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the law, that the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise: Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven ? that is, to bring Christ down from above; or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring Christ again from the dead: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach; that, if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed,” Rom. x. 4--11.
Thus Moses preaches' up an imputed righteousness; speaks of the faith and confession of it, and bears witness to it; 'and, if he disapproves of the riguteousness of faith, he is against his own testimony, and is no longer worthy the name of a faithful servant, because he finds fault of his Lord and master's righteousness: but that be far from Moses, for “ iš the law against the promise of God? God forbid,” Gal. iii. 21.
Moses himself was not justified by works in the sight of God any more than we are; hence he is enrolled among the believers. We all know that Moses killed the Egyptian, which was enough to condemn him for ever by his own law:' he had no other shelter from the avenging sword of justice than the blood of Christ: “Through faith Moses kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the first-born should touch them,” Heb. xi. 28. By faith
Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; for he had respect unto the recompence of reward,” Heb. xi. 24, 25, 26. What, reward was that? why the reward promised 'to Abraham; it could be no other. And did Moses expect that reward by works? No; “for if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise,” Gal. iii. 18. For the promise, that Abraham should be “the heir of the world, was not to him, or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For, if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect; because the law worketh wrath.
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed," Rom. iv. 13-16.
Thus you see we have made shift to bring e, en Moses himself on our side of the question, and we have done right; for it was not the legal works of Moses that God commends, but his faith:.“Moses is faithful in my house." And it was to the comfort of Moses, as well as to us, that the Lord proclaimed his name before him: “ The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin,” Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7.
The way that Moses found access to God, was by faith in a Mediator; and to free grace revealed he found access : " And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken; for thou hast
found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name, " Exod. xxxiii. 17. Moses is a sworn enemy to selfrighteousness, and preaches it down as much as Christ, his master, did in his days; shewing plainly that there is no entering into rest by that, nor for that: “Speak not thou in thine heart [here he condemns the thought of it] after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land,” Deut. ix. 4. Again, “ Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart, dost thou go to possess their land,” ver. 5. And again, “ Understand, therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people,” ver. 6. If the thought of meriting an earthly inheritance be condemned, what shall we say of them who not only think, but boast of meriting an eternal inheritance by their own righteousness ?
Ahimaaz. God bless thee, my brother, thou hast cleared that point up to my satisfaction. I see clearly that the righteousness of Christ is that in which all the elect stand justified before God; it is witnessed both by the law and the prophets; and as for the gospel, that reveals no other: “ I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed,” Rom. i. 17. And to find Moses himself justified by the righteousness of faith is a very comfortable thought to me. I see clearly that the law can never find fault with the Saviour's righteousness, which is upon every believer; nor can it demand a better, nor condemn or curse the man that has laid hold of it; for, as the scripture saith,
" He that believeth is justified freely from all things.” How safe
then is the poor sinner under this robe! “ Blessed is the man whose iniquity is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Yea, the Saviour himself declares that “he that believeth is passed from death unto life, and shall never come into condemnation.” And Paul speaks the same thing: “ There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” Rom. viii. 1.
Thus I see that a soul stands just in the presence of God, and in the light of the law, by faith in an imputed righteousness; which Paul calls the obedience of the Saviour: “ Even so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous," Rom. v. 19. Yea, all the elect; for “ In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory,” Isa. xlv. 25. And we are for ever justified in the eye of Justice by faith in the Redeemer's blood; and consequently justice can never demand of the believer the penal sum, which is eternal death; for“God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” Rom. v. 8, 9. Thus I see that we stand just before the law by faith in the Saviour's obedience; and just in the sevenfold eye of justice by faith in the Saviour's blood; and, if so, “ we are justified freely from all things, from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses,” Acts xiii. 39. But I have heard people, and even divines, say that our sins .will appear at the day of judgment, though we are pardoned: I wish you would rectify this matter. I am come to you as the queen of Sheba did to Solomon, “ to prove your wisdom with hard questions,” i Kings x. 1.
Cushi. For my part, I hope ever to go by what
God says in his word, not by what men say; and God says of every believer, that he is complete in Christ the head, Col. ii. 10. . And that he will not impute their trespasses unto them, 2 Cor. v. 19. That he will cast all their sins into the sea, Micah vii. 19. That he will remember them no more, Jer. xxxi. 34. That he sees no sin in Jacob, nor perverseness in Israel, Numb. xxiii. 21. And again, “ In those days, and in that time, saith the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve,” Jer. 1. 20. If I owed a man fifty pounds, and a surety stepped forth and paid that sum, is not the debt cancelled ? Is not the book discharged? And have I not got the bill and receipt in full of all demands in my pocket? And would it not be an unkind, before every company-an unjust act in such a creditor to be perpetually producing that old debt to my view; would it not be contemptuous ? And what credit could such an one get by so doing ? Would not the book itself, being discharged, condemn his folly? And who but a novice would charge the Judge of all the earth with this ? God blesses every poor sinner that believes in his dear Son. Justice says, “ I am faithful and just to forgive your sin, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” Moses is content. And Christ says, “ Thou art all fair, there is no spot in thee," Song iv. 7.
Ahimaaz. But some say that it will be done to magnify the grace of God, and to shew how grace hath pardoned the greatest of sins.
Cushi. Justice does not demand this, nor require it, in all the Bible: besides, it would admit of that