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of God; that is, that Jesus Christ is the Deliverer and Saviour of us which were holden bond, and fast tied with impiety and wickedness, and wrapped in the shares of eternal death, and holden thrall in foul bondage of the serpent the devil.
Of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
“ All the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John.” The preparatory series of Revelations by type and prophecy, was continued till the period had almost arrived for the coming of the great Antitype and Accomplisher of Prediction. At length the immediate fore-runner and herald of the Saviour of the world appeared in the person of John, on account of his ministerial office called the Baptist. This greatest of all the Prophets had been announced by the in. spired writers; and the Jews doubted whether he were not the expected Messias. He, however, ex. plicitly declared the true nature of his own appointment, and acknowledged the subordination of his rank to that of Jesus, his kinsman according to the fesh. Born of the family of Aaron, and miraculously of aged parents, filled from his birth with the Holy Ghost, living an austere and secluded life, he at last went forth to prepare the way of the Lord, by testifying of his approach,-by preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,—and baptizing in the wilderness," in the prospective faith of the promised Messias. When John bad delivered his solemn testimony to the person of the Redeemer, made known to him by a supernatural discovery from heaven, and had baptized Him of whom he had “ need to be baptized,” his functions ceased, and he was heard no more.
$ 2. When “ the fulness of the time was come,when that hour arrived which had been clearly pointed out by the sure word of prophecy, and the minds of men were thus to a certain degree prepared ;-when the general expectation of a deliverer or enlightener prevailed, both in Judæa and among the Gentiles; when from the wide extension of the Roman Empire, and the dispersed condition of the Jews, from the high advancement of philosophy, and the fruitlessness of its researches after religious truth, the world was in a state of peculiar fitness for the reception of a celestial visitor :-" God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” The seed of the woman promised in Paradise, of the family of Abraham and house of David, He who was to bruise the serpent's head, and in whom all families of the earth should be blessed, was born into the world, in order that he might purchase redemption for the fallen race of Adam, and restore to them the inheritance they had
forfeited, even an heavenly Canaan, - § 3. Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah ; for
in him, and in none other, was concentrated and fulfilled all that had been prefigured and foretold with regard to that illustrious personage. With respect
: to his origin and nativity, he was born at the time, s in the place,—from the family, and of the Virgin
Mother, corresponding to the series of sacred predicptions. In what he did, -taught, and suffered, he i no less minutely accomplished the many extraordinary
and circumstantial details, designating beforehand the future Messiah. The consequences of his Advent and Ministry throughout the world, and the evidence of the Jews themselves, confirm the momentous fact, that Jesus was indeed the expected and true Mediator of the Covenant of Grace.
$ 4. Jesus Christ, then, as the true Messias, was "God manifest in the flesh,” “ God and Man: God,
of the substance of the Father, begotten before the t worlds; and Man, of the substance of his Mother,
born in the world.” In his Divine Nature Christ was the only begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the adorable Trinity, the Word; co-existent, coequal in all possible perfections with the Father and the Holy Ghost. “ God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things
were made." i It was requisite that Christ should be God, because
no one but God alone is capable of the work of redemption ;-no one can be infinitely meritorious but he ;-no one but God himself could endure the weight of divine wrath, --could overcome the powerful enemies of our salvation, could raise us from the death of sin, and give us eternal life : all which predicates are necessary to the character of the Messias.
$5. As our Lord Jesus Christ was perfect God as human nature, “ of a reasonable soul, and human flesh subsisting,” truly and entirely similar to ours, sin alone excepted, being freed from all taint of origipal sip by the supernatural mode of his incarnation: “ equal to the Father as touching his Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching his manhood." That he really assumed a human body was evident from its properties and affections ; it being visible,
tangible, composed of members of the usual number, · parts, and dimensions, and liable to the corporeal
exigencies of hunger, thirst, and fatigue. That this body was animated by a human soul is equally obvious from the exercise of intellect, will, and affec. tions ; and from the existence of guiltless infirmities, such as fear and sorrow, which were manifested in the course of the Redeemer's life and sufferings. ? It was requisite that our Mediator should be man as well as God; because as man only, could he die and suffer for our sakes ; as man only, could he become obedient to the Law; as the Son of Adam only, could he satisfy the justice of God by enduring the punishment of sin in the same nature which had offended ; as having been man he could sympathize with man, being touched with a sense of our infirmi. ties; and as in the second Adam only those who had died in the first Adam, could find a source of new life and spiritual recovery.
Ý 6. The union of the divine and human natures was effected not by the change or conversion of either, but by the assumption of the human nature into the unity of the person of the Son of God; and by the indwelling and manifestation of the divinity in the flesh, that is, the earthly body and reasonable soul. The