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A conversion of the divine into the human, or of the human into the divine, is no more within the limits of possibility than their entire change. God can as easily throw off his whole nature as half of it, and make an entire God out of a creature as a part of one.

The doctrine of degrees, discrete or simultaneous, employed by the pantheistic explainers of incarnation, is wholly incompatible with the Christian ideas of the God-man. For God cannot be more or less infinite. The Absolute does not admit of comparison, neither can man be more or less finite and created. The two natures can never approach and mingle in a third, which is neither one nor the other, though they can be united. The supposition allows to Christ no proper divinity or humanity. The divine Word is not a real person, but an impersonation. And the human being without rationality is equally thing like and theatric. In the play of the parts it is represented as an external person, as Hamlet and Othello are in the plots of the great dramatist. But it is only a mask, behind which there is no true personal humanity or Divinity. Dorner says no doctrine of the person of Christ can be Christian, which teaches either the identity of the human and divine, the conversion of one into the other, or their commixture.

Turn now from these impracticable theories to the veritable facts in the case to the human and divine as essentially distinct, and yet related natures. It is evident that there was in Christ one nature purely divine; it is equally evident that there was another as purely human. It is as certain, therefore, by the logic of facts, that there are two natures united in him as that one and one are two.

I cannot better present the union of these natures in Christ than by condensing the statement of it made by the Council at Chalcedon, A.D. 451. « We teach and confess one Lord Jesus Christ, perfect in Deity and perfect in humanity, very God and very man ; consisting of reasonable soul and of flesh; of the same substance with the Father as to his Godhead, and of the same substance with us as to his manhood;

in two natures, unmixed, unconverted, undivided. The distinction of natures was never abolished, nor severed into two persons, but the peculiarities of each were preserved and combined into one person, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.” This confession has great historic value, notwithstanding the partisan strifes out of and above which it rose. It is the voice of the church, modern and medieval, as well as primitive, and a witness to its doctrinal unity on this central point. It clearly distinguishes the true view from the speculative theories above referred to, and against which the church was early called, and is still called, to defend its faith. The later investigations have unfolded it in a more scientific exactness, and the life-processes of the church have wrought it out into a greater intellectual fulness and ethical richness. But they have introduced no new elements, nor let go either of these old and essential ones.

Are there difficulties in this idea of two natures in one person? There are greater ones in the Nestorian dogma of two natures and two persons, which gives to Christianity two Christs instead of one ; and also in the hypothesis of one nature and one person.

For if the one nature be the human, as the Socinians say, it leaves us only a finite and fallible Saviour. But if divine, according to the Apollinarians, we have no true God-man as Mediator in Christ, for “a Mediator is not a Mediator of one, but God is one.” Difficulties are not, however, proof of error. They are found in some of the most obvious facts and fundamental truths, in the hypostatic union of matter and mind; in the divine existence without beginning, cause, or change, and in omnipotent, creative power. But Christian faith does not stumble at such difficulties; neither does philosophy. The conception of a divine-human Saviour rests for support on history and divine testimony. For the work of mediation, of sacrifice, and salvation by sacrifice, it is perfectly congruous with all we know of the character of God, and the nature and needs of man. Nay, it is the condition and archetype of reconciliation and redemption. It harmonizes justice and love, and is the centre-point of God's regal and paternal administration.

The old Lutheran formula, “ the finite is capable of the infinite,” contains a first principle of the incarnation and of redemption. Nor is it contradictory to that of the Reformed church “the finite is incapable of the infinite.” It is only the other side of the same great truth. The one looks towards the union of the two natures in Christ; the other, towards their essential distinction. The dualism maintained in the Reformed church preserved its Christology from the ubiquity-dogma, and the communication of attributes which marred the Lutheran, though it came into the peril of a merely mechanical or moral union. On the other hand, the Lutheran coalescence was a reaction from the Romish too great separation,- an extreme of that capability of the finite for the infinite which is indispensable to their union, and which must be maintained. The fall of the human nature did not destroy its substance, or any of its original susceptibility. It did not alter its essential, but only its ethical, relations to God. It is still conscious of dependence on the divine nature, and from a sense of inner discord, of selfschism, and separation from God, it feels the need of a reconciling and redeeming power. This shows it capable of a re-union with God, and of moral harmony with itself.

