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1 absolutely infinite from the whole creation, and ve his self-sufficiency unto his own eternal blessed, that nothing can be taken from him, nothing added *, so that every regard in him unto any of the creais an act of self-humiliation and condescension from
ogative of his being and state ; what heart can conwhat tongue can express the glory of that condescen
the Son of God, whereby he took our nature upon svok it to be his own, in order unto a discharge of the
of mediation on our behalf? ut that we may the better behold the glory of Christ it, we may briefly consider the especial nature of this scension, and wherein it doth consist. ut whereas not only the denial, but misapprehensions f, have pestered the church of God in all ages, we must e first place reject them, and then declare the truth. 1. This condescension of the Son of God did not con
in a laying aside or parting with, or separation from, the ine nature, so as that he should cease to be God, by ing man. The foundation of it lay in this, that he was the form of God, and counted it not robbery to be equal ith God;' Phil. ii. 6. That is, being really and essentially od in his divine nature, he professed himself therein to be jual with God or the person of the Father. He was in the Im of God, that is, he was God, participant of the divine ture, for God hath no form but that of his essence and ing; and hence he was equal with God, in authority, digy, and power. Because he was in the form of God, he st be equal with God; for there is order in the divine sons, but no inequality in the divine Being. So the Jews erstood him, that when he said, 'God was his Father, he le himself equal with God.' For in his so saying, he asd unto himself equal power with the Father, as unto all e operations; ‘My father,' saith he, 'worketh hitherto, I work ;' John v. 17, 18. And they by whom his divine e is denied, do cast this condescension of Christ quite our religion, as that which hath no reality or substance But we shall speak of them afterward. ng in this state, it is said that he' took on him the a servant, and was found in fashion as a man;' ver. 7. nis condescension. It is not said, that he ceased to
tial greatness of the nature of God, with his infinite distance from the nature of all creatures thereby, causeth all his dealings with them to be in the way of condescension or humbling himself. So it is expressed, Isa. lvii. 15. “Thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity, I dwell in 'the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.' He is so the high and lofty one, and so inhabiteth eternity, or existeth in his own eternal being, that it is an act of mere grace in him, to take notice of things below; and therefore, he doth it in an especial manner of those whom the world doth most despise
2. It ariseth from his infinite self-sufficiency unto all t acts and ends of his own eternal blessedness. What we h a regard unto, what we respect and desire, it is that it may unto our satisfaction. So it is, so it must be, with every ture; no creature is self-sufficient unto its own blesse The human nature of Christ himself in heaven is not lives in God, and God in it, in a full dependance and in receiving blessed and glorious communicati him. No rational creature, angel or man, can act any thing, but it is all to add to their perfecti tisfaction, they are not self-sufficient. God alon thing, stands in need of nothing, nothing can be him, seeing he 'giveth unto all life, and bre things ;' Acts xvii. 25. The whole creation in lency cannot contribute one mite unto the si blessedness of God. He hath it all in infin from himself and in his own nature; our goo not unto him; ' A man cannot profit God, a his neighbour. If thou sinnest, what dost th and if thy transgressions are multiplied, wh him ?' (God loseth nothing of his own s. blessedness therein, by all this)' and if what givest thou unto him, or what receive Job xxxv. 6—8. And from hence also God's concernment in the creation, is scension.
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humbled himself, and made himail. ii. 7,8. He veiled the glory of », and what he did therein, so as that appearance or manifestation of it. so far from looking on him as the ved him not to be a good man. Hence r the least intimation of his divine nanselves secured from any such thing, on him with their eyes to be a man, as ss truly and really than any one of them. , on that testimony given of himself, was, I am, which asserts a pre-existence another nature than what they saw, they
Christ; but as unto this beholding of his glory by constant meditation and actings of faith therein, they know nothing of it, nor are concerned in it. The doctrine which they are taught out of the Scripture concerning the person of Christ, they give their assent unto ; but his glory they hope they shall see in another world, bere they never yet inquired after it.
So it will be. It is well if these things be not only neg. lected, because the minds of men are carnal, and cannot discern spiritual things; but also despised, because they bave an enmity unto them. It is not for all to walk in these retired paths. Not for them who are negligent and slothful, , whose minds are earthly and carnal. Nor can they herein sit at the feet of Christ with Mary, when she chose the better part, who, like Martha, are cumbered about many things here in this world. Those whose principal design is to add unto their present enjoyments (in the midst of the prosecution whereof, they are commonly taken from them, so as that their thoughts do perish, because not accomplished), will never understand these things. Much less will they do so, whose work it is to make provision for the flesh to fulfil it in the lusts thereof.
They must make it their design to be heavenly-minded, who will find a relish in these things. Those who are strangers unto holy meditation in general, will be strangers unto this mystery in a peculiar manner.
Some men can think of the world, of their relations, and the manifold occasions of life; but as unto the things that are above and within the veil, they are not concerned in them.
With some it is otherwise. They profess their desire to behold the glory of Christ by faith ; but they find it, as they complain, too high and difficult for them. They are at a loss in their minds, and even overwhelmed, when they begin to view his glory. They are like the disciples, who saw him in his transfiguration; they were filled with amazement, and knew not what to say, or said they knew not what. And I do acknowledge, that the weakness of our minds in the comprehension of this eternal glory of Christ, and their instability in meditations thereon, whence we cannot steadfastly look on it, or behold it, gives us an afflicting,
abasing consideration of our present state and condition. And I shall say no more unto this case but this alone : when faith can no longer bold open the eyes of our understandings unto the beholding the sun of righteousness shining in his beauty, nor exercise orderly thoughts about this incomprehensible object, it will betake itself unto that holy admiration which we have spoken unto; and therein it will put itself forth in pure acts of love and complacency.
The glory of Christ in his susception of the office of a mediator.
The things whereof we have thus far discoursed, relating immediately unto the person of Christ in itself, may seem to have somewhat of difficulty in them, unto such whose minds are not duly exercised in the contemplation of heavenly things. Unto others they are evident in their own experience, and instructive unto them that are willing to learn. That which remains will be yet more plain unto the understanding and capacity of the meanest believer. And this is the glory of Christ in his office of mediator, and the discharge thereof.
In our beholding of the glory of Christ herein, doth the exercise of faith in this life principally consist; so the apostle declares it, Phil. iii. 8–12. Yea, doubtless and I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.—To know him, and the power of hisresurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and to be made conformable unto his death.' This, therefore, we must treat of somewhat more at large.
• There is one God,' saith the apostle, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus ;' 1 Tim. ii. 5. In that great difference between God and man occasioned by our sin and apostacy from him, which of itself could issue in nothing but the utter ruin of the whole race of mankind, there was none in heaven or earth in their original nature
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