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on his staff. David, it is true, points us to the family of Messiah, and shows us His glory and His sufferings; yet the glory and the sufferings are both spread before us, not with distinct lineaments, but in heavy masses of coloring—sometimes splendid—sometimes sombre—but always requiring the cipher of the future for their individual resolution. But with Isaiah it was back history. Israel was to be led by the patriarchs to the mount; by the psalmist to the suminit; and by the prophet to the very foot of the cross. The cross itself was to be heralded in a way which we would a priori expect as meet for the central divine dispensation. Thus not only was the philosophy and symmetry of the divine plan exhibited, but the critical difficulties arising from the forcing of the text by former injudicious advocates, as well as from its depreciation by skeptics, were removed. And although the rationalist critics affected at first to treat Hengstenberg's labors with contempt, and though in one or two cases they were able to bring home to him errors arising from his tendency to hasty dogmatism, yet the result was established by the fact that in two or three years, while the old orthodox creed was vigorously taught in fields it had almost deserted, the several skeptical hypotheses almost entirely disappeared from notice. No longer pretending to a positive system of its own, and no longer boasting in an entire and sweeping skepticism, rationalism has since contented itself with carping at points of mere superficial criticism.
We now come to the more recent of the German Christian apologies. It needs only a glance to prove to us how great has been the advance since those not very distant days when the defenders of the faith thought themselves venturesome if they went beyond the assertion of a meagre historical belief. Now rationalism is driven back to its inmost citadel, and is even there held at bay. As an illustration of this, we will refer to one or two recent works now upon our table.
The first of these is an “Apology for Christianity, in Letters to Educated Readers,” by Dr. C. H. Stirm, published in 1856.* It seems from the preface that an “ Evangelical Union" at Wurtemburg, offered in 1828 a prize for an apology for Christianity, to be addressed to the educated classes. The prize was in 1832 awarded to the present treatise, which, after having at tracted great attention in Germany, and having been translated in Holland, is now brought before us in its present edition in a shape greatly enlarged and improved.
* Apologie des Christenthums, in Briefen für gebildete Leser, eine gekrönto Preisschrift von C. H. STIRM. Zweite verbesserte und vermehrte Auflage. Stuttgart, 1856.
The main points which the author discusses, are the religious condition of the present, and the method to arrive at a wellgrounded conviction of the truth and divine mission of Christianity; (Letter I.) the integrity and veracity of the New Testament narratives as the sole positive sonrce of Christian knowledge ; (Letter II.) the credibility of these writings as shown by both external and internal evidence; (Letter III.) the principles of Christian faith and life, involving the doctrine of human corruption and inability ; (Letter IV.) the terms of salvation ; (Letter V.) the historical position of Christianity, involving its preparation among heathen and Jews; (Letter VI.), the historical influence of Christianity ; (Letter VII.) the moral influence of Christianity; (Letter VIII.) the influence of Christianity in the refinement and elevation of the individual man ; (Letter IX.) the comparative merits of Christianity as a religious system; (Letter X.) the truth of Christianity as evidenced by the historical Christ; (Letter XI.) the relations of faith and reason; (Letter XII.) and the contrast of the several Christian creeds, for example, the Romish, the Greek, the Lutheran, and the Reformed, as compared with each other, and as compared with the true Christian ideą.
From the Fifth Letter we give, as a specimen of the author's style, the following translation of a passage on the union of the divine and the human in our Lord :
"I have, in my last letter, led you into the depth of human misery, and attempted to describe the fearful laceration of the human heart, as the Christian doctrine (supported by experience) represents it. Whither shall we fly for help, salvation, health, and harmony? where shall we find the way to communion with God? A superficial observer would reply: Human nature has power enough to raise itsel' again, even out of the deepest abyss, to (the highest) perfection. But I merely reply to this, that, in this very answer, the historical influence of Christianity has been implicitly conceded; as it is only since the appearance of Christianity that such a progress is perceptible, while the condition previous to its establishment ought to be taken into consideration. This done, we can not help saying that the beforementioned assertion is nothing but an arbitrary one, as it is supposed that thero was power for wbat could not be attained from the very want of power, Nay, man(kind) had not even the IDEA of the absolutely perfect state which it was to attain; it lacked the thought and perception of an ideal of the human nature united
with God, which ideal might have elevated and saved it. A few philosophers had, indeed, looked up to a divine aim, but it remained only an ideality) without realization. Mankind longed for it, and manifested this longing in manifold ways; nay, that desire is written deep in the heart of every man. But history alope, that is, God in history, could give an answer.
