Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

of Death, because it was not poffible he should be bolden of them, Acts ii. 24. So that, whatever human Nature was before, here we have a vifible Proof of its Immortality. For the human Nature of Chrift 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 neceffarily 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 vifible Proof of the Reconciliation of human Nature, which is all loft by denying the eternal Godhead of our Saviour. For if Chrift be no more than a mere Man, here is no Union of God and Man in one Perfon, no Reconciliation of human Nature to God in the Perfon of Chrift, nor any Proof of Immortality in fuch an Union.

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

dance;

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

dance; he directed their Journeys in a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by Night. And what a peculiar Favour and Bleffing the Prefence of God was, we may learn from the Story of the Molten Calf, which the Ifraelites made in the abfence of Mofes in the Mount. God was fo provoked by this Idolatry, that he refused to go himself any longer with them; but promised to fend his Angel with them: Therefore now go, lead the People to the Place of which I have spoken unto them; behold mine Angel fhall go before thee, Exodus xxxii. 34. It is not eafy to give an Account of this Difference between God's going with them, and fending his Angel to conduct them; but Mofes makes a very great difference between God's Prefence and his Angel, Exodus xxxiii. 12, 13, &c. Mofes faid unto the Lord, thou fayeft unto me, bring up this People; and thou hast not let me know, whom thou wilt fend with me; yet thou haft faid, I have known thee by Name, and thou hast alfo found Grace in my Sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found Grace in thy Sight, fhew me now thy way that I may know thee, that I may find Grace in thy Sight; and confider that this Nation is thy People. And be faid my Prefence shall go along with thee, and I will give thee Reft. And he said unto him, if thy Prefence 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 thy fight? Is it not in that thou goeft with us? So Shall we be feparated, I and thy People, from all the People that are upon the Face of the Earth. And the Lord faid unto Mofes, 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 Prefence of God, as diftinguished from a created Angel, muft fignify a divine Perfon,

who is the Prefence, 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 Jewish Church. For Mofes defired to know whom God would fend with them; an Angel he would not accept of, but defired he would fend his Prefence with them; and this God promifes, that his Prefence fhould go with them. It is this Prefence of God, which dwelt in the Tabernacle and Temple, and diftinguifhed Ifrael from the reft of the World as God's peculiar and chofen People. So that God's Prefence was always a Mark of his peculiar Favour, and was never vouchfafed to any but his chofen and peculiar People; who were his peculiar Care, and for whom he defigned very peculiar Favours and Bleffings.

Now was there ever fuch a Prefence of God in the World as the Incarnation of our Saviour, when the Son of God took human Nature upon him, and lived and conversed among Men, did in a literal Senfe dwell and walk among them? as St John tells us, that the Word was made Flefb and dwelt among us, ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, tabernacled among us; and we beheld his Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, John i. 14. Which is a manifeft Allufion to that vifible Glory which filled the Tabernacle and Temple,and fignified God's Prefence there. But now God was prefent 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 vifible to true Believers, as St. John affures us';

we

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

we beheld his Glory, tho' it was concealed from the unbelieving World. This is certain, if Chrift was the eternal Son of God incarnate, he did. live and converse among Men, which is fuch a Prefence and Manifeftation of himself, as God never made to the World before. And if the Divine Prefence be always a Mark of Favour and fome peculiar Bleffing, what may we expect from fuch a Prefence as this? When God fends his own Son into the World to blefs us, we may reasonably expect fuch Bleffings as this World cannot give, not a temporal but a heavenly Canaan, not merely a long but an eternal Life. This fhews us, what Evidence the Incarnation of the Son of God gives us of Salvation and immortal Life; fuch as no Man can have, who does not believe, that Jefus is the Chrift, 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 fee the Reconciliation of human Nature to God in a mere Man; and the most excellent Prophet is not the Prefence of God. And who would be without fuch Arguments as thefe, to raise him into the Hopes of immortal Life? Were the Dignity of our Saviour an empty and ufelefs Speculation, Men might philofophize, as they pleased about it; but it is of a dangerous Confequence to philofophize away our Evidences of Salvation and immortal Life.

SECT.

SECT. IV.

The Death of Chrift a true expiatory Sacrifice to redeem Mankind from Death.

L

ET us now confider the Death of Chrift, by which he has given Life unto the World. Upon which Account he tells us, The Bread of God is he 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 Chrift, whom God hath fet forth to be a Propitiation through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remiffion of Sins that are past, thro' the Forbearance of God, Romans iii. 25. Hence Chrift is faid 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 Curfe for us; his Blood is faid to cleanfe us from all Sin, that by his own -Blood, be entred in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal Redemption for us. That for this Caufe he is the Mediator of the New Teftament, that by means of Death, for the Redemption of the Tranfgreffions that were under the first Teftament, they which are called might receive the Promife of eternal Inheritance: That be was once offered to bear the Sins of many, and

unte

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »