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Christian World Pulpit, which can be got for a penny. This is how the matter shapes itself to me. Who was sent? Some one whom St. Paul calls ‘His Son,' God's Son ; of whom we know, by other passages in the Scriptures, that He was sinless, the only Being in the world of whom that has ever been predicated. How did this Being come? He was 'born of a woman, born under the law. What we call, what, as I think, the New Testament calls, His humanity, was real, for the Lord had a body; He ate and drank, He slept, He was hungry and thirsty, He was weary, and at last was crucified. But this humanity was an assumed one, as is evident from Rom. viii. 3, Phil. ii. 7, 8, Heb. ii. 14, and the stress which the New Testament writers lay upon the fact that Jesus Christ was a man. Of course this humanity was a needful thing, not only for the reason assigned in Heb. ii. 17, but because the Lord came to reveal God personally, focally, and attractively, besides the work of giving to man the true ideal of human life. When did God's Son come? "When the fulness of the time came.' There is such a law as the law of evolution, and which operated in the case of the Lord's Advent.
Why did God's Son come ? “That He might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.' That is to say, to redeem Jews, but Gentiles also; to redeem them both from law as such ; and to reproduce in them the likeness of God; that the Gentiles, equally with the Jews, might know that God was their Father, even as He was the Father of the Jew, and that they were His children. I find myself unable to believe that these words were ever intended by their writer to refer to a simple man, 'born in honest wedlock.'
57. (Gal. vi. 14.) 'But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which (or whom) the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.' That St. Paul was always ashamed of those who were ashamed of the cross of Christ, and that he himself gloried in that cross, are self-evident facts. But if Christ was a man only, a martyr, one who died rather than be faithless, was He the first of the race who had ever heen found 'faithful unto death '? What was there in Jesus of Nazareth dying on the cross, that should raise the enthusiasm of Paul, that even in Paul's days should have made the cross the most sacred of all symbols? I cannot understand why the cross should be so specially sacred, if, in dying upon the cross, Christ's death was the mere death of a mere human martyr.
The next Epistle of St. Paul, following the one to the Galatians, is his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, with which I shall now deal.
58. (2 Cor. ii. 10.) 'But to whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also : for what I also have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, for your sakes have I forgiven it in the person (or presence) of Christ.' The case here referred to is named in the fifth chapter of St. Paul's first Epistle to this Church. It is not at all necessary that I should deal with the many points, interesting as they are, to which it gives rise. The one remark I wish to make is, that St. Paul is pronouncing his forgiveness of the offender, who has become penitent, 'in the person or presence of Christ.' Would an American forgive another ‘in the person or presence' of Washington? Would an Englishman forgive another in the person or presence of the greatest of all the Englishmen of whom he knows, and who has passed away? The language would seem to be inflated, unless Christ held a special relation to Paul, and to this penitent also, and was the very vital power of the forgiveness pronounced by Paul, which He could not be on the assumption that He was simply a Jew, however highly endowed, who had died in the ordinary course of things, as the rest of his fellow-creatures had done.
59. (2 Cor. iii. 17, 18.) 'Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror (or beholding as in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit (or the Spirit which is the Lord).' There are parallels and contrasts drawn in this chapter between Judaism and Christianity. Both were ministries, and both glorious; but the one was a letter, the other
a Spirit; the one killed, the other gave life; the one condemned, the other made right; the one was transient, and the other permanent; the one was made glorious, the other was inherently glorious. Such being the facts, St. Paul spoke plainly. There had always been a veil on the face of the Jew, and there was so now; but just as Moses unveiled when he went in before the Lord, so would the Jew, when his heart accepted the Gospel. Christianity was Spirit, and Christ Jesus the Lord was its embodiment; and where the Spirit was, there was liberty. "The glory of the Lord' is not strength, or knowledge, or mere rank, but goodness, divine goodness, akin to the goodness of God; which alone satisfies the wants of the human spirit, is enduring, and possible to all. We are permitted to behold this glory' with unveiled face,' and looking at it, this glory is reflected upon us, and the reflection changes, not our powers indeed, but the direction of their activities, a change which is going on continually, and which ends in our being, so to speak, transfigured; for we, after our measure and finitely, reflect back Christ, as Christ immeasureably and infinitely reflects back God. This change comes from the Lord the Spirit,' by whom I understand Christ Himself is intended, who is so called in ver. 17. The change thus wrought is spiritual or internal, and fundamental, and is the test by which we may know whether we are Christians, or whether we are not. Now I do not know how these verses may strike others, but to me it is impossible to believe that such words as these are consistent with the theory of the simple humanity of Christ. The reference is to a process so radical, to a result so comprehensive and inexpressibly glorious, that I cannot bring myself to believe in St. Paul thinking of the Lord the Spirit' as only a great Jewish teacher, a great Jewish reformer, with a nature no higher than his own, however much greater his endowments may have been.
