Henry Parry Liddon.

The divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford, in the year 1866, on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton, M.A., canon of Salisbury online

. (page 41 of 65)
Online LibraryHenry Parry LiddonThe divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford, in the year 1866, on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton, M.A., canon of Salisbury → online text (page 41 of 65)
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u Eph. v. 24 : f) eKK\r)o~(a vTrordo~o~erai rep Xpiffrqj.

x Ibid. iv. 20 ; i. 12.

y Phil. ii. 10: 'Iva kv raj bv6(j.ari 3 Irjffov irav y6vv Kdfjffyr) irovpavi(av Kal
fTriyeifav Kal Karax^ovicav. Cf. St. Cyril Alex. Thes. p. 128.

z Ibid. i. 16: rbv Xpiffrbv tear ayy f \\ovffiv. Ibid. ver. 18: Xpitrrbs Karay-

a Ibid. ver. 23 : firiOv/miav 6%co*/ els rb dvaAvtrai, Kal arvv Xpio~rca sivai.

b Ibid. ver. 29 : vfuv e'xap^r? T& inrep XptcrToO, ov u.6vov rb ets a.vr'bv TTKT-
reueij/, aAAa Kal rb virep avrov

336 Implied Christology of the

trusts in Jesus Christ that it will be possible to send Timothy
to Philippi c . He contrasts the selfishness of ordinary Chris-
tians with a disinterestedness that seeks the things (it is not
said of God, but) of Christ d. The Christian ' boast' or 'glory'
centres in Christ, as did the Jewish in the Law e ; the Apostle
had counted all his Jewish privileges as dung that he might win
Christ f ; Christ strengthens him to do all things g ; Christ will
one day change this body of our humiliation, that it may become
of like form with the Body of His glory, according to the energy
of His ability even to subdue all things unto Himself 11 . In this
Epistle, as in those to the Corinthians, the Apostle is far from
pursuing any one line of doctrinal statement : moral exhor-
tations, interspersed with allusions to persons and matters of
interest to himself and to the Philippians, constitute the staple
of his letter. And yet how constant are the references to Jesus
Christ, and how inconsistent are they, taken as a whole, with
any conception of His Person which denies His Divinity !

The Pastoral Epistles are distinguished, not merely by the
specific directions which they contain respecting the Christian
hierarchy and religious societies in the apostolical Church \
but also and especially by the stress which they lay upon the
vital distinction between heresy and orthodoxy k . Each of these

c Phil. ii. 19 : IATTI^OU 5e kv Kvpicp 'I^troC, Tifi60ov rax^s ire/^ai vfjuv.
d Ibid. ver. 21 : ol Tfavres yap ra kavrwv Cyreww, ov ra rov Xpiarov

6 Ibid. iii. 3 : Kavx^^voi kv Xpiffry 'li)<Tov.

f Ibid. ver. 8 : Si bv ra irdvra efirjfjLK/adrjv Kal rjyov/jiai o~Ki>J3a\a effat, 'iva
Xpiffrbv /cepS^trw, Kal eupeflcu kv avrcp.

s Ibid. iv. 13 : irdvra to^uco kv ry evSwafjiovvri //e Xptcrrfj).

h Ibid. iii. 2 1 : t>s jueracr^uaTfo'et rb <rcD/*a TT)S Tcnrciv(iMre<ivs fiiu.jv, ets T>
ycv4ff6cu avrb avn.fj.op<pov r 0-cfyum rr)s 8^|r?s avrov, Kara T^V kvtpytiav rov
Svi/affdai avrbv Kal vword^ai cavrSj ra iravra.

i I Tim. iii. iv. v. ; Tit. i. 5-9 ; ii. i-io, &c.

