The LORD our Righteousness.
And this is the Name wherewith he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.
WHoever is but a little acquaint|ed with the Nature of Man in general, and the Impurity of his own Heart in particu|lar, I am perswaded he must acknowledge that Self-Righteousness is the last Thing that is taken out of the Heart. We are all Arminians, we are all Legalists; nay I may venture to affirm we are all Papists, by Na|ture. It is true indeed, we pretend to dis|claim the Doctrine of Merit; we will not pretend to affirm in so many Words that we deserve any Thing for our Works: But then I believe if we examine our Hearts to the Bottom, we shall find that the most of Peo|ple make Jesus Christ only an imperfect Sa|viour; and tho' they do it not in so many Words, yet as the Apostle expresses it, We go about to establish a particular Righteousness of our own. For indeed it must needs be so Page 4 according to the Nature of Things: being born under a Covenant of Works, it is natural for us to fly to a Covenant of Works again for Salvation, and the Language of every one of our Hearts by Nature is, What shall I do to inherit eternal Life? Tho' when we come to be put to the Trial we can do nothing at all. I am verily perswaded, they that have been wro't upon by God, they that have been un|hinged of Self, and been enabled to lay hold on a naked Christ, have found in their own Hearts what I have said to be true. It is there|fore the Design of the Christian Revelation to point out to us a better Righteousness than our own; it shows that we must be accepted not by Works of Righteousness which we have done, but by the Righteousness of another being imputed to us: Which was intimated to our first Parents immediately after the Fall, for we are told that God made Adam and Eve Coats of Skins▪ Now if Flesh was not allowed to be eaten at that Time, we may in all Probability, nay with a great deal of Confidence affirm, that Sacrifices were made, and that Adam and Eve were cloathed with the Skins of the Beasts that were slain, in Commemoration of the great Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, who there|after was to die an accursed Death upon the Cross; and that as the Skins were put Page 5 upon the naked Bodies of our first Parents, so the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ was hereafter to be put on & applied to their poor naked Souls▪ The Gospel here then was preached to our first Parents; and all the Pro|phets that spoke from that Time to the coming of Jesus Christ in the Flesh, spoke of this Righ|teousness, of an imputed Righteousness; but none more clearly and in express Terms than the Prophet Jeremiah, and in no Place does he speak more explicitly than this we have chosen for the Subject of our present Medi|tation; where he affirms that the Lord Jesus Christ is to be the Lord our Righteousness.
I shall therefore from these Words, as God shall be pleased to give me Freedom & Assist|ance, first, endeavour to explain who you are to understand by the Person here, The Lord. 2dly. I shall endeavour to show you how the Lord is to be our Righteousness. 3dly. I shall endeavour to answer some of the most plausible Objections that are generally bro't against this Doctrine of the Lord's being our Rigteousness. 4ly I shall endeavour to show the Absurdities that will follow from denying this Doctrine. Lastly, Conclude with an Exhortation to all poor Sinners to come, just as they are, in all their Blood, in all their Filth, to Jesus Christ, to lay hold on him by Page 6 Faith, that by an Application of his Righte|ousness to their Hearts, they may be made to cry out, The Lord our Righteousness.
