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Chapter 3: The Death of Christ and Christian Worship

THE new beliefs created by the interpretation of the person constituted the Christian religion on its ideal side; but to become actual it needed a worship, or the means of expressing and cultivating reverence and of inculcating piety and obedience. Worship is a function at once individual and social, not possible in the individual without the influences that make men devout, or in society without agencies that organize and control. The relation which the ideal and the institutional or consuetudinary elements in a religion sustain to each other, has been already indicated1; and we only need to add here that the very law which compels the idea to express itself in the institution and the institution to justify itself by means of the idea, forces upon them a policy of mutual adjustment. Neither can healthily separate from the other. The reasoned idea without the worship is theology; the worship without any reasoned idea is superstition; but the two in wholesome and corporate union make religion. What theology is to the speculative reason, worship is to the popular consciousness, a form under which deity is conceived and described. Each is a language which articulates some governing religious idea; and of these two languages worship, as the more frankly symbolical, addresses the imagination through several senses at once, and is, therefore, the less capable of being contradicted, while also the less sensitive to criticism. Its acts and observances may from constant repetition grow as stale as any common task, yet even where most stale they can lift the susceptible man out of and above himself till he feels as if he and God had joined hands and stood face to face. If indeed God be conceived to stand but a few degrees above man—and this never happens without bringing Him in some respects several degrees below him—the worship will easily fulfil its function, though it will signify little when fulfilled; but the higher and purer the conception of God is, the more difficult and the more necessary the worship becomes. For while it enables religion to overcome the incapacities of human nature, and by incorporating its ideals in persons to bring about their realization in society and history; yet it involves as a dangerous possibility that the observance or the custom may prove stronger than the idea. And if it does, God will be lowered rather than man uplifted. Speculation may refine thought, but this matters little if God be coarsened and debased by the means taken to approach and please Him. And in the long run worship is more powerful than speculation, for while the one may entertain the reason of the few, the other by its appeal to the imagination of the many commands the conscience and regulates the life.

§ I. Christ as Idea and as Institution

1. Now this is the point at which the founders of the Christian religion performed their most original and creative act They so made a person into an institution, a mode and way of worship which at once exalted God and dignified man, as to make the religion incapable of being localized. They acted without conscious design, but in obedience to an instinct or experience which governed their thought; and their action changed the event which threatened their faith with extinction into the condition of its immortality. There is no other religion which has a crucified or slain person as the sole and sufficient medium through which God approaches man and man approaches God. This surprised ancient as it has perplexed modern thought, but, considered simply as a matter of fact, without the Cross the religion could not have been. Christ is in the apostolical records conceived as a Saviour who saves by the sacrifice of Himself, as “the Lamb of God,” without blemish and without spot, “slain from the foundation of the world,” yet offered at the end of the ages that He might redeem men by His precious blood.2 “He is our passover sacrificed for us,”3 “whom God set forth as a propitiatory” (person), in order that He might “be just and the justifier of him who is of the faith of Jesus.”4 This mode of conceiving His death is so integral alike to the history and thought of the New Testament as to deserve to be termed its organizing idea, but it is so singular as to be without any parallel in the ideas and customs either of those natural religions which make most of sacrifice,5 or of those which we are accustomed to compare as historical with the Christian. Thus to Israel Moses was a lawgiver who commanded and threatened, exacting obedience by the hope of reward or the fear of punishment, but he was never conceived as one who “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Confucius is a sage whose authority is based on his wisdom, or his power in revealing to persons and states the secret of a happy life; but death, whether his own or another's, is to him too great a mystery to be understood; the wise man can only sit dumb before it. Mohammed is a prophet who denounces hell to the disobedient and promises heaven to the faithful; but he is more distinguished by the will to inflict suffering than by the heart to endure it, even where it may bring good to others. Buddha is the nearest approach to Christ; he makes the great renunciation, surrendering regal might and right and wealth for poverty and humiliation, and he makes an end of the ritual, the sacrifices, the priesthood, and the various deities of Brahmanism. For this reason his people revere him, love him, and seek to follow in his footsteps. But here the similarities are superficial, while the differences are radical. (i.) Buddha is a pessimist; he does not love life, for to him being is suffering, and his desire is to escape from sorrow by escaping from existence. But Christ is never a pessimist; His very passion is the expression of a splendid optimism, the belief that existence is so good that it ought not to be lost but held fast and rescued, and that when purged from the accident of sin it will become altogether lovely, a thing to be wholly desired, (ii.) Buddha is a leader, a man to be followed and imitated; what he did men must do that they may partake of his illumination and enter into his rest. But what Christ does no other person can do. He offers Himself a Sacrifice that He may win eternal redemption for men. (iii.) Buddha is an Indian ascetic, whose highest work is to break the bonds of life and all the forces which make for its continuance and for the social perfecting of the race. But Christ is in the strict sense a Redeemer and a Sacrifice, one whose sorrow is curative, who restores our nature to personal and social health, that it may attain individual and collective happiness, personal and general immortality. (iv.) The basis of Buddha's salvation is a metaphysical nihilism. In a world without God and immortality, but crowded with men of teachable moral natures, redemption is not difficult, instruction can accomplish it, the meditation which found the way can be followed until the goal is reached. But in a world where God cannot cease to be pure and man cannot will himself out of existence, to make the guilty man fit to be reconciled with the pure and eternal God is a work which may well cause suffering to the holiest and most blessed Being. The world which Christ redeems is one of infinite reality, man being in his own degree as real as God. The Passion, then, has a singular character and unique worth; it stands alone, without any parallel in the other religions of history. Why it holds the place it does, and what it does in that place, are the questions we have now to discuss.

2. What here concerns us, then, is not the doctrine as to the death of Christ, but its function in the Christian religion. How doctrine and function differ yet coincide we may see as we proceed; but at present we note that any critical discussion as to the process which made His death the basis of our redemption, usually starts with Paul and the need he felt to resolve the antithesis presented by the fact of the Cross to his idea of the Messiah. Now this procedure is for two reasons unhistorical: (i.) Paul tells us that he did not invent the belief, but found it in possession.6 (ii.) Jesus was the historical source of the idea;7 though experience and history were needed to make His meaning plain. The apostolical experience was a kind of educational dialectic, and its environment was like a school where the intellect was exercised by means of theses and antitheses. The school had, as it were, two departments or sides, the sacerdotal and rabbinical, or a school for priests and a school for scribes. The home of the one was the Temple, the home of the other was the Synagogue. Both were religious, though in a totally different sense: in the one case the religion was more personal, more rooted in conviction, concerned with thought and the government of life; in the other case the religion was more collective, consisted more in ritual and the regulation of worship, the acts which expressed it and the persons who were its celebrants. Both schools were concerned with Deity, though under distinct aspects and in contrasted relations. The God who occupied the Temple was an object of worship; the God who was studied in the Synagogue was the Giver of the law. The law had indeed created both the Temple and the Synagogue, but the law did not mean to the two Schools exactly the same thing. To the one it signified the Levitical legislation, which had instituted the priesthood, organized and regulated its ministry, described and sanctioned its sacrifices; to the other it signified the ethical precepts and the ceremonial customs which gave to the State its theocratic character and to the individual the rules which governed his conduct. These two schools appear in the apostolical writings, and their very different tempers are represented by the sects described in the historical books. Thus in Hebrews the term has its distinctly Levitical meaning: “the law appointed men high priests”;8 priests “offer gifts according to the law”;9 “according to the law all things are cleansed with blood,”10 and its sacrifices are “a shadow of good things to come.”11 But in Paul, though the term has an almost indescribable variety of meanings, yet its prevailing sense is the rabbinical, the law is the commandment which enjoins or forbids, which says “Thou shalt do this” or “Thou shalt not do that,” promising reward to the obedient, threatening punishment to the transgressor.12 Now both these types or schools of thought and policy affected in the way of antithesis the Christian synthesis; Christ appears in contrast to the one as the eternal Priest and Sacrifice, and to the other as the Redeemer of man from the law which killed, and the Bringer of the Grace which gave life. And it is because He so appears that we can say that the function which apostolic thought assigns to His death can be better described as an institution than as a doctrine.

