Christ and the Jewish Law
Robert Mackintosh
(1886)

APPENDICES. APPENDIX A. THE KINGDOM OF GOD. APPENDIX A. THE KINGDOM OF GOD. THE Kingdom of God is the etherealised or spiritual form in which the nation of Israel figures in Christ s theology. From the very outset of the theo cracy, God had been proclaimed as King in Israel. The basileo-theocracy, once it found the right man to serve as God s vicegerent, instead of proving irre ligious, gave new depth to the religious loyalty of the people towards God. The conquests, too, of the Davidic empire, under the idealising touch of pious and patriotic emotion, supplied a favourite picture to prophecy. Under the pressure of the world-empires in the Assy rian age, 1 there arose the deliberate prediction of the universality of true religion in " the latter days." Gradually the hope for the Gentiles widened, but always in dependence on the precedence of Israel, and the continuance of Old Testament religion. Prophets of the old covenant had neither the right nor the power to transcend the old covenant. Finally, the Book of Daniel, in which apocalyptic rises to the dignity of a philosophy of history, brought prophecy to an issue by defining the Kingdom of God as an eternal worldempire. Christ, passing over the Apocrypha, went 1 Riehm, as above. 220 APPENDIX A. back to Daniel for this conception, as well as for the title Son of Man1 (Dan. vii. 13), as head of the King dom, and for the conception eternal life (xii. 2), as the characteristic blessing to be enjoyed in the Kingdom of God.2 The Baptist, at least according to the first Gospel (iii. 2), had already used the same phraseology. On his lips it could only point to the future, and probably to a somewhat chiliastic future (Matt. xi. 3). But he based on it his characteristic warning, " Repent !" and the significance of his lifework (Luke i. 77) was to prepare for the kingdom by teaching men that salvation lay essentially in spiritual blessings. With Jesus the "* Kingdom of God" denotes a present reality (Luke xvii. 21 ; also Matt. xii. 28, and Luke xi. 20; cf. Matt. xi. 4, etc.) In this lay the gracious aspect of Christ s " glad tidings." " Blessed are ye," He said, " for yours is the Kingdom of God," as a gift, and as a present possession. No doubt, this is one . of the moot points of interpretation ; yet, in fairness, there is scarcely room for doubt. The question is compli cated by the use of the same phrase for heaven, or for the coming consummation of all things. Such use is very common in the New Testament ; hence perhaps Matthew s " Kingdom of heaven," which verbally is probably less authentic than lt Kingdom of God." Yet, % if the Kingdom of God, which religion brings into the present, is fundamentally an ethical conception, and if ethic tends to project it into the future, we can under stand that an eschatological use of the phrase is a natural deflection of meaning. 1 So Canon Row, in Rev. and Mod. TheoL Contrasted. - Another reference to Daniel is to the " abomination of desolation." THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 221 In its ethical sense, which concerns us here, the phrase means much more than that God is the author of law, or the source of all power ; it implies that a kingdom after God s heart has been erected, that such as are the laws, so are the subjects. Hence we might best express the meaning of the phrase in modern English by translating, "Divine Kingdom." -So far as its actual position in the world was concerned, the Kingdom of God coincided with the circle of Christ s disciples. In history, measured similarly by its extent, it will mean much the same thing as the " invisible Church " of Protestant theology ; only, while that is defined primarily by religious marks, as being the society which stands in inner fellowship with God, the Kingdom of God is defined primarily by ethical marks, as being the society which does the will of God. The religious position it implies is reconciliation with God, achieved in Christ s spiritual sacrifice (Heb. ix. 14 ; x. 9, 10), shown in faith, resignation, humility, and triumph, as well as in doing good ; as Paul phrases it, in " righteousness, and peace, and joy irj the Holy Ghost." Inasmuch as it is a religious society, resting on grace, and not on .merit, the characteristic name of God, which the members of His kingdom are entitled to use, is not "the Judge," or "Emperor," but "our Father." Thus the figure of a kingdom passes over into the figure of a family, so as to indicate, both that dependence on God is filial, not statutory, and that the members of the kingdom are to act towards one another, and, indeed, towards all men, as brethren. The proper definition of the Kingdom of God is, how ever, ethical. In this view it represents the task of redeemed humanity, the whole complex of the duties 222 APPENDIX A. of piety and of charity, which are incumbent on Christ s followers. Hence it is that the Kingdom appears as a thing ever in course of realisation, and as an ideal belonging to the future, though present to faith by virtue of the achievement of Christ. Even the mem ber of God s kingdom is taught to " Seek His kingdom first," and is bidden pray " Thy kingdom come." The chief means of this coming of the Kingdom is, on man s side, that every man discharge his own vocation with faithfulness. The main novelty in the ethic of the Kingdom is, that universal benevolence, considered as the mind of Christ, is a religious duty, and that it is to be the conscious or unconscious motive of every action. Christ, then, chose, in spite of inevitable dangers, to begin His ministry by announcing the Kingdom. This constituted His gospel. Neither His own work nor His own Person, neither the Atonement nor the Incarnation, was what He put in the forefront. Once men were brought within the sphere of Kingdom in fluences, they could grow up into that spiritual condition, which is fitted for knowledge of Christ s Person and work. May we not well be content to begin where Christ began ? "The leading thought of Jesus is not the leading thought in the epistles of the New Testament. This fact may be explained in different ways. Does it imply that the attention of the apostles has been altogether turned away from this most important point of view, so that they can only adopt it in an imperfect form, or in some of its attributes, or when occasion presents it to them ? Or must we assume that in their preaching, as founders of Christian Churches, they gave THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 22$ currency to Jesus leading idea, and only adopted other grounds of instruction and exhortation for their letters ? Or can we discern differences between the different apostles ? Is the habit of some explicable on one of the above grounds, and that of others on a different ground ? To limit conjecture, let us remind ourselves that the author of the Acts, a comparatively late writer, records of the apostles generally, and in particular of Paul, that the apostolic preaching was a gospel of the Kingdom of God. But, while this man of the second generation is still at home in the original point of view, his contemporary, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, formulates the content of the teaching of Jesus and the apostles in the less definite concep tion, o-wr^pia, projects the thought of Jesus kingship into the future (ii. 3-5), and does not even mention it in his list of the elements of Christian knowledge (vi. 1-2). These latter facts show us the original idea of the Kingdom of God dissolving away. Unques tionably this is to be explained by the prevailing expectation of the second advent, which governs the cast of thought of I Peter, and even there has left only indirect traces of the idea of a present Kingdom of God. In studying the Epistle of James we have to take into consideration, that he embraces the ethical contents of the Christian law under the conception of wisdom, following in this the lead of Proverbs and kindred Old Testament writings. He lays great stress upon ethical unselfishness; 1 but, when this is taught Gememsmn, "public spirit." We have no ethical equiva lent except the negative "unselfishness." Mr. Hinton spoke of "Altruism," etymologically and philosophically misleading. 224 APPENDIX. A. under the leading conception of wisdom, it is urged as a desirable acquisition to -the individual character, and on the ground of individual responsibility to God the judge ; while, from the point of view of righteousness in the Biblical sense what is good in individual character and action is so called because it tends to corporate order and well-being. Thus, when Christianity was conceived as a revelation of wisdom, the meaning of the Kingdom of God, as the product of ethical action, disappeared. Finally, John also handles ethical subjects from an individualist point of view. He, too, commends brotherly love on the ground of personal responsibility before God s judgment (i John iv. 17-18). He differs from James, however, in treating the Christian s voca tion by preference, not according to ethical categories, but from the religious point of view of God s causation in grace, from that of the influence of Christ s example, and from that of the motive power of His command ments. This .view of religious experience did not predispose him to appropriate Christ s thought of the Kingdom of God ; hence, also, his version of Christ s discourses varies from the original form as pictured in the other Gospels. Still, it will be found, that from another side he approached very near Christ s leading point of view. "The Acts of the Apostles have told us that Paul s preaching nevertheless retained the original conception of the Kingdom of God as a task for the present. This is confirmed by the fact, that in some passages of his epistles, though in few, we meet with that conception. In Col. iv. 1 1 he indirectly describes his activity in his apostolic calling as a work unto the Kingdom of God. And when he calls his ministry (2 Cor. iii. 9), the THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 225 ministration of righteousness, he can only do so because he has plainly before his mind the connection between righteousness and the Kingdom of God. For the rest, the reason why Paul in his letters so seldom touches on the doctrine of the Kingdom, is because his epistles are governed by the various requirements of the Christian communities, considered as Churches. Even in the teaching of Christ we have to distinguish be tween the setting apart of the disciples to help in the realisation of the Kingdom of God as their special ethical task, arid their setting apart as etc/cXijcrla. The latter word (Matt. xvi. 18, xviii. 17) answers to the Hebrew Snp, which describes the covenant people as a people consecrated to God s worship, not as a people consecrated to subjection under His sovereignty, and to civil and moral obedience to His Law. Further, the use of this word on two occasions by Jesus proves that statutory institutions will arise in the disciples com munity as an Ecclesia; while, on the otjier hand, the disciples communion in the Kingdom of God has for an essential attribute, that love supersedes statutory arrangements (Matt. v. 38-42 ; I Cor. vi. 6-8). Finally, although the Kingdom of God is meant to become a fact of human experience, its reality will be verified only to faith ; it will never be possible to test it* by the direct correspondence of the sensible reality with tie motives and desires of faith. But the Church can be seen and heard ; every man can distinguish its public worship and its sacraments from the cultus of other religions. Both the form and the contents of Christian worship are matters for scientific agreement, however variously men may think of the value of Christian worship. 15 226 APPENDIX A. u But Christian worship, to be right either in itself or in the person of the worshippers, depends not only on Christian truth, but on the brotherly love of the participants in worship. Worship in the early Church not only had to be guarded against debasing associa tion with Jewish or heathen worship, it had to be kept healthy by a right attitude of the members of the Church towards each other. Hence the many ethical admonitions and rebukes, which the epistles of the New Testament employ for the suppression of error, and for the fostering of Christian faith. But why is such teaching never directly based on the principal ethical category, on the Kingdom of God ? Why has Paul himself touched upon it only, as it were, in an inter jection ? First of all, we may reply that the writers had no intention to give complete ethical instruction in the scientific sense ; we might add that the more firmly grounded one is in first principles, and the surer one is that others, accept them, the less does one need to -speak of them. And we must not forget that the very nature of the Kingdom of God allows of basing ethical instruction upon thoughts which are only subordinate parts in the Kingdom as a whole. For every branch of the ethical unity has the value of the whole. Not only the Kingdom of God, as the ethical organisation of all the human race, is the direct aim in conduct ; every detail involved in the interests of humanitypersonal virtue, the purity of the family, or that of any other of the narrower circles in life may be set up by itself as an aim. For an ethical end is an ethical end, in virtue of being the means to other ends, and it can claim all other ethical ends as means to itself. " Still, it is plain that James, John, and, very clearly, THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 22/ the author to the Hebrews have, forgotten the. ethical thought of the Kingdom of God, and have retained the conception only to express by it the future blessedness of all saints. We cannot fail to see in this usage a difference between the circle of the apostles thoughts and that of Jesus thoughts, or to see in this difference a loss. What historical explanation can be given for this descent from the lofty elevation of Jesus view of life ? It is due, I think, to a continual solicitude for the needs of the Churches, set as they were in the midst of a polished