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ity in both its appointed conditions; in its sufferings first, and afterwards in its glory." “ They seem to have felt themselves, at times, transformed into his image, so that the language, whether of hope or of devotion, which they uttered in their own persons, beginning in a tone suited to their own condition, as God's servants indeed, but yet compassed about with sin and infirmity, swelled gradually into a fuller and higher, such as became God's perfect servant and him only.” “ The human writer's own circumstances formed the ground-work. ..... so that he who lived and suffered and hoped, only in his own human and imperfect measure, was yet, in his words, by the power of God's Spirit, enabled to be, if I may so speak, as Christ himself.”
One statement more may be quoted as a sort of summary of our author's general views of the higher import of the prophecies. “ Looking at them, not from the time and country of their human writer, but from our own, from that period which the Scripture speaks of as the age to come, from the period of Christ's kingdom, we learn to substitute the realities of the spiritual world in the place of their historical symbols or images ; sacrifice, priesthood, temple, the holy city, the Israel of God, Israel's enemies, Israel's prophets, kings, and deliverers, shake off as it were, the earthly garments which had concealed their true nature, and stand forth before us as they are. Then the language of Prophecy appears no longer hyperbolical; no tongue of man has described, nor heart of man conceived such a holiness or such a glory, but a greater than either is here. Then looking at the pictures of human suffering, so true an image of our actual condition, and of human exaltation, so lively an echo to our instinctive hopes, and finding that both were combined and more than realized in the death and resurrection of Christ our Lord; we understand how the prophecies have in their highest sense been fulfilled already, and we perceive, through the declaration of Christ's Gospel, how we ourselves may hope to have our portion also in this fulfilment; for it is Christ's will, that those whom God has given him should be with him where he is, and should be. hold and share his glory.”!
Bible Doctrine. The system which Dr. Arnold received, loved, and taught, was in its main features the so-called Evangelical. He did not class himself with the Evangelicals as a party in the English Church. He speaks of them from time to time in terms almost or quite contemptuous, for their supposed “ignorance and narrow-mindedness,” their “shunning" liberal 6 studies as profane," their “ bibliolatry, especially toward the Old Testament.” The language his Biographer uses is, that "he was constantly repelled" from them “by his strong sense of the obstacles which (as he thought,) their narrow views and technical phraseology, were forever opposing to the real and practical application of the Old and New Testament, as the remedy of the great wants of the age, social, moral, and intellectual." This last cause would seem to have operated more powerfully than any other. From his favorite views in regard to the Church they were, of course, at a wide remove.
But in one use of the word, as opposed to Socinian or Unitarian, he was, in the main, most deeply and heartily Evangelical : disposed indeed to believe that some of the · Unitarians might be Churchmen at heart, notwithstanding their doctrinal errors, but setting himself against these in the most earnest manner; and thinking many of the men, in England at least, little better than Deists.3 “ As to the Unitarian interpretations of St. Paul and St. John," he says, “they are really such monstrosities of extravagance, that to any one used to the critical study of the ancient writers, they appear too bad to have been maintained in earnest. And thus wherever Unitarianism has existed, together with
1 The preceding citations are all from the Notes and Appendix to the Sermons on Prophecy in the first volume of Arnold's Sermous.
2 Life and Correspondence, pp. 63, 154, 185, 171.
any knowledge of criticism or philology, as in Germany, it has at once been assumed that the Apostles were not infallible, and that they overrated the dignity of Christ's person. So impossible is it to doubt what St. John meant in so many passages of his Gospel, and what St. Paul meant in so many passages of his Epistles.”!
