« AnteriorContinuar »
does not discover it felf in a new born Child, but gradually exerts its Faculties, till at length it difplays its whole Power; and even afterwards it is frequently fufpended by Sleep, notwithstanding 'tis always perfonally united to the Flesh from the very Birth: even fo we may conceive, that the WORD, tho perfonally united to the Man Christ Jefus, forbore (fo the Divine Wisdom thought good) to communicat his extraordinary Influences to him during the Space beforemention'd.
But after the Exaltation of the Man Christ Jesus, ever fince the Very God govern'd the whole World by and through him, that Plenitude of Excellency, which is effential to, and infeparable from, the WORD, fhines thro' the Man; and the Godhead not only does dwell, but is alfo known and appears to dwell, in the Mans, the Man Chrift Jefus being, in Confequence of his perfonal Union with the WORD, much more ftrictly and properly the Temple of God, than we are able to comprehend. This Scheme, the Footsteps of which are for manifeft and fo eafily traced in the Holy Scriptures, by an attentive Reader of them, exactly answers to all the Appearances of our Savior's Conduct and Circumftances, during his Abode upon Earth, and fince his Afcenfion into Heaven.
Tho' I can't forbear adding, that the depth of his Humiliation ended at his Death. For his Refurrection opened a Way to the Poffeffion of his prefent happy and glorious Condition. He declared, that he fhould raife himself from the Dead. For Jefus answered and faid unto them, Deftroy this temple, and in three days I will raife it up. Then faid the Jews, Forty and fix years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body, John 2. 19, 20, 21. And again,
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my felf have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father, Johnro. 14, 18. I conceive therefore, that the Human Soul having been anointed with the Spirits in the moft plentiful manner, had a Power of uniting it felf to its former C Body, given it by the Very God, who poured the Spirit on him.Nor is this, upon any account, more wonderful, than his being enabled during his Life time to raise others from the Dead. For his Soul, being the principal part of the Man Chrift Jefus, might continue endued with this miraculous Power after its Separation from the Bodymade by his Death upon the Grofs, as well as during its Conjunction with it. n ment
He feems alfo to have been under the Conduct of the Spirit even till the time of his Afcenfion. For St. Luke fays, The former treatife have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jefus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he thro' the Holy Ghoft had given commandments unto the Apostles whom he had chofen, Acts r. 1, 2. So that he gave Commandments to his Apoftles through the Holy Ghoft after his Refurrection; and accordingly we have no Proof, that the WORD exerted himself before Chrift's Afcenfion. And therefore, tho' he faid before his Afcenfion, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth, Matt. 28. 18. yet he did not actually exercise that Plenitude of Power, with which he was rewarded for his Sufferings, till he was actually afcended into Heaven, and placed at God's Right Hand; which Phrase manifeftly fignifies his being actually invefted with the utmost L 3 Autho
Authority, and being made the great Governor of all created Beings.
From this Afcenfion therefore we muft date his Exaltation; the Space between his Refurrection and Afcenfion being, tho' not a State of Suffering, yet nothing more than an Introduction to immenfe Glory, and a gradual Difcovery of that excellent Brightness, which would foon break forth in its full Luftre. And accordingly in this intermediat Space, he spake of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, Acts 1. 3. And beginning at Mofes and all the Prophets, be expounded unto them in all the fcriptures, the things concerning himself, Luke 24. 27. Then opened be their underStanding, that they might understand the fcriptures; and faid unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Chrift to fuffer, and to rise from the dead the third day And that repentance and remiffion of fins fhould be preached in bis name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, V. 45, 46, 47. Then did he, I prefume, revele to them his Divine Nature, and the Excellency of his Perfon; infomuch that when St. Thomas was affured it was the bleffed Jefus himself, he gave intire Credit to all that the Brethren had reported concerning him, and without any Hefitation cryed out, My Lord and my God, John 20. 28. as he might juftly do, when he knew that the WORD was in him, of which St. John affirms (I do not as yet inquire in what Senfe) that it was God, John 1. 1.
Of our Savior's not knowing the Day of Judgment.
AVING thus prepared the Way, by the Proof of the two foregoing Propofitions, let us now examin the second of those Texts, which are fuppofed to teach, that the WORD or Divine Nature of our Lord Jefus Chrift, is inferior to the Very God. Our Lord fays, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in beaven, neither the Son, but the Father, Mark 13. 32. From hence it has been inferred, that fince the Father, viz. the Very God, does know the Day of Judgment, and the Son does not know it; therefore our Lord Jefus Chrift, who is the Son, and confequently the WORD or Divine Nature of our Lord Jefus Chrift, is inferior to the Very God.
For the clearing of this Difficulty, I offer the following Particulars.
1. Mere Man can't by the Light of Reason know the Day of Judgment. And confequently the Man Christ Jefus, had he been neither united to the WORD, nor illuminated by the Holy Spirit, muft neceffarily have been ignorant of it.
2. Tho' an inspired Man may know the Day of Judgment, if God reveles it to him: yet plain Fact proves, 'that 'tis very poffible for an inspired Man to be ignorant of it. For no infpired Perfon ever yet knew it. Nay, tho' our Lord Jefus Chrift, who is the Son of God, received the Holy Spirit without measure; yet he himself affures us, that he did not know it. That Expreffion therefore does by no means imply, that the Man Chrift Jefus became L 4
ftrictly Omniscient by the Revelation of the Spirit: but only imports, that the Spirit was given to him in a moft plentiful manner; that is, in a manner fo plentiful, that never did any other Mortal enjoy the like; tho' not fo abfolutly plentiful, but that God himself might have communicated fomething more to him, had it pleafed him fo to do. For the Father, viz. the Very God, who knew it himself, was certainly able, had he judged it fitting, to difcover the Day of Judgment to the Man Chrift Jefus.
3. Confidering the Circumftances of the Man Chrift Jefus during his Miniftry, there was certainly no Neceffity of his knowing the Day of Judgment, in order to any of thofe things which it behoved him to do or finifh during that Space. Nay, had there been any fuch Neceffity, doubtlefs God would have reveled it to him by the Spirit. And confequently, the Man Chrift Jefus could not poffibly have been ignorant of it, even tho' it might be fuppofed, that the WORD does not effentially and neceffarily know it.
4. Since the WORD, during our Savior's Miniftry, was either totally (which is by much the moft probable) or at leaft partially quiefcent; the Man Chrift Jefus might not know the Day of Judg ment, even tho' the WORD himself did know it. Wherefore,
5. It does not follow, that the WORD did not know the Day of Judgment, becaufe the Son, viz. the Man Chrift Jefus, in whom the WORD was (fometimes at leaft) quiefcent, did not know it. And therefore,
6. WORD did not know the Day of Judgment; 'tis plain, that this Text does not teach, that the
e this Text does not teach, that the