THE CONSCIOUS AND THE UNCONSCIOUS SIDE OF THE WORK OF GRACE.
"Marvel not," says Jesus to Nicodemus (John iii. 7), "that I said unto thee, Ye must be born from above. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." Nicodemus marvelled because he could not otherwise conceive of a mystery which lay out of the region of the sensible and the natural, than according to sense and nature, and therefore found it contrary to common sense. Jesus, desirous of explaining that the birth from above is not sensible and natural, in condescension to Nicodemus, makes use of a parable drawn from the region of nature. The Spirit has its natural analogue in the wind, with which it 1 Vid. thereupon, Thomasius, Dogm. iv. 112-121.
has the same name: the wind is the most essentially similar elementary phenomenon to the Spirit of God which pervades the creation, and operates through the entire life of nature. As then the wind bloweth where it listeth, i.e. now here, now there, without being subject to limits, and without allowing its paths to be prescribed, and as perchance its rush may be heard, although it cannot be determined where it at first began, and how far at the time it may go, or where it may cease;1 so it is with every one that is born of the Spirit. The operation of the Spirit of regeneration is therefore, (1) a free one, withdrawn from the power of human volition, of human special agency; (2) a mysterious one, lying beyond human consciousness, and only to be recognised by its effects. The regenerated person recognises himself,—when he compares his present condition with his old one and its still uneradicated remains,—as a new man, with a fundamentally changed tendency of all his powers, released, by sprinkling with Christ's blood, from his previously evil conscience, or—what is essentially the same thing—become, by the justifying grace of redemption, instead of a child of wrath, once more a child of the God of love, and renewed in the foundations of his nature according to the image of God, even as that nature has in Christ attained a new creative energy in humanity. He hears the voice of the Spirit, like the rush of the wind; he experiences in himself the testimony of the spirit of his adoption— the groanings that cannot be uttered, mingling with his prayer —the cry of Abba—the discipline of the Holy Spirit manifesting itself in many ways, in instruction, warning, and reproof; he is enlightened once for all; he tastes the heavenly gift of forgiveness of sins, in which are comprehended all the riches of grace; he knows himself in the actual possession of the Holy Ghost; he tastes the dear comforting word of God, and the powers of the future world of perfection, which are already acting upon this present state (Heb. vi. 4 et seq.). But all these things are only still the results of that which has transpired in him: the divine fact is, and remains for him, in an unattainable depth placed below his consciousness; and as the natural birth, which his natural conscious life has as its foundation, so the spiritual birth, the basis of his spiritual conscious life, remains hidden from him in darkness. He is conscious to himself of that which is effected, 1 Thus rightly Paul Anton, in Hengstenberg, in loco.
but only as the result of a spiritual work that has transpired in the region of his unconsciousness.
It is peculiar to all God's creative agencies, that the creature which is thereby brought into existence, or in which this or that is brought into existence, has no consciousness of what is occurring. When Adam, in consequence of the divine inbreathing, came to the consciousness of himself, his creation was thus already perfected; and when God would create the woman out of him, he caused a deep sleep first to fall upon him; and when he awoke, the woman stood before him. It is just in the same way still that man comes into existence. In respect of the husband and wife, who are the instruments of the propagating divine creative power, the moment of conception is associated with an actual veiling of the consciousness; and the consciousness of the spirit of the embryo is germinally restrained, and does not awake until glimmering as a feeling of self it finds itself born into the light of the world as a complete man. The creature, in coming into existence, is related to God the Creator as the clay to the potter, Isa. xxix. 16, xlv. 9, lxiv. 7, Jer. xviii. 6, Ecclus. xxxvi. 13, comp. Rom. ix. 20, where the apostle proceeds thereupon to prove the absoluteness of God and of His world-plan as anticipating all consciousness, and all individual agency of man. The creature which God establishes in actual existence is therein absolutely passive. Even to assume only the possibility of a conscious interest of the creature, would be absurd.
