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positive certainty, it is evident, that natural conscience cannot be sufficient to convince a man that this duty is incumbent upon him alone of all the millions of mankind ; for can this teach any one for certainty that he possesses exactly that measure of wisdom, which he must possess,

who attempts to unite all men to one religious creed in • common?' whether his strength has perfectly grown to

that single, supreme duty ? whether his time and circumstances have been adapted and actually destined by God? whether he has that moral superiority over all men that ever have been or are to be, which the founder of the church must have? One is incapacitated from knowing all this in a natural way in exact proportion as he recognises the universal corruption of mankind which renders it impossible for any one to have an infallible knowledge of what lies within at the bottom of his own heart. He can not know, but that a greater or better one will come after him, nor, if he is conscious of no higher connexion with God, of no immediate commission and call from God, be certain that God will not render another man as efficient by an extraordinary influence and mission, as he himself is merely the natural means. And further, how could he, directed by the natural information in his possession, presume to declare himself once for all the first and best guide of mankind, and all those who after him may assume this dignity, to be deceivers ? Without an immediate divine call there remains something arbitrary and presumptuous in announcing one's self, merely under the guidance of natural feelings, to be a founder of the church. Nothing but an immediate call from God and one the possibility of which is incontrovertible, can authorize a man to do any such thing. If we recognise Jesus as possessed of the clearest self-consciousness, the highest wisdom, and the most undoubted purity of will, then this dignity of his requires us to believe that he did not resolve to undertake and execute the magnificent work in question without being infallibly certain of the express will and commission of God in the case. In short, a call to become the moral head of the whole human family, is one, the execution of which, for moral considerations, cannot be undertaken without an immediate command from God.

This reason derives strength from a national one applicable to Jesus. He in common with all the rest of his countrymen, believed in the high and extraordinary revelations of God. They were received by the prophets, and related in a great measure to the Messiah. If therefore Jesus believed that God intended to send the Messiah of the Old Testament, and by him found an eternal kingdoin for the good of all men, and yet received no divine and miraculous intelligence in regard to his own person in this respect, this fact would have furnished him with sufficient proof that he himself had not been destined to become the Messiah ; and if, nevertheless, he had undertaken the calling of the Messiah, he would have done it without any order and in opposition to the will of God. Christ's convictions of truth, therefore, derived as they were from the ancient prophecies, were of such a character as to lead us to the conclusion, that morally he could never have undertaken to found a kingdom of God upon earth without a high, and divine commission.

To deny that Jesus immediately received any such divine call, and make him have determined to become the Messiah from a heroic act of his own will, as well as to clothe what is thought to have passed at the same time in the interior of his own heart in romantic monologues,* is the right way to deduce the actions of Jesus from an enthusiastic exaltation or one less noble; to imagine bim secretly ensnared in a fine self-deception ;t and, at the bottom, to assume that one understands the internal springs of bis life better than he did himself. When it comes to this pass, it is, as has long been admitted, selfevident, that nothing more can be said of that perfect self

* Such an one is to be found in the Briefe über d. Ration., S. 172 174, in every respect à la Bahrdt and Venturini.

| As Carus himself has done, Psychologie der Hebräer, S. 305,

resignation to Christ in which his word and work become . binding upon the heart and conscience, and we put our confidence in him.* None can have faith in Jesus Christ but those who recognise him as a divine messenger; not in that vague sense in which any distinguished man may say, but in the only sense grounded upon the Sacred Scriptures and the testimony of Jesus himself. This is the only faith by which Christianity, the church, and religion, can be sustained among us.

* Plank points out this tendency of the new theology in a very excellent manner in the Erste Amtsjahre des Pfarrers von S. Gött., 1823, S. 19. “ The first theological teacher commenced his first lesson with declaring that he felt himself compelled to initiate us into nothing but pure and sublime Christianity. A new theology has arisen the advocates of which have finally with a buld hand torn away from Christianity, the vail in which for almost 18 centuries it had been inwrapped ; " for," say they,“ it can no longer be concealed that the time of believing in Christ has passed by.

ERRATA

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