The Mysteries of Faith (Brownson refutes Unitarianism, Calvinism, and Jansenism; July 1863)

The Mysteries of Faith (July 1863)

                Modern controversialists, especially the more popular among them, dwell almost exclusively on the extrinsic authority for our faith, and almost entierly neglect the intrinsic authority, or intrinsic reasonableness of the faith itself.  We may be wrong, but we are firmly persuaded that this is a grave mistake.  They suppose that their opponents have a faith which they have not, and which, if they had it, would render all controversy superfluous.  The argument from external authority, whether of Scriptures or of the church, is effective only with such as already have a simple and childlike faith.  It is conclusive for Catholics who already believe all Catholic doctrine in principle, and only need in the case of any particular doctrine to be shown that it is really taught in the Holy Scriptures, or by the church.  It is a mistake to suppose that we can successfully pursue the same method with every class of the heterodox, or to conclude that when we have proved that God has supreme authority, that he can neither deceive nor be deceived, that he has founded the church, revealed to her the truth, authorized her to teach it, and that she actually teaches the doctrine in question, we have exhausted argument, said all that can be said, and that, if any remain unconvinced it is owing to their malice, the perversity of their hearts, and nothing more can be done but to pray for their conversion by some miraculous interposition of divine Providence.  Is it not that the topic is defective, or the argument unsound, or incomplete in itself, but that it does not meet and remove the antecedent difficulties in the unbeliever’s way of believing.  The Unitarian, for instance, regards the mysteries of our faith as intrinsically incredible, and no amount of proof we can adduce from tradition, ecclesiastical authority, or the Scriptures, can enable him to believe them; not because they are above reason, and he will not believe what he cannot comprehend, but because he cannot see how he can believe them without denying certain other things of which he is as certain as he can be of any thing.  He cannot, whatever his good will, or his mental efforts, believe them till they are shown to him to be not intrinsically incredible, but intrinsically credible, therefore provable, and neither is shown by the argument from external authority alone.

                Unitarianism is not all false or all evil.  Every system has its good side, and its true side; otherwise it could never be embraced by the human mind, created as it is for truth as its object.  New-England Unitarianism was a protest of reason and common sense, as Dr. Channing well said, against the errors and exaggerations of Calvinism.  It first manifested itself under the form of Arminianism, as a protest against irresistible grace and unconditional election and reprobation.  Its development went on with time and inquiry, and from these Calvinistic doctrines it proceeded to protest successively against the doctrine of total depravity, vicarious suffering and imputed merit, the incarnation, the proper divinity of our Lord, and finally the Trinity, till the protest ended in the rejection of all the great mysteries of our faith as presented by Calvinistic theology.  But, if we study carefully the Unitarian mind, we shall find that in all his protests the Unitarian was asserting and seeking to vindicate a truth which, in his judgment, these mysteries deny.  He, is his own mind, in rejecting the Trinity was simply asserting the unity of God against tritheism, or an unintelligible form of words; the direct mercy of God against its supposed denial in the doctrine of the atonement, or vicarious satisfaction; intrinsic justice against imputed merit; the necessity of good works against justification by faith alone; human worth against total depravation of nature; and human freedom and responsibility against unconditional election and reprobation.  In all this what he opposes to the mysteries is undeniably true, and the only way to convince him that the mysteries are credible, is to show him that he can accept them without giving up any thing of the truth he opposes to them, or that the mysteries in their real orthodox sense are perfectly compatible with the truth he holds and so strenuously insists upon. 

                Yet how can the Unitarian be shown this by arguments drawn from simple extrinsic authority?  Bring the most overwhelming proofs of the mysteries, if you enter into no explanations, assign no intrinsic reasons which remove his antecedent objections to them and present them to him as intrinsically credible, you will not convince him of their truth, for you will not show him how he can accept them without denying the truth he objects to them.  It is not because he refuses to believe God at his word, or God’s word till endorsed by his own reason, as is sometimes alleged, but because he cannot, whatever the proofs you bring, or the efforts of his own will, believe that it is God’s word which contradicts what he knows, as well as he ever knows any thing, is true and undeniable.  No man, whatever he may pretend, either does or can believe what contradicts his reason, or what appears to him to be unreasonable.  One may believe what is above his reason, never what is against his reason.  To regard a thing as unreasonable, and not to believe it, is one and the same thing.  The Unitarian does not refuse, no man refuses to believe things simply because they are mysteries, and it is never necessary to prove that mysteries are credible.  Life is full of mysteries; our very existence is a mystery, and even the simplest fact of nature is a mystery to us, which we do not and cannot explain.  All know this, concede it, and every moment of their lives act on a belief in mysteries.  The difficulty lies not there.  The mysteries the Unitarian refuses to believe, are mysteries which appear to him to be unreasonable, opposed to reason, and without any dialectic relation to the system of things of which we are a part.  It is always more reasonable to believe that we mistake God’s word, than it is to believe that he reveals unreasonable mysteries.  God’s word is truth, and no higher evidence of truth than his word is possible; but no proof, nothing in the world can convince a reasoning man that unreasonable mysteries are his word, or have been revealed by him.  Such mysteries are incredible, improbable, unprovable.  A man may not be always able to explain away the authorities you bring in their favor, but believe them he does not, cannot, for he can never believe that truth contradicts truth, or that reason conflicts with reason.   

                Let us be just to the human mind, which is as truly the work of God as supernatural revelation itself.  Let us be just to the Unitarian.  We wrong him when we assuse him of setting up his own reason against the reason of God.  He does no such thing.  He is as ready to believe God’s word as you or we, when once it is brought home to his reason that what is proposed is God’s word.  What he refuses to believe is not what he believes to be God’s word, but what he believes is not and cannot be his word.  He does not allege against the mysteries, “though revealed by God I do not and will not believe them,” but, “such is the character of the mysteries you require me to believe that I do not and cannot believe that God has revealed them.  It is derogatory from the essential attributes of God to represent him as revealing that one is three, and three are one; as becoming incarnate to effect a purpose just as easily effected without the incarnation; as reputing one a sinner who knows no sin, or a man just who is really unjust; as justifying men by faith alone, without works, or intrinsic holiness; or as causing men to sin necessarily, that he may have the glory of damning them.  Such mysteries and some others like them to be found in popular Protestant theology, are blasphemous when asserted as revelations of God, and no thinking man ever does or ever can believe them to be any part of God’s word.”

                The mind must believe God’s word, but it must be allowed the right of a preliminary examination, as our friends of The Rambler maintain, of what purports to be the word of God, not indeed to determine what it must be, if his word, but what if his word, it cannot be.  What God will or can reveal is beyond the province of reason to determine, and can be known only from his revelation itself; but we can say beforehand that certain things cannot be revealed, because they are unreasonable, unjust, and repugnant to the divine attributes cognizable by natural reason.  We know that it is impossible for God to lie since he is truth, truth itself, and therefore we know that what is a lie is no revelation made by him; we know that he is holy, and therefore that what is unholy he can neither do nor approve. 

