« PreviousContinue »
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 Capa-city ; 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.
time so conducted and affifted by the Holy Spirit, as no other Man ever was or shall be.
You urge indeed, that tho'this is true, yet ’tis of no great Moment ; for what Wonder is it, that God should be greater than a Man? I will therefore consider each Branch of this Plea. 1. Could not the Man Christ Jesus affirm this, because it is no Wonder ? His own Practice answers the Question. He had said before, My sheep bear my voice, and I know them; and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my band. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's band, John 10. 27, 28, 29. I would fain know, whom he meant by the all and the none. He could not mean any thing greater than the Devil or wicked Men. Was it therefore any Wonder, that God should be greater than the Devil or wicked Men? And why might not the Man Christ Jesus, who was at that very time able by he Spirit's Aflistance to vanquish even Devils, as well say, My Father is greater than I; as he did unquestionably declare, that the Father is greater than the Devil or wicked Men, when he said, My Father is greater than all, &c. ? But, 2. could not the Man Chrift Jefus affirm this, because 'tis of no great Moment? Surely 'tis sufficient, if 'twas pertinent ; which can't be queftion'd. The truth is, this or any other known Maxim is always of great Moment to the Speaker, when it enforces an Argument for a Religious Practice; as even the most common and obvious Truths very often do. And accordingly, Elibu, whose Discourse you will not call flat or insipid, apply'd this very Maxim, saying, Behold, in in this thou art not just : 'I will answer thee, that God is greater than man, Job 33. 12.
: I confefs, had our Lord uttered these Words, My
Father is greater than I, as some wonderful Secrec ; and offer å it to his Disciples as a great Discovery, that God was greater than a Man: your Objection had been well grounded. But that can't be pretended. He only used that felfevident Proposition, as a Medium to prove something of great Consequence. He said, Ye bate beard, bow I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice ; because I said, I go unto the Father. For my Father is greater than I. The Father's being greater than the Man Christ Jesus; few'd, that the Man Christ Jesus would be much advantaged by going to the Father. And therefore, if they loved their Master, viz. the Man Christ Jesus, they would rejoice at his going to the Father. Because he that loves another, will prefer the Increase of that Person's Happiness to his own present Satisfa&ion. You see therefore, that this Saying was really of great Moment. For 'twas the Foundation of our Savior's Argument, by which he evinced to his Disciples, how it became them to act in those Circumstances.
4. Our Lord is frequently represented during his Ministry, as inferior to the Father or Very God. For-Initance, And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father bath appointed unto me, Luke 22. 29. The Father loveth the Son, and bath given all things into bis band, John 3. 35. For the Father judgeth no man; but batb committed all judgment unto the Son, John s. 22. I can of mine own self do nothing : as I bear, I judge: and my judgment is just ; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father that sent me, John 5. 30. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Fatber, ge would love me : for I proceeded fortb, and came from God; neither came 1 of my felf, but be sent me, John 6. 42. : Jefsu
knowing that the Father bad given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God, John 13. 3. For the Fatber himself loveth you, because ge bave loved me; and have believed
that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father, John 16. 27, 28. And this is life eternal, tbat they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou haft fent John 17.3. But these or the like Passages can create no Diffiulty. For it can't be concluded from them; that the WORD, or Divine Nature of our Lord Jesus Christ, is inferior to the Very God; Because the WORD being then quiescent, they relate merely to the Man Christ Jesus.
s. Tho'our Lord is frequently represented, after not only his Ministry, but even his Ascension and Glorification, as inferior to the Father or Very God: yet 'will plainly appear, that none of those Passages in which he is thus represented, can prove, that the WORD, or our Savior's. Divine Nature, is inferior to the Father or the Very God, if the following Particular's be considered.
First, Our Lord is expresly ftiled, even after his Ascension and Glorification, sometimes simply God; and sometimes fimply Man. You own, that he is fimply stiled God, Heb. 1. 8, where the Author of that Épistle applys to him that Passage of the Pfalmift, Thy throne, o God, is for ever and &c. and he is simply styled Man, 1 Tim, 2. $: where the Apaffle assures us, that there is one God, and one medi. ator between God and Men, the man Christ Jesus.
Secondly, As he is exprefly ftiled Man, even after his Ascension and Glorification, fo is he also called by other Names, which belong to his Human Nature. Particularly, I. He is called Jesus, which is the Greek for Foshuah, à common Name of a Man