First then, I am to show you who you are to understand by the Person here termed The Lord. And this is his Name wherewith he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. Here then, if Curiosity hath brought any Arminians or Socinians this Morning to hear this Foolishness of Preaching, read the Words of the Text, and be ashamed of your detesta|ble Principles, for the Person here called, The Lord, is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord that made us, & by whose Power all Things do now consist. That it is spoken of Christ, is plain from the Context, it is plain from the very Words going before the Text; says the Prophet in the 5th Verse, Behold, says he, the Days shall come that the Lord will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute Judgment and Justice in the Earth; in his Day Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely. And this is his Name wherewith he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. Now all must certainly agree, and do agree, that the righteous Branch here signifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and he that is called the righteous Branch in the 5th Verse, is called the Lord in the 6th Verse. The Word LordPage 7 in the Original is Jehovah, the incommuni|cable Name of the eternal God himself; and if Jesus be Lord, this says that Jesus Christ must be really, truly and properly God. The Person here then spoken of is Christ, and he is represented as very God, as co-essential, co-equal, and co-eternal with the Father. For indeed if Jesus Christ be not God, my dear Friends, I am sure I should never preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ again. For, what Comfort can a poor convinced Sinner have, what Hope can he have, when he sees the infinite Desert of Sin, unless he sees his Help laid upon one that is Mighty and Almighty? I can never think that an Arian and Socinian can con|tinue such, that have felt the Power of Christ's Blood upon their Soul. They that have felt this Power, I am persuaded, will not speak so light of this dear Redeemer. And I am amazed that Arians should pre|tend to be Men of Sense, and yet broach such an absurd Opinion, that Jesus Christ is a created God. Was there ever such a Contradiction in Terms; a God, and yet created, a God, and yet limited. Arians generally cry out against Popery, butArian|ism is Popery; it is Idolatry to worship the Lord Jesus Christ if he be a Creature, tho' a Creature of the highest Order; it is as Page 8 much Guilt to worship him, as for Papists to worship the Virgin Mary▪ What renders their Worship Idolatry is, because the Vir|gin Mary is a Creature; and if Jesus Christ be a Creature, tho' of the highest Order, it's Idolatry to put up our Prayers to him. As for the Socinians, their Principle, if the Word of God be true, it must condemn them, must damn them for ever; for the Socinians say, that Jesus was only a good Man, and that he died for Sinners to be an Example of suffering patiently. The Socinians do not refuse to call Jesus Christ their Saviour, and yet they make him only a Man; where their own Principles condemn them, for what says the Scripture, Cursed is the Man that trusts in an Arm of Flesh Now if we believe Christ to be only a meer Man, and yet put our Trust in him for eternal Salvation, if the Scripture be true, that Person is an Ido|later. But I would sain hope there are few or none such among you, that deny the Di|vinity of Jesus Christ. Take away this, and you sap the Foundation; take away the Divinity or Christ, and the Gospel is sunk, nothing remains but Morality; Plato and other Philosophers will make as good Savi|ours as Jesus Christ, if Jesus Christ be not really, truly and properly God. This then is the Foundation of our Religion, the Di|vinity Page 9 of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is spo|ken of under this Character in the Text, and this is a Character that he will maintain to the End of the World; and whoever may dispute his Divinity now, they will both see and feel it to their eternal Sorrow when the Lord Jesus comes to Judgment. But I hope I need not spend Time among you to prove the Divinity of the Son of God. It may ra|ther be more suitable to go on to,
The Second Thing, to show you how this Lord, even the Lord Jesus Christ, is to be the Lord our Righteousness. And that is in one Word, by Imputation; it is to be accounted of and made over to us as ours, the Righ|teousness of Jesus Christ is to be imputed to us. And when I speak of the Righteous|ness of Christ, I do not confine my Idea of it to his Death, as most People do; they talk of the Merits of Christ, but then they generally think of the Death of Christ, but we must remember that the Obedience of Jesus Christ is to be imputed likewise, for Jesus Christ not only died, but Jesus Christ lived for us, lived in our stead, fulfilled the Covenant of Works which we had broken, in our stead, and by his Death he made an Attonement for the Guilt we had contracted by breaking God's Law. God made Man upright, in the Image of God made he Man. Page 10 Now when Man was in this State, tho' God might have insisted upon his Obedience for ever, without promising any Reward; yet God was pleased to condescend, (O wonder|ful Condescension it was!) to enter into a Covenant or Agreement with his Creature, promising him eternal Life if he continued in his Obedience, (and he had Power given him to do that,) but threatned him