                There appears to be with some theologians, otherwise of good repute, a disposition to remove the mysteries of faith too far from the plane of reason, to distinguish too sharply between them and the truth cognizable by our natural intelligence, and to treat with too little consideration the difficulties which reason finds in the way of accepting them.  They treat reason too cavalierly, and dismiss her objections too summarily.  They seem to imagine that they would profane the mysteries, and detract from the merit of faith, were they to attempt to explain them, and by the aid of analogies borrowed from the intelligible and the visible to bring them nearer to our understanding, to show their intrinsic credibility.  We think them wrong.  We gain nothing by wrapping ourselves up in our dignity, and simply saying, “God has said it, believe it, or be damned.”  In so doing we are not true to the spirit of the church.  The Gospel is throughout a manifestation of the infinite condescension of God to human weakness.  Our Lord came to seek and to save them that are lost.  The early fathers reason in the most patient and loving manner with the unbelieving, and the popes themselves, as we learn from St. Leo Magnus, are accustomed to reason with heretics before condemning them.  The great object which all controversial theologians should have in view is the good of souls, and of the souls of the heterodox no less than of the orthodox.  Faith loses none of its merit by being shown to be not unreasonable, or even by being shown to be reasonable.  Revelation was not given to silence reason, to overwhelm it, to puzzle it, or to supersede it; but to aid it, strengthen it, enlarge its scope, and to supply its defects.  It brings to man’s understanding the superintelligible, and is a sort of telescope added to the natural eye of reason.  But the telescope does not supersede the natural eye, for it is the natural eye that sees in or through it, and it would be of no use to a blind man.  So of revelation.  It does not supersede or even lessen our natural intelligence, for it is our natural intelligence, after all, that understands and believes in it or by it.

                It is a great error to regard the revealed mysteries as unreasonable or as unintelligible.  They are superintelligible, but not unintelligible.  The unintelligible is the unexisting, the unreal, absolute negation, and therefore no object either of revelation or of faith.  The superintelligible is real, and may be both revealed and believed, because it is neither separate from nor contrary to the intelligible and the visible, but is really united to them and really forms with them only one indissoluble dilaectic whole.

[*Footnote: The word dialectic here and elsewhere with us expresses a real, and not a merely formal relation. In our philosophy logic is not purely formal, representing the relations of abstract notions or conceptions, but is real, representing the concrete relations of things.  Its foundation is in the ideal formula, or divine judgment, ens creat existentias. As the creat is the real copula between the subject Ens, or Being, and existences or creatures, so the dialectic or logical copula means a real, objective relation between the subject and the predicate.  It is the real nexus between contraries, and hence a dialectic union means a real union of contraries made by means of the middle term.  A dialectic whole is a real living whole, an organism, and not a mere aggregation.  By the creative act, the real medius terminus of the universe, all the parts of the universe are made one dialectic whole, in which all the parts are really connected with the whole, and with one another.]

                The superintelligible is the essence of the intelligible, and the intelligible is the essence of the visible, in such sense that the visible would be nothing without the intelligible, and the intelligible nothing without the superintelligible.  The superintelligible is not disjoined, in the world of reality, from the intelligible or the visible, and is superintelligible only in relation to us.  It can be known by us only through supernatural revelation; but by supernatural revelation it can be rendered analogically intelligible to our understanding.  Otherwise it could not be to us an object of faith; for faith is primarily an object of the understanding, and is in the understanding is its subject, as St. Thomas maintains.  We do not, even when revealed, grasp the superintelligible directly, but nevertheless we grasp it indirectly, by means of analogies borrowed from the intelligible and the visible.  Hence the Scriptures always represent the superintelligible by means of such analogies.  This is perfectly philosophical, for the lower is always symbolical of the higher.  The very fact that the sacred writers use these analogies is sufficient to assure the Christian believer that there is a real relation between the truths revealed in the mysteries and the truths directly cognizable by the light of reason.  Both must belong to one and the same general system, or there could be no such analogies in the case.  These analogies are real analogies, and therefore the revelation of the superintelligible is possible, and revelation and science belong to one and the same system, not two separate, much less two mutually contradictory systems.  There must, then, be an intrinsic reason, as is also evidently implied in the fact maintained by all our theologians, that in the beatific vision faith is lost in sight, and discursion in intuition, whence the blest are called comprehensores.

                Faith, the apostle tells us, is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  It must, therefore, be initial comprehension, the beginning of that of which the beatific vision is the completion.  Hence baptism, the sacrament of faith, is defined by the church to be the door, that is, the entrance to the kingdom of heaven.  It is not too much, then, to assume that by faith, or the light it sheds, though not otherwise, we may grasp something of the intrinsic reason and truth even of the most hidden mysteries of the Christian revelation, and rise to what St. Thomas calls scientia divina, or divine science – theologia prima. We are not arguing that we can know any thing of these mysteries without revelation, or that even with revelation we can, in this life, viatores, pilgrims as we are, returning from exile to our home, attain to a full comprehension of them; for now we see only in part, only through a glass darkly; but that we can know something of them, and grasp the revealed truths as they are mirrored or reflected by the analogies taken from the natural order – per speculum in aenigmate.  We may thus, we maintain, grasp the connecting link between faith and science, and apprehend them in their dialectic union.  There have been theologians who have held, uncensured, that, taking revelation as a fact, and using the light it sheds on the whole intellectual world, it is possible to demonstrate rationally the truth of all the great mysteries, even the most recondite, our faith, and certainly the great fathers and doctors of the church, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas, go very far in that direction.  But without either asserting or denying that, we hold this much to be certain, that the human mind, starting from the position in which it is placed by the reflected light of revelation, can go so far as to remove all antecedent objections that reason can bring against the mysteries, and to show that they are not intrinsically unreasonable, but credible, and therefore provable.

                To make this evident, we will, with the reader’s permission, hastily glance at the principal mysteries of our faith controverted by the Unitarian, and also at his antecedent objections to them.  The mystery of the Trinity is the basis of orthodoxy, and so essential to it that its denial involves the denial of the whole Christian system, the whole Christian doctrine as professed by orthodox Christians.  To this mystery the Unitarian objects, that it denies the divine unity, and is intrinsically unreasonable.  He is unquestionably right so far as his objection asserts one and one only God, and rejects whatever in any way or shape militates against that great primal truth.  There is one and one only God, maker of heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible.  The question between orthodoxy and Unitarianism is no question as to the unity of God, but simply a question as to the Trinity.  Does the assertion of God as triune deny his unity?  Is there no intrinsic reason apprehensible by us for asserting the one God as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?  That one is not three, and three are not one, is, of course, true.  It needs no very profound philosopher to discover that, and to assert that God cannot be one in the repsect that he is three, or three in the respect that he is only one.  But the assertion that God is one, is not the assertion that he is unity and nothing else.  Simple unity, or unity without contents or interior relations, is a mere abstract empty unity, the unity or to en of the Alexandrians, the reine Seyn of Hegel which Hegel himself identifies with das Nicht-Seyn.  The Alexandrians never regarded their to en, the One, as the equivalent of the term God, but added to the conception of unity, which they erroneously regarded as the radical conception of the Divinity, two other conceptions logos, or nous, and dunamis, intelligence and power.  They erred in their exposition of the Trinity, and never asserted the Christian Trinity at all, but they well understood that simple, abstract unity is not and cannot of itself be living God.  All the various heathen theogonies, however abstract or ridiculous they may appear to us, were only so many abortive efforts to explain the existence in God of something not included in the conception of abstract unity, and indicate a deeper and richer philosophy in the heathen than has prevailed since Descartes even in the Christian world.

