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characteristics that call forth the determination of our personal life. But these are the marks of His manifested historical human life, not of a hidden background of it which we may postulate to explain them. The Godhead of Christ, therefore, expresses the value which the historical reality of this Personal life possesses, as the power that produces the new humanity of regenerate and reconciled children of God."
There are disciples of Ritschl, indeed, who emphasise the understanding of the historical Christ as the basis of religious faith and certainty almost, as it may seem, to the exclusion of the other aspect of His activity as Risen and Exalted; while another section, more faithful to the apostolic representation, which reserves the application of Divine honour and prerogatives to Christ as Glorified, accentuate the experience that is formed by faith in Him under the latter aspect. With Herrmann the historical Christ is everything. The one dominating thought in His "Communion with God" is the experience of the Divine that is formed by spiritual contact with the Christ of history. Kaftan, on the other hand, more Pauline in his sympathies than Herrmann, insists on communion with the Risen Christ, and on the experience of the summum bonum that the Glorified Christ confers (see his Wesen der Christl. Religion, pp. 3 37-342).1 But Kaftan holds as firmly as Herrmann does, that the true idea of the Divinity of Christ is derived from the Picture of Jesus contained in the Gospels, and that we cannot receive from the Exalted
1 Rade, another of Ritschl's disciples, emphasises even more than Kaftan this point. "The worship of the Glorified Christ," he says, "is what we mean when we speak of faith in the Godhead of Christ. This is what the early Church meant ; and by this worship they exalted Him to a position of oneness with God. This worship of Christ grew out of their impression of His Person and the experience of His work upon them. It still holds that no one can call Christ God who has not found in Him a Redeemer. But he who has experienced Christ's power cannot regard Him as a mere man. For a man cannot redeem us from what is the universal fate of man. If Jesus was a mere man, then He was indeed the Genius in the religious sphere, as others are geniuses in other spheres. But then we could not speak of His being a Redeemer in the Christian sense."
Lord "revelations that are new, that complete or surpass what is given to us in the historical Jesus." And in spite of the occasional obscurity of Herrmann's language, it is evident, I think, that the power he attributes to the historical Christ to reveal God and to make God a power in our lives, belongs to Him as living and exalted and using the Gospel picture of His Personal life-work as the medium of His present activity in human hearts. "The Exalted Christ," he says, "is really present to the Christian." "The Lord who has overcome is near us with His human sympathy." "Faith at its height is in a position to apprehend the working upon us of the Exalted Christ."
Herrmann and Kaftan and the disciples of Ritschl generally recognise that the historic Figure of the Gospel shows no trace of the possession of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and maintain that these are inconsistent with the being of the historical man, and that it is the holy love of God that constitutes the proper nature of God, and is revealed in the human life of Jesus.
When we inquire as to the views of the school of Ritschl with respect to the Transcendent Being of Christ, or His hyper-historical relation to God and man, the answer is more difficult to give. Ritschl himself held a somewhat extreme opinion on this subject, in which he is not followed by the majority of his followers. The predicate of Godhead applied to Christ is exhausted, he held, when we have recognised Him as the Revealer of God and the Archetype of spiritual sovereignty over the world. The question of how He stands, in that relation, to God and to us is set aside as an idle one, as lying outside the limits of knowledge; conceived of under the attribute of Pre-existence, Christ is not revealed but hidden, and has no religious value in that capacity because it suggests a relation of Christ in which He is separated from, and is inimitable by us. H. Schultz, Harnack, and Wendt occupy the same position as Ritschl here, insisting that that which constitutes the inmost essence of Christ's Godhead is not anything that separates Christ from His own, but a something that connects them with Him, and which they receive from Him. But most of his disciples refuse to go the length of limiting the application of the predicate of Godhead to what is recognised as characterising His earthly historical life, and is participated in by His people. Kaftan, Kattenbusch, Loofs, and others, while hesitating to assert the personal pre-existence of Christ, go a long way in claiming for Him an essential Godhead that makes it possible for Him to be to us what He proves Himself to be in our spiritual consciousness. Kaftan recognises truth in the doctrine of the Pre-existence of Christ in so far as it ascribes to Him, the Personal Bearer of the Perfect Revelation, a relation to the Father that is unique and incommunicable. Again, he speaks of the Incarnation as an "event in the Divine life." Kattenbusch speaks of Him as the "Messianic King in virtue of His unfathomable but personal-essential relation to God the Father." Loofs, referring to Thomas' confession, says that he who makes it "must know that the mystery before which he bows in worship must be on God's side conditioned in a way that completely surpasses our understanding"; and Bornemann, in speaking of Christ as distinguished from others, says : " while we other men are all created by God and are His creatures, His work, Jesus alone is born of God, that is, is like Him in His proper nature. Between us and Him there is all the difference that exists between the works of an artist, that reflect the spirit, mind, and character of the artist, and the only son of the same artist, who alone can be the peculiar, real, and perfect image of his father in nature and character."
