Most Highly Favoured?

“Great was the privilege which God bestowed on the blessed virgin Mary, in granting that of her should be born the Son of God; that a person who was infinitely more honourable than the angels, who was the Creator and King of heaven and earth and the great Saviour of the world, should be conceived in her womb, born of her, and nursed at her breast, was a far greater privilege than to be the mother of the child of the greatest earthly prince that ever existed. But yet, surely that was not so great a privilege as it was to have the grace of God in the heart, to have Christ, as it were, born in the soul, as Christ himself does expressly teach us [in Luke 11:27-28]:

‘…a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto [Jesus], Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.  But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.’ ”

[Jonathan Edwards, Works, 8:166 | Painting by Francisco de Zurbarán, The Virgin Mary with Child and the Young St. John the Baptist, 1662]

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