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The relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. online

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philosophy, was not sufficiently distinguished from the work.'


—Gibbon, It. E., i. 107, ed. Smith. ' All (Gnostics) were agreed in
maintaining that matter itself was not created; that it was eternal.'
— Burton, B. L., p. 30. ' The Egyptians held matter to be eternal,
though they believed that the world was created.' — lb., p. 07. ' In
the first place, as all the ancient philosophers decided that nothing
can come out of nothing, I consider it certain that they all supposed
matter to be eternal.' — Mosheim's Note on Cudworth, i. 301, ed.
Harrison. And for details, see his Dissertation ' showing whether
any heathen philosopher ever taught that the world was created by
God out of nothing,' ib., iii. 140.

Note 19, page 04. "En cie e'Lre vovg rj ovata avrov tire vor\a'ig
iffTi, ri voei', tj yap avrog avrov, y trepov ri' kcu el enpov ti, t\ to
avro ae\ ?/ ixXXo. iroTtpov oiiv hiatyipti ri ?) ovdiv to voeiv to kuXov
?) to Tvy/>r; v (ccti utottov to Siavoelffdai itzpl kv'nav ; ci}\oi' toIvvv
oti to duoTaTOv (cui Ti/jiwrarov roe'i, ical ov psTafiaXXei, k. r. X. — Ar.,
Metapl}., A. 9 ; p. 1074, b. 21. wot d tytvKrov tovto {kul yap ^>)
opcjr 'ivia KpeiTTOv ?/ opcfr) ovu av e'it] to upur-ov >/ roi)<nc. uvtov apa roel,
iiTTtp 1<tt\ to KparuTTov'. — lb., 32. ' Ou bien, si vous voulez qu'ellc
s'exerce, donnez a Dieu la cqnnaissance du monde ; mais alors
supprimez, avec le reste, le chapitre entier ou Aristote demontre
que son Dieu ne connait que lui. Et cependant ce n'est pas une
affirmation, c'est une demonstration que vous supprimerez ; l'affir-
mation aurait suffi ; car si Dieu n'agit pas volontaii*ement sur le
monde, il est impossible qu'il le, connaisse. Mais Aristote insiste ;
il demontre que la pensee de Dieu ne s'applique qu'a Dieu lui-meme.
Ou Dieu se pense lui-meme, dit Aristote, ou il pense quelque autre
objet ; si quelque autre objet, c'est toujours le meme, ou tantot Fun
et tantot l'autre. Supposons qu'il change ainsi, et que sa pensee,
comme la notre, parcoure des objets divers, Dieu tombe dans le
mouvement. Voila deja l'univers exclu ; le monde est un, sans
doute, mais de cette unite qui resulte de l'harmonie entre les parties
diverses; il vit d'ailleurs, il dure, et en durant, il change. Le
monde a une histoire ; iln'y a que Dieu, Facte eternel et toujours le
meme, qui n'en ait point.' — Simon, Etudes sur la Theodicee de
Platon et d Aristote, p. 50.

The fatal defect of an impassable barrier between God and man
recurs in every analysis of philosophic creeds. The Elean school ' had
gone into the other extreme, by condemning the absolute Being to
eternal immobility, by representing Him as an impassible intelligence
holding no relations with humanity. ' — De Pressens6, Religions before


Christ, p. 112. Even in Plato's system, ' a vast interval separates
man from God.' — lb., p. 122. ' Plato, like the Gospel, says to man
that his duty is to resemble God; but while Plato's god is only
a sublime idea, a being of the reason, which does not enter into
communication with man, the God of Christians is the living God,
the most holy and the most good, the God revealed by Jesus Christ,
whose name is Love.' — lb., p. 127. For Aristotle, see ib., p. 1 34. For
his immediate disciples : they had < deliberately set aside the god of
philosophy, affirming that a divinity was unnecessary to the explana-
tion of the formation of the world.' — lb., p. 140. For the Epicureans,
see ib., p. 141. At a later time, Plutarch ' gave a more rigid formula
to dualism, and deepened the abyss between the supreme God and
creation.' — lb., p. 183. For ' the Platonic doctrine, so far as it is
represented in an impure form in the early centuries : ' ' its
invincible dualism, separating by an impassable chasm God from
the world, and mind from matter, identifying goodness with the one,
evil with the other, prevented belief in a religion like Christianity,
which was penetrated by the Hebrew conceptions of the universe, so
alien both to dualism and pantheism.' — Farrar, B. L., p. 63. For
Maimonides : ' Whence did this view come ? Not from Christianity.
The philosophy which makes an impassable barrier between God and
man was not cradled in the Gospel of reconciliation, which bridges
over the chasm between God and man in the mystery of the Incar-
nation.' — Christian Remembrancer, Jan. 1863, p. 104.

