Notice of Lange's "Life of Christ"

J. N. Darby.

(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)

<42026E> 174

{The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ: a complete critical examination of the origin, contents, and connection of The Gospels. Translated from the German of J. P. Lange, D.D., professor of Divinity in the University of Bonn. Edited with additional notes by the Rev. Marcus Dods, A.M., 4 vols. Edinburgh: J. and J. Clark, 38, George Street. 1872.}

In page 18 of the preface of this book we have "Christianity, the announcement of the Incarnate Word." It is this assuredly, but this leaves out redemption, and God's righteousness, and our connection with Christ glorified.

Section 1 (27). "We can form no conception of man without God, nor of God without man" - of God without man we can think, for He created him; Man without God morally we can, atheoi en to kosmo (without God in the world) till he has to say to Him. But it is a root principle here. Independent of Him, or not in relationship, he cannot be.

Page 28. Man has to say to God but not (naturally) as a child of the Spirit, and reason knows neither the universal nor the eternal for man is finite; he knows what is infinite only negatively. Reason knows what is under it - subjecta quasi materia - but conscience and responsibility alone are the link of intelligence as to God, and then faith. If He reveals Himself, he is in the infinite and cannot get out of it, but cannot measure it. It is not the subject of measure, because it is infinite. Reason has no capacity to apprehend the eternal Spirit, because my reason is measured by my powers, and the eternal Spirit - God - cannot be, or He would not be God. There is no idea of God. There is consciousness, we have to do with some One supremely above us.

Man's righteousness is measured by the relationships which the law takes up, with God who gave it, and his neighbour. He cannot, unless dwelt in by God, enter into the rule of life which is absolutely universal. I do not deny the sense of beauty may give, at least awaken, the sense of having to say to God otherwise than animals - it did with me. But all the rest here is fancy when a new life is not there, and then sadly vague. Righteousness we may know because man fell into a conscience, not love; no heathen ever knew love in God - agape (love) does not exist in classical Greek. With revelation, what he says is true as Proverbs 8, but what follows is unsatisfactory, and obliges God to man, not having His love free which it is though sure, and dimming righteousness. If He is there, it is unpossessed and separate, and therefore infinite misery.

175 Pages 29-30 is all right in the main. "Man as created" is in a certain sense, in His nature, but the responsible man is confounded with the Man of His counsels. This was the second Man - man surely, but still distinct. "Created after His likeness" is not incarnation, nor incarnation redemption of those lost, and bringing man into union with Himself is never spoken of. But then all about attraction and repulsion is false; God wrestled with Jacob, though He gave him strength to overcome, not Jacob with God, and he halted all his life, and God refused to reveal Himself. There was the process of grace going on in Israel, but it was not Israel who spoke; Isaiah 64:1. In Christ it ended "Now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father."

There were promises and grace; these he confounds with law. The covenant with the people was the old covenant which ministered to bondage; he confounds all together.

Page 31. "The repulsion" is the state of the fallen nature, which law and even Christ only brings more clearly out. "An excrescence of the nature" - of what nature? Man perverts his nature, and his nature cries out. All this is confusion. Conscience cries out, and he is miserable without the object his nature is made for. Experimentally right, but confusion from making man good, and a want to be good in nature. The result is all a delusion.*

{*This translation is all astray here.}

Page 33. Here again the great mistake "of a more excellent nature" as "the elect who first receive divine life" - "They do not come to God as strangers" - "He sends them" - their original nature the proof of their election! It is curious, the vague absence of truth with some experimentalism of a Christian mind. But he goes on to, not from Christ; and his statement leaves the divinity of the Lord very loose:" Thus He is the One, in the sight of God, by reason of the reality which God hath given Him, in that He hath bestowed upon Him the fulness of His gifts and of His Spirit, that He may communicate them to man." Then what follows is all loose, "The sighs of humanity pleaded with the Spirit of God." "To flesh and Spirit," leaves all vague; it is conscience - or what Spirit?

176 And again the divinity of Christ is, to say the least, very loose, "He was anointed with the eternal fulness of God, thus He was the God-man" (ewigen Göttesfülle denn er war der Gottmensch). And all he then says is really unintelligible or supposes sin in Christ. Where was the "sinful nature of man consumed?" But sinful is not in the original, only Naturlichkeit (naturalness) - a different thought; he has no idea of its proper sinfulness - it is old œon; and verklärt, if "transformed," is gloriously so. This as in Christ is "the redemption of humanity" (Menschheit).

