« PreviousContinue »
1 st verse,
Now, these words contain, not by im- of that Jehovah, “ God manifest in the plication, but directly, by direct infer- flesh,” the blessed Son. Now, mark what ence, these subjects ;– 1st. The God- is said in verses 16, 17, 18, “ for by him head of Jesus--the Godhead of that were all things created that are in heaven blessed Redeemer whose birth we com- and that are in earth, visible and invisible, memorate to-day. 2dly. The birth of whether they be thrones or dominions, Jesus into this world. 3dly. The life of or principalities or powers, all things Jesus while he was in the world. 4thly. were created by him and for him, and he The manifested glory of Jesus while he is before all things, and by him all things was in the world. 5thly. They contain consist, and he is the head of the body, the great salvation of Jesus; and finally the Church : who is the beginning, the contain the fulfilment of God's promises first born from the dead, that in all things and prophecies by the types and shadows he might have the pre-eminence.” There of the ceremonial law in the person of you see another exhibition of the glory the Lord Jesus Christ.
of the Word. 1. The GODHEAD OF Jesus.
Then, if you look to Heb, i, 1, 2, you Word was made flesh.” The Word, will see the same thing, “ God, who at what does the evangelist mean by this sundry times, and in divers manners, expression, " the Word was made flesh ?" spake in times past unto the fathers by Who is the Word ?—what is the Word ? the prophets, hath in these last days, Go back to the beginning of the chap- spoken unto us by his Son, whom he ter; there we see who and what the Word hath appointed heir of all things, by
“ In the beginning was whom also he made the worlds." There the Word, and the Word was with God;" you have the Father and the Son spoken therefore, essentially different in that of; the Son declared to be the almighty respect, as a distinct person from God agent in the creation of the world. So the Father, and yet one with God the you see, when he appears to his servant, Father for “the Word was God.” | John, the author of this Gospel, Rev. i. 8. Again, we see this Word the Creator “ I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning of all things : 3rd verse, “ All things and the ending, saith the Lord, which is were made by Him, and without Him and which was, and which is to come, was not any thing made that was made.” the Almighty." Who made all things ? Ask a child- Here, then, you have, in God's eternal ask any one but a fool, who made all truth, the character of the Word Jehovah things ? God. Certainly not, unless Jesus, “God over all, blessed for ever." the Word was God; for the Word made Why is he called the Word ? Why is all things : “all things were made by such a name as that given to Christ? Him, and without Him was not any thing What do you mean by a word ? A word made that was made.” What does this is that which embodies your ideas, which declare? Why, his eternal power and gives expression to the unseen thoughts Godhead, as we have it in Rom. i. 20. of your mind. Look to this chapter, "for the invisible things of Him from the ver. 18. and you will see the reason why creation of the world are clearly seen, he is called the Word, “no man hath being understood by the things that are seen God at any time, the only begotten made, even his eternal power and God- Son which is in the bosom of the Father, head.” The things that are made de- he hath declared him ;" he is the Logos clare the eternal power and Godhead of who declares the character of the living Him who made them, therefore of the God, and there is no possibility of man's Word. So, in Col. i. you will see the same seeing or knowing the character of God; truth ;–St. Paul is speaking of this bles- there is not a sinner on earth that has the sed Word, for he says, “ in whom we most distant idea of the moral character have redemption through his blood, even and government of God, till it is revealed the forgiveness of sins,” and he adds, to him in Christ Jesus. The unconverted "who is the image of the invisible God, sinner, the nominal Christian, though the first born of every creature.” There sitting in the Church under the sound of is the image of the invisible God, God the Gospel, knows no more of the moral the Father, “whom no man hath seen at character and government of God, than any time,"—there is the express image Ithe pagan, till he knows that moral
character and government, as revealed to person and character of Christ ;-I say, his soul in the Word, Christ Jesus; He that is the especial point of the Devil's declares it, and then, when he sees Jesus continual attack ;-SO we see how he as revealed in Scripture, then he knows attacks the Godhead of Immanuel, how the character of this God whom Jesus he tries to take away the Godhead of reveals. Now, is not the Godhead of Jesus. (Socinianism takes away the Jesus set forth in this text, “the Word | Godhead of Jesus—takes away all salvawas made flesh ?"
