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conduct-perfect righteousness, He declares the distinct consciousness of the necessity of an advance from the law of the Mosaic religion to one more pure and spiritual. In doing this He might still be convinced that He was abiding by that law in its true meaning ; but when He placed that meaning exclusively in the moral requirement, in the command to love God and one's neighbour, He declared indirectly that the whole ritual law was a thing of no importance, and established a principle which, in its logical development, must of itself have led to a rupture with Mosaism, even had He himself given no more definite indications in this direction. And that this was the case is shown by the further development of Christianity; for as it cannot be doubted that Paul was the first to declare faith in Christ and the observance of the Mosaic law to be incompatible things, preached the abolition of the law, the foundation of a new religion fundamently opposed both to Judaism and heathenism, he must have discovered in the faith which he found already existing in the Christian community, something which made it appear to him irreconcileable with the continued validity of the law; and thus only can be explained, on the one hand his passionate zeal for the eradication of the new doctrine, and on the other the antinomistic form which this doctrine immcdiately took in his own mind after his conversion. He held fast by his conviction of the impossibility of combining the Christian faith with the Jewish, but with a turn that showed the greatest genius and originality. He now saw in that which had been to him the greatest offence in Christianity, its most pre-eminent excellence, and the main object of Christ's appearance to consist in putting an end to the law, and replacing the Jewish religion by a new and more perfect one. And we read
even that Stephen, the persecuted of Paul, declared that Jesus, at His second coming, will abrogate the Templeservice, and give a new law in place of the Mosaic; and when the Acts of the Apostles represents this statement as false evidence, it immediately after puts into the mouth of Stephen a speech culminating in the proposition that Solomon, indeed, built a house for God, but that He does not dwell in houses built by hands. But if Stephen declared such views, and Paul found them in existence, the most probable conclusion is that the occasion of them was given in Jesus' own declarations, and not merely indirectly in the spirit of His doctrine.
With this relation of freedom towards Mosaism in Jesus may have been connected an attempt or an intention to give admission “ to the kingdom of God” to nonIsraelites without any preliminary adoption into communion with the Jewish people or religion. To what extent this was the case is difficult to decide ; for the reason that not merely the different Gospels, but also different passages of one and the same Gospel, are far from agreeing in their statements on this point. Luke (ix, 52, ff. ; x. 30, ff. ; xvii. 11, ff.) and John (iv. 4, ff. ; x. 10, 16; xii. 20, f.) represent Jesus as not only meeting with a fertile field of operations in Samaria, and an aptitude among Samaritans which inspires Him with words of recognition towards this mixed nation so odious to the Jews, but they represent Him also as unequivocally prefiguring the subsequent mission to the heathen, and prophesying the foundation of a Church which shall unite Jews and Gentiles in a spiritual worship of God, disengaged from the Jewish cult. In Matthew, on the other hand (xix. 1; xv. 21, ff. x. 5, f.; and similarly in Mark (x. 1; vii, 25), in going to Jerusalem He avoids the nearer road through Samaria ; He forbids the Apostles, when He sends them out, to turn to heathens or Samaritans; He warns them, in the same sense as it appears, not to throw what is holy before dogs and swine; He compares the heathen to dogs, to which is not to be given the bread which belongs to the children, the Israelites; and refuses at first to heal the daughter of the heathen woman, because He is only sent to the Jews. But the same Matthew (viii. 5, ff.) also agrees with Luke (vii. 1, ff.) in speaking of His readiness to fulfil the desire of the heathen captain in Capernaum, and on this occasion he attributes to Him an expression (in Luke xiii. 28, f.) in which He declares with severity that the faithful shall, in the kingdom of God, take the place of the unbelieving Jews. He makes Him repeat the same threat xxi. 43 (where the others omit it). He speaks of His having uttered before His death the prophecy that the Gospel shall be preached to all nations (xxiv. 14); and after His resurrection (xxvii. 19, with Luke, xxiv. 47; Mark xvi. 15) the commission to His disciples to devote themselves to the problem.
It is impossible to reconcile these different accounts ; but if it is asked which of them deserves most credit it cannot indeed be mistaken that, in the case of one part of those of a Catholic tendency, and in particular of the whole representation of John, and in the main also, of that of Luke, the views and relations of a later period are reflected in them ; it would, nevertheless, be an overhasty assumption to maintain that this is the case with all without exception, and that among the various component parts of the Evangelical tradition, and in particular among those of Matthew, the Catholic must necessarily be later and less historical than the special. On the contrary, if we take into consideration the circumstances under which the Evangelical tradition was formed, we may certainly assume that, during the conflict between Jewish exclusiveness and Pauline Catholicity which occupied the generations immediately succeeding Jesus, not merely one side, but the other as well, endeavoured to fortify itself by the words and the example of Christ, and dealt with the Evangelical history in this sense; and if we call in other analogies to our assistance we shall likewise be compelled to say, that as Luther was a more liberal spirit than the Lutheran divines of the succeeding generation, and Socrates a more profound thinker than Xenophon or Antisthenes, so also Jesus must be unconditionally credited with having raised Himself far higher above the narrow prejudices of His nation than those of His disciples, who could scarcely understand the spread of Christianity among the heathen when it had become an accomplished fact. If, therefore, we cannot doubt that He was far from educing out of the religious principle which He introduced into the world, a Catholic result so decidedly and thoroughly as Paul did; still, on the other hand, He was not so far removed from it as that He might not, under certain circumstances, have considered those who were not Jews deserving of his intercourse and teaching; and thus, in conclusion, Strauss may be near the truth in conjecturing that Jesus did, in the first instance, refer His calling only to His own people, but that as time went on, and His communication with Samaritans and heathen increased, and His experience of aptitude in them, and of obstinacy in the Jews increased, He included them more and more in His plan, and raised Himself at last to the idea that they might afford appreciable support to the society founded by Him, but made no immediate preparation for this, leaving all beyond to time.
Still more important than the question just discussed is that as to the relation in which Jesus stood to the idea which constituted, at that time, the nucleus of the religious and political hopes of His nation, and which was destined through Him to attain to such a world-wide importance, so profound a modification—the idea of the Messiah. The answer, indeed, to this question would be, according to the ordinary conception, extremely simple. At the beginning of His public appearance He announced Himself as the Saviour promised by the prophets ; but He had, at the same time, removed from the expectation of the Messiah cherished by His people all political elements, all national limitation, and understood accordingly by the Messiah the spiritual Saviour of the whole of mankind. But the historical correctness of this assumption is not so firmly established as that a more accurate investigation, both in respect of the moment at which Jesus declared Himself to be the Messiah, and of the conceptions which He connected with this title, might not give different results. As regards, in the first place, the moment of His appearance as the Messiah, all our Evangelists do indeed assume it as self-evident that from the first He was perfectly conscious of His Messianic dignity. And this, after all which they tell of His birth, His baptism in the Jordan, and His temptation, could not be otherwise. And they represent Him as announcing this consciousness, not only practically by His miraculous operation, in which He plenipotentiarily gives commands to sicknesses and demons, but on occasion as expressly declaring it in words (e.g. Matt. ix. 15; x. 23; xi. 2, ff. parall.). But, at the same time, the same informants tell us that at a later period of His public ministry He recognised a special revelation of God, in the fact that Peter declared Him to