Page images
PDF
EPUB

For, because we receive all our Knowledge from our Eyes and Ears, therefore Christ speaking of the Execution of his Prophetick Office, useth these Metaphors, declaring, that he Spake and testified what he had seen, Chap.3. 11. what he had seen with the Father, Chap. 8. 38. And, fo the Baptift saith, What he hath seen, he'teftifieth : And again, that he spake what he had heard from the Father, Chap. 8. 26, 49.----15. 15. And because they who teach or declare things, do by that shew them to us ; therefore Christ useth this Metaphor here, and faith, Chap. 8.28. I do nothing of my self; but as my Father hath taught me, fo I speak. And again, Chap. 12. 49, 5o. I have spoken nothing of my self, but as the Father who sent me, gave me commandment what I should say and speak; the things therefore which I speak, as the Father said to me, fo I speak. Now that he spake this with refpect to the Spirit of Propbely, with which he was anointed, and by the Father sent to preach the Gospel to the Poor, &c. Luke 4. i8. the Baptist teacheth in these Words, What he hath seen and heard, that he teftifieth; for he whom God hath sent, speakech the words of God; for the Father giveth not him the Spirit by measure, Chap. 3. 23, 24. And he himself intimates by saying, Chap. 14. 10. The words that I speak to you, I speak not of my self; the Father abiding in me, he doth the works. Thus far Dr. Whitby.

Wherefore the Son's doing whatsoever the Father did, was no Discovery of his being more than a Man conducted and affitted by the Spirit. Especially if it be consider'd, that as general as this Expression is concerning the Son's Works, yet the Son never did any sort of Works during his Humiliation, which his Disciples did not also at some time or other perform. And consequently it might be truly said of his Disciples, that whatsoever God

I

did,

[ocr errors]

did, they did the same. And yet 'cis plain, that the Disciples were not more than mere Men, but only had the Affiftance and Guidance of a Divine Power.

6. Our Lord affirm'd himself to be greater than the Temple, Matt. 12. 6. and Lord of the Sabbath, v. 8. And thus the Disciples might well think of him, because he was the greatest of Prophets, and the Son of God; even tho' they had not the least Suspicion of his being God-Man.

Thirdly, With respect to what was then future,

1. Our Lord affirms, that he barb 'life in himself, even as the Father barb. But let us read the Context. Verily, verily 1 say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, wben the dead shall bear the voice of the Son of God: and tbey that bear, Mall live. For the Farber bath Life in himself: sobath be given to the Son to bave life in bimself, John's. 25, 26. You see, our Savior proves, that the Son shall raise the Dead at the last great Day ; because the Father hath given to the Son to have Life in himself, as the Father also hath. So that to bave Life in bimself, manifestly signifies to have a Power of raising the Dead. But since he declares, that he should raise the Dead by his Father's Power ; 'is certain, that he did not thereby declare himself to be more than Man. For a mere Man assisted by the Spirit might also raise the Dead ; as the Apostles themselves did.

2. Our Lord says, All things that the Father bath, are mine, John 16.15. For the Explication of these Words, I shall recite two parallel Texts. All things are delivered unto me of my Father, Matt. 11. 27. The Father loveth the Son, and bath given all things into his band, John 3. 35. The Meaning plainly is, that God has given the Son all manner of Power and Authori. ty to direct and govern the Church. Chrift is speak

[ocr errors]

1

1

ing of the Spirit's Descent to instruct his Disciples
fully, and to guide them into all Truth; and tels
them, that be shall not speak of himself : but whatsoever
be shall bear, that he shall Speak, and he will shew. you
things to come, v. 12. 13. adding, He shall glorify me:
for, he shall receive of mine, and be shall shew it unto you,
V. 14. That is, I will send the Spirit to revele
to you whatsoever it shall be fit for you to hear
concerning me and my Kingdom. This will there-
fore tend to my Glory; because he shall act as sent
by me, and deliver my Messages. And, that you
may not doubt of my being able to perform this
Promise, I assure you, that I am fully empower'd
to send the Spirit. For the Father has committed
to me all Power and Authority relating to the
Church ; and therefore what the Spirit shall do in
that respect, will be perform'd by him as sent by
me for that Purpose. But how did this discover to
the Disciples, that Christ was at that time more
than a ManHe foretels indeed what he should
certainly be able to do; and he speaks of the same
in the Present Tense, to denote the Certainty of it,
as the Jewifh Manner was; and all this he ascribes
to the good Pleasure of his Father, from whom he
should receive fuch wonderful Abilities, at the
time of his Exaltation, which he frequently prophe-
lied of. And this he might well say to them, with-
out causing them to believe, that he was at chac
time any thing more than a Man conducted and
assisted by that very Spirit, which he himself should
afterwards pour forth upon his Disciples.

3. Our Savior speaking of the Persecutions of his
Disciples after his Exaltation, bids them not be fol-
licitous about making their Defenses, saying, Settle
it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before, what ye
Shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom,

I 2

which

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 , 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

foretels

[ocr errors]

foretels his receiving of Religious Worship, saying, The Father judgeth no man, but bath committed all judg= ment unto the Son : That all men should honour the song even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, bonoureth not the Father which hath sent him, John 9:22, 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 mére 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 often 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 perceiv'd it afterwards, particularly when the Spirit was poured on them. Thus we are expresly. told, that they understood not what he spake con

I 3

cerning

« PreviousContinue »