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duct, and that only which in all respects was right. But, under the influence of this rectitude, he became subject to the law; and, when he had become a subject, conformed his whole rife, in every minute as well as every important particular, to the precepts of that law. In this manner he showed with the most decisive evidence, the evidence of life and conduct, that infinite knowledge and rectitude dictated to him to assume the office of Mediator, to become a subject of the divine law, and in that character to yield to its precepts an universal and perfect obedience.

Christ is a person of infinite dignity. By this I mean, not only the splendour of moral and intellectual greatness with which his character is invested, but the dignity also which is conferred by omnipotence, eternity, and immutability, and by supremacy of station and dominion. With this transcendent exaltation over all things in heaven and in earth, he still chose to become subject to the divine law; and as a subject to obey every one of its precepts which at any time respected either his character or his conduct. Thus he taught, in a manner which cannot be questioned, and with a decisiveness allowing of no doubt, that infinite knowledge and rectitude regarded the divine law as possessing such infinite excellence and glory, that it was not unbecoming a divine person to conform his own actions to its dictates, even in the minutest particulars; that it was not unsuitable to a divine person to become subject tu its controul, and in this state of subjection to obey its precepts in an absolute manner.

These considerations exhibit my own views of that active obedience or righteousness of Christ, by which we are said in the Scriptures to be justified. Christ, as a mere man, was of necessity subject to the law of God equally with all other moral creatures. His obedience in this character, therefore, was necessary to his own justification, and could not be the means of ours. As a divine person, he was subject to no law, and needed and could need no justification. By the union of his divine and human natures he became one person, as Mediator between God and man ; in such a sense one, that all bis actions and sufferings became the actions and sufferings of this one Mediator. The value which was inherent in his conduct as a divine person, was in consequence of this union extended to all the conduct of the Mediator, Jesus

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Christ. When, therefore, this glorious person voluntarily yielded himself as a subject of the divine law, the act was the result of infinite knowledge and rectitude, and was instamped with the worth necessarily belonging to all the determinations and conduct to which these perfections give birth. The same moral excellence and glory are attached to all the acts of Christ's obedience, subsequent to his assumption of the character of a subject. Every one of them is an act of the Mediator ; and derives its true worth and importance from the greatness and excellency of his personal character.

As Christ assumed the office of a Mediator and the condition of a subject voluntarily, as he was originally subject to no law, and could be required to yield no act of obedience, he could, if he pleased, become with propriety a substitute for others, and perform in their behalf vicarious services which, if possessing a nature and value suited to the case, might be reckoned to their benefit, and accepted in their stead. Had these services been due on his own account, and necessary to his own justification, as all the services of intelligent creatures are, throughout every moment of their existence, they could never have assumed a vicarious character, nor have availed to the benefit of any person, at his final trial, besides himself. Now, the services of the real Mediator were all gratuitous; demanded by no law, and in no sense necessary to the justification of himself. All, therefore, that could in this case be required, to render them the means of justification to others, must be these two things only; that they should be of such a kind as to suit the nature of the case, and that they should be of sufficient value.

That the actual services of the Mediator were suited to the real nature of the case, we know ; because they were prescribed and accepted by the Father. We may also be satisfied of this truth by the manner in which the subject is exbibited by the Scriptures. The law of God is there declared, as it is also by the nature of the fact itself, to be dishonoured by the transgressions of men. This dishonour, as is evident from both these sources of information, is equally done to the character and government of the lawgiver. To pardon the transgressors in this case would be to consent to the dishonont, aurt to acknowledge practically that the law which they had

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transgressed, the character of the lawgiver who prescribed it, and the government founded on it, were unreasonable and unjust. It would be to declare, and that in the most solemn manner, that such obedience as was enjoined by the law could not be demanded nor expected by a righteous and benevolent lawgiver. But this declaration would be false ; and could therefore never be made on the part of God.

But, when Christ offered himself as the substitute for sinners, he restored,' to use his own language, that which he took not away. He restored that honour to the divine law, character, and government which men had refused to render; and removed the dishonour done to them all by their disobedience. Nay, he did much more. In obeying the precepts of the law, he testified that they were such as infinite perfection was pleased to obey; that the government founded on them, and the character of him who published them to the universe, as the rule by which he intended to govern it for ever, were of the same glorious and perfect nature. This testimony none but Christ could give. A testimouy of equal weight the universe could not furnish. Thus, in a manner which nothing else could rival, he magnified the law, and

made it honourable,' according to the prediction of God by the Prophet Isaiah, in the sight of angels and men.

