John_Henry_Newman_by_Sir_John_Everett_MillaisThe Word was from the beginning, the Only-begotten Son of God.

Before all worlds were created, while as yet time was not, He was in existence, in the bosom of the Eternal Father,

God from God, and Light from Light, supremely blessed in knowing and being known of Him, and receiving all divine perfections from Him, yet ever One with Him who begat Him.

As it is said in the opening of the Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

[…] He, indeed, when man fell, might have remained in the glory which He had with the Father before the world was.

But that unsearchable Love, which showed itself in our original creation, rested not content with a frustrated work, but brought Him down again from His Father’s bosom to do His will, and repair the evil which sin had caused.

And with a wonderful condescension He came, not as before in power, but in weakness, in the form of a servant, in the likeness of that fallen creature whom He purposed to restore.

So He humbled Himself; suffering all the infirmities of our nature in the likeness of sinful flesh, all but a sinner,—pure from all sin, yet subjected to all temptation,—and at length becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

I have said that when the Only-begotten Son stooped to take upon Him our nature, He had no fellowship with sin. It was impossible that He should.

Therefore, since our nature was corrupt since Adam’s fall, He did not come in the way of nature, He did not clothe Himself in that corrupt flesh which Adam’s race inherits.

He came by miracle, so as to take on Him our imperfection without having any share in our sinfulness. He was not born as other men are; for “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” (John 3:6).

[…] He came by a new and living way; not, indeed, formed out of the ground, as Adam was at the first, lest He should miss the participation of our nature, but selecting and purifying unto Himself a tabernacle out of that which existed.

As in the beginning, woman was formed out of man by Almighty power, so now, by a like mystery, but a reverse order, the new Adam was fashioned from the woman.

He was, as had been foretold, the immaculate “seed of the woman,” deriving His manhood from the substance of the Virgin Mary; as it is expressed in the articles of the Creed, “conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.”

John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890): Parochial and Plain Sermons vol. 2, 3: The Incarnation.

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