CHRISTOL'OGY is the doctrine of the person of Christ. The word itself is to be found, once or so, in the divines of the 17t11 c. (see Dean Trench on the Study of lirords), but the department of scientific theology which it now represents is ahnost entirely the growth of modern, and particularly of German inquiry. As yet, it can hardly be said that the word C. is accredited in Great Britain, but the same differences of opinion which led to its adoption in Germany, are beginning to manifest themselves here also. There are only three methods of apprehending the doctrine of the person of Christ. First, there is the rationalistic method. This consists in representing, the development of the Messianic idea in Jewish history as purely natural, and conditioned by purely human and historical influences—in short, as a subjective or self-originated notion, to which there was no correspondent divine reality. Second. there is, what. for want of a better word, we may call the spiritualistic method (that of theologians like Neauder, Rothe, etc.). This consists in representing. the 'development of the 31essianic idea in Jewish history as both natural and supernatural; that is to say, it asserts the existence of a divine objective reality (" the eternal Son of God ") as the basis of the subjective idea in the minds of the Jews, and regards the growth of that idea, and the influence of histor ical circumstances, as the result of a supernatural providence, which culminated in the revelation "of the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh." Third, there is the
dogmatic method, which is the one accepted by the common order of theologians. This consists in representing the doctrine of the person of Christ as symbolically known to the spiritually-minded among God's people from the earliest ages. "Abraham saw his (Christ's) day afar off." 'his is interpreted to signify that, by the grace of prophetic illumination, the righteous men of old were enabled to foresee in a mysterious and inex plicable manner the atonement of Christ, as it happened in history. Admitting with the spiritualistic theologians, that the Messianic idea among the Jews underwent. in some sense, a historical development, the dogmatic Christologists differ, in general, from the former by attributing to the higher minds such a knowledge of the work of Christ, as logically involves a knowledge of his person and character. The entire absence, how. ever, of any personal traits of Christ in the Old Testament, such as might be expected of those who had seen him even with the eye of faith, has induced many orthodox theolo gians to shrink from making any statement in regard to what may have been the doc trine of the person of Christ among the ancient Jews.