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The Bible our rule of faith!-The right of private judgment our privilege.
Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders ;-Gott helfe mir! Amen !--LUTHER

Vol. V.]


[No. 9.

SERMON, On the Union of the Divine and Human Nature of our Lord

Jesus Christ.

Text, John i. 14.-And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

The incarnation of the Son of God, is certainly a mystery, but to perishing sinners, it is a blessed mystery, full of comfort as well as wonder. This doctrine is clearly exhibited in various passages of scripture, but in none perhaps with more clearness and precision, than in the passage now before us. “And the word was made fiesh,” &c.

The word or logos here mentioned is the Lord Jesus Christ. This is so evident from the whole context, that on this point, we need make only a single passing remark. The person here designated as the “word made flesh,” is in the 14th verse declared to be the only begotten of the father—this we know is in several places said of Jesus Christ, ad of no other, therefore by the word “made flesh” is clearly meant Jesus Christ, and now as in the 1st verse it is affirm. ed that the Word was God, and as the expression “was made fleshis only another phrase, for was made man, the doctrine of our text is this : Jesus Christ our glorious mediator, is in one person very God and very man—or, in other words, is possessed of two natures, the human and divine, in mysterious yet all harmonious union. This doctrine we shall now, by divine assistance, endeavour to prove

A. From the necessity of the case, and B. From scripture testi, mony.

1.—Before we enter upon the argument, let it be premised, that in the scriptures, Jesus Christ is declared to be the great mediator, of whom it is affirmed, “We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” Now, in order that Jesus Christ might be qualified to act the part of Mediator-in order that he might be able to satisfy the claims of divine justice, and make reconciliation » Vol. V. No.9.


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by the blood of his cross, it is necessary that he should have both a hurnan and divine nature. A human nature, that he might obey that law, which man had viclated The law was designed for human nature, but man having violated it, a dishonour was cast upon the law, and moreover, there was a reflection upon the Wisdom of God, as if a law had been given to man, not suited to his nature.Now, as an important part of the mediatorial work was, to magnify the law and vindicate the divine character, it was needful that the mediator should be a man, that in human nature, he might obey that law, which was designed for human nature, and thus prove that the law was holy, just and good, suited to the nature of man and altogether worthy of the divine wisdom, but it was equally necessary, that Jesus Christ should have a divine nature, to give merit to his obedience.-For suppose he were a mere man, or had human nature, only, and suppose his obedience were sinless, were perfect—this obedience could merit nothing, as it would be nothing more than that obedience, which as a creature he would be bound to render, as the Saviour himself says : “When ye shall have done all these things, which are commanded, say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do." And now, if Jesus Christ be a mere man, and a mere man, after doing all that is commanded, is only an unprofitable servant, has done nothing more than his duty, how could the obedience of Jesus Christ be put to the account of another ? Or, how should it be said, that by his obedience shall many be made righteous ? As a mere man, he would have that nature, which by virtue of its being created, would be bound to render obedience to the full extent of its powers, consequently no obedience which it could render, would be meritorious, but the obedience of Christ, is infinitely meritorious, therefore he must have a nature, which by virtue of its being uncreated is not bound to render any obedience, this can be affirmed of none, but of the divine nature, therefore Jesus Christ must have a divine nature-But again. It is necessary that Jesus Christ as mediator, should have a human nature that he might suffer. The divine nature cannot be wounded for our transgressions, nor bruised for our iniquities, yet the mediator must suffer, as it is written—“It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their Salvation perfect through suffering. Heh. ii: 10 Yes, it behoved Christ to suffer, that which the truth of God required it, for it was predictedThe justice of God demanded it, for, having become the sinner's surety-having engaged to satisfy the claims of divine justice-suffer he, or justice must. But justice must not suffer, the honor of God forbids it: the glory of the divine government forbids it; the happiness of all the world forbids it. Then it was necessary, that Christ should suffer—but in his divine nature he could not suffer, therefore, that he might suffer, he must have a human nature. Still, however it was requisite, that he have a divine nature, to give efficacy to his sufferings. If Jesus Christ were a mere man, or which is the same thing, had a human nature only, what could his sufferings avail ?

