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removing the curse, or counterbalancing his crime ; for his crime is infinite, and all that he offers, or can offer, by his obedience, is but finite at most ; and therefore as just nothing towards counterbalancing his guilt; as what is finite sinks into nothing, in comparison with that which is infinite.-When that which is infinite is put into one scale, and something finite in the other, the latter does nothing towards weighing down or lightening the former, and is just as if there were nothing put into the scale against that which is infinite. For the same Teason, no past obedience of a creature will in the least extenuate a crime committed, after a course of obedience, however long, but he is as guilty, and deserves punishment as much as if he had performed no antecedent obedience, according to the divine law. It cannot be remembered in his favour, when he has once transgressed. It cannot prevent, remove, or lighten the curse in the least degree. No preceding or consequent obedience, can atone for the transgression, or remove or mitigate the curse. Sin being an infinite evil, and deserving an infinite punishment, it swallows up, cancels and reduces to nothing, all the possible holiness of the creature, whether it take place before or after the sin; so that it cannot be reckoned in his favour, any more that if he had no holiness ; for the law says, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, written in the book of the law, to do them.”
II. God will not show favour to the sinner, by pardoning and saving him, so as in the least degree to counteract and disregard his holy law : And therefore will not, cannot consistently forgive him, or treat him any otherwise than as an accursed creature, on account of any thing amiable or worthy in him, while no righteousness and worthiness, answerable to the demands of his law, can be reckoned and properly improved in his favour. The law of God is perfectly reasonable and right: It is founded in the divine character and perfections. It is the voice of God. He looks upon the sin. ner just as the law represents him, as infinitely odious and ill deserving; and he cannot be rendered acceptable to God, and obtain his pardon, on the account of any thing which is not agreeable to this law, and consistent with paying a proper regard to it in all respects. Hence it is impossible that the sinner should be pardoned and restored to favour, on account of his own worthiness and righteousness.
III. In Jesus Christ the Redeemer, there is righteous. ness and worthiness enough to answer the law, and to deliver the sinner from the curse of it, and recommend him to all the favour he wants, when it may be with propriety reckoned in his favour ; or when he is interested in it, so that he may, consistently with reason and truth, have the benefit of it.* “ He is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth.”+ He has been made a curse, that he might deliver all who believe in him from the curse of the law. And God can be just, can act consistent with his righteousness, and make a display of it, and do no injury to himself, his law and government, or to his creatures, but maintain the rights of all ; and yet justify the sinner who be. lieves in Jesus. “ Being justified freely, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ : Whom God hath set forth a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to de. clare his righteousness ; that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.” The scripture represents all favour, pardon of sin, redemption and eternal life, as given to men, not out of regard to any righteousness or worthiness of theirs ; but purely for the sake of Christ, out of regard for the atonement he has made by his own blood, and his righteousness and worthiness. The whole that is comprised in redemption, pardon of sin, peace with God, and eternal lifc, are given through Christ, that is, on his account, and for his sake. * Therefore, being justified by faith, we have
peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”|| “ Being justified freely by his grace, through the res demption that is in Jesus Christ.”I Righteousness recommends to favour; this the justified sinner has not in himself, but in Christ. His righteousness is unto all, and upon all them that believe. He is the end of the
• This has been before considered, in stating the character, design and work of the Redeemer. Part II. Chap. II. III. † Rom. x. 4. # Gal. iii. 13. S Rom. iii. 24, 26.
U Rom. v. 1. 9 Chap. iii. 24.
law for righteousness.* On this St. Paul placed his whole dependence. He says, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord : For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him ; not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law ; but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”+ Believers are accepted in the beloved, that is, purely out of respect to the worthiness of Christ. Therefore, they are directed to ask for all the favour they want, in his name, that is, for his sake.
IV. In order to be interested in the righteousness of Christ, so as to have the benefit of it, and be recommended to favour, and justified on his account, and for his sake, it is necessary, that men should be united to him by a peculiar union, so as to be the members of the body of which he is the head.
