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was not from the very first. But these subjects did not enter into his preaching to his new Gentile converts. And thus we can readily understand that this theory is only incidentally mentioned in his letters.

3. The theory of evil spirits.- St Paul once mentions incidentally (2 Cor. xi. 5) that the serpent beguiled Eve—according to the Jewish tradition it was to commit adultery. This passage implies that the devil should be regarded as the cause of the whole of the evil condition of the world ; nor is the absence of all mention of Satan in the chief passages in the Epistle to the Romans any argument to the contrary, for the place of Satan is there taken by a kind of mythological figure, an abstraction, sin. St Paul's thoughts always cross over to the spirit-world ultimately; proof of this can be found in other Epistles besides those to the Colossians and Ephesians. Even in the Epistles to the Romans and in First Corinthians we read of principalities, authorities and powers in the upper regions which would separate us from God, and which must be abolished as God's enemies before the end of the world. Now, as everything proceeds from God, and therefore likewise the angels, there must have been a rebellion in the spirit world and a falling away of some. On one occasion-it is in the passage relating to the head-dress of women during divine service—he alludes to the fall of the angels mentioned in Gen. vi. when the sons of God sought the daughters of men in marriage. On another, when speaking of the lawsuits of Christians with each other, he reminds the Corinthians that they, the saints, shall some day sit in judgment over the angels. All this presupposes apocryphal Jewish traditions as to the

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occurrences in the spirit world. Thus the fall has extended even to the world above, and so the picture of the present evil world is completed. All demons are of course counted amongst these fallen spirits, and as the whole of the heathen world—its religion and its immorality—is ascribed to their

-is ascribed to their agency, this gnostic theory obtains an immediate practical signifi

Satan is the God of this world—i.e. of the kingdom of sin—which is manifested, especially amongst the heathen, in so lurid a light.

St Paul's pessimism culminates in this last sentence concerning the God of this world. The view at which he finally arrives is that this present evil world was not originally so created by God, but has only become such through the fall, and that it is now governed by fallen angels, powers hostile to God. Various reasons led the apostle to form this awful opinion : contemporary Jewish thought and feeling, his own bitter experience, his realization of the darkness of the heathen world in which he worked, and of the lurid light cast by the approaching day of judgment. The apocalypse of Ezra shows us how strong a tendency the Jews had in times of national disaster to entertain such pessimistic views of the world's future. And yet, what a difference there is ! For Ezra, there are still some righteous, few though they be in number, whereas St Paul writes, “ None is righteous; no, not one,” and “in me dwelleth no good thing The reason for this difference is evident. St Paul's pessimism is intended to serve his apologetic. It is because Jesus alone is the Redeemer, that the world has to be presented as irredeemably wicked, and every other road to salvation closed to

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It is not the actual recognition of the greatness of sin and the impotence of man which is at the root of this theory, but faith in Christ necessitates these pessimistic postulates as presuppositions. There is a convincing proof of this statement. mistic view of the world no longer holds good for the Christian, or at any rate only in a modified form. The Christian lives in God's world, and he is lord thereof. The theory of sin is an apologetic means for the awakening of faith ; when once this end has been attained, it gives way to other conceptions.

It is evident that the apostle's apologetic is very far removed from the preaching of Jesus. Jesus was no pessimist, and yet He surely knew what was in man, and knew that no one was good. Children and birds and flowers were His delight. He rejoiced in God's love and in the good men whom He met. St Paul first violently extinguished every other light in the world so that Jesus might then shine in it alone. This exaggeration of the truth in the service of apologetics was the more fatal that the Church soon began to turn this pessimism to good account.

The Crisis. Jesus the Saviour. In the scheme of St Paul's missionary preaching the message of the judgment and of death is followed by that of the crucified and risen Son of God. Here we have the heart and centre of the Pauline theology. Here we can see more clearly than in many other cases into the genesis of his creed. It goes right back to the deep personal experience connected with the vision of the risen Christ. And this experience imparts its personal character to the theory, producing

an impression of strength and truth. But the necessity arises for presenting it in an apologetic form

- it is recast from a theological point of view, and it is only now that it assumes the outer form with which we are familiar.

What did Paul learn of Jesus ? For what was he indebted to Him?

He did not know Jesus upon earth, and only learnt some facts of His life by hearsay. His personal acquaintance with Jesus was only brought about by means of the vision on the road to Damascus. Here he saw the heavenly Jesus, the risen Lord, the Spirit, and was called by Him to be an apostle. Hence the Resurrection of Jesus comes to be a fact of

very

farreaching influence for him. Death's reign is at an end. Eternity—the spirit world—enters in triumph into the world of sense. The morrow of the new day has dawned. Now, as the call at Damascus is the starting-point for the whole of St Paul's new life, the resurrection has really become the foundation of his religion for him.

A new light is forthwith shed upon the crucifixion likewise. Before this the Cross was the greatest stumbling-block, as it apparently refuted the claim of Jesus to be the Messiah. But no sooner was He accepted as the risen Lord than it came to appear as something divine. It was the means of salvation. By the sacrifice on the Cross God's message of love and grace was conveyed to man. These seem to us to be theological reflections. But the sense of pardon and blessedness which Paul derived from the Cross was a real personal experience. Henceforth it is for him the fixed centre round which all history turns,

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the source of all comfort, of all peace with God. St Paul sees the motto “God for us” written in great letters over the Cross.

There can be no doubt, therefore, that this experience is the root of St Paul's Christology. The articles of his creed, however, are a great deal more than the expression of this experience. In them as they have now come down to us we can hear the Christian apologist speaking. One instance above all others will serve to make this point clear. As the result of his experience St Paul might have said : “As for me, it was at the foot of the cross that I first learnt what God's love meant." But instead of this we read in the letters: “No man can attain to the certainty of this atonement save in the cross alone.” That is the language of the apologist. Hence the extension to all men, the proof of necessity, the exclusion of all other possibilities. This applies to all St Paul's statements about the crucifixion and resurrection : how much more to the development of the doctrine concerning the Son of God, where there is no personal experience to build upon.

The Cross, the Resurrection, the Son of God—these are three new great starting-points in the Pauline Christology. In the Cross he proclaims God's love, in the Resurrection the dawn of the world that is to come, in the Son of God the pattern for all Christians. Since St Paul wrote, these are the three subjects of all Christology

The Proof of the Love of God. The first portion of St Paul's apologetic had presented the Gentiles before the judgment-seat of God

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