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Word; be "made flesh," and comes to us with the messages of salvation; how great must be our guilt, how tremendous our punishment, if we receive him not! He comes to us in those sacred oracles, which display him in the divine glory of his character, in the purity of his life, in the fulness of his grace and mercy; and which reveal all that is necessary for us to know as truths to believe or as precepts to practise. He comes to us in the ministrations and ordinances of his Church; "the body" which he established; and to which, as its head, he communicates his mercy and his grace; and through which are conveyed and assured to the penitent and believing the exalted blessings of pardon and adoption and eternal life. He comes to us, this day, in the holy services of his Church, and in that sacrament which shews him forth. He comes, the babe of Bethlehem; but yet he, whose " goings forth have been from everlasting ""-Born of a virgin; but yet "God with us ""-The child of pain and sorrow; but yet "the only begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father"-Made flesh indeed; but yet the "Eternal Word," the "brightness of the Father's glory." Within the glory that surrounds him, mortal eye cannot penetrate; and his incarnation, the union of the
Eternal Word with a mortal body, must remain like that Being whose essence no man hath seen or can see, past finding out. But still we behold the manifestations of his glory in the grace and truth which he dispenses, in the pardon and salvation which he offers us. He comes unto us. And shall it be said that we receive him not; that we regard not his infinite condescension, his surpassing love, his everlasting salvation; and that though he comes to save us from our sins, from those sins we will not be saved? Ah!brethren-in those sins then we shall perish; under the aggravated condemnation of rejecting "the Word," the Son of God "made flesh and dwelling among us!"
He comes to us this day as "the Saviour, who is Christ the Lord," to visit us with an everlasting salvation, to redeem, us from the bondage of sin and death. With hearts impressed with a lively sense of his infinite grace and mercy, let us in penitence and holy faith receive him, and he will give us power to become the Sons of God. Our adoption will be the spiritual adoption of the children of God, whose mercy will here be our solace, whose grace will here be our defence, and whose favour will be our portion in that everlasting state, where "the Word made flesh' shall be displayed; not the man of sorrows, but the King of glory-not surrounded by the suffer
ings of mortality, but shining forth with the glory which he had with the Father before the world was. And we shall be like him, in his purity and in his felicity. For it will be our everlasting privilege to see and to adore him,
CHRIST IN THE FORM OF GOD.
[SUNDAY NEXT BEFORE EASTER.]
PHILIPPIANS ii. 5-11.
5. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6. Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of
8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name :
10. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth:
11. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
THIS impressive and interesting passage, which occurs in the epistle for the day, exhibits most fully and distinctly the various states or conditions in which Jesus Christ existed and still exists. In this view, as unfolding to us the nature and character of that Saviour in whom we
are called to believe, and with whom we confide the salvation of our souls, our spiritual interests here, and all our hopes for eternity, a right understanding of this passage must be, to each one of us, a matter of the highest moment.
The following fundamental truths may be deduced from it. That Jesus Christ existed as God, in an equality with God, before he assumed the nature of man-that in this human nature he humbled himself to suffering and death-and that for this humiliation, God the Father hath exalted him as man to a state of glory, and invested him with dominion over all things, and commanded adoration and obedience to be rendered to him as Mediator, to the glory of God the Father. These are the truths which appear on the face of these declarations of the Apostle.
Let us see, my brethren, whether they will stand the test of inquiry and investigation.
I. The pre-existence of Christ-that is his existence before he came into the world.
II. His pre-existence, not as a creature-but as God, in a state of equality with God.
III. His humiliation, in his assumption of the nature of man; being made flesh-and in the course of suffering and in the ignominious death to which he submitted-and