"Choosing members out of Christ's body" is rather strange (p. 37).

Page 38. Note man has the Spirit, "Each individual has the Spirit as a Person"; as to the fact he is a Quaker. So the "Holy Spirit of the divine, human life." Again of Christ, "corresponding in the eternal organism of humanity to the fulness of the Godhead." "The Holy Spirit is in all, in different measure of display in different persons," and here "according to the fulness of what it is" - but this is not God, the Word incarnate. And note here it "streams out from Him" - in Scripture, He received it be-Adam (for men) when He went up on high, redemption being accomplished (Acts 2), otherwise He was alone.

Page 39. "Everywhere pervaded by a gentle breathing of the Spirit, a gale of eternity." "From this head," Christ, "and from His (its) agency is developed the infinitely rich and marvellous organisation of the life of mankind."

Page 41. "The more man develops the inmost depths of his nature, the more does the fulness of the Spirit, the glory of God," etc., "appear in Him."

Page 42. See the curious account of Christ here, and the Church in page 43; it is a kind of mystic Sabellianism.

Page 47. "Christ, head of humanity," as such in its unity. "All made alive in Him, and in this life they form that organic communion which He so fills and animates with His divine fulness," etc. It is monstrous - a strange, unreal illusion. "The God-man develops His life in the organism of the divine-human Church … Nature is elevated till God is all in all!"*

{*The translation here is wholly untrustworthy.}

177 Page 50. We have mysticism falsifying and confounding. Christ's "is a lasting influence which must work till it has attained its end, till at His name every knee shall bow," and see this carried out in what follows - "the regulation of the company" Ordnung der Gesellschaft.

Page 55. We get his delusions again. The third paragraph, "If we contemplate the œon of the natural world of mankind, His life may be designated as the end of the world," is, in the first part, delusion, in the second part Christ's action - his great false principle definitely stated, and indeed the fourth paragraph on into the next page. The Notes developing do not render werdender. He refers to man conscious of himself, being conscious of God. God being mankind which is not brought to a complete thing till humanity is perfected as a whole; it is becoming God, is it not fully yet - developing is unfolding what it is.

Page 58. "The manifestation of God in the flesh" is not God manifest in the flesh. The whole wretched system of reconciliation is unfolded in the next page - it is Irvingite at-one-ment, and with original man, in whom desire after God as a need of heart already was. "Faith and prayer were in Abraham," "His call was an answer to them." Note the question is not of the spiritual development of man, but of the revelation of all that is in God, righteousness, sovereign love, and that to sinners, and so atonement and yet more.

Page 60. All this is confounding the craving of a want feeling emptiness, and positive desire after an object. For this the object must be known, and the subjective desire formed by it. Now the Heathen did not know God, "There is none that understandeth, none that seeketh after God." For all these men man may be developed, his salvation looked at, but God never as God, as such.

Page 72. Atonement is the Irvingite at-one-ment, thus: "Atonement is the central point of His being: in Him divinity and humanity, the spirit and nature, ideality and reality, Jew and Gentile, heaven and earth are re-united." Only he does not quite deny atonement as usually meant, as Irving. But it is the same vagueness as usual.

Page 75. "In His sufferings on the Cross is seen the reconciliation of the world, and by the light of this reconciliation a glory is shed upon all sorrow, upon all that is dark and terrible on earth, as being a dispensation of God's hidden kindness. Judgment is seen in its deep inward union with sin - annulling grace, and the world is illuminated to its very depths by the light of the divine government, glorifying itself in its victory over all evil." "His Spirit glorifies even the Cross, by revealing His victory in the resurrection." But in page 80, we do not know where the atonement is, "If then we contemplate the matter of the Gospel history in the impression it has left on Christian life, in the assurance of the manifestation of God, of the atonement, of victory over death, and of the heavenly glory of Christ and His people, the conclusion is irresistible, that in this definite and full memorial of the Christian Church we behold a sacred memorial to all mankind of the great days and great facts of their re-union with God."

