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anointed.” (Hab. iii.) This fearful disease is said to have been generally preceded by earthquakes in India ; and in the present year, when it reached Vienna, was preceded by a violent hurri
And the Prussian State Gazette says, " During the past summer, and particularly in the month of July, it had been noticed that the water of the Baltic had acquired an extraordinary degree of heat, which frequently exceeded that of the air. From this phenomenon, and from many others, naturalists have drawn the conclusion, that there is a general derangement of the earth, which may have produced the miasma which has manifested itself in so many quarters.”
Ten years ago it was observed, that this cholera travelled in the teeth of the monsoon, at the rate of ten miles a day, shewing it was not in the atmosphere. From every thing we have heard respecting this disease, it seems more like some destroying angel sent by God, than any thing that has appeared in modern times ; and it would seem to be final, for it is generally admitted that it has never been eradicated from any place where it has once forced an entrance. This disease is indisputably new, and no specific for its cure has yet been discovered. It is very improperly named Cholera ; for it is a species of fever, of such virulence that it usually kills the patient in the cold fit, with which the disease begins; and the only medical hope is derived from bringing on the hot fit as soon as possible, attending at the same time to the other morbid symptoms. This fever, in addition to its greater virulence and rapidity, is appalling from its being so unsparing of rank, and so unchecked by climate. It is not, like other fevers, confined to the abodes of penury, and the impurity which want engenders, but attacks all. And it is not confined to tropical climates alone, but was raging at once at St. Petersburgh, and at Mecca; has stretched from the banks of the Ganges to the Elbe; and has shewn equal virulence on the shores of the Baltic and the Indian sea. The strong holds of Infidelity and of the Papacy, France, Italy, and Spain, have not yet been visited ; and they may be reserved for the heavier and the instant doom, of burning coals beneath the feet of Jehovah. Let Britain, then, take warning, and humble herself before the Lord, like David at the threshing-floor of Araunah. The plague may yet be stayed, for the Lord is merciful. We may yet become an ark of safety for God's people, and witnesses for him in the midst of the judgments. But if we refuse, as a nation, to repent, God will destroy us as a nation. He will deliver those individuals who sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land, as he delivered Lot from Sodom; but all the hardened sinners will be swallowed up in one indiscriminate destruction. "Turn ye, turn ye: why will ye die, O sons of men !"
DODS ON THE INCARNATION.
But these very
On the Incarnation of the Eternal Word; by the Rev. Marcus
Dods, Belford. We have read this book with very deep interest, attracted by the great, the all-important doctrine which its title suggests, and led on by the very weighty truths with which it is enriched, though these truths are encumbered and tarnished by many mistakes and many errors.
The mistakes regard doctrines which some of our friends have promulgated, and which, under a misapprehension both of the tenor and history of these doctrines, Mr. Dods opposes as a new system of theology; and the errors concern his own counter-statements, of what he regards as the true conclusions and the orthodox faith. mistakes and errors have greatly added to our interest in the book, since they have enabled us better to understand where the stumbling-block lies, which we shall endeavour to remove; and have convinced us, also, that it is possible to hold truth up to a certain point, and then stop short, or turn aside from the conclusions which seem to us direct and inevitable. This anomaly in some former writings of the kind had led us to suppose that there must have been two persons employed ; one of whom perceived the truth, but did not follow out the conclusion ; while another, who perceived not the truth, drew out a conclusion the very opposite of what should have followed from the premises. But this book has convinced us of our mistake'; for here we find statements of fundamental doctrine perfectly correct, and yet all the deductions erroneous-some of them in flat contradiction to what has gone before.
In one particular this book is entitled to unqualified praise,-it is wholly free from personality. Mr. Dods has shewn proper sense of the gravity and dignity which become his station as a minister and the great subject he discusses. We sincerely applaud him for the example he has thus given, and are convinced that he himself, and those who follow him in thus confining their attention to the doctrines alone without regarding the persons by whom these doctrines are promulgated, will be led into all truth; will find the reward of their forbearance in the enjoyment of peace here; and, if they follow on to know the Lord and obey his commandments, shall attain the eternal joys of the world to come.
All parties, with whom a Christian would hold controversy, are agreed in the general statements of the doctrine of the Incarnation: all such persons would confess that Jesus of Nazareth was Son of the living God; all would confess that he was truly God and truly man in one person subsisting. But when we proceed to
VOL. IV.NO, II.
particulars, and define what is meant by Son of God and Son of Man, and, in the terms of the Athanasian Creed, assert Christ to be both “God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds, and Man of the substance of his mother, born in the world," many, who admit the general terms, shrink back from the definition. Some of these, like our first opponent in print, confessing that such is the doctrine, not only of the Athanasian but of all the Creeds, boldly reject them all, and avow their belief that Christ no more partook of the substance or nature of his mother, than an acorn does of the soil in which it is sown. Others, with less hardihood, but just as far from truth and orthodoxy, said that the body of our Lord was a new creation, totally unlike to our bodies in its properties, though similar in form. Others again, desiring to be orthodox, but ill-informed on the subject, thought that our Lord might take flesh of the substance of his mother and yet have a body such as that of Adam was before the Fall : and others, with absurdity hardly credible till their conduct avowed it, adopted with applause that outrage upon common sense which was perpetrated by a man who first published a pamphlet asserting that the body of Christ was not, and could not be, mortal, and then, because without the death of Christ there could be no atonement, published a second pamphlet to explain the meaning of the " adjective mortal” so as to make it truly applied to the death of other men, but not to the death of Christ!!! Many other such vagaries have been published, which we notice only to state that neither our time nor our limits could allow of our following such writers, to refute their nonsense, and not with any intention of classing the present work among such productions.
