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t , .vvKinedom now manisested, fayings Ifleast,outDevils Matth. by the Spirit of God, then the Kjngdom of God is come 12. 28..unto you. And again, The Time is fulfilled, and the Kjngdom of Gsd is At Hand: Repent ye, and believe the Mark Gospel s That is, Behold now the Manisestation of r.h<? 1. 15. Meffias znA his Kingdom: For so the Scriptures and. the Jews in their ordinary Language expressed' the Kingdom of tlje Meffias, under the Notion of the KingDan. 2. dom of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven, which 44. appears by this, that they never asked him What he Matth. meant by that Expression, that he so frequently'used 1 j. and mentioned on all Occasions; which was a proper . Argument to perswade them to Faith and Repentance, because of these fair Opportunities they had of a Mediator, and the Means of Reconciliation, whereby an Entrance might be administrate unto them abundantly in the . Kingdom of Glory by this Kingdom of Grace.»"
Thus the Incarnation of the Word was in the Fulnesses Time, and not from the Beginning: However, it was so in the determinate Counsel of God, yet not so in the Execution and Manifestation thereof: As also fays . the Wisdom of God, Who verily was foreordained^ before' 1 Pet. the Foundation of the World, but now manifested in these' !• 20. Ust Times for you, that he might make known the Riches of his Glory in the Vessels of Mercy, which he had before prepared for Glory, Even us whom he hath called, not only of the Jews, but also of the Gentiles. As he faith also in Osee, I will call them my People, which were not my People; Rom. her, beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall com* 9' 21' to pass, that in the Place where it was said unto them, Te are not my People; there JbaH they be called the Children of the living God. Now it was therefore, and rto sooner, Pfal. that Mercy and Truth sprang out of the Earth, and' 0%.% Righteousness looked down from Heaven5 now was IO> IX' the Time of Love, and the Time of Lise, that God
arose . *" F ii 1
arose and had Mercy on Zion, now the Time to Favour , fiery yea the set Time was come: Seingthen God hath anappointed Time for every Purpose under Heaven. V ^.
Wait thou upon the Lord, O my Sou], and limit not the Holy One of'Israel; He that sent forth His Son in the Fulnefji of Time, will likewise manisest his Power and Providence in a fit Time to deliver thee from all thy Afflictions: Let not him that believeth make haste,' for thus faith the Lord, In an acceptable Time have I heard Ifa« 4 thee, and in the Day of Salvation have I helped thee, and 8. / will preserve thee.
III. The next Thing that calls for our Disquisition, is the stupendious Manner of Christ's Incarnation, and he was made of a Woman; made, not created or changed; for He had His Body of the Substance of the: blessed Virgin, which was assumed to the God.Head, without Confusion of Natures, or Multiplication of Persons, (for, as a learned Divine fays well ) It pleased not the Word or Wisdom of God, to take to ip self someone Person amongst' Men; for then should that one been advanced which was assumed, and no more ; But Wisdom,; John to the End that she might save many, built her House of'l. 14 that.Nature, which was common unto all'. She made not' this or that Man her Habitation, but dwelt in us, thar is, in our Nature, the Evangelist using the Plural Number Men, for Manhood: Besides, if the Son of God had taken to himself a Man now made, and already , persected, it would of necessity follow; that there are., in Christ two Persons, the one assuming, and the other. assumed; whereas the Son of God did not assume a s. A Man's Person unto his own, but a.Man's Nature7 unto his own Person: And therefore look upon him, ye seed 6f Abraham, the very first Element of our Nature, be- .1 fore it was come to have any personal humane Substance, •/ . the Flesh, and the Conjunction os the Flelh with God»
began both at one Instant, his making and his taking to himself our Flesh, was but one Act: So that in Christ there is no personal Substance but one, and that from everlasting; For verily he took not on him the
Heb. 2. Nature of Angels: but he took on him the feed of Abraham. He taketh hold with a Kind of Violence, as it were, even as Christ caught Peter when he began tossinky (for it is the fame Word in both Places) or as the Angel laid hold upon Lot, when he lingered, and was like to be swallowed up in the Flames of Sodom; So our blessed Saviour, clothed with our Likeness, and all the endearing 'Expressions of Love came running after'us, when we. .were running from him, and laid hold on our Nature, and pluckt us as Brands out of the Fire,-and from the Jaws of that roaring Lion the Devil, and so delivered. them, who through sear of Death were all their Lisetime subject to Bondage. This is rarely well expressed by the Apostle in two Words/faying, That Christ was made of the Seed of David according to the Flefai and declared to be the Son of God with Power t according to the 'Spirit of Holiness: Totm in fuis, tot its in nostris, ( fays one Ancient) wholly in his own Nature, and wholly incur Nature. . *
