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saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten, of or from the Father, when the Father so solemnly declared Him to be His beloved Son. All His Disciples also, and St. John among the rest, saw His glory, in the wonderful and glorious works that He did in their sight; whereby, as this Evangelist saith, “ He manifested forth His glory.” And John 2.11. that this also was the glory, as of the Only-begotten of the Father, appears, in that He Himself appealed to the works He did, as an undeniable argument that He was the Son of John 10. 36, God, and that too in such a sense, that He then said, “ I and ver. 30. the Father are one.” Whereby He plainly signified, that He is so begotten of the Father, as to be of one substance with Him. Wherefore, although, as I observed before, He is therefore also called the Son of God, because He is the Word, made flesh by the operation of God the Spirit; yet, in that sense, He never is, nor can be truly called the Only-begotten of the Father: for as such, He was from all eternity.
And therefore, when He came into the world to be incarnate, or made flesh, He Himself saith, “That God gave John 3. 16. His Only-begotten Son," to shew that He was not only begotten of Him before, but that He was His Only-begotten Son, such as none but Himself ever was, or can be; as appeared also from His glory which the Disciples saw, such glory as was proper and peculiar to the Only-begotten from the Father.
But these words, according as the construction in the original requires, are included in a parenthesis, and so may be left out without any prejudice to the sense of what went before, and follows after them ; which then will run thus, “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth :" whereby we are given to understand, that all the grace and truth which God is pleased to shew to mankind, is in His Word made flesh; in His Son, as He is both God and man, in one person: as such, He is full of grace and truth; "and of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace," as the Evangelist here acquaints us, ver. 16. and then gives us the reason of it, saying, “ For the law was ver. 17. given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Here the Word, as made flesh, is called Jesus Christ, because He thereby became Jesus ; that is, the Saviour of
SERM. mankind, the only Mediator between God and men; and
-Christ the Anointed, as being anointed into that great office by the Spirit of God. By Him therefore came both grace and truth into the world: He is full of both in Himself, and both came by Him; syvéro, “it was made,' or had its being or existence, as to us, only by Him: for without Him, God would neither have shewn us any grace or favour, nor have made us any promise of it, wherein His truth could have appeared to us. And so neither His grace, nor His truth, would ever have been manifested to us, unless His Word had been made flesh, and dwelt among us.
Whereas the Word being made flesh, and having in that been obedient to death, even the death of the cross, God in Him, and for His sake, hath promised us all the favours and mercies that we can ever want or desire, and continually shews forth His truth in the performance of His said promises to all that believe and trust in Him for it. So that as He came into the world full of grace and truth, grace and truth comes to us only by Him. By Him we may all have whatsoever we can have occasion for, either in this world or the next. By Him we may have grace truly to repent of all our former sins, so as to forsake and avoid them for the future. By Him we may be discharged and absolved from all the offences that we ever committed against God, so as never to suffer any of the punishments that are due unto us for them. By Him we may be as perfectly reconciled to the Almighty Creator of the world, as if we had never done any thing to displease Him. By Him we may be justified, or accounted righteous in the sight of God, notwithstanding the manifold imperfections that He seeth in us. By Him we may be continually enlightened, directed, influenced,
excited and assisted in our whole duty by His Holy Spirit, Phil. 4. 13. so as to say as truly as St. Paul did, “ I can do all things
through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” By Him we may be preserved or delivered from all evil, and obtain whatsoever we ask in His name that is good for us, through the whole course of our lives : and when we die, by Him may go to Heaven, and there live for ever with Him and His holy Angels, in the full possession and enjoyment of all things that were ever made, and of Him too that made them. All
this, and infinitely more than I am able to express, we may all have if we will, and it is our own faults if we have it not, by “the Word that was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.”
When I seriously consider these things, I am astonished and confounded at them. Oh the mystery of godliness! God manifest in the flesh! Oh the height, the depth, the (Eph. 3. length, the breadth of the love of God to mankind, that He should give His Word, His Son, His Only-begotten Son to be made flesh, and all that whosoever believeth in Him (John 3. should not perish, but have everlasting life! That the *** eternal Son of God, whom the Heaven of Heavens is not [1 Kings 8. able to contain, should come down and dwell among us poor mortals upon earth, and all that we might live with Him in Heaven ! That He who is full of grace and truth in Himself, should communicate it so freely to us, that of His fulness we may all receive, and grace for grace, even all things necessary to make us holy and happy both now and for ever!
What shall we say to these things ? Where shall we find words to express the thanks that are due for them? What shall we do for Him, that hath done all this for us? All that we can do, is only to receive the grace, and believe the truth that He hath manifested to us, and to praise and thank Him for it. Let us therefore now rejoice and be glad, and give honour unto God: for the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. The eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, came into this lower world : He came to save sinners, such as we all are. He came to wash us from our sins, in His own blood; and to “ make us kings and priests unto Rev. 1. 5, 6. God and His Father.” “He came not to be ministered Matt.20.28. unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” “He came to be made sin for us, that we might be 2 Cor. 5. 21. made the righteousness of God in Him.” “ He came to Acts 3. 26. bless us, in turning away every one of us from his iniquities.” “He came to redeem us from all iniquity, and to Tit. 2. 14. purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” He came to earth, that we might go to Heaven, and there be happy for ever. O therefore, that men would (Ps.107.8.]
SERM. praise the Lord for His goodness, and declare the wonders
that He doth for the children of men !
What shall we render unto the Lord for this His won(Ps. 116. derful benefit? We will receive the cup of salvation, and 13.]
call upon the name of the Lord. We will celebrate the memory of the Word made flesh, by feeding upon that Spiritual food which the Word hath prepared for us, of the flesh He was made. We will go to His altar, and there
offer up our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to Him: [Luke 2. and will sing with the holy Angels, “ Glory be to God
in the highest, in earth peace, good will towards men. Hallelujah."
CHRIST THE ONLY SAVIOUR.
Acts iv. 12.
Neither is there Salvation in any other. For there is none
other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
When it pleased Almighty God to create the world, and all things in it, He was pleased to do it by His Word: He said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” Thus the Gen. 1. 3. whole work was finished : as David observes, “ By the Word Ps. 33. €. of the Lord were the Heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” And St. Peter, “ By the Word of God the Heavens were of old, and the earth 2 Pet. 3. 5. standing out of the water, and in the water.” By that eternal Word, who subsisting from all eternity in the form of God, at the beginning of time exerted His Divine power, in the production of all things out of nothing. “ For in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” This we are assured of by St. John, in the beginning of his Gospel, where he also tells us soon after, that this Word was made ver. 14. flesh, and dwelt among us, that is, He took on Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, as Phil. 2. 7. St. Paul expresseth it. And then He was called Jesus, the Saviour, as being the only Saviour of men, whose form or nature He for that purpose had so assumed. So that we can now be saved only by Him, by whom we were at first