with eternal Damnation if he brake his Law. Now Adam was our Representative and the Head of all Mankind; and had we then been alive, and God had put it to our Choice, then Terms were so reasonable, we should all with one Consent have agreed that Adam should have acted in our stead, it could never have enter'd into our Heart to think that that Man could fall from his Obedience; therefore it is the greatest Folly to charge God with In|justice for imputing his Sin to us. Here then, God made a Covenant with Man, but the Devil envying Man's Happiness, tempted him, Man was seduced by him to eat the forbidden Fruit, whereby he immediately died, became liable to eternal Death; We died in him, and became the Objects of God's eternal Wrath. And God might justly have left the whole Race of Mankind, as he did the fallen Angels, whom he hath reserved in Chains of Darkness to the Judgment of the Page 11 great Day. But rejoice, O Heavens, and be glad, O Earth, Tho' the fallen Angels are left to perish, behold, fallen Man is taken into Mercy. Justice demanded Satisfaction, yet Mercy interposed. After we had bro|ken the Law, we were obliged to obey the Law as much as ever, but as soon as we did eat the forbidden Fruit, we lost our Power. Besides, Satisfaction must be made to Justice. The Soul that sinneth, it shall die. Now if God be just, we must be punished; and if Man must be punished, he must always be satisfying, and never satisfy infinite Justice. Now then, God did that for us which we could not do for our selves. Behold, God the Father, unknown to us, entered into an eternal Contract with his Son, and made him the Representative and Head of the Elect, of an immense Multitude which the Father gave into his Hand. Jesus Christ then un|dertook to bring in an everlasting Righte|ousness for them; and that all God's Attri|butes might now triumph, behold, he un|dertakes to take to himself our humane Na|ture, to fulfil the Moral Law that we had broken; and rather than we should be damned, Jesus Christ desired his Father to sheath the Sword of his Justice in his Breast. And therefore, O wonderful Love! that our dear Redeemer, tho' he was in the Form of Page 12 God, tho' he thought it no Robbery to be equal with God, yet took upon him the Form of a Servant, in that Form lived a painful Life, fulfilled all Righteousness, and at last died an accursed ignominious Death upon the Cross; whereby he satisfied the Justice of God, procured an Union betwixt God and our Souls; and by his Obedience wrought out a compleat all sufficient Righteousness, for all those who should hereafter be enabled to lay hold on his Righteousness. This then is what I understand by the Word Righteous|ness. And I am sure it is glad Tydings of great Joy to all that feel their Misery, and that are hungering and thirsting after Christ. I know it is sweet Soul reviving Doctrine to all that are sick of Sin. But precious as it is to convinced Sinners, yet it grates the na|tural Man's Heart. For we have contracted such a Pride by our Fall in Adam, that if we cannot be saved by our own Righteous|ness, we will venture to be damned. This is the Temper of all by Nature.— And therefore tho' this be Soul-ravishing Doc|trine to all that know themselves aright, yet perhaps there is not a Doctrine that has met with more Opposition in the World. Thou|sands of Objections, no doubt have been star|ted against it. It would be endless for me to answer every thing. But however I shall Page 13 now Thirdly undertake by the Divine Assis|tance to answer some of the most plausible Objections generally urged against this Doc|trine.
And first, It is observable, that those who object against an imputed Righteousness would fain be great Advocates for Morality, yet I generally find they are a Company of the most immoral People themselves; they cry out for Morality, yet I do not find that they have so much Morality themselves; true Morality is above their Power; They may see what they ought to do, but they want Power, because they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ▪ However, they bring Scripture for their Purpose, and it is no Wonder when the Devil brought Scripture. They tell us that Jesus Christ preached Mo|rality in his Sermon on the Mount; you will find there Christ preaching Morality, and you are always preaching Faith. But I would desire to know with what Eyes they have read our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount. It's true, Jesus Christ does recom|mend Morality, and every Gospel-Minister does preach Morality, but he will preach Faith in Jesus Christ as the Foundation of Morality. There can be no true Morality which is not bottomed upon Jesus Christ. That they can get no Argument from Christ's Page 14 Sermon on the Mount, is evident from this, that before Jesus Christ speaks of good Works, he pronounces them blessed that are poor in Spirit, that are pure in Heart, that are holy Mourners, that hunger and thirst after Righteousness; and then says he, Let your Light so shine before Men, that is, Evidence this divine Life in your Heart by good Works, that Men may see your good Works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Here Jesus Christ lays down hungering and thirsting after Righteousness, (no doubt, his imputed Righteousness,) as the Foundation of Morality. Bring People to Christ first, and then they will live well; but to bid them live well first, is to bid them build with|out a Foundation.
