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Manifestation of the Word in history. 237 too abstract to oblige us to conceive of it as of a personal Subsistence. On the other hand, the filial relationship carries with it the idea of dependence and of comparatively recent origin, even although it should suggest the reproduction in the Son of all the qualities of the Father. Certainly St. John's language in his prologue protects the Personality of the Logos, and unless he believed that God could be divided or could have had a beginning, the Apostle teaches that the Son is co-eternal with the Father. Yet the bare metaphors of Word' and 'Son,' taken separately, might lead divergent thinkers to conceive of Him to Whom they are applied, on the one side as an impersonal quality or faculty of God, on the other, as a concrete and personal but inferior and dependent being. But combine them, and each corrects the possible misuse of the other. The Logos, Who is also the Son, cannot be an impersonal and abstract quality; since such an expression as the Son would be utterly misleading, unless it implied at the very least the fact of a personal subsistence distinct from that of the Father. On the other hand, the Son, Who is also the Logos, cannot be of more recent origin than the Father; since the Father cannot be conceived of as subsisting without that Eternal Thought or Reason Which is the Son. Nor may the Son be deemed to be in any respect, save in the order of Divine subsistence, inferior to the Father, since He is identical with the eternal intellectual Life of the Most High. Thus each metaphor reinforces, supplements, and protects the other. Taken together they exhibit Christ before His Incarnation as at once personally distinct from, and yet equal with, the Father; He is That personally subsisting and 'Eternal Life, Which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us p.'
St. John's Gospel is a narrative of that manifestation. It is a Life of the Eternal Word tabernacling in Human Nature
The Hebrew schools employed a similar expression to designate the personal presence of the Divinity in this finite world. In St. John's Gospel the Personality of Christ makes Itself felt as Eternal and Divine at wellnigh every step of the narrative r. Thus even the Forerunner describes
among men 9.
P i St. John i. 2. Cf. Newman's Arians, ch. ii. sect. 3.
9 St. John i. 14: čokhvwo ev ev ňuiv. The image implies both the reality and the transient character of our Lord's manifestation in the flesh. Olshausen, Meyer, and Lücke see in it an allusion to the 'Shekinah,' in which the Divine glory or radiance (7723) dwelt enshrined.
r Baur, Dogmengeschichte, i. 602 : Was das johanneische Evangelium betrifft, so versteht es sich ohnediess von selbst, dass das eigentliche Subject
a Being Who appearing later in time has had an earlier existences; and Who, while coming from above, is yet above all t.' Each discourse, each miracle, nay, each separate word and act, is a fresh ray of glory streaming forth from the Person of the Word through the veil of His assumed Humanity. The miracles of the Word Incarnate are frequently called His works u. The Evangelist means to imply that the wonderful is only the natural form of working for Him in Whom all the fulness of God dwells.' Christ's Divine Nature must of necessity bring forth works greater than the works of man. The Incarnation is the one great wonder; other miracles follow as a matter of
The real marvel would be if the Incarnate Being should work no miracles V; as it is, they are the natural results of His presence among men, rather than its higher manifestation. His true glory is not perceived except by those who gaze at it with a meditative and reverent intentness w. The Word Incarnate is ever conscious of His sublime relationship to the Father. He knows whence He is x. He refers not unfrequently to His pre-existent Life y. He sees into the deepest purposes of the human hearts around Him 2. He has a perfect knowledge of all that concerns God a. His works are simply the works of God b. To believe in the Father
der Persönlichkeit Christi nur der Logos ist, die Menschwerdung besteht daher nur in dem odpę revéolai; dass der Logos Fleisch geworden, im Fleisch erschienen ist, ist seine menschliche Erscheinung. It will be borne in mind that oápě, in its full New Testament meaning, certainly includes yuxń as well as the animal organism (see Olshausen on Rom. vii. 14), and St. John attributes to the Word Incarnate spiritual experiences which must have had their seat in His human Soul (xi. 33, 38, xiii. 21). But Baur's general position, that in St. John's Gospel the Personality of the Eternal Word is perpetually before us, is unquestionably true.
• St. John i. 15: o οπίσω μου ερχόμενος, έμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ότι πρώτος * Ιbid. iii. 31 : ο άνωθεν ερχόμενος επάνω πάντων εστίν.
Běpya, St. John v. 36, vii. 21, X. 25, 32, 38, xiv. 11, 12, xv. 23. Cf. too St. Matt. xi. 2. The word is applied to the Old Testament miracles in Heb. iii. 9; Ps. xciv. 9, LXX. Cf. Archbishop Trench on the Miracles, p. 7. That, notwithstanding the wider use of épyov in St. John xvii. 4, épya in the fourth Gospel do mean Christ's miracles, cf. Trench, Mir. p. 8, note t. Cf. Lect. IV. p. 158.
