SECURITY A D CHARACTER OF THOSE I CHRIST BY THE REV. R. WILLIAMSO , DU KELD.

" There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For 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."— Romans viii. 1-4.

The first verse of this chapter is evidently an inference from something going before. That it is, the word " therefore " in the passage sufficiently indicates. " There ia, therefore," says the apostle, " now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." It will be necessary, therefore, in order to see the grounds upon which the affirmation in the first verse rests, to ascertain its connection with the preceding context. In the preceding chapters, the apostle demonstrates the sinfulness and guilt of man — his inability to erect for himself a platform of acceptance, and the sublime doctrine of justification by faith in the merits of Christ alone. In establishing the doctrine of justification by faith, he considers the change made in the sinner's legal position, when, by receiving and relying upon Christ as the Lord his righteousness, and the Lord his strength, the law ceases to have claims against him as a covenant of works, though still his standard as a rule of life. And the believer being no longer under the law, but under grace, in consequence of being invested with a righteousness manifested without the law, yet, in all respects, conformable to its highest demands, is acquitted and accepted by the Divine Lawgiver. Hence, the apostle concludes, that "there is now" — that is, in these circumstances, the claims of violated law having been satisfied by their surety — " no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus." But the opening verse of the chapter is not only a legitimate inference from the previous discussion ; it is also a distinct proposition, in proof of which the apostle adduces several arguments in the remaining verses of the chapter. The proposition is, " there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus ;" and the proof is, their being delivered from the o. 110. — Lect. 5. vol. iil

62 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. law as a covenant of works, its demands having been met and fulfilled by their Surety and covenant Head — the indwelling of the Spirit — the fact of their adoption — their predestination to eternal life, and the provision made for their growth in grace — the mission of Christ on their

behalf, and the immutability of God's love towards them, from which nothing shall be able to separate the believing soul. Having thus seen the precise relation in which the passage stands to the preceding and subsequent context, let us now proceed to a more particular examination of the verses which we have read as the subject of a few observations. " There is, therefore," says the apostle, " now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Here, then, we have three distinct topics of consideration — the parties spoken of ; them who are in Christ Jesus ; their distinguishing characteristics — they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ; what is predicated regarding them — there is no condemnation to them. First, then, of the parties alluded to, it is said that they are in Christ Jesus. What, then, is implied in being in Christ Jesus ? It is to be savingly united to him as their covenant Head. It is, as the Apostle John states, to have fellowship with him — to be united to him as the branch to the vine — as the superstructure to the foundation — as the members to the body. The origin of this union is to be traced to the sovereign love of God. This is abundantly evident from the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, where the apostle says, " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ ; according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world." We affirm, then, that the origin of this glorious relationship in which the believer stands to his exalted Head, is to be sought for in the sovereign love of God. Do you ask me the reason of it ? o reason can be assigned by any human being, but that so it seemed meet to the infinite Jehovah. We cannot find the reason of this distinguishing affection — this surpassing love in anything in the sinner, or done by him ; for he is vile and guilty, and therefore justly exposed to the righteous displeasure of Jehovah. It was when he lay in his blood, that God compassionated him. It was when he was guilty, that God pardoned him. It was when he was without help, that the everlasting arms of love encircled him. It was when he was diseased, that the life-giving influences of a spiritual renovation were breathed into his torpid soul. Ask the woman, notorious for moral turpitude, who met with our Lord in Simon's house, and was drawn to him by the cords of love — what was the reason of this distinguishing affection ? and she will say, the great love wherewith he loved me.

REV. R. WILLIAMSO . 63 Ask Manasseh, whose hands were red with the blood of God's own people, why he was brought unto union with the Redeemer ? and he will

