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Poetry.

GOD THE ONLY REFUGE. The Friend of sinners heard my cry, When threatening dangers darkly veil

On wings of love he flew; The Christian's plain yet narrow way;

Compassion beaming in his eye, And wavering courage seems to fail,

And formed my heart anew. Recoiling at the dread array:

Remembering, as in ages past,
O whence shall hope and comfort spring, The covenant of his grace,
If not from mercy's holiest King. One look-a glance of love-he cast,
When deep temptation seeks to tear

And filled my mouth with praise.
The faithful heart it could not bend; Now gratitude my heart inspires,
And fain would check the humble pray’r I feel the kindling fame;
It whispers to its only friend;

Lend me your harps, angelic choirs,
Oh! whence shall faith and courage My Jesus to proclaim!

spring,
If not from heav'n's unchanging King.
Oh! then to Him your Saviour fly,

PENITENCE.- Zech. xii. 10.
Nor trust the snares of sin abhorred,
He proffers aid, then still rely,

Flow on, my tears, in copious rills,
Nor earth nor hell can change that word, Flow from my inmost heart,
They never sink who firmly cling The pangs my lab’ring bosom feels,
For help to their almighty King.

No language can impart.
He ne'er deserts his chosen race,

Still, still, the dreadful scene I view;
Though fear and doubt a while enslave; The prince Messiah slain!
And those who trust bis helping grace, I see, methinks, the murderous crew
Find grace is ever strong to save.

Exulting in his pain!
From its pure font shall comfort spring,

I see him hang, his arms spread wide, To those who trust their heav'nly King.

With thorns his temples crowned, For he has said, when storms affright, While from his wounds a crimsom tide And floods in wild confusion roll;

Bedews the parched ground ! In wee, in death's severer night,

O why, thou bleeding Lamb of God!
He will support the faithful soul.

These bitter agonies ?
From him, that aid they seek shall spring; Why dost thou shed that sacred blood
A parent, yet a mighty King.

And close those dying eyes?
And when the dim and closing eye,

Was it for me, that purple stream The quivering lip, the shattered frame

Flowed down th' accursed tree? When the keen pang and deep drawn sigh | And didst thou bear my guilt and shame, The quick approach of death proclaim,

And groan and die for me?
They soar on faith's prophetic wing,
To God their father and their King.

Then to thy cross will I look up,
In that dread hour-how weak the strong, There will I fix my trembling hope,

Thou spotless sacrifice !
How doubly weak the earthly proud :

For there my refuge lies. To those alone shall hope belong,

JUVENILIA. Who trust a Saviour's dying blood. Yes-they are his—to him shall spring Their friend, their father, and their King.

AQUILA.

BEAUTY MUST FADE!

Beware-oh! let not beauty's blush, GRATITUDE.- Psal. cxxxvi. 230. Let not the sparkling eye deceive ! O! for a spark of heavenly fire,

They are but lures, life's hopes to crush A flame of sacred love,

Quicker the web of death they weave. Then should my gratitude aspire,

Come view this sad and lonely spotTo strains like those above.

Here pause-nor check the rising sighBiest be his name-for ever blest,

What ashes mingle here forgot ? Who saw my low estate;

They have their voice-Thou too must die ! When late, with conscious guilt opprest, Ah! listen to this mournful taleI sank beneath its weight.

The eye that sparkled starry bright, 'Twas then, with timid trembling feet, Lies here--how dim!-tbat cheek-how Filled with desponding fears,

pale! I ventured near the mercy-seat,

That once gave rapture to the sight! To pour out cries and tears,

W.F.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE

NEW EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,

AND

Theological Review.

SEPTEMBER, 1815.

ON THE MERITORIOUS GROUND OF JUSTIFICATION. DIVINES have distinguished the of his own sin: but it is altogether obedience of Christ into active inconclusive when applied to the and passive. By his active obe death of the Just One voluntarily dience they mean the perfect con- suffering for the unjust in obedience fornity of his heart and life in this to the commandment of his heaworld to the precepts of the moral venly Father. This certainly was law. By his passive obedience they the highest act of obedience or intend his sufferings, and particu- righteousness that can possibly be larly his death.