                  The one, or naked and empty unity, even in the Unitarian mind, is not the equivalent of God.  When he says one, he still asks, one what?  the answer is one God, which implies, even with him, something more than unity.  It implies unity and its real and necessary contents as living or actual being.  Unity is an abstract conception formed by the mind operating on the intuition of the concrete, and as abstract, has no existence out of the mind conceiving.  Like all abstractions, it is in itself dead, unreal, null.  God is not an abstraction, not a mere generalization, a creature, or a theorem of the human mind, but one living and true God, existing from and in himself, a se et in se.  He is real being, being in its plentitude, eternal, independent, self-living, and complete in himself.  To live is to act.  To be eternally and infinitely living is to be eternally and infinitely acting, is to be all act; and hence philosophers and theologians term God, in scholastic langauge, most pure act, actus purissimus.  But act, all act demands, as its essential conditions, principle, medium, and end.  Unity, then, to be actual being, to be eternally and purely act in itself, must have in itself the three relations termed in Christian theology Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, - the Father as principle, the son as medium, the Holy Ghost as end or consummation of divine life.  These three interior relations are essential to the conception of unity as one living and true God.  Hence the radical conception of God as triune, is essential to the conception of God as one God, or real, self-living, self-sufficing unity.  There is nothing in this view of the Trinity that asserts that one is three, or that three are one; nor is there any thing that breaks the divine unity, for the triplicity asserted is not three Gods, or three divine beings, but a three-fold interior relation in the interior essence of the one God, b virtue of which he is one actual, living God.  The relations are in the essence of the one God are are, so to speak, the living contents of his unity, without which he would be an empty, unreal abstraction; one – nothing.

                Empty, abstract unity, or unity that has no concrete reality, no interior contents or relations, is without life, dead, inert, unproductive.  Hence the old Eleatics, who asserted God as simple, naked unity, could never assert creation, and, in fact, denied that there can any thing exist distinguishable from unity.  A being who has in himself no principle of multiplicity cannot create or produce any thing distinct from himself.  Unity gives only unity; from one you can get only one, and one multiplied by one gives only one.  The Unitarian himself does not really believe God is simple, abstract unity, and really, in his own mind, conceives of God as having essential interior relations, only he does not perceive that they are and must be the Trinity of Christian theology.  At any rate, as he reflects, he learns that with the simple conception of unity he cannot assert creation.  Hence we note among Unitarians a double tendency- the one a tendency to return towards orthodoxy, and the other a tendency to pantheism, which is the absolute denial of the creative act.  There are very few Unitarians to be found today who adhere to the Unitarians of 1815 or 1825, and their number is daily diminishing.  Some have become Episcopalians, some Swedenborgians, some like Dr. Bellows and Dr. Osgood, are yearning for a church and a deeper and richer theology; others are trying to form to themselves a spiritual Christianity, without any historical Christ; and others still have fallen asleep in pantheism, or are seeking a vent from their interior activity in the various philanthropic or social movements of the day, confining, even avowedly, their thoughts and their hopes to the world of space and time.  So true it is that the dogma of creation goes with the dogma of the Trinity, though creation is a fact constantly passing before our eyes.  Pure unity has no interior life, no interior relations, and is therefore inert, and can act neither interiorly not exteriorly, and therefore cannot be creative being.  

                 God creates and can create only after ideas or types in his own eternal mind or essence, as Plato long ago taught us.  Deny the Logos, God’s interior word, or interior expression, so to speak, of his own thought or intelligence, the verbum mentis, and you deny these eternal ideas or types, and consequently the creative ability of God, or his power to produce existences distinguishable from his own unity.  God can place no existence our of himself, the idea, type, or principle of which is not in himself.  Creation is the exterior expression by the Creator of his own interior word.  The artist cannot produce without an interior design, and in producing, be it a poem, a statue, a picture, or a temple, he only gives expression or outness to his design, the idea or type which he contemplates in his own mind.  God being complete in himself, and in all respects sufficing for himself, is free to create or not to create, to create this existence or that, accarding to his own pleasure; but, if he creates at all, he must create after the idea, type, or pattern eternal in his own mind, therefore in his own essence; for St. Thomas has well said that Idea in mente divina nihil est aliud, quam essentia Dei.  Yet God as the divine artist must eternally behold the ideas or types eternal in his own essence, and then evidently we must recognize a distinction between the divine essence beholding and the divine essence beheld.  The beholding is precisely what is meant by the generation of the Word or Logos; and the Word is generated, not made, the relation between God generating and the Word generated is that of generator and generated, or that of father and son.  The generator bears to the generated the relation of father, and the generated bears to the generator the relation of son, and hence the reason why the Word is called Son, and the generative principle Father.  The divine action generating the Son completes and can complete itself only by a return through the Son to the generative principle.  This return through the Son is the Holy Ghost, a third relation equally eternal in the divine essence.  Hence in the divine interior eternal progression the Father is the principle, the Son is the medium, and the Holy Ghost is the end or consummation.  The relation of the three persons, as they are called, of the Godhead, is to be noted in creation, or in the external action, or action ad extra,  of God, and creation itself must copy exteriorly the interior progression of the divine being.  It proceeds from the Father as principle, through the Son as medium, and returns in the Holy Ghost through the Son to its principle, or to God as its final cause.  The three persons equally concur in every external act of God, only they concur in diverse respects.  But this is digressing.  We do not identify the ideas or types of creation, which are indistinguishable in his divine essence with the Son, but we identify God’s contemplation of them in his own essence with the generation of the Word.  And as he could not create without them and without beholding or contemplating them, we maintain that without his essential tri-unity, he could not create at all.

                As there can be nothing in creation which has not its idea, type, or principle in the creator, there must be in him the idea, type, or principle of society, for there is undeniably society in creation.  All society is founded on what we call family relations, and implies the relation of sex, marriage, generation.  Society is restricted to the same genus or species.  Man has and can have no proper social relation with any race but his own.  The idea, type, or principle of sex, marriage, generation, must, then, be in God.  The heathen understood something of this, and hence represented in their theogonies, the dii majores, as androgynous, male and female.  Their representations were gross and false, because they misrepresented the analogies in the case; but under their gross and disgusting representations, which took the analogies in an anthropomorphous sense, there was a truth concealed, misconceived, distorted, or travestied, which it will not do to overlook.  God is not male and female, or androgynous, in the gross sense misrepresented by the heathen, but there must be in him the principle of sex, or marrriage, and of generation, or there could not be society in creation.  If he in his own being were unsocial, solitary, so to speak, absolutely alone, he could create no society, for his creation is but the outward expression, or expression ad extra, of his own interior life, which it does and must copy.  The social type, the divine original of society, is in the Trinity, as has been well set forth by the late Donoso Cortes.

