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when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me," Heb. x. 5. As the sin of the first Adam implied this, that though he was under the law, and obliged to obey it, yet he aspired to be above the law, and to be free from its obligations; so the glory of God, which had been obscured by this and every other sin, could not be retrieved, unless the second Adam, who had been naturally above the law, and nowise obliged to obey it, should be made under it as a covenant, and be obliged to yield obedience to it. The disobedience of those who are naturally obliged to obedience could not be compensated but by the obedience of Him who was not naturally nor originally obliged to obey. But because what the Son of God engaged to do in the room of his elect could not have been obedience, had he not been under the law and bound to obey it, he therefore assumed the human nature, that as man he might be capable of yielding obedience, which as God only he could not be. On account of the dignity to which his human nature was advanced, in consequence of its union with the Divine nature in his person, he was under no obligation to obey for himself, because his human nature never existed by itself, but, from the moment of its assumption, subsisted always in his Divine person: notwithstanding, as he was hereby capable of obedience, he became bound to obey, as Surety for the elect. Besides, as in the character of Surety for them, he had engaged to bear the execution of the curse of the law for the satisfaction of Divine justice, he became man, that the sword of justice might have an opportunity of smiting him.

3. He became man, that the honour of the Divine law might be supported, and Divine wisdom be more illustriously displayed in his obedience unto death. He was "made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law;" that is, to redeem them in a way fully consistent with the honour of the Divine law, and with the glory of infinite wisdom. If he had assumed the angelic nature, he might no doubt have been capable of obeying and suffering, and his obedience


and sufferings might, perhaps, have had as much intrinsic value as they could have had in the human nature. But in that case, Divine wisdom could not have been so illustriously displayed, nor the honour of the Divine law maintained: whereas, in consequence of his assumption of the human nature, the wisdom of God is displayed to the uttermost, and his law is magnified and made honourable. In consequence of this, the law is honoured with perfect obedience in the same nature that disobeyed it; the curse is endured in the same nature that deserved it; Divine justice is completely satisfied in the same nature that offended it; God is glorified by the same nature that came short of his glory; Satan is conquered by the same nature that he overcame; death is endured in the same nature that was doomed to die; and the inheritance of eternal life was purchased in the same nature that lost it. In this the glory of Divine wisdom shines with transcendent lustre.

4. The Son of God assumed human nature, that he might thereby show his people how much he loved them. Love among men, wherever it is unfeigned, has an assimilating tendency. The Lord Jesus loved his people with an immense love, and therefore he resolved, not only to make them partakers of a Divine nature, that they might resemble him as nearly as it was possible for them to do, but to become a partaker of human nature, that he might be as like unto them in all things, sin only excepted, as it was possible for him to be. "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren," Heb. ii. 17. So infinite was his love to sinful men, that though the human nature was infinitely distant from the Divine, yet he took it into the nearest union with himself; and though it was far inferior in dignity to the angelic nature, yet he hath taken it up with him to the highest heavens, and exalted it, in union with his Divine nature, far above the nature of angels. The apostle Paul informs us, that, clothed in human nature, Christ "ascended up far above all heavens ;" and that "God set him at his own right hand, far above all principality, and power, and might,

and dominion, and every name that is named." Well, then, may we exclaim with the holy Psalmist, "What is man that thou art mindful of him! and the son of man that thou visitest him!"

5. Christ became man, that he might overcome Satan in such a manner as to put him to the greater shame.— "As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." If that wicked spirit had been overcome immediately by God, he would have had it to say, that he was conquered by one who was much stronger than he: if he had been vanquished by an angel, he would probably have comforted himself by reflecting, that he was overcome by one who was an equal match for him. But when he was vanquished by a man, (for Christ, though not a mere man, was yet a real man,) -I say, when he was overcome, and, as the Scriptures inform us, was dragged in triumph, and exposed to the view of holy angels and redeemed souls, by a man, with what confusion must that proud spirit have been filled! The Son of God therefore assumed our nature, that, as Satan had triumphed in the shame and destruction of it in the first Adam, he might baffle and triumph over him in that very nature over which he had triumphed.