conceived. Though this distinction be some- In following out the above prinwhat inaccurate, since Christ was ciple, they proceed to deny that not merely passive, but voluntary sinners are justified by the death and active in laying down his life, of Christ, in direct opposition to (John x. 17, 18.) otherwise it could the plain testimony of Scripture. not be considered as obedience at (See Isa. liii. 11. Rom. iii. 24, 25. all; yet I do not object so much v. 9. viii. 32. 2 Cor. v. 21. Gal. ii. to the distinction itself, as to the 21.) They reason thus, “ If his use which is made of it to support suffering the penal sanction of the a train of reasoning very opposite law was not righteousness, it canto what I apprehend to be the not with any propriety be said that doctrine of Scripture upon this he is made righteousness to us by importarst subject.

placing his suffering and death to Some assume it as a self-evident our account, but only by imputing principle, that obedience or righ- that to us which was his righteousteousness is essentially different ness, viz. his active obedience to from suffering punishment, and ar- the preceptive part of the law.” gue, That as obedience includes Ibid. p. 8. not suffering penalty; so suffering But if Christ's death is not righpunishment includes not righteous- teousness, and does not justify us, ness. "* Thus they exclude Christ's I ask, what is the use or design of death from being any part of his it at all? In forming an answer to obedience, and absolutely deny this they are obliged to distinguish that it can be considered as righ- justification from the remission of teousness at all. Such reasoning sins. Justification, say they, is a may indeed apply to the death of positive act; it is the imputation a criminal suffering the punishment of righteousness; but pardon is a

* See Mr. Brine's Sermon on the imputation of Christ's active obedience to his people, p.7. Many other authors might be quoted to the same purpose. YOL, I.

2 L

negative act, or a mere non-impu- It is not enough that we hold all tation of sin; which two acts do the articles of the christian faith not include each other, but proceed in some sense or other. We must upon different grounds; the former enter into the scripture ideas of upon Christ's active obedience, the them, and consider their proper latter upon his death. Ibid. p. 8. place and connection in the geneYet it is remarkable, that the ral system of divine truth, with the apostle Paul, who handles this particular ends which the word of subject most accurately, finds the God assigns to each. Every thing positive act of imputing righte- that Christ did both in his life and ousness included in what they term death was of vast importance in its the negative act of forgiving or place, and in relation to the great not imputing sin; see Rom. iv. ends of his mission; but yet every 6.-9. from which it appears that thing he did had not the same parhe was unacquainted with the mo- ticular end, nor the same direct dern scholastic distinctions upon and immediate influence in prothis subject.

curing justification that his death But though we were to admit bad, though subservient to that this unscriptural distinction, it af- end. What I intend on this imfords no answer to the question ; portant subject will fall under the for if Christ's death were not righ- following propositions with their teousness or obedience, as is al- scripture proofs : ledged, then it must necessarily I. That justification consists in follow, that it has nothing of merit the remission of sins, and acceptor moral worth in it; and how, in ance into a state of favour with that case, could it possibly pro- God. cure even the non-imputation of II. That the direct and immesin, or be a sufficient ransom price diate procuring cause of justificato redeem an innumerable multitude tion is the death of Christ, or his unto God, as the Scriptures affirm? atoning blood, which was shed on Matt. xx. 28. 1 Tim. ii. 6. Rev. v. 9. earth, and presented to God in the

There are indeed many who do heavenly sanctuary. not carry matters quite so far. III. That Christ's perfect conThey admit that justification in- formity to the moral law, or the cludes both the non-imputation of spotless holiness of his heart and sin and the imputation of righte- life while in this world, was absoousness; and also acknowledge that lutely necessary to our justification, Christ's death may be considered as contributing to the merit and as part of his righteousness or efficacy of his sacrifice and priestobedience: but then they lay the hood. Having proved the truth of chief stress upon what they term these propositions, I shall take his active obedience to the precepts notice of some objections. of the law throughout his life, I. That justification consists in which they consider as the main the remission of sins, and acceptthing the apostle intends by his ance into a state of favour with obedience whereby many are made God. righteous, in Rom. v. 19. though The term justification or justify, the same apostle in the preceding is used in Scripture in a judicial context declares, that we or forensic sense, and signifies to justified or-made righteous by his make one just or righteous, not by blood, ver. 9. and in 2 Cor. v. 21. an infusion of inherent righteousthat it is by Christ's being made ness, but by an acquittal in judg. sin (i. e. a sin-offering) for us, that ment. But there are two ways of we are made the righteousness of justifying or acquitting in judg. God in him, i. e. justified. ment: If the person is innocent or

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