CHURCH AND THE SYNAGOGUE 13
complex interplay of energies bearing the germs of the new law. It dwells in the midst of the multiform and pliable religious life of the city without revealing any deep marks of isolation from Judaism. Like other schools and orders of Judaism, these believers in Christ remain faithful to the Temple and the law, merely celebrating their remembrance of the Master at their meetings. There they broke bread and passed the cup of wine as He had taught them to do. But a new mood now took possession of them. Their joyful sense of being God's children and their strong urge to fashion present and future according to the will of Jesus necessarily revealed the new tendencies of their communion. The orthodox Jews looked upon even their Greek-minded fellow Hebrews as opponents. Necessarily, therefore, the breach between them and a community which, like its Founder, held that the Temple would cease to exist could not be healed. Stephen, the nurse of the poor, fell a victim to this antipathy about the year 37 under the stones of the first persecution. His death did not lame, but rather fired the determination of those who believed in Jesus and had hope that He would soon return again. Now the preaching of the gospel was also directed to the heathen. Teaching and baptism in the name of Christ were to be offered all mankind. Paul was not the first to think so and act accordingly, though he was incomparably more successful than any before or after him. On the way to Damascus, Saul, who just a litde while before had watched with satisfaction the slaying of Stephen, had felt with certainty that the Voice which spoke out of the Vision he beheld testified that the Lord lived and influenced the ways of the world. The accounts give us no clarity, but in this experience there was securely founded his in- escapable destiny to preach the glad tidings to the whole world.
This meant putting the heathen on the same level with the children of Israel. The thought was unbearable to Jewish Christians. Even Peter sundered himself only gradually and hesitatingly from the law and the customs of his people's religion. It was only the free, daring example of Paul and his companions which pointed out to him the way to the mission among the uncircumcised. That he was deeply saturated with Jesus, His message and His Resurrection, the Acts of the Apostles show in their accounts of his actions and addresses. After the day of the Holy Spirit's coming he spoke before the High