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self, but that he communicates his Righteousness unto ur. In the foregoing Verse he is describ'd by his Power, reigning as a King -, and likewise by his Justice, executing Judgment and Justice upon Earth: both these are against us, who by our Sins and Offences have render'd our selves obnoxious to both, being liable to be crufb'd by his Power, and condemn'd by his Justice. But the Name here given, the Lord our Righteousness, affords Help and Comfort to us in this Extremity: for tho we have no Righteousness of our own to plead, and so must be found guilty at the Bar of Divine Justice; yet having Christ's Righteousness apply'd and imparted to us, and so made ours, we may plead it as our own, and are thereby found innocent and clear'd at that Tribunal; yea, not only so, but we shall be justify ,d and found righteous, by virtue of his Righteousness imputed to us. So the Apostle tells us, He is made unto us Wisdom and Righteousness, and Sanclification and Redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30.. The word Righteousness implies, that he hath in all respects fatisfy'd the Law, and appeas'd Divine Justice, by doing all that the Law requir'd, and suffering all that the Law inflicted on the Breakers of it: but then the word OUR being added to it, frying, the Lord OUR Righteousness, signify'd, that all that he did and suffer'd by way of Satisfaction to Divine Justice, was in our stead, and for our fake ; and so we are justify'd by his Righteousness made ours, as a Debtor is releas'd upon his. Surety's paying the Debt. So St. Paul speaks, God made him to be Sin for us, who knew no Sin, that we might be mada the Righteousness of God in him; 2 Cor. 5. 21. By this means JMercy and Truth are met together, Righteousness and Peace have kifs'd each other: Pfal. 85.10. which made St. Paul challenge all our Ghostly Enemies, faying, Who shall lay any thing to the Charge of God's Elect? it is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth I Rom. 8. And all this by Christ's being made the Lord our Righteousness j where 'tis express'd (as a Father hath observ'd) not in the Concrete, but in the Abstract, which very much heightens the signification: for 'tis not sufficient to fay, he is righteous, and makes us so, but he is Righteousness it self, and hath made ut the Righteousness of God in him. And what can the Wit qf Man devise, or the Heart of Man desire more comfortable, than to have the Son of God and his Righteousness de our?? by which we appear not only righteous before God, but even Righteousness it self: which shews the Sense and Reason of this Name, The Lord our Righteousness.
To all which the Prophet adds or infers one memorable Passage more, in these words: Therefore behold the Days come, saith the Lord, that they /hall no more fay, The Lord liveth, who brought up the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt j but the Lord liveth, who brought up, and who led the Seed of the House of Israel out of the North Country, and from all Countries whither I had driven them, and they stall dwell in their own Land. Where God declares, that he will be no more call'd their Deliverer out of Egypt, because he would vouchfafe them a greater Deliverance from Babylon; that he would rescue them from Captivity, and the Miseries they endur'd in other Countries, and restore them fafely to their own Land: which Deliverance was a Type or Emblem of a far greater Deliverance from more deadly Enemies, even from Sin and Satan, from Death and Hell, and restoring us to a better, that is a heavenly Country: All which things are signify'd by the name here given to the Messias, The Lord our Righteousness.
This is the Substance of this Prophecy appointed for this Day's Epistle j the Use that we are to make of it is,
1. To confirm us in the Truth of Christ's Messiahfbip, in whom all the Titles, Promises and Predictions of the Messiah do so plainly concenter and agree.
2. If Christ be a King reigning and executing Judgment and Justice upon Earth, then let us learn to obey and submit to him, and to the Powers set up and ordain'd by him, for 'tis by him that Kings reign, ana Princes decree Justice. He it is that gives them their Commission, and 'tis his Authority by which they act; and therefore the Apostles bid us, to be subject not only for Wrath, but for Consctence-sake; and to submit to every Ordinance of Man for the Lord's sake, whose Deputies and Vicegerents they are.
3. From his bringing Salvation to Israel and Judah, let us endeavour to have a share in it, and to rely upon it ., for there is no Salvation in any other.
