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with this simplicity, let him censure Christ, because he did not conduct his disciples to a mystery, by a more subtile interpretation of the language of the Father. Nor does his delirious imagination obtain any support from Paul, who after having said that "we are members of Christ's flesh," immediately adds, "this is a great mystery." (e) For the apostle's design was, not to explain the sense in which Adam spake, but, under the figure and similitude of marriage, to display the sacred union which makes us one with Christ. And this is implied in his very words; for when he apprizes us that he is speaking of Christ and the Church, he introduces a kind of correction to distinguish between the law of marriage and the spiritual union of Christ and the Church. Wherefore this futile notion appears destitute of any solid foundation. Nor do I think there will be any necessity for me to discuss similar subtileties; since the vanity of them all will be discovered from the foregoing very brief refutation. But this sober declaration will be amply sufficient for the solid satisfaction of the children of God; that "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." (r)

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Christ's Assumption of real Humanity.

1 HE arguments for the divinity of Christ, which has already been proved by clear and irrefragable testimonies, it would, I conceive, be unnecessary to reiterate. It remains then for us to examine, how, after having been invested with our flesh, he has performed the office of a Mediator. Now the reality of his humanity was anciently opposed by the Manichaeans and by the Marcionites. Of whom the latter imagined to themselves a visionary phantom instead of the body of Christ; and the former dreamed that he had a celestial body. But both

(?) Eph. v. 30, 32. (r) Gal. iv. 4.

these notions are contrary to numerous and powerful testimonies of Scripture. For the blessing is promised, neither in a heavenly seed, nor in a phantom of a man, but in the seed of Abraham and Jacob: nor is the eternal throne promised to an aerial man, but to the Son of David and the fruit of his loins. (*) "Wherefore on his manifestation in the flesh, he is called the Son of David and of Abraham, not because he was merely born of the virgin after having been formed of some aerial substance; but because, according to Paul, he was " made of the seed of David according to the flesh;" as the same apostle in another place informs us, that " according to the flesh" he descended from the Jews. (t) Wherefore the Lord himself, not content with the appellation of man, frequently calls himself also the Son of man, a term which he intended as a more express declaration of his real humanity. As the Holy Spirit hath on so many occasions, by so many instruments, and with such great diligence and simplicity, declared a fact by no means abstruse in itself, who could have supposed that any mortals would have such consummate impudence as to dare to obscure it with subtileties? But more testimonies offer themselves, if we wished to multiply them; such as this of Paul, that "God sent forth his Son made of a woman;" (y) and innumerable others, from which he appears to have been liable to hunger, thirst, cold, and other infirmities of our nature. But from the multitude we must chiefly select those, which may conduce to the edification of our minds in true faith: as when it is said, that "he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham;" that he took flesh and blood, " that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death:" for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren: that " in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren; that he might be a merciful and faithful high.priest:" that "we have not an high.priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities:" (x) and the like. To the same purpose is what we have just before mentioned, that it was necessary for the

(*) Gen. xii. 3. xviii. 18. xxii. 18. xxvi. 4. Acts iii. 25. ii. 30. Psalm exxxii. 11. Matt. i. 1. (t) Rom. i. 3. ix. 5. (t>) Gal . iv. 4.

(x) Heb. u. 14,16,17. iv. 15.

sins of the world to be expiated in our flesh; which is clearly asserted by Paul, (if) And certainly all that the Father hath conferred on Christ, belongs to us, because he "is the head, from whom the whole body is fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth." (z) There will otherwise be no propriety in the declaration, "that God giveth the Spirit not by measure unto him, that we may all receive of his fulness:" (a) since nothing would he more absurd, than that God should be enriched in his essence by any adventitious gift. For this reason also Christ himself says in another place, " For their sakes I sanctify myself." (b)

II. The passages which they adduce in confirmation of this error, they most foolishly pervert; nor do their frivolous subtileties at all avail them in their endeavours to obviate the arguments which I have advanced in defence of our sentiments. Marcion imagines that Christ invested himself with a phantom instead of a real body: because he is said to have been " made in the likeness of men," and to have been " found in fashion as a man." (c) But in drawing this conclusion, he totally overlooks the scope of Paul in that passage. For his design is, not to describe the nature of the body which Christ assumed, but to assert that whilst he might have displayed his divinity, he manifested himself in the condition of an abject and despised man. For to exhort us to humility by the example of Christ, he shews, that being God, he might have instantaneously made a conspicuous exhibition of his glory to the world; yet that he receded from his right, and voluntarily debased himself, for that he assumed the form of a servant, and, content with that humble station, suffered his divinity to be hidden behind the veil of humanity. The subject of this statement, without doubt, is not the nature of Christ, but his conduct. From the whole context also it is easy to infer, that Christ humbled himself by the assumption of a real human nature. For what is the meaning of this clause, " that he was found in fashion as a man:" but that for a time his Divine glory was invisible, and nothing appeared but the human form, in a mean and abject condition? For otherwise there would be no foundation for

