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with God" as a condition of glory and majesty that was the manifestation of the Divine nature, and which could be resigned for a time by His taking the form of a servant.1 But against this there is, as I have pointed out, much to be said in favour of the view that we are not to understand "the being equal with God" as the actual possession of the Pre-incarnate Christ, but as a glory in prospect, that was destined to be His; and we can scarcely speak in literal truth of one "emptying" himself of an object that is not yet his own. But if any meaning at all is to be attached to the phrase " He emptied Himself," it is in this clause we are to find it, in connection with what is said in what immediately follows about His taking the "form of a servant." By this term, however, we are to understand, I think, not a surrender of metaphysical attributes or prerogatives, but a moral act of self-abnegation in which He declined to seek that predestined glory to be Lord of all in a way that would be easy to Himself or that would have indicated a spirit impatient to grasp its own, preferring to assume the form of a servant that He might win it by humble obedience to the Will of God and loving service of His brethren. On this view there is no hint of the metaphysical change involved in passing from the one state to the other. We have the simple statement that there lay at the root of it a sublime act of selfrenunciation that involved all the issues of an earthly history, such as He passed through.2

1 Whether the To uva1 ha Qta can be understood in this sense as a something separable from Deity is of course open to dispute. Gess explains it as something belonging to the inner nature of Christ, without which He would cease to be Divine. He, with the majority of commentators, regards the "Form of God" as that of which He "emptied Himself" {Per. u. Werk, vol. ii. p. 313).

2 This passage (Phil. ii. 6-8) has no real bearing on the metaphysical questions that have been raised regarding the Kenosis of the Son of God. There is a disposition among later exegetes to admit this. Thus Haupt: "All those questions that come up in the treatment

And if we are unable to form any definite conception of the pre-existent state of Christ so as to state the difference between it and His earthly one, we are as little able to say what relation it bore to His state in Glory. If we know Him now as the Son of God and the embodiment of the power of the Divine Spirit, we believe that He was never less than this; and that if we can speak of His preexistence at all, we are warranted in holding that the Spirit and Divine Sonship that now characterise Him and that shine through His life express the truth of His eternal pre-existent nature.1 But, plainly, it is through the humanity now Exalted in His person that these terms have meaning for us; and His present possession of a human nature, with the concrete experience of a human life and history that fell to Him as an Individual Man, has not only added to the fulness of His own being, making Him more than He was before, it has also made Him to us the object of positive knowledge, which He never could have been had He not thus been revealed. For the ideas of Spirit and Sonship, however true they may be of the Eternal Christ, are no more than words to us till they receive meaning by being realised in a Man whose influence upon us is

of the dogmatic doctrine of the Kenosis are entirely foreign to the connection of these words. How the earthly existence of Jesus is related to the essential attributes of the Godhead is a matter that does not concern the apostle here. The question here is regarding the contrast between two different forms of life" {Der Philip. Brief, p. 82). The one truth regarding the eternal nature of Christ, as discovered in His willingness to pass from the one form of life to the other, is the truth of His self-sacrificing love.

1 The words of Clement of Rome {irpos Kopivi. B.) are often quoted as representing most accurately the thought of Paul regarding the preexistent Christ, 0 Ki/pio; i auoa; rtf-^( u* piv To irpwTOv -rvii/fix, tyivrro am.p% (ix. 5), "the Lord, who saved us, being first Spirit, became flesh." The same idea occurs in another passage (xiv. 2) of this most interesting document, which Lightfoot speaks of as the earliest Christian homily extant. It is worthy of mention, also, that in "The Shepherd of Hennas" Christ is more than once referred to as the " Spirit" (S. ix. 1).

recognised as that of the Spirit of God, and whose human Goodness is perceived to be that of God Himself. The difference of metaphysical being between Christ and all others must be acknowledged. But it is in virtue of what He became through the participation of our Humanity and through His Exaltation as Man, victorious over sin and death, that He is the object of our religious faith and love, that He is to us the vehicle of the Spirit of God and the Mirror in whom God's face is seen, that His Person, in short, is invested with the unspeakable importance it possesses for the moral and religious life of the Race.

