The Divine And Human Natures In Christ -- By: Edward A. Lawrence

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 024:93 (Jan 1867)
Article: The Divine And Human Natures In Christ
Author: Edward A. Lawrence

The Divine And Human Natures In Christ1

Rev. Edward A. Lawrence

The fundamental idea of Christianity is a deed, rather than a doctrine or a law. As a moral force it had its beginning in the faith of Abel. As a historic fact it began in that marvellous birth at Bethlehem, in which God revealed himself to men in man’s nature. Any adequate philosophy of Christianity must, therefore, take into account this central fact. It must be able to construe it in all its modes and tenses; its logical and chronological relations; its vital forces, simple and compound, ethical and psychological. But who can thus compass this most stupendous work of God? Who can ascend to its sublime heights, or sound the depths of its wisdom and love?

When we propound the doctrine of man we have a single idea, an identical and finite organism, and, in a department where consciousness helps us and experience gives us light. Even when God is our theme the subject, though illimitable, is homogeneous and a unit. But when we come to study the person of Christ our Lord, we pass from the simple to the complex, from the difficult elements of the problem to its more difficult solution. Ideas, not only distinct, but metaphysically opposite, the infinite and the finite, the absolute and the relative, — require to be conciliated in the most wonderful of all unities and agencies.

Just here comes the real “conflict of the ages.” Upon this battle-field the contest between faith and false philosophy, reason and revelation, has been sharpest. More and more the opposing forces are drawn towards this centre, where all

for the church is to be won or lost. The deniers of miracle and of mystery array themselves more and more defiantly against this greatest of miracles and profoundest of mysteries. Never, perhaps, has the thinking world been more attracted to the founder of Christianity, as the problem of history as well as theology, than in the present age. Germany, that vast mental kaleidoscope, where beliefs and disbeliefs revolve and sparkle with the fascinations of genius; where the philosophies, atheistic and pantheistic, have been employed in coroners’ inquests and reputed post-mortem examinations of the Christian religion, and in digging its grave; where the schools, serious and sardonic, have been intent on pulling down the kingdom of heaven, —the land of Luther, notwithstanding these adverse things, has yet, during the last half-century, produced a Christological literature rich in hermeneutical and historical research beyond that of almost any other age or nation.

But, in entering on my subject, I have the fullest conviction that, while the lig...

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