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ject of the incarnation, thus expresseth himself: “ He taketh not hold of angels, but he taketh hold of “ the seed of Abraham P;" he took or assumed the manhood into God. As the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ. The soul is not turned into, nor compounded with, the body: yet they two, though distinct in nature, form one man. The natures are preserved, without confusion; the person is entire, without di. vision
Thus then, as the necessity of the case, and the counsels of the Most High, required, “ The Word “ was made flesh;” and, being made flesh, dwelt
amongst us;” not appearing occasionally, as in ancient times, but making his abode with his creatures; “ rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, " and delighting to be with the sons of men;" insomuch that we read of those, who were not afraid to ask him, "Master, where dwellest thou ?” and received this gracious answer, “Come and see.” “He
pitched his tent among us', a stranger and a sojourner, as his fathers were, concerning whom it is the apostle's observation, that though the heirs of the promise, they lived in tents, shifting from place to place, and declaring, that here, on earth, they
Ρ Ου γαρ δηπ8 αγγελων επιλαμβανεται, αλλα σπερματος Αβρααμ επιλαμβανεται.
9 Sic factum est Caro, ut maneret Verbum; non immutando quod erat, sed assumendo quod non erat: nostra auxit, sua non minuit; nec sacramentum pietatis detrimentum Deitatis. CoNCIL. CHALCED. * Εσκήνωσεν εν ημίν.
had no permanent city, but looked for one to come. The fleshly tabernacle, in which he resided, at the close of his pilgrimage, was to be taken down, in order afterwards to be re-erected in a more glorious manner, and for ever fixed at the right hand of God; like the glory of old, which first travelled with Israel through the wilderness in a moveable tent, and then at length, rested in a durable temple, on the hill of Sion. As the Captain of our salvation, the Leader of the Israel of God, he preceded his people to the battle against their spiritual enemies; and now, as King of glory, crowned with victory and honour, he is seated on his throne, holding forth rewards to all his faithful soldiers and servants, which they are to receive at his hands, when the days of their pilgrimage and warfare shall be ended.
But let us not imagine that even in the state of humiliation, his glory was altogether obscured by the veil within which it dwelt; or that its frequent irradiations were not sufficient to convince those who beheld the house, how illustrious a guest it had the honour to contain. Eye-witnesses have given a different account. “ The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld bis glory, the “ glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” The sun was covered with a cloud; but it was the sun still ;, and often manifested, through the cloud, the power and brightness of its beams.
That Christ was man, the labours and the sorrows, the stripes, the wounds, the pains, and the death, which, as man, he suffered, did fully attest. But they who saw the most boisterous elements in
nature cease from raging, and compose themselves into a perfect calm, when he said, “Peace, be still;" they who saw a foul and inveterate leprosy done away in a moment, by the words, “ Be clean;" they who saw a body, that had been four days dead, arise from its tomb, when he called, “ Lazarus, come “ forth;” these might well ask, “What manner of
man is this, that even the winds and the sea, dis
ease, and death itself, obey him?" Outwardly, indeed, he appears to be a man; but surely, under that form, a celestial visitant is come among us.
Is not this the Lord of nature ? Is not this man's Almighty Redeemer?
When, at the marriage of Cana, he had caused water to change its nature and properties, and to become wine, it is said, " This beginning of miracles “ did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth kis glory; and his disciples believed on him.”
But our evangelist saw more. He was one of those who attended their Master on the mount of transfiguration, and to whom was vouchsafed a glimpse of that excellent glory which the WORD “ had with the Father before the world was," and with which the humanity, by him assumed, is now for ever invested. The Divinity, enshrined within, communicated its radiance outwardly to the body, and even to the garments, till mortality seemed to be swallowed up of life ; " His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”
, The “ Lord our God became exceeding glorious,
he was clothed with majesty and honour, he
« decked himself with light as it were with a gar
And if we reflect upon the manner in which it pleased the Father to exalt and ennoble the most abasing circumstances of his life and death, by the choir of angels that descended to celebrate his birth; the new star which appeared in the skies, guiding the Eastern sages to Bethlehem; the voice which answered him from heaven, in the audience of the Jews; the preternatural eclipse of the sun at his crucifixion; recollecting, at the same time, the triumph of his resurrection, and the manner. of his ascension in the presence of his disciples; all these particulars conspire to declare the glory not of a servant, as. Móses, but of a Son, of “the only begotten;" a glory not of magnificence only, or one beset with terrors, like that of Sinai, but bearing towards man,
instance, a benign and most friendly, aspect; as the same bright luminary, which rises in glorious majesty upon the earth, gives life, health, and gladness to all its inhabitants. “We beheld bis glory, the “ glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." In a subsequent verse of this chapter, we find grace and truth” set in opposition to the Mosaic law. “ The law. was given by Moses, but grace " and truth came by Jesus Christ.”. The law was
. the dispensation of justice, austere, rigorous, in flexible. “ He that doeth these things, shall live in " them;" and, “Cursed is he that continueth not in " all things that are written in the book of the law,
“ to do them.” The Gospel is the dispensation of mercy, mild, gracious, forgiving, saying to the unhappy transgressor of the law, “ Believe in the Lord
Jesus, and thou shalt be saved.” The law could only make sin known, and, by consequence, ago gravate its guilt; the Gospel can pardon' sin, and abolish its guilt. Such is the contrast between the moral law and “grace.” The ceremonial stands opposed to“ truth,” not as being false, but figurative. « The law had a shadow of good things to come; “ but the body," the substance, the reality, the truth, pointed at, and delineated by such a shadowy representation," is of Christ.” The blood of bulls and goats, for instance, was offered, but it could not take away sin; it was never intended so to do ; it was “a figure for the time then present,” designed to direct the faith of the offerer to its correspondent truth, namely, the blood of Messiah, to be afterwards shed for that purpose. In itself the law was ineffectual, and of course, if rested in, proved falla. cious and destructive.
But the words, as they stand in the text, may be taken in a more extended sense, comprehending the whole world, which, at the time of Christ's advent, was in a state of error and condemnation. The two blessings, therefore, of which it stood most eminently in need, were “ grace and truth ;" grace to deliver it from condemnation, and truth to correct its errors. Both these God by Christ did vouchsafe to bestow
“ He hath made us accepted in the be