§ II. The Levitical Legislation and the Christian Idea

1. The position here may be thus stated: Christ took the place in the new religion which the Temple had held in the old, and as a single Sacrifice and eternal Priest He superseded the multitudinous sacrifices and priests who had stood and mediated between God and Man. The substitution was a revolution, for the Temple was not a mere incident or aspect of the religion, but the symbol of man's whole conscious and expressed relation to the Deity. It typified, therefore, (i.) the presence and accessibility of God, His abode among His people, His desire to commune with them, to speak to them and to hear their speech, (ii.) The duty of His people to worship Him. He was their God and they were His people, and their right to the Temple meant their freedom of access to Him. (iii.) This limitation involved on their part a double relation to Him, a collective and a personal. The collective was primary, for the man must be of Israel before he could worship Israel's God; but the personal, though secondary, was essential, for the man who was an Israelite knew God and was known of Him. (iv.) The worship prescribed was such as became the character of God and expressed the state of man. The character of God was holy, the state of man was sinful, and the worship was designed to reconcile the holy God to the sinful man. (v.) Since man was sinful he could not come directly into the presence of the Holy, but needed a representative to stand before the Lord and speak in his name and on his behalf; hence came the priest. And since he had sins to confess and be forgiven as well as favours to ask or acknowledge, he could not allow the priest to enter the Divine presence empty-handed, but supplied him with the blood of atonement drawn from the sacrificial victim, or with the gifts which his gratitude prompted, (vi.) The stability of the Temple and the continuance of the worship signified that the intercourse was constant. The people obeyed God's voice, and He heard their prayers.

2. The Temple, then, stood for an ideal of worship regulated by the law, whose seat was not the Synagogue or school, but the national sanctuary; whose ministers were not Scribes or rabbis, but priests and Levites; whose acts were not reading and preaching, but sacrificing and sprinkling of blood. It signified a legislation not so much recorded in books as incorporated in a living order. The Synagogue was provincial and sectarian, but the Temple was metropolitan and collective; the one spoke of difference, but the other was sacred to the unities of family and faith. In the Synagogue a man might be a Latin or a Greek, a Cilician or an Alexandrian, a pupil of Hillel or of Shammai; but in the Temple he knew himself to be a son of Abraham, an Israelite, who believed Jehovah alone to be God and who observed the customs of the fathers. Dispersion might occasion an enlarged use of the Synagogue, but it also increased the significance and the fascination of the Temple. The motherland is to the imagination of the colonist transfigured by a romance which the eye accustomed to the hard realities of the life within it does not see; and so he who dwelt far from Zion idealized the holy place, as he did not who sat in its lengthening shadow and watched the jealousies and plottings of its sons. It is almost certain that the man who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews and the men who received it were all the more under the spell of the ideal that they knew so little of the actual Temple and its ways. But to all, whether near or remote, it was the living heart of the religion, an epitome of the people and their history. No other appeal to the present was so irresistible because none so perfectly embodied the past. In its earliest and simplest form, as the tabernacle which went with the fathers through the wilderness led them into the promised land, and helped them to build their cities and their state, it spoke of the God who had called them out of Egypt, chosen them out of all the nations of the earth to be the people of His covenant and His grace. And when the kings came David felt it a reproach that he should well in a house of cedar, “while God still dwelt within curtains”13 and so his ambition was to be found worthy to build Him a house. This though denied to David was granted to Solomon, whose wisdom designed, whose power erected, whose wealth adorned the first and stateliest temple. In the most glorious of all prophetic visions Isaiah had beheld it filled with the train of the Lord; in the most pathetic of all prophetic histories Jeremiah had described the anarchy and desolation in which it and the state alike perished. Yet towards the Temple the Exiles in Babylon did not cease to turn tearful and longing eyes, and Ezekiel had pictured it springing anew from its ashes in splendid yet measured proportions, and opening its courts to resurgent and restored Israel.14 They came back a peeled15 and suffering remnant, who built the house of God amid poverty and in the face of dangers unspeakable, yet cheered by the visions of the later Isaiah and the mighty music of his speech; and so they crowned the second Temple with a glory which the first had never known. What began in weakness lived in power, and gathered to it the sublimest memories of the people. Within it the Levitical legislation and ritual were realized; its courts had been built and its sacrifices were offered according to the law; psalms written in praise of God and for His service were sung in its worship; it was the symbol of His name, the seat of His visible presence, the home where He showed Himself to His people, conversed with them, and proved Himself to be their God. Its priests were sons of Aaron, who still seemed fragrant with the oil that had consecrated him, and who, all the more that they were vowed to God, had played the part of heroes and taught the people how to win freedom by braving battle and enduring death. The Temple thus made an irresistible appeal to the imagination; the Jew, wherever he lived or whatever language he spoke, ceased the moment he stood within it to feel as if he were an alien, and became consciously one of God's elect, who could speak to God and hear God speaking to him. Without it or otherwise than through it he could not think of his religion, and without his religion where were the Jew? Even when the Temple had fallen, he could not believe that it had perished; for the priestly race survived, and so long as it did not die the hope lived that Israel would yet praise God in the midst of the holy city.

