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THE ROMAN KNIGHT'S LOVE.
(Hendecasyllabics from Catullus : “De Acme et Septimio.")
Whilst Septimius held his sweetheart Acme
Acme, then, with her head just bended backward,
Now by generous auguries escorted,
THE FOUNDER OF ARYAN CHRISTIANITY.
By F. R. CONDER, C.E. The title of the Founder of Chris- famous preacher was Saul of tianity has of late been some- Tarsus. what familiarly applied to the The life and character of this Person of the object of Christian great revolutionist of the faith of worship, in lieu of the more the Roman world has never yet appropriate expression
been adequately grasped in literaapostolic writers,
of the Foundation ture. Either, on the one hand, a of our Faith. Without pausing to halo of divine authority and counattempt to measure the profound sel which were never attributed to distance which separates the germ
Paul by any contemporary, so far contained in the Sermon on the as the New Testament informs us, Mount, from the last fruits of has been cast around his name by Historic Christianity in the con- the canonisation of the Church, clusions of the General Vatican or on the other hand the fierce Council of 1866, it may be ob- hatred of his countrymen, in the served that the word Christian nineteenth as well as in the first originated out of the Holy Land, century, has disfigured the heroic some time after the crucifixion, in proportions of thoroughly a spot never trodden by the feet Semitic character. The account of of Jesus Christ. Nor can there be his entrance on the course which any doubt that the complete series has had so mighty an influence on of dogmas which have gradually the changing conditions of human been piled up by ecclesiastical civilisation and credence, which is. involution upon the faith of the given by the most eloquent of the original twelve, has been sup- New Testament writers, has been ported far more by the language of subject of late to a fierce attack by the most voluminous of the earliest a writer who is learned in all those Christian writers than on the words matters which pertain to patristic ascribed to Jesus himself by the study, but utterly unacquainted synoptic Evangelists. Jewish with all those which throw light on Christianity, or the recognition, the conduct and inner life of a by those who maintained the rabbi who sat at the feet of the national worship and obedience, of great Rabban Gamaliel, and was the claim of Jesus of Nazareth to the contemporary, and may have the title of the Anointed King of been the rival, of the no less Israel, became extinct with the famous Rabbi Johanan Ben
of Palestine, after Zaccai. If the author of “Superthe overthrow of the last self- natural Religion ” would devote to named Messias—the Son of that purpose the few years requithe Star. Of Aryan Christianity, site for gaining a rudimentary & new faith, a new life, and a new acquaintance with the Talmud, he philosophy, the first and most would regard with more respect
and confidence the history of the maic. The study of Greek literaJudæo-Grecian biographer of St. ture was held, by the strictest Paul. As to the incidents of his doctors of the law, to be unbelife, as well as with regard to coming in a devout Jew. those of a get more important “In the law of the Lord doth he biography, that we are without any meditate day and night” is the of the patient and careful details character of “ the man that walk. which such a writer as Herodotus eth not in the counsel of the would have given, becomes only ungodly.” “Find me," was the the more apparent the
comment of a great doctor, minutely we compare the state- hour which is neither day nor ments of the Acts of the Apostles night, and in that you may study with those of the Epistles bearing the Greek writers."
Notwiththe name of Paul. But that we standing this questionable learnpossess what a Semitic doctor ing, Saul, according to his biowould consider to be a fairly grapher, appears to have acted as adequate history of some fifteen president
president of the Bethdin, , years of the life of his apostles can- secondary court, before which not be fairly denied.
Stephen was accused, and by which Saul of Tarsus, who, for some he was condemned; and, further, to unexplained reason, from the year have been entrusted with a comA.D. 43 is spoken of and signs him- mission to act against those acself as Paul, was the son of a cused of heresy at Damascus. “I Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, verily thought with myself,” are born at Tarsus, and thus claiming the words which his biographer the proud title of a Roman citizen. puts in his lips," that I ought to He tells us that he profited un- do many things contrary to the usually as a student in Rabbinical name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which learning, so that he sat at the feet thing I also did in Jerusalem, and of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, many of the saints I shut up in grandson of the famous Hillel, prison, having received authority during whose tenure of the presi- from the chief priests.” dentship of the Great Sanhedrim Of the event which effected a the Crucifixion took place. Al- complete change in the opinions, though a Pharisee and the disciple though scarcely in the character, of so great a doctor, Saul possessed of Saul, three accounts are given the unusual and (from the Jewish by his biographer; and slighter point of view) suspicious accom- references to it are to be found in plishment of some knowledge of the epistles bearing his name. It the Greek language. Not only has been urged that these accounts are his letters found in Greek are inconsistent. It may, however, (which might have been the case rather prove to be the case that if they were translations), but the the modern critic has been too argument, in at least one instance, hasty. At noon, on the road from is founded on the phraseology of Jerusalem to Damascus, as Saul the Septuagint, and could not on his way to execute the have been deduced from the Heb- commission of the High Priest, he rew text. He is also described on was struck to the earth by lightone occasion as quoting a Greek ning; the Greek verb with that poet, and on another as addressing signification being employed by the the Roman commandant at Jeru. historian, though the proper word salem in Greek, although he made is not used in the English verhis address to the people in Ara- sion. As he fell he heard a
voice. In the first account it is way" he preached in the synastated that the men who jour- gogues the faith which he had come neyed with him stood speechless, to the city to uproot. Such, at hearing a voice, but seeing no least, is the first account in the man. In his defence on the Acts, with which the third agrees Temple stairs Saul is
