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gospel to be meant for all mankind (13 10, 14). Jesus exalted as Lord and Saviour of all, the Jesus whom the evangelist can exhibit to us in this character even in the days of His flesh, is the same incomparable and incommensurable person whom we have met everywhere in New Testament religion.

(b) The Gospel according to Matthew

In the Gospel according to Matthew it is much easier to distinguish the author from the subject, for there is much more which belongs to the author alone. The first two chapters have no parallel in the earlier gospel narrative, and they show us at once the peculiar place which Jesus held in the evangelist's faith. Like all New Testament writers he conceives Jesus as the Christ. Whether 'the book of the generation' (11) refers to the genealogy and the stories of the birth only, or to the narrative as a whole, it is concerned with Jesus as Messiah, son of David, son of Abraham. The idea underlying the genealogy is that the history of Israel, which means the history of God's gracious dealing with the human race, is consummated in Jesus. He is the ideal Son of David to whom it all looks forward, and it is in Him that all the promises made by God to the fathers are to be fulfilled. The characteristic of the Gospel according to Matthew, or perhaps we should rather say the characteristic interest of the author, is seen in his continual reference to Scriptures which have been fulfilled in Jesus. The proof from prophecy that Jesus is the Messiah preoccupies him from beginning to end: 'that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet' runs through his work like a refrain. It is quite true that many of his proofs are to us unconvincing. We can see no religious and no in

tellectual value in references like those in Matthew 2 15 to Hosea, or Matthew 2 18 to Jeremiah. We do not think of a Messianic programme, set out beforehand in the Old Testament, and carried through by Jesus, with precise correspondence, from point to point; correspondence, we feel, is one thing, and fulfilment another. But this only means that the form through which the evangelist expresses his conviction about Jesus is inadequate to the truth in his mind. What he is assured of is that the whole divine intention which pervades the ancient revelation has been consummated at last, and that the consummation is Jesus. The argument from prophecy that Jesus is the Christ is not for us an argument that this or that detail in the life of Jesus answers to this or that phrase in the Hebrew Scriptures; it is the argument that the Old Testament and the New are one and continuous, and that what God is preparing in the one He has achieved in the other. Imperfect as is the form in which this is occasionally conveyed by the evangelist, it cannot be doubted that this is substantially his thought. The unity of the Old Testament and the New, which makes Jesus the centre and the key to God's purposes, was the core of the evangelist's religious convictions, and it is in harmony with the place assigned to Jesus in the common faith.

In speaking of the title of St. Mark's Gospel-'the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Son of God)'— it has been remarked that the bracketed words, which are of doubtful genuineness, are probably to be taken as synonymous with the Christ. Though this is probable, however, it is by no means certain. It is quite possible, if Mark wrote these words, that he understood them as Paul would have done; and that though the narrative part of his gospel, which is included in the limits set in Acts I 21 f. , represents the Divine Sonship of Jesus as in a

peculiar way connected with His baptism, Mark may have conceived it in a higher and independent sense. In view of the fact that the consciousness of Divine Sonship-in other words, of the Fatherhood of God-is the characteristic mark of the Christian religion, the very God whom Christians worship being the God who is Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, it has always seemed to the writer difficult to believe that Son of God when applied by Christians to Jesus meant nothing but Messiah. It must have taken an effort of which Christians were incapable to evacuate the title of everything filial in the Christian sense, of everything which went to constitute their own religious consciousness, while yet that consciousness owed its very being to the Divine Sonship of Jesus. But be the case as it may with Mark, it is certain that to Matthew the Son of God is more than the Messianic King. It would be inappropriate to refer here to words which the evangelist records as spoken by Jesus; such words will come up for consideration at a later stage. It is enough to recall the story of the birth of the Christ. The evangelist sees in it the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah: Behold the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel. Attention has usually been concentrated here on the supernatural mode in which Jesus entered the world; but if we wish to see the place he held in the religion of the evangelist, and of those for whom he wrote, the most important word is the name of the child. Immanuel, which is, being interpreted, God with us: it is here his significance lies. The Divine Sonship is something more than is declared with power in the resurrection; it is something more than is revealed to Jesus Himself in the baptism; it is something essential to this person, something which enters into the very constitution of His being, which

connects Him immediately with God, and makes His presence with us the guarantee and the equivalent of the presence of God Himself. This, at least, is how the evangelist conceived it, and nothing could show more clearly the place which Jesus filled in his faith. Of necessity it is a place in which He can have neither rival nor partner. As God with us, Jesus is protected by the same jealousy which says, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. In everything that concerns our religious life, our relations to God, we must be determined by Him alone.

There is another point in his narrative at which the peculiarities of Matthew's gospel may be supposed to throw light on the religious value which he ascribed to Jesus. It is that at which Peter makes the confession of Jesus' Messiahship at Cæsarea Philippi. In Mark's version Jesus asks simply, Whom say ye that I am? and Peter answers as simply, Thou art the Christ. In Matthew both the question and the answer are significantly expanded. The question becomes, Who do men say that the Son of Man is? and the answer, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. The balancing of the Son of Man and the Son of the living God is remarkable. Possibly there is the germ in it of what came centuries afterwards to be known as the doctrine of the two distinct natures, divine and human, in the cre person of the Saviour; but even if such precise theological definition were far from the evangelist's thoughts, we feel that the person so solemnly and sublimely described is one who stands quite alone. In a way of which we cannot but be sensible, though we may not be able to explain it, He is related to God and to man, and has a significance for God and for man which cannot be shared. To think of Him as a person who can be put into His place among the distinguished servants of God

who from time to time appear in the world to animate and bless their weaker fellows-as 'a prophet, or one of the prophets'-is not to think of Him as Matthew does.

The place which Jesus occupied in the faith of Matthew is, however, seen most conspicuously and unambiguously in his account of the appearance of the Risen Saviour to the eleven. Those who will not regard as historical the words ascribed to Jesus on this occasion are all the more bound to look at them, as they usually do, as expressing the evangelist's own faith. Jesus is exalted as Lord of all. He has all power given to Him in heaven and on earth. He commissions His disciples, in virtue of this exaltation, to go and make all nations His disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever He had commanded; and He promises them His abiding presence to the end of the world. Granting for the moment that what we hear in this place is not so much the historical voice of Jesus as the voice of the Catholic Church telling itself through the evangelist what it has realised Jesus to be, there can be no mistake about the place in which it sets Him. He shares the throne of God, and there is no power in heaven or on earth which can dispute with His. He is destined to a universal sovereignty in grace, and sends His chosen witnesses to make disciples of all the nations. Baptism, the initiatory rite of the new religious community, is baptism in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; its value is that when men accept it in penitence and faith it brings their life into vital relation to that name; all that is signified by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit becomes theirs; the benediction, inspiration, and protection of this holy name enter into and cover all their life. But here, as we have often had occasion to remark already, the Son

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