Imatges de pÓgina

wisdom, and all other excellencies, meet in him, to a miracle, There is no blemish, no want at all in him; Col. i. 9, "For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell."

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3. The uncommonness and singularity of his excellencies. Miracles are but rare, in respect of the common operations of providence. And Christ among the sons of men is as a standard bearer among ten thousand;" Cant v. 10; he is a personage of singular excellencies. It is observed, that what is done by miracle, doth in its kind excel what is the product of nature in that kind. The water that was made wine was far better than the wine of the vine, John ii. 10. So the man Christ is "fairer than the sons of men," Psalm xlv. 2. So every excellency in Christ is beyond that excellency in another; so was Christ's meekness beyond Moges's meekness, his strength beyond Samson's, and his wisdom beyond Solomon's, as the sun's light beyond that of the stars.

4. The absolute matchlessness of his person, for excellency and glory; Prov. viii. 11, "Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired, are not to be compared to it." Seek through all the creatures in heaven and earth, and there is none comparable to him; Psalm 1xxiii. 25, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." His match is not to be found among all the ranks of created beings.

1. Among created persons, the like to him is not to be found; Jer. xxxi. 22, "The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man." Consider them in all their excellencies.

(1) What are men to this miracle of men? Great men are contemptible, wise men fools, good men's goodness disappears, in comparison with him.

(2.) Consider devils in their knowledge and might, the only excellencies remaining with them; and their knowledge is but ignorance in comparison of his, Rev. v. 3, 5; their power weakness, Matt. xii. 29. He can bind them as easily as a giant a little child.

(3.) What are glorified saints, but so many bright stars shining with his borrowed light, wonders of his mercy, monuments of his free love? Rev. iv. 10.

They are all his ser

(4.) What are angels that never sinned? vants, Heb. i. 14, to worship him, verse 6. He is the son of the house, they are but servants of it. He is the Lord of angels. Moses was not content with the offer of an angel, but would have himself; Exod. xxxiii. 15, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence;" nor was Mary content, till she got himself.

2. Among created things his match is not to be found, however men take the shadow for the substance.

(1) Worldly good things are not comparable to him, in their greatest abundance and choice of them. Riches, honour, strength, &c. are a poor portion in his room and stead; "Prov. viii. 11, "Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired, are not to be compared to it." All of them are greater in expectation than fruition, broken cisterns soon running dry, bitter sweets uncommensurable to the desires of the soul; he the quite


(2.) Spiritual good things do come from him as rays from the sun. Grace is a created quality, heaven itself is but the place where he keeps his court, And as the prince himself is preferable to all the jewels in his crown, and to his palace; so is Christ above all these.

say, as Cant. v. loved, that thou

5. The shining forth of his excellencies, fit to draw all eyes upon him. A miracle is the centre of men's eyes, to which all men are ready to look; it is a sight every one would desire to see, and to see narrowly. There is an attractive beauty and glory in this wonderful one. This is a mystery to the world, who are ready to 9, "What is thy beloved more than another bedost so charge us?" seeing nothing in him to fix their eyes on him. But, (1.) His Father's eyes are fixed on him, as the object of his good pleasure; Matt. iii. 17, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The Lamb is in the midst of the throne above, Rev. v. 6. It is a strange word that is said of the temple; 2 Chron. vii. 16, "For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." But a greater than the temple is meant there. The eyes of the Holy Spirit are on him; Zech. iii. 9, "Behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of Hosts." Compared with Rev. v. 6, "In the midst of the throne, and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth."

(2.) The eyes of the angels are drawn after him, as a most wonderful sight. The faces of the cherubims were therefore made looking towards the mercy-seat; Exod. xxv. 20, to teach us, that Christ the Mediator, reconciling God and sinners, is the object of the angel's wonder; 1 Peter i. 12, "Which things the angels desire to look into."

(3.) The eyes of all the saints are drawn after him, as the object of their admiration and affection. No sooner are the eyes of the blind soul opened, but they fix on him; John iv. 10, "If thou

knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." Therefore faith is called a "looking unto Christ ;" Isa. xlv. 22, "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." Cant. iii. 11, "Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon," &c. And it is not a looking after a wonder of a few days; but it must remain all along their course through the world; Heb. xii. 1, 2, " Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." And when they come to glory, they will fix their eyes on him for ever, never weary, but always refreshed with the sight. Therefore the Lamb is in the midst of the elders," Rev. v. 6; "and the multitude before the Lamb," chap. vii. 9.

And that the eyes of all men are not upon him, is because they know him not, are not capable to discern his glory; Psalm ix. 10, "And they that know thy name, will put their trust in thee."


