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tion to Him alone, is the sure sign of an apostle. The apostle is to give nothing of his own, but only that which Jesus has already given. He is to create nothing original : he has simply to hand down that which Jesus has already created. From the very first the apostles were to be the incarnation of the idea of tradition. However much they might differ externally from the rabbis, they were to agree with them in the value they attached to the careful handing down of the sacred tradition, in the one case the oral law, in the other the words of Jesus. Not only

, were the apostles intended to be this thing, they were this in reality. The messenger is completely lost in the Master. No single original saying of an apostle has been preserved for us, and yet this want of all originality does not diminish their authority in the very slightest; it was looked upon as perfectly natural.

In the Acts they lead a collective life, partly all together, partly two and two. They are merely types; there is no single person. It is true that there were differences enough of temperament, education and culture among them, but, on the whole, they were the representatives of the cause of Jesus; that, and nothing more. The clearest proof of this is to be found in the

way in which they conceived of their calling. It was just to hold firmly to the calling of Jesus. The judgment and the kingdom were near at hand. In spite of the rejection of Jesus on the part of the Jews, which His death involved, the duty of the apostles, after their Master's death, was to preach repentance to these very Jews, to see whether they might not

yet be converted in time. It is true that Jesus Himself had passed judgment upon the Temple and upon Jerusalem, in words trenchant and unmistakable.

, But could it not yet be averted, after all, even in the last hour, if the Jews should turn and repent? Once before, Isaiah's disciples had tried to avert in the last hour the terrible doom prophesied by him over Judah, by the reform of which our book of Deuteronomy is the witness. The disciples of Jesus made a similar attempt when they set out upon their missionary labours. Jesus had broken entirely with Israel : this they could not grasp. They suffered themselves to be imprisoned, to be ill-treated, to be executed by the Jewish authorities, and proved thereby that Jesus was to them more than all else in the world.

But for all that, their own beloved nation was not to be abandoned. And so the picture has a reverse side: foreign mission work makes scarcely any progress in the hands of the twelve. They rejoiced whenever news was brought to them that Gentiles had joined the ranks of the disciples, but they did not go forth themselves. The Messiah was to meet His own again in Israel. We have a clear proof of this in the agreement come to at Jerusalem (Gal. ii.). James, Cephas, John, the pillars of the Church, declare their determination to remain constant to their mission to the Jews. If this is true of the leaders, it is certainly true of all the twelve. They just suffered St Paul's work; they did not further it. Truly there is a certain grandeur in the way in which these messengers of Jesus, in spite of all, never wearied of the attempt to win over the very people that persecuted them, and whose rulers showed them such illfavour. It was also necessary and salutary that the connection between the old and the new religion should be maintained until the separation could be effected without damage. But progress on the line clearly marked out by Jesus there was none.

By the side of the twelve there early arose an authority of quite a different kind: the brethren, and the whole family of Jesus. While Jesus lived they believed not, or at least they doubted. It was only after His death that they were convinced of their brother's high calling. He appeared to James. This occurrence immediately secured him and the whole family a place at the head of the new community. Paul speaks of James, the brother of the Lord, once side by side with Peter, another time as a pillar, together with Peter and John, thus making his authority equal to that of an apostle. But that which secured the brethren’ their prerogative was just this tie of relationship, and not the call to the work. The veneration felt for Jesus was transferred quite naturally to His brethren after the flesh, and these again were nothing loth to share in the honour paid to their great brother. The apostles and brethren of the Lord almost became rival powers. We can find traces of a dynasty of Jesus at Jerusalem. After the death of James a cousin of Jesus is chosen to be his successor, and so it goes on, to the great detriment of the new community. The free spirit of Jesus had not descended upon James, nor had he learnt anything from his experience in life. In him the unnatural reversion to Judaism found its leader. Those fanatics who Socowed Peter at Antioch that he refused to eat any longer with the


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Gentile Christians were “ certain that came from James.” Fortunately, however, the first generation of Christians was spared such struggles for the succession of the Master as are known to the oldest history of Islam. But while the apostle to the Gentiles represents the upware progress and expansion of Christianity, we have in James the drag on the wheel, the reactionary element.

Both together, apostles sind brethren, were the authorities on the side of tradition. By their side the prophets, the representatives of the new ideas, find a place. This place depended upon special psychical gifts and upon religious enthusiasm.

The prophets did not present an entirely new feature in contemporary Jewish life. They had never entirely died out since the age of the Maccabees. A prophet, John, is Jesus' forerunner. In the story of the birth of Jesus, prophets and prophetesses find a place. Jesus foretells the coming of false prophets, and they appear in great numbers in the period immediately preceding the final insurrection of the Jews. They were the stormy petrels before the coming of the terrible tempest. True, it is possible that the arrival of the Christian prophets on the scene stood in some connection with the first rumblings of that mysterious political movement. But for all that something new does here begin, something unknown to the Judaism of that time. Shortly after the death of Jesus, the pent-up fires of enthusiasm break forth in the community of believers at Jerusalem. That mysterious movement began which, on the one hand, spread, all-powerful, like wildfire amongst the masses, causing the risen Lord to appear to five hundred

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brethren at once, transforming high and low, men and women, into inspired beings; and, on the other hand, caught up single individuals out of their ordinary everyday life and drove them out into special forms of activity which often lasted a lifetime. The conception which men the formed of these single individuals—who alone were rightly call prophets- --was that which had been held in all ages. .

A spirit enters into man from without, and from him tells forth God's message by ecstatic “speaking with tongues,” by intelligible words or by symbolic action. His word then counts as the pure word of God. With reference to the future it is an oracle; with reference to the present, a command.

Both from the Acts of the Apostles and from St Paul's letters, we see that prophets' are amongst the distinctive marks of this first age of Christianity. But we learn at the same time that their authority was secondary. That is to say, that the ultimate authority, the foundation, was in all cases the tradition of Jesus. This might be supplemented by the prophetic word, by the spirit, but never transformed. That was a principle which does all honour to the perception of the guiding minds of the new religion. For the spirit which spoke out of the mouths of the prophets was impersonal, vague, and beyond control; all manner of influences and tendencies there competed with the influence of the Jesus of history. It was, after all, the religious impulse in its exclusiveness, for it forced back all other spiritual powers, but at the same time in its arbitrariness, and often in its moral indifference. To make the spirit of the prophets the ultimate authority

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