but hostile world. Jesus, in preach ing the Kingdom of God, showed the universality of the Kingdom, it is acknowledged, by the command, Love your enemies. Emphasis is laid on this command on the ground that natural men are capable of brotherly love, so that it in itself does not evince a supernatural morality. But the Churches, united in the confession of God as Father, and of Jesus as Messiah, had as their first task to secure moral fellowship between their mem bers. The inspiring- force of religion, which had united the Christians into congregations, might be great ; but experience proved that readiness to associate* together in worship did not imply an adequate natural disposi tion to brotherly love. A long course of self-discipline was needful before harmony could be hoped for. And at the same time it became apparent that, if love for enemies and persecutors was ever so far developed, yet the aim of Christian missions was to change enemies into brethren, in order that, within the Church, they might be trained in the righteousness of God s Kingdom. Since, then, care and development of the Churches must seem the indispensable means for the development of the Kingdom of God, the Christian s 228 APPENDIX A. nearest duty seemed to be to seek the highest perfection of the Churches. And since the Churches, in order to worship aright, needed training in the supernatural righteousness of the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, as the aim, fell into the place of a means for the prosperity of the Churches. The two functions of the Christian Church, ethically to labour for the Kingdom of God, and publicly, in stated forms, to worship God, are separate functions ; theory suggests that they are mutually dependent, and the .facts from the history of the Church, which we have been considering, prove that they are so, prove that they are alternately means and ends. " But the use in the epistles of training in the righte ousness of the Kingdom as a means for the enrichment , of congregational worship involves a pervasive narrow ing of the field of vision compared with that of Christ. We see this narrowing when love to the brethren is named as the highest Christian duty," ] i.e., the universalism of Christian duty is already in danger of being forgotten. I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of a quotation from a different source. " Roughly . delineated, the great central fact of the Christianity of the educated middle classes is personal salvation. Christianity assumes more or less the form of a Life Insurance Office, at which, in return for a certain amount of faith and goodness, you insure your self against the risk of perdition hereafter. Its two 1 Ritschl, Justification, ii., 293-298. Ritschl quotes Rothe (Stille Stunden, 239) having- remarked on the surprising change in the apostles point of view. Sttllc 239) as rem view. THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 229 factors are God and the soul ; the third, -and equally necessary factor in primitive Christianity, the world, humanity, is almost entirely omitted, or comes in as a sort of loose after-thought, as something whose claims ought to be recognised out of gratitude for one s own personal salvation. Fortunately, this feeling is so strong as often to secure the utmost devotion, at least from individuals. But it does not alter the fact that our ordinary Christianity is characterised by intense in dividualism, the emphatically social and corporate character of early Christianity, the Kingdom of God/ as it was called, shrinking to the narrow limits of the individual soul, or of some particular ecclesiastical organisation. Its strength -lies in beauty of individual character ; in what in modern times would be called moral and spiritual culture, in ancient phraseology edification ; its weakness, in a certain unconscious selfishness it engenders, the not very lofty ideal of getting on in this world and the next, and doing the best for yourself in both ; and its inherent inability to work out any salvation for the world. The rise of Positivism, or the service of humanity, on ground which was once covered by the full tides of Christian love, but which has long been left bare and unoccupied, I think points to the truth in its broad outlines of what I say. " On the other hand, the great central fact of the Christianity of working-men is, what after all must ever be the central fact of Christianity whatever else we may make of it, a life poured out for the good of others, and personal salvation as a means to that. . . . " But is it not possible for these two types of Chris tianity, each imperfect without the other, to coalesce ; 230 APPENDIX A. for the moral and spiritual culture of the one to take up into itself the service, the self-devotion, and self-spend ing of the other, and so from the broken light of true Christianity to orb into the perfect l bright and morn ing star, which would herald a new dawn, not only for the working classes, but for all classes alike ? Cannot each of us do much to bring in a fuller, truer .Christianity, which will draw all men into it, a Chris tianity that possesses the three essential factors, God, the individual soul, and the world ? . . . " I believe myself that an immense movement is already setting in towards a more organic Christianity ; a Christianity that wijl recognise what, thank God, many individuals have already recognised, that we are members of one organic whole, and that the limb can only attain to its true health and joyous activity by losing itself in serving the whole ; in other words, by bringing in that very factor, the world, humanity, which we have left out ; a Christianity which would build up a moral order on somewhat the same methods as" those on which " science has built up an intellectual order in our life, by training the moral emotions to respond to fact, as men have already trained the intellectual faculties. ... I believe that the time is coming when /duty, not selfish rights, will become the watchword of humanity, and when a fuller Christianity will be able so to mould public opinion that the man who lives simply for his own pleasure and amusement, in enjoyment of the rights of property, will be branded as a man who has lived a pauper at the public expense, and died without an attempt to pay his debts ; a time when it will be as much ground into a man by education and religious influences that he has got to fulfil his obligations to THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 231 humanity, to others, as it now is that he has got to fulfil his obligations to himself and to his own soul. In one word, I believe a Christianity is coming, which will teach us not only our relations to God, but our relations to His world; not only our relation through Christ to God, but also our relations through Christ to humanity, of whom He is equally the representative ; a Chris tianity which will base itself less upon theological dogma, and more upon the facts of life." l 1 Ellice Hopkins, Work among Working-men, ch. vii. APPENDIX B. THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY. APPENDIX B. THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDA Y. IN the text I have not mentioned the Puritan view of Christ s observance of the Sabbath. That view, in accordance with the Puritan theory of Sunday, holds that Christ kept the day sacred because of the perpetual obligation of the Decalogue. The Puritan theory had three parts. First, it regarded Christ as being a religipus revealer or religious lawgiver, and at the same time the giver of statutory laws, in a complete system, to Church and State. Secondly, the basis of Christ s statutory lawgiving, as of all His work, was found in the Decalogue, whose perpetual obligation was taken for granted (e.g., in exposition of the Sermon on the Mount). Thirdly, the task of enforcing the statutory side of Christ s lawgiving, both in Church and State, was committed to an authority competent to the task, to the Christian State. Now, this is a com plete and self-consistent theory ; and no one con fessedly or professedly holds it at the present day. It may seem a small change, that we have abandoned persecution ; but a small change, or the recognition of an obvious fact,, may carry very important con sequences with it. The acknowledgment of the in contestable fact, that the text of Scripture, as we have it, is not infallible, may revolutionise one s theory of 2 3^ APPENDIX B. inspiration. And the acknowledged truth, that per secution is not a Christian duty, but a sin against . Christ, and a destruction of the spirituality of the gospel, logically implies that Christ is not a giver of statutory laws to the Christian state. Of course, this conclusion does not preclude the possibility, that an isolated ordinance of the old covenant might become an ordinance of the Christian Church. The synagogue transmitted many things to the Church. There is nothing, then, necessarily un- Christian in the doctrine of a Christian Sabbath. But it needs proof. We must show the link between the Fourth Commandment and the Lord s Day, before we assert tire existence of such a link. We have no right to take it for granted. Unquestionably, indeed, the Sabbath transmitted to the Church the habit of resting one day in seven, and the manner of conceiving of a holy day, viz., as a day of rest as well as of worship. These conceptions were ready-made in the minds of the first Christians. But such historical reflections do not carry us very far. What then ? It is certain that Jesus never speaks of the Lord s Day, or of a " change of day" in the observance of the Sabbath. It is certain that the Jewish section of the Church kept Sabbath as part of their accommodation to Judaism, or entanglement in it. The Lord s Day sprang up among them alongside their Jewish Sabbath, we can hardly tell how. It is certain that Paul, whose converts met (i Cor. xvi. 2) for worship " upon the first day of the week," warned the Churches against "a Sabbath Day" (Col. ii. 16) as a relic of Judaism. Of course, to use this passage as a dissuasion from the rest of the Lord s Day is to abuse it. Paul is dealing with the still extant Jewish rest THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY. 237 as a part of the old covenant. But is Paul not theo logian enough to have revealed to the Gentiles the " change of the day " ? Would it not have been the simplest argument against that particular seduction, to remind his readers, that their true Sabbath-keeping was on the Lord s Day ? This passage, though it may not be an insurmountable obstacle, is a very serious obstacle in the way of identifying the Sabbath and the Lord s Day, showing, as it does, no trace of their con nection. I may, indeed, throw out the suggestion, whether " Lord s Day * (Rev. i. 10) may not contain an allusion to " Lord of the Sabbath." It would be only natural, if a day kept for Christ s worship, in remembrance, of His resurrection, were considered to be at least as truly His day as the seventh day in the Jewish week had been. But everything here is conjec tural. We cannot with certainty demonstrate a link between the Jewish day and the Christian. And, when the Puritan theory asks us to assume the existence of such a link, 1 on the ground of the larger assumption, that the whole of the Decalogue is the basis of Chris tianity and the binding code of Christian life, we must reply, that even the advantage of being able to adduce the Fourth Commandment as a direct argument for reverent resting on the Lord s Day and I do not deny the value of that argument may be purchased at too great a price. The theory in question obscures the most essential elements, in Christianity. It obscures the supernatural character of Christ s lawgiving, as 1 Far safer is the suggestion of Lechler (Stud. u. Krit., 1854), that the Sabbath as " made for man " may be rooted in the creative order "from the beginning," and, therefore, may be a natural duty. 238 APPENDIX B. evinced in His refusal to be " made a king," or to be "a judge or a divider." It ignores that His lawgiving is ethical, not statutory. It ignores that His lawgiving is paradoxical, not literal. It is simply part of that unhappily recurrent effort, to assimilate the Christian to the Jewish Church, which has done more to retard the progress of the gospel than any other error into which Christian men have fallen, and which has for its logical result to destroy the claim of Christianity on the con science and the judgment of the race. I. We must hold, then, with Archdeacon Hessey, 1 that the Lord s Day is to be commended to men s consciences on distinctly Christian grounds. In the last resort every duty must be recommended to Christians on such grounds. But, while Dr. Hessey appeals to the authoritative example of the Apos tolic Church, I would appeal explicitly to the authority of Christ. Not that His is not, in every case, the ultimate authority which determines a Christian man s duty ; not that the example of the Apostolic Church is a doubtful utterance of -Christ s authority; but there >s more in that authority of Christ which founds the word s Day than the bare utterance of His will. The example of the Apostolic Church may be not only .villingly but intelligently followed ; we as Christians ire in a position to appreciate and adopt the motives, .vhich constrain Christians in every age to set aside he Lord s Day for worship. The Lord s Day, infant japtism, even the binding claims of the visible Church, re all in a similar position. A certain weight may je given to them by proofs of apostolic practice, 1 Bampton Lecture for 1860. THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY. 239 though little from apostolic teaching ; but the authority of Christ is seen clearly in them when, they are rightly apprehended, and understood as deep-rooted in the nature of Christian principles and of Christ s revela tion. And so 2. The day of religious rest is a permanent duty, since the physical and religious nature of man per manently requires it. 3. Christ, in founding a universal religion of fellow ship, has reinforced that permanent duty, and taken it up into the sphere of the Christian life. More especially in founding the Lord s Supper, Christ by implication called together His disciples for a weekly meal at His table, thus consecrating the week, and laying claim to one day in it. On this point I am glad to be able to refer to Dr. Hessey s excellent remarks. 