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Bushnell on the Incarnation

Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1851

Art 1.—God in Christ. Three Discourses, delivered at New Haven, Cambridge, and Andover, with a Preliminary Dissertation on Language. By Horace Bushnell. Hartford: Brown & Parsons.    1849.    12mo.    pp.356.

According to Dr. Bushneli, the distinction of three persons in the Trinity is not a distinction of persons in God himself, but in his process of revealing himself to us, and the relations which God assumes as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are simply media or instruments of his revelation to us of his own internal character. God is to be regarded as a great dramatist or actor, who assumes or impersonates three distinct characters, in order the better to give us a full and lively sense of his infinite power and resources. Regarded in himself, in his own internal being, or eternal nature, he is not triune, and is trinity only in his revelation. The Trinity, therefore, is not eternal, and depends on the fact that God has chosen to create us, and to make himself known to us. 
We need not say how contrary this is to the CVmstum doctaVne, but it is clear from it that the author does not and cannot hold the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, for he denies the Logos, or Word, the Eternal Son of God, the second person in the ever adorable Irimty, to be a Divine Hypostasis, who has assumed human nature, and become incarnate. The Logos, according to.him. is not a Divine Hypostasis, but the capacity or faculty of God to express or produce himself outwardly, his generative power of form, his creative imagination, in which, or by aid of which, he can produce himself outwardly, or represent himself in the finite; and the Incarnation is nothing but his representation of himself by virtue of this power in the finite form of man.

" There is in God, taken as the Absolute Being, a capacity of self-expression, so to speak, which is peculiar, — a generative power of form, a creative imagination, in which, or by aid of which, he can produce himself outwardly, or represent himself in the finite. In this respect, God is wholly unlike to us. Our imagination is passive, stored with forms, colors, and types of words from without, borrowed from the world we live in. But all such forms God has in himself, and this is the Logos, the Word, elsewhere called the Form of God. Now, this Word, this Form of God, in which he sees himself, is with God, as John says, from the beginning. It is God mirrored before his own understanding, and to be mirrored, as in fragments of the mirror, before us. Conceive him now as creating the worlds, or creating worlds, if you please, from eternity. In so doing, he only represents, expresses, or outwardly produces himself. He bodies out his own thoughts. What we call the creation is, in another view, a revelation only of God, his first revelation.

"And it is in this view that the Word, or Logos, elsewhere called Christ, or the Son of God, is represented as the Creator of the worlds. Or it is said, which is only another form of the same truth, that the worlds were made by or through him, and the Apostle John adds, that without him is not any thing made that was made. Now, as John also declares, there was light, the first revelation was made, God was expressed in the forms and relations of the finite. But the light shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. The Divine Word was here; he had come to his own, but his own received him not. One thing more is possible that will yield a still more effulgent light, viz. that, as God has produced himself in all the other finite forms of being, so now he should appear in the human.

" Indeed, he has appeared in the human before, in the same way as he has in all the created objects of the world. The human person, taken as a mere structure, adapted to the high uses of intelligence and moral action, is itself a noble illustration of his wisdom, and a token also of the exalted and good purposes cherished in our existence. But there was yet more of God to be exhibited in the Human Form of our race. As the spirit of man is made in the image of God, and his bodily form is prepared to be the fit vehicle and outward representative of his spirit, it follows that his bodily form has also some inherent, a priori relation to God's own nature ; such probably as makes it the truest, most expressive finite type of him. Continuing, therefore, in a pure, upright character, our whole race would have been a visible revelation of the truth and beauty of God. But having not thus continued, having come under the power of evil, that which was to be the expression or reflection of God became appropriated to the expression of evil. Truth has no longer any living, unblemished manifestation in the world ; the beauty of "goodness lives and smiles no more. Sin, prejudice, passion,— stains of every color, — so deface and mar the race, that the face of God, the real glory of the Divine, is visible no longer. Now, therefore, God will reclaim this last type of himself, possess it with his own life and feeling, and through that, live himself into the acquaintance and biographic history of the world. ' And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us ; and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' 1 The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.' This is Christ whose proper deity or divinity we have proved." — pp. 145- 147.

Whatever may be the exact meaning of the author in this passage, it is clear to the veriest tyro in theology that it is not the Christian doctrine of the  Incarnation.    The union of the human and Divine asserted in the Christian doctrine is the union of human nature to the eternal Son of God, the second person or Hypostasis of the Trinity, and, of course, is impossible, if there be no such person or Hypostasis.   Dr. Bushnell unequivocally denies such Divine person,  and   he  avows that  he is   in  doubt whether the Trinity results from the Incarnation or is merely implied in it.    Moreover, he  admits no proper Divine personality at all.    He does not like to apply the word person to  God, regarded as Absolute Being. The word for him expresses not an individual substance of rational nature with its last complement, in its last or supreme dignity, but the limitation or circumscription of such nature, and therefore has always a finite  sense or signification.    Hence God, since he is infinite, must be impersonal, and the texm person can rightly be applied to him only in some production of himself outwardly in a finite form.   Holding this he cannot hold the Christian doctrine; for the Christian doctrine is not that the Divine nature in the Incarnation is united to the human person, or to human nature, so as of the two natures to make but one nature, as the Eutychians falsely held; but the assumption of human  nature by the Word or Divine Hypostasis, or the union of human nature to the Divine person, so that there remain two distinct natures in
one person or Divine Hypostasis. Hence the union is always termed by all theologians a hypostatic union, not a union of the human and Divine natures. The author, in denying the Divine Hypostasis, necessarily denies the hypostatic union, and also its very possibility.

The author, supposing him not to deny the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation outright, completely removes it. The Incarnation he contends for is the Divine nature entering into human nature, and becoming subject to all the accidents, limitations, and evils of the human person. The Divine nature lowers itself to the human, and, in fact, becomes human nature. Instead of taking human nature up to himself, and giving it the dignity of his own Divine person, God descends to its level, and becomes or makes himself a human person, and incorporates himself into " the biographic history of the world." This is the author's doctrine, and, unhappily, he does not stand alone. It is the dominant heresy of Protestant Germany, especially of the school founded in opposition to Panlus and Bretschneider by Schleiermacher and De Wette ; we find it distinctly avowed in the publications of the Mercersburg School in Pennsylvania, and we are greatly mistaken if we do not detect some obscure traces of it in Moehler's Symbolik and Mr. Newman's Essay on Development. In its principle, that God produces himself outwardly in finite forms, it underlies the modern doctrines of progress and socialism, and may be regarded as, in fact, the grand heresy of the nineteenth century. It contains the seminal principle of the original heresy of the Gentiles, which resulted in the various forms of heathen idolatry, and its prevalence must pave the way for the restoration of ancient Gentilism, which it cost Christianity the blood of so many martyrs to supplant.

