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ascend first to His distinct Personality, and then to the full truth of His substantial Godhead.
Yet the Logos necessarily suggests to our minds the further idea of communicativeness; the Logos is Speech as well as Thoughtf. And of His actual self-communication St. John mentions two phases or stages; the first creation, the second revelation. The Word unveils Himself to the soul through the mediation of objects of sense in the physical world, and He also unveils Himself immediately. Accordingly St. John says that 'all things were made' by the Word, and that the Word Who creates is also the Revealer: the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.' He possesses dóća, that is, in St. John, the totality of the Divine attributes. This glory' is not merely something belonging to His Essential Nature; since He allows us to behold It through His veil of Flesh.
What indeed this dófa or glory was, we may observe by considering that St. John's writings appear to bring God before us, at least more particularly, under a threefold aspect.
1. God is Life (śwń). The Father is 'living 8;' He has life in Himself hy God is not merely the living God, that is, the real God, in contrast to the non-existent and feigned deities of the heathen: God is Life, in the sense of Self-existent Being; He is the Focus and the Fountain of universal life. In Him life may be contemplated in its twofold activity, as issuing from its source, and as returning to its object. The Life of God passes forth from Itself; It lavishes Itself throughout the realms of nothingness; It summons into being worlds, systems, intelligences, orders of existences unimagined before. In doing this It obeys no necessary law of self-expansion, but pours Itself forth with that highest generosity that belongs to a perfect freedom. That is to say, that God the Life is God the Creator. On the other hand, God is Being returning into Itself, finding in Itself Its perfect and consummate satisfaction. God is thus
bezeichnen soll, nach dessen Bilde Gott den Menschen geschaffen hat. Dieser Subordinatianismus, nach welchem der Logos zwar uedóplós tis beoû φύσις, aber του μεν ελάττων, ανθρώπου δε κρείττων 1st (i. p. 683) 1st nicht der neu-testamentliche, welcher vielmehr die ewige Wesenseinheit des Vaters und des Sohnes zur Voraussetzung hat (Phil
. ii. 6; Kol. i. 15 f.), und die Unterordnung des letztern in dessen Abhängigkeit vom Vater setzt.'
? Cf Delitzsch, System der Biblischen Psychologie, p. 138.
The Divine Nature, how represented in St.John. 233
the object of all dependent Life ; He is indeed the object of His own Life; all His infinite powers and faculties turn ever inward with uncloyed delight upon Himself as upon their one adequate End or Object. We cannot approach more nearly to a definition of pleasure than by saying that it is the exact correspondence between a faculty and its object. Pleasure is thus a test of vitality; and God, as being Life, is the one Being Who is supremely and perfectly happy.
2. Again, God is Love (àyánn)i Love is the relation which subsists between God and all that lives as He has willed. Love is the bond of the Being of God. Love binds the Father to that Only Son Whom He has begotten from all eternityj. Love itself knows no beginning; it proceeds from the Father and the Son from all eternity. God loves created life, whether in nature or in grace; He loves the race of men, the unredeemed world k; He loves Christians with a special lovel. In beings thus external to Himself, God loves the life which He has given them; He loves Himself in them; He is still Himself the ultimate, rightful, necessary Object of His love. Thus love is of His essence; it is the expression of His necessary delight in His own existence.
3. Lastly, God is Light (pôs). That is to say, He is absolute intellectual and moral Truth; He is Truth in the realms of thought, and Truth in the sphere of action. He is the Allknowing and the perfectly Holy Being. No intellectual ignorance can darken His all-embracing survey of actual and possible fact; no stain can soil His robe of awful Sanctity. Light is not merely the sphere in which He dwells: He is His own sphere of existence; He is Himself Light, and in Him is no darkness at all m.
11 St. John iv. 8: ο μή αγαπών, ουκ έγνω τον Θεόν· ότι ο Θεός αγάπη εστίν. Ιbid. ver. Ι6: ο Θεός αγάπη εστί, και ο μένων εν τη αγάπη, εν τω Θεώ μένει, και ο Θεός εν αυτώ.
3 St. John iii. 35 : ο Πατήρ αγαπά τον Υιόν και πάντα δέδωκεν εν τη χειρί αυτού. Ιbid. v. 20: ο γάρ Πατήρ φιλεί τον Υιόν, και πάντα δείκνυσιν αυτώ & αυτός ποιεί. Ιbid. Σ. 17, XV. 9. Ιbid. xvii. 24: ηγάπησάς με πρό καταβολής κόσμου.
