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is made use of, " The Word was made flesh.” O that we might be led to admire and adore the holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, for their everlasting love to the elect thus displayed !
The Father provided a body for his co-equal Son, to take into union with himself; the Holy Ghost prepared and articulated it; and the essential Word took hold of it, and by taking it into personal union with his person, was made man. O, stupendous love! Unutterable grace! Such as will be matter of wonder and praise for ever and ever. For this union is indissolable. The essential Word will be God-man for ever and ever.
I come to my second head of discourse, and am to shew the infinite grace of God incarnate, manifested in living in our world, which is expressed in our text thus; " and dwelt among
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The essential Word, the Son of God, became by his mysterious incarnation, in all things like unto us, yet without sin. Thus “ he who sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one;" i. e. of one nature, “ The children being partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same,” Heb. ii. 11, 24, The essential Word, and only begotten of the Father, took with our nature, all the sinless infirmities of it.
Thus the humanity, as united to him, was impeccable: it was impossible for sin to enter it, for death to touch it, there being nothing in it which could reduce it, and bring it under the power of the grave; and, therefore, our Lord's laying down his life, and submitting to the stroke of death, was altogether voluntary. Hence he says, " Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again : no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John x. 9, 10. Which fully proves that he had an absolute power over his own life, as God-man, to lay it down, and to take it again ; and that his doing so was acting in conformity to the eternal transactions which had passed between him and his Father, in the counsel and covenant of peace. Yet his humanity, his body and soul, though hypostatically united to him, was the subject of all sinless infirmities, Hence he knew what it was to need support from the creatures, which received their being and support from him as their Creator and Lord. He was, in his incarnate state, subject to hunger and thirst, to weariness and grief; he knew personally all the sinless affections, feelings, sorrows, and apprehensions of the human mind, which gives us a most exalted idea of his
The essential Word, by his incarnation, became man, and lived as God incarnate, Immanuel, God with us, in our world, in the days of his flesh, that is, in his incaruate state, and prayed for us, fasted for us, was tempted for us, preached for us, obeyed for us, was made sin and a curse for us, suffered, was agonized, and died for us ; and herein gave us such a lecture on the love of God towards us, and such an evidence of it in his own life of personal holiness, obedience, mercy, pity, sufferings, and death, as will be matter for perpetual admiration, gratitude, and praise, throughout the ages of eternity. “He dwelt among us," or, as it is in the margin, “He tabernacled among us.”
The apostle, doubtless, refers to the feast of tabernacles, which was of divine appointment. It was kept on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, and lasted eight days: at which time the people of Israel were to make booths of the boughs of trees, and dwell in them, that they might remember how they dwelt in booths, when their predecessors came out of the land of Egypt, and also how they dwelt under the cloud of glory at Mount Sinai. It doubtless glanced at, and was to put them in remembrance that, the Son of God would become man, and tabernacle with us. The month Tizri, in which it was kept, answers to a part of our September. It was in this month Solomon's temple was dedicated :
and, as Christ was the antitype of the feast of tabernacles and temple, so it is conceived, and learned men, who are acquainted with chronology, generally conclude, that our blessed Lord was born at the same season, and in the same month, in which this solemnity was observed ; the first day of which pointed to his birth, the last day of it to his circumcision. This seems the more probable, when we consider that he suffered at the passover, which was not only a memorial of the exodus from Egypt, but also expressive of his death ; and gave the Spirit on the feast of pentecost, which was kept in memory of the giving the law at that time. So he was born at the feast of tabernacles, which was a symbol and memorial of his incarnation, and of his tabernacling among us, by living in our nature, and in our world, as God-Jesus, almighty to save. At least, it is conceived by the learned, that he was born in the month Tizri, or Ethanim, by which it was also called, wbich is the seventh month in the jewish calendar, as they began their year for all ecclesiastical matters in the month Abib, or Nisan, as it was also named.
The temple of Solomon, which was an evident symbol and memorial of our Lord's incarnation, and of his dwelling with us, in bis incarnate state, was also set apart and consecrated in the seventh month. The cloud and glory which came down upon it and filled it, was a sure token and
pledge, that the Godhead would dwell in the humanity of Jesus, and thus it would be the true tabernacle and temple, in which all the perfections and glory of Godhead would for ever reside and shine forth.
This union of our nature, with the essential Word and Son of God, is the foundation of our faith, hope, and love to him. All the perfection, glory, worth, and efficacy of Christ's life, sufferings, blood-shedding, and death, flow herefrom. He being God-man, in the union of two distinct natures in one person, there is such a communication of rights, privileges, attributes, actions, passions, and infirmities, that what is properly predicated of one nature, is applied frequently to the other; or, in other words, it is spoken of Christ, and applied to him, considered and revealed as God-man. Thus the man Jesus is called the Son of God, Luke i. 35. And this name he hath by birth and inheritance; he being God-man in two distinct natures, in one person, see Heb. i. 4.
The attributes of Godhead are given to him: yea, he says himself, “ Before Abraham was I ain.” This fully proves the eternity and essential deity of Jesus; yet he speaks it as God the Son united to our nature, and he proyounces this sentence as God-man. Christ is called God's holy one, Psalm 1xxxix. 19. the word of life, 1 John i. 2. yea, John says, “ God laid down his