Imatges de pÓgina
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the category of passion can be assigned. Perfect love is thoughtful to the uttermost, and passionful to the uttermost, and there is no possibility here of any further rupture between the thought and the passion. Perfect love is a perfectly passionate reason or a perfectly rational passion (whichever we please to say) expressed in personality. But so understood the subjective struggle of the 'moi in search of this solution, this abiding personality, this Christ, is seen to be no longer purely or even primarily subjective. When we have seen the end we can interpret more accurately the significance of the way. If personal love is the last reality, the final solution, the determinant of all that is, He will be by His own nature constrained to share in the agony of the search; the subjective agony and struggle is by its very existence in me the witness to an objective reality which constrains me. The very agony of the struggle which leaves my 'moi' no peace, which destroys all confidence in self and reduces me to despair, which replaces reason by faith, is due to the direct personal action of the Christ who seeks in love to effect the only possible solution, the substitution of His divine Personality as a centre of thought and passion in place of the discredited and discarded 'moi.' This is the fundamental ' renversement du pour au contre,' the shifting of the ego, the miraculous conversion to Christ by Christ, which is the heart of Pascal's theodicy. His whole thought is fundamentally Christo-centric.

'Non seulement nous ne connaissons Dieu que par JésusChrist, mais nous ne nous connaissons nous-mêmes que par Jésus-Christ; nous ne connaissons la vie, la mort que par JésusChrist. Hors de Jésus-Christ, nous ne savons ce que c'est ni que notre vie, ni que notre mort, ni que Dieu, ni que nousmêmes.' 'Je pensais à toi dans mon agonie, j'ai versé telles gouttes de sang pour toi.' 'Tu ne me chercherais pas si tu ne me possédais. Ne t'inquiète donc pas.'

There are, on the human side, three terms to the problem in Pascal's reading of it. There is the reason which thinks, 2 Pens. 553.

1 Pens. 548.

there is the passion which desires and feels, there is the 'moi' in which and by which the reason and the passion. are brought into relation with one another, and through which they function. The need for conversion of some kind is dictated by the fact of normal experience, that there is something wrong in the relation between these three terms. In what is the nature of the change to consist? Is it that we must change our thoughts, or our feelings, or both? Is it a question of a readjustment effected by the

moi,' with the help doubtless of Jesus Christ? This is a view which very commonly goes by the name of Christian. It is the view of the Jesuits, for instance, and of du Vair, and Descartes and Corneille. We would like to believe that we are in reality fine fellows with a few inadequate thoughts and a few bad feelings, which we can nevertheless change and correct at will. But the truth is something very different. We are in reality thoroughly bad fellows who do not know how to use properly such fine things as thoughts and feelings, who make a horrible mess of the thinking and the feeling that happen to come our way, just because we cannot help being our own inimitable, egregious selves. Our thoughts and feelings are inadequate and corrupt, not in themselves, but because they are ours. We need to change not our opinions, but our moi.' And this we cannot do for ourselves. There is need of a complete renversement du pour au contre-an act which can grip this 'moi,' this product and victim of a process where thought and passion wrestle in endless strife, and found it anew in that beyond which for ever is where thought and passion are united in indissoluble bonds of love. A miracle, doubtless. 'C'est mon affaire que ta conversion.' 1

In some such way as this, it seems, did Blaise Pascal learn to play the game, thereby escaping from the horror of a game which seems to play with men like cards and counters. By a gratuitous good fortune, as he would have said, was he sought and found and so made to believe that Providence was on his side. In communion with Christ he was taught to form a sort of bridge over the wan stream

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1 Pens. 553.

of becoming,' and to live his real life out of time.' Is this the kind of psychological transcendence which we must learn to substitute for the old metaphysical transcendence which appears to be otiose and effete? It is no light or easy substitute by Pascal's account. 'Jésus sera en agonie jusqu'à la fin du monde; il ne faut pas dormir pendant ce temps-là.' 1

Now Pascal was beyond all reasonable doubt incurably neurasthenic. Are these the ravings of neurasthenia ? 'Il faut parier.'

