a grandeur that overpowers me, Alexander - Caesar - Charlemagne, can Jesus be God?, Jesus and Napoleon, Napoleon, should have vanished into thin air, The Book of Jesus - Calvin Miller, time - the great destroyer- is powerless
This is another “chapter” (but edited and amplified – see references below) from The Book of Jesus by Calvin Miller
“I know men, and I tell you that Jesus is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. . . It is not so with Christ.
“Everything in Him astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Beside Him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself. His ideals and His sentiments, the truths which He announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things.
“His birth and the history of His life; the profundity of His doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is, of those difficulties, the most admirable solution; His Gospel, His apparition, His empire, His march across the ages and the realms, is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me into a reverence which I cannot escape, a mystery which is there before my eyes, mystery which I cannot deny or explain. . .
“The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me, everything remains grand — and of a grandeur which overpowers.
“I marvel that whereas the ambitious dreams of my self, Caesar, and Alexander should have vanished into thin air, a Judean peasant — Jesus — should be able to stretch His hands across the centuries and control the destinies of men and nations.
“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him.
“I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man; none else is like Him: Jesus Christ was more than a man. . . . I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me . . . but to do this is was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke to them, I lightened up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts. . . .
“Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of time Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others difficult to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may often seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful!
“In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. . . . This phenomenon is unaccountable. . . . Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This it is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.”
Harper New Monthly Magazine. Making of America Project, pp. 177-181.Harper and Brother Publishers, New York, 1855.
Liddon, Henry Parry, The Divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 147-148. Scribner, Welford and Armstong, New York. 1868
Miller, Calvin. The Book of Jesus. pp. 63-64. Simon and Schuster, 1996.
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