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made upon the volume, and which is confirmed by his own experience of it—that it lacks clearness. There is a want of definiteness and precision in the way in which the Leading Ideas are stated and illustrated. We are too often left in a haze of pleasant words. Even of the elaborate discussion of the Third Gospel this is true. A student who wanted a clear idea of the chief characteristics of St. Luke's Gospel would learn far more from the Introduction to Archdeacon Farrar's commentary in the Cambridge Greek Testament or in the Cambridge Bible for Schools than from the Bishop of Derry, who has had the advantage of coming after him and Godet, and many others. This want of clearness shows itself even in the mechanical arrangements of the divisions. In the last thirty-seven pages there are no less than five sections all called A, viz., at pp. 287, 293, 299, 312, 317. In one of these A sections much useful material is collected respecting parallels between the writings of St. Luke and the Epistles to the Hebrews, which the Bishop is disposed to assign to him. Delitzsch has suggested that the alliteration in πολυμερώς και πολυτρόπως in Ηeb. 1. 1 was intended to suggest Ilaŭdos as author of the Epistle. Dr. Alexander leaves this idea far behind by suggesting that if πολ points to Παύλος, λυ may point to Λούκας, and thus the joint authorship is indicated at the outset (p. 320). Are we seriously to imagine the Apostle and the Evangelist elaborating this cryptogram? But this is an exceptional eccentricity in an otherwise sober work, unless the lament over the loss of the Amen at the end of St. Luke's Gospel in the R.V. is to be accounted similar. The Bishop of Derry seems to think that, because the Third Gospel has liturgical elements, it ought to conclude with Amen, and that therefore, in defiance of very plain evidence, we are justified in perpetuating an unauthorized addition (p. 140).
A. PLUMMER, D.D.
THE NEXT STEP IN CHRISTIANITY. S. D. McCONELL (The New World).- Very different notions are entertained about the nature and person of Jesus Christ. It is generally agreed, however, that no one is likely to appear whose authority could be more trustworthy in the sphere of religion. What He did not know, in that department, is generally conceded to be either not worth the knowing, or not possible to be known. It is generally conceded also that He Himself and His deliverances have never been more than partially comprehended. He declared more than once that His nearest and most sympathetic friends did not understand Him. It is clear that they did not; and that, in some particulars, they strangely misconceived him. But, all the same, they were deeply impressed by Him. The same has been true of “ Christendom" for now these twenty centuries. He has been one of the most considerable influences which have shaped and coloured the movement of humanity. He continues to be so, as is evident to any one who simply looks about him. His name is, in point of fact," exalted above every name.”
Judging simply from the facts which are equally accessible to every one, it seems pretty plain, first, that men will not get on without a religion; and second, that there is no religion practically available except Christianity. Christianity in some form ; but in what form ? Viewed from the outside, no institution has undergone such startling transforma
tions as Christianity has. One who looked at it casually in the first century, say at Antioch, and again in the fourth at Constantinople, in the fourteenth at Rome, and in the nineteenth in Philadelphia, would find great difficulty in identifying it. Will any of these forms be abiding? Or will the Christianity of the future take on an aspect as markedly different from any of these as they are from each other? I venture to think that this last is true; and that it is a truth the importance of which can hardly be estimated.
The great metamorphoses which Christianity has experienced have not been very many, but they have been very marked, and they have each and all been characterized by two features: they have been comparatively sudden, and they have not been recognized by the people who were living when they occurred. The phases through which Christianity has passed have been substantially these three, viz., the dogmatic, the ecclesiastical, and the mystical (or “evangelical ").
It was both inevitable and right that Christianity should at first put on a dogmatic dress. The little group of men who had been profoundly impressed by the person and words of their Judæan Master proposed to themselves to be missionaries. But this fact made it necessary that they should cast, in some portable and transmissible form, their beliefs about the person and doctrine of their Principal. This was not easily nor readily done. It is clear, from their record, that their Master was one of the most perplexing characters imaginable. Besides that, the impression which He left upon them was the result of years of companionship. For them to state clearly just what the impression was, was not easy. It did not get itself done completely for several centuries. Much conferring with one another and much interchange of opinion by converts drawn from different provinces were needful to formulate a working creed. It was an absolutely necessary thing to do; but it was also natural that, when the Christian community had been engrossed for three or four centuries in formulating their belief, they should come into the habit of thinking that accurate belief was the most important of all possible things. Christianity came in their minds, to be identified with doctrine. A large section of Christendom stopped at that point, and has ever since refused to move. The Eastern Church rests in orthodoxy; and has lost the power to touch or be touched by the life of the men and women in the countries nominally under her rule.
