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20 Famous Quotes by C. Harold Dodd

Feast of Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of Our Lord [Paul] makes use of the symbolism of baptism, which in the East was performed by the complete immersion of the believer in water. "We were buried with Christ through our baptism (and so entered) into a state of death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the splendor of the Father, we too might walk in the newness which belongs to (real) life." To the rite as such Paul did not attach overwhelming importance. "Christ", he says, "did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel." Paul recognized in the idea a most suggestive figure for the change wrought by faith in Christ. He found it necessary to guard against the crude sacramentalism which found in the mere physical process, as such, the actual impartation of new life, quite apart from anything taking place in the realm of inward experience. The Israelites in the wilderness ... received baptism in the Red Sea and in the cloud which overshadowed them; and yet they were disobedient, "the majority of them God did not choose," and they perished miserably. The inference is plain. No sacramental act achieves anything unless it is an outward symbol of what really happens inwardly in experience. The test of that is the reality of the new life as exhibited in its ethical consequences. "How can we who are dead to sin live any longer in sin?" If baptism is a real dying and rising again, then it is indeed a profound revolution in the personal life, a revolution which is simply bound to show itself in a new moral character.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Thomas Bray, Priest, Founder of SPCK, 1730 The indwelling of Christ's Spirit means not only moral discernment but moral power. Paul's count against the Law is that it was impotent through the flesh. Against this impotence Paul sets the ethical competence of the Spirit. "I can do anything in Him who makes me strong," (Phil. 4:13) he exclaims. For his friends in Asia he prays "that God may grant you, according to the wealth of His splendour, to be made strong with power through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through your trust in Him." (Eph. 3:16-17) This is the antithesis of the dismal picture presented in Romans 7, and it comes, just as evidently as that, out of experience. Indeed, we may say that the thing above all which distinguished the early Christian community from its environment was the moral competence of its members. In order to maintain this we need not idealize unduly the early Christians. There were sins and scandals at Corinth and Ephesus, but it was impossible to miss the note of genuine power of renewal and recuperation -- the power of the simple person progressively to approximate to his moral ideals in spite of failures. The very fact that the term "Spirit" is used points to a sense of something essentially "supernatural" in such ethical attainments. For the primitive Christians the Spirit was manifested in what they regarded as miraculous. Paul does not whittle away the miraculous sense when he transfers it to the moral sphere. He concentrates attention on the moral miracle as something more wonderful far than any "speaking with tongues." So fully convinced is he of the new and miraculous nature of this moral power that he can regard the Christian as a "new creation." (II Cor. 5:17) This is not the old person at all: it is a "new man," "created in Christ Jesus for good deeds." (Eph. 2:10) (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Continued from yesterday: The result of all this is that the Christian is a free man. It is here to be observed that the term "freedom" is ambiguous in common usage. It is sometimes used to imply that a man can do just as he likes, undetermined by any external force. To this the determinist replies that as a matter of fact this freedom is so limited by the laws which condition man's empirical existence as to be illusory. The rejoinder from the advocates of free will is that no external force can determine a man's moral conduct (and with mere automatism we are not concerned), unless it is presented in consciousness, and that in being so presented it becomes a desire, a temptation, or a motive. In suffering himself to be determined by these, the man is not submitting to external control, but to something which he has already made a part of himself, for good or ill. When, however, we have said that, we are faced with a further problem. Not all that is desired is desirable, and in being moved by my immediate desire I may be balking myself of that ultimate satisfaction which is the real object of all effort. If that is so, then to "do as I like" may well be no freedom at all. There is a law of our being which forbids satisfaction to be found along that line, as it is written, "He gave them their desire, and sent leanness into their souls." (Ps. 106:15) (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Feast of Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, Martyr, 1977 Continued from yesterday: He, then, whose action is governed by mere desire is not free to attain the satisfaction which alone gives