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turn upon it, as a hinge : take this away, and immediately the doctrine of his obedience to the law, and death upon the cross; his resurrection, ascension, and intercession; all fail to The ground together: but the apostle here, to certify us of it, tells us, Verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the feed of Abraham.
V. The fifth thing was to make some improvement of this doctrine. It would admit of a large application ; but I must needs cut short, because of the work that we have before us.
Use forft shall be of information, in the few particulars fol. lowing. Is it so, that when God passed by the nature of angels, be took on him the seed of Abraham? Then,
if, See hence the wondrous love of God unto mankind Ginners, that he preferred our nature unto the nature of angels; he paffed them by, and pitched upon the human nature, and joined it to himself, in the person of his eternal Son. There is such an amazing and aitonilhirg love here, as would fill our hearts with wonder, and our tongues with hallelujahs of praise, if we but saw it in the light of the Lord, and had it “thed abroad upon our hearts; surely God is love; for he so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
2dly, See hence how unjust and unreasonable the enmity of the heart of man againit God is. Shall we hate that God who passed by the nature of angels, and took on him the feed of Abraham ?. It cannot be supposed that the fallen angels would have treated him so, if he had passed by our naiure, and pitched upon their nature, and become a God-an. gel, instead of a God-man; yet this folly is in the heart of every sinner by nature; "the carnal mind is enmity against God."
3dly, See hence the monsirous ingratitude of Arians, Socini. ans, and others, who take occasion from his assumption of ihe human nature, and becoming his Father's servant in the great bufiness of man's redemprion, to disparage him, as if he were but an inferior deity, not one and the fame God, in effence and substance with the Father. Oh!“ Tell it not in Gath, publill it not in the streets of Askelon,” that such blasphemies have been vented against the great God our Saviour, and so little resentment discovered against the blasphenier, i the fupreme ccclefiaftical court of this national church, confti. Huer su his name and authority. But whatever others do, let Her
N a chnowledge, that Jesus Christ is the Lord Jeho. Hindi nila parte and glory of his eternal Father, who sent him,
these as it food in of God. With the iz
not to take on him the nature of angels, but the human nature, in the feed of Abraham.
Whly, See hence to what a pitch of honour the human nature is raised, by its standing in a personal union with the infinite Jehovah, in the person of the Son of God. When we take a view of our nature as it stood in the first Adam, even in innocency, why, the spirit of God declares by the psalmist, that even in its best estate it was altogether vanity, being but a fallible creature: but view the nature of man in his fallen state, we see him lying in a “horrible pit, and miry clay," an object of abhorrence to God and all his holy angels; he is wholly “ corrupt and filthy,” fit for nothing but to become fuel for the fire of divine wrath : and yet for an infinitely holy and righteous God to take that nature out of the dunghill, and join it into a personal union with his eternal and only begotten Son, why, this is a brighter crown of glory by far set upon the human nature, than ever. Adam wore in innocency; yea, a greater honour than ever was conferred upon the nature of angels. Oh! how may this make every one of us to cry, “ What hath God wrought ? ( what is man, that thou art so mindful of him ? and what the son of man, that thou art so kind unto him.”
Sthly, See hence the excellency of the person of our glorious Redeemer, whose death we are this day called to commemorate. I remember the daughters of Jerusalem put a question unto the spouse, Cant. v. "What is thy beloved more than another beloved ?” Why, Sirs, there is something in the person of Christ, that is not to be seen in any person in heaven or in earth. What is that? say you : Why, in his person is to be seen God and man linked in a personal union; “God manifested in the flesh, is the great mystery" of the Christian religion. Look to God in the person of the Father, look to God in the person of the Holy Ghost, and you see indeed the great God, who is infinite, sternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, &c. But then, look to God in the person of the Son, who is the same God with both, and you see the human nature; there you fee“ Immanuel, God-man, God with us, God reconciling the world unto him self, not imputing their trespasses unto them, but pardoning iniquity, transgreffion, and sin.” O Sirs, a God in Christ will be the admiration of saints and angels through eternity; and it is a view of this person that fills the mouths of all the faints with praise, saying, “ Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips; he is white and ruddy, the chief among ten thousand," &c. Olhly, See hence the criminal nature of the sin of unbelief,
which rejects him who took not on him the nature of angels, but ihe feed of Abraham. Unbelief upon the matter denies this glorious truth, and says, "No thanks to God for taking hold of the feed of Abraham ; he might as well have taken on the nature of angels, for I will not be obliged to him for falvation.' The unbeliever chooses rather to go to hell with his lusts, than to go to heaven with Christ: he crucifies the Son of God afresh, and puts him to an open shame:" he tramples the blood of Christ under his feet; for which reason Christ declares, that he “ that believerh not is condemned already, and the wrath of God abidech on him," John iii. 18. 36.
