, and ignorance as to the purpose and meaning of the change of day. It is not a Jewish or legal sabbath either, but the christian Lord's day. The only part flesh can have in it now is mercy to man in flesh, and that is a fresh revelation of Christ's. When originally instituted, toil was not man's portion; God's rest he might have enjoyed in a worshipping way, but never did. Now sin is come in, the Lord can tell us the sabbath was made for man. So far therefore as the Lord's day can be made a day of rest for all, grace will do it. I may not be able to impose it as a religious law on unconverted men. I do not know what that means in christianity, in the Church of God. Could the early Church have imposed it on the heathen? I believe it is a great mercy if civil law secure it, or the habits of society, even for the world; only there is the danger of self-righteousness. It is an external mercy, if the morality of the law, sabbath and all, be observed; for sin and contempt of God degrade, harden, and corrupt. As a Christian I rejoice to have one day, and the Lord's day, rescued from the world and the old creation for me a child of God; and I believe and have found that (not for visions, but for blessing and for joy) we may look to be in the Spirit on the Lord's day. But that is not law. Yet I do not accept at all the taunt of those who bury, as they say, or abrogate the sabbath. I say, If I were on board ship, I should be positively sinning not to take due care of it on the sabbath, and give heed to the safety of all. On the other hand I have not a doubt the Christian ought to think of others, and (unless in cases where mercy does require it) not use cabs and the like on the Lord's day; and an easy rule is to be found: if he takes one in the name of the Lord Jesus, let him; if not, let him not take one.

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And as to meals, it is not scruple: hot or cold, it is all alike to me as to conscience; but I say, Christians ought to leave full leisure on the Lord's day to those who serve them. On the other hand, instead of law, I would make children as happy as I could on the Lord's day; I would connect it with happiness, but happiness associated with God, not idle pleasure; and so, as far as I had to say to it, to the toiling poor. I believe it is meant to be a rest of happiness, happiness with God, not legal bondage imposed by Him. I do not expect the world to heed me; but I act for myself. I believe serious-minded persons will respect it, and moral restraint, such as godliness always exercises, will operate on all.

I do not go into the history of this question. I have made collections of the kind on it which I have not with me at the moment. But it is certain the early Christians never confounded the Lord's day and the sabbath. Those who were Jews knew both as distinct, and those around them did too. Justin Martyr (in a well known passage of the dialogue with Trypho, who reproaches him with giving up the sabbath) says, How can we keep the sabbath, who rest from sin all the days of the week? If I recollect aright, Clement of Alexandria recommends setting it apart if possible. But I recollect this much, that a council of Orleans, in the sixth century or beginning of the seventh, reproaches Christians with keeping the sabbath, and not carting home their corn, or travelling, and asked them if they had turned Jews. But we must not suppose that this meant Sunday or the Lord's day. Gradually, as Judaism disappeared in the distance, the Lord's day took its place, but never, I believe, as a legal sabbath till the Reformation. But the history of the case may be found elsewhere: I do not pretend to give it, and speak from memory. My object was to examine scripture on the subject, and that in connexion with the law, which is the really important point. The nature of Christianity depends upon it. Local controversy I should have left to those engaged in it. The true nature of Christianity concerns us all.

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I do not accept by any means all Luther's statements on the subject. I think he did not see complete deliverance. But what he has written shews clearly that he had come right into the principle I have spoken of: "But if thou wilt speak of the abolishment of the law, talk of it as it is in its own proper use and office, and as it is spiritually taken, and comprehend in that the whole law, making no distinction at all between the judicial, ceremonial, and moral;" "now Paul speaketh here especially of the abolishment of the moral law, which is diligently to be considered." "And here Paul speaketh not of the ceremonial law only (as before we have remarked more at large), but of the whole law, whether it be ceremonial or moral, which to a Christian is utterly abrogate, for he is dead unto it: not that the law is utterly taken away; nay, it remaineth, liveth, and reigneth still in the wicked. But a godly man is dead unto the law, like as he is dead unto sin, the devil, death, and hell: which notwithstanding do still remain, and the world with all the wicked shall still abide in them. Wherefore when the Papist understandeth that the ceremonial law only is abolished, understand thou that Paul and every Christian is dead to the law, and yet the whole law remaineth still. As for example: Christ rising from death is free from the grave, and yet the grave remaineth still." And then he enlarges. "Wherefore these words, I am dead to the law, are very effectual. For he saith not: I am free from the law for a time, or I am lord over the law; but simply, I am dead to the law, that is, I have nothing to do with the law ... Now to die to the law is not to be bound to the law, but to be free from the law, and not to know it. Therefore let him that will live to God endeavour that he may be found without the law, and let him come out of the grave with Christ."

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Now it is perfectly true that the great object of Luther was justification by faith. But in pursuing this object he arrives at our being wholly dead to the law, nothing bound to it, not knowing it. He thought a man might get back under it, because he did himself; I do not. But this is another question. He takes a man as in Christ, wholly out of the law as much as Christ is now out of his grave, and the man from under law as Christ is now. "With this faith thou shalt mount up above and beyond the law, into that heaven of grace where is no law nor sin. And albeit the law and sin do still remain, yet they pertain nothing to thee; for thou art dead to the law and sin." "Now if we be dead unto the law, then hath the law no power over us, like as it hath no power over Christ, who hath delivered us from the law that we might live unto God." It is not all the truth that justification is continually running in his mind. He takes them wholly out of the law because it was death and condemnation, and they could not be justified if they were under it at all, because of its necessary character. He says the only thing he requires at your hands is this, that ye believe in Christ whom He has sent; and thus we are made perfect. "But if ... ye will add laws, then assure yourself that all laws are comprehended in this commandment -- Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Endeavour yourselves to keep this commandment, which, being kept, ye have fulfilled all law."

I cite from his well known commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians.

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Some obscurity seems to hang over the doctrine of Christ's intercession in the minds of some saints, which I feel it would be profitable to seek to dispel.

Some (and it is a common case) put it in the wrong place, viz., as the means of obtaining righteousness and peace, and thus enfeeble (and that because they are ignorant of) the true character of redemption; others, seeing that this is perfect and complete, set intercession aside as incompatible with that perfectness, as if it enfeebled or denied it.

Both are wrong, and both mistake the nature of Christ's intercession. Christ's intercession is not the means of obtaining righteousness and peace. It is mischievous to use it to this end; and it does, so used, hinder the apprehension of our being made the righteousness of God in Christ. It is mischievous too to deny its use when we do know Christ as our perfect righteousness. The doing so makes that righteousness to be a cold and heartless security, destroying the deep and softening sense of His constant love to us, and our dependence on the daily exercise of that love.

The former class, not assured of God's perfect love in righteousness, go to Christ to get Him to undertake their cause and go to God for them, and, so to speak, settle matters. They really (though they would not say so) see love in Christ and judgment in God; and go to Christ to move God to compassion, mercy, and forgiveness. It is very natural we should go through this state, particularly with the current teaching; but it is not really christian ground. God's love is the source of all our blessings, and of the hopes of our salvation; and that love is fully exercised in righteousness, because of Christ's work and glorifying of God. Grace reigns through righteousness: we are the righteousness of God in Christ; we have not to seek it. Christ is our righteousness always and constantly. It is as perfect as it is constant and perpetual; and as constant and perpetual as it is perfect. God has been -- is -- perfectly glorified in this respect; and His love goes forth freely and righteously on the Christian as on Christ Himself. It is a settled position before God, a standing and relationship which does not change. The intercession of Christ is founded upon it. How far the act which completed this ground of our place before God was the act of the priest, I will consider when speaking of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

But then it is equally true that we are poor, feeble, and often failing creatures upon earth; our place, our only place with God, is in the light as He is, through the divine righteousness I have spoken of, and acceptance in it there. Our actual place is in a world of temptation, in an unredeemed body, a feeble and dependent being, failing too, in a world where grace is needed, mercy and grace to help in time of need. And the best affections are drawn out by daily wants, daily confidence, and a daily sense of the Lord's faithfulness; not by the sense that we are safe, though that be the groundwork and basis of the other, needed to it and of itself drawing out thanksgiving and praise. But it is evident dependence, and all connected with it is not drawn out by being perfect, and always infallibly so. If I lose this last, my fears are servile; my looking to Christ is only to be safe, when God is a righteous judge. If I lose the other, I am content with being safe. It is my highest attainment, and I never possess it after all, and the best affections and graces lie dormant.

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Let us now consider what intercession really is, what place it takes in the christian system. There are two characters which the intercession of our Lord takes -- priesthood with God, and advocacy with the Father. In both He appears before God or the Father for us that we may receive needed blessing; but the former is more general. He is before God, so that we draw near and can do so. He makes withal intercession for our need. As Advocate with the Father, it is more restoration of communion.

But here some preliminary difficulties have to be met. There are those who deny the force of the word intercession as implying active intercession or intervention for us; they say that ejntugavnw merely means His personal presence or appearance there for us. But this is not so. The word ejntugavnw is used for active intervention or intercession. So, in scripture, He ever lives to do it. Surely not He ever lives to be present simply between God and us. So in Romans 8, "Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." And in the same chapter, what is said of the Holy Ghost clearly shews that this word is used in the plain ordinary sense of intercessory pleading for us. He makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. The Holy Ghost does not appear (ejntugavnw) in the presence of God for us at all, but He intercedes, pleads in us, with groans which cannot be uttered. This use of ejntugavnw cannot then be controverted.

Nor has the boldness been wanting, strange as it may seem, which takes the Epistle to the Hebrews from Christians and applies it to the Jewish remnant. Now there are statements which may reach out to their profit and blessing, the branches of a fruitful tree reaching over the wall. But the epistle is addressed to Christians. Allow me (an argument in itself sufficient; for it is an address, not a prophecy), to ask, to whom was it then and there addressed -- I mean when it was written -- to Christians or not? No one can hesitate for a moment. It was to Christians. There was no Jewish remnant then, save Christians, to address it to. This blunder has arisen from the epistle's not taking church ground (that is, the union of the saint with Christ). It does not do that. It looks at the saints as on earth, and Christ as in heaven for them, apart from them, in God's presence individually for them; not as sitting in heavenly places, but as tried, exercised, proved in the desert. But it was addressed to the then holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling then, Christ being the Apostle and High Priest of their profession. This applied only to Christians then, nor indeed ever directly to any others. God was bringing many sons to glory, and Christ is the captain or leader of their salvation. We may see this distinctly all through the epistle.

