Imatges de pÓgina
[ocr errors]

Chap. 5. nothing ? Exact pence from our Brother, when Ta- .

lents are forgiven to our felves? Is God come into
our flesh ? and shall we hide our selves from it, I
mean, in the neglect or contempt of the poor? Did
he take humanity, that we should put it off? No,
in so doing we should reproach not our Maker only,
but our Redeemer too. Inhumanity is now double,
treble, to what it was before our Saviour took an
humane Nature, to read us a Lecture of Love and
Goodness in: the old Commandment of Love is now
a new one, urged upon us by a new Motive, The
incomparable Love of God in his giving his Son for
us. If we now shut up our Bowels and Mercies from
athers, how dwelleth the Love of God in us ? What
sense can we have of it upon our hearts ? Charity
was the badg of the Primitive Christians. The im--
press of Gods Love upon Mr. Fox was so great, that
he never denied any that asked for Jesus fake. Our
Love towards men should be a little picture or re-
semblance of Gods Love towards us. Our Mercies
and Compassions should tell the world, that we have
tasted of that infinite Graceand Mercy which is above.
Our Charity towards all fhould bear witness, that we
have been great receivers from God. Our Love to-
wards Enemies should be a thankful acknowledgment,
that we being fuch, were reconciled to God by the
Death of his Son,




The Power of God manifest in Christ. In his Incara

nation and Conception. In his Miracles. These were true in the History. True in the Nature of Miracles

. They were numerous and great. They were suited to the Evangelical design. Divine Power manifest in converting the World ; notwithstanding its deep Corruption, and the opposition of Potentates and Philosophers to the Gospel. The instruments mean, that the Power might be of God. The Gospel proposes superrational Mysteries, super-moral Virtues

, fuper-mundane rewards; things so much above us, that without a Divine Power the proposal would have been fruitless.


the next place I come to consider the Power of God. Power being a Perfection, must needs be in him, and being ( as all other Attributes are) his very Effence, it must needs be infinite. The very light of Nature reveals this Attribute. In the Grecian Philosophers he is called martoreless, Omnipotent; Nihil est, quod Deus efficere non posjet, faith Tully. Ludovicus Vives wonders, that so learned a Man as comment. ir Pliny should cavil at Gods Omnipotence, as if he Aug. de civis. could not do all things, because he could not dye. 4. 5. C. 10. In Scripture he is called Gibbor, a mighty one ;Shaddai, an All-sufficient God: he is the only Potentate, 1 Tim. 6.15. He can do every thing, Job 42. 2. Nothing is too hard for him, Gen. 18.14. Power belongeth to him, Pfal. 62. 11. Whatever is an act of Power,

O 2


Chap. 6. that he can do; that he cannot do contradictories,

is not Impotency, but Power and Perfection: for him to lye, were to deny his own Truth; for him to dye, were to cast off his Immortality ; for him to make a thing be, and at the same inftant to make it not to be, were to act repugnantly, and overturn his own action. These argue Impotency, not Power. We may more properly say, that these cannot be done, than that God cannot do them: he can do all things, which being done, do argue

Power or Perfection ; but what argues Impotency, can no more fall upon him, than darkness can seize upon the Sun.

This excellent Attribute of Power was eminently set forth in Christ: He is called the power of God, i Cor. 1. 24. Divine Power shews forth it self in him in several respects.

First it breaks out in his Incarnation. The word was made flesh, John 1. 14. He, boho was in the form of God, took upon him the form of a servant, Phil

. 2. 6,7; that is, he, who had the Éssence and Majesty of God, assumed so low a thing as an humane Nature : He did not lay down his Deity, but assumed an Humanity ; two Natures, a Divine and Humane, were in one person. Never did God come so near the Creature as here. He was in the world by his Universal Presence ; he was in the Temple in types and symbols ; in the Saints he is by bis Grace, in Heaven he is in immediate Glory : but in the Incarnation he is hypostatically in an humane Nature. The person of the Word, which was from Eternity an Hypostasis to his Divine Nature, became an Hypoftasis to his humane Nature in time. O what wonders of Power are here! Here God was made Man, Chap. 6. the Creator became one with his Creature! Had the whole world been crowded into a single Atom, it would have been infinitely a less wonder than this ; the putting a greater finite into a less, cannot be comparable to the taking of finite into infinite. Here are two Natures, a Divine and an Humane, in themselves infinitely distant, met in personal conjunction ; finite is not absorp’t by infinite, infinite is not changed by finite. Here Eternal dwells in the fame person with Temporal, yet runs not into succession ; immortal dwells with mortal, yet falls not into passion. Here an humane Nature is united to a person infinitely simple, and infinitely compleat ; yet he loses not his simplicity, nor yet doth he receive any additional perfection. Here's an humane Nature without any Personality of its own. Naturally the humane Nature of Christ would have had a Subliftence of its own ; a Personality would have flown from it : but the resultance was miraculously prevented; the want of its own finite Subsistence was supplied by the Presence of an infinite one; the Son Mr. Jeans of: of God communicated his Hypostasis to it, to sustain the words In


carn. fol. 81. it. Here we have in some respect more of Divine Power manifested, than there was in the making of the World. When meer nothing was by an Almighty word elevated into Elements, Plants, Beasts, Men, Angels, still it was but into finite ; but here a finité humane Nature was taken into infinite : and between the infinite God and the humane Nature, the disparity must be far greater than it is between a world and nothing. Here indeed God did not create an infinite (that being impossible), but he came as


Chap. 6.

near it as possibly could be, by assuming a finite Nature into himself. All other Creatures are comparatively extra Deum ; but here the humane Nature was in the very instant of its production, interwoven with the infinite Person of the Son. Thus we fee, that in this stupendious work, Divine Power acted magnificently and congruoully to its own infinity; never any work did so fully answer and correfpond to Omnipotence as this.

A second instance of Power we have in the Conception of our Saviour : his body was not formed in an ordinary way, by the concurrence of Man and Woman, but in a way super-natural; A Virgin was with Child. As the body of the first Adam was wonderfully framed out of the dust ; so the body of the second was admirably framed out of the Virgin. That a Virgin should be with Child, was a great, an high Miracle, far above all the Power of Nature. How then was it effected ? The Evangelist tells us, The Holy Ghost came upon her, the power of the highest did overshadow her, Luk. 1. 35. 'This is a sublime tremendous Mystery ; the Holy Ghost, as the word (overshadow imports, did, as it were, cast a Cloud over her; to teach us, that we should not over-curiously pry into so great a Work as this was. The body of our Saviour was not produced spermatically, out of the substance of the Holy Ghost, but Operatively, by the Power of it. The matter of his body was from the substance of the Virgin ; the active Principle was the infinite Spirit. The seed of Man was not here used ; it was not congruous, that he, who had Cod for his Father, should have


Man to be fo: it was a miraculous extraordinary opera

« AnteriorContinua »