« PreviousContinue »
the healing the fad Breaches and Divisions of our Nation.
And then, Lastly, That we pay all Submisfion, and Duty, and Obedience to the King and Queen whom God hath set over us; endeavouring, in all the Ways that are in our Power, to render their Government both as easy to themselves, and as acceptable to their Subjects, andasformidable to their Enemies, as is possible.
If all of us, that call ourselves Protestants, would charge our felves with the Practice of these Things, how assured might we rest that: God would Bless us; that he would continue his Protection of our Nation, our Church, our Religion, against; all Enemies whatsoever, and that we might see our Jerusalem ftill more and more to flourish, and Peace to be in all her Borders.
May God Almighty pour upon us all, the Spirit of his Grace, and work all these great Things in us, and for us: And in order hereunto, may he send down his Blessings upon the King and Queen, and so influence and direct all their Councils, both Publick and Privatc, that all their Subjects may be happy in their Government, and lead peaceable and quiet Lives under them in all Godlines and Honesty. And after such a Happy and Peaceable. Life here, may we all at last arrive to God's Eternal Kingdom and Glory, through the Merits of his dear Son: To whom, &c.
S E R
HE B. IX. 26. Now once in the End of the World
hath he appeared to put away Sin by the Sacrifice of himself
HIS Text doth naturally suggest
Five Things to be insisted on, most T of them proper for our Meditations
on this Day; which therefore I
shall make the Heads of my fol. . lowing Discourse. I. In General, the Appearance of our Lord.
Now hath he appeared.
End of the World.
fy. The Means by which he accomplished
that End. By the Sacrifice of himself. V. The Difference of His Sacrifice from the
Jewish ones. His was but once performed; theirs were every Day repeated. If his Sacrifice had been like theirs ; then (as you have it in the former Part of the Verse) must he often have suffered force the Foundation of the World; But now once in the End of the World, hath he appeared to pat away Sin by the Sacrifice of himSelf. This is the just Resolution of the Text into its several Particulars, of each of which I shall discourse as briefly and
practically as I can. İ. I begin with the First, The Appearance of our Lord in general. Now hath he Appeared.
Let us here consider, First, Who it was that appeared : And then, How he did appear.
The Person appearing, we will consider both as to his Nature, and as to his Office.
He that appeared, as to his Nature, was God. and Man; both thefe Natures were united in him, and made one Person. He was God with ts. So the Angel ftiles him in the First of St. Matthew.
He was the Word that was with God, and was God, and by whom alt Things were made. He was, I say, that Word made Flesh, and dwelling among us : So St. John ftiles him in the First
Lastly, He was God manifested in the Flesb; fo St. Paul Ailes him in the First Epistle to Timothy:
of his Gospel
This was the Person that the Text faith, Now appeared ; that is, the Son of God in Hu. man Nature. God, of the Substance of his Father, begotten before all Worlds; and Man of the Subitance of his Mother, born in the World. Perfect God, and perfect Man, and yet but one Perfon. For as the Reasonable Soul and the Body make one Man, so here God and Man make one Christ; as our Creed expresses it.
And this leads me to his Office. This Divine Person God. Man, that the Text here faith appeared, was, by his Office, the Christ, the Messias ; that is, that great Minister of God, that Anointed King, and Priest, and Prophet, which, from the Beginning of the World, he promised to send down upon Earth for the Salvation of Mankind; who was Believed in by the Patriarchs ; Typified by the Law; Foretold by all the Prophets ; Shadowed out in all the economy of the Jewish Nation Expected by all the Israelites ; and Wished for by the best of the Heathen World.
This Person, invested with this Office, at last appeared ; and in what manner, you all know from his Story in the Gospel.
He was by the Holy Spirit of God, cona ceived in the Womb of a Virgin, as was fore, told of him by the Prophets; of which an Angel of the highest Order in Heaven, first brought the happy Tidings to the Virgin herself.
This Virgin, by as strange a Providence, when the Time of her Delivery drew nears
was brought from her own City and Habitation in Galilee, to Bethlehem, a City of Judah, where she brought forth this illustrious Babe ; and thereby fulfilled another Prophecy concerning him, namely, That he should be born in Bethlehem, which also the Scribes at that Time acknowledged.
The Circumstances, indeed, of his Birth, were far from any outward Pomp and Magnificence. The Virgin his Mother was poor, and a Stranger, and ill befriended ; that in the Confluence of People, with which the City was then crowded, she was able to procure no better a Lodging than the Stable of an Inn: So that a Manger was the Place that first received the Lord of Glory. This Slur, this Affront God then thought fit to put upon all that external Splendor and Grandeur, which usually doth so much dazle the Eyes of mortal Men.
But God failed not to make abundant A. mends for the Meanness of his Birth, by giving sundry other demonstrable Evidences of the Dignity of the Person that was then Born.
For the Magi from the East (Princes shall I call them, or Philosophers ?) being conducted by a new Star, came and pay'd their Homage, and brought their Offerings to this King of the World in a Manger : And the Shepherds, that were watching the Flocks in the Fields by Night, were surprized with the Glory of the Lord shining round about them, and an Angel that thus spoke to them; Fear not, for be