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“ his Son; much more, being reconciled, “ you shall be saved by his life.” Let not the sense of your unworthiness discourage you :-You come not here to give, but to take what is given. Nay, let me tell you, that the sense of your own emptiness is the very measure of your capacity for receiving his fulness : “ He filleth the hungry with « good things, but the rich,” those who account themselves rich, “ he sendeth empty “ away." Come therefore with longing defires, and enlarged hopes, to him who is full of grace and of truth, that out of his fulness you may this day receive grace for grace, to the glory of the giver, and to your own present and everlasting joy. Amen.
Te know the grace of our Lord Jesus Chrift,
that though he was rich, yet for your fakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
THESE words contain an accurate de
fcription of the grace, or free favour, of our Lord Jesus Christ, which all true believers are here said to know: i. e. they have not only heard the report of this grace, assented to the truth of the report, and are able to give some account of it to others; but they know it experimentally, having tasted its sweetness, and felt the power of it in their own hearts.
Several particulars are mentioned by the Apostle in proof and commendation of the grace he celebrates, which I propose to illustrate in the following discourse. H 3
I. The first in order is the state of the Redeemer previous to his becoming poor. He was rich; but how rich no language can express, nor any mind but his own conceive. “ In the beginning was the Word, and the “ Word was with God, and the Word was " God. The same was in the beginning 6 with God. All things were made by him; “ and without him was not any thing « made, that was made;" John i. 1, 2, 3, It is expressly said of him, Coloff. i. 16, 17. “ that by him all things were created that « are in heaven and that are in earth, visible “ and inviGble, whether they be thrones, $6 or dominions, or principalities, or pow“ ers: all things were created by him, and " for him. And he is before all things, and “ by him all things consist.” The same representation is given of him by the Apostle to the Hebrews, who styles him “ the “ brightness of the Father's glory, and the « express image of his perfon; whom he “ hath appointed heir of all things; by “ whom also he made the worlds; and who $upholdeth all things by the word of his ç power.”
We We esteem a man rich who, besides what is necessary for the supply of his own wants, hath wherewithal to relieve the neceflities of others : but how rich must he be, who hath no wants to be supplied, and is at the same time possessed of such infinite treasures, that they can never be exhausted, nor in the least degree diminished, by being imparted to others ! Nay, besides whom nothing exists, but what derived its being from him, and is necessarily dependent upon him, for all that it hath, or hopes to enjoy! Yet thus rich was he of whom the Apostle speaks in my
M. The second thing to be considered, is the poverty to which he voluntarily submitted. The Apostle John having introduced the history of our Saviour with that lofty description of his original and essential glory which I formerly quoted, makes a sudden transition, verse 14. and informs us, how he who was rich became poor, viz. by uniting himself to the human nature, and appearing in the likeness of sinful feth. H4
“ The Word,” says he, that same Word which in the beginning was with God, and was God, by whom all things were made ; – this “ Word was made flesh, and “ dwelt among us,”
Nothing can be more descriptive of the most abject poverty, than the simple account we have of his birth, Luke ii. at the beginning ; where, after being told, that, in consequence of a decree from the Roman Emperor, Joseph went up from Nazareth unto Bethlehem, to be taxed, with Mary, his espoused wife, who was great with child, the facred historian thus pro-, ceeds, ver. 6, 7. “ And so it was, that while “ they were there, the days were accom“ plished that she should be delivered. And " she brought forth her first-born son, and “ wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and “ laid him in a manger, because there was “ no room for them in the inn.” Nor did his after life wear a different complexion from his birth : The same poverty, with respect to outward accommodation, which clouded his entrance into the world, accompanied him through every stage of his la