FROM OUR EXCHANGES

[Rev. R. J. Campbell, M.A., in Christian Commonwealth.]

The one great reason why so many people shrink from identifying Jesus with humanity in any form is because they know only too well that humanity taken on the whole is anything but worshipful, and they want to worship him. They like to feel that he is somehow essentially and eternally different from our poor sinful, struggling, burdened race; they seek not merely an example, a leader, a sympathizer, a frail fellow mortal, though stronger and wiser than the rest of us, but a savior, a mediator, a redeemer. And this is a right feeling, worthy of all respect; it arises not so much from any wish to belittle man as to exalt the Christ-idea; but in their anxiety to do the latter they generally succeed in doing the former, too, which is a great mistake; Christ's greatness does not need to be contrasted with our littleness in order to show itself divine. to say that he is eternally what we never shall be, is an unwarrantable assumption, ascribing to him an unearned privilege, a kind of superiority which is no more to his credit than the want of it is blameworthy in us. The fact is, we have here an example of the way in which theology has been colored by the political and social strata through which it has passed; in the traditional doctrine of the person of Christ, with its sharp line of distinction between humanity and divinity, we have a survival of ancient ideas of aristocratic birth and royal blood, ideas alien to the spirit of the age in which we live. This is the age of democracy, with its ideas of equality of opportunity and of the solidarity of the individual with the whole stock from which he springs; and it cannot be long before all our thinking about the relations of human and divine will have to partake of these irresistible conceptions.

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August 31, 1912
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