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From the words thus opened, I observe this comprehenlive doctrine, almost the same with the words:
« That Christ, as our glorious Surety, having magnified the
law, and made it honourable, the Lord Jehovah declares himself to be well pleased for his righteousness fake."
But I shall divide this doctrine into these two: First, “ That Christ, as our Surety, has magnified the law, and
made it honourable, by his obedience to the death." Secondly, “ That however God was displeased and provoked
with the fin of man, yet he is well pleased for the righteousness fake of the blessed Surety."
I begin with the first of these, viz. “ That Christ, as the Surety of loft finners, has magnified the law, and made it honourable."
.I only quote two fcriptures for the confirmation of this; the one you have, Rom. viii. 3. 4. where the apostle tells you, that through the sacrifice and fatisfaction of Christ,“ sin is condemned, and the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us ;” and Rom. X. 4. Christ is there said to be “ the end of the law for righteousness unto every one that believeth."
Now, in discoursing this doctrine, or this branch of the complex doctrine, I shall, through divine allistance, observe the order and method following.
I. Suggeit a few things concerning the law, and how it was disparaged by the fin of man.
ll. Speak a little of the glorious person who undertakes the reparation of it as our Surety.
III. Inquire what may be imported in the expression of his magnifying the law, and making it honourable.
iv. How he magnifies the law, and what way he takes to make it honourable.
V. Give the reasons of the doârine.
1. The first thing is, to suggest a few particulars concerning the law of God, which is debased and dilparaged by the fin of man.
It then, Ye would know, that the law here principally in. tended is the moral law of the ten commandments, ai firft en. graven upon the hearts of our first parents at their creation, and afterwards, because that edition or copy.cf it was much I
obliterated and defaced by the fall, published to Israel from the mouth of God upon Mount Sinai, and written upon tables of stone, and laid up in the ark for the use of Israel. This, I say, is the law here intended. The ceremonial and judicial law were things peculiar unto the Jews, or commonwealth of Ifrael; but the moral law had a being so soon as man was created, and is binding upon all nations. For the breach of this law man was condemned, and all his pofterity laid under the curse : and therefore this must be the law which Chrift, as our Surety, came to magnify and make honourable. And concerning it, I offer,
2dly, That the moral law is nothing else but a transcript of the original holiness and purity of God's nature. God's effential holiness and righteousness was too bright and dazzling a pattern for man, even in a state of innocency; and therefore he transcribes a copy of it, and pictures it out upon the heart of man, that he might make it the rule of his obedience in heart and in life, requiring him to be holy as he is holy.
3dly, The law being a copy or emanation of God's holinels and righteousness, it must be dearer to him than heaven and earth, or the whole frame of nature. Hence is that of Christ, Mattb. v. 17. 18. “ Think not that I am come to deAroy the law and the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfl. Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall in no ways pass from the law, till all be fulálled.” Sirs, whatever mean or low thoughts we may have of the law, through the blindness of our minds, yet I can assure you, that it is such a sacred thing with God, that he will sooner unhinge the frame of nature, and reduce it to its original nothing, than suffer it to be trampled upon by finners, without thewing a suitable resentment.
4tbly, This law was given to our first parents under the form of a covenant; a promise of life being made to them, upon condition of their yielding a perfect obedience ; and a threatening of death added, in case of disobedience, “ In the day thou eatest, thou shalt surely die.” In this covenant Adam stood as the public head and representative of all his posterity: had he continued in his obedience to the law of that covenant, eternal life had been conferred on him, and all his posterity, by virtue of the promise of God; the sum and substance of that covenant being, as the apostle tells us," the man who doth these things shall live by them.”
Sthly, Man being left to the freedom of his own will, through the flattering hifles of the old ferpent,“ did break the iaw of God," and so forfeited his title to life by virtue of VOL. III. Bb
that covenant; and brought himself, and all his posterity, under the curse or penalty of death temporal, spiritual, and eter. nal, Rom. v. 12. “ By one man fin entered into the world, and death by Gn; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have finned."
6thly, The law being broken and violated by sin, the honour of the law, and the authority of God, the great Law. giver, are, as it were, laid in the dust, and trampled under foot, by the rebellious and disobedient finner. When man finned, he, upon the matter, denied that the law was holy, just, and good; and, at the same time, disowned God for a sovereign, saying, with proud Pharaoh, “ Who is the Lord, that I should obey him? I myself am Lord, and will come no more unto thee." In a word, every fin, every transgression of the law, is a breaking God's bands, and a casting his cords from us, and a saying practically, 'Let the Almighty depart from us, for we defire not the knowledge of his ways.' And what an insufferable affront and indignity is this, for worm man to offer unto the " high and lofty One that inhabits eternity?" and what a wonder is it, that " indignation and wrath, tribulation, and anguilh,” does not pursue every sinner through eternity?