178 Now as against the Strausses and rationalists this is all well to the point, and shows a personal sense of the real import of these things, and so far good, but looked at as doctrine what is "a memorial to all mankind of their re-union with God?" And with "the heavenly glory of His people?" Is it all ideal or real? The abstractedness of certain statements makes them absurd. What is the effect, as a reality, of what they never heard of? Abstract truths are often invaluable, but the way mankind is spoken of by Lange and others, translating into a fancied reality the ideal, makes all false. Thus, that "Christ died for all," was "a propitiation for the whole world," and all mankind thus interested in it, is of all moment, but when as some, Lutherans commonly, they make the world reconciled, all is fatally false. So God was in Christ reconciling, but the world, as so manifested, "knew Him not," and His own rejected Him. Make the abstract truth of His dealings to be an applied fact, all is false. So the Word of God was foretelling and typically symbolising the coming Christ, but when it is made a growing progress in the realising of the ideal, it is all totally false, and this is the system of these men. The reality of sin and of atonement disappears in mere vain fancies.

To be exact we must have the German, it is Versöhnung, and is merely "reconciliation," "at-one-ment." But the system is plain enough in Lange and in a host of others, and where run to ripeness produces the grossest fanatical heresies and evil, as in Mercersburg, Irvingism, a large class of Baptists in America, etc., at this time.

The utter unreality of the whole thing, and thereby the falseness of its ideality may be seen in pages 85, 86, "That line of theocratic Monotheism which forms the key-note in the history of the religious life of all mankind"; and, "The order, then, of the general records of the life of Jesus appears to be as follows: - (1) The New Testament; (2) the Old Testament; (3) the theocracy, especially the Christian Church; (4) the religious life of the human race." This alleged development of religious life in Heathenism, perfected in Christ and so spread forward on the Christian Church, is widespread from Germany as its centre. You may find it in M. Muller, Jowett, Lange, Dormer, Mercersburg writers, and numberless others - it is the fashion. It is simply this: God originally known, men did not like to retain in their knowledge, but the want of a God he could not get rid of; hence idolatry, etc., with a consciousness that could not be got rid of, an agnostos theos (unknown God). And this these foolish philosophers make progressive religious life towards Christ. Hence Lange makes Christianity and Talmudism the proof, but Talmudism is merely man's corruption of a divine, though an imperfect revelation - Christianity either a revelation or historically the corrupted result of what was revealed. And as to the four general records of Christ's life, in what was "the religious life of the heathen, a general record of Christ's life"? They did not know God, nor of course Christ. This the Word of God insists on, both as to intelligence and desire. It is confounding natural conscience and the craving void of a want of what they have not, with the revelation of that which meets that want. The revelation of God in Christ awakens the desire where it reaches the soul, and a man comes to himself, and, God being Light as well as Love, the conscience is brought into action according to what God is, and so is an Anknüpfungspunkt (as entering in, beginning point) for God in the soul; that conscience came by the Fall - the want by man's being driven out from God for whom he had been created in blessing.

179 And remark how revelation drops out of even Lange's idea of testimony. The Gospels are "the direct impression made by His wondrous personality." Now I do not doubt this, but the Holy Spirit and His operation on the disciples is excluded; He was to call to their remembrance whatsoever He had said unto them, and hence it was according to His holy wisdom and purpose. And as to heavenly things, which are the essence of Christianity, they could know nothing but as the Holy Ghost revealed them, see John 14:26; chap. 15:26-27.

180 Page 90. We see the import of much of the idea of a preparatory life of Christ in the sentence "The life of Christ himself was gradually introduced by the consecrations of the lives of many, found in the line of the Old Testament genealogy of Mary." The whole of this is trash. As to "the eye fixed on heroes," "How can you believe who receive honour one of another"? That there were wants in human nature, which nothing meets but Christ, is true, but confounding Christ who meets them, with the want to be met or any false heroes who did not, is false. That there were God-appointed types of Christ in Israel where the revelation of God was is true. Of Scripture, as might be expected, he is very ignorant; I mean, as a scheme.

It is not as to the life of Jesus, His Person, that there is any difference as the rationalists pretend, but all that was dependent on Christ's being in heaven as to our present state in virtue of accomplished redemption, and as to the Church, as His Body, was wholly new. So, as to union of Jew and Gentile.

Then of inspiration we do not find a trace. As to the real difference of the Gospels he sees nothing but "what you must expect," page 100 et seq.

