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iv. Notwithstanding the terrors of this law, and the severe punishments inflicted under it, the most striking display that ever hath been, or porsibly can be, given of the holiness and justice of God, is in the sufferings of our Redeemer. Here we are first to attend to the spotless innocence of the sufferer. “ No guile was found in his lips.” There was no ftain of fin in his heart. From his conception to his death, he was “ holy, harm“ less, undefiled, and separate from finners.” “ Yet " it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he hath put “him to grief.” He, “ who knew no fin, was “ made fin for us,” made a fin-offering, and treated as if he had been the most atrocious finner that ever appeared on earth.

Nor are we to view him merely as an innocent man, but as “the Holy One of God.” He is “the man, the fellow of JEHOVAH of hosts ;" who, as to his divine nature, was infinitely remote from suffering, as well as infinitely above the law, with respect to both its precept and its curse. Yet the Father, sustaining the character of Judge, gave forth this command ; “ Awake, O “ sword, against my Shepherd, against the man " that is my fellow ; smite the Shepherd f." If the punishment of one perfectly innocent, as bearing the iniquities of others by imputation, exhibits, in a striking point of view, the evil and demerit of fin, the holiness and justice of God, and the indispensable neceflity of a real atonement; how much more fully does this appear when

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we view fin as punished in the adorable Person of the Son of God! What an affecting thought, that it was “ the Prince of life," who was killed ; " the just One,” who “ suffered for the unjust;" “ the Lord of glory,” who was crucified !

We are further to consider the severity of these sufferings. As God spared not his own Son, " but gave him up to the death,” so he spared him not as to the measure of his sufferings. The huinan nature was inseparably united to the divine, in one person ; yet so overwhelming was his agony, that he cried out; “ My soul is exceeding “ forrowful, even unto death ;" his strength was dried up as a potsherd ; and his heart was melted like wax. Although he received uninterrupted supplies from the Holy Spirit, without measure ; yet so unspeakable was his sense of wrath, and so hot was the indignation of God as a judge, that his holy human foul shrunk back with horror from the cup given him to drink. He had been attested from heaven as God's beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased; yet the Father hid his face, and left the glorious Sufferer under such darkness of soul, as was but faintly figured by the preternatural darkness that covered the earth. " The pangs of hell took hold on him." His soul was made an offering for fin. He fustained infinite wrath without any abatement. If these things were done “ in a green tree, what * Thall be done in the dry?”

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From the preceding considerations it is evident, that there is a neceffary and infeparable connexion between fin and punishment. As this is established by the supreme Lawgiver, it flows from his nature as God. For he cannot “ behold iniqui

ty.He necessarily seeks its destruction, with all the energy of his infinite nature. Every fin is an appeal, both to his justice, and to his power: and however the finner may flatter himself, this is the language in which God addresses him ; “ sure your fin will find you out." Sin acts as an informer against itself. As it brings this information in man's own conscience, it as certainly does so at the bar of justice. Nay, in relation to the necessary exercise of justice, fin is here, by a strong figure, represented as a messenger that pursues the finner till it overtake him.

We perceive also, that the law affords no comfort to the finner. It was never revealed with this design. For “ what things foever the law

faith, it saith to them who are under the law, " that every mouth may be stopped, and all the “ world may become guilty before God h.” We can neither obey its precept, nor bear its curse. What folly then is it, for man to think of being justified by a law that utters no sentence, save that of eternal condemnation !

We learn the necessity of a complete atonement for fin. This is the great doctrine taught by the law, as it was revealed from Mount Sinai. It was meant as a schoolmaster to bring men to Chrift. It treated the lfraelites with all feverity. It applied the rod of its threatening and curse ; that they might see the neceflity of fleeing from it, to Him who was revealed, although more obscurely, as the end “ of the law for righteouf“ ness.” By the multitude of its sacrifices, as it could never be reasonably believed that God would accept of the blood of a beast as an atonement for the fin of man, it both declared the necessity of a complete satisfaction, and directed them to look for one of this character in the fufferings of the promised Messiah. By the constant repetition of such facrifices, their insufficiency was taught, and the necessity of one that should for ever take away fin.

Christ.

& Numb. xxxii. 23.

h Rom. iji,

The Church is now delivered from the ceremonial law. But the law, as a covenant of works,' hath the same language. It testifies to the finner that it hath nothing in reserve for him but eternal death. When it comes with power to the heart, man is convinced that except he be saved through the righteousness of a Surety, he must certainly perish.

We may perceive the grace of our God, in providing a remedy, and especially in doing it at such infinite expence. Many pretend to plead for the riches of grace, at the expence of denying the atonement ?

“ How does grace appear,” do they say, “ if complete satisfaction must be “ made for fin? Does it not exhibit this per“ fection in a far more engaging light, if we " view God as pardoning fin without requiring

any

any atonement to justice ?” But this doctrine, so far from illustrating, obscures the grace of God. If a friend confers a favour on us, we esteem the favour in proportion to what it cost him. Were it consistent with the nature of God, to pardon fin without any atonement, the display of his grace would be far inferior. But when we know from his word, that he “ will by no means clear “ the guilty," that, from his essential and necesfary love of righteousness, he punishes the wicked ; we see the highest reason to admire the grace of God in the gift of his own Son as a sacrifice. This is as much grace to us, as if no atonement had been necessary ; because all the blessings of the covenant are given “ 'without money, and “ without price :” and it is commended to us, exhibited in the most engaging point of view, because “ God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son."

We learn the impossibility of escaping the stroke of divine justice, if we despise the remedy. “ How “ shall we escape, if we neglect so great falva“ tion ?" He that despised Moses' law, died with

out mercy.--Of how much forer punishment “ Thall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden “ under foot the Son of God?". And all tread him under foot, who refuse to put the crown of their salvation on his head.

In fine, we perceive the necessity of reverence in all our Christian service. In this very way, the apostle, writing to the Hebrews, applies what he had said with respect to the terrors of the law,

and

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