3. Now the Apostles were Jews who thought in the manner of their race, yet as regards the Temple and its worship they had been forced to think otherwise than their race thought. Experience had made them conscious of the contradiction between its actual state and its ideal significance. They knew that it was the priests and not the Pharisees who had crucified Jesus; that up to the entry into Jerusalem the latter had been His chief opponents, but from then onwards the former had become His irreconcilable, antagonists; and that while the rabbis had argued, the priests, who were a ruling as well as a sacred caste, had acted and acted, as rulers will, with more regard for order than for right. It was in the court of the high priest that counsel was taken against Jesus.16 He is betrayed to “the chief priests.”17 They send the multitude who seize Him.18 He is conducted to the palace of the high priest,19 where He is tried and declared guilty of blasphemy.20 “The chief priests” bind Him, deliver Him up to Pilate, accuse Him, demand His death,21 and extort it from the hesitating governor.22 They stiffen the purpose of Pilate by raising the cry, “Crucify Him,”23 and wish the cynical inscription “The King of the Jews” changed to the personal charge, “He said ‘I am the King of the Jews’”24 and while He is in agony they mock His impotence.25 And they dealt with the disciples as they had dealt with Him. The “priests and the captain of the temple” are sore troubled because the Apostles preach Jesus.26 The judges of Peter and John, on account of “the good deed done to the impotent man,” are Annas and Caiaphas and “the kindred of the high priest.”27 It is the same persons who, being “filled with jealousy, laid hands on the Apostles, and put them in public ward,”28 and who charge them “not to teach in this Name.”29 While the priests seem to increase in vigilant seventy30 the Pharisees seem to become dubious, hesitant, double-minded, like men who temporize in action because they halt in thought.31 In the Synagogue, where the Pharisees reigned, the Apostles were allowed not only to sit but to speak and dispute;32 but in the Temple, which the priests controlled, they were not permitted to worship, Paul's attempt to do so provoking the riot that led to his imprisonment and the appeal to Caesar.33 Exclusion from it was thus the sign and seal of their alienation from Israel, and forced upon them the questions, Why had it been built? What was its function and purpose? The question raised by the conflict of the local cult with the universal idea was as old as the prophets of Israel, and as new as the sect of the Essenes, who forsook the Temple and cultivated piety in separateness and seclusion. Men of a Hellenistic temper, like Josephus, explained it as a mirror of the universe, while Philo found in it an allegory concerning the things sensible and things intelligible which made up his whole of being. Ideas of this order were not unknown to the earliest converts; we see them struggling with the Christian problem in the mind of Stephen. He conceives the Temple as alien to monotheism;34 the universal God cannot be confined to a single place, the Builder of Nature to a house built by human hands. But though logic may prove that it is possible to worship anywhere a God who is everywhere, yet there are deeper questions than any exercise in dialectics can solve. Are not the people more than the place? Are all men equally fit and free to worship? Do sin and guilt matter nothing to Deity? As He has no respect of persons is He also without respect for character? Are there no terms to be observed, no obstacles on man's part which call for a priest or other mediator? These questions the Hellenistic speech of Stephen did not touch, nor did the early Apostles think that they had any connexion with the person and death of Christ. In his earliest discourses Peter speaks of Jesus as having been crucified “by the hands of lawless men,”35 who had “killed the Prince of Life,”36 and “set themselves against the Lord and His Anointed,”37 “whom also they slew, hanging Him on a tree.”38 In curious forgetfulness of what he had been taught he seems to have conceived the cross as the symbol of victorious evil, which was only defeated by the raising of Christ from the dead. But light came from an unexpected quarter; the Ethiopian Eunuch put a question which effected the orientation of the Apostolic mind: did the prophet describe himself or some other as a sheep led to the slaughter?39 In this there was a fine fitness; prophecy had created and organized the Hebrew Temple, preached the idea that made it necessary, declared against the local cults, urged the creation of a central sanctuary where the elect people could collectively meet the holy God, and offer Him a cleanlier and seemlier worship. But time had demonstrated how easy it was for an institution founded for the worship of God to supersede the God in whose honour it had been founded, to impose upon Him its own limitations, and invoke His authority to sanction and to sanctify its sins. And now the spirit of prophecy, reincarnated, substituted a person for a positive institution, a worship which knew no place and no sacred caste, for a worship which was bound to a special race and its peculiar customs.

§ III. The Levitical Categories interpret the Christian Idea

1. Apostolic thought starts, then, from a positive belief, “Christ died for our sins,” and proceeds to construe this “according to the Scriptures.” If the books we now call the Old Testament had then canonical existence, they yet had not a uniform authority. The Sadducean priests believed strongly in the Levitical legislation, which they termed the law of Moses, for it was the charter of their privileges, the basis of their rights; and their usage affected the apostolical literature, though with significant differences. Thus Paul never uses the terms priest or priesthood, but in Hebrews they occur thirty times. Paul speaks rarely, if at all, of sacrifices in the Levitical sense, but in Hebrews this sense was fundamental. The sacrificial idea was indeed too germane to the Pauline mode of thought to be entirely ignored.40 And so he says, “For our passover has been sacrificed, even Christ”;41 but two things are here significant, (α) the passover was older than the Levitical system and independent of its priesthood; and (β) it was above anything in Judaism suggestive of the last supper and the passion.42 Still it is used here to enforce a duty and not to define a doctrine. Since the lamb is already slain, the old leaven ought to be cast out, the house of the soul purged from its sin. A second illustrative usage occurs in Ephesians: “Even as Christ gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweet smell.”43 He here enjoins a love like Christ's by inviting consideration of His sacrifice. But the comparison was probably more literary than ritual in its origin; he was thinking of the sacrifices God delighted in rather than of those the priest loved to offer.44 But one famous Pauline text owes its importance to what we may term a Levitical category: “Whom God set forth (as) propitiatory through faith in His blood.”45 There are here two sacrificial terms, (α) ἱλαστήριον = “propitiatory,” and (β) ϵ̓ν τῳ̑ αὐτου̑ αἵματι= “in His blood.” As to (α) the term is difficult whether taken according to its classical or its Hellenistic usage, and it is not easy to determine its sense exegetically. For reasons impossible to enumerate it is here regarded as an adjective qualifying ὃ ν “whom,” i.e. Christ Jesus. He is set forth as a propitiatory person, one able to perform the things the verse goes on to describe. As to (β) the phrase is characteristically Pauline, and occurs in contexts which emphasize its sacrificial quality.46 The stress laid on it being “His” is manifestly intended to differentiate it from the blood of beasts, whether of the paschal lamb or the Levitical animals. If, then, these terms be so understood, what does the sentence taken as a whole affirm? (i.) That the person of Christ as propitiatory is a means by which guilty man can be reconciled to the righteous God. (ii.) That it owes this character to the express and public act of God, who of His own will and from His own initiative, unmoved by anything which man had done, set forth for all eyes to see this propitiatory person. (iii.) To this public act of God there is needed a responsive and correlative act of man—“through faith.” This, too, is characteristically Pauline; for he is most mystical when most doctrinal. Where God wills and man believes the two coalesce in a unity which yet dissolves the personality of neither. (iv.) The aspect under which faith sees the propitiatory person is sacrificial—“in His blood.” (v.) While the person and the death had a history in time His propitiatory quality is as timeless as the act of God, i.e. it explains why He passed over “the sins done aforetime,” and “demonstrates His righteousness in the present,” proving Him for all time to be “just while the justifier of him who is of faith in Jesus.” We may say, then, that Paul in this text conceived Christ as having fulfilled for all time, by the gracious act of God, all the functions which the Levitical legislation proposed to perform for Israel. His person was an institution erected by the will of God, with whom the initiative remains, for the saving of man. In Christ, then, the elaborate mechanism of the priestly worship is done away; faith sees the inner purpose and the outer ways of God as God Himself knows them, and the justified man lives in love and peace with the just God.

2. But it is in the Epistle to the Hebrews that we find the Levitical categories most exhaustively used. Christ is there conceived as at once priest and sacrifice, in each case in the later and liturgical rather than the older and domestic sense. The priest is defined as a mediator designated of man and called of God, “that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.”47 The two ideas stand, therefore, together: no priest without a sacrifice, and the sacrifice ever is as the priest is. Hence he is the determinative idea; if he is changed, the law or religion is also changed.48 But in the twofold aspect of his office correlative ethical qualities are involved: towards men he ought to exercise a measured sympathy (μϵτριοπαθϵι̑ν δυνάμϵνος), and before God he must stand purged from sin.49 Now in these respects Christ was qualified pre-eminently for the high priesthood. He was “without sin,” and in eternity God said to Him: “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”50 While by origin, nature, and rank, He stood before men the image and representative of God,51” yet He so partook of flesh and blood, and was so made in all things like unto His brethren, as to be able to stand in their name before God.52 And He was qualified in character as well as in nature, being so “touched with a feeling of our infirmities,” as to be able to succour the tempted.53 Hence both the vocation of God and the designation of man were His.54