Criticism by the understanding is essentially false. Mere integrity of the text of course may be enquired into, but even here spiritual discernment bears a great part. But God, if it be a revelation, does not present Himself to be judged, but addresses Himself to conscience - judging man. See John 4, and the crisis was not to discern what it was by previous competency, but men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. The whole of this system is false, and connected with the first principles of it.

Page 115. "Jehovah commanded Abraham to offer up Isaac; he was willing to make the sacrifice; but, in the decisive moment, he understood the command as if Moloch had said to him: Slay Isaac." I do not understand if "in the decisive moment" be Lange's own; if so it is as poor as it is false.

Page 117. Note 3 shows the utter falseness of the system in its root, it declaring the incarnation was no humiliation. It was for Lange the result to which divine life in humanity grew - the perfect divine-human, the grand result. But this makes the whole system false, and totally so. It is true that humiliation directly and verbally applies to Him as man, "Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself." Still it is clear that the whole passage (and one sees now why these doctors deny it) is opposing His course to Adam's exalting himself, when a man, to be as God; whereas the Lord, when in Godhead form, emptied Himself (not of Godhead - that could never be), but of the status of Godhead as such, "the form of God," and became as Man a Servant. Now humiliation is properly coming down in the sphere in which one is, but laying aside His status as God is another and a much greater thing ekenose heauton (He emptied Himself). It was laying aside not the nature assuredly, but the state and condition in which Godhead naturally subsisted, and taking another, and in this sense was the greatest act of self-humiliation - a coming down from the status itself, not being lowly in it. It was a positive arrangement of God, "a body hast Thou prepared Me, … then said I, Lo, I come to do Thy will O God." Now it was not solely with a view to the redemption of mankind, for all God's glory in redemption was brought out by it, and our being in the same glory with His Son, John 13 and 17. Compare Proverbs 8 and Luke 2, the shepherds' chorus.

181 But He goes back as Man into the glory He had with the Father before the world was. When He had taken humanity it would have been as a failure, or temporary means to be thrown away as no longer of any use. When He took it He took it for ever, that He might bring many sons into the same glory - His metochoi (companions). But He is in the glory He had with the Father before the world was - but He is as Man in it, and such was the wondrous counsel of God that we should be conformed to the image of His Son - the Firstborn among many brethren, bear the image of the heavenly as we had of the earthly. And this is the true place of man with Christ in grace, not His union with us, which Scripture does not know, for "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone." Redemption is blotted out of Scripture by this system.

Page 122. Interpretation here is all mistaken and nonsense, but needs no remark but that Christ being recognised as "the eternal principle of the universe" is panchristism instead of pantheism, and shows indeed where the whole false principle is, and the mischievous evil of it, for He is in and identified there with it, with "this present evil world." He is its Creator, and it is fallen, i.e., man at its head, and so under the bondage of corruption. It is confounding Adam, the responsible man and head, the image of Him that was to come, with Christ the Creator and Saviour, Lord of all as Man.

182 Page 125. In every place revelation and inspiration is entirely ignored - the gospel history is "the reproduction of religious consciousness or impressions." I own the human side which I think a great blessing, but the theory is absurd, for what is it to me, as to the account of Christ, what Peter, or Mark, or Luke felt about it save as mere vessels to communicate on God's part what is to affect my mind? If there be a revelation at all it must be from God, and it is not the effect produced on Mark by the history I want, but the history itself from God.

Page 152 et seq. There cannot be a more complete ignoring of the operation of the Spirit of God than all this, of the passage John 14:26. That the revelation of the Spirit in Christianity was connected with the personal appropriation of the things revealed is blessedly true and distinguishes it from Old Testament revelation, "It pleased God to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him," and the divinely thirsty soul comes to Christ and drinks; out of his belly flow rivers of living water. The New Testament says "us"; the Old Testament "Not unto themselves but unto us." But to confine it to this, excluding the positive action of the Holy Ghost according to John 14:26, is to leave us to the profitless uncertainty of man's mind. The whole statement of Christ's sorrows, and the reply as to the difference of the Gospels is written in total ignorance of the truth; as total ignorance, though in a very different spirit, as those who made the difficulties. It is all miserably poor.

