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Jesus Christ should be more than a man inhabited by, and related to God, in order to that office. Nor may it be said, that the union to the divine nature gives an infinite efficacy to those acts, of which the human only is the principal ; for unless by that union, the human nature was turned into an infinite or divine nature, its acts can no more be reckoned properly and intrinsically infinite in this case, than his body or human understanding are infinite, because so united to an infinite nature.
But what fully demonstrates, that the human nature of Christ can never be an effectual mediator, according to them, no, not though it were personally united to the divine, is this, viz. That they deny this human nature so united, to have the knowledge of the secret mental prayers, the inward desires and distresses of all Christians, or to know any one's heart. And how then can he be a compassionate intercessor in cases that he knows nothing of? Or how can he have a fellow feeling of their sufferings, which he knows not that they feel at all? What comfort is there in this account of Christ's mediation ? The divine nature is precluded from it, because they direct us to seek to that as the ultimate object through a mediator ; and the human nature, they say, may know nothing of our case, nor knows our hearts, whether we worship sincerely, or repent sincerely, or hypocritically only; and so knows not how to represent or recom mmend us to God. What a case now do these men bring us into?
There is no mediator left to interpose with the supreme God; so that we must deal with him immediately and alone, which they will own is far from the Gospel doctrine or method. Thus is the Lord Jesus turned out of his office, on a pretence of giving him a higher honour. So that upon the whole, as far as I see, we had even as good be content with the Apostle's fair and plain account of this matter; if its being so very intelligible may not be an unpardonable objection against it, viz. That “there is but one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. ii. 5. Never let us fear, but St Paul knew how to describe the Mediator, without leaving out the better half of him, or the principal nature. Our Mediator, according to him, was only called a “man;" who also is by office a God, or ruler over all, made so by him who puts all things under him.
And indeed as there are two principal distinguishing doctrines of Christianity, relating to the unity of the supreme God, and the one Mediator with him ; so the Trinitarians have lost them both among their several parties. For as they are divided into two principal parties, besides several subdivisions, both among Conformists and Dissenters, one part holding three real persons, or infinite Beings, the other but one ; (for they are not yet agreed whether they worship three infinite supreme beings, or but one,) so between them both, these two great doctrines are
subverted; the Realists leave room for a Mediator in the Godhead, but they destroy the unity of God, who is one infinite Being; on the other hand, they who hold true to the divine unity, or one infinite Being under three modes, or properties, or relations, do, by plain consequence, leave no place for such a Mediator as they require, viz. one who is an infinite God, to be a mediator with the infinite God, when there is no other infinite Being but his own, and he cannot be thought to intercede with himnself neither. So that to keep the Gospel faith whole and undefiled, it is necessary that we avoid both these rocks, by believing God and his Christ to be two beings, that so there may be room for one to mediate with the other; and that these two are not two equal or supreme beings, but one subordinate to the other, that so we may preserve the unity of the supreme God.
Let us then bethink ourselves seriously, not what the church in latter days has thought of Jesus Christ, but what his own Apostles, when inspired, have thought of him. Methinks none was more likely, or ever had a fairer occasion to represent his Lord in the height of his glory, than the Apostle Peter in the day of Pentecost; that day of triumph, with the newly and visibly inspired Apostles.
Hear how magnificently he describes his glorious Lord Jesus before his murderers. “Ye men of Israel hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did by him
in the midst of you.” Acts ii. 22. Again, “Let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whor ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts ii. 36. Now it is observable, the Apostle was aiming at such a description of Jesus Christ, as might strike the hearts of his murderers with the greatest horror of their crime; and therefore
; could never omit the most emphatical branch of his description, viz. his infinite Deity, if he had really been such.
What a terrifying argument had that been to beget conviction 'in his persecutors beyond all the rest, to tell them, they had shed the blood of the infinite God himself? It is certainly all flat and low that St Peter says in comparison of this, viz. “ That he was a man approved of God.” Did he not understand, or would he betray his cause by such an omission ? And yet he only represents Christ as a God by inhabitation and exaltation, when he was far from being daunted with any fear to own Christ fully. Nay, if this deity of Christ were a fundamental article of the Christian faith, how comes it to pass, that when poor convinced souls, in anguish for their crimes, seek direction how to be saved from them, the Apostle should not acquaint them with this article, but directs them to believe in this Jesus, such as he had described him? Acts ii. 37. Did he direct wounded souls to an insufficient Saviour, without telling them, he was the infinite God? Yet they are baptised and added to
the church, and numbered among such as shall be saved. How can this be, if the supreme Godhead of Christ be a fundamental article of the Christian faith? So Acts x. 38. “ God was with him.” This was all.
The.Writers against the Unitarians unsay their own
Arguments against the Papists. To conclude, God and Christ, (or one anointed,) are two disparates, or different things, as much as Christ's body and bread are, and therefore cannot be predicated one of the other, in a proper sense, or without a figure, as all our writers against the Romish transubstantiation argue; and it is of equal force in the present case. To be anointed, imports to be raised by authority and honour conferred; it is in effect to say, the person is a creature, or inferior being; and therefore to say, that properly Christ is most high God, is to say, the inferior is supreme, and the man is God; which cannot be, otherwise than by a figure, as the bread is Christ's body, viz. by relation, &c. And truly if the business can be salved here, by making a personal union between God and Christ, I see not why the Papists may not set up such another union between Christ's body and the bread in the eucharist, and then they may stoutly defend that it is the body of Christ properly. But, indeed, nothing is