k St. Paul's language implies that the true faith is to the soul what the
most necessary conditions of health are to the body, vyialvovaa. 5i5a<r/caA.tcc
(i Tim. i. 10 ; Tit. i. 9; ii. i); so \6yos vyi^s (Tit. ii. 8), \6yoi vyiaivovres
(2 Tim. i. 13). Thus the orthodox teaching is styled rj Ka\^ SitiavKaXia
(i Tim. iv. 6), or simply f} Si5a(r/ca\a (Ibid. vi. i), as though no other
deserved the name. Any deviation (erepoSiSao-KaAeTv, Ibid. i. 3 ; vi. 3) is
self-condemned as being such. The heretic prefers his own self-chosen
private way to the universally-received doctrine ; he is to be cut off, after
two admonitions, from the communion of the Church (Tit. iii. TO) on the
ground that eleWpaTrrcu 6 roiovros, Kal a/jLaprdvei, &v avroKaraKpiros (Ibid.).
Heresy is spoken of by turns as a crime and a misfortune, irepl rty irianv
cvavdyrjffav (i Tim. i. 19); aTrtir\avr)6i](rav airb rrjs IT'IO-TCWS (Ibid. vi. 10) ;
irfpl Tr\v aXJieeiav T]<rr6x-n<rav (2 Tim. ii. 18). Deeper error is characterized
in severer terms, airoa-r^ffovrai rijy Trtoreas, Trpocrcxovres xrcfyuun ir\dvois


Pastoral Epistles. 337

lines of teaching radiates from a most exalted conception of
Christ's Person, whether He is the Source of ministerial power 1 ,
or the Sun and Centre-point of orthodox truth m . In stating
the doctrine of redemption these Epistles insist strongly upon
its universality 11 . The whole world was redeemed in the inten-
tion of Christ, however that intention might be limited in effect
by the will of man. As the theories, Judaising and Gnostic,
which confined the benefits of Christ's redemptive work to races
or classes, were more or less Humanitarian in their estimate
of His Person ; so along with the recognition of a world-
embracing redemption was found the belief in a Divine Ke-
deemer. Accordingly in the Pastoral Epistles the Divinity
of our Lord is taught both in express terms and by tacit
implication. His functions as the A warder of indulgence and
mercy P, His living invisible Presence in the Church Q, His
active providence over His servants, and His ready aid in

Kai 8i5ao7ca\UHS Saipoviow .... KeKavryptacrfjieiXtiv TTJV IStav o-vvsiS-riffiv K.T.\.
(i Tim. iv. T, 2); OVTOI dvdio~Tai>Tai TYJ aXrjBeia, avdpooTroi /caTe<>0a/>/zeVot TOI>
vovi/, d5o'/et|UO Trepl T$jv TTio'TLv (2 Tim. in. 8) ; aTrb rrjs aA.7j0/as TT)I> aicofyv
airoo'Tpfyovffii', eirl 8e robs /mvdovs eKTpaTr'f] ffovrai (Ibid. iv. 4). Heresy eats
its way into the spiritual body like a gangrene, 6 \6yos avrtav ws ydyypaiva
voyfyv eei (Ibid. ii. 17). It is observable that throughout these Epistles
iria-Tis is not the subjective apprehension, but the objective body of truth ;
not fides qud creditur, but the Faith. And the Church is O~TV\OS Kal efya/oyia
rrjs a\rj0ias (i Tim. iii. 15). This truth, which the Church supports, is
already embodied in a virorvTroxris vyiaiv6vrcav \6ycav (2 Tim. i. 13).

1 I Tim. i. 12: Q^^vos els SICLKOVIOLV. 2 Tim. ii. 3: aTpanwrrjs 'bjtrov
Xpiffrov. So when the young widows who have entered into the Order
of widows wish to marry again, this is represented as an offence against
Christ, with Whom they have entered into a personal engagement, ftrav
yap Kara.a-Tp'riisidffooo'i TOV Xpiffrov, yape'iv 0eAot><ni>, e^outrot /cpijua, '6ri T^JV
irp&Tflv iriffTiv rjderrjffav (i Tim. v. II, 12).

m I Tim. vi. 3, where moral and social truth is specially in question.

n Ibid. ii. 3. Intercession is to be offered for all. TOVTO yap Ka\bv KO.\
aWSe/crcf evuTTiov TOV ^caTTJpos T}(JL}V 0eoO, 6s irdvras avOpd-rrovs 6e\i crwOfjvat
Kal els ciriyvcao-tv a\7)6ias e'A^e?!/. efs yap ebs, efs Kal jUeo-tTTjs eoG Kal
avOpwirow, avdpwiros Xpio~rbs ^l^ffovs, 6 8ovs eavrbv avri^vrpov virep TrdvTtov.
Cf. Ibid. iv. 10 ; Tit. ii. n.

