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strongest obligations to perform for himself, in consequence of his absolute and universal dependence. And whatever is previously due from any one on his own account, cannot be transferred to another, without rendering the first devoid of that obedience which it is absolutely necessary for him to have. Universal obedience, in every possible instance, is so necessary in a rational creature, as such, being dependent on God, and created for his glory, that the omission of it in any degree would not only be criminal, but expose to everlasting ruin.
The righteousness, therefore, of a mere creature, however highly exalted, could not have been accepted by the Sovereign of the universe as any compensation for our disobedience. For whoever undertakes to perform a vicarious righteousness, must be one who is not obliged to obedience on his own account. Consequently, our Surety must be a divine Person; for every mere creature is under indispensable obligations to perfect and perpetual obedience. And as our situation required, so the gospel reveals, a Mediator and Substitute, thus exalted and glorious. For Jesus is described as a divine Person, as one who could, without any arrogance, or the least disloyalty, claim independence; and when thus considered, he appears fit for the task. But of such a Person we could have had no idea, without that distinction of Persons in the Godhead which the scriptures reveal. Agreeably to this distinction, we behold the rights of the Deity asserted and vindicated, with infinite majesty and authority, in the person of the Father, while we view every divine perfection displayed and honoured, in the most illustrious way, by the amazing condescension of the Eternal Son-by the humiliation of Him who, in his lowest state of subjection, could claim an equality with God. Such being the dignity of our glorious Sponsor, it was by his own voluntary condescension that he became incarnate, and took upon him the form of a servant. By the same free act of his will, he was made under the law,' to perform that obedi
ence in our stead, to which, as a Divine Person, he was no way obliged.
The necessity there was that our Surety should be a Divine Person, might be further proved by considering the infinite evil there is in sin. That sin is an infinite evil appears from hence: Every crime is more or less heinous, in proportion as we are under obligations to the contrary. For the criminality of any disposition or action consists in a contrariety to what we ought to possess or perform. If, therefore, we hate, disobey, or dishonour any person, the sin is always proportioned to the obligations we are under to love, honour, and obey him. And the obligations we are under to love, honour, and obey any person, are in proportion to his loveliness, dignity, and authority. Of this none can doubt. If, then, infinite beauty, dignity, and authority, belong to the immensely glorious God, we must be under equal obligations to love, honour, and obey him; and a contrary conduct must be infinitely criminal. Sin, therefore, is a violation of infinite obligations to duty; consequently an unlimited evil, and deserving of infinite punishment. Such being the nature and aggravations attending our crimes, we stood in absolute need of a Surety, the worth of whose obedience and sufferings should be equal to the unworthiness of our persons, and the demerit of our disobedience. If to the evil there is in every sin, we take into consideration the countless millions of enormous crimes that were to be expiated, the vast number of sinners that were to be redeemed, and the infinite weight of divine wrath that was to be sustainedall which were to be completed in a limited and short time, in order to reconcile man to God, and effect his eternal salvation, we shall have still stronger evidence in proof of the point.
Were a defence of the proper Deity of Christ my intention, the scriptures would furnish me with ample matter and abundant evidence in favour of the capital truth. For the names that he bears, the perfections ascribed to him, the works he has done, and the ho
nours he has received, loudly proclaim his eternal divinity. But I wave the attempt, and proceed to take notice,
That it was necessary our Surety should be Godman, in unity of person. This necessity arises from the nature of his work, which is that of a mediator between God and man. If he had not been a partaker of the divine nature, he could not have been qualified to treat with God; if not of the human, he would not have been fit to treat with man. Deity alone was too high to treat with man; humanity alone was too low to treat with God. The eternal Son, therefore, assumed our nature, that he might become a middle person; and so be rendered capable of laying his hands upon both,'* and of bringing them into a state of perfect friendship. He could not have been a mediator, in regard to his office, if he had not been a middle person, in respect to his natures. Such is the constitution of his wonderful person, and hence it is that he bears the name IMMANUEL, God with us, or in our
The perfect performance of all his offices, as priest, prophet, and king, requires the union of the divine to the human nature. As a Priest: For it was necessary he should have something to offer; that he should offer himself. But pure Deity could not be offered. It was requisite, therefore, that he should be man, and taken from among men, as every other high-priest was. And had he not been God, as he could not have had an absolute power over his own life, to lay it down and take it up at his pleasure; so the offering of the human nature, if not in union with the divine, would not have made a proper atonement for our transgressions-would by no means have expiated that enormous load of human guilt which was to be borne by him, and for which he was to suffer. Nor could his sufferings have been accounted an equivalent, in the eye of justice, to that everlasting punishment which the right
*Job ix. 33.