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It refers to those who were then made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and tasted the heavenly gift; they had then ministered to the saints -- then taken joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that they had in heaven a better and an enduring substance. I suppose those of whom this was then true were the Christians. That is, Christians, and they only, were directly addressed. Their hope was within the veil; Christ was entered there, as forerunner of the writer, and of those to whom it was addressed. Was the writer not a Christian? They were then drawing nigh to God, I suppose, as believers, that is, Christians; and a High Priest made higher than the heavens became them because they went there in spirit.

The whole of the ninth chapter supposes a then eternal redemption, an eternal inheritance, heavenly things themselves, and Christ's then appearing in heaven, when the epistle was written, for those to whom it was then addressed. Their consciences were purged; the Jewish remnant's will not be till they see Christ appearing again. Christ is sitting continuously at the right hand of God, and the way into the holiest was open for them then by the new and living way. They were to hold fast the beginning of their profession without wavering. They were believers; that is, those who had access into the holiest of all.

The whole epistle then proceeds on the ground that those addressed in it were believers then -- had a known part in heavenly places; that it was their calling. It was not the case of some who might get there, being killed, but heaven is the calling of all addressed. That is, they were Christians, Jewish Christians no doubt, but Christians. And such only are addressed, even if it reaches out in its language to those who are spared on earth; for there remains a rest for them.

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It is really an incredible thing that any can read the epistle and not see that it is addressed to Christians. I do not mean that they may profit by what was addressed to others, as we may by the Old Testament, but that it was addressed to Christians, and only to Christians; only to persons then called to heaven, and who had it as their profession to be so. I freely admit it is not the Church, as such: we should lose the whole value of it, and of the Church, were it so; because the Church is united to Christ in heaven, and here Christians are not so viewed; and the epistle would have no place, because it teaches what Christ is for us in heaven while we are walking in conflict on the earth. Here our earthly condition becomes the occasion of heavenly grace. It is our heavenly calling, not our being there in union with Christ. But heavenly grace to us in an earthly condition, while called to heaven, leads to the knowledge of the love, tenderness, sympathy, faithfulness, interest in all our state and circumstances, which are found in Christ (which our perfection in Him does not). It leads to dependence, confidence in Him, counting on His faithfulness, apprehension of the interest which He takes in us every moment, and a looking to the time when we shall see Him as He is, which our being in Him in heaven does not.

As regards the passage in John's Epistle, and that in Romans, it is applicable to Christians beyond all cavil or question. Fellowship with the Father and the Son is the part assuredly of Christians; and Romans 8 needs no comment or argument on the subject. If 1 John 2: 2 were applied to any but Christians, it would apply to unbelievers, which is a false view of intercession altogether. Advocacy then is founded on Jesus Christ the righteous being the Advocate, and His being the propitiation for our sins. This, a divine and perfect righteousness, and the perfect propitiation for our sins, have put us in the light as God is, to walk there; and as we fail, if any man sin -- that righteousness and propitiation being ever before God, there is -- can be -- no thought of imputation (it is impossible, the sins have been borne and righteousness subsists); yet sins are not to be suffered in those whom God loves; and hence, in virtue of His work and being our righteousness before God, Christ intercedes for us and the soul is restored.

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This ground of advocacy leads me to speak of the analogous, or really same, foundation of priesthood. On earth He could not be a priest: but there was one work which the high priest did, not in the exercise of his priesthood, properly speaking, which was in the sanctuary, but which laid the foundation for it, in which he was substitute and representative of the people, the foundation of his priestly service proper during the year. This was the sacrifice of the great day of atonement: the blood put upon the mercyseat; and the sins of the people confessed on the head of the scapegoat. Reconciliation or propitiation was made for the sins of the people. All exercise of priesthood was founded on this, and this the Epistle to the Hebrews refers to, as well as to priesthood. His earthly life fitted Christ for sympathy, though He be now in heaven, and the sacrifice accomplished on earth (in putting away for ever as to guilt the sins He had borne) formed the basis of intercession for daily blessing and access to God by Him. Hence, while clearly stating that if on earth He would not be a priest, we read, Hebrews 2: 17, "It behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation [more exactly, propitiation] for the sins of the people." On this is founded His gracious and constant priesthood and intercession. Imputation of sin to us is become impossible because of Christ's sacrifice; and His suffering and tempted life enables Him in grace, intelligent of sorrow and trial, to succour them that are tempted. Hence in chapter 4 we Christians are called upon to hold fast our profession,+ "for we have not an high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, sin apart." We have then a Priest with God, and an Advocate with the Father: there in virtue of a sacrifice in which He has once for all borne our sins and appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; there in a perfect acceptance in which we have a part -- Jesus Christ the righteous, the propitiation for our sins; able to save to the end those that come to God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them; who is even at the right hand of God, set down when He had purged our sins, a great High Priest set down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.

+And note here, as the whole epistle shews, this is in contrast with going back into Judaism; so far is it from being directly applicable to the remnant.

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Now this leads us to another point. We do not go to the High Priest; we come to God by Him, to a throne of grace. I do not doubt God's gracious goodness may have borne with the infirm faith which in trueness of heart has gone to Christ as priest: but it is not the teaching of the word of God. He appears in the presence of God for us, we go to God by Him. There is no uncertainty or exception in scripture as to this. Nor is it consequently on our return or our repentance that He intercedes, but for our infirmities, our need, and our sins. The activity is that of His grace, having that grace -- His love and priestly grace towards us, for its source -- His work and position with God in righteousness, as we have seen, as its basis.

Our going to Christ thus is a sign that we have never yet learnt God's love, nor our place and relationship with God in the light as He is in it, to speak according to John; or boldness to enter into the holiest through the rent veil, to speak according to the Hebrews. We have not yet learnt the "no condemnation" for those in Christ, nor separation, of Romans 8.

Priesthood, intercession, and advocacy suppose this. We have our place in heaven; we have been, or are, in danger of being inconsistent with it upon earth. Now God can, on one hand, allow of no sin in those who are in relationship with Him, however accepted they may be. He must have their feet and hearts clean, because they are so; and on the other hand, He exercises them here below. And Christ especially enters into all their sorrows, infirmities, seeking their progress, ministering to their weakness and obtaining mercy, cleansing, and restoration in their faults. This has nothing to do with acceptance, but with consistency with, or restoration to, the actual enjoyment of communion with God in that relationship. Safety is not the end, it is the beginning, of Christianity. Christianity is relationship and communion with God as He is, and our Father, and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Priesthood and advocacy maintain, help into, restore this, when our relationship, according to divine righteousness, subsists already, but when we are in a scene of temptation and trial, which tends, through our weakness and by our exercises, in which we are to grow up into it, to interrupt communion.

But it is not we who get our High Priest to move for us, He it is who does it of His own grace. Thus, in a case anticipative no doubt of His priesthood, but in which it is displayed in its principles -- the fall of Peter, we have Christ praying for him before he had even committed the sin, praying exactly according to what Peter needed, not that he might not be sifted, but that his faith might not fail and he fall into despair. At the right moment, by Christ's own grace and action, Peter's heart is touched, and he weeps bitterly over his fault. But this is the effect, not the cause, of Christ's action. Afterwards He fully restores his soul. So in His advocacy in John, it is, "If any man sin" (not if any man repent) "we have an advocate with the Father." So in John 13, where the application is taught (where Christ, already owned Son of God, Son of David, Son of man, now takes His place on high, and shews that He is still our servant to make us clean, to have a part with Him there, as He could not remain with us here), it is His action, not what is sought by the disciples. Clean, as washed by the word, He cleanses their feet (moved by His own grace) from the dirt gathered in the walk.

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And note, further, His intercession is for them in relationship with Him: "I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me;" so for others who should believe through their word. In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is equally clear that Christ is Priest for those in relationship with God: only that is more based on profession or the people, than in Romans or John; still it speaks of us. As regards Christ's activity for us, there is less as to failure than in John. The great subject is the distinct nature and character of priesthood as contrasted with that with which law was connected, the passing away of that earthly one, and the establishment of the heavenly one. Still there is no thought of going to the priest. We go to God by Him; we come boldly to the throne of grace, in virtue of His being there; but there is no thought of going to Him but of going boldly to God Himself. Nor is there a thought of obtaining righteousness by it, nor any uncertainty as to that. By one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified, and they are sanctified by the offering too. He offered Himself once for all. His priesthood is for tempted ones. He is able to help them, ever living to make intercession for them; He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, having been tempted like us, sin apart. It is help to the sanctified ones (perfected by the offering of Christ once for all) in passing through the wilderness, and He by whom they draw nigh to God. His priesthood is exercised then that we may find mercy and help at the throne of grace.

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This need of mercy for individuals is shewn remarkably in the well-known fact that the epistles addressed to individuals speak of it; those addressed to churches do not.

This makes the character of intercession, priesthood, or advocacy very simple for us. They are exercised in favour of those who are in relationship with God, not to put them into it. It is exercised for those who are already the righteousness of God in Christ, sitting in heavenly places in Him. The advocacy is for those whose walk is in the light as God is in the light. Intercession is for those for whom God is -- to the charge of whom none can lay anything. It is used for their failure or infirmity in their path here, not to obtain a place in the heavenlies, but when we are there to meet every inconsistency in our walk in the wilderness, help our infirmities there, and enable us, poor and mixed as we are in fact here, to go boldly to a throne of grace to find mercy and grace in time of need. And thus it is that it keeps alive the sense of dependence and entire confidence at the same time. Were Christ not there, we could not have that confidence in going. Were it a question of obtaining righteousness, it would be one of guilt and acceptance, not of help. Were it going to Christ, it would assume we could not go to God -- the very contrary of what Christianity teaches. But it is none of these.

We go boldly to God because Christ is there as our high priest. We have no thought of imputation; but our being the righteousness of God in Him does not make us slight our inconsistencies in the path in which we walk. He takes notice of them, and is our Advocate in virtue of being the righteous one and a propitiation for us. Thus the personal sense of fault is maintained, enhancing, not enfeebling, the sense of grace; and yet our acceptance in righteousness is never touched so as to put us back under law or bring divine righteousness ever into question, or cause our conscious relationship to God to be ever at all weakened. All passes on the ground of these. Yet the holiness of God is kept fully up as regards our conduct, and a full spirit of confession maintained when we fail; our inward estimate of good and evil is kept alive and in growth without a particle of servile fear, and blessed confidence maintained in this very respect.

