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the Infinite. But our consolation is perfect, nevertheless, if our faith is unwavering. Happily God does not make our clear conception or a firm grasp of our understanding, a condition of peace. True it is, indeed, that the wisest of men says well, “Get wisdom, and with all thy getting get understanding." (Prov. iv. 7); yet it is not knowledge but faith that lays hold of the mercy-seat. Nevertheless, the simple ground of justification is that there is no bill, and the prisoner goes out of court. Supposing, however, the defendant really to have committed the deed laid to his charge, he can be acquitted only on terms unknown to an earthly law court. He may be pardoned by his fellow, or his sentence may be commuted, or another may take his place and suffer in his stead-as in India sometimes even unto deathbut the criminal is not hence esteemed as though he had never committed the offence: he cannot be in a parallel condition to him of whom it is declared, “the free gift came unto justification of life.” (Rom. v. 16.) He is no more than a current, but questionable phrase, declares“washed and begins again.” Now he who is washed in the blood of Christ is clean every whit.” They who are sanctified by that blood are competent to meet the scrutiny of Him“ who hath His eyes like a flame of fire," because “He that sanctifieth and they who are sancti. fied are all One.” (Heb. ii. 11.)
Rom. iii. 28: “A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
It seems as though another ground of justification were introduced and asserted. Not so. In this sentence and others of a similar character, the instrumentality* alone is announced.
To a poor drowning mariner a rope is thrown, he grasps it and is drawn to the land; he is saved, but no one thinks that the rope saves him. He grasps the rope in vain unless there is a strong hand at the other end that pulls him on firm ground. Though quite Scriptural to say “thy faith hath saved thee," there is no uncertain sound about it; it is faith in One able to save unto the uttermost. The term “by faith” here is the instrumental dative, or sub-agent, the primary agent being “ the precious blood of Christ, or Christ Himself shedding that blood. Faith is effective in proportion to its object. If the object is worthless, so will be the faith. If a deceiver, then faith is fatal : such are all doomed to who shall believe the lie of the Antichrist. Faith is “precious "-oh! inconceivably precious, when obtained through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. i. 1.)
Rom. iii. 24: "Justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Grace or mercy can move toward us only through Christ, because for Him, as the tenant of the cross, grace had no voice : God “spared not His own Son." The Father was well pleased in His Son, but this was because He satisfied all the demands of God's holy law, without the intervention of grace; and this was God's grace to
The grace of God never dishonour His justice. Every attribute of the Godhead remains unsullied, though He brings into close, intimate relationship with Himself those who were once “thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners; . . . but they are washed, they are sanctified, they are justified."
Rom. iv. 25: “Jesus our Lord... was raised again for (dià=because of) our justification." This Scripture may readily be misapprehended, owing to the different meanings of our word “ for."* It means here" because
* It is worthy of remark that in all the utterances of the Spirit concerning wash. ing, sanctification, and justification by the blood, the preposition év=in, is used, as though " in the blood." To this there is one exception, Heb. xiii. 12: “ That He might sanctify it through (dià) His blood.” But this seems to refer to the secondary sanctification, or holiness of life.
* Thus, “ I am going for my friend” may mean to fetch him, or as his messenger, or instead of him. “I am going for a year,” means during that time. took me for a spy," means to be one.
.of." The blood had been shed, the trace the Latin ad, to, and unus, one. Sin-bearer had poured out His soul This is certainly the meaning of reunto death, so death had no more concile, “ to return into fellowship,” dominion. The slain slew the slayer. which issues from a coming together. Thus the objects of the Redeemer's The word reconcile=re-con-cilia, “the love being “justified by His blood,” eyelashes together again ;" hence any He rose again." Although all the two other things, and hence God and work is not accomplished at the re- man. The word has no real force surrection, for the High Priest had beyond this, though an intrinsic not yet entered into the most holy meaning has been assigned to it, in place with His own blood, yet the reference to the sufferings of the Rejustification of His people was com- deemer. It has this application, plete. If it be asked, Wherein did doubtless; but it really gathers up, the incompleteness consist ? the an- in a word, the consequence of all the swer is, With regard to “heaven Saviour had done when He cried, “It itself." " It was necessary that the is finished." As soon as the sinner patterns of things in the heavens has by faith accepted the whole work should be purified with these (cere- of the Saviour, then for him “th' monial blood-sheddings), but the atoning work is done;" henceforth he heavenly things themselves with bet- is “clean every whit, and needeth not ter things than these" (Heb. ix. 23); save to wash his feet;" he is brought hence, by means of the greater and nigh, to go no more out from the more perfect tabernacle, not made presence of the pure and holy God, with hands, that is to say, not of this His Father in Christ. creation («Tloew), neither by the Made one with God! This gives blood of goats and calves, but by His us some insight into that deep saying, own blood, He entered in once into " That God may be all in all.” (1 Cor. the most holy (rà ayla), f having ob
xv. 28.) Not a mere incorporation tained eternal redemption for us."