Nor should Ave be deceived by phrases which seem to suggest
a nearer view of Deity, and many of which are scattered over
Aristotle's practical treatises. In a case of this kind, the exact
philosophy must be held to give its interpretation to more popular
language. Again, Mr. M. Midler says : ' We can hardly expect
among pagans a more profound conception of the relation between God
and man than the saying of Heracleitos, ' Men are mortal gods, and
gods are immortal men.' — Compar. Mythol., p. 8. Can we accept so
good an interpretation of the phrase ? Cf. Brucker,ift's<. Phil., i. 1222 :
'Nee aliud vult obscura sententia Heracliti, Heraclito juniori
memorata: Qeoi ai'dpwiroi aBavaroi, ardpioiroi deoi dvtjTOi, ^uipteq top
(.Ktiviov davarov, Qvi)<7kovteq ti)v skeivwv £wj/i'. Dii enim in anima
mundi comprehensi daenionesque, quorum mundus plenus est, in eo
tantum ab hominis anima distant, quod ha?c corpus subit, sicque
ignea, et divina vi sua quasi privatur et moritur, atque ex Deo homo
fit, ubi vero homo moritur, ad Deos iterurn et divinam naturam


redit.' Compare Mr. Campbell, Introd. to Thecetctus, p. xliii. :
' Indeed, as in all tilings else, so in man, life and deatli are ever
working together. His body is ever absorbed into bis soul, bis soul
is ever dying into bis body ; bis birth into the world is the entomb-
ment of a higher life, the death of what is earthly in him is the
awaking of the god.'

For the grosser form, in which the feeling of the distance of the
Deity exhibited itself through the worship of men, we may turn to
the hymn with which the Athenians welcomed Demetrius Pohorcetes,
and which is preserved by Athenanis (Muller, Fragmenta Histor.
G?-cec, ii. 477 ; cf. DePressense, p. 137; Thirlwall, History of Greece,
vii. 362, 382, 8vo. ed.) :

AX\o« jj.iv j) /xaicpai' yap inriyjwaiv Qeoi

?) ovk tyjwaiv wra,
t) ovk eicrlr, ?i oil izpoaiyovniv lifiiv oiict tv '

at C£ ■nupoi 0' opu)[iEV,
ov l,u\uov, obde XiBirov, a\A* a\i]dii'6i\

JLvyontaQa h) aoi.

Note 20, page GG. The five opinions summed up in this para-
graph give a progressive series of the main views which man can
form as to the condition of the soul after death. 1. Annihilation :
the grosser heathen view, represented occasionally by the despairing
language of their poets. So the Samaritans, and apparently from
them the Sadducees. — Davison, On Prophecy, pp. 505-G ; cf. Bull's
Works, i. 35-42. The difference of tone, on this point, between
Epicurus and Lucretius is admirably worked out by Professor
Sellar, Roman Poets of the Republic, p. 296. On the notion that
the book of Ecclesiasticus was written by a Sadducee, see Dean
Milman, History of the Jeivs, 1863, ii. 32, note. 2. Absorption: the
ultimate view of pantheists in every age. The mind is not now held
to perish with the body, but its individuality is lost. On the view
of Aristotle, see above, Lecture I., Note 8. In general, compare
Uawlinson, Christianity and Heathenism, p. 32; Farrar, B. L., 125,
140, 143, and their references. 3. An immortality of pure intellect:
the soul immortal, and retaining its individual consciousness, but
only as mind, purified by knowledge, the proper moral element b
lost : the Gnostic \ i"W. See Burton, B, L., p. 40, &c. 4. Immor-
tality without resurrection : eirtStapovr) without araaraaic. Com-
pare Bishop Thirlwall's vivid description of the Homeric view of a