But how could Jesus, who was of Judah and not of Levi, the priestly race which alone, according to the law, could offer sacrifices in the Temple, be in any proper sense a high priest?55 Here the writer boldly transcends the Levitical categories, in order that he may prove the old covenant to be provisional and transient, while the new is final and permanent. And he does this by an argument which has an instructive parallel in Paul. The latter says the promise is the older, the law is the younger, and it was introduced not as an end in itself, but as a means towards the end contained in the promise.56 The promise therefore can never be superseded by the law, and comes to life again in the gospel. The writer of Hebrews uses personal names, but he intends the same thing. There was an older priesthood, one independent of the descent and succession which were of the essence of Aaron's, viz. Melchizedek's, “who abideth a priest continually.”57 His office did not owe its being to any father or mother, or its continuance to any child, for it was constituted by the vocation of God, and had neither beginning of days nor end of life. So the Levitical objection to a priesthood unauthorized and contrary to the law is anticipated and answered thus: “I do not claim for Christ an Aaronic priesthood,—that were but to affirm that He was made ‘after the law of a carnal commandment’; but I do claim that He belongs to an older, a higher, and a more unchangeable order, made ‘after the power of an endless life.’58 And He was so made by the act of God, who said unto Him: ‘Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’59 The superiority of this order to yours is manifest; for did not the lower priest do homage to the higher when Levi in Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek?60 The old priests were instituted ‘without oath; but to Christ ‘the Lord sware and will not repent Himself, Thou art a priest for ever.’61 In the old order there was a multitude, ever issuing from birth, ever devoured by death; in the new order there is but one, who ‘abideth for ever.’62 He, as sinless, has no need like the old high priests ‘to offer up sacrifices for His own sins’; nor is He like them a man ‘having infirmity,’ but He is ‘the Son perfected for evermore.’”63

The comparison which has thus become a fundamental contrast is not simply personal and official but also objective, relates to the system or religion as well as to the priesthood. The note of time is stamped upon the Levitical institution; eternity and immutability are the attributes of Christ, who is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.”64 He has “become the surety of a better covenant,”65 while that which has been “groweth old and waxeth aged and nigh to vanishing away.”66 He “is able to save to the uttermost them that draw nigh unto God through Him”;67 but though the old priest stood day by day ministering, he offered sacrifices “which could never take away sins.”68 And it is at this point, where the objective comparison becomes most acute as a contrast, that the argument as to the abolition of the old by the new covenant becomes most emphatic and conclusive. The law had a multitude of sacrifices, the new faith has but one; yet its one is of infinitely more worth than all the multitude offered under the law.69 They were bulls and goats and calves, and though repeated without ceasing they yet gave God no pleasure, nor did they cleanse the man's conscience, or qualify him to serve God.70 But Christ's sacrifice, which He offered “once for all,” was Himself;71 the very reason of His coming in the flesh was that He might offer Himself to God, whose will He delighted to do, and who was-weary of “whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.”72

3. The transmuting of the priest into the sacrifice without losing the identity and the reality of either—on the contrary, only making both more sure and their unity yet more absolute—is a striking audacity of thought, and enables the writer to bring his argument to a remarkable synthesis which we may represent thus:

i. The Son accomplishes what He does in harmony with the will of the Father, who appoints Him to the office, calls Him to the priesthood, approves the sacrifice which is prompted by the delight to do His will, and is offered through the eternal Spirit.

ii. The unity of the priest and the sacrifice secures to the sacrifice all the worth, the dignity, the grace and the power which belong to the person; and secures to the priest all the virtue, the merit, the redemptive efficacy which inhere in the sacrifice. Hence He is said to have made purification of sins,73 to have destroyed him that had the power of death and delivered those who lived in bondage to it.74 He is the author of eternal salvation, brings in a better hope, remits sins, perfects the sanctified, and wins eternal redemption.75 The blood which He shed in sacrifice speaks better things than that of Abel, purges the conscience from dead works, and because of it God remembers our sins and iniquities no more.76

iii His eternal priesthood signifies His eternal existence; i.e. His power to save is without beginning and is everlasting. This has, so to say, a temporal and a spatial expression, (α) The temporal expression shows that though the sacrifice was made at a single point of time, yet it ranged backward as well as forward, “else He must have suffered often since the foundation of the world.”77 And this finds splendid illustration in chapter xi. Those who are there named are men who have believed “unto the saving of the soul.”78 They did not live by the Levitical priests or their sacrifices, but “by faith”; and faith signified that as Moses “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt,”79 the secret of their strength was with Him. In this historical and personal form we find the same permanence ascribed to Christ that Paul states in the more abstract terms of the mystery and hidden wisdom which God had before the worlds determined to reveal, or of the Providence which has continued since the creation of this visible order. (β) The spatial expression is quite as characteristic. The writer cannot think of the priest and the sacrifice without the Temple; and he is Alexandrian enough to allegorize or spiritualize without personalizing the place. Christ has passed through the heavens, has indeed entered heaven itself, appeared before the face of God for us, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.80 Hence the throne of God has become “the throne of grace,”81 which we can approach with boldness, and “enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus.” He, therefore, abides “eternal in the heavens,” “the Mediator of the new covenant,” a being as imperishable as His home.82

iv. The unchangeable is also a universal priesthood. He says indeed that Jesus suffered “that He might sanctify the people through His own blood”; but “the people” here does not mean Israel, but “the spirits of just men made perfect”;83 for, as the author says, Jesus “tasted death for every man” (ὑπϵ̀ρ παντος),84 and became “the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.” The correlate of perpetuity is thus universality; the sacrifice that: knows no time can show no respect of persons. The man for whom He died is all mankind.

v. Our discussion has been concerned not with the doctrine, but with the religious function of the death; yet it is necessary to say a word as to one theological question. Is the sacrifice here conceived as vicarious? This has been met with a very decided negative; and it has been argued that substitution was unknown to the Levitical sacrifices, which were gifts to God rather than expiatory sufferings; that “the scapegoat” which bore the sins of Israel was a symbolical act, but no proper sacrifice, for it was not offered to God, but driven away into the desert85 This may or may not be true, but it does not determine the question. For Christ's sacrifice, like His priesthood, stands in an order by itself. Christ offered Himself to God. Why? For our sins. Wherein was He distinguished from the Levitical high priests? He was sinless, they were sinful, and so while they needed to offer for themselves, He did not. How, then, shall we conceive a sacrificial act, which was purely for others, and in no respect for the offerer Himself? We may be too fastidious to use the terms “vicarious”and “substitutionary,” but it is easier to object to the terms than to escape the idea they express.

vi. This exposition, then, leaves us with the principle already formulated: a person is substituted for an institution, one uncreated and immortal Priest supersedes all mortal and visible priesthoods. The full significance of this has yet to be seen, but one point may here be emphasized—the change in the priesthood signified a radical change in the relation of God to sacrifice. In the Levitical, as in other religious systems, the sacrifice was offered to please God, to win His favour, to propitiate Him by the surrender of some object precious to man. But in the Christian system this standpoint is transcended: the initiative lies with God, for in the fine phrase of the writer, “it became Him, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”86 Whatever the death of Christ may signify, it does not mean an expedient for quenching the wrath of God, or for buying off man from His vengeance. This was a gain for religion greater than mind can calculate.