point to sovereign love, and tell you that God will have mercy upon whom he will have mercy. Ask Saul of Tarshish, the destroyer of God's heritage, why he was brought into the glorious relationship which subsists between Christ and his soul ? and he will reply, the sovereign love of God, that he might show forth the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus. The language of the redeemed on this subject is one — " By the grace of God we are what we are." Brethren, the origin of this union is to be found in the free, sovereign love of God alone — a love purely sovereign in it3 choice — abasing the proud, and exalting the humble — casting down the mighty from their seats, and elevating the lowly in heart — pouring the stream of life unto the polluted soul of the publican, and passing by the whited sepulchre — " erecting its mercy-seat in the path of the outcast," and filling the soul with holy amazement at the fulness, and freeness, and muficence of its distributions. The origin, then, of this union is to be sought for iu the sovereign love of God. What, it may now be asked, is the efficient cause ? How is it brought about and consummated ? To these questions we reply, that the efficient cause of this glorious union is God the Holy Ghost, and that it is effected both passively and actively. And this view of the matter will enable us to see both the part which the Divine Spirit takes in the formation of this glorious union, and the part proper to the soul that is the subject of it. It is effected passively — that is, when in a day of power, the Divine Spirit convinces the soul of sin and of righteousness — gives it a perception of its own danger and of Christ's ableness and willingness to save, and thus unites Christ to the soul ; and it is effected actively — that is, when the sinner, thus convinced, and enlightened, and quickened, in the exercue of faith inwrought by the Spirit, receives and accepts of the Redeemer now brought nigh, and exclaims, " Lord, I believe !" " My Lord and my God !" and thus the union is consummated by the mutual consent of both parties — 1st, by the Spirit on the part of Christ ; and, 2dly, in the exercise of a personally appropriating faith on the part of the sinner, so that Christ abides not only in the soul, but the believing soul also abides in him. There is a mutual union — Christ united to the soul by the Spirit, and the soul united to Christ by faith. ow, the union by faith on the part of the sinner is the effect and result of the previous union by the Spirit on the part of Christ — that is, the advances in the formation of this union are made by the Spirit on the part of Christ. He first comes to the soul — brings Christ nigh to it — convinces it of sin — enlightens it in the knowledge of Christ, the glorious object now presented to it — works faith in

64 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. it, and the quickenod soul, in the exercise of this faith, apprehends and appropriates the Redeemer, exclaiming, " This God is my God ; He is

all my salvation and all my desire." He is mine, and I am his ; so that the formation of the union is no less gracious than its origin is sovereign. From these brief remarks, you will perceive how it is, that faith is the act of a living not of a dead soul — of a soul quickened by the energy of the Divine Spirit; and that, so far from there being any thing meritorious in the faith which apprehends Christ, it is in itself the product of the Spirit's operation in the soul. The union of the soul to Christ by its exercise, is the result of a previous union on the part of Christ by the Spirit ; and the union being thus completed by the mutual consent and will of both parties — Christ being united to the soul and the soul to Christ — the believer can truly exclaim, " not only my beloved is mine, but also I am his." And hence it is, that, in reference to this mutual union, Christ is said to be in believers, and believers to be in Christ — he to dwell in them, and they in him. And hence our Lord himself, in addressing his disciples, says, " Abide in me and I in you." And this view of the matter is in perfect accordance with the declaration of the Apostle John, when he says, " We love him because that he first loved us, for our love is the effect of his being first shed abroad in the soul ; and his love is the originating cause and exciting motive of ours to him ; so that in every possible view of the matter, and at every step in the process, the believer may justly declare, " By the grace of God I am what I am." Doubtless, this view of the matter is highly offensive to those who prefer their virtues and amiabilities to the graces of the Spirit, and talk with complacency of the power and purity of a fallen nature. But it is no part of the design of God's revelation to pronounce panegyrics upon a heart which is the foul cage of every unclean bird — to induce a man to believe that he is something when he is nothing — that he is pure when he is vile — that he is rich and increased in goods, when he is poor, and miserable, and wretched, and polluted — to enable any puny worm of the dust, shivering in the rags of a polluted righteousness, to exclaim, " mine own hand hath got me the victory." It may, indeed, be objected, and it has been objected by those who confide in the dignity and capabilities of a sinful nature, that this places man in a truly humiliating position. We admit it. It is one great design of the gospel scheme of recovery that it should. It is to abase the carnality of unrenewed nature — to transform the wisdom of the world unto foolishness, and its might unto weaknesss — to bring down the pride of the unregenerate heart from the heights of its self-sufficiency, and cause it to exclaim with the publican, "God be merciful to me a sinner." It is to wither

