be ?not so far as even to be near.? Tennyson, The Higher Pantheism: ?Closer is he than breathing, and nearer than hands or feet.? William Watson, The Unknown God: ?Yea, in my flesh his Spirit doth flow, Too near, too far, for me to know.?
(c) A union of essence, which destroys the distinct personality and subsistence of either Christ or the human spirit, as held by many of the mystics.
Many of the mystics, as Schwenkfeld, Weigel, Sebastian Frank, held to an essential union between Christ and the believer. One of Weigel?s followers, therefore, could say to another: ?I am Christ Jesus, the living Word of God; I have redeemed thee by my sinless sufferings.? We are ever to remember that the indwelling of Christ only puts the believer more completely in possession of himself, and makes him more conscious of his own personality and power. Union with Christ must be taken in connection with the other truth of the personality and activity of the Christian otherwise it tends to pantheism. Martineau, Study, 2:190 ? ?In nature it is God?s immanent life, in morals it is God?s transcendent life, with which we commune.?
Angelus Silesius, a German philosophical poet (1624-1677), audaciously wrote: ?I know God cannot live an instant without me; He must give up the ghost, if I should cease to be.? Lowde, a disciple of Malebranche, used the phrase ??Godded? with God, and ?Christed? with Christ,? and Jonathan Edwards, in his Religious Affections, quotes it with disapprobation, saying that ?the saints do not become actually partakers of the divine essence, as would be inferred from this abominable and blasphemous language of heretics? (Allen, Jonathan Edwards, 224). ?Self is not a mode of the divine: it is a principle of isolation. In order to religion, I must have a will to surrender...?wills are ours, to make them thine.? Though the self is, in knowledge, a principle of unification; in existence, or metaphysically, it is a principle of isolation? (Seth).
Inge, Christian 24 mysticism, 30 ? ?Some of the mystics went astray by teaching a real substitution of the divine for human nature, thus depersonalizing man ? a fatal mistake, for without human personality we cannot conceive of divine personality.? Lyman Abbott: ?in Christ, God and man are united, not as the river is united with the sea, losing its personality therein, but as the child is united with the father or the wife with the husband whose personality and individuality are strengthened and increased by the union.? Here Dr. Abbott?s view comes as far short of the truth as that of the mystics go beyond the truth. As we shall see, the union
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