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judge, without me you can do nothing, I know and you do not, I am from above and you are from beneath, I can forgive your sins, you must honour me as you honour the Father ? Did they preach themselves, insist upon themselves, demand everything for themselves ? You know they did not. And if not, why not? Jesus did all these things, and if He was but a man, as they were men, nothing could justify the course He took and maintained, always and everywhere. You may say that He was ‘God intoxicated,' spiritually mad,' 'a glorious but mistaken enthusiast,' and the charges are easily made. But they cannot be substantiated. Nineteen centuries have given the lie to such forced and ignorant and impotent modes of accounting for the words which He spoke and the transcendent personal claims which He made upon the human race. No, the issue is narrowed to a very small, but vital point. Christ must be taken as a whole, or rejected as a whole. There is no other alternative, if the Gospels and all that they declare of Him is in any reasonable sense of that term reliable. He is not the self-existent Jehovah,-He Himself forbids us to say that He is, or I for one would say it in a moment, – but He is the Divine pre-existent Son of God, 'of one substance with the Father,' man's Master, man's Teacher, man's Judge, man's Saviour. He is ‘God out of God, very God out of very God,' the translation of God, God's photograph, the apprehensible part of God, the invisible God become visible, heaven descended to earth that earth might be lifted to heaven. Shall we not say, as Thomas said,
The Lord of me and the God of me!' We ought, if, calling ourselves Christians, we would be consistent ones.
10. But these lingering words must have an end. 'Of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum.' There are certain relations existing between God and man, and there are certain facts in the moral condition of man, which make it of the first importance that he should know what kind of being God is ; (not alone as to God's power and knowledge, but His moral character. But the difficulties in the way of the human coming to know the Divine, are many and great. God is unseen and infinite, while man, though a spirit, is embodied and finite. Just as man, to be known by his fellow-man, must reveal himself, so, if God is to be known, He too must reveal Himself, come out of Himself; while any revelation of the Divine which is to be of the least use to the human, must take a form apprehensible
by the human ; for if it does not, it will be as though the revelation itself were not made. God has revealed Himself, in the phenomena of the material universe, in the constitution of man, in the sacred books of the great world religions, but more especially in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, in the history and literature of the Jewish people, in specially gifted individuals, in all ages and races, and in all things that are true, good, and beautiful. The manifestations of the Divine are to be found wherever the Divine is actually working ; and although some of those manifestations are more vivid and realizable than are others, the revelations themselves can always be found by the eye that can see, and the intelligence that can perceive. But in addition to the revelations that God has made in and through human persons and things, He has inade a personal revelation of Himself in Jesus of Nazareth, a revelation transcending all previous or contemporary ones, a revelation which is something more than 'a telling' about God, which is in fact 'a showing' of Him. 'Show us the Father,' said the perplexed disciple. “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father,' said the Master. Jesus Christ is Divine and human ; Divine as touching His essential nature, human as touching the conditions under which His personal revelation of the Eternal God was made. Humanity, through all the ages, and in countless forms, had asked this question, "What kind of being is He who has created us, to whom we belong, who sustains us, judges us, rules us, is our Sovereign, and Supreme over us through all time and in all places?' Just as man could bear it, God answered this question, until at last, in 'the fulness of the times,'—not a moment before, not a moment after,—God, who never hastes and never rests, 'sent forth His Son' to be born of a woman,' and when that Incarnation took place, God began a personal revelation of Himself, which enabled Jesus Christ to say, as no one else has ever had the right to say, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. I put aside for the time being,—not because they are unimportant,
-on the cor ary, they are very important-but because they do not practically affect the correctness of the statement I am now making, -all those difficulties of criticism and exegesis which the larger knowledge of to-day has inevitably raised respecting the books of the New Testament, and I affirm that the word of Christ is the word of God, the life of Christ is the life of God, the Spirit of