The belief in one God is older than polytheism, and the worship of the true God was known and observed ages before the fall of the nations into idolatry. Idolatry is of a far later birth than is commonly imagined, and it does not seem to have become general till about the call of Abraham, if indeed at so early a date. Idolatrous Gentilism, like every heresy, was a corruption of the true religion handed down by tradition, and evidently grew out of the particular corruption of the true doctrine of creation, which asserts that creation is  God outwardly producing himself, that ho may and does produce himself outwardly in finite forms, and subject himself to the limitations  of finite persons and objects, and that so produced he is  still the proper object of worship,— the peculiar doctrine of Dr. Bushneli.    Once admit this doctrine, and you admit the seminal principle of all polytheism and heathen idolatry. The doctrine is pure pantheism, and polytheism is always pantheism with the learned, as we may see in Xenophanes of Elea, in Plato, and in the philosophers of India, ancient and modern, and is the assertion of a real plurality of gods only with the vulgar; and pantheism  can no more be asserted and maintained by the learned now, without becoming polytheism and  idolatry with the vulgar, than it could in ancient times.    It is a grave mistake to suppose that polytheism grew out of hero worship, or the deification of individual  persons or objects.    Hero worship, or the deification of individuals, is the consequence of the universal deification  of nature, or of regarding universal nature as the self-production of God in finite forms, which is pantheism.

The fundamental error asserted by Dr. Bushneli assumes, in our day, two apparently opposite forms, but both lead to idolatry as their inevitable result.    One form is that which he himself more especially insists upon ;  namely, that the Incarnation is simply God producing himself outwardly in a finite form, or in  a human  person.    This he  connects with the more general doctrine, that creation is nothing but God's production or expression of himself in finite forms. These forms, that is, what we call external things, being nothing but God outwardly produced, must be  God,* and the  author cannot deny it, for God's supposed production of himself in the finite form of, the human person he expressly calls God, and maintains, as such, to be a proper object of divine worship.    Here, then, is the entire universe, taken collectively and distributively, deificated, and represented as worthy to be worshipped as God.    This is all that Gentilism could ever ask, whether viewed from the point of view of pantheism or from  that of polytheism. The other form in which the same heresy manifests itself is, that, in the Incarnation, the Son did not assume individual human nature, human nature in individuo, but human nature in specie, in the species, and thus entered into hypostatic union with all the individuals of the race, and became the person or hypostasis of all men. Something like this appears to have been in the mind of the late editor of The New York Churchman, and which led him to reject baptismal regeneration, and maintain that infants dying without baptism can enjoy the beatific vision, and it is maintained, directly or indirectly, by the great body of those who call themselves Christian Socialists. Some, however, modify it, and hold that the assumption of human nature was actual only in the individual nature assumed by our Lord in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, and only potential in specie, becoming actual in each individual only as he becomes a believer. This appears to be the doctrine of Dr. Nevin of the Mercersburg Review, and we have met something resembling it in the writings of some recent converts. We do not assert positively that any of our recent converts, several of whom we find much commended for the new light they are supposed to have thrown on the mystery of the Incarnation and the proper mode of defending the worship of saints, and veneration of relics and images, do actually maintain this doctrine; but some of them certainly have not taken sufficient precautions against being understood to do so, as we could easily prove from an article on the veneration of images, contributed by one of them to a late number of our own Review, and which we find on reexamination susceptible of a dangerous interpretation. If we assert the worship of saints, on the ground that human nature in the saints has been assumed by our Lord, we convert it into pure idolatry, because we then worship them, not as saints, but as gods; and if we venerate relics and images on the ground that God, in assuming human nature, assumed and deificated matter, we are evidently idolaters. To undertake to defend us from the charge of idolatry on such a ground would be only to confirm the charge itself. We worship the saints for what they are, that is, sanctified men and women, not as gods, nor with the worship due to God; and we venerate relics and images, not for any divinity, sanctity, or worth they possess in themselves, but for the divinity, sanctity, or worth to which they are related, and it is only as so related that we venerate them at all. To worship or venerate them or the saints themselves as deificated or really united hypostati-cally to God, as we worship the humanity of our Lord, would be pure idolatry; for we should then pay them divine worship. We worship, indeed, the Son as we do the Father, and in his humanity as well as in his Divinity, because in worshipping him we worship his person, which includes both, and because in him the two natures are united, not only in one person, but in one Divine person, who is truly and properly God as well as man. We can never worship any saint, not even the Blessed Mother of God, for the same reason or with the same worship, for human nature in all others, however closely it may be united to the person of Christ through his grace, is united by adoption, not hypostatically, and retains always its own proper human person.                                                     
The error we are considering in either of its forms is in our day exceedingly dangerous, because it chimes in with the spirit of the age, and seems to authorize the assertion of the favorite doctrines of progress or development, and the Divinity of humanity, justifying at once Dr. Channing and Pierre Leroux.     But, be this as it may, the view it takes of  the Incarnation  is   evidently not the Christian view.    The Christian doctrine is, that the human nature assumed by our Lord was individual human nature, and that, in assuming it, he did not enter into it and become a human person, but took it up to himself and gave it his own Divine person as its suppositum or hypostasis.    Christ was, indeed, in the form of man, for he was perfect man as well as perfect God, and the human nature he assumed had in the assumption its proper form, and must have had it, or it would have been only a possible, not a real, human nature.    But he was not in the person of man, that is, was not a human person; for the human nature he assumed was no person, had no   human  personality.     Otherwise there would have been no real assumption of human nature, but a simple adoption.    The last complement, the supreme dignity of human nature, that which makes human nature a person, was supplied in the individual human nature assumed   by the Divine person of the Son, so that the Divine Hypostasis, or Eternal Son of God, truly and properly God, became the person of the human, as he was, is, and always will be of the Divine nature.    This is precisely what is meant by the assumption of human nature, or the Incarnation.    Christ is not a human person ; nor is he the union of two persons in one nature; but he is the union of two for ever distinct natures in one person, and that one person, which is the supreme dignity of the Divine nature, and which takes, in regard to the human nature assumed, the place of the last complement or supreme dignity of that nature, is God. In the Incarnation it is not the Divine nature that loses its personality, but the human nature that gains, instead of its own, the Divine personality. God retains in the Incarnation his own Divine person as the one person of the two for ever distinct natures, and is no more under a finite form as incarnated than as not incarnated. He loses, he gains, nothing ; it is the human nature assumed that gains. It is modified and singularly elevated by receiving a Divine instead of the human personality; but God, but the Divine person, remains unchanged, unaffected, immutable, in all the fulness, majesty, and glory of his own eternal and incommunicable Divinity.

