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natures of both to become the Repairer of the breach. But it is not equally easy to connect all its details with the doctrines of the Gospel. He has rather gal-, vanized than revived the Alexandrian theology in this last attempt to harmonize faith with reason through the forms of Neo-Platonism, and in his own day he found few to understand or appreciate him. For two centuries yet the trance of theological science remains unbroken; but sleepers dream before their awakening.
NOTE TO CHAP. III.
ON STRAUSS' ESTIMATE OF THE BELIEF OF THE
In a section on the Christology of the Orthodox System,' at the conclusion of his original work on the Life of Jesus (Das Leben Jesu. Tübingen, 1837), Strauss, after insisting that the outlines of that system are to be found in the New Testament, and have their roots in the conviction of Christ's resurrection, had taken occasion to describe, with that eloquence which is always at his command when he chooses to employ it, the belief of the early Church in her Lord. He stood, like Balaam, to gaze on the armies of Israel, and his tongue was constrained to bless the faith which he has made it the labour of a lifetime to uproot. My object in referring to the statement here is to observe, that it substantially endorses the view of patristic theology taken in this volume. And since there is a lesson to be learnt from the utterances of “Saul among the prophets,' and the book is not familiar to the majority of English readers, it may be worth while to translate the passage here, premising that some of its native force must inevitably evaporate in the process.
"How full of blessing and elevation, of encouragement and comfort, were the thoughts the early Church derived from this conception of her Christ! Through the sending of the Son of God into the world, and His delivery to death for it, heaven and earth are reconciled (2 Cor. v. 18, 899., Ephes. i. 10, Col. i. 20); through His supreme oblation the love of God is guaranteed to men (Rom. v. 8, viii. 31, 899., 1 John iv. 9), and the most joyful hope opened to them. Since the Son of God has become Man, men are His brethren, and, as such, children of God, and joint heirs with Christ of the treasure of Divine beatitude. (Rom. viii. 16-29.) Their slavish estate under the law has ceased, and love has come into the place of the fear of punishment threatened by the law. (Rom. viii. 15, Gal. iv. 1, 899.) Believers are redeemed from the curse of the law, inasmuch as Christ has given Himself up for them, by enduring that death on which the curse of the law was laid. (Gal. iii. 13.) Now we have no longer the impossible task of fulfilling all the requirements of the law (Gal. iii. 10, 899.)—a task none have accomplished (Rom. i. 18, iii. 20), and, owing to the sinfulness of nature, none can (Rom. v. 12, 899.); which only entangles more deeply those who attempt it in the misery of an internal conflict with themselves. (Rom. vii. 7, sqq.) He who believes in Christ, and trusts to the atoning power of His death, is pardoned by God; he who surrenders himself to God's free grace is justified before Him by grace, not through any works or performances of his own, whence all selfrighteousness is excluded. (Rom. iii. 31, sqq.) And, since the Mosaic law can no longer bind the believer who has died to it with Christ (Rom. vii. 1), since His eternal and all-sufficient Sacrifice has superseded the Jewish sacrifices and priesthood, the wall of partition which divided Jew from Gentile is broken down. The Gentiles, estranged from the old theocracy, left 'without God and without hope in the world,' are called to share in the new covenant of God, and a free approach provided for them to their heavenly Father. Thus the two great divisions of mankind, once at enmity with each other, are now at peace, members of the body of Christ, which is the spiritual edifice of His Church. (Eph. iii. 11, sqq.) But that justifying faith in the death of Christ is in very deed a dying with Him—a death, that is, unto sin; and as He rose from death to a new and immortal life, so shall they that believe on Him rise from the death of sin to a new life of righteousness and holiness; they shall put off the old man and put on the new. (Rom. vi. 1, 899-) Christ Himself stands by to aid them with His Spirit, who fills those He inspires with spiritual might, and frees them more and more continually from the bondage of sin. (Romans viii. 1.) Nay, more; those in whom that Spirit dwells will be quickened in body as well as soul; for when the course of this world is ended, God through Christ will raise their bodies as He has raised the body of Christ. (Rom. viii. 11.) Christ, whom the bonds of death and Hades could not hold (Acts ii. 24), has conquered both for us, and released believers from fear of those chiefest powers of mortality. (Rom. vii. 38, 899., 1 Cor. xv. 55, 899., Heb. ii. 14, 899-) His resurrection, which gives to His death its atoning power (Rom. iv. 25), is also the pledge of our resurrection and future life in Him, when He shall return to take His own to the joys of His Messianic kingdom. (1 Cor. xv.) Meanwhile we are assured, that in Him we have an Intercessor with God, who knows our need of help and forbearance, because He knows by experience the infirmity of our nature, with which He has clothed Himself, and in which He was 'tempted in all points, yet without sin.'" (Leben Jesu, vol. ii. p. 695-7.)
