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fill. History gives us no encouragement to believe that it would. It was certainly not a presentation of Christianity in this form that won for the Faith the enthusiastic attachment of men at the first. "It is an unpardonable historical blunder," says a recent writer belonging to the Ritschlian party in the Lutheran Church, " to suppose that the faith of primitive Christendom was based on the impression of the earthly image of Christ. A school might have been formed, a hero-worship might have been instituted, had that been all; but a religion could arise only because the ancient Church was conscious that God had revealed Himself in the Resurrection and Exaltation of the Lord. The ancient Church, too, derived inspiration and impulse, comfort and strength, from the living Image of Jesus; but its faith and its hope did not rest upon that, but on the transcendent experiences of the reception of the Spirit, and the testimonies of the working of the Exalted Lord." 1

Much has happened since then that is bound to have an influence on our apprehension of the Christian truth; but there is no reason to think that the situation is so altered as to call for a presentation of it that would leave out of account the essential elements that were the secret of its success in its original promulgation, or to encourage us to hope that, were we to shift the emphasis of faith from the Exalted to the earthly life of Jesus, and to ignore the higher point of view from which the apostle, regarding the life as a whole, saw in it a revelation of the saving purpose of God, results would follow now that could not have followed such a one-sided view then. If we are left with doctrines and moral truths alone, without the living Christ to breathe into us His Spirit, so as to make these the power of life in us as well as to remove the hindrances within to corresponding action, we are as far from the salvation that

1 Die Kachfolge Christi unddie Prcdigt des Gegemvart, von J. Weiss, our nature craves as they of old felt themselves to be, with all the help that philosophy gave them, till they had the assurance that God had interposed on their behalf in great redemptive acts through the instrumentality of His own Son, whom He had raised from the dead.

It is objected, indeed, that it is impossible for us to have intercourse with the Exalted Saviour such as Paul had. He saw the Lord of Glory in a vision, and had thereafter direct fellowship with Him. We cannot have this, and must be shut out from the experience of the benefits that are the fruit of His Exalted Activity. But the apostle nowhere lays any importance on the vision by which he entered on that intercourse, nor does he teach that a supernatural impression of the Risen One is a condition of others exercising the common privilege of communion with the Exalted Christ. All that was necessary was the hearty acceptance of the apostolic testimony of the Christ who had died for men. Christ exercises His sovereignty through the Cross, through the love revealed there. And when men beholding that love were turned in faith and penitence to God, they were made to realise that Christ was indeed exalted and mighty to save; for how could His love prove omnipotent over them, or become the vehicle by which new life was quickened in their souls, if He were not in very deed the living Christ—one with God, Lord over all? Nor are we to limit to the Cross or to the revelation of Divine love on the Cross the power of Christ to draw near to the soul, and by awakening in us a new life of trust and faith in goodness, to bear witness to His activity as the Exalted Son of God. In his beautiful book on Communion with God, Herrmann insists that any impression made upon our hearts by the glory of the Inner Life of Christ, such as brings God near to us, and assures us of the love of a God whose will is to redeem us from sin and to make goodness triumphant, is a testimony to the influence upon us of the Risen One. It is through the understanding of what is historically true of His Inner Life and the entire appearance of Christ that we experience His kingly might over our souls, and His function as the instrument by whom God Himself draws near to us, touches us, works upon us. In the intensity of his faith in the power of the love that died for men, Paul exclaimed, " God forbid I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal. vi. 14); and we may surely attribute to the efficacy of the Risen One every manifestation of the historic Christ, and every discovery of His Personal Life that carries home to our hearts a similar impression of His holy love that shames the bad in us, makes the good better, and turns us to God.

