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NEXT to Christology the question as to the law was the chief point of contention between Jews and Christians. Since Paul had proclaimed the annulling of the law for all Christians, they had remained practically free. Isolated attempts on the part of the Jews to reintroduce the law among the Christians were at once energetically repulsed—we need but look at the Epistle to the Hebrews, and at that of Barnabas. In Justin’s time, things have come to such a pitch that those who cling to the law after the manner of the old Jewish Christians are denied all hope of future blessedness by many members of the Church Catholic. It was impossible to go back upon the position laid down by St Paul. But to formulate and establish his theses soon proved to be impracticable. He himself had gone no further than to declare that the law had been annulled. The Jews forthwith reproach the Christians with having fallen away from the faith of the fathers in 60 order to live in a state of immoral license. All that St Paul said about the influence of the Holy Spirit and one’s baptismal obligations was in vain. The absence of law meant licentiousness. The reproach of the Jews was all the more dangerous as they had an appearance of right on their side with their political denunciations. Thereby they compelled the Christian apologists to take up a positive position towards the law. The point to be proved was that far from being apostates, the Christians alone truly observed the law. In reality they were maintaining that which was not true. No man in all the world ever observes the Sabbath, circumcision and the regulations concerning food, by not troubling about them. This was not the first time, however, that the art of the theologian managed to turn No into Yes, and Yes into No.

The First Gospel makes the earliest attempt in this direction. It is possible that the great declaration in the Sermon on the Mount, “I came to fulfil the law, not to destroy it,” may have been originally inserted by Judaizers. It is certain, however, that the words, as we read them to-day, are to be taken, not in a Jewish sense, but in that of the Catholic Church, and only thus obtained a footing in the Church. This is proved by the mere fact of the addition, “and the prophets” to the word “law.” Jesus here simply declares that He is the true interpreter of the Old Testament, that He alone has seized its inner meaning, and that this meaning is to be accepted by the Church. Naturally this is only possible if the interpretation be free and allegorical, in other words, Christian. Christ is the second 61 Moses, who has seized upon the true meaning of the law. The Christians, therefore, do not transgress the law but fulfil it.

The addition, “and the prophets,” is very characteristic of the methods pursued by the Christians in their apologetic. Whilst the Jews take their stand firmly upon the law and fight against the Christians from this basis, the latter substitute the “law and the prophets” in their defence: they shelter themselves behind the Old Testament as the word of God, of prophecy. Both the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Lucan writings, and the Johannine Gospel convert the controversy as to the law into one concerning prophecy. The law, too, is to be read as foretelling Christ. St Luke’s procedure is very instructive in this connection. In the source which lay before him he found the saying: “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fall.” He could not simply omit the saying. It was too well known, and one had to define one’s position towards it. He therefore inserts in front of these words as to the eternal validity of the law the other statement, “the law and the prophets were until John,” in order at least to indicate their meaning. And then he further shows in what sense they are to be interpreted by the concluding words of the following parable. Moses and the prophets are the road to Faith, the law is to be forever valid as a prophecy leading to Christ. Hence Paul says in the Acts, “I believe all things which are according to the law and which are written in the prophets”; and so too Jesus says in the Fourth Gospel, “If ye believed Moses ye would believe Me; for he wrote of Me”; as though the important matter 62 in the case of the law were believing and not much rather doing. Now, as soon as the law is itself regarded as a prophetic book the contrast between the law and Christ of course entirely disappears; the law can itself be explained as the Revelation of Christ, who is the giver of all prophecy and every word of God. This is what John has done. He was the first to regard the law given by Moses as a subordinate and merely preparatory gift of the same Logos who afterwards appeared in Jesus Christ in all His mercy and truth. Here the Pauline controversy as to the law is almost entirely forgotten. The law is itself regarded from a Christian point of view, but it ceases to count as law in the earlier sense of the word.