Page 181-2. We have here, in fact, true inspiration formally set aside. There are four factors (p. 181), but the Holy Ghost is not among them - "(1) direct remembrance; (2) tradition; (3) written memorabilia; (4) already existing gospels." Then in page 182, we have what he allows of the Spirit, i.e., its moral operation and effect of the Gospel in the heart of the writer, but none direct in the work - that is formally denied, i.e., the doctrine of inspiration of the older theology. It is a mere vital energy in the person. But the truth as to it is as old as John 14:26; he is an infidel as to inspiration, nor has he one true idea of the import, character, or bearing of the different Gospels. It is emptiness exemplified though he is defending them against rationalists. He says that "the old theology forgets they were continually filled with the Spirit"; they were not always filled with the Spirit, though he always dwelt in them, and further were not always led by the Spirit to write Gospels. The human part is followed with little intelligence, and the divine part denied. But it shows also, what I have not doubted, that in these Fathers also there was no true faith in the Holy Ghost and Word. They represent the falling Church, not the Scriptures given by inspiration of God as our sure resource when the Church was fallen. Origen saw better than Lange's note on page 186. The whole structure of his reasoning is as prosy as it is weak.

183 In page 223, after an immense mass of confusion and weary misapprehension of the spiritual meaning and purpose of the Gospels, we have the evil root of the system brought out and connected with it: "Divine strength partially remains in man," etc., and "The life of Christ after the government of the incarnate Love of God in the depths of Israel's life," whatever that means, entered into the world to pervade it; and all this goes on to realise itself in the four forms in the Church and in the state (military among the rest!) and so in the world. It is deplorable nonsense.

Page 258 is an entire misapprehension of Christianity founded on the false basis of connecting us with an incarnate Christ without redemption. Hence Paul's ministry is set practically aside, and the entire rejection of the natural man.

Inspiration is equally ignored. I believe personal faith as to life and atonement has saved his own soul from the effect of all this, but the system is false, and fatally false in principle and in every part and detail. If "as the incarnate Word, Christianity was perfect from its very origin," redemption formed no part of it. The incarnate Word was perfect ideally and really as he says, and therefore He was rejected and abode alone till His death wrought redemption for believers. We find too what he calls receptivity that is the author's elect ones who from natural qualities received Christ.

So in page 259, we have the fabulous nonsense of the system fully brought out. It is not worth notice in presence of the false teaching, but more complete stuff than pages 259, 26I, could hardly be found. But "redeeming incarnation" is the doctrinal central point, and prophecies were "the beginning of His incarnation."

184 It is useless to go through all the imaginative nonsense of every page, but some points of positive error may be noticed.

Page 273. Here as everywhere, "receptivity" and "dispositions" before grace.

Page 278. The mixture of state and merging the positive communications and operations of the Holy Ghost in a state of suited feeling. Mary is "the climax of the old œon," and pureness the new. All the rest is fancy, but sets aside the true history. The thoroughly Christological view of life and of the world is the essence of error (page 279).

Page 281. Christ "could only have become a prophet by being born again"; this is the effect of making prophecy a state of life and soul, not inspiration - Balaam and Saul disprove it.

Page 282. The second paragraph embodies the full statement of the false principle. The mystical nonsense, but important as reaching the climax of humanity in Christ as human development, may be seen in page 285.

Page 286. "Religion is the first and most general form of the coming of Christ," not the effect of His quickening power. It is a Werden of Christ. All that follows states the false principle, as does what is said as to the Law. This too is connected with Christ taking the nature of man, not the person of a man.

Pages 288, 289. Again the denial of inspiration; and see the use of Isaiah's prophecy, also the abominable statement of the origin of the holiness of Christ's human nature. All that follows is mystical nonsense.

Page 295. Here again denial of inspiration, "Healthy poetry is transformed into a supernaturalistic formula"; this in speaking of Elizabeth's salutation of Mary; Luke 1:43-45. Openly again in page 296, "We consider Mary the authority for the history of Jesus' childhood."

Page 299. "Christ saved and enriched the world." All is framed on the false system of the denial of the corn of wheat remaining alone till after it had died, and the denial of any real inspiration.

Page 303. He does not even give heed to the Greek text, it is panti to lao (to all the people) not "to all nations." See too the note: "It may here be, once for all, remarked that our view is, that in the realm of primitive Christianity there is for every Christological human disposition a pre-disposing revelation, for every revelation a corresponding human disposition. The God-man could not but be surrounded by a periphery of the God-manlike." See too the mystical notion of the state of the shepherds.

