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life. for us,” i John iii. 16. The apostle Paul stiles the righteousness of Christ, the righteousness of God, Phil. ji. 9; the blood of Christ, the blood of God, Acts xx. 28: and the apostle Joho says, “The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin,” 1 John i. 7. A proper view and scriptural knowledge of this, through the unction of the Spirit, would give us true, clear, and proper ideas and conceptions of Christ, in his complete person as God-man. We should then see great glory and grace shine forth in the union of our nature to the divine person of the eternal and only begotten Son of God. This personal union is that which stamps a dignity, worth, and everlasting glory, on the incarnation, birth, circumcision, -upon the thoughts, words, baptism, fasting, temptation, prayers, sermons, miracles, obedience, sacrifice, sorrows, agony, bloody-sweat, soul-travail, passion, and death of Christ; so that the perfection of it can never be fully conceived on earth, nor fully comprehended in heaven. Hence the condescension of Christ in living in our world, exceeds our utmost expression. His dwelling with us, living in our nature, in our world, where none but sinners were, was infinite grace! No wonder it is expressly mentioned in our text, “ The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The God-man, living and shining forth in his incarnate state, in all the riches of his love and mercy,
in the full and free discharge of his most precious mediatorial work and office, was a most wonderful display of his infinite grace, as Immanuel, God with us,
I come, Thirdly, to speak of the glory of his person, which John and others saw, and were eye-witnesses of, which is declared in these words; “ And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,” which words are included in a parenthesis, the reason of which shall be given.
The personal glory and excellencies of Christ, the display of all the divine perfections, which reside inherently in him, and shine forth in his human nature, fully prove him to be the power of God, and the wisdom of God. The persoual native glories and royalties, which belong to the Son of God, as dwelling in our nature,-the divine attributes which shine forth in that man Jesus, as united to the Son of God, are doubtless, what the apostle is here glancing at, and speaking of. Christ has an essential glory, as one in Jehovah, personally distinct from the Father and Spirit. He has a manifestative glory as Godman: and this is what is now the subject be
Hence the apostle, in a way of divine wonder, expresses it, saying, “ And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” Which words are included in a parenthesis, the
reason for which is this : that the apostle might explain what he meant by the word us, viz. us, his disciples, he dwelt among us, and we bebeld his glory, before he left the world : he is speaking of James, Peter, and himself, who were eyewitnesses of Christ's majesty, when he was transfigured ou the holy mount.
Hence he says, “And we beheld his glory." It was a fulness of transcendent glory, such as fully proved that he who shone forth with such light, splendour, and glory, was the only begotten Son of God.'“ We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”
Isaiah had a glimpse of the personal glory of Christ, as he was to be incarnate, and fill the temple of his body with all the fulness of God. head, represented to himn in a vision, which he records in the sixth chapter of his prophecy. " I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted
up; and bis train filled the temple. Above about it, or round about it, stood the seraphims; each one had six wings, with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did ily. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." That it was Christ, and belonged to him, see John xii. 41. “We beheld his glory,” says John: and there was such an impress of majesty upon his glory, there was such an effulgency of glory,
that all us, or all who ever shall be admitted to the same knowledge of him, and vision of him in heaven, must and will everlastingly confess, as we, James, Peter, and myself do, that the glory of the Godhead breaking forth, and darting its rays through, and on his human nature, fully proved him to be the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of hiş person.
“We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father:" and he includes these words in a parenthesis, that he might finish his account and testimony of it, before he further proceeded in giving an account of what this most divine Immanuel was, in his converse with poor sinners, to whom he preached, and among whom he dwelt in his incarnate state,
The glory then of Christ, is the glory of the Godhead dwelling personally in him, breaking forth in, and shining through his human nature. To use Dr. Goodwin's words, it is such as if the sun being encompassed with a case of crystal, how glorious would that crystal be: a glory, such as is worthy only to appear in him that is one person with God.: This the apostle speaks of as the highest evidence of his being the Son of God. . All the apostles record our Lord's appearance on the mount. 'Our John cries out in this parenthesis of wonder, “and we behéld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,” though shining in him, but in the days of his flesh. And Peter magnifies and exalts it above all things else he had to say of him, or could alledge in testimony of his being the Christ and Son of God. “ We were eye-witnesses of his majesty ; for we saw his person in glory: for we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known, unto you, the
power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God, the Father, honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which caine from heaven, we heard when we were with him in the holy mount,” 2 Pet. i, 16, 17, 18. And to see him as he is, will be the utmost perfection in heaven. John says, " When Christ shall .appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see bim as he is," 1 John iii, 2. Our divine Lord suspended the breakings forth of his personal glory, and laid it aside in his incarnate state. It was but here a little, and there a little, that he shone forth in some rays of it on the apostles.
Hence it may be out of an holy longing, that all believers, when they read of and meditate on the incarnation of the essential Word, might not overlook his efflux of brightness and glory, as God manifested in the flesh, the apostle draws their minds to behold him, as he and other apos