REV. R. WILLIAMSO . C r >

every gourd of creature confidence and creature strength, and render it eternally and infallibly true, that it is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, that this great and marvellous work is begun, and sustained, carried on, and consummated. Having now seen the manner in which the union is effected, let us proceed to consider the character of those who are savingly united to Jesus. " They walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." " If any man,'' says the apostle, " be iu Christ, he is a new creature." A complete and radical change has taken place upon them. They have passed from death unto life. ew principles of action have been infused into their souls. The relish for sin has lost its power, and a relish for holiness has been implanted in its stead. They walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. The expression walking, as here employed, refers not to an isolated act, but to habitual conduct ; and, therefore, the meaning of the passage is, that those who are in Christ Jesus, regulate their lives and conversations, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. What, then, are we to understand by the term flesh as here employed? And here we would remark, that by the term flesh, we are to understand unrenewed, and unsanctified nature, as opposed to regenerated and sanctified nature. By the expression Spirit, we are to understand the renewed heart, the sanctified soul, or, more properly speaking, the Spirit of God — God the Holy Ghost dwelling in the renewed heart as in a temple. " Know ye not," says the apostle, " that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." The meaning, therefore, of the passage is, that those who are in Christ Jesus do not regulate their walk and conversation according to the lusts and impulses of a corrupt nature, but according to the guidance and direction of the Spirit, that divine agent, whose office in the economy of the gospel it is, to apply the benefits of the redemption purchased by Christ, and carry on and consummate the work of sanctification in the soul. These, then, are the characteristics of the ransomed of the Lord, that they walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Whence we affirm that regeneration and union to Christ are invariably connected — that there is both a change in nature, and a change in state — that when a man is regenerated and justified, there is also infallible provision made for his advancement in the divine life — that when he is united to Christ, he walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ow, you are not for a moment to suppose that the apostle affirms here that the believing soul never yields to the suggestions of the flesh. Such an affirmation would run counter to all experience. So far from that, he informs us in the preceding chapter, " that there was a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into

66 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. captivity to the law of sin which was in his members." The apostle, therefore, does not affirm that the believing soul never yields to the suggestions of the flesh, but he does affirm that the believing soul does not walk, does not habitually walk after the flesh ; and that walking after the Spirit is the general characteristic of his life, and the great end at which he constantly aims. Although, therefore, sin may still harass him, and cause him to halt in the paths of the new obedience, it has not the ascendancy in the soul — it has no longer dominion over him, and thus though he falls he shall rise again. How then, brethren, do you stand in reference to this matter? Are you walking after the flesh or after the Spirit ? Is your treasure on earth or in heaven ? Are your affections set on things above, or concentrated on the refuse of a perishing world ? Are you crucifying the flesh, or fulfilling its- lusts ? Are you walking after the flesh ? If so, you are not in Christ Jesus ; for if any man be in Christ, he is a new oraturc. God never united a soul to the Redeemer, and then left it to wallow unrestrainedly amid the impurities of sin and the lusts of a polluted nature. God never conferred a robe of justifying righteousness, without making provision for one of sanctifying purity. God never gives a new name, without a new heart and a now nature. We say then, that if you walk after the flesh, you are not in Christ Jesus ; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. He is yet an outcast — an alien — a slave of sin — a bondsman of Satan. If you possess not the characteristics of the Christian, you are not united to the Christian's Head; and if not united to him, you are under condemnation. We do not say that you will be under it, but that you are even now under it. A sentence of wrath has gone forth against you, and the Lord is not slack concerning his threatenings. A thousand years are but as one day to him, who is from everlasting : and delay in executing his purposes does not affect their infallible certainty. Walking after the flesh, you are out of Christ, and out of Christ you are necessarily under condemnation. It is, indeed, true that you msy be altogether ignorant of your guilty and perilous condition, but that is one of the most melancholy features of your case. Yours is one of the most appalling and truly hopeless positions which an immortal or responsible being can occupy on this side the world of spirits. Better far be a homeless outcast upon earth, than wrapt in the insensibility of carnal security. Better far have the soul torn and distracted by the throes and tumults of a pungent conviction, than immersed in the stagnation of spiritual death. Guilt and spiritual blindness go together. " Dim eyes and delusive perceptions" are characteristics of the unregenerate, as well as hard hearts and polluted souls. You feel not that you are under condemnation ! Was it ever otherwise ?