meaning to that desire. There is no breaking through this law of our being. Every attempt to do so proves itself in experience to be futile. Hence we are in a more helpless state of bondage than that which materialistic determinism holds; for the tyrant is established within our own consciousness. One way, and one way only, out of this bondage remains. If we can discover how to make our own immediate desire, and the act of will springing out of it, accord with the supreme law of our being, then to "do as we like" will no longer be to run our heads against the stone wall of necessity which shuts us out from the heaven of satisfaction. For we shall only "like" doing what we "ought". This introduces a new sense of the word "freedom". It does not now mean freedom from restrains to follow our desires, but freedom from the tyranny of futile desires to follow what is really good. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Continued from yesterday: This is Paul's meaning. The state of slavery described in Romans 7 is a slavery to wrong desires; not merely to "flesh" in the abstract, as implying our material nature and environment, but to the "mind of the flesh" -- the lower nature and environment made a part of one's conscious self. What the Law could not do, God has done by the gift of the Spirit of Christ: He has given the victory to the higher self. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (II Cor. 3:17) "The Law of the Spirit -- the law of a life in communion with Christ Jesus -- has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:2) Whereas life was a hopeless struggle, it now becomes a struggle in which the handicap is removed, and victory already secured in principle, because God has come into the life. The Law was external; it was the taskmaster set over against the troubled and fettered will of man. The Spirit is within, the mind of the Spirit is the mind of the man himself, and from within works out a growing perfection of life which satisfies the real longing of the soul. In the full sense freedom is still an object of hope; but the liberty already attained makes possible the building up of a Christian morality.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841 The Gospel used to be presented as an appeal to believe in the Saviour who "did it all for me long ago", and then retired to a remote heaven where He receives the homage of believers till He comes again to inaugurate the Millennium. The mind of our generation, having little comprehension or taste for such a message, is usually content to try to discover "the Jesus of history", conceived as a human example and teacher of a distant past. Meanwhile, there exists always alongside all forms of religious belief the great tradition of mystical experience. The mystic knows that, whatever be the truth about an historic act or person, there is a Spirit dwelling in man. In our time, even natural science abates its arrogant denials and admits the possibility of such immanence... The weak point of mysticism, as seen at least by a matter-of-fact person, is that it is apt to be so nebulous ethically. What the Immanent is, those who claim most traffic with It can often least tell us. Is It a power making for righteousness, or is It a higher synthesis of good and evil? Or is It not a moral -- that is to say, not a personal Being at all?... The raising of these questions is not intended to throw any doubt upon the validity of mystical experience as such; but we have a right to ask what content is given in the experience. Paul was a mystic, but all his mystical experience had a personal object. It was Jesus Christ, a real, living person --historic, yet not of the past alone; divine, yet not alien from humanity.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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The primitive Christians were accustomed to speak, in a language which was older than Christianity, of being "in the Spirit" -- as though Spirit were an ethereal atmosphere surrounding the soul, and breathed in as the body breathes in the air. Paul, too, used this expression, but he placed alongside it a parallel form of words, "in Christ" or "in Christ Jesus". Where we find these words used we are being reminded of the intimate union with Christ which makes the Christian life an eternal life lived in the midst of time. The deeper shade of meaning would often be conveyed to our minds if we translated the phrase "in communion with Christ". But, Paul's Christ mysticism is saved from the introverted individualism of many forms of mysticism by his insistence that communion with Christ is also communion with all who are Christ's.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Continuing a short series on Romans 8: [Of vv. 14-17] For the Spirit we have received is the Spirit of the Son of God, and we possessing it are God's sons too, and "that of God in us" leaps out towards the God who is the source of it. The Spirit of Jesus within us moves us to prayer: indeed, prayer is just the moving of God's Son in us towards the Father. Though we are burdened with the greatness of our need, so that our prayers are not even articulate, yet in such "inarticulate sighs" the Spirit "intercedes for us.".

