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would be sanctified in all who approached His courts. And this wall of partition, which consisted of the works of the law, was well adapted to show this purpose and end. Dividing between Jew and Gentile, it constituted the difference between the circumcision and the uncircumcision-between a people in covenant with God and in whom God was sanctified, and a people without God and strangers from the covenants of promise—between a Jew by nature, and a sinner of the Gentiles. But, to be truly a Jew, obedience to this law was absolutely necessary; as saith the apostle—“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision." But when the blood of the everlasting covenant was shed, a ransom for all-even the blood of the Lamb of God-of which the shedding of blood under the law was typical—then this wall of partition fell to the ground. It had served the purpose for which it was ordained, and was no longer of use, when “the body of its shadows,” even Christ, had come. For the shadows of the night passed away before the dawn of that glorious day, and the shedding of Christ's blood prevailed to sanctify all flesh; so that henceforth no man may be called common or unclean. Now the gospel is preached, " and the Spirit and the Bride say come; and let him that heareth say come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The waters of baptism are open to all, who, hearing of that blood shed for the remission of sins, come to them in faith; and as many as come, are by one Spirit baptized into one body, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus. In this mystical body of Christ, “there is made of twain (Jew and Gentile) one new man,” in which “ the old things under the law pass away, and all things become new.”
In conclusion—It is one God that justifieth the circumcision by faith (that is, immediately through the intervention and instrumentality of the law, as the teacher of the faith to the Jew, and the rule of his life), and the uncircumcision through faith (that is, immediately through the preaching and hearing of faith, and without the instrumentality of the works of the law, or other similar mode of teaching). “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith,” without law; yet not without law to God, but under law to Christ—even that law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus which has set us free from the law of sin and death.
Thus we see, in every dispensation, that the righteousness in which men have stood accepted before God has proceeded immediately from God; whether it be the righteousness of the flesh, such as belonged to Adam before the fall-or whether it be the righteousness of the Jew under the law, or the righteousness of the Spirit under the gospel. For there is a righteousness of the flesh with an earthly glory, and there is a righteousness of the Spirit with a heavenly glory: and both alike proceed from God; and the righteousness of the latter exceeds in glory that of the former, even as the Spirit is above the
flesh. Therefore, to be a partaker of this righteousness, it is not only necessary that men should be converted to God—they must be born again of water and of the Spirit, as our Lord solemnly declared to Nicodemus, who was a master in Israel, and of the sect of the Pharisees—“ Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” We are made partakers of the righteousness of God through our union with Christ, by the Holy Ghost, in baptism—“ even the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Jesus Christ, which is unto all and upon all that believe.” God looks upon us in His Son, being united to Him, and one with Him. It is in this sense that baptism is said to confer remission of sins—“ One baptism for the remission of sins”-because we are therein united to Christ, and stand accepted before God in the all-perfect righteousness of His Son. Thus it is written by the prophet Jeremiah—“This is His name, whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”* Blessed are they who are thus walking by faith in Him. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “And not only so, but we joy in God through Him, by whom we have received the atonement.” And this righteousness, be it remembered, is not merely imputed to us, as a sort of outward clothing, covering our nakedness; but we are also made inwardly righteous. The ten commandments, which were written on tables of stone under the law, are now, under the gospel, written upon the fleshly tables of our heart by the Spirit of the living God. The law is fulfilled in us ; we walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, * and we love God with all our heart, and soul, and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves—yea, the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth, and we walk in that new commandment of love, which biddeth us to love our brother, even as Christ loved us. We reflect His image and show forth His glory, even the glory of the only-begotten of the Father: He, the Son of God—we, sons of God through Him. Oh! what glory is thisthat we should be delivered, not only from the condemnation of sin, but from its power and dominion—that we should be made partakers of Christ's righteousness by the Spirit, and be conformed unto His imagethat we should receive grace to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, and to keep the commandments of Jesus—that new commandment of love which embraceth the whole law; for love is the fulfilling the law. Such is the righteousness of the Church of Christ--one with Christ her Lord united to Him by one Spirit-and one with Him in heart and mind. And herein are the children of God manifested—“ He that doeth righteousness, is righteous even as Christ is righteous.” Of this purity of heart and mind—of this union and oneness with Christ, as forming the grand characteristic of Christ's Church, and in the light of which restured Israel shall walk, did the prophet Jeremiah
* Jer. xxiii. 6.
speak, saying, “ This is the name whereby she shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. This is our calling. We are responsible unto God for this. But how far do we come short of it! How have we Christians forgotten this, our high and holy calling! How many care not to keep their garments unspotted from the world, or to walk according to Christ Jesus ! How many have forgotten the covenant of God, made with them in their baptism, and their confirmation vows, and the grace conferred upon them in the laying on of hands! How little is the body of Christ discerned! How few feed upon the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as they ought! Therefore, they live not His life; and cease not from their own works, that they may do the works of God. They are ready enough to follow their own fancies and the desires of their own minds, but not so ready to fulfil the will of God; and, therefore, are they also blinded, and know not the truth as it is in Jesus, even like as the Jews were blinded through not continuing in the works of the law. And hence, too, will this dispensation end like theirs--in apostasy! And we may truly adopt the language of the apostle, and say—“ Though the baptized be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved, for the Lord will cut his work short in righteousness !” But on apostate Christendom will fall judgments far heavier than those that fell on Judea, because of the greater condemnation !+ There are also those that will be saved, yet so as by fire.” Though they have rested on Christ, they have not
* Jer. xxxiii, 16. + H eb. x 28, 29.