1 The choice of the first day is an eminently Christian choice, even if no unrecorded revelation was its motive ; for those who find the beginning of new life in the day when Christ rose, have learned to put faith in the risen Saviour, as Head of the Church and as Lord over all things, and to look to Him for redemption. 4. Further, Christ s example in treating the Sabbath is our model for observance of a day of religious rest. On this point I must part company with Dr. Hessey. 2 We must allow, indeed, that Christ s obedience was paid to a day which can scarcely be proved to be identical with our day of rest. But surely, Dr. Hessey s quaint remarks upon the spirit in which Christ kept Lecture ii., p. 51, 4th edition, 1881. Lecture iv. 240 APPENDIX B. the day as one opposed to strictness, and upon our full Christian emancipation as entitling us to a still less degree of strictness, and to still greater cheerfulness/ surely this is very inadequate treatment, from a very unworthy point of view. One .may hope that the amounts of cheerfulness and of worship need not vary inversely. Christ is our example, then, because He kept a day of religious rest in the highest possible way. And He did so, because, being Christ, He could keep it in no other way. The Son of Man must be Lord of the Sabbath. And hence His example if we would only pay it attention speaks most eloquently of our duty ; of the importance of kindness, of the necessity for lenient judgment of others, of the right and duty to regulate trifles according to one s own conscience, and, of all these, as parts of the honour to be paid to God on the day that is sacred to rest and to His worship. In regard to Christ s example, I must differ equally from those who think of it 1 as designedly intimating in an obscure way the abrogation of Sabbath. Christ s conduct was neither a mere accommodation, nor a mere antedating of Christian rest. It was both ; it was the last of the old, and also the first of the new. We see this in the fact that Christ -appeals, in regard to the Sabbath, to moral and spiritual principles. He repeat edly made such appeals with the result of abrogating ceremony. And He might easily have intimated the abrogation of Sabbath, on grounds of principle, to the inner circle of His disciples. It would have been as easy for Him, as it was afterwards for Paul, to alight 1 See above, ch. iv. THE OBSERVANCE OF SUNDAY. 241 on the principle, " Distinction of days is an adiaphoron." But the principles He actually alighted on were the principles, " It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath ; " " Mercy is better than sacrifice ; " " The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath;" and "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath," i.e., as I have ventured to conjecture "To keep the Sabbath rightly, I need and have freedom in small things, being Messiah, and what I have I give my disciples." Christ s ethical principles, then, point to His purifying, not abrogating, the Sabbath. As being ethical principles, they avail for the rest of the first day of the week no less than for that of the seventh. Again, if Christ s Sabbath observ ance had been a mere accommodation, would He not have observed without controversy what was so soon to pass away, on His principle, not " to offend them " ? He did not act so ; the day was for Him more than a mere external observance ; regarded from the highest point of view, it showed itself more than a ceremony the fitting precursor, if no more, of the Lord s Day. Thus Christ sets us an example. And yet, we need not assume that, in His life of humiliation, He con sciously looked forward to the Sunday of Church history. All biographical detail in regard to Jesus is inscrutable ; He is too great for our search. Being Jesus, He must needs observe a day of religious rest in the highest possible way ; and, therefore, inevitably by being Jesus He sets Christians an example of Christian rest. 1 1 The question of the relation of the State to Sunday gives trouble from time to time. We shall -have most hope of settling it, however, if we steadily bear in mind that it is a secondary question. Christ s first claims are on the Church ; 16 242 APPENDIX B. the Church is the first subject of His authority in regard to the Lord s Day ; the duty of the State must be secondary. We cannot place this duty on legal grounds. Dr. Hessey seems to account for it on a paternal theory of government. I would connect it rather with the duty of protecting individuals from social tyranny, and with the public need of rest. If we base the State s duty, to enforce a measure of rest, directly on religious grounds, what is our platform but the persecutor s ? APPENDIX C CHft1ST AS FOUNDER OF THE VISIBLE CHURCH. APPENDIX C. CHRIST AS FOUNDER OF THE VISIBLE CHURCH. TWO errors must be guarded against in regard to our Lord s relation to the historical fabric of the Church. The first, that He did not look forward to the Church. The word, it is true, occurs only twice in His sayings (Matt. xvi. 18, xviii. 17), and both times in the first Gospel (but cf. Luke xvii. 3). Still, the attempt to get rid of these passages is purely arbitrary ; and the attempt to refer them to the Jewish synagogue is unwarranted by usage, and is out of date. It may be true that in the later passage there is no reference to any but moral relations among the disciples, who were listening to Jesus and were follow ing in His train. Still, the principles He lays down of themselves involve a Church discipline (Weiss), and it, Church institutions ; while the attempt (Holtzmann) 1 to explain xvi. 18 by the same sense of the word is meaningless. Even if we do not see in the passage in Matt. xvi. Christ s despair of winning all Israel (Weiss), still, we have had proof elsewhere of His rejection of the Pharisees, and we have seen 2 that that involved the rise of a separate Church. In this passage we rather 1 Protestantenbibel, in loc. - Above, ch. Hi., p. 51. APPENDIX C. see direct anticipation of an ordered system differing from Israel s. Such anticipation is implied elsewhere in Christ s gospel, as well as in His attitude towards the Pharisees. Hence both passages, which use the word, show to some extent Christ s anticipation of the visible Church.1 Our Lord s intention to found it is seen further to a very important degree in the institu tion of the Supper, a rite which secured 2 that His disciples should hold religious fellowship as a separate society. Finally, the command to baptise 3 equally bears witness to our Lord s wish to found a separate visible society (compare John iv. I, 2). When a priori constructions of Jesus deny that He could look forward to a Church as well as to a second Advent, they betray their own inability to. cover all the facts. But, on the other hand, we must not make our Lord s founding the visible Church the chief thing in His ministry ; we must not even assume that He gave it such prominence as would have involved immediate and violent separation between -His disciples and the Jewish Church. The leading error in Ecce Homo is its exaggeration of the importance of the visible Church, which is identified off-hand with the Kingdom of God.4 Certainly, every intelligent reader may one not say, every student of English literature ? is under the greatest obligation to Mr. Seeley s noble book, and most of all for those points on which it most provoked 1 Compare the quotation above in note A, p: 225. 2 Compare above, note B, p. 239. 3 Compare above, ch. x., p. 213. 4 A ruinous mistake, which, unfortunately, re-appears in Canon Row s Revelation and Modern Theology Contrasted. CHRIST AS FOUNDER OF THE VISIBLE CHURCH. 247 criticism. That the author should have studied Christ as His personality reveals itself in the Gospels, instead of construing Him as a dogmatic figure, and arriving at results by deduction, is not a blot but an excellence. It is to follow the method of revelation which Christ used. Even the prominence given to morality is a faithful copy of Christ s teaching. And the endeavour to view Christ throughout as founder of a society, is simply the effort to judge Christ as He historically was, as He religiously would be. It is not because Mr. Seeley exaggerates the importance of Christ s connec tion with the society He founded that he errs, but because he does not make it deep or real enough. " It is this union," he says, " of morals and politics that he finds to be characteristic of Christianity." ] But, so long aS this union is not traced to its religious root, it appears precarious and accidental. We cannot understand why Christ formed a society, or how He cemented it, until we remind ourselves that -He came as a messenger from God, and spoke to the soul. The author might reply that he did not mean to do more than discuss Christ s ethic (preface) ; but to discuss Christ s ethic without recognising to say nothing of expounding its religious root, is to play Hamlet with the omission of -the title role. Hence it is, that the author cannot do justice to Christ s relation to His community. Continually the Church seems to drop to the level of a mere skilful device. Continually Christ s place seems to be merely that of a good man, with a good influence, a superlatively good man, no doubt, with a superlatively good influence, but not generically 1 Preface to 5th ed. 248 APPENDIX C. different from others, and with no valid power, or claim, over remote generations of mankind. And, again, the Church being put first instead of the spiritual force which created both Church and Kingdom, the Church is immediately identified with the Kingdom of God ; and the joint community has no functions left it except those of a benevolent society, or " lastly " l [!], to hand down the traditions of the Founder. Faith, being cut off from God, appears inexplicably as a compendium of all the virtues.- The enthusiasm of humanity appears as an arbitrary exaction, or as the accidental result of Christ s greatness, when it is not seen as a religious principle. All religions, however defective, are enthu siastic, or, as Mr. Arnold prefers to put it in his own dialect, " tinged with emotion." Nay, since Mr. Seeley has cut off the enthusiasm of humanity from its con nection with God s purpose and with love to God, it appears as mere developed natural feeling; and the positivism 2 is already latent in Ecce Homo s exposition of Christianity, which has come to light before all the world in Natural Religion; " not because Christianity has failed ; but in case it should fail, let us see how far we can do without it " ! I do not forget how much there is in the book that betrays a far higher point of view, e.g., chapter v., with its account of the "immense obligation" under which 1 Ch. xviii., sub Jin., p. 213, i5th (cheap) ed. 2 Both metaphysic and theology must quarrel with the attempt to develop religion 6ut of natural feeling. But while the former, on ground of man s rational nature, negatives positivism, only revelation only the study of actual religious life shows us whence the fear of God and victory over the world come, or how they are fed. CHRIST AS FOUNDER OF THE VISIBLE CHURCH. 249 Christ laid men, of " the combination of greatness and self-sacrifice which won their hearts . . . the Cross of Christ." The author s power of moral interpretation is as unquestionable as his power of literary expression. But we must ask, whether the explicit logic of his theory does justice to all the elements which he has himself recognised. And I think we must answer in the negative. Closely connected with the defect already pointed out is another. The author of Ecce Homo is im perfectly acquainted with Biblical theology ; Homer, Plato, Gothe, all are at his command, but, from the Old Testament, hardly anything except a somewhat apo cryphal Moses and Abraham of his own construction. Had he known the Old Testament religion, he could hardly so have misread that of the New Testament. Had he better understood the phraseology and thoughts carried forward from the OW Testament, he would hardly have externalised the Kingdom of God into the Church, or explained Christ s power by His forethought in forming His disciples into a society for exhortation and discipline. While, then, we give all importance to the Visible Church, we decline to identify it off-hand either with the Kingdom of God or with a society affected so strangely, by the conditions of an exceptional calling, as- the group of disciples which gathered round Jesus. And we decline to accept the announcement of an outward society as the key to Christ s power. We decline to take the effect of Christianity for its producing cause. Nor can we find better words to ex press our protest than those furnished by the author himself in his magnificent epilogue, " If in the works of 250 APPENDIX C. Nature we can trace the indications of calculation, of a struggle with difficulties, of precaution, of ingenuity, then in Christ s work it may be that the same indica tions occur. But these inferior and secondary processes were not consciously exercised ; they were implicitly present in the manifold yet single creative act. The inconceivable work was done in calmness ; before the eyes of men it was accomplished, attracting little atten tion. Who can describe that which unites men ? Who has entered into the formation of speech, which is the symbol of their union ? Who can describe exhaus tively the origin of civil society ? He who can do these things can explain the origin of the Christian Church. For others it must be enough to say, The Holy Ghost fell on them that believed. No man saw the building of the New Jerusalem, the workmen crowded together, the unfinished walls and unpaved streets ; no man heard the clink of trowel and pickaxe ; it descended out of heaven from God" APPENDIX D. THE QUESTION OF THE LA W IN THE EARLY CHURCH. APPENDIX D. THE QUESTION OF THE LA W IN THE EARL Y CHURCH. IT has been impossible to escape the feeling that, throughout this volume, we have been working under the guns of an invading force, or within the shadow of a great contest. The Tubingen theory supposed that apostolic Christianity split over the question of the Jewish Law. As to Jesus own mind on the subject, Tubingenism knew little or nothing. But it argued back from the supposed circumstances of the apostolic age, and demolished all the Gospels which profess to record the life and teaching of Jesus. Besides Schwegler s notices in his Post-Apostolic Age, Baur devoted a special volume to the question of the Gospels. 