(Christ in Greek means in Hebrew Messiah or Oint)




(Swiss Pastor 1812-1900, writes in 1870)

Follow Chapter 12

(Apologetics is a field of theological or literary

 studies consisting in logicaly defending a position.)


The supernatural in its highest form is not the miracle, it is holiness.


In the miracle the omnipotence acting in the physical world at the service of the moral order breaks out.

Holiness is moral good itself in its most sublime appearance.

What is good? It has been said recently, with a precision that leaves nothing to be desired: "Good is not a being, a thing. It is an order determining the relations of beings, relations which must be realized by wills.1 "

The perfect good is therefore the realization, in the same normal time and free, of the true relations between all beings, each being, by the virtue of this relation, occupying the place as a whole and playing the part which suits him.

Now, as in a human family it is a central relation from which all the others depend, that of the father with each of the members of this little part, so there is in the universe a supreme position which forms the fulcrum of all the others, and which, in the interest of all beings, must be first and foremost safeguarded, that of God. And it is precisely here, in the general sphere of good, the special domain of holiness.


Holiness in God himself is his unmovable desire to maintain intact the order that must reign between beings and to bring them all to realize the relationship that must unite them; consequently, to preserve intact and dignified his position vis-a-vis free beings. Holiness thus understood contains two things:

    • The communication of all the riches of his divine life to every free being who consents to recognize the sovereign position of God, and who acquiesces sincerely;
    • the refusal or withdrawal of this perfect life to every being who attacks or denies this position and seeks to break the bond of dependence which must unite him with God.

Holiness, in the creature, is his voluntary acquiescence to the supreme position of God. The man who, of all the powers of his being, declares God as the supreme, absolute, the only true being; the man who before him falls voluntarily into the feeling of his nothingness, and seeks to lead all his fellow men into the same voluntary annihilation, assumes the character of holiness.

This holiness contains in him, as in God, love and justice; the love by which he joyfully affirms God and all beings around him as posited by God (he loves them and wants them, because he loves and wants God and at the same time all that God wants and loves) and justice, by which he respects and makes respect, as much as he is in him, God and the area assigned by God to each of the beings.

Such is holiness in God and in man:

    • In God, the immutable affirmation of himself;
    • In man, the invariable affirmation of God.

This supreme virtue has been lacking to the pagans. The divine being was not understood among them, so as to occupy such a high position in their consciousness. Their gods were not worthy of such a relationship with man. Holiness has been foreboded and imperfectly realized in Israel. For Jehovah was recognized as the being of beings, and man was able to humble himself before him. But it has only been realized in Jesus Christ, and it is only in his person and in his history that we derive the ideal of holiness. It is in Jesus that humanity sees how man can affirm God and all that God affirms, not only humbly, but joyously and filially, from all the powers of his being, and even to the complete sacrifice of himself.

In Christ, man has become, by self-annihilation and self-consecration, an environment so transparent that the glory of God may have exploded perfectly in him. That's why the life of Christ was the coming of the reign of God.


But a question arises:

Did this consecration of Jesus Christ to God really be perfect?

Did not human imperfection, sin, selfishness, bad desires, pride, impatience bring any alloy? Has she remained intact in every moment of his life, from the manger to the cross? Has the body of Jesus always been completely submissive to his soul, and his soul, with its various faculties, always completely subject to the spirit, that higher principle by which man communicates with God, and freely subordinates himself to him?


This is the question we will be dealing with. It is capital for Christianity.

If not, Christ differs from us only in degree, and we are called to live like him, not by him.

If so, his state differs especially from ours, and to be like him, we must begin to be in him, and live on him.


Three main objections are raised against this fundamental point of the Christian faith :

1) The perfect holiness of Christ is impossible to notice, because neither we nor any of those who lived with him could read deeply enough in his heart, to know if things really happened there in accordance to the absolute order of good. The opponents of our faith even quote certain words and deeds in the life of Jesus, which they claim to infer that he too was not exempt from sin.

2) Supposing that the perfect holiness of Christ could be certified by some means, it is objected that such a sublime state would be something superhuman, and that this perfect man would no longer be a real man.

3) Such a holiness, specifically different from ours, would it be real, would be useless, because it could no longer serve us as a model, since it would be at a height inaccessible to our weakness.

In the face of these objections, my task will be to search with you:


  1. If the perfect holiness of this man can not yet be positively observed today.
  2. If perfect as it is, it remains a human holiness.
  3. If, as such, it is not yet accessible to all of us.



I     Can not the perfect holiness of Jesus Christ still be positively observed today?


Are we competent, asks Mr. Pécaut, to issue a declaration of perfection on one of our fellow, when we do not know all the peculiarities of his life, and that we can not reach to the bottom of his heart? …

The difficulty becomes worse if the object of our investigation is a historical figure separated from us by 18 centuries2. (20 centuries today.)

M. Pécaut goes further; he even claims that we can see in Jesus, in the small portion of his life that we know, real moral imperfections.

  • 1) So at the age of 12 he apologizes for letting his parents leave Jerusalem alone, on the pretext that he must be engaged in his father's affairs, which implies a certain lack of submission to his parents.
  • 2) At the age of 30, Jesus was baptized by John of the baptism of repentance, which proves that he did not feel completely free from the sinful disease of which we all suffer.
  • 3) Soon after, he hunts the vendors of the temple with a whip of ropes, which supposes, we think, a certain degree of rage.
  • 4) One day he refused one of his disciples to go and bury his father, saying, "Let the dead bury their dead." Is not this to ignore the sacred ties of the family?
  • 5) By allowing the devil of Gadara to drag the pig herd into the sea, does he not take to his disposal a foreign property?
  • 6) Is there no hardness in the way he answers the Canaanite, comparing her to a small dog relative to the Jews he likens to the children of the house?
  • 7) At Gethsemane, it is difficult not to find in his words a certain lack of submission in relation to the ordeal that awaits him.
  • 8) In his cry: "My God, my God!" On the cross, is there not something like a failure of faith?
  • 9) Did not he himself answer the young man who called him his good master : "Why do you call me good? There is only one good, it is God" ; Speech which supposes that he did not feel himself perfect.


