the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
We meet with many of the name of Mary in the New Testament:
Â·The Virgin Mary.
Â·Mary, the mother of James and John.
Â·Mary, the mother of Mark.
Â·Mary, the wife of Cleophas.
Â·Mary, called also Salome.
Â·Mary, a pious woman whom the apostle Paul mentions. (Romans 16:6)
The word of God has recorded the names of those women as followers of the Lord Jesus, and from the interest they took in what concerned Christ; but with their history farther, excepting the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, we are not much acquainted. Concerning the Virgin Mary, we are most highly interested to have the clearest apprehension of her person and history, in that part which concerns the incarnation of the Lord Jesus; and therefore, in a work of this
kind, I should consider it most highly deficient, if it were wholly passed over. I mean however, to be very brief upon, it, and only say enough to convey, to that class of readers for whom this Concordance is designed, clear apprehensions in what light the holy Scriptures explain to us the miraculous conception of Mary, and the incarnation of the Lord Jesus. I begin then from that part where the Lord Jesus begins to proclaim to the church, by the spirit of prophecy, the event of his coming. "Wherefore, when he cometh into the world," (Hebrews 10:5, etc.) "he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me." Now here observe, Christ, by the spirit of prophecy, is speaking of the Father. Let this be marked down as first in the memorandum of this glorious mysterious subject. Then turn to the evangelist Luke, (Luke 1:35) where we find, at the visit of the angel to Mary, to inform her of the miraculous conception, when Mary expressed her astonishment at the salutation, and modestly intimated the impossibility of the thing, the angel made this remarkable answer: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God." Here let it be equally marked down, in strong memorandums of the heart, the part which God the Holy Ghost had in this stupendous work. We see then both the hand of God the Father, and God the Holy Ghost, in their personal offices and characters, engaged in the great undertaking; and that we might not overlook the part which Jesus himself had in it also, as God the Son, we are expressly told: that he took our nature upon him for the purpose of redemption, The words of the Holy Ghost on this point are very strong, and very particular. "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same." So againâ€”, "For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham." (See Hebrews 2:14; Heb 2:16) Let this also be put down in the mind, and then sum it up as a lesson in arithmetic. All the persons of the GODHEAD, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, had their almighty hand in the mysterious work of Christ's incarnation. This premised, we may now go farther, and observe that this body given by the Father, produced by the overshadowing power of the Holy Ghost, and taken by the Son, is to be of the same nature and quality as our nature, sin only excepted; for the more he is like to his redeemed in nature, the more suited he is to be our Mediator. Hence the Scripture saith, that "in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17) It is plain then, that he must be man, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. An angel's nature would not have suited the purpose of redemption: it was human nature that had sinned, and broken the divine law; it must be human nature that shall make amends, by obedience and death. The justice of God, though permitting a substitute and surety, will not permit that substitute and surety in any other nature than man. "The soul that sinneth it shall die." Hence, therefore, observe the beauty and the order in the divine government, for which the Lord Jesus took not on him the nature of angels but the seed of Abraham.
Let us advance a step farther. We see the blessedness and propriety that the Redeemer should be man, and not an angel;â€”the next enquiry is, how this manhood shall be united with the GODHEAD in the most suitable and becoming manner, agreeably to the purposes of the divine counsel and will, so as to answer all the great ends of redemption. Certainly the Son of God might have assumed a body such as ours, consisting both of flesh and spirit, and formed, as the first earthly man Adam was, of nothing; but then this would not have been what Scripture saith Christ must be, of "the seed of the woman," and what the promise declared. (See Genesis 3:15) And beside, the triumph of Christ over hell and the prince of darkness, would not have been as the promise declared it should beâ€”"the seed of the woman to bruise the serpent's head." Hence, therefore, the Redeemer must be born of a woman, must be in all points like to his brethren, sin only excepted, both for the salvation of his people and the destruction of his enemies. But still it may be asked, could not all this have been done in Christ becoming man from the woman, as the woman originally was from the man. For we road that at the creation, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh instead thereof: and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from the man, made he a woman. (Genesis 2:21-23) No doubt the Lord God could have done this by the manhood of Christ; and in this case, it might have been said of the second Adam, as the first Adam said to Eve, "this is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh." (Genesis 2:22) But neither could this have been called a birth, nor of the seed of the woman; neither would this have suited the purposes of redemption; for the Scripture saith, that "when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." (Galatians 4:4-5) And elsewere it is said, "that both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." (Hebrews 2:11) But had Christ, in his human nature, been produced from the rib of the woman, there would have been no such relationship as there now is; neither, as before remarked, would Christ have been of the seed of the woman, neither born under the law.