1 His complaint against previous criti cism was that it had been too much subjective, and insufficiently historical. Beginning with the fourth Gospel, admittedly the latest, and certainly the most vulnerable, Baur set it down as a designed fiction. Then, working his way back, he argued for "tendency" in Mark. Written as a series of colourless extracts from the party gospels, it was designed to serve the united Church. Tendency was next ascribed to Luke 1 Kritische Untersuchungen uber die Kanonischen Evan gelitn. 254 APPENDIX D. a doctored churchly version of Marcion s Gospel, and finally to Matthew. As to historical truth, we are told that there is more of it in the first Gospel than else where ; but even here, as the remnants of the Gospel of the Hebrews help to evince, we have to make large allowance for Judaising bias. And this is the diminu tive historical result of so long straining our eyes through the inverted telescope ! Because one Gospel, arid that the last, exhibits modifications in the discourses of Christ, and may plausibly be attacked by a clever advocate, we are to surrender all the Gospels to dis section. No doubt, if we do so, we shall be furnished with a- highly original history of early Christianity. But Christians desire to learn from the Gospels about Christ. It is the Tubingen school which is willing to exchange knowledge of Christ for knowledge of pitiful Ebionite sects, unaware that the exchange, if necessary, is a deadly loss. Zeller submits 1 that we need not regret to give up the Acts of the Apostles as a fiction, should this fiction involuntarily allow us a good view of the beginning of the second century. Schwegler raises the question, 2 whether Jesus was not in advance of His Ebionite disciples ; he is inclined to answer in the affirmative, but drops the question indifferently, as one incapable of being decided. And every page of Baur s work on the Gospels proves that he shares these. senti ments. To a great extent the above views of the Gospels are obsolete among all critics. The set of criticism has tended to strengthen the case for the canon. It has demonstrated the use of our fourth Gospel in the 1 On Acts, sub fin. - As above, i., 148 (orig.). THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 255 pseudo-Clementine homilies, and rendered probable that Justin used all four. 1 The Tubingen school itself proved that Marcion s Gospel was dependent on Luke, not Luke on Marcion. In the hands of Hilgenfeld, one of the most cautious and most distinguished of those who adhere generally to the Tubingen positions, 2 " Matthew," as the earliest Gospel of those in the New Testament, is attributed to a universalist, anti-Jewish, Judaising Christianity in Palestine ; Mark s Gospel, ascribed, directly or indirectly, to John Mark, is put second, and attributed to a conciliatory Jewish Chris tianity at Rome ; while the third Gospel is attributed to a catholicising Paulinism. Of course, this does not amount to a confession of the historical character of the Gospels. The Jesus of the Church s belief is still displaced, while the modern critic works back from the moderated controversies of the apostolic age to a Jesus of his own taste. Hilgenfeld lays stress, too, on the priority of the Ebionite Gospel of the Hebrews. But, plainly, the virus of the Tubingen theory is hardly to be found in such criticism. Between a universalist Jewish Christianity, a conciliatory Jewish, Christianity, and a conciliatory Paulinism, there can be no extreme differences. If it were worth the critic s while, he might recognise the fundamental harmony of the synoptic gospels. From the point of view of faith, it is of some impor tance to note what makes the left wing of criticism so blind to Christian unity, so keen-eyed for every difference. The first reason is a denial of miracle. The school which pretends to unique historical impar- 1 Cf. Dr. Mair in the Monthly Interpreter for Feb., 1885. I?itroduction to the New Testament, 1875. 256 APPENDIX D. tiality suffers from this ineradicable prejudice. Rather than a miracle should be admitted, anything shall be true ; the miracles shall be late imitations of fabulous early traditions ; or they shall be fictions with a ten dency ; or they shall be got rid of by simple rationalising. But, however miracles are got rid of, a gospel history without miracles is a new gospel altogether. It is a "bundle of holes." The very tissue of it is eaten out ; its historical character is everywhere gone. The dis agreeable truth may, and ought to, be held up to such critics, that, whereas elsewhere alleged miracles show plainly as legendary -excrescences, the miracles of Christianity are strongly probable to any one who will " historically " admit the question : witness Ecce Homo. No wonder if those who will not do this con tinue engaged in subverting the historical character of Christianity. They are pledged to do so. Of course the critics are neither simple enough nor feeble enough to adduce no other reason for questioning received statements than the fact that these involve miracles. Other arguments are advanced, which must have their due weight from Christians. An ingenious process of weighing is industriously carried on ; we may hope to learn much from it ; but it is done with false weights, and needs correction throughout. The second reason for the critical remodelling of the Gospel is even more important, though it is much over looked ; it consists in indifference to the religious signi ficance of Jesus. Of course, there are all shades and degrees of this religious and moral indifferentism. In the first Tubingers, it was at an extreme. They show no trace even of Mr. Matthew Arnold s patronising moral sympathy, nor yet of his fine literary taste. Nay, THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. it does not seem to occur to them that the Holy of Holies of Christian faith exists for any other purpose than to serve them as a happy hunting-ground. Matters have somewhat mended since then. Hilgenfeld, indeed, continues to argue with all the chillness of a speech by Mr. Parnell. But Holsten, who has given a new development to the theory, his Zum Evangclium des Pan/us und des Petrus* is dedicated to the memory of Baur carries on discussion with the enthusiastic glow of an article by Professor Tyndall ; while Pfleiderer, in the preface to his Paulinism* asks, "Ought we not to find, at the root of the strangest Biblical doctrines, a religious idea, natural to the religious spirit, and valid still to-day ? " Much is gained by an even partial sympathy with what is to be interpreted. But how partial must such sympathy be, where men see, at best, in the Christian origins a progress " through illusion to worship " ! The first Tubingers were Hegelians, and, instead of consulting the laws of religious experi ence, tried to verify in Church history a supposed law of thought. They were correctly enough Hegelian in representing the first Christianity as one-sided, but surely incorrect in representing compromise as the crowning stage of development. For good and for bad, that mood of mind is gone. The war-cry of contem porary criticism is " historical indifference." But how does that work here ? To unbelief, doctrines of theo logy or of Scripture are a dreary and meaningless tangle of old-world scholasticism. To Holsten, as tc Carlyle his nearest English analogue, but how signifi- 1 Holsten has since published Das Ev. des Paulus. 2 Translated in Williams and Norgate s T. T. F. Z. 17 258 APPENDIX D. cant the many differences ! Christian thought is the worn-out raiment of a vague morality. To faith, it is a witness, more or less full, more or less clearly appre hended, to living spiritual realities. The presupposition of Holsten, as of Schwegler or Baur, is that Christianity is a natural outgrowth of Judaism. The presupposition of sceptical friends of development in the Old Testament was, that the Old Testament religion was the natural outgrowth of primitive paganism. Similarly, there is an implicit materialism in the attempt to explain the growth of consciousness as a process in time, or in denial of the priority of thought ; an implicit Pelagianism in the attempt to explain the time-causation of conversion ; a denial of the priority of grace. All these are flowers from one stock. Holsten, with his views, is confident of understanding everything which he meets in discussing the life of Jesus. On the strength of his a priori Jesus, whose thoughts lie well within the limits (as defined by Holsten) of His age, Holsten corrects the evangelists with the most jaunty confidence. Jesus death, with the aid of a set of illu sory visions, accidentally leads to a spiritual religion ; while the " immanent God" sits tied up in an immanent heaven, unable either to help or to hinder this extra ordinary process. Materialism attributes this orderly and reasonable world to a happy chance ; and sceptical interpreters of Christianity, if they cease ignoring its wonderful moral services to the race, find no better category than chance left them as an explanation. The presupposition of faith, in discussing the life of Jesus, is, -that He is, in our experience, the source and begin ning of all blessing to us. We no more reckon on completely understanding Him, than we reckon on THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 259 understanding the process of the beginning of thought or of life, far less. It is this first postulate of faith, this catholic testimony of Christian experience, which we are asked to abandon in a "merely historical" study of the question. There can be no harmony between such demands and the Christian spirit. One or the other must be chosen. And we choose faith, finding no reason to set aside the supernatural and Divine, but harmonious and majestic portrait of Christ furnished by the Gospels, or to doubt that He bore Himself towards the Jewish Law in a manner worthy of His mission. This is at once the evidence of the phenomena and the postulate of religious belief. But, when we descend to the apostolic age, we necessarily lower our postulates. The sinlessness of Christ is the very core of faith and of Christian expe rience ; but facts would cry out against an assertion of apostolic infallibility. What we are disposed, as Christians, to postulate, is, that Christ s apostles were Christian ; that He was not mistaken in His witnesses ; that, to them, Christ and His salvation were the main thing, a ground of union deep below any superficial differences, a life manifested, through their testimony, to every age. The literary remains of the apostolic Church verify this postulate. As we decline to go behind the Gospels to an a priori Jesus of scepticism, so we decline to go behind the Epistles to a priori Ebionite apostles. 1 It may be impossible to represent 1 Schwegler, as above, i., 192-3 : " The whole post-apostolic age is Ebionite in its essential character, because in it the Jewish element still (sic/} distinctly prevails over the Chris tian." 260 APPENDIX D. the primitive Church as a model happy family ; but was there no essential unity, no true kinship, at least among apostles ? The Tubingen chiefs say, No ; Christianity, though it and you falsely profess " One Spirit " and one faith, is a compromise between hostile factions. 1 And, when Holsten detects an underlying unity, in his hands it is, of course, not religious, but dogmatic. Instead of the Twelve being levelled up towards Paul, by the concession to them of a saving spark of spiritual Christianity, Paul is levelled down to them as a " theistic-teleological Jew." Is this the criticism of historical inquiry, or of foregone unbelief? " He that is not with us is against us." Of course, so extreme a theory is not without a mea sure of support from facts. The singular fact at the outset (if the course of history had been what we sup pose) is, that the Twelve confined their ministrations to Israel, and continued to live as Jews. This is imputed, .in the case for the defence, to the apostles desire, that Israel, as a nation, should be converted first of all. 2 But the Tubingen school press the fact much further. They emphasise the legal character of the religion of the 1 "The opinion, that Mark is the most primary form of the written Gospels, rests on the false assumption, that neu trality, in which differences had not yet emerged, came first in the development of early Christianity. The reverse was the case ; the extreme of difference [das Gegensatzlichste] came first." Schwegler, i., 478. 