The like is the case also with the birth from above. Even the first operation of grace which overpowers us, while we allow ourselves to be overpowered, occurs in us as in the condition of sleep and of death (Eph. v. 14). And the faith which the grace effects, and which lays hold upon and clings to the grace, this first stirring, and this continuous breathing of the new life, is indeed, although in the most manifold modification, a fact of our consciousness; and the word says to our consciousness what God will further give to us by the means of grace, so that we do not take these things for granted at random; but the events themselves, named and promised by the word, all occur in us in the depth of our consciousness, and only now and then reflections of them fall from them upon our consciousness. We receive of the spirit, of the body and blood of Christ, and our believing Ego is transformed into a growing new man within the husk of the old one: we become, through the God-man, who thus communicates to us of His essential fulness, and makes us partakers of His nature, and at the same time partakers of the divine nature (Oelas Koivwvol fyvaew, 2 Pet. i. 4), in that the triune God is internally present to us, and surrounds and pervades us with His threefold love; but we are able neither to contemplate, nor even to distinguish, these divine agencies in their beginning and progress. We know from the word, and from the testimony of the Spirit by means of the word, what is bestowed upon us by grace (1 Cor. ii. 12); but we know it in faith. As we have a natural spontaneous feeling and consciousness of our life, even without being able physiologically to analyze the process of life and its factors; and as this life, without our looking through its mutually involved powers, and even without our applying to it conscious attention, fulfils itself; so we are in faith certain of our life from God, without being able to raise the life that is hidden with Christ in God (Col. iii. 3) into clear and permanent consciousness; and this life fulfils itself without being conditioned by our knowledge and will, sufficiently for us to maintain that living faith, which unites our Ego with this life, and awaits the revelation (1 John iii. 2) of the riches of the glory of this mystery (Col. i. 27). We perceive from Scripture what occurred to us in baptism and the Lord's Supper: we recognise the reality of what occurred, from many kinds of consequences and manifestations which reach into our conscious life; but to what occurred itself we only stand in the relation of unconscious passivity;.and the fact of what occurred is purposely withdrawn from our perception, and is, in the sense of Ex. xxxiii. 22 (where there is permitted to Moses, not the view, but only the back view—only an after glance of one who was withdrawing himself), purely a posteriori. How could the sacramental controversy between our Church and the Reformed Church have arisen, if the nature of the gift and effect of the sacraments, and especially of the Lord's Supper, were not to be determined only according to the word of Scripture, but could also be decided from experimental observation? And if the fact of regeneration took place in the region of our consciousness, how would it be possible that there could be found, even among the most enlightened Christians, such a fluctuation of views upon the distinction between the operations of the word and of the sacraments? How would it be possible that the question, whether there is also an extra-sacramental tasting of Christ's flesh and blood, should be answered by some in one way, by others in another? What we observed in considering the natural spiritual-psychical life of man—viz. that as the spirit's existence commences from a condition of unconsciousness, so also all spiritual growth ripens embryonically in the dark depth of unconsciousness (Div. IV. Sec. VIII.), and this depth conceals within, more than is manifest to man,—is true in a still higher degree, and to a larger extent, of the facts and of the substance of the spiritual life.
In all this we have not as yet considered infant baptism. But if, as (Div. IV. Sec. VIII.) we have shown, the embryonic beginning of human life is, at the same time, the beginning of man's threefold—i.e. bodily, spiritual, and psychical—life, because certainly what is not a priori constituted in germ cannot be developed,—and, as we have just shown, even in the adult the creation of a new beginning of this threefold life is consummated in the region of unconsciousness,—it is not to be doubted that the sacrament of holy baptism may prove, even in the newly born child, to be a bath of regeneration, and may operate in its independent natural life—the beginning of a spiritual life,—especially as the God-man, because He Himself was a child, became even for the age of childhood in His manner the possibility and power of regeneration.1 But still this does not vindicate infant baptism. For all regenerate life has faith as its indispensable postulate—since before all, the Ego of the man is to be restored from perdition. Faith is just the proof to one's self of the Ego turned towards the regenerating, and therefore justifying, grace, and laying hold upon it; and baptism with respect to the man who undergoes it in right apprehension is actually a longing that appeals to God for a good conscience.2 Rightly, therefore, has the question as to
1 " Omnes enim," says Irenseus, ii. 22, 4, "venit per semet ipsum salvare, omnes inquam, qui per eum renascuntur in Deum, infantes et parvulos et pueros et juvenes et seniores. Ideo per omnem venit tetatem, et infantibus infana factus, sanctificans infantes."