The influence of this conduct of Christ upon the future obedience of virtuous beings could not fail to be suprem 3. What creature, however exalted, can refuse to be subject to that law to which the Son of God voluntarily became subject? Who can deny those precepts to be reasonable, all of which he exactly and cheerfully obeyed? Who can hesitate to believe that law to be holy, just, and good;' who can doubt that it is infinitely honourable to its Author, and supremely beneficial to the universe, when he knows and remembers that a person of infinite knowledge, rectitude, and dignity of his own accord submitted both his affections and his conduct to its absolute controul. So far as I can see, higher glory was reflected on this great rule of righteousness by the obedience of Christ, than could have resulted from the united obedience of the whole intelligent creation.

It is hardly necessary to observe, that the obedience of Christ and his holiness are convertible terms, and that all the importance of the things mentioned under these three heads, is no other than the importance of this attribute to his priestly character.

III. To give the necessary efficacy to his sufferings for mankind.

The sufferings of Christ were of no value as mere sufferings. There is no worth or excellence in the mere endurance of evil. The real merit of the sufferings of Christ, as of all other meritorious sufferings, lay in these two things ; that they were undergone for a valuable end, and that they were borne by a good mind with the spirit of benevolence and piety. The end for which Christ endured the cross, and all the other evils of his humiliation, was the best of all ends, the glory of God, and the salvation of men. The mind of Christ is the best of all minds; and the spirit with which he encountered and sustained his sufferings, was that of supreme benevolence and supreme piety.

In undertaking the office of a Mediator between God and man, he gave the most solemn and glorious testimony to the

, equity of the divine law in all its precepts and in all its penalties. In enduring the sufferings which he underwent as the substitute for sinners he completed this testimony, by cheerfully consenting in this character to obey and to suffer. If he had not been perfectly holy, he would, instead of becoming a substitute for others, have needed a substitute for himself, to expiate his sins. No supposition can be more absurd than that Christ' should make an atonement for the sins of others, when he needed an atonement for his own sins; or that God should accept him as a Mediator for sinners, when he himself was a sinner; or that he should become the means of delivering mankind from the penalty of the law, when he himself deserved to suffer that penalty.

Thus it is evident, that without consummate holiness Christ would not only have utterly failed to execute to the divine acceptance the office of a priest, but that he could not have entered upon that office.

IV. To qualify him for executing the office of interAbsolute holiness seems entirely necessary to render the prayers of any being, even when offered up for himself, if offered in his own name, acceptable to God. The same holiness seems even more indispensable to render intercession for others accepted, and especially for a world of sinners. Such intercession, also, appears plainly to deinand, as a previous and essential qualification on the part of the intercessor, that he should acknowledge in the amplest manner the perfect rectitude of the divine government in condemning sinners to that punishment, for their deliverance from which his intercession is undertaken. It cannot, I think, be supposed even for a moment, that God would accept of any person in this office who denied, doubted, or did not, in the most open and complete manner, acknowledge the equity and propriety of his administrations. It seems farther necessary, that he who made this acknowledgment should be a competent judge of the nature of the divine government so that the acknowledgment should be made with intelligence and certainty, and not be merely a profession of faith.

cessor.

The holiness of Christ, manifested in his obedience both to the preceptive and penal parts of the divine law, was the most direct and complete acknowledgment of the rectitude of the divine law and the divine government which was possible ; because it was voluntarily undertaken, and perfectly accomplished. It was at the same time the obedience of a person who was a finished judge of the nature of both, from the entire rectitude of his disposition, and the unlimited greatness of his understanding. It was also the acknowledgment of a person possessed of infinite dignity in the nature of his atributes, in the supremacy of his station, and in the eternal and immeasurable extent of his dominion.

As an intercessor, therefore, Christ comes before his Father both in the most amiable and the most exalted character; having confirmed, beyond all future debate, the rectitude of bis law and government, and supremely glorified his name in the sight of the universe, and pleading with divine efficacy both his obedience and his sufferings on the behalf of those for whom he intercedes. What must not such an intercessor be able to obtain ? From such an intercession what

may not penitent sinners hope? How plain is it, that' such an

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