Tit. ii. 13 : TOV /nyd\ov ov Kal 2wrr)pos TIU.&V 'Irjcrov Xpio-Tov.

P I Tim. i. 1 6 : diet TOVTO 7?A.6T)0Tji>, 'tva ev /JLO! irpvTy eVSet^rat 'Ir/troGs
Xpio-Tbs T})V irao~av fJLaitpo6v/j.iav. Cf. ver. 13. Compare the intercession for
the (apparently) deceased Onesiphorus : 5^77 avT$> 6 Kvpios fvptw eAeos napa
Kvplov tv cKeivri TT? rjfj-fpa (i Tim. i. 1 8) ; where the second Kvpios also must
be Jesus Christ the Judge, at Whose Hands St. Paul himself expects to
receive the crown of righteousness (Ibid. iv. 8).

<i Observe the remarkable adjurations, tiia/uLapTvpo/uai eva-mov TOV &ov Kal
Kvptov 'Irjffov XpiffTov Kal TO>V K\KTWI/ ayyeAwv (I Tim. v. 21); Trapayye\\oo
trot V(airiov TOV eou TOV faoiroiovvTos Ta TrdvTa, Kal XptffTov 'Irjffov TOV
papTvprjaai/Tos eVi TlovTiov Ui\aTov T^V Ka\^jv bpoXoyiav (Ibid. vi. 13).
VI ] Z

338 Why can no human name be subsisted for

trouble 1 , are introduced naturally as familiar topics. And if
the Manhood of the One Mediator is prominently alluded to
as being the instrument of His Mediation 8 , His Pre-existence
in a Higher Nature is as clearly intimated *.

After what has already been said on the prominence of the
doctrine of Christ's Divinity in the Epistle to the Hebrews,
it may suffice here to remark that the power u of His Priestly
Mediation as there insisted on, although exhibited in His
glorified Humanity, does of itself imply a superhuman Person-
ality. This indeed is more than hinted at in the terms of
the comparison which is instituted between Melchisedec and
His Divine Antitype. History records nothing of the parents,
of the descent, of the birth, or of the death of Melchisedec ;
he appears in the sacred narrative as if he had no beginning
of days or end of life. In this he is ' made like unto the Son
of God,' with His eternal Pre-existence and His endless days v .
This Eternal Christ can save to the uttermost, because He
has a Priesthood that is unchangeable, since it is based on
His Own Everlasting Being x .

In short, if we bear in mind that, as the Mediator, Christ is
God and Man, St. Paul's language about Him is explained by
its twofold drift. On the one hand, the true force of the
distinction between 'One God' and 'One Lord' or 'One Mediator*
becomes apparent in those passages, where Christ in His as-
sumed Manhood is for the moment in contrast with the Un-
incarnate Deity of the Father y. On the other hand, it is
only possible to read the great Christological passages of the
Apostle without doing violence to the plain force of his lan-
guage, when we believe that Christ is God. Doubtless the
Christ of St. Paul is shrouded in mystery ; but could any real
intercourse between God and man have been re-established
which should be wholly unmysterious ? Strip Christ of His

r 2 Tim. iv. 1 7 : 6 5e Kvpi6s pot iraptaTi], /cal ej/eSwa/xaxre /lie. Ibid,
ver. 1 8 : pixrerai /*e 6 Kvpios airb iravrbs Zpyov Trovrjpov.

* I Tim. ii. 5.