future state (H. G. i. 222) : ' Homer views death as the separation
of two distinct, though not wholly dissimilar, substances, the soul
and the body. The latter has no life without the former; the former
no strength without the latter . . . When the soul has made its
escape through the lips or the wound, it is not dispersed in the
air, but preserves the form of the living person. But the face of the
earth, lighted by the sun, is no fit place for the feeble, joyless
phantom. It protracts its unprofitable being in the cheerless twilight
of the nether world, a shadow of its former self, and pursuing the
empty image of its past occupations and enjoyments.' The hopes of
the heathen might reach a higher level than this, yet without
departing from the definition of the class, and without approaching
to the doctrine of a future resurrection. A modification of this view
would give rise to the doctrine of metempsychosis, which rests, in
its exoteric form, on the fundamental distinctness of the self from the
body. In a deeper sense, it might be brought under the second
head. 5. Above all these rises the full Christian doctrine of the
resurrection from the dead : above annihilation, for the life once
given is never withdrawn ; above absorption, for the separate
individuality is never lost ; above Gnosticism, for every moral
facidty will find a loftier occupation in another world — an immor-
tality of the soul, completed by the restoration of the body, of which
we have both an instance and a pledge in the resurrection of our

It is clear that St. Paul was confronted at different times with
upholders of all the four erroneous views: with Sadducees, Actsxxiii.
6, &c. ; with Epicureans and Stoics, Acts xvii. 18 ; with Gnostics,
2 Tim. ii. 18, and elsewhere ; and apparently with some Gentile
Christians at Corinth, who had blended the errors of their old creed
with the Christian faith, and were endeavouring to accept the immor-
tality of the soul without admitting the resurrection of the body —
1 Cor. xv. On this last point, however, different opinions have
been held. Burton maintains that St. Paul was there combating
the first view ; that his opponents ' denied a resurrection in any sense
of the term,' and ' did not believe in any fixture state of the soul at
all.' — B. L., p. 428. Archbishop Whately thinks that they held

' some such doctrine ' as the second view Scripture Revelations of a

Future State, pp. 19, 20, 110. On the other hand, see Riickert's
commentary on the passage, which has been translated as a separate
tract ; and compare Arnold, Sermons chiefly on the Interpretation of


Scripture, p. 281 : ' To be immortal was a glorious prospect ; but
to rise again with a body, — not to be allowed to consider their
outward body as the prison which kept in the pure spirit, and so to
cast off upon it, away from their proper selves, the blame of all their
evil, — this was what they could not endure.'

The fact that the apostle, in that chapter (1 Cor. xv.), is able
to assume and argue on marked Christian principles with regard to
our Lord's history and nature, shows that he is dealing with
professing, though mistaken, Christians ; and the fact that he can
appeal so confidently to their own faith and hopes, as based on their
personal position, shows that the errors into which they had fallen
on the resurrection of the body fell short of a denial of the immor-
tality of the soul. The argument is indeed an appeal to consistency.
It rests partly on their longing for immortality, partly on their
faith in Christ. The whole scope of it is to show that there is no
other immortality promised to man but that which is connected
with the resurrection of the body, and no certainty of the resurrec-
tion of the body but that which is rested on the resurrection of

Many detailed references on the subject will be found in the notes
to Mr. Eawlinson's Second Sermon on Christianity and Heathenism ;
and for a condensed view of some recent opinions, see Mr. Mansel's
First Letter to Professor Goldwin Smith, p. 30. Cf. Rational Religion,
p. 66, and Second Letter, p. 37.