                Unitarians themselves call God Father, and do not scruple to address him as our Father.  But the relation of father is a relation of generation, not of creation.  God is not father because he is creator, and he cannot be father unless he generates a son, and a son of his own nature.  To deny the eternal generation of the Son, or that the Son is of the same nature with the Generator, is to deny that God is Father.  To be able to call God Father, it is necessary, then, to concede the eternal generation and proper divinity of the Son.

                But even conceding that God is father in relation to his own divine Son, that does not give us the right to address him as our Father, or to repeat the Pater Noster.  God is not our Father because he is our Creator.  The relation of parent and child is in the order of generation, not of creation, and the parent and child are of the same nature.  God is father by the eternal generation of the Son, but not by that fact is he our Father.  This is a serious difficulty in the way of Unitarianism.  The gentiles, indeed, call God father, but never, as far as we remember, our Father.  Zeus or Jupiter is called father; but because he is father of gods, not because he is father of men.  He is addressed as “father of gods and king of men.”  The Mahometans, who are stanch Unitarians, and deniers of the Trinity, do not address God as our Father.  Their formula is, “God is God, and Mahomet is his prophet.”  Nowhere outside of the Christian faith, unless with the Jews, who believed in the Incarnation, at least, implicitly, if not explicitly, is God, to our knowledge, ever addressed as our Father.  This is as it should be.  We can have a real filial relation to God, only in Jesus Christ, and not even in him, if he was only a man sent with a divine message from God, or if he was even, as the Arians maintained, a superangelic creature, the first and highest of the creatures of God.  In neither case would filial relation to him be a filial relation to God. We can be sons of God and have God as our father, only as we are begotten by him and have the same nature with him.  This is possible only in the Incarnation, in which our nature is made really and truly the nature of God.  In the Incarnation real sonship to God is possible, for in that our nature is hypostatically united to God in the unity of the divine person, and hence in the Incarnation our nature is really the nature of God, and if reborn in Christ Jesus, we become really sons of God. 

                Jesus Christ, being God, and the Son of God in his divine nature and person, by taking up human nature to be his nature, establishes a relation of nature between him and us.  God, by condescending to become man, enables man to become God.  By being born of him in the regeneration, we are born of God, are sons of God, and joint-heirs with him.  We can then with truth say our Father, and with real filial piety cry, “Abba, Father.”  Hence we may see a deep significance in the Incarnation, and understand that it pervades the whole Christian economy, is essential to it, without which we might indeed prostrate ourselves before God as our Creator and sovereign Lord, but could never apporach him and love him, and commit ourselves to him as our Father.  For it is only by virtue of our common nature that he can have the relation of father to us, or we have the relation of children to him; and to suppose such common nature otherwise than through the Incarnation, would be to confound creature with creator, and to fall into pantheism, that supreme sophism.  The Pater Noster, the Lord’s Prayer, would be false in its doctrine, if the Incarnation were not a fact, and it is always inappropriate in the mouth of any one not regenerated in Christ Jesus by the Holy Ghost.  That wonderful prayer can receive only an orthodox sense.  It will be found, if analyzed, to contain, simple and brief as it is, the sum of Christian doctrine, of Christian prayer, of Christian virtue, and Christian piety.  Its brevity, simplicity, and comprehensiveness, prove its more than human origin, that it never could have been composed without divine inspiration.

                The Unitarian objects to the mystery of the Incarnation, that it is unintelligible, incredible, self-contradictory, absurd, and, even if true, could serve no useful purpose.  That some popular or mimetic representations of this mystery, as understood by Unitarians, are open to these objections, we shall not undertake to deny.  The mystery is superintelligible, but it is not unintelligible, nor is it self-contradictory, absurd, or without a very intelligible and important meaning in the Christian economy, as we have just seen.  Its apparent incredibility is due to its sublimity, to its being the divine creative act carried to its highest point, where the creator becomes one by nature with the Creator.  It is the highest possible manifestation of the divine condescension, the divine wisdom and love, as well as of the divine creative power.  Certainly man is not God, and God is not man, in one and the same respect.  No orthodx believer pretends that the human is divine, or that the divine is human, that the Divinity was born of woman, or that it died, or could die on the cross.  The “divinity of humanity,” of which so much was foolishly said some years ago, is a pantheistic, not a Christian, conception.  God, in his divine nature, is eternal and immortal, and is not in his divinity born, was not crucified, was not dead and buried, nor did he rise again the third day.  To assert that would be, indeed, to assert the unitelligible, the incredible, the self-contradictory, the absurd.  But it cannot be asserted without denying the very fact of the Incarnation itself.  Undoubtedly, the orthodox faith asserts that God was born, that he dwelt among us in the flesh, that he grew, eat, and drank, went about doing good, was poor, had not where to lay his head, was betrayed by a disciple into the hands of his enemies, was tried, condemned as a malefactor, crucified between two thieves, was dead, laid in a new tomb, on the third day rose again, and, after forty days, ascended into heaven; but in his human, not in his divine nature; in his humanity, not in his divinity.  Yet not, therefore, has the Unitarian the right to say that it was only a man of whom all this was affirmed; for that human nature was God’s nature as literally, as really, as substantially, as the divine nature itself, since the very meaning of the Incarnation is the assumption by the eternal Word of the human nature to be God’s nature.

                Here is a wonderful condescension of God.  He did not make human nature divine, for that even he, with all his omnipotence, could not do; but, leaving it human nature still, he condescended to it, and made it, in the strictest sense of the word, his own nature.  The mystery is precisely in the union of two forever distinct natures in one divine person.  It is superintelligible, but not unintelligible; and it appears unintelligible to the Unitarian, only because he mistakes it, and conceives of the Incarnation always in either a Nestorian or a Eutychian sense, and never in the orthodox sense.  If we assert two distinct natures, he assumes that we assert two distinct persons; and if we assert one person only, he assumes that we really assert only one nature.  He assumes that unity of nature necessarily carries with it unity of person, and duality of nature duality of person, so that God could not, unless he assumed human personality, have assumed human nature.  But, with his permission, this is not self-evident, and he fails to prove it.  Certianly there is no person without nature, for person is the nature completed, or having its last complement; and, therefore, there can be no divine person without a divine nature.  There can, again, be no human nature without personality, either human or divine; but nothing hinders God, if it so please him, from supplying its last complement with his own personality.  The human nature would then be truly person, but its person would be God, and also the person of the divine nature.  Each nature would be person, but both would have one and the same divine personality.  And this is the precise mystery of the Incarnation – God making himself the person of human nature, or making human nature his own nature.  Our Lord is, therefore, indissolubly God-man, with two forever distinct natures in the unity of one divine person.  He acts necessarily always as one person, and, as what is done in either nature is done by him as person, and as his person is God, that which he does in his human nature is done by God as truly and as strictly as what he does in his divine nature.  It is not, then, simply the man that is born, that grows, that suffers and dies, is buried, and rises again, but God himself, in his human nature.  The self-contradiction and absurdity alleged by the Unitarian disappear the moment we take the Incarnation in its orthodox sense.  How could God become incarnate, or make human nature his nature, we, of course, do not attempt to explain, nor is it necessary that we should.  The fact is not impossible, for nobody can say that it exceeds the infinite power of God, since it involves no intrinsic contradiction.  The objection of the Unitarian, therefore, is not well taken.  