* Ibid. iii. 16. Baur, Vorlesungen, p. 351 : 'Mensch wird zwar Christus
ausdriicklich genannt (i Tim. ii. 5) aber von einem menschlichen Subject
kann doch eigentlich nicht gesagt werden tyavepudrj ev (rapid. Es passt
diess nur fur em hoheres iibermenschliches Wesen.'

u Heb. vii. 25 : (review els rb iravrehfs Svvarcu.

v Heb. vii. 3 : aTrarcop, a/^rcop, ayei/eaAoyTjros' fj.'fjre apxty Wfpw, /x^re
CCT)S reAos exu>v a(/>u>/xoia>ju.ej'os 5e TU> Tiy TOV 0eoO.

* Ibid. vers. 24, 25 : 6 Se, 5ta rb fjitvtiv avrbv els rbv aluva, airapafiaTov
ex^i T^]V Ifpwffvvriv' oQev Kal ffufeiv (Is rb irai/TeAes SiWrcu.

y I Cor. viii. 6 ; Eph. iv. 5 ; I Tim. ii. 5.


the Name of Jesus, in the writings of St. Paul? 339

Godhead that you may denude Him of mystery, and what
becomes, I do not say of particular texts, but of all the most
characteristic teaching of St. Paul \ Substitute, if you can,
throughout any one Epistle the name of the first of the saints
or of the highest among the angels, for the Name of the Divine
Kedeemer, and see how it reads. Accept the Apostle's implied
challenge. Imagine for a moment that Paul was crucified for
you ; that you were baptized in the name of Paul z ; that
wisdom, holiness, redemption, come from an Apostle who, saint
.though he be, is only a brother-man. Conceive that the Apostle
ascends for a moment his Master's throne ; that he says ana-
thema to any who loves not the Apostle Paul ; that he is
bent upon bringing every thought captive to the obedience
of Paul ', that he announces that in Paul are hid all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge ; that instead of protesting ' We
preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves
your servants for Jesus' sake,' he could say, 'Paul is the end
of the law to every one that believeth.' Can you conceive it %
What then is it in the Name of Christ which renders this
language, when it is applied to Him, other than unintelligible
or intolerable 1 Why is it that when coupled with any
other name, however revered and saintly, the words of Paul
respecting Jesus Christ must seem not merely strained, but
exaggerated and blasphemous] It is not that truth answers
to truth, that all through these Epistles, and not merely in
particular assertions, there is an underlying idea of Christ's
Divinity which is taken for granted, as being the very soul
and marrow of the entire series of doctrines ] that when this
is lost sight of, all is misshapen and dislocated? that when
this is recognised, all falls into its place as the exhibition of
infinite Power and Mercy, clothed in a vesture of humiliation
and sacrifice, and devoted to the succour and .enlightenment
of man 1

4. It is with the prominent features of St. Paul's charac-
teristic teaching as with the general drift of his great Epistles ;
they irresistibly imply a Christ Who is Divine.

(a) Every reader of the New Testament associates St. Paul
with a special advocacy of the necessity of faith as the indis-
pensable condition of man's justification before God. What is
this ' faith ' of St. Paul ? It is in experience the most simple of

1 I Cor. i. 1 3 : ^ Uav\os ecrravpu>6'r] vTrep v^wif ; ^ is rb ovo^a. Hav\ov
e/SairTtcr^Te ;
VI ] Z 2

34 A Divine Christ implied

the movements of the soul ; and yet, if analysed, it turns out
to be one of the most complex among the religious ideas in
the New Testament. The word irians implies, first of all, both
faithfulness and confidence a ; but religious confidence is closely
allied to belief, that is to say, to a persuasion that some unseen
fact is true b . And this belief, having for its object the unseen,
is opposed by St. Paul to ' sight .' It is fed by, or rather
it is in itself, a higher intuition than any of which nature is
capable ; it is the continuous exercise of a new sense of spiritual
truth with which man has been endowed by grace. It is indeed,
a spiritual second-sight ; and yet reason has ancillary duties
towards it. Reason may prepare the way of faith in the soul
by removing intellectual obstacles to its claims ; or she may
arrange, digest, explain, systematize, and so express the intui-
tions of faith in accordance with the needs of a particular locality
or time. This active intellectual appreciation of the object-
matter of faith, which analyses, discusses, combines, infers, is
by no means necessary to the life of the Christian soul. It is
a special grace or accomplishment, which belongs only to a
small fraction of the whole body of the faithful. Their faith
is supplemented by what St. Paul terms, in this peculiar sense,