Moreover, Dr. Bushnell, notwithstanding his reasonings against Unitarians, really asserts no Incarnation at all. He places in the same line the fact he calls the Incarnation and the fact he calls creation, and makes the two facts substantially identical. He understands by the Incarnation, God's production of himself outwardly in a human form or human person, and by creation he understands God's producing himself outwardly in finite forms. In creating, he says, " he only represents, expresses, or outwardly produces himself." " One thing more is possible, that, as God has produced himself in all the other finite forms of being, so now he should appear in the human." His appearance in the human can then only mean, if the author admits creation at all, his creation of the human form of being, that is, creating or making a man, in like manner as he has made all the other finite forms of bein<r, or created things. The Incarnation then means nothing but God's creation of the human person, which is manifestly no incarnation at all.

We do not misapprehend or misrepresent the author. He himself says, God " has appeared in the human before, in the same way as he has in all the created objects of the world." He establishes no difference in the kind or quality of his second appearance or reappearance in the human form, from that of his first appearance in, or simple creation of, the human form. It may have a different purpose, but it establishes no new relations between him and human nature, and therefore only the relations of creator and creature. The Unitarian will find no difficulty in acknowledging all the Incarnation there is here, but his good sense will prevent him from calling such an appearance in the human form by the name of incarnation, and he will tell Dr. Bushnell that he would have done much better to have used plain and simple terms, and contented himself with calling things by their right names.

The passage extracted conclusively proves, however, that the author does not in reality admit even so much as creation, and that he is really, whether he knows it or not, a pantheist.    This is evident from his defining the creative power of God to be simply the power of self-production, self-expression, or   self-exhibition,   in   finite forms, which forms arc his own eternal Logos.    " But all such forms God has in himself, and this is the Logos, the Word, elsewhere called the Form of God."   These forms are eternally in God, therefore are God, for whatever is in God is God. Hence, in creating, God, as the author expressly states, " only represents, expresses, or outwardly produces himself. He bodies out his own thoughts.    What we call creation is, in another view, a revelation only of God, his first revelation."    God expressed or produced in these finite forms is God, and it is precisely on the principle that pod so expressed, that is, the finite   expression of God, is God, that our author asserts that Christ is God, and undertakes to prove the proper Divinity of the Son against Unitarians. So  creation  is  not   God   producing  or  creating  external forms or things distinguishable from himself, but the mere exhibition of himself in the unite forms which he has in himself, that is to say, in the inherent forms of his own being.    if this be not pantheism, we know not what is.

Dr. Bushnell is misled by his Platonism. That the essential forms of things, ideas in the language of Plato, are in God, and are God, is no doubt true ; but as in him, as forms or ideas in the Divine mind, they are not things, but the eternal types, exemplars, or possibilities of things, which God may create, or not, as he chooses. The created thing or existence is not the idea, or God simply expressed in a finite form, as Plato seems to have held, but a thing created from nothing, after the idea as its original type or model, and requires between itself as an actual existence and its idea in the Divine mind the intervention  of the Divine creative act. No doubt God expresses his intelligence, wisdom, power, and goodness in creation, and no doubt all created things are an expression, manifestation, or revelation of the Divine Being and attributes, but only in the sense in which the cause expresses itself in the effect, or the effect manifests the cause. If the author means that what is called creation is a revelation of God only in this sense, he says what is very true, but what is little to his purpose; for then he must call our Lord a creature, and cannot maintain his proper Divinity as he professes to do. If he means that it is a revelation or outward production of God in any other sense, he cannot escape pantheism.

We regret the necessity of so frequently preferring this grave charge of pantheism against those whose doctrines we are obliged to controvert; but the fact is, that all modern philosophy is pantheistic, when not openly and avowedly atheistic. Pantheistic principles impregnate the whole atmosphere of the modern world, and are drawn in with our very breath; we adopt them as naturally as we breathe. In the great body of the people they are comparatively innocuous, for they remain without development, inoperative, and unsuspected. But in the cultivated few, in the scholars and theorizers, they are active, and produce the most fatal results. It is therefore necessary to expose and to do our best to expel them wherever and whenever we chance to meet them. We have no belief that Dr. Bushnell intends to be, or believes that he is, a pantheist; we fully believe him to be unaware of the dangerous tendency of the principles he adopts; but his writings arc none the less dangerous on that account, and all his difficulties and perplexities, all his confusion and apparent contradictions of himself, his rejection of logic and appeal to feeling, his efforts to reason against reason, and to get a religion for the affections as distinguished from a religion for the intellect, grow out of the fact that he has adopted pantheistic principles, and is trying to explain in accordance with them the teachings of religion and the dictates of common sense. There is no possible way, humanly speaking, of setting him right, and enabling him to return to Christian orthodoxy, but by pointing out to him this fact, and making him aware that all his peculiar doctrines have a pantheistic basis.
But we proceed to consider the author's view of " the difficulties created by the supposed relations of the Divine to the human in the person of Jesus."

" Under the relations of the Divine to the human, we meet the objection, first of all, that here is an incarnation asserted of the Divine nature ; that God, the infinite God, is represented as dwelling in a finite human person, subject to its limitations and even to its evils ; and this is incredible, —an insult to reason. It may be so, and if it is, we must reject the doctrine. But we notice, while revolving this objection, that several other religions have believed or expected an incarnation of their deity, or the divine principle of their worship ; and that these have been the most speculative and cultivated forms of false religion. If, then, whole nations of mankind, comprising thinkers, scholars, and philosophers, have been ready to expect, or have actually believed in, the incarnation of their god or highest divinity, it would not seem to be wholly cross to natural reason to believe in such an event. On the contrary, we are rather to suspect that some true instinct or conscious want of the race is here divining, so to speak, that blessed visitation, by which God shall some time vouchsafe to give himself to the world."—pp. 148, 149.