6. Lastly, The incomprehensibleness of him to any creature. is a miracle past their reach, the reach of their knowledge as well as their power; Eph. iii. 19, "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge." Men are soon non-plussed in the works of nature; there are things there which they cannot comprehend; Job xxxviii. and xxxix., as in the wind that bloweth; John iii. 8, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth." Eccl. xi. 5, "As thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all." How much more must they find themselves at a loss in miracles, where the laws of nature are neglected, and God works quite beyond them? Then how must they be quite lost in this great miracle: the Son of God become man? Agur long ago challenged the wit of all mankind to comprehend his name; Prov. xxx. 4, "Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell?" And the Son of God himself declared his name to be past reach; Judges xiii. 18, "Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret ?" Whatever the saints know of it, the half is not known, there is still more behind.

USE I. Whosoever do truly discern what Christ is, cannot choose but to love him above all persons and things, and choose him for their portion being offered to them; "Psalm ix. 10, "They that know thy name will put their trust in thee." John iv. 10, "If thou

knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." His matchless excellencies make him such a lovely one, that the discovery of them does command the surrender of the heart to him, and captivates the affections; sinks the value of all created things in competition with him, and enthrones him in the heart; Phil. iii. 8, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." Psalm 1xxiii. 25, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee." Hence true believers can neither be boasted nor bribed, frightened nor flattered from his love; Cant. viii. 6, 7, "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm; for love is strong as death, jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned."

2. Believers' love to Christ must needs be lasting, everlasting, for his excellencies are infinite and incomprehensible. When we meet with an object among the creatures that commands our admiration and love, we are taken with it; but some defect comes afterwards to be perceived in it, and then the admiration ceaseth, or turns into contempt. At least, the perfections of the object are all seen through, and they become familiar, and the admiration dwindles away into nothing; and what was at first sight admired as new, ceaseth to be so when it affords no more new. But no defect or blemish can ever be espied in him, who is fairer than the sun; and there being an incomprehensible depth of excellencies in him, there is ever place for new discoveries; so the admiration must be kept up for ever; Rev. xxii. 2, "In the midst of the street of it, and of either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations."

3. Those whose greatest admiration and supreme love Christ is not the object of, are yet certainly in the midnight darkness of their natural state. Whosoever of you admire and love any created person or thing as much or more than Christ, ye have never yet seen nor known him; Psalm ix. 10, "They that know thy name, will put their trust in thee." Luke xiv. 26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." The predominant love of the world, prizing and esteeming the things thereof above him, is a concluding evidence, that ye

are walking in the dark, that the scales are yet on your eyes, and that Christ is a vailed Christ to you.

4. Lastly, See here how it is not to be thought strange, that there are who stumble at the doctrine of an incarnate God our redeemer. Corrupt nature is blind and venturous. Our incarnate Redeemer is a miracle, past the reach and comprehension of the creatures. They are blind, and cannot apprehend his glory; yet they are proud and lofty, and will not admit the mystery, because they cannot comprehend it. Now, it cannot be comprehended; therefore either they must be humbled, or stumble at it as a stumbling stone. See Matt. xi. 6; 1 Pet. ii. 6-8.

III. In what respects is our incarnate Redeemer a miraculous one, a most wonderful personage? This is a subject which no man can fully comprehend, and will never be exhausted by the saints in glory through eternity. We will touch on a few things to show that he is miracle all over. He is wonderful,

1st, In his person and natures. He is God-man, God and man in one person. None such in heaven or earth.

1. The man Christ is the true God, the second person of the glorious Trinity, the one supreme most high God, with the Father and the Spirit; 1 John v. 20, " And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." He is "the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person," Heb. i. 2, 3. Therefore he said to Philip, John xiv. 9, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father." He is the Father's fellow, Zech. xiii. 7; his equal, Phil. ii. 6.

2. Christ the Son of God is true man. The eternal Son of the Father is a Son of Adam; Luke iii. 23-38, being, as was supposed, "the son of Joseph, which was the son of Adam.” He was really human flesh; John i. 14, "The Word was made flesh;" and our flesh, as "made of a woman," Gal. iv. 4. He is a man, consisting of a soul; Matth. xxvi. 38, and a body of flesh, and blood, and bones; Luke xxiv. 39; as really man as any man whatsoever.

So he is God and man in one person. Here is a wonderful person indeed, whom we cannot comprehend; true God, yet man; true man, yet God; a mysterious person, undiscerned by most that saw him with their eyes, perceived only by the enlightened eye; John i. 14. The uniting of a soul to an earthly body, forming one person called man, was a work of wonder; but what is the putting together of two pieces of clay, in comparison of the Potter's uniting with his

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