Hofanna to the Son of David, blessed u he who cometh itt the Name of the Lord, Hofanna in the highest. ; • / Thus the Son of God was made of a Woman, to,
SLuk. i. Qiew himself the Saviour of Women as well as of Men ''as it is written, There is neither Male nor Female, far ye ? are all one in Christ 'Jesus. Of a Woman, and of a Woman
2g * who was a Virgin (however under the Vail of Wedlock, to preserve her Honour from Misprision) to show
?Luk j; likewise that Christ, even as Man, in Regard of his
*4 1/temporal Generation, without the Intervention of an earthly Father, was the Son of God conceived of the Holy Ghost. Sine pit er n& carnis Concupifcentia} (fays u; ., aft .an Ancients sineHMtern* integritatU injuria, Ss it's said of the Children of Adoption, Which are bom not of Blood, nor of the Will of the Flesh, hor of the Will of Man, hut of God; albeit he be called the Son of Man, because he took upon him the Nature of Man: For so ,' it Was promised, That.the Seed of a Woman, (that is of Gen. 3. . <a Woman alone, without the Embraces of a Husband) 15. should bruise the Head of.the Serpent, and destroy his Empire and Dominion in the World, as its written, Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and his Ifai. 7. Name shall be called Immanirel,' rthich being interpreted, u, 14^ God with tu ;.that so - the' Saviour of the World should not be stained with original Sin and Concupiscence, which like an Hereditary Disease descends from Parent to Children in the ordinary Course of Generation, and so it seemed good to the Divine Wisdom to repair the World by the fame Means, by which it was ruined, and that" was by a' Virgin, that the Piety of Mary might in this, happy Conception, expiate in some Manner the Guilt and Curiosity of Eve. .O sweet Saviour /of the World, by thy Holy Con; ception, and:,Immaculate Birth, fanctifie us miserable Sinners, Who were :born in Sin, and conceived in Unclean ness.' . r s •'
Certainly this is a great Mystery, and the greatest in . all. our Religion 5 'Great.if. the Mystery of Godliness, God '.manifested in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit,seen of 'Angels, 1 ff1' /^preached unto'tht.GmtiUs, believed on in the World, and 3' 1 t received up into. Glory. , •
Besides,, that God is Almighty, and his Ways Incoml; prehensible, though noways contrary to right Reason, . 0 and the Analogy of Faith: We have as clear and •. undeniable Evidence of this Mystery of the Incarnation, 7 as either the Thing it self, ot we are capable of. See /i.iWe.not Mysteries in the.most ordinary things ofNature,
'zm . D which
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wh'ich all oiip Philosophy cannot well explain"? 'As thotr knowest not whatisthe Way of the Spirit,' nor how . the Bones do grow in the Womb of her that is with Child, even so thou knowest not the Works of God, 'that maketh all i Who can tell how the Parts of Matter cohere when the«Dust groweth into Hardness^ and the . v Clods cleave fast together? What mpre obvious to.. the : Eye than Light or Motion, yet how little known to the Understanding. Where U the Way where light dwelleth? . Job 3$. .And as for Darkness, where is the since thereof'?• Who is 19'.. able to solve all the Doubtings that hath been started about the Original of Winds, "whence^they came, and , whitherthey go? Or the difserent Flowings and Ebbings. of the Sea, whereupon are the Foundations of the Earth fastened, or who laid the corner Stone thereof?' Hast : thou entred into the Springs of the Sea? or hist, thou walked 'into the Search of the Depths? Or dost thou know the ballancing of the Clouds, the wonderous Works of 'i him that is Beriect in Knowledge? If thou understands, not how Flesh and Blood can adhere to God, or how .. God and Man can be one Christ, •. thou understands as little how the Body adheres to the Soul^ or how the Flesh, and Sou.Lean be one Man: If we.tellyou Earthly Things, and ye understand them not, how shall y.6u understand if we tell you of Heavenly Things. The Jews require a Sign, and the Greeks seek after Wisdom; *" but we, preach Christ incarnate, arid Christ crucified, .to
• .• the Jews a stumbling-block, and.unto the Greeks foolishness, but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, '.: Christ the Power of God,, and the Wisdom of Gi>4.. \
After this manner, the Son of.God was, made of a , Woman, made under the Law, thatis, . made subject to the Law, and to all the Sanctions of the Law; so far as was consistent either with the Will of the Law.giver, who had Power of Life and Death, toiorgive and punifli