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equally to you, if you trust in God, as it did to him. The emphatic word in the verse is, mpão, our-His condemnation and His acquittal were ours.
If we consider this fully, we shall see, that to believe in Jesus, really means to trust God as Jesus did, that He will conduct us by a right way, through sorrow and death, unto glory, even as He conducted Jesusthat it means to partake in the faith of Jesus, for it is to believe that He was our head, and was in our very circumstances, and could truly say, “I go to my Father and 'your Father; to my God and your God.” It is to believe by that faith, of which He is the fountain, for He has been given to us for this very end, that we might be enabled to believe by the same faith.
My dear reader, the exhortation, “ Let this mind be in you, that was also in Christ Jesus ;” and the exhortation, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,” are one and the same exhortation. Through having such a Head given to us by God, we are put into the capacity of trusting God, and we are also encouraged and instructed to trust God, even as our Head did ; for the Father “raised Him from the dead and gave him
glory, that your faith and hope might be in God." 1 Pet. i. 21.
This faith evidently is the life of the young germ, the new creature, that belongs not to this state of things, but pants after its inheritance, the coming glory of God, and takes part with God in his righteous judgment on the flesh. As that germ is the spirit of the Second Adam, so it naturally longs for his kingdom, and draws the heart where he is. This faith is the faith of Habakkuk—it expects and receives the blighting of the fig, and the vine, and the olive, and says with the thief on the cross, “we indeed justly,”—and it looks through it all to God, assured that His salvation is to be wrought out by it and beyond it. Jesus is himself the root and source, the Author and Finisher of this faith. He lived by it himself,—and all who receive him as their head, live by it also.
« Ye took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, (the breaking up of the first vessel,) knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.” Faith is the laying down of man's will, and the taking up of God's will—it is the laying down of that on which the condemnation rests, and the taking up of that on which there is no condemnation.
God's will has been manifested in laying the sentence of sorrow and death on the old man, the first vessel, on account of sin—and man's true righteousness consists in being of one mind with God in this thing, and in submitting to his will, trusting that he is the God of salvation.
Thus we see that the sacrifices of the law were continual symbolical seals of the great truth that God's mercy flowed on through the breaking up of the first vesseland the Jews themselves, as a nation, were set up as a great type of the second vessel, continually rising up morning after morning, out of the blood of the legal victims, as out of the ruins of the first vessel; they were set up as a great type of a righteous race, continually consenting to the will of God in the destruction of the flesh. But they mistook the shadow for the substance—they did not understand the parable. Their history was the great parable of God's dealings with man—and it is a main object in this Epistle, and in the Epistle to the Hebrews, to expound the parable. They thought themselves righteous, because they were the type of the righteous, and they thought themselves elect, because they were the type of the elect; and
the apostle, to undeceive them, expounds to them what is the true righteousness and what is the true election. He shows them that both the righteousness and the election, consist not in outward or past things, but in a present faith, which meets God, and chooses · His will as its guide, and which looks through the breakings and the shakings of all the things of this world, into the vision of the coming kingdom of God, where its inheritance lies. This faith continually sheds that blood in substance, of which the Jewish sacrifices were the types, and it does this, because it is the faith of Jesus, the spirit of him who said, “Father, into thy hand I commend my spirit. The Jewish sacrifices were inefficient, because they were substitutes they suited the Jew outward —they were not the shedding of the blood of man's will, which is the true sacrifice. But the faith of Christ sheds out the blood of man's will, and thus it is that which makes the Jew inward, and gives the spiritual realization of the type of Israel rising out daily from the slain sacrifices of the law, which represented the life, and flesh, and will of man daily crucified in the strength of a new life, continually received fresh from God;
and this evidently is a faith equally within the reach of Jew and Gentile.
The Jew outward had a confidence in the sacrifices of the law, whilst yet his own will remained unsacrificed, and he loved the doctrine of substitution, because it seemed to combine the safety of the narrow way, with the ease of the broad way; and his chief objection to Jesus was, that he declared the necessity of a personal sacrifice in each individual, and denied the possibility of substitution in this great work. My dear reader, Jesus is not the substitute for men, but the head of men—and the work by which he made propitiation for men, is that same righteousness in which he presents himself as a pattern for the imitation of all men. « Take up thy cross and follow me, and where I am, there shall my servant be.” “If ye die with him, ye shall live with him; if ye suffer with him, ye shall reign with him.”*
This teaches us also what the nature of God's forgiveness of sin is; God does not forgive by withdrawing his condemnation from the flesh, but by giving us another
* I have treated this subject already at such length in « The Brazen Serpent,” 2nd chap., 2nd edition, that I shall not dwell on it here.