The reason here assigned why the author's view is not to be regarded as unreasonable, is a bad one. That several other religions have believed or expected an incarnation of their deity, is true enough ; but this no more proves that such an incarnation as the author asserts is not « cross to reason," than the fact that the whole gentile world in former times were, and that the greater part of mankind even in modern times are, idolaters, proves that idolatry is " not cross to mason." The fact that all, or nearly all, religions which have been, and are, assert the Incarnation in some sense, either as accomplished, or to be accomplished, is good evidence that the Incarnation, in some sense, is either a dictate of reason or a doctrine' of primitive revelation preserved in universal tradition; but it is no evidence as to the reasonableness of* the Incarnation, either in the author's sense, or in the sense of the several^ religions he refers to. The universal prevalence or expectation of the Incarnation, we agree with the author, is an indication of some want of our nature that demands it, or at least of some promise made in the primitive age by our God, and preserved by tradition, that he would, at some time, give himself to the world, as he had not done in creating it.

The objection to the author's view of the Incarnation is well put by himself. " Here is an incarnation asserted of the Divine nature ; that God, the infinite God, is represented as dwelling in a finite human person, subject to its limitations, and even to its evils ; and this is incredible, — an insult to reason." We say as much, and even more ; we say, such an incarnation is absolutely impossible. The Divine nature is not, so to speak, incarnable, for it is Divine, and not human. God can create human nature, but he cannot with all his omnipotence make his own nature human, that is, make his own Divine and uncreated essence a creature. The infinite God, that is, the infinite Divine nature, cannot dwell in a finite human person, that is, be assumed by the human person, and be subject to its limitations and even its evils; for this would suppose that man assumes the Divine nature, and that the human person becomes person or hypostasis of God, which is absurd. Person is a term of higher dignity than nature. The nature wanting personality is below person, for it wants its last complement, its supreme dignity. The finite, then, can never be the person of the infinite; therefore the human person, confessedly finite, can never be the person of the Divine nature, which is infinite. The lower cannot be above the higher, and the infinite nature of God is certainly higher than the finite human person. Then the Divine nature cannot be under it, or be subject to its limitations. The infinite God in his Divinity cannot be subject to any limitations, because he cannot cease to be infinite, since he is necessary being, and cannot make himself other than he is, and it is of the very essence of the infinite to be free from all limitation.

In vain does the author with his view of the Incarnation attempt to defend it against Unitarians, for as he represents it, it is absolutely indefensible. But his view is not orthodox, as we have seen. He errs in asserting that the Divine nature is incarnated, and incarnated in a finite human person. The Divine nature is not incarnated, but the Divine person^ that is, the Son, the second person of the Trinity; and the Incarnation is not in the Divine person's becoming subject to the limitations and evils of the human person, but in his taking human nature up to himself and giving it the dignity of his own infinite person. The human nature is raised to the dignity of the Divine person, not the Divine nature lowered to the abjectness of the human person.    This is the Christian doctrine, and against this doctrine, however much  it may  surpass all human comprehension, reason can frame no objection.

The author continues his defence against Unitarians.

" But the human person, it will be said, is limited, and God is not. Very true. But you have the same objeciion in reference to the first revelation, the Word in the world. This also is limited, — at least what you have known of it is limited ; besides, you have a specia I delight in seeing God in the smallest things, the minutest specks of being. If, then, it be incredible that God should take the human to express himself, because the human is finite, can the finite in the world, or in a living atom, express him more worthily, or do it more accordantly with reason ?

" But Christ, you will say, perhaps, is a living, intelligent person. Taking him, therefore, as a person, I must view him under the measures and limitations of a person. Very true, if you have a right to measure the contents of his person by his body ; which, possibly, you have no more right to do than you have to measure God, as revealed in any object, by the object that reveals him. For it no more follows that a human body measures God, when revealed through it, than that a star, a tree, or an insect measures him, when he is revealed through that. As regards the interior nature of Christ, or the composition of his person, we perhaps know nothing; and if his outward nature represents an unknown quantity, iUnay, for aught that appears, represent an infinite quantity. A finite outward person, too, may as well be an organ or type of the Infinite, as a finite thing or object; and God may act a human personality, without being measured by it, as well as to shine through a finite thing or a world, without being measured by that." — pp. 151, 152.

"The human person is limited, and God is not. Very true." How then can you represent the Divinity as subject to the limitations of the human person, that is, as a human person, for this is your meaning, if you understand yourself ? " But you have the same objection in reference to the first revelation, the Word in the world." Conceded, and therefore we do not admit the Word to be in the world in the sense you contend. Your answer will not pass, for its principle is denied. God is no more incarnated in the world than in a human person, and you are not at liberty to contend that an objection to one of your doctrines is good for nothing, because it is equally an objection to some other doctrine you may hold ; for it may be a valid objection to both. " A finite outward person may as well be an organ or type of the Infinite, as a finite thing or object."   Unquestionably. But how can a finite thing or object be itself an organ or type of the infinite? Dr. Bushnell is a bad theologian, but unhappily a worse philosopher. He mistakes entirely the character of God's immanence in his works. No doubt God is intimately present to all created things, and immanent in them, but not present or immanent as the subject in which they inhere, or as their substance;, so that they'are to be regarded as phenomena of his own Divine substance or being, as Spinoza dreamed, which were pure pantheism. He is intimately present and immanent solely as their cause or creator, and is distinct from them as the cause is distinct irom^the effect. It is neglecting this distinction, and regard-ing God as the universal and only substance, and creatures simply as phenomenal, that is, simply as appearances, manifestations, exhibitions of the Divine substance, or being, that causes our author to fall into his numerous and fatal errors. He entirely mistakes the fact of creation, and confounds it virtually with emanation, as do nearly all our American and German nelogists.

" Taking" Christ "as a person, I must view him under the measures and limitations of a person." Certainly you must, if you take him as a human person ; but what right have you to take him as a human person? You have no right to assume that person is always measured and limited; the word person does not express the limitation or circumscription of rational nature, as you strangely fancy, but that nature in its completeness and supreme dignity,' as we never cease to remind you, and therefore may apply to God as well as to man, and, since God is infinite, unlimited, be infinite as well as finite. Dr. Bushnell seems to have no knowledge of the meaning of the word person as used by philosophers and theologians. He appears to understand by it outward appearance, as when it is said of some one, "He is a portly person," or "has an imposing person"                                                                                 
Several other difficulties the author objects to himself and attempts to dispose of, which we regard as real difficulties in his way ; but as they bear solely against his false representation of the doctrine in question, we need not follow him in his efforts to remove them. His difficulties are not, he is aware, with Unitarians alone. He cannot accept the Orthodox doctrine of the two natures in Christ. Here we must allow him to speak for himself, at some length.