In spite of all, however, the controversy continued. It could not be definitely settled by simply smoothing over the real points of opposition. The fact that the ceremonial law was no longer obligatory upon Christians had to be established by some clear theory. The first attempts to discover such a theory are to be found in the Epistle to the Hebrews and the speech of Stephen. The transitory nature of the ceremonial law is proved from the Old Testament itself. If God, speaking by the prophets, foretells a new covenant and a high priest after the order of Melchizedek and therefore not of Aaron’s, He Himself declares the old legislation to have been superseded. The severe sayings of the prophets directed against sacrifices and the temple, in which God Himself rejects the Jewish ceremonial, point in the direction. These indications are expanded into a fully developed theory in Barnabas; he was one of the most outspoken opponents of Judaism, 63 and at the same time devoted heart and soul to the Old Testament. The starting-point of his criticism is the story of the breaking of the tables of the law by Moses as he descended from Mount Sinai; which signified that God had already gone back upon the covenant which He had proclaimed with Israel in order that the Christians might be the first to have the true covenant with Jesus sealed in their hearts. This criticism could, however, be refuted from the book of Exodus itself, and was therefore rejected by the Christian teachers. The opinion that God had given the law in a Christian spirit and that the Jews had misunderstood it in taking it literally, having been visited by an evil spirit, was of greater importance subsequently. Barnabas rests this theory upon numerous anti-ceremonial prohibitions in the prophets which proved to him that God does not desire their literal fulfilment. But this criticism was also unsatisfactory, failing as it did to distinguish sufficiently between the different parts of the law and verging perilously near upon Gnosticism by its assumption of a Satanic temptation. The only portions that held their ground were, first, the spiritual interpretations given to circumcision, the Temple, the regulations concerning food and the Sabbath, all of which were presumably a good deal older than Barnabas, and then, secondly, the important thesis: “We Christians have Christ’s new law, which is the law of liberty.”

Justin was the first to find a satisfactory explanation of the difficulty, and his answer has been accepted ever since by the Church. He collected the apologetic works of his predecessors, and also contributed to the collection. Peculiar to himself and decisive 64 for the future was his comprehensive view of history, with the leading thought of the divine education of the human race, and the acceptation of the Stoical conception of the everlasting law of Nature. The development was effected gradually. The righteous men of pre-Mosaic times knew the everlasting law of Nature, and by fulfilling the same attained to blessedness. Then God caused it to be written down in the Decalogue for the first time. And finally, after that it had been obscured in a variety of ways, Christ the new Lawgiver restored it again by setting up the two commandments of love. In Christianity, therefore, we simply have the eternal moral law restored to us in its original purity and perfection. God only gave the ceremonial law for a transient purpose. The Jews were marked by circumcision as a punishment, and the other ceremonial laws were added because of the hardness of their hearts to keep them from idolatry. True, the ceremonial law has an inner meaning which is for all time, besides the literal meaning which was but for a season, but then this inner meaning was not clearly revealed before Christ came. We find these thoughts of Justin’s expressed still more clearly and consistently by Irenaeus. Supported by these theories the Christians no longer felt themselves to be apostates but the possessors of a knowledge of the divine purpose in the granting of the law, which placed them in a position of proud superiority.

The significance of the whole of this controversy was purely theoretical. The actual freedom of the Christians from the law was its presupposition; it needed to be sanctioned, it already existed as a 65 matter of fact. Nor, thanks to this same theoretical character, had the new doctrine, that Christianity is the new legal religion, any bad consequences for the moment. This very doctrine, which had originated in the endeavour to meet Jewish views, was now employed to justify the breach with the Jews. Formally the point was granted, there must be a law, but the concession was merely the steppingstone to the actual victory gained by the purely moral conception of the law. It was fatal, however, that the thesis as to the new law obtained a footing at the very time when Judaism had just begun to make its way into Christianity from another direction.

For, whilst the controversy as to the validity of the national law was occupying public attention, a far more important process was pursuing its silent course with entirely opposite results. All that was essential in Jewish ethics was tacitly being accepted by the Church, just as the apologetic and angelology in the domain of faith. The squabbles of theologians are not the only objects of importance in the world. The greatest changes are effected quietly by the natural exchange of ideas in social intercourse without being either prohibited or permitted.

The reasons for this influx of Jewish ethics into the Christian Church are evident. The words of Jesus were at first but little known, and scanty as they were in number they referred to but a few of the many relations of life. But Paul himself had made very frequent use of the Old Testament, especially of the Proverbs and Psalms. It was easiest to follow him in this direction. Almost all the ethical admonitions, e.g., that are contained in 1 Peter, 1 Clement, and also in St James, are based upon the Jewish proverbial philosophy in the Psalms, Proverbs, and also the Prophets, Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom of Solomon, or they are founded upon the Old Testament narrative as the great collection of moral examples. For all these Christian teachers the ceremonial law has simply been annulled, but the moral treasures of the sacred book they do not intend to give up under any considerations whatever. But in so doing they appropriate a system of ethics which has a character quite of its own—the ethics of later Judaism.