2 Thus is avutiOtatu; dyxiii; Wtpl*zi\fitt ttf 0io'»(l Pet. iii. 21) to be understood, with Glider (Die Lehre vom Getvissen nach der Schrift, in Stud.
the justification of infant baptism concentrated itself in the minds of our dogmatists in the question, whether infants are able to believe. They recognise the conclusion, that he who is not capable of faith (capax fidet), is, moreover, not capable of regeneration (capax regenerationis).1 This conclusion is perfectly scriptural. The birth of the spirit cannot be a divine agency that leaves man's spirit alone; it must, before all things, be a divine agency that comprehends this. If it be supposed that a change so ethico-physical as regeneration could occur even in its elementary beginning without co-operation of the personal Ego, then the very centre of human nature is excluded from the regenerating agency of God, in a way that contradicts the personality of man; and if it be supposed that, in the child that is baptized, the necessity for redemption and the desire for redemption take the place of faith, the enigma is not solved,« since this impulse for redemption, if it is not to be as a blind natural impulse, must have the Ego as its subject, no less than faith must. For although the consciousness of the Ego be not associated with all human impulses and conceptions, still they are distinguished from those of the brutes, by the fundamental notion of Ego, even although it remains in the background. Or if one supposes that by baptism—by the power of the relation of grace which the triune God introduces into it—the child is only transferred into the possibility of a regeneration to be realized subsequently (which is confessedly the prevalent view of the Reformed churches), then baptism—which nevertheless finds in the child no obstacle of opposition, as in the unbelieving adult—is emptied of the peculiar efficiency attested by the Scripture. As, after what has been above said, the view often expressed since the time of Augustine2—that the want of faith and intention on the part of the child may be supplied by the faith of the sponsors and of the whole church,—needs no refutation, the justification of infant baptism remains thus,
u. Kritiken, 1857, pp. 283-285), Hofmann (Schri/tb. iii. 184), Schott, and others; for that iiriputvfix means not the beseeching inquiry, but the granted claim, as v. Zezschwitz (De Descensu, p. 45) assumes with Besser, is contrary to the logic to be presumed of the definition.
1 See Schmid, Dogmatik der Ev. Luth. Kirche (edit. 4), p. 418.
* " In ecclesia salvatoris," says Augustine, e.g., c. duas ep. Pelag. i. 22, "parvuli per alios credunt, sicut ex aliis quse in baptismo remittuntur peccata traxerunt." Just so subsequently Luther also.
THE ACTUS DIEECTI AND EEFLEXI OF THE
LIFE OF GRACE.
In order to elucidate the meaning of this distinction, which was first applied dogmatically by Mart. Chemnitz, we proceed from a fact that belongs to the department of the revelation of creation, in which it comes forward well expressed. After Paul, in Bom. i. 20, has said how God from the beginning of the world
1 Thus, for example, Hollaz in the Cap. de gratia regenerante of his Examen.
2 See, for the history of this distinction, Dieckhoff, Abendmahlslehre, i. 183-186, who says here, among other things: "The precise distinctions which here become necessary, may first be found with scientific certainty on the ground of an anthropology and ethics prosecuted in conformity with the faith of the Christian revelation.
made Himself known to human knowledge by His works, so that men are without excuse, lie goes on: "For although they knew God, they glorified Him not nor thanked Him as God, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." It is surprising that the apostle here attributes to men a yvwvat, Tov 0ebv, whilst the heathens, who are here especially under consideration, are elsewhere called ra edvrj rh. firj elSora Tov Qeov (1 Thess. iv. 5; Gal. iv. 8). In both cases 6 0eo? is the true God; so that thus in the same subject knowledge of the true God is affirmed and denied. If yvovre<; be resolved into yvwvai Svvrjdevre<;, it is an unjustifiable exegetical violence. If the attempt be made to understand yvovre< ; as pluperfect, the 19th verse testifies, on the other hand, that the apostle considers this yv<bat<; not as something past, but as something present, between thanklessness and apostasy: for he says, as of men upon whom the wrath of God is revealed, because they restrain the truth in unrighteousness, that that which may be known of God, i.e. God Himself, so far as He has made Himself the subject of knowledge by creation, is manifest in them, and is therefore present to their consciousness.1 Thus the question still remains, in what sense the apostle attributes to the heathens an acquaintance with or knowledge of God, which he elsewhere denies to them. The meaning of the apostle is doubtless this, that God reveals Himself to all men in His works; that they have an organ of perception corresponding to Him;2 and that they all really acknowledge Him also
1 In Pti. xix. this yvuaton Tov ©toS stored up in the creature is called (ver. 3) njn, "Day unto day bubbleth forth the tidings"—i.e. as out of a living inexhaustible opening, the knowledge of God overflows from one day to another—" and night unto night showeth forth knowledge," i.e. every approaching night sets forth the tidings to that which has vanished; so that thus the knowledge of the Creator which is offered to the creature, is conceived of as in incessant expression. Our Father's name is an objectivum vocis non articulate prieconium.