REV. R. WILLIAMSO . ''7 Look to the vale of Siddim. Were the impious revellers, and the Godforgetting children of Belial, who lived there, conscious of the perilous nature of their condition ? They laughed Lot to scorn. They treated his warnings as the dreams of lunacy. They walked after the flesh, and were therefore under condemnation. But did their carnal security ensure their safety? Did their insensibility to danger prove a preventive against it ? Let their destruction by fire and brimstone from heaven answer the question. The rich man in the parable did not feel that he was under condemnation ; but his insensibility was annihilated for ever, when in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments. othing can be more foolish than to imagine, that because you are insensible of your danger, all is well. It is the object of the god of this world to blind the soul — to cause it to walk securely on the borders of Tophet — to keep the scales on the eyes till they fall off mid the fire that is never quenched — to steal the heart till the first pang felt is inflicted by the gnawings of the worm that never dies. It is the master piece of his policy — the perfection of his stratagems — to send souls down to hell with a lie in their right hand. If you are walking after the flesh, you are under condemnation, and your insensibility cannot affect in any way whatever the solemn declarations of God's word. But whilst those who are out of Christ walk after the flesh, those who are in Christ walk after the Spirit. Brethren, is this your character ? Do you walk after the Spirit ? Is the same mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus ? Have you put off the old man with his affections and lusts which are corrupt, and put on the new man, which after Christ Jesus is renewed in knowledge and righteousness and true holiness? Do you press forward in the Christian race, panting after the beauty of holiness, and a greater conformity to your exalted Head ? If so, there is then no condemnation to you, for ye are Christ's. Christ's, by the free sovereign gift of God in the Covenant of Grace ; for he hath chosen you in him to the glory of his grace, that you might be conformed to his image — Christ's, by the ransom which he laid down for your redemption in implementing the terms of the Covenant — Christ's, for you are even now the temples of the Holy Ghost, who is engaged in rendering you meet for the heavenly inheritance ; and Christ's by a soul-quieting recumbancy in the arms of his love, for in the exercise of a living faith, you have cast yourselves upon him soul, body, and spirit, for time and for eternity, for wisdom, for righteousness, for sanctification and complete redemption. Thus in Christ, to you there is no condemnation. But how, it may be asked, does union to Christ, or, in the language of the apostle, being " in Christ Jesus," deliver from condemnation ? The second and third verses assign the reason. For, says the apostle, " the

68 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For 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." What then are we to understand by the phrases in the second verse — " the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and the law of sin and death ?" It is evident that the two expressions are here contrasted, and therefore " the meaning of the one necessarily determines the meaning of the other." By the law of the spirit of life, we are to understand the power of spiritual principles in the regenerated soul, of which the Holy Spirit is the author and sustainer ; and by the law of sin and death, we are to understand the law of God, which, although perfectly holy, and just, and good, yet in consequence of the transgression of the creature, thunders forth his condemnation, gives " the knowledge of sin," and is thus " incidentally the cause of sin and death." So that, in the light of the reason assigned in the second verse, the meaning of the first is simply this. There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, because, in consequence of his interposition, they have been freed from the law as a covenant of works — that law which, although holy, and just, and good, is the discoverer of sin ; because, where there is no law there is no transgression, and where there is no trangression, death can have no existence as a moral penalty. ow, you will observe, that although the law is here spoken of as the law of sin and death, the apostle carefully guards against being supposed as affirming that there was any defect in the law. So far from that, he proceeds to show that the defect is not in the law, but in the sinner — not in the standard of obedience, but in the subject of obedience — not in the rule, but in the creature who was to walk according to the rule. The law is now weak, that is, it is inadequate to the recovery of the sinner ; but then that is in consequence of no change in it, but in the creature. It is weak, but only through the flesh. The impotency of the law to justify is not through imperfection. On the other hand, it is in consequence of its perfection that it is weak through the flesh and cannot justify the sinner. For what was the position which the creature originally occupied towards the law ? He was related to it as a covenant of works. His obedience was to be commensurate with its highest requirements, otherwise the conditions of the covenant could not be implemented. ow, so long as man continued to render perfect and unexceptionable obedience, the law was powerful to justify. Justification was quite competent to it, and the obedience of the creature was the ground of his acceptance. But when he ceased to

