The Glorious Majesty of Christ’s Person (Part Two)
William Skelton, S.S.
Published in The Earthen Vessel: and Christian Record & Review, 1846 – Volume II
Return to Part One,
Is there a conscience burdened sore with sin? We say, and say the truth, this blood makes clean, so efficacious is it in itself, that it requires not one single tear, nor an ocean of tears of ours to be mingled or mixed with it in the matter of peace with God, or of a peaceful conscience, so completely satisfactory is it that in itself it satisfied the whole and sole demands of the inflexible and unbending sword of divine justice when it stood-forth flaming, and red, incensed against Christ, as our vicarious surety, as he was found made to be sin for us, for
So precious is this sin atoning blood,
It satisfied the full demand of God.
So meritorious it is in itself, that it requires nothing, no nothing, to be added to it, neither of repentance, nor faith, nor good works, to render it acceptable unto God as a propitiatory sacrifice for sin; seeing propitiation was made or effected by it before we had any actual being, and consequently ere one single act of repentance, faith, or good works could be found in us; and as it is said, not the things which go into a man defileth the man, but the things which come forth out of the man defileth the man, so vice versa, or contrariwise, it may be said, not the things which flow out of the man, such as repentance, faith, and good works, cleanseth the man, but that which enters into the man; the precious blood of Christ being drank by the mouth of a living faith; this cleanseth the man; for “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot unto God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” And so we say soul-feelingly, this blood of Christ received by living faith cleanseth the soul and saves from second death; and so powerful, and full of virtue is this wondrous blood, that in itself, in the high court of heaven, it proclaimed in soft yet loudest accents, complete atonement, entire justification, full discharge and honourable acquittal in peace before the throne of God for all in whose behalf it had been shed; the blissful sound of which proclamation vibrating as from Jehovah’s throne filled the innumerable host of heaven with such ecstatic joy, that heaven’s high arches rang with shouts of sovereign grace, and Jesus’s dying love, even unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills.
As all the tenants of that blissful place,
Rejoice in song to praise redeeming grace;
And while Jehovah in it joins them, too,
The joy, the theme, the song, is ever new.
And, O, wondrous precious blood! so powerful and full of virtue it is, that in the court of conscience, while the poor sinner stands there law-condemned and self-condemned, while law-accused, devil-accused, self-accused, and Holy Ghost condemned, expecting nothing but death and damnation, the sentence having gone forth against him, as he is enabled by the power of the Holy Ghost to plead the blood alone, and finds it to be his only plea, while under the very sentence of death, it proclaims pardon, liberty, and a gaol [jail] delivery; for by it “the prisoners are sent forth out of the pit wherein is no water, even by the blood of the everlasting covenant.” Thus, Conscience,
You and I, are bound to tell, This precious, precious blood broke ope’ our cell;
And sent us forth from bondage, death, and hell.
And O, wonderful truth, as concerning this wondrous blood, though it requires all its efficacy, merit, virtue, and power, to cleanse one single sin from the conscience of a poor sinner, yet it hath cleansed, doth cleanse, and will cleanse, all the innumerable crimes of unnumbered myriads, who constitute the chosen, redeemed, regenerated family of God: it being in itself a sufficient atonement for sins past, sins present, and sins to come; for it is to this Jehovah is looking, and this is ever present in his mind, who hath said “When I see the blood, I will pass over you;” and though we cannot see the blood, which is sprinkled on the lintel and side posts of the door, yet he beholds it, and it is still a true token unto us as we by precious faith, and not by sight, are enabled to believe and rejoice that it is there, it is a true token unto us that we are safe and secure, even while the destroyer is going forth to destroy wherever this blood is not found: and concerning its virtue this is retained under all and every circumstance, and can we not bear witness that when fresh contracted, accumulated guilt has defiled and laid heavy on the conscience; its power, its efficacy, its virtue, has been proved by us, and in us, again, and again, and again, and again? When by the fresh application of this precious blood we have sung,
Oh wondrous fountain! Jesus’ precious blood
Has been, and still is found a cleansing flood.
