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will to do any thing without first to him who walketh in the light. If, taking counsel with God. Here was then, I take the word of God for “
“ a the error of Joshua and the princes lamp unto my feet, and a light unto in the matter of the Gibeonites. We my path,” I shall never walk in darkstay not to inquire whether self-love
Again, “ Wherewithal shall is the parent of self-will, or the re- a young man cleanse his way? By verse: they are twin rebels and must taking heed thereto, according to be put down. But who is to do it ? Thy Word." He that disregards this, We, if we will ; if not, God, whether forsakes his own mercy. The morwe will or not.
tification of the flesh is always in 4. One other sphere of self-judg- proportion to the cultivation of the ment must be named, i.e., the mor- fruit of the Spirit,” and this is by the tification of the flesh with its affec- reading of the Word. Thus says tions and lusts.
one: “I have more understanding As those who have put on Christ than all my teachers, for Thy testiwe cannot love those monsters which monies are my meditation." Thus still lurk within us. Neither can our the Spirit must increase, and the will be that they should bring us into flesh decrease. captivity; we cannot will their fulfil- Prayer is not undervalued because ment, for then we should be “as Cain the reading of God's Word is so who slew his brother." Our self-love lauded. It is a twin means of grace; is seen in defending ourselves against so thinks Paul, “praying with all imputations which these indwelling prayer and supplication in the Spirit. foes may bring upon us, instead of In prayer we speak to God, in His saying, “ I have sinned.” Our self- word He speaks to us: sometimes will is seen in adopting measures else, but mainly thence. The most which these subtle passions may have diligent in the use of these means is suggested, regardless of the Spirit the one who is the most "thoroughly which is against the flesh. The lusts furnished unto all good works." are to be mortified-put to death: the Our Great Master was a man of will is to be subdued, “ bringing into prayer, and a diligent reader of the captivity every thought to the obedi- word of God: thus, as in other ence of Christ.” (2 Cor. x. 5.) How things, He hath left us an example shall this be done? Let there be this that we should walk in His steps. We unshakable conviction :
have to be on our guard respecting that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good prayer lest the example of others thing.' This is a good starting should discourage us ; thus Moses point. Now then for the course. I says, “I fell down before the Lord, desire something which I esteem as at the first, forty days and forty good. Let me pause
nights ; I did neither eat bread nor " Father, may I have it?"
drink water, because of all your sins, child, it seems good, but it is full of but the Lord hearkened unto evil for thee." Or, “I will, be it me.” (Deut, ix. 18-20.) Moses was unto thee according to thy faith." miraculously sustained. Of our Lord But will our heavenly Father thus it is said, “ He went out into a mounplainly speak to us? He will, by tain to pray, and continued all night His word or some other way. If this in prayer to God." (Luke vi. 12.) be true, it will be seen at once how Let no one think that such is required we must set about this great business. of him, or he will be in bondage. How can I distinguish between flesh But what, o believer, doth thy God and the Spirit? How shall we dis- require of thee? Not what others tinguish objects in a dark room? By do, not to follow implicity what they taking a light. Now says the Spirit, teach, though they may be learned in “Ye are light in the Lord.” (Eph, v. the Word, and holy men of God. In 8.) It is true of the whole word, as few words Jesus Himself tells you, of prophecy in particular, it is “ “ keep My commandments.” Whilst light shining in a dark place to which we read and adore Him in His ways, ye do well to take heed.” (2 Pet. ii. and desire to be like Him in these19.) There is no cause of stumbling yea, seek to be like Him, there
“ in me,
must be a limit to such an imitation : ness" that must be gathered out is but there is no limit to the work of slothfulness. This is not “a littlo keeping His commandments. Now fox," but more like "the boar out of He does command us to pray, but not the wood." Not only does this to pray all night, nor even for an hour ; monster bark the pleasant trees, but though there are many of His ser- it disfigures the green pastures. vants who, having spent one hour “Slothfulness casteth into a deep thus covet another. Perhaps as we sleep," and who can see with the increasingly become acquainted with eyes shut? In this deep sleep there
need we shall be more in is a forgetting of being cleansed from prayer. Now this is one thing to pray old sins. On this is founded the exfor—that He will more and more hortation " give diligence." make us feel this need.