2 So Ritschl. Dr. Wilibald Grimm (Stud. u. Krit. i88c), quoting Keim (Aus dem Urchristenthum, 1878), suggests, as another alternative, that they may have awaited a Divine signal, expecting the conversion of the Gentiles to herald in the Parousia, itself thought to be so near at hand. THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 261 earliest Christians ; they refuse to admit it as a new and important fact, that Pharisees (Acts xv. 5) came to rank among their converts ; they call attention to the controversies with Judaising teachers, of which Paul s Epistles to Galatia and Corinth are full, and which are partly acknowledged even by the Acts ; they lay great stress on the rebuke administered by Paul to Peter (Gal. ii. 11, sq.) ; ancj, throughout, they are working up to the data furnished by the pseudo-Clementine litera ture. Thus they affirm that spiritual Christianity was peculiarly Pauline, and that, in consequence of it, Paul was continually exposed to the hatred and antagonism, not of a Jewish party merely, but of the whole body of Jewish believers. The first completed version of the theory, and the most extreme, was given in Schwegler s Post-Apostolic Age. Here the controversy between two religious creeds is used to explain all the developments of early Christianity, with their culmination in a Catholic Church. It is well known that, like much modern criticism, the Tubingen school threw the greater part of the New Testament very late. Indeed, it did so to a quite extravagant degree, criticism itself being judge. It admitted the genuineness of none of the New Testament writings, which .name or indicate their authors, except Romans, I, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and perhaps the Apocalypse. The effect of such criticism is to mingle the canonical with extra-canonical writings, and extend the development of the New Testament literature to the close of the second century. Scripture does not pass as the record of the first impressions, and as the first and classical response of a new and glowing faith ; it appears as a carefully 262 APPENDIX D. contrived compromise, and as the involuntary record of a great controversy. To all writings alike Schwegler puts one question, Are you Petrine or Pauline ? And, if not exactly either,- are you Petrino-Pauline, or Paulino-Petrine, or what sort of adroit conciliatory mixture are you ? The poor Muse of History, put "to the question" in this fashion, has no opportunity to speak for herself. Instead of an interpreter of nature, she finds she has fallen into the hands of an Old Bailey cross-examining counsel. We seem to hear the pulleys creaking, and even to see the showman pushing the puppets about, as we read Schwegler s version of Church history. Not only every book, but every churchman or party, is classified as Pauline or Petrine. Gnosticism, on the whole, is " extreme " Paulinism. Montanism, to which Schwegler devoted a special work, is regarded, mainly on the ground of its ecstatic character, as an intensifying of the chiliastic fervours of Judaising Ebionism. We may say, indeed, that Schwegler cannot recognise Christianity, except where he sees, or thinks he sees, Paulinism. Finally, having jerked his puppets as far as possible asunder, he has to jerk them together again. The forces, which he recognises as, in the end, making for unity, are, though on a small scale, verce causce, Jewish fanaticism and persecution, the pressure of heresy, the Roman instinct ; but it is characteristic of the school that they are all external forces, and that, when Tubingen writers try to enumerate the Christian instincts which made for union, they fall into the most laughable platitudes. Schwegler s analysis of Catholicism, " The element of unity is Petrine, that of universality Pauline," is a good illustration of the abstract generalising or external THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 263 reflection, which, with him, displaces objective study of the course of history. Of course, all this does not exclude great cleverness, or the occasional making of strong points. It appears to the present writer that Schwegler makes one of his strongest points in his attack upon I Peter. On the assumption that it must belong, if genuine, to a late period in the Apostle s life, he argues with great force against the possibility of its being written either at the eastern Babylon, or at Rome ; and, on the analogy of 2 Peter, which is taken as the last and most con ciliatory of all the utterances of Ebionism, he is able to explain it as a " conciliatory " orjather [fraudulently] "apologetic" defence of Paulinism (v. 12). I need not remark that this criticism would fail to touch the book on Weiss s view, that it is early, could that view be made good. More obvious points within the New Testament in favour of Tubingenism are, the peculiar character of Acts, with its close parallel between Peter and Paul, with its curious reticences and emphases ; and the Epistle of James, which Schwegler, however, sets down as " mediating," spurious, and late. Out side the New Testament the existence of the pseudo- Clementine writings is the obvious stronghold of the theory. But the point where the battle raged most keenly was the narrative of Acts xv. Baur (in his Paul), Zeller (On Acts), and Schwegler, 1 all waste a great deal of indignant eloquence on this passage, assuming that it affects to record a final settlement of the relations between Hebrew and Gentile Christians, and that All translated in Williams and Norgate s T.T.F.L. 264 APPENDIX D. accordingly it is irreconcilable with the Pauline epistles. It is hardly too much to claim, that on this subject they have been beaten, point by point. Lechler 1 and Ritschl 2 have no difficulty in showing, that Gal. ii. 2 implies two separate kinds of conference, or that the " decree," which tacitly presupposes the continued observance, by born Jews, of the Mosaic law, brought nothing to a settlement except for the moment. Both parties looked with trust to the future, to the speedy conversion of; Israel (and the Parousia ?), to the conversion of a world of Gentiles, as took place. The decree was enough to settle, that Judaising in Gerttile Churches should be put down, not patron ised, by the Twelve Apostles ; it did not settle, it did not contemplate, the circumstances of mixed com munions. Pfleiderer himself admits all this, though he supposes that later the breach became fixed and permanent. He denies the authenticity of the decree, however, though he ascribes its position in Acts, not, like the first Ttibingefs, to fraud, but to those natural instincts of tradition which credit the past with the authorship of existing customs. Hilgenfeld regards the decree as a concession made by the author of Acts to the stand point of John in the Apocalypse. In regard to the genuineness of the decree, much depends on the exegesis of i Cor. viii.-x. Did Paul regard eating meat offered : Afiost. u. Nachap. Zeitalter, 1857. See below, p. 281. . 2 A. K. Kirche. Ritschl supposes that there could not even be fellowship at the Supper between Jewish and Gentile Christians. It seems doubtful if such exclusiveness can be verified of Jews other than Pharisees. Yet cf. Acts x. 28, etc. THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH, 26$ to idols as, in principle, an adiaphoron,1 and did he make an exception to this rule for the sake of weak consciences, when he forbade its use ? Or did he regard it, in principle, as a " fellowship with demons," and, by way of exception, merely forbid his converts to nurse scruples about using meat offered for sale in the open market, or supplied at an entertainment by a heathen friend, on the chance that it might have been consecrated to an idol? On the first view, Paul ig nored2 the arrangements of the decree. On the second view, 3 he put it in force in his own way, stating his grounds for maintaining its provisions. And such conduct is consistent with the circumstances of the case. The Jerusalem conference was neither an (Ecumenical Council, nor a General Assembly, but a 1 As is held, unfortunately I think, in Mr. Findlay s very able paper in the Ititerfi. for Feb. 1885, on "Law, Liberty, and Expediency." As Farrar, who defends both the genuineness of the decree and Paul s right to disregard it. But he is not warranted (Paul, i., 431) in identifying the subject of i Cor. viii. with the subject of Rom..xiv. The "weak " of Rom. xiv. are opposed to the use of flesh as such, and. are probably the same party who, having advanced to a schismatic intolerance, are de nounced in Col. ii. 21. Farrar further alleges that the decree (p. 432) never passed into Catholic discipline. He appeals to 41 the Western Church," citing Augustine (c. Faust. > xxxii., 13). For the opposite view Ritschl cites the Apostolic Constitutions (canon b$,A.K.Kirche,^.2$i). Baur (/>##/, i., 5) and Pfleiderer (concluding chapter) agree in holding the permanence of what is stated in the decree. Lechler holds that Paul s regard for weak consciences is equivalent to maintaining the decree. It is certainly regretable if Paul must in fairness be classed among those who " teach to eat things sacrificed to idols." 8 Ritschl, Weiss. 266 APPENDIX D. congress of plenipotentiaries. Paul accepted the decree, 1 because he sympathised with its provisions ; he kept it in force by his own authority, not as the decree of Jerusalem; for Jerusalem had no jurisdiction over his Gentiles ; and to maintain the latter in their autonomy was one side of the struggle for a free gospel. Baur and his school see nothing of this. They are not satisfied with correctly enough reducing the Christ party to the Petrine party (cf. 2 Cor. x. 7) ; they must reduce the references to Apollos, 8 at least in part, to a "figure" (i Cor. iv. 6), or rather to a euphemism, designed to keep the name of Peter from always intruding. The " spiritual " are not to rank as advanced thinkers, but as possessors of Ebionitish " spiritual gifts." As usual, Tubingen colour-blindness can see only what it wishes to see. Aaron s rod swallows up all the other rods. For those who see distinctly, Farrar has proved that Paul s anxieties in I Cor. are predominantly, though not exclusively, concerned with the party who used the name of Apollos, and that it was their opinion, expressed in the letter to Paul, that " they all had knowledge," that " an idol was nothing in the world," and so on. To think otherwise is to throw away the key to the epistle. Schwegler had traced the development of early Church history in two lines, one at Rome, one in Asia Minor. In Hilgenfeld s version of early history, the A compromise is maintained independently by Grimm (as above), it had been tentatively mooted by Weizsacker, whom Grimm cites, that James and his school promulgated the decree, independently, some time after the Jerusalem congress (Acts xxi. 25), and that the one error of Acts is in throwing this back to the time of the Apostolic interview. 2 Baur, Paul, part ii.., ch. 2 ; vol. i., p. 294, Eng.tr. THE LA W IN THE EARL V CHURCH. 267 tra,ces of conflict at Rome, like the traces of party colouring in the Gospels, are as good as gone. First Clement, which Schwegler had hocussed with his usual recklessness, is a strong bulwark against the attacks of romancers upon Church history at Rome ; but even the Gospel of Mark, I Peter, and the Pastorals, all of which are assigned by Hilgenfeld to Rome, show no trace of internal conflicts. Thus practically Rome must be struck off the list of places where a sane criticism detects proof of conflicts between Paulinism and a Judaising Christianity. This is a point whose import ance must not be overlooked. From the Epistle to the Romans down to the pseudo-Clementines, Baur and his followers had traced a virulently polemical Ebionite faction at Rome. Even the fact that the pseudo- Clementine writings admit baptism as a substitute for circumcision, was regarded merely as a concession, 1 not as the self-betrayal of a weak and heretical faction. If the Tubingen theory must still be reckoned with as a formidable power, all parties should in fairness remember that one of the chosen strongholds of the theory, the polemically Ebionite character of the Church at Rome, has been taken by storm. Still, it is surprising that enemies of Tiibingenism should ever allow themselves to speak of it with con tempt. It is very far indeed from being effete or obsolete. Because a theory has been driven from extravagant assertions, why should we underrate its power when it re-appears in a moderate and plausible shape, with every weak point reinforced and every crevice guarded ? If Hilgenfeld s book marks a retreat ! Baur, First Three Centuries, Eng. tr., ii,, 106-9. 268 APPENDIX D. on several lines, upon others it renews the attack with great vigour. Among Paul s genuine epistles, Hilgenfeld reckons I Thessalonians, Philippians, and Philemon, along with1 the four principal epistles," whose genuine ness was already admitted. But, in dealing with 2 Corinthians, he throws a stronger light than ever on the conflicts Paul had to undergo. Here there has been a change in exegesis. Baur maintained2 the older view, that 2 Cor. ii. 6, and other passages of that Epistle, refer to the same case as I Cor. v. He supposed that Paul s sentence of excommunication, though the Apostle thought it supported by a special revelation, had failed to command the approval of the Church at Corinth, and that the conciliatory phrases of 2 Cor. are designed to mask the apostle s enforced approval of a much lighter sentence. Hilgenfeld holds, what is apparently more correct, that Paul, after writing I Corinthians, had received intelligence of further and fiercer attacks upon his apostolic dignity by the Petrine party, furnished, as its leaders were, with " letters of commendation;" that he then, in the first heat of indignation, had despatched a severe letter, though he afterwards for a time regretted his severity ; and that he refers to this lost epistle, and to the slanderer of his apostolate and gospel, throughout 2 Corinthians. When it is once established that 2 Corinthians refers to different circumstances from those of I Corinthians, and to a deeper rift in the Church of Corinth, the party of the Petrine gospel comes to wear a more serious aspect. Hilgenfeld strongly maintains that such letters 1 He also defends the integrity of Romans. * Paul, i., 297 sg. t Eng. tr. THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 269 of commendation as its leaders possessed could only proceed from the Twelve.1 In fact, the modified version of Tiibingenism still supposes a fatal and final separation, after the quarrel at Antioch. The second main defen sive position is, therefore, this, 2 that we have no proof, and no reason to suppose, that the rabid Judaisers of Corinth did not forge or else abuse their credentials. They may have had letters, but not from Jerusalem, or from Jerusalem, but not from the apostles 3 (2 Cor. iii. I, " from you," members of .the Church). Does not the phrase " pre-eminent apostles " seem to indicate, that they had been forced to make concessions, and to try to escape with the admission, that Paul was an apostle "in a sense," only subordinate to the Twelve ? At Rome Hilgenfeld is constrained to recognise great harmony among the different sections of the Church. But in Asia Minor, where Schwegler traced a more theological, less practical, equating of differences, and where, perhaps, external evidence gives less trouble, Hilgenfeld presents a formidable case. He asserts the apostolic origin of the Apocalypse. Schwegler s doubts as to the originality of the epistles to the seven Churches disappear without leaving a trace. On the assumption that Paul conceded in principle the eating of meat offered to idols, his school i^ identified 4 with the Balaamites. Who else, asks Hilgenfeld, could 1 So, too, Pfleiderer. 