I have already noticed the difference between the advocacy in respect of restoration and communion with the Father, and the approach to God, and help in our infirmities as men. But on the ground and nature of their exercise they are the same, founded on assumed relationship in righteousness and applicable to our walk in weakness here, when in that. If John shews us the Advocate with the Father when we have sinned, the Hebrews presents us with one who can sympathize with all our infirmities, can be touched with the feeling of them, though now all power is His in heaven and on earth. He is constantly occupied with our case and state. Hence not only holy judgment of sin is maintained (yet the sense of grace is intact), but confidence in unwearied love which has made itself like its brethren in all things to be a merciful and faithful high priest. Thus the gracious affections of dependence and confidence are maintained and cultivated; and that, not as if we went to the priest in a difficulty, ran off to get help, but in the free blessed care-taking activity of His own love. It is not that He relents when we turn in due humiliation; right feeling is the fruit of His blessed activity in grace.

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I know not that I need add more. My object was, not to expatiate on this grace and the fruits of it in us, but to give the scriptural place of priesthood and advocacy, as founded on the establishment of divine righteousness and the accomplishment of propitiation, and the place we have before God by it -- not clouding this, but founded on it, and applying itself to reconcile our actual weakness and failure here below with that place; so that neither it should be uncertain in grace, nor any inconsistency with it be borne, though nothing can be imputed; and instead of a cold and heartless certainty of being safe, dependence, confidence, and affection, united to security in Him who is the object of them, till we come where it is no more needed.

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How can I get peace with God?

He has "made peace by the blood of the cross."

I do not deny that; I believe it; but I have not peace; and how can I have that peace myself?

"Being justified by faith, we have peace with God."

Well, I know it is so written, but I have not peace; that I know: I wish I had, and I sometimes think I do not believe at all. I see you happy; and how is that happiness of soul to be had?

You do not then think it presumptuous to be at peace with God in the assurance of His favour, and thus of our own salvation?

I think it would be in me; but I see it in scripture, and therefore it must be right; and I see a few who enjoy the divine favour, in whom one sees it is real. But I do not know how to get this. It leaves me distressed if I think of it, though I get on from day to day as other Christians do; but when this question is raised, I know I am not at peace, nor assured of divine favour resting upon me, as I see you and others enjoying it. And it is a serious thing, because if "being justified by faith, we have peace with God," as you say, and as I know scripture says, I have not peace with God; and how, then, can I be justified?

You have not the true knowledge of justification by faith. I do not say you are not justified in God's sight, but your conscience has not possession of it. The Reformers, all of them, went further than I do. They all held that if a man had not the assurance of his own salvation he was not justified at all. Now, whoever believes in the Son of God is, in God's sight, justified from all things. But till he sees this as taught of God, till he apprehends the value of Christ's work, he has no consciousness of it in his own soul, and, of course, if in earnest, as you are, he has not peace; nor is his peace solidly established till he knows he is in Christ, as well as that Christ died for him; and the Christian's getting on, as you say, day by day, is a false and hollow thing, which must some time or other be broken up. It is that which often causes distress on death-beds. And the character of Christian activity is sadly deteriorated and made a business of, a kind of means of getting happy, not work in the power of the Spirit, by a soul at peace.

+I have had some little difficulty in putting this in the form of a dialogue, as being fictitious, which I dislike in divine things; but it is a real summing up of many conversations, so that I have given it in this form, as presenting more clearly the common difficulties of a soul.

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If a person is really serious, and walks before God, he cannot rest in spirit till he be at peace with Him, and the deeper all these exercises are the better. But He has made peace by the blood of the cross. All these exercises are merely bringing up the weeds to the surface, as ploughing and harrowing a field. They are useful in this way, and necessary; but they are not the crop which faith in the finished work of Christ produces. His work is finished. He "appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;" and He "finished the work which his Father gave him to do." That work, which puts away our sin, is complete and accepted of God. If you come to God by Him, if your sins are not all put away by it, completely and for ever, they never can be, for He cannot die again; and all by the "one sacrifice," or else, as the apostle reasons in Hebrews 9, "he must often have suffered."

I see this more clearly, and that it is a perfect, finished work, done once for all.

What do you want, then, still, in order to have peace?

Well, that is what I want to see clearly.

I am anxious, before we speak of your state and hindrances, to have the work itself clearly brought before our minds. Who did this work?

Why, Christ, of course.

What part had you in completing it?


None, surely, unless we say your sins. And to what state of your soul does it apply -- a godly or an ungodly state?

Well, must not I be holy?

Surely, "without holiness no man shall see the Lord." But do you see how quickly, and with the instinct of self-righteousness, you turn from Christ's work to your own holiness -- to what you are? It is curious -- the quicksightedness of man to what makes nothing of him and his self-approbation. Your desire of holiness, however, is the desire of the new man. Were you indifferent to it, one's work would be to seek to awaken your conscience, not to talk of peace: rather, perhaps, to break up false peace. But we are now inquiring how an anxious soul can find peace.

Quite so. I am sadly indifferent sometimes, and that is one thing that troubles me; but I have not peace, and I would give anything for it.

I do not doubt such indifference retards, in a certain sense, your finding it, but we have humbly to learn what we are; the gain of a few dollars would give more earnestness to many a soul. But I repeat my question -- Does this work of Christ apply simply to your ungodliness or godliness, or to an improved state at least?

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Why, simply, of course, to my ungodliness.

Undoubtedly. Consequently not to your holiness, if there were any, nor to an improved state. Yet, what are you looking for to get peace? Is it not an improved state of soul?

Why, yes.

Then you are on the wrong road, for that by which Christ "has made peace" applies to your ungodliness. Your desire is right, but you are putting the cart before the horse, as men speak -- you are looking for holiness to get Christ, instead of looking to have Christ to get holiness.

But I do hope for His help in order to get it.

That I can believe, but you are looking for His help, not to His work or blood-shedding for peace. You want righteousness not help. We need His help every moment when we are justified. He is the Author of every good thought in us before. But that is not peace, nor His blood-shedding, nor righteousness. Yet this search is not without its fruit for all that, because it leads you to see that you cannot thus find what you seek for. You will neither find holiness thus, nor peace by it. But, finding that you cannot and that when "to will is present" you do not find "how to perform that which is good," will lead you, through grace, knowing that there is no good in you, to that which does give peace -- Christ's work -- and not your state and the work of grace in you. That work God works; but it is not to lead us to look at it as the way of peace, but through it and out of ourselves, simply and wholly, to Christ's work and His acceptance before God. But come now, where are you before God?

I do not know. That is just what troubles me.

Are you lost?

I hope not. Of course we are lost by nature; but I hope there is a work of grace in me, though I sometimes doubt it.

Suppose you stood before God now, and your case had to be decided, where would you be, had it, as it must in judgment, to be decided by your works? Have you confidence?

I hope it would be right: I cannot help thinking there is a work of grace in me; but I cannot think of judgment without fear.

I trust there is a work of grace in you -- do not doubt it; but here is the turning-point of our inquiry: What you want is, to be in God's presence, and know there, if God enters into judgment with you (as it must then be in righteousness and in respect of your state and works), that you are simply lost! Now you are a sinner, and a sinner cannot subsist before God in judgment at all. It is not help you want here; that is, if actually in God's presence, but righteousness, and that you have not got; I mean as to your own faith and conscience, through and in which we possess it. Righteousness can alone suffice before God; and now the righteousness of God, for we have none, and only this is to be found. Nor does the work of grace in us produce this. It is by faith, through the work of Christ, and in Him we possess it; through Him God justifies the ungodly.

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The case of the prodigal son will illustrate this. There was a work of God in him; he came to himself, found himself perishing, and set out towards his father. When setting out he acknowledges his sins, adding "make me as one of thy hired servants." There was uprightness, a sense of divine goodness, and a sense of sin, and he was drawing conclusions as to what he might hope for when he met his father; and so are you. He had what the world of Christians call humility and a humble hope; was drawing conclusions just as you are, which proved -- what? -- that he had never met his father. He could not reason as to how he would be received when he did meet him, if he had met him. It is the position of one who had never met God, though God had wrought in him. When he did meet his father, not a word of making him like "the hired servants" is to be found. There was the confession of sin fully, and his previous experience had brought him in his rags to his father, in his sins (not loving them, but in them and confessing them). The effect of the previous process was that he then met God, as to his conscience, in his sins, and that was all; and had his father on his neck -- grace reigned -- and had the best robe, Christ, the righteousness of God, which no progress had given him, of which he had nothing before. It was a new thing conferred on him.

When in God's presence, we need Christ, not progress; righteousness and justification through Him, not help or improvement. God has helped us, or we should not have been there. There has been progress, but the progress has been to bring us into God's presence, not to judge of the progress and hope because of it, but to judge of sin in His sight and know He can have none of it, and to find Christ our perfect acceptance in His sight instead of ourselves -- Christ, who has borne our sins -- Christ, who is our righteousness, perfect, absolute, and eternal. It is not in looking at our progress that we find peace. Were it so, we should have to say, "Therefore being justified by experience, we have peace with God;" but that the word of God never says. True progress as to this is our being brought into God's presence as mere and wholly lost sinners, confessing our sins, and that "in us, that is, in our flesh, there is no good thing;" and thus the consciousness that we are lost as a present thing.

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It is not a question what we shall be, or how we shall be judged to be in the day of judgment, but the discovery of what we are -- our actual sins and our sinful nature -- which is the real plague of an upright soul, and getting Christ instead of these -- "the best robe," instead of our "rags," when in God's presence in them. We have found Christ and believed in Him. He has been the propitiation for our sins, bearing them in His own body on the tree; and, having Christ, He is our righteousness; God condemned sin in the flesh, when He was an offering for it (Romans 8: 3), and we are not "in the flesh," but "in Christ." Instead of Adam and his sins, that is, ourselves, we have Christ and the value of His work.

