Indiana Creek, Iowa, Sept. 9, 1856.
Friend Beebe: Will you please give your views through the Signs, on the divinity and humanity of Christ? Should you comply with my request, you will oblige,
AN INQUIRER AFTER TRUTH.
The terms divinity, and humanity, which are in much use among theologians, are not used in reference to Christ, by the inspired writers; we must therefore, take them in the theological sense in which they are commonly used. By the divinity of Christ, so far as we can learn, is generally intended his independent, eternal Godhead, and by his humanity, that body of flesh and blood in which he became incarnate, which was made of a woman, made under the law, &c. We have been engaged for many years in trying to exhibit our views of the blessed Redeemer, in reference to his Godhead, his manhood, and also in his mediatorial identity as the Head and Life of his body, the church. But after all that has been said and written on the subject, we have yet to say, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh,” &c. So absolutely is he God, that all the angels are commanded to worship him, and so truly was he man, that he could be born of a virgin, cradled in a manger, grow in stature to manhood, hunger, thirst, be weary, and his soul could be exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death; could feel the infirmities of his people, groan in spirit, and sweat, as it were, great drops of blood; yea, he could die upon the cross, and be buried, and finally be raised again from the dead, by the glory of the Father, and ascend up into heaven. As God, he is one with the Father, independent, self-existent and almighty. By him all things were made that were made, and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. As man, he could be tempted in all points like his brethren, and yet remain uncontaminated by sin. None can deny his essential, eternal and unbegotten Godhead, and consistently hold that he is a Savior, for he says by the prophet, “I am God, and beside me there is no Savior.” If, then, he is a Savior, he is also God. In his incarnation he took part of the same flesh and blood that his children are partakers of. The propriety of calling his Godhead, divinity, or his manhood, humanity, we will leave others to decide; we prefer, when treating on a subject so awfully sacred, to use only such adjectives as the Scriptures furnish. Peter speaks of the divine nature, but as he also speaks of the saints being partakers of it, we have supposed that the mediatorial fullness of which John also speaks (John i. 14,16,) was intended. Brethren must read and judge for themselves, but we do not feel prepared to say that the life and immortality, which Christ gives to his saints, is anything short of divine nature, while the Scriptures plainly teach that the essential attributes of eternal Godhead are peculiar to the Godhead, and incommunicable to any inferior beings. On the other hand, we dare not say that that perfect, mystical body, or stature, which comprehends the Head and body of the church, was only human.
We may not have comprehended the design of “An Inquirer after Truth,” but we have briefly stated some of our views on the subject, according to the very limited light we have of that Savior whom we desire to worship, adore and trust as the God of our salvation, who came in the flesh, and was found in fashion as a man, but we do most heartily say,
“Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on thee:
Leave, ah leave me not alone,
All my help must come from thee.”
No couplet in the celebrated stanzas of Watts has ever afforded more sweetness to us than these,
“Jesus, my God, I know his name.
His name is all my trust.”
We have neither the time nor space to extend our remarks at this time. May the subject be opened gloriously by the Holy Spirit, to the understanding, joy and rejoicing of all the saints, for the Redeemer’s sake.
Middletown, N. Y.
September 15, 1856.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 377 - 378