                But the reason for accepting the mystery of the Incarnation is not purely negative, or even extrinsic.  It has a reason in the very constitution of the universe.  In examining the mystery of the Trinity we have found that all acts, to be complete, must return to the actor.  This return is their consummation.  The creative act, ifit ended with the procession of existences from the Creator as first cause, would be incomplete, initial, inchoate, unconsummate; for the existences would attain to no final cause, and fulfil no purpose.  God cannot create without creating for an end, and in creating final cause is as esential as first cause.  God can create for no final cause but himself.  Hence the sacred writers assure us throughout, that all things are made by him and for him.  Then all creatures must have two motions, and the universe two cycles, the one the procession of existences, by way of creation, from God as first cause, and the other their return to him, without absorption in him, as final cause, which completes or consummates the creative act, as the return in the Trinity of the act of generating the Son through the Son to the Father, or the procession of the Holy Ghost, completes, consummates the interior and eternal progressionof the divine being.  It makes the universe a copy or external expression of the interior essence of God, as all creation must be.  The two cycles or two motions, the procession of existences from God as first cause, and their return to him as final cause, is recognized and asserted by all gentile theology, oriental and western, ancient and modern, and especially by Buddhism, but, unhappily, in a pantheistic sense.  No gentile philsophy, not even that of Plato, recognizes the divine creative act, the great fact asserted in the first verse of Genesis.  “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.”  Hence the gentiles never conceive the procession of the universe from God to be by way of creation, but by way of formation, generation, or emanation, and its return to him as final cause, they hold to be its absorption in him, as the bubble in the ocean, which is really its annihilation.  Christian philosophy or theology, illumined by the light shed on cosmogony by the mystery of the Trinity, escapes pantheism by asserting the creative act, and showing that the procession of existences from God as first cause is by way of creation, and their return to him as final cause is not by way of absorption in him, or their annihilation of existences, but as existences retaining their distinct and substantive existence; therefore a return that consummates the creative act, instead of withdrawing it, and avoids the pantheism universal in all gentile philosophy.

                The procession of existences from God as first cause, or of existences in the first cycle, is what, after the Greeks, we call Cosmos, or the universe regarded in its relation to God as first cause.  Now the return of existences to God as final cause cannot be in the cosmos, because that would be the denial of the second cycle, and would confound the final cause with the first, or the return of the existences to God with their procession from him.  The explication or development of the cosmos in space and time, which is by natural generation, is all in the first cycle, and in the order of procession from God.  The cosmos cannot attain to its final cause, be completed, or consummated by natural explication or development, for explication and development cannot carry it out of its own cycle into the second cycle, or even initiate the motion to return.  Here is the refutation alike of those who assert that man can attain to his end in the order of generation by natural development and culture, and of those also who assert the possibility of natural beatitude.   The final cause of man is God, and God, whether regarded as first cause or final cause, is supernatural, always above nature; and as our own beatitude can be only in attaining to our end and resting in our final cause, our beatitude can be only in the supernatural, as Christian orthodoxy always asserts.  From the natural to the supernatural there is and can be no natural transition.  The cosmos does not emanate or flow out as a natural stream from God, but is created by the direct and immediate act of God, without the concurrence of any cosmic concreative act, and the creative act of God is therefore strictly supernatural.  Adam was not generated, that is, developed by the concreative act of the creature; but was created by the direct and immediate act of God, and the same must be said of the original of every genus or species in the universe; for generation produces no new race or species; and only explicates, develops, or brings out what was original in the progenitor of the race, immediately created.  Even in the cosmos the original individual must be supernaturally created; for only by a supernatural act can creatures proceed from the first cause.  So only by a supernatural creative act, providing the supernatural individual or father, can the return of creatures to the supernatural as final cause be initiated and effected.

                The second cycle, the second motion, the return of existences to God, is not and cannot be the natural development of the cosmos.  As the cosmos can be consummated only in returning to God, only in the supernatural, it must be supernaturally elevated to the plane of the supernatural before the second motion, or motion of return, can commence.  This elevation is possible only in the Incarnation, for it is only by the supernatural assumption of the nature of the cosmos to be the nature of God that the cosmos can stand on the plane of the supernatural end, or of God as final cause.  Here is the intrinsic reason for the Incarnation, which by the supernatural act of God completes the cosmos or the first cycle, and initiates the second or return, which in the New Testament is called Palingenesia, ususally rendered in English by the term Regeneration.  God founds the palingenesia by the act by which he creates the hypostatic union with human nature, making it his nature, as he founds the cosmos by his eternal Word unincarnated in time. 

                The lower orders of creation were created for man, and their natures are contained in him, for he is microcosm, as said the ancients, and they return to God as final cause in man’s return.  Their nature was assumed in the assumption of human nature, for our Lord assumed body as well as soul, flesh as well as spirit, and all Christians profess to believe in the resurrection of the flesh or the body.  This disposes of any difficulty the Unitarian might find in relation to the lower orders of creation.  As to the higher, their nature was in some sense assumed in assuming the spiritual nature of man, as is implied by the church in calling Mary, the mother of God, “the Queen of Angels,” which she could not be, if her divine Son did not enable them to return to their final cause by the nature he took from her.  He directly assumed, indeed, only human nature, but in assuming human nature he really assumed all created nature, though he suffered and died, made atonement for, and redeemed from sin only the human race, not the angels that kept not their first estate.  The Incarnation, or assumption of human nature to be the nature of God, was necessary to enable man to attain to his end, and to have with God as final cause, a relation corresponding to his relation to him as first cause, to consummate the creative act in both cycles, so that God should be “all in all,” without the annihilation of distinct created existences, and without any favor being extended to the pantheism of the emanationists, or the realization by God of his own possibility in creation, as maintained by the Hegelians.

                The return of existences to God as their final cause, necessarily implies that they become God.  This is necessarily the meaning of the assertion that the creative act, to be completed, consummated, must return to its principle.  The Holy Ghost is God equally with the Father and the Son.  But we find in the Trinity, that the Holy Ghost is the spiration of the love of the Father for the Son, and the Son for the Father.  The return of creatures to God as final cause, is their spiration of love, copying externally, in the order of creation, the procession of the Holy Ghost, and hence the Holy Ghost is call the Sanctifier.  The return proceeds from love, and the natural tendency of love is to unify, and it is never satisfied till it is identified with its object, as we may learn from the analogy of purely natural love.  The love is not fulfilled, consummated, till the lover and the loved become one, and each possesses the other.  It can be fulfilled, consummated, only when they both have one and the same nature.  Even Channing was aware of this, and therefore maintained that man has “a kindred nature with God,” meaning that man’s nature is akin to the divine nature, whence his disciples talked much of “divinity of humanity,” and of the “divine element in man.”  But without intending it he gave utterance to a pantheistic sentiment.  Man can be akin to the divine nature, and can claim kindred with God, we have seen, only as our nature in the Incarnation is made the nature of God.  The love which returns to God can be consummated only in the Incarnation.  In the Incarnation man literally becomes God by nature, and without implying a pantheistic sense.  In that our nature becomes God’s nature, and we can become one with him, even in our nature.  God in becoming man enables man to become God without ceasing to be man and God’s creature.  By the union of our nature with his the distance between creator and creature is removed; we can enter into true social relation and hold real and living communion with him, not a merely imaginary or fictitious communion, which is all the Sacramentarians can admit.

