IX
OUR LORD AS SEEN IN THIS GOSPEL

WHAT does this Gospel tell us about our Lord's mind and ways of dealing, as He bore Himself, a man among men, upon this earth? I shall forbear for a while the question closely associated with this, of the doctrine which He taught concerning His real being and His mission. I am speaking here of the character by which He impressed Himself on those who were nearest to Him. For He certainly made an impress upon them by the way in which He spoke with and treated them and others, before they ever sought to define His relation with God. The manner of His action and the qualities which they saw in Him are the things about which their memory could least deceive itself. If a writer with sympathy and imaginative power, who presumably had come much under the influence of any of them, does convey to us some definite impression in this respect, that impression would demand attentive consideration even if we assumed that in other respects he was romancing.

This writer does convey to us such an impression, very clear to the mind, though not easy to set on paper. And if we ask whether that impression is trustworthy, we really possess a very sufficient test of its worth. For we have already from other sources some image of Jesus as

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