§ IV. The Christian Sacrifice Interpreted through the Prophetic Idea

With Hebrews the attempt to draw a formal parallel between Christ and the Levitical system may be said to end; and so, with the exception of a possible and figurative reference in the Apocalypse,87 He is never again described as “the high priest of our confession.”88 But this does not mean that the idea of His person as the new and purer institution was dropped cr forgotten; on the contrary, the tendency was to increase the emphasis on its reconciliatory function. He became more and more the sole ground and means of worship; but He was construed more through prophetic ideas than through Levitical customs. This is most apparent in 1 Peter, which we may describe as an exposition of Christ in the terms of the Second Isaiah. So it is said that He “did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth”; that He “bare our sins in His own body upon the tree,” and suffered “the righteous for the unrighteous”;89 and that the Spirit of Christ “in the prophets testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them.”90 More distinctly prophetical still is the picture of Him as “a Lamb without blemish and without spot,”91 “foreknown before the” foundation of the world.” The latter phrase suggests the lamb in the Apocalypse, which, in the picturesque speech of the Seer, is said to have been “slain from the foundation of the world.”92 Both books thus represent the timelessness which belongs to the sacrifice, which, though to us it occurs at a given moment, yet stands to God's eye above and outside time, as real before as after man saw it happen. The lamb is, indeed, the most tender and the most terrible figure in the Apocalypse, at once august and winsome to those who love and worship, awful and intolerable to those who despise. Twenty-nine times does the Seer refer to Him; in His blood the guilty are cleansed and made saints, who praise His name for ever and ever;93 before His throne the wicked stand, and call upon the mountains to fall and hide them from His wrath.94 The same figure, interpreted through the same prophetic category, appears in John's Gospel,95 and is expounded and explained in his first Epistle. He is “the propitiation for our sins,” and “His blood cleanses from all sin.”96 And alongside the idea of His complete efficacy as a sacrifice or institution which qualifies man for the worship of God, there stands an attitude of indifference to the Levitical system. It has become a question about which Jews may dispute, but in which the Christian has no concern,97 for he is purified by other agencies and in a more perfect degree;98 and as if to show how all that the old symbols had struggled to express had now become intelligible and accessible realities, Christ appears as “the tabernacle of God with men,” as “the temple of God”in the New Jerusalem.99 He is the image of the Invisible, and in Him “all the fulness of the Godhead”dwelleth.100 The Divine presence which Israel once found in tabernacle and temple, man is now to find in Christ; He lives in the heart of history as God manifest in flesh, that all “men may see His glory and share His grace.101 And the gate of this Temple stands open day and night, the pilgrim does not find it closed against him, nor need any child of the city mourn that he cannot scale its walls, for no stone was used to build it; and no buyers or sellers can traffic in its courts, or moneychangers sit at their tables in the sacred precincts, for its privileges are without price, and they that come to worship must come as the consciously poor who but seek to be clothed and fed. And within no proud or greedy priest can bid the broken in spirit depart unpitied, or claim from the destitute what his poverty cannot give; for the only high priest of God's making is there, and His grace is free and is too precious to be sold of heaven or bought of man. And still translating a symbolical idea into an eternal truth, the unity of man in the worship of God replaces the old unity of the elect people. Where men worship in Him the partitions which the ancient laws and ordinances of religion built up to divide race from race fall down, and show man standing face to face with man, one family before the one. God.

§ V. The Christian Idea Interpreted through the Rabbinical Law

1. The atmosphere and the ideals of Rabbinical were very unlike those of Levitical Judaism, and were even more characteristic of the people and the religion. While the Levitical system perished with the Jewish state, the Rabbinical law survived it, as indeed it had the better historical right to do. For the decalogue represents the most fundamental and creative ideas in Israel; and the most pious men did not cease to believe that a regulated life was more agreeable to God than an elaborated worship. They conceived Him to be righteous rather than holy in the Levitical sense, a moral Sovereign who governed men and States and approved only those who obeyed His will. Their law was instruction rather than institution, and their sphere more the school than the temple. But though their ideas and ends were ethical, their means were legal, and they imagined that they could make man moral by defining and enlarging the rules by which he ought to live. And as these rules were based on two notions, that Israel was God's people, and that God was Israel's God, so their function was to keep the people for God and God for the people. Their ideal became, therefore, on the religious side, an intense particularism; and on the moral an obedience according to statutory regulations, though the statutes were those of the school rather than of the State. Now a morality which lives by rule ceases to be moral; its root may be piety, but its fruit is formalism; the more complex life grows the more numerous and vexatious become its regulations, more emphatic as to the details and oblivious as to the major motives and principles of life. And this describes the Rabbinical school and the Pharisaic sect of Christ's time; they showed how a moral religion, juristically construed and enforced, ceases to be either religious or moral. So certainly it seemed, after due experiment made, to Saul of Tarsus. He had the feeling for conduct which had distinguished the most pious of his people and the most eminent of their prophets; but he found the law, which, as God's, was intended to make man Godlike, unequal to its work. Though he so lived that “as touching the righteousness which is in the law,”102 he was “found blameless”; yet this righteousness, which was too unreal to satisfy himself, he could not conceive as approved of God. So driven by his imperious conscience for conduct, he turned to Christ, and there he found what he wanted—deliverance from the law, a righteousness which the law had prescribed but could not give, and a spring of action which made him a new man before God. In other words, the Person who had been made the sole religious institution he translated into a sovereign and sufficient divine law.

2. The principles which determined his thought have been formulated by himself in certain axiomatic phrases and sentences.

i. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”103 There is here a personal experience and a universal principle. The law had been to him a burden too heavy to be borne, but the death of Christ upon the cross had taken it away. Jesus was sinless, yet the Jews had said: “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die”; and the cross to which they condemned Him made Him in its eye unclean, “for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” But the law which condemned the holy was itself condemned; for a ceremonial offence, which was in the last analysis its own infinite wrong against a righteous person, was judged as if it were His guilt. And did not the law that so judged Him prove by its very judgement that it had forgotten its moral character and function, and so could no longer bind the conscience or claim to govern the conduct? And so Christ, by submitting to the cross and the curse it involved, redeemed Paul from the law and made him for ever the enemy of juristic and statutory religion. This personal experience defined, under its negative form, the positive function of His death; for it meant that the law was superseded, not in the interests of lawlessness, but of a more absolute obligation and higher ethical ideals. As to the principle it is too purely theological to be here discussed, but it may be stated that so far as law, taken in its most universal sense, is forensic and positive, Christ, by having once become a curse for us, redeems us from its curse.

ii. “Him who knew no sin, He (God) made to be sin on our behalf, in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”104 The Pauline principles that meet in this verse, and are necessary for its interpretation, are fundamental and far-reaching; but its significance for Christianity as a religion lies on the surface. All worship, even where it most seeks to honour God, is designed to reconcile Him to man, or to make man more acceptable to Him. What makes reconciliation necessary is man's sin and self-will; what is needed to his acceptability is a righteousness God approves. Out of the desire for reconciliation all the sacrifices by which man has striven to win the Divine favour, have come; and out of his search after an acceptable righteousness all the rules and orders and penances by which he has laboured to make himself agreeable to Deity, have issued. Now Paul here says, in effect: “In the work of reconciliation, God has taken the initiative, though in a fashion which becomes a Being too holy to tolerate sin. He has dealt with the sinless as if He had been sinful, allowing Him to bear ‘the contradiction of sinners,’ to feel forsaken of God, and even to taste death; and He has done this in order that we who are the sinful might become possessed of the righteousness which God gives to all who are in Christ.” The act is absolute, but the result is conditional. God makes Christ to be sin, and in this action, though it is done on his behalf, man has ho part; but he becomes the righteousness of God only provided he is so incorporated with Christ, and Christ with him, that they stand before God as one being. It is the function of faith to establish this unity, which is spiritual; while the unity by virtue of which He could be made sin belongs to the nature which embodies the will of God.

iii. The Christ who by His Cross “redeemed us from the curse of the law,” and who was “made sin” in order that “we might become the righteousness of God in Him,”creates also in us a new life which He supplies with motives and guides towards a divine end. This function Paul presents under three different aspects in three most characteristic texts.

(α) “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous demand of the law (τὸ δικαίωμα του̑ νόμου) might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”105 Paul is no libertine, no lover of licence; he renounced the law because it had failed to make man righteous, and he embraced Christ because through Him the requirements of the law can be fulfilled. God is throughout the active subject; He sends His Son, He determines the likeness the Son is to bear and the reason for it; He “condemns sin in the flesh”; and His is the end to be realized, which is one with the purpose of the law and due to the law's failure to fulfil its purpose.