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Feast of Justin, Martyr at Rome, c.165 Commemoration of Angela de'Merici, Founder of the Institute of St. Ursula, 1540 The attitude of Jesus to the Jewish law was singularly free and unembarrassed. He made full use of it as an impressive statement of high ethical ideals; even its ritual practices He treated with perfect tolerance where they did not conflict with fundamental moral obligations. From Pharisaic formalism He appealed to the relative simplicity of the venerable written Law. But again from the written Law itself He appealed to the basic rights and duties of humanity: the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; the Law might permit the dissolution of marriage, but there was something more deeply rooted in the nature of things which forbade it; the [law of retaliation], the central principle of legal justice, must go overboard in the interest of the holy impulse to love your neighbor, not merely as yourself, but as God has loved you. Such freehanded dealing meant that the whole notion of morality as a code of rules, with sanctions of rewards and punishments, was abandoned. But the average Christian was slow to see this implication. For instance, Jesus had taken fasting out of the class of meritorious acts, and given it a place only as the fitting and spontaneous expression of certain spiritual states. This is what an early authoritative catechism of the Church made of His teaching: "Let not your fast be made with the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and Thursday; ye therefore shall fast on Wednesday and Friday." It sounds ludicrous, but we may ask, Was it not on some very similar principle that the Church did actually carry through its reconstruction of "religious observance"? And a Church which so perverted Christ's treatment of the ritual law proved itself almost equally incapable of understanding His drastic revision of the moral law.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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The absorption of the individual in the universal is only another term for its destruction.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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That appearance on earth as an individual is the crisis in the history both of Christ Himself and of the humanity He saves and leads. The ministry of Jesus, therefore, culminating in His death, is essential to Paul's whole thought. If in certain aspects of his theology it is the death that bulks most largely -- because it seemed to him to be the purest and most moving expression of what the whole life meant -- he is quite aware that the ethical impulse given by the example and teaching of Jesus is of the very stuff of the Christian life. He alludes to the Gospel story but sparingly, but those who study his teaching most closely become aware that he is himself acting and speaking all through under the impulse of the life and teaching of Jesus. If he refuses to "know Christ after the flesh," it means that he will not risk a harking back to the temporary conditions of the Galilean ministry when the Spirit of Christ is clearly leading out into new fields. The issues of that ministry have been gathered up in the new experience of "Christ in me", and that experience gives a living Christ, who leads ever onward those who will adventure with Him, and not a prophet of the past, whose words might pass into a dead tradition.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Allen Gardiner, founder of the South American Missionary Society, 1851 Commemoration of Albert Schweitzer, Teacher, Physician, Missionary, 1965 In this Body of Christ, Paul sees "the ecclesia of God". Ecclesia is a Greek word with a splendid history. It was used in the old free commonwealths of Greece for the general assembly of all free citizens, by which their common life was governed. When political liberty went, the name still survived in the restricted municipal self-government which the Roman State allowed. It was taken over by the brotherhoods and guilds which in some measure superseded the old political associations. Among the Jews who spoke Greek, this word seemed the appropriate one to describe the commonwealth of Israel as ruled by God -- the historical Theocracy. Our translation of it is "Church". That word, however, has undergone such transformations of meaning that it is often doubtful in what sense it is being used. Perhaps for ecclesia we may use the word -- simpler, more general, and certainly nearest to its original meaning -- "commonwealth". [Continued tomorrow].