Strauss goes on to argue, chiefly from Rom. i. 3, 4, viii. 34, 1 Tim. • iii. 16, and the baptismal formula, that 'the Church of the early centuries' had abundant materials for constructing the so-called rule of faith' comprised eventually in the Apostles' Creed, of which the Incarnation—ő Tóyos oápĚ éyéveto-was the groundwork, and that she was fully justified in excluding as they arose the successive heresies, from the Ebionite to the Monothelite, which directly or indirectly contradicted that faith.
In his new Life of Jesus (Das Leben Jesu für das deutsche Volk bearbeitet. Leipzig, 1864), addressed this time not to a learned but a popular audience, 'as Paul turned to the Gentiles when the Jews rejected his gospel,' the concluding Dissertation from which my extract is taken does not occur. But the Preface contains a general endorsement of the contents of the former work. The author still regards the ' Christology of the Church—that is, the whole Christian doctrine of the Incarnate Word—as the product of several 'Groups of Myths' (twelve are here given, ranging from the Conception to the Ascension), whose formation must, however, be so far distinguished from that of the Greek, or rather Aryan, mythology as explained by recent writers, such as Professor Max Müller and the Rev. G. W. Cox, that they do not originate in observations of natural phenomena, but have a nucleus of historical fact. For the personal existence of Christ, which seemed to be left uncertain by the language of the earlier work (Introd. sect. 15) is here expressly affirmed, in accordance with Baur's system; though it is rather to the first Christian teachers, especially St. Paul, than to Himself that the form of religion which bears His name is to be attributed. There are ‘few great men of history of whom we know so little as of Jesus' (p. 621). “The Christian Church in its earliest form, as it appears in the New Testament, was already the result of so many other factors besides the Person of Jesus, that any inference from it
[i. e. from its belief] to Him is in the highest degree unsafe” (p. 623). “It may even be questioned whether, if He had re-appeared on earth about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) He would have recognized Himself in the Christ tben preached in the Church” (p. 623). “Little of His real history can now be certainly ascertained ; what is certain is, that those supernatural acts and events whereop the faith of the Church has principally fastened, never occurred at all."* Strauss admits, with Spinoza, that the Divine wisdom which is the eternal Son of God 'was remarkably (in aus. gezeichneter Weise) manifested in Jesus Christ’; but His example can only be considered a partial and one-sided model,f and the great work of future theology is to discriminate the ideal from the historical Christ,' and thus convert “the religion of Christ into the religion of humanity' (pp. 624-26). Strauss hails in Renan a fellowlabourer in the same cause, with whose book his own shakes hands across the Rhine,' though he considers the Vie de Jésus by no means free from grave errors, especially, as we learn elsewhere (p. 37), in ascribing an undue and suicidal authority to the narrative portion of St. John's Gospel.
The distinctions between the old Christianity, which the author desires to supplant, and the new religion to be substituted for it, are thus summarized in the Preface. “As long as Christianity is regarded as something given to mankind from without, Christ, as One come from heaven, His Church as an institution for the purification of men from sin through His Blood, the religion of the Spirit is itself unspiritually conceived of, and Christianity as Judaical. When it is understood, that in Christianity mankind has only become more deeply conscious of itself than before, that Jesus is only the man in whom this deeper consciousness first came forth, as a power deter
* Has there not sometimes been a tendency among orthodox writers to dwell too exclusively on the miracles as proofs of power ? They are surely represented in the Gospels primarily as exhibitions, so to say, of the character of God, as revelations of divine love. This is noticed, I believe, in the Bp. of Algiers' 06. servations on Renan's book, which I only know, however, from extracts.
+ Elsewhere (pp. 37, 38), it is argued at length, that so long as Christ is viewed as a mere man He cannot be held to represent the perfect ideal of humanity. The criticism is intended for Keim, a German writer, but has its obvious application to Renan also. I may add, that the charge of cold-bloodedness' brought against the first Leben Jesu is equally applicable to the second. It has none of that glow of sympathy which gives to the Vie de Jésus its seductive charm. It is not bread but a stone.