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gospel,

faith of Christ; that they might know Him, and the
power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His
sufferings, and be made conformable unto His death.
It is to this great distinction between the righteous-
ness of man under the law and under the
that I now desire to direct your attention, which dis-
tinction, I trust the following brief remarks will clearly
prove to you, setting before you at the same time
the exceeding greatness of your high calling in Christ
Jesus ; and may it be your constant aim and earnest
prayer to walk therein, even in the righteousness
of God's Son, by the Spirit; so that there may be
unto you no condemnation, but that God may be
glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the
grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fallen man, delivered from the prospect of that misery which was at once the consequence and pe- : nalty of his disobedience, by the promisethe Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head” -made to him by the mercy of God, and being justified by his faith in receiving it, looked for its sure accomplishment. Nevertheless, he continued not in this state of salvation, but soon forgot God, and became unthankful and unholy. Failing to keep God's charge, and to walk before Him in the righteousness of His holy commandments, he corrupted his ways. The fruits of his forgetfulness are related in the sixth chapter of Genesis, where we read that the sons of God, uniting themselves with the daughters of men, learned their ways and works, and so exceedingly displeased God, that it repented Him that He had made man upon the earth. But He wrought

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for His great name's sake, and Noah found grace in His sight ; and God commissioned him, and sent him to the men of that generation to be a preacher of righteousness, and to warn them of His impending judgments. They, however, repented not of their sin, that they might be saved, but provoked God yet more and more. A small remnant only was saved ; for when the deluge of water came, the whole world, save eight persons, were overwhelmed in one vast destruction. And it is remarkable, that the very waters which destroyed the ungodly, were the means of preserving the righteous : for they bore up

the ark which contained Noah and his family, and every living thing that entered at the command of God. Truly doth St. Peter say—“ The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” After this, God entered into covenant with Noah, engaging that He would no more destroy all flesh, as He had done by a flood, though the siu of man be great upon the earth; and God set His bow in the cloud as a token of the covenant. Again, man, forgetting the judgments of God, and following the devices and desires of his own heart, added sin to sin; so that the very remembrance of His holy name would have ceased from the earth, had not God interposed to save man, and to rescue from oblivion the knowledge of it. For this end, He called Abraham, and gave to him the covenant of circumcision ; and, in process of time, He separated his seed from the surrounding nations, to become a people, and a witness to the truth. Thus did God arrest the further progress of evil, and prevent it from becoming universal, by preserving inviolate the knowledge of His name. From among their tribes also He kept distinct a seed, in whose line Messiah should come. To this people He gave a law, which consisted of two distinct parts, moral and ceremonial ; both of which alike witnessed for God, and together, and not separately, constituted the law. That which was enjoined by the law was called a work of the law; and the several parts of that law were the works of God's hands, being given and framed by Him. It is also said, that this law was added because of transgressions—that is to say, this law was added to the covenant of circuincision because the multiplied transgressions of men had rendered such a step necessary on the part of God, in order to preserve the knowledge of His truth, and to teach His

ways, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. * In this way God so preserved and taught a people, as to put them into a condition of certainly recognizing the Messiah by His works, whenever He should appear amongst them. To these works our Lord appealed when He said — "Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works' sake.”

“ I do not mine own works, but the works of Him that sent me.” And these were the works of God—the works which the Father had given him to do. Of these works they had the witness in their own hands. The advantage which those under the law

* Galat. iii. 19.

possessed consisted chiefly in this—« that to them were committed the oracles of God.”

The moral law was a reprint, as it were, of that image of God, which had been originally written by the finger of God upon the fleshly tables of man's heart, but was now written on tables of stone. The law, being thus written, was a standing witness for God against the sin which had defaced His image in man, and rendered him incapable of being His witness in his fallen state, until that image should be again restored in the person of the Mediator, in whose hands the law was placed: and thus also it became a memorial of God's promise to man, and taught him to look forward to that day, when it should be written upon their hearts by the Spirit of the living God. Whilst the ceremonial law, being rendered a part of the moral law, and, together with it, constituting the whole law, was so framed as to show the people their transgressions and their need of atonement, “it concluded all under sin," and taught, that “without shedding of blood there is no remission :” for it daily pointed, through its repeated sacrifices, to the one great Sacrifice for sin, “THE LAMB OF God."

It moreover taught, that “the just should live by his faith;” and by closing that door against man, by which, in his ignorance, he might have sought acceptance with God, it shut him up to the faith to be revealed. Indeed the moral and ceremonial law was our “schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, who is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Therefore St. Paul says, “ The

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righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.” And when chiding Peter for his temporizing conduct, the same apostle observes, “ We that are Jews by nature (that is, circumcised, and in covenant with God), and not sinners of the Gentiles (that is, uncircumcised, and aliens from the commonwealth of Israel), knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”*

From what has been already advanced, it is obvious that the Jew looked by faith to the Messiah for his justification, and not to his own righteousness; and that his personal righteousness, whilst walking by faith under the law, consisted in “ keeping the works of the law,” viz., the works of the law which God had wrought in that dispensation : for unless he had kept these works he could never have justified his faith before God, seeing that these works belonged to his faith, and were its fruits, and therefore a necessary part of his sanctification therein. Wherefore, when for our sakes the Lord Jesus came under the law, He said on the occasion of His baptism, “ Thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness :" and that this was His witness to the Jews is evident from His saying, “The works that the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me that the Father hath sent me.” Even $0 now, “we (under the gospel) are God's work

* Gal. ii. 15, 16.

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