" But the history of Christ, it will he said, compels us to go farther. We cannot look at the external person of Christ on the one hand, and the Absolute Jehovah on the other, and regard the for-mer simply as a representative or expression of the other. Christ, says the Unitarian, obeys, worships, sutlers, and in that manner shows most plainly that his internal nature is under a limitation ; therefore he is human only. Then the common Trinitarian replies, Your argument is good ; therefore we assert a human soul in the person of Jesus, which comes under these limitations, while the Divine soul escapes ; and so we save the Divinity unharmed and unabridged.    
" Answering the latter first, I reply that; in holding such a theory of Christ's obedience and sufferings, he does an affront to the plain lancruacre of Scripture.    For the Scripture does not say that a certain human soul called Jesus, horn as such of Mary, obeyed and suffered ; but it says in the boldest manner, that he who was in the form of God humbled himself and became  obedient unto  death, even the death of the cross.   A declaration, the very point of which is not that the man Jesus was a being under human limitations, but that he who was in the Form of God, the real Divinity, came into the  finite, and  was subject  to  human  conditions.    Then,  again, Christ himself declared,'not that a human soul, hid  in  his person, was placed under limitations, but more;— that the Son, that is, the Divine person, — for the word Son is used as relative to the Father, — the Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do • for the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things that himself doeth.    He also prays, — ' O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory that I had with thee before the world waSf' _ a prayer which cannot be referred to the human soul, even if there was a human soul hid in his  person ; for that  soul could speak of no glory it once had with the Father.    Hence the supposition of a human soul existing distinctly, and acting by itself, clears no difficulty ; for the Son, the Divine part, or, I should   rather say, the whole Christ, is still represented   as  humbled, as weak, as divested of glory, and existing under limitations or conditions that do not belong to Deity.
" Besides, this theory of two distinct subsistences, still maintain-in their several kinds of action in Christ, — one growing, learning, obeying, suffering ; the other infinite and impassible, — only creates' difficulties a hundredfold greater than any that it solves. It virtually denies any real unity between the human and the Divine, and substitutes collocation or copartnership for unity. If the Divine part were residing in Saturn, he would be as truly united with the human race as now. Instead of a person whose nature is the real unity of the Divine and the human, we have two distinct persons, between whom our thoughts are continually alternating ; referring this to one, that to the other, and imagining, all the while, not a union of the two, in which our possible union with God is signified and sealed for ever, but a practical, historical assertion rather of his incommunicableness, thrust upon our notice, in a form more oppressive and chilling than it has to abstract thought. Meantime the whole work of Christ, as a subject, suffering Redeemer, is thrown upon the human side of his nature, and the Divine side, standing thus aloof, incommunicably distant, has nothing, in fact, to do with the transaction, other thafl to be a spectator of it. And then, while we are moved to ask of what so great consequence to us, or to the government of God, can be the obedience and suffering of this particular man Jesus, more than of any other, it is also represented, as part of the same general scheme, that he is, after all, scarcely more than a mere nominal man, — that he is so removed from the fortunes and the proper trial of a man, by the proximity of the Divine, as not even to unfold a human character! And thus, while the redemption even of the world is hung upon his human passibilities, he is shown, as a man, to have probably less of human significance than any other; to be a man whose character is not in himself, but in the custody that keeps him from being himself !

"There is, then, I conclude, no solid foundation for the common Trinitarian theory of two distinct or distinctly active subsistences in the person of Christ. It is not Scriptural. It accounts for nothing. It only creates even greater difficulties. Indeed, it is a virtual denial, we should say, of that which is, in one view, the summit or highest glory of the Incarnation, viz. the union signified, and historically begun, between God and man." — pp. 153- 156.

Dr. Bushnell is very much in error if he supposes that, in denying two subsistences in Christ, he denies any thing Christian theology asserts in asserting that the two natures, the human and the Divine, are hypostatically united in him. The assertion of two subsistences in Christ is to assert two suppositums or persons, a human and a Divine hypostasis, which is not the Catholic dogma, but the Nestorian heresy. The Catholic dogma is that Christ is one person, one suppositum, hypostasis, or subsistence, and that in this one person subsist, for ever distinct, but inseparable, the two natures, the human and the Divine; so that he is not two persons or two subsistences, but two natures subsisting in one person. The author confounds nature with suppositum, or subsistence, and we are inclined to suspect that his Protestant Trinitarian friends generally do the same, and by the two natures really understand two subsistences, that is, two persons, for they nearly all shrink from calling the Blessed Virgin the Mother of God. If so, they have lapsed into the Nestorian heresy, and Dr. Bushnell is pardonable, so far as they are concerned, for attempting to refute the doctrine of two subsistences in Christ; but he is not pardonable for undertaking to refute it as the " common Trinitarian " doctrine, or for confounding it with the doctrine of two natures in one Christ.

As against two subsistences in Christ, in our  sense of the word subsistence, what the author says in the passage cited is conclusive and unanswerable; but as against the doctrine of two distinct natures subsisting in one person, what we suppose he really means to deny, it has no force, no bearing at all.    To suppose in Christ two subsistences or persons, and we must suppose two persons if we suppose two subsistences, is not only to disregard the whole language of the   New Testament bearing on the subject, but to deny the Incarnation itself, and all real union of the human and Divine; for person is incommunicable.    The person of the Father is not the person of the Son, the person of the Son is not that of the Father.    The Divine nature is common to each of the three persons, all and entire, undivided, indivisible, indistinguished,  and indistinguishable under each one of them; but the three persons in their personality are distinct from one another, and one can never be another.    There is and can be no assumption of one person by another.    If we suppose two persons, one  human  and the other Divine, in Christ, we dissolve him, we deny all hypostatic union, and can at best say, not that the Word assumed flesh, but that the Son of God adopted the man Jesus, in which case the relation between the human and the Divine, between the  Son of God and the  son of Mary, would be only that which is between God and believers or sanctified persons in general.    Such a supposition, the author says truly, virtually « denies any real unity between the human and the Divine, and substitutes collocation or copartnership for unity."    It, as he also very properly maintains, solves no difficulty, and in fact creates new and greater difficulties.    But it is a gross error to suppose that the doctrine of two distinct natures subsisting in the one person of Christ necessarily implies that of two subsistences; for two natures may without implying any contradiction have only one subsistence.