This is true of every one that believes in Him, comes to God by Him. Were we as simple as scripture, it would be seen in a moment. But we are not, and we have to be cured of the selfrighteousness of our hearts, and, as mere sinners before God, find that God in love has taken up the question of our sins and our evil nature, has anticipated the day of judgment, and settled the question for every one that comes to God by Him, "once for all," and for ever, on the cross, has dealt with the sins which I should have had to answer for in the day of judgment; and dealt with them in putting them away according to His own righteousness, and that there our fullest form of sin in flesh against God, that is, enmity against God, met with God dealing with sin, in grace to us, but in judgment against it. Sin and God met on the cross, when Christ was made sin for us, and by His death we have died to it, and are the fruit of the travail of His soul before God. He has borne the sins of many, and appeared to put away sin -- has glorified God about it in righteousness in that momentous hour. He took what I had earned; I get the fruit of what He has done.

Practically speaking, I come to God like Abel, with that sacrifice in my hand; God must own its value; I have the testimony that I am righteous: the witness is borne to my gifts; my acceptance is according to the value of Christ's sacrifice in God's sight; coming with that is confession of righteous exclusion in myself, not of improvement in state; I come with Christ in my hand, so to speak, my slain Lamb, and the testimony is to my gift. God looks at that when I thus come by it, not at my state, which, so coming, is confessedly that of a sinner, and only a sinner, as to his own title, shut out from God.

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But must I not accept Christ?

Ah, how "I" gets through the blessedest testimonies of God's ways towards us in grace. I say, here is Christ on God's part for you -- God's Lamb. You answer -- "But must not I?" I am not surprised. It is no reproach I make; it is human nature, my nature in the flesh; but know that in "I" there is no good thing. But tell me, would you not be glad to have Him?

Surely I should.

Then your real question is, not about accepting Him, but whether God has really presented Him to you, and eternal life in Him. A simple soul would say, "Accept! I am only too thankful to have Him!" but as all are not simple, one word on this also. If you have offended some one grievously, and a friend seeks to offer him satisfaction, who is to accept it?

Why, the offended person, of course.

Surely. And who was offended by your sins?

Why, God, of course.

And who must accept the satisfaction?

Why, God must.

That is it. Do you believe He has accepted it?

Undoubtedly I do.

And is --


And are not you?

Oh! I see it now. Christ has done the whole work, and God has accepted it, and there can be no more question as to my guilt or righteousness. He is the latter for me before God. It is wonderful! and yet so simple! But why did I not see it? how very stupid!

That is faith in Christ's work, not our accepting it, gladly as we do, not believing God has. You have no need to enquire now whether you believe. The object is before your soul, seen by it: what God has revealed is known in seeing it thus by faith. You are assured of that, not of your own state. As you see the lamp before you and know it, not by knowing the state of your eye; you know the state of your eye by seeing it. But you say, How stupid I was. It is ever so. But allow me to ask you what you were looking for? -- Christ, or holiness in yourself and a better state of soul?

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Well, holiness and a better state of soul.

No wonder you did not see Christ then. Now this is what God calls submitting to God's righteousness, finding a righteousness which is neither of nor in ourselves, but finding Christ before God, and the proud will, through grace, submitting to be saved by that which is not of or in ourselves. It is Christ instead of self, instead of our place in the flesh. Had you obtained peace in the way you sought it, you would have been satisfied with whom?


Just so. And what would that have been? Nothing real indeed, and shutting out Christ if it were, save as a help; shutting Him out as righteousness and peace. And as an upright soul taught really of God cannot be satisfied with itself, it remains, though confidingly in love if walking with God, yet without peace for years perhaps, till it does submit to God's righteousness. And now note another point: for the soul at peace with God can now contemplate Christ to learn. He has not only borne our sins, and died to sin, and closed the whole history of the old man in death for those who believe, they having been crucified with Him; but He has glorified God in this work (John 12: 31, 33; 17: 4, 5), and so obtained a place for man in the glory of God, and a place of present positive acceptance, according to the nature and favour of God whom He has glorified; and that is our place before God. It is not only that the old man and his sins are all put out of God's sight, but we are in Christ before God; and this we have the consciousness of by the Holy Ghost given to us (John 14: 20), accepted in the Beloved, divine favour resting on us as on Him. And thus too He dwells in us; and this leads unto true practical holiness. We are sanctified, set apart, to God by His blood; but we are so in possessing His life, or Him as our life, and the Holy Ghost; and these, or, if you please, He Himself becomes the measure of our walk and relationship with God. We are not our own, but bought with a price, and nothing inconsistent with His blood, and the price of it, and its power in our hearts, becomes a Christian.

This was beautifully expressed in the Old Testament in figures. When a leper was cleansed, besides the sacrifice, the blood was put on the tips of his ear, his thumb, and his great toe. Every thought, every act, all in our walk which cannot pass the test of that blood, is excluded from the Christian's thoughts and walk. And how glad he is to be freed from this world and the body of sin practically, and have that precious blood as the motive, measure, and security for it; that whatever grieves the Holy Spirit of God, by which we are sealed when thus sprinkled, is unsuited to a Christian, seeing he dwells in Him. And that precious blood and the love Christ shewed in shedding it become the motive, and the Holy Ghost the power of, devotedness and love in walking as Christ walked. If we are in Christ, Christ is in us; and we know it by the Comforter given (John 14); and we are the epistle of Christ in this world: the life of Jesus is to be manifested in our mortal body.

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But your standard is very high.

It is simply what scripture gives. "He that saith he abideth in him ought to ... walk even as he walked." God Himself is set before us as the model, Christ being the expression of what is divine in a man. "Be ye followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ has loved us and given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour." Nor is there any limit. "Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." "Now are ye light in the Lord, walk as children of light." But you may remark here that there is nothing legal, nothing by which we are seeking to make our case good with God. Many would say that complete grace and assurance leaves liberty to do as we like; that, if we are completely saved, what are the motives or need of any works? It is a dreadful principle. As if we have no motive but "getting saved" to work by, none but legal bondage and obligations; and if we are saved, all motive is gone. Have the angels no motive? It is an utter blundering mistake, such as we could not make in human things. What should we think of the sense of one who told us, that a man's children were exempt from obligation because they were certainly and always his children? I should say that they were always and certainly under obligation, because they were always and certainly his children, and that if they were not, the obligation ceased.

That is clear enough, though I never thought of it. But you do not mean to say that we were under no obligation before we were children of God?

I do not, but we were not under that obligation. You cannot be under the obligation of living as a Christian till you are one. We were under the obligation of living as men ought to live, as men in the flesh before God; and of that the law was the perfect measure. But upon that ground we were wholly lost, as we have seen. Now we are completely saved, who through grace believe, and are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. And our duties are the duties of God's children. Duties always flow, and right affections too, from the relationships we are in, and the consciousness of the relationship is the spring and character of the duty; though our forgetting it does not alter the obligation. And so scripture always speaks, "Be ye followers of God as dear children." "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy." Right affections and duties flow from the place we are already in, and are never the means of getting into it. We enjoy it when we walk in it; rather we enjoy the light and favour of God, communion with Him in it. But, note, failure in faithfulness does not lead to doubt the relationship, but, because we are in it, to blame ourselves for inconsistency with it. Here the advocacy of Christ comes in and other truths, which I cannot enter into now, though most precious in their place. Only remark that that advocacy is not the means of our obtaining righteousness, but is founded on it and Christ's having made the propitiation for our sins. Nor do we go to Him that He may advocate, but He goes for us because we have sinned. Christ had prayed for Peter before he had even committed the sin, and just for what was needed; not that he might not be sifted; he wanted that; but that his faith might not fail when he was sifted. Ah, if we knew how to trust Him! See how, in the midst of His enemies, He looked at Peter at the very right moment to break his heart!

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How simple things are when we take the word; and how it changes all your thoughts of God. One is altogether in a new state!

True indeed, and this leads to two other points I wished to advert to. We have looked at Christ's work as satisfying, yea, glorifying God, because we had to see how righteousness was to be had. But we must remember it was God's sovereign love which gave Christ, and the same love in which He offered Himself for us. It is not for us righteousness reigns; that will indeed be true hereafter, when judgment returns to righteousness, when God will come and judge the earth. But for us grace reigns, sovereign goodness, God Himself, through righteousness, a divine righteousness, as we have seen, which gives us a place in glory in God's presence according to the acceptance of Christ, and like Him. It is sovereign grace which gives a sinner a place with the Son of God, conformed to His image. Yet it is righteous; for His blood and work fully and necessarily claim such a place, as we have seen in John 13 and 17. And now "we joy in God himself through our Lord Jesus Christ." We know Him as love (and this love as the sum of all our joy and blessing), yet in righteousness in Christ, for we are made the righteousness of God in Him. We know God in love, and are reconciled to Him. It is a blessed place, a place of holy affections and peaceful rest. We have communion with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. What is communion?

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Why, common thoughts and joys and feelings.

Think of that -- with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ!

That is wonderful. I hardly get into that.

Well, we have to seek that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, being rooted and grounded in love, that we may comprehend. Yet if the Holy Ghost who dwells in us is the source of our thoughts and joys and feelings, they cannot be discordant, though we may be poor feeble creatures, with those of the Father and the Son. Does not the Christian's heart delight in Christ, in His words, His obedience, His holiness, His sacrifice of Himself to the Father's will? and does not the Father delight in it? we indeed most poorly and feebly, He infinitely; but the object is one. He is chosen of God and precious, and to them that believe He is precious. I go no farther than to cite this as an illustration. This is a matter of your daily life and diligence of heart; but you can understand that what comes from the Holy Ghost must conform to the mind of the Father and the Son.

That is evident, but it is so new to me; I am brought into such a different world! If this be true, where are we all?

I leave you to ponder over this, and to search the word whether these things are so; whether scripture, which fully recognizes our passing through exercises of soul as coming to it, ever looks at the Christian otherwise than as forgiven, and accepted in the Beloved, and knowing it as one who has "not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

But if I receive this, there is a passage which I don't understand. We are told to "examine ourselves whether we are in the faith," and what you have said, it seems to me, sets this aside.

We are told no such thing. Many a sincere soul is honestly doing it, and we all pass naturally through it.

But it is there in scripture.

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The words are part of a sentence in 2 Corinthians 13: 3, 5. But the beginning of the sentence is this: "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me," ... then a parenthesis ... "examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith." It is a taunt. The Corinthians had called in question Christ's speaking in Paul, and the reality of his apostleship, as you may see all through both epistles. And he says, as a final argument, "You had better examine yourselves; how came you to be Christians?" for he had been the means of their conversion. Hence he adds, "Know ye not your own selves that Christ dwells in you, except ye be reprobates?" How came He there? He appeals to their certainty to prove his apostleship to their shame: but this is no direction to examine whether one is in the faith. It is all well to examine whether we are walking up to it; but that is a very different thing. A child does right to do that as to his conduct as such; it would be sad work for him to do the other and examine if he were a child. The consciousness, and the never failing consciousness of a relationship, is a different thing from consistency with it; and we must not confound the two. The loss of the consciousness of the relationship (which, however, I do not think takes place when once really possessed, unless in cases of divine discipline for sins) destroys the grounds of duty and the possibility of affections according to it. Look at the passage.