                The human nature assumed by our Lord, though though individuated in him as it was in Adam, includes all individuals, only generically, only as they existed in the first individual, or progenitor of the race.  All individuals were in Adam, for in him was the entire human race, but they were in him unexplicated, and could actually exist only as explicated or developed by natural generation.  The same law holds good in regard to our Lord, the second Adam.  All individuals are in him, for he assumed entire human nature, and was perfect man as well as perfect God; but they must be explicated, developed, or born of him by regeneration, which is by grace, not natural generation, before they exist in him as distinct individuals.  Now, as grace may be resisted by our free will, and even be lost though once bestowed, it does not follow that all will enter the palingenesiac order; or that all who enter it will persevere, and attain to glorification or actually return to God as their final cause.  So it may turn out that large numbers of individuals may forever remain in the order of genesis, mere cosmic, and therefore inchoate existences, real abortions, and never become one with God in Christ Jesus.  But, if so, the fault is their own, for our Lord, by assuming entire human nature, renders their personal return to God possible, if they choose to comply with the necessary conditions.

                What we have thus far said, if we have succeeded in making our meaning intelligible, answers the objections of the Unitarian to the great and fundamental mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation, and shows that there are not only no intrinsic reasons against them, but very strong intrinsic reasons for them.  Yet the Unitarian system is not refuted in all points.  The Unitarian objects more strenuously still to the dogma of original sin and the mystery of Redemption or the Atonement.  He understands original sin to mean that the guilt of Adam’s sin is imputed to all his posterity, who are punished for it as if it were actually their own.  He objects that this is unreasonable, unjust, indeed, impossible.  God cannot impute sin where there is no sin, for he is a God of truth.  It is impossible that one should be guilty of a sin which he has not committed by his own voluntary act, and to punish one for a sin of which he is not guilty is manifestly unreasonable and unjust.  Most certainly.  But the objection counfounds original sin with actual sin.  Original sin is the sin of origin, and in no sense implies that men as individuals are actually guilty of Adam’s sin, or that as individuals they are actually punished for it.  The meaning of the dogma is that as the race was all in Adam as its progenitor, his sin tainted the race, the source from which we as individuals spring; so that we are born of a tainted nature, or a degenerate race.  Adam by his sin lost the justice in which he was originally constituted, and the integrity of his nature.  As this loss was by sin, it is called itself sin, and as it tainted human nature or involved the degeneracy of the race, it is called original sin.  But no orthodox theologian ever contends that we as individuals are actually guilty of it, or that any individual as an individual is guilty of it, save Adam himself.  The race suffers from it, and rightly, because the race was all in Adam and sinned in his sin; and individuals suffer from it, not because as individuals they had any hand in committing it, but because they are born with a tainted nature and of a degenerate race.  But individuals are never actually punished for it as if it were an actual sin committed by them as individuals, or held responsible for it, as for a personal fault.

                The Unitarian further objects to the the dogma of original sin, because he confounds it with the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity, which asserts that man is clean gone in iniquity, and is so utterly corrupt in his nature that he is incapable of a good thought or a good deed, and all his thoughts, words, and deeds are necessarily sins, and hateful to God.  But this Calvinistic doctrine is an exaggeration, and overstates the case.  Certain it is that the unregenerate can think no thought and perform no cat meritorious of eternal life, or that is good in relation to the supernatural end of man; but not therefore does it follow that all their thoughts and deeds are sins, or that they cannot perform acts that are good and merit a reward, as St. Augustine teaches, in the cosmic or natural order.  Indeed, men generally are weak rather than wicked.  The instances of great wickedness are rare, and even the most abandoned are seldom without some good traits, and seldom pass their lives without some acts not sinful.  If the Calvinistic statement were true, there would be an end of human society, of domestic affection, and of public spirit.  We do not believe our Calvinistic friends are as bad as they represent themselves, or that even Luther and Calvin, Cranmer and Knox were totally depraved.

                The inability of the unregenerate to merit eternal life, or to perform acts good in the palingenesiac order, asserted by all orthodox Christians, we have shown to be inherent in the cosmic nature of man.  It is not the effect of sin, and would have existed even if man had not sinned, as we have shown in demonstrating the necessity of the Incarnation to complete the first cycle and to initiate the second, or the return of man to God as his final cause.  Eternal life is in the return of man to God as his final cause, this return, and none but the regenerated, those who are born of Jesus Christ, ever can or ever could live this eternal life or do any thing to merit it.  Regeneration or the new birth was always necessary, and it is not made necessary either by orginal sin or by actual sin.  Adam was constituted in original justice and placed on the plane of his return to God, and had he stood there, and persevered to the end, he would have secured eternal life for himself, and, as is commonly held, for all his posterity.  But he was not constituted in that justice by his nature, or as cosmic Adam, and never could have transmitted it to his posterity by natural generation, as we have seen in the necessity of the Incarnation as the medium of man’s return to God as his final cause.  All he could have done would have been to transmit his integral nature.  He was elevated to that justice by supernatural grace, perhaps in the first instant of his creation; yet he was elevated to it by supernatural grace, and this elevation of nature, or placing man on the plane of his beatitude, which is God, and therefore supernatural, is precisely what is meant by regeneration.  Regeneration, was, therefore, as necessary in Adam innocent as in Adam fallen, and consequently even had he not sinned his posterity could never have entered into the order of eternal life without regeneration, or the new birth in Christ Jesus.  The reason of this is obvious, for our beatitude does not lie in the first cycle, the cosmos, the natural order, or order of natural regeneration, but in the second cycle, in the return to God as final cause, and God, whether as first cause or as last cause, is supernatural.  There is not and there never could have been a natural beatitude for man.  Natural beatitude is a created beatitude, and to suppose it would be to suppose that man can attain to his beatitude in the cosmos, in time, not in eternity, and without attaining to his end or last cause, while he is still on his way, a mere initial, inchoate existence, eternally below his destiny, which would be to suppose man finds his beatitude in what all Christian theology regards as hell!  We therefore maintain that the necessity of regeneration  is not created by sin, and therefore, as regeneration is possible only in the Incarnation, that God would, if he designed to consummate his work, have become incarnate even if man mad not sinned, although if man had not sinned, he would have come to suffer and die on the cross, or to redeem us and make satisfaction for our sins.