eous law threatens against sin; which must have been the sinner's portion, as it is his just desert, if such a glorious Sponsor had not appeared, and been admitted on his behalf. But when we consider that He who suffered, the just for the unjust, was God-man, we cannot but look upon him as perfectly able to bear the punishment, and perform the work. For as the infinite evil of sin arises from the majesty and glory of Him against whom it is committed, so the merit of our Surety's obedience and sufferings must be equal to the dignity of his Person. How great, how transcendently glorious, are the perfections of the eternal Jehovah! So great, so superlatively excellent, is the atonement of the dying Jesus!
As a Prophet: For had he not been the omniscient God, he could not, without a revelation, have known the divine will respecting his people. Nor could he have had a perfect acquaintance with that infinite variety of cases, in which they continually stand in need of his teaching, in every age and nation. And if he had not been man, he could not so familiarly, in his own person, have revealed the divine will to them.
As a King For if he had not been God, he could not have ruled in the heart, and been Lord of the conscience; nor would he have been able to defend and provide for the church in this imperfect and militant state. Neither could he, in his own right, have dispensed eternal life to his followers, or everlasting death to his enemies, at the last day. And if he had not been man, he could not have been a head, either political or natural, of the same kind with the body to which he is united, and over which he is placed, as King in Zion. Consequently, he could not have sympathized with the members of his mystical body, as he evidently does. But as his wonderful Person is dignified with every perfection, divine and human, as he possesses all the glories of Deity, and all the graces of immaculate humanity; these render him a mediator, completely amiable and supremely glorious *Heb. ii. 18. and iv, 16. Amessi. Medul. Theol, chap. 19.
-an adequate object of the sinner's confidence, and the believer's joy.
Hence it appears that Christ is a glorious, divine mediator-a mediator that has power with God and with man. He must be able, therefore, to save to the uttermost, to all perfection and for ever, all that come to God by him. The obedience of such a Surety must magnify the law, and render it truly venerable; must have an excellence and a merit incomparably and inconceivably great. It must be of more value than the obedience of all the saints in the world, or of all the angels in glory. The sufferings undergone by this heavenly Substitute, the sacrifice offered up by this wonderful High-priest, must be all-sufficient to expiate the most accumulated guilt, omnipotent to save the most horrid transgressor. For his obedience is that in worth, which his person is in dignity. This, infinite in glory; that, boundless in merit.
As the greatness of an offence is proportioned to the dignity of the person whose honour is invaded by it, so the value of the satisfaction made by the sufferings of any one must be equal to the excellence of the person satisfying. Sin, being committed against infinite Majesty, deserved infinite punishment-the sacrifice of Christ is of infinite worth, being offered by a Person of infinite dignity. It was the sacrifice, not of a mere man, not of the highest angel, but of JESUS, the incarnate God; of Him who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and Head over all the creation. As the infinite glory of his divine person cannot be separated from his humanity, so infinite merit is necessarily connected with his obedience and sufferings. In all that he did, and in all that he underwent, he was the Son of God-as well on the cross, as before his incarnation; as well when he cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'-as when he raised the dead, and reversed the laws of nature. He was Jehovah's Fellow, when he felt the sword of justice awake upon him; he thought it no robbery to assert an equality with God, even when he was fas