§. 78. Of the excellency of Regeneration.
The particular matter of our regeneration (the flesh and bones of Christ) here expressed, sheweth that
Regeneration is a most excellent worke. The excellencie hereof * will the better appeare, if we compare it with the great and glorious worke of our creation, and shew how farre it surpas∣seth it: wherein I will hold close to this metaphor, and touch * no other differences then it doth point out vnto vs.
1. In our creation Christ was only a worker: but he is the verie matter of our Regeneration, we are of his flesh.
2. The relation that then was betwixt Christ and man,
|was||Creator,||but here||Head,||We are members of his bodie.|
The bond is now much neerer.
3. The being which then we had, was from Adam: But the being which now we haue is from Christ, of HIS flesh.
4. That being was but naturall. This is spirituall: for that*which is borne of the Spirit, is Spirit.
5. Then our being was different from Christs: but now it is the verie same with Christs, Of his flesh.
6. Then might man cleane fall from that estate wherein he was created (as he did) and yet Christ remaine as he was. Now it cannot be so. For if any of the Saints now fall away, either Christ must fall with them, or they must be pulled from Christ, and so Christ remaine a maimed bodie.
Behold the riches of Gods mercie. One might thinke it * sufficient, and more then man could euer haue beene thankfull enough for, that God at first created man after his owne image in a most happie estate. From which when we wittingly and wilfully fell, God might iustly haue left vs, as he did the euill Angels. But he hath not only restored vs againe to that for∣mer estate, but aduanced vs to a farre more excellent and glo∣rious estate: wherein his goodnesse appeareth to be as his greatnesse, infinite, incomprehensible. Who can sufficiently set it forth? For as the heauen is high aboue the earth, so great*is his mercie toward them that feare him.