Charles F. (Charles Force) Deems.

Who was Jesus? online

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the glory of God among yourselves. I have come in my Father's name, and
ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
How can ye believe, receiving glory one of another, and seek not the glory
that cometh from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the
Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye have hoped.
For had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me: for he wrote- concern-
ing me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall yc believe my words '. "

It would seem that no one can read this speech without being
impressed with the thorough sincerity of the speaker. He be-
lieved all he said.* He made assertions of himself, which, it
true, are not only profound, and touching all the awful mysteries
of life and eternity, hut separate him from all other known
human beings.

lie first assumes the fatherhood of the Deity. God is father.
It is of His essence. lie does not become a father by creating,
but creates because He is a father. The human The Fatherhood ol
relationship between the besretterand the begotten God ami me sonhood

of Tfifi

furnishes us with the idea, hut it has always sub-
sisted in God. Unbeginning fatherhood implies unbeginning
sonhood. In point of fact, is there such a son? Jesus not only
declares that there now is, and consequently always has eternally
been, but that he himself is that very son, not a son, as any other
man may claim to be, but the Son of God. If the unbegun son,
the always-existent son, then he do( s make himself equal with the

* It must be remarked I
where in the speeches of Jo
comments are not made in order to Form
a BjHte.m of theology. This is intended
to be purely a history a history of the
deeds and speeches and cor
Jesua We arc concerned merely to dis

covi v what he meanl to Bay, and, having
Found i hat meaning, not to def< n
condemn, but to show I of the

holding and the propagating of Buch
thoughts upon th life of the m
bur, and perhaps upon the subsequent
oi* the world.


Father, as there cannot be two Gods. The long-inculcated mono-
theism of the Hebrews made it impossible for them to conceive
two persons in one God, and it is probably a metaphysical im-
practicability for any mind in which the idea of God is that of
an infinite or even of a supreme Existence, to conceive two Gods.
If, then, Jesus claims to be the Only Begotten, being one with
the Father, the Father and the Son not having had precedent and
subsequent existence, then he stands before all the laws of human
thought the equal of God, the very God. Right or wrong, such
eternity of sonship and such divine equality Jesus believed he
held, and he acted and spoke always as we should a priori
expect a person with such a belief to speak and act.

He confirms the impression upon the minds of his enemies by
statements made with the formula he always employed when he
designed to make his asseverations specially solemn, " Verily,
verily ;" "Amen, amen." If they regarded him, the man Jesus,
visible to them, as the sole and egoistic performer of such mira-
cles as that which had been wrought at the House of Mercy, they
were mistaken. He does them as the Son of God, and does what
the Father shows him. He asserts that the subsistence of the
existence of Father and Son is love. They are one in their love.
Nothing is done by the Father which is not known to the Son.
These things they had seen are but a small part of a stupendous
whole. God is perpetually vivifying and revivifying, wherefore
the Son must also be constantly discharging the quickening func
tion of the life-power that is in him as the Son of God. Not only
does all life proceed from him, but he is the judge of the living
and the dead ; so that no honor is to go to God which does not
come to Jesus as the Son.

He asserts, furthermore, that those who hear his teachings, and
thus believe in God by believing in him, have already everlast-
ing life, — do not wait for death to introduce them

Perpetual life. ' . - . . . . ni]

thereinto, indeed hare no judgment to pass, ll:e
hearing of the voice of the Son of God gives passage into a life
that is perpetual, and that is wholly unaffected by the mere inci-
dent of physical dissolution. But as touching the judgment of
men, he asserts that that is placed in his hands, because he is the
Son of Man. Man judges man. He that has had the trials,
weaknesses, human emergencies, fearful despondencies, appetites
and passions of a man, and therefore hath all human sympathy, is


to pass judgment on the character and acts of men. lie is God's
equal in divine purity and man's equal in humaneness.

The proof of the truth of what he says lie rests upon several
grounds. In the first place, he was not bearing egotistical testi-
mony to himself. All that he said and did

ill 1 r\ i l -n i Jesus no egotist.

brought glory to the great (rod, the Jiverlasting
Father, and in this he was to be distinguished from the pseudo-
Messiahs. In the next place, they had sent to John, who was a
resplendent light, and had from him received testimony to the
Messiahship of Jesus, who, nevertheless, makes little of all human
testimony to himself, even of John's ; and says that he was willing
for them to hear John, that they might have all helps to their
faith they could find, because he desired that they might be saved.
But the really reliable external proof is the works he did, and
the really reliable internal proof each man should have would be
the voice of God, bearing witness in his soul that this Jesus had
come out from God. But the Jews had silenced that voice.

Without this subjective evidence men will not believe on him,
no matter what quality and quantity of evidence maybe adduced.
For instance, thev had the Scriptures of the Old

Subjective evidence

Testament in their midst, and studied them.
They believed that the way to life lav mapped out therein. But
those Scriptures, Jesus held, pointed clearly to him. He fulfilled
them. And yet he does not glorify himself therefor, but he docs
glorify the Father. And yet they will not believe him. Let
another come* glorifying himself, and although he fulfil no
scripture, he will be received by these hard-minded men who
desire to kill Jesus — not so much for blasphemy, nor for the vio-
lation of the real Sabbath law, as for disregarding a Ay"' Sab-

It is a deformity of the will. They had put a gloss on the
Scripture. They had narrowed it to their national hopes. They
looked for national deliverance and splendor, and for a Messiah
who should bring grandeur t Judaism, and thus glory to God :
and they could not understand how God could be glorified ami
the Jewish nation not aggrandized. The very ground on which
they reject him is the very ground of his proof thai he had como
out from God.

•This assertion was verified by the I who were manifest impostors. Com-
oro wdn that subsequently fallowed those pare Acts \ :;

Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 21 of 77)