"Is mankind to be saved from ruin, the guilt which oppresses every joyous moral emotion must be taken off, and the consequences of this guilt must be wiped away. But if this is to be accomplished in an efficient and satisfactory manner, an objective reason, a historical fact, must be given to man, which he may accept with confidence. This, however, would by itself be a mere exterior healing, without removing the inner material cause of disease. To use a striking parable of the Lord, (Matt. 12 : 29,) the strong man must first be bound, then you may rob his goods; the tree must first be good before its fruit can be good. The good itself must, therefore, be implanted in man; a positive living power and love for good must be imparted to him. But how can this be accomplished ? By the appearance of the good and perfect in the human world, or by the imparting of the divine life itself. The divine life belonging to the supernatural order of things must be imparted, since the perfect is not to be found in humanity; since all that comes from man partakes more or less of the common sinfulness. But it must be imparted in a human person if it is truly to bear upon the human heart. God is to render a hu. man nature the instrument of his grace, and must realize in the same the divine life, the ideal of holiness, in all degrees of human development. And from this starting-point-in which is now accomplished, as in a new Adam, (1 Cor. 15 : 45,) the unity of divine and human life-it must spread over mankind in a sanctifying, purifying, and reconciling manner. This is, if rightly understood, tbe very nucleus of the Christian doctrine. Adam and Christ are the two representatives of mankind; the former typifying mankind as it recedes from God, the latter typifying the same as it returns to him; both are the centres, around which mankind moves in opposite direction.
"But we would not sufficiently appreciate and properly estimate Christ's influence and dignity, if we imagined that he had merely taken his place in history in order to rectify the evil and restore the lost. A much higher, much more important efficiency is ascribed to him, a gift of new life far exceeding the loss, (Rom. 5:15.) Man was to be raised, through him, to higher glory; he was to be capable of a higher evolution of the life implanted in him by God, than had been the case since Adam. Christ is, therefore, (1 Cor. 15: 45-49,) compared to Adam as the heavenly to the earthly, without regard to the fall by sin. Hence it is (Eph. 1:4; 3:9; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:9-10; Rom. 16 : 25) that salvation was foreordained before the world began. Unless we say that Christ would not have appeared without the fall by sin—so that, consequently, the noblest and only perfect man that history can show would have existed only through Adam's fall—we must assert that God has not only foreseen the fall from eternity, and prepared a remedy for it since eternity, but also that it was his good pleasure (Eph. 1:5) to manifest himself in the fullness of time (Gal. 4: 4) to mankind in a human person, in order to impart to the former the greatest possible abundance of divine life, and thus to finish, as it were, the work of spiritual creation. And this divine decree has its ultimate basis in the love and grace of God alone, or solely in his own will, (John 3:16; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1: 11,) wherefore God is called the Saviour, (1 Tim.
2:3; 4: 10,) extending the salvation over all men, (1 Tim. 2: 4; 2: 1; 2: 11; 2 Peter 3:9, 4.)
* This historical person, then, through whom a new creation begins in the spiritual world, and who is the mediator between the finite and the infinite-this historical person is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. As the mediation must be of both, so is the person of Jesus the essential union of the human and the divine. Jesus is GODMAX. Any doctrine is unbiblical which views Him one-sidedly as a mere man, although He be the greatest and most gifted, and which considers the declaration of His divine nature as symbolic or hyperbolic. Any doctrine, on the other hand, is likewise unbiblical which sees in Him only the God, who had assumed the human nature only apparently, but remained intact of human affections, (which creates a magico-fantastic idea of His personality.) The truth lies only in the closest blending of both persons—unfathomable, it is true, to our understanding—so that His divine Dature was only developed in its connection with and under the conditions of the human, which was again controlled and influenced by the former. It is a remarkable fact, that the very apostle who shows Jesus in His divine glory more impressively than the other Evangelists, urges at the same time the true, tangible, and palpable humanity of Jesus. John (especially at the beginning of his first letter) admonishes us to confess as well the humanity of the God-Son as the divinity of the Son of Man.
