(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Children's Library | Advanced Microdevices Manuals | Linear Circuits Manuals | Supertex Manuals | Sundry Manuals | Echelon Manuals | RCA Manuals | National Semiconductor Manuals | Hewlett Packard Manuals | Signetics Manuals | Fluke Manuals | Datel Manuals | Intersil Manuals | Zilog Manuals | Maxim Manuals | Dallas Semiconductor Manuals | Temperature Manuals | SGS Manuals | Quantum Electronics Manuals | STDBus Manuals | Texas Instruments Manuals | IBM Microsoft Manuals | Grammar Analysis | Harris Manuals | Arrow Manuals | Monolithic Memories Manuals | Intel Manuals | Fault Tolerance Manuals | Johns Hopkins University Commencement | PHOIBLE Online | International Rectifier Manuals | Rectifiers scrs Triacs Manuals | Standard Microsystems Manuals | Additional Collections | Control PID Fuzzy Logic Manuals | Densitron Manuals | Philips Manuals | The Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly Debates | Linear Technologies Manuals | Cermetek Manuals | Miscellaneous Manuals | Hitachi Manuals | The Video Box | Communication Manuals | Scenix Manuals | Motorola Manuals | Agilent Manuals
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The guidance of Jesus for to-day : being an account of the teaching of Jesus from the standpoint of modern personal and social need"

Bs THE GUIDANCE 
I OF JESUS 
FOR TO-DAY 







CECIL JOHN CADOUX 




LIBRARY 



Ugrltfo 



cfl/ 
Shelf No. 



TORONTO 



C.\\ 



Register No. -I 



THE GUIDANCE OF 
JESUS FOR TO-DAY 



THE GUIDANCE OF 
JESUS FOR TO-DAY: 

BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE 
TEACHING OF JESUS FROM 
THE STANDPOINT OF MODERN 
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL NEED By 
CECIL JOHN CADOUX, M.A..D.D. 

AUTHOR OF " THE EARLY CHRISTIAN ATTITUDE TO WAR" 





LONDON: GEORGE ALLEN & UN WIN LTD. 
RUSKIN HOUSE, 40 MUSEUM STREET, W.C. i 



First published in 1920 



(All rights reserved) 



-5 



ARTHURO 
FRATRI ET AMIGO 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

INTRODUCTION 13-22 

I. THE BEING AND GOODNESS OF GOD . . . 23-43 

1. The existence of God 23 

2. The Fatherhood of God 23 

3. Other beliefs about Him 24 

4. God s good gifts 25 

5. God provides for the bodily needs . . . . 25 

6. God supplies the needs of the moral and spiritual life 27 

7. God s responsiveness to prayer 31 

8. God " will endlessly and untiringly forgive " . 33 

9. The Kingdom of God as a gift .... 36 

10. God promises help, protection, and guidance in 

trouble 38 

11. God as the Giver of Rewards 40 

II. THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS . . . 44-70 

1. The consciousness of Jesus 44 

2. His Divinity 43 

3. The greatness and wonder of the facts ... 49 

4. His mission 51 

5. His services to men 51 

6. The performance of cures 52 

7. Guide and teacher in spiritual and moral matters . 54 

8. His prayers on behalf of men .... . 55 

9. His forgiveness of sins 56 

10. The connection between Jesus death and the for 

giveness of sins 58 

11. The inaugurator of the Kingdom of God . . 67 



8 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

PAGE 

III. HUMAN DUTY 71-174 

A. DUTY IN GENERAL ?i~73 

1. Religion as duty . 71 

2. The leading characteristics of duty . . 72 

B. THE OBSERVANCES OF RELIGION .... 74-77 

1. The ceremonial expression of religion . . 74 

2. The stuff and substance of religion . . 75 

3. The Sabbath 76 

C. OUR DUTY TO GOD 78-95 

1. Repentance 78 

2. Love 82 

3. Different aspects of love for God ... 84 

4. Obedience to God 85 

5. The imitation of His perfect Goodness . . 86 

6. The doing of God s Will 86 

7. The Kingdom of God 88 

8. Faith . 89 

9. Prayer 90 

D. OUR DUTY TO JESUS 96-118 

1. Jesus has for men the religious value of God 96 

2. Acceptance of Jesus 97 

3. Faith in Him 99 

4. Love and reverence for Him .... 102 

5. Listening Intelligently to Him . . . 103 

6. Following Him 107 

7. Obedience to Him 109 

8. Reliable, industrious, and efficient service . in 

9. The endurance of hardship and persecution . 114 
10. Mystical union with Christ . . . . 115 

E. OUR DUTY TO OTHERS GENERALLY . . . 119-129 

1. " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as (thou 

lovest) thyself" 119 

2. What is love ? 120 

3. The four general principles involved in love . 122 

4. Mercy (or kindness) . . . . . 122 

5. Wisdom 123 



Contents 9 

PAGE 

6. Truthfulness 124 

7. Humility 127 

F. OUR DUTY IN DOMESTIC AND FINANCIAL MATTERS 130-139 

1. The relations of the sexes . . . . 130 

2. The inherent sanctity of family ties . . 130 

3. The sacrifice of family obligations to the 

obligations of the Kingdom . . . . 131 

4. Celibacy 132 

5. Property 133 

6. Jesus deprecates the keen pursuit of wealth . 134 

7. Difficulty of the problem of personal property 135 

8. A popular fallacy 138 

G. OUR DUTY TO WRONGDOERS .... 140-146 

1. The treatment of wrongdoers . . . . 140 

2. How far are we capable of discerning wrong 

doing 140 

3. Overcoming evil with good . . . . 141 

4. Definite precepts positive and negative . 142 

5. Forgiveness 142 

6. Rebuke and remonstrance . . . . 143 
| Concealment 144 

7. J Caution 145 

I Withdrawal 145 

H. OUR DUTY TO OTHERS POLITICALLY . . 147-174 

1. Social and political responsibility . . . 147 

2. Simplicity and complexity of the problem . 148 

3. What is the State ? 148 

4. What the principles of Jesus amount to . 149 

i. Obedience to government-orders . . 150 

ii. Payment of taxes 150 

iii. Submission to unjust treatment . . 151 

iv. Co-operation 152 

5. An important proviso in regard to obedience 

and co-operation 152 

6. Divergence from the State in regard to coercion . 155 

7. Jesus precepts exclude coercion and injury 156 



10 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

PAGE 

8. Coercive violence necessary, in a sense, to the 

State 160 

9. Rejection of unsatisfactory solutions of the 

problem 160 

i. Only in a perfect state of society . . 161 

ii. Not the letter, but the spirit . . 161 
iii. Only in private life, not in public or 

civic affairs 161 

iv. The defence of others . . . . 162 
v. Jesus and the traders in the Temple- 
courts 162 

vi. The chastisement of children . . 163 

vii. The restraint of lunatics . . . 163 

viii. God s punishment of sinners . . . 164 

ix. War as an illustration of Christian life 164 

x. Wars and rumours of wars . . 164 

ro. Three neglected facts 165 

i. Relativity of non-resistance to Christian 

discipleship 165 

ii. The positive counterpart of non- 
resistance 1 66 

iii. The extension of non-resistance neces 
sarily gradual 166 

n. The resultant attitude of the modern Christian 

to the modern State 167 

The meaning of compromise . . . 168 

i. The payment of taxes . . . . 169 

ii. Voting 170 

iii, Obedience to, service of, and co-opera 
tion with the government . . . 170 
12. Practical developments we may look for . 171 

INDEX OF NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES REFERRED TO . 175 



" Theologians of a certain school have almost resented the 
attempt to present Christ the Teacher, as if it were better for 
Christian thought to be busied with His work than with His words. 
But what without His teaching would His Person and death 
signify ? Are they not mutally necessary, reciprocally explicative ? 
Would not His teaching be aimless without His death ? Does 
not His death grow luminous only as He Himself is made its inter 
preter ? His words have been a sort of infinite wonder to the 
world, a kind of Divine heart and conscience to it. They are but 
few ; we can read in an hour all of His thought that survives in 
the forms human art has created to clothe and immortalize the 
human spirit. Nor was He careful to preserve them, wrote no 
word, commanded no word to be written ; spoke, as it were, into 
the listening air the words it was to hear and preserve for all time. 
And the speech thus spoken into the air has been like a sweet and 
subtle Divine essence in the heart of humanity." 

A. M. FAIRBAIRN, Studies in the Life of Christ, p. 189. 



INTRODUCTION 

ONE does not need to be a Jeremiah in order to 
feel oppressed and distressed by the general con 
ditions of human life to-day. Look where we will, 
it is hard to find much solid ground for cheerfulness 
and optimism. The Great War, which was to have 
ended war and ushered in the Kingdom of God, 
has bequeathed to us a heritage of suffering and 
confusion and embitterment, which will take us a 
century at least to remove, and which threatens to 
involve us in several wars long before that century 
elapses. Our Achan has gone, but the accursed 
thing remains. Everywhere there is unrest and 
dissatisfaction and mutual recrimination over poli 
tical and industrial grievances. The Press records 
its full daily toll of private folly and iniquity. The 
Christian Church, the body to which belongs of 
natural right the task of moral inspiration and 
leadership, is coming to realize more acutely than 
ever her powerlessness to deal adequately with the 
enormous problems that face her. It is not true, 
indeed, as some would have us believe, that the 
churches are dead. There is very much in their 
life and work to be proud of and thankful for : and 
it may be that much of the feeling of depression 
prevalent in Christian circles to-day is due to the 
natural tendency of all idealists to exaggerate their 



14 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

own shortcomings. As Coventry Pat more said : 
" Christianity has always appeared to her contem 
poraries to be in a state of decay. 1 But when 
every allowance for such self-depreciation has been 
made, the recent discovery that not more than 
twenty per cent, of the manhood of the country have 
any real attachment to, knowledge of, or contact 
with, organized Christianity, 1 cannot but be felt as 

1 It had long been known that the number of professed Christians 
- or at least, of church-going Christians in this country was a 
good deal smaller than it ought to be and than it formerly had 
been. But we have recently had fresh light thrown on the actual 
condition of things in the shape of a thorough investigation into 
the state of religion in the British Army engaged in the recent 
war. The enquiry was undertaken by a large and representative 
committee of religious leaders ; and the reports thus collected 
are quoted and summarized on behalf of this committee by Dr. 
D. S. Cairns, in The Army and Religion (Macmillan, 1919). A 
number of passages from this book will be seen to bear out the 
statement in the text. 

First, in regard to the extent to which the Army is representative 
in religious matters of the population as a whole. " It may be 
well maintained that the attitude of the Army to-day towards 
religion is fairly indicative of the normal attitude of the British 
people as a whole toward religion" (p. 24). "In all this the 
Army is simply a reflex of average opinion at home, as everyone 
who is acquainted with average public opinion is well aware. The 
Christian ideal and interpretation of national life are simply not 
in possession " (p. 337). " Nothing can surely be clearer than 
that the great world of to-day is not governed by Christian stand 
ards, and for the want of them has come, for the time, to con 
fusion " (p. 324). 

Next, in regard to the actual conditions in the Army, I have 
noted some thirty odd passages (of various lengths) in the book, 
testifying to the poverty of religious knowledge and attainment 
among the soldiers. See pp. 10 (" The religion of ninety per cent, 
of the men at the front is not distinctively Christian "), 24 (" To 
a very large proportion of the men God Himself means little or 
nothing "), 34 (" Jesus Christ is, in my opinion, not present to 
their consciousness, either as an idea or example. They do not 
think about Him at all, I believe "), 46 f (similar statement by 
Dr. Cairns in regard to over four-fifths of the men), 60 (Dr. Cairns : 



Introduction 15 

a reproach, or at least as a very grave challenge, 
to the Church. When we add to this the shame 

" The answers . . . are all to the effect that the vast majority 
are in a condition of ignorance about the Christian religion "), 
62 (" The majority have not the foggiest notion of what Christianity 
is all about "), 69 (similar), 70 (" The great majority had never 
found themselves compelled to reckon with religion at all "), 
78 (" The majority of men think very little about religion "), 
80 ("I am convinced that the attitude of these men before 
the war was pagan "), 95 (" . . . the mass of men, hitherto out 
of touch with the Churches "), 108-123 (many similar testimonies, 
e.g. " the ignorance of the Army in religious matters is colossal " ; 
" that four out of every five should be lost to the Church is a 
startling fact "), 144 f (pagan opinion in the Army as to impurity), 
177 (the men in the Army " do not seem to know anything about " 
the Kingdom of God), 189 ff (Dr. Cairns : " It is safe to say that 
these papers convey the overwhelming conviction that the very 
large preponderance of the men in the armies have no really living 
touch with any Church. On this, indeed, there is practical 
unanimity. . . . What percentage of the men, would you say, 
are in vital relationship with any of the Churches ? . . . About 
four-fifths of all the numerical estimates made in reply to the 
above question give twenty per cent, and under. . . . We do 
not base our view of the whole situation on these necessarily 
imperfect inductions, but on the general cumulative effect of the 
whole mass of evidence, which certainly bears out the impression 
that these estimates convey, that three-fourths or four-fifths of 
the men from England are outside living relationship " (i.e. with 
the Church), " and that while the situation in Scotland is some 
what better, it is very grave "), 203, 205 (" I should say that 
loper cent, are vitally related to the Church, and 10 per cent, semi- 
attached "), 209, 217, 221, 223-226, 229, 234, 240, 448 (" Every 
one must be struck with the appalling ignorance of the simplest 
religious truths. Probably 80 per cent, of these men from the 
Midlands have never heard of the Sacraments. . . . Nor must 
it be assumed that this ignorance is confined to men who have 
passed through the elementary schools. The same verdict is 
recorded upon those who have been educated in our public schools "), 
452 (" the 80 per cent, of the manhood of the country at present 
unreached by any form of organised Christianity "). 

I owe my readers an apology for the inordinate length of this 
note : but I thought it best to let the various witnesses speak 
for themselves, so that the cumulative effect of their independent 
testimony might not be missed. As will have been seen, it would 



16 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

of our disunion, 1 the insufficiency everywhere of the 
spirit of fellowship, the diminution of our numbers, 
and the chaotic confusion of our thinking, it is hard 
to repress feelings of the most serious discontent and 
the most poignant sorrow. Men everywhere to-day 
are in the same pitiable state as were the crowds 
upon whom Jesus had compassion, " because they 
were worried and bewildered, like sheep without a 
shepherd/ 

But man s extremity is God s opportunity. Nothing 
disposes men more to listen to God s voice and to 
seek to know His Will, than does the discovery of 
their own utter need and their inability to meet it 
out of their own resources. The crying necessity 
of to-day is a re-discovery of God s Will for the 
conduct of human life. A time of general discontent 
is a time for everyone to push his own pet corrective 
for human ills. Many of the correctives that are 
being so warmly commended to us in these days 
may be of very great value : but how can one be 
sure that any one of them really touches the centre 
of the problem ? At any rate we need some un 
mistakably radical policy, which clearly goes to the 
heart of the matter and which will serve as a test 
to measure the worthiness and promise of every 
proposed reform. Nothing less than a re-discovery 

have been easy to swell the size of the note still further by quoting 
other passages verbatim ; but what has been quoted will suffice 
to make it clear that, whatever allowance has to be made for the 
impossibility of obtaining exact statistics, for the larger number 
of women than of men in the Church, etc, the society in which 
we live is predominantly unchristian, so far as any conscious 
profession of Christianity goes. 

1 On the scandal caused to religiously minded outsiders by 
the divisions of the Church, see The Army and Religion, pp. 212-219, 
241 f. 



Introduction 17 

of God s Will for human life will satisfy these con 
ditions. And when once that is admitted, the next 
step is not difficult. What means have we of know 
ing God s Will ? God has not left Himself without 
witnesses. Guided by the promptings of His Spirit 
within us, we recognize the expression of His purposes 
in the world of nature, and in every good life, past 
and present. But there is One in whom, by the 
consensus of orthodox and heterodox alike, 

The Great Invisible, by symbols seen, 
Shines with peculiar and concentred light. 

In Jesus we have the fullest revelation of that 
Divine Love and that Divine Law which are less 
perfectly charactered for us in all human goodness 
and in all natural beauty. But much as we can 
learn from these latter, we cannot afford to ignore 
God s special and unspeakable gift. Our need is 
so urgent that we dare not give other than the first 
place in the counsels of our life to Jesus. His touch 
has still its ancient power. 1 Dean Inge has truly 
said : " Since there never has been a time when the 
character of Christ and the ethics which he taught 
have been held in higher honour than the present, 
there is every reason to expect that the next Age 
of Faith/ when it comes, will be of a more genuinely 
Christian type than the last." * We say of Jesus 
what our evangelical fathers said with a somewhat 

? " The real miracle, which only escapes our notice because it 
is so familiar, is the irresistible vitality of the ethical teaching of 
the Gospel " (F. C. Burkitt, The Gospel History and its Transmission, 
p. 27). " History itself has shown that in the main it " (the teach 
ing of Jesus) "... is as fresh at the end of eighteen centuries 
as when first it was delivered " (W. Sanday, in Hastings Dictionary 
of the Bible, ii. p. 6iyA). Outspoken Essays, p. 171. 

2 



18 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

different reference from theirs, no doubt, but with 
no less conviction and fervour : " There is salvation 
in none other : for there is no other name under 
heaven given among men whereby we must be 
saved," and therefore, " how shall we escape, if 
we neglect so great salvation ? " J 

In face of the magnitude of the issue and of the 
task it involves, the contribution offered by this 
little book is a very small and modest one. It is 
simply an account of the content of Jesus teaching 
framed, not on the plan that would commend itself 
most readily to the scientific critic, but with an 
eye to the personal needs and duties of the modern 
Christian disciple, and furnished with such brief 
comments and elucidations as will, it is hoped, help 
to make the bearing of this teaching on modern 
problems somewhat clearer. "It is one of the 
highest tasks," said Benjamin Jowett, " on which 
the labour of a life can be spent, to bring the words 
of Christ a little nearer the heart of man." 2 And 
it is with the object of doing something towards 
the fulfilment of that task that the following pages 
are offered to the public. The substance of them 
was first put together and delivered in the form of 
lectures at the invitation of the Ministry Committee 
of the Society of Friends at York in November and 
December, 1919. It has however been largely recast 
and rewritten for publication. 

Before, however, we proceed to the details of 

1 Cf Oscar Holtzmann, Life of Jesus (ET), p. 527 : " That 
ecclesiastical community will, we cannot doubt, be able to claim 
a pre-eminence over all others which guides its members nearest 
to a historical understanding of primitive Christianity, with a 
view to renewing within itself the primitive Christian ideal of life." 

* Essays and Revieivs, p. 380. 



Introduction 19 

our subject, something further must be said in 
regard to the general relation of Jesus teaching 
to modern Christian life. Three views of that 
relationship are possible : first, that we ought to 
obey completely and literally all that Jesus said, 
because he said it ; secondly, that we do not need 
to obey any of it literally, either because we are 
not under law but under grace, or because, having 
the Risen Christ within us, we do not need the 
detailed guidance of the historical Jesus, or for 
some other reason ; and thirdly, that we ought 
indeed to obey it, but that our obedience is limited 
in some way. The first of these positions is wrong, 
because it would give us no right to judge one pre 
cept more important than another, to say for instance 
that it is more important to love God than to cross 
the Sea of Galilee, for to do so would be to appeal 
to an authority more fundamental than that of the 
teaching itself. The second, though held in high 
quarters, is wrong, because it does not do justice 
to the immense stress which Jesus laid on men s 
obedience to his teaching, because it presupposes 
that the Inner Light dispenses with the necessity 
for all external guidance, and because, if admitted, 
the worst acts of unchristian cruelty can be justified. 1 

1 Compare, e.g. J. F. Bethune-Baker, The Influenca of Christi 
anity on War (1888), pp. nf: "Christ never seems to wish so 
much to assert a new truth, or a new law, as to impress upon His 
hearers the spiritual significance of some old truth or law ; to raise 
them altogether out of the sphere of petty detail into the life of all- 
embracing principles ; to show them how all depends upon the 
spirit and the motive of their actions, how they may do all things 
to the glory of God. . . . The theory upon which the Inquisition 
acted, that physical sufferings are of no moment in comparison 
with the supreme importance of the spiritual welfare, is quite 
consonant with the tone of Christ s commands and teaching " 



20 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

The third also is wrong, if the limits set to our 
obedience are an arbitrary selection of ill-thought- 
out claims, such as those of denominational loyalty, 
fashion, personal convenience, business, patriotism, 
or obedience to the powers that be. The truth of 
the matter is surely this : that Divine guidance is 
a compound of two elements : firstly, an internal 
and subjective stimulus and check, the testimonium 
Spiritus Sancti within us, the indwelling Christ 
of Paul, the Inner Light of the Quaker, the con 
science of the ordinary man, which prompts us to 
seek God s Will and which, however imperfect may 
be the use we are able to make of it, is yet our 
ultimate and most fundamental authority in religious 
and moral matters, because it is the only point 
where God and ourselves come into immediate contact 
and the only means we have of recognizing the 
Divine Truth and the Divine Will when they are 
externally presented to us ; and secondly, the 
external embodiments of the Divine Truth and Will 
in nature, reason, human goodness, and in Jesus- 
embodiments which are subject indeed to the certi 
fication and the check of the Inner Light, but with 
which the Inner Light, for all its ultimacy and 
fundamentality, cannot dispense. The teaching of 
Jesus has therefore got to be both criticized and 
obeyed, both sifted and reverently observed : and 
just as the obligation to obey does not cancel the 
need for criticism and interpretation, neither ought 

(italics mine). For the plea that the apparently mistaken views 
of Jesus as to the Last Things invalidate his teaching and destroy 
his infallibility as a guide for modern life, cf Herrmann in The 
Social Gospel, pp. 176-225, and K. Lake, The Stewardship of Faith, 
pp. 43 ff. 



Introduction 21 

the ability to sift and criticize and the duty of doing 
so to be taken as exempting us from the obligation 
to obey. As men under authority, it is our business 
not only to interpret our instructions, but also to 
carry them out. 

For the purpose in hand we confine ourselves 
mainly to the Synoptic Gospels not because the 
Fourth Gospel is a romance, but because the dis 
courses it attributes to Jesus are to a large extent 
framed in a manner which the literary ethics of 
the time freely permitted with an eye rather to 
doctrinal interests than to historical truth, and it 
therefore adds but little to our knowledge of what 
Jesus himself taught. The sayings in the Synoptic 
Gospels, it is true, are not based on verbatim reports, 
and they need a good deal of careful examination 
and criticism. Here and there we have to reject a 
saying on the ground either of its internal improba 
bility or of its divergence from an apparently more 
trustworthy parallel. 1 But on the whole the Synoptic 
sayings go back to reliable personal reminiscence 
and tradition. Up and down early Christian litera 
ture we find a number of sayings ascribed to Jesus 
which do not occur in our Gospels. These are of 
all degrees of historical probability, from virtual 
certainty 2 down to virtual impossibility. 3 We shall 
have occasion now and then to quote some of these. 

This presentation of Jesus teaching aims at 
completeness, but only in a certain sense. The 

1 E.g. Mt xii. 40 (see below, p. 145 n i), and Lc vi. 36, xi. 13 b 
(compared with Mt v. 48, vii. nb). 

2 E.g. Acts xx. 35. 

3 See J. H. Ropes article Agrapha in Hastings DB v, pp. 
343-352, where the literature on the subject is catalogued. Cf 
also E. Preuschen, Antilegomena, pp. 26-31. 



22 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

reader will not necessarily find every saying that 
is attributed to him, quoted or discussed or even 
referred to in these pages. At the same time he 
has a right to assume that the whole of the material 
has been examined and that due account has been 
taken of everything significant for our purpose. 1 

1 I might explain at this point that words bracketed in a trans 
lated passage are those required to make the translation read 
smoothly, though they have nothing corresponding to them in 
the original : that the sign |j or [Js means the parallel passage or 
passages in the other Gospels : and that the letters f, ff, mean 
and the following verse (s), page(s), etc. 



The Guidance of Jesus for 
To-Day 

i 

THE BEING AND GOODNESS OF GOD 

i. JESUS takes the existence of God for granted, for 
the simple reason that none of his contemporaries 
were concerned to deny it. This fact might seem 
at the outset a serious defect so far as the modern 
usefulness of his message is concerned : but it is 
less so than it seems, for modern doubts about the 
being of God can be removed, if at all, not by reasons 
in support of it one questions whether any agnostic 
or atheist has ever been helped to believe by the 
so-called philosophical proofs of God s existence 
but by a spiritual experience, which is in essence 
not intellectual, but ethical and personal. Jesus 
contribution to this section of Christian evidences 
consists, not in any reasons or arguments he ad 
vanced, but in the whole impact of his life, words, 
and death upon the mind and heart of man. 

2. The Fatherhood of God is the core of Jesus 
message and of the Christian Gospel, and the clue 
that best helps us to unravel the most baffling 

23 



24 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

problems of human life. 1 The true import of the 
Divine Fatherhood has been somewhat obscured by 
the doctrine of the Trinity, which presents " God 
the Father " to us as primarily the Father, not of 
His children, but of " God the Son." a The modern 
emphasis on personality and personal relationships 
is bringing back the message of Jesus to its rights. 
With the waif in Bleak House we confess : " Our 
Father 1 yes, that s wery good, sir." 

3. This conception of God as Father crowned and 
glorified all those other beliefs about Him which Jesus 
learnt from the faith of his people and embraced 
as the verdict of his own judgment and experience. 
That faith, in opposition to paganism, declared God 
to be one, not many, 3 and to be morally perfect, 
not subject to human faultiness.4 According to the 
simple cosmology of the time, it described Him as 
heavenly or dwelling in heaven 5 a thought which 
modern science has deprived of all but a poetical 
value for us. It was conscious of the unsearchable 
mystery of the Divine Being 6 : Jesus called God 
" the Father who is in secret." 7 In keeping with 
the natural tendency of the Semitic mind to express 
its sense of the greatness of God by means of a sort 

1 On contemporary Jewish belief in the Fatherhood of God, 
see O. Holtzmann, Life of Jesus (ET), pp. 99 f, 262, and G. Dalman, 
The Words of Jesus (ET), pp. 184-189. Dalman shows that the Jews 
of Jesus day were familiar with the idea of God being the Father, 
not of the Chosen Race only, but of the individual member of it. 

a J. Martineau, Essays, Reviews, and Addresses, ii, pp. 530-532. 

3 Deut vi. 4 ; Me xii. 29 ; Mt xxiii. 9. 

4 Zeph iii. 5, etc ; Mt v. 48 ; Me x. 18 ||s. 

5 Ps cxv. 1 6 ; Isa Ixvi. i, etc ; Mt v. 34, vi. 9, xxiii. 9, etc. For 
heaven as a reverent synonym for God, see Dan iv. 26 ; Lc xv. 
1 8, 21; Me xi. 30 ||s. Cf Dalman, op cit, pp. 92 f, 206, 217 ff. 

6 Deut xxix. 29 ; Job v. 9, xi. 7 ; Ps cxlv. 3. 

7 Mt vi. 6, 1 8. 



The Being and Goodness of God 25 

of religious determinism, it ascribed almightiness to 
Him in such terms as seem to us to exclude all 
human initiative and even responsibility. 1 Thus 
Jesus declares all things to be possible to God, 2 
and applies the doctrine, as we shall see, with great 
frankness and in ways that cause considerable per 
plexity to a modern Christian s mind. 

4. Waiving for the moment this philosophical 
difficulty, we can see how excellent a ground the 
doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood proved for what 
Jesus had to teach men respecting God s good gifts. 
V is the fulcrum that gives him his great leverage, 
.ilong with its implication of the sameness of right - 

- eousness in God and in men, it often furnishes him 
with a basis for a form of argument, of which he 
was extremely fond the argument a fortiori/ the 
deduction, that is, of a truth from something still 
less obvious than itself, but yet capable of demon 
stration, the argument for instance that what is 
greater than the whole is therefore greater than 
the part. On the strength therefore of God s fatherly 
goodness, Jesus specifies a number of gifts and 
blessings that He confers on men. The terms he 
uses for them do not give us a set of strictly co 
ordinate and distinct favours ; but they serve 
none the less as a rough working classification. 

5. In the first place, then, God provides for the 
bodily needs of His children. " He raises His sun 
upon evil and good (men alike), and rains upon 
(the) righteous and unrighteous." 3 " Therefore, I 

1 Gen xviii. 14 ; Exod iv. 21, etc ; Job xlii. 2 ; Mai i. 2-3 ; Rom ix. 
10-26. 2 Me x. 27 b ||s, xiv. 36. 

3 Mt v. 45 ; cf Me ii. 27 : " The Sabbath came into being for 
man s sake." 



26 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

say to you, do not be anxious for your life, (as to) 
what ye will (have to) eat or what to drink, nor 
for your body, what ye will (have to) wear. Is not 
the life more (important) than the food, and the 
body than the clothing ? l Look at the birds of 
the heaven, how they sow not nor reap nor gather 
into barns, and (yet) your heavenly Father feeds 
them. Do ye not far surpass them ? . . . And why 
are ye anxious about clothing ? Consider the lilies 
of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither 
do they spin : but I tell you that not even Solomon 
in all his glory was clad like one of these. But if 
God so clothes the grass of the field, which is (growing) 
to-day and to-morrow is thrown into (the) oven, 
will He not much more (clothe) you, (ye men) of 
small faith ? Do not therefore be anxious saying, 
What shall we eat ? or What shall we drink ? 
or What shall we wear ? for all these things the 
Gentiles seek for for your heavenly Father knows 
that ye need all these things. But seek first His 
Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things 
will be given you in addition." 2 There is nothing 
here to justify the common idea that Jesus dis 
couraged industry and forethought in the business 
affairs of life. The Authorized Version, with its 
archaic rendering, Take no thought/ obscures the 
main point of the passage from the eyes of a modern 

1 Here is an implicit argument a fortiori : " i.e. God who has 
already given the one, can surely give the other " (J. H. Oldham, 
Studies on the Teaching of Jesus, p. 60). 

Mt vi. 25-33=Lc xii. 22-31. Cf the saying ascribed to Jesus 
by Clemens of Alexandria and Origenes : " Ask for the great things 
and the little things will be added unto you ; and ask for the 
heavenly things, and the earthly things will be added unto you " 
(Ropes, in Hastings DB v, p. 349 b). 



The Being and Goodness of God 27 

reader. The appeal to the birds and lilies is easily 
misunderstood : the argument implied is not, These 
creatures do not work, so you need not/ but : If 
God supplies their need, though they cannot toil 
like you, how much more (again the argument a 
fortiori) will He supply the needs of you men, whom 
He has equipped with energy and intelligence and 
so enabled to avail yourselves the more fully of His 
gifts in Nature ? When therefore we pray : " Give 
us to-day our bread for the morrow," * we do not 
ask to be relieved of the necessity of work ; we 
ask that we may be helped to work so intelligently 
and efficiently, and with minds so untrammelled 
by worry, that our labours may secure to us the 
things we need. That qualification which Jesus 
introduces " Seek ye first His Kingdom " and all 
the hard facts of human mismanagement, poverty, 
starvation, luxury, and profiteering, do not avail to 
cancel the truth of God s giving. " God is the 
strong unresting Servant of His Universe. He 
reigns by serving . . . God has ever been the Super- 
drudge of His creation. . . . His activity is every 
where." 

6. But God supplies the needs of the moral and 
spiritual life, as well as of the physical. He feeds 
men with every word that issues from His mouth 3 : 
He fills those that hunger and thirst for righteous 
ness 4 : the plants that He plants will never, like the 
Pharisees, be uprooted 5 : He has sent men Moses 

Mt vi. n ||. 

1 J. A. Robertson, The Spiritual Pilgrimage oj Jesus, p. 179. 
The question of the many apparent exceptions to God s universal 
bounty is linked up with the general question of God s attitude to 
human suffering. This question is briefly discussed below, pp. 38-40. 

3 Mt iv. 4 ||. 4 Mt v. 6. s Mt xv. 13. 



28 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

and the Prophets, to move them to repentance x : 
He wanted His house to be called a house of prayer 
for all the nations 2 : He grants a vision of Himself 
to the pure in heart 3 : He reveals things that flesh 
and blood cannot reveal, and He reveals them, 
not to the wise and clever, but to the simple and 
childlike, such as Simon Bar-jona 4 : He is to be 
asked not to lead us into temptation, but to rescue 
us from the evil one. 5 

It is not difficult for a modern Christian to believe 
in a general way that God assists him in his moral 
and spiritual life } but if the question be asked, 
Are the plants to blame if the Heavenly Father 
did not plant them ? or, Will God lead us into 
temptation, unless we ask Him not to ? the answer 
is not easy to give. The difficulty lies partly in 
the natural Calvinism of the Jewish, or rather the 
Semitic, mind. No skill on the part of modern 
commentators can eliminate the element of deter 
minism from some of these words of Jesus. But 
such determinism came naturally to the Jew. It 
seemed to him to follow from the supreme sover 
eignty of God. God was in His world what Joseph 
was in the Egyptian s house : " Whatsoever they 
did there, He was the doer of it." Hence the idea 
of God hardening Pharaoh s heart, loving Jacob and 
hating Esau, and so on. How this belief in the 
universal agency of God was to be reconciled with 
a belief in man s responsibility for his sins or with 
the freedom of man s will, was a question that did 
not trouble the Jew. He simply believed that both 
sides of the discrepancy were true. Thus it is that 

1 Mt xxiii. 34 || ; Lc xvi. 29-31. * Me xi. 17 ||s. 

3 Mt v. 8. 4 Mt xi. 25 f ||, xvi. 17. 5 Mt vi. 13 ||. 



The Being and Goodness of God 29 

Jesus phrases the prayer for Divine help in such 
a way as to suggest to us that, if the help is not 
given, God and not ourselves will be responsible for 
the consequences. 

We must not, however, be tempted to discard this 
teaching on the score of what we to-day may feel 
to be its obviously difficult presentation. It is 
easier for us to see the philosophical difficulty than 
to solve it. Not only the Jew but every man- 
tends to be an unconscious Calvinist when he prays. 
Here for instance we are told of Brother Lawrence : 
" That when he had failed in his duty, he simply 
confessed his fault, saying to GOD, I shall never do 
otherwise, if Thou leavest me to myself ; tis Thou 
must hinder my falling, and mend what is amiss. That 
after this, he gave himself no farther uneasiness 
about it." J It is all very well to say that human 
goodness is the work neither of man alone, nor of 
God alone, but of the two in co-operation. That 
may be true, but it does not solve the difficulty. 
For the question remains, who is to take the first 
step in the process ? If God has to take it, then 
man s real freedom and responsibility are under 
mined : if man has to take it, then God s almighti- 
ness is denied. This last might not seem a very 
serious objection. Some modern Christian thinkers 
are quite ready to sacrifice the Divine omnipotence. 
Thus Canon Streeter writes : The facts of this 
world form a Procrustean bed from which there is 
no escape. . . . We say that there is in God a prin 
ciple of self-limitation whereby, though He has 
unlimited coercive power, yet He is prevented 
from using it ; or else that omnipotence is a vague 

1 The Practice of the Presence of God, p. 13. 



30 The Guidance of Jesus for To- day 

term ; or else that the whole thing is beyond the 
range of our feeble minds. Anything, in fact, rather 
than give up the notion finally, completely, and 
absolutely. And yet this is what must be done. 
The conception of a Being who possesses infinite 
coercive power in addition to infinite moral goodness 
will not through any human ingenuity fit the un 
compromising bed. But there is another conception 
which will fit into it exactly. It is that of a Being 
whose omnipotence consists in His moral goodness and 
in nothing else. If God s power is itself nothing else 
than love, then all becomes clear and intelligible." * 
Similarly, Dr. John Oman has done great service 
in urging that grace is not omnipotence working 
irresistibly in a straight line, and intelligible through 
mechanical categories, but " a gracious personal 
relationship," compelled to pursue its educative 
course by many devious paths.* All this is sug 
gestive and helpful ; but the substitution of love 
for coercion and of personal for mechanical categories 
does not solve the question, Who initiates the 
process ? If we are compelled to answer, Man/ 
then what becomes we will not say of our belief 
in God s almightiness but of our assurance of His 
ultimate triumph ? 