But then say they, This is the Way to open a Door to Licenciousness. This is an old trite Argument, and I am much amazed that Men of Sense should take an Argu|ment out of an Infidel and Unbeliever's Mouth; for Saint Paul introduces an Infidel making this Objection, and answers it by saying, Shall we continue in Sin, that Grace may abound? We do not preach down good Works, but only thus far, that they cannot justify us in the Sight of God. We are justi|fied without any Regard to our Works past, present or to come. Our Works have no|thing Page 15 to do as to our Justification in the Sight of God. They are no Induce|ment to God to have Pity upon us. We are justified freely by Grace without Re|gard to any Foresight of our Works: But then, my dear Friends, Do we preach down Works, when we say so? No, we preach up Works, we exhort to Morality. Let Peo|ple lay hold on Christ's Righteousness, a di|vine Fire will immediately fill their Souls, the Love of God will be shed abroad in their Heart, and out of Love to God for what he has done for their Soul, it will be the Language of their Heart, Lord Jesus, what shall I do? not to recommend me to God, but only to give thee some Token of my Love for what thou hast done for my Soul. This is the genuine Fruit of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith. The Doctrine of im|puted Righteousness is the Article by which the Church stands or falls, says Luther. By this Doctrine, the Reformation was brought a|bout. If we desire to have true Religion and Piety to abound among us, we must preach more and more of the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, notwithstan|ding this Objection, we may affirm that the Lord is our Righteousness.
But yet they will bring Scripture again, another plausible Objection they have is from Page 16 the Young Man in the Gospel; they say, he was to be justified by Works, therefore the Doctrine of the imputed Righteousness of Christ must fall. Well then, let us examine the Historian. There was a young Gentle|man came to Christ and I wish there were more young Gentlemen doing so,) he says, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal Life? A proper Question for all. Well, says Jesus Christ, Thou knowest the Command|ments, Thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit Adultery, defraud not; Now say they, Because Christ refers this Man to his Commands, therefore he refers him to be justified by his Works. But my dear Friends, this was of purpose to con|vince him that he was to be saved by a bet|ter Righteousness than his own. What was the End of Jesus Christ in referring him to his Commands, but that the young Man comparing his Life with these Commands, might find that he had broken all these Commands, and therefore that the Law might be a Schoolmaster to lead him to Jesus Christ, that he might be convinced that eternal Life was not to be got by his Works. It is true the young Man says, All these Things have I observed from my Youth; but he should have said, All these Things have I bro|ken from my Youth. If he had never com|mitted Page 17 himself, and make him see the Necessity of relying upon another Righteousness than his own.
But they say, Jesus Christ loved this Man, and would he love him if he were not a good Man? No doubt but we are to love every Thing that is good in every Man; but there was a great Difference betwixt the Love that the Lord Jesus Christ bore to this Man, and the Love that he bore to Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. There be many of you that have sweet natural Tempers, and have many good Qualities; a Minister of Jesus Christ cannot but love you so far as he sees these Things in you. But there is a great Difference be|twixt the Love that they bear to a moral good Man, and that Love they bear to those that are united to Jesus Christ. The Love that Christ bore this young Man was far from that peculiar Love that he bore to all those who are united to him. So that, notwith|standing this Objection, we may say, The Lord is our Righteousness.
