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be cut off from them. But it was created and made of nothing by the divine power, as all other souls are. Hence God is called the Father of spirits,' Heb. xii. 9. and is said to ' form the spirit of man within him, Zech, xii, 1. Here the forming of the soul of man is joined with these two glorious effects of God's creative power, the expansion of the heavens, and laying the foundations of the earth. Our Sa. viour's spirit was created by God, and infused into his body, when fitly organized to receive it. Again, the manner of framing the human nature of Christ is also to be considered; and that was extraordinary and miraculous, not by generation according to the ordinary and stated course of nature, but by an extraordinary operation of the Holy Ghost above the laws of nature: and for this cause it exceeds the compass of human reason, and the highest reach of created understandings, either to conceive or express the order and man. ner of his conception.
Secondly, Let us consider the sanctifying of Christ's human nature. I have already said, that that part of the flesh of the virgin, whereof the human nature of Christ was made, was purified and refined from all corruption by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, as a skilful workman separates the dross from the gold. Our Saviour was thesefore called that holy thing, Luke i. 35. Now, this sanctification of the human nature of Christ was necessary.
1. To fit it for personal union with the Word, who, out of his infinite love, humbled himself to become flesh, and at the same time out of his infinite purity, could not defile himself by becoming sinful flesh.
2. With respect to the end of his incarnation, even the redemption and salvation of lost sinners; that as the first Adam was the fountain of our impurity, so the second Adam should also be the pure fountain of o’r righteousness, God
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemned sin in the flesh;' which he could not have condemned, had he been sent in sinful flesh. The Father made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;' which we could never have been made, if he had been tainted with any sin, He that needed redemption himself could never have pur, chased redemption for us.
Thirdly, We are to consider the personal union of the manhood with the Godhead. To clear this a little, you would know,
1. That when Christ assurned our nature, it was not united consubstantially, so as the three persons in the Godhead are united among themselves; they all have but one and the same nature and will : but in Christ there are two distinct natures and wills, though but one person.
2. They are not united physically, as the soul and body are united in a man: For death actually dissolves that union; but this is indissoluble. So that when his soul was expired, and his body interred, both soul and body were still united to the second person as much as ever.
3. Nor yet is this such a mystical union as is between Christ and believers. Indeed this is a glorious union. But though believers are said to be in Christ, and Christ in them, yet they are not one person with him.
But more positively, this assumption of which I speak is that whereby the second person in the glorious Godhead did take the human nature into a personal union with himself, by virtue whereof the manhood subsists in the second person; yet without confusion, as I shewed already, both making but one person Immanuel, God with us. So that though there be a twofold nature in Christ, yet not a double person. For the human nature of Christ never subsisted separately and distinctly by any personal subsistence of its own, as it doth in all other men; but from the first moment of conception subsisted in union with the second person of the adorable Trinity, in a miraculous and extraordinary manner, being supernaturally framed within the womb of the virgin by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. Again, as it was prca duced miraculously, so it was assuined integrally; that is to say, Christ took a complete and perfect soul and body, with all and every faculty and member pertaining to it. And this was necessary, that thereby he might heal the whole nature of the disease and leprosy of sin, which had seized upon and wofully infected every member and faculty of man. Christ assumed all, to sanctify all. He designed a perfect recovery by sanctifying us wholly in soul, body, and spirit: and therefore he assumed the whole in order to it. Again, he assumed our nature with all its sinless infirmities: there. fore it is said of him, Heb. ii. 17. In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren.' But here we are
to distinguish between personal and natural infirmities. Personal infirmities are such as befal particular persons, from particular causes, as dumbness, deafness, blindness, lameness, leprosies, &c. Now, it was no way necessary that Christ should assume these ; but the natural ones, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, sweating, bleeding, mortality, &c. These he was subject unto, which, though they are not in themselves formally and intrinsically sinful, yet they are the effects and consequents of sin. They are so many marks and stains that sin hath left of itself upon our natures; and upon that account Christ is said to be sent in the likeness of sinful flesh,' Rom. viii. 3. Again, the human nature is so united with the divine, that each nature still retains its own essential properties distinct. And this distinction is not, nor can be lost by that union. The humanity was indeed changed by a communication of excellent gifts from the divine nature; but not by being brought into an equality with it: for it was impossible that a creature should become equal to the Creator. He took
He took upon him the form of a servant, but he lost not the form of God. He despoiled not himself of the per: fections of the Deity, by taking upon him the humanity: The glory of his Divinity was not extinguished nor diminished, though it was eclipsed and obscured under the vail of our humanity; but there was no more change in the hiding of it, that there is in the body of the sun, when he is shadowed by the interposition of a cloud. And this union of the two natures in Christ is an inseparable union; so that from the. first moment thereof, there never was, nor to all eternity shall there ever be any separation of them.
