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off, as well as to them that are near; unto SER M. us Sinners, of all Nations and of all Ages ;
II. even unto all Mankind, who are willing to repent, and reform their manners, and make acknowledgment of the Truth; For God would have all men to be saved, and wills not that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance: Nay even to Them therefore which never heard of him, must the Benefit of his Coming extend, according to the proportion of their Capacities unknown to us; For the Mercy of God is, without exception, over all his works.
To Us is This Son given. It is not without reason, that the word given is so carefully and constantly inserted, and so great an emphasis and stress laid upon it, in almost all the Texts of both the Old and New Testament, which mention the coming of Christ into the World. The intent of it is, to express to us distinctly the respective parts, which the Father and the Son bore in the redemption of the World; that neither the One, nor the Other, neither he that gave, nor he that was willing to be given for us, thould be defrauded
SER M. of their proper Honour. That God
his Son, out of his bosom ; is expressive to us of the Father's Supreme Authority, and of his original, essential, and eternal Goodness: That the Son gave himself for us, or was willing to be given, denotes the Love of Christ towards Mankind; and explains the Justice of his being appointed to suffer, tho' he was an innocent person ; because That appointment, as 'twas by the Wiil of the Father, so 'twas also by his own free consent. The first of these, viz. the Supreme Authority of the Father, is set forth in those Texts of Scripture, where it is affirmed that in the fulness of Time God sent forth his Son, Gal. iv. 4; that he saved us according to his own purpose and grace in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. viii. 9; even according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own Will, Eph. i. 11. And indeed in the Nature of things it is evident, that the Supreme Power to whom the satisfaction is to be made, must appoint what satisfaction he will be pleafed to accept. The Second of these, viz. the original Goodness of the Father, is
set forth in those Texts, where the Scrip- SER M.
that whosoever believeth on him should not : perish, but have everlasting life, Joh. iii.
16; and 1 Joh. iv. 9. In this was manii fefted the Love of God towards us, because
that God sent his only-begotten Son into the
himself for us, according to the Will of God and our Father.
SERM. THE Uses of This particular, are; 14, II.
that we acknowledge primarily the original essential Goodness and Compassion of God our Father, as the first Cause and Author of our Salvation ; upon which account, St Paul frequently stiles the Father, God our Saviour; and that therefore we look not upon him as a cruel and implacable Judge ; but on the contrary extoll with all thankfulness our Redemption thro' Christ, to the praife of the glory of His Grace, who has made us accepted in the beloved, and has given us the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, ačcording to the good pleafure of bis own Will, Eph. i. 5. 2dly, That in the next place we thankfully express our Gratitude also to our Saviour himself, who condescend
ed for our fakes to become Man; who loEph. v. 2.
and gave himself for us; and Rev.i.s. wafbed us from our Sins in his own blood,
and has made us Kings and Priests to God and his Father. 3dly, That from This Great instance of the divine Grace and Goodness, we learn to depend upon the same Beneficence for all other good things likewise: For He that spared not his own
Sen, but delivered bim up for us all, bow Serm.
AND thus much concerning the firtt part of the words, Unto us a child is born, Unto us a Son is given.
It follows, And the Government shall be upon his Shoulder.
bis Shoulder. The Jews, tho' they acknowledged these words were to be applied to the Meffab, yet they understood them of the Dominion only of a temporal Prince, who should subdue their enemies for them. But the opening of this Prophecy by degrees in further predictions, was such as ought to have given Them better Notions of this matter; and the Account We have in the New Testament of the accomplishment of all those VOL. V.