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unselfish love. We are surely not wrong in supposing that the apostle was drawing from his own impressions of that wonderful history when he sang the praises of Love in I Cor. xiii., and outlined the character that love inspires. We learn how deeply he was impressed with the all-sufficiency of Christ as the Moral Ideal in one passage in the Epistle to Romans (xiii. 14), where, after enumerating the graces of the Christian life and the dispositions it beomes believers to manifest in their relations to one another, he sums up all and ends the discussion in these words, " Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh," intimating that in fellowship with Him they will be united with Love at its source and will be mastered by a principle of action that must issue in all goodness.
Paul makes little reference, as we saw in last lecture, to the historic Christ. But the new type of character that the historic Christ originated and exemplified is never absent from his thoughts, and the Epistles are largely occupied with its delineation, and with precept illustrative of it.1 These writings are considered to be doctrinal by some; they are really ethical. The mind of the author is absorbed in the Heavenly Ideal of human character that had appeared on earth, and that had in it the power to create a new humanity. And where doctrine is taught it is to show how that new type of character is produced, and what motives the Christian religion can bring to bear on its production. "Paul's writings," to use the words of another, "retain their hold, not because he is thought to be inspired, nor because he was the first and greatest of the apostles, but because he held up the Ideal of renewed character with a vividness, a reality, a sense of never-ending wonder, which are always needed to express the feelings appropriate to the faith struggling up in every age towards that same Ideal to embrace and
1 In the epistle of Barnabas, Christians are described as a "new type " of men, iwlwiv n(*i( Axkov Tuvoh (chap. vi.).
possess it." It is, indeed, only in the course of the ages, and bit by bit, that the rich fulness of that Ideal is apprehended. Many degrees of religious culture are found amongst men, many varieties of mental gift and moral discernment. These differences reveal themselves in the presence of Christ, each individual, each race of mankind, each age of the world discovering in Him that virtue it is prepared specially to value, the embodiment of that idea of human worth that is peculiar to it. It has been finely said by Dean Church in his well-known sermon on "Christ's Example," 1 "That one and the same Form has borne the eager scrutiny of each anxious and imperfect age: and each age has recognised with boundless sympathy and devotion what it missed in the world, and has found in Him what is wanted. Each age has caught in those august lineaments what most touched and swayed its heart, and as generations go on and unfold themselves, they still find that Character answering to their best thoughts and hopes: they still find in it what their predecessors had not seen or cared for: they bow down to it as their inimitable pattern, and draw comfort from a model who was plain enough and universal enough to be the Master as of rich and poor, so of the first century and the last. It has been the root of all that was great and good in our fathers. We look forward with hope to its making our children greater and better still. 'Regnum tuum regnum omnium sseculorum: et dominatio tua in omni generatione et generatione.'"2
What Paul has further to teach us of the Power of Christ to reproduce in others the type of character embodied in His own Person will fall to be considered in another lecture. In bringing the present one to a close, it remains that we review very briefly the history in the thought of
1 In his The Gifts of Civilisation, pp. in, 112.
2 Ps. cxlv. 13. See Note B on The Gradual Apprehension of the Christian Ideal.
the Church of that interpretation of the Person of Christ that has occupied our attention.
The idea of Christ as the Archetypal Man is original to the apostle among the writers of the New Testament. We have an echo of it, indeed, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which is not surprising if that production was written, as many think it was, by a disciple of Paul's. In the second chapter (vers. 5—10), the author in very beautiful language dwells on the contrast between man's actual condition and the Divine idea of his destiny. Called by his birthright to sovereignty, he is as yet in subjection, and so far he is a failure and a disappointment. But the writer sees Christ Sovereign over all, having passed through suffering and death to glory and honour; and Christ Exalted is to him the pattern and pledge of man's exaltation. Here there is a virtual recognition of Christ as the Ideal of humanity, the Second Adam; although it is not, as it is with Paul, because He is the Spiritual Man who is also the Son of God that the author regards Christ as the fulfilment of the Divine idea of man, but because He is Lord of all and Sovereign over the world, because He has risen by the way of sorrow to supreme Dominion. His account of the natural man differs also from Paul's. With the latter, the token of man's present inferiority is that he is of "the earth," "a living soul," ruled by the flesh instead of ruling it by the spirit; while, according to the author of Hebrews, the token is man's subjection to the angels, a description, however, which is equivalent to the statement that he is in subjection to the material order of things, and which, on this side, approaches very closely to the Pauline thought.