The Scripture does not say that a certain human soul called Jesus, born as such of Mary, obeyed and suffered, but, in the boldest manner, that " he who was in the form of God humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Certainly; and so do we. But the Scripture in saying this does not say, that the Divinity, or Christ secundum divinitatem suam, thus obeyed and suffered. The Son of God humbled himself in assuming into union with himself so abject a thing as human nature ; but in his Divine nature he could not obey or suffer, because the Divine nature is supreme and impassible. Certain it is that the Scriptures represent uniformly Christ as one person, subsistence, or suppositum; but they also affirm things of him which are affirmable only of God, and others which are affirmable only of man, and not at all affirmable of the Divine nature. Here is the fact. But how is it possible that this should be the fact, if it be not true, that in the unity of his person subsist the two natures, the Divine and the human, and that some things he does secundum divinitatem swam, and others he does or suffers secundum humanitatcm suam ?

The Scriptures certainly predicate of Christ as one person or suppositum indifferently divine things and human things. Christ calls himself at one time the Son of God, and at another, the Son of man. He is in heaven and on the earth, in the form of God and the form of a servant; he is in the bosom of the Father, — who hath seen him hath seen the Father; is the Son of God, — whatever he seetli the Father do he doeth ; is the Word that was in the beginning, that was with God, and that was God, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made; and yet he was born of woman, was an infant, grew in stature, eat and drank, was exposed to cold and heat, to hunger and thirst, subject to all the infirmities of the flesh, sin excepted, — was of the seed of Abraham, tempted, a man of sorrows and stricken with grief, obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Here are two classes of things predicated alike of Christ, but which cannot be both predicated either of the Divine nature or of the human. The author himself professes to maintain the proper Divinity of Christ, and to defend it against Unitarians, and his proper Divinity is as clearly asserted by the sacred Scriptures as any thing can be. St. John represents him as saying, " For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the  Son also to have life in himself." *(footnote: St. John v. 26.)  None but God, the eternal and ever-living  God, hath or can have life in himself; for all except God that exists is creature, and the characteristic of creature is not to^ have life in itself, but to depend for it on its creator.    Christ, then, since he hath life in himself, as the Father hath life in himself, must be truly and properly God, and consub-stantial to the Father, and in his Divine essence indistinguishable from him.     On the other hand, the Scriptures with equal clearness declare  that this same Christ is truly and properly man.    " The Word was made flesh," — Verbum carp factum est.'(footnote:  Ibid. i. 14.)   "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God," or, as the Protestant version has it, " every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God."(footnote:  1 St. John v. 2, 3.)   And, again, " Many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh; this is a seducer and an Antichrist." (footnote:   2 St. John 7.)     There is no cavilling here on the word flesh ; it means, as all Unitarians contend, that Jesus Christ was truly and properly man, as is otherwise proved by the fact that he was born of woman, lived, suffered, and died as a man.

Now how can Christ be true God and true man, unless there is in his own subsisting person the distinction of two natures? The two are predicated alike in Scripture of him as one subsisting person ; but it is impossible, in the very nature of things, that Christ should be God in the respect that he is man, or man in the respect that he is God. It will not do here to allege a miracle or a mystery, as our author seems inclined to do, though both miracle and mystery there are. Neither miracle nor mystery is admissible against reason, and the miracle or mystery here, if we deny the two natures, would be against reason, not merely above it. We must either deny the Divinity or humanity of Christ, or else admit the two natures, the human and Divine, in him, without admitting two subsistences. The author himself seems to be aware of this, for he says farther on, — " I only deny that his human soul or nature is to be spoken of or looked upon as having a distinct subsistence, so as to live, think, learn, worship, suffer, by itself. Disclaiming all thought of denying or affirming any thing as regards the interior composition or construction of his person, I insist that he stands before us in simple unity, one person, the Divine-human, representing the qualities of his double parentage as the Son of God and the son of Mary."    (p. 163.)

If the author had or could be supposed to have any clear and well-defined system of his own to which he could be logically held, we should say that, in order to escape Nes-torianism, or two subsistences in Christ, he falls into Eu-tychianism, that asserts the two natures after the Incarnation became fused into one nature.    But he is so confused in his own views, so loose and inaccurate in his expressions, that there is no use in attempting to hold him strictly to any thing.     He disdains consistency, and sneers at logic. He begins by affirming or denying, and ends by saying that he neither affirms nor denies.    He confounds in the outset nature and subsistence, and concludes, because there cannot be two subsistences in Christ, there cannot be two natures.    But finding that, if he denies the two natures, he must say that Christ is either God alone or man alone, and thus lose the Incarnation, he adds that he only means to deny that the human nature in Christ is a distinct subsistence.    Well, this looks like something; but if he stops here he will be obliged to agree with orthodox theologians.    So he starts off anew, and says,   " Without a thought of denying or affirming any thing of the interior composition or construction of his person, I insist that he stands before us in simple unity, one person, the Divine-human, representing the qualities of his double parentage as Son of God and as son of Mary."    That is, I will not affirm or deny that two and two are four, but I insist that they are more than three and less than five!    If the author really means to deny the two subsistences, and to assert Christ as at once Divine and human, he must either concede the two natures in the sense of orthodox theologians, or else fall into the Mono-physite heresy ; for these are the only alternatives left him. Which one does he take ?    As he protests against the two natures under the name of two subsistences, he must be supposed to take the latter, and to hold that Christ is one Divine-human nature in one Divine-human person.    But this latter is not maintainable, as the author would perceive if he did not confound in his own mind person and nature. It is not the orthodox doctrine, for that declares, as maybe learned from the acts of the Council of Chalcedon, that the two natures, post incamationem, did not become one nature, but remained and for ever remain two distinct natures subsisting in one suppositum, hypostasis, or person. Then, as we have seen, the human and Divine are naturally distinct, and therefore cannot be united in one nature ; because such union would demand the destruction of the form of each, and therefore the annihilation of both. The formation of a new nature out of the two which shall be neither, and yet retain the characteristic qualities of both, is metaphysically impossible, for nature, as such, is always incommunicable. Quality implies a subject. What sort of subject is that nature in which inhere both Divine and human qualities ? Is it created ? Then it has no properly Divine qualities. Is it uncreated? Then it can have no proper human qualities. Is it neither? But what is neither uncreated nor created is nothing, for nothing is or exists but Uncreated Creator and Creature. Is it both created and uncreated? That is impossible, for nothing can be and not be at the same time. The author would do well to consult the categories or predicaments at which he sneers, apparently because ignorant of their importance.