185 The difference of Matthew and Luke is slurred over unreconciled, and the history of the Magi as pure trash as ever I saw. The careful rejection of the real intervention of God, and the way all is made subjective is noticeable here as everywhere, and wearisome to repeat. The question as to Luke is on chap. 2:39.

Pages 312, 313. Inspiration is here denied again, and true circumcision, as shown in Christ, made to be "civilization of nature."

Pages 314-318. All this is really deplorable stuff. I never read such nonsense in this line of things as this book. There is an absolute ignorance of the mind of God which is painful to read - fruit of ignoring God's action in the statements.

Page 322. Christ "the genius of the new human race"; speaking of Luke 2:46-47. So page 332, but the statement he founds on Colossians 1:15 is wholly false, and the argument none at all, "Christ is the first-born of the new human race, or rather the prince - born of mankind, and of the world."

Pages 323-324. He cannot help introducing his own thoughts, degrading the Lord. He makes, too, by deifying man, everything natural unnatural, while God disappears. I doubt his soundness as to the divinity of the Lord. But the whole is a pack of childish stuff, He never "expressed an ideal of dwelling in the temple"; he degrades everything.

Pages 326-328. As to prophecy all is infidelity. It is not only stupid stuff, but absolutely and in its essence false - the contrary is positively taught in Scripture. There is no trace of apprehension of the divine mind; it is deplorable.

Pages 349-357. The account of John the baptist, though all hollow, needs no comment; that of Christ's baptism by him is false from beginning to end. The meaning of John's baptism was exactly the opposite of Christ's death - led people to receive Him and not put Him to death. If it signified Christ's atoning death in His case, it did so in the others, and they were all Saviours; it did not mean two things, though Christ be expressly excepted by John's remonstrance. And so far from its being to Christ's death, those who had received it were baptised over again to that; Acts 19. Christ threw Himself in with the godly remnant in their first right act, but the Spirit of God takes care to except Him from its meaning as to others. The whole thing is total ignorance of the truth. It was not the law, "the law and the prophets were until John," then the kingdom of heaven was preached.

186 The Lord's baptism by John was at the end of the account of his ministry, as related in the beginning of the Gospels. When he says "I knew Him not, but He who sent me," etc., it refers to John's personal knowledge of Christ in contrast with his prophetic testimony, not to his testimony dependent on the Holy Ghost coming on Him. That only showed He was the Baptiser with the Holy Ghost. He had given a prophetic testimony that He was the Lamb of God (John 1:29), with the same distinction, verse 31. The testimony, verse 32, was subsequent. This made him competent to say through the prophetic revelation (v. 33) that He baptised with the Holy Ghost, and was Son of God. It is after this the exclamation "Behold the Lamb of God," whereon the disciples followed Christ; He had now publicly taken His place. There was already a previous testimony, verses 15 and 19 to verses 26 and 27 Then the next day that of verse 29. But the turning point of Christ s position is in verses 32-34. But this stands by itself undated, and was what John said after it had taken place, when Christ had left him thereafter.

The object of the chapter as to John is to give all his testimony as to Christ. And in this place the two capital points that He was the Lamb of God, and the Baptiser with the Holy Ghost. This last comes in as a distinct record. This took place after the Lord's baptising John; then the Lord was forty days in the wilderness. And the Lord went on acting, but not in public ministry, and John went on till cast into prison, and the Lord was in Jerusalem and went into Galilee, but did not definitely leave Judea and go into Galilee till John was cast into prison - taken up in Matthew as the next thing after His temptation because this was His public ministry in Israel, so Mark and Luke. This is only in John 4. John is more the personal history of the Lord, and then the giving of the Holy Ghost. Thus John 1:32-34, though perfectly in its right place, comes in, as to chronology, parenthetically; verses 29, 33 served one the other as to date. As to the date of the event, verses 32-34 may have been, probably was, before verse 19.

187 It is wearisome to wade through pages without any truth at all. What stuff is in pages 357, 358! With the usual denial of inspiration though John says: "He that sent me," etc., "said to me"; and the usual ignorance consequently of the meaning of Scripture. Again what namby-pamby nonsense is page 359, besides just exactly a contradiction of the truth as to John. One phrase, however, I suspect to be misrepresented in the translation, for if not he contradicts himself; he says, speaking of John the baptist, "As the prophet of the Messiah he knew nothing officially of Jesus." It should be, I think, "knew nothing officially of Messiah as the Divine Prophet," i.e., yet.

