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Thirdly, he is the Son of God, as being by the Power of God the first begotten of the Dead', reftored to Life to die no more. For thus St. Paul expreffes it: God hath raifed up Jefus again, as it is alfo written, Thou art my Son: this Day have I begotten thee".

Fourthly, he is fo, as being Heir of all Things", and by this Inheritance having obtained a more excellent Name, than Men or Angels °: they being as Servants in the Houfe of God, he as a Son".

But the most important and eminent Senfe, in which Chrift is the Son of God, remains yet to be mentioned : as, in Respect of his divine Nature, he derived his Being from the Father, by an eternal Generation; not as Creatures do, who are made out of Nothing, and were made by him; but in a Manner peculiar to himself, and inconceivable to us: by which all the Fulness of the Godhead dwells in hima: and he and the Father are, in the ftrictest Union, one'. For God was his Father, with whom he had Glory before the World was: and he in the Beginning was with God, and was God. God over all, blessed for ever", Of this myfterious Doctrine, I fhall fpeak fomewhat further, under the Article of the Holy Ghost: and therefore fhall only fay at prefent, that being exprefsly revealed, it ought to be implicitly believed; without attempting in vain to be wife above what is written; to know more, than God hath enabled us. And now,


4thly, From all these Things arifes, what the Creed mentions in the laft Place, his Relation to us; our Lord. For being the only Son of God, he is Heir and Lord of all in his Father's Houfe. Having triumphed over the Power of Darkness, which held Mankind in Bondage, we are his by Right of Conqueft: and though other Lords have had Diminion over us, we are now to make Mention of his Name only ", as fuch: having purchased

! Rev. i. 5.
P Heb. iii. 5, 6.
xvii. 5.

m Acts xiii. 33.
a Col. ii. 9.
t * John i. I.

a Heb. i. 2.


John x. 30. u Rom. ix. 5.

Ibid. 4.


$ John

w Ifa. xxvi. 13.

us to himself for a peculiar People with his own Blood, we are not our own; for we are bought with a Price: and he died for all, that they, which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him, which died for them, and rofe again. For to this End Chrift both died, and rofe, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living: that he might be fuch, not in Name only, but in Deed and Reality alfo. For not every one, that faith unto him, Lord, Lord, fhall enter unto the Kingdom of Heaven: but he, that doth the Will of his Father, which is in Heaven þ. To all others his Words will be at the great Day, what they were whilft on Earth: Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the Things which I fay? Obedience, conftant, univerfal Obedience, is the only Manner of acknowledging him, that will finally prove acceptable to him: and in that Manner we have folemnly promifed that we will acknowledge him, and ferve him all our Days. Thus then let us ever honour him; thus let us afcribe to him, who is our Prophet, our Prieft, and our King, our Saviour, our Lord, and our God, Glory and Dominion, for ever and ever. Amend.

Tit. ii. 14. . Rom. xiv. 9.

· 1 Pet. iv. 11. v. 11. Rev. i. 6.

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71 Cor. vi. 19, 20.
Matth. vii. 21.

2 2 Cor. v. 15. < Luke vi. 46.



Article III. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghoft, born of the Virgin Mary.


FTER fetting forth, in general, the Name and Offices of our bleffed Redeemer, his Relation to the Father and to us; our Creed goes on to recount the



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feveral Particulars of what he did and fuffered, what he continues to do ftill, and will do finally, for our Salvation.

The first of these is, that the Word was made Flesh": that the eternal Son of God, wonderfully joining to himself a Body and Soul like ours, united the human Nature with the divine into one Perfon: thus becoming liable to the fame Neceffities and Wants, Infirmities and Pains; and endued with the fame innocent Paffions, Appetites and Affections, that we are: on which Account we read in the Gospels of his feeling Hunger, and Pity, and Grief, and Anger, nay, and increafing, as in Stature, fo in Wisdom alfo not furely in Refpect of that Nature, which in the Beginning was with God, and was God, but of the other, by which he was the Man Chrift Jefus d. Further than these Facts, we are not diftinctly acquainted with the Extent and Properties of this unparalleled Union. And it is no Wonder, that we are not. For eyen that of our own Souls with our own Bodies hath many Things in it, utterly beyond our Comprehenfion. We must therefore, in all Reason, without infifting to know, how thefe Things can be ; confine ourselves to learn from Scripture, what they are. And it hath plainly taught us, that our bleffed Lord was conceived by the Holy Ghoft, and born of the Virgin Mary.

