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WHEN we open the New Testament we find ourselves in presence of a glowing religious life. There is nothing in the world which offers any real parallel either to this life, or to the collection of books which attests it. The soul, which in contemporary literature is bound in shallows and in miseries, is here raised as on a great tidal wave of spiritual blessing. Nothing that belongs to a complete religious life is wanting, neither convictions nor motives, neither penitence nor ideals, neither vocation nor the assurance of victory. And from beginning to end, in all its parts and aspects and elements, this religious life is determined by Christ. It owes its character at every point to Him. Its convictions are convictions about Him. Its hopes are hopes which He has inspired and which it is for Him to fulfil. Its ideals are born of His teaching and His life. Its strength is the strength of His spirit. If we sum it up in the one word faith, it is faith in God through Him—a faith which owes to Him all that is characteristic in it, all that distinguishes it from what is elsewhere known among men by that name.

This, at least, is the prima facie impression which the New Testament makes upon a reader brought up in the Christian Church. The simplest way to express it is to say that Christianity as it is represented in the New Testament is the life of faith in Jesus Christ. It is a life in which faith is directed to Him as its object, and in which everything depends upon the fact that the

believer can be sure of his Lord. Christ so conceived is a person of transcendent greatness, but He is a real person, a historical person, and the representations of His greatness are true. They reproduce the reality which He is, and they justify that attitude of the soul to Him which the early Christians called faith, and which was the spring of all their Christian experiences. This, we repeat, is the impression which the New Testament makes on the ordinary Christian reader, but it is possible to react against it. In point of fact, the reaction has taken place, and has been profound and far-reaching. Two main questions have been raised by it which it is the object of the present work to examine. The first is, How far is the description just given of the New Testament correct? Is it the case that the Christian religious life, as the New Testament exhibits it, really puts Jesus into the place indicated, and that everything in this life, and everything especially in the relations of God and man, is determined by Him? In other words, is it the case that from the very beginning Christianity has existed only in the form of a faith which has Christ as its object, and not at all in the form of a faith which has had Christ simply as its living pattern? The second question is of importance to those who accept what seems at a glance the only possible answer to the first. It is this: Can the Christian religion, as the New Testament exhibits it, justify itself by appeal to Jesus? Granting that the spiritual phenomenon is what it is said to be, are the underlying historical facts sufficient to sustain it? In particular, it may be said, is the mind of Christians about Christ supported by the mind of Christ about Himself? Is that which has come to be known in the world as Christian faith-known, let us admit, in the apostolic age and ever since such faith as Jesus lived and died to produce? Did He take for

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