Brethren Archive
The Year 1899

The Buddha of Christendom

by Sir Robert Anderson

Tom said ...

Thought this bit was well put ..

Let us mark how men speak and write of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is not recorded in the four Gospels, from first to last, one solitary instance where a disciple ever addressed Him or spoke of Him save as " Lord " or " Master." This indeed was a definite characteristic of discipleship; so much so that even those whose conduct belied their words aways called Him "Lord." He was known to the world as "Jesus of Nazareth"; and if one of the Jews had been sent to fetch the beast to carry Him in His mock triumphal entry into Jerusalem, or to bespeak the guest-chamber for the paschal supper, his language would have been that "Jesus" required it. But His own disciples declared themselves even in the very mention of His name. With them it was, "The Master saith"; "The Lord hath need of it." To this rule the Gospels contain absolutely no exception.

Let me not be misunderstood. In the narrative of the Gospels He is spoken of by His personal name, because GOD is the narrator. Had Leaves from Our Journal in the Highlands been published anonymously, the mode in which the members of the Royal House are mentioned would have disclosed the Queen's authorship of the book. And so also the manner in which the Lord is named in the Gospel narrative is one of many incidental proofs of its Divine authorship.

But in every case, without exception, where the narrative introduces words spoken by the disciples as men, whether addressed to Him, or to others about Him, a title of reverence is used. Not one single instance is recorded in which He is named with the freedom, not to say familiarity, common with Christians now. Just as in the Queen's book the Royal children are spoken of by their personal names, so in God's book our Divine Lord is spoken of in the same way. But they must have a strange conception of what inspiration means who urge that the language of the Bible should in this respect be imitated in our colloquial speech, or even in the formal discourse of the pulpit. Even the most elevated and solemn of mere human utterances are separated by an unmeasured distance from the inspired Scriptures.

Rationalism, of course, ever seeks to bring down our Divine Lord to the level of mere humanity, and Rationalism has entirely leavened our literature, even our standard theological literature. Its influence is felt everywhere. But it was not Rationalism that taught "the primitive Church" to abandon the habits of reverence in speaking of the Lord, which had prevailed in Apostolic days. In this respect, indeed, there is a striking difference between the writings of Clement and Polycarp, who had come directly under apostolic influence, and the patristic writings of a later age.

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 : 21:20

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