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measured meaning, the great men of the world are not only God's gists, but, so to speak, 'unspeakable' ones. This does not do away, however, with the emphasis which St. Paul clearly intends to give to the Lord Jesus as being God's 'unspeakable gift,' in a sense in which no other being ever was or could be.
65. (2 Cor. xiii. 14.) 'The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.' The ordinary scriptural order in which these three divine names are mentioned, is that of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. But this very fact gives a significance to this text. If St. Paul had thought of the Lord Jesus Christ as only a great human inspired servant of God, I do not think it at all likely that he would have put the reference to 'the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,' as the first member of his sentence. But when we take account of the experimental fact that 'the love of God’is, Christianly speaking, immeasurably realized through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,'—that in fact 'the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ’ comes first in the order of experience,-one can understand why St. Paul wrote as he did. To use these three names in one sentence, two of them admittedly referring to the Divine Being, .or Divine Beings, and to use the name of a simple human being, and put it at the very front, would be a strange thing for a Jew to do, and equally so for a Christian.
The Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, with which I now propose to deal, is not by any means the first in the order of time; but I suppose among the reasons for its being placed in the very fore-front were—first, that it was addressed to the Christians in the chief city of the world ; secondly, that it was the longest of the apostle's letters ; and thirdly, that it was in some respects the most important in doctrine and exhortation. It has always been very highly valued in the Church, and has been called the marrow of divinity, the key of the New Testament, the Christian Church's confession, the most divine Epistle of the most holy apostle, etc. I think the Epistle itself deals with
a twofold problem. Its author desired to win the Gentile portions of the then existing Church from their fondness for the Grecian philosophy, and to withdraw them for ever from their Pagan practices; but he desired also to lead Jewish converts to understand the exact relations in which the law of Moses and the faith and obedience of the gospel stood to each other. The thesis of the Epistle, at least so I understand it, is contained in vers. 16 and 17 of the first chapter, taken in connection with the paragraph in the third chapter which begins with ver. 19 and ends with ver. 31. It is not, however, to the great subject matter of this Epistle that it forms any part of my duty to refer. Mine is a smaller task, that of referring to some, at least, of the indirect evidences' which it supplies to the personal divinity of the Lord. And here, before I make any special references, let me say that the whole tone of the Epistle, its entire stress, seems to me to militate against the assumption that the Christ of the writer was 'human, human in birth, human in nature, human in passion, human in temptation, human in death, and that only.' Just consider the mighty problem which St. Paul here states, and attempts to solve—no less a problem than the question of how a man may be justified, that is to say, 'rightened' before God-and the part which the mission and work of the Lord Jesus takes in the solution. If Jesus Christ had Himself been simply one of the human race, I cannot understand the position which this Epistle assigns to Him as the all-sufficient Saviour of that race. Say that He was divinely commissioned, say that all His endowments were extremely exceptional, say that no such man had appeared before or since, say that just as we have but one Shakespeare so we have but one Jesus; and still you do not account for the position assigned in this Epistle to the personality of Christ, and the part He plays in man's redemption. But this by the way.
66. (Rom. i. 3, 4.) His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, who was declared (or determined) to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead; even
Jesus Christ our Lord.' The resurrection of Jesus Christ did not make Him to be the Son of God, but declared' the fact, “determined' or settled the problem as to who or what
It is not said that Lazarus was born of the seed of David, according to the flesh,' but declared or determined to be the Son of God;' and yet Lazarus was as really raised from the dead as was the Being who raised him.
67. (Rom. i. 24, 25.) 'Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God sent forth (or purposed) to be a Propitiation, through faith, by His blood, to show His righteousness, because of the passing over of sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God.' The reference to Christ as a 'Propitiation,' is, as far as language is concerned, a heathen one, but baptized into Christian uses by the inspired thought of the apostle. In some sense explained, Christ is a divinely-provided Propitiation for human transgression, and the benefits of that Propitiation are connected with the sinner by the sinner's faith in Christ. Is this the language which we should feel it right to use in reference to a human being? You may be a Calvinist or an Arminian, a Roman Catholic or a Protestant, it matters not. The thought here is of some one who transcends humanity, even while He comes into saving contact with it.
