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Father, it must be understood that he did know the day of judgement, originally, and absolutely. But this will not answer his purpose; for upon this construction the Holy Ghost stands excluded from that knowledge, as well as the supposed divine Logos.-Thus fares this new way of arriving at simplicity, by mixing up together ingredients of heterogeneous, and discordant natures; of explaining not only without, but against all authority the word 'knoweth' (ordev),—which is a single word, conveying a plain and simple meaning, which every one instantly understands,-by introducing the long and complex circumlocution of having a commission to make known, which gives a meaning totally different, a meaning which no one annexes to the word actually employed. He afterwards proceeds to state more directly, that the Son did not know the day of judgement in his official character, as the commissioned ambassador of Heaven to men, that it formed no part of the divine communications to him in that character;-as if this could be our blessed Lord's meaning, when he said positively, that he did not know it; a mode of construction which might have been expected from some of the ancient Popish writers in the tenth or the eleventh century, when equivocation and mental reservation were considered lawful and right to effect good purposes; but which is unworthy of the age in which we live, and of the character of our blessed Lord, whose followers we are, degrading him to a supposed resemblance with a mere
diplomatist, a character which has never been thought very favourably of in any age for sincerity and plain dealing. Should it be held, however, that persons of this description are licensed sometimes to do, and say, what honest men, in other classes of society, would be disgraced by, I am much inclined to think notwithstanding, that if an ambassador in the present day were voluntarily, and deliberately, to affirm that he did not know a thing, which it should afterwards clearly appear he did know, his reputation would not stand very high afterwards, and would be in still worse odour, if he should attempt to excuse himself by saying, that he did not know it in his official character. In the present instance there does not seem to have been any occasion, any motive whatever, for our Lord to say he did not know it, if he did. It would have been quite sufficient for him to have said, That day is a secret, which you are not at present to be informed of. In no part of his conduct is there any appearance of this double dealing, of expressing himself absolutely, and at the same time meaning to speak, sometimes in one character, and sometimes in another, without informing his hearers in which, or even intimating that he appeared in two characters, or was addressing them in a particular character only, that is, in a different sense from that which his words imported. This is nearly the same thing as the supposition that he spoke of himself in his supposed different natures, and sometimes is to be understood as speaking of himself in
his human nature, and sometimes in his divine nature, without ever informing us in which, but leaving us to find it out in the best manner we can. But if he ever in reality spoke of himself by parts, or in different natures, in this very extraordinary way,-how is it, that when he speaks of doing things, which his human nature could not perform, he never alludes to his divine nature? If both were united in him, and both necessary to enable him to perform certain parts of his mission, it was as natural for him to speak of the one as of the other; and more particularly to speak of the divine nature, when the subject matter was such, as to be beyond the powers of the human nature: but we never meet with a single instance of this kind. On the contrary, he invariably ascribes all his miraculous works to the power of the Father, and the divine nature appears to have done nothing whatever. What then was its use, and what was there done which the power of the Father only, dwelling in the human nature, could not, and did not, actually accomplish?
The trinitarians say, that a mere man could not execute the office of universal judge at the day of judgement-and in this the unitarians agree with them; but the former are inclined to go one step further, and to suppose, that a man qualified and assisted by the Father could not execute it. If this be the If this be the case, it must be the supposed divine nature of Jesus Christ, that will qualify and enable him to perform this mighty work;
and it would be natural to allude to it for this purpose, whenever the subject was started; but no such thing ever appears. On the contrary, his human nature, and his human nature only, is alluded to on this occasion. It is never said that he is appointed to this office, because he has a divine nature, because he is the divine Logos, or because he is the second person in the Trinity; but, as he says himself, because he is the son of man: and the apostle Paul says, (Acts xvii. 30,31,) that "God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead;" speaking of him as one who had been a man, a mortal man, who like other men had died, and who, though then raised from the dead, was still a man, though in a glorified state: and not alluding, in the most distant manner, to his being any thing
The learned writer I have lately mentioned invites his readers to apply, if they think fit, the words absurd' and 'impossible' to the doctrine that God could make our Lord, supposing him to have been a man like ourselves, the future judge of the whole human The learned writer was too wary a polemic to make the assertion himself in direct terms, and therefore only insinuates it; but as it is possible that some one may feel disposed to accept the invitation which his ingenious author has so cautiously held out, and,
with a more adventurous spirit, hazard the assertion, that the almighty God cannot qualify one of his creatures to perform the office of supreme judge, upon this great occasion, because, as he conceives, it would be necessary for him to be acquainted with all their thoughts, words, and actions, together with all the springs, motives, and circumstances which have influenced them,-I shall take the liberty of making a few observations upon this subject, as these considerations may be thought calculated at first view to make some impression, at least upon those who have not been accustomed to such speculations.
It is a common thing for writers of this description to allege, that a mere man cannot do this, and a mere man cannot do that; but they well know that this is not the true question,-but what GOD, who is omnipotent and omniscient, can empower and enable one of the human race to perform. A mere man, we well know, cannot raise the dead; and yet both Elijah and Elisha, when commissioned, and enabled, by the Most High, did this under the old dispensation; and both Peter and Paul, under the new. A mere man cannot know the heart, or the thoughts, of any other man; and yet one of the highly-favoured prophets whom I have just mentioned, was empowered to know the heart, and the thoughts, of his servant Gehazi, when at a distance from him; and also to know whatever the king of Syria did, even in his bedchamber. The same great Being who thus enabled