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What is Christianity, The Kingdom of God

What is Christianity, The Kingdom of God

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY STOPFORD BROOKE


Lord, to whom shall go? Thou hast tht words of eternal life.

St. John vi. 68
BY STOPFORD BROOKE


Lord, to whom shall go? Thou hast tht words of eternal life.

St. John vi. 68

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 26, 2013
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WHAT IS CHRISTIAITY, THE KIGDOM OF GOD?BY STOPFORD BROOKELord, to whom shall go? Thou hast tht words of eternal life.St. John vi. 681 T may well be asked, in these times of change,* when men, in matters of religion, change forthe most part towards loss of the religious ideasand call it progress, whether we have changed inthat fashion, and let slip down the wind the greatconceptions on which the religion of Christ standsfast and immutable amid the tumbling waves.And I have asked myself that question, and we mayall ask ourselves the same. Have we changed theground of our faith? Is what was dear to usten years ago dear to us to-day? What webelieved to be true ten years ago, do we believe tobe true to-day ? For my part I have found nothingmore excellent than the teaching of Jesus Christ,and I see nothing which even approaches it inexcellence.SJ»THE GOSPEL OP JOYI trust that it may be the same with you. Manynew religions, many new foundations of thought,are offered to us ou which to build our life. Theteaching of Christ is put aside by many; it isthought by others to have some weight, but that itsexcellence has been exaggerated. There are someeven who cry it down.
 
But it will outlast all its enemies, and it remainsgreater than all the religions and ethical theorieswhich have endeavoured to replace it. Only it iswell in these times of con.'usion to understand clearlywhat it is, what are its fundamental ideas; to clearIt from its excrescences ; to say that many thingssaid to belong to it do not belong to it at all. Byitself, it is of the greatest simplicity, beauty, andeternity. And it is so because it rests on Love,that is, it rests on God, who, if He were not Love,would have no real existence at all. What it isI will declare to-day— the everlasting Gospel to thehuman race.When I say it is simple, I mean that it is notinvolved with all the doctrinal schemes which men,partly for the sake of retaining a tyrannical authorityover the souls of their fellows, and partly in orderto make Christianity subservient to the logicalunderstanding, have built up around it. All theseschemes, such aa are contained in the icene Craed,MOWHAT IS CHRISTIAITY, THE KIGDOM OF GOD?in the sacerdotal theories of the Roman Church, inthe "Confessions" of the various sects, are intellec*tual, not spiritual arrangements, are necessarilytransient, belonging to the world, and have nothingto do with the plain spiritual and eternal ideaswhich Jesus declared. They are not to be found ina single thing He said. They arose after His death :they are the product of blind logic, not of the seeingspirit; of limited thought, not of infinite feeling. Theyare the poor prose of the transient ecclesiastic, notthe noble poetry of the Eternal Father — and withoutrejecting the use of them altogether, whenever they
 
do not militate against the love of God and man(for that is the test of their use), we say that theyare of no vital or absolute importance at all, andhave nothing to do with eternal life. They are of the temporary, unspiritual world, the world of thelimited intellect— «nd the fashion of that worldpasseth away. Clear your mind of them; livewithin on a higher plane than that on which theymove. Your religion is to dwell in the Love of theFather whose children you are, not in that conten-tious argument of men upon doctrines of religionwhich does away with the Fatherhood of God andthe Brotherhood of man.And, indeed, the first and foremost truth whichChrist taught was that we are not alone in thi^?1«THE GOSPEL OF JOYsorrowful world ; but that, beyond all its sorrows,we are in the closest possible relation to Him whomade the world of men, and in whom its sorrows arecontained. Why sorrows and sins prevail on earth,we can but dimly see, but in spite of them, Jesus — and surely few have suffered more than He — believedand maintained that God bore to us the personalrelation of a Father, and that we were His dearchildren whom He loved. " There," He thought, " isthe healing of the world, the medicine for sin andsorrow." Indeed, to believe this is to bring right-eousness into life and joy into pain.When we know that we love God and that Godloves us, we are healed of the grievous wounds of life. In the infinite flood of divine and human loveour sins and sorrows are drowned, and the ark of joy

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