« ZurückWeiter »
238 The Pilgrims set out, conducted by Great-heart.
Then said the Interpreter again to the damsel that waited upon the women, “Go into the Westry, and fetch out garments for these people :’ So she went and fetched out white raiment, and laid it down before him : so he commanded them to put it on : it was “fine linen, white and clean.” When the women were thus adorned, they seemed to be a terror one to the other; for that they could not see that glory each one in herself, which they could see in each other. Now therefore they began to esteem each other better than themselves. ‘For you are fairer than I am,” said one ; and, ‘You are more comely than I am,” said another. The children also stood amazed, to see into what fashion they were brought. (e)
Thé Interpreter then called for a man-servant of his, one Great-heart, and bid him take a sword, and helmet, and shield ; “and take these my daughters,’ said he, ‘conduct them to the house called Beautiful, at which place they will rest next.” (f) So he took his weapons and went before them ; and the Interpreter said, ‘God speed.” Those also that belonged to the family sent them away with many a good wish. So they went on their way, and sang—
“This place has been our second stage,
(e) The Pilgrims are supposed to have been justified on their admission at the Gate; the Interpreter is the emblem of the Holy Spirit; and the raiment here mentioned rendered those who were adormed with it comely in the eyes of their companions. We cannot, therefore, with propriety explain it to signify the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer, but the renewal of the soul to holiness; for this alone in its effects is visible to the eyes of men. They, who have put on this raiment, are also “clothed with humility :" so that they readily perceive the excellencies of other believers, but cannot discern their own, except when they look in the glass of God's word. At the same time they become very observant of their own defects, and severe in animadverting on them, but proportionally candid to their brethren : and thus they learn the hard lesson of “esteeming others better. than themselves.”
(f) The stated pastoral care of a vigilant minister, who is strong in faith, and courageous in the cause of God, is represented by the conductor of the Pilgrims. We shall Irave repeated opportunities of showing, how desirous the author was to recommend this advantage to his readers, to excite them to be thankful for it, and to avail themselves of it when gro ciously afforded them, ..ow
They come to the Cross and the Sepulchre. 239
The butcher, garden, and the field, The robin and his bait, Also the rotten tree doth yield Me argument of weight; To move me for to watch and pray, To strive to be sincere ; To take my cross up day by day, And serve the Lord with fear. Now I saw in my dream, that those went on, and Greatheart before them; so they went and came to the place where Christian's burden fell off his back, and tumbled into a Sepulchre.” Here then they made a pause; here also they blessed God. Now, said Christiana, it comes to my mind what was said to us at the Gate, to wit, that we should have pardon by word and deed; by word, that is, % the promise; by deed, to wit, in the way it was obtained. What the promise is, of that I know something : but what it is to have pardon by deed, or in the way that it was obtained, Mr. Great-heart, I suppose you know ; which, if you please, let us hear o discourse thereof. Gr.-H. Pardon by the deed done, is pardon obtained by some one for another that hath need thereof; not by the person pardoned, but in ‘the way,” saith another, ‘in which I have obtained it.”—So then, (to speak to the question more at large,) the pardon that you and Mercy, and these boys, have attained by another; to wit, by him that let you in at that Gate; and he hath obtained it in this double way; he hath performed righteousness to cover you, and spilt blood to wash you in. Chr. }. if he parts with his righteousness to us, what will he have for himself? Gr.-H. He has more righteousness than you have need of, or than he needeth himself. Chr. Pray make that appear. Gr.-H. With all my heart: but first I must premise, that he, of whom we are now about to speak, is one that has not his fellow. He has two natures in one Person, plain to be distinguished, impossible to be divided. Unto each of these natures a righteousness belongeth, and each righteousness is essential to that nature. So that one may as easily cause the natures to be extinct, as to separate its justice or righteousness from it. Of these righteousnesses, therefore, we are not made partakers, so that they, or any of them, should be
240 The Righteousness of Christ. * }. upon us, that we might be made just, and live thereby.
esides these, there is a righteousness which this Person has, as these two natures are joined in one. And this is not the righteousness of the Godhead, as distinguished from the manhood; nor the righteousness of the manhood, as distinguishcd from the Goshead ; but a righteousness which standeth in the union of both natures, and may properly be called the righteousness that is essential to his being prepared of God to the capacity of the mediatory office, which he was entrusted with. If he parts with his first righteousness, he parts with his Godhead : if he parts with his second righteousness, he
parts with the purity of his manhood ; if he parts with his'
third, he parts with that perfection which capacitates him to the office of mediation. H. has therefore another righteousness, which standeth in performance, or obedience to a revealed will : and that is what he puts upon sinners, and that by which their sins are covered. Wherefore he saith, “As by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so b the obedience of one, shall many be made righteous.” Chr. But are the other righteousnesses of no use to us? Gr.-H. Yes : for though they are essential to his natures and office, and cannot be communicated unto another, yet it is by virtue of them that the righteousness that justifies is for that purpose efficacious. The righteousness of his Godhead #. virtue to his obedience ; the righteousness of his manlood giveth capability to his obedience to justify; and the righteousness that standethin the union of these two natures to his office, giveth authority to that righteousness to do the work for which it was ordained. o So then here is a righteousness that Christ, as God, has no need of ; for he is God without it; here is a righteousness that Christ, as man, has no need of to make him so, for he is perfect man without it; again, here is a righteousness that Christ, as God-man, has no need of, for he is perfectly so without it. Here then is a righteousness that Christ, as God, and as God-man, has no need of, with reference to himself, and therefore he can spare it; a justifying righteousness, , that he for himself wanteth not, and therefore giveth it away. Hence it is called “the gist of righteousness.”f—This righteousness, since Christ Jesus the Lord has made himself un-, tler the law, must be given away ; for the law doth not only bind him that is under it, to do justly, but to use charity. * Rom. v. 19. t Rom. v. 17.
