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built, repair: so is best ever. And, indeed, sic oportet implere omnem justitiam, that were the way to fulfil all justice; if the Word would take flesh, He might make full amends for the flesh's fault in rejecting the Word. So is justice; that flesh for flesh; and not the flesh of oxen and sheep, but even that flesh that sinneth (our flesh), should suffer for it, and, so suffering, make satisfaction to justice. Why then, factum est caro, the Word is made flesh: this makes up all. For factum est, ergo est; He is made flesh, therefore is flesh: Fieri terminatur ad esse, the end of making, is being. And per modum naturæ (so is eyeveto) this being is natural ; et nativitas est via ad naturam, and nativity is the way to nature. So to be born, as this day He was: venit per carnem, sanat per verbum, that all flesh may see the salvation of God (Luke iii. 6).”- Bishop Andrews, pp. 46, 47.
“ Heb. ii. 16 : For he in no wise took the angels: but the seed of Abraham he took.
“ And what is the seed of Abraham, but as Abraham himself is ? And, what is Abraham ? Let him answer himself; I am dust and ashes (Gen. xviii, 7). What is the seed of Abraham ? Let one answer in the persons of all the rest; Dicens putredini &c.'saying to rottenness, Thou art my mother; and to the worms, Ye are my brethren' (Job xvii. 14). Angels are spirits ; now what are we? what is the seed of Abraham ? Flesh. And what is the very harvest of this seed of flesh? what but corruption, and rottenness, and worms: there is the substance of our bodies (Gal. vi. 8). 2. They, glorious spirits : we, vile bodies (bear with it, it is the Holy Ghost's own term; ·Who shall change our vile bodies,' Phil. iii. 21). And not only base and vile, but filthy and unclean (Job xiv. 4; Psal. li. 6). This we are, to them, if you lay us together....Man is but a thing of nought. There is our worth; this is Abraham, and this is Abraham's seed : and who would stand to compare these with angels? Now, then, this is the rule of reason, the guide of all choice; evermore to take the better, and leave the worse. Thus would man do: here then cometh the matter of admiration. Notwithstanding these things stand thus, between the angels and Abraham's seed- they, spirits, glorious, heavenly, immortal-yet he took not them, yet in no wise took he them; but the seed of Abraham. T'he seed of Abraham, with their bodies, vile bodies, earthly bodies, of clay, of mortality, corruption, and death : these he took; these he took for all that.... This being beyond the rules and reach of all reason, is surely matter of astonishment. This (saith St. Chrysostom) it casteth me into an ecstasy, and maketh me to imagine of our nature some great matter, I cannot well express what. Thus it is : “ It is the Lord, let him do
, what seemeth good in his own eyes.' When man fell, God did
all : made after him presently; sought to reclaim him; protested enmity to him that had drawn him thus away; made his assumpsit of the woman's seed ; and (which is more) when that would not serve, sent after him still by the hand of his prophets, to solicit his return; and (which is yet more) when that would not serve neither, went after him (Himself) in person. Corpus apta mihi, Ecce venio: Get me a body, I will myself after him. And he gave not over his pursuit, though it were long and laborious, and he full weary; though it cast him into a sweat, a sweat of blood. Man offending, he spared him ; and to spare him (saith St. Paul), he spared not his own Son: nor his own Son spared not himself; but followed his pursuit, through danger, distress, yea, through death itself. Followed, and so followed as nothing made him leave following till he overtook. And when he had overtaken, erilaubaveitai : which is not every taking ; not suscipere or assumere ; but, manum injicere arripere, apprehendere, to seize upon it with great vehemency, to lay hold on it with both hands, as upon a thing we are glad we have got, and will be loth to let go again. And yet, behold a far greater than all these : which is, apprehendit semen: He took not the person, but he took the seed (that is) the nature of man. Many there be that can be content to take upon them the persons, and to represent them whose natures nothing could hire them once to take upon them. But the seed is the nature; yea (as the philosopher saith), naturæ intimum, the very internal essence of nature is the seed. The Apostle sheweth what his meaning is, of this taking the seed, when (the verse next afore, save one) he saith, that . Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also would take part with them, by taking the same.' To take the flesh and blood, he must needs take the seed; for from the seed the flesh and blood doth proceed : which is nothing else but the blessed apprehension of our nature by this day's nativity; whereby He and we become, not only one flesh, but even one blood too (as brethren by natural union). Per omnia similis (saith the Apostle in the next verse after, again), sin only set aside : alike and suitable to us in all things : flesh and blood, and nature, and all. So taking the seed of Abraham, as that He became himself the Seed of Abraham : so was, and so is truly termed in the Scriptures : which is it that doth consummate and knit up all this point, and is the head of all. For in all other apprehensions we may let go and lay down when we will; but this, this taking on the seed, the nature of man, can never be put off. It is an assumption without a deposition. One we are, he and we; and so we must be ; one as this day, so for ever. And the end why he thus took upon him the seed of Abraham was, because he took upon him to deliver the seed of Abraham. Deliver them he
VOL. II.--NO, I.
