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ted upon different persons. The execution of it upon a great person inspires with more awful thoughts of it than the execution merely upon an obscure person of the vulgar, whose life or death would be little observed. All the other persons that ever suffered for sin on earth or hell, principalities and powers of darkness, were but mean, low, vulgar, in comparison of this King of kings, and Lord of lords.
(4.) It was also an execution of it upon the near. est relation of the judge. The relation between God and Christ is expressed in the analogy between that of a father and a son. It is a remarkable
in history, of the Roman general, who resolved strictly to put in execution that law, that no soldier should go out of his rank, under the pain of death, without the General's leave; his own son having done it, as I remember, as the first, to shew his respect to that law, he caused his own son to be put to death. A · judge shews his respect to the law by executing it upon persons even of the nearest relation to himself; and one of the nearest relations in the world is that between a father and a son. But the relation. between a father and a son is nothing to that between God and Christ. This serves to show the righteousness of the law.
If the judge execute the law only upon his enemies, he might be called partial; but if he execute the law upon those he cannot be said to have any hatred to, that shows him to be acted by the purest justice and righteousness.
III. Tbe work of redemption magnifies the law by the reward of obedience : for the law is honoured, not only when obedience is performed, but when obedience is rewarded. The Scripture speaks of the law as a person, Rom. vii. Every person thinks him. self honoured when he is obeyed; but doubly honoured when obedience to him is rewarded.
The honour that was done to Christ is done to the law; and not only all the honour that was done to Jesus Christ, but all the gifts that his people get by being united to him, for the sake of his merits, that is, for the sake of his obedience to the law. This in. deed may make us admire the wisdom of God, that the honour that is done to the criminal is done to the law; for the sinner that believes in Christ is made righteous through his righteousness; and the law is always honoured by the blessedness of the righteous. Therefore we should thus form our conception of it, that by this means still that rule is kept up, That obedience to the law is the condition of happiness. There is a difference between the old covenant and the new. The difference is not, that a title to happiness is not founded upon obedience to the law; the difference is, the old covenant was founded upon fùlfilling the law by ourselves ; here it is founded upon fulfilling it by another.
IV. The work of redemption magnifies the law, as it is a work of infinite love. We may consider brief, ly these principles. Every thing that hath the nature of a motive to strengthen obedience, to excite to obedience, magnifies the law. Favours, as well as threatenings, are motives to excite to obey God's law; and this is the greatest favour, and is one of the chief motives to stir up to obedience, and restrain from evil. Threatenings are not the only motive to stir up to obedience. Gifts from the lawgiver are also motives to obey the law. It would be too long to shew the favour and kindness we receive, and the due impression they should make.
Favours from any lawgiver are excellent motives to excite us to obey his law; but in other cases the chief design of the law is, to make us love the lawgi
The chief design of the laws among men is, to make us love any particular person ; but the design of the law of God is, to love God. Now, what can be more fit to magnify a law of love, than a work of infinite love? If we considered this, we would see nothing a greater motive to establish the law. The law of God commands us to love God; and the work of redemption is the greatest motive to love him. The law of God commands us to glorify him ;
the work of redemption shews us the brightest ma• nifestation of his glory. The law commands us to
be thankful to him; the work of redemption is the greatest mean to stir us up to thankfulness. The law commands to place our happiness in him; the work of redemption shews in whom we may expect happiness.
V. The application of the work of redemption through the Spirit working faith, magnifies the law. The law is magnified by every thing that puts disgrace upon sin. That which puts disgrace upon sin, puts honour upon obedience. We are justified by faith in Christ's righteousness; and by the Spirit we are enabled to obedience. God puts dishonour upon sin and disobedience, that no criminal may expect favour for his own sake; and, on the other hand, a șinner puts contempt upon sin, when he honours the commands of the law, and hates and loathes himself for all his transgressions. This faith necessarily sup, poses ; because faith in Christ cannot be without a sense of the need of him; and we cannot have a sense of the need of him, without a sense of sin.
By this means likewise the sinner honours the threatenings; he justifies that sentence, and condemns himself. Now, it is less surprising to see holy creatures condemning sin, and honouring the law, but to see such as were used to dishonour the law, honour it; to see them that were disobedient to the law, abhor themselves, and condemn themselves ; to see the greatest rebels made proselytes to their prince, this is a particular honour done to the law, and the ruler; especially sinners do honour to the law in the exercise of faith, by trusting that perfect obedience, that perfect satisfaction, given to the law, placing all our happiness only in Christ, who is the wisdom and
We may infer, therefore, briefly from this doctrine, that every one who despises the law, despises Christ. Christ magnified the law; he that despises the law,
shews a temper quite contrary to Christ, dishonours that which Christ honoured, and undervalues what he magnified. On the other hand, he that neglects faith in Christ, despises Christ; he neglects him who did the greatest honour to the law, and seeks salva. tion otherwise, to wit, by his own works and obedience, trusting in them, and being proud of them. Though some think this a magnifying the law, it is really a dishonouring of it; because to allow any ho. nour in opposition to Christ, is a dishonour of the law. We may infer likewise, that God hath magnified the law so wonderfully, that he will have us al. ways stand in awe of it. The practical use of this is, to magnify Christ's example, and to endeavour to follow it. It was a direction given of old by philosophers, that when a man inclines to behave himself aright in any difficult occasion, he should consider with himself, what such and such eminently wise and virtuous men would have done in such and such circumstances; what, for instance, a Plato, or a Socrates, would have done. What an unspeakable advantage is it to us, how powerful and influential should it be upon us, to consider what would the Son of God have done in such and such circumstances. What did the Son of God, when under strong temptations froi the devil ? He gave no place to them. What did he in face of the greatest afflictions? He sang an hymn of praise to God. What did he do when reviled and persecuted by cruel and ungrateful men? He prayed to God to forgive them. And so in the like instances.
We should at the same time take encouragement to ourselves, if we truly repent of our sins, if we truly see our need of Christ, to bope for mercy, because justice is so gloriously satisfied. Christ bath magnified the law; and if our hearts be truly united to him by faith, justice is satisfied. Some may be apt to say, that their sins are so great, that though God be merciful, his justice must be declared in punishing sin. This is an appearance of great humiliation ; but it may be called a kind of pride ; for a man is very proud when he thinks that God's justice, even after all that Christ hath done, must have his punishment added to Christ's, in order to glorify the law.