The procedure of the Christians was, moreover, exactly the same here as in the domain of faith. They took over the most recent Jewish writings of an ethical character and turned them into Christian tracts by a few scanty additions. An unquestionable instance of this is to be found in the Jewish Testaments of the twelve patriarchs, an example of an exceedingly copious and lofty moral literature, to which were appended a few Christological statements. The origin of the little tract concerning the two ways—the Way of Life and the Way of Death—is not quite so certain. It now stands at the commencement of the Didache as a catechism for proselytes, but we meet with it before this at the conclusion of the Epistle of Barnabas. The tract originally formed an independent work. There is nothing Christian about it, nor are parallels wanting in the nearly-related Jewish literature for the absence of everything that is distinctively and nationally Jewish. But the fact that a Christian and a Jewish origin can be maintained for the same writing is in itself remarkable. The exceedingly close resemblance 67 between later Jewish and Christian ethics alone renders this possible. The commandments and parables of Hermas likewise set forth a morality which is closely connected with that of the Testaments, and must be called Jewish, if we except a few sentences. Probably Hermas really made use of Jewish tracts. It is worth noticing, too, that so powerful a Christian work as the Epistle of St James could be considered Jewish on account of its surprisingly abundant points of contact with Jewish moral writings.

The presuppositions of these later Jewish and early Christian ethics strike us to-day as strangely childlike. Every human being is placed between God and the devil. Both would influence him and win him over. For this purpose they send forth their angels or spirits to him. Now these are nothing but the various moods and feelings, fancies and impulses, which are conceived of as something foreign to the man and due to external influence. We find it is true beside this, the impersonal conceptions of lust, pleasure, and conscience as immanent powers. Man is completely free to decide between good and bad. According to his decision the good or evil spirit wins the upper hand in him and the thought passes into deed, with the consequent reward or punishment. Even after the deed is done man retains his freedom. If he has hitherto followed the evil spirit he can choose the road of repentance which leads home again. Not only the Testaments and the commandments of Hermas, but the Epistle of St James and even the First of St Peter presuppose conceptions such as these.

From the abundant ethical material of all these 68 writings we can easily recognize what appeared to be of especial importance to later Judaism. First of all, as a rule, comes the demand to believe in the one God, the Creator of the world, i.e., the confession of monotheism in opposition to the polytheism of the converts surroundings. “Believe thou, above all, that there is one God who hath created all things.” Such is the beginning of the commandments of Hermas, and the Two Ways begins in a similar fashion. That there is one God is the fundamental article of the creed which even the devils believe. All the catalogues of virtues in Hermas begin with faith. Thoroughly Jewish, again, is the circumstance that Hermas immediately adds the fear of God to faith, and the Two Ways describes religion as the “fear of God.” Indeed that is the name which is characteristic of Jewish propaganda everywhere.

The next thing that is enjoined is usually continence or chastity: the commandment to keep oneself unspotted from the world. The whole world appeared to the religious man of that age to be a temple of immorality, be it in deed or merely in desire. The manifold temptations with which the religious man is assailed in his goings out and his comings in are minutely described, sometimes too minutely, so that they acquire an especial interest of their own. For it cannot be maintained that Judaism merely took sins that were actually committed into account. The distinction between sins of fact and sins of thought was one with which it had long been familiar, and through the greater inwardness of the moral claim it had only too often been led to a weak and even morally dangerous introspection of motives and 69 the birth of sin. By its detailed examination of the origin of an evil lust in the author’s heart, the first vision of Hermas provides a commentary on the text in St James: “People are in every case tempted by their own passions—allured and enticed by them. Then the passion conceives and gives birth to sin, and sin on reaching maturity brings forth death.” Hence the exhortation to the strictest vigilance and discipline of the senses. Men are warned against the dangers, not only of immorality, but also of drunkenness, against the eagerness to acquire wealth and to seek amusement, against luxury; and the close connection between these sins and the first, which is the greatest of all, is pointed out.

Next to chastity we hear most frequently of singleness of heart, and of its contrary double-mindedness. The ideal of the religious life was held to include the earnest endeavour to attain to a morality which should be at once complete, clear and simple, lifted far up above all doubt and hesitation or secret participation in the forbidden fruit, and of transparent sincerity both in what it did and in what it left undone.