E St. John iii. Ι6: ούτω γαρ ηγάπησεν ο Θεός τον κόσμον, ώστε τον Υιόν αυτού τον μονογενή έδωκεν. 1 St. John iv. 1ο: αυτός ηγάπησεν ημάς, και απέστειλε τον Υιόν αυτού έλασμόν περί των αμαρτιών ημών. Ιbid. ver. 19: ημείς αγαπώμεν αυτόν, ότι αυτός πρώτος ηγάπησεν ημάς.
i St. John xiv. 23, xvi. 27. τη 1 St. John 1. 5: ο Θεός φώς έστι, και σκοτία εν αυτώ ουκ έστιν ουδεμία. Ibid. ver. 7: autós éotiv ¿v Tộ pwrl. Here èv does not merely point to the sphere in which God dwells. In St. John this preposition is constantly
These three aspects of the Divine Nature, denoted by the terms Life, Love, and Light, are attributed in St. John's writings with abundant explicitness to the Word made flesh.
Thus, the Logos is Light. He is the Light, that is, the Light Which is the very essence of God. The Baptist indeed preaches truth; but the Baptist must not be confounded with the Light Which he heralds 0. The Logos is the true Light. All that has really enlarged the stock of intellectual truth or of moral goodness among men, all that has ever lighted any soul of man, has radiated from Him P. He proclaims Himself to be the Light of the world, and the Truth?; and His Apostle, speaking of the illumination shed by Him upon the Church, reminds Christians that “the darkness is passing, and the true Light now shineth s'
The Logos is Love. He refracts upon the Father the fulness of His lovet. He loves the Father as the Father loves Himself. The Father's love sends Him into the world, and He obeys out of love u. It is love which draws Him together with the Father to make His abode in the souls of the faithful s.
used to denote the closest possible relationship between two subjects, or, as here, between a subject and its attribute. Cf. Reuss, Théologie Chré. tienne, ii. p. 434, for this as well as many of the above observations and references.
ο St. John i. 7: ούτος ήλθεν εις μαρτυρίαν, ίνα μαρτυρήση περί του φωτός Ibid. ver. 8: ουκ ήν εκείνος το φως, αλλ' ίνα μαρτυρήση περί του φωτός.
• Ιbid. ver. 9: ήν το φως το αληθινόν.
Ρ Ιbid.: φωτίζει πάντα άνθρωπον ερχόμενον εις τον κόσμον. “Das φωτίζειν πάντα άνθρωπον, als charakteristische Wirksamkeit des wahren Lichts, bleibt wahr, wenngleich empirisch diese Erleuchtung von Vielen nicht empfangen wird. Das empirische Verhältniss kommt darauf zurück : quisquis illuminatur, ab hac luce illuminatur. (Beng.).' Meyer in Joh. i. 9. The Evangelist means more than this: no human being is left with. out a certain measure of natural light, and this light is given by the Divine Logos in all cases.
4 St. John viii. 12: εγώ είμι το φως του κόσμου και ακολουθών εμοί, ου μη περιπατήσει εν τη σκοτία, άλλ' έξει το φως της ζωής. Ιbid. iii. 19: το φως enhavdev els rov koouov, that is, in the Incarnate Word. Ibid. ix. 5: őtav év τω κόσμω ώ, φώς είμι του κόσμου. Ιbid. xii. 46: εγώ φως εις τον κόσμον ελήλυθα, ένα πας και πιστεύων εις εμέ, εν τη σκοτία μη μείνη. Comp. Eph. v. 8. r St. John xiv. 6. * I St. John ii. 8: η σκοτία παράγεται, και το φως το αληθινόν ήδη φαίνει. t St. John xiv. 31.
i St. John iii. 16: ¿v TOÚTQ éyvárajev Thv åránnu (the absolute charity), ότι εκείνος υπέρ ημών την ψυχήν αυτού έθηκε. Cf. St. John iii. 16.
* St. John xiv. 23 : εάν τις αγαπά με, τον λόγον μου τηρήσει, και ο Πατήρ μου αγαπήσει αυτόν, και προς αυτόν έλευσόμεθα, και μονήν παρ' αυτώ ποιήσομεν. Ibid. xiii. 1, xv. 9.
The Word is the Only-begotten Son.
The Logos is Life. He is the Life y, the eternal Life , the Life Which is the Essence of God. It has been given Him to have life in Himself, as the Father has life in Himself a. He can give life b; nay, life is so emphatically His prerogative gift, that He is called the Word of Life o.
Thus the Word reveals the Divine Essence; His Incarnation makes that Life, that Love, that Light, which is eternally resident in God, obvious to souls that steadily contemplate Himself. These terms, Life, Love, Light—so abstract, so simple, so suggestive-meet in God; but they meet also in Jesus Christ. They do not only make Him the centre of a philosophy. They belong to the mystic language of faith more truly than to the abstract terminology of speculative thought. They draw hearts to Jesus; they invest Him with a higher than any intellectual beauty. The Life, the Love, the Light, are the 'glory' of the Word Incarnate which His disciples 'beheld,' pouring its rays through the veil of His human tabernacled. The Light, the Love, the Life, constitute the “fulness' whereof His disciples received e. Herein is comprised that entire body of grace and truth f, by which the Word Incarnate gives to men the right to become the sons of God 8.