*Jesus is man, (1 Tim. 2: 5,) not only according to His physical organism, (Phi]. 3: 5,) but also according to His entire physico-spiritual nature; with human emotions and weaknesses, (John 11: 33-34; 12: 27; Matt. 26 : 38,) and subject to the laws of human growth, (Luke 2 : 4, 42.) He frequently calls Himself, for this reason, the Son of Man; which, indeed means also the Messiah, but by which He pointed, perhaps purposely, to His affinity with human nature, and to His destination to reveal the divinity in the human life and to realize the type of mankind. He is truly the ideal man, (1 Cor. 15 : 45,) the first-born among many brethren, (Rom. 8: 29.) But sin does not essentially belong to the human nature, to pure inviolate humanity. He is, therefore, without sin, although a man, (John 8: 46; 1 Peter 2 : 22 ;) and His temptations, to which He was subject like as we are, (Feb. 4: 15,) could not consist in inner wicked thoughts, but only in the contest between the weakness of the flesh and the will of the spirit, (Matt. 26 : 41,) from out of which He ever came forth glorified.
“For the divine nature was from the beginning most intimately connected with the human; and there is not a moment in His life where the difference of both resulted in a division. For the Father bath not left me alone,' (John 8 : 29.) Even when Ile exclaimed on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? the inner connection of both natures was not broken, though the full. ness of divinity had been obscured for a moment, like the sun, and had receded into the hidden depths of His being, while He had to undergo the struggle of patience. It does not matter so much whether Christ Himself is called God, (as Rom. 9: 5; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 John 5 : 20, since, in these passages, the reference to God the Father is possible and even probable, and Christ Himself no where calls Himself God.) Christ declares every where His permanent consciousness of His intimate connection with the supernatural world, and of His particular relation to His heavenly Father, exalted as it is above the entire creation. He likes to call Himself Son of God. This dignity, it is true, is also an attribute of kings and magistrates; but He claims it in a higher sense, although it was declared a blasphemy of His, (John 10: 36,) especially if we add to this His other expressions, of which the following are the most important: I am in the Father and the Father in me, (John 14 : 10-11;) the Son of Man came down from heaven and is still in heaven, (that is, permanently and intimately connected with God ;) as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath Ho given to the Son to have life in Himself, (5: 26;) all things that the Father hath are mine, (16: 15;) he that hath seen me bath seen the Father, (14: 9, 7; 12 : 45;) all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father, (5: 23.) He ascribes to Himself an anterior existence, extending back beyond Abraham, nay, beyond creation, that is, eternal, (6: 62; 8:58; 17: 5, 24;) likewise the highest all-embracing power, (Matt. 11 : 27; 9:6; 28: 18.) Agreeable to this He is, in St. Paul's epistles, called the one in which dwells the fullness of divinity; the essence of the divine power; the image of the living God, in godly form; the reflection of divine glory, (Col. 1: 15–17; 2:9; Phil. 2:6; Heb. 1: 2.) But the most significant name is the one given him by John-the WORD-(John 1:1,) whereby the entire fullness of divine nature is expressed as far as it has revealed itself.
“This Word—the primitive cause of the whole creation, the source of all life and of all light from the beginning—was made flesh, (1 : 14;) has united itself with a human personality; has revealed itself in it; dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory--the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. The life-exclaimed John in the beginning of his first letter-has appeared; the eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us, that we bear witness of and declare unto you. As the word is an expression of our thoughts, 80 have the thoughts of God become in Him visible, tangible, sensible. Christ stands, therefore, as the principle of all creative, and revealing divine activity in the midst between Divinity and mankind-uniting both in himself-connecting heaven with earth--and therefore called the Mediator, (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8 : 6.) He is the absolute union of the divine and the human--of the supernatural and the natural--in a historically concrete and perceptible manner. But how the Son is related to the Father-with whom, on the one hand, He is one, but from whom, on the other hand, He is different-human reason has often endeavored to define. The Scripture says simply: one God and one Lord, (1 Cor. 8:6;) one God and one Mediator, (1 Tim. 2: 5;) one God and one God-sent, (John 17 : 3.) This will further be discussed in the chapter on the Trinity."
We give one more extract, drawing in this case from the Ninth Letter, where the author touches upon eternal happiness, and the high dignity of human nature, as two of the motives of Christianity for a righteous life:
"Another highly efficient motive of Christianity, is the doctrine of eternal happiness or misery. This motive is calculated with great wisdom for man as he is, as thousands would, without this hope of future life, not be capable of the sacrifices and ex. ertions required by Christianity. The prospect of this future alleviates any sacrifice in the life on earth. But on this very doctrine is based the objection against Christianity, that it fosters the hope of reward and an impure love of happiness. It is said (s. Daumer's polem. Bl. 2. H.) that the biblical Christ did not teach a pure, noble morality; did not demand the truly good for the sake of the principle, and the desire of the good for its own sake; that He endeavored to lead to the good by pointing to the reward, even to an earthly and tangible one, and to avert from the