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Feast of Richard Hooker, Priest, Anglican Apologist, Teacher, 1600 Commemoration of Martin of Porres, Dominican Friar, 1639 The type of Judaism in which Paul had grown up had become largely traditional: the word of the Lord, the Rabbis held, came to the prophets of old, but we can only preserve and interpret the truth they handed down. Jesus Christ, with a confidence that to the timid traditionalism of His time appeared blasphemous, asserted that He knew the Father and was prepared to let others into that knowledge. He did so, not by handing down a new tradition about God, but by making others sharers in His own attitude to God. This is what Paul means by "having the mind of Christ." It was this clear, unquestioning conviction that gave Paul his power as a missionary: but he expected it also in his converts. To them too "the world of knowledge" came "by the same Spirit". He prayed that God would give them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. Such knowledge is, as Paul freely grants, only partial, but, so far as it goes, it is real, personal knowledge. In friendship between men there is a mutual knowledge which is never complete or free from mystery: yet you can know with a certainty nothing could shake, that your friend is "not the man to do such a thing", or that such-and-such a thing that you have heard is "just like him." You have a real knowledge which gives you a criterion. Such is the knowledge the Christian has of his Father.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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It is wrong to suppose that for Paul faith is a meritorious act on man's part, which wins salvation, or even, in a more modern way of speech, a creative moral principle in itself. Paul does not, in fact, speak (when he is using the language strictly) of "justification by faith", but of "justification by grace through faith," or "on the grounds of faith." This is not mere verbal subtlety. It means that the "righteousness of God" becomes ours, not by the assertion of the individual will as such, but by the willingness to let God work.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Feast of the Naming & Circumcision of Jesus A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN ROME The following abridged paraphrase of the Epistle to the Romans aims at presenting in a plain way the continuous sequence of the argument, while suggesting the free epistolary form of the original: My DEAR FELLOW-CHRISTIANS OF ROME, Wherever I go I hear of your faith, and I thank God for it. It is a part of my daily prayers that I may be permitted to visit you. I believe such a visit would do you good, and I am sure it would do me good. In fact, I have tried again and again to get to Rome, but hitherto something has always turned up to prevent me. I shall not feel that my work as missionary to the Gentiles is complete until I have preached in Rome. My mission is a universal one, knowing no bounds of race or culture--naturally, since my message is a universal one. It is a message of God's righteousness, revealed to men on a basis of faith. (Rom. 1:1-17) Apart from this, there is nothing to be seen in the world of today but the Nemesis of sin. Take the pagan world: all men have a knowledge of God by natural religion; but the pagan world has deliberately turned its back upon this knowledge, and, for all its boasted philosophy, has degraded religion into idolatry. The natural consequence is a moral perversity horrible to contemplate. (Rom. 1:18-32) But you, my Jewish friend, need not dwell with complacency upon the sins of the pagan world. You are guilty yourself. Do not mistake God's patience with His people for indulgence. His judgments are impartial. Knowledge or ignorance of the Law of Moses makes no difference here. The pagans have God's law written in their conscience. If they obey it, well; if not, they stand condemned. And as for you--you call yourself a Jew and pride yourself on the Law. But have you kept all its precepts? You are circumcised and so forth: that goes for nothing; God looks at the inner life of motive and affection. An honest pagan is better than a bad Jew in His sight. I do not mean to say there is no advantage in being a Jew: of this more presently ; but read your Bible and take to yourself the hard words of the prophets--spoken, remember, not to heathens, but to people who knew the Law, just as you do. No, Jew and pagan, we are in the same case. No one can stand right before God on the basis of what he has actually done. Law only serves to bring consciousness of guilt. (Rom. 2:1-3:20) But now, Law apart, we have a revelation of God's righteousness, as I was saying (Rom. 1:17). It comes by faith, the faith of Jesus Christ; and it comes to every one, Jew or Gentile, who has faith. We have all sinned, and all of us can be made to stand right with God. That is a free gift to us, due to His graciousness. We are emancipated in Christ Jesus, who is God's appointed means of dealing with sin--a means operating by the devotion of His life, and by faith on our part. It is thus that God, having passed over sins committed in the old days when He held His hand, demonstrates His righteousness in the world of to-day; i.e., it is thus that He both shows Himself righteous, and makes those stand right before Him who have faith in Jesus Christ. No room for boasting here! No distinction of Jew and Gentile here! (Rom. 3:21-31) But