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The Person Of Christ by Philip Schaff


This modern French author, in a work entitled |Le Christ et la Conscience,| Paris, 1859 (which I know only from reviews and extracts), assails the doctrine of the sinlessness of Christ, and tries to show that his answers to his mother (Luke ii.49, and John ii.4), the expulsion of the profane traffickers from the temple, the cursing of the unfruitful fig-tree, the destruction of the herd of swine at Gadara, his bitter invective against the Pharisees, and his apparent refusal of the epithet good, indicate certain moral defects or imperfections in his character. Notwithstanding this studied attempt to disprove the sinless perfection of Christ, he feels constrained to make the following remarkable concession (p.245-247), as quoted in the Dutch work of Dr. van Oosterzee of Utrecht, on the |Person of Christ:| --

|To what hight does the character of Jesus Christ rise above the most sublime and and yet ever imperfect types of antiquity! What man ever knew to offer a more manly resistance to evil? Who endured vexation and contradiction better than he? Where is such a development of moral power united with less severity? Was there ever one seen who made himself heard with such royal authority? And yet no one ever was so gentle, so humble and kind, as he. What cordial sympathy at the sight of misery, and the spiritual need of his brethren! and yet, even when his countenance is moistened by tears, it continues to shine in indestructible peace. In his spirit, he lives in the house of his heavenly Father. He never loses sight of the invisible world; and, at the same time, reveals a moral and practical sense possessed by no son of the dust. Which is more wonderful, -- the nobility of his princely greatness spread over his person, or the inimitable simplicity which surrounds his whole appearance? Pascal had seen this heavenly form when describing it in a manner worthy of the object: Jesus Christ has been humble and patient; holy, holy, holy before God; terrible to devils; without any sin. In what great brilliancy and wonderful magnificence he appears to the eye of the spirit which is open to wisdom! To shine forth in all his princely splendor of his holiness, it was not necessary that he should appear as a king; and yet he came with all the splendor of his standing. He was the master of all, because he is really their brother. His moral life is wholly penetrated by God. He represents virtue to me under the form of love and obedience. In our part, we do more than esteem him: we offer him love.|

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