It is impossible to conceive a subject which is neither created nor uncreated, which is neither God nor man, and which, nevertheless, is at once, and in one and the same sense, both. Nothing, then, remains but the assertion of two distinct natures subsisting in one suppositum or person, as does Christian theology. According to Christian theology, Christ is true God and true man, because he is the one suppositum, hypostasis, or person of both the Divine nature and of the human nature subsisting in him. We may, therefore, predicate alike of him, as the Scriptures uniformly do, things which pertain properly to the Divine nature and things which pertain properly to human nature, though we must predicate them in diverse respects. Divine things are predicable of him in the respect that he is Son of God, the second person of the ever-blessed Trinity, and human things in the respect that he is the suppositum or person of the human nature he assumed. As Son of God, or Divine Hypostasis, he includes under him, as we have seen, the whole Divine nature, which, since it is most simple, indivisible, and indistinguishable, is common to each of the three Divine persons :   and, as he himself undergoes  no change in assuming human nature, or becoming incarnate, — for the becoming' or change is on the part of the nature assumed, not on the part of the person assuming, — there is not and cannot be the least impropriety in predicating of him all that is predicable of God or the Divine nature. Being at the same time the suppositum of the human nature assumed, and as that nature loses nothing, but gains in perfection, by being assumed, or having a Divine instead of a human suppositum, there can be just as little impropriety in predicating of him all that belongs to perfect man. Human and Divine things are predicable of Christ, not in a figurative or representative sense, as the author vainly labors to persuade us, but really, truly, and in the strictest and most literal sense ; because he is, in the strictest sense of the words, both God and man, not in the blending, intermixing, or confusion of the two natures, but in their distinctiveness,   as the one simple  suppositum of the two. We say one simple suppositum; it is true, that, considered as the suppositum of both natures, he is composite person, but regarded intrinsically in himself he is simple, not the union of two persons, but strictly and indistinguishably one. As the one suppositum   of the two  natures, whatsoever Christ does, whether by virtue of the one  nature or the other, it is he himself in the unity and simplicity of his person, not it, that does it.    Nature as abstracted from its suppositum is and can be the subject of no predicates, for so abstracted it does not and cannot exist.    Nothing lives, moves, acts, or suffers in the abstract.    Nature to do, or to suffer, must be concrete, have its suppositum, and the doing or suffering, though impossible without nature, is predicable solely of the nature in its suppositum.    As the suppositum in Christ is the same for both natures, whatever is done or suffered by him is done or suffered by one and the same suppositum.    He is God, because he is a Divine person or suppositum, and in God the suppositum or person is not separable from the Divine nature; he is man, because he has perfect human nature, and is in his one suppositum its suppositum.     The whole mystery of the Incarnation is precisely here, in the Divine person so assuming to himself human nature as to be its suppositum, its person, its last complement, and supreme dignity. How this can be, we do not know; that it is we do know; and it being so, we can and do understand that Christ is man as well as God, and being God and man, we do and can understand that Divine and human things are strictly and literally predicate of him.

We predicate Divine and human things alike of Christ, but not alike of him as the suppositum of either nature. Yet here we do not dissolve Christ, lose the unity of his person, and suppose a Divine Christ, who is the Creator of  the worlds, who   is   God   of   God, true God of true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial  to the Father, who became incarnate for our sakes, and a human Christ who was assumed, who was born of Mary, who increased in stature, who was obedient, and who suffered, was crucified under   Pontius Pilate,   was  dead   and buried,  descended into hell, and the third day rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and thence shall come again.   Christ is one Christ, one person, and there is no Divine Christ distinguishable from the   human, and   no human Christ  distinguishable from the Divine.    The humanity of Christ has no suppositum, never had any suppositum, separate or distinct from the one Divine suppositum of the Word made flesh.    It never existed, and never could exist, save as assumed by the Word, for the Word did not assume a human person, or a previously subsisting human nature, but a human nature, so to speak, created ad hoc, expressly to be assumed by the Word ;   otherwise there would have been no assumption, but, as we have said, simply adoption. What we say is, not that the Divine nature of Christ did this, the human nature of Christ suffered that, but that Christ did this in his Divine nature included under his Divine suppositum, and   Christ suffered   that in his   human nature included under the same suppositum.

The pretence of the author, that this dissolves the person of Christ and implies that there were two subsistences in him, is unfounded. It no more does this, than to say that I perform some acts through my material nature and others through my rational nature dissolves my personality, and implies that I have two subsisting natures, or, in the barbarous language of modern philosophy, two mes. Certainly there is an essential distinction between purely rational nature and concupiscentia) or sensitive nature. And there are existences, such as angels, who have the former without the latter, because they are spirits without body; but still, as the one rational soul is in me the one suppositum or person of the two natures, the acts I perform through either are alike my acts in the unity of my rational soul, and what I suffer through concupiscence, it is I that suffer it. We do not propose this as an exact parallel throughout, but it is sufficiently analogous to show that what we affirm of Christ does not necessarily imply a dissolution of the unity of his person, or that there are in him two subsistences, the one Divine, the other human, because there are two natures.

Let it be understood, then, that Christ in his Divinity and in his humanity is one Christ, one person, and that whatever is affirmed of him is and should be affirmed of him as one. There is, then, no boldness in the Scripture's saying that he who was in the form of God humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross ; for it does but express the plain, simple fact. He who was in the form of God was born of woman, and therefore the Council of Ephesus defines the Blessed Virgin Mary to be Geotoxog, or Mother of God, and therefore we say, and say truly, that he who was in the form of God, that is, God himself, suffered and died for us on the cross. Not that he was born in his Divinity, not that he died in his Divine nature, for in that he was before all worlds, from all eternity, immortal and impassible; but in his human nature, which was from the moment of Incarnation as truly his nature as was the Divine nature, and therefore what he became, did, or suffered in that nature, it was as truly he, therefore as truly God, who became, did, or suffered it, as it would have been had he become, did, or suffered it in his Divine nature.

The very prayer of our Lord, which the author cites as a proof against the doctrine of two natures in Christ, implies it, and is inexplicable on the hypothesis of the unity of his nature as well as of his person. " O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was." This prayer, the author says, " cannot, be referred to the human soul, even if there was a human soul hid in his person ; for that soul could speak of no glory it once had with the Father."   Be it so ; then for the same reason it could not be referred to a human person, which the author asserts our Lord was; then not to our Lord at all, unless our Lord was other than a human person. It cannot be referred to our Lord as a Divine person, if he is not also the person of human nature, because as such he was eternal, and always had had and still had the glory prayed for, and therefore, even if he could pray at all, could not pray to be glorified with it. Nor, finally, could it be referred to any created person, for no person could have had a glory with the Father before the world was, before being created. The same person prays to be glorified that had had glory with the Father before the world was. As Son of God in his Divine nature, our Lord had never lost this glory, and never could lose it, any more than he could cease to be the Eternal Son of God ; as son of man he had never had it, and could not pray to be glorified with it as a glory he had once had. The only explication possible is on the principle of the two natures in one person. Christ, as the Divine supposition of the Divine nature, did not and could not pray; but Christ who is the one suppositum of the two natures, as the suppositum or person of the human nature assumed could pray, and did pray to be glorified in his human nature with the glory he in his Divine nature had with the Father before the world was, and with which in his humanity he was not yet glorified.

