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Lord before it was laid in the grave, yet both his soul and his body were then united to the Divine nature in his person as firmly as ever.



9. In consequence of this personal union, there is a communication of the properties of each nature to the whole person; so that all the acts of Christ, both those which are performed immediately by his Divine nature, and those which are done immediately by his human, are personal acts, or acts of Christ considered as a perAccordingly, the scripture ascribes that to his person which belongs properly to one of his natures. instance, it was the human nature only that suffered and bled; and yet, in virtue of this union, the Church is said to have been purchased with the blood of God, Acts xx. 28. Though it was the human nature only that ascended to heaven, yet, in consequence of this personal union, we read, "that God hath gone up with a shout," Psal. xlvii. 5. And though Christ Jesus is called the Son of man, only in respect of his human nature, and though, as to his human nature, he, during his humiliation, was only upon earth, yet, in consequence of this union, he could say, "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven," John iii. 13.

10. Once more: The union between the Divine and human natures, in the person of our glorious Immanuel, is the foundation of the mystical union between his Person and the persons of his redeemed: and since the former shall continue forever, so shall the latter.

1. From what has been said, we may infer, how wonderful redeeming love is. God so loved the world as to send his only-begotten Son to assume our nature, after it had been debased by sin. He laid help for us upon One who is mighty; and said concerning us, "Deliver them from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom." Consider who it was whom God the Father sent to redeem us. It was not an angel nor archangel; it was none of the flaming seraphim

around his celestial throne. Had he spared one of his own retinue from attending him, and given such a glorious servant as an angel for the redemption of such a sinful and despicable creature as fallen man, it would have been a bright display of love. But how immense, how astonishing his loving kindness! He gave not an angel, but the Lord of angels; not a servant, but a Son, a dearly beloved, an only-begotten Son! And how marvellous is the love of the dear Redeemer himself, in condescending to assume to himself our nature, with all its sinless infirmities, that he might be capable of obeying and suffering for us! How amazing, that he who was in the form of God took upon him the form of a servant ; that he condescended to be "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons!" Should not this love of Christ to us fill us with great admiration, and constrain us to love him, and God in him, with supreme affection ?

2. Hence see how great a mystery is the incarnation of Christ. Two natures, infinitely distant from each other, are hereby united in one Person, in order that sinners, who were at an infinite moral distance from God, might be admitted to the closest communion with him. How wonderful is it, that he whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, should be contained in a virgin's womb; that he who is the mighty Thunderer, whose voice divides the flames of fire, and makes the wilderness to quake, should become a poor weeping infant; that he who is adorned by angels should be despised by men; and that he who is the Fountain of life should be brought into the dust of death!

3. We may also see how suitable a Mediator the Lord Jesus Christ is. He is both God and man in one Person. How suitable that he who is the Son of God should become the Son of man! that he who is the middle Person in the Trinity should be the Mediator between God and men! How fit that he who is the Son of God by nature should make us the sons of God by grace!

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How agreeable that he should become a partaker of our nature, in order to make us partakers of a Divine nature in union with him!

4. From what has been said, it is evident that the redemption of the soul is precious. It is ransomed at no less a price than the infinitely precious blood and meritorious obedience of Him who is God as well as man. With what assured confidence may we trust in Him, and rely on his consummate righteousness for a title to plenteous redemption, to everlasting salvation!

5. Let lost sinners be persuaded without delay to believe the record of God concerning his incarnate Son, with application to themselves, and in virtue of his being clothed with our nature, to say in faith, "Unto us a son is given," Isa. ix. 6. And let all who attempt believing the gracious offer trust in him for all his salvation to themselves; and in the confidence that he will save them, let them love him, and love his command




"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."―JOHN i. 14.

III. I PROCEED now to the third head of discourse, which was,-To assign reasons of Christ's incarnation.

1. The eternal Son of God assumed the human nature to a personal union with himself, that the prophecies and types of his incarnation might be fulfilled in him.Many prophecies of this were, under the Old Testament, announced to the Church. The Psalmist speaks of him as the Man of Jehovah's right hand, the Son of man, whom he hath made strong for himself. Isaiah speaks concerning him thus :-" Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." "A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest." He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; as "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Jeremiah thus prophesies concerning him—" Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper." Ezekiel speaks thus of him-" I will set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their Shepherd." Daniel prophesies of him as the Messiah who was to be cut off, but not for himself. Micah prophesies thus-" But thou, Bethlehem, Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me who is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." And Zechariah—“ Behold, the Man whose name is THE BRANCH: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory." None of these prophecies could have been fulfilled in him, without his assumption of the human nature; nor without this could he have

answered the various typical representations under the Old Testament; especially the bush burning though not consumed, and the law concerning the near kinsman.

If an Israelite, under the ceremonial law, had through poverty sold away his possession, or sold himself for a servant to another man, none had a right to redeem either his mortgaged inheritance to him, or him to his inheritance, but his goel, or near kinsman. We had all sold away the inheritance of eternal life for one morsel of forbidden fruit, and neither we nor any of our kindred were able to buy it back; and being reduced to the most abject poverty, by the loss of original righteousness, we had sold ourselves to the most sordid slavery, and were utterly unable to redeem ourselves from it. Now, the only-begotten of the Father having, in the everlasting covenant, engaged to redeem by price and power, not only the inheritance of spiritual and eternal life to us, but us to this inheritance, condescended in his love and in his pity to assume our nature, in order that he might become our near kinsman, and consequently have the right of our redemption devolved upon him; he should have had, agreeably to this illustrious type, no right to redeem us, if he had not, by assuming our nature, become our near kinsman.

2. The Son of God assumed our nature, that he might be made under the law, and be capable of obeying and suffering in our stead. "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law," Gal. iv. 4, 5. He engaged to become Surety for those who were, in the everlasting covenant, given to him; and, as sustaining that character, to pay their debt of perfect obedience for life, by obeying the precepts of the law as a covenant of works in their stead, and their debt of complete satisfaction for sin, by enduring for them the full execution of the condemning sentence of the law, But seeing it was impossible for him to obey or suffer, considered as God, he assumed human nature, that he might, agreeably to his suretiship engagements be capable of fulfilling all righteousness." Wherefore,

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