'Oetinger calls it sensus communis; see thereon, Fabri, The Sensus Communis the Organ of the Revelation of God in all Men, 1861. The sensus communis is the capacity—which has remained to man ever since the fall—of recognising God as Creator and Lawgiver and Lord, in the witness of the creature, and of the conscience, and of history,—the residuum left to man of his likeness to God, which may be acknowledged without thereby abating the greatness and depth of original sin and its results, and which must be acknowledged as the result of the above clear testimonies of Scripture.
actu directo;1 but that their knowledge has never come to the inner assent to this self-revelation of God, never to the internal comprehension of Him, never to the free making-subjective (Subjectivirung)of the objectively revealed divine, i.e. it has never come to aetmjre^sfcus. For, as the apostle says in ver. 28, men did not regard it as worth the trouble to have God in their knowledge. He here uses brlnpnoau; purposely instead of 71x00-*?; for eVtywDat?, as distinct from 7i/wat?, is always an actually recognising apprehension of the object, whereof not the iirwvwai<;, although perhaps the yvuxri<;, may be a false, a dead apprehension.2 Men refused to accept God, and thus to have Him in iiriypcoat<;, i.e. to make Him the reflex subject of their consciousness, although He was objectively knowable to them, and was therefore spiritually perceived by them actu directo. Their ungodly will permitted not that result to be produced; similarly as the Pharisees, from the works of Jesus, without being able to evade them, received the impression of the most intimate divine association of His person, but did not allow the knowledge that arises from this impression to get at them. For it is with spiritual perception as with the vision of sense. When the eye falls on an object, this object is copied in the eye, without the eye being able to evade it; but it can immediately turn away from the object perceived, or become closed to it.
We meet with the same distinction of actus directi and refiexi as in the first chapter of Romans, in the prologue of St John's Gospel. When the Evangelist says there, in ver. 4, Koi fj tyorj fjv To d>iw? Twi/ avdpdmwv,—i.e. that life which was in the person of the Word, and which was the Word in person, was the light of men,—he regards in this statement3 the operation of the Logos, inclusively of His incarnation, yet wholly apart from the relation of men to that light for which the life of the Logos
1 Tboluck thinks, probably, in substance the same, when he calls this a "potential latent knowledge."
2 Comp. Huther, On the Epiftle to the Colossians, p. 75.
3 See Hengstenberg, in loco: "The thought can only be, that the Logos from the beginning was virtually the light and life of men; so that, before He appeared in the flesh, men were excluded from light and life,"—according to my own most decided conviction, contrary to the spirit of the Gospel of John,—which teaches a saving operation of the Logos even prior to His incarnation.
was disclosed to them: he expresses only the fact, that the life of the Logos disclosed itself radio directo for the light of entire humanity, and shone into its internal eye. For further on he is constrained to complain that the light which shone in darkness was not welcomed with any desire of humanity to be enlightened by the light: the light became thus what in itself, and acta directo for humanity, it was not, even in subjectively reflected operation. In the same objective sense, the Evangelist says (ver. 9) of the true light, 8 <fxuri^ei iravra avdpwrrov, distinguishing sharply the divine agency going forth upon man, and man's relation thereto. The true light beams without exception upon every man: it has the destination, and the power, and the desire, to enlighten every man; but here also is repeated the mournful complaint, that the world of humanity did not acknowledge Him who wished to be its light, although it was He by whom it received its existence.