in saying, “ first unto them of Dasented, by the same historian, as mascus. But the account in the saying “ They that were with me epistle, in which the writer is saw indeed the ligbt, and were urging the subjective nature of the afraid, but they heard not the faith, makes no mention of Ananias, voice of him that spake to me.” or of the baptism which he enjoined, In the third account no mention is but says "immediately I conferred made of the companions of Saul, not with flesh and blood, neither except the statement that they went I up to Jerusalem, to them Fere all fallen to the earth. The which were apostles before me, but reference to the occurrence in the I went into Arabia, and returned epistle to the Galatians gives the again to Damascus !” After three explanation of the apparent incon- years, this statement proceeds : sistency between these accounts. Paul went to Jerusalem to see " It pleased God,” Paul there Peter, and abode with him fifteen says, “ to reveal his Son in me.” days, but saw no other apostleThe subjective nature of the phe- only James, the Lord's brother. nomenon is thus plainly indicated. Fourteen years later he went up The sound accompanying the flash again to Jerusalem with Barnabas was heard, as was natural, by the and Titus; and a contention is whole company. The words con- alluded to as to the Gentile characveyed to the mind of Paul were ter of this later companion. audible to him alone. Persons Antioch, whether before or after who have studied phenomena of this visit is not stated in the Epistle, this nature-such, for example, as a fierce contention occurred with are to be found in the biography Peter, whom, as well as Barnabas, of Fox, the founder of the Quakers the author does not scruple to -are aware how natural sounds at charge with dissimulation when times convey the impression of he says, “I withstood him to the articulate words to a certain class face, because he was to be conof recipients. It is not necessary demned.” to call such impressions imaginary The chronology of the Acts of -in many cases it would be very the Apostles can only be exactly wrong to do so—but it is purely supplied by taking the statement subjective ; powerful, indeed, to of Jerome, that Festus replaced the individual concerned, but inap Felix in the second year of Nero, preciable to the nearest companion. as a note of time. According to On this view, and on this alone, the dates thus determined, the the author of the Acts of the ready reference in the Epistles to a Apostles is consistent both with distance of time of fourteen years himself and with the Epistle. is illustrated by the remark that Blinded by the shock, Saul was
each of the visits to Jerusalem in led into Damascus, where he re- question occurred in a Sabbatic mained for three days without year, as was also the case on that sight as well as without food. He Feast of Pentecost at which Paul was there visited by a disciple “ hasted, if it were possible for him named Ananias, recovered his vi. to be at Jerusalem." The Temple sion, and was baptised. “Straight service had a special solemnity on the day of Pentecost of the Sab- life, and the escape by night from batic year. On that occasion alone Damascus, which are mentioned in the king took a part in the ritual. the Acts as the immediate cause of He read an appointed portion of the first visit to Jerusalem, but the Law, the sacred roll being which in no way tend to confirm handed to him by the High Priest Paul's claim to any apostolic miswith the same marks of respect sion, are omitted in the epistle to which the Pontiff himself was accus- the Galatians; although when Paul tomed to receive from the Sagan, is telling the Corinthians of his or vice high priest, on other occa- frequent sufferings, the event is sions. If the peculiar character of referred to without any chronolothis festival was not the chief reason gical indication of the time of its which induced Paul to be present, occurrence. at least it supplied him with a note Whatever explanation, however, of time which he could not forget. may be offered, there is something
The visit of Peter to Antioch is like a contradiction between the only indicated in the narrative of texts of the two books cited, as the Acts by the expression, “ Cer- they now stand. According to the tain men which came down from Acts of the Apostles, Paul was in Judea.” With them Paul and Bar- Jerusalem in each of the
years nabas had no small discussion and A.D. 31*. 347, 411, 48$, and 55||disputation, which led to the jour- On the third of these occasions ney of the two teachers in question Barnabas and Paul took up the to Jerusalem. This is consistent contributions of the disciples at with the view that, in the epistle, Antioch to Jerusalem. Of this the reference to Peter's visit to visit, which fell on a Sabbatic year, Antioch is not chronologically no notice is taken in the Epistle to placed, but occurs a refer- the Galatians. The omission of ence explanatory of the visit to reference to it might be unimporJerusalem. The contradiction tant, were it not for the gist of the urged by the author of “Super- argument of the Epistle. Paul natural Religion” thus disappears. does not, indeed, state in so many There is a substantial, though not words that he did not go to a detailed, accord between the two Jerusalem between the time when accounts. But it is also undeniable he spent fifteen days with Peter that neither of them can be re- and his visit fourteen years aftergarded as chronicles. Each writer wards. But such an inference is refers to such points only as bear the natural outcome from the upon the object he has in view; words he actually uses. And it is that object being, not a biography, hard to understand how he could not a chronicle, but an elucida- have been personally unknown to tion of the manner in which certain the Christian Churches in Judea, if doctrinal points came to be debated he bad been one of the messengers and accepted. Thus the sojourn who brought to Jerusalem the of Paul in Arabia, a circumstance Antioch subscriptions. It cannot, of the utmost interest to those who perhaps, be said with propriety, seek to form an opinion of the real that there is any positive contramental history of the man, is not diction. But, on the other hand, alluded to in the Acts. In the it is evident that we do not possess same way the plot against Paul's a chronicle of clearly stated events,
* Acts ix. 1.
+ Acts ix. 26. § Acts xv. 4.
I Acts xi. 30; xii. 25. || Acts xxi. 17.