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A FURTHER TEST OF OUR RESULT REQUIRED

THE conclusion which I just stated necessarily implies that our Lord Himself held that view of His own being and His own relation to the Father which is set forth in the First Epistle of St. John, and which the Church later endeavored to formulate more precisely in its Creeds. For the words expressing that view of Him which are put into our Lord's own mouth in the dialogue at the Last Supper are vital to the whole tenor and purpose of His discourse there, and if He did not speak of Himself substantially so, that dialogue as a whole is historically worthless. But it is now laid down by many people that our Lord cannot have spoken so; since, it is said, the belief about Him which the words ascribed to Him express formed no part of what the Apostles originally preached, and thus, though it did develop during Apostolic times, it must have been formed by influences which were alien to His teaching.

This fundamental objection to my conclusion must be fairly met, though in trying to do so I must through several chapters leave the Gospel according to St. John out of sight. Some development certainly did come over the belief of the Apostles about our Lord after He had left them. The question is whether that development was due to any other influence than their gradually

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