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has done for us, but rather the fruits of the life in us produced by a participation in His humanity, which is perfect after the primary type. In one passage especially, already partly quoted, He declared, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven, if any man eat of this bread he shall live for ever : and the bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. As we can only understand the term flesh' to describe the humanity of Christ, so we must suppose that from the humanity filled with God, and after that pattern, we to receive the life. This is confirmed by His description of the spiritual act of fellowship in physical terms, 'Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.' In harmony with this is every other recorded statement of our Lord with respect to the relation in which He stood to His disciples, some of which have been already mentioned. On this side of the question, however, we must not omit a statement in His valedictory prayer, 'And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth,' where, in addition to a pattern, we have mutual participation. The
experience of the apostles and their brethren, as recorded in the epistles, was of the kind thus indicated; thus John declares the ground of final hope to be, 'Because as He is, so are we in this world.'
We find great difficulty in understanding how these representations can be true, unless from the first there was a quality, and quantity, or breadth of nature in man adequate to this universal pervasion or interpenetration. But if such was the original type, then the Incarnation was not supplemental, but complemental.
The same conclusion follows also from the moral effects of the Incarnation in man. We cannot think that anything less than the highest Christian virtue was intended for man from the beginning, because in the highest there is nothing superhuman: it is simply the fulfilling of human duty to God and man, involved in the relations we sustain to both. But would this be possible up to the Christian measure with any less perfect and less gracious revelation than that we have in the incarnate God? But if not, then the Incarnation from the beginning was a part of the scheme of humanity.
We find abundant confirmation of the con
clusions to which we have come on other grounds, from the uniform doctrine of the New Testament concerning the age of the Gospel. Paul speaks of it as 'the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory' (1 Cor. ii. 7). That it 'was kept secret since the world began,' but having been partially disclosed by the Scriptures of the prophets, was ‘now made known to all nations by the command of the everlasting God' (Rom. xvi. 25, 26). This is insisted on to all the churches, but most completely to the Ephesian Church, to which Paul said, that his commission to 'preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, was, to make all men to see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from all ages had been hid in God, who created all things; to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord' (chap. iii. 9-11). We also read of the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world' (Rev. xiii. 8). All these passages show that before man existed the Incarnation was deter
mined on; and the one from the Epistle to the Ephesians, that the entire creation had been brought into existence to furnish scope for this most perfect Divine revelation. This is in accord with a still more explicit statement in the Epistle to the Colossian Church (chap. i. 16): 'Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers ; all things have been created through Him and unto Him, and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church.' It is thus apparent that the Divine manifestation in Christ Jesus is at the foundation of all the action of the Creator with respect to man, and is therefore the Alpha and the Omega of humanity.
The Incarnation seems necessary, also, as a means of direct Divine communication to man. Human speculation has not been more successful since apostolic days than before. Paul bore true testimony when he said that the world by its wisdom knew not God; and since his days no system of philosophy has found God. Many, like Kant, have assumed His existence, but like him they have been unable to predicate infinity. The human absolute is a colossal negation, without attributes and without life. Such a negation cannot be the Creator and Upholder of all things. But is it possible that the Author of all, who has interwoven His skill in and stamped His power upon all the multitudinous objects of the visible universe, and has scattered with a bounteous hand upon the human race affections and relations which make them dependent on each other, has after all cast them forth into everlasting orphanage, and emptied Himself of all affection for those of His creatures whose wealth is their love ? But this is the case, as the human intellect is unable of itself to find Him, unless there be some way of intercourse in which our intellect has confidence, but which it cannot supply.
The necessity for such a means is declared by God Himself, who said to Moses, ‘No man can see me and live.' And the Redeemer tells us that 'no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him ;' and from John we learn that 'the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom