52:2), and aged before his time ( <430857>John 8:57 ? ?Thou art not yet fifty years old?), at another time revealing so much of his inward grace and glory that men were attracted and awed ( <194502>Psalm 45:2 ? ?Thou art fairer than the children of men?; <420422>Luke 4:22 ? ?the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth?; <411032>Mark 10:32 ? ?Jesus was going before them: and they were amazed; and they that followed were afraid?;

<401701> Matthew 17:1-8 ? the account of the transfiguration). Compare the Byzantine pictures of Christ with those of the Italian painters, the former ascetic and emaciated, the latter types of physical wellbeing. Modern pictures make Jesus too exclusively a Jew. Yet there is a certain truth in the words of Mozoomdar: ?Jesus was an Oriental, and we Orientals understand him. He spoke in figure. We understand him. He was a mystic. You take him literally: you make an Englishman of him.? So Japanese Christians will not swallow the Western system of theology because they say that this would be depriving the world of the Japanese view of Christ.

But in all spiritual respects Christ was perfect. In him are united all the excellence of both the sexes, of all temperaments and nationalities and characters. He possesses, not simply passive innocence, but positive and absolute holiness, triumphant through temptation. He includes in himself all objects and reasons for affection and worship so that, in loving him, ?love can never love too much.? Christ?s human nature, therefore, and not human nature as it is in us, is the true basis of ethics and of theology. This absence of narrow individuality, this ideal, universal manhood, could not have been secured by merely natural laws of propagation, it was secured by Christ?s miraculous conception; see Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2:446 (Syst. Doct., 3:344). John G. Whittier, on the Birmingham philanthropist, Joseph Sturge: ?Tender as woman, manliness and meekness In him were so allied, That they who judged him by his strength or weakness Saw but a single side.?

Seth, Ethical Principles, 420 ? ?The secret of the power of the moral Ideal is the conviction which it carries with it that it is no mere ideal, but the expression of the supreme Reality.? Bowne, Theory of Thought and Knowledge, 364 ? ?The a priori only outlines a possible, and does not determine what shall be actual within the limits of the possible. If experience is to be possible, it must take on certain forms, but those forms are compatible with an infinite variety of experience.? No a priori truths or ideals can guarantee Christianity. We want a historical basis, an actual Christ, a realization of the divine ideal. ?Great men,? says Amiel, ?are the true men.? Yes, we add, but only Christ, the greatest man, shows what the true man is. The heavenly perfection of Jesus discloses to us the greatness

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment