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an earnest and arousing tenderness No wonder that the ministry of of appeal palpitates throughout the such men as these told visibly on discourse :
the population of the stately cathe"O, my brethren, God loves us too well
dral city ; and helped to make to leave us to the seduction of such a Methodism the power that it has multitude of delights as we have men- long been in York. John Slack tioned !- According to Thy fear, so is too was a man of mark,* not unThy wrath.' Of every other evil the fear is worse than the reality ; apprehension
worthy to superintend two such mystifies and magnifies the object; but colleagues. Dr. McAllum states : in this case, fear never adequately con- “A multitude, both of men and ceived of the extent of the loss. Imagina- women believed; a great proportion tion can picture nothing so dreadful as the reality of that which is imported in
of whom continued to hold fast these words."
their confidence. At least four McAllum's loving and reverential
hundred persons were added unto
the Lord.” A close friendship appreciation of the character and ministry of his colleague is too
sprung up between the two young
ministers characteristic to be omitted in the
one of Stoner's last estimate of his own character. He
letters was to his late colleague
McAllum. The latter was in all testifies of Stoner :
the more request, for missionary “He thought of no abatement from
anniversaries especially, as unlike the sterling weights of the sanctuary. With all his heart, soul, mind and strength
the former, he was powerful on the he aimed at usefulness, and especially at platform as well as in the pulpit. awakening, quickening and informing His residence in York rendered him the conscience. .. The sword he wielded
accessible to the great manufacturwas of keen edge from the hilt to the point. . . After describing the displeasure
ing centres; and round about to of God in any one of its frowns, he would Manchester and Nottingham, Mcpray, 'The Lord save us from the wrath Allum was the man for great misto come.' The hearer was allowed to think of the preacher or the
sionary festivals. In May, 1825, he composition; all his thoughts and concern
was chosen as the preacher of the were forced in upon himself. . . Appeal opening Missionary Sermon at City following appeal lightened upon the con- Road Chapel, his associates being science, revealing at once the darkness and the light, ... bolt succeeded bolt. ...
Adam Clarke, at Great Queen Street, Spiritual profit, the utmost profit, and and Robert Newton, at Hinde Street. present profit, was the thing aimed at. vehement thirst of his soul was
* Father of the late modest and to do good. The zeal of the Lord ate
cultivated Mr. Slack of the Book-Room him up; it was a fire in his bones; it was
and the late Edward Slack, Esq., the a torrent on his lips. . . His zeal was a
eminent solicitor of Bath, who died sudstream whose strength is not in its current
denly in the year of his mayoralty. merely, but in its volume of water."
(To be concluded.)
Thé . .
MAY IMPERSONALITY BE AFFIRMED OF THE HUMAN
NATURE OF CHRIST ?
BY THE EDITOR.
Mr. Pope, in his noble work on the “ Person of Christ, ”
justly and forcibly remarks that Theology “requires that allowance be made for
the essential inadequacy of the most carefully pondered formulas
. . a liberal and candid interpretation." (P. 4.) Assuredly, this is
most reasonable. And the claim On all these grounds we most on liberality and candour of inter- deferentially request the acute and pretation which those whose duty scholarly champions of orthodoxy it is to weigh theological terms are who have adopted the term “imbound to concede, they are both personality of the human nature of obliged and entitled to present, on Christ,” to give it a candid and carebehalf of their
own frank and ful reconsideration. We are thankful honest investigations. But there to find that neither the questionable is also another virtue which it be- term nor the questionable theory hoves theological writers and their occurs in the section on the Person reviewers alike to cultivate, namely, of Christ in Mr. Pope's great work caution. The theologian is under recently issued, bearing the modest special obligation to weigh and title, “A Compendium of Christian measure his terms, and see whether Theology, -a work which will mark they fit the revealed facts which era in Wesleyan theological they are employed to indicate. And literature,-and that proportionate in a scarcely less degree, all open- | prominence and due significance are minded Christian thinkers are bound given to passages of Scripture which to look narrowly at a theological in humble judgment, had phrase, and to test its genuineness, scarcely their full share of consibefore they allow it currency.
deration in his admirable Lecture.* When iş it incumbent on the Our strictures therefore, refer alChristian thought of an age, country most exclusively to other writers. or Church to demur to a new theolo- I.-The term impersonality, when gical term ?
applied to the human nature of our 1. If the term be not used in its Blessed Lord, is said to be not used ordinary, obvious, Dictionary sense, in its ordinary, obvious sense, yet and yet its conventional, arbitrary, its conventional, technical, arbitrary technical sense be not clearly defined. sense is not clearly defined. The
2. If it prove, on examination of first thing a man of science does, in its context, to represent a theory not introducing a scientific term, is to reconcileable with Holy Writ. strictly define it, and this all the
3. If its advocates in defending or more carefully if a technical signifipartially explaining it, be obliged cation be given to a word in comto rest their theory on unsubstantial,
It might seem superor unsubstantiated, grounds, whether fluous and irrelevant to allude to the metaphysical, physiological or phy- ordinary signification of the word sical.
