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wrong with the judgment of the pastors and masters who have had in charge the bringing up of these especial young people. The fault is not with the religion but with the fashion in which it has been followed in the home from which they came.
Any relationship may be made distasteful by the way in which it is conducted. But the children who have always been used to seeing the faith of Christ made the rule of living, who have been wonted to Christian guidance in the home, including not only the practice of private and family prayer, grace at meals, reading of the Bible and regular church-going, but have seen that these connoted gentleness of speech, self-control in temptation, generosity of judgment and other graces of the spirit have gained an introduction to the career of the Christian that promises more progress in maturity than they could hope for under other conditions.
The bitter experiences through which the world is passing now have turned the thoughts of thousands to the only abiding things and have made for a longing of the soul to find the One True Foundation that remains unshaken and unshakable. The men and women who have been blessed from infancy by familiarity with a religious life have, as a rule, a marvelous advantage over the untaught who must, undirected, work out their own salvation and struggle for means to learn the right way.
Those who comprehend that the cross is the medicine of the world hold the key to many mysteries that lacking this knowledge they could not grasp. Can we who are called by the name of Christ justify ourselves in neglecting to place this clue to life in the hands of those for whom we are responsible. And can a better method be found than by giving to our children and youth the habit of religion in the home, with all that this may mean to them here and hereafter?
The Sacraments and Recent Criticism of the New Testament
BY THE REV. WILLIAM PITT MCCUNE, PH.D.
ICHARD HOOKER somewhere says of the sacraments that "God hath annexed them forever unto the New Testament." The remark is characteristic and worthy of the Judicious Hooker. It is not a piece of special pleading for Anglicanism or sacramentalism or sacerdotalism; it is sober statement of fact. I propose to take it as a kind of text for my discourse. Its truth has been borne in upon me recently by reading, more or less desultory, of various books and articles concerning the New Testament. From these has come new and, to me at least, unexpected testimony to the truth of Hooker's words. Modern critics seem to be in process of rediscovering, often to their own surprise, the fact that the sacraments are an integral part of the New Testament, that to accept the Bible means to accept the sacraments and to reject the sacraments means to reject the Bible.
This rediscovery of the sacraments in the New Testament is only a part of a larger movement in criticism. I refer to the gradual lessening of the interval which elapsed-or, rather, which German scholars assert must have elapsed-between Christ and Catholic Christianity. This Movement has been summarized by Father Tyrrell, who may well be quoted in such a discussion as this because he was so sensitive-so fatally sensative, one might say-to all phases of modern thought. "The antiquity of the leading features and principles of Catholicism," he says, "has been pushed further and further back, till its beginnings are found in the New Testament. The hierarchy is felt in the Pastoral Epistles; sacramentalism in S. Paul; theology in the Johannine writings; ecclesiasticism in S. Matthew; the Petrine ascendancy in S. Matthew and the Acts." (Christianity at the Crossroads, p. 36). To these data, noted by Father Tyrell, must be added the further important fact that the books of the New Testament are no longer considered to be chiefly documents
of the second century. The dates assigned them are being constantly changed, and almost always to make them earlier and thus more primitive. Every one of these changes increases the difficulty of the Protestant dilemma. One recalls Father Tyrell's consumate irony on this point: "No sooner was the Light of the World kindled than it was put under a bushel. The Pearl of Great Price fell into the dustheap of Catholicism, not without the wise permission of Providence, desirous to preserve it till the day when Germany should rediscover it and separate it from its useful but deplorable accretions. Thus between Christ and early Catholicism there is not a bridge but a chasm. Christianity did not cross the bridge; it fell into the chasm and remained there, stunned for nineteen centuries. The explanation of this sudden fall-more sudden because they have pushed Catholicism back to the threshold of the Apostolic age-is the crux of Liberal Protestant critics." (Christianity at the Cross-roads, pp. 40-41). It is this crux, in regard to the sacraments, and its gradual recognition by Protestant critics with which this paper deals. We are not concerned with the manner in which they seek to evade or solve the difficulty, but solely with the fact that there is a difficulty and that Protestants themselves admit it, albeit grudgingly.
