“The Spirit of God dwelling in [Christ], in all the fulness of his graces and gifts, gave him an understanding peculiar unto himself; as above that of all creatures, so beneath the essential omniscience of the divine nature. Hence some things, as he was a man, he knew not, (Mark xiii. 32,) but as they were given him by revelation, Rev. i 1. But he is the prophet of the church in his whole entire person, and revealed the counsel of God, as he was in heaven in the bosom of the Father. Cursed be he that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm, as to the revelations of the counsels of God. Here lies the safety, the security, the glory of the church. How deplorable is the darkness of mankind, in their ignorance of God and heavenly things! In what ways of vanity and misery have the generality of them wandered ever since our first apostasy from God! Nothing but hell is more full of horror and confusion than the minds and ways of men destitute of heavenly light How miserably did those among them who boasted themselves to be wise, wax foolish in their imaginations! How wofully did all their inquiries after the nature and will of God, their own state, duty, and happiness, issue in curiosity, uncertainty, vanity, and falsehood! He who is infinitely good and compassionate, did from the beginning give some relief in this woful state, by such parcels of divine revelations as he thought meet to communicate unto them by the prophets of old—such as they were able to receive. By them he set up a light shining in a dark place, as the light of stars in the night. But it was the rising of the Sun of Righteousness alone that dispelled the darkness that was on the earth, the thick darkness that was on the people, bringing life and immortality to light by the Gospel. The divine person of the Son of God, in whom were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, who is in the bosom of the Father, hath now made known all things unto the church, giving us the perfect idea and certainty of all sacred truth, and the full assurance of things invisible and eternal” (John Owen, Works 1. 93-94).
Michael Ives is a Presbyterian minister serving a congregation in Rhode Island. He graduated from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.) in 2005 and is presently doing postgraduate research on the parish model of urban missions in the thought of Thomas Chalmers, 19th century Scottish minister and social reformer. In addition to his passion for all things Chalmers, he is very interested in the pastoral theory and practice of the Reformed tradition, with special interest in catechisms and catechetical practice. He enjoys blogging about these topics here. Michael has the distinct honor of being happily married to the most beautiful woman in the world and has been blessed with a son and three daughters.