On the metaphysical or speculative side, then, there is a limit to our understanding of the Person of Christ. On the ethical side, He stands clearly known to us as the revelation of the life of God; but we are baffled when we attempt to penetrate the mystery of that life, and to explain the nature of its Premundane existence and its Transcendent relation to God. What more can we say about it than what St. Paul says in that passage that has engaged our attention, that it is love, love that seeks not its own glory but the good of man, the fountain and original of that love that is seen in the life and work of the historical Christ. Little profit is to be got from the attempt to explain the intellectual mystery by the application to it of our theoretic conceptions of the Divine as differentiated from the human. The Divine is intelligible to us only as the Principle or Causality of that which is highest and most perfect in our notion of the human. And Christ is recognised by us as the union of the two, because He is the producing cause in us, and in all who surrender themselves to Him, of that life of righteousness and love in which we reach the perfection for which we were made. The truth of our Lord's Divinity must rest, as we have seen in this review of Paul's teaching, on the experience that testifies to the Divine life that proceeds from Him.

A distinction is made by theologians between truths that are of primary and others that are of secondary importance. And in regard to the Doctrine of Christ, it has been contended that to the former class belong those truths that express the experiences formed in the life of faith upon Him, while to the latter we must refer those truths that relate to His pre-existence, as being speculative in their nature and unverifiable in experience. There is much to be said for this contention. For the metaphysical distinction between Christ and all others is a mystery that lies beyond our apprehension, except as a fact, and belongs plainly to a different order of truths from those that set forth what He is to us in the experience of the life of faith. These appeal to us with an authority that commands assent. Truth that is in its nature theoretical, whose claim to be accepted rests on its being the presupposition or implicate of truth that shines in its own light, stands on a different footing from truth that is practical in its nature and is borne witness to by the facts of the life of God in our souls. There is a place for the former in the scheme of truth, but it is not that place of pre-eminence which is due to the latter alone. And if this be so, then our faith in the Divinity of Christ is based, not so much on isolated passages in the apostle's writings that teach His Preexistence and His transcendental relations to God and the universe, as on that practical experience of the Supremacy and All-sufficiency of Christ for the wants of the higher life of man, that finds abundant expression in the Epistles and that forms the burden of the apostolic testimony. The most convincing part of the evidence is by no means that on which there has been a general disposition to place the chief importance—I mean those texts that point to a divinity understood in the metaphysical sense. The Divinity

of Christ in the apostolic writings is a truth on which the soul rests from the experience of His Divine Power, and the satisfying character of the Revelation of God that is conveyed in His Person and character. It is denned in terms that are supplied by the experience of the new life of which He is the author. It is the soul's confession of the Supremacy of its Lord in the region of the moral and spiritual life. And inasmuch as there is not a page of the apostle's writings in which this sense of the supreme significance of Christ for the true life of man does not break out in words of affection, trust, devotion, worship, it is a truth that does not depend on single passages, but as an inseparable element in Christian conviction, it is borne witness to in every page of his Epistles. Dr. Dale, a profound student of Paul, truly remarks that the least impressive and conclusive proofs of the Divinity of our Lord are those in which it is definitely asserted. Comparing the latter to the sparkling crystals that appear in the sand after the tide has receded, " these are not," he says, " the strongest, though they may be the most apparent, proofs that the sea is salt; the salt is present in solution in every bucket of sea-water. And so the truth of our Lord's Divinity is present in solution in whole pages of the Epistles, from which not a single text could be quoted that explicitly declares it. It is present in the passionate and unmeasured love and devotion with which the apostles regard our Lord ; it is present in their exulting faith in Him; it is present in their profound belief that the very springs of their higher life are in Christ, and that only as they are one with Christ can they hope for righteousness in this world, or for glory in the next.1

1 Christian Doctrine• p. 87.

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