Note 21, page 69. There is, however, great force and beauty in
the argument from imperfection to perfection, if we view it as the
corroboration, not the basis, of our faith. On the Cartesian form
of it, see Mosheim's note on Cudworth, iii. 41, ed. Harrison ; Hallam,
Literature of Europe, ii. 438 ; Saisset, Modern Pantheism, E. T.,
i. 36-38, 52 ; ii. 43, 65 ; and a review of the English Translation of
that work in the Christian Remembrancer, Jan. 1863, p. 98, &c.
1 Quia perfectiones procedentes a Deo in creaturas altiori modo sunt
in Deo, oportet quod quandocunque nomen sumptum a quacunque
perfectione creaturae Deo attribuitur, secludatur ab ejus signiiieationc
omne illud quod pertinet ad imperfectum modum, qui compel it
creatmie.' — S. Thorn. Aq., I. Qu. xiv. Art. i. ' Whatsoever speaketh
any kind of excellency or perfection in the artificer, may be attri-
buted unto God ; Whatsoever Bignifieth any infirmity, or involveth
any imperfection, must be excluded from the notion of Him.' —
Pearson, On the Creed, Art. i. p. OS. Compare Bramhall, quoted by


Mr. Mansel, Second Letter, &c, p. 10; cf. 11, 45. ' If all true
philosophy begins with the personality of man, and ends with the
Personality of God, it will be seen what grand and genuine elements
of Christian Theism are contained in a system which makes our
personality the type of force, and applies this conception to the Per-
sonality of God, eliminating from it only that which is weak and
imperfect.' — Christian Hem., I. L, p. 112 (of Leibnitz).

Note 22, page 71. ' You must not suppose me to believe that
the Highest of all intelligences is degraded by contact with such
grovelling things as are employed in the fashioning of the world, or
that His blessed calm is disturbed by anxiety about things con-
stantly changing and being destroyed.' — Buddhist in Williams,
Christianity and Hinduism, p. 12. For the image of the sun, see
the well-known passage in Plato, De Rep., vi. p. 508, with which
Mr. Morris compares the Vedas, Essay, pp. 6, 56. The image of
the sea is in S. Joann. Damasc, De Fide Orthod., i. 9 : Zuke1 fxev olv
KvpiwTtpov TzavTo)V tCjv etti Qeov Xeyofiivui' oi'Ofiuruv thai 6 a>v,
KciOibg avroc \pt]j-iciTil,<j>v rw Mwuctt tiri tov upovQ <prfcriv' t'nrov rolg
v'unc, 'Icpcij/X, 6 wv aviaraXKt jxt. b\ov yap kv iavru) ovWafiwv
iyti T v £ *'' cu > oiov ri irtXuyoQ ovaiag I'nreipoi' ml avpiGTOV. Cf.
S. Thorn. Aq., I. Qu. xiii. Art. xi.



Note 1, page 75. In the argument On the Limits of Religions
Thought, which Mr. Mansel has treated with consummate ability,
we must distinguish between three different terms — God as existing,
God as revealed, and God as apprehended by created minds. It is
allowed on all hands that the second and third of these must pre-
cisely correspond ; that the revelation must be regarded as adjusted
to the capacity of its recipient. But how far are we justified in
assuming that the second is a sufficient index to the first ? that the
revelation is a direct unveiling of the Divine nature, as well as
adapted to the intelligence of man ? Can we possibly suppose that
it is capricious and arbitrary, or must we take it for granted that
it is as absolutely true and effectual as the nature of the case
allows ?

When Mr. Mansel spoke as follows — ' ideas and images which do
not represent God as He is may nevertheless represent Him as it is
our duty to regard Him : they are not in themselves true, but we
must, nevertheless, believe and act as if they were true ' {Man's
Conception of Eternity, p. 9) ; 'a conception which is speculatively
untrue may be regulatively true ' (ib., p. 10) ; ' a regulative truth
is thus designed — not to tell us what God is, but how He mills that
we should think of Him ' (ib., and B. L., 127, 143) — the rigour of the
definitions which had dictated his language did not save him from
the suspicion of casting doubts on the reality of the disclosures
which God had made to man. Btit the following expressions, which
occur in his two Letters to Professor Goldwin Smith, may serve to
supply the explanation which was wanting : ' The terms Father,
Ruler, Judge, Good, Wise, Just, all represent notions derived in the
first instance from human relations, and applied to God, not as
exactly expressing the perfection of His absolute nature, but as
expressing the nearest approach to it which we are capable of
receiving' (First Letter, p. 30) ; ' the word Person . . . is a mode of


