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and not any

reason

with human bodies could not be saved by a man (could any such exist) with a celestial body. How could he feel weakness, or hunger, or thirst, or other infirmity, without knowing which, there could be no redemption perfect in all its parts, and to know which, our LORD expressly took our nature,

other? And if we could meet one of the ancient followers of this particular heresy, we should be apt to warn him in words as forcible as we could use, that as far as we knew he could not be saved.

And next, the Arians denied that our LORD had any soul at all, but made Him consist of an inferior Godhead at best, and a body. To this succeeded by reaction the opposite opinion that He was so perfectly God, that He was not perfectly man, in not having a able soul,” but one without reason.

In either case, redemption is impossible; for if the Redeemer has no soul at all, or one without reason, our souls are not redeemed, though our bodies be; yet the soul is considered the cause of the actions of the body, and the source whence they proceed.

Moreover, the denial of His soul contradicts our LORD's own words, for He said in the last temptation, directly, "Now is My soul troubled," and He had said before in prophecy, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,” (Hades.) As the body was the subject and seat of hunger, thirst and weariness, so was the soul the subject and seat of the sorrow with which He mourned over Jerusalem, and of the sharper grief that called down the tears at the grave of Lazarus.

And idiots are not brutes, but immortal beings with souls, though their souls as yet lack reason. To

say

then that our LORD has a soul, “ without” or “devoid” of reason, what is it but to say that He is in His human nature such as these?

The next two clauses say that Christ is “ one not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God," and “not by confusion of His substance, but by Unity of Person.”

Some formerly said that after the Incarnation there was in CHRIST, not two natures, but one only. These differed again among themselves. Some said that this one nature was only God: others that on the contrary, it was only man. According to the first, there could be no suffering, no death, no resurrection from death and the grave; and so again there could be no redemption—and if no redemption, no salvation.

The second opinion makes the Incarnation not an act of condescension, which it was; but of positive degradation. For if it be that the

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Godhead is substantially converted into flesh, then the higher nature is done away entirely, being merged into the lower one which then exists alone. Thus no act of divine power could have been performed, and the Redemption would again have become a thing impossible. Nor were the substances so confused into each other that they have not a separate existence, so that one absorbs, or consumes, or extinguishes, or over-rides or over-rules the other—but both co-exist in the same subject; the point on which the two natures unite being the Oneness of the Person that has them-that is in the " Unity of the Person."

To explain this unity of the Person at more length :

It was an ancient heresy (that of Nestorius) formally condemned by the Church in general council, that our LORD had a human personality as well as a divine one, which could not be. Briefly, two Persons could not be one Person, and if CHRIST is two Persons, there are two CHRISTS, a human and Divine, and then there is either no Mediator at all, or there are two. The doctrine expressed by the Creed is, that the Divine Person, the Second in the Holy Trinity, God the Son, to His one Divine Person added another and a second nature; so that there was one Person conscious and acting by and through His two natures, as one of us might act by and through both his arms, and yet not be two persons, because he has as it were two agencies. the soul and flesh being two different beings and of opposite natures, matter and spirit, yet make one man, not two men.

So Christ is “not two, but one CHRIST," not by changing His Godhead into His human Nature, nor the reverse; but by taking of His manhood into that Divine Personality which He had before the worlds; taking that manhood into-uniting it with--making it a part of-welding it into the Divine Personality which He had previously, and has ; and in which with God as Man, Consciousness, Volition, and Will exist.

This is the chain and system of doctrine brought out, link by link, and doctrine by doctrine, in the Creed. These doctrines, each after each, are those and those only which result from the Incarnation. There cannot be many systems of doctrines differing from each other, yet all equally true. There can be but one true system; and all others, excepting those of the Creed, if tested by the result, fail under that test. They either contradict scripture, or they render at some point or other the Redemption impossible.

And this cannot be a matter of no moment, or an open question. If

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we have a Redeemer, it cannot be of no consequence, or a doubtful matter, whether, for instance, He has a human body, or a celestial one; and a reasonable soul, or an irrational one: or whether He is two Persons, and so two CHRISTS, or one.

But it is said that this Creed is useless, and should be taken out of our books, or disused, because it is beyond the understanding of the majority. This is true. Perfect understanding of Divine doctrines is impossible. They were not meant to be matters of intellect, but of faith. None of us can understand the difference between generation and procession, or their meaning, when applied to the Son and HOLY Ghost; but we do not therefore hesitate so to use and apply them.

