« НазадПродовжити »
ourselves, the weakest and most sinful., posed. The Holy Ghost overshadowed He was "made of a woman,” and not a the Virgin, and, allowing weakness to new creation, like Adam in Paradise. be derived from her, forbade wickedWhen we say that Christ's humanity ness; and so caused that there should was unsallen, we are far enough from be generated a sorrowing and a suffersaying that his humanity was the same ing humanity, but neveriheless an unas that of Adam, before Adam trans. defiled and a spotless; a humanity with gressed. He took hunanity with all tears, but not with stains; accessible those innocent infirmities, but without to anguish, but not prone to offend ; any of those sinful propensities, which allied most closely with the produced the fall entailed. There are conscquen- misery, but infinitely removed from the ces on guilt which are perfectly guilt- producing cause. So that we hold less. Sin introduced pain, but pain it- and we give it you as what we believe self is not sin. And therefore Christ, the orthodox doctrine--that Christ's as being "man, of the substance of his humanity was not the Adamic humaniinother," derived from her a suffering ty, that is, the humanity of Adam behumanity; but as "conceived by the fore the fall; nor fallen humanity, that Holy Ghost,"* he did not derive a is, in every respect the humanity of sinful. Fallen humanity denotes a hu- Adam after the fall
. It was not the Admanity which has descended from a amic, because it had the innocent infirstate of moral purity to one of moral mities of the fallen. It was not the impurity. And so long as there has not fullen, because it had never descended been this descent, humanity may re- into moral impurity. It was, therefore, main unfallen, and yet pass from physi- most literally our humanity, but withcal strength to physical weakness. This out sin. "Made of a woman,” Christ is exactly what we hold on the humani. derired all from his mother that we ty of the Son of God. We do not as- derive, except sinfulness. And this he sert that Christ's humanity was the derived not, because Deity, in the perAdamic humanity ; the humanity, that son of the Holy Ghost, interposed beis, of Adam whilst still loyal to Jeho- tween the child and the pollution of vah. Had this humanity been reprodu. the parent. ced, there must have been an act of But we now recur to the subjectereation; whereas, beyond controver- matter of discussion. We may consisy, Christ was " made of a woman,” der our position untouched, that since and not created, like Adam, by an act a man, made of a woman,” humbled of omnipotence. And allowing that) himself in dying, he must have had anChrist's humanity was not the Adamic, other nature which gave him such powof course we allow that there were con- er over the human, that he might either sequences of the fall of which it par- gield to, or resist, its infirmities. Christ took. We divide, therefore, these con- took our nature with its infirmities. sequences into innocent infirmities, and And to die is one of these infirmities, sinful propensities. From both was just as it is to hunger, or to thirst, or to Adam's humanity free before, and with be weary. There is no sin in dying. It both was it endowed after, transgres- is, indeed, a consequence on sin. But sion. Hence it is enough to have ei- consequences may be endured without ther, and the humanity is broadly dis- share in the cause; so that Christ tinguished from the Adamic. Now could take flesh which had in it a tenChrist took humanity with the inno- dency to death, but no tendency to sin. cent infirmities. He derived humanity It is not saying that Christ's flesh was from his mother. Bone of her bone, sinful like our own, to say that it was and flesh of her flesh, like her he could corruptible like our own. There might hunger, and thirst, and weep, and be eradicated all the tendencies to the mourn, and writhe, and die. But whilst doing wrong, and still be left all the he took humanity with the innocent physical entailments of the wrong done infirmities, he did not take it with the by another. And no man can read the sinful propensities. Here Deity inter-'prophecy, hthou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffered. But since, on becoming what he thine Holy One to see corruption,” was not, he ceased not to be what he Psalm 16: 10, without perceiving that was, he brought down into the fashion there was no natural incorruptibility, of man all the life-giving energies and, therefore, no natural deathlessness which appertained to him as God; and in the flesh of Christ Jesus; for if the he stood on the earth, the wondrous flesh had been naturally incorruptible, combination of two natures in one perand, therefore, naturally deathless, how son; the one nature infirm and tendirg could God be represented as providing to decay, the other self-existent, and that this flesh should not remain so the source of all being throughout a long in the grave as " to see corrup- crowded immensity. tion?” The prophecy has no meaning, And the one nature might have eterif it be denied that Christ's body would nally kept up the other; and, withhave corrupted, had it continued in the standing the inroads of disease, and sepulchre.
