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son to appreciate his moral surroundings, and the problems it presented especially on the Ethnic side, they may take Mr. Stanley as their guide: but for insight into the apostle himself, and outlook on the world as it seemed to him, they must resort to Mr. Jowett.

The Pauline epistles are interesting, apart from all assumption of inspired authority, because the elements are seen fermenting there, of the greatest known revolution both in the history of the world and in the spiritual consciousness of individual man. Judaism was the narrowest (that is, the most special) of religions: Christianity, the most human and comprehensive. Within a few years, the latter was evolved out of the former; taking all its intensity and durability, without resort to any of its limitations. This marvellous expansion of the national into the universal, was not achieved without a process and a conflict. Divine though the work was, it had to be wrought upon men, and through men; whose character, interests, convictions, habits, and institutions, furnished the data conditioning the problem, and whose remodelled affections and will supplied the instruments for its solution. The laws of human nature therefore and the action of human events necessarily enter into the study of this great revolution; and it cannot be detained out of the hands of the historian by any exclusive rights of the divine. When we endeavour to trace the successive steps of faith from Mount Zion to the Vatican, many parts of the progress appear to have left but scanty vestige. We know the beginning, in the doctrine of the Hebrew Messiah; we know the end, in the recognition of a Saviour of the world. We know the intermediate fact, that Judaism did not surrender its own without a struggle, or readily give away the keys of its enclosure just when it was passing from a prison of affliction into a palace of "the kingdom". But within this general fact lies a world of mysterious detail,-nay, almost the whole life of the early church. Who began the open

breach between Messiah and the Law? how and to what extent did the parties divide? what was their relative magnitude at different times and in different places? and by what process was the difference terminated, and the two extremes,— Marcion on the one hand and the Ebionites on the other,removed outside as heretics? The Christianity of the third century is so little like the doctrine of Matthew's Gospel as to perplex our sense of identity. No one can bring the two into direct comparison, without feeling how much must have happened to shape the earlier into the form of the later. Could we trace the flow and estimate the sources of this change, the most wonderful of the world's experiences would be resolved.

The continuity, however, of visible causation is often broken: there are everywhere many missing links in the chain, and a chasm extending through a large part of the second century. But a generation earlier we meet with materials, of the richest value, in the Epistles of St. Paul; and by their aid the general direction may be found by which thought and events must have advanced. Otherwise, the change would seem as violent and inconceivable as a convulsion that should mingle the Jordan and the Tiber.

No doubt, the germ of the gospel's universality is to be found in the personal characteristics of its Author; in the whole spirit of his life, and the direct tendency of his teachings. He who found in the love of God and love of man the very springs of eternal life; who measured good and evil not by the act, but by the affection whence they come; who placed his ideal for man in likeness to the perfection of God; had already proclaimed a religion transcending all local limits. Nay, if he opposed the "true worship" to the services at Gerizim and Jerusalem, and could wish the Temple away, that obstructed his direct dealing with the human soul and suppressed the inner shrine "not made with hands," he must even have placed himself in an attitude of open alienation towards the ritual of his people. At the same time, his words seem to have left not unfrequently an opposite impression. He comes "not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfil" them; "not a jot or a tittle is to fail." His most spiritual truths and sentiments, instead of being announced as novelties grounding themselves on his personal authority, are drawn out of the old Hebrew Scriptures; and even the life beyond death he finds lurking in patriarchal idioms and phrases heard at the burning bush. His intensest polemic against the sacerdotal party goes on within the limits of the system which they represent and yet corrupt; and his bitterest reproach against them is that there is no reverence for it in their hearts, since they hugely violate and trivially obey it. Far from ever launching out against law as law, or setting up faith as a rival principle excluding it, he extends precept to the last heights of religion, enjoins the divinest affections, as if there also obedience was possible, and duty and volition had their place. It was not in a nature holy and harmonious as his,-type of heavenly peace rather than of earthly conflict,-that the schism would be exhibited between Will and Love; where both are at their height, there is no rent between them. Nor was there need, in that meek reverential soul, to break with the past, in order to find a sanctity for the present, and leave an inspiration for the future. Some things, once

given for the hardness of men's hearts, might be dropped, and fall behind; but God had ever lived, and left the trace of his perfectness upon the elder times as on the newest manifestations of the hour. There was enough in the law, if only its fruitful seeds were warmed into life, to furnish forth the gospel. And so Christ presents himself as the disciple of Moses, and in the Sermon on the Mount does but open out the tables of Sinai. It was not, therefore, without honest ground that his immediate disciples could defend him from the charge of being unfaithful to the religion of his native land. And yet the instinct of the priests and rabbis told them truly that he and they could not co-exist, that his doctrine reduced their work to nought, and that whencesoever he might draw it, there was no doubt whither he must carry it. The "witnesses were not altogether "false" which they brought to show his inner hostility to the altar ceremonial: and perhaps his enemies, with apprehension sharpened by fear, more correctly interpreted his tendency in this direction than his followers, entangled in the cloud of a Judaic love. It was quite natural that the real antithesis between the law and the gospel should thus be first felt by his antagonists, whilst as yet it slept undeveloped in the minds of his followers and in the habitual expression of his own thought; and that its earliest proclamation should be their act, their defiance, the cross on Calvary!

