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The Incarnation.

The Incarnation.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. S. BARING-GOULD, M.A
BY REV. S. BARING-GOULD, M.A

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 18, 2013
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08/18/2013

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THE ICARATIO.BY REV. S. BARIG-GOULD, M.AIn my fourth lecture I showed you that the motiveof creation was love for man existing potentiallyin the mind of the Creator.Man has a double nature : he is part spiritual,part material, and therefore in him the possibilityof a fall from his ideal exists.But to lead him to God, he has the world to gazeupon, and in it God's thoughts are legible. But it isquite possible for him to rest in the visible creationwithout looking through it to the ideas of which it isthe expression, because, as to his body, he is animal ;and to the animal the exterior of the world is all.ow if God's motive in creation be love, as Ishowed, and there exist in the essence of man'snature the possibility of a fall ; then it is probablethat God would also provide a possibility of re-storation.But before considering further this point, let mesay a word or two on the duality in man, and itsconsequences.M1 62 THE ICARATIO.In man there are two principles, or two ideas,not necessarily opposed, quite possible of con-ciliation ; but the fact of this duality in man's
 
nature shows that in him lies the possibility of aschism.There are two elements in the universe, God andphenomena. There are two possibilities open toman possessed of a double nature. He may seek God through nature, or he may seek nature for andin itself. He may rest in the word, or seek thereason of the word.The possibility of temptation, and therefore ota fall, lies in the fact that there exists a pheno-menal world, which may be mistaken by man forthe object to which his nature tends, to the obscura-tion and oblivion of his spiritual ideal and pole.By making that which is created, material, pheno-menal, his goal, he deifies nature. ature is agod to the beast, because it is the sole object towhich it gravitates.And man, by virtue of the duality of his nature,is capable of gravitating like the beast.But nature, which is mother to the beast, shouldbe only step-mother to man, said the ancients. ^In that man is spiritual, he is in the likeness of God ; in that he is material, he is in the likenessof the world ; and this two-sidedness of his naturemakes him liable to fall from God.' The saying is in Philo ; whence he quoted it I do not know.THE IC A RA TIO, 1 6 3But this is just a possibility which should havefor ever remained a possibiHty.The animal that follows its instinct completes
 
the purpose of its life. Man who is governed byhis passions cannot be said to do so, for hehas given no room for expansion to his spiritualnature.The child and the savage are the puppets of circumstance. That is to say, they are subject tothe fatal dominion of exterior forces. We com-plain that they are capricious. They do not actfrom rational motives, but from the impulse of themoment ; and the impulse of the moment is thetransformation of a sensation.Richardson, speaking of the Dogrib Indians, useswords which will describe equally any savages. " Wefound that however high the reward they expectedto receive on reaching their destination, they couldnot be depended upon to carry letters. A slightdifficulty, the prospect of a banquet on venison, ora sudden impulse to visit some friend, were suffi-cient to turn them aside for an indefinite lengthoi time."Few questions have been more hotly debatedthan that of free-will ; but, it seems to me, thatquestion is comparatively simple. It resolves itself into this — Has man got a mind open to ideas notnecessarily concerning his animal development }If he have, is that mind subject to the law of M 21 64 THE ICARA TIO.growth ? If it be, can he advance or retard thatgrowth ?Or, more simply — Is man capable of resisting

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