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Liong before time began, the purpose of constituting the Mediator between God and sinners, was established in the divine counsels. With reference to this, he himself speaks, in the character of the Wisdom of God. The Lord pofj'ejfed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was Jet up from everlasting, from the beginning} or ever the earth was. Then I was by him, as one brought up with him, rejoicing always before Aim; rejoicing in the habitable parts ofthe earth, and my delights were among the sons of men *. If the Word of God had not engaged according to an everlasting and sure covenant, to assume our nature, and to accomplish *our salvation, before the earth waS formed, he would not have appeared afterWards; for we <eannot with reason conceive of any new determinations arising in the mind of'the infinite God j to whom, what we calf the past and the future, are equally presenti In this senses (if the expression be proper to convey such a sense) 1 can conceive' tgijlfcjwas. the begotten Son of God front 4gjifnityj That is, set up and' appointed eternity for the office, nature, and
* Prov. viii. 22, 3*.
Work, work, by which, in the fulness of time, he was manifested to men. But if the terms, begotten, or eternal generation, be used to denote the manner of his eternal existence in Deity, I must be filent. I believe him to be the eternal Son; I believe him to be the eternal God. And I wish not to exercise my thoughts and enquiries more than is needful, in things which are too high for me.
The scripture, in different places, evidently applies the purport of this phrase—I have begotten thee, to transactions which took place in time. 'This day, and particularly to two principal events.
i. His incarnation. Thus the angel to Mary, The Holy Ghojl Jhall come upon thee, and the power of the High est Jhall overshadow thee *; therefore also the holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. So the Apostle, In the fulness of time God sent forth his Son made of a woman \. And in the passage we are next to consider, When he bringeth his first begotten into the world, he faith, and let all the angels of God worJhip him.
* Luke i. 35. f Gal. iv. 4.
3 2. His
2. His resurrection. To this purpose our text is quoted from the second psalm. The promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the fame to the children, in that he hath raised up jsesus again * j as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And in another place he teaches us, that he who was of the feed of David, according to the fieJh, was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead -j-.
After all, I would remind you, that the best knowledge of the doctrine of the person of Christ, that which affords life and comfort to the foul, is to be obtained, not so much by enquiry and study on our part, as by a gracious manifestation on his part. Prayer, attention to the great "teacher, a humble perusal of the scripture, and a course of simple obedience to his known will, are the methods which he has prescribed for our growth in grace, and in the knowledge os himself. Thus even babes are made wife j while they who are wife and prudent in their own sight, the more they endeavour to * Acts xiii. 32, 33. t Rom. i. 4.
investiinvestigate and ascertain the sense of scripture* are frequently involved mote and more in perplexity. He has given a promise and direction j for the encouragement of those who sincerely seek him. He that hath my commandments dnd keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, Jhall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and *ivill manifejl myft'lf unto him *.
This is he with whdm we haVe ib do. In and by this Son of his love, we have access t>y faith unto God. Unworthy and helpless in ourselves, from hence we derive our plea \ here we find a refuge j and on this we rest, and build oUr hope, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son ., who is so much better than the angels, as he hat hi by inheritance obtained a more excellent nam£ than they -j~.
* John xiv. 2i. f Heb. i. ^
MESSIAH WORSHIPPED BY ANGELS.
Heb. i. 6.
Let all the angels of God worship him.
MANY of the Lord's true servants, have been in a situation so nearly similar to that of Elijah*, that like him they have been tempted to think, they were left to serve him alone. But God had then a faithful people, and he has so in every age. The preaching of the gospel may be compared to a standard erected, to which they repair, and thereby become known to each other, and more exposed to the notice and observation of the world. But we hope there are always many, who are enlightened by his word and * i Kings xix. 10,
vou Ii. D holy