BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite


Lectures on theology

by John Dick

Excerpt:

ON THE PERSON OF CHRIST.

The human nature of Christ—Heretical opinions respecting it—Integrity of it—Its sinlessncss —Necessity of his assumption of humun nature—The constitution of his person, by the union of the divine and human natures—Enects of this hypostatical union.

Having proved that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah promised to the Fathers, I proceed to speak of his person, before I enter upon the consideration of his particular offices. To a Jew, it would seem that this inquiry is unnecessary, or may be reduced to narrow limits, it being enough to know his human descent, as there is no distinction between him and other men, except in his high destination, his superior endowments, and his splendid achievements. Some professed Christians are of the same opinion, and maintain, that he who was born in the fulness of time, was in every respect a man like ourselves. It is certain, however, that the expectations of the ancient people of God pointed to a nobler object, in consequence of the declarations of the prophets, that the Redeemer of Israel should be one who might " be called Jehovah our righteousness," and " Immanuel," which signifies " God with us." Our own Scriptures are still more explicit, and, in language which does not admit of a figurative interpretation, inform us, that it was the Word who "was God," and "by whom all things were created," that was " made flesh

-» John vi. 69.

and dwelt among us;" that it was the Son of God who was made of a woman; and that he who came of the Jews, according to the flesh, was " God over all, blessed for ever." These, and many other passages, import that in him the divine and the human nature were united; so that of the same person it may be affirmed with truth, that he is the fellow or the equal of the Lord of hosts, and the kinsman and brother of the children of the dust.

This article of our religion has been opposed with great violence in every age, and by heretics of various descriptions. It is the rock on which the Church is built, and the powers of darkness have exerted their utmost efforts to overthrow it. It is not necessary to review those opinions, which aimed at subverting the foundations of our faith by denying the divinity of Christ, whether he was affirmed by the Ebionites, and others, to be a mere man, 4<am ••6{*-t«, or at a later period by the Arians, to be a secondary deity; because we have formerly proved that he is God, equal to the Father. Our present design only requires that we should take notice of the errors which immediately related to the constitution of his person as fltwfifww, God and man.

Let us begin with the consideration of the nature which he assumed. And here we are met by two opinions which were vented in the primitive times, in opposition to the common faith of Christians, founded on the authority of Scripture. The first is that of the Docetae, who were so called on account of their distinguishing tenet, that our Saviour was not a man in reality, but in appearance only. It was held by different individuals and sects; but, as they concurred in this opinion with respect to the Christ, they received in ancient times this common designation. According to them, what was supposed to be the man Christ Jesus, was a mere phantom, and his crucifixion was a scenical representation, by which the senses of the spectators were imposed upon. It surely is not necessary to attempt an elaborate refutation of a heresy so manifestly contrary to the most explicit declarations of Scripture. "Forasmuch," says an apostle, " as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same.''* There is no reason why we should listen for a moment to men who give the lie direct to an inspired writer, and would persuade us that, for the space of more than thirty years, God, for no conceivable end, deceived the Jewish nation by a series of miracles, (for it was only by miracle that they could be made for so long a time to think that a shadow was a solid substance ;) and that our hope of salvation by the death of our Redeemer is vain, as he did not shed his blood for us, and, in truth, had no blood to shed. The second opinion, destructive of the human nature of Christ, is said to have been maintained by Arius and Eunomius, who affirmed that he had a body, but not a soul, and that the Logos, or his superior nature, supplied its place. Apollinaris, or Apollinarius, also taught that the Son of God assumed manhood without a soul, -fu^nr ant, as Socrates relates; but afterwards, changing his mind, he said that he assumed a soul, but that it did not possess the intelligent or rational principle, r:w I* »* <*-•" •"«'•t; and that the «}« was instead of that principle, am rn/.t Human nature he conceived to consist of three parts, a body, a soul, and a mind, of which the latter was wanting in our Saviour. The contrariety of both opinions to Scripture is apparent, and particularly of the former, which affirms that he had no soul. Besides that it is expressly mentioned by himself, when he said in his agony, " My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,"J and when, on the cross, he committed it to his Father, there is the same evidence that he possessed this essential part of our nature, as there is that it belongs to any other man; his thoughts, his reasonings, his feelings, his affections, his joys and sorrows, his hopes and fears, being all indications of the existence of that


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