The actus directus, in both those cases of revelation which are treated of in the introductions to the Epistle to the Romans and to the Gospel of St John, is rather divine than human. A divine power, offering and awakening acknowledgment, penetrates from what is perceived into man, who stifles the growth of the recognition at the moment when it ought to begin. Just thus it is with the means of grace, with Word and Sacrament. If no condition of external comprehension be wanting to the hearer, yet he does not receive the word without the manifestation in him of the divine energy of its power of conviction. Even although he purposely restrains all wholesome reflection of it in himself, the word, once understood and received, has attained in him, by the radio directo of power proceeding from it, an internal objectivity: he bears it, although fitj 0-vyKaipafievov rf} 'rrlaret, (Heb. iv. 2), in his knowledge and memory; it is'in him as a seed fallen upon stony ground—for the man is as dead— but in itself it is living, and—so soon as the ground of the human heart becomes loosened—striking root and shooting forth. As long as man resists, the word in him is as a power of judgment; but in the fact that he knows the word of the grace of God in Christ, he has still great advantage over him who knows it not: for he needs only to forsake his resistance, and the word in him will be manifested as a power for the enlightenment of his spirit, and for the changing of his personal life. What is true of the word, in the event of its attaining to man's knowledge, is true also of the sacraments, in the event of man's submitting himself to them freely, with the view of receiving them. The condition of their saving reception is faith. There is no such thing as a saving effect of the sacraments that is not conditioned upon faith, and which in this sense occurs ex opere operato.1 Without faith, there is attained no reflex possession of the sacramental gifts, and no reflex consequences of the sacramental agencies. But even in the case where the faith of the receiver does not respond to the sacraments, and the unbelief of the receiver does not allow itself to be overcome, they remain, in their substance and power, what they are in themselves by virtue of the inviolable will of God, which is linked to no human condition. He who is baptized, even if he have not received baptism in a right mental comprehension, needs not to be baptized again: the substantial contents of the sacrament have attained in him a living presence once for all, and there needs only faith, that that may realize itself in a reflex manner in him to his salvation, which he already has inwardly present actu directo, and which radio directo ever presses to be realized in him.2 And he who receives the Lord's Supper not in true faith, still receives Christ's body and blood; and the sacramental gifts manifest themselves in him, in the hope that he may allow them to redound to salvation as disciplining powers (1 Cor. xi. 29-32). The substantial completeness of the sacrament is in both cases dependent on the faith of the receiver.3 But if man in both cases receives what the sacraments by their appointment convey, their saving purpose in the case of unbelief is at least so far attained, that the saving benefits comprehended in the sacraments are brought into immediate nearness to the man. They are appropriated to him by God, for the
1 This is the very kernel of the polemics of our doctrinal writings against the scholastic opus operatum. In remembrance of the assertion of Julius Muller (Die Evangelische Union, 1854, p. 290), that in the doctrine of the sacraments I find myself in contradiction to the creed of my church, I might underline the above passage three times.
* The passage of Schoberlein (Jahrbb. 1861, p. 71) goes too far: "Mere baptism without faith establishes a body of the new man without a soul: faith without baptism, a soul without a body."
'Thus say our creeds and dogmatists: Fides non requiritur ad substantialem sacramenti integritatem. Vid. Schmid, lc, p. 400.
purpose that lie should appropriate them to himself by means of faith.1
Psychologically, it is not to be wondered at. The sacramental gifts, indeed, are pneumatical. For even the God-man, in respect of the nature of His personality, is wholly irvevfia (2 Cor. iii. 17). But God, who is spirit, can make Himself present in man as, and by what means, He will. He can encircle man with His wrath, or in grace with His love. By the sacrament He makes Himself present to him in the whole might of His redeeming, regenerating love. That man who, nevertheless, does not believe, is as a blind man who does not see the sun which beams upon him, or as a dead man, before the door of whose grave, as before that of Lazarus, Christ the raiser of the dead is standing. Much is conferred upon him by grace—a treasure is concealed in his field—he can raise it at any time.2 He needs only to open the eyes of faith, and he finds himself in a paradise, which existed without his faith, and prior to it. The true light which shines into the darkness, and enlightens every man radio directo (John i. 5—9), has gathered itself around the Ego of the baptized person in the narrowest circle of light. The Ego needs only to open itself in faith, and the whole man becomes a light in the Lord ($&<; ev Kvpuo, Eph. v. 8).
It is thus with the adult who, without having living faith, submits himself to baptism. It is otherwise with the child. In order to understand the difference, let the following considerations be pondered. As the direct results of the grace of God going forth upon man, and surrounding him, have faith as their first and essential reflection; so, on the other hand, the faith itself is, according to its nature, an actus directus: namely, a line drawn from us up to Christ, and to God in Christ; a longing
1 In my Four Books of the Church (1847), and my Catechism of the House of God in the Church (1849), I have shown what important results flow therefrom upon the doctrine of the church; and it is since more and more acknowledged, that the divine operations that are performed upon man, on his personal and natural Bide, by means of the word and sacrament, are the ground of the church's unity, and that the holy sacraments, according to their special agency, form the spiritual natural ground of the church, or, what is the same thing, they articulate it into the body of Christ, and establish it in the articulation.