impersonal, since its advocates seem 4. If its advocates are obliged to to solicit for it" a certain tolerance.” concede in equivalent words what (Pope. P. 4.) But, seeing that they they deny in the particular term, must have had some reason for preand vice versa, to surrender what ferring this word to any other, as the they affirm.
term which, on the whole, came 5.. If it supply a convenient cover nearest to their meaning, it seems for heresy, being more apt for necessary to advert to the usual various forms of misbelief than for and untechnical signification of the the truth.
word. That is clear enough. Its 6. If the term, with all its vague- theological usage is obvious. When ness, pronounce on a mysterious subject with a precision which Scrip- * See this Magazine, for November, ture does not warrant.
1871. P. 527.
orthodox divines condemn the definite outline: “ It cannot be said dogma of “the impersonality of the that the Logos united Himself Holy Ghost,” every one knows that with a definite, human individual.” the heresy aimed at is the reducing Here the issue is perfectly plain. the Third Person in the Trinity In our humble judgment, the stateto a mere influence. When Christian ments of the New Testament refuse writers denounce the Pantheistic to bear any such construction; no error of an impersonal God, we are human ingenuity is capable of fastenall aware that the falsehood re- ing it upon them. buked is that which robs the Supreme II.-Let us confront this dogma of His own free will, changing the with those statements. First, Had glory of the all-loving Creator into our Blessed Lord a definite, india mere conception of the human vidual human body, as definite and brain-the self-consciousness of a individual as that of any of His mechanically moving universe. Cer- progenitors, Adam, Abraham, David tainly the theological antecedents or Heli ? or did He take
Him and associations of the term do not human corporeity, instead of a“definite, favour its unchallenged admission individual human” body ? When to the deepest and holiest mysteries Christ said " A body hast Thon preof our religion.
pared Me,” did He mean an indeWhen Schaff says “ The imper- finite, unindividual body-idea ? Nay, sonality of Christ's human nature, verily; the Babe that was born in however, is not to be taken abso- Bethlehem was no babe-idea, any lutely, but relatively,” (“ History more than the manger in which they of the Christian Church.” Vol. i. laid Him was a manger-idea. That P. 757,) we could accord the the historical Christ, the Christ of term “á certain tolerance,” if never the Gospel, had a definite, indiused without the guarding epithets, vidual human body, no “not absolute, but relative," as deny and retain his orthodoxy. being capable of a construction not Was not the denial of this the error inconsistent with the truth. But of the Docetæ ? And what warwhen he adds “ It cannot be said rant can we find in Scripture or in that the Logos assumed a human
sense for supposing that person, or united Himself with a the human soul of our Blessed Lord definite, human individual,” then we was not as definite, individual” become aware that, after all, Schaff a human soul as His body was a does employ the word in its ordinary definite and individual human body? sense, and that his qualifying adjec- Does not growth imply limitation ? tives, “not absolute, but relative,” does not limitation define and serve no purpose but to blind him- individualize ? As the body of self and his inadvertent readers to Jesus “increased in stature,” His the unscripturalness of his dogma. mind increased in “wisdom.” What We say Schaff thus employs it; for can give definiteness, individuality, one grave inconvenience of the in- to human soul-nature, if a definite, troduction of a term not accurately individual will do not? Yet no defined is, that two, or even twenty, orthodox advocate of the term “im, men may use the self-same word, personality of the human nature," as the evellope of two, or of twenty, denies to our Lord a definite, indidivergent doctrines. But Schaff vidual human will. That was the does Theology the good service of heresy of the Monothelites. If then placing the dogma before us in clear a definite, individual human body, Â
one can were
definite, individual human mind, a notion of an indefinite, unindividual definite, individual human will, be merely ideal human nature in Christ. conceded to Christ, to what part of Though, in one historical and ScripHis nature does His human imper- tural sense, He was 66 not the son of sonality attach ? Is it that of a man,” yet in another, equal true which he spoke when he said “ My and equally significant, He was soul is exceeding sorrowful ; “the son of David, the son of "Father, into Thy hands I commend Abraham." He had a human My Spirit”?