tion from man)—then he takes away II. WE HAVE THE BIRTH OF JESUS SET the manhood of Christ, the perfect
“ The Word was made flesh.” manhood of Christ,—this is one of the He was made flesh, as we are made flesh, awful superstitions of the Church of born of a woman, miraculously conceived Rome ; for, although they acknowledge indeed, but born of a woman, taking the the humanity of Christ in so many words, flesh of the sons and daughters of Adam, they take away the manhood of Christ, one with ourselves; "the Word was that is, they exalt Jesus so high above made flesh." Oh! what a glorious mys. humanity, that the sinner cannot come tery, what a blessed mystery is “the near it, cannot close with it, cannot come mystery of godliness, God manifest in to Jesus, he is so high, but must have the flesh !" God could not suffer man some saints or angels, or the Virgin could not save. God became man that Mary, or other mediators,—whereas the he might suffer; he is God, and he can glory of the Gospel consists, not only save ;-aye,
blessed be his holy name, in the Godhead of Jesus, but in the hu“save to the uttermost all that come manity of Jesus. He is close to us, one unto God by him.”
with us, bone of our bone, and flesh of This is that blessed event which we cele- our flesh, so that no sinner could come brate to-day, my beloved friends the birth nearer to a friend or a brother, and pour of Jesus. Unto us a child is born, unto out his soul before him, than the poor us a Son is given, and the government sinner can come to the “friend that shall be upon his shoulders, and his name sticketh closer than a brother,” and pour shall be called wonderful, counsellor, the put his soul at the feet of his precious mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Saviour! hence, the blessed Redeemer is Prince of peace !” Oh! what a blessed “a man that receiveth sinners.” So he event for sinners like you and me, to dwelt among us;—and how did he dwell celebrate,-the birth of a Saviour! Let among us ? walking among the people, men who flatter themselves that their living among them, talking to them, so houses shall continue for ever, and who that they knew him, were acquaintcall their lands by their own names, and ed with him, familiar with him. Jesus hand them down, as they hope, from was a child; we find him in the first lesson generation to generation–let them have of this day a child, born in a stable, rejoicings at the birth of a son--let laid in a manger,--we find him on the nations rejoice when the heirs of king- eighth day, a child brought into the doms are born-but oh! let the sinner's temple to be circumcised-we find him heart rejoice when the Saviour, the heir again in the 41st verse, St. Luke ii. of glory, the heir of all things, is born going up with his parents every year to into this world, that he may be a Refuge, the feast at Jerusalem-we find him on a Redeemer, a Friend, Salvation for the one particular occasion, when twelve sinner. It is most important that we years of age, going up to the feast at should remember the fact, “the Word Jerusalem, and when they returned, was made flesh.
“ the child Jesus tarried behind, and III. There is another thing declared in they, supposing him to be in the this verse
—THE LIFE OF Jesus: “ He company, went a day's journey,” they dwelt among us.
It is of the utmost imagined that he was with them,_and importance, that Christians should ever no doubt all Mary's kinsfolk and acremember the facts, the solid facts, on quaintance were happy to see and know which the hope of their salvation rests; and speak to the Child Jesus,--we all for the Devil is for ever undermining or
amiable child, an amiable, endeavouring to undermine the facts that affectionate, kind child,—how happy the are revealed in the Scriptures, of the kinsfolk and acquaintance of Mary must
have been when Jesus was allowed to be persons to make him a king,—then we with them, (for Mary thought he was) find him traduced, maligned, despised, as they went down from Jerusalem. rejected, buffetted, spitted on, as a ma
These little, plain, simple facts in the lefactor, crucified. What vicissitudes, or Word of God are very important to us, what trials, or what circumstances of “ the Word was made flesh and dwelt human life are there in which Jesus may among us,”-50 find him here, not be found?“the Word was made “sitting in the midst of the doctors, both flesh and dwelt among us."
Oh, how hearing them and asking them questions." blessed it is to reflect on these portions of We find him again verse 51, going down our blessed Lord's life and character. to Nazareth, and being subject unto his IV, The parents, living as a child.— Then we find Christ, we beheld his glory, the glory him as a man in Matthew iv. 23, “and as of the only begotten of the Father.” Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in The works of the Lord Jesus Christ their synagogues, and preaching the manifested the power of Jehovah. He Gospel of the kingdom, and healing all did not, (now mark the difference) as his manner of sickness, and all manner of apostles did, to whom he gave power to disease among the people.” You follow work miracles,—he did not use the name him and trace him dwelling among us, of some other being superior to himself, known to
known to children and say as they did, “in the name of as a child, known to men as a man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walking in the midst of Galilee, calling walk," — No, he spoke with the power
and the attention of all the surrounding coun- majesty of Jehovah, to the winds and try to him by the wondrous works “ be still ! and there was a great he did. So again, after his resurrection calm ;"_" young man, I say unto thee we see him, as the apostle tells us in arise !— And he that was dead sat up and Acts i. “showing himself to his apostles began to speak.”—“ Lazarus come forth!" by many infallible proofs," and we have he that was dead came forth. Peter telling us the same thing in chap. peals himself to this, he says in St. John's x. that " he showed himself, not unto all Gospel, x. 38. “though ye believe not the people, but unto witnesses chosen me, believe the works, that ye may know before of God, even to us who did eat and believe—what? “ that you may know and drink with him after he rose from the and believe that the Father is in me and dead,” so “ he was made flesh and dwelt I in him.” among us."