* Apostles' Creed
pouring in fresh supplies of vitality, We may assert, then, that in Christ's have given undecaying vigor to the humanity, as in our own, there was a mortal, perpetual youth to the corruptendency to dissolution; a tendency re- tible. But how then could the Scripsulting from entailed infirmities which tures have been fulfilled; and where were innocent, but in no degree from would have been the expiation for the sinfulness, whether derived or con- sins of a burdened and groaning creatracted. But as the second person in tion? It was an act of humility-the the Trinity, the Lord of life and glory, tongue, we have told you, cannot exChrist Jesus possessed an unlimited press it, and the thought cannot comcontrol over this tendency, and might, pass it—that, "for us men and for our had he pleased, for ever have suspend- salvation,” the Eternal Word consented, or for ever have counteracted it. ed to "be made fesh.” God became And herein lay the alleged act of hu-i man. It was stupendous humility. But mility. Christ was unquestionably mor- he was not yet low enough. The man tal; otherwise it is most clear that he must humble himself, humble himself could not have died at all. But it is to even unto death; for "without shed. the full as unquestionable that he must ding of blood is no remission.” Hehave been more than mortal; other- brews, 9 : 22. And he did humble himwise death was unavoidable; and where self. Death was avoidable, but he subcan be the humility of submitting to imitted; the grave might have been that which we have no power of avoid- overstepped, but he entered. ing? As mere man, he was mortal. It would not have been the working But then as God, the well-spring of life out of human redemption, and the mil. to the population of the universe, he lions with whom he had entered into could for ever have withstood the ad- brotherhood would have remained unvances of death, and have refused it do- delivered from their thraldom to Satan, minion in his own divine person. But bad Deity simply united itself to hn"he humbled himself." In order that manity, and then upheld humanity so there might come down upon him the as to enable it to defy its great enemy, fulness of the wrath-cup, and that he death. There lay a curse on the earth's might exhaust the penalties which roll- population, and he who would be their ed, like a sea of fire, between earth and surety must do more than take their heaven, he allowed scope to that liable- nature-he must carry it through the ness to death which he might for ever darkness and the fearfulness of the realhave arrested; and died, not through ized malediction. But what else was any necessity, but through the act of this but a fresh act of humility, a new his own will; died, inasmuch as his and unlimited stretch of condescenhumanity was mortal ; died voluntarily, sion ? Even whilst on earth, and clothinasmuch as his person was divine. ed round with human flesh and blood,
And this was humility. If, on becom- Christ Jesus was still that great"I am,” ing man, he had ceased to be God, who sustains "all things by the word there would have been no humility in of his power,” Hebrews, 1:3, and out his death. He would only have submit- of whose fulness every rank of created ted to what he could not have declin- intelligence hath, from the beginning, drawn the elements of existence. And, smart. It is the guilty man who cares therefore, though " found in fashion as only for the being condemned—the a man," he was all along infinitely su- guiltless is pierced through and through perior to the necessity of human na- by the being accused. And let it never iure; and, being able to lay down life be thought that the humanity of the and to take it again at pleasure, was Son of God, holy and undefiled as it only subject to death because deter- was, possessed not this sensitiveness mining to die. It was then humility to to disgrace.
Be ye come out as adie. It was the voluntary submission gainst a thief, with swords and staves?” io a curse. It was a free-will descent St. Luke, 22 : 52, was a remonstrance from the high privilege of bearing which clearly showed that he felt keenon humanity through the falling myri- ly the shame of unjust and russianly ads of successive generations, and of treatment. And, as if it were not hustrengthening it to walk as the denizen miliation enough to die, shall he, with of eternity, whilst there went forward all this sensitiveness to disgrace, die unresisted, on the right hand and on the death which was, of all others, igthe left, the mowing down the species. nominious; a death appropriated to the And when, therefore, you would de- basest condition of the worst men, and scribe the humiliation of the Son of unworthy of a free man, whatever the God, think not that you have opened amount of his guiltiness? Shall the the depths of abasement, when you separation of soul from body be effecthare shown him exchanging the throne ed by an execution to which none of light, and the glory which he had were doomed but the most wretched of with the Father, for a tabernacle of slaves, or the most abandoned of misflesh, and companionship with the re-creants; by a punishment, too inhuman bel. He went down a second abyss, we indeed to find place in the Jewish code, had almost said, as fathomless as the but the nearest approach to which, the first. From heaven to earth, who shall hanging up the dead bodies of crimimeasure it? But when on earth, when nals, was held so infamous and execraa man, there was the whole precipice ble, that the fearful phrase, "accursed of God's curse, not one hair-breadth of by God,” was applied to all thus senwhich was he necessitated to descend. tenced and used? We speak of nothing And when, therefore, he threw himself but the shame of the cross; for it was over this precipice, and sank into the the shame which gave display to humigrave, who will deny that there was a lity. And we are bold to say, that, after new and overwhelming display of con- the condescension of God in becoming descension; that there was performed man, after the condescension of the by the God-man, even as there had been God-man in consenting to die, there by the God, an act of self-humiliation was an act of condescension, scarce into which we can find no parallel; and serior to the others, in that the death that, consequently, " being found in was "the death of the cross.” He who fashion as a man, Christ humbled him humbled himself in dying at all, humsell
, and became obedient unto death ?" bled himself unspeakably more in dying But this is not all. You have not yet as a malefactor. It would have been completed the survey of the Mediator's humility had he who was exempt from humiliation.
