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that all us, or all who ever shall be admitted to the same knowledge of him, and vision of him in heaven, must and will everlastingly confess, as we, James, Peter, and myself do, that the glory of the Godhead breaking forth, and darting its rays through, and on his human nature, fully proved him to be the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of hiş person.
“We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father:" and he includes these words in a parenthesis, that he might finish his account and testimony of it, before he further proceeded in giving an account of what this most divine Immanuel was, in his converse with poor sinners, to whom he preached, and among whom he dwelt in his incarnate state,
The glory then of Christ, is the glory of the Godhead dwelling personally in him, breaking forth in, and shining through his human nature. To use Dr. Goodwin's words, it is such as if the sun being encompassed with a case of crystal, how glorious would that crystal be: a glory, such as is worthy only to appear in him that is one person with God.: This the apostle speaks of as the highest evidence of his being the Son of God. . All the apostles record our Lord's appearance on the mount. 'Our John cries out in this parenthesis of wonder, “and we behéld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,” though shining in him, but in the days of his flesh. And Peter magnifies and exalts it above all things else he had to say of him, or could alledge in testimony of his being the Christ and Son of God. “ We were eye-witnesses of his majesty ; for we saw his person in glory: for we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known, unto you, the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God, the Father, honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which caine from heaven, we heard when we were with him in the holy mount,” 2 Pet. i, 16, 17, 18. And to see him as he is, will be the utmost perfection in heaven. John says, " When Christ shall .appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see bim as he is," 1 John iii, 2. Our divine Lord suspended the breakings forth of his personal glory, and laid it aside in his incarnate state. It was but here a little, and there a little, that he shone forth in some rays of it on the apostles.
Hence it may be out of an holy longing, that all believers, when they read of and meditate on the incarnation of the essential Word, might not overlook his efflux of brightness and glory, as God manifested in the flesh, the apostle draws their minds to behold him, as he and other apostles 'had seen him, “ We beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.”
I come, fourthly, to speak on Christ's being full of grace and truth. “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld bis glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” He was in his incarnate state, in all his converse with poor sinners, who came to him for salvation, help, and succour, full of grace and truth. A fountain ever flowing, and overflowing. This is our last head.
As the essential Word, and only begotten of the Father laid aside the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and found in fashion as a man, so he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: and he was in our world full of grace; a perpetual fountain, an everlasting spring. His lips were full of grace; bis words expressed it; his converse with sinners proved it. None came to him as guilty, but virtue went from him to heal them : none came to him for instruction, but be opened his mouth and spake as never man spake. His word was to such spirit and life; it conveyed the Holy Ghost and life everlasting to their souls. His word was with power; so efficacious as to throw down the strong holds of
sin' and satan within them. He was gracious in the dispensation of pardon and peace: “It pleased the Father that in him, as the Word made flesh, should all fulness dwell.” All the fulness of grace displayed in the everlasting love of God, all the fulness of grace contained in the everlasting mercy of the eternal Three, all the fulness of eternal redemption, which consists in the free and full pardon of all the sins of the elect, in their perfect justification from all things, in their title to every covenant blessing, heaven, glory, and life eternal, are all contained in the person of Immanuel, God-Jesus, the incarnate Word. He was full of grace in his person, word, miracles, actions, converse, and carriage, towards poor sinners, for whom he came into the world, and for whom he gave his life as a ransom, for the many which the Father had given him. He was full of grace and truth; he was the truth itself; “ The true God, and eternal life.” All the promises of the essential and co-equal Trinity, which owed their original to grace, and were the good pleasure of the will of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, were in him; and in him they are yea and amen.' He was in his incarnation, life, and death, the accomplishment and performance of all the promises, and the truth of all the types and prophecies in the old testament. In him was the fulness of all that mercy, and the whole of that complete sal. vation, which patriarchs, prophets, and all believers had been looking for: and we receive grace from Jesus, just as we receive light from the sun. It is by the eye we receive light; it is by faith, which is the eye of the mind, we receive grace out of the fulness of Jesus. In believing we receive Christ, salvation, and all its blessings into our hearts. The Lord seal these truths on all our hearts.
I conclude with this scripture; * For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sipful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” The Lord bless what has been delivered. Amen.