There are many, indeed, who must take a slower and more circuitous way in order to arrive at a faith in Christ as Risen and Exalted. They have no such perception of a Divine power going forth from Christ on the view of His life and death. But one thing must be certain to them if they are true to themselves and to their better nature. There can be no doubt of the justice of the claim of Christ, in virtue of the ideal perfection of His life and character, to the obedience of men. Let them accept in a practical way His Lordship over their lives, and that union with Him that consists in the practical adoption of His leadership, in the cultivation of His moral sympathies, in the active support of the cause of humanity for which He lives, in the regulation of life by His will, in submission to the trials of life in His Spirit, will in due time convey to them the assurance that they are in living fellowship with Him, and that it is only through what He is and is doing for men as their Exalted Head that they are enabled thus to follow Him.1

1 I well remember, as a student, being impressed by the emphasis with which Professor J. T. Beck of Tubingen urged upon his student-audi

All this, of course, goes to exalt the importance to faith of the Christ of history. And had it been the intention of the author, in the sentences I have quoted, to insist on obedience to the precepts and example of Christ as a means by which men may rise to the higher point of view from which Christ is presented in the apostolic testimony, I would have had no controversy with him. For I believe that to many who nowadays have lost faith in the supernatural, the one way open to a recovery of it, if they are sincere in the desire for religious assurance, is to put themselves into the position of the disciples while they had the Lord with them, to attach themselves to Him whose perfection in human goodness and wisdom appeals to all, whatever may be their doubts as to His Higher Nature, and, following Him faithfully, to wait till the silent influence of His Personality upon their souls brings with it the conviction that He is Living and Supreme.1

ence, many of whom had been caught in the current of sceptical thought that then ran so strong, to seek religious certainty by beginning with the Christ of the Gospels, and living in fellowship with Him. "Hold fast," he exclaimed in closing his course on Christian ethics, "by the Redeemer, and learn to know Him increasingly in His Original Form. Follow Him as He is and acts and speaks in the Picture furnished by those who were eye and ear witnesses to Him. He lived of a truth; such a picture could not have been drawn by the pencil of man; no one invented it. Get to the heart of the matter, build upon the Christ of the Gospels, and you will have a foundation of rock on which the floods even of this age will dash themselves." As the works of this remarkable man, who in his lifetime was so great a religious power in South Germany, are little known in our country, I have given in the Appendix an extract of some length from his Gedanken aus und nach Schrift, to the same effect as the above. See Note D. There is also a striking and impressive passage towards the close of Bishop Temple's Bampton Lecture, in which he shows how the study of the Jesus of the Gospels leads on to a religious certainty {The Relation between Religion and Science, pp. 248-252).

1 The place of the "Historical Christ" in the evangelical system is the subject of an interesting article by Max Reischle in the Zeitschrift fiir Theol. 11. Kirch., 7 Jahrgang, 3 Heft. (1897), pp. 171-284. He points out that the starting-point of the faith of Paul and the first disciples was the Risen Christ; it was the view of Christ Risen that made His earthly

But in that case we could not speak of the elementary faith in Him that is sufficient for a starting-point as the ultimatum, or the highest attainable, as Van Dyke has done. Unless we are to regard the apostle as self-deceived in his interpretation of Christ, unless we are to resign ourselves to disappointment of the hope of the human heart for a revelation that will throw light on the dark problems of human life, we must believe there is a higher truth than that mentioned by the author in the passage I have given: we must hold that the real ultimatum of human belief is faith in Christ as Living and Supreme, and as the Founder of a new fellowship between God and man, in which sonship, forgiveness, and eternal life are more than truths to be believed — are Divine blessings to be realised, gifts graciously bestowed by God for His Son's sake, and to be received by us through faith in Him.

Both pictures of the Lord are indispensable to the Church: that which is derived from His earthly ministry, and that which reflects His state as Exalted. Nor is there any real inconsistency between them. There have been times, indeed, when the one has been realised so vividly that the religious life has found it almost impossible to realise the other along with it, or to make a proper use of

life intelligible to them, and the object of their faith. To us, who know only through others that Christ rose from the dead, and have had no vision of Him for ourselves, the Character of the earthly Christ, and the influence of His Spirit on others in the Church, is what faith naturally fixes upon in the first instance, and from this we rise to the conviction of His Resurrection. The conditions of the origin of faith are different in the two cases, but the faith itself must be the same. If ours begins with the apprehension of Him as He is revealed to us in His gracious intercourse with sinners in the days of His flesh, it must go on to the certainty of Him as Risen and Exalted, in order to be one with the faith of the apostles; and the apostolic faith, on the other hand, if it is to be an evangelical faith in Him as the Saviour of sinners, must descend from the vision of His risen glory to the knowledge of the redeeming power of His life and death. "The Exalted Christ to whom their faith clung was, as regards the content of His life, none other save the Crucified One."

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