Herrmann regards the thought of Christ's personal preexistence as a self-contradictory expression, but still the only one at our command to set forth an important truth, "that the Person of Christ is independent of the world which represents the dependent sphere of His rule. The contradiction would be removed if the problem of time in which we now behold our existence were solved. The supposition of an ideal pre-existence seems to surrender what was originally intended, as much as the ecclesiastical Christology does when it thinks of the preexistent One, not as the Lord of the Church, but as the Logos-subject, destitute of content." He forbears all speculation concerning the personal pre-existence of Christ, holding that we have here a final and conclusive thought of faith, and will have nothing to do with attempts to explain the mystery of the personal life of Christ by definitions of the relation of His essential Godhead to His true Humanity.
The fresh point of view from which the whole subject is regarded under the scheme of thought that I have sketched, has beyond all doubt given a new impulse not only to the theology of Germany, but to the popular teaching and preaching of the Church. Unbiassed witnesses speak of the earnest evangelical tone it has imparted to the pulpit in many parts of the Church, and the fresh interest in the practical work of the Church that has been awakened; and as an instance of the use of its leading ideas in the popular exposition of New Testament truths, I shall give two or three quotations from a little work on the Christian Faith by the late Theodor Jess 1 of Kiel. The work is prefaced by a notice of Jess by Prof. Nitsch, who tells us it is but a fragment of a larger work which it was the intention of the author, had he lived, to publish. Jess was cut off prematurely, and is spoken of by Nitsch as a man of singular power as a preacher. The work consists of five lectures. I quote from the last, in which he treats of Christ as God, Mediator of the New Covenant, the Archetype of Humanity, and the Image of God: "The place where Jesus Christ lived on earth, suffered, died, and was buried, is now empty: we look up to the glorified Lord. But inasmuch as He who is exalted to the Right Hand of God is one and the same with the historical Christ who walked this earth, His earthly life is of as great importance to us as His heavenly. A perverted picture of Christ is always the result when we take account of either the exalted or the historical Christ to the exclusion of the other. The purely historical handling of the life of Jesus that is indifferent to the recognition of Him as the Eternal Head of the Church is far from doing justice to Him—the evidence 1 Uber den Christl. Glauben Vortrdge, von M. Jess, 1892.
of this is not wanting. It is an equally defective treatment that He has sometimes received in Christianity when the life and work of Christ are ignored, and one inquires into the special manner of His existence and rule in heaven. We learn to know Him as He is and lives in eternity, only as 'clothed with His word,' that is, in His historical words and works in this world. In these He is intelligible to us; and hence all depends on our combining the historical with the religious estimate of His Person. This object is not attained when one forms thoughts of His heavenly glory that ignore the manner of His appearing in the state of humiliation; we as certainly fail to attain it when we do not succeed in discovering in His earthly appearing the marks of the glory that is now peculiar to Him. If we found in His life on earth nothing but humiliation, His eternal glory would be concealed from us and be a mystery. But He makes it manifest in His life and death in the flesh, and we must learn thus to apprehend it" (p. 68).
Again, in speaking of Christ as the Lord of the Church, and of the Church as the organ of Christ's Rule, by which He is subjecting all things to Himself: "Christ works on no one without means: personal as must be the relation between Him and those who are brought by Him to God, the relation is not unmediated. If Scripture attributes such importance to the fact that Christ is come in the flesh, that God has revealed Himself in this appointed Man, then the maintenance and diffusion and deepening of the Christian Church is bound up with its connection with the historical Christ. The Personal continuance (Bestand) of His human life is regulative for the religious life of all. In this respect He occupies an entirely Unique Position among all who are born and die in the world, and He continues to occupy this position notwithstanding all who come to God by Him and obtain Eternal Life. What we become, how high soever we rise, is all through Him. That is the permanent difference between Him and all perfected righteous ones. Christendom is held together by the fact that it hangs on Him who is the Head, and that it is His Body. For us, this Man, who was crucified in Jerusalem, and