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to be the object of such a development, and the close of such a magnificent construction as that which we have before our eyes every day; and let that be the fullest evidence that man was created in the image of his God.”

We cordially welcome such coadjutors, laboring in their own peculiar sphere. The man of science must deal in demonstration. He convinces, he impresses, no further than he makes men see with their own eyes. The teacher of Christ's gospel stands on different ground. He deals in authority ; not human, but divine; not to enforce what he believes, but what God asserts; not to wait for assent, but to insist on the declarations of God as worthy of unhesitating belief. Hence the two must labor in different spheres, and in different manners. But their labors are consentaneous ; and, conducted in the right spirit, the teachings of science will greatly aid the teachings of religion.


By this term the old divines meant to express a fact of great prominence and importance in the system of redemption. It is a term which has called forth much opposition. But, unfortunately, from exaggerated statement on the one side, and misapprehension on the other, the lines of separation and antagonism are not rightly drawn.

In regard to Christ's righteousness, the essential revealed fact is, that he acted and suffered under such an arrangement, that he invests each believer in him with all the benefits which righteously, and by agreement with his Father, can accrue from his actions and sufferings. This is the essential fact. It admits of indefinite speculation and explanation as to its mode. One says, Christ represents us before the law, and before the mercy of the Godhead. Another says, Christ paid our debt. One confines his substitutional acts and sufferings to the elect; another regards them as available for all men. One sets down both his obedience and his sufferings to the account of the elect; another confines the atonement to his sufferings. These persons all use the phrase, “the imputed righteousness of Christ,” without any impropriety, though they use it in different senses.

Without entering upon the points unsettled among evangelical believers, we would present a practical view, of vital importance to their comfort and growth. It might, perhaps, be called Identification, rather than Imputation. The exhibition of it pervades the later discourses of our Lord, and the writings of his apostles.

When he says, “ I am the Vine, ye are the branches," he presents it by a figure. So when he is called the Head, and his church the Body; a vital and permanent union is described by a strong figure. Those expressions do not necessarily involve a declaration of any thing more than a temporary intimacy and dependence. As a father may properly call himself the head of his family, without meaning to express more than a relation of dependence and support, temporary in its duration, and limited in its nature. But when the whole breadth of scriptural instruction on this point is examined, it will shew that the word Imputation, in its strongest sense, is too feeble to declare the whole truth.

The mystery begins in the Incarnation, of which the Scriptures speak in these strong phrases ; “ The word became flesh;” “ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.”

6 Son of man is thenceforward to be one title of the Son of God. He has now entered the rank of humanity, not to lose or to degrade his divine nature ; not to occupy permanently a grade as low as that of any, even the highest of our race; but to be identified with us all in a most peculiar sense ; and with his church, and individual believers, in a still more intimate way. The great fact to which we refer, may, perhaps, be thus stated ; Christ is not only one of our race in the possession of a true humanity, but he is so identified with us, that all his qualities, possessions, acts, and sufferings are representative and generic, as well as personal and specific. To the world at large they are so, as available or possible benefits. To the church as a body, they are so to the full extent of investing her with power, permanence, purity, and life as eternal as that of her Lord. To the individual believer they are so, to the fullest extent of his necessities, his unworthiness, and his weakness.

One striking specimen of his identification with our race is seen in the quotation of the eighth Psalm, by Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews. No one can question, as he reads the Psalm, whether it refers to man, to the race of man, as being a little lower than the angels, and having dominion over the beasts. But

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in the New Testament, it is referred to Jesus without explanation, or any indication of a change in its application. “He was made under the law," not for his own sake, but for man's sake. was made sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” “ He bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” In him the race is so represented, that for his sake it has been spared from the avenging stroke of justice for thousands of years. In him every blessing comes to man. If the race were not viewed in reference to his person, mediation, and sacrifice, there could be no token of favor from a righteous God, no proposal of pardon and reconciliation. Now this may be called Imputation ; or any other term that may be considered preferable ; or no name, nor even any attention, be given to it; but it remains a most prominent fact in regard to man, that Christ is in a wonderful manner so identified with our race, as to secure to us all temporal blessings, and the offer of all spiritual and eternal good.

But it is his union with the believer, that brings most fully to view this wonderful identification. We call it Identification, not that we would bring in this term permanently to express this truth, for it does so very imperfectly. But it comes nearer to the glorious reality, as we suppose, than Imputation or Representation does.