into Himself; much less an absorp(Heb. ix. 11, 12.)
tion, and so a loss of all personality; We have already remarked that
but God in us, and we in Him-a the three processes, washing, sancti.
marvellous interpenetration. As the fication, and justification, embody
great Sun and his surrounding the atonement. This simple English
planets have a mutual co-efficiency, word oceurs but once in the New so has the great God determined with Testament Scriptures, though the
regard to the saints and Himself, word so translated is found three
The unification is decreed and protimes; otherwise translated “recon
vided for, but not an abrogation of the ciling," " reconciliation.” Its cognate
units. So again, as the sun attracts verb occurs six times, and it is always
the worlds revolving around him to translated “reconciled."
himself, and they him ; God likewise The word “atonement" has been
attracts the saints to Himself, and explained as at-one-ment. In the
they Him. The one is the attraction Italian adunare, “to unite,” we clearly
of gravitation, the other of beauty-
no spot in thee." (Cant, iv. 7.) Let + In this passage there has been a gen. us remember that though the Church eral oversight of the Greek word, as also
is the Bride of Christ, she was the in ver. 24; whereas it is a distinct word from that in ver. 2 (dyia=sanctuary, or
gift of God to Him, —" Thine they holy place). Again, in viii. 2, there is a
were, and Thou gavest them Me." worse blunder: Tūv åyiwy = of the
(John xvii. 6.) The Church was to saints ; the translation is by words equiva
God a priceless jewel, and this He lent to “the holy place" of ix. 12. So gave to His Son. We say, in ineffagain, x. 19, should be “liberty into the able wonder, “ A bride worthy of her way of the saints," instead of "boldness Lord;" first, because of the original to enter into the Holiest." The Greek
creation of God;" and, secondly, bewords are not proper for “the Holiest," but are the invariable ones for "the
cause of the infinite price of redempsaints." See HEBREW CHRISTIAN WIT- tion. Nothing could justify such an NESS, No. 18, p. 280.
outlay but the innate excellence of
“the purchased possession.” If we stroyed, though the sentence is passed; go no further in our thought than the and this old creature hates as deeply rescue of captives—true though it be as ever, “I delight in the law of God -we greatly err: it is a redemption, after the inward man, but I see or buying back of a lost possession- another law in my members warring a redemption worthy of the Redeemer, against the law of my mind, bringing however worthless we may and ought me into captivity to the law of sin to be in our own esteem.
which is in my members.” (Rom. vii. This atonement, or reconciliation, 22, 23.) So that clearly enough it is is worthy of further notice here. not the conversion of the old man Man, from the hands of his Maker, into a new, but the superconstrucpure and holy, had undreading inter
tion of one
new man after the image course with Him : he disobeyed, and of Him that created him." (Col. ii. 10.) then shrank from all approach; he In all questions of Christian casuistry had become God's enemy. In proof this should be borne in mind : there that God had not become man's is no ground for exculpation derived enemy, witness His announcement of from this, but there is for discriminarecovery — an announcement made, tion; thus says Paul, “ If I do that indeed, to the foe that had effected which I will not to do, it is no more this ruin, but in grace toward the I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in victim—"I will put enmity between me.” (Rom. vii. 20.) Paul does not thee and the woman, and between excuse himself, but he does discrimithy seed and her seed; it shall bruise nate. He does not, as a new creathy head.” (Gen. iii. 15.) God was ture, will to sin, yet he does sin : he displeased, but it was the anger of a wills to do good, but does it not; yet friend. There was destruction for he is a well-doer, for the Spirit of the calumniator of God, but recovery God works effectually in him. and love for the deluded ones. This 2. As in Washing, and also in Sancwas the mode of reconciliation of tification, so in Justification, there is those who, being beguiled, were es- a second great feature to be noticed, tranged from God, and whose de- viz., Justification by works. scendants have ever since counted This is, as in the two previously the God whom they propose to wor- considered parts of the great work of ship as one that must be propitiated. our Redeemer, the practical exhibi. They do not, in the blind folly of tion of the same, a representment of their hearts, see that God Himself that which He has, in reality, effected, has accomplished this in Jesus, but which seeks this way of declaring “whom He hath set forth (pre-or- itself. dained) to be a propitiation* through At the very outset, let it be underfaith in His blood” (Rom. iii. 25); stood, that the very same works which "and He is the propitiation for our God, in His grace, accepts from one sins, and not for ours only, but also He might reject in another. Why is for the sins of the whole world.” this? Because these works have no (1 John ii. 2.)