But fortunately for us, experience is in large 
measure independent of philosophical completeness 
and consistency : and we can therefore in the mean 
time rest content with the knowledge that God s 
help is necessary for us, and available for us if we 
truly desire it. When Horace Bushnell was travel 
ling in Western America, he was struck by the 

1 Hibbert Journal, April 1914, pp. 609 f. 
1 Grace and Personality, Part I (pp. 1-75). 



The Being and Goodness of God 31 

Artesian wells, which were to him " a charming 
symbol of the beauty of God, who is ever a grand 
water-store under this desert of life and sin, ready 
to well up in freshness when the conduits of the 
heart are opened to its flow." * The Father who is 
in secret is always waiting His opportunity, and 
taking it. " That same heart of the father, which 
in its hunger of love is so exacting, will, out of the 
same hunger, never despair, and never forsake : it 
will never cease from the pursuit of that responsive 
trust which it desires i it will make allowances, it 
will permit delays, it will weave excuses, it will 
endure rebuffs, it will condescend to persuasion, it 
will forget all provocations, it will wait, it will plead, 
it will repeat its pleas, it will take no refusal, it will 
overleap all obstacles, it will run risks, it will end 
lessly and untiringly forgive, if only, at the last, the 
stubborn child-heart yield, and the tender response 
of faith be won." * 

7. One feature of this aggressive generosity of 
God is His responsiveness to prayer. Probably Jesus 
hearers never questioned in the abstract the fact 
that God hears and answers prayer ; but evidently 
they placed less practical reliance on it than they 
might have done. It is on this point that Jesus 
use of the analogy of human particularly parental 
goodness is most forcible. Those parables of the 
man wanting to borrow three loaves from his friend 
at midnight, and of the unjust judge being pestered 
by the widow, put the issue clearly. 3 Can we believe 
that, if persistent petition is effective with a neigh- 

1 Life and Letters, p. 376. 

3 H. Scott Holland, in Lux Mundi, p. 14. 

3 Lc xi. 5-8, xviii. 1-8. 



32 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

bour who does not want to be bothered, and with 
a judge who neither fears God nor has respect for 
man, it will not be all the more effective with God 
who loves us as His own children ? " Ask," says 
Jesus therefore, " and it will be given you ; seek, 
and ye will find ; knock, and (the door) will be 
opened to you. For everyone that asks receives, 
and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks 
(the door) is opened. Or what man is there of you, 
who, if his son asks him for a loaf, will give him a 
stone ? or (who), if he asks for a fish, will give him 
a snake ? or (who), if he asks for an egg, will give 
him a scorpion ? If ye then, evil though you are, 
know (how) to give good gifts to your children, how 
much more will your Father in heaven give good 
things to those that ask Him ? " z " Have faith in 
God ! Truly I tell you, if ye have faith as a grain 
of mustard-seed, ye will (be able to) say to this 
mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea/ 
and it will happen (so). Wherefore I say to you, all 
things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that 
ye have received them, and ye will have them." a 

In order to get the true meaning out of this oriental 
hyperbole, we shall have to bear in mind continually 
the conditions Jesus lays down for successful prayer, 
viz : persistence and faith. The former of these 
disguised by the picturesque reference to the moun 
tain moving at a word of command means that 
we can lay down no definite time-limit within which 
we can be sure that our prayers will be granted. 
The second means that the thing must be asked 
for from the purest motive, and because it is believed 

1 Mt vii. 7-11 ||. 

* Me xi. 22-24; Mt xvii - 20 xxi - 21 f; Lc xvii. 6. 



The Being and Goodness of God 33 

to be God s will, not because, like the wrecks 
which the Heligolanders used to pray for in their 
churches, it conforms to any selfish or base desire 
of our own. If these two conditions are satisfied 
there is nothing incredible in Jesus promises. The 
substance of them is not so alien to the thought 
of to-day as we might be tempted to think. We 
find it re-echoed, for instance, in a somewhat un 
expected quarter the pages of a popular modern 
novelist. " If you ve only got the grit to go on 
praying, praying hard, even against your own con 
victions, you ll get it sooner or later. You are 
bound to get it. ... If you want it hard enough, 
and keep on clamouring for it, it becomes the very 
thing of all others you need the great essential. 
And you ll get it for that very reason." l And the 
great affirmation of the so-called New Thought 
school, that whatever a man wants he will get if 
he wants it hard enough and long enough, what is 
it but the declaration of Jesus that God gives us 
whatever we ask for persistently and in faith ? 

8. God " will endlessly and untiringly forgive " : 
but His forgiveness is not the mere remission of a 
penalty it may or may not include that : it is 
the formation or restoration of family fellowship, as 
we see it for instance in the reconciliation between 
the prodigal son and his father. We must leave 
over to a later stage our consideration of Jesus 
teaching about the atonement, as this involves his 
view of his own death. But it will be useful at 
this point to note certain facts about his view of 
forgiveness. We find, for instance, no trace in 
Jesus thought of the theological distinction between 
* Ethel M, Dell, The Way of an Eagle ch. xxiv, 

3 



34 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

God s righteousness (or justice x ) and His love. 
" His justice is his forgiveness ; his forgiveness is 
his justice. His righteousness is his love : his love 
is his righteousness. There is no conceivability of 
conflict between them." * And whatever be the 
true relation of Jesus death to the Divine forgive 
ness, there is no sanction for the idea implicit in so 
many doctrines of the atonement, that God never 
really forgave sin until Jesus died 3 the idea that 
caused Dante to represent John the Baptist as 
spending two years in hell, the two that elapsed 
between his own death and that of Jesus, before he 
could be taken up to heaven. 4 That God could and 
did forgive sin altogether independently of Jesus 
death is proved by Jesus own references to Divine 
forgiveness as an already existing thing before that 
death was accomplished. The parables of the man 
going in quest of his straying sheep and rejoicing 
when he finds it, of the woman ransacking the house 
for a lost coin, and of the father making merry on 
the prodigal s return, depict God as normally eager 
to forgive from sheer natural affection. 5 The parable 
of the Rich Man and Lazarus represents attention 
to Moses and the prophets as a sufficient safeguard 
against punishment in the next life. 6 Convincing 
evidence of the experience of Divine forgiveness, 

1 The Latin word justitia/ whence our justice, is the equiva 
lent of the Greek IIKCUOOVVTI, which is the word translated righteous 
ness in the New Testament. 

2 C. G. Montefiore, in Hibbert Journal, July 1916, p. 780. 

3 Cf Lux Mundi, pp. 154, 223. 

4 Paradiso, xxxii, stanzas 8 f, with Gary s note. 

s Lc xv. 1-32 ; Mt xviii. 12-14. Cf also the daily petition 
for pardon enjoined in the Lord s prayer. Did Jesus not mean 
this prayer to be offered until after the Crucifixion ? 

6 Lc xvi. 27-31. 



The Being and Goodness of God 35 

before and independently of the work of Jesus, is 
found in the words of the Psalmist : "As far as the 
east is from the west, so far hath He removed our 
transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth 
His children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear 
Him. For He knoweth our frame ; He remembereth 
that we are dust." x 

The one great condition of Divine pardon, so far 
as man is concerned, is genuine repentance or 
change of heart and mind. If forgiveness is rightly 
described as reconciliation, the necessity of such a 
repentance is obvious. Hence the need of the 
daily prayer " Forgive us our debts." 2 It is true 
that Jesus seems to have in mind a second condition, 
on which he insists frequently and with great 
emphasis viz : the forgiveness by the sinner of 
those who have wronged him. Without this, says 
Jesus, God will not forgive him. 3 But this condition 
is probably no more than an important corollary of 
true repentance a corollary the absence of which 
would show that the professed repentance was not 
genuine. While it is true that full forgiveness, in 
the sense of reconciliation, depends on man s 
repentance, it is also true that there is a sense 
in which God forgives sin before it is repented 
of. So Jesus prays Him to forgive his murderers 
even while they were in the act of murdering 
him. 4 

The statement of Jesus that blasphemy against 
the Holy Spirit would never be forgiven 5 remains 

1 Ps ciii. 12-14. * Mt vi. 12 ||. 

3 Mt vi. 12 ||, 14 f, xviii. 21-35 Me xi. 25 (26). 

4 Lc xxiii. 34. 

5 Me iii, 28 f ; Mt xii. 31 f ; Lc xii ? 10. 



36 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

an unsolved enigma. We can hardly question the 
truth of the record of this statement : but what 
the statement means, and whether it is true, we 
cannot tell. The whole conception of God which we 
derive from Jesus seems to negative the idea. "There 
is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, 
which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant ! 
Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the 
infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could 
exceed the love of God ? " J " There is no sin, no 
state that, being regretted and repented of, can 
stand between God and man." 2 So we learn from 
Jesus to speak and think of God. Unless Jesus is 
speaking of something altogether out of the range 
of human moral experience and that is hardly 
likely it is very difficult to follow him. It is no 
explanation to point to the extreme seriousness and 
heinousness of the sin referred to ; for we know 
that God pardons serious and heinous sin. Can it 
be that, in the heat of controversy and in a moment 
of righteous indignation, Jesus framed his words in 
accordance with the sterner side of that Jewish 
conception of God in which he had been educated, 
rather than according to his own personal experience 
and knowledge of God ? 

9. Jesus sometimes speaks of the Kingdom of 
God as a gift. " Fear not, little flock," he says 
to the disciples, " for your Father is pleased to give 
you the Kingdom." 3 " The Kingdom of God will 
be taken away from you," he says to the Chief Priests 
and Pharisees, " and will be given to a nation pro- 

1 Dostoievsky, The Brothers Karamazov (ET), p. 48. 

2 H. G. Wells, God the Invisible King, p. 184, 

3 Lc xii. 32, 



The Being and Goodness of God 37 

during its (the Kingdom s) fruits." * The news of 
its nearness he describes as good news. 2 We are 
to pray God that it may come. 3 It is like a buried 
treasure, which a man rejoices to find. It is like 
a precious pearl, to procure which a merchant sells 
all that he possesses. 4 It belongs to the childlike,5 
the poor in spirit, 6 and those who have been perse 
cuted for righteousness sake. 7 Jesus conception of 
the Kingdom is many-sided ; but the one element 
essential to every aspect of it is this : the filial sub 
mission of man to God as his King and Father. Not 
only therefore is it the social ideal suggested (how 
ever imperfectly) by Jewish eschatology, the good 
time coming in the near future, 8 but also and we 
may add, as a pre-requisite and means to that future 
and social ideal it is a present and personal ideal. 
The word translated Kingdom means sover 
eignty, kingship/ as well as realm : even the 
Rabbis seem to have recognized this meaning, 9 as 
Jesus certainly did when he said : " The Kingdom 
of God is within you." I0 Not only is it a gift of 

1 Mt xxi. 43, 45 : the words were a sequel to the parable of 
the vineyard which had been let out (lit given out ) to vine 
dressers and, when these proved disloyal, was taken away and 
given to others (Mt xxi. 33, 41 ||s). 

a Me i. 15 ||. 3 Mt vi. 10 ||. 4 Mt xiii. 44-46. 

5 Me x. 14 f ; Mt xviii. 3, xix. 14 ; Lc xviii. 16 f. 

6 Mt v. 3 (cf Lc vi. 20). 7 Mt v. 10. 

8 As, e.g., in Mt viii. n f (cf Lc xiii. 28 f). 

9 " The Rabbis used the term " Kingdom of Heaven " sometimes 
with an inward reference, to denote the abstract supremacy of 
the Law of God in the heart. Whoever undertook to keep the 
Law of God was in that sense said to accept the yoke of " the King 
dom of Heaven " " (Manson, Christ s View of the Kingdom of God, 
p. 69 ; cf Dalman, The Words of Jesus (ET), pp. 92, 94, 96 ff. 

10 Lc xvii. 21. The following are the other passages depicting 
the Kingdom more or less clearly as present : Mt v. 3, 10, vi. 33, 



38 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

true bliss J ; it is also as we shall see the most 
strenuous of tasks. 3 

10. Life in the Kingdom involves persecution and 
distress, but the Kingdom is none the less a rich 
gift for that, for God promises help, protection, and 
guidance in the midst of trouble. " Are not two 
sparrows sold for a farthing ? And (yet) not one of 
them will fall to the ground without your Father 
(? knowing it). But as for you, even the hairs of 
(your) head are all numbered. Fear not therefore ; 
ye far surpass sparrows (in value)." 3 " Not a hair 
of your head shall perish." * 

And yet the sparrows do fall, and the martyrs 
die, and the innocent suffer at the hands of the 
guilty. What does Jesus mean by saying that not 
a hair of our heads will perish ? His words seem 

vii. 13!, xi. ii f (=Lc xvi. 16), xii. 28 (Lc xi. 20), xiii. 24 ff, 
3 I- 33> 38, xviii. 3 f, xxi. 31, xxiii. 13 (cf Lc xi. 52) ; Me x. 15 ||s 
(Gk), xii. 34 ; Lc x. 17-20. Cf Stevens, The Theology of the New 
Testament, pp. 37 f ; W. Sanday, in Hastings DB ii. p. 620 ; 
B. H. Streeter in Oxford Studies in the Synoptic Problem, pp. 432 f ; 
J. Moffatt, Theology of the Gospels, pp. 49-57. 

1 Mt v. 3-12, etc. * Mt vii. 13 f, xi. 12 |j ; Lcix. 62. 

3 Mt x. 29-31 ; Lc xii. 6 f. Cf Me iv. 40 || (lack of faith in God 
during a storm). 

4 Lc xxi. 1 8. We must remember that the ordinary un-Grecized 
Jew of Palestine had no idea of a future life of the soul only, apart 
from the body. That is the fact underlying the language of Mt v 
29 f, xviii. 8 f ||. It may also explain the mention of the hair 
in this passage, i.e. (Lc xxi. 18, cf xii. 7 || ) the purport of which 
clearly is that the resurrection-life in all its fulness will be secured 
to the martyr. The passage in Me xiii. 19 f ]|, about God shorten 
ing the days of affliction for the sake of His elect, occurs in a con 
text that lies under some suspicion of coming from a small early 
Christian apocalypse, rather than from the lips of Jesus himself : 
see Moffatt, Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament, 
pp. 207-209. Similarly the promise of vengeance in Lc xviii. 7 f, 
as Montefiore (Synoptic Gospels, p. 1020) says, " seems to reflect 
a time of persecution, and to be therefore later than Jesus." 



The Being and Goodness of God 39 

to flout us. We are told that one great obstacle to 
a real belief in God in the army was the obvious 
fact that God was not really shielding men from the 
constant danger of death. 1 People to-day are im 
patient of being told that God will protect them 
and their dear ones : such a statement is so patently 
out of keeping with the facts of life. 3 All the same, 
the confident assurances of Jesus, even though they 
pay no heed to the inexorability of natural law, yet 
enshrine a truth independent of all physical disaster, 
not excluding even the war. Physical danger is 
inevitable in a rational world such as men need to 
live in and to exploit : and God could not abolish 
it without stultifying His own laws and destroying 
that regularity of nature so indispensable to human 
life and intelligence. But when we realize that 
physical safety, though a great boon, is not one of 
the ultimate values, we can see that it is possible 
for God to help us to preserve those values, even 
though life and limb be endangered. " We tend 
unconsciously to assume that God will not let tragedy 
touch us. It is an assumption for which the facts 
of life provide no warrant. But while this is the 
case, all that we can reasonably demand is fulfilled, 
if we can prove that God comes to us in every 
happening, and through every circumstance, and 

1 The Army and Religion, pp. 23-30, 162 f, 166. 

2 See the incisive denial of H. G. Wells, in God the Invisible 
Kins,, pp. 46 f (" . . . He will not even mind your innocent 
children for you if you leave them before an unguarded fire. Cherish 
no delusions ; . . ."), and compare Tennyson s bitter lines in In 
Memoriam (vi.) : 

" O mother, praying God will save 

Thy sailor, while thy head is bow d, 
His heavy-shotted hammock-shroud 
Drops in his vast and wandering grave." 



40 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

that to find Him in them is to transmute them into 
a good. This is assuredly the case. Like every 
wise father, God is concerned not so much with 
what happens to us, but with what we are as we 
meet life s circumstances." 1 Many a father has 
learnt, while longing for his son s safety in danger, 
to prefer that the danger should prove fatal rather 
than that the son should act dishonourably. In 
somewhat the same way God is more concerned 
over our fellowship with Him and the way we behave 
than over our physical safety. That is why Jesus 
tells the disciples, not that God will prevent them 
suffering persecution, but that He will help them to 
do the right thing under persecution. Whenever 
they carry you off and hand (you) over, do not be 
anxious beforehand (about) what ye will say ; but 
whatever is given to you at that hour, say that. 
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your 
Father that speaketh in you." 3 

ii. This leads us on to the conception of God as 
the Giver of Rewards. In recognition not only of 
the brave endurance of suffering for the Kingdom s 
sake, but also of faithful everyday service, God 
rewards men. The word translated reward/ which 
Jesus uses of God s response to genuine almsgiving, 
prayer, and fasting, means simply pay or wages. 3 
What reward, he asks, do people get who love 
only those that love them ? 4 Those who are hospit- 

1 W. F. Halliday, Reconciliation and Reality, p. 107. Cf Wells, 
I.e. : " He will be with you as you face death ; . . . He will come 
so close to you that . . . the present death will be swallowed up 
in his victory." 

2 Me xiii. ii ; Mt x. 19 f : cf Lc xii. n f, xxi. 14 f. 

3 Mt vi. i, 2 (cf 4), 5 (cf 6), 16 (cf 18). 

4 Mt v. 46 : cf Lc vi. 32-34. 



The Being and Goodness of God 41 

able to a prophet or a righteous man will get a 
prophet s or a righteous man s reward. He who 
gives a cup of water to a disciple will by no means 
lose his reward. 1 One of the parables of the King 
dom describes the dealings of a householder with 
hired day-labourers : all who serve receive the just 
payment promised to them, although, owing to lack 
of opportunity, some have done less work than 
others.- In another passage Jesus specifies the 
rewards as being " in heaven." When persecuted, 
" rejoice and exult, for great (is) your reward in 
heaven." 3 " Store up for yourselves treasures in 
heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrodes, and 
where thieves do not dig through or steal ; for where 
thy treasure is, there also will be thy heart." 4 :< Re 
joice not over this that the spirits are submissive 
to you, but rejoice because your names have been 
written in heaven." 5 The use of the word heaven 
in this connection shows that Jesus is thinking of 
God and His Kingdom. The reward is in fact the 
Kingdom, looked at in the light of the happiness 
bestowed upon those who enter it. In the Synoptic 
Gospels as we have them, this reward figures most 
explicitly in connection with the future, viz : the 
age to come/ and the life after death. Thus Jesus 
says that whoever has suffered loss for his sake or 
for the sake of the good news, will receive a hundred 
fold even in this season, and in the age that is coming 
eternal life. 6 Thus too he refutes the Sadducees 
disbelief in the life after death by an appeal to the 

1 Mt x. 41 f ; Me ix. 41. 3 Mt xx. 1-15. 3 Mt v. 12. 

4 Mt vi. 20 f : cf Lc xii. 33 f. 5 Lc x. 20. 

6 Me x. 29-31 ||s. A comparison of Lc x. 25, 28 with Me xii. 
34 shows the identity of the Kingdom of God with eternal life. 



42 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

Scriptures and the power of God. If God is ever 
the God of anyone, i.e. if there is any real fellowship 
between God and men, that relation must be inde 
pendent of physical death : " when (people) rise 
from the dead, they . . . are like angels in heaven." * 
Our belief in the future life may find valuable con 
firmation in the results of psychical research, and 
spiritually-minded people are ill-advised to ignore 
or despise these investigations ; but there can be 
no doubt that the real foundation of the belief is 
where Jesus found it in the experience and know 
ledge which man has of God. 

I cannot doubt that they whom you deplore 
Are glorified ; or, if they sleep, shall wake 
From sleep, and dwell with God in endless love. 
Hope, below this, consists not with belief 
In mercy, carried infinite degrees 
Beyond the tenderness of human hearts. 2 

But the glories of the coming age and the life beyond 
the grave are only special aspects of that larger 
conception of reward which makes it, like the King 
dom itself, a present reality, as well as a blessing 
stored up for the future. Much of Jesus language 
in the Synoptics lends itself readily to this inter 
pretation. 3 It is the peculiar merit of the author 
of the Fourth Gospel that he has extracted from 
the Master s words and brought into prominence 
the tremendous truth that eternal life the life 

1 Me xii. 24-27 ; Mt xxii. 29-32. Lc (xx. 34-38) has several 
interesting variants. 

* Wordsworth, The Excursion, iv. (p. 335 of 1860 edn of his 
Works). 

3 See the passages quoted on pp. 37 f n 10, indicating a present 
Kingdom. We might add other promises couched in the inde 
finite future, like the Beatitudes promising comfort to the mourners 
and mercy to the merciful (Mt v. 4, 7 ; Lc vi. 21). 



The Being and Goodness of God 43 

that is life indeed is a present and eternally abiding 
possession. 1 

We shall have to consider later the bearing of this 
doctrine of rewards on Jesus conception of human 
duty. Here we have simply to note the candour 
and simplicity with which it is set forth in his 
teaching. 

1 John v. 24, vi. 47, x. 28. 



II 

THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS 

i. THE consciousness of Jesus, as revealed to us 
in the records of his life and words, is that of 
a man who feels himself to be God s beloved Son, 
in whom his Father is well pleased, 1 who is fully 
known by no one except the Father, and who alone 
fully knows the Father so as to be able to reveal 
Him to others. 2 He claims to hold a large and special 
commission from God to his fellow-men. 3 " All 
things have been handed over to me by my Father." 4 
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He 
has anointed me." 5 Accordingly he describes him 
self as greater than Solomon, greater than Jonah, 6 
greater than the Temple,? as master of the Sabbath, 8 
as the chief corner-stone which has come from the 

1 Me i. ii ||s ; Mt xvii. 5 ||s. a Mt xi. 27 ||. 

3 In the Parable of the Vineyard (Me xii. 1-12 ||s), Jesus con 
trasts himself and the Prophets under the figures of the beloved 
son and the servants. 

4 Mt xi. 27 ||. O. Holtzmann argues very plausibly that the 
all things handed over to Jesus by his Father does not mean 
the world, but refers to these things of Mt xi. 25, namely, 
the truths about God and himself that Jesus was teaching (Life 
of Jesus, ET, pp. 283-287). 

5 Lc iv. 1 8. 6 Mt xii. 41 f ||. 7 Mt xii. 6, 

8 Me ii. 28 ||s, though the context makes it possible that Son 
of Man here has merely the sense of roan. (K. Lake, Steward 
ship of Faith, pp. 47 f). 

44 



The Person and Work of Jesus 45 

Lord and is marvellous in men s eyes. 1 He teaches 
with authority. 2 He claims the right to forgive 
sins. 3 He accepts the plaudits of the crowd as 
being no more than his due. 4 He cures illnesses 
by a touch or a word. 5 He claims to have over 
powered Satan in his own headquarters, and so to 
be able to expel Satan s emissaries, the evil spirits, 
by a simple word of command, uttered in the Spirit of 
God. 6 This special commission of his he identifies 
though reticently with the Messiahship foreshadowed 
by the Prophets and expected by his fellow-country 
men. 7 He avows to Kaiaphas that he is the 
Messiah, 8 and to Pilate that he is the King of the 
Jews. 9 

2. These extraordinary claims, and the way in 
which Jesus vindicated them during his earthly life 
and later in Christian experience, led the early Church 

1 Me xii. 10 f ||s. In the Hebrew of Ps cxviii. 22 f, from which 
Jesus would naturally quote, it is not quite clear whether it is 
the stone or its elevation that is marvellous. 

1 Me i. 22 ; Mt vii. 28 f ; Lc iv. 32. 

3 Me ii. 5-11 ||s ; Lc vii. 36-50 : see below, p. 58. 

4 Mt xxi. 1-17 ||s (esp. Lc xix. 39 f). 

5 The so-called nature-miracles (Me iv. 39-41, vi. 35 ff, viii. 
i ff, xi. 14, 20 f ||s) should probably be regarded as legendary per 
versions or exaggerations, springing from a desire to heighten 
Jesus miraculous power. See below, p. 53 n 8. 

6 Mt xii. 25-29 ||s. 

7 See Mt xvi. 13-20 ||s for the private confession of his Messiah- 
ship by the disciples. 

8 Me xiv. 61 f ||s. 

9 Me xv. 2 ||s. In Mt xxvi. 53 Jesus is stated to have said that 
his Father would send him more than twelve legions of angels 
if he asked for them. In Me xii. 35-37 ||s, Jesus argues that 
Messiahship is at least independent of, if not incompatible with, 
Davidic descent. The natural, though perhaps not inevitable, 
inference is that he did not regard himself as descended from 
David : see O. Holtzmann, Life of Jesus (ET), pp. 82-84. 



46 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

to ascribe Divinity to him in so absolute a sense 
that the only escape from the reproach of worship 
ping two Gods lay in the development of the doctrine 
of the Trinity and the consequent doctrine of the 
two natures divine and human united in the 
one person of Christ. These doctrines are embodied 
in the historic creeds of the Church. Apart altogether 
from the question as to whether the acceptance of 
a credal statement is a satisfactory test of a man s 
right to membership in the Christian Church, there 
is the question as to what place can be given to 
these particular creeds in the general body of 
Christian teaching to-day. The fact that the men 
who drew them up had no more ability to frame 
infallible doctrinal statements than any other set 
of sincere and intelligent followers of Jesus of those 
times or of these, robs the creeds of any claim to be 
accepted simply on authority by virtue of a 
sort of argumentum ad verecundiam. They have 
got to be examined on their merits as philosophical 
statements, put forward to explain Christian history 
and experience. On examining them from this 
point of view, while we may venerate and largely 
share the convictions of their authors, we cannot 
but reject them as unenlightening. The dual nature 
which they assert of Jesus is unintelligible from the 
point of view of modern psychology. They profess 
to rest on history, 1 but they do scant justice to the 
facts of Jesus humanity. They draw their informa 
tion as to his consciousness e.g. of pre-existence 
in the main from the admittedly doubtful sayings 

1 " Councils, we admit, and Creeds, cannot go behind, but must 
wholly rest upon the history of our Lord Jesus Christ " (Moberly 
in Lux Mundi, p. 177). 



The Person and Work of Jesus 47 

in the Fourth Gospel. 1 They cannot be really 
harmonized with the human limitations of Jesus. 
It is, in fact, now generally recognized that, however 
the creeds are to be interpreted, Jesus was not 
omniscient. 3 He had no knowledge of the facts 
revealed by modern critical study in regard to the 
authorship of the Old Testament Scriptures. He 
stated plainly that he did not know the day or hour 
of his own future coming. 3 He asked questions in 
a way that showed that he desired information of 
which he was not already in possession. 4 He admitted 
that he had no authority to give away the places 
on his right and left hand in his Kingdom. 5 It is 
often said that, though Jesus called God the Father 
of men and also his own Father, he refrained from 
saying Our Father/ thus implying a distinction 
between his sonship and theirs. 6 But what force 
is left to this distinction in view of the fact that he 
referred to his followers as his brothers ? 7 Apologists 
for the creeds confidently assert that Jesus was 
sinless in the most absolute sense, despite the fact 

1 Often obviously misinterpreting even them. It is clear, for 
instance, from the context of Jn x. 30 (cf 36), xvii. n, that the 
oneness with the Father, of which the Johannine Jesus speaks, 
is something quite different from the metaphysical oneness asserted 
in the creeds. 

a See Temple, in Foundations, p. 213. 3 Me xiii. 32 ||. 

4 The clearest case is that of Me v. 30-34 ||s, for kindness and 
delicacy would surely have prevented Jesus pressing his question 
in public, had he known the circumstances. 

5 Me x. 40 ; Mt xx. 23. 

6 So, e.g. Rush Rhees, Life of Jesus, p. 262 ; W. E. Orchard, 
The Necessity of Christ, p. 87. 

7 Me iii. 33-35 ||s ; Mt xxv. 40, xxviii. 10 ; Jn xx. 17. Even 
if the last two are not ipsissima verba, they yet represent the im 
pression Jesus left, Cf on this point Lake, Stewardship of Faith, 
pp. 146 f, 



48 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

that we know too little of his life or of the psychology 
of sin * to be able to insist dogmatically on sweeping 
conclusions in regard to such a point, and to 
build doctrines upon them : nor do they adequately 
explain why Jesus submitted to a baptism of 
repentance, 2 or why he objected to being addressed 
as Good master, on the ground that " (there is) 
none good save one, (namely) God," 3 or why the 
author of Hebrews described him as " learning 
obedience by the things that he suffered." 4 We 
should never suspect from the prayers which Jesus 
uttered that he knew himself to be the Second 
Person of the Trinity. It is simply not true to 
history to say that the New Testament witnesses 
" testify unhesitatingly . . . that His life and death 
were penetrated by the consciousness of His own 
Godhead ; and by the deliberate purpose ... of 
convincing the whole world in the end of His God 
head." 5 Modern attempts to restate the doctrine 

1 See below, pp. 79-82. 

1 The colloquy of Mt iii. 14 f one of those explanations that 
explain nothing was clearly an early Christian attempt to meet 
the difficulty. We are on safer historical ground with the frag 
ment of the Gospel according to the Hebrews, in which Jesus 
replies to the suggestion of his family that they should all go and 
be baptized by John : " What sin have I committed that I should 
go and be baptized by him ? unless perchance this very thing 
that I have said is ignorance " (Hastings DB v. p. 341 b ; 
Preuschen, Antilegomena, p. 4). 

3 Me x. 1 8 ; Lc xviii. 19. Cf the deliberate alteration of this 
in Mt xix. 17. There have been of course many attempts to get 
out of the difficulty (e.g. Pressens6, Jesus Christ, book IV, ch. iv ; 
Dalman, The Words of Jesus (ET), pp. 337 f ; Rhees, op cit, p. 266) 
but I have never yet seen one that did justice to the record without 
imperilling the traditional view of Jesus sinlessness. 

4 Heb v. 8. 

5 Moberly in Lux Mundi, p. 173. Cf the exaggerated statement 
on the same page that Jesus own companions " taught and be 
lieved, without shadow of hesitation, that He was very God/ 



The Person and Work of Jesus 49 

generally treat the historical facts with more respect ; 
but for that very reason they fall short of establishing 
the position laid down with such intolerant certainty 
in the creeds. The creeds in fact are to-day more 
unintelligible than the facts they try to explain 
they run so counter to the intelligible as to be 
almost meaningless. 1 Well might Augustine dream 
of the Child Jesus trying to empty the ocean into 
a hole in the sands in order to rebuke the saint s 
attempts to fathom the mystery of the Trinity ! 3 
Well might Melancthon say that we should know 
how the two natures were united in Christ, when 
we reach the future life ! 3 Well may Rauschen- 
busch ask what Jesus would have said to the symbol 
of Chalcedon or to the Athanasian Creed, if they 
had been read to him ! 4 

3. But the repudiation of the creeds is not to 
be taken as a denial of the greatness and wonder of 
the facts they were meant to explain. It simply 
means a rejection of those particular explanations 
of them as not useful. The abysmal deeps of per 
sonality in God, in Jesus, and in ourselves still 
yawn before us, unfathomed and uncharted. The 
thoughtful Christian of to-day is less ambitious 
than the fathers of Nicaea and Chalcedon. He does 
not attempt with the aid of crude and almost mechani 
cal categories of substance, person, and the like, 
to dogmatize as they did about the most wondrous 
of all mysteries. He is content to operate with the 
more familiar conceptions of moral personality and 

1 Cf Temple, op cit, p. 230 : " The formula of Chalcedon is, 
in fact, a confession of the bankruptcy of Greek Patristic Theology." 
* Farrar, Lives of the Fathers, ii. p. 606. 
3 Milner, History of the Church, vi. p. 407. 
A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 25. 

4 



50 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

moral value. Not that he is the first to think 
along these lines. The Adoptionists of the early 
Church virtually occupied this standpoint. It is 
also in part at least that of Milton : 

Thou . . . hast been found 
By merit more than birthright Son of God, 
Found worthiest to be so by being good, 
Far more than great or high ; because in thee 
Love hath abounded more than glory abounds. r 

But we have had to wait almost until to-day to 
hear Christian thinkers of unquestionably orthodox 
connections speak frankly in the same strain. 
" Unlike ancient attempts to meet the Evangelic 
facts," say Drs. Bartlet and Carlyle, " by a theory 
of concealment or voluntary holding in abeyance 
of full Divinity actually present in Christ s self- 
consciousness, 3 most agree that the limitations to 
be accounted for were real and not merely apparent. 
Thereby the likeness of the Saviour to His breth 
ren whom He sanctifies and brings to the glory 
of their true destiny, the image of God/ is made 
more real and the moral power of His sinless example 
enhanced. The human in Him is divine. When 
He is most truly human (Son of Man), then He is 
most truly God. This would have seemed to the 
fourth and fifth centuries sheer paradox. 3 But most 

1 Paradise Lost, lii. 308-312. 

a This is a reference to the theory of kenosis, which, on the 
basis of Phil ii. 6 f, regards the human Jesus as possessed of all 
the attributes of Deity, but as temporarily abstaining from the 
exercise of them. An excellent account of ancient and modern 
interpretations of this passage is given by Loofs in Hastings 
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vii. pp. 680-687 (C.J.C.). 

s We might go further, and say it would have seemed sheer 
blasphemy (C.J.C.). 



The Person and Work of Jesus 51 

moderns could accept, as far as it goes, this concep 
tion of the homogeneity of personality in God and 
man. At the same time the idea of the Holy Spirit 
as real medium of the Divine both in the man 
Christ Jesus and in Christians in their case under 
forms determined by His historic manifestation as 
Son of Man and Son of God is coming to its full 
rights." * " Those things which are looked upon 
as human/ says Rev. W. F. Halliday, " His meek 
and lowly and pure heartedness, are infinitely more 
divine than mere knowledge or power." a The 
divinity of Christ," says Dean Inge, " implies one 
might almost say it means the eternal supremacy 
of those moral qualities which He exhibited in their 
perfection." 3 

4. The way in which Jesus conceived of Ms mission 
was determined by his fellowship on the one hand 
with God and on the other with men. The former 
issued in moral purity and inward peace : the latter 
issued in compassion on the multitudes. 4 Yet the 
two motives were not disconnected ; for moral 
purity meant love for his fellows, and compassion 
meant a desire that they should share his own 
Divine Sonship. And so he came, not to be served, 
but to serve. 5 

5. Many indeed were the forms in which he offered 
Ms services to men. He came to seek and to save 
that which was lost, 6 in particular the lost sheep 
of the house of Israel,? to bring salvation to the 

1 Bartlet and Carlyle, Christianity in History, pp. 602 f. 
1 Reconciliation and Reality, p. 63. 

3 Outspoken Essays, p. 135. 

4 Me vi. 34 ||s, viii. 2 ||. For other references to Jesus com 
passion, see Me i. 41 ; Lc vii. 13 ; Mt xx. 34. 

5 Me x. 45 ||. 6 Lc xix. 10. 7 Mt x. 5 f, xv. 24-26 ||. 



52 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

sons of Abraham l salvation being in essence 
the fulfilment of God s purpose for men s lives, 
just as its opposite (loss, or destruction, or perdition) 
means the defeat not necessarily final of that 
purpose. 2 He came to proclaim release to captives, 
and to set the oppressed at liberty 3 : he invited 
the toiling and burdened to come and find rest 
with him, for he was gentle and lowly of heart 4 : 
he often wanted to gather the children of Jerusalem 
together as a hen gathers her chickens together 
under her wings 5 : the season of his coming was 
the season of God s visitation, and what he was 
bringing were the things that made for their peace. 6 
He bade men be of good courage, and fear not : 
it is thus he speaks to the sinful and helpless para 
lytic,? to the shrinking woman who had touched 
his garment, 8 to Jairus anxiously trembling on the 
brink of bereavement, 9 to Peter aghast at the near 
presence of Divine power and holiness, 10 and to the 
disciples when tossing on the stormy lake, 11 when 
overawed at the Transfiguration," and when faced 
with the prospect of hardship and persecution.^ 

6. A large part of his early ministry consisted of 
the performance of cures of all kinds. Jesus certainly 
regarded insanity," M and very probably illness in 
general, *5 as being the work of Satan and his 

1 Lc xix. 9. 3 Cf Mt xviii. 14. 3 Lc iv. 18. 

4 Mt xi. 28-30 : cf Me vi. 31. 5 Mt xxiii. 37 ||. 

6 Lc xix. 42, 44. 7 Mt ix. 2. 8 Mt ix. 22. 

9 Me v. 36 ||. 10 Lc v. 10. Me vi. 50 ||. 

Mt xvii. 7. *3 Mt x. 26, 28, 31 ; Lc xii. 4, 7, 32. 