The Western Church, with its creed in its hand, passed into the next phase. It became a great organization. It inherited the constructive spirit of the Great Empire, and bettered its instruction. It identified Christianity with a church. For the first four centuries all revolved about doctrine. For the next ten all revolved about organization. Slowly and powerfully the structure was built. No institution, probably, has ever been formed of as intractable material, under as unfavourable circumstances, or has commanded the unqualified services of so many generations of astute and earnest men. Within its walls, and guarded by its ever-watchful sentinels, the theological system-builders continued to elaborate their endless schemes of dogma. They overlaid the missionary creeds, and buried them out of sight under a grotesque mass of derivative doctrines. Yet it was the churchmen, and not the theologians, who guided the movement of Christianity during this period. But long before the period ended their task had also been completed. The simple missionary organization, which had been necessary to carry the simple missionary creed, was overlaid and buried out of sight in the mighty structure of the Roman Church.
Then came the third phase, known popularly as the Reformation. The phrase is misleading. It was not a reformation, but a new step. It was the successful issue of a long series of efforts, made by the most earnest, sagacious, virile, and devout men in the Western Church, to carry their religion from the region of dogma and organization into the realm of personal experience. Jerome of Prague, Arnold of Brescia, Wyclif, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Colet, More, Cranmer, Fox, Tauler, Law, Wesley, all sought the same end. The secret spirit which they all held in common was the belief that Christianity is essentially the establishment by the individual of a conscious, personal relation with God. This idea of “conversion " is the differentia of Protestantism. In American Christianity it has held, until lately, the central place.
Now, each of these phases is an advance upon the one which preceded it. No one of them was possible until the one which went before had been measurably accomplished. Each one was entered upon unconsciously. Each was strenuously opposed at its beginning by the mass who fancied their own stage to be final. Each, when it became an accomplished fact, reacted upon and modified what had gone before.
At present there are unmistakable signs on every hand that a further step is about to be taken. That it will still be Christianity no candid man can doubt. But it is equally plain that it will be as unlike any phase of it heretofore seen as these have been and, in their survivals, are unlike each other.
It is clear, in the first place, that Christianity has already broken out of the bounds which have long contained it. It has broken out of the old bounds of doctrine. There is not a single “confession of faith” which serves to express the actual belief of even the most conservative members of any Church which is supposed to accept such a confession. Some think to find relief by formally abolishing doctrinal formulas which have ceased to be credible. Some think to find it by “revising” so as to accommodate the doctrinal statements to the actual beliefs current. Both methods will fail, though it is not in my way, in this paper, to say why. I am only concerned to point out the fact that religious belief has broken out of the formulas which once contained it.
In the second place, functions which once belonged to organized Christianity have, one by one, been taken in hand by others. Notable among these are education and the administration of charity.
In the third place, good men are, in an increasing number of cases, unmoved by the conventional “ experiences ” of religion. A century ago “ the Great Awakening swept over America like a spiritual cyclone. The masses were swept by it into a religious frenzy. Fitful gusts, more local and less intense, have been present ever since. But men are less impressible by them. It has always been true that a large portion of the community have been indifferent or hostile to Christianity. They are irreligious men. They are, therefore, usually thought of as immoral men; for religion and morality are in the common mind so intimately associated that they are thought of as present or absent together. If this were the only class to be considered the case would be very simple. But a large and increasingly larger proportion of good men cannot be called Christian, if to be a Christian means any one or all of those things which it has, thus far, been defined to mean. They are good men and women, tried by any test which may fairly be applied to goodness. They are sober, kindly, earnest, sympathetic, clean, charitable; but they are “ unsound” in doctrine; they are not "church-members”; they are not aware of having undergon any subjective experience.” This class is increasing at a rate which few realize. Of many of them it may be said that they are Christians in fact; but they are waiting for Christianity to pass into the new phase which will include them.
Some striking phenomena indicate that some such change is at hand. 1. The altogether unprecedented interest now manifest in the person and teaching of Jesus
Christ. Lives of Christ of varying degrees of literary value are among the most popular books of the present day. They have been written in response to the increasing desire of the community to know just who and what Jesus was, and just what He did and said. 2. The enormous popularity of what one may call the “ Professor Drummond literature.” These books have been hailed by millions as the statement they earnestly desired, and with all their defects they do answer the present desire to express Christianity in the terms of actual life. 3. The strenuous attempt to apply the teaching of Jesus to the problems of conduct. “Christian socialism" has become a phrase to conjure by. The Christian Churches all acknowledge, in a way, their obligation to ease the burden of human living. These and many other facts which could be quoted seem to indicate that the new phase of Christianity will show itself in the region of conduct.