(β) “The love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, in order that they who live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again.”106 The love of Christ is said to “constrain,” i.e. so to shut up and confine the stream of life as to determine it and all its energies towards a given end, because of a twofold judgement—(i.) the identity of Christ's death with our death, His as unmerited being undertaken on our behalf, and ours as merited being realized in His; and (ii.) the purpose of His death, not that we may be relieved from penalty, but that we may live unto Him, i.e. He as end was to be the new law governing life. The doctrine of the text is here neither explained nor defended nor criticized, though it is obvious that no criticism based on the atomism or rigorous individualism of the race could here be relevant. Paul does not write as one who thought that the race had no responsibility for the individual, or the individual no existence in the race; but as one who conceives man as a unity, and this unity as impersonated and realized in Christ. He is the personalized ideal of humanity; what He does or suffers man does and endures. To live unto Him is, therefore, to Paul to live for the service of man, to work and suffer and, if need be, die as He did for the saving of humanity, actual and ideal.

(γ) “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live but Christ liveth in me.”107 This illustrates the first text, and states in the form of a personal experience the idea expressed in the second. The old man, the man who lived under the law and realized through the flesh all its weakness, who hated, persecuted and killed in its name, is dead, “crucified with Christ.” And this dead man knows no resurrection, his death is eternal; and the new life which dwells in the old form is not his own but Christ's, “who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

§ VI. Love of Christ the new Law

1. Paul thus, by means of his larger philosophy, assigns to Christ a much greater place in religion than the writer who construed Him through the Levitical categories. He is not only an institution for worship, but a law for the government of man; He creates at once the right relation to God and the true spirit of worship, evokes the humanity latent in man and realizes the proper order of society. The ideal He is He inspires man to become. There is nothing so remarkable in the whole history of human thought as this interpretation of a person not only into a universal religious institution but also into an absolute law at once moral and religious; and there is something miraculous in the way in which the interpretation has been realized, the simplicity of the means forming such a contrast to the immensity of the achievement. Enthusiasms seldom outlive the generation that sees them born, and a dead enthusiasm, save as the affectation of a sect or a set, returns to life no more. But to one enthusiasm which appeals to no earthly or sordid passion, man has for sixty generations been faithful; it is the enthusiasm which Paul terms “the love of Christ.” Love is as old as man, and so Christ did not make it, but by consenting to become its object He gave it a new character and new qualities, a new function and new ends. Love indeed is more native to man than the air he breathes, for he breathes the air in common with the animals, but the love he knows is the distinctive note of his humanity. It waits his coming into the world, it weeps his leaving it; it ministers every moment to his most common and crying needs. Through the gates of its glorious romance we all enter into the larger day; at its touch the youth blossoms into the man; the maiden blushes into the woman; the sorrows of the mother are transmuted into a ministry of joy; the labour of the father ceases to be a burden and his very toil grows sweet. Before Christ, as since, poets sang of its pleasures and its pains, its divine madness, its delirious delights, its infinite longing, its lasting bitterness or its abiding peace. In its honour or to its shame tragedies have been written telling of the lives it has made or marred, the struggles with destiny it has provoked, the deaths it has braced men to die, the lives it has persuaded men to live. And it was this love, so common and large, so pitiful and tragic, so commanding the destiny which brings ruin or glory to the man, that Christ took and lifted into a transcendent ethical power. The love which the poet had praised was sensuous in its form and personal in its character and aims; it was a passion for possession; it might desire to merge one's being in another's, or rather another's being in one's own, but it was in all its forms a passion to possess. But out of this love Christ made the most self-forgetful of forces, a law that moved man towards righteousness and all benevolence. We call it by many names, but no name is equal to all its activities and attributes. It is an enthusiasm for humanity, for the redemption of the fallen, for the rightening of the wronged, for building up the ruined, for beautifying the wasted; but however named, it remains a passion to serve man for love of Christ. And He invested this love with the qualities that made it not an occasional and fitful but a constant energy, an invariable moral dynamic. It did not die on the Cross, but became immortal with Him, a permanent factor of amelioration which had its continued being guaranteed by His. Hence it is a love which, like the priesthood of Melchizedek, stands in an order by itself. The love which is as old as man is embalmed in his literatures, but we embalm only the dead. At the dawn of Greek letters we see Penelope sitting in her hall in rocky Ithaca surrounded by the hungry and urgent wooers, while the husband of her youth tarries, wandering through many lands and learning from many men. The wooers she cannot love, and none of them will she wed, for her heart is with the far-travelled Odysseus who comes not, though well she knows that he is sure to return. To calm the strife of the suitors she promises to wed when the web she weaves so openly by day is woven; but by night she unweaves what she had woven by day that the end may not be till the day breaks which shall bring the wanderer home. But though the love of Penelope for Odysseus touches the imagination of the living, yet it is but a dead love. We love the poetry that speaks of it, the stately measures that linger in the ear like the music of a celestial voice; but what is loved is literature, not a passion that so holds the heart as to command the conscience and regulate the life. And Homer stands here for all Greek, nay, for all ancient literature; it is but a splendid tomb which Genius has built as a monument to love, that the memory of it may survive death and that it may become the admiration and joy of later men. And as with ancient so with modern literature; it begins to be when the stern and solitary soul of Dante breaks into responsive music at the touch of the most gentle lady Beatrice. We descend with him the circles of his “Inferno”; we struggle up the steep and arduous mount of the “Purgatorio”; we look through his eyes and behold afar off the great throne of light, the home of the blessed, to which his eyes and ours are drawn; and what compels him to go and us to follow is the hope that he may catch a glimpse of the most gentle lady in the paradise where she dwells in eternal peace. But while we suffer with Dante the pangs of a love that though it cannot be told yet will not be denied the comfort of speech, still the story he tells and we hear is of a love so dead that no will can revive it. The literature which is its shrine appeals to the imagination that seeks culture, but the love within the shrine is but dust and ashes which no voice can ever charm back into life. But the love of Christ is not a dead love, entombed in a classical literature, it lives and quickens and creates as no human thing can do. Age does not wither its ineffable charm, nor does the lapse of time exhaust its exuberant energies. It has created many literatures in many tongues; lyrics that express a passion that only loss of self in the eternal love can satisfy; epics that express the apostasy and departure of the soul from God, its wandering through many deserts of sin, where its thirst is deep and its pains severe, until it returns humbled and penitent to the Father's feet; tragedies that describe the struggles of the will that would fain have followed the lust of the eye and the pride of life, but could not for the grace that hedged it round and drew it back to the home it had forsaken but could not forget. Twenty centuries have passed since “they took Jesus and laid Him in a new tomb,” but love of Him they did not bury, for it never died; and every day between this and then it has proved itself alive by the conquests it has made, compelling men to renounce loved vices and sending gentle women into the loathly slum, the deadly camp, or wherever man needed the hand of gracious helpfulness. This is the one love which abides while the lovers die, for it is possessed of immortal youth and the inexhaustible energies which are born of God.

