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that the chief of them were put to get their living
by their own hands. Even Joseph, the supposed
father of Jesus, was then become a carpenter.
Poor man ! when Jesus was born, he was fain to
thrust into a stable — for there was in the inn no
room for such guests as they. The offering also
which was brought unto God at the time when
Jesus was presented unto the Lord was two turtle-
doves, or two young pigeons ; a sacrifice allowed
only for them that were poor, and could provide
no bigger : " And if she be not able to bring a
lamb, then she shall bring two turtle-doves, or
two young pigeons, the one for a burnt-offering,
the other for a sin-offering." (Lev. xii. 8.)
Besides, Jesus himself saith, " Foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son
of man hath not whereon to lay his head."

Now, I say, all these things were so apparent
to the Jews, that they could not object ; they felt
the Romans were come, they knew the sceptre
was gone, they smarted under the Roman tyranny,
and knew the kingly race of Judea was overthrown.
How, then, could thev object, that the time was not
come for Christ to be born ?

Further. The people was generally convinced
that the time was come, and therefore, saith the
text, " they were in expectation." And as all the
people were in expectation, and all men mused in
their hearts of John, whether he was the Christ
or not (Luke iii. 15), the unbiassed people,
observing the face of things, could do no other
but look for the Messias. And hence it is, that
the Lord Jesus gives the Pharisees — those mortal
enemies of his — such sore rebukes, saying, " O ye



122



LIGHT FOR THEM THAT SIT IN DARKNESS; OR,



hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but
can ye not discern the signs of the times ? "
The kingdom is lost, the heathens are come, and
the sceptre is departed from Judah. " Ye hypo-
crites, ye can discern the face of the sky, and of
the earth ; but bow is it that ye do not discern this
time ? " (Matt. xvi. 3. Luke xii. 5G.)

Second. He yet again puts himself upon the test,
by the miracles which he wrought before them :
" Believe me, that I am in the Father, and the
Father in me, or else believe me for the very
works' sake." (John xiv. 11.) " For the works
which the Father hath given me to finish, the
same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the
Father hath sent me." (John v. 3G.)

This proof they could not withstand, but granted
that he did many miracles, while they did nothing.
" Then gathered the chief priests and Pharisees a
council, and said. What do we ? for this man
doeth many miracles. If we let him alone, all
men will believe on him, and the Romans shall
come and take away both our place and nation,"
(John xi. 47, 48.)

Yea, so did Jesus confound them, that by their
own records and laws, by which they were to
prove persons clean or unclean, they, in reading
their lectures, did justify him, and overthrow
themselves.

For instance, it was written in their law : " If
he that hath an issue spit upon him that is clean,"
that spittle shoidd make him unclean. (Lev. xv. 8.)
Now Jesus, whom they counted most unclean,
because he said he was the Son of God, as they
thought speaking blasphemy, he spits upon people
and makes them whole. He spat, and made clay
with the spittle, and with that clay made a blind
man see. (John ix. H.) Also he spat on the eyes
of another, and made him see. (Mark viii. 23 — 25.)
Again, he spat, and with his spittle touched the
tongue of one that was dumb, and made him speak
immediately. (Markvii.33 — 35.) Thus he ])roved
himself clear of their accusations, and maintained
before them that l)y their law he was guiltless,
and the Son of God ; for the miracles which he
wrought were to prove him so to be.

Again ; in their law it was written, that whoso
touched the altar of incense should be holy.
(Kxod. xxix. 37.) A woman with a bloody issue
touched him, and is whole of her j)lague. (Mark
V. 28.) Yea, they brought to him many diseased
persons ; " and besought him that they might
only touch the hem of his garment ; and as
many as touched were made perfectly whole."
(Mutt. xiv. 3»;.)

Thus was he justified before them out of their
own law, and had his glory manifest before their
faces, to their everlasting^ confusion and contempt.

Indeed, the Jews did make one objection against
JcsuB Christ, that seemed to them to have weight
in it ; and that was because he first began to
appear, and manifested his glory, in Cana of
Galilee. At this, I say, they stumbled ; it was



their sore temptation ; for still, as some affirmed
him to be the Christ, others as fast objected,
" Shall Christ come out of Galilee ? " "Art thou
also of Galilee ? Search and look, for out of
Galilee ariseth no prophet." (John ii. 1, 11 ;
vii. 40—42, 52.)