“But," it will be protested, “ Christianity always has affected men's conduct; this has been its glory, that it has made men good.” This protest is true, but it is not true in the sense in which it is made. The present Archbishop of Canterbury feels called upon to warn the Church of England that it has never “ received a shadow of commission to set forth as doctrine and worship that religion which began as morals and social order.” It is true that Christianity was at first set forth as a “life.” The "faith” which it demanded was not an intellectual but a moral possession. But when theology began to dominate, the quality of the life" deteriorated. Where the theological spirit has been in control, it has sharply drawn a dividing line across the area of thought, calling one portion “sacred” and another“ profane.” Where ecclesiasticism has controlled, it has portioned out conduct into “religious" and “ secular ”; so that the Sicilian bandit who pays punctiliously his duties to the Church, is not conscious of any incongruity as he crosses himself and mutters an “ Ave” while he goes to rob. Where evangelicalism has prevailed it has drawn the sharpest possible distinction between “religion ” and “ morality,” making everything of the one and speaking contemptuously of the other.
So, while it is true in the main that Christianity has always had its effect in improving the quality of men's lives, it is also true that it has not always set this before itself as its main purpose. It has been thought of as a device to secure “salvation.” Now, the interest for "salvation ” is surely receding behind the interest for “conduct.” The appeal is about to be taken to life. Christianity will more and more concern itself with living.
But in so doing it will not revise nor formally abolish its previous methods. What is superfluous in them will be allowed to be quietly forgotten. It cannot subsist without a creed, an organization, and an act of choice by the individual. It gained each one of these essentials, as we believe, under the guidance of that spirit of wisdom with which its Founder imbued it. The reality of its life in the past has been vindicated by the fact that it has passed on from phase to phase even though the mass of its adherents bade it rest upon each in turn as a finality. But the creed will be short, broadly marked, portable. The organization will be no more complex than is necessary to carry the creed abroad. The initial experience will be nothing beyond the sincere desire for right conduct. All will issue in, and be tried by, their issue in right living.
For this purpose and by this means Jesus will become more and more available. In this way Christianity will be seen to be far easier and far more difficult than it has appeared since the Apostolic days; easier, because more intelligible by the moral nature to which it addresses itself, and more difficult, because that manner of life which Jesus taught and exemplified is only possible to supreme faith.
THOUGHT. MESSIANIC PROPHECY. By Rev. J. M. HIRSCHFELDEK (Canadian Methodist Quarterly). We come now to consider the prophecy contained in Ps. cx., upon which Dr. Workman remarks :
“The one hundred and tenth Psalm may be shown to be historic in a similar way. Here again the title or superscription comes to our assistance. It should be rendered, not 'a Psalm of David,' but 'a Psalm on David,' or 'a Psalm about David,' as many of the soundest Hebrew scholars have observed. The Psalm,” the Doctor goes on to say, evidently written concerning David by some poet of his time, who would naturally speak of him as his lord. Since David was his theocratic king, the poet very properly applies to him the title · lord,' which should be printed, as in the Revised Version, with a small letter, and not with a capital letter, as in the Authorized Version. In ver. 7, this theocratic king is styled a priest after the order, that is, after the manner, of Melchizedek. Thus the writer shows the union of the kingly and priestly dignities in David, similar to the union of this twofold dignity in Melehizedek. This comparison renders the reference to the existing king, if possible, more certain than it otherwise would be, because it ascribes to him, in common with Melchizedek, those priestly, not sacrificial, acts which are recorded of both David and Solomon. This Psalnı, therefore, like the others that have been examined, contains no direct reference to Christ. Its form of address, as well as its local and temporal colouring, proves its historie character. Apart from the two verses, 1 and 7, the language of the Psalm, especially the language of the latter portion of it, is applicable only to an earthly king. But for the use made of this Psalm by Christ, according to the Evangelist, its historical interpretation would never have been questioned."
We have already had occasion to bring such arbitrary rendering to the notice of the reader, and we have another instance of that kind presented to us in the above extract. Professor Workman sets out by remarking :
“Here again the title or superscription comes to our assistance. It should be rendered, not 'a Psalm of David,' but . a Psalm on David,' or 'a Psalm about David.'”
Dr. Workman fortifies his rendering by stating that “ many of the soundest Hebrew scholars" have observed that it should be so rendered. It is, nevertheless, an indisputable fact that the generally accepted rendering of “le-David Mizmor” is * a Psalm of David," and not a Psalm on,” or “about David."
Christ, in reasoning with the Pharisees, asked them, “What think ye of Christ ? Whose son is He? They say unto Him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son ? And no man was able to answer Him ” (Matt. xxii. 41-46). Here then we have direct testimony of Christ that David is the author of the Psalm. The statement of the Evangelist, “ And no man was able to answer Him a word,” further shows that the Davidic authorship of the Psalm was acknowledged by the ancient Jewish Church ; for, had it not been so, the Pharisees would certainly not have allowed Christ's arguments to pass unanswered. (See also Mark xii. 35-37 ; Luke xx. 41-44.)
The Apostle Peter, addressing a large assembly of Jews, also testifies that David is the author of the Psalm. For David,” says the Apostle, “ascended not into the heavens : but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand” (Acts ii. 34). Here again we find that not one of the multitude of Jews who