*4 Mt xii. 24-29 ||s. 

T 5 Lc iv. 39, xiii. n, 16. The faith of the centurion based on 
his own military power in Jesus ability to cure paralysis by a 
word of command implies a sort of personification of the illness 
itself (Mt viii. 5-10 ||). See below, p. 100 n i. 



The Person and Work of Jesus 53 

servants work which it was part of his mission to 
undo. Having overpowered Satan himself, he was 
now at liberty to plunder his goods. 1 His miracles 
were acts of human pity, 2 and at the same time 
signs of his Divine commission. 3 While the Gospels 
often give us the impression that the cures were 
wrought by the almost casual utterance of a word 
of command or by a simple touch, yet we see clearly 
that this was by no means always the case. That 
they often involved the expenditure of time, effort, 
and energy, appears from Jesus occasional use of 
clay and saliva, 4 from his cure of a certain blind 
man not all at once, but by stages, 5 from his use 
of prayer and perhaps also fasting in dealing with 
stubborn cases, 6 and from his sense that power had 
gone out of him, when a sufferer touched his clothes 
and was relieved. 7 Yet his willingness to cure seems 
to have been limited only by his desire to safeguard 
the still more essential forms of his ministry. 8 

1 Me iii. 27 ||s. 

1 Me i. 41 ; Lc vii. 13 ; Mt xx. 34 : cf O. Holtzmann, Life of 
Jesus (ET), pp. 191 ff; Montefiore, Synoptic Gospels, p. 66; and 
D. S. Cairns, The Army and Religion, p 386. 

3 Mt xi. 2-6, 20-24 II- 

4 Me vii. 33, viii. 23 ; Jn ix. 6. 5 Me viii. 22-25. 

6 Me vii. 34 (" looking up to heaven "), ix. 28 f : cf Jn xi. 33, 
38, 41 f. 7 Me v. 30 ; Lc viii. 46. 

8 The nature-miracles have already been referred to (p. 45 n 5). 
The two stories in Me of the feeding of a crowd are probably 
doublets of the same original. The fact that the incident is nar 
rated in all four gospels does not establish its literal historicity ; 
for Mc s Gospel the earliest of the four was probably not written 
until 35 years after Jesus death an ample interval for legendary 
enlargements to establish themselves. The narratives probably 
arose from some actual exhibition of hospitality or generosity on 
Jesus part, combined with a parabolic expression of his being 
the giver of spiritual food. (See Dr. G. W. Wade s useful remarks 
in The Hibbert Journal for January 1920, pp. 327 f, where he sug- 



54 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

7. For Jesus did not confine his ministrations to 
alleviating the physical ills of men : he claimed to 
be regarded as their guide and teacher in spiritual 
and moral matters. Throughout the whole of his 
ministry he was always busy teaching somebody ; 
now it was a crowd, now a little group of friends or 
opponents, now an individual : sometimes he spoke 
in parables, sometimes without : he taught in the 
synagogues, in the Temple, in his friends houses, 
on the seashore, in the fields, on the road, on the 
mountain-top always teaching. Proclaiming the 
good news of the Kingdom to the poor went hand- 
in-hand with the curing of illnesses and the expulsion 
of evil spirits. 1 He called the toiling and burdened 
to learn from him and to take upon themselves his 
kindly yoke and that light burden which was so 
different from the heavy load that the Scribes and 
Pharisees put upon men s shoulders. 2 He spoke 
to men as one who had an independent authority 
from God to do so. 3 He was the friend of tax- 
collectors and sinners. 4 He called those who 

gests that the story of Elisha feeding 100 men with 20 loaves 
(2 Kings iv. 42-44) may have had something to do with the story 
of Jesus feeding the crowd.) Cf the saying ascribed to Jesus by 
Origenes (Comm. in Mt xiii. 2) : " For the sake of the weak I 
became weak, and for the sake of the hungry I hungered, and 
for the sake of the thirsty I thirsted " (Preuschen, Antilegomena, 
p. 28). 

1 Mt iv. 23, xi. 5 y ; Lc iv. 18. Mt xl. 28-30, xxiii. 4 [j. 

3 Me i. 22, 27 ; Mt vii. 28 f ; Lc Iv. 32 : and compare the tone 
of Mt v. 21 f, 27 f, 33 f, 38 f, 43 f. On Jesus as a thinker, cf R. 
Rhees, Life of Jesus of Nazareth, pp. 229 (" The freshness of his 
ideas is proof that he was not lacking in thorough and orderly 
thinking," etc), 235 (" He was as worthy to be Master of his dis 
ciples thinking as he was to be Lord of their hearts "), 238 ; O. 
Holtzmann, Life of Jesus (ET), p. 463 (" The victorious clearness 
of his intellect"). 4 Mt xi. 19 jj. 



The Person and Work of Jesus 55 

accepted his message his brothers and sisters, 1 and 
spoke of them collectively as a temple of God made 
without hands. 3 The thought that, under the 
physical conditions of his ministry, he could reach 
and influence in this personal way so small a number 
of people, lay like a weight on his heart. In order 
to reach a larger number he trained the Twelve 
and sent them out to do the same sort of work as 
himself : they were to come after him, and he would 
make them, like himself, fishers of men. 3 Yet even 
so, the need was greater than the means of coping 
with it. The harvest was plenteous, but the reapers 
were few : they must pray to the great Owner of 
the harvest to send out more reapers. 4 Such was 
his passion to reveal the Father to men 5 and to 
impart to them an understanding of His will and 
a desire to do it. 

8. The ministry of teaching and healing bestowed 
by Jesus on men was reinforced by his prayers on 
their behalf. He looks up to heaven and prays 
before saying to the blind man, " Open." 6 He 
knew of evil spirits that could not be expelled without 
prayer. 7 Women brought their little children to 
him for him to put his hands on them and pray ; 
and he put his arms round them and invoked on 
them God s blessing. 8 He prayed for Simon that 
his faith might not fail. 9 But not only does Jesus 
pray for his followers ; he also assists at their 

Me lii. 33-35 Os. 

a Me xiv. 58 ; Mt xxvi. 61 ; Jn li. 19 (the explanation in Jn ii. 
21 f, applying the words to the resurrection, is incorrect : see J. 
M. Thompson in Th Expositor for Sept. 1917, pp. 218-220). 

J Me i. 17 ||s. 4 Mt ix. 371 1|. 5 Mt xi. 27. 

6 Me vii. 34. 7 See above, p. 53 n 6. 

8 Me x. 13-16 ||s. 9 Lc xxii. 32. 



56 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

prayers. He says that where two or three are 
gathered together in his name, he is there in the 
midst of them, and that therefore whatever prayers 
they offer in accord with one another will be granted. 1 
This idea of the unseen presence of Jesus everywhere 
with his disciples was brought later into prominence 
by Paul and the author of the Johannine writings ; 
and some of the sayings about it ascribed to Jesus may 
be a reading-back of later Christian experience into 
the story of his life-time. So probably we should have 
to regard the post-resurrection saying : " Behold, I 
am with you all the days until the consummation 
of the age." 2 At the same time, the very prominence 
of this idea later on is best explained by the supposi 
tion that the historical Jesus had suggested it himself. 
This probability must be borne in mind in appraising 
the genuineness of sayings like that about the two 
or three gathered together, supported as it is by 
other utterances in which Jesus identifies himself 
with the little child received in his name, 3 with the 
travelling missionaries sent forth by him, 4 and with 
his hungry and needy brethren every where. 5 Among 
the Agrapha is a saying to this effect : Wherever 
there is one alone, I am with him : raise the stone, 
and there thou shalt find me ; cleave the wood, 
and I am there." 6 

9. One of the intercessory prayers of Jesus that 
for the men who were crucifying him 7 leads us 
on to yet another Divine blessing made available 

1 Mt xviii. 19 f. a Mt xxviii. 20. 

3 Me ix. 37=Mt xviii. 5=Lc ix. 48. 

4 Mt x. 40; Lc x. 16. 5 Mt xxv. 40, 45. 

6 Ropes, in Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, v, p. 347 a : cf 
Preuschen, Antilegomena, pp. 22, 31, O. Holtzmann, Life of Jesus 
(ET), p. 61. 7 Lc xxiii. 34. 



The Person and Work of Jesus 57 

by him the forgiveness of sin. Something has 
already been said about Jesus representation of 
God as ready to forgive sin when it is sincerely 
repented of. 1 We have now to study the problem a 
little more closely, as it engaged Jesus himself. 
His view of sin is not a morbid view. " Endless 
talk about sin and forgiveness exercises ... a nar 
cotic influence. To say the least of it, ethical 
education must move to and fro between reflection 
on the past (with its faults and moral bondage) 
and the prospects of a future (with its goal of 
aspiration and the exertion of all one s powers)." 2 
Such a condition is amply satisfied by the method 
Jesus pursued. At the same time, he viewed sin 
as a reality, and forgiveness therefore as a necessity. 
Hence his repeated call for repentance, 3 and his 
inculcation of a daily prayer for pardon. We have 
already seen that Jesus often speaks of the Divine 
pardon with as much personal detachment as any 
prophet or teacher might display, and intimates 
that the one essential condition of it is sincere repent 
ance. But there were other occasions on which he 
himself claimed to play a part in the work of for 
giveness. When he was reproached with receiving 
sinners, he spoke the two parables of the shepherd 
pursuing the lost sheep and the woman seeking for 
the lost coin ; and we cannot tell whether he meant 
the shepherd and the woman to represent himself 
or God. 4 This very ambiguity is significant for 

1 See above, pp. 33 ff. 

z Harnack, Mission and Expansion of Christianity (ET), vol. i. 
p. 116. 

3 Me i. 15 || ; Lc v. 31 f ||s. The last two words in Lc are prob 
ably an addition of his own, but they correctly represent Jesus 
meaning, 4 Lc xv. i-io ; cf Mt xviii. 12-14. 



58 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

the point before us. At another time he claimed 
in so many words to have authority to forgive sins. 1 
It is in the light of this claim that we have to read 
the story of the penitent prostitute, who bathed 
his feet with tears and perfume a : having been 
forgiven much, she loved much ; and inasmuch as 
her love was lavished on Jesus himself, we may 
presume that she thought of him as the author of 
her forgiveness. 

10. But a stiffer problem still awaits us. There is 
nothing in what has been quoted hitherto to suggest 
any connection between Jesus own death and the 
forgiveness of sins. There is, in fact, only one 
passage in the Synoptic Gospels where that connection 
is plainly stated ; and that is in a somewhat doubtful 
clause found in the Matthsean account of the Last 
Supper. Jesus says : This (cup) is my blood of 
the covenant, which is poured out on behalf of many 
for remission of sins." 3 There is, however, another 
passage which, while not explicitly mentioning 
forgiveness, yet almost unmistakably implies it. 
It is that in which Jesus says : " The Son of Man 
came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give 
his life (as) a ransom for many." 4 There is strong 
ground for believing that this saying was a reminis 
cence of the prophecy about the Suffering Servant 

* Me ii. 5, 8-1 1 Us. I agree with Mr. J. A. Robertson (Spiritual 
Pilgrimage, pp. 227-230) that we have here a real claim on Jesus 
part to forgive, not simply to inform the sinner as any of us might 
do that he was forgiven. The context does not suggest that Son 
of Man here means simply man (so Lake, Stewardship of Faith, 
p. 48) nearly so strongly as it does in Me ii. 28 (see above, p. 44 n 8). 

3 Lc vii. 36-50. 

3 Mt xxvi. 28. The doubt lies in the fact that the words " for 
remission of sins " occur in Mt only. 

J Me x. 45 ; Mt xx, 28. 



The Person and Work of Jesus 59 

of God in Isaiah liii. We know that the early 
Christians applied this and other Deutero-Isaianic 
Servant-prophecies to Jesus l ; and it is clear 
that their warrant for doing so lay in the conscious 
ness and the words of Jesus himself. The heavenly 
voice that spoke to him at his baptism and at his 
transfiguration re-echoed more than one of these 
prophecies 2 : and at the Last Supper he actually 
quoted Isaiah liii. 12: "He was reckoned among 
the transgressors," and applied the passage to 
himself. 3 The words spoken on the same occasion : 
" The Son of Man departs, just as it has been written 
of him/ are probably a reference to the same 
chapter. 4 Now there are grounds for thinking that 
the words about humble service and the ransom 
for many were uttered, not at the time at which 
Mark places them, but during the Last Supper. 5 
If so, there is additional reason to believe, what the 
content of the ransom-passage in itself makes very 
probable, that it is yet another allusion to the 
Suffering Servant. 6 Now of this Servant it was 
written : 

Yea, for our transgressions was he pierced : 

For our iniquities was lie bruised : 
The chastisement that brought us peace fell on him ; 

And with his stripes we have been healed. 



1 Mt viii. 17, xii. 17-21 ; Lc ii. 32 (cf Isa xlii. 6, xlix. 6) ; Jn i. 
29 (cf Is liii. 4, 7). 

3 Me i. n, ix. 7 [js : cf Isa xlii. i, xliv. 2 (Ixli. 4). 
s Lc xxii. 37. 4 Me xiv. 21 |js. 

5 Lc, who rarely departs from Mc s chronology without some 
special reason, places the words about humility at the Supper, 
though he omits the ransom passage (xxii. 24-27). Cf Burkitt. 
The Gospel History and its Transmission, pp. 135, 140, and A. T. 
Cadoux, in The Expositor, January, 1918, p. 71. 

6 Cf Moffatt, Theology of the Gospels, pp. 139-149, and Sanday. 
in Hastings DB ii. p. 623. 



60 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

We had all strayed like sheep ; 

We had turned everyone to his own way ; 
And the Lord laid on him 

The penalty of us all. 1 

If, therefore, Jesus had this passage in mind, when 
he said that he came to give his life as a ransom 
for many, he must have in some way connected 
his own death very closely with the forgiveness of 
men s sins. This identification of himself with the 
Suffering Servant accounts for the fact that, 
when the hostility of the Jews put the national 
acceptance he had hoped for out of the question, 
Jesus, though he did not conceal his own anguish 
and horror, 2 his sense of the wickedness of his enemies, 3 
and his certainty of the calamity they were drawing 
upon themselves, 4 yet willingly embraced the pros 
pect of death as part of the Divine plan, 5 pre-deter- 
mined by prophecy 6 and necessary for the accomplish 
ment of his own triumph. So when Peter tried to 
draw him away from the idea of martyrdom, he 
called him a hindrance, and told him that he looked 
at things only in man s way, not in God s. 7 

But in what did the triumph of the Suffering 
Servant consist ? 

Yahweh s desire will prosper in his hand : 
In consequence of his soul s travail, he will see (it prosper 
ing, and) will be satisfied : 
By his knowledge will my servant make the many righteous. 8 



1 Isa liii. 5 f. 

* Me ii. 19 f ||s ; Lc xii. 49 f ; Me xiv. 33 ff ||s. 

3 Me xiv. 41 ||s. 

4 Me xii. 9, xiv. 21 |js ; Lc xii. 54-xiii. 9, xix. 41-44, xxiii. 28-31. 

5 Cf Me x. 38 f, xiv. 36 ff ||s. 

6 Me ix. 12 f ; Mt xxvi. 54, 56 || : cf Lc xiii. 33. 

7 Me viii. 31-33 ||. 

8 Isa liii, 10 f ; see Skinner s notes in Camb. Bible, 



The Person and Work of Jesus 61 

In other words, the triumph of Jesus meant the 
salvation of men ; and inasmuch as salvation involved 
forgiveness, it followed that his death would be a 
means of forgiveness. And yet elsewhere Jesus 
depicts God as so loving that the only condition 
of obtaining His forgiveness is genuine repentance 
on man s part. We are therefore driven to conclude 
that Jesus death brings about men s forgiveness by 
first bringing about their repentance. This repentance, 
it is true, changes God in so far as it enables Him 
to be reconciled to men, whereas otherwise He could 
not be : but to argue, as has so often been done, 
that Jesus death alters God s attitude to sinners 
in any other sense, 1 is neither required by men s 
experience of His forgiveness, nor admissible in 
face of Jesus own words concerning Him. Amid the 
bewildering variety of doctrines of the Atonement, 
the great fact stands out that the death of Jesus 
makes itself felt, in him who surveys it in a teachable 
spirit, as an immense inward enlightenment and 
stimulus, convincing him that here is a revelation 
of the Father s love and of his own sinfulness, 
showing him in the sufferings of Jesus what that 
sinfulness costs God, moving him penitently to ask 
for God s pardon, 2 kindling in him a passion for 
obedience and service, implanting in him a love for 



1 Cf A. Lyttleton in Lux Mundi, p. 211 : " The reconciliation 
to be effected is not merely the reconciliation of man to God by 
the change wrought in man s rebellious nature, but it is also the 
propitiation of God Himself, whose wrath unappeased and whose 
justice unsatisfied are the barriers thrown across the sinner s path 
to restoration." 

2 As Clemens of Rome says : " The blood of Christ . . ., being 
poured out for the sake of our salvation, offered to the whole 
world the grace of repentance " (Ep. to Corinth., vii. 4). 



62 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

his fellows, and prompting him to seek and find 
the Divine fellowship. 

Gazing thus, our sin we see, 

Learn Thy love while gazing thus 

Sin which laid the cross on Thee, 
Love which bore the cross for us. 

Here we learn to serve and give, 

And, rejoicing, self deny ; 
Here we gather love to live, 

Here we gather faith to die. 

Some of the theological and devotional language of 
the evangelicalism of the past may need in these 
days to be discarded, or at least modified : but 
most of it does justice in a rough way to these central 
facts of experience. 

Traditional theories of the Atonement, from Paul 
downwards, have had the effect, not only of obscuring 
the simple psychological facts of the case, but of intro 
ducing a too absolute cleavage between the sufferings 
of Jesus and the sufferings of others in the cause 
of righteousness. Theology has disguised the fact 
that the death of Jesus could have become the 
power it has become in human life only by being 
in the first place a supremely right and noble moral 
act. Neander truly says : There must be a right 
conception of Christ s self-sacrifice as a moral act, 
in connection with his whole calling, in order to 
any just doctrinal view of his sufferings." * But 
this is just what, in the Christian theologies on the 
subject, has been conspicuously lacking. Orthodox 
theorists have objected to describing the death 
of Jesus as what in its historical conditions it 
clearly was, viz: a martyrdom brought about like 
1 Life of Jesus Christ (ET, 1880), p. 380. 



The Person and Work of Jesus 63 

other martyrdoms. 1 And when once the modus 
operandi of the Divine grace bestowed upon us in 
the shed blood of Jesus is clearly discerned, we see 
how exactly identical it is with the modus operandi 
of the grace bestowed upon us through the sufferings 
of all good people. The saving death of Jesus 
differs from that of other martyrs only in primacy 
and in degree of effectiveness, not in method of 
operation. Their deaths, like his, come about in 
the plain performance of duty ; like his, theirs 
reveal the Divine Love and stir the consciousness 
of sin and the passion for righteousness. But neither 
his nor theirs makes God more loving and forgiving 
than He was before ; and neither his nor theirs 
overrides the free will of the sinner or does away 
with the need for moral response on his part. When 
Jesus called on his followers to take up the cross 
and follow him,* he clearly implied that what he was 
going to do by his death, they also were to do, each 
in his own measure, by their deaths. The best 
comment on his words is the repeated testimony of 
early Christian authors that martyrdom under 
persecution invariably attracted new converts : i.e. 
it brought sinners to God. It was the great merit 
of Origenes that, despite the trammels of the 
imperfect theology of his day, he boldly ascribed to 
the deaths of the martyrs a measure of that saving 
efficacy which all Christians ascribe to the death 
of Jesus. " As those," he says, " who attended at 
the altar (erected) according to the law of Moses 

1 See, for instance, the remarks of Farrar, Lives of the Fathers, 
i. p. 86 n 3 and 328 n i ; Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ, 
pp. 259 f ; Dale, The Atonement, pp. 57-60, 78. 

* Mt x. 38, xvi. 24 ||s. 



64 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

were thought to administer to them forgiveness of 
sins by means of the blood of bulls and goats, so the 
souls of those who have been beheaded on account 
of the testimony (they bore) to Jesus, attending to 
good purpose at the altar in heaven, administer 
forgiveness of sins to those who pray. 1 And besides 
that, we know that, just as Jesus Christ, the High 
Priest, offered himself up (as) a sacrifice, so the 
priests, whose High Priest he is, offer up themselves 
(as) a sacrifice. 3 . . . Perhaps also, just as we have 
been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus, 
... so, by the precious blood of the martyrs 
will some be purchased, (the martyrs) themselves 
being more exalted than those who have become 
righteous, but have not been martyrs. For it is 
reasonable that death by martyrdom should be 
called exaltation in a special sense, as (is) clear 
from the (words) : If I am exalted from the earth, 
I will draw all men to myself/ " 3 And again : 
If the lamb, which is given (up) for the purification 
of the people, is referred to the person of our Lord 
and Saviour, it seems consistent that the other 
animals also, which are assigned to the same purifi 
catory uses, ought similarly to be referred to some 
persons who 4 confer something of purification on 
the human race " ; and more to the same effect. 5 
Nor do we need to limit this fellowship in the re- 

* The words might also be translated : " serve (or help) those 
who pray for forgiveness of sins," but the wording of the previous 
clause makes this rendering less likely. The reference is to Rev vi. 
9 (xx. 4). 

* Origenes, Exhort, to Martyrdom, 30 (Lommatzsch, xx. 274 f). 

3 ibid 50 (Lomm. xx. 314!). 

4 At this point some MSS insert per meritum sanguims Chris ti 
almost certainly a gloss inserted by translator or copyist. 

s Origenes, Homilies on Numbers, xxiv. i. (Lomm. x. 292 f.) 



The Person and Work of Jesus 65 

demptive work of Jesus to martyrs in the strict sense. 
We know that all human goodness, and especially 
that exercised at the cost of any kind of suffering 
or self-sacrifice, does something to reveal God to us 
and to draw us nearer to Him, and so administers 
to us in some measure that same inward cleansing 
which is administered by the death of a martyr 
and pre-eminently by the death of Jesus. 1 " Why 
suffering should in this way be essential to life," 
says Kirsopp Lake, "we do not know, but whereas 
the figure of the suffering God in a suffering world 
may prove ... to be irreconcilable with the tradi 
tional conception of omnipotence, it does not outrage 
the sense of justice. . . . The doctrine of the Atone 
ment . . . has its permanent place in human thought, 
but the churches will retain the privilege of being 
its exponents only if they prove equal to the task 
of beginning its explanation with the facts of living 
experience, and place the suffering of Jesus within 
and not without the ever-widening circle of suffering 
yet redeeming and triumphant life. If the churches 
prove unequal to their task, and sacrifice the truth 
of experience to the tradition of expression, the 
world will pass them by and listen by preference to 
men and societies who are more alive to the necessi 
ties of the present." 2 We cannot but believe that 
God Himself feels all the suffering of His children ; 
.and thus the chastening and uplifting vision of 

1 " Death has a strange power over the human imagination 
and memory. ... If a significant death is added to a brave and 
self-sacrificing life, the effect is great " (Rauschenbusch, A Theology 
for the Social Gospel, p. 270). " But how did the suffering of the 
innocent avail to save the guilty ? It saved them by opening their 
eyes " (Dr. Orchard, quoted in The Crusader, May 28, 1920, p. 9). 

Stewardship of Faith, p. 165 f. 

5 



66 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

His fatherly love and patience and sorrow and hope 
is granted to us in some measure in every spectacle 
of human goodness that meets us. We see it in the 
gentle mother s toil for her little ones : we see it 
in the patient ministry of father or friend : we see 
it in all faithful and conscientious daily work, in 
every unselfish service, in every gallant act of 
rescue, in all painstaking search for truth, in all 
brave adherence to high principle, in all endurance 
of suffering in the cause of righteousness. 

Yet thou more bright than all that Angel Blaze, 
Despis6d Galilaean I Man of Woes 1 
For chiefly in the oppressed Good Man s face 
The Great Invisible (by symbols seen) 
Shines with peculiar and concentred light, 
When all of Self regardless the scourg d Saint 
Mourns for th oppressor. O thou meekest Man ! 
Meek Man and lowliest of the Sons of Men ! 
Who thee beheld thy imag d Father saw. 1 

1 Coleridge, Religious Musings. Mr. H. G. Wells (God the In 
visible King, pp. 118-123) repudiates on behalf of the modern 
man both the Cross and its counterpart, the doctrine of non-resist 
ance, because he does not understand either of them. That is not 
altogether his fault, for Christian teaching on these matters has 
not hitherto been a model of lucidity. At the same time, it is 
not hard to see where he has gone astray. In his scale of values 
the picture of God as a courageous militant being, incapable of 
gentleness or sorrow, and anxious only to conquer His enemies, 
stands higher than the picture of God as an eternally loving and 
patient Father anxious only to be reconciled with His children. 
It is of course quite permissible to conceive of the Father s work 
of reconciliation under the figure of a courageous fight : but with 
Mr. Wells this simile so fills the canvas that no room is left for 
the truth of which it is only the illustration. Consequently he 
does not see that the Cross, with its revelation of God s infinite 
love and patience and willingness to suffer for us, is but the leading 
type of that weapon with which He is eternally fighting against 
the selfishness and waywardness of man. Neither does he see 
that non-resistance, which he obviously equates with languor 
and helplessness and inactivity, is but one side of a mode of fighting 
wherein we " smite the foe with Christ s all-conquering kiss." 



The Person and Work of Jesus 67 

ii. It is a commonplace of Gospel-study that 
Jesus depicted himself as the inaugurator of the 
Kingdom of God that reign of God which was going 
to supervene upon all the iniquities and miseries of 
human society. The constant burden of his preaching 
as well as that of his apostles, was the imminence of 
the Kingdom. 1 His exorcisms were evidence that 
it had already come. 2 His personal instructions 
were its mysteries. 3 Whoever was far from him 
was far from it. 4 In the parables of the Kingdom, 
his own work figures as the sowing of seed and the 
use of leaven. Peter gets the keys of the Kingdom 
given him, immediately on recognizing Jesus Messiah- 
ship. 5 The Kingdom of God was Jesus favourite 
summary for all that he stood for. Our examination 
of the various aspects of his ministry has shown us 
in what large measure that ministry is still a living 
reality available for us to-day. It is when we come 
to the way in which Jesus conceived of the manner 
and form of his triumph that a modern disciple 
has to make the biggest discount on the score of 
differences between that age and this. For there 
seems no doubt that Jesus expected to return to 
earth probably in visible bodily form within a 
very short time of his decease. The third day on 
which he said he would rise from the dead 6 probably 
meant simply a short indefinite period, the exact 
length of which is not known as it often did in 



1 Me i. 15 || ; Mt x. 7 ; Lc x. 9-11. 

Mt xii. 28 ||. 

3 Mt xiii. 1 1 ff ||s. 

4 Agraphon : see Hastings DB v. 349 f (No. 62). 

5 Mt xvi. 16-19. 

6 Me viii. 31, ix. 31, x 34 ||s : Mt xxvii. 63 JJ. 



68 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

Jewish speech I ; and the resurrection he foretold 
was probably identical in his mind with his coming 
on the clouds of heaven with great power and glory. 2 
The day and hour of that coming none knew but 

1 2 Kings xx. 8 ; Hosea vi. if; Lc xiii. 32 f ; Mt xxvi. 61, 
xxvii. 40 ||s ; Jn ii. 19 f ; Me xiii. 2 (Codex D) ; (? add Acts ix. 9, 
xxviii. 7, 12, 17, Jn ii. i). 

* The main ground for this identification is that it is hard to 
account for the language of Jesus when he clearly has the Parousia 
in mind (e.g. in his numerous comparisons of his disciples to servants 
working in the temporary absence of their master, and still more 
in his farewell words at the Last Supper Me xiv. 25 ||s) on the 
assumption that he knew all the time that the interval of absence 
between Death and Parousia would be broken by a period of inter 
course with the disciples, commencing actually two days after 
his death and lasting forty days. The fact that certain appear 
ances did commence on what was literally the third day (as then 
reckoned) would easily account for the difference in the way in 
which prophesies in regard to Resurrection and Parousia are re 
corded, and for the insertion of Me xiv. 28, which is out of keeping 
with the implications of verse 25 and is omitted by Lc. 

It is not usually realized that the words addressed by Jesus 
to the penitent robber : " To-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise " 
(Lc xxiii. 43) are irreconcilable with the usual idea of the resurrec 
tion and still more so with the belief that Jesus went and visited 
the spirits in Hades. The traditional idea of a bodily Ascension, 
which has no support in Me (i.e. in what we have of him for the 
original ending of his Gospel is lost), Mt, Jn (for in John the Ascen 
sion takes place before the resurrection-appearances are over : 
see xx. 17, cf 27), or Paul, seems to have sprung from a natural 
desire to provide a fitting termination to the resurrection-appear 
ances. It need hardly be said that to regard the resurrection- 
appearances as psychical phenomena, not involving the presence 
of Jesus physical body, does not by any means rob them of their 
reality, objectivity, or religious value. At most it demands modi 
fications in some details of the narratives. Lastly, two important 
facts must not be overlooked : (i) the ordinary Jew, unlike the 
Platonic Greek and the modern Christian, was psychologically 
incapable of believing in a life after death without an accompanying 
bodily resurrection ; (2) Paul evidently regarded the appearance 
of the Risen Christ to himself on the road to Damascus as in all 
respects similar to his appearances to the other disciples (i Cor xv. 
3-8). 



The Person and Work of Jesus 69 

the Father 1 : but Jesus was sure it would occur 
within that generation. 3 On his arrival he would 
call his servants to account, hold a judgment, and 
inaugurate his final triumph. 3 To the modern 
Christian, all this sounds alien and unreal, almost 
as much as it did to the writer of the Fourth Gospel. 
Allowance has to be made for the fact that the scien 
tific and cosmological ideas of the Jewish people 
of that day were as much part of the habit of Jesus 
mind, as the clothes he wore were the habit of his 
body. In adapting our Lord s eschatology to the 
needs of our own minds, we are bound to substitute 
inward spiritual fellowship with him for his return 
on the clouds of heaven, the silent operation of 
God s laws for the great Day of Judgment, the future 
life of the individual after death and the gradual 
spread of the Kingdom on earth (" the Logos ever 
taking possession of more (and more) souls " 4) for 
the sudden erection of the Kingdom by a cataclysmic, 
Divine intervention. But these are all modifications 
of the form, not of the substance. We share our 
Master s invincible certainty of triumph, based on 
his invincible confidence in God. 



O glorious Will of God, unfold 
The splendour of Thy Way, 

And all shall love as they behold 
And loving shall obey, 

Consumed each meaner care and claim 

In the new passion s holy flame. 



1 Me xiii. 32 ||. Me ix. I, xiii. 30 f ||s. 

3 Me viii. 35, 38; Mt x. 32 f, xiii. 41-43, 49 f, xx. 21-23, xxii. 
1-14, xxv ||s : also the many words about watchful servants (see 
below, p. 114). 

Origenes, Contra Celsum, viii. 68 fin. 



70 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

O speed the hours when o er the world 

The vision s fire shall run ; 
Night from his ancient throne is hurled. 

Uprisen is Christ the Sun ; 
Through human wills by Thee controlled, 
Spreads o er the earth the Age of Gold. 



Ill 

HUMAN DUTY 

A. DUTY IN GENERAL 

i. A RECENT writer, in contrasting Jesus view of 
religion with that of the Pharisees, tells us that the 
" reckoning of religion as duty, and nothing else, 
Jesus says is an abomination to God." x This state 
ment is true only if the meaning of the word duty 
be confined to the external acts of the body. It is 
usual to assume that the Pharisees of Jesus day 
regularly limited the idea in this superficial way, 
though it may be questioned whether the assumption 
is altogether fair. It is not, however, our present 
purpose to discuss exactly what the Pharisees were 
guilty of : but it is important for us to avoid an 
error to which the age-long polemic against Jewish 
legalism had made us particularly susceptible. 
When we give the word duty its true meaning 
and realize that it covers the whole of life, the mind 
and spirit as well as the body, faith and prayer and 
fellowship with God and sincerity of purpose as well 
as outward conduct, the danger incident to regarding 
it as co-extensive with religion disappears. How 
wide a scope Jesus gave to the idea is seen in his 
parable of the slave, whose whole time belongs to 

1 J. H. Robertson, Spiritual Pilgrimage, p. 97 (italics mine). 

71 



72 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

his Master, and who has, strictly speaking, no time 
he can call his own. " So likewise ye," says Jesus, 
" when ye have done all the things that are com 
manded you, say : We are (merely) slaves : we 
have (simply) done what we ought to have done/ " I 
When we realize that the things that are com 
manded by Jesus cover the whole of the inner as 
well as the outer life, the motive as well as the act, 
we see what a much wider scope Jesus gave to the 
concept of duty than Protestant apologists have 
generally admitted. The mature child of God, 
even when he has fulfilled the whole of Jesus 
ideal of perfection, is still to say, like Sir Richard 
Grenville, " I have only done my duty as a man 
is bound to do." 

2. What, then, are the leading characteristics of 
duty as Jesus conceives it ? It is that for which we 
must be as solicitous as we are for food and drink. 2 
It is primarily concerned with the inward life as 
the basis and source of the outer 3 : the heart must 
be pure, 4 the eye single 5 : the heart will be where 
its treasures are, and these must be stored up in 
heaven 6 : the tree itself must be made good, in 

1 Lc xvii. 7-10. The insertion of the word unprofitable 
(absent from the Sinaitic Syriac) obscures the point of the parable, 
gives the phrase unprofitable slave quite a different meaning 
from what it has in Mt xxv. 30 (the other only place where it occurs), 
and suggests a distinction between duty and the quest for per 
fection, which is quite foreign to the teaching of Jesus (Mt v. 48 ; 
the phrase in Mt xix. 21 If thou wouldst be perfect is absent 
from Me and Lc, and seems to be a modification due to the com 
piler of the Gospel), though it survives in the Catholic doctrine 
of works of supererogation. A denial of this doctrine does not, 
of course, imply that the same form of perfection is within the 
reach of all at any given time. 

Mt v. 6. 3 Mt v. 21 f, 27 f, etc. 4 Mt v. 8. 

5 Mt vi. 22 f ||. 6 Mt vi. 19-21 ||. 



Duty in General 73 

order that the fruit may be good for out of the 
abundance of the heart the mouth speaks I : it is 
from within, out of the heart of man, that proceed 
all the evil designs that defile him. 1 So far is duty 
from consisting only in restraints and prohibitions, 
that the position of a man whose mind is empty of 
a positive purpose having the expulsive power of 
a new affection/ is one of extreme danger. 3 It 
involves difficulty and self-sacrifice : " Enter through 
the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad the 
road that leads to perdition, and there are many 
who enter through it : but narrow is the gate and 
cramped the road that leads to life, and few there 
are who find it." 4 Jesus speaks pictorially of our 
having to cut off a hand or a foot or pluck out an 
eye, if it cause us to stumble and so threaten to 
exclude us from the Kingdom. 5 At the same time, 
Jesus calls his yoke kindly and his burden light/ 6 
because alongside of the pain of sacrifice, there is 
the great reward in heaven ; the joy of fellowship 
and co-operation with Him we love and serve. 
At the very forefront on the Sermon on the Mount 
stand the Beatitudes, declaring the bliss of those who 
enter the Kingdom. " How happily the working 
days in this dear service fly ! " This is the spirit of 
Dickens Esther Summerson : Once more, duty, 
duty, Esther/ said I ; and if you are not overjoyed 
to do it, more than cheerfully and contentedly, 
through anything and everything, you ought to be. 
That s all I have to say to you, my dear/ " 7 

1 Mt xii. 33-36 ; Lc vi. 43-45. Me vii. 14 f, 18-23 IN 

3 So perhaps we may paraphrase Mt xii. 43-45 ||. 

4 Mt vii. isf ||. 5 Mt v. 29 f, xviii. 8 f ||. 
6 Mt xi. 30. 7 Bleak House, ch. 38. 



B. THE OBSERVANCES OF RELIGION 

i. To the Jew the connexion between the essence 
of religion and its ceremonial expression was very 
close so close that the natural tendency with many 
was to identify the two, and even to regard the 
ceremonial side as virtually the whole of religion. 
That the experiences and activities of the religious 
spirit need to be expressed in appropriate religious 
observances, in order that they may be kept clear 
and lively, ought to be obvious to us from the need 
of such external expressions in other departments 
of life. A religion altogether without observances 
would be like a friendship without handshakes and 
letters, or an engagement without kisses. The Jews 
of Jesus day had an elaborate and venerable system 
of religious observances those enjoined by the 
so-called Law of Moses and we find Jesus paying 
a good deal of respect to that system. At the early 
age of twelve, he feels the need of being in his 
Father s house the Temple at Jerusalem. 1 Later 
in life he wears on his garment the fringe prescribed 
by the Law,* bids the cured lepers show themselves 
to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses 
commanded,3 pays the Temple-tax in order not to 
scandalize the authorities^ bids the disciples obey 

1 Lc ii. 49. 

a Mt ix. 20, xiv. 36 || s (Greek) : cf Numb xv. 38 ; Deut xxii. 12 ; 
Mt xxiii. 5. 