Within the narrower circle of the brethren, sympathy, benevolence and compassion are esteemed most highly. To visit the widows and fatherless in their affliction is almost the half of true religion for St James and also for Hermas. At all times the Jews have achieved very striking results by their works of charity to the poor of their own faith. A proof of this is the wonderful amount of cohesion that existed amongst the Jews of the dispersion. At the same time, however, they exaggerated the value of 70 such charity to a terrible extent. The text, “Love covers a multitude of sins,” which made its way from later Judaism into all early Christian writings, as though it were the most important article in the creed, is taken to mean, “Almsgiving lightens the burden of sins.” But, on the other hand, a more inward signification was attached to compassion and pity. And the inference was then drawn in a manner which reminds us almost of the Gospel itself, that all anger, jealousy, envy and hatred are of the evil one and must be combated.

It is by no means easy clearly to characterize the difference between these late Jewish ethics and the ethics of the Gospel. The latter have evidently found an ally in the former. Both agree in their indifference to all that is merely national, in their greater inwardness, in their extension of the claim of morality to the whole of man’s life. We come across Christian sayings, even reminiscences, of Jesus in St James’ Epistle, although the author is probably almost entirely unacquainted with the words of the Gospel.

And yet it is a new ethics which now enters into the Christian Churches. The most striking characteristic is legality. It would be going a great deal too far, it is true, to ascribe its origin to the influence of Judaism alone. It is a constantly recurring feature in the history of religion that that which began in the freedom of spirit ended—was bound to end—in the restriction of law, for it is only possible to discipline large masses of men by laws and institutions. This process was still further accelerated in the Christian Church by the rise of the Gnostic heresies which in many cases 71 proclaimed an entire emancipation from law and order, to the ruin of the Churches. Judaism played a very important part, however, in the introduction of the idea of legality into the Church. The Old Testament and later Jewish literature, which was read for purposes of edification to the almost entire exclusion of every other, presented the religious relation predominantly as one of obedience to the law resting upon positive divine authority and confirmed by threats and promises.

In his Jewish source Hermas found a parable describing the dispersion of the people of God—the Israelites—all over the world under the protection of the law. The archangel Michael was the governor of this people, and gave the law to each individual Israelite. Varying results followed, and these the parable indicated by its distinction of three principal classes: the righteous, the sinners who have not as yet lost all hope of repentance, and the utterly lost. The law he explains as being the Son of God, and the people of God as the different peoples who have accepted the Faith. But a few lines further on he forgets his Christian exegesis, and is completely under the influence of his Jewish source. Even the name and office of Michael are left unaltered. He speaks of the law and of the law alone. Martyrs are men who have suffered death for the law, while there are others who were grievously oppressed for the law—though they were not actually put to death—and did not deny their law. The meaning which he attaches to the law is, of course, quite different to that which it possessed in his Jewish source, but the form is the same. Like Hermas, James introduced purely 72 Jewish legalism into the Christian congregations; and in whatever other devotional writings we find emphasis laid upon the keeping of the commandments as the most important factor upon which reward and punishment depends, these old Jewish associations are exercising their influence by the side of the teaching of Jesus.

The consequences of this legal view of morality were exactly the same as those which manifested themselves in Judaism. The moral ideal is divided up into a number of single equivalent commandments which soon defy every attempt at comprehensive survey. They have to be learnt by heart as something external, something that derives its authority entirely from its divine origin and the system of rewards and punishments, i.e., from results. Now, too, the practice of drawing up long lists of virtues and vices becomes increasingly common among the Christians. The tract of the Two Ways is a model for such lists. First of all, the chief sins are enumerated in the order of the Decalogue and forbidden; then follows the prohibition of the roots of these sins in desire, thought, and speech. The Testaments of the twelve patriarchs ascribe a vice or a virtue to each of the patriarchs, which are then examined at length in their origin and their consequences. The commandments of Hermas treat of the single virtues or vices successively and separately in quite a similar manner, whilst other portions of the book give us catalogues of virtues arranged according to the numbers 7 and 12. Traces are not absolutely wanting in Hermas that he perceived the necessity of an inward connection of the virtues 73 in man; but he is quite incapable of setting forth this connection clearly. The author of the Epistle of St James, too, has an idea, though he is unable to give it anything but the baldest and most external expression, that moral action is, or at any rate ought to be, an individual whole. There is a continual process of addition and subtraction; where one is wanting, the sum is not complete. Then, too, faith and works stand to each other in a perfectly external relation. Man is no longer placed face to face with the three great realities: he is immersed in a sea of details where no one knows exactly what is important. The only connecting links between these separate commands are the divine sanction and the consequences preordained by God. That is “good” which has been revealed to mankind by God and His angels, and—so the Christians go on to say—which Jesus and His apostles have taught, and which has the promise of future reward.

