Dr. Adolph Saphir
Dr. Adolph Saphir said:
"Perhaps none of you know from experience what it is to live without the knowledge of the Incarnation; what it is to endeavour to realize the incomprehensible, infinite God, without the light and comfort of the Mediator, and how joyous and self-evidencing is the peaceful brightness when Jesus is revealed as the Son of God, declaring the Father. I was brought up in my childhood in the synagogue, and was taught that there was one God, infinite, incomprehensible, holy Spirit high above us and omnipresent. Much stress was laid on the unity and unicity of God.
But this bare, vague, and abstract Monotheism leaves the mind in darkness, while the heart is chilly and desolate. There was another and a better current which then influenced me. It was the national history, as recorded in the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets, and commemorated in the festivals. There I was met by no abstract idea of unicity, but by a loving God, who appeared unto Abraham and spoke to him; who led Israel through the wilderness and dwelt among them; and after, when I thought of the friendly, kind, concrete, and human way in which the Lord God then appeared unto His people and dwelt with them, I wondered why He was not now with us, known, loved, and followed.
One day I was looking at some books, and the title of one arrested my eye. It was Die Menschwerdung Gottes - God becoming man. The thought went through my mind like a flash of lightning; it thrilled my soul with a most joyous solemnity. "Oh," I said, "this would be the most beautiful thing, if God were to become man and visit us!" Not many years after I heard about Jesus, and read the Gospels. I felt here the same presence, the same loving, condescending, redeeming, and sanctifying God, that appeared unto the Fathers. I felt that here was Jehovah; that all darkness had disappeared, and that the grand but inconceivable glory here shone upon us in the perfect, peaceful, and holy countenance of the man Christ Jesus. Peniel! I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved… To believe in Jesus, the Son of God, is not an abstract dogma, or a theosophic speculation, but a soul-experience, a new heart-life. It is the mystery of godliness. May the result of all we learn and experience on earth be summed up in this: By God's spirit I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."