There is another Objection taken from the 25th Matth•••, where, say they, Peo|ple are judged by their Works, therefore we are to be justified by our Works. But there is no such Thing here: it is remarkable, be|fore Christ speaks of their good Works, he determines their State; he places some on Page 18 his right Hand and some on his left, before he comes to pass Sentence upon them. We own, that Works done by Faith in Jesus Christ will be rewarded, and the more good Works we do for the Sake of Jesus Christ, the greater will our Reward be in the King|dom of Heaven. But then, my dear Friends, it is remarkable, that these People did not depend upon these. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World; for I was an hungred, and ye gave me Meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me Drink; I was a Stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye cloathed me; I was sick, and ye visited me, I was in Prison, and ye came unto me. But that this Reward was of Grace, and that their good Works were only Evidences of their Love to him, and that they did not depend upon them for their Justification, is plain, because they say, When saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave the Drink? when saw we thee a Stranger, and took thee in, or naked and cloathed thee? or when saw we thee sick, or in Prison, and came unto thee? They were so far from depending upon their Works for Justification, that they really forgot that they had done them, and were filled with holy Blushing, that Jesus Christ should mention, much more that he should reward their little Services, their Tokens of Love to him.
Page 19But then, they retort upon us the latter Part of the Chapter. Jesus Christ damned the one sort for not doing well, and if he damned them for not doing well, it's plain he saved the other for doing well. Which is no good Consequence at all; for, according to the Covenant of Works, one evil Thought cuts off for ever, without another Righte|ousness; and after we have done all we can do, we must acknowledge ourselves unprofi|table Servants, and rely upon a better Righ|teousness than our own. Tho' the one be justly damned for their Sins, yet the other was rewarded only by free Grace, and they all cry out, Grace, Grace! Therefore we may say, The Lord is our Righteousness.
But Fourthly, there is another Way of arguing; from the Absurdities, that will follow denying any Proposition. And I be|lieve no greater Absurdities can follow from denying any Proposition, than do from de|nying this, of imputed Righteousness. I believe no Body here will think it proper that Man should glory in himself; but if the Doctrine of imputed Righteousness be not true, Man must glory in himself. We are every where declared to be saved by Grace, to be justified freely; that Man is not to glory in himself, but that he that glorieth must glory in the Lord. If any Thing I Page 20 can do and suffer can recommend me to the Favour and Mercy of God, I may so far glory in it, and I may say, not in thee, but in mine own free Will, mine own good Dis|position do I glory. Therefore if you glory only in the Lord, come out of yourselves, and say, The Lord our Rigteousness.
Again, I believe we all cry out against Popery; but, my dear Friends, Are we not Papists if we deny the Doctrine of an impu|ted Righteousness, and exclude the Obedi|ence of Jesus Christ. Now suppose I were to come and preach that Doctrine, that Christ's Righteousness is not sufficient of it|self, but you must get Angels to interceed for you, would you like this Doctrine? would you not say, this is rank Popery? Sup|pose I should refine a little on it, and preach this Doctrine, that the Death of Jesus Christ is not sufficient of itself, but you must join your own Works with Christ, and then God will have Mercy upon you, would you not say, This is doing Dishonour to the Redee|mer's Death, as if the Death of Christ were not sufficient? Now make the same Appli|cation to his Obedience: if it's Blasphemy, to join any thing with the Death of Christ, is it not equally Blasphemy to join our Obe|dience with the Obedience of Christ, as if the Obedience of Jesus Christ were not suf|ficient? Page 21 It is plain therefore, that we are Papists in our Heart, if we deny the Doc|trine of imputed Righteousness.
I remember a Story of a Gentleman abroad; after he had been talking of doing along Time, the Minister endeavoured to convince him of the invisible Realities of another World; how|ever after a long Conference he parted with these Words, Well, my Lord, if there be no such thing as Christ, no such thing as Hea|ven, what will become of me? But, my Lord, if there be such a thing as Hell, what will become of you? I make Application of this to Christ's imputed Righteousness. If there be no such thing as Christ's imputed Righ|teousness, as certainly there is, what will become of thee, O Man, that dare build up|on thy rotten Righteousness for Salvation? What a foolish Absurdity is it, to build up|on the Sand, when you may have a Rock to build upon? Bellermine himself, that great Enemy of imputed Righteousness, was obli|ged to own and confess, considering the Dan|ger of depending upon our own Righteous|ness, it is safest to depend upon the Righ|teousness of Christ. And certainly it is best for every Man to follow and choose that which is safest. Therefore we may with great Confidence affirm, that the Lord is our Righteousness.