Now of the things we have spoken needy, we should know it. It was a this is the sum.” By washing, we sad condition of some who said, "I are set free from certain positive am rich and increased with goods, and disqualifications for communion with have need of nothing," and yet they God. By sanctification, we are "parwere really “wretched, and miserable, takers of His holiness, and thus are and poor, and blind, and naked.” brought into positive relationship Yet these same were not mere world- with Him. By washing, we are relings, for said He, “who walketh in lieved of certain repulsive disfigurethe midst of the seven golden candle- ments which might well be expressed sticks, as many as I love, I rebuke in the language of the prophet, and chasten; be zealous, therefore, “ Thou wast cast out in the open and repent;" so the Lord deals with field, to the loathing of thy person." the Laodicean Church (Rev. iii. 17- (Ezek. xvi. 5.) By sanctification, we 19.)
are adorned with certain ornaments It seems clear that in order to come which make our Almighty Lover and get profit from the word of God, exclaim, “How fair and how pleasant or to commune profitably with God in art Thou, O love, for delights." prayer, there must be a sense of (Cant. vii. 6.) By washing, we are need ; and also a full and abiding enfranchised; by sanctification, enconviction that “God is, and that He nobled. By washing, we are purified ; is a rewarder of them that diligently by sanctification, all our garments seek Him.” (Heb. xi. 6.)
smell of myrrh, and aloes, and One might suppose that with a cassia, out of the ivory palaces.” (Ps. sense of need there would be a desire xlv. 8.) By washing, we are disto have that need met. This is not sociated from “the unbelieving and always so. Pride may be in the way ; the abominable;" by sanctification this must be humbled. Oh! what a we are "set with princes, even the weary time is this in some cases. princes of His people.” (Ps. cxiii. 8.) Even to God some poor ones of His By washing we are made comely; by family can scarcely humble them- sanctification we are made “all gloselves, never to their fellow crea- rious within.” (Ps. xlv. 13.) By washtures, however deeply they may have ing we lose what our nature has given wronged them; and hence there is us; by sanctification we are made never peace. Never! Well, never “partakers of the Divine nature." does it “flow as a river,” which it By washing we lose all of earth; by might and ought. If God will have sanctification we gain heavenly granHis due, so does He will that others deur. should have theirs : yea, until we It is on the ground of sanctification have humbled ourselves to our justly in Christ that we are urged to be holy. offended brother, there will be no It is the duty of every one to be holy, happy consciousness that God has but the unregenerate are not thus accepted our submission to Him. urged: faith in our Lord Jesus God is jealous over the rights of His Christ is the only initiatory step for children; yea, of all His creatures, this holiness. We who have believed as well as of His own.
are addressed as holy brethren," Another of the “stones of empti- that is, as elsewhere, "sanctified in
Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. i. 2), and be- less plans for His love to work in, cause of this condition in Christ are but His holiness demands certain thus exhorted “gird up the loins of conditions ; and before ever the sinyour mind, be sober, and hope to the ner can be brought into practical end for the grace that is to be brought conscious relationship to God he unto you at the revelation of Jesus must be washed, or "purged from his Christ, as obedient children, not old sins;" and if he would maintain fashioning yourselves according to this fellowship, he must retain this the former lusts in your ignorance, consciousness. but as He that hath called you is
The doctrine of atonement, as holy, so be ye holy in all manner commonly apprehended, does not of conversation.” (1 Pet. i. 13- enter into the simple process of 15.)
washing, though it involves it. But Thus does it appear that sanctifi- when we speak of justification, which cation is not merely a dogmatic the same process effects, we principle, but eminently a practical conscious at once of something exhibition of the children of light. deeper than mere cleansing. One In them is no darkness, if so be they who has washed another does not walk in the light—"the true Light, justify him by this act from a charge which lighteth every man that com- of heedlessness, or blame, in coneth into the world.”
tracting uncleanness. Justification “I pray not that Thou shouldest involves washing, but it does more. take them out of the world, but that He who has been forgiven an offence Thou shouldest keep them from the is not hence a just man, but he evil. They are not of the world, even who has never committed one. This as I am not of the world. Sanctify is the standard in severe jurispruthem through Thy truth ; Thy word dence. In social communities, extrais truth.” (John xvii. 15-17.)