It was

The martyrs suffered much, were bitterly persecuted, cruelly put to death, yet their blood had no virtue to wash away any sin, but the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. Nay more—a great multitude in heaven, which no man can number, have already, washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb. Now, if Jesus Christ had human nature only, it is manisest his sufferings would never have this efficacy, therefore, to give them this efficacy, he must have a divine nature. But it is further necessary in this matter of suffering, that he should have a divine nature, to sustain the wrath of God, due to the sins of the world—the pressure of this wrath is tremendous, for if every sin deserves the wrath and curse of God, both in this world and that which is to come-what a mountain weight of wrath, must be due to the innumerable armies of the children of men, whose sins the Saviour bore in his own body on the tree. Could Gabriel, could the embattled hosts of heaven's legions sustain this wrath ? As soon might a feather resist a whirlwind; or chaíl, the devouring flame. Yet this wrath the Saviour did sustain, for suffering unutterable agonies both in the garden and on the cross--at last he exclaimed, “it is finished,” and justice smiled --surely he must have had a divine nature. Once more. necessary that Jes is Christ should have a human nature, that he might sympathise with his people—this was necessary to the perfection of the mediatorial character, accordingly we are told, “As the children were made partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same.” Indeed the Apostle plainly declares, that in all things it behoved him to be made like to his brethren, that he might be a faithful and successful high priest, in things pertaining to God, for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succor those that are tempted. And in another place, he speaks with evident satisfaction of this feature of Christ's mediatorial character. “We have not a high priest, who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points, tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Now, if Jesus Christ had the divine nature only, it is true, he would by virtue of his divine nature, have a perfect knowledge of our infirmities, but an experimental knowledge he could not have, nor could he without the assumption of human nature be tempted in all points like, as we are.--Now as this sympathy is so pleasing in its exercise, and serves to give such a charm and loveliness to the mediatorial character, we would look for it in our mediator-indeed, it would be necessary for the encouragement of trembling believers—the mediator then, must needs have this sympathy. But he could not have it, without having the human nature, therefore that he might sympathise, it is necessary that he have a human nature. Yet in this case, if he had not also a divine nature, his sympathy would be of little value. What is it to a poor sinner, that Jesus Christ has a nature in wbich he can sympathise with him, if he has not also a nature in which he can save him. He is a plete Saviour, and therefore, has a nature in which he can save 10 ihe very uttermost. This can be said of none but of a divine nature, therefore Jesus Christ has a divine nature and in addition


to all this, we may remark, that it is necessary, that Jesus Christ should have the divine nature, to subdue all the enemies of the church. Jesus Christ is the head of the church--the enemies that he must subdue are numerous and powerful, each is like a strong man armed, leagued together, thus threaten to overwhelm and annihilate the church. Now Jesus Christ as head of the church, is represented as going forth in his chariot of salvation,.conquering and to conquer, triumphing over principalities and powers, and with infinite ease, putting all enemies beneath his feet. Ah! my friends, if Jesus Christ were a mere man, he surely could not thus triumphantly lead the sacramental host of God's redeemed. This proclaims his immortal energies—this proclaims his divine nature—and now to conclude our first argument. It appears, from the necessity of the casethat Jesus Christ our glorious Mediator, must have too natures, the divine and human, and these in union-I say, in union, for if not, they constitute two distinct persons, and of consequence two distinct Mediators, but there is only one Mediator, therefore these natures are in union, or do constitute but one person. Jesus Christ then, our glorious Mediator, is in one person, very God and very Lan, or, in other words, is possessed of two natures, the divine and human, in mysterious, yet all harmonious union.

