"...let us trace ITS SPIRITUAL TEACHING. In this withered hand we behold the emblem of the moral withering of the soul of man. The moment our first father stretched forth his hand to partake of the forbidden fruit, all his original righteousness, strength, and love withered, decayed, and dried up; and we, his posterity, are the spiritually paralyzed and shriveled limbs of a once stately tree God smote and destroyed. "It is written, There is none righteous, no, not one there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one." It is of the utmost moment to our salvation that we should know our nature just as it is. Essentially defective views of original and actual depravity lie at the root of essentially defective views of the Atonement. There floats before the imagination of man an unreal conception of natural goodness and power, which it is of infinite importance we should dislodge and dispel from the mind. The sacrificial work of Christ is built upon the spiritual ruin of the creature- the glory of the divine upon the utter wreck of the human. Nothing of man shall mingle with the work of God. We see the foreshadowing of this in the law given to the children of Israel, "You shall not sow your field with mingled seed; neither shall a garment mingled with, linen and woollen come upon you." The law, too, defining the construction of an altar, illustrates the same idea, "If you will make an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone for if you lift up your tool upon it, you have polluted it." God would here teach that the divine garment of Christ's justifying righteousness is not to be interwoven with the fabric of man's righteousness; and that in the uprearing of that one Altar upon which the Atoning Sacrifice of Christ was to be laid, no human weapon was to be employed. In the stupendous matter of our salvation Christ shall be the Alpha and the Omega. With Him the gospel plan originated- by Him it was revealed- by Him it was executed- and in His undivided glory and endless praise it shall forever terminate. From every tongue in glory, and through the high arches of heaven, the anthem shall peal, "Worthy is the Lamb!" Believer in Christ! Does not your soul pant to join in that song? and does not your spirit exult in the truth that salvation, from first to last, is of God?
Oh, how precious is this truth in the consciousness of our many failures and defects! Our salvation is all in Christ- our righteousness is all in Christ- our merit is all in Christ- our completeness is all in Christ- in Christ our Covenant Head, our Surety and Mediator; and no flaw in our obedience, no defect in our love, no failure in our service, should so cast us down as to shut our eye to our acceptance in the Beloved. Imperfections we would not overlook, sin we would not allow, disobedience we would not indulge, temptation we would not encourage; nevertheless, we would ever remember, for our encouragement that, in default of perfection in the most perfect of our own doings, we are fully and eternally complete in Jesus. "~Octavius Windslow