1 knowledge d .' Faith itself, by which the soul lives, is mainly
passive, at least in respect of its intellectual ingredients : the
believing soul may or may not apprehend with scientific accuracy
that which its faith receives. The ' word of knowledge,' that is,
the power of analysis and statement which is wielded by theo-
logical science, is thus a distinct gift, of great value to the
Church, although certainly not of absolute necessity for all

a Rom. iii. 3. irtffns 0eoD is the faithfulness of God in accomplishing
His promises. Cf. incrrbs 6 >e<fe, I Cor. i. 9 ; I Thess. v. 24. iricrns is
confidence in God, Rom. iv. 19, 20; as TreTnVTeu^eat, 'I have been entrusted
with' (Gal. ii. 7; i Tim. i. n).

b The transition is observable in Rom. vi. 8 : et Se a.ireBa.vo(Jitv ffvv Xpia-ry,
Triffrfvofifv C 6n Kal <rv^]ffo^v avr$. For belief in the truth of an unseen
fact upon human testimony, cf. i Cor. xi. 18 : OLKOVW o^'o^iaTa eV vp.1v
uTrapxeii/, /cat jiiepos TI Trurrftica.

c 2 Cor. v. 7 : Sia TriVrecos yap Trcpnrarov/Jicv, ov 5ia efttovs.

d I Cor. xii. 8 : &\\cj> 5e [StSorai] \6yos yv<*>(Tcas, Kara T& aM Hvev^a.

2 Cor. viii. 7 : eV iravrl TrepunreueTe, -rao-rei, /cai \6ycf>, Kal yvuffei. So in
t Cor. xiii. 2 iraa-a r) yvaxris evidently means intellectual appreciation of
the highest revealed truths, of which it is said in ver, 8 that Karapyn67](TTai.
Of course this yvuxris was from the first capable of being abused ; only, when
it is so abused, to the hindrance of Divine truth, the Apostle maintains
that it does not deserve the name (avTiOeaeis TTJS \jtv$uvv/j.ov yvuxreus.
I Tim. vi. 20).


in St. Pa^l^s account of Faith. 341

Christians. But ( without faith' itself, 'it is impossible to please
God;' and in its simplest forms, faith pre-supposes a procla-
mation of its object by the agency of preaching 6 . Sometimes
indeed the word preached does not profit, 'not being mixed
with faith in them that hear it f . } But when the soul in
very truth responds to the message of God, the complete re-
sponsive act of faith is threefold. This act proceeds simul-
taneously from the intelligence, from the heart, and from the
will of the believer. His intelligence recognises the unseen
object as a fact s. His heart embraces the object thus present
to his understanding ; his heart opens instinctively and un-
hesitatingly to receive a ray of heavenly light n . And his
will too resigns itself to the truth before it ; it places the
soul at the disposal of the object which thus rivets its eye
and conquers its affections. The believer accordingly merges
his personal existence in that of the object of his faith ; he
lives, yet not he, but Another lives in him 1 . He gazes on
truth, he loves it, he yields himself to it, he loses himself in it.
So true is it, that in its essence, and not merely in its con-
sequences, faith has a profoundly moral character. Faith is not
merely a perception of the understanding; it is a kindling
of the heart, and a resolve of the will ; it is, in short, an act
of the whole soul, which, by one simultaneous complex move-
ment, sees, feels, and obeys the truth presented to it.

