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WORD is inferior to the Very God, even the Father, of whom it affirms, that he doth know that .
. But 'twill be objected, that Chrift is the Son of God, with respect to his Divine, as well as his Human Nature ; and therefore fince our Savior himself says, that the Son did not know the Day of Judgmenr, it follows, that neither the Divine, nor the Human Nature of the Son knew it. For otherwise Christ must have pra&is'd such an Equivocation, as was utterly unworthy of his holy Chara&ter. But I answer, that how certainly foever Christ may be the Son of God with respect to his Divine, as well as with respect to his Human Nature; yet he did notwithstanding mean nothing else but his Human Nature, when he declared, that the Son knew not the Day of Judgment; and that in so doing he used the utmost Sincerity and Plainefs of Speech, and was consequently by no Means chargeable with the lowest Degree of Equivocation upon that Account.
To state this Matter truly, we must observe, that his Disciples inquired of him, when those Things which he had spoken, should come to pass; and what he says in this controverted Text, is part of the Answer he return'd to their Inquiry. Now 'twas his Human Nature alone that fpake at that time, upon Supposition that the WORD was quiescent. And the Disciples did nor then fuspect, that the WORD was united to the Man Chrift Jesus, or that he had any other than a merely Human Nature. Therefore, fince our Savior and his Disciples did by the Son jointly understand the Humán Nature only; well might our Savior affirm, that the Son knew not the Day of Judgment. For
he used that Phrase in the same Sense, in which he was sure the Disciples would understand it.
'Twas not at that time our Savior's Dury or Intention to inform his Disciples, in how many different Senses he might be called the Son of God; or to make known to them the hypoftatical Union of the WORD and the Man Christ Jesus, which Mystery they were as yet perfectly unacquainted with : but he resolved to return a proper and intelligible Answer to their Question. And accordingly he did not inform them, that the Son, when that Phrase is used in such a Sense as he had never once hitherto used it in ; and consequently in such a Sense as his Disciples had never heard of, and were absolucly Strangers to, and would most certainly not understand him in; I say, our Savior did not inform them, that the Son in such a secret Sense, or that the Son in any possible Sense, knew not the Day of Judgment: buc he plainly and roundly inform'd them, that the Son, in that Sense, which he therefore meant, because they would infallibly so understand him, that is, the Man Christ Jesus, knew it nor,
Before I leave this Head, I shall touch upon one thing, which some Persons have efteem'd a confiderable Difficulty. Our Savior's Words run thus, Of that day and that bour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in heaven, neither she Son, but the Father, Mark 13.32. So that the Son is placed after the Angels; and must therefore, in Conformicy to our Savior's Climax, be supposed at that time superior to them. Whereas the Son, say they, was not at that time superior to the Angels otherwise than with respect to his Divine Nature. And consequently our Savior must mean, that the Divine Nature of the Son knew the Day of Judgment, no
more than the Human Nature did. To this I return a double Answer.
1. One would think, that such Obje&ors have never read the Epistle to the Hebrews, wherein the Man Christ Jesus, upon the Account of his being appointed Heir of all Things (which manifeftly relates to his Human Nature, which alone was exalted) is declared to have been, and consequently was when these Words were spoken, superior to the Angels in Dignity, tho' at that time he was inferior to them in State and Condition, in Glory and Happiness. And therefore our Lord's Gradation is ftrialy juft, if the last must needs be esteemed the most worthy Person. But,
2. We ought to remember, that (to our own unspeakable Comfort) the Man Christ Jefus shall be our Judge at that great Day; and he constantly declar'd as much to his Disciples, even when they little thought of his having a Divine Nature. So that the Disciples might more reasonably expect to be inform'd by him, when the Day of Judgment should come, than by the moft exalted Seraph ; because it much more concerned him to know that Day, than the brightest Angel whatsoever. Our Lord's Gradation therefore i truly natural, even tho'the Son had not been at that time superior in Dignity to the Angels. For 'was our Lord's Design to place that Perfon latt, not barely who was superior in Dignity (tho' even that also was the Son's Right at that very Time) but who was most likely to be acquainted with that great Secret, and consequently might moft probably have the Power of imparting it to them. His Words do not only bear, but necessarily require, this Sense.
Whereas ye desire to know the Day and Hour of Judgment, and that I fhould impart that Sem
cret to you; I assure you, thắt no Man knows “ of that Day and that Hour. Neither do the “ Angels themselves, which are'in Heaven, and
always in God's Presence, and who may there5 fore be fuppofed in a great measure Partakers of “his Counfels ; éven they do nor know it. Nay, & what is still more surprizing, neither do I my “ felf, tho I am the Son of God, and the very
Person who shall then judge the whole Race of
Mankind (and might for chat Reafon have that “ Day and Hour imparted to me, rather than the
moft glorious Angel that ever was created' ; be...caufe that Day and Hour do côncern me infinit“ ly more than any of those blessed Spirits) even I ny felf do not know it. This Divine Detree has never been communicared to any Being
whatsoever. None but God himfelf (whom you “ have fo often heard me call my Father) is ap"priz'd of ic.
Of Christ's faying, My Father is greater than 1;
with Reflections upon diverse other Texts.
'HERE remain diverse other Texts, which
are supposed to teach, that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Chrift, is inferior co the Very God. These I fhall briefly confider and explain.
3. Therefore, our Lord said, My Father is greater than 1, John 14. 28. Now if the WORD was quiescent, when this Declaration was made' ; then it
proceeded from the Human Nature only. And consequently, fince the Disciples did not at that
Time in the least fufpect, chat the WORD was united to the Man Christ Jesus; but esteem'd their Mafter to be a mere Man, only conducted and aslifted by the Holy Spirit : why might not both our Savior meán, and his Disciples understand him to mean, that the Father or Very God was greater than the Man Christ Jesus ?
You (a) tell us indeed, that this Exposition is flat and insipid. But for what Reason? Why, you (b) say, that when any Person affirms another to be greater than himself, be muft of necessary mean, greater than be bimself is in bis greatest Capacity. But I pray, have you any where proved, that the aforesaid Declaration proceeded jointly from the Divine and Human Natures? Or that 'twas made by the WORD, as well as by the Man Chrift Jesus? Or that the WORD was not at that time quiescent ? Or that the Disciples.could understand him otherwise than in this, which you esteem a flat and infipid. Sense? Till you have evinced these things (the contrary to all which, I hope, has been evinced above) you will be obliged to grant, that the Exa position I contend for, is really just and true. For tho he that then spake, must mean, that the Father was greater than himself in his greatest Capacity; yet it must be remembred, that 'twas only the Man that fpake, the WORD being quiescent. And you will readily allow, that the Father, or Very God, was greater than the Man Christ Jesus in his greatest Capacity ; even tho' he was at that
(a) Script. Doct. p. 157.