There is a passage in a sermon on How did he dwell ? There is no glorying in the cross of Christ. I could condition of life in which the believer not clothe the ideas in such language, or may not pause with joy and thankfulness place them before you so beautifully as on the life of Jesus. Is he poor, is he this writer has done. in an humble and lowly situation in life, “ His birth was mean on earth below; passing through the world unnoticed and but it was celebrated with hallelujahs by unknown ?- See how Jesus sanctified the heavenly host in the air above: he poverty, humiliation, seclusion from the had a poor lodging, but a star lighted world, retiredness from the world," he visitants to it from distant countries.was in the world, and the world was made Never prince had such visitants so conby him, and the world knew him not,” ducted. He had not the magnificent the greater portion of his life he passed equipage that other kings have, but he in this humble, lowly, unseen, unknown was attended with multitudes of patients, sphere. Are you then walking in an seeking and obtaining healing of soul humble, lowly sphere? Jesus dwelt there, and body; that was more true greatness you have a Saviour who walked before than if he had been attended with crowds in the same sphere as you. Then, if of princes. He made the dumb that men are called into public life, into all attended him siny his praises, and the the vicissitudes and trials connected with lame to leap for joy, the deaf to hear his that.-Jesus passed through them all, wonders, and the blind to see his glory. we behold the Lord Jesus Christ admired, He had no guard of soldiers, nor magnififollowed, honored, attended to, called a cent retinue of servants; but as the benefactor of mankind, sought after by centurion, that had both, acknowledged;
health and sickness, life and death, took | knowledged him, “ we know thee who orders from him. Even the winds and thou art, the holy one of God”--the Father storms, which no earthly power can con- himself declared of him, “thou art my betrol, obeyed him; and death and the loved Son in whom I am well pleased.” grave durst not refuse to deliver up their Heaven and Earth and Hell, God and prey when he demanded it.
He did not men, and devils testified of his perfection. walk upon tapestry ; but when he walked We see the moral character of God on the sea the waters supported him.- stamped on the person of the Lord Jesus All parts of the creation, excepting Christ,—“we beheld his glory, the glory sinful men, honored him as their Creator. as of the only begotten of the Father, He kept no treasure ; but when he had full of grace and truth.” occasion for money, the sea sent it to When we read that book, and when we him in the mouth of a fish : he had no
look at man, when we read the history of barns, nor corn-fields, but when he the human race, the character of all men inclined to make a feast, a few loaves that are delineated in that blessed word, covered a sufficient table for many thou- even the best amongst them all, of whom sands. None of all the monarchs of the could we say, as his enemies said of world ever gave such entertainment.- Christ, “ we find no evil in this man?"By these, and many such things, the When we look at the Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer's glory shone through his we behold in his own character the tran. meanness in the several parts of his life. script of his own blessed, perfect word, Nor was it wholly clouded at his death ; and the Bible stamps on him the glory of he had not, indeed, that fantastic equipage the Author of the book itself, “ God of sorrow that other great persons have on manifest in the flesh.”—Then, what is such occasions : but the frame of nature the glory of that? Oh, great glory, solemnized the death of its author; heaven wondrous glory !-- Why? because, he and earth were mourners. The sun was is the Lord our righteousness, his righclad in black; and if the inhabitants of teousness is our righteousness, to every the earth were unmoved, the earth itself one that believeth, he is “the end of the trembled under the awful load : there law for righteousness,” “the righteous. were few to pay the Jewish compliment ness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ, of rending their garments, but the rocks unto and upon all them that believe.” were not so insensible, they rent their When you read of the character of the bowels; he had not a grave of his own, Lord Jesus Christ in all his perfection but other men's graves opened to him. and all his holiness, it is your blessed Death and the grave might be proud of privilege, O believer, to take it all, and such a tenant in their territories; but he say: "this, through God's grace, is all my came not there as a subject, but as an own, and all my guilt and sin is blotted invader, a conqueror : it was then the out,”—Oh, good tidings, glad tidings of king of terrors lost his sting; and on the great joy!"we beheld his glory'-. Ah, my third day the Prince of life triumphed | friends, men may talk of the moral chaover him, spoiling death and the grave. racter of Christ,—the moral example of But this last particular belongs to Christ's Christ, and the beauty of Christ's exaltation : the other instances show a example, and they may say, we are all to part of the glory of his humiliation, but it follow it,—so we ought; for that is is a small part of it.”