Concerning the Holy Ghoft, there will be a proper Place to speak more at large, in that Article of the Creed, which directly relates to him. At present we are only to confider his Influence in the Conception of our Saviour: which Conception was not in the ordinary Courfe of Things; but God himself, being already his Father with refpect to that divine Nature, which he had from the Beginning, became again fo, in a new Senfe, with refpect to his human Nature too, by the incomprehenfible Operation of his Spirit. For the Birth of Jefus Chrift, to use the Words of Scripture, was on

b Luke ii. 52.


■ John i. 14. • John iii. 9.

C 5

d • John i. x. 1 Tim. ii. 5.



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this wife. When as his Mother Mary was efpoufed to Jofeph; before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Ghoft; in pursuance of what the Angel had told her, Thou shalt conceive and bring forth a Son, and fhalt call his Name Jefus. Then faid Mary unto the Angel; How fhall this be, seeing I know not a Man? And the Angel anfwered and faid unto her: The Holy Ghoft fball come upon thee, and the Power of the Higheft fhall overShadow thee: therefore also that holy Thing, which shall be born of thee, fhall be called the Son of God.

And thus, in the Fulness of Time, was accomplished, what had been intimated as early as the Fall of Man, by that remarkable Expreffion, that the Seed of the Woman fhould bruife the Serpent's Headh; and what had been exprefsly fpoken out by the Prophet Isaiah, 700 Years before our Saviour's Incarnation, Behold a Virgin fhall be with Child, and bring forth a Son, and they fhall call his Name Emmanuel: which, being interpreted, is, God with us. When the Scripture fays, that fuch a Person or Thing fhall be called by fuch a Name; it frequently means no more, than that they shall have a Right to be fo called; that what that Name fignifies, shall be verified in them, fhall be true in Relation to them. There are many Inftances of this in the Old Teftament. And therefore, as our Saviour's coming in the Flesh was the most effectual and illuftrious Manifeftation of God's Prefence with Men, and Favour towards them, that could be; though perhaps in common Speech he was seldom, if ever, called, yet in the Language of Prophecy he was very jufty called, Emmanuel, or, God is with us. For in his Perfon God was really amongst Men, in such a Manner, and to fuch Purposes of Grace and Salvation, as he had never been before. And therefore this Name agrees perfectly in Senfe, though it differs in Sound, from his common Name, Jefus, i. e. Saviour.

After faying, that he was born of a Virgin, the Creed adds, that it was of the Virgin Mary: not that we are

Luke i. 31, 34, 35,

Gen. iii. 15.


Matth. i. 18.
Ifa. vii. 14. Matth. i, 23.

to feek for any peculiar Myftery in her being called Mary; as fome in the Church of Rome have imagined, and accordingly formed groundless and ridiculous Derivations of the Word. But indeed the Name was a very common one among the Jews: by which several Women, mentioned in the New Teftament, and feveral in other Hiftories, went: and no Intimation was given in Scripture of its having any efpecial Propriety, or Meaning, in Relation to her. But the Reafon of inferting it into the Creed moft probably was, because it is fet down in Scripture; and that, by naming the particular Perfon, of whom our Saviour fprung, he might appear to be of that Family, from which it was foretold he should arise, being born of this Virgin of the House of Davidk.

Still we are very far from thinking lowly of one, whom first an Angel from Heaven, then Elizabeth filled with the Holy Ghoft, declared to be bleffed among Women': and who, with the greatest Reason, faid of herself, He, that is mighty, hath magnified me, and holy is his Name TM. For greatly without Doubt fhe was magnified, a high Honour the received, in becoming, as Elizabeth ftiles her, the Mother of our Lord". But this, however fingular, was not the most valuable Diftinction of the holy Virgin. In Scripture, no Advantage of any other Kind is ever put on a Level with that of a pious Heart, and a virtuous Life. On the contrary, when on hearing one of our Saviour's Difcourfes, a certain Woman of the Company, in a Tranfport of Admiration and Affection, had cried out, Bleffed is the Woman that bare thee, and the Paps which thou haft fucked: his Answer was; Yea, rather bleffed are they, that hear the Word of God, and keep it. Now of this trueft Bleffedness the Virgin Mary enjoyed a most eminent Share: appearing, in all that is faid of her, to have been pious and devout, reasonable and confiderate, humble and modeft, mild and gracious, in the utmost Degree.

* Luke i. 27. Luke i. 43.

1 Luke i. 28, 41, 42.
• Luke xi. 27, 28.
C 6

m Luke i. 29.


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