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The Nativity.

The Nativity.

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And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swad-
dling clothes, and laid him in a manger ; because there was no room
for them in the inn. — Luke ii. 7. [1799.]

And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swad-
dling clothes, and laid him in a manger ; because there was no room
for them in the inn. — Luke ii. 7. [1799.]

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE ATIVITY.REV. RICHARD CECIL, A.MAnd she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swad-dling clothes, and laid him in a manger ; because there was no roomfor them in the inn. — Luke ii. 7. [1799.]Inasmuch as it is the chief design of Satan to hidethe grand object we commemorate this day — so it isour duty and privilege to be more inquisitive into whatthe Apostle calls "the whole counsel of God."Revelation is not addressed to our reason, or opinion,but to the obedience of faith. It would have beenunworthy the Almighty to have said to poor ignorantworms, What do you think of my scheme of salvation ?142 ORIGIAL THOUGHTS.Instead of this, he speaks worthy of himself — " Thussaith the Lord."I. Let us contemplate this stupendous matterOF FACT DECLARED I THE TEXT.IL Let us make a few general inferencesFROM IT.And let us do this with the Bible in our hand ; forwe are never safe but as we take the Bible for ourguide.L Let us contemplate this stupendous matter of fact declared in the text. This fact was declaredto our first parents immediately after the fall : " Theseed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." Itwas declared to Abraham : " In thee, and in thy seed,shall all nations of the earth be blessed." It was de-clared to Moses : " A prophet shall the Lord your Godraise up unto you like unto me ; him shall ye hear.'*He shall not only be a Prophet, but^ a Priest and a
King, to whom they should bow down ; and though heshall stoop so low as to lie in a manger, yet, that nonemight be stumbled at that, it was said, He shall becalled " the mighty God, the everlasting Father, thePrince of Peace :" and, " the Lord our Righteousness."He it is of whom St. John speaks : " The Word wasmade flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld hisglory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)full of grace and truth !" It was not man made God,but God made man. " Who being in the form of God,thought it not robbery to be equal with God." Phil. ii.6. Hereafter he shall appear in his glory ; and " thenshall the King say to those on his right hand, Come yeblessed : but to those on his left. Go ve cursed."Some one may be ready to exclaim — What ! are youTHE ATIVITY. 143speaking about "the Babe wrapped in swaddlingclothes" all this time ? What ! was the " WonderfulCounsellor," the "mighty God," nursed in a manger?Brethren, this, as I said before, is not a subject set be-fore us for reasoning, but for the obedience of faith.He came to be poor ; to be despised and rejected of men : his abasement was as much predicted as hiscoming. It was predicted that he should be born atBethlehem — that he should be laid in a manger : thiswas "he that should come;" and had he come as theJews expected, he had not been the Saviour predicted.Whatever the Roman emperor meant by making adecree that all the world should be taxed, God over-ruled it to bring about his own design, according towhat the prophets had foretold. The angels did notannounce him to the Sanhedrim, or to Herod, but toshepherds watching over their flocks by night ; andbecause the angels had not such poor low views as manhas, no sooner had they declared Christ, and where heshould be found, than they cried out, " Glory to God inthe highest, and on earth peace, good will to man."From this stupendous matter of fact I proceed,II. To DRAW A FEW IFERECES.1st. When we see the Son of God thus abased — thus
humbling himself to become a helpless infant, lying ina manger, and then dying on the cross — Does not thisfollow, That nothing is important hut what is eternal ?The Son of God laid by his glory to save us from eter-nal woe. He came to teach us to look at the thingsunseen : to learn the worth of the soul that he came todie for : he came to teach us that all that man has outof Jesus Christ is fleshly and failing : but " Forasmuchas the children are partakers of flesh and blood, healso himself likewise took part of the same, that through144 ORIGIAL THOUGHTS.death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."2ndly. It appears that sin is the great and only posi-tive evil. Christ would have fellowship with us inevery thing but sin : he would condescend to the weak-ness of infancy ; he would hunger, he would thirst, hewould be weary, he would taste of grief, but he wouJdhave no communion with sin.Srdly. We should also learn from the coming of the Son of God, and from his whole course on earth,what a difficult work salvation was. We talk of theforgiveness of sins as if it were a very easy thing.But who is this that lies abased ? Who is this thatgoes about in poverty, sufferings, hunger, thirst, andweariness ? What ! Is the removal of sin so easy,when Christ came with so hard a task to perform inorder to take it away ? What can all this mean, if itwas not absolutely necessary ?There is no evidence so satisfactory and safe asmatter of fact. Here is a fact; and what does itprove ? It proves that when God would save sinnershe could not save himself. Abel brought a lamb andoffered him in faith : Cain brought of the fruit of theground an offering to the Lord. He seems to stand at

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