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of the latter."
Some of my reviewers have said much more than this. The fact of such a development has long indeed been familiar to German writers of the most opposite theological schools. But it is satisfactory to find that what was almost unanimously denounced by the religious press in this country hardly twenty years ago, as sheer Rationalism or Romanism run mad, is now beginning to be pretty generally admitted as true in principle, though there is still of course much difference of opinion about the application of the principle. To come to a better under
Guurdian, Aug. 24, 1865. ? My critic in the Westminster Review (Oct. 1865) observes that rationalists will consider their own theory of development more consistent, “which does not require the cataclysm of a miraculous incarnation.” But I was not arguing with those who deny the Incarnation. That is a fact resting on its own evidence, which is neither “required” nor capable of being disproved by any theory of development, as such, though for all who regard it as the final and fullest revelation of God to man, it is necessarily the starting point of any theory of development in Christian doctrine. When the reviewer goes on to “ object, above all, to that which is a characteristic of the so-called Catholic developments, the deducing logical conclusions from mystical premisses, as of Eucharistic flesh and blood from a figurative victim," there seems to be some confusion of language. No one dreams of deducing the Catholic doctrine of the Eucharist from “a figurative victim”—whatever precisely is intended by the phrase--for no one who believes in Christianity at all, certainly no believer in Catholicism, holds either the Person or the Sacrifice of Christ to be figurative. Nor can St. Bernard's words, in ascribing the efficacy of His death to His will in voluntarily dying, in any way prejudice “the perpetual sacrifice of the mass." As both Victim and Sacrifice are in either case identical, whatever explanation is given of the one, applies equally to the other. So far as the word
standing on this point would be a most important step towards the settlement of those doctrinal questions which divide Protestants from Catholics, and the Eastern Church from the West. But I am touching on the confines of a vast subject which cannot be en
here. One word only shall be added in conclusion. The Cross may be regarded as the meeting-point of the objective and subjective elements of Christianity. The Incarnation of the Eternal Word is the fundamental verity on which the faith is built, and it is then most vividly brought home alike to the intellect and the conscience, when we are bidden to gaze on that bleeding Form on Calvary, and to remenaber that the Blood so freely shed for us is indeed none other than the Blood of the Incarnate God. This is the picture suggested to us when we think of the Atonement. And none should dare to contemplate it, even though it be from a distance, and rather for purposes of abstract inquiry than of devotion, but with the deepest reverence and in the spirit of
“ mystical” indicates a distinction between the "premisses” and the "conclusions,” it belongs to the latter, not the former, for though both Victim and Sacrifice are the saine, the manner of offering is mystical on the altar, while is was real on the Cross.
adoring love. If there is aught in these pages tending in any way to lessen that reverence, or to cloud the vision of His Atoning Love of whom they speak, the author would wish it blotted out ere it was written. “ Domine Deus, quæcumque dixi in his libris de Tuo ignoscant et Tui; si qua de meo, et Tu ignosce et Tui.”
[Since this volume was in type, my attention has been called to a passage bearing on certain statements made in it (p. 279), in the interesting Dissertation on the Christian Ministry, in Lightfoot's Epistle to the Philippians (Macmillan). Professor Lightfoot insists that "the Epistle to the Hebrew's leaves no place for a Christian priesthood” in the sacrificial sense. He accordingly objects to Juolaothplov in Heb. xiii. 10, being understood of the Lord's table, and considers that meaning to be excluded by the context, in vv. 9, 15, 16 especially, and inferentially by a comparison with 1 Cor. ix. 13 ; x. 18, which, however, can have little force, except on the improbable assumption of a common authorship of both Epistles. The reference to Heb. xiii. 9 is hardly relevant; the language of vr. 15, 16 is quite consistent, to say the least, with the Eucharistic application of Juolaotýplov in v. 10, indicating, as it does, what all would admit to be certain aspects of the rite. It is no doubt true that “the Christian Ministry is a priesthood of a type essentially different from the Jewish,” or Heathen ; and there were obvious reasons for keeping this distinction prominently in view, which wouki abundantly account for any “silence" of the N. T. or other early writers, on the recognised principle of the “economy,” sanctioned expressly by our Lord Himself (Matt. vii. 6), and acted on both by Him and His apostles. But the distinction is not that the Chris. tian is less really a priesthood than the Jewish, but the reverse. The Jewish priest“ stood daily offering often the same [bloody and typical] sacrifices,” i.e., a succession of them. The Christian priest presents and pleads on earth the One true and availing Sacrifice, offered once in blood on Calvary, which Christ has entered into hearen to plead continually “in the presence of God for us." This surely explains the contrast drawn out in the Epistle to the Hebrews.]
67 69 69
Difficulties and Objections
71 73 76 78
NOTE TO CHAPTER I. ON THE CONDITION OF OUR LORD'S HUMAN