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sion: 'but who could have seen such a mes. senger and beheld such splendoúr without astonishment' and without dread! The benevolent herald, however, neither expressed surprize nor waited for excuse; but kindly hastened to remove the tremour that his presence had produced. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David,'a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'.
Who can for a moment contemplate this wonderful intelligence, and not exclaim with the devout psalmist, Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Herein is love, says an apostle, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. He was given for a covenant of the people, for a
light to the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes; to bring out the prisoners from the prison ; and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
To accomplish the work of man's redemption, the Son of God left the bosom of his Father, and, though equal with God, made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Should it be asked why the Lord Jesus condescended to take our nature into union with his divine person, the answer is-It behoved him to be made like unto his brethren: or, in other words, it was to qualify himself for the arduous work he had graciously undertaken to perform--that the divine law might be magnified in the same nature by which it was first dishonoured that he might by the grace of God taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in 'bringing many
sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sancti. fied are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren-Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might des stroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,' . ;.
For these beneficent purposes the Son of God became incarnate. "He was made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law, that we might re, ceive the adoption of sons.' He: voluntarily became subject to its precepts and obnoxious to its penalty ; and, as the head of his body the church, was obedient, suffered, and died. He is, therefore, emphatically styled, the sea cond man—the Lord from heaven. The first Adam was the natural and federal head of his posterity: he did not act simply as an indivi..
dual, but as the representative of mankind; consequently what he did in his own person, was, in one view, considered as done by them.
By: one man's disobedience many were made sinners-By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation. Now had our first father retained his primitive integrity, his offspring would undoubtedly have participated of his happiness: but as he apostatized from God, they were of course involved in the same guilt, the effects of which are daily experienced in a thousand forms, and which, together with actual transgression, remain on all his natural descendants...
Now, by the assumption of human nature, the Lord Jesus Christ became our near kinsman, whose right it was to redeem. “The word was made flesh, and dwelt among usWe are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones-He is the head of the church : and he is the saviour of the body.' But prior to this astonishing act of condescension, the church was viewed as having a representative being in Christ. As mediator and head of
the church, he was set up from everlasting he was the Father's elect, in whom his soul delighted. The elect are said to be given to him before the foundation of the world: to be chosen in him—to be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: and to have grace given them in him before the world began.' Christ and his church were considered as one mystical person.
For this church he gave himself; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the wash. ing of water by the word, and present it to
himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing ; but that it should be holy and without blemish. He became
the repairer of breaches; or, in other words, he undertook to do all that the elect ought to have done in their own persons, and to suífer all that they might have eternally suffered as the just demerit of their sins. · To-speak in the astonishingly emphatical language of scripture
- All we like sheep have gone astray'; we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us