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ON THE INCARNATION AND NATURES OF CHRIST.
The conception of Christ was the conclusion of the angel's message.
No sooner had the Virgin said, “ be it unto me according to thy word,” than according to that word it was. Immediately the Holy Ghost overshadowed her, and formed the Saviour in her womb. Now, brethren, now was the time of divine love! Well may we say, now it was that the day brake-that the sun arose-that darkness vanished-that wrath gave place to mercy. Now it was that free grace came down from heaven, thousands of angels waiting on her. clouds part, as it were to give her way; the earth springs to welcome her; the floods clap their hands for joy; and the heavenly hosts sing as she sails along, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth: good will towards men.” Truth and righteousness go before her, joy and consolation follow after : pity and mercy wait on either hand; and
when she first sets foot on earth, the cheering proclamation goes forth, “ A SAVIOUR! A SAVIOUR! Hear, ye sons of men, THE LORD hath sent me to bring you news of Jesus. Grace and peace be with you: I will live with you in this world, and ye shall live with me in the world to come." Here was blessed news! this is the Gospel, this is glad tidings. Free Grace proclaims JEHOVAH JESUS, and
is free grace throughout. What eternal thanks do we owe to the God of Love! How may we say with the angels, “ Glory to God in the highest !"
The effect of this was the formation of Christ's manhood ; in which we observe, 1st, the matter; and, 2d, the manner.—For the matter, observe we the matter both of the body and the soul of Christ. First, the matter of the body of Christ, was the very flesh and blood of the Virgin. 6. He was made of a woman," saith the Apostle: that is, of the flesh and blood, and substance of the woman; and he was “ made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" otherwise he could not have been the son of David. The soul of Christ was not derived from the soul of the Virgin ; it came hy the power of God, having been from the beginning “ with God,” and“ becanie flesh and dwelt amongst us,” that he might redeem the lost sheep which had strayed from his fold. O behold the amazing gift of love which the Father hath bestowed upon us, in giving his only begotten Son to be “ a Prince and a Saviour,” through whom we have “ repentance and remission of sins."
OF THE TWO NATURES IN CHRIST.
in that he was truly God and truly “ Unto us,” saith the Prophet, “a child is born, unto us a son is given.” There is the human nature. “And his name shall be called the MIGHTY God, the EVERLASTING FATHER.” There is his divine nature. “God sent his Son,” says the Apostle : therefore truly God. And this Son was “born of a woman:” and therefore truly man.
That Christ is truly God is so abundantly apparent from the Holy Scriptures, as to place this important doctrine beyond the shadow of a doubt, except in the minds of those whose perceptions have been obscured by the enenıy of all good, so that they will neither “see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears, lest they should be converted,” and have to renounce those erroneous opinions which pride, prejudice, and the natural corruption of the human heart, have rendered so dear to them.
First. The Scriptures call him. God. “ In the beginning was the Word (nows—the wisdom) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (Gr. God was the Word.) “ Unto the Son he saith, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” “ And Thomas answered and said unto him, my
and my God.”—“ Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he hath laid down his life for us.”— “ And we know that the Son of God is come; this is the true God and eternal life."_" Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.”
2d. Unanswerable reasons may be brought from the Scriptures to prove this. Thus it appears, ist, from those incommunicable properties of the Deity which are ascribed to him. He is eternal as God. Rev. i. 17. He is infinite as God. Matt. xxviii. 20. He is omniscient as God. Matt. ix. 4. He is omnipotent as God.
“ He that cometh from heaven is above all.”_“ All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth.”—“ He hath the keys of hell and death.” 2d. From those acts ascribed to him that are only agreeable to the Divine nature: as, to hear the prayers of the people. John xiv. 14. To judge the quick and the dead. John v. 22. And thus, he creates as God. John i. 4. He commands as God. Matt. viii. 26. He forgives as God. Matt. ix. 6. He sanctifies as God. John i. 12. He glorifies as God. John X. 21.
3. From all those acknowledgments which are made to him by the saints; and which are only proper to God. Thus he is believed in as God. John iii. 18. He is loved as God. 1. Cor. xvi. 22. He is obeyed as God. Mat. xvii. 5. He is prayed to, as God. Acts vii. 59. He is praised as God. Rev. y. 13. and he is adored as God Heb. i. 6. Phil. ii. 10. Surely all these are strong demonstrations that Jesus Christ is God. But why was it requisite that our Saviour should be God? I
First, Because none can save souls, nor satisfy for sin, but God alone. “ There is none" saith the Psalmist,“ that can by any means redeem his brother, or give a ransom for him : but God will redeem my soul from the power of hell.”
Secondly, because the satisfaction which is made for sin must be infinitely meritorious. Infinite wrath cannot be appeased but by infinite merit : and hence our Saviour must needs be God, to the end that his obedience and sufferings might be of infinite worth.
Thirdly, because the burden of God's wrath cannot be endured by a finite creature. Christ therefore must be God, that he might bear the burden by his
Fourthly, Because the enemies of our salvation were too strong for us. How could any creature overcome satan, death, hell, and damnation? This requires the power of God; for none but God could
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
Once more. As Christ is God, so he is true man. He was born as man, and bred as man, and fed as man : he slept as man, and wept as man, and sorrowed as man, and suffered as man, and died as
But more particularly. First. Christ had a human