another part of the glory that he Mark ihe glory of the image of " suffered for us; leaving us an example, Jehovah! He was perfect, even as his that we should follow his steps,”—but Father was perfect;" the holiness of all men may talk, as many do-poor ignorant this book is transcribed in the person of formalists may talk of the character of Jesus, the perfect law of the living God the Lord Jesus Christ—but no unconvertwas manifested in the life “of Jesus," "he ed sinner sees any glory in him—on the is the end of the law for righteousness to contrary, tell you what he sees--he sees a every one that believeth,"—the traitor holiness that he hates, he sees a perfection that betrayed him declared, that he had that he feels he falls infinitely short of, he “betrayed the innocent blood"—the judge beholds a righteous Being before whom that condemned him said, “I find no he trembles to appear,--and, say what he fault in this man”-the very devils ac- may, he can see no glory in the character
of Christ, till he is able to see the See the poor woman taken in adultery,-blessing of the Gospel, that all the by the Jewish law, she was to be stoned, righteousness of Jesus, and all the holiness --when she was brought to Jesus, when of Jesus is given to him, is put down to he said, “let him that is without sin his account to constitute his righteousness amongst you, cast the first stone,”—that which he is to take with him, and to is, let him who is fit to stand in thc stand before the bar of God,--then presence of God, as a holy man, let him indeed he beholds the glory of Christ's first cast the stone at her, and when the righteousness, the glory of Immanuel's consequence was, that they all slunk away. character.
when their conscience condemned them V. But I said, there was in this text, -Christ said, “woman where are those THE RICH SALVATION OF Jesus. “We thine accusers ? hath no man condemned beheld his glory, the glory of the only thee ? and she said, no man, Lord,”— begotten of the Father, full of grace and “neither,” saith Christ, “ do I condemn truth,”—the grace that is in Jesus—that thee, go, and sin no more." Oh, how is no glory to unenlightened man- full of
these words Man has no notion in his natural state of sal- of Jesus that sounded in that poor vation by grace, but of salvation by works, sinner's ear! And again, Zaccheusin some shape or other--some modification he was the chief among the publicans,— of grace and works is all that the sinner has how full of grace did Christapany idea of,—he has no idea but that pear to him, -when Christ came to there is a reward, in the way of merit, his house, and declared, “this day is for goodness, and so, poor wretch, he salvation come to this house !" and Oh, tries to gain the reward. But the glory how full of grace must Jesus have apof the grace that is in Christ Jesus is
peared to the thief on the cross, when he salvation for the guilty, salvation for the turned round, and snatched him from lost, mercy for the wicked, mercy for the very jaws of hell, and said, “to-day those who have no hope in themselves shalt thou be with me in Paradise !". and are outcasts from God and men,
“ All the publican's and sinners drew near there is the salvation, the glory that is in unto him to hear him," Luke xv. why ? Christ Jesus.
because they heard what they never “ Full of grace," —How do you think? heard before, grace, the fullness of grace Look at the poor woman mentioned in St. in Christ, they were sinners, and so they Luke's Gospel vii. of whom Simon the Pha- drew near to hear ;—"the pharisees and risee said of Christ,“ this man if he were a scribes murmured,” but they drew near to prophet, would have known who and what hear him, because there was grace, manner of woman this is that toucheth mercy, and pardon proclaimed by the him, for she is a sinner," when she came precious Saviour to their poor guilty to pour her tears upon his feet, and wipe souls, so he was the shepherd that went them with the hairs of her head, and after the lost sheep, the
woman that when the pharisee saw her, you remem- searched for the 'lost money, the father ber, that was his remark ;- but when the that welcomed the prodigal son—he was Lord Jesus Christ said to her, “thy that God in whose presence there is joy sins are forgiven the,”—she who had
over one sinner that repenteth. How been an outcast from society, the poor full of grace the character of Christ is, soul, on whom the first door perhaps that “ where sin abounded, grace did much had been shut was her own father's door
more abound.” when she had brought disgrace on him,- VI. Then again, in these words, “full his door shut against her, and every door of grace and truth,” we have the fulshut against her,—Oh, what grace when the Lord now set before her “an open
You see this door which no man can shut-a door of in the 17th verse_" The law was given by mercy-acknowledged her as his daugh- Moses, but grace and truth came by ter, “ daughter, be of good comfort, thy Jesus Christ.” Now observe, the law, sins are forgiven thee." Oh, what a the moral and ceremonial law, was given blessed thing for her when she saw the by Moses, but “ grace and truth came by blessed Jesus, so “full of grace,” that there Jesus Christ:” Grace, as contradistinwas grace and mercy for her poor soul! guished from the moral law, bring
FILMENT OF ALL THE TYPES AND SHADOWS
OF THE CEREMONIAL LAW.