As we are not writing a treatise on the Incarnation, we have said all that is necessary on this sublime mystery, for we have said enough to vindicate it from the objections which the author urges againV, it, and to convict him of objecting to what he does not understand, and of writing — to use a mild term — nonsense. Dr. Bushnell evidently writes in the dark, and strikes hither and thither, he knows not at what. He caricatures the orthodox doctrine, and then finds himself unable to accept it; yet unwilling to deny it outright and take refuge in open Unitarianism, the shallowest system that can be easily imagined, he tries to get something which shall be neither orthodoxy nor Unitarianism, but somewhere between the two, —which shall take what he supposes to be the truths, and avoid the errors, of both. Unhappily, he gets all the error of the Unitarian without the Unitarian's consistency, and involves himself in even greater difficulties than any he imagines in the way of orthodoxy.

After doing his best to convict orthodoxy of self-contradiction, of absurdity, after bringing against it the most subtile objections he can devise or pick up, he turns round and condemns reasoning, and reads us a grave lecture on the temerity of attempting to inquire into such questions as he himself has raised. He may bring objections, but we must not presume to answer them. He may " logic " as much as he pleases against others, but will have no logich-ing against himself. He is at liberty to deny that Christ is true God and true man, and to assert that he merely expresses, represents, without being, the Divine and human ; but if we venture to insist that Christ is what he appears, what he represents, a real, not a mere tragedy king, enacted on the stage it may be by some very plebeian actor, he grows grave, and talks to us after this fashion: —
" Therefore, to insist on going beyond expression, investigating the mystery of the person of Jesus, when it is given us only to communicate God and his love, is, in fact, to puzzle ourselves with the vehicle, and rob ourselves of the grace it brings. It is killing the animal, that we may find where the life is hid in him, and detect the mode of its union with his body. It is taking the medicine that would cure us, and using it, not as a cure, but as a subject of investigation. God certainly is able to assume the human, to become incarnate in it so far as to express his union to it, and set himself as Eternal Life in historic and real connection with it. He tells us plainly that he has done it. That we may know by what law to receive and interpret his proceedings, his object is declared ; viz., to express or manifest himself in the world, and thus to redeem the world.     
" We see at once, if it be so, that here is a matter presented, which is not psychologically or physiologically investigate, because it does not lie within the categories of ordinary, natural humanity. And yet, instead of turning to receive simply what is expressed of the Divine, we immediately begin to try our science on the interior person of Jesus, to ascertain its contents or elements, and the mode of its composition ! Nay, we must know who suffers, what worships, and all the hidden chemistries of the person must be understood ! Then, as to what is expressed, why, that is a matter of so little moment that many overlook it wholly.

" It is as if Abraham, after he had entertained as a guest the Jehovah angel, or angel of the Lord, instead of receiving his message, had fallen to inquiring into the digestive process of the angel; or, since he came in human form and spoke with a human voice, whether he had a human soul or not; and, if so, how the two natures were put together! Let alone thy folly and thy shallow curiosity, O Abraham ! we should say, hear the Lord speak to thee; what he commands thee, do, what he promises, believe ! Suspend thy raw guesses at his nature, and take his message !

" Or, it is as if Moses, when he saw the burning bush, had fallen at once to speculating about the fire : Is this real fire ? No, if it was it would burn the wood. Well, if it is not fire, then there is nothing very wonderful in it; for it is nothing wonderful that that which is not fire should not burn ! Nay, is it not a very dishonest fire ? he might have said ; for it is not what it pretends to be,— it is no real fire at all. And yet it was better, methinks, to take the bush as it was meant, to see God in it, and let the chemists look after the fire!

" It is very difficult, I know, for a certain class of men, whose nature it is to live in their logic, and not in simple insight, to stay content with any thing which has not been verified by some word-process.    Instead of putting off their shoes before the burning bush, they would put out the fire rather, — by such kind of constructive wisdom as I have just now given.    A poem is ill to such, if it does not stand well in the predicaments.    Receiving nothing by their imagination or by their heart, the verities they embrace are all dead verities.    And as dead verities cannot impregnate, they live as being dead themselves, — a sterile class of souls, whom not even the life-giving mysteries of the Incarnation are able to fructify.    See, they say, Christ obeys and suffers, how can the subject be the supreme ; the suffering man, the impassible God!    Probably they toss off their discovery with an air of superior sagacity, as if by some peculiar depth of argument they had reached a conclusion so profound.   They cannot imagine that even the babes of true knowledge, the simple children of Christian faith, who open their hearts to "the reconciling grace of God in Christ Jesus, are really wiser and deeper than they.    As if it were some special wisdom to judge that the Lord Jesus came into the world, not simply to express God, and offer him to the embrace of our love, but to submit a new riddle to the speculative chemistry and constructive logic of the race! Indeed, you may figure this whole tribe qf sophisters as a man standing before that most beautiful and wondrous work of art, the * Beatified Spirit' of Guido, and there commencing a quarrel with the artist, that he should be so absurd as to think of making a beatified spirit out of mere linseed, ochres, and oxides !    Would it not be more dignified to let the pigments go and take the expression of the canvas ?    Just so are the human personality, the obedient, subject, suffering state of Jesus, all to be taken as colors of the Divine, and we are not to fool ourselves in practising our logic on the colors, but to seize at once upon the divine import and significance thereof; ascending thus to the heart of God, there to rest, in the vision of his beatific glory." — pp. 157 - 160.

We make no reply to these remarks, some of which would be ^worthy our attention, if they were not misapplied. The mystery of the Incarnation is a mystery, and therefore not explicable by natural reason, and it is the author, not we, who undertakes so to explain it. But though it is a mystery, it is a mystery announced to us as reasonable beings, and to be believed without our renouncing the exercise of reason. If any body chooses to state it so that it contradicts reason, insults common sense, and then tell us we must believe it because it is a mystery, we shall not consider that we are wanting reverence for the mystery if wo attempt to show him that he misstates it, and to give the orthodox statement of it in return.