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The following remarkable sentence is from Rabbi Judah Hakkadosh, or Judah the Holy, who lived in the second century :“God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, they are all one, and cannot be separated.”
These testimonies to the preexistence and divinity of Christ, are complete and irresistible, and in a serious mind it cannot, I think, fail to produce not only conviction, but astonishment and delight, to see the wonderful manner in which the Almighty hath diffused and propagated the evidence of this doctrine, from the earliest period, to the present time.
INCARNATION OF CHRIST.
“ God was manifest in the Flesh.” 1 Tim. iii. 16.
It is revealed in the holy scriptures, that the Mediator between God and man must partake of human nature, not the nature of a particular nation, tribe, family, or individual, but the nature of the whole human race.
This was typified in the Mosaic law, which required that the redeemer of a forfeited inheritance, or of a slave who had sold his birthright and civil liberty, should be near of kin to those who were to be redeemed. Therefore, to recover the gift of immortality, which man had lost by his original apostacy, or sold for the pleasures and glory of the world, it be hoved Christ by a preternatural conception, to be born of a woman, and to be made like unto his brethren, “ Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same,” that all might
be redeemed with one blood, for he is the kinsman of the whole. As born of a woman Christ was like unto us in all things, but sin was excepted, as he was conceived by the Holy Ghost. This sanctification of human nature was first necessary to fit it for the personal union with the word, that as the first Adam was the fountain of impurity, the second Adam might be the fountain of righteousness, “God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh,” which he could not have condemned if Christ had not been an unerring pattern of religious excellence.
That image of God, in which Adam was created, in our Lord appeared perfect and entire; in the unspotted innocence of his life, the sanctity of his manners, and his perfect obedience to the law of God; in the vast powers of his mind, intellectual and moral, intellectual in his comprehension of all knowledge, moral in his power of resisting all the allurements of vice,
That Christ was a man, in the absolute sense, is evident from many passages of scrip
ture. He is frequently called a man, and the son of man. The number of instances in which he has this latter appellation, is no less than seventy-one ; in sixty-seven of these instances, he applies this name to himself, once it is given to him by Daniel, once by St. Ștephen, and twice by St. John in the Revelation.
When Christ is called a man, he is described with those faculties which belong to man. He is represented as growing in wisdom and stature, as hungry, and thirsty, and weary ; as sustained and refreshed by food, drink, and sleep ; as the subject of natural affection, as weeping with tenderness and sorrow, and as having all the innocent characteristics which belong to our nature. When we say then that the Word was made flesh, we declare that Christ became really and truly man. For the mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus, “ since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” Christ is, therefore, frequently called the son of man ; and in that character he was always promised.-First to Eve, as her seed, and consequently her son ; then to Abraham, , “ In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed ;” next to David, as his son, to sit upon his throne, and consequently of the same nature with David, and with Abraham and as he was their son, so are we his brethren ; as descending from the same father, Adam. For he took not on him the nature of angels, but the seed of Abraham, and so became not an angel, but a man.
But though a man, he was not a man only. If Jesus had been a mere man, no reason can be assigned why his birth should not have been after the ordinary course of nature. A prophet, or moral teacher, according to our ideas of propriety, might have descended from human parents alone, but in this case, every circumstance is extraordinary and superhuman.
In consequence of his miraculous conception, Christ, it is recorded, “shall be called Immanuel,” not that this should be his name, but that he should actually be all that the name Immanuel imports, which signifies God with us. Matt, i. 23. Again, the angel