what about Abraham? you will say. Did not he win God's graciousness by what he did? Not at all. Read your Bible, and you will find that the promise was given to him before he was circumcised; and the Bible expressly says that "he had faith in God, and that counted for righteousness." The same principle applies to us all. (Rom. 4:1-25) To return to the point, then, we stand right with God on the ground of faith, and we are at peace with Him, come what may. God's love floods our whole being--a love shown in the fact that Christ died for us, not because we were good people for whom anyone might die, but actually while we were sinners. He died, not for His friends, but for His enemies. Very well then, if while we were enemies Christ died for us, surely He will save us now that we are friends! If He reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely He will save us by living for us, and in us. There is something to boast about! (Rom. 5:1-11) Christ died and lives for us all, I say. But, you ask, how can the life and death of one individual have consequences for so many? You believe that we all suffer for Adam's sin; and if so, why should we not all profit by Christ's righteousness? Of course there is really no comparison between the power of evil to propagate itself, and the power of good to win the victory, for that is a matter of God's graciousness. However, you see my point : one man sinned--a whole race suffers for it; one Man lived righteously--a whole race wins life by it. But what about Law? you say. Law only came in by the way, to intensify the consciousness of guilt. (Rom. 5:12-21) (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Feast of Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops, Teachers, 379 & 389 Commemoration of Seraphim, Monk of Sarov, Mystic, Staretz, 1833 A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN ROME (This abridged paraphrase of the Epistle to the Romans is continued from yesterday) Now I come to a difficulty. I have heard people say, "If human sin gives play to God's graciousness, let us go on sinning to give Him a better chance. Why not do evil that good may come?" (Rom. 3:8) What nonsense! To be saved through Christ is to be a dead man so far as sin is concerned. Think of the symbolism of Baptism. You go down into the water: that is like being buried with Christ. You come up out of the water: that is like rising with Christ from the tomb. It means, therefore, a new life, a life which comes by union with the living Christ. You will admit that, once a man is dead, there is no more claim against him for any wrong he may have committed. He is like a slave set free from all claims on the part of his late master. Think, then, of yourselves as dead. When you remember the death of Christ, think that you--i.e., your old bad selves--were crucified with Him. And when you remember His resurrection, think of yourselves as living with Him, a new life. And above all, bear in mind that Christ, once risen, does not die again: and so you, living the new life in Him, need not die again. I mean, the sin that once dominated you need not any longer control you; do not let it! You are freed slaves; do not sell yourselves into slavery again. Or, if you like to put it so, you are now slaves, not of Sin, but of Righteousness (a very crude way of putting it, but I want to help you out). Just as once you were the property of Sin, and all your faculties were instruments of wrong, so now you are the property of Righteousness, and every faculty you have must be an instrument of right. Freed from sin, you are slaves of God; that is what I mean. The wages your old master paid was death. Your new Master makes you a present of life. (Rom. 6:1-23) Or take another illustration. You know that by law a woman is bound to her husband while he lives; when he is dead she is free; she can marry again if she likes and the law has no claim against her. So you may think of yourselves as having been married to Sin, or to Law. Death has now released you from that marriage bond, though here the illustration halts, for it is Christ's death that has freed you! Well, anyhow, you are free--free, shall I say, to marry Christ. You had a numerous progeny of evil deeds by your first marriage; you must now produce an offspring of good deeds to Christ. I mean, of course, you must serve God in Christ's spirit. (Rom. 7:1-6) Now I admit that all this sounds as though I identified law with sin. That is not my meaning. But surely it is clear that the function of law is to bring consciousness of sin; e.g., I should never have known what covetousness was but that the law said, "Thou shalt not covet." Such is the perversity of human nature under the dominion of sin that the very prohibition provokes me to covet. There was a time when I knew nothing of Law, and lived my own life. Then Law came, sin awakened in me, and life became death for me. Of course, Law is good, but Sin took advantage of it, to my cost. I am only flesh and blood, and flesh and blood is prone to sin. I can see what is good, and desire it, but I cannot practice it; i.e., my reason recognizes the law, and yet I break it through moral perversity. If you like to put it so, there is one law for my reason, the Law of God, and another for my outward conduct, the law of sin and death. It is like a living man chained to a dead body. It is perfect misery. But, thank God, the chain is broken! The law of the Spirit of Life which is in Christ has set me free