I see it plain enough. There is nothing to complete the passage, "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me," if we do not connect this with it. And, in any case, the force of the apostle's reasoning is clear, and he appeals to their certainty -- "Know ye not?" This last would have no sense, if they were to examine as a duty if it was so. But where had we got to with scripture?

Rather, where had we got to without it? You don't read and search as you ought. Do so, and the truth will be clear to you: only, surely, we need God's grace and looking to Him, that we may receive the "sincere milk of the word as new born babes."

I have yet one point I wish very briefly to notice, to dear up our minds on the subject we are enquiring into. In receiving Christ we receive life. "This is the record," says John, "that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life." Between this life and the flesh there is no common thought. If we do not realize redemption, our being quickened (not taking us from under the law and the sense of our own responsibility) puts us in misery of heart at finding sin in us, as in Romans 7. If we do know redemption, and have been sealed by the Spirit, still "the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;" they are contrary as ever one to the other. But if led of the Spirit, we are not under the law. Now you have been trying to draw hopeful conclusions from finding signs of life in yourself; having only a general apprehension, which always accompanies true conversion, of the goodness of God, strengthened by the knowledge that Christ died. But all this reasoning about yourself was in no way faith in redemption. It left you still, though with better hope, in view of judgment; or, at least, if when looking at the cross you saw that there was there what you needed as a sinner, you still looked for something better in yourself, you could not say you possessed what you needed in the cross -- yea, were the fruit of it, as to your state before God; and when you turned to the judgment, your state would stand you in no good stead there. Life is not redemption. Both belong to the believer, but they are different things. You were looking for proofs of life, concluding that, if they were there, you could pass in the judgment; and then perhaps in a vague way you brought in Christ to boot!

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I think you have described my case pretty nearly.

Now when persons live close with God in simplicity of heart, the sense of goodness in God predominates, and there is the savour of piety; but when they do not, there is uneasiness and restlessness; the accusing conscience predominates, and they are unhappy, if not dismally afraid. But in neither case is redemption really known; it is not known that Christ has taken our place in judgment, and given us His in glory: only we must wait for the adoption itself, the redemption of the body. The way in which scripture unites these two truths is in the resurrection of Christ. This is the power of life, and the seal of the acceptance of His work -- His coming fully up out of the consequences of our sin into another state. So we in Him. We were dead in sin, exposed to judgment, and under death; Christ comes down from heaven, accomplishing in dying the work of putting our sins away; and we are dead with Him; and then He and we with Him are raised, consequent on the completed work, and God's acceptance of it. He has quickened us together with Him, having forgiven us all trespasses. It is life, whose full divine power is shewn in resurrection; it is not only eternal life communicated, but deliverance out of the state we were in, and our entrance into another; not outwardly of course yet, but really by the possession of this life. Redemption means, though by price, a deliverance out of the state I was in, and bringing me into another and a free one. Hence we talk of the redemption of the body, which we have not yet. Life does not by itself give this: through it we feel the burden of the old state we are in; but when we find that we are redeemed also, we know that we have been brought, at the cost of Christ's death, out of the old Adam state we were in, into Christ. Hence we have "boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world."

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I cannot follow quite the course of scripture thoughts you give. I must learn these things; but I see the difference between redemption and life, though we have both in Christ now. He has died and is risen. I suppose I had life before; but I have, in a measure, now understood redemption too.

Yes, you were of course redeemed. And surely God had wrought in you in grace, as you said; but, as already said, you were looking at this in view of a God of judgment, with glimpses of divine love, but had not faith in accomplished redemption. See how the reasoning of the apostle applies to this in Romans 5: 19: "By one man's obedience many shall be made (constituted) righteous." "Then," says the flesh, "I may live in sin." What is the answer? No, you ought not! This would be to put you back under the claims of law, and so destroy again what is taught of Christ's obedience. In no wise: "How can we that are dead to sin live in it?" You have been baptized to Christ's death, and are a Christian by having part in His death. How, if you have died with Him to sin, can you live in it? We are now free to give ourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead.

Well, while the old foundations remain, it makes a new thing of the whole matter. It is not the same way of putting Christianity at all. I have to realize it, though I am quite different as to my ground of peace already; or, rather, I have one, and had not before. But I see it is in scripture, and I must search that out.

The truth is, the great body of true sincere Christians are as those without, hoping it will be all right when they get in; instead of being within and shewing what is there to the world, as the epistle of Christ.

But you would make us all out-and-out Christians, dead, as you say, to the world and everything.

Surely. "A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." It is the single eye which causes the whole body to be full of light. We are not our own. The new man cannot have his objects here; his service he has: so had Christ; in nothing did He have His objects. We are crucified to the world, and the world to us; and so we have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. Only remember, that the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and that this needs vigilance, "working out," as to the passage of the wilderness, "your salvation with fear and trembling:" not because your place is uncertain, but because God does "work in you to will and to do:" and it is a serious thing to maintain God's cause when the flesh is in us, and Satan disposes of the world to hinder and deceive us. But do not be discouraged, for God works in you; greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. You cannot be in wilderness difficulties unless you have been redeemed out of Egypt. "My grace is sufficient for thee," says Christ. "My strength is made perfect in weakness." "If God be for us, who can be against us?" The secret is lowliness of heart and the sense of dependence and looking to Christ with confidence, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling. You cannot mistrust yourself, nor trust God, too much. By redemption you are brought to God, and are in the place of His people, and now (we can say of His children and church, as such) set to make good His glory there. The true knowledge of redemption brings one into perfect peace, into true and constant dependence on the Redeemer. But if you have not the first, you cannot have the second; nor can you walk with God, if you are not reconciled to Him.

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It is true. Do not suppose I want to make difficulties: but there is still a question I have to ask; I wish to get clear on these points. We have been taught to rely on God's promises and trust them for our salvation; it is the language we constantly hear, and I do not see, if your view be right, how exactly to connect it with trusting in the promises for salvation; and surely we should do that.

The answer is very simple, and I am glad you put the question. It is just these points we have to inquire into. Trusting God's promises is clearly right: that is certain; and there are most precious promises too. But tell me, is it a promise that Christ shall come and die and rise again?

No: He is come, and has died, and is risen, and is at God's right hand.

This then cannot be a promise, because it is an accomplished fact. For Abraham it was a promise, and he did right to believe it as such. To us it is an accomplished fact, and we must believe it as such. And so scripture speaks. He believed that that which God had promised He was able also to perform. But we believe that what by its efficacy saves us He has performed. It would be unbelief to treat it yet as a promise; and so it is written -- "You to whom it shall be imputed, believing on him who hath raised up Jesus Christ from the dead." You will find both passages together, speaking of this very point, at the end of Romans 4. As to help on our journey onward, there are many and cherished promises. "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." "God will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear." "No man shall pluck his sheep out of his hand." "Who will also confirm you to the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ." I might cite many others of the greatest comfort and value to us in our difficulties on the way. But the work in which I have to believe as justifying me and reconciling me to God, as alone and perfectly putting away my sins and redeeming me to God, is not a promise; nor can it be looked at as such. It is an accomplished fact, a work already accepted of God.

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I see it clearly; indeed, nothing can be simpler and plainer the moment it is before you. What justifies before God is not a promise at all, but an accomplished fact. I had never noticed that passage in Romans 4. It is very plain. How carelessly one reads scripture. But indeed, the truth of what you say is evident on the face of it.

Allow me, as we have touched this point, to draw your attention to another thing in the form in which the work and testimony of grace is put. You may remark that in the passage in Romans 4 it is said, not "believe on Christ," however true that remains, but "on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead." So Peter, "who by him do believe in God who raised him up from the dead and gave him glory." So the Lord Himself as to His coming into the world, "He that heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me." We know God Himself only really, by knowing Him through Christ. If I know Him thus, I know Him as God our Saviour; as one who has not spared His Son for me: as one who, when Christ was dead as having taken our sins, raised Him from the dead. In a word, I not only believe in Christ, but in Him who has given Christ and owned His work; who has given glory to man in Him; as a God who has come to save, not as one who is waiting to judge me. I believe in Him by Christ. When Israel had passed the Red Sea, they believed in a God who had delivered them and brought them to Himself; and so do I. I know no other God but that. If I believe in Him by Christ, I do wait for a promise, for the redemption of the body, for the full results of His work. Thus Christianity gives us present affections, in peace, in a known relationship, and the energizing power of hope; the two things that give blessing and energy to man as to his position; for love is the spring of all. Love, because He first loved us; and finding our joy in Him; love to others, as partaking of His nature, and Christ's dwelling in our hearts, so that love constrains us.

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You make a Christian a wonderful person in the world; but we are very weak for such a place.

I could never make him in my words what God has made him in His. As to weakness, the more we feel it, the better. Christ's strength is made perfect in our weakness.

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There is nothing new under the sun. The Jewish Mystics and Cabalists and the Gnostics of the second and third centuries (against which last Paul warns us, and who, though beginning earlier, were then fully developed) held the doctrine of the nonimmortality of the soul and its end, just as heretics on these points do now. They were divided even into the same two classes as now; that is, some held that the soul died with the body, others that it would be cast into the fire afterwards on being judged, and then consumed. Not only so, but they founded their teaching on the same reasonings as to nephesh, psuche, chaia, and ruach, etc. It may be well therefore, after shewing the facts to be so, to examine the various words and ascertain their use in scripture, as well as that of some others sought to be employed to the same end.

The doctrine of Jewish Rabbis was not, as is evident, that of Jesus Christ being eternal life, or they would not have been Jewish Rabbis. But wherever they found it, basing it on the merit of works and keeping the law, as we may suppose, they taught that the higher spiritual life was a distinct thing from the animal life, and received at a distinct time. Their system is not uniform; more scriptural, but in many parts the same as our modern doctors, and the Gnostics completely so. The records of Jewish mysticism are comparatively of late date, but they record early opinions, many of which are found in early christian fathers, such as Origen, Jerome, and others, and in Philo and even Josephus. The Gnostics formed their systems in the same countries, Syria, and particularly Alexandria the great seat of all these opinions. My impression is that all these views came from the East. But I have not used research enough to verify this, nor is it necessary for the reader. My object is to meet from scripture the assertions of ancient and modern error in the present case by enquiry into the use of words.

