Samuel Cox on Christ following our path to the end

As well as reading ‘The Gospel of Nicodemus’ (see my previous post), most of today has been spent reading a book that’s been sitting on my ‘to-read’ list for months now: Samuel Cox’s, Salvator Mundi: or, Is Christ the Saviour of all Men?. Cox served as president of the Baptist Association in 1873 and received a DD from St Andrews in 1882. All I can say is that it’s been worth the wait, and I’m glad it didn’t get erased off the list. Here’s one of my favourite passages, not least because of its enormous existential charge:

‘If Christ took flesh and dwelt among us that He might become at all points like as we are and threw open the kingdom of heaven to all believers; if He trod, step by step, the path we have to travel from the cradle to the grave, must He not also, for us men and our salvation, have passed on into that dim unknown region on which our spirits enter when we die? Did He leave, did He forsake our path at the very moment when it sinks into a darkness we cannot penetrate, just when, to us at least, it seems to grow most lonely, most critical, most perilous? And if He followed our path to the end, and passed into that awful and mysterious world into which we also must soon pass, could his Presence be hid? Must not truth and mercy, righteousness and love attend Him wherever He goes? Would not the eternal Gospel in his heart find fit and effectual utterance, and the very darkness of Hades be illuminated and dispersed as it was traversed by the Light of Life? Surely our own reason confirms the revelations of Scripture, and constrains us to believe that, in all worlds and in all ages, as in this, Christ will prove Himself to be the great Lord and Lover of men, and will claim all souls for his own’. – Samuel Cox, Salvator Mundi: or, Is Christ the Saviour of all Men? (London: C. Kegan Paul and Co., 1878), 196-7.

One comment

  1. Jason, this is a fine example of theological imagination being allowed to inform Christian thought. However uncomfortable some may be with Cox’s conclusion, his imaginative reasoning is, for me at least, almost irresistible. I suppose for myself I’ve never liked ‘devotional’ writing and reading. But writing like this rather than aim at the affections, reasons towards the larger truths of the Gospel by allowing Christ to dictate the scale and scope of our theology. Cox is an unjustly neglected expositor, (as is Alexander MacLaren) so thanks for letting him sepak again.


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