intrinsic excellence. Now “without The atonement or reconciliation faith it is impossible to please God;" has been all accomplished except whilst faith, however faintly it may man's part, and that, happily, is only show itself, is precious in the esteem his acceptance of it. This can take of God, for it has for its object "the place only when the enmity is over- Son of His love." come, wbich a new creation alone can It would be scarcely satisfactory effect: “If any man be in Christ for any one to say, "I love you," and Jesus, he is a new creature.” (2 Cor. give no proof in loving actions. Nor v. 17.) The old creation is not de- would these very actions themselves
have any value of love in our esteem * In this passage the Greek word is
unless we could perceive them to proιλαστήριον, which some would render
ceed from a heart of love. Just so "mercy-seat," and restrict the word “pro. we connect the two, justification by pitiation" to inaouos, which occurs in faith and justification by works: they 1 John ii. 2 and iv. 10.
are inseparable as the sun and its dox; but his Digest is considered faithful, as it certainly is a most masterly work. The anarchy that has ever prevailed among Jews in the way of publishing books, is a very singular feature; every body could publish any book he chose, and take his chance of acceptance, though a young Rabbi would gladly avail himself of the approval 670307) of one better known than himself
. But while Jewish writings thus abound in much that is very spurious, they also contain, scattered here and there, and in collected form too, rules of justice and mercy, of devotion, purity, and holiness, hardly inferior to the Gospel itself. Some people are offended with admissions like this, as if people of other religions would have no need to be converted to Christianity, so long as there is any thing good in their own religions. But the missionary should know that his business is not merely to convert men to Christian morality, but to Christ, as the Saviour of sinners. Men do not 80 much want rules of life, as power to live by the rules they already know, “power to become the sons of God.”*
One main use, however, which the missionary can make of the Jewish literature is, to see the workings of the Jewish mind, to learn the Jewish art of reasoning.
And here the New Testament itself furnishes us with a most remarkable illustration. According to St. Paul's own testimony, he was less successful with Jews than St. Peter,t though we cannot but be sure that he possessed much higher qualifications as a missionary to Jews than S. Peter,—though we must entirely reject the notion that the Fishermen -apostles, were really ignorant men; they had a familiar, critical knowledge (for their time) of the Hebrew Bible, 4 when Hebrew had ceased to be vernacular, and for nearly three years they had been the disciples of Jesus. Still more utterly must be rejected the shallow notion that St. Peter was a Judaiser, or that there was any difference whatever in doctrine, between the two great apostles. But the fact is that, while St. Paul's Rabbinical style-if only by its originality-gave him an advantage when dealing with Gentiles, his Greek style, grafted upon the Rabbinical, was fatal to him among Jews.
It is allowed that the few quotations from Greek poets, that occur in his epistles, and in his addresses, recorded in the book of the Acts, do not decisively prove St. Paul to have possessed much of Greek culture. But what may satisfy us that he had such culture is, the style and current of his argumentation,-an imitation, so far as practicable, even of Plato's Dialogue, only that instead of two persons speaking by turns, he suppos. an objector, in such forms as, “ Thou wilt say then . .. why doth II. yet find fault ?"| " Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off th: I might be grafted in."T “But some man will say, How are the de raised ?"** &c., and those never ending questions and answers, with quie: sharp turns, which are so characteristic of the Pauline argument, utter : unlike the rabbinical forms (127 132, 2xn DX), &c.) with which they might be compared. For a Jew, St. Paul's argumentation is much to
* John i. 12.
of Gal. ii. 8. | Compare Keim, Geschichte Jesu von Nazara, vol. i., p. 429. Š See Neander, Gesch, der Pflanzung, vol. i. p. 110, sqq. || Rom. ix. 19.
Ib. xi, 19.
** 1 Cor. xv. 35.