The Jewish doctors distinguished three souls: the nephesh, the ruach, and the neshama. The nephesh they held, as our moderns also tell us, to be the animal soul, the soul by which the body lives; ruach is the spirit suited to the middle world; neshama that suited to the upper, and in which was the image of and union with God. Thus in the book Sohar+ we have: "Let a man sanctify himself and they shall sanctify him more, and when a man is sanctified with the holiness of his Lord, he is then clothed with a holy mind, which is the inheritance of the holy one, and then he becomes heir of all things, and such are called the sons of the holy blessed God, as is written in Deuteronomy 14: 1, 'Ye are the sons of Jehovah your God.'" This doctrine of the three souls or parts of man pervades the Sohar. Nephesh, the animal soul, is annexed to the body; the spirit to the soul, ruach to nephesh; and mind, the neshama or superior spirit, to the ruach. Some of them held that, if the child at least behaved well, having only the nephesh, he got the ruach at thirteen years and a day old, and the neshama at twenty or twenty-one: otherwise not. Some held there are those who never had any soul but the nephesh; others, that and the ruach; and others, again, the neshama also -- and these would be with God. If they had only the nephesh, it remained in the grave with the body -- ended with it.

+I make use of Gfrörer in all the Jewish part of my subject, the only one I can at this moment refer to.

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There was another system, which Origen applied even to Christ, that the higher soul could not come into this world without taking a secondary soul, and so, consequently, the body.+ Indeed, according to him, they are born here according to their conduct in a previous existence. Josephus says the Pharisees held the metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls. It would seem that this trinity of the soul was someway connected with their speculations about the Godhead, the Memra, Shekinah, and a tissue of irreverent absurdities, which I need not enter into here.

In all ancient mythology and tradition, heathen and Jewish, will be found the craving of the human mind after truths which revelation gives as in their perfection. Infidels have consequently alleged that these truths were borrowed from the traditions, than which nothing can be more false. They were the source of Arianism and Gnosticism, Universalism and Annihilationism. Thus Rationalists tell us that the doctrine of the lovgo", or Word, was derived from the Alexandrian or even Palestinian Jews. These had their Memra, those their lovgo"; and Philo speaks largely of it, and makes the visible world itself an expression, so to speak, of the lovgo", a living expression of it. But mark the real bearing of this. The reason was, that the supreme God could not by any possibility be in connection with matter. The mystic Rabbins held God for a kind of non-existence, because there was no such connection with what we hold to exist.++ Hence there was a secondary God, the lovgo", or Word, which partook of His nature but was not the Supreme, and He then revealed Himself and was in communication with the creature. Yet in general, matter (u[lh) was a thing evil in itself, a bond to the soul, and eternal too.

+He held this, which the Alexandrian fathers considered to be the fall (not, of course, in the case of Christ), from Philo and the Alexandrian Jews. It was also Platonism.

++All this is wonderfully like Brahminism, modified by going West, and was connected with theories of male and female being, the moment anything was to exist; which was equally Brahminical. But this is not the place to pursue this. The Brahmins were really more philosophical. But they and the Buddhists held nirvana, entering into non-existence, as supreme bliss, or, as some would say, into the abstract Deity, who never feels nor thinks; which, to me, is tantamount. All the rest is maia, or illusion.

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Now Christianity teaches the exact contrary of this doctrine of the lovgo" (word). The lovgo" is God -- created everything; and the very essence of Christianity is the immediate personal connection, in incarnation, between God and the creature -- God and man in one person. All the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," that Word which, in the beginning, was, when all began. In eternity He was God, and personally too with God. By Him was everything made, and the Father dwelt in Him and He was in the Father. "We know him that is true, and are in him that is true, in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." One of the striking facts of the First Epistle of John is that it is impossible to separate Christ and God. It is one Person, one Being. Thus, "And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming." (Chapter 2: 28.) Whose coming? Clearly, Christ's. Continue: "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." Of whom? Of God; and so it follows, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God ... Beloved, now are we the sons of God." Here, clearly, the person or being of whom he speaks is God. But continue: "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him." Here it is again Christ; for it is, "Christ our life shall appear." And "He was manifested to take away our sins," continues John himself. That is, the apostle, the Spirit of God, does take up, and in a great measure anticipatively, the question of the lovgo", and gives us the exact opposite to the Platonic and Alexandrian doctrines -- the full divine truth, in answer to all the wanderings and speculations which the cravings of need and the glimmerings of tradition had led men's hearts to suggest to themselves and systematize.

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The other form these speculations took was wilder, if not worse. There was a plhvrwma, a fulness, of Godhead, which, in spiritual abstractions, of which depth, man, church, wisdom, and other scriptural subjects, formed part in male and female characters: an idea which entered into all Brahminical, Rabbinical, Egyptian, and Gnostic theology, the Egyptian being nearest to the Rabbinical. The plhvrwma was limited by o[ro" (boundary). The plhvrwma was within; outside was u[lh, or matter. The male and female of each pair were called suzuvgei", or yoked pairs. Sofiva (wisdom), one of the lower members of the plhvrwma, wanted to unite herself with, penetrate into by research, bavqo", or depth, the first origin of the whole plhvrwma. She got outside the limit (o[ro"), and hence this world, a mixture of matter and spirit. Christ, a new member of the plhvrwma, came out to disengage what was spiritual from what was material, and bring it back within the limit or o[ro". This branched out into a thousand forms and speculations useless to follow here. It connected itself with Manicheism in Persia, and reached on to the Bulgarians and Albigenses in France and Italy. But for a long time it was a great plague for the Church. They forbade to marry; commanded to abstain from meats. Christ had no real body (there was no atonement -- could not be, if He was not a man). Abstinence and disengaging spirit from matter -- that was really saving. This also the Spirit anticipated. The apostle John carefully tells us that confessing Jesus Christ come in flesh was essential to Christianity; that the Word was made flesh, that they had touched Him with their hands; and Paul, that all the fulness (plhvrwma) was pleased to dwell in Him; and He was not an aijwvn, as they were called, but that all the fulness (plhvrwma) of the Godhead dwelt in Him bodily; that every creature of God is good and to be used with thanksgiving -- marriage honourable in all.

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It may be asked why I refer to all this. First, the divine perfection of scripture is interesting. It anticipated and met all the wandering speculations of the human mind. But there is another reason. The doctrines of the soul's mortality and of annihilation have their origin in these speculations -- were the doctrines of the Rabbis and Gnostics, of whom we have been speaking, and are met by the scriptures also. Some of the Rabbis, holding a little more to scripture, were not so far gone in their speculations as their fellow doctors and modern Annihilationists. They held that it was by the communication of the neshama, the highest kind of life, that man became a living soul; but that if he was not faithful, denied this life, he lost it.

I shall now give the passages from Rabbis and Gnostics which confirm what I have just said. First, the general idea from the Rabbins. Rabbi Abr. Seba says, "God has created three parts [souls] of men, the nephesh, the ruach, the neshama." In another mystic book, "Three forms of souls are in men: the first, the neshama, the intelligent soul; the second, the ruach, the speaking soul; the third, the nephesh, the animal soul, which always lusts." There are other passages to which I have already alluded, but these will suffice to give the idea. The doctrine was, as I have already remarked, largely developed in the mystic Jewish writers. There were rewards suited to each. The Gnostics added their notions as to the evil of matter. The fleshly (sarcico") connected itself with the soul life yucicov"); translated "natural man" in scripture, and "flesh." For scripture, as I have said, meets all these questions, and gives the divine answer to them. Truth is one, but it meets consequently all error -- all that is not truth. The simple soul has only need of the truth itself -- thank God. But there is in it what meets gainsayers. So we read in Jude, "sensual [yucicoiv], not having the spirit." The Gnostics treated the question according to their views of matter, using scripture of course. Man was uJlicov", material (uJlic -- from u[lh, matter), coi>ov", from covo". (1 Corinthians 15: 47.) "The first man," translated "earthly," literally "of dust," from Genesis 2: 7; 3: 19. Then yucicov" "having a soul," and pneumaticov", "spiritual." But all this with them was man as man; for they held, as Origen and Grecian philosophers, that the spirit, or neshama, being from the upper world, could not be connected with matter without taking the cover or embodiment of a soul -- a ruach, to speak with the Rabbins. This took then a nephesh, or animal soul and body. If this last soul (here was their religion) was not spiritually married to that above it, it remained a mere beast's or animal life, and died. The mystic Rabbis and Gnostics were exactly on the same ground here as modern deniers of immortality.

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My reader will now see why I have referred to all these views. We are now exactly on the ground of modern Annihilationists, and, as will be seen, of both classes of them; for they differed then as now. The mystic Rabbis say men who have only nephesh die simply. The nephesh goes down and remains in the grave: if it got united to the ruach, then it did not. "There is a garment," they said, "which subsists and which does not subsist, is seen and is not seen; with this the psuche [animal soul, or nephesh] is clothed." But the nephesh was not for them immortal, and where this only was there, the life of the soul was in the blood, and, as an infidel would draw from Ecclesiastes, "That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them. As the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they all have one breath. So that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." That is, indeed, all that is seen "under the sun," as to "the life of our vanity." The Positivists, as one class of infidels are called, go no farther. They have not the sense to add with the Preacher, "Who knoweth the spirit of man? it goeth up on high; and the spirit of the beast? it goeth downward to the earth." So one modern class believe death is simple death -- ceasing to exist. If a man has not received the divine life, the neshama, his nephesh dies with his body like a beast. They have answered the "Who knoweth?" of the Preacher -- have taken, as the Positivists, the ignorance they are in as a proof that there is nothing beyond it. The beast ceases to exist, and so does the man; nephesh is all one has, nephesh is all the other has, both go to dust alike. They lie in the hell like sheep: death gnaws upon them. The mystic Rabbis are found again and the ancient Gnostics. The nephesh has not put on the e[nduma ajfqarsiva", the garment of incorruptibility and immortality. It has gone down under death, and there it lies. So in the Clementinae, 3: 20 (early Gnostic writings pretending to be Clement's), on Genesis 2: 7, he attributes to the breath of God, Qeousee footnote pnohv, as an indescribable clothing of the psuche, its being able to be immortal.