This terrible challenge, fiercely protesting that the law would hold no parley with the gospel, the apostles, however, refused to accept. They still denied their Lord's apostasy or their own; they had always been, and with his encouragement, the best of Jews: nor did they contemplate, so far, any change. The crucifixion was a Jewish mistake, meant for the nation's enemy, but alighting on its representative; a mistake, however, which God had counteracted by a glorious rescue, in the resurrection of the crucified. The mischief being thus undone, the day of Hebrew opportunity was resumed; the ministry of Jesus was not closed; he yet lived and preached to them as before;— no longer, indeed, in person till their better mind should reassert itself, but by "faithful witnesses;"-no longer too in tentative disguise, but now identified as Messiah by his exaltation above this world. Whatever conflicts of mind the disciples suffered in the mysterious period following the crucifixion, the operation of the resurrection and the Spirit was at first simply to reinstate them in their prior faith,-that the kingdom would soon be restored to Israel, and be brought in by no other than their Master, already waiting for the crisis in a higher world till God's hour should come. There is no evidence to show that, on the transference of their Lord's life from earth to


heaven, they were carried into any greater comprehensiveness or spirituality of faith: their convictions were more intense, but held on in the same direction, being all included in one great theme, the speedy coming of Messiah's kingdom, and the end of the world. Nay, of so little consequence, in comparison with this general picture of expectation, was even the appearance in it of the person of Jesus as its central figure, that Apollos, more than twenty years aftewards, was making and baptizing converts, without having ever heard of any later prophet than John the Baptist; and these people are already recognized as "disciples," and then informed, as needful complement to their faith, that besides the crisis being near, the person is appointed. Here had evidently been, for some quarter of a century, two independent streams of Messianic faith, one from a rather earlier source than the other, but pursuing their own separate way, till thus partially confluent at Ephesus. And what is the relation between them? One of them baptizes into an impersonal and anonymous hope, the other into the same hope with the name attached. And when these two states of mind are set side by side, they are regarded as the same in their essence, and differing only in completeness. Nor is there anything in their mutual feeling to hinder their instant coalescence. This fact defines in the clearest way the position of the early church; the ordinary Jew believed that Messiah would sometime come, and bring in "the last days;" Apollos, that he would come ere long; the Christians, that already the person was indicated, and would prove to be Jesus of Nazareth. All three co-existed within the Hebrew pale, and the two last fall under the common category of “ disciples."

It was impossible, however, that the contemplation of a Messiah risen and reserved in heaven should affect all the believers in a precisely similar manner. His personal attendants it would take up just where the crucifixion had let them down; would give new force to their previous impressions, new sacredness to their recollections, new significance to his words and example, new reluctance to venture where he had not led. The whole effect would be conservative, and tend to fix them, with an inspired rigour, within the limits of the Master's lot and life. Quite otherwise was it with the new disciples, who had no such restraining memories of the human Teacher. They began with Christ above, and were tied down by no concrete biographical images, no scruples of tender retrospect. They were free to ask themselves," What meant this surprising way of revealing Messiah in heavenly places,' and letting his disguise first fall off in his escape from local

* Acts xviii. 24; xix. 7.

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relations? The scene from which he looked down,-was it the mere upper chamber of Judæa, or did it overarch the human world? Who could claim him, now that he was there? Was it for him to examine pedigrees to test the children of the kingdom;' or would he, as Son of David, even come emblazoned with his own?" The mere conception of an ascended and immortal being, assessor to the Lord of all, seemed to dwarf and shame all provincial restrictions, and sanction the distaste for binding forms and ceremonial exclusiveness. The withdrawal of Christ to a holier sphere accorded well with all that was most spiritual in his teachings and in himself; and could not fail to reflect a strong light back on this aspect of his life, and give a more significant emphasis to the tradition of his deepest words. In the mind of many a disciple this tendency would be favoured by a weariness towards the outer worship of the Temple, and a secret aspiration after purer and more intimate communion with God. Especially was the foreign Jew obliged to confess such a feeling to himself. The very speaking of Greek spoiled him for thinking as a Hebrew; for language is the channel of the soul, and according as the organism is open, the sap will flow. Accustomed to the simple piety of the Proseucha, where God was sought without priest or sacrifice, and adequately found in poetry, and prophecy, and prayer, the Hellenist acquired a tone of sentiment on which the material pomps and puerilities of Mount Moriah painfully jarred. Nor could he enclose himself contentedly, like the Palestine Jew, within the sacred boundary that admitted the most worthless son of Abraham, and shut the noblest Gentile out. Living in heathen cities, dealing with heathen men, touched at times with the sorrow or the goodness of heathen neighbours, his moral feeling fell into contradiction with his inherited exclusiveness, and inwardly demanded some other providential classification of mankind. Accordingly, it was the Hellenist Stephen who first saw, in the heavenly Christ, a principle of universal religion and a proclamation of spiritual worship. When accused of defaming Moses and the law and the holy place, and setting up Jesus to supersede them, he boldly reflects on the stone Temple, rooted to one spot, as at variance with His nature who said, "Heaven is my throne, and earth my footstool," and points to the earlier tabernacle, movable from place to place, following the steps of wandering humanity, as truer emblem of a faith that takes every winding of history, and a God who goes where we go, and stays where we stay. This noble doctrine doubtless expressed a feeling common among the foreign Jews of liberal culture and fervid

*Acts vii. 44-49.

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