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May an abundance of grace us! We are not straitened in itened in ourselves; but daily 1 as our Living Head, may vital ted to our souls from him! > the dispensation of Jesus with excellency of its superior grace et us remember, as a necessary e despisers of Moses's law died ought worthy of a much sorer ated condemnation who tread b. x. 28, 29.
e Only-Begotten of the Father; 1 so far as to come down from 1 his nature and will, let us etates and earnestly pray, that ngs, we may so know God as and at length, eternally to
2-4.-LUKE III. 1-6.
the reign of Tiberius overnor of Judea, and lilee, and his brother d of the region of Trarch of Abilene, Annas priests, the word of of Zacharias in the
came into all the ing the baptism of ref sins. And saying, of heaven is at hand. (s, Behold I send my ich shall prepare thy he that was spoken The voice of one he war of the vall hall
JOHN i. 1-18.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Justly hath our Redeemer said, Blessed is the man that is not offended in me; and we may peculiarly apply the words to that great and glorious doctrine of the deity of Christ, which is here before us. A thousand high and curious thoughts will naturally arise in our corrupt hearts on this view of it; but may Divine Grace subdue them all to the obedience of an humble faith; so that, with Thomas, we may each of us fall down at his feet, and cry out with sincere and unreserved devotion, My Lord and my God!
Let us adore him as the Creator and Preserver of all, the overflowing fountain of light and life. Let us with unutterable pleasure hail this Sun of righteousness, whose rays by the tender mercies of the Father, have visited our benighted world to guide our feet into the way of peace; and while we lament that the darkness hath not apprehended and received him, let us earnestly pray that he may ere long penetrate every cloud of ignorance and mist of error, and may diffuse among all the nations knowledge and grace, purity and joy. Let us especially pray that he may penetrate our beclouded souls; and that they may, in holy correspondence to the purposes of his appearing, be turned as clay to the seal. Job xxxviii. 14. The world knew him not; but may we know him, and give him that honourable and grateful reception which so great a favour may justly demand !-Yet what returns can be proportionable to his condescension in becoming flesh for us, and pitching his tabernacle among miserable and sinful mortals?-Happy apostles that beheld his glory! And surely there are in his word such reflections of it as we may also behold, and as will oblige us to acknowledge it to be a glory that became the Only-begotten of the Father.
Let us cordially receive him as full of grace and truth, that we also may stand entitled to the privileges of God's children. And if we are already of that happy number, let us not arrogate the glory of it to ourselves, or ascribe it entirely to those who have been the instruments of this important change; but remember that of his own will God hath begotten us by the word of his power, and that of him we are of Christ Jesus; to him then let us refer the ultimate praise, if that divine and almighty Saviour be made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Cor. i. 30.
Happy are they that (like this beloved apostle), when they hear the praises of Christ uttered by others, can echo back the testimony from their own experience, as having them