But I shall be told that all do not hold this. They believe in resurrection, judgment, punishment, and then destruction, or, if preferred, as one of their teachers once put it, "the soul will lose its personality and individuality and pass off into its elements; for nothing is ever annihilated." It is true there are the two classes, and so there were then. Hear the Clementinae, 3: 6: "Those who have not repented will come to an end (to; tevlo" e[xousi by the punishment (colavsew", the word in Matthew 25) of fire. They will be put out (extinguished), becoming extinct by eternal fire: puri; aijwnivw/ sbevsqente" ajposbesqhvsontai." Here is exactly the other class of modern Annihilationists, the intellectual and theological children of the mystic Rabbis, and the Gnostics of the early ages, the object of special warning on the part of the Spirit of God in the apostles Paul and John, as the special power of evil in these days.

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If we examine scripture, we shall see it furnishes the simple truth, and, at the same time, by its statement of it, meets all these human wanderings. It speaks of nephesh, and ruach, and neshama, but it speaks in a way which, in a few sentences, sets aside all the speculations of men. In the leading text on the subject, the revelation of God on the subject, we read, God formed man (as a potter, vayizar) from the dust of the ground, and blew into his nostrils a breath of life (a nishmath chaia), and man became a living soul (nephesh chaia). Here we find that it was by God's breathing this highest power of life from Himself that man became a living soul. He had formed his body before, as he saw good, and it was by the communication of life from Himself that He animated the form He had made. The animals had issued by His will from the earth. He had said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind [a nephesh chaia came forth (yozu)], and it was so." Not so with man. God consults solemnly as to his creation, and resolves to make man in His image, after His likeness. So God created man in His image, and gave him dominion, and God blessed him, and God said to him and gave him to know his place, his food, the beasts' food. He was the vessel of divine communications, as of the divine breath of life, and the object of divine counsels. He was to have a help meet for him, as an intelligent and affectionate and devout creature. God made a paradise, a dwelling for him, and for none else, gave him his easy and pleasant service, putting him into the garden.

But more than this, He put him into conscious relationship with Himself, as son of God, and put him under responsibility, giving him a law not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That would bring death in. The sea monsters were made to multiply themselves, beasts created after their kind; and we know they multiply; and it is enough. But not only God formed the human form, and animated it from Himself, of which there is no hint as to beasts, but He formed (builded) the woman too, by a mysterious process, which gave her a simple and the closest tie to the man -- builded her, as the word is, Himself, and when He had, presented her Himself to Adam.

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Man is said to be of the race -- the offspring -- of God (Acts 17: 28); and Adam is called son of God. (Luke 3: 38.) "In him we live, and move, and have our being," and, though fallen, are still recognized as made after the image of God. (James 3: 9.) So God, though He found him lost, could come down and walk in paradise and have intercourse with Adam. And it is the more important to recognize that he was fallen, because it gives the distinct and definite witness, that, though death had come in, man was still the responsible being he was before, having to say to God in a double way -- the exercise of present government in the earth, and exclusion from God's place of blessing and His presence.

The case of Cain shews us the same thing, the responsibility and its results being distinctly stated: "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? if ill, sin (or a sin-offering, which I doubt not is the sense) lieth at the door." Man's relationship, and responsible relationship, with God is thus clearly placed before us. The whole history of scripture up to his rejection of Christ is the development of it. Sin, from the entrance of lust up to hatred of God, is as fully as sadly brought out. He had a soul capable of affections towards God; for it was found that the mind of the flesh was enmity against God. This, mark, was the unregenerate man, the man with only a psuche, a nephesh chaia, if they will have it so. He, God's offspring, had a soul capable of feelings towards God in this relationship. Alas! enmity was his state.

But I am told that Hebrew will tell us wonders, and I have only to make some square Chaldaic letters and immortality disappears. Let us follow the scripture use of these Hebrew words. Now I think it will be found that neshama is the act of respiration, or breathing -- if from God, in the power of the life in Him -- but breathing. Ruach, spirit (but used for the Spirit of God, a wind, or other spirit, the spirit of man, or even of beast, in Ecclesiastes), is that by which man or beast breathes, the life which expresses itself in breathing. Hence, in the flood, all wherein was the nishmath ruach chaiim, the breath of the spirit of life, died, man or beast, all whose present life was sustained by breathing. Nephesh chaia is the actual result in a living individual. The man or beast doing this is a nephesh chaia, a living soul, any living animal, man or beast. And nephesh so fully gives the idea of what is individual (seen and known, moving about, represented to us by bodily presence) that it is used for a dead body, because the same once living form is there. An Israelite was not to profane himself by a dead body (nephesh), rightly so translated, but there is no neshama or ruach. So we should call dead relatives by their names and shew their corpses as themselves, though we well know there is no life in them. It is called nephesh meeth, a dead body, or simply nephesh. Priests were not to profane themselves by it unless for their nearest of kin.

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But the scripture rejects the thought of the soul's not living distinct from the body, where it uses nephesh properly for the soul of a man, as it does (see 1 Kings 17: 21, 22), where Elijah prays that the child's soul may return to him again, and the Lord heard him and it returned. On the contrary, but proving the same point, Paul says of Eutychus, "his soul is in him." (Acts 20.) What the creation, therefore, affords us is the most careful elaborate distinction between man and other animals: they, by God's will, springing up out of the earth to live by breathing, and being nephesh chaia, a living individual being with a body having breath, neshama, and a ruach, a life which lived by breathing; man having all this too, as every one on the face of the earth knows, without knowing Hebrew at all. But it teaches us that man got to be such on the earth in a totally different way from other living animals, namely, by God's breathing from Himself into him, when He had formed his body of the dust, a breath of life, and thus he became a living soul. Hence he was the offspring gevno", offspring, race, kind, generation, is the only true meaning of this word, and it is so used in Acts 17) of God, lived and moved and had his being in Him, and was in responsible relationship with Him, intelligently subject to a law, and alas! not only disobedient, but capable of hating God, of such an apprehension of Him as ought to have drawn out love, but from his moral state brought out hatred; capable of receiving communications from God as in nature and place in relationship with Him; and that he has, in fact, received these communications, and God has dealt with him as acceptable, if good, or, if sinful, the object of a provided sinoffering when in that natural state, no question of the gift of eternal life having been raised. The whole scripture proceeds on this ground exactly, where the gift of eternal life is not spoken of. That is a new thing given, but man is dealt with all through as a responsible being where it is not given, and this, whether (to use the first grand statement of it) you say, sin, or as I should a sin-offering, lies at the door. The death of Christ (though surely means, and in fact a needed means of it) applies not to the gift of eternal life in the first instance, but to a responsible sinner, a child of Adam.

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The Old Testament saints, however obscurely, did gather the truth of the subsistence of the soul after death, and the resurrection too: I admit obscurely; but they gathered it. Abraham looked for the city which hath foundations. The Preacher speaks of the spirit's returning to God who gave it. The Psalms told of the King's soul not being left in hades, nor His body seeing corruption; and in God's presence fulness of joy (Psalm 16); and being satisfied when one awoke after God's likeness. (Psalm 17.) Many suffered, looking for a better resurrection, to say nothing of Job's hope shining through his wasting disease. And the Lord's judgment is pronounced on the Sadducees, that they greatly erred, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God; and we read in Luke, not only there was a resurrection, but "all live unto God." They are dead for man, they are not for God.

But eternal life, we are told, is "God's gift in Christ," and so only. Admitted fully. But first, then, let it be admitted that "eternal" emphatically means eternal; for otherwise, after the reception of eternal life, a man may as little have immortality as before; and after its reception even, in the scripture use of immortality, that is true; for mortal applies to his body, and it is only in resurrection that the saint ever puts on immortality. But that (the gift of eternal life in Christ alone) has nothing to do with the question of the immortality of the soul. It neither proves it nor disproves it, save only that, in a very vague way, it suggests immortality; because the gift of eternal life to a beast would make him a wholly new kind of being. Eternal life, though above and out of the reach of man's responsibility, yet is connected with it. It is grace to a being capable of it, while remaining the same being, and dealt with on the footing of his previous responsibility. Were it given to a beast, it would have no connection at all with it as a being, nor have anything to say to its previous existence. It would be itself simply a new being. But while eternal life is a new gift to man, in Christ, and comes in Christ become man, yet it is fully connected with, and refers to, man as previously existing, is, by the word acting on his mind, heart, conscience, and, while a new thing, in itself, wholly acts in and connects itself with him to whom it is given, so that he remains the same person, and by it recognizes and takes notice of all that he was before, as a responsible and the same person. The "I" remains the same. The nature is acted on, and by it judged and condemned, and the "I" for so acting in it.

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The gift of eternal life proves, as far as it goes, an immortal soul that has relationship to God, not a beast's estate -- "made to be taken and destroyed" -- "the beasts that perish." Indeed, why should such language as I here quote be used if man were just the same? But scripture does not so speak. It does express the darkness of man, who sees his present life disappearing and knows nothing beyond; but even then it carries him onward in thought and hope -- cravings, not knowledge -- that the spirit returns to God who gave it. It does not know, but asks "who knoweth the spirit of man? It goeth up above." There is not knowledge here; there is the heaving desire of what was breathed from God -- not the answer to it. Man had plunged himself in darkness. Death was there -- what beyond? Hope, saintly confidence in God, a deliverer and a deliverance to come which would not leave believers without hope. But life and incorruptibility were brought to light by the gospel; they were not brought to light before (mind, he does not say, did not exist). The poor and shallow sophistry that would use this to say they began to be then must deny that saints had life from God, were born of God, or that Enoch and Elijah were other than fables, or exceptions to the truth as to others even in their souls, and say Abraham's faith was vain, and that God was the God of the dead, not of the living. They were brought to light then in the gospel revelation, because they were there to be brought to light, though the incorruption had only been wondrously exhibited, the life dimly apprehended, though certainly there, and not the subject of the immediate government and revelation of God. In Christ life has become the light of men; and we have the light of life, we do not walk in darkness.

