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Hebr. II. 16, and part of the
For verily He took not on Him the
Nature of Angels, but He took on Him the Seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behov'd him to be made like unto bis Brethren.
T HE Incarnation of Our Blessed
Saviour is set forth in the words
you, lo clearly as to the Evidence of it, and so advantageously, both as to the goodness of Willing it, and the Wisdom of Contriving it, that I could not pitch on
any more fit for the Subject of your Meditations at this Season, set apart by the Piety of the Church for the Solemn and Devout Commemoration of this great Mystery of Godliness God manifested in the Fles. For in these words
I. The Incarnation of the Son of God is set forth Most Clearly as to the Evidence of it, we in them being plainly taught and beyond all Exception convinc'd of the Truth of the Catholick Faith in this important Article; the first Member of the Text being an invincible proof of the Divinity, as the second is of the Humanity of Our Blessed Lord. .
ist. We have here an undeniable Argument of the Eternal Divinity of Chrift before his appearing in the Flesh. For He in whose free choice it was to take upon him either of the two Natures, that of Angels or that of Men, muft of Necessity have been a person Existing before he made that choice, and also of a different Nature from either of those two Natures, One of which he was pleas'd in time to assume into his Own; and therefore not a meer Man of no Elder Being than from his Birth of the Blessed Virgin, as most impiously the Socinians, nor even One of the Highest Rank of Angels, before this Visible World's Creation,
yet a Creature, as the Arians, tho' with more seeming Honour to our Saviour's Person, yet with Equal repugnancy to his Word and Doctrine affirmi
2dly. We have here likewise as clear a Proof of Christ's Real Humanity. This being also a Material part of our Faith, and as Necessary to be believ'd as his Essential Divinity. And what can more plainly be taught? how can a Doctrine in more express Words be laid down than this is here, where we are told that he took upon Him the Seed of Abraham, and was in all thing's made like unto his Brethren?
II. Again, secondly. The same Wonderfull Mystery is here set forth most Advantageously, and that
ift. As to the Exceeding Grace and Goodness of it to Mankind, in that after the Fall both of Angels and Men, He left the One Unpity'd, Vnregarded in the Wretched State which by their Apoftacy and Rebellion they had juftly brought themselves into, referu'd in Everlasting Chains under darkness unto the Judgement of the great Day, Jude 6. and yet out of infinite Compassion to the Other, laid hold of them as soon as ever they fell, and immediately after the Act of their Rebellion, for which they as juftly ought to have had their Portion for ever with
the Devil and his Angels, gave a Promise of that, which in the fulness of time he perform'd, when by, making himself One of Them, he advanc'd them to a more glorious State than that from which they fell, made them Heirs of Everlasting Light and Endless Felicity. .. 2dly. As to the Wonderfull Wisdom in contriving this means of Salvation : in order to which it behov'd Him to be made like to his Brethren. This Method, which God has been pleas'd to make use of to bring about the Redemption of Mankind, was of all Others the most Wise and the moft Fitting for so Divine a Purpose. God sent his Son to be made Man, that he might be a Randsom for Man, a Price indeed infinitely above the value of the Purchase, and a means immeasurably beyond the End, yet not unfitly, nor ungloriously:inot unglorioully, because the Salvation of Man and the whole Oeconomy and Ordering of it tends lastly to the Glory of God; nor unfitly, becaufe of the fingular Use and infinite Benefits of this Method above all Others to the Sons of Men, for both which Reasons, In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his Brethren.. .