expressing the infinite nature of God by that which is most nearly
analogous to it among finite things' (Second Letter, p. 29); 'when
we speak of God as feeling anger or pity, Ave do not mean literally
to ascribe to Him the human passions called by those names, yet
we have no means of expressing more exactly the Divine perfection
of which these passions are the representation' (ib., p. 63). Cf. ib.,
pp. 16, 18, 28. To doubt the reality, then, of the revelation under
which God has made Himself known to His creatures, would be to
place a limit on the poiver of God. But it does not follow that
what forms a sure basis for our faith and love conveys to our
intellects the possession of such rounded and completed knowledge
as would justify a tone of argumentative confidence on any point
not explicitly revealed to us.

The Second Letter contains a catena of passages to illustrate the
mode in which the question ' has been dealt with, directly or indi-
rectly, by the great Catholic writers of successive generations.' See
also Suicer, Thesaurus Eccles., under the words oltcovofiia, oIkovou.ikwq,
ovyKarafiaaiQ] Glassii Philol. Sacr., i. 921, ed. Dathe ; Lee, Inspira-
tion of Holy Scripture, pp. 63-69, 343, 411, &c. ; Bishop Marsh,
Lectures on the Criticism and Interpretation of the Bible, p. 488, ed.
1828 ; Bishop Kaye, Early Church, p. 59 ; Justin Martyr, pp. 173-4 ;
Trench, On the Parables, p. 21; Waterland, Works, iv. 180, &c.
Dean Milman observes that ' accommodation ' is an ' unpopular ' and
' bad word, as it appears to imply art or design, while it was merely
the natural, it should seem inevitable, course of things.' — Pref. to
History of the Jews, 1863, p. x. ' Truth is content, when it comes
into the world, to wear our mantles : " Lumen supermini nunquam
descendit sine indumento."' — J. Smith, Select Discourses, p. 165.
The use of the economy is discussed at length by Dr. Newman,
Avians, pp. 72-87.

' No doubt God's revelation of Himself through man, as also His
revelation to man, is limited by what He Himself has made humanity
to be ; though when we think of humanity in the light of Christ,
the Son of God and the Son of Man, we may question how far we are
justified in speaking of limits here at all. But it is one thing to
say, that, because of human limits, what God can reveal of Himself
to man is to be held to be less than what God is; and it is quite
another thing to say, that what God sees it good to reveal of Him-
self to man He cannot truly and effectually reveal through man ; that


the medium must more or less colour and distort the light passing
through it. This consistently held makes a revelation to man and a
revelation through man equally impossible. If man cannot transmit
light without distorting it, then neither can he receive light without
misconceiving it.' ' As we believe that God, who teaches us know-
ledge of Himself by the works of His hands, teaches us also by holy
apostles and prophets a higher knowledge than these His material
works can convey, so we also believe that in communicating that
higher knowledge, He presents it to us pure and unmixed, as in the
case of the lower knowledge He confessedly does.' — J. M. Campbell,
Thoughts on Revelation, pp. 75-7.

I am not now concerned with the misuse of the principle of
accommodation which can be traced downwards from Spinoza,
Tractatus Theologico-Polit., ii. 41, sqq., pp. 43-7, ed. 1846. Cf.
Bauer's Glassius, iii. 29. For an account of Semler's method, more
especially, see Conybeare's B. L., 1824, pp. 27, 277 ; Pusey, Theology
of Germany, i. 140-4 ; Rose, Protestantism in Germany, p. 74 ;
Kahnis, History of German Protestantism, p. 122 ; Wordsworth,
On Interpretation, pp. 11, 12 (cf. 22, 28), and in Replies to E.
and R., pp. 477-8, 480, 489; Farrar, B. L., pp. 311-6.