3 Me i. 44 |js ; Lc xvii. 14. 4 Mt xvii. 24-27. 

74 



The Observances of Religion 75 

the Pharisees because they sit in Moses seat, and 
declares that he has not come to abrogate the Law 
but to fulfil it. 1 He says explicitly that men ought 
not to neglect even the less weighty matters of 
the Law. 3 

2. At the same time Jesus was aware of the subtle 
danger of regarding these observances as if they 
formed the stuff and substance of religion. Though 
we need not suppose that every Pharisee and religious 
Jew was a humbug with no sense of the demands 
of true morality, there is no doubt that many were 
in danger of dropping into this attitude. To counter 
act and correct the distorted view that made the 
danger so real was Jesus constant effort. More 
than once he referred his critics to God s prophetic 
utterance : " I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." 3 
He insisted that a man was defiled, not by eating 
with dirty hands, or by anything that entered him 
from without, but by the immoral designs that 
issue from his own heart. 4 If the usual interpreta 
tion of the words about the new patch on the old 
garment and the new wine in the old bottles 5 be 
correct, he was conscious of a certain incongruity 
between his own teaching and the Jewish system. 
He condemned in unsparing terms the public and 
ostentatious performance of religious duty, like 

1 Mt xxiii. 2 f, v. 17 f [j. The exact meaning, and even the 
genuineness, of these two passages, is somewhat doubtful. 

2 Mt xxiii. 23 |1. But see below, note 4. 

3 Mt ix. 13, xii. 7. 

* Mt. xv. 10-20 ||. Jesus argument that a man is not denied 
by what he eats is hardly in keeping with the dietary laws in the 
Pentateuch, though how the disregard of these was to be har 
monized with that deference for the Law which Jesus elsewhere 
professed (see notes i and 2 above), it is hard to say. 

5 Me ii. 21 f Us. 



76 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

prayer, almsgiving, and fasting, with the object of 
winning a reputation for piety. 1 He blamed the 
Scribes for loading men s shoulders with burdens 
heavy and hard to bear. 3 He condemned the 
scrupulous care bestowed on tithing herbs, when 
the weightier matters of the Law justice, mercy, 
and faith were being neglected. 3 A worshipper 
who has wronged his neighbour ought to leave his 
sacrifice at the altar and go and make amends, and 
come back to sacrifice only after the reconciliation 
has been effected. 4 

3. The one religious observance which Jesus 
discussed in any detail was the Sabbath ; and his 
attitude towards it is a good illustration of his atti 
tude towards the ceremonial side of religion in 
general. There is no reason to suppose that he 
wished to abolish Sabbath-observance. As a day 
for the general cessation of ordinary work, and for 
the cultivation of the inward life, it was a blessing 
which men ought not to deny themselves. " The 
Sabbath came into being," he said, " for man s 
sake." 5 At the same time, he would not have the 
demands of brotherly love and service subordinated 
to those of Sabbath-observance. He set the seal 
of his approval on that natural instinct that bids 
us relieve the suffering and supply the needs of 
ourselves and of others Sabbath or no Sabbath, 
and he desired that instinct to be carried to its 
logical conclusion. 6 Had Jesus been asked by a 

* Mt vi. 1-6, 1 6-1 8. 

3 Mt xxiii. 4=Lc xi. 46 : cf Ac xv. 10. 

3 Mt xxiii. 23 f ; Lc xi. 42. Cf his similar complaint of the lack 
of a sense of proportion in the matter of swearing oaths in Mt xxiii. 
16-22. 4 Mt v. 23 f. 5 Me ii. 27. 

6 Me ii. 23-iii. 5 ||s ; Lc xiii. 10-17, xiv - 1-6. 



The Observances of Religion 77 

modern Christian whether he approved of Sunday 
tennis and Sunday golf, I am sure he would at once 
have carried the question to a higher level, and asked 
the questioner whether he was conscientiously 
making the best use of the opportunities Sunday 
gave him for resting his body and exercising his 
soul. An old narrative tells- us that he once saw a 
man working on the Sabbath, and said to him : 
" (My) man, if thou knowest what thou art doing, 
happy art thou ; but if thou knowest not, thou 
art accursed and a transgressor of the Law." J 
That is to say, the precepts of the ceremonial law 
are binding, but only in so far as they do not traverse 
some requirement that commends itself to our best 
judgment as being more in accordance with the 
Divine Will. 

1 The words are found only in Codex Bezae (at Cambridge) 
at Lc vi. 4. They probably reflect a true tradition. 



C. OUR DUTY TO GOD 

i. TURNING now to the more essential and funda 
mental duties owed to God, we see that Jesus puts 
in the foremost place the act which is represented 
in our English translation as repentance, but which 
is more correctly described by some such term as 
change of mind or change of heart/ We scarcely 
need to be reminded how frequently Jesus demands 
it. He opens his ministry with a general call to 
repentance on account of the nearness of God s 
Kingdom * ; he said that the purpose of his coming 
was to call sinners to repentance 2 ; he was grieved 
and surprised that the cities in which he worked 
repented not surely Tyre and Sidon and Nineveh 
would have done so 3 ; he told the disciples to pray 
daily for the forgiveness of their sins 4 ; he warned 
men that, unless they repented, they would perish 5 ; 
but told them that there was joy in heaven over 
even one repentant sinner. 6 

But if repentance really means a change of mind, 
clearly we are in need of some details as to the nature 
of the change. What sort of change is indicated by 
repentance ? One thing is clear : it is a change 

1 Me i. 15 ; Mt iv. 17. * See p. 57 n 3. 

3 Mt xi. 21, xii. 41 ||s. 

4 Mt vi. 9, 12 ||. Cf Lc xviii. 13 f, where the Pharisee s prayer 
leads to no justification, because he did not realize any need to 
ask for pardon. 

5 Lc xiii. 1-9. 6 Lc xv. 7, 10. 

78 



Our Duty to God 79 

appropriate for sinners ; for in most of the passages 
we have quoted, it is sinners who are spoken of as 
repenting, or needing to repent. What then is a 
sinner ? In order to answer this question, we need 
to remember that the Jewish conception of sin 
was a good deal wider than that usually held by 
the modern Christian. 

According to the latter, sin is something for which 
the sinner is responsible, is to blame, something he 
would be able to avoid were it not for a corrupted 
will ; it is the open-eyed and deliberate choice of 
wrong, while the right is staring him in the face. 
" Video meliora proboque ; deteriora sequor." That 
this view covers a certain number of the facts, no 
one will deny : we can all look back with shame on 
acts and omissions that we can characterize in these 
terms. But will anyone maintain that this view 
of sin is at all adequate to the problems of man s 
moral consciousness ? What about that large crowd 
of acts, words, and thoughts, which we sorely regret 
and yet never meant to be guilty of, in excuse for 
which we could quite fairly plead youth or inexperi 
ence or ignorance or oversight or lapse of memory 
or haste or illness or human frailty or provocation 
or fatigue, but which yet we cannot quite class as 
mere accidents over which we had no control things 
which seem to be at the same time both inevitable 
and optional, the errors without which we cannot 
learn, the falls without which, though we have the 
best intentions in the world, we can never be taught 
to stand upright ? Ignorance and inexperience we 
know ; the weakness of the flesh when the spirit 
is willing we know ; and wilful wrongdoing we 
know. Perhaps we know too that these are not all 



80 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

the same. But who can point out to us the dividing 
lines between them ? Who can show us where one 
begins and the other ends ? The focus is not sharp 
enough to enable us to mark outlines. 1 

It was with a deep sense of this undefinable and 
unaccountable character of sin that the Old Testament 
writers thought of it not only as something wilful and 
outrageous, but also as something well-nigh as 
inseparable from human life as is growth itself. 
That sharp division which modern theology tries 
to draw between intellectual ignorance and moral 
faultiness the Old Testament authors knew perfectly 
well could not be drawn. The Hebrew word, like 
the Greek word, for sin meant primarily to miss a 
mark, goal, or way. The etymology . . . does 
not necessarily imply intentional wrongdoing." 2 
Atonement for unintentional sin and that not 
only in matters of ritual was expressly provided 
for in the Priestly Code. 3 The conception of sin 
as inseparable from human nature, as incriminating 
and yet in a measure inevitable, as bringing a sense 
of the need of pardon, and yet as in a measure 
beyond man s control, pervades the devotional 
literature of the Old Testament. There is no 
man that sinneth not." 4 " What is man, that he 
should be clean, and he who is born of a woman, 

1 Cf the interesting accounts of sin from the modern point of 
view in H. G. Wells God the Invisible King, pp. 171 fif ("It is in 
the nature of every man to fall short at every point from perfec 
tion," etc), and in K. Lake s Stewardship of Faith, pp. 184-186. 
We must not assume that Paul s, Augustine s, and Luther s view 
of sin is necessarily involved in the normal Christian experience 
of it (cf W. R. Inge, Outspoken Essays, p. 214). 

z E. R. Bernard in Hastings DB iv. p. 529 a. 

3 Lev iv. 2 ff, v. 14-19; Numb xv. 22-31. 

4 i Kings viii. 46, 



Our Duty to God 81 

that he should be righteous ? Behold, He putteth 
no trust in His holy ones ; yea, the heavens are not 
clean in His sight." 1 " Errors who can understand ? 
Cleanse me from hidden (fault) s : keep back thy 
servants also from rebellious (act)s ; let them not rule 
over me." 3 " Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, 
our secret sins in the light of Thy face. "3 " Sinfulness," 
says Philo, " is congenital to everything born, in 
proportion as it has entered into being, even though 
it be good." 4 

Sin, therefore, according both to the Old Testa 
ment and to modern experience, covers the whole 
of life s spiritual and moral imperfections and 
limitations. And if we remember how thoroughly 
scriptural Jesus whole education had been, and 
at the same time how deeply rooted in actual human 
experience his religious convictions were, and if 
we bear in mind that his great ideal for man was 
that he should become and should be called a Son 
of the Most High, we can with some confidence say 
that sin must have meant for him anything that 
hinders the realization of this ideal. That being 
so, repentance would be the initial change needed 
for this realization, i.e. man s discernment of his 
true destiny as a prospective child of God and the 
surrender of himself to the fulfilment of that destiny 
as his life s aim. Repentance therefore is in essence 
the catching sight of the goal and the conscious start 
towards it. It is not therefore necessarily the 
expression of regret for any overt or specific or wilful 

1 Job xv. 14 f : cf xxv. 4, xxxiv. 31 f. 

3 Ps xix. 12 f. Cheyne s note is : " Lapses, i.e. errors due to 
ignorance or inattention, opposed (as in the Levitical Law) to 
presumptuous sins " (The Book of Psalms, p. 221). 

3 Ps xc. 8. 4 Vita Mosis, 1. Ill, s. 17. 

6 



82 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

acts of wrongdoing, though of course it may be 
that. 1 Nor is it necessarily to be regarded as a 
sudden or momentary or dateable experience ; though 
often it is so and, even where it seems to be a long 
gradual process, there is probably some specific 
time when the true state of things first dawns clearly 
on the man s soul. Thus explained, repentance is 
obviously a necessity for every man ; and if conver 
sion means the same thing, then obviously all men 
need to be converted 1 3 

2. Repentance then is the yielding to God s call 
to live as His child it is the birth (or re-birth 3) 
of the filial spirit. Now the first essential to the 
filial spirit is the child s love for his father. Hence 
we find Jesus saying that the first commandment of 
all is : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all 
thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy 
mind and with all thy strength." 4 Among what 
Jesus called the weightier matters of the Law, he 
names love for God/ and we can see that he reckoned 
it the chief of them. 5 Those who are always decrying 
the legal aspect of religion, who are never weary 
of telling us that we are not under law but under 
grace, to whom the bare mention of anything in the 
nature of a definite and binding precept seems like a 

1 " Repentance is not necessarily equivalent to pain and broken- 
heartedness " (O. Holtzmann, Life of Jesus (ET), p. 215). 

* Professor Lake (Stewardship of Faith, p. 28) thinks Jesus was 
not speaking ironically when he spoke of the righteous who need 
no repentance (Lc xv. 7) and the healthy who need no doctor 
(Me ii. 17 ||s). But if so, he is referring to those who have repented 
already ; and even they have to re-affirm their repentance in the 
daily prayer for forgiveness (Mt vi. 9, 12 ||). 

3 As in the case of the Prodigal Son (Lc xv. 17-21). 

4 Me xii. 28-34 II s - 

5 Lc xi. 42 : but cf Mt xxiii. 23. 



Our Duty to God 83 

lapse from evangelical truth, have never been able 
to explain satisfactorily why it is that so inward and 
spiritual and apparently involuntary an act as love, 
should be made by Jesus the subject of a direct 
imperative, that is to say, a law. We do no violation, 
however, to Jesus teaching when we say that love 
for God is one (and that the chief) of our duties. 
If it be true to call love an emotion, then we must 
have a psychology of religion that brings the emotions 
under the control of the will ; for loving, according 
to Jesus, is something we can do as a matter of duty. 
What love for God really means is hard to define- 
perhaps the best we can do is to avail ourselves of 
human analogies. In some respects the experience of 
falling in love is closely analogous to the love which 
God requires of us : but on the whole the comparison 
is not felicitous, as will be seen, for instance, by 
the way in which efforts to make suitable people 
fall in love with one another as a matter of duty, 
invariably come to grief : (well may Hermia protest, 
" O hell ! to choose love by another s eyes"). Our 
best illustration is, as we might expect, the love 
of a little child for a good father or mother. 
" Wherefore," as says Paul in the language of 
childhood, " we are ambitious, whether at home 
or abroad, to be well-pleasing to Him." 1 

Another popular fallacy is that we must not love 
God for hope of reward. 

My God I love thee, not because 
I hope for heaven thereby. 

The lines recall an utterance of Sancho Panza s in 
Don Quixote : " I have heard it preached, quoth 

1 2 Cor v. 9. 



84 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

Sancho, that God is to be loved with this kind of 
love, for Himself alone, without our being moved 
to it by hope of reward or fear of punishment ; 
though, for my part, I am inclined to love and serve 
Him for what He is able to do for me. " * Now, 
whether or no we ought to love God for hope of 
reward seems to depend entirely on our idea of 
reward/ And whether Sancho had a worthy 
idea of that, we do not know. But we do know that 
most of what Jesus says about the motives that 
should guide human duty is in the language of reward 
and punishment * ; and if we had worthy thoughts 
about the nature of the reward/ the treasure in 
heaven/ the things which eye hath not seen and 
ear hath not heard, and which have not entered into 
the heart of man, whatsoever things God hath 
prepared for those that love Him/ 3 we should not 
need to seek for any other motive or basis for this 
first and greatest of all Christian duties. 4 

3. Love for God has many different aspects. It 
involves worship, such as can be paid to God alone. 5 
It involves fear fear lest we should incur His dis 
pleasure, 6 or, to use words more in accordance with 
our modern temper, but meaning the same, fear lest 
we should grieve Him. It involves reverence 
the keeping sacred of God s name 7 ; the refusal to 

* Don Quxiote, Part I, bk. iv, ch. 31. 

See above, pp. 40-43. s i Cor ii. 9. 

4 On the hope of reward as the inducement to right action in 
general, cf Isaac Taylor, The Natural History of Enthusiasm (1829), 
pp. 173-179, Ottley in Lux Mundi, pp. 352 ff, and a frank paper 
by Canon A. C. Deane on The Christian Doctrine of Reward 
in The Expositor for December, 1919, pp. 412-418. 

5 Mt iv. 10 ||. 

6 Mt x. 28 || ; cf Lc xviii. 2, 4. 7 Mt vi. 9 ||. 



Our Duty to God 85 

swear either by His throne or by His footstool or 
by His city J ; the abstention from blasphemy, 
particularly against His Holy Spirit. 2 

4. Its content can be aptly summed up in two or 
three different ways. It involves in the first place 
obedience. " Keep the commandments," says Jesus 3 ; 
and elsewhere he calls the commandments the word 
of God. 4 " Happy (are) those who hear the word of 
God, and keep (it). "5 He blames the Jews for neglect 
ing the commandments of God out of deference to 
human traditions and precepts. 6 Under this heading 
perhaps we should place that duty of which Jesus 
says a good deal, viz : the duty of accepting God s 
prophets. 7 The prophets figure in his Vineyard 
Parable as the owner s servants sent to the vine 
dressers to collect their master s share of the produce. 8 
They figure also in the parable of the Rich Man and 
Lazarus as providing sufficient warning for the Rich 
Man s five brothers. 9 John the Baptist was a prophet 
and yet the religious leaders of the nation had re 
jected him. 10 The charge of slaying God s prophets 
was a capital item in Jesus indictment of the nation. 11 
On the question as to how the false prophet was 
to be distinguished from the true, Jesus only says 
that they are to be known by their fruits. 1 * Pre 
sumably he would have referred the question to the 

1 Mt v. 33-35 : cf xxiii. 16-22. Note however that Jesus broke 
his silence at his trial and answered the High Priest as soon as 
he adjured him in God s Name (Mt xxvi. 62-64 || : cf Levit v. i). 

Me iii. 28 f ||s. 3 Mt xix. 17 ||s. 4 Me vii. 6-13 ||. 

i Lc xi. 28. 6 See note 4. 7 Mt x. 41. 

8 Me xii. 1-5 ||s. 9 Lc xvi. 27-31. 

10 Mt xi. 9 ff \\, xxi. 25 f I], 28-32 ; Lc vii. 30. 

11 Lc xiii. 33 f |i ; Mt xxii. 6 f, xxiii. 29-37 II; Mc x ii- 3~5 II s - 
Mt vii. 15-20 ||. 



86 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

questioner s own heart. If we truly love God, we shall 
recognize His prophets well enough when we see them. 
5. Further, love for God involves the quest for 
His righteousness, 1 the due payment of what belongs 
to Him,* and especially the imitation of His perfect 
goodness. " Love your enemies, and pray for those 
who persecute you, in order that ye may become 
sons of your Father in heaven, for He raises His 
sun on evil and good (alike), and sends rain on (the) 
righteous and (the) unrighteous. . . . Ye then shall 
be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." 3 
It is worth noticing in passing that, though Jesus 
elsewhere represents God as punishing the wicked, 4 
yet when he is speaking of our imitating God, he 
confines himself to God s beneficence. God has 
prerogatives of discipline which His children do 
not share and must not try to copy, just as the 
children in a family are not allowed to punish one 
another. This agrees incidentally with Paul s counsel 
at. the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the 
thirteenth chapters of Romans but we must leave 
over further discussion of the point until a later stage. 5 
6. But Jesus favourite formula for summing 
up man s duty to God was the doing of God s Will. 
We are to pray daily for it to be done on earth. 6 
We must do it ourselves,? even if it means draining 
the bitter cup of sorrow to the dregs. 8 Only those 
that do it can enter the Kingdom of Heaven,9 or 
claim to be Jesus true brethren. J God s Will is 

Mt vi. 33 y. Me xii. 17 |s ; cf Mt xxi. 41. 

3 Mt v. 44 f, 48. 

4 Mt xviii. 34 f, xxii. 7, 13 ; Lc xix. 12, 14, 27 ; etc. 

5 See below, pp. 164, 168. 6 Mt vi. 10 ||. 

7 Mt xxi. 28-32. 8 Mt xxvi. 39,^42 ||s. 

9 Mt vii. 21-23. 10 Me iii. 33-35"||s. 



Our Duty to God 87 

identical with human salvation : it is not His Will 
that one even of the humblest folk should perish. 1 
But it is all very well to ask men to do God s Will ; 
how are they to know what that Will is ? We may 
recall the vigorous protest of Browning s Paracelsus : 

Now, tis this I most admire 
The constant talk men of your stamp keep up 
Of God s will, as they style it ; one would swear 
Man had but merely to uplift his eye, 
And see the will in question charactered 
On the heaven s vault . . . 
. . . God s intimations rather fail 
In clearness than in energy : twere well 
Did they but indicate the course to take 
Like that to be forsaken.* 

Does Jesus show any consciousness of the difficulty ? 
There is one passage in which he contemplates the 
case of the man whose intentions are right, but 
whose knowledge is limited. " That slave, who 
knew his master s will and did not make preparation 
or act according to his will, will be beaten (with) 
many (stroke)s. But he who knew not, and did 
things deserving strokes, will be beaten (with) few. 
From everyone to whom much has been given, 
will much be looked for, and from him to whom they 
have entrusted much will they ask the more." 3 
It is in the light of this charitable recognition of 
varying degrees of knowledge and ignorance that 
we have to interpret those incidents in history and 
in modern life where we see men and women doing 

1 Mt xviii. 14. 

1 Browning, Works, pp. 43-45. Cf R. D. Hampden, The Scholastic 
Philosophy (Bampton Lectures, 1832), p. 513 : "To argue respect 
ing the will of God, as if we had any positive notion of what it 
is in God, can lead to no practical truth : for it is to argue from 
a mere hypothesis." 3 Lc xii. 47 f. 



88 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

what we should judge to be contrary to God s Will, 
and doing it in the profound belief that it is in con 
formity with that Will. The crowds listening to 
the Pope and Peter the Hermit preaching the First 
Crusade, and then shouting : " It is the Will of God ! 
It is the Will of God ! " I the pious Puritan, Colonel 
Hutchinson, deciding after long meditation and 
prayer to vote for Charles the First s execution, 
believing himself to be Divinely guided to that 
conclusion 2 Nelson, starting on his last naval 
enterprise with the prayer His Will be done, 3 
and the youthful Gladstone opposing the admission 
of Nonconformists to the Universities with a 
special consciousness of Divine help 4 are all 
perhaps instances of servants who knew not their 
Lord s Will, or who knew it very imperfectly : 
and they serve to remind us that it is not given to 
any of us to know that Will perfectly, but to know 
it only in varying degrees of imperfection. Yet 
even the imperfect is binding on us if it is the best 
we can get. None of us can do better than a certain 
English peer of whom it was said that " he ever 
set before him the question What is the will of 
God concerning this matter ? And when, often 
after much prayer and diligent use of all the means at 
his disposal, he had satisfied himself what he ought 
to do, he set himself to do it without more ado." 5 
7. Like all other topics Jesus handles, this one 
too the duty of man to God is related to his 

1 Menzel, History of Germany (ET), 1, p. 412 ; David Hume, 
quoted in Half Hours of English History, i, p. 296. 

* Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, ch. 16 fin. 

3 Southey, Life of Nelson, ch. 9. 4 Morley, Gladstone, i. p. 84. 

5 Character Sketch of the Earl of Carnarvon in The Review of 
Reviews, August 1890, p. 126. 



Our Duty to God 89 

conception of the Kingdom of God. We have to pray 
daily for its coming its coming being identical 
with the doing of His Will. 1 We have to seek it 2 
to accept God s invitation to enter it, but not to 
presume that we can enter it without proper pre 
paration or equipment. 3 Now that the Kingdom 
has drawn near, we have to repent, believe the good 
news,4 produce the fruits of the Kingdom, i.e. righte 
ousness^ become like little children in our unquestion 
ing faith in God our Father 6 ; we have to make the 
needful sacrifices, for entering the Kingdom is no 
easy task. 7 God s Kingdom is not for the man who 
puts his hand to the plough and looks back : 8 it 
can be entered only by the most strenuous exertion. 9 
8. Bearing in mind all through that the Kingdom 
of God means in essence the realization of God s 
royal rights, and that God is not only King and 
Master, but Father, it follows that His children, as 
has just been said, must have faith in Him, if they are 
to enter His Kingdom. By faith, Jesus does not 
mean the blind acceptance of a creed, but the child s 
unquestioning and unquestionable axiom : that his 

1 Mt vi. 10 ||, vii. 21. Mt vi. 33. 

3 Mt xxii. 1-14. Vv. 11-14 belong to some parable in which 
the Kingdom was depicted as a royal feast, but not to that in 
vv. i-io ; for the hastily collected guests of 9 f clearly could have 
had neither the means nor the time to array themselves suitably, 
and the idea that it was the custom for a rich host to provide 
raiment for his guests has no foundation (Trench, Parables, pp. 
226-228). We are not told here what the real equipment for 
entrance into the Kingdom consisted of. 

4 Me i. 15 ||. s Mt xxi. 43 : cf v. 3, 6, 20. 

6 Me x. 14 f US. i Me x. 23-27 ||s : cf Mt v. 10, Acts xiv. 22. 

8 Lc ix. 62. 

9 Mt xi. 12 ; Lc xvi. 16. Cf the Agraphon : "An untempted 
man will not attain to the Kingdom of Heaven " (Hastings DB 
v, p. 347 b). 



90 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

father is good, and may be relied upon. 1 This faith 
in God s care for us is not to tempt us to take senseless 
risks, like flinging oneself from the pinnacle of the 
Temple,* nor is it to discourage us from working 
intelligently for our living ; but it ought to relieve 
us from worry and anxiety over earthly affairs. 3 Nay 
more, it ought to enable us to make use of God s 
own limitless power, so that we can cast out the 
most stubborn of evil spirits,4 and remove the most 
mountainous obstacles from our path. 5 Also we must 
bear in mind, what is only implicit in the Gospels, 
not explicit, 6 that for us Jesus is the author of the 
faith which he bids us have. 7 It is only in so far as 
we dwell with him in thought, in memory, in will, 
in contemplation, that we feel this unquestioning 
belief in God s goodness to be within our reach. 

9. And now, lastly, a few words on the great 
subject of prayer. Jesus own instructions on the 

1 Cf the fine statement by Scott Holland in Lux Mundi, pp. 9, 
12, 39 : " Faith is the sense in us that we are Another s creature, 
Another s making. . . . Faith is the attitude, the temper, of a 
son towards a father. . . . Such a relationship as this needs no 
justifying sanction beyond itself : it is its own sanction, its own 
authority, its own justification. . . . The willing surrender of the 
heart is the witness to a fact which is beyond argument, which 
accepts no denial. . . . Faith cannot transfer its business into 
other hands to do its work for it. It cannot request reason to 
take its own place. ... It is by forgetting this that so many 
men are to be found . . . still hovering on the brink of faith. . . . 
Their suspense would break and pass, if once they remembered 
that, to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, they must always be as 
little children. They must call upon the child within them. ..." 

Mt iv. 7 ||. 

3 Mt vi. 25-34 II . Mc iv - 4 II- See above pp. 25-27, 38-40. 

4 Me ix. 19, 23 f ||s ; Mt xvii. 19 f. 

5 Mt xvii. 20, xxi. 21 ||s. 

6 But see Lc xxii. 32 : "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith 
fail not." 7 Heb xii. 2. 



Our Duty to God 91 

matter are fuller and more detailed than on almost 
any other single duty : but they lend themselves 
easily to recapitulation. 

Jesus is down on all prayer for show all prayer 
done in public in order to earn the praise of men 
all prayer that consists of vain repetition and much 
speaking. l Though he speaks of the Temple at Jerusa 
lem as being " a house of prayer for all the nations," * 
he himself prays anywhere often in the open air 
and on the mountain-tops. 3 He contemplates his 
disciples praying singly in the secrecy of their 
own rooms at home, and also with one another in 
little groups. 4 He expected them to pray regularly 
every day, as is clear from the prayer for daily bread. 5 
The sample prayer that he taught them is remarkable 
for its simplicity and brevity. 6 It provides a useful 
framework for the study of all that he says about 
the content of prayer. 

Our prayer is addressed to our Heavenly Father,? 
the Lord of the Heaven and the earth, 8 who is great 
and good and wonderful beyond our comprehension. 
He is the Father who is in secret 9 to whom all 
things are possible I0 and whose name is to be held 
in reverence. 11 

The Lord s Prayer contains no explicit thanks 
giving ; but elsewhere we find Jesus thanking God 
for food and drink, 13 commending the leper who 
gave glory to God for his recovery, J 3 and praising 

1 Mt vi. 5-9; Me xii. 38-40 y. Me xi. ij\\s. 

3 Me i. 35, vi. 46 ; Lc v. 16, vi. 12, ix. 28 f, etc. 

4 Mt vi. 6, 9, xviii. 19 f . 5 Mt vi. 1 1 |j. 
6 Mt vi. 9-i3=Lc xi. 2-4. 7 Mt vi. 9. 

8 Mt xi. 25 ||. 9 Mt vi. 6. i Me xiv. 36. 

11 Mt vi. 9 ||. Me vi. 41, viii. 6 f , xiv. 22 f ||s. 

3 Lc xvii. 17 f. 



92 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

his Father for graciously revealing His truth to 
the simple. 1 

Our first petitions are to be, not for the things we 
desire most for our personal profit, but for the things 
that are nearest to God s own heart for the coming 
of His Kingdom, the doing of His Will on earth, 
the attainment of His righteousness. 2 Thereby we 
begin by subordinating our own will to His ; and our 
prayer thus becomes an offer of service, an oath of 
allegiance, a declaration of our willingness to do God s 
Will and, if need be, to suffer for it. 3 

But to pray in these terms is not only an act of 
self-dedication ; it is an intercession on behalf of 
others. We pray that God s Will may be fulfilled, 
not only in ourselves, but in the lives of our fellow- 
men. It was thus that Jesus prayed for his mur 
derers^ and bade us pray for those who persecute 
us, 5 and ask God to send out more labourers into 
His harvest. 6 If we must pray for enemies, a 
fortiori we must pray for friends, as Jesus prayed 
for Simon and for the little children and for the 
sufferers whom he cured. 7 

Then we are to ask God each day for our bread for 
the morrow a prayer which, as already indicated 
more than once, does not suggest that we need not 
work for our bread. 8 

Then we are to pray for the forgiveness of our debts, 
thereby reaffirming every day, as our frailty requires 

1 Mt xi. 25 f || : cf xxvi. 30 (hymn-singing). 
a Mt vi. 10 ||, 33 : also the Agraphon quoted on p. 26 n 2. 
s Mt xxvi. 39, 42, 44 ||s. 

4 Lc xxiii. 34. S Mt v. 44 ; Lc vi. 28. 

6 Mt ix. 37 f ||. 7 See above, p. 55. 

8 Mt vi. ii I) : see above, pp. 26 f, 90 : and compare the thanks 
givings for food quoted on p. 91 n 12. 



Our Duty to God 93 

us to do, that repentance or change of heart, whereby 
we first acknowledged ourselves to be God s children 
and decided accordingly to live in fellowship with 
Him. 1 Jesus lays special stress on this prayer as if 
he realized how easily men went astray either in 
omitting to offer it altogether or in offering it wrongly. 
The taxgatherer who strikes his breast and says : 
" God be merciful to me a sinner," goes down to 
his house justified rather than the Pharisee who 
had no sense of his need for pardon. 2 More than 
once and with great emphasis Jesus tells men that 
their prayer for forgiveness will not be granted unless 
they forgive others who have wronged them. 3 It 
is not that there are two independent conditions of 
obtaining God s pardon repentance and a forgiving 
spirit ; but that the unforgiving man is so lacking 
in a true sense of his own shortcomings as compared 
with those of his neighbour that he cannot be said 
to have truly repented himself. 4 

When Jesus tells us to pray : " Lead us not into 
temptation, but rescue us from the evil one," 5 the 
temptation he is apparently thinking of is affliction 
and persecution, rather than the mere human tendency 
to go wrong. The prayer is consequently analogous 
to that offered by Jesus himself in Gethsemane, 
viz : that the cup of martyrdom might, if possible, 
pass away from him 6 ; also to that enjoined on the 
disciples in Gethsemane : " Watch and pray, in 
order that ye may not come into temptation"?; 
and also to that which he bade his followers offer 



1 Mt vi. 12 || : see above, p. 82 n 2. * Lc xviii. 10-14. 

3 Mt vi. 14 f, xviii. 21-35; M C xi. 25. 

See above, p. 35. 5 Mt vi. 13 ||. 

6 See above, p. 92 n 3. 7 Me xiv. 38 ||s. 



94 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

when the days of great distress should come : " Pray 
that your flight may not occur in the winter, or on 
the Sabbath." x Jesus own prayer on the cross, 
" My God, my God, why has Thou deserted me ? " 2 
of which so much has been made in theories of the 
Atonement, 3 is indeed not easy to explain, but is 
more probably simply a cry of agony, uttered in the 
familiar language of Scripture, 4 than any admission 
that the speaker was vicariously guilty and so really 
deserted by God. Such a thought is abhorrent 
to Jesus conception of God. We get his true feeling 
in the other prayer : " Father, into Thy hands I 
commit my spirit." 5 

Something has already been said 6 on the Calvinistic 
tone of the prayer against temptation, of the conse 
quent difficulty of defining its exact place in modern 
devotions, and of the deeper question to which 
this, and in fact all prayer, leads us I mean, how 
exactly does prayer operate ? Is it my prayer, or 
is it God s prompting me to pray, that is the real 
starting-point of that co-operation between God 
and myself which is a necessary condition for a 
righteous life ? That problem I believe to be I 
will not say insoluble but at least unsolved. But 
though we may be exercised and rightly exercised 
over the philosophical problem, there is no need to 
deny ourselves, pending its solution, the enjoyment 
of that help and power which prayer brings us. 
Of Jesus magnificent dogmatism on the power of 

1 Me xiii. 1 8 1J. Me xv. 34 |J. 

3 E.g. Dale, The Atonement, pp. 60-63, an d P ref - to 7 th edition, 
4. 4 The words occur at the beginning of Ps xxii. 

5 Lc xxiii. 46. Cf Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ, pp. 326 f, 
Halliday, Reconciliation and Reality, pp. 191-194, and Robertson, 
Spiritual Pilgrimage, p. 130. 6 See above, pp. 28-31. 



Our Duty to God 95 

prayer offered in unquestioning faith, we have 
already spoken. 1 And when we have made all 
necessary allowances in order to bring the form and 
language of our prayer as far as possible up-to-date 
and all necessary discount for the absolute and 
pictorial and often hyperbolical language of Jesus 
as an oriental teacher, prayer will still remain a 
natural and indeed inevitable practice for those 
who are children of God, needful not only for the 
purification and calming and guidance of their own 
spirits, but also for the infusion into them of that 
power without which they cannot do the Father s 
Will. The picture of a man who finds mountains 
obstructing him, which are humanly speaking in 
surmountable, is not an unfitting illustration of God s 
child living in God s own world as it is to-day ; and 
it is well for him to learn that the means of remov 
ing the obstacle is not only to pray, but also to live, 
as one who has faith as a grain of mustard-seed. 