B. We proceed to prove this all important doctrine from scripture testimony. And first—The scriptures abundantly show that Jesus Christ had a human nature for they tell us, that he was

de of a woman-made under the law-ihat he was called man, ar son of man-suflered and died. These facts sufficiently prove hat he had a human nature. But as few if any in our times deny the humanity of Christ—we proceed from the same source of evi dence to prove his divinity, or that together with his human, he had a divine nature, this is manifest. First, from the titles given him.

Titles, you very well know are given to designate the rank and character of the possessor. A private soldier is not called commander in chief, nor is a pleblian subject styled a prince or king. Now, what are the titles given to Christ in the sacred vralume ? He is called the Lord or King of glory, 1. Cor. fi. 8. This is truly an august title, and implies sovereignty over the invisible world. Who is this Lord or King of glory ? Let the Psalmist speak “Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates, even list them up, ye everlasting doors, that the king of Glory may come in.” Who is the King of Glory ? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory. Again—Jesus Christ is declared to be the searcher of hearts-Thus in his message to the angel of the church, he says, “And all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts.” “I am he.'? Of whom does he speak ? Reference is evidently had to this passage in 17 chapter of Jeremiah “I, Jehovah, search the hearts, I try the reins.” Again Jesus Christ is declared to be the Alpha and Omega–Now this is so expressive of an uncreated and independent being, that it immediately appears unsuited to any, but a being truly divine. Who then is that Alpha and Omega ? Let him, who possesses the title declare-I am Alpha and Omega, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come the Almighty! Again

- Jesus Christ is called King of Kings, and Lord of Lords--and that, (let it bé remarked) not on earth, but in heaven. Now, who can this be, who bears so august a title in that world of glory ? Paul, affirms that "He, is the blessed and only Potentate, who only hath immortality-And, this is none other than the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God. But, further-In Heb. i. 8 v. Jesus Christ is plainly called God. 1 John v. 20, the true God, in Isaiah ix, 6. the mighty God, and Rom. ix, 5. over all, God blessed for ever-Now, give all, or, any one of these titles, to Paul, or any mere creature, and who would not shudder at the blasphemy ? And why? Because it is manifest, these titles become none but a being, whose nature is divine. They are given to Christ, therefore, he must have a divine nature. 2d. The works ascribed to Jesus Christ

prove that he has a divine nature. The work of creation, is certainly a divine work-for in Gen. i, 1. it is said "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”—Yet in John i. 10. we are expressly told that the world was made by Jesus Christ-and in the same chapter it is affirmed that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. AgainThe work of preservation is evidently a divine work. My hearers, mark the number and magnitude of those orbs that roll on highthose "hosts of suns and stars and adamantine spheres, whirling unshaken amidst the void immense.” Surely, the being that upholds them must be divine. This being is Jesus Christ for in Heb. i, 3. it is asserted that he u ho'ils all things, by the word of his power, and in a subsequent verse, it is further said -—“When the heavens and the earth, shall wax old as a garment, then as a vestment shall the fold them up. But again-The work of resurrection is a divine work. There is a day coming, when at the blast of the trump, the dead shall awake, arise and come to judgment---but by whose power shall it be done? By his, who said "I am the resurrection and the life," and proved it calling Lazarus from the grave. Yes, his voice, shall again be heard amidst the realms of death-his voice shall rouse the slumberers from the tomb-shall resuscitate the ashes of the dead, which have been scattered to the four winds of heaven, or buried beneath the waves of the sea-for it is written, John i, 28. “The hour is coming in which all, that are in the grave, shall hear his voice and shall come forth” And now, should I take upon me, to ascribe all or any of these works, to any mere creature, however exalted, would you not consider me mad ? And why? Because these works are manifestly declarations of a divine nature. 3d. The Attributes, which are in Scripture ascribed to Jesus Christ furnish another proof of his divine nature. He is declared to be unchangeable—thus Heb. xiii, 8. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and forever-and in Heb. 1st Cap. The eternal father, addresses him in this language “And thou Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundations of the earth and the heavens are the works of thy hands, they shall perish, but thou remainest-they shall be changed, but thou art the same.” These scriptures declare him to be unchangeable-He

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