2 " That the Twelve or James ever supported the demands of this Judaising party, the Tubingen school has not been able to prove." Weiss, IV. T. Theol., p. 143, Germ. 3 So Grimm, as above. 1 Though Hilgenfeld kindly spares us Volkmar s sugges tion, that the " false prophet " is Paul in person. 2/0 APPENDIX D. have claimed to be an apostle (ii. 2) ? Paul s party had been strong at Ephesus, but is now beaten down in. its stronghold. As a struggling minority it puts out versions of its creed, from time to time, in the Epistles to the Colossians and to the Ephesians. The destination of the latter early became matter of doubt, but only because it was felt that the real Paul could not have failed to send personal greetings, and to write with the particularity of personal knowledge, in address ing a Church which knew him so well. Finally, by a bold stroke, the name of John of John, the strongest enemy of Paul, the Boanerges of the Apocalypse was stolen without a word for I John and for the fourth Gospel. These two books may have been written by one author in the order in which they have been named. They completed the counter revolution. Paulinism, as at that time understood, was again dominant in Asia Minor. John was made to speak the g language and sanction the doctrines of his foe. In this version of the theory there is less imputation of deliberate fabrication than with (e.g.) Schwegler, who seems to think that Petrinists and Paulinists were engaged in a trial match, which could lie the hardest. There is less imputation of fiction ; still there is much. Pfleiderer, so far as one -can learn from his Paulinism , imputes less. Even in Acts he supposes that any historical inexactitude is due to the mere set of tradition. The speeches only he regards as freely composed, in the manner of ancient historians. Another point we notice in Hilgenfeld s construction is, that the great con troversy has ceased to be a key to open every lock. He brings down I Peter to a late date, mainly because of its alleged reference to persecution under Trajan ; THE LA IV IN THE EARL Y CHURCH. 2J I other New Testament writings, mainly because of alleged references to Gnosticism.1 Of course, it is important for Hilgenfeld s position to get rid of the historical figures (as we contend ; the traditional figures, he would say) of Peter and John, as well as of their literary remains. Still, many of the opinions mooted, if freed from all tyrannical theories as they have already escaped from one, are subjects for frank discussion among believers in the Christian revelation. Written as they were in an age exceedingly given to pseudepigraphy, we cannot assert that it is impossible that some of the books of the New Testament should be pseudepigraphic. Their reception into the canon by the early Church can prove as much as it has ever proved ; it proves that they are edifying, but not necessarily that they were written by the authors whose names they bear. We must not make the postulates of belief ridiculous by overstraining them, or deny our Pro testantism by turning religious faith into a slave, bound over to fetch and carry in the service of tradition. The Church has a right to demand that the problems of the higher criticism shall be studied by men alive to the deep interests involved, men of suitable caution and of religiously scrupulous candour. These problems cannot be entrusted to those rejecting the gospel, and blind with the blindness of outsiders, who have begged the whole question by a prejudice denying the mira culous. Finally, the Church may ask that probabilities 1 It would be useless to attempt here any sketch of the attacks or of the defence. But, when writings of the early Fathers are quoted, to show that there were Judaising- parties in the Church, we may reply, that this gives no proof of the filiation of such parties to the Jewish apostles. 2/2 APPENDIX D. be received as probabilities, and conjectures not an nounced as facts. On the other hand, in these perilous days the ship of faith must not be loaded with deck cargo. Points of traditional opinion may often in the long run be vindicated as points of correct opinion ; they must not be indolently and treacherously smuggled in among the points of faith. Still, even detailed questions of literary criticism will be affected by sympathy with religious ideas. If Pfleiderer s fine faculty for dogmatic analysis had been matched by as keen a feeling for true religious insight, he could hardly have placed I Peter where it stands in his book, under the wing of I Clement. It has already been remarked that Holsten, followed by Pfleiderer and others, gives a new development to Tubingenism by a study of Paul s theology in connection with his conversion, and 1 in the interests of naturalism. There are points of difference between Holsten and Pfleiderer; but they are more apparent to the writer than to the reader. Perhaps the former is more biogra phical and subjective; the latter, as befits a Hegelian, more objective and historical. Convinced of the good faith of the Christian martyrs, and, therefore [Holsten], of the reality of those appearances of the risen Jesus of which they spoke, won upon by their piety, their patience, and their thoroughly orthodox application of prophecy, Paul was thrown into an agony between faith and doubt, which culminated in a vision that was conclusive to his own mind. Jesus had risen ; He must be the true Messiah ; salvation would come only through Him, not through that law which had played Paul utterly 1 Ziim Ev., p. 65 sq. THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 273 false. Jesus death had always been regarded by believers as a ground of salvation (i Cor. xv. 3) ; Paul s personal experiences, and his logical faculty, forced him to regard it as the one ground of salvation, to the exclu sion, for the end ofjustification, of personal piety, to put " faith without works " instead of " faith with obedience to law," and, hence, to.go to the Gentiles. For we know that his call to Christ and his calling to be apostle among Gentiles were closely connected in his own mind. We are concerned here with this theory only in so far as it is supposed to point out a necessary ground of controversy between Paul and the Twelve. And we might, therefore, content ourselves with Holsten s ad mission, that Paulinism and Petrinism, with different degrees of logical thoroughness, rest upon the same general principles; or we might simply add our denial, that an outsider is competent to decide how far friends will agree, and when they must necessarily fall out. For Holsten and his following must rank as outsiders. We may concede to them religious sympathy, but it is a sympathy ominously curtailed by denial of the mira culous. A living God and personal immortality, even universal restitution, in Pfleiderer but no Divine Christ; a living God and a nebulous kind of immortality, in Lipsius ; an "immanent" God and nothing more, in Holsten, where are we to stop on this inclined plane ? When will radical theologians recognise, that the super natural is of the very essence of faith ? Its degrees or details may be questions partly of logical connection a priori, partly of historical evidence a posteriori. But, if morbid love of it is foolish, so is morbid fear. To exaggerate it is wrong, to minimise it equally wrong ; but to deny it is fatal. 18 2/4 APPENDIX D. We might content ourselves with a general protest. But the fact, that we are dealing with unsympathetic interpretation from the outside, leads us to question whether the proposed interpretation of Paul can be correct. The doctrine ascribed to him is, that Christ s atonement consisted properly in bearing the penalty of a broken Law. But it is remarkable how Paul, when he seems to have reached the very verge of this statement, turns aside and speaks to a different effect. 1 The new gospel is " a righteousness of God apart from the Law." Even when Paul speaks of Christ " redeeming from the curse of the Law," he does not say "by bearing it," but "by being made a curse," 2 and has to prove his point by bringing the death of Christ under a general rule stated in the Old Testament. " The righteousness of the Law " and " the righteousness of faith " always appear as mutually exclusive. The truth is, as we have met with an a priori Jesus and an a priori Apostolic College, so now we are dealing with the a priori Paul of indifferentism. We are dealing, not with what Paul believed and expressed, but with what, it is said, he must have believed. No doubt, dogmatic interpretation long ago filled in the outline of Paul s thoughts, on this special point, as the interpretation of criticism has now 1 " Paul, in Rom. v. 19, describes the death of Christ, con sidered as means of justifying sinners, as an act of obedience, and also illustrates it by the thought of a ransom, which he combines (iii. 24) with the figure of means of propitiation though originally quite distinct, and not so interpreted in the Old Testament Law, and which he then refers to the value of Christ s surrender of Himself to death." Weiss, New Testa ment Theol., p. 309, Germ. 2 Gal. iii. 13. Is the reference to mankind, or to the Jews ? THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 2?$ filled it in. But, when orthodox dogmatists hasten to welcome their new recruits, who even outbid them in making the Pauline Gospel a purely formal thing, 1 do they rightly consider what they are doing ? Are they prepared to admit that Paul s theology was 2 "a means of escape from the religion of Law in the forms of that religion " ? Are they prepared to admit that Paul s reasoning was reasoning in a circle, and that he ex plained the final revelation of God s grace in terms of a temporary economy ? The new construction makes great claims to a genetic deduction of Paul s thoughts ; but, in Pfleiderer s hands, along with one coherent fabric of thought, we are led to recognise a mass of inconsistent alternatives. Can a resolving of Paul s teaching into a heap of antinomies imply anything else, than that the observer is at a wrong point of view ? But we need not dogmatically deny the alleged historical genesis of Paul s doctrines. What we assert is, that their value for us does not consist in their historical genesis, say, in "Jewish views of the world," but in legitimate, classically Christian interpretations of the Christian facts. That is what we assert of every in spired epistle. That is what is meant by canonicity. We ought to ask ourselves the question, Is it the attempt to construe Paul a priori, or is it the doctrine of Penal Substitution itself, which cuts across the line of the Christian life, gives a reading of Paul inconsistent with the broad, simple outlines of the earlier apostolic 1 Gal. ii. 20 means, according" to Holsten : Even while I commit sins, I have faith to believe that they will all be forgiven, through the Atonement of One who loved me, etc. 2 Paulinism, ch. ii., 2. 2/6 APPENDIX D. gospel, and reduces the argument for sanctification to a mere play upon words ? l There were four points in -Paul which must have stumbled the Twelve. The first, the Gentile mission. But that was divinely attested by its results. A second difficulty was the claim of apostleship. What apostleship, meant historically, we know from the Gospels ; what it meant in Peter s opinion, we see from Acts i. But the position of James at Jerusalem may well have taught the Church to expect a widening of the apostolate. Paul himself confessed that his apostolate was exceptional, while he claimed that it was connected with a special mission to the Gentiles. In his confer ence with the " pillar apostles " he must have made this claim ; he could not be silent about it in any company ; and the recognition he received implies its acknowledg ment ; if it was a strange dispensation, God had attested it. Holsten cleverly denies that Paul s apostolate was acknowledged, on the ground that Paul avoids using the word. But, as Grimm remarks in reference to the phraseology of ver. 6 in the same chapter (Gal. ii.), the language may have been selected to include James, who was not properly an apostle ; or it may have been an allusion to language used in the Galatian controversies. And the recognition of a Christian mission, in which the Twelve forbore to share, amounted to the acknowledgment of a new apostolate. Perhaps the Judaisers had already discovered this fact, and already blurt it out, when they commit inroads on Gentile Christianity (cHaracter- 1 As Ritschl points out, Paul s doctrine is not, " Christ died, you shall not die ; " but, " Christ died, reckon yourselves to be dead." THE LAW IK THE EARLY CHURCH. 