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szybich all your Adversaries shall not be able to gains ay nor resist, Luke 21. 14, 15. This again is only a Declaration of what God would enable him to do for them after his Exaltation (and well might he do it, who could pour forth the miraculous Gifts of the Spirit on them) but the Disciples could not gather from thence, that their Master had a Divine Natare. “ Especially considering, that his Disciples themselves conferr'd the extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost, as I noted before.
4. Our Blessed Lord declares, that he shall raise the Dead' at the Day of Judgment. This is the will of him that sent mé, that every one which feetb the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the bast day, John 6.40. Whoso eateth my flesh, anil drinketh my blood, batb eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day, v.54. This indeed shews, that he should at that time fully exercise that Power, which he exercis'd in some measure whilft upon Earth, and which his Disciples also exercis'd by the Aldistance of God. But the Disciples could not from thence conclude, that he actually was more than Man at the time when he foretold this Instance of his Spiritual Goverment. They could not but conclude, chat he fhould be then much greater than he appear'd at that Instant of his speaking ; but they could not conclude, that at the Instant of his speaking he had a Divine Nature. * Hitherto I have been considering such Declarations of our Lord, as might have been strictly true, and consequently might (had God pleas'd) have been 'made by him, even tho? he had been nothing more than a mere Man conducted and affifted by God's Spirit, and had not had a Divine Nature perfonally united to his Manhood. I proceed now to fome Declarations of a different kind. First, he
forecets his receiving of Religious Worship, saying, The Father judgetb no man, but batb committed all judga ment unto ibe Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they bonour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honourerb not the Father wvbicb bath sent bim, John s. 22, 23. Secondly, he foretels his Presence with his Disciples even after his Ascension, saying, Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, Matt. 18.20. Thirdly, he assures them, that he would answer their Prayers, saying; Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Fair ther may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it, John 14. 13, 14. Now, because the great Mystery of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures is so fully reveld to us in the Holy Scriptures; therefore we justly infer, that the Truth of these Declarations is built upon that Union, and the meaning of them is very clear and intelligible to us, by reason of that Discovery. And accordingly I grant, that the aforesaid Declarations (and perhaps there may be others, of the same sort) did hint and imply our Lord's having a Divine Nature.
But yet it does not follow from hence, that the Disciples did, during his. Ministry, believe him to be more than a mere Man conducted and affifted by God's Spirit. For how does it appear, that they took the aforesaid Hints, that they apprehended what was imply'd, or understood those surprizing Speeches ? 'Tis certain, they were very ofeen at a Loss, and knew not what to make of their Master's Sayings. They perceiv'd not the Mean . ing of them, when they were deliver'd ; tho' they perceivd it afterwards, particularly when the Spirit was poured on them. Thus we are expresly told, that they understood not what he spake con
cerning his Death and Resurrection (which Matters were certainly more obvious to their Understandings, and more level to their Capacities, than his having a Divine Nature) till after his Sufferings were accomplish's, Mark 2. 32. Luke 9.45. and 18. 34. John 2. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. Somecimes they were afraid to ask for Interpretations ; ac other times our Savior did not give them ; and indeed they were not qualify'd, during his Ministry, for the Reception of many sublime Doctrins, which fhould in due time be declar'd. You well know these remarkable Words of Christ, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How beit, when be the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth, John 16. 12, 13. No wonder then, that they did not for the present apprehend our Lord's having a Divine Nature, which is certainly the greatest Mystery of our Religion, and what they would least of all suspect, and most of all be fhockt at. Nay, 'tis absurd for us to imagin, that they believ'd this astonishing Article of Faith during Christ's Ministry, without undeniable Evidence of their believing it ; which I dare say, no Man in his Wits will pretend. But when the Comforter was come, they throughly understood what they had formerly no tolerable Notions of. For the Spirit refresh'd their Memories at the same time that he enlighten'd their Understandings. For our Lord said, These things have I spoken unto you, bring yet prefent with
you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, be shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I bave said unto you, John 14. 25, 26. So that by comparing his Discourses with the Events, they perfe&ly comprehended them;
and accordingly they might well know and bolieve, that their Mafter had a Divine Nature.
I must add, that if they had believ'd him to have had a Divine Nature during the time of his MiniItry ; 'tis utterly unconceivable, that there should be no clear Indication of it in Scripture. The Belief of that one Proposition could not but have difcover'd it self numberless Ways in the whole Course of their Actions. It must have forced from them some open Acknowledgments and Expressions of that Belief. It must have led them into a quite different Conduct from that which the whole Hiftory of the Gospels discovers to us. And yet there is not the slightest Intimation of this Nature. Wherefore, tho 'tis sufficient for my Purpose, that we have no Evidence to the contrary : yet I can's but esteem this fingle Confideration (viz. the Silence of Scripture in so Momentous a Part of Sa. cred Hiftory) a plain and positive Demonstration of what I have been proving, viz. that during the Time of our Savior's Ministry, his Disciples did not believe him to be more than a mere Man con ducted and affifted by the Spirit of God.
I must how intreat your Patience, whilft I disparch three Particulars, which some Persons, less learned than your self, may poffibly stumble at, or raise Objections from.
1. St. John the Baptist said of Christ during his Ministry, He is above all, John 3. 31. and again, The Father loveth the Son, and bath given all things into his band, v. 35. Now if any Man should imagin, that the Baprift thereby discover'd Christ's Divine Na. ture and consequently Christ's Disciples might perhaps believe it, even during his Ministry; I answer, 1.That if the Baptift's Expressions did certainly imply, that Chrift" had a Divine Nature; yet how
shall it appear, that Christ's. Disciples reach'd the full Meaning of them? Why must they be suppos'd to understand the Depth of the Baptist's Discourses, better than they did those of their own Ma. ster? But, 2. The Baptist's Expressions did by no means imply, that Christ had a Divine Nature. For doubtless the Man Christ Jesus was, even during his Ministry, superior to all other Prophets, to whom the Baptist's Words must necessarily be restrain'd, if understood in the then Present Tense. But I am persuaded, that they ought to be understood in the then Future Tense, so as to denote the then future Exaltation of the Man Christ Jesus. Thus when St. Paul says in the Present Tense, The beir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a fervant, werd vertas av, tbo’ be be lord of all, Gal. 4. 1. he must necessarily be understood in a Future Tenfe. For the Heir is for the present Lord of all, no otherwise than by the Designation of his Father and shall not be actually Lord of all, till he enjoys the Inheritance. And accordingly the Baptist said in the then Future Tense, he (Christ) is above all meaning that he should most certainly be so at the Time of his Exaltation, which tho’he was not at that time actually possessid of, yet he should infalliby receive of his Father ; of whom the Baptist also said, he bath given all things into his band, that is, he hath absolutely determin’d so to do. For that our Lord did not actually exercise all Power both in Heaven and in Earth, till after his Ascension, every, body knows.
42. St. John the Evangelist says, Quòv štis id egne Time. A gove-pens ug, ở ổy 6 + xéAUy ở Teless , wave SEnyhouto, that is, according to our Translation, No man bath seen God at any time ; the only begotten Son, which is in the bofom of the Father, he baih declar'd him,