Table of Contents
§ 1. The New Testament immediately emancipated itself from the conditions of its origin, and claimed to be regarded as simply a gift of the Holy Spirit. It held an independent position side by side with the Rule of Faith; it at once began to influence the development of doctrine, and it became in principle the final court of appeal for the Christian life.
§ 3. The New Testament definitely protected the Old Testament as a book of the Church, but thrust it into a subordinate position and thus introduced a wholesome complication into the conception of the Canon of Scripture.
§ 4. The New Testament has preserved for us the most valuable portion of primitive Christian literature; yet at the same time it delivered the rest of the earliest works to oblivion, and has limited the transmission of later works.
§ 6. The New Testament obscured the true origin and the historical significance of the works which it contained, but on the other hand, by impelling men to study them, it brought into existence certain conditions favourable to the critical treatment and correct interpretation of these works.
§ 7. The New Testament checked the imaginative creation of events in the scheme of Salvation, whether freely or according to existing models; but it called forth or at least encouraged the intellectual creation of facts in the sphere of Theology, and of a Theological Mythology.
§ 8. The New Testament helped to demark a special period of Christian Revelation, and so in a certain sense to give Christians of later times an inferior status; yet it has kept alive the knowledge of the ideals and claims of Primitive Christianity.
§ 9. The New Testament promoted and completed the fatal identification of the Word of the Lord and the Teaching of the Apostles; but, because it raised Pauline Christianity to a place of highest honour, it has introduced into the history of the Church a ferment rich in blessing.
§ 10. In the New Testament the Catholic Church forged for herself a new weapon with which to ward off all heresy as unchristian; but she has also found in it a court of control before which she has appeared ever increasingly in default.
§ 11. The New Testament has hindered the natural impulse to give to the content of Religion a simple, clear, and logical expression, but, on the other hand, it has preserved Christian doctrine from becoming a mere philosophy of Religion.
Appendix III. The Beginnings of the Conception of an “Instrumentum Novissimum”; the Hope for the “Evangelium Æternum”; the Public Lection, and the quasi-Canonical Recognition, of the Stories of the Martyrs in the Church