Why, Mr. Editor, death and destruction have heard the fame of this wonderful blood with their ears, while the prey hath been taken out of the jaws of the mighty, and the lawful captive has been delivered. True it is, Mr. Conscience, our cross must be borne, and it is this wondrous blood, the blood of his cross, which alone can succour, which alone can comfort the cross-bearing child of God; true it is, we must taste of this cup; but
While we taste this bitter, bitter cup,
Our souls rejoice to know he drank it up,
With all its dregs, and bitterness, and gall,
That curse and wrath should never on us fall.
And now to declare his righteousness, to declare I say, at this time and in this way, his righteousness, that he (an infinitely holy God) might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus,
Let contemplation stretch her wings, and try
Into angelic righteousness to pry;
While they in creature righteousness have stood
His is the very righteousness of God.
And he being the Lord our righteousness, in him we shine more bright, complete, and fair, than angels ever shine or ever were. Oh, the immeasurable, unsearchable perfection of his righteousness! If we bring together all the vast amount of holiness and perfection existing among elect angels, who have kept their first estate, and add to this the original rectitude and holiness our first father possessed, when he came forth from the hands of his Maker, in comparison with the perfection of Emmanuel’s righteousness, all their splendid and dazzling glories fade and die, even as the glory of the dim candle dies and fades away before the rays of the material sun at dazzling noon; and well may Conscience call the perfection of Emmanuel’s righteousness immeasurable and unsearchable, seeing we have no rule of measurement we can adopt to measure it by, save the infinite perfection of deity; and herein we are lost, for, who by searching can find out the Almighty to perfection? Surely there is nothing in heaven, nor in earth, comparable with it, no other than a drop of the bucket can compare with the mighty ocean itself; angelic righteousness fails, and created holiness falls infinitely short to compare with it.
In every act which our Emmanuel was engaged in, working out righteousness for us in his own proper person, he had to do with and to satisfy the demands of a broken and fiery law.
And, O, my soul, with sacred wonder tell,
Thy Jesus has for thee, done all things well.
So that concerning this righteousness, the wrought out righteousness of our Emmanuel, it is sufficient to answer, yea, it has eternally answered, all the demands of an infinitely holy God, as declared in and by his holy and justly demanding law, the same being imputed to the sinner’s account, its infinite perfections are such as makes the vilest sinner just: however sinful, vile, polluted, and hell-deserving that sinner may feel himself to be in himself, yet the length and breadth of this righteousness, being put on him by Jehovah, through a living faith, as a spotless robe, hides all his high sins, and all his low sins, from the view of God, so that sins towering to the skies, and transgressions reaching even to the gates of hell’s most dismal cave; all these, through, and in, the imputed righteousness of Emmanuel, are completely annihilated,
For if from heaven’s high gate to hell’s most
dismal cave, This righteousness of Jesus had not power
to save, Then, then, might hell rejoice, and heaven
in silence mourn, And Jesus’ work of love to his own breast
“But as sin hath reigned unto death, even so shall grace reign through righteousness, (even the imputed righteousness of Emmanuel,) unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” As a robe it can only fit a naked back, and to prove the suitability of it, the sinner must be stripped to his very skin. Ah! says the soul, that is cutting work; so it is, but as dear Hart says,
Whate’er men say,
The needy know
It must be so,
It is the way.
Yet it is hard work to the flesh, aye! and cutting work to the spirit too, to have all its duties and tears, its groanings and sighings, its joyous and sorrowful frames and feelings, in the matter of justification before God, all cut up as with a stroke, and put far away out of sight before the throne of God, and
For a living soul to stand
By thousand dangers scared,
And feel destruction close at hand,
O, this indeed is hard.
That this testimony concerning the all-glorious Person, wonderful blood, and perfect righteousness of Emmanuel, may in the hands of Jehovah the Spirit be made a blessing, and a matter of consolation, yea, a means of deliverance to some poor soul, who is or may have been, now for a long time feelingly damned by the law, and in the court of his or her conscience for whose sakes, in connection with the glorification of Jehovah Jesus it has been given, is the earnest and fervent desire of one who has soul-feelingly realised the blessedness of these truths, and desires to live and to die exclaiming,
Jesus is all in all to me,
His precious blood has made me free,
His spotless righteousness is mine,
A robe immaculate divine.
In this my guilty sin polluted soul shall
Spotless, for ever justified, at God’s
W. Skelton, S.S.