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John 6. 46.
SERM. only obserre, that He is often called the Word in the Old XII.
Testament, as well as the New; both in the Sacred Writings, and also in the ancient Jewish interpreters of them, in the Targum or Chaldee paraphrase: and that St. John seems to call Him by that name, in this place, because he here speaks of Him as He was the Maker of all things.
For as it is certain, “ that all things were made by the Word Col. 1. lo,
of God;" it is as certain, “ that all things were made by the Son of God." From whence it appears, that the Son is the same with the Word of God, and mar be properly called, as He is here, by that name. To which we may also add,
that as we make known our minds to one another, by Matt.11.27; words; so God hath been pleased “ to make known Himself
and His will to us by His Son." And upon that account also He may be properly called His Word: as St. John himself seems to intimate; in that having often before called Him the Word, soon after my text he saith, “ No man hath seen God at any time; the Only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” For seeing it is by the Son that God the Father is declared or revealed to us, He is properly the Word of God, according
to that remarkable passage in Samuel, to this purpose; 1 Sam.3.21. “ For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh, by
the Word of the Lord;” which must be understood of the Son, by whom alone the Lord is pleased to reveal Himself to any of us. From whence, I suppose, it is, that we never find Him called the Word, as I remember, but with respect either to the beginning of the creation, when God spake all things out of nothing; or else with respect to the revelations which He hath made of Himself unto the world.
This, the Essential Word of God, who " in the beginning was with God, and who was God, by whom all things were made,” the Apostle here saith “ was made flesh.” The Word was made flesh, that is, man: for so the word flesh usually signifies in Scripture, and all acknowledge it to do so here. And therefore, when it is said, “ the Word was made flesh,” it is the same as if it had been said, the Word was made or became man, a real and true man, consisting of a reasonable soul, and such a body as all other men have, as to all the integral or essential parts of it. So that He was now “the Man Christ Jesus.” But that I may give 1 Tim. 2 5. you what light I can into this great mystery, that ye may see what you ought to believe concerning it, from these words we may here observe:
First, It is not said, that the Word was turned into flesh, but that He was made flesh: for He did not then cease to be what He was before, but He began to be what before He was not. He was the Word from the beginning, and God from all eternity, and so continues for ever. But now He was made flesh, or man too, that is, as St. Paul explains it, “ He being in the form of God, thought it not Phil. 2. 6-8. robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and was found in fashion as a man.” He was made man therefore, by taking upon Him the likeness, the fashion, the form or nature of man. He did not put off His Divine nature, but took the human upon Him, and so became man, as well as God: having now the human as well as the Divine nature in Him; not blended or confounded together, as if the two natures were now made one, or a third diverse from each of them: but so as that they both remain distinct from one another in themselves, although they be so united in Him as to make but one person.
I say, one person : for here we must farther observe, that this expression, “ the Word was made flesh,” implies, that as the Word was the person that was made flesh; so when He was made flesh, He was still one and the same person that He was before. For in that He was made flesh, the flesh could have no subsistence out of Him, so as to make a person of itself, distinct from His, no more than a body can make a human person without being united to a reasonable soul. But as the reasonable soul and flesh together is one man, so God and man is one Christ; the Word and the flesh one Divine person. So that whatsoever He did or suffered in the flesh, was done and suffered by a Divine person. “ His blood was the blood of God," and therefore of Acts 20. 28. infinite value and merit; and by consequence, a sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, or “propitiation for the 1 John 2. 2.
SERM. sins of the whole world.” And He accordingly “gave Him
self a ransom for all.” 1 Tim. 2. 6.
As appears also from my text itself, where we may again observe, it is said, that “the Word was made flesh :” fesh or man in general, as the word flesh always signifies, when applied to men. It doth not signify any one or more particular man, but mankind in general, the whole human nature; that which all men are of, that proceed from the
first man Adam, in whom it was all contained. And so it 1Cor.15.45. is in the Word made flesh, who is therefore called “ the last ver. 47. Adam,” and “the second Man,” because next to the first,
who had the whole manhood in Him. Hence it is, that 2 Cor. 5. 14, when the Word was made flesh and died in it, “He died for Heb. 2.9. all," " and for every man,” because He died in that nature
which is common to all, and every man alike. So that all
and every man may now be saved by Him, whom God sent John 3. 16. into the world to be made flesh," that whosoever believeth
in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
But how can these things be? How is it possible that the Word, the Essential Word of God, who Himself is God,
should be thus made flesh? That God should become man? i Tim. 3. 16. Or, as St. Paul expresseth it, “ God manifest in the flesh ?”