Quest. But how did this union remain between them, when Christ's human soul and body were separated from each other upon the cross! Ans. Though the natural union
. between his soul and body was dissolved by death for a time, yet the hypostatical union between his divine and human nature remained as entire and firm as ever. For though bis soul and body were divided from each other, yet neither of them were separated from the divine nature, but still subsisted as they did before, by the subsistence of the second per. son of the Trinity. And though Christ cried upon the cross with a loud voice, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' yet that did not imply a dissolution of that union: for if that dereliction should signify a dissolution of the former
union of his natures, the separation had been made in his : life, and not at his death; for he made this dolorous complaint before he gave up the ghost. But these words infer no more, but that he was bereft of such joy and comfort from the Deity, as should allay and mitigate the bitterness of his present troubles. And therefore, when our Saviour yielded up the ghost, he suffered only an external violence; and what was subject to such corporeal force did yield unto these dolorous impressions: and the imbecility and frailty of our nature being such, that life cannot subsist long in exquisite torments, the disposition of his body failed the soul, and the soul deserted his body. But because no power hath force against omnipotence, nor could any finite agent work
, upon the union made with the Word, therefore that did still remain entire, both as to the soul and to the body:
V. I now proceed to shew, why Christ was born of a virgin. That Christ was to be born of a virgin, was prophesied and foretold many ages before his incarnation, as Isa. vii. 14. ? Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.' Now, that the mother of Jesus was that virgin spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, is evident from the testimony of the evangelists, particularly Mat. i. 18, &cIt was not convenient that he should be born in the cominon order of father and mother; for if he had been so born, he would have been a natural son of Adam, and so represented by him in the covenant of works, and an heir of Adam's sin, as others are that are born by virtue of the blessing of marriage. By such a birth he had been polluted and defiled with sin: "For who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ;' Job xiv. 4 The Redeemer of the world be. hoyed to be so born, as not to derive the stain of man's nature by his generation. For if he had been tainted with the least spot of our corruption, he had been incapable of being a Redeemer : he could never have redeemed others who stood in need of redemption himself. And although God by his almighty power, had perfectly sanctified an earthly father and mother from all original spot and tang, that so the human nature might have been transmitted immaculate to him, as well as the Holy Ghost did purge of the flesh of the virgin of which the body of Christ was made, yet it was not convenient, that that person, who was God blessed for ever, as well as man, in partaking of our Vol. I.
nature, should have a conception in the same manner with ours, but different from it, and in some measure conformable to the infinite dignity of his person; which could not have been, had not a supernatural and a divine person been concerned as an aetive principle in it. Besides, such a birth had not been agreeable to the first promise, which calls him the seed of the woman, not of the man, and so the truth and veracity of God had suffered some detriment by it. The seed of the woman only is set in opposition to the seed of the serpent. By his being born of a virgin, the holiness of his nature is effectually secured. This exempted him from the stain and pollution of Adam's sin, which his nature wholly escaped, in that he received it not as all others do, in the way of ordinary generation, wherein original sin is propagated: but this being extraordinarily produced, was a most pure and holy thing. Christ was an extraordinary person, and another Adam; and therefore it was necessary he should be produced a new way. At first Adam was produced neither of man nor woman; Eve of a man without a woman; all others of a man and a woman. The fourth way remains ed, viz. of a woman without a man; and so Christ was born. And the wisdom of God appeared in that he was born of a virgin espoused; for thereby the reproach of illegitimacy was warded off; he had Joseph to take care of him in his infancy; his mother's good name and life were preserved from the malicious Jews; and our faith was the more confirmed by Joseph's testimony concerning Mary.
Thus we may be thoroughly satisfied,
1. That Christ had a true human body; and that though he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, he had not the likeness of flesh, but true flesh, Luke xxiv. 39. Heb. ii. 14.
2. That he had a reasonable soul, which was a created spirit, and that the divine nature was not instead of a soul to him. When he died, he commended his spirit to God, Luke xxiii. 46. There is in him a created and an uncreated understanding and will, Mark xiii. 32. Luke xxii. 42. Thus he was true man, consisting of soul and body. And the human nature being united to the divine, there were great gifts of holiness, wisdom, &c. in the human nature of Christ, by virtue of this union, which yet were not infinite, Luke ii. 52.
3. That Christ's body was not made of any substance sent down from heaven, but of the substance of the virgin, Gal.