We will begin by examining these particular facts, then raising ourselves to the general question.


1) At the age of 12, he apologizes for letting his parents leave Jerusalem alone, on the pretext that he must be busy with his father's business, which implies a certain lack of submission to his parents.

Luke 2-39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. 40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast,43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn't know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they didn't find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him. 46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you." 49 He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"50 They didn't understand the saying which he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

When Jesus first found himself in Jerusalem at the age of 12, he could easily be found without his fault separate from his parents. For the children formed together a sort of troupe or choir, and did not always stay with their parents. Jesus, answering his mother who had just found him, did not tell him: I stayed here because I had to be busy with my father's business; but: "Why were you looking for me? Did not you know that I have to be in business, or, more literally, in my father's house?" This is the answer to this word of Mary: "We have been looking for you for three days, being very much in pain." Jesus therefore means: "You would not have looked for me so long and so anxiously, you would have come directly here, if you had thought that a child must be in his father's house. We must not isolate the word of Jesus from that of his mother.


2) At the age of 30, Jesus was baptized by John of the baptism of repentance, which proves that he did not feel completely free from the sinful disease of which we all suffer.

Luke 3-2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3 He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. 5 Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth. 6 All flesh will see God's salvation.'" 7 He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones! 9 Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire."

Luke 3-21 All the people being baptized , Jesus was also baptized.

Baptism is so little from Jesus a confession of defilement, that immediately after John the Baptist spoke with him, as he did with all who came to be baptized, 3 he told him : "It is I who need to be baptized by you, and you come to me !" Is it not clear enough that Jesus had just appeared to him at this very moment in all his holiness, and as worthy, by his personal character, to perform, even with regard to him, the office that he, John, fulfilled only by virtue of a divine mandate, but of which he felt personally unworthy? And when, shortly after the baptism of Jesus, the same John the Baptist exclaims, seeing him come to him: "Behold the Lamb of God who bears the sin of the world," 4 does he not also bear witness to his perfect personal holiness? How, on another condition, could he believe him capable of effecting the purification of humanity? This salvation of the world is precisely the task to which Jesus dedicates himself by his baptism. In this act, solemn, he deposits in the hands of John, the messenger of God, the solemn commitment, not to purify himself, but to purify the world at the very price of his death, including this plunge under the water is the figure and the guarantee.


3) He drives out the temple vendors with a whip of ropes, which presupposes a certain degree of passion.

John 2-14 He found in the temple the vendors of oxen, sheep, and pigeons, and the money-changers seated. 15 Having made a whip with ropes, he drove them all out of the temple, as well as the sheep and the oxen; he dispersed the currency of the money changers, and overturned the tables; 16 And he said to the pigeon sellers, Take it away from here, do not make my father's house a house of traffic. 17 His disciples remembered that it is written, The zeal of your house devours me.

Jesus in the temple made a whip of ropes; but, the text proves it, he has only used it with regard to animals vis-à-vis men; he has only made it a symbol of his power and an emblem of judgment. Should he have pushed the oxen out of the court with his hand? Jesus is so completely master of him, that in the face of the vendors of pigeons, far from overthrowing the cages where the animals are shut up, he is content to order the vendors to take them away from the holy place. To blame this act, which should have been and may have been the inauguration of his reign, it is necessary, as Keim says, to ignore that holy wrath is a divine virtue5.


4) Il refuse un jour à l'un de ses disciples d'aller ensevelir son père, en lui disant : « Laisse les morts ensevelir leurs morts. » N'est-ce pas méconnaître le caractère sacré des liens de la famille ?

Luc 9-59 Il dit à un autre : Suis-moi. Et il répondit : Seigneur, permets-moi d’aller d’abord ensevelir mon père. 60 Mais Jésus lui dit : Laisse les morts ensevelir leurs morts ; et toi, va annoncer le royaume de Dieu. 61 Un autre dit : Je te suivrai, Seigneur, mais permets-moi d’aller d’abord prendre congé de ceux de ma maison. 62 Jésus lui répondit : Quiconque met la main à la charrue, et regarde en arrière, n’est pas propre au royaume de Dieu.

Il est dans la vie humaine des instants décisifs où l'éternité est comme suspendue à un fil. Tel était le moment où Jésus dit à cet homme : « Laisse les morts ensevelir leurs morts. Toi, suis-moi et annonce le royaume de Dieu. » Jésus quittait alors la Galilée pour n'y plus revenir6. Il voyait bien que pour cet homme, rester en arrière, c'était reculer, périr. Comme on dirait à un défenseur de la patrie menacée, qui hésite à partir : Cours à la frontière sur-le-champ, ainsi, au nom d'un principe supérieur à celui du patriotisme lui-même, le règne de Dieu, le salut, il appelle cet homme à le suivre. En cas de conflit, le salut prime la convenance.


4) One day he refuses one of his disciples to go and bury his father, saying, "Let the dead bury their dead. Is not this to ignore the sacred ties of the family?

Luke 9-59 He said to another, Follow me. And he said, Lord, let me go and bury my father first. 60 But Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead; and you, will announce the kingdom of God. 61 Another says, "I will follow you, O Lord, but let me go first to leave those of my house." 62 Jesus answered him, Whoever puts his hand to the plow, and looks back, is not peculiar to the kingdom of God.

It is in human life decisive moments when eternity is suspended on a thread. This was the moment when Jesus said to this man, "Let the dead bury their dead. You, follow me and proclaim the kingdom of God." Jesus then left Galilee no longer to return. He saw that for this man, to stay behind was to retreat, to perish. As one would say to a defender of the threatened homeland, who hesitates to leave: Runs at the frontier on the spot, thus, in the name of a principle superior to that of patriotism itself, the reign of God, the salvation he calls this man to follow him. In case of conflict, salvation is more important than respectability.