judicially, he is accounted just who is actuated by upright principles. Under the law, the first is the rigid
condition of life" this do, and thou Waist washing designates a state shalt live:" under grace, the latter is of freedom from all impurity, and accepted in him who is made alivesanctification suggests à condition "the just shall live by faith,” and pure indeed and holy as that of one " he that doeth righteousness is who is washed, but more, even of a righteous, even as He is righteous." higher and holier nature ; justifica- Washing effects no more than a tion predicates a termination of a restoration to the primal condition, judicial suit instituted on a charge of unless there is something in the guilt. There is nothing, analogous cleansing agency of a renewing chato washing in an earthly court of racter. It is just this that we assert justice; there is, faintly, to sanctifi- of the blood of Christ-that it is cation; wholly so to justification, competent for washing, for sanctificawhich is equivalent to an acquittal tion, and for justification ; and furon the resolve of equity. If washing thermore, that these three embody could be accomplished in human the atonement. litigation the plantiff would be non- In all questions of justification suited, for there would be no bill. there must be two parties concerned, Were this not among the provisions viz., the accuser and the accusedof heavenly jurisprudence-indeed the plaintiff and the defendant. In its initial act-grace would be an earthly court of justice the judge, shamed. The grace of God is holy; as the exponent of the law, and the the grace of man is pitying, sympa- "revenger to execute wrath upon thetic. They are both congruous,
him that doeth evil," is the de jure suited to the nature and character of accuser. He cannot require from the exhibitor. Nor could it be other- the accused a higher degree of excelwise : “He can be just and yet the lence than he himself, as the reprejustifier of them that believe." The sentative of the law, possesses ; nor wisdom of God might devise number- is the plea of the accused framed to
meet a higher condition of good than speedily is his impious vanity gratithe law he is under. He may have fied, and he utters his daring judgexceeded the liberty granted by the ment, declaring that “the god of the laws of a neighbouring state, but he Jews is not the one whom we ought is not amenable to that. If, there- to worship."* Enlightened men fore, he is careful to “render to all boast that they do not bow down to their dues," the law takes no cogni- idols, works of men's hands; but if sance of covetousness, envy, jealousy, they do not worship the calf, their and the like, which do not overtly hearts are electrotyped with its invade the rights of others. Private chicanery that despises the command If, however, men frame anything to love our neighbour as ourselves; like an adequate notion of God-of a cold neglect that leaves a wife to supreme Being--it is that He is holy. pine away in lonely misery; selfish- When they hesitate to accept any ness that suffers the poor to starve, thing ascribed to Him, such as the or fellow inmates of the same dwell- afflictions of Job, the murder by ing to shrink in dread from its brutal Jael, the exterminating wars of the requirements; haughty pride that Israelites under Joshua, &c., it is on contemns the approval of others, or the ground that He is holy and sickly vanity that craves it-all these, therefore just. They fail to underand various other debasing lusts, stand, and therefore refuse to acman's administrative capacity can cept the Scripture account of Him. have no enactments for. Man, as a In solving a mathematical problem creature, stands before a higher the omission of a stroke () mars tribunal than he himself can or ought the solution. In considering the to frame. The Judge of all the Deity, men are impatient under the earth hears our appeal, and shall He thought of His unapproachable and not do the thing that is right? In a inappreciable wisdom, and so ignore strict equity inquiry mercy cannot it. We must accept the fact and be heard. Mercy may appear to
rest in it, when even His love seems modify the sentence; and in an earthly to fail,, and reason would condemn court this has a peculiar appropriate- it. This notion of God's holiness is ness. “Remember thyself,” says the right in the abstract, but wrongly Spirit; and whenever we would applied. judge of others—or judge them, if In these inquiries now being made, we must-we should thus check the we assert of God infinite holiness, native cruelty of our hearts.
of which we can conceive of nothing God is Judge. Man is the party to more than actual purity and impossibe judged.
