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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Relation of Judaism to Christianity

Relation of Judaism to Christianity.

10. The idea of a coming "kingdom of heaven" arose naturally in the Hebrew mind after the decay of the Davidic monarchy, and page 2 ripened under foreign oppression into passionate longing and expectation.

11. The "kingdom of heaven" was to be a world-wide empire on this earth, both temporal and spiritual, to be established on the ruins of the great empires of antiquity by the miraculous intervention of Jehovah.

12. The Messiah or Christ was to reign over the "kingdom of heaven" as the visible deputy of Jehovah, who was considered the true sovereign of the Hebrew nation. He was to be a Priest-King,—the Supreme pontiff or high-priest of the Hebrew church, and absolute monarch of the Hebrew state.

13. The "apocalyptic literature" of the Jews exhibits the gradual formation and growth of the idea of the Messianic "kingdom of heaven."

14. All the leading features of the gospel doctrine concerning the "kingdom of heaven," the "end of the world," the "great day of judgment," the "coming of the Christ in the clouds of heaven," the "resurrection of the dead," the condemnation of the wicked and the exaltation of the righteous, the "passing away of the heavens and the earth," and the appearance of a "new heaven and a new earth, "were definitely formed and firmly fixed in the Hebrew mind, in the century before Jesus was born.

15. John the Baptist came preaching that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand." But he declared himself merely the forerunner of the Messiah.

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16. Jesus also came preaching that "the kingdom of heaven is at hand," and announced himself as the Messiah or Christ.

17. Jesus emphasized the spiritual aspect of the Messianic kingdom; but, although he expected his throne to be established by the miraculous intervention of God, and therefore refused to employ human means in establishing it, he nevertheless expected to discharge the political functions of his office as King and Judge, when the fulness of time should arrive.

18. As a preacher of purely spiritual truth, Jesus perhaps stands at the head of all the great religious teachers of the past.

19. As claimant of the Messianic crown, and founder of Christianity as a distinct historical religion, Jesus shared the spirit of an unenlightened age, and stands on the same level with Gautama or Mohammed.

20. In the belief of his disciples, the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus would not prevent the establishment of the "kingdom of heaven." His throne was conceived to be already established in the heavens; and the early church impatiently awaited its establishment on earth at the "second coming of the Christ."

21. Christianity thus appears as simply the complete development of Judaism,—the highest possible fulfilment of the Messianic dreams based on the Hebrew conception of a "chosen people,"