5) By allowing the devil of Gadara to drag the pig herd into the sea, does he not take to his disposal a foreign property?

Marc 5 - 1 They came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 When he had come out of the boat, immediately a man with an unclean spirit met him out of the tombs. 3 He lived in the tombs. Nobody could bind him any more, not even with chains,4 because he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him, and the fetters broken in pieces. Nobody had the strength to tame him. 5 Always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him, 7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, don't torment me." 8 For he said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 He asked him, "What is your name?" He said to him, "My name is Legion, for we are many." 10 He begged him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding. 12 All the demons begged him, saying, "Send us into the pigs, that we may enter into them." 13 At once Jesus gave them permission. The unclean spirits came out and entered into the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea.

14 Those who fed them fled, and told it in the city and in the country. The people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus, and saw him who had been possessed by demons sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, even him who had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who saw it declared to them how it happened to him who was possessed by demons, and about the pigs. 17 They began to beg him to depart from their region. 18 As he was entering into the boat, he who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 He didn't allow him, but said to him, "Go to your house, to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you." 20 He went his way, and began to proclaim in Decapolis how Jesus had done great things for him, and everyone marveled.

By feeding herds of pigs, the inhabitants of the country beyond Lake Genesaret practiced a trade by which they were in flagrant contradiction with the law which forbade the Jews from this species of meat. The loss they suffer is therefore only the just punishment for an infidelity. Jesus appears again here as Messiah, as Lord and Judge. If he has the authority to send the demons back into the abyss, he has also the power to use this healing to awaken, by a punishment appropriate to the sin committed, the paralyzed conscience of a whole portion of the people whose salvation is entrusted to him.


6) Is there no hardness in the way he answers the Canaanite, comparing her to a small dog relative to the Jews he likens to the children of the house?

Matthew 15-22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!" 23 But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us." 24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 27 But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." 28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.

The harshness of Jesus towards the Canaanite is only apparent. It conceals, as often refusals that God opposes us, the greatest love. This woman was from a pagan origin, and it was a positive exemption from the mandate that Jesus had received from his Father, to extend his ministry to the Gentiles during his earthly life. It was only after his death and by his resurrection that Jesus, freed from his earthly nationality, was to give himself to the whole world. This is why he responds from the beginning to this Canaanite woman, who asks him for the miraculous cure of her daughter: "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." To heal, for him, was to preach. For his cures were not only a mere matter of pity and charity. They were always connected with the reign of God to found. But Israel was the limit traced to his preaching ministry. But soon he is forced to recognize in the faith of this woman a plant that the hand of his Father planted. And then he decides to grant him his request. Only, to make him understand the immense condescension which she is the object, and so that she receives the gift of God with a recognition as exceptional as will be the gift itself, he paints a word to her all the situation. It is not therefore to humiliate her with pleasure that he compares her to little dogs, but to make her feel that there is truly something for her to be astonished and thankful for. God bends his plan before her, poor pagan!


7) At Gethsemane, it is difficult not to find in his words a certain lack of submission in relation to the ordeal that awaits him.

Matthew 26-36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go there and pray." 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and severely troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here, and watch with me." 39 He went forward a little, fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless, not what I desire, but what you desire." 40 He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What, couldn't you watch with me for one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that you don't enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

42 Again, a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cup can't pass away from me unless I drink it, your desire be done." 43 He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 He left them again, went away, and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to his disciples, and said to them, "Sleep on now, and take your rest. Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Arise, let's be going. Behold, he who betrays me is at hand."

Never was word of submission more profound and holy pronounced by a human mouth, than this prayer of Gethsemane, of which M. Pécaut is scandalized: "May this cup pass away from me, if it is possible ..." is above all the simple and naive expression of natural feeling. Is not Jesus really a man? Would not physical and moral pain repel him as much as we do? But this repugnance is not revolt. It's simply the opposite of fanatical insensitivity. Sin would begin from the moment that repugnance to this horrible torture emancipated in the least from submission to the divine will, where the voice of nature would allow itself to say or murmur no: I would, which is the cry of filial abandonment, but: I want; which would be the cry of revolt. This limit, Jesus did not cross it. On the contrary, it makes nature bend, legitimately quivering, under the yoke of obedience, and thus gives us the model of a submission all the more, perfect as it is more truly painful. The more nature resists, the more holiness appears.


  1. In his cry: "My God, my God!" On the cross, is there not something like a failure of faith?

Matthew 27-45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?" That is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 Some of them who stood there, when they heard it, said, "This man is calling Elijah." 48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him a drink. 49 The rest said, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to save him." 50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

A word will probably occupy us often and for a long time in the life to come, word that the angels, according to the expression of St. Peter, can not sound to the bottom. "My God, my God, why did you abandon me?" M. Pécaut sees in it a failure of faith. When we have sound the mystery of the expiation, of Christ made a curse for us, we will be able to judge it more pertinently. For the moment, this why reveals to us rather a consciousness that may well be sounding itself, which does not discover in it the memory of any personal fault capable of motivating this extraordinary abandonment. Such a why, in the midst of such a judgment, assumes a consciousness as pure as that of a little child.


The following text is part of: "The Work of Jesus Christ" by the same author : F. Godet

The sin of humanity must have been nailed to the cross, not in the person of a sinner, but in that of a saint. The sin thus struck appears here as that of the whole of humanity and not as that of the Crucified One.

The sinner's consciousness is to a certain extent altered, distorted by sin itself. It can no longer rise to the level of divine holiness from which emanates the sentence of death that strikes sin. To sincerely ratify the punishment of the sinner, one must hate sin as the Judge himself hates it. To condemn sin as God condemns it, one must be holy as God is holy.

This is what Jesus Christ was, and Jesus Christ alone. His conscience was the pure reflection of divine holiness; that is why he was able to accept and suffer the pain of sinners by indulging without rebellion and without murmuring this terrible dispensation of the divine will.