But this their stumble might arise either (1),
From the cruelty of Herod ; or (2), From their
own not observing, and keeping in mind the
alarm that God gave them at his birth.

1. It might arise or be occasioned through
the cruelty of Herod ; for Jesus was born in
Bethlehem, the city where David dwelt. But
when Herod sent out to kill him, and for his sake
killed all the young children in Bethlehem, then
was Joseph warned by an angel of God to take
the young child and his mother, and fly into
Egypt ; and so he did, and was there till the
death of Herod. (Matt. ii. 1, 13, 16.) After this,
the angel comes to them in Egypt, and bids them
take the young child, and return into the land of
Israel ; wherefore they arose and went : but hear-
ing that Herod's son, that tyrant, ruled in the
room of his father, they were afraid to go to
Bethlehem, but turned aside into the parts of
Galilee, where they remained till the time of his
showing to Israel.

2. This stumble of theirs might arise from
their not observing and keeping in mind the alarm
that God gave them of his birth. (1.) God began
to give them the alarm at the birth of John the
Baptist, where was asserted that he was to go
before the face of the Lord Jesus, and to prepare
his ways. '" And fear came upon all that dwelt
round about them ; and all these sayings were
noised abroad throughout all the hill country of
Judea." (Luke i. 65.) (2.) Again ; what a con-
tinuation of this alarm was there also at the birth
of Jesus, which was about three months after John
Baptist was born I Now comes a strange star
over the country, to lead men of the East to the
stable where Jesus was born ; and now was Herod,
the priests, the scribes, and also the city of Jeru-
salem, awakened and sore troubled : for it was noised
by the wise men, that Christ, the King and Sa-
viour, was born. Besides the shepherds, Simeon
and Anna gave notice of him to the people ; they
should therefore have retained the memory of these
things, and have followed God in all his dark pro-
vidences, until his Sun of Righteousness should
arise among them, with healing under his wings.

3. I may add another cause of their stumble :
They did not understand the prophecies that went
before of him. (L) He was come to them out of
Egypt : " Out of Egypt have I called my Son."
(Matt. ii. 15.) (2.) He turned aside into Cana of
Galilee, and dwelt in the city of Nazareth, " that
it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the pro-
])hets. He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matt. ii.
23.) (3.) That saying also was to be fulfilled, " The
land of Zabulon, and the land of Naphthalim, by
the way of the sea beyond Jordan, Galilee of the



A DISCOURSE OF JESUS CHRIST.



123



Gentiles ; tlie people that sat in darkness saw a
great light, and to them that sat in the region and
shadow of death, light is sprung up." (Matt. iv.
15, 16.)

At these things, then, they stumbled, and it was
a great judgment of God upon them. Besides,
there seemed to be a contradiction in the prophecies
of the Scriptures concerning his coming. He was
to be born in Bethlehem, and yet to come out of
Egypt. How should he be the Christ, and yet
come out of Galilee, out of which ariseth no pro-
phet ? Thus they stumbled.

Hence note, that though the prophecies and
promises be full and plain, as these were, that he
should be born in Bethlehem, yet men's sins may
cause them to be fulfilled in such obscurity, that
instead of having benefit thereby, they may
stumble and split their souls thereat. Take heed,
then ; hunt not Christ from plain promises with
Herod, hunt him not from Bethlehem, lest he ap-
pear to your amazement and destruction from
Egypt, or in the land of Zabulon. But thus much
to the second question, to wit. What it was for
Jesus to come into the world ?

I come now to the third question.

Quest. Third, What it was for him to come to
be a Saviour ?

For the further handling of this question I must
show : First. What it is to be a Saviour. Second.
What it is to come to be a Saviour. Third. What
it is for Jesus to come to be a Saviour. To these
three briefly :

First. What it is to be a Saviour.

1. A Saviour supposeth some in misery, and
himself one that is to deliver them.

2. A Saviour is either such an one ministerially
or meritoriously.

Ministerially, is when one person engageth, or
is engaged by virtue of respect or command from
superiors, to go and obtain by conquest or the
king's redemption, the captives or persons grieved
by the tyranny of an enemy. And thus were
Moses and Joshua, and the judges and kings of
Israel, Saviours : " Thou deliverest them into the
hand of their enemies, who vexed them ; and in
the time of their trouble, when they cried unto
thee, thou heardest them from heaven ; and ac-
cording to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them
saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their
enemies." (Neh. ix. 27.) Thus was Jesus Christ
a Saviour ; he was engaged by virtue of respect
and command from God to obtain, by conquest
and redemption, the captives or persons grieved ;
God sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
(John iv. 42.)