REV. R. WILLIAMSO . 69 render that obedience — when his faculties were struck with a moral paralysis, and his soul prostrated in the dust of spiritual death, justification by obedience to the law was altogether impossible. His obedience then ceased to be commensurate with its requirements, and not being commensurate, the law could no longer furnish a ground of acceptance in the sight of the lawgiver. Justification was no longer competent to the law. But then how did this arise ? ot through any change in the law, but simply and solely through a change in the creature who was to yield obedience to its demands. He fell from the high position in which his Creator had originally placed him. His energies were withered, and his efforts fell infinitely short of the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of the law's requirements. How then could he be accepted ? By bringing down the law to his wretched obedience, and thus by a compromise of its claims, bring them into correspondency ? That cannot be — God's law is perfect. It is immutable as the lawgiver. It fulminates its threatenings against all and every who obey not in all things, and will remain satisfied with nothing short of the eternal destruction of the sinner, or a full and perfect satisfaction tendered in his stead. Heaven and earth may pass away, but one jot or tittle of the law shall not be violated with impunity. Its claims remain altogether unaffected. The change is entirely on the part of the creature. He has fallen from his original position, but the law has not fallen in its demands. He has changed, but it remains the same. It claimed perfect obedience. It claims it still. It is now weak in reference to the sinner's justification, but that is its glory and excellence. For how is it weak ? Just because of its perfection. Just because it will not come down to the wretched efforts of the sinner — because it will not compromise matters with the transgressor — because it will " tolerate no platform of acceptance which has not an adequate satisfaction for its basis." In one word, it is weak, just because man is a sinner — it is weak through the flesh. And here, we may remark in passing, that this view of the matter demonstrates the absurdity and the dangerous nature of the opinion, that the moral impotency of the sinner affects his responsibility in the sight of God ; as if the loss, by wilful and deliberate transgression on the part of the creature, of his power to obey, should necessarily imply a corresponding loss of right on the part of the Creator to demand obedience. The change is altogether on the part of the sinner. The standard of obedience remains the same. The law has not changed — the Lawgiver has not changed ; and if the creature is now the victim of a moral impotency, it is of a moral impotency self- induced ; and therefore, so far from proving destructive of the claims of the law to his obedience, only serves to aggravate his criminality. The capa-

70 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. bilities of the creature, when he came originally from the hand of the Creator, were perfectly adequate to the fulfilment of the conditions of the covenant ; and if these capabilities have been impaired, it is by the wilful transgression of the creature alone ; and, therefore, not only is his responsibility to the Lawgiver altogether unaffected, but he is also responsible for the loss of his original righteousness — for the enlisting of his powers in the service of Satan, and thus rivetting with his own hands the fetters of his bondage. Perfect obedience he is now utterly unable to render, and therefore the law is utterly unable to justify him. It is thus weak, but only through the flesh. The question, then, comes to be, How can he be accepted ? The law cannot do it. How then can he be reinstated into favour with the Lawgiver ? The third and fourth verses contain the answer. " For 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." The sinner could not tender satisfaction to the law, but the brightness of the Father's glory was manifested in the flesh for that purpose. He is the Father's gift. He appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, and is therefore Emmanuel, God with us. He took upon him not the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham. He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh. Observe how guarded the apostle's language is. He does not say that he assumed sinful flesh, but that he came in the likeness of sinful flesh. The smallest conceivable blemish would have absolutely disqualified him for assuming the office, or performing the functions of Mediator ; "for such an High Priest became us, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners." He manifested himself, however, not in a sinful nature, but in a nature similar to that which had sinned ; and as sin originally formed no part of human nature, but was afterwards contracted by an overt act of transgression, the Mediator could be pure and unspotted, and yet possess all the essential properties of humanity. He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, that being bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, he might be a merciful and faithful high priest, able to compassionate his people, and feel for man as for a brother. In the passage now under consideration, there is a distinct reference to the two natures of the Redeemer — that is, he is here brought before us in his entire character as Mediator — as truly and essentially God, as really and truly man. He is called by way of eminence, God's own Son, inasmuch as he is a partaker of his nature, and "co-existent with him in the unity of the Divine Essence ;" and he is said to have been sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, because he took

REV. R, WILLIAMSO . 71 not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham. " Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil." In virtue of the union of the Divine and human natures in his mysterious person, he is a Daysman, able to stand betwixt the living and the dead — lay his hand upon both parties, and thus make peace. He is God's Son and our brother — possessed of infinite inherent dignity to entitle him to treat with the Lawgiver, and of infinite compassion to feel for the sinner. 4 ' He is acceptable to God, he is suitable to man.*' Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifested in the flesh. But not only did he come in the likeness of sinful flesh ; the special purpose for which he appeared is also stated. He came, says the apostle, for sin — that is, for a sin-offering. The phrase, for sin, is often used in this sense in Scripture. Thus, it is said of the Mediator, that " God made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin." ot that he was personally made or constituted a sinner, for he was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners ; but he was put forward as the sinner's substitute and surety — as a sacrificial victim, as an offering for sin. He made him to be an offering or sacrifice for sin, who knew no sin ; for when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. The special object, then, of his appearing in the likeness of sinful flesh was, that, as a sacrifice or offering for sin, he might redeem them that were under the law. As Mediator, he condemned sin in the flesh, removed its guilt in order to his people's justification ; and by satisfying the claims of infinite justice, freed them from the law as a Covenant of Works; so that the believer's delivery from condemnation is a result of the mediation of Christ. The great design of the atoning sacrifice offered up by Emmanuel, was to display the glory of God, in the redemption of the guilty — to cause mercy and truth to meet together in reference to the sinner's recovery. And hence the apostle, in unfolding that design, declares it to be, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The righteousness of Christ is here called the righteousness of the law, because it is a righteousness conformable to the law — a righteousness which meets its highest requirements, and magnifies and renders it honourable. This righteousness is the only ground of a sinner's justification ;