from the law of sin and death. Christ entered into this human nature of flesh and blood which is under the dominion of Sin. Sin put in its claim to be His master; but Christ won His case; Sin was non-suited, its claim disallowed, and human nature was free. The result is that all the Law stood for of righteousness, holiness, and goodness is fulfilled in those who live by Christ's Spirit. There are two possible forms of human life: there is the life of the lower nature of flesh and blood, of which I have spoken; and there is the life of the spirit. We have Christ's Spirit, and so we can live the life of the spirit. And in the end that Spirit will give new life to the whole human organism. (Rom. 7:7-8:11) You see, then, that the flesh-and-blood nature has no claim upon us. We belong to the Spirit. Those who are actuated by that Spirit are sons of God. I used a while back the expression, "slaves of God "; but really we are not slaves but sons---sons and heirs of God, like Christ; and when we come into our inheritance, how glorious it will be! (Rom. 8:12-18) This, however, is still in the future. At the present time the whole universe is in misery, and in its misery it waits for the revelation of God's sons. Now all existence seems futile in its transience; and even we still share creation's pangs. But we have hope; and the ground of that hope is the possession of God's Spirit--in a first installment only, but enough to reckon upon. The fact is that every prayer we utter--yes, even an inarticulate prayer--is the utterance of the Spirit within us. We know that all through God is working with us. His purpose is behind the whole process, and He is on our side. If He gave His Son, we can trust Him to give us everything else. He loves us, and nothing in the world or out of it can separate us from His love. (Rom. 8:18-39) (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China, 1970 A LETTER FROM PAUL THE MISSIONARY TO THE SOCIETY OF CHRISTIANS IN ROME (This abridged paraphrase of the Epistle to the Romans is continued from yesterday) That concludes the present stage of my argument; but before I can proceed to final deductions, I must return to a difficulty already raised (Rom. 3:1-4). If there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, does all the great past of Israel go for nothing? Do all the promises of Scripture go for nothing? First, let me say how bitterly I regret the exclusion of the Jewish nation as a body from the new life. I would surrender all my Christian privileges if I could find a way to bring them in. But we must recognize facts; and the first fact is that the nation as a whole never was able to claim the promises; from the beginning, there was a process of selection. Of the sons of Abraham, Isaac alone was called; of the sons of Isaac, Jacob only. If we ask why, there is no answer save that God is bound by no natural or historical necessity, but intervenes according to His will. To question that will is as absurd as for the pot to arraign the potter. Then again, while some members of the Hebrew race have always fallen out, always God has declared His purpose ultimately to include others, not members of the Hebrew race--and that is just what is now happening. Now, as I said, I desire nothing more earnestly than that the whole nation should be saved. But the fact is that they have deliberately rejected the chance that was offered them. There is nothing remote or abstruse about the Christian message. It is a very simple thing: acknowledge Jesus as Lord, and believe that He is alive; that is all. And they cannot say that they have never heard the message, for Christ has His witnesses everywhere. It looks, then, as if God had rejected His people, as punishment for their obstinacy. I do not believe it. God's promises cannot go for nothing. In the first place, there has always been, and there still is, a faithful remnant of the Jewish people. And in the second place, as for the main body, their present rejection of the message is only a means in God's Providence for its extension to the Gentiles. The old olive-tree of Israel stands yet; many of its branches have been lopped off, and new branches of wild olive have been engrafted in their place. But God can engraft the lopped branches on again, if it be His will; and I believe it is His will, and that in the end the whole nation will return to Him and inherit the promises. And if the failure of Israel has meant such blessing to the world, how much greater blessing will its ultimate salvation bring! God's purpose, as I said at the beginning (Rom. 1:16), is universal: He has permitted the whole of humanity, Jew and Gentile alike, to fall under sin, only in order that He may finally have mercy on the whole of humanity, Jew and Gentile alike. How profound and unsearchable are His plans! (Rom. 9:1-11:36) So now I can take up again my main argument. If this is the way of God's dealing with us, what ought to be our response? Can we do less than offer our entire selves to God as a sacrifice of thanksgiving? How will that work out? In a life lived as by members of one single body. Let each perform his part faithfully. Let love rule all your relations one to another, and to those outside, even to your enemies. Do not regard the Emperor as outside the scope of love, but obey his laws and pay his taxes. Yes, and pay all debts to every one. Love is, in fact, the one comprehensive debt of man to man. If you love your neighbour as yourself, you have fulfilled