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is, that Adam was made the image of God indeed, but not the perfect image of him. He was rather the reflected image; the image of that humanity of our Lord, which was the only perfect human image of God that ever existed. His constant doctrine ' is, that man never was truly the image of God till the Incarnation. This view, which Mr. Dods deems “so singular,” we
' assert to be the universal doctrine of the Apostles, Fathers, and Confessors of the church in every age. This glorious doctrine, that Christ, “the Brightness of the Father's glory and the express Image of his person," was the pattern after whose image and likeness man was at first created, we have uniformly taken for granted as a generally recognised truth, and have endeavoured on many occasions to strengthen, by shewing that “self-manifestation” is the end of all the purposes of God. Little did we expect that any one of common information would impute it as a singular view to Irenæus; and one so ill informed as this ought not to write on the subject. But on this part of the question Mr. Dods is especially at fault, as is clearly shewn in an earlier part of this book, p. 208, by his mistake of the whole meaning of the rilith Psalm and the iid of Hebrews. Still Mr. Dods perceives somewhat of the merits of Irenæus, and declares, p. 487, There is no writer whom I would more strongly recommend to the theological student, upon the subject of the Incarnation, than Irenæus.' Strange then indeed it is, that he has not found any thing more to his purpose to quote. But we are constrained to think, that, while praising Irenæus, he did not fully understand him, from the conclusion of the reference to this Father : “Filius Dei hominis filius factus, ut per eum adoptionem percipiamus, portante homine, et capiente, et complectente Filium Dei.” Now, though (says Mr. Dods) this language be
capable of a sound sense, yet it is only capable of that sense ' while it naturally conveys an idea directly Nestorian : and, in truth, I doubt not, that could he at that time have had any idea of the Nestorian heresy, he would either have avoided the expression altogether, or would have written it thus: “portante Filio Dei, et capiente, et complectente hominem."' After this sentence we need not wonder at any thing: he who could read Irenæus to so little purpose, and so mistake his meaning, may well mistake ours. But this sentence does in reality betray total ignorance of the great paramount truth of Scripture, that God is not an influence, but a personal God; that God the Father is incomprehensible, and ever reveals himself, and acts, by God the Son, through God the Holy Ghost; and that the great mystery of godliness is God manifest in the flesh, God the Son in the flesh of Christ, God the Holy Ghost in the flesh of his people, making them temples of the living God. Irenæus argues that the Eternal Word, who was truly Son of God, became truly
Son of Man; truly condescended to the fellowship with us, that he might raise us to fellowship with the Father and the Son ; became Son of Man to make us sons of God. He argues that Christ was truly the fruit of David's loins, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham; that he was truly Immanuel, God with us; that the Word was truly made flesh-of the seed of David according to the flesh, of Ísrael according to the flesh; born of a woman; made under the law, that he might redeem them that are under the law. All these references Irenæus gives in the same page with the above extract, determining its true sense from the
Scriptures ; which really, we must say, we fear that Mr. Dods mistakes as much as he does Irenæus in calling him Nestorian.