Redemption by the blood of Christ. 241:
Wherefore he must, or ought by the law, if he hath two coats, to give one to him that has none. Now ouri ordinated hath two coats, one for himself, and one to spare : wherefore he freely bestows one upon those that have none, And thus, Christiana and Mercy, and the rest of you that are here, doth your pardon come by deed, or by the work of another man. Your Lord Christ is he that worked, and hath given away what he wrought for, to the next poor beggar he meets. But again, in order to pardon by deed, there must something be paid to God as a price, as well as something prepared to cover us withal. Sin has delivered us up to the just course of a righteous law : now from this course we must be
ustified by way of redemption, a price being paid for the }. we have done; and this is by the blood of your Lord, who came and stood in your place and stead, and died your death for your transgressions. Thus has he ransomed you from your transgressions, by blood, and covered your polluted and deformed souls with righteousness;* for the sake of which, God passeth by you, and will not hurt you, when he comes to judge the world. (g)
* Rom. viii. 34. Gal. iii. 13.
(g) This discourse, on ‘Pardon by the deed done, confirms the interpretation that hath been given of the Cross, and of Christian's deliverance from his burden.—The doctrine is, however, here stated in a manner to which some may object, and indeed it is needlessly systematical and rather obscure. By ‘the righteousness of Christ, as God, his essential divine attributes of justice and holiness must be intended. “His righteousness, as Man, denotes his human nature as free from all the defilement of sin. ‘The righteousness of his person, as he hath the two natures joined in one, can only mean the perfection of his mysterious person in all respects: and lis capacity of acting as our Surety, by doing and suffering in our nature all that was requisite, while his divine nature stamped an infinite value on his obedience unto death.-The eternal Word, the only begotten Son of God was under no obligation to assume our nature; and when he had seen good to assume it, he was not bound to live a number of years here on earth, obedient to the law, both in its criemonial and moral requirements, amidst hardships, sufferings, and temptations of every kind ; except, as he had undertaken to be our Surety. In this sense he himself bad no need of that righteousness which he finished for our justification. And assuredly he was under no obligation, as a perfectly holy man, to suffer any thing, much less to submit to the violent, torturing, and ignominious death upon the cross. That part of his obedience, which consisted in enduring agony, and pain in body and soul, was only needful, as he bare our sins, and gave himself a sacrifice to God for us. Indeed, his righteousness is not the less his own, by being imputed to us: for believers are considered as one with him, and thus “made the righteousness of God in him,” and we are justified in virtue of this unior. He was able by his temporal sust, rings and death to pay our debt, and ranson our inheritance; thus delivering us from eternal misery which else had been inevitable, and bringing us to cteriual life which had otherwise been unattainable; and the law of love, to which as
242 Happy effects of looking to the Cross. Chr. This is brave : now I see that there was somethin to be learned by our being pardoned by word and .# Good Mercy, let us labour to keep this in mind ; and m children, do you remember it also. —But, Sir, was not this it that made my good Christian's burden fall from off his sloulder, and that made him give three leaps for joy P Gr.-H. Yes, it was the belief of this that cut off those strings, that could not be cut by other means; and it was to give him a proof of the virtue of this, that he was suffered to carry his burden to the Cross. Chr. I thought so ; for though my heart was lightful and joyous before, yet it is ten times more lightsome and joyous now. And I am persuaded by what islave felt, (though I have felt but little as yet,) that if the most burdened man in the world was here, and did see and believe as I now do, it would make his heart the more merry and blithe. Gr.-H. There is not only comfort, and the ease of a burden brought to us, by the sight and consideration of these; but an endeared affection begot in us by it : for who can (if he does but once think that pardon comes not only by promise, but thus,) but be affected with the way and means of redemption, and so with the man that hath wrought it for him! Chr. True : methinks it makes my heart bleed to think, that he should bleed for me. Oh! thou loving One ! Oh! thou blessed One ! Thou deservest to have me; thou hast bought me; thou deservest to have me all ; thou hast paid for me ten thousand times more than I am worth !—No marvel that this made the water stand in my husband's eyes, and that it made him trudge so ninbly on : I am persuaded he wished me with him : but, vile wretch that I was . I let him come all alone. ... O Mercy, that thy father and mother were here; yea, and Mrs. Timorous also : nay, I wish now with all my heart, that here was Madam Wanton too. Surely, surely, their hearts would be affected; nor could the fear of the one, nor the powerful lusts of the other, prevail with them to go home again, and refuse to become good Pilgrims. (h) a man he became subject, required him to do this ; for if we “loved our neighbour as oursolves,” we should be willing to submit to any inferior loss, hardship, or suffering, to reseue an enemy or stranger from a greater and more durable misery, which he has no other way of escaping ; or to secure to him a more valuable and permanent advantage, which can no otherwise be obtained. (h) When believers, in the warmth of their affections,’ feel the humbling, melting, enwearing, and sanctifying effects of contemplating the glory of the Cross, and the love of