Much of this Creed could be understood in some degree at least, if duly studied; and when its abolition or non-use is urged on the ground that the people do not understand it, may there not be another alternative? Might not the people be better instructed in it, so that it should cease to be without meaning to them? Then, in proportion as they came to understand it, they would value it; and if they valued it, they would wish it to be in the service book, and duly used as now.

The great subject of the Creed is, an explanation as far as possible of the two Natures and one Person of CHRIST. If we believe that our LORD is both God and Man in one CHRIST, why should we complain, if the manner of His being such, is taught and explained to us as fully and accurately as can be done by language ?

Does it show any love or reverence for Him, or any disposition of mind and heart that we can think salvable, to say or allow it to be said, that He is no greater than one of ourselves ? that He is less than man ? that He knows less than they, which was said by Aëtius, and can do less ? that He has no soul at all, or the soul, not of a perfect man, but of an idiot ?

Or does it show any care, or concern, or jealousy for His truth, to accuse a Creed of uncharitableness, or unwarranted hardness, for saying that such as do so think of Him cannot expect to be saved by Him? Is not such an accusation rather the taking away of love, care, and reverence from Him, to transfer them to those who so dishonour and malign Him?

Faith and love would rather say, what condemnation of such can be too decided—what warning to those within the pale of belief too strong, or too emphatic ?

G. J. D.

363

THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD.

S. LUKE XXIV. 50–52.

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OUR Gracious SAVIOUR led His chosen few,
As far as Bethany, their souls to cheer,
And lifted up His Hands and blesséd them,
The hour of His departure drawing near.
His gift Divine, and parting words of love,
Consoled their hearts bereft:--the Morning land
Was arched with sapphire, and a gold-edged cloud
Floated in sunny air by zephyrs fanned :-
That passing cloud received His Sacred Form,
To Heaven carried and absorbed in Light;
The witnesses who worshipped with great joy,
Steadfastly gazed on the Stupendous Sight.
With triumph they proclaimed that “JESUS lives”-
Whose pure Lips scattered pearls on every side
Whose deeds of Mercy His Life-work made up-
Whose foes reviled Him-scourged—and Crucified.
We must “ go forward” e’en when tempests lour,
“Only not wrecked” and on the sharp rocks crushed —
And ’midst the din pierce through the darklin nist,
Veiling the Haven-fair where storms are hushed.
Footprints of Jesus are imprest on earth,
Which all who enter at the strait gate see,
And daily follow-guided by the Cross,
That points the way to blest Eternity.

C. A. M. W.

A WHITSUNTIDE PRAYER.

I. “GRANT us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort."

Very clearly and forcibly had Bertha Mansbridge explained to her Bible-class these beautiful words of the Whitsun collect. From her close personal acquaintance with all her scholars, and insight into their

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various temptations and troubles, she seemed able to thrust home to each, that aspect of the petition which was likely to be the most helpful. If any one of the dozen girls went away unedified, it was certainly through no fault of the teacher, while with many her sweet lesson did assuredly abide, as an unfailing support in time of need.

But her own life was cast in a very different mould from the lives of those she was called to instruct. And when kneeling in her place that day in the nave of her dearly-loved church, a feeling half sad, half joyful stole over her. She had spoken to her class of Divine guidance through their daily perplexities, for well she knew that these were many and pressing. She had spoken to them of the consolations of the Spirit, for was there not in each girl's home some grievous burden to be borne, some heavy cross which would crush the spirit of its bearer, but for His holy comfort ?

But now, when the moment had come to apply the prayer to her own case, Bertha Mansbridge was startled by the comparison which forced itself upon her mind. A thrill of gratitude came over her while she contemplated her joys and blessings, she who had, as she often told herself, the brightest of homes, the most devoted of husbands, and a little girl of well-nigh angelic loveliness. It seemed almost as though for her the Whitsun collect were but a form. What need for her of a “right judgment,” since Herbert was always at hand with his wise counsel ? what need of "holy comfort,” since she knew not the sting of sorrow? She forgot in the exuberance of her spirits that there is daily and hourly need of the right judgment for every individual soul, because that each one has its own responsibilities. She forgot that in every action of her life, in the apportionment of her time, and in her intercourse with others she required (and who does not ?) the spirit of wisdom, and understanding and counsel. But that evening a chance conversation with her husband served to put the whole matter in a new light before her.

"That is a strange child," he remarked, just as little Alice had left the room; “I never knew one so sensitive. To see her take offence at any supposed censure, one would take her to be ten instead of six

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years old.

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“Don't call it taking offence,” said Bertha, “that is a hard-sounding expression to use of such a mite. She is intensely affectionate, and the slightest blame from those she loves wounds her to the quick.”

“I believe you are right,” replied Herbert. “The blame makes her

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