4. From his being the Lord our Righteousness, we learn where we are to seek for Justification, viz* not from any inherent Righteousness of our own, for that is nothing, or 'worse than nothing, and cannot abide the Trial ; but by the Righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and by Faith m him made ours. Abraham believ'd in Christ, and it was
counted counted to him for Righteousness: and to them that follow the Faith of Abraham, is the fame Righteousness imputed also, as we read, Rom. 4. 'Twas the Pride of the Phari~ fees to trust too much to their own Righteousness, and to expect Justification by the Merit of their own Works; but the poor Publican, that trusted only to God's Mercy, was justify'd far before them: The reason whereof is given, that they being ignorant of Christ's Righteousness, and going about to establish their own, submitted not to the Righteousness of God, and so lost all the Benefit of it; Rom. 10.3. And therefore St. Paul defir'd to be found in Christ, not having on his own Righteousness, but to be cloth'd with his, which alone could cover the multitude of his Sins.
Lastly, From his being call'd, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, let us learn to honour and rejoice in this Name, faying with the Pfalmist, Nat unto m, but to thy Name be all the Glory; praying with him, Lord, deal thou with ui according to thy Name; that is, forgive us , our Sins, and justify us by thy Righteousness, as thou usest to do to them that love thy Name: To which be all Praise and Glory.
The G o s p E L for the Five and Twentieth Sunday after Trinity,
St. John vi. 5 -15.
Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias, and a great Multitude foSow'd him, because they saw his Miracles which they did on them that were diseased: And Jesus went up into a Mountain, and there fat with his Disciples, &c.
IN this Gospel for the Day, we have Christ's Miracle of the Loaves, with the Occasion leading to it, and the Conclusion which the People drew from it. The Account of it begins ver. 1. with Jefm's going over the Sea of Galilee, so call'd, tho in trnth it was no other than the Lake of Gennesareth; a Lake of about a hundred Furlongs in length, and forty in breadth, in the lower Galilee ., call'd also the Sea of Tiberias, from a City of that Name, situate upon the Banks of it. Being past over that Sea or Lake, great Multitudes follow d and flock'd to him, drawn by the Fame of his Miracles, and the fight of the wonder sal Cures he did upon them that were diseas'd: And indeed so able and cheap a Physician could never want Followers, who resorted to him from all Parts.
The Place where Jesta went, was up into a Mountain, or a Defart Place belonging to the City of Bethsaida, as we read, Luke 9.10. There his Disciples found him, and there he staid a while, and sat down with them, imparting many things to them, and instructing them in the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. For the time when this was done, it was a little before the Feast of the Passover; for the next words tell us, that the Passover, a Feast of the Jews, was nigh. This was let down not only to denote the Circumstance of Time, but because, as some tell us, our Saviour took occasion from thence to speak of their feeding
upon upon the true Lamb of God that was slain for the Sins of the World, sigur'd by the Paschal Lamb, and by his holy and heavenly Discourses to prepare them for it.
In this mountainous and defart Place they remain'd awhile, far from any House or Home; where the Provisions they brought with them being spent, and no other Recruits or Refreshment being there to be had, they began to be in no small Distress; which our Saviour mercifully considers, and miraculously reliev'd: for when Jesus lift up his Eyes, and saw a great Company come to him, he had Companion upon them, and bethought of making some Provision for them, for many of them came from far j calling therefore Philip to him, he faith unto him, Whence stall we buy Breads that these may eat? or where shall we have Mony to buy Subsistence enough for so great a Multitude? This he spake., not out os any Diffidence or Apprehension os Difficulty in the Case, but only to prove him, that is, to try the Strength of Philip's Faith, whether he had any lively Sense or Belief of his Divine Power and Ability to help them, and whether he had Compassion enough to move in their behalf, and to desire Relief for them in such a time of Need. This was the end of Christ's faying this to him, not to receive any Information or Assistance from him, for he himself knew what he would do , he knew well enough how to provide for them, and was resolv'd to do so.
But what was Philip's Answer to him? Why, distrustful enoughfor Philip answer d him, two hundred Pennyworth of Bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little: meaning, that they had neither Mony nor Provisions enough for half that Company, that each may have any tolerable Refreshment. Andrew, Simon Peter's Brother's Answer, tho one of his own Disciples, was not much better : for he saith unto him, there is a Lad here, which hath five Barley Loaves and two small Fishes; hut what are they among so many? The Sense whereof is, that the best shift we can make amounts to a very slender Pittance, and we are in no way or place to furnish out any more •, and therefore 'twere better to dismiss the Multitude, and fend them away, than be troubled with the Cry and Importunity of their Wants. But Jesus took little or no notice of the distrustful Discourse of his Disciples, having another and better way to make them sensible of their Errors and therefore bid his Disciples to make the Men fit dawn, and to place them so in Ranks, that they might be the fitter