1 See above, pp. 31-33, 56. 



D. OUR DUTY TO JESUS 

I. IT is very significant that the duties which Jesus 
claims as due to himself from men correspond very 
closely with the duties he asks them to render to 
God. With the single exception of worship and 
prayer for Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels never 
asks the disciples to address their prayers to him 
every duty we have to render to God has corres 
ponding to it a similar duty owed by us to Jesus 
himself. The same is, as we may recollect, broadly 
speaking true of the blessings bestowed on men. 
Jesus represents himself as conferring on men what 
he also represents God as conferring on them 
help, forgiveness, rewards, and so on. In other 
words, Jesus pictures himself as standing to men in 
somewhat the same relation as that in which God 
stands to them. As Ritschl put it, Jesus has for men 
f the religious value of God. 1 To say this is not to 
say that Jesus is God for that, as have been shown 
on a previous page, 2 seems to stultify much of the 
data with which we have to start. But it does 
recognize a certain historical basis in the actual 
consciousness of Jesus and in men s experience of 
him for the later problem of his Person and the 
various theories put forward to settle it. Our task 
here is not to enter further upon that problem, 

1 Mackintosh, The Person of Jesus Christ, p. 279. 
See pp. 45-49- 

96 



Our Duty to Jesus 97 

but to analyse a little more closely the view which 
Jesus took of what was owing to himself, and to 
endeavour to see how far that view has significance 
for us to-day. 

2. The first and most obvious demand which Jesus 
made on his fellow-countrymen was that they 
should accept him, that they should admit his right 
to speak in the name and with the authority of 
God. " He who receives me receives Him who sent 
me." l " He who rejects me rejects Him who sent 
me." 3 When people were not impressed by what 
he said to them and what he did before them, he 
was amazed and saddened. The great sinful com 
munities of past history like Tyre and Sidon and 
Sodom would never have displayed such obduracy. 3 
The Ninevites had respect to the prophet Jonah, 
and the Queen of Sheba took the trouble to make 
a long journey to listen to the wise Solomon ; but 
when Jesus, who was greater than either Solomon 
or Jonah, spoke to men, many of those that heard 
either responded with carping criticism, 4 or else forgot 
what they heard as soon as it was spoken. 5 His 
own kinsfolk and fellow-townsmen, who had the best 
opportunities of knowing his true worth, rejected 
and dishonoured him. 6 The children of Jerusalem 
were unwilling to respond to his call to entrust the 
custody and control of their lives to him. 7 Those 
over whom he claimed to rule declared : " We do 
not want this man to be king over us." 8 His 
fellow-countrymen were captious and hard to please. 

1 Mt x. 40 ; Me ix. 37 |js. 2 Lc x. 16. 

3 Mt xi. 20-24 II- 4 Mt xii. 38-42 ||. 

> Me iv. 4, 15 ||s. 6 Me iii. 21, vi. 4 ||. 

7 Mt xxiii. 37 |[. 8 Lc xix. 12, 14. 



98 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

They rejected John the Baptist because he was an 
ascetic : they rejected Jesus because he was not 
an ascetic. 1 They tried his patience with their 
perpetual criticisms, in which their hostility was 
ill disguised under the garb of enquiry. 3 All this 
was the reverse of what he had hoped and longed 
for. He came to men as friend and helper ; and he 
desired to be recognized and welcomed as such. 
" Happy is he," he exclaimed, " whosoever is not 
repelled by me." 3 Neutrality towards himself he 
did not recognize as possible. When once he had 
made his claim heard in a man s ears, that man could 
no longer adopt a non-committal attitude towards 
him. " He who is not with me is against me." 
" He who is not against us is on our side." 4 

We must not imagine that this demand for recogni 
tion and acceptance was a mere arbitrary or dogmatic 
claim on Jesus part. He offered credentials. The 
nature and value of these credentials are of more 
interest to the author of the Fourth Gospel than 
to the Synoptists, though by no means ignored 
by these latter. His words of truth and love, his 
deeds of service, his whole pure and righteous life, 
testified to the nature of the Spirit by which he was 
actuated. Inasmuch as he not only expelled evil 
demons, but did everything else, by the Spirit of 
God, he knew his Divine authority would be recog 
nized by all who were seeking to trace with the 
help of the touchstone of conscience the workings 



1 Mt xi. 16-19 ||> 

3 Mt xxii. 1 8 ||, etc. And compare the Agraphon quoted by 
Ropes in Hastings DB v, 350 a : "I am weary of this generation ; 
they proved me ten times, but these twenty and a hundred times." 

3 Mt xi. 6 ||. 4 Mt xii. 30 || ; Me ix. 40. 



Our Duty to Jesus 99 

of the Divine in the lives of those around them. 
If therefore men rejected him, or were unimpressed 
by him, it showed that they were either thwarting 
or ignoring the testimony of God s Holy Spirit in 
their own hearts. 1 

3. The particular term that Jesus most often used 
to define that attitude of acceptance which he desired, 
was faith* Faith in Jesus usually means in the 
Synoptic Gospels simply belief on the part of sufferers 
or sometimes their friends that Jesus is able to 
cure them. Faith in this sense was an indispensable 
condition of his working the cure. " Believe ye 
that I am able to do this ? " " According to your 
faith may it be unto you ! " "Thy faith has saved 
thee." 3 At Nazareth he could do no works of 
power, because of their unbelief. 4 But while this 
faith may with many have got no further than 
a simple belief in the reality of his healing power, 
for the more reflective patients it would involve 
some notion of the power in Jesus as a Divine power, 
the power of one in league with God. Thus we have 
the centurion taking it for granted that Jesus could 
as the vice-gerent of God send demons about 
their business by a simple word of command, just 
as he, the centurion, could order his men about 
because he represented to them the majesty and power 



1 Me iii. 22-30 ||s. 

1 Readers not familiar with the original Greek of the New 
Testament may be reminded at this point that the English words 
faith and belief/ and their derivatives and compounds, repre 
sent not two, but only one, root in the Greek. The distinction 
between the different-sounding English words, therefore, should 
be ignored. 

3 Mt ix. 22 ||s, 28 f, xv. 28 ; Me v. 36, ix. 23, x. 52 ||s ; Lc xvii. 19. 

4 Me vi. 5 f ||. 



100 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

of Herod Antipas himself. 1 And belief in Jesus 
as a divinely commissioned healer was not far removed 
from belief in him as a divinely commissioned friend 
and teacher and forgiver of sins. So Jesus declares 
to men : " The Kingdom of God has drawn near : 
repent and believe (or have faith in) the good news," 2 
i.e. in what I am preaching to you. So too, when 
the paralytic was let down before him, Jesus, " when 
he saw their faith, said to the paralytic : Child, 
thy sins are forgiven thee. " 3 The story of the 
prostitute who anointed Jesus feet is instructive 
in this respect. When Jesus said of her : " Her 
many sins have been forgiven, for she loved much," 
he did not mean, as we should naturally suppose, 
that she first loved, and then, as a consequence, 
was forgiven. Natural as that sense is when the 
words are taken by themselves, they are in view of 
the context impossible. The real meaning is : her 
many sins have been forgiven ; and the proof of 
it lies in the great love she has shown. This is 
clear, not only from the words that immediately 
follow : " but he to whom little is forgiven, loves 
(only) a little," but also and chiefly from Jesus 

1 Mt viii. 5-13 ||. This simple dialogue has been strangely 
misunderstood. Seeley (Ecce Homo, pref. to 5th edn) quite wrongly 
takes Jesus words as spoken in approval of the centurion s humility, 
rather than of his faith. Even Dr. Moffatt misses the point by 
translating the centurion s words : "for though I am a man under 
authority myself, I have soldiers under me," etc (italics mine). 
There is nothing in the original to justify the word though, and 
it obscures the meaning. The centurion had power over his men, 
because of, not in spite of, the fact that he was under authority 
himself : and he thought of Jesus not (as Seeley says) as " im 
measurably above himself in that scale " of military rank in which 
he himself had a place, but as being, like himself, under the authority 
of a powerful superior, and therefore able to get his own orders 
carried out. z Me i. 15. 3 Me ii. 5 ||s. 



Our Duty to Jesus 101 

parting words to the woman : " Thy faith has 
saved thee : go in peace." I It was not the woman s 
love that had saved her : it was her faith her faith in 
Jesus, when he told her of the Divine Father s claim 
upon her and of His readiness to forgive and cleanse 
her, if she would but turn to Him. She did turn and 
was forgiven ; and the experience brought her such 
joy that her gratitude overflowed in an act of love 
and homage. Here, we may note in passing, is a 
typical instance of Jesus having the religious value 
of God for men ; probably the woman did not dis 
tinguish clearly in her own mind between the heavenly 
Father and the gentle human teacher, when she gave 
expression to her faith, her penitence, and her love. 
When a modern Christian speaks about having 
faith in Jesus, clearly he does not refer to the miracu 
lous power of Jesus as a healer for that power is 
no longer perceptibly at work. Too often the only 
content given to the phrase is a vague feeling that 
Jesus has somehow or other secured Divine pardon 
for us. This has resulted from a too one-sided 
study of the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and the 
Romans, and has often led to a highly unethical 
conception of the Christian life. That faith should 
ever have come to be regarded as a conceivable 
alternative to or substitute for works, shows 
how lamentably the simple gospel of Jesus can 
get lost sight of, in the hurly-burly of religious con 
troversy. Of faith, in the ultra-protestant sense 
of relying on the merits of Jesus to compensate for 
one s own failure or of believing that his sufferings 
have made adequate satisfaction for one s own 
demerits, the Gospels tell us nothing. Faith as 

1 Lc vii. 36-50. 



102 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

Jesus uses the word means an acceptance of him 
self as the anointed messenger of God and a reliance 
on the truth of what he has to tell us of the Divine 
Love and the Divine Will. 

4. The story of Jesus being anointed by the pros 
titute is one of the two places in the Gospels in which 
he speaks of being himself loved by some one. The 
other place is where he says : "He who loves father 
or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and he 
who loves son or daughter more than me is not 
worthy of me." l By a curious coincidence the similar 
story of his being anointed by Mary at Bethany is, 
with one exception, the only occasion on which 
he explicitly commends the treatment of himself 
with reverence. " She has done a good action to 
me . . . she has anticipated the embalmment of 
my body for burial." * The other occasion was 
when he defended those who cheered him on his 
triumphal entry into Jerusalem : "I tell you that 
if they are silent, the (very) stones will cry out." 3 
The rarity of these allusions to the love and reverence 
he desired from men may be no more than an accident. 
All through his life or at least all through his public 
ministry Jesus was being ardently loved and deeply 
revered by those most attached to him. We cannot 
imagine that he ever disclaimed such tribute. At 
the same time it is curious that, in the Synoptic 
Gospels at least, Jesus so rarely asks anyone explicitly 
to love him or revere him. The reason surely was, 



1 Mt x. 37. * Me xiv. 6, 8 || : cf Jn xii. 7. 

3 Lc xix. 40. Mt (xxi. 15 f) represents the noisy offenders as 
children in the Temple, and Jesus reply as : " Have ye never 
read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou per 
fected praise ? " 



Our Duty to Jesus 103 

not that he did not desire such devotion, but that 
he knew that it would follow naturally as soon as 
men realized what he was able to do for them and 
be to them and as soon as they had faith to accept 
him and his gifts. Faith or believing acceptance 
was to come first, then repentance or conversion, 
then love and reverence. 

5. What Jesus insisted on far more emphatically 
than professions of personal devotion and allegiance, 
was that people should listen to him and listen intelli 
gently. How often does he punctuate his discourses 
with the half pathetic appeal : " Let him that hath 
ears to listen with, listen." * " Hearken," he says, 
as he begins a parable. 3 The familiar story of 
Martha and Mary 3 shows us, not that Jesus did not 
care for attention being paid by his friends to his 
bodily needs, but that he valued much more highly 
the attention that was paid to the truth he had to 
teach. Nor was he content that they should listen 
anyhow. He did not want his hearers to be like 
the rustic clown Shakespeare tells us of, who, when 
asked if he had not heard the royal proclamation, 
replied : " I do confess much of the hearing of it, but 
little of the marking of it." There were such hearers ; 
and Jesus characterized them as seed sown by the 
wayside which the birds of the air devour 4 : or, as 
we should put it, the words went in at one ear and 
out at the other. Hence his repeated insistence on 
understanding. " Listen to me all of you, and 
understand," he says. 5 " Have ye understood all 
this ? " he asked his disciples, after giving them a 

* Me iv. 9 US, 23 (vii. 16) ; Mt xi. 15, xiii. 43 ; Lc xiv. 35. 

a Me iv. 3 : cf ix. 7 ||s ; Lc x. 16. 

3 Lc x. 38-42. 4 Me iv. 4, 15 |]s. 5 Me vii. 14 jj. 



104 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

good deal of teaching ; and when they said they 
had, he continued : " Therefore every scribe who 
has been made a disciple to the Kingdom of Heaven 
is like a householder who produces from his store 
things new and old." J The scribe, we may remember, 
was a man who gave the whole of his time to the 
investigation of the meaning of Scripture. On one 
occasion we read that Jesus told a scribe that he 
was not far from the Kingdom of God, and that 
was when he " saw that he had answered intelli 
gently." 2 Frequently did Jesus rebuke his disciples 
lack of intelligence. " Know ye not this parable ? 
How then will ye know all parables ? " 3 " Are ye 
too so unintelligent ? Do ye not understand. . . ? " 4 
" Do ye not yet understand or comprehend ? Is 
your heart (still) hardened ? Having eyes, see 
ye not ? And having ears, do ye not hear ; and do 
ye not remember ? " 5 He refers men, not to the 
technical knowledge of experts, but to their ordinary 
human intelligence. He asks them simply to use 
their brains. " Whenever ye see a cloud rising in 
(the) west, at once ye say : A shower is coming , 
and so it happens. And whenever ye see (the) 
south wind blowing, ye say : It will be hot/ and so 
it happens. Hypocrites ! ye know (how) to decipher 
the face of the earth and the sky : but how (is it) ye 
cannot decipher (the meaning of) this season ? Why 
do ye not of yourselves judge what is righteous? " 6 
" Become qualified bankers/ he says, " rejecting 
some things, but clinging to what is good." 7 

1 Mt xiii. 51 f. 3 Me xii. 34. 

3 Me iv. 13. 4 Me vii. 18 ||. 

5 Me viii. 17 ||, cf 21. 6 Lc xii. 54-57. 

7 Ropes, in Hasting s DB v, p. 349 b. 



Our Duty to Jesus 105 

This striking insistence of Jesus on the use of 
man s fullest intellectual powers in his religious life 
has not as a rule been adequately appreciated and 
understood. It has a bearing on the problem of 
the relation between knowledge and goodness on 
the one hand and between ignorance and sin on the 
other. That this relation is a very close one was 
clearly the teaching of the Old Testament and the 
belief of Jesus ; and our own experience gives 
evidence to the same effect. Yet modern Christian 
theology with its eye on the well-meaning fool 
who sins in ignorance and the clever rogue who is 
but the worse for his cleverness tends to draw an 
absolute distinction between sin and ignorance and 
between knowledge and goodness. The cast-iron 
notions of sin and sinlessness that result from this 
divorce of the intellectual from the moral may ease 
the problem of morality on one side ; but they com 
plicate it on others. And in any case, as has been 
said, they are not true to our own experience. Not 
indeed that we are absolutely to identify knowledge 
and goodness or sin and ignorance : but can we 
possibly define the limits between them ? Do we 
attach no moral worth to tact, sound judgment, the 
eager desire for truth, and ability to penetrate its 
mazes ? Do we affix no moral stigma to stupidity 
or dull indifference to intellectual culture ? Is not 
error a name common to what is intellectually 
mistaken and to what is morally blameworthy ? 
And do not New Testament writers continually 
represent the adoption of Christianity as the 
highest wisdom ? I 

1 Oman rightly speaks of " this close partnership of sin with 
unreality " (Grace and Personality, p. 192, first edn). 



106 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

The usual modern view-point, which divorces the 
intellectual from the moral elements in human 
personality because admittedly they cannot be 
quite identified, shows itself in a slightly modified 
form in the strong modern aversion to theology. 1 
Not that this aversion is entirely at fault. In so far 
as it represents a revolt from that old-fashioned 
view that Christian truth consists entirely of certain 
cut-and-dried dogmas which are to be accepted 
unquestioningly, and (in olden times at least) en 
forced by persecution while ethics have to be rele 
gated en bloc to the province of the secular this 
aversion from theology is a healthy sign of a return 
to reality. But unhappily it is not wholly that. It 
represents to a very large extent nothing more digni 
fied than the natural disinclination of men to think for 
themselves. There are multitudes of people about, 
who are kind-hearted enough and in a sense well- 
intentioned, but who simply will not be bothered to 
think out anything. One of the incidental drawbacks 
to having a professional ministry is that it encourages 
people of this type in the churches to imagine that 
they need never use their own brains in religious 
matters, seeing that the parson is paid to do it for 
them. As Dr. A. J. Carlyle said a few years ago, 
the chief enemy to-day is not the unwillingness of 
Christian spirit, but " the unwillingness of Christian 
people to think out their own convictions with care 
and resolution, to ask themselves what it was exactly 
that those convictions meant, to distinguish better 
the merely traditional and the essential elements 
in Christianity." 3 That such tasks should be under- 

1 Moffatt, The Theology of the Gospels, pp. i if. 

3 Speech at Recognition of Rev. R. Hobling, Oxford Chronicle, 



Our Duty to Jesus 107 

taken by the Christian individual as such and not left 
to professional ministers is necessary on two grounds 
firstly, for the good of the individual s own soul, 
for it is bad to be always imbibing even what is true 
without making any attempt to criticize, sift, classify, 
and apply it ; and secondly, in order that a check 
may be kept on the theological and religious experts, 
and thus an unhealthy divorce between the theory 
and practice of religion (each of which is indispensable 
to the other) may be avoided. 1 The modern counter 
part of Jesus great summons : " Listen to me all 
of you, and understand," is the need to-day of a 
new theology, or rather a new philosophy of the 
Christian life, based not on the outworn categories 
of older thinkers but upon a fresh interpretation 
of the message and person of him who alone has been 
able to convince mankind that he can impart to 
them the truth and the guidance they need. 

6. On several occasions Jesus said to certain indivi 
duals : " Follow me " ; and each time he meant it 
in the literal sense. He said it to Simon and Andrew 
and to Jacob and John in their fishing-boats on the 
shore of the Sea of Galilee * ; he said it to Matthew 
sitting at the receipt of custom 3 ; he probably said 

November 9, 1917. "Is the ordinary man anywhere a thoughtful 
creature ? I think not " (a chaplain quoted in The Army and 
Religion, p. 106, cf p. 101). 

1 Mr. G. G. Coulton (in Christ, St. Francis and To-day, pp. i f) 
notes that, in the Middle Ages, " the specialist had little chance 
of appealing to the man in the street ; and more fatal still 
the thoughts of the man in the street were not a constant atmos 
phere which the specialist was compelled to breathe whether he 
would or would not " : he thinks that, in the modern world, as 
in ancient Greece, the crowd and the specialist do " come into 
frank and natural contact." Such contact, of course, there is ; 
but there is room for more of it. 

J Me i. 16-20 ||. 3 Me ii. 14 ||s. 



108 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

it though we are not actually told so to each of 
the Twelve, as and when he first called them : x he 
said it to the man who wanted to go and bury his 
father 2 : he said it finally to the rich young ruler 
whom he bade sell all that he had and give the proceeds 
to the poor. 3 We might fairly argue that all these 
were cases where Jesus wanted the personal company 
of certain men for special reasons in order that they 
might do some special work in connection with his 
Palestinian mission. But there are two other passages 
in the Synoptic tradition, perhaps doublets of one 
another in which Jesus demands this act of following 
from all his disciples. One of them reads : "If any 
one wishes to come after me, let him deny himself 
and take up his cross and follow me. "4 The other 
reads : " Whoever does not take his cross and follow 
after me, is not worthy of me." 5 There can be little 
doubt that literal following and the literal acceptance 
of crucifixion are here referred to : for Luke s addition 
of the word daily in the former passage is an obvious 
accommodation to the everyday needs of his Christian 
readers. We can only conclude that there was a 
period in Jesus ministry when he really desired all 
his sincere adherents to join him in a common act 
of sacrifice as the victims of Jewish hostility and as 
the martyrs, champions, and heralds of the King 
dom. 6 If so, the average modern Christian is not 

1 Mc.iii. 13 f ||s: cf Mt xix. 28. 

3 Mt viii. 22 ||. 3 Me x. 21 ||s. 

4 Me viii. 34 ; Mt xvi. 24 ; Lc ix. 23. Lc adds daily after 
his cross. 

s Mt x. 38 ; Lc xiv. 27 ( cannot be my disciple ). 

6 This would help to explain Jesus prophecy to Jacob and 
John that they should drink his cup and be baptized with his 
baptism (Me x. 39 ||). 



Our Duty to Jesus 109 

called on to follow Jesus in the sense in which 
he used the word. It is under other aspects of 
discipleship, as Jesus unfolded it, that he will 
recognize his obligations to his Master. 

7. Of those other aspects, unquestionably the 
clearest and most comprehensive is that of obedience. 1 
Jesus called for an absolute and complete obedience 
to his teaching. He did not philosophize about 
the grounds of his obedience : but we can detect 
without much difficulty what those grounds were. 
This submission of men to himself was not meant 
to quench the use of their own independent moral 
judgment : on the contrary, as we have seen, Jesus 
expected men to think out for themselves the meaning 
of what he said : he himself did not provide them 
with a complete code covering all the minutiae of 
the moral life. Nor was their obedience to be like 
that of the subjects of a despotic ruler, who have 
to bow to his authority as an established fact, and 
who must either obey or else forthwith cease to exist. 2 
It is true that Jesus represented the ultimate fruit 
of disobedience to himself as utter ruin 3 ; but that 
was left to the indefinite future, and in the meantime 
no one was to be coerced into obeying against his 
will. Jesus called on men to obey him simply on 
the ground that what he commanded was right and 
good and represented God s Will. It was for that 
reason that he taught that ultimate security or 
salvation depended on obedience, and that ultimate 
perdition would eventually follow upon disobedience. 
It was for that reason too, that he could represent 

1 Mt vii. 24-27 || ; Lc vi. 46 : cf Me iv. 3, 8, 14, 20 ||s. 

3 Me x. 42-45 ||s. 

3 Mt vii. 24-27 || ; cf xi. 20-24 ||. 



110 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

his own behests with equal suitability either as 
commands or as invitations. Besides issuing exacting 
orders and calling for unstinted sacrifices, he invited 
the toiling and burdened to come to him, to assume 
his gracious yoke and shoulder his light burden, and 
so to find true rest for themselves. 1 Notice here the 
strange paradox of the weary finding rest through 
submission to a yoke and the assumption of a burden. 
Such a paradox is rendered possible only when the 
task and its reward coalesce, because each is identified 
with the Will of God. " Happy (are) they," says 
Jesus, " who hear the word of God, and keep (it)." 2 
The question as to the form and range of the response 
due from the modern Christian to this demand of 
Jesus for obedience is the question with which the 
whole of this book is attempting to deal. We are 
endeavouring, under each successive heading, to 
extract the eternally valid elements from the record 
in which they are enshrined to discover what the 
teaching of Jesus means when put in terms of modern 
thought and responsibility. But the very effort 
to do this in detail presupposes not only our right 
to use our own critical faculties but other and still 
more fundamental postulates, viz : our belief that 
guidance for modern life is obtainable from this 
source and our obligation to obey that guidance 
when we have discovered it. These are postulates 
which few Christians would be found to deny in so 
many words ; but the virtual denial of them, or 
something very like it, seems certainly to be involved 
in the position taken up by some leaders of religious 
thought to-day, who, on this plea or that, relegated 
the commands of Jesus to a position of virtual irre- 

* Mt xi. 28-30. 3 Lc xi. 28. 



Our Duty to Jesus 111 

levance, so far as modern life is concerned. Either 
Jesus was too eschatological to be a safe guide for 
us nowadays ; or obedience to his recorded teaching 
savours of legalism or literalism ; or else the teaching 
applies only to a perfect state of society, or only 
to purely private and personal matters ; and so on. 
Something has already been said in the Introduction 
on this general topic, and something more will have 
to be said later on in regard to some of its special 
bearings l ; the point that has to be noted here is 
the immense stress which Jesus himself laid on the 
need for practical and complete obedience. We 
may readily grant that times have changed, that 
Jesus would say some things very differently if he 
were living in our midst to-day, that we must accord 
ingly hold ourselves free to criticize and adapt, 
that the Person of Jesus is more important than 
his words, that the Risen and Indwelling Christ 
overrides all merely historical records, and so on 
and so on ; yet, notwithstanding every such qualifica 
tion, it is clear that we shall be reducing most of 
our customary devotional language to a mockery, 
we shall be setting an unreal gulf between the Cross 
and him who died on it, we shall even be forfeiting 
our right to speak of an indwelling Christ at all, if 
we are ignoring a responsibility on which Christ 
himself laid such constant and tremendous emphasis. 
8. Nothing is clearer than that Jesus looked for 
reliable, industrious, and efficient service. The attitude 
of Browning s Rabbi ben Ezra, who laid most 
stress on motive and aspiration and not very much 

1 The present writer has attempted a rather fuller treatment 
of the question in a paper that appeared in The Expositor, for 
February, 1920, on The Place of Jesus Ethical Teaching in 
Modern Christian Life. 



112 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

on achievement, is not that of Jesus. Jesus indeed 
was far from being unconscious of the importance 
of motive, as we may see from his Sermon on the 
Mount, 1 from his statement that the servant who 
knew not his Master s will, and consequently did 
things worthy of stripes, would be beaten with only 
a few stripes, 2 and from the parable in which the 
labourers who had stood idle a long time, because 
no man had hired them, were paid a full day s wage. 3 
But he did lay stress on results. " They who were 
sown on the good ground are those who hear the 
word, and receive it, and bear fruit, thirty- and 
sixty- and a hundred-fold." 4 In his parable of 
the Pounds or Talents, as Luke gives it, the servant 
who had traded so well with his one pound as to 
convert it into ten, was rewarded with the rule of 
ten cities, and similarly he who had produced five 
was rewarded with the rule of five cities. 5 In Matthew s 
version probably the more original the two good 
servants simply double the deposit entrusted to 
them of five and two talents respectively, and both 
alike are rewarded by being invited to enter the joy 
of their Master 6 : whereas the third servant, who in 
both versions alike does nothing but keep his money 
has to hand it over to the first servant, and is then 
expelled in disgrace. 7 There was a third version 
of this parable possibly the most original of all 
found in the lost Gospel according to the Hebrews : 
in this, only the first servant traded and gained 
profit ; the second hid his money ; while the third 
wasted it in bad company : the first was rewarded, 

1 E.g. Mt v. 21 f, 27 f. 2 Lc xii. 47 f. 3 Mt xx. 1-15. 

4 Me iv. 20 US. 5 Lc xix. 13-19. 6 Mt xxv. 14-23. 

7 Mt xxv. 24-30 : cf Lc xix. 20-26. 



Our Duty to Jesus 113 

the second censured, and the third imprisoned. 1 
All which goes to show that Jesus laid very con 
siderable stress on the practical efficiency of men s 
service, and sometimes at least took an almost 
commercially quantitative view of its value. 

So much for efficiency : not for extent. We 
have spoken of servants ; we ought rather to 
have used the word slaves. Without departing 
at all from what he had said about his own mission 
to serve men and to give rest to their souls and about 
God s tender love for them, Jesus yet chooses the 
most rigorous form of human service he knows, 
viz : slavery, as a fitting illustration of what men 
owe to himself and to God. We must remember that 
according to ancient law, " the slave could do no 
more than his duty ; the master had a right to exact 
all that he could do in his interest, without any need 
for gratitude." a And so Jesus says : " Who (is 
there) among you, that has a slave ploughing or 
tending sheep, who will say to him when he has 
come in from the field, Come at once and recline 
(at table)/ and will not (rather) say to him, Get 
something ready for me to have supper, and gird 
thyself, and wait on me, while I eat and drink, 
and after that thou shalt eat and drink ? Does 
he thank the slave because he did what was com 
manded ? (Of course not.) Even so, ye also, when 
ye have done all the things that are commanded 
you, say, We are (simply) slaves : we have (merely)} 
done what we ought to have done. 3 " So absolute 
and unlimited is the service Jesus demands of us. 

1 See Ropes, in Hastings DB v, p. 345 b. 

8 C. Schmidt, The Social Results of Early Christianity (ET), 
P- 34 8 - 3 Lc xvii. 7-10. See above, p. 72 n i. 

8 



114 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

And this is his gracious yoke and his easy 
burden ! 

Besides efficiency and unlimitedness, Jesus requires 
that our service shall be faithful. His precepts on 
this point nearly all have reference to a particular 
eschatological thought different, be it remarked, 
from that noticed above, according to which Jesus 
asks all his followers to join his ranks and be crucified 
with him the thought, namely, of his own temporary 
absence, the interval between death and (resurrection 
or) return, the vague indefinite three days/ during 
which his followers are faithfully to go about their 
duties, being always ready for his return, like the 
servants of a master absent on a journey or the 
maidens waiting to meet a bridegroom. " Happy 
are those servants whom the Master when he comes 
will find watching/ T The particular eschatological 
context in which the numerous sayings of this type 
are set, is no longer part of our Christian outlook : 
but the religious value of the warning remains, seeing 
that for us the uncertainty of the time of our own 
death corresponds very closely to what was for the 
early Christian the uncertainty of the time of his 
Lord s coming. 

9. Finally, Jesus required his followers to be 
prepared to suffer hardship and persecution, even to 
the point of scourging and death, if need be, for his 
sake. He warned one who offered to follow him 
that the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head. 3 
He forewarned his disciples repeatedly that severe 
persecution was bound to come. 3 They were to 

1 See above, p. 68 n 2, and cf Me xiii, 33-37 ; Mt xxiv. 42-xxv. 
30 ; Lc xii. 35-48, xiii. 23 ff, xxi. 34-36. a Mt viii. 20 ||. 

s Mt v. 10-12 ||, x. 16-39 ||s, xvi. 24-27 ||s, xxiv. 9-13 ||s ; Me iv. 
5 f , 16 f ||s, ix. 49, x. 38 f ||s ; Lc xiv. 28-33. 



Our Duty to Jesus 115 

be prudent as serpents, harmless as doves, but above 
all, fearless and faithful. 1 The great thing they were 
to avoid in time of persecution was being betrayed 
into denying their Master. 2 He who held out bravely 
to the end, would be saved. 3 And if life itself must 
be sacrificed in case of need, so too must all life s 
joys including the ties of property and family life. 
But every loss thus incurred would be amply com 
pensated. 4 Once more, let us notice how, despite 
the immense differences between his outlook on the 
pagan world and our own, the essence of these demands 
of his still remains valid for us. We can make our 
own that Lucan adaptation of his saying : "If any 
man would come after me, let him take up his cross 
daily and follow me. 5 5 Every Christian has his 
daily cross of hardship to bear for Jesus ; but for 
each of us there always remains at least the risk, 
whether near or remote, that the larger and more 
tragic sacrifice of liberty, property, and life itself, 
may, through some special combination of circum 
stances, be demanded of us, for the sake of Jesus 
and the Kingdom. 

10. No treatment of the subject of our duty to 
Jesus would be complete without some notice of 
what may be called the doctrine of mystical union 
with Christ, of Christ dwelling in us, of our dwelling 
in Christ, and so forth. These phrases, it is true, 
do not find much basis in the Synoptic Gospels. 
We do find there that Jesus promises to be in the 
midst of any two or three disciples gathered together 

Mt x. 1 6, 26, 28-31 ||. 

a Mt x. 32 f ||s : cf Me xiv. 27, 30 f ||s. 

3 Mt x. 22, xxiv. 13 ||s. 

4 Mt x. 21, 34-37 ||s; Me x. 29-31 ||s. 

5 See above, p. 108 n. 4. 



116 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

in his name. We find him identifying himself with 
his disciples so that he who rejects or receives them 
rejects or receives him also with those whom he 
calls the least of his brethren. 1 But it is not until 
we come to the Epistles of Paul that we find the idea 
of the Christ as a Living Presence within his disciple 
strongly and clearly expressed. 3 In the Fourth 
Gospel, it becomes so prominent and so highly deve 
loped that it is made to replace the whole earlier 
Synoptic teaching about the return of the Son of 
Man. In later times there have been many Christians 
whose inner experience has driven them to speak of 
personal and living association with Jesus as the lover 
of their souls. There are also, however, multitudes 
of Christians who have never had any experience of 
their own which forces them to the use of this 
mystical language ; and to them the use of that 
language by others, and still more the attempt to 
represent the experience that prompts it as necessary 
or even normal for a true Christian, causes difficulty. 3 
We are not to imagine that, because Paul or the 
author of the Fourth Gospel felt that way, the 
majority of their fellow-Christians necessarily did 
the same. But it is not our task to enlarge here on 
this delicate and sacred theme. Each man must 
be left to make what he can of the privileges given 
to him. It is worth remembering that those who 

1 See the passages quoted above, p. 56. 

z " His personal religion was, in essence, a pure mysticism ; 
he worships a Christ whom he has experienced as a living presence 
in his soul " (Inge, Outspoken Essays, p. 213). " We have also, 
fully developed, the mystical doctrine of the Spirit of Christ im 
manent in the soul of the believer, a conception which was the 
core of St. Paul s personal religion " (ibid. p. 224). 

3 Cf Dean Inge s rough characterization of the two types of 
mind, in Outspoken Essays, p. 161. 



Our Duty to Jesus 117 

have most definite experience of the presence of 
Christ tell us that they do not distinguish between 
that and the presence of God. Thus both Paul and 
the author of the Fourth Gospel seem to identify 
the Risen Christ with the Holy Spirit r : modern 
Christian mystics make the same confession. We 
might not unworthily compare Tennyson s con 
sciousness of the omipresence of his departed friend : 

Thy voice is on the rolling air ; 

I hear thee where the waters run ; 

Thou standest in the rising sun, 
And in the setting thou art fair. 

What art thou then ? I cannot guess ; 
But tho I seem in star and flower 
To feel thee some diffusive power, 

I do not therefore love thee less : 

My love involves the love before ; 

My love is vaster passion now ; 

Tho mixed with God and Nature thou, 
I seem to love thee more and more. 

Far off thou art, but ever nigh ; 

I have thee still, and I rejoice ; 

I prosper, circled with thy voice ; 
I shall not lose thee tho I die. 2 

It must also be borne in mind that any modern Chris 
tian who has faith in Jesus must believe that 
Jesus is still living, for personal immortality was 
one of his most fundamental convictions ; and 
as he is now untrammelled by the limitations of his 
flesh, it would seem to follow that he can be in per 
sonal touch with each one of us. And if he is still 

1 2 Cor iii. 17, Rom viii. 9-11 (see Denney s note on verse n 
in The Expositor s Greek Testament] ; i Cor iii. 16 ; Gal ii. 20 ; 
Jn xiv. 3, 1 8, 21, 23, 28, xvi. 16, compared with xiv. 16 f, 26 f, 
xv. 26, xvi. 7, 13, etc. z In Memoriam, cxxx. 



118 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

the gracious Saviour he was, he will be willing to 
keep company with any that seek and need him, 
however closely their eyes may be holden so that 
they cannot discern him. The prime qualification 
is the moral one of personal surrender and practical 
obedience. " If any man love me, he will keep my 
word : and my Father will love him, and we will 
come unto him, and make our abode with him." I 

1 Jn xiv. 23. 



E. OUR DUTY TO OTHERS GENERALLY 

i. " THE first (commandment) is, ... Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God. . . . The second is like 
it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as (thou lovest) 
thyself. There is no other commandment greater 
than these : on these two commandments hangs 
the whole Law and the Prophets." * In these words 
Jesus puts in a nutshell the whole duty of man. 
The whole of Christian ethics consists in the elucida 
tion of these tremendous maxims. 

The first point which it is important for us to 
notice is the universal scope that Jesus gave to the 
words enjoining the love of our neighbour. The 
word neighbour was one either of limited or else 
ambiguous meaning. It seems to have been at 
first roughly equivalent to brother ; and brother 
meant * fellow- Jew to the exclusion of the Gentile. 
In later times neighbour was appropriated to 
proselytes, while brother was reserved for fellow- 
Jews in the strict sense. 2 The doubt that hung 
about the exact meaning of neighbour is revealed 
in the sequel added by certain Rabbis to the old 
commandment : Thou shalt love thy neighbour, 
and hate thine enemy," and in the question once 

1 Me xii. 29-31 ; Mt xxii. 37-40 (cf xix. ij-ig\\s) ; Lc x. 27 f. 

3 Acts vii. 2, xxiii. i, xxviii. 17, 21 ; Rom ix. 3 f, etc ; Lightfoot, 
Hora Hebvaic(B, on Mt v. 22 ; Farrar, in Smith s DE i, p. 230 ; 
Streane s note on Lev xix. 18 in Cambridge Bible. 

