Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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The whole world still believes in the literary career of the "Holy Spirit" or is still influenced by the after—effects of this belief: when we look into our Bibles we do so for the purpose of "edifying ourselves" to find a few words of comfort for our misery be it great or small—in short we read ourselves into it and out of it.  Yet who—apart from a few scholars—know that it also records the history of one of the most ambitious and importunate souls that ever existed of a mind full of superstition and cunning: the history of the Apostle Paul?  Nevertheless without this singular history without the tribulations and passions of such a mind and of such a soul there would have been no Christianity; we should have scarcely have even heard of a little Jewish sect the founder of which died on the Cross.  It is true that if this history had been understood at the right time if we had read really read the writings of St.  Paul not as the revelations of the "Holy Spirit" but with honest and independent minds regardless of all our own personal needs— there were no such readers for fifteen centuries—Christianity would have been finished long ago: for these writings of the Jewish Pascal lay bare the origins of Christianity just as the French Pascal let us see its destiny and how it will ultimately perish.  That the ship of Christianity threw overboard no inconsiderable part of its Jewish ballast that it was able to sail into the waters of the heathen and actually did do so: this is due to the history of one single man this apostle who was so greatly troubled in mind so worthy of pity but who was also very disagreeable – even to himself.  This man suffered from a fixed idea or rather a fixed question an ever—present and ever—burning question: what was the Jewish Law really concerned with?  More particularly how was the law to be fulfilled?  In his youth he had done his best to satisfy it thirsting as he did for the highest distinction which the Jews could conceive—this people which raised the fantasy of moral sublimity to a greater elevation than any other people and which alone succeeded in creating the concept of a holy God together with the idea of sin as an offence against this holiness.  St.  Paul became at once the fanatic defender and guard—of—honour of this God and His Law.  Ceaselessly battling against and lying in wait for all transgressors of this Law and those who presumed to doubt it he was pitiless and cruel with a pronounced inclination for the most rigorous of punishments.  Now however he was aware in his own person of the fact that such a man as himself—violent sensual melancholy and malicious in his hatred—could not fulfil the Law; and furthermore what seemed strangest of all to him he saw that his boundless craving for power was a continual provocation to break the Law and that he could not help yielding to this impulse.  Was it really carnality which made him a transgressor time and again?  Was it not rather as it afterwards occurred to him that the Law itself continually showed itself to be impossible to fulfil and in fact provided an irresistible lure to transgression?  Yet at that time he had not thought of this means of escape.  As he suggests here and there he had many things on his conscience—hatred murder sorcery idolatry debauchery drunkenness and orgiastic revelry—and to however great an extent he tried to soothe his conscience—and even more his desire for power by the extreme fanaticism of his worship for and defence of the Law there were times when the thought struck him: "It is all in vain!  The torture of the unfulfilled Law cannot be overcome".  Luther must have experienced similar feelings when alone in his cloister he endeavoured to become the perfect man of the spiritual ideal and as Luther one day began to hate this ideal and the Pope and the saints and the whole clergy with a hatred which was all the more deadly as he could not admit it to himself a similar feeling took possession of St.  Paul.  The Law was the Cross on which he felt himself crucified.  How he hated it!  What a grudge he owed it!  How he began to look round on all sides to find a means for its total annihilation that he might no longer be obliged to fulfil it!  And at last a liberating thought together with a vision—which was only to be expected in the case of an epileptic like himself—came to him: he the stern upholder of the Law—who in his innermost heart was tired to death of it—to him there appeared on the lonely path that Christ with the divine light on his countenance.  And Paul heard the words: "Why persecutest thou Me"?  What actually took place then was this: his mind was suddenly enlightened and he said to himself: "It is unreasonable to persecute this Jesus Christ!  Here is my means of escape here is my complete vengeance here and nowhere else have I the destroyer of the Law in my hands!  "The sufferer from anguished pride felt himself restored to health all at once his moral despair disappeared; for morality itself was blown away destroyed—that is to say fulfilled there on the Cross!  Up to that time that shameful death had seemed to him to be the principal argument against the "Messiahship "proclaimed by the followers of the new teaching: but what if it were necessary for doing away with the Law?  The enormous consequences of this thought of this solution of the enigma danced before his eyes and he at once became the happiest of men.  The destiny of the Jews indeed of all mankind seemed to him to be intertwined with this instantaneous flash of enlightenment: he held the thought of thoughts the key of keys the light of lights; history would from this time revolve around him!  For from that time forward he would be the teacher of the destruction of the Law!  To be dead to sin—that meant to be dead to the Law also; to be in the flesh—that meant to be under the Law!  To be one with Christ—that meant to have become like Him the destroyer of the Law; to be dead with Him—that meant likewise to be dead to the Law.  Even if it were still possible to sin it would not at any rate be possible to sin against the Law: "I am above the Law" thinks Paul; adding "If I were now to acknowledge the Law again and to submit to it I should make Christ an accomplice to sin "; for the Law caused sin to exist as an emetic produces sickness.  God could not have decided upon the death of Christ had it been possible to fulfil the Law without it; henceforth not only has all guilt been taken away but guilt itself is abolished; from thta point onwards the Law is dead; "the flesh "in which it dwelt is dead—or is in any case dying gradually wasting away.  To live for a short time longer amid this decay!  this is the Christian's fate until the time when having become one with Christ he arises with Him sharing with Christ the divine glory and becoming like Christ a "Son of God".  Then Paul's intoxication was at its height and with it the importunity of his soul—the thought of union with Christ made him lose all shame all submission all constraint—his ungovernable ambition is revealed as his revelling in the promise of divine glories.  Such was the first Christian the inventor of Christianity!  Before him there were only a few Jewish sectarians.  
 

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