2JJ istically, not on heathenism !), and indulge in attacks on Paul s apostolic dignity. Their self-excuse is a self-accusation. We see the fact plainly betrayed when the pseudo-Clementines depict Peter as the real Gentileapostle, who opposes the arch heretic, Simon, alias Paul,, all over the West. Of course, the newer Tiibingenism still maintains that, even if there was a treaty of Jeru salem, it was torn up at Antioch. But Barnabas, who then joined the Judaisers, and who is supposed by the critics to have been detached from Paul by this fact, rather than by any quarrel about John Mark, is referred to by Paul later on (i Cor. ix. 6) as a typical teacher of Gentiles. His case is the only one which we can defi nitely trace beyond the quarrel ; and, in his case, we see that there was no permanent rupture with Paul (cf. Col. iv. 10). Grimm ca\ls attention to the fact that Paul, on his part, respected the boundary which had been de limited by agreement. Besides, Paul persisted in col- . lecting for Jerusalem, in speaking reverently of the Mother-Church (Rom. xv. 25, sq., etc.) ; was Paul the man to alternate contributions and anathemas, or to support " a different gospel, which was not another gospel " ? Would any man that ever lived act so ? No doubt there are curious phenomena in the Epistle to the Philippians ; but the fact that Paul was sometimes able to speak kindly of the better class of Judaisers does not prove that he ever needed to speak in denunciation of the gospel of the Twelve. Occasional errors in conduct are quite a different thing. A third feature in Paul, which must have been start ling to those at Jerusalem, is his theology, especially his doctrine of the Law. The Epistle of James shows us one type of Hebrew Christianity. It is hard to 2/8 APPENDIX D. believe, that a discussion of the question ofjustification (or "salvation," or "profit"), by works and not by faith only, in reference to the cases of Abraham (offer ing Isaac) and of Rahab, can refer to anything else than Paul s theology and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Justification possibly may have been, in these phrases, a technical question of the Jewish schools ; we know, as a fact, that it was the very^ central question of Paulinism. But let it be proved, if it can be proved, that the Epistle of James is early : then we have this position, that the author has pronounced against the Pauline theology in advance, word for word. How could a Christian living in the joyful contemplation of the " perfect law," holding " that a man is justified by works and not by faith only," welcome the doc trine, " that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law " ? Yet James is as peculiarly Christian as Paul, in his own way. He, too, knows the name of God as Father, of Christ as Lord of glory. He presents an interesting parallel (or hint, or echo ?) of Rom. v. 3, when he exclaims, " Count it all joy when ye fall into manifold temptation." The Old Testament had been trying, for centuries, to say that, but could not till Christ came. Even the Law is to James " a perfect law," " a law of liberty," because of Christ. Nay, Christ s "fulfilment" (Matt. v. 17) must have made it a " perfect " law, 1 as Christ is the judge (James 1 Could the words represent one Aramaic root ? James, who is closely dependent on the Sermon on the Mount, may well use this term in reference to a fulfilment in Christ s life, not to a mere reformation of the Law. How could stringent reformation turn law into liberty ? THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 279 v. 8, 9) ; and the " perfect man " may signify the man of the Christian epoch, who has risen to the level of the perfect law. This may even throw light on Paul s own use of the term " perfect." Nor must we omit to notice that James, in his doctrine of justification, as throughout his epistle, is practical. It is not a false theory, but the case of a man who " says " he has faith, and "has" not works, that James denounces. Finally, as Ritschl shows, James, following many saints and psalmists, finds the spring of obedience to Law in divinely-granted wisdom, 1 i.e., in a subjective principle of conformity to the Law, in a regeneration through an " implanted word," not in any Pharisaic apparatus. In such circumstances, the question between Paul and James is a question for the schools, not a point of faith. Hitherto, orthodox dogma has com promised matters somewhat awkwardly by holding, with Paul against James, that works have no place in justification ; and, with James against Paul, that the law is the rule of life to Christians. Further, James type of doctrine, with its curious silence as to Christ s death, and as to any doctrine of the Atonement, can only represent one type of Hebrew Christian thought ; one of such unique idiosyncrasy, as aptly correspond ing to the traditions of James the Just, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to acquiesce in attributing the epistle to any later writer. The Apocalypse is a recognised monument of Hebrew Christianity ; into what a different world of ideas its glowing acknowledgment of the Atonement transports us! (i. 5, 6, etc.) 2 So; 1 Compare above, App. A., p. 223 ; also further on, p. 284. 2 See the summary of Ritschl s views, later, p. 285. 2 SO APPENDIX D. if we examine the speeches of Acts, which, on a detailed exegesis, vindicate their originality almost everywhere, point by point, or if we take I Peter, or the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find ourselves in a world of Hebrew Christian thought where the Law has no place. There seems reason to believe that James must have been as much isolated in one direction as Paul can have been in the other. Could the great middle party not co-operate with Paul in keeping the Church together ? Have we any reason to throw away those chapters of Acts, which tell us that Peter, too, had his share, by the Divine will, in receiving Gentiles into the Church, and in overstepping the Law ? The fourth point in Paul, which might give offence at Jerusalem, was his attitude towards ceremonies. Cere mony as such was consciously an adiaphoron to him, though acts of heathenism could never be adiaphora. In following out his lifework, he was prepared to anticipate the Church s abandonment of Levitism, and to live as a Gentile. This might give, offence to " zealots of the law," who made up in zeal, as such persons usually do, what they lacked in knowledge. But this is the point on which we have seen reason to believe that Jesus had explicitly done most to prepare His disciples for a change. They had been accustomed to a prophetic breadth of view in regard to ceremony. In correspondence with this circumstance, the New Testament writings, in no single instance, betray a religious concern for the ceremonial Law. The Epistle of James, whenever written and by whomsoever, does not once touch upon ritual ; it moves in a different atmosphere, even while it conceives of Christian reve lation as the perfected Law, and must, in all probability, THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 28 1 have been addressed to men busy with the practice of ceremony. It is true, Ritschl supposes that James construed the edict of Acts xv. ethnographically, Paul geographically. This view rests on Gal. ii. 12, with Acts xxi. 20. The latter " perplexing " narrative may be explained by supposing that Paul gave a pledge of personal adherence to the Law, merely as a proof that he did not lead a crusade against its practice, and that he made this explanation at the time. But we are not told this, and, if it be true, it is difficult to avoid charging Paul with over suppleness. The matter did not end well. Nor have we any reason to claim that Paul s conduct was alwa}rs right. And yet, the Acts give no hint to this effect ; they rather indicate the contrary (xxiii. ii). In any case, the difference between Paul and James was on a detailed application of principles ; and the fall of the Temple, foretold by Christ, and again by Stephen, would be enough to settle the question, at least of the cogency of ceremony, for all Hebrew Christians, whose zeal had not sunk to schism. Yet, not impossibly, Hebrew Christian prac tices may have led on to the Christian year. Might not the great feasts turn into Agapae, and these into Easter, Whit-Sunday, etc. ? Might we not, on such an assumption, accept the traditions of Quartodecimanism, harmonising them with the Johannine authorship of the fourth Gospel ? John may have kept the Paschal Agape, while thinking it well to explain, that the true Paschal Lamb was Christ. Among replies to the Tubingen theory, a word or two may be said as to Lechler s and. Baumgarten s. Lechler s Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Age, a prize 282 APPENDIX D. essay written for a Dutch Baptist society (second edition, 1857), is learned, candid, and commonplace. It works on the very natural scheme that Paul was providentially used to develop the minds of the Twelve. This view may quote in its favour the scene at Antioch, when, in Providence, everything turned upon Paul ; it also fits in well with the view which assigns I Peter to a late period in the Apostle s life, and which asserts Peter s dependence on the Pauline epistles ; while it leads to a certain depreciation of the speeches in Acts, as showing an undeveloped faith. But do facts allow of our supposing such dependence of the Hebrew apostles generally on the gospel of the Gentile apostle, or close enough contact to bring about such dependence ? Baumgarten, in his Apostolical History, 1 replies especially to Zeller s very clever and quite extravagant dissection of Acts.2 While Lechler supposes that the chief use of the Tubingen theory has been to draw attention to the pseudo-Clementines, and well has it advertised these fabrications, giving them far more importance in the nineteenth century than they ever had in the second, but surely at a very dear rate ! Baumgarten supposes the use of the Tubingen school to have been, to remind us that the Church of the Translation, T. & T. Clark. 2 The real scheme of Acts appears to be, the founding of the Church by the risen Jesus through transference of the Gospel from Jews to Gentiles, one half Paul s thesis, Rom. ix.-xi.; a scheme reminding us of that of the first Gospel (in Weiss). The scheme is worked out through the Book of Acts in general outline as well as city by city. Why atten tion is so much focussed on Peter and Paul, or why, even if by selection and grouping of historical facts, so careful a parallel is drawn between them, we can hardly tell. THE, LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 283 Twelve was purely Israelite. Baumgarten supernaturalises the whole course of early history. He holds that the continued unbelief of the Jews compelled the Twelve to linger among them, and recalled the apostolic commission of Matt, xxviii. 19; that a new apostolate had to be, and was, founded (Acts xiii. 2) ; that the new apostolates were bound to live harmoniously and sympathetically together, and did so ; and that only the fall of Jerusalem, if even that, released the Twelve for work among the Gentiles. It is difficult to criticise a writer who is so confident, so intimate with the mysteries of heaven, so well able at every turn to quote a Divine decree. But we must refuse the a priori speculations of orthodoxy, however able and subtle, as we refuse equally able and subtle speculative constructions in the interests of unbelief. We have no warrant for postu lating what Baumgarten takes for granted. So bold a supplementing of the Scripture notices savours of presumption rather than reverence. We may agree indeed with Baumgarten that the Tubingen school have correctly pointed out the first great ganglion in Church history ; but the decisive word on the question has yet to be spoken. Lechler and Baumgarten are apologetic writers. They are thus advocates rather than learners. They stand on the defensive throughout, and assume that the course of history always tended to the best. That is a large assumption, and does not reveal the links that connect the supernatural history of the apostolic age with the erring developments that follow. Ritschl gives such a connection, and it may be interesting to set his deduction of the Catholic Church over against Schwegler s or Hilgenfeld s. Of. course, the actual corn 284 APPENDIX D. troversy must be fought out on grounds of criticism ; but it is important to see how, on the assumption of the genuineness of most of the books of the New Testament, they fit in with the course of history. Ritschl points out that, while on a defensive criticism we have a firm pojnt of departure in the records of Christ s life and of the apostolic age, and while we possess the literature of the Catholic Church, the intervening or sub-apostolic age lies in an obscurity which has left room for Tubingen theorising. Hence he restates the Tiibingers question in the form, What was the Origin of the Early Catholic Church ? l After explaining the relations of " Christ and the Mosaic Law" 2 in his own way, and after giving a statement of Paul s theology, so as to bring out its essential religious ideas, based on the Old Testament, in their harmony with Hebrew Christianity, -the last thing which keen analysts of Paul s dogmatic would care to do, he proceeds to a study of the belief of the early Church at Jersualem. This is founded on the Epistle of James, I Peter, and the Apocalypse of John ; 3 their genuineness he regards as beyond dispute. It is im possible, he thinks, to regard James as polemising against Paul, or as writing at a late period ; Jewish 1 Second ed., 1858. The work had all the interest of a recan tation. The first edition, written while Ritschl ranked as a junior member of the Tubingen school, treated Catholicism as a developed Paulinism. 2 See above, ch. ii.., p. 25 ; ch. iv., p. 70. 