In this narrow theater of the intimate consciousness of Christ, two adversaries met, face to face, who ordinarily only contemplate one another very far in our own: the holiness of God, in his most delicate susceptibility, and the sin of the man under all its forms, the subtlest and the coarsest.

There, in this direct contact between the holy God and Jesus, representing the guilty man, human sin was mourned, judged, condemned, as it should be, and as we can no longer do it. There have been shedding holy tears, as we no longer know how to shed. There was offered to God a moral reparation without deficit, as it would have been impossible for us to offer it. The cruellest death has been humbly recognized and accepted as the merited wages of sin.

There is no doubt, on the side of the victim, the intimate meaning of the drama of the cross. This is what makes these hours of torture a unique moment in the history of humanity, the signal of the return of the creature to God.

The demonstration of justice which God wished to give to the world has thus attained in Christ dying the character of absolute perfection. Not only has the punishment of sin been suffered, but it has been with the complete adherence of the one who suffered it. And the divine justice could accept with full satisfaction this restorative tribute which was offered to her by one in the name of all.


Christ as a perfect son loving his heavenly Father through a day-by-day unbroken communion, was one day abandoned by his God. It was the day he took our condemnation on him. He bore in his body on the wood our sin in all its horror; the eyes of God being too pure to see sin (The prophet Habakkuk reveals to us 1-13: Your eyes are too pure to see the evil, and you can not look at the iniquity.), God suddenly diverted his look from his beloved. This abandonment, Christ felt it immediately, and this sorrow, this immense anguish broke his heart. (The prophet Isaiah specifies with extraordinary clairvoyance 750 years ago: 53-8 He was taken away by anguish and chastisement, and among those of his generation, who believed that he was cut off from the land of the living and struck for the sins of my people?) Christ did not die slowly suffocated like the usual crucified ones, but because his heart exploded with sorrow, not without saying in his last breath and by the unshakeable faith he bore to his Father : Father, I put my spirit in your hands. (Luke 23-46 Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Father, I put my spirit in your hand, and when he spoke these words, he died.")…


Note from DC:

As the husband and wife become one of the heart, as their mutual knowledge, that their communion is growing, advancing in age; how a brutal separation can be the cause of sorrow. Likewise for a parent loving her child tenderly ...

Christ as a perfect son loving his heavenly Father through a day-by-day unbroken communion, was one day abandoned by his God. It was the day he took our condemnation on him. He bore in his body on the wood our sin in all its horror; the eyes of God being too pure to see sin (The prophet Habakkuk reveals to us 1-13 : Your eyes are too pure to see the evil, And you can not look at the iniquity.), God suddenly diverted his look from his beloved. This abandonment, Christ felt it immediately, and this sorrow, this immense anguish broke his heart. (The prophet Isaiah specifies with extraordinary clairvoyance 750 years ago: 53-8 He was taken away by anguish and chastisement, and among those of his generation, who believed that he was cut off from the land of the living and struck for the sins of my people?) Christ did not die slowly suffocated like the usual crucified ones, but because his heart exploded with sorrow, not without saying in his last breath and by the unshakeable faith he bore to his Father: Father, I put my spirit in your hands. (Luke 23-46 Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Father, I put my spirit in your hand, and when he spoke these words, he died.")


9) Did not he himself answer the young man who called him his good master : "Why do you call me good? There is only one good, it is God" ; Speech which supposes that he did not feel himself perfect.

Marc 10-17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. 19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.'" 20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth." 21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross." 22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!" 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." 26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?" 27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."

Jesus refused the title of good, and expressly reserved it to God. But when he spoke like that, Jesus was still in the midst of the struggle of life; he still had before him, and he did not ignore it, the greatest trials. How would it be appropriate for a title which, in its absolute sense, still designated for it the term to be reached? The word good, in its full sense, applies not to the being who has not yet sinned, but to him who can not sin. Now, according to the expression of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus was only consumed by his last sufferings. It was at Gethsemane and Golgotha ​​that he learned full obedience8. His holiness, all of humility, all saturated with vigilance, therefore rejected a title that she could not yet accept fully and surely.


It would be useless to prolong this detailed discussion, which Mr. Keim was very good in saying, "MM. Pécaut and Renan laboriously try to press this life to reveal the spot of some human stains9. No positive result can be achieved on this path, because we do not know in part the circumstances which, in each of these cases, may have influenced the conduct of Jesus.


Let us rise to the general question. It seems at first glance insoluble, and yet it seems to me that we possess precisely here data quite positive to reach a certain result.

Who would ever have believed that one day could be able to measure the distance that separates the earth from the moon, the sun, the fixed stars, without leaving the ground of our globe? It did happen, however. It was enough to measure a base and two angles on the ground, and the problem was solved with all the rigor of mathematical evidence.

We can obtain a result no less certain with regard to the problem which we are concerned with by a similar method. By means of two incontestable facts and a principle which binds them together, we will succeed in ascertaining the perfect holiness of Christ.


The first of the two facts we are talking about is the relative holiness of Jesus. Even those who dispute that Jesus was perfect, do not deny that he was one of the best, if not the best among men.

We can here claim the testimonies of the contemporaries of Jesus, who, certainly insufficient to prove his absolute holiness, are nevertheless sufficient to prove his relative purity and goodness. This statement of Pilate, his judge: "I find no crime in this man"; this confession of his companion of torture: "For us, we suffer what our crimes deserved, but this one did nothing that it had to do"; this exclamation of the Roman centurion who had presided over his execution: "Certainly this man was just"; this cry of despair of the perfidious disciple who delivered him: "I betrayed the innocent blood", all these words tell us enough the impression that Jesus had produced on all those who had been in relation with him.


We also know the impression produced by his life on his intimates, who had observed him more closely for three years. One of them calls him simply: "Jesus Christ the righteous". Another : "a faultless and pure lamb10."