the necessity of our nature consented It was wonderful self-abasement that to fall, as heroes fall, amid the tears of he should choose to die. But the man- a grateful people, and the applauses of ner of the death makes the bumility alan admiring world. It would have been thousand-fold more apparent. "He be- humility had he breathed out his soul came obedient unto death, even the on the regal couch, and far-spreading dealh of the cross." We wish it observ. tribes had felt themselves orphaned. ed that Christ Jesus was not insensible But to be suspended as a spectacle beto ignominy and disgrace. He submit tween heaven and earth; to die a linted; but, oh, he felt acutely and bitter- gering death, exposed to the tauntings ly. You cannot cause a sharper pang to and revilings of a profligate multitude, an ingenuous and upright mind than by "all they that see me laugh me to scorn; the imputation of crime. The conscious- they shoot out the lip, they shake the ness of innocence only heightens the head," Psalın 22 : 7, to be numbered
with the transgressors,” Isaiah, 53:12, humbling himself, and then, as man, and expire amid the derision and de- abasing himself, till there was no lower spite of his own kinsmen after the flesh; point to which he could descend? And if the other were humility, how shall all this for us; for you, for me; for we describe this? Yet to this, even to the vile, for the reprobate, for the lost! this, did the Mediator condescend. "He And what return do we make ? Alas! endured,” says St. Paul," the cross, for the neglect, the contempt, the colddespising the shame.” Hebrews, 12:2. ness, the formality, which he who humHe felt the shame; otherwise there bled himself, and agonized, and died the was nothing memorable in his bringing death of shame on our behalf, receives himself to despise it. He despised it, at our hands. Which of us is faithfully not as feeling it no evil, but as making taking pattern? Which of us, I do not it of no account when set against the say, has mastered and ejected pride, glorious results which its endurance but is setting himself in good earnest, would effect. For it was not only ne- and with all the energy which might be cessary that he should die, it was also brought to the work, to the wrestling necessary that he should die ignomini- with pride and sweeping it from the ously. He must die as a criminal; we breast? Would to God that this paswish you to observe that. He was to sion-season may leave us more humble, die as man's substitute; and man was more self-denying, more disposed to a criminal, yea, the very basest. So bear one another's burdens, than it finds that death by public sentence, death as us. Would to God that it may write, a malefactor, may be said to have been more deeply than ever on our hearts, required from a surety who stood in the doctrine which is the alone engine the place of traitors, with all their trea- against the haughtiness and self-suffison on his shoulders. The shame of the ciency of the fallen, that the Mediator cross was not gratuitous. It was not between earth and heaven was perenough that the substitute humbled fect God and perfect man.
There himself to death; he must humble him- must be Deity in the rock which could self to a shameful death. And Christ bear up a foundered world. May none Jesus did this. He could say, in the pa- of you forget this. The young amongst thetic words of prophecy, "I hid not you more especially, keep ye this dilimy face from shame and spitting.” Isa. gently in mind. I have lived much amid 50 : 6. And shall we doubt, that, man the choicest assemblies of the literary as he was, keenly alive to unmerited youth of our land, and I know full well disgrace, the indignities of his death how commonly the pride of talent, or added loathsomeness to the cup which the appetite for novelty, or the desire he had undertaken to drink; and shall to be singular, or the aversion from we not then confess that there was an what is holy, will cause an unstable humiliation in the mode of dying, over mind to yield itself to the specious soand above that of taking flesh, and that phistry, or the licentious effrontery, of of permitting himself to be mortal - sceptical writings. I pray God that so that the apostle's words are vindi- none of you be drawn within the edcated in their every letter, "being found dies of that whirlpool of infidelity, in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, which rends into a thousand shivers and became obedient unto death, even the noblest barks, freighted with a rich the death of the cross ?"
lading of intellect and learning. Be ye We can only, in conclusion, press on watchful alike against the dogmas of you the exhortation of St. Paul: "Let an indolent reasoning, and the syren this mind be in you which was also in strains of a voluptuous poetry, and the Christ Jesus." He died to make atone. fiendlike sneers of reprobate men, and ment, but he died also to set a pattern. the polished cavils of fashionable conShall selfishness find patrons amongst tempt. Let none of these seduce or you when you have gazed on this exam-scare you from the simplicity of the ple of disinterestedness ? Shall pride faith, and breathe blightingly on your be harbored aster you have seen Deity allegiance, and shrivel you into that
* Athanasian Creed.
withered and sapless thing, the disciple ties of a broken law, unsatisfied through of a creed which owns not divinity in eternity, must have entered like fiery Christ. If I durst choose between poi- arrows, and scathed and maddened each son-cups, I would take Deism rather descendant of Adam. May you all learn than Socinianism. It seems better to re- to use the doctrine of the atonement ject as forgery, than, having received as the basis of hope, and the motive to as truth, to drain of meaning, to use, holiness. Thus'shall this passion-season without reserve, the sponge and the be a new starting-point to all of us; to thumb-screw; the one, when passages those who have never entered on a hea. are too plain for controversy, the other venward course; to those who have when against us, till unmercifully tor- entered, and then loitered; so that tured. May you all see that, unless a none, at last, may occupy the strange Mediator, more than human, had stood and fearful position of men for whom in the gap to stay the plague, the penal- a Savior died, but died in vain.
THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION VIEWED IN CONNEC
TION WITH THAT OF THE SOUL'S IMMORTALITY,
"? Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life.”—John, 11 : 25.
There is perhaps no narrative in the in a trance, so clear and decisive that