mother and human grandfathers. If the human nature of our Lord | He was the veritable son of Mary,
unindividualized, human the veritable grandson of Heli or nature in the abstract, what need for of Mattan. He was not " the son His assuming it in the manner in of mankind” in the sense of a uniwhich it was assumed,—by birth and versal, indefinite or ideal affiliation. descent, and not by direct creation If so, how superfluous, irrelevant, or by direct assumption, if there misleading, is the first verse of the exist anywhere, as the phrase seems first Gospel! Why does the Good to imply, in the universe some in- News begin by so carefully recordappropriated fund of abstract, ing His human descent ? “ The book generic, human nature ? When the of the generation of Jesus Christ, Spirit, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the son of David, the son of Abrasays
" He took not on Him the ham.” Why is His extraction traced nature of Angels,” the antithesis is so minutely through all its definite, not, “but He took on Him the” individual human links, if the nature nature of man -“ but He took on He derived through a long line of Him the seed of Abraham.” If that definite individuals, was to be not do not imply a definité, individual,
individual ” ? True, differentiated human subsistence, “ His relation to human nature is what can it imply at all ? Mr. Pope universal” (Ibid.); but it was none gives beautiful, though strong and the less particular. It is not unirather transcendental utterance to a versal in any sense which would most precious truth, when unfolding cancel the consanguinity of “ James " the significance of the term-Son the Lord's brother,” or compel a of Man” he writes, “ Not the son negative answer to the questions of a man, but the son of mankind, of his fellow-townsmen,
6 Is not the ideal, the realised, the new, the His mother called Mary ? and representative, the perfect man." His brethren, James, and Joses, (Second Edition. P. 123.) This lan- and Simon, and Judas ? and guage will very well bear a sound, His sisters are they not all with scriptural sense. “ Unto us a child is born.” Christ is the grand re- III.-A theological term is to be deeming Kinsman, redeeming out- strictly scrutinized if its advocates, birth, of our race; the Heir-apparent in defending it or partially explainof all human sorrow; the Chief ing it, are obliged to base their Mourner over our dead hopes which theory on unsubstantial, or unsubHe came to summon from the grave; stantiated, grounds, whether metathe Model Man in Whom our nature physical or physical. Schaff says realises all its highest possibilities, (loc. cit.) “The doctrine presents and reaches its supremest royalty. no very great metaphysical or But this blessed truth, so far from psychological difficulty. It is true being favourable, is fatal, to the we cannot, according to our modern
way of thinking, conceive a complete achieved, and all sound scientific human nature without personality. inference on those data, forbid the We make personality itself consist supposition that a new human subin intelligence and free-will, so that sistence, at any period of its being, without it the nature sinks to a mere either embryonic or pre-embryonic, abstraction of powers, qualities and waits for, or works towards, anyfunctions." Well, until we be pre- thing that goes to constitute its pared to adopt the Platonic doctrine individuality. On the contrary, facts of Ideas, or the scholastic doctrine and inductions on facts alike go to of the Realists, we shall hold on in show that it receives along with its
our modern way of thinking,” | existence every essential constituent that without “intelligence and free- of its nature. The discoveries and will,” human nature cannot be con- inductions of physical science are ceived as complete; and that where confirmations of, and comments on, “intelligence and free-will” exist, the physiological assumptions of “personality” cannot be absent. A Scripture, which make personality, great many thinkers will find “very the I-begin with the very first begreat metaphysical difficulty" in ac- ginning of individual being, e.g., Ps. cepting the theory of the imperson- Ji. 5 ; cxxxix. 15, 16; Job x. 9–11. ality of the human nature of Christ, It will be hard to hold fast the when it turns out to involve the revealed fact of universally transacceptance of Mediæval Realism or mitted human depravity; impossiGreek Idealism. But the “psycho- ble to account for those palpable logical difficulty" and the physio- | moral phenomena of which those logical difficulty are, if possible, revealed facts afford the only solugreater still.
Even Mr. Pope seems tion; hard to justify the confession to us to venture on very unsafe phy- of David, “Behold, I was shapen siological territory, when he says: in iniquity; and in sin did
mother “ The Son of God unites Himself conceive me," if it be maintained with this new Man before any dis- that human personality is not a ditinct personality could be predicated of rect derivative of human parentage. it.” (Second Edition. P. 139.) We There is a very curious passage are constrained to ask, When was highly illustrative of this point, in that ? and where ? This statement the only old classic English Divine, implies that personality would have so far as we know, who ever probeen inevitable to the human nature pounded a theory closely cognate of Christ, had it not been forestalled with that which is now indicated by the effecting of the union at by the term “ impersonality of the some stage in the mysterious genesis Human Nature;
a passage not of a human being, when a quoted by Mr. Pope, yet coming man” exists, without personality. | immeasurably nearer to the vague Here the boundary line of theology notions now crystallized into the is crossed, the territories of psycho- word impersonality than his extracts logy and physiology are invaded, from Drs. Owen and Jackson : and beyond these, operations are pushed into the vast terra incognita
"The Word,' saith St. John, 'was made
flesh, and dwelt in us.' The Evangelist of speculation and hypothesis. Here useth the plural number, men for manwe plunge at once into the unex- hood, as for the nature whereof we plored mystery of origines. So far consist, even as the Apostle denying the as Science has been able to advance
assumption of angelical nature, saith
likewise in the plural number, * He took in this direction, all the data yet | not Angels, but the seed of Abraham.' It