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It is pleaded, that it is not possible for a finite being to have such universal knowledge of the hearts and ways of men, as is ascribed to Jesus Christ, and which, as head and ruler of the church and world, he ought to have, and therefore he is infinite God.
Answer. I am pretty sure it can never be demonstrated, that it exceeds a finite capacity to know the concerns of all on this earth, when the enlarged understanding is assisted in the highest manner by divine influence and revelation. The reason is, because the object is finite ; and I challenge any man to shew me, how it can be impossible for a finite capacity to comprehend a finite object, as this world is, and would be, though it were ten thousand times greater than it is ? I am satisfied this can never be demonstrated to imply any contradiction in it; and that all such imaginations concerning it proceed chiefly from too high a conceit of man, and too low apprehension of the infinite God; as if the distance between these two were so small, that there could not be one made of a capacity so much above men, as to be commensurate to them all, but presently he must be the most high God; as though that supreme Being could not produce one, who should be a thousand times beyond all this earth and its inhabitants, and yet be infinitely below himself. Methinks, if the sun was but an intelligent creature, and could diffuse his intellectual influences as he does his natural, could but see and understand with his beams and secret influences, it is easy to imagine what a penetrating and comprehensive knowledge he might have; but we may entertain much greater thoughts of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ.
And I conceive a strong argument to prove Jesus Christ, as man, capable of such deep and extensive knowledge, may be drawn from the offices of dignity and power conferred on him by God. For God has
given to him to be head over all things." Eph. i. 22. “ He has given or committed to him all judgment;" and that as the “Son of man.” Joh. v. 22. 27. In short, his kingly office, by which he rules over all the world, and takes special care of all his members, as it necessarily supposes his knowledge of the whole estate of his church, and every member of it, as far as is necessary for the discharge of that trust; so I think it undeniably proves this large knowledge to be exercised by him as man, however he gains it.
For since this office and power is given, it cannot terminate in the divine nature ; for who can give to God any dignity or power, who has all originally in his own being ? It must then be given to the man, or human nature only. And if the man Christ Jesus sustains this office, and be invested with this kingly power, even with all power in heaven and earth; then as man we cannot deny him to be suitably qualified for it with all requisite abilities, lest we reproach God, as calling one to an employment, who is not fitted for it, or himself in assuming a trust, which he is not able to discharge. Besides, unless his human nature can
execute this power, it cannot be said to be given to it; for a power, which cannot be exerted, or is impossible to be executed, is not given nor received, any more than a commission, or grant to a stock or a tree, to bear rule, not over the other trees, as in Jotham's apologue, but over a nation, or to command an army. It is no gift at all, if this were the case, that the man Christ Jesus be utterly incapable of the office and government lodged in him.
If it be said, that though the office and delegated authority be committed to the human, yet it is only executed by the divine nature in Christ; I answer, it is most unreasonable to suppose this trust committed to the man Christ, who must at last deliver it up; and yet the management of it belongs only to another being. How can he be commended for being “ faithful over the house of God, to him who appointed or constituted him," when it is not expected he should execute his office? I grant, indeed, that his kingly office is executed by the assistance of God, as he exerts his divine power and wisdorn through the human nature of Christ, and communicates of them in all fulness to him, in whom it dwells ; but to say, that the man Christ does not exercise his kingly universal power, but that his divine nature, (supposing it,) does solely and immediately execute the office given to him as man or mediator, (for to God can nothing be given,) is, in my mind, a most gross absurdity ; for it is to say, that God officiates for man, in execution of a de
leguied or subordinate authority; or that he acts unjer the authority, and in the name of a creature. which is not meet to be said of the supreme God. It remains, therefore, that as Christ's universal kingdom and headship is by gist from God, of which only the man Christ is the receiver, committed as a trust to him, so he certainly wants no ability to execute the trust in the nature entrusted with it; I say, no abilitv. whether of power or knowledge, sufficient to render him a careful, vigorous, and every way most effectuat head of his body, and ruler of the world ; and to den this, is to rob him of his greatest glory.
Besides, what benefit or gift is it to the man Chr. that the divine nature should execute a power it alwnys had, and could exercise without any git! him? What reward, or what addition was th:him ?
Another argument may be drawn from that c: fortable ground of confidence in a Christian's add: to God, which the Scripture lays down, viz. the sy pathising compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ tou: his distressed servants, arising from his own sufferi when on earth, “Seeing we have not an high pri who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infir'. ties, but was in all points teinpted as we are; let therefere come boldly to the throne of grace.” H iv. 15, 16. Christ's having been tried with sufferii makes him a more compassionate earnest advocate
and this is our comfort.
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