16 O turn unto me, and have mercy [be gracious] upon me; give thy strength [oz] unto thy servant [eved], and save the son of thine handmaid [ben amatecha].
Two Natures or One?
We cannot better answer your question than by quoting from a private letter we addressed some time ago to a correspondent, in answer to a similar query. "My mind on the subject I express in a short paragraph among 'Answers to Correspondents,' in the coming (March) number of the Christadelphian.
I accept Dr. Thomas's teaching on the subject of God-manifestation, because I can see it to be the teaching of the word; but I do not understand that teaching to require me to regard the flesh and blood of Jesus as anything higher in nature than the flesh and blood of 'the children' he came to redeem.
Paul says it was the same (Heb. 2:14), and I believe it. It was in the first instance, drawn from the veins of Mary, during the nine months' gestatory process, in the same way as any other child; and was afterwards sustained like other men by the process of eating, except during the forty days he was in the wilderness, when like Moses for a similar period, he tasted no food, being upheld by the Spirit.
But then, underlying this was the Spirit. You rightly say the Spirit has to do with all men; but there is this great difference between Jesus and ordinary men, in this matter.
In the case of ordinary men they inherit a nature originally contrived by the Spirit, but not for a manifestation of the Spirit. The Spirit was the Creator, but the thing created (the living soul), partook no more of the quality, mind or tendency of the Spirit than any other animal fabrication.
Adam was a man simply, purely and merely, because the Spirit designed no higher result; and his descendants have not even the advantage he had in having a nature (earthy thought it be) directly from the hands of the Spirit.
In the case of Jesus the Spirit designed a manifestation of itself, through the medium of the flesh. Hence the babe born of Mary was the flesh-blossom, so to speak, of spirit seed.
The spirit was imparted to the human ovum, and the result was a man, who though the flesh and blood of his mother, was the manifestation in all his characteristics of the invisible power which overshadowed Mary and quickened her womb, and allied itself as it were with her substance.
The man Christ Jesus was not Spirit-nature. He was the Spirit manifested in flesh-nature-the divine glory concealed by the veil of the flesh.
Some call this two natures; but I think this is a wrong description of it.
These abstractions, however, should not trouble us. The main thing is to believe and receive the benefit, even if we do not understand, as in the case of the sun. Hoping we may be accounted worthy to be clothed upon with the house which is from heaven.-Your well-wisher,
The Christadelphian, Apr 1872
'...that there never was a time when the Father and his Spirit were not; but that until the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, that babe had no rudimental existence, save as Judah existed in the loins of Abraham, or Abraham in Adam; and therefore the babe in Adam from whom Luke traces its descent.
There was no Word made flesh until the birth of Mary's son, who in the Psalms is styled by the Spirit, "the Son of thine handmaid." The babe was created as Adam was created; the latter by the Spirit from the dust direct; the former by the Spirit from Mary's substance; and therefore from the dust indirectly.
These are facts testified to by the Word unmixed with superstitious inferences and speculations. Adam the First was created for reproduction; Adam the Second for God-Manifestation to the posterity of the first. There having been a time since the foundation of the world during which there was no God-manifestation through Adamic flesh, there was consequently a time when the Adamic Medium called Jesus was not.
In attentively considering Jesus, however, we know him only as Son of God and Mary. For thirty years he lived among men as a mechanic, working at his father-in-law's trade, being in favour with all his acquaintances, and without reproach. During all this time there was no manifestation of God through him. He cast out no demons, performed no miracles, and delivered no message to the people before his immersion in the Jordan, and the trial of his faith in his wilderness probation of forty days.
But when he had fulfilled the righteousness typified in the law in being immersed of John, the Spirit of the Father descended upon him in the form of a dove; and having driven him into the desert to be tempted of the Devil and brought him thence again approved, he began from that time to manifest himself to Israel as the El Shaddai who dealt with Abraham, and the Yahweh who by his angel talked with Moses in the bush.
From this the anointing of "the Holy One of Saints," the Spirit-manifester, the manifesting medium, and the manifested Father, concentred in Jesus. This being understood, the reader will know how to interpret the words "before Abraham was, I am," and many others of a similar description.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, June 1854