2. But the love which is thus immortal has also the quality of sufficiency for its work. There is an ethical counterpart to the correlation of the physical forces. The vision which rises before the imagination of the physicist, when he sees his atoms falling through a space which he thinks of as otherwise vacant, and which knows no light of sun or star, is impressive. He sees them marshalled in their innumerable hosts, not as an unordered heap, but as a disciplined army, with its laws given in the form and weight of every separate unit. In obedience to these laws he sees them pass through infinite evolutions and involutions, now massing, now dissolving their columns, yet ever marching breast forward across limitless fields of space and through unmeasured periods of time to the creation of the heavens and the earth. And if the eye of the seer of science be not weary, he may note how the cycle of change continues, and how the same force, unhasting, unresting, one, manifold, in form transient, in essence permanent, working through incalculable ages, appears now on the cooling mass as rock and vapour, as land and water, as plant and animal, or now as all that makes the endless panorama of earth and sea and sky, and now as the succession of organs and organisms that constitute our living world.108 But more marvellous than this correlation and ceaseless conversion of physical forces are the correlation and the persistent permutations of the ethical energy which we call the love of Christ. It began to be in Him and with Him, and without increase or decrease it took shape in the men He made apostles; then, without any loss of momentum or intensity, changed its form and appeared as sub-apostolic men, apologists, fathers, and churches which rose round the shores of the tideless Mediterranean; then as missionaries who wandered through many lands, creating new peoples in the Syrian desert, in central Europe, on the bleak shores of the northern seas, and in furthest Asia. And dispersion did not dissipate it, for the lapse of time has not exhausted its energy; on the contrary, expenditure has only seemed to increase its potency and the capacity for conversion into forms still more infinitely varied. New peoples it has made have replaced the old, have colonized unknown continents, and made them as fertile as their own, building up societies and States, which illustrate anew the power of this marvellous love. And so it seems as if this gracious ethical energy is a force as incapable of perishing as it is capable of accomplishing the work it has been charged to perform.

3. And without this love man is unfitted for the service of his kind. For man to be served must be loved, but the supreme difficulty is to love the men who most need our service. Hate is easy, and where we hate it is both agreeable and natural to wish to injure. Where we do not love we feel no need to pity or to spare. Milton's Satan knew sin, knew how terrible it was to himself, making of him a hell, from which he saw no way of escape. But though he knew sin as the most terrible of all possible miseries, yet he had so little pity for man, and he so wished to spite God, that he crossed chaos, passed sin and death, and assumed forms disagreeable to his proud spirit, that he might tempt man to become even as he was—a hell with hells beneath so low and deep, as to make the hell then suffered seem a heaven. Hate of God made Satan pitiless to man, and his ruin a thing from which it was foolish to shrink. And all seduction is devilish because it is pitiless; it never springs from affection, ever from the lust that is self-indulgence. It has no imagination to see the misery it causes, has only the brutal passion which must be gratified that the baser self may be pleased. On the other hand the love of Christ creates not simply the pity that dare not harm, but also the grace that must save. It is here indeed that we discover the most characteristic quality in the love of Christ. To love Him is to love man. This is a function as unique as it is high, for he who despises cannot bless, nor can he who is despised be blessed. Hate is not a thing that need be spoken; it is understood without words, discerned without acts. It has only to be felt in order to be known, and to disqualify the man who feels it from serving the man who knows that it is there. And so love is necessary to the service of man. But then there are multitudes of men it is impossible to love. An abstract sin need provoke no passion, but concrete sin, which means the actual sinner, cannot fail to breed dislike. Hypocrisy is what every honest soul hates, but love of the hypocrite is less possible still. A lie no man can love, and a liar is worse and less lovable than his lie. But Christ makes possible what these necessitated antipathies most sternly forbid. For to love Him is to love all mankind. He is not a single person; He is to those who know Him collective man, who is loved in the love of Him. Yet the man who is loved in Him is loved, in spite of his actual and radical evil, as a man capable of conversion, with this capability made everywhere and always possible of realization. And it is this love, not of the sin, but of the hidden and possible saint in the sinner, that makes, the love of Christ so essentially ameliorative, a passion to seek as well as to save. And what does the immortal necessity and sufficiency of His love prove save that the experience of man has come to confirm the truth discovered by the experience of Paul, that the love of Christ was the law of God compelling men to obey Him and serve mankind?

Ed io udi': “Per intelletto umano,

E per autoritadi a lui concorde,

De' tuoi amori a Dio guarda il soprano

Ma di' ancor, se tu senti alter corde

Tirarti verso lui, si che tu suone

Con quanti denti questo amor ti morde.”

Non fu latente la santa intenzione

Dell' aquila di CRISTO, anzi m' accorsi

Dove volea menar mia professione

Però ricominciai: “Tutti quei morsi;

Che posson far lo cor volger a Dio,

Alla mia caritate son concorsi;

Chè l'essere del mondo, el'eseer mio,

La morte ch' ei sostenne perch' io viva,

E quell che spera ogni fedel, com' io,

Con la predetta conoscenza viva,

Tratto m' hanno del mar dell” amor torto,

E del diritto m' han posto alla riva

Le fronde onde s'infronda tutto l'orto

Dell' ortolano eterno, am' io cotanto,

Quanto da lui di bene é porto.”


We read in our Books of a nice Athenian, being entertained in a place by one given to Hospitality, finding anon that another was received with the like courtesie, and then a third, growing very angry, “I thought,” said he, “that I had found here ξϵνω̑να, but I have found πανδοχϵι̑ον; I looked for a Friend's house, but I am fallen into an Inne to entertain all Comers, rather than a lodging for some private and especial Friends.” Let it not offend any that I have made Christianity rather an Inne to receive all, than a private house to receive some few.—JOHN HALES.

Why measure we God by our selves, but because we are led with gay shews, and goodly things, and think it is so with God? Seneca reports, that a Pantomimus, a Poppet-player and Dancer in Rome, because he pleased the People well, was wont to go up every day into the Capitol, and practise his Art, and dance before Jupiter, and thought he did the god a great pleasure. Beloved, in many things we are like unto this Poppet-player, and do much measure God by the People, by the World.


The Divinity alwaies enjoies itself and its own Infinite perfections, seeing it is that Eternall and stable Sun of goodness that neither rises nor sets, is neither eclipsed nor can receive any encrease of light and beauty. Hence the Divine Love is never attended with those turbulent passions, perturbations, or wrestlings within it self of Fear, Desire, Grief, Anger, or any such like, whereby our Love is wont to explicate and unfold its affection towards its Object. But as the Divine Love is perpetually most infinitely ardent and potent, so it is alwaies calm and serene, unchangeable, having no such ebbings and flowings, no such diversity of stations and retrogradations as that Love hath in us which ariseth from the weakness of our Understandings, that doe not present things to us alwaies in the same Orient lustre and beauty: neither we nor any other mundane thing (all which are in a perpetual flux) are alwaies the same.—JOHN SMITH, the Platonist.

Dem gegenüber eröffnet sich uns durch den jetzt gewonnenen Begriff des Anfangs auch der Einblick in die Möglichkeit eines Fortgangs des Processes der Menschwerdung, eines solchen Fortgangs welcher sich, wie die Idee der Sohnmenscliheit es fordert, nicht in einem einzelnen Zeitpuncte der Menschengeschichte, sondern in alien Zeiten, nicht an einer einzelnen Person, sondern an dem gesammten menschlichen Geschlecht vollzieht.—WEISSE

ὁ μϵ̀ν δὴ ϴϵός, ὥςπϵρ καὶ ὁ παλαιὸς λόγος, ἀρχήν τϵ καὶ τϵλϵυτὴν καὶ μϵ́σα τω̑ν ὄντων ἁπάντων ἔχων ϵὐθϵήᾳ πϵραήνϵι κατὰ ϕύσιν πϵριπορϵυόμϵνος.


Such a sort of deity as should shut Up itself, and be reclused from all converse with men, would leave us as disfurnished of an object of religion, and would render a temple on earth as vain a thing, as if there were none at all. It were a being not to be worshipped, nor with any propriety to be called God, more (in some respect less) than an image or statue. We might with as rational design worship for God what were scarce worthy to be called the shadow of a man, as dedicate temples to a wholly unconversable deity. That is such a one as not only will not vouchsafe to converse with men, but that cannotadmit it; or whose nature were altogether incapable of such converse.