But as soon as the positive law sets up a criterion of good and bad, the conception of works of supererogation, of merit, arises. Even St Matthew had connected alms, prayer and fasting in his Sermon on the Mount as acts done for God’s sake and meriting special reward. But it was Hermas beyond all others who sanctioned the Jewish idea of ‘merit’ by his prophetical writing. He discovered a parable in his source intended to illustrate this very idea. There was a servant who did a good work in addition to the task laid upon him by his Master, and then divided the reward which was allotted to him among his fellow-servants, thereby meriting a double reward. So in like manner fasting is doubly meritorious: 74 firstly, as a good work in addition to that which God has commanded; and secondly, in so far as one denies oneself something in order to divide it among the poor. Hermas did, it is true, write a criticism of fasting by way of a preface to this parable, and gave it a Christological interpretation; but the Jewish theory of merit can be read between the lines, and obtains a firm footing.

The diffusion of this same conception was still further aided by the code of morals current among the Jewish proselytes. There were proselytes of different degrees; such as only subjected themselves to the Jewish morality of the Two Ways, and such as took upon them the whole yoke of the Lord. It was only the second that led to perfection. The insertion of the catechism for proselytes into the Christian Didache gave this theory of a double standard of morality—with modified demands in the second case—apostolic sanction. In other cases, too, the fatal use of the word ‘perfection’ passes over from Judaism to Christianity. In St Mark Jesus calls upon the rich man to sell his goods, else he would not inherit eternal life; but St Matthew says else he would not attain to that perfection, which goes beyond obedience to the commandments. On the other hand, in St Matthew, the saying of Jesus as to the turning of the other cheek is still a command, it is a part of God’s will, to do which is for all men the way into the kingdom of God. In the Didache we find a tendency to account this a special mark of perfection, and inasmuch as it takes this command and the similar sayings concerning love for one’s enemies and boundless liberality as 75 illustrations of the divine love and not of the love of one’s neighbour, it must be held to be in a great measure responsible for the transformation of the core and centre of the claim of Jesus into a work of supererogation. The best way of realizing how far removed from the teaching of Jesus is this tendency to attach an especial value to the performance of more than duty requires, is to recall Jesus' parable about the unprofitable servants immediately after reading the fifth parable of Hermas.

But by far the worst consequence of the encroachment of legalism upon morality concerns the religious relation itself. Religion is again turned into a legal relation of performance and reward. God is the taskmaster and judge; man His slave who seeks to earn his reward in fear and trembling. Owing to the Jewish source from which he worked, this change is to be found very largely exemplified in Hermas. Every deed, be it good or bad, is recorded in the heavenly account-book, and every change of fortune is considered as the divine answer to man’s actions. Hence all misfortune is looked upon as punishment, with the possible exception of martyrdom, and even in this case its value for the sinner consists in its being repentance for his sins. If the misfortune appear to be greater than the merited punishment, then it must be supposed to have a supererogatory efficiency, and to be punishment for the sins of other members of the family. According to strict justice, the punishment lasts exactly as long as the sin has been indulged in; but for our feelings a day of pleasure corresponds to a year of torment. Amongst the evils and misfortunes which the author is especially 76 fond of looking upon as punishments, may be mentioned business losses, illness, disorder, ill-treatment at the hands of the unworthy. And yet if one meets with any one of these misfortunes one may still account oneself happy, for it is a proof of the divine education—God wishes our betterment—a sign that one need not fear retribution in the world to come. And then again we come across another genuine Jewish feature. God is not entirely tied down to this legal system. The Jewish religion is ever a religion of justice, and of mercy besides. As Almighty Sovereign, standing above all law, God can, according to His own good pleasure, set strict justice aside, and pardon. He then merely strikes out the debit side of the account. Hermas is full of the praise of God’s mercy; he thence derives all his comfort. Were it not for this we should despair. This arbitrary exercise of mercy, however, which at times breaks through the framework of the legal religion, changes one’s general impression but little. It does not allow of the growth of any unshaken confidence. There is no cessation of that alternation between hope and fear which characterized Judaism before Jesus and St Paul, which must exist wherever an external law intervenes between God and man.