The finite is not, therefore, an evil -- the moral antagonism of the infinite, but a good work of God. In its first form, the human was affiliated with the Divine, leaned upon it, loved it, and lived in the most intimate fellowship with it. It was its perfect picture, marred now, indeed, but not past the restorative power of the Master Artist.

Upon this condition of essential distinction and essential relatedness, the infinite Divine descends and dwells in and with the finite-human in Christ. He who was in the form of God “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." In stooping thus to take up the fallen human nature into the divine-human personality, the Son of God came into the form and condition of a servant. But in this humiliation (Kévwors) he did not lay off the divine essence. He did not

empty the Godhead of a single attribute, nor bereave it of a single regal prerogative, nor tarnish a ray of its glory. If the Divine was temporarily veiled, it was also most signally revealed in new lights and new relations. It was seen taking up the whole human into itself, and reconciling it thereto, without making it superhuman, and without violence to its freedom. It was seen giving to the human the whole infinitedivine, completely atoned in Christ, without conversion, diminution, or limitation. The glorious result is the allsufficient, theanthropic Redeemer, the Head and Representative of the redeemed. In him God is ever the hegeomonic, and ransomed man the free harmonic, answering in his whole nature to the most delicate touches of the Divine, as an unstrung Aeolian, retuned by the fingers of God and swept by his breath sends forth the mingled melodies of earth and heaven.

The key to this incarnating and redeeming work we must look for in the divine love. This is God's ethical nature. “ God is love"; and love, like knowledge, is indefinitely communicable. Distribution does not divide, nor imparting, lessen it. It is the vinculum that connects the two natures in Christ; the mysterious bridge across the separating abyss, upon which the Divine passed over to the human in him, - the great unifying force of the moral world. While this love unites the two natures in the person of Christ, it makes the fullest revelation of God, and raises up, and secures a realization of, the true greatness of man. The sensibility and fulness of feminine grace, a feature of Christianity which Romanism recognizes, but mars, in Mariolatry, is blended in Jesus with the grandeur of heroic and perfected manhood. Divinely tender and charitable in his feelings, he was discriminatingly exact in his moral judgments. Profound in his teachings,

1“ Se ipsum exinanivit. Inanitio haec eadem est cum humiliatione, de qua postea videbimus. ..... Non potuit quidem Christus abdicare se Divinitate; sed eam ad tempus occultam tenuit, ne appareret sub carnis infirmitate. Itaque gloriam suam non minuendo, sed supprimendo, in conspectu hominum deposuit." - Calvin's Commentary, In Epistolae Pauli ad Philippenses, Cap. ii. 7.

he was simple in his language as a child, while laying the foundations of a universal spiritual empire.

There is a deep mystery in this doctrine of Christ. We cannot explain it, but it harmonizes and explains everything in the life of the God-man, – the two-fold attributes which are ascribed to him, and the mixed elements in bis activities, the supernatural in his miracles, and the natural in his human growth. As he increased in stature and wisdom, the fact of God's incarnation in him became more and more manifest to the world, his Messianic character became more complete, and his consciousness of the divinity within him, more distinct and full. Growing thus, thirty years, in a divine-human thoughtfulness and silence, he waited for his work till his strength and his hour were fully come. Then went he forth upon the world's great battle-field, to suffering, death, and to victory.

But as when fire melts iron it permeates every part, yet is not melted, and when heated iron is under the hammer the fire is not hammered, but the hot iron, so in the personal experiences of this conflict, the Divine was in the closest oneness of sympathy and support with the human ; but it was not thrown into pangs by the human suffering, with which it was ineffably connected. In the evangelic narrative, hunger and thirst, as well as suffering and death, are affirmed of the divine-human person, but are predicable only of the human. Miracles are also by the same law ascribed to him. He turned water into wine, spake the tempestuous sea into a calm, and raised the dead. But these are the prerogatives and acts only of the divine nature. The attributes and possibilities of the two natures are united in the one personal Mediator without being mixed or commuted. If the finite infirmities of the human appear in the life and death of the mysterious person, so also does the infinite strength of the divine. We say, he was troubled, and so he was; but he was also untroubled as a sea of love. Did he shrink from the cup of vicarious sorrow? And yet, he did not shrink, but drank it all, affirming : “ For this cause came

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