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all else the sign of a genuine Christian for him: he that thus prays stands in a right relation to God. And the true sacrifice that is well pleasing to God is not any participation in worship, but the devotion of body and soul to His service. All those superstitious statements to which allusion has been made are in St Paul's hands means to an end : in the one case, that of baptism, to prove the Christian hope; in the other, that of the Lord's Supper, to secure decency and good order in the congregation. It is not for St Paul himself, but for the future history of his congregation, that the seeds of mischief have been sown. Henceforth participation in divine worship takes its place side by side with trust in God, and two kinds of religion, of communion with God, begin to compete with each other.

Let us now review once more the whole of the Christian claim, as it is presented by St Paul, and compare it with that made in the first instance by Jesus, and we shall perceive that a great forward movement has taken place, and on the whole, it has preserved the direction imparted to it by Jesus. The Christian ideal has become richer, more varied and comprehensive, but it has not essentially changed, and it has not deteriorated. This we can best realize when we read all the passages in which St Paul briefly summarizes the essentials of the new religion. Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of God's commandments is everything. In Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails aught, but faith working through love. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, faith, gentleness, purity. But now remaineth faith, love, hope; but love is the greatest of these.

The man who formulates his claim under these main headings understood Jesus better, grasped His meaning more fully, than any other that came after him. And this sympathetic comprehension of that which was essential in Christianity, enabled him to carry the teaching of Jesus from the Jews to the Gentiles, retaining the human and the eternal, while rejecting the merely national. This brilliant definition of the ideal is at the same time the best criticism of all that is imperfect in St Paul's work. A great man deserves to be measured by his aims rather than by his achievements. He who would understand St Paul aright should seek to find him at the height of his ideal, and then he will discover that he is not very far distant from Jesus. But to present the claim of Jesus to the Gentiles and to maintain it in its entirety was indeed a very great achievement on the part of St Paul. His work was assailed by two great enemies, which sought to compel him to descend from the height of his ideal and adapt himself to the imperfections of the uncultured masses: they were, on the one hand, the gross vices, on the other the enthusiasm of his heathen converts. The sinful life that was so often continued after conversion, the instances of incest and fornication, the lawsuits, the factions—all seemed to cry with one accord : lower your standard, at least temporarily. On the other hand, the ascetic aberrations of some, the spiritualistic follies of others, the pride of the strong,' the striving to shake off all control and to cease from all work, appeared to be so many indications of the necessity

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of a law to check this want of discipline and sobriety. It is amazing to notice with what firmness and clearness St Paul continues to travel along the path indicated to him by Jesus. As a wise educator he took circumstances into account and remembered that “le mieux est souvent l'ennemi du bien." He insisted on the appointment of Christian judges in order to put an end to the hateful spectacle of lawsuits between Christians in heathen courts. He excommunicated the immoral members of the Corinthian church and summoned them to repentance in order to cleanse the congregations of the worst stains. When he enumerates the different vices, he seems to say that certain deadly sins exclude a man more than others from the kingdom of God. As a preliminary measure against the enthusiasts he appoints a definite order of service. These examples might be multiplied, but nowhere do we find a single one which does not come under the category of purely educational and provisional measures. As to what constitutes a Christian, St Paul's answer is always that of Jesus. He recognizes no subordinate form of Christianity for the masses. He ever reverts—often immediately after making some concession—to Jesus' whole claim on conduct and on character; the ideal ever remains above the real and yet ever within reach. He that is in Christ Jesus is a new creature: the old is passed away; all things have become new. And in spite of all the danger presented by enthusiasm the Christian stands secure in the freedom with which Christ has made him free.

St Paul had begun his missionary labours with the preaching of the judgment. He ends as he began.

Be ye

The preaching of the ideal and the lofty Christian claim both call for this conclusion. Whether a man is pressing forward towards the ideal, or lagging behind, is by no means a matter of indifference. It is a question of life and death. The return of Jesus, which all Christians await, will bring with it the judgment, when all, apostles and congregations alike, will have to render an account of the result of their lives, and receive praise or blame in equity and truth.

With a mighty loud voice, just as one of the old Christian prophets, St Paul cries out to his converts, “ Maranatha, the Lord is at hand. Redeem the time. Your salvation is nearer than at first. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. not, brethren, in the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief in the night. Let us not sleep, but let us be sober. Let us put away the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light.” That is the language of Jesus Himself. Just as in the claim that he makes, so in this message of the judgment, St Paul has suffered himself to be inspired by his Master. And this is yet one other proof, that in spite of the ecclesiastical transformation which he effected, he wished to bring to the Gentiles Jesus and His Gospel alone.

For us, of course, he has left great and important questions without an answer. What is the meaning of faith and grace and church, if in the last resort it is the word of judgment that decides the faith even of Christians ? When St Paul invited the Gentiles to enter the Christian community he promised them that the road to salvation should be simple and easy. “ If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." When he disputed with the Judaizing party he persistently maintained the position that the believer was sure of his salvation and safe from the wrath that was to come. The Christian's joy and glory consisted, he declared, in the absence of all fear, and the assurance of God's everlasting love. That is why the Christian knows himself to be called and elected from all eternity. But the preaching of the judgment, with its alternating notes of fear and hope, and the uncertainty of salvation which it causes to arise in every soul, contradicts the high value attached by St Paul to the Church as well as to the individual's faith in his election.

At times this idea of the value of the Church seems to dominate St Paul to the exclusion of every other. Even in the extreme case of incest at Corinth he hopes that the man's soul will be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. If God punishes the thoughtless participation in the Lord's Supper with sickness and with death, then this punishment is merely a means of chastening lest we be condemned together with the world. He that has built badly upon the foundation of Jesus Christ shall nevertheless be saved “yet so as by fire.” God's faithfulness is so great that He must complete what He has begun. The meaning of

. statements such as these appears to be none other than that all Christians should be saved even though, it is true, under different degrees of blessedness. And this is just where St Paul's extremely high estimate of the external ecclesiastical organization finds its expression. But passages which point in a con



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