3 The teaching- of i John, and of the author, in the fourth Gospel, -syas not in point of fact " a link in the development of the Christianity of the second century." Note on p. 48. Yet to suppose that the fourth Gospel is spurious " raises more difficulties than it solves." THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 285 Christians, to whom the epistle is addressed, would not be affected by Paul; the use of the Old Testament examples, which Paul adduces in a different sense, is too naive for controversy ; and the view of the new reve lation as " the perfect law, the law of liberty," as " a wisdom that cometh down from above," this view, derived from the didactic poetry of the Old Testament, "naively" combining law and grace, shows that the writer had not come in contact with Paul s dialectic separation of the two. By recognising the proper Godhead of Christ (ii. i), by basing Christian virtue on regeneration (i. 18, 21), by the absence of all reference to ceremonial duties, James entirely dif ferentiates himself from the schismatic and unchris tian party who reduced the new faith to a branch of Judaism. First Peter, both by its doctrine of our Lord s person (i. 20; iii. 18), and by its doctrine of His death, is equally removed from Judaising, as well as by its doctrine of regeneration (i. 3, 4, 9, 10, ii. 2). Finally, the Apocalypse recognises the Godhead of Christ (i. 17, ii. 8, xix. 16, xxii. 13); while the type pf the Slain Lamb (v. 6, vii. 14, xii. ii, xiii. 8, and often) depicts the death of Christ as the Paschal sacri fice at the inauguration f a new covenant. The Jewish character of.the book is due merely to the fact that apocalyptic, as a literature, belongs to the epoch of Judaism. Chiliasm is Jewish, but neither that belief nor the general colour of the book is specifically Juda ising. The " twelve apostles " (xxi. 14) are not meant to exclude the Apostle of the Gentiles, but are a round, symbolical number, such as Paul himself used (i Cor. xv. 5) in speaking of the eleven. Modern attempts to count John among Judaisers are based on a 286 APPENDIX D. local tradition, 1 regarding the Ephesian passover, on whose significance its advocates are not at one ; its bearing on the genuineness of John s Gospel must^ therefore, be doubtful, as well as its efficacy to prove John a less spiritual Christian than he is generally held. Besides, the tradition makes the Christian Easter an apostolic rite, which is doubtful, and is disfigured with the monstrous statement, that John wore the highpriestly tiara. The Christianity of Jerusalem was, therefore, spiritual, but it was not missionary. Paul s mission, however, along with the action of some Christian Jews, who wished to make all Christians pass through the door of the synagogue, brought up at Jerusalem the question of the relations between the two classes of believers. The decree of the council is identified by Ritschl2 with the conditions, under which proselytes of the gate prose lytes of the lower grade, who were uncircumcised were admitted to a certain small measure of religious fellowship with the Jews. And these again he identi fies with the Levitical laws contained in Lev. xvii. and xviii., which (xviii. 26) were imposed on strangers resident among the chosen people as well as upon the covenant people itself. Thus he explains iropvela as referring to marriage contracted within the prohibited degrees, etc. In support of this view, he cites two passages from the Clementine Recognitions (vi. 10, ix. 29), which/ he affirms, have nothing characteristic ally Ebionite about them, and, therefore, must be taken as explanatory of the position of the Church at large. 1 " Polycrates of Ephesus afiud Eusebius, H.E., v. 24." 2 I do not perceive, however, that this is an essential part of his theory. The existence of a parallel cannot be questioned. THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 287 Thus the decree is meant to bring Gentile Christians into that comparatively tolerable state, to which Jews had grown accustomed in proselytes of the gate. There was hope in this way of gaining the Jews " in every city" (Acts xv. 21). But the commands laid on the Gentiles were not religious duties ; they were social restraints. For those who kept no more of the Mosaic law, and confidently hoped to be saved, such customs could have no higher meaning. The Gentile Christians were not mere proselytes of the gate. These had been no part of the Jewish people ; not to worship idols was no service of Jehovah ; not to defile oneself in certain ways was no positive holiness. If Gentiles might be Christians, salvation must be of faith. Ritschl adds the remark, that the decree, not consummating unity, could not have served as a basis of reconciliation at a late period ; he denies that any reconciliation of Judaisers with Gentiles did, or could, take place. The historicity of the decree is supported by the appearance of the same point of view in the epistles. James (i. i), in his Epistle, as in his speech, thinks of the Church as Israel, and of Israel as the Church. Peter (T Peter) speaks to Gentiles (i. 18), yet (i. i) addresses the Jews as the Church of Christ, and allows the Gentiles to fall in as (full) proselytes. So John in Rev. vii. ; and even Paul (Rom. xi.). Again, John in Rev. (ii. 6, 14, 15, 20, 24) is opposing those who, on the strength of a false spiritualism, imitated Balaam s mixed marriages, which were beyond the control of the Levitical law, and so led to " fornication" (Numb. xxxi. 16, xxv. I ; I Kings xvi. 31). Paul fights the same battle (i Cor. vi. 12, 13, x. 7, 8). As has been remarked in passing, Ritschl explains 288 APPENDIX D. the decree as not even permitting religious fellowship at the Eucharist between the two sections of the Church. On this view the transactions of Antioch, in Gal. ii., grow intelligible enough. Paul had accepted the decree ; he acknowledged the desirableness of Jews continuing to be Jews (i Cor. vii. 18, ix. 20), but only where they formed a community, as in Palestine ; else where he preferred securing communion with the Church to maintaining his Jewish rights (i Cor. ix. 21) ; and at Antioch (cf. Acts xi. 26) he had apparently intro duced full and open communion. Peter was in principle at one with Paul (Acts xv. 11 ; Gal. ii. 16); he had already been led to eat with Gentiles (Acts xi. 3), and he fell in with Paul s arrangement. But, when " certain came from James," who took the separation of the decree ethnographically (Acts xv. 14, "a. people out of the Gentiles," xxi. 20-25), Peter and all the Jews, including even Barnabas, changed their habits (ver. 12), while, with his usual ardour, Peter (ver. 14) tried to preserve united Church fellowship by urging the Gentile Christians to accept circumcision. This led to the too celebrated rebuke of Paul. We do not hear later of relations between Paul and Peter. Ritschl, as many have done, quote Mark and Silas (Col. iv. 10; Philem. 24 ; I Peter v. 13) as affording a hope that the apostolic leaders were reconciled. Hope, in regard to a recon ciliation with all the Jewish apostles, is based on the fact that the Gentile Church did not arise as a Pauline sect, but was consciously founded on the teaching alike of Paul, James, Peter, and John. As to the fall of Jerusalem and of the Temple, Ritschl denies that it led the Jewish believers to give up the Law. They may not have ceased to cherish a lively THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 289 hope for the conversion of all Israel. But Titus conquest is allowed to have had one most important result ; it led John to change his view of the Christian outlook, and to do so most thoroughly. 1 But most of the members of the Church of Jerusalem had been led by the Epistle to the Hebrews to withdraw from the sacrifices of Judaism, though not from its customs gene rally, and retired before the catastrophe to Pella, where they appear as the Nazarenes, who (according to Jerome) respected Paul, and (Testament of the Twelve Patri archs), while clinging to the Law, acknowledged the high-priesthood of Christ and the abolition of sacrifice. On the other hand, the same catastrophe probably reinforced the Judaising elements in the Church by promoting conversions from the Essenes. Ritschl regards 2 that sect as of purely Jewish origin. They desired to lead a priestly life ; but, not being Levitical priests, their sacrifices necessarily were bloodless ; i.e. they eat no flesh. Punished for their presumption by exclusion from the Temple, they gradually developed indifference, if not hostility, to rts sacrifices ; and its fall accelerated their conversion. Stray members of them, carried into captivity, had already perhaps joined the Church,3 at Rome and at Colosse (Rom. xiv. 2 ; Col. ii. 20. In the Pastorals possibly note on p. 342 we have controversy, if not with Essenes, with the allied Therapeutae). In history they appear as the Ebionites 1 A. K. Kirche, p. 146. 2 This, though an important part of Ritschl s theory, does not seem essential to holding it. 3 Perhaps this covers whatever truth there is in Schwegler s assertion, that Ebionism throughout exhibits Essene traits. 19 2QO APPENDIX D> of Epiphanius, who ought to be distinguished from the earlier Pharisaic Ebionites. Another source of infor mation is found in the notices of the Elxaites. That party Ritschl regards as having attempted a disciplinary reform of Ebionism though in the way of relaxing discipline such as " Hernias" carried out in the Roman Church, and Montanus attempted for the Catholic Church at large. It was from the Essene Ebionites that the pseudo-Clementine literature, which Baur s school re garded as inheriting the sentiments of the earliest Church, took its origin. It was a frantic bid for control over the Church s headquarters at Rome, the Jews having been driven from Jerusalem by Hadrian after Bar Cochba s rebellion. That event the changing Jerusalem into a Gentile colony was, in Ritschl s view, the final destruction of Jewish Christianity, except among the Nazarenes, and, in a schismatic form, among the Ebionites. Both parties alike came to rank as heretics in the theological judgment of the Gentile Church. The rest of the first book of Ritschl s work is taken up with a discussion of the earliest theology of the Gentile Church. He denies that that theology can be regarded as a modification of Paulinism ; it is professedly based on the general apostolic tradition ; and even those who claim to stand nearest Paul in doctrine seriously misunderstand him. This Ritschl ascribes to the inca pacity of Gentile converts for understanding the rejigious ideas which were current among the Jews, and had been developed through the Old Testament. 1 Legalism, 1 Ritschl (Justification, ii.,p. 16) severely replies to the criti cism of one Graul, already at that time (1874) deceased, who had refused Ritschl s explanation that the fall into Catholic theo THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 29 1 which is generally ascribed to Ebionite influence, stands in no relation at first to ceremonies, and appears in quarters that are be}~ond the suspicion of Judaising. This obscuring of the religious essence of Christianity was counterpoised by a speculative Christology, in which, according to Ritschl, the Gentile Church found a means of expressing its distinctive conviction of the absolute nature of the Christian revelation. Justin s name is important, both for the doctrine of the Acfyo?, and for the development of the formula in which the early Catholic Church passed sentence of condemnation both on Ebionites and on Nazarenes. This was the doctrine, that Christianity was a new law, containing purely ethical injunctions. That formula was meant to embody the New Testament assertion, that Christianity is a new covenant, as well as the current legalism. In the view of the Gentile Church, God, in exchanging the old law for the new, had transferred His grace from the Jews to the Gentiles. Ritschl had thus argued that the doctrinal tendencies, ascribed by the Tubingen school to the compromise with the Jewish section of the Church, arose in quite a different way. The second book of the A. K. Kirche carries out a similar argument for the Catholic rites and ordinances, which afford a parallel to Judaism. It logy was due to Gentile misunderstanding of OJd Testament ideas, and who had ascribed it to man s native tendency to legalism. This Ritschl finds dreadfully truistic. But do not the two theories need each other ? Ritschl names only a negative cause ignorance of Old Testament religion. That rnight lead to error why in particular to legalism ? Either from the general strain of human nature, or from its proxi mate influence in the form of heathen thought. APPENDIX D. would lead us too far astray to detail the grounds of the argument. Let it be enough to say that the origin of the (Gentile) Episcopate is referred to the Gnostic con troversy, and the doctrine of a special sacramental grace to the Montanist controversy. The Gnostics claimed a secret heretical tradition from the apostles ; the Church asserted an orthodox tradition in the hands of the bishops, from the apostles downwards. The Montanists denied the Church s right to re-admit to communion those who had been guilty of mortal sin. And, in fact, the earliest Church discipline (Heb. vi. 4 sq. } x. 26, I John v. 1 6) recognised, according to Ritschl, no such right of re-admission. The Church now claimed that right, and justified the claim by the assertion that the bishops, the successors of the apostles, were a priestly guild, with the "power of the keys," that power being taken in the (erroneous) sense of a right to for give mortal sin. This change, Ritschl thinks, apart from the sacramental theory which accompanied it, was both a forward movement and a fall. It denoted the fading of the hope of an immediate Parousia, and the Church s resolution so to live in the world as to be able to Christianise it. Augustine s doctrine of the City of God completed the change. The Church ceased to look merely for a future Kingdom of God, and sought, as Christ had sought, to realise it in the present ; but, unfortunately, the Kingdom was now identified with the corporation of the visible Church. This legalism pro vided, it is true, for the recognition of man s dependence on grace in the doctrine of sacramental grace ; but, in that form, the doctrine of grace is materialised and accommodated to legalism. The Catholic Church has never been able to rise above the mechanical equipoise THE LAW IN THE EARLY CHURCH. 293 of two elements legal duty, sacramental grace. Augus tine s Anti-Pelagianism, according to Ritschl, is purely in the interest of baptismal grace ; Pelagius had over thrown the balance of doctrine by his unguarded emphasis upon free will. Only the Reformation, with its denial of merit, and its assertion of the universal priesthood of Christians, returned to that organic view of grace, which corresponds to the teaching of the New Testament and the words of Christ. 1 1 Ritschl cannot, however, accept the Protestant doctrine of the kingly office of Christ, as an adequate rendering of Christ s own doctrine of the Kingdom of God. Fully to regain that thought is a task for reformers after the Reformation.

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