Page 22Now, my dear Friends, I have been too long upon the doctrinal Part. To preach to your Head, without preaching to your Heart, is doing you no Good. If I know any thing of my Heart, I came not here to tickle your Ears, but to do Good to your Souls; therefore I come to make Application of what has been said. I believe, many of you may rejoice to hear one come from Eng|land, (where our Articles are so little re|garded,) speaking on the Doctrine of Christ's imputed Righteousness. Curiosity may have brought you to hear a Stranger. But then, my dear Friends, give me Leave to put one important Question, Have you felt this Doc|trine in your Heart? Can you say, The Lord is your Righteousness? For, to say that Jesus died for others, without you can say Jesus died for you, can do you no Service; an unapplied Christ will do you no Service. The great Question therefore is, Whether any of you have felt yourselves damned Sin|ners by Nature? Did you ever feel your mi|serable and helpless Condition? Did you ever see that you were poor, miserable, blind and naked? Were you ever hungering and thirsting after the Righteousness of Christ? And did God enable you to stretch out the Hand of Faith, to embrace the dear Redee|mer in your Heart? Were you ever in a Page 23 Soul-Rapture of Love, made to lye down at the feet of Christ, and cry out, My Lord, and my God? Did you ever apply Christ so as to say, My Lord and my God! Who can lay any Thing to the Charge of God's Elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemn|eth? It is Christ that died, ye rather that is risen again. Without closing with Christ, without making Application of his Righte|ousness, all your Religion is nothing; you are yet out of Christ, and if out of Christ, you are undone. I hope some of you can say, through Grace, you have been enabled to lay hold on Jesus Christ, and you can say, The Lord is our Righteousness! then your Souls may rejoyce. If Christ be your Lord, if you have put his Righteousness upon your naked Souls; then call upon the heavenly Choir to help you to praise him, and let the Words of your Song be, Free Grace, Grace, Grace! Not unto us, but unto free Grace, distinguishing Grace, be everlasting Praise. O what Reason have you to praise God! Have you got Christ's Righteousness? have you closed with Christ? Have you put on Jesus Christ? Then Jesus Christ has ta|ken you into his everlasting Arms. Some of you may fear, you shall lose him again: But depend upon the Promises, build upon God's everlasting Love. If you have clo|sed Page 24 with Christ, you have got a Right to all the Benefits of his Blood; and being in Christ, there is no Condemnation to you; You are Bone of his Bone, and Flesh of his Flesh; you are one with Christ; he is the Lord your Righteousness.— Above all, my dear Friends, take Care of making continu|al Progress in Sanctification. Many of you turn careless in your Walk; you are back|slidden from God, and now it is not with you as in former Times, when the Candle of the Lord shined upon you: Get up again, renew your Acts of Faith. (And if you have never believed before, then begin now to believe) Take Care to make continual Advances in the Divine Life; for when the Prophet says, The Lord our Righteousness, the Word Righteousness implies inward Sanc|tification, Holiness of Heart, as well as im|puted Righteousness. Those whom the Lord Jesus justifies, those he sanctifies. And therefore if ye have closed with Christ, dai|ly put on Christ; be every Day saying, Through the Help of my God I will behave as a Christian to Day. Let one good Work be the Beginning of another. And be eve|ry Day hungering and thirsting for Christ. Be more dead to the World; be more li|ving to God. In a Word, my dear Friends, pray for your Christian Friends, and take Page 25 Care you do not fall out by the Way.