The attachment to the death that they preserve for him, the position of mediator and advocate that they give him between the holy God and their guilty soul, prove that in their eyes Jesus was in any case the best of men, a man without sin. They had not seen everything, no doubt; their eyes had not penetrated to the secret intentions of the heart; but this impression produced on them all can not leave us in doubt, on the eminent moral qualities of the life and the heart of Jesus. His teaching itself, the ideal of purity presented in it, the law of charity inculcated in it, are also a demonstration of the personal character of those who speak in this way. There is only one good heart that can so admirably discern and reveal the good. This is what Strauss himself, the greatest adversary that Christianity has encountered today, has recognized, and what he brings out in the following words. After recalling this sublime passage of the sermon on the mountain, where Jesus depicts the heavenly Father casting his sun on the righteous and the unjust, and raining on the wicked and the good, he adds: "This intuition of a God good to all, Jesus could have drawn it only from himself; it could emanate only from that universal benevolence which was the fundamental trait of its own nature and by which it felt in perfect harmony with God. To know, like God himself, to resist the irritation produced by wickedness, to conquer an enemy only by benefts, and to overcome evil only by good, were principles which he drew from the disposition of his own heart. He pictured God as he felt himself in the best moments of his life. The dominant trait in him was the love that embraces all beings, and he made it the fundamental feature of the divine essence. 11 "

The same author also says in the chapter by which he concludes his work: "Every character of eminent morality, every thinker who has dealt with the moral activity of man has contributed, in a circle more or less great, to purify, to complete, to develop the moral ideal. Among those persons to whom humanity owes the perfection of his moral conscience, Jesus occupies in any case the first rank. He introduced into our ideal the good traits that had failed to be until he came. By the religious tendency which he has impressed upon morality, he has given it a superior consecration, and, by incarnating the good in his person, he has communicated to it a living warmth. For all that relates to the love of God and neighbor to the purity of the heart and to the life of the individual, there is nothing to add to the moral intuition left by Jesus Christ12. "

You see that if I call, Jesus one of the best of men, I am not suspect of subjectivity. The confession of Strauss which I have just quoted could only be torn from him by the irresistible power of the historical fact.

This is the fact we are leaving; it is conceded by the most pronounced adversary of the Gospel: Jesus was an eminently good man. But from there to a state of perfect holiness, there is certainly still an abyss. This abyss, can we cross it? Yes ; and it is a principle to which the moral experiment has led, which will serve us as a bridge. This principle is as follows : The more a man is holy, the better he discerns the evil. The closer he lives near God, the better he recognizes, the more strongly he feels what separates him from God.

With each progress that we make in the good, our inner tact becomes more sharpen to surprise the sin, and our heart more right to deplore it. You can all check every moment this law of our moral life. A child accustomed to lying, without perceiving it or feeling any regret, while in a truthful child, a first lie imprints itself like a red hot iron in his conscience, and leaves a deep wound. A light-hearted girl, who thinks only of her pleasures, misses her mother from morning to evening by her methods and her remarks, and she would be astonished, however, if a witness of her conduct came to tell her at night that she has reproaches to make herself; while the young girl attached to her duties, for a simple lack of respect, for a rather lively speech towards one of her own, whom others have not even noticed, will pour bitter tears into solitude, and will refuse to forgive herself.

The more loyal a merchant is, the deeper the discomfort he feels at the feeling of the slightest wrong he is guilty of, while the most disloyal speculations will not cost a sigh to those who have begun to cross without scruple the limits of natural honesty. A man advanced in holiness will not fail to notice a criminal thought, a movement of self-love that will cross his heart, while a less advanced man will live from morning to night under the inspirations of pride, jealousy or some other criminal passion without even suspecting it.

Thousands of spots are not noticeable on an already soiled garment, while on a perfectly white garment the slightest spot strikes the eye. Strauss himself expressed this law in these terms: "As man advances in his moral perfection, the intimate sense by which he perceives in himself the slightest deviations becomes more and more sharpened. 13 "

What is the result of this with regard to the subject which occupies us? That is, if Jesus was one of the best or the best of all men, he must have perceived, like no other, the least evil that was in him, supposing that this evil really existed. In vain will the sin be hidden in the deepest folds of his heart, in vain it will have been reduced in this heart to the weakest minimum, this delicate and insightful conscience like no other will not fail to surprise him in passing, and this sensitive and filial heart will have suffered as ours has never suffered the grossest sins.


Well, and this is the other fact we rely on: Is this what we find in the life and words of Jesus? Does he ever accuse himself of any sin? Do you never see one of these tears of penance that have watered the cheeks of the greatest saints of the old covenant, and which still today, never cease to flow from the eyes of the most fervent Christians? Do you ever see Jesus beating his chest, saying as the public: "O God! have mercy on me, who am a sinner." I hear St. Paul exclaim with sorrow: "I am doing the wrong that I would not do, I am not doing the good I would like to do; who will deliver me from the body of this death? " Can your ear catches a single similar accent on Jesus' lips?

Socrates, the wisest and best of men besides the people of Israel, seeing his disciples mocking a physiognomist who claimed to have recognized in his features the index of all vices, declared to them that he really had in his heart the germ of all those bad inclinations; was nothing analogous to this confession ever uttered by Jesus Christ14?

No, the groan of a broken heart is completely foreign to this life. Would he not know what Saint Paul, his disciple, knew so well, that the evil resides above all in man in desire, in the secret motives of the heart, and that he let himself be caught in the same trap as the Pharisees, that of being content with an entirely personal justice? He was so far away, that it was he who pronounced those indelible sentences according to which a single impure look equals a beginning of adultery; a movement of anger, a mockery, at the beginning of murder; a sacramental affirmation added unnecessarily to the simple yes or no, to a beginning of perjury. Is it not he who, in a movement of ostentation, of self-elevation, points out to us an abomination before God; and in a lie, the subjection to a diabolical principle? Or will it be said that, understanding the goodness of God as he understood it, he did not infuse imperfections that he knew were immediately forgiven him? But then why to reproach so severely to others what he reproached himself so little for himself?