119 



120 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

addressed to Jesus in connection with the same 
commandment : Who is my neighbour ? " Jesus 
put his own meaning beyond all question when he 
definitely enjoined love for enemies, 1 and when he 
answered the question, " Who is my neighbour ? " 
by telling the parable of the Good Samaritan* 
For Jesus then the word neighbour is synonymous 
with fellow-man. Gladstone was truly inter 
preting this great Christian law when he said : " Re 
member that the sanctity of life in the hill villages 
of Afghanistan, among the winter snows, is as inviol 
able in the eye of Almighty God as can be your own. 
Remember that He who has united you as human 
beings in the same flesh and blood, has bound you 
by the law of mutual love ; that that mutual love 
is not limited by the shores of this island, is not 
limited by the boundaries of Christian civilization ; 
that it passes over the whole surface of the earth, 
and embraces the meanest along with the greatest 
in its unmeasured scope." 3 

2. But now, what is love ? " Love," says Dr. 
Oman, " is not kindly emotion, but moral esteem." 4 
Love is defined by someone else as " the redeeming 
identification of oneself with another," " no flickering 
or wayward emotion, but the energy of a steadfast 
will bent on creating fellowship." 5 Some of these 
modern definitions may be true enough, but they are 
not sufficiently simple for the ordinary man. Jesus 
himself gives a perfectly simple explanation of what 

Mt v. 43 ff ||. Lc x. 25-37. 

3 Morley, Gladstone, ii, pp. 451 f. Cf Augustine, De Disc. Christ. 
iii (Proximus est omni homini omnis homo). 

4 Grace and Personality, p. 261. 

5 Two writers quoted by R. Roberts, in Hibbert Journal, July 
1919, p. 671. 



Our Duty to Others Generally 121 

he understands by love. " All things whatsoever 
ye wish that men should do to you, so do ye also 
to them : for this is the Law and the Prophets." I 
The summary character of this precept together 
with the reference to the Law and the Prophets 
warrants us in regarding the rule as an equivalent 
of that which bids us love our neighbour as ourself. 
It tells us therefore what Jesus means by love : 
he means doing to others not necessarily what 
they want you to do but what you yourself would 
like them to do to you if you, with your present views 
and wishes as a Christian disciple, 2 were in their 
position. And the doing, let us remember, covers 
speaking to and about men and thinking about them 
as well as acting towards them. Love, then, is no 
mere involuntary or spontaneous emotion : it is to 
be felt and practised as a matter of duty and therefore 
as a consequence of effort. It is made the subject 
of a direct imperative. Just as we like to be treated, 
not exactly according to what we are, but according 
to what we are hoping and trying to be,3 so does the 
law of Christian love bid us treat our neighbour. 
The ethical meaning of love is to treat every man 
as an end in himself, reverencing him, not for what 
he is, but for what he ought to become." 4 

You must love him, ere to you 
He will seem worthy of your love. 



1 Mt vii. 12 ||. 

* This qualification is clearly necessary, as without it the Golden 
Rule would amount simply to doing what others want, e.g. giving 
the toper his liquor, and so on. 

3 Augustine, De Trinitate, i. 10 : Tales nos amat Deus, quales 
futuri sumus, non quales sumus. 

4 Oman, op cit, p. 284. Cf Fairbairn, Studies in the Life of Christ, 
pp. 60 i . 



122 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

3. But, even when elucidated in this way by the 
Golden Rule, the content of the command to love 
our neighbour as ourself is not quite as clear as we 
need it to be. For some of us are in need of guidance 
as to what we ought to wish men to do to us. Jesus, 
therefore, goes a good way beyond these two simple 
and bare precepts, and explains in some little detail 
how they should work out in actual life. He tells 
us in the first place of the main principles that should 
guide us in our relations with men generally : then 
he adds instructions as to how we should treat wrong 
doers of various kinds : then he speaks on such 
special aspects as the relations of the sexes, the 
obligations of family life, the use of property, and 
the relation to the State. Let us proceed to examine 
his teaching on these several points. 

As regards our relationships with our fellow-men 
in general, the great root-principle of love branches 
out into four important but derived principles : mercy, 
wisdom, truthfulness, and humility. 

4. Firstly, Mercy, or, as we should call it, kindness. 
" Happy (are) the merciful/ says Jesus, " for they will 
receive mercy." I "Go and learn what this means, I 
desire mercy, and not sacrifice. " 2 He reckoned 
mercy among the weightier matters of the Law. 3 
He told his immortal parable of the Good Samaritan 
who showed mercy on a foreigner, as a good instance of 
what he meant by neighbourly love. 4 " Come, 
ye blessed of my Father ; inherit the Kingdom pre 
pared for you (ever) since (the) foundation of (the) 
world. For I was hungry, and ye gave me (food) 
to eat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me (something) 

1 Mt v. 7. 2 Mt ix. 13 ; cf xii. 7. 

3 Mt xxiii. 23. 4 Lc x. 25-37. 



Our Duty to Others Generally 123 

to drink ; I was a stranger, and ye entertained me ; 
(I was) naked, and ye clothed me ; I was ill, and ye 
looked after me ; I was in prison, and ye came to 
(see) me. . . . Inasmuch as ye did (it) to one of the 
least of these brothers of mine, ye did (it) to me." * 
We need not suppose that mercy is to such an extent 
a synonym for almsgiving that it has no place in the 
general relationships of ordinary people, who are 
economically independent of one another. Anyone 
with whom we have any dealings is a fit and proper 
subject for kind treatment, i.e. for mercy. Further 
more it is fairly obvious that sweating, underpayment, 
killing, wounding, asphyxiating and drowning in 
war, and starving by means of a hunger-blockade, 
or by an iniquitous and vengeful Peace-Treaty, 
are not acts of mercy. 

5. Secondly, Wisdom. It will be remembered 
that Jesus pressingly demanded from men the exercise 
of common-sense, thought, understanding, and in 
telligence, in the reception they gave to his spoken 
message. 2 He was equally insistent on the use of 
the same qualities in men s dealings with one another. 
He bade his disciples, as they went out into the 
world, " become prudent like the snakes." 3 He 
included folly among the evil things that come from 
within and defile the man. 4 Even the dishonest 
steward in the parable is, despite his dishonesty, 
praised for his shrewdness : "for the sons of this 
age are more prudent than the sons of the light in 
(dealing with) their generation." 5 Another of his 
parables depicts the faithful and prudent servant, 

1 Mt xxv. 34-40 : cf x. 7 f, 40-42, xii. n f, xxvi. n ||s ; Me ix. 
37 ||s. z See above, pp. 103-107. 

3 Mt x. 1 6. 4 Me vii. 21-23 !! 5 Lc xvi. 8. 



124 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

whom the Master puts over his household to distribute 
rations to his fellow-servants at the proper time. 1 
All this is a commendation of the wise handling of 
our fellows, of skill and tact and penetration in dealing 
with them, and a condemnation of all clumsiness 
and stupidity, all causing of others to stumble. 3 
Jesus would not have regarded the wisdom he asked 
for as a mere intellectual or non-moral knowledge of 
facts : it must be a wisdom born of love ; it must rest 
on a basis of sympathy, charity, and reverence for 
others. Mere knowledge, as Tennyson says, 

... is earthly of the mind, 

But Wisdom heavenly of the soul. 
O, friend, who earnest to thy goal 

So early, leaving me behind, 

I would the great world grew like thee, 
Who grewest not alone in power 
And knowledge, but by year and hour 

In reverence and in charity.3 

6. Thirdly, Truthfulness. Jesus forbade his fol 
lowers to take oaths, on the ground that their word 
ought to be as good as their bond. " Let your 
speech be yes, yes/ no, no : whatever goes beyond 
these comes from the evil one." 4 " Thou shalt not 
bear false-witness." 5 False-witness and deceit are 
among the evil things that come from within and 
defile the man. 6 Hence his unsparing condemnation 
of all dishonest pretence in the religion of his day. 7 
Coming generations of Christians will read with a smile 
the thousand clever explanations by which scholars 

1 Mt xxiv. 45 f ||. * Mt xviii. 6 f |]s, xxiii. 13, 15. 

3 In Memoriam, cxiv. 4 Mt v. 33-37 ; cf Lc xvi. 10-12. 

5 Me x. 19 ||s. 6 Me vii. 21-23 II- 

i E.g. Me xii. 40 |1 ; Mt vi. 1-6, 16-18, xxiii. 23-28 J|. 



Our Duty to Others Generally 125 

and preachers of our own and earlier times have 
proved that, when Jesus forbade oaths, of course he 
did not mean what he said, or that, even jf he did, 
of course his disciples to-day need not be bound by 
what he said. 1 But that is not the worst that has 
to be said. Not only has Jesus failed to convince 
his disciples that they ought not to swear, but he has 
not even convinced them that they ought always to 
tell the truth. Many Christian people fail to see 
any real difference between concealing a private 
fact (which every person is perfectly entitled to do 
if he wishes) and deliberately uttering a false state 
ment with the intention of deceiving (which no 
Christian ought to do). And what makes this 
obtuseness stranger still is the delightfully incon 
sistent way in which Christian judgments on untruth- 
fulness are passed. Thus the ardent Protestant 
will anathematize the Jesuit who avows that he is 
ready to tell a lie in the service of the Holy Church : 
and he condemns such falsehood as an application of 
" that vile principle which has given birth to the 
most destructive deeds recorded in history that 
the end sanctifies the means." a On the same ground 
a modern writer condemns Bolshevism : " Lenin is 
therefore opposed to violence ; but in order to achieve 
Communism he admits that violence is necessary. 
He here commits himself to the notorious doctrine 
that the end justifies the means." 3 And yet it is 
hard to find a Protestant who believes that it is never 

1 E.g. Rev. G. W. Stewart in Hastings Dictionary of Christ 
and the Gospels, ii, pp. 255 f. 

2 Neander, Life of Jesus Christ (ET), p. 423. (He is not, how 
ever, speaking of that particular use of the principle which we 
are discussing). 

i> Times Literary Supplement, January 15, 1920, p. 26. 



126 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

right to tell a lie in any circumstances, or an anti- 
Bolshevist who does not believe that sometimes a 
good end, like security, justifies the use of a bad 
means, like violence and war. As a matter of 
fact, the critic in these cases does not really believe 
that bad means, like lies and war, are always wrong ; 
he does not believe that the end never justifies the 
means : he condemns the Jesuit and the Bolshevist, 
not really for believing that the end justifies the 
means, but for trying to achieve an end with 
which he (the critic) is profoundly out of sympathy. 
Cardinal Newman aptly pointed out in his Apologia 
that Jeremy Taylor, John Milton, William Paley, and 
Samuel Johnson all believed that a lie was permissible 
under certain conditions ; and he reasonably pro 
tested against Catholics being condemned for fostering 
the habit of falsehood, because they believed that a 
lie in the service of what was to them the right cause 
was permissible. 1 But when brought to the test 
of the Golden Rule, how fares this habit of occasional 
and tactful lying ? No sensible Christian man ever 
wants to be told a lie. He may, under certain cir 
cumstances, like to have the truth concealed from 
him, but that is another matter. An eminent scientist 
once wrote to W. T. Stead : " A doctor rarely if 
ever tells the truth to his patient or the patient s 
friends. He is quite right not to, as his treatment 
and general attitude to the patient requires that he 
should keep all doubt to himself. And further, a 
patient or his friends are incapable of repeating 

1 Newman, Apologia pro Vita Sua, Pt. vii end (pp. 242-249 
in Everyman ). Cf Farrar, Lives of the Fathers ii, pp. 335, 6n, 
627 for the views of Jerome, Augustine, and Chrysostom on the 
point. 



Our Duty to Others Generally 127 

correctly what a doctor has said about the case." I 
But if this is the doctor s avowed practice, who is 
going to be foolish enough to believe him, or even 
to waste time asking him questions ? A doctor 
once told me a lie in an illness, thinking it needful 
to do so in order to save my life : but I can never 
bring myself to believe that it was really necessary 
or that there was no better alternative or to be glad 
that he did so : nor indeed should I ever feel quite 
satisfied in taking his word again. No Christian 
ever wants to be told a lie, and therefore he must 
never tell one. If I know a man believes that lying 
is sometimes right, then my confidence in him is 
seriously shaken, and I shall never be quite sure 
he is not deceiving me. And conversely, what a 
different world it would be if truthfulness was 
universal ! As J. S. Mill said : " The advantage 
to mankind of being able to trust one another, 
penetrates into every crevice and cranny of human 
life." 

7. Humility. Jesus described himself as humble 
in heart, 3 and commended as happy those that were 
poor in spirit. 4 Arrogance, like folly and untruth- 
fulness, was among the defiling thoughts that come 
from within. 5 He condemned the prostitution of 
religious acts like almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, 
to a mere desire for human praise, 6 the thrusting 
of oneself forward into the chief place. 7 Whoever 
uplifts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles 



1 Review of Reviews, January 1891, p. 50. 

* Principles of Political Economy, I, vii, 5. 

3 Mt xi. 29. 4 Mt v. 3. 

5 Me vii. 21-23 (the parallel in Mt xv. 19 omits it). 

6 Mt vi. 1-6, 16-18. 7 Mt xxiii. 5-10 ||s. 



128 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

himself will be uplifted." x " If anyone wishes to 
be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." * 
" Whoever . . . humbles himself like this little child, 
he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." 3 
" Ye know that those who are reckoned to rule 
over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great 
(men) exercise authority over them. But it is not so 
among you. But whoever wishes to become great 
among you, shall be your servant, and whoever 
wishes to become first among you, shall be (the) 
slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to 
be served, but to serve, and to give his life (as) a 
ransom for many." 4 

Christian humility does not mean certain things 
it is sometimes taken to mean. It does not mean 
shutting one s eyes to facts : Jesus said we were to 
judge one another by our fruits ; and the fault of 
the Pharisee who prayed in the Temple was not that 
he thanked God that he was not like the tax-collector, 
but that he was not aware of his own need of par don. 5 

* Mt xxiii. 12 ||s. Me ix. 35 ||s. 

3 Mt xviii. 4. 4 Me x. 42-45 ||s. 

5 It is worth while recalling O. W. Holmes sensible apologia 
for this Pharisee in The Poet at the Breakfast-Table (near the end) : 

The parable was told to illustrate a single virtue, humility, 
and the most unwarranted inferences have been drawn from it 
as to the whole character of the two parties. It seems not at 
all unlikely, but rather probable, that the Pharisee was a fairer 
dealer, a better husband, and a more charitable person than the 
Publican, whose name has come down to us " linked with one 
virtue," but who may have been guilty, for aught that appears 
to the contrary, of " a thousand crimes." Remember how we 
limit the application of other parables. The lord, it will be recol 
lected, commended the unjust steward because he had done wisely. 
His shrewdness was held up as an example, but after all he was 
a miserable swindler, and deserved the State-prison as much as 
many of our financial operators. The parable of the Pharisee 
and the Publican is a perpetual warning against spiritual pride. 



Our Duty to Others Generally 129 

Nor does humility mean abdicating the right of 
private judgment as the Catholic so often implies 
when he accuses the Protestant of pride. Nor 
does it even mean having no desire for fame : for 
fame may be desired, not simply for the pleasure of 
notoriety, but for the sake of the cause it represents. 
" The thirst for an enduring fame/ said Gladstone, 
" is near akin to the love of true excellence." x 
Nor again does humility involve the absence of all 
wish to influence or control others : not only did 
Jesus himself desire such influence, but he promised 
the possession of it to his followers. 2 No : humility 
means subordinating the desire for praise and for 
fame to the prime interests of the Kingdom of God : 
it excludes the eager pushing of oneself before others 
instead of waiting for the logic of events to assign 
one one s true places : it means as Jesus reference 
to the Gentile rulers proves the refusal to coerce 
others into compliance with one s wishes 4 : it means, 
above all, the ready and lowly service of our fellows. 

But it must not frighten any one of us out of being thankful that 
he is not, like this or that neighbour, under bondage to strong 
drink or opium, that he is not an Erie Railroad Manager, and 
that his head rests in virtuous calm on his own pillow. If he 
prays in the morning to be kept out of temptation as well as for 
his daily bread, shall he not return thanks at night that he has 
not fallen into sin as well as that his stomach has been filled ? I 
do not think the poor Pharisee has ever had fair play, and I am 
afraid a good many people sin with the comforting, half-latent 
intention of smiting their breasts afterwards and repeating the 
prayer of the Publican. (Sensation}." 

1 Morley, Gladstone, i, p. 473. * See below, pp. 171 f. 

3 Lc xiv. 7-11. 4 See below, p. 158. 



9 



F. OUR DUTY IN DOMESTIC AND 
FINANCIAL MATTERS 

i. JESUS took over much of the current teaching 
of his time in regard to the relations of the sexes. He 
condemned adultery and other forms of sexual vice, 
going so far as to forbid even the lustful gaze at a 
married woman as virtually equivalent to adultery. 1 
But in two respects he made a very special contri 
bution of his own to the whole question. 

2. In the first place, he laid immense stress on 
the inherent sanctity of family ties. He describes 
husband and wife as those whom God has joined 
together : their union is therefore indissoluble 
" what God has joined together, let not man separ 
ate." 3 Jesus absolutely forbids remarriage after 
divorce as adulterous. 3 The exception to this ruling, 
based on the wife s unfaithfulness, is found only in 
Mt,4 and is no doubt the evangelist s accommodation 
to the hardness to certain early Christian hearts, 
just as Moses permission of divorce was an accom 
modation to the hardness of the Israelites hearts. 
Jesus condemns as adulterous a marriage with the 
divorced wife of another man, or a marriage with 
any woman when the man s own divorced wife is 
still living. 5 The law of this country is still accom- 

1 Me iv. 7, 18 f ||s, vii. 21-23 ||, x. 19 ||s ; Mt v. 27 f ; Jn viii. u. 
z Me x. 5-9 |J. 3 Me x. ii f; Lc xvi. 18. 

4 Mt v, 31 f, xix, 9, 5 See note 3. 

130 



Domestic and Financial Matters 131 

modated to the hardness of men s hearts, instead 
of embodying the full Divine purpose. 1 But there 
is much more about the sanctity of family life in 
Jesus teaching than just this prohibition of divorce. 
Let us ask ourselves what view of human parenthood 
must have been his who quoted the command 
" Honour thy father and thy mother " as the com 
mand of God, J and who chose the word Father as 
his favourite name for God ? What light does 
Jesus tender fondness for little children 3 throw on 
his view of marriage and family life ? And what 
is involved in his use of the term brother to express 
the sacred fellowship of his own disciples with 
himself and with one another ? 4 The family is, 
to the mind of Jesus, the nearest of human analogies 
to that Divine order which it was his mission to 
reveal." 5 

3. But, secondly, Jesus knew that, in the tangled 
complexity of human affairs, situations often arise 
which involve a conflict even of the most sacred 
loyalties, and that, in such cases, 

Good counsels must perforce give place to better. 

If and when family obligations come into conflict 
with our duty as members of the Kingdom of God, 
the family obligations have got to be sacrificed. Ad 
herence to Jesus would be bound to split families- 
very well then, they must be split. 6 " He who loves 

1 See below, p. 169 n i. z Me vii. 9-13, x. 19 ||s. 

3 Me ix. 36 f, x. 13-16 ||s : cf. Mt xxi. 15. 

4 See above pp. 47 and 119, and cf Mt xxiii. 8, Me v. 19 ||, Lc xvi. 

27-31- 

5 F. G. Peabody, Jesus Christ and the Social Question, ch. iii. 

6 Mt x. 21, 34-36 |[s ; Me x. 29-30 ||s. 



132 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

father or mother more than me is not worthy of 
me, and he who loves son or daughter more than 
me is not worthy of me." * The clearest instances 
of this conflict to-day occur in the mission-field, 
where conversion to Christianity often involves a 
complete breach of fellowship in family life. In 
Western society, the case is not so acute ; but 
instances in which a man s loyalty to some ideal 
means displeasure and offence on the part of his 
home-circle are not infrequent. A generation, like 
our own, that has shewn itself capable of sacrificing 
sons, husbands, lovers, brothers, and fathers, at 
the call of patriotism, should have no difficulty in 
admitting the possibility of claims superior to that 
of the family, and in seeing that the recognition of 
these claims is not necessarily inconsistent with the 
payment of due honour to that to which they are 
superior. 2 

4. Jesus plainly stated that the demands of the 
Kingdom of God might involve for some a life of 
celibacy. " There are eunuchs who have made 
themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom 
of Heaven. Let him who is able to receive (it), 
receive (it)." 3 The pre-occupations of married life 
had tended to make people insensible of approaching 
judgment in the days of Noah and Lot, and would 
do so again in the days of the Son of Man. 4 Jesus 

1 Mt x. 37 : cf viii. 21 f ||, xxiii. 9, and Lc xiv. 26. 

z " The saying of Jesus sounds harsh," says O. Holtzmann 
(Life of Jesus, ET, pp. 304 f) with reference to Mt viii. 21 f || : " But 
they have a narrow acquaintance with life who think that there 
can be no cause sufficient to prevent a man from taking part in 
the burial of his own father." 3 Mt xix. 12. 

4 Lc xvii. 26-30 || : cf xiv. 20. No marriage in the resurrection 
fe, Me xii. 25 |[s. 



Domestic and Financial Matters 133 

does not exalt celibacy as an ideal state for men 
generally, or even for his own disciples. To do so 
would have been to contradict his own words as to 
the Divine origin and sanction of marriage. 1 But 
he does realize that, under the conditions then 
existing, marriage might become for some a 
hindrance to loyal discipleship and zealous service 
in the Kingdom : and he believed it to be a man s 
duty, if such was the case, to forego it. 

5. Jesus did not condemn private property as 
such. " Your heavenly Father knows that ye have 
need of all these things/ 2 Simon Peter kept his 
house and his belongings after his calls Jesus 
himself did so up to the time of his baptism, and 
possibly later.4 Joanna and other women possessed 
property and supported Jesus out of it. 5 The 
twelve disciples possessed money for the purchase 
of food and the giving of alms. 6 We can even 
enumerate from the Gospels a number of services 
for which Jesus more or less clearly sanctioned the 
disbursement of property 7 : first, and most obvious, 
is the provision of the bodily needs of ourselves 
and those dependent on us even the sinful earthly 
father must know how to give good gifts to his 
children. 8 Then there is the payment of taxes 

Despite Mt xix. 10 f. As W. C. Allen says : " The whole 
section in Mt suffers from inconsistency of thought due to literary 
revision and compilation " (Intern. Crit. Comm., p. 205). Cf 
Isaac Taylor, The Natural History of Enthusiasm, p. 224 note. 

a Mt vi. 32. 

3 Me i. 16-18, 29, ii. i : cf Lc v. i-n, Jn xxi. 3. 

4 Jn ii. 12. 5 Lc viii. 3. 

6 Me vi. 37 ||s ; Jn iv. 8, xii. 6, xiii. 29. 

7 Lc xvi. 10-12 seems to refer to the faithful use of one s property 
as a trust. 

8 Mt vi. 32 f, vii. 9-1 1 || ; Me v. 43, vi. 37 ||s ; Jn iv. 8. 



134 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar s. 1 
Then there is almsgiving the practice of mercy 
towards those who are suffering from the scarcity of 
earthly goods. * Then there is the formation of friend 
ships, as seems to be intended by those somewhat 
obscure words, " Make for yourselves friends out 
of the Mammon of unrighteousness, so that when 
it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwel 
lings." 3 And then, lastly, there is the expression 
of personal homage and worship, as we see it in our 
Lord s payment of the Temple-tax, 4 the widow s 
mite cast into the Temple-treasury,5 and the woman s 
spikenard poured over Jesus feet in anticipation 
of his burial. 6 All these imply the rightfulness of 
possessing, and therefore presumably also of acquiring 
property. 

6. But inasmuch as nothing lends itself to abuse 
more easily than the pursuit of money, Jesus couples 
the most stringent warnings with his guarded per 
mission of it. It is not putting it too strongly to 
say that he definitely deprecates the keen pursuit of 
wealth 7 and that on three main grounds. Firstly, 
because the possession of it is in the highest degree 
precarious thieves steal it, worms corrode it, 8 
death transfers it to another. 9 Secondly, because 
it diverts men from the interests of the Kingdom, 

1 Me xii. 17 ||s. The political implications of this passage will 
be discussed later (pp. 150 f, 169). 

2 Mt v. 7, 42, vi. 2-4, 22 f || (see p. 135 n 5), xxv. 31-46 ; Jn xii. 
5, xiii. 29 ; Me x. 21, xiv. 7 ||s ; Lc vi. 37 f, xi. 41, xii. 33, xiv. 
12-14 Ac xx. 35. 

3 Lc xvi. 9. 4 Mt xvii. 24-27. 
5 Me xii. 41-44 || : cf Jn xiii. 29. 6 Me xiv. 3-9 ||s. 

7 Me vii. 21-23 II ( covetousness ) ; Lc xvi. 14 f. 

8 Mt vi. 19-21 ||. 

9 Lc xii. 13-21 : cf vi. 24 f, xvi. 25. 



Domestic and Financial Matters 135 

so much so that it is easier for a camel to pass through 
a needle s eye than for a rich man to enter the 
Kingdom. 1 People tend to worry about acquiring 
property, instead of seeking first the Kingdom of 
God and His righteousness. 3 " The anxieties of 
the world and the pleasure of riches . . . enter in 
and stifle the word." 3 Hence Jesus describes the 
poor as the fittest recipients of his Gospel. 4 And 
then thirdly, the pursuit of wealth tends to make 
men selfish and heartless towards the needy. The 
parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is Jesus 
classical utterance under this head. 5 It is at this 
point that the modern Socialist, whose chief concern 
is the immense injustice of the unequal distribution 
of wealth in the world, feels closest contact with Jesus. 
7. But there is perhaps no subject on which the 
true bearing of our Lord s teaching on modern life is 
so difficult as this of personal property. The difficulty 
is due firstly to the fact that a certain amount 
of his teaching (unfortunately we do not know how 
much) was what it was by reason of certain special 
conditions of his time, for example, the crude notion 
of economics in those days, the special demands 
of his Palestinian mission, the personal and spiritual 
needs of certain individuals to whom he spoke (like 
the rich young Ruler), the oriental custom of hospi 
tality, the very climate of Palestine, 6 the prospect 

1 Me x. 23-28 Us. a Mt vi. 24 ||, xxii. 5 ; cf Lc xiv. 18 f. 

3 Me iv. 1 8 f ||s. 

4 Lc iv. 18, vi. 20 (but cf Mt v. 3), vii. 22 ||. 

5 Lc xvi. 19-31. Cf Me xii. 40 ||, Mt xxiii. 25 || ; also Mt vi. 
22 f ||, Me vii. 22 (the evil eye=tmwillingness to impart one s goods 
to others ; Dent xv. 9, etc). 

6 For the facilitation of ascetism by climatic conditions, see 
I. Taylor, Natural History o f Enthusiasm, pp. 205-207. 



136 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

of the immediate coming of the Kingdom : all these 
had their effect in moulding Jesus teaching ; and 
some allowance has to be made for all of them in 
applying that teaching to the different and far 
more complicated circumstances of our own indus 
trial and democratic age. Also, what changes does 
the extensive action of the modern state in the 
relief of poverty call for in the matter of private 
charity ? And secondly, we are in difficulties over 
the inherent subtlety of the subject itself. I acknow 
ledge my duty to feed myself and my wife and 
children I also acknowledge my duty to give alms : 
but how am I to hold the balance between these 
two duties ? I admit my duty to help both the 
deserving and the undeserving poor : but what method 
of almsgiving enables me to do this best ? Further 
more, in this matter of acquiring property, it is 
right to take thought, and wrong to worry : but 
how can I know where one passes into the other ? 
It is right to earn, but wrong to steal J : yet the 
two are connected by a set of stages that shade off 
imperceptibly into one another. What is the bound 
ary between honest earning and business shrewd 
ness, between business shrewdness and covetousness, 
between covetousness and overreaching, between 
overreaching and unjust gain, between unjust gain 
and theft ? The profiteer is often perfectly innocent 
so far as the law of the land is concerned, but is he 
morally innocent ? and if not, at what point does 
he cease to be an honourable business man and 
become a profiteer ? The whole subject bristles 
with subtleties and uncertainties. One of the most 
urgent problems of our time is this of the duty of 

1 Me vii. 21-23, x - *9 II s 



Domestic and Financial Matters 137 

Christian people in an economic world so totally 
different from that which Jesus envisaged a world 
of keen competition, trade-unions, machinery, invest 
ments, credits, strikes, and all the myriad compli 
cations of modern industry and finance. It is quite 
easy to see that many existing institutions and 
conditions are unchristian and wrong ; it is not 
very difficult to frame Utopian schemes under which 
the wrongs we deplore would not exist : but we 
want more than this. We want to know what is 
the best course for a Christian individual (or group) 
to take while necessarily remaining in economic 
contact at a thousand points with a world that does 
not yet, and will not for a long time, accept any 
good Utopian scheme. To delineate such a scheme 
clearly, to subject it to the criticism of others and 
so eliminate its flaws, to get it known and discussed, 
to make others besides oneself enthusiastic about it, 
to discover and point out practicable means by 
which it may be realized all this is right and good : 
but what is still more urgent is to know the Christian 
thing to do pending its realization, while evil con 
ditions still remain. And for this task as well as 
for the detailed delineation of our Utopia we are 
thrown almost entirely on our own resources, and 
get but little help from the words of one who was 
never faced with the problem as it challenges us. 
It is only the most general economic principles that 
we can gather from him : for the practical appli 
cation of them we are left to ourselves ; and a great 
deal of clear thinking will be needed before a satis 
factory decision is reached. In the meantime the 
best we can do is to keep the problem steadily before 
UG, and to steer our own personal course according 



138 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

to the best light we have on each case of difficulty 
that occurs, keeping ourselves always in the spirit 
of Jesus and remembering always the Golden Rule 
and the paramount interests of the Kingdom of 
God. 

8. We need however to be on our guard against 
the popular fallacy that, because all is not clear in 
this field, because we cannot take this or that saying 
of Jesus on economic matters and conform to it 
immediately, therefore we are equally exempt (on 
the ground of various great changes in the conditions 
of life) from complying with what he says in every 
other direction, notably in some special matters with 
which we have yet to deal. The solution of the 
problems of Christian ethics in obedience to the 
teaching of Jesus must necessarily take place piece 
meal as a gradual process, proceeding in the order 
of the relative clarity of the issues raised. Perplexity 
and indecision at one point need not mean per 
plexity and indecision at all points. Emerson s 
declaration that " a foolish consistency is the hob 
goblin of little minds " was a recommendation, not 
that men need not mind being illogical, but that 
they need not mind that inconsistency into which 
a growing knowledge of truth always tends to throw 
men s present utterances as compared with their 
past. We are perfectly within our rights in adhering 
to a statement that we believe to be clearly made 
out, even though we are aware all the time, and 
are ready to admit, that it may have implications, 
as to the ultimate bearing of which we have to 
confess ourselves in doubt. We could rightly urge 
in our defence what was said to Dr. Johnson s 
Rasselas by the artist with his aeroplane : " Nothing 



Domestic and Financial Matters 139 

will ever be attempted, if all possible objections 
must first be overcome." Not only so, but we can 
go further and say, that without this measure of 
boldness future progress is impossible. Only by 
advancing up to the furthest limits of the light 
now given to us, can we hope to receive further light 
on harder and more complicated problems. 1 

1 " Who shall say how much light would suddenly come in 
upon the obscurer matters, if once the simpler were taken out 
of the way ? " (Isaac Taylor, Fanaticism, p. 364). 



G. OUR DUTY TO WRONGDOERS 

i. WE have now to examine that difficult and con 
troversial part of our subject the Christian treat 
ment of wrongdoers. It will perhaps conduce to 
clearness if we make it our first object to ascertain 
the actual views of Jesus on the matter, without 
attempting to criticize them on our own part. The 
task of evaluating his teaching for modern life must 
be kept distinct from the task of understanding 
what that teaching was. 

2. Now just as, in medicine, diagnosis has to 
precede treatment, so in this matter, we must first 
ask, How far are we capable of discerning wrongdoing ? 
On this point Jesus does not depart widely from 
the accepted canons of his religious fellow-country 
men. Those whom he expected to be able to recog 
nize the work of God s Spirit in the cure of diseased 
men, 1 he must have regarded as equally capable 
of recognizing moral evil when they saw it. As 
a tree is known by its fruit, so is a man known by 
the life he lives and the words he speaks out of the 
fulness of his heart. 2 Jesus declaration that all 
human defilement proceeded from within, out of 
the heart of man, and his list of these defilements, 
implied the broad accuracy of human judgment 

1 Mt xii. 24-32 Us : cf 7. 

* Mt vii. 1 6-1 8, 20, xii. 33-35 ; Lc vi. 43-45. 
140 



Our Duty to Wrongdoers 141 

as to what defilement consisted of. 1 But judgment, 
in the sense of recognition of the fact of wrongdoing, 
is not judgment in the sense of censuring the wrong 
doer. Judgment, in this latter sense, Jesus forbids. 
" Judge not," he says, " that you may not be judged 
(yourselves)." Pull the plank out of your own 
eye before trying to pull the splinter out of your 
brother s eye.* Not only are the innocent not to 
be condemned, but not even are the guilty. No sin 
is more unmistakable or inexcusable than adultery : 
but what did Jesus say to the adulteress ? " Woman, 
where are thine accusers ? Has no one condemned 
thee ? . . . Neither do I condemn thee : go, and 
sin no more." 3 

3. In legislating therefore for the diagnosis of 
wrongdoing, Jesus forbids the condemnation of the 
wrongdoer. We shall see that there are other things 
he forbids ; but lest we should drop into the error 
of supposing that his attitude to wrongdoing was 
simply negative, let us realize at once that his policy 
for the treatment of it is a very positive one it is 
that of overcoming evil with good. As the Heavenly 
Father is perfect, distributing His gracious gifts to 
all, searching for and desiring to save that which 
is lost, so the Christian, in order that he may become 
God s son, is to love even his enemies and to do good 
to those that hate him. 4 If ever he is in the wrong 
himself, he is to hasten to make amends, even if 
the quest for reconciliation involves the leaving 
undone of some ceremonial duty. 5 He is to let 
his light shine before men, so as to lead them to 

1 Me vii. 21-23 ||. Mt vii. 1-5 ||. 3 Jn viii. 10 f. 

4 Mt v. 43-48, xviii. 12-14 Lc xv. i-io, xix. 10. 

5 Mt v. 23 f : cf Me ix. 50 b, 



142 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

glorify God. 1 He is to use what opportunities he 
has for propagating, by word and deed, the Gospel 
of the Kingdom. * The disciple of Jesus is to copy 
God in the effort to break down human sin by per 
sistent and aggressive love. He is to inherit the 
earth by being gentle.3 

4. From this main principle follow all the definite 
precepts positive and negative which Jesus issues 
on the subject. We are to be peace-makers, in 
order that we may be called God s sons. 4 We 
are to come to terms with our enemy while we 
have opportunity, and so to prevent the further 
embitterment of the contest. 5 We are to be gentle, 
as Jesus himself was, and harmless as doves. 6 We 
are to love our enemies. 7 Not only are we not to 
kill or to retaliate : but we are not even to resist, 
or to refuse an unfair demand, or to use angry 
words. 8 Nor are we to be afraid even of being 
killed by others. 9 

5. Jesus speaks very frequently about the dis 
ciple s duty of forgiving those who have wronged 
him ; and it is sometimes said that the fulfilment 
of this duty is dependent on the repentance or 
apology of the wrongdoer ; that is to say, that 
failing this repentance and apology, forgiveness is 
not demanded of us. There is a sense in which 
this qualification is true. In so far as forgiveness 

1 Mt v. 13-16. 

2 Me i. 17 ||s, v. 19 f || ; Mt x. 7, 27 ||s ; Lc x. 9 : cf Lc ix. 60, 
Me ix. 38 ff ||, Mt vii. 22, xxiii. 13 ||, Lc xvi. 27-31. 

