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Reconciliation to God in Christ..pdf

Reconciliation to God in Christ..pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN JAMES TAYLER,




2 CORINTHIANS v. 19:
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."
BY JOHN JAMES TAYLER,




2 CORINTHIANS v. 19:
"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 25, 2013
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Reconciliation to God in Christ.BY JOH JAMES TAYLER,2 CORITHIAS v. 19:"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself."age, whatever may be its faults in other respects, cannot be charged generally with want of earnestness. The last century was marked bya shallow rationalism, which dealt in compromise, wassatisfied with half-solutions, and never pushed its principles to their legitimate issue. But now, on all sides,men are awake to the grandeur of the questions that arecontroverted between them. If there be much doubt(and doubt is the indispensable precursor of the highesttruth), there is no scoffing and no irreverence. Men arestriving everywhere to be genuine and self-consistent.We see this as well in the renovated zeal of orthodoxy,as in the fearless consequentially of unbelief. It is notsurprising, therefore, that, for the present, opinion should282 Reconciliation to God in Christ.seem to be taking an extreme form in opposite directions. First, there are those who, in their wish to freetheir minds from all gratuitous assumptions inheritedfrom the past, and to look at the great problems of ourbeing with thoroughly unprejudiced eyes, regard thisworld as a simple fact a mere system of orderly phy
 
sical development, governed by universal and undevi-ating laws, with man for its last and highest product.Then, there are others, who see in Christianity a rectification of the moral disorder of the world, by a specialinterposition once for all, creating certain artificial relations towards God, which secure salvation to those whoavail themselves of them, but abandon the remnant of the human race to hopeless perdition. The former recognize law, order, progressive development, but noliving, moral contact between an invisible Spirit pervading the universe and the finite spirits of menphenomena, but nothing behind and beyond phenomena. The latter see, indeed, a God beyond and abovethe world, but believe Him to have stepped forth intothe midst of human affairs in one line only of cosmicaldevelopment, and for the benefit of a certain portiononly of the human race, leaving all other periods of history unblessed by the Divine Presence, and all othermembers of the human family shut out from the Divinemercies. But is this our only alternative ? Are wecondemned to choose between a Pantheistic and anEcclesiastical construction of the universe ? Is therenot a view of Christ and Christianity which can admitthe uniform and unfailing law and the progressive development of the one theory, without its godless desti-Reconciliation to God in Christ. 283tution ; and recognize, with the other, the descent of the Divine into the human, and the direct intercourseof God and man, without taking the gospel out of therealm of universal law, without relegating it to a singleorder of historical events, and limiting its benefits to aportion only of mankind ? Let us see.(1.) Religion in all its forms rests on the assumption of a certain intercourse and sympathy between thehuman and the Divine. It is the mysterious contact
 
of the mind, which we are conscious of possessingwithin ourselves, with another and a higher Mind outside our own, though akin to it, and at all times presentto it, and enfolding it. Here is the realm of faith.Hence all prayer and all worship. This is one of thoseprimary beliefs which we must be content to take as itis given to us, without looking for any ulterior reasonthat would logically enforce its acceptance. But, if aprimary belief, how, it may be asked, can it ever belost ? To answer this, we must advert, for a moment,to the order of mental development in man. The instinctive affections and primary beliefs lie at the basisof our nature, and furnish the groundwork on which thereasoning faculties build up the progressive structure of materials collected by observation and drawn out intogeneral truths and rules of action by comparison andinference. These reasoning faculties are more properlyman s own. Their exercise depends on his will. Theyare trained and perfected by his personal industry.Here, within certain limits, he is the creator and architect of his own condition. As he progresses in themarch of civilization, he becomes so absorbed in the284 Reconciliation to God in Christ.employment of these powers, lie finds such interest anddelight in applying them to the increase of his knowledge, his power and his wealth, that at last he thinksof himself solely as a productive and reasoning animal.He forgets the ultimate ground on which he stands.The primitive trusts, on which his whole mental fabricrests, are either entirely hidden from view by the vastartificial superstructure that has been reared over them,or have so closely blended themselves with subsequentprocesses of thought, that it becomes very difficult, inthe advanced periods of social culture, to distinguish,amidst the tangled mass of human opinion, the elementsoriginally infused into our nature by God, from the re

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