This is the most distinct trace of the influence of Paul's interpretation on the books of the New Testament canon. When we pass on to the fathers of the Greek Church, we find that, in the case of the earlier of them at least, this truth met with a recognition that manifested a real sense of its importance. Passages from Irenaeus might be quoted to this effect. Among the later writers, however, it was lost sight of in the degree in which metaphysical definition took the place of earnest attempts to interpret the religious significance of the Person of Christ. And it is not till we come to the theological thought of modern times, that we find a large and fruitful appreciation of the great Pauline thought of Christ as the Archetypal Man. Nor is this confined to any one school of theologians; it is common to all, and is a characteristic feature of what may be spoken of as Modern Theology. Much is due doubtless to the influence of Schleiermacher, who set forth the religious worth of the Person of Christ in a way that proved epoch-making. The pre-eminence of His Person, this theologian showed, is to be seen in the fulness, originality, and strength in which the consciousness of God lived in Him, guaranteeing His Moral perfection, and ensuring His close fellowship with God. While a real Man, He was so penetrated and possessed with God, that He became the Creator of a new race of men, determined in their personal life, as He was, by God. Thus did He prove a Second Adam, at once the Pattern and the Power of a life and experience resembling His own, carrying in Himself the germs of a new spiritual Creation. Schleiermacher's non - recognition of the supernatural, however, lessened the value of his representation; for with him the Resurrection of Christ, that is so vital in Paul's Christology, was a non-essential of the faith. But it is scarcely possible, apart from the idea of a Risen and Living Christ, to regard the Person as possessed of creative power to reproduce in others its own fulness of religious life and truth. A certain section of Schleiermacher's followers, of whom Schweizer, Lipsius, and Pfleiderer may be named, while recognising with their master what is unique and original in the Person of Christ, accept the consequence that must follow when the supernatural is denied, and distinguish between the Person of Christ and the idea or principle it embodies. He is indeed, they say, the supreme instance in an historic individual of the religious principle, the principle of Divine sonship. But the truth or value of the principle is not dependent on the personal embodiment of it, though the latter is useful as an illustration of the former, or even as first introducing us to the experience of its truth.1 The principle is the essential thing, and is to be accepted on the ground of its own truth irrespective of its realisation in the historic Christ. The effect of all this is to exalt the religious idea or principle at the expense of the Person, and to lessen the significance of the living Christ as a Source of Life to men. He is no more the object of faith, nor can He be regarded as the author of that new manhood with its Divine relationships and spiritual endowments which is our desideratum. He is simply an example of the manhood each must attain for himself by faith in the truth of the Fatherhood of God. Experience, however, is against the supposition that a mere idea can have the operative power ascribed to it under this system. Life needs life to quicken it. What is wanted is a Supreme Personality like that of the Risen Christ, who is all that we ought to be and from whom influence proceeds that can awaken in others life similar to His own. We cannot separate the Person from the idea; the idea has for us no existence, no vital force, except in the Person, and it is only faith in the Personal Christ that can ensure its realisation in us.
The treatment of the subject by Richard Rothe is free
1 A good criticism of the views of this school of theologians will be found in Gess' Christi Person u. Werk, vol. iii. p. 254, in a chapter entitled "Modern Attempts to Explain the Work of Jesus on the Presupposition that He is Originally no more than a Man."