You see how Jesus judged evil. He who has revealed it to the world in its most spiritual and subtle forms, and who has thus forever overthrown the throne of Pharisaism on earth, he never thinks of accusing himself of it. He speaks of sin, he speaks of it constantly, but never as something of his own, "If you are bad," he said; and no, "If we who are bad. Or again: "You must be born again," but no: "We must be born again. Or at last: "When you pray, say: Our Father who are in heaven ... forgive us our trespasses"; But never: "My Father, forgive me," nor anything like this cry. Moreover, he throws the Jews one day this challenge: "Which of you will convict me of sin? " No doubt, the silence of his listeners in answer to this question proves nothing; they could ignore the hidden faults, the inner sins of the one who defied them in this way. But the very question of Jesus proves a lot, proves everything. How, with a conscience as delicate as his own, if he had felt himself charged with the slightest sin, could he have, without hypocrisy, put to others a question that between him and God he had to resolve differently than them, and triumph over their silence?

It is in this same feeling of perfect innocence that, speaking to the women of Jerusalem on the way to the cross, he pronounces this poignant word: "If these things are made of green wood, what will be done with dry wood? " Which can only mean this : "If the judgment of God weighs so much on the righteous, how much weight will not one day fall on sinners! "

Not only does he feel himself clean of every reprehensible act, every guilty word, or only vain, every criminal sentiment, every lust that defiles the heart, every desire contrary to the divine will; but he is certain of having neglected nothing of the good he was called to do, and of not having left the slightest deficiency in the accomplishment of the task entrusted to him by his Father. "I have glorified you on the earth," he said, at the moment when all the other mortals have to heaven a sigh on a life that has so many moments, if not badly employed, at least lost: "I have accomplished the work you had given me to do". In these supreme hours, his consolation is this: "The Father does not leave me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him." 15

Walking to Gethsemane in front of the invisible enemy whose approach he already feels: "The prince of this world is coming," he said, "but he has nothing in me." This is the conscience that Jesus had of himself. This conscience of Jesus is, as Mr. Keim says, "the only conscience without a scar" in the entire history of humanity.

In the face of this moral fact without example, there remain only two alternatives: either Jesus is really a perfect saint, as his conscience bears witness to it; or he is the most blinded and hardened of men, since his conscience has not made him aware of the most elementary fact of the moral life, the fact that every child is already instructed internally, before we make it paying attention, the presence of sin. Between these two alternatives, we will have no trouble in deciding, I suppose.

Do not the freethinkers themselves recognize Jesus as one of the most moral men that the earth has produced? They therefore positively exclude the second alternative, and, in accordance with the laws of logic to which free thought, free as it is, is still bound to submit, it remains for them to concede the first and to say with us: The moral miracle is there; Jesus was absolutely holy.

The result of these testimonies of Christ's conscience is in complete agreement with the nature of the mission he attributes to men. He calls himself the physician of humanity, sent to those who are sick; could he be, if he were ill himself? He calls to him those who are worked and loaded, promising to relieve them; could he do it, if he did not feel himself free from the burden that oppresses them? He came to seek and save what was lost; this mission, how would he fulfill it, if it were lost itself, unless it is said that no one is really lost, which annihilates, on the other hand, the testimony of the conscience of Christ on the moral state of humanity.

He is not only the doctor of sick humanity; he is the victim whose blood must make propitiation for her. "He came," he says, "to give his life as a ransom. for many"16. Could he, if he was to be redeemed himself? A few hours before his death, he pronounces this sacramental word: "This is my shed blood, for the remission of sins". The law only accepted victims without spot or blemish. Would Jesus have thought he could offer himself on the atoning altar, if he had recognized in himself the least stain? To attribute to oneself the office of victim for the sins of the world, without having the consciousness of his perfect holiness, would be the height of madness.

But what do I say: the height? There would have been in this life a still more strange delirium. Jesus declares in many of his speeches that he must return to judge the world, and to bring all humans to the bar of his court. "Watch, he said, praying at all times, that you may stand before the son of man." 17

He attributes to himself this quality of judge of the world even in this sermon on the mountain, to which the freethinkers claim to reduce all his teaching. There we read, "All who say to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Many will say to me in that day: Have we not done miracles in your name ...? I will answer them openly: I never knew you; depart from me, workers of iniquity! "18

And whoever thus poses as the representative of the holiness of God and the organ of perfect justice in the solemn act of universal judgment, would not feel himself pure of all fault? The sentence would not expire on the lips of the judge who would recognize himself a sinner! Entering into the crowd of these beings, of which a shade would scarcely separate him, rather than judging them, he would not say to them: Let us kneel together and ask for grace! Once again, logic has its rights, to which the free thought is obliged to submit: Or Jesus is a fool, or he was absolutely holy! 19

Let us conclude this section with the words of Keim, the author of the most recent and most erudite work on the life of Jesus: "The one who has plunged into the spectacle of the Lord's speeches and deeds stands out from this contemplation with this irresistible impression: this is a consciousness that has never felt the touch of the sting of sin. And it is not that there is only a moralist released. Oh no ! He has accused of sin a mere look, a useless speech, and, behind the curtain of external acts, the impure heart. He has resumed his century energetically; he made his disciples blush with their weaknesses; he had them pray for the forgiveness of their faults. But he, the man of the most consummating vocation, of the most immense mission, he who was called to bend every day his sublime spirit under the commitment contracted by him of a life of humility and renunciation of he, himself, of tender support and silent submission, he never asks for forgiveness, not even at Gethsemane and Golgotha; he constantly walks in the sunlight of God's paternal love; he leads others to believe in his perfect virtue; he forgives sinners from God; he dies for them and prepares to sit at the tribunal of the holy God. 20 "



II     As perfect as it is, the perfect holiness of Jesus Christ is nonetheless a human holiness.


But would it be true that in thus ascertaining the perfect holiness of Jesus Christ, we are breaking the bond which unites him to our humanity, and that this character, which renders him so great to us, takes away from him another more precious still for our heart; that he ceases to be our fellow, our brother, the son of man, in the full sense of the word?