Two quotations follow, from Clement of Alexandria, which we readily make over to Mr. Dods; for, if they are correctly given, they are as flat heresy as ever was penned. And Minutius Felix is not to the point. Tertullian comes next, of whom we heard so much formerly, but from whom we have now but one extract of seven lines. This is the extract we took occasion to explain in a former Number (vol.ii. p. 953); and he thrice translates the Latin substantive "peccatrix” by the English adjective “sinful,” though the whole force of the passage depends upon preserving the distinction. A similar blunder occurs, p. 324, in a passage from Tertullian on which we also formerly commented ; so that we fear there is little hope of amendment. In the former extract an objector says; “In putting on our flesh, did Christ's flesh sin ?" (was it a sinner?) "Strain not the sense," says Tertullian; “for in putting on our flesh he made it his own; making it his own he made it not sin" (not a sinner): and concludes, “The Word of God passed into the matter of the same flesh.” Language cannot express identity of substance more clearly; while perfect holiness in the same substance is also demonstrated. The other passage is a comment on Rom. viii. 3, “ likeness of sinful flesh;” and it expresses so clearly the doctrine we have held, that we never read it without wondering at the unaccountable perversity of intellect which can twist so plain a passage to any other meaning. It concludes thus: “When, therefore, he hath thus expressed it in the likeness of flesh of sin, he hath both established the substance—that is, the flesh—and hath referred the likeness to the vice of the substance—that is, to sin.” The flesh which our Lord took (says Tertullian) was real flesh, with all its essential properties : the likeness applies not to its substance. But this substance was created at first holy; it afterwards became sinful by the fall of Adam; and to one of these two states the likeness refers. Our Lord's condescending to wear our likeness, is the procuring cause of our
attaining to his: the image of God, which man lost by the Fall, is thus
renewed, after Him, in righteousness and true holiness. There is no question about the likeness to the thing : it was real flesh, it was not like flesh: the question is about its quality ; and likeness to a quality is the same quality, not its opposite : likeness to holy is holy, likeness to sinful is sinful. But, the natural quality being sinful, Christ in the act of taking made it holy, and ever holy did he keep it. There is a most extraordinary paragraph on this subject at p. 323. Mr. Dods asks, Had his flesh been really sinful Aesh, how could it possibly be also like sinful flesh ?. Two things completely exclude likeness :--either total opposition or entire identity.' Had the flesh of !
* ' Christ been in all respects different from sinful flesh, then it 'could not with truth have been said to be in the likeness of
sinful flesh: and it is equally plain, that had it been in all respects the same as sinful flesh, that is, had it been sinful flesh, 'it could with as little truth have been said to be in the likeness
of sinful flesh. We were prepared to expect some confusion of thought in this book ; but we really think that the" identical likeness” to any thing so ingeniously absurd as the above is not to be found in the whole compass of modern literature.
He has confused "entire identity,” or sameness, with conformity, or correspondence. Identity is oneness; and who ever heard, till now, of a thing being its own likeness? One man is like another man; but when some said of the blind man (John ix. 9), “ This is he that sat and begged,” and others said “ He is like him,” he said “ I am he;" at once nullifying the likeness in the identity. But Mr. Dods must of necessity mean, by the word identity, conformity. Now, the greater the conformity between any two persons, the greater the likeness; and the closer the conformity between my Lord's body and that which I bear, the more I am encouraged to follow his footsteps, and “press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Let Mr. Dods consider for a moment the word of God at our creation, in comparison with this text:“God said, Let us make man after our likeness.” Such was Adam before the Fall. The Apostle says, that the Son of God was “ made in the likeness of sinful flesh.” But Mr. Dods maintains, that likeness so qualifies the term sinful, as to make the flesh not such as ours is, but such as the flesh of Adam was before the Fall: therefore Mr. Dods must be prepared to shew, how it can possibly be both the likeness of God and the likeness of sinful flesh. And this may serve to shew him the monstrous conclusion to which such crude speculations lead ;-a conclusion which we will not put upon paper, and which he himself will start from with horror as soon as he perceives it.
