"And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and was subject to them." Luke ii. 51.
"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us;" this is the glorious, unsearchable, incomprehensible Truth, on which all our hopes for the future depend, and which we have now been commemorating. It is the wonderful Economy of Redemption, by which God became man, the Highest became the lowest, the Creator took His place among His own creatures, Power became weakness, and Wisdom looked to men like folly. He that was rich was made poor; the Lord of all was rejected: "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." This, I say, is the grand mystery of the season, and this is the subject on which I now propose to make one remark.
I say then, my Brethren, consider what the Divine Being is, and what we mean, when we use His name. The very first idea of Him, if we make the Creed our guide, is Omnipotence: "I believe in God, the Father Almighty." And if you wish to enter into this idea of Omnipotence, and investigate what it is, trace it back into the further mystery of a past eternity. For ages innumerable, for infinite periods, long and long before any creature existed, He was. When there was no creature to exercise His power upon, still He was Omnipotent in His very Essence, as being not sovereign merely, but sole,—as the One Being, without any greater, less, or equal, full of all resources within, and in need of nothing, and, though infinitely one, yet being, at the same time, a whole infinite universe, as I may say, in Himself;—so much so that the breadth and depth and richness and variety and splendour of this created world which we behold, is simply nothing at all, compared to the vastness of that Ocean of perfection which lay concentrated in the intensity of His unity. A king of this world, though a sovereign, though an autocrat, depends on his subjects; but the Almighty God is absolutely and utterly free from any necessary alliance with His creatures. He is complete in Himself, for this reason, if for no other, that He existed for everlasting ages before any one of them was, and was able to do without them for a past eternity, and then created them all out of nothing. He borrows nothing from them; He owes nothing whatever even to the highest of them; they, on the contrary, owe it to Him that they are even able to remain in their own proper nature, and they derive from Him, moment by moment, every pulsation of their life and every ray of such glory as they possess.