6. Christ assumed a holy human nature, that he might thereby lay a sure foundation for his people's perseverance in holiness. "Let thy hand be upon the Man of thy right hand, the Son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself; so shall we not go back from thee," Psal. lxxx. 17, 18. When man was at first made after the image of God, he was perfectly righteous and holy, able to love, serve, please, and glorify God; but, seeing God did not unite our nature to himself by a personal union, the holiness that he had communicated to it was quickly lost; the fabric of it, as it were, fell to the ground. By permitting this most grievous loss, the Lord, as it were, declared, that no gracious relation between him and our nature could be secure and permanent, unless it were assumed to a subsistence in himself. This union, then,

is the sure foundation of the Church's saving relation to God, as a God of grace, and of the conveyance of gracious influences to its true members; and so long as that foundation stands, the safty, holiness, and happiness of believers shall be secure. Now, the only-begotten of the Father assumed our nature, that it might, in personal union with him, be secured, and that our persons might never be in danger of losing conformity to him, or communion with him. "By him all things consist," Col. i. 17.

7. He assumed our nature, that he might in our nature exhibit an example of what he would by his Spirit renew us unto, and of what we are bound to attain. His humanity, or our nature in him, was richly furnished with all those heavenly endowments, and divinely adorned with all those spiritual graces which were necessary to render it a perfect pattern of holiness to believers. Our nature was entirely divested of its original righteousness by the breach of the first covenant; so that none of the children of Adam could ever pretend justly to the smallest degree of true holiness, since that woful apostasy, far less to such perfection of it as would render them capable of exhibiting a proper example of it. Christ, therefore, assumed the human nature, that he might again present it to the view of men, shining in all the beauty of perfect holiness, as an example for them to follow. "Such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." He took our nature into personal union with himself, that he might be the pattern of the renovation of the image of God in We are predestinated, says an apostle, "to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren;" that is, the pattern of what he would advance the younger brethren to; that as they have borne the image of the first Adam, they might bear the image of the second.


8. Christ took unto him human nature, that in it he might be the Heir of all things, and might secure the inheritance of his spiritual seed from a second forfeiture.Whatever God imparts to his children, he bestows it on them by way of inheritance. He vested a great inheri

tance in the first Adam; he made him Lord and heir of all things under the sun. But man by transgression forfeited this inheritance, as well as that of spiritual blessings. Now, as this was an inheritance only for man, and as it could not be secured from a second forfeiture were it again lodged with a mere man, the Lord vested it in the Man Christ Jesus, whom he appointed heir of all things, Heb. i. 2. He transferred it to him; he settled it in him, that it might never any more be forfeited. Now, Christ became man, that the inheritance intended for men who shall believe might be settled and secured in him. When a man receives an inheritance, its burdens and debts descend to him along with it. In like manner, the inheritance of spiritual and temporal blessings descended to Christ Jesus with all its burdens. There was a burden of boundless debt upon it,the debt of infinite satisfaction for sin, and of perfect obedience for a title to eternal life. This debt it behoved him to pay, else he could not lawfully possess the inheritance in name of his people; and this, as was already said, required his assumption of the human nature.

9. The Son of God became man, that he might have an experimental knowledge of his people's infirmities; or, as it is expressed by an apostle, that he might be touched with the feelings of their infirmities. In consequence of his omniscience as a Divine Person, his knowledge of the infirmities and trials of his people, even before his incarnation, was as exact and comprehensive as it was possible for it ever to be. But it was only in consequence of his incarnation and subjection to the sinless infirmities of human nature that it was rendered experimental, and that he could be properly said to sympathise with his people in such circumstances, from his own experience. It is because he himself hath suffered, being tempted, that he is able in this sense to succour them that are tempted. O how comfortable, how reviving, that the believer's great High Priest is more sensibly touched with the feeling of his infirmities, his distresses, than he himself can be! And he is not more sensibly

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