7thly, See, from this doctrine, the great difference between the first and the second Adam ; the head of the covenant of works, and the head of the new covenant. Why, the firit Adam, as the apostle tells us, was but a made creature, and he “ was made a living soul; but the last Adam is a quickening spirit: the first Adam was' of the earth earthy; but the second Adam is the Lord from heaven :" who took not on bim the nature of angels, but tosk on him the human nature, in the Teed of Abraham. O what a bleffed exchange doth the finner inake, when he quits the first Adam and his covenant, and betakes himselí to a second Adam, and takes hold of him as the head of the covenant of grace! when he doth so, he quits the foundation of land, and builds upon that “rock of ages, against which the gates of hell thall never prevail.” The first Adam is a fountain of death to all his posterity, Rom. v. 12. “ By one man sin entered into the world, and death by fin; and so death paired upon all men, for that all have linned :" but the second Adam is the fountain of life to all his feed; “ I am the resurrection, and the life; and he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" and this we are allured of by the record of a glorious Trinity, 1 John v. 11. “ This is the record, that God hath given to us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”
Sthly, See, from this doctrine, what is the great work and bufineis of these who sit down at a communion table; what it is that makes a worthy or unworthy communicant. That which makes a worthy communicant, is a “right discerning of the Lord's body;' and when this is wanting, a man becomes “ guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and so eats and drinks judgement to his own soul.” Now, what is it to dilo cern the Lord's body? It is just an insight into this doctrine, or text, that the eternal Son of God, he took not on him the nature of angels, but the fied of Abraham. More particularly, I will cell you two or three things included in discerning the Lord's body.
(1.) It is to have the mind enlightened with a lavirs knowledge of the mystery of salvation, as the plan of it is laid out before us in the word, or in the person and mediation of Je. fus, 2 Cor. iv. 6.“God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(2.) It is to see the love and wisdom of the Father, in prepa. ring a body for his eternal Son, in which the fulness of the Godhead hould dwell, as in a temple.
(3.) It is to see the Holy Ghost forming that body, by his overshadowing power, in the womb of the virgin, so as that it might be free of original fin, and might be a sacrifice without spot or blemish, to be offered up unto God.
(4.) It is to see the eternal Son of God wearing that body in a personal union with himself, in order to his giving an infinite value unto what he was to do and suffer for us.
(5.) It is to see him offering up that body and blood, which he had thus assumed, in our room and stead, a sacrifice for the satisfaction of justice for our sin; for he offered up himself for us “ a sacrifice and offering of a sweet smelling favour;" to see the just suffering for the unjust, to bring us to God. Now, when the soul thus discerns the body of Christ, or the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, then faith eats his fielh and drinks his blood, like “ fat things full of marrow, wines on the lees, well relined." Oh Sirs ! see if, like Samson, you can this day find the honey-combs of salvation, and the great and precious promises, in the carcase of the slain Lion of the tribe of Judah, for this “ is meat indeed, and drink indeed."
Use second may be of Trial. Oh Sirs ! what think you of him who took not on him the nature of angels, but the feed of Abrabam; have you given him his errand into the world, by believing in him? Is thy soul crying, “ Hofanna to the Son of David ;" Oh! “ blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” to save us: Oh! " this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save linners, of whom I am chief?” Is thy heart glowing with love to him, who is altogether lovely and saying, Oh “ whom have 1 in heaven” but him?_" yea, donbtless, I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Well, if this be the difpofition of thy soul, I invite you to come and feast with him. “ Eat, O friends, drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved. Eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, well orVOL. III,
dered in all things, and sure:” the whole good of the cove. nant is before you.
Use third of Exhortation, to all hearing me, young and old, great and small, rich and poor. Whoever you are, if you be of the huinan kind, men and women, sprung of Adam ; Oh! will ye answer the design of the Son of God, his taking on our nature, when he past by the nature of angels, by believing in him? The Father presents him to you, as the object of his delight, that you may believe in him, Isa. xlii. 1. " Behold my fervant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighteth," &c. Christ himself invites and calls us to this, Isa. xlv. 22. “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else.” · Quest. What will we behold, or fee, in an incarnate God? In him who took on him the feed of Abraham when he passed by the nature of angels ? Answ. There are wonders to be seen in him, which the standing holy angels behold with admiration and eternal wonder. 1. O come and see an angry God reconciled; God looking out with a smile upon the guilty sinners, through the veil of the human nature, 2 Cor. v. 19. “ God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;" crying, “ Fury is not in me”, for the sake of him in whom I am well pleased, lfa. xii. I. 2. Luke ii. 10-12. &c. 2. In him you may see God dwelling with man upon earth, and « the whole earth filled with his glory.” 3. In him you will sce the great God, that gives laws unto angels and men, made under his own law, that he might magnify it, and make it honourable, that so “ the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us," who had broken every command of it. 4. In him you will see “ the hand-writing which was against us," and bound us over to wrath, wo, and misery, cancelled and torn; fo that you may cry, who can lay any thing to your charge? 5. In him you will see the brandished and fiamning sword of justice, that was ready to be soaked in the blood of the guilty sinner, awakening against the man who is God's fellow, Zech. xiii, 7. and having drunk of his royal blood, the sword is again put up in its scabbard, and the white flag of peace cast out with this motto, “ He bath made peace by the blood of his cross.” 6. Here you will see the head of the od serpent bruised, and the Lamb of God overcoming him by his own blood. “ Through death he destroyed him that had the power of death.” 7. In bin you will see the two insuperable mountains of natural and moral distance between God and man removed, and made as a plain. The natural