To that I answer, that we who know not how our soul and body, spirit and matter are joined together in ourselves, can much less understand how the Divine and human nature are united in Christ; and so how the Word was made flesh. All that is necessary for us to know concerning it, may be learned from what the holy Angel, sent from God, said to the Blessed Virgin, of whose substance the Word was made flesh. For when she wondered how that could be, he answered and said unto her, “ The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.” From whence we learn, that this wonderful work was effected by the immediate power of the Highest, to whom nothing is impossible: that the flesh which the Word assumed, was conceived in the Blessed Virgin, by the Holy Ghost Himself coming upon her; that what was thus conceived in her, was the holy
Luke 1. 35.
thing, sd áyrov. Not only the Holy God, nor an holy man only, but the holy thing, made up of both: the Word made flesh, God and man together. And that this holy thing is therefore also called the Son of God: not only therefore, because He was begotten from all eternity of God the Father, (which is here implied ;) but therefore also, because He was thus conceived, and born of the Virgin mother. As the first Adam is called the son of God, because formed immediately Luke 3. 38. by God Himself, so the second,“ the Word made flesh," being made so by the immediate power and Spirit of God, is therefore also the Son of God. And we ought to look upon Him as such, in respect of His miraculous conception, as well as in respect of His eternal generation. In both respects He is truly the Son of God; both as He is the Word, and as He is “ the Word made flesh.”
“ And dwelt among us;" that is the next thing here asserted of the Word: that being made flesh, He dwelt among us. When He had taken our nature upon Him, He did not lay it down again, nor go up presently to Heaven with it; but He continued a considerable time upon earth, living among men, and conversing familiarly with several of them; of which St. John, who wrote this, was one: who therefore saith, “ He dwelt among us,” according to our translation of the words.
But the original words forývwoev šv huñv, import rather, that He dwelt in us, in our nature: as He is called “Emmanuel, Matt. 1. 23. God with us,” God with our nature united to Him. So He dwelt in us, in that flesh or nature that we are all of; He dwelt, or, as the word signifies, He pitched His tent or tabernacle in it: in allusion, I suppose, to that in the law, where He dwelt between the cherubims over the ark, keeping, as it were, His residence there; which was therefore called Shechinah, His habitation, His Divine presence, and His glory, because His glory appeared from thence unto the people. But that was His dwelling-place only for a time, where He was also pleased only to presentiate and manifest Himself without any union or conjunction with it: whereas He dwelleth in our nature by an hypostatical or personal union with it, such as makes it to be of one and the same person with Him : as is implied also, in that He is said to
1 Tim. 3
SERM. be made flesh. He did not only assume it for a while, nor
reside in it as He did over the ark; but He took it into Himself, so as that He Himself was made or became flesh, really and truly man, like unto us in all things, except sin.
This is that which the Apostle means, where speaking of Col. 2.9. Christ, he saith, “ For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of
the Godhead bodily," that is, in Him, as man, all the fulness of the Godhead, the whole Divine Essence and Glory dwelleth, not in a figure, like a shadow, or in appearance only, but in a bodily substantial manner, in His very body: for I look upon this word “bodily" as used by the Apostle also for explication, to shew that when he said, “ That the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth in Christ,” his meaning
was, that it dwelleth in His body or flesh; according as he 3.16. himself elsewhere explains it, saying, “ That God was
manifest in the flesh.” Although He was truly man, and while He was upon earth, in all outward appearance, seemed to be no other than an ordinary man, of an earthly body, informed with a reasonable soul, as other men have; yet in that body dwelt the fulness of the Godhead, the whole Divine Essence being fixed in it, and united to it, in such a wonderful and Divine manner, that He was, and is also truly
God manifest in the flesh, the one living and true God, the Exod. 34.6. Creator and Governor of all things, “Jehovah, the Lord,
the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” or, as it is expressed in my text, “ full of grace and truth.” Of which more presently.
In the meanwhile we must observe, that the Evangelist having said, “That the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” he adds, “ And we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father:" for this Evangelist was
one of the three that saw His glory at His transfiguration, Matt. 17.2. when “His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was
white as the light." And there was a voice which said,
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 2 Pet. 1.16, Then, as another of the three that were there saith, “ They
were eye-witnesses of His majesty ; for He received from God the Father, honour and glory," when the aforesaid voice came “ to him from the excellent glory.” They then