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not; as they who are endowed with worldly riches will be rich incidentally, whether they work or not. Never theless, as these can carry none of their incidental riches with them into another world, so neither can those who do not work, their incidental righteousness, nor any thing but their constituent acts. While of others, who make the righteousness of Christ their own, by working the works of God, or believing on him whom He hath sent (John vi. 29), we may say, with the voice from Heaven, “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord ... that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev. xiv. 13). “And that thou, Lord, art merciful: for Thou rewardest erery man according to his work” (Ps. lxii. 12). The principle alone from which this character is derived, will make us righteous whether we work or not; but with such a principle we cannot help working, if only life and opportunity be given us. Thus the green fruit of righteousness is ours as well as the ripe: and on the other hand, that which is borne in us by a Christian spirit, will be as much the righteousness of Christ, as that which he bears without us: and again, the imputation of one is as necessary, to make it ours, or assign its benefit to us, as the imputation of the other.

Imputed righteousness is something like what we mean by“ taking the will for the deed” in an intended kindness from one man to another; only with greater force as applying to the goodness of God: who takes not only the will for the deed, but the principle itself for the will which would thereby be determined to good works, if opportunity should permit: that principle being Christ; on whose account only all is accepted from first to last, and whether in will or deed. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation (says the apostle) to them which are in Christ Jesus; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ... And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin ; but the spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. viii. 1, 10).

But we cannot give a clearer illustration of this subject of imputed righteousness than is afforded to us in the eminent example of Abraham: who was justified (as St. James observes) by works in offering his son Isaac upon the altar; though he did not consummate his offering in deed, but only in will, which was taken for the deed. And by this means (as St. James continues) the scripture was fulfilled which saith, “ Abraham believed God; and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God” (Jam. ii. 23). And if Abraham had not had time to will such an offering after its injunction, or had not so much as had it enjoined him, he would still have enjoyed the benefit of that original offering in Christ of which Abraham's was but a shadow, decreed long before Abraham was (John viii. 58), even from the beginning—“ of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. xiii. 8). “ And (subsequently) being found in fashion as a man; he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. ii. 8). For this offering of Christ would be as much Abraham's as his own offering of Isaac; since they both proceeded from the same principle of which he had the happiness to partake. And so Abraham's intention was fulfilled, though differently from what he intended or ever could intend: Christ was his lamb, and the cross his altar; but the piety of Abraham which would not suffer even the presence of servile witnesses at his intended sacrifice (Gen. xxii. 5) would have been shocked, to see his real atonement offered like a malefactor between two thieves, and in a more thievish presence!

And, to apply this example; the offering of Christ is as imputable to others as to Abraham, if they can sacrifice their own inclinations to the will of God, as Abraham did. For Christ his principle is equally a principle of obedience to all who serve God, and make his will the measure of their own; and when he

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but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John v. 30), he speaks in every Christian as he did in Abraham ; his obedience is equally imputable to them and so is theirs to him. But our righteousness is nothing, and worse than nothing; it is really sin, if we do it as of ourselves, or of our own will, and not of the will of God. This is a perfection of righteousness for which we are indebted to the Christian dispensation. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out !” (Rom. xi. 33.) In his kingdom the greatness of the effect produced by any instrument is not so much to be considered as knowledge and consent, making what we regard as a sense of duty. Great effects may be wrought by means of irrational, mute, or even inanimate and very transient subjects, greater perchance than are often produced by the instrumentality of human beings under his direction who “maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flaming fire” (Ps. civ. 4); “ Fire and hail, snow and vapours, wind and storm fulfilling his word” (Ib. cxlviii. 8)— agents like these under his direction will be too hard sometimes for human intellect: but neither such things, nor any personal instruments either, without excepting the cleverest politician that ever pacified or embroiled a state, will rank so high in the universal kingdom as a poor faithful servant who knows his Master's will, and humbly endeavours as far as he can to fulfil it; who does what he can expressly and intentionally for the good of the service as his lord, or hers, if a woman, shall direct-like the poor widow with her two mites for example (Mark xii. 42). By intentionally shaping our actions to the designs of Providence and concurring in the prosecution of these designs, we become rather more than its instruments; we are more like ministers, friends and allies; and acquire a dignity that is not natural to us, being covered with the shadow of the divine Majesty. But further than that, or

the good they do the doer by the credit of his good intentions, our best performances may be, and generally are, very unimportant.

It is a very high and enviable privilege, if rightly uns. derstood, to be allowed to cooperate directly in the gracious designs of Providence: for indirectly all things are made to serve them, as formerly remarked. And all who wear the livery of righteousness, being holy as He is holy (Pet. I. i. 16), be they high or low, will bid fair to enjoy this privilege. In other respects the beasts of the field, impelled by instinct, fulfil their respective obligations as well as we, and often better : but it may be presumed, they want the motive that sanctions and enhances our efforts ; they want that luminous principle, that enlightened obedience : which is imputed to the followers of Christ. This is the real righteousness, the living righteousness, the righteousness of faith ; and all other is but dead works. For the meaning of dead works is not confined to mere ceremonial observances or positive institutions like some of Mosaic origin; but will include every moral action likewise among Christians that is not virtually performed in obedience to the will of God revealed by Jesus Christ. “For whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. xiv. 23). “ Surely then, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength. Even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory” (Isai. xlv. 24, 25). “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jer. xxiii. 5, 6). “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou. shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; and their righteousness is of me saith the Lord”

(Isai. liv. 17). And if its present definition has run into other topics of the kingdom, and especially into some of a very high import, the same could not well be avoided. Let us now proceed from the general subject of righteousness or from the general collection of good objective characteristics towards its different sorts of particulars: the order in which these particulars should be enumerated being marked for us by the order of objects in nature ; as for example: 1. God, its Author; 2. Man, its principal constituent, with whatever it may be necessary and possible to observe of either : the good objective characteristics which relate to the former as their object being all comprehended under the term Religion ; or more properly, Godliness; and those relating to the latter under that of Virtue, or more properly of Morality; while a third more general expression is found to comprehend , them both, being that of Righteousness just defined.

It is like enumerating the heads of a prolific family, when we come to reckon up all the heads of righteousness. And what a family it is for quality as well as multitude ! It is like the seed of " Abraham, as the stars of the heaven and as the sand that is upon the sea-shore” (Gen. xxii. 17) in this respect; while it also rivals the stars in glory. Therefore, to trace however succinctly this fair collection of characteristics will not be an easy task, although our route is indicated by the course of the subject, still ascending, as hitherto, from lower to higher, from outer to inner, from the circumference of the kingdom to its centre. And so postponing the first mentioned class of objective characteristics relating to God, which is called Godliness, for the present, we begin with the class relating to man, which is called Morality as aforesaid, and among all its contents with those founded on incidentals; such as 1; honour and honesty in acquiring and keeping; with 2, bounty, hospitality, &c. in communicating ; 3, content and moderation in retaining; 4, frugality and economy in enjoying; and 5, neatness, &c. in adorning with a portion of the same. Considering these in succession.

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