the whole moral law. But be in earnest about things, for the better day is already dawning. (Rom. 12:1-13:14) I hear you have differences among yourselves about Sabbath-keeping and vegetarianism. Take this matter, then, as an example of what I mean by the application of brotherly love to all conduct. Remember that the Sabbatarian and the anti-Sabbatarian, the vegetarian and the meat-eater, are alike servants of one Master. Give each other credit for the best motives. Do not think of yourself alone; think of your Christian brother, and try to put yourself in his place. If he seems to you a weak-minded, over-scrupulous individual, remember that in any case he is your brother, and that Christ died for him as well as for you, and reverence his conscience. If through your example he should do an act which is harmless in you but sin to him, you have injured his conscience. Is it worth while so to imperil a soul for the sake of your liberty in such external matters? If the other man is weak-minded, and you strong-minded, all the more reason why you should help to bear his burden. Remember, Christ did not please Himself. In a word, Sabbatarian and anti-Sabbatarian, Jew and Gentile, treat one another as Christ has treated you, and God be with you. (Rom. 14:1-15:13) Well, friends, I hardly think you needed this long exhortation from me. You are intelligent Christians, and well able to give one another good advice. Still, I thought I might venture to remind you of a few points ; for after all, I do feel a measure of responsibility for you, as missionary to the Gentiles. I have now accomplished my mission as far West as the Adriatic. Now I am going to Jerusalem to hand over the relief fund we have raised in Greece. After that I hope to start work in the West, and I propose to set out for Spain and take Rome on my way. Pray for me, that my errand to Jerusalem may be successful, so that I may be free to visit you. (Rom. 15:14-33) I wish to introduce to you our friend Phoebe. She renders admirable service to our congregation at Cenchrea. Do all you can for her; she deserves it. Kind regards to Priscilla and Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, and all friends in Rome. (P.S.--Beware of folk who make mischief. Be wise; be gentle; and all good be with you.) Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, and all friends at Corinth send kind regards. (So do I--Tertius, amanuensis!) Glory be to God! With all good wishes, Your brother, PAUL, Missionary of Jesus Christ.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012 The higher faiths call their followers to strenuous moral effort. Such effort is likely to be arduous and painful in proportion to the height of the ideal, desperate in proportion to the sensitiveness of the conscience. A morbid scrupulousness besets the morally serious soul. It is anxious and troubled, afraid of evil, haunted by the memory of failure. The best of the Pharisees tended in this direction, and no less the best of the Stoics. And so little has Christianity been understood that the popular idea of a serious Christian is modeled upon the same type of character. (Continued tomorrow).

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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The ascetic believed that, because he was so holy, the Devil was permitted special liberties with him, and he found in his increasing agony of effort a token of divine approval. Not along this track lies the path of moral progress. Christianity says: face the evil once for all, and disown it. Then quiet the spirit in the presence of God. Let His perfections fill the field of vision. In particular, let the concrete embodiment of the goodness of God in Christ attract and absorb the gaze of the soul. Here is the righteousness, not as a fixed and abstract ideal, but in a living human person. The righteousness of Christ is a real achievement of God's own Spirit in man.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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Commemoration of Douglas Downes, Founder of the Society of Saint Francis, 1957 We have spoken throughout of the Divine Commonwealth. That phrase represents Paul's "ecclesia of God". It is a community of loving persons, who bear one another's burdens, who seek to build up one another in love, who "have the same thoughts in relation to one another that they have in their communion with Christ". It is all this because it is the living embodiment of Christ's own Spirit. This is a high and mystical doctrine, but a doctrine which has no meaning apart from loving fellowship in real life. A company of people who celebrate a solemn sacrament of Christ's Body and Blood, and all the time are moved by selfish passions -- rivalry, competition, mutual contempt -- is not for Paul a Church or Divine Commonwealth at all, no matter how lofty their faith or how deep their mystical experience; for all these things may "puff up"; love alone "builds up". In the very act, therefore, of attaining its liberty to exist, the Divine Commonwealth has transcended the great divisions of men. In principle, it has transcended them all, and by seriously living out that which its association means, it is on the way to comprehending the whole race. Short of that its development can never stop. This is the revealing of the sons of God for which the whole creation is waiting.

Christianity Quotes, by C. Harold Dodd

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