But, as has been already abundantly implied, the Word is also the Son. As applied to our Lord, the title “Son of God’ is protected by epithets which sustain and define its unique significance. In the synoptic Gospels, Christ is termed the well-beloved' Son h. In St. Paul He is God's Own' Soni In St. John He is the Only-begotten Son, or simply the Only
v St. John xi. 25: 476 eiur... ń swń. Ibid. xiv. 6.
1 1 St. John ν. 20: ούτός εστιν... η ζωή αιώνιος. The oύτος is referred to the Father by Lücke and Winer. But see p. 242, note".
• St. John ν. 26: έδωκε και το Υιώ ζωήν έχειν εν εαυτώ. b Ibid. i. 3, 4. o i St. John i. 1: dabos Tís (wñs. Reuss, Théol. Chrét. ii. p. 445.
d St. John i. 14: ο Λόγος σαρξ εγένετο, και έσκήνωσεν εν ημίν, και εθεασάμεθα την δόξαν αυτού.
• Ιbid. ver. 16: και εκ του πληρώματος αυτού ημείς πάντες ελάβομεν. 1 Ιbid. ver. 14: πλήρης χάριτος και αληθείας.
6 Ιbid. 1. 12: όσοι δε έλαβον αυτόν, έδωκεν αυτοίς εξουσίαν τέκνα Θεού γενέσθαι.
hoyatntós, St. Matt. iii. 17, xii. 18, xvii. 5; St. Mark i. 11, ix. 7, xii. 6; St. Luke iii. 22, ix. 35. Cod. Alex. reads ékhedeyuévov, . 13; cf. 2 St. Peter i. 17.
1 Rom. viii. 32: του ιδίου Υιού ουκ εφείσατο. Ιbid. ver. 3: τον εαυτού Yίον πέμψας.
begotten k. This last epithet surely means, not merely that God has no other such Son, but that His Only-begotten Son is, in virtue of this Sonship, a partaker of that incommunicable and imperishable Essence, Which is sundered from all created life by an impassable chasm. If St. Paul speaks of the Resurrection as manifesting this Sonship to the world 1, the sense of the word povoyevns remains in St. John, and it is plainly defined by its context to relate to something higher than any event occurring in time, however great or beneficial to the human race m.' The Only-begotten Son n is in the bosom of the Father (8 @ov els TÒV κόλπον του Πατρός) just as the Logos is προς τον Θεόν, ever contemplating, ever, as it were, moving towards Him in the ceaseless activities of an ineffable communion. The Son is His Father's equal, in that He is partaker of His nature: He is His Subordinate, in that this Equality is eternally derived. But the Father worketh hitherto and the Son works; the Father hath life in Himself, and has given to the Son to have life in Himself; all men are to honour the Son even as they honour the Father o. How does the Son of God, as presented to us in Scripture, differ from Him, Whom the Church knows and worships as God the Son ?
Each of these expressions, the Word and the Son, if taken alone, might have led to a fatal misconception. In the language of Church history, the Logos, if unbalanced by the idea of Sonship, might have seemed to sanction Sabellianism. The Son, without the Logos, might have been yet more successfully pressed into the service of Arianism. An Eternal Thought or Reason, even although constantly tending to express itself in speech, is of itself
k St. John i. 14: εθεασάμεθα την δόξαν αυτού, δόξαν ως μονογενούς παρά Πατρός. Ιbid. i. 18: ο μονογενής Υιος, ο ών εις τον κόλπον του Πατρός. Ιbid. iii. 16: [ο Θεός] τον Υιόν αυτού τον μονογενή έδωκεν. Ιbid. ver. 18: και δε μη πιστεύων ήδη κέκριται, ότι μη πεπίστευκεν εις το όνομα του μονογενούς Υδου του Θεού. Cf. I St. John iv. 9: τον Υιόν αυτού τον μονογενή απόσταλκεν και Θεός εις τον κόσμον, ίνα ζήσωμεν δι' αυτού. The word μονογενής is used by St. Luke of the son of the widow of Nain (vii. 12), of the daughter of Jairus (viii. 42), and of the lunatic son of the man who met our Lord on His coming down from the mount of the transfiguration (ix. 38). In Heb. xi. 17 it is applied to Isaac. uovoyevús means in each of these cases that which exists once only, that is, singly in its kind.' (Tholuck, Comm. in Joh. i. 14.) God has one Only Son Who by nature and necessity is His Son.
1 Acts xiii. 32, 33; Rom. i. 4. Compare on the other hand, Heb. v. 8. m Newman's Arians, p. 174.
* St. John i. 18, 8 uovoyevus riós, where the Vat. and Sin. MSS. and Cod, Ephr. read uovoyevns @EOL. Scrivener defends Tiós. Int. N. T. ed. 3. p. 604. For the Patristic evidence, see Alford in loc. • St. John v. 17, 23, 26.