the divine Son and the Father. They are one-sided and become utterly misleading, if they are to be regarded as furnishing a rationale of the union and not simply a means of repelling objection. The first two illustrations mentioned above lack the essential element of two natures to make them complete. Soul and body are not two natures, but one, nor are iron and heat two substances. The last two illustrations mentioned above lack the element of single personality. Christ and the believer are two persons, not one, even as the Son and the Father are not one person but two.

The two illustrations most commonly employed are the union of soul and body and the union of the believer with Christ. Each of these illustrates one side of the great doctrine but each must be complemented by the other. The former, taken by it would be Eutychian, the latter, taken by it, would be Nestorian. Like the doctrine of the Trinity, the Person of Christ is an absolutely unique fact for which we can find no complete analogies. But neither do we know how soul and body are united. See Blunt, Dict. Doct. and Hist. Theol., art.: Hypostasis; Sartorius, Person and Work of Christ, 27-65; Wilberforce, Incarnation, 39-77; Luthardt, Fund. Truths, 28l ? 334.

A. Hodge, Popular Lectures, 218, 230 ? ?Many people are Unitarians, not because of the difficulties of the Trinity, but because of the difficulties of the Person of Christ. The union of the two natures is not mechanical, as between oxygen and nitrogen in our air nor chemical, as between oxygen and hydrogen in water nor organic, as between our hearts and our brains but personal. The best illustration is the union of body and soul in our own persons ? how perfectly joined they are in the great orator! Yet here are not two natures, but one human nature. We need therefore to add the illustration of the union between the believer and Christ.? And here too we must confess the imperfection of the analogy, for Christ and the believer are two persons and not one. The person of the God-man is unique and without adequate parallel. But this constitutes its dignity and glory.

(d) Ground of possibility. The possibility of the union of deity and humanity in one person is grounded in the original creation of man in the divine image. Man?s kinship to God, in other words, his possession of a rational and spiritual nature is the condition of incarnation. Brute-life is incapable of union with God. But human nature is capable of the divine, in the sense not only that it lives, moves and has its being in God but that God may unite himself indestructibly to it and endue it with divine powers while yet it remains all the more truly human. Since the moral image of God in human nature has been lost by sin Christ, the perfect image of God after

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment