Imatges de pÓgina

Persons and may not the Sufferer Who kneels in Gethsemane be another than the Word by Whom all things were made?'

Certainly, the illustration of the Creed cannot be pressed closely without risk of serious error. An illustration is generally used to indicate correspondence in a single particular; and it will not bear to be erected into an absolute and consistent parallel, supposed to be in all respects analogous to that with which it has a single point of correspondence. But the Creed protects itself elsewhere against any such misuse of this particular illustration. The Creed says that as body and soul meet in a single man, so do Perfect Godhead and Perfect Manhood meet in one Christ. The Perfect Manhood of Christ, not His Body merely but His Soul, and therefore His Human Will, is part of the One Christ. Unless in His condescending love our Eternal Lord has thus taken upon Him our fallen nature in its integrity, that is to say, a Human Soul as well as a Human Body, a Human Will as an integral element of the Human Soul, mankind would not have been really represented on the cross or before the throne. We should not have been truly redeemed or sanctified by a real union with the Most Holy.

Yet in taking upon Him a Human Will, the Eternal Word did not assume a second principle of action which was destructive of the real unity of His Person. Within the precincts of a single human soul may we not observe two principles of volition, this higher and that lower, this animated almost entirely by reason, that as exclusively by passion? St. Paul has described the moral dualism within a single will which is characteristic of the approach to the regenerate life, in a wonderful passage of his Epistle to the Romans m The real self is loyal to God; yet the Christian sees within him a second self, warring against the law of his mind, and bringing him into captivity to that which his central being, in its loyalty to God, energetically rejects". Yet in this great conflict between the old and the new self of the regenerate man, there is, we know, no real schism of

m Rom. vii. 14-25. Origen, St. Chrysostom, and Theodoret understand this passage of the state of man before regeneration. St. Augustine was of this mind in his earlier theological life (Confess. vii. 21; Prop. 45 in Ep. ad Rom., quoted by Meyer, Römer. p. 246), but his struggle with the Pelagian heresy led him to understand the passage of the regenerate (Retractat. i. 23, ii. 1; contr. duas Ep. Pelag. i. 10; contr. Faust. xv. 8). This judgment has been accepted by the great divines of the middle ages, St. Anselm and Aquinas, and largely by the moderns. Of late years, the Greek interpretation has been again widely accepted, as doing more perfect justice to the language of the Apostle. Rom. vii. 17, 22, 23.

an indivisible person, although for the moment antagonist elements within the soul are so engaged as to look like separate hostile agencies. The man's lower nature is not a distinct person, yet it has what is almost a distinct will, and what is thus a shadow of the Created Will which Christ assumed along with His Human Nature. Of course in the Incarnate Christ, the Human Will, although a proper principle of action, was not, could not be, in other than the most absolute harmony with the Will of God. Christ's sinlessness is the historical expression of this harmony. The Human Will of Christ corresponded to the Eternal Will with unvarying accuracy; because in point of fact God, Incarnate in Christ, willed each volition of Christ's Human Will P. Christ's Human Will then had a distinct existence, yet Its free volitions were but the earthly echoes of the Will of the All-holy 4. At the Temptation It was confronted with the personal principle of evil; but the Tempter without was seconded by no pulse of sympathy within. The Human Will of Christ was incapable of willing evil. In Gethsemane It was thrown forward into strong relief as Jesus bent to accept the chalice of suffering from which His Human sensitiveness could not but shrink. But from the first It was controlled by the Divine Will to which It is indissolubly united; just as, if we may use the comparison, in a holy man, passion and impulse are brought entirely under the empire of reason and conscience г. As God and Man, our Lord has two Wills; but the Divine Will originates and rules His Action; the Human Will is but the docile servant of that Will of God which has its seat in Christ's Divine and Eternal Person". Here indeed we touch upon the line at

