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HEBR. II. 16, and part of the
17 Verse. For verily He took not on Him the
Nature of Angels, but He took on Him the Seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it. behov'd him to be made like unto his Brethren.
T HE Incarnation of Our Blessed
Saviour is set forth in the words
that I have just now read unto you, so clearly, as to the Evidence of it, and so advantageously, both as to the Goodness of Willing it, and the Wisdom of Contriving it, that I could not pitch on
any any more fic for the Subject of your Meditations at this Season, set apart by the Piety of the Church for the Solemn and Devout Commemoration of this great Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the Fleb. For in these words, ..
I. The Incarnation of the Son of God is set forth Moft Clearly, as to the Evidence of it; we in them being plainly taught, and beyond allException convinc'd,of the Truth of the Catholick-Faith in this important Article, the first Member of the Text being an invincible proof of the Divinity, as the second is of the Humanity, of Our Blessed Lord. i aft, We have here an undeniable Argument of the Eternal Divinity of Christ, before his appearing in the Flesh. For He, in whose free choice it was, to take upon him either of the two Natures, that of Angels, or that of Men, must,of Neceffity,have been a person Existing before he made that choice, and also of a different Nature from either of those two Natures, One of which he was pleas'd in time to aflume into his Own; and therefore not a.meer Man, of no Elder Being than from his Birth of the Bles. sed Virgin, as most impiously the Socinians, nor even One of the Highest Rank of Angels, before this Visible World's Creation,
yet yer a Creature, as the Arians, tho' with more seeming Honour to our Saviour's Perfon, yet with equal Repugnancy to his Word and Do&trine, affirm.
2dly, We have here likewise as clear a Proof of Christ's Real Humanity. This being also a Material Part of our Faith, and as Neceflary to be believ'd as his Essential Divinity. And what can more plainly be taught? how can a Doctrine in more express Words be laid down than this is here, where we are told, that he took upon Him the Seed of Abraham, and was in all things made like unto bis Brethren?
.II. Again, secondly, The same Wonder. full Mystery is here set forth most Advantageously, and that,
it, As to the exceeding Grace and Goodness of it to Mankind; in that, after the Fall both of Angels and Men, He left the One Uspicy’d, Unregarded in the Wretched State; which by their Apostacy and Rebellion they had justly brought themselves in. to, reserv'd in Everlasting Chains under darkness unto the Judgment of the great day, Jude 6. and yet out of infinite Compassion to the other, laid hold of them as soon as ever they fell, and immediately after the Act of their Rebellion, for which they as justly ought to have had their Portion for ever with
the Devil and his Angels, gave a Promise of that, which in the fulness of time he perform’d, when by making himself One of Them, he advanc'd them to a more glorious State than that from which they fell, made them Heirs of Everlasting Light and Endless Felicity.
- 2dly, As to the Wonderfull Wisdom in contriving this means of Salvation; in order to which it bebov’d Him to be made like to his Brethren. This Method, which God has been pleas’d to make use of to bring about the Redemption of Mankind, was of all Others the most Wife and the most Fitting for so Divine a Purpose. God sent his Son to be made Man, that he might be a Ransom for Man, a Price indeed infi. nitely above the value of the Purchase; and a means immeasurably beyond the End, yet not unfitly, nor ungloriously: not ungloriously, because the Salvation of Man, and the whole Oeconomy and Ordering of it, tends lastly to the Glory of God; nor unfitly, because of the singular Use and infinite Benefits of this Method, above all Others, to the Sons of Men; for both which Reasons, In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren.
These four Particulars then, we see, are manifestly contain'd in, or naturally deduc'd from, the words of the Text.
J. The Divinity of our Saviour pre-existent to his Humanity.
II. His Assuming, in time, the Human Nature, into that Divine Nature which he had with the Father from all Eternity
III. The Infinite Grace and Love to Mankind, express’d in preferring Them; in Assuming Their Nature rather than that of the lapsed Angels, who equally stood in need of a Redeemer.
IV. The Admirable Wisdom and fitness of this Method of Our Redemption, by Christ's becoming the Son of Man, to advance us to the high Privilege of being the Sons of God.
Of which in their order, and as briefly as may be; that I may in the last place proceed to make some Practical Inferences from the whole.
I. And First of the first ; namely, The Divinity of Our Saviour, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, and HisEverlasting Exifence, before His appearing in the Flesh,