Trench, ubi supra, p. 8. w St. John uses the words Oewpeiv, Bedo ao dai to describe this. •* St. John viii. 14: olda módev radov. ; Ibid. iii. 13, vi. 62, viii. 58, xvi. 28, xvii. 5. · Ibid. ii. 24, iv. 17, v. 14, 42, vi. 15.
a Ibid. viii. 55, X. 15. 6 Ibid. ix. 4, x. 37, sqq., xiv. 10.
This explains St. John's point of view.
is to believe in Him. To have seen Him is to have seen the Father. To reject and hate Him is to reject and hate the Father. He demands at the hands of men the same tribute of affection and submission as that which they owe to the Person of the Father C.
In St. John's Gospel, the Incarnation is exhibited, not as the measure of the humiliation of the Eternal Word, but as the veil of His enduring and unassailable glory. The angels of God ascend and descend upon Him. Nay, He is still in heaven. Certainly He has taken an earthly form; He has clothed Himself with a human frame. But He has thereby raised humanity rather than abased Himself. In St. John the status inanitionis, the intrinsic humiliation of Christ's Incarnate Life, is thrown into the background of the reader's thought. The narrative is throughout illuminated by the never-failing presence of the Word in His glory d. Even when Jesus dies, His Death is no mere humilia
c As M. Reuss admits : 'Il résulte (from the prerogatives ascribed to the Word Incarnate in St. John's Gospel) que le Verbe révélateur pouvait demander pour lui-même, de la part des hommes, les mêmes sentiments, et les mêmes dispositions, qu'ils doivent avoir à l'égard de la personne du Père. Ces sentiments sont exprimés par un mot, qui contient la notion d'un respect professé pour un supérieur, la reconnaissance d'une dignité devant laquelle on s'incline. A cet égard, il y a égalité des deux personnes divines vis-a-vis de l'homme. On ne croit pas à l'une sans croire à l'autre; qui voit l'une voit l'autre ; rejeter, haïr le Fils, c'est rejeter et haïr le Père. (St. Jean .iii. 33, 34, xii. 44, xv. 23). Mais dans tout ceci (proceeds M. Reuss) il ne s'agit pas de ce qu'on appele le culte dans le langage pratique de l'Église. Le culte appartient à Dieu le Père, et lui sera offert désormais avec d'autant plus d'empressement qu'il est mieux révélé, et que rien ne sépare plus de lui les croyants.' (Reuss, Théol. Chrét. ii. 455.) How inconsequent is this restriction! If the Incarnate Word has a right to de. mand for Himself the same sentiments' and 'dispositions' as those which men cherish towards the Almighty Father, He has a right to the same tribute of an adoration in spirit and in truth as that which is due to the Father. What is worship but a complex act of such 'sentiments' and dispositions' as faith, love, self-prostration, self-surrender before the Most Holy? If tuâv (St. John v. 23), within the general meaning of due acknowledgment, includes much else besides adoration, it cannot be applied to the duties of man to God without including adoration. Our Lord's words place Himself and the Father simply on a level ; if the Son is not to be adored, neither is the Father; if the Father is to be adored, then must the Son be adored in the same sense and measure. This is certainly not interfered with by St. John iv. 20, sqq.; while the best practical comment upon it is to be found in the confession of St. Thomas, xx. 28; on which see Lect. VII.
d This may seem inconsistent with (1) St. John xiv. 28: 8 Mathp ueltwv Mov ¿otiv. But such a statement would be unmeaning' in a mere man. See Lect. IV. pp. 202--204; (2) St. John xvii. 3 : aŰTn de cotuv å giários
tion; His Death is the crisis of His exaltatione, of His glory f. Not that He can personally increase in glory. He is already the Son ; He is the Word. But He can glorify and exalt that Manhood which is the robe through which His movements are discernible: He can glorify Himself, as God is glorified, by drawing towards His Person the faith and love and reverence of men.
It were folly to conceive of Him as enhancing His Divinity; but He can make larger and deeper that measure of homage which ascends towards His throne from human understandings and from human hearts 8.
