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of reason we conclude that they are as truly joined in one personality as the spiritual and the material are in us. In the person of Jesus Christ we have hunger, thirst, weariness, dependence, suffering, death, and every other human infirmity. But in the same Jesus we have the Author and Possessor of the substance, forces, and life of the universe-not simply a superhuman being, but one who is above nature, and can use it as he pleases.
This is the special testimony of the works of our Lord, which leaves all those who reject the testimony they bear to His supremacy without excuse. Only He who constantly and everywhere upholds the substance, moves in the forces, and reveals Himself in the life of the world, could have done His works. In the miracle of the loaves and fishes was shown a command of the substance which was able to carry it through the process of combination with supernatural rapidity; of the forces operating in matter, in that the attraction of cohesion was so increased, or that of gravitation was so diminished, that He could walk on the unyielding water; and of life, in that He restored its energy when enfeebled by disease, diminished by maiming, or destroyed by death. In Jesus, therefore, we have not some undefined non-human being, but Him who works everywhere and in all.
We claim true historic authority for the Gospel record, because we have all the evidence of a genuine history which can be found in any case, and certain conclusive kinds of evidence which do not appear in any other history. The friends and disciples of the Lord Jesus, immediately after His ascension, began, in the country in which they were done, to proclaim the facts of the Gospels concerning the incarnation, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Saviour as the means of salvation to men ; and they succeeded. No history besides has such a voucher, for not only was this done in Judea, but the disciples went everywhere preaching the Gospel, and thus turned men from sin to righteousness, and from the power of Satan to God. Now, independent of all special Divine operation in connection with the preaching of the Apostles, -which those deny who reject the New Testament as a true history,—we contend that only true doctrine concerning our relations to God and to one another can be a means of reformation of manners and elevation of human character.
In proof, we appeal to all past human experience, which has shown a character in the worshipper corresponding in degradation to the error concerning the nature, character, and relations of the god worshipped. Thus, Plato, in the third book of the Republic, gives specimens of the process of expurgation which he would apply to the poets—the popular religious teachers—and to Homer in particular, because they are hurtful to the hearers also, for every one will pardon his own depravity, through the persuasion that even the near relations of the gods, near to Zeus himself, do, and have done, things of a similar character, of whom it has been written
They on the tops of Ida have upreared
Whose blood derived from gods is not extinct.
Wherefore we should suppress all such fables, lest they create in our youth a great readiness for committing wickedness' (Book iii. sec. 65). This
process of corruption he traces in detail, and finds in the representations of the gods the sources of the effeminacy, voluptuousness, injustice, falsehood, and all other iniquity which abounded in the men of his generation. And
it needs but small acquaintance with the Greeks and Romans to learn that their theology was the means of their degradation.
But in the Gospel we have a revelation of God, which, being received, produced the highest and most complete morality, purified humanity in all its relations, brought its recipients into the most honourable relation to God, and altogether accomplished such a reformation as the world had never before seen. But it all came from receiving the facts of the Gospel ; and these effects have followed from the receiving of these facts until now.
At the present time, they are as fresh, as full, and as uniformly effectual in their operation as at the first. It follows, therefore, that these facts are true, not only in the sense of having actually transpired, but also and especially as being complemental of humanity.
They produce no unnatural effects, nothing non-human, but simply develop humanity in harmony and entireness, while nothing else does. But the central fact of this revelation, around which they all gather, is the incarnation of the Son of God as human Redeemer. This it is which reveals the righteousness of the Creator and King, the necessity and excellence of His law, His fatherly love, His deep interest in man, His placability, and the unchangeableness of His nature and government, and thus produces compunction in the sinner, hope in the penitent, and confident joy in the son, mellowed and softened by reverence, submission, and love.
These, plainly, are conditions and emotions capable of purifying, refining, and strengthening without limit, and equal to every duty we owe to God. But if they are, they must be true. False teaching concerning the relations could never lead to the fulfilment of obligation. And on the side of humanity, what does this great central fact teach ? That He, the incarnate God, is our Brother, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh; made in all points like unto us, that He might be our Priest, bear our sins, become the way to the Father, and so be a perpetual Mediator. But because He is the Brother of every man, we also are brethren; and because we are members of His body, we are members one of another; and from this brotherhood all works of purity, truth, righteousness, charity, and love spring. And as these relations are not merely doctrines to be apprehended by the intellect, but to every believer living realities, so they produce all natural fruit.