                But though man, even had he not sinned, could not have done any thing good in the order of eternal life without regeneration by the Holy Ghost in Christ, the incarnate God, who completes the first cycle and initiates the second, completes the cosmos and initiates palingenesia, as Adam initiates genesis or the order of generation; yet is original sin a fact very intelligible in itself and very ceratin.  Its accidents may not be always and everywhere the same, and the degeneracy of the race may be greater or less in some families, tribes, or nations than in others; and, though not so fatal a taint to our nature as Calvinistic exaggerations assert, yet the fact itself is universal and undeniable.   Our nature has evidently declined from its original rectitude, and is not now in its normal state.  It bears in itself the proofs of internal disorder, and that it lacks integrity, equilibrium.  It does not operate harmoniously, with the due concordance of the parts with one another, and with the whole.  It is out of joint.  The spirit lusteth against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit.  We see and approve the better, and yet follow the worse.  The appetites, passions, and affections do not move only as commanded by the understanding and the will, and are continually bringing both understanding and will into bondage, compelling them to be their slaves.  What our modern authors of fiction call strong will is usually nothing but strong passion, which has taken complete mastery of the man.  We evidently have lost what our theologians call natura integra, and our nature is evidently affected with a certain morbidity, which disorders it and renders it weak and infirm.  The fact of this morbidity is attested by universal experience, and experience equally attests that it is curable by no natural culture, however wise or judicious.  It is asserted in the universal traditions of the race, and without assuming it we can in no manner explain individual experience or the facts of history. 

                The fact of the transmission of sin by hereditary descent, or its propogation by natural generation, is easily enough understood, if we admit, as we should, the reality of genera and species, without which there could be no generation, and no original sin.  The difficulty the Unitarian feels under this head arises from his nominalism or conceptualism, which regards genera and species, the universals of the schoolmen, as empty words, or as mere concpetions or mental abstractions with no objective reality, or existence, out of the mind that conceives them.  With the Unitarian, humanity, when not taken in the sense of a moral quality, is either a simple aggregation of individuals, or a mere mental abstraction or generalization, without existence, as the schoolmen say, a parte rei.  But genera and species – universals – are not mere empty words, as Rosceline asserted, nor mere mental conceptions, without objective reality, as Abelard taught, but are objectively real, as the old realists, with Guillaume de Champeaux at their head, maintained, though not, as they are said to have maintained, entities that can exist separately without individuation or individuals.  There is in the Unitarian body today a decided tendency to pantheism.  Modern philosophy has pretty generally exploded both nominalism and conceptualism, and led to the reassertion of what Plato and some of the Greek fathers call the methexis.  So far all is well.  But our heterodox philosophers, in rehabilitating the Platonic ideas, and in asserting the reality of universals, or genera and species, confound them with the ideas and types in the divine mind, and this make the methexic ideal, and the ideal of God, or, in other words, make genera and species identical with the essence of God, which is pure pantheism.  They do not understand that methexis is methexis, that is a participation of the divine ideas, or essence, mediante the divine creative act, so that the methexic is as much a creature as the mimetic or the individual.   

                Genera and species have their ideas and types in the divine essence, and participate in them through the creative act; but they are creations, and distinguishable from God, as are all creatures.  They are real existences, but not existences subsisting separately from the individual.  The race is distinguishable, but not separable from the individual.  The race and the individual are alike real, but the one is never without the other.  There are no men without man, and no man without men, or man individuated.  Hence we read in Genesis: “And God created man in his own image; in his own image created he him; male and female created he them;”  that is, he created man as a race in a generative or productive individual.  In generation the race is propogated, and individuals multiplied; but the generation or multiplication adds nothing to the race, which was entire in Adam; it only explicates or develops it.  Adam was generically all men, and all men are generically Adam.  What we can affirm of Adam as the race, we can affirm of all men generically.  If the race was tainted in him, it is necessarily tainted in all born of him, unless preserved by some special miracle of divine grace, as Pius IX has affirmed to have been the fact in the case of the Blessed Virgin, for the race is one and identical in all men, in Adam and all born of him.  All generation is in one and the same race, and the generated and the generator have one and the same nature.  We saw this when treating the mystery of the Trinity.  Adam could generate only his own nature, and that nature having been tainted by his sin, he could generate only that tainted nature.  To say that the race is degenerate in all men is only saying that it was degenerate in Adam, the progenitor of all.  The race was all in him; if it fell in him it necessarily fell in all, and that assertion of original sin is, if we consider it well, only the assertion that the race sinned and fell in Adam, or that Adam’s sin tainted his nature.  Recognize the objective reality and unity of the race, which implies a real, not merely a conevanted or arbitrarily decreed solidarity of all men with Adam, and the objections to the dogma of original sin are removed, and we are obliged to assert it if we assert that Adam sinned, for as he was the race, he could not sin without the race partaking in his sin.

                We may now approach the atonement, or the mystery of Redemption.  The Unitarian objects to it, that it is unnecessary, unjust, and impossible.  It is, he says, as easy for God to forgive directly the sinner on repentance and amendment of life without satisfaction, as it is indirectly, be sending his Son to make the satisfaction.  The sinner gives and God receives nothing in the one case that he does not in the other.  God is the creditor, and he is not paid by taking the amount due him from his left hand and putting it into his right hand, or by paying himself out of his own funds.  It is unjust to lay on Jesus Christ, who was innocent, the penalty of man’s transgressions, and impoosible that he should pay it and obtain the sinner’s discharge, for the sentence was, “Thou shalt surely die,” not “Thou shalt surely die unless another is found to die in thy stead.”  God could undoubtedly have forgiven the sinner directly on simple repentance and amendment of life, if he had so chosen, and in fact, he does so forgive, and forgives no one otherwise.  They who persevere and die in their sins, die unforgiven, unredeemed, and suffer the consequences of original sin and their actual sins, an everlasting exclusion from heaven, and the tortures of their exile.  But the simple pardon of individuals, as supposed, would not have redeemed human nature itself, and restored it to moral health and soundness, without which regeneration is impossible.  The nature must be healed, at least in the logical order, before it can be regenerated or elevated, and it must be regenerated before it can return to God as its final cause, - a fact Calvinistic theology tries, but not successfully, to indicate by making justification precede sanctification.  Redemption precedes logically regeneration, so that regeneration without redemption is impossible, and therefore the race, since it had fallen in Adam, must be redeemed in Christ before individuals could be regenerated in him, placed on the plane of their return to God.

                Justice is revolted, not satisfied, by the punishment of the innocent for the guilty, and laying the penalty on the innocent cannot release him who has actually incurred it, we concede, if understood mimetically, as the Unitarian always understands it.  The principal of vicarious suffering and vicarious merit is methexic, not mimetic, and implies the reality and unity of the race, as we have already explained, and consequently the real solidarity of the head and members.  In the cosmos, or first cycle, stands at the head of the race the individual Adam, immediately and directly created by the creative act of God.  Natural generation by which individuals are born in the mimetic order, only explicates or develops Adam, and brings out what was in him, or what in the methexis Adam is.  He was the entire human race, and the race, as to the first cycle, was complete in him.  Hence his sin was original sin, and in his fall fell the race.  At the head of the race in the second cycle, palingenesia, stands the second Adam, Christ the Lord from heaven, no more produced by natural generation than was the first Adam.  The hypostasis or hypostatic union of the two natures in the unity of his divine person, is by the direct and immediate creative act of God, and that act carried to its apex.  In him, as in Adam, is the entire human race, for he assumed man himself, and the regeneration is the explication or development of what was in him from the instant of his assumption of humanity.  He is, therefore, in the second cycle or teleological order, methexically all men, and all men are methexically in him; and hence what he does in his human nature is done by man in him; and what is done by man is done methexically by all men, because all men are methexically man, and only man.