Perhaps Providence will be on our side.

1 Pens. 553.

RICHARD HANSON.

THE COPTIC VERSION OF THE ACTS OF THE
APOSTLES.

The Coptic Version of the New Testament in the Southern Dialect otherwise called Sahidic and Thebaic. With critical apparatus, literal English translation and Register and Notes of Fragments. [By the Rev. GEORGE HORNER.] Vol. VI. The Acts of the Apostles. (Oxford: at the Clarendon Press. 1922.) 42s. net.

THE treasures which have been preserved for us by the sand and the tombs of Egypt are unequally distributed in more than one respect. We are very well informed about the burial customs of the Egyptians and about their views on the existence of the soul after death. But their mode of life on this side of the grave is only partially known to us. To mention but one fact: no picture, no text gives us an account of a wedding. Nuptial ceremonies are generally valuable to the investigator of the history of religion and morals. And there are periods of Egyptian history that have not even left us sufficient records for studying the world of the dead. Still we must not be ungrateful. In many instances periods and questions which are of special interest to us are amply illustrated by contemporary sources. The period of Amenophis IV is arousing the greatest interest in our days, and rightly so: a most peculiar religion, an admirable style of art then prevailed for a short time in Egypt. It is just this period from which we possess a rich store of materials. The residence of this Pharaoh, Amarna, has been wonderfully preserved, and a vast amount of new information is promised by the recently discovered tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamoun. As regards a document of later periods, the Sahidic Bible, we have also no reason to complain. Though preserved only in a large number of fragments, the complete text can be restored without too much difficulty. The part we know most of, from old and lengthy MSS, is the Acts of the Apostles, and this is, of course, the book which has the greatest interest for the critic of the text of the New Testament.

The Acts of the Apostles, as is well known, has been handed down to us in two textual forms, which for the sake of simplicity we will call the Eastern and the Western text, though it is

doubtful whether they are entitled to bear those brief designations. Students are not yet agreed even about the question of how to divide the extant readings among these two textual forms. The difficulty of reconstructing the Western Latin Text is even surpassed by that of rearranging the Western Greek original. So we are still far removed from being able to compare the two textual forms in regard to their value and to point out their relation to each other. Here the Sahidic text renders us most valuable assistance; we find in it a mixed text which is all the more important as it can be located geographically with great certainty and with sufficient accuracy also chronologically. This fact already, that the mixed text can be ascertained as belonging to Egypt and to the time about A.D. 300, is significant. It is natural that a text of such antiquity will supply a great deal of information also on points of detail.

As a proof of the mixed character of the Sahidic text I adduce the rendering it gives of the so-called decree of the Apostles, probably the best known and most disputed passage, in which the two textual forms diverge. In the Sahidic the proposal of James (Acts xv 19 sqq.) reads as follows:

'Because of this I also decide to cause no trouble to those who turn themselves unto God from the Gentiles, but to write to them to remove themselves from the pollutions of the idols and the fornication and anything dead and the blood, and that which they wish not to happen to them, not to do it to another.'

The corresponding passage from the epistle of the Apostles, Acts xv 28 sqq. :

For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to lay any burden upon you except these (things) of a necessity to remove yourselves from them, from the sacrifices of the idols, the blood, those (things) which are wont to die, and the fornication; and the (things) which ye wish not for to happen to yourselves do them not to another.'

In this place the two textual forms are sharply distinguished, not only by the wording but also by the sense. The Eastern text, which is probably regarded by most investigators as the older, brings four prohibitions, nothing else, omitting especially the Golden Rule at the end. Among the four prohibitions there is one which must be understood, in the original text, as a ceremonial prescription, namely the abstaining from things choked. The other three prohibitions may be regarded as having a general religious and ethical purpose, though this is

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