Now, according to St. Paul, it is Jesus Christ Who is emi-
nently the Object of Christian faith. The intelligence, the
heart, the will of the Christian unite to embrace Him. How
versatile and many-sided a process this believing apprehension
of Christ is, might appear from the constantly varied phrase
of the Apostle when describing it. Yet of faith in all its aspects
Christ is the legitimate and constant Object. Does St. Paul

6 Rom. x. 14-17: fj triffTis e| CLKOTJS. Cf. \6yos a/cor}s, I Thess. ii. 13.

f Heb. iv. 2.

e I Thess. iv. 14, Trio-revet*/ is used of recognising two past historical facts ;
Rom. vi. 8, of recognising a future fact; 2 Thess. ii. u, of believing that
to be a fact which is a falsehood.

h Rom. x. 9, IO : ea.v 6/*o\oyh(rr)s ev T$ frtfOfrt crov Kvpiov 'Itiarovv, Kal
iriffTevays eV TT? /capS/os ffov on 6 ebs avrbv tfyipev e/c veKpwv, ffud^a-p' /capSia
yap iricTTeverai is IKOUO<TVVJ]V. Thus coincidently with the act of faith, r)
aydirrj rov Qeov l/c/ce^tra/ ev TCUS Kaptiiais rj^ccv (Rom. v. 5). The love of
God is infused into the heart at the moment when His truth enters the
understanding ; and it is in this co-operation of the moral nature that the
essential power of faith resides : hence faith is necessarily 5t' aydir^s

1 Gal. ii. 20 : & 5e OVK ert eyS), (fj 5e eV epol

342 A Divine Christ implied

speak as if faith were a movement of the soul towards an end ]
That end is Christ k . Does he hint that faith is a repose of
the soul resting upon a support which guarantees its safety?
That support is Christ 1 . Does he seem to imply that by faith
the Christian has entered into an atmosphere which encircles
and protects, and fosters the growth of his spiritual life 1 That
atmosphere is Christ m . Thus the expression 'the faith of
Christ' denotes the closest possible union between Christ and
the faith which apprehends Him n . And this union, effected
on man's side by faith, on God's by the instrumentality of
the sacraments , secures man's real justification. The believer
is justified by this identification with Christ, Whose perfect
obedience and expiatory sufferings are thus transferred to him.
St. Paul speaks of belief in Christ as involving belief in the
Christian creed P ; Christ has warranted the ventures which
faith makes, by assuring the believer that He has guaranteed
the truth of the whole object-matter of faiths. Faith then
is the starting-point and the strength of the new life ; and
this faith must be pre-eminently faith in Christ r . The precious
Blood of Christ, not only as representing the obedience of His
Will, but as inseparably joined to His Majestic Person, is itself

k This seems to be the force of els with iriffrevetv. Col. ii. 5 : rb ffrep^ta^a.
TVS els Xpurrbv 7ri<rTeo>s v^wv. Phil. i. 29 ; Rom. x. 14. The preposition
Trpbs indicates the direction of the soul's gaze, without necessarily implying
the idea of movement in that direction. In Philem. 5 : r^v nio"nv t fy %x* is
irpbs rbv Kvpiov 'Irjffouv. Cf. I Thess. i. 8.

1 I Tim. i. 16 : iri(TTViv eV avrcji (sc. Jesus Christ) els fafyv alwviov.
Tli<TTViv irl is used with the ace. of trust in the Eternal Father. Cf.
Rom. iv. 5, 24.

m Gal. iii. 26 : iravrts yap viol ov etrre 8ia TT)S iriffr^ws ev Xpiffry 'l^ffov.
Eph. i. 15 : aKoixras TT]V naff V/MLS TT'HTTLV i> T< Kvp((p ^lf]ffov. 2 Tim. iii. 15.
The Old Testament can make wise unto salvation, Sta iria-rews TTJS eV
Xpurry 'iTjffov.

n Rom. iii. 22: 5<ai trio-reus *lr)<rov XPHTTOV. Gal. ii. 16. This genitive
seems to have the force of the construct state in Hebrew.

Tit. iii. 5; i Cor. x. 16.

P i Tim. iii. 16 : firta-revd?) eV K6a^. Christ's Person is here said to have
been believed in as being the Centre of the New Dispensation.