                The human nature our Lord assumed was that very nature which fell in Adam; and in assuming it he assumed all its liabilities, therefore its duties, and the penalties it had incurred, though himself was without sin.  In expiating in his humanity the offences of man by his life, sufferings, and death, or his obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, it was not another expiating for man, but man expiating in his head his own offences, suffering the penalty he had incurred, and yielding the perfect obedience he owed.  It was not one man atoning for antoher, but man become God atoning, methexically atoning for himself.

                This disposes of the alleged injustice and impossibility of the atonement or Redemption through Jesus Christ.  It also disposes of the Protestant doctrine of imputation, whether imputed guilt or imputed merit.  God is truth, and cannot impute guilt where it is not, or justice to one who is not intrinsically just.  Neither guilt nor justice is transferable.  God punishes sin in him who commits it, and rewards merit in him who has it.  So far the Unitarian in his protest against Calvinism is right.  Certainly we are redeemed and justified by the merits of Jesus Christ, but only on the ground of our solidarity with him, our real participation in them as his members, as the members participate in whatever affects their head.  We must be literally in him, really joined to him as our head, so that he and we are methexically one, living one and the same identical life, else we have and can have no share in his merits.  His merits avail us only as they are ours as well as his, and ours in that they are his.  We have shown how this is possible by what we call the solidarity of the race, or what in the teleological order order, or palingenesia, is called theologically “the communion of saints.”  He who grasps this solidarity of Christ and his members, will grasp the radical conception of the church as an organism, not merely an organization, and understand what St. Augustine means, when he says the church is the whole Christ, - Ecclesia totus est Christus.

                But we must not lose sight of the fact that the second cycle is teleologic, while the first Adam is initial; or that while the first is the father of the order of generation, the second is the father of the order of regeneration, or the order of the return of the existence to God as their final cause.  The race is equally complete in both, but while its explication in the first Adam is by natural generation, its explication in the second Adam is by GRACE.  Though the race is redeemed in Christ, and the methexic man is restored to original justice, men as individuals, or mimetically considered, do not participate in it by natural generation, as they do in original sin, because they are not by natural generation born of Christ.  As they partake of original sin by being born of Adam, so they partake of original justice to which the race is restored by redemption by being reborn of Jesus Christ; but, as this rebirth is in the order of return, and is the initiation into the second cycle, it can be only a rebirth by grace, for the reasons already given when treating of the mystery of the Incarnation.

                The Redemption, though complete for the race, methexically perfect, is effected in individuals only as they are joined to Christ as real members of him, begotten in him by the Holy Ghost; for not otherwise are they solidaires with him, or his merits their merits.  No individuals are redeemed as individuals, except as they are regenerated.  Hence redemption and regeneration are mimetically coincident, - a fact which has led many theologians to maintain that if man had not sinned, God would not have become incarnate.  As the redemption of the race is a necessary condition of regeneration, since the race has fallen, and as the practical application of the atonement to individuals and the regeneration take place in the same gracious act, the primary object of the Incarnation has been supposed to be Redemption.  But we have shown that the Incarnation would have been necessary even if man had not sinned, that it was an essential part of the original plan of the Creator, that its primary object was the regeneration and the glorification of man by raising his nature to be the nature of God, and enabling him to attain to the end for which he was created, and that redemption was secondary, as having been rendered necessary by man’s sin, to repair the damage caused by transgression.  Hence, also, as only in being united to Christ by the new birth do men actually share in the redemption.  Calvinists and Jansenists have held that God died only for the elect, which is mimetically true; but as the entire race was assumed by the Word and redeemed, it is more proper to say that he died to redeem all, for the actual redemption of all was made possible, since all individuals were potentially redeemed in its redemption.  In the mimesis the redemption is limited; in the methexis it is universal.

                We have said the explication or rebirth of the race in Christ is by Grace.  It could not be otherwise, since the return of man to God is not in the natural order.  Man’s end is God as final cause, and God either as first cause or as final is always supernatural.  Man has necessarily his origin and his end in the supernatural.  But the grace of regeneration is, since man has sinned, conditioned on the grace of redemption, a grace always gratuitious, as say the theologians, for God could, if disposed, have left man in the state where he had placed himself by his own sin.  God is not, therefore, obliged by his own justice to render the grace of redemption effectual in the case of all individuals.  Therefore the new birth is not only not by natural generation, is not only by grace, but by the election of grace, and those whom he predestinates to be redeemed, regenerated, and finally glorified, are called the elect.  The grace is freely offered to all; but grace can be successfully resisted by human liberty, which must be respected, because in either cycle the explication is by the concreative concurrence of the human will.  Though Christ died for all, and redeemed all potentially, it does not necessarily follow that all will enter the palingenesia, or that all who enter it will persevere therein to the end, and actually attain to their final cause.  Those who do not, remain necessarily forever in the first cycle, with a mere cosmic existence, and therefore initial, inchoate, forever below their destiny, which is the hell of Christian theology, precisely the heathen and the Unitarian heaven.  But these will have only themselves to blame.

                There are several other points, such as irresistible grace, election and reprobation, or predestination and human freedom, which we intended on commencing to discuss at length, but which we must reserve for a future article.  Even many points on which we have touched demand for the majority of readers, we fear, a much fuller elucidation than we have given them, and they will be taken up again hereafter.  There also are depths in the mysteries we have glanced at, and within the reach of the understanding, to which we have not penetrated or attempted to penetrate.  We are perfectly aware that we have done nothing like justice to the great subject we have opened, and our main object in opening it has been to revive what is almost a forgotten science amongst us.  But we think we have shown the importance of distinguishing – not separating – between the extrinsic and the intrinsic reasons for believing the mysteries of our holy faith.  We do not pretend to have demonstrated the intrinsic truth of the mysteries, nor have we undertaken to do it; but we have shown, unless we greatly deceive ourselves, that, though superintelligible, they are not unintelligible, or without analogy in what we know and are sure of; that they are not only not unresonable, but reasonable, and what reason herself demands as her complement.  They, then, are not incredible, but credible, and provable by an ordinary degree of external testimony. 

                We do not regard the argument from intrinsic reason alone as sufficient, and we rely on it only so far as to prove that the mysteries are intrinsically credible.  To complete it, it is necessary to join to it the argument from extrinsic authority.  We would present the intrinsic part first, for it prepares the way for the extrinsic.  Moreover, for the heterodox brought up even in a nominally Christian land, little more is necessary than to remove the a priori objections to the mysteries, or the antecedent difficulties in the way of believing them.  The external authority is given virtually in Christian civilization.  Remove the prohibentia, and the main trained in Christian civilization asks little more.  Few want reasons for believing, when their reasons for not believing are removed.  We shall never forget our joy when we found our objections to the old faith of Christendom, one after another, giving way, and began to see that we too might believe, and might enter the communion of saints, and claim kindred with the saints and martyrs of all climes and ages.  Unbelief is a natural state, a state of violence, and no man who is a man, is at ease in it.  The human mind, as soon as relieved of the pressure of unbelief, springs back to faith, and joys to be once more in its normal state.