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In the text under consideration he says, “ Whatsoever ye shall ask the father in my name, he will give it you." At another time he faid, " Whatsoever ye shall afk in my pame, that will I do. If ye fhall ask any thing in my name, I will do it"? And we ask the father in the name of Jesus Chrift, when we go to Christ, and ask him ; for in this way we approach to the father, through him. We ask in the name of Christ, when we go immediately to Jesus Christ, and through him as a medium to the father, as really and as much as if we apply expressly to the father, and ask expressly in the name of Christ : For to ask in the name of Christ, is to rely on the atones ment he has made, and on his merit and righteousness for the favour we ask. And this may be done when we apply immediately to Christ, as really and as much as if we apply expressly to the father in his name..
VII. This fubject is fuited to excite in our minds a conviction, and impress a sense of the amazing, infinite crime and folly of flighting and rejecting the Redeemer of men. The crime of this is great in proportion to the greatnefs, worthiness and excellence of this person, and his amazing condescension and goodness exercised and manifested in what he has done and suffered for man. And the folly of it is great, in proportion to the greatness of the evil from which he offers to deliver us ; and of the good and happiness which he has obtained for man and invites him to accept, both of which are infinite. How unspeakably great then must be this wickedness and folly! They are to us as incomprehensible in their magnitude, as are the person and works of the Redeemer; they are truly boundless and infinite! They are attended with innumerable other aggravations, which far exceed our thought. How much more guilty are they who reject and cast contempt upon Christ, than they could have been, had there been no such person, no such Redeemer! And their endless punishment who perfift in slighting him
and + John xiv. 13, 14.
and neglecting this falvation, and die impenitent, will be inconceivably greater. They slight, they reject and dispise God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and declare themselves to be irreconcilable enemies to him, while he is offering to be reconciled to them, to pardon their multiplied and infinitely aggravated offences, and be- ! Itow on them eternal life, in consequence of the Redeem er's undertaking in behalf of man, and obeying, and suf. fering unto death, for them. This ferves to discover the universality, the exceeding greatness, and the malignity of the moral depravity of man. Jews and Gentiles acted this out, in the horrid action, never to be forgotten, in condemning and crucifying the Son of God, the Re. deemer, when he was in their reach and power. And every man and woman who have lived Gnce, and had opportunity to know the person and character of the Redeemer, have been guilty of the same crime, in a greater or less degree ; as we have all slighted and abufed him more or less ; and so have, in this way, in some measure at least, joined with them who put him to death.
THIS is a subject upon which professing christ. ians are far from being agreed. They differ in opinion reacting it, according to their different views of the moral state and character of man ; from what he is to be redeemned ; and of what is necessary to be done or suf- .. fered in order to his redemption. And this lays the foundation of their difference of opinion respecting the person and character of the Redeemer. For he must be aaswerabie lelie state of man, and to that which must be done or Herd in order to his being delivered from fin and milery, and made completly happy forever, conüitent with the d:vine law, and the wisdom and honour of the moral Governor of man.
There are not a few in the christian world who enter. tain such ideas of God, his law and moral government; of the character of man, and the 'nature and crime of fin, that they íve no need of a Mediator and Redeemer, in order to the pardon and salvation of men: And therefore consider Terus Christ as an impostor, and all who believe in him as deluded ; and wholly discard divine revelation, and plunge into the darkness of Deism.
The Jews are so ignorant of the nature of the moral law, and their own state, that they think they stand in need of no Redeemer, but one who shall deliver them from the power and oppression of man, and bestow on
them temporal, worldly dominion, prosperity and happie ness. They therefore reject Jesus Christ, and hope for the deliverance they desire, by their expected Mela Gah.
There are many profesfing christians, who have much the same sentiments respecting God, law, fin, and the moral state of man, with Jews and Deifts; and confe. quently, though they profess to believe that Jesus Christis the Saviour of men, they see no need of a Saviour that is more than a man, or a mere creature ; and therefore do not believe in his divinity.
Others have such views of God, his law and moral government, of the character and state of man in his aposa tacy, and of what is necessary to be done and suffered in order to their redemption, that they feel the need of a divine Redeemer ; whose person and character bas been described in the foregoing chapter, and which they are prepared to see plainly exhibited in the Bible.
From this view, it appears that in order to understand the work of the Redeemer, the design of his undertaking and what he does effect, we must have right views of the law of God which man has transgressed ; and of the ftate into which he is fallen by this rebellion.
The law of God points out the duty of man, and rea quires of him what is perfe&tly right, and no more, or less. It cannot therefore be altered in the least degree, so as to require more or less, without rendering itless perfect and good. It is therefore an eternal unalterable rule of righteousness,which cannot be abrogated or altered in the least iota, by an infinitely perfect, unchangeable legislature and governour, consistent with his character, his perfect rectitude and righteousness. This law necessarily implies, as essential to it, a sanction or penalty, consisting in evil, or a punishment, which is in exact proportion to the magnitude of the crime of transgressing it ; or the desert of
the transgressor, which is threatened to be executed on the offender. This penalty which is threatened, must be no more, nor less, than the Ginner deserves, or the demerit of the crime. The least deviation from this would render the law so far imperfect, and wrong. Every creature under this law, is under infinite obligations to obey it without any deviation from it in the least poffi. ble instance, through the whole of his existence ; and every instance of rebellion tends to infinite evil, to break up the divine government, and bring ruin and misery on all the moral world : Therefore every transgression of this law, or neglect to obey it, deserves infinite evil as the proper punishment of it. Consequently this evil, this punishment, must be the threatened penalty of the law ; which has heen shown in a former chapter.
Man by transgression has incurred the penalty of this law, and fallen under the curse of it; “ For it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them."'* This curse cannot be taken off, and man released, until it has its effect, and all the evil implied in it be suffered, which man can never do, so as to be delivered from it, or from suffering, because a finite creature is not capa. ble of suffering the evil contained in the curse in any li. mited duration ; and therefore his sufferings must be without end, or everlasting. And no future obedience, should man repert and live perfectly obedient after he. had trarisgressed, would atone for his sin, or remove the curse in the beast degree, according to law ; for his obedience, though ever so perfect, and continued ever so long, would be no more than what he constantly owed, and therefore no more than his duty, had he'never transa gressed. Thus man by fin fell into an irrecoverably loft state, and brought the curse of the law of God upon him, from which it is impossible he Should deliver him. • Gal. iij. 10.