foundation of the world? Not a word, which bears the least resemblance to it. But the writer proceeds and gives an account of the genealogy and generation of his humanity; of his induction into office; and his glorification. After giving his lineal descent, he says; "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise ;" and proceeds to note the miraculous conception of his humanity; and circumstances attending; and says; "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Here is" the generation of Jesus Christ." Who will presume to say, that he has a generation far more ancient, and more important than what is here given? one that respects a literal producing of his divine nature, at some period before the creation of the world? Where is the least evidence found to support such a proposition? I have never been able to discover it. And it does not become man to be wise against, nor above what is written. The celebrated Bishop Horsley upon this subject says, "The Son of God is a title, which belongs to our Lord in his human character, describing him as that man, who became the Son of God, by union with the Godhead."* This is indeed the origin of Christ's Sonship, as is taught in "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ."

The prophet enquires, Isaiah liii. 8, relative to Christ; "Who shall declare his generation ?"" Upon which some have remarked, that Christ's generation is indescribable; but he has a generaion, which relates to his divine nature; though

*Posth. Ser. vol. 1. p. 93, 94. Am. Ed.



none can describe it. This seems plausible. But it needs examination. The generation of Christ, in this passage, does not relate to the generation of his person, or nature, divine nor human. sense of the passage we learn from a parallel age, Psalm xxii. 30. An affecting account of Christ's sufferings had there been given. And to console the heart of the pious reader, it is promised, as a blessed consequence of his passion, that "a seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation ;" i. e. a numerous progeny, or The word generation is often used in this sense, to denote a progeny, or family. The poet gives the true sense of this passage;


"A numerous offspring must arise,
From his expiring groans;

They shall be reckoned in his eyes
For daughters and for sons.'


So in the parallel passage under consideration in Isaiah: An amazing description is given of the sufferings of Christ. And the prophet adds; "He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation?" His trials were vast. And who can calculate the extensive and glorious consequences, in the seed, who shall serve him, and who shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation? This appears the plain sense of the passage. Accordingly, the celebrated Pool remarks upon it. "Christ's death shall not be unfruitful. When he is raised from the dead, he shall have a spiritual seed; as is promised, verse 10; When he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed :-A numberless multitude of those who shall believe on him, and be regenerated, and adopted by him into the number of his children." Mr. Scott (another celebrated expo

sitor) says, "The original word for generation (here) is seldom if ever used in this sense; (i. e. of a proper generation) so that modern interpreters generally dissent from the ancients."

But if any, after all, imagine, that the text, "Who shall declare his generation?" must relate to a literal generation of the person of Christ, then the answer to the question, Who shall declare his generation? is now furnished :-God inspired the evangelists to declare it; to write "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ." The apostle teaches, that there were mysteries, concerning Jesus Christ, hid from past ages; but now made manifest under the gospel. This generation of Christ, if it must be understood literally, must be one of those mysteries, now revealed by the evangelist, and the conversation of the Angel with Mary. But no derivation of Christ's Divinity from God is hinted in the passage.

2. We find the noted prediction of the generation of Christ, on which his Filiation rests, applied by the Holy Ghost (as at least in a figurative sense fulfilled) at his designation to his mediatorial work, especially that of our great High Priest. It was as the Son of God, that Christ must obey the Father, and atone for the sins of the world. It was to be the Son, whom the Father (in the plenitude of paternal affection) could not spare from death, when he had taken the place of the sinner; but must be freely delivered up for us all. It was a Son, who must be sent forth, not only made of a woman, but made under the law, to redeem them who were under the law, by the sacrifice of himself, that we might receive the adoption of sons. It must appear that God so loved the world, that he sent his only begotten Son, to die as our High Priest, as a propitiation for sin, that whosoever be

lieveth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Now therefore, the designation of the Person of the Messiah to this course of filial obedience and sufferings, must be represented as a further and figurative fulfilment of the noted prediction in the second Psalm. Accordingly, in Heb. v. 4, after speaking of men's being ordained of God as high priests, who can have compassion on the weak, we read; "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that was called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, tc-day have I begotten thee." Here it seems as though the designation of Christ to the work of High Priest, is figuratively represented as God's begetting him. Christ made not himself an High Priest; but He, who made or constituted him thus,-it seems as though the text were going to say. But instead of expressing this, it is expressed, "He that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee." The begetting, in the text then, seems to stand exactly in the place of God's constituting, or inducting him. Which shows that the latter is figuratively represented by the former. Accordingly, when Christ was inducted into his public ministry by baptism, and the holy unction performed by the Holy Ghost, the voice from heaven came, in allusion to the same noted prediction in the second Psalm, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." q. d. This Person, in his humanity, I have begotten in the womb of the virgin; and his Person, as Mediator, I have now figuratively begotten into his office of High Priest; and in this his office I am well pleased, and am ready to reconcile the world to myself. He is a "Priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec."


3. We find the noted prediction of the generation of Christ, on which his Filiation rests, applied by the Holy Ghost, as in some figurative sense fulfilled, by his resurrection from the dead, and induction to his inheritance. Christ, after having been delivered for our offences, was raised again for our justification, by the power of God, and was exalted to his inheritance in glory, as the Heir of all things. And upon this event the apostle says; Acts xiii. 32, 33; "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise, which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Here again the Holy Ghost announces a fulfilment of the noted prediction of the generation of Christ, in an event subsequent to his coming in the flesh. He applies it, as receiving a figurative and a final fulfilment, in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ to his inheritance of glory. Christ was begotten-produced-brought from the regions of the dead, to the throne of the universe, at his Father's right hand, as the Heir of all things. This was the third and last step in that series of events, which was to present the Son of God, the King of Israel, the Saviour of the world, as complete in his mediatorial kingdom,-in the possess ion of his inheritance of glory. And it is noted as the finishing of the fulfilment of the noted prediction in the second Psalm. Accordingly, Christ is called, Rev. i. 5, "the first begotten of the dead." And in Col. i. 18," the first born from the dead." Here the same figure is pursued. Christ was the resurrection and the life; the first fruits of them that slept; the rising of the Head from the tomb, as an earnest that all the mem

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