Christ and his Work. Evidence has already appeared that to Dr. Arnold, Christ was the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He saw in him the realization of all human hope, and adopted Thomas's exclamation as his own. All his principles of interpreting the Bible, as we have seen, point to Christ as the infinite and perfect One. He adored and trusted in Him as such, with a full and glowing heart. “In Him,” he says, “ God has spoken to man face to face: with Abraham, on the plain of Mamre; with Moses, on "Mt. Sinai; again with Moses and Elijah, on Mt. Tabor; with His chosen Apostles, for weeks and months together, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee."? “ We cannot come to God directly; we require one to be to us in the place of God. But one in the place of God and not God, is, as it were, a falsehood; it is the mother falsehood from which all idolatry is derived. The mystery of Christianity has met this necessity of our nature, and at the same time has avoided the evil of the falsehood. We have one who is to us in the place of God, but who is also God truly; — we have one whom we may approach, although we cannot approach God; for he is also truly man.” “Does then Revelation undo its own work, and after having labored to teach us to worship God only, and to lose all differences between creature and creature in the infinite difference between all creatures and the Creator, does it mean again to fix our minds and affections upon a creature, to bid us love and fear him religiously, to believe in him and put our trust in him, to look to him in life and, in death, as the Lord of Heaven and Earth: whereas, he, no less than ourselves, is the work of God's hands and therefore removed to a far greater difference from God than he can by any superiority of nature be from us, his fellow creatures? Revelation would thus undo its own work if Jesus Christ of Nazareth were indeed a man, and no more. Or go much higher still: exalt him ever so highly — above the highest angel — to a perfection which shall seem to our eyes infinite — still if it be not infinite, - if however exalted, He be yet only a creature, one of those who were because it was God's will that they should be; then also Revelation undoes its own work; then it teaches us practically to have more gods than one; it revives that very instinct of our nature which it had condemned, the oftener, namely, to dwell more upon the differences between the lower creatures and the higher, than on that infinite difference which exists between the highest creature and God, by whom he was created.”!
i Sermons, vol. 2, p. 99.
2 Fragment on the Church, p. 17., Vol. XV. No. 57.
With equal distinctness he sets forth the Evangelical view of the Atonement. “He suffered for the Church, not only as man may suffer for man, by being involved in evils through the fault of another, and by his example awakening in others a spirit of like patience and self-devotion; but in a higher and more complete sense, as suffering for them, the just for the unjust, that they, for His sake, should be regarded by God as innocent." The atonement was revealed to us," “ in order to convey to us, in the most forcible manner, notions of God's perfect holiness, and His perfect love." “ To show us that it was no little thing to break God's laws, a penalty, we are told, must be paid, and that so vast a one, that all the world would be unable to pay it. But He whose justice would not remit it lest we should be encouraged to offend, Himself undertook to pay it, that He might so fulfil all His love toward us. Himself undertook to pay it: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself: or in order to show the same thing as fully as possible, and yet
i Sermons on Interpretation, 134, 435.
keep out of sight the notion of Godhead being capable of suffering, it is said, God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, – that is, the most precious thing that a human father could give, supposing it were impossible to give himself.”
Human Sinfulness. Dr. Arnold always speaks of sin, like a man in earnest. Nothing is more characteristic of him than his vivid sense of moral evil. “In a deep sense of moral evil,” he says, “more, perhaps than in anything else, abides a saving knowl. edge of God.”2 “ The feeling of thinking lightly of sin is one which belongs to our times ; it is one of the evils which seem to accompany naturally a high state of civilization. As all things about us are softened, so are our judgments of our own souls. I need not say that Christ's death shows sin to be an exceeding evil."'3 Like Dr. Chalmers, he is doing all proper homage to human virtue, but in many places denies that it will avail before God. “We were made for our Maker's glory ; ..... that we should live in Him, and for Him, and to Him ..... If we answer these ends, then we are good creatures; if we do not, we are bad creatures; nor does it matter how many other good or amiable qualities we may possess, like the blossoms and leaves of a barren fruit tree; we are bad of our kind, if we do not bring forth fruit. .... This is the corruption of nature, which makes us evil in the sight of God; which makes the imagination of our hearts in his judgment to be evil from our youth."3" The actions of whole days and weeks, passed as they are by too many in utter carelessness, are nothing but one mass of sin; no one thing in them has been sanctified by the thought of God or of Christ.” “ Alas who or what is it that we do not love heartily and constantly, except that vile and worthless and hateful thing,
| Sermons on Interpretation, pp. 474, 475. 2 Life and Correspondence, 478. 3 Christian Life, Its Hopes, etc., p. 116. American edition. 4 Sermons, vol. 1, pp. 29, 30.