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upon Psal. xliv. otherwise xlv.s. All the Father's grace was
poured out upon the beloved: for it was the Father that . spake in him.
And upon Ps. Ixxi. or lxxii. ver. 1, he says: This righteousness of the Father was given to the king's son, of the seed of David, according to the flesh; in whom, as in a * temple, dwelt the word, and wisdom, and righteousness of • God.'
And upon Ps. xcv. or xcvi. referring to Isa. Ixi. 1, and Luke iv. 18, Showing,' says he,' that his was not a bodily • anointing, like that of others; but that he was anointed with • the spirit of the Father's deity, and therefore called Christ.'
Theodoret, who deserves to be consulted also upon Col. i. 9, 10, in his commentary upon Isa. xi. 2, expresseth himself after this manner. .• And the Spirit of the Lord shall ' rest upon him.” Every one of the prophets had a par
ticular gift. But in him " dwelt all the fulness of the . Godhead bodily.” And as man he had all the gifts of the
spirit. And out of his fulness, as the blessed John says, ! we have all received.' - And, says Pelagius upon Col. i. 19, In others,' that is, • apostles, patriarchs, and prophets, there was some par* ticular gift. But in Christ the whole divinity dwelt bodily or summarily.
Secondly, I suppose that this fulness of the Deity is the same with what is said of our Saviour in other expressions, in many texts of scripture.
As St. John says at the beginning of his gospel, the word, the wisdom, the power of God dwelt in him, and he was * full of grace and truth.” And, as John the Baptist said : * God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." And, as St. Peter said just now,
“ God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost, and with power.” All speaking agreeably to what is foretold, Isa. xi. 2, 3, “ And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the
8 Επει δε το αγαπητη πασα η πατρικη εις αυτον εκενωθη χαρις ην γαρ Πατηρ λαλων εν Υιω. Ιn. Ps, p. 188. D.
ψ κατώκησε, ώσπερ εν ναφο τ8 θεολογος, και η σοφια και δικαιοσυνη. In Ps. 1xxi. p. 404. Β.
Το δε πνευματι της πατρικης θεοτητος κεχρισμενον, και δια τατο Χρισον avnyopevuevov. In Ps. xcv. p. 634. E.
μεν γαρ προφητων εκατος μερίκην τινα εδεξατο χαριν εν αυτω δε κατώκησε παν το πληρωμα της θεοτητος σωματικως και κατα το ανθρωπινον δε παντα εεπε τα χαρισματα. κ. λ. In Es. cap. xi. tom. ΙΙ. p. 52.
I In aliis, hoc est, apostolis, patriarchis, vel prophetis, gratia fuit ex parte. In Christo autem tota Divinitas habitabat corporaliter, quasi dicas, summaliter. Pelag. ap. Hieron. T. V. p. 1070.
spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord," and what follows.
And this method of interpretation is much confirmed by the excellent passages of divers ancient writers just quoted.
Thirdly, I presume not to say when, or how our blessed Saviour was is filled with all the fulness of the Godhead." I observe a few things only.
It was foretold of John the Baptist, that “ he should be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb," Luke i. 15. Which may have been true of our Lord likewise. However St. Luke observes in his history, after Joseph had returned to Nazareth in Galilee, ch. ii. 40, " And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom. And
him.” Afterwards, giving an account of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Jerusalem at a passover, when Jesus was twelve years of age, he says, “ the child Jesus tarried behind them in Jerusalem," and seeking him, " they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him, were astonished at bis understanding and answers,” ver. 41 -47. It is added afterwards at ver. 52, “ And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
Moreover all the first three evangelists, in their history of our Lord's baptism, say, that “ the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him.” Matt. iii. 16, “ And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water. And lo the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the spirit of God descending from heaven, and lighting upon him.” See likewise Mark i. 10, 11; Luke iii. 21, 22; and Luke iv. 1, presently after his baptism. “ And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, was led by the spirit into the wilderness.” And again, when the temptation was over, the evangelist says, ver. 14, “ And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit into Galilee.” And in St. John's gospel, eb. i. ver. 32, 33, " And John bare record, saying ; I saw the spirit descending from heaven like a dove. And it abode upon him.” And what follows.
I close up these observations in the words of bishop Pearson, upon the second article of the creed,'p. 99, So our Jesus, the son of David, was first sanctified, and sanointed with the Holy Ghost at bis conception, and there
by received a right unto, and was prepared for, all those • offices which belonged to the Redeemer of the worla. • But when he was to enter upon the actual and full për
• formance of all those functions which belonged to him; • then does the same spirit, which had sanctified him at his
conception, visibly descend upon him at his inaugura• tion.'
And afterwards, at p. 104, summing up what had been before largely said: “I believe in Jesus Christ." That • is, I do assent to this, as a certain truth, that there was a
man promised by God, and foretold by the prophets, to • be the Messiah, the Redeemer of Israel, and the expecta• tion of the nations. I am fully assured by all those pre• dictions, that the Messiah so promised is already come. I . am as certainly persuaded, that the man born in the days • of Herod of the virgin Mary, by an angel from heaven • called Jesus, is the true Messiah, so long, and so often promised: that, as the Messiah, he was anointed to three special offices belonging to him, as the mediator between • God and man; prophet —priest—and king. I believe • this unction, by which he became the true Messiah, was ' not performed by any material oil, but by the spirit of • God, wbich he received as the head, and conveys to his • members.'