60. (2 Cor. iv. 6.) Seeing it is God, that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts, to give the light (or illumination) of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' In ver. 4, Christ is spoken of as 'the Image of God, and, evidently, by way of pre-eminence, because there is a sense in which man as such is God's image. “The glory of God' is His essential goodness, and the knowledge of that glory is 'light,' or illumination, which we realize not so much through the intellect, as through the affections, and this knowledge is given to us 'in the face of Jesus Christ,' so that Jesus Christ reflects or reveals the essential glory of God. Of what mere creature dare any man use such words as these? They are practically parallel with those of the Lord Himself, when He said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.'
61. (2 Cor. v. 6, 8.) Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that whilst we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord; . . . we are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.' To live the mortal life is to be at home in the body,' and be absent from the Lord ;' to live the immortal life is to be absent from the body,' and to be at home with the Lord.' So that the Lord gives all the significance to the difference between the mortal life and the immortal one! Ought so much to be said of any mere creature ?
62. (2 Cor. v. 14, 15.) 'For the love of Christ constraineth
because we thus judge, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who for their sakes died and rose again.' If Christ were a man, and a man only, as to His essential nature, what was there especially in His love that should be a 'constraining' power upon the world; and in what sense can it be rightly said that “He died for all, and that His death for all is the great argument which should constrain all to live unto Him? Apply such language as this to any pre-eminently good man of whom you know, or of whom you have heard,-I care not who he may be,-and you will see at once that there is a speciality in the case of Christ which is absolutely unique.
63. (2 Cor. v. 18–21.) But all things are of God, who
reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses, and having committed unto us (or placed in us) the word of reconciliation. We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating us : we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. Him who knew no sin, He made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.' The doctrine of atonement, or, more properly speaking, reconciliation' to God by Jesus Christ, is here clearly taught; but I have no intention of referring to any one merely theological form of the doctrine, whether it be Calvin's or Wesley's. This, however, is apparent, that God is seeking to reconcile His alienated world to Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ, that Christian ministers are Christ's ambassadors, that Christ Himself was a sinless Being, but that He was in some sense not here explained made to be sin' for us, that we in or through Him "might become the righteousness of God.' The totality of the work here ascribed to Christ, which is nothing short of man's entire redemption, is not quite the work which one man can be called upon to undertake on behalf of another, or a work which any mere man could accomplish.
64. (2 Cor. ix. 15.) “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.' I think the “gift” here spoken of is not the charity which was shown by the Macedonians, or its moral effects, nor is it God's general bounty, but some one special gift. The text is an illustration of the laws of suggestion, as shown in such texts as Gal. ii. 20, I Tim. i. 1, Col.
Cor. ii. 2, 2 Cor. v. 14, and Phil. i. would be “unspeakable’ to the apostle, and ought to be more so to us, only that our familiarity with it as deadens our senses. Christ is the 'unspeakable gift' of God because God alone could have given it, because it was an expression of the love of the Giver, because of its own intrinsic value, our need of it, its perpetuity, and its result to man and God. No doubt, speaking generally, but with an implied
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