Meritoriously, is when the person engaging
shall, at his own proper cost and charge, give a
sufficient value or price for those he redeemeth.
Thus those under the law were redeemed by the
money called redemption money : " And Moses
gave the money of those that were redeemed unto
Aaron and to his sons." (Num. iii. 46 — 51.)



And thus was Jesus Christ a Saviour. He paid
full price to Divine justice for sinners, even his
own precious blood : " Forasmuch as ye know
that ye were not redeemed from your vain conver-
sation, received by tradition from your fathers
with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but
with the precious blood of Christ." (1 Pet. i. 18, 19.)

And forasmuch as, in man's redemption, the
undertaker must have respect, not only to the
paying of a price, but also to the getting of a
victory ; for there is not only justice to satisfy, but
death, devil, hell, and the grave to conquer : there-
fore hath he also by himself gotten victory over
these. He hath abohshed death. (2 Tim. i. 10.)
He hath destroyed the devil. (Heb. ii. 14, 15.)
He hath been the destruction of the grave. (Hos.
xiii. 14.) He hath gotten the keys of hell. (Rev.
i. 17 — 19.) And this, I say, he did by himself
at his own proper cost and charge, when he
triumphed over them upon his cross. (Col. ii.
14, 15.)

Second. \Miat it is to come to be a Saviour ?

1. To come to be one, supposeth one ordained,
and fore-prepared for that work. " Then said he,
Lo, I come, a body hast thou prepared me." (Heb.
X. 5, 7.)

2. To come to be a Saviour supposeth one
commissionated or authorized to that work. " The
Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me," authorized me, " to preach the
gospel to the poor : he has sent me to bind up
the broken-hearted, to preach dehverance to the
captives, and recovering of sight to the Wind, and
to set at Hberty them that are bruised." (Luke iv.
18.) And upon this account it is, that he is so
often called " Christ," or the •' Anointed one ; "
the anointed Jesus, or Jesus, the anointed Saviour.
'•' Thou art the Christ the Son of God, that should
come into the world." " This Jesus whom I
preach unto you is Christ." He " testified to the
Jews that Jesus was Christ," and he " confounded
the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving " by
the Scriptures " that this is the very Christ," (John
xi. 27;) the very anointed of God, or he whom
God authorized and qualified to be the Saviour of
the world.

3. To come to be a Saviour, supposeth a re-
solution to do that work before he goeth back : " 1
will ransom them from the power of the grave ; I
wiU redeem them from death : death, I will be
thy plague ; O gr£ive, I will be thy destruction ;
repentance shah be hid from mine eyes." (Hos.
xiii. 14.)

And as he resolved, so hath he done :
(1.) He hath purged our sins. (Heb. i. 2, 3.)
(2.) He hath perfected for ever, by one offering,
them that are sanctified. (Heb. x. 14.) (3.) He
hath obtained eternal redemption for them. (Heb.
ix. 12. See further, 2 Tim. i. 10 ; Heb. ix. 26 ;
Col. ii. 15; Heb. vi. 18.)

Third. I come now to the third question, What
is it for Jesus to come to be a Saviour ?



124



LIGHT FOR THEM THAT SIT IN DARKNESS; OR,



1. It is the greatest discovery of man's misery
and inability to save himself therefrom, that ever
was made in the world. INIust the Son of God
himself come down from heaven, or can there be
no salvation ? Cannot one sinner save another ?
Cannot man by any means redeem his brother,
nor give to God a ransom for him? Cannot an
angel do it ? Cannot all the angels do it ? No ;
Christ must come and die to do it.

2. It is the greatest discovery of the love of
God that ever the world had, for God so to love
the world as to send his Son ! For God so to
commend his love to the world, as to send it to
them in the blood of his Son ! Amazing love 1
(John iii. IG. Rom. v. 8.)