The orthodox doctrine on the Incarnation, and that which it has been our constant endeavour to maintain, is clearly stated and briefly argued in the preliminary observations (p. 42, &c.) which we have great pleasure in transcribing. • That Christ was truly the Son of Mary, and took his flesh of her substance, is a most important point of Christian doctrine, and may be proved by the following arguments. If he took not a body of
the substance of his mother, then was his whole life one con• tinued scene of deception. Not only did Mary call him her
son, but he called her his mother..... Now if Mary was not as ' truly his mother, as any other woman is the mother of her
child, his recognising her as his mother, from the beginning to • the end of his life, was in reality a deception.....Again, if he took not the flesh of Mary, then is he no brother, no kinsman of ours, and his right of redemption altogether fails. In this case, he not only is not David's Son, but he is not the Son of • Man at all, as he almost uniformly calls himself-deceptively, it must be admitted, unless Mary was truly his mother.
Neither, in this case, could we with any truth be said to be «"members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones," if in
reality his body was a different substance, and derived from a different source, from ours. Moreover, he could not call us C“ brethren," any more than we can apply that appellation to the angels that surround the throne of God, or to the worm that creepeth in the dust. Fellow-creatures they are; but without an entire community of nature, our “ brethren” they are not. And when we are required to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, we are required to do what is not merely a moral, but a physical • impossibility, if there lie between us and him the utterly
impassable barrier of a different nature. If he took not his fleshly substance of the flesh of his mother, then, not being as truly man as we are, he could not fairly meet and conquer our oppressor; or, at least, his victory can give no assurance of victory to us. For, to express a very common sentiment in the language of Irenæus, “ Had he not been man who conquered our enemy, he would not have been fairly conquered ; and on the other hand, had he not been God who gave us the victory, we could hold it upon no secure tenure." And, finally, if he
took not flesh of the substance of Mary, then was he not truly ««the woman's Seed,” and the great original promise, upon
which all subsequent promises are built, remains as yet un* fulfilled. But it is not more essential that the serpent's head
should be bruised at all, than that it should be bruised by the ! “ woman's Seed.” Hence if Christ was not truly and really ' the “ woman's Seed,” then the whole foundation of our hopes fails.'
With all this it is almost superfluous to say that we entirely agree ; and also with wbat follows, on the necessity of maintaining that Christ took a reasonable soul, according to the Athanasian Creed. “That our Lord had a reasonable soul, seems to • be sufficiently proved by the fact that he was made man; for * this would not be true if he had only a human body; because a
human body is not a man, but only part of a man. 'ment commonly urged by the Fathers against the Apollinarians
seems also to be perfectly decisive. They maintained, that • there was the same reason for his taking a soul as for his
taking a body; for the soul had sinned, and needed redemption • as well as the body. Thus one of them, urging that if that • which is inferior in man was assumed that it might be sanc* tified by the Incarnation, for the same reason must that which • is superior in man have been assumed, says, “ If the clay was • leavened and became a new mass, 0 ye wise ones, shall not the image be leavened and mingled with God, being deified by the Divinity ?”' p. 46. This last passage, unless taken ironically, inculcates palpable
error. And that Mr, Dods takes it seriously is shewn by a note, in which he says, of this and a similar passage, This lan'guage, if rigidly interpreted, would lead to error; as there could
be no mingling of the Divinity and humanity; but to an error ' in direct opposition to that which maintains the sinfulness of
our Lord's humanity.' If it be error, as it surely is, away with it at once, whatever it may oppose. But let us now consider the above.
We are, it seems, quite agreed that the manhood," of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting,” which our Lord took at his incarnation, was in all respects identically the same in nature with that of his brethren: for, as Mr. Dods justly argues in the above, “without an entire community of nature," brethren
they are not :" and a “different nature would place between us and him " an "utterly impassable barrier.” It is fully granted, then, that the human nature which Christ assumed had an “entire community” with ours; that he took “a body of the substance of his mother," and that “there was the same reason for his taking a soul as for his taking a body*.” But if the “nature ” and the body” and “the soul ” had "entire community” with ours, were “ of the same substance," and
not derived from a different source," wherefore are we blamed for attributing to this humanity the same natural properties with that “substance” of which it was confessedly a part ?-properties common to the flesh of all mankind, and without which it would not be man, or son of man-it would not hold of Adam. It is ridiculous to attempt evading this conclusion by saying that the nature never fell: mankind all fell in Adam, their federal head. Christ came to recover a kind, by becoming their federal head : the kind to be recovered were fallen : he took of their " substance a true body and a reasonable soul”-took it, of course, as he found it-and redeemed it in taking it. For when Adam fell, the whole world and its contents fell too : God said, “ Cursed is the ground for thy sake;" and we know that " the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
This conclusion, however, which seems to us so inevitable, is evaded, through a misunderstanding of the annunciation to Mary, “ Therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God;" and we find this strange and contradictory conclusion at page 53 of these very Preliminary Observations:-—Upon the whole, the verse in which the angel announces 'the incarnation does so very clearly shew that the flesh of Christ * did differ' (though it had just before been said his body was not different) from the flesh of other men, and shews also so distinctly
* An entire nature, under the conditions of the fall, but without sin or impurity.