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in their hands, and each becometh wise in his own work. Though they be not sought for in the public counsel, nor sit upon the seat of judgment, though they understand not the covenant of judgment and be not found among them that utter dark sayings, yet without these shall not a city be inhabited, nor shall men sojourn and go up and down therein. For these maintain the fabric of the world, and in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer.” We all wish, when we

' stop to think of it, that there was more material in the Bible that sounded this same note. In the New Testament again, we look wistfully for more recognition of beauty, and of the power of knowledge and the joy of the attainment of it. To say that the Bible is a unique book is not to say that everything valuable to the spirit of man has been said between its covers, but it is to say that the Bible, taken as a whole, is richer in spiritual helpfulness than any other literature. This statement depends for its validity not upon any theory of where the Bible came from or how it was written, but the observed facts of history and personal experience. And if the uniqueness of the Bible is thus shown upon these grounds to be obvious and undisputed, why should we burden ourselves with theories of inspiration whose only aim is to prove something much more strongly established than are these theories themselves?

If now we approach the person of Jesus Christ from this same point of view in regard to revelation, his place among men is clear at a glance. For this place, again, does not depend upon fine-spun theories as to his nature or his origin, but (as in the case of the Bible) his place of precedence is established in the court of history and human experience. It is an undisputed fact that Jesus has made God real to more people, made them feel as if they understood him, and reconciled them from their estrangement to him than any other man, and to a degree, and in a manner, quite peculiar to himself. That makes plain and shows how Jesus is the supreme revelation of God. We read what he says and we say, “That is the word of God.” We read his character and we say, "That is what God is like.” God is revealed, as I said, in humanity. He is revealed in your father and your mother. He was revealed in Joan of Arc, in Francis of Assisi, in Abraham Lincoln,-we know more about God, we think otherwise of him, because such men as these have lived. God is revealed in people. But if he is revealed even in ordinary people, then he is more revealed in human personalities whose characters tell more of him, and who act more nearly in accord with him. Again, if he is revealed more fully in those who are conscious of his presence and consistently strive to do his will, then that man, whoever he was, who more than any and all others, lived in the constant consciousness of his presence, and from first to last knew no alienation from him nor shadow of difference with him, but whose spirit was one with his, gave the world in this way, its supreme revelation of God. That individual is Jesus Christ. And when we want to know God to the uttermost, we go not to Abraham Lincoln, nor to Francis of Assisi, nor to Savonarola, but where all these men themselves went, to Jesus Christ. When we are stranded and all the tides of life are running out from us, it is Jesus that gets us off and onto the high seas again. When we are shipwrecked, it is Jesus that gets us home. He is the supreme revelation of

. God. No proposal has ever been made to substitute

anyone else for him. There are no candidates for his place in the reverence and love of mankind. He is the supreme revelation of God.

But this is only another way of saying that he is divine. For no instrument can reveal anything that does not belong to and is not part and parcel of itself. God could not reveal God unless he were God. Jesus could not, therefore, reveal God unless God had dwelt in him. As I understand it, this is what we must mean, ultimately, on this principle of revelation by incarnation, by the divinity of Christ;—not that he came into the world in the way we did or in some other, but that God dwelt supremely in him,—not that he could do things with his physical hands (like multiplying the loaves and fishes), or with his physical feet, (like walking on the water) which no other human being has done,—but that God dwelt supremely in him. If God were to live a human life this is the kind of life he would live. And since God does live, more or less, in every human life, then we must say more than that "If he were to live a human life this is the sort of life He would live”, we must say that He did live in unparalleled fullness in this one human life. Jesus, we say, was divine. There is a sense in which every man is divine,-a degree to which he is divine. But the uniqueness of Jesus, and our sense of the difference that sets him off from the rest of us, are well exhibited in the simple fact that we always assert his divinity without stopping to claim anything of the same kind for ourselves. I have never known a man to say, “You are divine, I am divine, my wife and children are divine, AND Jesus is divine." To stop to draw another distinction here between divinity in nature and divinity in character, or to refine upon the dis

tinction between a difference in degree and a difference in kind, seems to me unnecessary. It is enough, that as a matter of fact, people do obtain from Jesus a revelation of God such as they find in no other man, and that this revelation of God that came through him can only mean that God dwelt supremely in him, and that he was divine. Say what you will of other men, if God did not dwell in Jesus, then God has never been seen in this earth, never manifested himself, never had anything to do with human life, never revealed himself, but is a mere abstraction and a name which need not in the least concern us. The divinity of Christ, so far as I can see, is an objective, an historical and well-verified fact. But it is a moral and spiritual fact, not a physical one. Therefore it rests not on miracles performed by him or upon him, but on the manner of his life and the quality of his spirit.

And it is the divinity of a being, who does not cease to be human in order to be divine. Otherwise it means nothing to us. I suppose the time has come to be frank about matters of this sort. I preached for thirty years without feeling that it was necessary to talk in the pulpit about the story of the virgin birth of Jesus. And I would consider it still unnecessary if there were not a party in the Christian church, which insists that the virgin birth and the divinity of Jesus stand or fall together. A metropolitan preacher has only to question the story of the virgin birth, for headlines to appear in the newspapers which say, "He has denied the divinity of Christ.” City editors are not conscious of any absurdity or superficiality in this statement. It is significant, also, to find that the story of the virgin birth is to the average newspaper reporter synonymous with the divinity of Jesus, and to question one is to question the other. Now no one can examine the New Testament carefully and not discover for himself that Jesus never spoke of his birth from a virgin; nor did his mother; nor Joseph; nor Paul, to whom the doctrine of a virgin birth would have been extremely welcome; nor Peter, who knew Jesus as well as any man did; nor Mark, his earliest biographer; nor John. We have, let it be freely admitted, to use the argument from silence with much caution. But there are important pieces of information that people should not keep quiet about if they know of them. And if there was this one fact that differentiated Jesus from any and all other men, and upon which in times to come would hang the security of the church and the safety of individual souls, surely Jesus himself or Mary or Joseph or some of the many people who knew the story intimately would have spoken about it in some unequivocal way and put the fact of the virgin birth forever beyond dispute. There are many incidents that a biographer might think it unnecessary to relate about Jesus. But how could a biographer of Jesus like Mark or John have known or heard the story of the virgin birth from reliable sources and have failed to mention it? The simple truth is that the entire New Testament contains but two references to this whole matter of the virgin birth. These two references are in the prologues, introductions to the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Later in these gospels the reference is never repeated but the main narrative completely ignores the story which has been told in their prologues. For that very reason, as well as for others these two prologues have often been suspected of being later additions to the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Inasmuch as the genealogies

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