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the significance of His work for men ? What is the place that belongs to Him in our own life and in the life of the world ? These are the questions that are of interest to us, that must determine the method in which we approach the study of the subject, and to which an answer is found in the representation of those who, like Paul, depict the Christ of faith.
The Christology that will then fall to be considered embraces, it must be evident, more than is included under the term in dogmatic theology, where a rigid distinction is observed between the Person and work of the Redeemer. The nature of the Person is indeed only revealed in the experience of the peculiar effects that proceed from Him on the life and character, in the specific influence that He exerts on those who yield themselves to His sway. There is thus the closest and most vital connection between the doctrine of the Person and the doctrine of the Work of Christ; and the terms in which we express our Christological beliefs will be determined by our Soteriological experiences, that is, by the conception we have formed to ourselves of the Redemption of Christ.
1 R. Schmidt (Die Paulinische Christologie, 1870) insists that the understanding of Paul's doctrine of the nature of Christ depends on our understanding of his distinctive doctrine of the significance of Christ's redemption, and that every genuine insight of the person of Christ includes the knowledge of the worth of His salvation (pp. 4, 5). Similarly, Baur (NTliche Theol.) says, “ The view of the Person of Christ is always conditioned by the view of His work. Christ can neither have done anything for, nor communicated anything to, men, except what was in Himself in principle (auf principielle Weise).” It is a position common to theologians of the school of Ritschl that the consideration of what Christ does in the experience of the life of faith must precede the understanding of what He is in His own Person. And it is significant that Gess, the orthodox opponent of Ritschl, reverses the usual order of treatment in his constructive book on the Person and Work of Christ, and begins with the discussion of His Work. “To proceed from the work to the Person," he says, “is the way to a living knowledge.” “It is only real insight into Jesus' work that opens up to view the heights and depths of the Being that is able to do this work” (vol. iii. p. 7).
The inquiry, then, into the thought that at once regulated and expressed Paul's faith regarding Christ must take the form as well of an inquiry into the apostle's experience of the Good which he found in Him. The Person is made known in what He does for us, and the consciousness of what He does helps in turn to the understanding of who and what He is. Keeping this in view, I propose in my next lecture to consider Paul's interpretation of the Person of Christ, furnished to him by that specific experience of His influence which reveals Him as the Pattern or Archetypal Man; and in the lecture that follows, his interpretation of the death of Christ, in which He is viewed as the Redeemer from sin and the Founder of a new humanity. In the fourth lecture we will go on to consider the significance of the Resurrection-life of Christ, His present activity, on the one hand as Spirit, and on the other as Lord, by which He continues to carry on His work as the Second Head of the Human Race. We will thus have gone over the main truths asserted of Christ when He is designated the Second Adam. Three things are predicated of Him in this connection ; first, that He is the Pattern Man ; second, that He is the new Representative of the human race; and third, that He is the Power of a new and Divine life within humanity itself, reproducing and perpetuating His own Manhood. We will then proceed to the exposition of the development of these leading ideas in the later Epistles, what are known, from the prominence in them of the thought of Christ, as the Christological Epistles. The sixth lecture will deal with those passages in his writings generally that bear on the Pre-existence and Eternal Nature of Christ, His transcendental relations to God and Humanity. And in the closing lecture we will compare the Christ thus depicted in the apostle's writings with the picture of the historic Christ in the Synoptic Gospels, adding such reflections as are suggested by this study as to the relation
of the one to the other, and the place that belongs to the Pauline Christ in the life and teaching of the Church.
With regard to the sources of information from which we are to draw for this study, it is enough to say that I accept as Pauline and available for use in the exposition of his teaching not only the four leading Epistles whose genuineness is almost universally recognised, but also what are known as the Epistles of the imprisonment. For, however unlike in certain particulars the latter may be to the former, the peculiarities do not seem to be such as to require us to refer them to a different authorship. The most recent opinion as to the authorship of the Epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians, coming from a school that cannot be charged with any championship of orthodoxy in criticism, is that the doubts which, in the view of many, attach to their Pauline authorship, are not insuperable. We are not likely, then, to go far wrong in proceeding on the tradition that refers them to Paul. The authorship of the Pastoral Epistles constitutes a different problem. But as the material they offer for our present purpose is inconsiderable, the propriety of their use for the understanding of the apostle's doctrine on the subject on hand need not be discussed.2
Let me ask your indulgence in carrying out the task I have set before me. To re-think the thoughts of Paul is no easy work, and in no part of his teaching is one more frequently baffled in the attempt to penetrate the meaning of his words than when his theme is Christ, and what Christ is to the human spirit. It is not only that his language is cramped, and that in some of the most important passages we must remain in doubt as to which of several meanings that suggest themselves we are to accept as the intended
1 Jülicher, Einleitung in das N.T., pp. 84-97. 2 See Note C on the Conception of Christ in the Pastoral Epistles.
one. Nor is it merely that the intellectual atmosphere Paul breathed was so different from ours, and current ideas to which reference is made are so little understood by us ; and his arguments, owing to his training in the Rabbinic schools, are so difficult for us to fit in to our logical forms; but, being the language of experience and the reproduction in human modes of thought of the facts of his inner life, — an inner life fused in so wonderful a way with the life and spirit of his Master,-it seems to demand an experience sympathetic with his, as rich, as full, and as subtle in its apprehension of spiritual things; and also a soul magnetised, if one may be allowed the expression, as his was with the love of Christ, in order that a true account may be given of who and what he believed Christ to be. “Where lives the Christian," exclaims Herrmann, “who could with truth presume to say that he treasures the thoughts of Paul as his very own ? Surely all of us read the apostle with the feeling that he has a different measure and a different energy of faith from ours." There is truth in the remark. It is but a feeble echo at the most that one can hope to catch of the grand strain of Christological thought that sounds through the apostle's writings, and which, stirring the deepest feelings of his heart, so often rises into the exultant language of a hymn. But since it has pleased God to reveal the truth of His Son, and of His salvation through the medium of a life and of experiences that bear witness to His commanding power over the human will, and to the satisfaction to all that is deepest in man that flows from the voluntary surrender to that power, it is our duty to renew the endeavour to look with the eyes of this great interpreter of Christ at the picture of the Risen Glory of the Lord. We may cherish the hope that some features, at least, of that picture will be disclosed to the honest student, and that the vision, however partial it may be, will reward the effort to get it.
1 Holtzmann speaks of the following passages as “die sieben vornehmsten cruces interpretum”: Rom. v. 12, viii. 3, ix. 5; 1 Cor. xv. 45; 2 Cor. v. 3 ; Gal. iii. 20 ; Phil. ii. 6; and, he adds, "aber der Stellen sind unsäglich viele, die sich aller hermeneutischen Kunst so unzugänglich erweisen, dass auch eine so methodisch als möglich geübte Exegese immer noch einen Rest von Zweifel übrig behält ” (Lehrbuch der Neutest. Theologie, p. 204).
2 Intercourse with God, p. 186.