Note 2, page 75. Mr. Mansel, in speaking of ' the image of
God,' says: 'Whatever may be the exact import of that declaration,
as applied to Adam in Pai-adise, it should not be forgotten that the
same Book which tells us of man's creation in God's image, tells us
also of his fall from that image.' — First Letter, p. 15, note. But man
did not fall so utterly that the image was altogether destroyed. See
the texts referred to at the foot of page 75. I have drawn out this
distinction in a former work, Discourses on the Fall and its Results,
Disc. iii. and iv. See especially note there on p. 45. Again, in
the Second Letter, p. 61, note, Mr. Mansel says, of the Divine
vision promised to the pure in heart (Matt. v. 8), that ' others,
with more reason, maintain that this is reserved for the beatific
vision hereafter.' Doubtless, — in its highest sense; but here
again we need the distinction of degrees, — between comparative
and absolute admission and exclusion. 'If this be the end and
reward of the saints hereafter, it would seem to follow that tin \
truly made partakers of it, in hind and in earnest, now.' — Manning,
Univ. Sermons, p. 130. Though man, in his fallen state, is both
degraded and darkened, the Divine image is not wholly obliterated;
the Divine vision is not absolutely withdrawn : and the relics of


that image, and the glimpses of that vision, are two forms of the
Divine manifestation, through which Ave reach forward to the know-
ledge of God.

Note 3, page 77. The metaphor in the text is not quite free
from ambiguity ; but it seems most probable that St. Paul is
using the analogy, not of a window, made of half opaque material,
but of a mirror with imperfectly reflecting power, which gives an
incomplete picture of the objects cast upon it. (Cf. Wordsworth, in loc.)
The figure would thus remind us of the image of God within the
soul of man ; a reflection which is at once imperfect, yet direct.
The outline may be dim, but the image is not lost ; just as a true
reflection of the skies may rest by night upon the waters, though
confused and shattered when the stillness is disturbed by winds
which typify the wayward influence of human emotions and

The Apostle probably referred to the passage in Numbers (xii. 8),
where God contrasts the vision and dream of other prophets with the
more open revelation given to Moses. They saw Si' cuyty/.tarwi' • he
saw GTOfxa tear a arofia, Iv e'iSet. Compare the earlier passage, Ex.
xxxiv. 29—35, which describes how the face of Moses shone when
he descended from the mountain, and how he veiled his face to hide
that glory ; or it may be to conceal its transitory character. To this
St. Paul refers, 2 Cor. iii. 18, where ko.tottt()i?6hu>oi appears to mean,
that ' we all with open face ' reflecting 'as in a glass the glory of the
Lord,' receive and shadow back that glory ; that admitting it into
our spirits with the open freedom of the Gospel, we are ' changed
into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of
the Lord.' (Cf. Stanley, in loc, and Sermons and Essays on the
Apostolic Age, p. 25 ; Moberly, Sermon on the Transfiguration of
Christians, p. 8.) ' Dominus est exemplar, nos imagines.' — Bengel.
in loc. The Christian thus receives the rays, and they transform
him. He is transfigured as he gazes into the likeness of the glorious
reality which he is contemplating, just as when we hold a mirror to
the sun, it is filled with the reflection of that heavenly light.

The same figure explains St, James's contrast between ' beholding'
for a moment the 'natural face in a glass,' iv eowrpw, and looking
'into the perfect law of liberty' (i. 22-5). The word ■KapaKirdjaQ
seems to denote the attitude of one who stoops clown to look into ;
as though bending to scrutinise the image of the perfect law, which
is mirrored in the regenerate heart.


The parallel with Moses suggests the gradations of spiritual know-
ledge, to which I have made previous reference. As he was to
other prophets, so shall we be to our present selves, when we rise al >ove
the conditions of humanity, and c shall be like' Christ, ' for we shall

Online LibraryJ HannahThe relation between the Divine and human elements in Holy Scripture : eight lectures preached before the University of Oxford in the year MDCCCLXIII .. → online text (page 22 of 30)