We find then, that for Christ to be of the seed of the woman, of the same flesh and blood with those he came to redeem, and to be born under the law, to redeem them that are under the law, he must still come nearer to our nature, and be born as the children are born, only with that distinguishing and vast difference, that though he partakes of our nature, yet it is the sinless infirmities of our nature only. He is, and must be, truly and properly man; as he is, and must be, truly and properly God; being "one with the Father, over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." But in assuming our nature, he will still be "holy, harmless, undefiled separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." (Hebrews 7:26)
Now, in the accomplishment of this great and mysterious work, the formation of the body of Christ, it is blessed to see how very particular the sacred writers are to describe the (modus operandi) method of the divine working in this purpose. The original promise at the fall was, that Christ should be of the "seed of the woman;" and accordingly we find the prophet, in the after-ages, commissioned by the Holy Ghost to tell the church that "a virgin should conceive, and bear a son." (Isaiah 7:14) Now observe the expression conceive: not a conception, as in the ordinary way of generation, in our fallen race; for this is by corrupt and sinful creatures; and therefore David very properly saith, "in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalms 51:5) But in the instance of the Virgin's conception, this was without the intervention of an human father, and consequently no sin in the conception; neither sin in the seed conceived, because this was by the miraculous impregnation and overshadowing power of the Holy Ghost. And here lie the holiness and blessedness, as well as the power and wisdom, of the almighty work. It was a conception of the Virgin, not a generation. Christ was conceived by the Virgin, not begotten; for it is said, he was made of a woman. And it is not the place or the womb that defiles, but the nature from whom it is begotten or conceived, as in our ordinary nature from Adam all along hath been done. But in the instance of the human nature Of Christ, begotten as it was by the overshadowing power of God the Holy Ghost, Christ is very properly, by way of distinction, called that holy thing, (not that holy person, but thing) to imply a conception without a generation. Here then we see in what view we are to consider the incarnation of the Lord Jesus, and of consequence the person and character of the Virgin Mary.
And it is a most blessed and soul-satisfying view, when opened to our understanding by the Holy Ghost, what the same Almighty Author of his sacred word hath taught us concerning it in the Scriptures of eternal tRuth We now discover the suitability of our dear Redeemer for the great purposes of his mission, and plainly perceive how needful such a priest is for us, "who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens." Well might the Lord Jesus, by the spirit of prophecy, declare, as he doth, (Psalms 139:1-24) (which, I venture to believe, refers principally, if not wholly, to the Lord Jesus Christ) "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My substance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest paths of the earth." If, as we have before noticed, and from the authority of Scripture, Christ's body was the Father's gift, (Hebrews 10:5) and if the Holy Ghost, in his overshadowing power, was the almighty: worker in the dark place of the virgin's womb, here called "the lowest parts of the earth," what blessedness is given to the view of the subject amidst all the mysteriousness of it, and how are we taught to honour, reverence, love, and praise the whole united persons of the GODHEAD for those wonders of redemption by Jesus Christ. "Thanks be unto God, I would say, (will not the reader join my spirit in it?) for his unspeakable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)
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Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Mary'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​pmd/​m/mary.html. London. 1828.