For whatsoever the wisest men in the world, in all nations and religions, did agree upon, as most excellent in itself, and of greatest power to make political or future and immaterial felicities, all that, and much more, the holy Jesus adopted into his law: for they receiving sparks or single irradiations from the regions of light, or else having fair tapers shining indeed excellently in representations and expresses of morality, were all involved and swallowed up into the body of light, the sun of righteousness. Christ's discipline was the breviary of all the wisdom of the best men, and a fair copy and transcript of his Father's wisdom.


Christianity has materially contributed to call forth the idea of the unity of the human race and has thus tended to exercise a favourable influence on the humanization of nations in their morals, manners, and institutions. Although closely interwoven with the earliest doctrines of Christianity, this idea of humanity met with only a slow and tardy recognition, for at the time when the new faith was raised at Byzantium, from political motives, to be the established religion of the State, its adherents were already deeply involved in miserable party dissensions, whilst intercourse with distant nations was impeded, and the foundations of the empire were shaken in many directions by external assaults. Even the personal freedom of entire races of men long found no protection in Christian states from ecclesiastical landowners and corporate bodies.


  • 1.

    Ante, pp. 202–203, 238–240.

  • 2.

    John i. 29; Rev. xiii. 8; I Peter i. 19; Heb. ix. 26.

  • 3.

    1 Cor. v. 7.

  • 4.

    Rom. iii. 25, 26.

  • 5.

    This is not the place to examine Dr. Frazer's learned and ingenious argument to the contrary. (Golden Bough, 2nd ed. vol. iii. pp. 186 ff.) His discussion of this subject seems to me a conspicuous example of conscientious but uncritical learning. He mistakes coincidence in things accidental for contact and causation in things essential, and forgets that there is nothing so easy as to prove the former, but nothing, when it has been proved, so entirely insignificant as regards the latter.

  • 6.

    Ante, p. 469.

  • 7.

    Ante, pp. 395–431, cf. 475.

  • 8.

    vii. 28.

  • 9.

    viii. 4.

  • 10.

    xi. 22.

  • 11.


  • 12.

    Cf. Rom. ii. 12, 17–27; vii. 7, 12, et passim.

  • 13.

    2 Sam. vii. 2.

  • 14.

    Ante, pp. 251–253.

  • 15.

    Isaiah xviii. 2, 7, A.V.; of Milton, P.R. iv. 136. Speaking of the Roman's “who conquered well but governed ill,” “Peeling their provinces exhausted all by lust and rapine.”

  • 16.

    Matt. xxvi. 3, 4.

  • 17.

    Matt. xxvi. 15; Luke xxii. 4.

  • 18.

    Matt. xxvi. 47; Mark xix 43; Luke xxii. 50.

  • 19.

    Matt. xxvi. 57; John xviii. 24.

  • 20.

    Mark xiv. 63; Matt. xxvi. 65.

  • 21.

    Mark xvi. 5; Matt, xxvii. 1, 2, 11–14; Luke xxiii. 1–3.

  • 22.

    Luke xxiii. 13–19.

  • 23.

    John xix. 6.

  • 24.

    John xix. 21.

  • 25.

    Mark xv. 31.

  • 26.

    Acts iv. 1, 2.

  • 27.

    Acts iv. 5, 6, 23.

  • 28.

    Acts v. 17, 18.

  • 29.

    Acts v. 28.

  • 30.

    Cf. vii. 1; ix. 1; xiii. 2; xxiv. 1.

  • 31.

    Cf. the attitude of Gamaliel (Acts v. 34–39) and the conduct of the Pharisees at the trial of Paul (xxiii. 6, 7).

  • 32.

    Acts ix. 20; xiii. 5, 14, 15; xiv. I; xvii. 17; xviii. 4, 26.

  • 33.

    Acts xxi. 26–30.

  • 34.

    Acts vi. 14; vii. 46–50.

  • 35.

    ii. 23.

  • 36.

    iii. 14.

  • 37.

    iv. 21, 22.

  • 38.

    x. 39.

  • 39.

    viii. 30–35.

  • 40.

    A. Ritschl (Rechfertigung u. Versöhnung, ii. pp. 161–163) argues against Richard Schmidt that Paul construes the death of Christ through the Old Testament idea of sacrifice. But he forgets that there are many views of sacrifice in the Old Testament. With the Levitical view, properly so called, no writer had less affinity than Paul, and no one was less influenced by it; but it would be hard to overestimate the influence exercised on his mind by the suffering servant of God in the later Isaiah. For a severe and not quite fair criticism of Ritschl, see Seeberg, Der Tod Christi, pp. 201–203.

  • 41.

    I Cor. v. 8.

  • 42.

    Ante, p. 423.

  • 43.

    Eph. v. 2.

  • 44.

    Cf. Ps. xl. 6; Heb. x. 5, 6.

  • 45.

    Rom. iii. 25.

  • 46.

    Rom. v. 9; 1 Cor. x. 16; Col. i. 20; Eph. i. 7; ii. 13

  • 47.

    v. 1, 4.

  • 48.

    vii. 12.

  • 49.

    v. 2; vii. 27.

  • 50.

    iv. 15; v. 5.

  • 51.

    i. 2, 3.

  • 52.

    ii. 14, 17.

  • 53.

    iv. 15; ii. 8; vii. 26.

  • 54.

    v. 5; vii. 28.

  • 55.

    vii. 14

  • 56.

    Gal. iii. 17–19.

  • 57.

    vi. 20; vii. 1–3.

  • 58.

    vii. 16.

  • 59.

    v. 6; vii. 17.

  • 60.

    vii. 4–10.

  • 61.

    vii. 21.

  • 62.

    vii. 23, 24.

  • 63.

    v. 3; vii. 26–28.

  • 64.

    xiii. 8.

  • 65.

    vii. 22.

  • 66.

    viii. 13.

  • 67.

    vii. 25.

  • 68.

    x. 11.

  • 69.

    ix. 11, 12, 25, 26.

  • 70.

    ix. 13; x. 4.

  • 71.

    ix. 26.

  • 72.

    x. 5–10.

  • 73.

    i 3.

  • 74.

    ii. 14, 15.

  • 75.

    v. 9; vii. 19; ix. 12.

  • 76.

    xii. 24, 17; ix. 14.

  • 77.

    ix. 26.

  • 78.

    x. 39.

  • 79.

    xi. 26.

  • 80.

    viii, 1.

  • 81.

    iv. 16.

  • 82.

    viii. 6.

  • 83.

    xiii. 12; xii. 23, 24.

  • 84.

    ii. 9.

  • 85.

    Ménégoz, La Théologie de L'Epitre aux Hébreux, pp. 118–120.

  • 86.

    ii. 10.

  • 87.

    i. 13

  • 88.

    Heb. iii. 1.

  • 89.

    ii. 22–24 iii. 18; cf. Isa. 1iii. 4–9.

  • 90.

    i. 11.

  • 91.

    i. 19–20; cf. Isa. 1iii. 7.

  • 92.

    xiii. 8.

  • 93.

    vii. 14: v. 9.

  • 94.

    vi. 16; cf. xx. 11.

  • 95.

    i. 29; cf. ante, p. 457.

  • 96.

    iii. 5; ii. 2; iv. 10.

  • 97.

    Gospel of John, ii. 6; iii. 25.

  • 98.

    1 John iii. 3.

  • 99.

    Rev. xxi. 3, 22.

  • 100.

    Col. i. 15; ii. 9.

  • 101.

    John i. 14.

  • 102.

    Phil. iii. 6.

  • 103.

    Gal. iii. 13.

  • 104.

    2 Cor. v. 21.

  • 105.

    Rom. viii. 3, 4.

  • 106.

    2 Cor. v. 14, 15.

  • 107.

    Gal. ii. 20.

  • 108.

    Ante, p. 354. A similar figure is employed, though for a different purpose.