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far from being denounced as wrong in Scripture, it is the great design of the gospel to meet and to satisfy. The object in the general is not wrong -though it is very possible that we may go miserably astray, by looking for it in a wrong direction. It is by looking for it in ourselves that we err so grievously, when we should look unto Jesus Christ, and say, in the words of the Prophet, “In the Lord have I righteousness." The errand upon which he came, was to bring a righteousness into the world, that each sinner who would, might lay hold of as his sacred and available plea for admittance nto heaven. This is the righteousness that God hath ordained as the channel of approach, by which even the worst of transgressors may draw nigh; of which they are all invited to make confident mention in their prayers for acceptance; and on account of which God stands pledged to accept and to reward them accordingly. In the New Testament it is called the righteousness of God. It is not because of our desire for a righteousness that we are on the wrong path to heaven ; but because, instead of submitting to this righteousness of God, we seek to establish one of our own. In a word, it is self-righteousness that is the great stumbling-block in our way. It is the vain enterprise of working an adequate and a satisfying merit out of our own obedience. It is challenging the inspection of our almighty Lawgiver, on a heart that has deeply revolted against him, and on a history deformed by transgressions innumerable—and bidding him look thereupon with complacency. It is labouring to arrive at rest by means of a degraded
law, brought down to the standard of our own weak and worthless compliances and without homage to the purity and the unchangeableness of Heaven's government,—it is arrogating the rewards of heaven for our own polluted righteousness, as being in itself good enough for God. Now this is the tendency of nature against which the gospel hath set itself--not to thwart our demand for a righteousness, but to lay in the dust all confidence in a righteousness of our own,-and after having asserted the prerogatives of an outraged law, by laying the whole burden of its atonement and obedience on Him who hath suffered in our stead, and in our stead hath fulfilled all righteousness; to make open proclamation to our world, that all are welcome unto God that now there is a way of access unto him, even for the most grievous of offenders --but that this way is, and must be, under the cover of the great Mediatorship. You will breathe a new air, you will break forth on a scene of freedom and enlargement; all will be light, and love, and liberty, the moment that you can say, with the concurrence of your faith, “In the Lord have I righteousness :” and, feeling that nothing else will avail for Heaven's approbation, you can join the apostle in his sentiment, that, for the meritorious favour of God, I desire to count as nothing my own services: I desire and am determined “to know nothing else save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
We know of no Treatise better fitted to banish the legal spirit, or to dispossess the mind of its natural tendencies to establish a righteousness of our own, than the excellent LETTERS of Mr RoMAINE which we have given in the present selection. The Letters were all addressed to friends, for whose spiritual welfare the author cherished a deep interest ; and they were therefore designed to communicate comfort, or counsel, or direction; for resolving the doubts, or relieving the perplexities to which the Christian is exposed. To dissipate these doubts and perplexities, which he well knew originated most frequently in a self-righteous spirit, he continually directs their believing view to Jesus Christ. And well knowing that the manifestations of the love and grace of our heavenly Father, revealed to the soul by the blessed Saviour, could alone dispel the fears and the jealousies of nature, his constant aim was to point their eye, and direct their steps, to “the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world.” And thus, by the simple reliance of faith on the all-sufficient atonementand perfect righteousness of Christ, he directed them to find that peace and hope which could alone sustain their souls in the serenity of their confidence towards God, and to obtain those spiritual communications of grace, which could alone nourish the divine life within them, and carry them forward in a progressive course of sanctification and holiness, to render them meet for heaven. Richly experiencing these consolations and hopes in his own soul, and knowing the alone source from whence they were derived, the doctrine of the cross became the subject of his constant meditation, and the name of Jesus the much-loved theme on which he delighted to expatiate. Amidst all his difficulties and perplexities, his confidence was stayed with the assurance that “the Lord reigneth ;” and, by judging Him faithful who had promised, he maintained in his soul a rejoicing hope of eternal life, through his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It was thus that he maintained a perennial and unfading communion with God—that he daily and habitually rejoiced in the light of his reconciled countenance—that his gratitude and love were sustained in a strong and invariable glow-and that his sanctification and holiness were promoted. And no one can peruse the following Letters, without perceiving that the doctrines of free grace are doctrines according to godliness——that they serve no less to aliment the love and the obedience, than the peace and the joy of the believer--and that justification by faith in the Saviour's righteousness alone, forms not only the surest ground of hope, but the best security for an humble and holy devotedness of life to God.
TREATISE ON THE FAITH AND INFLUENCE
BY THE REV. ARCHIBALD HALL,
It is remarkable, that our Saviour, after foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and giving the assurance that He will speedily come to avenge His elect, makes this solemn and awakening inquiry : “ Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth ?” We cannot so far dive into the unrevealed secrets of prophecy, as to affirm how much, or how little, of analogy there is between the destruction of Jerusalem and the final dissolution of our world. It is impossible, in reading the woes and denunciations of our Saviour upon this subject, to rid ourselves of the impression, that there is a general resemblance between these two events. Both of them are described under the figure of the coming of the Son of man. At both of them there is a work of vengeance to be done, and a fell manifestation given of God's wrath against the finally and obstinately impenitent. In both an old economy is entirely swept away, and a new order of things emerges from the ruins