could not, except he destroyed death, and the lord of death, the devil. Them he could not destroy, unless he died: die he could not, except he were mortal: mortal he could not be, except he took our nature on him, that is, the seed of ABRAHAM. "But, taking it, he became mortal, died, destroyed death, delivered us; was (himself) apprehended, that we might be let go.
“ To conclude. The Word he is, and in the Word; but, this day, Verbum caro factum est; and so must be apprehended, in both ; but specially in his flesh, as this day giveth it, as this day would have us. Now the bread which we break, is it not the partaking of the body, of the flesh, of Jesus Christ? It is surely; and by it (and by nothing more) are we made partakers of this blessed union. A little before he said, “Because the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also would take part with them. May not we say the same? Because he hath so done, taken ours of us, we also, ensuing his steps, will participate with him, and with his flesh, which he hath taken of us. It' is most kindly to take part with him, in that which he took part in with us; and that to no other end but that he might make the receiving of it by us a means whereby he might dwell in us and we in him; he taking our flesh, and we receiving his Spirit: by his flesh, which he took of us, receiving his Spirit, which he imparteth to us : that as he, by ours, became consors humanæ naturæ; so we, by his, might become consortes Divinæ naturæ, partakers of the Divine nature. Verily, it is the most straight and perfect taking hold that is. No union so knitteth as it : not consanguinity; brethren fall out : not marriage ; man and wife are severed. But that which is nourished, and the nourishment wherewith ; they neves are, never can be severed; but remain one for ever. With this act, then, of mutual
! taking ; taking of his flesh, as he hath taken ours ; let us seal our duty to him this day, for taking not angels, but the seed of ABRAHAM.”— Bishop Andrews on the Nativity, 1632, pp. 2–9. “God is of himself a mystery, and hidden....
But, a hidden God our nature did not endure....Mystical, invisible gods we cannot skill of. This we would have, God to be manifested. Why, then, God is manifested. Manifested! wherein ? Sure, if God will condescend to be manifested, there is none but will think it is meet to be, and it would be, in the most glorious creature that is under or above the sun : none good enough. Yea, in what thing soever, be it never so excellent, for God to manifest himself in, is a disparagement too. What say you to flesh? Is it meet God be manifested therein ? Without controversy it is not. Why, what is flesh? It is no mystery to tell what it is : it is "dust' (saith the Patriarch Abraham, Gen. xviii. 27): it is
grass' (saith the Prophet Isaiah, xl. 6); fænum, grass cut down, and withering: it is corruption,' not corruptible, but even corruption itself (saith the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 54). There being, then, so great a golph, so huge a space, so infinite a distance between those two, between God and dust, God and hay, God and corruption, as no coming of one at the other; sileat omnis caro, talk not of flesh. Were it not a proud desire, and full of presumption, to wish things so remote to come together ? to wish that the Deity in the flesh may be manifest ? Yet, we see, wished it was by one in a place, Cant. viii. That is, o that he might be manifested in the flesh, O that he might be! And so he was. Not only manifest at all (that is great), but manifest in the flesh (that is greater). We cannot choose but hold this mystery for great, and say (with Augustine), Deus: quid gloriosius ? Caro: quid vilius ? Deus in carne : quid mirabilíus ? God: what more glorious ? Flesh : what more base ? God in the flesh: what more marvellous ? “To make an end, one question more. To what end? Cui
? bono? who is the better for all this? God, that is manifested ; or the flesh, wherein he is manifested ? Not God: to Him there groweth nothing out of this manifestation. It is for the good of the flesh, that God was manifested in the flesh. l. For the good present ; for we let go that of the Psalmist now (Thou that hearest the prayer, to thee shall all flesh come, lxv. 2); and much better and more properly say, Thou that art manifested in the flesh, to thee shall all flesh come; with boldness entering into the holy place, by the new and living way prepared for us, through the veil, that is, his flesh. 2. And for the good to come; for we are put in hope, that the end of this manifesting God in the flesh, will be the manifesting of the flesh in him even as he is; and that which is the end of the verse be the end of all, The receiving us up into glory. To this haven arriveth this mystery, of the manifestation of it.”—Ibid. p. 21.