1 2 Tim. i. 12: o!5a yap $ TreTr/a-reu/ca, Kal Trtire iff p.ai '6n ^vvar6s effn
r}]v irapaOrjKrjv JULOV <pv\dj-at els Kiv7jv r^jv y/uLfpav.

r Gal. ii. 16: TJ/uets els Xpiffrbv ^lyaovv eiua'Tsvaa.iJisv, e lva ^iKaiuOco^fv e/c
Tri(TT(tiS Xpurrov. So Rom. i. IJ '. 8iKaioorvvr) yap 06ov eV avrcp (Christ's
Gospel) airoKaKvirr^rai e/c ir'torreus els iriffnv. In like manner the Christian
is termed 6 e/c Trurrecos 'I^trov : his spiritual life dates from, and depends
upon his faith. Rom. iii. 26. So, ol *K Triffreias (Gal. iii. 7) ; and, with
an allusion to the Church as the true home of faith, ofaelovs rr)s irtcrrecas
(Gal. vi. 10).


in St. Paul's accoiint of Faith. 343

an object in which faith finds life and nutriment ; the baptized
Christian is bathed in it, and his soul dwells on its pardoning
and cleansing power. It is Christ's Blood ; and Christ is
the great Object of Christian faith s . For not Christ's teaching
alone, not even His redemptive work alone, but emphatically
and beyond all else the Person of the Divine Redeemer is set
forth by St. Paul before the eyes of Christians, as being That
upon Which their souls are more especially to gaze in an
ecstacy of chastened and obedient love.

Now if our Lord had been, in the belief of His Apostle, only
a created being, is it conceivable that He should have been thus
put forward as having a right wellnigh to engross the vision,
the love, the energy of the human soul? For St. Paul does
expressly, as well as by implication, assert that the hope * and
the love u of the soul, no less than its belief, are to centre in
Christ. He never tells us that a bare intellectual realization of
Christ's existence or of Christ's work will avail to justify the
sinner before God. By faith the soul is to be moving ever
towards Christ, resting ever upon Christ, living ever in Christ.
Christ is to be the end, the support, the very atmosphere of its
life. But how is such a relation possible, if Christ be not God 1
Undoubtedly faith does perceive and apprehend the existence of
invisible creatures as well as of the Invisible God. Certainly the
angels are discerned by faith ; the Evil One himself is an object
of faith. That is to say, the supernatural sense of the soul per-
ceives these inhabitants of the unseen world in their different
spheres of wretchedness and bliss. But angels and devils are
not objects of the faith which saves humanity from sin and
death. The blessed spirits command not that loyalty of heart
and will which welcomes Christ to the Christian soul. The soul
loves them as His ministers, not as its end. No creature can
be the legitimate satisfaction of a spiritual activity so complex
in its elements, and so soul-absorbing in its range, as is the
faith which justifies. No created form can thus be gazed at,
loved, obeyed in that inmost sanctuary of a soul, which is con-
secrated to the exclusive glory of the great Creator. If Christ
were a creature, we may dare to affirm that St. Paul's account
of faith in Christ ought to have been very different from that

8 Rom. iii. 25 : Szo TT)S 7r/o"ry ei/ T avrov a'l/^ari. We might have ex-
pected 7rl ; and St. Paul would doubtless have used it, if he had meant to
express no more than confidence in the efficacy of Christ's Blood.

* I Tim. i. I ; i Cor. xv. 193 Col. i. 27.

u I Cor. xvi. 22.

344 A Divine Christ implied

which we have been considering. If, in the belief of St. Paul,
Christ is only a creature ; then it must be said that St. Paul,
by his doctrine of faith in Christ, does lead men to live for the
creature rather than for the Creator. In the spiritual teaching
of St. Paul, Christ eclipses God if He is not God ; since it is

Online LibraryHenry Parry LiddonThe divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford, in the year 1866, on the foundation of the late Rev. John Bampton, M.A., canon of Salisbury → online text (page 41 of 65)