Puslapio vaizdai

or, one might almost say, liable to obsession at critical moments'. In the Church also is offered the Forgiveness of Sins, 'a complete change of nature akin to the sacramental view of Grace which dominated Catholic Christianity and the other mystery or sacramental cults of the first four centuries'. There is nothing emphatic in his doctrine of the Resurrection, which the author accepts as part of the Jewish tradition rather than as based on the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.

Acts and Paul are singularly independent of each other; indeed it is doubtful whether the author of the former was acquainted with Paul's epistles. Often Acts is nearer primitive tradition, but the most striking comparison with Acts is offered not by any book in the New Testament but rather by the Apostles' Creed'. "The problem which is opened up for the Church historian is to distinguish so far as possible the traces of that type of Christianity which is represented by the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, and the Apostles' Creed from that other great line of thought, ultimately triumphant, which is represented by the later epistles of St. Paul, by the Fourth Gospel and by the Alexandrian School of theology, and found final expression in the Nicene Creed'. As to authorship and provenance the editors are inclined to Rome. Ten years ago both of them felt reasonably sure that Acts was written by Luke, the companion of Paul, but 'slowly they have come to feel the weight of the argument derived from the comparison with the Pauline epistles and at present they incline to the view that Luke, the companion of Paul, wrote the "We" sections, and probably the narrative adhering to them, but that the combination of this document with the rest of Acts, and the composition of the Gospel were the work of a later writer, who probably lived in the Flavian period'.1

1Eduard Meyer's opinion (1921) is interesting: 'For the history of Christianity we have been provided (through the work of Luke) with the quite inestimable advantage, which hardly elsewhere occurs in great spiritual movements, that a presentation of the primary stages of its development has come to us immediately from the pen of one who was in the midst of it. That of itself assures the author an outstanding place among historians of chief importance in the history of the world. . . . That the author was Luke, the well-known physician and companion of Paul, is confirmed by the contents, the thoroughly Pauline interpretation of Christianity, the exact acquaintance with Paul's fortunes, and the central part assigned to him.', (op. cit. I, 2, 3).

There follow two chapters, one by Mr. Emmet on "The Case for the Tradition' and the other by Professor Windisch on "The Case against the Tradition'. Mr. Emmet identifies the visit of Paul to Jerusalem of Gal. ii with that given in Acts xi, and places Galatians before Acts xv. With much reason he cautions against assuming that Paul's letters, some written in the heat of controversy, are to be the standard by which to judge all statements. 'It is becoming increasingly clear that it is a mistake to regard Paul as the founder of Hellenistic or even of Hellenic Christianity'. Though Windisch is doubtful as to the relationship of 'Luke' and Josephus, and inclines to date Acts between 80 A.D. and 90, he holds that 'the author of Acts had no longer a correct idea of the events before and during Paul's missionary activity, of what Paul accomplished, or of the fundamental ideas of Pauline theology'. On the other hand Mr. Emmet devotes a careful section to maintaining that the general presentation of Paul in Acts is not inconsistent with the epistles.

The final section of the volume consists of two chapters, one a masterful précis by Dr. McGiffert of the history of the criticism of Acts chiefly in Germany, the other a sketch of English criticism by Mr. J. W. Hunkin.

The appendices contain two literary analogies, one "The Story of St. Francis of Assisi' by Mr. G. G. Coulton, which is quite suggestive, the other by the editors, "The Story of Margaret Catchpole', the value of which here is not very evident. Professor Cadbury's Commentary on the Preface of Luke promises well for the next volumes which will contain the text and commentary. These will be awaited with interest, for if the problem of Acts is to be solved it will be through a continued study of the vocabulary and conceptions of the New Testament and of contemporary life. Great as the addition to our knowledge has been in recent years, it is still very incomplete, and in the optimism of discovery deductions have been made as to the import of words and conceptions which further knowledge or a more careful investigation will modify. This holds of Paul's letters as well as of Acts.

Inconclusive though this book may be, one definite impression gained from it is that the interpretation of the New

Testament has made great gains in the last generation, and that scholars of different shades of opinion are not so far apart as they were formerly. Windisch may be said to be a lineal descendant of the school of Baur, but his appreciation of the historical honesty of the author of Acts is beyond theirs, and the editors believe that the author used Aramaic sources emanating from Jerusalem, Caesarea and Antioch, though partial as to extent, for the first half of Acts, and for the second the Diary of the companion of Paul. The area of 'No-man's land' is narrowing.

Another impression is that the advance in the understanding of the New Testament through criticism has come, as in all scientific investigation, by the formulation of hypotheses and by their overthrow. The task of the New Testament scholar has been much more difficult as regards the detection of sources than that of his Old Testament confrere, because the authors lived so much nearer to the events. Also the complexity of the age and the abundance of the material for the construction of the environment increase the problems.

But the greatest problem of all is due to the fact that the authors of the leading books of the New Testament write as being within immediate range of the impression of an extraordinary Person, Jesus. His influence created through loyalty to Himself a variety of types of religious character issuing in the vital books which have become the standard of the life and faith of the Christian Church. Hitherto Protestantism has interpreted the other writers too much after Paul, and Dr. Jackson and Dr. Lake are so far right in suggesting that a special type of Christianity is represented in the Synoptic Gospels, Acts and the Apostles' Creed. This view ought, however, to be widened to include both traditions and personalities, though the problem still remains whether the fundamental tradition emanated from a great personality or whether he merely re-interpreted existing religious ideas. Tobe brought into contact with the most powerful religious ideas of history is at once very stimulating for the scholar and very baffling when he seeks to differentiate between them and the contemporary reinforcements which entered into the structure of our Christian systems. He must not forget the limitations

of his method. It cannot explain everything. Neglect of this fact has led some physical scientists to transgress the boundaries between the worlds of physical and of moral nature.

The greatness of the Book of Acts lies not in its literary charm and simplicity, unusual though these be, but in the worthiness of the picture it presents of the rise and expansion of the Church emanating, as the author intends to show, from the transcendent Person whom he depicted in the former treatise, called by us the Gospel. Our interest in it to-day is greater than ever, because a contributory factor to the moral renewal for which Protestantism is hoping must be the better understanding of Gospels, Acts and Epistles. This is coming as the scientific process of investigation reveals their original import. Insensibly the Christian mind is responding to the ethical ideals of its Master and His immediate disciples as they constantly grow clearer; and the scholar may be encouraged by the hope that his work is tending to enhance the impression of that Person who, we believe, can exhibit His power anew by fascinating the coming age and once more creating original leaders in religion.

University of Toronto.




October moonlight floods the barren hill
With mellow magic, and the silvery way
Gleams whiter, winding up to walls of grey
Old stone that slumber on the summit, still
As a sepulchre by antique tribes designed,
Save as the hollow ramparts breathe faint groans,
A far dog howls, and on the rotting stones
Dead grasses whisper to the sighing wind.
Strange shadows form and vanish on the wall:
Wraiths of departed sentries, peering; gaunt,
Uneasy captives seeking flight; and all
The restless visions with which fancy teems,
Vague as the wistful memories that haunt
The crumbling ruins of our childhood dreams.

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