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trary direction are not wanting. If Israel be the type of the people of God, and if its fate have any typical meaning, then it is clear that church membership does not confer any certainty of salvation. Is it not written that God was not well pleased with many of those that passed through the sea and they were overthrown in the wilderness? The message of the judgment, therefore, when it is addressed to Christians, always takes the possibility of their failing to obtain salvation into account. Like the preaching of Jesus itself, it is meant to be taken seriously.
The contradiction in which St Paul stands with himself is a necessary one, and arises from his historical position. On the one hand he has to gain converts for the Church, and must exalt it as the only road to salvation, and therefore separates mankind into those within and those without the Church, as the saved and the lost. On the other hand, as a true disciple of Jesus, he is bound to destroy all confidence in the Church—even the Christian Church—and place the individual in the presence of eternity and God's judgment before everyone that does not do the right. Hence this hesitation and contradiction. St Paul is an ecclesiastic and a Christian with a living personal faith. All the later teachers of the Church who were at once apologists of the ecclesiastical institutions and disciples of the Gospel, have followed in the apostle's contradictory footsteps.
Yet this yea’ and ‘nay' cannot be St Paul's last word. Salvation as he understands it is only attained where the individual has reached the certainty that he is God's child personally and that nothing can separate him from God's love. This certainty is as far removed from confidence in church membership, as it is from the alternating fear and hope inspired by the thought of the day of judgment. It is something purely personal, something that the individual must experience for himself and that none other can give him, because it is only true for himself.
It is experienced as he gazes upon the Cross, the revelation of God's love; as he places his trust in God's faithfulness, of which he has made trial in the course of his own life, and as he listens for the voice of God's Spirit which testifies to our spirit that we are the children of God. It was the final aim of all St Paul's missionary labours that each convert won over by him should reach the goal to which Jesus had brought the disciples in the Lord's Prayer, wherein they receive all things as from God's hand and are safe for time and for eternity in His fatherly love.
St Paul brought Jesus to the Gentiles as their Redeemer who uplifts them to the new life with God. He attained that which Jesus Himself desired, but in his own, even somewhat abnormal, manner.
In the first place, his aim is so to bring home to his hearers their sinfulness and powerlessness and their liability to the judgment, that every road to safety by their own efforts is cut off and only the way of faith remains open to them. This may be called St Paul's methodistic presentment of faith.
In the next place, he does not present Jesus the Redeemer in all His life and suffering as the object of faith, but only the Cross and Resurrection of the Son of God. This is St Paul's methodistic presentment of the Cross.
The form which St Paul's missionary preaching took was the result, in the first instance, of his own personal experience. He himself became a Christian in an altogether abnormal fashion after having been a Rabbi and a persecutor. But the really decisive factor was after all his extraordinarily powerful ecclesiastical interest which impelled him so to narrow the way to salvation that it led through the Church alone, whose mark was faith in the crucified Son of God. But though the methods were changed, the Gospel itself remained as yet the same. Nay, rather, the new machinery proved really effective in bringing Jesus to the heathen. In his representation of the promise, the ideal and the aim of redemption, St Paul is simply Jesus' disciple, and indeed the profoundest and most powerful of all.
But St Paul is likewise the first to have entered into the forms, ideas, and conceptions of the Greeks at innumerable points of his missionary labours. He did not merely bodily transplant the Gospel from one place to another. He saw that the new plant took root and acclimatized itself. There are far more points of contact between the Greeks and St Paul's practice than between them and his theology, which is embedded rather in Jewish ideas. But the great achievement is this, that the same man took up that which was Greek and that which was Jewish-fused the two elements and then entirely subordinated them to a third, the Christian, in Jesus as he understood Him. For it is not the amalgamation of Hellenism and Judaism, but the conquest of both for Jesus, that assigns St Paul his high place in the world's history.
THE PAULINE THEOLOGY.
THE Pauline theology is an entirely new phenomenon on the soil of Christianity.
In the early Church at Jerusalem, isolated theological propositions had been set up which had arisen in the course of reflection about Jesus and in controversy with the Jews. They spoke of the Son of God and of the Messiah, of the wonderful call of Jesus and of His vicarious death. But nowhere do we find even the feeling of the necessity for any clear co-ordination of all these thoughts. The Jews—even the learned Jews-never felt any desire to build up systems of doctrine. There never existed any systematic theology of the synagogue. The Rabbis taught the explanation of single passages, the comparison with other passages, the formation of syllogisms, and also the allegorical method of exegesis. The expositions of St Paul in Rom. iv. and Gal. iii. are good instances of Jewish methods of exegesis. As soon, however, as St Paul leaves the ground of Scripture his methods are no longer rabbinical. He would not, however, really have been able to learn anything even from the
learned Jews of Alexandria. All his knowledge of Greek philosophy did not make a philosopher of Philo after all. His business is biblical exegesis after the manner of the Rabbis, only from the point of view of the Greek teachers. At all events, St Paul was so imperfectly acquainted with Greek philosophy itself, that it had no influence over him, and that which he created in his theology is no philosophy either.
St Paul's education at the feet of the Rabbis certainly proved to be of great importance for him. Here he learned to know and understand the Sacred Book, learned rabbinical methods of interpretation, and many thoughts and conceptions of contemporary Jewish theology. Henceforward he could command the resources of a trained jurist. His later doctrines as to the annulling of the law and justification by faith are proof of this. Here it is that he heard men speak of Adam, of the Fall, of the death of all men. In fact, generally speaking, his interest in sin and the avoidance of sin first awakens in the school of the Rabbis. It is probably to the same source that he owes his initiation into apocalyptic mysteries. One single circumstance, however, should warn us against forming an exaggerated estimate of this rabbinical influence; it is the use St Paul makes of the Septuagint. He takes no interest in the Hebrew text. In his arguments he uses words of the Septuagint to which nothing corresponds in the Hebrew. The influence of his masters cannot therefore have extended very far.
The decisive factor in the genesis of St Paul's theology was his personal experience, his conversion on the road to Damascus.