We know not how to expose the absurd confusion of idea in
this passage without having recourse to familiar illustration ; for which the necessity of the case must plead our excuse; and which we desire to limit wholly to the exposure of this confusion, and not to give a tone of levity to the grave and weighty doctrine under discussion. We would remind Mr. Dods, then, of the familiar expressions, “as like as two peas," or, “as like as my fingers to my fingers ;” and ask him, whether the “ entire identity" of substance in these instances, so far from "completely excluding likeness,” is not the very reason why they are like? A pea is first green, afterwards white. Let the green pea stand for sinless or unfallen flesh, and let the white pea stand for sinful or fallen flesh: will any one, in this case, say that a green pea is the likeness of a white pea; or that, by the expression likeness of a white pea,' I meant to qualify the word
a white, and turn it into green? But this is, really and truly, the absurd conclusion at which Mr. Dods, and those who interpret " likeness of sinful flesh ” in his way, must necessarily arrive ; and which he has thus expressed, p. 323 : • Their catholic op
ponents, to a man, maintained that the likeness was intended 'to qualify' (that is, to reverse the quality), ' not the word flesh,
which was real, but the word sinful, because his flesh was not sinful.' Real flesh, like sinful, is sinless, says Mr. Dods : ergo, sinful is like sinless, its very opposite ! None of our readers will do 'us the wrong of supposing that we ever, for a moment, allow the possibility of Christ's committing any act of sin, for he was ever the Holy One of God: but, as our Example in all things, it behoved Him to be made like to the brethren in all things, that we may have perfect confidence; assured that our great Captain has not only gone before us, but conquered, with
, the very same weapons and armour and strength which he now bestows upon his followers.
We have been led away from the Fathers in following Mr. Dods's strange perversion of Tertullian; and it is needless to re
! turn and follow on the examination of the other Fathers referred to; they are not likely to fare better. For the real meaning of Tertullian's words, and for the doctrine he uniformly teaches, we referred, on a former occasion, to an unexceptionable testimony in the present Bishop of Lincoin; one whose impartiality must be allowed by all, and whose competency will not be disputed by any one south of the Tweed. But from what we have just seen it is to be apprehended that the confusion in the minds of our opponents has a deeper and more radical lodgment than imperfect acquaintance with Latin and Greek, as it affects passages of plain English. But it is a fact to be noted as remarkable, that while our antagonists have largely commented upon the Latin extracts from Tertullian, Augustine, &c., where there was a possibility of mistaking the sense from imperfect ac
quaintance with the language, and where few of their readers could follow or check them, they have not noticed any of the English extracts, which are longer than the Latin ones, and speak the same doctrines as those we maintain, in language which cannot be mistaken, and which directly contradicts Mr. Dods and his partizans. The Confession on which the Scottish Church is founded declares the flesh of Christ to be " of its own nature mortal and corruptible”-stronger language than we have ever used—and yet ministers of that church publish books such as this to deny this fundamental doctrine. And Hooker, and Andrews, and Tillotson, and Barrow, luminaries of the English Church, who have not yet been overborne by counter testimony, and we assert never will be; and Sibbes, and Henry, and Goode, and Scott; have all been passed by in silence, as if their names had never been heard of, when ample quotations were made from every one of them. : Nor is silence the whole extent of the partiality of these Scottish doctors and ministers; for they have condemned our doctrines universally, though they have allowed severally the truth of almost every particular doctrine we hold ; yet in our opponents, whom they acknowledge to hold many gross and pernicious errors, they do not condemn one of these errors, but praise their writings merely in opposition to us. And the General Assembly have clearly put themselves between the horns of a dilemma'; for they condemned the doctrine of the human nature of Christ on the ground that, though contained in the standards of the Church, they were to be bound by Scripture, where, said they, it is not contained; yet they condemned the doctrine of
. general redemption on the ground that, though contained in the Scripture, it was not contained in the standards.
The other great question, of the extent of the love of God, on which a large majority of the ministers of the Church of Scotland appear to be in error, is only incidentally treated in this work; but from what has been published in other quarters we infer, that on this question also discussion has laid open to our opponents more of the distinctions between truth and error, giving us reason to hope for a still nearer approximation to ortho
a doxy. Should this be the result of our labours, it will far more than compensate all the misrepresentation and obloquy to which we have been subjected, and in the prospect of such a result we do even now exceedingly rejoice. Certain it is, that the General Assembly cast out Mr. Campbell for maintaining that God loves all mankind, and gave his Son to die for all. Those who defend that act of the Church of Scotland, say that it is not so much the doctrine as the consequences which flow from it that they condemn; though they know that Mr. Campbell maintains that the very opposite consequences do flow from it; and though his