The second principal characteristic which sharply differentiates the ethics influenced by Judaism from the ethics of the Gospel is its ecclesiasticism. This tendency, too, originated independently in the Christian Churches, and merely received a powerful impetus through the pattern presented by Jewish ethics, which for a long time previously had tended to accentuate the contrast to the heathen world, and to tighten the 77 bonds of ecclesiastical unity. St Paul had already been strongly influenced in this point by the ecclesiasticism of Jewish ethics. All that his successors did was to continue and to exaggerate what he had begun.

In the first place, the Christians take over the position occupied by the Jewish synagogue towards the Gentiles. The conceptions ‘Gentiles’ and ‘world.’ are, generally speaking, an inheritance from Judaism. The Jew included all the peoples and states of antiquity in all their manifold variety as one uniform mass under the conception of the ‘nations’ (Gentiles), and contrasted them with his Church as an unclean world under the dominion of demons. St Matthew’s version of the Sermon on the Mount shows Jewish colouring in this particular. Those who are felt to be furthest removed from the Christian ideal are called Publicans and Gentiles. “Do not even the publicans the same?” “Do not even the Gentiles the same?” and so again, “Let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.” The evangelist does not notice how badly this colouring of his words harmonizes with Jesus own life. As for Hermas, his thoughts and words are entirely influenced by this theory. The righteous, sinners, heathen—such is his division of mankind. The righteous are inheritors of the world to come. The sinners and the heathen are lost; the former because they sinned and did not repent, the latter because they knew not their Creator. “They consorted not with the righteous, but lived together with the heathen.” Such is the judgment upon one class of sinners. How would Jesus have stood in this judgment? But as it was 78 necessary after all to have dealings with the Gentiles, definite rules to regulate this intercourse had to be drawn up. The so-called decree of the apostles, the prohibition of fornication, of meat sacrificed to idols, of blood, and of strangled things, which was not yet current in St Paul’s time, is to be entirely ascribed to Jewish influences. For there was nothing more abominable to the Jews than eating meat sacrificed to idols. The Didache speaks of it as the sacrifice of death, employing a Jewish term in order to foster this feeling of abhorrence. The prohibitions of blood and of snared game are in like manner Jewish. The starting-point is the Jewish psychology which the Christians appropriate. According to Jewish conceptions, the pure Jewish blood is tainted by fornication, hence this is coupled so frequently with idolatry. The passing of this decree does not imply a victory of the old Jewish Christianity, but merely of Jewish modes of thought with regard to the world.

The converse of this strict separation from the Gentiles is presented by the intimate relation of the brethren. Paul copies the Jews in this point and goes beyond them. Clement refers his panegyric of love to love of the brethren within the Church, and surely not without some reason. When Paul, summing up his moral exhortations, speaks of love as the bond of perfection, we are involuntarily reminded of the Jewish catalogues of virtues in which love is always the keystone of the arch. One of the most important manifestations of this love—though it is by no means exhausted herein—is benevolence to one’s co-religionists. Love, peace, and humility belong together, and together constitute the complete 79 character of a faithful member of the Church such as Clement holds up to the Corinthians as an ideal. Humility does not, in this case, denote fasting, as it usually does in Jewish writings; it rather describes the subordination of the individual to the community in contrast with a proud individualism. That is the specifically Catholic conception. Hermas, again, shows us how his Jewish sources were bound to confirm this tendency. We hear their complaints of such as follow their own insight instead of the understanding of others, and who thereby go astray; about such as quarrel with each other, and do not live at peace with each other, but are always causing schisms and divisions; about such as do not unite in fellowship with God’s servants, but holding themselves aloof, destroy their souls. In like manner the catechism of the Two Ways enjoins upon all Christians: “Daily shalt thou seek the face of the saints that thou mayest be refreshed by their conversation. Thou shalt create no schism, but be a peacemaker between them that strive.” This is radically different from the saying of Jesus, “I came not to send peace but a sword.”

No one will reproach the young Christian Church for seeking instruction and advice in its ethics from the older and far more experienced Jewish Church. The position of both Churches was at bottom the same. Why should the younger pass by the treasures of wisdom of earlier generations? But then one must not be astonished to find Christian ethics retrograding in many places to the position in which Jesus and Paul found them.

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