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the root of mankind, to be kept, and, by natural generation, conveyed to his posterity. Upon this ground, the law requires all men to be born holy, and pronounces them children of wrath in the contrary event. Since, then, they have all brought a corrupt nature into the world with them, it was requisite that He, as the last Adam, should bring a holy human nature into the world with him ; that, seeing they had been created holy in the first, they might, in the eye of the law, be born holy in the second Adam. The angel accordingly said to the virgin,
“ That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” As the law required that that holiness of nature given to the first Adam, as the root of mankind, should be kept uncorrupted to the end, as a ground of obtaining eternal life, the Lord Jesus was not only born holy, but he retained this holiness unblemished to the end. Therefore, in Isa. xlii. 4. it is said, “He shall not fail ;” that is, as the original word signifies, he shall not decay or wax dim ; he shall shine in all the beauties of holiness without waxing dim; and in Heb. vii. 26. the apostle observes, that “such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, and undefiled, and separate from sinners.”
Did the law, as a covenant, require righteousness of life? Christ, the public representative of his people, being made of a woman, made under the law, began and completed a course of perfect obedience to all the divine precepts : he “became obedient unto death.” The law was set before him in all its perfection, spirituality, and great extent; and in all his thoughts, words, and actions, he yielded perfect obedience to it. His life was a life of perfect conformity to the whole moral law, and to all the Divine institutions, whether ceremonial or political, which were then in the Church. Hence we read in Scripture, that “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness;" that he hath brought in everlasting righteousness ; and that “the Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake." That righteousness which the law required of the first Adam, to entitle him and his posterity
ife, was, in all its parts and degrees, fulfilled by the Second Adam, to entitle his spiritual seed to eternal life, according to the form of the covenant of works, “ This do and thou shalt live :" “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." And as he was God and man in one person, the obedience of his human nature derived such value from his Divine nature, that the law as a covenant is not only satisfied, but magnified,—not only fulfilled, but made honourable. He yielded more obedience to it during thirty-three years than the first Adam could have done, though he had continued in obedience to this day. The apostle Paul, when speaking of this righteousness, uses a very wonderful expression : he says,
Christ was made sin for us, “ that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” He does not say, that we might be made righteous; that would indeed have been sufficient for our title to life ; but righteousness in the abstract. Neither does he say, righteousness of a man, or of an angel ; but, “the righteousness of God in him.”
Oh! the transcendant glory, excellence, and suitableness of that righteousness! How inexpressible the happiness and honour to which the saint is exalted, when he is exalted in this glorious righte. ousness!
Further : Did the law as a broken covenant, demand full satisfaction to vindictive justice, for the sins of his people ? Christ gave that satisfaction : “He was once offered to bear the sins of many.” The sins of all the elect being summed up as so many breaches of the law or covenant of works, and imputed to him, he as a public Person gave complete satisfaction for them all. “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray,—and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” Isa. liii. 5, 6. This satisfaction the Lord Jesus gave, by suffering that death, in all its dreadful extent, which they should have endured, as the just punishment of sin. “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die!" which death implies the curse or sentence of the violated law, binding them over to suffer all that revenging wrath which they deserved for sin ; and the actual execution of that sentence to the uttermost upon them, for the satisfaction of Divine justice. Christ, I say, endured this death in all its extent: for having substituted himself, and having been sustained in law, as the Surety of his people, he became responsible to Divine justice for their sins, in consequence of his bond of suretiship, registered in the records of heaven; and a sentence was passed upon him, binding him over to endure all that revenging wrath which those sins deserved. Hence we read, that he was made a curse for us. Besides, the sentence was fully executed upon him as our Surety. He actually suffered all that was essential to the death threatened in the first covenant. As the bodies of his people were instruments of sin, and therefore were obnoxious to wrath, the curse was executed on his body. We read that he became poor: for, as the blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it, so his curse, when it began to be executed on the glorious Surety, rendered him poor, and made him a man of sorrows.
