which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father, who is in heaven." (n) All this in imitation of the divine character, clearly intimating that without doing this they could not be the children of God.
This was the love which Christ Himself exercised, "for even Christ pleased not Himself," This and no other was the love that He ever inculcated, both by precept and example. "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you." (o)
As these were Christ's views of the divine law, and the nature of that love and obedience which it requires, so it was His opinion that the
of the law was most justly due to the transgressor. Had not this been Christ's opinion He never would have consented to bear the curse in our stead; had not this been our case there would have been no occasion for His death; if we had not deserved the penalty threatened it could not have been inflicted on us though Christ had never died. That Christ considered mankind as utterly ruined, and justly exposed to the curse, appears from the following expressions: "They that are whole have no need of the physician; but they that are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (p) "For the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." (q)
It was the opinion of Christ also, that it was not only just, and altogether desirable, and even necessary, that the curse of the law should be inflicted on every transgressor. Unless in some other way a proper testimony could be borne against sin, and the honor of the Divine government and authority were supported. Nothing appears but that Christ considered it as necessary to support the penal part of the law, as the preceptive part of it. It cannot be conceived that Christ would have so readily consented to be a substitute, to suffer in the room of sinners, had He not viewed it to be necessary.
He said on a certain occasion, "As Moses lifted up the
|(n) Mat. v, 44 45.||(o) John xv, 12.||(p) Mark ii,17.|
|(q) Luke xix, 10.|