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transferred, or imputed to the believer; for the church in her exalted situation, or the believer personating the church, says; "He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels " If we examine the sense of the whole chapter, (Isaiah 61,) we shall readily see the sense of the pas sage now quoted. In the former part of this chapter, Christ is clearly brought into view: For "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, says one who is no doubt the Messiah, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek:-to proclaim liberty to the captives; and the opening of the prison to them that are bound:-to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God:-to comfort all that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Here it is evident, that when the Prophet calls the church, the people of God, Trees of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, he speaks in metaphorical language. A good man is compared to a good tree, bringing forth good fruit. He is called a Tree of Righteousness; but when this is the case, his character is expressed by a metaphor. The meaning must be that he brings forth the fruit of righteousness, that is, good fruit. The good tree bringeth forth good fruit. Men are known by their fruit. Trees of righteousness, then, are not only good trees, but they appear beautiful without. And as a garment is an outward covering; so the garment of praise is an outward expression, that the heart is filled with gratitude to God for his wonderful goodness. Trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that he might be glorified, is language expressive of the excellent character, and happy situation of the people of God. God has made thein glorious within and beautiful without, by plant
ing them trees of righteousness, and covering them with the garment of praise. The Lord having done so much for his people, and having expressed it in metaphors, they reply in the same kind of language; "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" God expresses what his church is by these metaphors; Trees of righteousness, the Planting of the Lord. By planting them and making them trees of righteousness, their mouth is filled with praises; saying, God hath clothed us with the garments of salvation, he has covered us with the robe of righteousness. Thus the saints are represented as acknowledging that all their righteousness and blessedness are from God. The saints will be eternally employed, in acknowledging the goodness and grace of God, in making them trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that God may be glorified. The saints being trees bearing the fruit of righteous. ness, will always express the grace of God in their redemption and salvation. Trees full of fruit may be said to be covered with fruit; and if full of the fiuit of righteousness to be covered with righteousness, or with the robe of righteousness. On such trees the Sun of Righteousness will forever shine. Hence the chuch in her heavenly state, is represented by a symbolical woman, clothed with the sun, and crowned with a crown of twelve stars. She is now clothed with the garment of salvation, and covered with the robe of righteousness. She is therefore properly represented by trees of righteousness, trees of the Lord's planting: these trees bare twelve manner of fruit, and yield their fruit every month; and the leaves of such trees will finally heal the nations.
SUFFERING THE WRATH OF GOD NOT ESSENTIAL TO REDEMPTION.
MATTHEW xvi, 21.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the ELDERS and CHIEF PRIESTS, and SCRIBES and be KILLED, and raised again the third day.
Also, MATTHEW iii, 17.
And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, this is loved Son in whom I am well pleased.
5. THE Son of man, in making an atonement for sin, did not suffer the wrath of God. This, in redemption by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot, is not implied. Among all the sufferings of the Son, he never suffered the wrath of the Father.
It is granted that the sufferings of our Saviour were great and manifold. But in ali his trials, and, in the midst of every scene of suffering, he was supported with the clear apprehension that his Father was well pleased with him. "Never did the Father view this Son of his love with greater complacency and delight, than when he was making his soul an offering for sin: And never did he feel" greater tenderness for him, than while enduring the bruise of Satan upon his heel, in the work of redemption. In this work he failed not, neither was he discouraged till he had finished is
upon the cross at mount Calvary. In the accomplishment of this glorious work, he forever secured the love and most cordial approbation of his Father Therefore doth my Father love me," says Jesus, "because I lay down my life." Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered every one to his own, and shall leave me alone,and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me-And he that sent me, is with me: The Father hath not left me alone: for I do always those things which please him." This declaration of Christ was confirmed by a voice_from heaven "THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I A M WELL PLEASED."-Expressions so unreserved, must be considered as absolutely inconsistent with any idea of God's displeasure against him, or even any absence of his Father's smiles.
It is thought by some, that because Christ has delivered us from the curse of the law, that he. therefore endured the curse himself. But could not Christ deliver us from evil without enduring that evil himself? Is this the way to redeem men from sin and suffering? Must the innocent Redeemer suffer the curse due to the transgressor in order to his redemption? If this be the idea of redemption, what then is gained? Is it just and. right? is there any display of wisdom and goodness, in laying suffering upon the innocent, and in letting the guilty go free? If Christ have suffered the wrath of God which is due to the transgressor, how then would it be jest to lay the suffering upon the transgressor also? According to this, justice requires that all sinners be saved for whom Christ died. But the Bible proclamation of redemption is through rich and free grace. Being delivered from the wrath of God, through grace, it follows that the wrath of God was not suffered by Jesus Christ.
Perhaps some will say, that this statement is not correct, that the argument is not valid, it agrees not with Scripture; for, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law," says Paul in his Epistle to the Ga
Jatians, "being made a curse for us" To this I reply: if we attend to the connexion, and to that which led the apostle to this form of expression, being made a curse for us, we shall readily see the meaning of the text. It is granted that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, and that he was made a curse for us; but in what sense was he made a curse for us? This we learn from what follows: For it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." The passage to which the apostle refers, is written in Deuteronomy.* "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God.") Here we see that the man, who had committed a crime for which he was to be put to death by being hanged, was accursed of God. Among the Jews there were many ways of putting criminals to death, but we have no account that any were considered as accursed of God but those who were hanged on a tree. Those then who were put to death by being hanged were accursed of God. The Jews who were the murderers of the Son of God, viewed him as a blasphemer, and worthy of death, even the ignominious death of being hanged upon a tree. And for our redemption from the curse of the law, it was necessary for some good reason, that Christ should submit to death, even the death of the cross, or to be hung upon a tree. Christ always knew what death he should die, and that he might bruise the serpent's head, it was necessary that he should die upon a tree. Hence in a view of the predicted manner in which he must die, "Now," says Christ, "is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth. will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die." This was the manner among the
*Deut. xxi, 22, 23.