By no means, for this holiness, to be absolute, has nonetheless perfectly human characters, and which clearly distinguishes her from divine holiness.

1. The holiness of God is immutable; it can not grow. Like God himself, she is. The one of Jesus rose by degrees to final perfection. Is it not said of him as child, and still of him as young man, that he "grew in wisdom and grace as well as in stature, before God and before men?" This development was not a mere appearance, but a profound moral reality, since it is said that this progress was accomplished not only in the eyes of men, but in those of God.

Would you think that this idea of ​​progress implies the fact of sin? No; one can grow in pure good, climb, like angels, without ever failing, the degrees of the luminous ladder that leads to divine glory. This is how Jesus progressed. He took successively in the name of his Father all the domains of human life which opened to him one after the other; first of all, that of the family, who presented himself first and embraced his loving heart, showering him with his prayers and childlike intercession; then, at the age of adolescence, where patriotic feelings are revealed in a young and noble heart, his nation, which appeared to him entirely as his family. The resolve to work to realize the great promises of which she was the object, became from then on the vocation of her heart. At the age of thirty, finally, at the hour of his baptism, arrived at the culmination of his strength, he saw open before him a field still larger. The world, this is the field he felt the task of cultivating by his word, to sprinkle with his blood, and to fertilize to the glory of God by his spirit.

Thus grew love, progressed devotion in the heart of Jesus, but without there being any germ of hate to extirpate, no selfish disposition to destroy. To open his heart with increasing sympathy to the ever-new beings whom his Father gave him to love, until finally he felt the whole human race deposited on his heart, and that he became the living center of it, that is what was, in him, the form of progress, a progress of a very positive nature, and whose term was marked by the name of the Son of Man, which he adopted as his favorite title, and which he drew from the entrails of the most tender sympathy for that human race of which he had made his family.

As his task towards humanity became more clearly revealed to his inner sight, he devoted ever more exclusively to it his person and his life; and it is here a second face of progress which must have taken place in him. Jesus pronounced, in his last prayer, this remarkable word, that never a forger, and especially a forger putting arbitrarily in the mouth of his hero the theory of the Logos, would not have lent him: "I sanctify myself for them! 21" How, it has often been asked, could he be called to sanctify himself, if he were not defiled? It is that to sanctify does not mean to purify, but to consecrate. Saint is not the opposite of impure, but of profane, vulgar, non-sacred, natural. Jesus sanctified himself by gradually offering to God all the elements of his being, as they flourished, all the faculties of his body and soul, as they entered into practice, all areas of existence, as he set foot on it.

In his childhood, he played no doubt; for, "as children participate in flesh and blood, yet he participated ... He was like his brethren in all things, without sin.22" But gambling, without being something impure, is not yet something holy. It belongs to that natural domain which interposes, at the beginning of existence, between that of sin and that of holiness. The game disappeared later in the life of Jesus, as it generally disappears from that of every serious man, as the great work of life is imposed to him.

This is an example of the way in which all natural activities, all physical and moral forces, gradually became part of Jesus in the service of the task for which he was growing up, and have successively received by this free consecration the seal of the holiness. It is by this incessant and free work on himself (I sanctify myself) that he has become, in the full sense of the word, the saint of God.

In this, holiness of Jesus, everything is divine, if you will, in the sense that it is constantly drawn from God, the only good. But everything is human, however, in this sense that the communion with God, who was its principle, was by Jesus freely contracted and freely maintained. In itself and without our downfall, any man could have been developed in the same way.

2. The holiness of Jesus is human, not only because it has been subject to the law of progress, but also because it has undergone the much more serious law of temptation and struggle.

The struggle does not exist in God. "God can not be tempted by any evil. " Jesus had to fight. The desert and Gethsemane are two fields of battle which the Church will not forget, and which have been sprinkled in her sweat. They are not the only ones23. It is asked how Jesus could be tempted, go through a struggle, if he was without sin. Don’t you know, then, other moral struggles than those which sin raises?

- You have a taste for study, science would delight you. But, elder brother, deprived of your parents, you have young brothers and sisters to raise. You must give up your books, and by a work of a very different kind, earn the bread of those whom Providence has entrusted to you. There is struggle among you, not between evil and good, but between a good of a lower order, science, and a good of higher order, duty.

- You cherish the arts and you indulge in the culture of the beautiful talent of which you are endowed yourself. But, your homeland in danger is claiming the arms of its children. You hear, from the foreign country where you immerse yourself in the ocean of beauty, its cry of distress. You must abandon the theater of your first attempts, and run on the battlefields. Is there not a struggle, a struggle not between evil and good, but between two goods which occupy different degrees in the moral hierarchy?

It is in this sense that Jesus, though without sin, could be exposed to the struggle, accessible to temptation. He possessed the most generous instincts, the most eminent faculties. Philosopher, he would have surpassed Socrates; speaker, eclipsed Demosthenes. The substance and form of his teachings prove it. He had a heart capable of enjoying, more than any other, the tender affections of the family; and the high patriotic inspirations would have found in him, if he had been permitted to engage in it, the most heroic organ. Suffice it to recall his last word to his mother and his disciple and his tears on Jerusalem, in the day of his own triumph! He had to repress all these innocent instincts, to repress these noble impulses, to sacrifice these legitimate satisfactions, to give himself entirely to the task assigned to him from above, to his work of Redeemer, offering himself to his Church. the example of what these expressions mean to cut one's right hand, tear one's right eye out, give one's life to find it. Like us, he was sensitive to physical suffering, pain and heartbreak. For the sake of his office as mediator, he must have accepted all the pains to which our flesh and our heart are most reluctantly repugnant. But this submission has always been the price of a struggle. We see it well in Gethsemane. Thus, as the admirable epistle to the Hebrews says, "he was consumed, and he learned obedience by the things he suffered."