3. It is the greatest discovery of the condescen-
sion of Christ that ever the world had. (1.) That
he should not come to be ministered unto, but to
minister ; and to give his life a ransom for many.
(Matt. XX. 28.) (2.) That he should be manifest
for this purpose, that he might destroy the works
of the devil. (1 John iii. 8.) (3.) That he should
come that we " might have life, and that we might
have it more abundantly." (John x. 10.) (i.) That
the Son of God should " come to seek and to save
that which was lost." (Luke xix. 10.) (5.) That
he should not come to judge the world, but to save
the world." (John xi. 47.) (6.) That " Christ Jesus
should come into the world to save sinners, of whom
I am chief." (1 Tim. i. 15.) (7.) That he shoiUd
" love us, and wash us from our sins in his own
blood." (Rev. i. 5.) What amazing condescension
and humihty is this ! (Phil. ii. G, 9.)

How Jesus Christ addressed himself to the work of
our Redemption.

I come, then, in the next place, to show you how
Jesus Christ addressed himself to the work of man's
redemption.

The Scripture saith, " he became poor ;" that he
made himself of no reputation and took upon him
the form of a servant; that he humbled himself
unto death, even the death of the cross. But par-
ticularly — First. He took upon him our flesh.
Second. He was made under the law. Third. He
took upon him our sins. Fourth. He bore the curse
due to our sins.

First. He took upon him our flesh. I showed
you before that he came in our flesh, and now I
must show you the reason of it : namely, because
that was the way to address himself to the work
of our redemption. Wherefore, when the Apostle
treated of the incarnation of Christ, he addeth
withal the reason, to wit, that he might be capable
to work out the redemption of men.

There are three things to be considered in this
first head :

First. That he took our flesh for this reason,
that he might be a Saviour. Second. How he took
flesh, that he might be our Saviour. Third. That
it was necessary that he should take our flesh, if
indeed he will be our Saviour.



For the first. That he took our flesh for this
reason, that he might be a Saviour : " For what
the law could not do, in that it was weak through
the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the hkeness
of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the
flesh." (Rom. viii. 3.)

The sum of the words is. Forasmuch as the law
could do us no good, by reason of the inabihty
that is in our flesh to do it (for the law can do us
no good until it be fulfilled), and becuuse God had
a desire that good should come to us, therefore did
he send his Son in our likeness, clothed with flesh,
to destroy by his doing the law, the tendency of
the sin that dwells in our flesh. He therefore took
our flesh, that our sin, with its effects, might by
him be condemned and overcome.

The reason, therefore, why he took flesh, is,
because he would be our Saviour : " Forasmuch,
then, as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also likewise took part of the same, that
through death he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is the devil ; and deliver them
who through the fear of death were all their life-
time subject to bondage." (Heb. ii. 14, 15.)

In these words it is asserted, that he took our
flesh for certain reasons :

1. Because the children, the heirs of heaven,
are partakers of flesh and blood. " Forasmuch,
then, as the children are partakers of flesh and
blood, he also himself took part of the same." Had
the children, the heirs, been without flesh, he him-
self had not taken it upon him ; had the children
been angels, he had taken upon him the nature of
angels ; but because the children were partakers of
flesh, therefore leaving angels, or refusing to take
hold of angels, he took flesh and blood, the nature
of the children, that he might put himself into a
capacity to save and deliver the children. Therefore
it follows, that " through death he might destroy him
that had the power of death, that is the devil."

2. This, therefore, was another reason, that he
might destroy the devil.

The devil had bent himself against the children ;
he is their adversary, and goeth forth to make war
with them. " The devil, your adversary :" " And
he went to make war with the remnant of her
seed." (1 Pet. v. 8. Rev. 12, 17.) Now the children
could not destroy him, because he had already cast
them into sin, defiled their nature, and laid them
under the wrath of God. Therefore Christ puts
himself among the children, and into the nature of
the children, that he might, by means of his dying
in their flesh, destroy the devil ; that is, take away
sin, his M-ork, that he might destroy the works of
the devil ; for sin is the great engine of hell, by
which he overthroweth all that perish. Now this
did Christ destroy, by taking on him the similitude
of sinful flesh ; of which more anon.

3. " That he might destroy him that had the
power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them."
This was the thing in chief intended, that he might
deliver the children, that he might deliver them



A DISCOURSE OF JESUS CHRIST.



125



from death, the fruit of their sin, and from sin, the
sting of that death. " That he might deliver them,
who through the fear of death, were all their life-
time subject to bondage." He took flesh, therefore,
because the children had it ; and that he might die
for the children, and deliver them from the works
of the devil ; that he might deliver them. No de-
liverance had come to the children if the Son of
God had not taken their flesh and blood. There-
fore he took our flesh that he might be our Saviour.