Lett. vii. p. 135, or 484, . And now, my lord, let any one judge whether this temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, looks as if Satan thought the divine spirit, that was inti• mately united to the humanity of Jesus, was that of the supreme God? And can any one think, that a being, endowed with so much power, (should it not be knowledge ?] as Satan manifestly was, did not know whether Jesus was *the supreme God or not?'
This is brought in with an air of much triumph. But may I not ask, Did not Satan know that Jesus Christ was his creator, under God the Father? For this learned writer argues, p. 78, 79, or 441, 442, that all things were made by Christ, and consequently Satan himself; however, I choose not to multiply words in exposing this observation, as founded in the author's wrong scheme.
The truth of the case is this. Jesus had been baptized by John. At which tiine he was publicly declared to be the expected Messiah. He also received abundant qualifications for discharging the high office into which he was inaugurated. Soon after which Satan attempted to surprise him by divers temptations. “ When he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said : If thou be the Son of God, [that is, if indeed thou art the Christ,] command that these stones be made bread.” Afterwards,
“ taking him into the holy city, he setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him; If thou be the Son of God, [that is, if indeed thou art the Messiah,] cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” And what follows. Matt. ch. iv. And are not all these insidious proposals made to our Saviour, as man?
The learned author having taken notice of the transaction in the garden, goes on.
Lett. vii. p. 136, 137, or 485, 486, • Here then we poor mortals are at a stand, being at a loss * to know, how it is possible for one spirit so to torment • another, as to put Jesus into such an agony as is above • transcribed, from the very apprehensions of what he was * to undergo. If he were to suffer NOTHING but what is WRITTEN concerning his scoffs, and scourgings, and cru
cifixion, and, we may add, all the sufferings and tortures • which his buman nature could possibly undergo : these surely could never have moved him in so high a degree; being only such sufferings as the prophets of old under• went, not only without dread, but with pleasure in their countenance. Heb. xi. 35, 36.
• Whoever therefore can suppose Jesus to have been ter• rified at these things, which could only affect his human ' part, must suppose him to be less than a inan.
Whereas, • IF WE SUPPOSE SATAN LET LOOSE UPON Him, by the per• mission of God, and empowered to attack him in his nobler * part, in his angelic nature, while his divine Spirit, being
encumbered with the load of flesh and blood, and fettered • and confined within the compass of an human tabernacle, • was disabled from exerting its full powers; well might • he dread the conflict on such unequal terms.
" AND IF NOTHING IS DESCRIBED TO US IN THE SCRIP, TURES, BUT HIS SUFFERINGS IN THE FLESH, this we ought • to conclude was done in condescension to our understand. *ings, which are unable to comprehend, or have any notion • of his inward sufferings; and for the same reason it was, that any outward sufferings were inflicted on him at all.
Which being in their own nature insignificant and trilling, • could not possibly be any trial of his obedience; but were • inflicted on him by God for us, and for our sake. Who
in compassion to our ignorance and infirmities, was pleased ' to appoint some of his sufferings to be such, as were within • the reach of our capacities to comprehend.
Does not all this show the great inconvenience, and vast disadvantage of that opinion, which supposes, that a spirit
of a superior order to the human soul animated our Saviour's body?
I think, that the incongruity of this has been fully shown in the preceding letter; and that if such a thing were practicable, that exalted spirit would swallow up the body, and sustain it above all pains, wants, and infirmities. But it is manifest from the gospels, and every book of the New Testament, that our Saviour had all the innocent infirmities of the human nature. Therefore the before-mentioned doctrine is not true, This author is not quite a Docete, or does not profess to
Nevertheless he does little less than admit the force of the argument just referred to. He calls all the sufferings inflicted on our Saviour by men, and all the sufferings recorded concerning him, trifling and insignificant,' and says, they could not possibly be any trial of his obedience.'
He thinks, Jesus Christ suffered; but it must have been owing to the buffetings of Satan. Of which, however, there is not, as himself owns, any distinct account given in the scriptures. Is not this to be wise above and beyond what is written ? It is manifestly so. But does that become a christian? And they who are wise above, or beyond what is written, will generally contradict what is written.
This seems to be the case here. The scourgings, scoffs, crucifixion, and all the outward sufferings inflicted on Jesus, were insignificant and trifling, and could not possi• bly be any trial of his obedience.' Nevertheless these are things much insisted upon, distinctly related, and frequently repeated in the sacred writings of the New Testament. And the writers of the New Testament, the apostles and evangelists represent them to christians, as very great and affecting, and a trial of the obedience of our great Lord and Master. And bis patience under them is set before us as a moving and encouraging example to his followers. And for these sufferings, and his patience, resignation, and meekness under them, he is represented to have been highly rewarded by God the Father, supreme Lord and disposer of all things.
So St. Paul, Heb. xii. 1-3, “ Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider bim that endured such contradictions of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied, and faint in your minds.”