Progress, struggle, are these not the signs of a truly human holiness? In the desert, in Gethsemane, one can be in the courts of heaven, one is certainly not yet in heaven itself.



III    Perfect, the holiness of Jesus Christ is nonetheless accessible to all of us.


And this is precisely the reason why the holiness of Jesus, perfect as it is, is nonetheless accessible to man, to every believer who aspires to it; no doubt without him and beside him, as the free thinkers, who believe that it is enough for them to represent Jesus as their model, to succeed immediately in imitating him. No, the distance between him and us is too great for the work of our sanctification to be fulfilled like his sanctification. It must operate through/by his sanctification.

There is in us the seed of sin, which was not found in him, we have recognized it. He had only to learn; we have not only to learn, but to unlearn, if this expression is permitted to me. He had only to grow up; we have to grow and to diminish. He had to fill his heart with God; we must, while filling ours with God, empty it of ourselves.

This double task goes beyond the moral strength of man; whoever tries to do it seriously will soon recognize it. Therefore, the holiness of Jesus must become something else for us than a model. It is necessary that this holiness which he realized freely in his person in our human existence, becomes ours. Did not Jesus say, "I sanctify myself for them, that they also may be sanctified in truth." 25 In sanctifying himself, it is human life, it was all of us that Jesus sanctified. By preventing at every moment the sin of being born in his person, he condemned it to perish in our person. He demonstrated that sin is an intruder in human nature, and placed in principle in the conscience of humanity the possibility and consequently the duty of expulsion. It is by his human life, but at the same time pure and holy, devoid of stain and perfectly consecrated, that he has denied sin and founded the reign of holiness, that is to say the reign of God, on this soiled earth.

But for this reign to spread, the holiness that is its essence must pass from the king to the subjects. This passage supposes a link; and this link, Jesus described it in this saying: "I am the vine, you are the branches." 26 It was by the Ascension that he was put in a position to form it, by Pentecost that he formed it indeed.

The pure sap that filled the vine had to penetrate the branches and replace the poisonous sap that flowed in abundance. By his elevation to the right hand of God, which means: to the mode of existence of God himself, to the all-presence, to the all-science, to omnipotence, Jesus has received the power to descend himself in the hearts of believers, to come to live there and to realize in them the same perfect humanity that he has realized in his person. Associated with the sovereign power of God, he disposes of the Spirit, and can by him reproduce all the features of his moral physiognomy/appearance among believers.

You know this art, one of the most marvelous discoveries of our times, by which we have all become painters as skillful as the most famous portraitist; reproducing itself with its most delicate peculiarities on the plate properly prepared and arranged, our figure multiplies itself in thousands of copies identical to their prototype (Written in 1870). She even manages to give them something of the life that drives her.

Thus by the power of the Spirit, Christ reproduces himself in the hearts and lives of believers. Do we place ourselves assiduously before him, in the attitude of meditation, the Holy Spirit, by which he offered himself to God without any blemish27, similar to the luminous ray, prints in us the characteristic features of the model that we contemplate; he himself comes to life in our souls. He had promised: "The Spirit will glorify me in you"28 ; And St. Paul observes it in this word which summarizes his most magnificent experiences: "All of us who contemplate the Lord face-to-face, we are metamorphosed into the same image, from glory to glory (from his glory to ours), as by the Lord who is Spirit29. "

Under these conditions, it is possible to begin successfully the great work of our moral renewal, and to start on the way of sanctification that ascends to heaven, without fear of succumbing to the middle and even already at the bottom of the slope.

By His death, Christ our justice and our peace;

By his earthly and heavenly life, Christ our sanctification and our strength:

This is the salvation offered to the human soul.

To receive Christ in this double quality by the energetic receptivity of faith is what Jesus calls, in his symbolic language, "to eat his flesh and drink his blood," and you all know that it is to these two united acts that he himself bound the possession of Life.


Notes in the text :


1 Ernest Naville, The Problem of Evil, page 17.                                                                2 Christ and Consciousness, page 237.

3 Matthew 3:6 "And they were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.    4 John 1:29

5 Der geschichtliche Christus, page 111.                                                                             6 Luke 9:60, compare with verse 51.

7 John 12:20, compare avec verses 24 et 32.                                                                    8 Hebrew 2:10 ; 5:8 et 9

9 Keim, Der geschichtliche Christus, page 111.                                                                10 1 John 2:1 & 1 Peter 1:19

11 Leben Jesu, 1864, pages 206, 207.                                                                                 12 Work cited, page 625 and following.

13 Work cited, page 195                                                                                                        14 Cicero, De facto, C.5.

15 John 17:4 ; 16:32 ; 8:29                                                                                                   16 Luke 21:36

17 Matthew 20:28                                                                                                                    18 Matthew 7:21-23

19 We are not ignorant of the attempts made to eliminate by critical methods and assumptions those words in which Jesus gives himself for the judge of all. But after this retrenchment, then we must delete the words in which he gives himself for the victim and for the doctor, for the savior, and then those in which he testifies to his moral purity. And what will remain after that to explain the faith of his apostles and the foundation of the Church, not to mention the complete arbitrariness that characterizes these critical retrenchments? We draw a Jesus as we want; then one cuts into the documents as in a tissue, to cut the teaching of Jesus on this pattern. And we say: Look, here is the story. Is not this a real sleight of hand?

20 Der geschichtliche Christus, pages 109 and following.                                                      21 John 17:19

22 Hebrew 2:14,17 ; 4:15                                                                                                              23 Compare Luke 12:50; John 12:27

24 Hebrew 2:10 ; 5:8 et 9. No book of the New Testament stands out so vigorously,

       next to the divinity of Jesus Christ (chapter 1), his full humanity (chapters 2 and 5).

25 John 17:19                                                                                                                                       26 John 15:5

27 Hebrew 9:14                                                                                                                                  28 John 16:14

29 2 Corinthians 3:8                                                                                                                         30 John 6:53-54




 2 Corinthians 3-5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.