2 Thomasius makes use of this figure, Dogm. iv. 117.
reaching forth to the salvation offered in word and sacrament; a look turned away from the innate natural state direct to Christ; an awakened yearning for His grace; a grasp and apprehension having relation to this grace in the unity of all one's powers (Div. IV. Sec. IV.). This actus directus has in itself the promise of God. The actus reflexi of dudne_assurance, of joyous self-certainty, of experimental seeing and tasting, belong not to *h» pssonfft of ji^.ifying faif.h: but the former actus directus is, as our ancients say, the forma fidei essentia I is. "It is necessary," says one of them,1 "to acknowledge a twofold manifestation of faith. The first is called actio directa. by which we lay hold of and embrace Christ; the other actio reflexa, by which we acknowledge our own doing, and feel or.(4 k'' experience that we have apprehended Christ. By the former we believe, to speak accurately, on Christ; by the second, however, we become assured of the fact that we believe, and the faith which has laid hold on Christ falls back softly and sweetly into itself. But now many are found who have really laid hold on Christ, although they do not feel that they have apprehended Him; and these are none the less justified. For we become incontestably just by the. actio directa, and not by the actio reflexa: we become justified, not because we feel that we believe, but so far as we only believe." The faith is thus in its essence fiduda supplex (assurance of refuge), not flducia triumphans scil. gloriosa (assurance of experience). The faith is God's agency, as well in the former nature as in the latter: in the one, it is the operation of His grace condescending towards man; in the other, it is the operation of that grace apprehended, and assuring itself, and giving itself to be apprehended by man.
But if the faith, even as actio directa, be God's agency, it' is not to be perceived why the grace of regeneration, which is introduced into man by baptism (as also by the Lord's Supper), associated with the word, cannot effect even in the child the faith necessary to its saving reception.2 It is said that faith
1 In Pontoppidan's Glaubensspiegel, pp. 301-3. The divine assurance is called by him reflexio passiva et supernaturalis: the self-certainty that arises from self-examination according to God's word, reflexin activa et rationalis sc. syUogistica.
2 See, on the older dogmatic writings belonging to this subject, the
is not possible, and not conceivable, without consciousness. But (1) the condition of the child is certainly not the absolute opposite of consciousness: the entire threefold life of the man is already existing in the child, although in the first commencement of its development; therefore even already it is becoming consciousness.1 The unconsciousness out of which it is developed is distinct from the brute condition of impersonality, and remains indeed, even in the adult man, as the reverse side of consciousness,—the ground wherein it is submerged in ceaseless variation, and whence it emerges again, as, according to God's ordinance, night and day, contrasted with one another, ceaselessly change into one another. Wherefore, then, should God not be able to effect in the remotely glimmering consciousness of the child a germinal faith, just as well as a developed faith in the daylight consciousness of the adult; especially as (2) even in the adult, not merely in sleep, but even in the midst of every strenuous labour not immediately religious, and in conditions of sickness surrounded with darkness of the most manifold kind, the actio directa subsides, out of the region of consciousness, into unconsciousness, without by that means losing its existence, which ever again breaks through these bonds, and
German treatment of the dissertation of J. G. Walsh, de fide infantum, by A. L. Miiller, Jena 1729, 8.
1 Therefore Cyprian asks, with reference to the baptism of infants, Qui<t ei decet, qui semel in utero Dei manibus formatus est f And therefore, as Dorner argues (Jahrbb. fiir Deutsche Theolog. 1856, p. 406), the union of both natures in Christ, although the divine-human self-consciousness starts from a dark ground, is from the moment of conception a unio personalis. The child is not res, which Becosies persona; it is from the very beginning an entire man, growing on all sides. Not inappropriately, K. G "bel compares baptism to the so-called inoculation into the sleeping eye, which, ia the hope that the eye engrafted on the wild stock will shoot in the spring, is examined in the midsummer of the second sap. The good eye remains indeed, the whole winter through, in as it were a sleeping state, and pushes forth first with stirring life and full impulse of sap in the spring; but it is already growing in the autumn, so far as it remains alive: it is then taken up into the attraction of the sap of the wild plant, although it does not till later put forth visible shoots. See Gobel's essay, Die Kindertau/e eine Oculation anfs Schlafende Auge, in the A^uen Reformirten Kirchenzeitung, 1855, Nos. 21 and 22, where nevertheless is asserted, that "the seed of life which God plants iu baptism in.the newly-born child must not be called faith, otherwise the idea of that faith which justifies is prejudiced."
