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Son of God to the church, when he says, “where two or three are met together in my name, there am I in the midst of them,” (Matth. xviii. 20,) must be as good a proof of his omnipresence. But these words of our Lord will be taken by some in a figurative sense; as if Christ meant no more by his promise than that he would countenance and bless his assem. bled people, or that he is present with them by his authority. Even in this sense of the words we find an argument to prove his omniscience; and we grant that Christ is present with his people in this figurative sense; but we contend that he is actually present with his people every where, and that he is in the midst of them. He does not say, when two or three are met together in my name, then am I with them; but he says, where and there, and in the midst : which words relate to place, not time. But it may be asko ed, if Christ is thus in the-midst of his people by virtue of his omnipresence, is he rot necessarily present? And then how can his words be considered as a promise, or his presence a privilege to his people? I answer that the same objection, if it has any weight, lies against the promise of God to his people, under the old testament dispensation; yet there can be no · doubt but that promise was considered a very precious one, and that privilege as a very exalted one.
But the above figurative interpretation involves those that deny the ubiquity of Christ in difficulties insurmountable. For, to be in the midst of the people has some meaning, and if it means no more than the authority and blessings of Christ's kingdom-if it only signifies his favour and good will, then Christ's authority over his church must be granted; it must be granted that his people are in the way of their duty when they assemble in his name; that they receive some peculiar advantage by doing so; and that Christ, some way or other, is employed in obtaining for them a favourable answer to their prayers : their requests shall be granted because Christ is in the midst of them. Why so ? Suppose we should an- . swer, because Christ is their advocate and intercessor, and because he offers up and presents the prayers of the saints with incense. This, though it is not all that our Saviour's words mean, yet it is part of the truth, and sufficient to prove that Jesus is entitled to the attribute of omniscience. For if Jesus is con. cerned in obtaining for his people a favourable answer to their prayers, then he must know when they pray, and what their prayers are; he must know that his people are met in his name; and whatever good he may be supposed to do for his people, whatever he means by being in the midst of them, he must at least know who are his people, and who are not: the Lord knoweth them that are his, which is an argument that he is omniscient. There is nothing gained therefore by evading the proof of Christ's omnipresence, contained in the above-mentioned passages of scripture; for if this omniscience be either granted or proved, as shall be done in what follows, it is of no advantage to the cause to deny his omnipresence.
That the attribute, Omniscient, belongs to Jesus Christ, is clearly asserted by the apostle Peter, when, addressing himself to Jesus, he uses these remarkable words: “ Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that. I love thee." Was this a flattering compliment, or the real truth? Who will venture to assert the former? If, then, the words of the apostle are true, and that they are true we have this evidence, namely, that Jesus did not reprove Peter, but on the contrary approved of his declaration, by immediately giving him charge to feed his sheep; 1 say if the words of Peter are true, as they certainly are, then they contain this true proposition, that Christ knoweth all things. Again, it is said of Christ, that “he needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.”—John, ii. 24, 25. It is expressly said, that he knew all men ; he knew their hearts, and he was acquainted with their secret thoughts, reasonings, surmises and murmurings—" Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." John, vi. 64. ,
If any should make light of these testimonies, there is a declaration of the Lord Jesus, which is not only perfectly decisive, but of a most awful and alarming nature. “All the churches shall know, that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts ; and I will give unto every one of you according to his works." —Rev. ii. 23. Compare these words with what God says by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah (xvii. 10:) " I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give unto every man according to his ways." It is most evident that the person who speaks by the prophet, is the all-wise God; it is his prerogative to search the hearts, and try the reins of the children of men : as Solomon declares at the dedication of the temple—“ Hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling place, and forgive and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou know. est, for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” I. Kings, viii. 39.
As the Lord Jesus is the person who shall judge the world in righteousness, he must therefore be possessed of infinite knowledge ; for how can he judge righteously, if he does not know the hearts of all the children of men? If he will render unto every one according to the deeds done in the body; if he will give unto every one according to his ways, he must know every individual that shall stand before his tribunal he must know their works and their ways, their actions, their words, and their thoughts--nothing must be bid from him he must be the searcher of hearts indeed: and that he is so is asserted by himself, and by his apostle, under the influence of his holy spirit. 66 The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing, even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his
sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” Heb. iv. 12, 13.
Another attribute of the Divine nature is Omnipotence, or almighty power. He that is omnipotent is God: our God is the mighty God of Jacob, the most mighty-the Almighty. Now if this attribute is ascribed to Jesus the Son of God, it must follow, as a just conclusion, that he is possessed of that nature to which this attribute is essential; and that it is ascribed to the Son of God we have abundant evidence. Thus saith the evangelical prophet: “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace:" and the psalmist thus addresses the Son of God; “ Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, 0 most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty; and in thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness, and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” When the apostle, in his epistle to the Philippians, says that “ Christ is able to subdue all things to him. self,” he ascribes unto him almighty power, for that alone is able to subdue all things; and we may safely conclude that the Son of God is Almighty, “ for by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created by him and for him, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist."- Col. i. 16. In these words we have a full proof of Christ's omnipotence, for creation is the work of almighty power alone. The apostle says, that the invisible things of God, “from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead." —Rom. i. 20. The things that are made demonstrate the being and existence of the invisible God; they are a bright and glorious demonstration of his eternal pow. er and godhead. God is invisible, and his power is invisible in itself; it can only be seen in its effects, the mighty works it has done. The things that are made are the mirrors in which we behold the rays of divine and infinite power; they prove that there is a God, because they prove that there is an eternal, creating powers and shall they prove the eternal power of God, and leave it doubtful whether this power is infinite, or almighty? No, there can be no doubt in this case; the power that is eternal is infinite, almighty; there can be no such thing as eternal imperfection--whoever is eternal is all perfect. Thus the light of nature renders the conduct of the heathens inexcusable, when, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man. How inexcusable, then, are they that refuse to glorify the Son of God, who is the creator of all things visible and invisible! They rob him of the glory of his works, and refuse to give him that praise which is due to the great Creator, even the God who made them. But is there less power required to uphold all things than to create all things ? Surely not. Now Christ is said to uphold all things by the word of his power; he is not only before all things, but by him all things consist, which is as much as to say, that “in him we live, and move, and bave our being.” It cannot be denied that the Son of God created all things; but some will endeavour to evade the force of this argument, by saying, that the Son created all things only as an instrument, and by communicated power. We answer, that the visible creation, the things that are made, are a clear demonstration of eternal power and godhead; and can eternal and almighty power, can infinity, be communicated to a finite being ?* Can an instrument exercise almighty power? But farther, if the