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Serm. The Lord himself shall give you a Sign;
II. behold, a Virgin Mall conceive and bear a

Son, and mall call bis Name Immanuel.
This Birth of Christ; as its being of a
Virgin was a mark of Dignity more
than human; that He, who by the Will
of his Father was the Author of Nature,
might be distinguished by being born not
after the Course of Nature ; so the Birth
itself, his being born at all, and coming
into the World as a Child, was an evi-
dence of the reality of his Incarnation.
He was found (faith St Paul) in fashion as
a Man, and was made in the likeness of
Men: The meaning is; not in the like- .
ness of our nature, in the appearance on-
ly, as opposed to the reality; but he was
made after the likeness of other Men, by
really partaking of our infirm Nature.

In order to redeem mankind after that Method which the Wisdom of God had from the beginning appointed, it was necessary that Christ should suffer; and in order to That Suffering, it was necessary that he should be born after the likeness of Men. Forasinuch as the children (faith the Apostle) are partakers of Fless and Blood,

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be also himself took part of the same, that Serm.

II. thro' Death be might destroy him that had the Power of Death, that is, the Devil;------Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren, (tempted in all points like as we are, only without fin;' and capable of being touch- ch. iv. 153 ed with the feeling of our infirmities ;) that he might be a merciful and faithful High-Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the Sins of the people; For in that He himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to fuccour them that are tempted, Heb. ii. 14. And from hence the fame Apostle in another place, tho' There indeed he speaks figuratively concerning Christ's mystical Body the Church, yet from bence it is that the Ground of his manner of expressing himself is taken ; We are members (faith he) of his Body, of his Flesh and of his Bones.

The proper Use of this first Observation in the Text, the humiliation of Christ in his Birth, is what St Paul infers from the fame observation, Phil. ii.

5.

Let This mind, the same bumble mind, be in You,

Serm. which was also in Christ Jesus; who tho? II.

he was in the form of God, invested with Divine Authority and Dominion, yet was not greedy of appearing as God (so the words are in the Original ;) but----took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the Likeness of Men ; and glorified not Himself to be made an High-Priest, but was glorified by Him that begat bim, Heb. v. 5; and honoured not Himself, but was honoured by Him that sent him, Joh. viii. 54.

It follows; Unto Us a Son is given. And these words also, like those fore-going, must be understood absolutely and by way of Eminence: Unto us is given The Son; That Son of Man, who was so, as no other ever was, the Son of Man; who was so, as no other ever can be, the Son of God: That divine Person, who was the Subject of all the Prophecies, from the foundation of the World, and the expectation of all Nations. The original of the former character, his being the Son of Man, is that sublime description which the prophet Daniel gives of his Vision, ch. vii, 13. I saw in the Night

Visions,

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Vifions, and behold, one like the Son of SER M. Man, came with the clouds of Heaven, and

11. came to the antient of days, and they brought him near before him; and there was given him dominion and glory and a Kingdom. From this prophetical description it is, that our Saviour in the Gospels is so constantly characterized by That Title of the Son of Man: Mat. xxiv. 30. Then shall appear the Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, (the Signal given you by the Prophet Daniel, the Signal of That Son of Man there described,) and they shall see bim coming in the clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory. And Job. iii. 13. The Son of Man which is in Heaven. And in the book of the Revelation, ch. i. 13. the very words of Daniel are transcribed; one like unto the Son of Man; and ch. xiv. 14. Upon the cloud one fat, like unto the Son of Man. The other character of our Saviour, his being the Son of God, was given him first upon account of his being born miraculously of the Virgin by the immediate Power of Luc. i 32. God, Luc. i. 35; Then again, upon ac- Mar. v. 7. count of his being raised from the dead by

the

en

SERM. the like miraculous Power of the Al-
II. mighty, Rom. i. 4. Acts xiii.

Aets xiii. 33. And
lastly, upon account of his being revealed
to be That divine Person, who, deriving
his Being from the Father in a singular
and incomprehensible manner ; and ha-
ving been with the Father, from the Be-
ginning; and having had Glory with
Him, before the World was; and having
originally exercised the Father's Power,
in the Creation of the World; and ha-
ving since in all ages appeared in the form
of God, as the Word, the Messenger, the
Representative, the Image, of the Invis-

ble God; at length, in the Fulness of Joh.i. 14. Time, was made Flesh and dwelt among

us, and we beheld bis glory, the glory as of
the only-begotten of the Father, full of

grace and truth.

Unto Us, says the Prophet in the Text, is this Son of God given : unto Us, as it was Then literally understood, the posterity of Abraham, the Nation of the Jews; but, as it is Now distinctly revealed in the Gospel, and as it was even Then obscurely predicted, unto Us Gentiles also is he given; unto us that are far

of,

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