3 Mt v. 5. 4 Mt v. 9. 5 Mt v. 25 f ||. 
6 Mt v. 5, x. 1 6, xi. 29. 7 Mt v. 44 f ||. 

8 Mt v. 21 f, 38-42 || ; Me x. 19 ||s, vii. 21 || ( murders/ literally, 
acts of killing ) : cf Lc ix. 54 ff, Mt xxvi. 52. 

9 Mt x. 28, 31 11. 



Our Duty to Wrongdoers 143 

means reconciliation, the formation or re-formation 
of brotherly relationships, clearly it is impossible 
without repentance on the part of the wrongdoer. 
So Jesus says : "If thy brother sin, rebuke him ; 
and if he repent, forgive him," and this until seventy 
times seven. 1 And in the great parable of the un 
forgiving slave who owed his master money, for 
giveness all through is assumed to depend on its 
being asked for.* But this is not the only sense 
in which forgiveness is demanded of us. There is 
a sense in which it must not wait on the wrongdoer s 
repentance, but can and must be given as soon 
as the wrong is committed. For how could Jesus 
tell us to pray, " Forgive us our debts, as we too 
have forgiven our debtors," 3 or how could he say, 
Whenever ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have 
aught against anyone," 4 if that forgiveness were 
possible only when our enemies have repented. He 
himself did not wait for his murderers to repent 
before he forgave them ; but he prayed for their 
pardon while they were in the very act of crucifying 
him. 5 

6. Jesus, however, is very far from meaning that 
we are to treat the wrongdoing of others as if it 
did not exist. It is true that he ruled out as ineffec 
tive and wrong most of the accepted methods of 
dealing with it, and that he regarded as we have 
seen the normal activities of a loving Christian 
life, when divorced from those wrong methods, as 
the most powerful weapon for the conquest of sin. 

1 Lc xvii. 3 f ; Mt xviii. 21 f. 

* Mt xviii. 23-35. Cf the unforgiving attitude of the repentant 
prodigal s elder brother (Lc xv. 25-32). 

3 Mt vi, 12 ||, 14 f. 4 Me xi. 25. 5 Lc xxiii. 34. 



144 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

But he realized that love for sinners does not exclude 
certain special ways of opposing or reacting against 
their sin. He grants, for instance, the use of rebuke and 
remonstrance, distinguishing it apparently from the 
condemnation which he forbade. " If thy brother 
sin, rebuke him ; and if he repent, forgive him." * 
" If thy brother sin, go and convince him (of his 
sin) between thee and him alone : if he hear thee, 
thou hast gained thy brother." 2 Jesus himself 
rebuked the Traders in the Temple-courts 3 : he 
rebuked the hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees ; 
he rebuked Peter for his aversion to the Messiah s 
sacrifice 4 ; he rebuked Judas for his treacherous 
kiss ; 5 he rebuked the men who arrested him for 
their unreasonableness. 6 The aim of rebuke was 
to produce conviction of sin ; and Jesus deprecated 
the use of it beyond the point where it had any 
chance of being successful. Thus, if an erring brother 
refused to admit the appeal either of the comrade he 
had wronged, or of two or three others called in 
ad hoc, or of his assembled fellow-disciples, he was 
to be treated as an outsider,? i.e. not worried further. 
What is holy is not to be given to dogs, and pearls 
are not to be offered to swine. 8 There is traceable 
in Jesus method a certain concealment of the truth 
from those who were unworthy to receive it. The 
mysteries of the Kingdom are imparted to the dis 
ciples, but concealed under parables for the multi 
tude. 9 When an evil and adulterous generation 

1 Lc xvii. 3. 2 Mt-xviii. 15: cf 16 f. 

3 Me xi. 1 7 ||s; Jn ii. 16. 4 Me viii. 31-33 ||. 

5 Mt xxvi. 50 ; Lc xxii. 48. 

6 Me xiv. 48 f ||s : cf Jn xviii. 22 f. 

7 Mt xviii. 1 6 f. 8 Mt vii. 6. 9 Mt xiii. 10-15 |js. 



Our Duty to Wrongdoers 145 

demands a sign, the request is met with a blank 
refusal of any further sign beyond the sign of Jonah. 1 
Jesus declined, when questioned, to say by what 
authority he acted. 3 When he stood before his 
accusers and judges, he refused to answer most of 
their questions.3 

7. We find Jesus also commending a certain 
attitude of caution towards some of the evildoers of 
his time. " Beware of false prophets." 4 " Beware 
of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees . . . and 
of Herod." 5 " Beware of the Scribes, who like to 
walk about in long robes and (to receive) salutations 
in the market-places." 6 "See that no-one leads 
you astray ; for many will come in my name, saying 
I am the Messiah/ " and so on. 7 " Behold, I send 
you out like sheep among wolves : become there 
fore prudent like the snakes." 8 " Take heed for 
yourselves, and beware of men ; for they will hand 
you over to councils, and in the synagogues will 
they scourge you." 9 In keeping with this policy 
of caution, there is to be, under certain conditions, 
a withdrawal from the company of evil men. " Let 

1 Me. viii. 11-13 ; Mt xii. 38 f, 41 (verse 40 is clearly an un 
intelligent gloss, for (r) the Gospels do not represent Jesus as 
being three days and three nights in the tomb, but only one whole 
day, a part of two days, and two nights, (2) the interpretation 
here given to the sign of Jonah is inconsistent with that of the 
following verse, which has the support of Lc xi. 32, (3) it is in the 
highest degree unlikely that Jesus would have mocked inquirers 
with so unintelligible a sign as the similarity between his own 
stay in the tomb and Jonah s sojourn in the whale s belly : besides, 
the risen Jesus did not appear to the Pharisees), xvi. 1-4 ; Lc xi. 
29-32. 2 Me xi. 27-33 ||s. 

3 Mt xxvi. 63, xxvii, 12-14 II > Lc xxiii. 9. 

4 Mt vii. 15. 5 Me viii. 15 ||s. 

6 Me xii. 38 I]. 7 Me xiii. 5 f, 21-23 ||s. 

8 Mt x. 1 6. 9 Me xiii. 9 ; Mt x. 17. 

10 



146 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

them alone," says Jesus of the Pharisees, " (for) 
they are blind guides." x When he had cut short 
his critics with the sign of Jonah, " he left them 
and departed." * When he sent out his disciples 
on their mission-journeys, he told them, if they 
were persecuted in one city, to flee to the next. 
" And whoever does not receive you or listen to 
your words, when ye come out from that house or 
that city, shake off the dust from your feet as a 
testimony against them." 3 But apparently this 
attitude of cautious aloofness was to be carried no 
further than the hostility of men and the consequent 
impossibility of convincing them rendered absolutely 
necessary. Jesus does not sanction a general separ 
ation of Christians from the society in which they 
live. The parables of the field sown with wheat 
and tares and of the net that gathered fish of every 
kind, showed that he regarded such a separation as 
impossible, and the attempt to effect it as therefore 
wrong. 4 Despite obdurate hostility and persecution, 
and the consequent need for a certain amount of 
secrecy and caution, Christians are to live in the 
world as its light to guide it, its salt to preserve it, 
and its yeast to leaven it throughout. 5 

1 Mt xv. 14. a Me viii. 13 ; Mt xvi. 4. 

3 Mt x. 13-15, 23 ||s. 4 Mt xiii. 24-30, 36-43, 47-50. 

5 Mt v. 13-16, xiii. 33 ||s. 



H. OUR DUTY TO OTHERS POLITICALLY 

i. As we have now described the general principles 
which Jesus laid down for dealing with wrongdoers, 
it remains for us to consider their applicability to 
practical life. We shall hardly be misinterpreting 
the mind of to-day in saying that the chief difficulty, 
with which those who would practice these principles 
are confronted, is, not their uselessness in private 
and personal relationships or in what is called speci 
fically religious work (for it is generally admitted 
that they are right and valid in these fields), but 
their apparent incongruity with social and political 
responsibility. That being so, the discussion of 
their applicability, which was purposely held over 
at the beginning of the last section, 1 really becomes 
a discussion of the Christian s duty in his social 
and political capacity, his duty as a citizen, member, 
and subject of a state, both towards the state itself, 
towards his fellow-citizens, and towards the nationals 
of other countries. This question has been the 
occasion of the sharpest conflict of opinion among 
professedly Christian men of first-rate intellect and 
character ; and the utmost care must be used, and 
the greatest clearness aimed at, if we are to thread 
our way successfully through the intricacies of the 
problem. 

1 See p. 140. 
147 



148 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

2. Discussions on the topic often err, either by 
treating it as if it were simpler, or else by treating it 
as if it were more complicated, than it really is. There 
are those who say : " Render unto Csesar the things 
that are Caesar s/ and " The powers that be are 
ordained of God," and, on the strength of these 
and similar texts, take it to be the duty of the 
Christian individual to carry out any and every 
order the State may give him, and confine the appli 
cation and operation of the Christian principles of 
conduct strictly to the narrow area of private life 
which the demands of the State happen to leave 
untouched. This mistaken conclusion is not unlike 
that arrived at by those who allow themselves to 
be confused by the idea of some mysterious sanctity 
which they regard as attaching to the State and 
which makes the whole question of Christian ethics 
far more complicated than it really need be. The 
topic is indeed at once simple and complicated, 
according to the point of view from which it is re 
garded ; but it is neither of these in the sense of 
necessitating a subordination of the Kingdom of 
God and the duties pertaining thereto to the State 
and its demands upon the citizen. 

3. Let us ask ourselves to start with, What really 
is the State ? It is surely the organization which 
expresses the collective will of a certain more or less 
arbitrarily defined group of our fellow-men. The 
State is thus our neighbour in a special sense, and 
has just as much or just as little sacro-sanctity or 
mystery or right or claim or goodness or badness 
as our fellow-men in general have. So that the 
duties which the Christian owes to the State are 
simply special applications of those principles which 



Our Duty to Others Politically 149 

are to govern his attitude to his fellow-men in general. 
Our duties to our fellow-men are roughly those of 
love, kindness (or we might say service), wisdom, 
truthfulness, and humility : we are to treat others, 
not necessarily as they want us to treat them, but 
as we should like them to treat us, if we, while still 
Christians, were in their position. 1 Towards wrong 
doers our attitude clearly must not be one of imita 
tion, but rather a firm adherence to our ideals, 
coupled with gentleness, charitable judgment, for 
giveness, and (where they are likely to be helpful) 
remonstrance and rebuke. 

4. It is not very difficult to see what these principles 
amount to when we attempt to apply them to the 
Christian s duty in his relations with the State. 
They clearly exclude anything like violent resistance 
to the State or overt rebellion against it, involving 
the use of arms. 3 We remember that Jesus refused 
to allow himself to be made a king. 3 His principles 
exclude, furthermore, all bitterness and ill-will, though 
leaving room for criticism and remonstrance. It is 

1 See above p. 121. 

2 I fail to see any means of explaining the third (Matthaean) 
temptation (Mt iv. 8-10 ||), except on the assumption that the 
unspecified sin involved in bowing down and worshipping Satan 
was the bloodshed involved in the rebellion or war of conquest 
that would have been necessary in order to give Jesus the kingdoms 
of the world. The idea that the sin was earthly pleasure (O. 
Holtzmann, Life of Jesus, ET, p. 148), or pride (Sanday, in Hast 
ings DB ii, p. 612 b) or ambition (Ewald, quoted by Farrar, Life 
of Christ, \, p. 139), is quite inadequate. Nor is it an explanation 
to say that Jesus did not want a worldly kingdom (Neander, 
Life of Christ, ET, pp. 76 f, 89). He certainly did want universal 
lordship, and on other occasions did not hesitate to advance his 
claims to it. How did a worldly kingdom differ from his, except 
in having to be won and maintained by the use of violence and 
bloodshed ? 3 Jn vi. 15. 



150 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

under this heading that we should place his denun 
ciation of the religious leaders of his own nation, 1 
the depreciatory tone in which he referred to the 
grandeur of Solomon 2 and the soft clothing of 
courtiers,3 and his whole attitude of disapproval 
towards Herod. 4 They involve further : 

(i) Obedience, in a general way, to government- 
orders, that being demanded by the general prin 
ciples of goodwill, gentleness, and service. So Jesus 
bids the cleansed leper offer the legally appointed 
sacrifice^ and tells the disciples and the people to 
do whatever the scribes and Pharisees enjoin, because 
they sit in Moses* seat. 6 Another exemplification of 
the same general duty is the going of the second 
mile, when we are impressed to go one. 7 

(ii) The payment of taxes, as a special form of 
obedience. Not only does Jesus pay the Temple- 
tax, though he seems to have thought it unfair, 8 
but he even says, in reference to the Roman tribute, 
" Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar s." 9 
It is true that this phrase implies the extension of 
a certain relative justification to Caesar s govern 
ment, a point on which we shall say more in a 
moment : but we must be careful not to make the 
words mean more than they say. They certainly 
are not equivalent to : Do anything that Caesar 

1 Mt xxiii. etc. Phrases like " Ye serpents, ye offspring of 
vipers " (verse 33) are a difficulty in face of v. 21 f, explain them 
how we will. 

Mt vi. 29 II : cf xii. 42 ||. 3 Mt xi. 8 ||. 

4 Me viii. 15 ; Lc xiii. 32. 5 Me i. 44 ||s ; Lc xvii. 14. 

6 Mt xxiii. 1-3, 23 ||. 

7 Mt v. 41 : the reference 4s to the system of forced labour for 
the State, not conscription for military service, from which the 
Jews were exempt so far as the Roman armies were concerned. 

8 Mt xvii. 24-27. 9 Me xii. 17 ||s. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 151 

may find it necessary or convenient to ask of you. 
The command is simply a special application of 
the general precept : " Give to him that asketh 
thee," J and (though this analogy does not run on 
all fours) it no more makes the man who obeys it 
responsible for what Caesar does with his money 
than a householder is responsible for what his grocer 
does with the money when a bill is paid. 

(iii) Thirdly, these principles involve submission 
to unjust treatment. When the law court sentences 
you wrongly to forfeit your cloak, give up your 
tunic as well. 2 The forced labour just referred to 
under the general orders of government would doubt 
less be regarded by most Jews as coming under the 
head of unrighteous acts of oppression. When you 
are persecuted, flee to another city : but in any 
case do not be afraid of those who can kill the body 
only.3 Though Jesus sometimes protests against 
the wrongdoing of governors, 4 yet at other times 
e.g. when Herod executed John, 5 or when Pilate 
slaughtered the Galileans, 6 or when Kaiaphas and 
Pilate and Herod were judging him 7 Jesus pre 
served a dignified silence, clearly on the principle 
that it was no use giving what was sacred to the 
dogs or casting pearls before swine. 8 He submitted 
without a struggle to the indignities inflicted on 
him by the various governing bodies into whose 
hands he fell, in obedience to his own general 
precept not to withstand him who is evil, but to 
turn to him the other cheek. 9 

1 Mt v. 42 ||. * Mt v. 40. 

3 Mt x. 23, 28, 31 ||s. 4 See above, p. 150 n i and /j. 

5 Me vi. 17-29 ||s. 6 Lc xiii. 1-3. 

; See p. 145 n 3. 8 Mt vii. 6. 9 Mt v. 39. 



152 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

(iv) Lastly, these principles involve co-operation. 
Obedience itself is a form of co-operation. In our 
own day, when the private citizen has so much larger 
a share in the work of government than he could 
have under the autocratic systems of Jesus day, 
this duty of co-operation will bulk more largely 
in the scheme of Christian life than was possible in 
New Testament times. 1 But no new principle is 
involved. It is the Christian s duty to lend a hand 
in all good work that is going forward, so far as it 
is feasible for him to do it : and he ought not to be 
deterred because such a course may involve co 
operation with others whose agreement with him 
may extend no further than the particular service 
in which they are both to be associated. In render 
ing first aid in a street accident, the Christian would 
not pause to ask whether his helpers agreed with 
him on questions of religion and morals and politics, 
before he allowed himself to work with them. In 
the same way, if the State is doing any piece of 
work of which the Christian himself approves and 
in which his help is wanted, he is right to render 
that help, even though there may be many matters 
on which his views and those of his rulers do not 
coincide. 

5. Nothing that has been said in regard to the 
twin duties of obedience and co-operation, is exempt 
from the proviso that the act involved in obedience 
or co-operation must itself be in conformity with, or 

1 " The leading minds of Christendom have declined to recognise, 
except in cases of special vocation, as the duty of Christians, the 
abdication of responsibility for the problems, the entanglements, 
the more or less secular issues of the ordinary social life of man 
kind " (Campion, in Lux Mundi, p. 319). Quite true but with 
qualifications, as will be shown in the sequel. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 153 

at any rate must not contradict, the Law of the Kingdom 
of God promulgated and in great measure elaborated 
in the teaching of Jesus. Obedience to men is a 
Christian duty, but only in so far as it does not 
involve disobedience to God. Co-operation with 
others is a Christian duty, but only in so far as there 
is common ground between the Christian and his 
fellows. What is to be done when the powers that 
be require of us acts which God has forbidden ? 
or when our fellow-men demand that we shall take 
a hand in what is contrary to our Master s teaching ? 
Normally speaking, such cases do not arise, because 
the State s requirements consist in the main of the 
observance of the more simple and obvious human 
duties and virtues, that is to say, in what is common 
to the ethics of humanity at large and the ethics 
of Jesus. But we have to remember that, extensive 
as is the common ground between the Christian 
and the average morally-minded man, their con 
victions do not coincide : also that, in the time of 
Jesus and for a long time after, the vast majority 
of the members of society were clearly non-Christian. 
During the Middle Ages, in which Christian ethics 
were largely snowed under, the enforced nominal 
Christianity of every citizen obscured the distinction 
between Christian and pagan conduct ; but modern 
times, when professed Christianity is not as fashion 
able as it was, and when everyone is perfectly free 
to dissociate himself from Christianity if he wishes 
to do so, have reproduced in a measure the primitive 
cleavage, despite the facts that Christianity as pro 
fessed to-day is a very much watered-down article 
compared with that of the first centuries, and that 
the world as a whole has been to a considerable 



154 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

extent leavened with Christian principles. There is 
a general agreement to-day that the society in which 
we live is, though not uninfluenced by Christian 
ideals, in the main predominantly pagan. 1 If that 
can be truly said of the bulk of the population, it 
follows that it can also be said of the government ; 
for a representative government is bound to represent 
fairly accurately the average moral standard of the 
community it controls. 3 

Now a pagan government is always liable to 
demand from its Christian subjects something which 
as Christians they are forbidden to give. We are 
familiar with the production of such a situation in 
the early Church. In effect the State said to the 
Christians : " You can believe what you like, and 
worship and live as you like : but as subjects of the 
Empire you must recognize the Empire s gods, and 
take your share, by occasionally sacrificing to them, 
in soliciting Divine favour for the Empire." To 
which the Christians replied : " We are willing to 
obey the Emperor, and to pray to our God for him, 
and to pay his taxes, and to live as peaceable and 

1 See above, pp. 14-16 n i. 

2 Cf the sage words of W. E. Charming, quoted by Martineau, 
Essays, Reviews and Addresses, i. p. 132 : " We choose to have 
a popular government, but are not willing to accept its essential 
condition, namely, that it shall have the imperfections of the 
people. An absolute sovereign may get in advance of his people, 
but a people cannot get in advance of itself, and it must govern 
according to its own character." Also, Miss M. D. Petre, in The 
Hibbert Journal, April 1920, p. 466 : " The State cannot, must 
not outstrip the level of its own citizens ; in regard to human 
ideals it must be executive rather than originative. As society 
rises the State rises ; were rulers to attempt a national policy 
that was too exalted for those in whose behalf they held office, 
they would be tyrants, even though beneficent ones. In point 
of fact, this is not a danger to be apprehended." 



Our Duty to Others Politically 155 

moral citizens : but to offer sacrifices to him as a 
deity or to any other so-called deity, other than 
the One Supreme God, is a thing we must not, cannot, 
and will not do." * Here was a clear case of conflict 
of loyalties : and we know how much torture and 
bloodshed had to be endured by those who felt the 
Christian claim to be supreme, before they wrung 
from their unwilling rulers the right to do as their 
consciences bade them. 

6. Religious persecution has long been a thing of 
the past : no Christian nowadays is called upon to 
suffer for refusing to worship the national deities 
Society has been humanized and in some measure 
christianized, so that many a Christian to-day lives 
unconscious of any serious cleavage between himself 
and his fellow-Christians on the one hand and their 
pagan fellow-men on the other. But, as a matter of 
fact, there is still over and above occasional overtly 
immoral or mistaken movements in society there 
is still one point on which civilized society, in other 
words the State, avowedly and confidently professes 
a policy which is at variance with Christian teaching, 
rightly understood ; I mean, the violent coercion and 
punishment of wrongdoers. It coerces criminals with 
in its borders by its law-courts, its police force, its 
prisons and executions. It coerces enemies beyond 
its borders by means of all the unspeakable and 
bloody cruelties of warfare. 3 

1 They had the sanction of Jesus for this intransigent attitude ; 
Me viii. 38 ; Mt x. 17 f, 26 f, 32 f, xxv. 36 ff (Christians in prison) ; 
Lc ix. 26, xii. 8-12. For the stand they made in the preliminary 
conflict with the Jewish rulers, see Ac iv. 19 f, v. 29. 

a It is essential to a right consideration of the problem, that 
we should, even at the cost of unpleasantness and indelicacy, 
keep steadily before our minds the lengths to which a man .to-day 



156 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

7. I have already dealt with the question of the 
Christian s treatment of wrongdoers, and shown how 
Jesus precepts exclude every such act of coercion and 

must be prepared to go, if he is to associate himself with the State 
in its conduct even of a just quarrel with a foreign foe. Some 
years before the war I heard an officer under training quote the 
words of a sergeant giving instructions in the use of the bayonet : 
" Give the bayonet a twist as you pull it out so as to render the 
wownd mortial ! " " You should see a man," writes Mr. E. W. 
Mason, " stabbing away with a bayonet at a sack supposed to repre 
sent an enemy not a man, an enemy. Listen to the instructor : 

One, head; two, heart; three, guts. 

Is there not a certain pleasure in such efficiency ? 

Three, roars the instructor, and twenty men jab fifteen inches 
of steel in to his the enemy s, bien entendu guts. 

Twist the bayonet as you pull it out so as to make a jagged 
gash, is the order " (Made Free in Prison (1918), p. 101). Here 
is another example of the same sort of thing : " Howl, damn 
yer, howl ! Grit your teeth and grunt when you stick your bayonet 
in. In his stomach. Right in ! Now get on ! Oh GET ON ! 
GET ON ! The voice would rise to an inarticulable yell, and 
with howls and glaring eyes the class would go whirling ahead 
to the next row of dummies " (R. B. Coulson, writing in The Sunday 
Chronicle, quoted in The Crusader, February 13, 1920). I have the 
personal testimony of one who was an officer in the Great War 
to the fact that the practice referred to by Mr. Lowes Dickinson 
(The Choice Before Us (1917), p. 28) of kicking the enemy in the 
genital organs is taught to the soldier as the thing to do in a bayonet 
fight, if the first thrust miscarries. Another resource in such an 
emergency is to thrust one s first and fourth fingers into the other 
man s eyes. These things are not printed in the Army s books 
of instruction, but are taught by word of mouth. 

It is but too likely that the use of poisonous gas on the battle 
field and the dropping of bombs on civilians, women, and children, 
will form part of the regular methods of civilized warfare in 
future. 

I append four passages from The Army and Religion (italics 
mine). " A man has by the nature of his work and life " (in the 
Army) " to lower his whole spiritual being and blunt and deaden 
his capacity to suffer with Christ, as he gradually accustoms himself 
to the life he has to lead. Alas ! it was but too easy for most 
of us to do this. But /, for one, shall always protest against it as 
a final argument against warfare. The hardening process the 



Our Duty to Others Politically 157 

injury as I have just referred to. 1 A word or two 
only, therefore, is necessary here in order to put 
this negative conclusion beyond dispute. The old 
command, " Thou shalt not murder," is more than 
once repeated by Jesus as one of his own laws 2 ; 
the Greek word used in the Gospel version of it is 
one that covers ordinary slaughter in war as well 
as private murder ; and we know how fond Jesus 
was of extending these old Mosaic rules to cover 
cases to which they were not usually thought to 
apply, but with which they were not wholly un 
connected. His non-resistance teaching in the Ser 
mon on the Mount is too explicit and well-known 
to need repetition. 3 His refusal at his Temptation 
to accept world-lordship at the price of bowing the 
knee to Satan is explicable only on the assumption 
that the use of arms (the one means by which that 

soldier undergoes is not a strengthening but a weakening, a cutting 
away, a stunting of the whole man. I seemed to perceive in it 
the wisdom of Christ s dislike of physical violence as a means to 
any spiritual end. But although we were exceedingly adaptable 
in this hardening process, it produced a curious feeling of irritation, 
of secret guilt. It also produces, worst of all, a fatigue of the 
soul. The act of fighting is, and continues to be, a shock (in the 
mediaeval " [sic. ? medical ] " meaning of the term) to the spirit 
of each individual soldier, whether he is conscious of it at the time 
or not, and the result of shock is a decline in the vitality of the 
patient, a lowering of pulse, a lowering of temperature " (pp. 84 f). 
" Army life deadens feeling and kills thought " (p. 88). " The 
manner of life of a soldier in camp, surrounded by all the most 
subtle temptations, . . . and in the trenches where they are out 
to slaughter the enemy, by sniping, bombing, raiding, or advancing, 
creates an atmosphere of sordid existence that has not an atom 
of faith or belief in the ideal life preached by religion" (p. 89). 
" There can be little doubt that, while the circumstances and 
conditions of warfare have rendered some religious as they were 
not before, others, and a far larger number, have lost what religion 
they had " (p. 91). I See above, pp. 141-143. 

Mt v. 21 f, xix. 1 8 ||s. 3 Mt v. 38-48 ||. 



158 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

lordship could be speedily secured) was to him a 
forbidden means, the use of which would therefore 
have been equivalent to homage to Satan. 1 How 
can we explain his own quiet attitude in face of 
the cruelties and injustices of his day, except on 
the assumption that he felt it to be not merely un 
timely but wrong to raise a violent rebellion. 3 
He forbids Peter in Gethsemane to use his sword in 
the defence of the innocent. 3 He holds up Gentile 
authority as a thing the disciples are to shun, 4 not 
because authority in itself is wrong (for Jesus him 
self claimed ascendancy over others 5 and promised 
it also to his disciples 6 ), but because Gentile authority 
was of the kind that needs coercion and violence 
for its maintenance. The Law of Moses might 
sentence the adulteress to death ; but Jesus refused 
to have any hand in executing the sentence. 7 He 
told his followers, when their country should be 
attacked by the Romans, to " flee to the mountains." 8 
It seems, therefore, quite impossible to find room 
in the example and teaching of Jesus for the forcible 
punishment of criminals and for the slaughter of 
foreign foes. Not only is this conclusion unmis 
takable as a correct inference from his ethical teach 
ing, but it constitutes the one great characteristic 
of that teaching. The Rev. Richard Roberts stated 
lately : " There were great and notable virtues 
which men practised and praised before Jesus 
appeared there was love of country, the sense of 
honour, the passion for righteousness, the love of 

1 See above, p. 149 n 2. 3 See pp. 151 f. 

3 Mt xxvi. 51 f ||s. 4 Me x. 42-45 ||s. 

5 See above, pp. 44 f. 6 See below, pp. 171 f. 

7 Jn vii. 53-viii. n. 8 Me xiii. 14 ||s. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 159 

justice, the capacity for sacrifice. There is nothing 
distinctively or exclusively Christian about these. 
The one point at which Jesus taught a definite 
advance in the region of personal relationships was 
in His command that men should love their enemies. 
But this was a profound and far-reaching revo 
lution." * And not only is this teaching the dis 
tinctive feature of Jesus ethics on its human side : 
but it is the inseparable counterpart of that message 
of the self-sacrificing and suffering love of God which 
made plain to us in the Saviour s Cross and Passion 
is the distinctive feature of the Christian Gospel. 2 
The conquest of evil with good, therefore, involving 
the disuse of all violence and injury, is no mere 
accidental or casual element in Christian life, but 
the very thing which gives it a right to its distinctive 
name. 3 

1 The Hibbert Journal, July, 1919, p. 670. Cf Ottley, in Lux 
Mundi, p. 365 : " The inculcation of forgiveness is the most 
striking innovation in the ethics of the Gospel." 

2 See above, p. 66 n i. 

3 " What seized upon the imagination of mankind as the dis 
tinctive revelation of Christianity was the infinite love and tender 
ness and compassion of this Righteous God for sinful man. It 
was this which shone out in the character of Christ " (Moore in 
Lux Mundi, pp. 55 f). 

" The non-resistance of Jesus, so far from being a strange or 
erratic part of his teaching, is an essential part of his conception 
of life and of his God-consciousness. When we explain it away 
or belittle it, we prove that our spirit and his do not coalesce. In 
the Sanhedrim, in the court of Pilate, amid the jests of the soldiers, 
Jesus had to live out the Father s mind and spirit. He did it 
in the combination of steadfastness and patience. The most 
striking thing in his bearing is his silence. He never yielded an 
inch, but neither did he strike back, or allow others to do it for 
him. If my kingdom were on a level with yours, he said to 
Pilate, my followers would fight to protect me. He did not 
answer force by force, nor anger by anger. If he had, the world 
at that point would have subdued him and he would have fallen 



160 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

8. At the same time, it is not very difficult to 
prove that there is a sense in which coercive violence 
in some measure is still necessary on the part of the 
State. Thus Principal Griffith- Jones says : " In a 
mixed society composed partly of men and women 
who are pledged to evil, selfish, and criminal ways, 
and who do not acknowledge the rights of others, 
some organised form of force is absolutely essential 
in order to hold them in check and prevent them 
from criminal action i.e. action inimical to the 
general well-being. This is the principle behind 
law and government in an ordered community, 
without which, indeed, no community can possibly 
maintain itself against the disruptive forces always 
present within it." J This is a temperate statement 
of the view entertained by most people, even most 
Christians ; and it could easily be paralleled with 
many similar statements elsewhere. 2 And it is a 
statement which it is impossible to describe off-hand 
and without qualification as untrue. What we have 
to seek for is such an exact comprehension both of 
this position and of the ethic of Jesus that we shall 
be able to do justice to both of them without being 
inconsistent ourselves. 

9. We must begin by setting aside a number of 

away from God. If he had headed the Galilaeans to storm Pilate s 
castle, he would have been a God-forsaken Christ " (Rauschenbusch, 
A Theology for the Social Gospel, p. 263). 

1 The Challenge of Christianity to a World at War, p. 64. 

2 Compare, for example, the words of Neander in his Life of 
Christ (ET), p. 252 note w, of Campion in Lux Mundi, pp. 322 f, of 
Sanday, in Hastings DB ii, pp. 621 b, 652 b, and of R. F. Rynd in 
The Hibbert Journal, July 1919, pp. 652-655. Dr. Sanday, however, 
is very conscious of being faced with an unsolved problem, and 
remarks that " he would welcome warmly any new light on the 
subject." 



Our Duty to Others Politically 161 

unsatisfactory views of Jesus ethics, which have 
been put forward as abolishing without difficulty 
the clash between these ethics and the requirements 
of the State. 

First, there is the idea that Jesus teaching is 
meant to be applied only in a perfect state of society. 
Catholic apologists are fond of using this argument 
but Protestants also are not innocent of it. It 
obviously will not hold water for a single moment : 
for if Jesus was legislating for a perfect state of 
society, what sense would there have been in his 
speaking about enemies, men taking away our cloak, 
striking us on the cheek, forcing us to go a mile, 
and so on ? The very content of this teaching 
proves that, if it has an application at all, it must 
apply to life in a very imperfect state of society. 

Then there is the plea that we are meant to follow, 
not the letter, but the spirit, of Jesus words. Jesus, 
it is true, insisted on good motives and a right spirit 
as all-important ; but this does not prove that he 
did not mean his followers to take seriously the 
concrete precepts which he gave to them as embody 
ing the right spirit. When Jesus says : " Thou shalt 
not commit adultery," did he mean that men might 
ignore the letter of that commandment so long as 
they preserved its spirit ? And if a severance 
between spirit and letter is inconceivable in such a 
case, why is it any more conceivable when he said : 
Thou shalt not kill " ? The prohibition of killing 
is no less integral a part of his conception of moral 
righteousness and the Will of God than is the pro 
hibition of adultery. 

Thirdly, it has been suggested that these precepts 
are meant to bind Christians in their private and 

11 



162 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

personal relationships, but not in their capacity 
as citizens. Thus, to quote Principal Griffith- Jones 
again : While the duty of non-resistance to evil 
is a duty incumbent on every Christian disciple, as 
an individual, when his own interests alone are 
involved, it does not apply to him when attacked 
in his representative capacity as a citizen, whose 
rights he holds in trust for others as well as for 
himself/ J But this distinction cannot be sustained 
in face of Jesus words, at least so far as his own 
meaning is concerned ; for if he had had such a distinc 
tion in mind, how could he have said : "If any man 
go to law with thee and take away thy cloak, let him 
have thy tunic also," and how could he have singled 
out for special prohibition that ancient Lex Talionis 
" eye for eye, tooth for tooth," etc. ? For this 
law of retaliation was not simply a permission for 
the indulgence within limits of the desire for ven 
geance, but a public, legal, and official enactment, 
designed in the interests of society as a restraint 
upon wrongdoing, and doubtless meant to be carried 
out by (or under the supervision of) the public 
officers of the community. 

Fourthly, and not unconnected with this last 
objection, there is the plea that Jesus forbade vio 
lence, as Principal Griffith- Jones admits, in self- 
defence, but would have commended it in defence 
of others. The Golden Rule z suffices to refute this 
idea for clearly it tells us to defend others by 
that method of defence wherewith we ourselves 
would like to be defended : this means, ex hypothesi, 
by some means not involving damage to our assailant. 

Fifthly, what about Jesus turning the traders out 
1 Op cit, p. 61. 2 See above, p. 121. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 163 

of the Temple-courts ? * But there, the whip (men 
tioned in the Fourth Gospel only) was used simply 
for the purpose of driving the cattle (and what else 
could Jesus have used for the purpose ?) : and is it 
not perfectly obvious that, if ever one man expels 
a crowd, he cannot possibly do it by the use of 
physical force, but by some personal, moral, or 
magnetic compulsion ? 2 And in any case, what 
analogy is there between what Jesus did to the 
traders and what our own boys and the Germans 
were taught to do to one another ? 

Sixthly, what about the chastisement of children ? 
But our children are part of ourselves, 3 not equal 
and responsible fellow-men : and our chastisement 
of them is a special form of that mastery over, and 
responsibility for, ourselves which at once consti 
tutes and limits our freedom : it is therefore no 
rupture of loving fellowship, but is directed to 
their own good, and should always stop short of 
physical injury ; it is thus an altogether different 
thing from imprisonment, mutilation, and slaughter. 

Seventhly, what about the restraint of violent 
lunatics ? Jesus cured by a gentle psychotherapy 
the violent lunatics he met ; and he clearly meant 
his followers to be able to do the same, and so indeed 

* Me xi. 15-18 ||s. I believe this incident took place at the 
very commencement of Jesus public ministry, where the Fourth 
Gospel (Jn ii. 13-20) places it. T have explained my reasons in 
full in The Journal of Theological Studies, July 1919, pp. 312-316. 

* " The lifting up of the scourge could not have been in token 
of physical force, for apart from Christ s character what was 
one man against so many ? " (Neander, Life of Christ, (ET), p. 179). 
There is no support in any of the Gospel narratives for the idea 
(O. Holtzmann, Life of Jesus, ET, p. 414) that Jesus was aided 
by his disciples, and so effected the expulsion by main force. 

3 Horace Bushnell, Christian Nurture, pp. 14-16, 57 ff. 



164 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

in after years they did : I but apart from that, the 
violent lunatic is not a normal or responsible being, 
and is therefore, like the child, in a special category. 
The ordinary wrongdoer is not in that category ; for 
if he were, we should be a race of madmen, and no 
rational treatment of our problem would be possible. 

