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tainly ought to be dearest to men ; but among all, as there is none perhaps more just, so may there be none that bears a more grateful allusion than one responding to “The Lord our Righteousness,” which is the Sun of Righteousness above mentioned; a title that has been prophetically applied to the Subject, and with historical precision; being founded on a divine relation that makes him not only righteous in himself, but righteousness also in others. For any man may be righteous to whom the Lord shall send or impute righteousness, that is righteous objectively : but he, as God and Lord on one side, is a sun, or rather The Sun or Source of righteousness to all who are righteous; in the same manner as another sun may be the sun or source of warmth to all who are warmed by his beams. And as the sun is a principal medium of light and warmth to all this nether world; so Christ shines forth above the sun in his Father's glory (Matt. xvi. 27); all our perfections whether moral or intellectual being only so many scattered rays reflected on us by this SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: which has a far more glorious effect in the grace it diffuses every way through heaven and earth, than the stars in the firmament (Dan. xii. 3), though it would be a dismal creation, if the same could exist, without them; and, in a lower respect, like the creation without his enlivening grace. For it was by shining and not by seclusion during his earthly residence, that he appeared to be the Christ or anointed of God: and as he had different kinds of evidence to prove this title against different pretenders; as truth against magic, wisdom against cunning, gentleness, and humility against wild ambition, and intrinsic worth with incidental poverty against constituent poverty and titled insignificance,-so likewise against all the retired hierarchs of East, West, or South-by shining openly to the glory of God, as he bids his disciples (Matt. v. 16), and enabling them also to shine by him.
-17, For if the disciples called him their Lord, or if he called himself their “ Master and Lord” (John xiii. 13), it was not on account of the lording it over them, nor on account of any temporal advantage whatever that he pretended to; but on account of his spiritual sovereignty and general protection, as hereafter signified. .
--18, Also as Judge and Pardoner, two other sovereign characters, our True Lord and Master possessed a very different authority from that which appears in the common rate either of judging or forgiving. And whereas these offices are but partially implied in other titles, in that of our Lord and Master their inference is unlimited with respect both to duration and extent, as of one who had power both to inflict, and either to enforce or remit, the heavier spiritual penalty, as well as the corporeal; and the future, as well as the present. For it was as easy with him to say to the sick of the palsy,“ Son, be of good cheer: thy sins be forgiven thee” as it was to say, “ Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house ” (Matt. ix. 2, 6): and the supercilious, self-forgiving Pharisees would have done better every one of them to ask himself,“ Who is this that forgiveth sins also ?” than to ask One who had power on earthto forgive sins; and no earthly call to forgive himself.
-19, Those two titles or authorities, one competent to acquit or condemn only upon trial, and the other to pardon or reverse its sentence, are so opposite, that they may seem incompatible; and how much more so, two others arising from these, which are the titles of Troubler and Pacifier ! But still they are also applicable; and no wonder, since the logos or description of the subject is full of incompatibilities, as will more clearly appear the more we consider the same. Thus, to read one of his sayings one would suppose, that there was to be no more peace in all the earth after his appearance in one corner of it. “Think not, that I am come to send peace on earth : (said he) I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her motherin-law; and a man's foes shall be they of his own house
hold” (Matt. X. 34-36). One should not think this a way to make peace among men: and if he says again, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Ib. v. 9), it would not seem by his own confession, as if he was one of them; on the contrary he would rather seem to be setting every man in Israel against other-like the confusion predicted of Egypt (Isai. xix. 2), but which has not been peculiar to that divided state : and, what may seem worst of all; he is equally remarkable, for setting every man against himself. Yet we hear him in conclusion, after creating all this division and tumult, accosting those who were so troubled with angelic suavity, and inviting them to repose. “ Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Says he) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. xi. 28-30). And true enough it is, as we find by experience-THAT IN HIM WE MIGHT HAVE PEACE (John xvi. 33), when all the tumult and division that he has been raising both around and within us appear to have been no more than was necessary for separating the good from the evil, and the spirit from the earth; as wine is separated from the lees.
For every man, or if not every man, yet most men have some good motions or ingredients shed into their hearts, some that would be happy for themselves and those around them, were they not opposed by others, from which a pacifier of the soul is to release and purify them : and the Master or Prime Pacifier especially. “But who may abide the day of his coming ? and who shall stand when he appeareth ?” (Mal. iii. 2.) He is the only effectual Pacifier, if he be a Troubler too. It is very well said in a speechi imputed by the historian to some heathen statesman or warrior, We do not go to war, that we may be always at strife! but, that we may have peace : and if ever the saying was justified in any case, it must be in this. We do not suffer either our ancient Modes or our Indolence to be troubled at this rate for nothing.
-20, But to make a peacemaker will require something above the ordinary rate of combatants, as just intimated; being also a Victor, a Champion, a successful Vindicator of the oppressed: all which the subject will be in perfection; as not only the Pardoner, but the Vanquisher of sin, and our Champion and Vindicator against this formidable enemy; the Clearer and Reformer, as well as the Excuser of guilt. It seems as if in the different reviews of our Saviour's character a sufficient stress has not often been, if it ever was, laid on his memorable victory over sin, and consequently over death ; one demonstrated by the candid history of his life, the other by that of his most precious death, and glorious resurrection. So he is made to say of himself and his people in prophecy, “ I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: 0 death, I will be thy plagues; O GRAVE, I WILL BE THY DESTRUCTION” (Hos. xiii. 14).
-21, One hardly knows where to stop, when agreeably enumerating the excellent and highly merited titles of the subject, being the Second Mediate, or First Minister of his heavenly Father's kingdom now under consideration ; so that dwelling .continually on his more common titles one hazards the opportunity of doing even that justice that one otherwise might to his more proper name and notion ; yet another example or two of that common sort in decreasing proportion will still deserve to be mentioned ; as Saviour for one, not so common an epithet as any of the foregoing, perhaps, except Christ or Messiah. And if it be more common in its general application as meaning 6 to save,” yet will the term be here as properly applied as either of these, and as frequently almost as Christ the last mentioned and most popular of the two; particularly with Our prefixed, to restrain its signification, and confine it to its Object. And this name has also another equivalent in
Redeemer : but whether we regard the Subject in this light or that, namely as our Saviour or our Redeemer, it will be similarly on two accounts in either case ; being mediate and final,—the first by example and atonement, to make way for pardon and improvement; the second by teaching, convincing, reforming, and otherwise ministering for “them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. i. 14), to apply his example to their lives, and his atonement to their deaths. All which considered, it may well be said, that there is not in this name nor in all the preceding enumeration any sense that is more grateful than just in use ; being more than we can say for every name. But the names of the Subject that have been mentioned hitherto are only like the title placed before a book to signify its contents: so are
-22, Other surnames of his relating to both God and man ; as Priest, Mediator, Intercessor, and Propitiator, with some more figurative and indefinite of the same order or signification; as the Lamb of God; the Gift of God, &c.; and these—not empty names either, but just and significant; each name being accompanied with its proper notion, and that too with the deserving of the object of each, which as just observed, is more than we often find by proper names; so improperly are they often bestowed. The subject's title for the mediatorial and priestly name and character especially, he has proved in every respect :
=l, In respect of the two grand requisites, charity and innocence, as St. Paul observes. “For we have not (says he) an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; but, which was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. iv. 15). And who can think without a feeling of love and veneration of an innocent man himself pleading, as if his own life depended on it, not the vindication of the accused, but the pardon of convicted sinners ? Only in the notion or mental representation of a sincere person like Abraham pleading for