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§ 49. Connexion with the Old Testament Theocracy.

The object of Christ was, as he himself often describes it, to establish the kingdom of God among men; not, as we have shown, after a plan of man’s devising, but after one laid down by God; not only in the general developement of the human race, but also, and specially, in the developement of the Jewish nation, and in the revelations of the old dispensation. We must, therefore, look back upon the Old Testament foundations of the kingdom of God, before we can correctly understand the plan of Christ as set forth in his. acts and words. The one prepared the way for the other. In the former it was outward and confined to the narrow community of the Jewish people, in the form of a state founded and governed by Divine authority; in the latter it was to be universal, all-embracing, a communion, springing out of the consciousness of God, intended to be the principle of life and union for all mankind. In the former, the Divine law, ordering from without all the relations of state and people, governed the nation through organs appointed by God and inspired by his Spirit, viz., priests, kings, and prophets. But this idea could not be realized; the kingdom of God could not be founded from without. It needed first a proper material; and this could not be found in human nature, estranged from God by sin. The history of the Jewish nation was designed to bring this contradiction out into clear consciousness; and to awaken a more and more vivid anxiety for its removal, and for the re-establishment and glorification of the Theocracy. So the revelations of God pointed more and more directly to HIM, the Messiah, under whose dominion the Divine kingdom was to be exalted, and the worship of Jehovah to be acknowledged and to triumph even among the nations so long estranged from him.

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