even in powerlessness and seeming death, in phrenzy, and in the highest degrees of resistance bordering on despair, may continue to subsist, as seen by God's all-penetrating eye? Faith in its perfect matured condition certainly subsists in the perfectly conscious acts of (ippreJiensio eqgnoscilivaf ajyprobaliva, and a££ro^riatha; but every believer knows from experience, that his faith began with a secret divine agency upon his will; and that this turning of the will already included, undeveloped in itself, every act of faith. To this point of unity faith returns now and then: why should it not be able to begin therewith also in the child? The glimpse of Him who has overcome curse and death for us, is compared indeed to the glimpse of the serpent lifted up in the wilderness (John iii. 14). Such an inclination to Christ, effected by God, is even possible in little children (Matt. xviii. 6, T&v fiiKpwv rovroav rwv irioT€v6inwv et? e/ie), and even not impossible to newly-boni children; for the consciousness begins from a remote point of growth, when it is still as none, and even indeed actually still none. Thus also faith must be able to begin from a remote point of growth, when it is still as if none, and even in fact actually none, but yet is already present in seed and germ.1 Even already in the life of the embryo the Scripture (as we saw in Div. IV. Sec. VIII.) declares secret spiritual occurrences. We are teaching in this, nothing essentially different from what is affirmed by Thomasius and Martensen also: for although Thomasius, on the one hand, indeed denies that baptism creates a conscious condition, that it creates a personal faith in the child; but, on the other hand, designates its effect as an inward laying open of the human spirit to the divine work of grace, corresponding to the natural opening of the life of the child towards the mother's love, which experimentally reaches far behind the awakening of the self-consciousness back into the earliest dawning life of the suckling,2—still, herewith is attributed to baptism the effect of that which determines the essential ground of faith: for what is faith, except the unclosed inner eye, which adopts into itself the form of God the Redeemer?
1 It is plainly seen from St John's Gospel what kind of a progressively gradual idea irivrtvut is: it there runs through all degrees, from the lowest to the highest.
2 Dnym. iv. 141.
What we postulate is an effect of baptism comprehended in the word upon the whole man. The final aim of the new creation, says Martensen,1 altogether in our sense, is the new man, who does not become perfectly manifest until the new heaven and the new earth become manifest,—where not only the spirit, but also the corporeity, celebrates its resurrection,—where spirit and nature dissolve into glory. The new creation, which embraces the whole man—body, soul, and spirit—must for that reason begin from an organic point, which is the point of union of spirit and nature, and in germinating fulness contains what appears disjoined in temporal development. This hidden ground of life is the mystery of baptism. Every one of these words of Martensen bears the stamp of truth. It was just this, that was wanting to our view, that baptism comprehends the natural aspect of the child not exclusively of his personality, but, in a manner exalted above the merely symbolic circumcision, places the entire personality (B'W) of the man in a living and new relation to God.
The final psychological ground of possibility of all, is found in the fact that the spiritual life, and in a typical manner also the life of the soul, have, as their lowest foundation, not the reflected self-consciousness, but the will and impulse which contain in themselves this self-consciousness unreflected; that, expressed in Hofmann's mode of viewing it, there is a natural will which precedes the personal will;2 and that the operation of the sacraments, according to Stahel,3 is directed not so much to our occasional determinations of will, as to the substance of our will, i.e. to the nature and essence of our spiritual being. To this radical unity, situated on this side of the reflected selfconsciousness, corresponds a unity situated beyond the reflected self-consciousness, in which will and thought combine together to culminate in a third form of life: the region of the human irvevfia in the narrow sense, which we have already learnt to
1 Dogm. sec. 253.
2 See thereupon, Schriftb. i. 517, comp. iii. 196: "It is the natural life of man, in which he is sold under sin; so that the effect of divine power of life upon it becomes a counter agency against the power of evil in him;" wherein, nevertheless, is to be observed, that the consequence drawn by us is not drawn by Hofmann.
3 The Luth. Church and the Union (1859), p. 159.
recognise, in Div. IV. Sec. V., as distinct from the human vow?, according to 1 Cor. xiv., as the medium of the speaking with tongues. As there are acts of the spiritual life which precede the reflected self-consciousness, so also there are such as press back that which is present. These we shall now more closely consider.