"Sacramentalism," Father Tyrrell asserted, "is felt in S. Paul," and it is true that recent discussions of the sacraments in the New Testament are concerned chiefly with his Epistles. A typical and in some ways a notable contribution to the question is Dr. Wilhelm Heitmüller's little book, Taufe und Abendmahl bei Paulus. Since the war I find it hard to praise anything German, hence I shall quote Dr. Kirsopp Lake's estimate of Heitmüller's work as probably fairer and certainly weightier than my own. "This book," he says, "is so clear and so thorough that it has an importance out of all proportion to its size." (Earlier Epistles of S. Paul, p. 212.) Dr. Heitmüller is a Lutheran, and in his preface he says that since the Lutheran appeal is to Scripture it is important to ascertain just what is the Scriptural view of the sacraments. His purpose is to discover the sacramental teaching of the New Testament, particularly of S.
Paul. There follows a careful analysis of all passages in the Epistles which deal with Baptism and the Eucharist. The discussion of such crucial passages as Romans VI. and I. Corinthians 10-11 is exceedingly interesting, but too extensive and detailed to be repeated here. I can only give the result of the investigation, which is that for S. Paul Baptism and the Eucharist are not merely symbols or means to faith like the Gospel, but true sacraments with an efficacy which is ex opere operato, not ex opere operantis. S. Paul's teaching, in a word, Dr. Heitmüller discovers to be the teaching of the Catholic Church. This fact, of course, releases him from S. Paul. His sacramental teaching, Dr. Heitmüller thinks, is very different from the pure ethical teaching of Jesus and very like the mystery religions of his time. The sacraments are therefore a foreign element in Christianity. Luther first perceived this and made the Gospel of equal importance with the sacraments, but even Luther was not free from Catholic sacramental doctrine. It remains for modern Protestants to go on in the way he has pointed out, but going on will mean rejecting the sacramental teaching of S. Paul and the New Testament. It is the realization of this last fact that makes Dr. Heitmüller's book notable. His study has shown him that the sacraments are an integral part of the New Testament. He has determined to have done with the sacraments; therefore he will have done with the New Testament, or at least with those parts of it which deal with the sacraments. He is at least consistent and honest.
Dr. Heitmüller's conclusions are shared by many other scholars. There are some, of course, who still maintain that for S. Paul the sacraments are merely symbols or means to faith, but they are in the minority. Dr. Carl Clemen, who is one of them, admits that the great majority of modern authorities are against him-by which, of course, he means German authorities, for, being a German, he recognizes no other authority in heaven or earth. He names among others, and I repeat the list for what it is worth: Pfleiderer, Holtzmann, Harnack, Wrede, Bousset, Julicher, and, of course, Heitmüller. (Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish Sources, pp. 216,245.)
It is not only the Germans, however, who have discovered sacramental teaching in S. Paul. The same view is to be found in Dr. Maurice Goguel's book on the Eucharist, a work which one cannot but admire for its Gallic clarity of thought and expression, however one may disagree with its conclusions. Dr. Goguel finds in the history of the Eucharist from its institution to Justin Martyr an evolution, the stages of which he traces in his book. In this development S. Paul stands out as the first to express clearly the sacramental view. His Epistles, particularly I. Corinthinians, show that for S. Paul the Eucharist was a sacrament, an essential part of Christianity. Its position in the Pauline system, Dr. Goguel says, is as important as that of faith; indeed, the sacrament and faith are not two ideas but two aspects of the same idea, parts of a profound synthesis in S. Paul's thought. This is a remarkable admission from a Protestant critic.
Many English scholars agree in this estimate of S. Paul's sacramental teaching. Among them may be mentioned Dr. Kirsopp Lake, who, in his study of the Early Epistles of S. Paul, makes some statements which are startling, emanating as they do from so cautious a student. Of the teaching in Romans VI. and Galatians III. he says: "Baptism is here clearly indicated as effecting the union with Christ, and there is no reason for trying to minimize the force of this fact. Baptism is, for S. Paul and his readers universally and unquestioningly accepted as a 'mystery' or sacrament which works ex opere operato; and from the unhesitating manner in which S. Paul uses this fact as a basis for argument, as if it were a point on which Christian opinion did not vary, it would seem as though this sacramental teaching is central in the primitive Christianity to which the Roman Empire began to be converted So far, I do not feel that there is room for doubt; even though it is impossible to ignore that many critics of the highest standing among Protestant theologians would deny the soundness of the views enunciated, and maintain that primitive Christianity was not centrally sacramental. Such theologians believe that a purely symbolical and subjective doctrine of Baptism and other sacraments is not only desirable for the present day, but also true to primitive thought.