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of their not recognizing and their being inadequate to remedy, the radical defect of our nature. So an unskilful physician may labour to remove the merely external symptoms of a malady which, itself uncured, lurks in the constitution, ready to break forth with renewed virulence, whereas by restoring the general health those symptoms would disappear of themselves. The evils which man inflicts on man are indications of a deeper disease which we are prone to overlook. It is the alienation of man's heart from his Maker which is at the foundation of all other ills. It is disunion from God which causes disunion from one another. Until that greater bond be re-united, no lesser ties can be truly and lastingly restored. The divine plan seeks to remedy the radical evil, to repair the spiritual constitution, to bring back man to his Father, as the only method of bringing him back to his Brother.
But we are in a world of sin far from God and heaven. How can we reach up to him from that dark depth to which we have fallen? The distance is too vast for us
to traverse-we dare not even try! alas, we have no wish to make the effort! But God in his compassion reaches down to us. “The word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Behold the tabernacle of God is with men! Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.” As Deity, He was too far off for our conception and our love, and so he came to us in our own nature, revealing in a manner we could comprehend, the greatness of his mercy, drawing us to Himself “ with the cords of a man, with bands of love.”
That Jesus was divine, is a truth which lies at the foundation of Christianity, giving meaning and power to the whole system. But the real humanity of Christ, is a truth equally important, though one which in the zealous maintainance of his Divinity, has been sometimes too much overlooked. Man was so widely sundered from his Maker, that a mediator was required to break the distance. But such a Mediator must necessarily partake of my nature. If he is not divine, in touching Him, I am still far from God; but if he is not human, I am unable
to approach him at all. If, being only man, he is on my side the gulph, being only God, he is on the other, and to cross it remains an impossibility. The real humanity of Christ therefore is a precious truth to those who long to be re-united to their Heavenly Father. It was prominently held before the early Christians. “There is one Mediator between God and men, the MAN CHRIST JESUS.” The Apostle John declares that “ every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” And, as if to keep the reality of his human nature before the minds of those who had such proofs of his deity, Jesus frequently spoke of himself as “ The Son of MAN !"
The world was in a state of moral stagnation. Philosophy had neither certainty nor power. Judaism had become dogma without spirit. Jesus came to exhibit truth with a living energy, so as to make it loved and practised. Men were spiritually dark, but he came as the “Light of the world.” They were dead, but he
quickened them by coming amongst them as the Life. “ That which was from the beginning, which we have HEARD, which we have SEEN WITH OUR EYES, which we have LOOKED UPON, and our HANDS HAVE HANDLED, of the Word of Life ; for THE LIFE WAS MANIFESTED, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us; that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” Here is Divine Socialism! Fellowship with one another, by fellowship with God, through the manifested life of God, in the “Man Christ Jesus.” He did not merely declare that God was love, he came and exhibited it. He did not from heaven preach virtue, he dwelt on earth and lived it. We need to have truth embodied and brought near to us. We have sympathies with what is human which cannot be felt towards that which is divine. Thus men have ever been
prone to hero-worship, deifying the wisest and strongest amongst themselves. Precept requires illustration; we look for example. But in copying the best of human models, as these are all defective, we necessarily imitate their imperfections too. Men will not be better than their gods. The votaries of Bacchus, Mars, and Venus, will indulge in debauchery, cruelty, and lust. Jesus has supplied the great want of humanity, he has come as our Divine Hero. If we receive him as such, we shall resemble him. His example we may safely follow in every point. There needs but universal worship to be rendered Him, for earth to resemble heaven.
As mere notions have little power, Jesus appealed to our senses by living among men. His whole life was a mighty sermon! And how eloquently did it appeal to men's hearts! This was the only theology of the early church. Before any creeds were drawn up, any system of doctrine prepared, the life of Christ filled the hearts and governed the actions of men. The