− キリスト伝(18) −
James Stalker


This is perhaps the most solemn and appalling circumstance in the whole tragedy of the life of Christ, that the men who rejected, hunted down and murdered Him were those reputed the best in the nation, its teachers and examples, the zealous conservators of the Bible and the traditions of the past—men who were eagerly waiting for the Messiah, who judged Jesus, as they believed, according to the Scriptures, and thought they were obeying the dictates of conscience and doing God service when they treated Him as they did. これはおそらくキリストの生涯の全悲劇の中で最も厳かな鬱陶しく恐ろしい環境であった。それは彼を排斥し、捜しだし、殺そうとしていた人々は、国民の間に最も評判のよい人々であって、教師や模範になる人々、熱心な聖書と先祖たちの言い伝えの擁護者であったからである。
There cannot fail sometimes to sweep across the mind of a reader of the Gospels, a strong feeling of pity for them, and a kind of sympathy with them. 彼らに対して強い哀れみの感情と、彼らに対するある種の共感が、福音書の読者のこころをしばしば横切ることを禁じ得ない。
Jesus was so unlike the Messiah whom they were looking for and their fathers had taught them to expect! イエスは彼が先祖たちから期待するようにと教えられてきた、彼らが探し求める救い主とは、あまりにも似ていなかった!
He so completely traversed their prejudices and maxims, and dishonoured so many things which they had been taught to regard as sacred! 彼らは彼らの偏見と格言に従って非常に完璧に精査したので、彼らが神聖と見なす教えと多くのことがらが違っていた。
They may surely be pitied; there never was a crime like their crime, and there was never punishment like their punishment. 彼らは本当に同情に値する。彼らが犯した罪のような大罪と、彼らの受ける刑罰のような厳しい刑罰は決して存在しない。
There is the same sadness about the fate of those who are thrown upon any great crisis of the world’s history and, not understanding the signs of the times, make fatal mistakes; as those did, for example, who at the Reformation were unable to go forth and join the march of Providence. たとえば宗教改革のような、世の大きな歴史上の危機に投じられたが、時の流れを理解できず、致命的な過ちを犯すひとびとに、同様の悲哀が感じられる。
Yet, at bottom, what was their case? さて、彼らの場合の真相は何であったか?
It was just this, that they were so blinded with sin that they could not discern the light. それはまさしくこうであった。つまり彼らは罪のためにすっかり盲目になり、光をみることができなかった。
Their views of the Messiah had been distorted by centuries of worldliness and unspirituality, of which they were the like-minded heirs. 彼らの救い主の概念は何世紀にも渡る世によってすっかりねじ曲げられ、霊的なものを失ったが、彼らはそれと同じものを受け継いでいた。
They thought Jesus a sinner, because He did not conform to ordinances which they and their fathers had profanely added to those of God’s Word, and because their conception of a good man, to which He did not answer, was utterly false. 彼らは、彼らの父たちが不敬にも神のことばに付け加えた言い伝えと、彼らが善い人であるとする概念に、イエスは答えなかったし、彼らの概念は完全に誤っていたので、イエスを罪人だと決めつけた。
Jesus supplied them with evidence enough, but He could not give them eyes to see it. イエスは十分な証拠を提供したが、彼らにそれを見る目を与えることはできなかった。
There is a something at the bottom of hearts that are honest and true which, however long and deeply it may have been buried under prejudice and sin, leaps up with joy and desire to embrace what is true, what is reverend, what is pure and great, when it draws near. こころの奥底にはなにがしかの正しさと真実さとがあるものであって、どんなに長く深い偏見と罪にそれが葬られていようとも、真理に近く引き寄せられるとき、清く偉大なものを喜びあがめるものである。
But nothing of the kind was found in them; their hearts were seared, hardened and dead. しかし彼らのうちにはなにも見いだされなかった。彼らのこころは、焼かれ、堅くせられ、死んでいた。
They brought their stock rules and arbitrary standards to judge Him by, and were never shaken by His greatness from the fatal attitude of criticism. 彼らはイエスを判断するためにおきまりの規則と、気ままな標準を用いた。そしてイエスの偉大さによってさえ決して揺り動かされることがなく致命的な批判の態度を改めなかった。
He brought truth near them, but they had not the truth-loving ear to recognize the enchanting sound. イエスは彼らのそばに真理を運ばれたが、彼らは真理を愛することがなくその魅惑の音を認識しなかった。
He brought the whitest purity, such as archangels would have veiled their faces at, near them, but they were not overawed. イエスは彼らに天使の長がまとうような純白の清さを持ってきたが、彼らはそれに威圧されなかった。
He brought near them the very face of mercy and heavenly love, but their dim eyes made no response. イエスは彼らに憐れみと天の愛の顔を向けたが、彼のくらまされた目は何の反応も示さなかった。
We may indeed pity the conduct of such men as an appalling misfortune, but it is better to fear and tremble at it as appalling guilt. 私たちはそのような恐ろしい不幸の行為に本当に憐れみを覚えるかもしれないが、むしろそれを恐ろしい罪として恐れ震える方がよい。
The more utterly wicked men become, the more inevitable it is that they should sin; the vaster the mass of a nation’s sin becomes, as it rolls down through the centuries, the more inevitable is it that it will end in some awful national crime. もっとすっかり悪くなった人々は、罪を犯すことがもっと当たり前になり、さらに国民の罪が巨大になると世紀を超えて国全体のある種の恐るべき罪が当たり前になる。
But when the inevitable takes place, it is an object not for pity only, but also for holy and jealous wrath. しかし当然に起こりうることは、哀れみの対象となるだけでなく、聖いねたみの怒り対象ともなる。