Page 360 is the same stupid nonsense. How bright the simple record of Scripture is compared with all this! But this ignoring consciousness, now widely spread, is very bad.

Page 361. All this is not only mystical nonsense, but utterly false doctrine; he does not really believe Christ to be God or man; it is a kind of Sin - Being with divinity. It is the most complete folly and nonsense that could be thought of. I suppose He thought Himself possessed of divine intuition! Facts are mere nothings to him; but then besides the root principle of the abominable false doctrine is here too - a really antichristian scheme.

Pages 364-365. The unutterable stuff of this "Christological pantheism," here leads him to fatal error as to the divinity and Person of the Lord. His merging personality in life and life-consciousness, and this connected with inspiration, makes at once a mystical world of folly and false doctrine. The utter falseness into which it runs may be seen by a comparison of page 366 with the passages the sentences allude to. He confounds too temptation from without with lust within, and brings in gross moral ignorance from making Christ a kind of perfect soul of a totally corrupt world imperfectly from creation, while "ideality and reality met in completeness in the Person of Jesus." But was He as God before incarnation? What is "more tempted by sin than any other man"? "Tempted by sin" has indeed no sense; where is the sin the man is tempted by? He confounds trial and lusts. Man has sin that dwells in him; had Christ? All this is ignored. Compare James 1 and Romans 8.

What is "feeling the temptation of the world"? As its soul it may be understood - a divine fulness and an evil world in the same person, which is his dream, would produce this antagonism; but was the world Himself? He was "the principle of the creation of the world" (page 360), then "of humanity," then "of Theocracy," till last of all He became "the life principle of Jesus." The distinction of finiteness and definiteness is false, for what is defined is finite, though it may be used metaphorically. Did He create the world? Who was HE before the incarnation?

188 Page 370. The Cross is degraded by this system. In Gethsemane and Golgotha He was alone, save His Father and God.

Pages 373-374. You may get a specimen here of the man's mind. It helps to account for all the wild fancies in the book. If you want what is equally low and nonsensical, you have only to read the account of the temptation; the pandering to rationalism is deplorable. How much simpler to say, "He was tempted of the Devil!" So God says. How he appeared I do not know, which is indeed not the least consequence; the enquiry spoils its power.

Page 394. All this on "the plan of Jesus" is very bad. Spontaneous perfectness and uniform obedience is lost in a mass of poor ideas. It is really a wretched book with an idea of depth which is only human mind, and worshipping it, and missing wholly every divine apprehension of Christ. How different the divine simplicity of the Gospels! All this planning and arranging of Christ (pages 393-394) lowers Him in every way as a divine Person, as an obedient Man who lived by every word which came out of the mouth of God, and who walked in daylight so did not stumble. There is no true conception here of a single element of His path.

Pages 407-408. This is better than the rest, though an effort to beautify ideally what is much more beautiful simply. We must remember (page 410) that neither Lange nor any of these men ever go into that other world in which alone we are connected with Christ - the world into which He is risen Hence all the conclusions they draw are always and necessarily false; but this page shows great ignorance even of the Old Testament. The second note shows only how low he and such reasoning can go. But it is the effect of not seeing the judgment of man in the flesh, and Christ risen, and the new Creation. The third note (page 411) shows how totally he is unable to meet the difficulties by not seeing the coming of the Lord, and the Church's place. Most of the fourth note is very sad. It cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.

189 Page 413 is a very clear statement of the evil principle of the book; so page 414 near the top. It is striking how God is left out even in miracles (page 418). It is "a new higher life stage." I do not think he really believes in the divinity of the Lord; i.e., that He is God; see pages 419 and 470, which convince me that he is not sound.

"The Son of Man anointed with the fulness of the Godhead." When? It confounds incarnation and what happened after His baptism by John - "Jesus and the Christ." I admit of course that He cast out devils by the Spirit of God, and that the Father who dwelt in Him did the works; but the question is His Person, the life realised in the Old Testament, the Angel of the Presence, etc. His becoming man was, as to form and status, a kenosis.

