“He cannot give a greater Son to us” by Stephen Charnock

“In God’s giving Christ to be our Redeemer, He gave the highest gift that it was possible for divine goodness to bestow. As there is not a greater God than Himself to be conceived, so there is not a greater gift for this great God to present to His creatures.

And though He could create millions of worlds for us, He cannot give a greater Son to us.

When God intended in redemption the manifestation of his highest goodness, it could not be without the donation of the choicest gift.

As when He would ensure our comfort He swears ‘by Himself,’ because He cannot ‘swear by a greater,’ (Heb. 6:13), so when He would ensure our happiness He gives as His Son, because He cannot give a greater, being equal with Himself.

Had the Father given Himself in person, He had given one first in order, but not greater in essence and glorious perfections.

The wounds of an Almighty God for us are a greater testimony of goodness than if we had all the other riches of heaven and earth.”

–Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on the Goodness of God,” The Existence and Attributes of God, The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2010), 2: 324-325.

“Whatsoever God is, He is infinitely so” by Stephen Charnock

“All the perfections of God are infinitely elevated above the excellencies of the creatures, above whatsoever can be conceived by the clearest and most piercing understanding.

The nature of God, as a Spirit, is infinitely superior to whatsoever we can conceive perfect in the notion of a created spirit.

Whatsoever God is, He is infinitely so.

He is infinite wisdom, infinite goodness, infinite knowledge, infinite power, infinite spirit, infinitely distant from the weakness of creatures, infinitely mounted above the excellencies of creatures.

As easy to be known that He is, as impossible to be comprehended what He is.

Conceive of Him as excellent, without any imperfection, as a Spirit without parts, as great without quantity, as perfect without quality, as everywhere without place, as powerful without members, as understanding without ignorance, as wise without reasoning, as light without darkness.

Conceive of Him as infinitely more excelling the beauty of all creatures, than the light in the sun pure and unviolated exceeds the splendour of the sun dispersed and divided through a cloudy and misty air.

And when you have risen to the highest, conceive Him yet infinitely above all you can conceive of spirit, and acknowledge the infirmity of your own minds.

And whatsoever conception comes into your minds, say, ‘This is not God. God is more than this.’

If I could conceive Him, He were not God, for God is incomprehensibly above whatsoever I can say, whatsoever I can think and conceive of Him.”

–Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse Upon God’s Being a Spirit,” The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2010), 1: 279.