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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 ḥe 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 apostles had seen him, “ We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”. , I come, fourthly, to speak on Christ's being full of grace and truth. “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we be. held his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” He was in his incarnate state, in all his converse with poor sinners, who came to him for salvation, help, and succour, full of grace and truth. A fountain ever flowing, and overflowing. This is our last head.
As the essential Word, and only begotten of the Father laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man, so he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: and he was in our world full of grace; a perpetual fountain, an everlasting spring. His lips were full of grace; bis words expressed it; his converse with sinners proved it. Noue came to him as guilty, but virtue went from him to heal them: none came to him for instruction, but he opened his mouth and spake as never man spake. His word was to such spirit and life; it conveyed the Holy Ghost and life everlasting to their souls. His word was with power; so efficacious as to throw down the strong holds of
will be suited to our present and further going on with the subject before us, to consider these two eminent titles and names, which belong to him, as existing before the world was, and both of them expressed in this chapter. The one is the WORD; the other is the Son of GOD: which two names are given him in the text before us. And John the baptist affirms, that Cbrist is the Son of God, and was (i. e. existed) before him, viz. prior to his incarnation, verses 15, 18, 30, 34.
As parallel with these two important titles, he is called in the eighth chapter of Proverbs, Wisdom. And the title, the Son of God, you have Proverbs xxx. 4. “ What is his name, and what is his son's name?"
This title, the Word, and the only begotten of the Father, are names essential to his personality in Godhead. They are expressive of his relation to the. Father; and the first of them fully serves to convey to the mind, a clear idea, how the Father hath been pleased to speak out, and make known all his mind and will, by his essential Word, who has expressed the same fully and clearly, in all his works and ways of creation, providence, and grace. As the title of only begotten of the Father, and Son of God, expressly declares him to be existent in the same nature, and a partaker of the same individual glory, majesty, perfection, and blessedness, with the Father, and the Spirit.
When Christ bears the title of the Word, it should ever put us in remembrance of his speaking the world into being, by his almighty fiat; of his upholding it by the same omnipotent power; and that he, as incarnate, hath revealed and spoke out, all the mind and will of God: so that he is the image of the invisible God, who hath, by his mysterious incarnation, revealed all of God that can be manifested to intellectual minds.
He is the Son of the living God; and is the living God, Heb. iii. 12. the fountain of eternal life ; and he assumed buman nature into personal union with himself; and so he is God-man in one person for ever: so that in the person of Christ, we have two distinct natures united, the divine and human. In consequence of which hypostatical union, all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in the man Christ Jesus. The human and divine natures remain distinct, yet are they so inseparably united, that they make but one person,
This is the subject before us. This is next the doctrine of the co-equal and co-eterpal Three in one essence, the greatest of all mysteries. And this most important truth is expressed in the words of divine inspiration thus; “ And the Word was made flesb." In which we have the distinct natures, the human and divine, clearly expressed, the person in whom they were united, and the method by which they were united.
" The Word was made flesh.” It is not said, the Word assumed flesh. The reason is, because the Holy Ghost would, by this evangelist, set forth the truth and mystery of Christ's incarnation fully. It is not said, Christ was made mau, because he did not assume a person, but a human nature; but it is expressly said, “ the Word was made flesh :' not by ceasing to be what he was before, but by taking on him what he was not before, to be true and very man.
“ The Word was made flesh.” Here are the two distinct natures in Christ, the divine and human; the Godhead and the manhood, in personal union with the essential Word, who is hereby very God, and very man, and God-man by the taking our nature into personal union with him. self.
Thus “ the Word was made flesh;" and thus the person of Christ, in whom dwelleth all the essential and incommunicable fulness of the Godhead, is set before us,
To magnify the grace of the eternal Three the more in their glorious display of it, in Christ's incarnation, to confirm the truth of Christ's human nature, to shew that he became man, by assuming flesh, and not by changing into it; and also to shew that he took our nature without spot or stain of sin, that he might make his church and people clean from all sin, this phrase