What is "incorporated with humanity"? He abode alone.

I suspect Selbstanschauung is mistranslated "actual vision," and misconceived, and conformed with what follows. At any rate the total falseness of the whole system is fully shown in the last sentence: "Christ Himself exhibits the completed mediation between the unconditioned omnipotence of God and finite conditioned nature - therefore the mediation of miracles." But the resurrection knocks all the argument on the head. No nature process would have raised Lazarus in his body. But the whole of this (page 422, last paragraph) is the false principle of the whole book. Alas! resurrection and all else succumbs to the pestiferous folly of this book. "Clairvoyance by its purity," "Demoniacal possession by its awakening foreboding power," all are a "mediation of the life power of Christ in miracles"; and if you wish to see a specimen of the quintessence of nonsense, you have only to read the pages on resurrection (page 426, etc.).

Page 432. He goes a step further here in uniting Christ and the world.

I read through, but the connection of effect in people with casting out demons, the previous susceptibility of souls for good, spiritualism, which has governed all Lange's thoughts, here the assertion that miracles were by the mediation of moral states, is as miserable as can well be conceived; that sin and Satan's power are connected, and chastisement may be found with a moral ground for it, no one denies. See note 1, page 446, for a specimen of trash.*

{*"We can represent to ourselves Christ's agency which changed water into wine in successive stages. From the history of somnambulism, it is known that in the high degrees of magnetic rapport, all the sensations and tastes of the magnetiser are repeated in the person who is psychically affected by him. Now at Cana there was no circle of magnetised persons assembled round the Lord, but a circle of souls whom His presence had raised to ecstasy in their festivity. What therefore in the department of magnetism may appear as a fact, might here recur with intensified power, and in a more vitalised form (as, for example, the constrained morbid clairvoyance of the somnambulist in the free healthy clairvoyance of the prophet). When therefore Christ calls forth in Himself the intuition (Anshauung) of wine with fresh creative power, when Christ drinks good wine, the others drink it also by means of the psychical connection. But the company that surrounds the Lord is not a mere circle of passive receptive beings. His companions are by faith brought into active harmony with Him. As the branches do not merely receive the sap which the vine conveys to them, but form the wine out of it and with it, so these festive guests, at the moment of their union with the Lord, infused all their plastic life power in order to complete the change. This is the first stage of the immediate operation of Christ. But the second goes into the elements of the beverage which they enjoy. And here we would call to mind the taste of magnetised water, only to indicate again how, in a higher life circle, the same phenomenon may be repeated in a higher key." - Pages 446-447.}

190 Think of the wedding guests become one as branches with the true Vine, with Christ as "principle of the world's transformation," and so the water becomes changed for them into wine! What I wonder at is how men of sense can have had such utterly childish nonsense translated; but this is a phenomenon to be noticed. It was a higher ethical ecstasy, a beautiful but extraordinary state of mind! They were transported by the power of Christ's Spirit from the beginning of the world to the ecstasy of the transformed world! That it was typical figure I believe, but: - I do not go further into the mass of mystical nonsense with which this morally weak man goes on, pages 451-453. The resurrection of the wicked has no place in his system. Miracle I have noticed elsewhere - exclusive of natural means it may be, but the true miraculousness lies in this when God's will, whether powers of nature are used or not, is the cause by immediate power, if without natural means, mediately or by those means of an effect which would not otherwise arise, is produced where natural agencies would not be in activity without God's will at the time - it is a miracle.

191 Pages 476-479. All is wrong here as to parables. Christ uses them both ways. I do not doubt that God formed the imagery of the world in a way adapted to moral use, but to make it part of the form of life is all false - a kind of Platonism.

Page 483. All the statements as to the parables of the kingdom are incorrect, and the interpretation erroneous, while his "susceptible souls" are mixed up with what is really contradictory through his dread of "fatalism," and denial of grace.

Page 491. Here, with the common misinterpretation, we have the evil principle of the whole book. I leave all the parabolic interpretation; but (page 512) we have the natural human heart identified with grace in Christ; in page 515 a difference in man's nature, in man's capacity for salvation - a horrible principle flowing from his rejection of grace. Whence comes it? See too page 523, where "kingdom of the Spirit

means" man's state spiritually by nature," "the mental gift"; so page 524, the unfaithful servant, where the principle comes forth in a frightful shape.