68. (Rom. iv. 24, 25.) Jesus our Lord, raised from the dead, who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification. There is no such language as this in any part of the Bible, and certainly not in the New Testament, having reference to a purely human being, because no purely human being is adequate to the work of being delivered for us in the one case, and raised up for us in the other.
69. (Rom. v. 6.) 'For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Read also ver. 8. of this chapter : • But God commendeth His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.' Read again ver. 11: ‘But we also rejoice in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.' It may be that the references to the 'ungodly,' the sinners,' the 'we,' and 'us,' found in these texts, were primarily to the Gentiles, although, of course, I think the Jews would be included. But is it really true that the love of God towards His guilty children finds its special commendation in the death of a man like ourselves? Is it really true that so tremendous and divine a gift as 'reconciliation,' the reconciliation of God to man and of man to God, comes to us through a fellow-creature? I for one cannot believe it.
70. (Rom. vi. 23.) 'For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.' I shall not attempt to settle the points of difference as between those Christians who uphold the doctrine of "conditional immortality,' and those who reject it. Mr. Edward White and his friends, together with Mr. Baldwin Brown and those who think with him, must settle their differences as best they can. This is, however, abundantly clear, that 'eternal life' is in some eminent sense opposed to death,' and the fortunes of the race are now, and hereafter, linked with Christ. But linked with a man, a man only, a man such as you or I, an inspired man, but still a man only? I must refuse to believe it.
71. (Rom. viii., whole chapter.) This chapter, on account of its length, will not admit of being quoted entirely. I have sometimes said that, in a Pauline form, it contains the very essence of the Lord Christ's own Christianity; and that, if every other part of the New Testament were lost, we could obtain a satisfactory idea of the Christianity of Christ from this chapter. But now let me ask my readers to read it, carefully and thoughtfully, to try and realize its implications, and then ask themselves whether St. Paul is speaking of a human being only, or, rather, whether he is not, in fact, speaking of a Divine Being, who has taken hold on man to lift up man to Himself, and through Himself to God? Notice just one verse in the chapter, ver. 32: 'He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?' Here the writer is arguing from the greater to the lesser. God has given us ' His own Son,' and that gift is a divine pledge that all other needful things will
But on the assumption that Jesus of Nazareth was only a human being, ‘born in honest wedlock,' this language on the part of the apostle would seem to be something more than Eastern, would seem inflated, misleading, purely sentimental. There was nothing, on the humanitarian hypothesis, so very exceptional in the mission of Christ, or in His death, to mark Him out as a sort of security given by God to His creatures that the Divine Being would in all cases do the just and kind thing by them. But if Christ were God's own Son, in a peculiar sense, if the gift of that Son were a special expression of the love of God, and Christ Himself says it was (John iii. 16: ‘so loved'), then one can understand the apostle's statement to be reasonable and powerful in its appeal. Take two or three other verses as bearing on our subject. In ver. 3 of this chapter, St. Paul speaks of 'God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as an offering for sin.' If Jesus Christ were only a man, why should St. Paul speak of His being in the likeness of sinful flesh,' because on the hypothesis of Christ's humanity that fact would be understood without being stated, while it seems a strange thing to speak of a man as 'an offering for sin.' So, too, in ver. 29, the apostle tells us we are 'fore-ordained to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren.' Is it reasonable to believe that the whole human race is 'fore-ordained to be conformed to the image of one who, on the humanitarian theory, is a human being only, born under the law of sin and death'? Surely St. Paul could never have meant anything so ridiculous. In ver. 34, St. Paul speaks of Jesus Christ as being at the right hand of God, and as 'making intercession for us.' To be ‘at the right hand of God' is not quite the position we are justified in assigning to a mere human being; while, as for the intercession, if Christ intercedes for us, who intercedes for Him? Is the work of interceding for the human family assigned to one who is Himself a member of that family, and who must take His chance with the rest of His brethren? In the last verse of this chapter the writer speaks of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus