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to the Gods, and yet liable to the greateft miferies and fufferings in this World. That whoever Juffers unjustly, and bears it patiently, gives the greatest teftimony to Goodness, and does most effectually recommend Piety and Virtue, as things of greater value than the ease and pleasure of this prefent Life: Nay further, that a good Man caft into the hardest circumstances of poverty and misery, of reproach and fuffering, is the fittest perfon of all other to be the Minifter, and Apostle, and Preacher of God to Mankind; Which are the very words of Arian a Heathen Philofopher, in his Difcourfes of Epictetus. Now furely they who say such things have no reason to object to our B. Saviour his low and suffering condition, as misbecoming one that was to be the great Teacher and Reformer of the World.

And as to that part of the Objection, that He who so freely promised Immortality to others, could not, or however did not fave himself from Death:

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Death: This vanisheth into nothing when we confider, that he rescued himself from the power of the Grave: And it is fo far from being ridiculous to rely upon his promife of raifing us up from the dead, that the Objection it felf is really fo. For can any thing be more reasonable than to rely upon Him for our hopes of Immortality, who by rifing from the Grave himself, and by conquering the Powers of Death and Darknefs, and triumphing openly over them by his vifible Afcenfion into Heaven, hath given fo plain and sensible a Demonftration to all Mankind that he is able to make good to the uttermost all the glorious Promises which he hath made to us of a bleffed Resurrection to Eternal Life and Happiness in another World? To Him be Glory and Dominion for Ever and Ever. Amen.

SER.

145

SERMON IV.

Concerning the

Incarnation of CHRIST.

Preached in the

Church of St. Lawrence Jewry,

December the 28th. 1689.

JOHN I. 14.

The Word was made flesh, &c.

T'

'HE third and laft thing which III. I proposed upon this Argument of the Incarnation of the Son of God was, to give fome account of this Difpenfation, and to fhew that the wisdom of God thought fit thus to order things, in great condefcenfion to the weakness and common prejudices of Mankind: And that when all thing sare duely weigh'd and K 3 る

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confider'd, it will appear much more our comfort and advantage, than any other way which the wisdom of Men would have been moft apt to devife and pitch upon.

And it is the more necessary to give fome account of this matter, because after all that hath hitherto been said in answer to the Objections against it, it may still seem very strange to a confidering Man, that God, who could without all this circumstance and condefcenfion have done the bufinefs for which his Son came into the World and appear'd in our Nature; that is, could have given the fame Laws to Mankind, and have offer'd to us the forgiveness of our Sins and eternal Life upon our Repentance for Sins paft, and a fincere endeavour of Obedience for the future: I fay, that notwithstanding this, he should yet make choice of this way for the Redemption and Recovery of fallen Man, by fending his Son in our Nature, to accomplish this Defign.

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And in the handling of this Argument I fhall, as I said before, all along take the express declarations, or at least the pregnant intimations of Scripture for my ground and guide: It being always safest to take the Reasons of the Divine counfels and actions from God himself: And in the

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First place, I make no manner of doubt to fay, that it would be a great prefumption and boldness in any Man to affirm, that the infinite Wisdom of God could not have brought about the Salvation of Men by any other way, than by this very way which he hath done it. For why should we take upon us to set limits to infinite Wisdom, and pretend to know the utmoft extent of it? But fince God hath been pleased to pitch upon this Way rather than any other, this furely ought to be reafon enough to fatisfy us of the peculiar wisdom and fitness of it, whether the particular Reasons of it appear to us or And K +

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