7thly, The law being violated, and the Lawgiver affronted, in such a way as has been hinted, the salvation of Ginners by the law, and the works of it, becomes utterly impossible, unless the honour of the law, and of the great Lawgiver, be repaired and restored some how or other. It is among the irreverGble decrees of heaven, that " in his fight no fleth living shall be justified," unless the holiness of the law be vindicated by a perfect obedience to its precept, and a complete satisfaction be given unto justice for the injuries done to the honour of the great Lord and Lawgiver: without this," he will by no means acquit the guilty.” Thus matters stood with Adam before the first promise of Christ, and thus matters stand with all his posterity, until we fly to him, who is “ the end of the law for righteousness to every one that beJieveth."
II. The second thing was to inquire, Who he is that undertakes to magnify the law, and make it honourable, as our Surety ?
I answer, it is none other than Messiah the Prince, of whom you were hearing from Daniel ix. 24. the eternal Son of God, who voluntarily offered himself as a Surety and Saviour of loft finners, and who gave bond from eternity to his father, that, in the fulness of time, he would not only affume our nature, but repair the honour of the law, and satisfy justice to
the full, saying, as Psal. xl. 7. 8. “Lo I come, in the volume of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart.” Now, this is the person who magnifies the law and makes it honourable ; and concerning this glorious person we find many great things said in this chapter. As,
1. That he is his Father's servant, as ver. 1. “ Behold my servant whom I uphold.” He is essentially considered " in the form of God, and thinks it not robbery to be equal with God," and yet “ he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and, as a servant, he had both his work and his wages appointed him by his Father. His work was, to redeem the lost finners of Adam's family, by his obedience unto death ; and his wages or reward was, his own and his Father's glory, and our salvation: and for this “joy that was set before him, he endured the cross, despising the Thame,” thinking his thirty-three years service but a little time, for the love he bore to his Father's honour and our salvation, alluding to Jacob's service for Rachel.
2. We are here told of him, that he is his Father's elect, ver. 1. “Behold my servant whom I uphold," mine elect, that is, my chosen one, according to that, Pfal. Ixxxix. 19. " I have laid help upon one that is mighty ; I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” He was elected by his Father, and we are elected in him, Eph. i. 4. “ He hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world.” Oh, Sirs ! let God's elect, or chosen redeemer, be our choice also. The reason why his Father chose him, and set him up from everlasting; was, none other was fit for the undertaking, none other was capable to bear the weight of that service, but he alone.
3. We are told that he is his Father's darling or delight, ver. 1. “ Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth.” Agreeable to this is that which Chrift, under the notion of the wisdom of God, tells us concerning himself, Proy. viji. “ I was by him as one brought up with him, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him." Oh, Sirs ! let it fill us with wonder and admiration at the love of God to lost finners, that he should take his beloved Son, his only Son, the Son of his bosom and delight, and give him to the death for us finners, that he might repair the honour of the law, at the expence of his blood, that so we might be saved in a confiftency with the law and justice of God; “this is the Lord's doing,” and may juftly be « marvellous in our eyes.” 4. We are told concerning this person, who inagnified the
law as our Surety, that he is qualified by his Father for the work and service of redemption, by the anointing of the eternal Spirit, ver. 1. “I will put my spirit upon him, God, even his God, hath anointed him with the oil of gladness above all his fellows." There is a fulness of the Spirit in him, as the head of the mystical body, that out of his fulness we might receive grace for grace, and because of the favour of this good ointment, his “ name is as ointment poured forth."
5. He is one whose commission is very extensive; for we are told in the close of ver. 1. that he shall bring forth judgement to the Gentiles.” The eternal counsels of heaven, here called judgement, were to be published, not only to the Jews, but even to the Gentiles, who were “ aliens to the commonwealth of Israel,” for many hundred years. I will not only give him “ to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preferved of Israel;" but also to be “ a light unto the Gentiles, and to be God's salvation unto the ends of the earth.” Oh! that now, when this prophecy is turned into history, there may be a flocking of the poor Gentiles into this “ ensign that is set up unto the nations ; Christ preached unto the Gentiles” is a part of the incredible “ mystery of godliness."
6. We are told of him, that he was to be a meek and low. ly Saviour, and that he would manage and carry on his work without much noise, ver. 2. “ He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street."
7. That he was to be very tender and compassionate towards his poor people, particularly the weaklings of his flock, vér. 3. “ a bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench;” he will not discourage or despise the least degree or beginnings of faith, love, or obedience; no, “ he thall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and thall gently lead those that are with young."
8. That he would be victorious and successful in his work, maugre all the opposition that should lie in his way, either from heaven, earth, or hell, ver. 3. 4. “He shall bring forth judgement unto truth. He thall not fail, nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement in the earth.”
9. We are told of him, that he would bear his Father's commission, and be sustained in his work by the right hand of his power, ver. 6."1 the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee." He did not intrude himself into the work of the ministry, or run