III. 1. But does St. John's teaching in his earlier writings on the subject of our Lord's Person harmonize with the representations placed before us in the fourth Gospel ? The opening words of his first Epistleh might go far to answer that question. St. John's position in this Epistle is, that the Eternal immaterial Word of Life resident in God had become historically manifest, and that the Apostles had consciously seen, and heard, and handled Him, and were now publishing their experience to the world i. The practical bearing of this announcement lay in the truth that he that hath the Son hath the Life, and he that hath not the Son hath Lit the Lifej.' For God hath given to us the Eternal Life, and this, the Life, is in His Son k' If then the soul is to hold communion with God in the Life of Light and
ζωή, ίνα γινώσκωσίν σε τον μόνον αληθινόν Θεόν, και εν απέστειλας Ιησούν Xplotóv. But here a Socinian sense is excluded, (a) by the consideration that 'the knowledge of God and a creature could not be Eternal Life' (see Alford in loc.); (6) by the plain sense of verse 1, which places the Son and the Father on a level : What creature could stand before his Creator and say, “Glorify me, that I may glorify Thee ?"' Stier apud Alf.; (c) by verse 5, which asserts our Lord's pre-existent 86ga. It follows that the restrictive epithets móvov å indivóv must be held to be exclusive, not of the Son, but of false gods, or creatures external to the Divine Essence. See Estius in loc. Trench, Synonyms of N. T., p. 25, § viii.
• St. John iii. 14: úywoñvai dei Tov Tidy Toù åvopórov. Ibid. viii. 28,
1 Ιbid. xii. 23: ελήλυθεν η ώρα ίνα δοξασθή ο Υιός του ανθρώπου. Ιbid.
8 Cf. Reuss, Théol. Chrét. ii. 456; although the statements of this writer cannot be adopted without much qualification.
On the authorship of the three Epistles, see Alford, Gk. Test. vol. iv., Prol., chaps. 5, 6, and Westcott, Epistles of St. John, p. liii. ff. See too Appendix, note F.
1 i St. John i. 1-3. 3 Ιbid. v. 12: ο έχων τον Υιόν έχει την ζωήν και μη έχων τον Υιόν του Θεού την ζωήν ουκ έχει.
Ibid. ver. 11: kal actn cotly ý uaptupla (i.e. the revealed doctrine resting on a Divine authority) ότι ζωήν αιώνιον έδωκεν ημίν ο Θεός, και αύτη η ζωή εν τω Υιώ αυτού έστιν,
Christology of St. John's First Epistle. 241 Righteousness and Love, it must be through communion with His Divine Son. Thus all practically depends upon the attitude of the soul towards the Son. Accordingly, 'whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father l;' while on the other hand, whosoever sincerely and in practice acknowledges the Son of God in His historical manifestation, enjoys a true communion with the Life of God. • Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him and he in God m'
St. John constantly teaches that the Christian's work in this state of probation is to conquer the world 1.' It is, in other words, to fight successfully against that view of life which ignores God, against that complex system of attractive moral evil and specious intellectual falsehood, which is marshalled and organized by the great enemy of God, and which permeates and inspires non-Christianized society. The world's force is seen especially in the lust of the flesh, in the lust of the eyes, and in the pride of life. These three forms of concupiscence manifest
1 ISt. John ii. 22: ούτός έστιν ο αντίχριστος, και αρνούμενος τον Πατέρα και Tov Tióv. A Humanitarian might have urged that it was possible to deny the Son, while confessing the Father. But St. John, on the ground that the Son is the only and the Adequate Manifestation of the Father, denies this: πας και αρνούμενος τον Υιόν ουδε τον Πατέρα έχει. .
m Ibid. iv. 15: δς αν ομολογήση ότι 'Ιησούς έστιν ο Υιός του Θεού, ο Θεός εν αυτώ μένει, και αυτός εν τω Θεώ.
η Ιbid. ii. 15: εάν τις αγαπά τον κόσμον, ουκ έστιν η αγάπη του Πατρός εν avto. Compare Martensen, Christl. Dogmat. § 96: 'If we consider the effects of the Fall upon the course of historical development, not only in the case of individuals but of the race collectively, the term "world" (kóguos) bears a special meaning different from that which it would have, were the development of humanity normal. The cosmical principle having been emancipated by the Fall from its due subjection to the Spirit, and invested with a false independence, and the universe of creation having obtained with man a higher importance than really attaches to it, the historical development of the world has become one in which the advance of the kingdom of God is retarded and hindered. The created universe has, in a relative sense, life in itself, including, as it does, a system of powers, ideas, and aims, which possess a relative value. This relative independence, which ought to be subservient to the kingdom of God, has become a fallen “world-autonomy.” Hence arises the scriptural expression “this world” (8 koouos oitos). By this expression the Bible conveys the idea that it regards the world not only ontologically but in its definite and actual state, the state in which it has been since the Fall. “ This
means the world content with itself, in its own independence, its own glory; the world which disowns its dependence on God as its Creator. “This world” regards itself, not as the ktírus, but only as the kbouos, as a system of glory and beauty which has life in itself, and can give life. The historical embodiment of “this world” is heathendom, which honoureth not God as God.'