This was the ground taken in the Sixth General Council, A.D. 680, when the language of Chalcedon was adapted to meet the error of the Monothelites. Δύο φυσικὰς θελήσεις ἤτοι θελήματα ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ δύο φυσικὰς ἐνεργείας ἀδιαιρέτως, ἀτρέπτως, ἀμερίστως, ἀσυγχύτως, κατὰ τὴν τῶν ἁγίων πατέρων διδασκαλίαν κηρύττομεν, καὶ δύο φυσικὰ θελήματα οὐκ ὑπεναντία, μὴ γένοιτο, καθὼς οἱ ἀσεβεῖς ἔφησαν αἱρετικοὶ, ἀλλ ̓ ἑπόμενον τὸ ἀνθρώπινον αὐτοῦ θέλημα, καὶ μὴ ἀντιπίπτον, ἢ ἀντιπαλαῖον μᾶλλον μὲν οὖν καὶ ὑποτασσόμενον TO Bely avтoû Kal wavσleveî deλhuar. Mansi, tom. xi. p. 637. Routh, Scr. Op. ii. 236; Hooker, E. P. v. 48. 9.

P This does not exclude the action upon our Lord's Manhood of the Holy Spirit, Who is One with the Word as with the Father: St. Matt. iv. 1; St. Luke iv. 18; St. John iii. 34; Acts x. 38.

'In ancient language, a twofold voluntas is quite compatible with a single volitio.' Klee, Dogmengesch. ii. 4. 6.

St. Maximus illustrates the two harmonious operations of the Two Wills in Christ, by the physical image of a heated sword which both cuts and burns. Disp. cont. Pyrrh. apud Klee, ubi sup.

St. Ambros. de Fide, v. 6: Didicisti, quod omnia sibi Ipsi subjicere

which revealed truth shades off into inaccessible mystery. We may not seek to penetrate the secrets of that marvellous beav&pikn évépyea but at least we know that each Nature of Christ is perfect, and that the Person which unites them is One and indissoluble t.


For the illustration of the Creed might at least remind us that we carry about with us the mystery of a composite nature, which should lead a thoughtful man to pause before pressing such objections as are urged by modern scepticism against the truth of the Incarnation. The Christ Who is revealed in the Gospels and Who is worshipped by the Church, is rejected as being an unintelligible wonder!' True, He is, as well in His condescension as in His greatness, utterly beyond the scope of our finite comprehensions. 'Salvâ proprietate utriusque Naturæ, et in unam coeunte personam, suscepta est a majestate humilitas, a virtute infirmitas, ab æternitate mortalitas ".' We do not profess to solve the mystery of that Union between the Almighty, Omniscient, Omnipresent Being, and a Human Life, with its bounded powers, its limited knowledge, its restricted sphere. We only know that in Christ, the finite and the Infinite are thus united. But we can understand this mysterious union at least as well as we can understand the union of such an organism as the human body to a spiritual immaterial principle like the human soul. How does spirit thus league itself with matter? Where and what is the life-principle of the body? Where is the exact frontier-line between sense and consciousness, between brain and thought, between the act of will and the movement of muscle? Is human nature then so utterly commonplace, and have its secrets been so entirely unravelled by contemporary science, as to entitle us to demand of the Almighty God that when He reveals Himself to us He shall disrobe Himself of

possit secundum operationem utique Deitatis; disce nunc quod secundum carnem omnia subjecta accipiat.'

St. Leo, Ep. xxviii. c. 4: 'Qui verus est Deus, idem verus est Homo; et nullum est in hâc unitate mendacium, dum invicem sunt et humilitas hominis et altitudo deitatis. Agit enim utraque forma cum alterius communione quod proprium est; Verbo scilicet operante quod Verbi est, et carne exsequente quod carnis est. Unum horum coruscat miraculis, alterum succumbit injuriis.' St. Joh. Damasc. iii. 19: εoû évaν0ршπńσаνтоs, кal ʼn ἀνθρωπίνη αὐτοῦ ἐνέργεια θεία ἦν, ήγουν τεθεωμένη, καὶ οὐκ ἄμοιρος τῆς θείας αὐτοῦ ἐνεργείας· καὶ ἡ θεία αὐτοῦ ἐνέργεια οὐκ ἄμοιρος τῆς ἀνθρωπίνης αὐτοῦ ἐνεργείας· ἀλλ ̓ ἑκατέρα σὺν τῇ ἑτέρᾳ θεωρουμένη. He urges, here and in iii. 15, that Two Natures imply Two Energies co-operating, for no nature is άvevéрynTos. See St. Tho. 3o. 19. 1.

mystery? If we reject His Self-revelation in the Person of Jesus Christ on the ground of our inability to understand the difficulties, great and undeniable, although not greater than we might have anticipated, which do in fact surround it; are we also prepared to conclude that, because we cannot explain how a spiritual principle like the soul can be robed in and act through a material body, we will therefore close our eyes to the arguments which certify us that the soul is an immaterial essence, and take refuge from this oppressive sense of mystery in some doctrine of consistent materialism ▾ ?


