Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of Death, because it was not possible be should be holden of them, Acts i. 24. So that, whatever human Nature was before, here we have a visible Proof of its Immortality. For the human Nature of Christ is immortal, and this new Immortality of human Nature gives Mankind, who were condemned to die, a new Right to immortal Life. Eternal Life would never have united human Nature to himself, which necesfarily makes it immortal, had he not intended to bestow a new Life and Immortality upon Men: For why should human Nature be immortal, and all Mankind die? Thus the Incarnation of our Saviour gives us a visible Proof of the Reconciliation of human Nature, which is all lost by denying the eternal Godhead of our Saviour. For if Christ be no more than a mere Man, here is no Union of God and Man in one Person, no Reconciliation of human Nature to God in the Person of Christ, nor any Proof of Immortality in such an Union.

4. As a farther Confirmation of all this, we may consider the Incarnation of our Saviour as a visible Demonstration of God's gracious Presence with Mankind. The great Privilege of the Jewish Church above any other Nation was God's peculiar Presence among them; for tho’he fills Heaven and Earth with his presence, yet he is frequently in Scripture said to be more peculiarly present with some People, at some Places, and at some Times; and his peculiar Presence is made a distinguishing Mark of Grace and Favour. God had chosen Israel for his peculiar People, and in token of it, bis Prejence dwelt among them. From the time of their going out of Egypt, he took them under his own immediate Care, Protection, and Gui

dance ;

danee ; he directed their journeys in a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by Night. And what a peculiar Favour and Blessing the Presence of God was, we may learn from the Story of the Molten Calf, which the Israelites made in the absence of Moses in the Mount. God was so provoked by this Idolatry, that he refused to go himself any longer with them ; but promised to send his Angel with them: Therefore now go, lead the People to the Place of which I have spoken unto them ; behold mine Angel Mall go before thee, Exodus xxxii. 34. It is not easy to give an Account of this Difference between God's going with them, and sending his Angel to conduct them ; but Moses makes a very great difference between God's Presence and his Angel, Exodus xxxiii. 12, 13, &c. Moses said unto the Lord, thou sayest unto me, bring up this People ; and thou hast not let me know, whom thou wilt send with me ; yet thou hast said, I have known thee by Name, and thou hast also found Grace in my Sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found Grace in thy Sight, new me now thy way that I may know thee, that I may find Grace in thy Sight; and consider that this Nation is thy People. And he said my Presence shall go along with thee, and I will give thee Rest. And he said unto him, if thy Presence go not with me, carry us not up bence. For wherein shall it be known here, that I and thy People have found Grace in tby sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So mall we be separated, I and thy People, from all the People that are upon the Face of the Earth. And the Lord said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast Spoken ; for thou hast found Grace in my Sight, and I know thee by Name. Where the Presence of God, as distinguished from & created Angel, must signify a divine Person,

who

he desione his peculiar ca peculiar per

who is the Presence, the Arm, the Wisdom, the Counsel, the Power of God; that is, his own eternal Son, to whom he committed the immediate Care and Conduct of the Jewise Church. For Moses desired to know whom God would send with thein; an Angel he would not accept of, but desired he would send bis Presence with them ; and this God promises, that his Prefence should go with them. It is this Presence of God, which dwelt in the Tabernacle and Temple, and distinguished Ifrael from the rest of the World as God's peculiar and chosen People. So that God's Presence was always a Mark of his peculiar Favour, and was never vouchsafed to any but his chosen and peculiar People ; who were his peculiar Care, and for whom he designed very peculiar Favours and Blefsings.

Now was there ever such a Presence of God in the World as the Incarnation of our Saviour, when the Son of God took human Na. ture upon him, and lived and conversed among Men, did in a literal Sense dwell and walk among them ? as St John tells us, that the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us, toxiv wobr er muir, tabernacled among us; and we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, John i. 14. Which is a manifest Allusion to that visible Glory which filled the Tabernacle and Temple,and signified God's Presence there. But now God was present in human Nature, not by Types and Figures, not by a Cloud of Glory, but the Fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily ; and though he very much concealed his Glory, while he was upon Earth, yet it very often broke out in bright and dazling Rays, and was very vilble to true Believers, as St. John assures us”;

We

we bebeld bis Glory, tho’ it was concealed from the unbelieving World. This is certain, if Christ was the eternal Son of God incarnate, he did. live and converse among Men, which is such a Presence and Manifestation of himself, as God never made to the World before. And if the Divine Presence be always a Mark of Favour and some peculiar Blessing, what may we expect from such a Presence as this ? When God sends his own Son into the World to bless us, we inay reasonably expect such Blessings as this World cannot give, not a temporal but a heavenly Canaan, not merely a long but an eternal Life. This shews us, what Evidence the Incarnation of the Son of God gives us of Salvation and immortal Life ; such as no Man can have, who does not believe, that Jesus is the Cbrist, the Son of the living God. For the Argument of God's Love in giving his Son will not hold in any Creature; we cannot see the Reconciliation of human Nature to God in a mere Man; and the most excellent Prophet is not the Presence of God. And who would be without such Arguments as these, to raise him into the Hopes of immortal Life? Were the Dignity of our Saviour an empty and ufeless Speculation, Men might philosophize, as they pleased about it ; but it is of a dangerous Consequence to philosophize away our Evidences of Salvation and immortal Life.

SECT.

SECT. IV. The Death of Christ a true expiatory Sa

crifice to redeem Mankind from Death.

T ET us now consider the Death of Christ, Juby which he has given Life unto the World. Upon which Account he tells us, The Bread of God is be which cometh down from Heaven, and giveth Life unto the World. I am the living Bread, which came down from Heaven; if any Man eat of this Bread, he shall live for ever ; and the Bread that I will give, is my Flesh, which I will give for the Life of the World, John xxxiii. 51. Throughout the New Testament the Pardon of our Sins, and all our Hopes of Salvation and immortal Life, are attributed to the Death of Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in bis Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remision of Sins that are past, thro' the Forbearance of God, Romans iii. 25. Hence Christ is said to die for all, to taste Death for every Man, to die for the Ungodly, to bear our Sins in his own Body upon the Tree, to redeem us from the Curse of the Law by being made a Curse for us; his Blood is

faid to cleanse us from all Sin, that by his own - Blood, he entred in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal Redemption for us. That for this Cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, that by means of Death, for the Redemption of the Transgressions that were under the first Testament, they which are called might receive the Promise of eternal Inheritance : That be was once offered to bear the Sins of many, and

unta

« AnteriorContinuar »