(y) Rom. viii.3. (j) Eph. iv. 15, 16. (a) John Hi. 34. i. 16,

(*) John xvii. 19. (c) Phil. ii. 7, 8.

this assertion of Peter, that he was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" (d) if the Son of God had not been subject to the infirmities of human nature. This is more plainly expressed by Paul, when he says, that "he was crucified through weakness." (e) The same is confirmed by his exaltation, because he is positively asserted to have obtained a new glory after his humiliation; which could only be applicable to a real man composed of body and soul. Manicha;us fabricates for Christ an aerial body; because he is called "the second Adam, the Lord from heaven." (f) But the apostle in that place is not speaking of a celestial corporeal essence, but of a spiritual energy, which being diffused from Christ raises us into life. That energy we have already seen, that Peter and Paul distinguish from his body. The orthodox doctrine therefore, concerning the body of Christ, is firmly established by this very passage. For unless Christ had the same corporeal nature with us, there would be no force in the argument which Paul so vehemently urges, that if Christ be risen from the dead, then we also shall rise; that if we rise not, neither is Christ risen. (r) Of whatever cavils either the ancient Mani. chseans, or their modern disciples, endeavour to avail themselves, they cannot succeed. Their nugatory pretence that Christ is called "the Son of man," because he was promised to men, is a vain subterfuge: for it is evident that in the Hebrew idiom, the Son of man is a phrase expressive of a real man. And Christ undoubtedly retained the phraseology of his own language. There is no room for disputing what is meant by the sons of Adam. And not to go any farther, it will be fully sufficient to quote a passage in the eighth Psalm, which the apostles apply to Christ: " What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the Son of man, that thou visitest him?" This phrase expresses the true humanity of Christ; because, though he was not immediately begotten by a mortal father, yet his descent was derived from Adam. Nor would there otherwise be any truth in what we have just quoted, that Christ became a partaker of flesh and blood, that he might bring many sons to glory: language which clearly styles him to be a partaker of

(rf) 1 Peter iii. 18. («) 2 Cor. xiii. 4.

(/) 1 Cor. xv. 47. (g) 1 Cor. xv. 1", 14. .

the same common nature with us. In the same sense the apostle says, that " both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one." For the context proves that this refers to a community of nature; because he immediately adds, "for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (A) For .if he had already said that the faithful are of God, what reason eould Jesus Christ have to be ashamed of such great dignity? But because Christ of his infinite grace associates himself with those who are vile and contemptible, it is therefore said that he is not ashamed. It is a vain objection which they make, that on this principle the impious will become the brethren of Christ; because we know that the children of God are born, not of flesh and blood, but of the Spirit through faith: therefore a community of nature alone is not sufficient to constitute a fraternal union. But though it is only to the faithful that the apostle assigns the honour of being one with Christ, yet it does not follow that unbelievers are, not, according to the flesh, bor n of the same original: as when we say that Christ was made man, to make us children of God, this expression extends not to all men; because faith is the medium by which we are spiritually ingrafted into the body of Christ. They likewise raise a foolish contention respecting the appellation of first- born. They plead that Christ ought to have been born at the beginning, immediately of Adam, in order "that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (/) But the primogeniture attributed to him refers not to age, but to the degree of honour and the eminence of power which he enjoys. Nor is there any more plausibility in their notion, that Christ is said to have assumed the nature of man and not of angels, because he received the human race into his favour. For the apostle, to magnify the honour with which Christ hath favoured us, compares us with the angels, before whom in this respect we are preferred. (d) And if the testimony of Moses be duly considered, where he says that the Seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent, (/) it will decide the whole controversy. For that prediction relates not to Christ alone, but to the whole human race. Because the victory was to be gained

(A) Heb. ii. 10, 11, 14. (i) Rom. viii. 29.

(k) Heb. ii. 16. {I) Cen. iiL 15.

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