Christ is the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed the heart of God so perfectly, that he who presses his finger upon the pulse of Christ may feel the heart of God beat. Such a revelation of God, while it brings God down to the affectionate apprehension of the child, is sufficient to satisfy the largest and most pressing demands of the highest intelligences, in the heavens and on the earth; while I think it might very well satisfy the Christian Church. She has been burdened and over-weighted with curious and unprofitable discussions respecting matters which, from their own intrinsic nature, can never be absolutely settled. She has too often turned away from the end of the commandment,' which is charity
( out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned,' unto "vain janglings ;' while it has long seemed to me that to receive the Son as a personal revelation of the Father, to receive what we are accustomed to call the ‘Humanity of Christ' as the medium through which such a revelation could best be made, to realize that through Him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father,' is to find the secret of Christ,' the very meaning and value of His gospel, that which is alone essential to our faith, and out of which a life of reverent and trustful obedience may come. If the Lord Jesus be, what I here claim for Him, the personal revelation of the Eternal Father, a revelation of God as no other person ever was, or ever can be, then our proper attitude towards Him is not one of cold criticism, but of submission, faith, loyalty ; while, instead of every now and again fearing and trembling for the fate of Christianity, we should trust the Christianity of Christ Himself, be utterly candid and fearless in our dealing with those who reject it, and above all exemplify it, with a brave and modest consistency, in our own everyday lives. There is just one word I should like to add. It is this : Whatever systems of divinity, or ecclesiastical organizations, or persons teaching in the name of Christ may say, let us believe nothing of the moral character of God which is clearly inconsistent with the words, the works, and the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. When men tell us that God has said this, or has done that, or will do something in the future, let us remember that He has given us an image of Himself in His Son, and that we are now in a position to know the moral character of God as reflected in the face of Christ as we were not before that reflection was made. God is as good as Jesus Christ was; there is nothing in God contrary to what we find in Jesus Christ; the nature of the Father is to be judged by the nature of the Son; the character of the Father is revealed in and through the words, works, life, and Spirit of the Incarnate Son of God. The world needs no new theologies, no new gospels, but the old theology of Him who was and is the Word, the Wisdom of God, and is the embodied 'Good News of God,' and who shall at last illuminate, and strengthen, and gladden, and save the entire human race.
[This Appendix No. II. is a very condensed report of five sermons on the Philosophy of the Incarnation, which the author preached to his own congregation at Reading, during the Advent Sundays of 1882. In this report there will be found ideas and even phraseology similar, if not identical with what may be found in the body of this work; while passing and cursory references here can be verified in the chapters which treat of the various books of the New Testament. It is only fair to add, that while the literal words of the original sermons are not always reproduced here, the spoken form of these sermons is retained ; and that not the smallest attempt has been made to give a literary finish to what was always intended to be a popular exposition.]
APPENDIX No. III.
OUR LORD'S PERSONAL APPEARANCE, TONES OF
ELSEWHERE in this volume will be found some extracts from the writings of the Rev. E. H. Sears, of America. In a wonderfully suggestive work of his, entitled The Fourth Gospel the Heart of Christ? (Boston: Noyes & Co.), I find the following intensely interesting chapter, p. 404 : ‘The four biographers of Jesus have given no description of His person, such as His form, figure, features, expression of countenance, walk, gesture, tones of voice, and style of speech or eloquence. The reason is partly that moral painting after the modern style was remote from their thought and purpose, simple narrative being all they aim at; and there was a further reason, for the subject-matter of the Divine message so controlled and subordinated the manner as to blend with it and become a part of it, and they never thought of separating one from the other. In reading these biographies, however, it must occur to any one that such things could not have been done, nor such words spoken, in a way comporting with our ordinary methods of utterance. There is a class of writers who, looking at Jesus only from the natural side, and ignoring or denying a large portion of the record, find in Him an amiable young man, of sweet and winning manners, almost feminine, which endeared Him to His followers, and gained the affections of little children and Syrian maids ;-a remarkable and promising youth cut off by an untimely death. Herein they discern those traits of moral beauty which cannot be mistaken, and which beam forth along the whole pathway of Jesus of Nazareth. But let any one take this portraiture as expressing His entire character, and go through His history with it, and he will find a whole range of facts which are
1 «The Fourth Gospel is the Heart of Christ,’ is the enthusiastic language of Ernesti.