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death, of torments for the wicked, and of rewards for the righteous in the divine blessedness, were spread far and wide amongst the Greeks by means of Orphic sects and philosophical schools. When Paul announced to each individual the near approach of the day of the revelation of the just judgment of God, and prophesied tribulation and sorrow for all evildoers, and honour, glory and immortality to all the righteous, he was calling up long familiar pictures in the minds of his hearers : the only new element was contained in the message concerning the day on which all should appear before the judgment-seat of God. The apostle, however, was not content even with this. He proved how the beginning of the judgment was revealed even here and now in the moral ruin of the servants of sin. And in so doing he met the demand of those who required a visible pledge for this message of a future hope.

Even though the announcement of the judgment thus appeared to the Greeks as a message that could be

grasped at once—in fact, as one with which they were almost familiar—the preaching of the resurrection was, it must be admitted, a stone of stumbling to them from the very first. Many Corinthians looked upon his conception of the restoration of the earthly body as an utter absurdity. Rather than believe such nonsense they would abandon the thought of any resurrection whatever. St Paul finds himself compelled to draw up an elaborate defence of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which does in fact so far meet the objections of the Greeks that it removes the chief ground of offence, the quickening of the old body. In this apology he makes use of the JESUS BROUGHT TO THE GENTILES


conceptions of the new spiritual body, while at the same time he routs his adversaries that deny the resurrection by means of popular arguments. This is the most instructive point in the whole proceeding. St Paul is fighting for the old Jewish dogma of the resurrection—which differs entirely from the Greek hope in immortality; and while doing so he deprives it of that which constitutes its essence, by surrendering the belief in the quickening of the mortal body in order thereby to gain over the Greeks. Whether these concessions met with any success amongst the Greeks we do not know; at any rate it was only the old Jewish dogma of the resurrection which gained a permanent footing in the Churches founded by St Paul. We have, however, a striking instance in this explanation of an eschatological doctrine of the way in which the apostle showed his readiness to become a Greek unto the Greeks. Immediately after delivering his eschatological message St Paul proceeds to paint the corrupt state of his audience, the full extent of which has only been realized by the near approach of the judgment day. Their corruption consists in idolatry and in impurity. Insisting on the degradation implied by these sins, he thus passes on at the same time to preach the faith in the one God and to awaken their consciences.

It is especially over the worship of idols that St Paul waxes wroth. He shows no understanding for any religion but his own. He is just a Jew counting all Gentiles as fallen away from the true religion. The two theories which underlie his criticism are both Jewish—the image theory and the demon theory. Either the heathen are fools because they worship mere images, things of nought, dumb idols, the works of men's hands instead of the God that hath no form ; or else they are the poor slaves of demons, bewitched and under a spell, driven to this worship by some wild and wicked impulse. Nowhere, however, do we find him criticising any single one of these different rites from what he has himself observed. He has judged idolatry en bloc before he knows what it is, and he does not want to know what it is.

The explanation of the monotheistic faith which is to take the place of this idolatrous worship is likewise based upon Jewish presuppositions, nor could one have expected St Paul to do otherwise. He could have found no suitable proof in the person of Jesus. At first the whole of nature is interpreted as a revelation of God. In His works God has manifested His power and His divinity to all men. But then St Paul proceeds to utter that hard saying about the falling away of the heathen from the original revelation and the uselessness of all that philosophy attempts to do. The Jews alone have kept God's primary

. revelation. It has been preserved and set forth in the sacred Scriptures. And indeed the Old Testament was the indispensable handbook to any monotheistic form of belief at a time when all higher knowledge of the Greek thinkers and poets was precluded. “The wisdom of the world ” meant “ foolishness unto God.” And yet even a Paul who wishes to set himself in uncompromising opposition against the whole of the heathen world, even he cannot escape the influence of Hellenism entirely. The doctrine of the ‘nous' that can behold the invisible essence of God in His works, the conception of truth, the definition of God as the

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Being of whom, through whom, and in whom all things are, prove that—albeit, of course, unconsciously --St Paul had submitted to the purifying influence of Greek speculation upon Jewish thought.

Moral degradation, impurity, was closely connected with this intellectual corruption—the worship of idols, heathen rites, magic ceremonies, and sexual excesses were all mutally interdependent. Many of those who listened to St Paul, especially at Corinth, were the scum and offscouring of the depraved masses of the great cities where the apostle taught. Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, usurers, drunkards, revilersall these the apostle enumerates in order to continue “and such were some of you.” Even the blackest pessimism did not paint the situation in too dark colours. We have more than sufficient documentary evidence for the prevalence of unnatural vices in this period. St Paul therefore could say to those to whom he preached that they were a “massa perditionis" without meeting with much contradiction. But in order to gain a hearing he appeals at the same time to reason and conscience, which he does not believe to be quite extinct even in the most bestial of men. Even without any knowledge of the Old Testament they have the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile excusing or else accusing one another. This recognition of the divine in man, which goes so far as to acknowledge that there are uncircumcized heathen that keep the law, is all the more surprising by the side of the apostle's pessimistic estimate of the Gentile world as a whole.

But after all, in thus appealing to the conscience St Paul is aiming merely at the awakening of the feeling of sin, and his optimistic utterances are made to serve his preaching of the judgment that is to come. They are of importance for us, because St Paul is here again clearly borrowing from Greek rationalism through intermediate Jewish sources. The Jews had taken over from the Stoic popular philosophy the use of the words “Reason, Conscience, Nature," and at the same timethat conception ofmen as beings normally endowed with moral faculties and standards of conduct, of which these words are the expression. All differences of time and place sink into comparative insignificance by the side of this the common property of all normally developed moral human beings in the civilized world.' This rationalism is one of the most important causes of the rapid spread of Christianity, and St Paul is the first to make use of it.

The introductory stage of St Paul's missionary work was thus formed of two parts—the eschatological message and the description of the degradation of the heathen world. We are not yet in the temple of Christianity itself, but only in the porch. The Jewish element still almost entirely dominates the preaching of St Paul. His estimates are still influenced by Jewish prophecy, by the Jewish Scriptures, and by Jewish views of the Gentiles. But as a matter of fact lines of communication already lead over to the Greek world, even though they are mostly derived by St Paul directly from the Jews. His eschatology reminds the Greeks of nearly related doctrines, and they have more that is akin to the monotheistic faith than the apostle is ready to believe. But he himself

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