But I am told, God only has immortality. Undoubtedly. But if this use be made of it, the saint has not it. The angels are mortal too. But both statements are clearly unscriptural: see Luke 20: 36, not to cite other passages. It is not therefore what the passage means. It is a false use of it. God only has, possesses, immortality in Himself independently. But we -- all men, live, move, and have their being, in Him who is so. None of us have it independently in ourselves. All things subsist in Him. But whether a being is perishable or not by His creation is a question of fact. The angels do not die. God only possesses in Himself immortality. On the other hand, qnhtov" (mortal) is never applied to the soul, always to the body, as Romans 6: 12; 8: 11; 2 Corinthians 4: 11; 5: 4; 1 Corinthians 15: 53, 54, and (which is the important point here) man is mortal when he certainly has eternal life and his soul will never die. Mortality applies to his body. He is only called mortal in the New Testament, when, by the confession of all, he has a life which can never die. That is, mortality does not apply to his soul at all, as used in the New Testament, where the truth is brought to light. So as to death: in the Old Testament it is applied to the fact of dying, and generally darkness lies beyond.

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It is sought to use "The soul that sinneth it shall die" as meaning that the soul shall die after death, or, as the out-and-out Annihilationists would say, in death itself. These last fly in the face of scripture, because, to say no more of it, after death comes judgment. But if it is not in death, then death does not mean ceasing to exist -- as, in fact, it never does -- but ceasing to exist in the way and relationship men were living in. Of the second death we will speak farther on. Man ceases by death to be a nephesh chaia -- a living soul and body in this world, and becomes, as to this world, a nephesh meeth -- a dead body, or body of death.

But, if we turn to the passage in Ezekiel where the expression is found and whence it is taken, we shall see that it has nothing to do with the death of the soul as apart from the body, but a man's death as living in this world. Such a use of soul for person is common now. I say, It is a town of fifteen thousand souls. Who misunderstands me? Israel complained that they were in trouble and cut off for their fathers' sins, that the fathers had eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth were set on edge (Ezekiel 18: 2), and, such was the law, the son bore the iniquity of the father -- the iniquity of the father was brought upon the children. This should no longer be done. As the soul of the father, so the soul of the son was Jehovah's. The soul that sinned, it should die. A devout father had a wicked son: "Should he live? (verse 13) he shall not live; he hath done all these things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him." So when the righteous turned away from his righteousness and committed sins, he should die in them. As the Lord said, "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." "Our father" (says the daughters of Zelophehad, Numb. 27) "died in the wilderness; he died in his own sin." But with a wicked father, "if the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father." "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways and live?" So if the righteous turn from righteousness, in his sins that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

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What light may be thrown on the final result by the New Testament is another question. But in Ezekiel what is spoken of is a man belonging to this world dying in his sins. Death never means ceasing to exist. It is used for other things than physical death. The woman that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. The believer has passed from death unto life. He who loves the brethren has passed from death unto life. That is, when applied to the soul, it has nothing to do with ceasing to exist, but separation of the soul from God, as a state of a soul which was alive as to existence, not possessing divine life, but as much alive as a being as when he had. So Romans 7 (10, and verse 24) teaches us the same truth. Paul found the commandment to be to death; but he was just as much alive, as to existence, as ever. The sin unto death is physical death. In a word, death means either simple physical death as we see it, or separation from God -- not having divine life -- when a man is alive.

We have now to see if physical death is the extinction, or even the sleep, of the soul. And, further, we must search the New Testament, where these things are brought to light. First, it is stated that all live to God. This is given as a general principle, when the living state of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is declared to the Sadducees, who held annihilation doctrine. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Thus far it may be reasoned that it only applies to the saints, whose God God is. The Lord therefore adds "For all live unto him." It is a general truth, not merely applicable to Abraham and those that had his faith. It is true of all: pavnte" ga;r aujtw/see footnote zwsee footnotesin. And this, the more important because the Lord is speaking of saints. For, though they were born of God, He does not rest the truth of even their being alive on that, but says "God is not the God of necrwsee footnoten, but of zwvntwn" -- not of dead men or bodies, but of living persons. What is the great principle on which it is founded? -- "For all live unto him." No one is really dead as regards God. Accordingly, the Lord charges His disciples not to fear them that can kill the body and have no more that they can do, but Him who, after He has killed, can cast into hell. That is, death is positively declared not to be the end or cessation of existence. Death means "men killing the body," and no more. Killing (ajpocteivnw. Qanatovw is more to have a person put to death, as in a persecution, or judicially) and death are fully correlative, as may be seen in Romans 7. Further, the parable of Dives and Lazarus plainly pictures the same truth. Death is no ending of existence for wicked more than for just. Hades was known to the Jews, and hades was owned of the Lord as true.

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And this leads me to the question: Is the state after death, for just or unjust, a state of unconsciousness? Is the soul asleep? The reader has the answer from Luke 16 already. But a word more. It is never said nor hinted that the soul sleeps after death. That is all a fable. Death is called sleep, or falling asleep, as to the just. But there is not the most distant suggestion that the soul sleeps. When Christ told His disciples "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth," He explained the word: Lazarus ajpevqane, has died. "He spake," we are told, "of his death," not of his state after death. Falling asleep is a man living in this world's dying, not his state after dying. Stephen fell asleep, not Stephen's spirit, which surely was received up by Christ, as Christ's had been by the Father. Did He cease to exist, or was He unconscious?

Again, the Lord said to the thief, replying exactly to the point in question, "To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise." Did that mean he should go to sleep and know nothing? Paul thought it far better to depart and be with Christ. Did that mean, go fast asleep and know nothing? To be absent from the body and present with the Lord -- which meant, that he should be fast asleep and not know whether the Lord was there or not! I have said the thief's case applies directly to the point. The thief, in his bright faith owning Christ to be King when all had forsaken Him, asked, thinking only of this, that the Lord would remember him when He came in (not into) His kingdom. The Lord's answer is "You shall not wait for that happiness. I have a heavenly place for my people's souls meanwhile: today thou shalt be with me in paradise." Which means, I promise you, you shall be fast asleep and know nothing till the kingdom comes! Are we to be mocked with such interpretations?

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Finally, the rich man in hades and the poor man in Abraham's bosom were very far from being asleep. We are told it is only a picture on Jewish principles. No doubt; but it is the Lord's picture, who meant to teach us by it, and certainly not that the dead are fast asleep, but just the contrary.

But we are told it is in the second death they are extinct. But this destroys itself, for then death does not mean ceasing to exist; for if death meant ceasing to exist, there could be no second death, for the being would have ceased to exist in the first. It is all a fable, so using death. Christ has died. The saints have died, just as truly as the wicked. They may have a life the wicked have not, but they have as truly died, and they have not become extinct nor ceased to exist. And if the wicked undergo a second death, death does not mean ceasing to exist; for they died the first death, and did not cease to exist, for they have to undergo the second. But then, we are told, the second will be -- not because it is death, we have seen. And we must look to scripture to see if that is meant by the second death (i.e., if ceasing to exist is what is meant). It teaches the contrary. Men at the final judgment are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death. The second death is the punishment of the lake of fire -- not that punishment's ceasing by the punished ones ceasing to exist. The punishment destroys them, we are told, as the Clementine Gnostics had told us before. But then, the lake of fire, the punishment, is the second death, not their ceasing to exist so that the punishment ceases. "They have their part in the lake of fire, which is the second death," existing there in it, having their part in it, is the time they are in the second death. Their part is not said to be punishment's ending by death, but the actual punishment of the lake of fire. So the devil that deceived the nations was cast into the lake of fire, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. There is no word of the close of their existence and of torment being the second death. It is the punishment itself, of the lake of fire, which is so called -- the outer darkness, where are weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This naturally leads me to the word eternal (aijwvnio"). We are told it does not mean eternal. If I go out of scripture, I find the fullest proof that it means eternal.+ Aristotle defines it, aije;n w[n, always existing. I have found several others, but I quote only one passage from Philo, because it is so directly to the point, and is the Greek used at the time of our Lord: ejn aijwsee footnoteni de; ou[te parelhvluqen oujde;n ou[te mevllei ajlla; movnon uJfevsthce -- in eternity nothing is either past or to come, but only subsists -- it is proper eternity. What we have then to look to is how aijwvnio" the adjective, is used in scripture.

+In Homer aijwvn is used for a man's life often. It is used by Herodotus and the Attic poets so far as to say, ajnevpne usen aijw'na "he breathed out his life," when eternity was not known. It is used for the whole time a thing subsists -- for ever, as I give a child something for ever.

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Now I say that the word regularly means in scripture "eternal," in the sense of contrast with any period of time. "If our earthly house of this tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (2 Corinthians 5: 1.) "To whom be honour and power everlasting." (1 Timothy 6: 16.) "The God of all grace, who hath called us to his eternal glory." (1 Peter 5: 10.) "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." (Hebrews 5: 9.) "Having obtained eternal redemption." (Hebrews 9: 12.) "They which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Hebrews 9: 15.) "Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God." (Hebrews 9: 14.) "For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4: 18; Romans 16: 26), which is conclusive. Now these suffice to shew that the regular meaning of aijwvnio", in its own plain and absolute sense, is eternal. Where it is used of punishment, in Matthew 25, it is in purposed and expressed contrast used of life: the one have eternal life, the others eternal punishment. The duration of the punishment of the wicked, and of the life of the just, are expressed by the same identical term -- I may add, that of the existence of God Himself; and this term, put in contrast elsewhere with all that has a temporary duration, so that I do not see how it could be stated more plainly.

But we do not escape these efforts to elude what is plain, even by this. Punishment, we are told, does not mean punishment. It means pruning, or I know not what, cutting off a branch -- covlasi" is the word. It is used in one other place in scripture: "Fear hath torment." Its scriptural sense is torment. So in a passage I have quoted from the Clementinae, it is used as torment. And that is its meaning -- punishment or torment. This, according to this verse, is eternal, not temporal. But the verb colavzw (punish) is found elsewhere in the New Testament. "Finding nothing how they might punish them." (Acts 4: 21.) "Reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished." (2 Peter 2: 9.) This is the plain sense of the word.

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But the word "destroy" also is referred to, to shew that, though the punishment is everlasting, the punished are not -- a thing hard for a simple mind to understand. For if there remain none to be punished, it is hard to conceive how punishment remains. Hard to suppose that where the Lord uses the figure "their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched," they die, or cease to exist, though the worm and the fire remain, though it be their worm that does not die. Still we will see if destroy means what is said. It is very hard to understand "everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" to mean that nothing exists. What is out of the pr