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The Kingdom of God Within Us.

The Kingdom of God Within Us.

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Published by glennpease
BY JAMES MARTINEAU.

PART I.

Matthew iv. 17. From that time jesus began to preach, and to say, repent ;
for the kingdom of heayen is at hand.
BY JAMES MARTINEAU.

PART I.

Matthew iv. 17. From that time jesus began to preach, and to say, repent ;
for the kingdom of heayen is at hand.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 27, 2014
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THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN US. BY JAMES MARTINEAU. PART I. Matthew iv. 17. From that time jesus began to preach, and to say, repent ; for the kingdom of heayen is at hand. By the kingdom of Heaven was meant reforma-tion upon earth. Whatever difficulties there may be in filling up the precise picture which the phrase would call up before the mind of a Jewish audience, it was unquestionably the Hebrew formula for the expected golden age, and was the popular symbol to denote perfected society; the final ascendency of truth, justice, and peace ; the expulsion of misery and wrong ; the eternal reign of all that is divine over the world. This theocratic revolution was expected speedily, when the words of the text were uttered. On the supposed eve of such a change, which would itself bring remedies for every imagin-able ill, physical and moral, all earnest efforts at social amelioration might appear to be superseded; the nearer the crisis of restoration, the shorter would be the triumphs of oppression, and the feebler the mischiefs of sin : nay, if corruption ripens for
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 judgment, a more vehement outblaze of human crime might even be welcomed by some, as likely 116 THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN US. to hasten the interposition which was to quench and to regenerate. The appropriate lesson of the hour might be thought to be one of passive watchfulness ; to lie in wait for the hoped-for redemption ; to relax even the accustomed energies of life and duty, as on a world grown old ; and, in the words of one writing under the influence of this very expectation, to let ' him that is unjust, be unjust still; him that is filthy, be filthy still ; him that is righteous, be righteous still ; him that is holy, be holy still ; for the time is at hand.' Instead of this, however, the great prophet of the hour draws the opposite inference ; and utters the exhortation short and sharp, 'Repent!' A life of worldly acquiescence, of selfish habit, of unloving and barren ease, will not do, he conceives, for the kingdom of Heaven ; which, be it what it may, is no system of mechanism for forcing men to be wise
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and good without any trouble, but a social state accruing from wisdom and excellence previously formed ; not a scene from which souls acquire sanc-tity, but one to which they give it. Personal repent-ance, the transference of the life from conventional-ism to conviction, the kindling of pure and productive affections, must precede and usher in the reign of God upon the earth ; men must truly venerate the ' Deity within them, and he will not be slow to de-scend with his peace on society around them. The holy and divine must first be recognized and en-shrined in the individual and private heart ; and then will follow its wider conquests over humanity. There is the home and citadel of its strength, from which it sallies forth to win its public triumphs, and establish its general rule ; there the centre whence THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITHIN US. 117 its influence radiates, till it embraces and penetrates even the outlying margin of barbarism and sin. Christ, then, whose voice is Christianity, addresses himself first to the individual conscience ; indulging
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