for being clothed upon with it, he is freed from the condemning power of the law of sin and death. It consists of the active and passive

72 FREE CHURCH PULPIT. obedience of the Mediator. It is a righteousness in which the eye of the Omniscient God can see nothing amiss — a righteousness wrought out and brought in for the express purpose of justifying the ungodly — a righteousness offered unto you this day without money and without price ; for it is unto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference. " That the righteousness of the law," says the apostle, " might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit/' Here the apostle carefully guards against two errors of an opposite, but equally fatal nature — the errors of Legalism and Antinomianism. The legalist would amalgamate his own w T retched efforts with the obedience of Christ; and thus introduce self-merit unto his ground of acceptance. The apostle lays the axe at the root of that heresy ; for he shews that the righteousness of Christ, to the exclusion of all merit in the part of the sinner, is the only ground of justification before God — that the law is weak through the flesh, and that by its deeds, no flesh living can be justified. The antinomian would look upon himself as relieved by the sufferings of the Mediator from the law, not only as a covenant of works, but also as a rule of life ; and therefore, sins wilfully and deliberately because grace abounds. The apostle lays the axe at the root of that heresy ; for he declares that those who are in Christ Jesus, walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. He annihilates the hope of the legalist ; for he tells him, that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified. He annihilates the hope of the antinomian ; for he tells him, that the law, though not a covenant of works to the believer, is still a rule of life — that a man must be sanctified as well as justified — that without holiness, no man can see the Lord ; and that, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Brethren, have you received and accepted of this glorious righteousness ? Are you relying and building upon him who wrought it out ? Are you in Christ Jesus ? If so, you will walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. If ye have received the Lord Jesus, walk in him, breathe his Spirit, adorn his doctrine. Let your light so shine before men, that they may take knowledge of you, as having been with Jesus. Of those who have not fled for refuge to the hope set before them in the Gospel, we would ask, — Who will make intercession for you, when God riseth up in fearful majesty to take vengeance upon all that know him not ? Where will you find a sanctuary out of Christ. When the avenger of blood is following rapidly behind you, where is the days-

man who can lay his hand upon you both, and satisfy him, and save you ? Can your hands be strong, or your heart endure in the day that God shall deal with you. Turn then to the strong hold, while prisoners of hope. There is mercy with God, that he may be feared. Harden

REV. R. WILLIAM30 . 73 then not your hearts. Despise not his gracious invitations. Trample not under foot his overtures of reconciliation ; lest you be left in bitterness of spirit to exclaim, — " The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved." To those who are rejoicing in Emmanuel, as the Lord their righteousness, and the Lord their strength, we would say, — " Walk worthy of your high vocation. Be not high minded, but fear. Remember the rock, whence ye were hewn, and who it was that established your goings. And as you traverse the wilderness leaning upon your Beloved, be this your song in the land of your pilgrimage, ' I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful unto my God ; for he hath clothed me with garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, he remembered me in my low estate, for his mercy endureth for ever.' " In Christ Jesus, to you there is no condemnation ; for he shall rest in his love. Having loved you from the beginning, he shall love you to the end. With what a dignity does this union invest the Christian ! What an ennobling relationship ! What are the pomp and pageantry of a passing world, to the transcendent dignity of being an heir of God — united to the Ancient of days — the Prince of the kings of the earth, whose goings forth have been of old from the days of eternity, possessing in himself all the plenitude of divine perfection ! Who is he that will harm you, leaning upon your Beloved ? He will shelter you beneath the shadow of his wings. He will hide you in his own pavilion ; and who shall ever enter in there, to pluck you forth? Well might the apostle, in contemplating the indissoluble nature of this glorious union, challenge death and life, angels, principalities, and powers, to sever the members from their exalted Head. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? — shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword ? ay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books

2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=970

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