This union, or relation, which actually takes place between Christ and the justified, by which they obtain this privilege, it has been before observed, is represented by various similitudes ; by the union of the branches with the vine, by which they are one tree, and have the same life and sap running through the whole : By the head and members, which make one body : By the union of husband and wife, by which they become one flesh, and the wife shares in the riches, worthiness and honours of the husband, however poor, mean and unworthy she was, antecedent to her union to him. This union of the justified with Christ, is often expressed in scripture by being in Christ. “That I may win Christ, and be found in him.” And, we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.”| " Abide in me, and I in you."'T
The children of the first Adam were to partake of the benefit of his righteousness, had he, by his obedience, obtained the righteousness of the law : and they do actually share with him in the evil consequences of his sin, by virtue of their union with him. He and they are naturally united, as he is their common pro* Rom. iü. 22. *. 4. † Phil, üi. 8, 9. # Eph. i. 6.
§ Phil. ij. 8, 9, Hl 1 Jahn v. 20.
John xy. 4.
genitor, and they his posterity. And by divine constitution he was appointed in such a sense, their common, public head, that the effects of his righteousness, should he obtain it, or his sin, should he trangress, should be transmitted to them. Yet they could not be justified by his obedience or righteousness, or condemned for his sin, without an express, or implicit, moral, voluntary union to him, which was indeed supposed and secured by the constitution. If Adam had obeyed the law perfectly, and obtained righteousness and life, his children could not have the benefit of it when they came to exist, in any other way, but by a moral, voluntary union of heart to him, by approving of his character and conduct, and of that constitution, which in this way would bring them to share in the benefit of his obedience, so that they should have the benefit of his righteousness, and be made heirs of eternal life, without being in a state of trial themselves. And were it possible, in that case, and should any of his posterity actually withhold their consent to what their father had done, and refuse to be thus united to him, and to be justified in this way, they must be excluded from all interest in his righteousness, and benefit by it. And since Adam did sin, guilt and condemnation came upon his posterity by their moral union to him, by either an implicit or express consent to his sinning, and approbation of him in this character. Therefore, if there be any one of the human race, who has lived heretofore, is now on the stage, or shall exist from this time to the end of the world, who never consents in any degree, either explicitly, or by implication, to the first transgression ; but perfectly and constantly, through life, refuses to unite himself to him as a sinner ; that is, does not commit one sin, but continues perfectly holy, he will not partake of any of the guilt of the sin of Adam, nor be condemned by any law or constitution whatever.
The second Man, the last Adam, of whom the first was a figure and type, is as really a public head and substitute for others, as the first, but not in every respect and circumstance like him ; yea, infinitely different in some respects. He has so far united himself to man, as to become a real man, and take the place of man, under the law; and has made full atonement for sin, by taking the curse on himself, and suffering it in man's stead, the just for the unjust ; and has obtained the righteousness of the law by perfect obedience to it; by which he has brought in everlasting righteousness, a righteousness unspeakably more excellent, and meritorious, and worthy of respect and reward, than all possible obedience of men or angels. And having thus obtained all that sinful lost man wants, in order to complete his redemption and happiness, he freely offers himself, with all his fulness, for man, to every one who comes within hearing of the gospel, and is willing to be united to him, and receive him, with the blessings he has to give, without money or price, without requiring or expecting any returns to be made by the sinner, as any degree of com. pensation.
But all this does not put the sinner in possession of the pardon of his sins, and a title to life. But he will as certainly perish in his sins, as if there had been no such Redeemer, unless a moral union take place between him and the Saviour, by his hearty approbation of his character, of his design, and of what he has done and suffered for the salvation of men ; and he, cordially unite himself to him in the character he sustains, as the Redeemer of sinners. It is not proper, it is not right and fit, it is in, congruous, and therefore impossible, that he should have any interest in the atonement and righteousness of Christ, so as to be pardoned and received to favour, out : of respect to that, while with his whole heart he opposes and rejects him, and is disposed not to come to him, that he might have life ; because by this there is a moral discord between him and the Redeemer, and opposition to him, and refusal to be in any union or relation to him.
If a rich and honourable prince offer himself to a mean woman, who is poor and greatly in debt, to be her husband, and make her honourable, rich and happy, this will not put her in possession of these benefits, or give her the least interest in them, or title to them, unless she consents to take him as her husband, and cordially receive him as he offers himself. It is by accepting the offer that the relation of husband and wife takes place, and they are so unįted as to become one flesh, in conse,