“ Made of a woman. For, man he might have been made, and yet have had a body framed for him in heaven, and not made of a woman: but when he saith, factum ex muliere, it is evident He passed not through her, as water through a conduit pipe (as fondly dreameth the Anabaptist). Made of: factum ex : ex dicit materiam. Made of her; she ministered the matter: flesh of her flesh-made of her very substance.
“ This now is full for the union with our nature, to be made of a woman. But so to be made of a woman, without he be also made under the Law, is not near enough yet: as debtors we were, by virtue of the handwriting that was against us (Col. ii. 14), which was our bond, and we had forfeited it. And so, factus ex muliere, to us, without factus sub lege, would have been to small purpose: no remedy therefore. He must be new made ; made again once more. And so he was, cast in a new mould ; and at his second making, made under the law : under which
if he had not been made we had been marred; even quite undone for ever, if this had not been done for us too. Therefore he became bound for us also; entered bond anew ; took on him, not only our nature, but our debt; our nature and condition both : nature, as men; condition, as sinful men, expressed in the words following (them that were under the law), for that was our condition. There had, indeed, been no capacity in him to do this, if the former had not gone before, factum ex muliere; if he had not been, as we, made of a woman: but the former was for this; made of a woman he was, that he might be made under the law : being ex muliere, he might then become sub lege; which before he could not, but then he might and did : and so this still is the fuller."--Ibid. pp. 27, 28.
“And now, being past these points of belief, I come to that which I had much rather stand on (and so it is best for us), that which
stir our love to Him that thus became flesh First, comparing factum with dictum : for if we were so much beholden for verbum dictum, the word spoken, the promise ; how much more for Verbum factum, the performance ? If for factum carni, the Word that came to flesh; how then for factum caro, became flesh?
Then, taking factum absolutely. The Word, by whom all things were made, to come to be made itself. It is more for Him, fieri, to be made any thing, than facere, to make another world, yea, many worlds more. There is more a great deal in this factum est, than in omnia per Ipsum facta sunt : in He was made, than in all things by Him were made. Factum est, with what he was made ? For, if made; made the most complete thing of all that ever he had made; made a spirit, for God is a Spirit (John iv. 24); some degree of nearness between them. But what is man, that He should be made him; or the son of man, that He should take his nature upon him! (Psal. viii. 4* ; Heb. ii. 7.) If man, yet the more noble part, the immortal part: make it the soul, the precious soul (Prov. vi. 24); not the body, the vile body (Phil. iii. 21). Of the Word He said ever, vidimus gloriam ejus, we saw the glory of it: of the flesh we may say, vidimus sordes ejus, we daily see that comes from it; worse is not to be seen. Set not so precious a stone in so base a metal. But this is not all. If he must be made, make him something wherein is some good : for in our flesh (St. Paul saith, Rom. vii. 8) there dwelleth no good; yea, the very wisdom of the flesh at flat defiance with the Word (Rom. viii. 7). Make it somewhat else ; for there is not only a huge distance, but main repugnancy between them. Yet, for all this, non potest
* In the original it is, “What is enosh (miserable man), or the son of Adam ?" -Edit.