Again, in a Saviour there must be not only merit,
but compassion and sympathy; because the children
who are to live by faith, are not yet come to the
inheritance. " It behoveth him, therefore, in all
things to be made like unto his brethren, that he
might be a merciful and faithful High -priest in
things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for
the sins of the peo23le." (Heb. ii. 17, 18.)

Two reasons are rendered in this text, why he
must take flesh ; namely, that he might be their
Priest, to offer sacrifice, to wit, his body and blood
for them ; and that he might be merciful and faith-
ful, to pity and preserve them unto the kingdom
appointed for them.

Mark you, therefore, how the Apostle, when he
asserteth that the Lord Jesus took our flesh, urgeth
the reason why he took our flesh : that he might
destroy the devil and death, that he might deliver
them. It behoved him to be made like unto his
brethren, that he might be merciful and faithful,
that he might make reconciliation for the sins of
the people. The reason, therefore, why he took
our flesh is declared, to wit, that he might be our
Saviour. And hence you find it so often recorded,
He hath " slain the enmity by his flesh ;" " And
you, who were sometimes aliens and enemies in
your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he
reconciled, in the body of his flesh, through death,
to present you holy and unblameable in his sight."
(Eph. ii. 15, 16. Col. i. 21, 22.)

How he tooh flesh.

Second. I come now to the second question, to
wit — how he took our flesh. This must be inquired
into, for his taking flesh was not after the common
way ; never any took man's flesh upon him as he,
since the foundation of the world.

1. He took not our flesh like Adam, who was
formed out of the ground : " who was made of the
dust of the ground." (Gen. ii. 7; iii. 1*J). 2. He
took not our flesh as we do by carnal generation.
Joseph knew not his wife, neither did Mary know
any man, till she had brought forth her first-born
Son. (IVIatt. i. 25; Luke i. 31). 3. He took
flesh, then, by the immediate working and over-
shadowing of the Holy Ghost. And hence it is
said expressly, " She was found with child of the
Holy Ghost." (Matt. i. 18.) " Now the birth of
Jesus Christ was on this wise : when as his mother
Mary was espoused to Josej^h," before they came
together, " she was found with child of the Holy
Ghost." And hence, again, when Joseph doubted



of her honesty, (for he perceived she was with
child, and knew he had not touched her,) the
angel of God himself comes down to resolve his
doubt, and said, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not
to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is
conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. i. 20.)

But, again, though the Holy Ghost was that by
which the child Jesus was formed in the womb, so
as to be without carnal generation — yet was he
not formed in her without, but by, her conception.
" Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and
bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus."
(Luke i. 31.) Wherefore he took flesh not only
in, but of the Virgin. Hence he is called her Son,
the seed of the woman. And hence it is also that
he is called the seed of Abraham, the seed of
David ; their seed according to the flesh. (Gen. xii.)

And this the work he undertook, required : 1. It
required that he should take our flesh. 2. It re-
quired that he should take our flesh without sin,
which could not be had he taken it by reason of a
carnal generation ; for so all children are conceived
in, and polluted with sin. (Ps. Ii.) And the least
pollution, either of flesh or spirit, had utterly
disabled him for the work, which to do he came
down from heaven. Therefore, " such an High-
priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled,
separate from sinners, and made higher than the
heavens." (Heb. vii. 26.)

This mystery of the incarnation of the Son of
God was thus completed, I say, that he might be
in all points like as we are, yet withotit sin ; for sin
in the flesh disableth, and maketh incapable to do
the commandment. Therefore was he thus made,
thus made of a woman ; and this the angel assign-
eth as the reason of this his marvellous incarna-
tion ; " The holy Ghost," saith he, " shall come
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee ; therefore also that holy thing
that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of
God." (Luke i. 35.)

The overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the
power of the Highest, the Father and the Holy
Ghost, brought this wonderful thing to pass, for
Jesus is a wonderful one in his conception and
birth. This mystery is that next to the mystery
of three persons in one God. It is a great mystery :
" Great is the mystery of godliness ; God was
manifested in the flesh."

The conclusion is, that Jesus Christ took our
flesh that he might be a Saviour; and that he might
be our Saviour indeed, he thus took our flesh.

That it was necessary that he should taJce our flesh,
if lie ivill be our Saviour.

Third. I come now to the third thing, namely,
that it was necessary that he should take our flesh



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