“Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation”; here Simeon speaking of our Saviour calls Him “Salvation”, because all salvation is in Him and from Him. He is the author, and He is the finisher of it. The great plan of it was laid by the co-equal and co-eternal Persons of the ever-blessed Trinity before the foundation of the world, it was carried into execution by our divine Saviour in the fullness of time, and He is an eternal salvation, an eternal deliverance from evil, and an eternal possession of all good. Upon the entrance of sin into the world, this great salvation of our God was revealed, and by faith believers, under the Old Testament dispensation, enjoyed the benefits of it. At the appointed time Jehovah took a body of flesh, and our divine Immanuel stood up to save His people from their sins. He undertook to satisfy all the demands of law and justice. The law He satisfied by paying it a perfect unsinning obedience, which, being a divine as well as a human obedience, did therefore magnify the law, and make it more honourable, than if all the creatures in heaven and earth had never offended against it. Justice He satisfied by enduring the threatened punishment, and after His sufferings and death, justice had no more demands upon Him; for He came out of the prison of the grave with a full discharge. This satisfaction, made to law and justice by the obedience and sufferings of the Lord Jesus, is what the Scripture calls the Righteousness of God, because it is a divine and infinitely perfect righteousness, a divine righteousness wrought out by Jehovah Himself, and as infinitely perfect a righteousness as Jehovah could make it.
In this all-glorious righteousness of the God-man Christ Jesus consists the sinner’s salvation; for he is accepted and justified by it, the fruits of this righteousness are his sanctification, and the robe of this righteousness is his glorification. So that salvation in time and in eternity depends upon the righteousness of the Incarnate God. This is the fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, for which our dear brother was a noble champion.
The Rev. William Romaine, M.A., From a Sermon on the death of the Rev. James Hervey, Rector of Weston-Favel, Northampton, January 4th, 1759.