J. N. Darby.
Bible Treasury Vol. 15, page 380.
To say that revealed truth is not mysterious is absurd. A religion, which depends on the Word being made flesh, and the Son of man at the right hand of God, and sending down the Holy Ghost to make our bodies God's temples; which tells us that we are members of Christ's body; which shews God become a man, obedient as such, and dying as such, with other truths needless to enlarge on, must be mysterious in the true, and indeed in every, sense of the word. What angels desire to look into can well be supposed to be so. Christ made sin, as well as His miraculous birth; our dwelling in God, and His in us; our being in this world as Christ is, so as to have boldness in the day of judgment: all speak with one voice. He who excludes mysteries from this word excludes sense from it instead of making it intelligible. By mysterious is not meant that it cannot be understood. The scriptural meaning of "mystery" is what is know only by revelation, not by human knowledge. The initiated know mysteries, uninitiated do not: such is the meaning of the word; but the true initiated are those taught of God. If God reveals, there must be mysteries; and from the nature of what He reveals, true initiation must exist to understand it. Its expression cannot be at the level of human ideas. All the deepest expressions of good and evil are brought together. God and sin meet on the cross. Christ is God, and yet is forsaken of God there. Christ is the power of Prince (Urheber) of life, and He dies, but through it destroys the power of death. You cannot have such things brought together in the same act without mysterious truth. When all that is pervading truth in God, and all that is evil in man, meets and are centred indeed in one person, or the condition He takes, the human mind must be taught of God to know it; and God alone, Who knows all things perfectly, can reveal it simply, because He does know it perfectly; but in it He reveals all in man, all in Himself, and all in Christ. A person may rest on the surface, and seek to destroy all depth in the truth, and bend it to the standard of the human mind and the scope of human thought. But there is no great sense in this - that the Incarnation should not suppose and reveal immense depths of thought, purpose, and moral truth. If all this is denied, it is simple infidelity, and one knows what there is to deal with. If confessed, we have a Christianity in which the depths of our moral nature, old and new, and in the exercises and conflicts of both, meet God, where He and sin have met, and Christ came in the consummation of ages to put sin away. There perfect love and divine righteousness find their manifestation and ground. The simplest expressions of Scripture awake profound depths in our moral nature. What does putting away sin mean? What, Christ the Son of God appearing to do it? What does the Lamb of God mean? It is easy for philosophers to avoid all these expressions and to make a Christianity of their own. Only it is in no part the Christianity that is revealed or known in the word. But interpreting the Christianity that is revealed in Scripture and has possessed men's minds for ages, by saying that the true Divine in it is not having mysteries, is false in fact and absurd in idea. J. N. D.