How many are there here in this very Church-yard, that never closed with Jesus Christ by Faith! I fear, the greatest Part of this Congregation do not know what it is savingly to close with Jesus Christ: The most of you cannot say, The Lord is my Righ|teousness. Poor Souls, what will become of you? you are now in a Church-yard, and many a Grave may be dug here for your Bodies; and if you should die before you can say, The Lord is my Righteousness, you must depart from Jesus Christ for ever more. You may have a pompous burial; but while your Friends are carrying your Bodies to the Grave, your Souls may be in Hell. What therefore shall I say? Let me exhort you to examine your Heart, and to see whe|ther you have got Christ the Lord to be your Righteousness, or not. Examine your Heart; do not bribe your poor Conscience any lon|ger; let Conscience speak out. You must now judge and condemn yourselves, or you will be condemned for ever hereafter. Plead with the Lord to be your Righteousness. Be you what you will, tho' you were Murde|rers of Fathers and of Mothers, tho' you were Adulterers or Adulteresses, tho' you were the worst of Sinners, yet the Lord Je|sus Christ may be your Righteousness, a Page 26 Righteousness to you, poor Sinners, vile Sin|ners. This is a faithful Saying and worthy of all Acceptation that Jesus Christ came into the World to save poor Sinners. Therefore my dear Friends, accept of Jesus Christ to be your Righteousness.
Shall I speak to you, first, that are young Prodigals, you that are young like myself. This Call is in a special Manner for you. I know what it is to be a great Sinner, I know what it is to play the Prodigal, perhaps more than any of you; and I hope I can say through Grace, The Lord is my Righteousness. And O my Heart's Desire, my Prayer to God is, that you also may know the Lord to be your Righteousness. Dear young Men, you are going on in Chambering and Wan|tonness, and you know very well that the Lord is not your Righteousness: What shall I say to you? Curiosity has brought many of you here; however it is good to be where the Lord is passing by. Who knows but the Lord Jesus has sent some poor, light, young Prodigals, to be laid hold on by Grace. Come then, young Men, leave your Husks and feeding of Swine; behold, your hea|venly Father waits for you; your Father is ready to meet you, while you are yet a great Way off; Sinful, vile as you are, your hea|venly Father will fall upon your Neck, and Page 27 kiss you, and cover you with a Robe which cost Jesus Christ his precious Heart's Blood; this is ready for you: Come then, young Men, come away to Christ. O my Friends, come feed on Christ, taste of the Redeemer's Love. Behold him with open Arms, say|ing, Take me to be the Lord your Righteousness.
I would next address myself to you that are Maids. Come then, young Maids, and put on the white Raiment of Christ's Righ|teousness. Come by Faith, and Jesus Christ will cloath you with his Righteousness; and then shall you be beautiful in the Sight of God. God shall love you, God shall dwell in you and walk in you, for you shall be his Daughters.—I would next address myself to you that are of middle Age. Let me exhort you to seek the one thing needful; get an Interest in the Lamb of God. Come (guilty as you are) by Faith, and the Lord shall be your Righteousness. I fear there are many old Sinners here, gray headed Sinners, that have one Foot in the Grave; a little more Sand being run, your Glass will be run out, and yet you are going into another World without taking Christ to be your Righteous|ness. O poor Sinners, stop a little; away to Christ, and then tho' it be at the eleventh Hour, Jesus Christ will abundantly pardon you. Tho' you are grown old in Sin, yet Page 28 you may have the Lord for your Righteousness.—Ye little Boys and Girls, you may have Jesus Christ. Dear Lambs, if you can but cry to God to take your Heart, and cry, Abba Father, Jesus Christ will hear you, and cloath you with his Righteousness. I might hope|fully speak to little Children, because Jesus Christ has wrought upon the Hearts of little Children. Thou|sands of little Children in America have been brought to Christ; some of six Years of Age. God is there pouring out his Spirit in a remarkable Manner. God forbid of Glasgow, that the God of your Fathers should not be the God of their Children.—O my Brethren, my Heart's Desire, my Prayer to God is, that the Lord may make you willing in a Day of his Power.— I cannot speak, I can do nothing without Christ; but I do not believe Jesus Christ sent me here for nothing. Pray for Power, to come and lay hold on the Lord to be your Righteousness. I know, you cannot come of yourselves; but are you willing to come? Are you crying to God, to bring you to Jesus Christ? May God put into your Heart these good Desires; and may you find no Rest, till you find your Rest in Christ, and can say with full Assurance of Faith, The Lord Jesus is our Righteousness.