Imputation of the Merits and Righteousness of Christ Impossible

Imputation of the Merits and Righteousness of Christ Impossible

That it may be known that the imputation of the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ is impossible, it is necessary to understand what His merit and righteousness are. The merit of the Lord our Saviour is redemption, and what this was may be seen above in its appropriate chapter. It is there described that it was the subjugation of the hells, the establishment of order in the heavens, and afterwards the institution of a church; and thus that redemption was a work purely Divine. It was also there shown that by redemption the Lord put Himself in power to regenerate and save the men who believe in Him and do His commandments; and that without that redemption no flesh could have been saved. Since then redemption was a work purely Divine, and of the Lord alone, and this is His merit, it follows that this cannot be applied, ascribed, and imputed to any man, —any more than the creation and preservation of the universe. (TCR n. 640)

As the merit and righteousness of the Lord are therefore purely Divine, and things purely Divine are such that if they were applied and ascribed to man he would instantly die, and, like a stock cast into the naked sun, would be consumed, so that scarce an ember of him would remain; for this reason the Lord with His Divine draws near to angels and men by light attempered and accommodated to the capacity and quality of every one, thus by light that is adequate and adapted; and in like manner by heat. In the spiritual world there is a sun, in the midst of which the Lord is; from that sun He flows in by means of light and heat into the whole spiritual world, and into all who are there; all the light and all the heat there are from this source. From that sun the Lord also flows in with the same light and the same heat into the souls and minds of men. That heat in its essence is His Divine love, and that light in its essence is His Divine wisdom. This light and this heat the Lord adapts to the capacity and quality of the recipient angel and man; which is done by means of spiritual auras or atmospheres which convey and transfer them. The Divine itself immediately encompassing the Lord constitutes that sun. This sun is distant from the angels,—as the sun of the natural world is from men,—in order that it may not come into naked and therefore immediate contact with them; for thus they would be consumed, as was said, like a stock cast into the naked sun. From these considerations it must be evident that the merit and righteousness of the Lord, since they are purely Divine, cannot possibly be induced by imputation upon any angel or man; nay, if any the least thereof should touch them, not being thus modified as was said, they would instantly writhe as if struggling with death, and with feet cramped and eyes distended would expire. This was made known in the Israelitish church, by the declaration that no one can see God and live. The sun of the spiritual world, as it is since Jehovah God assumed the Human, and to this added redemption and new righteousness, is indeed described by these words in Isaiah: “The light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that Jehovah shall bind up the breach of His people” (xxx. 26). This chapter, from beginning to end, relates to the Lord’s advent. It is also described what would be if the Lord should descend and draw near to any wicked man, by these words in the Revelation: “They hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Hide us from the face of Him that sittetli, on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (vi. 15). It is said the wrath of the Lamb, because the terror and torment when the Lord draws near so appear to them. This may, moreover, be manifestly concluded from the fact that if any wicked person is introduced into heaven, where charity and faith in the Lord reign, darkness comes over his eyes, giddiness and insanity over his mind, pain and torment into his body, and he becomes like one dead. What then if the Lord Himself with His Divine merit, which is redemption, and His Divine righteousness, should enter into man? The apostle John himself could not endure the presence of the Lord; for we read that when he saw the Son of Man in the midst of the seven candlesticks, he fell at his feet as dead” (Rev. i. 17). (ibid. n. 641)

It is said in the decrees of the councils, and in the articles of the confessions to which the Reformed swear, that by the merit of Christ infused God justifies the wicked; when yet not the good of any angel can even be communicated to a wicked man, still less conjoined with him, but it is rejected and rebounds like an elastic ball thrown against the wall. (ibid. n. 642)

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