The Virgin-Birth of Our Lord eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 34 pages of information about The Virgin-Birth of Our Lord.

“Like causes produce like effects.  In similar circumstances, you may expect the same forces to operate in the same way.  But when some new force is introduced, you cannot expect the same results.  The Birth of Christ, if He is what all the writers of the New Testament believed Him to be, was necessarily unlike ours in that one great respect.  We had no existence before we were born, however poets and poetical philosophers may play with the notion.  But the New Testament writers believed that He whom we know as Jesus Christ was living with a full, vigorous, personal life for ages before He appeared in the world as man.  They maintained that He was present and active in the making of the world, and immanent in the development of human history, which formed a new beginning at His Birth.  They said He was God, the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father, who came down from heaven, and voluntarily entered into the conditions of human life.  Admit the possibility that they were right, and you will no longer ask that His mode of entrance into our conditions should be in all things like our own.  If you acknowledge that Jesus Christ was Divine first and became human afterwards, you cannot but say with St. Ambrose, when you hear that He was born of a Virgin:  ’Talis decet partus Deum’—­a birth of that kind is befitting to one who is God.  We do not—­no one ever did—­believe Christ to be God because He was born of a Virgin; that is not the order of thought [and we have seen that it was certainly not the order of Apostolic preaching]; but we can recognize that if He was God, it was not unnatural for Him to be so born.  No sound genuine historical criticism can deny that the Virgin-Birth was part of the Creed of Primitive Christianity, and that nothing that can be truly called science can object to that belief, unless it starts with the assumption, which, of course, it cannot even attempt to prove, that Christ was never more than man."*

Similarly Professor Stanton:  “The chief ground on which thoughtful Christian believers are ready to accept it [the miraculous Conception] is that, believing in the personal indissoluble union between God and man in Jesus Christ, the miraculous Birth of Jesus Christ is the only fitting accompaniment for this unions and, so to speak, the natural expression of it in the order of outward effects."+

—­ * Guardian, November 19, 1902. + Stanton, Jewish and Christian Messiah p. 376. —­



But we may surely go further than this, and say that, in regard to St. Paul, his language as to the Second Adam seems to necessitate the Virgin-Birth.  In St. Paul’s view there are, so to speak, only two men:  “The first man is of the earth earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. xx. 47.)—­a new starting-point for humanity.  This doctrine of the Second Adam, of this fresh start given to the human race by Jesus

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The Virgin-Birth of Our Lord from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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