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THE MERIT OF CHRIST. Jesus Christ has become to us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption.
[1st Corinthians,, 1st chap., 30th ver. Christ our Wisdom.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (St. John, Ist, Chap.] Jesus was therefore mysteriously and incomprehensibly, One with the Father froin all eternity. By him were the heavens ordained and the foundations of the earth laid, and the light spoke into being; the waters divided and the dry land made to appear; clothed with verdure, the herb yielding seed, and the tree yielding fruit after his kind; the Sun, Moon and Stars placed in the fimanent; the Sun to rule the day, and the Moon and Stars to give light by night; the seas he filled with fish, and created birds to fly in the air in the midst of heaven, and also the beast after his kind, and the cattle aster their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth, after his kind;"beholding these things God in his wisdom, pronounced them all good. Then God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” in His image therefore, created he him, and gave him dominion over all the fishes of the sea, fowls of the air, and beasts of the field, and every living thing that creepeth upon the earth. God formed a help-meet to the man whom he had formed from the dust of the earth, and into whom he breathed the breath of life, so that he became a living soul, and he brought every living thing on the face of the earth to be named by him, and Adam
distinguished them by different appellations to the entire approbation of his Father, who deemed it right that their names should so remain. In whose wisdom did Adam thus perfectly name the living creation? Certainly in the wisdow of Christ. For being the first and only human being upon the face of the whole earth he could have had no visible instructor, and to have been prompted by an apostate spirit he would have faltered in his stupendous task, and could not possibly have pleased God. It is therefore self-evident that the Holy Ghost was his instructor, proceeding from the Father and the Son, through the Mystic Trinity. In Christ's wisdom then did he act.
After this God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and while he slept, he opened his side and took therefrom a rib and formed it into a partner for the man, and brought her to him, whom Adam, in the aforesaid wisdom, called Woman, being bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh, being taken out of man; and God placed them both into the garden of Eden and gave them permission to eat of every tree therein, save the one in the midst of the garden, of the knowledge of good and evil-now they were perfect, innocent, and holy, and walked with God in wisdom and through their obedience every thing went on well, until the devil, that arch apostate, who had previously fallen from an Augel's exalted state in heaven, and consequently brought upon himself the wrath of God, and he together with all the rebellious spirits under him, were cast out from the presence of the blessed and Holy God, into the earth, where they are held in chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day, when the wrath of Almighty God shall be more fully revealed against him, with all his ungodly followers and after having been judged by Saints and Angels, and heard their sentence pronounced by Jesus Christ, the Judge, will be all immediately cast into hell, to be tormented with fire and brimstone forever and ever.
This foul spirit being exasperated at his expulsion from
heaven, and an impossibility of returning thither, set to work to destroy the innocence, peace and happiness of this holy pair, and through his subtlety, entered the serpent--which was more cunning than any other of the creatures which God created on all the earth, and by a tact of lying-of which he is the Father, and wisdom of deception, he induced them to take and persuaded them to eat of the forbidden fruit, the consequence was their immediate fall from the holiness of God and his wisdom, into ignorance and corruption of soul and body. The anger of God was kindled against them and they were driven out of Paradise, to obtain a living by their own hands, and to eat their bread by the sweat of their brow. But God, who is love, had pity and compassion upon them, and provided a remedy, that through Christ they and their seed might again return to him, be restored to his holy image, and walk with him in wisdom and holiness.
They now knew good from evil-that there was a wisdom that is from God, and one so called, that is from the devil; and their hearts were hardened. God saw that iniquity grew upon them, and he therefore framed and gave laws to them, that were "holy, just and good," and commandments that were also good ; that by the observing of these, they might live together in peace, and end their course with joy, and return to his, our Father's home and rest.
But, O! how recklessly and depraved have men lived since then, in all ages of the world. In putting aside the wisdom of God; they have hewn out cisterns ; broken cisterns that can hold no water; their foolish hearts were darkened, and their delight was in the inventions of Satan, which all lead to destruction and death, and the endless torments of hell; and how applicable is this to the present generation! God at first created man upright, but they have sought out many inventions; but in the face of this from the godly wise-men, to justity themselves, and quiet their consciences, many of the fools say in their hearts" there is no God;" can it be possible that they are so hardened and blinded by ignorance and Sa. tan, that they cannot see the finger of God in every thing
teeming with life around them; their own bodies, bones and muscles; fibres, tendons and nerves, &c.; the curiously wrought ear and eye; the blood circulating through the system to sustain the whole; and by beholding over their heads the stupendous expanse of glittering luminaries; the wonderful and sublime arch of suns, moons, and blazing stars, circuinvolving in their course with such beautiful harmony and nice exactness—can they really not behold in all these things, superior wisdom to their own ; stand astonished, and exclaim with the child that was shut up in a dark dungeon until manhood, “who has placed those things there ?" and be informed through the inspired page, and instructed by those who are in the wisdom of Christ, of the true source from whence every blessing emanates, and be convinced of the fallaciousness of their reasoning, and utter grouudlessness of their wisdom-for this wisdom is not of God, but is earthly, sensual and devilish, and the wretched and unchangeable state their infidelity will finally bring them to, if they are not arrested in their madness, and persuaded from their delusion, and converted unto God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. " But the bible and our preaching is to them that perish foolishnes; to us that are saved, the power of God and the wisdom of God." “ For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. " Where is the wise? where is the scribe ? where is the disputer of this world ? has not God made foolishness the wisdom of this world ?" " For after that in the wisdom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” [1st Cor. Ist Chap. verses 19, 20, and 21.] Be ye therefore constrained by one who loves your souls no longer to live in darkness, vanity, and the foolishness of this world; but be as honest to yourselves, as the Corinthians to whom St. Paul preached; Many also of them which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men." [Acts, 19c. 19v.] Thus they showed to the
world that their views were changed and they dreaded the awful consequences of a life spent in vice and iniquity, and henceforth they would walk in the righteousness and wisdom of God. C! that every singer would go and do likewise. “For the fear of the Lord that is wisdom; and to depart from ini. quity that is understanding.” Christ our Righteousness.
It is very deplorable to know that thousands, yea millions of those that have the name of being christians, and that belong to some visible church on earth, among whom are many ministers, are utterly at variance with this great grace and blessing, and are going about to estabilsh in the face of it, their own righteousness; every one in his respective calling; preaching, going to church, alms deeds, and in many different ways; they arrogate to themselves praise far above that which is due to unregenerate persons, because they do these things with eye service and not to the glory of God, and then assume much comfort and ease, and on the strength of these things think themselves at liberty to indulge even in gross sins-building on a slippery foundation, while fiery, billows roll beneath; erect a fabric that may be blown away almost by a breath. What need of a Saviour if men can their own souls in their respective ways?—the impossibility of which will however appear to every candid, reflecting mind as God is the source of every good and perfect gift, by consequence Salvation, that great blessing is from him, and Christ through his obedience, merit and righteousness has become the Saviour, and where his righteousness is not imputed, there is no salvation and men remain still in their sins.
“ The Lord our righteousnesss," from Jeremiah, 23d ch. 6th ver., comports with this part of our subject; the inspired writer while predicting the coming of our blessed Saviour, honors him with the preceeding title, and instructs his hearers and the world in the way of Salvation; all the redeemed from all nations, through all ages are saved through the merit of his blood, through his righteousness; all other righteousness is but as filthy rags, but where that of Christ is imputed