Certainly St. John's doctrine of the Divinity of the Word Incarnate cannot be reasonably objected to on the score of its mysteriousness by those who allow themselves to face their real ignorance of the mysteries of our human nature. Nor does that doctrine involve a necessary internal self-contradiction on such a ground as that 'the Word by Whom all things were made, and Who sustains all things, cannot become His Own creature.' Undoubtedly the Word Incarnate does not cease to be the Word; but He can and does assume a Nature which He has created, and in which He dwells, that in it He may manifest Himself. Between the processes of Creation and Incarnation there is no necessary contradiction in Divine revelation, such as is presumed to exist by certain Pantheistic thinkers. He who becomes Incarnate creates the form in which He manifests Himself simultaneously with the act of His Self-manifestation. Doubtless when we say that God creates, we imply that He gives an existence to something other than Himself. On the other hand, it is certain that He does in a real sense Himself exist in each created object, not as being one with it, but as upholding it in being. He is in every such object the constitutive, sustaining, binding force which perpetuates its being. Thus in varying degrees the creatures are temples and organs of the indwelling Presence of the Creator, although in His Essence He is infinitely removed from them. If this is true of the irrational and, in a lower measure, even of the inanimate creatures, much more is it true

The true lesson of such uncomprehended truths has been stated in Dante's imperishable lines:—

Accender ne dovria più il disio

Di veder quella essenzia, in che si vede
Come nostra natura e Dio s'unio.
Li si vedrà ciò che tenem per fede,

Non dimostrato; ma fia per se noto,
Aguisa del ver primo che l'uom crede.'

PARAD. ii. 40-45.

of the family of man, and of each member of that family. In vast inorganic masses God discovers Himself as the supreme, creative, sustaining Force. In the graduated orders of vital power which range throughout the animal and vegetable worlds, God unveils His activity as the Fountain of all life. In man, a creature exercising conscious reflective thought and free selfdetermining will, God proclaims Himself a free Intelligent Agent. Man indeed may, if he will, reveal much more than this of the beauty of God. Man may shed abroad, by the free movement of his will, rays of God's moral glory, of love, of mercy, of purity, of justice. Whether a man will thus declare the glory of his Maker depends not upon the necessary constitution of his nature, but upon the free co-operation of his will with the designs of God. God however is obviously able to create a Being who will reveal Him perfectly and of necessity, as expressing His perfect image and likeness before His creatures. All nature points to such a Being as its climax and consummation. And such a Being is the Archetypal Manhood, assumed by the Eternal Word. It is the climax of God's creation; It is the climax also of God's Self-revelation. At this point God's creative activity becomes entirely one with His Self-revealing activity. The Sacred Manhood is a creature, yet It is indissolubly united to the Eternal Word. It differs from every other created being, in that God personally tenants It. So far then are Incarnation and Creation from being antagonistic conceptions of the activity of God, that the absolutely Perfect Creature only exists as a perfect reflection of the Divine glory. In the Incarnation, God creates only to reveal, and He reveals perfectly by That which He creates. 'The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory w.'

VI. But if belief in our Lord's Divinity, as taught by St. John, cannot be reasonably objected to on such grounds as have been noticed, can it be destroyed by a natural explanation of its upgrowth and formation? Here, undoubtedly, we touch upon a suspicion which underlies much of the current scepticism of the day; and with a few words on this momentous topic we may conclude the present lecture.

Those who reject the doctrine that Christ is God are confronted by the consideration that, after the lapse of eighteen centuries since His appearance on this earth, He is believed in and worshipped as God by a Christendom which embraces the

▾ On this subject, see Martensen, Christl. Dogmat. § 132.

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