The union which we have with the Son of God is such, that all we have, of which we would be divested, and from which we would be delivered, he assumes ; and all to which we are exposed, is transferred to him. It is such, too, that all he has, which can in any way avail for us, is ours. Have we guilt and its consequent curse? “He is made sin for us ; " He is made a curse for us." Are we doomed to death ? He dies in our stead. Is the cup of wrath mingled for us? He drinks it. Has the law a fiery and deadly shaft uplifted against our hearts? He stands before us, and catches it in his own naked breast. Are we reproached ? He counts himself reproached. Are we injured, neglected, loved, or treated with kindness? It is all done to him ; and in the great day of judgment, he will fully set forth this identification of himself with his people. So, on the other hand; “ All things are yours.” Ye have received the bread of life, and it avails for your nourishment and eternal good. “He is head over all things to his church." “Because I live, ye shall live also.” “I am the vine, ye are the branches." Such are the more general forms in which this fact is set forth. VOL. III.

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The more particular statements are of this character. look to his glorious attributes, they are all the believers', to the fullest extent to which they can avail themselves of them. As examples. His power is theirs, so that they can say: “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress." His wisdom is theirs; it is exercised as really and as fully for them, as if it were their own. His dominion is theirs. “ He is Head over all things to the Church ; » not for his own glory alone, but also to his Church. Hence he says, that they shall sit on thrones with him in his kingdom. He stands so related to the Holy Spirit, that he can send forth that blessed agent and author of sanctification and consolation. But that power is so given to his people, that they can receive it in fullest measures, according to their necessities. Nay, his very life itself is theirs, as implied in the declaration, “ Because I live, ye shall live also." “ Your life is hid with Christ in God." "He is our life.” Now all this is something infinitely beyond the relation of a father to a child, or any other human relation. It is more, even, than the relation of Creator to creature. Imputation, or representation, seems hardly strong enough to express it. It includes them and much more.

The Son of God became the Son of man. But there was more in it, than merely incarnation. “ He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh;

took on him the seed of Abraham." But there were more peculiarities in that mystery than its miraculous mode, its mysterious blending the human and divine; more than the separation of that man from all others by the elevation of an immaculate nature. There was also such an entering into our condition, such an identification of himself with man, that his sacrifice is as if we had been sacrificed. We can offer it as our own to the justice of God, to the law, to conscience, to the great accuser. All that merit of obedience, of unsullied purity of heart and life, of unreserved consecration to the Father's glory; all that agonizing and ignominious death is ours, to offer as the ground of our forgiveness. Jesus is “ thus the Lord our righteousness."

So too when we pray in faith, it is as though he prayed; and when he prays, it is as though we prayed. Such are the wonderful representations of the Scripture on this subject. We, too, are said to have died with him, to be crucified and buried with

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him; and to have risen with him. His resurrection was not

; merely personal, it was also official and representative. In his resurrection, we rose. In his triumph over death, and sin, and Satan, we triumphed. His being in heaven is virtually as our being there.

If there be any objection to the theological terms Imputation, Transfer, and Federal Representation, it is not, that they are too strong, but too feeble. They do not embrace all the fulness of Scripture teaching conveyed by the expression, “In Christ.” As in these examples : “ there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus ; ” “ accepted in the beloved ; " " of him are ye in Christ Jesus ;' “ to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ;” “ Christ in you;” “ the dead in Christ shall rise first.”

"" The terms Transfer, Imputation, and Representation ascribe the appropriation of Christ's merits and mediation to us who believe ; but they separate his person and his attributes too far from us, and leave us at last out of Christ, and not " in Christ."

The term we have employed, being liable to perversion and misapprehension, it is not to be recommended very decidedly. And yet we suppose that, in the range of human observation, there is no exhibition of identification, so full and varied and glorious as this. Believers are feeble just here. On this point, so contrary to all the deductions of natural reason, to all the teachings of philosophy, and to many forms of our wicked disposition, there should be “ line upon line, and precept upon precept.” To understand fully the Scripture doctrine on this subject, to believe and accept it with an affectionate heart, every day and every hour, will make a strong, happy, holy, useful Christian. To be weak, and uncertain, and negligent there, is to keep the branch from a full and vital connection with the parent tree. “ Christ is all in all.” To know him, is life eternal. A large portion of the church appears yet to be in what the old divines used to call “ a legal state,” in opposition to the exercise of a full, evangelical faith. Or as has been quaintly said: Christians are lingering in the seventh chapter of Romans, and seem reluctant to pass over into the eighth, in their own experience. The bridge to cross this gulf, is faith that gives up to Christ our sins, our sorrows, our guilt, our weakness, our evil hearts, our enemies, and our fears; and takes in their stead, him and his sacrifice, his righteousness and power, his mediation and his victories.

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