ble impurity. We say, God is the Judge or We have suggested that the judge Accuser, for virtually it is the same if in any court does not require a higher we say the law is : for what is the
degree of excellence than he himself law but the expression of the charac
possesses: now we add that he must, ter of God—* holy, and just, and as a just judge, and himself a spotgood ?" Some have asserted-ir- less exponent of that law, demand reverently, though not conscious of as much. God is all this to man-to it-that God is a subject of law, be- us who “are under sin." Oh, who cause that law, irrespective of His shall deliver? will, is inerrably right. But God is This, then, is the demand of the thus no longer a Sovereign on the Judge—actual purity and impossible throne of eternity–He is a subject. impurity. If this is a true stateWhat God wills is law; and He wills ment, we then see that simple washbecause it is in accord with all the ing will not suffice, unless we attach attributes of His incomprehensible to the term “washing "a more than Godhead. The inevitable will deter- natural significance: this the Scripmines, but the councils of ineffable tures often seem to do, though it is perfections have suggested every detail of the inscrutable whole. If
* An actual utterance of a Jew in Lon. vain man desires to find a flaw, don to the author.
questionable ; for, as we have said, sible impurity meets the searching one may be washed and no more than gaze of Him whose“ eyelids try clean.
the children of men," and He is Actual purity, then, is an effect of satisfied. washing: impossible impurity must Having thus searched out the likewise be there where the Judge ground of the justification of the sinlooks for an answer to the impera- ner, we identify it with the Scripture tive, relentless demands which He basis-sanctification. Now this sancHimself makes as the exponent of tification, as already remarked, has a His own law.
faint analogue in a human law court; To refer again to the process of only faint, because of the infinite redyeing. Though three distinct pro- quirement by God who is the Judge cesses have been accomplished on the of all; and on no other ground is article, it is commonly spoken of as there a disproportion. one. The third, not yet alluded to, So then, although the washing is is the application of a mordant. This only commensurate with the defileis not an invariable part in the ment, the sanctification is satisfacdyeing of a garment : its object is to tory to the demands of an infinitely fix the colour. Earthly things van- holy Judge. Hence also, in all the ish away, but “I know," says Solo- claims of " the God of the spirits of mon, " that whatsoever God doeth, all flesh," who, through redemption, it shall be for ever.” (Eccles, iii. 14.) has become our Father in Christ Eminently so is it with those who Jesus, the terms are not lessened ; have been washed in the blood of the thus He says, “ Be ye holy, for I am Lamb. Not only are they made clean holy." Moreover, thus He views us and pure in the eyes of an infinitely in His Son, " as He is, so are we in holy Judge, but through the precious- this world.” (1 John iv. 17.) ness of the blood of Christ-God's Thus do we establish our justificamordant—they must be for ever con- tion on a basis which even inexorable tinued in that state.
justice cannot challenge. But there is another view of this
“Oh the depth of the riches both blood besides its preciousness which of the wisdom and knowledge of God! confirms this testimony—“the blood how unsearchable are His judgments, is the life." In this blood-this life, and His ways past finding out! For we are plunged, and we thus become who hath known the mind of the permeated, imbued with this life ; so Lord ? or who hath been His counthat not only does Jesus give His sellor? For of Him, and through life for His sheep, but to them. How Him, and to Him, are all things : to vividly does that word then stand be- Him be glory for ever. Amen." fore us, “ your life is hid with Christ (Rom. xi. 33-36.) in God."
On this doctrine we adduce some But further. The essential righ- corroborative Scriptures. teousness of Christ is a constituent Rom. v. 9: “Justified by His of His life. He thus gives to His blood." We find here precisely the people this righteousness, and this same agency enunciated for justificarighteousness alone can meet the
tion, as for washing and sanctificademand of the infinitely righteous tion. Wonderful is the scheme, God, the Judge of all. This righ- wonderful the means! Is the result teousness is not hence essential to commensurate? Surely it is : “As the redeemed - it is imparted, not I live," saith Jehovah," all the earth self-existent.
shall be filled with the glory of the Here then is seen the justification Lord.” (Num. xiv. 21.) Have we of all who believe in Him who gave plumbed the depths of the wondrous Himself “a
love of God? Oh the depths of Justification and righteousness have the riches both of the wisdom and the same root (diun, justice): now knowledge of God! how unsearcharighteousness is but rightness, and so ble are His judgments, and His also justification is nothing more or ways past_finding out!" (Rom. xi. less-a putting right. Thus impos- 33.)
The Infinite alone can measure