In consequence of that, he had not where to lay his head. He was subject to weariness, hunger, and thirst. “His visage was so marred more than any man’s, and his form more than the sons of men.” “His hands and feet were pierced, and his heart was melted like wax in the midst of his bowels.” And because it was written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,” he was hanged, as one devoted to destruction, on the accursed tree. His precious blood was shed : “his strength was like a potsherd dried; and he was brought into the dust of death.” The curse was executed on his soul also. We read, “ that his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” The floods of revenging wrath so overflowed his soul as to fill him with trouble; to load him with heavi. ness, to overwhelm him with exceeding sorrow, and to strike him with sore amazement. And because it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun, and still
more pleasant to enjoy the light of God's countenance ; when the natural sun refused to shine on him, his heavenly Father hid his face from him. And as natural death was included in the threatening of the law, he not only suffered but died : he was brought into the dust of death. He endured spiritual death, in so far as was consistent with the perfect holiness of his human nature; for on the cross he was deprived of sensible comfort. And because of the dignity of his adorable Person, he suffered in a short space all that inexpressible pressure of infinite wrath which the elect could not have endured though they had lain in the place of torment through all eternity. He did not only endure all the wrath due for one sin, which we own to be infinite, nor did he only endure the wrath due for all the sins of one sinner; but he endured the wrath due for all the sins of all the elect of God,-a multitude which no man can number. He thus gave full satisfaction to law and justice, in the room of his people; which he asserted, when he said on the cross, “It is finished,” and which his righteous Father declared, by raising him from the dead. The Lord Jesus, then, may be called his people's Righteousness, as he actually fulfilled all righteousness for them, by yielding to the law, as a covenant, perfect holiness of nature, perfect obedience of life, and complete satisfaction for sin by death ; so that they have his holiness of nature and righteousness of life to plead in answer to the law's demand of perfect obedience, as the condition of life, and his death in answer to its demand of satisfaction for sin.
4. Christ may be styled the Righteousness of his people, because their justifying righteousness is lodged with him, as the faithful Trustee of the new covenant.—They, in their natural state, were far from righteousness: for it is written,“ There is none righteous, no, not one;" and they could not be happy without righteousness ; " for the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” The Lord Jesus, therefore, having fulfilled perfect and everlasting righteousness, brought it in, and presented it to the Father, who, having accepted and sustained it, for
the justification of all who believe, lodged it with him, as Prime Minister of Heaven ; that as he wrought it out in the low condition of a bond-servant, so he might dispense it in the exalted character of the Father's honorary Servant. Accordingly, he is said to be made of God unto us Righteousness; and in Isaiah xlv. 24. we have these words: “Surely shail one say, In the Lord have I right- k eousness;" that is, in the Lord Jesus Christ, as is evi- det virkemming dent by comparing the preceding verse with Rom. xiv. 10, 11.
5. He may be styled his people's Righteousness, because he reveals and offers his righteousness to them. He makes an external revelation, and a free offer of it, in his word of grace, to sinners of mankind in common, and consequently to them as such. For, how sufficient soever it might be to merit salvation, sinners could have no benefit by it, if it was not revealed to them. The Gospel, therefore, is called the power of God unto salvation, because “therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” Neither would it be warrantable for any sinner to receive or appropriate this righteousness, or to rely on it as his justifying righteousness, unless it were offered to him in particular, as an undone sinner. "A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." Christ, therefore, makes a free and unlimited grant of this glorious righteousness, in the Gospel, to sinners, even the chief.
“ Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted that are far from righteousness : I bring near my righteousness," Isa. xlvi. 12, 13. Because sinners, dead in sin, cannot come near to it, the Lord Jesus, in the gracious offers of his Gospel, brings the gift of it near to them. And lest the awakened sinner should think that it is offered only to persons
possess certain laudable qualifications, and not to him, because he sees he has them not, the offer is so framed, and they to whom it is made are so described, as to exclude any such apprehension. It is not said, Hearken unto me, you humble penitents, you sensible sinners, you who hunger and thirst after righteousness, &c. but, Hearken unto me,