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legated or subordinate authority ; or that he acts under 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 gift 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 ability, whether of power or knowledge, sufficient to render him a careful, vigorous, and every way most effectual head of his body, and ruler of the world; and to deny this, is to rob him of his greatest glory.
Besides, what benefit or gift is it to the man Christ, that the divine nature should execute a power which it always had, and could exercise without any gift to him ?
ward, or what addition was this to him ?
Another argument may be drawn from that comfortable ground of confidence in a Christian's address to God, which the Scripture lays down, viz. the sympathising compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ towards his distressed servants, arising from his own sufferings when on earth, " Seeing we have not an high priest, who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are; let us therefere come boldly to the throne of grace.” Heb. iv. 15, 16. Christ's having been tried with sufferings makes him a more compassionate earnest advocate for us; and this is our comfort.
Now it is certain, this compassion arising from his own experience of trouble, can belong to none but bis human nature ; the divine nature is compassionate, not for this reason, because it was tempted or grieved with misery. No, it was only the man Christ suffered, and consequently feels a sympathy from hence with his distressed servants. And it is most certain, that if he sympathises with them in their troubles, he must then know them in that nature which only has a fellow feeling of them; for none can sympathise with the miseries of others, which he knows not of. So that they, who deny Christ's human nature to be capable of the knowledge of all our miseries, do, in effect, deny him to be such a compassionate advocate as the Scripture represents him, and rob us of this strong ground of consolation and hope in our approaches to God, which the Apostle would have us to build on.
And this doctrine has been so far from appearing either impossible or absurd to the reason of mankind, that I might produce the consent of a very great number of learned men, even among them who oppose my other opinions. The Lutherans allow the man Christ a sort of universal knowledge, as well as universal presence, which they plead for. The schoolmen, both Thomists and Scotists, allow him universal knowledge, though they differ in their way of explaining it.
And there was a time in the sixth century, when in the christian church some were branded with Heresy, under the name of Agnoetæ, who held Christ was ignorant of anything, which I conceive must have been in relation to his human nature; for those persons owned him to have a divine nature, and it is hard to imagine they could attribute ignorance to that. But waving that matter, which is disputed, it is enough for my purpose to prove what sense the christian church then had of Christ's extensive knowledge, as man; that they who wrote against those heretics do expressly deny any ignorance in Christ as man. For this we may produce two famous patriarchs of the ehristian church at that time, Eulogius of Alexandria, and Gregory of Rome; those heretics produced for their opinion Christ's words, that he knew not the time of the last judgment, as an instance of his ignorance. To this the former person says, that he was not ignorant of it, not as man, and much less as God. The latter says, In natura quidem humanitatis novisse, sed non ex natura humanitatis. He knew it with the human nature, but that knowledge did not rise from the humanity ; which is what I maintain as to the knowledge I attribute to him, but not extending it so far as to all futurities, which they did.
And I find not a few of the modern reformed divines, who, when out of this dispute, speak agreeable to this, and are far from thinking it idolatry to ascribe as much knowledge as I have done, to the man Christ. Thus the reverend Mr Baxter, in his notes on Eph. iv. 16, plainly intimates, that he conceives an angel might be made capable of ruling the universal church on earth by legislation, judgment, and execution;
for having said this task was impossible to any power but divine, he corrects himself, by adding, or angelical at least; and sure the man Christ's ability is far superior to angels ; besides that he has them ministering to him, and giving him notice of matters if there be any occasion; for he has seven principal spirits, who are the
eyes of the Lamb sent forth through all the earth,” as the same author interprets, Rev. v. 6.
So the author of the little book, called, The Future State, the same who wrote the Good Samaritan, a worthy Divine of the church of England, says many things very rational concerning the large extent of Christ's human knowledge ; that probably, “ he can as easily inspect the whole globe of this earth, and the heavens that compass it, as we can view a globe of an inch diameter !" p. 46, 47. " That he intercedes as man; and can he intercede in a case which he knows not?" So again, p. 150. The like says Limborch in his Theol. Christ. lib. 5. c. 18.
Let me add only the testimony of Dr Thomas Goodwin, who was never I suppose censured for an Idolater among Dissenters; and yet it is scarce possible that I should attribute greater knowledge to the man Jesus Christ than he. See his “ Select Cases," Part III, where he says, the “human understandi of Christ takes in all occurrences which concern church. And that as he said, All power in heav and earth is given me of my Father ; so mi
say, all knowledge in heaven and earth is given me, that his beams pierce into every corner, that he knows the sore of every heart. And concludes with these remarkable words, “ that as a looking glass wrought in the form of a globe, represents the images of all that is in the rooin, so the enlarged human understanding of Christ takes in all things in heaven and earth at once.” It seems these men did not take it to be the peculiar perfection of the divine nature to know the hearts, so as that no creature could partake of it by divine assistance and revelation.
Indeed, as to the manner of knowing the heart, we cannot tell how the inhabitants of the other world have access to our minds, or to each other's; but without doubt, Jesus Christ, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, has more proper abilities for penetration, as well as more revelation from God, and more capacity for receiving and treasuring it up, than all others. In short, it is evident, Christ as man is the great administrator of God's providential kingdom ; as man he must judge the whole world, which implies vast and universal knowledge. John v. 27. Acts xvii. 31. Who then
that the man Christ Jesus has not a knowledge as large as this narrow earth, or “as the sand by the sea shore,” without any hyperbole? I think it is beyond all reasonable doubt; and as this doctrine has appeared rational enough, and escaped all censure, as far as I know, when delivered by others than the U. rians; so I hope it must not be counted heretic