Eighthly, did not Jesus describe God as punishing 
sinners with severity ? 3 Yes, but God has pre 
rogatives which we do not share 3 ; and if you doubt 
this, ask yourself whether you do not take a visitation 
from God very differently from the way in which 
you take an assault or even a punishment from a 
human being. 

Ninthly, did not Jesus draw illustrations from 
war for Christian life ? Yes, he once did so 4 : but 
it was only an illustration, and it no more proves 
that Christians may fight than the reference to the 
day of Christ s appearance coming like a thief in 
the night 5 proves that Christians may commit 
burglary. 

Tenthly and lastly, did not Jesus say that there 
would be wars and rumours of wars, 6 and did he 
not regard these as a Divine chastisement ? 7 Yes, 
he did speak so, and such may have been his meaning : 
but that no more permits Christians to take part 
in such wars than the familiar idea of persecution 
and pestilence being Divine chastisements constitutes 

1 See Harnack, Mission and Expansion of Christianity (ET), i. 
pp. 125-146, for an account of early Christian exorcism. 

E.g. Mt xviii. 34 f, xxii. 7, 13 ; Lc xix. 12, 14, 27. 

3 See above, p. 86. 4 Lc xiv. 31 f. 

5 i Thess v. 2, 4 ; Rev iii. 3, xvi. 15 ; 2 Pet iii. 10 : cf Mt xxiv. 
43 ||. 6 Me xiii. 7 f ||s. 

7 Me xii. 9, xiii. 2 [|s ; Mt xi. 23 ||(?), xxii. 7 ; Lc xii. 54-xiii. 
9, xxi. 20-24, xxiii. 28-31 ; and cf n 2 above. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 165 

a justification for Christians persecuting their fellows 
or spreading the germs of an epidemic disease. 

10. There is thus no escape from the conclusion 
that Jesus meant his non-resistance teaching to be 
taken seriously and literally, i.e. in letter as well as 
in spirit, by all his true followers. We seem to be 
left with a hard irreducible discrepancy between 
the duty of society and the duty of the Christian 
individual or group. That discrepancy, however, if 
looked at the right way, is seen to be intelligible 
and explicable. 

The difficulty of so regarding it arises from a quite 
frequent and rather natural neglect of three facts, 
which we must now proceed to take account of. 

(i) This non-resistance, which Jesus enjoins, pre 
supposes that the man who practises it is a Christian 
disciple : or, we might say, the practice of Christian 
non-resistance is strictly relative to and dependent 
upon the status of Christian discipleship. It is 
emphatically a counsel only for those who are 
Christians. Any conception, therefore, of its being 
used by a whole non-Christian community all at 
once is an absurdity (particularly when the com 
munity selected for so extraordinary an hypothesis 
is an arbitrarily chosen local group one s own 
country, for instance, to the exclusion of others) : 
and any objection to this teaching based on such 
a conception is consequently invalid. Here is, 
indeed, a sound and intelligible reason why this 
teaching can never be applied by a government 
representing a predominantly pagan community. 
But the reason which makes this teaching inap 
plicable to the Pagan State does not affect its 
applicability to the Christian individual. 



166 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

(ii) The non-resistance teaching does not mean a 
purely negative and inactive attitude to wrong. It 
has a quite definite and effective positive counterpart 
the overcoming of evil with good, the conversion 
of enemies to friends by loving them, the redemption 
of the lost by seeking them, the attainment of control 
the inheritance of the earth by gentleness. 1 
This positive power of Christian gentleness is familiar 
enough to us in the stories of Jesus and of the early 
Church and of Christian missions : but it is usually 
ignored in arguments on the social and civic duties 
of Christians. Let us remember that the principles 
of Jesus, so far from leaving sin unchecked, check 
it far more effectively than any coercion or penaliza 
tion can do. 2 How then can his followers be 
reproached for selfishly leaving the dirty work of 
society to others, when they are all the time busily 
accomplishing just what the dirty work is meant 
to accomplish, and accomplishing it in a saner and 
wiser way of their own ? 

(iii) It follows from what has just been said that, 
inasmuch as the community of non-resisting Christians 
grows only gradually, no such cataclysm is to be 
feared as is often depicted by those who ask what 
would happen if to-morrow morning the British 
Fleet were sunk, and the Army, Navy, and Police 
force disbanded. Such objections are entirely beside 
the point. What the adoption of Christian non- 
resistance involves is the going on of two processes 

1 See above, p. 66 n i. 

7 " In morals a good man is not simply a witness for virtue, 
but a means of repressing vice, of keeping alive in men a sense 
of duty, a consciousness of right, an ideal of the good and the 
true. Ye are the salt of the earth " (Fairbairn, Studies in the 
Life of Christ, p. 141). 



Our Duty to Others Politically 167 

pari passu, firstly, the gradual diminution in the 
number of wrongdoers, and secondly, the gradual 
substitution of spiritual for material, of Christian 
for pagan, of more effective for less effective, means 
of dealing with wrongdoers. What ground do such 
developments afford for the oft-repeated charge that 
Christian non-resistance means anarchy ? 

ii. If the foregoing argument is accepted as 
cogent, the resultant attitude of the modern Christian 
to the modern State ought not to be difficult to ascer 
tain. The Christian will refuse firmly to become a 
soldier, or a maker of shells, or a policeman, or a 
magistrate : for all these callings stand for the 
pagan method of handling the wrongdoer. He will 
not however for that reason be a mere cypher in 
the struggle which such callings carry on : he will 
be hard at work all the time, reconciling enemies, 
converting drunkards, reforming criminals, and gener 
ally purifying society and the world at large by his 
life, example, and influence. But though compelled 
at this one point to take a different line from his 
fellows, he will not therefore refuse all recognition 
of, or co-operation with, the State. He will realize 
that its use of coercion is an inevitable accompani 
ment of the unchristian or imperfectly Christian 
condition of the vast bulk of his fellow-countrymen : 
he will remember that even coercion unchristian 
as it is I represents the solemn and conscientious 

1 I trust it is unnecessary to urge that the actual existence of 
large numbers of professed and genuine Christians who participate 
freely and conscientiously in the coercive work of society as soldiers, 
magistrates, etc, neither invalidates the main argument here 
submitted, nor lays him who submits it open to the charge of 
presumption or intolerance or narrowness. We may freely recog 
nise our neighbour as a fellow-Christian, while at the same time 



168 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

conviction of other men, and that therefore those 
who bear the burden of government honestly are 
the servants of God (as Paul called them) I despite 
their imperfect grasp of Christian truth, and that 
the State itself, inasmuch as it embodies the con 
science of the community, is (again as Paul called it) 
the institution of God. He will of course reserve to 
himself, and occasionally use, the right to remon 
strate with the government when it falls signally 
below even that pagan or sub-Christian ideal which 
may reasonably be expected of it : but apart from 
such occasions, he will, for the reasons just given, 
extend a relative justification to the coercive machin 
ery of the State, though he cannot himself co-operate 
in that machinery, being committed as a Christian 
to a different and better way of dealing with the 
same problem, a way which excludes coercion. 2 This 
relative justification of what seems right in his 
neighbour s eyes is the basis of whatever compromise 
there can rightly be between the Christian and the 
State. There has been much loose talk about com 
promise : and it is commonly thought that, when 
once compromise in any sense is admitted, the ideal 



believing and pleading that something he is doing with full sincerity 
is inconsistent with those religious presuppositions which he holds 
in common with us, and while calling the something in that sense 
unchristian. * Rom xiii. 1-7. 

* Notice the very significant parallelism and contrast between 
Rom xii. 17-21 and Rom xiii. 1-6, particularly between xii. 19, 
which forbids the Christian to avenge himself or to make himself 
the instrument of the (i.e. God s) wrath, and xiii. 4, which describes 
the Pagan magistrate as a servant of God for the infliction of God s 
wrath as vengeance on the wrongdoer. (For the meaning of the 
wrath and vengeance of God, see above, p. 164.) How far Paul 
was from contemplating Christians as magistrates, we can see 
from i Cor vi. 1-8: cf v. 12 f. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 169 

is in some way given up or its full beauty in some 
way smirched. But this is true only if the com 
promise involves the individual who makes it in 
an act which conflicts with his personal fulfilment 
of his own ideals : it is not true of that compromise 
which is simply carrying to its logical conclusion 
the Christian s relative justification of what seems 
right, not to himself, but to his neighbour. 1 While 
the question of the way in which this relative justi 
fication should be expressed is admittedly a compli 
cated and controversial one, particularly in regard to 
its details, I should myself plead that the following 
acts fall well within the limits of compromise in its 
legitimate sense : 

(i) The payment of taxes. 2 Here we have, 
besides the sanction of our Lord s words, 
the simple fact that the man or men who 
take money from us under threat of com 
pulsion if we refuse it, are not only as free 
as we are to do what they believe to be right, 
but are themselves responsible for the use 
they make of what they receive from us. 
This responsibility of theirs clearly limits 
our own. 

1 Thus it was that Jesus relatively justified Moses in per 
mitting the Israelites as a legislator to divorce their wives. This 
was not really inconsistent with his own clear statement that 
divorce was an infringement of God s purpose and his insist 
ence that his own followers should not practice it (see above, 
pp. 130!) : but it might well have been called, in a certain sense 
of the word, a compromise. The neglect of this element of rela 
tivity has landed our ecclesiastical leaders in difficulties in the 
face of proposed changes in the English law on the subject. They 
start from the false assumption that England is a Christian country. 

2 See above, pp. 150 f. 



170 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

(ii) Voting. It is clear that if I vote for any 
political measure to-day, I am voting for 
something which, if passed into law, will 
be enforced by coercion (of which I per 
sonally disapprove) if anyone in the country 
refuses to bow to it. But my disapproval 
of coercion is relative to a certain religious 
status which is not shared by the bulk of 
my fellow-men ; and the question : " Shall 
I vote ? " therefore simply becomes the 
question : " Shall I express a preference 
for the better of two policies, when the 
best of all is for the present unattainable 
owing to the hardness of men s hearts ? " 
Personally, I answer that question unhesi 
tatingly in the affirmative, as it seems to 
me a simple expression of that necessary 
relative justification which I am bound to 
extend to the conscientious acts of my fellow- 
men. 

(iii) Obedience to, service of, and co-operation 
with, the Government, in all matters, such 
as the benevolent service of our fellows, in 
regard to which we can stand on common 
ground, despite the fact that this means 
working with those who hold on many other 
matters very different views from our own. 
The position of those who will not associate 
with others in anything unless they can 
associate in everything seems to me short 
sighted and wrong. It rules out the hope of 
the christianization of the world by practical 
means. For with the constant growth of 
the Christian spirit and the dissemination of 



Our Duty to Others Politically 171 

Christian ideals, the area of common ground 
between the Christian and his pagan or 
semi-pagan government is continually enlarg 
ing ; and the promise of its continuing to 
do so rests largely on its being occupied to 
its fullest limits by both parties. The occu 
pation of this ever-increasing common ground 
by progressive and thoroughgoing Christians 
is the process by which the Saviour s promise 
that the gentle should inherit the earth is 
being progressively fulfilled. 

12. But now, what of the future ? What sort of 
practical developments are we hoping and working 
for ? We do not rule out a priori the apocalyptic 
idea that, by an unusual display of Divine power 
the Kingdom of God will come some day all of a 
sudden. Only we cannot engineer, or even calcu 
late upon, such a blessed consummation. Confining 
ourselves to the more normal methods and principles 
of human progress, we desire and expect : 

firstly, a re-awakening of all Christians throughout 
the Church to the true meaning of the Christian 
ethic on the subject we have been discussing ; 

secondly, an increase in the numbers and a healing 
of the divisions of the Church throughout the 
world ; * 

thirdly, along with this intensive and extensive 
growth of Christianity, an enhanced influence 
and power of Christians over the lives of 
their still-unconverted fellow-men such an 
influence and power as was foreshadowed by 

1 Mt xiii. 31-33 ; Me xiii. 10, xiv. 9 |!s. On reunion/ cf Me ix, 
38-^0 ||. 



172 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

Jesus when he called his followers the salt 
of the earth, 1 the light of the world, 2 fishers 
of men,3 labourers in God s harvest/ invested 
with authority to bind and loose,5 conquerors 
of evil-spirits, 6 servants entrusted with author 
ity,? rulers of their master s cities, 8 judges of 
the twelve tribes of Israel,9 and finally, 
inheritors, i.e. masters, of the earth I0 ; 
fourthly, the ultimate abolition of war by the 
simple refusal of an ever-increasing number 
of influential people to have anything to do 
with it. The growing good sense of poli 
ticians, expressing itself through some such 
scheme as the League of Nations, may help 
to diminish the number and the likelihood 
of wars ; but this method of prevention, 
though apparently speedy, is not really 
sufficient, inasmuch as the League itself 
contemplates and provides for wars against 
recalcitrant nations. The steady growth of 
personal Christian pacifism, so far from 

1 Mt v. 13. 

2 Mt v. 14-16 : not like the Pharisees, " blind leaders of the 
blind " (Mt xv. 14 ||). Cf Rom ii. 17-20 for Paul s beautiful, but 
half ironical, description of the function of leadership (" a guide 
to the blind, a light to them that are in darkness," etc), to which 
the religious Jew aspired. 

3 Me i. 17 ||s. 4 Mt ix. 37 f || ; Jn iv. 35-38. 

5 Mt xvi. 18-19, xviii. 18. The statement in the first of these 
verses that the gates of Hades will not hold back Jesus church 
(reading Karirrxovmv avrrjv for Kanaxyaovaiv avrijc ; see Hitchcock 

in The Expositor, October 1919, pp. 307 f) may be taken as 
.alluding to the irrepressible influence of the Christian society. 

6 Me vi. 7 ||s, ix. 38 f || ; Lc x. 17-20 : cf Mt vii. 22. 

7 Mt xxiv. 45-51 ||, xxv. 21, 23, 28 f : cf v. 19, xi. n |J. 

8 Lc xix. 17, 19 ||. 

-9 Lc xxii. 28-30 ; Mt xix. 28. Mt v. 5. 



Our Duty to Others Politically 17& 

being, as Dr. H. E. Fosdick contemptuously 
calls it, one of those " panaceas so pitiably 
inadequate that no one who knows the 
problem could believe in them/ J is the only 
really radical solution of the problem of war. 
fifthly, the ever-increasing participation of non- 
resisting Christians in all the beneficent 
activities of the State and other public bodies, 
this process being in essence the progressive 
identification of Church and State, the pro 
gressive realization of the Kingdom of God 
in human society, the progressive doing of 
God s Will on earth as it is done in heaven. 
The kingdoms of this world must become 
the Kingdom of Christ. It is not enough 
for the State to be Christian in theory or 
in motive ; the State as an enforced organi 
sation must itself pass away before we can 
ever have peace. The State must disappear 
within the Church. This not only demands 
that all people shall first be Christians, but 
that they shall be such Christians as the world 
has never 3 yet seen, realising the Presence 
of Christ more vividly than that of any 
visible person ; more expert in learning His 
will than in discovering the laws of nature ; 
more obedient to His authority than to any 
authority based on the compulsion of force, 
the reward of position, or the bribe of wealth. 
It must be acknowledged the coming of such a 
Kingdom seems very remote." 3 But however 

1 The Challenge of the Present Crisis, p. 68. 

2 I should prefer to say rarely (C. J. C.), 

3 Orchard, The Necessity of Christ, p. 119. 



174 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 

remote it may seem, much has been gained 
if we have succeeded, not only in visualizing 
it as a distant ideal, 

The one far-off, divine event, 

To which the whole creation moves, 

but in discerning the path by which it may 
be approached, and in discovering the 
course to be pursued by each individual in 
order to bring this suffering human race 
nearer and nearer to its true goal. 



INDEX OF NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES 
REFERRED TO 

For an index to the subject-matter the reader is referred to the full " Table of Contents " 
at the beginning of the book. In using the Index of Passages given here, it should be 
borne in mind that a verse which does not appear in its place in the list may yet be 
duly dealt with in connection with its parallel in another Gospel. 



Me 
i. ii . . 

15 37, 

16-18 . 
16-20 . 
17 

22 . 
27 


PAGE 
44, 59 
57, 67, 78, 89, 

100 

- 133 
. . . 107 
. 55, 142, 172 
45, 54 
54 


Me 
v. 30-34 

36 . . . 

43 

vi. 4 . . . 

5f . . . 
7 
17-29 . . 
3 1 


PAGE 

47 
52,99 
133 
97 
99 
. 172 

52 


Me 
ix. 23 f . 

28 f . 
31 
35 
36 f . 

38 ft . 
3840 


PAGE 

... 90 

53 
... 67 

. . . 128 

. 56,97,123 
... 142 


29 . . 

35 


133 
91 


34 


45 


38 f . 
40 


. . . 172 

08 


41 . . 

5 

14 


. . 51,53 
74, 150 
133 
. . . 100 
45, 58 
107 


37 
41 . . . 
46 . . . 
50 . . . 
vii. 6-13 . . 


133 
91 
91 
52 
85 


4i 
49 
50 b . 
x. 5-9 
ii f . 


. . . 41 
. . . 114 
. . . 141 
. . 130 
130 


17 . 


. . . 82 


14 


103 


14 f . 




19 f . 

21 f 
23-28 . 


DO 

75 
... 76 

25, 76 


14 f . 
16 . . . 
18 . . . 

18-23 


73 
. 103 

. 104 
73 


19 . 


... 38 
. . 24, 48 
124, 130, 131, 


28 . . 

iii. 1-5 . 

13 f 

21 . 
22-3O . 
27 


44, 58 
... 76 
. . . 108 
97 
99 
53 


21 

21-23 123, 

130, 134 
22 
33 
34 


. 142 
124, 127, 
, 136, 141 
135 
53 
53 55 


21 
23-27 
23-28 

27 b . 
29-30 


. . 108, 134 
... 89 
... 135 
25 
131 


28 f . 

33-35 
iv. 3 

4 . 
7 


. . 35,85 
47,55,87 
. 103, 109 
. 97, 103 
. . . 114 


VIII. in. 

2 

6f . . 
11-13 
13 


45 

91 
145 
. 146 


34 
38 f . 
39 
40 
42-45 


... 67 
. 60, 114 
.- . . 108 
47 
109, 128, 158 


8 . 


IOQ 










9 


IO3 


21 




a 14 




13 


. . . I0 4 


22-25 . 


53 


15-18 


... 163 


i8f . 

20 . 
23 
39-41 . 
40 . . 

V. 19 . 


. . 97, 103 
. . . 114 
130, 135 

. log, 112 
. . . 103 

45 
. 38, 90 


31 . 
31-33 

34 . 

11 : : 

IX. I . . 

7 . . 

!- f 


: 67 

bo, 144 
. 108 
. 69 
69, 155 
. 69 
59, 103 
60 


20 f . 
22-24 
25 f 
25 
27-33 
30 
Xll. I-I2 


45 
32 
35, 93 
143 
145 
. . . 24 

44 
a* 


19 f . 
30 . . 


... 142 
53 


19 . . 
23 . 


. . 90 
99 


3-5 
9 


... 85 
. . 60, 164 



175 



176 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 



Me 
xii. 10 f . 

17 - 
24-27 
25 
28-34 
29 


PACK 

45 
. 86, 134, 150 
. . . 42 
132 
. . . 82 
24 


Mt 
V. 10 . 

12 . 
13-16 

17 f 
19 . 

20 . 


PAGE 
. . . 37,89 
. . . . 41 
142, 146, 172 

. 75 
.... 172 
. . . . 89 


Ht 
vii. 20 

21 

21-23 

22 
24-27 
28 f . 


PAGE 
... 140 
... 8 9 

... 87 

135, 142, 172 

109 
45 54 


29-31 
34 
3537 


... 119 

. 38, 41, 104 
45 


21 f 

22 . 


. . 54,72, 112, 
142, 150, 157 
IIQ 


viii. 5-10 

5-/3 

ii f . 


... 52 

IOO 

37 


38-40 
38 
40 . 

* 4 r 44 . 

11: 

9 
10 


. . . 91 
H5 
. . 124, 135 
134 
. . 68, 164 
... 145 
... 164 
. . . 145 
171 


23 f 

25 f 

27 f 
29 f 

31 f 

33-35 
33-37 
33 f 
34 


. . . 76, 141 

. . . . 142 

. 54, 72, 112, 130 

38,73 
. . . . 130 
.... 85 
. . . . 124 
.... 54 


17 

20 
21 f . 
22 
ix. 2 . 
13 
2O 
22 
28 f . 


. 59 
. . . 114 

: : : 3 

. . . 52 
75, 122 
... 74 
52, 99 


ii 
14 

18 . 
19 f . 
21-23 
30 f . 


. . . 40 
... 158 
94 
... 38 
145 
69 


38-48 
38-42 
38 f 
39 
40 . 
41 . 


157 
. . . . 142 

... 54 
. . . . 151 
151 


37 f . 
X. 5f - 
7 
7f 
13-15 
16 ii 


55,92,172 
... 51 
. . 67, 142 
. . . 123 
... 146 
5, 123, 142, 145 


32 . 
33-37 

*" r- 


. . 47, 69 
. . . 114 
134 

IO2 


42 . 
43 f 
43 2 


134, 151 
> 54 
. 120, 141 


16-39 
17 
17 f 
19 f . 


. . . 114 
... 145 
... 155 
40 


7 - 
8 


> 134 


44 * 

45 


... 86, 142 


21 

22 


"5, 131 
115 






46 




2 3 


146 151 


21 
22 f . 
25 
27 

28 

30 f . 

33 ff 
36 . 
36 ff . 
38 . 

Si : 
8, : 

XV. 2 

34 

Ht 


59, 60 
. . . 91 
. . . 68 
. . . H5 
... 68 
. - . US 
... 60 
25,91 
. . . 60 
... 93 
... 60 
. . . 144 
55 
45 
45 
... 94 


48 . 

vi. 1-6 

2-4 
5-9 
6 . 
9-13 
9 

10 . 

ii . 

12 . 

3 : 

1 6-1 8 
18 . 
19-21 

20 f 
22 f 
2 4 


21, 24, 72, 86 
. 40, 76, 124, 127 
. ... 134 
. . . . 91 
24, 91 
. . . . 91 
24, 78, 82, 84, 91 
37, 86, 89, 92 
. . 27,91,92 
35,78,82,93, 143 
. . . 28,93 

35,93,143 
40, 76, 124, 127 
. ... 24 
. . . 72,134 
. . . . 41 
72, 134, 135 
135 


26 
26 f . 
27 . 
28 . 

29-31 

S.: 

34-36 

34-37 

IS : 

40 
40-42 

4 4 Jf : 

xi. 2-6 . 
5 


52,U5 
... 155 
. . . 142 
. 52, 84, 115, 
142, 151 
38, H5 
. 52, 142, 151 
. 69, 115, 155 
... 131 
... 115 

. . 102, 132 

. . 63, 108 
. 56, 97 
... 123 
... 85 
... 41 
... 53 
54 


iii. 14 f . 
iv. 4 . 

7 


... 48 
. . . 27 
90 


25-33 
25-34 


. ... 26 
. . . . 90 
150 


6 . 
8 . 
gff . 


... 98 
... 150 
. . . 85 


8-10 

10 

17 . 
23 
V. 3-" 
3 
4 
5 
6 


. . . 149 
... 84 

... 78 
... 54 
... 38 
37, 89, 127,135 
. . . 42 
. 142, 172 
27 72 89 


32 f 
32 
.. 33 
VH. 1-5 
6 . 
7-1 1 
9-i i 
ii b 

12 . 


. ... 133 
- 133 
. 37,86,89,92 
. ... 141 
. . . 144, 151 
. 32 
... J33 
21 
121 


ii 
ii f . 

12 
15 
16-19 
19 . 
2O-24 
21 
2 3 


... 173 

. 38, 89 
. , . 103 
... 98 
... 54 
. 53, 97, 109 
... 78 
. . . 164 


I : 

9 

10-12 


. 42, 122, 134 
28, 72 
. . . 142 
... 114 


13 f 
15 
15-20 
16-18 


38,73 
. ... 145 
. . . . 85 
. . . . 140 


Si: 

27 . 
28-30 


. 44, 91 
. . 28, 92 
44, 55 
. 52, 54, no 



Index 



177 



Ht 


PAGE 


Mt 


PAGE 


Mt 


PAGE 


ad. 29 


127, 142 


xviii. 19 f 


. 56,91 


xxv. 14-23 


112 


So . 


73 


ai-35 


35,93 


21,23 . 


. 172 


Xll. 6 


. . . 44 


21 f 


. . 143 


24-30 . . 


112 


7 


. 75, 122, 140 


23-35 


... 143 


28 f . . 


. 172 


nf . 


... 123 


34 f 


. . 86, 164 


30 ... 


72 


17-21 


. 59 


six. 9 


... 130 


31-46 . . 


134 


24-29 


. . . 52 


10 f . 


... 133 


34-40 . . 


123 


24-32 


... 140 


12 . 


... 132 


36 fi . 


155 


25-29 


... 45 


14 


37 


40 ... 


47,56 


28 . 


. . 38, 67 


17 


. . 48,85 


45 ... 


56 


30 . 


... 98 


17-19 


... 119 


xxvi. ii ... 


. 123 


31 f 


... 35 


18 . 


... 157 


28 ... 


58 


33-36 


... 73 


21 . 


... 72 


30 ... 


92 


33-35 


. . . I 4 


28 


. . 108, 172 


39, 42 . . 


86, 92 


38-42 


. . . 97 


xx. 1-15 


. 41, 112 


44 ... 


92 


38-41 


145 


21-23 


... 69 


50 ... 


144 


40 . 


21 


2.3 


47 


51 f . . 


. 158 


41 f . 


. . . 44 


28 . 


... 58 


52 ... 


. 142 


4i 


... 78 


34 


51,53 


53 ... 


45 


42 


... 150 


xxi. 1-17 


... 45 


54, 56 . . 


. 60 


43-45 


... 73 


15 - 


... 131 


61 . . . 


55,68 


xiii. 10-15 


. . . 144 


15 f 


102 


62-64 . . 


85 


ii ff . 


... 67 


21 . 


. . . 90 


63 ... 


145 


24 ft . 


... 38 


21 f . 


. . . 32 


xxvii. 12-14 


145 


24-30 


... 146 


25 f . 


... 8 5 


40 ... 


68 


3i-33 


. . 38, 171 


28-32 


. . 85,86 


63 ... 


. 67 


33 


... 146 


31 


... 38 


xxviii. 10 ... 


47 


36-43 


... 146 


33 


... 37 


20 . . . 


56 


38 . 


... 38 


41 . 


. . . 86 






41-43 


... 69 


43 


37, 89 


Lc 




43 


. . . 103 


45 


37 


ii. 32 ... 


59 


44-46 


37 


xxii. 1-14 


. . 69, 89 


49 ... 


74 


47-50 


... 146 


5 


135 


IV. 18 . 44, 52, 


54, 135 


49 f - 


... 69 


6f . 


... 85 


32 ... 


45,54 


5i f 


... 104 


7, 13 


. . 86, 164 


39 ... 


52 


xiv. 36 


. . . 74 


18 . 


... 98 


V. I-II . 


133 


XV. 10-20 


75 


29-32 


. . . 42 


IO . 


52 


13 


. . . 27 


37-40 


. . . 119 


16 . . . 


91 


*4 


. 146, 172 


xxiii. . . 


150 


31 f . . 


e7 


19 . 


... 127 


1-3 


. . . 150 


vi. 4 . 


J/ 

77 


24-26 


5i 


2f . 


75 


12 ... 


91 


28 


. . . 99 


4 


54, 76 


20 ... 


37, 135 


xvi. 1-4 . 


145 


5 


... 74 


21 ... 


42 


4 


. . . 146 


5-io 


. . . 127 


24 f . . 


134 


13-20 


45 


8 . 


. . . 131 


28 ... 


92 


16-19 


... 67 


9 


. . 24, 132 


32-34 . . 


40 


17 


. . . 28 


12 . 


. . . 128 


36 ... 


21 


i8f . 


. . . 172 


13 


. 38. 124, 142 


37 f . 


134 


24 


. 63, 108 


15 


. . . 124 


43-45 . 


73, 140 


24-27 


. . . 114 


16-22 


. . 76, 85 


46 ... 


. 109 


xvii. 5 


44 


23 


75,82, 122, 150 


vii. 13 . . . 


51, 53 


7 


... 52 


23 f . 


... 76 


30 . . . 


85 


19 f . 


. . . 90 


23-28 


. . . 124 


.. 36-50 . 45, 


58, 101 


20 


. . 32, 90 


25 . 


135 


viii. 3 . . . 


133 


24-27 


74, 134, 150 


29-37 


... 8 5 


8-12 . . 


155 


XVUI. 3 


37 


34 


. . . 28 


46 ... 


53 


3f - 


... 38 


37 


52, 97 


ix. 23 . . . 


. 1 08 


4 


... 128 


xxiv. 9-13 


. . . 114 


26 ... 


155 


5 - 


... 56 


13 


U5 


28 f . . 


91 


6 f . 


. . . 124 


42-51 


. . . 114 


48 ... 


56 


8f . 


38, 73 


43 


... 164 


54 ff, 60 . 


. 142 


12-14 


34,57,141 


45 f 


. . . 124 


62 ... 


38,89 


14 


52,87 


45-51 


. . . 172 


X. 9 


. 142 


1517 


144 


XXV. 


60 


9 T T 


67 


X8 . 


... 172 


1-30 


... 114 


11. 

16 . . 56, 


7 

97, 103 



12 



178 The Guidance of Jesus for To-day 



Lc 


PAGE 


Lc 


PAGE 


Jn 


PAGE 


x. 17-20 


38, 172 


xvi. 25 . 


... 134 


x. 28 . . 


. . 43 


20 . 


... 41 


27-31 


34,85,131,142 


30, 36 . 


. . 47 


25 . 


. . . 41 


29-31 


... 28 


JQ. 33, S 8 , 4i f 


53 


25-37 


. . 120, 122 


xvu. 3 . 


... 144 


Xii. 5 . . 


. 134 


27 f . 


. . . 119 


3f 


... 143 


6 . . 


133 


28 . 


... 41 


6 . 


... 32 


7 . . 


. . 102 


38-42 


... 103 


7-io 




xiii. 29 . . 


r 33, 134 




... 91 


14 . 


. . 74, 150 


xiv. 3, 16 f, i? 


, 21, 


5-8 


... 31 


17 f 


... 91 


23, 26 f, 


28 . 117 f 


13 b 


. . . 21 


19 . 


... 99 


xv. 26 . . 


. . 117 


20 . 


... 38 


21 . 


... 37 


xvi. 7, 13, 16 


. . 117 


28 . 


. . 85, no 


26-30 


... 132 


xvii. ii . . 


47 


29-32 


... 145 


xviii. 1-8 


... 3i 


xviii. 22 f . . 


. . 144 


41 


... 134 


2,4 


... 84 


XX. 17 


47, 68 


42 . 


. . 76, 82 


7 f . 


... 38 


27 


. . 68 


46 . 


... 76 


10-14 


... 93 


xxi. 3 - 


133 


52 . 


... 38 


13 f 


... 78 






Xii. 4 - 


. . . 52 


i6f . 


... 37 


Ac 




6f . 


... 38 


19 . 


... 48 


iv. 19 f, v. 29 


155 


7 


... 52 


xix. 9 . 


... 52 


vii. 2 . . 


. . 119 


8-12 


... 155 


IO . 


51, 141 


ix. 9 


. . 68 


IO . 


... 35 


12 . 


. 86, 97, 164 


xiv. 22 . . 


. . 89 


II f . 


. . . 40 


13-19 


112 


xv. 10 . 


. . 76 


13-21 


... 134 


14 . 


. 86, 97, 164 


xx. 35 


. ax, 134 


22-31 


... 26 


17, 19 


171 


xxiii. i . . 


. . 119 


32 . 


. 36, 52 


20-26 


112 


xxviii. 7, 12, 17 


. 68 


33 f. 


. . . 41 


27 . 


. . 86, 164 


17, 21 . 


. . 119 


33 


... 134 


39 f 


... 45 






35-48 


... 114 


40 . 


102 


Rom 




47 f 


. . 87, 112 


41-44 


... 60 


ii. 17-20 . 


. . 172 


49 f 


... 60 


42,44 


... 52 


viii. 9-1 1 . 


. . 117 


54-57 


. 60, 104, 164 


xx. 34-38 


. . . 42 


ix. 3 f 


. . 119 


xiii. 1-9 


. 60, 78, 164 


xxi. 14 f 


... 40 


10-26 . 




1-3 


. . . 151 


18 . 


... 38 


xii. 17-21 . 


168 


10-17 


... 76 


20-24 


... I6 4 


xiii. 1-7 . 


. . 168 


n, 16 


. . . 52 


34-36 


. . . 114 






23 ff 


. . . 114 


xxii. 24-27 


... 59 


ICor 




28 f . 


... 37 


28-30 


... 172 


ii. 9 


. . 84 


32 


... 150 


32 . 


55,90 


iii. 16 . . 


. . 117 


32 f . 


... 68 


37 . 


... 59 


V. 12 f . 


. . 168 


33 


... 60 


48 . 


... 144 


vi. 1-8 . 


. . 168 


33 f- 


... 85 


xxiii. 9 


... 145 


XV. 3-8 . 


. . 68 


xiv. 1-6 


... 76 


28-31 


. . 60, 164 






7-1 1 


... 129 


34 


35,56,92, 143 


2 Cor 




12-14 


. . . 134 


43 . 


... 68 


iii. 17 - . 


. . 117 


i8f . 


... 135 


46 . 


... 94 


v. 9 . 


. . 83 


20, 26 


. . 132 










27 . 


. . . 108 


Jn 




Gal 




28-33 


. . . 114 


i. 29 . 


... 59 


ii. 20 . . 


. . 117 




... 164 


ii. i . 


... 68 






35 


. . 103 


12 . 


... 133 


Phil 




xv. 1-32 


34 


I3-2O 


... 163 


ii. 6f . 


. . 50 


I-IO 


57, 141 


16 . 


. . . 144 






7 . 


. . 78, 82 


19 . 


. 55 


IThess 




IO 


78 


19 f . 


... 68 




164 


17-21 


... 82 


21 f . 


... 55 






18, 21 


. . . 24 


iv. 8 . 


... 133 


Heb 




. 25-32 


... 143 


35-38 


... 172 


V. 8 . . 


. . 48 


xvi. 8 . 


... 123 


v. 24 . 


... 43 


xii. 2 . . 


. . 90 


9 


... 134 


vi. 15 


... 149 






IO-I2 


. 124, 133 


47 - 


43 


2 Pet 




14 f . 


... 134 


vii. 53-vii 


I. II . . 158 


iii. 10 . . 


. . 164 


16 . 


. . 38, 89 


viii. 10 f . 


... 141 






18 . 


130 


ii . 


. . . 130 


Rev 




19-31 


135 


ix. 6 . 


... 53 


iii. 3, xvi. 15 


. . 164 



Printed in Great Britain by 

UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED 

WOKING AND LONDQW 



God and Personality 

BY CLEMENT C. J. WEBB, M.A. 

Fellow and Tutor of Magdalen College, Oxford 
Demy 8vo. Second Impression izs. 64.net. 

Divine Personality and 

UV T I Ak Bein S Part n of 

rlUman L/lie "God and Personality " 
BY CLEMENT C. J. WEBB, M.A. 

Fellow and Tutor of Magdalen College, Oxford 
Vemy 8vt. 12s. 6d. net. 

"There are few writers in whom one has greater confidence as regards 
fullness and thoroughness of knowledge, sanity of judgment, and a dea* 
appreciation of the place which the Christian revelation should hold in 
a serious estimate of man s relation to the universe. Mr. Webb may be 
assured that of the many rich contributions that have recently been cast 
into the treasury of our thoughts about God and man, his will be regarded 
as not the least precious." Westminster Gazette. 

From Chaos to Catholicism 

Demy Svo. BY REV. W. G. PECK 8/. 6<t. net. 

"Eloquent, forcible, sometimes brilliant, always admirably candid." 

Christian World. 



God the Prisoner her Lay 



BY HELEN WODEHOUSE, D.PHIL. 

Cr. 8vo. 5-r. net. 

" With their mingled strength and sympathy they have an individuality 
which more than justifies their publication." Times. 

LONDON : GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD.